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September
1 - Up with a bit of a start around 8:30am with Sally barking and the doorbell ringing!? Sis1 looking tearful!! Turned out she'd given notice to leave, to her long time lodger and was really upset at having to be 'not nice'. His ways were definitely extremely irritating and inconsiderate and he had to go but she'd got REALLY upset about having to do it cause she had come to regard him as a friend. Had to sit (trying to wake up) and go over and over and over all the details . . walked (Sally in bandanna) in the cool September breeze in the sun with Sis1. Back to sit with coffee and go over and over more details of her lodgers 'lack of respect' to justify her actions. M/D called to touch base and hear all the same stuff over and over. How strange it is, how easily so many people in this world can be SO horribly unpleasant and how difficult it is for 'our' family to dare to offend anyones feelings even a little! Ho hum :o| Developed a nasty headache . . .called BB . . . watched Schumaker win another Grand Prix . . . fell asleep for a couple of hours . . . TVd . . . walked . . .TVd . . . M/D called to give me the latest info on Sis2s flooding house situation! They really are all upset and up tight and worrying about it! A neighbour of Sis2s also now has a problem!!! At least she now has an ally in distress. . . BB called . . . TVd till early. (4/10)as
2 - Woken by Sally around 8:10am. Another cloudless sunny morning but now with a bit of a nip in the air . . .walked . . . sat around feeling aimless and tired. . . PCd . . . BB called . . . ate and fell asleep despite call after call taken by the ansaphone half rousing me. Eventually got up to find around four calls from a witheld number that didn't leave messages and a couple of others!!? . . . walked . . . PS popped round late for chats till early - poor guy had to sit and watch as I ate another whole pizza, successfully cooked in the oven - I did offer but thankfully he'd already eaten. . .called Sis2 to touch base and find out about her flood and tried to make a joke of it by singing "It's raining. Raining down on me-e." - she said she had to go because 'they' were there right then looking at the damage!! Ooops - bad timing for such a 'joke'! . . . couldn't sleep and ended up TV/PCing until around 5am!!!! (3/10)as
3 - Woken (eventually) around 8am by yet another phone call from a witheld number that didn't leave a message on the ansaphone!!!??? I'm starting to imagine all sorts of stuff! . . .walked in the cool grey feeling real tired and woozy and not so good. Yet another 'no message - number witheld' on the ansaphone!!! Arrrrggh! . . . tempted to go back to sleep but the forecast was for maybe rain later so (after turning the ansahone off and the volume on the ringer up to maximum) hopped over the wall into next doors front garden and grabbed as much of the weed ground cover (for my raised bed) as I could stand before digging it all over as I'd agreed to the other day. Real hot hard work even though it is so small! The earth was like concrete!! Eventually figured I'd done enough so dragged the hose through and swept up and hosed everything down . . . called Sis2 to touch base. Uh oh. Didn't realise how bad she was handling the flood disaster. She seems to really have reached the end of her rope - doesn't want to wake up any more!!!!!!!!! Tried to say intelligent pertinant things but it was very much a one way conversation, except for tears! I know how it can be when you've reached a point where you can't even see a point in discussing things. Even her neighbour who also has seepage problems is acting weird and as though it is all Sis2s fault!!???? (I suspected they may when M/D told me they also had a problem!) Couldn't help reiterating what Dad had said - that if she needs to, she should just walk away from everything and get on a plane and come 'home'! Eventually ended the call feeling pretty upset and powerless to help, imagining (as I always do about everything) infinite unpleasantnesses including the logistical difficulties for me of having to some time put Sally in kennels to fly to make an identification!!!!!!! Arrrggghh! Guess I know how M/D feel now! Called M/D to touch base not intending to get into the nitty gritty of Sis2s situation and emotional/mental state, but inevitably the conversation swung that way! Didn't realise 'quite' how upset and uptight M/D were - Dad in particular seemed really down!! I didn't know it but they'd even cancelled a proposed visit from Uncle TJ/AuntieBJ because they were too upset to see them!!!!!!!!!!! Jeeze! . . . ate and lay down to sleep - woken within 30 minutes by the phone ringing! Rushed to grab it and get the mystery caller - only to get Sis1 instead who was 'passing' and wanted to pop in for a while (anything rather than have to go home to the unpleasant atmosphere with her lodger). Inevitably (Sis1 tearfully) discussed some heavy stuff - all about her lodger, M/D, Sis2, her ex-man, self esteem, depression, relationship-dysfunctionality, etc, etc, etc. Tried to say clever things to help but I'm not clever enough and am painfully aware that thinking I am is a dangerous place for people to be. Jeezuz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a day this has turned into! Absolutely draining! :o( I need to go for a long walk but I'm too tired to walk that far! . . . tested the oven again and successfully had a chicken kiev, peas and chips - lovely grub. I think maybe the oven is working ok for the time being - makes a lovely change eating stuff that isn't fried. Deprivation sure aids appreciation . . . walked . . . TVd . . . Uncle TJ called for my view on how things are with M/D and everyone, and again offered any assistance they can give. . .TVd/PCd till early. Dunno how I'm still awake on only three and a half hours sleep today? No more number witheld phone calls, so I guess whoever it was gave up? . . . touched base briefly with Sis2 around midnight. She sounded MUCH stronger and somewhat more positive about what was happening - hotel tonight, workmen already destroying her kitchen cabinets to attempt to locate the problem, container in the street tomorrow in which to store her belongings, etc, etc, etc!! What a nightmare. Apparantly the neighbour blames Sis2 for not having been forceful enough in her complaints and requests for remedial action to the builders - and all on a labor day weekend?!!! Rediculous. Grrrrrrr. . . really, really tired but couldn't get to sleep for ages!!?(4/10)
4 - Woken by insistant Sally before 6am!!! Ugggh! Will I EVER get enough sleep! Mustn't complain though - I think she needed to pee - she drank loads last night. Think it was maybe me giving her my plate to lick clean that had some salt on it . . .walked real early - Sally's stomach wasn't right either! . . .M/D called to say the cheque book for Sis2 that I'd chased up when I was down there had just arrived . . . PCd and surfed some property sites just for fun . . .fell asleep all afternoon and until early evening!! Guess I've caught up on that lost sleep then . . . BB called . . . walked . . . TVd till late watching a couple of documentary type programs on the September 11th nightmare . . .tried calling Sis2 but no answer or ansaphone . . . PCd. Blimey - actually had a contribution from the school site!!! Some EXCELLENT photos from KK. Ended up PCing until around 3am updating the site! Weird how such concentration for a few hours makes me feel light headed almost like I've had a drink!!?? (4/10)
5 - Uh oh! Not sure how I managed it but somehow I ended up not feeling tired, PCing and watching TV all night!!! By the time I felt I could do with sleep it was light and only a few hours till Sally walk time, so I figured I may as well hang on in there!! Eventually walked Sally early and set off around 7:15am for a long three hour, eight miles or so walk down through Eastville Park and along the river Frome and back through Fishponds. Plenty of squirrel chasing, stick throwing and swimming. Felt a bit light headed and weird at times. . . M/D called to touch base and say they'd spoken to Sis2 yesterday and she was definitely sounding stronger and resigned to allowing the builders to do what they had to - she was even planning to return to work today. Phew! . . . not eaten since yesterday evening so cooked up an early big fried dinner/late breakfast affair . . . TVing like normal and all of a sudden the fuse box power trip shut off the power!!!!!???? Really worrying - wandered round the house looking for smoke or burning smells but couldn't find any (apart from my cooking of course!) so gingerly reset it and everything seemed fine? Weird!? Worrying!! Just a 'surge' maybe? Spent ten minutes going round the house resetting all the clocks on everything everywhere! Whatever the time was it felt like time for bed - but is it safe to sleep?!!!. . . eventually did lay down but managed only three and a half hours sleep before being woken by the noise of screaming children playing in a nearby garden! . . . TVd . . . BB called . . . walked . . .went up to feed LBs cats and polecats. Jeeze - the state she has left those polecats in!!! Poop and old food and debris all over their 'cage'!!!!! Really upset me. Not sure what to do/say about it. Not sure I can cope with the unpleasantness that will ensue if I start having a go at her. I really don't want to have to face such a horrible stinking mess. Poor polecats. The tabby kitten seemed to be having real trouble breathing and I couldn't recall which was the one in need of surgery so ended up getting worried and phoned LB at her parents - she confirmed it WAS that one that had the growth in its ear and it was affecting its breathing but would be ok until the surgery . . . TVd . . . bed around midnight. (4/10)
