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<My Diary Archive 2014 My Diary Archive>

- Up around 7:45am. 18C in, 15C out, sunny before increasing cloud . . chatter on the radio from fishing boats about a super pod of 100 dolphins STILL in the area off Berry Head I think. Wish they'd come into the bay - that'd be a sight - although, much safer for them if they didn't I guess! . . . walked BGdns with a coffee for a bit of ball play, before wandering down to the harbour to see if there was anything interesting going on. Not much was the answer. Very warm. Ended up walking all the way out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to sit and drink my coffee. Had the breifest of chats on the radio whilst out there - and succeeded in spilling most of my coffee! A bit of ball play on the D-Day slipway before heading back towards the harbour. As we approached the inner harbour just past the coastguard station, several people (NOT crabbing) were all looking into the waters of the harbour. Image of a Barrel Jellyfish in Brixham harbour.Oh wow - never seen one of those before, and certainly not still alive. An enormous and really BRIGHT-blue jelly fish was swimming about and bumping into things. It was WELL over 40cm in diameter I reckon. Poor thing. How on earth is it gonna find its way back out of the heavily polluted inner harbour? :o( Joined-in with the little group of people on the harbour wall all looking into the water and taking photos, and actually attempted to video it for a while. Not 'particularly' successful given the light reflecting on the surface of the water etc, but I think I got enough to make a little record of the relatively unusual sight. . . eventually back through town and home . . . PCd for a bit before Mum called in, trying to identify what the jellyfish was. As far as I can tell, it's a relatively common (along the south coast) 'Barrel Jellyfish' (Rhizostoma octopus). . .Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . . cooked and ate two quarter pound cheeseburgers with chips . . . PCD and messed around with the snips of jellyfish video I'd taken and eventually edited it down. Dunno what sort of a silly mood I suddenly found myself in, but I got 'creative' with the irrelevant sound track at the start! lolol Eventually uploaded it to Youtube - although I really don't know why. I can't imagine many people are going to want to look at a 'Big Blue Jellyfish In Brixham Harbour' video! lololol Nevertheless, 'I' find it amazing. SUCH an 'alien' kinda lifeform, and SUCH a very fragile existance. If I had a boat, I WOULD have spent the whole rest of the day attempting to gently guide it out of the harbour to the relative safety of the open waters of the bay! :o( . . . skipped the walk and just TVd/guitarred the evening away . . absolute rubbish on TV yet again, so ended up watching a couple of things on the BBC IPlayer and then even some (Brixham related) Youtube videos on the internet connected TV! Wow - how things have changed in only the last couple of years. People are now recording on their mobile phones and all manner of other devices, and uploading videos to Youtube of absolutely EVERYTHING everywhere! Watched such things as fishermen out at sea working on Brixham trawlers, the harbour underwater, timelapse from a cyclists helmet cam, the recent pirate record attempt, etc, etc. I thought the animation 'The Construction Of A Brixham Trawler' was particularly amazing. How on earth did they make that video? Must have taken AGES, presumably from some C.A.D. program or other?! I even ended up watching one or two of my own - including the 'Waves Over A Man On The Breakwater' one, which I've not watched for years! Hell - if I say so myself, I really do reckon that is just a fantastic video. Can't understand why that didn't get more hits. Almost worthy of having gone viral 'I' reckon. I'm glad I was SO fortunate to have been there to witness that. . . ate two buttered hot cross buns, biscuits and some chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
30 - Up around 8:30am. 18C in, 12C out, mizzle . .slow getting going. Walked BGdns pretty late . . . PCd. Plenty of comms on the radio from ferries crossing the bay. A couple of swimmers had apparantly decided to swim across the bay from Meadfoot Beach Torquay to Paignton - a good few miles. Utterly insane that they were doing so without any sort of support boat to accompany them! How very VERY easy it would have been for them to be mowed down unnoticed by a ferry or any other manner of craft racing around the bay!!! People are crazy. . . did the mountain of dish washing chores for hours . . .ate garlic sausage slice sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped . . DF called in for chats until gone 10:30pm . . . TVd . . messed around mixing up a 10ml batch of 70/30 pg/vg 18mg nicotine toffee flavoured e-liquid from the stuff I've purchased on e-bay. I've almost run out of the little bottles of locally shop-bought stuff I've been using, and I need to get into some sort of routine for starting to use up all the various bottles of other (less pleasant) stuff I've ended up amassing in my experiments, which I WILL not just throw away. . oh wow - I even ended up proving that it IS possible to open up and refill one of the throw away empty cartridges from the 'vapourlite' e-cigarette which I originally bought and didn't get on with. Can't imagine I'd be able to do that many times before it dies, but still a pretty useful trick, and means maybe I WILL be able to start using it and get more than my moneys worth out of it after all. It IS much smaller and easier for popping in a pocket as a 'standby' etc, and of course somehow miraculously doesn't need any sort of battery button-pressing to vape on it. WHAT a time consuming high maintenance 'hobby' this has all become! lol :o) . . . ate a pasty and crisps followed by bowls of rice krispies . . eventually to bed around 3am.
29 - Up around 7:45am. 17C in, 13C out, grey . . walked FGn and played a brief bit of ball in a light rain before soon heading back . . .PCd this. Ended up wasting hours and ultimately uploaded a little bit of video to youtube, of Sandy Sparkle the 1940s themed singer I watched a little bit of on the 26th. I probably shouldn't have bothered - Youtube appears to be full of her! lol . .mixed up some e-liquid with the latest strawberry flavouring while the video was uploading. Jeeze - what a disappointment again! Almost tasteless again as far as 'I' can tell. :o( . . . put a plug on the end of the significantly shortened lawn mower lead and then mowed and strimmed the back lawn using the extension reel. De-weeded and hedge trimmed around the place for a while filling up another dustbin full of debris to have to get rid of . . . PCd only to find in excess of three and a half thousand e-mails in one of my (actually largely unused) accounts!!!?? WTF??? Ended up online on the live support for my web space. Ultimately it appeared I'd been allegedly hacked and a script had been placed on the server which had been sending out all the spam mails!? Made me feel VERY vulnerable all of a sudden. Was advised to change passwords and suchlike. Did so straight away. Still had to download all the bloody 'bounce-back' mails before I could get back to normal. Or back to normal I 'think'!!!!!? . .-/ /- . . skipped the walk because it was by now quite late and there were rain showers . . . ate cold ham, two fried eggs and chips . . TVd/guitarred a little and had a 'real' smoke . . ate multiple bowls of co-co pops . . .TVd until to bed after 1am.
28 - Up around 7:40am. 17C in, 13C out, cloudy grey with some sunnier spells breaking through to start with . . walked FGn . . .put Bellas soiled duvet cover in the wash . . worked in the badly overgrown front garden, mowing the lawn and then using the hedge trimmer to cut back next doors hedge from where it's all growing through my fence again. De-weeded and started trimming up alongside my path and - I don't believe it - I cut through the bloody power chord to the lawn mower with the hedge trimmer! I don't believe it!! Every single time I use that damned thing, I end up cutting through a cable! Yet another 'I should have died today' but for all the fuse box trips etc. I just don't believe it - I was being SO, SO careful not to cut through the hedge trimmer cable - and I go and cut through the lawn mower cable instead! Well - once I put a plug on it, that means I'm always going to have to use the extension lead reel every time I mow the lawn now! What a pain. :o( . . the postman delivered the e-liquid flavours I'd ordered only yesterday. That company really is on the ball. . . carried on de-weeding and generally tidying up in the garden out front (filled two dustbins!) until the light drizzle I'd ended up working in, turned to rather heavier rain early afternoon and stopped me from carrying on. To be honest, by that point I was exhausted and aching pretty badly anyway, so I probably wouldn't have been able to carry on too much more even if the weather had allowed me to. Incredible to me that seemingly in only the space of a few weeks, I've become so wracked with energy-draining aches and pains and joint problems, that I'm now simply unable to do what I so recently used to??? Really shocking - and really worrying. I mean - how on earth am I going to be able to manage to do everything I need to be able to do, to keep the place up together in the future? :o( . . . oh dear - Bellas washed duvet-cover STILL has an unpleasant odor I think (draped over the airer in the kitchen)! My old washing machine really doesn't actually wash anything much anymore - and of course things weren't helped by having the power go off part way through the wash cycle when I cut through the mower cable. The duvet in the garage AND the car smells equally unpleasant! . . PCd a bit of this, desperately trying to catch up, cause I'm falling WAY behind with it again! . . .image of vintage vehicles in Brixhamwalked FGn a little early, not long after 6pm. Played ball for a short while but didn't hang around, and soon carried on down around the harbour and on out past the marina, past the lifeboat mooring and D-day embarkation slipway to the breakwater car park to see the modest collection of vintage cars and bikes that were due to be assembling as a usual part of the heritage week events. Made me feel pretty old. The good majority of those that were there were what I remember filling the roads when I was younger! Even Mum and Dad had an Austin A30 when I was little I think. I felt even older when one of the 'vintage' motorbikes arriving turned out to be a Yamaha FS1-E. A 'fizzey'. VERY familiar from when I was first interested in bikes. Never owned one but certainly ridden one. . wandered up and down and then sat around briefly before ultimately heading all the way back and on up to BGdns to sit with my coffee and listen to the radio for a bit . . TVd . . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and two bananas . . BB called briefly to touch base . . ate lots of chocolate biscuits . . TVd until to bed not long after midnight.
27 - Up around 8am. 17C in, 14C out, cloudy grey . .ordered a bottle of strawberry and one of menthol flavouring for 6.48 inc postage from the place I got the last e-liquid flavours from. I'm definitely not keen on the coffee flavour, but the toffee is definitely acceptable. They definitely know what they're doing (more than that other place I got that awful 'toxic' stuff from) so worth having a go at their strawberry and menthol I figure. This is DEFINITELY the last investment in such stuff for a while (I keep saying that, and then keep having another go, only to fail/be disappointed all over again don't I!!). Overall, the 'mix my own' experiment has sadly NOT been a particular success - but ONLY because I can't seem to get a flavour that works as well as the ready-made shop-bought stuff. I can get vapable vapour, just not a desireable flavour. Real shame. :o( . . walked BGdns and back via town . . . PCd this . . around midday the postman delivered the little mag mount I'd ordered. Oh wow - that's smaller and more 'fragile' than I'd envisaged! :o( . . ended up messing around sitting in the car for ages trying to figure out where on earth I could actually 'mount' my handheld scanner. Ultimately, after prodding and poking at the dashboard and just about everything everywhere, the sad conclusion was, there really was nowhere I could readily mount it! Absolutely nowhere at all!!! That's really frustrating and disappointing. Ended up sticking the miniature mag mount on the very back of the roof of the car, just in front of the tailgate, with the miniature coax entering at the bottom of the tailgate and just running loose across the floor beneath Bellas duvets towards the front seats. 'Useable' at least, but the scanner is gonna have to end up just sat on the passenger seat! That's no good at all! . . eventually loaded Bella up in the back of the car and drove to buy some dog food and get petrol. . nervously left Bella in the back of the car in the supermarket car park and quickly raced around in the store as fast I could. Bloody typical - they didn't have the sacks of Wagg complete dog food I specifically went there for! Grrrr. Ended up buying a few tins of dog food, and just a few other bits and pieces - including some cheap sausage rolls and bags of crisps. .back at the car, poor Bella was still sitting up looking out all very concerned and insecure! . . . filled the car up with petrol on the way out of the supermarket. 28.37L @ 36. That was a shock. . . . decided to drive all the way to the big Pets At Home warehouse over Torquay to get Bellas sack of food, because I really was running pretty low - and it gave me a chance to see if that little mini magmount really could stay on the car with a bit of higher speed wind, because it really looked as though it was liable not to! I don't think I went much over 60mph on the dual carriageway, but it DID stay on the car ok. . took Bella in the pet store and allowed her to excitedly sit and watch for a while, the rabbits they have in a big glass pen in there. Bought two 17kg sacks of Wagg complete for 25.58. . . decided to do a bit of a detour on the ring road on the way back, and have a look for the place at 'Gallows Gate' where a lot of the local radio guys congregate with their radios on some relatively high ground. Easily found the no-through-road and a little parking area near a picnic area just off the ring road. Given the number of people appearing with dogs, just behind where I parked was a gate apparantly leading to dog walking fields. Ended up heading through the gate with Bella, together with my bottle of water, a bag of crisps and a pack of six sausage rolls I'd bought in the supermarket. A short distance from the gate was a seat overlooking a wooded valley which lead all the way down to Torquay and the sea in the distance. A neat view and nice place to sit for my impromptu 'picnic'. Turned out just a short distance away behind a bit of wire fencing was some sort of low-key natural/woodland cemetary! A neat place for relatives to visit. . eventually back to the car and carried on heading back. Briefly stopped at the viewpoint parking area on windy corner before finally heading home to unload the car from out front. . . messed around experimenting with e-liquids for quite a while. Actually maybe that coffee flavouring isn't 'quite' as bad as I'd originally thought. Seems to benefit from me using more of it. . . . drove Bella to BGdns to walk. Sat around and played ball for a bit before ending up on a seat under the roof to drink my coffee. While we were sat there, a dog walker who'd been down fishing from the rocks turned up on his way back to his car. He'd been pretty successful and had a bucket full of mackerel. Bella started showing a real interest in his catch. Image of Bella eating a fresh caught mackerelHe eventually sorted out one of the smaller ones and handed it to her!! I was rather reluctant to let her, but since he'd given it to her, and because I don't believe she's ever seen a fish like that before and I was intrigued to see what she'd make of it, I eventually just sat and watched. I really hadn't expected to see her 'go for it' with such gusto. In pretty short order she decided it definitely was food, and off and down went its head!! Ewwww!!! She can often look like a black bear at the best of times - sat there holding it in her paws and eating that fish, she REALLY looked like a bear! . . sat around for a while longer before eventually heading back to the car to sit around for even longer, listening to the scanner and getting a feel for how that little scanner antenna performs. Actually suprisingly adequately I think was the answer. Unfortunately, listening to the radio suddenly became an irrelevance when I began to hear a familiar and terrifying 'bwwooooaaa, bwooooaaahhh' noise emanating from the back of the car. I threw the scanner to the seat, leapt out of the car as fast as I could, wrenched the back door open shouting, out, OUT irrespective of what traffic may have been coming down the road - but I was too late. Bella had thrown-up the partially digested fish all over her duvet and down a part of the back door of the car!! EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEWWWWWWWW, EEEEEEEWWWWWWWW, EEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!! . with the throwing-up already all done with, I had no choice but to just get her back in the car and drive quickly home - with windows open, trying to hold MY stomach down! . . .cleared up the car as best I could in the fading light, got the cover off the duvet and dumped it in the garden for dealing with some other time, and draped the duvet over stuff in the garage to air and dry. :o( So - that's the first and LAST time Bella EVER has a whole raw fish! . . . TVd, miserable and desperately wanting a cigarette. . drank a glass and a half of red wine while cooking up two small chicken kievs, fried potatoe slices with onion, and boiled mixed vegetables in melted butter. Ate big. . to bed around 1:15am.
