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1 - Woke with a bit of a start around 8:20am! Damn! So much for setting the alarm for 7am. Turns out it WAS set for 7, but I'd left it on PM rather than AM. Oh dear. I AM turning into my mother aren't I! (to be honest, on the alarm I'd set, my eyesight is now SO deteriorated (never been the same since I got that piece of metal in it while doing DIY in Bristol) I can't easily tell whether or not it's AM or PM, the digits seem so small!). . a quick coffee and cigarette in the garden before digging out the old MOT and then writing a 'warning' note for the tester about how the car will overheat if left idling for too long and for them please not to do so. Emptied everything out and then drove with Sally to the garage around 9am. Left my warning note cellotaped to the steering wheel! While handing the key over and explaining the overheating thing, one of the mechanics said he remembered me/it from last year so that was a bit of a relief. . walked Sally on the way back home. . felt yucky and oh SO tired and ended up laying back down for a bit. At midday the garage called and said the car was all done. Yayy. Thank goodness. . . walked with Sally and picked the car up. It'd passed but they'd flagged up a worn tyre close to legal limits, and slight corrosion in both outer sills. Returned home £50.35 the poorer. (Is that the going rate now? I need to check around.) Seems like a lot of money to spend on nothing! :o( Keeping that car on the road, really is something I'm going to have to think very seriously about. I am SO close to actually not 'needing' it at all. If it weren't for the occasional trip shopping, and particularly carrying stuff back from DIY stores at the moment, I couldn't justify it. Look at the cost of that MOT alone (never mind RAC cover, tax, insurance, etc) - if I were to do a major monthly shop on-line, and have it all delivered, the cost of that MOT would pretty much cover the delivery fees (I think. Not entirely sure never having actually done it)! . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps and then coffee and biscuits before sleeping the rest of the afternoon away until around 6pm. . .IHB called to say thanks for the birthday card I'd sent him, etc . . walked . . sat in the front garden with a coffee listening to the church bells. Practice night apparantly - but not much, nor needed. . PCd this. A couple of things - 1. with the long dark winter nights setting in, I've definitely slipped into a lower mood and lack of energy etc. 'S.A.D.' stylee. Finding it harder and harder to keep up the momentum working on the house. 2. My mother is deaf in her left ear. It started one day, all of a sudden, with a tinitus ringing in her ear, and then progressed to complete deafness. Over the last couple of weeks, I have become increasingly aware of a 'ringing' (not an entirely accurate description of the noise) in MY left ear!! At the moment, despite the ringing, it would appear I can still hear from it pretty well somehow (I ALWAYS use my left ear for the phone - it's my best!). The noise seems to be somehow linked, to what I assume is the blood pressure in my head. If I stand up real quick from laying down, or bend down when standing up, or after having climbed all the steps in BGdns, etc, etc, it is much more pronounced and noticeable. :o( So - IF it's genetic, I'm going deaf now!! Bugger! (Now it's probably too late, I try and remember to wear my ear defenders (and sunglasses) whenever I use the disc cutter etc.) . . Bb called only to be told I'd call her back (once I'd finished typing all this damned minutiae! lol). . touched base with BB after midnight . .TVd and ate bowls of muesli before bed around 2am.
2 - Up around 8am . .walked in a T shirt in the warm sun . .Sis1 called to say she'd be down visiting (Mum) tomorrow. . . pretty much spent the whole day up the ladder, having a bash at trying to get to the bottom of how the rain is getting in through the front bedroom bay window! . .botch botch botch - but I've got to give anything a try. Used PVA/filler mix along several of the joints, and then meticulously painted PVA into all the bead gaps with a tiny 'liner' paintbrush! . finally sanded and undercoated the window sills. So - pretty much all ready for a weatherproofing top coat now. Once I get that top coat on, I'll have given it my best shot and there will be very little else I can try if the rain still gets in - and if it does, I really haven't a clue how! . . . walked . . ate a HUGE meal of six rashers of bacon, two eggs, mushrooms, chips and four pieces of bread and butter! Two days food all in one go! . . TVd . . touched base briefly with BB . . TVd until bed before 11pm. s
3 - Woke in the early hours, snoozed on then up around 7:15am . .really really wanted to crack on and get a coat of paint on the bedroom bay window, but with Sis1 and Mum turning up later, there was no getting on with any work so I did dishwashing chores, tidied up and vacuumed just a little . .Sis1 called to say she'd broken down on the side of the road, was waiting for the AA and wouldn't be coming after all! . . touched base with Mum and let her know. . Sis1 called again to say the car 'fault' had disappeared (??) and she was on her way after all! . . .Mum popped in around midday with th epaper and food donations . . Sis1 arrived an hour or so later. . . all walked down town . . arguments about where to eat. All my fault. I just didn't want to have to endure a crowded restaurant or rowdy pub. I was all for just heading home and leaving Mum and Sis1 to enjoy themselves without me, but they wouldn't have it. Guilt, guilt. I eventually suggested we should maybe give the 'local' pub a try (because I know it is generally pretty quiet and friendly, and I'd wanted to try out their food for a while - but couldn't bring myself to throw away so much money). . ate in the 'local'. Burger and curly chips, with a glass of red wine, all paid for by Mum of course. Actually quite a success I think, with Mum suggesting we could do so again some time . back to my place for chats and some chocolate . .walked Mum home later after Sis1 had decided to try out my spare room rather than sleep on Mums sofa . . Sis1 went to bed real early . .TVd . . BB called . . TVd until bed around midnight. s
4 - Up around 7:15am . . .left Sis1 presumably still sleeping and walked after 8am. Not far along my route, some poor unlucky persons car had been bricked in the night and the windscreen was smashed!! That really upset me. . .on the way back from the walk and not far from home, Sis1 appeared, just setting off to find and join me. Someone in a garden suggested who may own the bricked car, so I knocked at their door and told them something unpleasant had happened and they needed to go check on it. :o( . . sat in the garden with Sis1 for coffees. Amazingly pleasantly warm in the sun. . Mum joined us and we all set off and walked up 'the hill' to show Sis1 the amazing view and then carried on down into town for a meal . .a bit chilly but we all sat at a kerbside table and ate outside (because of Sally not being allowed in). Actually very pleasant, with the 'waitress' inexplicably seeming to give us special treatment, a bowl of water for the dog and extra portions, etc!? :o) Ate gammon steak, peas and chips. Everything was going fine until a cat appeared in the street, fearlessly stalking a pigeon. Sally went into hunting mode and had to be rigidly restrained (difficult while trying to eat my chocolate fudgecake and ice cream!) as she barked and yelped with excitement, and quite literally trembled from head to toe as I struggled to hold her. The cat didn't seem to care about the danger it was in, and even at one point ended up sat on one of the tables only feet away!! The whole bizarre scene became 'the entertainment' for eveyone in the resteraunt and passers by! . eventually all walked back home after a long sit in BGdns on the way . . Sis1 and Mum eventually headed home mid afternoon . . Lay down for a nap and was joined by Sally on the bed! Didn't have the heart to turf her off. Attempted to nap but couldn't and left Sally to sleep on the bed! . .TVd . . walked . .felt in a strangely 'quiet' mood and sat in the front garden for quite a while, before also back inside to sit quietly without the TV on!?. . touched base with BB . .TVd and ate a couple of Mum donated chocolate sponge things before to bed in the early hours. s
5 - 'Bonfire' night. Woke after 8:15am . . walked late. . back up the ladder and painted the front bedroom bay window frame and sill. Right! If the rain gets in through that, I'm beat! . transferred my attention to the badly weathered PC room window frame. The half of it that's over the front door roof and hard to reach, has apparantly never been painted - and it shows! Hacked away the loose debris all down that side and filled the considerable gap, with a little PVA/cement mix. Just in time for some drizzle in the air! Arrrgh!!! . ..ate a Mum donated cornish pastie,two bags of crisps and a little chocolate. . lay down to nap after 3:30pm (next to Sally who joined me up on the bed again!) but only managed to snooze a little and eventually gave up and got back up, as nearby fireworks were let off . . . walked near 7pm and sat in BGdns for a while watching the displays across the bay, wasting my time trying to catch it on the camera, and failing miserably. Sally is amazing. She was totally unphased by all the flash bangs, even when right on top of us, and acted the same as ever - 'hunting'. . sat for a coffee in the front garden . . TVd/PCd this (5.5Mbps - Crawley). .BB called . . TVd . . ate Mum donated pork and stuffing bread rolls . . TVd until bed around midnight. as
6 - Up around 7:45am. Clear sky and only around 7 degrees outside, so plenty of window condensation wiping . . walked the woods under a cool blue sky . . back up the ladder for more PC room window 'fun'!! Rushed things rather with PVA/filler etc, and eventually called a halt around 3pm after having got a layer of undercoat on the frame . . ate corned beef sandwiches with two bags of crisps and then a little chocolate . .fitfully napped on the bed next to Sally for only an hour or so . . walked . .PCd this (5.6Mbps - Farnborough) . . BB called . .ate biscuits and TV/PCd until early before bed.