6 - Up just after 7am - oh NO!!! The fuse box trip has gone again in the night????? What on earth is going on?!!! Checked the freezer - all still frozen so can't have happened long ago. How on earth do I get to the bottom of this when for hours everything seemed ok and there is no sign of anything wrong anywhere? Shit! Oh NO!!!!! It went again around 07:40am - as I was PCing!!! Reset it after pretty much turning everything off except the fridge! I don't know what to do about this! How come if there is something nasty going on, no fuses are blowing? . . .walked . . . fed LBs cats and had a very quick look at the PC which she wants me to set up to surf at some time (avoiding the cat poop that was all over the floor of the bedroom beneath it!!?) . . .balanced my accounts . . . touched base with M/D and as we chatted the trip blew again!!! I DO have a problem. Rampaged around the house pulling out everything I could think of and turning off all the switches on the sockets - even turned off the fridge for a while and pulled out the TV, video and cable box and disconnected the spur that goes into the 'damp' bay window from inside the wall socket in the living room alcove - and then it tripped again!!? That just HAS to prove it is an actual main house circuit wiring problem doesn't it? F**K!!!!!! Reset it and sat around for an hour or more with the fridge AND a light on and all seemed ok??? Nothing worse than an intermittent problem that is almost impossible to trace until it becomes permanent. Feel like Sis2 – feel like crying and curling up into a ball to sleep – I don’t have some house builder running in to correct the problem! Randomly rang an electrician in the phone book and asked a lot of silly questions - 45 for the first hour and yes an intermittent problem may be hard to track down!! Especially in my house - I know how confused the wiring is here and almost ALL of it is buried in concrete floors or plastered into walls!!!! If I have to rewire the house (god knows I'd love a new modern consumer unit/fusebox with seperate trips for each circuit) it'll be an absolute nightmare - total devestation and EVERY room requiring replastering!!!!! I 'could' just about do it - but even then at the last I'd have to call in an electrician for the final connection to the mains because the old trip is on the meter side of things and has no isolation switch!!!! Arrrrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!! Why on earth hasn't it tripped for the last couple of hours?!! . . Eventually figured I may as well 'wait' somewhere else so decided to walk up and give blood as I'd planned to! Just then PS called and wanted to talk about computers and how to transfer all his old stuff from his old machine to his new! Was a bit short and pretty much said 'NOT now'! Running late for the afternoon session, left Sally at home with the electrics (imagining horrible things like house fires!!!) and walked quickly up to the church hall donor session in Kingswood. Apparantly my 25th time (is that all??) and they tried to give me some badge or other but I didn't want it and refused it - figured it was a waste of money - who do I want to 'flash' my badge to for ego sake? Wouldn't you know it - the guy doing me had difficulty getting the blood out of my arm!!? He kept stopping and 'turning' and readjusting the needle in my arm!!!! Eeeewwww!! Eventually he gave up after having only taken half the normal amount - wasted effort there then. Shopped on the way back. . back home the trip had gone again whilst I was out!! That absolutely proves to me it IS definitely a house wiring or faulty trip problem. Need to narrow it down further? Pulled the fuses for the lights and shower out and ran another reset test. Eventually it tripped again. I think by elimination that means it is either the ring main or the trip switch. Getting somewhere I think. Replaced fuses and then reset the trip without the ring main fuse in. Ran around the house testing ALL the sockets with a lamp just to make sure they were all isolated and not working. Discovered the central heating power supply is on the only other remaining fuse and was still live. Wow - that's useful! . . . BB called . . . unplugged the central heating and rigged up an extension lead from that plug downstairs into the kitchen to power the fridge. Excellent. I have a shower, I have lights, I have a fridge, I have the gas cooker - I could 'survive' like this indefinitely. If that trip hasn't blown by tomorrow I will be fairly sure it is the ring main causing me the problem. . .touched base with M/D to try and make light of my problems . . . fed LBs cats . . . walked in the rain . . . PS popped round for chats till early. Felt REALLY weird chatting all evening without a TV or music or anything!!!! Really quiet!!!! Weird. Managed to make coffee by heating water in a saucepan on the gas stove but somehow it tasted weird?! Kinda 'fatty'!!!! Made me feel a bit queezy although PS managed to drink his! Probably just being polite! (<4/10)s
7 - Before I'd even woken up I was thinking about the electrics and around 6:15am in my half sleep, with eyes still shut I reached out and flicked the light switch on. Still got lights. The trip HASN'T tripped overnight - that is very strong evidence that it IS the ring main that is at fault. . spent some time washing out the saucepan with detergent and cold water before trying to boil up another cup of coffee. Ewwww -still has a funny taste!!!! . . . disconnected the fridge for a while and managed to fire up the PC on the extension lead and type this. Gotta be careful not to overload that one working socket - if I blow that fuse (15amp at the fuse box) I'm in BIG trouble . . . walked . . . fed LBs cats as quickly as possible . . . spent an hour or so resoldering the dodgy connections on my best multimeter (with a blow lamp!! - no where to plug in a soldering iron!) and wiring the cheaper one directly into a plug for easy socket testing. Disconnected the two ring main wires from the fusebox and tested the circuit. No doubt about it - pretty much a dead short!!! Started in the bedroom and laboriously disconnected the outside light and PIR connections - it was the last wiring job I did and seemed a good place to start. Isolated the main to the first wall socket in the bedroom and confirmed that first run of wire was ok. Pulled a few floorboards and followed the ring to the other sockets in the bedroom and slowly, slowly, laboriously made my way forward around the ring. Stopped a couple of times to walk the kettle upstairs to the one remaining socket and boil a cup of coffee - can't stand that funny tasting water from the saucepan! Nasty noisey neighbours music drove me mad for hours whilst I was working and trying to concentrate and not electrocute myself . . . M/D called to touch base. Dad has changed - he seems strangely happy to spend money these days. Kept on insisting I should just call in an electrician no matter what the cost!! No way - not until I've done with my own investigation and only as an absolute last resort. Electrics are 'easy' . . . carried on checking and building up a picture in my mind of how the main has been routed through the house. Looks like a short spur to the socket the PC is plugged into - why?! The main drops to the ground floor in the wall at the socket near the cooker in the kitchen - that was a surprise. So - the bedrooms are both ok - some small relief but not unexpected. Spontaneously suddenly more fully understood what I was doing and realised I needn't have been quite so meticulous in pulling floorboards and following wires. Speeded up a bit - conservatory is all clear. Went back to the fuse box and started from the other end of the ring and eventually narrowed the fault down to a section of wiring (all under the concrete floor and behind the plaster in the walls!!!) between a socket in the kitchen and a socket in the living room. . touched base with M/D and told them I was happy I had located the problem and made light of it all to stop them worrying as they do. . suddenly had a brainwave! BRILLIANT idea. Isolate the bit of the ring that is faulty by disconecting the wires and insulating them and leaving them curled up inside the nearest wall socket either side - that way I could reconnect the two ends of the ring as an emergency measure at the fuse box and power up 'most' of the sockets in the house as two big 'spurs'. I obviously wouldn't be able to put much load on the circuits for safety sake but it would at least enable me to use most of the appliances (one or two at a time) as and when I needed to. Brilliant idea. Set about it . . uh oh - that isn't the only fault!!!??? Checked and checked and sat and thought and checked some more and discovered another problem!!! There is SO much damp in the living room that it has corroded the mains wiring in the alcove!! The copper wires (cemented into the concrete floor) have oxidised and shorted at a microscopic break in the insulation!!!!! Blimey - this house is in a state!! Managed to cut off the worst piece and leave JUST enough wire to reconnect to a new socket as a very temporary measure. . eventually gingerly reconnected the broken ring (now two spurs) and hey presto - in business by early evening . . . BB called . . . put all the floorboards back down in the bedrooms and moved furniture back and got back straight . . . rushed up and threw down some food and water for LBs cats and polecats before rushing straight back out . . . walked and stopped off for sausage and chips on the way home . . . TVd till late. I need to sit and think about what I'm gonna do about all this. I guess like it or not (I've been putting it off for years!) I'm gonna be forced into 'gutting' the living room and trying to stop some of the damp problems and rewire that room and cement and plaster ALL the walls!!!!! Depending on which way I go, I'm also gonna have to destroy at least 'some' of the kitchen to be able to hook up to the good wiring and reinstate the ring!!!!! Jeeze - what a hassle!!! I'm gonna have to live in a building site!!!!! Gonna think this through for a while and decide what's best. (4/10)aaas
