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<My Diary Archive 2004 My Diary Archive>

November
1 - Woken by Mum saying good morning to Sally around 7:30am . . . left Mum to bathe and walked. Very gingerly couldn't resist doing a little 'litter duty' - big mess of beer cans and such all around the seat over the field. Good grief!! Boy, did I have to scoop some poop!!! Sally's been eating FAR too much! . . .TVd and sat around drinking coffee while Mum got all packed, re-packed and ready to leave. Mum absolutely refused to let me carry or help her with her suitcase! It was as light as a feather in comparison to what I'm used to when BB comes!! lol . . drove with Mum and Sally down to the bus station real early around 12:30pm, to drop her off as we'd agreed, to save the nightmare of trying to find somewhere to park. Found a temporary stopping place and then had to embarassingly just stand and watch, as Mum dragged her suitcase out of the car all on her own. Hugs and goodbyes (Mum'll miss Sally :o) ) and then headed straight back home as Mum headed into the bus station building site to sit and wait around 45 minutes for her bus to leave. . . microwaved and ate the left over pizza with a bag of crisps . . . Mum called around 1:30pm to say she was safely on the bus and just about to pull out of the station . . . couldn't resist trying to remove my itchy wound dressing so ran myself a hot bath, and just to make Mum happy, added a couple of caps full of Dettol antiseptic to the water. Soaked for a while and then pulled off the weird sticky back plastic wound covering. Ouch - wish they shaved a bit more of me!! Eventually got it off with very little trouble, and it came off in one piece complete with all those weird plastic 'stiches'. Good grief!!! Incredible. Not even a 'scud' on any of the three holes. Just a bit of swelling and a little bruise like discolouration of the skin (although everything below my navel feels pretty tender and bruised!!!) It IS a bit painful, but quite manageable and not a patch on the discomfort I had when my hernia was bulging out. That is just incredible. Doesn't look as though I've had an 'operation'. Marvellous. :o) . . . couldn't contain my amazement and called Mum on the bus and told her all about it!! lol . . .PCd . . .opened the 'get well soon' card Mum had left in the bedroom for me. Blimey - she's left a whole bunch of money in there too - some to go towards the increased fuel bills she thinks I'll have while she was here, and the rest for a birthday present!! Blimey - her trip up here has cost her a fortune!!! . . . turned all the phones down and napped for a couple of hours until around 6pm. . woke to find Mum had left an ansaphone message - she'd arrived home safely, early at around 5pm. . . walked. A bunch of kids were hanging around the entrance to the pub down the road which appears to have suddenly closed, and were talking to a guy inside carrying a flash light who was locking the door. I 'think' I overheard something which suggested there may have been a fire in there!! . .fed Sally the rest of the mountain of LB vegetable left overs . . . returned missed ansaphone messages and touched base with Mum. In conversation with her taxi driver on the way home from her bus stop, the driver told her about a guy he knew who went in for a routine hernia operation and never came out!! Ha. See, see!! I was NOT being all melodramatic about such a possibility before I went in - just realistic. It DOES happen. :o| . . touched base with BB . . . PCd a bit of this, but I'm SO behind with it!! Bit of a major chore to try and catch up. :o( Not too good for my stomach doubled up over a keyboard for hours! Gave up again pretty late and had a couple of bowls of cornflakes, with the last of the runny pouring cream that Mum had bought. Mmmmm that was GOOOD! Just like old times when you used to get a nice bit of cream on the top of a pint of milk. Dad used to make us shake the bottle to mix the cream in, or else it would all end up rather thin and watery. We'd get told off if we sneaked the cream onto our cereals without first shaking the bottle! lol :o) What on earth do they do to milk these days to take all that cream out?. . . TVd until bed around midnight. ps
2 - Woke and got up around 6:45am! Haven't settled in to the clocks going back yet I guess. . .TVd. Jeeze - I'm sick and tired of having nothing on the news except about the damned US election! Why oh WHY is the media SO obsessed with crystal ball gazing and raking over and over stuff that hasn't actually happened yet?! Grrrr . . walked in the drizzle. Blimey - the pub down the road which appears to have suddenly closed, appears to have a couple of windows boarded up and the remnants of police tape on the side gate here and there!!?? Something's happened in there! Hope it stays closed - improves the area no end. . Found a weird denim belt with a large elaborate belt buckle with dangley metal bits. Washed it and hung it up over the bath to dry - it'll go in my 'destined for a charity shop' bag in the conservatory. . . PCd this, at length for hours!! I don't really have any idea who may read any of this. Certainly the hits on the index page of the site have diminished. It really is almost tempting to just stop doing it and let whoever may stumble across it, wonder if I didn't survive my surgery. Kinda like a little cliffhanger ending to an episode of some pathetic TV soap opera. lolololololol Tempting - just to not have to type it all!! . . . interrupted around 10am by the postman belatedly delivering a birthday parcel from BB. I'd told her not to get me anything!!!! I do NOT do birthdays!!!! Blimey - a 'Tipsy Fudge cake'. :o) And a gift of a battery powered Vidal Sassoon Personal Groomer! Is she trying to tell me something?!!!! Actually that IS pretty cool. It's been SUCH a hassle trying to stuff my inch and a half wide beard trimmer up my nose!! lolol :o) Getting old is a strangely hairy business!?? Dunno what possible Darwinian genetic advantage, suddenly having hairs sprouting out of your ears and nose and ?????, can be! . . PCd all morning giving myself a headache. I swear this damn journal takes longer to type than to live!! Gave up around midday and uploaded the bit I'd got done, but still unfinished. . .BB called . . . ate garlic sausage, mayo, cheese, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps followed by a bit of LBs left over bread and butter pudding . . . napped the afternoon away until around 4:30pm. Actually, laying on my back I discovered that one of the laproscopy holes (the biggest one next to my navel) has actually got quite a little 'lump' to it. Swelling and scar tissue I trust! . . . Woke all overheating and with an awful unshakeable headache. Chewed annadin tablets and PCd more of this . . .PS called . . . walked. Had to skirt the field and attempt to avoid the three idiots that were firing fireworks all around the place. The guys all doing rugby training were just ignoring it!? Pretty sure one of the poop scoop bins suffered an explosion! :o( Walked the extra to the corner store for milk and found 6p outside where I tie up Sally. . .missed an ansaphone message from Mum calling to check on me. Called her back and touched base. . .PCd this . . . LB called talking about some house alarm going off outside!? Huh - I hadn't heard a thing above the noise of the PC cooling fans. Popped outside and saw the alarm going on a house a few doors down. grabbed my mobile phone and wandered down the street and up the back lane. All seemed 'quiet' - apart from the alarm bellowing! The curtains were drawn and the lights were on in the living room of the house. It IS for sale, and somehow I've already got the impression (dunno how) that the owners have moved out and their father pops in most days to keep an eye on the place and 'maybe' even feed a cat and change cat litter!! Thought 'something' should be done so called the local police, non emergency number and reported it. In the middle of giving my details, the alarm went off! The guy on the other end of the phone could hear it do so. Typical. He then told me that with such domestic alarm activations, they don't actually send anyone out unless someone had actually been seen acting suspiciously!! What exactly DOES it take to see a policeman these days?!! Ended my call and popped out to look down the road - the noise had stopped but the flashing lights on the alarm box were still flashing! . .touched base with LB. Oh blimey - she's been in for a scan and biopsy on a breast lump today! Results on Thursday!!!! . . returned to the PC. LB called and said the alarm had started up again. Uh oh - hope this isn't gonna go on all night!! . . . ate a plate full of LBs left over roast potatoes with some instant gravy . . . PS popped round for chats and biscuits until early. Popped my head out when he arrived - it would appear the alarm down the road has been sorted - it didn't sound again. Maybe it's been stolen!!? lol . . touched base with BB . . . too tired to move and ended up watching some of the results come in for the US presidential election (because it was on most every channel!!??) until bed gone 2am! paas
3 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am . . . walked. Got chatting to one of the dog walker guys who it turns out, had also had an inguinal hernia operation. Horror tails from him about how bad he'd been after his operation. It WAS good to hear him embarassingly comment on how bruised his scrotum ('ball bag'!) and thighs had been afterwards - "It was all black!" he said. Well - I guess I got off really lightly - I just feel rather tender down there. I think I really have been very lucky, the way things have gone. 'Celebrated' by collecting up a carrier bag of litter (mostly the packaging and remains of fireworks). The poop scoop bin appears to have survived last nights 'rocket attack from insurgents' . . .left Sally at home around 10:30am and drove to PS as agreed, to attempt to help him with his desperate PC spyware/adware problem - on the understanding I probably wouldn't be able to help!! . . . messed around for hours downloading checkers and deleting files and laboriously deleting multiple registry entries, only to get absolutely no where!!! :o( Apologised, gave up and drove home around 2pm . . . microwaved the last of LBs left over roast potatoes and ate them with some instant gravy followed by far too many biscuits . . . deeply slept the rest of the afternoon away until around 6:30pm . . . walked a bit later than usual . . .returned Mums ansaphone call and touched base . . . tried to force myself to type up more of my journal but really wasn't in the mood and then BB called to touch base . .gave up on the PC and TVd the rest of the evening away, having to watch all the de-briefing nonsense about Bush having won the election. :o( . . . couldn't face 'doing food' and ended up just eating in excess of six weetabix with milk and heaps of sugar!! . . . to bed just after midnight. ps
