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<My Diary Archive 2002 My Diary Archive>

1 - Woken early by the workmen noisily building the neighbours new brick wall. Nice job and quick - almost done by mid morning! . . .PCd and at last my website provider was back up and I was able to upload this. Bunch of e-mails from CC enthusiastic about doing the old school reunion website . . . walked . . .spent most of the rest of the day messing with the school site and chopping up the school photo into manageable chunks and trying to rememeber who all those people were, but failing totally! It's almost like I never went there - and yet they all look SO familiar!! Who on earth was I back then - or is it now?!! :o) . . .popped round the postbox and mailed a birthday card to CW . . . fell asleep for a few hours until woken by BB leaving an ansaphone message . . .walked . . . PCd till early. . . tried calling BB back but got her ansaphone . . .TVd briefly till around 3am. (4/10)s
2 - Woken by Sally around 8:30. Real sunny and warm out again . . .drove Sally to the Avon at Hanham for walks and swims and rabbit chases . . . Is it? Can it be? YESSSSSSS! A 'for sale' sign on the nasty noisey neighbour's house. :o) Rang the estate agent out of interest and asked how much it was up for - 114,950 - wow that is quite a bit! Hope it sells real quick. . . called M/D to touch base - no news as such and all ok, except Mum was convinced Sally had left fleas all over their lawn and she'd been bitten as a result when sat out there chatting on Tuesday, because in the abscence of a dog they will leap on and attempt to devour people!! For goodness sake - she sure knows how to make me feel welcome!!!! :o( . . .PCd but ended up with a wicked headache so tried to sleep it off. Slept for only an hour or so and woke with the same head! Sat around popping annadins and forcing myself to drink loads . . . BB called to touch base . . . walked. Stopped off for sausage and chips - the food eased my headache at last . . . TVd till late . . .spent quite a time sat in the garden watching the police helicopter circling noisily overhead with it's night sun pointing towards the school and the dog walking field. Pretty - and oh boy WHAT a neat job! (4/10)aaa
3 - Woken by Sally again! . . . walked . . . spent the whole day (ISPs are getting real bad at giving a useable connection!!) messing with the old school reunion website and registering for free counters and guestbooks and such!!! Latest avoidant obsession! Need me a life! :o) . . .BB and then Sis1 at M/Ds called to touch base. Tried calling CW to say happy birthday but no answer . . . walked and felt rather unwell and light headed! Lack of food I think . . . TVd till late . . . PCd till early. Seem to be having a bit of a hard time with down moods of late. (3/10)s
4 - Up late around 10am . . .walked late . . . determined today to eat more. Cooked up a large dinner of sausage peas and chips and fell asleep straight after . . . woken less than an hour later by the ansaphone - tried to sleep through it but the nasty noisey neighbours music was too loud and aggravating! . . .TVd but absolute rubbish on and ended up sat in the back yard trying to read the small book Sis2 had given me - 'Darkness Visible' by William Styron. Weather had turned out nice and somehow my ears couldn't escape the bass notes from out front opposite so I ended up walking Sally down to the lake at Eastville Park. Sat on a seat to which I tied Sally, and finished the book. Sally was a real pain doing devil dog at every passing dog! Weird how dogs often do that when they are on a lead but wont when off. Find reading these days SO difficult - SO hard to concentrate enough to make sense of a sentence! Thankfully it was only eighty pages, all about his descent into depression - no revelations, all felt like REAL familiar territory - at least the lucky sod knew nothing of schizoid/avoidance thrown in on top!!!! :o\ . . . touched base with BB . . .ate some more and TVd till late . . .attempted to PC but the noise I noticed on the phone line earlier was now SO bad that I couldn't ignore it and the PC on different ISPs was connecting (if at all) at unuseably low speeds. Phoned Telewest to report the fault. The 'help'(!!) line confirmed (of course) that a faulty phone line would affect connect speeds but the guy insisted I disconnect ALL the phones in the house except one to just make sure it wasn't a fault at my end!!! Jeeze - why do they ALWAYS try to blame the person reporting their fault?!!! Had to play ball so demanded they phone me back in five minutes, and set about pulling out all the phone lines in the house around midnight! They didn't phone me back in ten minutes so I called again - got an idiot woman on the line who tried to conviince me a bad phone line wouldn't affect dial up speeds!!!!!!! Kept my cool as best I could and (mostly) refrained from giving her a lecture - eventually she accepted logging a fault report and said they'd send someone round between 2 and 4 tomorrow! Grrrrrrrrrrr! TELEWEST ARE BLOODY USELESS! (4/10)
5 - Up before 9am . . .infuriating trying to log on and update this and eventually had to give up. SO fed up with Telewest's bad customer service I tried phoning 'BT' to get them to send me details of their pricing etc. but they said they don't have anything they send out and they'd have to tell me over the phone!!? Rediculous!!! So - got the woman to start telling me all the intricate pricing structure and right in the middle of it, the line was disconnected!!!! Arrrgghhh!!! I can't be dealing with all this right now! . . . drove Sally to Snuff Mills for walks. Eventually back home to endure the nasty noisey neighbour's music! Feel down and like I'm starting to 'lose it' a bit - again! Tried to sleep it off . . . woken around 2:30pm by Sally barking - cable guy was here. He said he could find nothing wrong but had changed all the connectors - seems to be ok - all ISPs connect back up around 49+Kbps. Thank goodness - I was fully expecting to be forced into digging up my front garden raised bed for them to 'look' at the cable! Still half asleep I accidentally opened the door to the kitchen and let Sally out - ooops - did that cable guy get a scare as he was sat on the floor with his equipment in the living room!!! . . .PCd the day away fantasising about being able to afford to buy a smallholding somewhere and settling down to be full time schizoid! . . . BB called to touch base . . . walked and found 2p . . . TVd/PCd till getting on for 5am! (3/10)s
6 - Woken by Sally before 10am . . .walked/ate/slept all afternoon! . . . BB called to touch base. . . walked and found 2p . . .TVd till early . . .PCd till around 2am adding missing names and a pic, received from CC, to the school reunion website. Weird how I've always got a kick out of 'data collection/error correction'!!? Wish they'd all send in photos - wish I could collect data on who is married/divorced/dead/kids/diseases, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum and start doing some statistical analysis! Fascinating! Guess I get weirder and weirder! :o) . . . couldn't sleep and saw 4am come and go! (4/10)
7 - Woken around 7am after only about 3 hours sleep by Sally jumping up on the bed, walking on me and then sitting on me (heavy dog!)!!!? Slowly got up and went downstairs and found her sat by the back door which seemed unusual. Let her out and uh oh - straight away she showed she had a REAL bad stomach! Poor little woofer - SO glad she didn't do that in the house!!! Excellent dog. Hosed the garden and then walked her over the field and sat around for ages as she carried on being unwell at both ends!! Back home I put her bone in the bin! Think I'd better steer clear of giving her bones and just stick to her chewy things. Poor little woofer . . . did some chores and PCd as Sally, by choice, slept out on the patio almost all day. . .M/D called to touch base . . . grabbed a couple of hours sleep myself in the afternoon but put the alarm on to make sure I don't end up fully nocturnal! . . . BB called to touch base . . . walked - Sally seemed 'ok' although kept on trying to 'go' despite being either empty or constipated! Popped in the local shop for some milk and Sally was treated by the soft hearted shopkeeper to some best slices of turkey which seemed to go down quite nicely . . . TVd till late - interesting program on OCD - called M(/D) to tell them but they were already watching it. . . sat in the garden for a while but LB was out in her garden up the road with guests making a bunch of noise. Can't help it - made me feel pretty shitty (jealous?) listening to people so easily chatting and laughing and being sociable and just living their lives. There'll never be a program on TV about depressed schizoid/avoidants - just too boring - nothing to film - at least OCD is 'entertaining' and gives the waking hours some purpose!!! :o\ (4/10)
