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July
1 - Up around 6:45am . . walked in a relatively dryish spell . .started the sanding, gluing of split floorboards, and final finishing of the bedroom floor. . . ate four sausages, bread and butter and chips for a mid afgternoon lunch . . napped . . walked . . more sanding until my self imposed 'consider the neighbours' 9pm curfew . . touched base with BB . . ate Mum donated chicken and stuffing slice sandwiches with two bags of crisps and then some chocolate bars while watching the end of the Princess Diana memorial pop concert thingy. Really got 'into' the Elton John set. Definitely the 'consumate professional'! . . TVd until 1am before bed. pps
2 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:30am . . walked in sunglasses and a showercoat. . . worked on the bedroom floor, mostly trying to find and cure all the squeaks. Mum called to touch base and then again to say her neighbour had dropped off the venetian blinds she'd promised me. .battled on with the floor (in danger of losing touch with the reality of the 'big picture' and getting bogged down with improving microscopic imperfections!) and finally called it quits, took all the floorboard screws back out, vacuumed and de-dusted as much as I could, and then put on the first coat of varnish. Ended up doing it barefoot to reduce the amount of dog hair I kept walking in there! Wow! That looks ok. Ooops - left the radio on, on the firebreast shelf and couldn't get back to it to turn it off until the floor had dried sufficiently. ("Dry in 30 minutes / re-coatable in two hours"). . ate chicken and stuffing slice sandwiches with two bags of crisps and some chocolate while watching the news . .tip toed across the floor and turned the radio off and then napped for almost a couple of hours until around 5pm . . put another coat of varnish on the floor . . .walked. Stopped off at Mums on the way back to pick up the blinds (and a sausage roll donation meant for Sally). . measured up the blinds and wandered all around the house trying to find somewhere to use them. No. No matter how I try, I just don't think those sizes are going to be of any use to me at all. Shame. :o( Yet more to add to my charity shop pile. . . put another (the last?) coat of varnish on the floor and tidied up just a little, and made sure the old cane chair was blocking the bedroom doorway to stop any chance of Sally going in there. . ate Mum donated sausage rolls with crisps, a banana and some chocolate. . TVd until bed around midnight. pp
3 - The newly decorated, almost finished front bedroomWoke around 5:30am for some reason. Couldn't get back to sleep and up before 6am. . . walked early. . emptied all the ashtrays and 'recycled' the unburned tobacco back into my tin!!! . . put all the screws back in the bedroom floorboards and then hung the original mirror back on the firebreast wall. The electric screwdriver DID save me some of the wrist work on all that (SO slow!) , but the final tightening down was still far better done with a conventional scrwedriver by hand. I'm definitely not a fan of electric screwdrivers. . PCd trying to get a decent photo of the room, but no matter how I tried or how many shots I took to stitch together, I just couldn't make one that did it justice! Oh well. Wasted far too much time on that! Suffice it to say, I reckon it looks ok, and certainly better than it was before (particularly with the power points in almost every conceivably useful place). Think I'm gonna have a much needed rest while that floor 'cures' for a day or two before I top coat the skirtings etc. . vacuumed, sat around, TVd/PCd, occasionally popping up to look in and admire the front bedroom! lololol . .ate mayo, lettuce, luncheon meat and tomato sandwiches with two bags of crisps and then some biscuits . . PCd briefly as a thunder storm rolled through . . napped for a couple of hours, only to wake feeling all shakey and really rather unwell. . walked, unhappy, feeling really rather nauseas! 'Just' managed to do the walk and get back home before having to race through the house to throw up in the sink!! Not sure what that was about. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was something unpleasant on the outer leaves of that iceburg lettuce, which I'd eaten in my sandwiches rather than strip off and throw away like I should have instead of just swilling it under the tap! . .TVd feeling slightly less fragile as the evening wore on . . ate bowls of corn flakes . . BB called to touch base . . TVd until bed around midnight (after a quick look in at the front bedroom, just to make sure it was still looking good! lololol) ppa
4 - Woke earlier then up around 6:15am . . .wow - some 'good' news on the TV for a change. Alan Johnston the BBC Gaza journalist who was kidnapped months ago, has been released fit and well. Didn't think that was ever gonna happen. Nice one. . . walked in the sun . . PCd and had a bit of a surf looking at ivory coloured swivel recliners with matching footstools. Ouch - they're expensive (and rather too large). Shame - it seemed like a neat idea to have such a thing in the bedroom by the bay window, for making use of the view and having a place to sit and read (not that I ever do) and such. I'm itching to go in search of a double bed for myself, second hand or maybe even new, but I guess I should resist until I've decorated the back bedroom, otherwise I'll have too much clutter laying around everywhere to be able to get on and do it. . . PCd this for hours, catching up. Very nice to be having a break from DIY. Feels like I'm on holiday! Feel guilty! SO much to do everywhere. SO much. :o( Been a funny life. Like I've been sentenced to ten years hard labour with all the DIY I've 'had'/still have to do! And it IS a case of HAVE to. I haven't a choice. Dunno why, but no way can I just live in someone elses place. I absolutely MUST put my own mark on my home environment. It IS absolutely necessary to me - never more so than in this new house. It seems to be an intrinsic part of me being able to feel 'at home' anywhere. And I AM starting to feel that here, with only two rooms now mostly done. As part of the mental scarring of this last winter, I still can't help showing a 'knee-jerk' interest in every 'for sale' sign that goes up - and I gotta be honest, I've not seen a property that can compare to what I've got. The main (only?) drawback of the place as far as I can see, aside from me not having the money to do all that needs to be done and maximise its' potential, is the fact that it is a mid terrace and NOT fully detached. Yep. Sitting here typing, occasionaly glancing out at that view - it's pretty cool. Even if the lawns do need cutting - YET again!! lol :o) . .the weather appeared to be slightly better than the forecast (as is so often the case down here in this 'riviera' micro-climate) so I dragged out the lawn mower to give the lawns a quick once over. What I didn't spot laying on the back lawn was one of Sally's old bones she'd taken out there at some point. It flew around in the hover mower blade for a second, breaking into pieces, and then the mower stopped working!! DAMN! :o( Dragged out the second mower I'd inherited with the house (very 'old' with a broken, dangerously screwed together on/off handle), and managed a bit of a cut (not as short) of both front and back lawns with that one, without electrocuting myself. So - yet another thing I have to do at some point - have a go at dismantling the broken mower to see if I can fix it. :o( . removed a weird ugly shelf thing that had been screwed to the house below the kitchen window to support yet more potted plants. Bit by bit I'm whittling down all the 'clutter'. . carried on pottering in the garden and then finally got round to having a go at re-potting all the cactii the previous owners had left behind in the kitchen and sun room. I'm not particularly a fan of such things, but it just seems right to try and keep them going if possible. The three in the small red pots in the kitchen had all outgrown their pots to such an extent, it was pretty impossible to even water them without the water just running straight off the potruding parched soil. Another collection of different smaller cactii had been left in a strange fragile glass, display type container, kinda the shape of an apple (and not really my type of thing at all)! A couple of the cactii in that, had grown so much, they were struggling to find a way out through the glass 'apple stem', and one or two even appeared to be threatening to try and flower. It was VERY difficult extracting all those through the small access hole. I tried using gardening gloves and wrapping a towel around them all, etc, but at the end of the day there was little choice but to just get to grips with them all with my bare hands!! That turned out to be a mistake. Um - err - what a 'prick'?A bunch of pricks! The bigger spikes just hurt/drew blood like clutching a bunch of needles, but that was to be expected. What turned out to be a greater problem was the smaller, 'fuzzier' cactii. Invisible to the naked eye, I seem to have got a bunch of miniature spikes stuck in the skin of my fingers. Like you can get with a splinter, every now and then something will rub them the wrong way, and they'll hurt like I'm being stung by stinging nettles!! Very unpleasant, and no amount of hand washing or scrubbing with a scrubbing brush improved things. :o( Despite the unpleasantness of the operation, I eventually had them all re-potted, using some rich soil from a spare garden pot, mixed with some compost I inherited found in the shed. I also used some of the chippings (after washing them) I'd found in an unopened bag behind the big fir tree I removed from the front garden, to cover over the top of the soil - which I 'think' is a good thing to do for preventing too rapid evaporation, as well as looking ok. So - I have a large collection of cactii to put somewhere!!!???!!! Blimey - I've turned into my grandmother! (she was a smoker - always seemed to be doing a lot of painting - had a lot of cactii!) lololol . Time will tell if they will survive or not (and I need at least one more white pot). . showered, making much use of the scrubbing brush! (Hang on - blimey - watch where you're putting your hands dude!) . . ate luncheon meat sandwiches with crisps and a miniature chocolate swiss roll . . PCd . . napped . . walked . . touched base briefly with Mum . . TVd drinking a small can of Stella. .ate a couple of bags of crisps . .BB called . . cooked and ate four cheeseburgers . . TVd until bed around midnight. ppd
