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<My Diary Archive 2004 My Diary Archive>

1 - Woken by Sally around 7:20am . . .walked and did 'litter duty'. Sally's limp seems to have cleared up thank goodness . . . ate a BIG BB fried mushroom, eggs, bacon and bread and butter breakfast! I seem to have put on even more weight - going up over 11 stone now!! . . . PCd this . . . sat around and TVd . . . all set off in the car and drove to Westonbirt Arboretum. Uh oh - BB'd looked it up on line but had got it wrong somehow. It wasn't 3.50 entrance fee. It was 7.50 EACH!!!!!! Blimey! Figured it wasn't fair on BB to be such a cheapskate and refuse to go in, so we paid up and drove in. The leaflet and map we were given soon confirmed that the oldest half of the arboretum acreage was closed to dogs, so that was half of the place out of bounds to us (too sunny and hot to leave Sally in the car.)!! Followed the leaflet map and started off to walk around the area that we could take Sally through. BB needed to use the rest rooms but ended up joining the throng of women all upset that there was no loo roll left in the place!! I ended up half emptying the supply in the gents and handing it all over! Walked down the gravel tracks and through the woods and then headed off up the cooler grassy trails that wound all over the place between the trees. Ok - there WERE some impressive trees here and there, but generally speaking I think we were all (Sally included) rather disappointed and agreed that a free walk down the rivers near home, or through the Ashton Court grounds was actually rather better! Eventually wound our way back to the shops and visitors centre and then walked around all the big wood carvings that were there. BB wandered in to look at the gift shop, so I sat with Sally at one of the nearby snack bar tables. I couldn't believe the prices of everything! SO expensive!!! Who knows - maybe I'm just out of touch and everywhere is that expensive these days but, 1.30 for a cup of coffee, 3.25 for soup and a bread and butter roll, and 2.95 for a hot dog seemed absolutely outrageous to me!!! I'll go hungry thank you very much! Someone had left their plate on the table and had left a small piece of uneaten sausage on it, so I figured Sally may as well have it. :o) . couldn't wait to leave the place. Another fine example of 'rip off Britain' at its worst in my opinion!!! Grrrr. :o( . . . briefly stopped off at Tog Hill to admire the (free!) view on the way home . . . stopped off at the doctors surgery and picked up my repeat fluoxetine prescription of 60 capsules for the 6.40 NHS fee. Oh no!! Yet another different 'make' of tablet! This time its some company called Tillomed Ltd. Makes me rather worried - I have NO DOUBT in my mind that different ones I was given before ('Niche Generics Ltd') absolutely did NOT work right. Towards the end of the course I was definitely starting to feel pretty down - then I had that 'feeling high, mood bounce' once I'd been back on my normal APS Ltd tablets for a couple of weeks - like I get when I first start taking them! That experience is making me real anxious about being given a different make again! :o( . . . coffee and biscuits . . . napped late for a couple of hours until just before 7am . . . all walked and popped up the local store. Found 4p . . . touched base with Mum to hear about the tree stump removal. Some big machine or other did the trick, but it cost her another 65!! . . . ate tuna sandwiches . . . TVd until early to bed around midnight. p
2 - Up just before 8am . . . walked . . .left Sally at home and did a big tour of the charity shops at Staple Hill, Downend and Fishponds - looking for some pipe or other we'd seen the other week that BB wanted to get for her brother. Turned out the pipe was gone. Did however find a 1.95 black T shirt for me and a neat pair of proper walking boots that had never been used, for BB - 'Nikwax' make and only 4.50. If they'd fitted me, I would have snapped them up. At last I've got BB into some 'proper' walking footwear. :o) . . . ate the last of the tuna in sandwiches with crisps, followed by biscuits . . . napped. Woken within half an hour by some door to door salesperson nonsense. Really annoys me that they always start off their chat with "don't worry, I'm not trying to sell anything"! Grrrr. Eventually managed to grab a couple of hours much needed sleep . . . walked. Good grief - mountains of litter all over the field!!!! The kids are back at school for sure. WHAT a mess!! There was SO much of it all over the place that I figured I couldn't be bothered to pick any up, but I soon passed a carrier bag and couldn't resist just filling it up as I walked. A group of rather young kids were sat on the seat by the swings as I crammed the bulging carrier into the full bin. One of them said 'Why do you pick up the rubbish? Is it your job?'. I started giving a lecture on why I do it, and how they should put theirs in the bin, but by the time I'd finished ranting, they weren't listening to the crazy old weird dude anymore. .good grief! A bunch of kids were all playing with fireworks not far from the swings!!! They threw one towards the seat and it landed half way between the groups of kids! It was only by luck that it fell to the ground pointing at right angles and the big mass of roman candle type sparks spewed out harmlessly away from the kids on the seat, before it exploded with a huge cloud of smoke!! The top of the field was all full of rugby club people practicing and running around, but no one batted an eyelid! Amazing!! What hope is there for society if this sort of stuff is just tolerated? So much for that new nonsense law about restricting fireworks to certain days of the year. . .ate corned beef sandwiches and bowls of Frosties . . . TVd until bed around midnight. A VERY protruding and painful stomache achey hernia day. :o( ps
3 - Up just before 7am . . . walked and couldn't resist taking a carrier bag and making a bit of a dent in some of the litter over the field. Found 8p . . . called the pharmacy and expressed my concerns about the changing brands of fluoxetine I'm getting - and particularly expressed my concerns over the effectiveness of the Niche Generics brand. I was predictably 'fobbed off' with nonsense like I should get in touch with the manufacturer!! Oh well - I'll wait and see what this next lot does to me! :o( . . . PCd this . . .TVd and bumped into live coverage on the news channel (and most of the rest in fact!) of the horrific and incredibly chaotic end to the Russian school seige. :o( . touched base with Mum and told her to put the TV on! . . . all walked up Kingswood to tour the charity shops and to shop just a little. Painful hernia and strange stomach ache!. . TVd watching the horrific news, in despair! :o( . . . ate ham sandwiches and crisps . . .napped for a few hours . . . felt rather unwell, stomache achey and a bit nauseas! Think the discomfort from this damned hernia is getting worse! Have to 'hold it in' pretty much all the time now, and all this pushing things back in, seems to be giving me a stomach ache, almost as though my insides are getting bruised!!!! :o( . . . walked and picked up just a little of the mountains of litter that'd been tossed around during the day. Filled a carrier bag. Down by the seat, the rubbish bin was all ablaze. The nearby kids denied lighting it when I asked, but it was absolutely obvious it WAS them who'd done it. I ended up saying something like whoever the idiots were who'd done it, they could at least have picked up and set fire to some of the litter laying around. I left my full carrier bag of rubbish on the floor next to the burning, acridly smoking bin. Unsurprisingly, when I looked back from some distance away, they'd added my carrier to the flames! Oh well - I guess at least tomorrow there'll be some room to get more rubbish in the remains of the bin! :o| Found 3p. . . watered the garden . . . ate BB cooked roast potatoes with reheated beef . . . TVd until bed around midnight. pas
4 - Up around 8am . . .walked and put in the work to pick up two carrier bags full of litter!! . . . popped up LBs and borrowed her new (reconditioned) Dyson upright vacuum cleaner, to try it out as she'd suggested I should last weekend. Oh my god!!!! Oh my GOD!!!! What a fantastic vacuum!!!! Ended up vacuuming the whole house in no time at all and it cleaned the carpets cleaner than they've been for years - picked up all the Sally hair with ease! So easy to empty out as well - must have emptied it half a dozen times! Wow! It was SO good, I almost 'enjoyed' doing the vacuuming! What a revelation! I've never used an upright cleaner before (with a 'driven' brush), let alone a Dyson. Fantastic. The only thing it doesn't seem too good at, is using its crevis hose for the stairs and such. Blimey - I may have to save up and see about buying a reconditioned one myself!! . . . PCd this on a clean carpet . . .balanced my accounts . . .TVd . . .messed around with the old pine bedhead I'd scored from the nearby skip the other day and attempted to fix it to the single bed in the computer room as a headboard. Didn't go very well but well enough to dismantle the nasty old melamine headboard and put it in the bin. . . ate beef sandwiches . . napped . . .LB touched base and confirmed she'd been to the dockside 'organic fayre'. There were lots of things to try and apparantly 'organic chicken' on sale for 14 each!!!!!!?? Good grief - can they really be worth that much!. . . walked and found a Bart Simpsons wooly hat!? . . . watered the garden . . .briefly touched base with Mum . . . ate a surprisingly delicious BB cooked ham pasta, peas etc concoction . . . TVd until bed around 2am. pa
5 - Up at 7:15am . . .walked and did litter duty. Never ceases to amaze me how much litter is dumped all over the rugby field by people using the rugby club building - mostly plastic beer mugs! You'd have thought they'd have some pride in their own field and keep it clear of rubbish!?? I couldn't help amusing myself by collecting up all the beer mugs and then placing them one by one on top of each of the new eight foot tall railings they've recently had put around their club and car park. Maybe that'll encourage them to clear up their own mess! lol :o) . . .ate a banana for breakfast . . . all walked back over the field after 10am in the very hot sun to the car boot sale that'd been advertised in the local free ads paper. Strangely there was absolutely no one there at all, so that was a wasted effort!? . . . left Sally at home and drove into town, heading for the organic festival thing that'd been advertised down at the waterfront along the dockside. Found a parking space a little way off and walked to the docks. Walked around a couple of the stalls and marquees down past the Watershed looking at all the goodies. Struck me that fixing an organic label to anything, simply means you can charge a really high price for it - generally at least double a normal supermarket price! All very well if you can afford it! I cannot. Although relatively early, there were crowds of people milling around in the uncomfortable heat already. I very soon came to the conclusion it was just a hot uncomfortable shopping trip, with overpriced stuff I couldn't afford! Made the mistake of jostling in the small queue to get some free samples of the differnt varieties of some 'Green & Black's Organic Chocolate'. Oh my word - what amazingly delicious chocolate! Hang the expense - we just HAD to buy some! One 150g bar of Espresso flavour (potentially the best coffee flavour chocolate I've EVER tasted) and one of Butterscotch flavour cost us 5!!!!!!!!! Yikes. .walked across the harbour bridges and around to the industrial museum side where the rest of the stalls were set up, mostly in one of the old warehouses. Found 1. Jeeze what crowds!! SO crowded it was pretty near impossible to actually just walk through the place - although I