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August
1 - Woken by Sally around 6:45am. .I'm still not feeling so good! As much as anything else, I suspect I'm suffering a bit from an extended period of sleep deprivation! Haven't had a proper long nights sleep in as long as I can remember! . . walked . . .PCd/TVd/sat around feeling fragile. Not only me!! Poor Sally has an AWFUL stomach still/again/still, although as usual, seems ok in herself!!? It's really starting to worry me now. There was some evidence of a slight improvement with her when we went down to Mums, but as soon as we get back, she's all 'upset' again - and now worse than ever!! She seemed to be needing to use the garden, pretty much once an hour!!!! Much hosing down of the garden throughout the day, although I must say, that mind your own business and a good hosing down, seems to cope with the pressure pretty well. What the hell is causing it? I've repeatedly washed out her bowls, and hassle her constantly when walking around the field, to stop her eating anything. :o(. . Mum called to say she'd transferred over the money she's giving us all, and for me to check my account and let her know when it credits . . . TVd and ate a large plate of Brussels pate sandwiches with past-its-best lettuce, and two bags of crisps . . . fitfully napped, in between being woken by Sally needing the garden. At one point she failed to inform me in her normal way, and I heard a strange loud clattering coming from downstairs!!? Turned out she was actually jumping up at the conservatory, sliding glass door!!!! She's never done that before!! Dodgy! Eventually gave up and just left the patio doors open and went back to nap. . . . back up still feeling unwell around 6:15pm . . . walked . . . fed Sally just a bowl of dry complete food with a cup of instant gravy, in the hope that would maybe be a bit easier on her stomach . . . TVd . . . BB called . . .felt just a little better as the evening wore on, and eventually cooked up and ate a defrosted garlic butter chicken kiev, and a plate of chips followed by biscuits, chocolate and some ice cream . . . TVd until bed a little after 1am. In desperation, I left the back door open while I attempted to sleep, to enable Sally to use the garden when she needed and not have to wake me! Left it up to her to take care of the 'open house' security issue.
2 - Woke around 7:45am. Feel much better for having had a 'relatively' good long sleep. . walked, did a little litter duty, and collected up the debris from last nights 'Litter Louts RFC' training, and threw it over into the rugby club car park to make my (unnoticed) point - again. It's SO much quieter around with the school kids off. Nice. . . PCd this . .did paperwork and balanced my accounts. Bit of a chaotic mess - haven't kept on top of it for ages. And there went the whole morning!!! . . Did I ever say here? - the planning application that was put in by a nearby house, which I went on line and objected to - it was refused. :o) Actually, I don't feel 'quite' so guilty about it as I could have done, because the house has a 'For Sale' sign up on it. I suspect they were just chancing there luck with the planning application (which WAS extremely amateur in its presentation) in an attempt to maximise their asking price. . .touched base with Mum and confirmed my account had received her money gift. :o) . . . ate four small cheese burgers in two bread rolls and some coffee sponge cake for lunch . . . slept the afternoon away . . . walked. A bunch of little kids at the edge of the field seemed to want to announce to me that one of them was 'drinking alcohol'!? Dunno why they thought I should give a toss. I was guilty of a one word foul mouthed reply!! . . More 'confrontational' comments from a couple of girls sat on the grass on the other side of the field as I passed . . . TVd . . . BB called . . . ate Spam sandwiches, two bags of crisps, chocolate and choc-ices while watching TV until bed around 1am. sa
3 - Woken by Sally just before 7am. . . walked. Did 'litter duty' and ended up coming home with a fork and a large pad of tear out, multi coloured WH Smiths notepaper found here and there . . .dabbled with a bit of cementing, filler, etc on the walls adjacent to the attic stairs, continuing the 'build up' required prior to eventual plastering. Just messing around with 'small stuff' really, and pretty soon just caved in and gave up. I'm having real trouble getting on with it all. I'm tired. Always SO very tired. :o( . . . sat around, PCd, TVd. . .cooked up a plate of chips and tried frying up some slices of Spam for a late afternoon feed. Actually quite nice. . . walked . . .PVAd a small piece of attic stairs wall . . TVd . . . BB called after having had her painful tooth out. . .sat in and hosed down the garden. . ate ice cream, biscuits and chocolate while TVing, before bed around midnight. s
4 - Woken by Sally at 7:15am. . .walked and found 3p . . .ground back a few protruding bits and then cemented and plastered a bit more of a couple of walls. . . ate chips, two eggs and fried Spam again . . . napped but only for an hour or so and then woke feeling a bit yucky . . . did the mountain of dishwashing chores . . . walked. I think it is the balloon fiesta pretty soon (actually this weekend maybe?) and half a dozen or so hot air balloons went drifting over. And the response from the local beer drinking yobs (kids) over the field? They were letting off fireworks! In my old fashioned little mind I would have thought that was pretty serious - kinda like a bit of altitude short of attempted murder - but everyone just turned a blind eye as usual. . I came in for some harassment (taunts of 'informer' and more serious abuse and threats. Apparantly my dog is a pussy!? They ain't too sharp these kids are they! lol) from the same group as I had to walk past them on the way home. :o( . .scanning properties for sale in the local free paper, I spotted a picture of one I recognised. Trouble with this street is, all the houses are pretty different (and that one was bigger than mine with off street parking) but it was interesting to see they were asking 154k. If mine was 'finished' - or at least half presentable, I estimate 120-130k. . . LB called to touch base . . . bugger! That render I put on the wall looks as though it is coming back off. Gonna have to re-do that. :o( . . . PS popped round for chats, choc ice and biscuits, and brought the instruction manual for the phone which he'd found he'd forgotten to give me . . . BB called . . . ate bowls of co-co pops before bed in the early hours. s
5 - Up around 7:45am. . . walked and cleared up the beer cans and fireworks debris. That one big 'multi projectile firework array cube' ('Grand canyon')they let off, was supposed to be at least a third buried in the ground, and instructed that bystanders should be 'at least' 25 metres away! . . . had a go at doing a finishing coat of plaster on the 'landing' wall at the top of the main stairs. Me and finishing plaster do not get on so well! :o( Mixed up the plaster in the plastic swing top bin from the kitchen. I need to figure out some way of making a tool (not worth me buying one I don't think) to mix the plaster with the drill. It was a nightmare trying to do it by hand, using various kitchen implements - like the long handled stainless-steel draining spoon, and the egg whisk!!! I ended up just plunging my hands in to the mess!!!!! NOT satisfactory! Only a small piece of wall but boy, was it hard work. Had sweat dripping off my nose! . eventually ended up with a predictably poor result, which is gonna require a whole bunch more attention (and maybe even a further skim here and there, where the coat was too thin over a too absorbant surface I think. It's eggshelled as its dried out. :o( ), although I think that maybe on the whole, I AM getting just a little better at it with practice. At the end of the day, it isn't 'so' much different from all the old wall linings (definitely a 'bit' better I'd say) and if the worse comes to the worse and I can't acheive the smooth paintable result I'm after, I can simply cover it with wood chip wallpaper like all the rest are/were. . . lifted a handful of floor sheets in the attic, brushed and vacuumed out a large amount of debris from attop the ceiling beneath, and then used plenty of PVA adhesive and the last of an old bag of plaster I'd been saving for the job, to 'firm up' the cracked and sagging lath and plaster ceiling. Left all the attic floor sheets up, and an old piece of joist rammed in between the landing and the ceiling at the top of the main stairs, suporting things overnight while it all set. . . walked. Sat on the ground by the shops with a friend of hers was 'Xxxxxxx the teenage bitch'. Haven't seen her around for a while - not since she was served with her 'ABC'. Our eyes met as I passed. She 'smiled' - I did not! Grrrr. . . I think it is fair to say, this years weather has been good for the ants. The air was absolutely FULL of them! Don't think I've ever seen so many. Not the best choice of days to decide to take a tin of redbull with me, to drink on the grass! Ended up playing 'musical chairs' with the boulders at the edge of the field, moving from one to another as fighting-off the crawling ants became overwhelming. More hot air balloons sailing by to watch - the big red 'Virgin' one was particularly close at one point and had me playing with the camcorder a bit. . .TVd. . . cooked up a tin of sausages in baked beans, four more fried susages, onion and grated cheese and feasted with four pieces of bread and butter. . BB called . . . TVd eating chocolate and choc ices until exhausted early to bed around 11pm. sa
6 - Up around 7:30am. . .walked . . . PCd this . . . put the floor back down in the attic, after having filled a sack with dust and debris from atop the landing/bedroom ceilings. . tidied up just a little before ending up in front of the TV and watching some of the grand prix . . .sat around/TVd . . walked. . . TVd . . . BB called . . . cooked up four sausages and chips and ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . . TVd eating chocolate and a choc ice until bed before midnight. . . woken by BB calling briefly. . tossed and turned before finally back to sleep. s
