<<Return to My Diary
30 - Up around 8:15am. .drove to walk in the drizzle. . PCd trying to make a start on the 'abseilers' video. It's gonna be a diifficult, time consuming one to edit. :o( I think I overdid it yesterady. Feel tired out and yucky. . ate ham, mayo and cheese sandwiches before popping a paracetamol tablet and laying down to nap before 3pm. . woke around 6pm. . drove to walk again! It's hard to resist using that car now I have it! . . PCd a bit of this. It's no good. I just can't seem to find the time to be able to do all this as I used to. I swear it takes longer to type all this than it does to actually live it!! I'd just rather be working on a video! It's become SO intermittent/forever 'unfinished' of late, I doubt for one moment anyone every actually reads it any more anyway. . PCd/TVd . .touched base with BB. . cooked and ate black pudding and bacon with bread and butter. . TVd until bed around 2am.
29 - Up around 8am. . PCd. . drove to walk. .PCd the day away again, messing with videos! Knocked off the torbay view 'boatman' one first. . ate ham rolls for lunch . . napped for maybe an hour . .drove to walk . . PCd . . touched base with BB . . PCd through until almost 2am on the 'harbour crowds' timelapse before calling it quits. Not a particularly brilliant result, but boy, does that song have something to say in the current climate. It's funny how I 've had some of this music in my collection for years, but am only recently discovering it because of doing these videos. Uploaded it to YouTube only for their clever system to instantly spot it as a music copyright breach, before it had even finished processing!! Thankfully, once again it was a piece owned by 'UMG' who seem to have a policy of allowing such videos to remain viewable, as long as adverts are placed on the page. That seems a pretty reasonable and enlightened policy - unlike several of the others. . grabbed a couple of bowls of muesli before bed. s
28 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. . beautiful dew covered, cool, blue sky morning. Coffee and cigarettes in the garden. Drove to walk - wanting to give the car a good test of starting from cold, etc. All worked fine - just like a car should. Excellent, excellent, excellent. .cleared up huge amounts of beer cans bottles and debris. Found a penny . . PCd a bit of this. .turned into a fantastic summer like sunny day. . walked back down harbourside with Sally to see what all this fuss about a 'french market' was. Wow - the place was absolutely heaving with people!! So much so, I didn't actually get to see what food and such was on sale. All a bit too crowded for my liking. The overall impression I got was off huge numbers of huge people stuffing their faces with yet more food which they most definitely did NOT need! Felt a bit yucky. . . ended up spending hours sat around here and there trying to film stuff for some timelapse. Started out trying to get a sense of the considerable crowds by filming the harbourside street from the balcony vantage point by the harbourmasters office, before then heading off round the harbour to higher ground. . at one point I felt obliged to give a woman sat between me and the camera tripod, some breif explanation of what I was doing. Part way through the conversation she said 'Oh yes - I have a freind who makes up DVDs and puts music to them. The waves over the breakwater and the new jetty building site - that sort of thing.' . lololol I indicated that they were done by me. Turns out she'd come by them via JK. lolol I have friends I didn't know I had!! lolol . . put in another hour or more (until I ran out of tape) up at the high vantage point overlooking the harbour and wider bay. Really was a beautiful day. I think it was the last day of the high speed ferry trial today - kept going for the extra day because of the French market. They were doing a roaring trade. Big queues of people getting on and off. I think their schedule suffered from the resulting slower turn around at each end, and my long filming session sadly only captured one 'in/out' cycle. .with the tape full I eventually called it quits and headed home around 3:30pm . .cooked and ate burgers, black pudding, bacon, eggs, baked beans and four pieces of bread and butter as I transferred some of the video to the PC. . drove to walk . . PCd . . LB called to give me some news!!!! Re-occurring lumps have resulted in the doctors informing her she has to have her right breast removed!!!!!!!!!!! F***!!!!!! That's bad news. I didn't know what to say. :o(. . .PS called to touch base and suggest a visit soon. . touched base with BB. . TVd eating Mum donated chocolate until bed around 11pm.
27 - Up around 8am. . PCd. . walked. . called it quits on the 'stool project' and screwed the top back on the legs. It isn't perfect, but for the price of a bit of work and some varnish and paint, it seems a good deal, and pretty useable. . .mowed the lawns. My next door neighbour (the mechanic) offered to have a bit of a look at the car later in the day so I eagerly drove it round the back and parked it up by the garage. Had a gentle prod at this and that and a first proper look under the bonnet. All looks in pretty good nick actually (certainly compared to the rusting/leaking state the Fiesta was in). Figured out how the rear light assemblies come apart and succeeded in removing the blown bulb. . Mum popped in with increasingly lavish food donations! . . eventually the guy next door had a look at the car - specifically the thing that had been worrying me where it seems to have a much too fast idle (which is a particularly negative thing considering it's a semi automatic!) and where it revved far too high when starting up. I was all imagining it was a sticking mechanism of some sort but he pretty much convinced me it wasn't and was more likely to do with some sort of a 'one setting fits all' factory settup. He very happily explained it all to me and proved his point by using a pair of pliers to gently squeeze the rubber intake hose of the automatic idle mechanism. It showed the mechanism was functioning ok doing it's job, and that the fast idle/revving thing was down to how much air was being drawn in through that hose. He recommended what he said was a pretty common remedy for such circumstances. Simply put a restriction in that intake hose. Sounded like a botch to me, but he gave the impression of REALLY knowing what he was talking about - and given what he was suggesting, it could simply be undone if necessary. . found a perfect sized piece of nylon tube with a hole through it (actually a spacer from the rear of a bathroom mirror I think) and slipped it with some WD40 into the intake tube. If the idle was too slow or cold-starting too difficult as a result - the hole could be drilled larger to 'tune it'. . Wow - that worked!! An immediate marked improvement with no apparant detriment to anything at all. Started perfectly from cold on the key, without any touch of the accelerator, without the usual high revving and slow sink back - pretty much as any modern car should. Excellent! THAT is how valuable 'experience' can be. SUCH a simple fix! To cap it all, he even donated a new rear bulb he had laying around in his garage, which saved me the trip to buy one from the auto spares shop. VERY cool. . .ate mum donated sausage rolls and crisps. . napped until around 6:30pm. . drove to walk, eager to see how the car performed. Perfect! Like a whole different car. Like it SHOULD be. Excellent! :o). Actually, pretty much the first all dark 'night walk' of the 'winter'. Pleasant, still evening, despite the crowd of drunken 'smoking' children on the steps to the beach. . TVd . . touched base with BB. . ate ham rolls and kipling apple tarts . .TVd . . PCd briefly. Uh oh! Looks as though I've been 'rumbled'. YouTube have blocked several of my videos because of copyright infringement on the music. :o( Oh well - shame. :o( . . to bed around 1:30am. s
26 - Up not long before 10am!. . walked and carried on down town to get a car tax refund form and mill around rather aimlessly for a bit. . toured the charity shops, and shopped just a little. . cooked and ate two cheeseburgers and chips. . napped . . skipped the evening walk . .PCd a bit . . touched base with BB . . TVd . .ate ham and lettuce sandwiches and kipling apple tarts. . TVd until bed around 1:30am. Woken by Sally in the night needing to use the garden. s
25 - Up around 7:45am again. .walked with the tripod, intending to maybe have a go at filming the abseiling workmen, doing stabilisation work on the cliffs above AstraZeneca. Actually somehow ended up spending the whole morning doing so!! What an incredible way to earn a living. Hard to imagine doing that every day as your work. . PCd the footage. . walked . . PCd for hours wrestling with the new software, trying to do the rough crossing ferry video. Awfully difficult trying to get a handle on that new software, but I felt like I eventually started to make some progress - and pretty much ended up with what I thought was a reasonable demonstartion of the experience I had on the 'rough' crossing. . touched base briefly with BB . . PCd more until around 2am when I finally had my first bite to eat of the day - a ham sandwich!! . . called a halt and uploaded two chunks to YouTube before finally getting to bed after 4am!!