26 - Up around 8:35am. 17C in, 13C out, cloudy grey . .bank holiday monday. Slow getting going and out. . walked BGdns late. Played ball and then sat around with my coffee in sunny spells. . got talking to a dutch dog walker for quite a while, who was insistant that bella WAS a Belgian Shepherd. He also mentioned that vintage military vehicles were going to be assembled out at the end of the breakwater. I doubted that was the case based on what I'd read about todays events, but it made me decide to walk on out there to have a look just in case. . Image of Brixfest 2014 eventImage of Brixfest 2014 eventeventually walked down to the harbour to have a look at the heritage festival '1940s themed celebrations'. Period music was being played under the old fish market roof (with people singing to it later), and the Battery Gardens Heritage group were all there dressed in their WWII uniforms and with a jeep, machine guns and other WWII artefacts for people to hands-on play with. Carried on straight past it all and then on out to the breakwater beach to see what was to be seen. Nothing much for me was the answer, and certainly no vehicles - as I'd thought. Loads of people were all around, and some sort of for-the-kids events were going on under a big tent on the beach. . pretty much just turned straight around and headed back to the harbour. Hung around in the crowds near the old fish market for just a bit, listening to some of the singers (A bit of Sandy Sparkle video) and watching people walking by. A small handful of people (women mostly) were all dressed up in 1940s clothes and hairdos etc. One in particular appeared to be wearing seemed stockings - but I think she'd actually gone for period realism, and had drawn the seem down the backs of her legs. lol :o) . eventually back via FGn for a brief sit and some ball play to recover from my exposure to the crowds . . .cooked and ate a pasty and chips with gravy . . .napped until the 7pm alarm. Real trouble waking, subconsciously lashing out at the snooze button over and over again. Didn't manage to actually get up until around 7:45!!! . . skipped the walk. . . TVd the evening away . . .ate chunks of garlic sausage and cheese with crisps followed by some chocolate . . . TVd until bed around 1:30am.
25 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8:15am. 17C in, 13C out, sunny spells . .slow getting going. Vaped plenty, absolutely NOT prepared to go through the hell I went through yesterday again! :o( . . Walked BGdns and played ball for a while. Eventually headed down into the busy harbour just to see what was going on. A lot of people wandering around. Walked around the harbor and sat on a bench near the coastguard station to drink my coffee and watch people walking by. As has become a recent habit when sitting there, I encouraged Bella up onto the seat next to me to 'lounge about' for a bit. I admit, it IS a bit of a 'pose'. Plenty of people walking past make comment about how cool she looks etc. One guy this morning even asked if he could take our photo! I had no objection of course, but I can't imagine why he'd want a shot of a complete stranger and his dog like that. lolol . .Image of Oscar 4 and another rib helping a yacht with a jammed sail half way through my coffee, a shout went out to the coastguards on the radio from a yacht in difficulty just off the breakwater. Apparantly they couldn't lower their sail because of some sort of jam in the winching gear, and they were having to just keep sailing about! I think there was only one person on board, and they were looking for someone to come to assist them in freeing up the jam. Funny one that. As a landlubber, it'd never even occurred to me that you could get into BIG trouble by not being able to lower your sail. Couldn't resist quickly heading off along the marina walkway and all the way up to the seat above the end of the breakwater, from which I could see the yacht in the distance off Shoalstone beach. Watched, listened-in on the radio and drank the rest of my coffee as the Torquay harbor authority rib 'Oscar 4' was tasked to head right across the bay to assist. Someone else in another rib drew alongside and put I think a couple of people aboard to help before Oscar 4 had even arrived. Ultimately the problem was resolved, the sail was lowered and the yacht motored safely back into harbour. . eventually walked back down and played ball and had Bella swim out for it into the waters of the marina, from the slipway by the lifeboat mooring for a while. . eventually walked all the way back and then up through town to see whatever was to be seen at the 1940s 'Street party' event in Fore Street. A tent was playing suitable music and tables were set up all along the street, with a handful of people already sat at a few of them with food and drink. Not much going on yet, and very obviously a 'community' for the kids type of event, so very much not for me. . a short while later I heard the Coastguard Response Teams being paged, to a man and a dog stuck on rocks over on Meadfoot beach Torquay, so I eventually ended up walking all the way back to BGdns to sit and listen to developments and look across the bay in that direction. Oscar 4 the council rib was pretty soon standing-by near the people concerned. Both inshore and all weather lifeboats were launched on service and raced out of the harbour and across the bay to the scene. Before either of the lifeboats had even got there, and very much against the wishes of all the CRTs etc who appeared to have not yet made contact with the people concerned, a swimmer had gone out to the rock, and then ultimately both people and the dog took to the water and eventually successfully swam back to shore unaided! Risky. Just as the lifeboats were about to return, there was also a little drama apparantly unfolding in the outer harbor. I think it turned out to be some kids in a boat getting into a bit of difficulty, but they were pretty soon 'rescued' by their parents and the lifeboats weren't needed. . . . recovered from the long walk in the garden with a coffee before messing with the car briefly. Unbolted just two bolts and removed the base and back of the back seat in its entirety, to give the front seats room to go back as far as they can, and recline a bit, and generally give me a little more room in the front. The WHOLE of the back of the car is Bellas expansive duvet-lined 'mobile kennel' of course. . . PCd for a bit . . . Image of a piper cub and Aeronca 11AC Chief over Brixhameventually heard an old sounding engine and dashed out into the front garden with the video camera. Sure enough, it was the two old 1940s high wing aircraft doing their heritage festival fly-by low over the harbour. The white one is an 'Aeronca 11AC Chief', the military green one a piper cub. I'm always up for watching low flying aircraft circling about, but I gotta say, as these things go, and given the all manner of exciting things we can sometimes see in the skys around these parts (Red Arrows etc) , they weren't 'overly impressive' from a spectator standpoint. lol Must have been far more fun for the pilots, circling around several times low over the town in the sun, and then throttling right back and sideslipping on the breeze down in towards the harbour. What stunning views they must have had. . . PCd a bit . . sat around feeling VERY down again . . . cooked and ate four quarter pound burgers in buttered baps with grated cheese followed later by biscuits . . TVd the night away watching nothing . . BB called to touch base. I was feeling very 'sid' down and absolutely not in the mood to be talking. :o( . . TVd until bed after 2am.
24 - Up around 7:35am. 18C in, 12C out, grey and threatening clouds . .well, according to Youtube they've dutifully removed the two videos I complained about. To be honest, I don't really care 'that' much - and haven't even tried to retrace my steps to confirm it. It was purely by chance I discovered them. I've no doubt others have also been ripped off like that by unscrupulous s***s. I'm not about to start wasting my time trying to identify which and where and get all upset again. Best I don't even look! :o(. . . decided to give vaping only e-liquids without any nicotine content a serious go today! . . walked FGn for ball play and sitting around in a bit of a nicotine-withdrawl daze! Music was audible from the harbour. Eventually carried on down to the harbour to see what was going on, given the Brixham Heritage festival was all starting today. A stage and sound system was pretty much already all set up under the old fish market roof, together with a couple of other stalls of this and that, but nothing actually really going on yet. I had intended to sit on one of the benches by the coastguard station to drink my coffee, but after walking all the way around there I simply couldn't stand to do so! A PA speaker connected to the stage sound system had been set up on the inner quay pointing across the harbour towards where I'd intended to sit, and inexplicably the idiots setting everything up were piping local radio station Palm FM through it at a quite literally 'painfull' volume. The entire harbour area of town was deafeningly subjected to it. How they felt they had the right to do that escapes me. It was VERY unpleasant, and I just couldn't stand to be subjected to it. Ended up walking all the way back alongside the outer harbour to the peace of BGdns to eventually sit on one of the higher seats for my coffee. .right near the exit to BGdns, 'THE' house for sale on the corner was having its 'open viewing' morning. That house has ALWAYS been 'of interest' to me (and all the rest of my family - and many others too no doubt), because of its huge and overgrown high-walled garden, 'cute' and characterful looking house, WWII looking circular pill-box structure next to the garage, and most of all, its fantastic proximity to Battery Gardens - literally right next to them. Basically the sort of property you can't help fantasising about and drooling over a bit. The whole property had obviously been badly neglected for years, and over the last few years when walking past, it'd become very obvious that the lady owner was now of ill health and was having daily home-help type visits - and on more than one occasion had also had an ambulance called! It was obviously only a matter of time before she passed-on and the house went up for sale. Sure enough, the 'For-Sale' sign had suddenly appeared there a few days ago, together with a van clearing contents, and a sudden bit of activity from people clearing and burning some of the overgrown garden. Just for curiosity, I HAD looked it up on the net when I saw the sign go up. (Link to full property details.) I was initially shocked by the price - but on reflection, wasn't entirely surpised when learning that it had once had planning permission for TWO houses in its big steeply sloping garden! Anyway - as I walked past with Bella this morning, I exchanged a few words with the estate agent representatives stood at the gate, and suprisingly they said they had absolutely no objection to me having a look around! Apparantly lots of people with no intention of buying it were all having a 'nose' around, including many of the neighbours. Oooooh - excellent. After all these years of wondering what it was like inside, I finally got to have a look. Turned out to be quite a shock, not only because of the condition of the place, but also because of the quirky and suprisingly modest amount of rooms/space inside. I'd also always imagined it to be bigger and older somehow. It was clearly only 1920/30s and had some very familiar little original internal details and bits of trim, reminscent of the original bits and pieces in my house! Its recent sad history was also in evidence - an electric stairlift was in place all up the stairs, and a pervading odor of perhaps urine was noticeable, particularly in one of the downstairs rooms. Lots of damp and mold was evident on all the walls. A hint at its former glory and happier times remained in one of the enormous downstairs rooms overlooking the garden. There was a (baby?) grand piano left behind in there! The 'kitchen' seemed to be little more than a corridor, and it was hard to imagine how the former resident could have had it arranged to actually cook anything in there. . Anyway, it WAS fascinating to be able to have a look around in there after all this time of wondering what it was like, although inevitably it DID leave me with quite a feeling of sadness. . . called Mum and told her about the house open viewing day. It didn't take much persuading. Left Bella at home, got the car out, and drove to pick her up and take her to have a look. Trouble finding a parking space not only because of hollidaymakers but also because so many people were turning up to look at the house. Went round the house with Mum - who also felt the sadness I'd felt. I strongly suspect that house will be demolished, and planning permission obtained for - who knows what - maybe even a block of apartments? It's gonna be interesting to see what happens there in due course . . briefly stopped off at Mums and then both returned to my place for chats etc . . . ate two ham finger rolls and crisps . . napped . . . walked down through town and watched a little of the music that was on under the old fish market roof. Not my cup of tea at all and eventually escaped to the quiet of FGn for some ball play. Soon caught by a passing rain shower, so headed along the cliff-top road to the shelter of the roof in BGdns for my coffee and to vape my nicotine-free e-liquid. By this stage I was deep in the grip of full-on nicotine withdrawl. Confused, unable to concentrate, angry, short tempered, DOWN, etc, etc, etc. Sat around feeling awful awful awful!!!!! Just really awful! I can't believe how totally and utterly dependant I've become to nicotine. It was nothing like this when I gave up years ago. I didn't experience anything like THIS level of hell! This is REALLY bad news. I'd imagined switching to the e-cigarette would enable me to wrench myself off smoking proper, and then facilitate a quick transition to vaping nicotine-free liquid, prior to ultimately just stopping altogether. How wrong I was. I feel awful. Desperate. :o( . . . eventually back to TV the night away and cave-in and vape some 18mg+ nicotine e-liquid. :o( Jeeze - WHAT a hopeless addict I appear to have become!!! WHAT a failure - in all . . .DF called to touch base, raving about the dirt cheap USB stick TV tuner he'd bought on e-bay. It's one of those that with appropriate software, enables you to have a full-on VHF software defined radio receiver for a rediculous 6 or some such. I was not in the mood to be enthusiastic about it - but they ARE of course breathtaking value for money. I of course have my expensive PCR1000 (which I've hardly turned on for ages) so I won't be ordering one. Apart from listening to the scanner as usual, I am definitely not in a 'radio' kinda mood, and haven't been for ages now. . . ate Mum donated gala pie, crisps and two big buttered scones . . .to bed around 1am.
23 - Up around 8am. 18C in, 12C out, grey and damp between showers. . .slow getting going and somehow ended up on Youtube looking for any recent Brixham/local videos. Oh wow - some cracking high-def videos filmed by a quadcopter or similar! The one above the gig leaving the harbour is super. WHAT a shame I wasn't sat on our usual lower seat playing Ball with Bella in BGdns when that was filmed going past. lol Fantastic stuff. .Wow - how things have moved on in so short a time. Sadly, it really does rather make me feel as though it's utterly pointless me carrying my old low res camera or bothering to point it at anything any more. :o( . . What the ??? Someone on Youtube has re-posted one of MY videos (and is presumably making money out of it through the ad share?)?!?? (The BM-10 In rough seas one.) WTF? In fact, they appear to have re-posted it TWICE under different user names??? I despair. :o( . . . walked BGdns with a coffee. Boy - am I feeling really down this morning!?! :o( . . . back via the store for a few supplies . . . PCd and ended up attempting to report the Youtube 'copyright' infringement 'abuse' thingy. Hillarious really, considering MY normal 'ignore it' attitude to copyright infringement generally. It just seems wrong to me on principle in the way they are taking credit for it kinda, and that they 'could' be making money out of a video I've filmed, when 'I've' never made a penny out of ANY of them (deliberately NOT signing up for the youtube ad revenue sharing thing - because I HATE adverts, big time). . Sis1 called to touch base and mention stuff related to Mums 'lasting power of attorny' idea . . . wow - the postman delivered the e-liquid flavours I'd ordered - ALREADY!! Blimey - even the padded envelope smells of coffee and toffee!! That's a hopeful sign. Right - where's my syringe! lol . . . made up a small amount of toffee flavoured, nicotine-free e-liquid to try. Well - first impressions are its 'ok'. Nowhere near as strong as would be preferred, but not bad. That's entirely useable. What a relief. . . .ate haslet sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . . napped until around 6:15pm . . . DF called in for chats. He was interested to see my car, so we all briefly went for a short drive. lol Stopped at BGdns for a short while for Bella to have a poop and a token walk, and then carried on down around the harbour and on out to the Shoalstone car park for a bit before eventually back for coffee and more chats until around 10:30pm. . .BB called to touch base . . ate five chicken drumsticks with four pieces of bread and butter followed by some chocolate . . TVd until bed around 2am.
