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- Woke earlier, snoozed on poorly, then finally up around 7am. Not a good nights sleep. Felt a bit unwell (nauseas) during sleep and still did when I awoke. . walked. . put a little plaster around the bottom of the firebreast sidewall and then eventually did the work on the opposite side to rough-in the two matching socket boxes. Awkward because of the position of the floor joist below, but got there in the end. BIG mess of dust everywhere again! :o( . . ate corned beef and cheese sandwiches, crisps and biscuits. . napped until around 6:15pm. .walked . . put a ladder up so I could draw around the top of the soil vent pipe to make a cardboard template and then worked in the back garden with the grinder, carving a piece of scrap metal salvaged from the skip in the local industrial estate, into something useable-ish for maybe mounting an antenna atop the vent pipe (although I may not, because I don't think it could take the wind loading in bad weather). While I was doing this, next door was working in his garage on welding a cill on a car. All of a sudden just after 9pm, I heard a strange noise and was drawn to glance up the garden behind me, up into next doors garage. Uhoh! Something had caught alight and he was using a fire extinquisher to put out the flames. Everything 'appeared' to be under control, so I went back to what I was doing. Very soon after, it became apparant that things were NOT under control. In fact - very OUT of control VERY quickly!!! In a heartbeat, the car he was working on was WELL alight! He was soon racing around and up and down his garden in a panic, trying to get his garden hose to spray water on the flames!!! I dropped everything and raced up to MY garage and fell over all the junk whilst dragging out all the old bits of hose I have laying up there. Eventually draggged the hose(s) (breaking the plastic reel they were on) down into the garden only to soon find I didn't have connectors on the ends to connect to my outside tap anymore. (Kicking myself! When I moved in here, there was a hose screwed to the fence between us, reaching right up to my garage. I long ago decided I didn't want/need it because of the high water bill and ugliness of it, and had uncermoniously removed it all. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn!!!) I couldn't help and had wasted that time trying!! Next door was stood at/in the rear door of his garage with a pathetic dribble of water coming from his garden hose, as the car, the whole garage and all its contents were rapidly (instantly?) consumed by the flames!!!!! It really was VERY risky what he was attempting!!! It was ALREADY pretty clear that all was lost, and things were starting to go bang in a big scary way. I think it 'may' have already been done by someone, but in a horribly desperate way, he was calling out for someone to call the firebrigade as he directed his pathetic dribble of water from his hose - FAR too close to the inferno. I raced inside, made sure Bella was secure, and called the fire brigade, before (foolishly) racing back up (with the camcorder in hand) and examining the progress of the fire from up by my car. With hindsight - I really didn't appreciate the danger I was in there, or the urgency in getting my car moved! Thankfully my other neighbour (up there with his own LONG hose, playing water across the top of my adjoining carport) strongly suggested I SHOULD move it STRAIGHT away. I eventually saw sense and raced back in for my car keys, and quickly drove it out and a short distance up the back lane to safety. By this time the fire was absolutely raging, and running back past/next to it to get back into my garden was a pretty dangerous gamble. A policeman soon appeared from somewhere, and was 'irritatingly' insistant that we should all keep WELL back. I was absurdly dismissive of his suggestions at the time, and even got just a little 'bolshy' (NOT particularly outwardly) about being told what to do with and around my own property by some young whippersnapper like that. With hindsight - I was a complete DICK! He was ABSOLUTELY right. It really WAS potentially an EXTREMELY dangerous situation for ALL the nearby onlookers. There WAS a tall, torpedo like gas cylinder in that garage, 'brewing up', never mind the showers of exploding asbestos roof raining down on the whole neighbourhood!!!!!!!!!!! . Image of my neighbors garage fireafter what seemed like an age, fire men began appearing. They couldn't get their equipment anywhere near the fire, so they closed the road out front, filled the road with a couple of fire engines and eventually succeeded in running hoses the considerable distance around the houses and up round back to tackle the enormous flames. As soon as they learned there was a gas cylinder in the inferno, that seemed to become the ENTIRE focus of their efforts and attention. By now, the whole garage and everything in it was clearly a loss anyway, and as luck would have it, a gentle breeze was keeping the flames from spreading to MY carport and garage, so there understandably seemed little point in 'fighting the fire' as such. Almost all their hoses were immediately put on the cylinder to attempt to cool it down to prevent a possible massive explosion. (Thankfully, according to my neighbour, the cylinder contained non-flammable argon gas I think he said, so the very real danger from it exploding into a massive fireball was 'somewhat' reduced.) The firemen (most in full breathing gear) had an amazing high tech infa-red type camera which was brought into play to monitor the temperature of the cylinder, as huge quantities of water were permanently sprayed on it, with not 'too' much attention payed to anyting else. Trapped up in the lane, I filmed a bit as best I could in the dark. LOTS of people/neighbours along there all watching. My poor neighbour actually spent quite a bit of time just sat on his garden furniture on his lawn watching the inferno consume all his stuff, as though he was sat around some innocent campfire! I felt SO sorry for him. All his vast array of expensive tools and equipment. :o( . to cut a LONG story short, eventually everything was brought under control sufficient for me to dare to risk a run past it all, back into my garden. The heat radiating from the brickwork of the party wall under my carport was sufficient to even be felt on my face as I (foolishly?) ran through and past! Amazing! It was well up around midnight before things quietened down and the firemen and their engines finally disappeared from the street out front! Bella suprisingly didn't seem unduly phased by all the chaos and activity - even when late on, I allowed her a quick look out in the garden! I guess I should be thankful. 'I' got away with all that really very lightly. Even the fibreglass roofing over my carport 'appears' to have incredibly survived. :o| . . ate bowls of sugar puffs before eventually to bed around 1:30am.
2 - Trouble getting to sleep and then ended up waking up around 4am!!!! Couldn't get back to sleep so got up and messed with the bit of fire video from last night. . uploaded the clip to Youtube for what its worth (maybe useful for next door's insurance claim/evidence or some such?), walked early . . PCd a bit of this. . . spent quite a while in the garden trying to sweep and pick up all the bits of exploded EVERYWHERE, asbestos roof sheeting . . helped next door try to do the same in the next garden along. I don't think the poor woman there will be eating any of the produce from her allotment area! ALL of the plants were COVERED in asbestos bits!! . Bella barking inside alerted me to someone at the door. The roofing guy had called just to warn me he'd be dropping stuff off in the garden for a bit . . oh SO tired. Cooked and ate early intending to go to sleep pretty soon after. Ate a three egg cheese omlette with chips . . the roofer guy eventually returned and bizarrely I ended up helping put up the scaffolding out front!!!!! It was the first time EITHER of us had put up scaffolding like that, and it probably took twice as long as it could have as a result - especially with me being all concerned about not damaging anything - my 'new' windows in particular. Having now helped put some up like that, I fail to see how that guy could possibly have done it (safely) on his own as he'd probably been intending. The shorter lengths are 'kinda' manageable (even for me with no upper body strength), but those full 17 or 20 foot lengths are a nightmare to handle! It's the first couple of bits when you first start trying to erect it all, that I just couldn't work out how it is done. As far as I recall, the first two full uprights were propped up vertically against the wall of the house (!!) and then shorter bits started to get bolted on creating an upturned 'Y' shape. Somehow those two Y's were joined and then it was not 'too' much of a danger to pull them upright away from the house and have them just stand there while the rest was all bolted on. Suffice it to say - I found the whole business a tremendously worrying process! With hindsight, plenty of the cross pieces and bracing bits weren't bolted on quite how they should have been, but eventually it was all up and the roofer guy seemed quite happy with his acheivement and seemed happy to plan to work on top of it. NO WAY would 'health and safety' have passed it for what he intended! No upper safety rail or any such thing - he was gonna be working on a boarded, wobbly platform on the very top! Rather him than me! I reckon one of those small scaffolding towers would have done as well, if not better, and would have been a LOT more manageable in the putting up. Wow - how uptight am I now - and will remain so until all that lot is safely down again!!! It's funny - now I've played at being a scaffolder for a bit, I find myself taking a LOT more interest in any scaffolding I see in passing - particularly in respect of how the pieces have been interlaced and where stiffening cross members have been correctly used, etc, etc. lololol. . napped poorly briefly. I just HAD to! . walked. VERY warm! Sat around in BGdns chatting to other dog walkers for ages . . TVd. . .ate corned beef, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, a mini cheesecake, a banana and a little chocolate . . TVd until bed around 12:30am. Big rain forecast for the day after tomorrow!!! Typical! Hope the roof thing all goes ok and quick, tomorrow!
