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August
1 - Up not too early after at least a straight eight hours sleep. Sat in the garden and watched as the young fluffy pigeon who is the only one who seems to come around right now, had breakfast, a drink and finally had the nerve to have a bath in the new bird bath construction. Hillarious to watch him fluffing up and splashing about all over the place. A great film of dust all over the water once he'd gone. . decided that the pigeons definitely don't like the new food 'bowl'. Went down the lane and retrieved the paving slab someone had thrown out there. Used the angle grinder to cut it into a cute octagonal shape and put it on the raised bed instead of the food bowl. Should look ok once the plants grow around it. As if to approve the young pigeon returned and calmly stuffed his face! . . . started reading 'The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying' that I'd scored from the charity shop for only 2 . . . still ended up falling asleep for a few hours despite all the sleep last night!! . . . popped up the road for a kebab. . . PS popped round for chats in the garden till early. Pretty scarey when he started having a bit of a 'dizzy' spell and looked really unwell there for a while. Told me he's been tripping over things all over the place - and when he arrived he mistakenly went up to next doors front door rather than mine!! Suggested he should see a doctor, by asking if he'd seen one. Chatted and watched the police helicopter and frogs hunting about, and fallen honeysuckle leaves moving and disappearing. Saw a frog climb vertically up the face of the raised bed wall!!! Didn't know they could do that. Amazing . . . TVd and ended up watching till the early hours after stumbling across an interestig OU progam on BBC2 all about the psychology of 'crowds'.(4/10)ps
2 - Rain is forecast but none yet. Really longing for some rain after all this hot weather! Shopped for a little food and birthday cards for CW . . . a little rain at last but not the storms that were forecast. Good for the frogs. . .posted the cards . . . just falling asleep for a nap when SH popped in with a piece of the MS Access code he is trying to construct for his taxi program. Really, really not in the mood to do anything on the PC but spent a few hours trying to get a handle on what he's doing. Eventually gave up but was able to point in at least one helpfull direction. If it was mine - I'd have done it all differently - but then again I can't remember any of it now anyway!! . . . toyed with the guitar for an hour or so in the conservatory . . . TVd . . . sat in the garden watching frogs catching worms and worms mating?!!!! Ooooer!! . . . PCd briefly before early to bed very exhausted? Too much excitement maybe. (4/10)ps
3 - Up early with the post. A letter from the MOD demanding completion of a security questionaire and submission of my passport!! Surely I did one of these already when I applied for the job? Grrrrrr!!! . . . made sure the neighbourhood bins were out ready for emptying. Popped up LBs and trimmed her front garden hedge. She didn't ask me to, but I'm tired of having to squeeze by it when I walk up the road!!! Filled her and her neighbours bin up!!! Rather heavy!!! Where are the bin men?!!!! Some poor old guy in an electric buggy who couldn't walk was having a nightmare trundling down the pavement with all the bins out blocking his way. Had the usual 'I'm a decent chap', "aren't people selfish parking on the pavements" type conversation as I moved the bin I was filling out of the way. If the bin men don't turn up soon I could be in for some embarassing explaining!!!!! Worry!!!! . . . phoned CW and did the singing 'happy birthday' thing and chatted for a long while . . . sat like stone in the conservatory as a few pigeons nervously explored the new bird feeding arrangements. They aren't happy with it! Put one of the miniature slabs from PS under each of the potted trees which freed up a large piece of the raised bed stone. Used it to make another frog house. . . finally the bin men arrived. Immediately filled them all up again down the lane. Wow - didn't realise the lane was THAT big!!! LOTS more to get rid of, and two more refugee frogs relocated to my garden . . . left an ansaphone message for the woman at the MOD asking if I really have to fill in the form etc. because I already did last year and nothing has changed. Bet she doesn't call me back! Grrrrr!! . . . put washing out on the rotary and went for milk. Came back and found a brave pigeon having a feed beneath the washing all blowing around above it's head . . . sat around, washed up, popped up LBs briefly to sit in her back yard and see what could 'maybe' be done with it. Awkward shape and not sure I can be bothered with all the work - but very tempting just for the hell of it. Strange priorities she has - why doesn't she have a go herself? . . . SH phoned to say he'd sorted his Access program at last. Yippee. . . .TVd/PCd very briefly then bed before midnight feeling absolutely exhausted, again! Missed my midday nap! I NEED it! (5/10)p
4 - Woken up at 6:30am by the postman delivering junk mail . . . sun and showers. Breakfast in the conservatory but not a frog in sight anywhere! Where do they all go - or have they all left via the frog step to the lane? . . . definitely not enough sleep. Fell asleep again and woke around midday. Sat looking at the garden but my mind was up LBs garden. Couldn't resist going up LBs with a spade and things to move some stuff around and de-weed so I could see what was where and what may be possible. HUGE three foot high weeds and LARGE numbers of snails and slugs everywhere! Is THAT how snails mate? Oooer! Tried my hardest but impossible not to cause much death. Hurriedly relocated a refugee frog back down to my garden in a pint beer glass! Rain eventually stopped play but certainly possible to do something similar to my garden, oh yes. Eventually persuaded LB that the 'outhouse' cupboard would make a superb Polecat house with some thought and work. I'll have that little chap living a better life yet. At least every time I mention it LB changes the 'green' drinking water for fresh! Ran home in torrential rain! BIG downpour, bouncing rain, very wet! Planned and plotted what to do in LBs garden and thought it all through as I do, in meticulous detail. I'm gonna have to do it - because I think I can, and because being the social alcoholic she is, she could probably have some really nice summer drinking sessions if she had a nice garden. If I was that sort of person my garden and patio would be ideal for 'gatherings'. I even know exactly where I'd build a small barbeque - IF I was that sort of person. I'm not . . . Fell asleep again for a couple of hours and woken by the doorbell but didn't get up quick enough to see who was there . . . TVd . . . BB called to touch base. . .watched the big rain bounce. . . PCd/TVd/sat in the garden till real early. (4/10)ps