22 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 7:45am again. 18C in, 11C out, grey . . .slow getting going and ended up surfing around a bit looking at mag-mount antennas again, maybe for use with the scanner in the car! It's no good - now I've got the idea in my mind, I'm not gonna be able to escape it am I - EVERY time I think about going anywhere in the car! Ended up on Amazon and went ahead and ordered pretty much the cheapest I could find, just to give it a try. 'Centre Loaded Mag Mount Scanner Antenna' (with low power VHF/UHF transmit capability) for 14.89 inc postage. It's pretty small so isn't liable to be much good, but it should at least lay the obsession to rest for me and be slightly better than the portable whip inside the car. Sadly my carport is SO rediculously low, and my 'Noddy car' so amusingly tall, I'm gonna have to put it on and take it off out in the lane, every single time I decide to go anywhere with it! That's gonna be a pain - or actually really not even practical. We shall see. . . walked BGdns between showers and even in occasional warm sunny spells. . . PCd and just pottered around. Eventually bit the bullet and ordered some concentrated e-liquid flavouring from e-bay again. I've proved with what I've already bought, I'm entirely able to produce my own vapable stuff, but what I'm lacking is some decent flavouring for it. Those two big bottles of extra strong menthol and strawberry I bought are just awful, and I totally regret having spent so much on them. Chose a hopefully better supplier off e-bay (based on their high sales and better feedback) and ordered two 30 ML EXTRA STRONG CONCENTRATED FLAVOURINGS, one of toffee flavour and one of coffee for 6.78 inc postage. The coffee flavoured one was actually slightly more than the toffee, so hopefully that's an indication of popularity/supply and demand in action, and it'll prove to be ok? If they aren't any good, that really is likely to be the end of my (increasingly expensive and time consuming!) experiments at mixing up my own stuff, and I'll probably just revert back to buying ready-made pots from the local shops and stick to slightly messing around with my own dilutions and percentage PG/VG 'tweeks' of those etc. I'm such a penny pincher, I won't just throw stuff away, but I AM getting pretty tired of vaping some of the awful tasting (nicotine free) results I've been coming up with on my learning curve. lol My stumbling block is simply ALL about not having decent or appropriate concentrated flavourings to experiment with. That strawberry flavouring I bought on e-bay tastes awful if it tastes of anything at all (and I'm worried about what may 'actually' be in it!) - the menthol tastes a bit 'toxic'! - my supermarket vanilla food flavouring tastes utterly awful with either (bitter!?!! Like cyanide?!!) - and the supermarket peppermint food flavouring I bought in the local store and tried, is sadly just too weak to be good enough. (Shame that with the peppermint. It really did come close to being very ok - just far too weak a taste for me, no matter what the mix.) Anyway, fingers crossed with this latest purchase. . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped . . skipped the walk . . TVd . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 2am.
21 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up at 7:45am. 18C in, 13C out, sunny . . slow getting going and an annadin tablet for breakfast . .walked BGdns and then back through town. A bit of a 'for some charity or other' table-top sale was going on under the old fish market roof. Bagged a couple more of those small 8" diameter brass wall plates with embossed ship scenes for a mere 1. Image of nautical themed brass wall platesNot sure I necessarily want them on the wall anywhere, but for that money I just had to have them - and they do at least appear to be solid brass this time. Also invested 95p in a couple of proper measuring syringes from Boots the chemist for messing with my e-liquid experiments. A 1ml one and a 5ml one. That old 1ml canine-insulin one works perfectly well enough, but without a straightforward millilitre scale on the side of it, its been a real pain having to do conversion calculations all the time. .sat on one of the harbourside benches with Bella for my coffee before eventually heading back home . . PCd/just sat around with a continuing headache, not feeling up to doing any of all the chores I should be . .ate corned beef, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . napped until 7pm and woke with the same headache! (Nicotine withdrawl related again maybe? I vaped 'mostly' nicotine-free e-liquid for 'much' of the day.). . drove to the local store for a few supplies and then to BGdns to walk and sit around with my coffee. Ominous gathering rain clouds. Oh what decadence to be able to just drive back home for once rather than have to painfully trudge all the way back. . . vacuumed and got the wheelie-bin out ready for tomorrow's collection . . . just sat and TVd the night away, guitarring just a touch - with a proper smoke! - as the forecast VERY heavy rain arrived late . . .reheated all the remaining chopped chicken in a pan with a little butter and garlic salt, and ate it all in four buttered baps followed by a little chocolate . . . to bed around 2am.
20 - Up at 6:45am. 18C in, 11C out, cloudy and damp outside from a recent shower, with more heavy showers forecast for later. . .Close up image of a squirrel in Battery Gardens, Brixham slow getting going, waking at the PC surfing this and that. According to the AIS, the tanker Julia is now apparantly in port in Amsterdam. . . walked FGn in what soon turned to drizzley showers. Walked along the clifftop road to BGdns to sit on the seats under the roof for my coffee. 'Busied' myself for quite a while just videoing a squirrel all close-up, which was helping itself to all the birdfood littering the floor beneath the feeder. Bella was very good and stayed put when I told her to, rather than chase after it. That all came to an end when the dobermans and all manner of other dog walkers eventually congregated. . listening on the scanner as usual, somewhere around 9:30am (BST/local) a serious coastguard shout went out. A faller on the cliffs just across the bay over near Meadfoot beach, below the Kilmorie flats. (After my little drive and explore around there yesterday, I can now more readily imagine where that ACTUALLY is at last. :o) ) It was initialy suggested it was a 33 year old Hungarian with a possible broken right leg, shoulder and wrist, and that he'd been there since 6:30am - although details appeared to be a bit confused and changed as the rescue operation continued. All the local CRTS were mobilised and the coastguard helicopter Rescue 106 was also soon en route from Portland. Both local lifeboats were launched around 9:45am and went racing across the bay into the misty drizzley murk as the weather deteriorated to passing showers again. The helicopter was on scene soon after. Would you believe it - around then my scanner started beeping to warn me the charge in my batteries was running out! Damn! That was agonising, eager to hear everything, but potentially having the scanner die right in the middle of things. Ultimately it appeared that the casualty wasn't as badly injured as first thought, and he was stretchered and winched back up the cliff by the CRTS - with the helicopter circling around the area until it was clear it wasn't required. My scanner batteries miraculously held out, and as things seemed to be reaching a conclusion during the winching and there was a break in the drizzle, we eventually headed home (actually really rather cold. SUCH a change from the last couple of days of warm sun. That injured guy must have been utterly frozen!). . straight in and onto the radios to monitor the end of the shout (and put my batteries on charge!). All apparantly being wound down and the lifeboats returning to station by 10:45am, with helicopter Rescue 106 reverting to callsign Coastguard 106, returning to training, and routing to Lee-On-Solent for refueling. . . .at 10:52am the cliff winching was complete, the casualty was up on the road and making his way to the ambulance for transport to Torbay hospital. Apparantly there was also 'a bit of an incident' with members of the press getting in the way of the cliff rescue team, resulting in the police getting involved!! Actually, it has seemed to become noticeable to me of late how 'on the ball' the local newspaper seems to have suddenly become with regard to reporting Coastguard shouts. There was even a whole report about the incident on-line already by 11am! . . by around 11:30 the CRTs had packed up all their cliff winching gear and were going to be returning to station (after having collected some of their kit and their stretcher from the hospital A&E) . . . PCd this at length, trying to catch up at last . . .ate corned beef, chopped onion, mayo, ketchup and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . .napped until the 7pm alarm . . walked BGdns . . . TVd . . .drank the last glass of wine from the box and cooked and ate re-heated chicken with fried potato and mixed veg doused with melted butter followed by a little chocolate . . . to bed around 2am.
19 - Up at 7am. 19C in, 14C out, sunny and rapidly getting warmer again. Warnings on the coastguard MSI of yet another partly submerged drifting container out in the channel somewhere . . .it maybe isn't 'quite' as bad as it has been (it does seem to ebb and flow a little?), but my legs (and the right one in particular) ARE all still aching pretty bad (and the joints all 'clicking' and 'cracking' if I flex and move them), so I guess I should start thinking about contacting a doctor for a 'check-up' in the local surgery at some point. Ugggh. :o( . waited until after their 8am time and then started ringing the surgery - to get the predictable engaged tone, over and over again. Eventually got through to reception within ten minutes, and oh my goodness, they offered me an appointment within the hour! That was all too much of a rush for me, what with having to walk Bella and all, but they were then able to promptly offer me another appointment for 10:30am! That'll do. Blimey - I hadn't expected that so quick and easy. . . walked FGn in just shirtsleeves in the warm sunny spells, but with the forecast possibly thundery clouds building all the while. Sat on our usual bench, vaping and occasionally throwing Bella's ball for a while. . . back home around 9:45am. Recovered from the walk with a coffee and much (18mg) vaping (I need to be fully 'nicotined up' to be fully functioning and thinking straight for my doctors visit!), whilst PCing a couple more words of this . . . left Bella at home to gnaw on herself and walked to the doctors surgery - without a coat, just as it started unexpectedly raining for a bit . . . a short wait in the crowded waiting room and then in to see the doctor. Apparantly, according to him, statistics suggest that at least 50% of the time, a doctor's diagnosis will agree with the initial presenting self-diagnosis of the patient, so he was entirely willing to hear MY diagnosis of popliteal/Baker's cyst. I was asked to remove my trousers and lay on an examination table, and he had a look at my legs, compared my knees (the right one just 'slightly' swollen overall), and bent my legs up towards my chest, etc, etc. It was very brief, and he quickly agreed with my diagnosis. He then more or less kinda asked me what I wanted him to do about it! lol That sounds bad, but I guess he accepted I'd done my research, and realised I'd know that there really wasn't much that COULD be done about it! He DID mention pain-killers and a bit of possible physiotherapy and the like, but I was of the opinion that things hadn't gotten 'THAT' bad (yet) and dismissed the suggestions. So - basically, I just gotta live with it - and wait until it gets worse before seeking further help! I apologised for having wasted his time again and was soon outta there. . to be honest, that's all a bit of a blow! I've lived my life in quite a bit of pain and discomfort from my back - to suddenly start to have to live the remainder of my life with THIS level of increased pain from ALL my joints, and my legs in particular, isn't something I'd ever really envisaged - and it can ONLY get worse over time!! Already I'm starting to find my mobility affected, and am unable to even contemplate doing some of the day to day movements I used to do! This all does not bode well for the future at all! I'm gonna need to take a while to get a handle on the implications of all this. :o( . . bought a new 1 wire brush in the undercover market, a 5kg bag of potatoes and a roasted chicken before then struggling back carrying it all in my arms . . . PCd a bit. Happened to notice that my insurance documents were stating I had to supply them with proof of my no claims in the envelope provided!!?? What the hell? The whole point of me taking out that inusrance was precisely because of having no proof etc. That was all made clear during my LONG phone call with them! What idiots. Had to phone them up again and thrash it all out with them. They are apparantly going to now send me a whole new bunch of replacement documents!? I BET they don't get it right now! FFS! Nevertheless, I was assured all was in order and I was all fully covered and also had the breakdown and recovery, etc, etc. . . figured it was high time I got out and about in the car and got over my nervousness about it. Eventually decided to just do the short hop across in the direction of Torquay, and kinda aimlessly just have a drive through and a look around at some of the places I've never been, whose names have become familiar largely from various incidents I've heard on the radios etc. . . loaded Bella in the back and nervously and carefully, headed off in the traffic through Paington to Torquay. .plenty of infuriating sitting in stationary traffic! Haven't had THAT 'pleasure' for a while! Uggh. Despite all that, it WAS amazing to me to suddenly be able to so effortlessly travel such 'great' distances - and in relative comfort without it actually hurting so much to do so. . .ended up getting out of the car and giving Bella brief walks at Meadfoot Beach, Ansteys Cove and finally up on Daddyhole Plain, despite occasional light showers. Really is some amazing scenery all over that way. I'd really had no idea. . actually had a look inside the NCI tower up on Daddyhole Plain (really suprised it was free parking up there?)! It's such a tall narrow structure, no way was Bella gonna be able to get up it, so I had to tie her inside the gated railings at the bottom and leave her there for an uncomfortably long while. The first thing your told when entering, is how to climb the steep alternating half-step flights of near vertical steps, and to mind your head. With a loud bang, I promptly bashed my head of course!! Wow - what a fantastic viewpoint from up there - and all complete with mutiple scanning radios, online AIS, binoculars etc, etc, etc. Yep - I totally understand why those guys spend so much time 'playing' at that game. . . eventually called it quits with my bit of confidence building driving about, and headed home mid afternoon . . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps, banana, buttered hot cross bun and a little chocolate . . napped until 7pm . . .rain showers so skipped the walk . . PCd a bit of this. Wow - I'm SO behind with it - but a couple of shows on TV later I want to watch (The Island with Bear Gryls and then D-Day's Sunken Secrets - which takes care of a good few hours!), so it's just getting more and more behind and an increasing chore hanging over my head as each day passes!! . . . TVd . . . ate cold chicken legs and wings with four pieces of bread and butter and lots of salt followed by the last buttered hot cross bun . . .TVd until bed at 2am.