4 - Woken by Sally around 7am . . . walked in the clearing sky and emerging sun and found 2p. . .did laundry . . . PCd this. Good grief! Suddenly got a massive number of hits since yesterday (500!!???) on the website index page!?? Funny thing with this journal and my nonsensical ramblings - the longer it stays on line, the more likely it is I'm liable to at some time mention - um - everything! Then, no matter what someone searches for on a search engine, my site'll be returned in the results there somewhere!! Bizarre. Wonder what it was I'd said that is currently relevant to a popular search? (Or maybe some new spam or virus program is somehow hitting on the counter?) Feel as though I should apologise for wasting peoples time! 'SORRY! Move along. Nothing to see here!' :o| . . .PCd more of the 28th until around 2pm and STILL not finished!! :o( . . . ate garlic sausage, mayo, grated cheese, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps. BB called in the middle of eating . finished off with a slice of the 'Tipsy Fudge cake' BB'd sent. Mmmmm - not bad - :o) - but did it really need to be in a foil carton, cling film, a tin, more cling film, and a cardboard box?!! No wonder the postage was so much . . .napped until woken by the phone ringing but no message left (again! Several times in the last couple of days.) around 5pm . . . TVd and then more or less polished off the bulk of my journal entry for the 28th. Amusing visitor book comment from someone - "Yes, please don't stop the diary Terry - perhaps cut down on some of the waffly bits though.". lololol but it's ALL waffle isn't it? That IS what it IS!!! Or is it 'ramble' and waffle? I should just keep the ramble maybe? Oh no - I dunno which is which!!!!! lolololololol :o) . . .walked. Blimey - the local pub has had all its windows boarded up with sheets of metal! Definitely closed. :o) . . Was just leaving the field when from in the direction of where I’d just been sat on the seat next to the swings, a HUGE firework exploded. Actually with something that size, ‘detonated’ seems a more suitable description. Must have been a ‘display’ firework let off by someone – at ground level! Massive blast and a huge mushroom of sparks covered the area. Made me jump. Even caught the attention of the people practicing rugby and had them all stop to look. Shock and awe! Blimey – glad I wasn’t still sat down there with my cigarette!! Sally hardly batted an eyelid and carried on sniffing poop! . Extraordinary. . .saw LBs guy getting out of his car as I returned. Thanked him for my lift to the hospital last week and then asked what news of LB's test. Oh NO!!! Her breast lump is suspected as cancerous and she is gonna have it removed on Monday!!! She’ll have the results from that on next Thursday!!! S**t! Blimey – they don’t hang about with something like that do they! :o( . . . Mum called to touch base and suggest a program to watch. 'Dr. Money and the boy with no penis'!! Jeeze, what an awful, true story. Deeply sad. :o(. . .touched base with LB and awkwardly tried to say appropriate things and offered any help I can give. :o( . . . TVd/PCd till early . . .Got serious in the shower and carefully used the scrubbing/nail brush on my groin, in an attempt to remove the remnants of the now dirty sticky stuff that persists from my wound dressings. Got most of it. The overall swelling of my abdomen appears to have largely gone down just leaving localised swelling at the wound sites. Remarkably rapid recovery! Couldn't be bothered to prepare food and just had coffee and biscuits before bed. ps
5 - Woken by Sally around 8am . . . walked and found 2p. . .balanced my accounts. Yikes!!! :o( . . .ate some boil in the bag kippers (sell by date of last March!! Still tasted ok.) with chips for lunch . . . trimmed my hair and beard and used the 'personal groomer' BB'd sent me, for the first time. Worked pretty well. :o) Showered - blimey - on closer examination (TSE) , that guy over the field wasn't wrong about post-op discolouration and bruising, 'down below'!!! :o| . . . napped for a couple of hours and woke around 6pm (so much for wanting to walk Sally a little early tonight!) as the 'bonfire night' noise of fireworks all around began to rise to a crescendo. . . walked. Narrowly escaped death on the pedestrian crossing! Some idiot just drove straight through the red light when the beeps were going and we were half way across! Grrrr. . True to form, Sally didn't seem to mind the fireworks at all, so I walked to the highest vantage point over the field, and sat on a carrier bag on the wet grass with a cigarette and Sally laying next to me, looking out across Bristol, watching the free show. Whoever would have imagined that I could walk with my dog on bonfire night to go watch fireworks. She is SO cool. :o) The bin by the swings, full of my 'litter duty', was all on fire (again) as I passed by. . . touched base with Mum . . .PCd a bit and ended up reading local news and looking at local job vacancies! There was an article in the news about the old woman who was killed by the bus stop by a speeding car at the bottom of the field last year. Apparantly the guy who did it was 33, was all stoned out of his mind, and was dangerously speeding in a friends Jaguar!! He only got three years!!!! No doubt less than half of that with good behaviour. How come life is so cheap! :o(. . . BB called . . . sat in the garden for a short while listening to the fireworks. . . TVd . . . ate lots of Weetabix . . .touched base with BB . . . to bed after midnight, still to the accompaniment of fireworks going off. Having said that, I think it was maybe just a little quieter this year than previously. Probably all waiting until tomorrow (and the next day, and the next, etc.) to let them off. :o( ps
6 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am . . . walked in the rain and found a penny. . .sat around pretty aimlessly and couldn't muster the energy to do anything in particular . . . next door called in and handed me a carrier bag of stuff from her freezer - they were emptying it , prior to giving it to LB. I said I'd wondered if the sale had all fallen through because the 'For Sale' sign was down and laying in their garden. Apparantly the sign was pulled out of the ground in their garden and left laying in the street by drunks in the night!! :o( She asked if I still wanted their kitchen table and chairs and suggested 40. I'd already said I WAS interested and said I'd pay for it, so I felt obliged to just say yes without any quibble. Popped round with the money and then helped her carry it (she resisted because of my hernia, but I'm fine carrying stuff - it's coughing and wretching that is dangerous to me!) all through into my living room. Uh oh - do I also want the two cane and cushion chairs they have in their conservatory? Ummmm - errr - spose I'd better - when I finally get rid of all the excess tables and chairs I now have cluttering up the place, they'll be nice for MY conservatory! Secured Sally in the house and went out onto the patio to receive the chairs, cushions, ladder and hosepipe I was having, over the top of the fence! The odd twinge from my groin as I awkwardly manhandled the stuff over, but nothing to worry about. Hung the ladder on the wall brackets in the garden and locked it (with the padlock and key they'd also given me) to the other bit of ladder I already have. They then called over asking if I was interested in doing a swap for their rotary clothes line!! Theirs is newer and better and bigger and has four arms instead of the three on mine. Seemed like a reasonable exchange, so I had theirs and passed mine over. :o) . . uh oh - the cane chairs wouldn't fit through the conservatory door opening!! It was drizzling a little and I really didn't want to have to carry them all the way down the back lane and then up the street to get in the front door! Seemed easier to remove the sliding glass patio door from its tracks. Heavy! Dodgy! Eventually managed to get it off and into the conservatory, and then threaded the chairs in ok. . messed around for a while cleaning up the door wheels and sliding track with a wire brush and then oiling all the parts before rehanging (with some difficulty) the door. Who'd have imagined I'd be doing all that just over a week after an operation!! Amazing. :o) . . oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear! That table and chairs I just paid 40 for, is all very nice to look at (better than what I already have) , but the chairs are really uncomfortable to sit on!! Maybe it is because of my rather bent back and scoliosis, but they are just too upright for comfort!!! Damn!! Lined up a chair from each of the three sets I now have filling the house, and tried them out, one by one - at length. Good grief! I don't believe it. I'm pretty sure that the most comfortable chairs I have, are those which I'm already sitting on in the kitchen!! And wouldn't you know it - just to stop me 'mixing and matching' different tables to chairs, they are all a slightly different hue of pine, and match their own sets. Bugger! Wish I hadn't bought the damn thing now!! :o( Ummd and ahhd and eventually decided that I was just gonna stick with the set I'm already using!! Guess I'll have to try and sell the one I just bought. The other one (I scavenged from a garden up the road) needs work, but if I can replace the broken chair rails, and maybe sand down and revarnish the table top and make it all a little more presentable, I guess I 'should' be able to sell that one as well! Lot of hassle - and in the meantime, the house is FULL of furniture - everywhere!! Damn. Very depressing. That'll teach me to be 'greedy' for a bargain! :o( . . stacked the new table top, legs and chairs in the front bedroom (which I haven't yet moved back into since Mum left) . . . .microwaved and ate a frozen Lamb Shepherds pie, next door had donated . . . napped for a few hours . . . walked in the drizzle and under the barrage of fireworks. Found a penny by the milk shop . . .sat in a cane chair (surprisingly comfy) in the conservatory with Sally for a while, listening to all the firework noise. Funny, but I feel rather down. There never seems to be any particular reason for my down moods, but I guess it's tempting to think that 'maybe' - after waiting a year for my surgery - kinda having that to focus on and head for - now having it all done and over with, it's a bit of an anti climax kinda. Not sure what to do next. No - I don't think that's it. Dunno why - just feel a bit miserable and down right now. Too much furniture maybe?!! . . Mum called . . . BB called . . .TVd . . . ate the last three frozen chicken drumsticks with four pieces of bread and butter, followed by lots of biscuits. . . TVd until bed around midnight, watching lots of live coverage of the aftermath of a bad train crash up near Reading! A passenger HST had derailed after hitting a car (suicide?) on a level crossing! :o( . . TV steeplejack Fred Dibnah died this day. ps
7 - Woke around 7:15am . . . walked in the rain and found YET another dog ball on a rope for Sally . . .did laundry and PCd this and dabbled just a little with some of the info on my 'henry' page . . .ate next door donated cheese pizza and oven chips, and then some biscuits - too much. . . grey and miserable day. Even the street lights were on by 4pm . . . napped . . . walked under a firework sky . . .returned Mums ansaphone call and touched base . . . touched base with LB and wished her luck with her lump removal operation tomorrow. :o( Oh for goodness sake! Her pet rabbits have had a bunch of babies!!! For goodness sake! . . . PS popped round for chats, TV and biscuits till early. . . touched base with BB and TVd a bit more before bed at getting on for 2am! ps
8 - Woke around 7:45am . . .walked in the drizzle. Along by the shops a bunch of schoolkids were all engaged in some sort of physical/bullying dispute!!! A tall black kid appeared to be getting picked on by a bunch of smaller white kids - only he seemed to be giving as good as he got back! I briefly intervened and tried to say 'enough' at one point, but it was a wasted effort. I was pretty invisible. Made me feel sick watching the extended group of kids all get 'that' look about them, like a pack of dogs scenting blood! :o( . . . sat around feeling real tired and ended up going back to sleep until around midday! . . .cooked and ate a next door donated cheese and onion quiche and then the last of the 'Tipsy Fudge cake' BB'd sent. . .was laying down and back asleep by around 2pm!!! Disturbed mid afternoon by the 'daily' (??!) phone call where no message is left and the number is witheld! Woke after dark around 5:30pm. Guess I'll be hibernating then!! . . .TVd. . .walked in the mud and drizzle and found 2p. Not 'that' many fireworks tonight. No sign of LB being back at home yet! . .PCd this. Mum called. Uh oh - bad news about Sis2. US immigration stopped her while returning from a trip to Canada, and have given her till the end of the month to quit the country!!!!! Oh jeeze! :o( . . .cooked up the four steak and kidney pies Mum'd bought while she was here, and then ate one with some of the oven chips next door had donated . . . BB called . . .TVd/PCd until bed around 2am. ps
