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October
31
- Up around 7am all aching . . .walked. . returned via the store for a few supplies, including a bunch of going off/cheap mushrooms. Did actually pop into the local hardware store to see what door hinges they had. The jury is still out about the warped doorframe diy disaster between the two rooms, but until I get some decent hinges for the doors (which if course are actually too small for the opening, all round!), the whole project is going nowehere, and is in danger of staying that way ad infinitum!!! The guy only had a small selection of different types. Ummd and ahhd and eventually walked away to give it some more thought and maybe look in the local builders too. The ones in the local hardware store are probably more expensive than anywhere else - but they ARE at least 'just there' and 'examinable'. . . sat around with coffee and cigs, toying with the idea of going back out and buying the hinges I'd fancied, but just then it started raining and blowing pretty bad. Ended up guitarring a little and then just wasting away another day sitting around, TVing, listening to radios, PCing etc, getting nothing done! . . one thing I forgot to mention here the other day - I've now forgotten which day - Saturday morning I 'think' it was - lots of litter had been left near a seat in BGdns. Someone had obviously walked all the way up to sit there with a carrier bag of multiple lotts of chips. They'd eaten their meal and then just walked away leaving the plastic carrier bag and all the papers and polystyrene containers blowing all around the place. Nothing remarkable in that, and since the carrier bag was hooked up on a bit of nearby bramble, I duly picked it all up and eventually carried it all to a bin - as I do! The only reason I bother mentioning it here on THIS occasion, is because left behind on the seat was a vinegar container!? One of those triangular/pyramidal type glass bottles with a screw-on plastic spout, like you get on the counters in chip shops or on the tables of restraunts. Those scumbags had presumably stolen the vinegar from the counter of wherever they bought their chips!!! They'd STOLEN the vinegar from somewhere, and carried it ALL the way to BGdns just so they could put some on their chips as they ate - and then just discarded it there!!!!!!! Unbelievable! Absolute f**ing SCUMBAGS! I've said it before - and I MEAN it - I'd have the death penalty extended to people like that! Really! Imagine if all such people were 'eliminated'. WHAT a better world we'd have. . I emptied out the contents on the grass and ended up taking it home. There's no way to tell where it came from, so it'll get a wash and probably end up in a charity shop some time! :o( . . . checked the rain radar before walking. Yikes - a big band of rain coming in again, and some strong gusty winds - but still incredibly up around 14C out. . . walked in a mostly dry spell. Blimey - one of the houses along the way is festooned with christmas lights already! That feels far too early. A helicopter (police?) passed low overhead as we reached BGdns. Played ball and then after picking up and binning an empty egg carton littering one of the paths, sat around under the roof for ages with cigs and coffee as distant shouts and fireworks echoed around. Chatted for some time to another dog walker. As we chatted, he recieved a phone call from his partner to say someone had smashed a pumpkin all over the petrol tank of his motorbike parked outside his house! He also told of how there had been a large gathering of youths and several police vehicles somewhere across town earlier (hence the helicopter?). A typical halloween then - but oh SO much quieter down here, than the inevitable 'war zone' I can imagine going-on back up in Bristol!! . .passed by the rare sight of a patrolling police van on the way back in a hint of drizzle. . got back home just in time to miss the heavier rain . . TVd . . drank a glass of wine and ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, crisps, mini cheddars, banana and some chocolate . . to bed shortly after 11pm.
30 - Up around 6am. Bella has scratched and 'aggravated' her wound in the night again, and it was 'damp/seeping' just a little! :o( . . PCd this . .walked . . cut up hedge timbers with the lopper for hours until utterly exhausted . . drank wine and ate a tin of baked beans and grated cheese with a couple of crusts of bread and butter . . lay down to nap but couldn't . . PCd . . walked in the drizzle. . TVd . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around midnight.
29 - Up around 7:40am. . . PCd a bit and succeeded in surfing and identifying what that big bright 'star' in the eastern sky is. As I'd suspected, it isn't a star at all. It IS a planet reflecting the sun - it's jupiter! . . walked. Increasingly bad headache. . annadin tablet. . briefly dug out a small bit of root from the raised bed type arrangement, where I removed 'most' of the hedge when I started the major garden clearance (the opposite side to all the more recent, more serious work). Despite being all cut off to nothing, it'd noticeably started to sprout new growth and start all over again for goodness sake!! No, no, no. . returned Mums missed ansaphone call and she then popped down early with the paper and food donations. Early because she was going to see a musical at the local theatre later . . ate pork pies, mini cheddars, crisps, biscuits and chocolate. TVd and read a bit of the paper. . succumbed to my bad headache and retreated to nap the afternoon away . . walked in full weather gear in the blustery drizzle. Did not play ball and just sat with a coffee under the roof for quite a while, feeling very miserable again. . TVd the evening away, despite finding absolutely nothing worth watching on ANY of the channels - again. :o( . . ate two meat and pastry pies, crisps, mini cheddars, half a going-off golden syrup cake and chocolate. . to bed before midnight. The clocks change and go back an hour tonight. Months of cold, dark and wet. :o(
28 - Up around 7:30am. . Sunny and damp. Huge amounts of condensation on the front double glazed windows in particular?! Walked in the shadows and played ball. . Dreadful down mood. Spent hours chopping up more of the piles of cut hedge littering the garden. Filled a dustbin and 'reactivated' all my blisters! . That's all the stuff I can easily cut up now. Leaves an enormous stack of wood branches which I've no idea how to get rid of, unless perhaps I have a bonfire somewhere somehow!! Trouble with that idea is the close proximity of everything. There's only one place in the garden I could really do it (after temporarily removing my long wire antenna), and even there it'll likely scorch nearby trees and blow burning embers over nearby garages and my carport!! I don't think I dare! They've finally started putting the new timbers of the flat roof on next doors garage rebuild. It'd be a shame to set it all on fire again! :o| . . ate chopped ham and pork sandwhiches, crisps and chocolate while TVing the news as usual. Watched with some interest as the jury came back in with the verdict on the Joanna Yeates murder trial. They found Vincent Tabak guilty, on a majority of 10 to 2. Thank goodness for that! The case had caught my attention, not only because of the general public interest which it seemed to capture, but also because of my Bristol connection and 'some' familiarity with some of the locations involved in the case. On top of that of course, I did a bit of jury service in the court up there where the case was being held. Brought back memories of all that nonsense and enabled me to attempt to imagine some of the 'behind the scenes' events of the trial. I was SO anxious that he'd maybe get away with just a manslaughter charge - and outrageously only do a couple of years in prison as a result. So much background/character stuff was deemed inadmissable, it really did seem to favour the chances of the accused pretty much getting away with it - despite having admitted doing it!! Apparantly the 'legal' point was all about did he 'intend' to kill her!?? If I'd been on that jury - given all the circumstances of which I am aware from the reporting - I would have absolutely ignored the judges direction to concentrate on that absurdity! It wasn't as though he was driving down the road and accidentaly knocked her over or some such. THAT could be 'manslaughter'. No - HE cold blooded killed her with his bare hands, 'threw' her body away, and then tried as hard as he could to just get away with it. 'Intent'? Who cares! F**k him! Bring back the death penalty. Not hanging - not lethal injection - one of the more modern more 'humane' methods that COULD be employed. I absolutely AM in favour of the death penalty for such people. . . lay down to nap but found I couldn't sleep again!? I'm not used to being unable to nap like this!! :o( Not sure what's going on with that!. .back up, sat around then PCd briefly and looked up the ISS on the UK siting opportunities website again. It was a clear blue sky so seemed worth having a look for again. Due over around 6:46pm and visible for a good four minutes it said! Quickly made a coffee and then headed off to BGdns as darkness fell. Emptied my rucsack and sat at our usual seat for ball play just in time, and sure enough, the space station was already VERY noticeably visible in the darkening blue western sky, and tracking across to the east. VERY bright and obvious - for ages. Not long before it 'went out', there was actually something else visible out there crossing on a different kinda more northerly trajectory! . played ball before eventually sitting around for ages with coffee and cigs sky-watching again. LOTS of aircraft, a handful of 'orbitting objects' and a couple of shooting stars again. Even saw a couple of 'orbitting objects' travelling together kinda east north east, as if in 'relatively' close formation!!? All amazing stuff. There's SO much going on up there all the time, it really is utterly astonishing to me that the ISS or lots of satellites aren't regularly destroyed by meteorites and the like. How come they aren't? . . TVd and dared to put the fire on for just a while, just to bring the temperature in the room up to a slightly more comfortable 18C for a bit. . drank a glass of red wine and ate bowls of co-co pops before eventually to bed before midnight.