5 - Not enough sleep but the forecast says a sunny day before more showers. It had to be done - went up LBs with tools and spade and hammers and stuff. Spent the whole day smashing up concrete slabs, digging and building a raised bed - a large semi circular affair on the right hand side of the garden. REAL hard work!! Broke my usual rule of always accepting a free meal and foolishly declined lunch so I had time to achieve what I had in mind for the day before LBs man friend turned up in the evening. Popped back home to get some tools and found a poor frog trapped on my patio behind the compost bin. Caught him and dropped him back up on the garden. He screamed! I hate it when I cause that!!! Looking down the lane from LBs garden I could see someone had dumped something near my gate!!!!! Someone had dumped three bags of soil right outside my gate!!!????? Was someone trying to be helpful or were they taking the p**s!!! That's gonna prey on my mind now till I find out who left it there! Used the soil in LBs raised bed. Could have done with more!! Eventually stopped around six o'clock satisfied with my toil but absolutely exhausted, all trembling with exertion, soaking wet fom sweat and filthy. LB donated some unwanted 'Bolognese' sauce so it was chips and microwaved Bolognese for tea after cleaning up! Actually rather nice. . . TVd . . . sat in the garden watching frogs leaping about, trying to stay awake. Laughter from up the road indicated LB had her man round and was unusually sat in her 'garden'. Made me feel content as though the days effort had been worth it. Now - how am I gonna build a polecat house for her - maybe it would be easier to just share my prozac with the poor polecat?!! . . . PCd. (5/10)p
6 - Woken at 4:30am by some distant alarm going off. Sat in the conservatory with coffee watching the cloudy sky brighten. Eventually back to sleep for a couple of hours. Showers, so decided to have a gentle day and popped up LBs about 10am to just plan the next step of operations. Showers eased off and I couldn't resist getting serious with her fence and turning it into a gate to the lane. The lane there was FULL of rubble and earth and all sorts of rubbish and hasn't been open for access for about ten years!! It is now!! Spent ages shovelling and cutting away plants and moving rubble but eventually made it passable if about a foot higher than the rest of the lane. Relocated a fat old toad to my garden. Lots to get rid of but also loads of soil that will be perfect for the other raised bed when I can do it, when LB moves the polecat cage out of the way. Managed to 'chat' to the neighbour who seemed ok and had no objection to me re-drilling the gate post into his garden wall. LB now has a gate and - well - it turned out better than mine although her garden is more of a building site than before! Things ALWAYS get worse before they get better!! Amazing wind!! Somehow the wind is funnelled past LBs house near the end of the rank and it was like a hurricane!! Very nice to get back to my own garden which was almost still. I am lucky - in so many ways - but I never seem to be able to remember that for long. Finally stopped work about 6:30pm and had the chicken pie and cheese rolls LB had donated, sitting in my garden feeling as though I had acheived something. Tidied up and showered and promptly threw up! Maybe the shock of not being covered in mud and sweat? Or was that why LB didn't want those cheese rolls? . . . ate/TVd . . . PCd till early before a brief sit in the garden watching frogs before bed. (5/10)p
7 - Up around 8am. Not a bad sleep. Flock of starlings mobbed the garden. Infrequent visitors but when they do come, they come in force and create havoc. Hard to count but must have been about fifteen of them all sat on the bird feeding slab at once!! Noisey squabbling . . . went back up to the LB building site to plan what was next. LB moved the polecat cage so all systems go again for the second half of the raised beds. Went home to get tools and change into work clothes. Caught a frog in the lane and relocated it to my garden. Looked kinda disappointed - and familiar? Difficult not to hear the theme music to the 'Great Escape' going through my mind. The raised bed work went badly! That part of the garden was concreted over and beneath the concrete were bricks. LOTS of bricks!! Very hard work trying to break the concrete with my small lump hammer. Asked LB if she knew anyone she could borrow a sledge hammer from but it was a no. LB left me to it and went shopping. She arrived back with a new sledgehammer and a couple of pairs of protective gloves! The sledgehammer made extremely light work of the small amount of remaining concrete - but seemed rather extravagant since it will probably never be used again! Stopped work around 6:30pm after the concrete and bricks had been put in piles and soil had been put in place ready for making the raised bed. Cleaned up and walked round the chip shop only to find it closed!!? Found 5p on the way. Ate and TVd but so, SO tired!! Went to bed at 10:30pm!! So much for an early night - LB phoned drunk and invited herself down, so I got back up. She seemed all upset and down about her new relationship and the prospect of soon meeting his kids. Did my usual 'say the right things/counsellor' act but she was so drunk I don't think it mattered. She eventually stumbled off around midnight and I collapsed into sleep. Did NOT PC. (5/10)ps
8 - Back up LBs to tackle the last raised bed. Hard work and lots of showers but all done and almost all the slabs used up. Dug earth out of the ground to fill the bed and then started putting all the bricks and rubble back in the hole. That is gonna require hours and hours of breaking up with the sledgehammer to make it settle in properly!!! Uggh! Used the small bits of slab that were left to do a very small low bed in view of the kitchen window. Too little stone left to make a good job. May fall apart. Stopped work and cleaned up around 6:30pm. Went for a kebab. LB turned up with a HUGE piled high plate of left overs from her evening roast meal with her guy. Enough food for days!!! Just managed to cover it with a large mixing bowl and squeeze it in my fridge for tomorrow. Still somehow hungry and continued eating odds and ends all evening. . . TVd . . . PCd. Lots of rain and strange water pouring noises from outside?!!!!! Looked out the window to see next doors rainwater downpipe is gone?!!!! Torrents of water pouring onto her kitchen roof!!!!! Ran around checking it wasn't falling on the conservatory or affecting me in any way but thankfully it wasn't. Wonder what she'll do. I 'could' offer to have a go at fixing it assuming the pipe fell intact into her garden - but I get the impression she wants to keep away from 'the weird guy next door'!! . . . to bed aching and exhausted. Dunno how people do this sort of garden/digging/building work for a living - or why they get paid so little. (5/10)p
