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- Up around 6:45am, overheating as sunny spells warmed the bedroom through the paper-thin curtains. Slow getting going . . walked with a coffee in the windy sunny spells. Played ball and then sat on the table and benches on the green for coffee and cigs listening to radios etc. Caught in a big downpour of rain in the middle of the exposed field on the way back. Bucketed down and in only a light mac, I HAD to seek shelter under an overhanging tree for a bit, until the shower mostly passed. Too late - already drenched. . sat in the garden drying out in the sun for a bit, and ended up giving Bella a damn good brushing and going over. She STILL has fleas on her! Managed to catch and dispatch one or two. :o( . did bed linen laundry and dish washing chores . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats etc. . cooked and ate four small sausages and two eggs in two buttered baps followed by some biscuits . . mowed the back lawn . . guitarred in the conservatory . . walked FGn for ball play and then since it was looking like it could be quite a good sunset, eventually carried on down around the harbour and all the way out to near the breakwater to drink my coffee. Sat on the overlooking seat just above the breakwater and beach. Actually felt pretty damned cold in the strong wind. Had a couple of quick QSOs on the VX-2 handie on 2mtrs. One of those was with a guy out portable 'camped' in a van up on Exmoor! Amazing I made the contact on just a watt and a half, right down at sea level! I wonder how many people who know nothing about radio amateurs, realise there are hundereds of 'strange people' parked up and camped in out of the way locations all over the countryside and on islands and mountains and tors etc, etc, - just so they can play with their radios and be 'exotic' locations for others. Funny hobby. lolol If I had more of an income and had transport etc, I hate to admit it, but I probably WOULD. lol :o). . . PCd . . BB called to touch base . . TVd . . ate a pork pie, a lump of cheese, crisps, banana and a litle chocolate before to bed around 2:30am.
29 - Up around 8am. . . walked in the strong breeze and sunny spells . back via Mums to have a look at how her broken/rotting garden fence is constructed, and figure out if 'I' would be capable of replacing bits or all of it. If it were mine - I think I WOULD go for it! It remains to be seen if I'll be doing so for Mum. .and there went the whole morning - and I feel ready for sleep again already!!! . . PCd a bit of this. . . . descended into a bit of a down mood for no particular reason, and lacked the 'energy' or motivation to do ANYTHING at all. . just sat around and PCd/TVd the rest of the day away pretty much, just 'getting through' it. Skipped food and managed to stay awake rather than nap, in an attempt to get back to sleeping for a decent period at night, rather than in the inadequately short 'split shifts' I've been doing of late! . . walked in the cold strong breeze under a threatening cloud filled sky. Took the long, plastic, ball-throwing 'handle' I found a while ago, to see if I could get on with it and maybe spare me the considerable effort of throwing Bellas ball by hand all the time. I did NOT get on with it - again. It never seems to 'quite' let go of the ball at the right time for me. .That 'trapped nerve' thing in my back persists. The silly best descriptive analogy I can come up with is, that it's like a half-inch nail having been driven into the bottom of my left shoulder blade! It's getting me down having to live with it - on top of my usual, ever present lower back pain of course. Why DO I always wake from sleep feeling SO tired and aching? I'll often wake, with my arm muscles in particular, feeling weak and aching terribly from where I've been all clenching my fists etc!!? What IS it like to not be in constant pain and to not feel SO, SO tired ALL the time??! :o(. . TVd nothing - and in real danger of just going to bed without having eaten at all today!. . drank a glass of red wine and got tipsy enough to cook and eat four quarter pound cheeseburgers in buttered bread rolls with mayo followed by a large number of maltesers . . to bed around 11:30pm.
28 - Up around 6:45am. I think the bright daylight through my paper-thin bedroom curtains is tending to wake me up early at the moment. That isn't enough sleep - again - and I'm feeling pretty woozy and tired ALL the time as a result - AND deeply entrenched in the 'napping in the afternoon' thing again! :o( . . .walked. Bright, increasingly cloudy and pretty warm. Returned via town and scored a few bones from the butchers for Bella . . . gave Bella her normal breakfast and treated her to one of the bones. Put the other two in the freezer . . popped up the store with Bella for a few supplies . . Bella is NOT yet free of fleas, but they sure are fewer and further between - and even HARDER to spot on her now, which doesn't help me! . . . vacuumed. The carpets haven't been this clean since the brief period between Sally and Bella, when I had no dog to continually cover them in mud and hair and bits of the garden debris brought in. . . ended up messing around on the PC and with components on the breadboard!! Copied a simple little, six components in total, single transistor 'preamplifier' circuit I'd bumped into on youtube. Took me ages of course! Eventually succeeded in connecting it up to the signal-generator circuit-board output and a speaker. Well - it works. It isn't much of an improvement on the miniscule audio level I had before, but it HAS definitely 'slightly' amplified the signal. Hmmmmm? I'm gonna have to have a go at another circuit I've found - for a preamp stage like that with a two transistor amplifier stage following it. I'm not 'quite' beat - YET! . . . ate garlic sausage sandwiches, banana, crisps and chocolate . . .napped . . walked. Bella was particularly poorly behaved on her lead and got me all short tempered - again. Got back in time to catch most of the disturbing 8pm ITV program about dangerous dogs! . . .PCd this . . .TVd with the scanner on next to me in the living room. All of a sudden the scanner kept halting on low signals coming through from a 10mtr FM repeater in New York! That's unusual - especially at this time of night? Couldn't resist going straight back up onto the radios to have a proper tune around. Apart from the FM repeater, 10Mtrs was as dead as ever, but carrying on tuning down through the bands, I bumped into some 11Mtr AM CB signals coming in from the states!!!! Poor signals fading in and out, but VERY definitely Americans - with SUCH thick 'southern' type accents, it was almost impossible to tell they were speaking English! VERY VERY different from anything you hear on the amateur bands. A real 'cultural' difference. Brought back memories of when I first used a CB (over thirty years ago now ?!!!), when the propogation conditions were such that you had a DAILY S9 of such signals, and were often able to make contact without even particularly wanting to. MOST unexpected to hear that coming through. Ended up having a chat to someone on a local repeater until well after midnight , just so I could tell them what I was picking up, and to see if they were picking it up too. . cooked and ate four small sausages with a couple of slices of bread and butter followed by some chocolate . . TVd until bed around 2am as some strong wind and rain whipped through.
27 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 6:45am. Actually got up becaause I was re-awakened by banging on the flat roof of the bay window!! Some large bird or other was up there pecking away at something! That's all I need - some bird to peck through the felt and make that roof start leaking again! Gave a good thump or two to the ceiling, and soon after the pecking stopped. . walked FGn in the warm, thickly overcast, with showers and mist in the distance, and rain showers forecast/probable later. Some dog-walker guy appeared near to where I was sat, and briefly I heard what was coming through on my scanner 'in stereo'. Turned out he had a radio poking out of his pocket because he worked down in the harbour. Had a brief conversation about scanners and the like, before I eventually asked what he did down the harbour. Turned out he was the actual harbourmaster!! I felt obliged to salute and slightly bow. lol . . recovered with a coffee and gave Bella a damned good brushing and going-over out in the conservatory. HUGE amounts of 'dandruff' coming off her - presumably where she's had lots of flea bites and scratched herself raw and suchlike? On a more positive not, I dare to suggest we 'may' have made some progress with the flea situation. I'm sure she still has some, but 'I' didn't manage to find any on her today. She DOES also seem to have been scratching 'slightly' less this last day or so. Fingers VERY crossed. . vacuumed around the place a bit AGAIN, as part of my ongoing anti-flea battle. . . did laundry and PCd - trying to catch up on this. Bit of a 'lift' on 2mtrs. Hearing some French stations occasionally coming through on 145.500mhz. . .ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and chocolate . . napped . . skipped the walk as a brief rain shower fell out of a misty sky . . PCd/monitored radios and listened-in to the local club net with its slow morse practice at the end. .Still a bit of a lift on 2mtrs. Had a quick simplex QSO with a guy in Pontpool!!! . Turned real foggy out . .would you believe it - one of the energy saver bulbs in my pair of living-room alcove downlighters has blown - ALREADY - AGAIN! WHAT an absolute rip-off/con these damned energy saver bulbs are (nver mind they are SO dim and take AGES to 'warm up' to a useable light level! I seem to have gotten through more of these sort of bulbs in the last few years, than I did the ordinary old-fashioned incandescent ones throughout the entire rest of my life! They are SO expensive to buy, it's cost me a bloody fortune! Would be surely FAR cheaper to use the old style halogens and pay the higher electric bills!! FFS! . found a 'not so bright/white' spare low-energy bulb in the cupboard, and put that in for the timebeing, until I can get a replacement to match the other - AGAIN! :o( . eventually guitarred for a bit through midnight and beyond . . . ate bowls of rice krispies and chocolate . . TVd . . eventually to bed at getting on for 3am, JUST as a BIG thunderstorm rolled though. MUCH flashing of lightning and thunder. Bit of trouble getting to sleep - involuntarily counting between the lightning and thunder - worried about how close it was getting, given my antennas on the roof and the long wire down the garden etc.
26 - Up around 7:30am. Drizzly/misty. .walked in the wet mist. . . recovered with a coffee. heard P across town talking on the radio. When I'd bumped into him in town on Saturday, he'd mentioned something about wanting to bolt an aerial onto his camper van before soon going away in it (but couldn't because of his health issues). Gave him a shout and confirmed he was still wanting to do so, and suggested I'd pop over and do it for him. Finished my coffee before leashing bella back up and walking across town to P's place. Eventually started messing around doing what he said he wanted. Turned out it was actually mounting a satellite dish on the top of the ladder up the back of his camper!! After much messing around, and with it eventually potentialy do-able and loosely in place, I pointed out that he'd still have to be able to climb up there and 'point it' every time he parked up and wanted to use it (and physically, he really wasn't liable to be able to!)!! He agreed - and that was the end of that! His focus then turned to the fitted TV-aerial splitter/amplifier inside the camper which had allegedly suddenly stopped working. We needed to see where the pwoer supply wire ran. BIG hassle of attempting to unscrew fitted panels and trim! . all this while Bella although anxious, was pretty well behaved, tied to the garage door out of my sight. She even accepted the arrival of a couple of elderly/disabled friends of P who seemed to just come to hang-out with him for a while. Inexplicably she was MUCH less forgiving of the arrival of a woman a while later. Bella did a proper 'guard dog' type thing with her for no apparant reason!?? (With hindsight - the woman was wearing a T shirt which made her look more than a little bit like our postman. Was that the reason maybe?) . . to cut a long story short, I eventually managed to establish the power supply to the 'broken' aerail box, was fed from the lighting circuit of the camper!! There actually was nothing wrong with it at all! All in all, I got a bit overwhelmed with the poorly thought out and chaotic nature of what P was doing, and eventually early afternoon bid them all farewell and extracted myself from wasting any more time like I felt I had. . Bella had put up with everything really very well, and it seemed right to head for the nearby big playing field and treat her to a bit of ball play. Played LOTS. Wore her out pretty well. (Too much maybe?!) Bizarrely, there is a concrete table-tennis table in a corner of that field. It is constructed such that there are three 'tube' like structures supporting the table. Did a bit of encouragement with her tennis ball, and soon enough, Bella was happy enough to run through those tubes. She ALSO didn't take much encouragement to jump up onto the table! Boy - she really WOULD be SO good at 'agility' type stuff, if I had a mind and wherewithall to pursue it. :o/ . . eventually walked all the way back home, lead 'mostly' untouched, tied to my belt. . ate corned beef, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches, crisps banana and chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 7pm. Figured Bella'd had enough excercise for the day and skipped the evening walk. Sat in the back garden with coffee and very briefly played rope with Bella (who actually seemed pretty tired and not up for it much). The police helicopter appeared low overhead and then proceeded to hover over town for the next twenty minutes or more - with an occasional police siren audible racing through town. They were so low in the late evening sunny spells, I couldn't resist having a bit of a poke with the camcorder all zoomed in. Dunno why, but I always get a bit of a kick out of being able to zoom in and actually be able to see the people on board an aircraft like that. Haven't a clue what was going on of course, but the side door of the helicopter was open and an observer was looking out and down with either a camera or binoculars a lot of the time. WHAT a job - and here especially, with the amazing views across the bay etc. Lucky devils. . . radiod locally for a few hours with someone I've not spoken with for ages (the guy who once gave me an aerial and looks after hedgehogs and has a hedgehog webcam/live internet feed at night). . PCd a bit of this - and inevitably looked at amplifier-kits and related cicrcuit diagrams on the web - AGAIN! :o(. . .ate a roll and a half of garlic sausage, crisps and half a sponge cake. .laboriously put the washed covers back on all the old sofa cushions/duvets and rebuilt Bella's 'bed' across the bedroom bay window. . to bed just before 2am.
