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- Woken by Sally around 8:15am. . walked and found 1.01 . .PCd the rest of the day away working on the second of the 'boat lift' videos which I've had sat there waiting for months. I'd been putting it off because I knew it was gonna be a time consuming fiddle to do. Turned out to be a real pain with the software constantly crashing again? :o( . . drank half a glass of red wine and cooked and ate four sausages, two eggs and chips. Ate most of a pack of Mum donated shortbread biscuits . . napped until around 7pm . . drove to walk in the biting cold wind. Felt really freezing! . . carried on PCing (with my hoody up and fingerless gloves on!) and finally managed to finish the video and upload it around midnight. SO cold! . . touched base with BB . . ate Mum donated tongue rolls and crisps before finally to bed after 3am! d
29 - Up around 8:30am . .walked. Flippin cold out this morning. . did dish washing and vacuuming chores all morning. Had a gentle tug at my upper-left, wobbly tooth after I'd called it quits with the housework, and hey presto, the damn thing just came straight out without hardly a squeak, despite it being almost an inch long! Image of my latest rotten pulled toothWell - no wonder it came out - it sure is in a pretty poor state - much like the few temporarily remaining! Good anti-smoking advert I guess. Had a bit of a rinse in some warm salty water because - well - I think that's what you're supposed to do isn't it? It hardly bled at all. Well - that's one less to worry about! In a 'what a weirdo' sort of way, it was just a little disppointing, because I had dabbled with the idea of filming me pulling it out one day - for a video nasty!!! lololol Actually pretty relieved to be over the last few weeks of constant pain. Given how easy that came out, I really should think about pulling out that lower front one which has also died, but become wedged inward by the teeth next to it, which seem to have taken it upon themselves to move together to compensate! I don't do 'smiling' so it won't really notice when gone - although I do worry about my ability to continue to talk clearly, without making weird slurping or whistling sounds through the resulting gap!! . . Mum called in with food parcels for coffee and chats and to watch the Xmas lights videos. She seemed to like them quite a bit, with plenty of 'ahhing' over the school kids choir. lol :o) . . gingerly ate Mum donated ham rolls and even a packet of crisps. The area of my missing tooth was a little sore but didn't complain too much at all. Much less painful than it has been. :o). . napped until woken by Sally around 7pm . . TVd. . .touched base with BB . . PCd briefly and started the long job of sorting through some of my cassettes. . . to bed around 2am.
28 - Up around 8:15am . . walked . . PCd and got round to sorting out what I regard as one of the loose ends which I keep torturing myself with. Made up a DVD and cover of the remembrance day parade and service, and then drove with Sally across town to park and then walk the short distance across the field to the British Legion Club. Took a lot of standing around banging and ringing on doors before eventually a cleaner appeared. Explained as briefly as I could and forced her to take the couple of copies to give to whoever may be interested. . .cooked and ate four small old burgers in buttered bread rolls . . napped . . drove to walk . . touched base with BB briefly . . sorted out a few cassettes from a box. I'm going to start the long process of making sure I have them all safely on the PC (on more than one drive) and put them to one side for getting rid of in some way - probably a charity shop. They 'may' be worth something somehow, but I don't think I can face all the hassle of advertising etc, so will probably just inundate some poor charity shop with them all at some point . . ate a bit of buttered golden syrup cake. . TVd/PCd until early before bed. s
27 - Up around 7:15am . . walked and carried on down town to have a look at the building work. a sign had been put out by the harbour masters office the other day, saying there was going to be a 'big pour' today. Sure enough, cement lorries were constantly thundering through town and a large machine was pouring the concrete all along behind the new jetty wall. Poked a bit with the camcorder for only a couple of minutes before a huge rainstorm swept in. Gave up in pretty short order and headed for the cover of the old fish market for a cigarette. Got drenched and wasn't in the mood to be videoing. The rain eased and we headed back home. Spotted a pair of size 10 trainers in a charity shop and bought them for 3 without even trying them on (the shoes I was wearing have overly long laces and it takes ages to get them on and off because I wrap the laces round and round before finally tying them up!). Couldn't say no really, although sadly they are white again. That's two pairs of charity shop white trainers I now have to wear out. Can't stand white shoes - but beggars can't be choosers. . .I don't believe it!! Yet ANOTHER box of energy saver light bulbs on the doorstep - the second lot I've had from the electric company!!!!!!!! If they really DO last five years, I probably have enough spares now to keep me going to the end of my days! Crazy. Madness. No wonder my electric bill is so high! (stopped typing this to go and count them - I now have an incredible total of NINETEEN spare energy saver light bulbs of varying wattage!!!) . . PCd this briefly and was outraged to read on the local paper's website that the police in Torbay are to be giving away pairs of flip flops to drunken women out on the town in high heels, in an attempt to save them from injury!!!!! Absolutely outrageous. And there's me all victorious about having just scored some 'dead man's shoes' for 3 because I can't easily afford a decent pair. :o( . . showered and got all sweet smelling (a rare event!) and then left Sally at home and walked down town with the intention of giving blood at the session in the church hall I'd seen advertised. I've not given for several years, since before my hernia operation, so my plastic credit card of donor details had to be updated and I had to read all the blurb and answer all the standard 'tick the no box' questions about 'have you had sex with any HIV positive Africans in the last year' blah blah, blah, etc, etc. There was no room on the form to insert a narrrative about being a 'born again virgin' and not having had any sex of any description at all with any one for many years!! lol . had to sit in the hall waiting for over an hour before I was called over to answer another round of largely the same questions, prior to the finger prick bit. It was at this stage that everything went awry. I ALWAYS have to answer on the forms that I've had either paracetamol or annadin in the last week, because all my life I always have had for either stress headaches or toothache etc. On this occasion I answered it was because of my bad tooth over the last couple of weeks. (The pain from the tooth nerve appears to have subsided over the last few days, so I guess it's died and is just hurting because it's all loose and fixin' to come out pretty soon.) That unexpectedly threw a spanner in the works. The guy asking me the questions had to run off and seek someone else who came back and said I couldn't give blood because I had a bad tooth and could pass on a life threatening infection to a possible recipient of my blood! (So why wasn't that included on the bloody forms I'd filled out when I walked in. Why had I just sat there waiting for an hour for nothing.) Sadly, I think I got a little awkward and short tempered with the woman. Seemed utterly ridiculous to me that simply because I had a bad tooth, I was now regarded as some sort of untouchable breeding ground for the plague! I've had bad teeth for years and still given blood!? It's 'just' a bad tooth for goodness sake! If you neglect them (and smoke in particular) they go bad - they hurt for a while - go loose - fall out. It's all very matter of course. I don't start dripping green acid from my ears!! Am I now to believe the hospitals are littered with dead people because of me? Crazy. . it didn't develop into an 'argument', but it was definitely