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October
31
- Woken by Sally around 7:15am . . walked. Image of HMS Ark Royal in TorbayMuch clearer than yesterday and grabbed just a couple of quick, low res stills with the camcorder, of Ark Royal moored four miles away over by Torquay. I HAD intended to maybe film it a bit, but as I walked around our usual route, I noticed a woman dog walker stood rather unusualy on the rocks looking a bit unhappy.Image of stranded dog Titch on cliffs at Battery Gardens Brixham Oh blimey - across from where she was stood, on an inaccessable grassy ledge half way down the cliff, was her dog! Somehow it had gone over the edge! It appeared to be suprisingly unhurt despite its twenty foot+ fall from the path above. Remarkable! The tide was pretty much out and rocks were below, so no way was it going to do very well if it went off its ledge. Luckily with her encouragement, it seemed pretty happy just to stay where it was. Some other dog walker had apparantly headed off towards the harbour to raise the alarm with the coastguard, so there really was nothing that could be done (other than hang around and start taking photos/video of course - although that actually felt a bit uncomfortable under the circumstances). I did at least have enough charge in my old mobile phone battery, to allow her to phone her husband and let him know what had happened. I 'think' it was him who turned up a while later. . as it always does under such circumstances, it seemed like a long wait, but probably quite quickly a harbourmaster turned up and then soon after, lots of members of the local HM Coastguard Search and Rescue teams (Torbay and Berry Head - all volunteers I think).Image of coastguard rope technician Dave Sanders rescuing Titch the dog They all quickly got to work up on the path, driving in huge metal stakes with sledge hammers to act as the anchors for all the abseil ropes.

-/unfinished/-

just then, with all the hulabaloo of the hammering and a small crowd of onlookers etc, two seal came swimming by and actually paused for quite a time, clearly curios and just having a look. The little dog on the ledge spotted them and got worryingly near the edge and needed some coaxing by the owner to stay put and not try going after them!

I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise these days, but it was to me - they appeared to have a portable petrol driven winch to haul the guy back up the cliff.

. . quickly rushed up to the top of the cliff and just about managed to get a bit of footage of the excited dog, reunited with its owner to nicely round things off. A woman passing by with her husband was collared by one of the coastguard team, and asked to use his camera to take a photo of them all. That seemed a pretty perfect ending for any video I may have been able to make out of the footage I'd taken, so I kept filming as they all grouped up for the photo. As it turned out, the poor woman didn't know how to use his camera and somehow hadn't taken the photo, so they all lined up to have another go! lol I couldn't resist the opportunity, and more or less forced the womans poor husband to take my still recording camcorder, told him (actually a bit rudely, so it seems on reviewing the video!) to just point it, and made myself free to pull out the high resolution stills camera and grab a quick few shots as well. One of those photos as it turned out (just slightly lightened and cropped) I reckon was a pretty damn good one. All PROPER smiles and laughter after a happy outcome. :o) Couldn't resist mailing it straight away to the contact e-mail address one of the guys had let me have, as soon as I got home. . Image of the Torbay and Berry Head HM Coastguard Search And Rescue Teams and rescued dog TitchPCd this mornings footage eager to see what I'd got. .Mum called in with the paper and food donations, for chats, a cuppa and to watch all of this mornings forty minutes or so of unedited footage. She liked it lots. lol . . . PCd for the whole rest of the day, wrestling with trying to edit down the footage to less than ten minutes for a Youtube upload. Ended up going round and round in circles making little progress. There are times when I just can't seem to bring myself to make the edits/cuts I arguably should. As far as I'm concerned, every bit of the footage I shot was of 'some' interest in one way or another. I DEFINITELY hear and see more of the small details in these videos than other people apparantly do, NOT ONLY because I have to spend hours playing and listening to it over and over when editing. I suspect this is connected with my 'need' to have a simple and quiet, reclusive life. My brain perceives 'normal' events as FULL of MUCH detail - and yet ALL to be completely forgotten in pretty short order (hence journal and photos and videos! It's my memory!!) . . skipped the walk and battled on trying to cut the footage down. Eventually just about managed to cut it down to twenty minutes without, losing 'too' much of what actually occurred, and uploaded the files to Youtube some time after 10pm!! . . touched base with BB . . ate salami and lettuce rolls and chocolate . . to bed around 1:11am. sa
30 - Up around 6:45am again. .overcast grey with rain forecast for later. . walked and trimmed just a 'little' (relatively!) . . straight home to dabble with the car following last nights 'hesitant' start. Eventually removed the battery, after a little difficulty with a rusted-on negative terminal clamp bolt! Put the battery on a rapid charge in the kitchen and then messed around with the terminal clamp bolts, de-rusting them (circular wire brush on the end of the electric drill) and then sawing off a little bit of the thread. They are both unnecessarily long and prevent me from getting my socket set onto them. Always SUCH an awkward fiddle with just a spanner, which ALWAYS seems to end up trying to strip/'round' the nut - and always the fear/possibility of making 'sparky' contact with some other (-ve) part when initially releasing the positive/live terminal. Worth the effort of cutting the threads down so I can get the small socket set on them, and in the future, undo/tighten them quick and easy. .oil seems ok - bit of air in the front tyres - power steering fluid reservoir appears a 'bit' low, but I don't have any so that'll have to wait for some other time. Other than that - well - to hell with it really! God I feel SO tired! . . at some point I happened to glance out into the lane and noticed what appeared to be fresh deposits of rubble. Appeared to have been just tossed down in places that didn't 'particularly' require it, in heaps with little regard to trying to make them smooth!?? Hang on! OH MYYYYY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!! A quick walk up the lane confirmed what I'd thought just couldn't be true - but was. That nutcase up the road had been out in the lane, dug up all the rubble I'd recently placed in the eroded depression adjacent to his property, and had dumped it around elsewhere! OH MYYYYY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whichever way you look at it, that really HAS to be regarded as bizarre behaviour - doesn't it? From a grown man - that has to be the most selfish, childish behaviour I have encountered in quite a while. Kinda like a small child stamping its foot and having a tantrum until it gets its own way. Well - that really DOES confirm it doesn't it. He really IS a bona fide nutcase. A REAL one! Total W****R! . I guess under the circumstances then, he gets his way doesn't he. Pointless doing anything which will bring me into any further contact/conflict with him in any way. Proper nutters can end up being dangerous and are a bit scary. The lane outside just his property, over which we all must drive, will have to remain a bumpy uneven mess! That's disappointing. I wonder how much of the lane he will decided to do that with? If I fill depressions further up, PAST his property between it and the entrance to the lane, is he liable to dig that out as well? Bizarre. I think under the circumstances (once I've done the small heap by my garage I still have to do) I'll not be crushing any more rocks. Having said that, it almost makes me laugh out loud to think that what I 'could' do is play silly buggers and go and dump it all back there. It'd be like one of those comedy films - two crazy nutcases getting all obsessed about nonsense and ending up in an escalating war, spending all their lives moving the same rubble back and forth until one of them cracked and escalated things and maybe hired a JCB or a lorry load to be tipped in a big heap outside the others house. lololololololololol . . drove with Sally and a thermos of coffee to BGdns around 4:15pm in the hope of seeing HMS Ark Royal arriving in the bay. Turned out it was too misty to see much, and definitely impossible to film - and contrary to what I thought I'd read about its arrival time, it was already there! It was 'just' possible to make out a shape in the gloom, already moored by Torquay. Damn. That was all a wasted effort then. :o( . . stopped at the store on the way home and treated myself to a big expensive (3+) pizza . . ate a large expensive pizza and some chocolate . . the police called at the door again looking for the same guy as before! This time I was quickly able to tell them of their address mistake and which house they should be aiming for! If this keeps happening I may start to get all paranoid and start believing it's deliberate and they are keeping an eye on me for some reason!? . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . TVd until bed around 1am. sa
29 - Up around 6:45am . . walked and trimmed and got serious with T's wood saw for a bit, and actually just hacked the whole tops off a couple of huge buddliea 'trees'. That's gonna look an eyesore when they die off and go brown, and just stay there - but so be it! I reckon my work should keep that view visible for a good handful of years before it'll need cutting again. Talking of eyes - deep in and under the jungle canopy, a thin branch of something came from nowhere and 'slapped' me right across my right eye. The unavoidable result was, both eyelids closed and with plenty of water 'streaming' from my eye, I was temporarily blinded. Bit scary that for a bit. Thought I was gonna have to call for help to get me out!! Thankfully I was eventually able to open at least one eye sufficient to be able to extracate myself. I called it quits for the day about then! . . touched base with Mum and then did laundry chores . . PCd and spent hours doing 'one' e-mail which I couldn't avoid for any longer!! . . read a bit on the local newspaper website which said that the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was going to be coming into the bay tomorrow around 5pm. Wow - that would be a sight. Guess that's a good part of tomorrow all mapped out for me then. I'll be in BGdns with the camcorder! . . ate ham ring, chips and chocolate. . napped until around 6pm . . as had been previously arranged, I escorted Mum with Sally down town. She was going to see the local amateur production of Oliver with aunt B. . back via BGdns, overheating in my fleece, despite it being just a bit cooler and breezier than of late. . touched base with BB . . too tired to walk again as I'd planned. Drove with Sally to pick Mum up around 10pm. . All stopped at BGdns for a bit of a sit before heading home. Uh oh - I think the car battery may be almost flat! That's all those short trips I always ever do. . TVd . .ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate before eventually to bed around 1am or later.
