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30 - Up at 8:50am. 19C in, 18C out. Sunny. .slow getting going. That 'paranoid' feeling I'd developed about my contributions to the local newspaper website not being acknowledged or used, had really started to get to me, and I bizarrely ended up phoning (they said they'd call me back but didn't of course) and emailing them, really just to try to check that my mails WERE actually reaching them! . . walked BGdns quite late. . .received a reply from the Newspaper website. They ARE receiving my mails, but there'd allegedly been an oversight or some such (they receive over a thousand news story e-mails per day apparantly! Jeeze - imagine ploughing through THAT lot!). They'd promptly placed a story and link to my Churston Cove rescue video on their site! Blimey - that did it. All of a sudden a whole bunch more views - and climbing!! They also said they'd look into why they hadn't mentioned/used the Water Ski footage. . . .PCd/TVd/just sat around the day through . . walked FGn (chilly in the breeze) and then out to the seat above the end of the breakwater again. Sat around for ages. Eventually back up into BGdns to sit some more and drink my coffee before finally home quite late around dark. . .TVd . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate boiled mixed veg, fried potato and cold ham real late . . to bed at 2am.
29 - Up at 8am. 19C in, 16C out. Mostly cloudy. . . walked BGdns and sat around for ages. Ended up sitting around for even longer when a mayday shout went out on channel 16 somewhere around 11:20am. A 12m fishing vessel 'Hannah Beth' was taking on water and the onboard pump was only 'just' keeping up with it! Fishing vessel 'Goldfish' was in the area and immediately responded and was the first on scene around 11:34am and stood by to assist if required. Both Exmouth and Sidmouth lifeboats were launched and tasked to attend, as was rescue helicopter 106 out of Portland, in the air by around 11:34am. The lifeboats arrived on scene somewhere after 11:44am, with the helicopter overhead by 11:48am. It turned out that somehow a hose had come off something, the crew managed to fix the problem, and they continued to pump the water out and were ultimately gonna be ok. All the troops were stood down, and a 'Silence Finnit' broadcast was made at 11:55am. . . PCd . . napped . .TVd . . ate four tuna and mayo buttered baps, crisps and later a whole pack of Mum donated mini chocolate logs! . . to bed before 3am.
28 - Up around 8:15am. 19C in, 12C out. Mostly rain and leaden skies. . . walked BGdns quite late. Wow - some heavy thundery showers around! Plenty of having to take shelter from heavy downpours in gun emplacements and under the roof over the higher seats etc. Eventually trudged home in the rain, getting pretty soaked . . . PCd a bit of this . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . . fried up four rashers of bacon, two eggs and a big pile of going cheap/off mushrooms. Ate with four pieces of bread and butter. . . napped . . . walked BGdns and then on out to sit above the end of the breakwater to drink my coffee before eventually home through town. . .TVd the night away. 'Tried' to watch a bit of Metallica headlining at Glastonbury on BBC2, but I ended up having to give up. Sadly 'their' brand of heavy metal is somehow just not to my taste at all. . . ended up actually watching a whole bunch of my old videos on the internet connected TV! Amazing to me the dates on them - how long I've been here and how time seems to have just flown by. Wow - I really have done loads haven't I - and 'captured' quite a bit of this place in various of its moods I think! Interesting to have entirely forgotten a couple I watched, and to be able to watch them objectively as if for the first time almost. NONE of them are suitable for the Youtube community's standard thirty second attention span. Long winded, 'quirky' and entertaining WAS my (biased) judgement. . . ate four ham rolls, crisps and quite a bit of chocolate in the early hours . . eventually to bed around 3:15am.
27 - Up around 5:45am! 19C in, 12C out. Cloudy and damp. .headachey and oh so very tired. Annadin tablet for breakfast . . walked BGdns and eventually back in the rain. . TVd a bit, feeling increasingly VERY unwell (headachey, up tight, nauseaus, woozy), until it was time to leave for my 9:30am dentist appointment - after having popped another annadin tablet. . . a brief wait in the waiting room. Jeeze - I felt SO VERY unwell. Can't have just been nerves and stress, surely? I've never felt THAT unwell before visiting the dentist - and lets face it, I've had plenty of practice now, it should be getting easier shouldn't it!?? . . How many injections was it? Four or more? I can't recall. I was NOT a good patient. The injections are always the worst and most difficult part for me. They ALWAYS hurt me like hell. One of the ones on the top left seemed to have a negative effect on my nose! It seemed to anaesthetise my already problematic sinus somehow. Much spitting of blood and having to ask the dentist to wait for a bit! Very unpleasant. The actual extracting of the three bad teeth and remaining broken off root of another, was painless and 'easy'-ish. After all, those bottom two were by now SO loose, I reckon I could have pulled them out myself without much ado. I DID gently experiment pulling on them with my fingers last night, but eventually decided to leave them for her to do. . my newly modified dentures were pushed back in my mouth (after a bit of grinding something off for some unfelt, ill-fitting reason apparantly), and that was pretty much that for today. I'll need the anaesthetic to wear off and a couple of days to pass before I'll know if the newly modified dentures are gonna give me grief and require altering again - like they pretty much always have up to now, each time a change is made! We'll see. . . I felt so, so VERY unwell, I actually ended up sitting back out in the waiting room for a while before I felt capable of safely negotiating the stairs back down to reception!!! Back at reception I was surprised to be informed I needed to make another appointment for a filling in just a coupleof weeks!? Uggh. :o( . . stumbled home. Just sat around in front the TV with a numb mouth and face, feeling fragile and trying to recover. . somewhere around 10:30am the scanner informed me there was a local coastguard shout going on. Very local. The ILB and CRT troops were being sent to just down in CCove across from BGdns! Damn - if I'd been walking the dog like normal of late, I'd have probably been down there to see whatever there was to see of whatever it was that was going on! After a while it appeared that someone had fallen on the Coastal Path above the cove, and were going to need to be 'medivac'd out. . I ummd and ahhd for a while. Ultimately, in no fit state to be doing much else, I just couldn't resist, and decided to grab my tripod and drive with Bella down for an unexpected second morning walk, to see what I could see. . . ended up sitting on the top of the sea wall at Fishcombe Cove, filming events on high zoom across the coves. A dozen or more people (ambulance, coastguard, ILB crew, members of the public?) all assisted in carrying the injured woman strapped into a stretcher, all the way back down the steep and treacherous path and steps to the beach. She was then placed across the lifeboat and with an ambulance person in attendance, they eventually slowly cruised away around the headland and headed into the harbour to rendezvous with an ambulance at the Yacht club slipway. As they did so, I actually picked up my stuff and ran as best I could, to another vantage point (below our usual ball playing seat - near the yacht race hut where they fire the little miniature cannons from) to see them pass by and disappear out of sight into the distance. . . eventually slowly wandered along the paths and down to Oxon cove, hoping to get a final little 'ending' shot of the departing ambulance if at all possible. All of a sudden it was passing by, so I didn't get the shot I would have liked, but I got 'something' of it - to be 'a natural ending' for the witnessed 'news' events. . . eventually back to the car and home . . . PCd the video. I definitely crossed a line today - and I'm uncomfortable about it. It's one thing filming 'spectator' events, or things you just happen to come across when out and about. It really is a whole nother ball game actually going out of your way to go somewhere and film something like I did today - especially based on overhearing stuff on a scanner which you really shouldn't be listening to. Today I crossed that line - and left it way behind in the distance!!!! Today I was (quite literally at the end!!!) an 'ambulance chaser'!!!! That is SO not good! That could get me in a whole heap of trouble I'm sure. I MUST not start doing that! :o( . . . ate (with some pain and difficulty) two ham baps while the Churston Cove Medivac file uploaded to Youtube . . . PCd a bit more, sending out a couple of 'you may wish to know' type e-mails re this mornings medivac video. Weird thing with the local newspaper website. When I mailed them, there was no mention of the event on their website at all. VERY soon after, there WAS a report all about it - but no acknowledgement to my e-mail, and no use of the couple of images I'd included of the events. That's the second time in recent times that I've felt all paranoid and almost as though they are deliberately ignoring my contributions? Dunno what to make of that. Maybe I've just got the wrong e-mail address for their newsdesk, or am being blocked by their spam filter? Who knows - but it still makes me feel paranoid, and saddens me that such small town/local newsworthy images/video isn't getting to be seen by those who may have an interest - and lets face it, in THIS particular case, there will be a LOT of people (from the college at least) who WOULD be interested in seeing it! I imagine if they knew it existed, once she's on the mend, her parents would be highly interested! Oh well. I did my best. There it sits with no views. :o/ . .managed to nap for just an hour or so . . . PCd this. . . ahah - ok - the genie is out of the bottle with the medivac vid. A whole bunch of hits all of a sudden. It would appear from a comment on Youtube, even the actual girl on the stretcher has seen it which is supercool (so I trust she is doing well). :o) Wonder what that must feel like suddenly finding yourself watching yourself in a video under such circumstances like that? 'Ok' hopefully. .why so many hits all of a sudden? It's because I dared to fire-up an old bogus/anonymous Facebook ID I once set up (because I don't 'do' Facebook, and don't like the way it goes out of its way to hook into e-mail accounts and link you to everyone on the planet!), and put a post on a local 'Spotted Brixham' community facebook page. THAT did the trick in no time. A couple of hundred views over the next few hours. I'm SO glad, because after having watched that bit of video over and over again, I really do think it's a 'beautiful' thing to behold in respect of the teamwork that was displayed. An absolute privilege to have been able to witness it, and capture it for others to hopefully appreciate too. . . TVd . . guitarred just a little . . ate bowls of rice krispies . . PCd (including watching that medivac video over and over again! lol) until finally to bed around 4am.