18 - Back up at 8:30am after almost no sleep at all. 20C in, 17C out, sunny. . yayyy - it would appear the neighbour opposite has temporarily used a carrier bag to cover his driveway mirror, to stop that bird fighting its reflection (exactly what I would have done. Cool). . . . given the recent good weather, the scanner has been picking up quite a bit of the 'Cherbourg Traffic' French coastguard comms again. (I often do of course, but much more so with the better weather in the summer so it seems.) This morning they were asking every vessel they spoke with traveling up the English Channel to keep a good watch. Apparantly Cyprus registered tanker 'Julia' lost a man overboard near the Casquets TSS (Traffic Seperation Scheme) last night!!! As I understand it, the traffic seperation scheme thing is a way of keeping shipping in busy areas like the English channel, in well defined 'lanes'. In the english channel, (from the Casquets lighthouse) the southerly lane on the french side is all heading east, the more notherly lane heading west. It's all very obvious on the AIS website, and makes the oh SO busy channel look like a motorway. When I checked the AIS to see where the Julia was, it was very noticeably the only ship heading west in the eastbound lane, almost exactly retracing its route looking for its lost crewman!! . . Just as I was setting off to leave to walk Bella, coastguard helicopter Rescue 106 was airborne out of Portland, and I believe was heading out across the channel to join in the search. . walked BGdns with a coffee. Played ball and sat around with my e-cig and coffee for ages. Another really beautiful morning, with just a little more of a cooling breeze, putting little waves on the waters of the bay. Plenty of people afloat playing with their expensive toys. .eventually back home via the store for a few supplies, gone 11am. . . PCd a bit of this . . at 12:36hrs 'Cherbourg Traffic' called the tanker 'Julia' and informed them the two helicopters and the aircraft which had been searching for their missing crewman since 8am, were now returning to base after having found nothing, the search was being called off, and the tanker was authorised to continue with its passage! Already??? So - another body just floating around out there, to be found by someone, some other time! :o( I wonder how 'authorities' deal with such investigations - presumably when the boat next comes into 'a' port? Imagine how 'easily' someone could get away with murdering a crewmate, if there was some unpleasantness amongst a crew!! It MUST happen. :o( (coincedentaly in the news, were two reports of British people gone missing at sea in the last couple of days. Four people, including two from somewhere relatively local, all lost at sea from a missing presumed sunk racing yacht down near the bahamas - and a Welsh crewman from a tanker in the Meditreanean I think it was!! There must be loads all around the world all the time!! :o( ) . . ate haslet slice baps, crisps, banana and biscuits . . .napped until the 6:30pm alarm. Difficulty waking and eventually up around 7pm . . . walked BGdns and sat around with coffee until well past 9pm. Felt a bit cooler this evening with an increasing amount of mist and cloud - enough to pretty much obscure Torquay just across the bay. . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking two quarter pound cheeseburgers, chips and mixed veg in butter. Ate lots . . . TVd until bed around 1am.
17 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up at 7:45am. 19C in, 16C out, sunny.Image of tree clearance above Fishcombe Cove, Brixham . . jotted down the youtube web address of the recent bird video, and on leaving the house, dropped it into next door, just in case they were interested, and so they could see why their car's wing mirror is covered in bird poop and little marks etc. lol . . walked BGdns. Grabbed a few shots across Fishcombe cove of the cliffs and slope above, leading up to where the new apartments building-site in front of the holiday camp is. Sure enough, as I'd suspected, the last of the awkward to reach trees (the one immediately above the smaller of the rock falls) has now been cut down (although they have left a much larger stump behind with that particular one for some reason?). SUCH a shame I didn't get any of that clifftop/down onto the beach tree-felling on video. Of course I'd never imagined that was all gonna be cleared, so I'd sadly never deliberately set out to take a 'before' shot. Nevertheless, I DID manage to find a shot I took on the 25th January (when I was convinced there were going to be further rock falls onto the beach), which gives 'some' idea of 'the before', albeit a winter shot without leaves on all the trees, and from a just 'slightly' different vantage point, etc. Good enough to get the idea I think. Suffice it to say, over a larger area than this photo suggests, right in the middle of the birds breeding/nesting season, it's all been ruthlessly cleared. What other wildlife may have been also killed in the process (rabbits buried-alive and the like) doesn't bear thinking about! :o( . . played ball and sat around for a long while. A fantastic morning, and SO warm, seemingly all of a sudden. In this weather, without too many people around at the moment, and with all the new spring growth on all the trees etc, etc, it really was the whole area at its absolute best. . . recovered from the walk with a coffee and sit in the garden, and even ended up guitarring out there for a bit . turned out for some reason the neighbour hadn't been able to access the video link I'd carefully written down. Got his e-mail address and ended up mailing him the link before returning to the garden and telling him he had mail. He was working in his garage and actually ended up watching a relevant bit of the video on his smartphone!! lol. . . yayy - the postman delivered my car insurance documents - although irritatingly I still don't have documents for the breakdown and recovery thing yet!? . . . guitarred in the garden . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats and a look at the bird video etc . . . ate ham rolls, crisps and a banana . . napped from around 3:30pm until the 7pm alarm. Blimey - that was a reasonable long sleep. . . walked BGdns a little late, and encouraged Bella to swim out for a floating plastic bottle in Fishcombe Cove (high tide) before playing ball and sitting around with coffee etc for ages until almost dark. . . . TVd/guitarred and just sat around for hours with aching legs, really feeling rather sorry for myself and ever more worried about my future . .drank a glass of red wine - and smoked proper! . . how much physical pain IS it normal to always be in? Do some other people actually have largely pain free lives? On reflection, I've not. . . . just ate a couple of buttered hot cross buns and a little chocolate . . PCd/TVd until finally to bed after 4am!
16 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up at 7:30am. 17C in, 11C out, thick fog but soon burning off with the sun . .achey - and DEFINITELY something horribly not right with my right leg!! :o( I have a pronounced and uncomfortable 'lump' on the left hand side of it behind my knee!!!?? :o( I will of course give that a while to settle down and miraculously correct itself - but it IS painful and worrying enough to make me even consider a possible doctor visit!! . . aha - my car is finally now being shown as insured on the on-line database. Still no paperwork or tax disc as yet, but that makes me feel a little happier about maybe starting to drive it around. . walked FGn. Sat around and played ball in the decreasing mist. It was warm and bright and very nearly clear when we left home - thicker and cooler as we got closer to the coast. A PCSO passed by chatting to everyone, doing a 'PR' exercise 'be seen, to reassure everyone' thing, as the schoolkids all went into school. Had a brief chat and mentioned the chain I'd found the other day for what little it's worth. . back via the local pet food store for a 2.35 rawhide chewy thing for Bella . .as I approached home, that bird was having a go at its reflection in the next door neighbour's wing mirror again!! I approached to deliberately scare it off, to stop it wasting its energy - for a little while at least . . put a load of laundry on and recovered from the walk with a coffee in the garden . . cleaned my teeth - and my dentures, in a glass with one of those cleaning tablets I bought a while back (which I almost never bother with, because they seem pretty useless). . . PCd a bit and after google searching something as vague as 'lump behind knee', ended up reading up on "Baker’s cyst (popliteal cyst)". Hmmm - that seems to be a pretty likely self-diagnosis of what I'm 'mildly' experiencing? In fact, the more I read about it (and after having seen some very clear detailed diagrams in particular), the more I'm convinced. Oh dear. It DOES seem to be potentially often connected with an underlying arthritis, which is precisely what I've been worrying I may be starting to experience, what with the infinitely varied joint aches and pains I seem to have been increasingly experiencing of late. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. :o( . . . left Bella home alone and walked to the dentists for my 11:30am appointment. . on climbing the stairs to the waiting room, there was the sound of drilling. LOUD drilling, enough to put terror into the mind of anyone not overly keen on a visit to the dentist. A loud hammer drill was apparantly being used to put up some pictures on various walls! . eventually in for my checkup. The dentist pretty soon agreed with my prognosis and concluded four extractions were due. Ultimately the lot would be coming out, but I think it was mutually agreed that a few could hang on in there for a while, so it'd be a two stage thing over time before they were all taken out. . back to reception to make the two future appointments (late June) for the first round of extractions and reworking of the false ones, and to pay just todays 18.50 NHS checkup fee. . back home to find Bella HAD been scratching herself, but not 'too' badly on this occasion. . . mowed both lawns. Just a quick mow of the grass - no strimming or weeding because I didn't really feel up to it, and no way was I gonna aggravate my legs by trying to kneel for ages digging weeds out! . . . did more laundry and got it out on the line to quickly dry in the hot sun . . saw that poor bird fighting its reflection plenty more . . . touched base with Mum and given the fantastic weather, ended up suggesting she may wish to give walking the woods a go. The bluebells are currently out, and it's been something of a tradition that Mum walk down there at this time of year (especially since after Dad managed it that time after his brain surgery, and before he died). Trouble is, Mum is getting very old and tottery on her bad feet, and is now having real trouble getting around. We'd already rather assumed that last year was gonna be the last time she'd be able to manage that walk. Nevertheless, she readily agreed to give it a go and make the attempt! . . walked up Mums with Bella and then all set off towards BGdns. It was tough on me and Bella having to walk so slow, but we made good progress and were soon down past the apartments building site and heading up the path into the woods. The steep (and treacherous for anyone at the best of times) climb down the coastal path onto the beach at Churston Cove was a VERY slow process - with me giving mum arm support where I could, and even ambling slowly along at times, with her behind me supporting herself by having her hands on my shoulders! It wasn't easy for either of us - but we eventually made it onto the beach and shortly thereafter up into the bluebell festooned woods where the going was much easier. It really was a beautiful day to be doing it, so if it IS to be the last time she manages it, it should be a good one to remember. . grabbed a couple of photos of Mum with bluebells in the background (for sending to Sis2 mostly) and then had to endure Mum insisting she took one of me and Bella. Crouched down in the bluebells with Bella (owwww my aching legs and knees!!!???) whilst mum struggled with how to use my camera. "Did it click? Did it take one?" etc!! I encouraged her to just keep pressing the button. Turned out she took three - the first two were all blurred and me looking angry giving instructions on camera use - as luck would have it, the third worked out ok. lol :o) Wow - getting back to my feet was difficult, stumbling and painful! . . . sat around in the woods for quite a while near one of the old lime kilns, having a breather - and a vape. . eventually slowly and carefully carried on along the sloping paths towards the lane at the top, without incident and occasionally stopping for Mum to admire the views rather than just keep looking at her feet and where she was walking. . would you believe it, 'just' before exiting the wood, Mum stumbled behind me and whilst calling out 'Terry . . ohhhh Terry' dived headfirst to the ground and into the undergrowth!!! I turned just in time to powerlessly watch as she did so! Thankfully she somehow got away with it, without injury other than perhaps to her pride. Having gotten away with it, with hindsight, it WAS pretty funny and cause for a good laugh. :o/ . . eventually all the way back to BGdns for a good long sit in the sun on my favourite seat - with plenty of birds, a baby rabbit and even the squirrel on the nearby birdfeeder for entertainment. Eventually all sauntered slowly back to our respective homes by late afternoon - with one more year of 'the bluebells walk' ticked off - but surely now VERY likely her last! Jeeze - the way my legs are going at the moment, I'm not sure how many more 'I'LL' be able to manage!! :o( . . .briefly recovered from the walk and then quickly cooked and ate six fishfingers, mixed veg and fried potatoes . . . DF called in for coffee and chats until late . . . ate a banana and many biscuits . . to bed around 1am.
15 - Up at 6:45am. 17C in, 11C out, sunny. . . walked BGdns. There was much noise and activity going on in FCove. Turned out it was all part of the works on the new/renovated apartments building-site immediately above the cove. They'd felled another of the big trees on the cliff above the cove. Oh wow - WHAT a shame I'd missed them doing that! The big tree they'd felled from the top of the cliff had obviously fallen down onto the beach. That must have been quite a sight! The tide was well in, and several of the workmen guys including the one with the chainsaw were now actually wading in the water, still cutting up and removing all the timber! Other workmen were helping carry it all back up off the beach to put in a dumper truck for the final ascent back up the steep track to their site entrance. Well - that pretty much just leaves a single tree to go - but apparantly that's gonna be done some other time. Shame I can't know when. That one too will be hitting the beach. . You gotta wonder if they really do actually have the right to do what they've done and if they own the land right up to the waters edge as it were. Assuming they do (and I strongly suspect they don't - and should NOT have cut down all those trees!), then surely that must mean they have a responsibility for maintaining the safety of the public on that beach in terms of the rock falls etc? All a little intriguing to me how they're maybe 'getting away with' what they are doing. Few if any of the regular dog walkers were in favour of what has occurred, and there have been several who have suggested it'll be interesting to see what rock falls/land slips may occur with future heavy rains,now there are no trees to bind it all together. Time will tell. . . eventually back via the store for some more e-liquid. I had intended to try to buy some flavoured nicotine-free, but it turned out the store I went in didn't have any totally nicotine-free. They did however have some 1.8mg nicotine content, which is about as minimaly low as it seems possible to go, so I ended up spending around 4 on a 10ml pot of the strawberry flavour to try! . . . stopped by at Mums on the way back, to take care of a few little jobs she'd mentioned she needed doing. . spent quite a while up the step ladder emptying out all her gutters, right around the house. A GOOD few bucket loads of debris!! Hot work in the full sun. . followed that up by digging out a couple of small bushes and chopping them all up into bag sized chunks. The digging them out with a trowel thing was a bit difficult, because it meant squatting and or kneeling down to do so, and my recent painful right leg/knee joint problems pretty much prevented me from being able to do so!!!!???? Managed it in the end, but wow, there's something very much not right with me at the moment. In fact, the more I think about it, the more this has been gradually building-up for rather a long time! It's just been gradual, on and off, until suddenly having this persistant really dodgy right knee. :o(. . coffee and chats for a bit before eventually back home mid to late afternoon, pretty tired and aching from all manner of joints - but my legs especially . . . TVd/PCd/just sat around aching the whole rest of the day. . Mum called and tipped me off about a news story I needed to see. Went on-line and via the BBC site, ended up watching the 'gone viral' video of a cat rescuing a boy from a dog attack. When Mum'd first told me to watch it, I'd assumed it'd be a video just LOOKING as though a cat had 'saved' a boy from a dog - but not really. Well - how wrong I was. That cat really DID have a deliberate go at the dog - and then turned and went to have another go, and actually chased it off!! Extraordinary video. Never seen anything like that before from a cat. Wow - what a lucky kid. That was a shockingly unprovoked deliberate attack on the part of the dog! Hard to watch! . . . ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps, bananas and biscuits . . TVd until to bed around 1am.