7 - Woken before 7:30am by the noise of a neighbor going to work I think . . . walked . . . DIYd, doing a couple of small bits of plaster above the landing door to the attic. .damn! Washing down all the tools out on the patio, the corner soak away decided it was time to be emptied and blocked up. I guess I HAVE been washing a lot of plaster and cement down there of late. . unscrewed the rainwater downpipe and cleared out a good quarter bucket of sand, cement, plaster and Sally hair, before hosing it all down! . . .plastered over the reinforced concrete lintel at the top of the main stairs and attempted to match it in to the ceiling swirles and stipples. Not sure about the finished result. Now it's done, it may have looked better if I'd just made it smooth and sharpened the edges. . . ate defrosted chicken sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . napped for an hour or so . . . set off around 6pm and walked Sally down to the river. Wasn't up for the long walk, so cut straight through Fishponds and emerged down by the river, on the bank less traveled, just along from Snuff Mills. . sat by the river just 'chillin out' for ages. So long in fact, that Sally seemed to eventually get frustrated and want to get going, and unusually got all vocal. . turned out to be less of a 'long' walk and more a series of very short ones, with lots of sitting around in between - particularly down by Eastville park lake. . . back home at 8:45pm . . . BB called . . . TVd . . .cooked and ate a meat pizza with extra grated cheese . . . TVd/PCd until bed before 2am. sa
8 - Woken before 7:30am by someones loud car radio! Grrr. It seems to be 'the norm' now that everyone plays their car radios SO loud they can be plainly heard above the volume of the TV in my living room - and it's also the norm that people blow their car horn rather than get off their fat ass and go and knock on the door of whoever they are stopping to pick up! I can't imagine how people on shift work can get any sleep these days? . . I was convinced that today was the first day of the new refuse bin collection arrangements, and that the main bin wouldn't be emptied - but I was wrong. Raced out as the bin lorry arrived and managed to get the bin out in time to be emptied, and even managed to throw in the most recent sack of rubble/dust/debris collected up from the attic work. So - collections only once every TWO weeks from now on! It's inevitable isn't it - the field is gonna become a refuse dump when people suddenly realise they can't get rid of their refuse via the bin! We'll see. . . walked. I've been passing by a house down the road for several days now, that's had a couple of short pine curtain poles complete with all the rings etc thrown in their garden amongst some other rubbish. The houseowner was out retrieving his bin and I couldn't resist asking if they were up for grabs. They were and he said he'd put them by the gate for me to pick up on the way back from my walk. . . Found a newish disposable lighter and the handle mechanism of one of those extendable dog leads. .collected up the curtain poles on the way home. .sat in the shade in the garden for a while and dismantled the extendable dog lead. Eventually managed to pull the snapped end of the lead back out and temporarily put a knot in it, put some tension back on the return spring and then got it all back together. Still has a good twenty foot length so if I sewed on a metal clip (I have some laying around) it'd still be perfectly useable - although not for me. I don't like that type of lead. I reckon it trains a dog TO pull. . . left Sally at home and drove to Kingswood to draw out some money. Shopped a little for bread and butter and then bought two lightswitches and a total of four cheap, uplighter type lampshades from Wilkinsons for 20.37. I guess they are cheap, nasty and dated by todays standards, but I already have a couple around the house and think they are ok, so it seemed like a good idea to have them everywhere, and finally replace some of the old nasty ones I have (a couple of which are so old and dirty, they aren't letting much light through anymore!). Drove on to Wickes and bought another large sheet of plasterboard (5.26). Succeeded in cutting it in half, lengthways in the car park again before cramming it in the car and gently driving home. . . .ate a cheap packet of sausage rolls . . .napped but woken by no one at the door and then by next doors son calling in for the parcel I'd accepted from the carrier earlier - again. . .messed with 'sanding down' (!!) a bit of the wall at the top of the stairs . . .walked and came home carrying the new wooden brush handle I'd spotted laying in the hedge for the last few days . . .called at LBs with 'tobacco money' but she was out . . . slapped some white emulsion on the ceiling and lintel at the top of the main stairs. Actually - now it's painted, maybe the lintel and my attempt at matching it into the ceiling, doesn't look 'so' bad. . TVd. Kept an eye on the street with the CCTV camera and spotted LB pulling up to park. Dashed out and gave her 100 in cash, for her to get me some duty free tobacco when she goes to France later in the week. :o) . . BB called . . .TVd . . put up a couple of the new lamp shades and threw away the old. Boy - WHAT a difference! MUCH brighter. Should have done that long ago. :o) . . . cooked up and ate four small beef burgers with chips followed by chocolate, biscuits and a choc ice . . . TVd until bed around 12:30am. sa
9 - Woken around 4:30am by a feeling of nausea. Eventually was sick! A bad bit of burger maybe? . TVd a bit until I felt well enough to go back to bed. . . woken by Sally around 8am. . . walked . . . PCd a bit of this . . .Mum called to touch base . . knuckled down despite really not wanting to, and had a prod at the wall at the top of the main stairs and put a bit of a skim of more plaster over a bit of a 'hollow' I'd messed up on, which if I'd left it would have stuck out like a sore thumb when I eventually try to fix a length of skirting. I'm determined to attempt to at least make the top of the main stairs 'slightly' less of a building site before BB gets here in a couple of weeks. If I can acheive that, it will mean that 'most' of the building site mess can at least be shut back behind closed doors. Not fair to expect her to live in the dusty mess I do! . . hacked off the bad bit of cracked render from the attic staircase wall and re did it . .cut the piece of plasterboard to fit the attic stairs wall where it joins the attic floor and firmed up all the cut edges with a coat of PVA . . ate chicken sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . PVAd and screwed the piece of plasterboard to the top of the attic stairs wall . . . napped for a few hours until getting on for 7pm . . . walked. Oh no!!!!!! The builders of the new houses in the old builders yard next to the field , have started tearing out all the shrubs, bushes, blackberry brambles and undergrowth all along that side of the field! Just tearing it all out, 'scorched-earth' like, prior to presumably putting up some other type of fence for the house gardens. A complete and total disregard for any wildlife that may be there - which means of course not only the birds but also those poor rabbits that have recently proved to be scraping out a precarious living there. That made me so, oh SO sad to see. God I HATE mankind!!:o( . . . BB called . . .cut, nailed, PVAd and fillered a strip of plaster edge bead to the edge of the plasterboard above the attic stairs where it meets the corridor ceiling. . dabbed a few bits of filler here and there . . . ate a tin of fruit cocktail and then two meat and pastry pies with two bags of crisps . . . TVd/PCd until bed around 1:30am. s
10 - Woken at 7:30am by Sally . . .uh oh. Big news on TV about arrests in an attempt to foil a terrorist attack on multiple transatlantic aircraft!! Big chaos at airports. And there's BB due to be flying here in a couple of weeks!!!!!! Would you believe it! Fate intervening YET again?! :o( . . . walked, collecting up another carrier bag of glass bottles for relocation to a bin . . . PCd this while watching the news channel . . .Sis2 and Mum called to touch base and comment on the news . . .I don't believe it! That bit of render I re-did yesterday, is all cracked and probably in worse shape than before I re-did it!? What is it with that bit of wall??? Applied various solutions of PVA throughout the day, and 'may' have firmed it up enough to be left. It's nothing structural and IS gonna be buried under a thick layer of plaster anyway. . somehow spent the whole rest of the day tending to the wall at the top of the main stairs, with the portable TV in the back bedroom next to the PC on the news channel, absolutely determined to get it smooth enough to simply paint. If I can't, it'll mean having to woodchip wallpaper it, and because of the way the main stairs are done with a low dado rail either side - smooth beneath, woodchip above, it'll trap me into having to put a matching dado rail on that wall and all around the landing. I really, really don't want to have to do that, not least of all because it just won't work right on the low bit of wall next to the door to the attic corridor. . Huge amounts of filler and sanding down put a coat of fine white dust on everything everywhere. Every single room! . ate a couple of meat and pastry pies around 5pm while yet more filler dried . . pushed on and all of a sudden was putting the first coat of white emulsion on the wall. Well - it isn't particularly flat if you put a level across it, but it looks ok to the eye. Chuffed. :o) That short bit of wall was pretty much in my mind, a rehearsal for the much larger ones I