9 - Up early. Wow - loads of heavy rain! Bet LBs garden is a swamp! Went up to check and well, yes it was! If it was my house I'd put in a new drain at the lowest point where the pool of water collects - but that is her business! Ground is all clay and the water doesn't soak away naturally! Decided to have a day off thanks to the weather. Tried calling the MOD on all the numbers I have but only succeeded in getting ansaphones and didn't bother leaving another message that would be ignored! Ended up spending the day eating loads and sleeping. Slept almost all day!!!!! LB phoned to confirm she was going 'home' soon for the family wedding and thanks for feeding the cats!? Damn - I'd forgotten about that chore! . . . alternately ate and slept and then slept all night too! Think I was hungry and tired. (5/10)ps
10 - Fed the cats. Spent hours with the angle grinder trimming stone and attending to small details that only I know needed doing. Placed a small retaining wall structure near the gate to complete the circular garden feature. Only placed in the earth so may be removed or made permanant as required - in fact everything is just 'placed' at the moment and could all be changed which is quite neat. Stopped to attend to bins when I heard the bin mens lorry. Uh oh - the matress I crammed whole into next doors bin has been left!!!!!!!! damn!!!!! Dragged it back round to the lane and ended up stripping off the covering and cutting up the metal springs with the angle grinder into bin sized pieces. Managed to dispose of most of the 'junk' and pile of weeds from LBs garden into various bins. Spent hours breaking up part of the raised concrete 'plinth' that covers half of the garden where old coal sheds used to be with the sledge hammer. HUGE quantities of bricks just covered over with concrete!!!! Made a pile of bricks against the wall in the lane for some future removal. Underestimated the amount that levelling that part of the garden would produce!!! She may need to pay to get a skip in yet!! Spent hours trying to break up concrete and bricks into smaller 'hardcore' but eventually HAD to give up - exhausted and all strength gone from my hands. No grip - can hardly pick up the hammer!!! Poor polecat in his cage seems to have suffered hours of hammering and bits of flying concrete without going too crazy. Can't break up the rest of the plinth till the polecat cage is moved again - and now there is no safe escape proof concrete base left to put it on. . . TVd/PCd briefly. Unusual entry from someone in my guestbook! (5/10)p
11 - Up around 6:30am? Went up LBs and fed the invisible cats. Throwing more food away than they are eating! Let the polecat out to run around for a bit. Couldn't face any rock breaking and my hands feel bruised and swollen so decided to concentrate on the new polecat accomodation/the doorless 'outhouse' cupboard. Emptied all the junk that has been in there for years and used some old plasterboard to fix up a ceiling to the rafters. Bit of a cock up because it was all damp and warped but anything is better than nothing. My next door neighbours are back from holidays so I knocked on their door asked them if they had a nice time and announced I was on the scrounge. Explained and was invited in to measure the old obscure-glass panelled door I'd spotted in their garden. Almost perfect size and complete with hinges!!!!!!!!! Yayyy!!!!!!! Explained what I was up to and used the newly opened up lane to show them LBs garden and doorless cupboard. Quick chats and thanks and spent the next few hours sawing off half an inch and hanging the door. Bloody awkward on my own! Fell over in a crashing heap at one point but managed to save the door!! Actually hung it upside down to save having to cut new hinge rebaits because the cupboard frame was rotten on one side, but it doesn't really matter and looks ok despite the gap at the top. What idiotic builders pebble dashed that house? Made the drip strip above the door so low the door wont open without the gap!! Useful ventilation for the polecat. Spent the rest of the afternoon fixing up the inside of the cupboard, rendering and filling and finally got a coat of white masonary paint on most of it. Fed the cats and introduced the polecat to the new cupboard - poor little chap got a white painted nose! Let him run around for as long as I could before returning him to his old prison. . . M/D phoned to say that Sis2 'immigration' situation 'may' be improving in a couple of days. Hard to believe it - heard it all before!! Fingers crossed anyway - again! . . . TVd / PCd briefly but so, SO tired again. Asleep by 11:30pm. (5/10)p
12 - Woke up before 6am!!! Sat around trying to work out what to do in the polecat cupboard for best quality of life. Unhappy balancing act between what would be best for the polecat and what LB will put up with. If it was mine it would be something amazing - pipes and runs and things to do all through the garden! Oh well . . . PCd . . .another day of unpleasant overcast, windy, drizzly weather. Shame about the Bristol balloon fiesta on this weekend in Ashton Court! . . . fed the cats and let the polecat run around and played with him for a time. Fitted the door handle and lock that I had saved from the other neighbours throw away door a week or so ago, to the glass panel door as sunday church bells rang evocatively in the distance. Inside the lock I found a penny?!! What is it with this work and all the small change I've been finding? Time consuming but all successfull in the end despite not having a metal keep plate. Made it so it shuts and locks into rebates in the wood frame. Guess I can make a keep plate out of some old scrap metal some time in the future. Got out of my work clothes and decided to have the rest of the day off. Couldn't help thinking about how to make the polecat outdoor run 'cage' and ended up walking down to the house round the corner that I had seen some rusty 'dexion' angle iron dumped in the garden. Amazing lights and electronic security on the door but I rang the bell and knocked anyway and eventually got an answer. Frail old woman looking all worried. Why the hell did she open the door then?!! Did my best 'I'm a nice polite guy' act and begged the metal. Getting over the shock of a weirdo in a long trenchcoat asking for rubbish she seemed delighted to get rid of it and walked down the garden