8 - Woken after 8am by Sally . . . walked. Sally's stomach still looks rather upset although she seems fine in herself! . . . de-weeded a bit of the lane out back and transplanted a bit of pretty, ground cover type, unknown plant into the front raised bed . . .called the income tax office and asked for some tax refund application forms . . . M/D called to touch base . . . PCd a bit and tried to add a list of teachers names as best I could to the school reunion website. Succeeded in getting a nasty headache and feel a little as though MY stomach isn't quite right too! . . . sat around/TVd/played with Sally . . . eventually felt a little better and sat in the conservatory as the rain fell and started trying to read another book - 'A Very Small Farm' by William Paul Winchester . . . BB called to touch base . . . walked in the rain. Poor old Sally is definitely still not right - she didn't even manage to reach the field before having to do her business, and with suitable self conscious guilt I certainly wasn't able to poop scoop the result!!! Thank god it was pouring with rain! Much cooler than of late - my wet hands were suprisingly painfully cold!! . . . ate, TVd, listened to a little Bach on CD, read, balanced my accounts, PCd till early. Ended the day feeling 'ok' and wanting to grow crops!! (4/10)aaa
9 - Woken late by the bin men. Wow - still raining - lots! . . .miraculously the rain stopped as I set off to walk . . .PCd and got a bee in my bonnet about the school reunion website and my lack of memory and the lack of info and photos and such from back then. Left Sally at home and jumped in the car and drove to Downend library on the offchance there may be some local records that could be useful. Library staff pretty much confirmed that I wasn't gonna find anything useful - maybe at the central library on microfiche!!!Sleepy Sallydog ignoring the thunder and lightning. That sounds like hard work! Drove past the school on the way home and the gates and doors were open so thought what the hell and drove in. A guy at the door receiving deliveries asked what I wanted and it turned out he was the school website webmaster! He had a tale of an interactive CD and publication being produced about the history of the school, which should include some stuff from around 1978. Excellent - although of course it just so happened it wasn't available right now. Oh well - promised I'd e-mail the school website and show him what I was up to and ask him for any relevant stuff when available. . . threatening heavy sky - typical weather AGAIN for the Bristol Balloon Fiesta which is on this weekend!!! . . . ate/TVd/read in the conservatory with Sally asleep at my feet as a thunder storm and heavy rain roared overhead. Felt pretty good - doubly good cause it's good to feel good for a bit . . .fell asleep late afternoon and was woken by Sally around 8pm!! . . . walked. A black cat took it's life in it's hands and ran from one side of the field to a garden at the other - with Sally in hot pursuit! I called and called for her to come back and very obediantly she did - after she'd chased the cat as far as she could without climbing a fence!! :o). . . TVd . . . BB called to touch base . . . TVd/read until after 2am. (5/10)ss
10 - Up late around 8:45 . . .walked . . . M/D/Sis1 called to touch base . . . started looking around trying to sort out some of my junk but bumped into some old school papers and ended up spending the whole day scanning it in and messing around on the PC before adding some of it to the school site! . . . BB called to touch base . . .received from my website what looked like another virus!! Deleted it without reading it and then ran the virus checker after spending ages downloading the latest updates! Couple of infected files on my old hard drive - must be old stuff from way back. No worries. . . walked . . . PCd yet more! . . .cooked and ate around 11pm! . . . Sis2 called to touch base around midnight. Talked for quite a time about this and that, and M/D, and what may happen in the future, and ended up saying goodbye in the early hours with Sis2 in tears!! . . . PCd till gone 2am. (4/10)s
11 - Deliberately woken by Sally around 9am . . .walked . . . PCd doing name corrections and alphasorting the school list . . .BB called to touch base . . . walked . . . TVd/PCd and didn't get to sleep until around 4am! Didn't eat enough today! (4/10)aa
12 - Woken around 9:30 by Sally . . . reminder in the mail from the vet that Sally's booster jabs are due!! Called and managed to fix up an apointment for this evening . . . cool and sunny out so did the long three hour walk down to and along the River Frome and back. Felt ok and recognised how very very lucky I am - why oh why do I slip into forgetting that and get into my depressed moods?!! Big old tree on the far bank has fallen over, right across the river and the footpath!! That needs shifting before river levels rise!! Found 6p. Stopped off in the local chip shop for sausage and chips on the way back. . .TVd trying to stay awake - if I nap I'm bound to miss the vet appointment! . . .walked Sally up to the vet - a short wait in the waiting room and then in. Popped her on the scales and she was exactly 38.0 kg - excellent - she has lost a little - think I may have her feeding right. Muzzled her just to save any worries and lifted her up without a struggle onto the examination table. Vet listened to her breathing and her heart and gave her a once over and confirmed she looked all ok. I asked him to look (for Mum's benefit!) for signs of any fleas or similar but he found nothing. Without any complaint at all from Sally he then administered the Nobivac DHPPI and Lepto booster vaccination injection and we were all done. Sally was SO good and didn't struggle and made no complaint at all - just sat there drippy nosed looking a bit depressed in her muzzle. SUCH a good dog. :o) Paid the 31.10 and walked back home via the small shop for milk and for Sally to be treated by the store owner to slices of best ham. Found 4p . . . touched base with BB/M/D . . . walked . . . cooked up a large bowl of my pasta/onion and cheese sauce concoction and ate loads (some left for tomorrow) with a glass of red wine . . . TVd till early.(5/10)das
13 - Up late. Wow - spotted a van opposite putting a 'Sold' sign on the nasty noisey neighbour's house! Excellent - although - I didn't see anyone looking at the place? Do hope it hasn't been sold to a relative of theirs or someone just as selfishly anti social! Time will tell. .PCd and updated the details on the bottom of Sally's page so I can remember the dates, etc. and keep on top of it all . . .walked late . . .M/D called to touch base and interrogate me!! I'd let slip that Sis2 had admitted she was in bad financial shape and they wanted me to elaborate!!! Ooops. Dad kept on repeating how he lies awake at night worrying about her and her finances!! . . . uncovered and started the bike up and then moved it out of the way into the street - used up the last of the white masonary paint I have lying around and painted the bottom front of the house. I'd become aware that it was noticeable from a distance that the house definitely needs more coats than I've put on, and where I had put on enough it showed and looked patchy. Now at least the bottom half from a relatively straight line at bedroom windowsill level, does look ok. Will have to buy more paint and get serious with the ladder and do the top half some other time. Then there is the back of the house to do which is in a terrible state! . . messed around a little with the front garden raised bed - that weird ground cover stuff (unidentified) I recently discovered growing in the lane, that I've transplanted into the back garden for a different texture, is growing in all the nooks and crannies of the pavement where the council apparantly seem to no longer come along and spray weedkiller. Dug up several bits with an old knife and transplanted them to my raised bed!! Must have looked like a real weird guy! :o) . . . ate real early/TVd . . . BB called to touch base. Wasn't really in the mood to talk and ended up saying some stupid things - projecting thoughts about M/D/Sis2 maybe?!! Felt I had to ring her back later and apologise! . . . walked . . . sat in the garden as frogs went hunting . . . PCd/TVd till early. (<4/10)a