25 - Up around 7:30am. . walked FGn. Hanging on the back of the seat I usualy now sit on, was a rather nice soft-rope dog lead. A gentle slip-ring noose type like I use, except it was made of a softer, slightly thicker rope, and maybe an inch or three shorter. How IS it possible people lose a lead like that? How DO they get the dog home? It'd been there 'at least' all night. I ummed and ahhd at length - and even pointed it out to a couple of passing dog walkers in conversation (who said I just should) - and eventually when we left, I DID take possession of it and carried it home with me! It IS quite a nice one, and the fact that it's a tiny bit shorter than the one I have, may end up with it being preferable for keeping exciteable Bella at heel. . . Devoted the day to getting serious with my assault on Bellas fleas. Dismantled Bellas 'bed' in the bedroom and put all the cushion and duvet covers through the washing machine and then out on the line to dry for a bit. Put in hours vacuuming all around the house. Caved in part way through, PCd and eventually bit the bullet and ordered TWO 500ml cans of 'BOB MARTIN HOME SPRAY PLUS' for 13.90 inc postage. THOSE are for treating the house/carpets etc. Pointless treating Bella, if she'll just pick them back up from the carpets etc. A multipronged chemical-warfare attack I'm engaged in!!. . .continued vacuuming and then cut my hair and beard and got MYSELF clean and less scratchy! YES - I HAVE been feeling pretty scratchy of late, although it may well just be psychological of course. . . PCd/TVd . applied ANOTHER small tube of the Beaphar spot-on to Bella, but THIS time, in some 'unconventional' places. The recommended 'base of the tail' thing is NO use on her, because she CAN seem to reach around near that area!! I dared to put spots of the stuff kinda in her 'armpits' as it were, on some very nicely bare skin - some more elsewhere in 'safe' places, and eventually had her pretty well spotted all around with the stuff. (I even saw a flea making-off from where I'd put some!!!) To make sure she didn't start trying to mess with any of it, and to give it a good chance of really doing its job, I pretty soon hooked her up and took her out walking.. . walked FGn for some ball play and then because it was actually quite pleasant out, carried on all the way down to the harbor and out along the breakwater and back. Stopped off for a pack of four quarter-pound beefburgers and bread rolls on the way back through town . back home as rain began to fall . It must be said, Bella HAS been doing 'reasonably' well on her lead of late. She is still a hell of a handful, and liable to try to bolt in all directions ALL the time - but she HAS improved and DOES try so very hard. There were even 'hints' of 'Sally' type walking this evening from time to time. It's maybe just in MY mind, but I feel we've become a little 'closer' since the latest dog attack thing. Having to be gentle on her lead to avoid hurting the site of her injury and stitches, has seen me be MUCH more insistant about simply stopping walking EVERY time she moves ahead, and letting HER do the work of having to stop and return to her proper position. We don't get anywhere very quick, that's for sure (!), but I hardly EVER actually PULL her back anymore. If only I could calm her down a bit. She IS SO cute and SO eager to try to please me (even if she seldom acheives that! lol). She's been through SUCH suffering in her little life - and is now stuck with me!!! Heartbreaking.. .TVd . . drank wine and cooked and ate four cheeseburgers followed by some chocolate and then a whole pack of mum-donated chocolate marshmallow type biscuits! . . to bed before midnight.
24 - Up around 8:30am. . walked . . covered one of the kitchen work tops in a cloth and then the big circular bit of glass from an occasional table I'd been tempted to throw out recently, and brought down the old painted wooden bar-stool so I could sit up to it. My 'workstation' for having a go at constructing the signal generator kit!! Safely away from all the radios - with a strip light right above, and with a double wall-socket right in front for plugging in the soldering iron(s). A glass ashtray was my soldering iron stand - and a small bowl with a damped washing-up sponge in a little water, was for wiping the iron tip. Dads old Antex soldering iron worked fine, and even ended up being the iron of choice for the job, with the middle size of the new tips fitted to it. Even his 'Helping Hand' magnifying glass and crocodile clips contraption came in handy for just one or two awkward bits. I VERY much took my time, and followed the included kit instructions, more or less to the letter. I guess overrall, it went 'ok' - for the first time of doing any such a thing. The more I did, the more I DID seem to get 'slightly' better at it. The greatest criticism I think I can make of my efforts, was tending to end up with just a little bit too much solder on each of the components' joints on the back of the little 2" x 1.5" circuit board. I need more practice (and better eyesight! Thinner guage solder even?) . Image of a constructed 'Velleman Signal Generator' kit.at length, it was pretty much all done and I connected up the battery and a loudspeaker and - - NOTHING!! BUGGER! I thought I'd blown it at first, but then realised there WAS indeed just a 'little' bit of noise, barely audible coming from the speaker when the level potentiometer was wound right up. Changing the output jumper DID also appear to produce the four different waveform outputs (- or slightly different 'quality' tones at least). Hummm????? . at length, I came to the conclusion it WAS working ok (I 'think') - but my (TOTAL!) ignorance about such things was what had confounded me. I'm still not entirely sure, but I 'think' it never WAS going to simply be possible to attach a speaker like I'd thought. According to the blurb that came with the kit, the output level is a MAXIMUM of a miniscule 100mVrms! I 'think' that's no use to me at all!! :o( Eventually called it quits and put everything away, feeling increasingly down, 'defeated' and a failure - again! A feeling I felt I really should be used-to by now, from every single aspect of my life - always! :o(. . Bella was STILL all a scratching, and I was able to find fleas on her again! The skin beneath her fur looks as though it's in a hell of a beaten (eaten?) up state! She must be going through hell! POOR dog! I've GOT to get 'serious' and get a grip on the situtation!!!!! Opened the new pack of Beaphar flea and tick drops and applied just ONE of the six tubes to the skin beneath her fur behind her head. A 4week treatment is TWO tubes, but since she's already been treated in the last few weeks (with an alleged 12 week course all in one!) AND has a flea collar on too, I figured I'd go cautiously with her 'overdose'. . . . increasingly pissed-off and awful headachey . . drank wine and ate a bowl of soup with four pieces of bread and butter followed by much chocolate. . . napped until 7pm . . woke feeling equally headachey and ever increasingly down. Couldn't face walking . . PCd trying to read up on speakers and output voltages and the like - at length - understanding NONE of it, and got nowhere but more down. I've a horrible feeling, I need an amplifier stage to be able to drive a loudspeaker like I want? Back to square one, lacking the knowledge!? I even seem to be lacking the knowledge required to know what knowledge it is I'm lacking (and need to try to learn) - if that makes sense!!!!? Eventually just turned the PC off in disgust in a dreadful mood.. . TVd . . ate a roll and a half of garlic sausage, a packet of crisps and half a coffee sponge cake . .to bed around 2am.
23 - Up around 8:20am. Breezy and sunny spells. A brief lull before the next band of heavy rain forecast for tomorrow. . walked. Singing man and his lady crossed the field at one point. We exchanged a 'freindly' wave (although perhaps a little 'forced'. lol). Returned via town . . made the most of the brief lull in the bad weather, and mowed both lawns. (The postman delivered the Maplins oscillator kit packet.) Also used the hedge trimmer to cut back 'next doors' hedge out-front (alongside where I did all the work to remove the hedge on my side and reinstate a fence). Bloody aggravating to have done all that work, only to STILL have to keep trimming the fast-growing, out-of-control hedge (brambles especially!) coming over and through from their side! :o( During the gardening work, Bella was all scratching as ever. Oh for goodness sake! Would you believe it! I spotted fleas on her - again - STILL! How the hell is that possible? I've applied a twelve-week treatment (allegedly) of Spot-On, AND she's now wearing a flea collar, and yet she's STILL crawling with the damned things!!!???? I'm gonna HAVE to hit her again with another expensive tube of Spot-On - ALREADY!!!!!! (The vet said it WAS best to 'overdose' her - which rather confirms what I've been told/read, about how the vet-administered flea treatment is MUCH stronger than anything the public can buy). Mum called in with the papers and food donations, for chats etc. . . ate a mum donated pork pie and crisps . . walked with Bella up Mums to drop off one of my garden pots for her to plant a seedling in (hopefully a plum-tree I think she said - assuming she isn't nurturing a weed!) lol Raided Dads garage and took possession-of a 'Helping Hand' magnifying glass and crocodile clips contraption, which has been sat in there starting to rust for years. Still useable despite the rust, and may be rather useful for holding stuff while soldering and suchlike. Wow - given how bad my eyesight has become, it's worth having just for the magnifying glass! The really big one I've been using which Mum let me have (because the handles gone) really is little better than a bit of plain glass!? The little one on that contraption is SO much more powerful. Excellent. Should have had that out of the garage years ago. . had a further poke around and - would you believe it - I found TWO 25W soldering irons in there! I had NO idea Dad had those! One was an older looking version of the nice small Antex I just bought new tips for, and the other was a Draper - BOTH of them sadly in need of new tips. Well I'll be damned. Despite my ongoing reluctance to 'have' everything out of 'Dads' garage, I figured just leaving everything in there in the damp like I have been, is doing none of it any good at all. Stupid not to make use of the stuff if I can (although there really is precious little of any great use in there any more). Took possession of the soldering irons and all his old solder, together with a couple of 3.5mm mono headphone type sockets from one of his storage jars (which I 'may' be able to re-use). . back at home, I quickly confirmed the tips I've just bought, WILL fit Dads Antex iron too. I'll actually plug them in and check they work some other time. . napped . . woke from a dream around 5:30pm (in the dream I was soldering stuff! lol). Raining. Sat in the conservatory guitaring for quite a while, after having let Bella know we were NOT walking this evening. . . PCd this as the latest gale and rain arrived in earnest. BIG rain and wind - AGAIN!! :o( . . . radiod just a bit. Gave a 'Museums On The Air' special event station a quick call on 80mtrs after listening to him for a while. The minute I keyed up, something sounded VERY not right with the radio!??? It'd been a real struggle to get the tuner to load-up on the frequency, so I'm blindly guessing the antenna is WAY out of resonance on that band. Worrying - so I'll probably be avoiding 80mtrs from now on! . gave another museum station a call a while later on 40mtrs, and succeeded in making the contact up to Yorkshire. Sadly the brief contact left me with a bit of a 'sour taste' in my mouth so to speak. To ME - the guy on the mic sounded drunk (even mixing up the O/0 in his own callsign!?), and altogether as though he simply didn't want to be there! Ended up turning the radio off afterwards, feeling all negative about it all and wishing I hadn't bothered! :o( . . ate four garlic sausage rolls, onion ring crisp things, and some chocolate . . to bed around 2am as the gale continued.