14 - Up at 6:30am. 17C in, 10C out, sunny. . . walked a little early. Oh wow - that poor crazy bird was opposite, having a good go at the neighbour's driveway mirror AGAIN/STILL!! It's actually causing me a little 'distress' every time I see it now. I just feel SO sorry for it! Even the mirror is starting to look a little scratched! . . walked up past the holiday camp and building site and eventually down onto the beach. Threw the ball for Bella to swim out for in CCove before then doing the bluebell-festooned woods walk. Eventually back to BGdns. Watched as yet another of the trees on the slopes above FCove were taken down by the holiday-apartment builders. I HAD to stop and watch for a bit, because they tied the tree to a big digger with a rope, to make sure it fell in the right direction. It all went ok, but if it had fallen the wrong way, I reckon it could well have dragged the digger down the slope! Worth pointing the camcorder at, just in case. lolol I presume now they've gotten the hang of it, all the remaining trees will be gone by tomorrow? Shame - and I DO feel as though they bloody well should NOT have done it right when all the birds are in the middle of nesting! B******s. :o( . A little more ball play and plenty of sitting around with my coffee. Best morning we've had for quite a while - probably since last year in fact. Fully sunny, little breeze, the waters of the bay like a mill pond, and actually feeling really quite warm. . . did multiple loads of laundry - including most of the dreaded bed-linen. God I hate doing that - I really don't do it anywhere near as often as I really should! Eeeeww. lol . . Mum called to touch base and confirm she's got an appointment (for us both!) with her solicitor . . . PCd this at length. At some point I actually dropped an e-mail with a link to youtube into the BBC Springwatch TV show e-mail address, just in case anyone there would be interested in the bird fighting its reflections video. Actually - with hindsight, probably not I suspect. I bet loads of people have filmed similar, better. . .ate ham, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . . tried to nap but couldn't . . . cut my hair and beard etc . . . aimlessly PCd . . . DM unexpectedly called in for a coffee and chats until late . . .ate bowls of rice krispies . . to bed around 1am.
13 - Up at 7am after an awful and broken nights sleep. Shocking that my severe nicotine-withdrawl induced 'confusion of thought' was SO bad, it actually woke me up from sleep in the night and had me all tossing and turning, in a very real and very unpleasant kinda 'mental-distress'!!!! 17C in, 11C out, sunny. . . quickly topped up my pink cartomiser e-cigarette (the one containing nicotine) with some of the new flavourless 70:30 PG/VG, 18mg nicotine base liquid, and chain-vaped (lots!) as a test of it, while waking at the PC. I only have the word of the supplier/manufacturer that it actually contains 18mg nicotine content. The only way for me to be able to test that it really does, is to see how effectively (or not!) it combats my acute and distressing nicotine-withdrawl induced feelings of 'confusion' and panic! Hardly scientific or an accurate test/evaluation. . Saw a funny little 'Noddy' car driving past at 8am. (Am I allowed to refer to Noddy these days, or has that too become something I'm not allowed to say for some unknown reason of political correctness?) It was MY car!!!!! lolol Fingers crossed it doesn't break down with the poor neighbour in it on his way to work - and then fingers crossed it passes that damned MOT ok and gets him safely back home tonight. :o| . . .walked FGn and sat in the breezy sun for quite a time, occasionaly throwing Bella's ball, but mostly desperately vaping, trying to top up my nicotine levels all the while! . . on the way back through from the green, I spotted a six foot length of 'chain' type stuff dumped in the grass next to the path. It's that sort of heavy duty chain made up of metal diamond shapes, used as fencing on some peoples gardens and drives or around monuments, etc. Plenty of the little nearby bungalows I pass cutting through to the green, have that sort of fencing out front, so presumably some yob had stolen and dumped it there. I popped it in a coat pocket (with difficulty) and took it with me, fully expecting to be able to spot which bungalow it'd come from to return it. Suprisingly all the bungalows I passed appeared to have all their usual fencing, and I ended up just carrying the stuff home!! Damn. 'I' can't think of a use for it anywhere and I don't particularly want it. Maybe I'll walk around and have a closer look at houses around that area a bit further afield again some time. . . touched base with the dentists surgery just to make sure my six monthly appointment scheduled for Friday was still good and not cancelled because she's suddenly on holiday or some such (as once happened in the past). . PCd and finally knuckled down to the loathsome job of starting to try to get car insurance quotes. Spent ages putting all my details into some website or other, only to finally end up with a most rediculously expensive quote of over 300 for just third part fire and theft! The problem I've got is the damned no claims discount thing. As I understand it, because I've had the car off the road for so long, theoretically I no longer have any no-claims discount. I tried clicking 'back' on the website and saying that I did, but it then demanded to know details of the last insurance I had and with whom etc, etc. Damn. I haven't a clue! Ended up suddenly having to search through all my old paperwork. Took ages and ultimately I was horrified to find that I'd actually unusualy thrown it all away! Why on earth did I do that? I usually keep such stuff for ages? Damn, damn, damn!! After hours of tearing my hair out, I finally managed to find a trace in my accounts of some payments to the AA 'aroundabout' the right time. Phoned them up and was thankfully able to confirm my last policy WAS through them. Blah blah blah - to cut a LONG story (and a LONG phone call!!) short, because they said they would honour the no claims discount I previously had, I pretty much had no choice but to take out insurance with them! It seemed easiest and just a little cheaper to also simultaneously take out a breakdown and recovery thing with them too. (It's the recovery thing which is MOST important to ME. I've pretty much always had it (with the RAC previously), on both my bikes and cars - and HAVE sadly had to make use of it on several occasions! It's an old knackered car - if it breaks down and they can't fix it at the roadside, I simply don't have the money to have the luxury of being dumped at some nearby garage to have something extorionately expensively fixed. Far better for me to be just taken home with it, to sort out my options at my leisure.) So - with little choice, I gave my magic plastic numbers, and parted with 183.74 for the insurance, and 38.97 for the breakdown and recovery thing. That's WAY more than it 'should' be I'm sure. It's way more than it was a few years ago - but - what can I do! :o( IF I'm still in the game next year, I'll be shopping around proper! . . I forget at what point I found it (actually AFTER taking out the insurance I think - which was a bit round the wrong way!), but after going onto the DVLA website looking up how to renew road tax online these days, I was directed to sites which enabled me to look up whether or not my vehicle was insured and MOTd. It was with some delight and relief that the relevant site was already confirming the car now had a valid MOT! Wow - they must have updated that system IMMEDIATELY they passed it (a little after midday I think it was). Yayyyyy. . . spotted something a little unusual out of the window at some point, and suddenly ended up being completely absorbed by the little distraction for the next hour or more. I even ended up racing down to grab the camcorder. The house opposite has a convex mirror mounted next to its garden gate, to enable them to see what's coming down the road for when they want to exit their 'blind' driveway. MANY houses around these parts have them because of the nature of the narrow roads, high fences, etc, etc. A small bird (I don't know what sort) was jumping up and down from the top of their garden gate, and 'having-a-go-at' the mirror! It was clearly fearlessly defending its territory from its own reflection!! Awww how sad is THAT! It wasn't just a passing bit of behavior. It carried on for ages. Enough time for me to grab the camcorder and film quite a bit from the living room window - AND to then go grab the tripod and head outside. By the time I reached the street I thought it had gone, but then a strange tap, tap, tapping drew my attention to my neighbour's car. How extraordinary - the same bird was now having a good go at its own reflection in my neighbour's wing mirror!! I presume I've seen similar somewhere sometime in the past, but certainly never so sustained and prolonged. I filmed for a while, and then filmed some more when it eventually hopped across the road, onto the gate opposite and started up with the driveway mirror again. It just went on for AGES, before eventually some noise or other seemed to scare it off - only for it to return and carry on soon after!! Extraordinary - and really rather sad so it seems to me. In that poor bird's daily struggle to survive, it's unknowingly wasting away SO much energy fighting its own reflection. :o( Perhaps I identify with it! Not so different to me in some ways perhaps!! . . .the sad futility of that bird made an impression on me, and I ended up PCing some of the video for ages, and ultimately uploaded it to youtube . . . unlike the MOT on the car, it would appear my inurance isn't going to appear on the computer system for quite some time, but when I eventually returned to the DVLA website, that turned out to be no obstacle to me going ahead and buying my road tax online. So, while the bird video uploaded to Youtube in one browser tab, I did the car tax in another and paid the 145 for the twelve months. Jeeze - all that money I've spent today - a small fortune just to have it sat on the road! So - with absolutely no paperwork to show for any of it, in theory, I 'should' be legal to drive it today! . . . sat around just anxiously waiting for the neighbour to return home. It got later and later and STILL no sign of him knocking at the door. I couldn't help it, I started to REALLY climb the walls! Had it broken down on the way home? Had he had an accident? . . ate a banana and annadin tablet. . FINALLY somewhere after 7:15pm I spotted my car parked up near his garage, and indications he was in there working on someone elses car! Again see, I just don't get how other people function. If that was me, I'd have knocked on the door and put me out of my nervous/expectant misery the minute I'd gotten home with it!??!! . . . went up to speak and take my car back. It'd passed (which I already knew) but with a few 'advisories' of things to worry about next time. I gratefully gave him the 45 it'd cost for the test. Actually - with hindsight, that does seem rather expensive, but since it was all taken care of by him for me (and I think that's what they actually charge where he works), I'm hardly gonna quibble am I. . . messed around with the car for a bit, putting the rear seat up out of the way and laying an old duvet across the whole of the back, turning it back into a mobile dog kennel, etc. lol . . .nervously DROVE to BGdns to briefly walk! Wow - is it gonna take me a while to 'learn how to drive' again! I'm SO out of practice. VERY hard to concentrate and deal with everything going on so quickly and all at once from all directions! I don't think I'm particularly 'safe' at the moment. Drove down around the harbour and around and about town just a bit before eventually heading back towards home. I need to aimlessly drive around, burn some money and practice quite a bit I think! Popped in Mums to let her know all was well with it, and then briefly drove her around just a bit . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine. . ate a pastry slice, large bag of crisps, tin of sausages in baked beans with grated cheese and another small bag of crisps . . . to bed at 11:30pm.
12 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up at 7:45am. 17C in, 13C out, more sun and threatening showers. . . walked BGdns with a coffee. Sat around in the sunny spells with a coffee for quite a while after ball play . . back via the store for a few supplies and got home just before a heavy shower, which made a pleasant change to getting caught out in it which is far more usual . . .PCd this . . .Yayyy. Around 1pm (immediately after a truely horrendous torrential hail storm) the postman delivered the 100ml bottle of 70:30 PG/VG, 18mg nicotine base, and the 1L of Propylene glycol I'd ordered. Oh dear - now I'm gonna have to get really serious about being an amateur chemist! lol . . .ate ham and mayo sandwiches, crisps, chocolate and biscuits . . . napped poorly for not even a couple of hours before getting back up . . . had a go at making up my own e-liquid using the strong menthol flavoured liquid I recently bought. It did NOT work out well! I am already totally regretting having bought those two big bottles of allegedly 'super concentrated' flavouring. Because of the amount of PG in each bottle, it's impossible to really know what amount to mix with what. I'd thought I was just getting lots of concentrated flavouring - not a heavily flavoured load of PG. Having said that, the allegedly 'strawberry flavoured' liquid is almost completely odorless and tasteless as far as I can tell - and has a worrying amount of 'sludge' in it!! If it wasn't more hassle than its worth, I really should be sending that one back and demanding a refund. The menthol one is at least liable to be useable, however it appears to be SO strong, it's gonna take a lot of experimenting with before I have a clue what sort of diluting it needs. My first attempt at mixing some up resulted in a vapour which was SO strong in menthol, it actually made my eyes water and perhaps even made me a bit ill! I appear to have succeeded in making up my own pepper spray?! lol Being the absurd penny pincher I am, I wasn't gonna waste it of course, so eventually I just gradually diluted it down sufficient to make it 'tolerable'. . . popped out and handed the car over to next door and left it parked next to his garage . . . walked BGdns with a coffee and my nicotine-free 'pepper spray' menthol loaded e-cigarette. .played ball and sat around watching the rabbits, drinking my coffee and 'carefully' vaping lots. A VERY weird concept for me, to be carrying-on doing my smoking substitute lots, but all the while gradually increasingly feeling the effects of nicotine-withdrawl! . whilst I was sat in the gardens listening on the scanner, the local coastguard teams were all mobilised to go help look for a couple of missing children in Totnes. Very soon after the call had gone out and everyone was on their way, the kids were apparantly found and the search called off. Shortly thereafter another shout went out about a 'woman entering the water' in Paignton - which is usually a 'possibly suicidal' type shout. It was soon reported she was out of the water and being cared for by someone, police on their way, etc. . .TVd. . cooked and ate six fish fingers, peas and chips followed by a little chocolate. . TVd the rest of the evening away, sticking to vaping only the nicotine-free e-liquid, and definitely increasingly feeling nicotine withdrawl! . .to bed around 1am I think. Not too sure because by that time I was definitely suffering my by now frighteningly familiar nicotine-withdrawl induced 'confusion of thought'.
