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<My Diary Archive 2014 My Diary Archive>

- Up just before 7am. 17C in, 14C out. Broken cloud. . .put laundry on to complete while I was out, then walked BGdns. Played ball for a bit before carrying on down to the harbour when I heard on the scanner that the 32 meter schooner sailing ship 'Tres Hombres' was about to start loading cargo before leaving later on the high tide at around 11am. They'd asked the pilot boat if it was gonna be free about then in case they needed assistance getting out of the inner harbour. .Tres Hombres loading cargo in Brixham harbourwanted to have a peek at them loading cargo because I 'think' it's a rare example of a bona fide WORKING sailing ship, and I was intrigued to know what sort of a cargo would be moved by such a vessel in this day and age. It was moored alongside the inner harbour 'working quay' and there was plenty of hustle and bustle going on around it (a vehicle from BBC radio Devon nearby, and plenty of people taking photos), so I ended up sat atop the viewing platform over the toilets, casting an eye on things from a discrete distance. As far as I could tell from that distance, a forklift was unloading pallets of something bottled (water?) from a lorry parked near the fishmarket entrance, running them the short distance down the road, and then dumping them on the quay next to the ship. At that point the plastic wrap of the pallets was being broken open and the cartons of multiple wrapped bottles were then being passed from hand to hand by the lined-up crew to be stowed onboard 'chain gang' style. A very labour intensive time consuming old fashioned way of doing things, but actually rather refreshing to see that such an eco friendly way of doing things can still be kinda financialy viable-ish. . didn't hang around for too long and eventually headed home through town . . . put laundry out. . trimmed my hair and beard etc . . .cooked and ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice with chips . . . walked with Bella across town to the vets to get more supplies of all her tablets. Wow - SO warm for the time of year (around 20C+) in the sun, ended up overheating badly in the vets reception. I was handed bottles containing 50x 5mg Vetmedin, 90x 40mg Frusemide and 120x 125mg Lanoxin. That made no sense to me and I DID start to question it, but they started on about how there are only so many in a Vetmedin bottle and I eventualy just gave up to avoid any unpleasantness and took what they gave me. Makes absolutely NO sense at all though, because I now have an awkward mix of thirty days supply of the Frusemide and Lanoxin, but only twenty five days of the Vetmedin! How obviously stupid and awkward for me is that! Idiots! Settled my outstanding bill as it stands at the moment. 118.17 just for supplies of tablets! Ouch - MUCH! :o( . . . quickly headed all the way straight down through town to the harbour and along to the quay next to the coastguard station, to see the last coastguard shift at the Brixham Coastguard Station ceremonialy walking out. Ceremonial last-shift departure at the Brixham Coastguard Station prior to closureGot down there around 3:30pm with half an hour to spare. Quite a crowd of people all assembled and waiting already. Some guy was stood immediately outside the station gates playing bagpipes! One assumed at first that he was all part of the arrangements, but it eventually became apparant that he was in fact I think a busker, kinda 'cashing-in' on the crowd - which seemed a bit cheeky! I actually DO appreciate the sound of bagpipes and under the right emotional circumstances (funeral, etc) can be reduced to tears by them, but on this occasion it just really irritated me. Not only was he kinda taking centre stage to events, but it was also rather deafening for everyone sat around waiting and trying to talk, etc. It wasn't long before I was very much wishing he'd just F*** off - and I don't think I was alone in that! At one point someone official looking-ish (BBC news person maybe?) did go and have a word with him, and I think was asking that when the coastguard guys actually came out, he should shut up so they could hear speeches, etc. . Bella and I took up a semi out of the way position at the harbours edge behind most of the gathering people. As more and more people arrived, I ended up tying Bella to a post and dared to climb up onto the quayside wall to enable me to have a better view of proceedings over peoples heads. . . . . . . . I hadn't intended to because absolutely EVERYONE was filming with cameras and mobile phones etc (including the 'pros' from the regional BBC news AND the local newspaper), but I eventually couldn't resist, and DID end up pulling my camcorder out and having a 'bit' of a poke at the spectacle from atop the quayside wall (whilst trying to hang onto a small lampost and not fall into the harbour! A very real possibility from atop that high wall!) . As the last shift exited the building and started to walk down to be met by the CRT guard of honour and crowd at the gates, the bagpiper played them out! So - for evermore, all recordings and memories of that event will be (inexplicably?) set to the wail of the bagpipes!!? Hmm? . . it WAS kinda emotional watching those guys leave the place for the last time - even for me with no real connection to any of it. Plenty of people were showing quivering lips and I saw many more than one actually shedding tears. I guess you gotta remember, there's plenty of people down here who really do actually owe their lives to those guys 'co-ordinating' during emergencies over the years - and others who lost loved ones despite their best efforts etc, etc. :o| It IS yet another significant piece of the community and the town, torn out and thrown away for the sake of the few s it'll save. It IS a sad day for the town. . after a few words from one or two, and some sort of ceremonial presentation of a framed local newspaper front page to what I think was the longest serving guy (very tearful looking at times), it was all pretty much over, and people just seemed to mill around for a bit and then fade away. . . . walked around (past the busking bagpipe man, who'd moved along around the harbour a bit, presumably to catch everyone leaving?) to the viewing platform on the opposite side of the harbour and sat up there for a while drinking my coffee in a chilly breeze. Eventually headed home through town, stopping to buy some milk on the way . . . PCd just a couple of short bits of the 'historic' footage I'd shot earlier and eventually uploaded the video to youtube. It is of course largely the same as all the other videos everyone took, but does maybe have just a 'little to add', given the slightly different perspective from my more distant and elevated position. Messaged a link to the local Spotted Brixham Facebook page for anyone who wasn't there and who may have been interested, as I'm sure many locals were. . . Am I - am I - YES - there I am!! Oh, that's funny! lol The local newspaper article included THEIR video version of events, and on two occasions during their video the cameraman pans round to survey the crowd, and I can 'just' be made out as a sillouette ('angel of death'?!) above them in the distance hanging onto my lampost! lolololol . . . TVd . . DF called to touch base . . drank a glass of red wine . . TVd the evening away . . Bella didn't touch her breakfast today, but DID eat her usual evening meal straight down . . ate just a meat pastry slice, crisps and some chocolates . . . to bed around midnight.
30 - Up just after 7am. 18C in, 14C out. Misty and damp. . .walked the woods, BGdns and then down to the busy inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee before eventually heading home . . . did dish washing chores for hours. Managed to get Bella to eat her up until then untouched breakfast bowl of dry complete food, by mixing the beefburger fat from the frying pan with it (like usual) . . . ate haslet, chopped onion and grated cheese in slightly toasted finger rolls with half a carton of coleslaw. . . napped until the 7pm alarm. Real trouble waking again, automatically lashing-out at the snooze button on the alarm, and didn't actually manage to get back up until almost 7:45pm feeling all headachey and not so good. . TVd . . walked BGdns real late in a wet mist. Played ball just a little and then sat around in the misty dark vaping my e-cig for ages before eventually heading back well after 11pm. . .wow - Bella ate her evening meal straight down like normal. In fact, today overall, she really did act almost completely her usual self. As always, totally unpredictable from one minute to the next. It really is almost as though we are in a period of 'phoney war' with her health, the way she still races around the woods, etc. . . touched base with BB briefly, returning her anspahone call from a few days ago . . . ate grated cheese, coleslaw and crisps followed by the last quarter of the chocolate fudge cake thing . . . to bed around 2am.
29 - Up around 7:30am. 18C in, 15C out. Pouring with rain. . .walked BGdns after the rain had pretty much stopped. Sat and played ball for quite a while before briefly having to take shelter from some rain in one of the lower gun emplacements. Found a 'Vapouriz' electronic cigarette (smallest size battery) left behind on the floor by some partying idiot. :o) . . . cleaned the found e-cig and put the battery on charge for a few hours. Nothing wrong with that and quite useable. In fact the battery thread appears to have more life left in it than all of mine. . .would you f***ing believe it. Ever since Bella's last vet visit, my life has been pretty much just 'getting through the days' waiting for the next appointment - due at 2pm this afternoon. Some time after 11am they rang to tell me 'that' particular vet wasn't in today because of a staff shortage in Paington or some such, and if I specifically wanted to see him (which he'd suggested I should) I'd have to wait until Monday. FFS! :o( . . . put in a ludicrous amount of time defrosting the freezer. Well overdue and thick layers of ice throughout. Wrapped all the frozen food in a sleeping bag and left it all in the conservatory to keep it as cool as possible. Put a bowl of hot water inside the freezer for a bit before then spending ages on my hands and knees blowing hot air from a hairdryer onto the ice and gradually removing big lumps . . Mum called to touch base in the middle of things . . eventually had the freezer job done and everything back in place. . . ate a tin of large hot dog sausages with four pieces of bread and butter with plenty of BBQ-ketchup . . . napped until gone 7pm. Real trouble waking. . . TVd . . .walked BGdns late in the damp. Some low level mist and a bit of breeze, but even some starry sky for a while making it pleasant enough. . .TVd . . Bella ate a large bowl of food this evening, only leaving a little . . . ate bowls of rice krispies and a quarter chocolate fudge cake . . to bed after 2:30am.
28 - Up at 6:45am. 17C in, 12C out. A mostly clear sky and impressive sunrise. . .walked the woods ('youths' camping on the beach - their litter everywhere), Bgdns, and down to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee again. Bella charged all around and played ball like normal again! . toured a couple of charity shops before then heading home up the main road. Laying on a scrap of waist height rough ground, part of the old phone exchange, just up from a bus stop was an injured baby seagull - presumably having been hit by some of the main road traffic! :o( The LAST thing I wanted to get involved with, but I just couldn't bring myself leave it there to slowly suffer unto death - so I leaned against the low wall, reached over, and easily got hold of it with both hands. With Bella tied to my belt as usual, I then had to walk all the way home just holding the bird in front of me like that. Despite whatever awful injuries it may have had (broken wing and leg at least I think, and further internal no doubt) it had a damn good go at giving me a serious pecking all the way! Ended up with a few bloody scratches on my hands and arms, but nothing worth possibly losing my grip on it trying to avoid. . awkward opening the front gate, releasing Bella and then getting the thing into the spare recycle bin (thankfully 'stored' on the front patio) with the outdoor mesh doormat on top, but I managed it in the end without being blinded by its pecking. Got the poor gull in the recycle bin into the conservatory and then gave the vet a call. With all the other gulls in the past of course, I've not had transport, and have ended up having to call the RSPCA - and every time I have, they've asked if I could simply take it to a local vet to be 'euthanased'. With my car on the road at the moment, for once I figured I was in the position to be able to spare them the expense and hassle - as long as the local vet wouldn't charge me!? The vet receptionist confirmed they'd 'do the deed' without charging me, and I could take it straight up. . . drove with Bella and the gull in the recycle bin straight across town to the vet and with little ado, handed the gull over for despatch. A not uncommon thing for them to do apparantly. :o( . . . 'recovered' with a coffee and a smoke in front the TV for a bit. .foolishly imagined Bella would be hungry after all that rampaging around the woods earlier, so added a tin of meat to the dry complete already in her bowl. She showed NO interest in it at all. :o( . . popped up the back lane to retrieve two bags of soil one of the neighbours had put to one side for me some while ago. Very briefly messed around in the front garden, transplanting a couple of bits of grass from the back lane into a couple of the bald patches - but quickly couldn't face doing any more. . . PCd a bit of this . . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking and ate four quarter pound cheeseburgers followed by a square or two of chocolate . . . napped until the 7pm alarm but had trouble waking and didn't get up until nearer 8pm and feeling not very well and rather sick for ages . . .sat in the back garden for quite a while. Very mild and still with a hint of mist out and quite pleasant. . TVd the night away . . . eventually threw away an entire bowl of Bellas food again. As soon as I put down a whole new bowl of fresh, she ate it all straight away? . . . ate a banana, bags of crisps and some chocolate cake in the early hours . . . eventually to bed well after 2am.