9 - Woke around 7:20am . . .walked and found 5p . . . left Sally at home and drove to the doctors surgery to hand in my repeat perscription request . drove on to Lidl at Hanham and bought a few groceries . drove on to a couple of DIY stores at Longwell Green and had a look around for some pine dowel, of a diameter that would do for repairing the broken chair leg support struts, on the pine table and chairs I'm trying to renovate. Blimey - a few feet of dowel of that diameter would cost me around 10!! To hell with that - if I spend that much, together with whatever I'll have to spend on the varnish to finish it, the whole 'project' won't be cost effective or worth doing, in terms of a possible resale value! What a terrible throw away world it has become! :o( . . popped into Jollyes and bought some dog food ( 48 tins of Winalot @ 16.20 ). . . stopped for a little petrol on the way home (12.06 ltrs @ 10 ). Spotted LBs boyfriends car outside her house as I pulled up, so figured she was home. Called her to touch base. She seemed 'ok', considering. She'd been kept in the hospital overnight. They'd removed her lump, but had found it to be a little more complicated than they thought it would be, and had removed a slightly larger amount than first intended!! She was all bruised and full of pain killers - but DID say she was just happy to be alive!! Biopsy results Thursday :o( . . . grabbed a piece of the square scrap pine left over from when I knocked up my 'TV unit', and set to with various tools out on the patio, attempting to fashion a copy by hand, of one of the broken, turned chair leg supports. If I had access to a woodturning lathe, it would have taken minutes and been really quite easy. Without a lathe, it was difficult and unbelievably time consuming. Managed to trim the square pine down with the electric plane and various files, to about two thirds of its original width, and managed to get it 'more or less' round, by turning it over and over and over in the palm of my hand while holding a sheet of sandpaper. Ridiculoulsy time consuming! Kept on getting cramp in my hand! The whole garden ended up absolutely covered in tiny bits of planed off wood, as though there'd been a snow storm!! As usual, Sally wanted to 'be with me' while I worked - she ended up laying in all the bits, getting them stuck all over her fur, and then walking them into the house and distributing them over everywhere!! Grrrr! . . . rain called a halt around 4pm so I stopped and ate a cold steak and kidney pie with some crisps, a banana and some biscuits . . . lay down to nap but only ended up tossing and turning in a half sleep for a couple of hours as nearby fireworks and goodness knows what else kept me awake!! :o( . . .walked . . .returned Mums ansaphone call . . .Unfinished hand made copy of a chair leg support strutate next door donated oven chips and a reheated steak and kidney pie . . . bits of wood were everywhere throughout the house thanks to Sally, so I figured I may as well carry on with a bit of my whittling, filing and sandpapering in the comfort of the living room, while watching TV!! Eventually I'd had enough, and had managed to get close enough to prove, that with a 'little'(!!) more work, I could 'probably' acheive an acceptable result. So - it all rests on whether or not I can match the colour! . . . BB called . . . vaccummed around the place, trying to clear up the 'snowstorm' mess a bit . . .oh no! A spring has broken in the door handle of the heavy old double glazed door, between the kitchen and the conservatory!! Bugger! Still quite useable but a nasty 'floppy' handle now! . . . TVd the rest of the evening away until bed in the early hours. ps
10 - Woke after 8am . . .aha - e-mail from DS to confirm receipt of his parcel! Phew - was starting to think I'd wasted all that postage! . . . walked and found a penny . . . developed an increasingly unpleasant headache. . . left Sally at home and drove to the DIY store in search of varnish to match the finish of the pine table and chairs I'm trying to renovate. Invested 7.99 in a tin of Antique Pine Gloss varnish. . . put a coat of varnish on a piece of scrap wood to test the match. Hmmm - not a good match at all!! :o( . . . ate next door donated oven chips, reheated steak and kidney pie and a couple of pieces of bread and butter for 'chip butties'. . .felt all tired and worn out. Napped for a couple of hours only to wake too soon, all overheating, still with a nasty headache! Put another coat of varnish on my test piece of wood. Hmmm? Think I've wasted 7 on the wrong stuff. :o( . . .walked . . .TVd . . . BB called . . . ate the last of the weetabix, a banana and a couple of packets of crisps . . .TVd unable to shake my neck/head ache until bed before 11pm. paa
11 - Woke after 8am, STILL with a nasty headache!!??. . .walked and found 2p. Exchanged a brief word or two with one of the dog walking guys. Blimey - turns out he is on a long term 'maintenance' dose of methadone! What WAS interesting to me was how he spoke of having been a bit down these last few days. He put it down to the weather and lack of sunlight. What a coincedence that I've been struggling with down feelings these last few days too. . . PCd this. Briefly surfed and had a look at todays special offers at Lidl. Oh dear. Couldn't resist jumping in the car and going to have a look at the clocks they were advertising. Damn - 'only' 7.99 - had to buy me one to replace the one I already have in the kitchen! . . drove on to Staple Hill and toured the charity shops. Yayy - picked up a black hooded fleece (like I ALWAYS wear) for only 50p in the Salvation Army shop!!!!!!! . . stopped off in a weird store that sells TV aerials and enquired about a new digital TV type aerial. I was pretty much likely to buy one - but the guy in the store didn't seem to know what the hell he was talking about. He recommended the type which he had in boxes in the corner, but there was no picture, no attempt to show me one, and he didn't even know how many elements it had!! Bye then. . . drove home to replace the kitchen wall clock. The new one is visually quite similar - a plain white face with black numbers with a chrome effect case. BUT - the new one is radio controlled AND has a small LCD panel above the six o'clock position which shows the month, date and day! Shame they don't do watches the same as that - I'd buy one! Very cool to put the battery in and then watch as it went through its automatic setup routine. First of all the hands automatically wound round to the four o'clock position - they then paused while the radio signal was located - the hands then whizzed around until it was showing the correct time. Brilliant. A bonus is that the hands clicking round appear to be a bit quieter than the other one too. So - one more time piece that'll be pretty accurate and that I don't have to worry about changing when the clocks change. :o) May put the cheaper one I've just replaced in the charity shop bag . . .TVd/PCd . . . touched base with LB to see what the results of her biopsy were. Thank goodness!!! It looks non cancerous and she won't require chemo or anything else at all. A check up in a couple of months, and that's hopefully that. Phew. She of course seemed pretty relieved and on a bit of a high after such a worrying few days wait for the results. . .messed around with a piece of scrap pine and attempted to get different results from the varnish. Even tried wiping some coffee over the wood to deepen the colour before varnishing over it. Didn't seem to make any difference at all!? . . . walked . . .touched base with Mum . . . heated up the last of the next door donated oven chips and ate them with a half tin of oven warmed corned beef. Surprisingly nice. . TVd . . . BB called . . . LB popped in for a while, talking like she was pretty tipsy. Her health scare does seem to have focused her mind on what she wants (or rather doesn't want) from life - for the moment at least. She let me see her operation wound. Some bruising but wow - just like with mine, I'm sure there will be hardly any scar there at all. Amazing what the surgeons can do these days with hidden dissolvable stitches and such . . . touched base with BB before bed around 12:30am. Yasser Arafat died this day. paas
12 - Woken around 7am by noise from next door! Guess they are up early gettin ready for their move. . .walked and found 8p. Next door were loading their stuff (and there wasn't much of it) into a hire van as I returned home. LB called out from up the street - she had an 'unhappy' (injured?) cat-caught pigeon in a basket, which she'd found in her back garden!! I (emotionally) didn't want to have anything to do with it. I know from experience it probably won't survive - and certainly wouldn't if it was taken to an animal hospital or vet!! Left LB and her guy to take it to the field and release it to its fate. :o( . . quickly wrote on the 'good luck in your new home' card I'd bought for next door and then popped out and gave it to them and offered to help carrying stuff if they wanted. Thankfully they said they were ok, so I left them to it . . .I'd already tried colouring a piece of wood, to match the existing finish on the pine chairs, with coffee to no avail. A guest book entry on the site suggested a tea bag. Hmmmm - what the hell - I'd better try everything I have in the house! The tea bag was useless, although that was maybe because it turned out to be a mint tea bag (from when BB was here). Using an old tooth brush and a spot of water to rub the colour into the grain of the wood, I DID try EVERYTHING! I went through every spice jar in the cupboard!!! Turmeric, Paprika, Chili, Medium Madras, Tikka Masala - everything! In desperation I even tried some mud off my shoe - and then some marmite!!!! Nothing seemed to work. :o( Think I may have to throw that piece of test wood away now - the ever present smell of curry around the house is starting to make me feel sick - and I seem to be developing a strange desire to wrap a towel around my head and open up a corner store!!! :o) . . . climbed up into the attic and retrieved another length of spare square pine. Spent the next several hours messing around on the patio, making up another chair leg support. Managed to speed things up just a little by trimming the thickness of the wood down with the circular saw before I started. Actually ended up a fraction too thin - but it'll have to do. . a little after midday, next door called at the door to say goodbye. Exchanged thanks for being a good neighbour and such, and that was that. End of an era. They've lived there all these years I've lived here (and longer!). Who knows what I can expect now!! <worry> . . wasn't long before I could hear a lot of people (the new owner and her parents and friends?) moving around next door. Yikes - hope that screaming kid doesn't stay too often!! From the noises I could hear the rest of the afternoon, it appeared they immediately got to work doing some DIY or wallpaper scraping or something! . . . eventually called a halt to the whittling and dismantled the chair, then screwed and glued it all back together with the new piece in place. . . LB called saying she was planning to do a booze cruise to France before Christmas, if I wanted her to get me some tobacco. Oh yes! :o) . . ate garlic sausage, mayo, grated cheese, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps - a banana and then a bunch of biscuits a little before 3pm. . . napped for a couple of hours. Woke just before 5pm feeling a bit sick - shouldn't sleep on such a full stomach! . . . TVd . . . PCd a bit of this . . . walked and found another 8p . . . BB called . . . PCd this . . .ate bowls of cornflakes and some chocolate . . . TVd/PCd until bed around 1am. ps