24 - Up around 7:45am. . PCd and ended up watching the rearview ferry trip video from yesterday, SEVERAL times!! There IS something strangely hypnotic about the 'pace' of that one. I like it. :o) . . walked. . PCd. . Mum called to touch base and then popped in briefly with some ham donations. .PCd and finally got round to re-installing the printer/scanner on the new machine and then printed out a couple of DVD covers for the 'Lifeboat Week DVD' . . ate corned beef, spring onion and lettuce sandwiches. .. popped up the post office and mailed off the 'change of keeper' document for the old car. Had intended to photocy DVD covers but their colour copier has broken and been replaced by a black and white one. . . napped for an hour or two, and woke up cold. . drove to walk and stopped in the store on the return for coffee supplies - and some more black pudding! lol. .TVd. . PCd just a bit of this . .ate ham and lettuce sandwiches. . touched base with BB . . ate black pudding with bread and butter. . TVd until bed around 1am. s
23 - Up around 6:15am. . I was up so early, I dabbled with the idea of having a go on the new high speed ferry. It's the last week of the trial, and they've been advertising the first three return trips of the day for only £1 each!! Only catch with that was, the first one of the day was 6:50am!! I missed that one but quickly jumped in the car and drove to walk Sally before continuing on down to the harbour, with the ferry coming in behind me as I ran. Arrived at the embarkation point just in time to grab a shot of the ferry coming round the corner and docking. Eventually joined the VERY small queue and walked on board - to something of a welcome!!??? Apparantly all the crew had watched my video and seemed pretty happy with it. I was even allowed to pop up the stairs and point the camera at the driving seat.
I wasn't charged! Every time I pointed out I'd not paid yet, the guy just sort of waived me off. Cool. That video I did must have been better than I thought. lolol
I'm not sure what 'rough' IS for such a vessel, but it seemed pretty rough to me, and as the waves began to crash against the bow of the boat and we were all jostled in our seats, I freely admit I was actually a little frightened. Poor Sally too - all ears down and looking a bit unhappy laying on the heaving deck. I overheard some conversation about how a decision would be made if it was going to get any rougher, and how they would be trying a slightly diffferent route across in an attempt to make things smoother.
with my two free trips and filming done, I'd had enough and headed back off. Ended up walking straight along to BGdns as the ferry went back past, to get in position to be able to film it coming back over again in the choppy seas, assuming it would be potentially useful in whatever I attempt to make of my videoing. (Three consecutive journeys - good for 'continuity'). . returned home by around 10:30am to find my Cyberlink Powerdirector software had been delivered. Yayy. At LAST! . oops. I had an ansaphone message from the guy who wanted the satellite dish. I'd forgotten all about that, despite saying around 10am! Actually, he'd apparantly turned up earlier than that anyway, so I wasn't entirely at fault. Nevertheless I felt pretty guilty about letting someone down like that.
PCd and successfully installed and registered the software
eventually got back in touch on the phone with the satellite guy and feeling so guilty about having missed him, I said I'd deliver it. An excuse to use the new car as much as anything else. Trouble was, turned out he didn't live 'local' and it was across the other side of the bay! Humph.
found something white had been splashed all down the car!! Would you believe it!! I've only had the damn thing five minutes and already someone has decided to have a go at ruining it whilst parked in the street! :o( Immediately I was plunged back into a 'Bristol persecution mindset' type of thing and went a bit crazy. Was I being targeted by yobs again? Is it starting all over again? With hindsight, I actually saw the car, whoever had done it, had driven past in. I was working on the PC and had been drawn to look out at the sound of a revving engine. All I remember was it was small and red.
tippex !? . .thankfully, as it turned out, my car was NOT the only one to have been hit. several others nearby had also been splattered. Sadly, that actually eased my paranoid mind somewhat.
drove to walk. Sorted Sally out with
her food and then loaded the car up with the old satellite dish
and box and headed off to find the guys house. Found it
eventually and finally got rid of the damn thing!. . straight
back on the PC to go round and round and round tearing my hair
out . . touched base briefly with BB . .PCd . . eaten nothing ALL
day!!! Eventually ate corned beef, mayo, spring onions and
lettuce sandwiches after 1am!! . . eventually to bed around 2am.
