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31 - Up around 9:45am feeling yucky after only a handful of hours sleep! . .walked. . PCd yet more hours on the Red Arrows video. That's turning into a real hard one to edit together because of the poor quality video!!. . ate a Mum donated sausage slice thing with crisps and a couple of bananas. . back to bed to sleep until the alarm at 7:30pm. Woke still feeling utterly exhausted and couldn't face the evening walk . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate ham rolls and the other half of the Mum donated blackberry and apple pie. .TVd until bed around 2am.
30 - Up around 7:45am. . walked . .strangely in the mood to get on and 'do' something, but pretty much couldn't because Mum would be popping in later. . pottered about and eventually messed around sanding down the stool all morning until Mum arrived with the paper and food donations. . coffee and chats . . ate Mum donated pasties and crisps. . napped . . wine and ate. . touched base with BB . .ate half a Mum donated blackberry and apple pie. . eventually to bed in the early hours only to not sleep for a while as a thunder storm rolled through. ds
29 - Up around 8:45am. . .walked. . -//unfinished//-
pottered around a bit before deciding to dismantle my satellite dish setup on the front of the house.
removed - extracted the wall plugs - drilled the mounting plate and wall and then mounted it with a backing of PVA filler - mixed cement and filled the old holes - used the excess to fill some of the weed gaps in between patio slabs - worked on the stool in the sauna garage - painted over the satelite mount and filled holes - remounted the sky dish as the largely unseen eurofighter displayed in the distance over Dartmouth - used PS donated signal meter to align the dish. Worked a treat -
walked . . sat in the front garden for coffee as night fell. The nights are really drawing in already! . . TVd and spent the best part of an hour going through all the satellite channels . .
cooked and ate black pudding,
sausage and beans and chopped onion with four pieces of bread and
butter. . touched base with BB. . TVd until bed around 1am. s
28 - Up around 6:45am - woken I think by my badly aching lower back. .walked . . PCd . . JK called to touch base . . ate ham rolls . .left Sally safely at home and headed off across town to climb the hill and get all set up in the hope of grabbing some footage of the memorial flight Lancaster bomber. According to what I'd read on line, it was doing a flypast of Torquay at 17:25 and then doing a display at Dartmouth from 17:30. The hill seemed like the best bet for trying to get a shot, because in theory it would be possible to see it in the distance as it did Torquay but then also as it made its way the short distance over the hills (or even hopefully over Brixham) towards Dartmouth. . got all set up on the hill in plenty of time and sat around in a few sunny spells sipping from my bottle of water just looking at the view. All of a sudden, EXACTLY on time, there were a couple of tiny dots in the sky over Torquay. Sure enough it was the lancaster together with what I think was maybe a hurricane. The pair did a couple of wide circuits over Torquay and the hills beyond but once again, I was SO far away, the camera just couldn't hack it and did that infuriating strobing out of focus thing again. It was just impossible to get any length of decent footage. :o( Suprisingly and disappointingly, as the pair made their way towards Dartmouth, they went way inland at an even greater distance from me. I think they circled once to get their timing right and then they disappeared below the hills down towards Dartmouth to do their display. Every now and then I'd get just a tantalising glimpse of a distant silouette rising above the trees before promplty dropping back down out of sight again. I raced up the hill I was on in an attempt to get a better view, but sadly it wasn't to be - and on the rare occasions they did reappear, the camera consistantly went out of focus again. What particularly became apparant to me, was how incredibly slow they appeared to fly, compared to todays modern aircraft. It was impossible not to imagine the wartime exploits of the pilots of such aircaft, and what an easy target they must have been for ground fire!!!!!! Incredible! . eventually both planes reappeared over the tree line and promptly gained altitude and headed away inland into the distance - and that was that! SO disappointing after all the anticipation and effort of getting up there with the camera - but moving nonetheless to have those rare glimpses. Must have been a good low level display at Dartmouth! . returned home . .PCd and reviewed the footage. Blimey - that's even worse than my attempt at videoing the Red Arrows!! All I got was some tiny dot like sillouettes in the very far distance, in between the camera permananently 'strobing' in and out of focus! In fact, the results were SO poor, all that was worth salvaging from all that time and effort were a few captured frames (which if you're a bit of a plane spotter, are sufficient to at least identify it IS a Lancaster. The other aircraft I'm not so sure but suspect it WAS a Hurricane because of the round tipped wings?) Unusually on this occasion, I think I'm going to actully delete the original footage. There's nothing I can imagine being able to do with it, and it just isn't worth wasting so much precious hard drive space. . walked. As I approached BGdns a carload of youths pulling out up ahead drew my attention because of the way idiot way they were driving. They pulled up and parked on the steep slope next to BGdns. Just as I entered the gardens and was preparing to let Sally off her lead, I heard a glass bottle hit the road and begin to roll down the steep slope. I haven't learned my lesson have I! I exited back out of the gardens, walked down towards where the youths were parked and asked if it was their bottle which was rolling down the road behind them. They denied it and said it had 'just fallen out of a tree'!!!? F***ing idiots. I walked down the hill, picked up their bottle (noticeably still body temperature warm) and carried it into the gardens to put it in a bin! Grrrr . . . touched base with BB. . TVd . . ate fried black pudding and microwaved baked beans with bread and butter. A suprisingly good feed. . TVd until bed around 1am.