8 - Up around 7am . . . PCd this and corrected an error I'd made on the school site - mislabelled a teachers name! What a memory I don't have!! Two more virus mails from rwcrmhc52.attbi.com!!!!! Grrrrrr!!! . . . walked/fed LBs menagerie . . . sat around thinking about what work I'm gonna have to do on the house and how to live amongst it as I do - decided to do absolutely nothing today! . . .Dad called (on his own cause he wanted to talk 'guy stuff') asking how the electrics and such were. Tried to reassure him all was fine and had to repeat time and time again that I didn't need any extension leads! It is painfull to me how he seems to be clinging SO hard to his old alpha male role of protector of the family/the one who sorts stuff out, even though he is already redundant in that role!!! :o( He seems at times to be losing track of his situation and his increasing lack of ability - like when he said if Sis1 had any trouble with her lodgers he'd come up and sort it out. Sis1 revealed later he'd even said in conversation with Sis2, stuff that inferred he'd be visiting her in the US some time in the future!!! Not this life time! . . . PCd . . .damn kitten from up the road keeps coming into my garden and hunting (frogs presumeably?), pulling weed out of the pond (killing the water snails) and generally making a real mess of everything! Difficult not to encourage Sally to run out and try and chase it . . . lay down to nap but woken within an hour or so by Sis1 calling on my mobile from M/Ds letting me know she'd left an ansaphone message with the 'beneden'(?) society asking if M/Ds situation means they qualify for help or benefits of some sort after having paid into it for forty odd years. Thought she'd let me know in case M/D need help with the details when they call them back . . sat around/TVd . . . fed LBs cats . . . Sis1 popped in on her way home to drop off a duvet cover Mum had scored in a charity shop for a couple of pounds. Called M/D to confirm her safe arrival back in Bristol. . Chatted with Sis1 about the M/D 'situation'. Apparantly Dad'd had 'a little accident' in bed a couple of nights ago (they'd kept that from me - although I guess I don't 'need' to know! It'd made Dad cry. ) and the McMillan nurse was gonna be popping in soon to discuss incontinance appliances!! Humiliating for him! . Dad called back and started talking circuit breakers and extension leads again! Reassured him I was fine and didn't need any of it and then he started on about the duvet cover Mum'd sent up, as though we'd not just had the same converstion only minutes before!!! Ouch. . . Sis1 soon left. . Ended up feeling really down! . . . walked a little later than usual - the first night walk in months - a winter of discontent so soon upon us. . .BB called . . . TVd till early. . . PCd this - hesitating - concerned that some of this shouldn't be 'here'. :o( . . . tossed and turned, got back up for coffee and saw 2:30am come and go before managing to sleep. (3/10)aaas
9 - Up around 8am . . .walked just before the rain hit. . . fed LBs cats. God I hate doing so! At least one of those cats is not at all house trained - the whole place reeks and piles of s*** are hidden all over!! Damned if I'm clearing any of it up! Difficult to know what to do - if I dare mention my concerns and opinion that she does't care for them appropriately (mostly the polecats) it's sure to make her defensive and aggressive. Figure I'll just keep quiet but never EVER feed them again if asked - must practice my 'Dad situation' excuse . . . just unusualy grabbing a bite of breakfast, intending to start work on dismantling the living room when PS called asking how to transfer the files from his old to new PC. Figured I'd better help so grabbed a spare network card, the step by step instructions DS had sent me and my twisted pair network cable, and leaving Sally at home drove over. A minor amount of messing about for a couple of hours and eventually got the machines networked, and transferred all the old wanted files and address book etc. to the new. . . back home and returned M/Ds ansaphone call. Their 'news' was that the nurse had called, so they HAD to tell me about Dads 'little accident' the other day. Dad seemed stoical - the nurse will order some 'pads' for IF the problem reoccurs. M/D seemed happy that like the commode, they would be prepared for 'a' future. . . decided it was too late in the day to get serious with the room so had a nap. Woken within a couple of hours by next doors son knocking to tell me I'd left the car lights on!! Thank goodness he called to let me know! Felt kinda funny - like 'you scratch my back I'll scratch yours' - only a day or so ago whilst returning from walking the dog I'd knocked on their door and told them the same thing. Damn - I'm slipping - I'm usually SO carefull about avoiding making such silly mistakes!!? Started ok so no worries . . . sat in the conservatory for a while watching the rain - first BIG rain for at least four or five weeks. Uh oh - conservatory roof leaking!!! Should have attended to that when I painted the back of the house!! Jeeze - is this house actually habitable?!!!! . . . called BB . . . strangely accidentally poked myself in my right eye! Different kind of pain the eye gives - made me feel unwell bringing back memories of when I scratched my eye with the yucca! Thankfully the watering subsided and got back to usual - just in time for Sally to decide to try and lick my face, and succeed in licking my left eye!!! Ewwww, Owwwww!!! Jeeze - what sort of a day is this?! . . .TVd . . . just thinking of feeding the cats when I spotted LBs car parked outside her house. I'd forgotten which day she was returning - I guess she's home then - no phone call to say so? Wonder if she's trying to clean her house!! . . .walked in the pouring rain. Sally found something absolutely awful to roll in and covered herself in it!!!!!! EEEewwwwwWWW!!!!!!!!! Hosed her down on the patio and used a little shampoo (even though it isn't recommended!!) because she was in such a stinking state. First time she's done anything like that! . . . oh no! Oh NO!!!! The lights started flickering!!!!!!???? Just HAD to be a fluke like coincedence cause they are on a totaly seperate circuit - or maybe rain in the back garden PIR? Pulled out and reseated the fuse and turned off the PIR and everything settled back down ok. Jeeze I'm getting paranoid about everything in this house now! Jumped a mile when there was a crash from the kitchen - rushed out only to find my washing basket and all the clothes pegs had fallen to the floor. . . PS called and said he wasn't coming over tonight after all . . . LB called - one of the polecats is 'off colour' and she'd taken it to the vets for a check up. She said it was maybe a virus or something - I got away with suggesting it may be its poor living conditions, without an argument. God I feel awfully guilty - I feed them for a couple of days and one ends up sick!!! Never again, no way, never. . . TVd till late . . . PCd briefly before bed. Real glad to see the back of this day! (4/10)
10 - Up around 7:30am. The forecast was right - rain has stopped and looks like a sunny day. I guess I should attend to the leaking conservatory roof as todays priority. Uggg! . . .walked (Summer has returned for a while) and found 3p . . . left Sally at home and drove to the DIY store to spend some money. Bought a bulk pack of 6 twin-switched 13amp sockets and metal wall boxes, some drill bits, an expensive tube of the best exterior mastic and a 50m reel of mains cable and a couple of other bits and pieces! Around 40!! . . . back home and took the door between the kitchen and the back 'hallway' off it's hinges and manhandled it up the step ladder and onto the bathroom roof to use as a platform across the conservatory roof. Spent hot hours in the sun removing ALL the conservatory roof fixing points and cleaning them up and replacing them with a film of mastic in appropriate places. Scratched the roof a little by dragging the door across it but it 'hardly' notices from inside. Accidentaly dropped the mastic gun onto the carpet from a height of only a foot or so and wouldn't you know it - the bloody screw end near the nozzle broke straight away!! Makes applying any more and keeping it in storage for a while, near impossible. And that one tube was around 6!!!! Grrrrr. Stripped off the old mastic from the outside of the bay window and cleaned the joints up before managing to apply some new, despite the broken tube. Seems SO obvious to me now how poorly made those windows were. Like all the joints are on the outside instead of the inside!!! Almost like they were made the wrong way round?!! No wonder I have TERRIBLE reoccuring damp in the bay - must be getting in through the joints! . . . absolutely exhausted and fell asleep for an hour or so . . . walked. Found 2p. Stopped off for sausage and chips on the way home. . . PS popped round for chats till early. . BB called . . . Ended up watching 'Saving Private Ryan' which was showing on TV! Jeeze WHAT a film!!!!!! Probably embarassed PS by shedding a few tears over it! (4/10)as
11 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. Garden looks like a bomb has hit it!! Damn neighbours cat - really upsetting me - starting to have ugly thoughts about buying some rat poison (which of course I won't)!! Grrrrr . . . it is THAT day! . . . walked and found 3p . . .sat around feeling 'emotional'!!? Feel almost as though I've been scarred by watching that film last night - and that on top of 'this' day!! . . . lay down and tried to sleep, but I couldn't and ended up getting back up and watching the BBC1 live coverage of the memorial services. Felt obliged to mark the day in 'some' way, so got my flag out and hung it in the bedroom window. . .TVd some more. . .eventually needed to 'DO' something so ended up gingerly starting work on removing the plaster from part of the living room wall. Jeeze what a mess - but at least I've started, so no going back now. Gonna be living in a building site for months!! Only managed a very small part of the wall, watching TV out of the corner of my eye with a reoccuring lump in my throat, before I had to give up! Really not into it - not 'this' day. . . called BB to touch base . . . TVd/cleared up the mess a little . . .more viruses received in mails!! . . . walked. Popped in the local store for milk on the way back. Just reached my gate and a passing woman who turns out to be a neighbour from way on down the street started talking - and talking and talking! Blimey - very 'open' sort. . . returned MLs ansaphone call of yesterday. He sounds ok - usual 'I've got a problem with my PC' conversation . . .TVd watching a 9/11 Firefighter documentary . . . BB called . . . TVd till late.(4/10)aaas