7 - Up around 8:15am. . headachey. walked and carried on down town for a quick once round of the charity shops . .dabbled with CCTV/video connections and ended up having one of the RF-outs on the back of the Sky box break! Bugger! Good job there's another one on there then! :o( . . . back up the ladder to put another coat of masonary paint on the patched bit of adjoining wall and then eventually managed to get a top coat of paint on the outside of the PC-room window and frame. A touch of silicon on it here and there at some point, and then there will be little more I can do with that one. So - 'most' of the 'high' stuff done and 'just' (!!) the living room bay window and a bit of rotting woodwork under the roof over the front door to concentrate on . . ate three sausages, two eggs, chips and four pieces of bread and butter . . fitfully napped for an hour or so. Don't seem to be able to sleep very well when I nap at the moment, which is rather unusual. Back up feeling tired out and a bit yucky . . walked . .TVd . . ate bowls of cornflakes before early to bed just after 11pm. as
8 - Up around 7:30am. . walked . . PCd this (6.7Mbps - UK). Today I absolutely MUST ignore all the work that needs doing and make balancing my accounts etc a priority. I've been putting it off for absolutely ages, have a big pile of stuff, and haven't a clue where I am financially (running the real risk of overdraw charges!) . .eventually after a long struggle, managed to balance my accounts. I still haven't seen a full year here of course, so some things are still rather up in the air (like energy costs etc.), but I think I'm generally surviving 'ok' - for the moment. . sat around, TVd, PCd the day away. .touched base with BB . . walked . . ate sausages and baked beans with grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter and some chocolate . . TVd until bed around midnight.
9 - Woke just after 8am in time to be awake for an unexpected call from BB . . walked late and toured the charity shops. Nothing tempting, but plenty of doggy treats for admired Sally. . back up the ladder to have a 'prod' at the rotten wooden support for the roof over the front door. That support is SO rotten, it really simply needs replacing!! In fact, it's in SUCH bad shape, I'm really not sure how the roof is staying up there!?? Trouble is, I'm just not up to having to do something so awkward/major at the moment. Decided to do the biggest 'botch' I've done to date. Cut away a bit of the rot before doing a bit of cementing and a bunch of filling in preparation for fashioning some timber to just cover over the rot and make it look ok-ish (maybe). . did a little long overdue de-weeding of the front garden border until dark . . walked and carried on down town with the idea of treating myself to a takeaway. Passed a lot of young people on the way who were all heading for BGdns with cases of beer and bottles of booze etc. Tried one on the harborside and ended up sitting at an outside table eating cod and a huge portion of chips and supping from a bottle of coke. (Something like £5 in total!!) The friendly owner donated two cold sausages for Sally, for nothing! :o) It should have been a very pleasant feed, looking out over the harbor like that, but unfortunately the chip shop was right next to a pub, with a handful of people sat outside. One of them was an aggressive, drunken, foul mouthed yob, who at one point threw one of the chairs at his friend!! Put me VERY much on edge, to say the least. I'm not entirely sure what went on, but I 'think' he got into a bit of an argument with a mountaneously large guy who'd turned up to do a disco there. The big guy seemed to encourage him to leave, which eventually he did, albeit with lots of shouting along the way and kicking the side of the charter boat booking kiosk as he did! This all ruined my meal and put me in a pretty poor/paranoid frame of mind. Thankfully I escaped his attention. It is my perception, that almost every time I dare to go anywhere, I end up at the very least, witnessing something like that - or worse. It 'hurts' me. I can't stand it. This is why I live out my life almost entirely at home, avoiding people, and people 'in drink' especially. In my experience, a pub is a place of extreme danger. :o( . . eventually finished my after meal (or was it to steady my nerves?) cigarette, and headed back home the way I'd come rather than risk walking through town. Yet more young people were heading for BGdns. I reckon I saw at least thirty or so all told. Much noise from the direction of the lower gun emplacement. Plenty of litter to clear in the morning then. :o( . . TVd . .BB called . . TVd until bed before 11pm. Tossed and turned for ages having trouble getting to sleep with an aching back.