5 - Woken by Sally around 6:30am . . . walked the long walk through the woods and back via BGdns. . My hands are still irritating me slightly from those damned cactii spikes stuck in them somewhere! . . put on some laundry and PCd this . .pottered around tidying and cleaning a little. . Mum popped in to see progress . . cut a couple of the cork tiles to size and succeeded in gluing them onto the side of my PC desk as a little notice board. Actually used an old can of 'not for re-sale to the public' industrial spray on glue which I've been keeping for years. MANY years! I think I somehow got hold of that when I was making up the seat for my XS1100 chop, and wanted some strong glue to stick the foam to the seat base!!! Amazing that stuff was still useable after all those years! Worked out quite nicely. :o) Opened up one of my boxes and succeeded in finding some panel pins, to be able to pin up some of the papers and stuff I want on there. A silly small thing, but I feel SO much happier to have a little notice board again. Now, with my list up to keep an eye on, maybe I'll return to being aware of when peoples birthdays and such are. . ate luncheon meat and lettuce sandwiches with crisps and a couple of squares of chocolate . .napped . . walked . . sanded and dabbed a little undercoat on some of the bedroom skirting board 'dings' . .TVd . . PCd messing around with the slow process of sorting through/deleting links and pages and reinstating just a little more of my website. . Bb called . . ate Mum donated corned beef sandwiches with crisps followed by strawberries and cream, covered in a mountain of sugar and then and a couple of squares of chocolate! . . TVd until bed around 1am. pps
6 - Woken by Sally around 6:30am. Snoozed on then up around 7:20am . .walked in the sun and wind . . put the bedroom curtains in the wash . PCd this . . .painted a top coat on the bedroom skirtings. Balanced my accounts. . .cut small pads of carpet tile to protect the front bedroom floor and then put my bed back in there. Glued more prtective pads on the legs of the old cane chair before putting that back in there too . . ate luncheon meat, lettuce, tomato and mayo sandwiches with two bags of crisps and a few squares of chocolate . . napped . . walked . .sat in the garden and had a bit of a look at the broken lawn mower. Damn - I thought it was just the switch, but investigations and tests reveal it's broken/burned out at the motor end of things. That'll be that then I guess. :o( . . surfed looking at hover lawn mowers. Ouch!! . . drank a small tin of stella while watching TV . . BB called . . ate bowls of corn flakes with the last of the Mum donated double cream added to the milk. I remember when you used to get 'proper' milk which tasted like that, with a good inch of cream at the top of the bottle, rather than that watery stuff you get these days. . TVd until bed in the front bedroom, around 11:30pm. ppd
7 - Up around 6am . . walked in the sun and found 1 . .not in the mood for 'working' so I ended up 'playing' with the camera(s) all day, cause it was kinda overdue I thought!! lol :o) "Down Looks Up"??!!! < Pictures. :o) Actually more time consuming and difficult than it may appear. Almost every single picture had to be done as a series of several, stitched together, because the camera lens couldn't take the 'fish eye' wide angles required. Took ages!! All part of the 'bonding with my home' process for me . .Mum popped in as usual . . ate Mum donated ham rolls with crisps. . napped . . walked. Sat in the garden for a while reading another chapter of the book the counsellor had loaned me. Found it almost impossible to concentrate and only managed another chapter or so. . touched base with BB . . TVd . . ate a whole packet of 8 Mum donated Mr Kipling Viennese whirls and some chocolate!! . . TVd/PCd until the early hours before bed. pps
8 - Woken by Sally earlier, snoozed on then up real late around 8:30am . . walked late and did the full long walk through the woods and back via the coves and BGdns. . . pottered around a little . . drank a mug of white wine while cooking chips, and then ate with some defrosted fried chicken and four pieces of bread and butter while watching the grand prix. . watched the end of the rather boring British Grand Prix and then napped . . walked. . . briefly wire brushed the front gate hinges and dabbed a little grease on them, to stop the thing squeaking like it has been. Sat on the step by the front door for a while (one particular step is really shallow and almost ideal for sitting on cross legged, with knees on the step below in a straight backed meditation type posture) with coffee and cigarette, watching the clouds and birds. . PCd and had a bit of a read from the links Sis2 had sent me, all about 'Lymes' disease which is what she suspects she may have! Yeah - it does seem possible from the little I know of her many years of troubles!! Surely she needs to have all those tests done, even if they are a little imprecise? :o( . . TVd . . ate bowls of corn flakes. . TVd until bed around 1:30am or later! ppds
9 - Woken by Sally around 8am . . walked. . PCd this. . left Sally at home and drove to buy dog food supplies.(2x17kg PAL @ 35.98) . stopped in at the B&Q DIY store for a look around at everything. Ended up spending 20 on a mirror! 2ft x 3ft in a 'chocolate wood effect' frame, it WAS pretty cheap and nasty, but the wood effect frame pretty much matched all the dark wood in my living room so I figured it'd do for the time being at that price (particularly since I'm as yet undecided about which way to go with the decor when I decorate that room). As it turns out, despite the really cheap nasty frame, the actual mirror itself is slightly better quality than the cheap distorting one I left on the firebreast back in Bristol. . .passed an open air/car boot type market on the way home, so stopped and parked up for a wander around. Not much to see of interest. What DID seem bizarre in the current climate, was how many of the merchants stalls were selling 'guns', knives and such like!!! Did I hear that right? Two yellow-plastic-BB firing 'automatic' pistols for a fiver? I even had a go at firing one of them into the back of the guys van, because I was so intrigued. Very different to the potentialy more powerful/lethal air guns I've had experience of in the past. I'm not even sure if it was actually an air gun, or just a spring operated thing. Nevertheless, the yellow plastic BB came out with quite some force - enough to bounce off the back of the crew compartment of the transit type van and right back out towards me. (His salesman speil suggested it was so powerful it had shattered, but it hadn't). He suggested some people bought them as a non-lethal deterent to sea gulls!!! (That's nasty - although gulls can be a genuine problem down this way. If they nest on your roof, not only will you not sleep for weeks with their noise, but you also run the very real risk of being injured by them as they defend their nest from anyone straying too close! I am often 'swooped at', even 'chased' as I walk with Sally to BGdns and back, past some occupied roofs!) Anyway - the most notable thing about all those 'toy' guns, was how real they looked. They looked absolutely real, particularly the AK47 and what I think was an MP5 (like the police use - and yes - don't ask me why but the child in me wanted one!???!)! Seems absurd you can still buy such things. Must be real easy to get killed by being out playing with one. (Suicide by police?) Bizarre. . . stopped at Sainsburys for a few supplies 32.52 (mostly for four loaves of bread for the freezer) on the way back. Finally got round to investing 7.99 of that, in some Glucosamine sulphate (90 tablets). Seems like everyone you speak to down here in this part of the country swears by the stuff for improving joint pain, and if they aren't taking the stuff themselves, they are giving it to their dogs! I was bound to try it eventually with my bad back and knees. Gonna take one a day and hope for the best. I'm so eager that it should work, I'm even trying to allow myself thoughts to encourage a placebo effect!! Unheard of for me. . .ate beef rolls with crisps and a couple of cheap toffee chocolate bars . . napped . . walked. Having done the usual circular walk and almost heading back, I bumped into a lady dog walker who seemed to be a bit distressed. Turned out she'd lost her keys while walking her dogs and was locked out of her car, etc. as a result. Ended up walking all over the place with her as she retraced her steps, helping her look for her lost keys. Even included having to trawl along a part of the beach in the nearby cove, which unfortunately gave Sally the opportunity to go in for a paddle and a lie down as she does - so another wet dog day! (I try to keep her paddles to a minimum, because despite a good towling down, she stays wet for hours after and the inside of the single glazed aluminium windows are running with MUCH condensation by morning!) To cut a LONG, searching around on the beach and in the grass story short, the woman eventually remembered she'd poop scooped right up near where I'd first run into her, and it was on the grass just there where she found her own keys! She was much relieved. . . returned home and managed to relatively quickly hang the mirror over the fireplace. Had a couple of those little brass mounting plates left in my stuff in the garage - the type that has a hole and a slightly smaller elongated slot. The neat trick with those is to screw them to the back of the mirror frame so they'll be completely out of sight, carefully grind out a shallow trough in the wood frame below the hole and slot, put a couple of suitably sized and potruding screws in wall plugs in the wall, and then just offer the mirror up and slot the brass plates down over the protruding screw heads. Ends up nice and firm, flush to the wall, totally hidden, and easily lifted up and off if necessary. Neat. :o). Ended up looking a 'little' bit silly to my critical eye, because it turns out the fireplace surround isn't sat horizontal/straight on the wall, whereas the mirror, more or less is. Humpph! :o/ Oh well - it'll do for the time being. Nice to have a mirror above a fireplace again. . . cleared up and vaccuumed the little bit of sawdust . . TVd and ate corned beef and lettuce sandwiches with crisps and then some chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1am. pp