14 - Up around 8am. Turned the TV on straight away to catch the news and see if they had yet found the two missing ten year old schoolgirls that have been missing for ten days - last night's police excavation of a site of 'recently disturbed earth' had surprisingly revealed nothing! What unimaginable hell the parents must be going through - never mind the children! This one is getting to me! . . .called BB to touch base . . . walked . . . balanced my accounts and called the bank asking for a 'tax deducted' statement so I can fill out my refund claim form. . .drove with Sally to Wickes to buy some more paint. Stopped off in the adjacent pet store and bought two more big stainless steel dog bowls the same as I aleady have. Will be so much easier for trips to M/D if I leave a pair in their garage down there rather than have to pack them up and lug them backwards and forwards each visit . . . called M/D to touch base . . .by around 11am I was moving cars and motorbikes and walking the ladder from the back garden into the front and set about painting the top half of the front of the house. Tedious and physically demanding doing acrobatics hanging from the ladder and the bedroom window sill! Lots of noise above from the police helicopter out on a hunt - LB pulled up and popped down to tell me how she'd seen lots of police cars all racing around down by Hanham - sirens audible in the distance. Had our usual oft repeated conversation about how she doesn't like being woken in the early hours by the noise of the helicopter - I always say I like the noise, it gives me an illusion of security, and am happy to be woken if they catch the b******s! Painted and painted and painted!! Summoned from the ladder by M/D calling to confirm they have sent more emergency funds to Sis2 and that they'd made a record as usual on a piece of paper kept with their wills, and that when the times comes for us children to have our inheritance upon both of their passing, that amount should be taken into account - to make things fair! Sheeesh! :o| Also when I next visit they would like me to saw the top of their big fir tree off - "No pressure - come down whenever you please". Decided and told them, not this week . . . Finished painting and set about filling up and weatherproofing all the gaps in the tiles on the bay window roof - my plan is to maybe use the remainder of the redish concrete floor paint I used in the conservatory, to paint over the tiles and make it totally weatherproof. Took MUCH longer than I'd thought it would and as the sun broke through it was real unpleasant, hot, sweaty work - interrupted up the ladder by phone calls from Sis1 and BB touching base but I HAD to carry on before the filler set, so said I'd call them back. Several hundred yards right up the street some lunatic was working in his front yard and was playing his music (nasty foul mouthed records - and the same two or three over and over again!) SO loud that I considered throwing myself off the roof!! What has happened to people! . . Sally was really good all day and sat without complaint untethered in the garden below me, enduring a little paint splatter. She even allowed the next door neighbour and her boy to stroke her just a little as we had a chat! . .Eventually all done, cleared up and called BB back . . . cleaned up and walked. Found a penny. Scenes from Mad Max over the field again with unregistered (stolen?) motorbikes racing around amongst the unusualy large number of dog walkers. Stopped off for sausage and chips on the way home and finally ate for today at around 8:30pm!!! . . . TVd . . . called Sis1 to touch base - she starts her new job on Monday - looks like she'll be visiting M/D on the weekend. . .TVd/sat in the garden/PCd this/early to bed this side of today, exhausted. (4/10)
15 - DIY on the bay window roofUp around 7am! . . .rather pleasant cool sunny morning so after a sit with coffee and cigarettes in the garden decided to drive Sally down to the river Avon at Hanham for walks, swims and rabbit chasing. Sally ended up with a huge number of those sticky seed things all in her fur!! . . . Back home uncovered, unlocked and moved the bike out of the way and brought the ladder back round the front for another go at the bay window roof. 'Just' enough (maybe?) of the concrete paint left in the old tin I've had laying around for years to start painting over the tiles and filler. Spent several hours painting the tiles mostly perched precariously on top of the old wooden step ladder trying desperately not to drip or splash the white walls of the house. Only enough paint (even with some thinners) for one coat but I figure it doesn't look 'too bad' and will definitely help stop the winter storms from penetrating. . tidied up and turned my attention to the back wall of the house - got up on the bathroom roof and did a 'survey of works required'. Ouch! Lots of flakey paint, and cracks, and a dodgey rainwater gutter, and dodgey conservatory roof flashing, and, and, and!!!!! Lots of work! Couldn't face it and with the western sky and the forecast threatening the possibilty of the odd shower, decided to leave it for another day. . . got clean, grabbed a sandwhich, lay down for a bit . . . woke up after loads of dreaming around 5pm in pain!!!! All that precarious ladder perching and twisting to do the painting has pulled a little used muscle in my side and back - real uncomfortable . . . BB called to touch base . . .walked . . .TVd . . . Sis1 popped in briefly to say hi. . . TVd/PCd till early.(5/10)ss
16 - Up just before 9am with a headache to the sounds of the bin men . . . hot and sunny . . .walked . . . touched base with M/D . . . painted the back of the house - all day perched in the sun on the hot bare rails of the ladder layed down across from the bathroom roof to the party wall above the fragile plastic roofed conservatory! Botched up a repair with a few wraps of insulation tape to next doors rainwater downpipe where it had drifted free from the push fit elbow. The builders should have used another wall clamp but I bet they were cutting costs and didn't bother. Two coats of blinding white, wearing a wooly hat 'hair net' and squint eyed sunglasses, and maybe coats more would be good, but finished up around 7pm . . . walked in the cool as the sun set - the scent of late summer thick in the air and the mounds of fresh-mown grass thick under foot, as Sally impressed a couple of tail sniffing dogs with her crown of grass seeds! . . .watered the front garden with the watering can, and just for pleasure the back garden with the hose - again - and then topped up the pond, the end of the hose positioned just high enough to cause a splash and aerate the midday sun stilled water . . . TVd/touched base with M/D real late, and Sis1 had only just arrived?! . . . TVd . . .BB called . . . sat in the garden/PCd till early. Tired. (5/10)as
17 - Up around 8am, woken by Sally gently woofing as mail was delivered. Blimey - mail from Nominet with the websites registration certificate renewal for another two years!! No mention of asking for any money? That's unexpected. . .walked and ended up talking to a slightly strange 89 year old woman walking her dog who stopped to pick up some of the large amounts of litter that cover the field, and put it in the bin near the seat and swings (I occasionaly do the same SO bad is it over there!). Had a long conversation about how the people of the world have gone mad and how standards have fallen, and how 'nice' people live in fear and how nature is nicer, etc, etc, etc!!! Seems SO wrong and sad that the nice gentle people of the world are held hostage by the nasty. . . left Sally at home and drove up to shop. Hot and headachey! . . . CC called to touch base!!!! :o) Told me she'd sent me some more pics for the school site so PCd and added them although awful low quality images - and I'm on a couple of them - apparantly!!!!!!! lolololol Surfed a bit and bumped into the BBC news and headlines that the bodies of the two missing ten year olds have been found and the school caretaker and his partner, a 25 year old woman have been arrested on suspicion!!! Terrible, terrible sad. :o( . . .sat watching the TV news for most of the day hungry for information?! . . .BB called . . . walked and found a penny. Groups of shouting kids on the school building roof again!! Ignored them. . . . M/D called to chat and confirm Sis1 had just left . . .touched base with Sis1 once she was home in case she needed to talk and 'unload' following her M/D visit, but she seemed ok. Apparantly I am in Sis2s bad books for having let slip to M/D she was having money troubles!! Grrrrrr. . . TVd/PCd till early. (<4/10)aa
