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30 - Up around 7am. Thick fog again!! We really haven't had the great weather much of the rest of the country has been getting during this 'Indian summer' , because of all this fog!. . PCd this at length . . .walked . . . and carried on down town to pick up my delivery (the T&K brackets) from the post office. I'd taken a rucsack to carry them. The person behind the desk at the post office asked if I'd brought a car!? Turned out for some crazy reason, they'd been packaged up in an enormous cardboard box. Huge! Would have been a struggle to carry it! I explained how weird it was, because I knew what was in it and it would be largely empty - so the post office person very helpfully suggested I could open it up and leave the empty box with them - she loaned me her post office scissors to do so. (I used to have a 'personal' pair of those. Brought back memories. Stubby, heavy-duty things they are, with a short hook-like lower jaw, specifically designed to be able to cut the fastening string off mail bags. There used to be a special trick to winding the twine round and tying up those bags. Wonder if I'd still be able to do it - if I didn't think about it?) . Opened the box and sure enough, the brackets were rattling around in the bottom. You could have got at least half a dozen pairs in that huge box! Crazy. . sat in town briefly before heading home carrying the brackets. . on close examination the brackets are 'ok' although perhaps not as heavy duty as those I once had on the wall in Bristold. Very disappointingly, despite the brackets being good for up to at least a 2" pole, the V/U bolts they'd supplied were smaller than 2" ones! How stupid and irritating. That means I'm gonna have to straight away get myself another couple of larger V/U bolts (assuming I intend to use any of the lengths of pole I have laying around) ! More expense! I'm also of course going to have to buy some decent anchor bolts for the wall (and maybe even a new drill-bit to fit their size) so all in all, it'll wait for a bit. I'm in no great hurry. I've MUCH else to do all the time, and can't seem to find the neergy to do any of it as it is!. . pottered around and somehow ended up in the garden, trimming the top off one of the big overgrown hedges. Did it all by hand using the lopper and secateurs!! Without the use of a car now, getting rid of garden waste is pretty difficult for me - to say the least!! However I eventually try to get rid of it, one thing is for sure - there is NO avoiding having to put in the hours and hours of HARD labor in chopping it all up into bite sized chunks!! THAT's why I ended up putting SO many hours into trimming off SO little of just the top of one bit of one hedge! Got it down to fence high, so rather more reachable for future trimming at least - although I DO intend to gradually start cutting down and removing some of the plants in the gardens both front and back, to reduce the HUGELY labor intensive chore of seemingly CONSTANT trimming I've inherited!! The gardens here really are a full time job!! No wonder the people who were here before did nothing on the house and spent all their time gardening! I've neither the energy nor the time, to spend the remainder of my life always working at just keeping the new growth in check. There is also of course the issue of getting rid of it all, which is now a REAL problem to me. You can't put garden waste in refuse bins down here!!???! You either have to drive it to the council tip yourself, or pay by the bag (as if the council tax wasn't high enough already!) to have the council pick it up (for me - every couple of weeks?!!)!! It's a catch 22 kinda. If you haven't the money to be able to afford to keep a car on the road, how the hell can you afford to pay the council to come and take bags away? Seems outrageous to me the local council is like this, when other places around the country have an entire wheelie bin collection devoted to just garden waste! Boy could I use that! I hate to admit it, but since my compost bin is ALWAYS already full (In desperation I AM toying with the idea of erecting some sort of temporary 'wall' on the paved terrace by the garage at the top of the garden, to contain a much bigger composting area!) , I may have to resort to drastic action - sneaking some out and carefully scattering it in the woods (so it just 'disappears' without impact) when walking Bella every day? Kinda like the prisoners of war did with the spoils from their tunnel excavations? lolol If I do, I'm gonna feel SO guilty! lol Blah blah blah - anyway, I can't go on like this, MUCH needs to go - permanently!! . . . walked - with a rucsack! ;o) . . sat around in the dark for ages, chatting with other dog walkers much of the time . . returned Mums ansaphone messages . . TVd . . cooked and ate four cheeseburgers followed by some chocolate . . ended up on the radio having a local chat until early. . PCd and monitored stuff some more until finally to bed long after 2am.
29 - Woken by the noise of the bin men around 8:50am. Headachey. Annadin, coffee and cigs for breakfast! :o( . walked late in the heat. In excess of 20 degrees C, in AND out! . fog was lingering and occasionaly drifting back in across the bay as we sat and played ball in the welcome shade of the trees. VERY wet grass (and Bella), with lots of dew on everything again. Very strange weather for the time of year! . . Back home to find I'd missed a delivery (the T&K brackets I presume). . popped up the post office with Bella to draw out some money, and then walked round to the dog walker's house to pay the £94 for the duty-free tobacco . . . bought a few supplies on the way home . . cut my beard and hair, vacuumed around the place a little, and then just pretty much sat around for the rest of the day, YET again, not feeling up to doing ANYTHING!!??? WHAT a waste! :o( . .by the time I could have used a nap, it was too late and pretty much time to do walking again!! I'm gettin' too old to have wasted days like this and yet when I end up feeling this way, there's little I can do about it!! :o( . .snacked on a banana, mini pork pie and a couple of biscuits. .walked and sat around with coffee until after dark . . TVd . . ate two mini pork pies, a pizza with extra cheese and some chocolate . . just couldn't keep my eyes open and was to bed at 10:30pm!!!
28 - Up around 7:45am. Foggy! A real 'pea souper' - and yet according to webcam images on the net, just a few miles across the bay it's blue skies and sunshine! They've been forcasting an 'Indian summer' for the next few days - I hope this isn't what we are gonna have all the way through it! . . PCd this at length . . . walked in the gradually clearing fog. Atmospheric scenes in the outer harbor as the sun burned through, leaving all the boats still half shrouded in mist. . Carried on down town and bought a single tube of Bob Martin 'Spot On' for £4.09. Bella has become increasingly scratchy of late, and it MUST be bothering her. It's bothering ME just watching her scratching all the time! I've looked and looked but can't see any trace of actual fleas on her at all, but I guess I can't delay and must try 'something', hence the 'Spot On' bought in the local (expensive?) pet store. . couldn't muster the energy to do anything!? . PCd a bit and found if I could have waited, I could have got that 'spot on' stuff for around a third the price on-line (if I bought a pack of three)! Sheesh! . . applied as per the instructions, the whole tube of 'Spot On' stuff to Bella without complaint (whilst videoing the operation lol). . . unable to muster the energy to do anything else, I PCd and ended up compiling another Bella 'update' video. I must admit, I really am using those 'Bella' videos as just an excuse to 'share' video of stuff in general, these days. The last couple have probably been more of an 'addendum' to my journal or a bit of a 'video log' than anything else! . Around midday the postman delivered a packet. It was the tennis balls for Bella. Video'd a little as I sat on the floor and unpacked them and presented them all to her. She just looked a bit confused I thought. lolol Anyway - they DO appear to be pretty good quality balls, so should last longer than any of the others she's had before. We'll see.. . neighbour D called about picking up the doors later . He'd been in touch with the seller and had agreed to pick them up later. He said he'd give me a call again when he got back from work to let me know when he'd be picking me up. The whole business has made me incredibly uptight for some reason. . . a dog walker who'd generously promised to get me some duty free tobacco when he went away, called at the door and handed over 20x50g packs of Golden Virginia. He was quite happy for me to owe him the £94! Nice one. . . . PCd and had trouble uploading the video to youtube, with several time consuming failed attempts before it eventually appeared to be 'going for it' . . ate three mini pork pies, crisps and a banana in the downtime. . VERY uptight waiting for the neighbor to call again. Really very, VERY uptight!!? Suprised me how really actually uncontrollably 'panicky' I was feeling! The slightest little thing which draws me out of my 'comfort zone', and I turn into a gibbering idiot!! :o(. I guess I have to admit that part of my stress response was created by him saying he was intending to visit the 'Paignton bike night' and then pick the doors up on the way home. i.e. - for the first time in MANY years, I was going to be thrust into a HUGE crowd of people - and BIKERS to boot! For me, given some of my personal (bike stuff) history, that felt like suddenly being thrown into the lions den! VERY uptight about the prospect.. . 'Just' FINALLY succceeded in getting the video uploaded to Youtube before D called to say he was ready to go. He actually knocked at the back door and unexpectedly started to come in as I went to greet him. Bella did her best guard dog act as he did so. Wow - pretty intimidating (cool) - although she didn't actually make contact with him, and eventually calmed down when she presumably realised who it was. lol :o) . . reluctantly left Bella at home and set off in Ds range rover . . Drove to Paignton to pick up Ds dog and then parked up and walked all the way down to the seafront for the 'bike night' gathering. The last of the year apparantly - and that together with the unseasonably warm weather, meant a LOT had turned out. Someone suggested 1100+ bikes? ! . the place WAS absolutely heaving with bikes and bikers, ALL along the seafront. Felt uptight and as though I didn't belong and was sticking out like a sore thumb! Same old same old. :o( . wandered up and down the entire length of the sea front with D looking at EVERY parked bike. Ok - I'm out of touch with the bike scene and all that, but I was VERY suprised at the general lack of chops amongst the assembly. There WERE a bunch which had been customised in one way or another, but it just felt wrong that there weren't far more full blown chops down there in such a vast group. FAR too many plastic-clad 'stockers' with stupid bolt on additions and couples in pretty designer matching leathers. Some ridiculously even had little coloured led's bolted into them so they could light them up all blue or red or whatever! Pathetic - in my opinion. All a matter of taste I guess. MY preference has always been for a full on old school 'chopper' type look, with huge apehanger handlebars. I swear I only actually saw four sets of apehangers in the whole crowd - and probably most of those were just bolted on to stock Harleys! Everyone appeared to be 'relaxed' and remarkably 'well behaved' and 'restrained'. I didn't see a single 'burn out'! Not one! It really wasn't at all what I'd expected. I WAS kinda disappointed. Nevertheless, it WAS quite a sight and a spectacle to see them all assembled there like that. Sadly too dark to take any video snips.. thankfully (without 'incident'!??? Historically - in my experience - I will ALWAYS, at the very least, witness a fight of some sort in such a gathering! No signs of any such thing THIS evening.) we eventually headed back to the car and headed off to find the home of the seller of the doors. Got a 'little' bit lost, but a couple of phone calls back and forth soon saw us pulling up outside a house with the doors already propped against the wall outside. On quick initial examination, they looked pretty damned useable to me. Cool. Embarassed both of us I suspect by handing the guy a £1 coin in payment, and then swiftly managed to get both doors slotted upright, fully inside D's HUGE range rover. Sat in the back with D's dog and hung onto the doors to stop any movement on the drive back home. .brought both doors in via the front and just propped them up in the hallway, where they will quite probably remain for some time, untouched, while I try to plan what to do for the best. They ARE too small for ANY of my openings, so WILL require quite some serious re-working, but I reckon it should be quite possible to achieve. They really are a good 'buy'. lol I think after some consideration and measuring up - I AM liable to have a go at modifying them to use between the two rooms, where I put in the big lintel, and where I'd always initially planned to put doors. Not sure how best to tackle it - but at least I now have the makings of the project 'to hand'. Basically - I'm very pleased, and very grateful to D for doing all the running around for me like that. :o) . . grabbed a quick coffee and made a fuss of Bella who was VERY happy to see me return. Longest I've left her alone for AGES - and I HATED doing so!!. walked late in the warm dark under many stars. Lovely evening . . TVd/PCd but mostly lost in thoughts about how to best make-up doors and door frames, and occasionally walking out into the hallway to look at the doors propped against the wall!. . ate bowls of sugar puffs . . to bed around 3am.