10 - Up around 8:25am! . . . walked . . pottered around. Moved the pine unit Sis1 gave me to a different place in the living room to release the old metal 'chest' I've been using as a coffee table. Filled the chest with patch leads, wires, cables, all manner of PC stuff and put it in the PC room (after having glued bits of carpet to the underside to protect the floor). . . moved all the junk around and removed the back bedroom carpet and dumped it out of the way in the garage. . lifted a couple of floorboards to explore. Managed to slightly alter the existing weird lighting wiring (everything done by spurs from a single junction box under the landing floor) to make the crazy light switch in the kitchen redundant. The diner part of the kitchen has one light, the kitchenette area another. The lightswitch for the diner part was on the wall, up close to the door frame BEHIND the door! Crazy! Like it had never been moved since the house was altered. (Incredibly the same next door!) The kitchenette switch was in a slightly more sensible position, and really should be a double switch for both lights (and eventually will be when I get round to doing it). Managed without 'too' much work, to botch the connections in the junction box so that the one switch turns on both lights, and withdrew the redundant cable to the redundant switch box to make it all safe. Not the best way of doing things, but it was simple and quick, and since I've replaced the bulbs in both those lights with low wattage energy savers, shouldn't present any sort of overload hazard. An absolute delight to be able to walk out into my kitchen and just turn on both lights now. It was such a pain to have to reach behind the door to turn that light on, I never did, and always stumbled around out there in the half dark at night. One more thing sorted-ish. :o) . . . ate a four egg cheese omlette with chips . .cut my hair in the garden so as to minimise the clearing up afterwards. . PCd . . walked. On the way home, the next door neighbour just about to drive off in his car asked if I still wanted the chair he'd offered me. YES please! (I didn't know if I was supposed to be badgering him asking for it or waiting for him to say 'now'. I'd need help carrying it in and he always seems SO busy) . . . accepted the chair over the garden fence and then had help carrying it into the living room. Let the neighbour have a quick look around at my decorations upstairs, as an explanation of all the noise they've had to put up with. Also took possession of his old PC which he'd said I could also have. Dunno what of that may be of use, but from what he's said was wrong with it, I suspect at the very least, the hard drive is useable. That'll have to wait - too much else to do. . drank a beer . . touched base with Mum . . TVd . . ate a defrosted Mum donated pastie with two bags of crisps . . TVd until bed around 1am. p2gd
11 - Woke around 5am, snoozed on then up around 7am! . . . walked in the sun . .PCd briefly before walking with Sally up to Mums to have a go at removing the 'small' fir tree she'd finally said I could do for her. A tall thin one, it'd been blown around by the wind at some point and was leaning over at a crazy angle. Didn't take 'too' much work to dig the thing out and then cut it in two for some time collection by the council. Trimmed a little bit of this and that as per Mums directions and then left her with the boring hassle of cutting it all up into smaller pieces to put in the bags ready for collection. Felt a bit guilty not loading the car up and taking it all to the tip, but I really didn't want all that hassle right now, and Mum seemed happy enough to do what she usually does. . . couldn't seem to muster the energy to get on with anything (SO much to do all over everywhere) and just sat around for a bit . . cooked and ate a ham ring with four fried eggs and half a tin of baked beans with four pieces of bread crusts . . napped until gone 5pm! . . PCd this briefly . . walked. Just inside BGdns down on the grass was a lot of blood, and a little litter and debris left behind from where someone had used tissues and medical swabs on something!!!!???? God knows what had happened there some time during the day - but it seemed like a LOT of blood! :o( . . worked in the back bedroom and eventually succeeded in moving the lightswitch. A lot of work to just move it one inch down and six inches over, but it HAD to be done. So - now all the bedroom lightswitches are more or less in the same position in each room, relative to the height from the floor and distance from the door surround. Just 'feels' right now. :o) . . ate some cherry bakewell tarts, bowls of corn flakes and TVd until bed around 1:30am. Weird - a sudden rush of hits on my 'Welcome To The Jungle' video from Italy! p2gs
12 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up just before 8am! . . walked under grey skies. Very warm. . .glued up a couple of pieces of floorboard and left them to set, clamped in the vices in the garage . . worked in the back bedroom and did most of the difficult work for putting in a couple of double socket boxes in two of the stud walls. (cut out the holes in the wall with a stanley knife and hand-held hacksaw blade, and then using a couple of extremely long drill bits carefully in through those holes, drilled several different holes down through the wall base-timber into the underfloor void to eventually take the wiring, etc, etc.) Went ok although I did unfortunately have to cut and raise another floorboard. So many have already been cut and raised in the past in that room for all the heating/plumbing it's a shame to have to cut yet another, but I had no choice. On the plus side, I AM getting better/neater/more precise at actually doing that. I've pretty much perfected a technique of using my disc cutter to precision cut down through the floorboard right on top of a joist, making sure I don't go in too deep or touch the adjacent boards on either side. I then use a hack saw blade held in my hand to carefully, meticulously saw away at the remaining edges of the board until it is finally seperated. Gives a real nice sharp break in the board. It's then 'just' (!!!) a matter of prising up the board and extracting the old nails etc. This part of the process I have NOT perfected. For the life of me I cannot figure out any alternative to what seems to be the only thing that reliably works for me. I push a wide flat masonary chisel in between the boards to start the prising up - and this ALWAYS causes a little 'pressure' damage, the width of the chisel, to the leverage points on the adjacent boards. . couldn't actually get on and 'finish' the job because I need to go buy more socket boxes, but that was good progess enough for one day. . dared to extract some of the old OLD wiring that has been cut off and left in situ beneath the floor. Wow - no wonder/thank goodness it'd been rewired (to the then single line spurs standard) at some point in the past. THAT wiring was SO perished, just touching the outer covering saw it fall apart and bare the wires inside!! Nasty. . . cooked and ate half a tin of beans, ham ring and four fried eggs with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped . . walked . . put in another hour stripping a bit of the woodchip wallpaper. Hellish hot work - sweat pouring off me! . . recycled dog ends! . . ate corned beef sandwiches with a bag of crisps and the last of a lettuce and then a banana . . touched base with BB . . .TVd until bed around midnight. . I'd suddenly noticed today that I've been supposed to be taking my fluoxetine, slightly differently than I have been. I've been downing both tablets, together, first thing in the morning. The label says I should have been taking one tablet, twice a day. So - I guess I'd better try taking one in the morning, one in the evening - aproximately twelve hours apart. pgp
13 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:30am! . . walked in a hint of drizzle. . felt a bit headachey and tired and couldn't face getting on with more wallpaper stripping . . walked with Sally down 'town' to draw some cash out of the building society and then on to a local DIY shop to buy more 'dry partition wallboxes' (one and two gang, three of each) which should be enough to do all I want to do on the partition walls in the bedrooms. Also spent a or so on a couple of large black plastic numbers. The house number by the front door is currently a 'pretty, pretty' hand painted flowers and numbers circular wall plaque (next to a rusting mount for a hanging basket), of the type which seems to be quite common down here. It just isn't 'me', and I want to clear all that clutter off the wall and just have some nice plain numbers that are more easily read by delivery people, from the street. I figure I may as well then relocate the redundant 'pretty pretty' plaque to the outside of the garden wall down by the front gate, like many other houses have. Yet another job I have to do. There are a million and several such things I want/need to do, all over everywhere. It's a bit overwhelming. This house really is a full time job (+) at the moment!! And I just can't shake this awful, anxiety inducing feeling, of 'not having much time' to get it all done!?!! :o( . . browsed briefly in a couple of charity shops. Oooh, oooh - outside the Sue Ryder shop on a display stand, was an absolutely brand new, unused walking shoe - size 10. Hastily tied Sally to a nearby rainwater downpipe and dashed in, to ask for the other shoe to try them both on. Those shoes had definitely NEVER been worn, still had the original labels on them, and were only 5!!! Snapped them up real quick after a quick waddle around the store. :o) . . .had a brief dabble with the iffy hover lawnmower (the only one I have left that works) and removed the rotary blade and gave it a bit of a sharpen with the metal grinding blade in my disc cutter. Got it all back together and was just giving it a bit of a try on the lawn when it started raining, so that called a halt to that. . ate corned beef and tomato sandwiches with crisps and then some cherry tarts . . Mum called to touch base . . back to bed to nap and try and shake my headache. Back up around 5:30pm, less headachey. . walked in the wind and rain and got drenched. . changed into dry clothes and then TVd drinking a can of strong beer. . ate defrosted sausage rolls, crisps, a banana and much chocolate. . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around midnight. pgpd
