<<Return to My Diary
31 - Up at 7am overheating a bit. 19C in, 13C out. Sunny . . .got Bella ready for the walk and then briefly shut her out in the front garden. Following the instructions about the possibility of sparks from the fuse, I put a plate on a baking tray on the living room floor with one of the flea bombs on it. Eventually nervously dared to light it - only for the fuse to appear to promptly go out without it having emitted hardly any smoke at all!? Ended up screwing around with the lighter for ages awkwardly trying to get the thing to re-light and smoke as I imagined it 'should'. There WAS eventually a quick burst of smoke at one point, more like what I imagined it should emit, but it was SO short lived, I wasn't at all convinced it'd worked correctly even then. Nevertheless, that meant I pretty much had no choice but to evacuate the area and get away from the toxic smoke drifting in the air - and according to the instructions, not return for at least a couple of hours. . . walked BGdns with the tripod and played ball for a bit. Felt VERY warm again. Eventually carried on down around the harbour and then on out all the way up to the end of the headland at Berry Head. In the full sun under cloudless blue skies, it was VERY hot going and NOT enjoyable. Ended up so hot, I actually started feeling rather unwell. . quite a few people all up there milling around, and several obviously doing what I was doing - hoping to see the Cowes to Torquay powerboats racing past their Berry Head mark on their way into the bay.
power boats -
What on earth was it with all the flies up there!!!??? All the while we were sat there on the edge of the 200ft cliffs filming, clouds of the damned things were buzzing all around and settling all over us! It was really quite horrible!! There were SO many of them, I even had occasions where the camcorder all on automatic, started trying to autofocus on the flies rather than the distant scene I was trying to film!!!! Never had THAT happen before.
Cruise Liner Delphin
. . . . in the distance on the horizon to the west was the shape of a big ship. Zooming in with the camcorder confirmed it was a cruise ship, so obviously the Delphin, which the local newspaper site had suggested was going to be visiting Torquay this afternoon.
. . walked back down to above the rocky beach next to the open air swimming pool at Shoalstone and filmed the ship entering the bay for quite a while . . .
Very tired. Sat on the higher seat in BGdns for quite a while before eventually heading home . .
on returning to the house,
there WAS something of an odor about the place from the smoke
bomb thingy - but not much. I did actually tip out the contents
of the pot in an attempt to establish if it had actually all
burned away as it should. Hard to tell - but I 'think' it had.
Nevertheless, overall, I was left convinced it was a complete
waste of money! 'Aired' the place pretty thoroughly with all the
windows and doors open . . did laundry . . drank a small glass of
wine . . ate four sausages, fried potato and boiled mixed veg in
butter followed by some chocolate . . napped . . . PCd. Checked
on the AIS website and saw that the cruise ship was still
anchored in the bay. I assumed it would be leaving a little
later, and rather wanted to be walking Bella down there when it
did, to maybe be able to get a 'bookend' shot of it leaving, to
go with the shots of it arriving that I'd got earlier. All of a
sudden the AIS was showing it on the move. Damn! I was gonna miss
it! . ended up rushing to get my shoes on, grab my coat and jump
in the car with Bella. Raced straight down to BGdns and quickly
parked up right next to the main control bunker, and leapt out
with the camera and managed to grab just a bit of footage as it
was heading out of the bay in the direction of Portland and away
up the channel to the East, and ultimately back to Bremerhaven in
Germany. Eventually got Bella out of the car and carried on down
to the lower part of the gardens as usual, where I couldn't
resist filming just a little bit more (albeit with the low light
putting the camcorder on the very edge of its poor low light
recording ability). One of the shots I did, was of someone
fishing on the breakwater in the foreground, with the ship
sailing away in the background. It just so happened at that
particular moment, the guy caught himself a handful of mackerel!
. eventually called it quits and drove home in the increasing
dark . . . TVd/guitarred/PCd the evening away . . ate a bag of
five small doughnuts before to bed gone 3am.
30 - Up around 8:15am. 19C in, 15C out. Mostly cloudy to start but brightening to sunny spells . . .walked BGdns . . .a courier delivered a large box containing the two duvets I'd ordered . . very headachey. Popped annadin tablets throughout the day but all to no avail. . Did two loads of laundry and got all the bed linen out on the line to dry . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations. Whilst she was here, I spotted another flea on Bella!!! Oh for F***S SAKE!!!! NOTHING I do is working. :o( . . . ate a slice of gala pie with crisps, a banana and some chocolate . . . gave Bella yet another flea tablet. I'm totally overdoing it with all these simultaneous treatments but what else can I do? . .added the old duvet off my bed to the other two already in the plastic duvet cover acting as Bella's bed. . . cut my hair and beard etc. before showering . . . eventually brought all the laundry back in and re-made my bed with the new summer (4.5 tog) duvet. . . stood out in the front garden for a bit around 6pm hoping to see distant glimpses of the Battle of Britain memorial flight displaying at Dartmouth. I DID briefly see a couple of single engined aircraft (Spitfire/Hurricane perhaps?) but that was all. Sadly no sign of the lancaster(s). . the freshly charged new batteries I'd put in my scanner held a charge less than a single hour of use!!!???? WTF???????. . .TVd . . .drank a glass of red wine. . ate a microwaved curry with two buttered bread rolls followed by some chocolate . .recharged the scanner batteries at some point and ran the living room scanner from them - and once again, they lost their charge within an hour!!!? FFS! The old ones I'm preparing to throw away hold a charge for longer than THAT! FFS!!! :o( . . . early to bed before 11pm.
29 - Up around 8:15am. 20C in, 16C out. Mostly cloudy after a recent shower. At 8:45am a courier delivered the four 'Insecticidal Smoke Generators' I'd ordered . . . walked BGdns with a coffee. Eventually back via the store for supplies. . . messed around for ages with the kitchen sink mixer tap again. Turned the water off and removed one of the quarter turn ceramic valves and then after taking a few close up photos of it, spent absolutely AGES meticulously measuring and drawing a diagram of all the dimensions etc. . . when I'd finally managed to complete my diagram, I then returned to the internet to have another go at searching for anyone who may have replacements.
NO chance! The ONLY place I could find was Lunns - and the price was utterly absurd. I could easily buy a whole new tap for the price they were charging for those two valves. £41.37 - for just the replacement valve inserts!!!!!!!! - and on top of that they were demanding £8:80 for the postage!!!! Utterly ludicrous/outrageous.
PCd looking at taps and all manner of related stuff for quite literally hours . :o( . .
. . . stood out in the
front garden for a while around 5:30pm when a Typhoon was
displaying at Dartmouth. Boy was that thing loud. Soon after, the
delivery guys delivered the washing machine and took away the old
one with little ado . . headed back out to the front garden to
listen to and watch for the red arrows doing their Dartmouth
display - although the threatening clouds all around didn't bode
well. A VERY short display so it seemed and then they were gone.
I DID overhear them chatting and someone saying at one point that
'were not flying into THAT'! (The news paper later confirmed they
only did half their 'flat' display because of bad weather - and
some mention also of a flock of geese!) . . . unpacked the
washing machine and read the manual and started getting it ready
for first use by removing all the in-transit locking bolts, etc.
. turned off the power and moved the 'trailing' power socket to
beneath the sink!! Not the best place to have a power socket, but
at least it'll now be reachable and something I can turn off,
instead of totally out of reach and always on behind the machine
like it has been up to now. .the old machine was a dual cold AND
hot piped supply - the new one is of course only a cold feed.
THAT meant I had to somehow blank off the hot supply pipe. It
DOES have an isolation tap on the pipe, but of course you can't
just rely on that doing the job. Managed to cobble together some
bits and pieces in the garage and eventually reliably blanked off
the pipe using some rubber washers and a spare hoselock fitting
from a garden hose!!. . . . more manual reading before finally
daring to turn it on and put some towels etc on wash around
8:45pm - but still with it all pulled out of its under the
counter position so I could make sure all was well and nothing
was going to leak etc. . Literally almost sat there watching it
for over an hour, continually checking for leaks etc. Very quiet
compared to what I've been putting up with . . Mum called to
touch base . . the washing finally finished all ok, and looks
cleaner than I've had anything for a long time . . . VERY awkward
and difficult actually pushing the machine back into position
beneath the work surface (because it doesn't have two wheels at
the back edge like the old one) , but got it into an acceptable
position in the end - just!!!! Boy - am I glad that's over and
done with. Trouble is, I'm still now faced with the much bigger
problem of the kitchen tap to have to sort out. No matter what I
end up buying, it's going to mean having to modify all the
completely inaccessable complicated plumbing under the sink. That
really is going to be a nightmare which I just don't know how I'm
going to be able to accomplish! :o( . . . ate two ham finger
rolls, crisps and chocolate . . . to bed before midnight, utterly
28 - Up around 8:20am. 20C in, 17C out. Bright spells between threatening clouds. . walked Fgn in what turned to drizzle, and then some heavier rain as we carried on down town to the Post Office delivery office to pick up whatever I'd missed yesterday. . .trudged back home in the rain with the three signed for packets. . .that's the batteries and e-liquid all delivered already then . . . pottered around sorting out my staggering collection of old rechargeable batteries, trying to figure out which I should throw out and which 'may' still be useable. I really should probably just bin the lot and start from scratch with the new ones, but that somehow goes against the grain and I just can't bring myself to do so!? . . .protected the front door step with an old single duvet and an old cushion (temporarily saved from the trip to the tip yesterday for the purpose) and managed to manhandle the washing machine out, down the steps and onto the front patio. Apart from a faceful of water from the outlet hose, without 'incident' . . . the postman delivered the 16GB micro SD card and SD adapter I'd ordered . . . Around 13:59 coastguard helicopter Rescue 106 had just completed a lift of a 31 year old female casualty from a vessel called 'Lazy Days' over Portland way and was heading for Dorchester hospital to drop her off. 'Silence Finit' at 14:04. I think I must listen to all this stuff far too much - this particular medivac rescue was 'noteworthy' to me because comms from the helicopter were a voice I was unfamiliar with!! lol . Oooooh - a few minutes later some obvious complete dickhead was conducting transmission tests on the coastguard/emergency channel 0, counting and making stupid noises!! Portland coastguard eventually demanded they identify themselves, at which point they went silent. That's what happens when idiots get hold of cheap 'unrestricted' radios flooding the market from China! . . . ate ham mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped . . . walked BGdns and sat around with a coffee until after dark. Saw a satellite and a meteor. From 9pm for almost fifteen minutes a substantial noise was audible from a big firework display marking the start of the royal regatta in Dartmouth. . Back via Mums to pick up the old tap valves she has in her garage, in case I may be able to make use of any of the bits as a temporary measure . . . PCd. Checked on-line after 10pm as per the instructions I was sent the other day regarding the washing machine delivery slot. Aha - they are now saying the delivery will be between 3:25 and 7:25 pm, so I guess that means I have most of the day free and clear. . .TVd/PCd the night away . . ate a pastry slice, bags of crisps, a banana and biscuits before finally to bed well after 4am!!