18 - Up real late with another (the same?) headache!! Uggh! Coffee, cigarettes and annadins for breakfast in the garden. . .walked late . . . pottered in the front garden trying to ignore the music from the nasty noisey neighbour opposite, and relocating some 'Mind Your Own Business' and 'Campanula' from the back garden. . . watched the news and the grand prix on TV. Sis1 called to touch base - seems like her usual 'down' following an M/D visit was a day delayed!! . . . fell asleep all afternoon! Woken by BB reaching the ansaphone . . . walked and watched the orange sunset between the bands of cloud. Watered the front garden. . tried returning BB's call but her line at 'home' has been disconnected!!? Something I said?! lol . . .TVd. One of those sort of days when there just aren't enough channels! . . . BB called . . . PCd till early. (4/10)ass
19 - Up around 9am after not enough sleep - definitely gonna have to nap later! A neighbours cat was sat looking for frogs in my garden! Grrrr. Misty drizzle in the air . . .walked . . . balanced my accounts and completed my tax refund request form and nominet website registration confirmation. Popped round the post box and posted them . . .did some house chores . . . touched base with M/D . . . piddled around a little with the website (added a new page! . . and some old photos) but too tired to get serious. SO much is now in need of updating/changing/ammending to bring it in line with who I am 'today - right this minute', I fear it may be 'misleading', but I just can't face the work/self analysis! Bloody virus sent in a mail to the school site!!! Deleted it real quick - doesn't take em long to start attacking a new e-mail address does it!! . . .lay down to nap but couldn't get to sleep for ages and then woken after less than an hour by Sis1 calling in on her way home from the first day at her new job. She seems to have reservations about it - sounds like a different 'class' of person she is working with, even veiled male chauvanism!! Time will tell. She dropped off an old school photo she'd dug out so added it to the school site . . . walked . . . BB called . . . TVd/PCd till the early hours. Sally seems to have another upset stomach but thankfully unusually used the garden on a couple of occasions! Worrying - bet it is where she scavenges scraps of food when we walk! (4/10)aa
20 - Woken by a junk mail delivery around 8:30am . . .walked . . . packed everything up for the expedition (including the tub of white masonary paint) and was on the road to M/Ds by around 11:15am. Good clear sunny run down for the most part except for a brief shower of rain and arrived in the normal couple of hours. Said hello’s (but mostly to Sally! :o) ) and then Mum popped up to shop so decided to get straight on and start with the jobs that needed doing. Mowed the back and front lawns and then Dad started thinking of more things that needed attention so ended up trimming the hedge out front. Mum returned from shopping and supervised the ‘topping’ of the overgrowing fir tree. Bungeed the ladder to the tree trunk and got wobbly Dad to stand at the bottom to steady it, more to make him feel he was of help and still useful than anything else, as I sawed off the top few feet of the tree. Started cutting up all the branches into small enough pieces to fit in the plastic waste sacks but stopping for a coffee and a chat Mum mentioned that ‘some time in the future’ she’d like to remove the unsightly dieing hebe in the corner of the garden. With Dad’s assistance managed to persuade her that now was as good a time as any so dug it out with the garden fork and added it to the pile for cutting up. The resulting empty space revealed some large rockery type stones that needed positioning!! My worst nightmare! All the other stones throughout the garden had been laboriously positioned by Dad to Mum’s explicit and unbelievably particular direction - round this way, no try it back the other way, an inch this way, no back again, etc, etc, etc! Each small rockery area had taken hours and in some cases days! Not sure how but I managed to keep my cool as I sweated in the sun lifting up the heavy stones and trying them this way and that, making like I was long suffering Dad. Somehow Mum seemed to be a little less particular than she has been and kinda went along with my suggestion that a low retaining rockery wall would allow for an almost invisible compost like area behind, and in remarkably short time she was happy with the position and sequence of the stones. Kept the ball rolling and went along with the suggestion that the overgrown Baby’s Tears that was covering some paving slabs in the same corner should be removed to reclaim another corner of the garden to sit in. Dug everything in and used some of the Bays Tears around the rocks to make it look immediately established and more acceptable to Mum’s critical eye. Seemed to work quite well and she even went along with the suggestion that all the newly mown grass cuttings should be dumped in there to rot down. Hosed everything down, tidied up and sat until tea time laboriously cutting the waste up into manageable sized chunks and putting it into large plastic waste sacks. All stopped to watch the news flash telling of the man accused of the murder of the two ten year olds having gone completely crazy and being sent to Brampton secure unit and his girlfriend being charged with perverting the course of justice and being sent to Holloway! Love to be able to see that guys medical notes!!
Finished cutting up and bagging all the debris after tea. Walked Sally down to Battery Gardens and sat on a couple of different seats for a while with cigarettes watching the clear sky sunset. Sally’s stomach was definitely not right and she poohd and poohd and poohd even when she had nothing to pooh with!!! . . . Fed Sally and left her in the garage and joined M/D to sit and watch some TV. They ended up both falling asleep with Dads snoring being my cue to suggest we all turn in. Said my goodnights and headed off to sit with Sally in the cool dark of the garden with a cigarette beneath the stars before both bedding down in the garage around midnight. (_/10)
21 - Woken around 5:30am by Sally sticking her nose into my face. Tried to push her off and ignore her and go back to sleep but her wagging tail banging against the plastic bag covered oil filled radiator stored near where I lay made too much noise and I got up. Let her out in the garden and immediately she rushed out and squirted a pooh!!! Oh dear! Poor little woofer had the ‘runs’ REAL bad. Dashed for the hose and tried to wash away the evidence before Mum saw it and it ‘ruined everything’! Coffee and cigarettes in the garden and was out walking Sally by around 6:30am. Out walking for an hour and a half, the long walk down ‘Pooh Lane, through the woods with squirrels calling from the trees like an irate Donald duck! Down to the beach at Churston Cove for some stick throwing in the blinding low sun reflecting off the waves. Climbing the steep rocky path up the cliffs towards the Fishcombe holiday camp I startled a huge buzzard which flew off lumbering through the trees with it’s freshly killed prey heavy in its talons. Spectacular. Took the high path back through the woods, across the open space and back down Pooh lane for a change. ALL the way ever few hundred yards Sally was trying to poop!!! Definitely VERY unwell! Back at M/Ds everything was still quiet so helped myself to a coffee and then set about painting a bit of the inside of the garage with the white masonry paint. Hot hard work and eventually ran out of paint but managed to do a bit of wall and one section of the roof - will look really MUCH better when it is all done. . . stopped for coffee with M/D in the garden as Sally continued to have problems! Mum handled it unexpectedly well and didn’t complain too much as I had to hose bits of the garden down again! Shit happens - sometimes a lot! . . . loaded the car up with the bags of garden waste and left Sally with M/D in the garden and drove to the council rubbish tip. Turned out to be a nightmare journey almost as soon as I reached the main road. Appeared to be no reason for it other than sheer weight of traffic but the four miles each way was done in the blazing hot sun at an average speed of only eight miles an hour!!! REAL unpleasant and put me in a frustrated short tempered mood . . . back at M/Ds as soon as I walked through the door all hell was let loose as I was told Sally had pooped again in the garden and just then to