22 - Up around 7:15am. .walked. . cleared everything out of the old car and then cut off a piece of hose pipe and attempted to syphon out some of the half-a-tank of petrol. Pretty soon became apparant, that simply wasn't going to happen. Despite getting a good couple of feet of the hose down the filler neck, something then kept stopping it before any sign of it reaching the petrol. Disappointing. Decided it just wasn't worth all the aggro and potential fire hazard, and quickly gave up on the idea and 'wrote off' the loss. . . surfed and located the local scrap yard I'd heard about and gave them a call. They confirmed it wasn't necessary to 'book up' in any way, and I could just turn up with a car for scrapping, do a little paperwork and then walk away - and maybe get a few £s for it into the bargain. . coaxed the spluttering car into life, left Sally at home and headed for the scrap yard. Would you believe it! The last ever trip I do in the damn thing, and it was only firing on three cylinders all the way, threatening to stall/break down at any moment! That was an unpleasant, stressfull drive! Eventually arrived at where I thought the scrap yard was, only to somehow drive into what was apparantly the wrong entrance. Instead of the scrap yard, I ended up in an adjacent garage/MOT place. Jumped out of the car and asked directions for the scrap yard - which was apparantly just the other side of the hedge. The guy I was talking to asked if I was getting rid of the car and then suggested there was someone there who was looking for one. In very quick time, I somehow ended up selling the car for £40 to a young mechanic who was working there!!!! He didn't even look at it particularly. Kinda glanced, haggled a bit and quickly produced two twenty pound notes! Suits me. I'd rather someone can benefit from it and maybe keep it on the road being useful, rather than just scrap it. He got a pretty good deal, even if he just scraps it. He's in a position to be able to use/sell bits and get the pterol out etc etc. Good luck to him.
...bus stop wait. £1.85 to be dropped down town . .
briefly shopped for bread and
burgers and a bone . . back home in time to pick up the phone and
have the muslim guy call back about the satellite system and
suggest tomorrow to pick it up, after 10 ('god willing'). .
grabbed a coffee and found another key/the parcel shelf/haynes
manual etc for the Fiesta. Wanted to get it all over and done
with so I left Sally at home and drove back to the garage to hand
it all over to the guy who'd bought it. . cooked and ate sausage
sandwiches . . PCd. . .strangely in the mood to be videoing
something, I walked with the tripod and on down town, but it
turned out to be cold and not favourable light for any filming.
Ended up sitting for a bit on the harbourside just watching the
high speed ferry on one of its last trips of the day. I may be
wrong but it looked to me as though only one person got off on
that last trip!! One woman with a push chair!. got talking to a
scottish guy (thanks to the allure of Sally again of course) who
was working on the stagecoach high speed ferry trial. Not sure
how that works. The 'Red Jet 1' ferry is registered in
Southampton, but all the people concerned with it appeared to be
from Scotland, just down to do the trial. The guy apparantly had
a couple of German Shepherds himself 'back at home in Scotland' -
and ended up giving spoiled Sally the WHOLE Mars Bar he had in
his pocket! lol . In the conversation I inevitably mentioned I'd
already done a video of the ferry and had it on YouTube. He said
he'd have a look - via his 3G mobile phone!!! Blimey - I didn't
even know those phones could do that! . . shopped breifly on the
way past the store. .TVd . . ate ham/mayo/spring onion etc. salad
rolls. . touched base with BB . . TVd until to bed before
21 - Up around 6:30am. .walked and did the long walk through the woods. Haven't done that for a while. . PCd as my mood somehow went into decline. . spent an hour or so on the 'stool' project and put another undercoat of paint on the base and varnish on the top. . ate a mum donated pastie and pork pie with crisps. . napped but strangely woke after only an hour or so. Very soon after the phone rang about the old satellite receiver and dish I'd advertised up for grabs on the local 'Freecycle'.
TVd just sitting around feeling a
bit strange and not up for doing anything at all . .drove to walk.
. trimmed my hair and vacuumed before once again just sitting in
front the TV. .BB called . . ate bowls of cornflakes . .TVd until
bed at midnight.
20 - Up around 8:15am . .drove to walk leaving the PC running, re-compiling the lifeboat dvd. . did laundry. PCd and burned a few copies of the new dvd. . mum popped in for chats with the paper and food donations, etc. . cooked and ate sausages, bacon and chips. . napped until around 7pm! . . .drove to walk. . TVd . . ate ham rolls and crisps. .TVd/guitarred a bit . . early to bed before midnight. s
19 - Up after 9am!! . . drove to walk . . did paperwork and sorted through my accounts, but for some reason I can't seem to get to the bottom of, I was unable to balance them!!!??? That's a bit worrying. Also - despite Paypal indicating a payment has been made, I can't find any record of the money exiting my bank account again! I DO hope they haven't messed it all up again like with the first attempted PC buying fiasco. . cooked and ate two cheeseburgers followed by a lot of biscuits. . napped for a couple of hours. . drove to walk again . .PCd and finally got round to attempting to put together a 'proper' DVD of the five, long, lifeboat open week videos. . BB called . . PCd through until after 1am. . ate ham sandwiches, banana, and mini cheesecake while the PC compiled the finished LP (2hr) DVD. It took around an hour and a half to do, which has to be 'at least' four times faster than the old machine. :o) Only hick-up was, I made a mistake with the size of the menu images, and am gonna have to do it all again! . eventually to bed after 2:30am.
18 - Woke at 7am (I could hear the church clock bells?) then up around 7:30am . .PCd this . .drove to walk . . PCd for a few hours before eventually ending up on e-bay ordering a copy of 'Cyberlink Powerdirector 7 Ultra' for $34.94 . . pottered in the garden and eventually got going on removing the rotting woven reed border all along the left handside beneath the big hedge. Replaced it with stones simply dug into the soil . . moved all the rest of the stones that had been stacked alongside the garage and restacked them behind the Fiesta at the back of the car-port. That should make it a bit less likely I damage the new car on them when I finally start parking it up there. . PCd a bit more and discovered that the new PC really IS quite a bit 'stronger' when it comes to producing video (despite the partial failure of the software I've been using). The annoying 'jitters' in smooth movements which I kept getting, are NOT evident on a video compiled by the new machine. Actually re-compiled the Dowlais D video, exactly as it is from the existing files, and sure enough, the finished result was noticeably better and smoother. . walked and carried on down around the harbour and back. . sat in the garden for a bit . . ate a tin of sausage in baked beans, black pudding, fried onion and four pieces of bread and butter . . touched base with BB . . TVd/PCd until bed around 2am. s.