27 - Poor broken sleep. Every time Bella altered her position on her new bed, the substantial rustling noise from it 'disturbed' me. It's like she's sleeping on a giant crisp packet! . Up just before 8am. 19C in, 14C out. Rain. . . walked BGdns in a light rain for the most part. Filmed the tall ship 'Stavros S Niarchos' leaving its anchorage for Falmouth for a while between showers, because there was a little bit of an underlying swell in the bay, making her pitch up and down just a little - as it turned out, sadly not enough to have made the effort worthwhile. lol . . loaded the car up with all the old duvets and sofa cushions I'd been using for Bella's bed, and my old 19" CRT PC monitor. . turned the water off and extracted one of the ceramic quarter turn valves from the kitchen tap to take with me. Left Bella at home and drove in the rain to the tip and dumped all the flea-ridden bedding and the bulky PC monitor. . drove around all over the place visiting DIY and plumbing stores looking for a tap valve replacement but all to no avail. Apparantly there are an infinite variety of types and sizes, and predictably no one had what I needed. Very much reached the conclusion that driving around like that (around here especially) was pure madness. I think I need to take meticulous measurements and count splines and even take photos, and then trawl the net. If I can't get a replacement, I'm gonna have to end up spending a fortune on a whole new mixer tap. The 'double trouble' with that prospect is, it doesn't make much sense to put a nice new tap on that old ropey brown sink. If I'm gonna get forced into replacing stuff, it makes sense to me to try to get a new stainless steel sink too!! :o( . eventually gave up and returned home some time after 1pm - to find clumps of fur all over the place and Bella all gnawed bloody raw of course. :o( . . .put the valve back in the tap and got the water turned back on . . . aimlessly PCd looking at kitchen taps, sinks and the like. Jeeze - WHAT an expense that could all be - just for the sake of a stupid little part!!! . . A break and slight improvement in the weather enabled 'The Blades' to do their air display over Torquay at 3pm. I listened-in on the radio. If you didn't know the difference, you'd have thought it was the Red Arrows. The comms and commands during their display were really identical - but then I gather they all are ex Red Arrows pilots, so I guess that makes sense. . . ate ham sandwiches, two bags of crisps, banana and biscuits. . the BBC weather forecast for 6pm when the Red Arrows were intending to display was awful. By somewhere around 4pm the band of heavy rain arrived. Seemed pretty obvious their display would be cancelled, so instead of going out to see it like I'd planned, I ended up laying down for a bit. Napped until around 6:30pm . . . TVd . . . ate a bowl of soup with four crusts of bread and butter . .TVd/PCd until finally to bed around 4am.
26 - Up before 8am after very little disturbed sleep. 19C in, 16C out. Between rain showers. . . walked BGdns. Sat under the roof for ages when the heavens opened. Eventually back via the store for a few supplies in what turned into another shower. Got pretty damp in only a light shower coat . . DF called to touch base . . . right - lets have yet another go at this flea infestation nightmare. Dimantled Bellas bed of multiple cushions and duvets and temporarily dumped the whole lot out in the conservatory (some in a plastic refuse bag). Whilst doing so, I DID see at least one live flea on the bedding (despite all the spraying I've done, and bits of cut up surplus flea collar I distributed amongst the layers) so I think dumping all that bedding IS the right thing to be doing. It really simply isn't possible to clean it all or ensure it's kept clear of fleas. I DO however have a cunning plan for a more manageable alternative! . . put some related laundry on and then carried on cleaning and vacuuming for a bit. . . Touched base with Mum and confirmed that the waterproof bedding set we once bought (but miraculously didn't need) when Dad was dieing, did indeed include a double size duvet cover with a zip fastener. i.e. basically an enormous 'plastic' type sealable bag, totally impossible for fleas to get in, etc. Right then - THAT is gonna be the basis of Bella's new bed. If I stuff that with any old duvets I can get my hands on, it should end up being flea proof and comfy enough for her, and a single cloth cover over that would be easily removed for occasional cleaning/de-fleaing etc. . . I'd 'just' fired up the PC and radios when I became aware of the scanner picking up the ISS! Still picking it up (very poorly, and largely unintelligable) at 12:45 BST when it was allegedly over the Ukraine according to http://iss.astroviewer.net/ - which strikes me as further East than I would usually hear it. . . uh oh - all of a sudden the power went off!!?? I wandered around for a bit assuming it was the whole neighbourhood, but suddenly had my doubts and checked the fusebox trip. Oh dear - it's tripped!!! I reset it and at first it appeared to be all ok, but then it went again!!!!!!! Oh NO!!!!!!????? It wasn't long before it became apparant the source was the washing machine. Well - there we go then. It's been absolutely on its last legs for absolutely AGES. Finally breaking down fully was WELL overdue. Shouldn't complain I guess. Not happy though of course. Luckily the level of water was just below the window, so it was possible to get the washing out easily enough.Got the washing into the bath and just swilled and rung it all out as best I could before getting the soaking wet load out onto the line . .finished off cleaning the bedroom. Whilst doing so I saw a gaping hole in the paint/render above the porch roof!!!!! Damn! When the hell did that fall apart? Amazing how because of the little porch roof, it's been completely hidden from my groundlevel view. THat's gonna need looking at up the ladder pretty soon. :o( . . left Bella at home and dashed up Mums to pick up the old waterproof duvet cover set . . . stuffed two duvets into the bag and a duvet cover on it before introducing Bella to her new, not so comfortable bed. It's better than nothing and she really doesn't seem to care anyway. Bit noisy because of the rustling of the 'plastic'! . one of the duvets I stuffed into that bag was actually my high tog winter duvet for MY bed! It's very old and had become in an awful state inside the cover, and was long overdue for replacing anyway. I figured now was a good time to buy two new cheap king-size duvets for MY bed. Went straight on-line and ordered a 15 tog winter one and a 4.5 tog summer one for a total of £22.74 inc postage. . . extracted the broken washing machine from its position and managed to disconnect the hoses etc before dragging it out to the hallway by the front door . .A 'bit' of a flood when water suddenly started pouring out of the hose onto the kitchen floor.
messed with the badly dripping kitchen sink mixer taps. Ended up leaking worse than before!! :o( I need new parts!! THAT is not gonna go well, I just know it from my experiences with trying to get parts for Mums tap! :o( . . .
eventually went back
on-line and ordered a cheap 'Beko' WM74135W washing machine from
Currys for £189 delivered (and with the old one allegedly being
removed, also included in that price). The bad news is it won't
come till Friday, and as far as I know at this stage, could then
be delivered any time between 7am and 7pm!!!! That's gonna be a
hassle with regard to walking Bella. She may have to simply go
without that day until the evening. TVd - feeling a bit shell
shocked! . . . ate a meat and cheese pastry slice with a pack of
sausage rolls, a whole box of kipling cakes and some chocolate .
. TVd until to bed around midnight. Well - that turned into the
day from hell. :o(
25 - Up around 9:30am. 19C in, 16C out. Pouring with rain. . .slow getting going. Walked BGdns in wellingtons and waterproofs. Sat in the rain and played ball for just a bit before then sheltering on a seat under the roof for quite a while watching the birds on the birdfeeder and a rabbit beneath. That big, light-green, Marshall Islands registered cargo ship 'Star Minerva' has returned and was anchored out in the bay again. . A bit of a lull in the rain happily enabled us to get back home before things got worse again . . . TVd and ate a couple of mini doughnuts with coffee, recovering from the walk . . . PCd a bit of this - but yet again soon caved in and somehow ended up looking at various recent 'local' Youtube videos again. . .
ate crisps and then two
toasted finger rolls with chopped onion, haslet and grated cheese
followed by chocolate . . . napped until 7pm. . TVd . Still or
started raining again, so ended up skipping the walk. Shame
because there was a big firework display over Torquay around
9:30pm this evening which I'd half been intending to catch. .
around the same time the fireworks were happening, 'Star Minerva'
was leaving the bay again . . .drank a glass of red wine and
ended up PCing until the early hours (gone 2am) and spending an
absolute fortune on all manner of stuff on e-bay!!!!
Bedbug killer poison smoke bomb fumers flies ants fleas mite insects moth [Midi 11g x 4] £18.49
Bob Martin Flea 57mg Tablets for Large Dogs Over 11kg Kills 100% of Fleas [1 Pack] £5.80
12x AA Ni-MH 3000mAh 1.2v Rechargeable Battery + 3 Battery cases P035 £7.29
HIGH QUALITY 16GB micro SD card MEMORY CARD with adaptor £7.99
4 DURACELL AAA RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES 1000mAh BATTERIES £12.98 GBP
Vegetable Glycerine & Propylene Glycol F&S E LIQUID BASE SHISHA E JUICE 100ml [50:50,36mg] £14.19
Bella was scratching under the desk so much whilst I was doing these purchases, I eventually couldn't stand it any more and encouraged her to go to her bed in the other room. The next time I saw her she had been biting herself bloody-raw all down her back and hind legs again. I despair. I just really do. She's had medicated baths, a new flea collar, flea tablet, spot on stuff - I've vacuumed and sprayed the floors and her bedding with flea killer - and she's STILL running with them. I have a growing suspicion that it may well be her bed in the bedroom which is 'replenishing' her supply of them all the time. A big heap of old duvets and sofa cushions is gonna HAVE to be a perfect breeding ground for the damned things isn't it? Like it or not, with little else I can imagine I can try, I'm afraid her bed is gonna have to go to the tip!!! :o( . . .ate a couple of bananas and some biscuits before to bed around 3am. Trouble getting to sleep.
24 - Up around 8am. 19C in, 14C out. Sunny . . slow getting going. . walked BGdns under increasingly cloudy skies. Sat and played ball for a while before then heading down to the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. Briefly stopped to survey the scene on the Breakwater beach before climbing up to the seat above. Ended up wishing I hadn't! Some nasueating guy was on the beach with his two very young children. The kids were throwing pebbles into the sea and playing around as you might expect. The father was picking up larger pebbles and deliberately throwing them at a nearby group of seagulls foraging for food amongst the seaweed at the bottom of the breakwater wall! I couldn't believe someone would actually do such a thing, and I think he'd already thrown two or three before in my outrage, I pulled my camcorder out of my pocket, got it out of its pouch, fired it up and started filming him. (It is NOT a quick or easy 'draw'). Sadly (or perhaps for the best) I only then managed to capture him throwing one last pebble - which fell a good couple of feet short of the gulls in the water on THAT occasion. I was absolutely disgusted and boiling with anger - and made sure I filmed enough of him on high zoom to enable him to be - um - 'identifiable'!!!! As he eventually headed up with his children to leave the beach, I was utterly filled with hate for him and stared daggers at him. I was so, SO close to saying something and having a go - but his gaze didn't meet mine, and I 'just' managed to resist. Just as well perhaps? I mean, if someone is gonna do something like that, you can imagine the sort of response you are liable to get if you challenge them over it. Nevertheless, the fact that I ultimately effectively did nothing, really made me feel - um - 'bad' - and rightfully so I think! :o( . after they'd left the beach, I made to start walking up to my usual seat, which as it turned out meant I was walking along behind them. His little girl had been carrying a good handful of pebbles off the beach. They were simply discarded on the road/car park as they walked away. One in particular was large enough to be a serious hazard to cars, pedestrians and motorcycles in particular of course. A little further along up the steep access road to the car park, the little boy threw a pebble he was carrying straight over the nearby wall, uncaring of what the pebble was liable to hit. From he noise I heard from below, I think it luckily just bounced off a large wheeled recycling bin rather than a person or someones car etc, etc. The father showed 'annoyance' but didn't say anything or attempt in ANY way to chastise the boy.
very upsetting to me
ended up heading home via
FGn and the local store for a few supplies . . . applied the two
vials of recently bought 'spot-on' like flea liquid to Bella.
Nothing I've done recently has had ANY beneficial effect on her
constant scratching. Things seem to be worse than ever!? :o( . .