27 - Up late around 9:20am! Misty out, over the hills opposite. . walked. Carried on down town intending to buy some flea ointment stuff for Bella. I can't actually SEE any fleas, but 'something' is making her increasingly itch (me too?!) so I think I'm gonna have to get 'something'? . . didn't even make it into town!! On the slipway by the bustling car-park full of day-tripper coaches, was a baby seagull in a mess. It had a horribly broken wing and was trying to get into the air with it and was kinda just horribly fluttering in tight 'loops' and crashing straight back into the ground!! I only watched it briefly before it actually began walking away from the slippery waters edge and up the slipway a little. If it'd gone any other way or taken to the water, I would have (thankfully?) just had to leave it and carry on my way, but moving UP the slipway as it did, made being maybe able to catch it really quite possible. Tied Bella to a nearby post and then circled slowly around the seagull, paused to build up the right 'mindset' - and then pounced. Got it first try. Employed the technique of holding it, I'd seen the RSPCA people do i.e. hold it's legs, folded wingtips and tail, all together in one hand. Works a treat and pretty much stops any ability for it to struggle or flap. Just unfortunately leaves it's head free to do some pecking. (Mind your eyes!!!) Actually, held in one hand like that, you CAN hold it up so it can't even peck you (mostly), but 'I' always seem to have to end up holding the thing in cradled-arms against my chest, for the long walk back home with Bella tied to my belt. Unfortunately this enabled it to start having a damn good go at pecking my left hand. . struggled in Bgdns to empty a carrier bag that was in the bin there, and eventually managed to get the gull in it to calm it down and make it just a little easier to carry. Made sure it's beak was poking through a hole so it could breath ok, but as we carried on our way, the hole got bigger and it started having a go at my left cradleing hand (again!). They generally don't have the strength to really 'hurt' as such - bit I DID end up with ME bleeding quite a bit too by the time I'd got home! Did the 'usual' put it in the recycling box in the conservatory thing, and then gave it a dish of water and half a tin of dog food. It ate most of the food pretty sharpish. . fired up the PC, looked up the RSPCA telephone number (I'm gonna have to write that on one of my walls, or end up just learning it off by heart, the number of times I end up calling them!!) and gave them a call at around midday - again! What's that - number four this year? And I'm just one person - who hardly ever goes anywhere! Imagine how many are dieing after horrendous suffering, day after day all over the place!!!!!! Horror. SO distressing! :o( . . PCd a bit of this . . Wow - that was quick - the RSPCA collection officer arrived around 1pm. Bloody marvelous people. He quickly transferred the bird into one of his boxes and off he went, saying "See you next time" or something similar!!! Uh-huh! :o( . . . Right - where was I? I don't think I can face going out down town again now - and run the risk of having to do something similar all over again, again! PCd . .TVd . . cooked and ate half a tin of baked beans, ham ring, two eggs and four pieces of bread and butter. . PCd and put a bid on a 'as new and unused' microwaveable hottie hot water bottle thingy - on behalf of Mum. She's been talking about trying to get a replacement for one she has, so I figured it was worth a punt. Sat and watched the end of the auction and was outbid in the last couple of seconds (by an automated 'shark') and did NOT win it. Including postage, it went for £10.50. Can't imagine why the person was prepared to bid so high - you can get a brand new one for less than £12, freepost via Amazon! . ummd and ahhd and then dared to put a £5 maximum bid on for the two odd-sized solid wood interior french doors I'd asked the neighbour about possibly transporting for me! . . . napped poorly for only an hour or so . . walked in the mist. I say mist - but it was a really wet mist almost more like drizzle and I wore a raincoat!! Weird stuff. . stopped by the store for milk and bread on the return . .Mum'd left an ansaphone message about a bookcase she wanted a hand moving (so she could unplug from behind it, an old clock which has stopped working). She'd emptied it of everything and was ready whenever I was. Seemed pointless delaying so I hooked up Bella and headed straight up there to shift it. . sat around in her garden for a couple of cigs while she vacuumed and cleaned behind it, before eventually then putting it back EXACTLY where it had been. . . checked on the PC and found I'd won the French doors auction!!!!! No one else had bid (understandable because of the odd sizes/general poor condition, and hassle having to collect them)! I'd won them for 99p!! Quickly phoned the seller and explained I WAS eager to have them, but was gonna have to co-ordinate with a neighbor which 'could' present some difficulties. He was quite accepting and said he just wanted them out of his way and wasn't even interested in the 99p payment. lol . . dashed up the road with a slip of paper with all the sellers details on, and spoke with the neighbor. I'm not entirely sure just exactly what IS actually now gonna happen - because he seemed to be suggesting he'd just take care of picking them up (with his son?) perhaps on his way back from work 'some time'. Feel VERY awkward having lumbered him AND the seller with such inconvenience and difficulties! :o( The neighbor (now slightly moved kinda!) also gave me a guided tour of the place he's lnow iving in. It's in a state but oh SO ripe for renovating. Fascinating to see a house almost identical to mine (actually all round the other way - a perfect 'mirror image') in original and almost completely untouched condition since it was built back in the 1930s. VERY interesting to see all the original features still in place and therby an explanation for some of the weird marks and scars I've had to attend to all over mine. . TVd, all up-tight about the doors thing. Aside from worrying about the neighbor offering to organise the picking up of them from the seller - assuming I DO actually end up with them, intact and not broken in transit - it's quite a gamble I'm taking anyway. It's gonna take a few £s and a LOT of work and messing around to only then 'maybe' be able to get them into a useable size and shape!!! Quite a gamble potentially beyond my carpentry skills ability!! :o| . . ate bowls of sugar puffs before eventually to bed around 1am.
26 - Back up around 8:30am . . walked and carried on down town in the sun and remarkable warmth for a tour of the charity shops. Finally, at last, spotted a pair of size 10 training shoes in one of them - but couldn't believe my eyes when they were priced at £25! I even asked if they'd made a mistake (with the decimal point perhaps?)! Not! £25 - second-hand in a charity shop for goodness sake!! Sheesh! So now I'm even priced-out of buying stuff in charity shops! :o( . . tired and ready for back to bed by midday! . ate a trio of corned-beef and mayo, Warburtons rolls, crisps and chocolate. . napped . . briefly popped out in the garden and spoke with the neighbour and asked if he would consider moving a couple of doors for me, if I was to bid for and win an auction on e-bay. He kindly said he would - although I rather feel as though it would be real awkward and difficult to co-ordinate such a thing between three people, and I SO hate being a burden-to and endebted-to people like that! Not sure if I should go for it or not! . . walked down to the beach for lots of ball throwing and swimming for Bella before returning via the woods and then BGdns for yet more ball play as usual. . . TVd/guitarred/PCd/radiod the night away again. Thick fog out at sea apparantly. Some poor guy in a (hired?) yacht was making his way into Dartmouth in the dark and the fog - without any radar!! Understandably he sounded pretty stressed. Ate tinned-ham sandwiches, crisps and chocolate before to bed after 3am.
25 - Up around 7am. . A bit rainy out. . funny how that online AIS map works. This morning, no trace of the superyacht again, but there WAS a trace of the tug 'Hektor'. Off the north coast of Spain having crossed the Bay of Biscay. According to the AIS it's heading for Douala in Africa!! Wow - that's a hell of a trip assuming it's still towing that enormous platform! I don't make a habit of 'following' ships like this - but have found it mildly interesting with these two - imagining their weather in comparison to here mostly I think!??. . walked in the drizzle. A bunch of kayaks and swimmers (from Torquay Grammar school?) were just leaving Fishcombe cove as we passed. Turned out, those swimmers were swimming right out across Torbay to Torquay!! Wow - that's a distance of a good few miles! (The coastguard were giving frequent warnings on the radio for shipping to be aware!) Took em a few hours I think. Impressive . . PCd/TVd and just pottered around doing nothing constructive . . cooked and ate a ham ring, two eggs, chips and half a tin of baked beans followed by chocolate . . napped the rest of the day away . . walked . . briefly messed with the 'silver' necklace I recently found. On close examination, I'm cerain it is NOT real silver. I'm not sure why I bothered, but since I'd sourced a new REAL silver fastener for it from Dads jam jars, I did the little bit of work to replace the broken one. Actually even soldered the split rings, to prevent it from falling off when worn, as it obviously already had done. All utterly pointless. It's cheap rubbish after all. Just added it to all the other worthless junk in my (Mums old) jewelrey box in the back of a cupboard . . TVd/PCd trawling all manner of nonsense on e-bay as I so often seem to do these days. SUCH a shame I don't have a car on the road anymore. Someone in Paignton just around the bay, is selling a couple of glass panelled doors - but for pick up only. They ARE odd sizes and 'used' - but since their painted white, it'd be reasonable to assume you could glue on strips of timber (within reason) and make 'repairs/alterations' and make them look fully ok and useable. All in all - they're gonna go for very little I reckon (Not a single bid as yet, and with only a day to run!). SUCH a shame I can't pick em up. :o( . . PCd through (and listened on various ham radio bands) until the early hours again. . ate a couple of doughnuts, kipling apple tarts and chocolate biscuits before to bed not 'that' far off 5am! That's blown tomorrow again then!
24 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am . . .walked. Finally spoke with the neighbor who has a refuse sack STILL hanging down from underneath their car. Turns out it's there by intent!! Apparantly the guy wrapped the spare wheel in it in an attempt to stop the fixing bolt from rusting! Silly. . . did dish washing chores . . PCd a bit of this . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations for chats etc. She also gave me her copy of the now only once a week local paper. Funny how many of the articles and reports and bits and pieces I already had knowledge of, from looking at the horizon and view in BGdns every day, looking stuff up on the AIS map, and monitoring 'incidents' as they happened on the radio, etc!. . . ate a whole pack+ of Mum donated mini pork pies, crisps and chocolate . . napped until the 7pm alarm. . walked . . TVd briefly before PCing this. Hey - the superyacht Vive La Vie is back on the AIS map. Off the South coast of Spain, around 200 miles west of Gibraltar. The picture I added to the site - of a zoomed-in close-up of part of the boat with its name visible, together with a figure on the upper deck, was obviously 'disapproved of' and has been deleted!? (Makes me feel rather paranoid! Much does. My journal in particular these days!) . . PCd this at length until early . .let Bella out in the garden briefly and spotted the mouse on the birdfeeder. Glad to see he's still around and hasn't fallen victim to that horrendous killer-cat that's moved in up the road. . . ate bowls of sugar puffs and a trio of jam doughnuts before finally to bed around 4am.
23 - Up around 7am. . PCd a bit of this . . walked. Saw the dog walker who'd witnessed the suffering drowning seagull the other day, and asked if she HAD called anyone about it (because it'd disappeared by the evening). She suggested that on the day, another dog walker (a nice guy - an 'aging hippy' he's called himself in conversation in the past) had suggested he would 'wade out' (too deep for that!!) and try to help it! So - maybe he had, and that explains why it'd disappeared by the evening? I DO hope so. I'll be asking, next time I see him! Stopped by the window store on the return and bought a tube of white silicon for £3.04. . PCd. Ordered a set of '18" T&K AERIAL BRACKET WITH U BOLTS for £14.28' including postage off e-bay. Sat and watched as I was outbid on an auction for second-hand tennis balls - again! Poked around looking at what prices they always go for in auctions (ALWAYS in excess of 56p each), did some maths, and eventually figured it'd be just as well to go do a 'buy-it-now' for all the difference it'd make!! (Saves me messing around continually wasting time bidding on auctions I don't win!). Bought 'Tennis balls for dogs/beach/practice x 30 for £17' including postage! Sheesh - spoiled dog!!!!!! It remains to be seen how those 'proper' branded ones will last. To be honest - the rubber, 'ball on a rope' type that I've been using of late (without the rope), is definitely MY favourite. It lasts MUCH longer, has more weight for throwing (although being hollow isn't 'too' heavy for carrying in one of my pockets), and it 'whistles' a bit when I throw it (good in the dark I figure - not that it seems to matter to Bella). The only disadvantage is, I can't ever throw it into the water, cause it'll sink and be gone. Blah blah blah - anyway - a totally unanticipated-when-I-got-her, ongoing expense I'm lumbered with! lol (The last big sacks of dog food I bought came with a 'free' knot-of-rope toy inside. We HAVE played a bit of throwing and tug-of-war with one of those around the house.). . PCd a bit of this just wasting away the day - basically avoiding having to face dealing with the going back up the ladder and trying to sort out the awkward window-capping problem! :o( There IS no avoiding it!! . . got the ladder up and very quickly removed what turned out to be a seriously crucial bit of capping over the top of one of the five panes of the bay window. Removing that capping actually revealed a good section of the inside of the flat bay roof! The capping was 'supposed' to be superglued to the top front face of the window frame, and fitted in tight between the top of the protruding frame uprights and a piece of capping on the underside of the roof. Whether or not it's 'displacement' was caused by the roofer or the cavity-wall insulation guys I will never know. (On balance - I suspect the roofer. I guess I 'should' be glad I was up the ladder doing painting and noticed it, before rainwater began pouring in and it fell off completely!) . cleaned off all the old silicon and then discovered that the bad news was that simply forcing it back into position, wasn't going to be possible. Hard to explain, but every time I tried to just dummy place it back where it needed to be, it would suddenly fall 'inwards' and thence back out of position! There was nothing behind the top of it, to stop it where it needed to be! . forced in some fibreglass insulation - not for insulation but just so there was something behind it, to keep it in place, while I superglued and siliconed it back into it's rightfull upright position(ish - more or less!). It was a nasty thing to have to do, perched on the top rungs of the ladder, propped against the bay stud-wall BELOW the tall windows, hanging on to the open window frame above - but I got it fixed in place in the end. Used a whole tube of superglue I had laying around, which only 'just' worked enough to fix it well enough to then be siliconed all around! Even if the glue joint fails (as before), it 'should' now just stay where it is and remain water tight. My silicon seams don't look particularly pretty close up (despite sacrificing a guitar 'picking' finger and cutting the nail off to be able to run my wet finger along the silicon bead!), but of course you can't see it close up, so I can live with that - as long as it remains water tight! . during this work, I occasionaly went out back and took a few snaps of the builders working on next doors new garage - because they were laying the new concrete slab today. Two mini cement lorry-loads, costing around £700 apparantly. A pretty significant landmark in the rebuild. I bet it'll just spring up in no time now. I'm NOT (sadly?) making a habit of trying to document it's rebuild, but figure an occasional photo may be of some future interest to someone. . before taking the ladder down out front and passing it carefully back though the living room window, I painted a token layer of one-coat paint on the timber battons the roofer guy had left visible, up and under the drip edge. I'm SURE it hasn't been done as it should! Those timbers (treated or not) should never have been left visible from below like that, surely? They 'should', I think, have been 'wrapped' within the bitumin tarfelt and completely covered! Anyway - I painted over them a little just to help keep any blown up-and-under moisture out, and even just roughly slapped some paint over the flaking old brown stuff that is also visible on some of the old drip timbers up under there (which has been 'noticeable' and bugging me, and something I intended to do, ever since I had the windows done!). It ain't pretty or done right, but from groundlevel, it's far less noticeable now. Just a silly 'cosmetic' thing. Sadly, during all this work, I left a dirty looking superglue finger mark on the INSIDE of the window frame in the bedroom! Not sure I'll ever be able to remove that! :o( . PCd a bit of this mid afternoon . .Took another couple of snaps of next doors more or less now completed, new concrete garage slab . . showered and got cleaned up etc. . . walked with coffee after dark. A very pleasant, quiet, still night. Sat around for ages . . TVd . . ate a tin of baked beans, four sausages, grated cheese and five pieces of bread and butter followed by a mini pack of maltesers . . to bed around midnight.