an uneasy moment. Before I stormed off, I placed my donor information 'credit' type card on the table and told her to keep it because, since I had no intentions of running off to find a dentist like she had suggested, that was the end of that! . returned home in the rain feeling really angry that I'd wasted several hours of the day. Got all overwhelmed with the idea that I'd lead a pretty useless life, and was now deemed useless as 'dead meat' too. The very stuff of which I am made is now deemed untouchable and useless. :o( Can they be serious? I mean - when someone dies in a car wreck and they have a donor card, do the transplant teams all rush to have a look in the corpses mouth to see if the teeth are all nice and clean, before maybe deciding that a potential organ recipient must instead just unfortunately die, because the corpse was a smoker and didn't use Colgate? . . Got all crazy and down about the whole thing. As soon as I'd returned home, I dug out the organ donor card I've carried in my wallet for at least the last fifteen years, and tore it up, to ensure the continued safety of humanity! :o( Retreated to bed. . . .napped until around 7pm . . drove to walk. . drank a glass + of red wine and ended up PCing the 'distant coastline' video as an escape from my mood. . TVd . .touched base with BB and said an ironic 'happy thanksgiving'!. . cooked and ate black pudding, four sausages and chips . . TVd until bed at 1am. dd
26 - Woken by the noise from the refuse lorry around 8:30am . . drove to walk . . PCd the harbour xmas lights, 'silentnight' video. They definitely need more lights! . . ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped . . skipped the evening walk and sat motionless and feeling pretty down for most of the evening. I'm always just so, SO tired!? . ate kipling tarts, chocolate and the last big bowl of the stew. . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around 2am. s
25 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am. . walked and carried on down town. Bought a cheap set of headphones for an incredible 1 in the pound store. Dunno how they can afford to sell them so cheap? The pack not only included the cheap over the head type, but also a set of 'in ear' ones AND a socket convertor!! . . Back home to find yet another box of energy saving lightbulbs left on the doorstep by the postman. From the Gas company this time! . . did laundry . PCd . . cooked and ate a mushrooms, onion, corned beef, grated cheese 'melt' with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped until woken by tooth ache again . . walked in the near freezing point temperature and then carried on down town to have a go at trying to film some of the night time harbour scenes. Incredibly quiet evening. Somehow ended up messing around for a couple of hours (despite the general lack of lights. Probably took that long because it was hard trying to find a view of anything worth filming!) and didn't get back home until well after 10pm . . PCd the footage . . touched base with BB. . ate a bowl of stew and a Mum donated miniature cheesecake . . TVd next to the fire trying to warm back up until bed around 2:15am, after having taken a paracetamol tablet to try to deaden the pain from my bad tooth and enable me to sleep better for a while. pcml
24 - Woken by Sally around 7:15am . . walked and carried on down and back through town. Very cold NE wind. . PCd through until mid afternoon before having to have a break. . ate Mum donated ham rolls. . napped . . drove to walk . . PCd yet more on the third of the Xmas lights switch on videos. That one was even more complicated than the last in the editing!! Lots of audio splitting and overlaying and such. Finally called it quits and uploaded it around 11pm!! Overly long in at least one part (dictated by wanting to keep the background band music soundtrack), but generally happy with the result I think! Ate a bowl of microwaved stew . .touched base with BB . . TVd until bed around 2am. a
23 - Up around 7:15am . .Image of Sally and rainbow over Torbay drove to walk in cold drizzly showers, although there was less rain in the air than I'd thought when I looked out first thing. I'd have walked if I'd known. . A series of neat rainbows appeared over BGdns while we were out. Took a snap or two but resisted getting the camcorder out (although with hindsight probably should have). . PCd the day away working on yesterday's footage. . managed to get the first 'easy' choir part done and uploaded by mid afternoon. . ate a bowl of stew with 4b+b and then a square of chocolate. . napped only until around 5:30pm. Much dreaming (and as usual, kinda nightmarish). . ended up back on the PC and skipped the evening walk. Ate a couple of kipling tarts . Called a halt and uploaded the second file before midnight. Not that it shows, but the editing on that was particularly awkward with lots of soundtrack overlays and clumsy attempts at 'bleeping' out potentially sensitive portions to protect peoples identinties and all that jazz. I even actually slightly mixed up the timeline with regard to the brass band segments, but in such a way it appears to flow in a linear way with continuity I think. Apart from the feedback 'bleeps' (with hindsight I should have used 'crowd noise' instead) I'm pretty pleased with the result. . touched base with BB . . PCd until around 3:30am before finally to bed.
22 - Woken around 7:30am by Sally barking at the postman. Raced down to receive my package. That'll be my terrabyte drive. :o) . . walked in the cold drizzle showers and carried on down town to tour the charity shops and see what progress had been made with all the christmas lights and such (due to be turned on with 'festivities' later this afternoon). It must be said, despite the fact there were obviously lights up all over the place (complete with solar powered miniature christmas trees mounted on all the lamp posts on the main road into town. The solar panels were mounted in such a way they 'could' be mistaken for a star on top of the tree) it all looked pretty unimpressive in the daylight. Particularly sad I thought was the floating father christmas and reindeer, chained up amongst the boats in the harbour. I trust it'll all look better at night. Call me Scrooge if you like, but I still can't help thinking all the (considerable!) money it's taken would have been better spent elsewhere!. . scored a long sleeved black sweatshirt for 2.50 in a charity shop. . straight back home to unpack my new hard drive and set it formatting. It comes pre-formated 'FAT' and of course I want it to be NTFS. Due to the size of it, the format is gonna take a good hour or two I reckon (actually turned out to be more than four!!). . .PCd a bit of this while formatting. . Mum called in with food donations etc . . left Sally at home and walked with the camcorder and tripod to see the christmas lights switched on by the harbour. . a lot of people had the same idea. Pretty crowded. I was right not to take Sally. . arrived just as a little-kids school choir was in mid performance under the old fish market. Still all up tight about that woman's comments on the 11th - given the number of people all recording all over the place with various cameras, I dared to pull mine out and start filming too. Managed to dash about a bit in between things happening and capture a bunch of the band playing christmas tunes. With any luck, that'll enable me to do an edited video without having to resort to dubbing over some copyrighted music from elsewhere . . oh boy - did that town council guy go on forever with his 'thankyou's' speech! And the guy from the radio station who was doing the actual switch on, seemed to be painfully slow in getting things going. .Finally at long long last, they did the actual switch on - although since it was still pretty much full daylight, it was actually difficult to know anything had actually happened! lol It also transpired, the second tree (arguably the better one) which was apparantly the property of the local traders, didn't get switched on until a half hour or more later (which I missed because I was wandering around doing shots of the other lights at the time)!!??? (Can't help but wonder if they were 'making a point' and playing silly seperatist politics or something with that?) . .