11 - Up at 8am. 17C in, 14C out, windy, sunny and showers again. . . walked BGdns with a coffee. Some decent sunny spells but very breezy, and particularly unpleasant when occasional squalls passed through . . . recovered from the walk with a coffee in the conservatory. I think those bones I was given for Bella the other day are also gonna end up in the bin. Something weird about those. Bella ate the first one pretty quick, but now doesn't seem at all interested in any more. . the neighbour saw me sitting out there and eventually suggested he'd have a look at the car now. Yayyy. Quickly shut Bella inside, disconnected the solar panel trickle charger, started the car straight away and got it out and went into next doors garage. He had a good look around and under it, switched one of the tyres because the valve on THAT one also looked iffy, replaced the high level brake light bulb which turned out to have blown (I'd checked all the rest of the bulbs in the lights and indicators etc, but it's a bit hard to check the brake lights on your own, without a reflective surface anywhere around etc) and he also 'polished' the headlights because the plastic lenses had 'dulled' again. Apart from that, he seemed to think it all looked fairly 'ok' considering, and he said he'd take it in to where he works on Tuesday for an MOT (attempt?). Excellent. I don't doubt it may well not be Tuesday, but at least I'm finally looking like I'm getting somewhere. . Figured I'd better get some petrol in the thing, to make sure it has more than enough for Tuesday and not to complicate matters and inconvenience him by having to get some etc. Left Bella at home and started off to walk to the local garage with my 5ltr plastic petrol container. As I reached my front gate, the neighbour was just getting in his car and heading off somewhere, and he offered to drop me off at the garage, so my journey was happily halved. Pretty much filled the 5ltr container for 7. Carried it home and eventually got it into the car before calling it quits on all that until tomorrow night. It's the rarest thing in the world for me to feel this way about anything these days, but I have to confess, I AM actually 'almost' excitedly looking forward to maybe getting that car back on the road! Three years without transport now is it? Gonna be VERY weird to think I may be able to suddenly step outside the little restrictive bubble I've been living in (albeit still heavily restricted by the cost of tax/insurance/breakdown recovery/petrol, etc of course). I've EVEN found myself daydreaming about it and surfing the net looking at the price of mag-mount mobile radio antennas for goodness sake!! lolololol . . . PCd a bit - and ended up aimlessly surfing some crazy stuff - like the original lyrics to the song 'The Sun Has Got His Hat On' for goodness sake. Utterly unbelievable to me how some DJ could actually lose his job because he played on his old songs program, an old song which included what has surely only 'recently' become what is now apparantly regarded as an 'offensive' word!? The world really has gone utterly mad. It's also rather worrying to me, that all of a sudden, unknown to me, I am 'not allowed to use' some of the phrases or words which I kinda innocently grew up with. Like that 'eani meanie miny mo' nursery rhyme or whatever it is thing, which caused all the uproar with Jeremy Clarkson recently. I learned that as a small child somehow. Brought up to wish to cause offence to no one, I actually had no idea until recently that the word nigger was even used in that rhyme. I just thought it was kinda nonsense words/sounds all the way through pretty much - like the eani meanie miny etc. I think I probably used to say 'nicker' instead of nigger - because I didn't know anything about the word nigger. Anyway - so - 'I' could VERY easily have entirely innocently recited some old nonsene buried deep in the back of my mind from childhood, and found myself in all sorts of modern-day trouble!?? What else may be laying like an unexploded bomb in the recessess of my mind? This is crazy. Things have all gone a bit too far so it seems. 'Re writing' history by banning innocent old tunes, TV shows and the like, seems to be going well over a line to me. THAT causes ME offence. Jeeze - I remember as a kid, entirely innocently collecting Robertsons jam golliwog badges. Even with MY memory, I can recall the excitement of opening up the small cardboard box that came from Robertsons in the post, with a brightly painted golliwog figurine inside. In MY mind, there was absolutely NO connection with racial prejudice or anything of the sort! I recall the black and white minstrel shows on TV - I 'think' I was even taken to see a live stage show version once as a small child. As far as I knew, it was just a weird sort of dressing up to sing some pretty awfuly sung songs. Like it or not, all these things were a part of the culture back then - these things ARE a part of my childhood, my upbringing and 'me'. How is it I'm expected to somehow now be able to filter all that out and discard it and act as though it didn't/shouldn't have occurred? It's the rarest thing in the world for ME to actually encounter coloured people in my reclusive existance these days - if I do, I hardly dare now speak to them lest something 'recently' deemed 'inappropriate' should slip out and be taken wrongly!! Actually - you can't say black when referring to people anymore can you? Doesn't it have to be 'coloured' now? Or am I so behind the times that THAT is the wrong thing to say now? How the fuck am 'I' supposed to know and be able to keep up with the ever shifting sands of it all? Just one more thing to make me feel ever more alienated from the whole of the rest of society? :o( . . . cooked and ate four quarter pound cheeseburgers . . touched base with Sis1 briefly, to discuss Mums plan of getting 'legal power of attorny' documents drawn up!!! A very uncomfortable concept, but hats off to Mum - VERY wise I guess, all things considered. . . napped poorly until the 7pm alarm. Trouble waking . . walked BGdns with a coffee in some late sunny spells until after sundown. Better than this morning, but still plenty breezy and cold when out of the sun. . . lots I need to be doing, but I just wasn't at all in the mood. Ended up just TVing the night away again. Actually watched an airing of the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman film 'The Bucket List' for the first time (despite having long ago been sent the DVD of it by Sis2, and never having gotten round to watching it!) Entertaining enough - but then both of those actors generally are, no matter what they are in. . almost 'chain-vaped' all evening whilst watching the film for some reason, and ended up getting through a LOT of e-liquid today! That's one of the things with this 'vaping' I have most difficulty with - kinda knowing how many draws is roughly equivalent to smoking a cigarette, and when to stop for a bit!! With regular cigarettes, you are 'paced' by the things burning away and coming to an end. They have a specific duration - and then you know you 'should' be done for a bit before having the next one. Aside from being shocked at how quickly the liquid in the e-cigarette tank is disappearing, there's nothing to actually stop you just carrying on continually vaping for hours - which can't be a good thing, never mind the cost of lots of the liquid! . . . ate the remaining half of the Mum donated cherry and almond spongecake thing . . . to bed at 2am.
10 - Up at 7:40am. 17C in, 15C out, very windy with gusts up around 40mph, but sunny to start with. A worsening gale is forecast for later. Not good news for all the poor people on Dartmoor doing the ten-tors this weekend! . . . walked BGdns . . .messed around washing out a couple of e-cig atomsiers. PCd/just sat around, getting increasingly wound up and down about the car/neighbour thing. How long am I supposed to be just sitting around waiting on him like this? This really is making me feel like I'm climbing the walls! It is ALSO of course making me feel utterly worthless, etc, etc. :o( Is it that he's just so busy and 'got a life' going on that he's just innocently forgotten? Am I 'supposed' to just 'nudge' him and remind him? I haven't a clue. 'I' don't know how 'normal' people are! 'I' would NOT tell someone I'll do something, and then just not, like that. I'd like to think that throughout my entire adult life, if I've told someone I was gonna do something for them like that, I'd do it - and not leave them hanging like this. If I maybe wasn't gonna be able to do it - I'd say so and make that clear at the outset. It's just 'being straight' with people and not 'playing them on a hook' like a caught fish! Why IS it that SO many people these days can't just be 'straight', and don't seem to have ANY appreciation for exactly how inconvenient or unsettling and disturbing it is being left hanging like this? Clearly it's 'ME' who's somehow at fault in reacting like this. I just don't get it. I just don't understand. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats etc, as showers passed rapidly through on the increased wind, with local gusts over 50mph. . . ate a slice of gala pie, crisps, banana and biscuits . . . lay down to nap, but I couldn't 'settle my mind' (re the car thing etc) and couldn't - and the new neighbour was doing plenty of hammering too! . . little choice but to get back up. Aimlessly PCd for a bit. . ended up being unable to resist the temptation. Used the little needleless canine-insulin syringe to put a couple of drops of the out-of-date Vanilla food flavouring I had in the back of a kitchen cabinet, into my e-cigarette to mix with the proper strawberry and menthol liquid already in it!!! . Oh wow - that works. And not bad too. :o) At least, I 'think' it's not bad at the moment. The weird thing I seem to be finding about this flavoured e-liquid thing is, my taste for flavours appears to be different every single time I toke on the thing. One minute it seems ok and perhaps quite strong, the next, not. Time will tell . . . eventually spotted the neighbour coming up his front path and I leaped out and ambushed him, asking if he'd 'forgotten about me'. I'm not sure what he eventually said, but I think he pretty much had been busy and just forgotten! FFS! He suggested he'd be able to have a look at the car tomorrow. . .skipped the walk . . .PCd/TVd the night away, guitarring just a bit too. . ate half a cherry and almond sponge cake and then bowls of co co pops . . to bed around 2am.
9 - Up at 8am. 17C in, 15C out, threatening cloud and gusty winds again . . . walked BGdns after a shower. Ended up feeling pretty headachey by the time we returned - but my left foot is very much improved at least. . STILL no sign of my neighbour having a look at my car as he'd promised he would. I know I shouldn't appear so ungrateful - but this oh SO frustrating 'powerlessness' and just sitting around waiting for him every day for SO long, is REALLY starting to piss me off now. I wish I'd just gone ahead two weeks ago and booked it in for a test attempt in the local garage, and taken my chances. The only complication with THAT would have been, having to get insurance beforehand, only to potentially have it fail and decide I'll have to scrap it etc. The plus about having next door do it all, is I don't have to get the insurance before I'll know where I stand. Catch 22. :o( . . . pottered around. . carefully messed with one of the 1ml canine-insulin hypodermic syringes M had given me the other day, and successfully pulled out and discarded the dangerous needle part (literally, the diameter of a human hair! How on earth do they make such things? Incredible!). Lightly trimmed some of the plastic moulding with a stanley knife to make a neater point and - yayy - that now makes it far safer and VERY useable for my purposes. Excellent. Washed it out in water - lots - together with the two little 10ml e-liquid pots I bought up the local newsagent which I now also have empty (perfect for mixing stuff up when I experiment), which is an indication of how much I've been getting through these first few weeks. Given how I've bits of liquid left in several different atomisers, it's hard to be entirely accurate, but I guess it's fair to say that since I started all this, I've gotten through roughly 20ml of e-liquid (8+ ish - and realistically, probably also that 'burning taste' expensive locally bought 5 atomiser, which IS still 'useable'-ish) as at today - which is over a period in the region of 26 days?? Something like that - ish. If I'd been heavily chain smoking my tobacco like normal - at SHOP prices - that'd have been closer to 50+, EASY!!! I don't 'think' I've made a mistake in my very rough and quick calculations there. So - there it is right there isn't it?!!!!!! A 37 'saving' - ish - kinda, on the ongoing consumables over that period? THAT's why I'm SO obsessed with all this at the moment. THAT's why I've been prepared to invest so much money in batteries and liquids etc. THAT's why my desk here is starting to look like an amateur chemists workshop full of bottles, syringes, batteries, etc. lolol (Of course just stopping smoking altogether would have been preferable, but it just isn't quite that simple for ME. We are NOT all equal in that regard, no matter HOW much, so-many narrow-minded self-righteous EX-smokers would seek to have one believe otherwise.). . . PCd this at length, pretty much just wasting away yet another day just waiting for next door to give me a call about the car! :o( . . .owwww - come on postman, where's my MPG! I want to try 'smoking' nicotine-free five years out-of-date vanilla flavour e-liquid - with maybe a hint of canine-insulin! lolololol <barking mad> . .later than usual, after 2pm, the postman delivered the two pots of flavouring I'd ordered. Resisted adding them to anything yet, but worryingly there doesn't appear to be much aroma from either of them. . .ate a tin of soup with four crusts of buttered bread followed by a banana and some chocolate . . napped until 7pm . . . DF called in for chats until around 10:30pm . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate four sausages, mixed veg in butter and fried potatoes followed by a little chocolate again . . to bed just after 2am as the forecast band of wind and heavy rain continued to pass through.
8 - Woke earlier, lay there for a bit feeling not good, then up around 7:20am. 17C in, 11C out, gusty winds and raining lots. . . walked BGdns after the worst of the prolonged shower had passed. 'Slightly' less pain from my left foot this morning. . pottered around . . messed around with my burned out rotary saw for ages, making sure it really was unsalvageable, and then dismantling it and keeping the few potentially usefull bits before putting the rest straight in the bin. :o( . . ate ham, mayo and chopped onion sandwhiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . .TVd/PCd . . napped until around 7pm. . .walked BGdns . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate four sausages, mixed veg in butter and fried potatoes followed by a little chocolate. I AM aware that my appetite has increased, and it's harder to go without food now I've stopped smoking tobacco. :o( For the record, my dodgy bathroom scales are showing me at almost exactly 11 stone (154lbs) clothed at the moment. . to bed at 2am.