12 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am. The now daily check of the garden to see what destruction has occurred around the pond in the night by the cat! Grrrr - wont be anything left of that pond soon! . . .felt like I've been neglecting Sally and she deserved a decent walk so drove her down to the Avon at Hanham for walks, swims and squirrel chases. . . M/D called to touch base just before I was gonna call them. Everything seems ok. Dad 'seemed' to be 'trying' to make normal chit chat, and not too easily pulling it off! As always he started on about how Sally is 'a lovely dog' and then strangely said he wondered if she would remember them now!? I'm sure it was just a slip of the tongue in his confusuion but it kinda got to me - made me feel guilty that I haven't visited for a while, and don't intend to for another few weeks. Trouble is, and it is SO sad to admit, visiting them is NOT a pleasant experience. It is more one of endurance!! :o( . . .played a little with the school site. Never did get a reply to my e-mail, so rang the school asking if they had any old records etc that I could get my hands on - the answer was quite simply, no. Some comment or other that they'd put my request up on a notice board but I guess that is that. Oh well - I tried. Very annoying . . .Living in a building site - again!started hacking off a bit more of the plaster around the bay window and destroyed and removed the built in wall and boxes that I'd had my video and everything in for years. Jeeze, some of that stuff, obviously previous (ineffectual) repairs over the decades, is hard to shift. Really BAD rising damp next to the front door - the room has an odor of the woods down by the river!! Discovered that the wall below the windows is little more than dust!! Amazing that bay is still standing!! Gonna have to reconstruct rather more than I had bargained for - then again I HAD bargained for more than I'd bargained for - I know what this place is like!! Filled a few bags with rubble and drove to the tip to dump it . . Took HOURS trying to remove the TV cables from the middle of the bay where they come through the wall. (M/D called to say they'd spoken with Sis2 and all her repairs had been more or less done by her house builders and she was back in her house. Excellent - that was quick!) I thought I'd been clever all those years ago routing the TV cables through a metal conduit to keep it all tidy - trouble is the metal had rusted SO bad in the damp that the cables were solid in a mass of rust!!! Didn't dare cut the cable off cause of the weird socket on the end of the cable-company wire, so took unanticipated hours chiselling and drilling as carefully as I could around the wires. If I'd damaged the wire or the socket on the end I'd have had to have called in the cable company to reconnect and of course they would have charged me an arm and a leg! Eventually managed it although ended up with a big hole on the outside that will need filling and painting real quick before the wet weather returns!! Made careful notes before disconnecting all the phone wires and then stuffed all the wires through the new (temporary) hole I'd drilled in the corner of the room. Reconnected everything and called M/D for a phone test - they called back and everything seems to be working ok. Phew! . . BB called . . .tidied up a bit and pushed all the furniture back in place before showering and collapsing for a while. Poor old Sally has been really good (sometimes lying next to me asleep(??) as I chissel away and cover her in dust!) although is obviously a little concerned about what is going on. . . walked - dark by around 8:30 - seem to have strained my leg somehow and ended up limping around the field? Probably all that 'on my knees' messing around. Found a penny . . . ate real late. TVd in a state of collapse amongst the dust and ended up in bed before 11pm. (4/10)a
13 - Up around 7:30am. Tidied up the garden a little from last nights cat attack. .PCd this. Received another virus in the mail - and also a nice mail from someone who appreciated the original reason for my site :o) . . walked . . .drove to the DIY store and bought three bags of sand and one of cement . . . set about bricking and cementing up the hole I'd made yesterday in the outside of the bay window wall, reusing some of the old bricks I'd saved from the TV shelf I'd dismantled. Spent a few hours chipping off more of the render from inside but terribly slow going - took the skin off several of my knuckles!! . . . touched base with BB . . . Spent AGES doing an 'exploratory' - slowly carefully scratching out the 'dust' from around one of the bricks and eventually freeing it so I could remove it and look into the construction of the bay wall. Not good news - the wall is a solid single brick depth, and looking into the hole where I'd removed the brick I could see the back of the outside render!! Really not sure what I can do for the best here (short of take the whole front of the house off and rebuild it!!! - no way!!) - tidied up a bit and gave up for the day, thinking and thinking and thinking. What a headache all this is - no wonder I've been putting it off for so many years. I REALLY don't want to be living in such a mess and don't seem to have the energy I used to have - can only manage a few hours at a time before collapsing . . . TVd/PCd . . .walked. The lady who'd given me the scarf for Sally was stood talking to a very young boy on a push bike - as I passed and said hello she explained that he'd run away from home and she was trying to persuade him to return home before it got dark! Didn't know what to say but tried to chip in - told him how I'd run away from home once etc etc and told him you always end up going back to face the music so he may as well start heading home. He said he lived all the way down in Hanham(!) and started on about how his mum had been hitting him! I said as much as I could to persuade him to head home and eventually gave up and carried on walking Sally round the field as darkness fell. Kept on turning round and eventually saw the boy cycling away into the dark. Horrible, horrible situation that'll prey on my mind for some time. What should I have said/done? Arrgggh!! Hope he got home safe and wasn't hit too hard. :o( . . Sat on the park bench half way round Sally's walk like I normally do with a cigarette, agonising over what I should have done. The lady eventually passed by and I expressed my concerns - she too was upset about it. Eventually sat chatting for ages in the dark - she'd had problems in her life and was on anti depressants. Her mother was gravely ill and she was preparing herself for her imminant passing! Funny how I'd felt there was 'something' 'about' that woman - hocus pocus! . . . stopped off for fish and chips on the way home . . . PS popped round for chats till early. SO tired - kinda relieved when he left and I could go straight to sleep. (4/10)ss
14 - Up too early after 7:30am . . . PCd this . . .walked . . . worked on the bay window. Finished cementing the outside - more cosmetic than anything else. LB saw me in the front garden so popped down to say hi and tell me her ferret was doing 'ok'. I couldn't help but suggest that it was it's poor living conditions that may be the cause and she should clean them all out more often - daily! Her indignant excuse was she was too busy and didn't have the time!! Outrageous 'excuse' - seems to me if you can't put in the time then you shouldn't b**** well have them!! . . . M/D called to touch base . . . spent hours more working on the small wall under the main window. Jeeze what a pain this is - if I could knock it down I could rebuild it in no time, rather than spend hours and hours trying to salvage the mess! Scraped away a load of the 'dust-mortar' between a couple of rows of bricks and repointed with a little cement, just to try and 'firm' things up before it all collapses! . . .BB called . . . cleaned up some of the rubble and grabbed a bite to eat before falling asleep for several hours, too exhausted to clean myself up!!. . . Sally woke me up around walk time. What an amazing internal clock she has. Showered then walked. . . TVd . . . finally ate real late. . . TVd/PCd till early.(4/10)s
15 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am after only about five hours sleep! . . . walked . . . reluctantly worked on the bay window. Succeeded in breaking a bit of the PVC window sill as I was removing an adjoining piece of it - DAMN! Sis1 popped in to touch base. She has arranged for a carpenter she knows to do her floor for her because she figured I had my work cut out with my own problems. Probably for the best. . . replaced some of the dust and rubble beneath the window with some bricks and cement!! . .showered and grabbed a sandwhich around 4pm. Fell asleep for a couple of hours but set the alarm for 7pm so I didn't sleep all night! . . .BB called to touch base . . . walked . . . really tired! TVd and eventually figured I had to eat so set about heating up the oven (which seems to have fixed itself (?) and now works whenever I want it to) and putting extra cheese on the pizza I had left in the freezer. Just then LB arrived at the door bearing a plate of roast dinner she had left over from the meal she'd made with her man. Gratefully accepted but couldn't help feeling a bit two faced in doing so. As she left, Sally spotted one of her cats that had followed her down and was stooging around outside the front door!! Managed to stop Sally chasing out after it but she got REAL excited and ran backwards and forwards through the house from back door to front for ages!! Put LBs dinner in the fridge for tomorrow and eventually ate the pizza. . . Sally remained excited for ages and demanded I play with her lots. . . meant to call PS to wish him luck with his new job tomorrow but forgot until it was too late to call . . . so, SO tired - to bed around 11pm. (4/10)a