- /unfinished/-

. . . drove Sally to walk . . drank a glass of wine and cooked up a huge, HUGE pot of stew. Used some cheap mince as an experiment, instead of the usual tin of stewed steak in gravy, together with a tin of chopped tomatoes, frozen peas, carrots, onions, mushrooms and potatoes . .ate with four pieces of bread and butter. Not 'bad' but certainly not as good as with the stewed steak in gravy. Maybe I made too much on this occasin and it isn't enough meat for such a large amount. I'm gonna be eating it for days!! . touched base with BB, but ever so briefly because I was so near to being asleep! . . to bed before 11pm!! d
21 - Up around 8am . . .walked . . mixed up a little cement and laboriously filled some more of the gaps between the paving slabs in the back garden below the kitchen window, to stop the weeds, and assist in directing rainwater into the drain rather than just seeping into the ground. Looks pretty awful but that really doesn't concern me at all . . ended up pottering around in the back lane and tried a bit of digging, in the hope of being able to level out all the puddles and potholes just a little. Pretty soon became apparant it was just too much hard work to make any progress. :o( . . while I was just about giving up, after havving immdeiately caused a blister on my hand, one of the neighbours from a few doors away came out for a chat. Ended up chatting for quite a while and even had him in for a coffee. Ended up popping up to his house briefly to have a look at all the alterations he'd done. It's a bigger and detached house, very similar to mine but subtly different in layout here and there because it is bigger. Those subtle differences make it SO much more alterable and functional than mine. Such a shame. On the plus side, it was possible to see how the house felt with the living room doorway in a different position. The doorway into my living room seems to be positioned in the 'perfect' place to make it almost impossible to have any sort of decent furniture layout in the room! A three piece suite arrangement simply isn't possible because of it! Even just a two seater and one chair is awkward!! After MUCH trying to think of alternatives, I'd concluded that if the doorway was moved into the inner corner of the room away from the front door, it would give a much greater amount of wall space and allow for a two AND three seater in there. The only down side I could envisage (apart from all the work involved) was how the house would feel coming in the front door, and not having the living room door almost immediately on your left. It'd maybe be too much like coming into a featureless corridor? Well - his house had the doorway in the corner, half way down the hallway, and it didn't feel too bad at all, and exactly as I'd imagined, they had two sofas against the walls in their living room. It works. That may well be a (nasty/lintel) job for me for the future. . . ate big corned beef and salad sandwiches with crisps . . napped until woken by pain from my bad tooth around 6pm . . drove to walk. Clear and starry. . touched base with Mum. She admitted to having had a couple of occassions where her TV signal briefly degraded, but according to her it was SO brief, it 'may' even have been nothing to do with anything her end?. . guitarred/TVd, luxuriating with the heating on a bit. . touched base with BB . . ate chocolate, blackberry and apple kipling tarts and eventually a chicken and mushroom pastry slice. . TVd until bed around 1am. s
20 - Up around 8:30am . .drove to walk . . PCd and somehow wasted several hours acheiving nothing at all. Tried desperatly to start an e-mail reply to someone I think deserves one, but very quickly caved in with only a couple of words typed. . drank a half glass of red wine while cooking bacon, black pudding, beans and mushrooms. Ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped until woken by Sally after 7pm! Woke feeling headachey, cold and awful . .LB called! She was at home 'recovering'. Goodoh. :o) . . skipped the walk and spent the rest of the night pretty much sitting motionless in front the TV! . . touched base with BB. . ate some buttered syrup cake and bowls of cornflakes before bed around 2am. ada
19 - Up around 7:40am . . .drove to walk . . wow - my latest purchase of printer ink has been delivered already! That's pretty efficient. Less pleasing was how they'd stuffed all the loose cartridges into a jiffy bag, without the boxes. That's gonna make it awkward to keep track of which is which - and in fact took me ages to sort them all out into piles, just to check I had complete sets as ordered!. . . sorted out a few tools and then drove with Sally to Mums to have a go at installing the new aerial in her attic. . To cut a long story short, by the time I'd finished several hours later and had happily succeeded in using some heavy duty screw bolts from Dads garage jam jar collection to mount it to the very apex of the inside of the roof, I was fairly pleased with the result and I think had all the watchable digital freeview channels, including of course channel five, which she's actually never had before - and that, despite the aerial pointing directly at the gable-end concrete wall, and thence through all the neighbouring houses up the street!!! Hardly ideal! I reckon I could have done the whole thing in half the time if I was simply putting it up outside on the chimney! It remains to be seen if different weather conditions will degrade the signal. She'll just have to use it for a while and see how it performs. It could 'maybe' be slightly improved with a tweak her and there, but that'd be a lot of hassle just to see. . ate a Mum donated pasty with pickled onions, crisps and a little chocolate. . napped until around 6pm . . drove to walk. . drank half a glass of red wine and returned Jks ansaphone call . . touched base with Mum to see how her reception was going. So far so good. . touched base with BB. .ate soup with four pieces of bread and butter. . TVd/PCd until early. ds
18 - Up around 8am . .walked . . PCd and went on -line and with the money Mum had given me for my birthday in mind, bought some more printer ink cartridges from the e-bay supplier I'd used before (5 full sets for 24.99) and then ordered a 'Freecom 1 Terrabyte 3.5" external USB 2 hard drive' from Amazon for 89.99 with free delivery!! I have been suprised on more than one occassion when looking at such things, at how competitive Amazon is with its pricing. Hard to find a much better deal than that anywhere at the moment, and particularly so when you consider it was specifically a Freecom drive I wanted. . Who'd have thought a couple of years ago I'd ever be buying myself a terrabyte drive?! The first drive I ever bought was a mere 20 megabytes, and I think cost about the same! lol

. . left Sally at home and drove to the diy store with the intention of buying mum a new TV aerial. Sadly the ordinary one I had in mind was out of stock so I ended up buying her a 10 more expensive one! 'Gold' covered for better signal conduction! Knowing her, I figured she'd rather have the better one anyway. . . shopped for food on the way home. . dropped off the aerial at Mums on the way past . . ate a pastry slice, crisps and chocolate . . PCd . . walked down town and back via BGdns. Wow - they've erected the metal frame of the new building on the new fish dock already! . .did dish washing chores . .TVd and watched the second part of the 'game show' mental health program on BBC2. The mental health professional I suggested had his own issues, admitted in the program he'd suffered from depression as a younger man, so I wasn't far wrong then. lololol :o) . . touched base with BB . . cooked and ate mushrooms, onion and grated cheese all melted down together with a couple of buttered bread rolls around midnight - and boy was that good. . to bed soon after.
17 - Up just before 8am . .drove to walk . . pottered around in the garden collecting up fallen leaves (feels so terribly pointless when there are still plenty more all ready to drop) and trying to tidy up a bit . . carried the ladder through to the front and had a good look at the roof over the bedroom window which appears to be letting in water, judging by the staining of the internal paintwork. After closely examining the metal that covers that roof, I think it must be water getting in BEHIND the metal, where it joins the main roof slope beneath the tiles. That's a dissappointement, and suggests that water is getting behind the main roof tiles somehow!! That's bad news. Sadly, I think that means I'm just going to have to wait for it to get unavoidably bad before I try to figure out what can be done about it, and by who!!! :o( . . mixed up a little cement and rammed it into the scraped-out gap between the house and the obviously slightly subsided front patio. Doesn't look too nice and won't really do much, but I'm sick and tired of having to try to pull all the weeds out which keep managing to get a foothold there, so it should at least stop that for a while. I have it in mind, it may also help to prevent as much rainwater from seeping into that void below the steps built on the path, where I thought I had a water leak. I seem to have pretty much a continuous damp patch on the path beneath my drilled drain hole now. If we ever get really cold weather and a freeze down here (which doesn't happen often), that's gonna be a pretty lethal patch of ice! . . used the remainder of the cement to put a little between the paving slabs in the back garden below the kitchen window next to the conservatory - for exactly the same sort of reasons. . ate ham sandwiches with crisps. . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm. . . TVd. . drank half a glass of wine while cooking bacon, black pudding, eggs, fried bread and baked beans. . touched base with BB. . .Uncle TJ called at almost midnight to say how thankful they were for the discs I'd given them and how much enttertainment they were getting from them!!??? As it turned out, based on the conversation we had, I suspect he was actually a little drunk. lolololololol :o) . . . TVd until bed around 2am. ds
