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30 - Up around 7am . .walked and pruned. Oh NO!!! I 'broke' my secateurs! The locking nut came off somehow, and disappeared into the undergrowth! That's torn it. . eventually returned home and touched base with Mum and asked if I could have her old broken pair of secateurs. Her broken ones and mine together, will make up one useable pair. . Popped up Mums to pick up her old secateurs. Uhoh - on the way in, in her front garden, I spotted a leaking rainwater downpipe leading down from a section of her house roof guttering. Particularly noticeable because it hasn't rained for weeks!! That must mean the pipe is blocked and still retaining water from whenever it last rained!!!! Bad news. Ended up lifting manhole covers just to confirm it wasn't connected to the sewers. It wasn't - but good job I had a look in that nearby manhole. A single straw sized tree root had grown through the brickwork of the manhole (which all really needs re-pointing!!), and had then dropped down into the main sewer pipe and grown into a huge mass of fibrous roots!!!! Cut it off and slowly drew the horrible mess out, only to find the big mass was around a metre in length!!! Wouldn't have taken much more growth for that pipe to have become properly blocked! Amazing. VERY glad I found that before Mum had big trouble. That needs checking on from time to time - once a year maybe? . the downpipe was NOT connected to the sewer so I presume it really IS a 'soakaway' type arrangement - which personally, I always think is utterly absurd. Climed the ladder and removed a couple of screws at the gutter, just enough to give enough leaway to be able to partialy dismantle the downpipe fittings and gradualy ease the pipe upwards, still in its undisturbed 'screwed to the house wall, and all painted over' clips. That gave enough room at the bottom to be able to have a prod at the blocked pipe. Predictably, it was a mass of plant roots and soil! Hellish awkward to attempt to clear it out, in such a narrow pipe opening. Took ages prodding away with a narrow garden trowel, a long handled spoon sacrificed from Mums kitchen, and even a bent hacksaw blade, before it was simply impossible to improve things any further (without major digging up of paths and garden etc!) It of course remained essentially 'blocked', but then that IS the nature of these stupid 'soakaway' arrangements isn't it. Use of the garden hosepipe confirmed, that very VERY slowly the water level DID go down and soak away, so I figure it'll be ok for the relatively small section of roof it collects from. Whoever installed that guttering didn't think outside the box. A small amount of refitting of it all to reverse the slope, would enable the collected water to be dropped down into a proper nearby drain collector (where all the bathroom pipes emerge) and thence to the sewer, making the 'soakway' nonsense redundant. . with the step ladder already out, I ended up even clearing out all the guttering at the back of her house!! All a very unexpected load of hassle! . .back home around 3pm! grabbed a corned beef and lettuce sandwich, crisps and chocolate . . napped poorly for a couple of hours . . drove and picked Mum up to join us on the walk, because she'd expressed an interest in what I was up to and why, in BGdns . Sat in the dark just before heading home, somone turned up with what turned out to be a Chinese lantern. The type that are always being reported as UFOs and which recently was the cause of the coatsguard distress flare false alarm incident. It was interesting for me for the first time to actually see one being launched. It appeared to be little more than a big upturned paper bag about the size of a large refuse sack, with a large amount of flaming fuel of some sort at the base. It took a while to get up to take off temperature, and seemed a bit of a fragile flimsy handful of burning stuff while it did so, but when it finally did ascend, it went pretty damned quick and on the breeze was soon way up in the sky, drifting directly over the town! All very weird. I think on the whole, I do NOT like them for the trouble they can cause. . eventually dropped Mum off and returned home. . touched base with PS and warned him LB was coming down on Saturday. Thought I'd better. Understandably he wasn't overjoyed at the prospect of coming down for a day and then having to hang around waiting to meet up with someone else, so I think he's going to explore his days off etc and change when he comes. . . TVd/guitarred . . touched base with BB . . TVd/PCd . .watched some of the China celebrations on TV into the early hours. Wow - I always thought that OUR armed services knew a thing or two about marching in perfect formation etc. Best in the world and all that (the US forces must surely be the worst. What was it my Dad used to say of their 'marching'? 'Slovenly'). Well - all I can say is I've never before seen SUCH perfection as those thousands of Chinese. They were absolutely IMMACULATE in PERFECT step etc. Really VERY impressive. Shame about the limousine the leader was being driven around in, with his upper body poking out of the sun roof in front of an array of five or six roof mounted microphones - that car looked like something out of the fifties, and the whole image was actually just funny!. . ate bowls of co-co pops before finally to bed gone 3am.
29 - Up around 7:45am . . walked and pruned and got scratched up pretty bad. The dog walker with the lopper produced a small wood saw this morning, whch was pretty useful for some of the slightly larger branches. He's agreed to leave them in his car for a while so they are handy each morning. Even had K doing a bit this morning! lol I DO hope there isn't going to be any 'trouble' over this and we get to finish the job before maybe being stopped. . pottered in the garden watering pots a bit. Everything is very dry! . PCd and balanced my accounts the rest of the morning . surfed and then eventually ordered a small 'Universal A Frame Guitar Stand' from Amazon for £10.95 including postage. Something I've really needed for years (although I may yet end up buying a wall mount for the living room), and particlarly so when using the guitar in my small cramped PC room. I keep bashing it on things, and propping it safely against a wall is awkward to say the least. . . ate left over pizza and chips followed by chocolate . . poorly napped for a couple of hours. . walked . . guitarred/TVd. . LB called and said they are coming down this weekend!! She'd warned me months ago she and her guy would be in the area on some sort of pub group outing. Typical it suddenly coincides with PS intending to come. That's gonna be awkward!. . touched base with BB . . ate hot dog sausages in bread rolls, chocolate and some mum donated coffee cake . . to bed around 1am. s
28 - Up around 7:30am. . grey cloud cover almost all day. . walked and pruned - a lot! One of the regular dog walkers actually turned up with a pair of loppers, so I made full use of them and had a good go at everything they could just about get through. Unfortunately it appears that tree is actually maybe two, with another nestled in behind it, which I haven't even touched yet. Having said that, I HAVE made a little progress clearing access around the base, and it's all pretty much down to the main, arm-thick sized limbs now. That'll take a saw - and lots of work! Actually overdid things a bit and got incredibly hot and a bit unwell feeling. Had to sit around for quite a while recovering from my exertions before eventually heading home . . sat around/PCd/guitarred the day away feeling a bit fragile. . lay down for a late nap but somehow couldn't get to sleep (lack of food I think) . . ate a couple of bananas then drove to walk in the dark. Got chatting to some dog walker guy who has a plot on one of the local allotments. Apparantly some time on the weekend (before Sunday), someone had raided the allotments and harvested/stolen all the produce that people had been growing!! ALL of it! They hadn't touched the sheds or equipment - just taken all the growing food!! Wow - I can only imagine how much that would upset you if you'd put in all the nurturing to get the stuff to grow. Must have taken time, a bunch of people and some large transport to harvest/steal all that stuff. That must be an organised 'business'! Wonder how they sell it? Sunday car boot sales maybe? . . PS called suggesting he may come down on the weekend . . ate most of a large Mum donated pizza, chocolate and a couple of kipling apple tarts. In the middle of me eating my pizza, all of a sudden in the corner of the room, one of the strings on my classical guitar snapped!!? How bizarre - and what a drag. How long since I put those strings on? A month or so? Humph. :o( . .touched base with BB breifly. . TVd until bed around 1am. s