22 - Up at 7:30am. . walked. Popped in the local window company and just asked questions about how the seal around the door is fixed to the frame. Either bonded or just a press in, so I'm gonna just have to have a go at pulling it out to be able to tell!!! . . spent the day pretty much, messing around up the ladder trying to get a covering of paint over all the cavity wall insulation drill holes. Plenty of sunshine helped me be able to rush on several coats throughout the day. Discovered a dirt mark and small 'pressure indentation' damage to my PC room UPVC window frame!!! Looked like where a ladder had been put up against it to me - although it'd be hard to prove. Nothing 'major' thankfully, so simply not worth kicking up a fuss about. BLOODY irritating nonetheless. F***ing idiots! . . had a careful prod at the front door rubber gasket strip (thankfully it was NOT 'bonded on') and managed to extract it without damaging the frame. Popped back up the local window company expecting to simply be able to buy a length. Wouldn't you know it - it was WELL different to anything they had. The guy was good enough to give me a couple of inches of the two types he had (cheaper flimsier 'replacement' strip) to try, so I returned home to see if either would do the job. Although cheaper and flimsier than the original, (and all white instead of black!) one of them seemed capable of giving a reasonable seal, so I went back up and bought a meter length for £1.44. . VERY carefully trimmed off a bit of bad moulding on the door frame with a stanley knife and then with some handwash as lubricant, managed to cut and fit the new strip into the bottom cill of the doorframe. It'll have to do for the meantime. I'll need to have some proper BAD stormy weather to know if it's gonna perform ok. Tests with a cigarette paper like a feeler guage, suggest it IS giving a seal. I am SO, SO loathed to try to get in touch with them, but I'm gonna have to work up to calling the original window company (Who never returned my ansaphone calls the last time I tried!), to attempt to ascertain the manufacturer, to get the 'proper' matching stuff. I'm NOT optomistic about success. . up the ladder putting paint on the wall (having to wear sunglasses as always, because of the dazzling sun reflecting off the white walls!), I noticed a large length of capping on the front of the bedroom bay window had let-go around the silicon, and was all hanging off! FFS!!!!!! :o( ! Whatever is going on with THAT, is gonna be a whole big, difficult to reach project in itself! The forecast is good for a few days - that's gonna have to wait!! Well - that's tomorrow all 'used up' then isn't it!! :o( I've only had these windows and door for just over a year for goodness sake! The amount of grief they've given me is almost unbelievable!! If I had the money - I reckon I'd have them replaced already!!!!!!!!! :o( Feel as though I'm running just to stand still with the house at the moment!! :o( . . guitarred in the sun in the garden for a bit between coats of paint, even with the scanner on next to me for a bit, after I saw a bit of low flying military air traffic buzzing around. Very warm and summery. . Mum called to touch base . . more painting patches before eventually calling it quits and leaving the ladder laying out front. The house walls look a little 'mottled' - but they'll look better when those new paint patches get dirty and we've had a bit of rain. It'll do.. ate ham and mayo sandwiches, a banana and chocolate biscuits. . napped . . walked. Something strange in the water - what appeared to be a shoal of BIG fish coming to the surface attracted my and plenty of other peoples attention. Watched for ages trying to figure out what it was, as it moved in a strange way back and forth along the coast!!?? As the light began to diminish, there was even evidence of an enormous flash of light beneath the water, like the silver underside of some huge creature. A big ray? A shark? Ended up following the 'disturbance' along the coast with another fascinated dog walker until at length, down by Astra Zenica, the mystery was finally resolved as darkness began to fall. VERY suprisingly turned out to be a group of no less than four divers - and at least one had an underwater torch! lolol You really would never have guessed from what was appearing at the surface. I've experienced a lot of such things since being down here, and as a result will NEVER believe any 'Loch Ness Monster' type sightings from anyone. A regular bizzarre phenominon is how wakes from passing boats, in certain calm conditions, will somehow 'self propogate' across the water, and continue creating a single wave (which for all the world looks like some BIG swimming sea creature) continuing on for literally miles, LONG after the boat and any other trace of its passage has dissappeared well out of sight. 'Normal' wave propogation formulae would NEVER explain THAT one!!? Must be explainable by 'chaos theory' or some such?. . TVd/guitarred the evening away. Cooked and ate four sausages and chips followed by a slice of Mum donated sponge cake and some chocolate . . to bed after 1:30am. s
21 - Back up around 7:30am before the alarm . .I hadn't really noticed before but there ARE substantial 'holes' in that marinetraffic AIS map coverage - noteably, west off the Bay of Biscay. Couldn't find either 'Vive La Vie' OR the tug 'Hektor' when I did a search - and I presume they are BOTH out that way by now. .put a £12.50 (inc postage) maximum bid on an e-bay auction, for 25 used Wilson tennis balls (for Bella). .walked, tired and headachey. Just off our usual route, unreachable down a bit of a cliff and out in the water, just round from Fishcombe cove, was a seagull 'in distress'. It was awful awful awful to witness. The poor thing was laying atop the loose fronds of some deep weed on the surface of the water, obviously unable to move, and having difficulty raising it's head! It's beak was under the water! Every so often it could 'just' manage to put in the effort to raise its head to breath - before it's beak went back under the water, bubbling occasionaly!!! In short - I was watching it slowly, agonisingly slowly, DROWN! Only a swimmer or a boat could help it. I'm no swimmer (and did NOT have the time to devote to it THIS morning because of the insulation work later!), and if I HAD run to the harbor to find someone with a boat, chances are - down here - they'd laugh at me and not be interested in going all that way 'just' for a seagull. (I imagine fishermen callously see them drown, stuck in their nets ALL the time!) Emotional agony!!!!!! Horrible, horrible, horrible. I guess that's just how they so often die, 'naturally' - out at sea somewhere, with no one to witness it? NOT a happy start to the day! Upset me much. Played ball with Bella as usual, before feeling drawn to walk back and have another look at the poor suffering bird, just to make sure there really was NO WAY I could do anything. I indicated what was going on to a passing dog walker, who said she'd maybe call someone when she got home. Running out of time, I just left it at that and returned home. :o( . . pottered around PCing and doing a bit of paperwork and such until the insulation guys eventually arrived around 11:30amHooked Bella up on her lead and kinda carefully introduced them to her, because given the open plan nature of the place, there really was no just locking her up somewhere out of their way. She was ok. . They had to ask some questions just to confirm I had enough ventilation for whatever heating system I had. They seemed confused and amazed (like their original surveyor had been) when I confirmed I had NO central heating - just the gas fire in the living room and an electric shower and a kettle for hot water. Am I the ONLY one left in the country who doesn't have central heating??? . . the guys quickly agreed they WOULD do the whole business from out front by bringing the hose through the house, rather than try to get round the back. It was also agreed that they would NOT start messing around trying to remove bricks and sleeve my front air vents, and that I was happy to clear away any vent blockages from the inside myself after they'd gone. Given my new ladder collection, they agreed to use one of MY ladders out back, rather than have to struggle through the house with one of theirs. Getting above the flimsy conservatory was going to be an issue, but they had a large plank for such things. Protected my window cill with an old cushion, and then had them pass me the plank through the living room window. Rather than risk them having any accidents on the way through, I carefully carried the plank out back on my own and also managed to get it onto and across the top of the conservatory for them. Used a few of the recently removed lean-to pergola timbers to prop up the inside rafters of the flimsy conservatory, just to be on the safe side. Tied Bella to a garden seat, safely out of the way in the sun in the back garden. Caught the younger of the two guys just finishing dragging the huge rigid plastic corrugated pipe through the house - 'sawing away' at the bottom of my front door-frame as it did so!!!!! Limply called out to watch my door frame, and rushed to lift the pipe away from it! By then he'd stopped pulling and the pipe was already fully through the house, so I just carefully put it back down and got out of their way and went and reassured Bella out in the garden as the drilling started. I really was quite suprised at how calmly she took it all - wagging her tail and even laying down for some tummy tickles at one point! Boy - was that guys big drill efficient! (I need me one of those!) It just flew through the bricks in seconds with apparant ease! (Almost worrying!) It was VERY hard to just stand back and watch. Couldn't help chipping in every now and then, pointing out where buried waterpipes lay inside the wall, and where the (worryingly weak) wooden lintels were over doorways, etc, etc. The big pipe running all the way up and through the house from their van out in the street, had a metal nozzle on the end which was quickly pushed into each of the many holes. Some expensive equipment in the van somehow automatically supplied and pumped the cotton wool like insulation along the pipe and into my walls. The pump was started remotely as and when required - although the remote control had a bit of difficulty with the distances involved, and the younger guy ended up having to stand in my living room and press the buttons as directed by shouts from the guy up the ladder. Injecting into each hole, the pump somehow automatically stopped when the back pressure suggested the cavity was filled. A bucket of some sort of quick setting grout was mixed, and in very short time, the holes were plugged and the back was done. The guys headed out to start on the front as I messed around removing my temporary support timbers, and getting their plank back down and eventually passed back through the living room window. Somewhere around this point, to my utter horror, I discovered that the lower part of my front UPVC door frame and the rubber gasket seal had been damaged!! Without question, they had simply pulled that big corrugated pipe back out through the house across the door frame - and as would OBVIOUSLY (to me) happen, the frame had been scratched and the rubber sealing gasket had been stretched and torn! I was utterly f**ing livid, but what could I do? I just pathetically lamely explained I was NOT happy, and then mostly just kept out of their way and left them outside to carry on! For what it's worth, the older of the guys said he was VERY sorry and upset about it - and pretty promptly phoned someone and then reported that they WOULD pay for whatever repair I had to have done! Great! :o( Guitarred a bit - fuming! Popped back outside for a look from time to time and DID get to see how they did the 'block' between my house and the neighbour on one side. One of my neighbours appeared to NOT have cavity wall insulation (the other definitely does - I even SAW it from inside the cavity when my front windows were put in) and so, it was necessary to put a 'block' in the wall between us, to stop all the insulation from disappearing into next doors wall. I couldn't understand how it was possible to put in such a block. I'd even heard somewhere sometime, that something is somehow dropped down into the cavity - from the attic!!??? In actual fact, what they did was drill a hole at the top of the house just below the eaves - drill another DIRECTLY below near ground level, and then drop a chain down into the cavity from the top hole. They used a piece of wire to poke around in the lower hole and eventually (with difficulty) succesfuly hooked the chain back out. The actual 'block' was something akin to a very long spiral nylon brush woven into a length of wire. This was attached to the chain at the top and then just dragged down into the cavity before being disconnected from the chain and the protruding end stuffed back into the hole. Simple - but it surely MUST be often impossible to do (because of blockages in the cavity, etc)? With this length of brush in place, the insulation could be pumped in, and allegedly only fill up to it, and not spill over into next doors wall. At length, the job was done, they swept and cleared up some of the dust and debris, and then there was some paperwork to do. Amongst the paperwork we had to complete and both sign, was a 'Customer Satisfaction Certificate'. Part of it read "I confirm I have inspected my property with the fitter prior to and after the above work has been carried out and confirm the work has been completed to my satisfaction and there is no damage to my property internally or externally and that all my lights and electricity supplies are in working order." The guy had hand written on the bottom "black seal strip on bottom of front door torn due to pipe, customer to get quote + send in for us to settle. (Okayed with Jamie)" Seemed reasonable protection, so I signed it. Only then did it become apparant, that form was HIS!! So where is MY proof/protection? I insisted he write out a duplicate for MY retention. Sheesh! . Anyone else under the circumstances would perhaps have witheld payment? I guess I probably should have done so? I don't know. This is part of my problem when dealing with people like this. I have NO idea what I 'should' do - what other more assertive and confident people DO do. I just wanted the guys gone and the whole sorry business over and done with. I wasn't in any way pressured to do so - but I handed over my earlier-written cheque for £59 (I wonder how much the government now pays them?) - and got the guy to annotate the invoice that I'd paid. with the paperwork done, to my GREAT relief, the guys left. Thank god THEY're gone!!! :o( . with the guys out of the way, I could have my first proper close look at my damaged door frame and gasket! (Ignor the ever-present mud splashes from Bella, on the inside of the frame in the photo here) Without question, the damaged gasket WAS going to allow rainwater to POUR in during particularly stormy weather and could NOT be ignored, nor any sort of gluing repair attempted. The scratches to