mums absolute horror she was starting to eat it! Rushed out and stopped her and was then told that I’d better have a look because they thought they’d seen worms!! Grabbed the hosepipe and went to sort it out and found what it was that M/D thought was a worm - a poor little caterpillar had been innocently making its way across the garden when all of a sudden from a great height, shit happened! :o) Poor Sally dog - poor caterpillar! Hosed. . . more sitting in the sun chatting with coffee, but increasingly worried about Sally. Grabbed a bite to eat then with all the ‘jobs’ done, bathed and got clean. . . with his short term memory failing Dad repeatedly says the same things over and over again and especially if something is worrying him. More to shut him up than anything else I called the bank and chased up Sis2s missing cheque book. Inevitably the person on the phone started getting funny and obstructive when they realised I wasn’t the account holder but eventually they agreed to honor a request for ‘another’ cheque book, even though it seemed pretty clear the original hadn’t ever been issued and a duplicate paying in book had been sent instead. Should arrive within two weeks. . . sat in the sun and chatted for hours . . . towards six o’clock left Sally in the garage and all drove to Brixham for food. Infuriating replay of childhood memories as M/D directed me to drive all over the place looking for somewhere free to park. Eventually let them have their way and parked up on a real steep hill where they used to often park, quite a considerable walk away from the restaurant, much to my annoyance. Slowly walked with Mum guiding Dad arm in arm all the way down to the newly discovered reasonably priced restaurant and all went in for a meal. Ate loads and most of dads cheesecake when he couldn’t stomach any more. Most unlike the Dad of old. Some embarrassment when Dad kept on ‘shouting’ that Mum should keep an eye on her handbag lest someone sitting nearby should steal it!! Eventually all set off back up the mountainous hills towards the car, sherpa Mum guiding wobbly Dad who insisted despite appearances that he was ok and that he needed the exercise. Seemed pretty obvious that he was finding it hard going so I went ahead and got the car and drove down to meet them. . . dropped M/D off at Battery Gardens and drove back to drop off the car, get Sally, and walk back down to join them. Poor old Sally was still pooping all over the place even though she was obviously empty! All sat for a while on the favorite seat enjoying the views and watching all the rabbits. M/D called Sis1 on the mobile and we all touched base. . .impressive pink sunset as we all slowly walked back to M/Ds. Fed Sally a bowl of complete dry food without the normal tin of meat in the hope that the plain dry diet may help her stomach. She wasn’t impressed. . .Joined M/D and sat watching some TV but we were all so VERY tired and ended up heading for bed real early around 10pm! . . woken by Sally around 1:30am (what a good dog) who needed to go into the garden to poop - but she was almost empty. Really worrying!!!!(_/10)a
22 - Up around 7am after more or less a full nights sleep. Quickly hosed the garden from last night. Walked Sally the long walk down pooh lane around the top path and back again by around 9am. Quick sit to recover with a coffee in the garden before leaving Sally in the cool of the garage while I drove down into Brixham on my own. Didn’t fancy a repeat of driving all over town looking for a parking spot and then having to do mountaineering so paid the 50p for one hour and parked up in the multi storey car park right in the centre of town. Walked down to the charity shop we’d passed last night and checked out the combat boots that I’d spotted in the window but sadly they were too small. Walked to the end of the high street and gingerly popped into the Co-Op funeral directors as I’d planned to. Grabbed a few leaflets and then had a brief conversation with the guy that was there who gave me a pricing pack to take away and look at. He showed me into a small room off to one side that had a small display of coffins and pointed out the most economical one that most people settled for with a cremation. Seemed ‘nice’ enough!?! He gave me a ‘bit’ of an insight into what happens when the time comes although it rather seems as though most nitty gritty details are worked out at the time face to face with the funeral directors. Still MANY questions but it settled my mind somewhat about what may be required of me in the future. Left clutching my A4 envelope of leaflets and headed for a couple more charity shops on the way back to the car. Found a nice as-new T shirt (black of course) for 1.20 and then a lightweight summer double duvet for only 5. Just had to have it. Drove back to M/Ds to sit in the garden with more cigarettes and coffee. Dad kept on bringing up (over and over!) the small hole in the back step that was worrying him so searched in the garage for something to fill it with although couldn’t find any filler or cement despite Dads insistence there was some in there somewhere. Found a bit of old tile adhesive in a pot so mixed some up and filled the hole as best I could although it seemed the adhesive had ‘gone off’ and was really not much good at all. Should keep the rain out for a bit - I promised to bring some filler down with me next time I come. . . sat and sat and sat in the garden in the sun as Mum busied herself indoors for hours doing god knows what - like making the bed which seems to always take at least an hour - and washing up the coffee cups. I counted fifteen - dunno why we can’t just swill out the one we are using and reuse it rather than have to have a clean one every time!?! Mums ‘ways’ are SO inexplicably labor intensive but she wont have anything done any other way and WILL NOT be helped with anything. “Just stay out - I have my own way of doing things!” Arrrrggggghhhhh!!! . . . over and over again Dad kept on about all his fishing equipment stored in the garage that I am charged with getting rid of. Really didn’t want to have to start thinking about it all but started to get a bit bored so ended up dragging it all out onto the lawn to have a look at it just to humor him. Blimey - at least half a dozen different carbon fiber rods and umbrellas and reels and this and that! Quite a collection. If I didn’t have Sally maybe I would be tempted to go out and use it some time but fishing line, hooks, bait and a big bored bouncy German shepherd doesn’t seem like a wise mix. At some point I’ll have to get it all out again and list what is there and then get a feeling what it may all be worth from newspaper for sale adverts. Some other time. Put it all away and then sat there for another hour or so with Dad repeating every five minutes or so “There is all that fishing equipment to get rid of. Perhaps your friend will want it - just give it away.” Thankfully we were eventually joined by Mum and the conversation took a different course. Eventually read through all the funeral leaflets and ultimately had the awkward conversation with M/D although both seemed accepting that we had to discuss it. Got through it with humor of course (like we do) - suggestions like Dad could be put in the new rockery in the corner of the garden, or wrapped in my new duvet in the casket rather than worry about what clothes he should be wearing, etc, etc! Dad initially said he couldn’t care less and was happy for a cheap and simple arrangement but after looking at the different pricing plans and options I began to re-think and was soon convinced that the most expensive of the three options (less than 2000 and only a few hundred pounds between all three) was likely to be most suitable. The cheapest option did NOT include cars for the family to follow the hearse, did not include the option to view the deceased in a chapel of rest and did not afford any family input into the timing of the funeral! Too cheap. Not a time to worry about a few hundred pounds. Didn’t want to labor the conversation or force anything (although M/D seemed quite willing to discuss and think about it all) so I said that in the event that nothing was fixed before the time, IF I was going to have to suddenly up and deal with all the arrangements, in my own mind I was content that I would be moving in the direction of the more expensive plan that included two following cars for family (extended family? Who will want to be there??!!) , the deceased lying in a chapel of rest for goodbyes and family input into the date and time of the funeral amongst other things. Left it at that.