22 - Woke around 6:30am and couldn't get back to sleep and ended up getting up . . walked early in a cold strong blustery wind. Caught out in some rain showers on the return. Returned via the local store for a few supplies (and scored three packs of going cheap sausages). . PCd/monitored radios . . .the soldering iron tips arrived in the post. . Messed around with the soldering iron for a bit, checking the new tips fit, and that they have improved how the iron is behaving. It DOES seem to have been the answer. Fingers crossed. . . cooked and ate a pack of sausages, a tin of baked beans and four pieces of bread and butter followed by some chocolate . . napped . . walked FGn in the chilly breeze . . PCd/monitored radio. My 'random wire' antenna seems to be particularly deaf on - um - well - everything BUT 40mtrs actually! I don't think it's necessarily anything 'wrong' with the antenna. I strongly suspect its a combination of my dreadful 'in a black hole' location, AND maybe the front-end of the my duff FT-767 perhaps. Everyone else in the world seems to be consistantly reporting '5 by 9' signals. I NEVER get ANY signals that strong! Anyway - this evening I bumped into a special event station calling CQ on 20mtrs. Precious little else on the band I could actually hear, so while doing other things, I just left the radio on the frequency he was calling on, and listened in to some of the exchanges. At some point he was overcome with interference from nearby stations and he had to 'QSY' to a different frequency (which I somehow by chance quickly bumped into). That saw him for a little while calling CQ with no-one coming back to him. I couldn't resist. Went through the VERY lengthy process of tuning up the wire with the MFJ Versa Tuner (it can literally take me up to five minutes before I'm happy!?), and then using only around 50watts, eventually dared to give him a call. It was brief and little more than an exchange of signal reports, as seems to be most often the way with special event stations. From the point of view of someone like me, with 'nothing to say', thats often no bad thing! lol Anyway, given how incredibly rare it is for me to actually have the nerve to open my mouth on HF, it 'pleased me' to have made the contact. The callsign was 'SN2012EURO' - a EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012 Special Event Station, in Wloclawek, Poland. :o) Oh dear - I AM a bit of a 'trainspotter' aren't I!!! lololol I CAN understand why people 'may' make a habit of going specifically for special event stations like that. If you worked at it regularly, and did such a things over time, reading through your logbook in later years, really could be an (almost) interesting little insight into world events of the time. (I haven't bothered, but people HAVE been eager to contact the ham-radio special-event station which is apparantly touring the country with the Olympic flame!). Given how rarely I open my mouth on the air generally, I feel I get all the more - err - um - 'pleasure' (huh? Me? No - that's not the right word!) from ANY contact I make, no matter who or where. If I was hollering and getting contacts all over the place all the time like most do, I suspect it'd be less of a 'moment in time/of value' to me. Bizarrely, I've still to figure out what it is I actually want from all this radio business (apart from a different HF radio of course!). . . TVd . .ate a six pieces of bread and butter stack of tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a couple of squares of chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
21 - Up around 7:30am and grey and overcast again. . . walked FGn and then back via town, as a bit of drizzle began to fall prior to eventual heavier rain again . . PCd/monitored radios/PCd this . . . drank a glass of red wine and made up some weird sandwiches from grated cheese, chopped onion and chopped tinned ham, all mixed-up and microwaved into a mush. Ate with crisps, a banana and then a bunch of biscuits . . napped the rest of the afternoon away as the heavy rain continued . . . up with the alarm at 7pm . the rain had stopped so mustered the energy to walk FGn. Felt pretty damned cold out . . . PCd/monitored radios. An 'M1GEO' up near Hornchurch in Essex was calling CQ on 40mtrs, and was 'collecting' WAB ('Worked All Britain') squares. Not something I've looked into myself, but listening to him for quite a while whilst checking e-bay and the like, had me eventually get intrigued and try to figure out what my locator is. Had to look up on-line how to work it all out. It's apparantly based on latitude and longitude etc, etc. My lat is around N50:23:35 ; my long around W3:31:31. Assuming the internet sites I used for the conversion are accurate, that makes my 'Grid Square' IO80Fj ; My 'LR' SX916559 ; and all that, makes my WAB square SX95. After having gone to all that bother working it out, it seemed appropriate to actually give the guy a call and give him another square for his collection! lol Successfully did so, using the FT-767 putting out around 50watts at around midnight. ('Trainspotting'! lolololol ). . TVd nothing and ate a banana and bowls of cornflakes . . to bed around 2am.
20 - Up around 7:30am. Grey and overcast . seem to have pulled a muscle or trapped a nerve in my back, affecting my left side and arm! Annadin tablets don't seem to be helping with it! Nasty . . walked and returned via town in a hint of drizzle. 'Singing man's lady was sat on a seat in town (clearly all ready to ignore me again). Marched straight up to her, cornered her, and apologised for the way I'd spoken to them the other day (so as not to be as childish as she?), and forced her to listen to the explanation of what had occurred with Bella, and where I was going and why I was in such a bad mood at the time. She 'accepted' my apology (in a hard to explain, kinda passive-aggressive manner, which actually got my back up rather!). Anyway - 'I've' been 'adult' about it and layed it to rest in MY mind - now it's up to her how she behaves towards me when we pass each other - and frankly, I care not. . . PCd and piddled around getting nothing done for ages . eventually ended up ordering a tripple pack of unbelievably expensive replacement tips for my little Antex XS soldering-iron from Maplins. Three different sized tips - for 11.99 including postage!!! Jeeze - that isn't far short of the cost of a whole brand-new Antex iron! Can't understand WHY they are SO expensive? I've had that iron for many, MANY years now, and it used to work really rather well and be perfect for intricate small soldering jobs, but in recent times, it seems to have just stopped being able to actually melt the solder at the tip (although still will, further up the heated shaft?). I'd thought it was now fit for the bin, but then bumped into a few comments here and there on the net, educating me that the tips can kinda 'go off' and require replacing. So - yet another expensive gamble! Fingers crossed. It'd be wonderful to have the precision of that small iron, back useable again. That big, cheap, unweildy, alternative soldering-iron I bought a while ago on e-bay, clearly already needs a replacement tip already too (although those I think are a fraction of the price)!!!!! That can wait for a bit. . messed around for MANY hours with a magnifying glass, components, bits of wire, circuit-diagrams and the 'bread board', trying to copy an oscillator (kit) circuit I'd found on the Maplins website. The truth of the matter is that I actually didn't have the required components, but figured it was worth a go (blindly!) substituting parts for the nearest components/values I DID have. TERRIBLY time consuming, trying to figure it all out, and then come up with a way of actually laying it all out and connecting it up on the breadboard. It's VERY akin to how some people throw away hours and hours of their lives doing jigsaw puzzles!!! Truth be told - my failing eyesight (and that crappy magnifying glass) really isn't up to it anymore! :o( Eventually called it quits mid afternoon, with the thing unfinished, and with a bad headache and woozy feeling. .ate a trio of ham rolls, crisps, two wagon wheel biscuits and a little chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 7pm. . heavy rain. Skipped walking and PCd/monitored radios etc all evening. Called CQ lots during an ISS pass around 10pm, heard nothing and all to no avail again of course . . messed around with the components and the breadboard some more, and eventually connected up the battery to the finished circuit. Predictably it did NOT work. Damn. All those hours and all that effort wasted! I guess IF I'm gonna carry on playing these games, I'm going to HAVE to invest in more components of varying values and types etc, and in my ignorance, stick religiously to what's written on any circuit diagrams I may be tempted to have a go at. :o( The actual components ARE pretty cheap to buy - but in MY mind, a more costly issue to resolve, is how to actually store them once bought, so you can keep them all sorted, seperate and labeled, and immediately know what's where, without having to spend hours working it out for each component you need to reach for. I'm NOT about to start spending money on expensive multi-drawered plastic storage containers all of a sudden - especially given I'll very likely give up on all this silliness in a pretty short time. Hummmmm? . Ahhh what the hell - ended up biting the bullet and actually returned to the Maplins website and ordered the actual kit I'd been trying to partially reproduce!!!! A 'Sellman Signal Generator Kit' for a wapping 7.98 inc postage. (The outrageous postage was almost half of that!!) What's the betting I put in hours building it (assuming those small soldering-iron tips work out ok), and then it doesn't work? lolol . . lots of heavy rain - and lots coming straight through INTO the conservatory! :o( . . . ate tinned ham sandwiches, chocolate biscuits and chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
19 - Up just after 7am. Blue sky sunny . .walked FGn. Back via town. Given how I'm that much closer sitting on the green, I'm deliberately making a habit of walking back via town a bit more often, in an attempt to get Bella more used to doing it as a matter of course, and not SO exciteable and unmanageable EVERY time we go down there!! I'm not sure it's working! . . . played with radios. Finally got round to experimenting with the programmimg lead I'd recently bought from Hong Kong. Instead of buying one just for the VX7, I'd actually paid a pound or two more, for one which has unplugable end pieces which will program both the VX7 AND my FT-7900. Works a treat - and saves having to mess around with entirely seperate USB leads and different com-port settings etc, etc, etc. Loaded the free VX-7 commander software, read up on it a bit and then did a quick experimental 'dump' of memories into the VX7 and had a bit of a play with it. (I've hardly touched it since I got it!!!) I'm in no hurry to start carrying it out every day. It is SO much more complicated than everything else I carry, it's gonna be a LONG time before I know it well enough to start taking it out and about. It's a 'keeper' - but I DO admit to being daunted by it's complexity, and find the Vx-2 easier to carry and play with. I'm in no rush. Actually - on top of all of that, it must be said, FGn is NOT the place for me to be playing with radio anyway!! :o( In fact, in general, I am SO much 'on guard' when out with Bella at the moment, being distracted and playing with radios is TOTALLY out of the question now anyway! :o(. . ate a trio of cumberland sausages with a tin of sausages in baked beans and a couple of crusts of bread and butter . . napped for just a couple of hours until around 7pm. A beautiful sunny evening and I SO wanted to go and sit in BGdns and watch the sunset and drink coffee and listen to radio, etc. Tried to come up with an acceptable alternative elsewhere, but there really simply isn't one. Ended up deciding I'd just have to walk to FGn again. :o( . had just made a coffee for my flask and was getting ready to leave when I quite by chance found a TICK on Bella!!! Eeeew!! Couldn't find the little plastic tool I once had for proper, safe removal of them, so ended up just getting a bit of tissue and then 'pinching' it in-between thumb and finger nails, and quickly and firmly pulled it out in an 'unscrewing' motion. I think (hope!) it worked ok and came out cleanly. Jeeze - what NEXT!? Two years she's been rampaging around in Bgdns and the woods and not a sign of any such thing. One week of walking FGn and she ends up getting one - and THAT only a couple of weeks after having treated her with the 'spot on' drops!!!??? :o( . .walked FGn, sat around, drank coffee and played ball for ages. It wasn't a nice sit. Couldn't even see the sunset from there, and actually started feeling pretty cold in the full shade and breeze. Radio reception there also appears to be surpsingly poor, and at least one of the people I've spoken to from BGdns in the past, I simply wouldn't be able to speak with from there. It IS only a matter of time before I cave-in and dare to carefully start walking BGdns again! Not doing so is just too much of a loss to me (and Bella?)! :o( . in the middle of crossing the big bleak football field on the way back, the scanner suddenly picked up PI9ISS calling CQ from the international space station again! No point in trying to call back on the VX-2 of course, but it did see me come to a sudden halt in the middle of the field, listening and scouring the clear-blue, post sunset sky for any sight of it. I didn't see it - but was able to hear the astronaut briefly chatting with some lucky station, telling him how he was only going to be up there for another couple of weeks, and was making the most of the amateur radio in his remaining time in orbit. THAT explains why I've heard him more than once recently. I may have to start keeping an eye on when he's next 'passing', over the coming days. I must have looked a real nutcase - suddenly stopped in the middle of that field, looking skyward, waving my handie aerial around above my head!!! lololololol . . . FINALLY put the flea-collar I'd bought on e-bay on Bella. I'd had to delay because of her healing/stitched wound. The vet confirmed the other day, it would now be safe to use it on her. The collar goes RIGHT across the damaged area. . PCd for ages, aimlessly poking around on e-bay. There seems to be less and less on there every time I look!?Not sure if it's a seasonal thing or if it is actually dieing a death. . ate two bananas and two buttered chelsea buns. . to bed around 1:40am.