to see me off rather bemused. Easy target for a conman!!!! Sad. Thanked her profusely and walked away with it all. Excellent! Changed back into dirty clothes and sat in the drizzle on the patio unscrewing all the rusty nuts and bolts. Dropped it all up LBs garden. . . SH dropped in for a very quick coffee. . . cleaned up, washed all my filthy clothes and fell asleep for a couple of hours. Woken by LB having returned home calling on the ansaphone and saying 'You've been busy'. She doesn't have a clue HOW busy!!! . . . went for milk and popped in LBs on the way to explain what I'd done and what I was planning. Met her guy. Seems ok. . . got milk but really into the swing of things decided to knock on the door of a house on the way that I had seen had some large chrome wire mesh panels dumped in the garden. Shocked looking woman in a bath robe looked out of the bedroom window. Did my Mr Nice Weirdo act and walked away with the panels. If I can't make a 'Rolls Royce' cage out of that lot I'm not trying. Excellent. Disturbed LB again joking 'Is this the council tip' and dropped it off in her garden much to her concern. . . TVd/sat in the garden/PCd. Can't explain why but I really am happy and getting a kick out of doing all this stuff. Everyone benefits. People have rubbish removed from their gardens which saves them the hassle of going to the tip, the royal mint has missing small change returned to circulation, LBs place ends up with improvements even if it is only for her to sell it in the next year or two, and eventually the polecat gets a new house and better quality of life. It's a funny old world. (5/10)ps
13 - Up around 7am after only five hours sleep - that wont be enough to last the day! Miserable drizzly weather with EVERYTHING feeling damp like only this country knows how to do. . . ended up feeling really tired really soon and fell asleep again till middayish! . . . Called the MOD and actually got an answer!! They confirmed I DID need to complete another security questionaire and submit my passport because the last one I did was so long ago! Grrrrrrrr!!! Pretty annoyed about how they have been stringing me along for over a year and a half now! That's no way to treat a person. Hurriedly scribbled out the questionaire not caring too much if it looked allright. Sis1 popped in for a coffee and to give me a carrier bag of neckties that her guy was getting rid of that 'may come in useful if I start workin again'. Phoned LB to ask if it was ok and then popped up and showed Sis1 what I had been up to and also introduced her to the crazy polecat. . . got the bike out and rode to the MOD and eventually after having introduced myself to lots of security guards handed in the form and my passport and got a receipt. Bet I never see my passport again - incompetants! Wow - my hands and arm muscles are in a state - difficulty holding onto the throttle - very painfull. . .treated myself to a miss Millies chicken meal on the way home. Fell asleep for yet another few hours! . . . sat in the damp garden watching frogs and reading a little. Very warm but everything seems to be SO damp - haven't managed to roll and smoke decent cigarette all day! . . . PCd (5/10)p
14 - Up around 7:30am. MUST have had enough sleep now surely! Went up LBs and made sure the recycle bin was out full of her wine bottles! Had a word with her neighbour and got his agreement to putting a little lane rubbish in his bin each week. That is most of the neighbours now! Spent hours making the hole through the wall of the garden cupboard. Spent the rest of the day attempting to make a secure cage behind the cupboard using the metalwork I had collected. Very awkward and laborious welding and grinding and drilling but had a good idea of where I was heading by the end of the day. Just about to leave when LB arrived home. Polecat was temporarily introduced to the rough idea and used the new hole from the cupboard to 'the run' with no persuading. Excellent. Want it all done - I've had enough now. . . cleaned up and overcome with exhaustion tried to nap but sleep wouldn't come despite feeling SO tired. . . TVd . . . sat in the garden - really warm evening! . . . touched base with M/D who confirmed Sis2 was on her way to the border to meet her fate!! . . . PCd. (5/10)p
15 - Woken by the post. MOD had returned my passport! Didn't expect that so soon. . . up LBs construction site all day welding up the 'run cage', cementing it in and making a hinged lid out of the old wood that had been dumped in the lane. Stood in something nasty - ewwwww!!! Hosed myself down and got all wet. The run roof worked out not as good as I had hoped due to the rotten old wood but good enough I guess. Tidied up and ready to call it quits when movement in the lane caught my eye. A bright yellow frog heading towards LBs garden and likely death - in broad daylight? Relocated it to my pond. . . ate and touched base with M/D who confirmed Sis2 had succesfully got a 'one' year work permit. She said it was gonna be a three year permit?!! . . . had a nap for a couple of hours and woke all disorientated with the alarm . . . TVd . . . watched the frogs. A little one leapt up onto the bird feeding construction and jumped briefly into the bird bath!? . . . asleep again by 11pm Keeping really busy IS an effective way to avoid dwelling on ones mood. (5/10)
16 - Up at 6am!!!!? Think I forgot to take my prozac last night. Waited till everyone had gone to work then went up LBs and found an old can of smooth white masonary paint which seemed useable after some frantic stirring. Put a couple of coats on everything for weatherproofing. Put the remaining plasterboard in her neighbours bin . . . shopped on the bike. Bought a huge tray of chicken drumsticks that were going cheap. . . spent a few hours with the angle grinder cutting up metal brackets and fixing them to the walls in LBs outside cupboard and then sawed up the old interior sliding door she had thrown out and made a couple of large shelves. Confirmed for the first time that angle grinding fingers hurts! The neighbour I'd first met the other day who was working in his garden asked me if I wanted the heavy duty scaffolding type shelving he had found in his garden. Couldn't resist saying yes but I regret it already. Great big metal girders all over my patio!!! Torrential rain stopped play so I retreated to my conservatory with the shelves to apply coats of paint and watch wood pigeons on nearby TV aerials comically bathing in the rain. . . BB called to touch base . . .ate chicken drumsticks - lots! Ate lots of everything else all at once!! Guess I was hungry! TVd. SH called for chats . . . Fell asleep around 10pm but set the alarm for 11pm intending to go on line to chat to BB! (5/10)ps
