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1 - With a slight beer buzz I didn't get to sleep until after 1am. At about 2am I was rudely awakened by 'insistent' and continuous ringing of my doorbell. In a confused panic I rush to the door to find LB terribly drunk and in a hell of a distressed state mumbling incoherently that she couldn't get into her house. She was horribly legless! I tried to drag out of her what the problem was and she mumbled there were people up there who wouldn't let her in! Oh god! I dressed and took the spare key I have for her door, left her crying on my settee and went to face whatever I would find . . . terrified I was going being forced into a situation where I would end up getting hurt by . . whoever!! All the lights were on in her house so I gingerly unlocked her front door and went in . . . a very scary unarmed check of each room revealed, to my enormous relief, nothing but scattering cats. I returned to my house and with much difficulty persuaded her to stumble home. I put her to her bed and when she finally at length fell into unconsciousness, turned out lights, locked her front door and left to the accompaniment of the morning chorus of birdsong! I don't need this shit!! VERY unhappily disturbed I needed a chat and although it was late for her, ended up calling Sis2 in the States. Nice chat. Got back to bed by about 5:30am.. . .Up again feeling awful with a headache about 10am I just sat about for hours. At 2pm LB called . . . I let the ansaphone take it . . . and she left a message asking where her keys were and why she was locked in! I called her back and she revealed she could not find her car and house keys. I went up and unlocked her front door and gave her back the spare key I had. A quick coffee and 'normal' chat like nothing untoward had happened, and I left her to start making phone calls to clubs, friends and taxis in an attempt to find her lost keys. What can ya do . . . she is repressing loads of obvious 'behavioral stuff' but she isn't even looking . . . I've told her to her face she is an alcoholic but until she has sunk so low as to accept it . . . what can ya do? . . . Sat about unhappily with a headache. By 7:30pm someone had found some keys up the road, matched them to the parked car of the same make outside her house and had knocked on her door to ask if they were hers. What unbelievable luck!? She was celebrating with a glass of cider! PCd (3/10)
2 - PCd . . . strangely more and more 'up' as the evening wore on which was nice. (5/10)
3 - M/D called to tell me more about a camper van they'd seen for sale. I can't make a decision as to whether or not to go look! Do I really want to become a penniless 'traveler'?!! . I can't make a decision . . . I used to be able to . . . I used to know what I wanted! What on earth am I afraid of? . . . SH picked me up late morning as arranged the night before and we set off to do more rock pool raiding. Every other vehicle we passed seemed to be some sort of camper van and I couldn't get it off my mind. Ended up at Lyme Regis. Wonderful warm sunny day. Poked and prodded around various rock pools until I joked we'd better watch the tide as it was starting to come round behind us even though it was still way out in front of us. S said we'd better go NOW and off he went apace! He was right. I hurried after him slipping and sliding on the covering of weed until I reached the edge of our 'island'. There was nothing for it but to wade across as S had already done. I imagined that if I ran really quickly I wouldn't get wet . . . a bit like if you are trapped in a broken lift that has gone into freefall, if you jump just before it hits the ground you'll be ok!!!! Unfortunately I obviously didn't run quite fast enough. We sat on a rock and poured out the excess water from our shoes as our socks and trousers dripped. A strange splashing in the water in the distance looked like a massive fish so I grabbed a net and, attracting the attention of everyone on the seafront, ran excitedly across the beach towards it. It wasn't a fish. It appeared to be compressed air escaping through a crack in a submerged waste outlet pipe caused by the rising tide. Yuk! Felt very silly as I wandered back to join SH ignoring my audience. We squelched back to the car with the cool box of trophies. Various different small fish, crabs and unidentified interesting little weird things. Back at home, opening the cool box to transfer the livestock to the tank, to our horror there were many casualties. Perhaps the water had been too cold. The smaller casualties, once confirmed definitely deceased, were fed to the resident Snakelock anemones. The survivors were carefully introduced to the tank upon which the resident fish attempted to eat them! What will be will be. Life's like that I guess. Food for thought. SH dropped me home by about eight thirty. (5/10)
4 - M/D came up to visit because Sis1 had organised a bar-b-q and had her holiday to 'debrief' and photos to look at etc. It rained and rained so the bar-b-q was cancelled and we went out for a meal instead . . . got a phone call on Sis1s mobile from Sis2 in the states while we were there . . . it was the fourth of July holiday. Visited Sis1's 'boyfriend'. . . nice guy, nice house/garden.