26 - Back up around 5:15am!? 19C in, 13C out. Sunny spells to start but increasing cloud and very breezy. . all the yachts from that triangle race appear to have returned from France. The AIS map is showing a cluster of them all in the area. The data on that website (particularly in respect of 'searches') seems to be a lot less reliable than I'd previously thought it was. I've done several searches these last few days and not found them, now all of a sudden there they all are. . . walked BGdns early. Spotted a couple of yachts crossing the bay, presumably participants in that triangle race returning home to Torquay. . left Bella home alone and walked to the dentist for my 8:30am appointment. Just yet another two full molds and relieved of my dentures and that was that for this morning. A couple of extractions and the dentures back tomorrow I think. I really am totally confused with what that dentist has planned. Despite having a lengthy discussion this morning where I indicated I just wanted all the required extractions done in one foul swoop tomorrow, I'm STILL not sure that's what's happening. I think she may be just doing two of the four. I fail to understand why it's all gotta be done piecemeal like this. Seems like just prolonging the agony and multiplying the suffering. :o( I was back out within ten minutes. . returned via the local store for a few supplies and tins of soup and the like. Stuff I 'may' be able to manage to eat without my dentures! . . .PCd a bit of this. Boy am I feeling woozy, sleep deprived and generally up tight and wanting to be unconscious!! . around 10:28am it started raining, as had been forecast for today. Only worthy of mention because that's the first rain for ages, or so it seems. All the new soil in my front garden raised bed behind the new cementing needs it bad for settling down, before I can think about transplanting some more campanula in there to hide the cementing, etc. . . PCd this at length . . . Mum called to let me know she'd been to the solicitors and got her LPAs which now needed signing by me - in front of a witness! That posed something of an issue since, aside from Bella, I know no one to be one (which really is a shocking position to be in isn't it?!)!! Ultimately it was confirmed it'd be best if I took the paperwork straight back to the solicitor, signed it in front of THEM, and gave it straight back for them to post on for the other signatures etc. . . walked with Bella up Mums and picked up the paperwork. Headed to FGn for a little ball play on the way, and then down town to get it done-with right away. Only in there for a couple of minutes . .shopped a little for a few supplies and had a look in a charity shop or two. . the heavens opened on the way back, so we both got drenched - and then of course it stopped again soon after we'd got back! . . managed to eat a whole box of soft sponge kipling slices with coffee . . napped . . TVd . .drank a glass of red wine while doing food. Cooked up a pot of boiled mixed veg, potato, mushrooms, onion and a tin of minced beef and onion. Managed to eat it all despite having no dentures in, and precious few useable teeth left without! . . TVd until to bed around 1am.
25 - Woke at 6am all bunged up and needing a drink. Tried going back to sleep but couldn't, and gave up at 6:30am. 21C in, 15C out. Overcast and blowing quite a breeze . . .walked BGdns and out to the seat above the breakwater again before returning to sit and drink my coffee on a seat by the coastguard station. 'Suprisingly' after all these days of fine weather, it really was blowing quite a bit, with some significant swell on the waters of the bay. Enough for the ferries to be having a bit of an issue. I think at least one was tied up for the day and the crew layed off as a result, and others were restricting wheelchair users and warning other passengers it 'wasn't nice', they wouldn't be able to sit on the foredeck unless they wanted to get wet, and they'd need to brace themselves with their legs, etc, etc. . .on the way back I passed the skip from which I bagged that bit of waste pipe tube the other day. Another thing in that skip which has been continually catching my eye as I walked past, was a small metal garden gate wedged down one side and poking up out of the top. As I walked past today a workman appeared, so I asked if I could have it - and also got to ask if I could have the pipe I'd already taken! He said yes on both counts, so after a bit of a struggle getting it out, I ended up walking home carrying a garden gate for goodness sake! Remarkably it doesn't have much in the way of any rust, and it's complete with the hinge plates on the one side, but of course without the handle 'keep' part for the other - although it wouldn't take much to fashion one of those from a bit of scrap metal (like I did with my welder for my own front garden gate). To be honest, I don't think I particularly have anywhere I can really make use of it, but I'd rather have it cluttering up the garage than just see it thrown away like that. They DO sell on e-bay, so it 'could' even end up on there after a little work some time maybe. . .PCd - and inevitably watched my Ski race video again more than once. I'm STILL not 'over it' yet. Just another day or two I reckon, before I then probably never watch it ever again, like with all the rest. lol. Oh wow - a sudden bunch of hits on it on Youtube. Goodo. Hope they like it . . aimlessly PCd some more . . .Oh MYyyyy god! I received an e-mail from someone!! "Hello Terry, K has just sent me your e/m as I am a member of the Race Committee I am very impressed with your video and had I known you were available I would have ask you to film from the chopper,Can you please advise if you would be interested in this and also details of your phone number address etc. Kind regards D" . . so - where to start on my reaction to getting that?! The 'poison' of adrenaline immediately flooded me of course, making me feel absolutely awful and fit to burst. Oh wow - wouldn't it be something of a dream come true to be able to do such a thing. Given how reclusive I am (and MUST be, to be able to just about 'cope'!), there aren't many things left in this world for me which I regret having never done, but never having flown in a helicopter IS definitely one of them. But - would I even be capable of handling the stress involved if such a thing was ever to REALLY come my way? I'd be throwing up, trembling and almost incapable of walking for days beforehand - never mind the state I'd get in when actually having to try to hold the camera still and film stuff whilst flying 'in the dead mans curve' like that! (Just imagine that shiny helicopter windscreen all suddenly 'pebble dashed' by me from the inside! lol) And then of course, perhaps even more of an obstacle for me, is the fact that all of a sudden, I'd be having to try to 'associate' with such people. These are all SUCH 'alien beings' to me - and moreso me to them! They are obviously all entirely normally functional, sociable, FULL of self confidence and self worth, unquestionably seriously 'affluent' even by most peoples standards, all hardcore 'adrenaline junkies', etc, etc, etc. How on EARTH could I even begin to attempt to dip a toe into THAT sort of a world?!! Just the thought of me attempting to, seems UTTERLY absurd. They'd see clean through me and realise what a mistake they'd made in a heartbeat. And even if I could get past all that, what about the cost and logistics of me suddenly perhaps with only a couple of hours notice (because you wouldn't know if the weather was good for flying beforehand?), suddenly having to turn up at some landing site somewhere around the country? What of Bella? And there I'd be with my laughable noddy car and old crappy out of date low resolution camcorder trying to do my best to live up to expectations for him - and entirely possibly not managing to get ANY footage worth a damn! The whole concept - because of 'me' - is just laughable isn't it? 'I am not worthy', over and over and over! . Can that e-mail from that guy even be for real? I've even found myself wondering if it's just a tempting ruse to get my address and phone number for some other unimaginably horrible reason. -// more and more ad infinitum! //- It took me at least three awful stressful hours before I was ready to even attempt a reply that wasn't so full of my usual negativity about everything, that I'd immediately talk myself out of the 'possibility' of it actually 'maybe' happening some time. Should I actually have phoned him right away on the mobile number he gave? I just couldn't! . "Thank you for your complimentary mail. Oh WOW - WOULD I be interested! ABSOLUTELY, YES please! You should know however, that I am in no way whatsoever a professional videographer. I'm just a guy out walking his dog with an old (NOT High Definition) camcorder in his pocket, who loves the challenge of trying to capture 'a spectacle', and then sharing the edited results with anyone who may be interested via Youtube, etc. Sometimes 'magic' happens - like with this particular video I think (largely thanks to the helicopter/music/edit 'I' reckon. lol).I've never flown in a helicopter, let alone tried to film from one, so have NO idea if I could 'deliver' what you're after . . . but boy, would I love to have the chance to give it a go!" (and ended with my phone number and address!) So - I've 'cast the dice' back. I really can't believe it could possibly ever happen, but if it doesn't, I don't want it to be because 'I' immediately shot it all down in my usual way! Maybe I already have with that reply? FFS!!! I don't know. :o( Frankly, the whole concept seems so unbelieveable to me, I strongly suspect it wasn't 'really' meant, and I'll more likely never hear from the guy ever again. Whichever - I'm gonna be living with a substantially elevated level of underlying anxiety and stress for the forseeable future, which IS likely to have quite a significant toll on me! 'Normal' people just wouldn't have a clue or be able to grasp ANY of this, I'm sure. . . . . .mailed DF and cancelled his intended Friday visit. Given my imminent dentist appointments tomorrow and Friday, I'm gonna be in no fit state for visitors. :o( . . cooked and ate two quarter pound burgers and four rashers of smoked bacon in buttered bread rolls followed by a banana . . napped until the 6pm alarm . . . TVd, not feeling so good, and even feeling a bit sick. Surely that can't be simply because I'm a bit stressed and uptight about what I may have just gotten myself into with that Ski video? Am I really SUCH a basket case?! I suspect the answer IS yes. :o( . . BB called to touch base . . . forced down a banana and biscuits before to bed around 1am or shortly after.
24 - Back up at 9am. 22C+ in, 25C+ out. Sunny. .woke at the PC, watching the ski race video over and over again!!? Still only a handful of 'hits' on Youtube. What a shame. . .walked BGdns and then on out to the seat above the end of the Breakwater again. Dipped Bella on the main slipway with some ball play on the way, in the hope of helping cool her down a little. Returned through town for a few supplies and then home . . . a sudden unwelcome reappearance of my blocked sinus thing continued ALL day!?? :o( . . . mowed and strimmed both lawns. Hot and headachey work. . . ate gone-off grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate . . napped . . . PCd, still headachey. Aha - one of the people I mailed about the Ski Race video seems to have appreciated it, and has posted it on a couple of Facebook pages apparantly. (SkiRace.Net and Team GB!) Cool. THAT should ensure 'the cat is out of the bag' and relevant people get to know it exists. :o) . . walked BGdns after popping another annadin tablet . . TVd . . ate a large bag of crisps and a whole pack of small going-cheap/out-of-date cocktail sausages . . TVd until to bed at 1:30am.
23 - Back up around 8:15am after almost zero sleep - AGAIN! 22C+ in and out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns in the heat, feeling pretty spaced out through lack of sleep. Food too I guess, but the heat seems to take the appetite away rather. Up around 25C out by the time we returned. . . a dead baby bird was laying on the patio - not far from the 'entrance' in the ivy under the pergola which the nesting robbins have been using to reach their nest, so I guess it's safe to assume it was one of theirs that didn't make it? :o( . . . PCd this . . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate a whole pack of eight thick sausages with a mountain of boiled mixed veg in melted butter . . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd. .my nose seems all bunged up again all of a sudden. How come that so often happens, whenever I boil stuff on the stove - and do chips for that matter?? There's something about all that water vapour and or gas hob fumes that definitely affects my sinuses somehow!??? No amount of having the back door and windows open saves me from it. Actually - to a much lesser extent, the e-cigarette 'vaping' has a slight undesireable affect in that respect also! . . PCd and ended up watching local and all manner of other videos on youtube. Like I've said before, it really is amazing how someone somewhere is now uploading videos of just about everything everywhere. I even watched some underwater footage taken by divers diving the (relatively new) wreck of the Emstrom in the bay! Sadly it was so murky you couldn't really make out much. I also watched several more videos about and from those quadcopters that so many people are finding the money to be able to play with. Absolutely stunning footage some of it. Under £1k for real professional looking aerial footage - AND the ability to watch the footage real time via a mobile phone or tablet type device - 'first person' viewing, like you're actually ON the thing whilst its flying. One I watched sent the copter up to an altitude of around 2000ft (well above the cloud base at the time), at which point it was of course well out of sight and even out of range of the remote control! It automatically shifted into 'return home mode' and then using its on board GPS, proceeded to do a controlled descent and landing all by itself - and breathtakingly ended up landing a mere ONE foot away from it's take off point!! How incredible. How long before they're no bigger than bugs and you haven't a clue who's buzzing them around and watching what? It's mindboggling what the future holds isn't it? AND rather frightening I think. . It perhaps goes without saying, that I also watched that water Ski Championship video on my PC again - several times! Over and over again in fact! It's gonna take a while for me to 'get over' that one - because I think it's SO cool. lol So much so, I even went on-line and searched about for people in the ski race fraternity who 'may' be interested in sight of it, and e-mailed a couple of them informing them of its existance. 'Deserves' to be seen by some of them (participants especially) I think. I like to think it would give them almost as much pleasure as it does me to watch it. :o) . . ate a banana and biscuits before back to bed around 4am to try sleeping again.