7 - Woke around 6:30am, snoozed on for a bit then up around 7:20am. 17C in, 11C out, sunny spells between shower clouds. . good grief, seem to be aching rather badly from everywhere again!?? Annadin tablet for breakfast. A prolonged heavy rain shower arrived just as I was thinking of walking, so ended up hanging around until well after 9am before it eased and we finally got out. . walked BGdns - very slowly, and actually limping like some real sad old man a good part of the way!?! God knows what's going on with me again, but ALL my joints appeared to be aching - most notably, I seemed to have a stabbing trapped nerve on the left side of my neck/back/arm, and my left foot in particular was really VERY painful - hence the limping. And all that AFTER an annadin tablet!!!!!!?? In a VERY real sense, I'm starting to feel as though I'm physically pretty much 'worn-out'! :o( . . back via the store for a few supplies . . .put the sack of jerky or whatever it was the guy up the road gave me for Bella, into the wheelie bin. I think it's given her a slightly upset stomach, and I'm not prepared to risk giving her any more. I've kept the cooked bones for the timebeing. . . pottered around doing very little. Had a dig around in my collection of old rubber washers and suchlike in the garage, and eventually ended up with another very acceptable black e-cigarette holder, fashioned from some sort of a big rubber bung thing not unlike a cottonreel, with another connical piece of thinner rubber around one end as a slightly wider base. I shall refrain from photographing it and posting it here!! lolol Anyway - it's cool, so I now also have a decent holder to sit next to me in the living room (where an ashtray used to sit). :o) . . did the mountain of dishwashing chores for hours . . . ate four toasted buttered crumpets with grated cheese, two bananas and a pile of biscuits . . . lay down to nap - only to very soon be roused back up by someone knocking at the door. Turned out to be M (owner of 'the' dobermans) who I'd spoken with at some length the other day. In the conversation (given I have a one track mind at the moment), we'd gotten onto the subject of e-cigarettes, and ultimately how I was thinking of giving it a go at mixing up my own e-liquid etc. To accurately measure stuff out, you really need some decent small hypodermic syringes, and M had said he had a bunch laying around left over (all washed out) from where one of his dogs has turned diabetic and needs lots of injections etc. He'd stopped by (as he'd promised) just to drop off a small envelope - which turned out to contain six fat 'Metacam' syringes, and four smaller proper capped canine insulin syringes complete with needles! I already have a metacam one myself, and had determined it probably isn't much use for what I had in mind, because it doesn't have a millilitre scale on the side. The little proper insulin syringes with needles probably would be useful, because they do have a useable scale on the side to show a maximum 1 millilitre capacity. Trouble is, with those incredibly fine needles on, they are of course gonna be rather dangerous to play around with! All too easy to accidentally end up injecting it into a finger etc! It would also be something of a concern as to have they/can they be washed out sufficiently to be safe! Who knows what the effect of vaping canine insulin could be! <howling at the moon> lololol Again - I'm probably being silly. If I am gonna start trying to make my own e-liquid, I'd be better off just buying appropriate stuff online for the purpose. . In that brief conversation we had on the doorstep, M revealed that his elderly (and 'sick') Mum and Dad (T - with heart, mobility and early onset alzheimers issues) had just got themselves yet three more dogs!!! Little ones - a couple of Chihuahuas and a cross I think he said. Good grief! That's gonna be a total of six dogs they have now - and two of them dobermans! That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. It's a full time job enough, caring for, controlling, and developing an understanding and relationship with just one, so I've found! . . . napped dreaming lots until around 6:45pm . . . skipped the walk. . PCd this. . It's VERY 'unsettling' to me, how much of the 'news' these days, is just reporting of things people have posted on twitter or facebook and the like - and doubly disturbing, when you find such posts were made by an official or the police etc - as though being on Twitter or Facebook is now obligatory for everyone! Nevertheless, there was such a report on the local newspaper website a couple of days ago, which HAD to make you smile. I'll include it here in its entirety. "Naked man doing press-ups in Devon street. POLICE in Devon spotted a naked man doing press-ups in the street. Sergeant Ryan Canning tweeted at about 10.30pm on Saturday: “It’s not big and it’s not clever.” The Plymouth policeman added:"Will the man doing naked press ups in the Mutley area please stop and go home?" It is unclear whether the man was arrested." :o) I admit, I DID actually go onto Youtube, just to see if someone had uploaded a video, but suprisingly I found none. Bizarrely, it would appear it isn't an entirely unusual event! Someone in the states doing it the other day, was allegedly killed when struck by a vehicle! As always in this utterly mad, mad world - no matter what you couldn't even imagine, someones doing it somewhere!! . . .ended up on e-bay yet again, going round and round in circles looking at e-cigarette stuff for ages - yet again! Eventually just had enough of my absurd penny pinching indecision about it all, bit the bullet, 'closed my eyes' and just went ahead and ordered a whole bunch of 'stuff' to 'play with' from different places. Ordered two "STRONG INTENSE MAXIMUM STRENGTH CONCENTRATED FOOD FLAVOUR FLAVOURING E liquid 100ml" one of Menthol for 9.45 and one of Strawberry for 7.45. ; One 100ml bottle of 'F&S Base solution for DIY E-liquid Propylene Glycol & Vegetable Glycerine mix [70:30 PG/VG , 18mg nicotine]' for 12.19 ; 1000ml 1L MPG Propylene glycol USP/EP 99+% Pharmaceutical grade for 7.48 . . Dunno what sort of a mood I ended up in there!! With hindsight, I really shouldn't have ordered what I did! lol Especially that amount of flavouring I suspect. Oh well. All being well, all of that 'should' enable me to at least start having a proper play around with mixing up different concoctions and % mixes for the first time (although if things go ok, I AM expecting to want to buy/try some different flavourings at some point). We'll see. I'm MOST keen to get my hands on that mono propylene glycol!!! That's key. As soon as I get hold of that, I can start playing - and even have some ancient vanilla flavouring in a kitchen cupboard which appears to be suitable to try! It's all quite a substantial investment in s and a major risk for ME!! Having said that, IF things work out ok with my experiments with it all - it 'should' see me with a supply of at least 'useable' e-liquid for quite some distance into the future. Who knows - possibly even as far as gradually weaning off the nicotine component of it all completely?If it all turns out to be a horrible mistake and a terrible waste of money, THAT will be an even greater incentive to just stop the whole sorry business and attempt to get through the nicotine withdrawl and be done with! Time will tell. One thing I DO need to do at some point soon, is sit down and try to get serious with totting-up how much I've invested in it all, and how long I've been going without smoking tobacco, and then try to balance off the cost of the one against the other. At the very least, that should enable me to draw a line on the calendar at some point in the future, at which the cost of each would have theoretically been equal - kinda - and therby a date at which I have to very seriously review what I'm doing with it all. Hard to explain. I know what I mean. Certainly at the moment, given all I've invested in this 'new' addiction for the 'long term', I'd have been better off finanically just carrying on smoking tobacco!!!! lolol (ESPECIALLY since I have a big duty-free, cheaper than shop prices stockpile!) . . .TVd . . . touched base with BB . . .ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps, banana and two buttered crumpets . . . to bed after 3am.
6 - Woke around 6am, snoozed on for a bit then up around 6:50am. 16C in, 11C out, sunny . . .walked BGdns with a coffee for ball play in the sunny spells between threatening clouds - but ALSO took the two unopened pots of tobacco flavoured e-liquid with me in a pocket. . back via the newsagents to have a go at exchanging the two pots of tobacco flavour for one each of the celtic menthol and strawberry. The lady was understandably reluctant at first, but then agreed to the exchange. Yayyy. That saves me having to battle through two pots of what now seems to me to be the not so nice stuff. Excellent. :o) . back home after getting a few supplies from the local store. . . PCd and monitored radios all morning, but ended up just messing around with all my e-cig stuff again!!?? Because of the couple of experiments I've already done with different flavours and the like, and because I didn't want to 'pollute' and confuse the results, I've somehow ended up with a total of five different atomisers all in use at the same time kinda. The pink one I was careless with and cracked and had start leaking, I HAVE already successfully sealed by running a little superglue down along the crack, so that one is still entirely useable, and is the one I've been using the most of late. A couple of others still have the not so nice tobacco flavour in to be used up, etc. Anyway - I was keen to know how those parts (which includes the electric heating coil) would react to attempting to wash them out. I'm SUCH a penny pincher, despite the fact they are regarded as 'consumables', I didn't want to potentially destroy a good one for no reason, so I eventually ended up having a go at washing out the first one I had, which appeared to go bad and give me that awful burning plastic sensation/taste a while ago (although I HAVE been carefully using it since, without a reoccurance of that taste , DESPITE the fact it clearly has some sort of 'contamination' particles in the liquid chamber!!) I think you are supposed to use distilled water, but since that one was a bit iffy anyway, I figured I'd just go ahead and run it under the tap etc. It suprisingly seemed to clean out quite nicely with a bit of repeated shaking and emptying etc. I then dried it as thouroughly as I could using my old hairdryer, and then let it stand for quite a while before eventually daring to put some strawberry and menthol e-liquids back in the 'tank'. I really rather expected it to never work again, so I figured what the hell, and went ahead and added a couple of millilitres of the Glycerin I bought in Boots the other day (by just 'dipping' a cocktail stick, and then dripping it straight into the tank!!), in the hope of maybe increasing the amount of vapour just a bit!!! Ultimately I re-fitted a battery and nervously gave the thing a go (after having repeatedly rolled it around to inappropriately mix the liquids up a bit whilst already in the tank). Well I'll be damned - despite all that abuse - it still works! Hard to be sure, but it also 'appears' to give more smoke, albeit at the expense of losing a lot of the taste - which is pretty much what everything I've read suggested would be the case by changing the proportions of the mix like that. Fascinating. lololol Oh and yes - one other thing which is giving me an absurd amount of 'satisfaction' at the moment. When I went to sit on the steps and watch the pirate band near the central car park yesterday, I spotted some sort of weird rubber connical disk laying on the floor, being kicked around by passers by. Immediately I saw it I could see it may be of use to me, and I very quickly detoured with Bella in-tow to pick it up. God knows what onlookers must have thought of me! Well - after the smallest amount of 'reaming out' with a sharp kitchen knife, my e-cigarette batteries fit comfortably into the hole in the middle of it. It serves very adequately as a stand for my e-cig on the desk here. I haven't knocked it over since I've been using it. lolololol Silly, silly, silly, perhaps - but remember, for ME, all this really IS a 'life-changer'!! It's addictive!!!!!! lololol . . . mowed both lawns and then dug out another bucket load of weeds from the front one, leaving that lawn in an ever increasing uneven mess . . . ate corned beef, mayo, onion, grated cheese and barbeque sauce sandwiches with crisps followed by a banana and biscuits . . . TVd . . I was just putting my e-cig back together after having filled it up, when the plastic mouthpiece part fell to bits! Damn. Maybe it IS time to call it a day with that particular atomiser! Used a mouthpiece from another to be able to use up the liquid that's already in it. . . walked BGdns. . . TVd . . .ate a pastry slice, crisps, banana and two kipling apple pies . . TVd until to bed around midnight.
5 - Up around 7:45am. 15C in, 11C out, sunny . . .walked BGdns for ball play. Looking across towards Torquay, the big Malta registered cargo ship 'Apollonia' was moored in the bay, with tug 'MTS Taktow' alongside at her stern. Image of cargo ship ApolloniaGrabbed a quick 'four for the price of one' shot as a couple of the ferries also passed - 'Torbay Belle' I think heading-in with quite a bow wave towards Brixham (no doubt loaded with Pirates!), one of the smaller ferries heading away to Torquay (to no doubt pick up more pirates lol). . Chatted to M with 'the' dobermans for a while before once again heading down into the harbour to sit around with my coffee and watch some of the sights passing by for quite a while. Wasn't particularly busy as yet. I wasn't about to start grabbing and stopping passing strangers, just so I could photograph them (like MANY people were - and cheerily welcomed, nay, encouraged to do so!) but I DID take a couple of random snaps here and there, just to be able to have a couple for here, to give a 'flavour' of the way almost everyone has been dressed down there these last three days. People NOT dressed as pirates have been absolutely in the minority!! Even then - these shots don't really do it justice. Image of random Brixham piratesMany of the peoples outfits were FAR more serious and elaborate than any in these snaps - and like I've suggested before, wow, you should see how some of the women were dressed!! <drool> :o( . . eventually headed through town and went in any and all of the shops which may possibly have had 'stuff' useful for knocking up my own e-cigarette vapour. Same old infuriating same old, living in such a small town with so few shops. None of them had anything of use. The little mini supermarkets only had a choice of two food flavourings, and neither of them were of any use to me. Even Boots the chemist was a bit of a disappointment. The woman looked at me as though I had two heads when I asked if they had any Propylene Glycol! I DID however invest 1.29 in a 200ml bottle of Glycerin and 70p on a little 5g pot of menthol crystals - although the latter 'may' well be a waste of money, because I'm really not sure if 'those' crystals are actually suitable for what I have in mind anyway. I think I'm being silly. If I'm serious about giving it a go making up my own stuff, it makes much more sense to actually work out what I think I want to try to do, and then just order stuff as necessary from a proper supplier or off e-bay etc. I HAVE also been told that 'vape' shops have started to spring up everywhere over in Torquay, so maybe I should take a ferry ride and force myself to walk around the shops over there some day? . . Image of random Brixham piratesended up walking down one of the little lanes between the shops to the second stage in the central car park area, and sat around on the steps there for a while having a serious 'vape' (of my 50/50 strawberry and celtic menthol mix) while watching a handful of songs from a couple of the groups. VERY few people in that area at that time, which suited me down to the ground of course. Bella was a pain. As usual, she didn't want to just stop and sit anywhere for any length of time, and continually hassled me to get going again. She ALSO seemed to get rather anxious and had to climb up all over me and cuddle up every time there was any clapping!??? If I'm gonna be honest, apart from that, she WAS very good, tolerating all the noise and being dragged through the crowds, and allowing strangers to stroke and pet her etc, etc. . eventually wandered back round the harbour and treated myself to a large 1.50 warmed sausage roll from one of the harbourside shops. Headed away from the crowds straight up the steps to FGn (oh WHAT a relief!) and sat on a seat to eat the sausage roll and briefly play a bit of ball before then heading home . just before reaching home, a dog walker up the street (the one who's dog I found loose one morning and walked back over to his house) called out to me and offered me a bag of several cooked bones and another of some sort of beef jerky stuff for Bella - because his dog allegedly didn't like them!?. . . recovered from the walk with a coffee in the garden well after midday, whilst Bella made short work of one of the bones. . .PCd this at length whilst monitoring radios. At 3pm, the security people manning the pirate event co-ordinated all their staff by PMR radio (channel6), as the hornpipe record attempt commenced. I heard the countdown from the main stage and the briefest bit of accompanying music as it all kicked off - and then shortly after the crowd all joing-in with a pirate 'Arrrrrrrrr'. loloolololol I may not be the sort of person who can handle it all, but I really DO strongly recommend funny little old Brixham to everyone. Everyone should come here at some point and experience a little of what it has to offer. It IS a remarkable place. It really IS I think 'the jewel in Torbay's crown'. SO much better and freindlier than Torquay etc, and of course everything that DOES go on over in both Paington and Torquay, is all very easily reached aswell - never mind all the other places nearby like Dartmouth, etc, etc, etc (assuming you have transport and/or money). There ARE painful times I wish I had some imaginary 'wench' to share it all with, and who knows, maybe even persuade me to dress as a pirate? "Arrrrrrrrr". lol :o/ . . .TVd . . skipped the walk when some heavy rain arrived . . . drank a glass of red wine . . .cooked and ate two chicken kievs, fried potatoes and onion and a bunch of mixed veg and peas in butter, followed later by a couple of kipling apple pies . . . TVd until to bed just before 11pm.