27 - Woke in the early hours being a bit ill. Almost sick in my sleep I think, which caused much coughing and spluttering and a persistant uncomfortable burned throat effect! . . back up around 7:45am. Clear blue sky sunny again, with some condensation on the inside of the bedroom windows. . . walked and pruned . .PCd/guitarred a bit . . ate salami and lettuce rolls with crisps and then chocolate . . napped for a couple of hours . . drove to walk . . touched base with BB . . ate bowls of Mum donated rice krispies and then salami and cheese rolls . . TVd until bed around 2am. s
26 - Up around 7:15am which is apparantly the time of sunrise at the moment. Golden red ribbon of sky in the east, beneath an otherwise all covering layer of cloud. . PCd with coffee and cigarettes and checked out the local newspaper website catching up on stuff. Funny how some of their reports, kinda 'fill in the gaps' to some of the small things that go on in my little world, that I may remark upon here. For example - yesterdays appearance of the air ambulance was explained by the following article.
Dogs Of Warmth To The Rescue After Owner's Fall
A fall victim's two dogs may have saved their master's life after 'cuddling up to him' as he lay injured overnight at a remote beauty spot in Brixham. Police rushed to a wooded embankment above Fishcombe Cove early yesterday morning after a woman reported finding a dead body. But officers arrived to find the man, in his late 50s and local, was alive after suffering a suspected stroke and tumbling 30ft down the embankment the night before at about 7.30pm. His fall further down the slope was broken by a tree. It is thought the impact may have fractured the casualty's elbow. Sgt Jacqui Rees, who attended the scene after the alarm was raised at 9.30am, said: "The man was not as cold as we expected after lying there all night. "We think the dogs, who were still with him when we arrived, had cuddled up to him and kept him warm. He was very lucky. "Once we arrived the shock of what happened started to affect him and he did get quite cold quite quickly." The Devon Air Ambulance was able to land nearby and fly him to Torbay Hospital for treatment. Sgt Rees said: "We found the man half-way down the steep embankment. "It was fortunate that the tree stopped him falling further, although he may have fractured his elbow when it happened." She said it was thought the man, who has not been named, may have suffered a stroke before tumbling over. When officers arrived, the dogs were found fussing over their ailing master, who was located initially by a woman out walking her dog. The dogs were yesterday being looked after by neighbours of the man as he recovered in hospital.
Blimey!! Wonder which of the dog walkers THAT was!!!?? Makes me feel kinda upset that I didn't happen to be around that evening and able to help out when he got in trouble, and save him the unpleasant experience of the night out!! . . Oh yes - and then there was this little snippet. .
Flare Was False Alarm. Brixham coastguards were alerted to a sighting of a red flare. The alarm was raised just after 10pm on Thursday when a member of the public, living in Brixham, spotted the flare. Broadcasts to ships in the area were made and Berry Head coastguards went to a location south of Brixham to investigate. Nothing untoward was found and the incident was considered a false alarm with good intent. . . . walked and cleared up the barbeque and broken beer bottles etc from last night's gathering. Trimmed a couple more bits of undergrowth beneath the branches of 'the tree'. Already, my daily morning dog walk wouldn't be the same without bleeding a little bit! . . PCd a bit of this . . did dish washing chores until Mum arrived with food donations around 1pm . . chats etc . .cooked and ate some getting rather old, bacon, eggs and black pudding with bread and butter followed by chocolate . . napped but only for an hour or so, before being woken by neighbourhood lawnmower activity . . drove to walk. Sat around listening with the scanner for a while. Ended up being entertained for AGES by a motor cruiser communicating with the marina and being guided in to a berth. Whoever was on that cruiser appeared to be either drunk or just a complete idiot. (Why is it that so many people with lots of money, appear so lacking in common sense? Just exactly how DO they manage to amass such wealth?) No matter how many explicit instructions were given to him, he just didn't seem to 'get it', and it took him absolutely ages and several different goes before he at length managed to find his way in to where he should be going. The marina staff showed the most amazing amount of good natured patience. Really the funniest thing I've heard in ages. Wish I could have recorded it all - THAT would have gone 'viral' on Youtube! . Stuff like - an instruction from the marina staff 'keep the breakwater on your port side, sir' - a reply from the cruiser a short time later 'I have the breakwater on my starboard side', etc etc etc. . . guitarred . . touched base with BB . . TVd . . ate kipling apple tarts and a banana before, soon after, to bed around midnight. a
25 - Up around 8:15am!!. . walked in the warm sun with the secateurs . . PCd this and then laboriously caught up on reviewing and clearing off a bunch of video, from the nearly full tape in the camera. . during PCing it became apparant that 'something' was going on. Helicopter noise announced the arrival very low overhead of the air ambulance. Just then, my scanner proved that its 'close call' function DOES work. It picked up the helicopter saying to someone unheard, it was landing in a nearby field and that they should be called upon if needed. The scanner then pretty much returned to being fairly deaf, so I guess something was happening down by the water. In the middle of things with the PC, it was easy to resist the temptation to go back out and have a look. Funny thing is, I didn't hear it take off again. Must have headed straight away from the nearby landing site without coming back over town. . ate K donated pork in sandwiches followed by a little chocolate . . napped for a few hours until around 7pm! . . drove to walk in the dark. A bunch of guys were down near the lower path with a wildly flaming barbeque, so I'll be picking that and the rest of their litter up in the morning then! Sat in the dark in BGdns under a mostly clear sky and leaning back on the bench marvelling at the array of stars, I was treated to the sight of a shooting star. A 'proper' one! Not just one of those incredibly quick ones where you aren't sure if you actually saw what you think you saw. It was a proper 'slow' moving one, which visibly actually broke up into firey pieces as it entered the atmosphere. Given the nature of such things, it seems a bit difficult/pointless saying where it was, but - at around 8:30pm-ish, in the eastern sky travelling in a sort of north easterly direction. Excellent. . TVd/guitarred . . touched base with BB . . ate K donated beef with bread and butter followed by four mini chocolate rolls . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