27 - 50th Birthday! :o( I feel older. No cause for any 'celebration'. Forces a 'review' of ones life. NOT good!! -//unfinished - because i just can't be assed to attempt to verbalise it! Deep DEEP darkness! :o(//-

- Poor disturbed sleep. Woke around 5am, snoozed on a bit eventually, then woken by the phone ringing and no message left around 6:45am! I may well turn them off for the rest of the day! So - today will be spent mostly 'chasing sleep' then! . . The forecast rain is pouring, and the rain radar shows it's likely to get pretty torrential. .walked in full weather gear in torrential rain. Paused in BGdns for a breather in one of the gun emplacements before continuing down town and all the way up to the vet. The rain poured and Bella pulled all the way!! Hellish. .arrived at the vets a little early, so sheltered outside and managed to roll a damp cigarette. Half way through my cigarette, the vet actually poked his head outside the door and called us in early! Quickly muzzled Bella just to be on the safe side, and prseented her side to the vet for inspection. He seemed quite happy with the healing and very quickly and easily removed the last couple of her stitches. She apparantly had internal dissolveable sticthes done too! That was very quickly that - just return if something happens to cause concern. I removed the muzzle and he gave her a couple of treats which she gladly scoffed down. . paid by card and settled the 211.45 bill in reception before standing outside to finish off my 'chipped'/half-smoked cigarette before once again heading out and back down town in the pouring rain. . toured a couple of the little local supermarkets before treating myself to a box of wine. I've not had any in the house for quite a while now, and I've been missing having the occasional glass. Figured 'to hell with the expense' - it's my birthday - just buy one! Also bought a bunch of tins of dog food, some bread rolls and four burgers in the butchers to fill my rucksack. . Actually overdid the weight I was having to carry!! Struggled home in the continuing rain, suffering much from the weight on my back and actually having to stop for a breather on a steep hill on the way! . . oh SO glad to get back home! That all really was THE most unpleasant walk from hell!! Utterly drenched!! . . sat around damp and cold recovering . . Mum called to say happy birthday and see how the Bella stitches thing went. Thanked her for the birthday money gift. 'So you'll be able to keep warm this winter' she said. :o( Jeeze - how has it all come to this?! WHAT a TOTAL failure I am!!!!!!!!. . cleaned up just a little, and particularly de-dusted the fire so I can start using it again when I feel the need. Actually fired it up for a bit after having cleaned it all just to make sure all was well. Oh WHAT a joy to have a bit of heat, external to what my own body produces for a change. . warmed up some more with a hot shower and put on dry clothes . . . PCd/TVd and drank a glass of wine . ate chopped ham and pork sandwiches, mini cheddars, crisps and chocolate. . some advertising tickets were pushed through the door from a local circus which is apparantly visiting a field just outside town for a couple of days. Aha! I BET that answers the question of who it was that had that searchlight going backwards and forwards in the sky the other night. . recieved YET another phone call from Europlas trying to sell me windows - AGAIN! God how I HATE that company! Despite my being rude and frequently DEMANDING they remove my name and number from their lists, they continue to hassle me on a near weekly basis (over a year now?) with their cold sales calls - often waking me up from sleep. On this occasion (again) I simply hung up without saying a word as soon as I became aware of who it was. I fully intend to simply start foul-mouthed swearing at them in the future, to see if that'll stop them - and because by now, I think I'm fully entitled to! On principle now - if they were the last glazing company on earth, I would NOT give them any business - and will strongly recommend to anyone I speak with, they too should avoid them like the plague! B*****DS! . . napped until 7pm. Wow - it's finally stopped raining. . . walked . . TVd, guitarred a little. Felt miserable, miserable miserable! What WAS it all for, the struggle through this fifty years? I am a total failure. Acheived nothing worth anything. Just lingering on, more deeply entrenched in my own isolation and misery than ever before! . . drank another glass of wine and cooked and ate four burgers . . to bed around 2am. asd
26 - Up around 8am after some pretty poor sleep! . . walked . . just sat around, yet again unable to motivate to doing anything. I guess I continue to be pretty 'down' at the moment. . eventually ended up on the PC dabbling with bits of Bella video. At length, compiled and eventually uploaded a bit of an update video to youtube, and then e-mailed the rescue people and let them know of recent events. . ate garlic sausage sandwiches, mini cheddars, banana and biscuits . . walked with rucsack and holdall . . TVd . . put in an hour or so on the PC leaving Bella to choose to stay downstairs . Would you believe it. I take my eyes off her for just a short time, and she goes and licks her wound all red and somehow manages to remove another of her stitches!! For goodness sake! And she only had to get through until tomorrow before they'd be taken out anyway! WHAT a dog! :o| . . cooked and ate four sausages and chips followed by most of a packet of Mum donated maltesers. . PCd briefly checking my bank account was sufficiently funded to be able to pay Bella's bill tomorrow. Mum had made a birthday gift of a wadd of money - transferred directly into my account! Coool. No worries there then. :o) . . to bed around 1am after setting the alarm for 7am to give me enough time tomorrow to get up, get out and walk all the way up the vets (in the forecast torrential rain) to have Bellas remaining stitches out.
25 - Up just before 7am. . PCd this . . walked in the sunny damp and played ball a bit. . couldn't find the energy to do anything and ended up just sitting around failing to motivate. At least the builders are working on next door's garage for the first time in over a week or so. .there HAS potentially been a bit of a development with my warped doorframe between the rooms 'DIY disaster' over the last couple of days. With nothing to loose, I've been carefully 'watering' the warped timber on one side, with a saturated washing-up sponge-pad from time to time. The theory being, that by doing so, I'd be able to get the timber to expand and 'cup' back in the opposite direction to that which it already has. Well - amazingly, it DOES appear to show the 'potential' for doing exactly that! Without question, the cupping on the test upright HAS lessened - substantially! It's definitely reduced the overall cupping across the width of the timber by a good couple of millimeters, and drawn the timber back noticeably 'tighter' to the plaster edge! So much so, this morning I actually dropped the new temporary bit of skirting back off the wall, just to make sure it doesn't hinder any possible further 'pulling-in'. It remains to be seen if it'll stay like that as it fully dries back out, but all in all, there 'may' be some hope in salvaging something of the job. I'm pushing on with frequently damping more of the timber all the way around now! Fingers crossed. Time will tell. . .PCd and did a quick Google search for 'International Space Station tracking'. The first site I clicked on (NASA) pretty much answered my questions, and gave a clear list of UK siting opportunities. The Plymouth (close enough) listing for yesterday reads as follows.

SATELLITE LOCAL
DATE/TIME
DURATION
(MIN)
MAX ELEV
(DEG)
APPROACH
(DEG-DIR)
DEPARTURE
(DEG-DIR)
ISS Mon Oct 24/07:23 PM 3 79 37 above W 27 above ENE

So - I think that pretty much confirms it most definitely WAS the ISS that I saw going over last night (even though I don't fully understand the 'degree above' figures. I may have to start carrying a spirit level and a protractor!! lol - or should that be a sextant?). :o) I'm very chuffed to have had SUCH a good, unexpected first siting of it like that. . PCd a bit of this . . TVd and just sat around as the weather deteroirated and some real heavy rain showers passed through. Some indications that my back guttering downpipe is going to need some more looking at - although it 'could' have been just too much water from ALL the house roofs trying to get down just MY pipe! Grrr . . ate a huge plate of the remaining chicken and rice concoction with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped until around 6:30pm . . the skies had cleared and the temperature had dropped down to around a chilly 6C. . walked with a coffee. Everything was very damp. I actually fell over in the undergrowth when emptying a rucsack! A spectacular crystal-clear dark sky full of stars. Played ball as normal and then sat on my favourite seat for absolutely AGES, just looking at the sky. It really was breathtaking, and the more I sat and looked, the more I saw going on up there. Somewhere over behind town, perhaps in the direction of Churston, someone had a big motorised searchlight going backwards and forwards in the sky. The beam of it was clearly visible in the air way out over Lyme Bay, and occasional passing clouds would get lit up by it. Would have been very easy to get all 'Close Encounters' about that, if you didn't realise what it was. Various flashing helicopters and aircraft were buzzing all around as usual. I lost count of the number of 'orbiting' objects (satellites I presume) I eventually saw. At least half a dozen. AND there was a super shooting star flashing across in kinda the south east. It really was all fantastic entertainment, sitting there watching with my scanner, cigs and coffee. Kinda 'envigorating' a bit. There ARE times (very few and far between!) when I DO have yearnings to be able to 'share' the moment with someone - but of course cannot. This was one of them. Bella busied herself chasing rabbits. . sat there for SO long, by the time I eventually reluctantly pulled myself away from 'the show', we were both frozen and soaking wet, covered in dew! . . popped in the store on the way back and then briefly stopped at Mums to let her see how Bella's wound was doing . .TVd the evening away . . ate garlic sausage sandwiches, mini cheddars, crisps and a chocolate fudge cake slice . . to bed around midnight. Poor sleep, woken at one point by the sound of torrential rain and a flash of lightning and some thunder!
24 - Up just after 7am with the sound of wind and rain and banging from next door. 18Cin/13Cout and still blowing a bit of a gale. BIG rain on the rain radar - looks like it's in for the day. PCd this for ages, not eager to having to venture out in the atrocious weather! . . . walked in the gale in full weather gear. It did actually ease off a bit, and had stopped raining by the hot walk back against the wind. Did NOT play ball or hang around too much. .just sat around for ages as the rain returned with a vengence for pretty much the whole day. Had to pop out in the garden at one point, and try to use a bit of one of the shorter old metal line posts, to prop up a bit of the garden fence which was blowing around and threatening to be destroyed by the very strong gusts!! It's the last section of fence up to next doors garage rebuild, which the builders have just left cut off and sat in place without any fixing! This rebuild is dragging on forever. They've done absolutely nothing up there for ages. I confess, I'm getting a bit p***ed off having to put up with the awkward temporary supports under my carport and bits of temporary fence lash ups etc. for so long. . PCd a bit. Much howling and whistling from the PC room window! Grrr :o( . . cooked up a garlic salt, chicken soup and chopped chicken slices 'sauce' and a pan of rice. Ate a big plateful with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate . . napped for a couple of hours until woken by the sound of the worsening gale battering the front of the house. . guitarred in the conservatory for a while. The metal post I'd jammed against the fence has been blown to the floor!! . . almost 'all of a sudden' somewhere around 5:30pm, the rain stopped and the wind died down and a rainbow appeared in the sky for a bit. Extraordinary how the storm had suddenly passed, just like that. . still a bit of a threatening sky, so walked in full rain gear just in case. Turned out to be a long spell of dry and actually rather quiet and clear skies. Who'd have thought it after the awful day we just endured. Didn't play ball and just sat around for quite a while. Plenty of high flying aircraft were visible in the starry sky as usual, then all of a sudden around 7:30pm I spotted a VERY bright white light directly above me, travelling pretty much directly west to east. Oh wow - WHAT is THAT! It was kinda like a very big bright star, travelling pretty 'slowly' (kinda like the same speed a high flying aircraft appears to go). It just HAD to be something in earths orbit, reflecting the light from the recently below the horizon, set sun. A satellite - or maybe more likely, the international space station? Amazing! I got so excited by it, I even called out to a couple of dog walkers and demanded they notice it too. As if to confirm it definitely WAS something in orbit reflecting the sun, as it carried on across the sky, it gradually started to dim and finally just quietly 'went out' as it transitted into the shadow of the earth. Marvellous. That's the first time I've ever seen anything so definitely, very obviously in orbit like that. Made my day. For much of the rest of my sit there, my mind was involuntarily stumbling over trying to imagine the solar system and tragectories and geo orbits and angles and all that intricate stuff I've never really learned, which would have explained why it was visible at precisely that moment in time. Fascinating. I really should get serious with surfing the net some time (I KEEP meaning to, and not!) and try to find out when the ISS is actually going over and liable to be visible. I'm sure that's what it was. . I fully admit to being largely 'TV educated' on such matters, but it astonishes me on occasions (more than one conversation with people in BGdns while looking at the sky full of stars) how very ignorant some people are about the nature of the universe/reality/our insignificant place in it, etc, etc. (Hence a world full of dangerously ignorant religious nutters no doubt?).The dog walkers got chatting a little and took my breath away by making a comment which suggested they thought all the stars were planets reflecting the light of OUR sun!!! I tried to explain 'reality' as best I could, and even went on to point out that much of what we were seeing, could well possibly not be there any more because of the vast distances and speed of light etc etc, but I started sounding all uncomfortably geeky and smartass and had to stop. Just as well - it was obviously a lost cause when they went on to ponder why the earth wasn't kinda partially flat where the moon had once been knocked off it! Gulp!!!!!!! :o( . . . TVd the evening away . . ate bowls of sugar (rice krispies) . . to bed around 11:30pm.