16 - Sally guards a hole!Woken by Sally just after 7am with her acting as though she needed to visit the garden. She didn't need to - just seems as though she figured it was time I got up?!! Grrrrr . . .PCd this - damn website seems to be acting 'hard-to-get' of late . . . walked . . . put some paint on the outside of the bay where I'd cemented after having chisled the TV cables out - looks ok and 'almost' unnoticeable even to me. Carefuly excavated some of the inner bricks beneath the bay window and managed to get down to below the floor level. No mortar between those bricks - just terrible damp earth! Even unearthed what I recognised as the fibrous roots to the big fir tree (I called it Freddie!) I once had planted in the garden, growing between the bricks!!!!!! Best thing I ever did was cutting that tree down. . Touched base with M/D . . . left Sally at home and drove some rubble to the tip only to find a huge queue of traffic out onto the street and up to the ring road junction!!! Eventualy had my turn and emptied my bags. Drove on to the DIY store and bought two bags of concrete. Mixed two thirds of one bag and poured it in to my excavation as a foundation. Nothing to be done until that concrete sets - SO want all this over and done with - it's gonna take months at this rate! Cleaned up a little and ate LBs dinner, trying not to think of possible cat poop contamination!! Tasted good nonetheless. . . TVd/PCd - another mail directed to the school site containing a virus - the W32/klez.h@MM virus. . . BB called . . . walked. Saw the lady who'd given me the scarf for Sally - her Mum had died on Saturday. :o| . . . touched base with PS - his first day at his new job seemed to have gone ok. . Returned IHBs ansaphone call - he seems 'excited' about the school reunion. . . TVd till early.(4/10)as
17 - Up around 7am!! . . .drove Sally to the River Avon at Hanham for walks . . . layed in a piece of plastic damp proof course and cemented up the hole in the bay wall . . . fell asleep for a couple of hours only to wake feeling worse than I did before!? . . . began excavating the next lot of bricks . . . BB called . . . walked and found 2p . . . TVd. Feel pretty fed up - all I'm gonna be doing for the forseeable future is messing with damp-dirt, bricks, dust, cement, etc and living in a big mess!! . . . PCd till early but couldn't get a single page on my site and couldn't log on to the server to upload an update! Sent a mail to the ISP asking what's up. (3/10)
18 - Woken by Sally around 7:30. Website is still down. Very frustrating . . .walked and found a penny . . . dug out more bricks and layed in some more concrete. . . didn't eat enough yesterday so ended up cooking up a large dinner . . . fell asleep all afternoon until woken by the phone ringing. Called Sis1 back - more concern over her lodgers behavior. Looks like he'll be moving out on the weekend me and Sis1 were gonna be going to M/Ds for Dads birthday!! That's messed that up then! . . .PCd and found the website appeared to be back up and running. Offensive (pointless) guest book entry from what must be a gay contortionist!!! How bizarre that he left an e-mail address? Did a bit of searching (ISP webpage,Homepage, Forum_Profile) but I can't speak dutch so couldn't mail his ISP . . . . BB called . . . walked and found 2p . . . TVd till late . . . PCd trying to get on top of a few e-mail replies (and failing! God I find it almost impossible to sit here doing e-mails these days - and each one takes SO long!!?) . . ended up chatting to CC about school days and such until 3am! Amazing how much of the past people can remember when even just last week to me is completely forgotten (if not for this journal)! The 'conversation' seemed to end abruptly, so of course I got all AvPD about it and assumed I'd said something wrong and had offended her! Difficulty getting to sleep as a result. (4/10)aa
19 - Up after 8am . . .mail from CC saying how the software had crashed last night and she'd been unable to get back on. My rediculous AvPD responses to such day to day happenings is perhaps largely why I never 'chat' on any of the messengers these days! . . . walked and found 3p . . .cemented some more damp proof course into the wall. I must be averaging only about 6 inches a day!!!! Arrrggghhh!!! . . M/D called to say Sis2 had called and it was raining and she STILL had a flooding problem despite the builders work!!!! Oh dear!!! She is intending to seek legal advice!! $$$$!!!!! Poor Sis2. :o( . . . eventually ate big and fell asleep mid afternoon for a couple of hours . . . TVd and ended up fascinated, watching Iraqs address to the UN on the news channel! Clever stuff - that'll make the hard line US/English position real hard to justify! . . . BB called . . . walked . . . PS popped round for chats till early. (4/10)a
20 - Up after 8 again. Good news in the post - 3 x 50 premium bond wins! :o) Sounds good but I'd be earning more if I simply withdrew them and put the money in a high interest savings account - but well, it's a gamble - the only chance I've got of 'earning' a large amount and becoming 'comfortable' - better odds than the lottery! . . . walked . . . touched base with M/D . . . left Sally at home and drove to Kingswood. Withdrew money from the building society and shopped. With the cooker now apparantly working again I've really got into the idea of having lots of pizzas (out of the freezer, into the oven, watch TV for twenty minutes and then eat a feast!), so bought loads, including a really cheap basic cheese one that will be the basis of an experiment. Back home, experimented with adding some chopped ham, mushrooms and more cheese to the cheap pizza - worked out real good. . . ate the feast and fell asleep for a couple of hours but woken by BB calling the ansaphone . . .received YET another couple of mails containing the W32/Klez.h@MM Virus from the same source as before - IP [65.96.208.144], which 'ARIN Whois' confirms as a user of AT&T Broadband Richmond - and further evidence pointing to ' X-Envelope-From:tdmdgreen@attbi.com'!! The worst thing about this worm is that whoever is infected, is sending out infected mails to people all over the place with MY name falsely entered in the 'From : ' field!!!!!! I've even had mail system notifications when such mails have failed to arrive at their intended destination - as if I HAD sent them!!!! That really upsets me. Sent a polite mail (assuming this isn't a malicious assault) to the 'tdmdgreen' address informing them they may be infected and asking them to check their computer. . walked . . .ended up reading my old cookery book and discovered a recipe for pizza dough! That'll be one to try in the future . . TVd/PCd till early. Felt really guilty that I've had a day off from cementing!? (5/10)as
21 - Not enough sleep! . . . lo and behold, two more virus mails from the same source!! Grrrrr!! Fired off an 'abuse' complaint to the AT&T ISP, but of course they'll do nothing - again - still! . . . walked and found a penny . . . excavated and cemented-in another few inches of DPC into the bay window wall, accompanied all the while by the BBC24 news channel. Cleared up late afternoon, grabbed a sandwhich and fell asleep for a few hours until woken by Sally around 7:30pm. . . walked. Cool clear night with another amazing full moon . . . PCd this . . .BB called . . . TVd/PCd till early. (4/10)
22 - Woken by Sally licking my eyelid with a sandpaper tongue before 9am! . . .walked . . . cemented. What seems to be making this work really hard and slow, is that the inner walls seem to be made of half bricks and bits of rubbish rather than full bricks! Grabbed a couple of bricks from out in the lane by next doors fence and used those instead. Much easier - another foot or so, done by around 3pm. Cleaned up and TVd till 5pm then walked neglected Sally down to Eastville Park and along the river to Vassals Park and back. On the way back in the local field she spotted a cat and was off chasing it out onto the road!!!!!!!! Grrrr!!! :o( . . . returned BBs ansaphone call . . . figured I'd earned it, so had myself a pizza from the freezer, with huge amounts of extra ham and mushrooms and onions and cheese and - boy what a feast! . . .LB popped in with a large bowl of roast leftovers for my fridge . . . TVd till late, but 'early' to bed before 11pm, absolutely exhausted. (4/10)a