Eventually all agreed that we couldn’t be bothered to do anything so just sat around until Mum headed off to prepare pizza slices for tea. Ate and then walked Sally all the way down through pooh lane around 7pm. Thank goodness she seemed a little better. Thank goodness. Oh what beautiful woods those are. Sat for ages amongst the quiet calm green smoking a cigarette or two - even Sally has got used to my favorite sitting place on a fallen tree and running on ahead will lie down on her favorite bit of mud next to it and wait there for me. Eventually walked down onto the beach carrying a long stick for Sally to swim after. A whole family was all congregated there in canoes so had to head for one end of the beach to play. Figured the stick would make two so tried to break it over my knee but failed! Felt silly and self conscious with the people around, unable to break the stick. Wimp! Tried again by holding my leg up and pulling on the stick either side of my shin and - uh oh! Succeeded in scraping the stick down my shin and hurting my leg before finally snapping it. Climbing up the cliff path after Sally had swum I stopped to examine the damage - taken the skin off my shin all the way down and blood was soaking into my trouser leg! Ooops. Owww! Climbed up to sit on the seat in Battery Gardens and watch the sun go down with another cigarette as Sally, tied to the seat to prevent a scene and trembling with excitement, stared intently at all the cheeky rabbits gnawing the close cropped grass only feet away. . . back to M/Ds around 8:30pm to sit with M/D in the cool of the garden as darkness fell. Sneaked into the garage and brought out one of the candles I’d seen stored in there and sat in the dark and candle light chatting quietly as Mum treated sally to some corned beef now she appeared to be feeling a bit better. Pleasant. Sadly it soon came to an end. The next door neighbors started having a ‘domestic’ in their house with lots of shouting and frequent venomous use of the ‘F’ word. My reaction to such things is to become very quiet, invisible and listen in. Sadly Dad isn’t like that. It was the F word that set him off. He got really upset and annoyed and started saying in a VERY loud voice that it was disGUSTing that he should be subjected to such language and it was illegal, etc, etc!! He was saying such things SO loud it was half intentioned that they should maybe hear his protestations!!! For both me and Mum this was agonizing and we both quickly suggested we should just go in away from it and watch some TV! Ushered Dad in as fast as we could with him still saying very loud ‘It’s DISGUSTING!’. . . TVd but agony watching Dad playing with the video and TV remote controls and changing channels in the middle of watching some program or other, or now always making a mess of attempting to record something and missing what they wanted to watch. Eventually all to bed before midnight.(_/10)
23 - Up around 6:45am. Coffee and cigs in the garden and then walked Sally around 7:30 down to Battery Gardens for sitting and cigarettes in the morning sun. Thankfully sally seems to be on the mend. . back to M/Ds, sat around for ages, bathed, and checked the car oil level. M/D made a special effort and we managed to actually get out of the house by 10:30am (normal getting up and getting out seems to take until early afternoon these days!!?) leaving Sally in the garage. Paid to park in the multi storey and walked the short distance to the restaurant and all had a large breakfast. M/D left bits of this and bits of that and I ended up eating it all and had the equivalent of two breakfasts!! Sneaked a sausage into my pocket wrapped in a serviette for Sally. A short wait in town with Dad sat on a seat as Mum rushed off to shop before driving back to M/Ds to let Sally sniff out her sausage from my pocket. More sitting in the garden with coffee and chatting before suddenly remembering I hadn’t gotten round to looking at their smoke alarm which had apparently stopped working and was one of the (small stuff silly) things preying on their mind. Managed to take it apart and as I’d suspected it had corroded a little inside with the ever damp atmosphere from daily baths and Mums clean everything with boiling water practices. Managed to clean up the corrosion with some Silvo and lo and behold it was working fine again - tested it and tested it and even tested it with a cigarette just to make absolutely sure it was reliable. It was. . Dad has slipped into some strange ‘rituals’ during the day. Over and over again, every time he passes it he will press the button on the speakerphone to hear the dial tone to see whether or not he has missed some ansaphone message or other. Made jokes that no doubt that will now be expanded to include a test of the smoke alarm!!! Do hope not for Mums sake - some of is ways are getting to be SO irritating it is no wonder she has her ‘moments’ with him. . . eventually loaded everything up including the small carrier bag ‘food parcel’ from Mum and a pocketful of cash to cover my petrol and to buy some more paint to do the garage and because they wanted to buy me the duvet, etc, etc!! They WILL not take no for an answer - these visits are costing them a fortune what with all the eating out and petrol and all!! Makes me feel guilty. . . Hugs I love yous and goodbyes around 1:45, early enough to get home before the bank holiday traffic made the roads an impossible nightmare. Stopped for petrol and then a few miles down the road it absolutely poured with rain! Quickly called M/D on the mobile and told them to get the cushioned garden chairs under cover before the storm reached them. They managed to before the thunder and rain arrived. Rain cleared and the trip ended up REAL hot and sunny. Lots of traffic on the road but made good speed until all of a sudden all three lanes of the motorway scarily turned into a car park! Sat in the sweltering heat thinking ‘there but for the grace of god . . ’ as fire engines, police and ambulances all rushed down the hard shoulder heading for the accident that had happened moments before just ahead. Got REALLY worried about Sally in the terrible heat in the sun in the back of the car and stationary in the fast lane, leapt out and rushed round and opened up the hatchback so I could break out the bottle of water I always carry for her and filled her bowl up in the back of the car!! She thought she was getting out and it was a bit of a panicked wrestling match stopping her!! Carefully avoided eye contact with all the car drivers around me! Nightmare. At long last we were filtered in the slow lane past the three car fast lane pile up and off we went at speed again. Eventually home after around 3 hours, exhausted! Called M/D to confirm safe arrival, did some chores. . . Checked in on the PC for mail and such. I’m SO schizoid/avoidant these days it shouldn’t have come as a surprise I had almost none. What there was seemed to suggest that there were nasty virus goings on!! Suspect it is somehow connected with the School website?!!! Dunno how – I am clean this end – checked with the updated virus checker again just to make sure but yes I AM absolutely clean. When I examined the mail with the virus I got the other day it gave me the impression that somehow whoever had sent it had somehow managed to cover their tracks and make it look as though the mail had come from an address that it actually hadn’t. I dunno enough about this sort of thing to trace it back properly and be sure. F****** ******** who do this sort of thing! Sick and tired of nasty b******* making the world such a rotten place for no reason. Bloody computers – who needs em! Turned the PC off in disgust. . . fell asleep for several hours. . . .walked. Sally seems to be better and just as happy to walk around the litter filled field as anywhere else. Stopped off for milk but the 'other' guy was behind the counter so Sally got no tit bits . . . watered the gardens front and back . . . sat around wanting to be alone and quiet - and yet not!? Strangely started feeling pretty down about nothing in particular. . . LB called to touch base and tell of how one of her new kittens has something unpleasant and rare growing in it's ear that'll cost her a fortune to have removed and that may have to be done by specialists at the Langford veterinary school!!! . . . TVd till early but absolutely nothing worth watching on ANY of the channels yet again.(3/10)as
24 - Up before 9am. . . walked . . . sat in the blazing hot garden . . . fell asleep for the largest part of the day . . . BB called . . . walked keeping an eye on the impressive sky with thunder rolling in the distance, but it came to nothing. Winter nights are drawing in - dark by nine. . . PS popped round for chats about his three week US holiday bearing some duty free tobacco for me to buy (excellent) and an ash tray and a lighter from Clearwater beach in the shape of a dolphin as mementos.(!!!!? Not so excellent – it’s got a face and fins!! :o| ) . . . couldn't sleep and ended up TVing till nearly 4am!! Just can't bring myself to touch the PC at all right now! Still in need of recharging my 'schizoid' batteries?!!! (4/10)as