24 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:30am. Sunny . .walked with the secateurs and had another bit of a prod at the undergrowth. Made sufficient progress to be able to actually reach the outer branches of the tree and see what I'm actually looking at. Oh dear. That's not what I expected. Turns out it's been cut down before, and its all grown back like a coppiced tree. BIG thick base with lots of thick branches all spreading out from it all over the place!! So much for just quickly sawing through a main trunk! Maybe this won't be too do-able after all. Hopefully the pictures I've included here give an idea as to why it bugs me SO much. When sat on the seats, all you can see in front of you is all the undergrowth (THAT tree in particular), with the breakwater and beacon, and most of the bay view, etc all completely hidden behind it. It's actually worse in reality than the picture suggests. The dotted line represents what I (and I think most others) would like to see as a minimum - but in an ideal world, 'I' think the whole undulating slope down to the roof of the main gun battery below, should be cleared and maintained as grass (although that WOULD give me concern over the welfare of the rabbits who currently live in that jungle), as it IS to the roof of number two gun battery, to the left of these images! . . dolphin were swimming in the bay again . . did laundry and then spent the whole day in the back garden trimming hedges and actually moving an overgrown plant or two. Also moved a bunch of stones etc, dug them in and 'loose' placed them in the dirt, to help keep the weeds down and act as a boundary to the flower bed where I'd dug out one of the old-wood shrubs. I'd actually decided to throw that one out, but rather than do that straight away, I re-planted it in a bare space in the upper corner of the front garden, just in case it can survive there. Doubtful, although one of the old rose plants I relocated a while ago to the base of one of the pergola uprights, seems to have miraculously survived, and a whole new growth of shoots and even some flower buds have appeared on it. Covered the house in debris carrying it through, which eventually necessitated a bunch of vacuuming as a result! :o( . felt a bit unwell. Needed food bad - quickly! Ate Mum donated pizza with extra K donated meat and cheese around 5:15pm . . walked, feeling really rather tired. . returned Mums ansaphone call and touched base . . guitarred/TVd. . somewhere around 9pm I spotted what looked like one of those damned chinese lanterns again, drifting across somewhere over from the south-east before eventually going out. Raced to grab the video camera in case any more went up. Those damned things are almost impossible to film - I HAVE tried in the past - but it's always worth another go, because there are SO many crazy people around here who keep reporting them as UFOs and the like. While stood out on the doorstep hoping to see another, I put my scanner on for a listen. Just then the coastguard was sending out an alert message that a red distress type flare had been sighted in the south!! That was NOT a red flare! . listened in for a while and as far as I could make out, it appeared that coast-guard 'spotters' had been scrambled to drive out to vantage points, looking to see if anyone was in trouble at sea! Jeeze - the hassle idiots cause with those damned lanterns! (There WAS even a recent local news report of someones conservatory roof having been damaged by one!) It was almost tempting to call the coastguard and inform them of what 'I' had seen - and it sure wasn't a red flare! . . . BB called breifly . . ate bowls of co-co pops . .TVd until bed around 1am. as
23 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am!!. .walked with the secateurs and had a bit of a prod at the brambles by the roof in BGdns, trying to make a pathway towards 'the tree'! Only managed to make a bit of progress before calling it quits for the day. If I maybe do just a little bit like that every now and then, eventually I'll reach 'my target', and by the time winter arrives and the leaves have all fallen off it, no one will notice when I cut it down! A new, war-of-attrition, weird obsession, which must rank highly next to the 'lane-resurfacing' thing! . sat for cigs and a chat with K and then spotted dolphin in the bay. There were loads of them - and even a youngster or two leaping out of the water. Wish I'd been sat down at the lower path because they came in pretty close. Closest I've seen them. Impossible to video of course (behind the tree!! Grrr). Priveledged to see. Very grey and almost misty, with even just a hint of drizzle on the way back, but exceptionaly mild again all of a sudden. . PCd just a bit of this. I need a break from the PC/guitar today, MUCH - need to smoke less and sleep and eat more too!! . . pottered around, did laundry, TVd/PCd, cut both lawns and my hair . . drove to walk. . ate a very large plate of chips and K donated pork followed by chocolate . .TVd and guitarred just a little . . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed before midnight. s
22 - Up around 7:30am!!. . PCd and finally got round to looking up the ship info for 'D32' in my stealth video. HMS Daring apparantly. All flat sides, high-tech and really very new! Impressive. Only been commissioned into service in the last few months according to what I read. . . .walked with the secateurs! It's been gnawing at me for ages, and I've been threatening to maybe have a go at it. Right in front of the covered seats in BGdns, a tree has spontaneously sprouted up amongst the untended brambles, and throughout the course of the year has become so big (at least twenty feet tall and something similar across), it is no longer possible to actually sit there and see the view! I am loath to see ANY tree cut down, but THAT one absolutely HAS to go - somehow - sometime! I used to be able to even film from up there. Can't be done any longer. Obscures ninety percent of the breakwater even! Why the hell the council workers don't have the sense to clear it I have no idea. On the rare occasions they DO turn up, they seem to do the absolute minimum amount of grass cutting they can possibly get away with, and actively ignore all the overgrown bramble areas and just trim UP to them - which of course means that over time, those unkempt areas actually gradually expand! I've not spoken to ANYONE up there, who doesn't agree that the damn tree (and some adjacent overgrown 'Budlia' is it?) is in the way and utterly spoils things. Well - I'm liable to get in trouble (with who knows who?) - but if I can make a way down through the brambles to the base of the tree, I'm gonna bloody well cut it down! Other dog walkers have suggested they have a bow saw which would make short work of it. I have a small one of those too. So - we'll see. Shhhhhhh - don't tell anyone! . . would you believe it! The first time I actually 'go equipped' , I didn't dare do anything because the council workers were there cutting a blade of grass or two! Humph. Tomorrow and tomorrow . . PCd/guitarred the day away on the 'Stealth' video/music again. I'm getting a bit bogged down and lost in this monsterous video! It's all got out of hand! . . ate peperoni and lettuce rolls . . napped until around 6:30pm . . skipped the walk and ended up PC/guitarring yet more. .eventually just gave up on it and uploaded it to Youtube as was around 2:30am. I HAD intended to really go to town on lots of different twiddles throughout the course of the music, but I just got overwhelmed with all the work and complicated overlays. I've put in a MASSIVE amount of time on it, and could carry on doing so for ever more! Feel as though I'm in danger of having another pseudo, nervous breakwdown kinda! Eventually felt it was prudent for my state of mind, to just make it a disappointing 'repeater' , call a halt and FORCE myself to stop working on it by uploading it to Youtube, whereby I CAN'T change it any more!!!! . . touched base with BB . . ate a bunch of bananas and a couple of mini chocolate rolls while the video uploaded. . watched it once - or maybe twice lol, before eventually to bed around 3:30am.