17 - Up around 8:10am . .PCd this . .drove to walk. One of the dog walkers asked if one of the others had been in touch with me because she was the mother of one of the MIU band members and had wanted to try to get hold of a copy of the video I took of them! That kinda irritated me. She hadn't received a copy? So what exactly happened to that big pile of DVDs I created and delivered to that guys address, with a note attached saying one for each band member?! Grrrr . . PCd and somehow ended up wasting away the whole day doing the Sally and ferry-trial videos using the old, 'almost' working-ok software. . walked . . cooked sausages, bacon, black pudding and chips. . JK called. .touched base with BB briefly. . TVd until bed before midnight. s
16 - Up around 6:30am again!? . . PCd a bit of this. .walked . . drilled the garden wall and screwed an old rubber doorstop to it, to prevent the gate from hitting the wall (and ruining the paintwork) if flung fully open. Refitted the house name, dabbed a little paint over the mounting screws and called it quits for the gate project. It isn't perfect, and the new paint makes the lever a bit 'gummy', but it's a vast improvement on the terminally rusty, innaccessable/ill-fitting lever nonsense it was before. All it takes now is a 'pull to' or even a gentle push back from open without even needing to touch the lever, and it closes fully - like a gate SHOULD do. Pleased. :o) . . with the drill out the front, I attempted to complete the drilling of the second garden path drain hole which I'd had to abort. Once again I failed in getting the drill bit through, whatever that really hard thing is behind where I've made a partial hole!!?? Oh well - it'll just have to be the one I've already made then. Despite my disturbing panic and ongoing anxiety about the posibility of a water main leak, after a few days of no appreciable rain, the wet area below that drain hole has reduced to just the slightest bit of dampness. I am daring to think/hope that it IS 'just' a build up of trapped rain water inside the walls of the steps - although I can't figure out how so much rain can be getting down in there? . . . PCd this . . PCd surfing reviews and such again, looking for a possible replacement for my video editing software. Eventually ended up downloading a trial copy of Cyberlink Power Director 7 to see if that would do the business for me (resigned to probably having to actually buy one!!). Took around an hour to download the entire program before I could play with it. It's difficult to be objective and get past the 'it's just not what I'm used to', but on balance after having experimented on putting together a video, I don't think I like it. With hindsight, the old software I've been using ('Intervieo WinDVD Creator 2' ) really does seem to have been pretty good, and I think it's going to be hard to find one so flexible and easy to use! :o( . . napped for a couple of hours, leaving the PC running doing a virus scan. I have a horrible feeling I may have picked up something already, despite the AVG anti virus coming back as clean! I ran an exe earlier which I'd downloaded, which did 'something' and then promptly deleted itself!!!!?. . drove to walk. Actually pretty chilly and I ended up wearing a hoodie and fingerless gloves. Despite the cold, a bunch of local kids were all 'tombstoning' off the rocks in BGdns!! SO dangerous, but it wasn't their first time, and being locals they seemed to know where was ok to jump from. Ended up with their permission, doing a bit of videoing as darkness approached . . PCd and despite the software problems, managed to knock together a vid of the kids and upload it to YouTube as I'd promised I would. . touched base with BB . . cooked and ate two cheeseburgers around midnight, followed by three kipling apple tarts . . TVd until bed around 2am.
15 - Up around 8:45am . .drove to walk . .popped in a couple of stores on the way home and when I found one that stocked it, bought a large tin of smooth black hammerite for £9.47 . . sanded down the filler on the gate and then carried it through the house to the hinges out front to make sure it still fits and nothing else really needs doing. Back up to the garage and used a couple of bent old hooks to hang it from the roof. Labouriously put the first coat of paint on in the sauna like garage. Took absolutely ages! . . used a bit of the drying-between-coats, down-time to prepare and then paint the gate hinges embedded in the front garden wall . .ate ham rolls and a little chocolate. . put another coat of hammerite on the gate. . used the down time to sand down a bit of the stool seat and got a first coat of varnish on that . .showered . . walked a little early before 6pm. .straight back home to carefully carry the almost still-tacky gate back through the house and get it hung on its hinges without scraping off any of the paint. Put another coat of paint on it in situ. Boy - am I glad to have that nightmare mostly over and done with. So - the sum total of todays activities was just painting the front gate!!! It had to be done in a bit of a frenzy all in one go like that because of the hammerite paint. Re-coats of that paint have to all be done within a few hours of each other. If I'd waited and done another coat in a day or two, the paint would 'react', start peeling off and turn into a wrinkle finish!! It'll be quite a while (months?) before it's fully cured and can be safely repainted again now. Although not perfect, I've hopefully got enough on to mostly protect it from further rusting through the winter. . TVd . . cooked and ate some black pudding, a tin of sausages in baked beans and four pieces of bread and butter. . touched base with BB . . ate three kipling apple tarts. . to bed around midnight. s
14 - Up around 7am . .drove to walk. .PCd, searching for, downloading and installing various (free) video edit software, only to pretty much delete it all again right away because it was either rubbish and/or wasn't really actually 'free'. . . eventually gave up in disgust and ended up scraping more of the old paint off the garden gate in the garage for the rest of the day! Took hours, 'carving' away at it with a stanley knife (broke at least three blades!) but eventually ended up with it pretty much ALL scraped off!! Some of the scrollwork detailing on that gate has been spot welded into position at each end, with the rest of the metal run simply laying adjacent to the outer gate frame. What that means is, rainwater collects in the gap between the two, sits there and rusts the metal - badly! As the metal has rusted it has expanded, increased the gap and made the whole problem progressively worse, actually disfiguring the scrollwork and threatening to see the whole gate actually rust away to scrap!! It was all this bad rust that forced my hand into getting serious with renovating/painting it. Managed to force a loose hacksaw blade into the corroded areas between the metal, and sawed out enough of the corrosion to be able to hammer the pieces all back into a tighter fit together. Yet more blisters and aching hands! Ran in a line of car-body filler (bought long ago specifically for this purpose) into each of the affected areas to block the gaps and give a decent footing for an eventual protective coating of paint! . . walked . . TVd. . ate ham, mayo and lettuce rolls followed by some carrot cake . . touched base briefly with BB . . ate bowls of cornflakes. . to bed around 2am. s
13 - Up around 6:30am!? . . PCd and succeeded in downloading and installing all the windows updates. So - it really does look as though it was something to do with 'service pack three' which screwed that up. That cost me a lot of hours and grief! AUTOMATIC updates of ANYTHING are a big mistake, for just that sort of a reason. Grrr . . . drove to walk. Picked up a carrier bag full of beer cans and litter and found £1. . PCd yet more and actually lifted out my data SATA drive from the old PC and temporarily put it in the new PC to copy over all my files in pretty quick time. Took the drive back out and put things back as they were before then fitting my 'backup' 320Gb SATA drive into the new machine as the secondary drive. Once I've had the chance to sort through all the old files and get everything in some sort of order, that should give me quite a bit of hard drive space to play with. . . Mum popped in briefly with the paper, food donations, etc. Got her to stand behind and check the brake lights on the car as she was leaving. Sure enough as I'd feared, the left one isn't lighting. That'll have to wait. I've no idea how to replace it yet. I need to get me a Haynes manual for it - assuming they do one. . ate mum donated pastie and sausage roll and then napped a for a few hours until around 5pm . . PCd just a bit of this. .