27 - Up around 7:45am. . walked . . quickly cut down the straggly overgrown hedge by the front door before having to return Mums lopper . . Sat down on the front patio seat to cut up some of the mass of foliage into car sized chunks and promptly cut my finger badly with the secateurs!! Really badly so it appeared. Bit of a 'gusher'! Actually ended up with a pool of blood on the patio!!!! Almost thought I may have to head for the doctors for a stitch, but eventually it seemed to slow down . . popped up Mums and returned the lopper and grabbed a couple of plasters . . carried on gardening trimming the front garden hedges (with my plaster held in place with a wrap of scellotape!) . . the car started so I drove it round the front, stuffed it full of the cut down hedge and did a quick trip to the tip around 2pm . . carried on climbing ladders and cutting hedges . . called it quits around 4pm. . showered . left Sally at home and walked to BGdns for the Red Arrows. . filming did NOT go well. Just after they'd arrived and started their display, my tired aching arm suddenly developed a case of cramp and insisted on just curling my camera hand into a useless claw!!!!! On top of that, the camera just couldn't focus on the aircraft, and I ended up with almost a whole display of just blurred and out of focus clouds!! Got almost nothing!! SUCH a disappointment! :o(. eventually walked all the way back home. SO tired, I tried the car again. It started so I drove Sally back to the gardens to walk. Stopped at the store and bought a few supplies (including tempted by a special deal on cheap black pudding) on the way home . . did enough of the mountain of dish washing to have something to eat off, and ate three large salad rolls with crisps and some chocolate . . touched base with BB . .exhausted and aching. TVd until bed just after midnight.
26 - Up around 7:20am. Wow - feel a lot better for having had a reasonable long sleep for a change. PCd a bit of this. . walked the long walk through the woods and back. . put laundry on and PCd this . .ate ham rolls with crisps . . surfed and TVd the day away, pretty soon feeling as exhausted as usual and too tired to start tackling the badly overgrown gardens again . .walked in a sunny spell via town and carried on out to the breakwater and part way along, before back via BGdns. . TVd . . cooked and ate two cheeseburgers with chips and then some chocolate . . touched base with BB . .TVd until bed around 1:30am.s
25 - Up around 8:45am! . .walked and returned to find an ansaphone message from SH saying he was on his way down. . PCd the end bit (that 'speed of sound' delay, fascinates me) and finished off the fireworks video. Just uploading it to Youtube when SH and his lady arrived around 1:30pm. Coffee and chats and took receipt of and paid for the 30 packs of tobacco he'd managed to get for me at £6 per pack. :o) That's me fully supplied up until early next year I reckon. . . all walked and headed off down to the harbour. I'd forgotten it was a bank holiday. It was busy - and frankly, unpleasant. Swashbuckle were playing to quite a crowd on the harbourside so I was able to quickly hand over a copy of the DVD of their performance earlier in the year, as I'd promised I would do the other night, when I saw them walking down the street. . treated to cod and chips by SH. All sat on a harbourside seat and ate as the noisy crowds bustled by. Eventually ambled back for more sitting in BGdns. . stopped at the local pub on the way back and all sat outside with a half of lager. Eventually back home for a coffee and then goodbyes. . sat around in front of the TV for the rest of the evening, suffering from an increasingly bad headache and feeling a bit sick!??. . touched base with BB. . to bed around 11pm. d
24 - Up around 7:10am for some reason! . . PCd. . walked and got caught out in a shower on the way back. . PCd a bit of this . PCd the fireworks video - at length!! Terribly time consuming trying to sort out some of the best bits and trim out all the rest, tenths of a second by tenths of a second! Actually interesting to advance the footage frame by frame and watch the evolution of each of the airborne explosions, from the initial brief flash of detonation to the rapid expansion of the coloured sphere. . ate mayo, onion, grated cheese and ham rolls with crisps and some chocolate. . napped. . skipped the evening walk and ended up back on the PC almost all evening, labouring over 'playing' the fireworks video to the music as best I could. .touched base with BB . . grabbed a quick banana and a defrosted chicken and mushroom pastry slice in the early hours and then eventually to bed after 3:30am only to be unable to sleep. Tossed and turned for ages and then had to get back up a couple of times to 'assault' the fridge which started making its awful pneumatic drill noise! :o( Eventually to sleep for a few hours somewhere around maybe 4:30am!! s
23 - Up around 8am . . walked. . .PCd. . Mum called in with the paper and food donations. Ended up having to endure having some of the olympics on the TV because Mum was interested in watching the 'local' youngster (Tom Daley?) competing in the diving. .ate a Mum donated pastie and sausage roll and some chocolate for lunch. . . napped only to wake feeling really tired. .the car started so drove in the car to walk. . JK called briefly . . TVd and watched the end of the program theorising what would happen if humans suddenly disappeared from the planet (no bad thing and the sooner the better in my opinion!). . touched base with BB . . ate a sausage roll, crisps, chocolate and bowls of corn flakes . . TVd (despite there being nothing on ANY of the channels worth watching!) until bed around 1:30am. s
22 - Up around 9am! . . walked and carried on down town to draw out some money and do just a little shopping. Burgers, bone for Sally, yet more video cassette tapes - the 'usual'!! . . PCd . . drank three quarters of a mug of red wine and then ate two burgers in buttered rolls and chips. . napped fitfully, dreaming much - probably thanks to the effect of the wine! . .great difficulty in deciding to do so, but eventually I walked a little later than usual and headed off with Sally, cameras, tripod, freshly charged torch and a can of beer (as found in BGdns), up onto the hill overlooking the town and the bay. Got Sally safely past all the horses and headed for my usual vantage point. Got there 'just' in time to grab a hasty bit of footage of the sun setting behind the distant hills. Such a shame the orientation of the place isn't just a little different so that the sun would set over the bay from up there. As it is, it always sets into the hills inland, which is in relative terms a pretty featureless and