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May
1 - Up rather earlier than of late with Sally snuggles and a gentle 'woof' as the post was delivered . . .walked and found a penny . . . left Sally at home listening to Classic FM and walked up to shop. Police car parked up nearby dealing with an abandoned car and I couldn't resist pointing them in the direction of an expensive one I pass every day, half on half off the pavement that doesn't have a tax disk on! Don't think they bothered - and I forgot to mention the other one down the road that has it's whole front missing!!! . . Butcher said 'try tomorrow' - what a surprise! Grrrrr . . . PCd. E-mail reply from DS in response to my pleading for help with the scannery thing - he admitted that he was aware of 'old' scanner problems with XP and couldn't really offer any advice other than buy a new one!!!! Arrrrgh! Followed his advice to try and remove the locked in 'Unknown Device' entries in Device Manager and ran the System Restore utility. WOW is that clever!!! Undid my first couple of attempts because loads of downloaded updates and such disappeared? Paused to experiment with the CMOS and use the secondary hard drive (the bootable Win98 from the old machine) as the boot disk - plenty of hickups but it kinda worked in the end without even knowing the other hard drive was there and thus without doing XP any damage - YAYyyy - managed to get the scanner working!!! Probably real dodgy - but possible if I need to scan stuff . . Back on as XP, bit the bullet and restored back to more or less before I touched the machine! VERY clever - except? - oh NO!!!!!!! Spent the rest of the afternoon reinstalling a bunch of stuff AND worst of all rebuilding all my internet connections data and e-mail user accounts and such! What a pig - at least it didn't delete any of the user files/e-mails! Guess I'll be more careful about where I store such stuff from now on - user/my documents would seem to be safest. On the bright side the little weird fault that had developed of it's own accord with the media player effects, full screen mode has cleared up. Bright and swirly - trippy even. :o) . . .LB called in and drove me to Makro. Spent far too much again but did get one of those cheap electric showers. . . walked as mopeds drove across the field and another maniac in an obviously stolen car rampaged around the streets at frightening speeds - surely not a coincedence that 'personal effects' seemed to litter the streets on the way back! Found 4p over the field next to a small empty purse that appeared to have been there a while - think I may wash it and carry it around to hold my 'findings' in :o) . . . TVd/PCd till early. Recieved two e-mails from the website today both of them with a title referring to some free Britney video or other - assumed they were viruses and deleted them immediately! (4/10)
2 - Wow - what a weird nights sleep! Woke around 1:30am in the middle of a nasty nightmare where I ended up 'kicking out' really violently defending myself from some attacking someone or other!!!? Thank goodness I was sleeping alone and Sally was on the floor across the room or I would really have hurt someone! Weird - must have been those sandwhiches I made up from the Makro thin sliced turkey I bought! . . .woken by Sally aroud 7:30am with a REALLY painful neck and headache - gotten so bad I have difficulty 'looking round' and have to move my whole body rather than just my head!? Coffee, cigarettes, and anadin tablets for breakfast in the garden again . . . walked but oh what a beautiful morning, so kept on walking and did the ten mile treck through Eastville Park, along the river through Vassals and back via the roads through Fishponds. Walking round the boating lake some workmen were working on the other side and one suddenly started shouting out some abuse!!!? Really couldn’t figure out what on earth his problem was and got pretty annoyed until I suddenly remembered that time a week or so ago when Sally had done her devil dog act on some guy down along the river in Vassals who had tried to kick her! I guess that was him? Nasty man – Sally sure is a good judge of character. Took me at least a mile or so before I could see the other side and wish him well and hope he had not been traumatised for life against all German Shepherds as a result of Sally’s behaviour – he sure did seem pretty upset still! Walking Sally is SUCH a roller coaster ride of ups and downs! Found 2p, a half eaten dog ball, and a hand towel (in the street from last nights stolen car?) that will be useful for wiping a wet dog down . . . PCd for a bit stitching together another disappointing panoramic . . . grabbed a sandwich as the rain and hail bucketed down(can this be the same day?!) then left Sally at home and walked up Kingswood, thankfully between showers, to give blood.Bloody funny. Nice timing - hardly any wait at all and still useful despite the high Anadin levels! Made a fool of myself and asked if it would be ok if I had someone take a picture ‘for my diary’. Blimey – the way they acted you’d think I’d asked for someone elses blood to take home! Terribly embarrassing as they had to go and ask the head nursey person if it was ok and who then had to come and interrogate me to see what I was after! Was starting to feel real sorry I’d asked but in the end it was ok and something of a laugh. Even ended up swapping web site addresses with the staff! (http://www.thefogghorn.com - uh oh - football alert!!!) As an afterthought remembered to ask about 'healthy blood pressure' but they dont check it as a rule these days so I didn't press the point! . . . managed to get a huge dog bone from a butcher that has reopened and for only 20p – such a better attitude than the ‘try tomorrow –and tomorrow – and tomorrow’ one down the road. Decided to go fully bankrupt and popped in the cheap store and bought the13.5tog king size duvet and two pillows I’d seen in there the other day for only 17. That’ll replace my old ‘drier-burnt’ one, which I’ll hopefully be able to fold in half and stuff into the single duvet cover for Sally to sleep on – that is REALLY why I bought it I guess. :o) . . . struggled home carrying the huge bone and duvet. Ansaphone message from M/D – oh no!!!! I’d completely forgotten it was the debrief from Dad’s radio therapy today! My only excuse is we all seem to have slipped in to ‘business as usual’ since he is doing so well! Called M/D – signs of abnormalities on the scan as expected from the surgery but confirmation that there was NO new growth. Yayyyy! :o) Plans to reduce the dangerously high steroid dose and next appointment to see that doctor in two months!! Wow – that seems to be a good sign in itself maybe. Dad was much his old self asking I dig out some oil for his oil can and sort out some leggings for when he next mows the lawn because when he did it the other day all the cuttings got into his boots!!! Blimey – he IS feeling better! . . .hack sawed Sally’s bone into three on the patio and saved two parts in the freezer . . . touched base with Sis1 . . . PCd . . .funny how every time I give blood I feel 'up'. Must be endorphines, and why 'doctors' of old used to pescribe blood letting! Nothing to do with feeling good about having done something worthwhile - in fact I usually agonise over how some poor person will have had some horrible accident and will have emergency surgery and a blood transfusion where they get my blood and will wake up only to find they are inexplicably depressed and gloomy about their survival!!!! lol Really! . . .sorted out my new duvet and Sally's bed which is annoyingly more comfortable than mine now!!! . . . Walked - stopped at a neighbours house and asked if it was ok for me to remove a large piece of PVC facia stuff that was on their skip for disposal - it was, so popped it in my front garden - must be useful for somethng. Briefly popped into the local pub as I passed, to warn someone behind the bar that some kids outside were throwing rocks onto the roof and the side of the building! Place was full of loud shouting drunken horrible people!! My worst nightmare!!!!! Girl behind the bar didn't seem to care and as I turned to leave - well - I don't know if the "FUCK OFF!" from one of the drunken guys at the bar was directed at me or not, but it may as well have been the way it made me feel - replay, replay, replay LOTS!!! :o( . . walked and found 2p. WOWweeee THAT is the sort of sunset I've been looking for!!! Took a couple of snaps - one 'almost' did the scene justice - Beautiful - only thing missing is a bolt of lightening to leap out and hit the pub!! :o) . . .PS popped round for chats till early. Uncle TJ called to revel in Dad's good news. . . PCd till far too early considering the time I have the alarms set for! . . . couldn't sleep until gone 3:30am!!!!!!!!!! (5/10)aas