-/ Unfinished /-
walked and carried on down town to
see what was happening. It WAS £5 to get in, and was being held
inside the fish dock gates, so I didn't bother and walked up onto
the seating area overlooking it to just have a listen. I couldn't
see them inside the marquee, but I got there just in time to hear
the last couple of numbers being played by Morph. . .fed Sally
the last of the 'donated' meat. Wow - that lasted a bunch of
The VERY reason I wanted the new PC was to do videos - and lo and behold, the old software I've been using won't runon the new PC for some unknown reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOULD you believe it! :o( For F***s sake! :o(
12-9 - Up at 8am . . drove to walk . . PCd . . round and round in circles tearing my hair out with frustration
spent literally hours downloading Windows updates and attempting to have them instal only for them to fail time after time after time
drove to walk and stopped at the
store for supplies on the way home. Uh oh - caught sight of a
reflection of the car in a nearby parked car as I was reversing
out, and as is my habit, checked all the lights were working.
They weren't!! Looks like the left hand brake light isn't working.
:o( . .drank the last of the red wine 'in a box' and ate ham and
lettuce rolls. . TVd but ended up in bed before 11pm. d
11-9 - Up around 7:45am . .PCd a temporary note for this on the new machine and downloaded a free AVG virus prog. .walked . .. PCd continuing the slow process of installing programs and setting up e-mail accounts etc etc . . called a halt around midday, and with the weather actually not raining for a while, finally managed to get a couple of coats of hammerite on the new gate latch. .the 'car' guy called and I said asap and I'd sort out the rear window thing, so he said he'd call in around 7 this evening . .put in a few more hours in the garage scraping off more paint from the gate. Blisters . .phoned up and sorted out insurance on the new car, whilst temporarily keeping insurance going on the old one (so I can eventually legally drive it to a scrap yard). . showered and sat around for a bit. . JK popped in for chats. . did a bit of dishwashing chores . . tthe car guy turned up just before 7pm and we did the buisness. Made a hash of filling out the reg document by putting my old Bristol postcode on it!! . the owner died more or less in the driver seat!! lol . .loaded up Sally and drove straight to Mums to invite her to join me for the ride and walk. .Mum insisted on putting £20 (17.87 ltrs) of petrol in the car. :o) . all walked . . drove to the chip shop and parked. Drunks from the pub calling out taking the piss about my parking! lolol Would you believe it. lolol . . dropped Mum off and ate . . TVd . .touched base with BB . .to bed around 11:30pm. s.
10-9 - Up around 8:30am . . .walked. A small car was parked up the road with a for sale sign on it. Took a photo of the sign on the way home. . back via Kens for a large carrier of frozen meat complete with a pack of bacon allegedly fit for human consumption . . back home in time to see the postman delivering a large parcel next door. Sure enough, it was my new PC. . resisted the temptation to get straight on with that and surfed instead, looking up the car. . what the hell. Rang the number and arranged to meet later after the guy had finished work. . transferred savings and popped up the post office and drew £700 out. . opened the PC and corrected the cables and back plate and missing drive screws. Read all the manuals and eventually fired it up. . trouble installing windows. Couldn't detect the drive size. Eventually ok on the later XP copy . took ages to partition and format . JK called . coffee, banana and chocolate biscuits. . guy phoned and turned up with the car . test drive. Missing back panel trim , rusted rear window guides? . .few dings and scratches . . agreed £600 if bits and pieces sorted. . back to the PC only to eventually find the broadband antivirus bullshit. :o( . .yet more rain and wind. Skipped the walk again . ate bacon, beans and bread and butter . . TVd .. touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around 11:30pm.
9 - Up around 7:30am. Yet more rain. Damn - a painful bad back again! That'll be carrying that heavy gate through the house and up to the garage - and then the hours of leaning over it scraping paint! The car spluttered into life so I drove to walk . . briefly detoured before returning to the car and picked up the small amount of meat one of the dog walker guys had said he had for Sally . . PCd all morning before then working in the garage at scraping off more of the old flaking layers of gate paint. I hadn't intended to, but as things wore on, it became apparant that the best thing for it would be to attempt to remove almost ALL of the old paint!!!! Nasty, long nightmare!
. walked . . to bed around 4am. s
-/ Unfinished /-
8 - Up not long after 7am. . PCd a bit of this
. .walked . . got straight back on with the 'gate project'.
Drilled and chiseled away at the brickwork around the gate wall-latch
piece. Got it out in the end without 'too' much hassle. . spent
ages trying to work out what to do and then set about in the
garage 'carving' the thick piece of metal plate into pieces to
make up a new latch plate. Much of that was done with a hack saw!!
It took some cutting! Exhausting - with frequent trips back
through the house down to the front gate post to make sure they
were going to be in the right position etc. . . welded the bits
together and filed and hack-sawed and angle grindered until I was
pretty satisfied with the result. Got it in the wall and clamped
it to the gate to keep it in EXACTLY the right position, before
cementing it in with a strong PVA mix. With hindsight, I probably
should have made the whole thing smaller and neater, but that
would have taken even longer. It IS a gate latch after all -
hardly particularly noticeable in the grand scheme of things. I've
no problem with 'large and over engineered', as it does the job
and stays in the wall without coming loose, and allows the gate
to 'just close', without being the awkward fiddly before! So -
with all that done (what a relief it seems to have worked) , I'm
back to 'just' painting the gate!!!! . . tidied up the resultant
mess in the garage, grinder dust, welding rod ends, tools, etc. .
as soon as the cement mix had hardened enough not to be moving, I
took the gate through the house and into the garage and had a bit
of a go at scraping down some of the rust and old flaking paint.