25 - Woken by Sally climbing onto the bed and laying down next to me licking the pillow! . . . walked. A large panel on a garden shed that backs onto the field had been removed during the night and the contents of the shed were open to anyone who wanted to look! Walked around to knock on the door and tell the owner but a For Sale sign was up, the place looked run down and empty and a neighbor confirmed there was no one there so gave up. . . pottered in the garden relocating a little campanula and Baby’s Tears from the back to the front raised bed and robbing a little top up earth from the lane. Next door neighbour popped out and handed me a bottle of wine as a thankyou for botching up her disconnected rainwater downpipe! Embarassing - it isn't as though I actually 'fixed' it!! . . Sat in the cool garden under a solid grey sky with the laptop plugged into an extension lead typing this. M/D called to touch base and delightedly excitedly tell that Sis2 had finally gotten round to hiring a van and emptying her storage unit thereby saving herself the monthly fee. Excellent good sense at last. . . Typed some more - bloody chore! Ended up giving up, eating and falling asleep instead! . . . Sis1 called to touch base and tell of her intending to redecorate her living room. Figured I’d better help if I could and agreed to pop round tomorrow to do a recce. . . . called Sis2 to touch base. All ok - she was sat watching humming birds and some bird of prey fish in the nearby lake as we talked! . . . started cooking tea and saw Sally out in the garden pooping - lots!! Uh oh - she still isn’t right!!!!! Worry, worry, worry! Maybe it was the licking of my pillow that did it?!!!! lol. . . cleared up the yard and for the first time in years pulled both of the stuck in place drain covers up for hosing down. Some deterioration of the cement surface down the manholes since I made them but not too bad at all thank goodness. . .Sally was sick in the conservatory!!! Is she somehow 're-infecting' on something in the house or garden!? She still seems in fine happy mood despite her troubles - mustn't worry 'too' much till she acts ill :o( . . . walked. Preoccupied Sally with her food (which she woofed down like normal) and snuck out and emptied her toy container of ALL her old bones and bagged them and put them in the bin! . . . PCd this on the laptop in front the TV. . . LB called . . . . BB called . . . gave up typing and TVd till bed around midnight. STILL in a ‘don’t want to touch the PC’ , 'everyone leave me alone' mood, darkened further by Sally worries.(4/10)a
26 - There be squirrellsUp early around 7:30am . . . walked. Promise of another hot sunny day but actually quite cold so early. Most unusually spotted a squirrel running in the open right across the field towards one of the only trees over there. Was so surprised to see it that I foolishly exclaimed out loud ‘It’s a squirrel!’ Sally took off like a rocket and ignoring my shouts to ‘COME!’ chased it right up to the tree only JUST not actually catching it!! Real close - real excited tree climbing dog! . . . PCd this on the laptop in front the TV . . . Sis1 called to remind me I was gonna go over - "Not now, not now - I GOTTA type my journal!!" She suggested since Dad looked like he was gonna be alive for his birthday she could invite M/D up for a buffet (in her by then newly decorated living room! Optimist!) like we'd done before. I expressed grave reservations - the last time we did that I resolved I'd never 'make' them do such a trip again because it seemed to exhaust them SO much! We'll see. . . typed until I really couldn't any more then took Sally and drove over to Sis1 around midday. . . Chaos! Seems like she is decorating every room in the house at once! Helped tear up her dining room carpet and poked and prodded at the floor boards trying to figure out if her plan to stain and polish them was feasible given the state of them. Sally was allowed in to join in since it was in such a mess anyway. :o) If it was me – NO WAY!! The amount of work involved is huge! Found a loose board or two and managed to have a look under the floor. Wow – lots of space. I’d have to try and use that if I lived there for storage or - something? Eventually figured her plan ‘may’ be possible IF she can get hold of some old matching floor boards from somewhere. Until that is established there is nothing to be done in my opinion. Sally seemed unsettled and sure enough pooped when I took her out!! Stopped for a bit to eat (chicken and pasta in a sauce) in the garden and then helped move furniture from this room to that and then ended up having to drill lots of cable access holes in various units for her TV, Video and stereo which all had to be relocated. Really dunno why she is bothering (other than her needing to keep busy to avoid thinking about her ‘single again’ status, etc.) cause it all looked fine to me before she started!! Gonna cost a bit too even if I DO volunteer some services! Not sure I’m up to all that work!!! I don’t do the work necessary on my own place never mind someone else’s, and then there is M/Ds jobs to do and, and - !! Oh dear - maybe I should think about buying and moving to that croft I saw going cheap on some island up off the coast of Scotland! Wonderfully avoidant - but COLD! . . . got home around 7:15pm! Sat in the garden for five minutes feeling really tired before forcing myself to walk. Found a penny . . .Sis1s chicken and pasta gave me an upset stomach! . . . TVd before bed around midnight. (4/10)a
27 - Woken by Sally around 4am requiring a visit to the garden again!!!!!!! Brilliant how she tells me like that but I GOTTA get on top of this – really worrying. Couple more things to try before I’m gonna HAVE to go seek vetinary () help. Back to sleep and up again around 8:30am. Checked in on the PC and yet again two more, virusy worm laden e-mails! Very annoying. . .rang the vet asking if the booster jabs Sally had could have resulted in an adverse reaction - the answer was emphatically no. Asked for advice and they suggested starving her for 24 hours and then reintroducing her gently to meals of fish or chicken. That'll be the last thing to try before I give up and seek help! . . . drove Sally (who still seems happy enough in herself) to the River Avon at Hanham for walks and swims. Drove to the pet store on the way back for a couple of small bags of different expensive complete dog food to try over the next day or so, in case it is a bad-bag-of-food thing. . . did chores . . . PCd and dabbled with trying to get to the bottom of who the mindless jerk is who is sending me e-mail worms. I suppose it ‘could’ be an innocent who is unknowingly infected and passing it on although it makes me feel as though somehow I’ve offended someone and I’m being singled out (by the world!) for an assault! :o( As far as I can tell looking at the properties of the e-mails - the commonality on each seems to be "from ([]) by rwcrmhc51.attbi.com" and "tdmdgreen@attbi.com"! Did my best to figure it out but I guess that is as far as I can go! Fired off a couple of e-mails to attbi and the companies that the mails were 'allegedly' from, even though they weren't, just in case they care about their company reputation and want to pursue it. . .fell asleep for the rest of the afternoon! . . . walked. Pulled out part of a filling on my chewing gum!! Fed Sally the new 'Pal' complete dry food. . .BB called . . . Sis1 called saying how all the stores she'd tried didn't do floorboards of the type she needs! Uh oh. . . Uncle/Auntie TJ called to ask about Dad and such . . . touched base with M/D. . . TVd till late and then ended up surfing until gone 3am looking at rural property for sale. Weird how buying your own woodland is relatively cheap - shame you can't build or live on it!! . . .spent periods in the garden throughout the early hours in case Sally needed to explode again but all seemed 'watertight' for the time being! (3/10)