was just about able to bend down and pick up the 20p I found!! It was so unpleasantly overcrowded that we both agreed to call it a day and battle our way back outside. The GWR FM Big Balloon on Castle Green, BristolCouldn't resist the smell coming from a nearby stall cooking 'organic' (?) pork so we treated ourselves to a pork filled bread roll - rather expensive at 3:50 each, but boy did it taste good. VERY good. . headed away from the crowds through Queens squareand eventually across Castle Green intending to investigate the GWR FM Big Balloon and maybe have a ride. I figured poor BB has been here long enough, just stting around doing nothing like I do - time to maybe actually 'DO' something. I've been up in that balloon once before a couple of years ago - it's a mildly interesting experience. Turned out the rides were 9.50 each - there weren't many people waiting for the next ascent, so - what the hell. We paid our money and briefly waited on the grass in the shade of a tree with a cigarette and watched as our ride descended. Up we went on the brief trip to enjoy the sunny views and walk around the swaying circular gondola and try and take a couple of photos. The GWR FM Big Balloon views - up / down / over (west) 500 feet up apparantly. The whole 'flight' only took about twenty minutes from start to finish! Quite long enough for the poor guy who'd taken his little boy up for the ride. The little boy was fine and enjoying wandering around the gondola and peeking out, but his Dad was really unhappy and wouldn't let go of the gondoal rails and even spent quite a time crouched down so he couldn't see out at all! Damn - typical - I forgot to bring my pocket binoculars! Would probably have been able to see my roof in the far distance from up there. Could 'just' make out with the naked eye, the local rugby field where I walk Sally. Pretty cool being with BB - to have someone to share lifes ups and downs with. lol :o) . . . stopped in Queens Square on the way back to the car and sat on the wet muddy grass for a while watching The Ruth Hammond Band, one of the New Jazz 2004 groups giving a performance. Quite good I'm sure, but I'm no jazz fan - not at all. . .eventually walked back to the overheating car and headed home around mid afternoon . . .coffee and biscuits . . . napped . . . all walked and popped round the store for milk. Found 8p. . .touched base with Mum . . .ate reheated pasta . . . PS popped round for chats till early, bearing supplies of duty free tobacco from his Turkey holiday ( 10 x 50g for 25) and a souvenir cigarette lighter! . . . sat in the cool of the garden after 1am. Way off in the distance in the still of the night, I could just about hear (by almost holding my breath) something REALLY unpleasant going on. A lot of banging, some shouting, some guy calling someone a bitch, smashing of glass, more shouting etc etc!! VERY disturbing. Was VERY close to gettting in the car and driving round the block, but I figured it was so loud and bad sounding that somone nearer MUST have been woken by it and keeping an eye on things and calling the police if necessary. Very unsettling. :o( . Eventually to bed getting on for 2am! Humid uncomfortable night - difficulty sleeping. pas
6 - Up at 7:25am . . .walked and found 3p as BB did some laundry . . .all set off to walk up Kingswood. Just walking past next door and he popped his head out of the door and asked if I wanted any of the 'rubbish' he had stacked up in his back garden, ready for taking to the tip. He casually dropped into the conversation that they'd sold their house!!!!!!!! WHAT?!!! Apparantly he's developed a bad back and can't keep up the maintenance of the place any more so they've decided to buy a small mobile home type place out Warmley way. They'd put the house up for sale at midday on Friday and by Saturday morning it'd been sold, to a 'young woman' for 123k! Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear! I've been very lucky having them next door for so long - they've been pretty quiet. What can I expect in the future? If it's been sold to a housing association, like that one down the road, I could end up with a neighbour from hell right next door!!! <worry, worry, worry> :o( . .he said he'd open up his back gate so I could go through all the stuff he's clearing out, later in the day. . . all walked up Kingswood. BB found a penny and a big hoopy silver earring. Drew some money out of the building society and then bought new batteries for my electric 'weather station' which has stopped working. . waited with Sally outside Sainsburys while BB shopped a little . . . back home after midday. Went next door and looked through all his junk and couldn't resist bringing loads of it into my conservatory. A few spanners, spare door bell, nuts and bolts, screws, electric sockets, this and that - I'll sort through it all at my leisure and bin the unusuable junk. Even ended up having their big artificial Christmas tree - I think it's better than mine!! Asked if he wanted to sell his ladder when they went. He said NO, which was a disappointment - and then said as long as the house sale doesn't fall through, when they go, I could HAVE the ladder. Excellent. :o) . . replaced the batteries in my weather station toy and the remote sensor on the wall outside and yayyy - it's fully working again. . ate BB cooked bacon, ham, mushrooms etc etc omlette with four pieces of bread and butter for a big lunch . . . napped for a couple of hours . . . walked doing litter duty (as has become part of my usual routine). A couple of very young kids cycling past as I walked back, asked why I was picking up litter. I lamely replied, because no one else did. In response to this, they stopped near the bin I was aiming to put the rubbish I'd picked up in, unwrapped their chocolate papers and dropped them on the floor right in front of me!! Sheesh! :o( Still a little too warm for comfort in the house, but very breezy and much cooler out. . . ate reheated roast beef and potatoes with slaw . . .TVd . . . to bed around 1:15am but couldn't sleep and tossed and turned until I gave up and got back up. Drank horlicks and TVd until getting on for 3am before succeeding in getting back to sleep. pa
7 - Up around 7:45am . . .walked . . . did laundry . . . PCd this . . .BB shopped as I napped the afternoon away. I just feel SO, SO tired!! . . . walked and found a penny . . .ate LB inspired, BB cooked pork in cider (the tin of unopened cider I found over the field a while back) with salad and rice. VERY delicious. . . TVd until bed around 1am. pas
8 - Up just before 8am . . .walked and found 8p . . .good grief - 425 junk/virus mails on the school site!!!!!!??????? . . .crammed a few sacks of surplus earth into the back of the car that I've had sat in the front garden for ages, which I figure Mums garden would benefit from. . messed around with BBs laptop and copied the Kingswood site and all its photos onto a CDR and then onto her hard drive to take with us to show Mum some of what I've been spending so much of my time doing these last couple of months . . . all got ready and loaded the car up. Briefly touched base with Mum around 11am to tell her we were running late and wouldn't be down until early in the afternoon. Stopped for petrol at the local station (20.02 ltrs @ 16) before heading south on the motorway for Brixham. Smooth run down briefly stopping once at a services. Arrived at mums around 1:30pm. Unloaded the sacks of earth and stacked them in her garage before all having coffee in the shade in the garden. Sally was treated to some sausage rolls which Mum had rushed out earlier to buy especially for her! Mum gave BB a 'guided tour' of her little home and then we all had a bit of a 'go' on her new incredibly expensive Dunlopillow bed. I have to admit - it felt unbelievably soft and comfy - but then again for over a thousand pounds it bloody should do! Re-arranged seats in the car and eventually all drove down to Battery Gardens to quickly walk Sally because I figured she'd be needing to poop. She did. Didn't know how to walk along with both BB and Mum. Side by side? In front? Behind? Mum independantly felt the awkwardness and said she now knew what I meant when I used to accompany her and Dad on walks and say I felt like the 'little boy' following along behind! Mum said it was now her turn to feel like 'the odd one out' walking along with Me and BB. Sad. :o| Brixham sea front cafe viewCarried on down to the breakwater car park around 3pm and then into the neat cafe on the sea front with the amazing view which incredibly welcomes dogs. The place was surprisingly empty (again) so we had the choice of any of the upstairs tables. Ooops - forgot to pay for the parking and had to dash out and feed an extortionate 3.80 into the pay and display meter for just a couple of hours!! :o( All ate a big fresh cod and chips followed by that amazingly delicious sticky toffee pudding they do. Felt SO nice to be able to have Sally in there too, despite finding the occasional dog hair drifting up into our mouths!! Just amazing they welcome dogs. A small argument as usual as Mum INSISTED on paying the 30+ and also giving me 20 to cover the petrol to come down!! Drove out to Bury Head looking for the holiday chalet complex that Mum had suggested we should consider staying at. Grabbed a leaflet but it only confirmed it was rather expensive at this time of year. Somehow at different times of the year (out of season) it's possible to collect vouchers from a national newspaper and get a really cheap deal there. I may have to look into which paper that is and start to buy a few, just to get the reduced price. . drove back down to the harborside car park and sat chatting admiring the view for a while. Something about the car seemed to be making a weird noise as we were parked there (that and the fact that BB and Mum were discussing mammograms!!!) so I got out and walked around and bounced the suspension a few times trying to figure out what it was, but didn't get to the bottom of it. Drove back up to Battery Gardens and all walked Sally around and down to Fishcombe cove for her to romp in the waves and excitedly chase thrown sticks and pebbles. :o) . .drove back to Mums and fed Sally. Figured I may as well take all the logs from the tree Mum'd had cut down, back for Sis1s fire to save her the bother next time she came down, so loaded them all into the back of the car, before all going inside for a coffee and a quick look at some of the Kingswood photos on the laptop. . eventually loaded the car up with everything, hugs and goodbyes around 9pm and headed back. . uh oh!!! A weird noise started coming from apparantly underneath the car, whenever I changed gear and pressed the accelerator!!!!!!??? I thought it was maybe the exhaust starting to rattle, didn't worry 'too much' and carried on driving, intending to have a look around at things when I pulled into the garage I usually pull into for gas and to use the bathroom. The one that advertises clotted cream for sale which I thought BB should buy to try. As I pulled in to the Star (Texaco) Service station at Kingskerswell, Newton Abbot, BB spotted smoke coming from the bonnet and then asked me if the temperature guage should be that high! Oh jeeze - I hadn't even noticed that!!! The temperature guage was off the scale!!!! I drove through the garage past the pumps and out the other side and parked up by the air and water pumps and we all quickly got out, just in case the car was about to go up in flames!!!!!! :o( Under the oven like bonnet, it turned out the coolant expansion tank was spewing out steam. Everything smelled of horrible overheating!! Oh jeeze - what awful damage have I done?!! Seemed like there was no choice but to sit around and wait for things to cool down before deciding what to do. BB went off and bought some clotted cream. How is it that every time she comes to stay I end up breaking down or having trouble with