3 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:20am . I haven't had a decent sleep since I started trying to stop smoking!!!!. . PCd briefly. Received a couple of mails about the seagull eating a plastic bag video. Apparantly photos taken from it were being used in the national press! . .

walked. .Image of scaffolding Image of my roof during repairthe roofer was just leaving his place to drive to mine as I passed on the way back, so he was working on my roof by the time I got back home . mostly just kept out of the way and left him to it, but DID pop up the ladder from time to time just to have a look. Unbelievably hot up there in the full sun. The first time I went up he'd already removed some of the old botched stuff, and it was possible to see how much of the timber was rotted. Plenty - but actually not as bad as I'd feared it would be. It did also reveal the void above the little area of flat ceiling in the bedroom. Ooh oohh - chance of a lifetime not to be missed. Rushed to the garage to get a roll of fibre glass and got him to stuff in as much as he possibly could. Being able to do that was a real bonus. He must have packed it in SO tight!!! There was hardly any left over from the huge wadd I'd given him! . . typically I was all uptight just sitting around with someone working on the place, so I ended up removing the rest of the wallpaper and scraping off the paint from the other firebreast sidewall . . Mum called and then popped in with the paper with the picture of the seagull eating a plastic bag from my video, spalshed all across the front page! . . Image of my roof after repaireventually helped the roofer get the scaffolding down and dumped on the grass. SUCH a relief to have that safely laying in the garden without havng caused any major damage. . the roofer rushed off somewhere else (his next job) for a bit around 4pm, 'to make them waterproof' . . swept up a bit and cleared all the debris into the bin . . ate Mum donated microwave sausages and mashed potato with four pieces of bread and butter . . the roofer guy returned and collected up a bunch of his gear, but left the scaffolding in the garden for tomorrow because he was just too tired. I'm not suprised! I just don't know how such people have the strength and energy to do what they do!!??!!. . napped . . couldn't have my usual coffee to wake up! The milk had suddenly gone off - three days BEFORE it's use-by date?? That's unusual and weird. . walked. Back via the store for milk and a few supplies. . put a little filler on the living room firebreast side-walls . . Mum called to see how the roof thing had gone. . TVd/PCd . . ate a pastry slice, crisps, banana amd a slice of cake . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. The forecast heavy rain had arrived earlier. The modifications to the bedroom roof appear to have made the bedroom MUCH quieter in the rain. That business about loud drips from the roof hitting the PVC window cills seems to have been remedied and is no longer happening very much. That's MOST welcome! . less so is the way that roof repair looks to have been done. The more I look at it (and others in comparison), the more concerned I am about how that final piece of the tarfelt has literally been 'stuck' on top! With the extreme battering from the weather I get here, I strongly suspect the wind will eventually start to just pull that off! It surely SHOULD have been folded right over and somehow tacked on to the new timber battons underneath? Time will tell - but I've already convinced myself that just ISN'T done right, and WILL need to be re-done in a relatively short space of time!!! :o(
4 - Woke earlier, snuggled with Bella briefly then up at 7am. Still raining quite a bit - and I wasn't really aware until I looked out! That new roof has made the bedroom MUCH quieter in the rain. That's MOST welcome. :o). . PCd a bit of this . . walked . . felt tired and found difficulty getting going at anything. . took the roof-leak-stained bedroom curtains down and put them in the laundry. . put a bit of emulsion paint on the water stained bedroom bay window wall, but as it turned out, to no avail, because the staining came straight back through the paint!!? What a pain! I'm gonna have to try to 'seal' that in before I can make it disappear. What with the damage to the ceiling to deal with too - trying to fix all that leak damage is going to be rather more work than I can face doing at the moment. .defrosted and gave Bella a bone out in the garden . . sanded and put a bit more filler on the living room fireplace sidewalls. . . walked with Bella and went to buy four single switched sockets for the new firebreast sidewall socket boxes. Ended up walking all over the place locally and not finding what I wanted before eventually managing to buy them down on the main road in Jewson for 10.08. . while I was out, the roofer guy had collected all his scaffolding from the front lawn. . . drank a glass of wine and ate a trio of bread rolls with mayo and tinned ham, crisps and chocolate. . napped, long, actually sleeping pretty deeply thanks to the wine, until around 6pm. . . walked . . sanded and got an initial coat of emulsion paint on the outer firebreast sidewall. .vacuumed up just some of the layers of dust on everything everywhere. . re-hung the bedroom curtains . . TVd . . ate a three-egg omlette, chips and a slice of cake. . . TVd until bed around 1am.
5 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7am . . walked . left a note on the windscreen of the roofer guys truck reminding him about the scaffold planks in Mums garden. They'd been left there by the builder guys who'd done all her rendering ages ago, and despite reminding one of them, they appeared to have no intention whatsoever of picking them up. I'd suggested to the roofer guy that HE could 'remove them' and add them to his new collection of scaffolding bits. That way, both he and Mum would benefit from their removal . . did the work to alter the ring main and connect up the four new single power sockets on the living room firebreast sidewalls. Turned out to be a lot more hassle than it should have been! I hadn't put in as much work as I should have done under the floor on one of them, making it real difficult to get the wire up through the conduit. Took ages (with the power off) but eventually managed it by poking a thinner piece of wire down through, attaching the mains cable to it, and then dragging it all back up through after having first lubricated it with washing-up liquid. The other three sockets were all as easy as they should be. Disappointing to have screwed up like that and made that one so difficult to alter/'rewire' if I so choose in the future. . . ate spam sandwiches, crisps, banana and a little chocolate. . . napped. Dunno what the hell is going on with me in my sleep right now, but I seem to be regularly waking with every muscle aching dreadfully! I appear to be incredibly up-tight when asleep (even more than is my usual!!) with every muscle held rigidly tense and even grinding my rotting, shifting teeth (which actually often wakes me in and of itself, when a particularly aching bad tooth is pushed out of place!!). I can't imagine what it must be like to go to sleep and wake refreshed and revitalised! :o( . . walked and detoured past Mums just to see if the scaffold planks had been taken. They hadn't! Carried on walking the 'top road' out, and eventually joined the lane and walked down it to the woods and beach etc. For the entire on-lead parts of the walk, Bella was acting-up and all uncontrollable (AGAIN!) and by the time we got back I was in a FOUL mood with her - again! :o( . . . cleared all the ornaments, clock, mirror etc, and eventually removed the wooden fire surround from arround the living room gas fire for the first time. Scraped off most of the old wallpaper from the firebreast to reveal also for the first time, the mess of cracks, uneven plaster, and flaking old paint etc underneath!! Uggh! . . TVd and ate bowls of co-co pops before eventually to bed around 1am.