22 - Back up around 8:30am after really almost no sleep at all! 22C+ in and out. Sunny. . . woke at the PC just as an unheard mayday went out on channel 16 from yacht Spooky over Dorset/Swanage way, being co-ordinated by Portland coastguard. They had an injured woman on board requiring medical attention - possible helivac? By 9:05am helicopter Rescue 106 was airbourne and en-route to the yachts position. The winchman was on board assessing the casualty by 9:23. Given the amazing weather and all, channel 16 on the the radios was quite busy, and the coastguard had occasion to call for silence on the channel more than once during the duration of the mayday. I guess it's some sort of seafaring convention that they stick to French ("Mayday" being actually from the French "maider" of course) , but it seems funny they actually say 'Seelance Mayday' when doing so. By 9:38 the casualty was on board the helicopter and it was en route for Dorchester A&E at a AIS-website reported speed of 138 knots. Comms from the helicopter soon after were "Casualty has had a second seizure and is actively seizing in the aircraft." !! The AIS website then showed an increase in speed to 147 knots. With the casualty evacuated and the vessel not in trouble, Portland coastguard cancelled the mayday at 9:46 with a 'Seelance finit' transmission. By 9:46 the helicopter was travelling at 150 knots. By 9:49 they'd landed at Dorchester A&E. . Humbling isn't it? Out at sea on a vessel in fantastic weather amidst stunning scenery having a great time one minute, something goes horribly wrong for you, and within fifty minutes you're in A&E. Amazing. Whoever was left on board the vessel of course, had an agonisingly much slower worried return to land and journey to the hospital!! :o( . . bumped into a snippet on some website or other suggesting that the National Water Ski championships were going on out in the bay today. Aha - THAT explains the couple of racauosly loud and powerful power boats I saw yesterday. Try as I did for quite a while, I was unable to find details of times etc, and given it was brewing up to be a really hot sunny day again, I figured I'd give it a miss, not have the hassle of carrying my tripod and just get the walk over with and head back home to sit in shade. . .walked BGdns quite late. A couple of large orange buoys were newly out in the bay between BGdns and Goodrington, so that was presumbly gonna be the water ski course. Played ball and sat around for quite a while. A small private helicopter buzzing around REAL low had me reaching for my camcorder at one point, but I captured nothing of it to be of any interest. Suprisingly it eventually landed somewhere over in the direction of the Berry Head hotel I think! Sat around some more and drank my coffee on the higher seat in the shade. Time passed and eventually the distant sound of high powered engines suggested the water ski race was likely to be starting around midday. I just couldn't resist. Ended up heading back down through the gardens 'off piste' through the trees to my usual vantage point atop one of the lower WWII searchlight gun emplacements. . as it turned out, I'm glad I did (because I'm SUCH an aircraft geek! lol) . As the water ski power boats all gradually noisily appeared from the harbour and headed out across the bay to the start line over by Goodrington, the helicopter reappeared in the air and was apparantly going to be a race 'chase plane', getting down real low to presumably get video and/or pictures of the participants! . to cut a long story short, I ended up sitting there throughout the entire race, trying my best to capture something of the spectacle with my camcorder - WITHOUT the benefit of my tripod! (VERY tough to be 'handheld' filming such stuff like that!) Being the 'plainspotter' geek I am, I must confess that much of the footage I took, was more about the helicopter than the water skiers. lol Oh HOW I could have done with my tripod! I was literally shaking with excitement (which ruined my attempt at filming it of course!) when at one point the helicopter veered off from its chasing the skiers, and actually briefly hovered over the water right in front of us just off the Gardens. All shakily zoomed-in (and necessarily out, and then back in), it was possible to very clearly see the pilot - AND his passenger taking photos on his mobile phone!! Don't ask me why, but for ME, (if I got it!?!!!) THAT one shot made all that sitting there and labouring over filming, entirely worthwhile! I just LOVE getting 'into' the people in an aircraft like that. My 'money' shot! . . eventually the race was done - and despite the sunny warmth of the day, because I'd been filming sat motionless in the shade there for SO long, I was actually feeling rather chilly. Climbed back up to the higher seats and briefly sat in the sun to warm up for a while before eventually heading home by around mid afternoon. . . ate haslet and mayo finger rolls with crisps followed by a little chocolate . . . PCd and reviewed the footage from earlier. Well - given all in all - if I say so myself, I reckon some of those shots I managed to get were absolutely stunning. lol WHAT a spectacle, all thanks to the helicopter mostly I reckon. :o) . . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . . ended up straight back on the PC, playing with video. I really should have done something with the trawler race footage - but instead I ended up playing with the water ski/helicopter footage. lol A 'timelapsed' video eventually began to emerge from it all. Actually a bit of a shame to timelapse some of those scenes and make them so shakey and brief, but there was just SO much of it I wanted to include to 'tell the story' and 'share' with whoever may want to watch it, I had little choice. I even ended up having to extend the music audio track to be near tripple it's original length!! . I put a lot of work into it, and hardly moved from the PC for around eight hours solid!!!!! (I AM utterly crazy aren't I!!!!!!!!! I mean, I MUST be, to do all that, for some imaginary person (who no doubt doesn't exist) I think may wish to watch it! :o( ). . it was gone 4am by the time I eventually called it quits and set the 2014 National Water Ski Championships video uploading to youtube. With my poor connection speed, the big file was going to take around an hour and a half just to upload!!! FFS! . left the PC running and finally headed for bed WELL after 4am - only to then toss and turn for ages and have trouble getting any sleep!! :o(
21 - Up at 8:20am. 22C in, 20C out. Sunny. .touched base with Mum and called off her usual visit later. I've no idea what time the trawler race is starting later, I DO want to see some of it, and I didn't want to have to miss stuff just to have to rush home for Mum. . walked late and headed straight down through town to see what was going on around 10am. Much drinking already with substantial crowds overflowing from the harbourside pubs, and a bigger crowd all milling around by the entrance to the working harbour, which is open today of course (for a modest fee). . the nearby public toilets below the viewing platform were closed for cleaning and maintenance. For goodness sake - what a stupid day to have them closed. Of all the days throughout the year, this was liable to be the busiest for them! And 'I' needed them! Yet another recent noticeable part of my sudden age related physical decline, is my increased need to go to the bathroom! It's become VERY frequent. :o(. . -//unfinished//- .quickly escaped the rowdy throng and headed away alongside the outer harbour and up to Battery Gardens. power boats in the car park? (National water ski championships?). . . walked on out to BGdns and (after a discreet much needed visit to some bushes!) bagged my favourite place for filming atop the searchlight bunker . . filmed a little of the trawler race . BOTH camcorder batteries ran out by the time I'd finished - and before events had really finished, so actually NOT a particularly successful filming sortie on this occasion! To be honest, I don't think my heart was really in it, because of course I've seen it all before, and perhaps moreover, because EVERYONE everywhere was filming and recording every little part of it on phones and cameras and all manner of every conceivable device. I'd even bumped into a website earlier, which was suggesting it was going to be streaming live video from onboard one of the trawlers for goodness sake!! -//unfinished//-. . . . eventually returned straight home (after another trip to 'the bushes'!!) to copy the footage to the PC and see what I'd got. Yep - as I'd thought, all pretty lackluster footage, and quite possibly not worth doing anything with, especially since my batteries ran out before any sort of a natural end. . . . walked up Mums and picked up the food donations she'd bought for me. Felt really overwhelmingly tired and didn't hang around for long . . ate a Mum donated piece of gala pie and a very large bag of crisps followed by a little chocolate . . napped . . . TVd . . walked FGn and then down and round the harbour and eventually on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. Just sat around for ages watching the sun going down. Plenty of people all stopping to take photos of the half decent sunset. Eventually couldn't resist joining in. Perched the camcorder precariously on my 'bag of rice' atop the railing in front of the seats, and left it there filming the sunset while I sat around for ages vaping and drinking my coffee. . two fire engines went storming past heading in the direction of the Berry Head Hotel, bringing my sit and filming to an abrupt end! . I couldn't see any signs of smoke in the sky anywhere in the direction they'd gone, so eventually just headed home . . . TVd/guitarred a little . . . PCd the 'Sunset Over The Breakwater' video until early. Daylight and birdsong in fact! Actually included a couple of pictures of Bella in front of the seat I always sit on there. The one with the 'Legalise Freedom (+ weed)' graffitti on the wall above it. lolol To be honest, it was a pretty crappy video. I didn't put the camera on manual like I should have, so as the light faded, it automatically compensated, and it didn't show the sunset or light to its full spectacular effect. . . .ate a buttered scone before finally to bed well after 4am. Real trouble getting to sleep.
20 - Up around 7:20am. 22C in, 16C out. Mostly sunny. . diving operations support boat 'Shoreline Engineer' has left the bay and is heading east across Lyme Bay. Hammonia Antofagasta must have left yesterday, and is way out in the English channel south of the Isle of White already, heading for Antwerp apparantly. . . walked BGdns. Sunny and hot but with a cooling breeze making it feel ok in the shade. Eventually carried on down to the harbour, heading for the seat above the end of the breakwater again. The inner harbour seems to be in a hell of a state, with a substantial scum of deisel floating around all over the place. A sorry looking adult seagull with a horrifically bloody broken wing was sat on the steps just above the waterline, also all dirtied by the deisel. Agony. :o( It wasn't likely it'd just sit there waiting to be caught, so I managed to walk on past and carry on - but of course the sight of it upset me much and preyed on my mind from then on. . sat on the seat above the end of the breakwater for quite a while drinking my coffee etc. Plenty of beam trawlers all in harbour, all gathered for tomorrows trawler race, and plenty already bedecked with flags and bunting etc. Looks as though they are going to get the ideal weather for it. . eventually headed back and looked long and hard for the injured seagull when we reached the inner harbour, but I could find no trace of it (thank goodness!)! I wonder if someone else intervened and caught it for 'disposal'. :o( . . . PCd this around midday. According to the AIS, the yachts taking part in that triangle race are all on the move away from Kinsale, and appear to be 'mustering' offshore prior to embarking on their next leg to Treguier . . .ate garlic sausage slice and mayo sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped . . . DF called in for chats. Briefly listened-in to the space station in conversation with a couple of youth groups as it passed over around 19:40pm. Rather poor signals from it on this occasion. . . . PCd/TVd . . ate a banana and bowls of co-co pops and rice krispies . . . to bed around 3am.