Decided to go look at the camper van so went back down to Brixham with M/D . . late! Didn't get to sleep until 2am. (5/10)
5 - Up early with the sea gulls squawking . . . too little sleep. Organised finances just in case and went to see the camper van. Test drove it . . . lots of crashing of gears and revving of engine cause I wasn't used to it . . . it drove like an old bus! For the year it really was VERY sound. Almost no rust, new exhaust, not 'too' bad inside . . . . REALLY spacious four berth with sink, fridge, cooker etc! After much, MUCH soul searching and deep thought I managed to walk away. It wasn't fear. It just wasn't right for me, although I think it was a very good deal. At least I have a better picture of what I would like. Went out to a lovely new place for an 'all day breakfast', walked about a bit, had ice creams, sat about a bit. (5/10)
6 - Dad had recently renewed and extended his car insurance so he let me drive us back up the motorway to Bristol . . . despite his obvious 'back seat driver' anxiety and flinching. First proper drive I've done for a while . . . some difficulty maintaining concentration! Persuaded M/D to have a veggie kebab and chips from the local kebab shop . . . seemed to go down ok. Ansaphone message from ML about my vague suggestion of 'maybe' wanting to go on a cheap bus trip to Alton Towers to perhaps scare myself into being more self confident by going on all the death defying rides. Phoned him back and all of a sudden it was a definate date for him, me and C! A few phone calls to people I haven't spoken to for a bit, TV and bed comfortable with my decision about the camper. (6/10)
7 - Booked by phone and credit card three tickets to Alton Towers for Wednesday 19th. Caught up on e-mails, paperwork, finances etc. Checked out the Evening Post job ads. and requested an application form from Soundwell Tec. cause a low paid computery training job looked interesting . . . although I think I'm too old! Also posted a letter asking for info about a Science Technician vacancy at Speedwell . . . that would be nice . . . and local. Fell into a richly dream laden sleep on the settee for a couple of hours. Relaxed with TV and a read before going to bed late/early. (6/10)
8 - LB phoned at 01:45, drunk, offering me glasses of wine if I wanted to go up . . . I declined . . . this is getting to be a real pain in the ass!! More war of attrition DIY on the stairs . . . P popped round. Some feeling on edge wondering if I would get another 'wake up' call!! (5/10)
9 - Just sat in front the TV all day! Remember nothing of it. (3/10)
10 - Spent the whole morning+ messing around with the Soundwell College computer job application . . . fingers VERY crossed . . . I WANT it . . . but I think I'm too old. . . and . . . baggage?! Shopped and fought a sudden onset of a fiercely depressive mood!!! Fell asleep on the settee. TVd and PCd. (3/10)
11 - The MOD returned my call and explained all my references had now been done and it was only a matter of time before an actual vacancy arose? I wont hold my breath!