14 - Up around 7:45am . .. Cut off the 'as-new' labels from the shoes I bagged from the charity shop yesterday, and tried them out on my morning walk. Yep - they'll do nicely. :o) . . PCd this and couldn't help having a quick look on line for those shoes, just to see exactly how much of a bargain they actually were. Regatta Ridgeline Seal Grey/Bl UK10. They appear to be selling anywhere from 25 on e-Bay up to 35+ elsewhere. Having bagged mine for a mere 5 makes me feel pretty smug. :o) . . PCd this ALL morning, and still haven't brought it up to date!!! With SO much to do everywhere, I feel terribly guilty wasting so much time on it . .Mum popped in as usual with donations. Good grief - she was even trying to pay me for having pulled her tree out!! Absolutely NOT! Good grief - the amount she's been supplementing my food bill every week (and all those pork pie treats for Sally) - I should be paying HER!!! . . PCd this until afternoon and I'd definitely had enough of it. Need food and already feel sleepy! That's a day wasted then! . . .ate crisps and three Mum donated bread rolls, heavily buttered and filled with smoked ham. Wow they are SO good (and expensive!). I could eat those until I'm sick, just for the pleasure of the eating - if I could afford it. . napped, despite being able to hear in my bedroom, the amplified music from some event or other going on over the opposite side of town. Past the church, in a park in the distance, I can 'just' make out (with binoculars/zoomed camcorder) a big inflatable stage on which different (local?) bands have been playing. I've been sorely tempted to head out on a walk in that direction, but I'm pretty sure it's a lot further than it appears (when you take into account all the hills) , and I don't actually know how to get there. No - too much to do. Maybe next year I will feel in a position to be able to mess around and actually experience some of what this area has to offer - which I know is quite a bit, besides the obvious. . . walked. As I descended the steps on the path that overlooks the coves, I could hear some loud singing coming from female voices. As the coves came into view, it became apparant that there were quite a few people around on the beaches, some having barbeques and a few motor boats moored in the coves. The loud singing had been coming from the rear of an expensive motor boat moored nearest the path. Two guys were messing around at the bow (pulling up the anchor maybe?) and two women were sat at the stern, and it was the latter who'd been making all the attention-seeking noise. It was warm but grey and overcast. Both women were wearing bikini bottoms, one was more than 'ample' breasted - and they were both topless!!? Bit weird that I thought, especially since it wasn't even sunny and considering how many people were around. (Damn - never a camera to hand when you need one!) I'll never understand what women are about - especially with such stuff. Just made me feel really uncomfortable. I mean, were they asking for every red blooded male in sight, to stop and have a damn good oggle, or would that have been out of order? I had to make do with a discreet peek out of the corner of my eye as I kept on walking, trying my best to deny them the satisfaction of seeing me having been drawn to look! Weird 'power' play. Women are weird. Wonderful, but weird - and sometimes a bit scary - especially when they've got their t**s out!! lol . . . put in a couple of hours hard labour, scraping woodchip wallpaper and paint from one of the back bedroom walls. . TVd . . touched base with BB and took the phone out onto the doorstep and let her hear some of the music from the event across town. With the reduction in daytime 'white' background noise as the evening wore on, the music appeared to get much louder - but also better. Some of those earlier bands weren't so good, but whoever did the final set sounded excellent, even from this distance. Covers of Pink Floyd and Led Zep numbers amongst their repertoire. So good, I ended up sat on the front step with Sally, just under cover from the drizzle, listening and 'nodding' along for quite a while. Damn - wish I HAD gone over there now. That band was good!. . ate Mum donated sausage rolls and crisps and a couple of delicious Mr Kipling Victoria slices. . TVd/PCd until early before bed. Surfed local what's-on sites and eventually found out that the music was coming from a two day 'Hapenin' event (?). Have to remember that for next year - and go for a walk over that way so I know how to get there (I'd already decided I'd have to find and go to the upper part of that park one day, to try and get a shot of my house, from a different perspective as a dot in the distance). pgps
15 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am! . . walked in the drizzley rain - again. . Put the ever growing big pot plant from the computer room out on one of the front steps for a bit, in the hope the rain would wash off some of the decorating-dust from the leaves. I've tried doing a few by hand but it's far too time consuming. PCD this. . . put in almost four hours of wall scraping in the back bedroom. In a couple of places I'm scraping off at least three layers of wallpaper and three layers of paint! It's gonna take many days, especially since I can only manage around four hours at a time before becoming SO exhausted (and blistered) I HAVE to stop - and that is probably little more than a square meter of wall!!!! :o( . . . ate corned beef, mayo, onion, grated cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with crisps and then six Mum donated Mr Kipling Victoria slices. You know what? Mr Kipling really DOES make exceedingly good cakes! . . exhausted, napped until after 6:30pm!! . . walked in a light drizzle. . PCd this (because I'd forgotten to type about that 'bikini' thing from yesterday). Actually ended up listening to a couple of bits of music on the PC with the headphones on. It's SO difficult for me to do that - to cut myself off like that (like I used to for hours on end when I was younger). I'm still anxiously overwhelmed with the need to be 'listening out' for what may be happening outside. Ended up having to move one earpiece of the headphones to one side to ease my anxiety! :o( I really am 'damaged goods' aren't I! Pathetic! :o( . . TVd . .touched base with BB . . ate corn flakes, bananas and bisuits . . TVd until after1am before bed. pgp
16 - Woke late around 8:30am! . . walked . . PCd briefly before another four hours plus of bedroom wallpaper/paint scraping. Slow, filthy, exhausting progress. :o( . . ate defrosted sausage rolls, crisps and a little chocolate mid afternoon. . napped until gone 6pm! Woke with awfully aching hands! A combination of the effects of the scraping work, and almost always sleeping with clenched fists somehow!!?? . . walked . . PCd and intended to do an e-mail or two, but ended up sat with the headphone(s) on, watching a few of my own music videos. Strange feeling looking back at those now. Different life/world. Not sure what I feel other than terrible sad about - well - everything really! :o/ Always felt that really - just never imagined in my wildest dreams how much sadder everyone would seem to conspire to make it all! . .touched base with BB . . too tired to make any food (or more accurately, wash any of the dishes - which are ALL neatly stacked up requiring washing and have been for days), and ended up just eating a few bananas and some Mum donated Mr Kipling almond slices . . TVd, too tired to actually get up off the sofa to go to bed! Eventually mustered the energy to move (encouraged by ending up on an 'Islam' channel on TV!!!), and went to bed around 1:30am! pgp
17 - Woken earlier (more than once) by restless Sally clattering around on the bare floorboards! Snoozed on until up around 8am . . walked . . .PCd this. .partially balanced my accounts just enough to know how much of my savings to transfer into my current account to prevent any 'bouncing'! . . I think I need and am gonna have, a day off from the back bedroom decorating. .or maybe not! Couldn't help myself and put in a couple of hours of wallpaper removal scraping, as much as anything else, to maximise the amount of debris I could get rid of on tomorrows fortnightly 'rubbish' bin collection. .received a (hand written) letter from the counsellor! Turns out she's made a bunch of 'session' appointments for me (one a week for the next six weeks), but her secretary hadn't written to me to let me know. The first is on Friday!! Uh oh. Oh dear. I haven't yet read that book she loaned me! Naughty - haven't done my homework!!!! :o( So - that's the next few days all mapped out for me then - gonna have to try and read some real quick! That's gonna be tough for me. :o( . .
. . . pottered around, tidied up, vacuumed, did chores, ate biscuits and chocolate, TVd/PCd . . walked . . did dish washing chores (at last). .put the bin and big PAL sack full of all the decorating rubbish out for tomorrows bin collection . . ate corned beef, mayo, lettuce and tomato sandwiches with two bags of crisps and then some chocolate. . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around midnight.
pg
18 - Woken twice in the night by poor Sally with a bad stomach needing to use the garden. Woken again by her and up around 7:45am. Wow, I'm tired! :o( . . walked in the sun . .PCd this. . had to make use of the good weather before the next band of forecast rain, so ended up having a serious bash at garden maintenance. Cut both lawns and trimmed all the hedges front and back. I need to rethink doing such things in 'good' weather. Ended up absolutely drenched in sweat, and dehydration-type headachey in the hot sun. Well - that's the compost bin full already! . . showered and then ate lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps and then some chocolate around 3pm. . napped until woken by PS leaving an anspahone message after 6pm . . walked after 7pm . . . PCd . . touched base with PS. . sat in the back and then the front gardens for a while trying real hard to feel 'content' with how things have ended up. I always have a hard time when someone says I've been 'lucky', because I reckon I've had my share of bad luck, and have in my own way, worked pretty hard to make sure certain things have 'worked out' (like having scrimped and saved all my life from an early age to buy my own house, etc). Having said all that, this evening I felt as though I HAD been lucky - to have survived some of what I've experienced in my life, and ended up with/in this house/area etc. I still have a problem with being called 'lucky' though. I think more accurately, I will accept that I've not had 'too' much BAD luck in my life (worthy of note that ALL the bad luck I can think of, is the impact on my life of the actions of others!!!! (I'm thinking assaults, burglary, hit and run on my car, refugee from yobbishness, etc, etc.)). . the 'teenage'(?) girl (old enough for on-road driving lessons) next door, returned home with a friend while I was sat in the twilight in the front garden. They didn't see me at first, and carried on with their childish laughing and chatting etc. as they approached their front door. Eventually they did see me, and then proceeded to apologise for 'being so loud'. Incredible. See - it's different down here (at the moment!). Back where I come from, such an apology would have been out of the question, and it would have been much more likely to have received some 'being laughed AT', or some swearing and abuse for no reason. It IS very different down here. From the little I've observed (particularly the overheard teenage girls on either side of me who always seem to be laughing), the kids down here seem generally 'happier'. It's like another world. No amount of describing or explaining can possibly enable anyone who hasn't experienced it, to appreciate what it is really like to live in one of the yob infested areas, like Speedwell in Bristol (and I AM aware that Speedwell wasn't 'that bad' compared to some areas of the country!!). . .could have almost reached out and caught the bats that swooped around us as Sally and I sat in the twilight. Neat . . cooked and ate four burgers in bread rolls . . touched base with BB . . TVd/PCd until early (hints of daylight!) before bed. ppg[pcmlx2]s
19
- Up real late around 9am!! . . walked in the beautiful sunny weather and did the long walk through the woods etc. . put laundry on then sat in the shade in the garden trying to read some of the counsellor's book. Didn't go well. . . .