13 - Woken at some early hour of cold darkness by Sally. It appeared she needed to use the garden, but just as I was letting her out she saw a cat and she got so excited she couldn't poop! Back to bed until woken by her again around 7:30am. Yep - she's got an upset stomach again. :o( . . .walked and because the forecast was for a real nice sunny day, figured it was time to see if I was all recovered from my operation - and because Sally was SO up for it when I asked if she wanted to do the long walk. Walked down to Eastville Park, along the river and up onto Purdown. Beautiful morning of cold blue skys and low winter sun. Frost covered the carpet of fallen leaves underfoot and whisps of mist danced above the river. Ongoing renovation of the Purdown monumentSat as usual for the odd cigarette in my usual places but brrrrrr - bit of a shock to be sat on a layer of ice! Sally swam despite the cold and steamed in the sun. Wow - they've done quite a bit of work on the ruined monument up on Purdown! They seem to have made it much squarer than before and have put some weird sort of stone carving of who can tell what, on the four faces! What was the point of that? If you can't make out what the hell the carving is supposed to be, why bother! Hmmm? . carried on back down to the river at Snuff mills and continued the FULL walk into Vassals. Well - I guess I'm pretty much fully recovered from my surgery already. Didn't have ANY problems at all, except for a bit of 'itching' from the scar/lump which joins my belly button. Incredible I'm so quickly 'back up and running'. Can't help thinking - kinda - that it is rather cruel to force people to go on for so long, in SUCH discomfort, waiting for the surgery, when it is actually quite a quick, minor procedure, with such immediate results and relief. Now I understand how it was possible that some runner in the recent olympics was competing only a few months after a double hernia operation. Found yet another ball on a rope (with a bell inside!) for Sally. Back via Fishponds and then the couple of local charity shops on the way. Couldn't resist an old 'All Saints' CD for 2. A couple of those tracks are pinned in my mind to a certain time in the past - around when I cracked up and crashed out of work. . back home by around 11:30am. Played the CD on my DVD player and skipped through to the remembered tracks ('Never Ever' and 'Under The Bridge') . . . oh what the hell. Slapped a coat of antique varnish straight onto the bare pine of the new chair leg support rail. Dismantled the most broken chair and had a go at glueing up the snapped side support strut. Clamped it up in the vice to set . . . cooked up some chips and ate them with a couple of pieces of bread and butter and the other half of the tin of corned beef . . . lay down to nap but wouldn't you know it - just then the new neighbour started hammering on their bathroom wall, about two feet away from where my head was!! My already nasty headache got nastier, but I just lay there trying to ignore it!! :o( Couldn't ignore Sally going loud, as the doorbell rang. Blimey - the new neighbour popping round to apologise for all the banging! Apparantly she has a new bathroom suite coming next week and they'd started removing all the old wall tiles in prepartion. She'll hopefully be moving in, in a couple of weeks. I shook her hand and said hello and made some joke about how I knew they were banging because it was only feet away from where I was trying to nap. She said she understood because she works some sort of alternate night shifts! Cool. I apologised in advance for the ocassional dog barking when the door bell rings, etc. Doing my nice neighbour act, I said if she ever needed anything, to give me a call. Excellent! The fact that she bothered to come and apologise for the noise already, is a really hopeful sign of the sort of (decent?) person she may be - and the shift work thing could be good news for my continuing to have afternoon naps as well (although not so good when I start to get back to wanting to do my own noisy building work!). Ooooh, fingers crossed she's gonna be 'nice' and quiet. :o) . . blimey - VERY loud hammering!! . .LB called . . . Poor old Sally! Hosed down the garden. . .Guitarred briefly, TVd, drank coffee and ate biscuits and eventually lay down next to the deafening hammering, to relax my aching head, if not to sleep. They must have stopped, because I DID fall asleep at some point. Woken by Sally around 6pm. Hosed down the garden . . . walked under a clear, icy cold, stary and aircraft full sky (you can see their 'headlights' for miles!) and found a penny . . .PCd this listening to All Saints on the CD drive . . .BB called . . .TVd . . . ate bowls of cornflakes before bed after midnight. paas
14 - Woke around 8am - a pleasant surprise - I was sure Sally's stomach would insist I woke up in the night, but she seems ok. :o) . . . walked in the freeze wrapped up in several layers. Did my usual litter duty all around the field as I walked, and this time actually got 'paid' for the work - found an ice cold unopened 50cl tin of 5.2% vol. alc. Stella Artois!! :o) . . .PCd this . . . did laundry and hung it out on my 'new', next door donated rotary clothes line . . .dismantled one of the more sturdy of the pine chairs, and then glued and screwed it all back together to make it MORE sturdy. I can't help thinking that at the end of the day, after all this work, it probably won't be saleable and I'll end up donating it to a charity shop!! Oh well - so be it. As long as it gets used rather than be thrown away. . . PCd/TVd . . . ate garlic sausage/salad sandwiches with crisps and then biscuits . . . napped for a couple of hours until woken from a dream (dreaming I'd found a bunch of personal effects 'stuff' by a hedge while walking Sally, and was going through it all!!! lol) by Sally around 6pm . . . brought the cold, damp laundry in and arranged it around the kitchen radiator. . .walked and found 2p . . . vacuumed some of the sawdust up from around the house . . . Mum called to touch base . . .PS popped round for chats and biscuits until early . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd until to bed in the early hours. ps
15 - Woke late at getting on for 9am!!! . . . walked and found 3p. . .left Sally at home and drove to the doctors surgery to get my repeat prescription for 60 capsules of fluoxetine. Popped into the next door pharmacy and before being issued with the tablets, had the nerve to ask what brand they were and explained that some brands work, some don't, and if they didn't have the 'Approved Prescription Services Ltd.' brand, I intended to shop around different pharmacies! I was fully expecting an awkward scene, but it turned out that they were quite understanding and were quite aware that different brands of different medications for different ailments, work ok for some, and not for others!! Blimey - that seems a bit hit and miss!!! I think the doctors should make that possibility VERY clear to their patients - or even specify a particular manufacturer on the prescription! Blimey - I wonder if there is a hidden fatality rate because of such things??!!! I wonder - I wonder if anyone has committed suicide because they were unaware of a change in the manufacturer of their prescription, and couldn't explain or cope with, the inexplicable down turn in their mood!!!! It's enough to make you depressed ain't it!!! :o( . The pharmacist (there were three on duty and they appeared to ALL be foreign immigrants!??!) was very understanding and helpful and offered to phone their supplier to see if they could get the APS brand I wanted (because they only had some other brand on the premises). After a quick call, he confirmed no problem and they'd be here by early evening. Blimey - excellent. Paid the 6.40 NHS prescription fee and said I'd be back tomorrow. . drove out to Emersons Green to shop. Briefly popped in Lidl intending to have a look at the cheap terrestrial TV digital decoders they were advertising as todays special offer. I'd been agonising over whether or not to spend some of my savings and get one, cause it looked like a really good one. Sadly (luckily?), they had obviously sold like hot cakes and were all gone. :o( . Into Sainsburys for groceries. Yikes - free sample small chocolate bars (and VERY nice they were too) were on platters in Sainsburys. Went round and round with my trolley but was inexplicably drawn back to the platters - um - more than once. I'd helped myself to four by the time I forced myself through the check out! lol :o) . . . ate three small reduced price pork pies (Sally had the other) with bags of crisps for lunch and then lay down before 2pm to nap . . . blimey - must have needed that nap - woken by Sally after 6pm! . . . walked and found 2p . . . touched base with BB . . . felt obliged to salvage something of the day and not have wasted it all by sleeping, so ended up sat on the cold patio whittling a chair leg support until gone 9pm. Eventually managed to screw and glue the last of the pine chairs together - although a couple will need a little more grafting and tidying up here and there, to make them look better - and some varnishing of course. . vacuumed around the place trying to remove most of the sawdust that Sally had walked in all over. I hope no one saw - but I actually took the vacuum out into the garden and vacuumed the patio, a bit of the path, and even around some of the plants by the pond!!!! No, I haven't gone totally crazy - it's just that Sally will go and lay down out there, and end up bringing loads more bits of sawdust and woodchips into the house on her fur and I'll have to clear up all over again - and again - and again!!! I hope no one saw! lol :o) . . .touched base with Sis1 to see how her court case (regarding the long slow process of evicting her non paying tenant!) went. Seemed to go ok - he didn't turn up so it was just legal formalities. . . ate four pieces of bread and butter with a next door donated microwaved shepherds pie . . . TV/PCd until bed around 1am. pa
16 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am. . . walked and found 5p. Stopped off at home and removed one of my layers and then walked down to the pharmacy next to the doctors surgery, to see if my fluoxetine prescription was ready. Yayy - it was - and the 'APS Ltd' brand as I'd requested. :o) . . . PCd this . . .TVd . . .put another layer of varnish on one of the new chair leg struts . . .phoned 'my' mechanic and booked the car in for a service and an MOT attempt. Oooops - left it a bit late - he can't fit me in until next week and that is a couple of days after the existing MOT runs out!! First time I've ever let that happen!! Oh well - good job there aren't any road traffic police anymore! :o| . . . got serious with the pine table out in the conservatory and started the agonisingly slow process of scraping and sanding away the table top surface varnish. Probably should have used the electric plane really, but I was pretty sure I'd not get an even finish if I did. Turned out that underneath the top layer of varnish there was some weird colouring which was actually pretty much like a layer of see through stain/paint!!!? No wonder I was having trouble matching the colour! Damn stuff immediately gums up a sheet of sandpaper and makes it useless! What a pain. Why on earth am I bothering with all this? It's fast reaching the point where I just want all the hassle over and done with and am very tempted to just get rid of the whole set - even via the council tip! :o( . . Spent hours sanding and scraping with a stanley knife blade (which had to be re-sharpened on a carborundum stone every couple of minutes!) and covered the conservatory and the inside of my lungs with pine coloured dust! . . . BB called . . . carried on sanding and scraping and even employed the services of a couple of electric drill, abrasive disc attachments - but everything immediately gummed up with the gooey paint stuff!!??? Finally gave up (exhausted) around 3pm and stopped for lunch . . . cooked and ate four Cumberland sausages, half a tin of baked beans, a handfull of mushrooms and four pieces of bread and butter followed by a few biscuits . . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6:30pm . . . walked . . . Mum called the ansaphone to remind me about a TV program to watch - about the ancestory of TV newsreader Moira stuart. . .sanded (with the drill attachment) a bit more of the table top. Making a bit of progress at last - can see about three quarters of the bare wood now. . . TVd . . . touched base with Mum . . .touched base with BB . . .ate cheap Lidl jaffa cakes, biscuits and bowls of cornflakes . . . TVd (watching 'Rambo first blood' - duuuh) until bed around midnight. pas