19 - Up around 7:40am. Around 21C or higher, both in and out. Sunny - and getting hotter. . . walked the beach at CCove, the woods and BGdns and then back via the store for a few supplies . . . bagged a little makeup type suitcase thing that next door were throwing out. It's a bit damaged, but may well be useful for collecting up all the e-liquid bottles I have cluttering up the place. Washed it all out and got it in the sun to dry . . did dish washing and laundry chores for several hours . . boy oh boy is my sunburned back causing me irritation! It's reached the disgusting stage where it's all weeping and peeling and constantly itching really bad. . . looks as though the baby seagulls on the roof opposite are down to only two left already! And one of the parents is now sporting a limp!!!! :o( . .Someone on Youtube has placed a comment on the 'Samba Rock' video I once filmed (and coincedentaly had great pleasure in re-watching quite recently). "It has now been one thousand, eight hundred and seventry-four days ago now since this video was taken!" What a strange comment to make. I wonder if that observation was actually made by one of the 'learning difficulties' people involved? I mean, who else would find significance in calculating the number of days like that (or indeed be readily able to!)? Fascinating. . . ate haslet sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . . left Bella home alone and walked in the heat down town for my 4:30pm solicitor appointment. After all that 'building up to it', and aiming to make that appointment for days, I was in there for no more than two minutes! Just enough time to re-read the will and then sign it - and straight back out! She'll send me a copy and the bill in due course . . . returned straight home in a frustrated and increasingly down mood. I'd been out of the house for little more than 30 minutes in total. Bella had spent all of that time gnawing herself bloody raw! :o( . . roughly hosed and shampood Bella down out in the garden - and left her out there for a while whilst I sat with my anger and despair . .tried to nap for a while but all manner of door slamming from next door put paid to that idea . . ended up in a really down and foul 'sid' mood. :o( . . ignored Bella, left her behind and popped up the local store and bought some orange juice. . drank vodka and orange . . . mixed up another 10ml of e-liquid with the latest toffee flavouring, but this time using the nicotine 70/30 base - just to try to get to the bottom of why it's appearing to be different. Ultimately it appears it IS the same as what I had before. It's the weirdest thing with this toffee flavouring. When I mix up a batch of nicotine free, the liquid remains almost clear in colour, and doesn't seem to have too much flavour. When I mix up a batch containing nicotine, over the next 24 hours or so, the liquid gradually turns yellow and ultimately a deep orangey toffee colour - and the taste and throat hit ends up being MUCH stronger! There's some sort of weird chemical reaction going on there!!???? Why that doesn't happen with my DIY nicotine-free mix is completely beyond me! ????? It 'could' beg the question, what the hell is in that nicotine base mix, and IS it safe! lol . . . the diving operations support boat 'Shoreline Engineer' returning to Torquay harbour for the night, reported it has finished the diving operations on the Hammonia Antofagasta and will be leaving the area tomorrow . . . drank, TVd - AND smoked the evening off ! :o( . . .plenty of noise (including shouting!?) from the new neighbour next door. I gather he was probably watching the England team lose their world cup football match. Bizarre behavior. . . ate a defrosted meat pastry slice, crisps, biscuits and much chocolate . . . to bed around 1am.
18 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up at 9:25am. 21C in, 17C out. Cloud burning off to sunny again. . while waking at the PC and radios, around 9:44am Exmouth ILB was launched and CRTs were also tasked, to attend to a man in a wheelchair somewhere, up to his knees in water and threatening suicide!!! Police were already in attendance apparantly, and an ambulance had also been called. . He was 'ashore' with the police, ILB crew and ambulance personel within ten minutes ( after tipping himself over?). It IS of course VERY sad that someone in such circumstances should be SO desperate - but it occurs to me that there IS also something perversely 'amusing' about all of that - in a black humor sort of way. A desperate cry for 'help' - but only once there were more than enough people and rescue boats and suchlike around to make sure he couldn't possibly come to ANY harm, etc etc - and then finally to just tip yourself over! I can imagine it all in the form of a comedy sketch on TV!! :o\ I apologise for my BLACK sense of humor. lol I of course hope the guy is now doing ok - and that somone had the sense to wash his wheelchair down with some FRESH water afterwards. . .walked BGdns and eventually on down around the harbour and out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to sit and drink my coffee - and briefly poke the camcorder at the 'Hammonia Antofagasta' cargo ship, with the 'Shoreline Engineer' dive operations support boat alongside again. . Eventually back through town and home well past midday . . . the postman delivered the e-liquid I ordered only yesterday . . . TVd/guitarred a little/just sat around. . . cooked and ate a big plate full of just boiled mixed veg with some melted butter followed by a large number of biscuits . . . napped . . walked BGdns. Sat around on the higher seats with my coffee listening-in to the local club net for a while. Briefly butted in and thanked them for showing interest in the 'interference' video I uploaded the other day - and let them know that at the moment, it appears to have disappeared . . Radiod just a little more with D after the net. His conversation caused me quite some amusement. He plays bowls with a local-to-him club. They are all I believe, mostly elderly people, and they all have to dress up in white clothes when they play etc. Apparantly when they were all out playng the other day, someone suddenly appeared all naked on their green, and did a streak across to a waiting car! Hillarious. I'd have LOVE to have seen the looks on all those old peoples faces. Seemingly unaware of all the inuendos, and utterly dead-pan, referring to the streaker, D said 'I had a good look and he was going like the clappers' - which really had me almost laughing out loud. He then went on (like 'I' care!) to talk about recent bowls matches they'd had and all lost, and how they were 'on a losing streak'! A hillariously absurd conversation.. . . TVd . .mixed up 10ml of nicotine-free e-liquid with the new flavouring. It does 'appear' to be acting/tasting slightly differently to the last batch I bought! Weaker in taste and throat hit!? FFS! :o( I need to mix up another batch EXACTLY to the percentages I've done before, before I can be sure. . BB called to touch base . . . ate a large packet of crisps and a whole pack of mum donated ham followed by a banana and some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am.
17 - Up at 7:35am. 20C in, 13C out. Grey and overcast. . woke at the PC as usual. Radios suggested coastguard response teams were out (over Babbacombe way I 'think' it was) rescuing a lost/stranded dog. It was recovered from rocks and reunited with its owners by around 8:30am. The people in the coastguard station seemed particularly keen for the CRTs to get photos for the press, of the owner being reunited with it. The papers always DO seem to love dog rescue stories for some reason. lol . . had a look on the AIS for where the yachts in that triangle race have reached. Ended up with something of a blank!? I DID however bump into a website somewhere giving a bit more info about the race. Apparantly they all only had two crew on board, and the legs of the triangle were listed as "Torquay to Kinsale (Ireland) departing Sunday 15th June. Kinsale to Treguier (France) Friday 20th. Treguier to Torquay Wednesday 25th." I'm guessing that maybe they've all reached Ireland already and are knocking back the Guinness by now? . . . walked BGdns. Suprisingly chilly at times in the stiff south easterlyish breeze. Liberia registered cargo ship 'Hammonia Antofagasta' was moored in the bay with 'Shoreline Engineer' alongside apparantly putting divers down later. . the council were doing work on all the top seats in the gardens, scraping off some of the lichen and washing them down - prior to varnishing I guess?. . brighter and warmer by the time we returned not far short of 11am, and soon turning sunny again. . . PCd . Read through the draft will the solicitor had sent me. A straightforward try and re-home any pets and then sell and split everything between my sisters or surviving kids deal. Rang the solicitor and booked an appointment for later in the week to have it drawn up proper and for me to go sign it and get it all legal and done with. . . according to comms from one of the ferry ticket people, Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert was down walking around the harbour. She allegedly got a 'selfie' with him. lol . . balanced my accounts - at length! . . . around 12:19hrs, in spite of the diving operations going on, the local harbour authority rib Oscar 4 took a police officer out to board the cargo ship 'Hammonia Antofagasta' !??? Back off around 13:20 whilst the divers were working on the Hammonia's propellor. Intriguing. . . aha - the AIS map seems to have 'caught up' and is now showing yacht 'Red Rooster' just off the Irish coast - with others of the triangle race group ('Axeman', 'Xanadu', etc) already moored up by the Kinsale Yacht Club. . . pottered around for a while before biting the bullet, returning to e-bay and ordering another 100ml (for £7.99) of the same e-liquid concentrated Toffee flavouring I bought before. Of all the flavours I've been trying, that's the one which I keep returning to as my vape of choice during the day, and is pretty much the only one which really seems to work for me as a serious cigarette replacement - kinda (complete with throat burn and coughing if I vape it too much or first thing after waking!!!!! lolol) , and I really don't want to run out of it any time soon. Assuming it doesn't 'go off', that (adequate at a mere 5% addition/mix) together with everything else I've already got, should keep me going for a VERY long time, and enable me to feel more relaxed about starting to mix up larger batches of nicotine free to 'chain vape' (at the PC/when out walking etc), and even ultimately potentially a series of batches with diminishing nicotine content, with a view to maybe starting to try to tackle my actual nicotine addiction etc, etc? If it somehow ends up turning-up different to what I bought before for some inexplicable reason, I'll be livid! Fingers crossed . . .headachey . . cut my hair, trimmed my beard etc . . vacuumed . . . ate corned beef and mayo finger rolls with crisps followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . . napped until 7pm . . felt headachey and tired. Skipped the walk and popped yet another annadin tablet . . TVd the evening away. .that rescued dog from this morning (called Harry) has not only made the local paper, but also the local BBC news! What crazy priorities!? lolol . . PCd around midnight as local CRTs were being deployed to the holiday camp and beaches/headland down by BGdns. Not much in the way of comms to get a picture of what was going on. 'Missing' children I think, with a father out searching. All found and escorted back by around 00:25hrs. . . PCD/TVd until early . .ate a banana before finally to bed after 4am!