17 - Woke up around 3:30am but the alarm had been turned off?!!!! How do I do that when I'm asleep? Wow - what an unusualy clear sky - loads of stars and loads of them moving. Eventually back to sleep but back up again before 7am . . . assembled the scaffolding type shelving on the patio above the compost bin. Actually may be useful after all. . . sat in the garden in the sun until the bin men arrived. Took several of the neighbours bins up the lane and loaded them with rubbish 'as usual'! Actually getting to the point where almost all the easily binable rubbish has already gone. Invited the neighbour in who had donated her garden paving slabs to see the raised beds I'd made with them and to thank her . . . spent the rest of the day until around 6pm making up, painting and fitting ladders to LBs polecat cupboard so he can get to the upper two stories! The polecat was awake at some point early afternoon so I tested him out in the new quarters. Not sure he is too keen and the ladders are certainly too steep!! Ho hum . . . cleaned up and ate . . . TVd . .tried to nap but failed despite feeling exhausted yet again . . .watched the frogs in the garden. Felt pretty chilly out there. One big frog attacked a huge slug - bit off more than he could chew and had to spit it out. Slug 'ran away'. Extraordinary. . . PCd - email from JB announcing the birth of her child several weeks ago!!! Knew a phone call to her was overdue . . . asleep by around 11:30pm (4/10)p
18 - Up around 6am! Rain, rain and more rain so having a 'day off' from doing LBs project seemed likely! Still feeling exhausted and ended up asleep again by 9am. Woke up and had some lunch but a horrible headache and needed yet more sleep!!!? Woke up again at 6pm!!! Touched base with JB on the phone and congartulated her on the birth of her son. So much for her 'hocus pocus' conviction it would be a girl. Ha! :o) . . . Rain had stopped so collected all the old wood and stuff from LBs garden and dismantled it all and put it on the shelving in my garden ready for use or throwing away. Cut up the old central heating radiator that had been dumped in the lane and used it as a base on the shelving and raised my compost bin etc off the patio. Much easier to wash down and keep clean. Lots of 'rubbish' in MY garden now but at least it is 'neat' rubbish and will only take a week or so to get rid of once I use anything useful in the polecat cupboard. . . TVd . . . sat in the conservatory watching frogs in the rain feeling ok . . . PCd till early. (5/10)pa
19 - Up around 7am. . . sorted out some of the old wood and started making a 'hideaway box' for LBs polecat. No matter how palatial his new quarters will be, he'll still want somewhere dark and enclosed to hide away in and sleep. Next door called out and offered me yet more rubbish!!! Couple of pieces of corrugated perspex. Hmmm - now what can I use that for? Had to say yes! . . . SH called asking if I wanted to go to the computer fair but I declined. . . M/D called saying Sis2 was now with her new legal status thinking of buying a house!!! Good move at last if she can pull it off. . . Finished the polecat box and painted it and left it to dry in the garden . . . ate/TVd and watched Schumaker become world champion again at the Hungarian Grand Prix. . . fell asleep for a few hours . . . dropped the box up LBs . . . TVd/sat in the garden frog watching/PCd. Feel very in need of TOTAL solitude?! (3/10)ps
20 - Up ridiculously early which inevitably meant falling asleep again as soon as some breakfast hit my stomach. Woke again near midday! Waited and waited for LBs car to disappear indicating she had gone to work but it didn't happen. Eventually wandered up to try and get the polecat house over and done with. Feel as though it is now an obligation hanging over me - like I've started so I have to finish! LB was at home having a 'sicky'! She didn't appreciate my comment she wasn't feeling well cause of all her drinking!! . . . spent the afternoon welding a metal loop to the run lid so it can be fastened shut / cutting a groove in the run concrete base with the angle grinder for drainage because recent rain has shown it to be concave and collects rain water like a bowl!! / filling the gap between the shelves and the door with shelf extensions so the polecat can't fall down / painting and generally reaching a point where I can do little more. If it was mine I'd do a lot differently and better but I think I've done more than enough for the little critter. Finally cleared up and ended up falling asleep yet again!!!? Dunno what is going on with me but I can't seem to get enough sleep no matter how much I get! . . . PS called, back from holiday. Asked to borrow his digital camera again. He popped round for chats bearing his duty free allowance of 20 packs of tobacco for me. EXCELLENT!! Wrote him a cheque - less than half the price it is here. . . couldn't sleep and ended up PCing until almost dawn!!! Received a few e-mails I feel obliged to reply to, but very not in the mood to try and think of stuff to say and put it off till some other time! (4/10)ps
21 - Up after only a few hours sleep. Shopped. Ate and then slept most of the afternoon!! . . . played with PS camera a little. News report on TV about how the local refuse collectors are gonna go on strike on Friday!!!! Oh no!!!!!!! With all the neighbours bins all full of lane rubbish!!!!! Oh dear! . . .PCd and avoided doing e-mails and thinking, by adding pictures to the site of LBs projects and updated 'my tour' with the lane, the garden etc, and the bird table. (4/10)p
22 - Spent most of the day up LBs turning the rubble into gravel!!!! The sledgehammer proved pretty useless and only succeeded in pushing things into the ground so I ended up using the sledghammer as an anvil on which I placed the pieces of rubble and then hit them with my lump hammer to smash them!!!! Took hours - but I did that in my own garden and I know how it makes a good hardcore base and even is not bad to actually live with for a while. Eventually gave up late afternoon with a very painful right hand from grasping the heavy hammer and all the impacts. Know how those women in India who build the roads like that must feel like! Better men than I!!! Couldn't resist making up a rotary clothes line socket with the angle grinder and welder and cementing it in the centre of LBs circle whether she wants one or not. Easier to have one now than later - certainly the next owners of that house will appreciate it if not her. . . cleaned up, ate and exhausted tried to nap but my hand was hurting and felt as though it was twice the size of normal and sleep eluded me. . . LB left a message on the ansaphone that she would be moving the polecat into his new quarters later. Sat in my garden I could hear the commotion and went up to watch. Strangely VERY worrying. Felt all responsible for whatever may happen/concerned that the poor little chap may feel unhappy and insecure suddenly locked in his new prison. LB offered to leave the lane gate unlocked so I could come up in the night and check on him for my peace of mind but I told her not to - I would have been popping up there all night worrying! . . . TVd and early to bed. Asleep before midnight despite a phonecall which I ignored and let the ansaphone take. Definitely wrestling with a bit of a 'down' episode despite the prozac , for no apparant reason other than maybe I've been overdoing the physical exertion? (4/10)ps