boring view. . as I had the camera filming on the tripod, the half a dozen or so horses that were in the field, decided to all come over and be 'intimidating'! No amount of shouting or clapping would shoo them off!! Really was pretty disturbing - even dare I say, scary! Things got completely out of hand when they all started trying to have a bit of a nuzzle at Sally, who I'd tied to a broken sappling trunk. One of the horses actually looked as though it was having a go at biting her back at one point, and i had to hastily try and intervene. As I did so, the sappling trunk snapped and Sally was off, chasing across the field in amongst a herd of horses!!!!!!!!!!!! NIGHTMARE! Shouting and bellowing I had to set off in pursuit through the nettles and across the grass. I trust no one saw what was going on up there, but if they had, it must have looked funny. It wasn't!! It was as though all parties involved had suddenly returned to their genetic ancestors. I was the caveman hunter - Sally was exhibiting classic wolf-like hunting behavior, nipping at ankles and seeking the weakest - the horses were running in a herd and defending, by turning their rear ends toward the wolf so their back legs and lethal hooves would be in a position to lash out. NIGHTMARE! Somehow at some stage, without anyone getting hurt (except for a few nettle stings on the caveman), Sally eventually reluctantly decided to heed my bellowing and return to me. Grrrrr. It was pretty obvious I wasn't going to be able to carry on filming as I'd wanted to, and with the sunset filmed, I just couldn't take any more. Dragging Sally roughly along on a short leash, and noisily brandishing my fully extended camera tripod, I was able to make my way back across the field and over the style without any further 'contact' with the horses, albeit worryingly followed closely by them, all the way!! They even congregated by the style after I'd climbed through, and stood there staring after me snorting and stuff, as I set up the tripod and settled down on the grass a little way from a hedge, which afforded a little bit of cover from the rather cold blustery wind which always seems to be in evidence up there even on a calm day! Settled down with Sally tied to me and messed around with the camera, trying to figure out what settings would enable me to film in the increasing darkness. That camera has a 'night owl' setting for very dark conditions. It works brilliantly, except that the trade off is a snail like shutter speed. When simply filming the static view in the pitch black, it brightens everything up fantasticly - but if you are trying to film anything moving (like the fireworks of course) it is no good at all. It kinda 'strobes' and just doesn't pick up the actual movement. So - I had to film on 'normal', daylight type settings - at night!!! . left the camera running for ages attempting to capture enough footage to do a timelapse of nightfall. The fireworks were supposed to start at nine o'clock. They didn't! With it now fully dark, by around ten past nine I figured I'd got it wrong and they were going to start at nine thirty, and concerned I was running out of tape and battery (as ever!!), I decided to turn the camera off for a while. Would you believe it! The damn fireworks just suddenly started a quarter of an hour late at around 9:15pm - so I missed the beginning! Grrr. To be honest, as it turned out, it didn't really make any difference to my attempt at filming them. I was just SOooo far away, and the camera was having such a hard time filming the inky black of the night, it was all a bit of a predictably disappointing failure. Nevertheless, I tried to get into the spirit of the experience and supped my beer and smoked my cigarettes while sat back watching the show. Had another bit of a crisis with Sally in the middle of the things when a dark shadow, 'just' visible to me went running across the field in front of us, no more than twenty feet away. It was a fox - and Sally wanted to chase after it BAD! It skirted back past us a little later, so much of the time was spent restraining Sally and trying to keep her away from the camera tripod, as she went frantic on her lead! All in all, thanks to the horses and Sally (never mind the general 'unease' and paranoia of being up only a lonely hilltop in the pitch black), it ended up being 'the filming session from hell'!! :o( If I ever do anything like that again up there (as I'd planned to 'maybe' do, later in the week), Sally will NOT be invited! . eventually called it quits (frozen!! It's always SO cold up there, no matter how warm a day it may be!) and headed back across the field and down the lane (with difficulty) by torch light. Very pleased to get back onto roads under street lights! . back home by around 10:15pm. . touched base with BB . . ate ham sandwiches with crisps and a mum-donated small microwave chocolate pudding thing. . TVd until bed around 2am. dd
21 - Woken by Sally barking at the postman at 9am. . . walked . .PCd this . .SOoo tired. Ended up laying back down before midday but somehow couldn't sleep . . ate the last of the farmhouse pate and then some marmalade with toast followed by a little chocolate for lunch. . napped until woken by the phone (no message left) around 5pm! . . walked via town, BGdns and back for a change. . TVd . . ate salad and chicken slice sandwiches. . touched base with BB . .TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
20 - Woken around 7:30am by the sound of a neighbour's bin being wheeled down their steps . . walked . . PCd and finally wound up the lifeboat 'cox' video I'd wanted to do with a bit of the footage from weeks ago. .not sure I have a clue what's been going on with this PayPal nonsense, but suffice it to say, it would appear I am NOT out of pocket! Phew. Thank god for that! What is perplexing about the whole thing is that it appears all the past nonsense I had to go through to link my bank account to my PayPal account was for nothing, and the bank aren't recognising the direct debit instruction!?? As a result, paypal have removed details of that account! Quite frankly, I've lost all faith in paypal (and my bank?) as a result of all this. :o( . .cooked and ate three burgers in buttered bread rolls. . napped late for a couple of hours until around 7:15pm. Woke feeling awful. Skipped the evening walk again . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate biscuits and a little chocolate and then a couple of pieces of toast with some Mum donated farmhouse pate in the early hours. . TVd/PCd until almost daylight before eventually to bed (once some of the local 'youths' had finished banging their car doors right outside my house and finally drove away blowing their horn around 4am!! Grrrr). ss