PCd a bit of this but somehow ended up sitting here for hours on
the net thinking about that horrendous excuse for a human being
on the beach earlier, and reading various animal rights type
quotes instead! There ARE of course loads, but I guess here's a
few which strike a relevant chord with me:- Life is life
whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference
there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human
conception for man's own advantage. ~Sri Aurobindo
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. ~Thomas A. Edison
If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ~St. Francis of Assisi
He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. ~Immanuel Kant
. and of course, regarding my own innaction, stuff along the lines of :- The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. ~Martin Luther King, Jr. . .
. . . drank a glass of red
wine. Cooked and ate fried potato, mixed veg with butter and a
couple of slices of corned beef followed by chocolate . . .napped
until 7pm. Raining and chilly so skipped the walk . . PCd/TVd the
evening away, and guitaring just a little . . finally to bed gone
4am. Richard Attenborough died this day.
23 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up at 9:30am!! 19C in and out. Sunny . . . walked BGdns real late. Headed back home just as a gig racing event was getting underway off the breakwater beach. . PCd, charging batteries etc until Mum called in with the papers and food donations. She didn't stay long because I explained I wanted to get back out before 2pm, to see if I could see anything of the very distant Red Arrows air display along the coast at Dawlish. . . . walked with all manner of radios and the tripod etc. Headed down through BGdns for a brief bit of ball play before carrying on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. Would you believe it - after only around half an hour, the three newly charged batteries in one of the scanners I was carrying (a rare outing for one of my Uniden UBC3500XLTs - so I could scan the military airband and listen-in to the Arrows display frequency etc) decided to die on me already!! Damn. I guess I need to start thinking seriously about buying some new, expensive but more reliable, named-brand rechargables for - well - everything I regularly carry I guess. I use everything SO frequently, all the batteries I have must surely have been re-charged MANY more times than they are designed for. VERY disappointing - to suddenly not be able to listen-in like I'd planned, and yet to still have the hassle of having to carry the damned thing everywhere. . . The breakwater beach and surrounding areas were all full of people involved with the gig racing. Several boats and teams from elsewhere were competing. Quite a 'circus' going on down there. Sat on the seat above it all for a while having a look at the spectacle, and even a bit of a poke with the camcorder, although these days whenever there is a big crowd like that at something going on, I've learned it really is pretty pointless 'ME' bothering to film anything. You can guarantee that someone else in the crowd is doing so and is using better, more expensive and more up to date high definition equipment, and their version of whatever 'I' might come up with would be FAR better. :o( As if to prove the point, at some point I suddenly became aware of a quadcopter drone hanging in the sky above the beach right in front of me. Sadly I noticed it 'just' before the guy landed it, so I didn't even get to capture anything useable of that - which 'could' have been fun if I had. Actually, on top of all that, on this occasion, there was something about the way the course was layed out for that gig racing which made it pretty difficult to make something of the actual racing scenes - and there were of course LOTS of different races. All in all, I ended up simply not bothering to even try. I DID however attempt to do a bit of 'practice' filming, when the Red Arrows appeared in the distant sky whilst doing their Dawlish display around 2pm. Distant glimpses, with most of their low level display being unobservable behind the Torquay/Hopes Nose headland across the bay. . . eventually headed back through all the significant crowds around the harbour and back on out to the relative peace, quiet and feeling of 'safety' in BGdns . . sat around at length until 5pm, waiting (longing?) for any glimpses of the two lancaster bombers due to be displaying there around that time. I'm normally quite content to just stay in Brixham, but I must confess, on this occasion, my heart was kinda definitely in Dawlish! (I don't think I've actually ever been there?)
. listened-in on the radio (one of the others I was carrying!) on the Dawlish display frequency . Callsign 'Memorial 1' - glimpsed the Lancasters and hurricane and spitfire as dots in the far far distance behind Torquay. A rare and precious sight nontheless
. . . PCd . . .TVd . .BB
called to touch base . . ate a slice of gala pie, crisps,
biscuits and chocolate and then later, a trio of mini doughnuts
and bowls of rice krispies . . to bed soon after 1am.
22 - Up around 8:20am. 19C in and out. Broken cloud sunny . . walked BGdns. Had to sit under cover of the roof and shelter from some rain for quite a while. Eventualy headed back but found myself diverting back across FGn to have sight of the breakwater and harbour when comms on the scanner suggested that a Police launch 'Paul Travers' was towing a broken down yacht with six people on board back in towards the harbour from somewhere off Berry Head. A rescue by a police launch? That's a new one on me. I don't recall having seen a police launch here before (although I HAVE heard comms from it recently). Wonder why they are in the area? . . ended up dropping down off the green onto the Overgang road to film for a bit as the yacht was towed to the end of the breakwater and then handed off to a harbour launch to be brought back in to a mooring. I even ultimately ended up walking down around the harbour and on out to the breakwater in the hope of being able to see the yacht abeing berthed and to maybe get its name. Turned out that by the time I got out there, it'd already all be done, and I couldn't even see where it was amongst all the other marina yachts. . . saw Coz1 on the way back towards town. He has now actually moved to live down here. . . bought a large bag of potatoes. Struggled all the way back carrying them! . . recovered with a coffee in the garden for a bit. . bathed Bella with her proper medicated shampoo in the bath again. . dried and groomed her and eventually put on her new flea collar . . . PCd just a bit of this . . spent unintended hours messing with the police launch video from earlier. I'd absolutely not intended to, but after having 'bumped into' a somewhat suitable bit of music in my collection, I ended up aiming towards doing a silly music video with the footage. Played with the lengthy editing until DF called in around 7pm. . coffee, biscuits and chats until around 10:30pm . . TVd a little . . PCd and finished off the silly 'call the police' video and ultimately uploaded it to youtube. . cargo ship 'Conmar Elbe' had finally left the bay around 7pm earlier and was by now out in the channel heading for Portugal I believe. . ate a banana, ham sandwiches, crisps and chocolate before eventually to bed around 2am.
21 - Up around 8:45am. 20C in 18C out. Sunny . . walked BGdns and back via the store for bread. . .TVd a bit . . did laundry and the mountain of dish washing chores . . ate corned beef and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . . aimlessly PCd and monitored radios. . . skipped the walk. TVd the evening away . . . ate a tin of hot dog sausages with four pieces of bread and butter, biscuits and chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
20 - Up around 6:30am. 18C in 10C out. Sunny. . . .walked BGdns. Yet another ship moored in the bay having underwater/diving works done this morning! Cyprus registered cargo ship 'Conmar Elbe' (with dive support vessel MTS Valonia alongside in the little image I've included here). . played ball and sat around in the lightest showers of rain . . . PCd and ended up somehow spending hours messing around with all the video I'd recorded of the salvage of the sunken yacht yesterday! There was so much of it, covering SO many hours, with a whole bunch of what 'I' thought for various reasons were 'interesting scenes', I actually found it real hard to cut it down to a brief 'summary of events'. .at GREAT length, I eventually managed to discard enough to just about 'tell the tale' within Youtube's maximum size limit, suitably 'blanked' lots of the audio where I'd picked up 'inappropriate' babble on my scanner whilst filming, managed to include just a little of the people sat next to me talking about the depth of water etc, and then set the thing uploading. Uggh - another monster two hours plus uploading session with my outrageous snails-pace ISP upload speed! :o( Left the PC running uploading the Yacht Salvage video and walked away from the PC - at last!! . . . walked BGdns and then down to the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater for the last bits of sun before nightfall. A really chilly northerlyish type breeze actually made sitting there less than pleasant. Blimey - feels like autumn already! . returned to a seat on the inner harbour for my coffee while listening to a bit of the (ladies) choir singing under the old fishmarket roof. .eventually back home through town. Even ended up wearing my fingerless gloves on the way home it felt so cold! . . PCd and mailed a 'you may wish to know' type e-mail to Millennium Marine Contractors Ltd, etc letting them know the yacht salvage video exists out of courtesy . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate four quarter pound burgers in buttered baps followed by some chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
19 - Woke overheating and up at 7:30am. 19C in 13C out. Sunny spells between threatening clouds. . . walked BGdns. Carried on down to the harbour past the yacht club as all the Mirror dinghys were launching. Hardly any wind to start with. . played a bit of ball for Bella to swim for on the slipway near the lifeboat mooring, before sitting on the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while. . eventually headed back towards home via FGn. Sitting for a bit recovering from the climb up, I could see a 'work' vessel moored near where a yacht had sunk on its moorings (on Sunday I think), and once I'd zoomed in with the camcorder, could also see a guy in the water and indications that a diver was also down. All that could be seen of the sunken yacht was the top of its mast - with a large orange marker/warning buoy having been put nearby by the harbour authority. At some point I also heard some radio comms on the scanner indicating that operations were underway to actually raise it - today! Damn. I've never seen such a thing done before, and was rather intrigued as to how it could be done, so ended up 'having' to start filming a bit with the camcorder. Ended up walking all the way back down around the harbour and on out to the breakwater to sit and watch. . sat around for AGES occasionaly filming. For much of that time I was sat near an old couple who were also watching. They allegedly owned the mooring and tender next to the sunk yacht, so had a particular interest. In fact, some of what they had to say was actually quite enlightening with regard to the depth of water, etc. Interesting the sort of lives such 'comfortably off' people live. Their yacht wasn't currently on their mooring because they'd just sailed it round to Dartmouth and moored it up and left it there, bagging a space, ready for the busy Dartmouth regatta in a week or so. They'd returned home in the interim! . Things dragged on slowly for SO long, they eventually gave up watching and headed off. 'I' however stuck it out and continued sitting there. Somewhere along the way during all the hours, I felt I'd kinda reached the point of no return - where I'd invested so much time and effort (and flat camcorder batteries) into it, I just HAD to see it through till 'the end'! The bad news ultimately turned out to be, that the MMC workmen weren't going to be able to actually raise the thing out there on the mooring! They were going to have to tow it into the shallower waters of the inner harbour and have a 'second bite' at it! Damn, damn, damn! After all the filming I'd already done, I was in grave danger of having no power left in ANY of my camcorder batteries!!! . . filmed as the still submerged boat was towed out of sight in towards the inner harbour before struggling to my feet and stiffly making my way back in slow pursuit. . lots of hollidaymakers were thronging all around the place, and the spectacle of the sunken yacht being brought into the inner harbour turned the place into something like a circus ring, with people all stopped to watch from every vantage point. The crowds made filming 'difficult', and I eventually headed around the harbour and onto the viewing deck above the public toilets on the opposite side of the harbour to keep an eye on continued lengthy developments. At length, over the course of the next few hours, the Millennium Marine Contractors Ltd guys brought their big mobile platform with a crane onboard over next to the yacht, and ultimately used the crane to lift one end of the yacht up enough to begin pumping the water out. By this stage I HAD completely run out of charge in ALL my camcorder batteries!!!!!! WHAT a nightmare - to have captured SO much of the story, only to potentially end up missing the very point of what it was all about - the actual raising and refloating of it! Well - it was an anxiety inducing nightmare, but I 'just' managed to keep filming 'just' enough to be able to ultimately capture the entire course of events. Turned out that once the camcorder batteries was all drained of power, giving them a bit of a 'rest' and warming them up in the sun or in a trouser pocket for a bit, squeezed out just another minute or two of use - and more than once!! A LOT of hassle - and VERY bad for the nerves. lol . . FINALLY headed home somewhere after 7pm! Things weren't over with - but I'd REALLY had enough, and I HAD at least managed to reach the point where the yacht WAS actually visible and now afloat. Jeeze - WHAT a long and arduous morning dog walk that turned into!! Ten hours was it (without food or drink)? I must be crazy! Nevertheless, at least I now know how such sunken boat salvage things 'can' be done. :o/. . . TVd . . ate two haslet fingers rolls, crisps, banana, and coffee sponge cake . . to bed, exhausted, well before 11pm.