16 - Up at 7:45am. Around 21C in and out and mostly sunny. . . had a look on the AIS website to see how far all the yachts which set off from Torquay yesterday had got. One of them was called 'Red Rooster', so I'm randomly gonna make a note of just that one, to enable me to be able to maybe look it up from time to time just to see where theyr'e all going. This morning they are all still in a 'reasonably' tight group, off the Lizard, Cornwall already. . . walked up Mums and gave her solicitor paperwork back and then carried on to BGdns for some ball play. Eventually continued on down to the harbour to sit on a bench for my coffee. A bit more of a breeze this morning, but still feeling very warm. Seems like a lot of the smaller trawlers are all being painted and having maintenance done and suchlike. All being spruced-up ready for the trawler race next Saturday maybe? I don't feel so good - a bit queezy. Back home by around 11am - with my (charity-shop) shoes sadly all falling apart and fit for the bin. Shame - they were a good pair. . PCd this. It appears one of the baby seagulls opposite has somehow made its way down onto their garage roof and is running back and forth in a (starving?) panic and can't get back up past the guttering onto the main roof - so - easy for me to get distracted and all upset and concerned for it as I sit here! :o( . No sign of that radio interference again? Lets hope whoever was responsible for that has 'changed things', and that'll be the last of it. . .aha - it looks as though ALL the baby seagulls opposite are gonna end up on the garage roof again - which means the parents will likely be moving there to feed them ALL, and not be leaving one out. Thank goodness for that. As always, it's an agony of empathic concern watching them! I HATE this time of year for such reasons. Won't be long until all the young are starting to fly and will be littering the area, either squashed on the roads, or walking around horrifyingly injured and waiting to die. :o( . . . ate reheated burgers in buttered baps with chips followed by some chocolate . . napped . . .walked BGdns . . TVd . . ate a banana, chocolate and bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 2am.
15 - Up at 9am. Around 21C in, 17C out. Bright but overcast to start with. . Uh oh - Bella was NOT in the bedroom when I woke up!! . . sure enough, as I'd feared, she'd obviously had a bad stomach - and had pooped around the kitchen - AND then gnawed herself raw whilst down there alone. :o( Cleared up as best I could using my trusty wide bladed wallpaper scraper and newspaper, and then took the four affected carpet tiles into the garden and hosed them down and got them in the sun to dry straight away. . . slow getting going. NO sign of that weird interference on the radio again this morning ?(not including the S8 scarrier around 144.018mhz, which appears to be a constant easily avoided feature of living here). Eventually walked BGdns well after 10am. . eventually carried on down to the harbour (sailing ship Tenacious was tied up alongside near the new Fish Market) and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to idly sit with my coffee for ages. .lots of yachts appeared to be 'mustering' in the distance over by Torquay, and there was some comms on the scanner suggesting they would all be leaving the bay and heading off around Berry Head around midday - presumably on that 'Yacht Monthly Triangle Race' I'd read about. Sat around until beyond midday, but the yachts still hadn't left by then. . eventually walked all the way back through the harbour and back out and up to BGdns. By the time we reached the higher seat in BGdns, all the yachts WERE on their way on the light breeze. I counted well in excess of thirty as they headed out across the bay to ultimately disappear around Berry Head. What an extraordinary (priveledged?) life all those on board must lead! How DO they actually earn a living I wonder?. eventually home WELL after 1pm . . . recovered from the walk . . just sat around in the heat and then TVd a bit . .drank a glass of red wine . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps followed by a little chocolate . . . napped . . .TVd . . .read through all Mums LPA draft documents and then touched base with her to say it all looked in order as far as I could tell . . . TVd the evening away . . mixed up a 10ml batch of nicotine-free strawberry and menthol e-liquid, using the flavouring I recently bought. Ended up dreadfully tasteless! SO disappointing. :o( It's gonna take me a while to get through all that tasteless rubbish. . .drank a small glass of wine while cooking up four burgers in buttered baps long after midnight. Ended up only eating two and not feeling too good. . . to bed around 2am, only to have trouble getting to sleep for ages.
14 - Up not long before 9am. Around 23C out and in. Sunny and hot. . . . walked BGdns. Sail training ship 'Tenacious' was way out across the bay near The Ore Stone in the distance, having a seemingly 'leisurely' sail in the sun. (A crew of around fifty I think, according to overheard comms the other day!) . . Back via the local store for milk and bread supplies and then the cashpoint for some cash. . sat around in the heat and even guitarred a bit until Mum arrived with food donations for chats . . . despite the heat and sun, the weather forecast suggested there was the remote possibility of some thundery rain showers later in the afternoon/early evening. Just in case it was going to rain, I figured I'd better get on and quickly avail myself of the offer of more soil from the neighbour up the lane, and top up that front garden border. . left Bella safely shut in the house, retrieved a shovel and conatiners from the garage, got the car out and reversed it up the lane, and eventually loaded it up with multiple buckets and containers of soil. Drove all the way down the lane and round to the front of the house and emptied all the soil into the raised bed behind the newly cemented wall. Repeated that at least three or four times before eventually calling it quits. I could probably use just a little more at some point in the future once we've had some rain and it's all settled down, but that's as much as I can get in there at the moment without it all starting to fall over onto the pavement! . . DEFINITE signs of a pair of robbins nesting somewhere in all the ivy and suchlike beneath the back of my pergola. Means I can't trim it all back like it needs, and even makes me think twice about sitting out there, lest I should disturb them at all. Having said all that, I've yet to hear ANY sounds of young, and have seen BOTH adult birds out looking for food at the same time, so who knows - maybe they are just going through the motions but not actually having a successful hatching? . . ate a piece of mum donated gala pie with crisps and then a banana and a little chocolate . . . napped until gone 7pm . . no sign of that interference on the radio this evening all of a sudden? . . . drove to BGdns to walk . . . TVd/guitarred the evening away . . all of a sudden around 10pm, in the distance through the window just to the left of the TV screen, my attention was drawn to a bright white light in the sky. I am of course used to seeing all manner of lights in the sky from aircraft, helicopters, chinese lanterns, fireworks, etc, etc, but THIS one was real 'UFO' type stuff because of the way in which it was moving. Verticaly upwards at speed - SUDDENLY horizontaly one way and then back again, and then suddenly vertically again, etc. Without question, no aeroplane or helicopter could do what that light was doing. Difficult to explain here, but without question, NOT a 'normal' sight. I even raced to get my camcorder, and rushed out into the front garden to attempt to capture a little of it, even though I knew full well my camcorder wouldn't be able to in such darkness. Sadly I only got the briefest of blurry snips before it eventually disappeared from sight again below the tree tops on the hill across town - suggesting it was likely flying in the vicinity of distant Berry Head. Well - if I were not so rooted in reality, I'm sure I could have started imagining all sorts of 'alien encounter' nonsense like so many people do. It did almost get the hairs on the back of my neck standing up when I first saw it. Nevertheless, ultimately my conclusion was very much more simple, likely, and down to earth. There's only one thing that I know of which could completely explain the way that light was moving. One of those radio controlled quadcopters that everyone is playing with these days. There's not a doubt in my mind. Someone was up on Berry Head with a quadcopter, with a bright light onboard as they were buzzing it around. In fact - if you think that through - since such 'toys' are now SO increasingly readily available to the general public, they really should mark the death of 'most' UFO sighting type reports. I mean - what's more likely - little green men defying the laws of physics - or some geek out playing with such a toy? The world's fulllllll of geeks - and I can totally understand the temptation to deliberately appear to be something weird in the sky. lololol (I wonder how long before the coastguards are routinely being sent out on wild goose chases, when people ring in thinking they've seen a distress flare? Surely, sooner or later the government are going to HAVE to tighten up the rules and regulations concerning who, when and where they are used?) Actually - I wonder if that's the excuse I've been looking for to invest in an air rifle?!!!!! I surely can't be the only one whos knee-jerk reaction to potentially having one suddenly appear in the sky near me or my home, would be to want to attempt to knock it down - no matter who put it up there or for what!! lolol . . .not much later was a VERY cool, pretty-full moonrise . . . ate a pasty with crisps, a banana, a whole pack of mini chocolate logs, and then bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 1:30am.
13 - Up at 7:40am. 21C in, 18C+ out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns with coffee. Boy, am I sore from sunburn and aching from all my joints! I can hardly move!! . . . PCd/monitored radios - and wasted yet more time 'monitoring' the interference I'm getting. Just a dead carrier for most of the day so far - no sign of Palm FM appearing on it at the moment!!!??????? Beats me. . Very hot. Around 25C in the 'shack', a degree or two cooler out . .did laundry and got it all out to dry . . . PCd this . . comms on the scanner at around 13:26hrs from the ferries, about a big 21ft+ basking shark right in the bay! . . .wow - in the blazing sun, that front wall cementing has dried out almost entirely already!! Damp to cure for a bit longer would have been prefereable I'm sure! As I knew it would, it looks bloody awful - but at least I can stop worrying about it all falling down now. . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps, a banana and a little chocolate . . napped until around 7pm . . . moved all the soil from the front patio back to behind the front garden wall. I just need a little more soil from somewhere now . . . skipped the walk and just sat around in the front garden for quite a while with coffee, vapes and even the guitar briefly, occasionaly poking the camcorder at birds on roofs! lol The bungalow opposite DOES have baby seagulls on its roof again (like every year since I've lived here), but on this occasion, they appear to have made their actual 'scrape' of a nest on the side facing away from me, so I don't get to see too much of it all. As far as I can tell from the little I've watched, I believe they have three young - at the moment. . It's of no interest to me whatsoever of course - an UTTER childish irrelevance (ESPECIALLY considering all the horror going on in the world, and Iraq (again!) in particular at the moment!) - but tonight was the first match that the 'England' team were apparantly playing in the football world cup in Brazil. I wondered if one of my neighbours was staying up late to watch it, and if he was having any trouble getting a good picture on his TV. lolol . . . TVd/PCd the evening away into early. That dead carrier interference was still on the radio on 2m. Bizarrely at some point I also heard that 'dit- dit - dit - dit' noise you get from a nearby mobile phone connecting, coming through with it!? . . cooked around 2am! and ate a whole pack of thick sausages with some defrosted/boiled vixed veg doused in butter . . . to bed well after 3am.