-//unfinished//-

. . . ate ham rolls, crisps, a banana and some chocolate . . napped until around 5pm (woken by the tune from an ice cream van I think!). . walked . . sat in the back and then front gardens with a small can of 'Stella' trying to read a little bit more but pretty soon caved in and just sat thinking on 'broken' self and causes therof. . TVd . . ate bowls of cornflakes . . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed at midnight. pgd
20 - Up around 7:15am. . .walked in the sun. . PCd this as heavy rain (thunder) showers eventually moved in as per the dire forecast (although once again, I suspect this little bit of the country is gonna miss the worst of it as seems so often the case. :o) ). . when the counsellor wrote to me the other day, she enclosed a 'Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)' questionnaire to be completed for the doctors' records apparantly, which I should bring with me to her session. Filled it out as honestly as I could, but god I do SO hate such generalised multiple choice nonsense. (Couldn't resist keeping a copy of my answers here.) The choices never seem to be appropriate to me, and I always have to agonisingly try and force myself into one of the allowed answers. That, or for reasons I am not allowed to elaborate on on the questionnaire, the answer I must give appears to be the complete opposite of the thrust of my real answer!!! A silly example of that is the "I have lost interest in my appearance" question. My honest answer to that is, I take just as much care as ever, which presumably implies I'm on the perfectly happy and ok end of the scale. In reality - personal hygiene/how I look, etc., it's never been something I cared too much about and was always something that 'had to be done for others' (although I DO insist on trimming my beard so it is pointy rather than bushy!??) !!!! . I just couldn't help myself adding the odd word or two to the questionnaire, to make it slightly more accurate to me!!! (And yes - I should be reading that damned book, not avoiding it by messing around with this - which took ages! All that damned formatting! lol)

Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)
Clinicians are aware that emotions play an important part in most illnesses. If your clinician knows about these feelings he or she will be able to help you more.

This questionnaire is designed to help your clinician know how you feel. Read each item below and underline the reply which comes closest to how you have been feeling in the past week.

Don't take too long over your replies, your immediate reaction to each item will probably be more accurate than a long, thought out response.
I feel tense or 'wound up'
Most ALL of the time
A lot of the time
From time to time, occasionally
Not at all
I feel as if I am slowed down
Nearly all the time
Very often
Sometimes
Not at all
I still enjoy the things I used to enjoy
Definitely as much
Not quite so much
Only a little
Hardly
NOT at all
I get a sort of frightened feeling like 'butterflies in the stomach'
Not at all
Occasionally
Quite often
Very often
I get a sort of frightened feeling as if something awful is about to happen
Very definitely and quite badly
Yes, but not too badly
A little, but it doesn't worry me
Not at all
I have lost interest in my appearance
Definitely
I don't take as much care as I should
I may not take quite as much care
I take just as much care as ever
= LITTLE!
I can laugh and see the funny side of things
As much as I always could
Not quite so much now
Definitely not so much now
Not at all
I feel restless as if I have to be on the move
Very much indeed
Quite a lot
Not very much
Not at all
Worrying thoughts go through my mind
A great deal of the time
A lot of the time
Not too often
Very little
I look forward with enjoyment to things
As much as I ever did
Rather less than I used to
Definitely less than I used to

Hardly at all
I feel cheerful
Never
Not often
Sometimes
Most of the time
I get sudden feelings of panic
Very often indeed
Quite often
Not very often
Not at all
I can sit at ease and feel relaxed
Definitely
Usually
Not often

Not at all
I can enjoy a good book or radio or TV programme
Often
Sometimes
Not often

TV Very seldom BOOK NEVER

. . good grief - PCd this until almost midday!! . .ate ham and lettuce sandwiches with crisps . . tried to read some more but strangely just got really angry with the book and pretty soon gave up . . PCd until it was time to leave Sally at home and head down to the counsellor for my 4 o'clock session. As I was walking of down the road I passed my neighbour who'd just pulled up in his car with his excitable dog. On down the road, I heard a noise behind me and turned to see his dog running down the middle of the road after me!! Managed to coax it near, grab its collar and walk it back to the neighbour who was in pursuit. lol . . deliberately a little early, I had time to walk around and have a look in all the charity shops. Not a single thing of interest. . eventually in to see the counsellor and to apologise for not having done my 'homework'!

-//unfinished//- ranted, raved, talked nonsense, already utterly convinced these sessions are acheiving nothing and are wasting both of our time

. . back home all exhausted, lay down and almost napped for an hour . . .walked . . BB called . . TVd . . guitarred! . . ate bowls of muesli . . TVd until bed around 1am. pgs
21 - Up around 7:30am woken by a parking Subaru with a trumpet exhaust! . . .walked in the sun. .worked in the bedroom stripping off some easy areas of wallpaper and then hacking out all along both stud walls where the big fibreboard wall boards join and cracks are evident where they move against each other. Forced in a line of wood glue all along the joins to firm them up (same as I've successfully done in both other rooms). Managed a few dabs of filler here and there before Mum popped in as usual with the paper and food donations, for chats (and unusualy a coffee) for a couple of hours. . . ate Mum donated ham rolls, a small pork pie, crisps and a couple of squares of chocolate . . . napped . .walked . . did a small amount of plastering on the two stud walls in the back bedroom trying to level them out, all along the joins which I'd hacked out and glued, where the light switch was, and all along where the picture rail used to be. . drank the last mug of the white wine . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate biscuits and TVd until bed around 1:30am. pgd
22 - Strangely restless nights sleep then up after 7:30am. . walked in sunny spells. Boy we've been lucky down here. The TV news shows half the country underwater, with 'once in a lifetime' floods - again!! . . PCd and surfed a bit looking at how to grow stuff from seeds and cuttings etc. I haven't a clue! . played around with a couple of little plastic pots and some compost and then used a razor blade to cut off a couple of six inch long leafy stems from that house plant I've put in the PC room. Dipped the ends of the cuttings in water and then some rooting hormone powder Mum let me have which I found in her garage, and then 'planted' the cuttings about 20mm deep into the pots of compost. Put them out on the shelf in the conservatory with all the cactii (which appear to be doing ok) to see what happens. Interesting experiment. Whatever that plant is, I have been told it 'should' grow from cuttings very readily. We'll see. Historically, me and house plants haven't got on too well - and the only time I ever tried growing anything from seed many years ago, was a complete disaster - and a terrible waste of what would have been far better off being smoked!! lol . .removed the rusting hanging basket bracket from by the front door and filled the holes with filler . . ate defrosted and fried chicken with chips and four pieces of bread and butter . . watched the first couple of hours of the grand prix on TV while eating chocolate biscuits . . napped . . .walked . . cooked up four best Cumberland sausages from the freezer and gave them to Sally with her food. I think those have been hanging around since Bristol! . . PCd this . . touched base briefly with Mum to see if she knew what that house plant actually is. She said she'd try and look it up . . BB called to touch base . .PCd more. Uh oh - some idiot in Italy has used a direct link to my welcome to the jungle video, to put the sound on his website! Idiot! Not sure what I can do about that. I can't speak Italian so can't even figure out how to mail him to tell him to remove it! . TVd and ate bowls of muesli before to bed around 1am. pg
23 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am. Watched the floods on the news. For many years I've been 'uncomfortable' about the obvious fragility of our society. How we are all now TOTALLY dependant on the fragile infastructure for our survival, and how some relatively small breakdown in it could spell disaster (lack of oil being the easiest to imagine) - and given human nature (particularly in view of current (anti) social trends), eventually lead to civil unrest and bloody anarchy. Yeah, I know - it makes me sound like one of these survivalist people who builds a bunker in the woods and stuffs it full of guns and ammunition, but I really think there is much evidence to suggest they may be not so far off the mark. It pretty much went that way after hurricane Katrina didn't it? How much more of the country will have to be underwater for things to start getting really bad I wonder? Just enough to really impact the transport system and then the whole country will be running out of food, etc, etc. - never mind all those people already without power and water (and wouldn't you know it - yobs have been vandalising the emergency water facilities!!)! Doesn't do to think it all through too much! The 'yobs' would survive - the meek (I) would not! Scary stuff. The government should consider issuing cyanide tablets! . . walked in full weather gear in the wind and rain. Unpleasant. Oh and just for the record - most days when I walk I end up carrying bags of other peoples bottles/cans/litter to the bin; and ALL the wooden seats in ALL the pill boxes and gun emplacements have now been vandalised and torn out/burned, so it isn't really possible to comfortably sit in ANY of them any more, like I used to when I first came down here. :o( . . PCd this. .Mum called with a suggestion for a name of the plant. Heptapleurum - which I think is simply an umbrella plant. . sat around/tvd/pcd the day away feeling a bit down. . ate biscuits . . walked in the rain. . PCd and discovered my Telsweb webspace had been suspended because I hadn't paid for the annual renewal!!!!(Due a couple of days ago) Damn - I thought that was an automatic direct debit thingy! Apparantly not - or not any more at least. Actually, I hadn't updated all the contact details, so maybe that had something to do with it. Went on line to Dataflame and updated everything and then paid for another year (am I crazy??! Why? What a waste of money!) with my credit card. . ate mayo, corned beef, lettuce, onion and tomato sandwiches with two bags of crisps and some chocolate . .BB called . . TVd until bed around 1am. pgs