28 - Up around 6:15am . . walked and trimmed - much. I was still sat all hot and exhausted in BGdns at getting on for 11am! . . back home to find a couple of packets had been delivered in the mail. One was a birthday gift of 'Blue Planet' DVDs from DS. That'll sure come in handy given the appalling sh*te that's on TV all the time these days! The other packet was the cheap secateurs I'd ordered from e-bay. Wow - they came quicker than I'd imagined they would given they were second class and there is a postal strike on! Sadly, they are exactly the same as those I recently bought (cheaper) locally and promptly broke. Oh well. . PCd a bit and read the local news. Yet again there was an article that someone had reported seeing a distress flare - on sunday I think they said, which was of course when I saw that chinese lantern being sent up! lol . oh wow - someone has 'donated' 10 via paypal as a birthday gift. :o) . sat around for ages just feeling awful tired . . pretty much TVd the day away . .ate ham and cheese rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped late for almost a couple of hours until the alarm at 7pm . . drove to walk. Extremely mild quiet evening with hardly a breath of wind. Sat in BGdns for ages and then even in the back garden for a bit when I got home . . BB called to touch base . . TVd . . ate a tin of spaghetti bolognese and grated cheese before to bed around 1:30am.
27 - Birthday Woken by Sally barking at something around 6am. :o( . . Well - there it is then. Another year. I don't even know how many that is, without having to count on fingers and try and work it out. Ummm - 48 is it? Who'd have thought I'd have made it this far!! Not so many more - and that's really ok by me. I've long since had my fill of the world. . PCd and got round to having a look at a weather website a neighbour/dog walker had given me a link to, which he said he preferred to the met office one. RainToday.co.uk. Wow - I see his point. That IS pretty cool. . . walked and trimmed jungle. Would you believe it!!!!!!! I broke my new secateurs. The very day after having bought them! Snapped one of the metal handles clean in half! Well - that's why they were only 2 then - obviously made of cheese instead of 'metal'! Grrrrr. :o( Oh well - at least I can transplant the new spring onto the old ones. I guess I paid 2 for the spring then. Hummph. . Image of abandoned clothingbizarre sight near the entrance to BGdns. Something weird behind a bush drew my attention. Turned out to be what looked like a pair of female trousers, underwear, a toilet roll, evidence of faeces and perhaps most bizarrely of all, a pair of shoes! All just left on the grass there!!!!? I guess it's conceivable someone could have got caught short with an upset stomach and hidden behind the tree to have a dump, and gotten into a bit of a mess and taken some drastic action, but the shoes in particular made the whole thing seem a bit weird to say the least. I mean - how did they manage to leave the place with - um - nothing on below the waist??? (In fact - so weird did that seem, it unsettled me rather, and whilst typing this I actually looked up the local police enquiry office phone number and made a short embarassing call, to explain what I'd seen, and where, and just get it off my mind. Obviously NOT really a police matter, but JUST in case there WAS some more serious incident being investigated which may have been connected. You never know! Sh*t 'appens?. . People are SO weird! ) . . returned with a bone for Sally from K. . PCd a bit of this. .drank a glass of red wine while cooking roast potatoes and defrosting some K donated beef. Ate 'dog food' and potatoes with a pint of gravy. . BB called to touch base and say happy birthday immediately followed by LB (who I needed to apologise to for not having sent a card, like she had to me!) . . made a deliberate point of NOT taking the secateurs and walked early to sit in BGdns for an hour or two, just enjoying the sunny view and listening to the scanner for a bit. It may be incredibly mild for the time of year but by the time I got home I was pretty damn cold nontheless. . .TVd the rest of the day away, fighting to stay awake . . ate bowls of cornflakes . . early to bed around 10:30pm. ds
26 - Up around 6:30am again. Don't understand why I seem so incapable of sleeping on, especially when I always wake feeling tired out!? . . walked in a bit of sea mist and actually carried my garden shears in a carrier bag with me. Hacked away at my new 'pathway', until the point of exhaustion again - and then did yet more, much of it trying to 'tidy up' a bit, when T turned up with his loppers. Succeeded in cutting my new pathway through from the roof and seats area, down through to the roof of the main gun emplacement (albeit a bit of a dangerous climb/clamber through the slippery undergrowth and over a BIG felled tree which has been left there for years. Even Sally managed to negotiate it with me, by the time I'd finished for the day.) . . carried on down town and stopped in at the covered market, with the intention of seeing if the 'tools' stall guy was there. Yayy - he was, and as I'd suspected he would, he had a number of pairs of cheap secateurs. Yayyy. Scored a replacement pair of 'Green Jem' bypass secateurs for an amazing mere 2. Excellent. . I resisted but was oh SO tempted to buy a small, 18" or so in length, tree pruning 'bow saw' he also had there for just 3.80!!! . I can see me returning to probably buy one in a week or two, if he still has them. At some point in the near future (once all the leaves have fallen), I have it in mind to attempt (with the ladder!!!!!!) a bit of tree pruning of the overly large blossom tree in my back garden - never mind my 'job for life' BGdns clearance obsession, for which it would be invaluable! lol . . touched base with Mum and reported on the secateurs . . PCd this for hours, as usual, ending up amazed at how long such a short amount of typing took! . . lay down to nap but yet again somehow couldn't!? I've never had trouble sleeping like this before??? . . skipped the evening walk as rain poured. . ate a Mum donated meat feast pizza and then some chocolate . .guitarred/TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate half a mum donated battenburg cake . . Tvd until bed at midnight. s
25 - Up around 6:30am. So much for an extra hour in bed with the clocks changing. Despite my chaotic sleep patterns, it would appear I have some sort of sleep/body-clock ticking away there of its own accord. .ended up on the PC and e-bay and ordered a new cheap pair of bypass secateurs, of the type I've always used and have recently been losing the springs from. An unbelievable 1.25 for the secateurs and then 99p for the postage - a remarkable total of a mere 2.24! Impossible to believe they can actually 'make' them for that much, let alone somehow make a worthwhile profit on the deal. Mind boggling. Only draw back right now is the fact it'll be despatched by second class post! What with the postal strike and all, I probably won't get it for weeks!! :o( . walked a bit early and trimmed a bunch of stuff with the new secateurs Mum donated. Dare I admit, I've opened up another 'front' in the battle against the buddleia forest! I've actually started making a 'tunnel' through the undergrowth, from the top of the lower gun emplacement back up the hidden overgrown slope, in the direction of where I've done all the other trimming/tree cutting. The theory being, if it is at least possible to cut a pathway through it all here and there, that should make it slightly more feasable to reach in and cut down offending 'high growth'. Really has become an obsession! Well - the new secateurs work, and I haven't broken them - yet, but they sure aren't as good as the cheap ones at suffering the abuse I always give them (i.e. forcing them to cut through branches 'at least' twice the recommended thickness! ) Stopped 'working' once I'd reached my usual point of exhaustion and was wringing wet with sweat. Just then 'T' turned up, and I couldn't resist making use of his excellent loppers, so ended up doing a whole bunch MORE cutting! Exhausted after what must have been a good hour or more work - most of which was invisible in terms of any noticeable effect!! . . Touched base with mum and reported that the secateurs worked pretty well - and I hadn't broken them - yet! Tried to be diplomatic but admitted I was seeking to buy some of the cheaper ones despite her gift - and maybe because of the fancy geared/twisting handle, they'd eventually be better for HER to use. . .pottered around. Did laundry chores. Putting the laundry out on the line, I exchanged a word with my neighbour (the 'lane owner'). He seemed eager to tell me - following the last load of rubble I'd added to the lane the other day, the (nutcase) neighbour who had previously objected to what I've been doing, had arrived at his door one evening complete with a plastic bag containing an evidential sample of what I'd tipped out there adjacent to his property (i.e. a small peice of brick and some sand!), to once again voice his objection! He'd apparantly expressed