6 - Woke earlier, tried to snooze on for a bit, then up around 6:30am. . the little bit of next door fire video has been included on some sort of summary of local youtube videos on the local newspaper website, so I guess that accounts for the suprisingly high number of hits it suddenly had . . PCd this . . .walked . . ate four pieces of toast with some jam . . scraped off all the old flaking paint from the top of the firebreast and then sat around just looking at all the mess for ages, trying to plan what to do and how best to tackle it. . .Mum called in with the paper and food donations but (wanting a cigarette of course!!) I ended up all short tempered and she understandably/wisely didn't hang around. . ate crisps, a bit of gala pie, some chocolate and biscuits. . napped until around 5pm . . worked on the firebreast and managed with some difficulty to saw around half an inch of one side of the uneven/lop-sided wooden fire surround, to bring it up to looking 'somewhat' more level. What on EARTH was someone thinking, to put it in SO lop-sided like that!!! It was SO obvious to the eye in passing (to me), it was 'painful'! . . walked . . scraped and sanded away at the plaster of the massively uneven firebreast for hours, trying to get the fire surround to sit more flat against the wall. Around 9:50pm the next door neighbour started banging on the wall - presumably fed up with the noise I was making?!! Grrr. Try not banging YOUR front door all the time and maybe I'd be more accomodating about not working so 'late'!! Promptly reluctantly called it quits. . TVd. . ate crisps and a bit of pork pie and sausage rolls . . eventually to bed around 1am.
7 - Up just before 7am . . walked the beach and woods. . . sanded and scraped more of the firebreast away until I figured it was as good and near flat as it was likely to ever get. . applied LOTS of filler as usual . . glued a piece into the wooden fire surround to fill the hole that has always inexplicably been a part of it. . ate a trio of spam and mayo bread rolls, crisps and some chocolate. . napped until around 5:30pm . . sanded down the filler (dust everywhere - and a bit of choking throwing-up despite wearing a dust mask!) and got an 'undercoat' of emulsion on the firebreast wall . . walked. Got chatting to a dog walker and eventually ended up walking all the way back with him and his little terrier type dog (in the light showers of rain). Offered him the chance of a coffee as he passed, which he accepted. . coffee and chats as Bella and the terrier almost constantly played. I was actually really impressed with Bella. Here was a strange dog in her territory, and yet she didn't seem to get particularly up-tight about it at all, and actually appeared to really enjoy it! Got a neat bit of video of them playing, for some future 'Bella update'. . . eventually said goodbyes and got down to trying to vacuum some of the layers of dust up before showering and doing laundry . . with the spot lights on in the living room and the light hitting the firebreast at such a sharp angle, the wall looks absolutely atrocious! Not at all flat or smooth and all the vast amount of patching and filling is plainly visible. Looks REALLY bad!! :o( . . . TVd and ate a banana, multiple bowls of Mum donated sugar puffs (actually most of a packet!!) and a slice of cake before finally to bed around 2am or later.
8 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7am . . PCd a bit of this and after having checked bank accounts (Yayyy - Mum has put 600 into my account - to cover the roof work+!), wrote the 528 cheque for the roof work. . .walked and saw the roofer guy on the way past, so handed him the cheque. He'd just been to pick up the scaffold boards from Mums garden, so that's them out of the way for her too. Cool. :o) . . walked the woods . . put some more filler on the firebreast here and there. . . tidied up a little and did the mountain of dish washing chores . . touched base with Mum . . ate chicken slice sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . lay down for a much needed nap and had only been there for around a minute when SH arrived on his Goldwing as he'd theatened in an e-mail sent yesterday. . chats . . all walked down town and was treated to fish and chips by SH . . back via BGdns for a brief bit of ball play for Bella. It was rather early, but I figured too late to have to walk her yet again, so that'll have to be her evening walk . . chats until SH left somewhere around 6pm. . had no choice - HAD to go lay down for a bit. Napped until the alarm at 8:30pm. . TVd . . sanded just a bit of the filler but reluctantly called it quits at 10pm so as not to irritate the neighbours too much again. . BB called . . TVd watching in horror as idiot 'youths' rioted all over the place for no apparant reason. Horror! Outrage! Anger! MUCH anger!!!! Very upset by it all. Brought back much of my Bristol experiences to mind. In a strange way - it all came as no 'particular' suprise. Seems to me:- for years, huge swathes of society have just happily looked the other way as these little yobs' behavior got worse and worse, completely unchallenged and without ANY negative consequences for them. They've all learned they can get away with whatever they like (like they did to me in Bristol). As a result, the country is covered in little lawless ghettos (like I eventually found myself living in) - but the 'upper and middle classes' with enough money to get out and live elswehere, have turned a blind eye because they've largely had the 'good fortune' to be able to buy themselves out and away from it. Well - it just doesn't work to pretend it's not happening does it. There aren't any walls around these places - no gates to keep them in. All of a sudden it spilled out - badly - and affected a much wider (wealthier) cross section of society. It's a wake up call. This IS what IS happening. This IS how people are routinely behaving towards one another in our DEFINITELY broken Britain! In fact - 'almost' - good! It's high time people woke up and got serious with accepting it and dealing with combatting it. ZERO TOLERANCE IS THE ONLY WAY!! And yet - at the very same time this reality is widely revealed, we are all 'happily' going along with the utter, UTTER absurdity of the government actually CUTTING police numbers!!! I can't believe it. It totally beggars belief. Every day in every way, my feelings of disassociation from the rest of society, become greater and greater!! :o( . . . .ate bowls of sugar puffs before to bed around 1:15am.
9 - Up around 7:30am feeling very tired . . walked . . sanded down the firebreast wall and put another 'undercoat' of emulsion on. . pushed on and eventually had the fire surround fixed back in place using the L brackets from a left over kitchen unit shelf, attached in such a way that they are completely hidden. Much better than the fully visible fixings it had before - and all now back in place a little bit straighter and more central than it was before. I don't suppose anyone else would notice, but it certainly offends MY eye much less than it did. . . spent the next several hours messing around with the 'spare' brass 'porthole' framed mirror and the wall clock Sis2 gave me. Until I make a decision about that, I don't know quite where to refix the main mirror to the wall. I'm sure with some clever alteration - somehow, it should be possible to put the brass surround from the badly marked mirror, around the cheap plastic clock face instead. If I can make that work, it'd be a very cool matching centre piece for the top of the firebreast wall, with the matching brass surround convex mirrors on either side in the alcoves. Messed around with the clock and mirror for ages, trying to figure out how I could achieve the desired result. It suddenly became apparant that if I just cut out a couple of pieces of hardboard to fit insided the brass mirror frame, and cut out a hole to take just the plastic clock face with its brass effect coating around the outside rim, that ccould work. It WOULD mean the brass surround wouldn't be flat to the wall like the mirrors are (because of the depth of the clock) - but when actually up on the wall it really wouldn't particularly notice. Used the electric jig saw to cut out a couple of rings of hardboard from the scrap I've kept laying around for years, and eventually proved it WOULD work - even with the clock simply a friction fit, without the need for any complicated fixing! Yayyy. Pushed on and applied some dark wood stain to the outer hardboard ring (to more closely match the fire surround) and quickly dried it in the sun in the garden before assembling it and - that was incredibly that! Looks pretty damned ok I reckon. Definitely a 'botch' - but up on the wall like that, who's gonna know. VERY pleased. :o) . . ate chicken slice sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped but only managed an hour or so. Having made the mistake of watching some of that 'rioting yobs' footage on the news has deeply upset me, and I couldn't 'sleep' as a result. :o( . . carefully measured up, decided on appropriate spacing and eventually drilled the firebreast wall and hung the new clock and frame, and then the big main mirror. Looks ok I think. In fact - with everything in place like that, a lot of the defects in the smoothness of the wall that I had intended to attempt to rectify, have become much less noticeable and less of an issue. I AM however going to have to do quite a bit more filling and smoothing here and there, and will then have to try to combat the brown staining that's persistantly coming through from the whole area above where the picture rail used to be, so it's all gonna have to come back off the wall for plenty more work yet. Having said that, I guess I HAVE reached my usual target of 'just looks like it requires decorating' (rather than 'rebuilding'!!). I may actually have a rest for a bit. I couldn't resist tidying up a bit and putting everything back in its rightful place for a while, just to be able to appreciate the progress I've made. I like it. That brass porthole mirror/clock set really looks cool to me - and even more so when I consider how cheap it all was. VERY pleased. A MUCH nicer feel/look to that bit of the room now. :o) . . walked and back via the store for milk and a few supplies. . TVd . . drank almost two glasses of wine (got very tipsy for me) and cooked up four cheeseburgers with mayo . . . TVd until bed around midnight.