the car somewhere?!! Felt guilty, so very VERY tired and really, REALLY miserable - almost tearful! Drank a tin of Redbull and read through a bit of my Haynes car manual trying to swot up on the cooling system. I readily admit to knowing absolutely nothing about cars at all! After a considerable wait for things to cool, I gingerly topped up the coolant level from the nearby tap and started the car. It started ok, but the temperature guage went immediately off the scale again!! No way was I gonna try and drive it. . . admitted defeat and called the RAC on the mobile at around 10:30pm. They took all my details and then said somebody would be there within the hour to recover us and take us home. There was absolutely no intention of them trying to fix whatever problem we had - something to do with the time of night and the nature of my problem or something? Waited and waited - and waited! At midnight the flatbed breakdown truck turned up. Things immediately 'almost' got heated and nasty when the guy announced that Sally couldn't go in the truck with us and would have to stay in the car. I was real close to saying 'no way' on safety grounds, but figured I had no choice and accepted the guys assurance, that was what everyone with dogs always did and she'd be perfectly safe. Got Sally out of the car while he drove it up onto the dropped down flat bed. Sally actually did her best at being a guard dog and protested when she saw someone else getting into the driving seat. :o) Put Sally back in the car and then the flat bed was raised back up into position and the car was tied and strapped down with her inside it. BB and I got into the rear row of seats in the crew cab behind the driver and off we all went, with me straining to see into my car behind, to make sure Sally was ok. She clearly knew something was amiss as I could see her ears up and her looking all around. First time she's driven anywhere 'on her own'!! Must have been a bouncy uncomfortable ride for her, but she soon seemed to settle down. Suddenly received a text message at around ten past midnight from the RAC saying "Yalberton Autos Torbay will be attending your vehicle. They advise they will be with you between 02:05 & 02:35" !!!???? Their clocks must be wrong! Thank goodness I didn't receive that BEFORE the breakdown truck arrived or I would have been outraged and awfully irrate with someone! . . We stopped at Exeter services to fill up with deisel and to use the bathroom, which gave me the chance to climb up on the back of the truck and make sure Sally was doing ok. Unfortunately I ended up walking through a lake of spilled diesel before I got back into the cab and succeeded in covering the floor, forcing us to breath in the awful smelling stuff for the rest of the long trip home! In fact, all in all, it was an awful tortuos couple of hours ride home. The driver was very nice but insisted on chatting. I was SO tired I just wanted to snooze! It was SO noisy I had to ask him to repeat everything he said and then had to keep up the 'pleasant' conversation by shouting back over his shoulder. The seat belt I was wearing appeared to be half the length it should have been and had an incredibly strong return spring and was pretty much cutting me in half! On top of that, my hernia seemed to be getting painfully squeezed out and I had to try and hold it in all the way!! A deafening screeching whistle filled the cab - I'm not sure if it was from the passing wind blowing over the many aerials on the cab roof or if it was one of the several radios that were on, being loudly tuned to a non existant station! The driver had some weird hands free telephone earpiece in his right ear which constantly flashed a blinding blue light into my eyes! Why on earth would anyone want a hands free mobile phone earpiece with a flashing light on it??? Arrrggghh!!!!!!!!! At long, long last we reached Bristol and I had to give precise directions from the Avonmouth turn off, all the way through the centre of town and up to outside my house. We arrived home at last at around 2:30am. I was SO glad those hours of torture were over. The driver unstrapped the car and I was allowed to drive it off the lowered flat bed and straight into a free parking space luckily right in front of the house. I didn't know if it was the expected thing or not, but he had such a long drive back home to Torbay and I was just SO glad to be home, that I figured a tip was in order and incredibly handed over a 5 note (albeit BBs money cause I didn't have a fiver in my wallet! lol). Gave the guy return directions and waved him goodbye. Unloaded Sally and stuff from the car and unwound with a coffee and TV before exhausted to bed around 3am. Shame about the car - would have been a nice trip apart from that! . . Woke around 4:30am with the most awful tooth ache!! Think I must have been somehow clenching or laying on my increasingly bad teeth! Managed to get back to sleep despite the pain. paa
9 - Up late around 9am after not enough sleep. Even Sally seemed keen on carrying on sleeping! Coffee and annadin tablets for breakfast. Felt awful and SO very tired . . . walked and found a penny . . . touched base with Mum . . . sat around for much of the morning reading the Haynes car manual and trying to make sense of what I should be testing on the car. Seems funny that the overheating (apparantly likely due to a stuck closed thermostat) was acompanied by the fan not working AND the temperature gauge becoming faulty all at once!? Followed the instructions and started by checking the fan. Fuse was ok. Pulled off the switch plug and shorted it with a piece of jumper wire to prove the fan was working ok. It WAS. So - the cooling fan thermsotat switch is broken. Carried on and disconnected the coolant temperature gauge sender. That proved the sender was faulty too! I wonder - maybe when the thermostat stuck closed and everything overheated, maybe it 'cooked' both the switch and the sender? Phoned the local car parts place and asked about prices and if they had the three parts and all the necesarry gaskets in stock. They did. . . walked up to Kingswood Autoparts in the heat and bought a radiator fan switch, temperature transmitter and thermostat kit, all for 20.97 including VAT. Found 2p. All hot and really tired but figured I had to keep at it - the weather forecast from tonight for the next week is rain! It's hard (often impossible) working on a car when it's parked out on the street!! Drained the coolant fluid and removed the thermostat and other parts and brought them into the house before HAVING to call it quits and eat and sleep. Finally ate reheated roast beef and potatoes with gravy around 3:30pm . . . exhausted - napped until around 7pm . . . walked late . . . ate loads of reheated pork in cider with rice and superfluous salad. Very delicious. . . TVd. Ended up bumping into and watching a charming French film with English subtitles called 'The Closet' until early. pas
10 - Up around 8:30am . . . walked in the rain doing litter duty. Some idiots in the night had dragged a bed into the middle of the field and set fire to it and sat around the fire drinking cans of lager!! Big mess. Found 2p . . .Ford Fiesta thermostat housing, with a new thermostat, fan switch and temperature sensor fitteddabbled with the thermostat housing, cleaning it up a little, waiting for a break in the rain. Figured I may as well follow the testing procedure in the Haynes manual to see if I could confirm that it WAS the thermostat that was broken. Immersed the old one next to the new one in a saucepan of water, hung from an old hack saw blade across the top of the pan by pieces of string. Put it all on the stove and heated the water up. You're supposed to do it with a thermometer to check they open at the right temperature, but since it was all supposed to happen just before the water boiled, I figured I'd be able to tell without. Sat by the stove with a torch, peering into the saucepan of water as it heated up. Isn't there a saying, something like "a watched pot never boils"? At last, by the time the water finally boiled, the new thermostat had fully opened and the old one hadn't moved at all. Definitely broken. Think I must be on the right track. :o) The rain stopped so I left BB playing making scones in the kitchen, and set about fitting all the new parts and putting everything under the bonnet back to how it should be and then finally refilled the cooling system using the old fluid, topped up with just a little tap water. Re-connected the battery and held my breath as I started the car up. Everything looked ok. The temperature gauge was now acting normally and showing cold. The manual indicated that to test it all, I should sit and run the car at tickover until it heated up normally and then finally got hot enough to engage the electric radiator fan. Seemed like an awfully long wait but eventually, sure enough, the fan kicked in and cooled things down, as proved by the temperature gauge. EXCELLENT! :o) Kept the car going for a while longer to go through a few cycles, and to look for coolant leaks, but eventually figured everything looked ok. Cleared up my tools and stuff from the front garden and then quickly drove around the block, keeping in a low gear to keep the revs up, keep it hot and give it a proper test. All seemed ok. Oh thank goodness. Thank goodness. Fingers crossed it'll be ok. Tidied and cleaned up. . .ate garlic sausage, mayo, grated cheese and lettuce sandwiches for lunch with two bags of crisps, followed by a few of BBs home made scones with loads of butter. They were VERY nice but definitely rather different to how they should be. After lengthy interrogation, BB admitted she'd not used the kitchen scales, had estimated all the measures, and had used cream instead of milk! Yep - that'll be it then :o) . . .napped for a couple of hours . . . PCd this either side of popping out to top up the cooled fluid level in the car cooling system. . .all walked. Found a penny and YET another dog toy for Sally! . . . touched base with LB who'd seen the 'sold' sign in next doors garden and had left an ansaphone message commenting on it . . .touched base with Mum . . .had to do an emergency clean of the kitcehn waste bin! BB had discovered an unpleasant smell in the kitchen and we'd traced it to the bin. Hardly suprising really - being the cheapskate I am, I always empty and then re-use the same bin liner!! Guess I have to be a bit cleaner with a woman around. lol Scrubbed and hosed the bin out on the patio and then put in a new bin liner on top of a sprinkle of after shave! Seemed to meet with approval. lol :o) . . . ate BB cooked home made cheeseburgers and chips. BIG food . . .TVd until bed around midnight. Still awake after 1am listening to passing drunks shouting in the street, and occasionally peeking out of the window to see who's car was being damaged!! Couldn't relax and ended up getting back up and sitting in front the TV with a cup of Horlicks until around 3am before finally getting back to sleep. pas
11 - Up a little after 8am as some junk mail was delivered . . .walked (did litter duty) and found a refillable lighter . . .left BB sleeping late and PCd this for a couple of hours. I'm SO behind with it all! . . .ate garlic sausage, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches with crisps . . . napped for a couple of hours . . . walked in a strong cold wind and torrential rain!! Our own mini hurricane Ivan!! Walked the extra to the store to get milk and a can of cider for BB to use on the bratwurst she was cooking. Got drenched and cold - very glad to get home!! . . . LB popped in bearing a pint of cider for BB and this and that surplus food items. Chatted while they drank their cider and then briefly followed LB back home to borrow her Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall cook book and to be given some weird frozen guiness sausages to try some time . . . ate BBs bratwurst/cider concoction with four pieces of bread and butter. Not particularly a success - cheap quality bratwurst I think - or maybe just not appropriate for drowning in cider. . . TVd until bed after 1am as wind and rain lashed the house. pas