objection on grounds which allegedly included - he found it difficult to walk on, and it had made the lane a lot of different colours! Oh myyyyyyy god! That's pretty weird behaviour isn't it? I mean - to put some in a bag and present it like that? It's not like my neighbour wasn't aware - he drives over it a couple of times every day! Of course I don't know what the actual conversation was between them, but suffice it to say, my neighbour (the lane owner) is all in favour of my efforts to improve the surface out there, encouraged me NOT to stop, and even suggested a couple of areas which would benefit from adding more! . I dunno - seems like there are some real crazy people in this world - like, even more so than me! Wow - imagine what that nutcase of a neighbour would make of what I'm doing in BGdns!!!! He'd probably have me arrested! . . .washed the living room bay windows - well, the lower windows at least. I couldn't easily reach the smaller top-openers from the top of the small step ladder, and wasn't prepared to walk the full-sized ladder all the way round, just for that. A rare event. I just don't DO 'washing windows' generally. Always seems so pointless when the next rain immediately undoes all the effort. Nevertheless, in a certain light, it HAD become noticeable they were pretty filty. Probably only the second time I've washed them since I've been here. Made quite a positive difference, although it turned out the majority of the grime was actually on the INSIDE - caused by the frequent bouts of cold weather condensation and my smoking. . ate corned beef, cheese and lettuce sandwiches . . lay down to nap but couldn't again!!? . . drove to walk and watched as someone let off another chinese lantern from BGdns. They suggested they were quietly celebrating an anniversary and had decided to send one up because they never had before. Absolutely raced away over the breakwater and out to sea, once it acsended to a certain height and got into the wind. (On the packaging, so they said, it suggests they should NOT be sent up near the coast - one assumes because of the risk of distress flare false alarms, etc.) As is happily so often the case, in the shelter of BGdns, at ground level, that stiff breeze was almost unnoticeable. Continued with the walk and became aware of a fox - and actually caught it frozen in my torch beam, staring back at me more than once. Thankfully manged to get Sally on her lead before she realised it was there. I wonder if it isn't perhaps a lean, hard time for foxes at this time of year? It seemed impossible for it to move anywhere, without announcing its presence with a loud rustling of fallen autumn leaves. . . TVd, tired out. . ate bowls of co-co pops. . touched base with BB . . to bed by 11pm. s
24 - Up around 8am as heavy rain poured. . walked in waterproofs. . did dishwashing chores . . Mum called in for a cuppa and chats with food donations. She also produced a new expensive pair of secateurs she'd gone down town and bought for me for (my birthday soon and all)!!!! A fancy looking pair of 'Fiskars' medium bypass pruner secateurs with a patented PowerGear mechanism and unique rotating handle for 19.99!!! How MUCH!!!!!!?? I was horrified and must have appeared oh SO ungrateful. It's just that I KNOW - no way in this world will something like that with plastic handles and a totally pointless gear mechanism, cope with the abuse I put them through - and THAT expensive? I could have bought half a dozen pairs of the normal cheap, all metal ones for that! Oh dear. :o( No ONE - absolutely NO ONE should EVER make the mistake of getting me anything (except quantities of cash of course! lol) . Only 'I' know what may work for me and what 'I' may want. I'm NOT an ungrateful b*****d - really I'm not! . It's just this thing of living SO frugally for an entire lifetime - I just can't bear to see money wasted like that - and oh BOY do I HATE having to PRETEND to be grateful in such circumstances! . (Worth mentioning here perhaps - on the rare occasions I DO spend 'money' on stuff, when I get it right, I sure get my monies worth out of whatever it is I've bought. Aside from the PC of course, a most noteable example in recent times would have to be the camcorder. I doubt many of those which were sold, have seen the extreme amount of use mine has seen. Carried in a pocket everywhere for the last few years, and at the very least, 'switched on' to look through, pretty much every day of that. And then there is that fancy battery charger I bought - I use it all the time to charge all the NiMHs in camera, torch, guitar, etc, etc. ) . . ate Mum donated sliced tongue rolls and some chocolate . . napped until gone 6pm . . still strangely mild and not unpleasant out, so I delayed my usual 'waking up coffee' and eventually drove to walk with a thermos of coffee. Sat in the dark in BGdns for ages, having cigarettes and cups of coffee. Very pleasant. I would do that more if I owned a slightly smaller thermos which was no bigger than a single mug full, and was more easily carried. . coasting at speed down the lane on the way back, I suddenly had to come to a stop and wait. Ended up having to wait out there for five minutes or so! A 'lucky not to be run over' hedgehog was ambling around in the tire tracks (with a frog nearby too). Tragic you don't see many of those around anymore. I'm not too sure the one I saw there was very well. :o( Eventually managed to carefully squeeze past. . .guitarred/TVd . . touched base breifly with Mum and later with BB . .ate a tin of sausages in baked beans, a banana and some chocolate before eventually to bed around 2:15am (although the clocks changed an hour back tonight, so that was kinda 1:15am).
23 - Woken at 7:30am by Sally barking as someone came to the door. Turned out to be a policeman!! Scared me to death! I imagined all sorts of things - something to do with elderly Mum, being prominent in the unpleasant possible scenarios! Happily, it eventually became apparant, he'd simply been given the wrong address for someone else. Phew. (I'm sorry to admit, but it 'amused me' to upload my journal at around this point, leaving the arrival of a policeman at the door as a sort of 'soap opera-esque' cliff-hanger for a couple of days, for the one or two who may still read this stuff. Sorry about that. Anti climax huh? Well - come on - really - what did you expect - it's not like I actually 'live a life' anymore is it! lol :o) ) . . walked and actually saw the policeman again, coming out of a house with a not dissimilar number, some distance away. . trimmed buddleia with T's loppers . Mum called to touch base . . drank a glass of wine and ate two cheese burgers . . napped . . drove to walk in the rain . . PCd a bit of this . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate beef sandwiches, bowls of co-co pops and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
22 - Woken around 4am by Sally . eventually got up all annoyed and swearing, and stumbled down in a dressing gown to let her out in the gale. She DID have a pee then came running straight back in! You woke me up for THAT?! Grrrrrr! Tossed and turned and couldn't get back to sleep and evbentually got back up around 5am! That'll be today all screwed up then. . PCd but Sally wouldn't rest and ended up sat outside the PC room just staring at me - messing with my mind, so it feels when she does that!! Gave her the opportunity to use the garden again but she didn't seem to want to be out in the rain! Eventually in a foul, foul, dangerous mood, I eventually felt forced to walk her and drove to walk in the filthy weather around 7am! Grrrr. I seem to be an awful Jeckel and Hyde type character when it comes to sleep deprivation. If I don't get enough sleep, I should be locked in a padded cell until I have! Just ask poor Sally. . aimlessly PCd for hours, with my mood just getting more and more down. Actually had a bit of a look at secateurs on line, and confirmed the type I am trying to replace can actually be picked up for just a few pounds. Bizzarely, I even found somewhere on-line which sold the springs, although they were pretty much the price of a whole replacement pair of secateurs, so that's a no-go. What a mad world. . Popped a couple of asparin at one point, in a desperate attempt to combat the dreadful aches and pains I seem to have to constantly live with these days, and inexplicably thereafter found my down mood lifting a little!? I've never noticed asparin having THAT affect on me before! Hmmm - so, I guess I'll soon be a asparin addict now then? . . cut my hair/beard etc. . ate chopped salad and chips . . walked early and managed to miss the showers. With hindsight I think Sally's waking me up this morning was all about the big bone I gave her yesterday. Too much for comfort I guess. Got through a few poop bags this evening! . .TVd/guitarred a little . . ate cold chicken sandwiches and half a mum donated coffee cake. . touched base with BB . .watched Question Time. I'd been looking forward to this one for the last few weeks - ever since they announced Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP was going to be on.