the outside of the frame thankfully pretty much 'polished off' with liberal rubbing of the rough side of a dish-washing sponge. So - it's 'just' the gasket I've got the hassle of trying to get fixed. If there is ANY way at all that I can somehow replace that MYSELF, and NOT have to put myself in the hands of someone else (inevitably liable to cock something up further!), I absolutely WILL! INFURIATING I've now got THIS hassle, just because of those guys stupid, stupid, careless attitude. (IF I was someone else - and had nice wallpaper on the wall in the hallway - I would also be upset about having had THAT damaged too on the corner by the kitchen door - but I'm not, because it's the old stuff I will eventually remove!) Really angry. It just further (if that was even possible!) cements my conviction, that EVERY SINGLE time I have no choice but have work done by someone other than myself, I absolutely WILL either be screwed-over, ripped-off, or in SOME way 'inconvenienced', and end up having to spend time and money rectifying something THEY have been the direct cause of. It is NOT paranoia, or just my imagination. It IS FACT - ALWAYS! What the hell is wrong with people? THIS is ABSOLUTELY why I do not have central heating and suffer such uncomfortable freezing temperatures every winter!!! It isn't about the money - I've just enough savings left to cover it. I just can't bear the thought of some central heating fitter tearing the place apart (EVERY room!) and lumbering me with loads of remedial work and problems, and a boiler which will inevitably soon become faulty, and things I'm not happy with for ever more - while charging me a small fortune for the priviledge! THAT'S the truth of it!! :o( . . vacuumed around the place a little . . ate ham and mayo sandwiches, a banana, mini cheesecake and a square of chocolate . . napped until around 6:30pm . . walked with coffee. No sign of the dead seagull? I fully expected to see its sad corpse floating there! :o( Just sat around for ages . . briefly popped under the floor to inspect things and see if the airbricks out front were blocked. There was 'some' evidence of the insulation around them, but they were by no means blocked, and it was fairly obvious that whole sections of wall adjacent to them as far as my hand could reach into the cavity, had NO insulation in at all!! That's BAD - but not particularly unexpected!!! I've never understood how they think drilling a bunch of holes and blindly pumping stuff in like that, could possibly work properly and give complete coverage of an even fill. Just proves to me I was right. MY reason for having it done was all about cutting down the draughts blowing up through the cavity - I presume there IS enough in there to acheive that. (Actually - the guy had said he'd leave me a whole length of that nylon brush type stuff, to put in the cavity around those - but I guess we BOTH forgot, what with being explicit on the paperwork about the door damage and all!). . PCd briefly. I had NOT won the e-bay tennis ball auction. The 25 used Wilson tennis balls went for £15 inc postage! Really suprises me there appears to be SUCH a market for them! A nice little earner for someone at every tennis club! . . TVd/guitarred the rest of the evening away . .In the news tonight, a couple travelling the world in a Unimog crashed into a ravine in the Amazon jungle. The woman seeking rescue, phoned her sister 5,000 miles away in Eastbourne, Sussex!? Relatives then phoned UK coastguards who alerted the Brazilian authorities. Coastguards in Falmouth, Cornwall, said they were "very happy" that the rescue had been successful. A spokesman said: "We are used to worldwide rescues, the unusual thing is this involved a vehicle accident." Well - there ya go - the coastguards' 'local knowledge' saves the day again. Huh?? lolololol . . ate bowls of sugar puffs before to bed around 1:30am.
20 - Up around 7:20am. . .Walked in the sunny spells. Zooming in with the camcorder, it was possible to see someone (007? lol) out taking a breath of air on one of the upper decks of the superyacht.. PCd and couldn't help myself returning online to have a more determined look for who owns that superyacht - simply because it suprised me that I could find no trace of them yesterday. Well - I put in quite a bit of time poking around all over the place to no avail, before eventually having to just give up!? A very well kept secret!! The closest I got was the website of a German guy (Jürgen Mais) who is (or is shortly going to be) the captain of the thing apparently - I think! Very intriguing - the absence of information! . . According to what I saw on-line during my searches, that yacht MUST be worth somewhere up around 10millionUSD!! The elusive 'owner' does allegedly pretty much actually appear to live on-board. . . . seem to have drifted into a bit of a down - mostly manifest by simply finding myself unable to get on and 'do' anything! Just wasted away another day again achieving absolutely nothing! :o( . .cooked and ate a defrosted meat pie with chips and then a bunch of biscuits . . napped the rest of the afernoon away . . walked in th erain. Chatted locally on the VX-2 'handi-talkie' for a bit and mentioned the elusive yacht owner and my failure to find them on the net. Immediately the person I was talking to, did a search and allegedly came straight back with the owners name! How can it have been that easy when I failed consistantly?? . . TVd/guitarred . . PCd and tried to confirm what I'd been told about the yacht owner earlier. Turns out he was wrong - it wasn't who he'd said. That was just a trick of the abreviated Google search summary for a large page with lots of other information on. So - the owner REMAINS unknown. . PCd/monitored radios for hours, deep into early. Had a peek at the AIS site in the early hours and found the yacht had left harbour and was heading out into the channel, ultimately allegedly heading for the Mediteranian (and no doubt rather nicer weather!). . eventually to bed only to be unable to sleep - largely because I was thinking and uptight about, tomorrows wall insulation work! Eventually got to sleep at not much short of around 4:30am!!
19 - Up around 8:15am. Showery again/still. . walked in the showers. A breathtaking privately owned 'super yacht' was moored just off the breakwater! 'Vive La Vie' (Hooray for life) built in 2008 by German shipyard Lurssen. WHAT decadence for whoever owns THAT!! What different worlds we inhabit. 'We're all in it together' they keep telling us. Yeah - right!. . returned home to find my car had been rolled out into the lane by the builders, who were cutting away more of the adjacent garage wall with a disc cutter! . . PCd and actually had a bit of a poke on the net trying to see who owned the yacht. I could NOT easily get to the bottom of it. Plenty of pics and videos of it on the net. Looks even more stunningly breathtaking on the inside!! Mind boggling to me anyone could actually outright 'own' such a thing. What must they be actually worth? Mind boggling. Are they 'morally' decent people I wonder? I can't help but strongly suspect not, to have amassed THAT much wealth!! . . PCd this . .I tried - tried real hard to actually 'do' something with the day, but somehow once again I just totally failed! Ended up just avoiding it by doing yet another 'Bella Update' (#12) video and guitarring a bit in the 'downtime' whilst compiling etc. All about the seagull footage for me that one really. :o| . . ate mum donated sausage roll, two mini pork pies, a meat pie, banana and a little chocolate while the file uploaded to youtube . .walked. At some point in the growing darkness a small motorboat suddenly appeared from aft of the luxury yacht and headed into the harbor. The big yacht appeared to have some sort of lighting aft, BELOW the waterline! Looked very 'James Bondish'. Just amazing! . TVd . . ate bowls of sugar puffs and a little chocolate . . guitarred just a touch before to bed around midnight.
18 - Up around 7:30am as a heavy rain shower passed through. Checked the rain radar and waited-in for things to soon get better before walking . . walked in full rain gear in drizzly showers. . lacking energy yet again, I just sat around/PCd the day away. What a waste! . . touched base briefly with BB . . napped poorly for an hour or so . .walked with coffee in the chilly breeze. . TVd feeling headachey and uggh. . ate a trio of rolls filled with a whole large tin of processed ham, a bag of crisps, a banana and some chocolate . . to bed around midnight.
17 - Woke really early when still dark, poorly half snoozed on for a bit, snuggled with Bella then finally up around 7am. Sunny spells, but showers in the night, and the sky (and online rain radar) threatening more . . woke with coffee and cigs while PCing this . .walked. Just setting off, one of the neighbours was getting in her car and I had the opportunity to ask if she'd lost an earring. She said YES! Raced back inside to get the one I'd found only to eventually discover it was NOT the one SHE'd lost! What are the chances of THAT! . walked. Bella was all hyper and acting up pretty badly. I swear she's actually getting WORSE rather than better!??? SUCH a handful ALL the time! I SO wasn't in the mood and got very fed up and short tempered with her! . on the return just before leaving BGdns I played around with her a bit, waving a small branch of foilage around. She got SO excited she leapt up and caught my hand with her teeth! Bloody hurt, and drew some blood from a couple of small puncture holes! Grrr. I think we are going to have to regretably consider a 'refresher', walking with the halti on her for a bit, just to give me a break from the daily struggle for control and INSIST she calms down!! :o( . . put all manner of batteries on charge and then did dish washing chores. . Mum called in a little early with food donations for a coffee and chats etc. . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps and a square of chocolate . . TVd/PCd/monitored radios pretty much the rest of the day! Surfed for ages, looking at T&K brackets for the back wall. Heavy duty 18" ones appears to be what I'll be eventually aiming for. . .tu . . walked with a coffee between showers. Threatening skies and not very warm at all. Regrettably used the halti on Bella this evening. Boy - WHAT an immediate difference. Just the presence of it on her nose seems to make her immediately calmer and more in control!? SUCH a shame she can't retain that state, day by day. The tug I'd heard arriving earlier (Hektor) was moored out in the deep anchorage in Lyme Bay, with some enormous structure in tow. Some sort of 'jack-up' platform perhaps - with four huge legs high in the air making it look almost like an oil rig! Heard on the radio another towing tug was heading in to join it - apparantly seeking shelter until the weather in the Bay of Biscay had improved. . tired of radio 'noise' - (TVd) mostly just guitarred the evening away . . ate bowls of frosties . . to bed somewhere around midnight. s
16 - Up around 7am. Somewhat overcast but much warmer than yesterday morning . . PCd this . . walked the beach for some ball-chase swimming, the woods for squirrel chasing and then back via BGdns for yet more ball! Actually turned into a really nice, warm, largely sunny day . . Breifly stopped and jotted a note on a scrap of paper and left it on the windscreen of a car up the road on the way home. It's in daily use, and yet SEVERAL days ago, I noticed what appears to be a huge black bin-liner all snagged up underneath the rear axle/exhaust pipe and hanging down! Day after day I notice it and it's been driving me nuts that the car owner hasn't! SURELY it must have been audible while driving - or even smell of burning? I guess not! . . . the builder guys were out back, knocking more of the dividing wall down upon my return. Amazingly Bella didn't seem particularly peturbed by their presence or the changes to 'her' domain. Mowed the lawns and then finally got round to popping up the step ladder and removing the last remaining cross-piece of lean-to/pergola timber, stretching across in front of the kicthen window from the conservatory to the dividing fence. WHAT a joy to finally get that out of the way. Sick and tired of trying to look out into and up the garden, only to have that timber, absurdly low, right in my line of sight. . Put a big ladder up and finally got round to measuring the overhang of the eaves and guttering. Thirteen inches or thereabouts. Right - now I can try to work out what size standoff, heavy-duty T&K brackets to go for, for fixing to the outside back wall of the house - for 'antenna' stuff. It's gonna cost me a bit (postage mostly I suspect!), but definitely gonna have to do it - some time! . . PCd briefly. Actually - no I didn't. Ended up monitoring radios while PCing for pretty much the next MANY hours, trying to type up the unfinished and 'memory jogger' notes I'd made for my August journal entries!!! Utterly utterly absurd waste of time, but - well - that's what I did! Around 1:30pm the coastguard helicopter raced out across Lyme Bay, way to the South of Berry Head, to do a rescue. (Despite the considerable distance, I WAS suprisingly able to copy the helicopter comms throughout - even when it was with the vessel and issuing insructions for course and speed prior to the winching etc. The local coastguard coordinator however, obviously switched to a different antenna somewhere else, and I couldn't really hear them. Fascinating how it all works 'remotely' like that (and hence of course, the government plans to close the local coastguard station etc)). Some crew member on a vessel had apparantly fallen overboard, potentially suffered multiple fractures to 'tib and fib', and was airlifted off and taken to Torbay hospital. It's breathtaking how quick that helicopter can deliver a casualty to hospital. Just ten minutes from way out in the English Channel? I 'think' the vessel took around five hours to reach the Dart!! During the rescue, it was funny to hear a couple of broad Devon-accented trawlermen chatting on their radios, remarking they'd just seen the helicopter shooting past overhead, and idly speculating as to what it was up to and relating what their AIS was saying about it. lol . . Mid afternoon someone from the insulation company called and said they had a spare slot, and how about Wednesday!!! That'll do me, than you very much. :o) . . carried on PCing for ages more, and eventually 'almost' drew a line under my August journal entries!! Jeeze - what a pointless time consuming chore - although 'quite a bit' (for MY little world) going on that month really! . . walked . The little note I'd put on the windscreen of the car up the road was gone, but the plastic all hanging down underneath appeared to be still there untouched!?? Ain't people weird. . Got away with the walk ok, but it suddenly looked as though it was threatening heavy showers all the while I was out. . TVd a bit while cooking. Ate a defrosted pastie with lots of chips followed by some stale icing topped rolls with a little jam and then a square of chocolate . . struggled to stay awake and caved in REAL early! . . to bed shortly after 10:30pm!?!