Walked up the road and bought a case and floppy to start building my new PC with the bits donated by DS . . . finally biting the bullet I couldn't resist also buying a new inkjet printer. The walk back from the shop carrying huge boxes was real difficult/hot. I got home, put them down and ran to the bathroom and promptly threw up!!!!! I don't know if it was the strenuous physical effort after having just eaten lunch or a strange allergic reaction to having spent 100!!! Spent the afternoon assembling the bits . . . the old keyboard I thought would do may be broken and I couldn't set it up. It'll have to wait until I buy a new keyboard. . . Exposure to the easy fullness of others lives through e-mail correspondence made me jealous, self-pitying, hopeless, lonely and very down. How fragile I am! . . . Walked to the pub to have a beer or two with ML&S . . . a bag of chips and a lift home from ML. (2/10)
12 - Phoned Telewest AGAIN chasing up the 'Surf Unlimited' service I requested on 28/03/2000 which I am paying for but have yet to receive. Yet again they said they'd call me back and didn't! . . Set up the new inkjet. Nice. Bought a new keyboard and got the new PC running. . ish. . Bought a new 56k modem for it . . . spent hours trying to get it to work in different ISA slots with different configurations before finally coming to the conclusion it was a duffer. Walked back up the shop and they replaced it without any argument and the replacement slipped in fine. Something may not be right about the soundcard but enough for one day. . . such a pain having to share a monitor and other bits and pieces between two PCs all over the desk. Tried to keep busy all day so as not to think and to help fend off the down. (2/10)
13 - Phoned Telewest AGAIN all angry . . . they promised stuff would be in the post, AGAIN!!! PCd ALL day. Temporarily removed the network card and boot time is down to about 20 seconds!!!! . . . wow! Little software progress thanks to a Microsoft Office2000 Pro. corrupt CD2 . . . but at least the new machine can surf and check some of my e-mail accounts. Wow it's quick! Developed a cunning plan to swap a spare hard drive from one machine to the other . . . SH popped in with the required HD cable but I'd had more than enough for one day . . . busy, busy, busy . . .TVd and 'early' to bed. (2/10)
14 - Woke up early feeling not so down. PCd all day . . . finally took my hard drive out of the old machine and put it in the new machine as a secondary master to facilitate bringing all my old stuff over . . . still difficult . . . much to do. Slept . . . and then PCd again. (4/10)
15 - PCd until 3am . . . woke an hour after going to bed, not having eaten much the last few days feeling too hungry to sleep . . . got up and was eating boiled eggs and toast at 5am! Tried to sleep again at 6 but woke a couple of hours later and got up to PC again. Because EL had reminded me in e-mails what people with lives do and that the Bristol Community Festival was on, I decided to go check it out at about midday. I got a return bus ticket to the top of Blackboy Hill and then walked the rest of the way. Miles!!! Very hot and dry by the time I got there just before 2pm, especially since I took my great big riding/raincoat thing cause when I left it looked like rain . . . it got sunnier . . . it did at least give me something to sit on. I haven't been to the festival for over ten years I guess but it didn't seem too different . . . more organised, more stalls, more people, more loud!! Why oh why does that rave music need to be SO loud. It drowned out everything else!
Ok , ok . . . I'm just an old f**t. As if to prove it I found most enjoyment away from the main stages and instead stuck to the smaller tents. Being on my own I wandered around and pleased myself with what I watched and for how long . . . like picking chocolates from a box. The 'classic' tent was good . . . Indian music and dance, classical piano, opera, acappella etc. In another tent some group called Get Behind The Mule was good . . . the guy with the hat was SOOoooo talented it was frightening. He could play lead/acoustic guitar, sax, penny whistle, vocals, base guitar, harmonica, ??. I did alright money wise until I needed to eat and couldn't resist a burger (meat!!!!!) and then I just HAD to try an Ostrich burger. It was really nice . . . despite the guilt!! Being a lightweight after five hours there I couldn't stand any more noise or crowds of people and headed for the exit about seven o'clock. On the way I caught the last two numbers of a band called Hells Bells. They appeared to be an AC/DC tribute band complete with crazy guitarist in shorts. Damn they were good. VERY good if you like old AC/DC numbers. I couldn't really tell them apart from the real thing. Maybe the best experience of the day . . . shame I missed the rest of their set. The crowd was going pretty crazy too jumping around and throwing things about!!!. Walked and walked and bussed and got home about nine sporting a terrible dehydration/stress head ache. Dare I say I actually enjoyed 'bits' of the day!!! 'Early' to bed. (5/10)