12 - Woke at 6:20am but managed to get back to sleep until around 8:20am . . . walked in waterproofs in a short shower. Found 2p and another dog ball for Sally . . .touched base with Sis1 to see if she was going to be running in todays Bristol half marathon as she'd threatened she would. She confirmed she'd decided not to. Good - I think it would have 'damaged' her! . . . PCd this . . . ate BB cooked bacon omlette and scones . . . vacuumed and experimented with the old vacuum and the attachment Mum had given me. A wide headed thing with a rotating brush that is driven by the suck of the vacuum. Not particularly very good, but maybe better than nothing (just). . . watched the Italian Grand Prix while messing around sorting out the pile of screws, nuts and bolts, nails and bits and pieces I'd scored from next door, and putting them in appropriate coffee tins in my 'tool cupboard' in the conservatory. Took ages!! . . . BB went to nap as I did the dishwashing and clearing up of a bit of the dust covered junk in the conservatory. Somehow ended up pottering around all afternoon . . . walked in the rain . . . ate reheated bratwurst with four pieces of bread and butter . . . returned Mums ansaphone message and confirmed we'd watched the TV play she'd said was maybe worth catching - all pretty much agreed it was a disappointment. Apparantly Uncle TJ had rung up with recommendations about my hernia!!? I should wear braces instead of a belt, and should wear TIGHT underpants!!! Without going into too much embarassing detail, I dont think there are a tight enough pair of underpants in the world to hold my painful, increasingly large bulge in place - even if I had a pair of braces to attach to my underpants!!!!! He'd also suggested that if I ever get a similar problem with the car overheating, I should put the heater on to bleed off some of the heat. Hmmm - I don't think that would have made enough difference to have been able to drive the car so far home? Would have been like a mobile sauna too!! . . . TVd until bed around midnight. ps
13 - Woken by BB before 7am and couldn't get back to sleep like she did. . .put laundry on and walked. Looks as though some car or other has hit one of the illuminated bollards in the middle of the road by the school. Bits of debris laying around and the bollard laying on the pavement! . . .pottered around tidying up a couple more things in the conservatory. . . popped round a local motorcycle shop in the car and handed him the small bag of motorcycle bits and pieces (new brake shoes, fork seals etc for the 250/400 Honda I think) that I'd discovered laying around and are no use to me anymore . . .balanced my accounts . . . PCd this . . .left Sally at home and drove with BB to shop. Detoured to Bitterwell Lake and handed the first fisherman I came to, to add to his kit, the handful of weights and hooks and such I'd found on one of my walks down by the river, that I couldn't bring myself to throw away. Detoured to Sis1s (in her abscence) and dropped off all the logs from Mums tree and stacked them up under cover in her back garden. Blimey - Sis1 seems to be in the middle of chopping down all HER trees (BIG mess all over her garden!) and seems to have enough firewood to keep her going for ages! Also dropped off the tall ornate metal candle holder I'd saved from someones bin a few months back - it isn't my style but certainly is hers. Drove back to Emersons Green and shopped. Stopped off at a DIY store on the way home and spent just under 10 on a couple of nightlight type things. Little more than a plug with a light in it, although the ones I ended up with not only have a dawn to dusk sensor, but also have a switchable PIR sensor so it only comes on when there is nearby movement. I've wanted one for ages to put next to Sally's food and water bowls, so she can more easily see what she's doing at night when she wants a drink and such. I've been brought up to always turn the lights off when I leave a room (to save money on the electric) and I always feel guilty when I leave Sally feeding and plunge her into darkness when I leave the kitchen. Now she has her own little light which automatically comes on. Spoiled dog! :o) . difficult not to drive the entire trip obsessively looking at the temperature guage to make sure the car was ok. As far as I can tell, it all looks pretty much back to normal thank goodness . . . ate a huge cheap pork pie for lunch . . .napped for a couple of hours . . . walked and found penny . . . touched base with Sis1. LB called to touch base and enthuse about the guiness flavoured sausages she'd given me some of. . . ate BB cooked chilli with four pieces of bread and butter. . . TVd until bed around 2am. ps
14 - Woke around 6am but managed to fitfully sleep on until around 8am . . . walked in the rain, did 'litter duty' and found a penny. The poor weather this last couple of days has obviously kept people away from the field and my efforts of picking up the litter every time I walk (at least a carrier bag full, sometimes two, per walk) seem to have had an effect. There's hardly a piece of litter over there at the moment, and with the grass recently mown, it all looks pretty neat and tidy. Strangely satisfying. :o) . . .Yayyy - two 50 PSB wins in the mail . . . PCd this as BB played at dying her hair!!? Women are weird! lol . .uh oh - the hair dying didn't go to plan, and as far as I could see made no difference at all! . . . did vacuuming and dishwashing chores . . . ate reheated chilli with four pieces of bread and butter for lunch . . . napped for a couple of hours until woken by Sis1 popping in to touch base . . . walked in rain showers and found 2p. The big broken plastic bollard from the middle of the main road had somehow found its way up the street and was laying on the pavement next to the bus stop! Walked it all the way back to the pelican crossing from whence it came and jammed it on top of some electrical control box or other, to at least be nearby when someone comes to fix the mess. . .ate BB cooked garlic roast chicken and potatoes with a glass of red wine for a late evening meal . . . Tvd until bed around 1:30am. pad
15 - Dreadful nights sleep tossing and turning and waking up all over the place! Finally woken by Sally around 7am . . .walked in the cold sun and found 5p. . .made the most of the one sunny day amidst the forecast bad weather and did lots of laundry. Left Sally supervising the running washing machine and drove with BB to the Bristol RSPCA dogs home. Wanted to get rid of the halter harness I found over the field which is too small for use on Sally and which I figured was too good to throw away, so figured that was the best place to leave it. Took a tin of dog food as well as a token donation. Handed it in over the counter (they acted thankful and like they could use it) and then wandered around with BB looking at all the dogs and poking fingers through the bars and giving several a little stroke and a chat. Some really lovely dogs there. SO sad. . drove to Kingswood to shop, tour the charity shops, and for me to bank this months two premium bond wins and for BB to send some stuff in the post office. Found 2p in the shopping precinct that someone had strangely stubbed out a cigarette on - kinda used it as a make shift ash tray I guess - I'm not proud - thank you very much. BB found a nice Nike jacket near the car park, but it was too small for either of us and SO covered in woodlice it wasn't worth the bother taking it home to wash . . . .ate the big slab of gala pork pie we'd bought in Sainsburys after being seduced by the free tasty tasters . . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6pm. Woke feeling too hot and rather nauseaus . . .walked and found a penny. Found the broken plastic bollard from the pelican crossing sat outside the local shops!! Walked it all the way back to nearby whence it came - again! On the way back from the litter strewn field I took the time to call on my mobile, the phone number for reporting faulty traffic lights, and reported the broken bollard. The illuminated glass plate that sat beneath it on the traffic island in the middle of the road has now been smashed by kids as well. :o( . . . sat in the cold of the garden for a while still feeling rather unwell and fragile . . . PCd this . . . TVd . . .eventually felt better but couldn't face eating much and ended up just eating bowls of corn flakes . . . TVd until bed around 1am. pas
16 - Woken by Sally at 7:20am . . . walked and found 10p . . . all drove to the river Avon at Hanham for sunny Sally walks and swims and squirrel chases etc. . stopped off at Lidl to check out the cheap kitchen scales I'd seen advertised but decided against buying them because they were only metric and the old cook books (which I think are some of the best) are in pounds and ounces etc . . stopped off in Kingswood for me to wait in the car while BB ran to one of the charity shops to buy a bunch of pullover type things she'd seen the other day. It's definitely been getting cooler of late - autumn/winter is on its way! :o( . . . ate reheated BB's rice, chicken and broccoli concoction with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a precious, rationed couple of squares of Green & Black's organic chocolate. . .lay down to nap but within ten minutes Sis1 was calling on the phone. Her tenant situation has gone all bad (breaking of the terms of the tenancy agreement, moving in his girlfriend, consistantly a month (or more) late with the rent, and bouncing cheques etc etc) and she has put everything in the hands of a solicitor. Her solicitor had instructed her to hand deliver a letter to her tenant (or in his abscence, post one copy through the letter box and tape another across the door lock, to ensure that he could not deny getting a copy - 'legal' stuff). She was rather worried about having to do it on her own and wanted me to go along to 'be a witness', and to maybe take the odd photo to prove she'd done it. Put a fresh fully charged set of batteries in the camera, left Sally and BB at home and drove straight over to Sis1s at around 3:30pm. Accompanied Sis1 in her car and went to her tennanted house. The back door is kinda used as the front door so we started there, with me just hanging around in the background 'witnessing'. Sis1 knocked on the door but there was no answer from inside. All the curtains and blinds were closed (?) but we could clearly hear someone (the tennants girlfriends car was parked in the drive - I took a photo to get the number) moving around inside. Sis1 knocked some more but she didn't come to the door. As instructed by her solicitor, Sis1 cellotaped a copy of the legal 'notice to quit by the middle of November' type letter in a waterproof cover over the door handle and lock, so it would be impossible to miss. I took datestamped photos, just in case Sis1 would need them. We then drove around the block, parked up and approached the front door. Sis1 knocked. I could see a light on behind the drawn curtains in the bedroom above but no one came to the door. Sis1 posted another copy of the letter through the letter box as I took another photo or two. She'd done what her solicitor had said she was legally obliged to do. I suggested we should disappear for a while and then return to let 'unknown' me, walk back past the house to see if the letter had been taken off the door, which would settle in Sis1s mind that he WOULD have undeniably received it. We drove to Chippng Sodbury and went into a pub for a coffee to waste a little time. Sis1 was still SO wound up by the whole thing, that she spilled the coffee as she carried it back to our table and filled the saucers!! God I felt SOoooo tired and headachey - SO needed a nap!!!! Just then at 5:08pm Sis1s mobile rang and she could tell it was her tennant. Her solicitor had suggested she should refrain from further contact, so she let the ansaphone take it. Incredibly he left a message, which proved his girlfriend had read the letter Sis1 had posted and had contacted him straight away. Sis1 let me hear his message. "Hi Sis1 its tennant. Umm I’m not sure what um you’ve obviously got a problem at the moment. Umm I think we need to have a little bit of a chat. Um one minute you're going through stuff - um - you know, sending me solicitors’ letters - um - by the score. You’re also sending letters and um taking them to the back door etcetera um you are technically behaving um technically it boils down to harassment Sis1at the moment. You're acting well outside the law. Now if you want to get this getting really messy, believe you me I can make it messy. Now I'm quite happy to pay up the rent that I owe you. I will conduct the rest of my stay at the house in a professional manner. The reason I haven't paid the rent at the moment is cause I have still too much rent outstanding. Um basically what you put in the solicitor's letter that I had the other day is a blatant lie um I also still have a text message from you stating that the um y’know that I’d already paid the rent um as I proved with my um statements that I sent to you um that the rent had been paid. You are only allowed to evict me if I'm two months behind with my rent, which I am not. Um as I say this is gonna get very silly and very nasty. I don't want to get um to that stage. I am gonna seek legal advice. I've already spoken to my solicitor. Um I'm gonna ahh like I say I wanna pay my rent. The reason I have not paid the rent at the moment is because I want to find out where these two month's money has gone. Um if you would be kind enough to get in touch with me and not go thrashing on the back door um of the property, because ‘I’ am your tenant, not my girlfriend. Now, as I say to you, hopefully we can sort this out amicably. If not, um I want out of the house as soon as possible. The noise there is amongst anything else is absolutely atrocious um but like I say if you can contact me um perhaps we can speak amicably to get this matter sorted out before it gets very, very silly, but as I say to you, you are behaving and acting outside the law. So as I say, you know I don't want to start pulling punches from solicitors and things so if you can give me a call back at your earliest convenience, that would be great. Thanks Sis1"!!!!!!! What a nasty arrogant b*****!! No wonder Sis1 was getting upset by it all (especially considering he's over six foot tall and rather large and she'd never told him her home address and yet he'd recently hand delivered a letter through her door!!!!). Grrrrr. . eventually drove back and parked near the house. Left Sis1 parked out of sight and I walked past the back of the house and confirmed the letter had been removed from the back door. . Seemed reasonable to attempt to record the message the guy had left on her phone so I suggested she should drive over to my place and I'd mess with my little pocket dictation machine and try and get a copy of the message on tape. (Buying that dictation machine was a desperate act of paranoia when I was still working for the Post Office and going through some 'tough times'! I'd secret it on my person when I was being given my appraisal counselling interview or being reprimanded for something, so I could record what was said and have evidence of later perceived denials and 'lies'. Boy, was I a screwed up paranoid mess by then!!) . . Sis1 dropped me back at her place to pick up my car and I drove home. Experimented with my mobile phone and the recorder. It worked, but found the radio signals from the mobile phone interferred with the audio recording. Wrapping the dictation machine in tin foil improved the quality of the recording (and they say mobile phones have no health risk! I doubt that!). . Sis1 arrived and I experimented with her phone. Eventually had the brainwave of using the hands free kit she said she had (but never got to work) in her car. Managed to get it working for the first time (and actually rather well) and succeeded in getting a recording of his message, just in case something turned really nasty and the 'evicence' of his call would be useful. Ha. :o) Coffee and chats and bid Sis1 good luck and farewell . . . walked and found a penny . . . felt REALLY tired and a bit woozy!? Ate garlic sausage and lettuce sandwiches with crisps . . . earlyish to bed around 11pm. paaa
17 - Disturbed sleep again then woke around 7:20am . . . put in a load of laundry. Walked in the heavy rain and found 6p . . .PCd this. Stopped to rush down and see what the postman had delivered. I'm so, SO wanting a letter from the hospital to say my hernia surgery is due!! As usual it was just the disappointment of more junk mail! :o( I suppose getting a letter from oxfam asking for donations to help people who are starving to death and have no clean drinking water, etc, etc should have put things into a bit of perspective, but - well - I still want this damned hernia sorted as soon as possible, and can't help but think it is pretty poor that I (and all the others) should have to wait SO long in such increasing discomfort. :o| . . .PCd and mailed photos and the transcript of Sis1s tennants phone call to her . . . ate reheated roast chicken and potatoes with gravy . . .napped for a couple of hours . . . walked in the rain and found 2p. Over by the school a couple of idiot kids were playing with the big broken plastic bollard from the pedestrian crossing that I’d reported the other night. They were throwing and kicking it around! I was just getting all wound up and considering what I should say to them when I spotted a brand new bollard happily lit up and riveted in place in the middle of the road on the crossing. It’d been repaired. :o) I guess they’d just left the old one laying around (probably been moved by kids before the workmen got there and they couldn’t find it). Actually tempting to grab it away from the kids and maybe use it as some sort of unusual garden or living room light or something, but I figured I’d just ignore them and leave them to it. Picked up a flashy wheel trim that was laying in the road and hung it on the school railings just in case someone came back looking for it. It looked fully intact – one of those weird new plastic ones that looks like chrome and has a big disk on a spindle that kinda stays still as the wheel rotates behind it. Expensive. Pretty sure from the noise, that the kids grabbed it as I walked away and threw it around and smashed it! :o( . . .touched base with Mum and told her about the Sis1 tennant situation and played her the tape. . .TVd . . . ate cold chicken sandwiches, chocolate and biscuits . . . LB called asking if BB could offer any help with doing some sewing of flowers on a fancy dress she was gonna wear to someones wedding tomorrow. BB called her back and then bravely popped up to help. Couple of nice visitor book entries on the site. Used that time alone (unusually the first in quite a while) listening to Pink Floyd's 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' on the radio, to appreciate BB, to unexpectedly feel a greater understanding of my fathers relationship with my Mum (!!), and ended up feeling quite happy with my lot as I stuffed my face with loads of biscuits, waiting for BB to return. Came as no suprise that BB eventually came back home an hour or so later, a little tipsy after having been exposed to LBs generous hospitality and been given plenty to drink. lol :o) I know how hard it can be, returning home sober from a visit to LBs! Poor BB. lol . . .TVd until bed after 1am. pas
18 - Up around 7:30am . . . walked and found a penny. One of the school windows has been smashed - bet it was those kids who were playing football with the bollard last night. Actually - there was no sign of the bollard or the wheel trim, so either or both were probably sat amidst a pile of broken glass in one of the school rooms! :o( Must be pretty upsetting for the teachers, to have to walk into class in the morning and find such things all the time! . . . LB popped in briefly on her way to a wedding to show us her outfit, complete with hat! Blimey - very - um - noticeable! Shame about the drizzley weather. . .got a letter in the post, from the House Of Commons!?? Turned out to be from Roger Berry MP!! "You will be aware that on 15 September the Hunting Bill passed all of its stages in the House of Commons with an overwhelming majority in favour of banning hunting with dogs. There is still some way to go before the Bill becomes law and before hunting becomes illegal. However, given the Government's commitment that this matter will be resolved during this Parliament I have no doubt that the Parliament Act will, if necessary, be used to ensure that democracy prevails. As the League Against Cruel Sports has just said in an e-mail to me: "amid the scenes of chaos in and outside Parliament by the hunters, we can feel proud that the cruel sport of hunting with dogs can at last be consigned to the history books, where it belongs." Blimey - how long ago was it, that on the spur of the moment, I added my name to that petition that was in the library about banning hunting with dogs?! Must cost a fortune writing to everyone like that. Now - how am I gonna explain to Sally she can no longer go chasing squirrels and rabbits when we go hunting walking? . . . left Sally at home and drove with BB to shop. Stopped off at the pet store on the way and spent an incredible 60:13!!!! (48 tins of winalot @ 16.20. A 15kg sack of PAL complete beef and veg @ 17.95. Two packs of 10x200mm rawhide pressed bone dog chews @ 25.98. Spoiled dog!) Drove on to Emersons Green and shopped at Sainsburys . . . ate the last of the reheated roast chicken and potatoes with gravy . . . napped for three hours or so until around 7pm! . . . walked late . . . BB spent ages boiling a chicken and vegetables and stuff for some soup. Ended up grabbing some of the warm chicken for some chicken sandwiches. Wow - delicious - think I'll have to warm up the chicken with the microwave when I make such sandwiches in the future. Sally had more than her fair share of the 'safe' bits . . TVd and ate jaffa cakes and biscuits until bed around 1am. . .today is the first day taking that new batch of fluoxetine capsules by Tillomed Ltd. :o| pas
19 - Up before 7am! . . . walked in the wind and rain and found a penny. Found a huge carrier bag over the field, so despite the rain, like a crazy person, I walked ALL over the place, up and down and round about, filling it with litter! Actually reached the point where its difficult to find more litter to pick up without poking around in the hedges!! lol :o) . . . superglued the broken toilet roll holder and screwed it back on the side of the bath, although I don't anticipate it surviving long. Pottered around and did a couple of loads of laundry as BB boiled YET more vegetables and chicken and things!?? . . . balanced my accounts. PCd this . . .ate warmed chicken sandwiches with two bags of crisps followed by coffee and biscuits . . . napped for a couple of hours until woken by a very loud ice cream van chiming right outside and LB calling on the ansaphone . . .LB popped in together with her mans two daughters, with a bowl of left over roast dinner for Sally . . . LB popped back down a couple of times with huge supplies of left over roast chicken and potatoes and vegetables for BB and I. Blimey - huge amounts of food all over the place and no room at all in the fridge or freezer! . . . walked in a brief light shower and found 2p. A group of kids were walking along the cycle path and as I passed, one said in a deliberately loud voice "There's some litter over there, mate". What a world - that I should be ridiculed and humiliated like that because I object to having to trudge around the field up to my ankles in litter and dare to pick some of it up. :o( . . . uh oh!! Found a nasty looking wound on Sally's back!! A big bald bloody area!! I imagine that may have happened a couple of days ago down by the river when she crashed into a line of barbed wire whilst trying to chase a rabbit or squirrel or something. I'd checked and thought she'd got away with it unscathed. Gonna have to keep a close eye on that - nasty wound!! . . . TVd and drank a couple of glasses of red wine. . .touched base with Sis2. Oh dear - things aint so good - again! :o( . . . ate LB donated roast chicken and potatoes with gravy around 11:30pm. . . TVd until I just HAD to go to bed around 1am, when my head started feeling VERY strange after taking todays fluoxetine tablet. Must be the wine! pad