18 - Woke before 6:30am and couldn't get back to sleep, so eventually just had to get up. Blue sky sunny. . .eventually walked FGn for ball play. There are seats in that place upon which I sit while throwing her ball, along the edge of a path which crosses the field. For the second time since we've been going there, Bella showed an 'inappropriate' interest in someone walking past close-by - with the definite 'potential' for her to be 'nippy'!!!!!!! Well that's ALL I need!!!!! Jeezuz! WHAT NEXT! There seems to be no end/limit to the hassle I'm having centred around her, ALL the time! It's gonna be HER in a muzzle at this rate! Jeezuz! :o( Carried on down to the harbour via the nearby horrendous long flight of steps, through town and all the way up to the vets for Bella's 9:40am appointment - with me fighting for control and her refusing to walk to heal ALL the way again of course. . weighed Bella on the scales in the waiting room before going in. Her worryingly low (25/26kg last week) weight DOES appear to have risen by perhaps almost a kilogram since we stopped playing ball so much every day. Suddenly halving (or less) the amount of running around she's been doing this last week, does appear to suggest to me, that she WAS SO thin and skinny because of all the activity she's been doing, rather than a 'diet deficiency' as such. I AM gonna have to keep a better eye on her weight, continue trying to fatten her up, - and may well have to buy more expensive food when I next need supplies. . without any fuss, the vet quickly removed all her stitches. Thank god for having passed that milestone - again!! NOW lets see if she stops shaking her head all the time, and gets a little bit more back to her normal!. . walked back down town and toured a few charity shops before back up to FGn via the arduous climb of steps, a small amount of ball play, and then home via the local store for some supplies. (Scored some going-cheap/off cumberland sausages). . . TVd . . drank a glass of wine and cooked up three sausages, a pile of mashed potato, peas and onion in instant gravy. Ate well. . . napped until around 5:30pm . . . dabbled with the idea of walking, but eventually caved-in and didn't, and just briefly played rope in the safety of the garden again . . . PCd a bit checking e-bay listings and the like, and then PCd this . . . TVd . . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps and a couple of buttered chelsea buns . . to bed around 2am.
17 - Up just after 8am. Bella had gnawed her back raw AGAIN!!! Problems with her back there, started I think, when she scratched herself rampaging through the woods one day. It 'scudded-over' as it began to heal - and then she made it raw again by biting it! It's been a rollercoaster of that ever since - not helped by her recent flea infestation! The minute my back is turned (or most often when I'm asleep), she'll end up making herself all raw again, and we're starting the whole cycle all over again!!! Dunno how the hell I can stop her! As if that wasn't bad enough, it would appear she also had an upset stomach!!!! She'd pooped all round the kitchen! :o( Uggggh. Cleaned up as best I could with a wallpaper scraper and newspaper - while filling my nose with cigarette smoke! . . less wind and sunny spells. . Woke/recovered at the PC with coffee. Receieved an e-mail from DS letting me know his dog had died the other day!!!!!! That news seemed to be the straw that broke the camels back, and I ended up having a bit of a cry for a while. . . walked Fgn for much ball play. I may have overdone things a bit! Bella seemed a bit wobbly and tired on the way back!!!!? She was also 'hesitant' in having her breakfast! VERY out of character!?. . pulled-up and washed-down the kitchen carpet tiles, out in the garden with the hose, and propped them up in the sun to dry. Bella threw-up her breakfast all over the garden slabs!!!! Jeeze - what next!! I'm not sure I can handle much more right now. Feeling totally overwhelmed with everything going totally pear shaped with her!! PLEASE - no more!!:o( Cleared all THAT and hosed everything down. . did dishwashing chores for ages, and inexplicably, for no apparant reason, suddenly began feeling just a 'little' stronger and more in control of myself than I have done for the last week. Oh thank god. . . Eventualy dared to give Bella a bit more food, which she DID keep down. I have a suspicion she was sick because of a (black biscuit) treat she'd been given by someone earlier. Pretty sure such things have had a similar effect in the past. I 'may' have to be more careful what treats people are offering her. I reckon those black ones are well iffy to her. . . FINALLY - at last, had the energy to have a 'prod' at the 'dropped' front door. Things with the door had gotten SO bad (especially after some direct sun) that the frame had actually started to foul the door as I opened and closed it! I haven't mentioned it here for obvious reasons, but I've actually not been able to LOCK it for a while!! (Not as risky as it sounds, because I DO have the 'deadlock' type handle on it, which prevents access without a key at any time.) Removed the hinge covers, slackened off the fixing screws, and using an allen key on the adjusters (whuich seemed to work backwards to what common sense suggested), I eventually managed to improve things and get it back to working more or less as it should. Actually - working better than it EVER did! (F***ing cowboy window fitters!). It still isn't perfectly vertical in the frame, but I couldn't figure out how that can be adjusted (I've been led to believe it can be), so I'll just have to see how it goes as it is for the time being. . eventually put the carpet tiles back down and vacuumed a little . . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate . . napped . . PCd/radiod as a light rain returned. Hadn't at all intended to radio, but during my usual scanning, it suddenly stopped on the ISS frequency - because one of the astronauts was actually calling out a general CQ on a pass! Couldn't resist having a hollar back, but all to no avail of course. Suddenly 'in the mood' a bit, I ended up chatting (outrageously!) for a while on the local repeater!! . . pottered around and finally got round to the long overdue cleaning-out of the thick layer of dust covering the three glass lampshades of the main living-room light. Washed all three and then got them safely back in position. Hate doing that - they are SO fragile! . . TVd nothing . . . cooked a pack of four small, mum donated burgers, and ate with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a couple of wagon wheel biscuits . . to bed around 2am.
16 - Up around 6:45am. Slow getting going and working-up to, forcing myself to do the new hateful chore of a walk .Sat at the PC for an hour, just staring blankly at this - and not typing. . .walked FGn in the cold, howling wind, and sat throwing Bella's ball for as long as I could stand. Miserable hell. Jeezuz - the walk around the stinking field in Bristol was better than THIS! . . on the way back nearing home , 'singing man's' partner was walking up on the other side of the road. I kinda waived and mouthed 'goodmorning' from a distance. She carried on walking, seemingly avoiding eye contact, and didn't respond. As we got closer and began to pass each other on opposite sides of the road, I called out good morning. She completely ignored me! Well - I guess I'm being 'punished' for what I said the other day when I bumped into them both? Offended by what I said she may have been, but to subsequently act like that when offered a courteous passing morning greeting seems - well - frankly pretty bloody immature. Deliberately hurtful (to ME) nonetheless. Thank you so very f**ing much. . . tried to PC this for a bit - monitoring radio, but SO not in the mood for any of it still. It would appear it is the extraordinary spectacle of trawler-race day, today. BGdns is the ONLY place to watch that from of course, in my opinion. I'll be missing all that then. . I'm in the mood for nothing. Nothing but sleep. I'm totally 'not functional' right now. Just totally down and out, day after meaningless day. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations . . ate Mum donated pork pie, pastry slice, crisps and a little chocolate . . napped until around 5:30pm . . sat in front the TV watching nothing for hours more again . . .PCd a bit more of this - and eventually just gave up on it. . . drank wine. . . ate garlic sausage rolls and chocolate . . to bed at 2am.
15 - Up around 6:30am. Still very blowy but almost sunny spells . . . walked the green in the gale. No shelter from the weather there. . Had to pick my way past idiot little school kids and scowling parents on the return!! :o(. . sat around/TVd the day off until I was tired enough to be able to retreat to sleep again. . ate tinned ham, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and mini cheddars followed by a couple of biscuits . . napped until around 6pm . . TVd . .Lots of laughter coming from someone next door. What IS that like? Have I EVER experienced being like that?I think not! . . . PCd. Did so in silence, because I couldn't stomach the noise and meaningless chatter from radios. It all seems so overwhelmingly pointless. I've nothing to say to anyone. Jeeze - imagine all the work to sell it all on e-bay! :o(. .TVd nothing. Forced down a tin of spaghetti bolognese, grated cheese and three crusts of bread and butter followed by a square of chocolate. .to bed at 2am.
14 - Woke at 5:30am and could NOT get back to sleep! . . walked early. Featureless miserable patch of grass. There's nothing there for me at all - absolutely nothing. :o( . . sat around . . PCd aimlessly . . sat around feeling deeply miserable and lifeless . . drank wine . . Mum called to touch base and talk meaningless. . . cooked and ate chips, half a tin of ham and two eggs followed by a square of chocolate. The effect of drinking the wine 'enabled' me to 'bother' to do so!. . . successfully slept until around 7pm . . aimlessly sat around. . the latest forecast storm is blowing in. Big rain. So much for 'summer' - although now, what the hell do I care. . TVd nothing . . ate bowls of rice krispies . . to bed at 2am.
13 - Up around 7:30am. Rain showers - and then clearing to almost sunny . .some evidence of Bella having scratched at her wound in the night! She CAN reach it with her back leg - her ear too! . . walked and tried-out sitting and playing ball on FGrn instead of BGdns. Felt horribly lost and out of place. The school nearby meant having to pick our way through all the children and parents on their way to school, and then once we'd reached a suitable seat on the green, it just felt all featureless and exposed, with a VERY much more restricted view. So - my postage stamp of a world, has been reduced to one little shitty perforation! In short - I HATED it there. :o( Bella seemed happy enough, as long as I kept throwing her ball. . Eventually headed back along the nasty pathless road past BGdns. The usual crowd were assembled near the seats beneath the roof, complete with the 'devil dog', so I was VERY right not to have risked going there as usual. Did NOT enter the gardens and just carried on down the roadside and home. :o( Agonised over things for quite a while before eventually leaving Bella safely at home and heading for T's place, 'cap in hand' for the vet bill money, as his son M had suggested yesterday. . on the way, I bumped into 'singing man' and his partner. I was in an upset, foul, FOUL mood, and I really wasn't in the mood to have to stop and be subjected to the usual 'ego stroking' tales of what marvellous song he'd just written for so and so. He started saying something along the lines of how he'd thought of something 'I' could do for Brixham. I cut him short and (after very breifly outlining recent events and why I was there at that precise moment) in the uncontrollable foulness of my mood said, at the moment as far as I was concerned, Brixham could just f*** off! That didn't seem to go down very well at all, and with hardly another word exchanged, they carried on their way - as did I. Eventually called at the house and asked for the money. Horrible. He embarassingly admitted he hadn't drawn it out and didn't have it yet. He said he'd drop it into me at home later if that was ok. Before leaving, I clumsily and awkwardly straight-out asked, what his intentions now were with regard to walking his new dog. He didn't seem to understand my question. Was he going to muzzle it or was he going to just carry on as 'normal'? His response was ultimately that he was going to carry on as normal. I think I made my unhappiness with that decision quite clear, but I tried to keep the conversation civil, and promptly withdrew. . the route back home took me right near BGdns, and in a bit of an almost tearful daze, I forced myself to go and sit on 'my' favourite seat and - well - kinda say goodbye to the place, and the view, and the sunsets and - well - all of it. The life I've had since I moved here. (It's really been everything to me hasn't it, walking the dog(s) and sitting around down there!) I'm sure anyone reading this would regard this all as a silly overreaction, and that I should just carry on as normal. But really - would THEY be so willing to take such a risk with the LIFE of a 'loved-one' of theirs under such circumstances? I'm not sure what actually comes across here, from my 'clinical' description of the events of Saturday when Bella was attacked? Perhaps it doesn't read as having been 'too' bad? Let me put it in perspective - and try to convey what the experience actually was, for ME. Consider first that Bella is my best friend - my 'child' if you will - someone I must protect and keep safe - my all. I found myself on that morning, laying on the ground, covered in s**t, quite literally fighting for her life with my bare hands - with her screaming in fear and pain beneath me, as she was torn open by her attacker! Don't underestimate the impact of such an experience (like I have?)! Every time I try to sleep at the moment, my mind involuntarily returns to the experience, and I immediately start sweating and suffer a sickening adrenalin rush! Imagine going through all of that, and all the vet thing, and then trying to resume a normal walking routine, only for pretty much the VERY next time you walk that same place, you witness 'similar' happening to another dog (complete with the screaming!) and find yourself a heartbeat and perhaps only thirty feet away from having it 'almost' start to happen all over again! How CAN I POSSIBLY just carry on as normal? How CAN I just 'take the risk' with her life? Even if that dog eventually calms down and seems to get on with EVERY other dog around, surely, it is only a matter of time before 'something' will trigger it - and it WILL react again in the way I've already seen. It's instinctive. It WILL be how it reacts - sooner or later - sometime, somewhere. How CAN I run the risk of being who it happens to - AGAIN!? On top of that, Bella's hyperactive exciteable nature, is ABSOLUTELY going to increase her risk of BEING the trigger! All she'd have to do would be to get irritated/excited and 'nippy' with him one day - and she'd likely end up being killed by him! How can I? I CAN'T TAKE THE RISK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
eventually ended up back at home and just sat around feeling VERY down. All I do is lost. . . Ts son M, arrived around midday (he must have rushed straight out to his bank) and quickly handed me the 131 vet money as soon as I opened the door! There was a bit of awkwardness and then we eventualy kinda resumed the earlier conversation about what he intended to do in the future. I made it pretty clear that if that was what he was intending, then 'my life' of the last several years, of to-ing and fro-ing to the woods and Bgdns, and sitting around there for up to four hours a day with my radios and coffee, etc etc , was effectively over, because I just could NOT take the risk of it happening again (as I'm absolutely convinced it eventually would) to poor, 'fragile' Bella. He got upset and actually tearful!!!!! Agonisingly upsetting situation - for BOTH of us. I DO appreciate something of his position. I know only too well what it's like to take on a rescued dog, become immediately emotionally attached to it and want to try to do the best for it despite the inherited problems. I'm FULLY aware of the fact that when I first got Bella, there WERE significant 'nipping' issues with her and other dogs. I WELL remember that guy who threatened me when she nipped his dog (when I wrongly 'allowed' it to happen - twice!) and am painfully aware that I am now on the other side of the fence so to speak! However - there IS a difference I think. I don't think it is simply my inevitable bias. Bella's behaviour was exciteable and 'nippy' (and still is on occasions! I must be CONSTANTLY on guard!) - inappropriate certainly, and liable to force an escalation into a more serious incident, yes, - and yet there is a certain 'restraint' in HER behaviour during such incidents. She's never gone straight in 'for the kill' like I've seen that doberman do. There IS - there IS a difference. If I'd EVER seen Bella react in such a way, despite even hating having to put just a collar on her, I absolutely WOULD have gone the muzzle route when out. 'I' would have HAD to accept I had NO choice. Blah, blah blah. Anyway - the whole impossible/difficult business is VERY upsetting - for everyone. I felt for him - very much. The arrival of his new friend having suddenly gone so horribly wrong! There was nothing to be gained by being unpleasant. I invited him in for a coffee and a chat - just to try to 'smooth' the difficulty now between us. . we chatted. His dog is booked in to be castrated in a week or so. At the end of the day, I had my say about things and STRONGLY recommended he go the muzzle route - certainly for the forseeable future, at LEAST until he knows the dog better and what he's really dealing with. (I got the impression, he probably wouldn't.). If nothing else, the 'chat' enable ME to feel just a 'little' less upset about everything - although of course nothing else has changed for ME. We eventually parted civily with a handshake. .