16 - PCd . . . picked up about midday by S&D and went for the ride to Weston Super Mare. D wanted to see an exhibition at the winter gardens so S and I dropped her off and then drove about a bit seeing the wonders of Uphill before parking up in Weston and then wandering down the promenade and pier. Hot and sunny and lots of people. A band playing on the front looked promising until it became clear they were Jesus freaks 'recruiting'! Met up with D and headed back to Bristol . . . driving through St George a transit van was parked in front of a pub with an audience of drinkers gathered round. Elvis was stood on top of the van giving a performance!! They dropped me back home at about 5:20. By 5:30 I was heading off on the three quarters of an hour walk along the cycle path to IHB's baby's after christening bar-b-q thing. It was a little stressful not really knowing anyone, seeing faces from my past and being surrounded by couples and screaming kids (mayhem!!!) but I survived and ended up being the last to leave, after IHB and his wife had sat chilling out in the garden after dark when all the kids were stowed away. I SO much prefer intimate little chats to crowds. Actually my watch had broken so I may have kept them up . . . I thought I left at about midnight but it may have been nearer 1am!!!! The lights in the tunnel were thankfully still on, so I didn't need the torch I'd taken just in case, but it was still a little unnerving walking home in the dark . . . and so cold! (5/10)
17 - As ML had suggested, I got the bus down to his place and we went for a drive to a camper/caravan centre somewhere down the A38 . . . just to have a look around and see what modern vans are like . . . just fact finding and dreaming. He just HAD to take his Land Rover with the roof off didn't he!!!!! Bad hair day . . . but it was so gloriously hot and sunny, it was fun! All the camper vans were really expensive but it confirmed I was right not to buy the one I'd looked at in Brixham . . . too old and basic. We pub lunched and drove around through Weston to Sand Bay and wandered out onto the National Trust headland for a bit. SOOOooooo sunny and HOT!!!!!! Back in Bristol around six and I got the bus back home. PS came round later to finish the day off nicely. (5/10)
18 - Sat in the sun in the garden ALL day relaxing/recharging after a hectic couple of days . . . for me. (4/10)
19 - Went to Alton Towers to have my first go EVER on a scarey ride! Survived. (5/10)
20 - Got up early with the alarm and got the eight o'clock bus to MLs in Shirehampton to go for a walk to the Blaise Estate . . . me M and S walked through the estate to Blaise Castle, to the house which was shut . . . had a burger and an ice cream and then walked back through the woods, past the old mill, following the stream and back to Sea Mills where, feeling the strain a bit in the blistering sunshine, we waited half an hour for the train and got it to Shirehampton for 70p, only the next stop! A cool drink in Ms garden and S gave me a lift back to Easton from where I walked home. All in all a jolly pleasant gentle walk and just a little bit sunburnt. PCd and TVd (5/10)
21 - Caught up on housework and chores . . . shopped and walked to look at a local camper van for sale . . . 485 blimey . . . I'll take it! 4,85 - 0 blimey . . . I should co co!! Popped in to see D&S who let me have a pay as you go, One2One mobile phone they didn't want. Lots of phone calls later revealed the chip was no longer registered, I'd have to buy a new one and a new one could cost up to 80!!! No way . . . big disappointment. Not in a PC mood . . . played twiddely guitar in the garden and TVd. (5/10)