17 - Woke around 7:45am . . . walked. Some guy was working in the loacl pub which recently closed and more recently has had a building site type security fence put up around it. Apparantly there WAS a fire - arson appears likely and there is a rumour circulating that it was set for some reason by the children of the previous landlord! Sadly they are hoping to have it back open before Christmas. :o( Wish it would stay shut - the area has been SO much quieter since it closed. . . PCd this . . . sanded more of the table top and eventually succeeded in reaching bare wood! . vacuumed . . ate lunch of four Cumberland sausages, half a tin of baked beans, a handfull of mushrooms and four pieces of bread and butter . . . napped until around 5:30pm . . . TVd . . .walked and found a penny. . .TVd and drank my free tin of Stella Artois on an empty stomach and got a little tipsy . . .ate maltesers (Mum'd left when she was here) and biscuits . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd/PCd . . . touched base with BB before bed around 2am. pasd
18 - Woken by Sally just before 8am. . .walked and found 13p in coppers along the way. Was putting my carrier bag of litter in a bin and found a wooly hat in there! Nothing wrong with it - someones loss will be a charity shop gain . . .PCd. Hmmm - neat looking and cheap pair of chordless digital phones on special offer at Aldi. I'm really not sure why, but I seem to be in a strange 'want to spend some money' type of mood! Left Sally at home and drove to the store in St George to have a look. Fool - I got the wrong day - they aren't on sale till tomorrow!! . . . whittled off a couple of pieces of scrap pine and shaped them to fit a couple of 'dings' on two of the pine chairs and then glued them in place. . .ate cheese, onion, mayo and lettuce sandwiches with crisps for lunch . . . napped through the next door sawing and hammering but only managed an hour or so before waking all overheating and headachey . . . TVd . . . walked in nasty drizzle and a cold wind, and very glad when it was over. . . sanded the grafted repair on one of the pine chairs and wiped some varnish over it to blend it in. . . Mum called to touch base and remind me of another TV show to watch . . .cooked up the four frozen chicken pies Mum'd bought when she was here. Couldn't resist just eating a couple on their own - and then another - and ended up eating all four, followed by the last of the Maltesers!!! Stuffed! . . . BB called . . .TVd until bed around midnight. The first day of taking the new batch of 'APS Ltd' brand of fluoxetine. pas
19 - Woken by Sally around 8am again . . .walked and found a lighter . . . left Sally at home and drove to Aldi at St George to see if those phones were on sale. According to the sales staff, they were on sale yesterday but were all sold out! Grrr. .drove to the pet store at Longwell Green and bought a 17kg sack of PAL complete dog food for 17.95 . . . back home to find Sally had been on the sofa in my abscence and had covered the throw in mud. Did laundry - again, and managed to get them out on the line for a couple of hours before clouds threatened!! :o( . . . pottered around in the conservatory. Put a touch of wood filler on one of the chairs and then sanded it down and wiped and tidied them all up ready for some varnishing. My plan is to varnish over ALL of the legs and underseat parts, in an attempt to make it look as though it is all the same colour and finish. Trimmed just a bit off a couple of the legs with the electric plane to make them sit nice and square. Moved all the chairs out of the way of all the sawdust, up into the front bedroom dumping area. Moved things around and vacuumed and cleaned up the conservatory a bit. . sanded down a little more of the table top, but had soon had enough. It's gonna take a lot of hard graft to sand out all the marks and get the perfectly smooth finish I'm after! Guess I'll do a bit at a time when I'm in the mood. Ate a few 'gone ripe' bananas throughout the day. . BB called . . .drove to a local charity shop and quickly dropped off a sack of donations . . . cleaned up and cut my hair and trimmed my beard etc. . . PCd looking up the appropriate section, prices etc. and then phoned and placed an advert in the (Sunday) free ads paper for the table and chairs set that I bought from next door. Fingers crossed. . . TVd . . . walked in the cold and found 7p . . . brought one of the pine chairs back down to the conservatory and set about varnishing all the legs and underseat parts, to see how it would look. Didn't look 'too' bad. What the hell - took that one back up into the bedroom to safely dry and brought down each of the rest in turn and varnished them all, before taking them back up out of Sally's way. Didn't finish until around 10pm!! . . . returned BBs ansaphone call . . .was starting to feel a bit wobbly through lack of food. Managed to muster the energy to cook - ate four cumberland sausages, two eggs, half a tin of baked beans and the last handfull of mushrooms with four pieces of bread and butter around 11pm! . . . TVd letting the food go down before bed around midnight. pa
20 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am . . .walked. Goodmans AM/FM/CD/MP3 Receiver Model GCE7340MPJust outside my gate and next to my car, was a car radio left in the rain on the pavement!!!? Oh no!!!! Quickly checked my car expecting to see a smashed window, but everything thankfully appeared to be intact. Picked up the radio and found it wasn't mine at all. Someone elses!!! Looked up and down the street but no sign anywhere of any broken glass. Could have been stolen from anywhere I guess - or maybe even not stolen and just not working and dumped? Weird. Popped the radio inside the house. Carried on walking in the sleety drizzle and found 15p mostly in coppers and 12" shatter resistant ruler! . . . popped up LBs to feed her cats and rabbits zoo! Had a peer inside the falling to bits hutch that the mother and baby rabbits are in, trying to see the cute babies. Jeeze - she hasn't mucked that hutch out for ages - maggots were crawling and wriggling in the stinking wet straw near the bottom of the door as I opened it!! Oh dear. What can I do?! God only knows what state those ferrets are in now (I didn't even look - apparantly I don't need to feed them - they'll be 'ok' till she gets back!!) :o( Did my feeding duty and got out of there as soon as possible. Very upsetting. . . wandered briefly up the road a little way looking for damaged cars or broken glass or any signs of where the car radio may have come from, but saw nothing . . . dried the radio off with tissues and then used the hair drier on it for a while before putting it in the understairs cupboard, which is now one of the warmest driest places in the house when I have the heating on. Turns out it's a 'Goodmans AM/FM/CD/MP3 Receiver Model GCE7340MP3' - (no cassette!) one of those types that has a removable front. I guess once it is definitely dried out, somehow I'll have to see if it works - or - actually I guess I should report it and just deliver it to a police station? Hassle :o( . . . PCd this . . . phoned the Trinity Road police station and reported the radio find. Predictably the guy on the phone asked me to take it down and hand it in. I made some protest about it not being the first time I'd had to do such a thing and complained about the petrol money and hassle and said I was just gonna hang on to it. He tried to persuade me to hand it in and said they relied on people to assist them and imagine how good I'd feel tonight after having handed it in!? Uhuh? Not as good as I'd feel with a nice new stereo in MY car, huh? I gave him all my details and the make and serial number of the radio and left it at that . . . sanded down a bit more of the table top out in the cold conservatory as the rain poured. I guess I have to accept that the few stubborn marks I am now down to attempting to sand out, are those caused by the abrasive drill attachment I used! Humph :o( . .very quickly got tired of sanding and then got a bee in my bonnet about the amount of dirt and mould that was littering the outside of the conservatory roof. Dragged the step ladder out of the cupboard, put on an old kagool and climbed up onto the bathroom roof in the rain with a soft broom, the bottle of washing up liquid and the hose pipe. Washed down the conservatory roof! Wiped down some of the dust from the inside as well . . . did more sanding. . . had a break from sanding and called Sis2 to touch base. Got no reply and not even the ansaphone!? Touched base with Mum just to make sure Sis2 was still on that number and hadn't left her apartment already. I guess she just wasn't in then. . did more sanding . . stopped for a Philadelphia and lettuce sandwich with crisps and then some biscuits. . . napped for a couple of hours until woken by Sally around 6:30pm . . . the new next door people had popped through a bunch of mail that was for the old neighbour. I'd agreed before they left that I'd happily take in any post that turned up for them, although it did seem weird that they didn't give me their new address or phone number (they took a note of mine), which means I can't get in touch to tell them that I have mail for them (and experience suggests that a couple of those envelopes are a new credit card and PIN number!!). Oh well - guess they'll be in touch at some point . . . walked in the freezing rain - real unpleasant! . . fed LBs cats and rabbits - also real unpleasant! Couldn't resist carefully removing a matted bit of fur from one of the cats as it was eating, and took it home with me for Sally to excitedly sniff. :o) . . .sat in the conservatory with a coffee and cigarettes, with the garden light on and quietly watched the rain for a bit. Seemed to be in a funny, quiet and relatively content mood. Not in the mood for all the absolute rubbish that was on TV and ended up surfing a little looking at the PCWorld components web site. I am SO out of touch with things PC. . returned BBs ansaphone call. Just as I was dialing her number, something weird happened - in my mouth!! Ever since my hernia operation, I've had a bit of a sore area of gum in my mouth, right next to where I recently had that tooth taken out. I'd put it down to where I'd presumably had the oxygen supply put in my mouth while I was under anaesthetic. What HAD been worrying me (and causing me a bit of pain) was the fact that the sore area didn't seem to be healing up. Couldn't see it in the mirror, but poking around in my mouth with my finger nail, I (wrongly) came to the conclusion that the skin of the gum had somehow withdrawn to expose my jaw bone!!!! I figured I'd just wait and see what happened and get the dentist to look at it in a couple of weeks. Throughout today, things felt different, and exploring carefully with my tongue, I concluded that maybe things were starting to heal up - at last! It felt as though a 'scud' had formed over the sore area, and despite the almost uncontrollable desire to pick away at it with my tongue, I forced myself to try and avoid it and let it heal. Well - just as I was dialling BBs number, my tongue brushed against the area, and all of a sudden a piece of BONE came out into my mouth!!!! EEEwwwwwWWWW!!!! So THAT was what it was!! A one fifth of an inch long, sliver of broken tooth, the shape of a thorn had been working its way out of my gum!!! Blimey! How weird is that! I guess it must have been a piece of the one that was pulled out, that got left behind (or part of one of the others, damaged when undergoing surgery?!!! No - I'd feel a rough tooth somwhere in my mouth if that was the case wouldn't I?). Actually - I'm delighted. Maybe NOW I'll get rid of that soreness. Was SO amazed and intrigued, that poor BB had to hear all about it. lol Isn't the body an amazing thing! How did my gum know to eject it, rather than bury it? Amazing. . . couldn't resist touching base with Mum and telling her about my tooth thing (cause she seems to 'like' such things - she should have been a nurse in a different life. She insisted I should keep the bone fragment and produce it in evidence to the dentist!! lol). . . ate bowls of cereals, chocolate bisucits and a whole pack of Jaffa cakes!!! . . . BB called - ooops. I'd said I was gonna call back (apparantly) and hadn't in all the toothy excitement! . . TVd/PCd until bed before midnight. pas