21 - Up well after 9am!!. . walked in the hazy sun. Returned with a refuse sack of meat left overs from K, apparantly good for me to eat for a day or so. . PCd/guitarred, working on my kinda potentialy neverending, 'Stealth' track. Actually made a little progress and reached enough of a stage to be able to compile an incomplete dummy track, just to see how the video may work. Yep - I think that's gonna work like I imagined, although it'll take ages to do. .builders were working at putting in what I assume was a new fireplace in a neighbours house, and in so doing were producing a bit of rubble, etc. Spotted them out in the lane at one point, stacking it all up at the back of the property. Not sure why they were leaving it there like that, but I couldn't resist popping out and suggesting I'd have it and break it all up for the lane surface. They of course had no objection and even suggested they had more (soft breakable stuff) from another job round the corner somewhere. I suggested, as long as they didn't overdo it and give me granit, I'd be happy to dispose of a bit for them and they could just stack a few sacks up at the end of my garage. Whether or not that will happen is another matter. Seems to be very common (particularly around here?) to have such a conversation, only for nothing to come of it. .ate salami and lettuce rolls . . napped for a couple of hours until the alarm at 6pm . . drove to walk. Upon arriving at BGdns, some weird guys were climbing right up the top of a huge pine tree!?? Really very dangerous. Can't explain, but something very funny about them. Later on, what I assume were the same guys were all stood next to their car in the road, drinking beer and happily throwing their rubbish into the hedge. Two 'middle aged' guys and one youth - all acting a bit weird and hyper. Again, hard to explain, but almost acting as though they were more than just friends! (I HAVE had occasion, on witnessing other 'unusual individuals/behavior', to wonder if 'cottaging' goes on down there in the gun emplacements sometimes!! :o( ) If I was a copper, they'd have definitely been worth a tug - the littering, being the excuse they seem to need these days. At the very least, the car driver was very probably 'under the influence' by the time they drove away, whenever that may have been. I didn't hang around - their behavior made me (and clearly other passers by) uncomfortable. . worked on the 'Stealth' video some more and started the business of meshing the audio with the video. . BB called briefly . . PCd through until gone midnight experimenting with available visual effects. I have in mind a dummy 'gunsight' type effect, overlayed over the actual video. Kinda like you get on aerial footage from police helicopter cameras, military strike aircraft etc. Looks like I'm gonna have to laboriously build it up character by character using the 'titles' feature in the editing software!! Fiddly and HUGELY time consuming - and so demanding on the software, it's almost impossible to preview the result before having to do the ten minute+ final video compile!!!!!! :o( . . TVd and ate a banana and kipling tarts before to bed after 1:30am.
20 - Back up around 8am!!? That really was the weirdest, dream laden semi-sleep I've ever had! Caused by uncomfortable hunger maybe?Headachey. Guess I'll be sleeping most of today then! . .walked and ended up filming just a little. Couldn't resist a guy repeatedly throwing a stick into the water for a dog, and then sailing boats all lining up for a days sailing (as if I haven't filmed enough of them all already!) . . drank half a glass of red wine while cooking bacon, eggs, mushrooms and black pudding. Ate with three pieces of bread and butter. . napped until the alarm around 6pm. . walked via town for a change. Very quiet about. . TVd/guitarred in a strangely melacholy mood, reflected in whatever I twiddled on the guitar! . . touched base with BB . . ate a whole box of mum donated kipling coffee slices . . TVd/PCd until finally to bed in the early hours - gone four I think! sad
19 - Up around 7:30am!!. . PCd and ended up reading about the woman and her disabled daughter whose bodies had been found in a burned out car. She'd committed suicide(and manslaughter?) after years of abuse, egging, being mooned at, etc etc (all that 'familiar' stuff!) at the hands of a bunch of local yobs. Similar to my experience, the police had chosen not to take any of her reports seriously. They'd even allegedly suggested she 'close the curtains' so she couldn't see them destroying her front hedge! What horror. I dare to suggest, I think I know much of what she went through. :o( . . .walked. Found two perfectly serviceable gas lighters along the way. Wow - seems to have turned really mild again all of a sudden. That's the difference just having the wind drop, makes. .on the way back past the old cricket ground, a sign was out saying the new homes building site was having an open day. Figured it was worth a look just out of interest to see what was going in there. All I wanted to do was walk once round the dirt road through the site and back out. Seemed like jobsworth craziness when one of the women 'reps' started suggesting I'd have to put on a helmet and reflective jacket!!! She was dealing with a middle aged couple who'd just turned up, so I ended up having to just stand and wait! The thing with her and the couple didn't seem to be going too well. They'd obviously travelled a distance and were pretty miffed to arrive and find they'd been invited to a new homes open day, before they'd even built any of them! No show house - just a rough building site with one or two of the buildings approaching second floor level! lol I ended up standing around waiting for so long, I too got irritated, and eventually just walked off and quickly once around the site with Sally and away, like I'd wanted to in the first place. As I'd imagined was probably the case, they appear to be squeezing in as many structures into the site as is humanly possible!! Those poor people living around what used to be a big green open space with mature trees etc. Some of those new builds are quite literally constructed ON the property boundary - RIGHT up against the ends of peoples small gardens! Unpleasant. :o( . . guitarred in the garden for a bit before messing around with cables and tidying a little in the PC room. Experimented and found there is no getting rid of the high pitched mains type hum I get when the guitar amp is connected to the PC (which IS audible on all my guitar recordings!). That's irritating and disappointing to say the least. :o(. . Mum called in with food donations for chats etc. . . ate a Mum donated pork pie, spring onions,crisps and a coupleof squares of chocolate. . napped for several hours until around 7pm. . drove to walk. The nights are really drawing in! Pretty much dark by around 8pm already. . PCd/guitarred . . touched base with BB . . carried on PCing and somehow after several hours, called a sudden halt to the music track I was playing about building, and just put a piece of the video to it as it was. Didn't seem much point in getting any more elaborate with it really. Pretty lame but uploaded the 'Coming Home From The Sea' Twiddle number 6 video to Youtube somewhere around 2:30am. Ate a banana to attempt to stave off my hunger sufficent for sleep, and eventually went to bed around 3:30am.