16 - Up around 8:30am . . walked. . 'PJ' the 'new' lady dog walker suggested walking the woods, and I had been tempted myself before she mentioned it, so we ended up walking them together, down to F. cove and back. Sadly that took a toll on my favourite walking boots of recent times, and the seam on one side of them is now all split. Won't be able to use them much longer. :o( It's incredible how quickly I get through a pair of shoes! . . popped by Mums on the return to pick up the ham she said she had for me but had forgotten yesterday . . ate ham rolls . . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm . . skipped the walk again (although Sally appears all stiff and tired and was probably thankfull) . . drank the can of Stella left by PS the last time he visited . . TVd . . PCd a bit and got all into messing around with the calendar thumbnails . .cut my hair . . touched base with BB . . ate the last of the stew with four pieces of bread and butter after midnight. . .TVd until bed around 2am. d
15 - Up around 7:15am . . . walked . . PCd a bit. Put in a little work so I could show Mum the remembrance day parade on the TV. Actually - as it turns out, the video editting software has a facility to enhance 'extreme backlight' video, and that footage from the 11th comes out kinda watchable! That's clever. . Mum called in with food donations for chats etc. . ate stew and buttered bread rolls and then somehow napped right through until around 6:30pm! . . skipped the evening walk and TVd the evening away . . touched base with BB . . ate a little chocolate and mum donated kipling tarts . . TVd/PCd until bed after 4am!! s
14 - Up around 7:45am . . PCd a bit of this - ranting some more! . . walked . .PCd the day away, experimenting! lololololol It's pretty naff but - well - kinda there-ish. lolololol

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. . . walked. For some reason I appeared to be a bit wobbly and unsteady on my feet!? Assuming that was a lack of food thing, as soon as I got home I set about making up a large saucepan of 'stew' (while drinking a half glass of wine). The one carrot I'd bought for the purpose some time ago was found to have gone all soft and bendy, so that was a waste. Chopped up a mass of potatoes and onions and boiled them up with some frozen peas before adding a tin of stewed steak in gravy. Actually found a tin of chopped tomatoes in the bottom of a cupboard, and since I don't ever buy or use such things, figured I'd get rid of it by throwing that in as well. The 'use before date' on that tin was two years ago!!!! It must have been bought by BB back in Bristol! Still seemed perfectly ok, which just goes to show how much such stuff is wasted when discarded because of the sell by date. . ate a large bowlful with a couple of (now out of date) buttered bread rolls. . left a message on LBs ansaphone during my cooking, asking that someone call me back at some point to let me know how things had gone with her operation. Her guy called in the middle of my eating and informed me it had all gone ok and she was up and about and bossing people around and was really in need of a glass of chardney! Yeah - that sounds like her. lolol :o) More worryingly he said something about some concern about a particular area which was going to have a small second operation on Monday, I think he said!!? :o( . . TVd . .touched base with BB . . ate just a little chocolate . . TVd until bed around midnight. ds
13 - Up around 7:30am . . .walked and got caught out in the rain. . PCd surfing a little and then PCd this until mid afternoon - and it's STILL not done!!! . No - strike that - evening and still not finished! And then there's that e-mail I really should reply to, to say I won't be replying! Arrgg. Oh well - tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow - and then never - again! :o( . . Wonder how LBs doing. :o( . . couldn't face walking and set about taking Sally out to the car and warming it up. It was worthy of note that when I looked out before getting dressed up to go, there wasn't another car parked in my part of the street. Quite unusual. Parking in the street is remarkably quite an issue - mostly because the crowd next door all seem to have a car each. Four or five for the one house, depending on who is about at the time. It's not unusual not to be able to park anywhere near my own house! Anyway - so, looking out and seeing the street almost empty was welcome, and suggested I'd be able to get out, walk Sally, come back and be able to park nearby. By the time I'd got out to the car, next door on one side had returned home and parked in front of my car. Not particularly close, but closer than desireable (given my driving in my weird new semi-auto car) because he always seems to want to park so the doors of his car are next to his gate. Our gates are adjacent, so that means he generaly 'overlaps' the area in front of my house a little. As I'm sat in my car with the engine running, wiping down condensation from the windscreen (rain and Sally always make for MUCH damp inside the car!) and warming it all up, one of the young men from next door arrived in his car and proceeded to park up behind me. Incredibly, for reasons best known to him, despite the entire road in front of him being clear of any parked cars, he proceeded to reverse up to within a foot of my rear bumper! I turned my lights on to make sure he could see that I was there and about to want to drive away, but that had no impact and he eventually turned his car off!!! No way could I get the car out, so I had to get out and ask him to move his car so I could - and even then he only nudged it forward a little, so I still had difficulty in squeezing out! What was that all about? I was SO irritated, I accidentaly span the front wheels a little as I raced off up the street! That's not the first time I've had aggravation from having them park so close. The funny boxy design of my car means that the rear hatch is pretty much verticle, and is hinged at the top. It requires a remarkably large amount of space behind the car to be able to open it (for getting Sally in). More than once I've been forced to get her in the side doors instead, because there simply wasn't enough space left behind me to be able to open it! Irritating lack of simple consideration. . TVd . . called LBs number and left a message on the ansaphone saying I hoped everything was ok. . touched base with BB . . I really do seem to 'have it in for' the BBC at the moment, but yet again today I found much to criticise. Tonights primary news slot, the ten o'clock news, included an interview with Clint Eastwood!!?? Had he died? Been part of a major news story? No. He's the director of a new movie to have just come out!!!!!!!! So - what that means is, he's out doing promotional interviews - basically just being an advert for the film. (in the same way that 'celebreties' only appear on chat shows etc, when they've just brought out a new film or a book or some such). Just exactly HOW was this worthy of being on 'the news'?? What a coup for the movie advertisers. Immediately following the piece, the news presenter, in doing the hand over to local news presenters said, 'for more national and international news . .' go to the news channel etc. So - a new moneymaking hollywood film coming out, is now somehow regarded as national/international news!? The BBC person in editorial control of the news should be suspended immediately, and an internal enquiry run to clear them of any possible allegation of having received bribes! This is actually a disturbing trend of recent years. Another recent example was the amount of news and other TV coverage recently given over to the new James Bond film. Almost saturation on every channel - and at the same time, the schedules included older James Bond films, just to keep the same 'one big advert' ball rolling. The BBC (mandatory licence fee and all) should be above such media manipulation. . I watch a lot of the News 24 channel. It is a constant source of amazement to me how a 24 hour news channel somehow manages to cover SO little of what is actually going on out there, and is So wrapped up in feeling obliged to report LIVE from everywhere, even when whatever they are reporting on has happened long ago and nothing is gained by being live at a place where nothing is currently happening! . . what the hell has happened to common sense? Why am I so angry about everything right now?. . .hadn't eaten a thing all day, and still really didn't want to bother. Don't recall ever having had so little an appetite!?? . . eventually forced down three defrosted sausage rolls, a little cheese, pickled onions and a pack of crisps . . TVd until bed at midnight. sa