15 - Up around 7:10am . 18C in, only 7C out! That's the coolest evening for a while I think. Definitely feels as though we are rapidly descending into winter - already! . .walked with a rucsack. Carried on down town and bought another fourteen tins of dog food @ £7.84 in the mini co-op to keep us going. Struggled home with the heavy bag on my back, sweating in the hot sun! . . PCd this . . did bed-linen laundry and pottered around on the radio for a bit. Set about the relatively routine task of adding a couple of 'local' air frequencies to my monitoring memories. I'd bumped into quite a bit of 'local' traffic for Dunkeswell airfield, another Exeter radar frequency, and added one for RNAS Yeovilton. I don't listen to the aircraft 'that' much, but I AM interested in having a listen on occasions when I can actually SEE them going over. (I've actually found it quite difficult to trim down the enormous mass of what I can hear, to just those frequencies relevant to the immediate local area/sector!) The scanner(s) memories uploaded from the PC went all ok as usual, using the programming lead and new 'Prolific' USB to COM converter cable. Unfortunately when I tried to connect my OTHER programming cable to the FT-7900 to do that one, it turned out that the drivers which had been installed for the USB to COM converter cable were conflicting with the earlier installed drivers for that one in some way - and it would NOT comminicate with the radio as it should and used to!! Bad news. I tried absolutely EVERYTHING I could think of but no way could I sort it out. Ended up getting utterly bogged down in it all for HOURS - removing drivers, even entirely removing the programming software, uninstalling/re-installing everything over and over again in different ways - but absolutely NOTHING I did would resolve the problem! Absolutely tearing my hair out! The whole day was sacrificed to the hassle!!! Grrrrr! :o( . . finally somewhere around 6pm I managed to download from the net, an updated driver for one of the leads, and what appeared to be an alternative installation program for the other, and all of a sudden, both leads were finally working seperately alongside each other with differing port assignments. Successfully managed to program up the Ft-7900 and all was satisfactorily as I want it. It still isn't entirely as I would like, since BOTH those VERY different leads appear to the PC as an identical piece of hardware in the 'device mangler' ('Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port') - but they're working now, so I'll settle for it. WHAT a waste of a whole, rather nice and sunny day!!! SO frustrating! . . walked and sat around listening to the radio(s) until long after dark. Nice evening - neat sunset again. HMS Mersey was 'skulking' around in the dark out in the bay for much of that time with an attendant 'sea boat' buzzing around it. . . TVd . . ate a bowl of soup with a six pieces of bread and butter pile of corned beef sandwiches, a piece of cake and a little chocolate. . to bed around midnight.
14 - Woken around 7:45am by the doorbell and Bella barking. Raced down and found an RSPCA collection guy stood outside. Waved through the window and then carried the recycling bin with the seagull in, through the house into the hallway, before making sure Bella was shut-in out of the way and then opening the front door. The RSPCA guy lifted the box out onto the doorstep (and embarassed himself as loads of the drinking water I'd put in, came flooding out all over my carpet mixed with bits of dog food and bird poop! lol) He swiftly confirmed it's wing was WELL broken and it WOULD be 'put down'. I expressed my concerns that I was being a 'nuisance' having to drag them out all the way here for ('just') such a thing, but he confirmed they had no objection and it WAS the right thing to do. Good - although I'd really rather not have to keep making a habit of it like this!!! . . let Bella out briefly and then PCd a bit of this briefly over coffee and cigs . . walked and back via the store for a few supplies . .defrosted a couple of bones and gave them to Bella . Mum called to touch base and go on about how the guy who's been doing some tiling repairwork in her bathroom, had siliconed all around her 'temporary' bath panel yesterday, fixing it in place with it all bent and wonky!? That bath panel (made by me out of two offcut strips of T&G PVC cladding!!!!) was only 'placed' in position and was never finished off because Mum was happy enough as it was. I never finished it off to be permanently fixed and sealed like that!! Reluctantly figured I'd better rush up and have a look, and if necessary, remove it, before the silicon went off too much. . raced up with Bella. The actual siliconing was done quite well, but sure enough, one end of the panel was terribly deformed and unstraight, and really was a noticeable eyesore. 'I' couldn't have lived with it like that - and obviously nor could Mum! It's gonna be VERY awkward for Mum when the guy next comes, to explain that someone had come in and messed with his work, but we both eventually decided I'd try to remove the panel and silicon, and attempt to straighten it up and put it back as it was before he'd messed with it!!!. . returned home for a bunch of tools and some scrap timber. Easier said than done. Had to climb over the partially demolished garage wall next door to reach my garage, and then had to move the car forward to be able to get in! No sign of any workmen up there today! Wonder how long all this is gonna go on for! . . returned to Mums and immediately messed-up while trying to start getting some of the silicon off with a stanley blade, and sliced a piece off the bottom of the T&G PVC cladding!! I could have cried and was immediately all foul tempered and angry!! All got a bit hectic and there WAS some 'arguing' and unplesantness with Mum. Why IS it I get SO uptight and find it SO impossible to do 'work' on stuff for Mum??!!! . eventually figured as long as Mum was putting her carpet tiles back down (recently all pulled up and washed to remove all the blood!) I would maybe get away with my mistake 'just' being hidden, so I carried on with what I'd intended. Eventually managed to fix two small lengths of batton to the tiles and timber beneath either end of the bath for the 'temporary' T&G PVC cladding panel to push up against, to prevent it being able to bend in the way it had been. Eventually just pushed the panel back in place all nice and straight up against the battons - just held in place by friction of the tight fit. I should have done that when I originally did that temporary panel, but I'd shied off because I was worried about drilling through Mums tiles into the wall at one end - because it's Mum!. With that done, there is no way it can get all wonky and out of shape like it had been. Actually looks ok. 'I'D' be happy with it. (It looks better than my own!!!) In fact - NOW it wouldn't hurt to have it all siliconed around (even if that does make it difficult to remove when access is required to the pipes beneath the bath) if that guy wanted to re-do it - although I'm sure he's just BOUND to be understandably 'miffed' to find his job 're-worked' like that by somone all of a sudden!!!! Oh dear. . Helped Mum (at length!) figure out the puzzle of which tile went where and which way round, and eventually called it quits. The bit I'd damaged with the stanley knife WAS thankfully fully hidden by the tiles - and Mums cleaning away of all the blood appeared to have been remarkably successfull. . . eventually returned home with my rucksack of tools and bits and pieces mid afternoon! So much for today then! Humph! . . skipped food and napped poorly for a couple of hours . .walked wearing my hoody under my jacket, carrying coffee. Sat around with coffee and cigs until after dark. Felt a bit nippy. Even ended up wearing my fingerless gloves! . . TVd for a bit . cooked and ate two cheese and mayo burgers with a mountain of chips while watching more 'How It's Made' programs on the Quest channel. There's so little on all the channels worth watching these days, I watch a LOT of those fascinating programs. It really is incredible how some(all?) of the things we take for granted these days are actually produced. (For instance - tonight how the long parts for aluminium ladders are 'extruded' through a die using an enormous press applied to a huge 'billet' of aluminium alloy! In my ignorance I'd always imagined they were 'cast' somehow!) It's almost ALL done by machine these days, and explains why it's almost impossible to attempt to repair ANYTHING which breaks - particularly electronics! On another program I briefly caught a snippet where an entire complicated miniature circuit board, FULL of miniature components, was somehow briefly 'floated' into a vat of liquid solder, and somehow instantly all the solder connections were made!!! No wonder trying to fix something like that is now beyond the ability of most humans!!. . . to bed well before midnight.
13 - Up around 7:20am . . opened the back up and without asking, parked my car in a space in front of next doors garage, to clear the way for the workmen to start demolishing stuff on the other side! :o( . . .walked and carried on down town to tour a couple of charity shops, draw out some cash, and pick up a watch Mum had left at the jewellers for dead battery removal. . . briefly stopped off at home for a coffee and to give Bella her breakfast etc, etc. The bulder guys HAD started work, and had erected a timber 'stud' type frame under a portion of my carport to support it when the wall is demolished! Other bits of my garden wall, the fence, gate - all manner of MY stuff is gonna have to be dismantled!! :o( Can't let Bella out there unattended at all now. I think I'll be able to get my car back in next to the frame, but haven't a clue if I'm gonna have to keep moving it every day or not now! It's really all a bit of a bugger! I'm trying my hardest to stay cool about it all, because it just HAS to be done, but it's a bunch of aggravation to ME that I could really do without. I can't believe that somehow it'll all be put back right and I'll end up 'whole' again (to my satisfaction) some time. If any of it in any way ends up costing me a SINGLE penny to sort out, I WILL end up being pretty pissed off. :o| Nothing I can do about it. I must NOT end up like that nutter up the lane, complaining about and being an obstacle to the slightest little thing!! . . popped up Mums to return her watch and also returned a pedestal twin spot light I 'd said I was gonna charity shop, which Mum said she'd maybe have back. . . PCd a bit of this - actually for MANY hours - although much of that time was wasted, trying and failing at coming up with a photo of the PC/radio room (or should I call it my 'toy box'?) which does it justice. (The room is paradoxically just too small to be able to get it into a single shot!!) Lots of toys, and not a bad place to spend lots of time now, what with the view out the window across town and all too. Even Bella came and joined me up there for a bit today, which has become a real rare event these days. She's learned I'm not much use to her when I'm up there playing - and it gets rather smokey! . . checking on e-bay as I frequently do, I bumped into a recently placed local Brixham ad for a relatively newly purchased cross needle type VHF/UHF SX-40 SWR meter for £22.50 and £5 delivery, or best offer. Seemed reasonable to offer £20 cash if I could pick it up - so I hit the offer button and made my offer. (First 'offer' I've ever made I think.) Anxious wait, because I figured it was quite well priced and could have been snapped up by someone else at any moment on the 'buy it now'!. They aren't far off double that new, and it was allegedly only a couple of weeks old. Distracted myself by having a shower. Checking back on the PC as soon as I was out, I found my offer had been accepted. Yayy. Quickly phoned the guy and then hooked Bella up and headed straight down town and then up the short distance to his address. Did the business and that was that. Nice one(assuming it's fully working of course!). . headed back towards BGdns via the harbor. Oh no!!!!! On the slipway just out past the yacht club was an injured baby seagull!! Broken wing - pacing up and down precariously near the waters edge. I tried to ignore it and just carry on - but I just couldn't! Damn, damn, damn! Here we go again. :o( That's gonna be the THIRD for me this year!!! (and here we go again with lots more typing for here! Can't seem to find the time to get on top of it all these days, even when living such an empty life!!) A couple of guys were on the slipway right next to the gull, packing up an inflatable boat and all their fishing gear into an estate car. They saw me looking (actually, I think they were worried why I'd stopped and was stood staring apparantly at them! lol) and after a little conversation one of them eventually made a comment or two and gave some indication he'd be willing to assist slightly if I WAS going to go for it. Tied Bella to a nearby rail, went down onto the slipway and then laid in wait as the guy waved a big landing-net on the seaward side of the gull, which luckily had the affect of driving it towards me. I eventually pounced, and 'fairly' easily captured it without 'too' much of a struggle. The guy donated a carrier bag and with his assistance, I managed to get the gull into it, to help stop it struggling and flapping about. It's beak almost instantly tore through the bag ( I was mindful to keep it WELL away from my eyes!) so there hopefully wasn't too much danger of it suffocating. I struggled with it a bit as I tried to undo Bella from her railing, and the guy ended up also helping me get her tied back on my belt. Good to go! Thanked the guy and then quickly headed off along the coastal path towards BGdns heading straight for home. Sorry Bella - no ball play as I'd planned! . wouldn't you know it - a short way further along, on a very overlooked patch of grass, Bella dragged me to a stop and had a poop! Not the sort of place you could safely get away with just leaving it, so I had to struggle to restrain the carrier bag of struggling seagull on the floor, keep Bella under control tied to my belt, and simultaneously single handedly get a bag out of a pocket and pick up Bella's poop!!!! Managed it in the end and off we set again on the long walk home . .passing the house of the dog walkers who'd given me the plums recently, they were sat out front and waved. I couldn't wave back and kinda indicated why, by lifting the carrier bag of struggling feet and feathers into sight. They got the idea and offered something more to wrap/cover it with. I suggested simply another carrier bag would be most useful (the one it was in was falling to bits!). The lady raced inside and quickly emerged with a rather nice and stout looking nylon Marks and Spencer shopping bag! PERFECT! Put the carrier bag and bird straight into it as they were and quickly walked home with much less difficulty. Once home I quickly raced through to the conservatory, instructed Bella to stay away, and unceremoniously emptied the contents of the recycle bin onto the floor and eventually transferred the poor gull into the bin, and drew the netting over the top to keep it there. Phew. Thank goodness that awful walk was over with. Quickly put a bowl of water in there with it, but suprisingly to me, it didn't seem thirsty at all.. touched base with Mum to get the RSPCA phone number, rather than have to start messing around running around looking it up . . just after 6pm I called the RSPCA number, fought my way through the MASS of multiple automated options, and eventually was able to speak to someone and report what I had, and explain that without transport, I had no choice but to ask them to collect it for 'disposal'. They said they'd get back to me later. . poor Bella was all confused that she'd had such an early walk with no ball play, but I wasn't about to start going out again, and I had to wait in for the phone call now anyway. Fed her early. Kept a little bit of the tinned dog food back and eventually put it in a bowl and put it in with the seagull. Before I'd even got the bowl onto the floor of the recycle bin, it was ravenously eating it! Must have been VERY hungry. Not sure it was wise, but since I assumed it would likely be it's 'last supper', I actually opened up another tin and gave it another bigger little portion. It scoffed it down real quick! Poor little thing. :o( As soon as it had eaten, it suddenly got a bit more active and started trying to climb out of the bin, so I was forced to put a doormat over the top to put it into near total darkness and keep it contained and calm. . quickly popped up the garden to survey the devastation. Next door's garage was 'mostly' demolished already, although a low section of the wall on my side remained. Put Bella back safely indoors and then quickly moved my car from the other neighbor's garage forecourt, and squeezed it back under my carport next to the temporary wooden roof supports. . . damn - where the hell are the RSPCA!!! I want this wrapped up, and that poor bird's suffering (and MY responsibility for it) ended! :o( . . ate a couple of Mum donated sausage rolls and then just sat around waiting and watching a bit of TV, feeling headachey and real tired, but unable to relax . . eventually reluctantly mustered the energy to mess around with the new SWR meter. Initially tested it on my dummy load just to be safe (appears to be ok), and then went ahead and put it sort-of permanently in-line between the FT7900 and chimney mounted colinear antenna, freeing up the potentially faulty AV-601 for further attention - whenever! A smaller, neater dedicated arrangement for THAT part of my setup I think, particularly in respect of the instant, no fuss, cross needle type meter display. . . it was around 9pm (!!) before the RSPCA finally called back and said they wouldn't be picking up the seagull tonight! DAMN! Damn, damn, DAMN!!!! I'm gonna have to leave it on the doorstep when I walk Bella tomorrow morning - assuming it survives the night of course! :o(. . PCd this - at length! . . Ahhhh-what the hell. Uploaded my journal for the first time in months!!!!!! The last several months of half typed, unfinished, 'memory jogger' notes, will have to either remain missing or be re-visited by me over time if I AM to actually keep the thing going for the forseeable future. We'll see. It's SUCH a pointless time consuming business! . . .TVd briefly, accompanied Bella out into the insecure garden, and then and just ate bowls of frosties before finally to bed somewhere after 1am.