23 - Up early. Back up LBs to move the old polecat cage out of the way and start on breaking up the concrete beneath after taking a quick picture. He seems happy enough in his new quarters. Disgusting having to move some of the polecats old bedding and find a nest of maggots!!!! Ewwwwwww!!!!! Poor little devil! Poor maggots - 'brushed' away! Spent hours breaking up concrete and making more hardcore but really really not in the mood and frankly fed up with all the HARD work. A rain shower around midday encouraged an early finish. Still much to do . . . BB called to touch base. . . managed a short nap. . .TVd . . went for a kebab. SH popped in for a quick coffee and confirmed the news had said the refuse mens strike was off. Thank goodness. Blimey - he has a metal detector in his attic?!! I need to borrow that! Like the idea of finding - um - stuff and things for nothing but the effort! . . . PCd briefly but really really not in the mood at all. Feeling increasingly guilty about still not replying to recieved mails. Growing incliniation to terminate the website - it may have served whatever purpose it once had for me. Avoidant/Schizoid in real space = Avoidant/Schizoid in cyber space. Same stuff. . . difficulty sleeping - too hot and felt a bit nauseas.(4/10)p
24 - Woken early by junk mail arriving. Bins all emptied ok - now - about all that rotten wood on my cluttered patio. Cut most of it up and put it in all the neighbours bins. Nothing really left in the lane except rubble and soil so nothing to be done out there. Blimey - nothing in MY or LBs bin yet!!! . . . went up LBs and broke more rocks for several hours. Poor neighbours. Eventually reached a point where I think enough is enough. Tidied up and took a couple of photos. Oh how I wish I had taken a couple of 'before' shots. Impossible to believe it is the same garden. Pretty likely she will do absolutely nothing with it. Probably stay that way with the addition of weeds and cats and polecats muck until the next owner of that house moves in. Oh well - feel I did a pretty good job really - could be really nice with some finishing - cementing, patio slabs, planting and this and that. Think I may sit around for a while and do very little and let all my aches and pains settle down. Maybe I should sleep for a week or two. Or - wonder if I can persuade LB to pay for a mini skip to get rid of all the old bricks and stuff? Could REALLY clear the lane then!!!! LOL . . .washed ALL my clothes! . . . posted a very late card to JB . . . lead down to nap and M/D called on the mobile and said there was a garden recliner/bed going cheap in a charity shop. Hell, yes please at that price! I could nap in the garden then. They rang me back to announce they had bought it - after Mum apparantly tried it out in the shop by lying on it!!!!!!!!! . . . fell asleep and didn't wake till gone 8pm! . . . VERY warm evening. Sat in the garden definitely doing absolutely nothing, with the frogs - which was nice. . . LB phoned a couple of times looking at DIY store adverts and talking about patio slabs and the like - temporarily enthused about her garden which was satisfying . . . PCd briefly before more garden sitting then bed. (4/10)ps
25 - Awake before 6am!!! Warm misty morning. Ended up napping for a few hours as soon as breakfast hit my stomach. Definitely a 'down day' - lots of wanting to be somewhere - somewhere else - alone - but couldn't think of anywhere to go where I wouldn't find people. Rang LB and suggested doing a trip to the council tip with bags of bricks but she was going shopping and said no. Grrr - if I had a car it would all be done and gone by now! Got the bike out and headed for the garden centres in search of - um - well, nothing really! Did look for a stone Buddha like Sis1 has (although I increasingly suspect she actually has a Krisna) - gotta get me one eventually - but none of those I saw pleased me - tempting to try my hand at 'sculpture' and make one - wire from the lane and some cement?!! . . . bumped into someone that works where I used to work and succeeded in having a pleasant conversation I think. Used the excuse of being too hot in the store to run away. It WAS too hot and I gave up touring stores and popped in S/DH for a coffee and chat and to ask to borrow the metal detector he'd mentioned. Very rude but as soon as I got my hands on it I left to go do shopping and buy batteries. Experimented in the house and garden with the detector but not over impressed and frankly rather disappointed. Maybe it is just THAT particular one but it seems too 'twitchy' and difficult to tune to do anything useful. DID find a two inch piece of metal bar in the soil in the garden so I guess it is worth experimenting with somewhere. But where?!! Maybe after the bank holiday, on Tuesday when all the people have gone back home, Weston-Super-Mare beach? . . . touched base with M/D . . . sat in the cool of the garden watching frogs. LB turned up, glass of wine in hand with a bag of things she wanted to give me!? Tins of peas, packet of frozen fish, half empty large tin of instant coffee (past the sell by date!!), etc ?????!!!!!! Embarassed but gratefully accepted. Made her sit in the garden and watch the frogs for a while. The big frog was out and was stalking a huge slug - far too big to eat but it stalked it all over the garden nonetheless. It eventually gave up and jumped up onto the bird table and looked down at all the other slugs that were far too big to eat too. Some 'conversation' with LB but the wine was making her talk in shorthand again and I had to stop her on a couple of occassions and say I didn't know what the hell she was on about! . . . ML called and suggested he come over tomorrow night for a 'session', sleep over and do something on the bank holiday monday! Agreed but really not in the mood. Made it very clear he should only bring whatever drink he wanted for himself - cause I wasnt into drinking these days. . . LB left around 11pm and I PCd with BB for a while before bed. How coincedental that she too was having a down day.(3/10)p