23 - Up around 8:30am. Achey and very slow getting going . .uhoh! Somehow during the night it appears that Bella has managed to completely remove one of her stitches!! Her wound appears to be healing pretty well, so I'm not gonna worry about that 'too' much. . walked in the very mild temperature but strong winds . . Spent the day working in the back garden again. Chopped up a few bits of the piles of cut branches, but spent most of the hours laboring over trying to extract the three or four cut-off hedge stumps from all along the newly revealed fenceline. . Persuaded the passing guy from next door to do a quick bit of maintenance on the fence, and just bang in a few nails where the hedge had been holding up some of the rotting rails. . Meticulously excavated around each stump with a hand trowel and metal 'digging stick' and gradually revealed bits of roots and bit by bit cut my way through them with the bypass-loper and a small hand-axe. I'd deliberately left some long lengths of trunks attached, to act as a lever. At length, after MUCH hard physical labour, I had them all out and just dumped up on the slabs at the top of the garden. BIG roots and trunks!! Dunno how the hell I'm going to be able to get rid of them and all the other thick woody branches I've got piled up!! Nevertheless, very pleased to get those out of the ground and stop any possibility of them all growing back up again. The garden feels pleasantly a lot more open as a result, and I even get to see a little bit of winter sun reaching the lawn now. (With that hedge in place, for at least half the year, almost the entire garden has been in permanent shade! Bit depressing.) It's all a bit of a mess at the moment, but its going to massively reduce the amount of maintenance I have to put in out there next year - and 'may' even make it possible for the compost bin to 'mostly' cope with all the cuttings, weeds and rubbish the rest of the garden constantly produces. (The horribly overgrown front garden (looking 'junglelike' of late!) is a whole different ball game, and is going to require a similar amount of serious clearance work - but that's gonna have to wait until next year now!). . During all this work Bella was lazing around and occasionaly 'helping' by chewing up a few branches etc etc. lol Oh NO!!! I've no idea what she did or how, but it eventually became apparant at some point that she'd somehow opened up her wound a little! It WASN'T where she'd removed a stitch, but further along the wound near one of the remaining stitches. It'd started to bleed a bit and what HAD been a wonderfully healing line had pulled apart a little in one place!!! Damn, damn, DAMN!!! And it had been appearing to be healing SO well! DAMN!!!!!! . briefly helped next door shifting a huge, extremely heavy cast iron compressor tank thing into a portion of what will be his new garage (if the builders EVER return to finish it!!). Boy was that thing heavy. Took four of us to shift it!! . eventually called it quits on the gardening, not only because I was utterly exhausted and wracked with lower back pain, but also just to get Bella inside and layed down somewhere asleep, and give her wound a chance to hopefully close back up. Really disappointed by this development, and newly worried of course. SUCH a shame - things 'had' been healing SO well. . . ate a trio of ham rolls, crisps and a little chocolate . . lay down to have a MUCH needed nap, but couldn't sleep again!? . . TVd, frequently having a look at Bellas wound as she snoozed. The bit of blood ooze thankfully DOES appear to be stopping and scudding over. Fingers crossed. . toyed with the idea of NOT doing so under the circumstances, but eventually DID walk Bella as normal. Let her off her lead for a bit, but otherwise tried to keep her calm (chance would be a fine thing!) and did NOT play ball at all! Mild, but blowing a real gale with some strong gusts! . . sat for ages and even guitarred for a while out in the conservatory with the back garden light on. . TVd as rain set in with the wind . . ate four kipling apple tarts . . to bed around midnight.
22 - Woken around 7:15am by a bang from somewhere. Next door again I suspect - Grrrr! :o( <16Cin/10Cout again. Wish the neighbours would turn their heating up! I don't think I've acclimatised to the start of the 'cooler' weather yet - seem to be feeling the cold pretty bad already, even though it isn't really cold according to the thermometer!?. . PCd a bit of this . . walked feeling cold in the strong breeze. . cut up the green stuff from the pile of branches stacked up near the conservatory and filled the bin again. I'm back to walking with a rucsack every day again! :o| . . Mum called in with food donations and the paper etc. . . ate pork pies, crisps, banana and a little chocolate while feeling absolutely frozen again???. . napped until after 6pm . . walked and ended up overheating!? My internal temperature regulation seems to have gone haywire again of late for some reason (my down mood/diet?). I've been feeling absolutely frozen a lot of the time and yet the thermometers suggest it isn't really 'that' cold - and then this evening all of a sudden, in hat and gloves, I'm all overheating. Weird. .gave Bella her last antibiotic tablet and a half. She's been SO easy to give them to, just as an experiment, this evening I presented her with JUST the tablets on their own in the palm of my hand - and blow me if she didn't happily lick and crunch them up straight away. How weird and cool is THAT! . . TVd. . chatted locally on the VHF radio for a bit as a bit of wind and rain passed through. . PCd this . . ate multiple bowls of rice krispies with much sugar before eventually to bed well after 1am. Actually did the changeover and put the winter duvet back on the bed proper earlier on. Sods law - the temperature seems to have suddenly come back up again (it WAS forecast) and I ended up too hot by morning!
21 - Up around 7:40am. 16Cin/10Cout . . walked and played ball just a little. Carried on down town and in the abscence of finding the regular type of cheap secateurs I prefer, ended up paying 3.99 for a 'Westwoods - Premium Bypass Pruner', with a weak looking plastic-like handle made of 'PP+TPR', whatever that is!?? . . back to work on the hedge in the back yard and after a hard battle for most of the day, managed to reduce the whole thing right up to the pergola, to just cut-off stumps in the ground - and two more bins full, AND BIG piles of stuff all over the place still needing to be cut up!! Much of the work was done quite literally by hand - just grabbing handsfull of the old woody growth, and tearing it up into small bin sized pieces!!! I feel rather as though I've bitten off more than I can chew here! Just to chop all that stuff up into 'manageable' pieces is gonna take forever - never mind then having to try to get rid of it! :o( The stumps (and a few branches going through the fence I haven't yet managed to cut off) are gonna have to wait for a bit, but it IS vital I get them done 'fairly' soon, or else the whole lot will be growing back up and I'll be back to square one and it will all have been for nothing! . sadly found and had to remove the nest in which presumably the robbins raised their brood(s) earlier in the year. Oh wow! There was even a little blue egg still in the bottom of it!!. . caved in around 4pm all headachey and aching, and ate the other half of the tin of salmon in sandwiches, a packet of crisps and a banana, followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . lay down for a much needed nap but couldn't sleep, not helped by much banging noise from next door! . . gave up, got up and PCd a bit of this while sucking an annadin tablet. . walked . Saw a breathtaking shooting star on the way home at somewhere around 8pm. Low in the southern sky tracking towards the east, and appearing to be 'relatively' slow and proper burning up in the atmosphere. It was all kinda unusualy firey and 'sparkley' - more like something in a film than a real one. I thought for a moment it was actually a firework - but it definitely wasn't. Amazing stuff. . guitarred/TVd the evening away. . ate bowls of sugar puffs, co-co pops, a meat pastry slice, crisps, and a couple of kipling apple pies. . to bed around 1am after just temporarily throwing the winter duvet over the summer one already on my bed.
20 - Up around 7am. 16C/6C . . walked with a rucsack and eventually carried on down town and then up to the vets for Bellas checkup. Bit of a waste of time really, with whichever vet it was this time, just giving her wound a quick look over and pretty much seeming to rely on me to say if all was going ok or not. He quickly trimmed off a slightly unravelled and long bit of the stitching which I'd recently noticed and pointed out, and that was that. . On the way out, I made an appointment for the 27th when she'll be having her stitches out, and then asked the girl on reception if she could let me know what the bill was to-date. (I'll settle it when her sticthes are out). She did an immediate computer printout. 211.45! S**T!! OUCH!! :o( . .back via town for dog food and a couple of supplies. Bought the last three tins in one store, and almost the last eleven in another - all at 56p per tin. A heavy trudge back home with the rucsack full of tins AND a bag of sugar and a tub of flora! . . put in some hours trimming back a small section of hedge in the back garden. I eventually want to cut away that whole section of hedge up to the pergola, just to try to reduce the enormous amount of high maintenance work the garden seems to constantly demand. It'll slightly reduce the garden's privacy with it removed, but I'll happily settle for that, in exchange for not having to keep cutting back that monsterously overgrown hedge ALL the time. It's SO overgrown and I've previously trimmed it back SO hard, it's become something of an unsightly woody mess anyway. . A good portion of the hedge appears to be a slighty different, much faster growing plant to the rest. THATs the bit I concentrated on cutting down today. . awkward job with lots of old dead dry wood in amongst the three feet depth of it all! Some BIG trunks in there too! . snapped the handle of another cheap pair of my secateurs! Cheap quality Chinese rubbish. EVERYTHING is these days, isn't it?! :o(. managed to carry on going - just - with a pair that have bent, and infuriatingly keep getting twigs stuck between the blades rather than cut through them! I urgently need a new pair!! . filled a dustbin full of chopped-up 'manageable sized' cuttings before eventually caving-in and HAVING to stop, with MANY more cut branches to chop-up, stacked up in an enormous heap just outside the conservatory . Bella layed out in the garden with me throughout all this cutting of course. Incredibly she really is showing no ill effects from her wound at all! She's racing around and playing ball and being as much a hyperactive lunatic pain in the a** as ever. There IS no trying to keep her calm and sedate. She's even started to get a bit hyper and excited whenever she hears an aircraft going over now, because of the interest I always show in them!! She HAS also had a nibble or a scratch at her wound while my attention was elsewhere! No great damage done - so far! . ate half a tin of salmon in sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . napped until the alarm around 7pm . . . walked in the chilly. No ball play at all but DID allow Bella to run free (some chasing rabbits) for quite a bit of the time. Sat and drank coffee etc while listening to radios for quite a while . . . sat out in the cold in the back garden and cut up just a few more branches into the bin, setting myself a 10pm curfew so as not to annoy the neighbours with the constant snip, snip snip. Oh god how I wish I still had a car on the road! :o( I could have cut down and disposed of that entire hedge in just a few hours if I had a car. Without it, I'm looking at several days and hours and hours of cutting it all up. Soul destroying! . . TVd watching the news. It would appear they have finally captured and then executed Colonel Gadaffi in Libya! Horrific. . ate a tin of hotdog sausages with four pieces of bread and butter, a banana and a packet of Mum donated maltesers . . TVd feeling the cold. With the back doors open much of the day, any latent heat has escaped from the house and made it feel pretty damned cold just sitting around, even though the thermometer still puts it up around 15-16C. . to bed at 1am.