27 - Up at 7am. 16C in, 13C out. Grey. . . walked the woods, BGdns, on out to the Breakwater Beach for a brief sit and then back to the inner harbour to sit on a bench and drink my coffee before finally heading home through town. Once again, Bella rampaged around chasing squirrels etc as though nothing was wrong with her!??! . . Mum called to touch base and resist singing 'happy' birthday, because for once, she fully understands it absolutely bloody isn't! . . .PCd a bit of this . . .aimlessly sat around. Drank a glass of red wine . .ate the remaining half a pack or less of chocolate biscuits . . . napped until 7pm . . . TVd and chain smoked the night away. Drank a couple more glasses of red wine. . .Bella ate her evening meal more or less straight down . . . ate a meat feast pizza with extra cheese and onion and Bella happily ate all the crusts . . ate a quarter of a mum donated chocolate fudge sponge thing . . . to bed around 1:30am. On the (marine) radio at the moment, the Solent Maritime Safety Information broadcast (with its absurd 'Max Headroom' style digital jitter STILL uncorrected!) is now heralding the Friday closure of the Brixham coastguard station!! :o( Brixham is apparantly gradualy handing over its responsibilities to Falmouth over the next few days, and the staff will actually leave and close the doors around 4pm on Friday, after around thirty years or so of 24 hour manning of the station down in the inner harbour. Mentions have been made on local Facebook pages that local people may assemble on the quay at that time to salute them and sadly bid them farewell. Their (individualy familiar) voices on the radios have all been SUCH a large part of my life (especially whilst walking the dog(s)) these past few years, I 'may' well have to go down and have a discrete look. Gonna be real interesting to see how what I monitor on the radios changes (for the worse?). . .I can hardly believe what our increasingly 'unpleasant' selfish and self centered society has come to - but here it is! They're finally ACTUALLY pushing it through!!!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-29783163 "Smokers and the morbidly obese will be denied routine surgery until they quit or lose weight, in a money-saving move by a Devon NHS group". So - as a smoker, I really am now officially sub human aren't I? If I 'can't' give up, I'll be just left to suffer and not given some required surgery? How on earth can they 'actually' get away with that? How have they decided on where to draw the line? WHAT a slippery slope! Drinkers aren't included? How about sports injuries or all manner of other 'lifestyle' choices - sexualy transmitted diseases even maybe? Un-fucking believeable. Oh well. I guess unlike obese people, a smoker can at least lie. So - whenever I have a medical problem and go to the doctor in the future, I'll be 'forced' to hide the truth from him!!!! WTF?! :o(
26 - Up around 7:30am (which given the clocks went back an hour last night, was a 'bit' more sleep than I've been having recently). 16C in, 12C out. Grey. . . walked the woods. Sat amongst the trees on a bit of wall by one of the old lime kilns for ages. Bella chased her ball and bounded around like she wasn't ill and starving at all. How on earth can she do that? . . back through BGdns and then on down to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee near the Golden Hind replica before finally heading home through town . . . recovered from the walk for a bit before managing to muster what it took to drive with Bella to the out of town Sainsbury's for a few supplies. Two reasons for 'needing' to shop. First and foremost-ish, I was pretty much out of red wine in the house - and that is no longer a 'comfortable' situation for me to be in - particularly, so I justified it to myself, with my birthday tomorrow! Secondly - I needed to get some of the Sainsburys-own dog food that Bella's been mostly living on since I got her, just to be absolutely certain that it wasn't a change in brand which was making her unpredictably 'picky' about her eating. Left Bella in the back of the car under cover of trees with all the windows open a crack, while I dashed around the store grabbing wine, dog food and a few other bits and pieces. (Although I don't like doing it, by taking her with me and having her wait in the car like that, she is much less likely to gnaw herself raw in my abscence like if I leave her at home - and given current circumstances, the last thing I wanted was for her to have the opportunity to start doing so!). . . put 16.14ltrs - 20 of petrol in the car on the way out of the supermarket before heading back . . briefly stopped off at mum's on the way home and dropped off some soap powder she'd asked me to get the next time I did supermarket shopping (because she has trouble getting it localy). . .ate haslet finger rolls with two bags of crisps and a whole carton of cheese coleslaw. . . napped until gone 7pm. Skipped the evening walk . . . TVd another night away. . . Bella hadn't touched her food ALL day - again. A little after 10pm, I finally threw another full bowl of her food away and refilled it with fresh. Dry complete from a recently opened sack of Wagg (in case what I've been giving her is somehow a bad sack), and a tin of the 'usual' Sainsburys own meat in jelly. She promptly ate it all straight down!??? As soon as she'd done so, I put more of the wagg biscuit in her bowl - but she wasn't tempted. . . ate most of a large pack of milk chocolate biscuits (and a couple for Bella). . Bella even had a bite or two more of her dry complete food before we both went to bed after 2am. Much on the news today about the ending of combat operations in Afghanistan and the return of British troops to the UK. So - how long before the Taliban take over again I wonder?
25 - Up just after 8am. 16C in, 10C out. Grey. . . walked BGdns . . . threw almost an entire days worth of Bellas food from yesterday into the bin. . . aimlessly PCd . . . Mum called in with food donations and papers. She'd also bought me a new chip pan in the local hardware store for some reason (for my birthday Monday)! I think I must have said something recently about how the bottom of mine appears to have worringly slightly warped with the constant heating or some such. Despite me forbidding her over and over again from trying to buy me ANYTHING (because only 'I' know what 'I' want - and no matter what it may be, I can get it cheaper on-line than she could get anything locally), she'd gone and bought a little one in the local hardware store. I nice gesture of course, but it was far too small and inappropriate for MY needs. Thankfully she said she'd already made sure she would be able to take it back - so that's what she had to do (ungrateful sod I am). . . Mum gave Bella her usual piece of gala pie treat - and she woofed it straight down and even went on to eat at least half of the dry complete biscuit I'd already put in her bowl for her breakfast as usual!?? I just can't understand what's going on with her at all - starving herself most of the time - and then suddenly eating a bunch of stuff like that. It's really putting me through a terrible emotional rollercoaster. :o( . . . ate gala pie, two bags of crisps and biscuits . . napped until around 6:30pm . . . TVd . . . walked Bgdns. Cloudy but very little wind making it really quite pleasant out. A lot of lights along the breakwater suggesting there was some sort of fishing event going on. Plenty of fireworks going off all acrooss and around the bay. . sat around for ages waiting to see the pilot boat towing beam trawler Lady T Emiel back into port. Maybe some sort of engine cooling problem I think from little snippets I overheard. . . Bella, now really just a heartbreaking bag of bones and ribs, had no more than a mouthful of her evening meal again. :o( . . . TVd the rest of the night off . . ate two ham finger rolls with crisps followed by chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am.
24 - Up around 7:40am. 16C in, 13C out. Grey. . forced tablets wrapped in corned beef down Bellas throat when she spat it back out (again). . . walked BGdns, played ball and sat around for ages, and in a hint of light rain for a bit of the time. Sat on a seat under the roof to drink my coffee . . aimlessly TVd . . .tried to PC a bit of this (with Bella acting her new usual around the house, all 'comotose' barely moving under the desk) - and ended up chain-vaping all the while as a result (pathetic worthless piece of s**t failure addict I am). :o( . . . drank red wine and ate bacon, sausages, eggs and pan mushroom with four pieces of bread and butter . . .napped until around 7pm . . .walked BGdns under a chilly mostly clear starry sky . . TVd . . . ate bowls of rice krispies. To bed around 2:15am. Bella hardly ate and left almost all her food to be thrown away again.
23 - Snoozed on then up around 7:30am, woken by neighbour noise again. Headachey again. 16C in, 12C out. Grey. . tablets for breakfast for both of us again . . . walked BGdns in mostly a light drizzle . . . TVd . . PCd a tiny bit of this whilst monitoring radios, before just having to not, because it ALL seemed so utterly absurd. Monitoring the (now almost entirely unusued) local amateur VHF GB3TR repeater is almost actually painful to me now - particularly with regard to it's 'childish' tripple tone beep/logic reset between every over. Someone was using one of those cheap Chinese Baofeng handhelds on it today at one point, complete with a two-tone roger bleep for gods sake. So, between every one of their overs, anyone monitoring was subjected to a total of FIVE individual bleeps!! FFS! . . .just sat around in front the brain deadening TV again - and vaping a bit. :o( . . . ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps, banana and biscuits . . . poorly napped just a little until around 6:30pm . . . skipped the walk because it was damp and drizzly . . .dug out the council supplied food waste recycle bin and actually set it up in the conservatory ready for use for the first time since it was supplied. Of course normally I simply don't produce food waste (wasting something as vital and precious as food seems utterly criminal to me!) and have never had cause to use it, but things are very different at the moment with the amount of Bellas food I'm continually throwing away. She'd shown no interest in ANY of what was in her bowl all day, so come the evening I figured enough was enough and binned it and put down fresh biscuit 'complete' together with a tin of the cheaper local supermarket meat-in-gravy stuff. Would you believe it - she ate the whole bowlful straight down pretty much like her normal self!? I promptly put more of the biscuit complete in her bowl, but she appeared to have had enough. This is SO driving me utterly crazy, not knowing from one minute to the next what she's liable to be like or need. :o( IS it that she simply doesn't like the more expensive Winalot stuff I recently switched to - or is it that sometimes she just feels better than others - or is it linked to the time I give her her tablets? It doesn't seem to matter what I do to try to get to the bottom of it - one minute she seems to want to eat like normal no matter what, the next she doesn't. It's driving me nuts - and just shoveling so much food() into the bin all the time is something I'm really not good at doing, never mind having her SO thin and boney under her fur!!! :o( . . . TVd another night off, miserable, cold and hardly moving . . ate bowls of rice krispies with cream and soft brown sugar before to bed around 1am. . Oh for goodness sake - out of character, Bella even had a peck at some of her dry biscuit before eventually joining me up in the bedroom like normal!!? . News reports today that Alvin Stardust has died. I guess I should also accept and record here that my latest attempt to stop vaping/smoking has also now COMPLETELY caved in and failed, and I am gradually building back up to smoking and or vaping all the time again. I am not addicted. I am dependant! Such is the current continual 'assault' on smokers in the press etc, and the nauseating self righteous attitude of those who HAVE succeeded in giving up (i.e. 'I did so you MUST be able to' and 'smoking is a luxury you only do if you can afford to' etc, etc ), my most recent failed attempt at stopping is pretty much the final nail in my coffin with regard to the death of any remaining self esteem or self worth I may have had (and there was me thinking I'd already done away with all that!). I am obviously SUCH a pathetic weakling that I 'can't' stop. Every vape or cigarette I now have, the more I loath myself and think myself a completely useless failure in all. It would also appear that my latest attempt at stopping has actually done more harm than good. On top of the 'need' to smoke, I now find myself having a REAL hard time just getting through each day without 'needing' a f***ing drink!!!! And all of that, just to be able to get through the waking parts of the day, never mind being unable to muster the energy or desire to actually 'DO' ANYTHING! Absolutely everything seems pointless and more than I can manage. It isn't just about the Bella situation. That's just a part of it. It's much more than that. I can't be bothered to type it all out here. It's all wrapped up in lack of money (and not now having the ability to do ANYTHING about that - EVER - and seeing all my irreplacable hard won savings, now just pouring away in vet bills!), getting older, having 'missed out' on most everything others acheive in their lives, having long since 'touched' the last woman I ever will, knowing no-one I really have anything in common with, the emptiness of my future, my increasing physical decline (constant back and joint pain, chronic rhinitus (bizzarely NOT necessarily connected to smoking!????), uncomfortable and difficult to eat-with false and rotting teeth, declining eyesight, increasing frequency of needing to pee, etc, etc, etc), my 'addictions', my by now almost total inability to be able to tolerate the company of others for anything more than a short 'hello, how ya doin, have a nice day, goodbye', etc etc etc. It's a big long self perpetuating catch 22 list that I can't be bothered to even attempt to complete or fully explain here (because I absolutely KNOW from experience by now that no-one would 'get it' even if I could). In short, 'psychologically', in a 'strategic' sense, I think I'm in probably the worst shape I've EVER been - and can ONLY have worse to look forward to, because with hindsight, that IS how it's always been for me. Blah f**ing blah. Eat drink sleep - get it gone.