26 - Pottered around, tidied up, made a bed ready for ML, weeded the garden, relocated some bulbs that seem to have reproduced. Finally decided to put the metal shoe scraper/mat/grate thing outside the front door. Drilled holes and screwed it to the concrete floor to stop it moving and breaking someones neck. Hopefully that will stop some of the tar and gravel that is walked in from the newly resurfaced road all over my poor carpet. . . fell asleep after eating as usual! Woken by ML leaving a message on the ansaphone. He was suggesting doing a twenty mile bike ride tomorrow! After the last couple of weeks of exertion I was less than enthusiastic and declined and kindof encouraged him to go off and do his own thing and leave me sleeping! Rather relieved when he said ok and that he'd pop round Wednesday night for a chat instead. Very schizoid and VERY happy to be home ALONE right now. . . touched base with Sis2 on the phone. Rashly suggested I 'could' visit and maybe help her move if she was to succeed in buying a house!! . . . Really felt like a chat and tried calling BB a couple of times but no answer. Hmph! Sat in the garden with the guitar for a while. . . PCd till early. (4/10)ps
27 - Couldn't sleep and ended up eating corned beef sandwhiches and crisps at four in the morning! . . . awake again around 9:30am. Gloriously hot and sunny bank holiday for a change - crowds will be out - which means I wont be! . . . sat in the garden. Updated my journal but still doing anything BUT reply to e-mails!!! I dislike me when I am like this - it is 'disrespectful'/selfish/necessary?!!! . . . fell asleep and woke early evening with the sky promising a spectacular sunset. Decided to make the most of PS camera and started getting ready to take the bike up Tog Hill and watch the sunset. BB called - chatted for ages - ended up being too late to catch the sunset. Damn. LB phoned to say what an amazing sunset! Grrrrr!! :o) . . . TVd/PCd sat in the garden(4/10)p
28 - Another gloriously sunny day. MUST do 'something' with it! Popped up the local post office and bought a 10 'credit refill' for my mobile phone. Rang the doctors about getting another perscription and was told I was good for another repeat without seeing the doctor? Bet they are wrong - popped down and handed in the paperwork and was told to return to pick it up in a couple of days. We'll see. . . packed up the metal detector in a bag on my back and set off in the sun on the bike for Weston Super Mare sea front. When was I last there? All the roads seem to have changed - HUGE detour all over the place to reach the sea front from the south west end?!! Parked up and wandered along the sea front amongst all the crowds. Loads of people - very unpleasant! Felt extremely self conscious and as though everyone was watching me!? Spotted a guy in the distance with a metal detector so figured it must be fair game and I was just being paranoid. Made sure I was out of sight of him before packing my leathers and helmet away and getting the detector all set up and ready to go. EVERYONE was watching me - I'm sure they were even if I was staring intently at the sand as if I could see through it as well as the metal detector! Gradually got a feel for how the machine worked and soon realised it worked pretty well. With the headphones on it wasn't necessary at all to watch what I was doing and was actually quite pleasant slowly wandering around waving the machine to and fro listening for a 'hit' and watching whatever there was to watch. To cut a long story short I found a rusty nail, several buried drink tins, drink tin ring pulls and odd bits of rusty metal here and there. I DID find a 20p coin but the truth is I saw it lying on the surface of the sand before I proved the detector could find it. Convinced I was going to find lots of money I had decided before I went I was going to eat once I had found enough to pay for a meal. I went without lunch!! Managed a short conversation with the weird guy who made a bee line for me miles across the sand to see what I had found. Sure he was gay! Rather have shown my equipment to the two young bikini clad girls - wow! Thank god for dark glasses. Eventually gave up after a few hours and returned to the bike. Dunno if it was all the recent hammering, the ride down gripping the throttle, the weight of the detector or maybe just being in the crowds but I seemed to be shaking like a leaf?!!!! Ummed and ahhd and finally decided it was such a nice day - I turned right instead of left on the spur of the moment and headed south!!! Dad had expressed a life long desire to play with a metal detector too so I rode to Mum and Dads in Brixham. Luckily they were in since I had come unannounced and unprepared without much money or door keys. Surprise! . . . scanned M/Ds garden with the detector and got contacts all over the place but Mum refused to let the boys dig up the lawn! Spoil sport! All went for a fish and chips meal at their favourite cafe - me dressed in Dads fleece so as not to embarass them in my biker jacket. Still all shakey and had to drink my coffee using both hands!!. . . Went to a beach and walked along having a scan. Surprisingly few contacts - and we were all SO convinced there would be lost money all over the place. A few hundred yards ahead a guy was wandering towards us with a metal detector - I guess he must have beaten us to all the money? Really really didn't want to have to converse with him and it took no persuading for us all to about face and slowly return to the car before he could catch us up - after having profited by finding a penny. Tried again along the Brixham breakwater pebbly beach and found another penny, but too much scrap metal made the going tedious. Almost stood on an amazingly well camouflaged young seagull sat looking like it was fixin to die . . . chatted/TVd/ early to bed very very tired and with a very bloodshot eye full of road dirt - and no prozac! I wasn't meant to be there! It just happened!! MUST get some decent sunglasses/goggles - that new helmet directs the wind straight into my right eye somehow. Almost two hours of 80mph+ wind into an eye is not so good! (5/10)a