need to do all over the place. Without doubt, I AM awful at plastering (still!), but if I can acheive THAT sort of result on all the walls I have to do (no matter how much post plastering filling and rubbing down I have to do) I'll be pretty satisfied. . . walked. Even more of the hedge next to the new houses was gone. Pretty obvious the whole lot is gonna go. :o( . walking back round from the bottom of the field to avoid the rugby players, I spotted a rabbit on the edge of the field. I pointed it out to Sally, more than once, as I often do, before she eventually spotted it and tore off in pursuit. Uh oh. I hadn't thought that through. With half the hedge-row missing, the poor rabbit appeared to be confused and didn't dart to safety beneath the fence as it always does. Oh no! Eventually it did head for the safety of the fence, but somehow Sally reached it before it had gone under. She'd caught it!! I raced up to her telling her to come, but she was most reluctant. Her TRUE nature was fully displayed. Hunter/killer! And with the latter, one swift bite'll do the job, real quick! . I've always said to Sally when she chases after stuff (never imagining she'd ever actually catch it - big soppy overweight thing she is) "if you catch it, I'll cook it". I agonised and ummd and ahhd for a bit. How sad. How pointless. What a waste. How sad. If I left it there it would just rot away. :o( I really didn't want to cook it - but somehow to me, it seems right to do so. Kinda like - I'm a meat eater. Immune to the reality of what that ACTUALLY means by virtue of the age in which I live and the sanitised supermarket shelves. It isn't right to have SO lost touch with what we really are - an animal eating animal. To see the end of an animal's life, prepare, cook and eat it - there's something about that (actually proven to be a horribly unpleasant process to me) which is fundamental to being human - and engaging in it at least once, is somehow like reaching back in time to touch the experience of our ancestors, and thereby more fully understand who and what we are. . I eventually reached into the brambles and pulled out the carcass. Checked again that there were absolutely no signs of life before picking it up to carry, in that way I've seen 'it should be done' on TV - by the hind legs. Headed home across the field past the training rugby players! . some kids sat on the boulders at the edge of the field asked why I had a rabbit! Yeah - good question! I blamed it on the building site/missing hedge and Sally - but of course I felt as guilty as hell! :o( . . nearer home, I exchanged a word with the nice old lady down the road and explained what had occured and why I was walking down the road holding a dead rabbit! She eagerly started telling me I should roast it after having filled it with stuffing! Funny how people of a certain age all know about eating rabbits. Kinda goes back to during the war I think. Her parting comment was how I should let her know how it turned out - which was actually a bit unfortunate, because that kinda made me feel trapped and obligated to actually do it - so I could, report back! :o/ . . . back home I kept Sally at bay and wrapped the rabbit in a carrier bag and put it out of her reach on top of the tool cabinet in the conservatory, and left it for a bit. I needed to read up and muster whatever it takes to deal with such a thing - and even wanted to just make absolutely certain it wasn't somehow gonna suddenly spring back to life!!!!!! . . bizzare how things work out sometimes. I dug out a couple of old cookery books (proper, OLD ones) and sat in front of the TV to look at them, and just then on whatever channel I'd left the TV on, they were showing a bit of 'River Cottage' and they were out hunting rabbits for the pot! . looked in the couple of old cookery books (which actually DID give a precise and detailed description of how to tackle things - but still confusing to me, never having seen inside a rabbit) and then touched base with Mum and Sis1 asking if they had experience of preparing and cooking rabbit, but they pretty much didn't. Went on line and did a Google search for 'how to cook rabbit' and sure enough, one of the top returns was exactly what I needed - complete with photos!!!!! Ewwwww! . . . BB called . . . TVd, 'working up to it', feeling terribly sad, guilty and - yes - nauseas. . .somewhere around 10:30pm I finally steeled my stomach and summoned the courage to face the ugly deed, and cleared and prepared the kitchen and sharpened a couple of knives, before retrieving the carrier of rabbit carcass from the conservatory. Blimey - I guess that must be rigor mortice already!? Sally was VERY attentive! . . Sally kill!I'm not gonna go into grizzly detail - and no, I didn't take pictures for here!! Suffice it to say, I started off like the web link, and now have an 'initimate' knowledge of rabbits - and Sally will eat anything!!! Eeeeww, eeew, ewwwwww! :o( I dabbled with the idea of doing stuffing like the old woman had suggested, but eventually decided it was all too much of a bother and the meat would likely end up being awful (memories of the pigeon I cooked), so it eventually simply ended up on a roasting tin, coated in oil and sprinkled with a packet of bouquet garnier stuff which BB had suggested, which remains in the back of a kitchen cupboard from when she was last here. . .tied the 'nasty' bits in multiple carrier bags before putting them straight out in the bin. Shame the bin won't be emptied for another week!!! . . . TVd feeling 'physicaly' hungry, but mentaly absolutely NOT wanting to put anything near my mouth at all! Did a bit of O.C.D. type, repetative washing of hands!! :o( . . . somewhere around midnight I pulled the rabbit out of the oven and gingerly gave it a try. Cut a small piece off one of the legs. Tried to be objective and not feel queasy - and to be honest it wasn't 'too' bad. A bit tough/stringy in places. Couldn't say it particularly tasted of anything - um - other than 'meat' and bouqt garnier. Sat down and ate a bit more with some bread and butter, but the more I ate, the less I liked it (or perhaps the more my conscience played up) , and Sally ended up with a good handful. Not much meat on it at all really. Pretty soon called it quits and thankfully washed out my mouth with some marmalade on the last piece of bread. . covered over the remainder and left it for Sally's tea tomorrow. . .a choc ice and TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
11 - Woken at 8am by lots of noise from some nearby roadworks . . . walked and found another ball on a rope for Sally. I feel VERY tired! . . briefly turned off the power and replaced the lightswitch at the bottom of the stairs. It's been feeling a bit stiff and 'crunchy' for a while. Took it apart just for interest, and confirmed that the contact was all worn and no longer smooth. One of the prices I pay for having such a dusty house (particularly after doing disc cutting of brickwork etc.). The dust acts like grinding paste on everything!! . . . left Sally at home and drove to Wickes for some more plaster, filler and some wallpaper paste. (13.66). .headachey and oh so, SO tired. . ate corned beef sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . couldn't help myself and lay down to nap around 2pm. . . Napped all afternoon through until around 6pm!! I guess I needed sleep! So - I'll be having a day off from the building site then! . . . walked. Hard to explain but, the field felt much 'less' without the possibility of seeing a rabbit. Felt very sad. :o( . . stripped off the rest of the rabbit meat. Took a while. I've no experience of rabbits and haven't a clue where the meat is and where all the little bones are, that Sally mustn't have. Funny how one somehow builds up such 'intimate' knowledge of how a chicken is constructed, after having carved a 'few' over the years. Eventually called it quits, wrapped all the bones securely in a carrier bag and put it in the bin, and fed eager Sally her prize. . .PCd a bit of this . . .BB called. . . PCd this more . . . TVd and ate a couple of bowls of co-co pops and some bread and butter with jam and marmalade before bed. sa
12 - Woke around 7:30am. . . walked . . . PCd and ended up throwing together a music video of that hot air balloon footage I took the other day. It's the balloon fiesta this weekend, so true to form, the weather has changed to make it pretty unlikely they'll be doing much flying. Too breezy . . .spent the rest of the day working on the 'building site', while feeding several loads of laundry through the washing machine and out onto the rotary clothes line to dry . . Pasted up a couple of scraps of woodchip wallpaper to make-good where the main stairs walls meet the newly plastered bit at the top. .touches of filler and a bit of sanding here and there . . built up layers of plaster on the low wall at the top of the stairs and the wall in the corridor to the attic and the small one next to the attic stairs where it meets the floor above. .finished off around 6pm with a blend-in coat of emulsion on the new wallpaper before vacuuming up all the dust around the house . One unfortunate cock-up on my part! Working at the top of the stairs I didn't realise I'd knocked the lamp shade and it had slipped down so that the shade was resting on the hot bulb! Burned a hole almost through it! Oh well - guess I'll be putting one of those new ones I just bought up there then. :o/ . .walked. Stopped for cod and chips takeaway on the way home and ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . TVd and watched a rather neat Channel4 program on 'What Makes Us Human'. .exhausted and struggled to stay awake. . ate the last choc ice in the house and some squares of chocolate before eventually to bed just after midnight. as