-/unfinished/-

ate chocolate and TVd until bed around 12:45am. aas
21 - Woken earlier by the noise of the bin-men then up around 8am . . walked . . trimmed a little of the BGdns forest and - oh no!!!!!!! I lost the spring off the secateurs somewhere amongst all the debris. That is infuriating. I can't believe I've lost another one - and without that stupid little spring the damn things are almost useless, and I'm gonna have to go and buy a new pair! Grrrr. Doing some 'volunteer' work down there cutting stuff back is one thing - actually having it cost me money is a whole nother matter! :o( . . walked down town specifically amongst one or two other things, intending to try and buy some new secateurs. Would you believe it - not a single store in town had an equivalent pair - and all those they DID have, which were far too expensive, seemed to be far less robust and more easily broken (particularly considering the abuse I subject them to), and pretty much ALL of them had that same stupid, easily dislodged and lost, spring arrangement. That'll have to wait until I next got to an out of town DIY store or some such. . Scored some bones and a flea collar (3.69) for Sally (because even though I can't find any fleas on her, she DOES seem to be all itchy and scratchy more than usual - and maybe even me a bit too!!!). Otherwise, going to the bother of walking all the way down there felt like a complete waste of time. . ate garlic sausage rolls and chocolate . . napped . . drove to walk. Ever sinking mood all day!!! :o( . TVd . .ate chicken and chips and chocolate touched base with BB . . TVd until bed before midnight.
20 - Up around 7:45am as heavy rain poured and wind battered the front of the house. Feel tired and achey. . walked in between showers. Caught out on the way home and got drenched. . feeling a bit down. PCd aimlessly and ended up on-line, reading the entire instruction manual for a particular Panasonic camcorder!! What prompted that was a recent conversation with a dog walker who seemed to have no grasp of the distances involved when looking out at the view from BGdns. Although I was adamant he was wrong (he was insistant everything was a lot closer than in reality), I couldn't remember the actual distances, so this morning on the PC I actually went on Google maps/satellite and the AIS map and worked out a bunch of it, so i could talk facts when we next spoke. From the roof and seats in BGdns, Torquay is four miles across the bay. Of the some eight big oil tanker/container ships that have been anchored in the bay for ages, the closest one is at least two miles out - the furthest of the group is a minimum of eight miles out. That one which was eight miles out, featured in and perhaps started our conversation about the distances, because the pilot boat went out to it while we were watching. Because it was SO far, the actual pilot boat became pretty invisible by the time it had reached it. Even with my camcorder 25x optical zoom, I couldn't really make it out. SO - all this lead me to once again be itching to upgrade my camcorder to a more modern one. Technology has moved on incredibly fast since I got mine (already then, out of date - hence cheap) a few years ago. For a couple of hundred pounds, you can now actually get a SDHC memory card camcorder with a 70X zoom (really! No - I didn't mistype that. Incredible huh? A full 70X OPTICAL zoom!!!!) Imagine what I could do with one of those? Oooohh - so tempting. One of these days I just gonna HAVE to upgrade to something like that. (Shame the battery life hasn't kept up with the other advances. You STILL only get around an hour maximum use out of a fully charged battery. An 'official' replacement-part Panasonic battery is almost the price of the camcorder - so buying a bunch of them is impossible! Also - after having read the manual, it appears you can NOT 'quickly' pop another battery on or even get a larger capacity one for that particular camcorder. Definite drawback, based on the way I've used mine in the past.) . .

ate chicken and four pieces of bread and butter . . napped . .skipped the walk . .guitarred just a little . . TVd . . touched base with BB . .ate half a mum donated coffee cake, bags of crisps and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 2am. s
19 - Up around 7:30am again . .walked . . put in a few hours from some time after 10am, crushing the heap of rubble the builder donated, by my garage out back. I probably could have got through it all in one go if I'd put in another couple of hours, but after all the recent hard labour cutting buddleia etc in BGdns, I was just too tired and aching to carry on, and called a halt around 2pm after only having dealt with around three quarters of it. Dumped it all out in appropriate places in the lane before recovering and getting clean. . SO tired, I ended up skipping food and just laying straight down for a nap, but couldn't sleep and eventually got back up . . TVd . . drove to walk. Sat listening with the scanner for a while. Some lifeboat (NOT the local one) was being called out to investigate reports of an inflatable dingy with a couple of people on board somewhere, with no lights etc. Definitely NOT an evening to be out in a rubber dingy - pretty windy, with a forecast of an approaching storm for early tomorrow. . stopped for milk on the way home and couldn't resist a couple of cartons of going out-of-date/cheap chicken pieces for 1 each . . drank the small bottle (single glass) of wine PS had left. Wow - mellow and smooth - that goes to show how cheap and harsh tasting the 'sainsburys own' boxes of wine I buy, actually are in comparison! . . ate a large Mum donated meat feast pizza. . TVd the evening away, exhausted, struggling to stay awake until 10pm to touch base with BB! . Typical! Rang and rang and rang over the course of an hour, only to get a bunch of bad lines, NO lines or engaged! . Ate a couple of kipling apple pies and chocolate. Eventually gave up trying to call BB/stay awake and collapsed into bed by around 11:30pm. d
18 - Up around 7:30am - around the time Sally came up acting as though she wanted to go out. Let her out only to find she didn't want to go out after all?? (With hindsight - I mistakenly left the scanner on in the living room, all last night! Maybe she was 'disturbed' by it beeping as the batteries gave out?) . . walked. Hadn't intended to, but T produced his loppers again, so cut a little more buddleia until my arms were aching SO bad, I had no choice but to stop and then sit around for ages recovering! . . PCd and spent ages knocking up the silly 'UFO' video of a chinese lantern floating over town. Uploaded it to Youtube while eating a Mum donated pastry slice, crisps and a couple of kipling apple pies. I BET that video gets a bunch of hits, just because of the 'UFO' reference. I fail to understand why people are SO into such things - and seemingly so ready to believe a bunch of nonsense. I wonder how many people will only watch a bit of it and believe it - without watching the 'get real' end bit of the people letting the lantern go. . napped until around 6pm . . drove to walk . .PCd/guitarred for a bit but frustratingly acheived nothing . . TVd. Felt pretty chilly - actually brushed away the dust and put the fire on in the living room breifly for the first time this 'winter' . . touched base with BB . . ate bowls of co-co pops and a little chocolate . . to bed around 12:30am.