3 - Up with the alarm at 7am after only three and a half hours sleep!! Anadin breakfast in the garden but maintained a crunchy neck headache most of the day! . . .walked hurriedly . . . washed the Sally dog gunged rear window, and the cigarette tar covered windscreen on the car! . . . rushed and loaded up all the usual Sally gear and headed out to pick up Sis1 around 9:15. Drove down to M/D. Traffic was ok despite being the lead in Friday to a bank holiday and arrived a couple of hours later. M/D both seemed fine. Once again Sally was like a different dog and acted real happy to see them with wagging tail and let them freely stroke her and make a fuss of her. Tin of dog food awaiting me on Sally’s comfy mat when I opened up the garage. :o) . . sat in the garden in blazing hot sunshine between the billowing white clouds, chatting with Dad and drinking coffee as Mum did some more of her endless chores! Gave Dad the warm fleecy hat I’d found to cover his bald and patchy haired head - damn he really has lost most of his hair now – seemed to be genuinely appreciated and was worn all day. Eventually after Mum had treated Sally to a whole pork pie (which I was sorely tempted to wrestle from her so hungry was I) we all loaded up and drove to the eating place at Paington. Amazingly got a parking space right outside again AND a table right next to the window within sight of Sally left in the car with water bowl and bone. Ordered up meals but real worried about Sally in the hot car in the sun so went and got her out and tied her to the fire escape right outside next to where we were sat – kinda like she was there with us – only the window glass separating us. PERFECT! Amazingly she settled down without any howling and was really quite good throughout the entire meal apart from the odd scary devil dog bark at anyone who showed her too much interest – some poor toddler was scared to tears. All very impressed with her. God I was hungry. Excellent food – I had a HUGE 16oz steak and delicious heavy cheesecake again . . Oh no - not again!!! M/D presented me and Sis1 with a largeish cheque 'to make things equal with Sis2' and because they felt guilty about us 'having' to spend money coming down to see them all the time now?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For goodness sake! . . . Too full to join in with cups of coffee I left M/D&Sis1 and walked Sally to the beach to confirm the seasonal bye law of no dogs on the beach WAS in effect! I can understand why (children playing, dog poop, health risk, etc.), but don’t think that is right. I’ve always felt animals have more of a right to be wherever they please than people! People screw everything up, not nature - kinda? Found a penny. . Drove to dog pooh lane and all walked down the track and into my favourite woods. Concerned that Dad may not be up to it, not least of all because of his ‘visual perception’ problem, but he insisted he was and was guided ALL the way by Mum, arm in arm which seemed kinda cute and tear jerky. Mum’s overriding primary concern was they should not on any account get muddy shoes! Very Mum like! Without intending to offend he christened her his ‘guide dog’! . . .Oh how WONDERFULL!!!!! Full on bluebells on display ALL over the forest floor all agleam in the dappled green sunlight. Took picture upon picture but none did the scene and the atmosphere justice. Heavenly place. Sis1 got taken short and headed into the bushes – funny time for her to get a call on her mobile!! lol :o) . . all sat on the beach for a while throwing stones for paddling Sally. Eventually carefully and slowly retraced our steps and VERY naughtily (I strongly disapprove of my actions - but matching needs must!) bagged a couple more stepping stones for my garden and struggled back to the car carrying the heavy load. Back to M/Ds for a frantic hosing down and cleaning of muddy shoes to keep Mum happy and then coffee, cake and chats as hail and rain fell outside - good timing. Left around 8:15pm after Mum had treated sally to LOADS of cheese, and was home unpacked and exhausted by 10:30. . . PCd and e-mailed a couple of photos to Sis2. . . to bed after 1am. Nice day. With my extraordinary lack of memory, in too short a time I will completely forget this day!!!!!!???? This is MY reminder. (5/10)aaa
4 - Up late . . . fed LBs cats. Touched base with M/D and got them to transfer the money into my account by phone and then tore up their cheque – it’ll be easier and quicker to credit especially since it is the bank holiday weekend. Walked . . . as usual on a bank holiday gonna keep my head down and stay away from the crowds – shame I’m like that cause living here, ‘stuff’ is going on all over the place - some festival or other at Ashton Court including James Brown in the line up apparently. Pottered in the garden for a bit installing the new stepping stones - I need just one more to replace a broken one!Sat in the sun for a bit . . . spent a large part of the day messing around with the PC copying a few of LBs music CDs and printing out and gluing up some simple little paper covers with the titles etc. Printer is acting up now?! Jeeze!!! . . . fed LBs cats and just couldn’t resist spending quarter of an hour or so in her garden, replacing some of the stones from the raised beds that have collapsed due to pole cat burrowing, and pulling out a few of the masses of weeds that have sprouted up all over! Hard to tell what she has planted and what are weeds! . . . walked . . . BB called to touch base and seems much better on her antibiotics. Copied more CDs until early! (4/10)aas
5 - Woken up REAL late by Sally on the bed. Blimey – that is the morning gone! Bloody headache . . . fed LBs cats. Dunno why I am copying her CDs - just guarantees I get a piece of music locked into my head, round and round incessantly for days - water torture of the moment is 'No More Heroes' by the Stranglers - but spent the morning hurriedly copying them any way! Poor old Sally had to wait until around midday for her walk! . . . walked. Spotted lights on in the house I'd passed the other day where I heard voices coming from the door intercom, and decided in my local busybody mode to call at the door and tell them. Figured it was maybe either stuck on OR the phone the occupant was using was a wireless and was bleading into the intercom? Whichever you could listen in to his conversation out in the street!! Rang the bells(s?) which didn't seem to work and then knocked on the door - uh oh! Electronic door release!!!? Really, REALLY didn't want to just walk on in so I called out stuff like 'hellooooo where are you? I'm not who you think I am!!' etc. Someone in the living roo called for me to come in so with Sally in tow I gingerly pushed the door open and immediately launched into why I was calling. Some old chap who said he couldn't see properly was sat in a chair in front of a TV eating a meal and surrounded by various containers of medication!!! Tried to explain about the intercom but I'm not sure he fully grasped it and then I hurriedly left saying "you should be careful who you let in!". Carried on walking Sally but that really upset me. He wasn't well at all and was obviously kept going by the mountains of pills around him. Clearly he wasn't mobile enough to get up and answer the door hence all the electronics, but what on earth is the point of all that without a security camera? I could have been anyone!!! I could have rampaged through his house and done whatever I'd wanted! Only yesterday was a news report about some old guy beaten to death in front of his wife by a couple of burglars! Jeeze. One way or another I guess that house will be up for sale in the near future! I'm really gonna have to stop trying to be a good neighbour/busybody type and just mind my own business! . . . back home and did some chores during more frantic CD copying . . . DREADFULL headache! Copying all done for the time being - all I need now is a new stereo that will play my CDs!!!. . .lay down to try and sleep off my headache - seconds later PS rang saying 'tonight?'. Typical! Slowly sucked another anadin tablet which helped . . .LB called to say she was home - admitted I'd borrowed her CDs which was ok. Touched base with BB . . . walked - neat sky again . . . PS popped round for chats till early. Straight to bed afterwards REAL tired! (4/10)aas
6 - Up late around 9:30. Dull and drizzly out - typical bank holiday weather! . . . walked - and despite the grey sky it turned out dry and rather mild and nice. Found a 50p piece . . . brief chat to the neighbour who seems to have lost her recycling bin and asked me if I'd seen it!? . . . surprised myself by having the get up and go to start 'operation instant electric shower replacement'! Actually didn't go as badly as it could have. The bathroom was kinda built around my old shower so it was inevitable I'd have my work cut out fitting a replacement what with different water/electric entry points and such, but managed to get it fixed in and working by having a small six inch 'L' shaped exposed pipe just below it which with a coat of white paint will certainly do - saves tearing the wall apart to reroute the pipe which is what I was prepared for if the worst came to the worst. Strangely couldn't find all the plumbing fittings I thought I had and spent ages unsoldering and renovating the only right angled joint I could find -better that than have to get in the car and brave the crowds in the DIY stores on a bank holiday Monday! LB called briefly in the middle of things talking about the plants in her garden and such, but I wasn't much in the mood to listen and soon wound the conversation up. All pretty much done and working by 6:30pm but with a small leak from the compression fitting - rather as expected - where oh where is my PTFE tape!!! Will have to make do with the almost non existant leak until I can go buy some and will then have to dismantle the whole thing just to be able to wrap the joints!!! Nuisance! . . . had a shower of course :o) . . .walked. Sally ran around all over and played like a puppy with some big alsation like dog called Sampson - real nice to just stand and watch for ages . . . sat in the garden a little with a single glass of red wine - nice and mild out . . . TVd . . . felt absolutely exhausted (probably the wine) and was in bed asleep before 11pm - didn't even hear BB call on the ansaphone! Hope her tooth operation thing went ok! (5/10)ads