13 - Woken by Sally barking at something outside at just beore 6am. Turned out to be a taxi and a police car parked nearby!? . . . walked just after 7am. The 'housing association tenant' neighbor's car down the road seems to have been given a bit of a going over. Wing mirror kicked off (footprints on the paint) and all the windscreen wipers all bent and torn off. I suspect that happened elsewhere - and why does it seem likely to me it was done by a female? lol . .returned home actually feeling frozen!! That is a cold wind blowing! . . .PCd a bit of this . . . had a go at plastering the main corridor-to-the-attic wall, on the side of the main stairs. Didn't go well. Big mess. :o( . . . ate corned beef, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps around 3pm . . . napped the rest of the afternoon away until around 6pm . . . walked . . . TVd/watched plaster dry. God I'm so, SO tired and aching - again - still - all the time!! . BB called . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking four small burgers and chips . . . TVd while eating biscuits and chocolate until bed just after midnight. s
14 - Woke around 7:30am again . . . walked. Two more carriers of litter relocated to the bins. . . PCd this briefly, trying to decide how little I can face doing on the 'building site' today, with all the aching and exhaustion I'm feeling! . . .somehow mustered the energy to have a go at plastering the stud wall, opposite to the one I did yesterday. Similarly poor result. :o( . . . ate corned beef, mayo and onion sandwiches with two bags of crisps mid afternoon . . . set off around 3:30pm and walked Sally the long walk down through Fishponds to Vassals Park and along the river to Snuff Mills and then Eastville Park. It had been my intention to find a nice quiet spot to sit and 'chill-out' by the river. My criteria for finding a spot was that there should be no people close by and that I shouldn't have to sit surrounded by litter! I was unable to find a place that fitted those criteria, despite climbing over difficult rough terrain here and there in an attempt to reach the less frequented side of the river!!! :o( . sat on one of the benches next to Eastville Lake for ages before eventually heading home. Back home by around 7pm . . . ate two small microwave chicken curry meals . . .BB called briefly . . .. PS popped round for chats and biscuits - and brought a large lump of cake that his daughter had cooked - and jolly nice it was too. . .BB called. Watched LB returning from her France trip, park up and start unloading her car, on the CCTV as we chatted. Blimey - LB and her guy must have taken half an hour to unload!!! . . . eventually to bed around 1am. sa
15 - Woken around 6:30am by street noise (actually the neighbour coming home from her night shift and mistakenly putting her bin out I think. The regular bins aren't being emptied for another week!) . . . walked and found a soft nylon brush head. .messed around on the patio briefly, filing down the end of the broom handle I found the other day and eventually managing to get it to screw onto the plastic brush head mount. So - I have another sweeping brush . . . PCd a bit. . . tried to force myself to get on with some of the building site work, but really couldn't find the energy to get on with much of it. Cut a sliver off the side of a piece of left over plasterboard and temporarily screwed the big piece in position on the landing. I can't finish off that last bit of the stud wall until I've done the central heating plumbing to the attic, and finalised the wiring and such. Even then, I think I'm going to fashion some sort of small access door panel to enable me to get a hand in there so I can alter/add cable runs and such. Cutting to fit and temporarily screwing that big piece of plasterboard in position seemed like the easiest way of making sure I don't break it and waste it, before I'm ready to use it. . LB called in the middle of things to say she was home and had duty free tobacco for me. I said I'd pick it up later . . .did some filling here and there before giving up and vacuuming up layers of dust all around the house - again! . . . ate corned beef, mayo, grated cheese, onion and lettuce sandwiches . .napped for a few hours. Deep sleep - that weird 'where am' type of feeling when waking up?! . . . walked. A 'proper' rugby match was going on over the field, with a small crowd of people watching and shouting from the side lines! Unusual. Guess I'll be doing 'litter duty' in the morning then! Grrrr. :o( . caught in a sprinkle of drizzle on the way home . . popped up LBs, but she wasn't in . . TVd, keeping an eye on the CCTV for LB returning home . . .popped up LBs and picked up my duty free tobacco, and 6 change. That's 94 for two 500g packs. What's that - less than half the over-the-counter price? :o) . LBs front room was absolutely FULL of cases and bottles of duty free booze, with just a small pathway through! (They'd spent somewhre in the region of 300 I think they said). She showed me several bottles of wine which were little more than 1 each!!! Why exactly DO I still live in this country? What DOES it have going for it these days???? . . . BB called . . . TVd and ate multiple bowls of co-co pops and chocolate (mostly because I've used all the plates and dishes and couldn't face the washing up - again). . .to bed around midnight. s
16 - Woken around 4:15am by Sally needing to use the garden. :o( . .difficulty getting back to sleep. Woken by Sally after 7:30am . . . Post 'Litter Louts RFC' meet! walked. Did litter duty, filled a carrier bag, and emptied the contents into the bin by the swing frame (it amused me to 'increase the capacity of the bin' by placing the remaining of three car tyres that had been dumped in the field, on top of the bin) before keeping the carrier bag, to fill on the way back out of the field with all the debris left by last nights rugby player/supporter slobs. I know I shouldn't get all up tight about it, but it's so bad and in your face, it's hard not to - and I'm not the only one amongst the dog walkers who does get upset by it (although I think I AM the only one who 'gets his hands dirty' and picks it up!!). I've even fantasised about 'making the point' by sneaking over there one night with a trowel, and planting all the upturned bottles IN the pitch! I couldn't resist a quick photo of part of the touchline. It's pretty representative of the state the field is left in after any sort of rugby club activity. And this, from the very people one would have thought would have some pride in their field. SLOBS! :o( . filled two overflowing carrier bags with most of the debris before launching them high over the rugby club fence into their car park, deliberately encouraging the contents to smash/spill out as they hit the ground, so that someone over there would have to pick it all up - again. :o( . . . PCd a bit of this, putting off the inevitable getting back to the 'building site' and covering everything in layers of white plaster/filler dust :o( . . .had a go at plastering the bits of the corridor-to-the-attic ceiling, attempting to match it in as best I could to the existing, and at the same time slightly disguise to the eye the pronounced bow in the direction of the back bedroom. As usual, no matter what I tried using (sponge/float/rollers/all manner of paint brushes, etc etc, etc) it was impossible to accurately duplicate the random swirls and rectangular stipples originaly made by one of those expensive rubber artexing 'brush/floats'. I can remember, oh SO many years ago, actually seeing JE doing the living room ceiling here before I bought the house from him (a botch of course - just to cover over the existing old cracked and sagging ceiling, rather than do all the work of replacing it, like he really should have). He made it look SO easy, and was SO quick. I didn't find the little bits I was doing 'easy', nor was it a quick job! On top of everything else, I'm not very good at 'random'. My mind really doesn't work in that way. I'm more inclined to try and work out some sort of logical progression - and that just doesn't work for random swirls!! . ended up with a good amount of plaster left over in the bucket when I called it quits, and always loath to waste stuff like that, I was forced into having a go at patching the back bedroom ceiling where it joins the new stud wall, and where that big collapse occured that forced me into 'getting serious' with the alterations all of a sudden. Blimey - I just checked back through my journal. That was back on the 13th October 2005!!!! Who'd have thought I'd still be 'at it' - and in fact who'd have imagined I'd still be doing a journal after all this time!!! What a waste of a life!! lolololololololol. . All in all, by the time I was done, I reckon it'll do. It IS noticeably different if you stand and study it, but I reckon once the ceiling is painted and all the same colour, it'll be harder to spot and won't really matter - especially in the corridor. I can't imagine laying on the floor of the corridor contemplating the ceiling too often - well - not once I've got bored with watching the plaster dry!! lol . . sanded walls and filled a little before tidying up a bit . . . ate a tin of oxtail soup with two oven cooked garlic baguettes. Had intended to eat in front of the TV, but something was amiss with the cable service. 'Err3' showing on the set top box?! Rang the Blueyonder cable company as I ate, only to be told I needed an engineer visit and "You're not gonna' like this" they couldn't get one out to me until Friday at the earliest, and even then, they couldn't give me a time and said I'd have to be available all day between 8am and 7pm!!!!!!! Outrageous!!! Grrrrr. Blimey - no extra TV channels all of a sudden. That's gonna be a bit of a shock to the system!! :o( . . napped real late for little more than an hour until around 7pm . . . walked . . .TVd minimal free to air channels, and found nothing on worth watching. I miss the news channel . . BB called . . . sanded filler and then put a coat of white 'obliterating' emulsion on the short wall at the top of the main stairs. Apart from more coats of paint and general 'decorating' type stuff, until I can finish off that last bit of stud wall (and fix skirting boards etc, etc), there isn't a huge amount more I can to do to that landing for the time being. Cool. All bland and covered in white paint (even the floorboards), and with a lighter lampshade up there, it really is SO much brighter than I've been used to for so very long. I like it. :o) . . . cooked and ate four small cheeseburgers getting on for midnight. . TVd briefly before giving up and PCing. Experimented with some free web TV channels (there seem to be suprisingly few?) and actually ended up watching a little of a Laurel and Hardy film on some comedy 'channel' or other - because I could. lol . . . eventually to bed after 2am. as