18 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up at 8:20am. 20C in 17C out. Sunny. .the cargo vessel Baltiyskiy-202 left anchor around 6am this morning and is already out in the channel and heading west, on its way to Spain according to the AIS. . . Still waking at the PC when a PAN PAN went out at 9:06am. Eight meter wooden yacht 'Sea Hawk' at position 50,17.11n , 3,04.91w, 17 nautical miles 115 degrees from Berry head was taking on water. The bilge pump wasn't working and three people were bailing! The all weather lifeboat was launched as a couple of yachts headed for their position. . . walked BGdns. I feel just a little 'better' today than I have done for quite some considerable time. Played ball briefly before ending up on the higher seat monitoring developments with the pan-pan (on-scene comms. only 'just' audible from where I was sat). When the lifeboat arrived on scene the responding yachts were thanked and released. . walked along the clifftop road to FGn (slightly better radio reception) to sit and drink my coffee as the lifeboat crew set about trying to pump out water from the yacht. Damn - I spotted a flea on Bella (and managed to kill it)!. . back via the store for milk and then into the local (expensive?) pet store for a new 'Johnson's' flea collar (£4.99) and some flea drops (£4.99) on the way home. . gave Bella another flea tablet in a lump of cheese . . . mowed both lawns despite just a few drops of rain in the air for a while. Dug a handful of weeds out of the little that remains of the lawn in the front garden and then pottered around just a bit transplanting some bits of campanula into the front garden border atop the wall. . . ate a tin of sausages and baked beans on toast followed by a few biscuits early afternoon - at around the same time that the lifeboat was at last entering Dartmouth with the towed Sea Hawk yacht. I'm not sure why, but comms suggested that one of the yacht's three crew was in need of some medical assistance? Exhaustion from all that worried bailing earlier perhaps? lol . . groomed Bella with the flea comb again, lots, trying to tease out the enormous amounts of 'dandruff' from her poor condition underlying skin. Despite all that hard work, I did NOT manage to find sight of any other fleas!? . . predictably ran out of energy yet again, and napped until around 6:30pm . . TVd the local news etc. . walked BGdns . . . PCd this until late . . . Tvd . . ate a banana and then a slice of gala pie with a large bag of crisps followed by some coffee sponge . . to bed around 3am.
17 - Broken sleep then up at 8am. 19C in 15C out. Cloudy. . .walked BGdns . Malta registered cargo vessel 'Baltiyskiy-202' was moored out across the bay. Blowing quite a hard unpleasant breeze! . .TVd for a bit. .PCd . around midday a new navigation warning was put out by the coastguard as a vessel 'The Harley' was bringing one person back to shore. A speedboat had sunk around 1 mile north east of the breakwater!?! Something weird about that!? Damn - what a shame I wasn't still walking Bella and missed catching THAT on the camcorder! Yacht Bumble reported debris and the 'nose' of an otherwise submerged hull at 50,25.490n 3,29.239w around 12:12hrs. Little further comms so I guess it's just gonna be left to fully sink?! . . . at 13:31 it appeared that a 999 call to the coastguard had been received from a couple of divers on the Breakwater Beach. They'd returned to the beach to find the other person in their diving party, a 21 year old female had NOT returned. CRTs were immediately tasked to attend and both lifeboats were soon launched. Coastguard helicopter 106 was already in the air just along the coast to the North on a training flight and it was also tasked to attend. . that was all too much for me to resist (especially after having just missed possibly witnessing the sinking speedboat earlier). I ended up quickly leashing up Bella and heading back out armed with radios, camcorder and tripod - 'ambulance chasing'!!! I'd hardly reached the end of the road before the missing diver apparantly safely returned to the beach, unaware of all the drama on her account. Everyone was quickly stood down. Had glimpses of the coastguard helicopter low between the houses as it left the area. . carried on to BGdns and just sat around for a bit. Really was blowing quite a chilly Northerly wind down in the bay, making for a less than entirely pleasant sit! Eventually headed back . . .drank a glass of red wine. Ate two part-toasted finger rolls with haslet, heated chopped onion in butter and melted grated cheese followed by a few squares of chocolate. . . napped until around 6:45pm . . . TVd . . . popped out in the garden around 9:32pm to watch the ISS go over in a completely clear sky again - and yes, once again I had another pointless go at wrestling with the tripod mounted camcorder, all to no avail of course. A good long six minute pass again this evening at that time. God knows what the neighbours must think of me 'skulking' around in the garden with a camera in the dark. That MUST look bad? . . . PCd . . . TVd . . ate a piece of gala pie with crisps followed by a piece of coffee cake and biscuits . . . to bed around 2:30am.
16 - Poor broken sleep then up at 8am. 21C in 18C out. Sunny. . . 'Star Minerva' left the bay last night and is already well up the channel south of Worthing heading East, and 'Prinicimar Loyalty' also left its anchorage in the early hours and is already way down south, just joining the Eastbound shipping lane it would appear. . .walked BGdns in the sunny spells. All the mirror dinghys were heading out over towards Paignton again, to do the last day of their 'nationals'. Sitting on the higher seat for my coffee was spoiled by the council workmen starting to cut some of the grass with various bits of equipment. Deafening and most unpleasant. . . PCd and played with the tablet for a while. I seem to be increasingly disliking the thing! Every (preinstalled) 'app' I seem to attempt to use doesn't seem to work!? Even the BBC Iplayer had to be re-downloaded and some other piece of app installed before it would work. The '4 On Demand' app STILL isn't working for me on it?? The PC doesn't like it and I can't transfer any files to or from it either!? I presume I need to learn - err - um - something? :o(. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . . drank half a glass of red wine while cooking. Ate a ham ring, fried potatoes and mixed veg followed by biscuits and chocolate . . napped . . . aimlessly TVd/PCd feeling very down again. Don't ask me how or why, but I somehow ended up bumping into a website giving in-depth detail and analysis on methods of suicide!!! In the frame of mind I was in, it was kinda 'disappointing' to find comments suggesting that doing yourself in by carbon monoxide poisoning in a car is no longer necessarily 'reliable' thanks to cleaner emissions, catalytic converters and the like etc! Hard on the heels of the recent Robin Williams suicide by hanging, I ended up reading up on that as an alternative! I'd always thought that hanging was a particularly nasty and kinda 'violent' way to go, but it would appear that isn't 'necessarily' the case, which maybe explains why so many people seem to choose that way to go. According to what I read, if the noose is done in the right way, it'll actually render an individul unconscious by means of applying pressure to the blood vessels below and either side of the lower jaw, WITHOUT the conscious discomfort of applying pressure to the windpipe and interfering with the breathing, etc. (Blimey - that's almost like a Star Trek 'Spok' death grip isn't it?) It also suggested that being actually 'suspended' isn't required, which was quite a suprise to me. I think it said that in some 60% of cases the deceased was still in contact with the floor - so I guess people just kinda 'relax into it', become unconscious, and ultimately slip away through lack of blood flow to the brain rather than lack of oxygen from interfering with the actual breathing! Top of their top ten of the most 'reliable' ways to go, was I think unsuprisingly a gunshot (a handgun, NOT a shotgun) to the head! Amazing what you can find on the internet ain't it! Shame about the car thing. All irrelevant for me of course, because I can't 'get over' whatever it is which prevents me from actually going for it. Actually worthy of note here that in the depths of my downs in recent times, I have actually actively changed my position a bit with regard to my line of thinking. My focus is now much more on trying to identify specifically what it is which prevents me from going through with the s-ideations, and how that could be overcome. - // - . . . ended up spending absolutely ages looking up information on a particular marine band handheld radio, when I saw one being sold on e-bay. It'd been totally mis-listed, and as such, had as yet no bids, with the minimum bid being a mere £5 (+£5postage) and the auction due to end around 2:30am! Ooohh - that was SO tempting. Brand new, a whole setup was worth around £100, although this advert was for only the actual radio (allegedly unused) BUT without the power supply or drop in charger cradle etc, etc. I was awfully tempted to have a go for it, but eventually managed to resist because I just couldn't face all the likely aggro in trying to 'flip' it for a likely small profit (and of course lets face it, 'I' uniquely don't have ANY luck with such things do I! :o( ) (Someone DID eventually pick it up for the minimum bid, so good luck to them). . . ate a banana, spam, crisps and chocolate . . to bed around 1am, all bunged up and having trouble with my sinuses again - as is so often the case when I've been cooking and boiled stuff!??? What the hell IS that all about?
15 - Woke earlier, up at 7:45am. 20C in 15C out. Broken cloud and sunny spells . . . walked Bgdns. Blimey - another big ship in the bay. Liberia registered tanker 'Prinicimar Loyalty'. The local pilots seem to have a sudden load of work on? In the little screencap image I've included here, the 'Fairmile' is in the foreground with one of the mirror dingies about to be passed on her starboard side. There IS another boat in the picture in front of the tanker, but I'm unsure which/what it was ('maybe' MTS Pathfinder?). . . .Played ball for a bit before ending up sat on top of the searchlight bunker watching the morror dinghys getting ready to race over by Paignton again . . back via the store for a few supplies. Also bought a new small flea comb to use on Bella on the way home. Her coat really is in a pretty atrocious condition from all the little bits of flaking skin which her constant scratching and gnawing have created! :o( Those fine toothed flea combs are pretty much the only thing that can help tease all that debris out of her fur! Her regular grooming brush just doesn't hardly touch the stuff!?. . groomed Bella lots and also attempted to clean out her irritable ears yet again. Didn't see a single flea on her throughout! . . the postman delivered the replacement tablet power supply. Seems to work ok . . . put the immersion heater on for a short while before eventually giving Bella a bath. A 'proper' bath, in the bath in the bathroom also using the mixer-tap shower hose! (Damn - the rubber seal/washer on the metal bath plug has perished and split in two. Gonna have to try to get a new one of those some time.) Given the poor state of her skin, with nothing to lose, I dared to very carefully use regular human shampoo on her (although staying well away from her head and face). That definitely made it easier for me to get a bit of a lather going and get her cleaner than I think she's ever been since I've had her. Despite the awful amount of time and hassle it is to wash her like that, and in spite of the high cost of the water and electric involved, I think I need to try to get into some sort of a routine of doing that more frequently - in a desperate attempt to improve her appalling underlying skin condition! :o( Jeeze - I never imagined ending up lumbered with SUCH a 'high maintenance' problem dog! :o( . . . ate a banana, corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps, biscuits and chocolate . . . napped until the 7pm alarm and got up after a ten minute 'snooze' due to difficulty waking . . . TVd . .skipped the walk. Just felt too tired again, despite the amazing clear sky. . Messed with the tablet from the comfort of my armchair at some ppoint, and ended up looking up when the ISS was due to be going over. Visible in the WNW from around 9:32pm and heading out East for a good few minutes apparantly. Touched base with Mum and let her know in case she was inclined to go out into the garden and marvel at it - like I was going to. lol . . stood in the back garden and succeeded in seeing a perfect, full, unbroken, visible horizon to horizon (actually distant house rooftop to neighbour's rooftop) long pass. Not for the first time I actually had a go at capturing something of it on zoomed-in video, but of course as always there was absolutely NO way I was gonna get anything except for a rapidly moving and oh SO difficult to keep up with blurr. To be honest, given how appallingly bad the camcorder performs in low light, even getting this blurr was quite some considerable acheivement! SUCH a shame I can't get 'better'. . . returned Mum's ansaphone call. She HAD gone out to see it - but seemed unsure if the bright moving object she'd seen was indeed the space station!?? Oh, come on Mum - what else could it possibly have been?! lol . . . PCd just a bit of this . . .actually ended up back in the garden again around 11:07pm for the next pass of the ISS, intending to have another final, last, 'just-give-it-up' go with the camcorder - set on 'night' menu mode this time. It was of course by now almost completely pitch black out there, so the results were predictably sadly even worse than before. lolol Just give it up, it ain't gonna happen!. . . TVd . . ate most of a tin of chopped ham and pork with a large bag of crisps . . to bed around 3am.