10 - Up before 7am. . PCd a bit of this. . .walked and picked up lots of bottles and litter. Despite the large amount I cleared up, it wasn't 'sufficient' for the number of people who'd been there last night. The reality is, most of their bottles, cans and debris had simply been thrown over a fence down the cliff! The slope right there is just covered and looks like a landfill! Who knows how much actually ends up in the water down below there. Seems weird. I thought youngsters these days were taught all about the environment/recycling/wildlife/habit conservation etc, etc, etc, at school, and actually cared about that stuff!?. . .felt a bit down and had real trouble mustering the energy to get on and do anything. Eventually messed around in the garden briefly and attempted to make some room in my overflowing compost bin by taking some out of the bottom and distributing it all along under the back garden hedge. It hasn't had time to rot down fully as it should yet, but some of it has done so 'just' enough not to be an eyesore. I think I could use another compost bin! . . back to the botching of the roof support. Fashioned pieces of timber and affixed them to the sides of the remaining bit of the support, attempting to just cosmetically make it look like the other, less rotted supports. . Mum called in, in the middle of things with the paper and food donations. Stopped for a coffee and chats . .ate Mum donated ham rolls with crisps . . napped until around 6pm . . BB called . . Mum called to tell me, Uncle TJ in hospital for tests because he'd not been feeling well of late, had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, and was going to have surgery on Monday!!! Blimey! That sounds - very not good. :o( . . walked around 7:30pm. Another fireworks night - again - more - still?! . .ate biscuits/TVd/PCd until early before bed. as
11 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then woken by Sally jumping up on the bed next to me around 8:45am . . walked late. Hung around in BGdns with a cigarette until it was even later and then carried on down town intending to maybe check out the rememberance day parade and join the crowds in paying respects etc. I didn't really know where I was heading for, but on reaching the harbor it was pretty obvious that a crowd was assembling on the walkway on the opposite side. Headed on round and picked my way through the smartly dressed or uniformed crowds, and made my way to a vantage point at the head of what was going to be the apparant route of the parade, along the walkway next to the marina. Checked out a couple of vantage points that may have been ok for a photo opportunity before ending up sat on a bench for a cigarette, waiting for the off. As the local brass band at the head of the parade showed signs of getting ready to move, I quickly scooted across the walkway to get a better view for a camcorder shot or two. Just then, Sally decided to be sick! oh no! OH NO!!!!!!!!! Earlier on, back in BGdns, I'd had to shout at her and pretend to run at her, to get her to drop a dead fish she'd found in the grass, left there by some angler or other who I'd seen night fishing there last night. With the band all ready to start leading the parade, Sally threw-up a big pile of unpleasantness, RIGHT in the middle of the path along which they were all going to march!!!! Oh myyyyy goddddd!!!!!!!!!! PANIC - with plenty of people all sat around watching!! I had to do something real quick or there was liable to be a disaster of bandsmen, old soldiers, scouts, brownies, local dignitaries - the whole parade having to march through all that, and possibly end up slipping over and ending up in a horrible messy heap!!!!! Terribly embarassing moment of utter panic on my part. Sally continued to wretch, threatening to produce more of last nights half digested big meal, as I wrestled with her lead, dragging her over onto a nearby area of grass next to the benches. Ignoring my frowning audience, I managed to get her tied to a bench and race back through the passing people (at least one or two may have stepped in it !) to the middle of the path and did my best at quickly scooping it into a poop-scoop bag, just as the parade began to march!!!!! I didn't get it all. I just didn't have time!!!! I fully expected the standard bearer at the head of the parade to be the first to slip in it and hit the floor, and stood in horror holding my breath as they approached. Thankfully it didn't happen and apart from maybe one or two marchers having an uneasy sensation of soggy dog biscuit beneath a shoe at some point, the parade passed by, unaware of the near disaster. Sheesh! Who'd have a dog!! Eventually followed on behind with the rest of the crowds, not really knowing where they were heading, before deciding to cut up a flight of steps. Turned out those steps emerged on the upper road, actually just behind the war memorial to which everyone was heading. Picked my way past the band members, crossed the crowded road and took up a position immediately opposite, as the rest of the parade approached and assembled in ranks. . parked Sally in a narrow flower bed behind me and managed to get her to mostly lay down and stay quiet throughout the half hour long ceremony (all the while terrified that she'd start getting ill again - and particularly worried the two minutes silence would be marred for everyone by the sound of a wretching dog!! Thankfully she mostly had no choice but to lay down and snooze in that awkward tiny space behind everyone amongst the slug pellets!!). . there is something tangible about a 'shared experience' like that, which can rouse the emotions and bring a lump to the throat. I got the impression that the couple next to me were the parents of someone currently on active service in Afghanistan. The woman spent a lot of time hiding her tears in a handkercheif - her husband stood tall and solemn. . the period of the silence was marked by the letting off of two 'flares', which loudly exploded in the sky above the harbor, sending flocks of wailing seagulls into startled flight above us all. Even the tearful woman showed traces of a relieved smile as sea-gull poop rained down JUST in front of us, 'mostly' missing everyone in smart clothes. Those who WERE slightly hit, held ranks, and ignored it completely. (Every day hazard of living down here. I've been pretty much spared so far.) . the white robed minister holding service and giving the sermon, came across to me as rather stern and 'political' (Tory), and was rightly critical of the country's treatment of currently serving armed forces. He drew our attention to the youthfullness of most of 'the fallen', and currently serving, and then to the many young cadets and children that made up the ranks of much of the parade, and praised our much maligned youth!! (Couldn't help feeling on that count, he should get out more! BGdns on a weekend night perhaps? Or better still - I'll give him a lift up to Speedwell for a quick reality check!) . one of the army cadets started to keel over in the middle of things and was quickly escorted away by his sergeant. (A news article from the channel islands reported how an unusually high number of cadets fainted this year during their services! Weird. I guess standing around for two minutes in silence without an IPod or mobile phone IS a bit much for todays, thirty second attention span, ADHD internet warriors! Ooooh shut me up!) . . wreaths were layed, hymns were sung, and then the parade was reassembled. Some good natured laughing as the old, mostached parade leader issued the command, 'parade - right turn'. His right - the parades left! It ended up with a half in half each way! His remedy for that - to issue the command - 'about turn'!!? Basically everyone ignored what he said and turned on the command to face the way they knew the parade was going to go. lol The band struck up and the parade slowly headed off up the road back towards town. . back home via BGdns after midday . . cut to fit and glued a small piece of wood to fill a gap on the front door roof support botch - just in time for a shower of rain!! Humph!. . ate Mum donated ham rolls and crisps . . napped until woken by the alarm at 6pm . . walked under the cold stars . .vacuumed, concentrating on the walked-in debris from the front door roof support work (and still get a kick out of the efficiency of that new vaccuum. :o) ) . .PCd this (5.6Mbps - UK). .BB called . . PCd this until late . . ate a whole pack of Mum donated chocolatey biscuits before to bed around 1am.
12 - Woke a little earlier then up before 7:30am to wipe condensation from the windows. . walked in the cold. I've definitely slipped into an unpleasant winter 'hibernation' mode. By the time I came back from the walk (each walk is about an hour) I could very easily have gone straight back to bed!!. .messed with the cables and kit a little, just for fun, so I could route the CCTV through to the webcam image, and then eventually managed to muster the energy to carry on working on the front door roof support. Sanded it all down and rather than waste any more time on something with a limited life, called it quits and layed on a thick coat of undercoat paint . . ate a tin of sausage and baked beans with grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter . . napped until woken by Mum leaving an ansaphone message just before 6pm. Apparantly uncle TJ had 'come through' his operation successfully. Given the hospital he's at is where Dad has his brain tumor operation, I can easily imagine some of what they all must be going through. Not good. :o( A recent news report suggested that a suprisingly huge percentage of the population regularly, or occasionally 'pray'. I don't go for all that, but do admit to 'thinking in an outward way' on occasions when I am moved to do so (dunno how else to describe it! 'Transmitting' a thought to the universe?!!!), a desire that there should be a 'freedom from suffering'. . .vaccuumed out all the dust from the living room gas fire . . My inside/outside thermometer said 14/3 degrees C. Walked in wooly hat and layers . .TVd/PCd the evening away. .ate biscuits . .couldn't resist and allowed myself the luxury of having the fire on for much of the evening. Once the inner warmth of having walked wears off, sitting around motionless for hours in temperatures anything under 16 degrees C is pretty uncomfortable, even with my usual indoor, winter triple layers and occasionally with my hoodie up over my head! . eventually to bed around 1am.