22 - Up around 7:15am, woken by neighbour noise I think. Headachey. 16C in, 7C out. Broken cloud and sun. . medication wrapped in corned beef for Bella (which on this occasion she happily ate down straight away), annadin tablet for me . . . walked the woods and back round into BGdns. Bella acted almost entirely her normal self, rampaging around chasing squirrels etc. She's gotten so thin, I'm amazed she had the energy. . walked down into the harbour and sat on a seat on the harbour viewing platform above the toilets for my coffee. Bought six tins of co-op own brand dog food on the way back home through town . . . did vacuuming . . showered and cleaned Bella in the bath . . . ate ham and mayo sandwiches, two bags of crisps, a banana and a square of chocolate . . napped until 6:30pm . . .walked BGdns. Pleasantly quiet with hardly any wind. Sat on the high seat with my coffee listening to radios for quite a while before heading back home after 9pm . . .TVd . . drank wine and smoked. . . cooked and ate three sausages, three bacon, fried potato, onion and pan mushrooms . . . to bed around 2am.
21 - Up around 7am. 18C in, 12C out. Broken cloud and sunny spells. Breezy but nowhere near as bad as had been expected from all the TV news reports. We had worse than this a few days ago. . . walked BGdns. Bella seemed to be in fine form and played ball etc almost like normal. Eventually on out to the seat above the end of the Breakwater but it was so unpleasant sitting there with the chilly strong breeze, we pretty soon headed back to the relative shelter of the inner harbour. Sat on a seat near the Golden Hind replica for my coffee before eventually heading home via a store for a few supplies . . .managed to deweed one of the back garden borders just a little bit - just to be 'doing' something, rather than just sit hopeless, waiting for the end of another day! . . . cooked and ate six thick sausages with a tin of sausages in baked beans and two crusts of bread and butter followed by a square or two of chocolate . . . napped until 6:30pm . . . skipped the walk because it was chilly and breezy and I just didn't want to have to . . .TVd the rest of the day off. . Bella had refused food ALL day - and I'd started to believe that maybe she was actually in the process of starving herself and bringing things to a quicker conclusion than the vet had suggested (although she was still eager (perhaps simply through habit?) to have the usual tit-bits from any meal I had). . Threw what was in her bowl in the bin (again!) and dished out yet another fresh meal of Wagg complete biscuits with the last tin in the house of the cheaper 'Sainsburys own'. She ate the whole bowl full straight away!????? WTF??? What the hell is going on with her appetite? Is she 'actually' off her food - or has she somehow decided she suddenly doesn't like the brand/type of food I'm giving her??? That'd be totally out of character because up until now, she's been happy to immediately woof down WHATEVER I've given her. Nevertheless, only relatively recently I bought tins of more expensive Winalot, and although we've already gotten through around twenty tins of the stuff, a part of me (in confused desperation) is starting to wonder if she's decided she actually doesn't like it? I'm gonna have to buy some more of the cheaper supermarket own-brand stuff and start trying to get to the bottom of that!!! . . ate bowls of rice krispies with cream and light brown sugar. . . to bed around 12:30am.
20 - Up around 7:45am again. 18C in, 11C out. Broken cloud and sunny spells. . . walked BGdns . . . mowed both lawns and deweeded the front border a bit. A passing rain shower early afternoon stopped play . . Bella all a bag of bones and starving away, suddenly ate pretty much a whole meal after having shown no interest in her food for ages (again)!?? . ate two grilled haslet, grated cheese and chopped onion finger rolls with crisps followed by a couple of biscuits and some chocolate . . . napped until around 7pm. . . walked BGdns in the building wind. . . TVd. . -//- a dreadful and down evening. Worst I've had for a long time. SID much. In 'some' ways, the worst I've ever had. . -//- . . . just sat in front the TV all evening. Chainsmoked and eventually also drank a small glass of red wine - because I just couldn't not!!! Down THAT slippery slope, after all these years of knowing it was there and being able to avoid it! :o( . . ate two ham and mayo baps, two bags of crisps, banana and a little chocolate . . to bed around 2:30am as the forecast strong wind remnants of hurricane Gonzalo seemed to be arriving.
19 - Up around 7:45am. 18C in, 14C out. Broken cloud. . . Bella refused her tablets even wrapped in corned beef, and I had to force them down her throat again. :o( . . . walked BGdns. Bella was all shaking her head with an irritated ear again for much of the walk - and then went and cut her paw and started it bleeding a little bit when playing a bit of ball! . . . did laundry and got it out in the wind to mostly dry . .much trouble and discomfort from my cronic rhinitus / blocked sinuses all day. . . cooked and ate a large amount of cheap bacon with fried potatoes and onion . . lay down to nap but couldn't, mostly due to my sinus problem, and ended up back up and vegetating in front the TV. Ended up using Vicks nasal spray to help partially temporarily ease the discomfort for a while. . . walked BGdns. Had a good long sighting of the ISS orbitting over heading out to the east at around 7:20pm I think it was. . . drank wine, smoked a couple of cigarettes and just sat miserable in front the TV again, just managing to get through another day. . . DF and BB called to touch base . . . ate a banana and a handful of biscuits . . during walks today Bella appeared to still act relatively happy and 'up for it'. The whole rest of the day she pretty much just lay motionless on the floor next to me. Apart from maybe just a bite or two, she refused ALL her food today!! Some of her corned beef wrapped medication had to be forcibly pushed down her throat, some she happily ate. She did however eagerly munch down any tit bits and the couple of my biscuits I gave her!?? From one minute to the next I just don't know what's next with her. None of it makes any sense to me at all. :o( 'I' am starting to feel under enormous - um - 'stress' with it all. Feels as though it's been going on for months already, and yet it's hardly even been a week! . . to bed around 12:30am.
18 - Between the storm and rain battering the windows, and Bella's restlessness on her rustling bed and her panting, I got almost no sleep at all - again! Gave up and got up around 6:45am. 17C in, 14C out. Gale. . Gonna give Bella her tablets a bit later today. . waking up at the PC like usual, with Bella laying on the bare floorboards next to me, she seems less restless and is definitely not panting as much as when laying on her duvets in the bedroom!?? What the hell is THAT about? . . . walked BGdns in the dry after the rain for the most part . . .had to roughly force Bella's mouth open and the tablets (wrapped in cheese) down her throat again when she refused to eat them of her own accord. :o( . . . phoned the vet and arranged for a repeat perscription for Bella's tablets already. Asked for at least two weeks supply to take me up until just after the next vet visit. . . walked across town to the vet with Bella and picked up the medication, turned around and walked straight back home again. Despite all that exertion, which was enough to see ME all soaked in sweat, Bella within a relatively short period of time (in the PC room) was just laying on the floor again WITHOUT any particularly excessive panting!? This is really all starting to make no sense to me at all. :o( . . PCd a bit of this while monitoring. Solent coastguard are STILL putting out regular 'Pan pan' broadcasts (Pan Pan No. 11 around 11:55am) about the missing person from the found yacht Louise - asking if anyone had seen the yacht prior to it being found aground. . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats. Bella was treated to her usual slice of gala pie and woofed it all down (followed by much of her dry food 'breakfast') like normal . . headachey. Annadin tablet . . ate gala pie, a banana, three bags of crisps and biscuits . . . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . .forced medication down Bellas throat . . walked BGdns and sat around in the windy dark. Some fireworks across the bay over by Goodrington and a couple more in Torquay . . . TVd . . Bella picked at her main evening meal and left most of it again . . more forcing of medication down her throat. :o( . . . drank a glass of wine and smoked a couple of cigarettes . . .I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do. Everything - absolutely everything's just turned to shit for me. I don't know where I am with Bella from one minute to the next. . . TVd/PCd the night away . . . ate two bananas and a bag of five mini doughnuts before to bed after 3:30am.
17 - Woke earlier then up around 7am. 17C in, 14C out. More unsettled, showery weather. . Bella refused the lump of cheese containing her medication this morning, and I had to roughly force it down her throat with a finger!! :o( She also refused a gravy-bone treat. . woke at the PC . . .walked BGdns. Sat around for ages and playing ball a bit here and there, almost like normal. At one point Bella suddenly took off like a greyhound, after another dog, in kinda playchase mode. To see that you wouldn't have imagined for one moment that there was anything at all wrong with her!??? I really don't understand what's going on with her. Could it have been that her morning dose of tablets kicked-in and made her feel 'better'? Even after all that running about she didn't appear to be 'unduly' out of breath considering. She was also quite happy to eat gravy bone treats. How on earth can we walk all that way and then her run about like that and appear to be relatively normal, and yet at night she is all restless and lays in her bed all panting as if she'll be lucky to make it through till the morning! The chaotic way her heart seems to be beating doesn't seem to change particularly no matter what. Given everything I know about dicky tickers, it just doesn't make sense to me - doesn't seem logical or like you'd 'expect'. ??? . . . despite mixing in some barbeque sauce with her dry food breakfast, Bella didn't want to touch it (again) this morning . . . did the mountain of dish washing chores . . . PCd a bit of this whilst monitoring radios. A huge search including lifeboats and Rescue helicopter 106 was going on along the coast (largely outside of my listening range) looking for a suspected man overboard. A 25ft yacht 'Louise' had been found aground near Axemouth around 08:44 with no-one on board! :o( . . . cooked and ate two quarter pound cheeseburgers in baps with chips followed by a little chocolate . . . napped for maybe a couple of hours until around 6:30pm . . . wind and rain so skipped the evening walk . . . TVd the night off, miserable. Smoked a couple of cigarettes . . trouble getting Bella to take her tablets again this evening, with me having to force them down her throat! :o( . . . ate a banana and biscuits . . to bed around midnight.
16 - Woken by Bella's restlessness and panting around 5am. A worse night than last night for her I think. Tried to get back to sleep but pretty much couldn't, and just tossed and turned for ages trying to escape the constant pain from my bad back. Back up around 7am after hardly any sleep at all. 17C in, 12C out. Not raining at the moment but everything oh SO damp. . gave Bella her tablets and then PCd a bit of this . . . walked BGdns. Would you f***ing believe it. I found a flea on Bella again/still. Well - there's nothing much I am gonna be able to do about that any more is there. No way am I gonna start trying to give her flea tablets or spot on stuff given what she's already got running around in her blood stream from all her medication. . . Eventually carried on out to sit on the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while. Headed back and sat on the seat near the coastgurd station to drink my coffee. . back through town. Bought a 10 top up card for my mobile and then a large bag of potatoes from the little grocer. Struggled back home carrying the potatoes and overheating. As soon as we'd got home, I left Bella at home and popped round to the local store for some bread and milk (and got caught out in a heavy shower). In the short time it took to get back home, Bella had gnawed herself raw along part of her back and side again. :o( . .TVd . . Mum called to touch base and get the latest on Bella/yesterday's vet visit, etc. I was SO not in the mood to have to start talking about it all and discuss 'speculation' about this and that.