19 - Woke around 6am, tried to snooze on, then up around 6:30am. Bella chose to sleep downstairs in the living room last night. All ok . .17C inside/5C out. . easily gave Bella her tablets while making my morning coffee . .walked in the cold. Dared to let Bella off her lead just briefly for a couple of token ball 'rolls'. On the way back from BGdns, coming along towards me was the guy walking the smaller black dog and the big German Shepherd who'd had a go at and caused the damage to Bella! I veered off well away from them and let them pass at a distance. I DID call out to him that his dog had 'had her good' the other day, and she'd been opened right up and had to have an operation and stitches etc. He mumbled he was sorry - I said he should be careful (of his dog), and at that, I pretty much just carried on my way. Almost every dog walker I speak to, thinks I should be asking him for money towards the vet costs - and or thinks HE should be offering to pay. I'm not sure why (god knows I can ill afford what it's gonna cost me!!), but I just can't quite see the point in getting into all that sort of unpleasantness. (I hate to say it, but it may be I just can't face all that it would mean in terms of having to have contact with 'people' trying to resolve it!) It isn't as though he actually (as far as I know) did anything wrong is it (unless of course he KNOWS he has a dangerous dog - but I know of nothing to suggest that's the case). It was just one of those things. A 'dog thing'. It can happen. It's just unfortunate Bella (and I!) got the bad end of the deal. Maybe if anyone is to blame, it's Bella with her weird single focused, hyperactive ball chasing - and me for having thrown it when I did? If I hadn't thrown the ball when I did, I have no doubt the other dog would have had his sniff of unresponsive Bella, and then just walked on. Having said all of that, I guess if the stuation were reversed, 'I' WOULD have reluctantly offered to pay the bill - or half of it at the VERY least! Oh well. As long as Bella's gonna be ok. Thaswhatmattersaintit! . . received a water bill 'Annual Review of your Meter Budget Plan' in the mail. The extortionate monthly amount I pay of 17.50 (bearing in mind I'm a single person who goes out of his way to hardly use any at all - I worry every time I pull the flush and seldom even shower these days as a result(eeeww)!!) has just been increased to 24 per month!!!! I'm being bled dry by all these profiteering utility companies and can't do a damn thing about it. I'm a sittting duck. Everything I've ever scrimped and saved for is just being taken away from me. My savings are starting to be used-up by the unavoidable bills! There really isn't anything much left that I can cut back on!! Winter IS hell, being cold all the time! I'm living in fear now. I really am. It's taking a toll on my state of mind in a pretty big way. It's ground me right down. Every single day is a struggle. I'm not sure how much longer I'm gonna be able to carry on like this. I can't see ANY way out (aside from the ultimately 'inevitable' of course?!). :o(. . had a good hard look at the french door frame 'disaster' - and it really IS a disaster. :o( The timber has cupped SO much(>5mm all over the place) , there's no way I'm gonna be able to salvage ANYTHING from all that work and s investment. I'm so, SO disappointed. Actually - that's an understatement. I just feel drained and beat. If that cheap rubbishy timber hadn't cupped like that, it WOULD have worked out 'ok', and I could now have been pushing on and working on making the doors fit. But not now - I've no choice - that frame is going to have to come back out and the whole thing re-done from scratch. I could cry. To get that glued/screwed frame back out is gonna be all manner of hassle and WILL inevitably cause major damage to the surrounding walls/plaster, and is gonna end up causing more major work than if I hadn't bothered! Not so much back to square one - more like minus fifty!! I've been wrestling much with my declining mood of late. This just about finished me off. I just can't face doing it - and even if I did, what timber am I going to be able to get where exactly the same thing won't happen for a second time? I'm beat. I really am. :o( . . mustered the energy to sand down and tidy up all the new surrounding plaster (covering EVERYTHING in a layer of thick dust - again - as always!) and then slapped a coat of white emulsion on the walls, just to make it look 'acceptable' and be something I can live with for the forseeable future. After all - I spent the last year living with the unfinished walls around that opening - I'm liable to put up with it as it is now for quite some time! . Despite the cupped timber and various other cracked/seperating plaster issues, with a coat of paint over the surrounding walls, it actually doesn't look bad. Sh*t - I really was SO close to having all that satisfactorily done. :o( I'd really wanted to try to get those french doors fitted before the winter, to enable me to have a better chance of being able to keep warm in the living room at least, if it got really cold again like last year. . . temporarily cut-to-fit and screwed the two newly fashioned bits of skirting to the walls either side in the diner, just to get them out of the way. Left them unpainted and the screws exposed, so it'll be easy to take them back off if I ever do return to have another go at that nightmare. . eventually cleared away all the tools and started trying to clean up some of the dust. . the upright vacuum I scored off e-bay promptly went up in smoke. Literally!! Horrible burning smell and a thick white smoke coming out of it! The motor's still running so I guess the roller brush had jammed and the (new) drive belt has worn away - again. I really could cry. That was the last straw. My mood wasn't up to doing ANYTHING more. Left dust on everything and just threw the vacuum back in the cupboard and called it quits. . .ate ham and mayo sandwiches, crisps, mini-cheddars and biscuits. . napped until around 7pm. . walked in the cold clear night. Sat in BGdns with coffee and cigs for ages just looking at the stars etc. Cold around 6C but not much wind and clear - really a stunning evening. . TVd feeling the cold a bit. . did the mountain of dish washing chores . . cooked and ate chips with a microwaved pastie followed by a slice of mum donated chocolate fudge cake. . TVd until bed around 1am.
18 - Woke before 6am. Immediately looked over to check on Bella and happily found her in her usual upside-down against the bay window wall position, with all four feet in the air - like usual. (Actually - in this favourite position of hers, she also likes to stretch out her front legs and have her paws on a bit of the wall applying pressure kinda. It's making an awful mess of a bit of the plasterboard wall there - but - what can I do? lol) She saw me looking at her, and immediately came over to the edge of the bed all waggy tailed and wanting stroking, like we do. With the slightest encouragemnt she jumped up onto the bed for some careful cuddles. No sign of her having nibbled on her wounds yet, so we got away with the first night at least. . Snuggled on the bed with Bella for a while before waking up at the PC with coffee and cigs etc. I'd unexpectedly received a 5 payment from someone via paypal! Nice one - thank you - on behalf of the vet who'll be getting it!! :o/ . walked a little early (only around 6C out) - with Bella on her halti to begin with, just to try to calm her down a bit. She is acting her normal exciteable self !! - which I suppose I should be grateful for. Found a 5 note in the middle of the pavement on the way to BGdns. Ain't life weird! . Despite being told by the vet to keep Bella strictly ON her lead for the next eleven days (why 'eleven' for goodness sake?), I dared to let her off just briefly, until I lost my nerve and safely hooked her back up. She really, REALLY wanted to run around and play ball exactly like normal and was all winey, confused and disappointed when we just sat at our usual seat and didn't. . . gave Bella her first dose of the twice daily 250mg tablet and a half of 'Clavaseptin' antibiotic before her breakfast. (The young girl behind the counter in the vets had said on an empty stomach - and then when I questioned if that was right, she didn't seem entirely sure - so I'm not sure if it SHOULD be on empty or with food!? Decided to give Bella her normal breakfast straight after and hope for the best. As long as she isn't sick and it stays inside her, I figure it'll work.) One thing about Bella's crazy behavior which has suddenly become very useful, is the way she immediately gulps down and swallows without chewing, any tiny morsel of food I give her. I simply placed that tablet and a half in the palm of my hand with a couple of little pieces of her dry food, and she gulped it all straight down without hesitation. (Sally would have carefully avoided the tablets or even spat them back out.lol) If she continues like that, its gonna make giving her all these tablets REAL easy. :o) . . dared to PC a bit more of this, while Bella chose to stay downstairs out of my sight!! Ended up going down to check on her frequently. . Mum called to touch base. She said some woman (from here) had been on the local radio station apologising that her dog had attacked someone elses! NOT the one who'd had a go at Bella I'm sure - but a funny coincedence nonetheless. During the conversation I checked on Bella again, and found she WAS starting to show signs of licking her wounds!!! . forced her to join me in the PC room (actually shut her in!) while PCing just a bit more of this. . . don't feel up to doing anything! . tried to have a poke at the door frame project and doors between the two rooms but got all 'down' about it. After all that work, the timber frame has cupped and warped to SUCH an extent, quite frankly it's just a big mess which should be torn down and done again! :o( Pointless leaving all the temporary timber supports in place under the circumstances so I unscrewed and removed them all so I can at least move unhindered between the two rooms again. . cooked and ate four bacon, two eggs and chips followed by a few biscuits . . napped . .gave Bella her evening tablets. Walked (in a shower of rain) keeping confused disappointed Bella on her lead, and just sat around in the cold dark of BGdns for ages feeling pretty miserable about everything. As soon as we got back home, Bella raced in and got a tennis ball and threw it at me, as if to say 'here's one for goodness sake'! . TVd the evening away, even though there was absolutely nothing on worth watching - again. Guitarred just a little . . ate a couple of Mum donated Kipling mini microwave treacle pudding type things . . to bed before midnight allowing Bella to please herself where she ended up for the night because so far, she generally ISN'T messing with her wounds.