23 - Up with the sunrise just after 7am. Wow - it's positively cold outside! . . .walked under the clear blue sky with my padded shirt and fingerless gloves on, but felt REALLY cold! Gonna have to start wearing winter coats and stuff again already! . . .chiseled off a bit more of the render and plaster from the wall and filled up another bag, just to make a trip to the tip worthwhile. News channel was full of reports of an earthquake last night around 1am!!!? Typical - first night in ages I get to sleep at a reasonable hour and I miss out on experiencing an earthquake!!! Wow - 4.8 on the Richter scale, that's really rare for this country!! Loads of reports about how people were woken up and then called the police??? What a weird thing to do - how come they got through and didn't give up, after being put on hold for half an hour like I always am? People are weird! . . . left Sally at home and drove to the council tip - nightmare! Roadworks just up the road so ended up sat in a big queue for ages and then sat in a big queue at the tip! Eventually had my turn and dumped my bags of rubble in the huge 'rubble only' skip - spotted a couple of the old fashioned bricks I need in the bottom of the skip. Needs must - without even looking around to see what potentially objecting council officials were nearby, hopped up and into the skip and grabbed the three bricks I could see and got back out real quick before getting buried beneath someones load. Jumped straight back in the car and drove off real quick. Drove to the Wickes DIY store and bought three more sacks of sand and a whole bunch of electrical socket boxes and stuff for when I actually start on the wiring. . . back home unloaded and struggled the bricks and sand through into the conservatory - couldn't face doing anything much, so ended up getting three loads of washing done and hung out on the line in the sun - forecast is for wind and rain in a day or so. Grabbed a couple more bricks from out in the lane and chiseled off the old cement before cleaning them all up with the hose, out on the patio . . . made up a dinner of LBs leftovers - booby trapped dinner!!!!! What are those horrid little black things a couple of millimeters in diameter that explode into fire in your mouth (pepper?) , and why on earth does LB put them in her meals?!!!! Yuuuuck! Took ages trying to pick them all out - maybe I should have asked if those leftovers were for me, or were intended for Sally!!!! . . . fell asleep on and off until around 5pm!! must have slept for about twelve hours today!! . . . did some vacuuming in the building site living room - pretty pointless cause I've only just started with all the dusty work and it'll get worse yet - but figured poor old Sally spends all her time laying on the floor and must be suffering more than I am with dust filled throat and lungs! . . . BB called . . .put the winter duvet back on my bed . . . walked and found 2p. Neat clear blue and orange sunset, so sat at the top of the field on the grass for a while with a cigarette. The lady that gave Sally the neckerchief walked up for a chat (felt really guilty Sally wasn't wearing it!) She'd had an 'appropriate' funeral service for her mother on Friday. Two young girls had been playing football nearby and one was now climbing on the high wire fence - as we chatted one of the girls came over and asked if I knew the other girl - huh? Um? No???? - apparantly she was stuck up the fence and needed help to get down!!reached the age where my life is a blurr It's a terrible sad world - what with all these kids going missing and being abused and such in the news, being a single male, living like a recluse, unable to form relationships, with a medical history of a 'personality disorder', I felt REALLY, REALLY paranoid about helping!!! Suggested the woman and other girl should be my witnesses and rushed over and helped the little girl down from atop the wire, so SO uncomfortable at touching ANY part of her! . . Walked the field chatting to the woman. Got on to the subject of her work and them using the internet - I said I used it - she asked if I had a 'cyber lover'!! Ummm-errrr-ahhhhhh- I admitted I guess I had . . . fed Sally some of LBs leftovers . . . TVd/PCd till early, wearing the old spectacles that I'd had for the PC at work!! Sadly I am becoming only too well aware that my eyesight is slowly deteriorating - unlike before, I can now actually tell that those glasses make reading the PC screen easier!! I'm working myself up to go getting an eye test!! Gettin old, dude. :o\ Nice guest book entry to end the day with - it's entries like that which make me carry on doing this. Been there, seen that, done that. Livin it.(4/10)as
24 - Up after 8am feeling headachey and too hot . . .walked and found a penny . . . touched base with M/D. Everything seems ok and the same . . .excavated a bit of the main load bearing house wall next to the front door. Turned into a by now familiar and not unexpected , longer job than envisioned! Nothing but loose damp earth and something of a 'hole' rather than brick foundations! Removed a whole sack full of the loose damp rubbish by hand. Jumped in the car and drove to Wickes for another bag of concrete. Mixed the whole bag up and poured it into the hole with only a little left over to waste!! Big hole!! Every time I encounter hassle like this means yet another couple of days of work! . . . ate and fell asleep for a couple of hours . . . BB called . . . walked in the dark . . . TVd/PCd . . LB called saying she was decorating her back bedroom and asking how much hassle it would be to put in another power socket!! Oh dear - as if I haven't got enough on my plate! . . . to bed around 12:45am (4/10)a
25 - Up around 8:15am . . .walked and found 3p . . . balanced my accounts, paid outstanding bills and such. May have a day off from cementing today to allow yesterdays concrete to dry out a little - I think I'm rushing things and not letting things dry out enough before trapping the moisture in between the plastic DPC! . . . walked in the sun with Sally up to Kingswood. Popped in a couple of eye glasses shops and asked about eye tests and prices. An eye test will cost me around 20 - glasses thereafter at the very least 100!! Hmmm! . . drew some money out of the building society. Tied Sally up outside and popped in and bought a replacement battery for the ansaphone - I'd forgotten it had a back up battery - it ran down when I disconnected it when the electrics went bad! Sally seems to be getting just slightly more laid back about things and didn't growl 'too' much when someone tried to make friends with her. Amazing how many people want to stop and chat when you have a Sallydog, no matter how much you hide behind your mean looking wrap around biker shades. Walked Sally round to the card shop and tied her to a seat outside while I went in searching for a birthday card for Dad. Didn't think I'd ever have to buy him another! :o) The lady on the till (the only one serving in the store at that time) was approached by a young girl customer and then suddenly rushed out and got another lady assistant - I could overhear that the girl had seen some guy shoplifting and the middle aged woman assistant headed off out of the shop in pursuit!! Seemed like a dodgy thing for her to be doing, following some guy along the streets on her own, so I grabbed Sally and headed off after them, just to make sure she'd be ok. In the distance I could make out the guy starting to run away and the shop assistant cutting across through the car park following. Caught up with her and asked if she was ok and then without thinking things through, started off running after the guy who was disappearing down a side street into the distance. Oh to have been that shop assistant - to stand and watch as I went hareing across the car park with Sally pulling on her lead running alongside , only to end up going crashing to the ground in the middle of the road!!!!!!! Bloody hurt! Felt really silly. My knees all scraped up!Got up and gathered up my mobile phone that had gone flying and carried on 'running', as now best I could, down the street. Kept the guy in sight but hung back just enough to allow him to think he was safe and for him to stop running - and then he was gone! He MUST have gone into one of the houses bordering a small square - numbers 66 to 70 of whatever road that was. So - that was that. Probably just as well. I'd have probably ended up getting hit (or worse!) if I had confronted him, and all for some stolen 'beany babe' toy??! I really didn't think things through - it just seemed like the 'right' thing to do at the time. Dare I say a 'knee-jerk' reaction?!! Walked back to the shop and made a joke of my embarassingly spectacular crash and now dishevelled appearance . . bought a card for Dad - probably not the one I WOULD have bought but it was difficult looking through them all without getting blood on them from my leaking hand!!! Sat on the seat next to Sally and examined the damage. Both knees and the little finger of my right hand all torn up and worst of all, I'd torn through and ruined my trousers!! DAMN!!!! What an idiot! . . . back home, cleaned myself up, dug out a new pair of combat trousers from the cupboard, and grabbed a bite to eat feeling sore and bruised and foolish. Trying to do the 'right thing' these days is painful! :o\ That film with Michael Douglas kept coming to mind - "Falling Down" I think it was called!!! . . .BB called . . .walked. Stopped for sausage and chips takeaway on the way home. . . PS popped round for chats till early. (4/10)s
26 - Up nearer 9am than not. Walked and found another 3p! Got caught out without a coat by a rain shower. . . touched base with M/D . . . cemented up a bit of the wall next to the door for a few hours, as it brightened up and turned a bit sunnier out. Uncomfortable having to kneel down facing west and 'praying' to my wall!! . . . ate and slept for a couple of hours . . .spent a short while moving some of the old scrap angle iron out in the back garden, onto the top of the wall to make it more difficult for the visiting cat to walk along it. Even grabbed a handful of old welding rods and stuck them strategicaly in the raised beds at awkward angles to try and stop the cat jumping up that way!! . . walked . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd/PCd till early. Kept out of 'trouble' today! (4/10)as