7 - Up late - blimey, around nine hours sleep!! . . .walked in the light drizzle. Found a penny. Weird - the local phone box that was removed is being put back? Found another useable disposable gas cigarette lighter - thought they were supposed to be disposed of once they were empty? . . . touched base with M/D . . . balanced my accounts. That Neptune 8.5kw shower from Makro only cost me 35.24 inc. VAT - that aint bad! Floating ok largely thanks to M/Ds donations! . . . the woman catalogue deliverer who has sussed out I am always at home, dropped off a packet (too big for the letter box)for the house down the road - uh oh - the girl who's car sunroof was open the other day who wouldn't open her door to me when I tried to tell her! I'm sure she thinks I am a weirdo and wants nothing to do with me - should be amusing to see her face when she has to call in for her packet!!! lol :o) . . .PCd briefly tweaking Sally's web page adding some dates so as to act as my memory! Ooops - missed her birthday lol . . . took Sally in the car and drove to Wickes and bought some PFTE tape. Stopped in briefly at the next door pet store and bought Sally a chewy thing . . drove and parked up in the Comet car park away from the car that had a smashed rear window!? Apparantly it had just been done!!! Staff in Comet said the car park was well known for such goings on and one of them'd had his new car stolen from there only days after buying it!! Jeeze - made a joke of saying they should put their video camera display near the window so they could record what went on out there! What on earth is happening to this country!!!!!! . . Had a look at the CD stereos on display and kicked myself for not coming armed with a CD-R to make sure they would play it - like my old one doesn't! Asked to see the manuals for those on display but of course that wasn't possible? Crazy! Got one of the staff to run off and find a CD-R from somewhere to prove it would work on one that caught my eye with all I needed including an auxillary input. Make a decision, make a decision!!! Told the guy to sell me one on the understanding I could return it if it didn't play my burned CDs! A Bush MN33RM CD mini system with 3 disc multiplay, remote control,3 band tuner with presets, presets graphic equalizer, clock with timer and sleep functions, twin cassette deck, aux. input, phones socket, etc, etc. for 79.95. Seemed like a pretty good deal. Drove to D&SH and dropped in for chats and coffee. Didn't dare leave the stereo in the car to be stolen so had to lug the box into heir house! They had no problem with inviting Sally in once they had locked their cat in a bedroom so in we both went. I was all for keeping Sally tightly on the lead and under control but they said no worries and I should let her off to eplore. Real fun to watch her poke and sniff around all over the place - first time loose in someone elses house since I've had her. DH gave her loads of treats and even managed a bit of a stroke behind an ear, although Sally was a little nervous - but no hint of any devil dog at all. Excellent. . soon drove home to play with the new stereo. Quickly plugged it all in and tried out some of the burned CDs. Yayyyyyyyyy works fine. :o) . . . SA called to touch base! Damn - I really really should have called HER back before now - been putting it off and putting it off because of my current extremely schizoid phase! Chatted for AGES! - must have cost her a fortune!! Called her back and chatted some more. She is having some tough stuff going on but sounded really ok considering. In conversation about this and that and everything else, she asked if BB and I were 'an item'!! Huh? Oooooer-um-err-um - well - I guess - kinda!! I guess it feels that way!!!! Blimey! How is that possible never even having met?!!!! . . . BB called to touch base . . .walked and found 6p . . . touched base with M/D and said thank you for the money, some of which I'd spent on a new stereo . . . listened to some music on the new stereo - kinda like old times locked away in my own little musical choice completely oblivious to the outside world (volume not 'too' high so as not to hassle the neighbours). Should have made the transition to CDs years ago - SO much better quality to the reproduction - kinda 'sharp' - and SOoooo neat to be able to pick and choose which tracks to listen to at the press of a button. Need to borrow more CDs! Being able to burn your own on the PC is SO neat - could make up my own compilations of favourites for different 'moods'!! . . . in bed exhausted by 11pm again. The girl from down the road didn't call in for her packet!!?(5/10)as
8 - Woke up to find the cable TV service has allegedly been updated!? TV channel numbers all changed and a different look to all the info screens and such. Had a quick familarisation play but all seems to work 'as well' as it did before - succeeded in getting a screen full of programmers source code when I tried to look at the horoscopes!!!! Useless pile of junk! No wonder they are having to lay off loads of staff to cover their huge debts - with the service they provide they should go bankrupt! . . . warm morning but real mistyish. Walked and carried on walking up to the library. Found 'today's' penny. CD rental from the library is possible - eight at a time and 60p each. Chose eight, paid and walked home. Ooops - may have accidentaly copied them instead of listen to them! . . . Called Sis1 and asked if I could borrow some of her CD collection - took Sally and drove over to Sis1 to borrow some CDs from her. First time in AGES I've forgotten to take the digital camera in a pocket and wouldn't you know it - missed a brilliant photo opportunity - a big JCB knocking down an old church!!! The church was gone by the time I drove back. Wow - Sis1 has quite a collection. Sorted out a huge boxfull to borrow and, after wishing her good luck with her return to work tomorrow for the first time since the assault business, drove home via the local PC shop where I bought 100 blank CDs for 22 on the debit card. . . PCd a bit and listened to some music. Blimey - not sure how long this will last but I seem to be rekindling my interest in listening to music! Felt positively 'high' listening to the 1968 Clapton version of 'Crossroads' - just brilliant and to hell with the neighbours (well almost - I think they were all out!) . . . touched base with BB . . .neighbor popped up for her packet . . . walked . . . TVd - for goodness sake - the update means to change channels you now have to press three channel numbers instead of one! Backward step! . . . PCd briefly before bed this side of tomorrow. (5/10)s
9 - Woken by Sally snuggles before 9am. . .cool grey day. . .drove Sally in the car down to the Avon at Hanham for walks - nice way to start the day and shake off a headache (with an anadin of course!). Took a pic or two. Drove back and then walked straight up a local shop I'd passed the other day and paid the couple of pounds for a cheap set of ear plugs for the stereo . . . PCd and stitched together a panoramic for a couple of hours . . .BB called to touch base . . . fended off sleep and did chores whilst burning CDs . . . tried calling the cable company to ask , how I was supposed to now do what I used to be able to do before the 'upgrade', and to generally have a moan about the various and numerous failings of their service. Went through the usual press this for that and that for the other and got put on hold. On hold for a very long time as I watched TV!! Suspected the call had deliberately been put into a black hole and no one was gonna answer so left it 'off the hook' on hold whilst I walked Sally. Outrageous treating customers like that - hung up totally disgusted an hour and a half later STILL on hold!!!!!!! Hope they go bust! . . . PS popped round for chats till early, with CDs! :o) PS let himself out and as the door was open a HUGE spider, unknown to me, ran into the room. Sally was very preoccupied behind the sofa and drew my attention to it - just in time to see her sniff it to death and eat it!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeewwwww! Buddhist moment @ bed!(5/10)as
10 - Up late . . . walked. Weird bunch of schoolgirls by the shops, dressed like St Trinians girls (ooooer! :o) ), with ball point writing all over their shirts - must be leaving school today. On the floor near them was a fluffy toy which Sally (and me for a minute) thought was a cat!! Usual devil dog antics as she strained to reach it. Made some silly comment or other and the girl who owned it said she didn't want it (??), so I said I'd have it for Sally anti cat training - ended up walking round the field with a pocket full of fluffy toy! . . .took Sally in the car and went in search of somewhere to go, something to do. My idea of looking to take some digital photos around town backfired as I couldn't find anywhere to park and then got caught in the one way system and ended up all over the place and nowhere! Drove up through the nightmarish traffic to the Downs and parked up and took Sally for a walk. Too many furtive looking 'single' guys all wandering around the woods for comfort! And then there was the homeless new age hippy type 'home in the woods' - well, a tarpaulin over some sticks really! Headed round the couple of miles to look at the Clifton Suspension bridge and such before driving back home for a drink - jeeze was it warm out! . . . it HAD to be done!!! PCd the panoramic- took AGES! . . .fell asleep for a few hours . . .LB called about her France trip and duty free money and such. . . walked . . . pleasant evening - sat in the watered garden in the night for a time . . . BB called to touch base . . . TVd and listened to PS's Blues Guitar CDs until the early hours while Sally played with her extensive toy and bone collection. (4/10)as
11 - Up late again . . .walked and kept on walking up to the library and returned the CDs I'd borrowed. Stopped for a cigarette in the precinct amongst the Saturday crowds for Sally's benefit . . . distracted sally with a HUGE piece of bone from the freezer and set about burning CDs for the rest of the day - slow going! . . .touched base with Sis1 who is real unhappy with the work she has returned to. I mistakenly thought she was doing office work - she is in fact working with mentaly disabled and had such delights to contend with as changing incontinance pads!!!!! She aint happy and no wonder - I couldn't do that work! . . Touched base with M/D who seemed really ok and kinda happy - some hilarity from Mum about a bowl of ambrosia creamed rice and Dad losing his false teeth in it while eating!! They have scored a single duvet cover from one of their local charity shops for Sally's duvet in the back of the car. They have better and cheaper charity shops down there - charity shop prices here have gone crazy of late and some of the stuff they are selling is not far off the price of new!!?. . .LB called and popped in briefly wanting to look up some website or other about the 'French market' that is on in town. Funny how she keeps coming up with excuses every time I suggest I go up and set up the computer her man gave her? Don't think she is really interested in it . . . touched base with BB . . . burned more CDs . . . walked Sally the few miles down to Eastville Park and sat around smoking for an hour or so as the sun went down by the old almost deserted boating lake, as ducks busied about, a heron stalked fish, a lone parent swan showed it's cignets what they can do when their necks grow, fish jumped, etc. etc. etc. Was kinda nice - will have to do that again. Got a song stuck in my head - "Summer time, and the livin is easy. Fish are jumpin . . etc." Walked back in the growing dark and Sally was REAL well behaved for a while - until she took off after a cat in the woods and disappeared! Called and called but she did NOT come back!!!!! Jeeze I really thought she was gone! Went racing up a steep hillside track and there she was just waiting all excited at the top, no doubt watching me panicing below!! What a relief! Put her back on the lead and returned via the roads - too many cat's around in the woods at that time of day! . . . showered, ate, TVd, listened to some music till early. (4/10)as