17- Woken by 'running on stairs' noise from next door before 7:30am. . PCd a bit of this. So much to do around the place - I'm in danger of not being able to keep up with this!!. . walked with a rucsack, intending to return via town for more tins of dog food. Sat playing ball like normal in BGdns, a couple walking their two dogs approached on the path above. One of their dogs, a big (male?) German shepherd came over to have a sniff at Bella. Did my usual routine for Bella of saying 'hello dogs' in a silly, calm, reassuring voice and all was ok, with Bella taking no notice of his sniffing and all about having me throw her ball again. Threw her ball and as she dashed off to chase after it, the German shepherd suddenly 'had a go at her' (presumably because she'd suddenly started to franticly run like she does). There was the briefest of 'dog fight' type scenes and that was that. I called Bella to me and the guy called and got hold of his dog, and was 'suitably apologetic' as he carried on his way. Checked Bella over at the scene of what appeared to be a ruffled wet mark on her fur on the upper right hand side of her ribcage, and sure enough, she had a nasty scratch to her skin, all threatening to start oozing just a little blood. Actually, the sort of wound which would happily heal up and just leave a 'scud'. Having said that, as I gently placed my hand on it to make sure all was well, there WAS a slightly different sensation to her skin in that area which immediately caused me some considerable concern. Hard to describe, but it almost felt as though there was a slight 'bubbling' under the skin! I felt and felt and didn't find any suggestion of damaged ribs or any such thing (she is SO skinny!), so made the assumption it was just some sort of subcutaneous bruising type damage? Bella wasn't in any way behaving anything other than her normal (exciteable/hyperactive) self, so I threw the ball a short distance a couple of times, just making sure she was acting and moving as normal as she raced and jumped to retrieve it. All appeared in order, so we carried on full-on ball playing for a while, before eventually calling it quits and walking all the way down town. . toured a couple of charity shops (Bella had her usual biscuit-treat in one of them) before eventually heading for the mini-supermarket to get dog food. As I was tying Bella to a nearby post, I thought I'd have another look and check on how her wound had developed. The scratch was by now seeping the slightest hint of blood, but nothing 'serious'. Hang on!? What the F*** is THAT?!!! Hidden by her fur, higher up on her side was another wound. Presumably the top wound of where a dogs bite would make two. Oh my GOD!!!!!!!! That's really BAD!!!! That's a serious tear in her skin - all wide open for a good inch or two, with muscle and 'whatever' fully visible within, and even kinda bulging-out in one bit!!! F***, f***, F***!!!!!!!! I can't believe she wasn't in any way showing ANY affect or concern for it!??? How on earth was she racing after her ball like normal in THAT state?!!! Amazing!! What the hell do I do now? (Without a car - in the middle of town!) . ! . Because she was behaving so normally, with little choice, I figured it was worth the risk of walking the considerable distance (this small postage-stamp sized town suddenly expanded into a much bigger place!) to the local (part time) vetinary practice, in the hope (belief from vague recollection) that they WOULD be open, and they WOULD immediately act for such an emergency. . walked briskly all the way there (with crazy Bella being a handful and pulling forward on her lead as normal all the way!) . . oh thank god - they WERE open, a vet WAS there, and he'd see me shortly. Sat outside for a VERY anxious cigarette before soon being called in. Muzzled Bella just to be on the safe side, and the vet had a look. It WAS a significant wound which would need stitches at the very least. He said the 'bubbling' effect beneath the skin which I'd felt, WAS of concern in that it could indicate the wound had penetrated into her chest cavity. If that WAS the case, there was the possibility of collapsing lungs and all manner of appalling scenarios, never mind the 'normal' sort of potential complications that could result in!!!!!!! He quickly said they'd have to have her in and operate. Personalised consent forms were immediately produced from their computer, and after having quickly read them (the usual stuff about being aware that things can go horribly wrong under surgery and I'm prepared to accept the risk etc) I 'signed her away'! . Popped Bella out to be weighed and then he went and loaded a syringe to knock her out (which I'd asked if I could remain present for at least - to be able to keep her calm). That gave me time to start getting all upset and emotional! He soon came back and gave Bella her jab and then left us for a few minutes, for it to take effect and her to become all 'out-of-it'. As she sank to the floor and became semi-conscious I ended up turning into a blubbering idiot!! The vet soon reappeared (passed me a box of tissues! lol) and pretty much dragged semi-conscious, hardly able to stand poor Bella, off into an adjacent room (with me kinda trying to help her walk from behind, because I didn't like the way he was just dragging her by her lead!). At this point I was instructed to leave her with them, and could call them later around 2pm to see how she was doing - prior to hopefully being able to pick her up around 4pm if all was well? . walked outside all wobbly and had to sit around for a bit on a nearby wall being a blubbering idiot some more before being dry enough to roll and smoke a cigarette! . . eventually walked home - alone. . empty EMPTY house!! Made a coffee and cig, composed myself a little repressing more 'emotional surges', and then touched base with Mum and let her know what was going on. . PCd and transferred some savings over into my current account. I need to get some cash out too - in case I need to start playing taxis later? Will taxis take big (sick) dogs?. briefly PCd a bit of this feeling very 'disconnected' and not quite all here. Strange awful feeling of having somehow betrayed Bella's trust. Jeezuz she's had a hard little life! Poor, poor dog!!! :o( . walked to the local post office and drew some money out. . rang a local taxi company and confirmed they WOULD do a 'dog run'. Charged mobile phone etc while PCing this. One thing I'll say for how time consuming it is doing this journal. You can't beat it for just 'getting through' a bunch of time you need to lose!! . . . mustered up what it took to phone the vet just after 2pm to see what the outcome was. Horrible phone call, half expecting to be told she hadn't made it through surgery! Happily I was told it had all gone ok and she was already recovering well from the anaesthetic and was 'sat up in her cage looking round'. Apparantly they hadn't found anything more serious, so her wounds had just been flushed-out, cleaned-up and stitched. WHAT a relief!! They even suprisingly suggested she would 'probably' be ok to walk home, rather than me have to start getting taxis etc. Figured I'd walk back up there and make an assessment on the taxi thing when I saw her. . briefly (short temperedly!) touched base with Mum to keep her updated, before setting off on the brisk walk across town.. . The young girl on reception at the vets confirmed all was well, made a post-op checkup appointment for Thursday, gave me a packet of antibiotics for her, and then went off to get Bella. (One of the elderly dog walkers I occasionaly see was in there, so I suspect to his utter horror and subsequently obvious confusion, I thrust my video camera into his hands and asked him just to point it at us as she was brought out.) I admit I'd been expecting an excited waggy tailed greeting (like I get when I've left her and just popped up the shop for a couple of minutes, or similar) but suprisingly she didn't particularly react in that way towards me at all!?? She seemed far more interested in the other dogs waiting in reception. It was weird. She wasn't quite 'all there' somehow. She appeared to be fully alert and all that, but definitely not herself in a subtley strange way. Without question the residual effects of the anaesthetic. So 'hyper' was she, I made the decision to risk walking her home rather than calling a taxi. I'd fully expected to have her back wearing one of those big 'lampshade' hood things, to stop her biting and licking her wounds, which she easily could simply by turning her head round. She even started to do so right there in the reception! I had to ask for one and was eventually given a VERY large one. Best to have one - just in case. I know her. She recently licked a little scrape on her back completely raw in a few minutes one day while I wasn't watching! I absolutely HATE those lampshade things - but I WILL force one on her if I must. . left the bill for settling at our next appointment (the actual vet this morning had suggested a ballpark figure of 150-200!!) and set off walking home. . oh my god! That was a walk from hell! Brought back memories of the first time I ever walked her. She was all over the place, pulling and acting completely uncontrollable! It was as though the last year of attempts at training and mutual communication/understanding had gone instantly out of the window!!?? It really was as though her basic 'animal' instincts had returned, but her 'higher reasoning' (as much as SHE ever has!) was still anaesthetised and absent! Hellish walk - her being nuts on the leash in one hand and me trying to control her without hurting her, a big 'lampshade' in the other - and then plus a big bag of poop to carry! .Image of Bella's dog bite injury, post-op very pleased to be back home. Bella continued acting 'weird' once we'd got inside. She kinda, 'unsettled', went around the place again just like she had done when I first got her - and seemed particularly interested in looking out at the back garden?? . . Mum popped down to see the state she was in, make a fuss of her and treat her to a whole pack of mini cheddars. lol . .In the picture I've included here - the 'scrape' is at the bottom, the more serious stitched wound is at the top. Four 'X' type large stitches - or is that eight?. . ate corned beef sandwiches, a meat pie, crisps, mini cheddars and chocolate. . just sat TVing and keeping an eye on Bella for hours. To be honest, the stress of the day had completely wiped me out, and I was oh SO ready to be asleep - but I figured I needed to be alert to the likelihood of her starting to lick her wounds and make a worse mess of everything! Clearly the pain relief she'd allegedly been given was wearing off. She wouldn't settle in any of her normal places. Every time I carefully stroked her and tried to settle her, the attempt would end with her apparantly suddenly becoming aware of the pain from her wound. She would then appear to be trying to run away from it - and me!!!? She ended up spending most of the evening well away from me and laying near the back door! That was a bit distressing - for 'me'. I need wing mirrors on my sofa! . . ummd and ahhd for quite a bit before deciding I'd use the excuse of needing milk, to just walk her up to the local store and back, as a token representation of her normal routine evening walk. She got all excited to be going out as normal - which, as I'd suspected would, I think helped with her pain relief! . . with that brief walk done, I fed her as normal. . TVd . ate bowls of sugar puffs. . briefly went into the garden with Bella (blowing a bit of a chilly gale out there!) before early to bed before 11pm! Took quite a while (much careful cuddling) before Bella got off MY bed and settled on hers as normal. I took the risk of NOT forcing the 'lampshade' on her, because it appeared the pain of her wounds was sufficienct to stop her licking them at the moment anyway. Bad day done. :o|
-//unfinished//- 16- Up around 9:40am after only a few hours sleep! . . walked . . spent the whole day working on making up pieces of skirting board out of the timber. Spent ages and ages trying to figure out how on earth I could manage it, and eventually managed to use my router in various different laborious ways to thin down the timber and do much of the other require cutting out of the desired profile. . did multiple loads of bed linen, etc laundry throughout the day . . . . .loaned a neighbour the smaller ladder from my collection. His dog came in and played with Bella a bit as he was taking the ladder. As he was leaving up by the back gate, his dog seemed reluctant to come to him and satyed in my house for ages!? Eventually went in and ushered him out. Only later did I discover why he'd been so reluctant to leave. He'd found Bellas tub of toys, overflowing with thirty tennis balls, and had started taking the balls out one by one. They were strewn all over the living room! lololol . after an absurd amount of hours I succeeded in making up a couple of short acceptable replica skirting board lengths for the shirt walls either side of the opening in the diner. They aren't perfect - need a little more 'whittling' and sanding and finishing by hand, but once on the wall and painted, they'll look close enough to all the rest to be unnoticed, which is all I need. HUGE amount of work for such a silly little piece of the puzzle. I'll eventually have to do the same thing all over again for the pieces on the living room side!!!! (attempting the whole 4.2m length in one go was a bit too difficult, and if I'd screwed up, would have ruined the WHOLE lot - so I cut it into four and have sadly only done two!) . unfortunately as the new door frame timber and surrounding plaster agonisingly slowly dries out, it IS cracking and cupping/warping away from the plaster quite badly. :o( It may be that I will be forced to put some form of door trim around it all to cover that up! Until I know for sure and decide, I can't fit the skirtings now anyway!! To be honest - I'm disappointed with what a mess I've ended up with! :o( Somehow I'll make it work - but it's gonna mean a lot more work to do so now. :o( I mostly blame that damned plaster I ended up reluctantly using!!. swept up the mountains of sawdust and filled a carrier bag for the bin! . . walked, covered in sawdust. Got some in my right eye! . . approaching BGdns, a dog walker was partly blocking the road, manouvering a big expensive looking caravan into their narrow driveway. The bizarre thing was, it wasn't connected to a car!??? The dog walker and his wife were just stood back watching as the caravan magically moved all on its own!!???? Turned out it had a remote controlled 'parking motor' built into it somewhere. Using the small remote control, they were slowly turning it and 'driving' it, inch by inch into their steep narrow driveway! Amazing. I had absolutely NO idea such a thing existed. . . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, crisps, mini cheddars, and a whole pack of mum donated chocolate melt biscuity things. . guitarred/TVd until bed (after I'd remade it all with the still damp sheets) before midnight.