21 - Up just after 8am . . .walked and found 8p . . . fed LBs cats and rabbits . . . left Sally at home (with a guitar on the sofa and the footstool on my chair to stop her climbing up and covering them in mud) and drove with the car radio the few miles down to Trinity Road police station to hand it in. I don't believe it - the police station was undergoing some sort of building works and wasn't really open and they weren't in a position to book the radio in or give me a receipt! They asked if I'd take it down to Bridewell in Broadmead!! This is getting rediculous and costing me a bunch of petrol money! Drove to Bridewell and parked in the police bay right outside the station and dashed in to hand it over. 'Would I mind waiting five minutes while they booked it in on the system?' Ok ok - but I couldn't help smiling at how farcical it all was - even more so when their printer started acting up and the woman had to start messing with paper trays and toner cartridges and reset buttons. Finally I got my printed receipt and was told that if I rang up in six weeks and it hadn't been claimed, I could claim it for myself!! It probably doesn't even work - and what with driving around and making phone calls and having it booked in and getting a printed receipt - well - it would have been cheaper 'for society' if I'd just put it in the bin wouldn't it?!!! Madness. That's my morning gone! . . got home to find Sally had climbed up on the one chair I hadn't 'blocked', and had covered the throw in mud!! Arrrggghhh! . . . PCd this . . .sanded more of the table top for ages. Eventually decided I'd had enough of it, so vacuumed away all the dust and put the first coat of varnish on. Actually - that doesn't look too bad at all, and that is only the first rough coat of varnish. Hmmm - may turn out not 'so' bad after all. . .did laundry . . fried up four cumberland sausages, two eggs and one sliced potato and ate with half a tin of baked beans and two slices of bread and butter around 3pm . . . lay down to nap only for the phone to go. Yayyyy - somone maybe interested in the table and chairs I'm advertising (the cushion chair set I bought from next door), but they can't call in until tomorrow morning. Took his name and number and said see ya tomorrow. Oooh fingers crossed. . .PCd this . . . washed the mountain of dishes . . . tried calling Sis2 and got through but she was all busy and we kept getting interrupted by her other phone going, so I said I'd catch up with her some other time! . . . sewed up a split pocket lining in my 'puffa' jacket. Wonderfully warm jackets but why oh why do they always make the pocket lining out of 'tissue paper'! . . . walked . . .painted another coat of varnish on the table top. . . BB called . . .mashed up a tin of tuna, an onion and some mayo and ate a couple of sandwiches with crisps . . PS popped round for chats and biscuits until early . . .Sis2 called but only had a quick word because I said I had company . . . TVd/PCd before bed around 2am. paas
22 - Up with the alarm at 7:30am . . .brought the table and cushioned chairs down from the bedroom and fixed the legs on the table and set it up in the middle of the living room ready for 'viewing' . . .walked and found 4p and another dog ball for Sally. Unusualy she seemed to particularly want to keep that ball and actually held it in her mouth and carried it all the way home herself!! She's NEVER done anything like that before - usually has a short attention span and little or no 'posession' and just drops things as soon as she sniffs an interesting smell. . . PCd this . . . eventually around 10am the guy interested in the table called on his mobile. He'd reached Kingswood - now where? Tried to give directions and then waited for him to call back. Oh no - he's gone on far too far. Found my AtoZ and looked up where he was and then called him back and tried giving more directions. At long last I managed to direct him so that he came out on the junction just opposite - but then he went straight on!!! Arrrrggh. Finally stood in the garden and caught his attention as he drove by. . he had a real quick glance at the table and said 'Yep. That'll do.' Blimey!! Excellent. Turned out he was in the RAF and on his third house of 'doing them up and selling them on' and he wanted the table and chairs to 'dress' the place while it was viewed. Ended up sitting having a coffee and a long chat about building works and property markets and such. Even showed him my old wood framed three piece suit I want to get rid of, just in case he wanted that - but sadly not. He then left his car parked outside and headed off walking up the road in the direction of cash points to draw the money out. In no time (apparantly the nearby corner store does cash withdrawls) he returned, gave me the 60 I'd advertised it for, loaded it all into his car and was gone. Blimey - nice one. That was easy. I feel a bit guilty really - I only gave next door 40 for it - I just made myself 20 profit!! Tee hee. Cheeky. :o) . . . ate tuna, onion and mayo sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . touched base with BB and wished her luck with her doctors appointment . . . fitfully napped for a couple of hours . . . PCd and sorted out some of the drawers of disks and manuals and PC paperwork, and made a couple of seperate piles relevant to each of my machines. Damn those multi lingual manuals - they are all the size of telephone directories and yet there are only one or two English language pages in each!! Waste of space/ink/trees/etc.! . . LB called to say thanks for doing the cats and rabbits. I 'mentioned' the maggots - her excuse was something about not being able to clean them out while the young babies were in there because they couldn't be disturbed. Uhuuuh!! :o( . . Attempted to read up on the specs of my motherboard! Blimey - I didn't know it could do that - nor did I realise 'that' software was included on those CDs in the drawer!! Twit!. . .walked and found 2p . . . cooked chips and some old frankfurter things out of the back of the freezer and ate with a couple of slices of bread and butter. . .TVd . . . BB called and debriefed about her expensive visit to the doctor. Blimey - made me end up thinking how incredibly lucky I am to live in this country with an NHS. How extraordinary and scandalous it seems that the most powerful country in the world doesn't have a healthcare system. Events over the last several years have made me see the US in a very different light, and frankly most of it isn't good! Can't help thinking those anti globalisation people (despite their insane tactics) have a point! . . . sat in the cold damp of the garden for a while . . . touched base with Mum. Apparantly Sis2s phone has now been disconnected so I guess we'll hear from her when she's in Canada in a week or so?! . . . PCd trying to understand my existing and new PC architecture. Well after swotting up - concluded I can't just upgrade my existing chip because the motherboard doesn't support pentium 4 upgrades! Typical! What a hassle it is trying to keep abreast of such stuff - only today in the news it was announced that Dixons are gonna stop selling video cassette recorders, because no one buys them anymore!! Need to do more swotting. Swotted and also looked up software that facilitates cassette tape to CD conversion. I just don't know WHAT to do with my massive and bulky audio cassette collection! What a terrible waste of huge amounts of money all that was! PCd until bed around 1:30am. The car MOT runs out today!. pas
23 - Up around 8am . . .walked in the wet grass and mud and found 7p. Doing litter duty I picked up a discarded cigarette packet that still had a cigarette in. Just then a couple of real young kids playing truant passed by, and all cocky as they are, said 'allright mate'. I made some disapproving noises about why they weren't in school and then one of them asked if I had a spare cigarette. Normally I wouldn't have entertained such an idea (and may even have given them a lecture about how smoking kills and at the very least, causes hernias!) but I ended up throwing them the cigarette on the proviso they put the empty packet in the nearby bin! . . . PCd this . . .sanded down the penultimate layer of new varnish on the pine table top and then dismantled it and glued some small slivers of scrap pine to the big pedestal leg and feet to fill in some 'chips' . . . brought the remains of the old 500mhz ATX PC down into the living room and set about starting to get it ready for probably advertising and selling. (I think the 'dead battery' laptop needs to go as well!) Damn - I thought I'd left it bootable and working, but it turned out I hadn't. Messed around with the two little old hard drives I've ended up with, but had no end of trouble trying to configure the damn BIOS. Yikes - even announced the CPU wasn't working at one point!! Went round and round a fair bit and got all confused about what I had and hadn't tried. Despite that, I'm pretty sure there's something just a little twitchy about that PC motherboard. I never could get the damn thing to work with a network, and while swapping around the hard disks, it seemed to be very temperamental about how well the ribbon connectors were seated!??. . finally managed to get the machine booting up on the smallest old drive which already had Win98 on. Tried reinstalling Windows, but somehow it assumed I wanted to keep lots of the old settings, so that wasn't very satisfactory. Predictably ended up with a REALLY nasty headache - too much concentrating, squinting, coffee and chain smoking maybe. . . gave up late afternoon and ate tuna,onion and mayo sandwiches . . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6:30pm . . . walked and found 4p . . . got back to work on the old PC and yayy - eventually managed to find an old Win98 boot floppy disc. Swapped the drives back over (again!!) and set about partitioning (blimey - I can still remember some of those old DOS commands! lol), formatting and installing Win98 from scratch. . .blimey - someone calling to ask if I still had the pine table and chairs for sale! Had to say it was sold. What a shame I haven't finished varnishing the other set - I could have offered them that! :o\ . . . Mum called . . . BB called . . . yayy actually made some progress at last, and got the old PC all happily up and running with Win98SE and all the appropriate sound and display drivers etc.!! . . . finally stopped around 11pm for food and cooked up four burgers and ate them in bread rolls spread with philadelphia cheese . . . sanded off the repaired bits and then varnished the underside of the table pedestal until around 12:30am!! Wanted to get that bit done so I'd be free to get it back on its feet and do the top bit tomorrow, and not waste a day just for the sake of that little, mostly unseen bit. . . BB called. . . showered/PCd briefly before bed getting on for 2am!! paaa