12 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8:50am. 21C in, 19C+ out. Sunny. . .walked BGdns . . at last - managed to muster up what it took to leave Bella at home and drive to the local builders yard for supplies of sand and cement. Bought 4x fine silver sand and 1x 25kg cement for £15.24. Returned home, unloaded the car, and dumped them all up by the garage under the car-port for the meantime. . mowed both the lawns. Boiling hot in the full sun! . . the forecast for the next several days appears to be hot and sunny. Not good for doing cementing, but too good an opportunity to waste - especially since I seem to have a rare bit of energy, and am sick and tired of having that front garden wall 're-pointing' job hanging heavily over my head. Recovered from the lawn mowing for a bit before then assembling tools and buckets and heading out to the front garden to start the work. Jeeze - I must be out of my mind starting all this in such sun and heat! . . largely because of the incapacity I now have to live with from my dodgey and painful right knee, I ended up atop a small step ladder out in the street, and used a small hand trowel to laboriously excavate the soil away from the back of the stones atop the wall. Filled multiple buckets and relocated the minimum amount of soil from the border out of the way, and temporarily dumped it all up on the patio by the house. Managed to clear enough away to do the job, without destroying any of my 'precious' purple flowering campanula - which IS in full growth/bloom at the moment, and all a buzz with bees, etc. WHAT hot work! It was SO hot, despite it being the rarest thing in the world for me to ever do so, (like an idiot) I ended up working without my shirt on. Once the earth was sufficiently removed, I scraped and brushed all the stones as clean as I could get them, and then washed everything down with multiple watering cans of water from the rain butt at the top of the back garden. I was pretty tired out by this point, and with the sun still blazing red hot on the wall, it didn't seem wise to start cementing - yet. I took a bit of a break. . . ate corned beef, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches with mini cheddars . . . TVd for just a while, really just wasting time waiting for the sun to fall lower in the sky. Eventually the shadow of the house will start to give that wall some shade - far better for the cement, etc. . . eventually carried bags of sand and cement down to the patio near the house in the back garden and started mixing cement. The heat and exertion saw me promptly throw up! . . . eventually carried buckets of cement out front and started the nasty job. Despite how bad it was inevitably going to look, I had NO intention of attempting to replicate the 'proper' pointing that's normally done with such stones. I really don't care 'too' much what it's going to look like - I just want those loose upright stones safe, and not liable to fall on passers by like the've been threatening for ages! In the fullness of time, it is my intention to attempt to bring the soil up as high as I can behind those stones, lay more stones on the earth here and there like a bit of a rockery, and then seed the entire raised bed with campanula, so that it hangs over the wall all green and flowery. When that eventually happens, all those stones and my bad cementing will be largely hidden. That's the plan anyway. . after further gradual damping down of the stones using an old paintbrush, I forced cement in between and around them all, mostly using just my hands (protected by the excellent thick rubber fishermans gloves I once found washed up on the beach of the local cove). Ultimately got through two and a half bags of sand and appropriate amounts of cement (and more throwing up) before ultimately calling it quits, really very VERY tired, absolutely filthy - and increasingly sore from a bit of sunburn - although by now, the wall and setting cement WAS in the relative 'safety' of shade. . . .cleared up and washed all my tools etc down before having a bit of a sit to recover in the front garden around 8pm - with MUCH drinking of water - and listening to the bell practice across town at St Mary's church, wondering if Coz1 was maybe over there having a 'proper' listen. lol . . . touched base briefly with Mum and returned her ansaphone call from earlier . . . showered and got clean . . walked BGdns quite late, and sat around until around 10pm, drinking coffee and vaping a bit. A very pleasant warm and calm evening, with hardly much of a breeze, and with a pretty decent sunset too. (Shame about having to pick up a carrier bag of others people litter to have to carry to a bin!) A tall masted ship, jubilee sailing trust sail training ship 'Tenacious' had recently moored in the bay over towards Torquay in the diminishing light, looking all oldy worldy and atmospheric. (It would appear from comms I've overheard, there is a 'Yachting Monthly' Triangle race or some such soon to be going on, departing from Torquay and heading towards Ireland I believe.) . In the other direction out past Berry Head, an enormous Cosco container vessel was meeting the pilot boat. Would have been a really pleasant sit around down there, if I hadn't felt so tired, aching and sore! I even tripped at least three or four times during the walk, just climbing steps or stepping up pavement kerbs, because I apparantly couldn't lift my legs like normal!!! lol . . . TVd . . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans with three additional cumberland sausages followed by some chocolate . . . to bed around 2am. Definitely a bit sun burned. My back is quite painfuly sore and red.
11 - Poor broken sleep then up around 7:50am. 21C in and 17C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns. Carried on down to the harbour to sit for a bit and drink my coffee . . on the way home I passed a builders skip containing rubble, a bath, and an enticing long bit of old PVC waste pipe buried amongst it all. I asked someone going into the flats if I could have that bit of pipe. He said it was nothing to do with him, but he couldn't see why not. I DID take it - which without asking the person responsible for it all, I guess is actually kinda theft, by the letter of the law!! Anyway - I now have a nice long bit of sink/bath waste pipe to play with if I ever get round to experimenting with home made slim-jim antennas ever again. The neat thing about THAT bit of old waste pipe, which made me kinda jump at the chance of having it, is that its the old 'stiff' sort. MUCH less bendy than the more usual newer stuff, which would be far better for using as the basis for an antenna. Anyway - it's now dumped in my garage awaiting its future fate . . . PCd. That really bad radio interference I've recently been plagued by, was all happening again - preventing me from running my scanner around the 2m amateur band like I'd normally do and haven't really been able to for quite some time now. It was coming through so strong and loud again this morning, I got a real bee in my bonnet about it, and after MUCH messing around with all the radios, eventually discovered it was somehow connected to the local 'Palm FM' broadcast radio station!!???? I couldn't help myself - I broke out the camcorder (which is miraculously still working after its soaking in the rain on Sunday) and did an overly long video of what it's doing to my radios here. Geeky and pointless no doubt, but gratifying to actually get a bit of 'proof' on video like that - to be able to actually maybe SHOW people just across the bay who inexplicably allegedly AREN'T experiencing it, what's actually going on here and how it isn't all in my mind, etc. . while I was messing with the video, snippets of comms on the radios suggested coastguard response teams out to the east were involved in a shout, and the rescue of a downed hang-glider pilot somewhere!! . . eventually set the Palm FM interference video uploading to youtube. Damn - another TWO HOUR upload!! Although - that shows how much the connection speed is affected by the ISP outrageously 'sharing' the resources at different times doesn't it? Early afternoon things aren't so busy so its MUCH quicker. Yesterday's FOUR hour upload starting around 5pm was a file of only 193MB. Todays middayish TWO hour upload was 716MB. You do the maths! Nevertheless, given the amount of money I've been paying them every month all these years, I reckon it's outrageously poor service no matter how you look at it!! :o( . . . cooked and ate three cumberland sausages, two eggs and chips . . .the video upload eventually finished successfully whilst I was eating. . . like a total geek, I ended up walking very briefly around the block with the handies and a scanner, trying to get a better feel for what that interference is and where it could be coming from. I still haven't a clue, but that little walk DOES confirm that it's nothing at fault with any of my equipment. I could still hear it coming through well away from the house. . .walked BGdns and sat with my coffee watching the rabbits for ages . . . TVd . . .ate just a large number of biscuits and a large bag of crisps . . touched base with BB . . . TVd until to bed around 2am.
10 - Up around 7:20am again. 20C in and 15C out. Sunny spells and possible heavy showers . . . walked BGdns. On entering BGdns there was a flurry of birds a short way down the path, apparantly having a bit of a fight. As I got closer, it transpired that a magpie was attacking a baby blackbird, and the others, presumably the parents, were attempting to defend it! My approach scared them all off - except for the injured baby blackbird, which remained on the ground amongst some weeds looking stunned and very unwell. I 'think' it may have had a broken wing! :o( I know one shouldn't normally intervene when young birds are involved, but I couldn't just leave it there, because it would have definitely soon been killed by the next passing dog or some such. I picked it up and walked the short distance to the old WWII generator bunker, and ended up just throwing it into the air so it landed on the roof in an elevated and hidden position of 'relative' safety. Somewhere quiet to die methinks. :o( That was an upsetting start to the day which I could have happily done without! . . . PCd. From the AIS website it looks as though the yacht race out in the channel has now pretty much reached a position well south of the Lizard, Cornwall. . . Mum called to touch base and say she'd had the draft papers from the solicitor . . PCd, radiod locally just a bit and somehow just pottered around acheiving absolutely nothing with the day again. . . ate grated cheese and mayo sandwiches, crisps, mini cheddars, banana and a little chocolate . . . napped until the 7pm alarm. Trouble waking and didn't actually surface until nearer 8pm!! . . . TVd . . PCd this. .that's weird. On the AIS I can't seem to find the big bunch of yachts doing that yacht race this evening. Damn - wish I'd made a note of a couple of the vessels names, to be able to look up their position and follow them, and maybe try to work out and look up what the event was. .After a bit of poking around on the net, I suspect those yachts 'may' have been part of some sort of Normandy offshore yachting event - and I think they were all heading for the 'Wolf Rock' eight miles off Lands End when I noticed them. How they've all (except for one straggler called 'Nordmar' perhaps?) suddenly disappeared is beyond me. I can only assume they've done their race, reached port somewhere, and shut off their AIS. . . TVd . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate . . . to bed after 2am.