18 - Woken earlier by the sounds of an argument next door, and then by Sally at 8:30am, so that's not enough sleep. My website is still down!!? . . walked . . straight back home to end up back on the PC/guitar all day again! This really has turned into a serious, all consuming addiction! . . ate salami, onion and lettuce sandwiches . .napped for a few hours until around 7pm . . skipped the walk and PCd/guitarred the evening away . . touched base breifly with BB. . TVd/guitarred . . ate bowls of rice crispies . .sat in the still of the back garden for a while around 12:30am, but unfortunately ended up having to listen to more arguing from next door! . . actually watched a little of a 'Muse' concert on TV. They'd played their home town (Teignmouth I think it was) the other day, and there had been lots of hoo-hah about it in the press/radio/local TV etc. Because I'm gettin so old, I didn't have a clue who they were, and with Mum alongside last Saturday, we'd looked up a track or two of theirs on Youtube. Neither of us were impressed. Well - I think that assessment of them was pretty wrong. The bit of that concert I saw this evening showed them to be pretty damned impressive. Not necessarily my taste in music much of the time, but certainly pretty brilliant. Somehow I actually recognised their song 'Starlight'. Turns out I recognise it from it being pretty well covered by 'Rage' at last years Hapnin! lol . . to bed around 3am. sa
17 - Up around 9am!! Well I guess that makes up for the lack of sleep yesterday . . walked and then straight back onto the PC/guitar. Ended up working on the 'Bay Protetcor' video I shot last night, and somehow managed to stay at it ALL f***in day!!!!! Much coffee and cigarettes!!! Skipped the evening walk and at long long last, just before midnight had a 'finished' video complete with music! That's pretty good going in one day! . .touched base with BB briefly . . uploaded the video to Youtube (without 'polishing the edges' as I'd intended) while cooking a pizza. Finally ate the big pizza with extra cheese and peperoni at around 12:30am followed by a banana, while watching the news channel on TV. First time I've had it on all day (or actually, gone midnight, that's like a whole day without kinda?) . .oh dear - stayed up until well past 2am playing the new video over and over again - and even ignoring the video and just listening to the music. I DO like that interweaving guitar thing, when there are several of them playing all at once. That's two videos now, both with three overlayed guitars. Is that gonna be my 'standard' I wonder (assuming I can do any more)? Shame I didn't let that video rest overnight before calling it quits. My 'Realtek' onbourd sound manager on the PC came with a 'sound effects' thingy linked to the graphic equaliser. It has such absurd 'environment' effects as 'living room, auditorium, sewer pipe' etc, most of which seem to just be lots of unuseable echo. Having said that, the 'room' setting actually works VERY well, and when I run my soundtrack to that video through it, it kinda re-instates the richer, fuller-bodied tones you get from the actual guitar in real life. I should have midified it through that and THEN uploaded it. Oh well - too late now. . listened to the video again and again before to bed after 2:30am. (My website appears to be inaccessable?!!!! I trust that is temporary?!) a
16 - Up around 6:25am for some reason? . . PCd . . walked in the strong cool breeze under a blanket of grey. . left Sally at home and headed out in the car to do a major shopping expedition. I've been putting it off and putting it off because I just hate doing it SO much, but with only a couple of tins of dog food left in the house, I figured I just HAD to go do it. I saw signs up a week or so ago, about a gas company needing to replace the gas main along more or less the only road into town, and I'd imagined I'd be stuck in a nightmarish traffic jam for hours. Not sure where the roadworks are (if they are at all yet) but happily there was no sign of any major hold ups anywhere (other than the usual/permanent ones at te bottlenecks). Much relief. . drove out of town heading for the pet store but stopped beforehand at the DIY store and managed to buy a couple of energy saver downlighter bulbs, to replace the one that blew in the living room. £10 each!!!!!!!? JeezUZ! . the grey sky cleared to sunny . . spent a fortune in the pet store (72 tins @ £28.44 and 2x15kg complete @ £29.98)and then did the same in Sainsburys on the way back. Filled up with petrol (and somehow succeeded in overfilling it and having it run all down the side of the car!) 28.29Ltrs @ £29.39. Trip meter reading was 182 miles, 40094-6 total mileage. 29.25MPG? . . unloaded everything and then cooked and ate four sausages, chips and a fried egg, followed by a couple of squares of chocolate. Headachey. .poorly napped for only an hour or so . . walked with the tripod and scanner and sat on top of a gun emplacement for an hour or so, watching very little going on. That sure is a cold north east wind when you are just sat in it motionless for an hour or so! Returned home really rather cold despite having worn my fleece and gloves! . . sat down determined to catch up on this, but wanted to see the 'Trawlermen' show on TV so ended up turning it off pretty quick. I'm having a REAL hard time knuckling down to type all this stuff at the moment. I'd much rather be guitarring!!!!! . .
TVd and guitarred. . touched base
with BB. . ate salami and lettuce rolls with crisps and then a
lot of chocolate. . to bed around 12:30am. aas
15 - Up around 7:45am. . walked. Strong breeze. . PCd/guitarred messing around trying to make 'music' but getting absolutely nowhere! Too much choice - too limited ability . . cooked and ate four mum donated sausages, onions and chips followed by biscuits around 3pm . . napped for a couple of dream laden hours. (In the dream I was on a crappy little motorcyle, with Mum on the back together with a bunch of boxes of stuff I'd decided to move (from my old house) because I didn't dare waste the trip. Got lost and then ran into a bunch of yobs in my path who started criticising the bike. Needed to wake at that point!) . . intended to get out and walk but ended up on the PC and a couple of hours somehow slipped by! . . drove to walk . . guitarred . . touched base with BB . . ate a banana and some chocolate . . to bed around 1:30am.