12 - Image of Sally in Brixham harbourUp around 7:15am again?. . PCd. Bugger! YouTube has blocked the steam train video I did, set to an edit of the Jimi Hendrix track 'Hear My Train A'Comin', because of the copyright breach. That was a good one I thought. Had a bunch of hits too. Well - on top of yesterday's nonsense, that's compounded my sour mood and convinced me even further of the futility and pointlessness of what I've been spending my life doing. :o( . . .walked. Beautiful calm, clear sky sunny morning. It'd occurred to me last night that I hadn't taken any photos of the war memorial with all the poppies (in fact hardly taken any photos of anything much for a long while), and it'd got into my mind that it'd be nice to try to get a couple of Sally with them in the background, so I eventually headed off back in that direction. Got all caught up with doing a photo shoot of her in the harbour on the way through. The tide was out, and a (new?) boat which had come to my attention some little while ago had been moved round from its previous unapproachable position, and was high and dry right in front of the Golden Hind replica. Took a whole bunch of photos, but sadly the light was all wrong (like my video of the 11th - the foreground all in inpenetrable dark shade, the distant background all in bright sunlight) and not a single one of them was any use. Continued on back out along to the memorial and attempted a photo shoot there, but by then Sally was all bored and no amount of coaxing or waving of gravy bones would get her to look at the camera for long enough to get a decent shot, and of course once again it was all in really dark shade. All in all, pretty much a wasted effort - which pretty much sums everything up at the moment. :o( On the way back, the position of the sun had changed and it was 'just' possible to have another go at the harbour photos. Sadly, despite the better light, the actual photos 'composition' and positioning was not as good as what I'd acheived earlier, but at least one or two were ok-ish. Doesn't translate very well for the small, cropped image on here - looks better at full size. I'm still tempted to have a go at a 'Sally-Cal' calendar some time - despite having hardly taken any photos this year - but then again, what's the ***** point! . Eventually headed back towards BGdns. Actually - there was loads of 'stuff' going on (diver by the slipway/cranes and cement pouring on the new jetty/men working at low tide on a trawler's shiny new looking propeller/etc, etc!!) but I was still feeling pretty fed up about it all, couldn't muster the 'nerve' it takes to pull the camcorder out and point it at people, and didn't bother filming ANY of it and just walked on! . . PCd this mornings poor photos and then worked on the remembrance service video for the rest of the day, just to get that loose end tied up and out of the way. Actually a very fiddly time consuming video to edit down - and as usual I had a real problem with just throwing lots of it away. I regard it ALL as 'precious'. Took hours! It could have been a lot better, with a lot more cuts inserted, but my mood was such I just couldn't be bothered with putting in even more hours on it. On the plus side - I did at least get round to learning how to use a feature of the editing software (splitting off the videos audio track) I hadn't used up to now. Fiddly and a bit 'buggy' but pretty cool now I know how-ish. What I could have done to some of the old Heritage Festivel etc. videos I laboured over for hours, if I'd had that software back then! . took until around 7:30pm before I'd called a halt to the editting and succcessfully uploaded the files! Pretty happy with the result. (I had actually envisaged a potential timelapse sequence of the parade and crowds dispersing at the end, and DID film accordingly, but everyone was so slow going, and lots of people had vans and cars come pick them up, etc., it just wasn't right - and it made me laugh out loud watching it - especially the Bently having to drive slowly down the road behind an oblivious old guy in an electric wheelchair! - so that definitely wasn't appropriate.) If I do end up calling a halt to video making, as I am minded to at the moment, then that isn't a bad one to end it all on. . drove to walk. Cold but a very clear night. . drank a part glass of red wine while cooking up four cheese burgers to eat . . TVd. Bizarre, but almost every program I tuned into, and especially the local news, had huge amounts of footage and reports with loads of young children included in the film! Grrr. Wonder what that woman makes of all that?. . called LB and left a message saying I was thinking about her and good luck with her operation tomorrow. :o( . . touched base with BB. . TVd until bed at midnight. ad
11 - Up around 7:15am. . .walked with the tripod. Picked up a couple of bottles and some smashed glass from the road, where last nights yobs HAD been doing exactly what I'd thought. Hung around in BGdns for quite a while letting the time slip by before eventually heading down around the harbour and on back out to the war memorial to grab some footage of whatever there was there, at 11 o'clock. They'd said during Sunday's parade that they weren't going to be doing anything there on the 11th, because they were all heading off to a ceremony at Galmpton apparantly. Figured it may be interesting to see if it would be completely deserted - which may have made for an interesting video clip in itself. Just as I climbed the steps up behind the memorial, a crowd of young children all wearing bright yellow fluorescent safety jackets were being marshalled along the road by carers, to come to the memorial to lay their hand made paper wreaths. Oh wow! How cute is THAT! Rushed to get the camcorder out of my pocket and grabbed a quick clip of them arriving before heading off across the road and up the steps to the filming position the guys from the newspaper had used on the 9th. A short while later, one of the young women who was escorting the children, crossed over the road and came up to me and asked 'Are you filming or taking photos?'. (I WAS filming and the conversation was picked up by the microphone!) She then said 'Is it ok that you don't film the children . . it's because we've got confidentiality . . with the children, their identities, . . once it's on a film . .'. She said it in that weird way that seems to have been promoted by the neighbours TV show. Where every line is said with an upwardly rising tone, as though it is a question. My response was, "I think that's utter nonsense, it's a public place, I will carry on". (Actually the closest I've come to a direct confrontation and refusal to a request from someone about anything, for as long as I can remember!!) I made the foolish mistake of filling the awkward silence which then ensued by saying "ok?" (see - I'm not used to having confrontations!) , which of course led to a further exchange. 'No that's not ok. Because I would rather you didn't film them because some people, parents, wouldn't be happy that you're filming their children and you then have their faces on film.' I responded hesitantly "Are you suggesting that I may be . . .?" 'No I'm not suggesting anything. I'm proTECting my children.' "Ok" 'And I'm asking you to just hold off until we're finished. I'm not saying you can't film because that's not my right. But I'm saying . . ' "Ok , ok. I appreciate what you're saying" 'Alright.' In a 'pleading' tone - "It's a GOLDEN moment. It's a BEAUTIFUL moment!" 'It is. I know. I know. I understand that, but I'm protecting the children's identities and I can't let you film. I'm sorry. It's not right. As a parent, they would be worried if someone has got their . . it's not what you might do with it, but it's what someone else might do with it and their faces . (-unintelligible-)'. "I appreciate what you've said." - in a semi 'ok' tone. To be honest, I was just looking to end the conversation - out of principle without actually agreeing to her 'request', because there was obviously nothing to be gained by continuing it. With the time around 10:45am or later, and with eleven o'clock approaching, as she began to walk away and cross back over the road, I called out "Is it your intention to be here for long?" 'Well, we want to wait for the maroons, but I can see that . '. I curtly interrupted whatever she was about to say and said "Well I'm filming THAT! I'm filming that." and with that she returned to the other side of the road and her charges. (Actually, she was sadly unaware that the maroons were not going to be fired, since no ceremony was planned there.) That got me SO angry. It seemed like SUCH petty minded stupidity to me. Don't get me wrong. I understand the issues. But it's not as though they were kids lightly clothed on a beach, or swinging on swings in a play area or some such. They were all in bright yellow fluorescent jackets and were touchingly laying home made paper wreaths on a poppy covered war memorial!! Who in their right mind would find the recording of such a moving event objectionable? Surely? Ok - by all means ask what the film will be used for - ask for copies, etc etc - but to simply say don't? In my opinion - she's lost the plot. And all concerned have lost something precious. Look at the tear inducing pleasure which was created by that beautiful video I happened to record, of the kids and the Princess Royal's helicopter. I fail to see how any child's 'identity' has been compromised by that! Arrrrrggggggghhhh! That got to me. It got to me big time - I was seething - and because of it, although I left the camera running throughout, I didn't dare to be seen touching the camera or trying to focus in on any of the beautiful moments - of which there WERE many! . Even in my anger, I imagined I'd upset her, and actually crossed over the road at one point and forcibly made the stupid woman have a complete set of my 'Pebbles' videos (destined for someone else, and which just happened to be in a pocket), just so she'd know what I was about - if she bothered to look. . Image of Brixham war memorial at 11am on 11/11/2008at 11am a far off distant boom could 'just' be heard, which was the only indication that the hour had arrived. As it did so, the group of children all sort of linked arms around shoulders and stood in front of the poppy covered memorial. One or two other people were stood nearby. It WAS a touching and beautiful moment, and I confess I WAS moved to shed a tear. Another distant boom heralded the end of the moment, and eventually the kids and their 'guardians-against-evil' headed off. (I did actually ask one as they passed, which school they were from, just in case I HAD recorded something worthwhile, and so I'd at the very least, be able to give THEM a copy whether they wanted it or not!). . seethed all the way home . . nervously PCd the mornings footage. If I had something 'nice' and too precious to discard, given what had happened, what would I do? And yes - I HAD managed to record the conversation! Relived the 'confrontation', and seethed some more! How on earth was I going to resist making a spiteful video out of THAT!!!! . Funnily enough, all that was taken care of by fate. Because the memorial was in full shade, the higher skyline was in absolutely brilliant sunshine, and because I'd not dared to re-position the camera to be focusing