15- Poor disturbed sleep then up around 6am . . PCd a bit of this. . walked . .measured up old bits of skirting board and then left Bella at home to walk up the builders yard for a piece of unfortunately 'oversized' timber!! (4m of 25mmx100mm redwood par ex @ 7.56). .back to work on the door frame project. Spent hours cutting up multiple strips of 20mm wide plasterboard, to fill up some of the gap below the lintel. Actually - I guess that sums up the extent of my 'mistake' when I cemented the lintel in, that little bit too high. Cut the board on a scrap piece of timber out on the floor in the garden with a stanley knife. Lots of strips because that old piece of plasterboard was only around a meter long. . Mum called in with the paper and food donations. Stopped for chats and a coffee before 'encouraging' her to leave me to get on with it. . .presdrilled and then nailed the strips in place to the timber strip between the lintel and door frame, before driving in some plaster over it all. Once again the plastering didn't go well, because I was using that damned finishing plaster!. . . cleaned up a little before eating mum donated pork pies, crisps, mini cheddars and some chocolate. . napped . .walked . . TVd, aimlessly PCd until deep into early . .ate a pastry meat pie, crisps and bowls of mum donated sugar puffs before finaly to bed.
14- Tossed and turned and tried to get back to sleep but couldn't (involuntarily mentally rehearsing fixing the door frame to the walls!) , so up around 6:30am . . PCd a bit of this . . walked . . spent the whole day wrestling with the door frame again! It always was gonna be a fiddly, awkward thing to do, but I can't believe it's all taking me SO long!! . used a couple of sewing needle on two bits of thread pinned to the top of the frame as plumb lines, and eventually had the frame all wedged in position and then finally screwed to the walls all the way down both sides. A handful more wedges and screws across the top and that was pretty much it in terms of the fixing. It isn't at all perfect - but it's about as a good a job as 'I' could possibly achieve I think. It's GOING to look a 'bit' unconventional and weird, what with the 15mm or so protrusion from the wall both sides, but that's what I've gone for - for various reasons. Whether or not I've actually got the measurements right and it will actually take two STANDARD sized doors is anyones guess! (Trying to work out the sizes and allow an extra few millimeters for hinges etc - WITHOUT two doors to hand was the problem!) Anyway - right or wrong, the house is stuck with it now!! . . popped up in the attic and retrieved the little bit of old plasterboard I'd found up there. . left Bella at home some time after 3:30pm and walked up the builders yard for a 25kg bag of plaster @ 5.28. Walked it home!!! That nearly killed me! Had to stop and have a breather on the way!! Brought it down the lane out back to save having to walk it all the way back up the front garden. The effort of carrying that bag saw me promptly throwing-up a bit once I'd done it and got back inside!! . . it wasn't until I'd got ready to do the plastering around the frame and opened the bag that I realised it was NOT the stuff I'd wanted!! I'd wanted that one-coat WHITE plaster I ALWAYS use - not a whole bag of pink finishing plaster!!!! I'd explicitely said to the guy in the builders yard 'The WHITE stuff'! FFS! Too late now. DAMN!!! . plastered up both sides of the frame, trying to force the PVA/plaster mix into the gaps. This is where all the work I've done may go horribly wrong - if the dampness from that plaster makes the timber frame cup or warp or split!! (I've tried and tried to figure out an alternative to having that timber get wet like that, but just can't see any other way to do it-particularly since I'm initially aiming for having NO surrounding molding/trim!!) I won't know until it's fully dried out and that's liable to be a good few days. It's gonna be real tough trying to keep the temporary framing all still attached for so long. I'm eager to remove it already!! I can't walk from room to room with it in place (although Bella can), and I have to go all the way around down the hallway, like before I made the opening! . sadly I did not have enough time to attend to the big bit of filling/plastering ABOVE the top of both sides of the frame immediately below the lintel (what I wanted that old piece of plasterboard from the attic for) - because I had to walk Bella! Sadly, that's gonna add another day of working on it, and longer for everything to dry out! Very frustrating not to 'quite' get it all done like that! . oh my god - so, SO incredibly tired and aching! . Ate a banana. The walk after 7pm was slow and very wobbly! . . vacuumed just a little while cooking up a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese . . TVd/ate pizza and then bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 11pm.
13- Poor disturbed sleep (Bella making lots of noise adjusting her postion and scraping the wall etc!) and then up around 7:30am. . Wet - misty, drizzly. . walked . . spent the whole day working on the double door frame project effectively making up a free standing frame - like an enormous bookcase what with all the old temporary supporting bits to hold it all square and as straight as possible and attempt to counteract the warping!
!!Mum called to touch base at some point and was pretty briskly rudely dismissed!
!

with the mass of bits of timber all holding the frame as square as I could get it, the next job was to work out how to fill the considerable gap above it, up to the reinforced concrete lintel. Temporarily placed the frame in the doorway and measured up, and then had a go out in the garden at 'ripping' my last long bit of spare/reclaimed joist timber to fit with the circular saw. It did NOT work out! The saw blade wasn't deep enough and it was impossible to keep it straight, trying to cut edge-on the whole length of the timber on the paving slabs of the floor. Ended up having no choice but cutting a very much narrower piece of timber than I'd wanted - which gives me much less to screw to and will leave me with a LOT of 'filling' IF it all works out ok. :o| . Eventually screwed and PVAd the strip of timber to the underside of the lintel and called it quits for the day, feeling really absolutely exhausted!! In theory, tomorrow I should be able to actually attempt to fix the frame in position with screws and timber wedges. It isn't going to be easy!! I suspect I'll be spending almost the whole day trying to somehow make loads of timber wedges!! I may yet have done all this work only for it all to go pear-shaped (or more accurately 'banana-shaped' and out of true!) at the final fixing/finishing! :o( . . called Mum back and said could we skip her normal Saturday visit tomorrow. Tomorrows Friday she said. Huh?! Blimey - I've been so totally focused on and consumed by this awful, AWFUL task, I really had absolutely NO idea what day it was! But good - that means I can battle on unhindered tomorrow, and still have time get to the builders before the weekend for supplies of filler/plaster/PVA/etc, as will likely be necessary. . .sat with a coffee for a bit. so, SO tired - real hard having to get going again and walk Bella! . . walked in the very mild temperatures again. Stopped at the store on the return for some quick/easy food. . ate four garlic sausage and mayo bread rolls, crisps, mini cheddars and a banana . . TVd until to bed at 11pm.
12- Up around 8:15am . . walked. Two pratts on mopeds appeared in Bgdns and started doing doughnuts and tearing up the grass! (I haven't learned my lesson have I!!!)Briskly walked towards them shouting for them to 'get out of it' - which when they saw me, they thankfully promptly did. . spent hours umming and ahhing and measuring stuff up again and trying to figure out the best way to tackle things, before finally making a decision and laboriously cutting the three bits of timber to chosen sizes . . cut another two large bits of old joist timbers from the garage. . caved in and very briefly trimmed a little bit of stuff in the garden (just enough to top-up a rucsack) before grabbing a bit to eat. Ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, mini cheddars, banana and chocolate . . lay down to nap but only kinda poorly snoozed for an hour or so. My mind appeared to be all over the place - but mostly trying to figure out how best to do the doorframe!!? . . walked and sat around with a coffee and cigs for ages. Remarkably mild again - around 16C when I set off. Didn't even wear my hoody. . TVd . . cooked and ate four pieces of bacon, two eggs and chips followed by half a well out-of-date ginger cake. . TVd until bed around midnight.
11
- Woke earlier then up around 8:20am. More dark grey threatening skies. Boy my back is aching!. . walked . . spent several hours wandering around with a tape measure and bits of paper measuring doors and the gap I'd opened up between the two rooms etc, etc. Time to finally start having a go at that door frame!! I've been putting that off for over a year now, because it always was going to be a real BA**ARD of a job! It's hard to explain - but because I want to put doors in there (AND have them opening and folding back flat against the diner walls), it is NOT something as simple as screw some lengths of timber to the three inside faces of the opening. It's VERY, VERY much more complicated and awkward.. . Ummd and ahhd for ages trying to envisage and think everything through - in detail! Getting this frame right seems absolutely critical. Doors can always be modified - but this frame is gonna kinda end up being a fixed part of the house, which will for evermore dictate what goes in the hole and how problematic that will be. I SO do not want to cock it up!!! . . measured and measured and rang up the local builders yard to get timber sizes, surfed on-line looking at standard door sizes and eventually at length reluctantly decided to attempt to aim for a door frame/lining construction which 'should' accomodate two standard sized doors. No matter what I do, the two second-hand french-doors I have, will have to be 'worked on' and made bigger - but it seemed sensible to aim for somewhere along the lines of 'standard' sizes. The trouble with that decision is, it's gonna make the whole project SO much more difficult for me to do. Nevertheless - decision made. . . drizzle just as I was about to leave! Typical. . left Bella at home and walked up the builders yard. Their computer system was apparantly down which meant they couldn't check on the price of stuff, so they just stood there looking at me blankly. I got a bit 'bolshy'! So what are you telling me? I just have to go home again? WHAT nonsense!!!