27 - Up before 9am. Jeeze the garden looks like a bomb has hit it again!! Every single morning now I have to go out and pick up debris, save stranded water snails and sit looking at all the damage to the pond and plants and the muddy cat footprints all up the painted walls!! So much for yesterdays attempt at defenses. This is really starting to annoy me . . .e-mail from someone asking about the bike and what mileage it has done!! Funny thing with bikes - I never look at the mileage cause it is just SO easy to change it or put on a new speedo from a scrap yard. . . walked without my Argus DC3000 digital camera. For quite a while now the flash hasn't been working, limiting where and when I can use it, and the other day it started to make a nasty rattleing noise, like the insides had all fallen apart!!! I'd mentaly set myself the task of trying to have a look at it today. While walking back from the field I found a miniature jewellers cross head screwdriver in the road!! What a weird coincedence!! JUST the right size for undoing the miniature screws on the camera!!! It's coincedences like that which make people start believing all sorts of crazy hocus pocus. The screws flew straight out no problem thanks to my new screw driver - eventually figured out how to get the camera apart and lo and behold, the big capacitor that discharges to the flash had broken loose from it's solder points. Packed it back in place with some foam draft excluder to stop it moving around and breaking again, and resoldered it back onto the circuit board. Yayyy - seems to be ok and back to normal, complete with flash. :o) . . .fitted a replacement light switch in the kitchen - the old one seems to have become stiff and 'crunchy' after all these years! Reconnected the PIR and the outside light in the front garden . . . PCd the day away . . .Bb called to touch base . . . walked . . . TVd till early. Did nothing today mostly. (4/10)a
28 - Up around 8:30am . . .walked . . . touched base with M/D and said I’d be down sometime in the late afternoon. Messed around sorting out the ansaphone and the automatic timer with a table lamp plugged into it, to go on and off at various times throughout the evening and make it look as though someone is in. Watered the gardens, front and back, and all the house plants. Cooked up a pizza from the freezer for lunch. All secure, loaded up and out of the house after 1pm. Stopped for petrol and couldn’t resist the offer that was on at the pumps - a leather wallet complete with lots of compartments and a couple of zipped ones, made of leather for under 3. A quick run down with almost all the traffic doing OVER 80mph! Lots of motorbikes on the road made me pine for two wheels. Only a few minutes later and I’m stuck in traffic as we slowly crawl past lots of police and firemen clearing up after some accident or other. Eventually turned out it was a smashed up motorbike - as if to remind me how much safer being in a car can be!!! . . . arrived at M/Ds around 3:30pm. Unloaded all my stuff into the garage and joined M/D in the garden for chats. Sally was SO happy and boisterous greeting them and insisting she cover them in handfuls of fur!! Funny time of year to be molting - surely she should be putting ON fur at this time of year? The ‘unpleasant’ neighbor (known to us all as ‘the bitch’) was out painting her fence but Sally didn’t bat an eyelid and ignored her, as did we all!! Mum showed me the funny brochure Sis2 had sent of her car with her face stuck on the driver. Nice little car - an ‘echo’ two door apparently. Mum brought out the local ads paper with a caravan advert circled and we all had a debate about buying a caravan to put on the driveway for me and Sally to stay in when we come down!!!!! Seemed a crazy idea to me when the garage is quite adequate - insisted all I needed was something ‘decent‘ to lie on like a mattress - or dare I suggest, a bed!!!! Eventually managed to shelve the debate again having put the caravan idea to rest. . Mum started preparing some food as Dad insisted I sort through a container of bits of old wire in the garage! Tried to be ruthless and made a small pile of some to throw away and a bigger pile of some I’d take home and maybe find a use for. Pottered in the garden a little to dad’s instructions and filled the now somewhat overgrown and neglected pond up with the hose. . Eventually we all sat down to eat. Mum couldn’t open the lid of a new pickled onion jar and handed it to me to have a go, instead of to Dad as it always used to be. At first I too couldn’t undo it and Dad became very agitated asking me to give it to him, clearly not yet ready to accept that he isn’t the man he used to be. He even actually began to say –“Let me have a go so I can regain my . . . “ Painful sad stuff. Walked Sally to Battery Gardens around 7pm. Loads of rabbit chasing. . . joined M/D for chats and some TV watching. Dad insisted on going to the bedroom and getting out a load of the old stamps he’s collected for years. Ended up in an argument between Mum and Dad about why he had to do it now - although maybe partly my fault cause I’d made it pretty clear I really didn’t want to bother having to go through them all - certainly not this evening!! Agony!! ‘Forced’ to take 30 by Mum for petrol!! (4/10)aa
29 - Woken up a little before 7am by Sally’s wagging tail banging loudly against the garage door!! Coffee, cigarettes and Annadin tablet for breakfast. Nasty headache. M/D already awake and preparing for the ‘early’ out to do some car boot sales as we’d agreed. Out walking by a little after 7:30am. Not ‘too’ cold, a blue sky and orange sunrise but pretty breezy. Walked the long walk down ‘Pooh Lane’ through the woods to Churston Cove for Sally to paddle and then round to Battery Gardens and back. Drinking coffee and typing this by 9:15am. All out and in the car, Dad in the front and Mum in the back with Sally, and on the road just before 10am. Drove to Bowden House to the car boot sale which M/D can no longer get to and which they’d said they’d like to visit, just for old time’s sake and because they were sure I’d be able to walk Sally round. Arrived amongst the crowds and soon saw the 'No Dogs' signs. Managed to park the car partially under shade in the big car park some distance from the sale and left Sally and started walking round the sale tables. Strangely laid out all over the place and much larger than it had first appeared. VERY difficult for Mum having to guide Dad around without bumping into people and the stuff that was for sale spread out all over the ground which he couldn’t see. Agreed that I should just race on round and they’d follow and we’d meet up along the way. Looked and looked but there was nothing much of interest to me and I’d VERY soon had enough in the hot sun amongst the jostling crowds and couldn’t wait to get away from it all!! Told M/D my excuse that I’d head back to the car and make sure Sally was ok and I’d meet them there later when they were done. Moved the car so I could see when M/D were heading back and when they appeared, drove down and picked them up to save them the walk. Mum had bought a couple of cheap things including a small pedometer for clipping on your belt, exactly like the one I already have which I once found in a field. Decided to just drive about a bit sightseeing, so drove down loads of twisting narrow single track country lanes for miles, always turning left, seeing what there was to see. Very picturesque olde worlde countryside with the Dart estuary always to our left. Eventually figured enough was enough and with our stomachs rumbling with hunger managed to retrace my route always turning right. After the usual ‘no one can make a decision’ we ended up in the Maltsters Arms, Bow Creek, Tuckenhay for a meal, with Sally asleep in the shaded car outside parked next to the estuary. Quite nice but for some reason I seemed to get more and more uptight as time went on. Time seemed to go on forever as we waited for our deserts. Dad became fixated on how long it was taking and started getting a bit loud with his comments of disapproval which had the strange effect of making me feel VERY uncomfortable and positively panicky!!!!???? At last they arrived and I ‘forced’ agreement from M/D that we should skip our normal coffee and have one at home and just get out of there! Drove all the way back and feeling sorry for poor old cooped up Sally headed for Battery Gardens to give her a run. All sat on our favorite seat with the view. Touched base with Sis2 on M/Ds mobile with the inevitable result that she was all tearful when we said our goodbyes. Left an ansaphone message for Sis1. Eventually headed back up towards the car with Mum slowly guiding Dad, but it was SUCH slow going I said I’d go and get the car and pick them up by the nearest gate. Mum said ok so off I dashed with Sally to get the car and drive it down. Some idiot had knocked the driver’s wing mirror as they’d passed!!!!! If it wasn’t broken already it would have been now. Dunno how on earth some passing car had managed to hit MY wing mirror with the car parked in the middle of a whole row of others, and certainly not sticking out any more than any other! Grrr. Quickly drove down to the gate to pick Mum and Dad up and parked up in the middle of the road - uh oh!! Where on earth were they? Sat and sat keeping an eye on the mirror looking for traffic and lo and behold there were M/D coming out onto the road at the other gate down by where the car had been parked in the first place!!! RACED round the block in the one way system driving like a lunatic, but by the time I got back round they had walked all the way down to the other gate!! By the time they got in the car they had ended up walking twice as far, thanks to Mum having said ‘yes’ despite not having heard what I’d said! . . More coffee and chats in the garden. Ended up watering the garden with the hose because the earth was baked rock hard and the trees were starting to look thirsty. Sis1 returned our call – everything was ok and her lodger had moved out without any real unpleasantness. Decided to call BB to touch base but knowing of Dad’s little habit of repeatedly checking the phone to see if there are any ansaphone messages I warned him I was gonna make the call and asked him not to touch the phone for a while. Lo and behold, only a few minutes into the call with BB all of a sudden there is Dad on the other phone all embarrassed and apologizing for having interrupted!!! I have to admit I WAS watching what I was saying, just in case!!! . . .Walked Sally down to Battery Gardens and didn’t complain too much when she went charging all over the place chasing the rabbits. Unusually a small group of rabbits were in a fairly exposed part of the gardens away from their normal safe bushes and Sally had a long chase of several of them one by one. She got SO excited that as she was running after them she was yelping with delight!!? Never heard her do that before. :o) Returned to M/Ds for a bite to eat and chats as FINALLY my headache cleared! The chats seemed to be real loud and more like lots and LOTS of arguing and shouting!!!! Ridiculous at length discussion with reference to lots of little books Mum had stashed away, about calories and, using the information that came with the pedometer, calculations of how many miles at what sort of pace you’d have to walk to burn them off!!!?? Escaped from the ‘shouting’ around 10:45pm and retired to the garage with a cup of coffee. Sally got a little frisky and ended up knocking my coffee all over the garage with her wagging tail!! Mopped up as best I could and popped into the kitchen, where mum was washing up, and made myself another cup. Coffee and cigarettes in the garage as I typed this on the laptop plugged in to an extension lead - the battery is completely dead on the laptop now!! :o( To sleeping bag on the rickety noisy sun bed before midnight with Sally laid on the floor beside me. (4/10)aaaaa