Wow - really awkward and time consuming! That's gonna take days
of work in itself before I'm anywhere near trying to put a coat
of paint back on it. :o(. . ended up working at everything almost
non stop all day until around 6pm! . . walked . . TVd for a bit,
too tired to move . . drank a very small amount of red wine and
cooked and ate four large cheeseburgers. . touched base with BB .
. TVd with a couple of mum donated Kipling apple tarts . . to bed
by midnight. d
7 - Up around 8:30am - to promptly look out of the window to see how bad 'the leak' is :o( . . .walked. I'd checked that AIS website before I set out. It apparantly can't be fully relied upon. It suggested there was nothing in the bay, which turned out to be innacurate. . PCd this . .with a dry day and sunny spells, I somehow mustered the energy to have a go at 'operation front gate'!!! Started off by re-pointing the wall which was falling to bits around the rusting bottom gate hinge. Used bits of the left over PVA cement mix to ram into a small gap or two in the steps up to the front door, to prevent further rain from getting through by that route, just in case it isn't a water-main leak under there. Whatever IS the cause of that water seepage, it IS at least 'aggravated' by the rain because the amount appearing has slightly diminished as the dry spell continues. What I could do with is a good couple of weeks of dry weather to really try to establish what's going on. . .the front gate and the way it doesn't actually close properly into the latch has been bugging me ever since I moved in here. Having a decent reliably functioning gate is a must for me, what with Sally and all. Every gate up and down the street has a similar arrangement - of a cemented-into-the-wall latch/keep, which clearly wasn't designed to go with the metal gates that everyone now has. It's my theory those gate latches were originally designed for a long-gone thick wooden gate. The result of the ill fitting arrangement I have is, it is always difficult to close the gate, and sometimes as a result of someone else closing it who doesn't know the score, the gate can become jammed or even at worst, swing outwards across the pavement!!!! The more the setup bugged me and the more I examined it to attempt to figure out what to do about it (with renovating and re-painting the rusty gate an increasing priority), I came to the conclusion that the best thing that could be done would be to hack out the old metal 'keep' plate from the wall entirely, and make-to-fit a completely new one!! If I was actually going to do all that work (and take the risk of cocking it all up and ending up without a useable gate!), then logic would suggest that the actual gate lever/handle would be far better placed on the gate itself, an inch or two higher than it is, so that the gate structure isn't directly awkwardly in the way of the handle/lever. Dare I have a go? Ahhh - what the hell! . .carried the gate through the house and up into the garage and nervously set about it with file, hacksaw, angle grinder and welder. . to cut a long story short, using a large bolt from my collection as the lever pivot, and a bent-and-cut-to-fit piece of metal from an old plot planter as the lever guide, I eventually had it all succesfully repositioned about two inches higher than it was. It actuallly ended up better than I'd imagined, with the lever handle falling completely inline with the structure of the gate when pushed down to open the gate. Quite neat. I think it'll do. Despite my poor welding, with a smear of filler and once covered in paint, I think it'll hold and I don't think anyone would know it'd been altered. So - that's phase one done. Phase two is somehow constructing the new wall-latch bit, to fit the new position. I 'salvaged' a small lump of thick sheet steel from the skip up round the corner a while back with exactly all this in mind. I'm going to use that. I think it may have been part of a trawler deck plate or some such, which seems kinda fitting. lol . . walked after 6pm. Actually a pleasant evening with an almost clear blue sky. . spent a bit of time examining the gate latch cemented into the garden wall, gently trying to scrape away around it to find out how much of it is actually cemented into the brickwork. I say 'cemented', but whatever that stuff is that has been used to fix it, is not ordinary cement. It's hard as hell and is gonna make it extremely awkward to extract. :o( If the worst comes to the worst I guess I'll just have to leave it in situe and use the grinder to remove the exposed part. . TVd too tired to move. Eventually got going again and showered off the layers of grinder dust and weld splatter . . touched base with BB . .cooked and ate four sausages and chips followed by chocolate biscuits. . to bed by around 11:30pm! s
6 - Up around 8:45am. VERY welcome sunny spells. . more trouble with the PC acting up resulting in a desperate restore, which seemed to temporarily at least put things back to rights. . tried the car for the hell of it (to see if the rain may have killed it) and amazingly it started, but with the same misfiring scenario as yesterday. Left the PC doing a virus scan and drove Sally to walk again (because I could). I think both of us are suffering from exhaustion with that long walk to Bgdns at least once a day. Sally gets SO excited and pleased when we take the car, and clearly has more energy for playing, etc. I'm beginning to wonder if I really should be trying to keep a (newer) car on the road, what with both of us getting older and more tired all the time. . stopped off for milk and a small tin of clear varnish (for the stool top project) on the way home. . PCd only to find weird and bizarre things had happened to some of my directories (although, fingers crossed, I don't immediately appear to have lost anything - I think?!)! This PC is SO in need of replacement (or the boot hard drive at the very least). That new PC can't come soon enough!!. . . PCd this. . Mum called in with the paper etc. . ate Mum donated pasty and crisps . . napped until around 6:30pm. Actually somehow woke myself from dreaming to escape the unpleasant imagery. . .found myself in a very dodgy, down mood and ended up just sitting in front of whatever was on the TV all night, just kinda 'hanging on'! . .JK called to touch base but pretty soon seemed to realise my mood and couldn't get off the phone fast enough! lol. . touched base briefly with BB . .ate ham rolls . . to bed around 2am. s