10 - Up at 6:30am headachey and somewhat dehydrated I think . . walked the beach and woods . . had a day off and really did just pretty much sit around for the whole day doing absolutely nothing. . trimmed my hair/beard, vacuumed etc . . ate a trio of pepperoni and lettuce rolls followed by biscuits . . napped for several hours . . .walked. Conversed with neighbours. It appears next door's inurance company IS liable to cover his fire losses. tu. . .TVd. . dunno why but tonight had to be about THE worst I've experienced so far in terms of wanting a cigarette and being prepared to just start smoking again. I DO have enough 'dust' left in my tin to be able to roll at least one, and it's only a matter of time before I eventually do. I'm SO miserable not, and SO not 'myself'! . ate a tin of soup with four pieces of bread and butter, a banana and then plenty of chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1am.
11 - Up around 6:45am. Raining . . walked in raingear . . PCd and finally got round to e-mailing Sis2 about some mail she'd recieved etc. Monitored radios a bit - and so, pointlessly disappeared the whole morning! Very, VERY bad cigarette withdrawal again!?? . . . drank the last of the wine and cooked up a chicken slices, soup, onion and garlic salt sauce to go with a pot of boiled rice with peas. Ate a large plateful with four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate . . napped the afternoon away until around 5:30pm. . PCd/listened to radios. . . walked . Back with the dog walker guy and his dog again. Bella played lots. Guy didn't leave until gone 10pm!! . . caved in and smoked a cigarette!! . . ate a trio of peperami, mayo, grated cheese and lettuce rolls, biscuits and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1am.
12 - Up around 7:20am. . . walked and spontaneously ended up deciding to walk along the coast a little for a change, despite the fact that there was a hint of 'mizzle' in the air. Much ball throwing and swimming by Bella in Elberry cove and then walked on and ended up at Broadsands. Signs were up everywhere warning that dogs were not allowed on the beach! I dabbled with the idea of doing some filming (but regrettably didn't) because it seemed so utterly pharcical that lots of people were all walking about, but all of them were daily dog walkers - so the WHOLE beach was ENTIRELY deserted. Not a soul on it! I FULLY understand (or actually do I?) all the arguments, but it seems to make no sense to me at all to deny SO many (mostly local) people, DAILY use of such an area, just so on a few fair weather days, it can be allegedly spotlessly clean (yeah right! Check out all the litter!) and safe for peoples spoiled brats. Yeah - I know I'm biased - but it just doesn't make sense to me nonetheless. . threatening skies and a passing shower saw me walk along the now completely deserted promenade, past some sort of council owned beach warden 'kayaks-for-hire' shack, to take shelter beneath a bit of the large empty building (?) there. Not another soul in sight. The light rain passed and I decided to start heading back the way we'd come. A shirt distance after passing the 'kayaks-for-hire' shack, a man came running out and called out asking me to put Bella on her lead - because it was a requiremnt as per the signs everywhere (which I'd ignored because there was no one there!). Incredible. What UTTER absurdity! I think that must be the first time in my life I've EVER come across such a 'jobsworth' type scenario! Breathtaking pointless absurdity. Made me SO, SO angry. I even blurted out something along the lines of him being rather pedantic - but I DID dutifully put Bella back on her lead. Well - for the next fifty feet or so before letting her back off again and just carrying on my way - gnashing my teeth a bit perhaps!! What utter madness I seem to be surrounded by at every turn these days! I despair. REALLY, I do! It upset me and fully ruined my otherwise pleasant walk! :o( . . back at Elberry cove, a small crowd of dog walkers were on the beach. Someone had been playing 'swim and fetch the tennis ball' with their dog, but as sometimes frustratingly happens, the dog had lost sight of the ball and had allowed it to start floating away! All manner of coaxing and throwing of pebbles in the ball's direction was not working, and it was just floating out further and further. I stopped and watched for a while before figuring it was worth giving it a go with Bella, given her tennis ball obsession. It took a bunch of tries, and a few dummy throws of the ball from my pocket, replaced by pebbles as she turned to chase after it, etc, etc - but finally with MUCH encouragement she fixed onto the floating ball and swam out the considerable distance and fetched it back. Yayyy. All the people on the beach cheered and clapped. lololol Gave the ball back to it's rightful owner and off we went, all heroic like. lolol . . walked back along the coastal path the way we'd come, but somehow all of a sudden unwittingly detoured off the path and ended up skirting the golf course on a wel trodden path before emerging down in the woods of The Grove. Returned via the woods walk. . defrosted and gave Bella a bone . sat around doing nothing before eventually having a bit of a go at botching a 'repair' to part of the water damaged bedroom bay-window ceiling. Peeled away a patch of ceiling, scraped away the flaky stuff underneath, applied some PVA filler . . applied more filler to some of the 'dings' on the living room firebreast . . . ate four pieces of bread and butter with the last of the rice/chicken soup concoction . . napped until around 5:15pm . . sanded down by hand the firebreast filler and then eventually PVAd the original patch of thankfully salvaged stipple-effect ceiling back on in the bedroom!! . . painted on a coat of undercoat across the top of the firebreast in an attempt to seal-in the brown staining stuff which had discoloured the coats of emulsion. . walked with coffee just a little later than usual. Returned with a large carrier bag of plumbs from the couple of dog walkers who gave me some last year . . TVd . . ate multiple bowls of sugar puffs and chocolate. . . TVd until bed around 12:30am.
13 - Up around 6am. . PCd a bit of this. . painted a coat of emulsion on the firebreast wall etc . . walked. . pottered around. Did dishwashing chores. PCd/monitored radios for a bit. . Mum called in with the paper and food donations etc. Gave her half the plumbs. I was all very short tempered again and pretty much just ended up having arguments about trivia. Mum didn't stay long . . ate pork pies, crisps, biscuits and chocolate. . napped until around 6pm . .walked. Returned via the store and bought a cheap pizza and a 7.55, 25g pack of Golden Virginia . . TVd/guitarred/ smoked cigarettes. Really felt as though 'normality' had been restored by sucumbing to my addiction. :o( . . cooked and ate pizza and then a little chocolate . . TVd until bed around midnight.