30 - Some waking up in the night, woken by the noise of the sun bed springs!! Up a little after 7am. Another nice blue sky morning, warm with less wind than yesterday. Walked the Pooh lane/Battery gardens walk in shirtsleeves and just for interest took the pedometer Mum had bought for 50p at the car boot sale. Back by around 9:30 after only three and a half miles apparently! Felt like much more what with all the hills and rough ground. Coffee and chats in the garden. Sis1 called on her mobile to announce she was on the road and would soon be here - much earlier than any of us had thought. Grabbed a couple of bowls of Rice Crispies breakfast cereal and then Sis1 arrived. more coffee and chats in the garden and to keep dad quiet went through a few more of the jars of stuff stored in the garage attempting to ruthlessly throw some away, although ended up making a pile of jars for me to take home with me to attempt to give away to whoever may be able to make use of it rather than just throw it away. More ‘discussions’ about my sleeping arrangements and hoping to put an end to all the arguing once and for all, drove on my own into town to look at a mattress that M/D had seen in a charity shop. Parked up a little out of town in a rare space I’d found and walked to the shop. Single bed mattress looked quite reasonable and as new and was 20 and they could deliver tomorrow. Ummd and ahhd but just wanted an end to all the arguments and hopefully something approaching a comfortable nights sleep so said I’d have it and paid the twenty pounds! Made a complete idiot of myself when I had to give the delivery address and the phone number - I couldn’t remember either and had to get my wallet out and look them up!!!! Had a real brief look in a couple of other shops before climbing back up to the car and driving back with the good news. Seemed to go down ok. Made some none too subtle hints that Mum should make up the spare bed for Sis1 rather than assume she will sleep on the settee in the living room like she normally has to!!? Spent a while cutting up some of the garden waste pile into little pieces before having a bath and getting cleaned up prior to going out for a meal. More chats and waste cutting as we waited for Mum to ‘get ready’! Sis1 was obviously primed and up tight about the ‘getting ready’ and was keeping an eye on how long it ACTUALLY took to try and make sense of her frustration over it. seemed to be something like an hour or so - not sure what is involved in her getting ready but whatever it is it is terribly time consuming and SO frustrating when we are all ready in five minutes and sat waiting! Left Sally in the garage and all drove in Sis1s car down into town. Dropped M/D off and then found a free parking space not ‘too’ far away and walked back down the hills to join them. Sis1 and Mum caring for DadWalked to the cafe in town for a meal. Seemed to me Dad was just a little ‘less with it’ during the meal than yesterday. He couldn’t finish his cheesecake desert, so of course I did. Eventually all guided wobbly Dad back out and after all stopping to admire 'my' mattress in the charity shop window (couldn't resist the photo opportunity!) , headed back to the square to wait for Sis1 to go and get the car. Had to guide Dad into the public toilets and stand guard as he did the business and then help him find the sink and taps and hand drier! Sis1 turned up in the car so all back in and drove to the sea front car park to sit and chat and watch the view for a while. Saw the lifeboat ‘slowly’ sail out on a call strangely obeying the harbor speed limit after the two cannon shots had been fired to summon the crew. Dropped me off at M/Ds to walk Sally to Battery Gardens and meet up with them all after they’d driven back down. Quick once round the gardens and a quick paddle for Sally in Fishcombe Cove and then joined Sis1/M/D on our favorite seat for chats as the sun set spectacularly and turned to dark. Let Sally please herself a little chasing rabbits all over and often out of sight in the dark although plainly audible by the crashing through the undergrowth! Walked, as Sis1 drove M/D, back to M/Ds around 8pm. Chats and coffee and eventually had a look at all the stamps and collectables stuff Dad wanted me to ‘be aware of’, just to keep him quiet and stop him going on and ON about it all the time! Turned out to be probably much ado about nothing and not worth much to anyone. At some time in the future I guess I’m gonna have to work it all out and catalogue it and research it and try and figure it all out and see if it can be sold!! Nasty work!!!! Sis1 couldn’t take the excitement and ended up retiring to the spare bedroom real early around 9:30pm. Some discussion about a missing folder of stuff (perhaps including Mums fathers missing death certificate that she maintained accusingly, had probably been thrown away by Dad!) that Dad thought was probably still in the drawer under their bed. Mum didn’t want to look by I pressed the point incredulous that they would be able to sleep without just having a look right there and then. Mum reluctantly went in to look but was ages - I went in to see what was going on and Dad followed and that was when the big argument started!! The drawer under the bed couldn’t be opened far enough to remove the box file that was there without moving the bedside cabinet back an inch or two. This was absolutely out of the question for mum because apparently it couldn’t be moved without her then having to dust and vacuum - everything!!!!!!!?????? Ended up with mum INSISTING NO and Dad on his hands and knees, trying to get the file out of the drawer without moving the cabinet, having a bit of an outburst at Mum, and almost in tears with frustration! I absolutely couldn’t handle this madness and saying 'ok, ok' left them to have their argument, more uptight than I can possibly explain here. Ended up watching the first in a new series of “The Office” on the TV in the living room. A 30 minute program. When it was over I headed for the kitchen to make a coffee only to find Dad all tearful sat on his own on the telephone seat in the hall with mum in the bedroom with the door closed! F****** agonizing situation for me. Childhood stuff. I can’t adequately explain how, but this sort of situation, these sorts of lifelong nonsensical parental arguments, with the horrific stressful atmosphere it creates - I no longer have ANY doubt that this is at the very core of ALL of my (AvPD type) problems!
Asked Dad what the hell he was doing sat there and he started tearfully saying stuff like “I’ll be glad when all this is over”!!! I couldn’t listen to it. I’ve listened to such ‘counsel’ all my life. They should have separated years ago - and I’ve told HIM that opinion years ago already. I brutally said something like they’ve had fifty years to sort something out but they haven’t. I didn’t say it but what exploded into my mind was ‘You’ve made your bed, you gotta lie in it!’ Jeeze! The best I could offer was that if he was gonna sit out there then he should at least go in and sit on the sofa so he could fall asleep if he wanted to. I made my coffee and then called out goodnight (they both answered - I would have made them if they hadn’t, which from experience in Mums case would have been quite likely in her ‘sulk’) and I escaped to the garage just about ready to explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sat, typing this, dabbling with the fantasy of packing everything up and leaving in the car right now never to have any contact with parents ever again - my AvPD runs much to Schizoid - I reckon I could actually do it if I’m not careful! The mobile went - Sis1 (not asleep - ‘cowering’ in her bed as the atmosphere simmered? - wow, bet that brought back childhood memories) had sent me a text message. “F***, f***, f***!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. Yep - that about summed it up! Called her secretly on the mobile - I think she’d talked to upset dad - (she’s been there before!!!!) - and was pretty wound up. Not sure what we whispered but I think we both knew that we both knew that we were both going through unpleasant ‘stuff’. I ended up sharing some ugly half formed thoughts and confided that I feared for the future - I’ll find it real hard to visit, when Mum is on her own! Eventually said goodnights and hung up. Popped in a while later using some excuse about when the refuse bins need to be put out, to make sure things had settled down. M/D were making ready to sleep so I guess they had.
PCd this until around 1am - had to type it up while it was raw, to try and get it down just like it happened so I’ll remember it. It’s ‘subtle’ somehow, how it happens - but the effects on me are not. I’m sure no one else can understand.
If M/D EVER learn to use a PC, this journal gets deleted! Not sure what to make of that - good or bad? And for who?(3/10)
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