17 - Up just before 8am . .walked. Climbed down into the 'twilight zone' and trimmed buddleia with T's loppers and managed to cut high and pull down branches to reduce the height of the forest sufficient to just about be able to see over the top of it from the roofed seating area, once more revealing a bit of the distant marina. (Blooded my nose and forehead a bit during the battle!) One could ALWAYS do more, but if I just stopped now, I've pretty much reinstated as much of the view as the more distant mature trees will ever allow.Image of a view from Battery Gardens I've included here, a panoramic picture taken this morning of the view from the (vandalised) roofed seating area, where I spend SO much of my time EVERY day (thanks to Sally). To put it in perspective - it's probably facing east north east. Torquay is across the bay to the left, Brixham harbour nestled in, out of sight to the right. The boat, 'just' visible at this resolution, having passed the end of the breakwater heading across to Torquay is the Fairmile ferry (ex WWII motor launch). The concrete post sticking up out of the grass (engraved with unreadable lettering) is allegedly a Napoleonic range-finder post. Until recently, prior to my obsessive single handed tree felling/buddleia pruning efforts, from this vantage point it was only 'just' possible to see the lighthouse at the end of the breakwater poking out from behind the tree, with the entire rest of the view to the right, hidden behind the tree and tall forest of buddliea!! It is now once again possible to 'just' about see almost the entire length of the breakwater, the Berry Head headland in the distance, and just a bit of a glimpse of the marina which includes sight of the lifeboat mooring. On a rare and crystal clear day, it is actually possible to maybe just about discern Portland Bill on the far, far horizon, suprisingly above where the 'V' shaped notch in the distant mature trees gives a view of the middle of the breakwater. . It's a FANTASTIC view, day and night! There ARE better (higher/clearer) vantage points, but not with a roof for shelter, and seats. Worth 'fighting' buddliea and sacrificing a tree for I think. It's a major, precious part of my little world, and equally so for many others I suspect (dog walkers in particular?). . PCd this . . Mum called in with food donations for chats and a cuppa . . ate mum donated ham and lettuce rolls and a buttered current bun thing . . napped until around 6pm . . drove to walk. A lot of lights all along the breakwater this evening. Some fishing match going on maybe? . .PCd/TVd/guitarred . .saw three chinese lanterns (two in formation) drifting across high on the breeze towards the south from a Bery Head type direction. Put the scanner on to see if they resulted in anything worth listening to, but all seemed quiet . . ate a bowl of microwaved K donated steak pie with a cup of gravy. . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed before midnight. aa
16 - Up around 8am . . .walked and trimmed buddleia a little, mostly just clearing paths of access in the hidden areas beneath the overhead canopy! What a weird 'hobby' this is! lol . . guitarred/PCd until mid afternoon. . ate bacon and egg sandwiches followed by lots of biscuits . . napped until around 6pm . . drove to walk. Oh wow - a small pile of rubble has appeared out back by my garage for adding to the lane surface. :o) That'll be that builder guy true to his word then. Excellent - every little helps. Nice one. Good on 'im. Damn - wish I'd known that was out there earlier - it looks pretty soft and easily broken up, and I could have probably done all of that today. It'll have to wait till next week now probably. I don't like doing that rock crushing thing at the weekends, when people are around to be irritated by lots of hammering and morever be made aware of just exactly how crazy I actually am by seeing me doing it! . walked . . PCd just a bit of this before spending the majority of the evening TVing. Unusually, a neat stretch of good tv on this evening on BBC channels. 8:30pm BBC4 'The Transatlantic sessions. 9pm BBC1 'Have I Got News For You' and then 9:30pm a long overdue new series of 'The Armstrong Andd Miller Show'. AT LAST - quality stuff I wanna watch! . .. . ate a bowl of microwaved K donated steak pie with a cup of gravy. . touched base with BB . . TVd 'The Last Samurai' film . . to bed around 2am. s
15 - Up around 7:30am . .PCd a bit of this whiling away the time while PS slept on. Eventually figured for Sally's sake it was so late I'd have to rouse him by knocking on his door . . all walked late around 9:30am and then straight back, after dabbling with the idea of a breakfast at the beach cafe or in the holiday camp, but both were shut. . PS left a little after 11am. . .TVd/PCd the day away, needing to 'recover' from 'having had company' - as usual! . . ate a bowl of microwaved K donated steak pie with a cup of gravy. Actually pretty damned good again. Whoever that chef is, he seems to know his business. . . napped until after 7pm . . skipped the walk . . TVd all evening, still feeling the need to 'recover', be alone and quiet. .touched base breifly with BB . . ate four kipling apple tarts, chocolate and then some cheese, lettuce, onion and crisps before to bed around 1:30am.
14 - Woken by PS again around 8am and eventually got up after probably no more than 4hrs sleep . .clear blue sky and real sunny. All walked and then headed down to the harbour and got the ferry (7 return each ) over to Torquay. Very calm crossing and Sally took it all in her stride as usual. . PS paid for english breakfast at tables outside a harbourside cafe . . wandered along the shopping street and looked in a couple of expensive charity shops . . back down to the sea front and sat in the sun with a PS paid for ice cream . .along and down onto the beach to let Sally have a brief play with the sea . .walked past the balloon and into the Abbey grounds. Almost lost control of Sally when she started chasing the squirrels . . PS paid for coffee and cake at the expensive abbey cafe. Some welsh homeless guy (filthy!) suddenly walked over and sat at our table next to PS, and started doing some weird sort of comedy stand-up routine, telling jokes!!? Escaped and walked back via the fast disappearing beach to the harbour to sit in the sun for half an hour waiting for the return ferry. . walked back via BGdns. Sat for a bit. Felt utterly exhausted. .back via the store for milk and pizzas. Home around 5:30pm . . K called in on his way home with a bin bag full of HUGE amounts of meat for Sally and a tupperware of steak pie for me. Apparantly they'd been clearing out their freezer. I couldn't say no even though I had trouble finding enough space for it all in my cram packed full freezer. . TVd . . ate pizza . . TVd . Report of the guy who murdered his partner getting just eight years!! What the f*** is wrong with this world? You can kill someone and just get eight years???? I despair. And then there's the guy who let his three year old daughter smoke cigarettes - he gets 18 months in prison. . society is in SUCH a mess I can hardly bear it! . . touched base very breifly with BB . . TVd/chats struggling to stay awake and uncomfortably aching all over, with a particularly aching back. Ended up popping a couple of asparin in desperation . .poor old Sally was obviously tired out and all stiff and achey too. We're both getting too old for 'doing things' like we did today. . .to bed around 1am. aas
13 - Up around 7:30am before the sun. Got pretty cold last night with the clear sky - plenty condensation on the windows . .walked. Got serious with Ts loppers under the canopy, just trying to reach up and trim some of the tall buddleia. Uh oh - I HAD to stop because I broke his loppers!!!! Turns out the handles are nothing more than a friction/push fit, and unnoticed by me, as I was battling away abusing them cutting up rather too thick branches, one of the handles was easing out of its socket. All of a sudden it eased right out, and just as it did so the metal end of the tube slightly fractured and bent!! Embarrassing. T took it rather well and made light of being able to fix them no problem. (at the worst, I guess you could just saw off a quarter of an inch of the broken end of the one handle and just slot it back in place.) Actually overdid things with those loppers, and ended up with REALLY bad pain across my chest and down my left arm, and absolutely no strength left to use them n even the smallest of branches!! Actually left me feeling pretty unwell! . . eventually back home for an annadin tablet and coffee, and a long sit in the garden to recover and let the pain subside a bit. I imagine, that is how a heart atack may feel! . . touched base with Mum and then popped up her place with my hedge trimmer. I'd long ago promised to 'touch' the edges of one of her fir trees, which has become overgrown and blocks part of her front garden path up to the door. Not really blocked, but overhanging in that irritating way which'll get you all wet as you brush past after its rained. . trimmed it back just enough to make a bit of a difference, while still retaining the shape of the tree (which I think she IS gonna have removed next year anyway). Breifly popped a few boxes of 'stuff' up into storage in her attic before eventually walking back home . . mowed the lawns and sheared a few new growth bits from a hedge in the front garden . . ate bacon egg and chips . . napped . . woken by Sally barking at the electric meter reader and at the same time PS calling to say he'd be down later . . drove to walk . . tidied up around the place just a little bit . . guitarred/TVd . . PS arrived. . chats and TVd . . ate pepperoni sandwiches and biscuits . . to bed around 3am only to be woken over and over throughoutg the night by PS visitingg the bathroom!! Neither of us slept much methinks! aaas