14 - Up at 7:45am. 21C in 18C out. Briefly sunny before gathering rainclouds . . . walked BGdns. I'd forgotten to mention here yesterday that our usual lower ball playing seat has been damaged, either through vandalism or mistreatment. The lower of the three large timber rails which forms the backrest has been broken off the rusty fixing bolts by someone. :o( . exchanged a few words with the walker of Ollie - who was being kept securely on his lead this morning. He was ok. Apparantly he HAD been reluctant to let anyone mess with the hook, and because they couldn't find his muzzle, they'd ended up taking him to the vet to have it removed. It'd cost them around £28! . .diving operations were now being conducted on the 'Star Minerva' this morning. . sat around for ages and watched as all the red sailed Mirror dinghys and multiple support boats left the harbour and sailed across the bay towards their racing course over by Paignton. Day two of the 'Mirror Nationals' I believe. . poked at the scenes with the camcorder quite a bit, but sadly absolutely none of the shots I was able to get were of any possible use at all. The course they'd set up was just too far away I think. I'm sure they had very good reasons for doing it so far out, but it didn't seem to make much sense from a spectator point of view. I 'think' the competitors in the boats were actually mostly young people, and plenty of people (presumably parents) appeared attempting to watch from the gardens, but no way were they gonna be able to see anything of much use from there - or probably from anywhere else other than in a boat! Seemed a bit silly that. I HAVE included a little blurred, several miles distant, zoomed-in image here, because (although it may not look it) it was a rare tight grouping of all thirty four of the racing Mirror dinghys together with several of the fifteen support boats. I say 'racing' dinghys, but in actual fact, the organisers appeared to be having all sorts of trouble getting the course laid right in the poor weather conditions, and there were at least a couple of false starts that I know of. And then there was the arrival of a torrential rain squall for them all to have to cope with. (I quickly took shelter in the searchlight gun emplacement upon which I'd ended up sat.) It was SUCH heavy rain for a time, that the entire fleet just disappeared into it all. Rather them than me! . eventually sadly just had to give up trying to film any of their racing and headed home in a sunny spell . . . jeezuz I'm feeling really very badly down and wholely non-functional again! :o( . . . aimlessly PCd . . bumped into a news report on the local newspaper website about the superyacht having 'been spotted' in the bay. Someone had obviously contacted them with a couple of distant photos of it, and they'd gone ahead and run the little story. Trouble was, whoever had taken those photos and mailed them in hadn't done their research, and the paper hadn't bothered to check. They'd reported it as entirely the wrong yacht! That seemed suddenly VERY important to me. I've bumped into various bits and pieces on the internet in recent times where I've identified that errors have been made - and given the nature of the internet, once such errors have been 'published', they can 'propogate' and get copied and repeated and grow and grow, and for ever more, the error will become 'fact'! I have a real problem with things like that. Can't stand it. In my opinion, reporters of the news in particular (like that local newspaper website) have a grave responsibility in ensuring that their information is adequately researched and confirmed (as much as is reasonably possible) to be FULLY accurate. . I quickly fired off an email to the paper informing them of their unquestionable error - and even then sent another e-mail soon after complete with a screencapture from a snip of video I'd taken of the stern of the yacht actually showing its name. Not content with that, in full-on completely losing the plot/what a geek fashion, I EVEN then phoned them up!!!! lolol Anyway - they took my 'corrections' on board, and even then included a link to my superyacht video on their online report (although I 'think' they STILL had innacurate details about the yacht included in the report! I was NOT about to start correcting them any further and look like even more of a nitpicking loon than I already had done!) lolol . . . ate a banana and then haslet and chopped onion in part toasted finger rolls followed by some chocolate . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . . just TVd the night away feeling trapped and miserable . . ate bowls of rice krispies and a banana before bed around 2am.
13 - Up at 7:45am. 21C in 16C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns as rain showers began to build up again. As I'd seen on the AIS earlier, and heard on the scanner, two cargo ships were moored in the bay. Marshall Islands registered cargo ship 'Star Minerva' was anchored nearest-in over towards Torquay from our vantage point. Further on out, Antigua Barbuda registered cargo ship 'Corona J' was anchored, with underwater survey work due to start. In the little image I've included here, what I presume was the dive support vessel MTS Valonia can be seen standing off nearby. . . whilst playing ball and filming a bit, a couple of the usual passing dog walkers appeared to 'maybe' start having something of a little drama down just off the path on top of the rocks a little way off - also involving a family who were fishing on the rocks below the yacht club hut. They all appeared to be fussing with one of the dogs for quite a while before they all went their seperate ways. Soon after, I made my way up to the usual higher seat for my sit and my coffee, and happened to catch up with the dog walker concerned. She actually walks someone elses dog there every day together with her own, and that dog (called Ollie) has a weird attitude where he always seems to kinda wander along totally doing his own thing and often worryingly disappearing from her sight. He ALSO has a horrible habit of scouring all the rocks down there where all the anglers fish from, looking for anything (often very unpleasant) left behind to eat!! According to what I was told, as an angler was casting his hook, bait and line, Ollie had somehow managed to grab the 'food' and had become hooked clean through his bottom lip!!!!! Ouch!!!! Based on the little I'd been able to see from where I was sat, it actually seemed to take the angler quite some little while before he could find something to even just cut the line off with. Obviously he didn't have anything capable of cutting the metal of the (enormous!?) hook he was using, so the poor woman was going to have to take the dog home with the hook hanging out of his lip - and then either get help in trying to remove it and/or go to a vet!! The hook WAS actually completely 'through' the lip, so it WOULD be a 'relatively' easy task to cut either of the ends off and just thread it through and out - except that is, that Ollie apparantly wasn't keen on being messed with like that, and was liable to start biting anyone who tried. Poor dog! Bloody anglers! Getting pleasure out of torturing and killing fish - constantly littering the area with discarded rubbish and hooks and line which frequently kills all manner of other sea creatures and birds in the most appalling manner of extended suffering - and not even having a decent set of cutters/pliers in their kit, for such eventualities? Outrageous. :o( . . . back via the store for a few supplies, caught in a shower of light rain on the way . . . PCd and sent a message (via Amazon) to 'Tablet Traders', the sellers of the tablet. "The tablet I ordered finally arrived yesterday. The included charger is non functioning! The battery has now almost run out of charge and of course the tablet will then be rendered useless until I receive a working replacement charger. VERY disappointing! I await your response." According to Amazon they have three days to respond. :o( . . .PCd this. . . Received a quick reply from 'Tablet Traders - Amazon Marketplace'. "Good afternoon. Thanks for your email. I'm really sorry to hear that, i will have a replacement charger posted out for you asap. Apologies for any inconvenience.". Lets hope they send it faster than they sent the bloody tablet. Little point in replying until I get it I think. . .very quickly PCd the 'Hooked Dog' video snip - to 'make a point' (no pun intended) . . . . around 14:30 it sounded as though something serious was going on over Salcombe way (outside of my listening range). Helicopter 'Navy 193' doing a high lift? . soon after, helicopter Rescue 106 (and another aircraft - 'Watchdog 92'?) were off searching for a missing swimmer (with the swimmer's father looking out from shore! Wow - imagine what that must have felt like!) over by Lulworth Cove (outside of my listening range in THAT direction). From the little I could hear, the swimmer was located by around 14:52 all still swimming ok and happy, and making his way back towards Lulworth cove. Watchdog 92 was released while Rescue 106 maintained observations as the swimmer made his way back. . . ate corned beef, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . napped, forgetting to set the alarm, until around 7:45 . . PCd/TVd briefly. Underwater work on the cargo ship Corona J had been completed and she was just leaving the bay. Whatever those divers did, they took photographs to provide to the owners/captain. The captain seemed 'particularly' eager to also have photos of the propellor. . . walked BGdns late after sundown with a coffee. A very pleasant clear sky evening when out of the chilly breeze. Played ball for a bit and then sat around for AGES in the dark. Saw an owl, heard a seal, saw bats flying within arms reach, saw the space station orbit past, saw a handful of satellites, saw a handfull of meteors, saw the moonrise out of the sea, etc etc. . . eventually back home gone 11pm with really frozen hands, with the outside temperature having dropped down to around 13C and feeling colder in the wind. . .TVd warming up a bit . . drank a glass and a half of red wine. Cooked long after midnight and ate a fried ham ring with fried potatoe slices and buttered mixed veg. . to bed around 3am.
12 - Up at 8am. 21C in 19C out. Sunny. . whilst still waking at the PC, at around 8:45 the superyacht 'Phryne' checked in with Bay Reporting and confirmed they'd left the bay and were on their way to - wherever? Sadly there was nothing on the AIS, so no way for me to follow wherever they go, as is my occasional habit with 'noteworthy' visitors to the bay. . . walked BGdns with a coffee . . . did a couple of loads of laundry and got it all out on the line to quickly dry in the strong blustery breeze and sunny spells . . PCd. . the postman delivered the tablet I'd ordered - AT LAST! . . I did actually dare to turn it on after I'd read the barest minimum in the little manual, just to make sure it actualy worked and to see how much life there was in the battery. Around 83% charged it was reporting, so as per the instructions in the manual about giving it a full charge before first use, I put it on charge while I read the whole rest of the manual. Eventually unplugged the charger (uh oh. Still only showing 83%? That can't be right can it - unless it actually takes ages to charge?!!) and started having a play around with it, setting it up to connect to my wireless router and then entering IDs for facebook and the like. Well - it works. I can already see how it isn't like a super duper expensive one, and has drawbacks such as a limited viewing angle to the screen and suchlike, but I guess for the money it's quite useable. Gonna be a bit of a learning curve, getting familiar with that Android Kit Kat operating system and how the thing works etc, etc. All a bit confusing to me at the moment - and of course the little manual is of almost no real use at all. Played around with it for a good couple of hours - which saw the battery charge drop off really quite disappointingly rapidly (although that was partly because I was using it with the wireless connectivity ON all that time, which DOES apparantly 'cane' the battery). So - first impressions of using a tablet like that? To be honest, I wasn't 'overkeen' on the thing and kinda felt glad I hadn't spent a load of money on an expensive one. Maybe that's just a 'familiarity' thing and it'll grow on me - although I think I'm happier using a full blown PC? . . with the battery charge already dropped off to only around 15% or so, I eventually called it quits, with the intention of leaving it on charge for a good few hours. Before I did so however, I put my multimeter across the miniature charger plug (difficult, because of the type of miniature barrel plug) just to attempt to make sure it actually WAS delivering some voltage. The meter suggested it was NOT! Oh for F***S SAKE!!!!!!!!!!! Despite being convinced the charger wasn't working, because of the difficulty of connecting the multimeter probes, and because I could hardly believe that YET again things had apparantly 'gone wrong for me' with a brand new purchase, I lacked confidence in my diagnosis, so I actually plugged it in and left it connected to the tablet for the next few hours, just to be ABSOLUTELY certain. It did NOT charge. . To YET again have things go all wrong for me like this, 'sucked the life right out of me'. That's the best way I can describe it. The tiny little bit of 'energy' I can only seem to be able to muster of late, was instantly just sucked right out of me. Instant TOTAL despair, feelings of panic and nausea, and of course 'S' ideation! :o( . . . sat around in front the TV . .plenty on the news about the unexpected death of Robbin Williams. He hung himself apparantly. -//-
. .just sat in front the TV
all evening, unable to do anything . . .