22 - Wanted to type up the Alton Towers trip but it felt like a chore . . . wanted to do 'anything' rather than spend hours typing . . . spent the whole day in the blazing hot sun in the garden, which seemed really tiring . . . a quick nap on the settee and sat around all evening watching nothing on TV. . . ended the day feeling restless and very VERY desirous of some 'feminine' company. (3/10)
23 - PCd . . . typed and typed and typed!! Sick of typing but it's done-ish! (4/10)
24 - Polished off the Alton Towers write up and sent a copy to M/D to read, together with a birthday card for Mum for tomorrow . . . hassled Telewest yet again about my non existant internet service, got assertive, demanded action and got very shakey with adrenaline and more uptight than on scary rides??!!!!!! . . . Felt exhausted after lunch and fell asleep on the settee . . . woken by Sis1 who popped in to borrow my drill. Called M to crib his Telewest internet settings but failed to get connected with the username and password Telewest had given me! P popped in later for chats and a beer. (3/10)
25 - Yippeeee . . . the Telewest CD arrived thanks to superviser 'Nola' who was true to her word. Unfortunately the password info she had been given was wrong so I had to phone her back several times before technical support finally gave me the right one!! After lots of hassle I finally set up the connection as I want it WITHOUT the Telewest software. M/D phoned to say thanks for the card and to enable me to sing happy birthday to mum. PCd. A French Concorde crashed today and I watched it all unfold on the cable TV channels . . . shocked and saddened since I feel attached to Concorde because of childhood plane spotting at Filton where I saw several close up . . . found it difficult not to dwell on imaginings of the victims experience!!! Surfed till late. (4/10)
26 - Down day . . . directionless and exhausted . . . fell asleep on the settee all afternoon! Woke up and ended up PCing on WOM chat ALL night long because I couldn't sleep through awfull thoughts. Mood had lifted somewhat by morning. A tough one! (2/10)
27 - Very tired by morning but 'better'! . . . and hungry . . . ate cold spaghetti from a tin for breakfast!!! . . . bused to town to buy a book to send to C . . . skipped lunch and slept a couple of hours on the settee . . . big tea, TVd and PCd till late feeling ok but not quite all there?! (310)
28 - Couldn't sleep again and was up untill 3am . . . woke up at 10am . . . PCd all day . . . phoned up and got a place on an intensive one week CLAIT course at the Tec all next week . . . TVd . . . P popped in later . . . PCd to the early hours again. (4/10)
29 - Surfed looking for info on the mobile phone I was given . . . got a bee in my bonnet about it and took an afternoon bus into town to try and get it up and running . . . the One2One SIMs are like gold dust but eventually found a street stall!!! that sold them for 25 . . . I don't 'need' one but being a victim of the trend couldn't resist buying it, and a 10 pay as you go credit . . . yay . . . I now have a mobile . . but why?!!! Spent a couple of hours walking around the waterfront 'Festival of the Sea' amidst the huge crowds and watched a couple of the free bands and street performers . . . the 'Sigma String Quartet', four guys playing classical music on violins but with a tremendous sense of humour was BRILLIANT! . . . couldn't stand the crowds on my own, and got the bus home early evening . . . TVd. (4/10)
30 - Tidied the garden a bit . . . sat in the sun . . . TVd . . . treated myself to a MEAT kebab like the 'good' old days!!! . . . early to bed but couldn't sleep till the early hours. (4/10)
31 - Disturbed nights sleep . . . up early before the alarms . . . walked the hot and sweaty half an hour to Soundwell Tec. for the 9:30 start of the CLAIT course . . . asked if on my minimal income I qualified for reduced prices on the O and A level courses but told NO because I don't claim benefits - felt hurt that I was being penalised for being carefull and sensible with my money all my life - not 'fair'!! . . . today on the course was VERY basic stuff on MS Word . . . being 'taught' nothing more than how to pass the 'test' . . . got rather bored . . . sat on the grass during the mid morning break and sat in chewing gum . . . didn't notice till I found myself stuck to my computer chair!! YUK!! Felt very silly and made an awful mess of the cloth chair . . . oops!!!! Test on MS Word tomorrow . . . out and walking home very hot by 15:15 . . . washed my clothes . . .TVd . . . ended the day feeling painfully alone and down! (3/10)