12 - Up around 9am . . .walked. Voices coming once again from the sick old guys door intercom down the road as he talked on his phone but figured I'd ignore it. Sally seemed in a really funny mood (despite being a bit bunged up by having eaten so much bone yesterday!) and didn't want to play ball or run around like usual? . . . typed up covers for some CDs . . . watched a bit of the Grand Prix on TV . . .BB called to touch base from her 'mothers day' . . . ate then fell asleep for several hours . . .watered the garden, although the forecast for the next couple of days is wind and rain anyway. Feel achey and tired - Sally too maybe? . . . walked . . . PS popped round for chats till early.(4/10)as
13 - Wind and rain! Wet dog day - walked and found a couple of pennies . . . printed a couple more covers for the CDs then pottered around the house having little energy and doing nothing much at all. Sorted through a cupboard in an attempt to find some stuff to get rid of and found a single duvet cover I didn't know I had, perfect for using on the Sally car duvet! Touched base with M/D and admitted I had one and agreed they should stop searching for one in their local charity shops. They both sounded fine . . .nasty headache as the day wore on - popped several anadin . . . touched base with BB . . . walked . . . TVd/PCd till early. (4/10)aa
14 - Woken by licks earlier than I would have liked . . . same (constant?!) stiff neck headache deal going on!? MUST be stress - shoulder muscles below my neck feel bruised and painful to the touch!!? Felt tired and lazy and a little more down than of late so drove Sally to Snuff Mills and walked slowly along the river - she seemed her normal joyful hooligan self. Showers kept off and sun came out. Couldn't resist it any longer (despite the illegality!) - used a stone to dig up a couple of the garlic smelling plants (Ramsons - Allium Ursinum) that are all over the place next to the river, and took them home in a poop scoop bag to plant in the garden in the damp shade next to the pond. Didn't go too well using a stone to dig them out but fingers crossed - just love the smell they give off. . . planted and watered the garden. Ate and fell asleep . . . woken by IHB popping in briefly for chats. He seems to be doing ok - 'working' his job to best personal effect and planning holidays away, some foreign some not, here and there all throughout the year! I have felt an increasing desire of late to 'go' somewhere - dunno where but of course somewhere green and peopleless. Gonna HAVE to try Sally out in a tent one night somewhere - maybe just the patio to start with?. . .BB called to touch base . . . walked. Disaster - Sally spotted a cat right across the field and ignored my commands to 'come', 'no', etc. and took off after it - straight out of the field, across a road, round and round a parked car in the road, and disappeared off up a lane behind houses!!!! Ran after her shouting and eventually caught up with her trying to follow the cat over a high garden wall. I slapped her I'm afraid - I slapped her more than once and then marched her straight back home on a short 'iron' leash! Put her in the garden 'rejected' for an hour. How oh how can I stop her chasing cats? It's SOooo dangerous! . . . TVd till late feeling really pissed off. (3/10)as
15 - Woken around 8:30am as Sally climbed up onto the bed . . .drove down to the river Avon at Hanham and walked along the river. Sorry to have to admit that I went 'equipped to commit an offence'!! Took a trowel in my pocket and dug up a couple more of the garlic smelling Ramsons plants for my garden! Felt terribly guilty but Sally my unwitting partner in crime kept watch while I did the digging. :o) Popped in the pet store and bought some chopped maize for the now almost completely non existant birds in my garden - couldn't resist a squeaky rubber ball for Sally too - although as I told her, after last nights abysmal behaviour she didn't deserve it. Drove to Kingswood on the way back and left Sally in the car in the car park and shopped. . . planted the plants but yesterdays already look sadly wilted! We'll see. . . M/D called to confirm the dates when they were on holiday seeing Sis2 because they were filling out some benefit form or other (as recommended by the McMillan nurse - and as resisted by 'martyr' Mum!!) in case they qualify for a 'care allowance' or some other sort of government financial aid. Website 'journal-memory' is SO usefull! :o) . . . called BB to touch base . . .walked (carefully!). Found 2x2p. In excess of ten 'kids' all playing around on the school roof (2+ stories high?), throwing stones at windows and such!! resisted for as long as I could then made the mistake of trying to report it to the police. Through to the switchboard - redirected to the 'Trinity Road' station and as usual was put on hold with the phone ringing for five minutes before I hung up in total disgust and despair! Rang the switchboard back and didn't even give the poor woman a chance to speak - raged rudely about how I was SICK AND TIRED of being put on hold whilst attempting to report a possible crime in progress - told her what I'd seen whether she liked it or not and hung up fuming - as no doubt was the poor woman on the other end. :o( Impossible to explain the extent to which such an incident makes me feel helpless and hopeless in the face of ever worsening crime and general disorder where the 'decent' law abiding people (apart from a bit of foliage theft?!!) have the 'system' work totally against them. Arrrrrggghhhh . . . TVd and watched 'CrimeWatch UK' - what a bloody joke! . . .(4/10)aas
16 - Up around 7:30am. Promise of a warm sunny day. . . walked. Found a penny. Ignored the half a dozen or so cans of unopened lager left on the seat by the swings and kept on walking the ten+ mile treck down through Eastville Park and along the river into Vassals. A wheelchair from Frenchay Hospital had been thrown over the bridge and into the river! For goodness sake - and they are SO expensive and there are never enough around when you need one! So very VERY tempted to wade in and retreive it but just too much logistical hassle on my own and with Sally. Walked up and had a look at the picturesque church on Frenchay common - Sally started scratching at the ground in the churchyard but it seemed to be just some fungi that was to her taste rather than - um - well - some'body'! Couldn't help wandering into the hospital and picking on the first poor person with a uniform on and telling them about the wheelchair - they said they'd tell someone. Walked back up through the roads of Fishponds and checked in the local field to see if the tins of lager were still there but of course some idiot had wastefully broken them all open . . . sat around . . . SH called suspecting he had a virus and asking what anti virus software I had. Checked the box and yes it was compatible with the Win 2000 he uses (and XP for that matter! Dunno why I thought it wasn't?!) Made up a CD and SH popped in to pick it up . . . BB called to touch base . . . popped up LBs and gave her 70 advance on her getting me some duty free tobacco . . . walked and found 3p . . . PS popped in for chats till early. (4/10)s
17 - Woken by Sally on the bed next to me around 8:30am. Forecast is for thunder storms but real warm and nice out to start with . . popped up and fed LBs invisible cats . . .walked . . . finally mustered the energy to uncover the motorbike in the front garden. Haven't touched it since around the time Dad went into hospital and I dropped everything and went down there! Layers of rust on everything that was once shiny and fully expected it to be quite dead, but after a quick spray of WD40 here and there and a little encouragement it started right up!! :o) Yippee - messed around for a while cleaning it, pumping up tyres, scraping a little of the most noticeable rust off, etc. and then figured I'd better run it up the road just to make sure nothing was seized. Hesitated with a cigarette and coffee just looking it over and then thought what the hell - may as well do the test ride down to the bike shop and try and get the thing MOT'd. Drove there, walked in and yayyyy - he could test it within the hour. Walked around and wasted time nervously sitting smoking on the seat in the field - just HATE having to put a vehicle through an MOT - powerlessly waiting to see if it will fail on some unforseen fault that will cost a fortune to fix!!! Thankfully as soon as I walked back in the shop he produced the new MOT certificate all filled out and ready. Paid the all but 15 fee and was soon back at home just before the torrential rain, all street legal again. EXCELLENT! Not that I am liable to use it - more a case of at least now that it is all taxed and tested I have no excuse for not getting my act together and trying to sell it! Can't afford a car and a bike (or either on their own really!) but circumstances being what they are, what with now having a dog and having to have the ability to get down to M/Ds on a more frequent basis for evermore, I gotta keep the car - bike is no use even if I really, REALLY do prefer it! It'll take me a while - mentally - to get serious about getting rid of it and advertising it . . .ate and fell asleep. Woken within an hour by the ansaphone which I tried to ignore and then the mobile rang too! Got up to see what was urgent but felt really 'iffy' - maybe it was the cheese sandwhich I ate before I fell asleep and how that always puts me into a deep dream laden