12 - Woken by Sally around 8am, after really little more than an hour or two sleep. . walked and trimmed buddleia. I've actually somehow managed to cut a trail down through the dense 'jungle' into the 'relatively' clear area beneath the twenty foot plus high canopy of foliage, and this morning cut a circular different trail back out!! Utterly amazing and bizarre it's been left to grow like that. Beneath the canopy, it's all just bare earth because of the lack of light. You really could set up home under there, and no-one would be any the wiser! With some sort of access now made down to the base of the growth, in theory it would be possible to saw away and level the offending marina/town-view blocking bits, but it WOULD make such a mess over the winter months until next year's spring growth re-covered it all, I'm really not sure I dare. The 'canopy' is all SO high, it's impossible to just 'top it' to reduce the height - and you can't even reach up that high anyway! Hummm?. . . put in three or four hours crushing rocks from the neighbours pile. Got through quite a bit because it was 'relatively' (relatively!!) 'soft' stuff to break up. Eventually added the resulting 'gravel' to bits of the lane, adding yet more to a couple of persistantly reappearing potholes, and the majority to a particularly irritating section which makes my car lurch wildly to the right when I coast back down it after having been out. It is of course a mind numbingly boring thing to do, crushing rubble etc for hours, and the mind wanders. Funny the different smells the different types of stone give off. I've seen TV shows with geologists explaining why. Gas from ancient fossilised micro organisms and all that stuff. It's almost given me an interest in rocks! lol . I bumped into a small fragment of the marble grave-stone/surround thing (the rest of which, as agreed, I am NOT touching), amongst one of the sacks of rubble that had been dumped up there by the builder, so I had a bit of a hammer at that just to see. Wow - that stuff is SO dense and hard!! Amazing how yobs can break them in graveyards, like I've frequently seen reported on the news. Another small hand-sized broken sliver from the sacks, I actually kept and put to one side in my garage! It's been smashed off something, almost in the exact shape of a small stone axe head! I'm sure I never will, but it's tempting to have a go with the disc cutter at further profiling it and smoothing it over and polishing it up, to really make it look like one. . my neighbour was around at one point and in conversation I mentioned the gravestone thing. He suggested the 'Tozer' name on it was actually in some way connected with the people who live there, so I guess there must be a legitimate explanation for it turning into their fireplace. . . all done and dusty by 3pm. Ate mum donated pepperoni and lettuce rolls, crisps and chocolate before showering . . napped but only for an hour or so until woken by excrutiating indigestion/stomach pains . . drove to walk at sunset around 6:30pm+. Beautiful clear evening, with the temperature dropping like a stone. I was comfortable, in layers, hooded fleece and gloves - one of a bunch of kids coming up from the direction of the beach, was bare topped and draped in a wet towel!!!!!? Brrrrrrra! . . sat around with the view, listening to the scanner (with Sally chasing a couple of rabbits) until after dark before returning home. . oh yes - that's a much smoother, in neutral, fast, coast down the lane now. :o) Actually - having just typed that, it occurs to me it's funny how you so quickly get used to things. It really was only a little while ago that just driving down that lane at a snails pace was nigh on impossible because of all the deep ruts and potholes, etc - never mind a 'fast in neutral coast' . I really HAVE made a hell of a difference to it. :o) I could still make it better, given some more rubble. lol . . . TVd . . PCd this . .touched base with BB. .ate bowls of co-co pops before to bed around 1am. Would have been earlier but I got all interested in some film that was on, a couple of years old, all about Roman Polanskis life and in particular about his 'unlawful sex with' an underage girl, etc. and the subsequent court proceedings, plea bargain and his eventual flight from the country to escape a full sentence. Interesting because of course he was recently finally re-arrested (in Switzerland?) on the long outstanding international arrest warrant, and is facing extradition at long last. I'd found recent news reports about all that utterly incredible, in that so many people seemed to actually be in support of him and presumably saw little wrong in what he'd done!!? Actual countries/states were piping up in support of him, as though his behaviour was quite excusable!!!!!???? This I couldn't understand, and I'd assumed I'd not gotten all the facts in some way. Well - I watched the film, and although it must be said the legal process he was subjected to was disgracefuly corrupt/flawed, there was no escaping the bottom line that he'd has sex with a little girl! F*** him I say. How old is he now? How many years of a nice happy life has he had 'on the run' from justice/punishment? Rest of his life in jail I reckon is fair enough.
-/unfinished/-


11 - Up around 8am. . .walked and 'pruned' buddleia a little . . PCd/guitarred and somehow drifted through several hours unnoticed, messing around with a new 'twiddle' in the making . . drank a glass of red wine and ate a large Mum donated pizza . . napped well, for several hours until around 7pm or even later . . skipped the walk. Believe it or not, partially because I still felt a little under the influence of my one glass of red wine! . . TVd/guitarred . . touched base with BB. .PCd/guitarred/TVd for hours, not feeling tired at all because of the long nap earlier. . somehow ended up messing around until very nearly daylight before finally laying down for a bit!!! sd
10 - Woken by Sally around 7:15am . . walked and 'pruned' buddleia! On the way back home, the builder guy who'd been doing work in a neighbours house who I'd spoken to the other week about having some of his rubble for the lane, actually pulled up next to me in his truck and confirmed he had some sacks of loose stuff somewhere and he'd eventually drop them down by my garage. I confirmed I was 'still up for it'. Looks like he may be true to his word. Cool. I AM itching to do more on that lane to improve things further. As expected, with the passage of time and much traffic, some of what I've already done out there has settled and subsided considerably, and already begs for more to be added. . sat in the garden for a coffee and cigs and had the opportunity of talking with that same neighbour who'd had the work, to confirm some of the rubble dumped at the top of her land I've had my eye on, is unwanted, and is good for me breaking up and adding to the lane over time. It was obviously where she'd had all the old stuff removed and a new fireplace/surround built. It was also obvious that some of the nice blocks of marble were NOT for breaking up. What I didn't realise until closer inspection during the conversation, was that the marble which had been her fireplace surround, was in fact already once 'recycled'. Good greif - it used to be a gravestone/grave surround?!! The pieces actually still had some of the lettering on!! Someone by the name of Tozer (I 'think' it was) is missing a grave!! That's seriously weird. Wonder what the real story behind that is! Not sure I'd want an ex-gravestone arround my fireplace, even if the metal lettering WAS to the rear and hidden. Difficult to envisage how that came to be. Intriguing . . did laundry and dish washing chores until Mum arrived with food donations, for a cuppa and chats . . ate mum donated ham rolls and crisps around 3pm . . lay down for a nap but couldn't sleep and became very aware of neighbours voices and 'clanking' out back!!!! Uh oh - don't ask me how on earth I recognised it, but I was pretty sure the clanking was the sound of manhole covers being lifted!!! Drain problems? Oh no! No, no, no - maybe if I just ignore it and go to sleep, everything will be ok? . Sally barking soon had me up, as the neighbour (unheard by me) was tapping on the window by the front door. Sure enough, the drain that serves all the houses in the rank was blocked, next door and a couple of doors up. . joined in the neighbours investigations. Turns out, it isn't an unusual thing!! Every year or so they have such a problem and have to rod the drains to clear it!!!! (Just exactly what DID I pay for when I had my survey done when I bought this place? Nothing like this was mentioned! This is a potentially seriously big deal!) . lifted my manhole for the first time since moving here and found it was pretty clear (albeit the 'rodding eye' had no cap on it, like they should to keep the sewer odour down). That confirmed the blockage was further up the slope. Because of the nature of the pipes and u-bends etc etc, it was unfortunately NOT possible to rod it from my drain, back up the gradient in the direction of the block! That was a problem because the rods the neighbours had couldn't reach from the next available manhole! Aha - wait a minute. That neighbour of my Mums who saw me messing with her drains the other day, had offered use of his rods if I needed them. Bit of a cheek because I don't know him at all, but under the circumstances, being rather an emergency and all, I quikly walked up there and asked if I could make use of them. . it took ages for him to search all through his garage and shed, and I was almost leaving without them, but eventually, thank goodness, he found them. He was overly intent on instructing me to only turn them in a clockwise direction so as not to lose them down the drain, but I assured him I'd used rods before, knew the score, and then proceeded to try and put his mind at ease by explaining MY 'rules of borrowing' anything - viz. if I break or mess up whatever I've borrowed, I replace it with new. . . to cut a long, and frankly smelly and unpleasant story short, my neighbour was able to clear the blockage by using boths sets of rods joined together - although they would only go so far before 'snagging' on something and wouldn't push further down the pipe. Stretching out the length of rods used, along the lane afterwards, it seemed likely that the potential problem in the pipe which was stopping the rods from going any further, was quite probably somewhere under MY back garden/patio!! :o( I'm afraid to even think about it! Time will tell I guess. I presume (hope!), since it is a shared sewer, it won't be down to just me to be facing financial ruin if it has to be excavated and sorted! . . washed and dried the borrowed rods and then walked with Sally and returned them, with earnest thanks. . walked . .sat quietly for ages before PCing this . . touched base with BB . . ate a mum donated chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps and chocolate . . TVd too tired to move until bed around 1:30am.