on the kids in the shade as I'd wanted to, there was almost nothing of any value in the footage whatsoever!! All you could see for almost the entire time was the hint of lots of fluorescent jackets running about in the gloom beneath a brightly lit skyline. lolol Oh well. Just as well then - but still, a terrible loss through petty mindedness I think. With hindsight - what a good job the Sunday weather wasn't like that - from a filming point of view. I'd have got almost nothing if it had been! . . gave up on the footage and didn't even bother transferring the rest to the PC. . . ate a couple of Mum donated pastry slices. .napped until the alarm at 6:30pm . . woke feeling yucky, tired, and oh so very, VERY down! In a VERY dark place all of a sudden!!!!! Obviously 'triggered' by the incident earlier, but clearly been building up for a while. I've just been keeping busy. Funny how it's like a switch was clicked, and all of a sudden all this video making nonsense I've been doing for the past many months, appeared so clearly to be a totally pointless, stupid, utter waste of time and effort. So much so, it's impossible to imagine ever doing another one. Overwhelmed with wanting to have nothing to do with ANYONE, even more than ever I have!! I really have changed over the last few years. My desire/need to be reclusive and have very little to do with anyone is now utterly unshakeable and fixed. Back immediately before the 'yob' events in Bristol, I was starting to try to challenge my 'abnormal' behaviours and was dabbling with 're-awakening' needs, desires, hopes, aspirations and planning how to set about a possible future life. Not now. All that's over with. In a somewhat more 'angry' way, my attitude seems to have become, whatever life I 'may' have once been able to acheive, that has passed me by. I'll never be, or have, any of that 'stuff' that so many others take for granted. I AM this way. I'm stuck with it. I'm not the one causing all the problems of which we all suffer. Everyone just F**K off and leave me alone! My website is SO not 'me' any more. . . TVd. There was a new first of a two part, 'mental health' orientated Horizon show on BBC2, which Mum had drawn my attention to. "A fascinating experiment that aims to destigmatise mental health issues by challenging our perceptions. Ten volunteers, half of whom have psychiatric disorders, perform a series of tasks under the watchful eye of three expertswho try to work out who is who." Despite recommending an alternative show on a different channel at the same time, which I said , would be more interesting to watch, somehow unwisely I DID end up watching it!! THAT was a mistake! So now the wisdom at the BBC is to make mental health issues some sort of a f***ing game show!! They even did that nauseating Chris Tarrant type long, pregnant pause before we were to find out if the health professionals ( oh boy - one of them at least, was SO concerned of possible failure, he obviously had major issues himself! lololol) had made the correct assessment of their guinea pigs (actually not 'so' unwell or they couldn't have even been there! One allegedly had social anxiety - and yet they all did a stand up comedy spot at a pub! Social anxiety? Hardly much! Come on - 'real' social anxiety would have made it impossible to be in the program, let alone go doing stand up comedy, especially in a pub of all places! I know whereof I speak!). Well - thank god I DIDN'T reply to that BBC researcher that recently attempted to contact me! Under current circumstances, I am no longer a supporter of the TV licence fee system!!. . . had absolutely no appetite whatsoever, but my stomach was aching with hunger and doing that nauseating very loud gurgling which has become SO familiar to me of late. (I've really been eating very little for weeks. Just mostly surviving on constant strong cups of two-sugars coffee, and chain smoking! On top of that - my gum disease/rotting teeth have become SO bad, it's actually reached the point where it is difficult to find anything I can actually chew my way through without it being too painful/difficult or even actually impossible! Eating crisps is now pretty hellish, and even something as soft as a banana is problematic. :o( ) . . ate a buttered bread roll, a tin of sausages and a tin of sausages in beans. . .TVd until bed around 1am. aa
10 - Up around 8:45am, woken by the sound of rain battering the window. . drove to walk late. . touched base with Mum. . rushed up Mums when she rang, to be there to offer moral support with the TV guys 'instaling' her new TV. All pretty straightforward and it worked 'ok-ish' onb her old badly positioned in the loft antenna, although I eventually got her to agree she DID need a new one and I'll get round to buying and fitting it. . briefly had a look at trying to fix her dripping hot water taps, but the under sink isolation valve is faulty and I couldn't easily turn the water off, so that'll habve to wait for another day . . PCd the 'Vigilance' video. . logged on to the local newspaper website and watched the remembrance day video the guy filming next to me had made. Funny to see something filmed from just inches away from what I'd filmed. Of course his video was by necessity heavily edited and cut down to a neat little four minute 'flavour' of the event. Interesting for ME to watch though. Some bits were better, some bits were obviously not. One shot in particular I really couldn't have lived with, where he showed a singing crowd, that SO obviously was NOT singing what we could hear! lol On the whole, my conclusion was - I could do that. I'm 'at least' THAT good at it all, and that's without the 'power to intrude' which being 'press' gives you. . . touched base with Mum to see how she was getting on with her new fangled gadgety TV! Ok-ish it would appear. . drove to walk. As I parked up and left the car, a group of youths pulled up and parked on the opposite side of the road in an 'unusual place' which drew my attention. Walking Sally through the Gdns in the dark, I heard some smashing glass. I sat in the dark for my cigarette as usual and heard more. It appeared to me from my distant seat, the yobs were drinking in the car and then hurling their empty bottles across the road to smash in the street against the low wall beneath the railings!! When I returned to the car, I confess I actually sat there for quite a time, just watching them in my wing mirror. (It was too dark to film into the mirror - I DID try!). I didn't hear any more smashing glass, but did witness an unknowing van driver pull up and drive through it all, litter being happily dropped into the street beneath the yob's passenger window and a couple of them get out to urinate against the wall. Scumbags. There are those who would have me believe, that such behavior is actually dealt with locally by the police if they are called! Maybe I need to find out what the local poliec number is - but hang on. I've played that game before haven't I - and look what it cost me!!! :o( I eventually started the car and just drove away. . TVd . . ate six sausages with three bread rolls and some Mum donated fudge, and felt pretty sick as a result. . touched base with BB. . . TVd until bed around 1am. as
9 - Up at 7:45am. . walked . . left Sally at home and walked down to see the remembrance day parade and service. Got down there early enough to have time to wander around and plan a couple of likely vantage points for filming. Managed to grab some video of the very beginning of the parade before picking up the still running camera and tripod, and running as fast as I could all the way down the harbourside walkway, to run across a flowerbed and climb up on a low wall. Hastily managed to get the camera set up and running (albeit not as well framed as it could have been) on the tripod on top of a higher piece of the wall, and succeeded in capturing the ENTIRE parade from end to end as it went by. I hardly missed a single face (if at all). Very cool I thought. :o) As soon as the parade had cleared, I was off the wall and back up running through the crowd, to reach the actual war memorial before the parade did. . Damn. The ideal camera position was already occupied by someone with a fancy camera/microphone and professional looking tripod. :o( Ended up having to take second place and perch precariously half way up some steps with the tripod straddling the steps and adjacent wall!!!!! Hellish! Turned out they were from the local newspaper, doing a video for their website. Jealous of their kit! . kept the camera running throughout the entire service to capture as much of anything useful as I could, and then stayed on and hung about afterwards, until all the crowds of people had dispersed and I could get that 'golden shot' of the memorial and poppies etc. left behind in the breeze. . eventually called it quits and headed home to PC whatever I may have got. . PCd on the footage and somehow all the way through until just after 9pm before ending up with a decent version of 'The Parade' video. That was a hell of a struggle! Given the sombre nature of the event, it would have been completely inappropriate to speed it up or set it to some other music. It just HAD to be an 'as it happened' type of video. Should have been a lot easier, but because of the way things went, of course I didn't have any useful audio of most of it because the band marched past and were soon inaudible in the distance (and some of what could have been the most useful at the beginning, was marred by the sound of me taking off running! lol It IS obvious isn't it? Do people realise that when they watch my videos? I never know what I'll make of ANY of the videos I've done, until AFTER I've recorded the footage! NEVER the other way around - I just can't do that. ) . Took ages to be able to cut up the audio I DID get as they passed, and make it repeat in such a way that it 'kinda' worked for the duration of the video. VERY difficult. Mostly happy with the result. . ate Mum donated tongue in buttered rolls with crisps. . . touched base with BB. . PCd until bed around 2am.