sleep from which rousing myself is always a struggle - but I felt really 'iffy'. Returned Sis1's calls and she popped in for coffee and chats and to drop off some copies of the photos she had taken at M/Ds last time we were there - all very similar to those I'd taken on the digital. Ended up talking about the work she was now doing with the metally ill, which she hated, and which somehow drained me as I listened to details of the lives of 'vegetables'!!!!!? Made it pretty clear I didn't want to hear any more and then the conversation veered off into how bad society has got and how she had seen a riot like fight going on in a school behind where she works, etc, etc!! For some reason for the next few hours I slipped into the most awfull depressed state I have been in for a long while - really despairing about 'people' and longing to live in some imaginary land where people just 'get along'!!!!! . . . fed LBs cats . . .after a few hours thankfully my black mood inexplicably lifted somewhat . . . walked and got caught in a torrential rain storm - very wet! Sally became strangely excited over the field and seemed to run around preoccupied near some rough ground following some scent or other?! First time I've seen her really SO intent on nose down excitedly following some invisible trail like a real tracker dog. Decided she was getting out of hand so called her back to me as much to assert my dominance as anything else. Some hesitation and ignoring of my commands but eventually she came back and I put her straight back on her lead as a consequence of ignoring me. Just then a cat appeared from it's hiding place in the undergrowth and fled across the field!!! Wow that dog has a one track mind - made full use of the opportunity to do some anti cat chasing commands - useful. . .stopped in the chip shop for sausage and chips because I just wasn't in the mood to bother cooking for myself . . .TVd . . . BB called to touch base . . .sat in the conservatory and watched a couple of frogs and masses of slugs and snails eating the bird food in the garden in the rain till late. (3/10)s
18 - Wet and windy but sure makes the garden look a lovely lush green. Uh oh - looks as though the slugs and snails have a taste for the Ramsons I pillaged from the woods!! Guess that was a wasted effort then - weird how there are SO many in the woods not eaten? Maybe I should relocate some of my slugs and snails to the woods! . . . walked in the light drizzle. Found two pennies. A dog walker I see occasionally called out that he 'wanted a word'!!!!? Apparantly he'd seen foxes in the field and thought one of them had mange and he wanted to warn me to make sure 'Suzy' (??? Huh - lol) didn't get infected!! I've seen the den but never the foxes - not sure how Sally could get it? Decided not to worry. Funny guy - the way he said he wanted a word made me think of ML. . .Did house chores and CD copying . . .weather improved so decided to finally finish off the back garden PIR light bracket that I'd put up as a temporary 'is it any good' effort. Just got up the ladder and the phone rang - typical! LB calling to confirm tobacco supplies were awaiting collection. Yayyyy - 86 for 30x50g. packs - wow that is cheap and should keep me going for quite a while. Nice one LB. :o) . . welded up and painted the light bracket . . . ML popped in for chats . . .BB called to touch base . . .walked and seemed to be tripping over small change!? Three 2p and three 1p at different points along my route - weird. . . Very warm - sat in the garden for ages watching stuff grow and a couple of frogs out on the hunt - but mostly just sitting! . . .a glass of wine (smashed the glass washing up!), ate, then TVd till early. (5/10)d
19 - Woken up late by Sally who wouldn't take 'leave me alone I need more sleep!' for an answer!!! . . .walked. Found 3p . . .pottered about doing nothing! Copied a CD or two but real lacking in energy again. M/D called to touch base - everything seems ok - Sis2 is feeling better on steroids too now!! . . . fell asleep for a few hours only to wake feeling rough and headachey. . .BB called to touch base. . . walked . . . PS popped round for chats till early. (4/10)as
20 - Miserable looking blustery morning! . . . Dickhead!drove Sally down to the river at Conham and walked. She seemed really bouncy and playfull. . . another HUGE phone bill in the mail!! I guess I shouldn't continue to be surprised when I get them so big!! . . . just didn't seem to have any energy to do anything at all and just sat around and PCd a little . . . BB called to touch base . . . ate and fell asleep for a few hours. Woke up just in time to sit in the conservatory and watch a TORRENTIAL downpour! Again a bit of a drip from the conservatory roof - knew I should have got up there and investigated when the weather was nice. Watched (holding Sally back) as a couple of frogs went hunting. The rain eventually eased off and the sky to the west looked better, so quickly up and out and walked Sally. Some young pratt rode his motorscooter across the field amongst the dog walkers along the cyclepath!! Happens a lot but I was strangely in the mood to subtly 'have a go' of sorts - pulled my camera out and made a point of being noticed taking a photo of him as he went by, and deliberately waiting for another shot from the rear as though I was catching his number plate. Didn't actually expect them to come out it was so dark, but they did! lololol :o) It worked - he was 'uncomfortable'. Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh - serves him right although unless he is an avoidant or some such I'm sure it won't prey on his mind and torture him with worry like it would me for weeks! . . . PCd and the damn PC has decided to start acting weird about the network connection that I have unplugged and is hanging all of a sudden!!!? I don't like an operating system that keeps doing it's own damn thing!!!!? Received mail via the website that contained a virus - weird thing was it gave the impression I had sent it to someone else and the delivery had failed and so had been returned to me!!! Installed my McAfee anti virus software pronto - all found to be clean thank goodness! Spent ages viruschecking and then set the Microsoft updates download going only to find an hour later the ISP connection had failed and of course so had the update! Waste of time! Bloody computers. . .quickly checked my accounts and found I was 30+ overdrawn!!! DAMN!!!! They better not charge me for that - transferred money over to cover real quick. . . to bed and read a little of the dog training book until around 1am. (3/10)
21 - Up before Sally after a good seven hours sleep . . . the nice sunny break in the weather that had been forecast was here so walked Sally the ten miles or so along the Frome Valley walkway and back home via Fishponds. The huge teetering log on the waterfall has teetered it's last and is now laying down river - rather suspect it has more to do with the recent school holidays and rampaging kids than the rain. Some women were feeding the baby ducks on the Eastville boating lake and I remarked as I walked by that there seemed fewer of them - apparantly the picturesque heron I'd just tried taking a shot of had been swooping down and grabbing them!!!! Ewwww I didn't know they did that!! Found a penny, a tennis ball and a cork screw!? M/D called on the mobile (always gives me a start when the mobile rings, so seldom does it!) as I was walking through Vassals Park. They had received a letter confirming they DO qualify for the DSS attendance allowance, and even a backdated cheque! They can claim a little over 50 a week. Yayyyy. Excellent. High time they get something back after all these years of being law abiding, paying taxes and claiming nothing - EVER! Even then Mum started on about how she didn't feel right getting it since looking after Dad is what she does and always has done anyway!!! Hope Dad outlives the surgeons predictions by as long as possible - just to thumb his nose at the government benefits system!!!!! . . .BB called to touch base . . . watched a program I'd videod all about anti depressants. Surveys indicate an explosion in the number of people worldwide with depression - something like one in ten? Program suggested this was largely more to do with slick marketing by the drug companies. Actually pretty convincing although of course much more to the debate than presented. One older guy who was featured who suffered all his life and was a living history record of pharmocolgical anti depressant evolution was pretty cool - he kinda summed up with something along the lines that he lives with it. It is a part of him. He isn't so much 'ill' as just different. Sometimes he is ok. Sometimes it gets a hold of him. That's ok. Yeah - I guess I kinda understand that way of looking at it. :o{ . . . gave Sally a de-flea spraying out in the conservatory as the rain arrived. She put up with the unpleasantness really rather well . . .walked briefly in the rain - council tractors still over the field making a mess of the grass?!! At least they have filled in (if badly!) the big deep puddle Sally loses her ball in . . . TVd till early as Sally scratched like usual! (4/10)s
22 - Up lateish again. Blowing an absolute gale outside! Slow getting up and out . . walked . . .sat around feeling pretty lacking in energy and rather down and pointless. . . BB called to touch base . . .called LB late afternoon and asked what news of her sister who she said the other day none of the family had heard from for over two weeks! She said she'd had the day off and had driven over to where she was living to make sure she was ok but hadn't managed to see her!! Seemed real bizarre to me she went all that way and didn't stay there until she absolutely DID see her and make sure all was well, no matter how long it took!? Pointless journey then! People are weird . . . TVd and felt slightly more up as the evening wore on. . . walked and found 2p. Beginning to wonder if local people are deliberately planting small change along my route just to see me grovel!! lol :o) Unpleasant herd of kids over the field chasing a cute 'menage a trois' of ducks about the place. Another cat chasing incident with Sally on the way back who almost dragged me under a parked car! Grrrr . . . TVd and watched the last of a series of shows on BBC2 which kinda re-enacted the Stanford University prison experiment. Some pretty unpleasant stuff going on most particularly with one or two of the subjects who seemed to show too much for comfort of the real them. One of the worst was some sort of religious minister type in real life!!!! Hmmmm?!!! Seemed a lot there that was predictable at different stages along the degeneration into fascism/anarchy! Most bizarre thing to me seemed to be the participants inability to analyze themselves and what was occuring/what behaviours they were adopting!! Is that how 'normal' people are? SO oblivious of all that stuff?!! Blimey! :o| . . . chatted to BB for ages . . . sat in the conservatory with coffee and chocolate biscuits watching the rainy windblown garden till early. Forecast for tomorrow, and Friday in particular, is atrocious - 60mph gusts and such!!! Ugggh! Such weather doesn't help my mood. (3/10)s