9 - Up around 9am. Drizzle. Headachey. Drove to walk . .PCd for hours and eventually called it quits on the 'seal' video and got it uploaded. That one has to be about the closest thing to an actual song I've done so far - even though of course there aren't any words - except for those of the title, which 'I' can hear the guitar singing - if you know what I mean. . I'm absolutely worn out! Need a rest from this video/guitar business for a bit! . . napped for a couple of hours. . drove to walk. Smoke was drifting out of one of the lower gun emplacements, and as I approached two 'youths' made off. I confess to shouting obscenities after them once I'd discovered what they'd been up to and what they'd left behind. They'd made a fire in the gun emplacement from various bits of grass, wood, and debris - including what appeared to be a toilet roll from somewhere (the nearby public loos perhaps?) - but worst of all, they'd included what appeared to be a dangerously flamable cannister of aerosol deoderant! The thing was venting off like a threatening-to-explode blow-torch in the midst of the fire, only feet from the footpath where I passed. IDIOTS! The whole area was covered in a blanket of smoke with an overpoweringly sickly deoderant smell! I didn't hang around, but I think it fairly soon burned itself out (with just a little help from some left over drink in a plastic bottle, discarded by a litter lout, which I'd picked up along the way during my walk - as usual!). They left their lighter behind, so I had that - as if I need YET another! . . .TVd/guitarred . . touched base with BB . . defrosted and ate two beef and ale pastry slices. . . ate bowls of cornflakes and biscuits . . TVd until bed around 1:15am. aas
8 - Up around 8am. Sunny. . . walked. T was ready with his saw and loppers so I had a bit of a serious go at the 20 to 30 feet high buddlia. It doesn't look that high, but it turns out it is all growing out of huge 'bomb-crater' like holes in the landscape. Actually makes it really quite dangerous to have a go at and means I probably won't be able to cut it down to size as I'd hoped. :o( We'll see - bit by bit, a bit more each day - we'll see!! . slipped on the wet cut branches and fell over in front of all the onlooking dog walkers at one point! lol Shame I can't set up the camcorder to record my bizarre antics. . . stopped off at Mums on the way home to re-tune her digital portable TV (again!) and write her some 'dummy guide' type instructions on how to re-tune it, like I've done for her main TV which she seems able to follow ok. . PCd/guitarred . . ate ham ring, eggs and chips and some chocolate while inadvertantly watching a bit of David Cameron's party conference speech on the news channel!!!!!! Whatever ones politics, I think it HAS to be said he's a damn good party leader, and VERY good at delivering convincing speeches where he apparantly says all the right things. I don't seem to recall seeing anyone else in his league of late. Seems to me, oh so VERY likely they are going to win the next election! Personally, irrespective of any potential or actual change in policies, I find it hard to imagine I will live long enough to forgive that party for the damage I believe they did to society, during the Thatcher years. In my experience, they gave birth to the selfish, greed based, consumerist, lack of respect for others, etc culture we are now suffering. Blah blah blah. What the hell difference does it all make to me - no matter what party is in power, somehow I get screwed. Always have done, always will. . . napped . . drove to walk . . PCd yet more on the seal/'Takin' time' music and video trying to test whether or not it'll work. I think it will, but the editing's gonna be a fiddle. Plenty of footage, but I've noticed the tide went out a bit during the filming, so I have to watch the continuity and can't mix cuts like I really need to! And of course the camera was handheld at maximum zoom, so is all blurred and shaky. Humph. I'm SUCH a bloody perfectionist!!!!!! :o( . . . BB called breifly . . TVd and ate a few kipling apple tarts . . PCd yet more until almost 4am before bed! s
7 - Up around 7:15am. . walked before the rain. Pruned some buddleia. Spoke with a council guy emptying the bins who made a comment about 'having the view back', refering to the cutting down of a tree by 'someone'. I didn't let on it was me. He made comments like - if they'd asked, the council would probably have done it - the council don't upkeep the place (as they 'should') because of financial constraints - and he seemed irritated the place had just been left in such a mess which they would probably have to clear up now. All in all, utterly predictable 'part of the problem' type attitude I felt. Nevertheless, it left me feeling all paranoid and increasingly down. . PCd/guitarred before eventually just giving up and sitting around feeling a bit down as heavy rain pretty much poured all day . .lay down to nap but couldn't . .skipped the walk . . ate banana, biscuits a pizza and chocolate . .TVd the night away . touched base breifly with BB . . to bed at 1:11am.
6 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am. Rainy. . something weird and spooky going on with the PC!!?? Actually, nothing to do with me I think? Suddenly received a copy of almost every e-mail I've ever received from the ISP - years old some of them !????? Hot on the heals of that, my free AVG virus software wouldn't update, because of a missing 'bin' file apparantly (with no such problem simply later in the day). Unsettling. . .walked and somehow thanks to the roof in BGdns, mostly missed the worst of the showers . . .PCd and spent the day working on the dog and stick 'Lets Do It Again' video, determined to just get it out of the way, because it's been hanging around far too long and taking up a lot of time. My assessment of that one is I think, a lame video AND lame guitar (much of which I actually cut and ditched) , but kinda smiley nonetheless. Took long enough to put together!!! This business about trying to do my own little guitar twiddles, is actually a bit of a time consuming nightmare. It used to be that any video I uploaded took at least double the minutes, in hours to complete. Trying to do my own music (especially considering my inability to actually play the guitar, my complete lack of understanding of music, a lack of musical imagination, and a TOTAL 'writers block' type deal with regard to doing lyrics) means it's more like double the minutes, in DAYS!!! A lack of hits and an abscence of 'ratings' on Youtube I guess, tells me how unsuccessful I'm being. :o( Oh well - at least it gives me a kick and sense of acheivment every time I've completed one, no matter how bad they may be. Once I've worn them out watching them over and over, I then don't go near them again for ages - and then when I finally do again, because I can't remember what it was all about, amateurish and lame or not, it absolutely amazes me I acheived it. Nine so far-ish. That's a very small 'stamp' collection. I want to make it bigger, and really can think of no better way to waste the remaining days of my life. If I do enough, surely sooner or later (like that - a room full of monkeys with typewriters and time, would eventually come up with the complete works of shakespeare - thing?), I'll actually do a good one that 'stands on its own'? lol Dream on! . . called it quits on the video and managed to get it uploaded to Youtube by around 4pm. . . ate a huge pile of buttery mashed potatoe with chopped onion and a ham ring followed by a few squares of chocolate . . napped until just before the alarm at 7pm . . skipped the walk. . PCd a bit of this. Because I don't get on with a pick, I'm determined to keep my long-ish nails on my right hand for string plucking, but it sure makes typing a bit of a pain, and over time is going to wear out the letters on the keyboard again. (Brings back memories of typists at work. I recall marvelling at how they could type SO fast, with such long nails forcing their fingers into what seemed like weird, flat positions, completely avoiding the tips.) On top of that, doing a bit of recent tree cutting has seen me break the nail on my middle finger, real low. Had to just cut it off. It'll be ages before that is back useable! :o( . . bowls of co-co pops . .BB . . to bed around 2am. s