9 - Up at 7:20am. 19C in and 16C out. Mostly cloudy, but soon clearing to very warm and sunny. . .walked FGn, with Bella shaking her head all the time with her 'irritable' left ear yet again. :o( . . . PCd the WHOLE day away, wrestling with the damned sail-past video, determined to make 'something' out of the rather poor footage I'd managed to get. Kept an ear on the radios for at least some of that time. Around 16:12hrs coastguard helicopter Rescue 104 was tasked to what I believe was the evacuation from MV White Spirit of a decompressed diver! Comms ended up mostly outside of my range. Checking on the AIS website, it appeared to be way out into the channel well south and east of Portland Bill. Intriguingly on the AIS website, an unusual 'cluster' of AIS traces south of Portland and all heading west caught my eye. Zooming-in on the map, it turned out there were even more than it had at first appeared. Wow - don't think I've EVER before seen quite so many AIS equipped vessels all in a big pack like that! Clicked on a handful and they were all serious (mostly French?) sailing yachts, so I guessed there was some sort of race going on. (Snippets of heavily French accented comms heard on the scanner later confirmed my suspicion I believe.) . the casualty diver was delivered into care at the helicopter landing site in Poole at around 16.40hrs. . . . at length, a video of sorts ultimately evolved and emerged from the footage I'd got. Not at all what I had in mind, but - well - that's how it goes when you try to capture a flavour of entire unknown events single handed like that - especially in weather like that! After so many hours wrestling with it all, I also just pretty much ran out of steam and had had enough, and called it quits without trying to better it where I know I could. It 'almost' works. I even dared to include a snip of Mum in the footage!!!!!! Bet there'll be hell to pay for that! lol . . . somewhere around 5pm or after I eventually started the video upload to Youtube. I was utterly horrified to find that my connection was for some reason running ridiculously slowly, and it reported the upload was going to take around four hours!!!!??? FFS!!!!! I don't know if it's the local BT lines/exchange which are causing problems, or my ISP taking the piss and absurdly reducing speeds at peak times, but it really has reached the point that my connection is actually nigh on unusable (for large data transfers/watching video on the TV Iplayer, etc) for good parts of the day!! :o( I probably wouldn't have done so normally, but I DID just leave the PC running and the upload continuing at its agonisingly slow speed, and walked away from it in disgust . . . walked FGn with a coffee a little early. . TVd . . SH called to touch base - and chat mostly about vaping! lolol . . . the D-Day 70th Anniversary Sail-Past Video FINALLY finished uploading to youtube, and suprisingly successfully thank god - for what it's worth. . . TVd/guitarred . . . ate two small ham finger rolls, crisps, mini cheddars, banana, two buttered hot cross buns and a little chocolate . . .watched a few Youtube videos on the smart TV again - and yes, including a couple of my own again which I haven't watched for years. Things look so much better when watched in comfort on the TV like that. . . to bed around 2am. . Rik Mayall died this day!!!!! :o(
8 - Woke earlier then up at 7:30am, overheating a bit. Bella too. I think it may have been her panting which woke me! 20C in and 17C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns. Had to take shelter in one of the gun emplacements from a passing rainshower before things eventually turned back to sunny. Sat with coffee for a bit before heading back home . . . pottered around, PCd, refilled e-cigs, charged batteries, etc, etc. .Brixham and Dartmouth lifeboats and then also Salcombe lifeboat responded to a mayday around 11am from 'Tsambika', a dismasted yacht off Blackpool sands. Ultimately Salcombe took up the tow, releasing the other lifeboats. . Around 11:32am helicopter Rescue 106 was also being tasked to refuel and then attend a different shout, when a vessel found a drifting unnoccupied two man black kayak somewhere to the east. All shaping up to be a busy day so it seems. .just after midday there were comms on the radio confirming that despite a force five windspeed which may have scuppered things for some vessels, the 2pm D-Day sailpast WAS going to go ahead. . at 12:40 the mayday for the drifting kayak (and another also found drifting a short while later) was cancelled when it was confirmed they'd simply 'been lost' from somewhere! Torbay lifeboat was back in harbour, refuelled and ready for service on its mooring at around the same time. . guess I'll be heading back to BGdns pretty soon, to see what this D-day sailpast thingy looks like. .received an e-mail reply from Coz1 re the 'Quasimodo' video snippet of the bells I'd done the other evening. Thank goodness for that - I was starting to think I'd maybe overdone expressing my rather 'negative' concerns over the place they were looking at. I think he's taken my comments in the spirit in which they were intended. i.e. just 'be aware' of all these things. I'm eager to delete the snip of temporary video, but he wants me to hold fire for a while for some reason? . . made a coffee to take and then set off back to BGdns with Bella and a tripod around 1:15pm. Played the briefest bit of ball on the way straight down through the trees to the top of my favourite gun emplacement for filming stuff in the inner bay. Amazed to find it was still free and I had it all to myself. Quickly got Bella to lay down, set up my tripod, and 'filled' the space as best I could, in the hope no one else would climb up there to get in my way. (No one did.) . . filmed a little bit of the sight of the flotilla at full zoom across the bay as they assembled and sailed past the anchored Fairmile with the veterans and dignitaries onboard. Comms on the radio seemed to suggest the Fairmile 'may' have encountered some sort of problem, and she didn't really move much from that position - and sadly did NOT join-in with the round the bay flotilla (IF she was ever intending to). .at some point I spotted Mum arriving amongst the small throng of people aroundabout nearby. Despite waving my arms around, she didn't see me on top of the bunker, and she ended up sitting on the grass nearby. At some point I did actually encourage Bella to run down after her ball which I threw just in front of Mum, and she finally saw where I was - but thankfully was settled by then and knew I wouldn't want to be disturbed in the middle of trying to film stuff. . It then began to rain - and persisted - and really got quite heavy! Right in the middle of things! That made filming things difficult and unpleasant - to say the least! Most of the people around ultimately ended up taking shelter in crowded gun emplacements. Perhaps in something of a 'D-Day spirit', Mum mostly stuck it out, sat under her little umbrella on the grass! Bravely all alone in the middle of the grass under her umbrella in the rain, she made for something of a sad and lonely image, which tugged at my heart strings rather. SUCH a shame Dad died so early. She really is lost without him. :o( Couldn't resist grabbing a bit of video and a photo of her sat there all lonely. :o( . . despite the increasing rain, I stuck it out and just got wet, and tried to continue to get a bit of video of events as best I could. SUCH a shame about the weather. The misty murkiness across the bay meant the 'money shots' of the majority of the flotilla approaching directly towards us from Paignton, were just distant grey blurry dots. (One of the drawbacks/compromises about that camcorder (aside from its 'normal', by todays HD standards, LOW resolution), is how appallingly bad it is at dealing with low light.) Would have been quite a sight in full sunshine. . I think one of my camcorder batteries is starting to get old and not hold a charge for long. Ended up having to franticaly unscrew the camera from the tripod and swap batteries at a really crucial moment, just after HMS Pembroke had pulled level with the gardens!!! Then there were a couple of occasions when raindrops settled on the lens, and locked up the autofocus on the raindrop, etc, etc. It really was a battle to keep filming and get anything at all !!! . . the flotilla was of course comprised of all sorts of small boats, all of differing speeds and abilities. They appeared to be in groups - or perhaps just ended up that way because of their speeds - with the sailing yachts under just slow engines pretty much taking up the rear, and taking an awful long time to reach us. I'm sorry to admit it, but given the rain and all, I DID give up filming long before the last of them arrived. Pretty much all of the crowd of onlookers had also all dispersed by the time I called it quits. . Eventually climbed down off the top of the bunker and joined-up with Mum. . recovered and dried out for a bit on the seats under the roof, chatting with Mum to dog walkers and drinking my luke-warm coffee, as the rain continued to pour. It eventually eased off and we headed home as, sods law, the sun broke back through and it returned to being really quite nice . . . PCd and warmed up and dried out poking at video for hours, actually getting absolutely nowhere with it. That's gonna be a tough one to make anything of - and frankly, I just don't want to have to spend hours labouring over it like I used to with others in the past! :o( . the more I review that footage and think about it all, the more I'm surprised at who was NOT taking part. How come the lifeboat didn't join in? And hardly any fishing boats AT all!? That seems a bit weird, considering the significance of the event, and the fact that there'll almost certainly never be another occasion like it (because all the WWII/D-day veterans will have passed away, etc, etc). I mean - 'I' would have thought that anyone who could possibly have got a vessel to float on the water on this day, WOULD have jumped at the chance of joining in - and most ESPECIALLY the lifeboat! I mean - they usually turn out for absolutely anything and everything!?? It 'could/SHOULD' have been a seriously enormous spectacle. It wasn't. Maybe there was a specific reason - or too dangerous to have too many? I dunno. I actually feel quite 'disappointed' in the people of Brixham for once. Shame. :o( . . . drank a glass of red wine, cooked and ate two garlic chicken kievs, fried potato and onions and mixed veg in butter followed by a few squares of chocolate . . 'suddenly' to bed well before midnight as I began to fall asleep in the chair.
7 - Woken in the night by some significant thunder and lightning, but somehow managed to go straight back to sleep once I'd figured out what it was. Back up at 7:45am. 18C in and 12C out. Grey and showery . . . walked BGdns with a coffee as a break in the cloud turned to very warm and sunny for quite a while. Played ball for a bit and then sat around on the top seat drinking my coffee until a leaden sky and shower had me take shelter under the roof for a while. Eventually back home in a break after the shower had passed . . . PCd a bit as things turned more sunny again . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations . Sis1 phoned and soon joined us before then taking Mum out in her car for a coffee or some such . . . ate a big lump of gala pie with crisps and mini cheddars followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . napped until around 7pm . . . walked BGdns and sat around for ages . . . TVd . . .ate ham rolls, crisps and mini cheddars followed by a couple of buttered hot cross buns . . TVd until to bed around 2am.
6 - Up at 8:30am. 18C in and 15C out. Broken cloud and increasing sunny spells . . .walked FGn for a bit of ball play and then carried on around the harbour and out to the D-day embarkation slipway at the end of the breakwater. Nothing going on and few people around. Stood quietly in the middle of the slipway for a while, 'imagining' what the scene may have looked like seventy years ago, and thinking 'appropriate' sombre thoughts. :o( . . .did the short walk and climb up the steps to the seat above the end of the breakwater and sat there for quite a while having a vape and drinking my coffee. Four old piper cub type aircraft flew over in a loose formation and headed away across the bay above Torquay and beyond - presumably en route to some commemorative flypast somewhere. . . played with Bella for a bit, throwing her ball from the D-Day slipway into the waters near the lifeboat mooring. Eventually back through town and a look in a couple of charity shops. Bought an insulated stainless steel mug with a 'drink through' lid for possibly using in the car for £1. (Yet another waste of money as it later turned out, because it doesn't fit particularly snugly in the holders I have in the car, and as a result, I probably won't ever use it). . . eventually back home to find an ansaphone message from Sis1. She was up Mums on her way to join her son and his family who'd rented a holiday place just across in Dartmouth for the weekend. . . ended up being persuaded to go make the trip to see them all. . Drove with Bella to pick Mum up and then followed Sis1 (who was following her satnav to the address she had). . the Dartmouth ferry was on our side all ready and waiting for us, and it was a straight on and away on the short crossing. £8.50 for a return ticket. Mum paid of course, but that seemed like an awful lot of money to ME for such a short hop!! . briefly round in circles in Dartmouth while the satnav had a think, before then pretty much soon finding their holiday rental place high up on a hill with a bit of a sea view without too much trouble. . . chats and coffee and cake in the garden for quite a while . . eventually left them all to it and drove Mum back, and across on the ferry etc. . . nice and sunny so headed for BGdns to give Bella a bit of a walk for just a while. Ended up sitting in BGdns with Mum for quite a while. HMS Pembroke was moored over by Torquay, all ready for public visits across the weekend I think, and her escorting of the D-day commemoration 'mass flotilla' across the bay event on Sunday. . . stopped at the local store briefly for a few supplies before dropping mum off and then heading home . . .drank a glass of red wine . . ate two haslet finger rolls, two small bags of crisps, a banana and some chocolate. . . DF called to touch base and hear all about the fire. I of course had nothing to report about it. lolol . . TVd until to bed around 12:30am.