23 - Woken up late by an insistent Sallydog actually lying on top of me! Dodgy looking weather with big storm clouds briskly scudding by, so drove Sally to Snuff Mills in the car and walked along the river in frequent heavy showers. River has put on a lot of weight with the showers. Just another wet dog day!Sally was real playful and bouncy and eager to paddle and was actually encouraged to swim a little by throwing lots of the woods in the river! Must be a log jam downstream somewhere the number of dog walkers that play that game! It IS true that walking helps with depression. Trouble is there is a certain distance one must walk to gain the benefits and that is no small distance! If your mood is not lifted by walking, you haven't walked far enough! Sadly my favourite second hand walking shoes are wearing thin and leak! . . . Drove back and had a look in the lane out the back intending to de-weed near my gate – wouldn’t you know it – loads of rubbish has been dumped out there again so I can’t get my bin through!! Grrrr - pretty sure by the builders that have been working in a house down the street. Fumed for a bit and then got all shakey as I forced myself to go knock on their door and have a gentle complain. As I walked out of my front door a real expensive car pulled up and a woman got out and went into the offending house which was handy – she thought I was one of the carpet layers that were in attendance but I explained I was in fact ‘an angry neighbour!’ (friendly like with a smile of course, although I am aware that smile apparently often doesn't actually reach my face!) Apparently the house is now ‘council owned’ and she’ll be moving in later in the week?!! Council owned?Huh?Guess that explains why they have practically rebuilt the house with all brand new roof and bathroom and such of late. Easy to get upset about that sort of thing living below the poverty line in my damp, leaky roofed, hovel – wish I’d applied for a council house when I was younger – especially when they let you buy them at a give away price after a few years of renting! She said she’d be phoning the builders later and have a go about the rubbish – can’t ask any more than that I guess but I bet it stays there and I end up having to try and get rid of it – again!! Grrr. . . wanted to nap but couldn't sleep . . . burned a few more CDs . . .BB called to touch base . . . walked and found 3p. A small flock of ducks were happily quacking amongst the huge water filled puddles that the council workmen had ignored and even made worse with the wheels of their heavy machinery. As soon as I let Sally off the lead they were chased into the air and right across the field!! They didn't come back. From the top of the field I became aware of another idiot motorcyclist riding around all over the field and deliberately tearing up the grass by doing wheelspins and doghnuts and such. As I passed back down the field and across the cycletrack, in the distance I could see he was getting off and letting a friend of his have a go, minus helmet of course. Oh dear - got all shakey again and with my hand on my camera in my pocket started walking down the cycle track, straight for him as he approached - both of us playing chicken! I'm not sure if I really would have pushed him off if he came close enough, it certainly was running through my mind, but thankfully he chickened out and took to the muddy waterlogged grass. I shouted out he should get off it, together with an obsenity or two, but of course he ignored me or maybe shouted an obscenity back as he span his rear wheel and dug a great furrow in the field. Uh oh - OH NO!!!!!!!! Sally COME!!!!!!!!!! She didn't!!! She took off after the motorbike as the guy riding it sped up shouting for her to leave him alone. I was just about to give chase as they neared the slope way off in the distance beyond which I would lose sight of Sally, when all of a sudden she peeled off and started heading back to my frantic calls. What she didn't see as she turned, was the guy on the motorbike hit his brakes just before the slope and fall off into the mud!!! Bloody marvellous. Excellent dog. What a GOOOOOOD girl. With a huge smirk on my face, and not wanting any more hassle, I headed quickly home as the bike owner started the long walk across the field to see what had happened to his bike. Such things rarely happen - bloody marvellous when they do. Nice end to the day. What a dog - think she has earned a whole chocolate bar to herself this evening. :o) . . .touched base with M/D. All okish . . . I think chocolate makes Sally hyperactive!! Had to play ball and tug of war and such with her for ages! Wonder if I'll have problems walking past motorcycles in the street with her now!!!!. . . TVd/PCd till early.(4/10)as
24 - Woken up late by Sally again. Need more sleep! . . .walked and found 4p. Passing the school lots of kids were out having a cigarette break (!!?!!) and someone shouted to his mate "That's the dog!" - uh oh, guess I'll be watching my back when I walk her later!!! :o( . . . sat around feeling fed up and desperately trying to motivate myself to go somewhere and or do something - anything!!! Doorbell rang and the new neighbour to be from a few doors down informed me all friendly like that she had called the builders about the rubbish they'd left out in the lane. She went on to say she'd had a look in the lane and was disgusted they had just left it all there like that. Nice one - she sounds ok. . . lay down to try and sleep off my headache and ML called leaving an ansphone message. Gave up, got up, ate and decided to drive to Portishead to see what the atrocious gale force winds were doing to the sea front with the waves. Only twenty miles but took around 35 minutes to get there even though most of that mileage was on the motorways!!! Cross town traffic is just dreadful all the time these days! Parked up and soon found there were no waves to speak of at all but OH what a wind! Bad hair day for sure! Walked Sally around the circular wooded walk and around the lake and then sat in the car for a bit just watching the rain and the nothing. Dunno why I go there - spent a lot of time sat looking at nothing there over the years. Always come home feeling empty and dissatisfied. Drove home feeling empty and dissatisfied and very headachey. . . PCd briefly . . . ML called back to touch base . . . BB called to touch base . . . walked and found 9p in loose change along the way! Thought I’d got away with a nice walk when, just on my way out of the field, as suspected he would, the motorcyclist from last night and a couple of pedestrian friends appeared in the field. Leashed Sally up real quick and then had to suffer the group calling out obscenities at me and the motorcyclist constantly blowing his horn and revving his engine. I stopped and pointed at the motorcyclist and indicated he should come over to me but of course he wouldn’t, so with a rude wave at him I carried on out of the field with the jeers and shouts and abuse and horn blowing and engine revving continuing behind me. As I left the field and carried on up the pavement the motorcyclist sped out of the field onto the road and ‘buzzed’ me as I walked along! It was only having to hang on to Sally that stopped me from trying to grab him! He waited for me up on the main road but thankfully traffic forced him along so I was safely across the road before he returned to buzz me again. Horrible thoughts went through my mind – what if he intended to find out where I live?Nasty little bastard.As he sped by I pulled out my camera and attempted to take a photo – he saw the camera and deliberately turned his face away from me!! He was too quick to get a look at the number plate but it was probably stolen anyway and – well – what the hell can I do about it? The police wouldn’t care – they don’t even bother answering their bloody phone! So there it is – I walk the dog over that field twice a day – every time I do now I will be expecting some hassle or abuse and god help me if that little asshole decides to follow me home and then target my house!!! It ain’t fair having to live like this. It ain’t right and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I am perhaps MOST fearful of what I may do if pushed – I feel real close to snapping! :o( . . . stopped of for sausage and chips and then quickly walked home listening for any bike engine, fully intending to walk right past my house and around the block if necessary! . . . TVd. (3/10)aaa