12 - Up around 8am. Very gusty winds, but actually a suprisingly bright sky with almost a hint of sun breaking through every now and then. . encouraged poor confused Bella to poop in the garden. The neighbour a couple of doors down was putting out her washing (despite the 'hurricane'!) so I said good morning, made some joke about it and her faith in the forecast, and took the opportunity to broach the subject of her gutters. I'd LONG since noticed a substantial amount of 'foliage' growing out of them in one area in particular. They were obviously fully blocked and it had been preying on my mind, particularly because of the way our whole rank of houses bazarrely shares the same run of guttering. Because of my emergency climbing up the ladder in the rain the other night to unblock my downpipe, and because her house has the ONLY other downpipe for the lot of us (the OTHER side of her blockage!), clearing out HER guttering struck me as now being of some importance to us all (but me in particular)! She has her own ladder just below, so I figured I'd offer to get up there and try to clear some of that debris if she had no objection. She was well aware of the debris, and said she had no objection and that I'd be doing her a favour because she couldn't get up the ladder. I left it as 'no promises - but I'd aim to try and do it some time (when the weather was more suitable)'. . PCd a bit of this while skipping the usual walk and waiting-in for the cavity-wall insulation surveyor who is supposed to be here any time after 8:30am. I just BET he doesn't turn up for hours, if at all! . . ok - shut me up! He arrived at 9am . . seemed like an ok sort of guy. Suprisingly he did NOT do a test drilling. To be honest, his visit was little more than form filling and a small bit of measuring. We started off with Bella shut out in the conservatory but the guy was a dog owner himself, and eventually needed to have a look at the rear of the house, so I carefully let her back in after having armed him with gravy bones. Bella was fine. :o) . . Ended up just chatting quite a bit over a coffee and cigs. He related at length the tale of when he'd had a car stolen. A short time after it was stolen he spotted it parked in a local (to him) car park. Just then, the thief turned up and got in it! The guy having understandably lost his temper allegedly happily managed to give the thief (who was stuck in his seatbelt and couldn't escape) a jolly good hiding before the police arrived. The police eventually had to save the thief from him. lolol Niiiiice one! :o) . . eventually the paperwork was done and he left. It should cost me £59 and is liable to be done in around four weeks or so. Hopefully that should help with the draughts I think I've been experiencing through the cavity. THAT's why I wanted it done. I don't think for one moment I will actually notice any alleged 'insulation' benefits. (Actually even potentially the opposite - reducing the 'heat store' effect of the morning sun on the bricks!) . . . checked that the workmen clearing debris from next doors garage didn't require me to do anything (not today - starting in earnest tomorrow!) and then walked in the blustery . . returned and got 'Dad's' ladder out of the way of next doors builders. It's been locked-up under my carport against next doors burned-out garage wall (soon to be demolished) for months. Left Bella at home and walked the ladder all the way to Mums, and stashed it back in the roof of her garage where it had originally been. . despite the wind and with a little energy still in me, I decided to push on and have a go at the neighbor's gutter! Used her ladder and a bucket from my garage, and eventually managed to pretty much clear most of the debris out. God I HATE working on someone elses property like that, lest I should damage something or have some horrible accident, especially with an 'almost' unmanageable extended ladder blowing around in the breeze right next to windows, etc etc! . A GOOD bucketfull of soil, growing plants and other debris! The bad news was that the guttering along our whole rank doesn't appear to have been put up very well. It's hard to tell, just trying to look along it and line it up by eye up a ladder in a hurricane - but I'm pretty sure the crazy gradients that have been fixed, means that almost all the rain for the whole rank will run towards MY downpipe!! Only a small length of her guttering descends to HER downpipe - and there is even one area which is clearly a dip and going to be a length of standing water!!! 'Disappointing' and worry-inducing to say the least!! It's SUCH a pain being SO inseperably linked to ALL the other houses in the rank like this! The more I look at things, the more obvious it is that it is 'MY' downpipe and small garden drain (which so frequently blocks if I don't keep getting my arm down there!) which is taking all but the ENTIRE rainwater run-off for ALL FOUR roofs in the rank!!!!!!! Because of the garden walls, the slope of the hill, the general lay of the land, the nature of next doors extension, etc etc etc - I could VERY easily have a flood in particularly torrential rain!!!!!!! I strongly suspect they HAVE had that happen in the past. (The rear house-wall air-brick by that drain has been blocked off - any such 'flooding' incident on my back patio WOULD have water POUR into the underfloor area of my house if those air bricks were still open!) WHAT A WORRY! :o( . actually, the valley where next doors extension roof empties into my guttering (and 'around' it!!!!) , is also once again in great need of clearing, but getting a ladder up over and across my conservatory (I've only managed it once) is SUCH an impossible/dangerous nightmare, requiring more strength than I actually have, I just couldn't face trying to do it! . . ate pilchard sandwiches, a banana and a square of chocolate . . Mum called to touch base . .napped until around 6pm . . . napped . . walked to the field across town and threw the ball for Bella lots before giving a quick shout on the radio to confirm that M1EIW was about and happy to accept callers. Popped in P's for an hour+, returned the rucksack I'd borrowed and had coffee and chats etc. Eventually walked home in the dark carrying a bag of chicken pieces and a bit of steak from his freezer he'd generously given me! . . TVd/guitarred while cooking the chicken pieces . . ate the chicken - all of it, on its own, with much salt, eventually followed by lots of biscuits . . got caught up in a TV show and ended up watching TV until around 2:30am before to bed.
11 - Back up around 8:45am after too little sleep! . .walked and found a mans silver necklace! I 'think' it's real silver, although the clasp is probably not or just plated by the look of it - and the spring appears to be 'tired', hence probably why it was lost. I'm likely to just keep it to add to my (unwanted/found) jewelry collection! I just can't be bothered to go running around advertising it or handing it in at police stations and all that nonsense. I'm a bit tired of having to do that 'so often', and go running around on behalf of people who can't seem to look after their stuff! :o| . .the drunk/sleeping guy (who I'd begun to convince myself last night, could very well have been dead!) was gone from the gun emplacement. Waded through some of the pools of urine and cleared up some of the rubbish, which included THREE wine bottles! No wonder he was unconscious when I walked past last night. How come he could afford to drink like that - but I can't? . . ended up on the PC compiling a DVD of all the Bella 'youtube updates' I've done since I had her, so I can eventually let Mum have one to watch on her TV if she so desires. Took HOURS of course!! Eventually proof-watched a bit of it on the DVD player/TV. . ate a pile of six pieces of bread and butter as pilchard sandwiches, a banana and a little chocolate . . napped . . popped up Mums on the way out and dropped off a copy of the Bella DVD compilation and a bunch of the mail for Sis2 I've been holding onto. Walked in the gusty wind and hint of drizzle, although it didn't seem 'as' bad as had been potentially forecast . .felt headachey and not so good - again!! . . TVd the evening away . .ate a pastry slice, banana and bowls of frosties . . to bed around midnight.