5 - Woken by Sally clattering around again in the night. Eventually determined she needed the garden (why didn't she just wake me and tell me like she used to?) , so had to get up around 4am all swearing and growling (yeah, ok - that's why she doesn't wake me like she used to!), and let her out before back to bed. .up, dog-tired around 8am. . .walked in a bit of drizzle. Went out of my way to go and retrieve some litter from one of the gun emplacements. Turned out to be a very nearly full, 50g pack of Golden Virginia hand rolling tobacco (8ish maybe?) - MY brand! Thank you very much. :o) . . PCd/guitarred the day away doing the runners, 'Keeping Up' video and music . headache inducing . stopped mid afternoon and ate corned beef, cheese and lettuce sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate for lunch . . called a brutal halt to it all, just made it fit as best it could without having to repeat all the guitar too many times (ended up with the video speeded up so MUCH, it's too fast to be properly viewable I think!!), finished and uploaded it to Youtube by around 6pm. So - a pretty lame video, of little interest to anyone, other than those taking part maybe, but I DO like 'some' of that guitar work and the way the samples overlay and intertwine. Needs headphones and VOLUME maybe? The title 'Keeping Up' in my mind, has perhaps more to do with my desperate attempts to acheive some of that on the guitar, than it does the runners in the video. lol . . .popped another annadin and drove to walk. . felt utterly, UTTERLY tired out!! . .ate a tin of baked beans and sausage with grated cheese and bread and butter followed by chocolate. .TVd too tired to move. . touched base with BB . . TVd struggling to stay awake until bed around midnight. aa
4 - Woken by Sally clattering again and up around 8am. That wasn't enough sleep. Just a dappening of rain in the night . . .setting off with Sally, I opened the front door to find a bin liner containing a huge joint of roast pork, tied to the bottom of my handrail!! Ooops - I missed K when we were walking last night, and it didn't cross my mind to look out the front when I returned. It'd been tied there all night! Hmmmm - so, is that fit for human consumption or very definitely just dog food? Smells ok, despite it's 'travels' and 'night life'! . . walked. Signs were being put up on lampposts warning of runners. Blimey, is it that time of year again? Shall I, shant I? Involuntarily mulled it over, thinking of a guitar 'twiddle' that I've been working on, and eventually dropped Sally back home and then drove to film the runners. Couldn't face the work of trying to actually 'film it' (and after all, hard to top the 'Jimi Hendrix' one I did last year I think?) so I parked the car in what I thought would maybe be a good spot, and just set the tripod up on the back of the car roof - fixed, for a straightforward timelapse deal. Unfortunately as things turned out, because I was unshakeably determined to include the warning sign on a nearby lamppost, I ended up with a really mostly pointless wide angled screen of very little going on. Should have dispensed with the sign and zoomed in MUCH more to get agonised faces. On top of that, I got the impression there were fewer runners than last year, making for much less of a spectacle. (Actually - is it even the same race? I think, as it turns out, not.) . in a relatively short space of time, it was all over and I was back home at the PC . . .ate ham and mayo sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate. . .napped until around 6pm. Feeling blah again. . .skipped the walk . . TVd . . guitarred/PCd. . touched base with BB . . ate pork and chips followed by chocolate before to bed at 1am.
3 - Up around 7:15am. That's a threatening sky! . .thank goodness my knee isn't as bad as I'd feared it would be. Just feels bruised. Quite walkaboutable. . walked. Prodded a bit of buddleia with the seacteurs (the big fifteen foot tall overgrown clump on the right of the pictures!). I can see me doing a little more cutting yet, to try to reinstate a bit of the lost view back towards the harbour! . . Sat in BGdns, the mobile rang for the first time in years! T saying he and LB would be getting the 11:30 ferry over . . home for a quick coffee and then walked via town to meet the ferry and T&LB . .

back home via BGdns. They are not used to walking anywhere I think! . . by the time we'd reached my house, they both appeared to be about ready for an ambulance!? They hardly stopped - didn't even look around the house!?? Surely you would, wouldn't you? If you visit someones place for the first time, you show an interest and expect a guided tour don't you - even if just to be polite? Why bother coming? . .I even had to gulp my coffee down because they were eager to go! . . left Sally behind and then all back down town to the pub for a LB paid-for meal. Ate cheese burger and chips and a half of lager. They both left loads!? I could have made a whole nother meal out of that! What a waste! Why order it if you weren't hungry? I wouldn't DREAM of leaving stuff like that. Took half an hour to arrive at the table after ordering! Every time I've been to that place, there's been a certain something 'lacking' about the experience. Whoever runs the place does NOT do a good job. They need to be on that Gordon Ramsay show! . . left them to look around the shops waiting the twenty minutes for the ferry and headed home . . People!! I understand them less and less and must avoid them more and more.

. . . napped. Woke from the nightmares around 6pm . . . drove to walk . . TVd. . guitarred/pcd, dabbling with a couple of potential 'twiddles' in the making. . touched base with BB . . ate ham sandwiches and the remaining half of the battenburg cake . . TVd until around 3am before bed. . woken by restless Sally clattering around the bedrooms in the night!! s
2 - Up around 7:45am . . walked and arrived just as T was arriving with his saw, so got straight down to cutting down the last thick bits of tree trunk. Yayyyyyy. Bloody done it - and I think gotten away with it, without being 'arrested' by the council! Animation of pruned treesIf something needs doing like that, I AM a lover of 'just getting it done' - without all the nonsense of being forbidden to, because of all todays nonsense health and safety/insurance, etc rules. . And just then as if to celebrate having the view back, the huge pod of dolphin was back in the bay, with several of them all leaping out of the water as someone in a small motor boat circled around, 'harassing' them a little I felt. It's been so long with all that stuff growing up, I'd forgotten how neat it was to sit up there and see that view. Sadly, the proper, established, big old trees lower down the slope are reaching an enormous height, where they will soon obscure the view anyway, but there's nothing that can be done about that. (Imagine how it was during the war - not a single tree anywhere around to obscure the targeting of the search lights and guns!) Once again, the picture (animation) doesn't do it justice. My efforts really have made quite a difference, but boy, was that more work than I'd dreamed it would be!!! If I'd realised how much effort and physical damage I'd suffer doing it, I would never have started! Funny thing is, a couple of passing dog walkers taking in the re-instated view, kinda suggested they hadn't even noticed all the work going on, or the fact that a big tree was missing!!! They just took it for granted they could see out. lol I guess that is a good thing? I'm SO glad to have finished - I really am exhausted and absolutely covered in bloody-scrapes, cuts, bruises and splinters. I need a rest. My only concern is that it has all been left in such a mess (largely hidden down behind the front row of brambles) because I had to pretty much leave all those large branches where they fell! Anyway - YAYYyyyyyy. :o) . .PCd this for an hour or so. It was only when I got up to go get a coffee, I realised how badly I'd bashed my knee on a length of tree earlier. It's gone very painful and is all seizing up, making walking difficult!!!!! Uh oh. .'rushing' downstairs to receive my guitar stand, delivered around ten past one, was a slow painful stumble!! . .touched base with Mum and let her know the tree thing was done.

walked and sat around in BGdns enjoying the view . . cooked and ate a peperoni pizza . .LB called to say they were in Torquay in their hotel . . TVd too tired to move. . ate half a Mum donated battenburg cake . . touched base with BB . . PCd a bit and actually looked up 'buddleia' on the web

TVd until early to bed around 11pm.
1 - Woken by Sally around 8am . .October already! That's like 'winter'. The older I get, (and I sure do seem to have gotten very old all of a sudden!?) the faster the years drift by!! . . walked and cut tree limbs! Dolphin in the bay again. Ran out of energy with only around five big arm/leg thick trunks to go. Sat in BGdns for ages, dripping with sweat, before I had the energy to walk home! . . guitarred a little . . tidied up just a bit and did laundry chores . drank a glass of red wine while cooking a couple of burgers. Ate burgers and chips and some chocolate. . napped for almost a couple of hours only to wake feeling very blah. Dunno what's going on with me at the moment - I unusually haven't been sleeping at all well for quiet a while. . . drove to walk . . guitarred/TVd . .PS called to say he'll probably come down in a week or so instead. . touched base with BB . . ate chicken paste sandwiches and some chocolate before eventually to bed around 2am. ads
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