17 - Woken by Sally just before 7am. Well THAT isn't enough sleep! . . walked in a bit of drizzle . . . PCd this feeling oh so tired . .left Sally at home and drove to Wickes at Longwell Green for another bag of plaster (6.54). . .damn. I'd wanted to get a bunch of stuff done today - but I just couldn't help it - returned to bed and slept until mid afternoon . . . did the mountain of dishwashing chores and tidied up just a little . . . walked . . . BB called . . . ate half a defrosted chicken with four pieces of bread and butter . . . TVd eating squares of chocolate until bed around midnight. as
18 - Woken by thunder and lightning around 4am. Didn't get up and tried to just sleep through it, but the multiple flashing coming through my eyelids suggested it would have been worth getting up to watch. The storm quickly drifted through and I eventually got back to sleep . . woken, headachey, just before 7am by next doors lift to work blowing their horn outside to announce their arrival! Grrr . I have a dream - a DAY dream mostly - that one day I will have my fill of sleep!! :o( . .coffee cigarettes and annadin tablet for breakfast . . .walked between showers and found a penny. Actually rushed round the field, in case the cable guy turned up early. Of course he didn't . .pottered around tidying some stuff up, wiping off the layers of dust from the cable box and the like. . around 11am just after I changed into my work overalls intending to get on with something while I waited, the cable guy turned up. A simple straight swap of the cable box and a phone call to 'hit' it and everything was back up and running. I even sweet talked the guy and got myself a new cable remote (to replace my existing one with all the writing worn off where it's been SO used) and was 'allowed' to keep the existing one. So - I have two remotes for the cable now - which actually 'may' be useful, but don't ask me how! lol .spent a short time re-tuning the two portables (once I'd found the instructions) because the new cable box has a 'slightly' different output frequency . . painted a coat of white emulsion on the corridor-to-the-attic ceiling. Yep - that doesn't look too bad at all. Celebrated by prematurely putting up one of the new uplighter lampshades, which suprisingly and happily 'just' clears the door as it opens. Cool. :o) . . spent the next few hours messing around with the stud wall in the back bedroom, making preparations for plastering, and PVA/screw/filling a patchwork of narrow pieces of plasterboard in the firebreast corner. Tedious - but done. I'd set myself a target of getting that wall plastered before next week (when BB 'may' be coming). I think tomorrow I should be good to go - assuming I get some sleep beforehand, and wake with the energy/nerve! . . . ate garlic sausage, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches with two bags of crisps around 3pm, while watching a Hill Street Blues episode on one of the channels . . . BB called . . napped for almost a couple of hours until woken by PS calling . .BB called again briefly, minutes after I'd got up (which is never a good time to be making me try to talk! I'm always 'confused' after a sleep and real grouchy), but right as Sally was 'using' the garden and I wanted off to go clear up and hose down. Looks like Sally has a really bad stomach - AGAIN!! . . . walked. Got through three poop scoop bags - or was it four?!!! :o( . . . PCd briefly . . .PS popped round with a couple of hired DVDs to watch. Weird thing was, neither of them would play in my DVD player?? Tested various other discs I have and it worked perfectly, so it was definitely something strange about the actual hired discs. .ended up trying them in the living room PC and they played fine on that, so we actually watched one of the films by playing it on the PC and displaying the image on the hooked up TV. That actually worked perfectly - although whatever that film was, wasn't worth all the hassle. . BB called . . .ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter around 1am!!! . . to bed after 2am. aas
19 - Woken by Sally at 6:30am! :o( . . . walked and found another dog toy to add to Sally's huge collection - which she seldom bothers with! . . .too tired really, but somehow got going and plastered the back bedroom stud wall. Didn't go well of course! :o( I actually, unusually, tried following the instructions on the plaster sack about how much water to add when mixing it up. Dunno how they caluclated that, but I almost ended up with a solid mass stuck in the mixing bucket! Got in a big mess all over the place. . a nasty battle but eventually got a very uneven rough looking coat of plaster over the wall. That's gonna need a whole bunch more attention to try and make the awful finish smoother - although at least that wall is definitely going to be under woodchip, and a small part of it will also disappear inside the fitted wardrobe I have in mind to build in that room. I'm itching to get started on all that and get that room all sorted, but to do what I need to do in there means having to break down all my PC table and equipment and temporarily shift it out and store it somewhere else - probably just stacked in unusuable heaps all around the front bedroom. Can't really do that with BB coming - or is she? I gotta be honest - her constant changing of plans (admittedly not entirely her fault) and still not being sure if she is actually coming, only a few days before her booked flight, is really getting to me. I really can't handle that sort of being kept dangling. :o(. . . ate garlic sausage and mayo sandwiches with crisps . . BB called. . . napped until around 6:30pm . . .walked. Well - I should have waited and taken a photo of todays rugby louts litter!! They'd had a 'proper' match it would appear, with a visiting team on a coach, and the side of the pitch was strewn with all manner of debris - at least three times the amount I pictured on the 16th!!! Unbelievable. . laying in the hedge on the edge of the field was a mountain bike. Started life as a pretty good one I think - the type that has a central shock absorber unit on a swining arm type frame - but someone had painted it matt black (undoubtedly stolen) and now both tyres were off their rims. I guess I'm getting used to all this madness - I couldn't even be bothered to get my camera out. . walking back from the field, a group of yobs were prowling around inside the school grounds (I overheard something about 'looking for a window') and taunts of 'informer' were called out at me as I passed . . . vaccuumed up some of the 'walked all over the house' plaster dust . . .drank a glass of red wine (immediately tipsy on an empty stomach) and ended up feeling unusually 'ok' with my little existance and listened to a little music on the living room PC, piped through the stereo. . BB called. . . cooked and ate a ham ring and chips around midnight . . .TV/PCd until bed around 2am. ads
20 - Woken by Sally at 7:30am . . . walked and found 2p. Unbelieveable nonsense in the field. Not only was there all the litter from the match yesterday, but the mountain bike had been dragged from the bushes and further trashed and dumped in the middle of the field, together with three big red fire extinguishers! (Yeah - bet it was that group of yobs that were in the school grounds last night). walked round the field picking up a couple of carrier bags on the way before picking up all the rugby louts litter (two overflowing full carrier bags, even with all the beer mugs 'stacked' into each other) and once again threw it over into the rugby club compound. There was some piece of clothing or other, laying amongst all that debris when I entered the field. It wasn't there when I cleared up, so I suspect some dog walker had whatever that was. Collected up the three fire extinguishers and associated broken off parts, and found writing on one to indicate they were the property of the building company operating the huge building site next to the school. Walked them out of the field and down the road (two trips) and left them laying on the pavement next to the locked site entrance gate. . dragged the mountain bike over to a particular point of the hedge where I've been piling up other debris that's been laying around the field for months now - next to the small fridge that someone dumped there, which has been gradually dimsantled and destroyed/strewn around by the yobs. (I mentioned that fridge, when it was more or less still in one piece, to some council refuse men many weeks ago, and they said they'd report it to the department concerned and take care of it - but of course they didn't. The double matress that was dumped along with it, eventually ended up getting set on fire by the yobs (right next to a gas main/meter enclosure at the edge of the field by the boulders!!) , leaving only the internal metalwork and springs - I dragged that over to join the heap the other day). . an extended morning of binman aerobics!! Ridiculous. . .dabbled with measuring up the back bedroom and the fitted wardrobes in the front bedroom, working out what may fit where. I think five small cupboard doors over the bed, and two single long doors either side will work. That would enable a double bed to still go in there for selling the house, and should enable me to get some