14 - Up just before 7am headachey. . PCd a bit of this. . walked . . pottered around, tidied up a little and succeeded in doing/acheiving very little. I DID finally get round to having a bit of a go at looking at my old pan/tilt Micromark CCTV camera, to try to see why the pan motor had stopped working. Eventually succeeded in taking it all apart only to find the pan motor was just a big solid mass of rust and corrosion which could never possibly work again. Eventually decided it just wasn't worth bothering with (and especially considering how technology has moved on etc) and put the pile of parts in the bin. Shame - but all unhappy memories associated with all that anyway of course. The controller and wire I may aswell attempt to sell via e-bay some time. . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped . . TVd . . walked. Returned with a big pile of left overs meat from K - fit for me to eat allegedly. . TVd/guitarred/smoked the evening away. . ate beef and turkey sandwiches using Ks left overs, four kipling apple tarts, and some biscuits. . TVd/PCd briefly until bed around 2am. s
15 - Up around 7:40am . . walked . . mowed the lawns . . somehow spent the whole day messing around with the two little bits of skirting from either side of the living room firebreast. The two facing bits either side of the fire surround have always been absent ever since I've been here. Given my 'obsession' with the skirtings (as a result of the survey I had done when I bought the place mentioning some were missing) I was determined to eventually fill up those gaps. It was lots more work than I envisaged to make it possible, having to excavate and hack out some pieces of underlying carpet gripper etc, etc. A LOT of fiddly messing around with little bits and pieces of rubbishy old skirting, but eventually had a couple of rough 'L' shapes cut to fit, butt jointed, with overlaps for the eventual contour, and nailed and glueing together. . . ate 'dog food' turkey sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . napped . . walked . . TVd while trying to sort through and empty, a box of junk I've had laying around ever since moving in here! Succesfully emptied the box but just ended up with all the contents relocated elswhere. I really need to get ruthless about clearing out . . touched base with BB . . PCd surfing e-bay etc . . ate a pastie, crisps, mum donated strawberries and cream and two kipling apple tarts before to bed around 3am.
16 - Up around 8:35am . . walked. . dragged the extension lead up to the garage and then carefully quite literally 'carved' the contoured corner piece ends of the skirting board 'L's, with the grinder and sandpaper. Applied a bit of filler here and there. Cut and glued a very small mitred end piece for near the front door, which I never got round to doing when the double glazing was done. . ate tinned ham, mayo and lettuce sandwiches, crisps and biscuits. . PCd a bit . . sanded the filler from the two skirting board pieces and then got an undercoat of paint on them . . walked with coffee and cigarettes. A converted bus which has been parked unmoved for ages by BGdns, has had its side window smashed, and all the contents (if there were any) appear to have been 'removed'!! . Sat around for quite a while. . TVd. . sanded down and painted the tiny scrap of skirting for near the front door . . cooked and ate a ham, onion and grated cheese three egg omlette with four pieces of bread and butter . . to bed around 1am.
17 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:50am . . walked . . fitted the two awkward bits of skirting to the living room firebreast wall corners and then just PVAd the small piece to the wall by the front door (after trimming it down with the disc cutter in the garage a bit more, to make it look like it's always been there) . ran filler into all the gaps etc. Satisfying to finally get that done. That's pretty much skirting everywhere it should be now EXCEPT for the walls up to the new opening between the living room and kitchen diner. Until I finally make a decision on how I'm going to finish off that mistakenly oversized opening (doors or not) there's sadly no point in messing around with the skirtings there. When I finally do, I'm gonna have to go buy some appropriately sized plain timber, and attempt to 'carve out' pieces to match all the originial elsewhere! That's gonna be quite a project in itself! . . cooked and ate sausages, beans and chips and a little chocolate. . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm . . walked. The converted bus with the smashed window by BGdns has suddenly disappeared. . TVd . . pottered briefly in my cupboards overflowing with 'junk' trying to sort out just one or two items destined for a charity shop. . ate multiple bowls of sugar puffs (half a box?!) . . TVd/PCd until bed around 1am.
18 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:20am with the noise of the bin men emptying the bins. Headachey yet again!? . walked in the rain . . messed around in the computer/radio room and finally got round to altering the PCs 'post'. It's long been a bit of a pain having to reach over and press the button to turn it on every time I want to use it. Seemed to make sense, now I have that nice master power switch for everything on the wall, to have the thing power up immediately I supply power to it. i.e. the POST setting for coming back on after a power cut etc. Hope it isn't a risky arrangemnt in some way. Anyway - now I walk into the room, hit the master power switch for everything, and the PC immediately starts up and boots etc. Suits me better at the moment the way I'm using the PC to run the scanner and look up callsigns and the like. If I'm in there, I'm listening to a radio - I want the PC on. . got serious with exploring if I could re-route and hide all the antenna cables coming down the wall of the PC room through a hole in the ceiling. Drilled out a large hole in a joist in the attic, poked some stiff wire wire down inside the stud wall, and eventually proved there were suprisingly NO cross piece noggins! That meant there was no reason why I couldn't take all the cables down inside the wall all hidden away, apart from where they would emerge adjacent to the desk-top. If I could modify a dry lining electric box, and have the cables come out of one of those, I could face it off with one of those 'brush' face plates. I didn't know they even existed until a while ago when I bumped into one on e-bay - and then immediately realised it'd be just perfect for THIS. If not a single (which would be a squeeze, given all the thick Rg213 cables I'm using), then doubles are ALSO available. . disconnected and moved all the radios out of the way. Cut out the hole for a socket box and eventually (with 'some' difficulty) managed to route all the aerial leads down through the wall. Yayy - it'll work! . popped up the local builders yard and bought a 1 gang dry lining box and 'impulse' bought a 13amp switched fuse spur neon all for 5.92. Replaced the old switch with the new one, as my master power-on next to the desk. Cut away part of the dry lining box and got all the cables through it, before pushing it flush into the wall. That is gonna be SO much neater than all that ugly 'spaghetti' hanging down from a big draughty hole in the ceiling! . . with tools and mess everywhere already, it seemed worth pushing on and having a go at doing my long planned 'downlink' . i.e. a run of heavy duty coax down into the living room, to enable me to hook up down there, to aerials in the PC/radio room. . drilled joists and eventually managed to lay-in the hidden RG213 antenna cable, all the way from beneath the living room floor, to emerge from the wall socket with all the rest up in the PC room. . VERY tired! Got all the floorboards screwed back down and left the final bit of getting the cable to emerge in the living room for some other time - because that's a pretty easy bit. . PCd e-bay and bought a 'Cable Entry/Exit Brush Face Plate - Single' for 4.99 inc postage. Aside from making it look neater, and maybe cut down on potential draughts, it needs a face plate of some sort on there, to actually clamp the dry lining box to the wall - it's under a LOT of stress from so many thick inflexible wires! Maybe in the future I WILL open it up and make it a double? Easily done. . That all went pretty damned well. :o) . . didn't finish clearing up until well past 7pm. . . . walked. Spoke to the wife of the crazy guy up the lane who complained about my pothole filling!! He's VERY ill! I wouldn't wish all that on anyone (mostly), but unfortunately I couldn't help but feel a little 'less than appropriate' compassion for him, because of all of his absurd behaviour with - um - everyone! Every neighbour has a tale to tell of how crazy he's acted towards them! Still - I do wish him well and hope he doesn't unduly suffer. . . TVd . .ate a banana while heating up a pizza with extra cheese. Ate the pizza followed by a large amount of chocolate and then some biscuits. . struggled to stay awake and to bed just after 1am.