20 - Up around 7:30am with a hell of a head/neck ache! . . .walked in the rain and found 2p. Some idiot (I just BET it was those kids last night) had broken open the bags of litter I'd stacked next to the only rubbish bin over the field, and huge mountains of rubbish were scattered all over the place around the swings and seat. Ended up picking up some of the same rubbish I'd picked up before - but eventually gave up in disgust and despair!! :o( . . . heavy showers. PCd this . . . TVd . . .trimmed my hair . . . ate reheated LB left overs with gravy for a big lunch . . . napped for a short time until woken by the sound of the electricity meter reader calling in and BB dealing with it. Managed to get back to sleep for another hour or so . . .PCd a bit and found a site with links which could answer some of the questions which have been sitting in the back of my (and BBs) mind of late . . . walked and found 2p. Gave Sally a huge bowl of LB left overs. Her wound seems 'ok' and it doesn't seem to be bothering her at all, but she is starting to lick it lots and has succeeded in getting her fur all matted into it!! . . . TVd and ended up watching 'The Patriot' with Mel Gibson for around 3 hours. Very sickly patriotic US propoganda type stuff, but pretty captivating nonetheless . . .ate some of BBs homemade leek and chicken soup with homemade bread rolls. Not bad. :o) . . . TVd until bed around 1am. paas
21 - Up after 7:30am . . . walked in the wind and sun and found 6p . . . ate BB home made bread rolls with lashings of butter and some BB home made blackberry jam . . . sat around and TVd feeling oh so very tired. Tried napping but couldn't sleep. . . ate bowls of cornflakes for a late lunch before managing to sleep for a while. Woke to find BB had been out to the local store, across the field with Sally, and had harvested some of the elderberries from the surrounding hedge, that we'd discussed maybe doing some experimenting with. :o) . . . walked and picked up litter. A group of kids were sat on the seat and swings (all looked rather young but also had a baby in a pram with them!!) and as I approached, one of the nauseating girls got all mouthy and started directing me to pick up more litter that was laying nearby. I asked why SHE didn't go and pick it up - she replied because it wasn't hers. Uhuh. She continued to 'mouth off' and make fun of me as I picked up and put the carrier I was carrying, in the bin! As I began to walk away, with her calling out insults behind me, I couldn't help stopping and turning and staring directly at her and simply saying "You really are MOST unpleasant aren't you!" before carrying on my way. If someone had stopped and said that to me as a kid, I think it would have had quite a disturbing unsettling impact on me. It was like water off a ducks back with her. It was almost like she was just full of hate! How is it, that naff song goes - 'The children are our future'? God help us all! :o( . . . touched base with Sis1 to check to see if she'd got the e-mails I sent her. She had, and she'd sent a copy of the transcript of her tennant's phone message to the solicitor, so that was all ok. . . Mum called to touch base. Called her back and heard all about the quote she'd been given for someone to do the small amount of patio type work she wants done in her garden. Blimey - best part of 5k to do both front and back!! That seems a bit steep to me. Strongly urged her to get more quotes, in writing!! . . . ate BB cooked LB donated Guiness sausages and chips with salad and more home made bread rolls accompanied by a glass of cheap red wine. . . TVd until earlyish to bed before midnight. Took the new brand of fluoxteine tablet at the last minute, right before laying down - they definitely have a different effect on me and make my head feel weird and the backs of my eyes kinda hurt, within minutes of having swallowed one!!!!!!?? :o( pad
22 - Up just before 7am . . . walked and found 2p. Some young idiot was on the street corner of a cross roads junction , drinking from a can of coke, apparantly waiting to be picked up to go to work. As I walked along, he tossed the half drunk tin into the road in the middle of the junction! I lost my cool a bit and walked back and had a go at him and pointed out that the first moped along the road could easily be unseated by it (although frankly, if that tin could be responsible for the 'disposal' of several of the local idiot moped fraternity, I'd probably start drinking a lot of coke!). I ended up walking out into the road and picking it up and taking it to the nearby rubbish bin while calling him a 'f***ing idiot', which I really rather think he was! Oh dear - much more of this old weirdo obsessive nonsense and I'll have groups of people chasing me - at best, to throw their litter at me!!! :o| . . . PCd this . . . ate BB cooked cheese, bacon, onion omlette with home made bread rolls . . . napped for a couple of hours as BB walked up Kingswood to suss out a hairdresser. She wants to get her hair done before she leaves next week. Turned out she'd booked an appointment for Saturday! Risky!! lol . . . walked and found a penny . . . briefly popped up LBs and dropped off all the dishes and plates from her left overs donation . . . drove with BB to the Staple Hill 'Miss Millies' and bought a couple of three peice chicken meal deals wth cans of coke, for BB to experience the UK version of such a meal. I think the verdict was it WAS very nice but smaller and less than what you'd get in the states . . . TVd and ate chocolate and corn flakes before bed around midnight. pas
23 - Woke in the night all tossing and turning but managed to get back to sleep. Eventualy up after 8:30am!! . . . walked late and found a penny. All of a sudden a women in the street alongside the field came running over, calling out to attract my attention!! Turned out she wanted to say thank you for picking up the litter like she does!! I've never seen her doing it, but I AM aware that more than just me, do so. I made some comment about two carrier bags full a day and thanked her and carried on with a wave. That was good of her. Made me feel good, and not 'quite' such a crazy, litter obsessed old dude! So - there ARE still some decent people living around here! Not many of 'us' left. :o) Blimey - imagine the amount of litter the kids and yobs must be dropping if several people are out picking it up!! . . . vacuumed around the house. The old LB donated VAX together with the rotating brush head Mum gave me, seems to do a fairly reasonable job on the Sally hair, and is now my vacuum of choice for the task . . . PCd this . . . napped for a couple of hours . . . walked as BB made a sponge cake. She thankfully let me taste the elderberries (She'd spent ages preparing them all) before they went into the cake. I couldn't help rushing out into the garden and spitting the mouthfull out! Very yucky!! Ended up adding them all to the compost bin (wich seems to have recently unusually become a breeding ground for clouds of fruit flies!!? Every time I lift the lid off they swarm into the house and then irritatingly buzz around between me and the TV screen!!! Grrrr!) and just having the sponge with icing. . ate meatloaf with salad and bread and butter . . . TVd . . . ate very yummy sponge cake . . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. ps
24 - Up around 7:45am. Single figures temperature outside . . walked . . .left Sally at home and drove with BB looking for loose fitting 'eastern/Indian' type dresswear! (Long shirt, baggy string drawn trousers - that sort of thing.) A massage therapist friend of hers had asked her to try and find some for him!!? Stopped off in Eastville and looked in the one likely place we could find, only to find nothing suitable, and what WAS there was 25 a set and all of it was dirty!!?. A full blown ornate gold embroidered 'Bollywood' type Maharaja suit was over 100!! Can’t imagine who on earth in this country could get away with wearing such a thing, without getting immediately beaten up! . . .carried on around town' just driving around looking for any other shop that may sell such stuff. Found none. Stopped briefly on the Downs and then drove back down and managed to get a parking space near St Nicholas Market. Damn pay and display machine took my 2 coin for just one hour and didn't give me any change! Grrrr! Rushed around different jewellery shops and stalls until BB had bought some rings and holiday souvenirs (Bristol logo T shirts for 10 EACH!!!!!) and such for her daughter and relatives . . . ate meatloaf sandwiches and cake for lunch . . . napped late for a couple of hours . . . walked in the dark after 8pm and found 2p. Large numbers of drunken local kids were all noisily rampaging around near and in the field. Cleared up an enormous pile of beer cans and empty carrier bags from all around the seat and swings. If I had the power, I'd instigate a check on that local store where they bought all that booze - selling such large amounts of booze to obviously under age kids! :o( As I walked back towards a large bunch of the drunken idiots, I could hear one of them saying to his mates "It's that bloke - look - it's that bloke". Uh oh! Very worrying. As I picked my way past them all, a couple of them said "Good evening"! I returned their 'greeting' and walked on past, as they began laughing. Uhuh. . . PCd this . . .TVd . . . ate the last of the reheated chicken and leak soup with cheesey toast . . . TVd until bed around 1am. pas