.forced down bowls of co-co pops and a mum donated pack of Jammie
Dodgers before to bed, whenever.
11 - Up at 7:30am. 21C in 18C out. Sunny. .walked BGdns. Sat on our usual lower seat for some ball playing. Ended up messing around with the camcorder more than playing ball. People were visible on the deck of the superyacht Phryne, and I just HAD to zoom in and have a good look. Turned out it was what I presume were members of the crew cleaning and polishing the stern of the yacht and then mopping ('swabbing'?) the decks, etc. I just HAD to video them doing so because there seemed to be a certain irony in that to me. There they are on a luxury superyacht all 'living the dream', and yet the reality for them is also the drudgery of having to do 'housework' and cleaning, etc. lol :o) . . eventually called it quits with the filming and headed up to the higher seat to sit and drink my coffee. Just as I was finishing my coffee, a rib appeared from the unseen seaward side of the superyacht and headed into the inner harbour with at least a couple of people onboard. I couldn't help myself - I ended up immediately walking down to the harbour in the silly hope of just 'maybe' having sight of whoever the yacht's elusive owner may be. . by the time I reached the harbour, the rib was already long docked somewhere (alongside the town pontoon maybe I think?) and I wasn't going to get to see 'whoever'. . decided to head around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. Funnily enough, as I did so, a couple of guys passed me wearing matching tops with 'Phryne' written on them! A couple of the 'cleaning crew' no doubt. Like a right weirdo, I paused to sit on a seat and watched where they went as they negotiated the crowds around the inner harbour. I eventually lost sight of them as they went into either a pub or one of the cafes on the harbourside I think. lolol Carried on out to the seat at the end of the breakwater for more idle sitting. VERY blowy with some BIG shower clouds blowing rapidly through. As is so often the case, Brixham remained in full sun whilst Torquay across the bay got hit pretty hard with some rain. Ha, ha. . . rained on (without a coat) just a little bit on the walk back . . tanker Bro distributor left the bay at around 12:30pm as I was crossing back over FGn on the way home . . . did laundry. PCd the superyacht video for ages. Did a real hatchet job with the edits and discarded most of the footage, but managed to keep enough to give a good long close-up look at the sleek form of the thing from bow to stern, whilst focusing on the "livin' the dream - almost, ish" cleaning works. lolol It amuses ME. I presume others will 'get' it. Having said that, all these videos I do which 'I' think have a 'point' or a little amusing story to tell - I actually really have absolutely NO idea what others may make of them!!! What/how others think IS a TOTAL mystery to me. That's part of my trouble isn't it! :o( . . . skipped the walk. TVd . . couldn't resist and ended up doing a little bit of video of the so called 'supermoon' from my comfy chair in the living room, when it suddenly appeared in the bay window just to the left of the TV. I guess it really IS particularly bright at the moment. Ended up back on the PC to quickly edit it and upload it to Youtube for what it's worth.. . . TVd . . ate three small doughnuts followed by two haslet and chopped onion partly toasted finger rolls with crisps . . to bed around midnight.
10 - Woken around 7am by the sound of the wind and rain on the windows. 21C in 16C out. The remnants of hurricane Bertha upon us. . . slow getting going, waking at the PC and watching all the successfully uploaded flyboarding videos again (Set 1 , Set 2, Set 3) and doing a couple of 'you may wish to know' type e-mails etc. The rain radar website is suggesting we've seen the worst of it already with only rain showers likely. They really copped it further north it appears. . . by the time we walked around 9am the storm had largely abated and I didn't even need the raincoat I'd worn. Played ball and sat around for ages in BGdns in the warm sunny spells. As usual in forecast bad weather, the nearby waters of the bay were almost a dead flat calm, although it looked as though the Torquay side was getting some waves and giving the ferries and other boats some difficulty. By the time I'd finished my coffee the wind was getting noticeably stronger, and the MSI broadcast was warning of gale force 8 imminant. . back home before 11am. . . PCd this . . plenty of comms on the radio from the powerboat racers over Torquay trying to decide if the sea conditions are too bad for their racing. . They DID race it would appear from the comms! . . . PCd this for hours . . .ate ham, cheese and mayo finger rolls, crisps and biscuits . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . skipped the walk . . drank the tin of Redbull I've had in the fridge since Sis2 left, and PCd more of this trying to catch up . . a big full 'supermoon' in the mostly clear sky outside. So much for all those storm warnings. Think we pretty much completely got away with it here. . . ate the last of the Mum donated strawberries and cream followed by a couple of bananas and a bag of crisps before to bed around 2am.
9 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up at 8am. 20C in 18C out. Sunny between many shower clouds. . .woke at the PC as usual. Stumbled across information suggesting all tomorrows Lifeboat Week events had been moved and squeezed into later today, because of the arrival tonight of the remnants of hurricane Bertha. . . . walked BGdns in mostly full sun with a bit of a breeze. Huge shoals of little fish were all jumping out of the water just off the rocks and out across the wider bay, with flocks of seagulls all swooping in and having a go at them. Haven't seen so much of that for a long while. Nice to see there are actually some fish left alive out there! . . sat around here and there for ages and then with my coffee on a higher seat. Power boats eventually emerged from Torquay harbour and started doing a practice session prior to their scheduled racing later. Sadly the whole thing was being done just off the Torquay coast, so all that could be seen from this side were fast moving dots in the distance. No point in me hanging around or even getting the camera out of my pocket. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . . ate a large Mum donated gala pie slice and crisps followed by a little chocolate . . .VERY tired. Had no choice - HAD to sleep. Napped until the 6pm alarm. Damn - comms on the scanner confirmed I was in the process of missing the lifeboats SAR display. I wasn't 'particularly' concerned because of course I've seen and filmed similar all before, and am more interested in capturing 'real' stuff rather than made up demos. Having said that, it appeared they were using a total of three different all weather lifeboats, which is something I haven't seen before, so I was just a little miffed. . .walked FGn and got there just after the SAR display had ended and the Teignmouth lifeboat had already headed back home, and the local lifeboat and the matching visitor were back on their moorings. Played ball for just a while before then walking through the crowds to the seat above the end of the breakwater. Sat around for quite a while until the PA system on the breakwater announced to the nearby watching crowds that the next 'display' would be commencing in a couple of minutes. THAT was the display I wanted to see. A 'Flyboarding' demonstration. Quickly left the seat, crossed the road and set up my camera on my trusty rice bag atop the wall overlooking the breakwater and beach below. 'Just' in time!! In the distance having just come round the end of the breakwater was the bizarrest of sights. The inshore lifeboat was cruising along near a jetski, and hovering in mid air between them at quite a height, was the distant figure of a man - just hovering in mid air atop a column of water! lol An absolutely extraordinary sight. I think it was only a year or so ago that I first became aware by bumping into a video on youtube , that such a thing was even possible, and as I recall when I first saw that video I thought it was all made up and a trick of the camera. Well, it IS for real, and I've now seen so for myself. Really is quite a thing to see. ALL the movements of that swimmer guy seemed SO unnatural. Wow, is he a breathtakingly fit guy! Not only did he travel the mile to the display site in the water, but he then proceeded to do a good three displays all well in excess of ten minutes each and then made his way all the way back round the breakwater, actually doing a display for passing boats and all those watching all along the way! I was also rather impressed by the team work between him and the guy sat on the jet ski. Contrary to what the guy on the PA system said at one point, it looked to me as though the actual swimmer guy was NOT fully controling the power of the jets. It appeared to be the guy on the jetski who was doing that as required/indicated to etc. He also of course had to make very sure he stayed close enough but didn't end up having the swimmer crash into him etc, etc. I found the whole thing really quite amazing and absolutely like something in a science fiction film totally come to pass. (Not unlike the 'Iron Man' films is it?) . actually, I filmed the first two parts of the guys demonstration with a bit of a break for him in between, and thought that was the lot, and actually crossed back over the road and returned to the seat behind. In fading light on the very edge of what my sad camcorder can cope with, he then suddenly started up a bit of a finale before ultimately heading back the way he'd come, so I was suddenly struggling to film again for a while, without the benefit of my unobstructed walltop view and rice bag to rest on, etc! lol . . . hung around for ages more as people started to turn up and surround me in readiness for the fireworks which were going to be let off from the barge moored just off the beach. I did actually cross back over the road and attempt to take some no-flash stills photos of the breakwater when the crowds were doing their 'light the breakwater with lanterns/candles' thing, but to be honest, there wasn't 'that' much of a crowd, and the camera couldn't do the scene justice anyway. Sadly it was at that point when I crossed back over, that I found a family with a grandad and a couple of young boys had taken up position on 'my' seat. Managed to squeeze in on the end but then had to engage in a bit of conversation about what the aerial was poking out of my shoulder and how nice a dog I had etc, etc, etc. It was actually amusing to me how the grandfather and boys happily chatted and were all interested in the radio etc, but the younger father pretty much ignored me and clearly seemed to display some 'irritation' with his kids that they were finding this stranger so interesting rather than the wider scene and the fireworks which he'd 'gone out of his way to provide for them'. Hard to explain in words here - definitely the case. lolol. . just before the fireworks were due to start somewhere around 9pm, it began to rain a bit. Thankfully it didn't really come to much more than a drizzle, and because it was still quite warm, it was possible to just endure it and continue sitting there. . as I recall, that's about the closest I have ever been to fireworks with Bella. When they began, she did seek a little reassurance from me by kinda climbing up partially onto my lap, but she soon settled down and ended up just sat on the floor next to me actually watching them for the large part. As usual, she actually seemed to become more anxious when everyone clapped when the display was over. She really DOES have a 'thing' about clapping for some reason. It was a suprisingly decent little display of fireworks - including some weird ones which actually seemed to be somehow deliberately set afloat to then actually unexpectedly errupt from the water a short while later. .wished the little family a good evening as they all departed. Only the father didn't really respond. lolol . . . walked back (with frustrating difficulty) through all the dawdling crowds and eventually through town and home, all in a slowly increasing light drizzle. . . fed Bella and then excitedly straight onto the PC to review camcorder footage. PCd the Flyboarding videos. The whole thing was just SUCH a spectacle to me, I just couldn't bring myself to even attempt to start trying to edit it all down to just 'highlights'. I pretty much just trimmed and cut what I'd filmed of the demonstration into three chunks to fit Youtube's maximum file sizes, and uploaded them almost exactly as they were. Set 1 , Set 2, Set 3. Eventually set all three uploading to Youtube as a batch. Damn - that's another all-night uploading session with my appallingly slow upload speeds. :o( Left the PC uploading and eventually walked away . . .ate ham and mayo finger rolls, crisps banana and chocolate. . . returned BBs ansaphone call from earlier . . to bed around 3am leaving the PC running, uploading the remaining two videos.