13 - Up around 7:30am. Rain in the night had brought the temperature back up a few degrees. . walked . . PCd a bit of this. (6.7Mbps - London) . . sat around feeling pretty down and unable to muster the energy to do anything at all. I seem to have suddenly ground to a halt! . . pottered around/PCd/TVd the whole day away! . . BB called . . ate a pasty and crisps with some lettuce and tomato . . napped . . walked . . TVd . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . TVd until bed around 1:30am or later! s
14 - Up around 7:30am again for some reason . . .walked and carried on down town for a quick look in charity shop windows . . dabbed a little more filler and paint on the wall by the front door . . PCd this until midday waiting for paint and filler to dry . . .eventually put a top coat of paint on the roof support . . pottered/TVd/PCd the rest of the day away feeling blah . . walked . .ate four small burgers in rolls with some chopped vinegary salad . . TVd. . BB called . . TVd/PCd until deep into early.
15 - Woken at 8:30am by BB calling briefly . . .walked . . PCd a bit . . Mum called to give me the latest report on Uncle TJ. He's doing ok apparantly . .ate bacon and egg sandwiches . . slept all afternoon until around 6pm . . walked in the cold. Pretty close to freezing tonight. . coffee in the front garden listening to the church bells . . touched base with BB . . TVd the evening away . . ate a couple of pork pies with bags of crisps and some chocolate . . to bed around 1:30am. s
16 - Up after 7:30am . . .walked . . difficulty mustering the energy to force myself to do anything. . eventually left Sally at home and drove to the local builders merchant to buy some timber. I'm gonna have a go at building a 'unit' (actually just a frame with a big shelf on top) to fit right across the living room bay, to take all the TV/stereo etc. equipment - the same as I did for it all in Bristol. Hardly a 'pretty' solution, but better than having it stacked up in a messy heap like it is. I'd anticipated two meter (car sized) lengths like I've bought in packs in the DIY stores before, but being more of a 'proper' builders place, they didn't do things like that. They had huge great four meter lengths! Drove back home and dropped off the car before walking back up. Chose and bought a couple of fairly straight/clean lengths and walked them back home (£14.28) . . measured and sawed the timber into lengths on the patio table in the back garden. . screwed and glued the two large, front and back rectangles (45 degree joins on each corner for visual aesthetics) and left them to set. . walked . . ate a tin of baked beans with a tin of 'hot dog' sausages and some grated cheese with four pieces of bread and butter . . TVd . . BB called . . to bed around 11pm.
17 - Woke early and up around 6:30am . .walked . . glued. . walked back up the builders merchant for another couple of pieces of timber (£13.80) so I'd have enough to be able to carry on working at it, when they are shut tomorrow. . stashed the timber in the relative protection of the garage. Easier said than done with such long lengths. Had to feed it in, inch by inch via the small window at the back!. . ate a bacon sandwich . . PCd a bit, struggling to stay awake, looking up sites for a particular brand of shoes Mum was interested in. Her feet have got SO 'warped', curled and bad, she really has trouble now getting any she can get her feet into, never mind walk about in!!. .BB called . . Mum called in with the paper, food donations and a small electric fan heater I'd asked to borrow (despite the running costs) for the odd occasion I want to use the PC room without having to put the whole house central heating on. Coffee, chats and a quick surf of shoe sites . . napped the afternoon away . . walked . . TVd . .ate Mum donated pork and stuffing slices in bread rolls and a bunch of chocolate . . TVd until bed around midnight. s
18 - Terrible nights sleep woken all over the place by the sound of the wind battering the bedroom bay windows with rain. Sounds like a nasty storm. Eventually up around 7:45am. Wow - really nasty out! That's gonna be a bit of a test for all my 'botching' work of the roof over the front door and the front bedroom bay windows! Fingers crossed. . PCd a bit of this . . eventually reluctantly walked in the gale in rubber gear. Torrential rain! Haven't had rain like that for a while. On the street out the front (actually an almost level area at the bottom of a steep hill), the drain beneath next doors parked car was largely blocked with leaves and debris and a large puddle had formed across much of the road. Nothing 'particularly' unusual around these parts so it seems. I must pass at least a dozen 'blocked' drain gratings (some completely blocked solid) on my twice daily walk route, with rain water running straight over and past, like a river! (When I was a kid, the council would regularly have what is in effect a giant vaccuum cleaner on wheels, touring around and sucking out all the debris from all the gutter drains. Almost never see that anymore. Is it any wonder some urban places seem to be more prone to flooding than they used to be - never mind climate change!) . . By the time I got back home, utterly drenched despite my rubber gear, the drain out the front was fully blocked and the large puddle had filled the road and a substantial amount of the water was running down into the steep driveway of the neighbour opposite (the policeman)! I'm pretty sure that guy's garage can suffer from a bit of 'water ingress' in that way. Having a large puddle form in front of his garage I think is quite common, and if it were not for the fact that the puddle naturally discharges down the hill via the garden path next to his garage, I'm pretty sure his house would be at serious risk from flooding (which is perhaps why the survey suggested my house was in a flood-risk postcode area despite being built on the side of a real steep hill)!! Put Sally safely in the garden and then rolled my sleeve up, reached into the freezing water under the parked car and had a go at pulling out handfulls of leaves, gravel and debris from the drain grating. Actually a bit scary when I made a gap and all of a sudden the water started draining away with a loud sucking sound, like pulling a bath plug out! Pretty soon did the trick and the big puddle across the road receded, leaving fast running rivers flowing down the gutters in a more usual way. . Would you believe it! Within a quarter of an hour of getting home, the rain stopped and even the wind seemed to have eased, leaving a not unpleasant morning. Made all my soaking wet clothes and shoes all the more irritating. . . disconnected and moved all the TV etc equipment out of the living room bay, and set about measuring and cutting more timber to join the two bits of frame I'd already made. It didn't go well and somehow took all day! Nevertheless, by around 5pm I'd succeeded as good as I was going to get it, and had the complete 'unclothed' frame sat in the kitchen, all glued together and setting. That's the hardest part over and done with, although, now I can see the size and scale of what I'm gonna end up with, I'm pretty sure it's gonna look overly large and horribly ugly!! It wouldn't need to be such a huge eyesore if it weren't for the fact that all the TV/PC/Stereo etc equipment I have is so old and large. New stuff is SO much smaller. Oh well - I'm 'stepped in so deep' now, I may as well carry on and finish it. A few more £s on more timber and maybe some varnish etc. (plus days of work of course) should see it done now. . walked. . .ate Mum donated ham rolls and crisps . . BB called . . TVd . . just couldn't stay awake any longer and ended up in bed before 10pm!!!