28 - Up around 8:30am after not enough sleep . . . walked and had the pleasure of poop scooping properly for the first time in a while. Could it be the food? Time will tell - she's been ok in the mornings before, only to have problems later in the day. Stopped by the 'Jewson' store that is next to the field on the way back and found they sell some timber that may well do for Sis1s project. Found 10p. . .tried to sleep but couldn't and ended up leaving Sally at home and driving just round the corner to the Jewson store intending to try and get a short piece of the wood so I can try it out at Sis1s next to her existing floorboards. Dunno why I am SO sure it is 'likely' to be the wrong size? Must have had the same problem once before somewhere but I don't know where - I just 'know' the problem somehow! That is very much an example of how my 'memory' works!!! I'm always somehow aware that there could be this problem with that, or that problem with this at a moments notice - on edge! . . grabbed a short three foot piece from the woodyard and 'suggested' I could have it for nothing at the trade counter, and luckily the supervisor nodded so out I went with my free bit of tester floorboard. Three sticks at oncePicked up Sally and the keys and drove to Sis1s. No one parked in the drive so assumed they were all out so knocked and let myself in with Sally and floor board. Both me and the lodger got the shock of our lives when the dark looming figure came down the stairs to be confronted by barking Sallydog!! :o) Bloody floorboards aren't the same size as the wood, so that isn't gonna work. About 2mm difference in depth and a maybe more than a couple in width. I TOLD Sis1 to measure 'PRECISELY'!! I knew it, I knew it! Imperial and metric standards maybe? Grrrrrrr. Called out goodbye to the lodger just so he knew I was gone, and let myself out. Figured I may as well make use of the opportunity so parked up down the road and walked Sally along the path by the river. Really happy bouncy and running about after a nice poop. Excellent. Could it be it IS a bad bag of cheap and nasty food causing the problem? Plenty of stick throwing and swimming - she even got all clever and managed to retrieve three at once!!! :o) . . . back home for a bite to eat and an attempt at sleeping, but just couldn't even though I felt SO tired!? Sat about and eventually tried cleaning a little of the mud covered-dog sacrificed carpet in the conservatory. Unpleasant and not very successful. Muddy AND wet carpet now!. . . PCd this . . .eventually fell asleep for a few hours of dream laden sleep before being woken by the ansaphone followed by the mobile. Must have slept in a funny position - aggravated my always stiff neck and woke not able to move my head much without plenty of pain!? . . . BB called . . . returned Sis1s calls. She sounded pretty down! . . . walked . . . TVd/PCd till early. (4/10)s
29 - Up pretty late with an awful headache and SUCH a bad neck I can't even turn my head as far as each shoulder!!!? . . . walked . . . did a bunch of washing chores . . .emptied the big storage container of cheap and suspect complete dog food into the bin! Just not worth feeding it to her even though it 'may' be just coincedence. Ended up popping annadins and PCing for hours looking at French property sites and dreaming! Wow - is land and derelict properties (in need of a complete rebuild) in France cheaper than here! Still possible to buy some interesting places for less than 10,000. . . briefly touched base with Sis1 who'd sent me a text message on the mobile - apparantly some store or other will cut timber to required sizes. Still have my doubts but if she can get it done all well and good . . . BB called . . . walked and the old woman down the road knocked on her window and beckoned me over as I passed? She emerged with a pack of quality dog food - some sort of free sample of new Pedigree Chum sachets she had come by that she thought Sally would like. Chatted for a bit and then hid the food in her bin for picking up on the way back, to save me having to go straight back home with it. Walked and then picked the food up from it's hiding place and dropped it off at home. Carried on walking to the kebab shop for a kebab and chips - seems like their prices have gone up yet again!! 4.40 for a kebab and chips!!!! Wont be doing that too often any more! . . . PS popped round for chats till early. . . sat in the garden in the early hours. Sad for the big moth that had been singed on my garden light but real amusing watching excited Sally chase it around the patio until with a gentle crunch under her nose it moved no more! Real cool and still and pleasant until the wailing of police sirens in the distance! Listened for ages and could here quite plainly the police chasing some fleeing car or other all over the area! Terrible screeching of tyres as it roared around the streets on the edge of control! Not safe to be out and about! Made me SO up tight sat waiting for the almost inevitable smash that would surely end the chase, but it was covering a lot of ground real quick and soon disappeared across town into the distance. Five minutes later the police helicopter roared overhead joining in the pursuit! Hope they caught the b******* after they'd been injured! (4/10)aas
30 - Up pretty late with my neck/headache again. Annadin, coffee and cigarettes for breakfast . . . walked . . . local news reports about how some ram raiders in a stolen car, pursued by police in the early hours had driven through a red traffic light and collided with a taxi and killed the innocent taxi driver! Made me feel sick and pretty down most of the day. . . spent some time trying to de-hair a few of the carpets in the house with the vacuum - hard work! . . . spent a large part of the day with my head in the gas oven!!!! NOT a good way to end your days! Had a look to see if I could figure out why it was intermitantly not working - hasn't been used since a year last Christmas! Found the temperature sensor which I think is the problem and did nothing more than waggle it a little and then tried firing it up - blow me if it didn't seem to be working ok! Decided to give it a proper test so loaded it up with all the cocktail size sausage rolls I have in the freezer that LB donated one drunken visit - tried doing them in the microwave but absolutely awful, greasy and white! Half an hour later I had succeeded in baking the sausage rolls without problem! Excellent. Of late I've been really missing the ability to bake stuff (really pining for a roast chicken) - could eat so much better and cheaper if I could. . . spent hours dismantling the oven door and cleaning and degreasing it all before rehanging it and improving the way it shuts. More than twenty years of black grease all over the place!! Ewwwww!! . . .walked Sally early and headed for the lake at Eastville Park to try and shake my despairing mood. Misjudged the weather and for the first time in a while it rained - caught out without a coat! Walked the hour back in the drizzle and got a bit wet! . . . BB called . . . ate sausage rolls and TVd till early. (<4/10)as
31 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. Sunny day again . . . walked. Sis1 called on the mobile talking about starting work on her floor! She is SO impatient - thought about it more and more and called her back and said she would be crazy, crazy, CRAZY to do any of it until she has actually managed to get some floorboards. . . getting the bin in after emptying, asked the next door neighbour if I could sometime weed their garden cause I wanted the weird ground cover weed that was growing all over it. She had no objection - think I'll do it some time when they are out - less embarassing. :o) . . .PCd this . . . very tempted to go shopping for things to test the oven with but SO hate shopping on a weekend when the crowds are out. . .sat around then finally bit the bullet and left Sally at home and drove up locally to shop. Went a bit crazy and spent quite a bit – not helped by an impulse buy (unlike me!?) of two twin CDs!! Jimi Hendrix and John Lee Hooker compilations – kind of a must-have. Back home and decided to be all decadent so poured myself a glass of red wine for sipping while the large deep pan chicken, mushroom and garlic pizza I’d bought, tested the oven. . . All dressed up for a Saturday night at homeReturned M/Ds ansaphone call which sounded a bit worrying. Turns out Sis2s house is flooded!!?? Something to do with being the last in the rank and having an inch of rain water all over the ground floor!!! Sounds like the builders have some questions to answer!! Bad news. Just bad luck!! If I was Sis2 – believing in hocus pocus and all like she seems to, I’d take the hint – her ‘American dream’ ain’t meant to be - I’d sell up and return to salvage a life here in England. Dad is actively now suggesting she do so – he seemed pretty upset – trying to read through all the paperwork he has that Sis2 had sent when she bought the place, trying to find responsibility clauses and such. He said he feels powerless what with his eyesight and all, and him and Mum have enough to worry about right now. All a bit upsetting. . . ate the pizza – all of it in one go!!!. . .called BB . . . fell asleep for four hours! . . . ate loads more . . . walked and found 2p. The dog walking lady I’ve spoken and chatted to a few times, and who I made the mistake of asking where she bought the bandanna her dog was wearing, said she’d got a present for Sally, and produced a purple bandanna for her!! Blimey – that was good of her! I guess Sally will HAVE to wear it every time we go over the field now like it or not! . . . today I am well aware of how lucky I am. Sally is a good teacher - to have a full stomach, to be warm, to walk about a bit, to sleep - what more does one need - well - maybe some smokes and a Jimi Hendrix and John Lee Hooker CD compilation. :o) . . . LB popped down till early for a drink and chats and with a cold chicken she didn't want and a red wine bottle that was soon emptied!! Looks like I'll be feeding her cats next weekend then. (5/10)as