I'm screwed. -////-
ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a square of chocolate. . . napped until around 7pm . . played rope in the garden for a bit . . gave Bella her last antibiotic tablet and a half . . PCd/monitored radio for a bit . . PCd this . . . TVd . .guitarred a touch . . ate a microwave curry and biscuits . . to bed at 2am.
12 - Up around 7:30am . . slow getting going, but eventually decided to walk Bella in the hazy sun like normal. Had JUST entered BGdns and let Bella off her lead when a noise behind me had me look round. Jeezuz! It was one of Ts son's dobermans - off its lead and loose. (He has a habit of walking all their dogs across that dangerous bit of road, off their leads.) Ok - but WHICH doberman?!!! Got Bella back on her lead real sharpish. T's son soon appeared - and confirmed it WAS the one who'd savaged Bella!!!!! FFS!! We had a 'polite' conversation about what had occurred, and how 'I' remember things happening, and I WAS able to awkwardly broach the subject of the 130 (vet/taxi expense (so far?)). He said I should pop-in in the morning, and he'd give me the money. I made it clear I wasn't prepared to take the risk of walking Bella off her lead in the normal way, with his dog around, and he did at some point put it on its lead. We eventually finished our conversation and I then hung back and suggested he should carry on ahead, and put some space between us. He headed off in the direction of the seats under the roof, so I dared to let Bella off her lead and carried on down for just a little careful ball play at our usual lower seat. Didn't throw the ball much or far, before eventually heading back up top. Before reaching the upper level, I put Bella back on her lead - just to be careful. As I rounded the corner of the steep path and emerged in sight of the usual crowd of dog walkers under the roof, sure enough, T's new doberman was running around loose again. Kept Bella close and carried on towards them all - and just then, the doberman started attacking a freindly golden retriever type dog, a woman was walking nearby!!! Guess what - I did it - I kept walking, and turned my back on things! If I could have covered my ears and blocked out the screaming of the retriever, I would have! Horror. Agony. To be honest, the attack didn't seem to be 'as bad' as it had been for the setter (and Bella!) on Saturday, and perhaps because of T's son racing to intervene (and promptly falling over on the path), things I 'think' may have calmed down a bit. The next thing I recall was the doberman chasing and trying to attack the retriever again, as it ran away across the gardens. I had the briefest of conversations with a couple of the dog walkers under the roof, showing them Bellas wound, before intending to get the hell away from there. More distant yelping and screaming from the retriever saw me say with a rather unpleasant tone to T, referring to 'his son's' new dog, 'It's NOT right! You've got a problem there!'. He did NOT look happy. I felt sorry for him. He looked old and unwell. HE doesn't need all this s***t! Just as we were carefully edging away, the doberman reappeared from between some trees, and started running directly towards us. I admit to being frankly terrified. A call from T's son thankfully seemed to distract it, sufficient for me to edge away and then leave, keeping Bella on her lead and close-by, all the way back out of the gardens. I saw the retriever owner a distance away inspecting her dog for wounds. My mouth was dry - I was shaking and felt sick. . stopped off at the store for milk and bread - and now full of fear at leaving Bella tied up outside. . . stopped off at Mums on the way home, to let her see how Bella was doing (and fill her with cheese and biscuits), and for me to have a VERY much needed coffee! . . . mowed the lawns and poked briefly at the garden before very quickly just giving up. I'm just SO not in the mood. I'm really REALLY upset about this 'dangerous dog' thing. I absolutely CANNOT run the risk of encountering that dog running loose again with Bella. It's obvious to me now - it WILL attack again. That was NOT an isolated incident on Saturday. This IS what THAT dog does! There is NO doubt about it. Where does THAT leave me? All of a sudden everywhere I walk her is going to be out of bounds. Going out walking her and sitting around playing ball a bit, is ALL that's left that I do! Where the hell does THAT leave me? Where can I go where I won't likely run into them again (it's a small town)? What the hell am I supposed to do now?!! Just like that, my pathetic little world has fallen apart. I feel as though my head is going to explode! What the hell am I supposed to do NOW?!! . . PCd this . . drank wine. Ate pate sandwiches, crisps and mini cheddars followed by chocolate biscuits . . tried to nap but my mind was racing and reliving awful 'doggie' things, and making me all full of adrenalin and feeling sick and unable to sleep. Eventually slept for maybe just an hour or so. :o( . . . sat and played 'rope' throwing with Bella in the garden for a bit. Rope rather than ball, because it isn't so liable to bounce through the fence into neighbours gardens. . guitarred breifly . . PCd . Bella seemed to develop a 'problem' with her RIGHT ear (NOT the one that was damaged in the attack!) and saw her wandering around with her head all lop sided and frequently shaking!! Tried to gently clean her ear out with some soft, rolled-up tissues. Plenty of dirt AND a worrying amount of 'fluid' - although it may have just been her version of earwax, produced in response to some dirt or some such? Worrying nonetheless. . TVd and ate a pack of jam tarts and a handful of fig rolls . . to bed around 2am.
11 - Poor disturbed and broken sleep, then eventually up around 8:20am . . let Bella use the garden and gave her her tablet and a half of antibiotics before heading for the PC to look up the opening times of the local vet. Gave them a call and managed to get an appointment - the earliest I could get was for 10:40am. . left Bella at home and walked up the post office to post the latest three e-bay sales. (I heard her whining as I left! She's become VERy clingy and demanding of attention this last day or so.) The post office queue was out the door! :o( . . returned home, PCd, and notified the buyers the stuff was on its way . . walked with Bella (without a collar on) to the vets. She was SO excited to be out, it was an absolute nightmare trying to get her to walk to heal. Particularly so because I daren't put any pressure on her lead, lest it should foul and tear her stitches! . so much for the extra food I stuffed into her yesterday. It's just resulted in her pooping huge amounts at different places along the way! . . an unusual ten minutes wait to be seen at the vets, and then in and out within a minute or two. Pointless. Made the appointment to have her stitches out next Monday. . walked back via town and then BGdns. It took a while. Without exaggeration, for most of the walk, I was only able to manage TWO paces, before having to stop and get Bella to return to heal!!!!!!! For gods sake! TWO years we've been going on like this now - EVERY F**ING day! I can't imagine ANY other dog in the world being SO exciteable and uncontrollable. Ridiculous! She HAS been an absolute nightmare to 'own'. She REALLY has! :o( I can't even resort to using the halti now, because of all her wounds. Dared to let Bella off her lead for a bit, and she just wanted to start running around and playing ball like usual! Token threw her ball a couple of times, but she started leaping around more than I was happy with, and I soon stopped. Nearby 'youths' (more 'young-men' actually) were playing with some remote controlled, 2-stroke motored model cars, and the noise was unbelieveably deafening (really actually painful!), and made continuing to sit there utterly impossible. Jeeze guys - get a bloody silencer - and maybe grow-up! (Tempted to read-up on what control frequencies they use - and devise something to mess with it! That COULD be wickedly amusing - to secretly press some buttons, and see their cherished toys go full speed over the cliffs and into the sea! lolol Given how closeby I was sat, maybe I could have just pressed the PTT on my handie? Next time - I'll give it a try. lolol). . sat on my favourite seat in the sun for a bit although it didn't feel the same. Not as safe or pleasant. VERY watchful of passing dogs.. . . Mum called to touch base . .The postman delivered the IC I'd ordered, although I'm SO not in the mood to be messing with any of that nonsense any more at the moment, I just put it straight in a big tupperware with all the other components. . TVd as rain showers returned . . ate a week-past the sell-by-date pate sandwiches, mini cheddars, crisps and chocolate biscuits . . fitfully napped the afternoon away until around 6:30pm. Actually woken by Bella whining, when she somehow hurt herself as she shifted position on her bed! :o( . . sat in the garden for a while before giving her her evening meal and tablets. . PCd. Damn - a few things I'd been watching on e-bay, have come and gone this last couple of days whilst I've been preoccupied with Bella, and at least one of them would have been a damn good deal which I probably could have won. Damn. . .TVd nothing . . ate a trio of ham rolls, mini cheddars, chocolate biscuits and chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
10 - Poor disturbed and broken sleep, then eventually up around 9:20am, all achey and very 'blah'. Drizzle. No walks today for sure - and actually maybe not for a few days. . Bella used the garden without too much encouragement. The slightest touch to her ear (which she often does herself by rubbing up against things!) causes her to plaintively whine in pain! Heartwrenching! I've very gently explored, and the skin all around that area still feels VERY worryingly 'bubbly'. The bigger wound I haven't dared go anywhere near.:o( . .successfully gave her the tablet and a half of 250mg Clavaseptin antibiotics, by just offering them up in the palm of my hand with a single broken-up gravy bone. She must be THE easiest dog in the world to give tablets to. . . PCd this at length again - and whilst doing, wrestled with it all in my mind some more. I guess what happened to Bella yesterday, WAS kinda, all my fault. It certainly wasn't hers. WHAT suffering she's been through in her little life! 'I' don't seem to have helped! Being in my 'care' seems to have increased it! I 'could'(should?!) have just sat there and watched the red-setter being savaged - and just thought, how lucky it wasn't anything to do with me. Thing is - on an unconscious level somehow, I just don't work that way. I don't know how it's possible to draw a ring around yourself and just sit back and not get involved when 'things' are happening right in front of you. NONE of us are SO 'seperate' from all else. And yet - I am a schizoid/avoidant recluse!!???? WHAT a breathtakingly perplexing and contradictory position to be in!! I am SO confused by all. I don't want to have to go out any more. . I wonder what shape that red-setter is in this morning?! :o( . . . Three of the things I had listed on e-bay sold during the day. The charger from the 'box of toss' suprisingly sold for 14.50 (+postage). Since that 'box of toss' with the postage cost me a total of 21.51 - and the morse key although damaged, IS I think worth a few s to anyone, that makes me feel much happier about the deal - and if I end up actually binning the rest, it won't be such a 'hurt' at all. Phew. . the 70cms 'white stick' antenna sold for a mere 4, the Welz SWR meter for 16.91. That's an 'acceptable' few s 'loss' I've made on both - but I mustn't really look at it like that I guess. What I spent on them is now 'water under the bridge', and I simply no longer want such things, so any amount I can get back, is better viewed as a bonus. Hell - whatever I get is liable to end up going to the vets sooner or later isn't it!!! I seem to be visiting the vet with some Bella emergency/problem or other, every few months! :o( . . .ate four corned-beef rolls, mini cheddars and chocolate . . napped until around 5:20pm . . . sat in the garden for a bit with Bella . . fed her extra including half a tin of baked beans! . . . climbed up into the attic to retrieve wrapping/packaging stuff and at length, got the three e-bay sales all packaged and labelled up and ready to go . . radiod locally briefly . . TVd 'Aliens' YET again . . ate waggon wheel biscuits and bowls of rice krispies . . to bed after the film around 2am.