24 - Woken by Sally's claws clattering on the bedroom floor earlier and then again around 7:45am . . walked in the hot sun . .PCd briefly.left Sally at home and drove to Sainsburys to do a little shopping. Needed a few supplies (especially sugar) but also wanted to see if they had any of those fast boil kettles in stock. It's Mums birthday tomorrow and her fast boil kettle broke ages ago; when I was there she was using mine, but ever since I moved out she's had to revert back to a slow boil one - which must be really annoying. Bought a white Brevil one for around 13 I think it was. . . this is NOT getting the back bedroom decorated! Headed out with Sally, the camcorder and one of the old estate agents maps and had a go at walking to the park in the distance across town where they had that 'Hapenin' event thing. Turned out to be pretty easy to find my way to the church, and found it was possible to get to the park by following a path through the churchyard past all the graves. Plenty of beer cans/bottles etc. amongst the graves; all the church windows covered with protective wire mesh; large area of graffitti (removed but still discernable) on the church stone work!! Yeah - when I was looking for a house, this side of town was NOT where I wanted to be - about that I was very specific . .headed across the field to the highest point, which I can see from my house, and succeeded in looking through the binoculars and eventually locating my house in the distance. lol Took a bunch of photos with the camcorder. . checked my watch as I left the park(after having picked up some litter and re-located it to the bin! Home from home!!) before heading back home. Good grief - I hadn't realised just how close-by everything is down here. Within fifteen minutes I was back in my kitchen making a coffee!! Drank coffee in the garden while studying the little map. Wow - I really hadn't appreciated how small my world has become since moving down here. Hard to really know until I do it, but it looks to me as though a 'LONG walk' (of several hours) like I used to do back in Bristol, could pretty much circle the entire town/peninsula, and much of it via the picturesque coastal paths! Need to buy some 'proper' maps. Yeah - I need to get out more, and actually discover where I am! lol . . . ate ham in bread rolls with spring onions, some crisps and a little chocolate . . PCd the pictures from the walk and tried to get a little bit clever with a panoramic animated gif of the view of my house across the valley from the playing field in the distance (at bottom of here) . . napped . . walked . . attempted to read some more but failed and ended up sat in the back and front gardens drinking a can of Sainsburys own strong lager . . ate corned beef sandwiches and a small pork pie with crisps and then some Mr Kipling slices . . BB called . . TVd until bed around 1am. gpd
25 - Half woken by Sally's claws clattering on the bedroom floor again and then eventually up around 8:15am . . . walked late in the drizzle . .PCd . . left Sally at home and drove to Mums to wish her happy birthday, give her the card I'd bought and present her with her 'present'. lol It seemed to go down ok. Coffee and chats. Mum showed me the latest local pictorial calendar she'd recently bought. Wow - there was a picture of the park I walked to the other day, but obviously taken from somewhere much higher up the hill on the farmland behind (I think?). Didn't realise there was SUCH a view available from up there. Hmmm - as soon as the weather is better (if ever!) I think I'm gonna have to re-do that walk and photo-taking and see if I can get a more impressive/revealing panoramic picture with my house as a dot in the distance. . picked up a few bits and pieces from Mums garage (including my old 'living room' PC which has been sat there for months) before driving back home and unloading. . .used the PC equipment to connect up the PC next door gave me and couldn't resist ending up having a good look at whatever there was to be found on the hard drive. Obviously the software was all unofficial copies, and most probably virus laden, but it appeared to work perfectly ok - albeit slowly. Slow processor, little memory, 80G hard drive etc. Some music on there worth trying to salvage I think. Later, some other time. . ate mayo, corned beef, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . napped . . walked . . managed to do a little work in the back bedroom and did the nasty job of sanding down all the plastering I'd done the other day. Dabbled with applying a little filler here and there before calling it quits around 9pm . . TVd . . ate ham sandwiches, two bags of crisps, a small pork pie, a banana and some chocolate . . BB called . . TVd/PCd until early. gp
26 - Half woken by Sally's claws clattering on the bedroom floor again and then eventually up around 8:25am . . . walked late in the drizzle and stopped off at the local builders merchant store for yet more filler on the way home. Took the opportunity in passing of asking in a nearby engineering place if it would be maybe ok to have stuff out of their rubbish skip on occasions. Whoever it was I spoke to said it'd be ok as long as I didn't hurt myself. Cool. That'll be a source of bits of metal for the odd job I need to do - like altering/welding the front gate at some point in time. (There IS an old metal four drawer filing cabinet in that skip which was VERY tempting - but its now been in there for quite a while, heavy stuff has gone in on top, and there's no way of knowing if the drawer runners are all there, and if so do they work etc etc. Shame. Could have really made use of that either in the PC room or the garage.) . . PCd this. . sat around/did chores/vacuumed some of my clothes in the cupboards in the front bedroom!! A casualty of all the dust I made when I decorated the room. It got into the cupboards and all over everything. I've been trying to work my way through all my clothes - shaking them off, wearing them, washing them and then leaving them laying around waiting for me to vacuum the cupboards out before putting them all away. Got round to doing 'most' of one cupboard. . . cooked and ate four burgers, chips and four pieces of bread and butter. Napped soon after. Too soon! Back up before 5pm feeling rather sick. Sat around feeling fragile until almost 7pm before walking . .PCd and aimlessly ended up having a bit of a look at the Dataflame site. Hang on!!! They are advertising 500MB disk space with the package I just renewed - but I'm only getting 150MB!??? . went to their online support asking what was going on and was upgraded to the new 500MB disk space. Cool. :o) That will at least give me a little more flexibility when I finally make a decision about what the hell to do about my website. One of the big mental stumbling blocks for me was the size the site has become. Need more disk space AND need to start deleting content to try and trim it down to a manageable (imposssibly complicated as it stands!) size somewhere - never mind actually rewrite a whole bunch of it to make it more pertinent in the light of 'recent' events. Ho hum . .Sis1 called to touch base - or was it ask for help with a PC problem?! lol Suggested she first try restores, etc.. . BB called . . ate Mr Kipling slices, a banana and a couple of chocolate biscuits . . TVd until bed after 1am. gsp
27 - Difficulty getting to sleep and then a disturbed and restless night. Up around 7:30am . . walked in the sunny spells. . yet more stuff on the news about how cannabis use apparantly 'causes' psychosis. One of these days I'm gonna have to actually get hold of one of those reports and read the whole thing and all the data to see how they've come up with their conclusions. I'm sure there must be a 'correlation', but that is very different from a 'cause'. With hindsight, I for one started (and continued on occasions throughout my life) using cannabis BECAUSE I was having um - 'psychological' difficulties - absolutely NOT the other way around. How can it possibly, ethically be proven that cannabis use is the cause of a presumably rising incidence of psycological disorders? Who's to say that the cause isn't something else - an underlying failure in the way modern society works?; or constant exposure to high levels of e.m. radiation? (with our wireless everything, we all now are conceived and live in an e.m. 'soup', the like of which has never before been experienced); or dare I suggest , earlier and more frequent alcohol consumption? (How could the authors of these studies have possibly found large numbers of cannabis users who've never touched alcohol - to rule that 'possibility' out??); polution?; etc, etc. Who knows. How can it be that they can rule everything else, out? I strongly suspect they haven't, and it is the sensationalist press whipping up a storm (like the sixties never happened!). Isn't it pretty likely that in this day and age (because cannabis is so widely available - home grown), people suffering psychological difficulties (no matter how young) are almost inevitably likely to try cannabis. Kinda like an inevitable expression of their problems? Chicken and the egg? Anyway - having ranted on my soapbox - I have to accept that todays home grown stuff does seem to be incredibly strong, and I have absolutely no doubt at all that frequent and heavy use of it, particularly in ones formative years when the brain is still in the process of being wired up, is a really stupid thing to do! It's just BOUND to screw you up at least a bit isn't it. Common sense. Blah, blah, rant! Stupid little yobs, screwing it all up for the rest of us again! Amazing really. I always thought that in my lifetime it'd be made legal - not the complete opposite! A cause of great sadness (almost as much as that caused by not having any!!) :o( . . walked with Sally and the cameras and headed off across town to the park I went to the other day - and then continued on up the roads and public footpaths, following the directions a dog walker had given me, and succeeded in finding a pretty damn good viewpoint. Actually far more impressive than I'd imagined it could be. The pictures I took didn't do the view justice. A vast panorama of almost the entire headland and bay - and of course with my house nestled in there amongst the rest - just visible in the distance!! Incredible view - and I'll have to go back up there again, because I didn't investigate fully, and suspect it 'may' be possible to find an even better vantage point that'd give a FULL 360 degree distant view (and I need to re-do photos with the aid of a tripod)!!! That'll have to wait for better weather. It was sunny when I set off - a whisper of drizzle on the wind by the time I was up there taking photos. .Mare and foalpassed a couple of horses with a cute new foal up in those fields. As a result the walk wasn't much fun for Sally, who had stay on her lead the entire time. . shocked me again to find I was able to walk back home from up there within around 30 minutes!! . . excitedly PCd the pictures, only to find them a little disappointing. Bad weather/light, and photos just aren't going to do that view justice no matter what. (Substituted the new animation anyway and stuck it at the bottom of the my new home page - and damned if I don't keep on having to go and have a look at it!). Somehow - some time - I need to try and get Mum up there. I think it can put ones understanding of where one is, into a slightly different perspective somehow - in a good way. . ate corned beef, spring onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps, chocolate and biscuits . . TVd until around 3:15pm . . left Sally at home and walked down to fruitlessly tour the charity shops before heading in to my counselling session . .what on earth am I supposed to be getting from this??!!!??? :o(