19 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 6:15am . . PCd a bit of this. . walked. Some utter f***ing ******* has dumped a double bed and a sack of beer-cans type household refuse on the street right next to BGdns! What on earth goes through such peoples minds? :o( . . . Walked to the builders merchant for more timber (£18.50), despite the rain. . . worked on the TV unit all day! Ate salad and a couple of pork pies with crisps and a little chocolate in the afternoon before getting straight back to the 'unit' work as rain continued to pour. . what luck. The rain stopped just before our evening walk. Walked under a stunningly clear, star filled sky. As I sat for a while in BGdns with a cigarette, silent lightning danced amongst the airborne misty mountains of the southern sky. Marvellous. . . straight back to the kitchen to do more work on the TV unit, with the portable TV on for company!! Worked right through until 10pm!!!! . . touched base with BB . . TVd . .ate bowls of co-co pops before eventually to bed around 1:30am. s
20 - Up late around 8:30am . . ummmm - what day is it? Feel as though I've been battling with this TV unit for weeks! :o( It's huge! With just a little more timber and work, I reckon I could use it as a fishing boat - or maybe a coffin, or, or??!! lol . . Nasty headache all day . .walked . . .Mum called to touch base and tell me the latest on uncle TJ etc. He sounds as ok as could be expected under the circumstances! The conversation inevitably turned to the weather and the huge amounts of torrential rain we've been having. I mentioned my shoes were STILL soaking wet from my nightmare walk on the 18th, and were not drying out! Weird to me why those Reggata Ridgeline walking shoes I scored from the charity shop, are otherwise so expensive. I've come to think they are actually pretty poor - as far as expensive walking shoes go. The rivets that hold the lace hoops on, are all showing signs of rust! In the wet, on a smooth stone/concrete surface, they are dangerously slippy. And as the other day has proved, when they get REALLY wet, they mop up and retain the water for ages. I'd be horrified if I'd paid the full price. Mum suggested a neat tip of stuffing screwed up newspaper into the shoes to encourage them to dry out. I hadn't thought of that (despite having recently discovered the neat tip of wrapping my washed paint brushes in newspaper. The tip was actually for keeping the bristles 'in shape', but it also makes them dry out much quicker). . . walked back to the builders merchant in the rain, for what will hopefully be the one last piece of timber I need (4.2m x 19mm Tongue & Groove @ £6.62). .cut the timber to fit and then sat and agonised for ages about how to actually do the final securing of the pieces. I was determined to have the front and top of the unit which will show most, looking the best, and because of all the angles and the way the tongue and groove boards fitted together, it wasn't going to be possible to actually hidden-nail them into position! Damn! Damn, damn, damn. I didn't think that through. Oh well - to hell with the nails then. It'll just have to rely on the glue/friction fit. . nervously glued the top shelf part of the unit, as fairly heavy rain poured all day. Loaded the glued shelf with all manner of everything heavy (including a big sack of Sally food) to keep everything in place and flat while the glue set. . ate corned beef sandwiches with crisps . .PCd briefly and then napped until woken by the alarm at 6pm . . walked in a clear dry spell again. Thank goodness for that! . . glued the bottom shelf until around 10pm . . BB called . .TVd . .ate a triple tuna, mayo and onion stack of sandwiches followed by chocolate . . TVd until finally to bed around 2am! saaa
21 - Up around 8:30am . . .PCd just a bit of this . .walked . .received a letter in the mail, postmarked from the solicitor who handled my house purchase! Huh? Quickly tore into the envelope expecting who knows what!! What the - ? Turned out, it wasn't actually for me. My address, but intended for someone else (the narrow address window had obscured the addressee). It was actually a bequest left by a recently deceased person. It included a copy of part of the will and a cheque for £100! As luck would have it, despite having got the address wrong, the will actually included the NAME of the intended house. Wandered up and down the street for a while looking at the house names on all the gates. Caught a neighbour's attention and asked her if she knew of such a person/house name. Turned out to be an old woman, a 'Miss', in a house a few doors along. (The 'nice' house, not unlike mine but FULLY detached - and in a somewhat poor state of repair. That'll be a wonderful investment opportunity for some lucky rich person when she passes! Jealous. :o( ) No answer at the door so I figured I'd call again later. I didn't want to just push it through the letter box. I wanted to explain and apologise for having opened it (and read through it all!). . .back to working on the TV unit and the nasty, nerve-wracking job of attempting to cut the two narrow slivers of tongue and groove to finish off both shelf layers. If I messed up, I'd have probably had to go buy another whole length of timber, just for the sake of a quarter of an inch or less strip! Thankfully, although terribly time consuming, it went ok and by early afternoon they were glued in place. . flipped the unit upside down and cut and glued in a couple of extra support pieces, just to firm things up a little more. I know from my experience with the one I made for the bay in Bristol, the weight of my old 28" TV WILL warp the top in time, so I intend to make up a couple of vertical supports for the big gap, but am going to have them loose so I can remove and reposition them as required. . piled everything heavy from the kitchen (stacks of plates/tins of dog food/big sack of sugar/etc.) onto the glued supports to hold them secure while the glue dried and then called it quits and vaccumed up sawdust . . ate tuna onion and mayo with chips and a couple of piees of bread and butter . .TVd almost falling asleep on the sofa - really not wanting to have to walk Sally this evening! No clear dry spell this evening! . . .walked in the heavy rain. Called at the house up the road again, with the bequest letter. No answer. A neighbour said the woman was deaf, would be out the back and wouldn't hear the doorbell. Gave up messing around and just pushed the letter through the letterbox. (Why WAS the letterbox propped open, with a long length of timber poking out?! Ventilation for rain getting into the porch perhaps? I'd love to see the conditions inside that house and see how that poor woman lives. From the outside with it's rotting timber bay cladding, you can see it has original single glazed windows, but with some ugly secondary panes fitted across the inside! Must be awfully difficult being single and old, with a limited income and a big house to keep up - and dare I say doubly so if you are female. Felt really sorry for the unseen occupant, for whom the £100 cheque really wasn't going to make a damned bit of difference to anything.) Worthy of note - whoever it was worked in that solicitors office and sent the letter - they should be reprimanded. Not only was it all addressed wrongly, it also contained errors in the accompanying letter. It stated £100 in numbers (as per the enclosed cheque) but £200 in words! A level of incompetance one does NOT expect from a solicitors office (although - on reflection - in keeping with the rest of society - in this day and age, in this country - perhaps one does!!!!!! :o( ) . . . BB called to touch base . . TVd/PCd drinking a can of 'stella' until early, and then couldn't sleep and tossed and turned for ages. Saw 3am come and go before finally to sleep! ad