9 - Broken poor sleep then up around 7:50am. Still breezy, and actually quite cool, but blue sky sunny . . . walked. According to chatter on the scanner, the impressive tall-masted sailing ship the 'Lord Nelson', which has been moored in the bay the last couple of days sheltering from the weather, was getting ready to lift anchor and set sail for Dartmouth. Played ball with Bella lots waiting to see the ship set sail. It then turned out that their anchor was somehow hooked-up on some submerged cables, and they were having real trouble lifting it. Even had to launch a small boat to adjust the lifting lines and suchlike. All went on for ages. As I continued to throw Bella's ball, a 'new' dog appeared on the scene. A doberman. He seemed quite happy wandering around exploring (with a silly looking toy in his mouth) and didn't take any particular notice of Bella as she raced back and forth after her ball right nearby. T's son eventually turned up with the rest of the usual 'pack' and announced it was the new rescue dog he'd driven up to Essex to see a little while ago. He'd somehow persuaded elderly T and his wife who he lives with (who wisely didn't really want another - their house already being quite full of both people and dogs!) to relent and allow him to have it. (They already have one doberman, an ageing king charles spaniel, and a 'relatively' recently adopted cross-labrador type - never mind all the people in their house!). None of my business of course, but when I heard he was thinking of getting another (without first even having mentioned it to his parents!?), I thought he was being MOST, MOST unwise! (How many does anyone 'need'? I find it a FULL time job looking after just Bella! I generally find myself being critical of anyone who has more than two.) Anyway, he'd gone and done it, so I made polite conversation and tried to say the right thing about how it seemed to be nice and having a good explore around etc. They all eventually carried on their way. . Eventually gave up sitting and awaiting the departure of the Lord Nelson, STILL wrestling with its anchor, and headed off up to the seats under the roof for a smoke and a sit etc. T, his son and all the dogs were up there with one or two other people, and we chatted for a bit as the Lord Nelson FINALLY managed to free and heave its anchor, and start heading out of the bay disappointingly under just engine power. The old ('unpopular') woman who has an 'unruly pack' of four red-setter dogs appeared sat nearby at some point, and her dogs roamed around about, pretty uncontrolled as normal. Eventually T and his son decided to start heading home with their pack of dogs. (Most people DO suddenly have to start heading home, when those rather overwhelming red-setters arrive on the scene!) As they walked away towards the entrance to BGdns, their new doberman stayed hanging around, sniffing at things and the pack of setters. This is the point at which my memory gets a little confused. All of a sudden out of nowhere, one of the red-setters and the new doberman got into some sort of a dispute for some reason. It IMMEDIATELY escalated into a full-on 'fight'. I say 'fight', but really, it was almost immediately just the doberman with its jaws locked on the back of one of the red-setters neck, pinning it to the ground and NOT letting go despite its screams. It did NOT stop or let go! There was NO conscious thought process in me that I can recall. 'Something' had to be done - and I found myself getting to my feet and making my way towards where the red-setter was, well - frankly, likely being killed! All this commotion started a bit of a 'pack' reaction in all the dogs, and even Bella rushed-in towards the mayhem, and I had to call her back. As I was slightly distracted and delayed doing so, T's son arrived back on the scene and seemed to slip or throw himself onto the ground next to the dogs, and grabbed the jaws of the doberman and started to wrestle and attempt to prise it's jaws apart while laying next to them. I think I did try to reach in and help at some point, but NO-one - no-one is strong enough to do THAT! It just wasn't gonna work. Somehow 'instinctively' (after years of having dogs?) I figured I knew what WOULD work. I reached into the 'scrum' and got hold of one of the the dobermans ears in a pinch, and forcefully pushed my thumbnail into the thin sensitive flesh. It IMMEDIATELY let go of the red-setter, turned, and grabbed hold of Bella who had 'assumed her position' at my left leg. Oh JEEZUZ!!!! Oh JEEZUZ!!!! It was 'locked onto her' immediately, somewhere around or just behind her head!!!!! She was screaming in pain! I ended up on the floor, pretty much on top of Bella, and perhaps a bit on top of the doberman, trying to at least hold her still, and foolishly ended up getting my hands into the dobermans jaws in a desperate attempt to get it to release its grip, exactly as T's son had failed to do moments before! Bella's plaintive screaming seemed to go on for a VERY long time - but I presume it wasn't 'that' long? I don't know why (or what was perhaps done to it), but all of a sudden the doberman released its grip and withdrew. I could so easily have just burst into tears (and actually almost did, right there and then!). Not Again! Owwww my poor Bella - not AGAIN!! Tried to calm her and just keep her still, and eventually started trying to see what injuries she'd actually suffered. There WAS quite a bit of blood around the place - but it turned out 'most' of that was dripping from puncture wounds on the thumb and middle finger of MY right hand. From our previous experience, I had absolutely NO doubt, that Bella WAS going to be seriously injured - it was just a matter of being able to actually find the wounds! It was immediately clear she'd at the VERY least, suffered some sort of damage to the inside of her left ear. It was all bloody. Try as I did (and with my failing eyesight), I just couldn't see amongst all her fur, exactly how badly she'd been hurt - and the blood dripping from my hand wasn't helping. Actually, it also transpired that whilst I'd been wrestling with the dogs on the floor, I'd also managed to get absolutely covered in some FOUL smelling s**t! All over my trousers! Ewwwwww!!!! I just needed to be home - real quick. T's son was obviously himself rather upset, and all apologetic, and immediately said if there was any vet expenses he'd pay for it. (I actually felt rather sorry for him.) He eventually mustered up a bunch of tissues for my hand from somewhere. (A kind woman who walks a badly disabled girl in a wheelchair, out for a breath of fresh air many days, tried to get me to take a flannel she was carrying, but I just couldn't bring myself to ruin it for her like that!). All now consumed by my own nightmare, I didn't even notice what became of the woman with the red-setters, or what condition HER dog may have been in. As far as I recall, the doberman calmed down and just carried on mooching about like normal. Everyone around just seemed a little bit shocked I think. There WAS some suggestion that I should go and get a tetanous injection!!! . I didn't hang around. I made for the exit. Bella was acting her normal, exciteable, stick-grabbing self along the short way, albeit continually stopping to shake her head because of the irritation in her damaged/bleeding ear. Hard to stop her doing that - and likely making things worse! Hooked her up on her lead and quickly headed home, 'apace', stopping every now and then to check she was doing ok and to see if I could find further injuries. It's a LONG walk home - especially under such circumstances! . as soon as we were inside, I raced into the conservatory and got Bella to sit and let me have a good look at her. SO much fur - SO hard to find wounds!! The extraordinary stench coming from my s**t covered trousers very quickly became more than I could stomach, and I HAD to quickly race up for a change of clothes. Stuffed everything straight into the washing machine. Had another goood look at Bella's ear and eventually found a proper open puncture wound on the outside around 5mm or more in length!!! Quickly determined it WAS gonna need at least a stitch or two. Raced to call the local vet - only to be told they'd closed the surgery for today and there wasn't a vet there who could help me. I'd have to go to Totnes!! F**K!!! What to do??? . .There WAS a taxi 'between jobs' parked just up the road - but also neighbour D's land rover was out there too. I so SO hate 'using people' like that, but I decided to dare to leave Bella and quickly go and knock on his door and ask for a ride. He was VERY good about it, dropped everything he was doing and said ok. . raced to grab my wallet,keys etc and then met the neighbour outside. Sat in the back with Bella with D's dog taking pride of place in the front passenger seat as usual. lol . . quite a bit of traffic on the road, but we arrived in crowded and busy Totnes pretty soon (although of course it seemed like a LONG agonising time to me!). Directed him where to go, and we were soon pulling into the small car park behind the vets - or so I thought! WOULD you believe it - it was no longer a vets!!???? Turned out the premises appeared to now be a charity or clothes shop!?? Asked someone in there where the vet now was, and got vague directions of the 'fifteen minute wallk' - although the directions meant little to me, because I have absolutely no knowledge of Totnes at all. What a nightmare! Felt all guilty about having dragged the neighbour into all this nonsense, thanked him and suggested it'd really be best if he just left me to it, and I'd find my own way back whenever that was liable to be. Bid him a quick farewell and immediately hot-footed it through the crowds of town in the direction I'd been told. Bella was all exciteable and pulling on her lead despite her condition, and had to be sharply pulled-up ALL along the way - which somehow saw my injured hand start bleeding a bit again! . at length, without 'too' much difficulty, I found the big new vets premises. . quickly explained to a pleasant woman who I 'think' was a veterinary assistant/nurse type person. Turned out there allegedly wasn't currently a vet on site!! We muzzled Bella just to be on the safe side and she had a good look at the wound I'd discovered behind Bella's ear. She suggested it could maybe just be sorted out with a staple or two (which SHE could do), and went to make a phone call to a vet just to confirm that would be acceptable. She soon returned indicating that was what she was planning to do. I went along with that, but DID explain I was concerned that there would likely be more damage, and because of Bella's fur, hadn't been able to have a thorough inspection of everywhere. In the process of removing her collar, restraining her, and both now being able to have a better look, I felt that weird, sickening 'bubbling' under the skin affect in ANOTHER area. I was horrified to find a MUCH larger open wound on the left side of her kneck right where her collar had been!!!!! Damn!! I knew it!!!! I bloody knew!! Just like when she'd been bitten before, her paper-thin skin had been torn right open in a big gash, and bizarely just like before, it wasn't bleeding particularly much, if at all!?? Poor poor dog. And she'd been pulling on her lead etc all the way through town!!! Finding that of course immediately changed everything and it was NOT something the nurse alone was going to be able to resolve. Off she went to allegedly make a phone call again. Miraculously when she returned, she said there WAS now a vet on the premises, and they'd have Bella in straight away to anaesthetise her and stitch her up. I was utterly amazed to be told that it would probably only take around half an hour, and I'd be able to take her home straight after! After asking that when they did so, they should have a VERY good look around for any other wounds, with little ado, Bella was taken through a door and away to be 'operated' on! (At some point throughout all this, I seem to recall there was some further discussion about how I should be getting a tetanous jab. Yeah yeah.) I stood outside and chainsmoked for a bit. SUCH a busy road, and yet two house-sparrows had a nest up inside the eaves of the metal roof just above the entrance, and were busily toing and froing. Would you believe it - it started pouring with rain! How just bloody perfect! I hadn't worn a coat! . With nothing for me to actually contribute at this point, and really in a bit of a daze, I figured I'd better sort out how the hell I was going to be able to get home. At the very least, I figured I was going to need some cash. Ended up setting off in the pouring rain (without a coat - or a dog by my side - but with an empty dog's collar in my pocket!!!!) and walked all the way back the way I'd come to the big Morrisons store. As I'd imagined there would be, there WERE some cash points outside - but it's been SO long since I used one, and because my account has been changed out of all recognition by all the bank takeovers etc, it wasn't obvious to me that I'd actually be able to get any cash out of any of them!! I couldn't run the risk of 'losing' my card in one - not right now, so I ended up going INTO the store and buying a pack of tobacco, just so I could do the 50 'cashback' thing. On the walk back to the vets I actually had to pass a small local hospital's accident and emergency centre. With a little time to kill, I DID actually wander in and attempt to ask the woman on reception about how serious a threat tetanous was, etc. She tried to be helpful, but the bottom line was, I'd have to join the substantial crowd in the waiting room, and at the very least, wait to eventually speak to a nurse. I wasn't in a position to be doing all that, so thanked her and left and returned in the rain to outside the vets for more chain-smoking and sparrow watching . . amazingly true to their word , somewhere around 1:30pm I think it was, I was called back in and Bella appeared on her lead at the consultation room door - 'almost' pleased to see me, but doing her usual hyperactive/exciteable 'whatever happens, happens' thing. She wasn't even muzzled and had allegedly been very good with them. She was definitely pretty wobbly and a bit 'out of it' from her anaesthetic. Image of Bella's 'latest' stitched wound!She had three big stitches across the shaved big wound site, and another smaller one on the puncture at the back of her ear. She had what was described as bruising (and that weird bubbly seperated skin type thing going-on ) in several other areas. There WAS apparantly some further damge to the inside of her ear which was still weeping (like my fingers!), but the nature of the wound meant they'd just cleaned it all up as best they could and anticipated it would likely heal of its own accord. I was given instructions on how best to immediately care for her, given a packet of antibiotics, told to go to my local vet on monday for a quick checkover, etc, etc. The woman then ALSO worryingly expressed some concern over Bella's weight and how skinny she seemed!! Given the amount of food I'm shovelling through her (more than Sally used to eat) I'd put her weight and permanently oh SO skinny condition, down to the amazing amount of excercise she gets playing with her ball twice a day. The vet nurse expressed concern that what I may be feeding her is such cheap rubbish, that it may not be giving her enough nutrition, and recommended I should switch to a much more expensive brand of wholemeal-complete! Yikes!!!!! :o( . All that then remained, was for me to settle the bill with my plastic at reception. 