. . napped (just HAD to) until gone 7pm!! . . walked late . . sat down to PC and made the mistake of touching base with Sis1 to see how here PC trouble was. Ended up playing at being a helpline for the next couple of hours! :o( It appears to be something her Norton AV system is doing to her dial up connection - which is something I haven't got and can't help her with! (Phew? lol) . .ate a banana . PCd this until almost early. .TVd and ate bowls of cornflakes before bed around 1am. gps
28 - Woken by Sally clattering around again. . . sunny as forecast. Walked with the cameras and tripod and headed off across town and back up the hill. Did a different route (muddy!) and covered a bit more ground further on over the top, but eventually found there probably wasn't a better viewpoint than I'd already discovered. Apparantly you have to climb a different hill to see the view over the other side. Climbed the styles and followed the public footpaths across the fields to return to the vantage point I'd already discovered. Uh oh - there were two horses in the field. Kept Sally closely reigned as we made our way across. Uh oh more so - those damned horses made a bee line for us!! Actually got a bit worried, hanging on to excited Sally, caught in the middle of the field and surrounded by two horses. Made a desperate outflanking manouver and rushed for the bit of scrub by the vantage point - only to find that both horses followed in hot pursuit!!!!!! Yikes!!!! My vantage point is a strange area of rough ground, strewn with old car tyres and a flat 'clam' shells all around under foot (? is that what they are called? - the type some people use as ash trays). The area is kind of like a terrace, ending on top of a stone wall, which drops down six feet or so into the field below - which also had horses in it! We ended up cornered!! Despite my fear of maybe getting attacked and bitten and having to jump for our lives, it turned out those horses were just completely fearless of Sally and I, were inquisitive, and presumably looking for customary food handouts. Very worrying what Sally would do (without doubt, if she was off her lead she would have engaged in a bit of wolf like chasing-to-kill for sure!!) but she amazingly seemed to accept what was happening (with MUCH desperate encouragement from me). They wouldn't take no for an answer and I ended up rubbing their noses, patting them, trying to push them away, slapping their behinds (like you see DOES work in the films!), all that sort of stuff but no matter what I did, they were there to stay!! Ended up laughing quite a bit on a lonely hill top. So much for my photo taking session! Impossible (although I DID just manage to snap a shot of Sally being sniffed and nuzzled a bit by a horse, after I'd tied her to a small tree while I tried to shooo the horses away from her). Sally handled the whole situation amazingly well. SUCH a cool dog. After what seemed like quite a while of us being cornered like that, with crazy man laughing hysterically into the wind, some guy came wandering across the field towards us. As much as anything else, I think he just wanted to know what the hell I was doing there (many 'Horse Watch' notices pinned to all surrounding field gates). I explained, and he leashed up one of the horses and lead it away, trying to encourage the other to follow. At first it wouldn't - but somehow eventually they all disappeared off across the field - AFTER Sally had finally got a bit excited and barky, and 'may' have tried to have a nip at some in her face horse meat! Thank god that was over! Set up the tripod on the edge of the wall and had a go at a bunch of still photos with the camcorder. Also had a go with my slightly better, old 2 megapixel camera, but after only a shot or two the freshly charged batteries died! Damn!!!! I thought that charger was acting faulty. Damn, damn, damn. . finished taking photos (real cold up there stood motionless in the wind only wearing a T shirt) and started back across the fields. In a nearby field was the horse with the VERY young, cute, suckling foal. A woman was taking photos of them with a nice new multi-megapixel camera. That really would have been an excellent photo - cute foal with mother - view in the background. Jealous. I'd had a 'bit' of a go at such a shot yesterday, but with Sally in tow and the mare being protective, it was just too difficult. Shame. . off the top of that hill and back home making much needed coffee in only around 30 minutes!!! Amazing. . headachey - much. Crunched annadin tablets . . PCd the pictures and just couldn't resist adding yet another huge one to the bottom of the my new home page again. Dunno why - that view just fascinates me!! I can even 'just' make out Mums house! Looks SO close to mine! <shudder> lol . Should I review my comments about not particularly considering myself 'lucky'? Looking at those photos, my house and the two small ranks of 'similar' - well - they look pretty unique in their type and position. I guess I must accept that I WAS lucky for this one to come on the market, just when it did. Yep -me and 'DownLooksUp' (if I dare actually call the house that) are definitely 'bonding'. :o) Hey you yobs of Speedwell - how ya doin? Hows the ghetto? lololol Bite me! <finger> :o) lololol . . I am aware that it is kinda human nature/psychological self preservation, that having ended up down here 'in the way I did', it is inevitable that I would eventually HAVE to consider the events which lead to such a ('refugee' type) move, as ultimately beneficial, and for the best. If I couldn't, I'd spend the rest of my (short?) life absorbed by depression, bitterness, and the desire to wreak bloody havoc and revenge - and ultimately probably destroy myself in doing so! Recognising this self preserving need to see it all as 'for the best in the long run' (if I'd not been forced to move, I would probably have ended up there all my life), I have been wary of automatically doing so, and have tried to remain objective (with my usual involuntary 'half empty', negative bias) about my current position. Like it or not, I AM starting to think with hindsight - yeah, that's ok. I mean, just look at the news every day - with all that was going on up there with me and those yobs, and how it (and my reactions) were getting out of hand, I'm lucky I didn't end up getting stabbed or shot or something! I'm wondering if, the crisis of my 'psycholgical collapse' once I'd eventually secured my new home, has now largely passed. Am I sufficiently 'intact' to be able to return to 'coping' with myself? Is some of the unpleasantness I'm currently experiencing (confusion of thought, insecurity, etc.) the side effects of the prozac, rather than just the state of 'ME' now? A potentially dangerous move, but I need to know. I've (without bothering the doctor) decided to stop taking the prozac! I've already slipped into taking only one a day because I kept on forgetting to take the afternoon/evening tablet (when I realised I wasn't supposed to be taking both in the morning like I had been!). I've stopped - today - cold turkey!! (Which probably accounts for my really nasty headache most of the day!) Not the wisest of things to do - but then I have my own way of dealing with my stuff don't I. I need to know where 'I' stand - without the 'holding it back' of the prozac - and I want to know right now! So - we shall see. Need to 'post guards' against myself for the next few weeks, just in case. :o/ . . .did dish washing chores . . Mum popped in as usual with a paper and 'red cross food parcel'!! Sat her in front the PC and introduced her to the view from the hill - and pointed out her house. I think she WAS suitably impressed and taken aback. When she eventually left after chats and coffee, she insisted on leaving 15 on my kitchen table as payment for the kettle I'd given her for her birthday!!!! Foor goodness sake - have I made a profit out of that now too?? Infuriating - and yet her logic is infallable - she can afford it, I can't! :o( . . . ate Mum donated ham rolls with crisps and some chocolate . . napped . . walked in full weather gear in the rain. I desperately need to buy some new lightweight leggings. The ones I wear are no longer waterproof at all. Got pretty wet again and had to change into dry stuff when I got back . . PCd and ended up listening to music on the PC, for what must have been a couple of hours! Much of that time I was sat looking at the panoramic picture(s) of the view from the hill I took earlier!!!! lol Strangely 'enjoyable'. :o) . . touched base with Sis2. Oh dear - still having major health difficulties. As always I expressed the opinion (shared by all the family - for frustrating years!) that she'd be better off returning to this country - and of course had to offer my spare room (once it's decorated). <shudder!> lol . . touched base with BB . . somehow didn't get round to eating except for maybe a banana, and TVd/PCd until deep into early before bed. gsaaa
29 - Up around 8:15am . . walked . . PCd this, actually all morning, as the sky cleared to sunny. .messed around just a little, planting the little bits of 'Mind Your Own Business/Babies Tears' stuff Mum had brought down. In previous discussions, we'd agreed it may look good if I put some of that stuff in the big glass 'apple', which used to house the cactii that were left here in the house by the previous owners - so that's what I did on a thick layer of compost . . ate a pork pie and ham sandwiches with crisps and some chocolate . . TVd . . napped the rest of the day away until around 6pm!. . . walked . . PCd and with a little credit (from the BB laptop saga) still laying around in my Paypal account, happily threw some of it away by ordering a rather pricey 27.48 inc. postage (but clever looking) new battery charger on eBay. What really sold it to me, was the LCD display of the charge status. SO much neater than just a flakey led. I have a large collection of rechargeable batteries of various sorts for just about everything I have which uses batteries, so I figure it's maybe worth the investment. Fingers crossed I haven't wasted my money! . . ate, going-off and in danger of having to be thrown away, lettuce, spring onions and tomatoes with some cheese and crisps. . BB called . .TVd until bed around midnight. g