8 - Up at 7:30am. 20C in 15C out. Hazey sun. . . walked BGdns. A very impressive enormous luxury yacht was moored off the end of the breakwater, perhaps a mile or two in front of the gardens. I've included this (first) rather poor picture here, because this one does at least give 'some' scale to the enormity of it. That little dark smudge just to the left of the flag pole at the stern, is actualy a man stood on the deck! Huge! . . . eventually carried on down to the harbour. Along the way, some guys little puppy dog fell off the harbour wall! The tide was pretty low and I was convinced when I saw it disappear over the edge, it'd be seriously injured at best, becaue at low tide there are plenty of exposed rocks the fifteen or so feet below. Miraculously it'd somehow fallen between two outcrops of rock and into the shallow water, and appeared to be unhurt, albeit dstressed and whining and soon stuck on one of the rocks. The owner seemed all matter of fact and not overly concerned as he walked down the nearby steps and onto nearby rocks, which seemed weird? I'd have been frantic with worry. At length he managed to persuade it to jump back into the water and swim the short distance to join him. It appeared to be none the worse for its fall etc. Every time I walk along that outer harbour wall with Bella off her lead, I worry that she'll eventually end up doing that at some point. She spends SO much time looking back at me for direction all the time' one of these days she's just BOUND to do so!! :o( . . carried on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to sit for quite a while. Whilst I did so, Denmark registered tanker 'Bro Distributor' came in and anchored up in the middle of the bay, ready for underwater survey works etc. .at some point the wind had swung the luxury yacht around a bit, making for a potentially better view of it from the end of the breakwater. (At this stage I actually hadn't yet been able to make out its name, etc). I couldn't resist and ended up walking the half mile out all the way to the end of the breakwater. Sat at the very end dangling my feet over for a while poking at the yacht with the camcorder on high zoom. A guy was on deck apparantly having a smoke at one point. Impossible to see in any of the darkened windows, although I DID manage to see enough to get the name and country details to look up later. ( It's a 50m long, George Town, Cayman Islands registered luxury yacht called 'Phryne'. Launched in 1999, it can allegedly accomodate eight guests, and has a crew of nine - which seems an extraordinary well cared-for ratio to me! Seemed like a strange name, so I also looked that up a bit. Wiki states something like - 'Phryne was a famous courtesan of ancient (4th century BC) Greece. On the occasion of the festivals of the Eleusinia and Poseidonia she would let down her hair and step naked into the sea.' Hmm - maybe not such a bad name after all then? Found a website which had pictures of the breathtakingly luxurious inside. Wow. Incredible! Just incredible. As so often seems to be the case with such vessels, my searches did NOT reveal who the multi millionaire owner was.) . . eventually walked all the way back and returned to BGdns for yet more sitting before finally heading home . . . put the hedge trimmer and extension lead in the car and drove to mums to trim her front hedge. !! . .
. . . cooked and ate a ham
and cheese pastry slice with chips followed by some chocolate . .
napped . . .TVd the night away . . ate Mum donated strawberries
and cream with MUCH sugar followed by some chocolate . . . to bed
7 - Up at 8:30am after a really awful nights sleep. That pulled muscle in my back kept waking me up every time I tried to turn in my sleep! 22C in 21C out. Sunny. . .slow getting going. . . eventually all walked BGdns real late. Very hot and sunny. . in conversation S suggested he'd never seen Torquay or been across on the ferry. Given the amazing weather, and trying real hard to reluctantly go along with keeping my guest 'entertained', I suggested we should get a ferry and go across for a bit. Eventually headed down to the harbour to get one of the Western Lady ferrys across to Torquay. A mere £4 return for all three of us! Blazing sunshine. Really uncomfortably hot on the bare concrete of the harbourside. The weather and full-on holiday season seemed to have brought everyone out, and there was an enormous disorganised queue of people all waiting for various ferries. All in all, this was exactly the sort of thing which would normally see me be absolutely anywhere BUT there! For me, the whole experience was one of unpleasantness and duress. There were so many people there all thronging and jostling, the ferry was late arriving and leaving - just to prolong my agony. . the actual crossing once we were underway, was largely uneventful albeit crowded and extremely hot in the burning sun. . . walked about just a bit on the Torquay side amongst the crowds. BIG crowds - and all baking hot in the burning sun. That absolutely fitted in with my abiding and generally unpleasant memories of the place. Every time I've gone there it always seems to be all crowds of people, lots of baking in the heat concrete like a desert, everything really expensive, and - well - frankly, I just really REALLY dislike being there!! Poor SH was stuck with me getting grouchier and grouchier and very obviously not wanting to be there. I'm sure if he'd been there with anyone else, he'd have ended up having a nice time going for a drink and a bit to eat and suchlike, but 'I' was not gonna be doing THAT! . after a bit of an aimless walk along the sea front to at least show him the crowded beach etc, we briefly ended up sat on a bench while he rolled and smoked a cigarette. Near the end of the bench was an old lady in a wheelchair, sat with an overweight relative, waiting for the return of the rest of her overweight family who'd been a short distance away crabbing or some such. Turned out she apparantly had some sort of mental health issues which included her sheilding her eyes and hiding behind her hand whenever she got stressed and uncomfortable with a situation - which is exactly what she did when they started wheeling her away along the crowded promenade. Wow - how alike was I to her!!! If I could have just hidden behind my hand until it all went away I would have! Poor SH - he pretty soon agreed to walk back and get straight on the ferry back 'home' . . . soon back on the ferry after a 15 minutes sweltering wait in the burning sun in the LONG queue whilst the ferry crew apparantly had their lunch. That ferry crossing back was even worse than the one over just an hour or two earlier. It was SO crowded, people were even forced to stand, before the crew eventually belatedly anounced there were more seats somewhere down below in a section a sign was suggesting was closed! Poor yelping Bella got her tail trodden on - more than once I think! . . by the time we reached Brixham I'd really totally had enough of all the madness, and really almost RAN off the ferry dodging between the irritatingly aimlessly ambling 'grockles' once it docked! . . boy oh boy, did I just want to go home! That wouldn't have been fair on S of course, so I forced myself to 'almost' show willing as best I could (although by now I'm sure it was very obvious to him I absolutely wasn't!), and we ended up buying fish and chips again, and sitting on the floor in some shade in the corner of the harbour to eat them. Jeeze - how on earth do all those people sit around in the full baking sun for hours like that? I just couldn't even contemplate doing that. Torture. . actually, I think we were both pretty hungry, and those fish and chips went down VERY well. I could almost have eaten the whole lot again. . . battled through the crowds and headed around the harbour to a newsagent for S to buy some tobacco. That newsagent was right next to a busy ice cream shop, so trying to do just a little bit of the 'done thing', I suggested we should at least get an ice cream before returning. SH stood outside holding onto Bella's lead while I joined the back of the queue. All of a sudden, one of the guys working in the shop seemed to appear next to and looking at me while asking everyone what they wanted. I naturally just gave him my order and was pretty soon exiting the shop with our two ice cream cones. It was only once I was outside that S all laughing, pointed out to me that I'd somehow managed to completely ignore the long queue of people that were all in front of me, and I'd just barged in in front of at least a half a dozen of them!!!!!!! I've really no idea how that happened. SO out of character for me to do anything like that! Maybe it was just because I was SO eager to get the horrendous experience over and done with? If I could have gone back and apoligised to them all I would have! felt SO guilty! lolol I think I blame the guy who served me. . stood on the harbourside eating our ice creams while watching all the shoals of small-fry swimming about in the diesel-oil covered water below us. . the old, black with dirt homeless lady was laying asleep by some old fishing gear nearby. All of a sudden with a lot of unintelligible calling out, she appeared to wake up. Amazing she's survived there like that for SO many years. I've never heard her 'calling out' from her sleep like that before! I wonder who if anyone ever speaks to her? Who on earth would know if her mental and or physical state was in a dangerous decline requiring a forced intervention? Everyone is SO used to just walking past her as she sleeps on various bits of pavement around the harbour and town, I wonder how long it'd be before someone would actually discover it, if she one day just dies there like that? :o( . . . a short stop on Furzeham Green for Bella to play ball and for me to recover from the climb up and to cool off sat on the grass in the shade of a tree for a bit. That pulled muscle in my back was making me feel pretty unwell again. Like some real old man, I even needed a pull up from S before I could get to my feet again to head home! . . oh WHAT joy to be home and have that awful experience and feat of endurance over with! . . a drink of much needed cold water and chats before bidding S goodbye . . . TVd struggling to stay awake . . . cooked and ate a chicken breast with buttered mixed veg followed by chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
6 - Up at 7:45am. 21C in 18C out with sunny spells. Woke at the PC and radios just as a 'Pan Pan' was going out. 'Sea Otter' had 'lost' the fuel pump on its engine 18 nautical miles east by south east from Berry head and was requiring a tow back to Brixham. . . walked FGn. Back via the store for supplies . . touched base with Mum to see if she wanted a lift to a doctor appointment as she'd suggested she may the other day. She elected to go on the bus instead. . .walked up Mums (just before she left) and set about having a go at attempting to clear her blocked rainwater downpipes on the front of the house. Managed to force just the top joints apart enough on one to be able to slide the pipe up in its wall clips and start excavating all the revealed debris from the u-bend cemented in the ground. VERY awkward trying to poke around down there with various completely inappropriate garage/gardening implements, but at some considerable length, I eventually suprisingly had things relatively cleared and ultimately was able to feed the running garden hosepipe down the pipe for a distance of at least four feet and not have the water all pouring back out. God only knows where that pipe actually goes. I lifted the manhole near her garden gate, but there was no sign whatsoever of any inlet from the direction of that downpipe. I DID ask her next door neighbour (the one who refuses to speak to her because she feeds her garden birds!) if I could just quickly lift the closer manhole cover just over the wall on his side to see if it went in there, but true to form, he acted all objectionable and basically refused to let me! God, what a pathetic sad excuse for a 'man' that guy is! I found it SO difficult not to be equally as childish and start giving him some abuse. I guess it IS possible that pipe just goes to a soakaway - but I do rather doubt it. Anyway - I eventually figured that'd probably now be ok for a while, so turned my attention to the other downpipe requiring attention. That one turned out to be an absolute nightmare that I simply had NO chance of unblocking! At first I couldn't even slide it up out of position. Turned out the reason for that was that the entire pipe up to a height above ground level of in excess of four feet was absolutely crammed full of a solid mass of plant roots from something or other! It was SO full of them, and the mass was SO solid, I actually had to use a hacksaw to cut a section out. I then had to push a big screwdriver through the bit I'd left protruding from the pipe above, and drag more of it down so I could hacksaw off another section. This I had to repeat several times before the several feet of the roots had all been removed from the downpipe. Sadly, clearing the u-bend and lower part of the pipe under the ground was obviously going to be utterly impossible. I cleared as much as I could (which was very little) and then just had to put it all back together still completely blocked. :o( For the time being, that's just going to have to continue overflowing onto the path below when it rains!! At least it isn't the main section of the roof and isn't above any doors etc. If that was mine, I'd probably alter the guttering and run it down to a not 'too' far off drain into which all the bathroom waste pipes go, rather than have to fork out hundreds of pounds having a contractor dig up half the garden!! :o( Something else to have prey on my mind all the time! :o( . eventually called it quits, job half done, hosed down and cleared up. .coffee and chats in the garden for a bit . . walked to the nearby store and got a £10 credit voucher for Mums new phone. Unfamiliar with the process, but easily pretty soon had the credit successfully applied. . . returned home with food donations. Found an ansaphone message from SH saying he was on his way down to visit! Quickly cleared the spare bed of all the junk I have dumped on it . . ate a pastry slice and a large bag of crisps followed by a little chocolate . . SH arrived on his motorbike from Bristol soon after. Chatted for quite a while before then all walking down to BGdns early evening. Wow - I've no idea when or how, but I appear to have pulled a muscle in my lower left back! VERY painful. Can't even throw Bella's ball like normal. It's actually taking my breath away if I move in an 'aggravating' way, and making me feel quite unwell at times. :o( . Sat and chatted in BGdns for quite a while before eventually then all walking on down to the harbour for SH bought takeaway fish and chips on a bench on the harbourside. Eventually back via FGn and then to the local pub to sit outside for a drink. Two pints of beer for SH, one little can of energy drink for me. . . TVd and chatted until 2:30am before finally to bed.