19 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:15am . . walked (found 2p) and carried on down town in search of some different, lower wattage, preferably 'energy saver' bulbs for my new living room spotlights. The store who's advert came through the letterbox the other day advertising exactly what I need, predictably didn't have any (grrrr! after having walked all the way there!) but I did manage to find some relatively cheap ordinary ones (35w instead of my current 50w) in Woolworths for £3.78 the pair. . PCd . .pottered around mostly out in the garage and finally sorted through some of my boxes, still largely untouched from when I moved in! Coaxed the car into starting and then loaded it up with a bunch of stuff and almost all the books I own, and then dropped it all off at a local charity shop. There's an awful lot more of that to be done around the house. One of the most space consuming things is my cassette tape collection, which I have now determined IS going to have to go. Trouble is, that is gonna be pretty time consuming because I need to check every single one before I get rid of them, to make sure I have the music saved and safe on the PC. .ate a Mum donated chicken and mushroom pastry slice with crisps, a banana and a little chocolate . . napped in between the phone ringing! . . walked. The guy up the road (who I've given DVDs to and who gave me a nice bedside cabinet) called out as I passed. They'd returned from their holiday to Croatia and as he'd promised he would, he'd got me some duty free tobacco! Yayyyy. Unusually, I actually had some money in my pocket and it was just enough to be able to pay him for it there and then. He suggested rather than have to carry it with me, I could leave it there in his garage and pick it up on the way back from the walk. . Stopped in to pick up the tobacco on the way back. The guy came out and (because of the DVD thing) tried to give me some of my money back!! I refused but didn't resist too much the idea I should have a bottle of red wine. Eventually headed home with tobacco supplies and a bottle of wine in a carrier. :o) . .fitted the new 35w bulbs to the living room spotlights. That's much better for low 'watching TV' lighting. :o) Need to buy energy saver ones when I can. . touched base with JK and then LB for the first time in absolutely ages (rather than have to reply to her recent e-mail) . .touched base with BB . . TVd. Ate a couple of chicken and lettuce rolls, some chocolate and then bowls of corn flakes. .to bed around 1:30am. s
18 - Up around 7:15am . . walked and back via the post office to draw out a bunch of 'duty free tobacco' money for whenever it is I eventually meet up with SH. . .spent most of the day lifting floorboards and tracing wires and drilling holes in joists and working at wiring up the new living room spot lights. 'Just' managed to squeeze the switch cable down inside the existing trunking to the livingg room light switch. Sorted through all my 'awaiting use' electrical stuff, only to find to my amazement I didn't have a new double switch plate all ready and waiting. Damn! Left Sally at home and quickly dashed up the local builders yard and spent the couple of pounds on one. . Got it all hooked up and working in the end, albeit sadly for the time being in a 'spur' arrangement (heavy duty lighting cable so not 'really' an issue) because I've run out of cable! :o( . .vacuumed and reinstated the floors/bedroom furniture, etc. . .ate four small (old) frozen burgers in buttered bread rolls . . napped for around an hour . . the sky seemed to be threatening yet more rain, I was feeling pretty tired and achey, and there was a TV show I wanted to watch in an hour so I persuaded the car to start (eventually!!) and drove Sally to walk. . watched the last in the excellent three part series (I missed the first part!) 'The Genius Of Charles Darwin' presented by Richard Dawkins. Oh what a joy to have a little bit of 'intelligent' TV for a change. Right up my street. One of THE most extraordinary and disturbing bits of the program was an interview with a 'science' teacher from some public school up north, I think it was. A supposedly intelligent and upright member of society, it was his belief (despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary) that 'god made the earth' no more than eight thousand years ago! Nutter! And this man is teaching children? No wonder much of society seems to be racing headlong into a new age of intolerance and ignorance. . . touched base with BB . .ate a whole pack of Mum donated Kipling apple tarts, a banana and some chocolate. . TVd until bed around 2am. s
17 - Up around 7:45am . . coffee and cigarettes while doing my now daily worried-sick check of Paypal to see if my refund has been returned. Not yet again still. :o(. . walked. Returned home via Mums to borrow her 'lopper'. . messed around in the back yard and made pretty short work with the lopper of another large straggly overgrown bush which needed to go. Dug out a small dying fir tree . dug in some stones along a border to replace the rotting woven wicker edging I so dislike. . eventually chopped up the bush and fir tree into car sized chunks and loaded the car up. .The car started so drove to the tip around 1:30pm despite the likelihood of long Sunday queues. Couldn't believe my luck when I got there. There was no long queue out on the street and I was able to drive straight into the driveway - but then it all went wrong. I imagine the council staff were taking advantage of the lull to use their machines to process all the rubbish that had been dumped throughout the earlier part of the day. As a result, the queue I joined was not moving and remained parked up there for at least twenty minutes or more, before the usual slow crawl to the rubbish bays. Frustrating. Big queue all along the road outside by the time I was leaving. . I'd had enough of the garden, and with a hint of drizzle in the air called it quits. . somehow managed to muster the energy to have a go at mounting the recessed downlighters I've had laying around for the last year or more, into the living room ceiling for 'subdued lighting' like I used to have two spotlights in each alcove in Bristol. The paper insert in the lid of a coffee jar turned out to be the ideal sized template to draw around, and then I just cut through the fiberboard type ceiling with a sharp Stanley knife and a hack saw blade. Took a while and made a bit of a mess, but eventually had them in place, and even managed to thread connecting wires to them under the bedroom floor and past the noggins, using an old flexible nylon curtain track as a 'threader'. Actually all went pretty well - considering I've been putting that off for over a year! lol Temporarily hooked up a cable with a fused plug poked through the bedroom floorboards, to enable me to switch them on (later ater dark) to see how they actually look. . . skipped the evening walk yet again. . drank a little red wine and ate three salad and pate bread rolls with crisps . .SH called to confirm he had a bunch of duty free tobacco for me and was thinking of heading down this way some time this week . . touched base with BB . . tried out the new downlighter spotlights. Hum. Actually, I'm not sure I like the effect. Definitely far too bright - and boy do they get hot! :o( I need lower wattage bulbs (and preferably cooller running energy saver ones) for sure. . TVd until bed around 1am. d