14 - Up around 8am. . walked and was even tempted just a little bit to film a tall ship setting off into the bay, but sadly I didn't have my tripod so nothing useable came of the attempt. .straight back home to get back to the PC and 'music making'. Oh my god - the bug has got me big time!!! I think someone put a comment on my latest twiddle, to the effect that 'watch out - it'll get ya'. Well - boy was he right. I'm buzzin with it. Absolutely 'lost in music'!!!! The more time I put into it, the more seems to come of it. Dabbled a bit with a couple of different ideas all morning and then kinda gave up for the time being, and set about downloading the crappy footage from this morning from the camcorder onto the PC. As is my current habit, while it did so, I sat with the guitar and attempted to see what cropped up that may fit the images-ish. Wow - I like what came up!! That's GOT to be a part of an actual bloody 'song' if ever I heard one!!!!!! Oooh, oooh, oooh!! If only I could actually play it! lolol . . skipped the walk. . ate K donated pork in bread rolls, banana and chocolate. Gave Sally most of the rest of the pork. .guitarred/TVd touched base with BB . . eventually to bed around 12:30am. s
13 - Woken by Sally around 9am. . .walked. Confirmed with K the meat 'should' be ok for me for a day or so . .checked a couple of instructional videos on Youtube then re-strung my original marlin guitar. Didn't go 'too' badly I guess. . messed around on the PC and experimented with the amp and recording settings- a LOT! No matter what I do, I can't seem to get a decent clear recording onto the PC.
Maybe the sound card - maybe the quality of the guitar pickups - maybe both! Mains hum is the worst thing! Hours just wizzed by
drove to walk. .PCd some more and
ended up doing a 'memo' mix until around 10pm! . . touched base
with BB . .drank a glass of wine while cooking a Mum donated meat
feast pizaa - with extra K donated chopped pork and cheese! . ate
and then a few squares of chocolate. . to bed before 1am. d
12 - Up around 7:45am. Today I need to take it easy, eat lots and sort out the mess everything has gotten into, this last few days of obsessive guitarring/PCing! . . . walked . . pottered around and tidied up just a little until Mum popped in with food donations for chats etc . . ate mayo, ham, lettuce, onion sandwiches with crisps and chocolate . . napped until around 6pm . . walked. Returned home to find a big refuse sack tied to my handrail by the front door!? Turned out to be an enormous joint of pork donated by K , who must have popped it in on his way home from work. Actually smells ok - not sure if it's for me or all for Sally right away? . guitarred. . touched base with BB. . PCd breifly . . ate some of the pork, on its own with salt and water! Tasted good. . . ate multiple bowls of rice crispies. . TVd until bed well after 2am.sa
11 - Up around 9am all headachey again! . . walked. Clear blue sky and sun but a stiff breeze pretty much from the east made it feel pretty cold and had the sea being all energetic. . straight back home to get on with the laborious job of trying to knock up the video I had in mind for my latest guitar twiddle. Lots and lots of meticulous setting-up of silly shots. Unbelievably time consuming! . . at length I reached a point where it was pretty much coming together, and all I needed were a few more shots - but because I needed them 'after dark', to be consistant with the idea of a passage of time ('continuity' you understand. lolol) , I couldn't do anything until later so figured I'd get out and walk a bit early . . walked the woods but felt rather headachey, exhausted and unwell! . . ate a pepperoni pizza and then got straight back to the PC to try and finish off the video. . typical! Within striking distance of getting it finished and uploaded, I start having computer problems and crashes! Arrgghhh! Eventually just had to call it quits, compiled it and managed to upload it to Youtube by around midnight -'Twiddle04'. Not sure what anyone else will make of it, but I think it's ok-ish. Pretty chuffed about the soundtrack, which is what it's really all about of course. Sure took a lot of effort and hours!! Sadly it doesn't sound quite so good after the conversions and upload. .actually ended up on the 'Normans' site and attempted to leave some product feedback on the guitar - complete with a link to the video! lol That'll probably guarantee my feedback is censored from their site. lolololol . . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around 2am. aa
-/unfinished/- 10 - Woken around 9am by Sally . . at last - my new guitar strings arrived . .drove to walk to get it over with as soon as possible so i could get back to 'my muisc' lol . .guitarred/PCd all day . . ate a ham and lettuce sandwich. . napped for maybe an hour or so . .drove to walk again . . PCd . . touched base with BB . . TVd and ate bowls of muesli before to bed after 2am. a
9 - Woken around 7:20am by the sounds of the bin men . .PCd and deleted everything I'd worked on yesterday . . walked feeling down . . attempted to call ML but I couldn't make out the number he'd left. Tried both of thetwo options and got a wrong number and one unrecognised. That's me off the hook then . . guitarred/PCd the day away again, getting nowhere! . . ate a banana. . walked. .. ate four sausages and chips, and chocolate. . TVd . . touched base with BB . .TV/PCd until bed around 4am. Actually got round to e-mailing the supplier of the guitar strings I'd ordered
8 - Woken around 5am by Sally needing the garden . . up around 8am. walked . Another cruise ship arrived in the misty bay. A small boat was drifting past unmanned! Hollared out to the crew on the Fairnile who radiod the harbour. Small boat came out and retreived it and tied it to a buoy. . ansaphone message from Ml saying he was in the area . .. guitarred/PCd all day, experimenting with recording the new guitar on the PC!!!!. Visual disturbance like migraine!!!
. . drove to walk. ILB training on
Churston beach. Stopped at the store on the way home and bought
out of date sausages, potatoes. Four £1.25 pizzas and cigarette
papers . . ate four sausages and chips, a banana and chocolate. .