5 - Up at 7:20am. 18C in and 14C out. Sunny . . .PCd a bit of this . . walked the beach at Churston Cove for Bella to swim, the woods for squirrel chasing, and then back to BGdns for a little more ball play and to drink my coffee . .back via the store for a few supplies well past midday . . pottered around and aimlessly PCd for ages acheiving nothing yet again . . ate haslet and mayo finger rolls, crisps, banana and a little chocolate . . . lay down to nap for a bit real late. Just almost snoozing off when Mum called and left an ansaphone message. Apparantly there was a report on the local BBC evening news about a major fire at the derelict Wall Park holiday camp across town towards Berry Head! With hindsight, that explains what the sirens I heard earlier were all about. Damn - fancy having compeltely missed what was going on like that. Much of the reason for having been completely unaware was because of the fire's location in relation to the way my house faces. Looking out of the front windows, it was 'just' possible to still see some white smoke rising in the distance, with the wind direction taking the smoke away from me out across the bay. . . ummd and ahhd for a bit before deciding to jump in the car and head over to St Marys for Bella's evening walk. Loaded Bella up into the car and drove across town to the little bit of steep dead-end road above St Marys park which leads to the track up onto the hill. A very steep bit of road, so after parking, I slipped the car into reverse, just in case the handbrake started slipping or some such as is my habit. Walked with Bella up the muddy track and footpath and eventually over the style and into the field on top of the hill, with the fantastic view right across the bay. What a shame I missed the fire in full burn earlier. Could have made for some interesting shots from up there, albeit very much from a significant distance. (The local newspaper website is FULL of all manner of spectacular pictures and video of course). Fully zoomed-in with the camcorder, by now it was very clearly fully under control and out, with just some white smoke still rising as the firemen continued to damp down from their aerial platform, etc. . sat on the grass (where the guy bitten by a horse-fly died!) playing ball with Bella and vaping for a bit. Somewhere around 7:40pm the bell ringing practice at St Marys church started down below. Since I was in the locality, it seemed like too good an opportunity to waste. Coz1 recently let me know he's maybe buying a house in the locality. In my e-mailed reply I'd rather put my foot in it I think, by joking about the loudness of the church bells. Nevertheless, I remain 'concerned' that he may not have FULLY appreciated how loud they may be from where he's looking to buy (AND in fact how awfully difficult it is to get a parking spot around there too!). I figured I'd maybe do a little snippet of video from near the church, just to give a feel for how VERY loud it can be close up like that (although of course a video of such things can't really convey the 'actual' volume). . headed back down the lanes to the car. Uh oh!!! I couldn't get the car out of reverse or start it!!!! Damned stupid semi-automatic!?!! I guess unlike would have been perfectly ok with a manual clutch, I should NOT have left it in gear on a slope like that! I'm not sure quite how, but after a bit of a panic and all manner of on and off of the handbrake and much 'jiggling' about in my seat, thankfully somehow I got it out of reverse and was then able to start it up like normal etc. Wow - lesson learned. I won't be doing THAT again in a hurry! . . drove to the nearby St Marys' park car park (almost full, of bowling club members cars), and left it there for a bit. Played a bit of ball with Bella as we headed across the playing field and then through the church graveyard and on to the roads behind. Grabbed a bit of (video)audio of the church bells just for the record, for the little it may be worth. It IS rather loud close-by up there. No matter how good your double glazing is, I don't think 'I' would want to live so close, what with my weird sleep patterns and the like. Having said that, it IS nice and 'oldy worldy' to hear those bells - from a suitable distance! lol . . . sat for a bit more ball play in the park before eventually returning to the car. . drove to BGdns for a bit more sitting and some listening to the radio. When I arrived and got out of the car, I found my little mag-mount antenna was knocked over and laying flat on the roof of the car!! No wonder I'd been getting poor reception on the drive over! lol I was aware I'd clipped that aerial on a tree branch in teh park car park, but thought I'd gotten away with it. The magnet on that antenna really IS too small for comfort/safety, and with hindsight I SHOULD have gone for an alternative. :o( Sat in BGdns for just a little while before finally heading home . . . TVd briefly . . . PCd and monitored radios. A 'shout' going on? Very little in the way of comms? Torbay hospital helicopter landing site maybe? Sea king helicopter Rescue 169 was on the ground with the CRTS somewhere, and an ambulance was en route to rendezvous with it. It arrived by 10:30pm. By 10:44pm the casualty had been transferred TO the helicopter from the ambulance, and they were soon to be airborne. By 10:50pm Rescue 169 in the air and had left the area. Hmmm - that's an unusual one? (A local newspaper website report soon after, explained what I'd been hearing. The sea king had actually landed at Torquay Boys' Grammar school landing site, because it's too big for the Torbay hospital HLS. A baby boy with suspected meningitis was being transferred to Frenchay hospital in Bristol. . Poor parents!! :o( ) . . TVd . . ate bowls of co-co pops and then the last of the strawberries and cream . . to bed around 2:15am.
4 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8am. 18C in and 11C out. Grey after rain. . .walked BGdns. Some sunny spells, but big shower clouds all around and an uncomfortably strong and cold breeze in places . . . PCd this . . .pottered around. Disconnected my SWR meter from the radios, took it out to the car with the VX7 handie and checked the VHF SWR of that little mag-mount antenna. Rather higher than I'd expected at around 1.7, but good/safe enough should I ever choose to transmit off it - which is highly unlikely of course. . . drank some vodka and orange juice, and cooked up two small garlic chicken kievs, mixed veg in butter and fried potatoes and onion. Ate big . . . napped until the 7pm alarm. Difficulty waking . . . walked BGdns and sat around with a coffee etc. Actually really rather uncomfortably chilly in the strong breeze, and I ended up wearing wooly hat and gloves - despite people walking past wearing shorts etc. . . TVd . ended up on the PC/radios for a bit after 10pm when it became clear a Pan Pan had gone out and there was a coastguard shout going on over Portland way. Radio reception appeared to be particularly poor again this evening, and only some of the comms were within my range. The gist of it appeared to be a yacht ('Puma' I think) had lost its steering well out in the channel and required assistance. Warship Westminster attended and by 10:15pm was stood-by providing a lee and relaying comms while a lifeboat made its way to assist. Warship Pembroke had also responded and started to head for the scene, but I think was stood down with thanks when Westminster got there first and their assistance wasn't required. Sadly I overheard little more, except that I believe it was ultimately a happy/safe outcome for the yacht crew. .aimlessly surfed looking at e-cig stuff etc. Also had a brief poke looking up the type of quad-copter/UAV that's been responsible for some of the amazing high definition aerial images that have been appearing on Youtube. Blimey - no wonder its such good video - not much change from a thousand pounds for the one I looked up! . . . TVd . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and then a bowl of mum donated strawberries and cream . . . to bed around 1:45am.
3 - Up at 7:15am after a poor nights sleep. 18C in and 13C out. Grey . . .walked FGn . . . pottered around for a bit until it was time to go. . . left Bella at home and drove to pick Mum up . . drove down town and parked up in the central car park. Mum paid for the parking but jeeze - £3.50 for just a few hours! Outrageous . . we were of course way too early so wandered around and had a look in a couple of charity shops for a while. Bagged a new king sized duvet-cover for £4 for Bella's duvet in the car. Also picked up an adjustable hospital style aluminium walking stick for £2 for Mum to have a go at using, given how bad her feet have now become and the trouble she has walking . . . eventually in for our eleven o'clock appointment to see the lady solicitor to talk over the two lasting power of attorney things Mum wants to have drawn up. All pretty straight forward so it seems, but seemed like a VERY large amount of money to me! Gonna be not 'that' much change from a thousand pounds all told!! . Once all the Mum business was out of the way, I figured being in there was too good an opportunity to miss, so I started the ball rolling for finally getting a will done for myself. Long overdue. . . walked around the shops with Mum a little before ending up getting some fish and chips takeaway and then heading quickly back to the car. . damn - the car had been 'targeted' by a seagull while it was parked up. Poop all over the roof and much of the windscreen! WHAT a mess! . . . drove home to rejoin Bella and all sit down and eat . . all drove to BGdns for a bit of a walk (mum using her new walking stick to get up and down the steps!) and a lengthy sit around . . briefly stopped off at the local store before then dropping mum off and returning . . . parked the car back under my carport and then washed the bird poop off it . . . napped for a couple of hours until 7pm . . . TVd/guitarred a bit . . ate biscuits . . to bed around 1:30am.
2 - Up late at 9am again! 19C in and 13C out. Drizzle . . . walked BGdns . . . PCd and messed with e-liquids for a bit . . .pottered in the garden de-weeding for a while, topping up the three dustbins to fill them. . left Bella home alone and drove the three dustbins to the council tip to empty. . had the briefest of looks in a builders merchant on the way back. The big warehouse bit full of all the timber etc was all full of bird calls!? Turned out that swallows were freely flying through the big open doors of the warehouse and had nested on many of the girders up just below the roof! It was possible to even make out a few of the young in the nests from way below. How extraordinary. I wondered how they managed when the place was closed at night, and even asked some guy working there. He said 'something' about a 'bird man' taking care of things?? . . . soon returned home to predictably find Bella had been scratching and gnawing on herself all the while I was out. :o( . .ate two tuna and mayo finger rolls with mini cheddars and crisps followed by a banana and a square or two of chocolate . . napped . . Mum called to remind me about tomorrow . . . a little while ago on the TV show Gogglebox, one of the people on the show had a drink of redbull and vodka. I've heard of this combination before, but have of course never tried it. For some reason, wanting to try it had started to become something of an obsession. Figured it was high time I got rid of the reoccuring thoughts and just went ahead and blew some money on it and got it over and done with. Walked with Bella up the road to the local store and bought a small bottle of vodka and a tin of redbull!! Something over £5!!!! Also bought a £3.99 Cherry flavour e-liquid to try at some point. . .TVd and had a 'careful' drink - and then ultimately ended up mixing 2ozs of the vodka with the little tin of redbull. Well - I don't imagine repeating that. Not impressed at all. It appears to me that the stimulant effect of the Redbull pretty much just attempts to counteract the effect of the alcohol! I was nowhere near as 'tipsy' as 'I' should have been on that amount of vodka. So what the hell is the point in that? Pointless. Oh well - at least I can lay that to rest now. Plenty of vodka left to have with orange juice some other time. . . TVd . . . ate a microwaved curry, two crusts of bread and butter and two buttered hot cross buns . . to bed around 1:30am.
1 - Up late at 9am! 19C in and out. Sunny spells, increasing cloud . . . walked BGdns pretty late. Very warm. Headachey. Eventually aimlessly wandered down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater again, to sit and drink my coffee whilst monitoring radios, etc. Increasingly grey but very warm. Eventually back early afternoon after yet more sitting in BGdns . . . PCd a bit of this while sucking an annadin tablet . . weird thing going on with the radios again today. A big 'drifting' signal on the 2Mtr amateur band around 145.625mhz and upwards - just indiscriminately slowly drifting up and down in frequency! VERY weird. Definitely not someone transmitting as such. Much more like some weird sort of atmospheric thing, but even with my limited amateur radio knowledge, I can't in any way imagine what would cause such a thing. Very weird . . . ate ham, cheese and mayo baps with crisps, a banana and biscuits . . napped . . . walked BGdns . . .briefly touched base with BB . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine . . ate a large bag of crisps and a meat pastry slice, a banana and some chocolate . . . to bed around 2am.