16 - Up around 8:45am. . .rain! Hung around SO not wanting to have to go out. Eventually got all dressed up in waterproofs and got Sally in the car, only for the car to then not start! Somehow after almost draining the battery turning it over - over and over, the car did eventually suddenly decide to start. Drove to walk . .ate some mrmalade on toast and TVd . Mum called in with the paper and food donations . .ate Mum donated sausage rolls and pork pies . . napped the afternoon away . .after a break while I'd been sleeping, the heavy rain returned so I skipped the evening walk again. . TVd . . ate ham rolls . .touched base with BB briefly . . . TVd until bed around 1am. s
15 - Up around 7:45am again. A 'bit' achey! . . walked in the sun. . filled the back of the car with foliage and did a trip to the tip. As tip trips go it wasn't 'that' bad and I was only sat in the queue for perhaps fifteen minutes or so. Returned home for a coffee and smoke before loading the car up for another trip. That one small bush is going to take three trips!!! . things didn't go so well on this occasion. The queue of cars was all down the road leading to the tip!!! Much sitting around with the engine turned off. Over half an hour before I was unloaded and heading back out. I don't think I can face doing that again today. . returned home and chopped up 'most' of the rest of the bush into a dustbin. . ate corned beef, mayo and lettuce sandwiches with crisps, followed by a few chocolate raisins . . napped until around 6:45pm . . felt pretty tired and with the grey skies and rain showers drifting through, I couldn't face the evening walk and Sally had to make do with just the garden again. .PCd a bit of this but pretty much soon caved in again. Sick of it. I just can't seem to be able to stomach sitting in front of the damn thing hardly at all at the moment! In fact, as the evening wore on, my bleakly black mood of recent days seemed to return with a vengence!!??. .TVd almost until daylight! s
14 - Up around 7:45am! . .walked in the sun. . mowed the lawns. It has become increasingly apparant to me, that the gardens are hugely labour intensive, and frankly I just don't think I'm up to all that work all the time (not only from a 'laziness'/depression-inactivity point of view, but also because I no longer seem capable of too much hard physical labour, without suffering considerable debilitating pain during and afterwards as a result!!). I think it's high time I started to think about modifying the gardens to be more to MY taste and to be less of a full time job. Sadly, many of the 'mature' plants are simply going to have to go. One of those is definitely going to be the big blob of an overgrown privet part way up the garden. Sally seems to have developed a weird habit of rubbing herself against it and has ruined its shape anyway, so it seemed a good idea to start with that one. Everything in the garden seems to have grown over time and is kinda interfering with whatever is next to it. That privet has pretty much killed off one half of a small fir tree, and grossly deformed a much larger one. It's going to be a shame, but I'm pretty sure both of them are gonna have to go too. This whole collection of plants, although giving privacy to the lower part of the garden, obscures any sight of the upper parts from the house. Doesn't make sense to me. I'm gonna have to give some consdierable thought to what may or may not work and do things real slow and bit by bit, but I need to make changes. . .put in the hours with the secateurs and eventually succeeded in cutting down the privet, to just leave the awkward stumps and root to deal with some other time. Yayy. I managed to force myself to 'do' something!! . .exhausting!. . ate corned beef, mayo and lettuce rolls with crisps . . Sally seemed in a funny mood (perhaps because I just choppped down her favourite tree) and unusually she joined me on the bed when I lay down for a much needed nap. . fitfully napped for only an hour or so. Bad back/aching all over! . .walked . . PCd/TVd . . cooked and ate four small burgers (I've had in the freezer for ages) and cheese in buttered rolls followed by a whole bar of Mum donated chocolate. . .TVd until bed around 1:30am.s
13 - Up around 7am! . .walked and did find myself paying more attention than normal to the shoreline, just in case some body had washed up! . . .PCd and sat around doing nothing. Tried real hard to get on with doing something, but somehow I just couldn't muster the energy or see the point. The 'freecycle' lawnmower thing had come to nothing. What I hadn't appreciated is when you ask to have something, I get the impression that you are 'supposed' to trot out some little story about how hard up you are and how it is YOU who should deserve to get the advertised item above all others!! I don't think I can do that. There's something 'distasteful' to me about all that. . drank a splash of wine and cooked sausages, beans, fried bread and chips for lunch . . napped until around 6pm. . walked. .PCd and actually surfed trying to find a decent on-line way of looking up/valueing some of the old stamps I've had laying around in collections since I was a kid. I was quite amazed at the lack of a decent (free, with pictures) site. Went round and round in circles for ages before giving up. . JK called . . TVd . . ate bowls of cornflakes . .TVd until bed around 2:30am. ds
12 - Up around 8am . . PCd over coffee and cigarettes and spotted an advert on the local freecycle site for a lawnmower. . walked mostly between showers. . PCd sat around all day, unable to motivate myself to do anything!! :o( . . walked. Much activity going on out in the bay. A SAR helicopter was doing a search pattern way off in the distance, and a couple of different lifeboats were doing the same back and forth across the wider bay. Extraordinarily large search area I thought. A dog walker suggested he'd heard on the news around 2pm that a forteen year old swimmer was missing from somewhere near Bury Head!!