4 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in, 8C out, bright but cloudy. . .walked BGdns for ball play. Ended up chatting to a dog walker for a little while. It started off with my usual just being polite and passing the time of day, but somehow it ended up in a lengthy and rather uncomfortable conversation of me not knowing what to say under the circumstances. The elderly woman somehow revealed that she'd just been bereaved. She'd JUST (three days ago!) lost her 'partner' of some twenty years or more. He'd only been diagnosed with his cancer a few weeks ago apparantly - just enough time for him to get all his affairs in order. I had to sit and hear all about the hospital and doctors visits and the like!!!! Part of his 'getting his affairs in order', was also to FINALLY get married to her!! They were married on a special licence in the hospital I think - on or around her birthday!!! So - she'd had a birthday, got married, and then been widowed all in the space of around a week!!!! She seemed remarkably 'holding it all together'. Too much so perhaps in my opinion? Thankfully someone she knew soon came walking along, and she engaged in conversation with them and I was off the hook. Played a bit more ball before making my escape, and then carrying on down to the harbour to watch early pirates milling around whilst drinking my coffee and having a vape. Awwwww damn! The battery on my e-cigarette suddenly died on me. (I haven't gotten into the habit of making sure the one I'm carrying is fully charged as yet.) I HAD intended to sit around there for quite a bit longer, but pathetic as it may seem, that was all the excuse I needed to immediately start heading back home! . . . PCd a bit and then ended up PCing for ages, reading up on and watching youtube videos on e-cigarettes and the like. I AM gradually starting to feel just a 'little' more 'comfortable' and less panicy about my attempt to transition to using these e-cigarettes instead of continuing to smoke regular tobacco, etc. It is NOT like smoking - never will be. The key to the whole attempt now VERY much seems to be to me, coming up with a flavour/type of vapour which can cope with the concept of the change-over. When I smoked cigarettes and tobacco - hang on - I can't believe I just typed that!!!!!! I just typed 'smoked' - as in past tense!!!!!??? That's a bit bloody optimistic and premature! lolololol Anyway - with regard to cigarettes and tobacco, I could never tolerate any that were menthol. Couldn'd stand the stuff. With 'vaping', things are VERY different, and it appears that menthol is absolutely the way for me to be going at the moment. That little tub of 'Celtic Menthol' I bought has been something of a revelation. I still have two unopened pots of the regular tobacco flavoured e-liquid to get through, and I'm now regretting having invested in them! What I totally prefer at the moment, and what seems to be best at keeping the 'climbing the wall' 'habit' withdrawl symptoms at bay, is a 50/50 mixture of the strawberry flavour and the Celtic Menthol flavour liquids I bought in the local newsagent. The nicotine content of that mix is quite high at just a 'little' over 18mg, and that seems to keep my nicotine-addiction-withdrawl induced 'insanity' and inability to function, pretty much completely under control for the time being. Because I have little of the strawberry flavour left, and have so much of the regular tobacco flavour to get through, I've even tried mixing the tobacco and menthol flavours together. It's nowhere near as nice/good or effective as the strawberry, but it IS prefereable to just doing the tobacco flavour on its own - so should enable me to plow through all the remaining tobacco at a push. (Weird how my preference of flavours has compeletely flipped over these last couple of weeks!?) I am really REALLY tempted to start messing around trying to make up my own liquid! Not just to attempt to save a few s on the cost of the stuff, but to also enable me to taylor it to best suit what I seem to be chasing, AND to enable me to start dabbling with the idea of 'dancing with the devil' and starting to manipulate and gradually maybe lessen the nicotine content. I dare to imagine that if I could get a ZERO nicotine-content, strawberry and menthol mix like I'm currently using, but that gives just a 'little' more actual vapour than I'm getting at the moment (through a slightly higher Glycerine content? Is that right?), I reckon I could maybe get through a large portion of the day without 'needing' a nicotine top up (especially like when I tend to 'chain vape' when at the PC). .I'm starting to look like a right e-cigarette geek! lolol Like I've said before, if you're a non smoker, you just won't 'get' any of this, and how significant it all is for ME as a committed lifelong smoking addict. It doesn't suprise me one little bit that there are SO many Youtube videos on the subject. What DOES suprise me is how many people are into the zero nicotine vaping thing, who have never smoked at all! That seems VERY weird to me. Anyway - blah blah blah. I seem to have a whole new addiction or habit - or even 'hobby' as some people view it!! I AM gonna be carrying on with it, and throwing plenty more money at it yet - but always plenty LESS than I would have been spending on tobacco and papers of course. Having embarked upon this course, I HAVE to attempt to reduce my nicotine dependancy as quickly as possible, because it is inevitable the government are going to stick their oar in and f**k it all up for everyone by making it 'medicinal' or illegal or some such nonsense. . Oh yes - one silly little thing I forgot to mention here a while ago, which seems fit with some of the silly sods-law coincedences I seem to have. Within a day or two of deciding to attempt to stop smoking and vape instead, I found a pristine packet of sixteen 'Carlton' cigarettes on the way to Bgdns to add to my ever tempting collection of proper smokables filling a cupboard in the house! Humph. . . . eventually worked on the landing ceiling whilst maintaining a 'listening watch' on the radios. Covered everything in dust by using the electric sander to smooth over the new large areas of filler before eventually getting a coat of white emulsion paint over it all. Replaced the awful looking yellow flex and light fitting with a new one I suprisingly found I had laying around in the garage. Finally washed the 'inherited with the house' mini chandelier lampshade and ultimately got it all back up in position. Well - that all looks totally acceptable. :o) All totally unnoticeable unless you deliberately stand and stare-up at some length - and well - you just don't do you - it's a ceiling! lol The bad news is, I have no doubt that the first time I get up in the attic for something, it'll all crack and look not so good again. Nothing I can do to stop that. :o( . . plenty of comms on the radios late afternoon when I was busy vaping and messing around charging batteries etc. Some young autistic boy had gone missing from the middle of the pirate thing down the harbour. Gotta give 'the people of Brixham' credit. Pretty soon all manner of calls were going out from various different people on all manner of frequencies - the event security staff on the PMR, coastguard response teams on the coastguard marine frequency, all the ferry operators on their marine and PMR frequencies etc, etc. He was apparantly eventually located safe and well, on down towards the marina I think it was . . vacuumed and cleaned up at length . . . showered off the layers of white dust I was thickly covered in . . PCd. . TVd/guitarred the evening away - and even dared to allow myself a proper smoke! . . . ate two ham finger rolls, multiple bags of crisps, two buttered hot cross buns and a large amount of mum donated chocolate (a whole easter egg in fact). . . to bed around 1am.
3 - Up around 7:45am. 16C in, 8C out, grey. . .PCd a bit of this . . . walked BGdns for ball play before then continuing on down to the harbor to see what there was to see of the start of the pirate festivities. Sat around on a seat near the roof of the old undercover fish market and drank my coffee. A LOT of people around already, and 'most' (and mostly adults!) wearing serious pirate outfits! Bizarre as that all may seem to me, there's one thing I'll say about all this wearing pirate outfits business - some of the women sure look GOOoooood all decked out like that! :o( . the insanity of the wording on one of the T shirts someone was wearing amused me. "To err is human, to arrr is pirate". around 10:45am the first 'band' started up on the stage beneath the old fish market roof. One of those vocals-only sea-shanty type groups of mostly older guys - and not bad they were too. I however spent much of my time sat there eavesdroping stuff on the scanner. There seems to be a BIG security presence for the event, with lots of security staff all responsible for closing off all the roads etc etc (the WHOLE of the harbourside area was completely closed to traffic), and they were all using bog standard PMR frequencies (Channel 6) for their comms! I mean - I HAD to listen-in a bit didn't I! lol At the same time as all this was going on, the CRTs and lifeboat were responding to a shout. Initially suggestions of a possible vessel on fire off Berry Head. Turned out to be just an engine overheating I think - and the lifeboat was escorting a vessel back into harbour. Eventually decided to head around the harbour towards the marina and see what it was they were bringing back in. . . Oh wow - that's a rare sight!! Moored up alongside the town pontoon was an old motor torpedo boat - complete with 21" torpedo tubes and bofors gun etc! With hindsight, unknown to me at the time, I'd actually heard comms of that coming into the harbour last night. I'd no idea at the time THAT was what it was, but I remembered hearing it coming in (with a couple of other old/restored vessels apparantly) because of the 'well spoken' almost 'camp' manner in which I felt the crews seemed to be talking - which seemed to me to rather amusingly fit the 'Gay Archer' name of the vessel. Turns out it is P1041 HMS Gay Archer, "the last British Motor Torpedo Boat of its class", launched in 1952. The other less impressive looking vessels which had apparantly come in with it, and which were 'rafted' on its port side, were equally rare so it turns out. Alongside was the Royal Army Service Corps Derby Winners Class "Humorist" launched in 1943, and alongside her was Sea Plane Tender 437 (ST437) launched in 1941. Turns out they are all part of a new warship attraction based at Torquay Harbour!!!? . . the lifeboat released the small vessel it had escorted back, at the mouth of the outer harbor and headed straight back to its mooring, so there was little point in continuing on out that way. Headed back towards the increasingly busy inner harbor. Wow - things pretty much 'heaving' with people already!! Time to leave methinks. . made our way with some difficulty through all the piratey crowds coming down the high street, and ultimately headed straight home . . . PCd a bit of this until Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . DF called and said he was gonna be coming to town to have a look at the piratey thing, so I agreed to walk down again with him . . . walked with DF and his dog and all headed across FGn and down to the crowded harbour. . wandered around a bit through the crowds, listened to a bit of music and then headed off round the harbour to have a look at the motor torpedo boat. . played ball with Bella on the slipway near the lifeboat station and then sat on a seat in the sun for quite a while. Turned into a really cracking sunny day. Eventually headed back to the harbour and was treated by DF to a coffee on the harbourside. Eventually walked back round the harbour and then out to BGdns for a bit more ball play and sitting before finally home after 6pm. . recovered with a coffee before DF finally headed home. . .PCd this . . TVd . . cooked and ate a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and onion followed by two buttered hot cross buns . . . to bed around 11:30pm. I couldn't 'quite' make it out, but even laying in bed behind the double glazing, it appeared that there was some loud music drifting in from somewhere distant. I 'think' it may well have been from the BMAD biker event that was apparantly going-on over in Paignton!
2 - Up late around 8:45am. 16C in, 10C out, grey and breezy. . . walked BGdns for ball play before eventually deciding to walk around the harbor and out along the breakwater, to have a look at whatever there was to be seen of the recent repairs. . turned out there was very little to be seen. Just a few traces of new concrete here and there. Presumably most of the work was under the water?. .sat around for a bit on the breakwater. Things had brightened up quite a bit to hazey sun and the wind had dropped, and in all my layers I was overheating. . back into the inner harbor to sit for a bit more and drink my coffee. Plenty of activity going on around the place and some of it preparations for this weekend's 'Pirate Festival'. That seems to have turned into a pretty major event now, with bands, and all sorts of stuff going-on over all three days of the coming bank holiday weekend. Bizarre to ME how SO many people (adults) seem to want to dress up and play at being hollywood style pirates. There hardly seems a shop in town that isn't trying to cash in on it, with 'pirate related merchandise' (useless crap!) on sale everywhere - but good luck to them I guess. (A significant 'boost to the local economy' and all that.) Not sure if I'll be going down to have a look at any of it. The more popular things like that get, the less likely I am to want to have to brave the crowds to see any of it. Shame though - a lot of 'free' entertainment I think, and quite a spectacle. . toured charity shops before eventually heading home . . . recovered from the overheating walk with a coffee for a while before then having a go at the main area requiring 'repair' on the landing ceiling. Cut away and made things just a little bit worse before eventually getting a couple of large patches of PVA filler smoothed-ish in place . . . ate corned beef, mayo, onion, cheese and barbeque ketchup sandwiches with crisps followed by a large number of biscuits . . napped for a couple of hours until around 7pm. . TVd/vaped the evening away. . out in the garden with Bella briefly, I got to exchange a few words with the neighbour and also got to have my repaired perished-valve spare wheel back (no charge). . BB called to touch base as did DF briefly. . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two burgers in buttered baps followed later by bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 2am.
1 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am. 16C in, 11C out, raining. . . walked BGdns and sat and played ball in the light rain. All the gear, metal containers and temporary fencing HAVE now disappeared from the end of the breakwater, so it appears they have indeed finished their repair works. . . back via the store for a few supplies AND yet another bottle of e-liquid from the newsagents to try. The further I get into this e-liquid vaping nonsense, the more my taste seems to be changing and I want to be trying different flavours! Bizarrely I NOW seem to be finding the regular tobacco flavour less and less acceptable, and maybe the strawberry isn't so bad after all?!!??? Bought a 4.99 pot of 'Celtic Menthol' to try - which actually has a slightly higher nicotine content at 20mg, compared to all the others I've got which have 18mg. . . PCd vaping lots. I don't want to accept that it can possibly be the case, but I can't help but wonder if I was largely in SUCH a sorry state yesterday, because of a sudden lowering of my nicotine intake? Was it just a coincedence, or were those truly awful (and actually frightening) 'symptoms' of chest/joint/back pain, blurred vision, mental 'confusion' (most extreme I think I've EVER experienced!), depressed mood, etc, etc, etc, all as a result of me vaping less than I have been, and suddenly crashing through and below a 'functioning' nicotine addiction level? If that IS what happened, then boy - I've never experienced anything as severe or quite like that before, even when I gave up cold-turkey, all those years ago now. I really don't know what to make of all this. I've never heard of anyone giving up smoking going through SUCH a dramatic and debilitating set of symptoms. If it IS all about the nicotine - then boy, am I in a deeper mess than I've imagined. My unpredictable moods and mental state have been a handful to cope with at the best of times - but for years, I've just about managed to cope and keep my mind together-ish. IF my nicotine addiction (and at a presumably particularly high level due to my near constant chain smoking in recent years) proves to have been SUCH a fundamental part of that coping, attempting to reduce it is gonna be VERY tough - and frankly potentially 'dangerous' to me! I've NEVER before experienced that dreadful state of real and frightening 'mental confusion' I experienced yesterday while sat in BGdns! If I ultimately stopped taking any nicotine altogether, would that pass, or is that what I'd end up with as my 'normal' mental state?!!!! That would be simply be untenable!! I would be incapable of functioning! Oh dear. I really don't know what to make of all this. :o( . . . . PCd. Bumped into another updated report on the local newspaper website about that 'severed finger' shout the other day. The report includes a rather neat and eye opening RNLI video of events. A lot rougher out there than the local weather had suggested it would be! Wow - that helicopter lift from the lifeboat deck looked a bit sudden and abrupt!! . . . pretty much 'chain vaped' throughout the morning whilst PCing this - and sadly feel much more 'stable' and in control of myself as a result! :o( . . .sanded and smoothed the bits of test filler I'd put on parts of the landing ceiling. Ended up putting a coat of white emulsion over most of the ceiling, just to be able to see how poor those repaired areas will make it all look. Actually not 'too' bad was the answer. It's far from a nice flat ceiling, but I may well just do more filling and painting and do the major patch that needs doing, and then just live with it like that. It does NOT 'draw the eye' (like it did before with the woodchip wallpaper), so doesn't seem worth spending too much more time and effort on. . the postman delivered the two new e-cig batteries I'd ordered. . .ate two ham and mayo finger rolls with crisps, a banana and some biscuits . . . napped . . .walked BGdns . . .TVd . . drank two glasses of red wine . . . ate a four egg ham, onion and cheese omlette followed by some chocolate . . . to bed around 2:30am.