10 - Woke earlier, snoozed on briefly then up around 7:50am . . touched base with Mum . . walked in the drizzle. . . PCd and got on top of a couple of e-mails I needed to do. Had one the other day from the Marine Conservation people regarding that seagull eating a plastic bag footage again. "Just letting you know we've said that a bbc film maker (for something called filthy rotten scoundrels" can use a snippet of your seagull footage, if you say yes. They're not paying, as usual...! Hope that's OK". Basically just said yes of course - and suggested if they ever DO get money for the footage (chance'd be a fine thing!), they should keep it (to help 'keep up the good work' kinda). . PCd a bit of this while monitoring the AIS website and three radios all at once trying to keep abreast of a rescue around 1:30pm. (Different frequencies, different radios, different aerials all performing differently, dependant on range, band, etc, etc.) A 'rescue 106' helicopter medivac from RFA ship Mounts Bay south west of Prawl Point. An injured crewman with a suspected spinal injury! (I suppose I shouldn't have typed that here should I! Humph!). Damn - typical - the actual helicopter deck landing and communication with RFA Mounts Bay out at sea was 'just' out of range of my main (chimney mounted colinear) aerial (and FT-7900 radio with its EXCELLENT broad receive coverage). By around 2pm the helicopter was back in the air and briefly audible to me once again as it made for a Plymouth landing. Done and dusted - but then immediately after there was another shout, for a sick diver brought into Brixham harbour, and then taken by ambulance to a landing site at Berry Head! Good grief - the police helicopter was already over by the cliffs looking for a missing person apparntly, and chipped in to ensure they avoided the landing coastguard helicopter. Very soon after, just as the coastguard helicopter was landing (all unseen by me), the police helicopter routed out directly overhead my house relaying weather conditions from Exeter airport etc. Busy day for everyone all of a sudden! Fascinating to me to hear the coastguard helicopter with now FIVE people on board, have two different people (pilot/co-pilot?) in different communications, transmitting simultaneously on two different frequencies at the same time - one with the coastguard giving a sitrep, one with Exeter airport arranging their landing etc. . .eventually had enough of it all and turned everything off and ate. Ate tinned salmon sandwiches, a banana and biscuits. . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . tu . .walked. A guy (presumably homeless and drunk) was asleep in the pools of stinking urine in the lower gun emplacement. Yuk! (I presume he was asleep! If he's still there in the morning, I may have to wade through the urine and give him a prod for proof of life!!) . plenty of noise drifting across from the music at the Fishtock festival, in full flow down in the harbour . returned in the dark and became a shameless 'looter' on the way!!!!!!! A couple of weeks ago a bunch of kids had made a big mess, piling up pallets and all manner of junk from who knows where, in a corner of the industrial estate car park, for them to jump their push bikes over. Part of that big pile of junk and rubbish had included a long galvanised scaffold pole! After it'd all sat there for a day or several, someone presumably from a nearby unit on the estate, had cleared it all away. All that is, except for the heavy scaffold pole which had remained dumped on some adjacent grass ever since. Oooohhh - how that could come in useful for some serious HF aerial project in the future. It could be an absolutely IDEAL centre support, for a half sized G5RV di-pole type antenna up the back garden!! It was even one of the nice galvanised types that don't rust! EVERY day, TWICE a day for the last couple of weeks I've been walking past it when walking Bella, WANTING it. I didn't know if I could find the nerve to dare to just take (loot/steal!!!) it, or whether or not I could actually manage to carry it home if I did. (They ARE pretty damned heavy and unweildy. Of course I used to have one bolted to the back wall of the house in Bristol for many years). Well - under cover of dark, and with no one around, on the way home this evening I dared to detour up the steep grass slope and managed to pick up the scaffold pole and struggle home with it down the back lane, with Bella tied to my belt throughout!! Only one car drove past me as I was walking it home, so I think I may have gotten away with it. Shaking and sweating with the exertion, I eventually dumped it in the lane outside my back gate. . Sorted Bella out with her evening meal and then left her safely inside while I brought the pole into my back garden and dumped it for the timebeing next to the car. FINALLY I have the makings of a decent aerial 'mast'. Of course I 'may' not get round to actully using it as an aerial mast - but if I don't, it 'could' also come in useful for making a handrail up steps somewhere. Whatever - at least I won't now be forced to agonise over it when walking every day! lol Of course I shouldn't have typed this here should I (assuming I AM going to start uploading my journal again sometime) but - well - I don't do 'secrets' do I. I'm an 'honest' looter!?! . started the car up and made sure it was still running for a short time - because I'm gonna need to be able to move it as soon as they start the garage demolition/building work next door - next week apparantly!. . . getting windier and rainier! The worst of it forecast for Sunday night into Monday, is the remnants of hurricane 'Katia' apparently. . touched base with Mum . . aimlessly PCd keeping an eye on e-bay listings etc. . PCd this - but soon had to stop - because something was NOT right out back!!!!!! A very weird and different noise to the rain!!???? Turned out it was a blocked rear gutter where it enters into the downpipe to my drain! I do SO hate being just a part of a joined rank where lots of things aren't just mine to modify, sort out and get 'right'! That downpipe which leads into MY drain by the kitchen window, is the run off for all the rainwater from the roofs of not only my house, but also at least two of the neighbours (possibly more)!!! Lots of water in such heavy rain! Lots of debris to wash down and block everything! The pipe was clearly completely blocked, and all the water was just gushing over, out of the gutter and freefalling down to the floor, to splash all over the place on the drain cover and walls!! I couldn't ignore it, so just before midnight I was all clothed in waterproofs and climbing a ladder in the torrential rain!!! Used some old flexible pipe cleaner type tool I have in the garage, and managed to free the blockage (with large quantities of overflowing cold water, pouring onto me in the process!! :o( ). With a big 'wooosh' the overflowing gutters suddenly emptied down my pipe to the drain as normal. Weird thing was, when I got back down off the ladder to clear the debris from the drain grill below, there was none!? The downpipe IS now clear, so I can only assume, the weight of all that backed up and suddenly released water falling from such a height, broke up and washed away whatever the cause of the blockage had been. When it's next dry and at some more reasonable hour, I'll have to get my hand down that drain and clear out whatever may now be sitting in the u-bend (again). Oh joy! :o( . . PCd this some more with a coffee, after toweling myself down a bit. THAT was all an unexpected little interlude - and the 'hurricane' hasn't even arrived yet!! . wouldn't you bloody know it - it soon stopped raining!! lolol . .PCd a bit more of this until well gone 1am and then surfed a bit. .Sis2 called to touch base after 2:30am!! Called her back a couple of times and had a long 'de-brief' type conversation about the 'bleeding Mum' incident the other day . . TVd/PCd until almost 5am before finally to bed without having eaten anything!!!
9 - Up around 8am. . just 'coming to' at the PC with coffee, cigs and e-bay etc when Mum called - obviously in a bit of a state and asking for help!!!!! Apparantly her leg had started bleeding and she couldn't stop it!!!!!?????!!!!!!! I told her to call an ambulance, said I'd be up, and hung up straight away. I don't think I've ever managed to get out of the house so quickly EVER before! Didn't mess around shutting down the PC and radios or anything - I just hit the master power switch and killed them as they were! Raced to get my shoes on and then without even putting my coat on with all my usual trappings of cameras and phone etc, quickly leashed-up Bella and shot out of the door and began running (as best I could with nightmare Bella dragging me to go even faster) up the road! Another incident of wondering if my heart could deal with such a sudden and unexpected amount of unaccustomed activity!! Only got about two thirds the way there before having absolutely NO choice but to slow my pace to a VERY breathless fast walk! Arrived at Mums only to realise I'd neglected to grab the spare key for her place! Had to ring the doorbell and wait as she crawled and reached over to unlock the door from where she was - on the hallway floor!!!!! OH MY GODDDDD!!!! Mum was sat on the floor in blood soaked pyjamas, with a blood soaked bowl under one leg, and a blood soaked dripping flannel wrapped tightly around one ankle. There was blood EVERYWHERE!!!!!! Patches (small 'pools'?!!!!) of it on the floor across the hallway; sprayed splatter of it on doorways and all over the telephone seat and all the books and directories housed within it; bloody handmarks on doors; the kitchen floor and a couple of the units similarly adorned. As for the bathroom - it looked like something from the shower scene in those 'Psycho' films! Pools of it and sprayed up the sink pedestal, bath panel and walls!! EVERWHERE!!! . The last time I saw THAT amount of blood, was when I saw that old lady laying dead in the street after having been knocked down all those years ago! Really quite shocking. Poor mum was shaking like a leaf. Apparantly she'd simply been getting out of the bath and toweling herself down, when all of a sudden one of her varacous veins had decided to start 'leaking'! The term leaking doesn't do it justice. Given the state of the place, it had obviously been a real 'squirter'!! I shut confused Bella in the kitchen and tried to keep mum calm and prepare her for a trip to hospital, which I thought was inevitable, and then made a 999 call for an ambulance. The call handler was very good and started issuing instructions that we should stem the blood flow by applying pressure and raise her leg etc etc, but Mum had pretty much already done that with her flannel, and everything seemed to be 'kinda' under control, so I thanked them and got off the phone so I could help support shaking Mum where she sat and answer the door when necessary. The ambulance seemed VERY quick, and must surely have arrived within only a handful of minutes (from up by the local hospital apparantly). The ambulance guys were calm and efficient as always, and suprisingly to me, quickly established things were looking ok with Mums leg and these things happen with people with varacous veins quite often, and it wasn't worth a hospital trip! Amazingly the wound which had caused all the squirting of blood was TINY - and appeared to have already pretty much closed up and stopped being a problem. After a bit of wiping away of blood, the wound was dressed and tightly bandaged, and a phone call was made for some specialist wound dressing type person to call in. Mum was moved to a more confortable seating position and after a little bit of paperwork and instructions about aftercare and what to do if anything like it should happen again, the ambulance men left. Before they'd even driven away, the wound dressing person had arrived! Ain't the NHS marvellous when it matters! I think her wound was examined and re-dressed and she was made more comfortable on the sofa (in her blood soaked pyjamas!) with her feet up on the footstool. Apparantly such an occurance with varacous veins IS quite common. It HAS allegedly happened that people have had such a thing occur, they've been unable or unskilled in how to stem the blood flow and have actually 'bled out' and died!!! Blimey - imagine if it happened when you are in bed asleep!?!!! . Mum was instructed to just sit quietly for an hour - and then the nice guy left. . Mums neighbour had seen the ambulance and called in to check all was well (or was it really because she just couldn't control her curiosity? lol) and have a quick chat. I busied myself attempting to wipe away as much of the blood spatter all over the place as I reasonably could. The clever anti-spill hallway carpet cleaned up fairly well straight away. Left the kitchen and bathroom carpet tiles for some other time, because I imagined Mum would want to tackle them. Eventually sat and joined Mum for a very sweet cup of coffee. . with Mum pretty much recovered and doing ok and refusing any more help, after having sorted out the mess Bella had made of the garden (!) , I returned home for a MUCH needed cigarette. SUCH a shame I hadn't garbbed my coat and cameras etc when I left. The state of Mum's place (before I'd cleaned up just a little) would have made for an 'interesting' keepsake photo or two!! Eewww. lolol . stopped for a coffee and cigs and then walked. That took care of the whole morning and put me in a strange mood where I didn't really want to do anything at all. I think 'I' may have been suffering a bit of shock after the morning's drama! lolol . . monitored radios and aimlessly PCd e-bay adds etc. .touched base with Sis1 and left a ansaphone message for Sis2 . . cooked and ate two cheese and mayo burgers with chips followed by a square of chocolate. . PCd . . walked in the rain . .touched base with Mum . . TVd, guitarring mostly for hours . . really bad forecast for strong winds by sundy night! That's worrying me, now I have that antenna on the chimney. :o( . . ate bowls of frosties . . to bed around 1am. s
8 - Up around 8am, after a reasonable amount of unbroken sleep and presumably as a result, for the first time in many days, NOT headachey and feeling awful. . e-mailed the dog rescue people to let them know about the latest couple of Bella updates, should they be interested. upload Bella_12 and Bella_13. I actually haven't done much filming of her this last few months. Been too busy doing decorating and such like - and just generally fighting for control of her and losing my temper with her every time we walk!!!!! I guess it HAS got 'better' - but it's STILL bloody hard work EVERY time we walk! Who'd have thought I'd STILL be having such battles after a whole year of it, EVERY day, TWICE a day!!! Jeeeze! Having said all that - I guess I have to admit - I HAVE kinda 'fallen in love' with her now, despite how she is. lolol :o/ . . walked late with a rucsack, and after the usual ball play, eventually carried on down town for a brief tour of a couple of charity shops. Supplies are getting low generally, but I've let myself get particularly low on tins of dog food (two full sacks of complete dry-mix in the house still unopened, so no great emergency). Bought twelve tins of dog food in the mini co-op to tide us over until I do a 'big' shop. Also bought ten 80p burgers in the butcher and scored a couple of free bones for Bella. A bit of hard work walking home with the heavy rucsack! . . treated Bella to one of the bones after her breakfast. . .PCd a bit of this. . .ended up putting in the hours to do one more Bella update and eventually got it uploaded to youtube . . walked . . briefly butted in on the 'Watcombe Radio Club net' which I'd been monitoring while I played ball with Bella. I just couldn't resist. A guy chatting with the group, was down on holiday staying in a seafront appartment overlooking the bay. I've toyed with the funny idea of playing with 'flashlight' communication across the bay for ages. This was my chance. I butted in on (hijacked!) their conversation, explained what I was hoping to do, and started flashing my tiny pocket sized LED torch in the general direction of Torquay. (I DID actually give my best attempt at doing 'CQ CQ' in morse code, but it wasn't very successful with just the regular on/off switch! lol) To cut a long story short - the guy found a high intensity flashlight in the rented apartment and flashed back at me and we WERE able to see each other. Ordinarily I probably would NOT have been able to see HIM, because Torquay is lit up like the sun at night, but it just so happened, his apartment was located in what appeared to me across the bay, as a small dark area amongst all the other lights. MY torch is tiny of course, but sat in the surrounding darkness of Battery Gardens, away from the main lights of Brixham, he WAS able to see it! Silly silly silly - but actually great (schoolkid type) fun. It really HAS wetted my appetite for trying to come up with a better way of doing the same some time in the future. Maybe a minature morse code key attached to a torch really WOULD do the business. I'll have to start practicing morse code - and all the letters I've forgotten! lolol . walked all the way home with a childish smile on my face. lolol . . . TVd/guitarred . . cooked and ate pizza with extra cheese followed by a pice of lemon cake. .to bed around 1am.
7 - Up around 9:30am!!!. . .walked VERY late . . spent pretty much the WHOLE day yet again messing around with little snips of Bella for an another 'update'. Felt really rather unwell and VERY headachey pretty much all day - and I've no annadin tablets left in the house. . played quite a bit of guitar in the 'downtime' while compiling the videos etc. . somewhere early afternoon someone from a cavity wall insulation firm phoned (at last! I was brewing up to calling them again any day now, to chase them up for not having got back in touch). A surveror will be calling Monday after 8:30am apparantly. I VERY much want that all done and dusted before the winter to at least cut down on some of the draughts noticeably getting in through the cavities. . ate a banana and the last of the apple and blackberry cobbler (because I just HAD to eat SOMEthing) before walking . . walked. Terrible walk. Felt really unwell, wobbly, and tortured with an awful, AWFUL headache! I wonder if this headachey thing (day after day, every day again of late - like when I was younger years ago) may be something to do with my failed eyesight? Whatever - it seems to be linked to where my neck muscles join my shoulder blades (so could be just my general worrying (actually about money mostly!!) 'uptightness'?). Those muscles are painful and actually 'tender' to the touch, and seem to be VERY linked to the severity of my headaches!?! . . TVd trying to prop my head on the setee without moving for hours. Felt empty but not at all hungry . eventually forced down a microwaved tin of sausages in baked beans with grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter . . 'early' to bed by midnight.