19 - Up at 8:20am. Sunny. . walked via the store for a couple of tennis balls (we've run out!) and then out via the back road to the lane to the woods and beach etc. Beautiful sunny morning. Plenty of swimming for Bella. . put in the final bit of ('easy') work routing cable under the living room floor and up through the alcove wall socket. Drilled the single blanking face plate and routed the coax through it before finally soldering on the PL259s. Yayyy. FINALLY! Having a 'downlink' from the PC/radio room into the living room always WAS part of my 'master plan'. Now - as the mood takes me, I should be able to sit in the comfort of the living room, with a scanner on next to me, connected via that cable and a switch in the PC room to the colinear on the roof (the best recieve antenna I now have - or if I wanted for some reason, any of the others), while watching TV and playing guitar on a comfy sofa, etc. In short - when I don't specifically want to be upstairs playing radio, I can still keep a big ear on what may be going on out there. lol Cooooool. lololol Messed around proving the point with a scanner (the one I carry about - which I now always charge in that corner anyway) before suddenly realising there really was no particular reason why I couldn't actually use the VX2 handie down there, and ALSO transmit if I so chose!! Connected it all up and proved the point by having a quick couple of calls. Yayyyy. Nice one. Well worth all the work. . .ate a six pieces of bread tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps a banana and some chocolate. . napped . . walked. . sat outside and watched the fireworks down in the harbour in the distance. Actually ended with quite an impressive display. . . listened to the scanner for a bit and then guitarred and TVd the night away. . ate a WHOLE box of co-co pops!!!! . . to bed around 1am. s
20 - Slow waking then up around 8:30am. . walked late. Back via town for a litre of white undercoat @ 7.98. . ended up on the radio when I heard a special event 'lighthouses on the air' station coming in from the needles (Bit of a lift on?) - only to find myself with what appeared to be a fault with something!! The SWR meter? My brand new SWR!!!!!! I DON'T F**IN' believe it!!! Got in a FOUL angry mood. I really do despair. How is it possible almost everything I've bought - even something brand new at full price - has ended up being faulty rubbish? I just don't get it! . . The postman delivered the 'brush' face plate. Bella continued barking as Mum arrived soon after, which made me even angrier. AWFUL mood!! . . Mum soon escaped from me . . ended up back on the radio, trying to hear the aircraft at the Bournemouth air display. Specifically - I was VERY eager to have a practice run at eavesdropping on the Red Arrows with the scanner. The frequencies they allegedly use are public knowledge all over the net, and I'd long since programmed them into my scanner. This was really my first opportunity to see if it was gonna work for me. I'd noted the time they were due to be displaying and, although perhaps somewhat distant for me to pick up, I gave it my best shot. I heard what MAY have been the briefest of snippets of some Red Arrows comms before then, just a bunch of silence, so I wasn't sure. :o( . . TVd soon after and saw the awful news that one of them had just crashed!!!!!!! . . listened to a pretty much silent radio, and actually surfed 'Twitter' for the first time ever, searching out information on the crash. .Living here these past few years, and having been regularly treated to sight of them displaying over Torquay and Dartmouth etc, it's funny how much you become a bit of a fan of them (I was anyway, being a bit of an aircraft 'geek'!). It really was particularly upsetting to eventually hear one of them had been killed like that. Anyway - on a very different level - damn, so another year goes by without me having the excitement of watching AND hearing them! :o( . . ate pork pies, crisps and chocolate . . popped up the garden at some point and with his permission, ended up 'looting' stuff from next door's garage. Got covered in oily burned filth sorting through the debris for anything which could be salvaged. It remains to be seen if any of them will be any use after having been heated to such temperatures (he thinks not) , but I had all his drill bits and a couple of other bits and pieces . . messed around attempting to make a shelf for the PC room out of a piece of 'scrap' laminated chipboard (actually the side-piece of one of the old kitchen cabinets I removed to get the fridge in) Cut a quarter circle - used the router to round off the edges . . . applied some filler to the shelf and then walked late - exhausted. .Back in the dark. . . TVd briefly before ending up back on the radio and actually having a couple of contacts on WR of all things. Coming in a good S5 for the most part. Definitely a 'lift' on. I normally only get around an unreadable S1. . sanded down the shelf and put some undercoat on just the underside . . ate sausage rolls, crisps, banana, and lemon muffins. . to bed somewhere near 2am.
21 - Up at 9:40am!!! Overcast. Walked VERY late. . messed around for the rest of the day fixing the remaining bit of timber from the dressing table mirrors I was given, to the attic rafters to act as another TV aerial 'mast'. Jeeze - like a sauna up in the attic!! Got the timber mounted on the opposite side of the attic to the 'main' aerial and then successfully routed a new bit of cable down through the stud wall and into the PC room. Connected up one of the old aerials (the one I was given which I used to have connected to my main TV), soldered on a plug and eventually fitted the new half painted shelf in the PC room and had my old freeview box and a portable TV working in there ok. It's a bit big and cumbersome (by new slimline flat screen standards - and considering the weakness of the shelf) but better to make use of it there than just get rid of it I reckon. That room really is starting to come together and be pleasing to be in. . walked late with a coffee and cigs. Sat around for ages feeling exhausted until after dark . . TVd . . cooked and ate four sausages, chips, half a tin of beans and four pieces of bread and butter followed by lots of chocolate and then a WHOLE pack of mum donated jelly babies!! . TVd real tired until bed around 1am.
22 - Up at 9am!!! Blimey - I WAS tired . . walked in the warm sunny spells still feeling pretty tired . . .did laundry and just sat around listening to radios and such. . messed around with old TVs and eventually figured out a (temporary) way of splitting the cable into the PC room TV to also run (maybe not in bad weather) Mums old portable TV and an old freeview box in the kitchen. Lot of messing around but I've really been missing having the ability to have the TV to one side while doing cooking and washing dishes etc etc. Sadly the TV I used to have out there (no scart) I couldn't seem to get to work with the freeview box, so I had to go with Mums old smaller one (with rather poorer audio). . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, crisps and chocolate . . messed around in the garden with the saw and router and cut out a couple of quarter circle shelves for the other side of the PC room from more of the old bits of (old PC desk/kitchen cabinets) laminated chipboard. . applied a little skim of filler to the rough cut edges before napping. . PS called to touch base. Coming down on Saturday . . walked. Offered more plumbs on the way. . Dog walkers in passing (and ferry radio traffic on the scanner) suggested fireworks were going on over Torquay later. I missed the last lot over Paignton so I ended up sitting around on my favourite seat in the dark, with Bella occasionaly chasing rabbits, until the fireworks started at 9:30pm . . returned home after 10pm only to realise I'd forgotten about the plumbs! Ate a banana, a couple of sausage rolls with crisps and then ended up heading all the way back to pick up the plumbs which had been left in a bag on their wall marked with my name on a post-it note . . stewed plumbs with a little water and sugar (actually too much) and eventually ate a bowl full or so . . TVd/monitored radios/PCd until bed around 3am.