sort of PC desk built in there in the interim . . felt oh so, SO tired and headachey - I ended up going back to bed for a bit. Unfortunately I couldn't sleep - my mind insisted on 'rehearsing' all the work I need to do in the back bedroom!! . . .Mum and Sis2 called to touch base and I ended up getting back up. They made the mistake of asking when BB would be here! You know what - I really have absolutely no flippin' idea any more! :o( . . ate a microwaved tin of stwed steak with four pieces of bread and butter for an early lunch . . . dismantled, cleaned and oiled my hair trimmers before cutting my hair . . TVd/PCd before eventually back to bed for a couple of hours. . woken by LB leaving an ansaphone message asking if I wanted any onions from her allotment and saying they'd got themselves a new computer . . .BB called and confirmed she WAS intending to get the flight on Monday - amongst other things, the airline's re-scheduling penalty was astronomical! My less than appropriate response included something like 'Yeah, yeah - just call me when you're actually AT the airport!' :o/ . . . returned LBs call and then popped up and had a look at their PC as requested. Nice one, newish specs, flat screen, fancy case, value for money - but I'm not keen on all that neon light show! Their XP needs activating, but they aren't on line yet so I couldn't help. . . walked. As I approached the entrance to the field, a kid on a moped left the road, crossed the pavement and went sailing off down the cycle path before eventually turning back onto the road at the other end. No number plate on that one. . LB popped down with a mountainous roast beef dinner and a bottle of wine for me. :o) Almost kindof 'in passing', she told me she'd got engaged to her guy, showed me her ring, and said they were planning on marrying in a year or so!?. . . TVd while drinking a glass of red wine. Eventually reheated LBs donated dinner (had to pile it all up high on another plate, because LBs plates are SO big, they don't fit in my large microwave! She makes HUGE meals!!!) and ate - lots - with a pint of instant gravy. Gave Sally her big beef bone treat once I'd finished. That was Sally content for the rest of the evening - content to make a huge mess of pieces of crunched bone all over the living room carpet that is! . .TVd eating much chocolate until bed around midnight. ads
21 - Up at 7am . . .walked. Relocated a large foam sofa cushion that's been knocking around various parts of the field for weeks, to the heap at the edge of the field. Looks as though someone has had that wrecked mountain bike away. . .PCd this . .balanced my accounts - or have I? Hang on!! I reckon Dataflame, the provider of my 'Telsweb' domain (where I've been putting all those videos which are SO huge!) has double charged me (16.43) for the domain registration!! Grrrr. Is that why they were so cheap? Fired off an e-mail to them, asking for a re-credit . . . and there went the morning! . . .left Sally at home and drove to ASDA at Longwell Green to do a shop and buy a few things that BB may want to eat when she arrives. Overdid it, and besides stocking up on dog food (48 tins of Winalot @ 19.92)ended up buying huge amounts of stuff, much of which was ice cream and chocolate related! . . stopped and put petrol in the car on the way out. (21.3ltrs @ 20). . . back home and unloaded and only 'just' managed to get everything that needed to be, in the freezer! . . . ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter and some of the cheap toffee ripple ice cream I'd bought to try (very good it is too) , before laying down for a nap. . slept for a good few hours until around 6pm . . . walked . . . cleared up and vaccuumed around the place just a little. Did dishwashing chores and popped straight up LBs and returned her huge plate, to get it out of the way filling up half the kitchen worktop space! . . TVd and spent a scintillating hour or so darning a bunch of my socks!! Actually, my 'darning' is rather more of a just 'sew the two sides of the hole together' repair! Been putting off doing that heap of holes socks for ages, but wanted them cleared up and out of the way before BB arrives . . . TVd, admittedly increasingly anxious that I'd not yet heard from BB to say she was actually on her way. . . at last approaching midnight she called from the airport to confirm she was waiting on her flight departure. Yayyyy. :o) . . too awake for sleep and ended up watching TV into the early hours. . ate garlic sausage sandwiches and crisps, long after 1am . . .finally set my alarms and got to bed after 2am. . woken within a couple of hours by Sally needing to use the garden!! Ugggh. Maybe her stomach simply can't handle 'rich' food - like all the skin and cast off bits of the bar-b-queue chicken I gave her earlier? . . back to bed for just another couple of hours. s
22 - Back up with the alarms at 6am . .PCd briefly and checked the on line flight details to confirm BBs flight was safely on its way and on schedule . .cleared up and hosed down in the garden. . walked early. Much evidence of things afoot in the night again. A pallet sized wheeled trolley had been pushed all the way from a store on the opposite side of the field, and left on the pavement by the school - after having had a few of the nylon straps and bits broken from it and strewn around along the way! The temporary fencing by the new houses building site (where they recently disposed of the hedgerow) had been 'undone'/dragged open, so I presume someone had been in there. Huge amounts of litter strewn around on the corner down by the swings, with pizza boxes, bottles, beer cans etc etc all over the grass (I cleared up 'most' of it and relocated it to the nearby bin). . straight back home, made sure my stinking wheelie bin was out for the first fortnightly collection, grabbed a quick shower and a coffee, and then left Sally at home and set off across town for Lulsgate airport, around 7:45am. .there is probably a better way to get there than going down into town and out through Bedminster, but I don't know what it is, so that was the way I went - fully expecting to get snarled up in the horrendous rush hour traffic. Actually, it wasn't 'too' bad (maybe because of the school holidays) and I got through, out to Lulsgate and installed in the short stay car park by around 8:20am . . stood around, wandered about and stood outside for a cigarette before discovering the upstairs restaraunt which gave a bit of a view of 'the apron' and the runway in the distance. . just a little early, at around 8:50am, I watched BBs plane land and taxi onto the apron and park up a short distance from my vantage point. Had a go at videoing the passengers disembarking, but they used both fore and aft exits from the plane ('local' airport - they had to walk down the mobile stairs and then the short distance across the tarmac to the arrivals building) and I couldn't zoom in on both sufficiently to recognise which distant figure was BB. .after what seemed like an awfully long wait at the arrivals exit (actually probably little more than half an hour), BB appeared. :o) What a relief! It's been a while. Hugs and hellos. :o). . paid the 2 short stay parking fee, returned to the car and soon headed home, more or less the way I'd gone, allowing for the one way systems . . . opened the front door and stood back, to let Sally be confronted by BB, to see what her reaction would be. Actually, with hindsight, that was probably pretty unfair on poor Sally. She must have got a bit of a shock, not seeing me stood there like normal. She had a brief bark at BB before pretty soon realising who she was. :o) . . unloaded and brief chats before letting jetlagged BB get a little sleep . . grabbed a couple of bowls of muesli and some toffee ripple ice cream before laying down for a bit of a nap. Difficulty sleeping and probably only managed an hour or so before getting back up . . .TVd until BB got back up . . walked and found 17p in change just down the road from my front door on the way back. A house down the road had put their bin out this morning, with a couple of full refuse sacks on the floor alongside, and with another sack stacked on top, propping the lid open. It would appear - because it was all still there - the bin men had refused to empty it as a result (as the literature about the new bin arrangements had warned they would! There must be no extra sacks and the bin lid must shut!)! So - just exactly what is that householder supposed to do now? Imagine the mess they'll be in, in another two weeks - or perhaps more likely the street and surrounding neighbourhood if they just leave it all laying there!!??!! . . .TVd and chats with BB. Actually hooked up the camcorder to the TV to look at the little footage I'd taken at the airport, and BB was able to identify herself getting off the plane. She exited at the rear of the plane. No way could I possibly have spotted her without knowing that in advance . . . cooked up some chips and both ate with the remaining half a chicken - although of course I had most of it. :o) . .TVd eating chocolate, ice cream and a choc ice throughout the evening . . . eventually to bed around half past midnight. as