24 - Up with the alarm before 7:30am . . .cleared all the personal and doggy stuff out of the car and dug out the old MOT and a spare set of labelled keys. Set off around 8:30am and drove with Sally down to the mechanics place near Eastville Park as arranged. Waited until after 9am for him to turn up and then left the car with him - he said he'd phone me around 4pm with news. God I HATE MOT time - SUCH a worry about the possibility of a failure and a massive unforseen bill. . headed off with Sally around Eastville Park, down past the boating lake and along the Frome Valley walkway. Found 6p. Crossing the road bridge near Snuff Mills, I spotted an intriguing carrier bag of stuff hung up on a fence, which had probably been thrown off the bridge. Was it just rubbish or wasn't it? There was something in that bag which demanded I have a closer look. Managed to reach the bag without falling in the river (just!!), and embarassingly took it up to a nearby bench to have a rummage. Ahh - it WAS rubbish - mostly sweet smelling empty Joss-stick cartons - although? There was a small Ikea pine picture frame which was intact. Three others of the set had broken glass, but there was one that was ok. There was a slightly dented chrome joss stick holder, which I thought was maybe worth keeping and bashing back out, but I eventually decided not to bother. There was also an intriguing collection of four unlabelled cassette tapes, all marked 'T-Series Pre Recorded Cassette Made In India'!! Oh dear - ended up popping the cassettes and the picture frame into a poop scoop bag and taking them with me. The carrier with all the rubbish in, I carried a short distance until I found a refuse bin! . carried on along the river and into Vassals park . .toured the Fishponds charity shops on the way back up through, and ended up handing the picture frame into one of them, because I was fed up with having to carry it! Eventually home by around 11:30am. . . varnished the table pedestal in the 'Sally STAY OUT, conservatory workshop' . . .cooked up four defrosted Cumberland sausages and ate them with four pieces of bread and butter as sandwiches . . . briefly touched base with Mum and told her about the 'relocation' TV show on later, where people were gonna be relocating to Toronto. Seemed relevant because of Sis2s situation! . . . touched base with BB . . . felt a bit weird and needed to lay down for a while. Fitfully napped until around 3pm. Woke feeling really rather unwell!!?? A bit nauseus and kinda weird and woozy!?? What the hell is this?!! Figured it was either the effects of the fluoxetine brand changeover (6 days into the new batch now), OR those sausages were a bit iffy (or maybe just the stress and worry of having the MOT done!!)! . . . TVd . . . Mum called at 3:55pm to say she'd just rushed back in from visiting Uncle TJ and she was gonna watch the TV show. . watched most of the program. Well - Toronto looks pretty nice if you're into big cities. The properties were SO much bigger, better and cheaper than here, dunno why Sis2 can't make a happy life for herself there, instead of constantly wanting to be in the US, and New York in particular. I just don't understand the draw the place has for her! . . the mechanic called around 4:45pm apologising for not having called earlier. Yayyyy - it got through the MOT no problem. WHAT a relief! With the MOT and a bit of a service (less than usual because I've done SO few miles - only about two and a half thousand since the last one!!!!!) , the bill was 124.17. Not 'too' bad at all - although quite a bit, to just have the car sat outside rusting, unused for most of the year because I can't afford the petrol! . headed straight out with Sally in the dark just before 5pm and walked down in the mud via the couple of sports fields towards Eastville to pick the car up. Found 2p. Wrote a cheque and then drove straight home in the nasty rush hour traffic . .stopped off at home for a coffee and TVd for a bit, still not feeling too good and 'shaking' a bit!? Having dried them out in the understairs cupboard, I risked putting the casettes I'd found into my stereo. Blimey! They ARE made in India!! A bunch of Indian music and weird meditational type chanting and stuff. I'm guessing it's some kind of religious mantra type deal. Wish I knew someone from India - would be interesting to 'know' what they actually are. . . walked (been a good day for Sally!) and then carried on walking round to the kebab shop and treated myself to a 3.50 kebab. Felt rather better once I'd eaten big . . . touched base with Mum . . . BB called . . . TVd . . . felt better than earlier and even ate bowls of cornflakes and a whole carton of jaffa cakes!! . . .touched base with BB . . . very tired, to bed before midnight. paaas
25 - Up around 8am . . .walked and found a penny and two euro cents! Doing litter duty around the field, there was another big pile of papers and magazines up near the top entrance!? According to a couple of the lady dog walkers, it's stuff stolen from a nearby corner store and then dumped!!! Collected it all up in my carrier bag of rubbish except for a current edition of the local whats on 'Venue' magazine (1.20) and this months 'Jeep World' (3.10) which I figured I may as well have a look through for nothing. . .hosed Sally down after she wallowed in a mud hole! . . repaired and re-varnishedput another coat (and hopefully the last) of varnish on the pine table top . . . PCd this until gone midday. Blimey - feedback from the site enquiring if I still have my BSH magazines for sale! . . .ate philadelphia, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of cheese and onion crisps for lunch around 2pm . . . napped until 5pm . . .aha - the old next door neighbour called to see if it was ok if they popped in for their mail on Saturday . . . PCd a little trying to clear out my overflowing (almost ALL unanswered!) e-mail inbox :o| . . . walked and found 7p. . . moved the table up into the front bedroom out of the way to allow the varnish to harden for a few days, and to try and avoid the nasty smell which is starting to get to me! Maybe it's that which has seen me feeling a bit unwell this last day or so? There are a couple of knots in the wood on the surface of that table which haven't taken the varnish very well, but I think it'd be more trouble than its worth to risk trying to improve things. I think that's gonna have to do. I 'think' it looks ok, and 'should' be saleable, although I've gotten a bit 'too close/involved' to it to be able to stand back and be objective. I just see all the repairs/flaws!! I guess the only question is, what is it worth? What should I advertise it for? How cheeky dare I be? Hmmmm - he who dares? . . .Mum called with a TV show reminder! . . .yet another phonecall from the 'Wanadoo' (formerly Freeserve) ISP asking if I am satisfied with my pay as you go (the Kingswood and School site webspaces) service! I'd be a lot happier with the service if they stopped phoning me evry couple of days!! Grrr - missed an interesting part of the TV show, AND BB calling!! Called BB back . . .sat in the conservatory for a while trying to figure out how to move the little furniture I have in there, around for best use. That big ugly roller shutter cabinet with all my tools in is the problem, but I just can't do without it - it IS perfect for it all. I think I need to turn it around though. Big job. . .TVd . . ate a bowl of muesli . . . PCd until early before bed. pa
26 - Woken by Sally just after 8am . . .walked and found 7p again. Doing litter duty around the field I found a smashed up portable computer!! How weird - a weird little thing in a sort of four ring binder type cover!? Never seen anything like that before. . . popped next door to collect whatever mail they had for the old neighbour. Blimey - dunno what they were up to today, but loads of building work hammering and noise. . . set about moving my tool cupboard in the conservatory, to hopefully give me enough room to be able to position the cane chairs next door gave me, in such a way that the space is actually useable as another sitting area - like a proper conservatory should be, rather than the 'workshop' and dumping ground it's been for so many years (although when I built it, it was really done so I could work on my motorbikes - the electric sockets are at an unusually high, 'workbench' level!). Laboriously removed all of the tools and bits and pieces from the metal roller shutter cabinet and heaped them up all over the place. Vacuumed and wiped away the years of grime and dust on the cupboard shelves and then dragged it around, trying it in a couple of different positions. SUCH a shame I HAVE to keep that cupboard (my 'garage'!). No matter where I put it, it messes up putting anything else out there!! Eventually figured I had little choice and dragged it back to more or less where it was in the first place, except turned round and put against the house wall, right next to the kitchen window. Had to remove the 'Sally towel rail' I only recently bolted on, and had to redrill and refix it to the other side of the cabinet. Broke the drill bit! :o( Almost like a 'real' conservatory. :o)Desperately tried to throw away some stuff as I laboured to put everything back in the cabinet, but only managed to throw away a small handful of broken hack saw blades and such. Managed to pack the cupboard a little better than before and actually managed to clear away most of what I'd had stacked up on top. What wouldn't fit ended up crammed into the bulging understairs cupboard. Eventually got it all done, vacuumed, and set up my new seating area with the old ex post office, metal bookshelf, acting as a temporary coffee table between the two chairs. That'll do nicely. :o) . . ate a microwave beef curry with four pieces of bread and butter around 3:30pm . . . the building works noise from next door calmed down and I managed to nap until around 6:30pm . . .walked and found 5p. A couple of kids were near the swings drinking and throwing their glass bottles around! Guess I'll be picking up broken glass on 'litter duty' in the morning then! :o( Sat near the entrance to the field with a cigarette watching the aircraft and stars for a while. Nearby, the rather nice car (better than mine!) that had been parked there for a few days, had finally been smashed up - front and back windows, wing mirrors, headlights - all destroyed some time today. It's funny but I knew within a day or so of it appearing, that car was probably stolen dumped. Dunno how or why (it appeared intact, not hot wired and was still showing a current tax disc - I'd had a closer look) but somehow I just knew it. I'd toyed with the idea of reporting it to the police days ago, but had decided not to, because it 'could' have been just parked there by someone, and I thought I'd have trouble explaining to the control desk. Wish I had done now - would have been salvageable until today! Figured it was too late now, but I may as well call it in to the police, so the council could get a head start in removing it. Called on my mobile and inevitably was put on hold for ages. Eventually managed to report it, only to be told they were already aware! The call took six expensive minutes on my mobile phone! As I was walking away a police car turned up - it hardly slowed down, before just driving off again. I guess they get a lot of those and there isn't much point in stopping to investigate! What a world. :o( . . .cooked up the rest of the packet of cumberland sausages - cut them up into bite sized chunks, fried them and then added them to a tin of baked beans with a grated onion thrown in. Ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . . BB called . . .TVd and ate Jaffa cakes and bowls of corn flakes before bed around midnight. pas
27 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am . . .walked. For goodness sake - the stolen dumped car I reported last night, was torched during the night! :o( Did litter duty as I walked round the field and also picked up all the old tax discs from the car, that were scattered around on the grass next to a lighter! Probably the one used to set the fire! Dunno why, but it seems to me that someone who keeps all their old tax discs and just puts the new one in over the top each year, is probably someone who is kindof 'in love' with their car a little bit. So sad someones pride and joy should end up like that! :o(G718 UAE another one bites the dust! . . Good grief! Down by the childrens swings it looked as though a bomb had hit the place! Cardboard boxes, chip papers, litter, empty plastic drug 'baggies', and somewhere in the region of fifty or so small glass drink bottles scattered all around - many of them smashed! Jeeze - the yobs must have had a party late last night!! I just BET they stole that drink from somewhere - seems unlikely 'kids' would buy and carry off a whole crate of bottles to drink in the field like that. Spent a while clearing up, but there was so much, I ended up just kicking a lot of the bottles and broken glass into a heap around the base of the overflowing bin. Found a lighter, 2p and what appeared to be an unopened bottle of the 'Sierra Slammer - sparkling alcoholic drink with sierra tequila' which I took home to maybe try some time. Amongst all the debris, some girl had left behind her denim handbag!! Had a rummage through the contents but there was no money nor anything to indicate whos it was. All it had in it was a hair band, a nice hair brush, some tissues and a pair of underwear!! Seemed to pretty much sum up the girls round here - I left it on the bench in case she returned for it, or more likely for someone else to loot. As I was leaving the field, the burned out car was being removed. :o( . popped in the newsagent on the way back and spent 1.70 on a couple of newspapers, just to get the free CDs that were included. Shouldn't have bothered!. . PCd this . . . the old neighbour popped in and picked up their mail - and gave me a note of their new address and phone number . . .received a reply to my mail to the person interested in the BSH magazines. I'd pointed out that if they weren't 'local', the cost of shipping the heavy mags would be unreasonable. Sadly they weren't local and agreed, so I'm still stuck with them. :o( Clutter, clutter clutter!! . .PCd a bit looking at some of the store adverts. Wow - some good prices on electrical stuff for christmas! . . .pottered around, did nothing much and sat in the conservatory reading newspapers for a bit . . .ate garlic sausage, lettuce and philadelphia sandwiches with crisps . . . napped for a couple of hours . . . LB called wanting the dishes back, I've had since her last left overs donation. Popped them up and gave her a hand closing her PVC kitchen window. Yep - the mechanism on the left is broken I'm afraid. Managed to get it more or less closed for her . . . carried on messing with the old PC in the living room and installed a modem and then left it buzzing away on line for ages, downloading windows service pack updates. .couldn't resist attending to the dodgy knots on the pine table, that didn't take the varnish too well. Used an old artists brush with only a few hairs on it, to dab on the tiniest blobs of varnish here and there . . Left the PC downloading while I walked Sally. Found 2p . . . touched base with BB . . . PS popped round for chats and biscuits until early . . .ate garlic sausage and philadelphia sandwiches with crisps . . . PCd/TVd until earlier before bed. pas