25 - Woken around 8am by the sounds of a revving chain saw as a guy up the street carried on cutting down some dangerously overgrown Leylandii trees that were threatening to interfere with the overhead phone lines. . . Set off to walk in the sun without a raincoat but misjudged the weather and got absolutely drenched in a real heavy downpour! . . . TVd . . . decided the weather was bad enough to keep most people in, so decided to drive Sally down to the river at Hanham intending to try the small ferry that operates between midday and 6pm, only on weekends and bank holidays, that I’ve seen signs for at Beeses Tea Gardens, in the hope of finally exploring the other side of the river for the first time. No one around and the bell that the signs said ring wasn’t there either! Used the mobile and rang the number of Beeses that I could make out from my side of the river. Yes the ferry was running, yes he would take a dog, and yes he’d be over in ten minutes. Beeses Ferry Boat, Hanham True enough, after my short wait sitting in a sunny spell having a cigarette, the ‘ferryman’ appeared and busied himself bailing, untying and starting the old noisy smoky diesel engined boat before heading across to pick Sally and me up. Sally wasn’t sure about getting in the boat, but once in was quite calm and relaxed if a little ‘ears down’ about the noisy engine. Paid the 1 fare (25p each, each way), which seemed real cheap for all that bother for just me and Sally, and then followed the ferryman’s directions through past the buildings and on out along the river. Sally immediately went for a paddle only to find she was out of her depth and couldn’t get out! Sad, sad, pleading look on her face as she held onto the bank with her front paws, the rest of her body underwater - tempting but too sad for a photo– rushed to her aid and precariously slipping on the muddy bank had no choice but to haul her out by her collar! . . As I’d always suspected - the grass IS greener on the other side! Real nice water meadows and ponds had been set up on the flood plain forming a proper conservation park with trails and information signposts about the wildlife and features and such along the way.Wooof . . . Hisssss . . . run awayyyy!!!!!!!It wasn’t until after Sally had bitten off more than she could chew by harassing a couple of protective swans with a brood of young, that I noticed the signs saying dogs should not be allowed to harass the wildfowl and should be kept on a lead!! Oooops. Soon let her off again of course once the coast was clear and she seemed to appreciate it and got all bouncy and muddy in the beautiful big natural looking round pond that a vandalised sign said rumour had it was made by an off target Luftwaffe bomb during the second world war! Achtung! Heavy rain showers came and went but a real nice walk and more than one stop for a sit and a cigarette. Eventually back to the boat and, declining suggestions I should stop in the tea house for refreshments (licensed for alcohol too apparantly), the boatman cheerfully stopped the repointing work he was doing on the house and took us back over the river. Walked back to the car and drove home to hose down poor mud covered Sally out on the patio. All in all a nice little excursion that will have to be repeated at some time, abscence of people allowing . . .LB called to touch base saying she had been to the Bristol Dogs Home and was going to adopt another polecat, assuming the 'home visit' found her suitable!! Her parents had visited with her sister and all was okish . . . PCd this . . .fell asleep for a few hours then woken by LB leaving an ansaphone message about some house down the road where it looked as though the police were arresting someone!! Blimey - police? You mean there are some?!! :o| . . . walked in the rain. Found a penny and to my GREAT relief, no sign of the idiot on a motorcycle. No hassle at all apart from Sally losing posession of her ball and someone elses dog grabbing it and running off with it and refusing to come back to it's owner. Quite funny really - almost the entire time I was walking round the field the poor guy was shouting at and chasing after his dog as it ran around with Sally's ball! Eventually I got it back. . . TVd but absolute drivel on all the channels. In desperation ended up watching most of some obscure French film with subtitles called "Children Of The Marshland". Oh what joy! What a wonderful film. That'll be one my favourites - actually drew some tears at the end. . . touched base with BB . . . TVd/PCd and couldn't sleep until dawn when the birds were singing their morning corus!! (4/10)as
26 - Woken by Sally real late after only around 5 hours sleep . . . walked and found a penny. . . touched base with M/D. All ok - Dad now gradually trying to reduce his steroid doseage and no ill effects so far. . . TVd and watched the Monaco grand prix. Pretty much round and round and round really. . . fell asleep and woken by Sally some four hours later!! Vandalised wing mirrorLooked out and saw that some mindless passer by has (unquestionably deliberately) broken the drivers side wing mirror on my car!!!!!!! For goodness sake - they cost a fortune! The glass is intact but the racheted pivot, fastening it to the car is broken inside and now the mirror is useless and flops backwards and forwards against the car door! It's enough to make you cry. Strange poverty trap I live in - not enough money to move out of the area and yet living in such an area kinda costs you more in terms of ceaseless hassle and damage to your property!! I'm pretty angry right now - do hope I get no hassle over the field tonight or I may end up 'going postal'!!! . . touched base with M/D asking if Dad knew how on earth that mirror housing comes apart - I could probably repair/botch it if only I knew how on earth to get into the plastic! He didn't know. It'll wait.GRRrrrrrrrr!!!! :o( . . .walked. Doomed baby blue titStrangely calm out and the sky had cleared somewhat and was making for a neat sunset. On the way to the field I became aware of a lot of blue tit bird calls and then saw why - right on the pavement in front of me was the tinyest little ball of chirruping feathers!!! A baby blue tit that couldn't fly had somehow come out of some unseen nearby nest and had crash landed in the street!!! Oh no!!! Couldn't really do much but figured it'd have slightly more of a chance of surviving if it was over the wall of the school grounds where there is a little grass and a couple of trees. Held Sally at arms length and managed to pick the tiny little ball up and pop it over the wall - it started climbing up my arm so I had to gently shake it off!! Poor little thing - must surely be dead by the morning! Walked round the field kicking myself that I hadn't actually climbed over the wall and put it in a tree so on the way back decided to do so if it hadn't yet been eaten by a cat. It was still there on the grass being tended to by it's parents so I tied Sally to the school railings and jumped over the wall and picked it up again and popped it up in the branchs of one of the trees - immediately it fluttered straight back down to the ground!! Picked it up again and repeated the awkward placing of it on the branch and then quickly headed home. Kinda upsetting - kinda puts a broken wing mirror into perspective somehow - although I'm not sure how - I still have a broken wing mirror to sort out!!! Grrrr . Passed the new neighbour in the street and she happily confirmed the builders had removed the rubbish from the lane on Friday . . .ate with a glass of red wine . . . TVd . . . just sat in the garden and the phone went. LB was drunk and ‘upset’ and wanted to pop down. She arrived bearing a newly opened bottle of wine and half a cooked chicken?! Put up a token resistance and then greedily popped the chicken in my fridge with genuine thanks. Had another glass of wine or two and tried to say appropriate things as LB raked over her man friend troubles! Eventually she stumbled off in the early hours (how on earth can she drive to work in only a few hours?!!) freeing me to attempt to mop up the spilled wine from my carpet! . . . touched base with BB and bed around 2am!(4/10)ad
27 - Up real late! . . . Walked and carried on walking up to the shops in Kingswood. Tied Sally outside and rushed in and bought a few loaves of bread and such. Some barking and devil dog when people showed her too much interest but not ‘too’ bad! . . . back home had a go at the wing mirror on the car. Eventually got it all apart but oh what a stupid design, a great heavy duty compression spring acting on plastic!! Spent hours and hours fumbling and desperately trying to compress the spring so I could try and put it all back together. Eventually gave up after having got it partially back together and having scraped lots of paint off the car door with the handle of a big G-clamp I’d had to use!!!! It’ll have to do even though it isn’t right – will no doubt spring apart at some inopportune moment at high speed on a motorway some time! And all because of some mindless a******! Grrrrrrr! Sally sat in the front garden as I was working - some barking at a couple of people who spoke to me in passing! Maybe sitting out there is a good thing to do to get her used to people coming and going?. . . ate and fell asleep till evening . . . BB called to touch base . . .Walked only to find the field full of people playing ball and such, so decided to walk all the way to Eastville Park and sit around by the boating lake for a bit. Amazing heron waiting motionless to the last minute before flying off as we approached - despite camera flashes!! Sally decided sitting in a muddy puddle was comfy so it seemed like a good idea to wander down along the river a little to encourage her to paddle and wash some of the mud off! Ended up walking along the river and back through Fishponds and doing about eight miles as darkness fell. Some funny thinking along the way – life is nothing but a great tragedy! Home around 10:15pm although still a little hint of light in the sky to the West. Bit scary in the dark down by the river – Sally got all wolf like chasing shadows in the woods . . returned Dad’s call and told him of the progress with the wing mirror. Apparantly Sis1 had popped in to see me while I was out so touched base with her too – she’s started some sort of free computer literacy course. Seems content for the time being with her temporary work position . . stuffed my face (and Sally’s – but no bones!) with LBs chicken – huge amount of chicken, piles of salt, a couple of pieces of bread and butter, and a bottle of chilled water – yummy midnight feast! Touched base with Sis2. She sounded really quite well and full of energy partly thanks to the steroids she has been taking, which are now all gone, so her skin problems seem to be slowly returning! More tales of run ins with unpleasant, incompetent, uncaring, overpaid doctors - seems to be a worldwide thing!! She’d also done some drama production thing at her school with the kids and it had turned out real well. That sort of stuff really seems to fuel the fire of her passion. . . quick sit in the garden before bed. Can’t get the desire out of my head, to use all the bricks that are lying around in the lane and LBs garden, to make a raised bed thingy in my front garden!? Loadsa hassle! (4/10)