8 - Woken by Sally at 8:10am . . .walked and back via town . . PCd until Mum arrived with food donations, for coffee and to watch the latest videos. . as soon as Mum had left, I left Sally at home and popped back down town to see what was going on in the Scala hall. Posters had been put up around town saying that the lifeboat crew were going to be there, to meet the public and show an RNLI made film all about the Ice Prince rescue, as a result of them having won an award at the televised 'Pride Of Britain' awards . .when I walked in, one of the guys on the door seemed to catch my eye and made a point of saying (I think to me), 'so and so' is over there. Not sure if I was expected to go and say anything, or if he said that to everyone coming in? Because of the Lifeboat video I'd made featuring him, and because I'd given him copies, it made me all uneasy that there may be some trouble in store for me! Perhaps I should have gone over and chatted - but of course I don't do that sort of thing, and just wandered around a bit instead looking at tables of leaflets and calendars and the like! . . sat with the small crowd and watched the video (actually turned out to be the same one I'd seen on the local newspaper's website). Part way through the video, Mum arrived and took up a seat nearby. . on the way out the same guy at the door seemed to catch my eye again (I may have imagined it), as though he was expecting me to say something! I didn't - and probably just looked panic stricken as I hurried out! . . seemed like a good idea with us both being down there together, to broach the subject of Mums intended new tv purchase, and I suggested we should make use of the opportunity and check out the TV store where she eventually fully intends to buy one. . It IS without doubt, not one of the cheapest places you can buy such things, but it's true what everyone says. You pay that extra for some good old fashioned, proper customer service. The sales guy was patient, knowledgable, helpful and really couldn't be faulted. It was eventually actually possible to simplify things for Mum by suggesting, of the two 32" sets on display, which picture do you prefer - the cheap one or the expensive one? . . . Mum treated me to fish and chips in a harbourside cafe and then insisted on going into another cafe for a coffee. . on the way past, I suggested we go back into the TV store to ask a couple more questions and just to see if they had a DVD connected, so she could see how my DVds looked on one of them. (Mum apparantly is quite attached to watching my DVDs, and as such being able to do so is a priority. Without a decent TV myself, I had no knowledge at all of how they may appear on a new HD, widescreen TV!) The sales guy was even happy to help with that and I was allowed to test one of my discs on one of the two TVs. Didn't look 'too' bad. . so, there it was. Mum was encouraged to make things simple, after having agonised over it for literally months, and eventually agreed that the expensive one of the two was the best one for her to buy. At her age, why mess around short changing yourself. Spend 'my' inheritance! lol . .incredibly, despite not having any means to pay for it, the shop agreed to do the sale and deliver and instal the TV on Monday - and Mum could pay for it then, or even after!! Wow. How many shops would do that these days? Hats off to them. Ok - I'm convinced - there IS something to be said for buying it down there instead of cheaper over the internet. . .walked back in the rain . felt awful and tired and just couldn't help laying down for a bit despite being really late. What with the wind and rain lashing the house and the odd firework going off, I didn't manage to sleep and was then 'woken' after less than an hour by Sally needing to use the garden. . sat in front the TV almost motionless all evening . . ate a whole pack of Mum donated fig bars . .BB called . . to bed at midnight. a
7 - Woken around 8am by someone blowing their car horn to announce they'd arrived to pick someone up. Irritating. . snoozed on briefly then up around 8:20am. .walked. Ended up getting bogged down in BGdns for hours, chasing rainbows with the cameras!! . . PCd the silly 'sitting on a seat' video . . drank a little wine and ate ham sandwiches, crisps, cheese and pickled onions. . napped until woken by Sally around 6:30pm needing to use the garden with an upset stomach . . skipped the walk and TVd but eventually ended up back on the PC doing the 'pilots rendezvous' video. Nice one that I think. :o) . . touched base with BB . . drank just a little more wine and cooked and ate burgers and onions in buttered rolls . . PCd some more and did the 'clouds' video with the bit of footage I've had sitting around for months - while a hard-rain was indeed falling outside!!. . eventually to bed getting on for 3am. dds
6 - Up around 8:15am. Hungry! . ate a biscuit with morning coffee and cigs at the PC . .tended to Sally's 'looks-ok' spot a little, and then walked. Passed a couple of people stopped on the lower path in BGdns, all concerned by a mouse that was ambling along near them. Poor thing wasn't long for this world, evidenced by the fact that it was wandering around on a path in broad daylight like that! It's face was covered in multiple ticks!!! :o( Horrific. Nothing to be done for the poor thing - although I did half jokingly suggest that it may have been a good thing to let Sally put it out of its misery. Very upsetting. . back via town . . PCd this, desperately trying to get on top of it after a good couple of weeks of neglect . . drank some wine while cooking up black pudding, burgers, onions and a tin of sausages in baked beans. Ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped . . walked. Somewhere over in the direction of the harbour and town, someone was setting off more of those floating Chinese lantern type things. With a gentle westerly type breeze, they slowly rose and drifted off out to sea before eventually dimming and disappearing. Wonder how many UFO type reports have been made about such things. Plenty I bet. . . eventually returned via town. . PCd . .touched base with BB . . TVd but actually failed to find anything worth watching on ANY of the channels (except eventually one - but that channel then broke down and became unwatchable as a heavy rain storm rolled through). As the satellite signal broke down and the TV breifly made that weird high pitched noise it does, as the picture went blocky and then froze, Sally quite literally RAN from the room! I think it MUST hurt her ears in some way!! She hardly ever sits in the living room with me while I'm watching TV now. She usually chooses to lay down just outside, in the passage by the front door. The down side to that is, in that corner is where I've placed the big brass cannon shell I was given, which I polished up a little. With Sally's fur remaining damp for hours after a rainy walk, a large portion of the shell is exhibiting signs of green staining where she tends to lay against it! . . to bed around 1:30am. s
5 - Up at 8:20am. . straight on the PC to see that Obama had won the US election. Good. . walked and returned via town. Seemed strangely quiet everywhere. Bumped into the singing guy who despite my saying 'absolutely NOT', insisted on dashing into a newsagent and buying me a small pouch of tobacco, as a thank you for the discs etc I think!!. . at some point while out this morning, I discovered how bad the lump on Sally's neck had become - although actually in a good way. What has been a worrying below the skin lump for a while had actually 'risen to the surface' and taken on the form of a large squeezable 'spot', kinda. As soon as we got home I got a needle from my sewing box, and got her to lay down on the floor in the conservatory to let me operate on it. Over time, Sally has developed a vast understanding of my vocabulary. 'Let-me-have-a-look' repeated in a certain way, while being insistant ('Wait. WAIT!') about her staying put and not moving, and repeating 'oh-deear' in a concerned way seems to enable her to understand that something unpleasant is liable to be done to her, but for her own good. The perfect patient, she lay on the floor and let me find the spot, part her fur, lance it with the needle and then give it a real good expressing squeeze - which MUST have been painful. Eeeewwww, eeeeww, eeewwww!!! Without going into too much detail - there was an initial amount of explosive decompression, which went far and wide! (I should have worn a face mask!! Eeewwwww) The good news was, I managed to express a VERY large amount of thick poison, eventually ending up with a more healthy bit of a bleed. It's not unusual for her to get the occasional spot like that, but this one was particularly huge and nasty. Hopefully it'll now just heal up like normal (after maybe another gentle squeeze from time to time). She didn't object at all to the procedure, and was suitably rewarded with some Mum donated gravy bone treats. She is. She really IS a fantastic dog.. . PCd and eventually called a halt to the 'Brick In The Wall' video. Bet that one eventually gets spotted and blocked for copyright breach, being Pink Floyd and all. Weird how YouTube works with all that. Only today they informed me they'd spotted the copyright breach on the 'waves over a man on the breakwater' video (uploaded back in April!) - although thankfully it's a 'UMG' one and as usual they've allowed it to remain up, with adverts. I still think that is a stunning piece of film and would have been really disappointed to have 'lost' that one