8.93 . . Walked back with the timber on my shoulder. . Dumped the timber flat on the floor in the hallway to 'dry out' and carry on warping badly and going all banana shaped!!!. . .

ate sandwiches of something or other - can't recall. . . napped . . walked . . TVd/PCd . . ate bowls of muesli before to bed around 2am.
10 - Up around 7:45am . .slow getting going again. Walked under the grey skies with the lightest hint of drizzle in the air . . my mood seems to have suddenly plummeted. Can't seem to manage to muster the energy or interest to do anything. Anything at all!!! I just want to be back asleep!! :o( . . aimlessly PCd the day away pretty much, or just sat around in silence. A total 'non functional' day for me - just trying to get through it, so I could maybe have a better crack at the next one!! Haven't had such a bad day for a while. How ironic that according to something I read, it was World Mental Health day today! . . wasn't actually hungry but ate a couple of chocolate biscuits just to keep me going, because I'd eaten nothing for a good 24hrs and was feeling a bit wobbly . walked with rucsack and holdall and actually reached a point of 'progress' in the removal of the recent hedge cutting stuff. I need a rest! It's been unbelievably hard work. I've avoided paying around 10 I imagine. . TVd, not really watching whatever was on in front of me. . ate a couple of meat pastrie slices, mini cheddars, banana and chocolate. . Bb called to touch base. I'd been trying to get in touch for a while to no avail, and had started to worry. Things are not going well for her! :o( . to bed around 1am.
9 - Up around 8am. Slow getting going. Walked in the warm sunny spells . . .aimlessly poked at the garden just a little, moving stuff around and breaking up a bit of rotten trellis into small enough bits to fill the wheelie bin. Also crammed a pair of the cheap shoes I bought on e-bay in there. I've worn a hole clean through the sole and can no longer risk continuing to wear them, now winter is approaching and there is a greater chance of rain! They did at least see me through 'most' of the summer, so can't complain for the price. Mostly living in PS donated Doc Martens at the moment, given the 'rough ground' I keep seeking out during the walks! ;o| . The little rucsack I've been using to 'transport' stuff, (long ago 'found' - dumped in BGdns by someone I think it was!) is fast starting to fall apart at the seems under the twice-daily pressure, and sadly won't be useable too much longer! . headachey and feeling woozy and tired . PCd a bit of this . . . . finally got round to doing long overdue paperwork and balanced my accounts - or actually not! Rare for me to NOT balance to the penny and just have to admit defeat, but that's where I ended up this time! :o( I've made a 20ish mistake somewhere over the last several months, but I've no idea where, and am not gonna waste any more hours trying to track it down - yet more! At least it's 'in my favour' so to speak, so I've just uneasily made a rare 'error correction' entry in my accounts and drawn a line under the matter. . . ate garlic sausage and mayo rolls, mini cheddars and a little chocolate . . napped . . walked . . TVd a little, feeling pretty down. Ended up on the PC just aimlessly surfing e-bay and the like, wasting away the whole evening until early. To bed around 2:30am feeling stomach-achey and more than a little unwell.
8 - Up around 8:30am walked. Weird weather - seems to have warmed up again after that briefest of colder snaps. Makes it real difficult to know what to wear! Cold one day, overheating the next!? . on entering BGdns, there was the bizarre sight of a holdall of someones belongings (shoes and clothes visible - who knows what else inside!) just dumped on the ground behind the wall of the road which leads down towards the holiday camp!?? No one around at all. Very weird. Accidentaly left by someone loading their car up perhaps? Figured it'd be best to take it down to the holiday camp reception, but loaded up with my own rucsack to 'unload', and with Bella's ball play to get out of the way, I figured I'd temporarily just lift it up and pop it up on top of the wall so it was in plain view of anyone passing (or maybe looking for it?), and deal with it on the way back out. . by the time I was heading back, it'd disappeared! I DO hope it found its rightful owner and wasn't just 'had' by someone! Made me feel rather uneasy about having touched it at all! . . ended up sat at the top of the garden guitarring a bit in the sunny spells as next door and the bricky, pretty much finished off the walls of his new garage. Loaned them a couple of my wood-saws so they could cut off the timber wallplates atop the walls. Wow - that seems a LOT higher than it was before. At least a couple of courses of building blocks! VERY much more 'imposing'! . . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations for chats etc. . ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps, mini-cheddars, banana, chocolate and biscuits . . napped . . walked well after dark and ended up overheating in my hoodie! Back up around 14C maybe? . way, way out across Lyme Bay down towards Portland, someone somewhere was having a substantial firework display. SO far away, it was just little pin pricks of flashes in the distance, and no hint of any sound reaching me at all. . TVd/guitarred/PCd the night away, definitely wrestling with an increasingly down mood . . ate Mum donated sausage rolls, mini-cheddars, banana and chocolate . . to bed shortly after 2am.
7 - Up around 7:45am. . walked and then carried on down town to tour the charity shops and buy some dog food in the local mini co-op. Struggled home with a rucsack of twelve tins @ 6.72.. . trimmed the short bit of hedge (next-door's actually) by the window in the front garden. Lots more stuff to get rid of, and that was just trimming off the top a little, as has to be done every few weeks to stop it growing up, over, and rubbing-on the bay window!!! :o( . descended into a bit of a down. . napped . .ate a handful of biscuits and a banana just to keep me going . . walked with rucsack AND holdall. .TVd/guitarred . finally got round to re-stringing my Stagg guitar. It's been unuseable and needed doing for absolutely ages, but I so hate having to re-string them, I'd just been putting it off and putting it off and using my other one all the time. . TVd . . ate spam and mayo six pieces of bread sandwiches, crisps and chocolate . . to bed at 2am.
6 - Up around 7:10am. Only around 10 degrees C outside! That's a bit of a shock after the recent warm weather. . walked in the strong breeze feeling really rather chilly in still wet shoes!. . . didn't intend to but somehow ended up pottering in the garden again, cutting away some of the badly overgrown, ugly rose stalks up by the carport. Actually cut them right down to ground level and then removed the rotten trellis nailed to the fence which they were all growing up through. I'm sure they looked pretty in their prime, when they briefly flower, but it's just not 'me' caring for roses, and I'd rather have them permanently gone and a relatively unobstructed view from the house of the fence and carport beyond right up through to the lane. Better for keeping an 'eye on' Bella and things - and less gardening of course, which is really what all this cutting-down on garden stuff is all about. Loaded the wheelie bin up with as much as I dared.. PCd and somehow bumped into a rather interesting local weather summary page. . Tried to start balancing my accounts (again! I'm SO behind with it!!) but only succeeded in unwillingly getting bogged down in having to alter some of my bank stuff online, because of their takeover! It would appear having a mobile phone is now taken for granted and is even now treated as an actual requirement to set up new payments!!!!? Because I'm not prepared to start registering with them the dodgy old pay-as-you-go one I carry, long ago given to me by PS, always turned off, with its battery always flat whenever I do pull it out - it would appear I can't actually now do some things with my account which I otherwise could!!!!!!!! F***ing banks! . . got all headachey and tired. Ate the last of the rice concoction with four crusts of bread and butter, followed by a little chocolate . . napped until around 6:15pm . . walked in the wind wearing my hoodie. Despite the hoodie, I ended up feeling VERY cold in the strong and gusty wind. Very pleased to get back home to shelter! . . TVd . . briefly had a bit of a first look inside Mums old electric mantle clock which had stopped working. It appeared to start again - but can't be relied on of course. Nothing I can do about it I think. Shame she's already bought herself a replacement. I reckon it would have been pretty easy to simply replace the entire mechanism (and hands?) with one of the new battery powered modules. They are really pretty cheap to buy and are readily available all over e-bay in different sizes and styles etc. . . PCd this. That new online weather page suggests with the (NW ish) windchill, its actually feeling more like around 6 degrees C out - which I guess is much more what it felt like to me blowing straight through my hoodie!!! Very not nice. Thankfully, it's around 18C in the house. I'm sure its just psychological - kinda 'placebo effect' - but I DO feel as though that cavity wall insulation HAS had 'some' effect on the draughts and the retaining of the temperature in here as a result. The cheapo replacement front door sealing strip, also 'appears' to be doing its job 'adequately' - or leastways, it isn't whistling as far as I've noticed (which I HAD fully expected as soon as it was proper windy!). .Coincedental to my 'walking with a rucsack' twice a day of late, there have been a sudden rush of articles on the local BBC website about flytipping!!! lolol "Flytipping has increased at five of the eight district and borough councils in Devon during the past year.// East Devon saw the biggest rise, from 227 incidents in 2010 to 315 in 2011. The Conservative-controlled council introduced a charge on 1 April to dispose of rubble, plasterboard, bonded asbestos and tyres.// In one incident, a 20ft long mobile home was dumped in a lay-by.// Devon County Council said the charge could not be blamed for the rise in flytipping." . . and . . "Police were called to a Devon recycling centre after a dispute over new charges for dumping rubble. // Mr Thompstone said he had gone to the Brunel Road site on 3 May to dump rubble from DIY work at his home. The bags were half full to make them easier to carry. He said staff told him the charge was still 2 a bag, an argument arose over the cost and he was ordered off the site by security staff. "I had to call the police so they could escort me back into the centre to get my car back," he said.". What I find utterly amazing about these articles is that the Council said 'the charge could not be blamed for the rise in flytipping'. Really? What arrogant absurdity! It's their (even pre-existing!) charges which have seen otherwise generally law abiding ME, 'carrying a rucsack' every day! I swear, this country really is fast going right down the toilet! :o(. . ate bowls of cornflakes . . TVd until bed around 2am.