28 - Woke around 5am, so very, VERY thirsty - Sally too! Must have put too much salt on that chicken and not drank enough after that long sweaty walk? Couldn’t for the life of me get back to sleep so ended up PCing and e-mailing, ‘zero tolerance’ like, all interested parties after receiving yet another pathetic SPAM about Nigerian billions and me getting loads of it! Grrrr - Beware mails from "Humphrey Ediri"<humphrey_ediri@rediffmail.com> Subject: URGENT HELP NEEDED!!!! <- named and shamed!. . . touched base with BB . . . eventually lay down for five minutes and fell asleep until late morning! Walked real late in the rain and found a penny . . . did house chores and danced a merry dance wearing my ‘vacuuming’ shoes as heavy rain showers poured outside. Sally seemed happy to have a sleepy day. . . in a sunny spell dashed out into the lane and grabbed a couple of buckets full of bricks and laid them out in the front yard getting a feel for the shape of the raised bed I may have a go at. Trouble IF I do it, is the soil – needs loads and have none! Hmmmm? . . . stripped the remaining meat off LBs chicken and then had a go at boiling the carcass (does that work????!!!) in a saucepan to try and get off every last bit of meat for mixing with Sally’s dinner!! Didn't work at all well and ended up picking bits of meat off of very hot bones with sore fingers! . . . e-mail reply from ‘RediffMail’ the ISP of the spammer saying “the offending user's account will be blocked” – hey, nice one. :o) . . . BB called to touch base . . . LB called to confirm that I will house sit for her cable TV installation appointment ALL tomorrow morning!! Gonna have to set the alarms and get up and out walking Sally real early to be available from 8am! Bloody nuisance – incredible to me that someone would make such an appointment in the full knowledge that they will not be able to be there for it and will have to get someone else to do it for them!?Grrrrr - I HATE having to wait around like that - costly chicken! . . . touched base with PS but 'not tonight' . . . stuffed my face with the last of the chicken, with chips . . . walked - the local bus shelter is the latest casualty of the ghetto low life! :o|. . . fed Sally her huge chicken dinner which was gone in a flash . . . TVd . . . to bed around 11pm. (4/10)
29 - Up with the alarm around 6am . . . walked in the rain and found a penny. Passed a neighbour from opposite who is converting his front yard into a car park and has a skip in the yard. Asked if he had any spare soil and he said yes help yourself – guess operation ‘brick raised bed’ is ‘GO’ as soon as the weather is good enough. LB had pasted a note to her door telling the cable TV company to knock on my door if no answer so I guess that frees me to stay and wait at home . . received mail from BB – sat and listened to the “Burning Sky” CD she’d sent – pretty damn good. Couldn’t relax and kept leaping to the window to check if the cable guys had arrived yet. Eventually yes they had, nice and early around 9am so rushed up and house sat and played with a friendly cat as the sneezing cat allergy guy did the business. All done and working by around 10am – back home to Sally to be seriously sniffed at for ages . . .Ummd and ahhhd and the weather improved, so managed to force myself to start smashing up some of the concrete in the front garden. Laid out a line of bricks loose in the dirt and then started getting serious digging up earth from the neighbours garden opposite and walking it bag by bag across the road and tipping it over my wall. Stopped for a quick coffee and touched base with BB. Spent hours and hours digging and laying and carrying and really wearing myself out! Couple of lunatics riding crazily and fast around the streets, two-up on a moped with no number plate and not wearing helmets! Damn - too muddy to have my camera in my pocket! . . Eventually had to give up around 7pm absolutely exhausted and all shaky – probably because I hadn’t eaten at all, ALL day! By the time I gave up I had only managed to make a heap across part of the garden and only two bricks higher than the concrete level!!! DAMN - not enough bricks to go as high as I really want and frankly, it looks AWFULL!!!!!! Basically a pile of bricks and dirt!!! Gonna take some imagining to believe it will look ok once it’s covered in the green of ‘mind your own business’ and such . . . decided I’d earned it so set my heart on walking Sally and then walking the extra and stopping off at the kebab shop for a kebab AND chips. Found 4p. Strangely spotted the local fox the dog walker had warned me about - wow it DID look ill and certainly not right that it should be running around like it was during daylight!! The local telephone box that was vandalised, removed, then reappeared minus phone, has been vandalised already before they even got round to putting a phone in it! The glass has been smashed. . Oh NO!!! – the kebab shop was shut for a holiday or something! Damn – real weak and hungry and had to walk all the way back down to the chip shop and settle for a jumbo sausage and chips. . . TVd hardly able to move, and to bed pretty early. (4/10)
30 - Dumped jacket No.2 !!??Woke up around 1am kinda choking and feeling pretty ill! Think I’ve been smoking too much!!! Threw up then sat around drinking water and watching TV until I felt safe to have another go at sleeping – back to sleep after dawn!!! . . . up again a little before 10am . . . walked in the light drizzle and found a penny - spotted a house the builders have been into with loads of bricks dumped in the garden - hmmm?. WOW – saw a suspicious car ‘loitering’ around only to see it drive past me later and make out that it contained a couple of policemen!!! Unmarked police car? REAL nice to see them but a stupid time of day to be ‘cruising’ – ‘stuff’ happens later usually. . .Shovelled and carried more dirt as well as searching through some of the rubble in the lane out back for more bricks. By around 5pm I was content to say ‘It’ll do’ – needs to get wet and all settle down and decide whether or not it is gonna collapse! Wow did I feel exhausted and headachey!! Called PS to cancel and say NOT tonight, as had been arranged – just TOO tired. BB called to touch base. Stuffed some food down and set the alarm for a couple of hours and lay down to recover a little. Woke with the alarm, turned it off and slept some more until Sally woke me with a gentle nudge or two around 9pm. . . walked late and saw a strange shadow in the twilight - investigated and found a jacket on the grass! Weird!? Not in the best of condition but certainly too good to throw away - destined for a charity shop once I've washed it I think . . . TVd not moving much! (4/10)ad
31 - Up before 7am which suited me fine because I’d set myself plenty to do today! Felt guilty about neglecting Sally these last couple of days whilst doing the garden, so drove her in the car to Snuff Mills for a walk along the river. Out of the house by 8am! Bloody wing mirror on the car has given out already and is all floppy, although still just about useable - sometimes! Sally really appreciated the walk and was SO joyful, bouncy and playful – almost infectious – the weather forecast was accurate – beautiful sunny morning!! Got myself wet feet being unable to resist the lure of a free punctured soccer ball and a dog toy, hooked up on the rocks in the shallows of the river. . . stopped off to shop on the way back – being the bank holiday weekend AND an extra days holiday for the Queens jubilee thingy I HAD to shop today to avoid the inevitable panic buying crowds that will be out on the weekend. In the shop by 10am but really busy already! Overdid my own version of panic buying and ended up with huge amounts of stuff in my cupboards and a jam packed freezer – almost enough to last a couple of months!! . . . Front yard raised bedfilled old plastic sacks with the rubble from where I chipped away the old broken concrete under the raised bed. When the car was full, did a trip to the council tip. Returned and finally got round to bagging up the rubble and old bits of brick from LBs garden that she has shown no interest in sneaking out in her bin each week – also bagged up a fair bit from the lane. Took another full load to the tip. . . took stock and popped over the road for just another couple of bags of earth from the neighbours skip. Brushed about, hosed down, and finished (all but the planting of 'mind your own business' between the bricks to hold it all together of course). Yippeee! . . .BB called to touch base . . . cleaned up and put loads of muddy clothes in the wash. Wow – timed to perfection! The neighbours skip has been collected already – all the earth is gone. . .sat around, doing nothing much but aching! . . .Called PS and said ‘tonight?’. . . walked Sally up the kebab shop and grabbed me a kebab and chips. The window of the shop was cracked and had a small hole in it. They said while they’d been closed and on holiday someone had tried to break in and had smashed the front door in and that the window had been damaged by an airgun pellet - I’m not convinced an air gun could breach that thickness of glass!!!! Certainly was a .22 round whatever made the hole! Scary! A TV show the other night all about Britain’s gun culture suggested there were enough illegal handguns in the country for one in twenty to have one!! Use of guns is on the increase – one guy up north was shot in the head, dead, after his car wing mirror accidentally clipped someone else’s while driving down a street! Kinda makes me rethink what I should and should not ignore when I’m out walking the dog! . . . walked. Found a small empty plastic bag over the field containing traces of cannabis bush dust! Another couple of dubious characters strangely sat ‘waiting’ on the grass by the school (for their drug delivery??!!!) . . . PS popped round for chats till early. (5/10)s
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