6 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up not too long before 9am. Rainy and blowing pretty strong by the look of it. :o( . . walked in full rain gear in the gale. Real unpleasant . on the return, some guy was up the lane out back, trimming the overgrown hedge all the way down as far as next doors burned out garage! Popped out to see what was going on (and make sure my garage etc was secure). Apparantly the guy had been employed by whoever is going to rebuild next doors garage, to clear enough of the hedgerow to hopefully enable passage of skip lorries, plant and the like!! (He'd seen my video of the fire on Youtube.) Bizzarly he'd only been instructed to cut it all down - and stack it all up next to next doors garage. Allegedly the plan was that it would all be burned in the inspection pit in next doors burned out garage!!!!!!!!! THAT fills me with concern about the 'proffesionalism' of the builder he's using - and the effect it's all going to have on MY property/carport/garage/garden fences etc, etc, etc. Worry, worry. :o( . . . spent the whole day pretty much, messing around with bits of Bella video, working on the latest 'update snips' (for the benefit/interest of the rescue people really). . . napped until the alarm at 6pm . .PCd straight away. Damn - outbid on an ebay auction for a scanner stand I'd been watching. I could use one of those stands down in the living room now. They're just far too highly priced for what they are, to buy one new (or even second hand at THAT price!) . . walked . . TVd/guitarred. . put in many more hours on the bella video . annadin tablet . . ate a trio of tuna and mayo rolls and a little chocolate . .kept a bit of a watch outside, just to satisfy my curiosity about exactly when, and saw the street lights had gone off around 1:45am . .watched TV ('Armadillo' - fascinating/compelling/awful documentary about soldiers on tour in Afganistan) until finally to bed around 4am.
5 - Up around 8:40am. 'Labor Day' in the US today apparantly, according to overheard conversations by Americans on the radio later (echolink). . According to Mum, it's a year today I think that Bella came to live with me. :o) Boy - doesn't time fly! . . woke up with coffee and cigs listening to the scanner. All the coastguard teams appeared to be dealing with a dog on the coastal path over the cliffs out past Berry Head and the holiday village somewhere. THAT is exactly why I never take Bella up that way! Happens just too damned often. With her 'ADHD' type frantic behavior, she'd be just BOUND to end up killing herself like that! :o/. . walked late and carried-on anxiously monitoring the radio, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. I got the impression the coastguard rescue team woman who was presumably lowered down the cliff, may have mistakenly keyed her mic at one point. All of a sudden I could hear her saying in a gentle encouraging way (with much background wind-noise) 'Come on Scooby. Come on. Come on Scooby'. A later overheard update suggested the dog had successfully been persuaded to get into the rescue bag, had been winched back up, and was re-united with its owner! That hopefully sounded like a good outcome. WHAT a relief. Got to admire those rescue people - lots. . . carried on down town in the strong breeze, sunny spells (and occasional brief hint of rain) and toured all the (cleared of any 'good' stuff by all the holidaymakers) charity shops. Bumped into J for a bit of a chat. One of his relatives had recently committed suicide! Been found hanging by his mum! :o( A couple of similar, down this way recently too apparantly! . . . Mum called to touch base and say how she REALLY disliked my cobbler (and even the pigeons didn't want to eat it!)! lolol All a matter of taste. It works for me. lolol . . .PCd a bit of this. I AM minded to start uploading it online again (actually for no particular reason), but I just can't seem to find the time or energy to finish all the mass of unfinished entries from recent times! . the postman delivered my pair of outdoor lights. They can sit around for some future time. The more I look at the difficulties of trying to light up that front garden path, the less inclined I am to start trying to do it!! It's a minefield of difficulty and huge runs of outdoor cable!! . . ate spam and mayo sandwiches, cobbler and a square of chocolate. . napped until woken from deep dreaming by the alarm around 6pm . . walked. Stopped by the store for milk and sugar on the way home . . TVd/guitarred/PCd with an increasingly bad headache and feeling a bit nauseas yet again. .I don't believe it!!!!! Those really expensive LED spot lights I bought for the kitchen diner downlights , (which were advertised as supposedly lasting for years) have BOTH started to fail ALREADY!! Half the LEDs have gone out on one, and the other seems to be intermittantly failing! WHAT a bloody rip off - again! :o( I can't believe what's going on with this country. We Really are being pushed back into a new 'dark age' with these bloody useless, allegedly energy-saver lightbulbs we are all being forced into using! Never mind the recently failing LED spots which I've hardly even used - the 'regular' energy saver bulbs DEFINITELY do NOT give out ANYWHERE near the equivalent amount of light as the good old incandescents. EVERY time that criticism is made on TV, some LIAR always comes out with the nonsense that they are equivalent and last for many times longer. It just is NOT true and I fail to understand how they can get away with continuing to say it! I've had AT LEAST three or more of those new energy saver bulbs blow in the few years since I've been here! You need three or more all on at once all over the place to get anywhere near (not even then!) an equivalent amount of light as from a good old fashioned 60w incandescent - and then you have to wait for them to 'warm up'!! AND - on top of all that, they are now turning off many of the local street lights at around 1:15am, plunging the streets into treacherous darkness (of most impact to pedestrians!). No street lights, few libraries, no public toilets, no free further education, poor home lighting, fewer and fewer services for the elderly/sick/needy, anarchy on the streets, etc etc etc ad infinitum - I can't believe how we are so readily accepting of the removal of all that marks us out as a civilised society! I despair of what has happened to this country in only my lifetime. NO amount of 'spin' of statistics to suggest otherwise (which such criticism is ALWAYS up against!?), will EVER convince me that my own direct experience of such things is somehow mistaken. . . . ate a bowl of muesli before to bed around 2am.
4 - . . . walked the woods without having slept!!! (HUGE amounts of rubbish strewn around all over the place on Churston beach! Appalling! There was even an expensive looking upright VAX vacuum cleaner dumped down there!??) . did some blackberry picking along the way. Bella likes eating blackberries!!? Weird dog! Unlike Sally, se'll eat absolutely anything! . Just on the other side of the hedge in the top field, someone unseen was shooting - something!! Really worrying. Felt FAR too close for comfort and safety! That's actually pretty close to houses, roads and all the woods walkers! Every time they took a couple of shots, I jumped a mile! . . with the VX2 radio in my pocket monitoring stuff, a couple of guys from up country were chatting on echolink, and mentioned blackberrying. lol Couldn't resist stopping picking and with purple fingers giving a quick shout from my hedgerow - just to say, that was exactly what I was in the middle of doing! lololol . . labour intensive! Lots on the bushes, but not 'that' many were ripe. Too early or too late, I'm not sure which? Eventually had a reasonable quantity collected in a poop scoop bag. . a fresh looking pigeon was laying dead in the woods on the way back, with even some fresh looking blood on nearby leaves etc!? I wonder - a casualty of the shooters? FAR too close for comfort/safety! I DID toy wiith the idea of taking it home and cooking it, but not really sure how long it'd been there, I decided not to and just left it . . stopped off at Mums on the way home to share some of my blackberry haul . . TVd/recovered from the walk for a bit before eventually mustering the enrgy to have a go at cooking up some of the apples and all the blackberries. Ended up with a big pot of sweet syrupy apple and blackberry 'sludge'. Should have added less water and cooked it less. Pushed on and cooked up a cobbler out of just some of it. Suprised I managed to stay awake long enough after having had no sleep last night. . ate spam and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a portion of 'quite' nice, very sweet cobbler . . napped until just before the alarm at around 7:15pm . . walked. Dropped off a sample of cobbler for Mum to try on the way, because she wasn't sure what I meant by a cobbler . . TVd/guitarred/monitored radios/PCd another evening away until early . . PCd a bit of this until early . . ate a beef pastry slice, crisps, a bit of cheese and then bowls of mum-donated frosties . . to bed well after 3am.
3 - Up around 8:40am headachey. Grey and overcast with rain forecast for later . . walked . . did dish washing chores . . PCd briefly until Mum called in with the paper and food donations for a coffee and chats etc . . ate ham sandwiches, half a pork pie, crisps and biscuits. . napped. . walked . . TVd . . PCd trawling e-bay adverts for hours for anything of interest (partiuclarly local) as rain fell! . . briefly checked the local guys hedgehog webcam for some reason at around 3am, and would you believe it - a couple of hedghogs were there, right then. I even spotted HIM going out and checking on one of them! What on earth was HE doing up at that hour - in the rain?! lolol I actually called him on the radio just in case, but he wasn't monitoring. lolol Touched base with BB and pointed her at the webcam to see the hedgehog. lolol . . ate a couple of sausage rolls and a bag of crisps at the PC . . by the time I felt tired enough for sleep, it was pretty much too late to go to bed, so I just stayed up!!!!!!!!! . .
2 - Up around 9:20am feeling absolutely awfull . . walked late, in the sun in remarkably high temperatures. The dog walker returned the bracelet. She'd gone into a jewellers in town and allegedly had it valued - at £15! A derisory amount. That's just taking the p***! I'll put it back in the jewellry box and leave it there for evermore. I'm not just 'giving' it away for as little as THAT! . .found a silver and amber earring just outside my gate to add to my 'found' collection - although I may ask neighbours if they've lost one . . . sat around feeling really very not good at all!! VERY not!! Lay down for a bit but found it too hot to sleep. . . eventually forced down a couple of ham and mayo sandwiches, a banana and biscuits . . thankfully napped the afternoon away until after 6pm . . PCd a bit of this. Recieved an e-mail from the amateur across the bay saying thanks but declining my PC speakers offer. Not unhappily put them safely away in the back of the cupboard. . very warm still. Around 74F/26C in the PC room!!. . walked. Played ball and sat around for ages until WELL after dark, chatting some of the time to the guy next door who turned up with their dog . . . PCd and put in a bit of time trying to move stuff from the PC drive onto one of my external drives because I was running out of space again (as always, thanks to all that damned video I'm trying to keep) . . radiod a bit on 2mtrs (through GB3WR up on the mendips), because there was just a bit of a lift on again. . cooked and ate a four egg cheese omlette with chips in the early hours. . TVd a show about acoustic guitar music at the BBC, until almost 3am before eventually to bed.
1 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:45am . . PCd a bit of this. Watched nervously/eagerly as the heavy wheelie bin was emptied without any hassle. Every fortnight I need to cram that little bin full (with 'disguised' inappropriate stuff!) in an attempt to clear some of the piles of junk/timber etc etc filling my garage! I really am finding not having a car a bit of a pain (to say the least), for such things in particular (although mostly the garden refuse which I simply now CANNOT get rid of!)! . . walked late and briefly chipped in on a conversation I'd been monitoring on the radio. . stopped off at home for a coffee before heading back out, up mums briefly, to share half my apples with her . . PCd/monitored radios. Dug out the old amplified PC speakers I only relatively recently stopped using. and made sure they'd work ok when plugged into a radio. Actually tried them on one of my scanners. Predictably as I'd imagined, they sounded really rather good! SUCH a shame I absolutely do NOT want them cluttering up the desk and complicating things I have to turn-on to listen to stuff, etc. (Actually having the sound coming from the different speakers on various different radios, rather than all out of a single set of speakers is preferable to me, particularly when trying to listen to two or three all at once - even if the 'quality' of the sound is somewhat less than it could be. If I wanted to amplify things, my new speaker bar attached to my monitor is more than adequate and SO neat (I already use it for my main scanner sound output, input via the sound card-which also enables me to record stuff if I so desire!)) I'd offered my old speakers to the guy I'd spoken to on the radio earlier, because he was on about spending loads of money buying some to try with a particular radio of his. Seemed like a good oportunity to maybe let them find a good use, and clear some of my mountains of clutter. Eventually e-mailed him with photos etc suggesting I thought they sounded pretty good, and if he wanted them, he could have them, but he'd have to come pick them up (no small thing for him perhaps, because he has his own 'mental health' issues. From what I've heard, there are some overlaps in our 'stuff'. I WOULD like to meet the guy some time - and maybe even talk about 'stuff' a little. lol ) . ate bacon sandwiches and plumb cobbler . . napped . . walked and monitored the radio for ages listening to a regular local 'net'. The guy I'd spoken to and e-mailed earlier about the speakers was on it. Funny thing was, as soon as I joined in the conversation, he promptly went off before I'd even had a chance to speak to him! I'm sure he had his own reasons and it was presumably just coincedence, but that made my recent feelings of increased paranoia, quite considrably worse!! . eventually walked home in the dark again . . TVd the evening away feeling increasingly uncontrollably paranoid/down and up-tight for some reason. Actually the worst evening/last couple of days I've had for ages mood wise! :o( Gotta get a grip! . . .ate a Mum donated packet of pork pies and the last of the plumb cobbler . . TVd/PCd/monitored the night away until 4am or later before finally to bed. s