22 - Woken by Sally after 9am! . . walked late in the sun under a cold blue sky . . removed all the heavy stuff stacked up on the TV unit, removed the temporary supports and inspected and sanded just a little. A few more bits and pieces on it to attend to and tidy up, and then hours of sanding down if I'm going to try to get the best possible finish, but I think it's mostly pretty much there now. Hard to believe it took so long to do - and cost THAT much (£54+)!!!! Puts things in perspective - makes some of that mass produced pine furniture you can buy in the stores, look like a really good cheap deal! How on earth can they do it so cheap, when just the timber alone costs so much, never mind the man hours? (Really does look almost identical now, to the one I made for the bay window in Bristol (just 'slightly' taller so it'll accomodate a PC case if I want to, and of course a larger bay!! ) - which of course I ended up sawing into pieces and dumping at the council tip when I 'fled'! :o( ) So - in keeping with the dark wood theme of the living room, am I going to stain ('Jacobean Dark Oak') and varnish it or not? If I do and it doesn't work out and ends up looking awful, there'll be no going back and that'll have been a lot of work and expense for nothing. Can't make my mind up. Seems such a shame to have to risk it, because it really doesn't look bad as it is, in just bare untreated timber. I'm also eager to have the 'project' over and done with and actually put it in the living room and tidy everything up. If I go the staining/varnishing route, that'll be pretty much another week of working on it, never mind the expense of buying varnish (I'd already bought a small tin of stain a couple of months ago, in preparation for doing such things in the living room)!! . PCd this until mid afternoon, as much as anything else, to just have a break from the damn thing! (6.5Mbps - Glossop). .ate a defrosted pastie with crisps . . PCd/TVd . . walked . . TVd . .touched base with BB . . cooked and ate four small cheese burgers after midnight! . . TVd/PCd until early before bed. s
23 - Woken by a noise somewhere around 8:30am! Well THAT isn't sleep enough! . . walked in the cold sun . . sat around/PCd a bit, but inevitably couldn't muster the energy to do anything and eventually just gave up and returned to bed before midday! . . woke around 5pm!!! Damn, damn, damn. I've slipped into being nocturnal again! With such short, cold, dark days - and always feeling a bit more 'up' moodwise during the late evening/early morning, it's SO hard not to at this time of year! So - another whole day wasted. :o( . . .PCd a bit of this. Couple of things - 1. I'm not sure I made it clear here, but I guess the reason making up that TV unit took so long is, it was entirely 'handmade'. With the exception of using the electric drill to pre-drill a handful of screw holes, the whole thing was done just using hand tools. All those awkward angled cuts took forever with the hand-saw. Probably could have knocked it up in a tiny fraction of the time if I'd some time invested in an electric table 'chop saw'. .2. The weird small crystal/stone (?) type lamp that was left by the previous owners, which I had to repair/glue the switch back together on, has found a recent home (since I put in the new living-room bay, power sockets) on top of the TV. At night it gives the room a 'comforting' warm orange glow, accentuated by the heavy red velvet curtains. I've even got into the habit of leaving the curtains undrawn after dark for some of the evening (unheard of for me!) because of the effect of the reflections of it in each of the five panes of the bay window. If you get in the right position on the sofa, you get a 'full set'. lol :o) I'd originally considered passing it off to a charity shop, but I've grown to rather like it and intend to definitely keep it. Why mention it? Well - the TV schedules newspaper my Mum keeps buying for me on a Saturday, usually comes with a wad of leaflets advertising all manner of (overly expensive) stuff. One of the leaflets ('Christmas 2007 Mailshop For Better Living & Better Giving') caught my attention. The (nonsense) advert read - "Salt Lamp The health benefits of salt have been understood for generations and now you can experience them in the comfort of your own home or office. Most ionisers are made from man-made machines but these beautiful lamps are made from salt crystal rock formed hundreds of millions of years ago from the foothills of the Himalayas. Use them to create a relaxing atmosphere and to restore or maintain the natural air quality. Satisfied users report significant health improvements and the eradication of pet smells and cigarette odour. Pyramid or egg shapes available. Egg height 21cm. £39.99". THAT is what that lamp is!! It's an egg shaped one. Good grief. WHAT a ridiculous price!!! Makes me like it all the more. lol . . walked in the really cold dark . . cooked up a saucepan of chopped potatoes, onion, peas and a tin of stewed steak while drinking a coffee mug of red wine. Ate a big bowl full with four pieces of bread and butter . . BB called . .TVd with the fire on and ate chocolate biscuits. The sudden sound of dripping in the living room, saw me running around in a bit of a panic in the early hours. Turned out it was so cold outside, a huge amount of condensation had formed on the front single glazed windows. So much so, a pool had formed on the inner bedroom window sill which eventually spilled over onto the floor, ran between the floorboards and appeared as the drips in the living room bay window!!! To bed before 2am. d
24 - Up after 7:30am to do a major wiping down of all the condensation covered windows. My living room 'inside/out' thermometer said 12c/-1c. White frost on the lawns and all the cars etc. .Warmed up real quick with some early morning sun . .walked. A short distance up the road, I'd noticed recently that someone had widened their driveway and had removed one of the large gate pillars. The pillar was largely made of large pieces of the hard to come by, local stone, and the stone was all stacked up precariously against the garden wall together with a few bricks. Each time I passed that house, I'd been working myself up to knocking on the door and asking if the stones were being got rid of. If I live long enough, eventually I'm going to want to make a few alterations to bits of the garden, and a supply of those stones is definitely going to be necessary. As luck would have it, the owner of the house was out in his garage this morning, so I had the opportunity to ask him if I could have them. The bricks were apparantly promised to his next door neighbour, but yayyyy - the stones were mine if I wanted them. . . got the walk out of the way, recovered with a quick coffee in the garden and then started moving the stones. A handful of trips up and down the back lane in the car, making sure not to overload it, got the relocation done. Stacked the stone mostly alongside the garage next to the car, where it'll probably stay untouched for a very long time! I figure if for some reason in the future I decide I don't want them after all, the garden is so large I could easily just lose them all in the borders under the hedges, so I'm not too concerned about possibly being lumbered with them. . swept up around the garden and squeezed the mass of fallen autumn leaves and debris into the compost bin . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations and a couple of long sleeved black sweat shirts she'd found in a charity shop for me. Coffee and chats . . ate Mum donated sausage rolls with crisps and chocolate . . napped the afternoon away until around 5pm . . walked - overheating! SO much more mild than yesterday. Amazing how it can change so quick. Sat out in the back garden with a coffee again, just to cool down. So much for my tidying up out there earlier! There are still so many falling leaves on one of the trees, the whole garden is already covered again. . sanded down a bit of the TV unit before finally deciding I was NOT going to stain and varnish it for the time being. . BB called . . cut a small vertical support strut and then moved the TV unit into the living room and loaded it up with all my 'toys' - including even a PC and monitor! It's a bit big and tall, but certainly tidies it all up and puts it all in its place kinda. A final decision about what I'm actually gonna keep in it and what goes where connected to what, etc. can wait for some other time. It IS uncomfortably just a little bit like some kind of silicon-age altar isn't it - collectively upon which, on reflection, I've probably sacrificed most of my life!!! lol . . TVd . . ate Mum donated ham rolls and some chocolate . . TVd/PCd until bed around 2am. s
25 - Woken by Sally climbing on the bed at 7:45am . . . walked the woods . . did laundry/vacuuming chores, cut my hair, TVd/PCd. Uh oh - the PC is making an increasingly loud, nasty noise. Fan bearings? :o( . . walked. . ate the last of the stew with bread and butter . .BB called briefly . . TVd. .ate bowls of corn flakes before to bed before 11pm.