110.47. :o( . used the vets phonebook and phone to attempt to call a handful of taxi companies, but all I ended up with was ansaphone after anspahone. With little choice, we eventually headed off down the road in the rain in the direction of the centre of town and the bus stops (with Bella insisting on pulling ahead on her lead ALL the way, with the lead oh SO close to her stitched wound!!). Asked the sheltering crowd of people at the first stop we came to, how I would get a bus to Brixham, and was suitably directed to another stop on the opposite side of the road, and along a bit. A bus was actually stopped there at the time with its door open, so I asked the driver about how I'd be able to reach Brixham. Apparantly there was NO direct service, and we'd have to go all the way into the central bus station at Paignton, and then get another bus back out! Ugggh! The covered bus stop was FULL of people sheltering from the rain and nowhere to sit down. No - I couldn't handle the prospect of having to endure that, a long slow trip to Paignton on a bus I had no idea of the number of, and then again a wait, and an eventual nother unknown bus ride back to 'near' home followed by a walk in the rain - all with poor Bella in the state she was. No way! Quickly crossed the busy road and found the nearby taxi rank. The lady driver of the second taxi in the rank (Nessie Taxis) agreed to do the trip. Sat in the back, with Bella sat in the footwell, held up by my legs and the back of the front seat etc. She whined quiet a bit of the way - obviously in pain, and pretty 'spaced-out' from the anaesthetic. It absolutely BUCKETED with rain during that drive back! Eventually got back home somewhere around 2:45pm. 18:50 - I handed over a 20 note and refused the change - like I could afford it! Breifly knocked on Ds door to let him know it HAD been more serious than I'd hoped, and thanked him again for driving us out there and then returned home. Oh thank god for being home!!! Breifly touched base with Mum and confirmed we were home . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations (half a large pork-pie treat for Bella as usual) to hear the tale of the morning's events and coo over Bella etc. We discussed the tetanus injection thing a bit, and I was persuaded to kinda half heartedly look into it. Gave my doctor's surgery a call - they were closed until Monday. Gave the NHS-Direct 'nonsense' helpline a call (for the first time ever 'in earnest'?) - and at CONSIDERABLE length, TOTALLY confirmed in my opinion what an absolute load of complete 'PR/waste-of-public-money' nonsense it IS! After a lengthy and 'suspicious' 'gather my personal data' excercise for their computer system, at length they suggested I SHOULD attend TORBAY hospital's accident and emergency centre!! What f***ing help to me was that 'expert' suggestion? The ONLy use they were (after I pointed out there WAS a hospital IN Brixham, and perhaps they should search on their computer system for 'Minor Injuries Unit' instead) was to eventually confirm - 'oh yes, there is one in Brixham - but it closes within ten minutes'. That was enough of all that nonsense for me - I thanked the (medically unqualified) helpline operative for their 'help' and got off the phone!! Logistically - without my own transport - just getting across to Torbay hospital would have taken me much of the rest of the day - never mind then having to sit around waiting to be seen for hours and then having to get home - and all that time having to leave injured Bella at home alone, etc, etc, etc. It just is NOT gonna happen! I'll take my chances. In-line with what I LONG AGO determined - if I absolutely must - as a VERY last resort - I WILL seek medical intervention (and put myself in that loathsome, HORRENDOUS, humiliating situation) AFTER I am actually ill! (and YES - I DO fully accept, by then, potentially terminally so.) . . ate half a pork pie, crisps, mini-cheddars, banana and a little chocolate . . . napped until the alarm at 7:30pm. Did NOT want to have to wake up. :o( . . skipped the evening walk of course, and just sat with Bella in the uncomfortably cold garden, for little longer than it took to smoke a cigarette and for my half-drunk coffee to get cold. Fed her her evening meal (+ a little) as normal . . PCd . Yay - FINALLY - three of the things I'd listed on e-bay have minimum bids placed on them at last. I'd really started to worry I wasn't going to be able to sell ANY of them! . after todays events in particular, the few pounds I'm liable to get for all the (listing/packaging/posting)work involved, really seems utterly insignificant and absurdly pointless! :o( . . . absolutely NOT in the mood, but PCd this at length, occasionally going downstairs to check on and fuss and coo over Bella. .my fingers are hurting - and leaking a bit, as the broken skin dries out and draws back! Naaah - I've had worse. . . TVd and ate two pastry slices, mini cheddars and the last of the lump of fruit cake . . to bed around 3am. Difficulty getting to sleep - with my mind repeatedly forcing me to re-experience the moment Bella got hurt, and her plaintive screaming!!! :o(
8 - Up real late around 9:15am . . still windy but stopped raining at least . . walked REAL late. Back via the store for milk etc . . . wasted away the whole day surfing circuits, components and related nonsense and understanding none of it! . . . around 4pm it became clear from chatter on the radios on 243.450Mhz, that the Red Arrows were in the middle of doing their display at the Dawlish Airshow. First time I've actually been able to really listen-in to them like that. "Smoke on - GO. Synchros smoke on - GO. BREAK - BREAK - GO! Rolling - now" etc etc. And THEN - around 4:20pm I heard them saying they were going to overfly Torbay and Brixham!!! Raced out into the garden (in the drizzle), and sure enough, a short while later, they flew over in formation with their smoke on (on their way to land at Exeter I think)! WONDERFULL suprise! :o). . eventually tore myself away from the PC, headachey and in a foul short tempered and VERY down mood . . drank a glass of wine and cooked up a pot of rice with peas, and a sauce from some chopped bacon, mushroom soup and grated cheese. Ate a big bowlful with four pieces of bread and butter folowed by some chocolate. . napped . . walked in the chilly breezy dry. . PCd surfing some more. . BB called to briefly touch base . . Eventually bit the bullet and 'threw away' a wapping 2.98 on an order for a 'XR2206CP Monolithic Function Generator IC' to eventually experiment with on my 'breadboard'! I've a horrible feeling I'm gonna be spending a few pounds more on a broader collection of components, to enable me to blindly copy some of the circuits I've been looking at on the net. :o( Having said that, it does appear it's actually generally a pretty cheap thing to be playing with. . . TVd and ate the rest of the rice and sauce concoction with four pieces of bread and butter followed by some chocolate biscuits . . to bed around 3am.
7 - Disturbed sleep, woke earlier, snoozed on, then up around 7:45am after very little sleep . Wind and rain - and a forecast for much worse later. Much 'howling' from the PC room window! :o( . . I'm feeling pretty down, and always so, SO tired. . .walked in full weather gear in the wind and torrential rain. Immediately drenched right through. . PCd/monitored radio, soaking wet and cold. TORRENTIAL rain!!!! . . Mum called to touch base . . 'threw away' the last of a reel of old insulating tape, and actually taped the gaps all around the window in the PC room, in an attempt to finally get to the bottom of what the hell is causing that awfull howling/wind noise. Bizarrely, despite going to all that considerable effort, the howling mostly continued!? Not sure what to make of that. Suffice it to say, it was a waste of insulation tape - and it's gonna require me getting the ladder up outside, to have a closer look at what may be causing it at some point! Ugggh. :o( So - I'm stuck with the noise throughout the present gales. . . the postman delivered the little package (I HAD imagined it'd be bigger!) containing the 'electronic components starter kit'. Immediately set about having a look at the contents. Yikes - literally just plastic bags of resistors and capacitors and such like! I HAD completely-naively expected to be able to quickly set about experimenting - but that just isn't going to be the case. I don't even know enough, to be able to identify which component is which! Ok - some of the bags containing the resistors ARE labelled - but because each bag has a selection of strips of resistors inside, I still have to be capable of identifying which is which! Blimey - this is gonna be incredibly time consuming!!!! . surfed and downloaded various images to enable me to start trying to understand what's what. One of the most difficult parts about all this, is the state of my eyesight! I'm having to use a torch and a magnifying glass just to be able to make a good guess at what the colour bandings are on the resistors - and oh my god, how on earth can they even print SUCH small writing on those capacitors??? . . . left things for later and drank a glass of red wine while cooking up and then eating three slices of bacon, three eggs, chips and half a tin of baked beans . . . napped (through the violent storm-force gusts of wind) until around 6:15pm .(popped outside on MORE than one occasion throughout the day, to check on my chimney mounted aerials etc!). . skipped the evening walk as the 'slightly' reduced gale continued . . Back to the electronic components kit! Spent ages working out what all the strips of colour coded resistor values were - and checked my calculations/findings with my multimeter just to be sure. Eventually settled on a downloaded PDf of an old 555 IC chip based morse-code oscillator circuit-diagram, and slowly and meticulously sorted out a little heap of the required components, including an old miniature 8ohm speaker salvaged from either a PC, or a broken radio I threw away recently. Used some old telephone wire for the temporary 'breadboard' hookups (rather than the leads supplied in the kit), just to prove I could use THAT type of wire, because I have lots laying around in the garage (salvaged from outside the phone exchange down the road - where there is always plenty more!). Image of my first attempt at a 555 timer, breadboard, morse-code practice oscillatorBlah blah blah - anyway - it took me HOURS, trying to translate the circuit diagram into a 'real-world breadboard circuit', but at length, I was pretty much there as far as I could tell - and nervously connected up the battery and - AND - NOTHING!! lolol Didn't take long to realise I hadn't fully understood how the 'breadboard' was wired up. Switched one lead and YAYYYYYYY - bingo - I can make beeps ( of variable tones). lololololololol Hilarious really. I've been determined to make one of those ubiquitous oscillators for ages - in the full knowledge they sound absolutely bloody awful (because it's a square wave and not a proper sinewave, etc). Nevertheless, there WAS a certain satisfaction (or should that be - relief!) in working it all out and getting it to work. Given how much hassle something so simple was, I'm really not sure I'm cut out to play such games! If nothing else, at last I can lay THAT to rest in my head. Sadly, I DO want to attempt to have a go at another - but a more useable (and complicated?) 'sinewave' type next time - assuming I can find a suitably simple circuit-diagram/more suitable IC on the web somewhere. Anyway - MORE than enough of all that for a while I think! . . PCd this gone 1am. . .TVd and ate pate sandwiches, crisps, banana and some chocolate before to bed around 3am.