from 'sharing'. . drank most of a glass of red wine while frying bacon, black pudding and potatoe to eat with two pieces of bread and butter. . attempted to touch base with BB but her phone appears to have been cut off!! Times are hard for her! :o( . . napped until around 6pm . . ummd and ahhd before eventually deciding to walk with Sally 'up the hill' to see what the view would be like, what with it being bonfire night and all. Wow - it's turned milder again. Overheated badly in so many layers, rushing to get up on the hill before I missed something. Turned out there were a couple of groups of young people with the same idea, sat up there in the dark a little distance below me. Visibility was pretty poor and as was the case last year as I recall, there really weren't many fireworks to be seen at all. VERY much quieter than it used to be in Bristol. In fact, it was SO quiet, despite having the tripod all set up and ready to go, I didn't even bother pressing the record button on the camcorder! Stuck it out up there sitting next to Sally on the grass in the dark until around 8:30pm before giving it up as a bad job and heading back down (with difficulty) by torch light. Passing the church, it was clear from the trumpeting that the remembrance service I'd seen advertised, was still underway. Seemed a really bizarre time for a remembrance service, with firework explosions going on outside - but I guess that could have given it a whole different atmosphere - as if it was shellfire kinda. . .TVd . . PCd this . . BB called briefly. .should have eaten something but I just couldn't face having to go fix anything. . coffee and cigarettes and PCd until bed around 2am. a
4 - Up at 8:30am. . . walked . . PCd and after having trouble finding some appropriate music, eventually ended up on line and stumbled upon THE perfect bit of music for the 'Yacht club slipway'/digger video - 'Scoop - Drop It'. I'd actually filmed that 'sideshow' footage on the stills camera, handheld, while the camcorder was fixed on the tripod filming the 'main event' - the new jetty wall building work for a timelapse. Shame that the stills camera seems to only record at 30fps and in NTSC format. As a result, converting the footage back down to PAL and 25fps makes it noticeably different and poorer in quality. Still - pretty handy as a back up, for just such occasions. . finished and uploaded the video and then ate ham and grated cheese rolls with crisps. . . napped until around 6:15pm . . skipped the evening walk . .BB called briefly . . PCd through until midnight on the 'Brick In The Wall' video - and only called it quits then after the software crashed - AGAIN!!. . TVd . . ate bowls of muesli. . TVd until bed around 2am. s
3 - Woken by Sally at 8am. . . walked. . PCd, mostly burning a few discs. Used up the last of my expensive glossy photo paper and managed to print off half a dozen of the cute Sally image I used as a christmas card last year, because Mum said she wanted some to send this year. .popped up the road and dropped off a couple of discs of music I'd promised him, into the singing guys house . . ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate. . .napped . . walked . . PCd video. . touched base with BB . . PCd until early again. . ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps and buttered ginger cake around 1:30am before eventually to bed.
2 - Up around 8:15am, woken by Sally again I think . . walked. Filmed a bit in BGdns from the necessary shelter of one of the gun emplacements, but would you believe it, ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time yet again. I missed the lifeboat going out into some roughish seas against the wind!!!!! Damn damn damn! Will I EVER get the footage of that I want?!!! Instead of disappearing off round Berry Head on a shout as I'd imagined they would, it eventually appeared that they were just out going up and down kinda playing with the waves! Damn damn damn! What I'd have given to have been all set up and ready to film from over by the Breakwater. I couldn't stand it - and eventually raced off with Sally heading in that direction. I even ran part of the way!!! . I reached the end of the Breakwater just past the lifeboat station, just as the damn lifeboat had finished playing and was sedately coming back into the sheltered harbour. Bugger! From what I saw a little later - a handful of people hanging around with a professional looking camera etc - I gathered they were maybe doing a few manouvers in the rough for some filming. Humph. :o( Ended up walking back out by the swimming pool pointing the camera at this and that along the way, but it really did feel like 'one of those days', where whatever I try to film just doesn't work out. Eventually headed back feeling frozen cold again . . PCd . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking bacon, black pudding, fried potatoes and bread for a big feed . . napped until the alarm at 7pm Jk called to touch base. . walked. . PCd . . BB called briefly . . PCd through until around 3am before bed! . . Received a (genuine sounding) e-mail from someone who was organising some sort of 'tackling social anxiety event' and suggesting I may wish to get in contact/attend. ( http://www.leadinglight.org.uk/ ). You know what - despite having been through a bunch of 'events' of one description or another over the years (and 'therapy' of course) and now having a completely bleak view of such things, I may have actually contemplated looking into that, had it not been on what is now to me, the other side of the planet, and indeed, in the very heart of all I would seek to avoid - London! Totally out of the question of course - not least of all because of simple logistics. Sally, petrol costs etc. Indeed - it's almost tempting to ponder such a thing and write an amusing play (perhaps not disimilar in ways to that rather disappointing comedy TV show from years ago, called 'Dear John' which was about a lonely hearts group). I've more than once imagined writing such a play, ever since the year of weekly therapy group meetings I attended when I crashed out of work. Could very easily make up some seriously amusing characters. I mean - it's mental health isn't it - sky's the limit, and oh WHAT fun you could have in developing the characters of the so called health professionals, who always seem as flawed as many of their patients. Only trouble with the 'play' concept - if it was going to be about avoidants, that's the end of the idea right there. Because - well - by their very nature - they wouldn't be there - or at least not for long!!!! . sadly, as is always the case with me, most especially in recent times, I didn't even reply and just shouldered a little more guilt as a consequence. . Actually - there was a message I recieved from somone else, back on the 6th October which I don't think I've ever mentioned here, so wrapped up in video making have I been. It came via YouTube!! It was allegedly (and by way of the reply address, 'actually') from a BBC documentary researcher 'researching a possible documentary on personality disorders. It would be great if I could have a chat with you sometime about avoidant personality disorder'. It even had a phone number etc. Once upon a time (and yes - pre Bristol yob stuff) I would probably have jumped at such a chance. To be able to in some small way 'publicise' the issue, and afford other suffering people the relief of recognising the traits. To enable others to have the release of that golden 'ereka' moment, when they first discover the diagnostic criteria and characteristics of the disorder, and how it applies to them. After years of SUCH difficulty in their lives, to finally have a clue as to why. I mean, lets face it, that was what my website and it's shamless plagiarism of the AvPD stuff was all about when I first set it up. I wanted to shout it all from the rooftops. BUT . . time moves on and things change - or maybe actually that's the rub. For some they may not. I dunno. Impossible to express what I feel - whatever that nay be. For whatever reason, I didn't jump at the chance. I just felt, overwhelmingly, I've done my bit, leave me out of it. I agonised over that mail for more than a week (actually probably several), before eventually deciding in true avoidant style, that I'd left it so long now anyway, there was little point in actually acknowledging receipt of it or worrying about it any further! So I just accepted a little more guilt to carry. . now, having said all that (or not - because I didn't type many words for everything I just went through in my mind!) with hindsight, what with the Ross/Brand affair, and my increasing feelings of negativity toward the BBC and its programs and program makers, I think it was probably just as well I didn't get in touch with them!
1 - Woken by Sally earlier then up around 8:30am . .walked. Felt even colder this morning! None of the usual dog walking crowd hung around long. .given a large sack of meat scraps and bones for Sally, to carry home. . PCd on the little 'to be or not to be' video snippet. Took a rediculously long time to be able to come up with that one - but I think it was worth it! God I'm so cold! . . Mum called in with food donations etc. . PCd more. .ate corned beef, mayo, cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with crisps. . PCd more as the weather deteriorated into rain. . skipped the evening walk again . . TVd. . ate Mum donated pork pie slice, cheese, onion, crisps, chocolate and some buttered ginger cake. . touched base with BB . . eventually to bed after 1am. s