. . drank a splash of red wine and
cooked and ate four burgers in buttered bread rolls with fried
onion and then some chocolate . . touched base briefly with BB .
. TVd until bed around 1am. d
11 - Up around 8:45am . . walked . .PCd . . finally bit the bullet, phoned up one of the e-bay stores to confirm a few details (their advert wrongly suggested it had firewire when it plainly didn't) and then clicked on the 'buy it now' option to purchase a new PC for £321.99. .
within an hour or so I got an e-mail from the store asking me to call them back. It appeared they had some nonsense going on with e-bay/paypal over their banking and had issued me with an immediate refund. Trouble was, their bank account didn't seem to be all linked to the transaction like it should be, and PayPal had put a 'hold' on the transaction, because the funds would allegedly take up to nine working days to be received from their bank!!! I don't believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The store made absolutely no offer of doing anything or giving me money off for the inconvenience or anything! So here I am, completely powerless to do anything about it - over £300 out of pocket with nothing to show for it, and a two week wait to see whether or not I've just been robbed of the money! For fucks sake! Would you believe it! So what happens if I don't get that money back? What then? I can't believe I've been put in such a situation!!
. . cooked and ate two sausages,
chips, fried bread and beans . . tried to nap but couldn't . .
sat around feeling increasingly miserable. I seem to have plunged
into almost 'needing prozac' territory! . . walked. Someone has
cleared away the big mountain of glass bottles from up the street.
. TVd and watched the second program in a series on Darwins
origin of species and how it relates to todays society. Excellent
thought provoking stuff for a change . . touched base with BB. .
ate corned beef and lettuce rolls followed by a whole pack of Mum
donated jaffa cakes . . TVd untill bed around 2am. s
10 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am. .walked . .surfed and chose a PC on e-bay I rather fancy. Largely price based but also very much because of the case it was built in. All the 'budget' quad core PCs seem to be built into those nauseating, cheap plastic x blade boxes with plastic chrome, flashy lights and the like. Hate all that stuff. Just want a tasteful black box! The 'Antec 300 Midi Tower' case seems to fit the bill for me at the moment - particularly considering the desk I'm using has the PC down next to me on the right, almost on the floor. The front side USB and audio sockets (sadly no firewire) are on the very top of THAT case, which seems quite unusual and would be SO perfect for me as things stand (although maybe not in the future if I build a desk in the room in a different configuration? It's SO hard for me to make a decision given my limited finances. If I get it wrong, I'll be stuck with it for years.) Having chosen the PC, I then set about laying out the advertised specs on a small Excel spreadsheet and then went through the hassle of looking everything up on the net/e-bay and pricing the individual components, to see how much I could actually build the exact same machine for myself. After a couple of hours, my investigations pretty much confirmed what I'd feared - I couldn't build it from parts any cheaper than it was being sold on e-bay for (circa. £310+ without even an operating system! - although perhaps largely to do with postage/shipping costs)!! What a shame. So - is there really anything to be gained by building one from scratch? Not much, other than spending even more 'upwardly' tweaking the specs of the components a little here and there. Oh dear. If I had an 'income', it really wouldn't be such a huge decision/gamble. . drank a half mug of red wine while cooking up four sausages, chips, fried bread and two eggs. Ate and finished the huge meal off by then eating an entire pack of Mum donated Jelly Babies!!!! . . napped until around 6:45pm . . walked. Yet another brandy bottle tossed into the middle of the manicured lawn up the street! Another nearby yesterday, so that would appear to be that alcoholics minimum daily dose! Must cost him a fortune!! . . PCd this . . touched base with BB . . d
9 - Walked Sally around 8am feeling a bit woozy and wobbly . .cleared up a couple of carrier bags of the litter in BGdns from last night's gathering. Found a penny, an unopened tin of lager, and a small rucksack which I'm afraid I intend to keep and use for shopping! . . returned home mostly before the forecast wind and rain hit, and pretty soon went to bed for a couple of hours . . woke just before Mum arrived with the paper and food donations around 12:15pm . . coffee and chats etc. . ate a couple of Mum donated pasties and then back to bed for a couple more hours until around 7pm. Still tired and couldn't face the walk in the bad weather so Sally had to make do with using the frog filled back garden. . did dish washing (ALL of them!) chores . . touched base with BB. .TVd. .PCd and yet again ended up surfing PC ads and very slowly started to understand current processor types/speeds etc! Dunno why this has become such an obsession at the moment. It would appear that I am absolutely intent on upgrading pretty soon, like it or not!?. . . ate bowls of muesli . PCd until bed around 3am.