26 - Up around 7:10am with a badly aching back!? That's weird considering I didn't actually 'do' anything much yesterday!?. . walked. Seems to have turned strangely unseasonably mild again. Overheating without even a coat on. . In danger of not getting on with anything again, I eventually managed to muster the energy to start work in the kitchen at putting in a new light switch box. If I can get that done, complete with the conduit leading to it from the upstairs underfloor space, it'll open the way for me to reinstate individualy switched lights in the kitchen diner, and maybe even alter the wiring for the hall lights and put a two way switch in there. . worked in the kitchen all day 'roughing in' the new switchbox (an inch or so from the original existing one), and conduit into the upstairs underfloor space. Rough plastered in place by mid afternoon, so pushed on and put in a double power socket box in the same wall, down below. Don't really 'need' a socket point there, but it'll be useful for plugging in the vacuum and such. .use of the disc cutter saw clouds of black dust covering everything everywhere! :o( Took almost as long (or maybe actually longer) to clear up as it did to do the work! My new upright vacuum did pretty well, although I don't think the abrasive effect of all that dust is going to do much for its lifespan! . . walked. Walking past the cricket club ground, I became aware of a group of yobs rampaging around by the club house. I observed one of them on a first floor viewing area, kick in a door panel and gain access to the equipment store room. They were soon throwing out wicket keeper leg pads to play with! What to do? What to do?!! I didn't have my mobile phone with me. Right next to the cricket ground is the house from which I got that rather nice bedside cabinet that was being thrown away. What the hell I thought - I knocked on their door. A woman was sat right by the front door on the phone, and immediately answered the door. I quickly explained what was going on and asked her to call the police. She said she would, so I left her to it and ended up sat on a garden wall opposite, because under the circumstances it didn't seem right to just walk away (especially if the police were liable to turn up as a result of me). It wasn't long before the group of youths emerged from the cricket grounds car park right in front of me and headed off up the road and round the corner out of my sight. Aroundabout then, the occupants of the house emerged from their front door and disappeared around the side of their house, presumably looking over into the cricket ground. I walked back over and called out, intending to inform them the youths had left. The woman reappeared and we exchanged a few words. She hadn't called the police! She made some 'tutting' comment about 'just kids', and then went on to say how the building would be coming down soon anyway to make way for the new houses - as though that made the yobs behaviour ok. That seemed like a really bizarre attitude to me. I concluded they had little grasp of today's reality, and had obviously never suffered the abuse or property damage that most people these days have!!! As we stood in the garden talking, the group of youths came back into sight around the corner and all walked past us, heading in the direction I was going to go! There was nothing for it - I ended up having to walk down the pavement, immediately opposite them all on the other side of the road. One of them suggested they should all head for the allotments! They were clearly aware I was there and started to dawdle, so I 'apparantly' ignored them, and carried on walking away ahead of them. As I walked Sally through BGdns, it became apparant the same group of yobs were heading for the next cove around the coast, via the grounds in front of the off-season deserted holiday chalets rather than the more usual footpath behind. There was a loud noise and then laughing from the running shadowy figures in the distant darkness. I would imagine one of those chalets suffered some damage. .by the time I was on the way back from the walk, the cricket club bar had opened so I popped my head inside the door and let them know what I'd seen and how things were probably not entirely 'secure' in the rooms above. They seemed duly concerned and immediately went to investigate the damaged door and whatever was now to be found within. I left them to it. . . sat in the front garden with a coffee and cigarettes, feeling despairing and deeply confused at how it is that so many people can just ignore or so willingly accept such goings on, as completely normal 'children's' behaviour these days. . . ate Mum donated ham rolls, crisps and chocolate. . BB called . . TVd . . to bed around 10:30pm. a
27 - Woken around 2am by the fridge making its 'jackhammer' noise! Went down and did some violence to it, returned to bed and then had to repeat the excercise a little later!! Grrr. :o( . . woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7am . . . walked with an aching back. . A planning permission sign attached to a lamp post confirms the cricket club building IS on borrowed time - the pitch too it would appear. Just exactly how ARE they gonna squeeze fifty seven (!! Did I misread that?) domestic dwellings complete with access roads and paths etc. into such a small space?!!!!! . . .left Sally at home and walked into town to draw out some money and do some shopping. Invested around £7 in a new, green, two-piece, rubberised waterproof suit. Not very good quality and probably won't last very long, but at least the elastic around the waist of the trousers appears to be nice and tight at the moment. I have a far better pair of much thicker rubber trousers, but the elastic has gone on them and I'm sick and tired of struggling along in the rain trying to keep them up. They are SO much better and thicker than the new ones, I think I WILL have to give unpicking some stitches and replacing the elastic, a go at some point. Don't know where those new ones were made, but there was a rather bizzare and amusing 'user instruction' included in the plastic pack. "Smart Guard Users Instruction: AREA OF PROTECTION. This garment is intended for use in atmospheric agents of neither exceptional nor extreme nature. INSTRUCTION FOR USE. It is recommended to check that the arment is suitable for intended use." I've got the horrible feeling that what they actually mean by that is - don't wear these waterproofs in the rain!! lol Oh well - we'll see - probably by the end of the week according to the forecast. . . . invested £7.99 in a pair of new cheap training shoes (size 11 rather than my usual 10!?). I've two pairs of different styles I'm still wearing to get the last few steps out of, even though they are split, leaking and falling to bits, and are frankly embrassing to be seen in! I've still a reasonable collection of different useable footwear (all charity shop) , including two pairs of walking boots, but the difference to my life that ending up down here has made, even extends to what sort of shoes I want to wear! Back in Bristol, trudging round that putrid, waterlogged, muddy field twice a day meant that I had no choice but to wear heavy boots with my trousers stuffed into my socks out of the mud and s**t! Down here, except for the odd occasions when I walk the woods, my entire twice daily walk route is on concrete paths/steps. It's much more comfortable and noticeably takes less energy, doing the walks wearing soft training shoes. . .suprisingly found the high street store where I'd bought the drive belts for my vaccuum, also stocked some Uniross AAA size 700mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. Probably a bit pricey, but I willingly parted with £9 for a pack of six. The Ni-Cads in my triple set of chordless phones, all seem to have decided to die on me. They only seem to be able to hold a charge for a fraction of what they used to, and I'm sick and tired of the things dieing in mid conversation and cutting me off. I've recently experimented with one of the phones, by replacing the NiCads with Ni-MHs! Haven't