cooked and ate bacon, three eggs and chips followed by some biscuits . . napped poorly for a couple of hours. Woke from a nightmare. In the dream I was out with Bella and came across some undesireables in the dark of night and became aware that they were letting a pit-bull type dog off its lead as a result of having seen me and Bella. I tried to sheild Bella behind me as it started to run towards us to attack - at which point I awoke to escape the situation. No such easy escape from my waking nightmare.

. . skipped the evening walk because of all the passing heavy rain showers. . . mixed barbeque sauce into Bellas food which saw her woof it all down pretty quick this evening. With nothing to loose, I'm pretty much making sure there's food in her bowl all the time at the moment, and being very forthcoming with more biscuits and treats than usual. . . TVd . . after having had it sat there untouched for absolutely ages, Bella suddenly decided to have a good chew on her rawhide chewy-thing for an hour or more this evening? . . drank a glass of red wine AND had a cigarette! :o(. . .ate ancient marmite and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate . . . to bed at midnight. . a short while later just after getting to sleep I think, I became aware from lots of rustling from her bed, that Bella was having a (running type?) dream. All of a sudden with maybe even a bit of a slight yelp, the rustling abruptly stopped - and there appeared to be complete silence. I just lay there listening for ages actually wondering if Bella had just died! I eventually heard her symptomatic 'panting' and fell back asleep. :o(
15 - Woke around 6am, tried to snooze on but couldn't, and up around 6:30am. 16C in, 13C out. Light rain. . gave Bella her morning set of four tablets wrapped in a couple of lumps of cheese . . . PCd . . . walked BGdns overheating in full rain gear. Ended up with the rain pretty much stopping for the most part. Just sat around for ages, occasionaly throwing Bellas ball whenever she wanted me to - which actually was quite a suprising amount, albeit with long gaps between a few throws. . eventually headed home as a bit more rain began to fall. . . just TVd the hours off waiting for the 14:10 vet appointment. . plenty of heavy rain for hours . . Mum called to touch base . . . ate chopped ham sandwiches, two packets of crisps, and a couple of squares of chocolate. . .drove with Bella across town to the vet shortly after most of the rain had passed . . .