5 - Woken around 7:15am by the sound of the rain and wind I think. Pretty nasty out there. .PCd this as the rain absolutely poured!!!! :o( . . the car started (albeit missfiring until it warmed up a bit) so I drove Sally to walk . . PCd and knocked off the 'Dowlais D' video. On line checking details for the 'titles' screen, I bumped into a fascinating little website. At the click of a mouse, I can get a graphical view of what ships (or at least those that ARE operating the AIS system) are in the bay and further afield. Amazing! I had no idea such a thing existed! Very cool. I may well have to change my links page and knock up a 'breakfast bar' section, of sites to look at (news, weather, tides, AIS, etc) before leaving the house each day, to get the jump on what I may encounter when I get down there . . carried on PCing as heavy, HEAVY rain battered against and streamed down the windows - frequently looking out to see what may be happening with the water on the path. :o( I'm not dealing with the possibility of a water leak very well at all. It's preying on my mind and really making me feel very, VERY down about everything. . couldn't resist resurrecting the crappy Lancaster footage and knocking up a video with it, despite how bad it turned out. Too rare and precious a sight not to do something with it somehow. .awful 'stress' type headache got worse and worse as the day wore on . . ate tuna, mayo and lettuce sandwiches for a late afternoon lunch and then succumbed to the headache and tried to sleep it off. Just managed to push the nightmarish thoughts of a water leak from my mind and was almost dropping off to sleep when the freezer started making its pneumatic drill type noise, and I had to get back up to go and give it a beating! God I'm miserable right now. I think it's got a lot to do with my 'out on a breaking limb' financial situation. Every time I turn on the TV they are reporting how everything is falling apart and prices are skyrocketing with all the unavoidable essentials going up by 25% here and 50% there - and yet they still seem to maintain that inflation is running at modest single figures. That means of course that my index linked pension will hardly increase. My life savings (which are now so small they would be easily wiped out if I simply replaced the windows, central heating and a couple of household appliances - never mind having to possibly pay for leaking pipe repairs (I've yet to check my house insurance policy)) are pretty soon going to be frittered away just living day to day! I've even begun to think of the possibility of selling the house and downsizing - but of course the house isn't worth what I gave for it now either is it! All I have to look forward to in the future is increasing hardship and doom and gloom. Aside from the obvious, I keep finding myself pining for everything I had back in Bristol!! I also have noticed an increase in the desire to - um - 'exact retribution' on certain individuals. After all this time!!!! As I'd feared, I don't think that open wound will ever heal. :o( All in all - moodwise, I guess I'm not doing too good right now. . . with heavy, heavy frequent rain storms drifting through, yet again I couldn't face the evening walk and poor Sally had to make do with the soggy, snail and frog covered garden again. . PCd and finally, finally got back to wrestling with the old 'fire brigade training night' video I've had hanging over my head all summer. It took until the early hours but eventually I wrapped it up and called it quits - although with hindsight, I don't think the finished result was worth all the effort. .touched base briefly with BB before eating another round of tuna, mayo and lettuce sandwiches, a banana and some chocolate at around 2am. . to bed by 3am. aa
4 - Woke around 7:15am, snoozed on for fifteen minutes or so before getting up. Badly aching back! . PCd a bit of this. . heavy rain shower so tried to start the car up. It didn't start so I had to walk. The rain actually cleared up pretty soon after setting off so it was just my bad back to deal with . .despite everything everywhere else drying out, I still have a damp spread mark near my 'emergency drain hole' at the bottom of the steps on the front path!! :o( With so much recent rain, and with nothing but lots more forecast for the forseeable future, there's just gonna be no way it can dry out even a little bit to help suggest to me one way or another, is it a water-main leak or just trapped (inside the steps on top of the old existing concrete path) rainwater run off. I'm worried sick about it. :o( . . PCd and ended up mostly messing around with different bits of video and not getting on with paperwork and accounts as I should have. . threw together the silly depressing 'tip trip' video (oh god how I HATE having to go there). .crunched an annadin tablet to aleviate my back pain and mustered the energy to have a 'prod' at the car. I figured that maybe (after not having had it serviced for ages) it was worth giving the spark plugs some attention (although I'm pretty sure it isn't that simple because of the bizarre, intermittant symptoms). Would you believe it - all the nice socket set plug spanners are too big. Eventually found an old one that fitted, and with an adjustable wrench clamped around the top of it, managed to remove them only to find they looked in pretty good shape, which suggests the starting problem is nothing so simple as I'd feared. Actually tightened up the alternator belt while I was out there, bceause it needed it, although under the circumstances it felt like an awful waste of time to be doing so. .typically, as is so often the case with the damn thing, it started the next time I tried it, although I'm pretty sure not because of anything I'd done. . . ended up back on the PC aimlessly prodding around and eventually rang my bank to confirm that my PayPal mandate was all newly set up (again) and in order this time. . bit the bullet and rang up and eventually ordered the PC (£321.99) I'd tried to buy a couple of weeks ago. (Given the current financial/economic climate, it seems like insanity for me to be 'wasting' money like that, but I figure in the pretty near future I'm liable to be absolutely broke and wouldn't be able to get a new one - and I'm clearly in 'need', with the existing PC literally falling apart, the power supply fan sounding like a tractor, and the old small boot drive like a tupperware of nuts and bolts! ) This time the paypal payment all seemed to go as it should and the shop promised to do their best to get it to me quicker than the usual couple of weeks. The way my existing PC is acting, I'm not sure it'll last that long!!! lol . . the weather deteriorated along with my mood and I just couldn't face the evening walk again . . TVd . . cooked another big fry up of burgers, sausages and black pudding and ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . touched base with BB . . TVd . . ate a small mum donated microwave treacle pudding . . TVd until bed around 1am. aa
3 - Up around 7:45am. .PCd a bit of this . despite the sunny spells and pretty much dry ground everywhere, there was a patch of water on my path, at the base of the first of the steps up to the front door!!!? Oh no!!!! Have I got a water-main leak under there somewhere? If I have that'll be a major disaster for me! . . walked and carried on down town to tour the charity shops looking for a cheap set of headphones, although my mind was trapped into worrying about the possibility of a water leak, and my mood absolutely plummeted as a result. :o( . The headphones I've been using on the PC while doing all this video stuff seem to have developed a fracture half way down inside one of the wires and give me intermittant left ear sound with crackles. Everything I have seems to be falling apart! The headphones, PC in general, fridge freezer, no cooker, my teeth, my eyesight, my knees, the car, etc, etc - and now a possible water leak!! Succeeded in getting a really yucky pair of headphones that'll see me through for a while for 50p. . returned home and had a coffee in the front garden while using a towel to dry the path. Yep - there's definitely water seeping out from under that step. . peered into the underfloor void from the hatch (couldn't face actually going down there) and as far as I could tell, everything was still pretty dry and as normal down there. Weird thing is, I can't quite figure out how that seepage can be as the result of