a clue if the base/charger designed for Ni-CADs, is eventually going to kill them or damage something, but the experiment seemed to go ok and see me get a MUCH greater period of use/standby from them, so I'm going to replace all three sets with Ni-MHs. .would you believe it! A market stall selling cheap tools in the local hall, also turned out to have a few sets of Ni-MHs!! A weird 'Fujicell' make, with all the packaging in Japanese, but they were 1000mAh rated, and only £4 for a pack of four!!!! Bought two packs to test. . . cooked and ate bacon steaks with two fried eggs and four pieces of bread and butter and then some chocolate . . napped the afternoon away until around 6pm . . walked in comfy new shoes . . the TV schedules these days, seem to be increasingly filled with UTTER garbage (e.g. BBC3 - 9pm + 11:30pm 'Can Fat Teens Hunt?' !!!) , and/or incessant repeats of a pogram that was only just shown! (I AM a fan of 'Have I Got News For You', but is there really any justification for showing essentially the same show on Friday, Saturday AND Monday?) I could rant on about all that sort of stuff for ages, but then the BBC comes up with a program like 'Earth:The Power of the Planet' on BBC2 at 9pm (Part2/5). I've missed part 1. :o( Fantastic program. Utterly fantastic. Right up my street. Should be compulsory viewing for everyone - yobs and religious zealots in particular! . BB called just before the program finished and was quickly 'dismissed'! . called her back once it was over . TVd rubbish . . ate bowls of co-co pops before eventually to bed around 1:30am. s
28 - Up around 8am . . walked. . sat in the front garden with a coffee until I had to race to restrain Sally from having a go at the postman. Exchanged a word with him and ended up telling him about how I'd discovered he is 'famous'. lol While PCing the other day, I ended up having a look at Google Maps and the satellite image of my house. Wow - how things have advanced. It was possible to zoom in to SUCH detail, it was possible to make out the postman, captured half way up my front garden path, with his trolley of mail out on the pavement!!! Incredible. . . sanded down the plaster-patching around the new socket/switch boxes in the kitchen and then applied some filler. Glued the piece of coving I'd had to saw out and remove, back into place above. . briefly messed around under the floor and fixed the thin cheap pipe insulation I'd bought ages ago, to some of the exposed central heating pipes. (All only 15mm!! :o( ) . One pack of insulation did NOT go very far! I'm gonna need a half dozen or more packs to complete the job on all those pipes . . PCd a bit of this . . ate sausage rolls and crisps followed by a handful of Mum donated chocolate covered raisins . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6pm . . walked. Saw a shooting star. A weird two-part thing it was . . .sanded down the filler in the kitchen and then slapped on a rough undercoat of paint to disguise the filled scar down the wall. Final finishing of all that can wait until a full blown redecoration at some point, although it's almost impossible to tell anything has been done already. :o) . . TVd but couldn't find anything I was in the mood to watch. Feel strangely 'down'. :o( . . BB called to touch base briefly . . PCd this, eager to get the 'chore' of updating my journal done, so I can start thinking about taking the machine apart to find out what that awful deafening noise is. . PCd/TVd until early before bed.
29 - Woken by Sally laying on the bed next to me around 8:30am . . walked. Just up the road the frail old lady was coming out of her house - the one for whom I'd received and opened that solictor's bequest letter the other day. I stopped to attempt to explain why she'd received an opened letter like that, but it very soon became clear 'I was on a loser'. She was as deaf as a post, and even if I DID make myself heard, didn't seem to have a clue what I was on about. Pretty soon gave up and with my best attempt at a cheery ('I'm no threat') wave, carried on my way. Sad. . . succeeded in modifying the radial lighting circuit under the upstairs landing floor, removed the old, and wired up the new light switch in the kitchen so that each of the lights in the kitchen and diner can be individualy switched again. . Put an initial layer of 'filling' plaster on the part of the wall where the old shallow switch box was recessed in . Carried on working under the kitchen floor (by torchlights !!) and eventually succeeded in hooking up the new double power socket aswell. Doesn't sound like much, but it all took hours as these things always do. . ate chopped salad, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches with crisps mid afternoon. . lay down for a much needed nap around 4pm but only managed an hour or so before being woken by Sally pacing around the bedroom and sitting and staring at me to silently convey her message, as somehow she can incredibly do. She had an upset stomach and needed to use the garden. . . walked . . sat in the cold in the front garden in hat and gloves for a coffee and cigarettes, listening to the bell ringers practice. Had a go at recording it with my little MP3 player. I'd misplaced that somewhere for the longest time when I moved in here from Mums, but recently found it again so was tempted to play with it. The recording (237KB) ( much amplified and compressed here) doesn't do it justice. I find it real pleasant to be able to sit in my front garden and have a bit of that 'oldy worldy' atmosphere drifting across on the breeze. I guess you 'have to be here'. Wouldn't want to be too much closer though I think. lol . . it was such a pleasant (but cold) evening, and with a bee in my bonnet about the pleasantness of the church bells audible from my garden, at around 8:35pm I suddenly decided to walk with Sally down to the other church, in the hope of recording the much more impressive 'hymn' chimes that it makes. Dashed down town and up to the chucrh and sat in the dark on some cold stone steps, waiting for the 9pm chimes (810KB) . (Was it my imagination, or did the street lights REALLY flicker, just as the chimes were about to begin?!) I got them, but that was NOT what I was after at all. That was just the 'ordinary' time chimes. (does a bit of that every quarter hour too). Hummm! So when does it do that hymn tune thingy? Oh well. I'll have to try and find out from someone somwhere sometime somehow. (apparantly at Christmas they can play carols on them too!) . . touched base with BB . . TVd . .ate bowls of corn flakes . . to bed around 11:30pm.
30 - Up at 8am . . PCd a bit of this . . walked late. . Mum called to say she'd be popping in today rather than tomorrow. Something to do with the council re-laying footpaths up Mums street, maybe tomorrow!?? lol . .Mum called in with food donations for coffee and chats for hours . . ate Mum donated pasties with crisps and some chopped salad. . . had a look inside the noisy PC. Looked as though somehow one of the trailing wires inside had slightly moved and was maybe 'just' clipping the blades of the processor fan occasionaly!! Ended up removing one of the cooling fans (the extra case-fan I put in once, when the PC overheated in the summer). Seems to have quietened the thing down a little but I still get a nasty amount of noise from the power supply fan on boot up. Strange that. As soon as it's finished booting and fully loaded windows and settled down, it quietens down to a more normal level. I don't understand that. I think I'm just gonna continue living with it because it'd be a bunch of hassle dropping the power supply out to investigate. . TVd/PCd the rest of the afternoon away as the forecast wind and rain battered the house. The forecast had said it would clear by late evening so I hung on and hung on, rather than have to walk Sally in the lashing rain. Eventually walked after 8:15pm in strong winds but thankfully only a hint of rain . . BB called to touch base . . TVd. . ate Mum donated pork and stuffing slices in bread rolls, chocolate and some toffee popcorn . . to bed around 1am. s