talked at some length with the vet. He seemed to think Bella looked happier and brighter than when he'd last seen her. He confirmed that he thought her likely lifespan would be less than a year.

To have in-depth diagnostic tests, blood tests, ultrasound, ECGs, etc, etc to be fully sure of her underlying condition, would likely cost up around 1k and wouldn't necessarily make any great difference to the outcome.

Assuming she stays on her current doses of tablets, it's gonna be costing me in the region of 100 per month. :o(

eventually back out to reception and paid the bill to date. 75.14. . . drove straight home . . . napped . . . walked BGdns and sat around for an hour or so under broken cloud. Bella not in the mood for playing ball hardly at all this evening. . . TVd the day off. . plenty of reports on the news today about smoking. "Smoking could be banned in Trafalgar and Parliament squares and London parks if a report by the city's Health Commission is implemented. The report, called "Better Health for London", has been put together by former health minister and cancer surgeon Lord Ara Darzi." I just can't understand how it is that smokers have become SO under CONSTANT 'attack' like this. What the hell has happened to our society whereby such a ban in open public spaces would even be considered? On the news, someone supporting the idea was suggesting it was necessary in order to prevent children from actually starting smoking, and they were even somehow suggesting statistics of how many lives it would save!!? How have they possibly come up with such statistics? Utterly absurd! What on earth HAS happened to everyone to believe in and go along with such utter BS? What next? Are all the old classic films with someone smoking in them to be banned as well? Whatever ones position on smoking, surely one can see there's something very not right with what's going on here? This IS part of a wider 'attack' on freedoms and personal liberties isn't it? The way somehow more and more we are being told what we can and cannot do, excused by the pretence that is somehow in our own best interests.