a mains leak. Sure enough, the water main does go under that path somewhere to enter the house in the right hand corner not far away, but it must surely be SO deep under ground, I can't for the life of me see how water could rise up so high (yes yes - I know all about osmosis), and then be drawn up on top of the old concrete path which I believe those newer steps are built on. Is it possible that just rain water is seeping through gaps in the crazy paving which makes up the tops of the steps, and is then being trapped by the original concrete path beneath? If THAT was the case, then presumably the fill (whatever it may be) inside the steps would become saturated, and the water would eventually seep out through the bricks at the lowest point - i.e. the first, lowest step, like it is? If that IS a water main leak, it'll be my worst nightmare!! I just can't imagine how on earth it could be fixed. The water meter is a good fifty feet away and maybe twenty feet or so lower. Assuming the leak is near where the water is appearing, the whole path, patio, steps etc to the front of the house, would have to be demolished and excavated out just to find it!!!!!! Oh my god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How would that even be possible? And imagine the cost! What's the bettting that wouldn't be covered on my house insurance. :o( . filled the kettle and a bowl of water in the sink and then went out into the street and read the water meter, making a detailed note of the EXACT readings. I'm going to not use any water for a few hours, and see if there is any movement in the readings - which if there was, would indicate there IS a leak (although I'm not sure how sensitve those meters are for small amounts of usage, like you'd get with a slow leak?) . . .mowed both the lawns then worked in the back garden doing a major, overdue trim of all the hedges. Actually got the ladders out and 'topped' them by a foot or more on each side of the garden, trying to get them down to a somewhat more reachable level. As I was doing so, one of the neighbours let me briefly borrow his hedge trimmer, so I got on top of the pergoda and carried on with the major trim back all the way along. It's left them all looking rather 'woody' but of course they'll all grow back in no time at all. Should at least enable me to do slightly less trimming until next year now hopefully. Ended up with huge amounts to get rid of piled up all over the garden. . the car started, so straight away I loaded up the car with as much as it could take (the whole of the back of the car from window to window and up to the roof with the seats down, and a dustbin full in the front passenger seat footwell), left Sally at home and headed for the council tip. Thought I was in luck as I joined the 'relatively' small queue, only to have that situation once again where we all ended up just parked there for around half an hour before anyone moved, presumably while the council tractors cleared the bays! Grrr. Agonisingly boring and SO frustrating - and really unpleasant being confronted by the disgusting stinking reality of our inescapable throw away society. Amused myself for a little of the wait by playing with the camcorder. (Yes - I really do take it with me almost everywhere these days). . stopped for a little petrol on the way home (13.64 ltrs @ £15) , in the knowledge the car may not keep going long enough to actually use it!. . checked the water meter again and couldn't find any indication whatsoever of any change in the dials/numbers, despite having given it a good six hours. Impossible to know if that is good news or bad. Its the not knowing one way or another which is the worst part of all this. With water still seeping out from under the step brick, whatever the cause, I figured it was wise to attempt to release some of the pressure. Got the extension lead and electric drill out and nervously drilled a hole in the bottom of the front of the step. Did it as carefully as I could, and eventually drilled right through the brick. As I broke through, the water quite literally poured out!!!! It didn't pour for long and then settled back into a continual slow seep. :o( It MUST be a leak surely - to have built up so much! :o( Actually tried to drill another matching hole on the other end of the step, but the concrete/brick there seemed particularly hard and I gave up before burning the tip of the drill bit out! . . walked. Checked the water meter one last time but still no sign of movement after what must have been around six hours or more. If that IS a leak, it must be a real slow one that's hardly tickling the meter - so - inconclusive. :o(. . TVd. .not eaten a thing all day so cooked a huge plate of fried potato, two sausages, three bacon, black pudding, two eggs, fried bread and feasted. . TVd . . touched base with BB. . TVd with a bad back until bed around 1am. s
2 - Up around 8:30am. .an unexpected sunny spell so walked with the camera and tripod. Bumped into the 'singing guy' just up the road and had to walk the whole way down to BGdns with him! He even sat on a seat next to me for a while as I waited looking out across the bay for the new high speed ferry to appear. . sat around for about an hour and filmed the ferry going to and fro before then heading down to the harbour and grabbing a little more footage. Eventually returned home to PC the result. . went round and round for hours trying to find a piece of music to go with it but failed. Nothing I have/can think of seems to fit at all . .ended up feeling pretty awful. Lack of food/sleep. The way I live seems to be like being in a constant state of 'jet lag'! . . napped for just a while but not long enough and was back up around 5:45pm! Ate an emergency mass of biscuits with coffee. . managed to get the car started and drove Sally to walk. Remarkable how with the onset of September it feels as though a switch has been flicked and winter is on its way!?? I even walked with a fleece and fingerless gloves on tonight, it was so chilly in the breeze. . PCd for hours more and yet again couldn't find any music suitable for todays filming. :o( If I had a certain 'touch' with some of the videoing I did earlier in the year, I've certainly lost it now. :o( . . ate ham, cheese and lettuce rolls, a banana and some chocolate. . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around 1am.
1 - Up around 8:30am. .walked . . PCd and eventually called a halt to and uploaded the shaky, blurred, editing nightmare of the Red Arrows video. . celebrated by drinking a 'muglette' of red wine while cooking fried potato, fried bread, three bacon, two eggs and some black pudding. Feasted big, followed by the last of the chocolate covered raisins and then napped the rest of the afternoon away until woken by the alarm at 7:30pm. Nasty wind and rain. Skipped the evening walk again and eventually ended up on the PC. . PCd this . . touched base briefly with BB . . caught the late local news and was pleased to see a report that a body had been spotted by someone alongside the breakwater during the day. The report confirmed it was the body of that missing forteen year old diver who's been missing for ages. That had really preyed on my mind, imagining the agony of the family - and it had changed the way I observed the coastline every day when walking Sally. Really glad they have at least his body back at last. :o(. . ate a Mum donated cold sausage thing with crisps and chcolate . .TVd/PCd until early.ds ^Top