8 - Up around 8:20am. . .felt more 'up' than of late for no particular reason. . walked and then carried on down town to do a little shopping. Bought some DVD-rs in the local PC store and had a conversation about how much a system composed of such and such would cost. I don't think he can really compete with the prices I've been finding on e-bay and the web. Visited the butcher for supplies of more 50p burgers, and was treated to a free homemade 'lamb and mint' burger to try out. Cool. Maybe I'd better try out everything else they sell? lol . Scored a bone for Sally . .back home to do laundry chores and PC . . cooked and ate my free burger in a buttered bread roll with chips for lunch. Actually quite nice. Not sure it tasted particularly of 'lamb' as such, but it was definitely a 'lighter' tasting meat, and pretty nice for a change. If they are the same price as the beef ones, I probably will end up buying some. . napped . . walked BGdns via town and back for a change . . PCd . . touched base with BB . .TVd/PCd. After the recent severe 'down' in my mood, I didn't want the 'feeling better' to end, and somehow ended up staying up deep into the early hours. By the time I was ready for bed, it was light and not far off the time to walk Sally!!! Ended up just staying up!!!!!!! s
7 - Poor broken sleep then up at 8am headachey. . walked . . trimmed my hair. How many times is that now? That hair trimmer has 'paid for itself ' already. :o) . PCd surfing PCs again!?? . . BB called briefly. . just couldn't be bothered to do anything, skipped food and napped for a couple of hours . .ate an 'emergency' banana and chocolate biscuits because I was feeling a bit giddy and wobbly on my feet. . walked in waterproofs, determined not to get soaked again this evening. Typically it stopped raining and I overheated, and walked all the way back having to carry the waterproofs. . TVd . .cooked and ate four beefburgers in bread rolls and a little chocolate. . TVd until bed around 1am. aad
6 - Woken around 8am by Sis2 calling from the airport to say she was successfully there. Uhuh! . .walked. Much chatting with dog walkers, holidaymaker from Bristol and then almost home, bumped into the 'singing' guy and had to stand there and be polite for ages. By the time I was back inside, I was feeling oh SO desperate to get away from everyone! . .PCd for hours searching computer adverts. Ended up feeling increasingly down. Really seem to be having a hard time with my mood at the moment. Definitely 'burnt out' with the video making. I can't entertain touching anything video related at the moment. It all just seems so utterly, utterly pointless all of a sudden. The hours and hours I've spent making and uploading all those videos - and for what? What was I thinking? Utterly, utterly pointless!!!
ate ham sandwiches, crisps and
chocolate biscuits . .napped until around 7pm. . walked and got
soaked again. . TVd. . touched base with BB. . ate bowls of
muesli . .TVd until bed after 2am.
5 - Up around 8:40am. The forecast was right. Rain. . walked in a mostly dry spell. So much for the nice £5 charity shop leggings I recently bought. I've discovered they have a (difficult/impossible to repair) break in a seam. :o( . .PCd this. . eventually mustered the energy to have a 'poke and prod' at the car. I'd (regrettably) said I'd deliver Sis2 to the airport for her early morning return flight tomorrow (I'll have to get up around 4am to get a Sally walk etc in!! :o( ) , so I had to at least make sure the car was going to start etc. .put the battery on charge, checked the oil and water, put higher air pressures in all the tyres, etc, etc. Even decided to vacuum it out and wash it all (because it really was in a hell of a state and wouldn't have been fair to expect Mum/Sis2 to sit in such a filthy mess). Once all that was done, I even decided to have a go at sorting out the 'floppy' passenger side door mirror. Damaged during the attacks back in Bristol, it's never been right since and as become increasingly 'floppy'. Turned out to be 'nothing more' than a dislodged locking circlip (as I'd suspected and as had been the case with the drivers side one when that was damaged by someone some time ago, which I'd had to 'botch' repair). The bad news about that, even though it should so easily be fixable, is just like I found with the drivers side mirror, no matter what I tried, there was absolutely no way I could figure out how it was in any way possible to simply compress the internal spring enough to allow the circlip to be pushed back on!! There must be a way - a simple way, or maybe a special little tool used by mechanics, but however it's done by the people who know, no way could I do it again. With the car well overdue for the scrap heap anyway, exactly as I'd done with the drivers side wing mirror, I set about cutting off the internal adjusting lever, drilling out a metal part and then pushing a long bolt through the mechanism from inside the mirror housing, and just bolting it all back together with a couple of nuts to lock it all in place. It'll do (better than floppy anyway). eventually refitted the battery, checked it started and called it quits (I'll have to find the radio security code in my papers some other time). . would you believe it! Found an ansaphone message left on the machine from Mum/Sis2 saying Sis2 had let me off the hook and had managed to book a relatively cheap, one-way taxi to take her to the airport, instead of dragging me out of bed and putting me to all the bother etc. Oh well - that was a wasted day then - although I must confess I was GREATLY relieved at not having to bother. . . walked in drizzle although light enough not have worn my leggings. Sally caught and killed a careless mouse!! Found it deeply supsetting to drag her off and then have to watch as the poor split open body fought for its last breathes there in front of me :o( . .got soaked in the rain on the way home, and then had to sit around in wet trousers waiting for them to dry on me . .feel really down again. . ate ham, mayo, lettuce, spring onion, tomato rolls with crisps . . TVd. . BB called . . TVd until 2am before bed.