ate three packs of crisps, a banana and bowls of rice krispies . . to bed around 1am.
14 - Up around 6:15am headachey. 15C in, 10C out. Let bella straight out into the garden to have a pee and then worked out what tablets to give her and succeeded in getting her to take them wrapped in lumps of cheese . .annadin tablet and coffee for me while waking at the PC. Surfed and read up on Bella's medication a little . . ummd and ahhd about what was best to do before eventually deciding to just try walking Bella as normal - albeit maybe a bit slower. Walked BGdns and even played ball a bit like normal. Eventualy sat on the top seat for my coffee watching as TWO buzzards (this years young perhaps?) flew and walked around on the ground amongst all the trees nearby . . . mixed up some of the burger fat from the frying pan with some of the food Bella had left in her bowl from last night, in the hope of encouraging her appetite. She picked at it and had little more than a single bite before walking away. :o( . . . PCd this at length, with Bella on the floor next to me seemingly her normal self except perhaps for a slight lack of energy and a rare bit of a cough and a splutter on a couple of occasions. :o( . . . headachey more . .I think I'm gonna have to go cry some more . . awful headachey inspite of annadin tablets, not helped by some workmen lifting and hammering at floorboards next door for hours . . . ate a couple of chopped ham baps, two packs of crisps, a banana and a little chocolate. . successfully managed to nap through the noise (by putting my hoodie up and bending a pillow around my ears!) until around 6pm. STILL headachey!! :o( . . . TVd waking up a bit (and giving Bella one of her 'hour before food' tablets) and then walked BGdns like normal. Bella wasn't up for playing much ball - just a couple of throws here and there - but otherwise seemed to be more or less comfortably her normal self just wanting to be constantly stroked. Not an unpleasant evening with cloud parting to starfilled skys. Sat on the high seat with my coffee for an hour or so listening to a major coastguard search going on over Teignmouth. An eighty year old guy with dementia wearing only jogging bottoms and pullover had been missing from somewhere for quite a few hours. The police helicopter 'Enpass 44' was also involved and its red light was plainly visible in the far distance above the lights of Torquay for much of the time while it searched. The old guy was apparantly happily found safe and well by a lifeboat vessel and I think somewhere after 8pm ultimately taken back to the lifeboat house as all the troops were stood down. . . yayyy. Bella seemed to have a bit of her appetite back and ate her full evening meal almost like normal. Thank god for that. The weight has just been falling off her SO quick it's shocking. (When I weighed her in the vets the other day she was down to around 30kg - a loss of at least 3kg on previous weighings). Her back bone and ribs are all noticeably poking through as though she's being starved! Actually very reminiscent of when I first got her. :o( . . TVd . . . drank a glass of red wine . . . microwaved up the chicken kiev roast potatoes meal in the fridge from Sunday, and ate big with a pint of gravy followed by a little chocolate and later a couple of biscuits . . . to bed around 12:30am.
13 - Woken over and over again by Bella's 'restlessness' on her rustling bed. Somewhere around 6am she started to be a bit sick. Raced to get her downstairs and out in the garden (in the pouring rain!) before using tissues to clean up the little bit of mess she'd made on the floors here and there. . eventually had her back in and just sat with her in the cold conservatory for ages. A bit of coughing and spluttering from her once or twice, but other than that, she seemed to settle down and appear ok-ish. . .17C in, 10C out, pouring with rain. . ummd and ahhd all indecisive for ages about whether or not to bother walking her or if I should take her in the car etc, before ultimately ending up walking her like normal (in wellingtons and waterproofs in the pouring rain!). Apart from a little bit of coughing after a bit of token ball play, and perhaps a little less energy than she normally seems to have, she acted pretty much all normally. .some homeless guy was camped on the main gun floor and had a fire going against the painted brick wall all damaging the paintwork! . .trudged straight home in the pouring rain . . phoned the vet across town and managed to get an appointment for 2:10 this afternoon. Actually put in a bit of time drawing up a list of all the things I felt worthy of mentioning to the vet later - including stuff I'd found easy to dismiss, but that now with the benefit of hindsight, I probably should have taken MUCH more notice of. :o( For example :- for quite a while now, I've been aware of Bella having really bad breath. Although not fully 'convinced', I'd let that go because her teeth appeared to be fine, and it seemed to more or less coincide somewhere along the way with me switching from smoking to vaping - and the slight improvment in my ability to smell stuff that had resulted in. Also - I'd begun to wonder at times if Bella wasn't panting a little more than one may normally expect, but had also dismissed that because we HAD been having a particularly long spell of hot summery weather this year. . . . just aimlessly TVd away the hours waiting for the vet appointment, as rain continued to pour non-stop ALL day . . ate a banana, a chicken and mushroom pastry slice and crisps somewhere after midday . . . drove in the rain with Bella to the vet and got there rather early. A bit of a wait in the waiting room before eventually called in to see the male vet. Using the list I'd drawn up earlier I explained all the possible 'symptoms' of why I was there. He had a good feel of Bellas throat and promptly had her coughing quite a bit!! He had a good long listen to her heart and a feel around her abdomen. With little further ado he promptly announced she had an underlying heart problem and was exhibiting 'Atrial Fibrillation'. He laboriously explained what that was by drawing a simplified heart in the form of a box of four squares etc on a piece of paper. My basic understanding at that stage from his explanation was, that Bella's heart was not regularly pumping in the order it should be, and was actually rapidly beating all over the place. That of course, resulted in poor blood flow from the lungs etc resulting in her apparant slight breathlessness and heavier than is normal panting, etc. The coughing, catarr-like bit of throwing up, and slight wheezing was likely to be as a result of a build up of fluid in the lungs. (SO - with hindsight - I should NOT have been so ready to dismiss her bad breath. It WAS likely connected to her gradualy increased panting, etc. :o( ) . . . . According to what I understood the vet to say, the priority was to quickly attempt to address the fibrillation and make sure there was no excessive build up of fluid in the lungs, by means of administering medication. The longterm prognosis was unlikely to be good, with a likely lifespan of only six to seven months. (Is that really what he said? I need to have that conversation again to make sure I didn't hear and interperet that wrong in some way!) . . the vet counted out medication, printed labels and eventually handed me three pill bottles. 21 x Frusemide 40mg per tablet. One tablet three times daily. ; 14 x Vetmedin Flavour 5mg per tablet. One tablet twice daily, one hour before food. ; 30x Lanoxin 125mcg per tablet. Two tablets every 12 hours. He then also gave Bella an injection which I think he said was to immediately (on top of one of the tablet courses) address the worrying possibility of fluid build up. I was warned it'd make her pee a lot. . The vet said he wanted to see me again to see how things were going in just forty eight hours! . . returned to the reception desk to make an appointment for Wednesday. Someone else was already being served in front of me and I ended up having to hang around waiting for quite a while. There was another German Shepherd - a 'proper' black and tan in the waiting room. Being forced to stand there and wait like that, I started to 'lose it', and had to quickly step outside with Bella to have a bit of a cry for a short while before composing myself and returning to wait my turn. . eventually drove straight home in the pouring rain . . . cried some more. Poor POOR Bella. Life didn't work out very well for her at all did it. :o( SUCH a tragedy for ME - that after the last couple of years of really pure hell with her, we were FINALLY reaching a point where she was starting to really understand how to behave and what she had to do to have a pretty damned good, mostly OFF the lead life. All that - all that hell for so long - all that work - all for nothing. I've already seen as good as it was ever gonna get. :o( All I have to look forward to now is unpleasantness, heartbreak and tears - again. Jeezuz. :o( . . . . Jeeze - trying to work out when to give Bella all that medication is gonna be a real pain in the ass!!!????? . . . let Bella out into the garden every few minutes so it seemed, and EVERY time she rushed straight out and had a long pee! . . tried to nap but couldn't, and even got tearful some more in bed, and pretty soon started to get back up again. Oh no! It looked as though poor Bella had actually peed herself in her bed a bit!! (Thank goodness for that waterproof cover inside the duvet cover)! That's that bloody awful injection the vet gave her - it seems to have almost made her immediately incontinent ffs!! Poor dog! :o( . . . TVd, frequently letting Bella out into the garden to have pee after pee. . . the thermometers in the house were suggsting it wasn't at all 'that' cold (still up around 17 to 18C) but I felt utterly absolutely frozen!! . . briefly surfed using the tablet and read up just a little on 'Atrial Fibrillation'. If my understanding is right, I 'think' with Bella it's not 'so' much about the fibrillation (which actually 'can' be of relatively little concern it would appear) but more about an underlying cause of some sort of heart 'failure'. :o( . . . touched base with Mum and let her know the gist of what was going on . . just miserably TVd the entire evening away in double hoodies and fingerless gloves feeling utterly frozen . . Bella refused to eat 'most' of her evening meal . . I DID manage to get the first few of her tablets inside her. Some with a bit of cheese - one just forced down her throat with my fingers! . . drank a glass of red wine - AND smoked a thin cigarette. Under the circumstances, that was gonna be a hard cigarette to avoid wasn't it! :o( Smoking that cigarette was like wrapping myself in a soft warm comfortable blanket! . . . . no appetite (except for more cigarettes of course - which I DID resist!). Eventually to bed around 10pm leaving the door from the kitchen to the conservatory open, just in case Bella was gonna be up in the night and needing to 'go'. If I didn't hear her and wake up, I'd rather she went in the conservatory than elsewhere in the house. Trouble is though, it allows all the heat out of the house making the place feel real cold and damp, so isn't something I can make a habit of . :o(
12 - Woken by Bella being 'restless' around 7:15am. Snuggled for a bit then up around 7:30am. 17C in, 7C out. Mostly cloud. . . walked BGdns and then carried on down to the inner harbour and ultimately on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to sit and drink my coffee. . eventually headed back through town . . . TVd . . got all fixated on wanting to do a 'proper' Sunday lunch - preferably with chicken kievs. Popped up the local store (with a rucsack) but they didn't have any. Ended up walking all the way back down through Bgdns and on into town again. Wow - the wind had come up a bit. Down on the coast away from the shelter of buildings it was really blowing quite a hard and unpleasantly chilly North Easterlyish. . . funnily enough, the first store I went in, the little co-op store, had several packs of going out of date/cheap chicken garlic and herb kievs for 1.55 a pair. Figured I'd load the freezer up so invested in a total of four packs!! . . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and eventually made two plated meals of chicken kiev, mixed veg, stuffing and roast potatoes. Ate one of the meals with a pint of gravy and eventually put the other in the fridge for another day . . . napped until the 7pm alarm. Difficulty waking for at least another half an hour . . . just TVd the whole night away eating some biscuits and chocolate . .Bella uncharacteristically left just a little bit of her food again. It's been a little while now that I've been really starting to worry that something isn't quite right with her. Starting to leave her food is totally out of character and a very bad sign. . to bed around 2:30am.
11 - Poor broken sleep (as ever) then up around 7:15am. 17C in, 9C out. Blue sky and sunny breaks between yet more big shower clouds. . .woke at the PC as usual, and somehow ended up having a bit of a surf looking up Fisherman's Friend lozenges of all things. One of the strategies I've been using with this stopping smoking thing has been to frequently suck a Fisherman's Friend instead of having a smoke. Most people seem to resort to sucking mints of course, but I seem to get something of an upset stomach if I do too many mints. The other alternative of chewing gum is now out of the question because of my false teeth of course! The 'Original' Fisherman's Friend flavour I'm not so keen on. Blackcurrant is I think my favourite flavour, but places that actually sell them locally appear to be few and far between. The local newsagent has recently had stocks of cherry flavoured ones (at 79p a 25g pack), so I've been getting through quite a lot of those. (My blocked sinus problems also seem to mildly benefit from the menthol flavouring at times). Anyway - I went on-line looking to see if I could get a large supply of Blackcurrant ones, cheaper. I was very suprised to find that the answer was simply no. It seemed utterly bizarre that plenty of people were selling them on e-bay (and even Amazon) at rediculously inflated prices - even more than th elocal newsagent - and they HAD sold lots of them!? As far as I could tell, the cheapest place I was liable to be able to find them was suprisingly Superdrug - and we DO have a superdrug in town, so I guess I'd better have a look down there some time. .one other thing I discovered on the official makers website, was some sort of offer or other suggesting I could apply for a free tin if I included four empty packets. I may well have to do that. lolol . . walked BGdns for a bit of ball play before heading down towards the harbour again. Bella chased and almost caught what appeared to be a female pheasant waddling down one of the paths in BGdns. That's unusual. . More yachts were being lifted out by the big crane by the yacht club slipway again, with a small crowd of people watching . . . the sky started looking very iffy and threatening so I just stopped on a seat in the inner harbour by the Golden Hind to sit and drink my coffee rather than go any further. . popped in the Superdrug store in the high street and succeeded in buying four 25g packs of blackcurrant flavoured Fisherman's Friend lozenges for just 69p each. That's 10p a pack cheaper than the local newsagent (who didn't have blackcurrant anyway), and way cheaper than anywhere I'd found them on-line. Cool. :o) . . a torrential downpour of heavy rain as we started the walk back home up the main road. Actually stopped and took shelter under a small protruding roof for quite a while before it eased and we eventually got home without getting 'too' wet. It soon returned to being sunny. . . PCd a bit of this . . . Mum called in with the papers and fiood donations for chats . . . ate a slice of gala pie, two small sausage rolls, crisps and biscuits . . napped until 7pm . . . walked BGdns . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two quarter pound cheese burgers with fried onions followed by some toffee-apple flavoured McVities cake . . . to bed after 1am.