29 - Slept till around 7:30. Coffee and cigarettes in the garden watching the birds, mostly through my left eye!! Bath!!!, breakfast and out with Dad intending to go to the big sandy beach a few miles away. Couldn't resist stopping off to look around the big car boot sale that was on just up the road. Jeeze everything is SO much cheaper down there! Resisted everything - even the leather jackets - two for 9 - just!! Dad got a call on his mobile - Sis1 was on her way down with little O!!!!!!!!! What a coincedence!!!!!!! M/D seemed to be thrown into a state by so much spontaneous infringement of their normal restricted routines and it all got a bit frantic/stressed?! Seemed easiest to suggest that we cancel the metal detecting foray. That calmed things down a little and we returned to M/D to call Sis1 and find out her plans. I had already planned to return home early afternoon because ML and PS were coming round in the evening so it seemed easiest if I packed up and went and left them to meet up with her and O and do the boat trips and things she had in mind. Packed and hugs and goodbyes and gassed up and back on the road around 1pm. Intended a gentle return but - well - I wanted to be home and it seemed fun following the two cars that were staying together all the way back doing between 85 and 100. Fantastic little motorcycle - impressed again but OH what hard work hanging on for so long, so fast, without a fairing and with a blurry eye and an open face helmet trying to force it's way to the back of my head!! Not helped just outside Bristol when grit or something all over the road, thrown up by the cars and lorries in front sand blasted my face! Agony. And then there was the frantic ninety mile an hour swooping lane changes as the idiot in front decided to clean his windscreen and sprayed water all over me from his windscreen washers! Or that silly B**** who oblivious to the danger decided to throw her sweet wrappers out into my face - or - or - well - just another ride I guess. Back home door to door in around an hour and three quarters. Tired out, bloodshot blurry eye, filthy, ringing in my ears. Felt ok. . . relaxed, cleaned up and just about to nap when Dad called on the mobile telling me about the really nice boat trip they had been on, the nice meal they had eaten and the Red Arrows who were shortly due to do an air display over Torbay!!! Damn - wish I'd left later! . . . ML and PS popped round for chats till early. Sis1 popped in on her way back around 10pm and offloaded all the plants and the garden sunbed that M/D had got for me . . . ML slept over in the spare bedroom/computer room so NO PCing. A quick sit in the garden before bed - a bit uncomfortable having someone else in the house but real tired so slept eventually.(5/10)ps
30 - Up early - let ML sleep on. After ML had gone and the rain showers had stopped I spent hours and hours messing around in the garden planting all the masses of Campanula and 'Mind your own business' that dad had supplied and sorting out the new hosepipe he had donated. Eventually got everything used up and in either the ground or pots. Phoned M/D to report in and ended up talking about Sis1 and her ongoing workmen/fence problems. Rang Sis1 ansaphone and left a message and offered to do some 'things' now that the main building work had been done. Just lying down to nap and she called back. Not too sure what really needs doing so suggested she come and pick me up and we'll have a look. . . Sis1 arrived bearing a huge bag of clothes that her man friend was getting rid of. Yes please - thank you!!! Blimey - quality stuff! Set off as it began to rain . . . almost killed by a lunatic in a lorry on the wrong side of the road as we drove to Sis1 house! She ended up driving the last mile or so at about twenty miles an hour trying to calm down! Her wall and fence is a botch! If it was mine - I'd knock it down and have it done again - but she's stuck with it I guess. Cowboys! She decided the pillars would be ok just finished off on the poorly done ragged tops with a bit of cement rounded over so we went to Wickes and bought three bags of sand and one of cement with the intention of me popping over to have a go at it, and maybe a few other things like her gate which is falling off the wall (bloody cowboys!!), whenever the weather is next good enough - probably Saturday. . . sat in the garden between showers. Shooed off one of LBs?cats just about to jump into the garden!! Maybe that explains why I haven't seen so many frogs lately! Grrrrrrrr!!!!!! What can ya do! . . . PCd. (5/10)p
31 - Up around 8:30am with a headache and feeling as though I have a slightly upset stomach. . . walked to do shopping in between rain storms and picked up a free magazine advertising local part time college courses for the new season. 'Blues Guitar for beginners' at Hanham High School looked vaguely interesting since it was pretty local and didn't involve the impossible trauma and fear of failure of exams. Hmmm?. . . walked to the doctors to pick up my prozac. The repeat prescription without seeing the doctor WAS ok but MUST see him before the next one. Chemist next door was closed for lunch - damn! Will have to actually pick up and pay for the pills some other time. . . tried to nap but failed even though I felt real tired . . . got up and ate lots of the shopping I had done. BB called to touch base - must be costing her a fortune doing that - me too ringing her back!!!! - happy to talk though . . . Noticed the next door neighbour had parked in front of my gate again!!!! Grrrrr - she's starting to make a habit of blocking my bike in despite obviously knowing it. Bloody mindedly decided to go out on the bike - not because I had anywhere to go but to make the point. Showed my annoyance rather more than I should perhaps but she moved it. Went for a ride and sussed out where Hanham High School was - just in case. Returned home briefly for PS digital camera and then headed for Tog Hill to watch the sunset. I watched - and it set. Went onto reserve on the ride home so stopped for petrol. Ummd and aahd and eventually arbitrarily decided to just put five pounds worth in since I had a loose five pound note in my pocket. Went into the station to pay and as I opened the door I saw a five pound note on the floor!!! Rather taken aback I picked it up, walked to the counter and handed it to the woman who said thank you as she rang up my payment on the till!!! I hesitated - weighed my conscience - turned to leave - turned back - muttered arguing to myself - left! Haven't done anything like that in years! Guess I should really have owned up and handed it in - but - well - on this ocassion I didn't! Five pounds worth of free petrol! Thank you very much. Felt like a criminal as I rode off - and imagined all sorts of things including the possibility it was a set up for some TV show examining how honest the nation is and I would soon be seen doing the dastardly dishonest deed on national TV thanks to the closed circuit security cameras! Ho hum. . . stopped at traffic lights - two guys coming the other way on expensive race replica motorbikes were having some fun and doing burn outs and posing. SO tempted to shout out "Mine only cost me 300 and FREE PETROL!!!!!!" Resisted . . . PCd and added a couple of photos to the site . . . sat in the garden. Needing to be 'alone' still lots! (4/10)pas
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