6 - Up around 8:15am during a heavy rain shower. Slow getting going. PCd this . . walked in full weather gear, but only caught a little drizzle before it brightened up to almost sunny spells for a bit. Back via the store for a few supplies. . . PCd/monitored radios, once again unable to really motivate myself to doing anything at all .Chatter on the radio from ships taking refuge in the bay from the forecast bad weather . .the electronics kit I ordered has allegedly been dispatched. . . the postman delivered the double BNC 3m patch leads I'd ordered so I eventually set about cutting one in half and making up a pair, with a PL239 plug soldered on one end. . messed around with the radios and new patch leads and switchers, experimenting with all the nest of absurd interconnections to enable me to 'more or less' do what I want, and where. . ate pate sandwhiches, crisps, banana, biscuits and a little chocolate . . napped late until 7:30pm . . .couldn't face the walk and just got Bella to use the garden. Not raining 'quite' yet, but big storms forecast for the next day or so! :o( . . listened to radios and eventually did just a little 'morse-receiving practice' at the PC. First proper bit of practice I've done for quite a while! Need to get back to a more regular routine. It doesn't take long for me to slip backwards in my receive ability!!!!??? Why on EARTH am I bothering!? What on earth AM I doing?! :o( . . TVd . . ate a defrosted meat pie, a tin of baked beans and some grated cheese followed by a bit of fruit cake . . eventually to bed around 2:30am as wind and rain battered the house.
5 - Up around 8:20am. Headachey. Raining lots . . . walked in full weather gear . . . pottered and poked around getting nothing done . . . eventually cut my hair and trimmed my beard and then did vacuuming chores. . watched a little of the Queens jubilee stuff on TV and caught the flypast. Dunno why those flypasts (Battle of Britain Memorial flight and Red Arrows particularly) ALWAYS emotionally affect me so much . . drank a glass of red wine and ate a quartet of ham rolls, crisps and a buttered chelsea bun followed by a square or two of chocolate . . napped until around 7pm - by which time the rain had stopped. . sat and watched a tempting e-bay auction end (for an FT-897 of course - because sooner or later, somehow or another, I think I DO want one of those to replace the 767!). Even put in a substantial last minute bid, because it was threatening to go for a very good price - but someone else put in a VERY serious last minute bid, and all of a sudden, it sold for around 200 more than I'd bid! lolol Even at THAT price, it was a pretty damned good deal! :o( . . .walked with a coffee (and a pretty bad toothache! I'm losing another.). Actually not a bad evening, although feeling quite chilly on the return. . .PCd just a bit and then TVd the evening away, monitoring radios just a little while doing so . . nothing on worth watching, so ended up watching just a little of the BBC1 recorded highlights of the weekend's Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations. Much was made of the concert in front of the palace - but it seemed to me (from the little of it I could stand) that most of the acts I heard, had really 'lost their touch' with age, and actually sounded pretty awful!! . . ate a banana, lump of cheese, crisps and the last of the chunk of garlic sausage, followed by bowls of co-co pops . . .PCd very briefly before to bed around 1:30am.
4 - Up around 7:45am . . walked. . . PCd and once again, just to bring an end to the 'latest' time consuming obsession that I haven't been able to get out of my mind for the last several weeks, I ordered a '613 piece electronic component starter kit' from a company on e-bay for 18.69 including postage! Despite having got through my radio amateur course years ago, I really have absolutely NO knowledge WHATSOEVER of how components and circuits 'actually' work - so figure such a kit (as used by schoolkids doing GCSE electronics etc) 'should' enable me to start having a bit of a play. It comes with a 'breadboard' for just 'plugging' components in, when making up temporary circuits etc. The net is full of circuit diagrams for such learning/experimentation - even youtube is full of videos of 'children' successfully building little 'devices' on those breadboards, so - we shall see. How the hell I'm gonna find the time to play such games is another matter! . . PCd this . . .couldn't motivate myself to get down to what I should have been doing, and ended up messing around looking at some of the 'box of toss' stuff and researching what it may be. One of the things in there appears to be some sort of pager equipment. That one really is fit for the bin, so I may end up having a go at just keeping some of the component parts. It can stay in the box for a while. Put the useless case tops straight in the bin. . carried on messing around and eventually set up the Uniden 3500 scanner AND the AR3000 down in the living room, just to temporarily test their functionality with bizarre antenna interconnections via my 'downlink' coax. Blimey - they actually work pretty well like that. Once I get those new patch leads and get them all connected up right with a switcher, it should be well possible to have a bit of a play monitoring ALL bands down in the living room, when I'm in the mood to be feet up and layed back in front the TV and NOT the PC - but still fancy keeping half an ear on stuff. Cooooool. :o) . . ate garlic sausage sandwiches, crisps and chocolate biscuits . . napped until the alarm at 7:30pm . . just before leaving to walk, the local lifeboat was called out to evacuate some old guy who'd "lost a lot of blood and was undergoing a transfusion" aboard the 'Queen Mary II'!!! They rendezvousd out at sea and eventually transported him to be met by an ambulance at Kingswear!!! . walked late and eventually decided to sit around and wait to watch the Queens jubilee beacon-lighting and fireworks across the bay at Corbyn Head in Torquay. Radiod briefly and drank coffee while waiting for darkness. From around 10pm onwards, beacons and fireworks were visible in the FAR distance, at different points around the Lyme Bay coastline out towards Portland. Image of Queens Jubilee fireworks over TorquayA small crowd gradually gathered in BGdns (making me too self conscious to keep talking on the radio). Image of Queens Jubilee 'smiley face' firework over TorquayAt long last, around 10:30pm, the Torquay fireworks were let off, appearing in the sky just to the left of the brightly lit funfare which has been on the seafront for the last few days. (Turned out to be too far away to see any sign of the actual 'beacon' fire.) A spectacular display no doubt, but from this distance, more just kinda 'pretty', with a VERy reduced amount of noise - and a substantial delay before hearing it, LONG after seeing what caused the bang. . eventually headed home . . PCd this. It was only when looking at the bit of video I shot to maybe get a still for here, that I discovered the 'smiley face' firework appearing oh SO briefly in amongst the display. How amazing is THAT! How on earth DO they manage to do that? Who'd have imagined just a few years ago, they'd now be able to do such things. Really amazing. It was so brief, I wonder how many people watching the display even actually saw it? :o) . . TVd . .ate a banana and buttered chelsea buns. To bed around 2:30am or later.
3 - Up around 8:45am again . . walked . .I've been 'watching' several items being auctioned on e-bay of late, and ending at various times throughout today. I even sat and waited to put a last-minute bid in on one or two. Pointless. Everything I was watching went for quite remarkably high prices. WAY over what 'I' thought they'd be worth. Amazing so many people will (and can!) pay SUCH high prices for some of that stuff! All rather disappointing!?. . . given the 'four days of free listings' weekend, I put in the amazing amount of time it takes me, and listed for sale a small handful of things on e-bay. Some of the radio stuff I bought (Welz SWR meter, UHF antenna) which I'm going to make a loss on (IF it even sells!), and a couple of things (TV amp, radio desk top charger) from the recent ill-conceived 'box of toss' deal (in the desperate hope of clawing back 'some' of that expense. I don't hold out much hope! :o( ). . . watched a bit of the Queens flotilla procession down the thames on TV, and ate a trio of corned beef, cheese and mayo rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped . .delayed walking and watched a couple more e-bay auctions end - at WAY over the price I was willing to have paid again. :o( . walked in a hint of drizzle. A large group of youths being loud, childish, obnoxious, camping and setting a fire in the gun emplacement etc ruined my walk. Ended up returning home in a horrible down mood. .PCd all evening and did a lengthy reply to the message I'd received from the razor buyer, confirming that he'd FINALLY received it - and asking about its 'provenence'. . eventually PCd surfing some more, and ended up looking at crazy stuff like components and ICs and circuit diagrams and the like - at length - again!!??!! Sadly it's all greek to me! :o( . .TVd and ate a chunk of Mum donated garlic sausage, crisps and a chelsea bun in the early hours . . to bed around 3am.
2 - Up around 8:45am feeling pretty yucky, tired, headachey and incredibly hot. . .walked . . cut up the remaining trimmed tree branches and stashed it all in bins in the garage to dry out. Dumped a small amount of the thicker stuff out in the lane for the neighbour to use in his wood burner. . tidied up the conservatory 'dumping ground' just a touch . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats etc . . TVd and ate a handful of sausage rolls, crisps and a buttered chelsea bun . . napped (dreaming much) until around 6pm (difficulty waking) - just in time to see a little rain finally arrive. Little more than enough to wet the ground! Nowhere near the amount I was expecting from the forecast. The dry gardens need more - and I reckon my roof and gutters would benefit from a good washing-down, following all that moss and lichen clearing I did the other day. . PCd this . . couldn't resist and had the briefest of signal-report-exchange type contacts with a GB4DJ 'Diamond Jubilee' special event station up in Northampton. . and then the rain poured! Couldn't face it and had a night off from the walk . . guitarred briefly before ending up back on the PC/radios! Arrrggghhh - I SO need to balance my accounts and sort out a load of outstanding stuff, rather than just keep on 'playing with toys'!! . . well - it took all evening until well gone midnight, but I FINALLY got most of my paperwork done and balanced my accounts. That's a load off. Still a bunch of outstanding ebay feedbacks and such-like to tidy up, but that'll have to wait a bit longer. .after quite a struggle, I managed to bend the parts of my broken watch strap back into shape, and used a new/spare spring loaded fastening pin to get it all back wearable. . ate a couple of small sausage rolls, two crusts of bread, a tin of soup, crisps and chocolate . . to bed around 2:30am.
1 - Up around 8:45am after not much sleep. . . walked in the grey overcast heat. Bahamas registered cruise ship 'Delphin' was moored over by Torquay . . . PCd/monitored radios. The whole radio amateur 'community' appears to be all gearing up for its 'special-event/callsign' frenzy for the Queens jubilee thing and then later on the olympics. . Yayyy - AT LAST, the post office tracking website is confirming the vintage razor has been delivered. Thank goodness for that! I was starting to worry, and really was getting sick and tired of having to go through all the palava of checking on it every day, as had become my habit! Whether or not the guy is happy with it is of course entirely another matter! I DO hope so, given the large amount he paid for it. :o\ . PCd this . . Mum called to touch base . . the postman delivered the flea collar I'd ordered AND the cheap plastic VX-7 case I'd won on e-bay (from Hong Kong). . worked in the hot garden and cut up some of the big pile of branches from the recent tree trimming. Chopped up all the wet leaves and suchlike into one dustbin, and put eventually burnable lengths of the more woody stuff into another. Caved-in, sweating and overheating with only half done. Stashed the two bins in the garage to continue drying out . . ate a packet of crisps, a tin of baked beans (cold from the tin with a spoon), a banana and a handful of chocolate biscuits . . napped late until around 7:30pm . . walked. The cruise ship and a tanker that's been moored out in the bay for a day or so were both gone. . listened around on the radio for hours. 40mtrs appeared to be particularly busy. Made the briefest of contacts with a couple of stations (Norfolk/Liverpool) around 11pm. Despite feeling the urge to want to use the radio, I did my usual thing of ending up just listening around and ('nervously'?) NOT doing so! I don't really understand how people can spend SO much time, so happily talking about themselves and or nothing, at length, like they do!? Despite how it may appear from all this drivel here - I generally don't want to be saying much to anyone, unless I actually have something to contribute and something meaningful to say about something - and of course that really is NOT what's going on, on the amateur bands! It's far more a lot of pointless 'blah, blah, blah' whilst in pursuit of collecting callsigns and countries, like a radio equivalent of a train spotter collecting passing train numbers! . Eventually tore myself away - actually descending into a hint of a down mood. I don't think I've actually mentioned it here, but despite all the effort and money I've put into all this radio nonsense of late (why HAS it all worked out to be SO difficult for me?!), I DO spend a lot of time 'wrestling' with the whole concept. I 'flip flop' about it quite frequently - and often quite severely. I AM aware that ultimately the whole idea really IS an utterly absurd, empty and pointless waste of time and money (PARTICULARLY so for someone like 'me'!) - and frequently I become SO overwhelmed with that realisation, I just have to turn it all off and walk away and hope it won't persist for 'too' long. . TVd . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of corned beef sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate before finally to bed around 3am.