10 - Up around 8am. 17C in, 11C out. Blue skies, sun and mountaneous threatening shower clouds. . . walked BGdns in the sun as the local clouds cleared away to the horizons. Eventually headed down towards the harbour. Stopped along the way and sat and watched as a large crane in the Oxen Cove car park lifted a couple of yachts out of the water for their winter car-park storage. Grabbed a couple of token photos because it always 'tickles me' a little to see boats flying through the air like that. . I can't help but find myself wondering how much the boat owners pay to suddenly take over so much of the council car park for so many months like that. By rights, 'I' reckon they should pay at least the going rate that any other vehicle would have to pay - and that, multiplied by the number of regular spaces they take up, etc, etc. If they aren't (and I just BET they aren't) - if they are paying a penny less - then there's something very wrong with that I reckon. That whole nearest-to-the-harbour end of the car park is now taken over almost completely by all the yachts. Anyone visiting the remainder of that car park now has to walk a lot further to get into the harbour. Everyone else having to bow-down to the wealthier priveledged few? I dunno - whatever the reality behind it all, there's something about it which 'grates' and doesn't sit right with me. . . . eventually carried on down to the inner harbour and sat on a seat near the Golden Hind to drink my coffee before ultimately heading back home through town . . PCd for a bit. Somewhere around 11am the tug Marion V finally left the bay, presumably with its barge 'Ellen' in tow. . .opened a new 2.25 litre box of Sainsbury's House Shiraz (13.5% vol) red wine and drank a glass. Cooked and ate four sausages, fried potatoe and mixed veg in butter . . napped until around 6pm . . TVd . . walked BGdns (between showers) and sat around for ages with my coffee . . TVd. I swear the not smoking withdrawl symptoms are getting worse not better!! On balance, I'm certain it IS only a matter of time before I cave-in and start smoking proper again. Under the circumstances of just trying to stop because of the expense and for really no other reason, it seems inevitable I'll eventually return to it, even if it means ending up penniless to do so. I so, SO resent the 'big stick' approach of government putting so much in tax on tobacco, as to force me into trying to give up, by imposing increased poverty on me. :o( . . . ate corned beef and ketchup sandwiches, crisps and chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
9 - Up just before 7am. 17C in, 12C out. Windy between rain storms. . . walked BGdns in waterproofs - carrying my pair of secateurs with me. Played ball on the lower seat for just a while before then heading up the path past the main gun emplacements, intending to trim back some of the overhanging brambles which had become increasingly lethal especially at night in the dark. Would you believe it - either after I'd walked that way last night, or earlier this morning, someone else had already brought a tool with them and cut back the offending brambles! lol . carried on down to the harbour to see how high the high tide was. It was high, but it wasn't in any way topping any of the walls and the sea was calm so - much ado about nothing. . . TVd . . .forced myself to PC a bit of this. Dunno why the not smoking thing gets to me SO bad when sat at the PC. Hard to explain how much I very soon start climbing the walls. Amongst other withdrawl effects, the flesh of my fingers either side of my finger nails seems to kinda 'itch' in some weird way requiring I do something mildly pain-inducing to combat it!!!? Now I'm lumbered with mostly false teeth, I can't even bite that flesh as I once would have - making me climb even further up the wall!!!! :o( . sun showers and plenty of wind, but nowhere near as bad as had been suggested it would be on the forecasts. . spent quite a while monitoring radios this morning. Although I rarely listen to amateur VHF these days, I'd become aware yesterday that the local GB3TR repeater has just been 'changed'. I haven't yet quite got a handle on exactly what it's doing when, but it would appear it now idents with all manner of different combinations of voice or CW, including its grid locator, the fact that it's in Torbay, and its CTCSS frequency. All of that I guess one could get used to, but what I absolutely could NEVER get used to is the fact that it now appears to exhibit a triple-tone 'roger bleep' of all things, rather than the couple of 'pips' it used to!! What utter f***ing childish nonsense is THAT!! No - no way can I stand monitoring that for any length of time. So - yet one more thing less. . . had a couple of messages from different people about videos I have on Youtube. One from a student wanting to use the seagull eating a plastic bag footage, and another from 'Arrow Media London' wanting to maybe use a piece of the barrel jelly fish in Brixham Harbour video in a documentary for Channel 4 about the extreme weather the UK has seen this year. Absolutely NOT in the mood or actually 'capable' of thinking it through and replying to either of them at the moment. In fact, I may simply not bother at all. . . a sudden absolutely torrential downpour. Had to race out into the back garden in wellingtons and coat to clear the drain of debris when I spotted a couple of inches depth of water by the kitchen patio area threatening to flood the place - again! :o( . . .ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice with a tin of sausages in baked-beans, followed by chocolate biscuits . . . napped until around 6:40pm . . . TVd/PCd the evening away, struggling with one of my worst 'not-smoking'/craving nights so far! . . . ate just a banana and chocolate biscuits before eventually to bed around 3am.
8 - A poor, restless nights sleep again then up at 7am with my usual aching back etc. 17C in, 12C out. Rainy. Headachey. Annadin tablet for breakfast . . .walked BGdns in full rain gear but pretty much in the dry between the showers as it turned out. . . forced myself to get in the car with Bella and drove all the way to the Torquay out of town Currys/PC World store to look at small-screen TVs, fully intending to buy one (or maybe even two!). .left Bella in the car (in shade) and looked at the TV displays in the store. Had to get an assistant involved when one of the TVs on the shelf which I wanted to look at, wasn't connected to any form of aerial. After a bit more umming and ahhing, (and probably against my better judgement) I eventualy told the assistant I wanted to buy one of the cheap ones they had on display. Off he went into a store room only to return a short while later to tell me they were out of stock - but that they could order me one. For goodness sake. I could have done that myself from home on the PC couldn't I! The whole point of me driving there was to actually see what they had 'in the flesh', and then just carry one home with me. . already in a VERY down 'everything is pointless' mood, I just kinda waved my hand and walked out. I drove straight home, irritated at having pointlessly wasted my time and money on petrol, etc. . . . popped another annadin tablet (to no avail) and then PCd a bit of this, STILL all headachey! :o( Didn't managed to type much before being overcome with wanting a cigarette and 'having' to stop. . . ate corned beef, mayo, chopped onion and grated cheese sandwiches with crisps and then a banana and a little chocolate . . napped . . did dish washing chores . . . walked BGdns. Some flashes of distant lightning along the way. Soon after reaching the lower seat to play a bit of ball, a big spectacular fork of lightning flashed in the sky immediately to the North, seemingly over Torquay but actually a little more distant. Sadly apart from one or two even more distant flashes, that was pretty much the end of the 'show'. Sat around for almost an hour listening to radios and drinking my coffee before eventually heading home . . TVd . . returned DFs ansaphone call from earlier . . TVd . . drank the last glass and a half of red wine from the box. . ate four sausages, fried onion and chips followed by a few squares of chocolate . . to bed around 12:30am.
7 - Woken around 5:30am by Bella making to leave the bedroom and head downstairs. Managed to come-to enough to immediately jump out of bed, throw on a dressing gown and race down to let her out into the garden for a bit, rather than have the liklihood of her pooping all around the kitchen again if I hadn't. Very chilly with the back door open. Returned to bed and tried to snooze on for a bit but couldn't. Back up around 6:15am. 17C in, 6C out. . . walked BGdns quite early . . . PCd aimlessly looking at TVs and the like again. . Ended up feeling very down and 'sid' ish - and also having trouble with my blocked and streaming sinuses again. :o( . . Just sat around all day not able/wanting to do anything at all. .ate crisps and biscuits . . . napped until around 6:30pm . . . TVd the night away . . drank a glass and a bit of red wine . . ate a banana, microwaved curry and a whole packet of Mum donated mini chocolate logs . . . to bed around midnight. . . well, there we go then. That's the first week of going without smoking/vaping. Not a great success - especially considering my ongoing 'fit for nothing' state and particularly my 'bottomed-out' mood today! :o( It would also appear that I am well on my way to making a relatively quick and smooth transition from being a smoker, to being a miserable, fit-for-nothing, non smoking overweight alcoholic!!! :o(
6 - An awful night of hardly any sleep at all thanks to the noise from the gale absolutely battering the front of the house. (The strongest gusts were approaching 70mph by around 7am apparantly!) Back up around 7:30am. 17C in, 12C out. Less rain than in the night, but still wet and blowing bad. . . walked BGdns quite late in full weather gear as things started to improve and quieten down . Played ball and sheltered from the bands of drizzly rain in the lower gun emplacement for a bit. Some young guy was climbing over the nearby rocks and occasionaly stopping to pull a flute out of his pocket and play to the waves. Very 'Kung-Fu'ish. lol . . carried on down town and bought a new pair of Regatta nylon leggings for 10. The ones I've been wearing (when it's not raining 'too' hard) are no longer in the least bit showerproof, and on close inspection are even looking pretty threadbare in places. Damned things don't last five minutes so it seems, but they are lighter and more comfortable for walking around in when its not raining 'too' hard, so I figured I'd get some more. Cheaper on the net of course, but not by much and I wanted them now, so paid the extra or two in the local store by the harbour. . . PCd looking at portable TVs again for a bit as things turned to mostly sunny. I've really got a bee in my bonnet of late about the two old bulky portable CRT TVs and associated Freeview boxes I've still got in use in the house - one on the end of the worktop in the kitchen for when I'm cooking and doing dishes etc, and another (actually never used because it's a pain to turn on and is in the wrong place for watching anyway) in the PC room. I REALLY want to throw them out and just get a couple of nice new flat panel small screen LCD TVs instead. A basic little 19" would be more than adequate for the kitchen (and a lot bigger than the stupid little screen I currently have to squint at). When it comes to the PC room, things are a little more complicated, because I reckon I should be able to actually do away with my (rather little-used of late) second PC monitor and replace it with a new up to 22" flat screen LCD TV - but still have it connected to the PC for use as a basic second monitor as and when I want it to be one. Assuming that would work out, that would enable me to position it to the left of the PC screen and enable me to sit back and put my feet up on the stool beneath the desk and watch it in comfort on the odd occasions I may wish to. Under such circumstances, it would also seem to make a lot of sense to have a built-in DVD player on that one (because the price difference to have one included is negligable, etc). Blah blah blah - anyway, this is all what's continualy running through my head of late, and why I keep ending up looking at TVs when I go on-line. . . walked with Bella up the local store for a couple of bits and pieces and, sods law, got rained-on on the way back . . . ate two part toasted haslet, chopped onion and grated cheese finger rolls, crisps, banana and chocolate . . . napped the afternoon off . . . walked BGdns around 7pm. Not an unpleasant evening with a mostly clear sky in the immediate vicinity. Way off to the North in the very far distance a big thunderstorm was going on. So far away it was completely silent, but every now and then the whole enormous cloud would suddenly briefly light-up all kinda pink as darkness fell . . . TVd . . .ate bowls of rice krispies . . .to bed around midnight.
5 - Woke earlier, snoozed on for a bit, then up around 6:30am. 17C in, 7C out. A clear sky - but still pretty much dark. . . walked and headed out north along the coastal path to Elberry Cove and then Broadsands intending to eventually head up to the car boot sale near Windy Corner.