23 - Up around 9:30am!!! . . walked late, headachey and woozy. Carried on down town to draw out some money and buy a handful more little metal 'L' brackets (for attaching the shelves in the PC room to the wall) from the local hardware shop. Saw Mum down town! lol . . stopped off at home for a coffee and then sorted out half the plumbs for Mum and then popped up her place. Messed around briefly fitting a new hoselock fitting she'd bought for her garden hose, and had a bit of a look in Dads old screw collection for screws for the shelf brackets. .shopped for supplies at the local store on the way home . . ate two (going off/cheap) meat pies, some going-brown lettuce and a banana, followed by a little chocolate . . napped . . PCd a bit of this while monitoring radios . . walked, sat around for ages, and then till long after dark chating just a little on 2mtrs on the handie . . TVd(the battle for Gaddafi's compound in Libya etc)/guitarred/monitored VHF and then prepared a plumb cobbler with the remaining stewed plumbs from yesterday. . cooked and ate a pastie, chips and gravy whilst cooking the cobbler . . ate a good two portions (of the six?) of the cobbler. Not 'bad' at all - although would maybe have been better with some fresh and better quality flour, and casting-sugar rather than the 'regular' (cup of coffee making) stuff I used. . to bed around 2am or after. s
24 - Up at 9:20am. This getting up late seems to have become an instant habit - with no complaints from Bella. She doesn't wake me up like Sally used to. . walked late . . spent the next several hours trying to sort out and fix the brackets for the other two (right hand side of the desk) shelves in the PC room . .damn - a good portion of the wall fell away as I inserted the screw! That's gonna delay things, making that good. . pushed on and eventually got the shelves fixed up and painted with some undercoat. . walked and got caught out in rain showers . . radiod briefly . got called just as I was getting off the radio to go eat, and somehow ended up chatting on the radio to G6ZOJ. As part of his caring for hedghogs thing, he'd apparantly set up an online webcam!! Said I'd like a peek so he gave me the address. Would you believe it!!!! What a coincedence - when I clicked on the cam to have a peek, lo and behold, there was a hedghog looking back at me right then!! How VERY cool! lolol Chatted and watched the hedghog on his live 'hog cam' until around 11pm (while it rained) before eventually pulling myself away. . Ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps and two servings of plumb cobbler followed by a little chocolate. . to bed around 1am.
25 - Up around 8:30am. . . walked in the sunny spells and returned via the store for a few supplies . . painted the last of the old tin of drying-up undercoat on the new PC room shelves and dabbed a little emulsion on the ceiling where I sealed up the previous cable entry holes . . spent hours 'playing' with radios . . phoned up a number from the local council website and hopefully arranged for a company to call me back regarding having cavity wall insulation done (after a survey). They'll allegedly get in touch within three weeks . . continued messing around with radios and frequencies and such acheiving nothing all the rest of the day . . walked with coffee listening around a bit. Distant 'thunder' from fireworks in Dartmouth . . TVd. . cooked up a mass of (going off/cheap) mushrooms with onion, chopped bacon and grated cheese in a cheese sauce. Ate lots with four pieces of bread and butter followed by the last two large portions of the plumb cobbler . . to bed by around 1am.
26 - Up around 8:20am. Rain - lots. . walked in my new leggings and played ball in the mud. Several degrees colder than of late and even though still 'relatively' warm, my hands were freezing! . . pottered in the PC room messing around with programming frequencies etc, and listening to radios, and even chatting a little with P (M1EIW) just across town . .Mum called to touch base . . ate the remainder of the cheesey mushroom concoction with four pieces of bread and butter and some chocolate . . cut my hair and did a little vacuuming before sitting back at the radios/scanners with the specific intention of attempting to find the appropriate frequencies and HEAR some of the air display traffic at Dartmouth. The Battle Of Britain Memorial flight was allegedly due to display at 5:30pm. Rain and low cloud around that time! Had ALL the radios all running at once but despite a hint of communiction here and there, I'm not sure I managed to catch anything of them. Didn't see or hear any sign of them out the window either. (Days later, I was reliably informed, their display had been cancelled for some reason!) I DID however see and hear at least a Sea King helicopter - and hear a Royal Navy Swordfish of all things, talking to Exeter airport approach whilst on their way to/from the display. I think the reality is, I just don't know what 'co-ordinating'/ground frequency may be being used ACTUALLY AT Dartmouth, and wouldn't know where to start searching for one (IF I could even pick it up from here) . . walked in rain gear but mostly escaped it and ended up overheating and overdressed. Sat with a coffee watching a couple of spectacualr rainbows . . TVd . . tidied up and shifted stuff around in the PC room just a bit, and started putting stuff on the shelves etc . . 'tidied' up in the spare room 'dumping ground' just enough for PS to be able to use the bed when he comes down. . TVd/PCd/listened to radio until bed gone 3am.
27 - Up around 8:20am again - reluctantly - with a headache and after far too little sleep!!. . . walked . . did dish washing chores . . ate the last of a going-brown lettuce, crisps and a meat pie . . monitored radios and yayyyyy - actually overheard an aircraft relaying the Dartmouth Air Display controller frequency. 235.500 Mhz. THAT's what I've been wanting to figure out - so I could attempt to listen-in! Sadly I couldn't hear much because of the terrain between us, however there WAS a bunch of air chatter as loads of helicopter rescues arppeared to be going on. In fact, on the marine frequencies in particular, there appeared to be LOADS going on! Boats adrift, boats sinking, fallers on the rocks, helicopter medivacs, people being rescued all over the place! Just another bank holiday I guess! . . . PS arrived around 1:30pm and had to prise me away from the PC/radios. lol . . coffee and chats . . all walked down town around the harbour and out along the breakwater. Pretty overcast for the most part. As we walked down towards the end of the breakwater there was a little chatter on my scanner (yes - I'm afraid I DID take it with me!) and shortly after a Tuscano display aircraft flew pretty low overhead and around the bay as it headed into Dartmouth to presumably do it's scheduled display. . PS paid-for coffee and an apple quoissant at a table outside a harborside cafe. Presented with a shockingly filthy fork! Totally unwashed since someone had eaten something chocolatey with it! Thankfully 'just' spotted it in time. Didn't seem worth kicking up a fuss so I just used my hands to eat it. VERY bad that though! . . back via BGdns and local stores . . TVd. . ate pizza and PS supplied scones, and drank a tin of his lager . . TVd until finally to bed around 2am or later after letting Bella out in the garden briefly.
28 - Up late around 9:20am . . slow getting going . . eventually all walked via BGdns and then back down the harbour . . An 'incident' going-on on the harborside, had brought all the traffic to a standstill and got lots of people walking by all watching. The police were dealing with a very old looking guy, who rather looked as though he was drunk and perhaps being something of a handful to everyone around. The bizarre thing was, for no apparant reason, the police had just parked their car in a narrow bit of the road, completely blocking it, causing the big traffic jam. They seemed in absolutely NO hurry to move it, even though the old guy was well under control. Strange. I insisted on unobtrusively stopping to watch out of the corner of my eye for a bit. . all sat out for a PS paid-for coffee while watching the bustling crowds . . eventually back early afternoon to say goodbye to PS. . TVd a bit of the grand prix and sat around monitoring the busy radios lots . . ate bacon sandwiches . . napped for a few hours . . walked and chatted locally on the radio until well after dark. The nights are rapidly closing in already!. . back home by around 10pm . . TVd/guitarred the night away . . ate bowls of cornflakes. .TVd until bed around 2:30am.