5 - Couldn't get back to sleep and up at 6:40am. 20C in, 15C out. Wind and rain showers. . .walked BGdns after the showers had pretty much stopped for the most part. Eventually wandered down to the harbour (past a seal) to sit around and drink my coffee before heading home . . . PCd this. Around 11:30am the postman delivered a package. Excitedly opened it up. Sadly (predictably) it was only the tablet keyboard case I'd ordered. Plasticy and cheap, but looks ok on the face of it, especially for an incredible mere £8 - but of course I won't know until I actually get the tablet. Ooooh - I'm SO eager to get my hands on that now! I DO hope I'm not waiting around until September for it!! :o| . . . ate corned beef, mayo, ketchup and grated cheese sandwichces, crisps and biscuits . . napped . . heavy rain so skipped the walk. . SH called to touch base . . . TVd/PCd the evening away . .ate a few almond slices and bowls of co-co pops before to bed around 2:30am.
4 - Up at 8:40am. Around 22C in and out with sunny spells. . . walked BGdns. Had to take shelter under the roof from showers. Eventualy returned home in a light rain. Oh well - that's put paid to plans to mow the overgrown back lawn then. . .TVd. Ate a couple of Mum donated mini jam doughnuts . . PCd this - or at least attempted to, but the PC was running worringly slow all of a sudden, so I had to call a halt and veer off and run various malware/antivirus scans and the like! Nothing found and after a re-boot it appeared to be back to normal?? FFing computers. I HATE them! :o( . received e-mail confirmations my Amazon orders have allegedly been despatched - by Royal Mail. The estimated delivery date for the keyboard/case was stated as within a maximum of seven days as one might expect, but the dates suggested for delivery of the actual tablet were of far greater concern. "Your estimated delivery date is: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Tuesday, September 02, 2014"!!!! WTF? . . cut my hair. Feeling pretty down again. Lack of sleep/food? . . ate ham, mayo, grated cheese and chopped onion finger rolls, crisps and biscuits . . napped until around 6:45pm. . . . mustered up the energy to mow the back lawn, trim a few bits and pieces and sweep up debris. Plenty of showers forecast for the coming days, so had no choice but to 'squeeze it in' the dry spell given I found the energy . . . walked around 9pm with a coffee. Played a bit of ball on FGn before heading down around the harbour. The Brixham band were all playing under the old covered fish market, but I didn't hang around to listen (err - sadly, because they frankly sounded so bad again!) . Carried straight on out towards the seat above the end of the breakwater, but via the steps up past the war memorial on this occasion, to see what sort of a crowd may have been gathering there for the Word War I centenery candlelit vigil thing. As we arrived at the top of the steep flight of winding steps, there were I think only two (Royal British Legion) people just arrived there! Carried on straight past along to the seat at the end of the Breakwater and just sat around having a vape and watching the darkening view for half an hour or so. As the time drew near to 10pm, Bella and I walked back the short distance to the memorial and found a small crowd gathered in front of us. Sat on a nearby bench - seperate from the crowd - and 'observed' and listened as wreaths were positioned, candles were lit and placed, and then words were said, poems recited etc, etc. A very low-key affair. People were even 'volunteeered' into reading appropriate poems, etc. I really hadn't particularly intended to, but I ended up tying Bella to the bench and then wandering back and forth a couple of times during the course of events taking a handful of photos - all 'stealth' like - NOT using the flash, and propping the camera up on my trusty bag-of-rice camera-mount on various posts and walls, and using the self timer so as to be hands-off to avoid getting everything blurred with the resulting long exposure. (Worked out ok and I got a handful of decent shots I think. With hindsight, I regret not having used the camcorder (utterly useless in such low light) to at least record some of the audio - because if I'd had some of those bits of poetry readings, it could have made for a moving video of stills.). . a few people came and went, and we hung around on the bench until things were ultimately wound up around 11pm. There was no 'particular' ceremony applied to the putting out of the candles at the end like one may have expected, but I found it very moving nontheless. After drinking my coffee and vaping lots, we eventually headed back down the dark steps to the harbourside walkway and headed home through town . . .PCd and mailed a handful of the photos to the local newspaper, the local British legion club, and one to that 'Spotted Brixham' facebook group. . . . TVd. So much for the 'war to end all wars'! The news was full of utter madness and horror as usual - Israel/Palestine in particular, Syria, Iraq, Africa, Ukraine, etc, etc, etc ad infinitum. There's just no end to mankinds barbaric insanity is there. :o( As for 'lest we forget' - seems to me, in any real sense, the best one can hope for is maybe just two generations?. . Ate the three remaining going hard jam doughnuts, a banana and a couple of kipling almond slices . . to bed around 2:30am.
3 - Up at 8am. 21C in and 19C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns and then carried on out to the breakwater slipway for a bit of ball play before sitting on the seat above the end of the breakwater for my coffee etc. A bit of a breeze, and in the broken sunshine after having gotten soaked by Bella during her swims, I actually somehow ended up feeling really cold even though it definitely wasn't!? . plenty of comms. on the scanner towards midday suggested there was a SAR/lifeboats demo/display going on out Teignmouth way. Plenty of suggestions to start with that a helicopter from Culdrose was going to be attending, which saw me prolong my sitting there, just in case it would be visible or overhead en-route. Sadly (for whatever sort of crowd they may have had watching) as is SO often the case with such things, it was eventually confirmed it would NOT be attending (because it'd been tasked to a real shout elsewhere). . eventually returned via the busy harbour to BGdns for even more sitting before finally heading home . . drank a glass of wine and cooked. Ate two quarter pound burgers in buttered baps with fried potato and buttered mixed veg followed by a little chocolate . . napped until well gone 7pm only to wake feeling yucky and absolutely tired out still . . .skipped the walk. TVd/PCd the whole evening away until to bed around 4am or gone.
2 - Back up around 8:40am overheating and after really almost no sleep at all - again. 21C in and 18C out. Broken cloud, mostly sunny. . slow getting going and feeling pretty tired and awful . . walked BGdns. Back via the store for a few supplies . .PCd . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats. Spent quite a while giving her tution on her new phone again . . . ate a gala pie slice, crisps and cheddar crackers followed by a bit of chocolate . . . napped without setting the alarm, attempting to just get as much sleep as I possibly could, no matter how nocturnal that may have suddenly made me. Woke around 7:15pm feeling a bit unwell and nauseas. Oh well - I missed the steam engines driving through town and up onto Furzeham Green from around 6pm then. . TVd feeling fragile as occasional hoots from steam whistles echoed across from the main road out of town, as the steam engines headed back to their fair field. . . TVd and then PCd the whole evening away again. Playing with Mums phone earlier had somehow reawakened my desire to have a play with a 'tablet', and I once again found myself looking at them online. Given all the mountain of 'stuff' I already carry when walking Bella (cameras, phone, radios, etc) I really can't see myself ever wanting to be lumbered with a tablet type device when out and about. In an ideal world of course I imagine I'd like to be carrying a small internet capable smartphone like everyone else seems to these days, but I think the reality for me is I can't really justify the ongoing pay-as-you-go expense of using such a thing, never mind the purchase cost, etc. On top of that of course is the issue with my deteriorating eyesight. Even if I had a smart phone, the screen would be so small, I'd have to be stopping and pulling my glasses out of a pocket every time I wanted to look at it. All in all, just not particularly practical for me - 'at the moment'? Nevertheless, I AM getting a bit 'uncomfortable' about how behind the times and out of touch with such things I'm getting. I DO want to have at least an insight into what these new android devices with all their 'apps' can do. I have also of course for years wanted to occasionaly be able to surf the net from the comfort of my living room armchair and maybe also occasionaly have such stuff displayed on my widescreen TV etc, etc - but despite trying my best with old PC equipment, have never quite managed to have that. Things have definitely moved on, and I get the impression that most of the country is now happily wirelessly surfing the net during advert breaks and the like when watching TV, using various forms of tablet. Blah blah blah. Anyway - I figure it's high time I just went ahead and blew some money and 'dipped a toe' into all this new way of living. To cut a long story short, after having read all the reviews, I decided to get pretty much the cheapest I could - just to kinda 'test the waters'. Ordered from Amazon a 'Polatab Elite Q10.1" Android 4.4 (KitKat) QUAD-CORE CPU 16GB STORAGE Tablet ' for £69.99 inc. postage and ALSO ordered a 'BLACK KEYBOARD CASE FOR 10" ANDROID TABLET' for £7.89 inc. postage. There's one more thing I need to buy (I 'think'!) to be able to start 'playing' like I 'think' I may want, and that's a mini to full sized HDMI cable to enable me to display the thing on the widescreen TV - but that can maybe wait until I've got my hands on it and have figured out what it can actually do and what length I may wish to go for etc. We shall see. :o| . . . aimlessly surfed for hours more looking at all manner of immediately forgotten nonsense again. I DO however remember looking at ex-lifeboats for sale! lolol I'm SUCH a landlubber - I figure I'd need a converted 'lifeboat' to feel comfortable even considering going afloat. lolololololol What time wasting nonsense. . . ate two ham finger rolls with cheddar crackers before to bed around 3am.
1 - Woke earlier then up at 8:30am. 22C in, 17C out and some heavy rain. First bit of proper rain for ages so it seems . . .walked in waterproofs in what turned into light showers. Played a bit of ball and then sat on one of the seats under shelter of the roof for my coffee as what appeared to be an extended family on holiday, packed up all their camping gear and two tents around me! That's at least two nights they've taken the liberty of camping in the gardens now. Pure coincedence I'm sure, that 'someone' has defecated and littered the area down by the main gun emplacements with toilet paper! Grrrrr. :o( . . eventually back home in between the showers, and happily reached home just before some prolonged torrential downpours. What a shame for the steam-fair, on just outside town this weekend. They seem to SO often get really bad weather! . . did the mountain of dish washing chores for hours. . aimlessly PCd for quite a while, pointlessly fantasising looking at all manner of for-sales, including camper vans, motorbikes and even boats of all things! All just an absurd expression of wanting to escape the life (or lack of it?) I have. :o( . . . ate grated cheese, chopped onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps . . napped until around 6:45pm. . . DF called in for arguments and coffee until around 10:30pm. :o( . . TVd/PCd until around 4am before to bed. Trouble getting to sleep and just tossed and turned for ages, strangely feeeling cold even though it really wasn't. Eventually got back up and ate a banana and a bunch of biscuits somewhere after 5am before putting the summer duvet back on the bed and trying again.