wandered up and down all the tables at length but saw nothing of any particular interest to me. No idea why I bothered really. Not in the right 'frame of mind' at all. . Seemed as though an 'unnatural' number of the people there were speaking in either a foreign language or with a heavy foreign accent. . . didn't hang around and as soon as I'd completed my tour of the tables, headed straight back across the field and out. Crossed Churston common and dropped back down via the footpaths and roads to the sea front at Broadsands.

Sat and had a breather and drank my luke warm coffee on the beach at Broadsands on the way back. Netherlands registered tug 'Marian V' with barge 'Ellen' in tow slowly came into the bay and moored in real close off Goodrington while we were sat there - presumably seeking shelter from the storm forecast for later tonight?

eventually back home after a good four hours out . . . drank a glass of red wine while roasting all the meat that P across town had recently donated for Bella. Several bits of liver and a rack of some sort of ribs. Couldn't waste all that electric, so ended up also squeezing in some roast potatoes and stuffing in seperate dishes. . at length the meat was all sufficiently cooked. It WAS all entirely fit for me to eat, but I'm no great lover of liver and the ribs seemed to be mostly fat and gristle, so I eventually decided that almost all of it WAS going to be for Bella. . ate a big plate of roast potatos, stuffing and mixed veg with a pint of instant gravy . . . napped . . TVd the evening away . . ate the last of the Mum donated toffee sponge cake and later bowls of rice krispies with cream and brown sugar . . to bed around 1am.
4 - Woken earlier by the sound of heavy rain, then up around 7am again. 19C in, 14C out. Grey and raining. . . walked BGdns. Played a bit of ball from the shelter of the lower gun emplacement before eventually sitting on a higher seat under the roof for my coffee. . . did dish washing chores and then a little laundry when the rain cleared to sunny. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . got laundry out on the line in the stiff breeze to dry . . . ate a banana, bags of crisps, slab of gala pie and a little chocolate . . napped the afternoon away until around 6pm . . .walked BGdns and then on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to drink my coffee. Felt really quite chilly this evening, in the breeze in particular. . eventually back through town and home . . . TVd . . . ate bags of crisps, two pestrami slice filled finger rolls and then a quarter of a Mum donated toffee cream sponge cake thing . . . to bed around 11:30pm.
3 - Up just after 7am again. 19C in, 14C out. Overcast grey . . walked the woods. Bella cornered a squirrel in a small tree. It leapt out of the tree to the ground with a sickening thud right in front of me, and then scurried away through the undergrowth and soon up into the safety of a larger tree!! . . back through BGdns and on down to the inner harbour. Sat and drank my coffee near the Golden Hind before eventually heading back in some sunny spells . . . PCd a bit of this. A new gale warning was put out around 10:54. "South Westerly gale force eight expected later". . .wow - I'm having a real hard time trying to think straight enough to type this - and wanting a smoke/vape VERY bad. Sitting at the PC is the worst! I'm absolutely climbing the walls. In fact - I just can't sit here and do this right now. :o( . . the postman delivered the Advantage 400 spot-on drops I'd ordered. . . napped until 7pm and then had trouble waking. . . TVd feeling a bit sick. . . eventually felt better but struggling very badly with the desire to smoke all evening. :o( . . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked up a large pot of mixed veg. Added some melted butter to it all, together with just a little, six years past it's sell-by date Marmite! Really - Dec '08 was the date on the label! I've had it sat in the fridge for as long as I've lived here I think. All cold in the fridge like that, it's 'unspreadable', and I've just kept on leaving it there untouched. Amazing it still tastes ok. I guess I really should throw it out and buy some fresh - but that seems like a waste when it still seems to taste like it should and doesn't have anything nasty growing on any of it. lol You either like it or hate it so they say, so maybe that goes for food spoiling bacteria too? It would appear bacteria don't like marmite? lolol . . . . TVd until to bed around 1am.
2 - Up at 7am. 20C in, 13C out. Sunny spells . . .walked BGdns . . . worked in the back garden trimming around the pergola, including climbing onto the top of it and dangerously weilding the hedge trimmer . . propped the ladder against it and trimmed a couple of the new growth branches on the blossom tree near my wire antennas . . . left Bella at home and drove to the tip to deposit the four bin loads and one dog food sack full of cuttings debris. Jeezuz - absolutely in no fit state to drive!!!!!! . . .popped into Sainsburys on the way back for a few supplies, including large quantities of marmite flavoured crisps which I have developed a recent taste for. . .ate two garlic sausage slices and mayo finger rolls with two bags of crisps, a banana and some chocolate . . . napped until around 6:30pm . . . skipped the walk and just TVd the whole evening away feeling miserable and uptight . .drank a glass of red wine. . ate a packet of crisps and then just biscuits before eventually to bed around 12:30am.
1 - A dreadful night of broken sleep all tossing and turning and continually waking up then up around 7:15am with nasty headache. 19C in, 15C out. Sunny spells but mostly grey. Annadin tablet for 'breakfast'. . . ."Stoptober"? I've bumped into a few 'Stoptober' adverts online of late. Just another one of those nauseating expensive government backed propoganda excercises trying to get people to stop smoking. I have absolutely no time for such nonsense, but I HAVE coincedentaly decided to attempt to tackle my nicotine addiction as from today.

all the threads on the e-cigarette batteries appear to become stripped over time.

I just need to be free of all the nonsense of constantly charging batteries and dicking around with bottles and liquids etc etc etc

As from today, I'm having a go at not smoking OR vaping. In other words, coming face to face with my nicotine addiction.

. .walked BGdns feeling very very awful. . Malta registered cargo vessel 'Sementina' was moored-up in the bay. In the little image I've included here, pilot boat MTS Pathfinder is just returning from having been briefly alongside . . . got the ladder back up out front and got a coat of paint over yesterdays cementing etc. . sat around feeling terrible . . . cooked and ate sliced ham with fried potato and boiled mixed veg . . . got another coat of paint on bits of the outside wall. . . napped until around 6pm only to wake with the same nasty headache. Crunched another annadin tablet to no avail . . tu . . . walked BGdns. . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine . . ate sandwiches of chopped onion, the last of the sliced ham and grated cheese all heated up in butter with crisps and followed later by chocolate biscuits and chocolate . . .TVd until to bed around 12:30am.