30 - Up around 7:45am. Blimey - that's 'almost' like a decent nights sleep for a change (considering I require in excess of eight hours per day!!!!???)! .walked in the sun. A glorious morning. Encouraged Sally to have a swim and once again she eventually did a 'proper' swim from the steps of the little jetty, across to the beach. :o) I'm not sure I'll ever have the nerve (me and cold wet water really don't get along) but it HAS crossed my mind to maybe, just maybe, have a go at getting in with her one hot day!! Probably not. lol . . a nearby house appears to have recently been sold, and a small pile of junk has appeared in the back garden where they are obviously decorating and such. Knocked on their door (again) to ask if I could have the lengths of timber that had been thrown out there (with the brackets still attached, they were obviously used as shelves in the garage). I reckon those long bits of timber (despite the screwed-on brackets, in pretty good nick) are the same width/thickness as my floorboards!! They 'could' be VERY useful for maybe replacing some bad bits of cut boards I have (particularly under the carpet on the landing)! Damn - yet again no one was in. I just can't bring myself to 'have them away' without first getting permission! Bet someone else does - or they just end up disappearing to the tip some time. :o/ . . carried on walking and went straight up Mums as arranged, to help her move some furniture. She's got the gas board starting to instal a replacement central heating boiler tomorrow (greatly complicated by the new rules and regulations about required diameter of pipes and necessity for a vent pipe to an outside drain, etc, etc)! BIG upheaval for her. Unclear how they are going to do it all and how much of the floors/carpets in which rooms will have to come up. Nasty. She's understandably pretty upset by it all, and I don't blame her!! Not much I can do to help. .moved a bit of furniture. Stopped to help the lorry driver unload the parts delivery into her garage . . trimmed a thick bit of one of her hedges as directed . coffees and chats in Mums garden (a pork pie and biscuits for Sally,a pastie for me around midday!) before eventually returning home. . sat in the garden and 'recycled' ash-tray dog-ends . . quickly cut the front and back lawns. It seems to be a never ending chore, but the trick seems to be to keep on top of it so I can just leave the cuttings in situ to disappear straight back into the ground, and never have the hassle of having to get rid of lots of cut grass. I can't stand the idea of constantly removing 'goodness' from the soil, and taking it to the tip like everyone else seems to. If I keep on top of it like this, the cuttings don't even go brown and do litterly disappear straight back into the lawn. Very cool. Even all that stuff I keep putting into my composter - I'm hoping that in time (next year?) I'll be able to take some of the rotted down stuff out of the bottom, and put it back down under all the hedges etc, where it all came from in the first place. Just seems to make sense to me. . . PCd this . . worked in the back bedroom a bit and cut in two more holes in two of the stud walls to take a single socket box. Like in the other rooms, some of these socket box positions may end up being 'blanked' (at least for the time being) but they give me the flexibility in the future to configure the room in most of the ways I can envisage. One of these singles WILL be a phone socket, the other most likely a TV aerial at some point in the future - but if I change my mind, with the holes already drilled into the underfloor void, and with strategic floorboards screwed down, it'll be easy to re configure them. Pretty cool I reckon, and better done now than not. . .cleaned up/showered and then walked in T shirt and sunglasses again. :o) Oooh, oooh - the house up the road with the timber in the garden, whose door I keep knocking on and getting no answer - the new owner was there, sorting more junk out in his garage. Exchange some words and had a bit of a chat and confirmed I could have the timber (any of the junk) if I wanted. Sadly on closer examination, one of those lengths was full of woodworm holes, and they both looked thinner than floorboard guage. Oh well . . . I'm not sure why - perhaps it was the sunny weather after all the poor days we've had; or perhaps it's a 'bounce' due to coming off the prozac cold turkey; or perhaps I'm starting to realise what a pleasant/different world it is I'm now living in; - or, or - well, who knows, but suffice it to say, today was an 'up' day!!! About as 'up' as I can recall having for a VERY long time. I felt ok, calm, relaxed, lucky, 'strong' (psychologicaly) - all that 'normal' stuff, like being a 'real' person for a change. VERY welcome. (What on earth would it be like to feel that all the time, like so many seem to. What a joyous existance that must be!) .carried on with the walk and did the long walk down through the woods and onto the beach. Sat around for quite a while throwing a stick for Sally to swim after - which she actually did quite a bit, like a 'proper' dog! lol On with the walk to the next cove and then into BGdns for a bit of a sit before heading back and popping into the pub for a beer on the way . . TVd . . PCd and . . - hang on! You did WHAT????? Yeah - I stopped off at what I guess is 'my local', and went in with Sally and bought myself a half of some lager or other before heading back outside to sit in the sun at one of the parasol covered tables. Blimey - when was the last time I went in a pub like that? Many years? (It wasn't really a spur of the moment thing - I was just trying to go with the flow of my 'up' - it was a 'deliberate' act. See - I don't need to read some counscellors naff self help book (still haven't read it!) to know what is required to 'challenge' MY 'social phobia' type behaviors. What 'I' need to know, is how to induce the the inner strength of the 'up' (without drugs of one sort or another - pescribed or otherwise!)!) . My 'local' IS a pleasant place it would appear - or certainly by the standards of what I've been used to in Bristol over the years (all down to the people in it of course). It just seems and feels 'friendly'. As soon as you walk in, you realise something is different about the place - they have at least a couple of friendly dogs running loose in the bar, and don't really seem to have too much of a problem if customers dogs join in! Just an indication of being kinda laid back about things I think. Don't think I'll be making a habit of it though. Whatever lager it was I ended up drinking (I asked for one with at least as high an alcohol content as Stella Artois (which they didn't have on tap)) it cost me 1.50 or thereabouts for just a half pint!!!!!!! Ouch! Much cheaper in Sainsburys I'm sure. . Sat under the parasol in sunglasses with Sally, smoking a cigarette and drinking my lager, and feeling 'ok' (not speaking to anyone of course) - I found myself getting almost tearful!!! Something to do with feeling ok, and wondering what life would have been like if I'd been brought up in an area like this, and wishing I could share what I now have with everyone I know, and - well - who knows. . . eventually headed back down the short cut I've discovered that goes through the industrial estate (past the waste skip with the filing cabinet in it. Something huge (part of the deck of a trawler?!!?) had been dropped in on top, totally crushing the cabinet! Oh well - I can forget about that now then. He who hesitates, blah, blah . :o( !) . briefly dipped into that guys garden and picked up the old (NOT woodworm eaten) bit of timber, which will be useful for something if not a floorboard, and carried it home. Dumped it temporarily out of the way against a wall in the front garden, to be dealt with some other time. . ate ham sandwiches with crisps and then bowls of cornflakes . . TVd struggling to stay awake . . BB called briefly . . to bed by 11pm. Boy, I could do with more days like this! Sadly, I know, tomorrow WILL be different. d
31 - Woken by Sally earlier and then 'told to get up by her' just before 7am. . walked in the sun, trying to recapture the feelings of yesterday, but as expected, sadly not able to fully do so . .back home and had my usual coffee and cigarette and then figured I'd better pop up Mums to see how things are with her boiler replacement nightmare. They are due to start actually doing it today! . . walked with Sally up to Mums. The gas guy was already there all started and getting on with stuff!! Had a bit of a look at what he was doing and just tried to be a bit of a reassuring presence for Mum before soon just getting out of their way and heading back . . worked in the back bedroom, sanding, plastering, filling, scraping, etc. Skipped food except for a banana or two and a handful of biscuits before walking Sally again . . walked. Stopped in at Mums on the way back to have a look at progress. Bit worried because I'd rather assumed I would have had a phone call from her by now, to 'debrief' the day. Turns out that guy had been working like a 'Trojan' and made quite astonishing progress. The new boiler was in situ and all plumbed in, the exhaust vent had been taken out through the ceiling/roof, all the floors were back down - just incredible for one guy/one days work! Having said that, the trade off was 'attention to detail'. Plenty of little things which if it'd been something I was doing, wouldn't have been something I'd have been happy to have done like that or then have to live with. Prime example was how he'd cut through some of the kitchen floorboards. The most extraordinary wavey, jaggedy, 'amateur' cut you could possibly imagine! One of the most annoying things from my point of view was the height the new boiler had actually been put on the wall (but it turns out Mum WAS given a choice and under the pressure of the moment, just went along with what the (crazy!) guy suggested). If that boiler had been positioned just two or three inches lower, it would have been perfectly in line with all the kitchen wall cabinets, rather than noticeably stuck up above like it is. Silly - and stuck with it like that for ever more now! Oh well - tried as best I could to show positive (SO hard for me - being my father's son!) and pointed out that a lot of the poor-finish / attention to detail 'niggles' could 'easily' be attended to and improved (by me?) once they'd finished up and gone. Despite all my criticism, generally, it WAS amazing how much he'd acheived in that one day, and how 'intact' Mums world was. Gratifying. It appears all that is left for tomorrow (and the guy said it should be done in half a day!!!), is actually hooking up the new gas run to the main in the garage; finishing off the absolute eyesore of a large waste pipe running all around the outside of the house to an outside drain (as is apparantly now a 'legal' MUST for draining off the system!!); altering/connecting up the wiring to power the thing and screwing the wireless thermostat to the hall wall - and then actually 'commisioning' it all. Compared to everything that was done today - very little! So - with any luck, Mum should be able to have a bath tomorrow night! lol Nice one. Fingers crossed. Poor Mum. I know how unbelieveably traumatic all this is for her. Just moving the sofa the other day was a big deal for her (and apparantly she'd moved it a bit and vacuumed behind it before I even got there to help her. I think she 'had' to do, at least that, on her own with her memories). Putting that huge heavy sofa in position in the living room was one of the last things that Dad and her did together before he got ill and died. Weird feeling moving some of her funiture that's not been moved for years. That dust on things - well - that's a lot of 'Dad' isn't it! :o/ . . eventually headed home (armed with a carrier bag of bread rolls and corned beef, etc. which Mum INSISTED on giving me!). . ate ham rolls and two bags of crisps and then a little chocolate . . BB called to touch base. . TVd until bed around 11:45pm.
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