23 - Not a good nights sleep with only four or five hours maybe - not helped by finding I'd left one of the alarms set for 6am! :o( . woken by Sally around 8am . .annadin tablet for breakfast . . .walked and found another 10p just down the road, which I'd missed last night. Had to squeeze past a parked van and the bin and refuse sacks of that person down the road - still out on the pavement. Misjudged the weather, only wore a raincoat (not leggings) and got drenched in a real heavy shower which started almost as soon as Sally and I stepped outside the door. It pretty much stopped as soon as we got home too! Humph! . Hmmmm - that same house down the road that was throwing away the pine curtain poles the other day, has another laying in their garden - much longer and more useful to me! I may have to work up to knocking on their door and embarassingly asking for that one too. . . .PCd a bit of this, letting my trousers dry on me. Soaking wet Sally (always is even after a good toweling down) chose to lie on the landing at the top of the stairs, leaning against my newly decorated wall!! Oh dear . .the 'slick' answer from my domain provider was - "There does appear to have been a duplicate invoice raised for the renewal of your domain telsweb.com and this I do apologise for and will look into as this should not have happened. The domain however, has been renewed twice and is now not due to be renewed until 2009 which would take into account for the extra payment which has been taken from your account. I hope that this is agreeable to yourself." I'm tempted to object to that on principal - but I guess I'll just let it lie. :o/ . TVd/pottered around while jet-lagged BB slept - she's still on US time . . . ate two defrosted meat and pastry pies with two bags of crisps . . . napped for a few hours when BB got up! We're sleepig in shifts!!! Well - as long as we actually GET some sleep, that's ok by me! lol . . . walked . . . ate BB cooked sausages with fried onion and potatoes . . . TVd eating ice cream and choc ice . . . to bed a little after midnight, leaving BB wide awake watching TV. as
24 - Woken by Sally at 6am. Aching back!? . . walked. Knocked on the door of the house down the road that had another (longer - potentialy more useful) curtain pole laying in the garden, and ended up walking home with it. .PCd this and then put in a bit of time sorting out some of my music files. With BB here it is my intention to take a break from all the building work and spend a bit of time on PC stuff, trying to get the chaos organised . . phoned the vet and made an appointment to go have Sally's annual booster jabs done today. They sent me a reminder letter a couple of weeks ago and I've been putting it off until BB was here. . .did dishwashing chores until setting off with Sally for the quick walk to the vets. Mentioned her wart, slight malformation of a couple of eyelashes and whatever else was of some concern, but predictably the vet said it was all pretty benign and unless it was causing her any distress, there was little point in doing anything. With the booster jabs done and after a quick weigh in, we were paying the 34.87 and then back out. .walked the rest of the way up Kingswood and bought a pack of 'cheap' 4.99 worming tablets in the Wilkinson store before heading straight home . . . BB was still asleep. lol . Left her sleeping and ate reheated left over fried potatoes, onion and a couple of suasages with four pieces of bread and butter for lunch . . . BB headed off for a walk up the shops while I grabbed less than a couple of hours sleep . . . walked . . . TVd . . . ate BB cooked chicken breast lumps and mushrooms in a lemony sauce with three pieces of bread and butter . . . TVd until bed gone midnight, long before BB. aas
25 - Broken sleep then up around 7am. . .walked. .did dishwashing chores (our arrangement. BB cooks, I wash up - eventually!) and then gave Sally her worm tablets in a couple of lumps of squished up cheese . . .PCd briefly . . .left Sally at home and drove with BB to ASDA at Longwell Green for a little shopping. As usual with a bank holiday approaching, the store was packed, and as far as I could tell mostly with screaming kids! Horrendous. :o( Got what we needed and then both got out of there pretty quick. . .ate two left over sausages, potato and an egg with four pieces of bread and butter. . . tried napping briefly but couldn't and was pretty soon back up. . . as agreed with BB (after having debated the obvious risks) , I started having a look at her broken Laptop. I've never been inside a laptop before so I made it clear, it could all go horribly wrong, and as is my way in such circumstances (despite BB insisting I mustn't) I said if I messed it all up, I'd fund her buying a new one. . without any sort of manual, and never having taken one apart before, it wasn't easy 'finding a way in'. After much prodding and poking and unscrewing of a seemingly infinite number of tiny screws (not unlike those you get that hold on the arms of a pair of eye glasses!) I managed to figure out what was holding it all together and had the case apart, the keyboard and various other bits off, in carefully placed heaps around the table. It was starting to look as though I may be able to do it. I could even see the soldered-on-the-motherboard power socket which was the reason it wasn't working - completely split in two. The centre power pin was snapped off and stuck in the external power supply socket. Well broken. . the only thing I had trouble with was the very last ribbon connector (the on board 'mouse' and buttons connector) holding the top of the case to the motherboard. No matter how I tried to ease off the block connector it wouldn't budge. I tried to be as firm and gentle a I dared - then all of a sudden off it came - complete with a miniature mounting post and three of the connecting pins which should be still soldered onto the motherboard!!!!! Uh oh - that's torn it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o( Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!!! What the hell did I do wrong? Why didn't that connector just pull off like I think it should have - like all the rest? So - now it defiitely needs a whole new motherboard, rather than maybe just being able to solder on a new power socket. Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!!! :o( . . fessed up to BB as soon as she woke from her nap. She pretended it was ok. :o/ . . surfed a bit looking to see if there was any way of salvaging something from the mess I'd embarassingly made of things. Just a few adverts for replacement motherboards on e-bay, all in the US and not very cheap, never mind postage costs! :o( Oh well - guess I'll be buying BB a new laptop then (despite her protestations I shouldn't). . . somewhere during the battle with the laptop, I noticed a crack in the plaster I'd put on the stud wall in the back bedroom. Close examination of the entire stud wall on both sides revealed more cracks, mostly where a couple of pieces of the plasterboard meet. That did nothing to improve my plummeting mood. Maybe I SHOULD try and get on one of those 'Honey I Ruined The House' / 'DIY Disaster' type TV shows - cause my house really is starting to look like a disaster! :o( . . . walked, still in a really foul mood. Good job I didn't get any smart mouthing from the yobs this day! . . .ate BB cooked chicken, mushrooms and onion with rice . . . ate ice cream and TVd until bed around 1am. . Felt like a pretty crappy day all in all. aa
26 - Up before 7am . . . walked . . .rebuilt 'most' of the laptop, to ensure I wouldn't forget what went where, and as much as anything else to safeguard all the parts and the amazing mountain of little screws that I had piled in an ashtray!! Ohhwwww bugger! With a fresh look at the thing and in the process of putting it all back together, I discovered the part I'd broken WAS my fault! That socket WASN'T a straightforward pull off type. It WAS fixed to the motherboard. It was the flat ribbon cable with bare soldered end wires that was supposed to pull out of the top of the socket!!! Damn, damn, damn. If only I'd known that, I reckon I would have had a pretty good shot at being able to just replace the broken power socket. Ho hum. :o( I dunno - now I know what I'm looking at a little more (although didn't 'fully' dismantle it ALL - and DO currently have two screws 'left over'!!) I really am tempted to gamble some money on it and send off for a replacement motherboard (100ish) in the hope of getting it back up and running. We'll see. . . transferred over some savings, left BB sleeping and Sally at home, and drove to Maplins around 9:15am and invested 24.99 in a 'Slimgate' 2.5" external hard drive enclosure. A 'damage limitation excercise'. At the very least I need to be able to try and retrieve BBs data files from her hard drive, so that she still has her data, ready to go on a new machine - and perhaps moreover to relieve my guilt and make ME feel better about my failure! . straight back home and easily fitted the drive into the enclosure. It's powered from the USB socket and doesn't even need a seperate power supply, which seems pretty neat. .fired it up on the living room PC ok, and managed to access it without 'too' much hassle. Problem was, BB ran her laptop with password protection, and no matter what I tried, I could NOT get my PC to access her files. I got it to happily show the directories and all the shared user files, but no amount of altering file share settings would allow me in to her data. Tried everything I knew how, all to no avail . . BB left me tearing my hair out in frustration and popped out to the post office . . moved from the living room PC to my main PC and had another go at going round and round in circles messing with the security and file sharing settings, but again without success. Didn't even know what to attempt to look up in the help files, because I had a hard time putting into words what I was trying to do. . eventually in desperation I ended up on-line doing bizzare verbose Google searches. Incredibly, somehow, I bumped into what appeared to be EXACTLY what I was looking for! Booted into safe mode and had a go at a small test directory of some music files. Re-booted into normal mode and, hey presto, I could access the files. Yayyyyy. Gotcha. :o) . . . had a brief break from 'the battle' and ate BB cooked bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches mid afternoon. . . successfully 'changed ownership' of the necessary directories on BBs hard drive and managed to get a back up copy onto one of my hard drives. Yayyyy. Got there in the end. :o) . . left BB PCing and actually managed to nap for almost a couple of hours, only to wake with the same nasty headache . . . walked. A couple of very young kids were messing around in the field with a mini moto, and I involuntarily found myself getting all suitably outraged - until I realised the bike had no engine, and they were just pushing each other around on it. lolol. . TVd . . . ate BB cooked spaghetti bolognese . . . TVd with ice cream until bed around half past midnight. aaas