TVd . .touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around 1am. a
7 - Up around 7:15am. . walked . . PCd and ended up using the Quayside hotel webcam and the AIS website to monitor the arrival in Torbay of cruise ship Dolphin Voyager. Actually touched base with Mum and told her it was coming in if she was inclined to go down to BGdns and watch. She did! lol. . around 11:45am the courier turned up with the replacement guitar and took away the broken one
the absence of the tuner instruction sheet in the first (broken) guitar I received seems to suggest to me that it WAS damaged BEFORE it was shipped!
ate a tin of baked beans and
sausages with chopped onions and a couple of buttered bread rolls
and some chocolate . . napped . . guitarred/TVd . . touched base
breifly with BB . . ate a Mum donated pizza and some chocolate. .
to bed around 2am. as -/unfinished/-
6 - Up around 9:15am. . walked and sat around for almost a couple of hours listening with the scanner a bit. . sat in the garden and guitarred . . drank a glass of red wine while defrosting some K donated left over beef and cooking some peas and roast potatoes. Defrosted and gave Sally one of the huge cooked bones he'd also donated. It was so big, I'd imagined she'd have a few licks and leave it. Wrong! She someohow managed to gnaw her way through and completely devour half of it!! I'll be 'picking up bricks' after her in the morning! . . Ate big - while watching some tractor pulling I found on an obscure American farming type TV channel. All very 'Homer Simpson' decadent and agreeable. lol Actually somehow got strangely hooked on watching part of a show all about some old farming guy, who through the course of his career, had homemade various versions of big machinery to remove huge buried boulders from his fields!!! As a city dweller - not the sort of thing you ever encounter, or even imagine would be so necessary! Fascinating - and VERY cleverly done. . . napped fitfully for an hour or so until woken by next doors barking dog . .TVd . . drove to walk and did more sitting around for ages . . returned the new/broken guitar to its 'as received' state and taped it all back up in its box with an address label, ready to hopefully be picked up for return, some unknown time tomorrow. Headachey . . touched base with BB . . TVd . . ate Mum donated strawberries and cream! . . to bed around 2am. ad
5 - Up around 7:30am with a pretty bad back. It's getting worse with age it would appear! A couple of aspirin, coffee and cigarettes for breakfast . . put laundry on then walked . . did laundry and dish washing chores until Mum arrived for a cuppa and chats . . ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate. . napped until around 7:30pm . .skipped the walk again. . PCd this while listening with the scanner. Soon got fed up with that when a couple of foreign speaking guys, presumably on the anchored ships in the bay, started having a chat for ages. I guess I could have temporarily locked out that frequency, but it'd take me hours with the manual to figure out how to unlock it afterwards, so I just turned it off instead! . .touched base with BB . . guitarred/TVd . . ate a couple of pepperoni and lettuce rolls, crisps, banana and chocolate. . TVd/PCd until early before bed. aas
4 - Up around 09:20am . . fingers crossed - Sally's weird 'swallowing' thing seems to have pretty much fully rectified itself as far as I can tell. Is it possible she kinda 'scratched' or 'heartburned' her throat when she ate/threw up that dead rabbit - and that has now repaired itself? . . walked and carried on down town to draw out some money and attempt to buy a replacement bulb for one of my living room downlighters which blew yesterday. Only a day or so after the sale of regular light bulbs was halted in this country, lo and behold one of my energy saver bulbs which I've surely only had for a year or so, goes and blows. I fully understand the point about allegedly saving carbon emissions and all that, but it seems really weird to me that we are all being forced to use the news ones, like it or not. (Wonder how many tons of carbon are produced by such displays as the Blackpool illuminations, which I gather were switched on a day or so ago? How is that justifyable under the circumstances?) In my experience (having replaced almost every bulb in the house with the new type) the new ones are a marked backward step. They are definitely NOT as bright, take ages to warm up, don't fit many of the lamp shades, etc, etc. On top of all that, and more, they are SO expensive! The propaganda would have you believe, they will last many years so it is an acceptable investment - but having had one blow already after only a year or so, would suggest even that isn't true! Seems utterly amazing to me that we are all being forced into some poorly lit twilight existance like this. It's like society is going backwards! No wonder people have been apparantly queuing up to buy trolley loads of the old style bulbs to keep them going! . . did the only two shops in town likely to have a replacement and sure enough neither did! :o(. .scored a couple of long sleeved black sweatshirts (like I live in) in a charity shop for £2 each. :o) . .mowed the lawns and then had a serious trim of all the front garden hedges with the cutter. Put in around three or four hours on that before ending up too tired to continue in the back garden. That'll have to wait for another day . . cut my hair/vacuumed/showered etc. . walked and sat in BGdns for ages listening for anything interesting on the scanner. Turned out to be blowing a strong cold breeze and it was actually quite unpleasant sitting on my favourite emplacement as a result. Little going on worth listening in to - which I'm starting to get the impression is actually the usual way of things! lol I guess in terms of reception of stuff, it doesn't help being at sea level and surrounded by hills, like we are here. :o| . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate two cheeseburgers with chips followed later by some Mum donated mini chocolate logs . .TVd . . touched base with BB briefly. . to bed around midnight. ads
3 - Up around 7:40am . . walked . . PCd and ended up messing around surfing and drawing up lists of frequencies for the scanner in MS Excel spreadsheets. Turns out the Red Arrows 'plane to plane' use a 'military' frequency not covered by this scanner! Typical! :o( On a more positive note, I think I MAY have started to understand the thing a little better. The bundled software appears to be pretty vital for setting up huge lists of frequencies and making the thing actually useable/useful. The software (yet another thing to learn!) DOES also appear pretty functional for doing all that. Even accepts a cut-and-past of all the laboriously filled out cells from my Excel spreadsheets! :o) Yes - I think I'm making progress. Thank goodness for that - but I still think I should maybe have bought a different one (simpler? More expensive?) from a different manufacturer. . . touched base with Mum . . around 12:30pm a delivery driver arrived with my guitar. Signed for it and off he went. Excitedly opened it up and - and - it was broken! Would you F***ING believe it! :o( The whole machine head section of the neck had suffered some horrendous impact and was actually snapped right off - hanging in place on the strings! That must have taken a HUGE amount of specifically directed force! Immediately phoned the company and was told they'd arrange for its collection and the delivery of a replacement, but the earliest they could manage it would be Monday. What an infuriating disappointment. :o( During the phone conversation, the woman HAD asked about the packaging. It hadn't really occured to me but the funny thing was, on closer examination after the call, there didn't appear to be any particular damage to the box it was in - almost as though it had suffered the damage prior to going in the box and shipping!? Actually called her back and let her know. Having said all of that, you'd have expected something rather more than it just being in a couple of plastic bags in a cardboard box! No screwed up newspaper, bubble wrap or anything!!? . . had a bit of a look as best I could, at the look and quality of the guitar, despite the damage - although of course the most important thing is the sound of it, and that was impossible to examine under the circumstances. Well - it IS a cheap guitar and the finish is pretty poor in places, but assuming it all works, I think it should be 'at least' as good as the cheap one I already have, and hopefully 'should' do what I want for the time being. I think the biggest reservation I have at first glance is the finish of the neck between the frets. I can envisage that wearing away pretty quick. Having said that, the plan in the back of my mind is continuing to use and wear out my existing one for the bulk of my learning/practicing and such, and just use the new one less frequently, and for commiting stuff to the PC etc. 