28 - Woken by Sally at getting on for 9am! . . .walked late. Passed a couple of dog walkers who warned me to mind Sally down by the swings because someone had smashed all the glass bottles all over the place. By the time I'd emptied my bag of litter in a bin and got down there, one of the lady dog walkers had asked the people in the rugby club for a bin liner and was trying to pick up some of the glass. Three of us ended up scrabbling around in the mud, used condoms and broken glass, trying to clear some of it up (without getting cut and bloody!), but there was far too much to make the area safe for dogs or kids. Found 5p and an unopened pack of 10 Richmond Super King cigarettes - blimey, 1.99 - WHAT a price!!!! How come those kids can afford to buy cigarettes, drugs and bottles of booze every day?? There's something terribly wrong with how kids are brought up these days. What a fearful future society is making for itself! :o( There are times I wish I was twenty years older. I ended up putting the dangerous and heavy bin liner of broken glass into a shopping cart that had also been dumped there, and wheeled it round to the rugby club and managed to lift the bag up and put it in their commercial waste skip. I then walked all the way back across the field and down the roads and dumped the shopping trolley outside of the small local supermarket, even though I don't think it was theirs! . . . PCd this . . .surfed and had a real good look at various PC component web sites and the local free ads paper to see what sort of prices old PC systems are going for these days. Uh oh. Oh dear. Sadly, on balance, I'm not sure it's worth setting up that old PC and all the old scanner and printer and such in an attempt to sell it. They are being sold for SUCH small amounts of money - and brand new mid range systems are SO cheap - if I did manage to sell it, I don't think I'd even get what the 17" monitor is worth!! :o( That kinda took the wind out of my sails a bit!! Seems little point investing any more time and effort into it. What to do? Hmmm? I can see I'm probably gonna end up stripping out useful components and donating the rest to that PC graveyard place across town!! :o( . . stopped for a coffee and bathroom break only to find the water was off!!!!!???? Called on next door and she confirmed hers was off as well. This 'usually' happens when the end house in the rank has turned off the street stop cock to do some work - inexplicably that has the effect of shutting off the supply to half the houses in the street!!! There WAS a workmans truck parked in the street outside that house, so it seemed likely this was the answer. At first there was no answer and it appeared maybe something else was going on, but eventually a plumber guy answered the door. (I think he'd heard me walking past an open window swearing, when no one answered the door!) Sure enough he'd turned off the stop cock in the street! He was doing work while the woman was out - if she'd been in, I'm sure she would have told him NOT to have turned that tap off, because she IS aware of the problem and I believe has had another stop cock installed in her house so that she doesn't have to turn off the street! Thankfully he seemed pretty decent and all apologetic and said I could turn it back on. Huh? Nooooo - I'm not touching it - 'you turned it off, you turn it back on'! He did, so that little emergency was over and I was able to have a drink and next door was able to carry on with her washing! . . .aimlessly PCd some more, wondering what to do about all my old PC equipment, and ended up diverting my attention back to my music casette collection problem. Surfed to the link I'd made a bookmark to the other day and read and surfed some more and ended up eventually downloading a couple of different pieces of free/shareware software which it looked as though would do the 'conversion to CD' job for me. . Wave Repair appeared to be really for records but as far as I could see, would be the ideal thing for converting my casettes. It records to WAV audio files and then has the ability to look for the quiet spaces and automatically cut it up into the seperate tracks! VERY clever. Got the ladder out of the cupboard and climbed up into the attic to retrieve the old spare stereo system I have up there. Damn - it doesn't have line out sockets! Oh well - sorted through various collections of sockets and cables and managed to get a cable out from the headphone socket and into the line in on the back of my sound card. Not the best way to do such things and took a bit of testing with the volume levels, but managed to do a couple of tests and got a cassette converted into seperate track WAVs (by using all the defaults) without 'too' much hassle at all. That's clever. Ok - I have to actually play the cassette and then mess around with file names and such, and of course the music quality isn't 'too' good, but it DOES make it possible for me to salvage something of my casette collection and get it onto a CD. . And then there was the CDex program to have a look at. Oh my god!!! It converts audio files to MP3s - and my DVD player can read MP3 files - and MP3s are SO much smaller than audio files. Oh my god - felt all buzzy and as though I'd seen the light. (I never did get into Napster when it was free, and have never had the patience to do music downloads on my slow dial up.) Ok- maybe I should have learned about some of this years ago - but - well - I'm not the brightest bulb in the box am I. It suddenly seemed quite reasonable to convert every piece of music I have, into MP3 tracks onto a big hard drive, and then burn them all onto a relatively modest number of CDs which I could play in my DVD player, which is already connected to my stereo. (The three CD changer/player on my stereo has been broken for some time, but suddenly seems totally redundant.). Oooh, oooh, oooh. :o) . . did some tests and burned a CDRW and dashed down to the DVD player and sure enough, it works! (But not on the CD drive of the old PC???) Wow - if I had a really, really big hard drive, I could have them all permanently stored on the PC and convert/construct whatever custom audio or MP3 CDs I ever wanted!!! I could even get more from the library and amass a huge 'on demand' music collection!!!!! Blimey - my mind was all a buzz. . as if on queue, a flier was put through the letterbox from the local PC store, which included adverts for 250GB Maxtor hard drives for 136. I'm not sure my maths is accurate, but wouldn't that hold in excess of two thousand albums??!! Blimey - how tempting is THAT! . . . ate grated cheese, mayo, garlic sausage and lettuce sandwiches with crisps before getting straight back on the PC and experimenting with casettes and CDs some more. Very time consuming but very possible . .walked . . . BB called . . . touched base with Mum and recommended she should consider buying a DVD player because I'd proved I would be able to convert all her old photos, records and tapes and stuff to CD . . . ate corned beef sandwiches and jaffa cakes . . . PCd some more before bed around 1am. pas
29 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am! . . .walked late and found 1 . . .ended up messing around converting more CDs to MP3s on my hard drive. Developed a real nasty headache!! . . . stopped playing early afternoon and grabbed a garlic sausage, cheese and lettuce sandwich with crisps . . . had to nap to try and lose my headache. Managed to fitfully sleep through the loud hammering from next door! Woke with the same aching head!! :o( . . . TVd . . . walked . . .at last my headache eased! Messed around doing more CDs and drank that small bottle of 'Sierra Slammer' I'd found over the field. Actually really quite a pleasant drink. . .BB called . . .finally called a halt to the PCing some time after 9pm and burned a CDRW test disk. Blimey - I've managed to fit TEN different CD albums converted to 128kbps MP3 onto that CDRW - and a couple of those albums were big double albums, all neatly sorted into directories together with the advanced tag information for each track, and there is space to spare!!!!! BRILLIANT!!! Took about twenty minutes to burn! Rushed it down to the DVD player and then sat there for ages listening to little bits of all sorts of tracks that I've not listened to for years. Wow - it is so, SO neat being able to have a selection of different albums on the one disc and be able to flit from one track to another at will by a press or two of the remote. Haven't enjoyed listening to music so much for years! (Actually - it suddenly occurred to me (thank goodness!) that my strangely elevated mood and unbounded enthusiasm for suddenly amasssing a massive collection of MP3s, and perhaps the headache, was all maybe symptoms of the latest brand of fluoxetine kicking in! This brand usually does give me an unatural 'up' just before it levels off to a more 'normal' state - and I have noticed in the past that I have to be wary of my judgement about stuff at such a time. Bit like a brief 'manic' phase?) . . . ate corned beef and lettuce sandwiches with crisps and then some bowls of cornflakes . . . listened to music . . . BB called . . .TVd until bed around 12:30am. paads
30 - Up around 8:30am with a headache again! . . .walked and found 2p . . .PCd this . . .balanced my accounts. . . converted more CDs and stored them on my hard drive . . . cooked and ate chips and some defrosted frankfurter things from the back of the freezer. I've been trying to eat my way through everything in the freezer and start from scratch, cause some of that stuff is pretty old! Getting pretty near having to shop soon. BB called in the middle of me eating . . . PCd the rest of the day away!! . . . walked late . . . PCd yet more while watching TV, which is actually not a bad way to deal with the time consuming tedious boredom of all this converting. . . Mum called and seemed in the mood to chat for ages. Managed to continue the conversation whilst carrying on converting CDs! Very laborious task when converting compilation albums - have to go back into the tag of each track and type in the artist. . ate biscuits . . . gave up converting and actually sat and listened to some of the tracks and started to learn (after all this time!) a little more about the features and functions of Windows Media player. Wow - how cool is that playlist selection drop down. With all the correct 'MP3 tag information' I can instantly, at the click of a mouse, select a playlist of particular albums or genres or individual artists (including those from the 'various artists' compilation albums), etc. from across the entire hard drive collection!! Wow - no wonder lots of people are buying those expensive PCs that have remote controls and are having them linked to their TVs in the living room as the core of their entertainment system. . . to bed around 12:15am. paaa
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