5 - Up around 7:45am feeling achey and very VERY tired! . . walked in a hint of light drizzle showers. . saw a dog walker who normally walks with the guy I'd been told had 'maybe' rescued the drowning seagull the other week, and had the opportunity to ask if she knew if he actually HAD rescued it somehow. Bizarly she seemed a little vague about the details, but she did suggest he HAD somehow managed to reach it and pluck it from the water, and it'd just then been left on the rocks to either recover or not! :o( . . .finally got round to giving Bella a couple of the de-worming tablets I've had laying around for ages. A pack of four tablets. Should 'just' about get away with two doses of two tablets for her weight I think. . pottered in the garden just a little, permanently removing and cutting up more of that ornate marsh-grass stuff from one of the big unmoveable planters. The planter in question is a big sawn-off bottom of a barrel type - actually not entirely unpleasant in appearance, despite its age and poor condition. In the back of my mind, that would be better off 'spruced up' and maybe modified to be a low, garden 'coffee table' kinda thing? We'll see. It may be beyond that. It HAS been sat up there (too heavy to move) just rotting for years after all. . .briefly chatted a bit with the bricky building next doors garage. During our chat, Bella threw up right next to us!! Eeewww! That'll be the effect of those damned worming tablets then! Carried on chatting, and as I'd hoped and half expected her to, she re-ate her vomit!!! Eeeewww, eeewwww, eeewwww!!! At least it meant the tablets were back inside her doing their work. . . cooked up a pan of rice and a chicken soup, chopped onion in butter, chopped turkey slices, and garlic salt concoction. Ate a large dish full with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate. . . . napped until around 6pm . . walked in full rain gear just after it began to pour with rain and blow a bit of a gale. Really VERY unpleasant and 'hurricaney' all of a sudden! . Got pretty wet - feet especially! . . TVd/guitarred the evening away in wet socks. . ate biscuits and eventually four pieces of bread and butter with a small dish of the rice stuff. . to bed around 1:30am.s
4 - Broken sleep then up around 7:30am . plenty of noise out back as the builders of next door's new garage, appeared to be setting everything up for the bricky to start putting up the blockwork. . walked in the sun. . wow - already a whole section of new garage wall has sprung up alongside my carport. It's amazing how quick things move on as soon as they start doing the blockwork. Already that has made the garden rather more secure in terms of Bella (although still plenty of opportunity for escape of course). . I think I'm going to have 'a day off' today. Feel pretty tired and need to eat some proper quantities of food. . . PCd this (28 degrees C in the room!) while monitoring radios etc. I've been trying to get hold of the original window installers for the last week or two - calling pretty much every day and having left messages on their ansaphone etc. Probably costing me a fortune in b***dy phone calls! Well - I've been unable to get hold of them. I've had enough of it. I'm not gonna waste my time trying any more! Grrrr. :o( No wonder someone torched their vehicles! So much for any guarantee I may have had illusions about having!. . . PCd this at length while monitoring radios until early afternoon . . ate a couple of meat pies, crisps, and chocolate. . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . walked with a rucsack and experimented with carrying a large (broken, ready for the bin)holdall I'd dug out from a cupboard. Big mistake! Too awkward and heavy to carry all that way. Ended up overheating and feeling pretty unwell with the exertion! . . sat in the garden for a bit. The walls of next doors garage have mostly sprung up to around shoulder high already! Glad to be 'mostly' closed-in and feeling more 'secure' again. . . TVd/guitarred a little/PCd . . ate pilchard sandwiches, crisps, banana and a slice of spongecake . . TVd until to bed around 2am.
3 - Up just after 7am. Still pretty warm but a bit of a breeze this morning so no mist at least. Impressive sunrise while waking with a coffee and cigs, and PCing this. . . walked. . sat in the garden with coffee and cigs before deciding to 'just' remove a piece of old rotten trellis and honeysuckle bush up on the top level next to the steps up towards the garage. Keep on having to trim that because it obstructs my way up to the garage. The top part of the rotten rellis I cut off and disposed of years ago, when I had to replace the rotten fence post. It really should all have been removed back then, but at the time, I was loathed to do anything too much in the way of alterations because I wasn't sure what direction I was going with everything. . spent the next several hours cutting it all into small pieces into yet another dustbin. . . At length, the honeysuckle was all chopped into little pieces, and the mass of rotten wood trellis was dumped up by the garage. Two frogs and an enormous toad lost their home, and had to be safely ushered away to find another!Dug the root out and filled the resulting hole with 'spare' earth from one of the enormous tubs I inherited with the house (too heavy to move!). With that sorted, it seemed obvious to put the spare patio slab back in place over it all, where it preumably originally came from. After the last couple of long days of hard work, if I'd left it at that, it'd have been quite enough work for one day thank you very much - but I didn't! Messing with the slab and earth from the tub, it suddenly seemed reasonable to push on and have a go at trying to level some of the other slabs which have settled into a deep uneven mess up there. Also - it made sense to lift most of the others and try to remove all the grass which CONSTANTLY grows up between them. Every few weeks (when I can be bothered) I have to spend hours trying to cut back that weird, thick, quick growing grass, just to be able to actually get to the washing line without falling over into it all. It's really weird thick marsh grass or something. I've GOT to do something to stop having to do that so much so often - because it's just SUCH a hassle and total and UTTER waste of time all the time! My theory was, even though it isn't desireable to me or a 'proper' solution, if I was to lift all the slabs (all simply layed on bare earth!), cut out all the grass and then put in strips of plastic under all the joins, it 'should' help prevent it growing back so much. So - that was the whole rest of the day spent in HARD labor in the heat and sunny spells, lifting all the slabs, spreading soil from the tub and trying to level it, and then putting all the slabs back down on little strips of heavy duty plastic cut from my collection of dog food sacks (with the intent of probably drifting in a little cement into the gaps in due course - like WAS largely successful in stopping the weeds between the slabs near the house)!!! . . And there was me thinking I was tired and had done quite a bit of work these last couple of days!! That was nothing compared to today!! . I couldn't lift all the slabs because of all the pots and other stuff piled up around the edges, but I did the majority. Even if I could have carried on and done the rest, I ran out of 'spare' soil in the big (broken) plastic tub. I emptied it (so at least I can now think about finally cutting that up and throwing it out some time!)!. . . It was NOT a good job. The slabs are all at slightly different levels and some are now rocking!!! Nevertheless - it isn't as bad as it was. Some disappointment I've discovered with the rotary line post. It isn't really anchored in the ground! It appears they simply lifted out a paving slab and poured concrete around the pole in the resulting gap! While I was levering slabs around it, the whole thing was moving!! Sheesh - NOTHING about this place has been done right ANYWHERE! . . called it quits around 6pm. Really VERRY exhausted! Of course, no matter how tired or hungry I am, I always have to then set off on another 'route march' and walk Bella!!!! Sometimes - just - uggh at the prospect!. . walked - with a rucsack!. . tu . . returned Mums ansaphone call and touched base . .TVd. Much in need of food but pretty much too tired to move!! Ended up eating a pastie, bag of crisps, banana, a whole family-pack of Mum donated chocolate chip cookies, and then bowls of sugar puffs!! . . to bed before midnight.
2 - Up around 8:40am. . very tired and achey. . .walked late in the heat. Still huge amounts of moisture in the atmosphere. Everything feels damp and the grass and trees (and Bella!) are just COVERED in dew again. Signs were up saying 'Beware:Runners', so I guess it's that time of year again (for the local road race). Blimey - imagine that in these temperatures!!! . . back to work in the garden again! Polished off the chopping-up of all the remaining pile of big woody bits from yesterdays hedge cutting, and added it all to the three full dustbins I've ended up stuck with! . . . started to get a bit too hot and was pretty exhausted and kinda just ran out of steam for a bit. Ended up guitarring, playing ball with Bella and and listening to the radios out in the garden for good hour or more. My word - out of the glare of the sun, it really is a lovely temperature for being sat out. Superb weather - and in October for goodness sake! . got a 'second-wind' as the temperatures dropped late afternoon/early evening, and ended up mowing the lawn, weeding and then removing an ugly/rotten trellis arch, part way up the garden path. Gradually bit by bit - clearing stuff out!. . . exhausted!!!! . walked with a rucksac. . Mum called to touch base . TVd almost too tired to move!. .ate four ham and mayo rolls, crisps and two bananas. . gave Bella a VERY good inspection while brushing her . The last couple of days she's really done nothing but CONSTANTLY scratch!!!!??? REALLy worrying me! I just can't see how it's fleas. I've looked and looked and seen none (and after all, she's also had that spot-on stuff on for a few days now). On VERY close inspection, she DOES seem to have lots of little 'dings' all over her, which 'could' be the source of 'some' of her irritation. I presume she's scratched herself rampaging through the woods after squirrels like she sometimes does? Dunno what to make of it. It's really worrying me. I may have to try giving her a 'shower' with some gentle shampoo some time soon. THAT's gonna be a MAJOR hassle!! . . . to bed around 11:30pm.
1 - Woke from a nightmare around 6:45am. (In the nightmare I was reliving 'Bristol' events - again! I'll NEVER get over all that will I!). foggy again! . PCd this . .walked with rucsack the beach and woods. So much dew on the trees, it was quite literally raining under them! . back after sits and yet more ball play in BGdns . . cut down more of the hedge. Most of it actually! Managed to put in the work to push it right back to the fence line pretty much. I 'could' have completely removed the big trunks and branches that remain, but I decided not, because they are all so woven into the fence, and DO appear to be rather holding the fence up! Nevertheless, that should VERY much reduce the amount of maintenace THAT bit of hedge requires in the future. I can actually walk up the garden path now, without having to detour out onto the grass to get past it! I can also actually see up the garden to the garage/carport etc from the kitchen window now. . . Mum called in late with food donations and the paper etc. A few of the photos I'd submitted (rainbows, yacht Vive La vie, a sunset, etc) appeared in the local paper. . plenty of cutting-up still to do, but I felt SO tired, I just couldn't find the energy to carry on after having stopped to chat to Mum! Ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps and chocolate . . napped through until the alarm at 7pm . . walked in the dark . . listened to the blues and slide guitar CDs DS had sent me from Amazon as a (early) birthday present. As I put it in my thankyou e-mail to him - "Saturday night, warm like summer, all done walkin', chillin in the 'radio shack', feet up on the stool under the desk, layed-back in the chair, neighbor is away so volume is up, listnin' to the blues. It don't come much better than this - ya know?". . guitarred(although I really should just sell it, after what I've just been listening to!)/TVd/PCd until early . . ate two meat pies, crisps and FIVE mum donated jam doughnuts before eventually to bed around 3am!
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