27 - Up around 6:30am . . . walked . . . did dishwashing chores . . . put a bit of laundry on and PCd just a bit of this while BB slept on . .vacuumed a little/did more laundry before leaving BB in charge of the machine doing a bunch of hers. . . ate BB cooked bacon, eggs, tomatos with four pieces of bread and butter and then a banana. . .TVd and watched a little of the Grand Prix before laying down for what turned out to be only around an hours nap. Can't understand why I seem to be having SO much trouble sleeping (with someone else around the house), despite feeling sleep deprived and utterly exhausted all the time? . . TVd with a handful of biscuits . .PCd this . . walked. On the way back from the field, approaching police sirens responding to an emergency call caught my attention. Two cars went racing past (I swear the driver of one of them was the young WPC who responded to my call when I was assaulted) and ended up pulling up just out of my sight in a nearby street (the one I almost never walk along since my assault - the one in which the Xxxxxxs live). Walked home as fast as I could and raced up into the attic for a bit of 'rubber-necking'. I couldn't really see anything other than the police cars parked up outside one of the houses (NOT Xxxxxxs unfortunately!). What WAS funny was how it appeared that everyone from every one of the houses in the street was stood out in front of their houses or in the street having a damn good look! lol I only had a partial view of the street from my vantage point and haven't a clue what it was all about. One of the police cars containing three uniformed officers and someone else in the back seat in plain clothes (someone they detained?) , soon left the scene and drove away past my house. Given MY experiences of having to call the police, more often than not to no avail, I can't imagine what happened to get TWO cars out like that? . . . TVd . . .ate BB oven cooked spaghetti bolognese left overs covered in cheese . . . TVd and ate multiple bowls of co-co pops before to bed before midnight. s
28 - Up around 6:30am again!?. . . walked, picking up a handful of bottles and beer cans on the way . . . did my morning duty of dishwashing chores which I utterly loath - but I guess is a fair trade for 'being fed' like I am. lol . . .PCd a bit of this and then rummaged around the internet looking at Gateway laptop parts (didn't seem to be too many around for the 400SD4) and new laptop deals. SO difficult (impossible?) trying to figure out the required specifications of a machine for someone else! Soon gave up and suggested BB should look . . somehow ended up pretty much sitting in front of the TV the whole day - again - while sharing laundry chores with BB! . . . Mum and Sis2 called to touch base . . .ate defrosted chicken sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . lay down to nap late afternoon, but I don't think I managed even a minutes sleep. Next door's dog started barking, and a neighbour opposite was having a 'domestic', which meant the guy was stood outside the windows of the house shouting in, pleading for the woman to let him back in, let him have his car keys, turn the portable phone back on so he could call someone to come get him , etc, etc, etc. Even BB got interested and seemed eager to have the CCTV picture/sound on the main TV as things developed! Yes, yes, yes - I know it's very voyeuristic and naughty - but they WERE making their 'scene' in public after all. lolol . Just a little later in the day after a bit more shouting and banging on windows, the woman DID let him back in. He threw a couple of bunches of clothes into his car and drove off. That's the second of her partners to disappear in such a 'public' manner, I seem to recall . . . walked . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine and then ate BB cooked sausages and chips . . . TVd until bed around 11pm. sd
29 - Terrible broken nights sleep of around six hours total and then up a little after 7am. . . walked . . did chores . . . PCd, bit the bullet and took the risk of ordering a replacement motherboard for BBs dead Gateway laptop, as advertised by some US business on e-Bay. It's been so long since I did anything like that, I had to open up old e-mails and read 'how to' pages, etc. Click - click - done! Damn, it's just SO easy to spend money like that! Well - it's done - currency conversion to a total (inc. postage) of 112. VERY much a gamble, risking a total loss of the investment, but I just HAD to give it a go didn't I. It's the challenge! I guess if it doesn't work out, from what I've seen on e-bay, I should be able to break the laptop down and sell all the working parts to recoup at least some of the loss. Hell - maybe we should have just gone ahead and done that to fund buying a new one? Oh well. Fingers crossed. We'll see. <worry><worry>! . . .dabbled with a few music files. Vaccumed some of the dust from around the PC room and moved a few biits and pieces around. . . TVd . . . ate brussels pate sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . .really tired and lay down for a while, but once again I couldn't nap and eventually just got back up to sit around feeling tired!? . . . TVd . . walked. Well, it's started. Someone has dumped a bunch of bags of refuse and an industrial sized cooking oil can and other debris in the hedge at the edge of the field! :o( . . . TVd. . uh oh. My DVD player appears to have developed a fault!! Would you believe it! I've hardly used the thing! That put me in a pretty foul mood. :o( . . ate BB oven heated meat pizza with extra cheese etc. topping. . .TVd until bed around 11pm. s
30 - Woke at 4am and just couldn't get back to sleep. Tossed and turned until gone 5am before giving up and getting up. A cold clear morning - too good to waste. Left BB sleeping and set off with Sally at 6:30am and walked. Two more pushbikes were vandalised and dumped in the field (one of them another nice new looking one with rear suspension, etc). . carried on and did the long walk down to Eastville Park (actively attempting to ignore the poor dog running loose around the field, which appeared to be lost! :o( ) . Very atmospheric with mist rising off the lake in the low shafts of sunlight. Along the Frome, up onto Purdown for lots of sitting with cigarettes, back down to Snuff Mills, along the river to Oldbury court and finally back through Fishponds - yet again, in the direction of the hovering police helicopter!! Stopped for a container of milk and then back home exhausted by around 10am . . .BB headed for the shops and the library, leaving me to recover from the walk . . . ate a couple of small slices of left over pizza, bananas, a defrosted chicken pastry pie and some biscuits . . TVd until eventually laying down for a nap, but yet again despite feeling really VERY tired, I couldn't sleep and ended up getting back up as soon as BB returned home. . . walked between the lightest of showers . .TVd . . cooked and ate four small cheeseburgers (even BB took her life in her hands and tried one) . . . TVd. I don't understand what's going on with me. With the lack of sleep I've had over the last week and more, I should be an absolute zombie, and yet as the evening wore on I didn't feel 'particularly' tired again!?? Out of character - I don't get it!?. . eventually to bed around 11pm. s
31 - Woke here and there through the night and then up around 6:30am. Well - that's the closest to a full nights sleep I've had in days!. . . walked and carried a roadworks bollard from the middle of the field, back up the street to where some workmen are putting in a drop kerb. (Crazy all that expense. I know why they do it, but in reality around here, it only serves to make it easier for kids on bicycles and mopeds to drive up onto the pavement!) Hope they finish that pretty soon - they've closed the footpath on a nasty corner to do the work, which means I can't really use the pedestrian controlled crossing on the busy main road because my path from there is blocked. Have to wait for ages for a gap in the traffic and then try and run across with Sally. Dodgy, but no choice! . . . PCd a bit of this . .got ruthless with all the old PCs littering up the house (I'm sick of it all - and who am I kidding that I'm gonna put in the hours to build them all up, when they are all old out of date specs. For what?) , removed everything remotely useful (or small enough to go in the bin if I subsequently decide it's pointless keeping), and loaded it all into the back of the car ready for a trip to the council tip. Filled a couple of sacks with rubble from my brick pile on the patio and put those in too. . . left Sally at home and then drove with BB to the tip and dumped everything. So much for recycling! With the exception of the monitor, I was directed to dump all the rest straight in the 'general' refuse bay - which I presume goes straight into landfill!!! :o( . .drove on to the stores at Emersons Green for the briefest of shopping . . . ate Brussels pate sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . succesfully managed to nap for a few hours until gone 6pm. Yay. :o) . . . walked . . . ate BB cooked mushroom-stuffed chicken breasts with 'roast' potatoes. Weird way to do roast potatoes - just wash and cut them and put them in the oven with the skins on. Not keen on that idea. Think I'm gonna have to introduce BB to the type I'm used to, some time. (Peeled, par-boiled, a sprinkle of salt and roasted until they are golden brown - and maybe even scraped mid cooking with a fork, to make some crispy bits) . . TVd with a glass of wine and then chocolate and biscuits before bed around 1am. sd
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