25 - Disturbed sleep. Woke in the night around 4am with a real nasty toothache from that tooth next to where I had the other one out, which seems to be all loose and painful again!! :o(. . . up around 7:45am. Ouch. The whole bottom right hand side of my jaw below the loose tooth feels painful like its kinda bruised. Very tempting to have a go at pulling it out, but I guess I'd better not! . . . walked and found 5p and a tennis ball for Sally. Cleared up more of the debris from last nights drunks. A supermarket trolley from a nearby small Tesco store had been dumped near the swings. Walked it back to the store and added it to row of trolleys outside. Amazing in this day and age (and in this area) that they weren't chained up and requiring the usual 1 deposit - surprised there are any left there at all! . . .left BB to sleep on and did laundry and dishwashing chores . . . had to rush out and pick the whole rotary clothes line and all the laundry up in one go and rush it into the conservatory as heavy rain began to fall . . .chewed annadin tablets . . . left Sally at home and drove BB up to Kingswood in the rain and dropped her off for her 1:15pm hair appointment . . . PCd this briefly . . . grabbed BBs umbrella, left Sally at home and drove to the nearby Scout hut to have a look at the table top sale I'd seen advertised. Cost 20p just to go in!? Wouldn't have minded if there had been more than just the five table tops that turned out to be in there! Uh oh - the second table I looked at had a watch on it. Kinda like the type I like - a combination of a standard watch face but with a seperate digital part with an alarm and a small window showing the digital time, month and date and such. The alarm and one of the adjustment buttons on my watch has been broken for a while now and I'm never sure what the date is. The next time I have to replace the battery, it'll be pretty useless because I don't think I'll be able to set the correct time at all on the digital part. I've been gently looking for a replacement for a while, but can't seem to find a simple cheap one the same. Changing fashions seem to have ruined the available choices! The watch on the table looked like it 'could' do, appeared unworn still in its wrapper, and was only 5 complete with instructions and box. I figured for that price it was maybe worth a gamble - I bought it . . BB had threatened that she may have to go and buy another small suitcase for the return trip home. There was a small one with wheels and an extendable handle at one of the other tables. Figured it was worth buying in case it would do - it was only 3. . .quickly returned to the car and drove back up through Kingswood in the light drizzle towards the free car parks. As I drove past the hairdresser I managed to look over and spotted BB just paying for her hair-do at the counter. Dangerously managed to pull immediately into a loading bay and quickly dashed back with the umbrella to attract her attention and save her hair from being rained on, straight away. It was only a light drizzle and BB needed to do some shopping and didn't want to bother with the umbrella so I dashed back to the illegally parked car and drove to the crowded free car park and luckily managed to find a space. Parked and rejoined BB in the shopping centre to do a light shop. She predictably didn't seem too pleased with her hair cut. (Is a woman EVER happy with a haircut? Don't think my mum has EVER been.) Looked ok to me, although not as 'different' as I'd expected it would. . . driving home I spotted a baseball cap laying in the street and because there was nothing behind me and a bus stop layby nearby, I couldn't resist screeching to a halt and rushing back to pick it up. Yet another baseball cap (black with a white 'Vintage 67' logo) to be washed and added to the ever growing collection I have in a cupboard that I never wear! . . . ate turkey sandwiches with crisps . . . napped for a couple of hours . . . walked and found a penny. Did litter duty 'as usual' and eventually made my way to the bin by the seat and swings to empty my carrier bag full. A couple of young teenage girls were sat on the swings. Oh no - someone had torn the bottom out of the refuse bag in the bin and all the beer cans I'd picked up yesterday were heaped up on the ground!! Grrrrr. To add insult to injury the girls on the swings started making fun of me and directed me to pick up more litter here and there around them. Despite the humiliation, I actually did so but figured that had earned me the right to give them a lecture about it. I kinda introduced them to the saying 'as happy as a pig in shit' - which surprisingly they'd never heard of - which I was trying to imply was appropriate to anyone who was happy to sit on swings, surrounded by loads of litter!! The 'conversation' started to get a bit out of hand when I explained that 'I' didn't drop litter because I'd been 'brought up correctly'! They started to get all aggressive because I was criticising their parents! (Well - yes actually!) Dunno why I bothered but I managed to calm the situation and actually managed a half reasonable 'conversation' with them. Actually, maybe it was more of a 'weird old man' lecture! The media seems to have given all kids the 'I'm bored. There's nothing else to do' excuse for ALL their selfish, self centred, anti social behaviour. That was how my lecture started - trapping them into agreeing how they were bored and had nothing else to do, and wouldn't it be great if there were youth clubs and discos and such like to go to. Well - it's all a matter of money isn't it? The council spends thousands and thousands of pounds on equipment and wages etc etc for teams of full time employed people to go around sweeping the streets and picking up litter! If people didn't litter, all that extra money could be spent on discos and youth clubs and such - just for them. (Simplistic and not entirely true of course, but I think they got the gist of it.) By the time I'd finished lecturing, I even got at least one of them to agree it was better to be sat on those swings without all the crisp packets and chip papers blowing around their feet - or maybe they just agreed, to get the weird old man with his litter obsession to go away and leave them alone!! lolol . . . sat in the garden briefly, watching the frogs . . . LB popped in briefly to strangely show us the outfit she'd worn to the wedding she'd been to today. Very low cut and - um - flashy! Bit 'over the top' for a wedding, I would have thought, but what do I know about such things. :o|. . . messed around with the watch I'd bought. Uh oh - one of the screws is missing from the back. Must have been lost when the battery was replaced some time. Uh oh - by default it always shows the time in the digital window and only shows the date when you press one of the buttons (I prefer being able to have the date showing all the time). I rather regret having bought it. Hang on. Good grief! It appears to have a SELECTION of different musical tunes as the alarm!!! How weird. 'Oh my darling clementine', 'There's no place like home', 'Oh Suzanna' and a couple of others!! Blimey - I wonder if it's actually some sort of expensive 'designer' watch? PCd briefly and tried to look up the watch on the internet. A Philip Persio 92110, quartz - water resistant to 3 atmospheres (if it didn't have a case screw missing!). Hmmm - looks like there are lots of them for sale on the net. Dunno what to make of that. 'would suit the typical "Man about Town"' - I don't think that's really 'me' now is it!! lolol . . TVd . . . spent a while peeking out of the darkened bedroom window. A loud group of around thirty shouting, drunken yobs were walking up the road!! Bet there'll be trouble later when they make their way back to wherever they came from . . .ate BB cooked roast pork, potatoes and peas with gravy . . . TVd . . . heard a bang and more noise out in the street! Raced upstairs without putting the light on, to look out of the darkened bedroom window, but I'd forgotten I'd shut the bedroom door earlier to keep the cooking smells out. I crashed face first into the bedroom door and cut the bridge of my nose!!!! Ouch!!! Just lucky I didn't break the door - or my nose I guess! Idiot! By the time I got to the window the yobs were passing by and I couldn't see any damage to my car, so I returned to watching TV and nursing my slightly bleeding nose! . LB called to say her wing mirror had been knocked off her car!! :o( . . . TVd until bed around 2am paaaaaas
26 - Up around 8am. . . . walked and found a penny. All the beer cans from beneath the bin by the swings were gone. I suspect that was the work of the old dog walking guy whos had open heart surgery who I've spoken to on several occasions. he's told me before now that he's collected up the beer cans from all around there and taken them home to add to his recycling bin. Good on him - that's more than I can face doing. I draw the line at carrying rubbish all the way back home with me!! . . . TVd but felt SO tired I just couldn't stay awake and ended up going back to sleep . . . woke early afternoon and ate BB prepared warm pork sandwiches only to then fall asleep again for the rest of the afternoon until around 6pm!!!!! Blimey - I AM out of sorts somehow - achey and woozy!! :o( . . .all walked after 7:15pm and found 1, but I wasn't feeling right and just couldn't wait for the walk to be over. Felt freezing! I have a sneaking suspicion that I've got some sort of infection around that dodgy tooth that's making me feel unwell - seems to be a little bit of a swelling on one side of my gum too , maybe! . . . TVd and sat around feeling not so good and rather fragile . . . Mum called to tell us to watch a TV show - a play about a guy with OCD/tourrettes syndrome. Sat through it all but wasn't impressed at all . . . didn't really feel hungry but felt obliged to eat after BB'd spent a while in the kitchen making yorkshire puddings. I think it's become something of a challenge to her to actually have them turn out like they are supposed to. She pretty much succeeded this time - tasted good. Ate reheated pork, roast potatoes, peas gravy and yorkshire puddings . . . to bed around midnight. paaa
27 - Up around 8am feeling just a little better than yesterday but still a bit weird . . .walked and found 3p and a tin of Lynx all over deoderent spray!? One of the women dog walkers said I'd missed all the excitement - a stolen moped had been driven around the field earlier and then set fire to, and the police and fire brigade were called out!! No sign of any of it except for a like new, moped exhaust system laying in the middle of the field. I carried it to the bin with the rest of the litter I picked up. . .made a decision about my aching tooth. It's gonna have to go!! Set about moving it backwards and forwards with my tongue, trying to loosen it still further. Weird how it can be SO loose yet not come out when gently pulled. I haven't the nerve to get a pair of pliers onto it. Gonna keep working at it with my tongue for a while I think!! . . . left Sally at home and drove with BB to shop for stuff for her to take back. Stopped off in St George and then on to Hanham. Scored a black 'Fruit of the Loom' hooded fleece (like I 'live in' during the winter) for 4:25 in a charity shop. :o) . . stopped off in Staple Hill and FINALLY found supplies (in a health food store?) of the Green & Black's Expresso flavoured organic chocolate which we'd looked all over for. So, SO expensive but BB wanted to take some home and spent a fortune on several bars. I got a bit caught up in the triumphant finding of them and treated myself to a couple of bars too! :o) . drove on to Emersons Green to shop some more and to get petrol (32.54l @ 26) . Damn - Lidl was all sold out of the advertised cheap radio controlled weather stations. I'd wanted to buy another! Raced back to Lidl at Hanham but they'd sold out too. Damn - gotta be earlier than that with those special offers! :o( . . . ate BB cooked bacon and lettuce sandwich for lunch followed by Ginger and Expresso flavoured chocolate . . . napped for a couple of hours . . . walked as BB started packing. . . Mum called to touch base and say cheerio to BB. . . didn't have much of an appetite and ended up just eating a bowl of muesli. BB ate a sandwich type of affair made out of pork and two small yorkshire puddings!! lol . . early to bed after setting all the alarms for around 6am!! Disturbed nights sleep, waking here and there. paaa