29 - Up around 8:20am. PCd a bit of this . . walked . . pottered around with nonsense bits and pieces and monitored radios all day . . walked taking the can of beer PS had left behind with me. Sat around on the grass in Bgdns with a beer for ages, and actually got pretty damned cold, despite sitting in the last setting rays of the sun! Winters coming already!! :o( Filmed a bit of the 'Torbay highflyer' balloon across the bay, because it looked to me as though it was blowing around wildly in the stiff breeze. On the very limit of flight conditions I reckon!! Scary! . . TVd . . cooked and ate four bacon, eggs, bread and butter with chips . . cooked a plumb cobbler. Done and ate a third around midnight, and very pleasant it was too . . to bed around 2am.
30 - Up around 9am. . . walked the beach and woods. Lost another tennis ball in the cove while throwingg it out for Bella to swim after. Did it just fill and sink, or did the seal I was deliberately throwing it towards have it? . . pottered around, unable to raise the energy to do anything much. I DID however get round to sorting out an empty oblong planter from up the top of the garden. Dug it into the earth near the bottom patio, filled it with earth and planted a good handful of the plumb stones from the plumbs I was given. Worth a go - although if they actually did start to grow (I doubt it), and I then planted them in the garden somewhere appropriate, I probably won't live long enough to actually see any of them fruit!! lolol. . . PCd lots and finally got round to ordering from e-bay a RS232 DB9 to USB adapter for the PC for 5.99 including postage. Both the scanner cable and my old dial up modem both use the old style RS232 port, and its a real pain swapping them over when I need to. Assuming the scanner control cable will work on it, it'll also be useful to give me just that little bit more reach on the cable. .also ordered a pair of 'Vandal resistant metal based bulkhead lights' for 13.98 inc postage. It's high time I got serious with sorting out a proper lighting setup for the front path and treacherous steps down to the pavement. With the nights drawing in SO quickly, I've already recently come home in the evening in the dark a couple of times this 'winter'!! I've been putting it off for years because it really is going to be a major and awkward project to properly light that path, but sooner or later it IS gonna HAVE to be done - somehow!!! . . ate pate sandwiches and then lots of biscuits. . napped . . walked . . TVd/PCd/monitored etc. . cooked up a beef curry with some old defrosted 'dog food' beef from the freezer somewhere around midnight! Ate a large plate full. Actually wasn't very nice!! :o( . . all the lights in the street were out!? A fault - or that new council thing of turning them off to save money? Who knows - but for once, very dark in the bedroom. A star filled clear sky too. To bed around 3am.
31 - Up around 8:45am. . .briefly chatted on the radio with P across town and agreed to pop in later to pick up some free apples from the tree in his back garden . . walked feeling real tired again (as ALWAYS these days! Actually quite worried about having SO little energy. Can't seem to get ANYTHING done around the place at the moment!!!!). Suddenly remembered and actually took the mans silver bracelet I once found, to show to a dog walker who'd expressed a possible interest in someone she knows (her son?) buying it. As luck would have it, she was in BGdns just as I arrived, so I let her take it to show the person and decide if they are interested etc. . mowed the back lawn. Cut up some bits of timber from the garage and loaded the wheelie bin up as much as I dared . . sanded and painted the wooden railing up the steps to the front door. Those railings are NOT going to last! The rain is getting into the timber making the paint peel off, and nothing I do is going to stop that. Shame - but inevitable. I don't like timber stuff for exactly that reason! . stopped at one point during the work to watch (and attempt to film and hear on the radio) the air ambulance helicopter, which unusually landed not too far away, in what looked like a field somewhere down below me over to the south. . in the middle of doing the painting, the postman delivered my RS232 converter cable (already!). Excellent . . finished off the 'token gesture' bit of painting and then pottered with the PC and successfully fitted/loaded the drivers (with difficulty - eventually?!) and got the new cable working ok with the scanner control cable. Money well spent. :o) Saves messing around trying to swap cables at the back of the PC (at least once a month trying to keep my free website webspace alive by having to use the old dial-up modem! I'm actually not sure that is still a requirement after all these years - but I don't want to run the risk of losing it by stopping), and even also sorts out the fact that the scanner PC control cable was rather too short for how I want to use it. There IS an occasional slight 'hint' at some interference being picked up by the scanner on an occasional frequency or other, but nothing I can't happily put up with or even just squelch out. Pleased. . . ate a dish of yesterdays curry with four pieces of bread and butter. Ended up turning my stomach a bit and gave most of it to Bella!! . . . walked with Bella in the sun across town heading for P's. Stopped off in the park and threw ball for Bella lots, before eventually walking back down to Ps. Chats and coffee and eventually climbed his tall step ladder and filled a carrier bag with big ripe apples from just a small section of the fully laden overhanging branches of his neighbour's tree. Wow - what an amazing tree. Absolutely LOADED with HUGE quantities of apples. Amazing! Now THAT is the sort of thing I could do with in MY garden, rather than all the high maintenance hedges and the enormous blossom trees I'm stuck with. (I may have to attempt to harvest some pips and grow my own one of those - like I am the plums! If I could grow one , I'd give it pride of place right in the middle of the garden and be able to feast every year, and have the pleasure of giving some away!). He also had a small number of grow bags in his yard, with a small crop of tomatoes. Apparantly the weather and insects had pretty much put paid to them this year, although there WERE one or two small tomatoes on them which he picked to show me. Bella got all interested and turned out to be more than partial to having a munch of them!! Who would have thought that a dog would like tomatoes?! She really will eat absolutely ANYTHING! Unlike Sally, she'll even eat lettuce! WEIRD dog! lolol . . borrowed a rucksack (with one broken strap!) and eventually managed to rig it so I could set off carrying the hoard of apples on my back - just. . headed for the nearby park/football fields to give Bella some ball play and make this her slightly-early evening walk, so as not have to go out again with her later. Just as I reached the field, the dodgy strap on the heavy rucksack gave out and I had to roughly dump it to the floor and awkwardly try to re-jig it. . all of a sudden while sat on the grass smoking a cigarette in between ball throws, some very young little boy came wandering up on his own and to my horror, started conversing and asking if he could stroke Bella and the like!! All totally innocent and harmless of course, but ANY such situation in the current climate (and given previous events in my life!) fills me with - well frankly, utter terror!! EXTREMELY uncomfortable for me! I mean - what am I supposed to do? tell some young innocent to just F*** OFF because it looks bad and puts me at risk!?? Excrutiating situation for me. Unexpectedly forced into such an unwelcome situation, I panicked and didn't know WHAT to do or say. I politely answered his questions about Bella being safe, and very reluctantly allowed him (I actually didn't get to have a choice!) to stroke her, and tried to formulate a non frightening speech about suggesting he shouldn't talk to strangers and he should GO AWAY! Before I could make my speech, his mother spotted where he was from WAY across the other side of the field, and began absolutely SCREAMING at him to come back to her. I was left awkwardly standing there as he ran back to her to be subjected to a screaming telling off about how he shouldn't have been talking to 'that man' etc, etc, etc. All the people in the WHOLE park (lots - because of football training going on, etc), MUST have ended up looking at me in suspicion and or disgust! I can't even put into words how absolutely AWFUL that made me feel!!!! I forced myself to stay there and throw Bella's ball just once or twice more before feeling obliged to leave! Children! People! I F***ING HATE THEM!! Felt awful awful awful! :o( Unhappy paranoid walk home, all alert, half expecting every passing car to be full of potential attackers. :o( . . . sat around/TVd feeling pretty upset, down and paranoid, and definately not hungry for anything in the house! . . eventually ate a WHOLE packet of Mum donated coco pops!! . . . TVd until bed before midnight.