4 - Woke around 9am or after, feeling as though I'd had no sleep at all! . . walked in a hint of drizzle. No sign of yesterdays dead rabbit, so something's had it. Workmen in the lower part of the Gdns were digging in new foundations for yet another seat . Mum and Sis2 stopped briefly as they passed me sat under the roof having a cigarette in BGdns, on their way to get the Dart ferry for a day out. Too exhausted to join them. . Found a penny. Returned home feeling SO tired, after PCing briefly, I eventually pretty soon returned to bed! . Tossed and turned and couldn't sleep and ended up having a tea cup of red wine while cooking up a coupleof burgers. Ate burgers in buttered bread rolls with some mayo, grated cheese and chopped spring onions . . the wine and food did the trick and I slept the afternoon away until just after 6:30pm . . walked. Yet another bottle discarded in the grass verge up the road. I'd kinda hoped the big pile of bottles I'd collected up and left in full view at the edge of the pavement may have had some effect on the drunken bum who threw them all there, but of course it hasn't. It didn't even occur to him to throw todays onto the heap. It was thrown onto the grass some distance away!! Go figure. . PCd this. . balanced my accounts . . touched base with Mum and Sis2 who'd enjoyed their day trip . .touched base with BB . .PCd surfing shops/e-bay, etc . .ate bowls of cornflakes . . TVd until bed just after 2am. .ads
3 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 9:15am. .walked late. Sally caught and killed a rabbit in BGdns! :o( Similar scenario as last time. She can't catch them in a straight chase, but if she comes round a corner and suprises one on the path in front of her, she has a reasonable chance of getting it! Unpleasantly sad. Left the carcase in the hedge where she'd cornered it for some night time creature to benefit from. . got reliable information from a dog walker that the final day of the weekend's steam fair, which I'd been tempted to go have a look at (despite the £6 entrance fee), had been cancelled as had the previous couple of days, because the field was mud bound and waterlogged after all the recent rain. What a disaster for everyone involved. Must have cost a fortune! Funny though - you'd have thought in this day and age, in this country, you'd factor in the likelihood of rain and mud, and make 'some' sort of arrangement. . . PCd the monks videos and eventually uploaded them, only to find someone else had already uploaded some short clips (actually from a better angle). Oh well. .ate Mum donated ham, mayo, onion lettuce and tomato rolls with crisps . . PCd more and ended up messing around all afternoon downloading freeware programs and the like, trying to get to the bottom of different file compression formats and what is best for uploading to YouTube . .should have napped instead! Ended up just feeling exhausted and pretty fed up and down . .walked. . TVd . . touched base briefly with BB . . TVd/PCd the night away until finally to bed around 4am.
2 - Up around 8:30am. .walked . . PCd. . Mum and Sis2 popped in with the paper and food donations. . Mum and Sis2 were planning to walk the woods so I said I'd join them with Sally (just to get away from the damn PC for bit) . . all walked. The little BGdns war museum place by the holiday camp was open, and becuase I think it is a remarkble place and Mum and Sis2 hadn't been inside yet, we all went in for a look around. I think they were suitably suprised and fascinated at the alladins cave of war memorablia they found inside the anonymous looking 'shack'. So much so, we were in there for quite a while and Mum ended up giving a £5 donation!! That amount earned the right to become a member for a year apparantly, so it ended up ME becoming the member!. . walked the woods and beach and back and then ended up in the cafe of the holiday camp place (the one with the chalet BB and I stayed at when we fled Bristol) for a coffee . .sat in BGdns. . eventually on down to the harbour for Mum-bought fish and chips takeaway. . all sat around for ages just watching the world go by. .treated to a toffee flavour scoop ice cream by Mum. . strange sight of a lot of orange robed monks hanging around at the harbourside as the earlier market stalls were disassembled and packed away. Looked as though something was going to be happening so we sat around and waited. Eventually they set up a table and hoardings of pictures and posters. Apparantly they were gonna do a short performance as part of the launch of a 'Brixham Arts & Theatre Society' (which the people concerned seemed to take great delight in calling 'BATS'). Sat around and eventually watched their short performance. I couldn't resist and Mum held onto Sally while I filmed it. So - just another day by the harbourside then - seagulls, children crab fishing, ice cream, fish and chips, - and Tibetan Buddhist monks!!!???!!! This place really is utterly bizarre and as though it's in the twilight zone at times. Most of the time in fact! lol. .eventually headed off but not far before ending up all sat for a coffee at tables outside a cafe! . . eventually back . . .PCd the monk footage. Actually found it strangely 'moving' watching and listening to it. You can almost imagine how much of an impact such a thing must have in its original setting. Also seems 'timely' given all the furore in the press and on TV at the moment about the Olympic games in China and all that. Personally, I find it 'distasteful' that the world is happily mostly ignoring the human rights stuff and having the games there at all. (Mentally, I haven't moved on from the Tiananmen Square stuff.) As for the Olympics - it's just people 'playing games'. Why is that SUCH a big deal to everyone? Like it 'matters'? Never mind the poor people who were forcibly evicted and made homeless to build the bloody facilities, never mind all the people dieing in wars and atrocities everywhere, never mind the starving millions, climate change, etc, etc - never mind all that - what is much more important is which of these privileged few can run faster than the others. I don't get it, and strongly suspect there is an underlying economic/political/greed based unpleasantness behind all the positive propaganda. So - nothing much of interest to me to watch on TV for the next few weeks then. . touched base with BB. . TVd the evening away until bed after 1am. s
1 - Up at 8am . .PCd a bit of this. . walked and carried on down town (mostly between heavy showers) to buy another dozen 50p burgers from the butcher, and scored a couple of large bones for Sally. Also bagged a bit of telephone cable on a spool for £1, and a dozen new clear shower curtain rings from a charity shop for 50p. Good to finally get rid of the eleven tasteless plastic, gold coloured fish design rings I've been making do with which I inherited when I moved in . . PCd this while Sally ate her bone in the garden . . drank a little red wine while cooking a couple of cheeseburgers in buttered rolls. .ate and then napped until the alarm at 6:30pm. . Mum called shortly after on the mobile from BGdns talking about some incoming ship or other I may be interested in seeing. . came to just a little before heading straight out with Sally . . joined Mum and Sis2 who were still sat in BGdns. They were adamant the big tug towing a large strange barge had been further out in the bay and was heading for them - but I was unbelieving. From what I've seen each day, it's not moved and been moored in the same spot for the last few days! lol . .eventually returned home between the heavy showers . .PCd just 'relaxing' and surfing looking at new PCs. .BB called briefly . .ate corned beef sandwiches with crisps . .TVd feeling down, until bed after 2am. sd