28 - Up with the first alarm at 6am. Rushed round and turned the rest off before the noise . . .walked in the dark . . .rolled cigarettes for the trip, made some cheese, mayo and garlic sausage sandwiches for me on the way home and put it all in the car with bottles of water as BB got ready and finished her packing . . . loaded the car up, left Sally at home and set off at around 8:20am. Briefly stopped off at the local newsagent for BB to buy some ready made cigarettes for the trip, then headed for the motorway. Figured it was worth trying to miss the rush hour traffic down at the Hambrook roundabout, so for the first time, headed out through Kingswood and over Tog Hill to join the M4 east. Still took a while in heavy traffic - not sure it was worth the detour. . breifly stopped at the services. Really hungry and tempted to buy a pastie pie or roll or something, but the prices were absolutely extortionate (motorway services AND London overpricing!) - I'll do without! . . .eventually arrived at Heathrow terminal 4 and was parked up in the short stay car park by 10:45am . .pushed the trolley of BBs luggage into the terminal and BB did the 'auto check in' thing at the TV screens which she seemed familiar with. All new to me! A short wait in the express queue and we checked in her bags (except for her laptop, hand luggage and her pink pillow!!). Popped back outside for a smoke. How come they don't have ANY seats outside the terminal at all? Felt really silly wandering around carrying BBs pink pillow! . . headed back into the terminal building and made our way to the tiny unpleasant smoking area. Stopped off at a vending machine to get BB a bottle of coke but only succeeded in getting myself in a foul mood when the machine swallowed my money and delivered nothing - even after a good pounding from both of us!! Grrrrr! That seemed to sum up airports and - well - this country really! :o(. . . smoked and then waited in the seating area for a while. What idiot designed that seating area so that you can't see a single one of the departure information TV screens?!! For goodness sake! . . hugs and goodbyes at around 12:30pm and then BB was through the gate entrance, out of sight and and gone. . paid the 9:50 parking charge and straight back out on the road. Had intended to pull in at some services for a break and to eat my sandwiches, but I REALLY wanted to get back home and sleep as soon as possible so I ended up heading straight home without stopping, eating my sandwiches and crisps (with difficulty with my sore tooth) and drinking my bottled water as I drove!!! Uh oh – something in the dash board seems to have become loose and I had to do the whole drive with an unnerving rattle!!!!? A fast drive home, working at my loose tooth with my tongue, much of the way. A few things of interest – all of it confirming what a dangerous place the motorways are! (Wonder how long it would be, before someone rescued Sally if I got killed in an accident?) The police and an ambulance were just pulling up at an accident which had blocked the opposite carriageway just outside London. Further on, on my side of the motorway, at the end of a skid mark from the fast lane, a bewildered looking woman was walking around her car which was stopped on a luckily unusually wide piece of grassy central reservation next to the crash barrier!! If that’d happened anywhere else along the road where the central reservation is more usually narrow, I could well have been involved in a fast lane pile up! Did she know how lucky she was to be alive? I did! A little further on, on the opposite oncoming carriageway, all of a sudden all the traffic had disappeared? And then, three police cars had just managed to force a fleeing driver to stop, by boxing him in against the fast lane crash barrier! The nutcase was banging his hands on the steering wheel in apparent frustration. Got him – nice one!! A little further on, another police car was operating a rolling road block to keep all the following traffic well behind the chase. What a world! . . arrived home just before 3pm to explain to Sally "Barbara's gone - allgone". She sat for a bit and looked at the door, but I think she understood. Walked with Sally straight round to the post office to post a couple of letters to the US for BB. Extraordinary that me posting them, will ensure they arrive sooner than if BB posted them when she arrives over there!!? Found 3p . . . napped until around 6pm, and boy did I need it! . . . walked . . . Mum called to make sure the trip and car had gone ok. . . PCd briefly . . . TVd . . .felt 'weird' being on my own again. :o| . . . ate reheated pork, peas and roast potatoes with gravy . . . ate some of the Ginger flavour Green and Blacks chocolate that BB had forgotten to take out of the cupboard! (where I'd hidden it!) :o) . . . coffee and biscuits whilst watching a bit of 'Predator' on TV - again! . . . exhausted and 'early' to bed around 11:30pm. paaas
29 - Up around 7:30am . . . appear to have slept through BB calling and leaving an ansaphone message in the early hours to confirm she'd safely arrived. Sat around for a while half expecting her to call again before she went to bed but eventually had to give up and walk Sally. Typical - missed BB calling back! . . . PCd this while leaving the machine on line for much of the day trying to download some of the rediculously massive (77.8 mbytes!!???) Windows XP service pack 2! No wonder everyone is starting to pay for broadband - you need it just to be able to download the bloody updates!! :o( Gave up around 1:20pm with only 62% downloaded!! . . .ate garlic sausage, cheese, mayo and lettuce sandwiches for lunch with a packet of crisps. Followed that up with a piece of BBs sponge cake . . . lay down to nap but within five minutes the phone rang. ML saying he'd be popping in for coffee later. Lay down again only for the phone to go again. BB calling to touch base. Seemed funny 'just' being on the phone again - felt a bit awkward and didn't have much to say . . . ML popped in for coffee and chats . . . walked and found 7p. Firework season seems to be well under way - plenty going off all around. So much for the new law! :o| . passing by the flat over the end shop which houses the real unpleasant bunch of yobs, I could hardly believe what I saw. One of them casually threw an empty beer can straight out of the window into the street below without a care for anyone who may have been passing underneath! I knew it! I thought it was weird how often, in the mornings especially, there would be strange piles of rubbish of varing types littering the path 'just' there! I'd suspected as much but couldn't believe anyone would do such a thing. Now I KNOW. What horrible, horrible people. :o( . . . vacuumed a little. I seem to have got used to having less Sally hair laying around, and will have to vacuum more accordingly! :o|. . .touched base with BB . . . TVd . . . didn't feel hungry and just ended up eating the last of BBs sponge cake and some biscuits. Feel pretty wiped out. Think it may be the effect of having to live with this tooth pain. The only thing still holding the damn thing in my mouth seems to be the pain! Can't quite bring myself to go through the pain barrier and just yank it out! . . . BB called . . . TVd until bed around 12:30am. pas
30 - Woken by Sally at 7:50am . . .walked and found 10p . . .FINALLY - a letter in the mail that looked like it 'could' be from the hospital! Made myself a coffee, sat in the garden, rolled and lit a cigarette and slowly opened the letter. "Dear Mr Jones, You are currently on the waiting list for a hernia repair operation under Mr X. I am writing to advise you that Mr X is working with his colleague, Mr Y, to help us reduce our waiting list. Mr Y is based at Frenchay and Southmead hospital. We have a slot available for you on his list to be held at Southmead Hospital on : Admission Date : THURSDAY 28TH OCTOBER 04. Admission Time : 07.30AM. Ward : DAY WARD. On arrival at Southmead Hospital, please report to MAIN ADMISSIONS, from there you will be directed to the Day Surgery Unit. You must stop eating 6 hours before and drinking 3 hours prior to your admission time. IF YOU EAT/DRINK AFTER THESE TIMES YOUR OPERATION WILL CANCELLED.. On the day of admission, please bring dressing gown and slippers but leave any valuables at home. If you suffer from DIABETES or ASTHMA, please inform me, when ringing to confirm. If you are taking medicine to control EPILEPSY or BLOOD PRESSURE, take your normal medication in the morning with a small sip of water. PLEASE CONFIRM IMMEDIATELY that the above arrangements are convenient for you by telephoning me on 0117 xxxxxxx. It is essential that you arrange for a friend or relative to collect you from hospital and to be at home when you return and remain with you overnight." AT LAST!!!!!! :o| There were also a couple of poorly photocopied leaflets, one giving general info about the Southmead Hospital 'Day Surgery Unit', and the other about 'After Your Hernia Operation'. Felt nervous and rather disappointed they'd sprung Southmead on me and not Frenchay Hospital. . . sat around increasingly miserable for a bit trying to work out logistics and desperately trying to think who I could get to pick me up and be with me (is that really necessary?) after the op. SUCH a shame it couldn't have all happened when BB was here as we'd both hoped - would have been SO much easier for me AND Sally - although not so nice for BB I'm sure!. :o( . . got all up tight and had to lay down for a while but couldn't sleep and eventually phoned the 'Day Case Unit Co-ordinator' as the letter requested, to confirm the arrangements were convenient. I couldn't help but ask if it was in any way possible to elect to attend for surgery at Frenchay hospital instead (as I'd originally been told I would), because for me it would be SO much easier to get to (I could even walk there on the morning of my surgery - and getting home would be so much easier too). The woman didn't seem happy at my request and started on about how the surgeon at Frenchay actually only did surgery once a month (huh?) and there was actually something like a 15 month waiting list which the alternative surgeon/hospital arrangements were trying to reduce!!!! Seemed best to just say ok, ok, Southmead is fine! I also explained that I lived on my own and asked her about the part of the letter that said "It is essential that you arrange for a friend or relative to collect you from the hospital and to be at home when you return and remain with you overnight.", and explained that this in particular was going to be extremely difficult for me! She said that if I didn't have someone come and get me, they would NOT release me that day, and would keep me in the hospital at least overnight!! Bugger - gonna HAVE to try and get someone - but who?!!!???! Booked up my pre-op check up, which apparantly has to be done at Frenchay! What a chaotic lot of messing around, and a small logistical nightmare for me! I figured as soon as possible was best - lets just get the ball rolling - at last! She booked me in for Wednesday the 6th of October. . . ate the last of the reheated pork, peas, potatoes and yorkshire puddings with gravy . . . touched base with Mum and reluctantly asked if she'd be able to come up when I have my surgery for a day or so, or - um - for however long! (In my mind, mostly to be there for Sally, just in case something goes horribly wrong. I can't help it - I've got all soft in my old age - I'm REALLY not looking forward to having this done - I think I'm actually rather frightened and can't help but consider, things 'can' go wrong, even with the most mundane of operations, and this 'could' be the end of me!!!!) She thankfully said yes and said she'd come up on the coach on my birthday. . . napped until around 4:30pm . . . touched base with BB . . Felt strangely 'wound up' and needed to get out. Set off with Sally around 5:30pm walked down to the boating lake at Eastville park. Sat on one of the seats next to the lake for quite a while having a smoke. Managed to identify that I was suffering 'waves' of depressive thoughts!!! I don't think it is any coincedence that I've now been on the latest brand of Fluoxetine for around two weeks and they are probably starting to kick in. I'm sure it isn't just paranoia - I'm CERTAIN that the different brands of tablets have different affects. One brand normally gives me a temporary 'high' mood blip when it kicks in - maybe this brand gives a temporary low blip? Whatever the cause, the sitting by the lake wasn't as pleasant as it should have been, as I had to stand guard against my thoughts! :o( . . back home by 7:30pm just before it got fully dark . . .sat in the garden recovering. Mum phoned and in conversation reminded me (what an amazing memory she has!) that this Saturday was supposed to be the screening on TV of the episode of Casualty, I'd seen partly filmed locally . . . BB called . . . TVd/PCd till early. pas