'Saved for best' kinda. Makes sense to me. I just hope it sounds ok - and hope they come up with their replacement without any further hitches. Once again (as always so it seems?) what should have been a rare and pleasurable experience of aquiring something I want, has been turned into an unpleasant load of aggravation. :o( It IS tempting to become all paranoid about such things and think it is only ever me they happen to (remembering the most recent hassle, with my new broken oven!), but too many other peoples similar experiences would suggest it is just the way of things these days. Never used to be like this. Shocking if you consider how much such nonsense must cost 'the wider economy', what with all the costs of production, transport, etc etc etc - all for nothing! Imagine how much cheaper everything would be if not for having to accomodate the losses of such s***t all the time! . . . ate four sausages in sandwiches and a couple of squares of chocolate. . napped late until around 8pm! . . skipped the walk and PCd a bit of this with the scanner on next to me while I did so. Mostly quiet (deaf?!) but at getting on for 10pm, it DID pick up Portland coastguard transmitting on 'marine channel 16' calling for any vessel in the Exe estuary to make contact regarding reports of 'red flares' having been sited over the estuary. . touched base with BB . . ate bowls of muesli . .TVd/PCd until early before bed. a
2 - Woken at 6:30am by the neighbours car, snoozed on then up around 8am. . walked. At one point during the walk, Sally hung behind and unusually didn't walk up to the covered seats with me for ages. So long in fact, I eventually had to get up and walk back down to an overlooking vantage point to make sure she was ok. Turned out she'd found 'something' in the undergrowth to eat!!!! Frantically hollered at her to leave it and come, which she eventually did, but I think she'd already had her fill of whatever the dead things was (probably a rabbit?)! From that point on, she seemed intent on eating lots of grass all around the place, no matter how much I told her not to "because it'll make you sick - and I'll have to clear it up"! Oh dear. Sure enough, nearing home on the way back, just as a bit of drizzle began to fall, she was horribly sick in the street. MUCH! A large amount of dead, devoured something, which I had to attempt to clear up in a couple of poop scoop bags! I won't go into too much detail, but just the thought of it now, could almost start me heaving again! Horrendous! :o(. . PCd just a bit of this but too eager to get back to experimenting to finish and upload it . .Sally isn't right!! She's having an awful time eating all the grass in the garden and throwing up - or trying to!? Bizarre watching her race around the garden frantically trying to eat every single long blade of grass she can find!!! Never seen her like this before! It's almost like she has something stuck in her throat? I've looked as best I can and can't see anything - and given the sheer size and quantity of what she threw up earlier, it's hard to imagine there is any sort of actual 'blockage'?. . ended up messing around learning the Audacity software with my 'Diamond Nine' guitar samples until 1pm when interrupted by a delivery driver! Already? It's my scanner!!!! Yayy. Eventually unwrapped it all and set about reading the manual, as really heavy rain absolutely bucketed down outside (and actually started seeping in through the living room windows!) . . . Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. I can't seem to make head nor tail of the manual!? Am I getting so old, or is it really actually that difficult to understand? I'm hardly new to such things what with PC/software manuals etc, and having had radio equipment and scanners back in my HAM radio days, so I'm inclined to think it really IS that hard to understand!! What was particularly unexpected was, it did NOT work straight out of the box! After the batteries were charged and fitted (and following the manual 'basic startup' instructions) I was promptly informed by the scanners screen that no 'system' was pre-programmed. ?????!!! . . ate mum donated sausage rolls and crisps. . in desperation ended up on line searching for info on the scanner. Incredibly there was actually an old video on YouTube attempting to explain some of it (because clearly everyone seems to have the same sort of 'what the hell is this all about' experience with the thing!). Disappointingly, the step by step instructions on the video didn't work for me!!? Maybe because it was a few years old and things have changed? . . actually found a group on Yahoo dedicated to users of THAT scanner, so joined it in desperation. Even that didn't help because anything which looked as though it would help, had links to a site which was down! Arrrgghhh!!!! Didn't have any s**t like this with my old expensive Yaesu! Get what ya pay for I guess. . during all this nightmare, looking out of the PC window I spotted a not-well looking pigeon in the street. Ignored it as best I could, allowing brutal nature to take its course, but when the stupid thing started waddling around in the middle of the road, I couldn't help myself from breaking the golden rule and intervening. Turned out to be a not-well youngster I think. My first proper attempt at making a grab for it saw it attempt to take to the air. Thinking encouragement to do so was maybe all it needed, I kinda sauntered after it clapping my hands. It promptly crashed into a fence and flopped back down into the road! Managed to quickly grab it and returned to my front garden and pretty much just threw it onto the relative safety of the lawn, from where it pretty quickly disappeared under and into the hedge. Good luck mate - you'll need it! (I imagine it died in the night - but who knows? At least it wasn't run over!) . . eventually using the bundled PC software, I somehow managed to get the scanner looking at some of the marine band frequencies - but I'm not entirely sure how! lol . . drove to walk and took the scanner. Damp and breezy. Sat around under the roof for quite a while as darkness fell, listening. Turned out Brixham coastguard were co-ordinating a 'man overboard' excercise out at sea somewhere! Interesting - albeit rather limited by such a small 'rubber duck' aerial. . Sally ate her evening meal all ok, despite the weird 'swallowing thing' she's been doing. Worrying but I think as usual I'm going to have to wait and see what happens for a bit. . . guitarred . . ate pepperoni sandwiches, banana and chocolate . .touched base with BB in the early hours before to bed after 2am. as
1 - Up before 8am. Actually woken I think by a neighbour's car driving off. It appears to have lost its silencer! . . walked. Wow - saw a huge grass snake on the lower steps of the path In BGdns. Almost stood on it! Biggest I've ever seen. Must have been getting on for 18 inches long! . . PCd all day and eventually went on line and found a free/open-source sound-mixing program to download and have a play with. 'Audacity' software. For a freebie seems to do the business ok. Yet another thing to have to try and learn!! Not enough hours in the day! Somehow ended up messing around for MANY hours attempting to use it to put together some sort of weird rendition of 'All Along The Watchtower' using THREE guitar tracks!!!! Well - damn - you know what - that almost works!! :o) . . . skipped the walk . . ate ham, lettuce and garlic mayo rolls and chocolate . . touched base with BB . . TVd until to bed before midnight.