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November
30
- Woken by Sally around 7:45am. . walked in the cold N/NE breeze. Didn't hang around and headed straight back, determined to finish off this photo collection nightmare - and because I was pretty convinced I was liable to have Amazon stuff delivered some time today - maybe! . . PCd photos for hours . . yayyyyy - the Amazon delivery arrived around midday. There was something a bit funny about that. The old guy delivering the stuff said he was just doing it to help someone out (I presume the delivery driver was a relative or some such)!? Theoretically I suppose there isn't anything 'too' wrong with that idea, done with the best of intentions and all, but they really are taking a hell of a risk (and making a noticeable mockery of the 'tracking' system of course). The reason I say 'risk' - I didn't sign for any of it (like you normally have to do on that little electronic pad, the delivery drivers have these days)! If I wasn't the sort of cripplingly honest person I am - it would be all too easy for me to claim I hadn't received any of it - and they wouldn't be able to prove otherwise - and in the ensuing investigation, would inevitably have their private arrangement exposed, and no doubt be in all sorts of trouble! Blah blah - anyway - yayy - I got me stuff! Somehow I managed to resist the temptation to open the boxes straight away, and just dumped them on a chair in the living room, and got straight back onto the PC to carry on with the photo collection nightmare - DETERMINED to get the damn thing over and done with! . . much messing around and burning of multiple test discs and experimenting with the DVD player. Turns out the DVD player requires (multiple) subdirectories to be made, each containing no more than around 640 files, for it to be able to see and run through them all for some reason. (That's got to be a 'memory' type thing hasn't it.). . .Mum popped in on the way back from a shopping trip and presented me with a new zip-up, hooded fleece she'd bought new for me. Oh dear. It wasn't a patch on the one she'd bought for me once before, which I currently absolutely live in every day. Much thinner - cheap and nasty zip hard to do up - no elastication at the wrists (really necessary for putting other layers on top, as I do) - etc, etc. It was impossible to hide my lack of enthusiasm, and eventually when comparing the two, Mum was in agreement and said she'd take it back and get a refund. :o| Embarassing. . . carried on PCing photos burning discs etc . . called a halt around 3pm, and finally packaged up a bunch of multiple copies of discs of photos, and then headed out with Sally to post them. Long frustrating wait in the post office queue to be served. . dropped a copy disc through Mums letter box (she was out) on the way back. . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans with grated cheese and four pieces of bread and buttter followed by a couple of chocolate biscuits . . Mum called. She couldn't seem to get her DVD to play all the photos, and was unable to explain to me by phone, just exactly what WAS happening on her screen! Arrrgh. Infuriating/frustrating! Why is something which should be SO simple ALWAYS such a bloody pain! Walked with Sally back up Mums and read her DVD manual etc. Turns out, HER DVD player is different again, and requires subdirectories (up to a max of 200) containing no more than 'around' 300 files in each. Well - given all that, there clearly is no 'standard' across equipment for dealing with a photo-disc, so god knows what the recipient is going to make of it all! After all my work on it! I DO hope they are a bit techno savvy and have the patience to figure such stuff out. Oh well - that's all their problem now. I'm absolutely bloody sick and tired of it all, and am SO glad it's all over with (apart from having to burn another disc for Mums machine of course!) They just wouldn't believe how much time and work I've invested in it!!!!! . . walked. Was it this evening I saw yet another 'shooting star'? Typing this a couple of days after the event, I forget which day it was. Looking north-ish actually directly at Torquay across the bay, the momentary streaking meteorite, appeared to almost descend vertically and disappear into the city lights (although in reality of course it didn't). First one I've seen like that. . . eventually returned home feeling oh SO tired. Actually so tired, I hardly felt as though I had the energy to start messing around opening boxes and reading manuals. . the largest of the boxes actually just contained the six way switched extension lead! It's a single long block, and all wrapped up in a big unnecessary plastic package, it ended up being quite large. Presumably Amazon have a standard set of boxes for despatching stuff, rather than being able to paper wrap as necessary. In short - that single item ended up being despatched, placed diagonally inside a thick cardboard box 45cm x 35cm x 15cm, together with a huge wad of paper padding!!! WHAT waste!!! Imagine how much stuff they must send out like that! That'll be a rain forest or two this Christmas then. Outrageous. :o( . gingerly unpacked the new camera, and had just enough energy left to read enough of the manual to put the battery on for its initial charge. . messed around in the PC room with the extension lead, labelling up plugs, etc. Yeah - that's cool, even if it is a bit cheapish. Buying that was a VERY good idea . . BB called . . eventually tried the new camera out briefly in the living room. Didn't want to start having to instal software and such, so quickly transferred the resultant video file to the PC by taking the memory card back out of the camera, and reading it via my cheap USB multi-reader. Slow - but it worked fine. . so - my first bit of video with the new camera - my initial impression? Disappointment! The quality of the video was NOT as good as I'd hoped, although in mitigation it WAS under the low light of the living room energy saver light bulbs. :o( Definitely a dark grainy image! Image of screen captures of video using a Panasonic SDR-S26I'm pretty sure the old JVC camera would have done MUCH better under the same conditions (although I knew I WAS making some sacrifices buying that new one - amongst them its performance in dark light. It's minimum 'lux' rating I think IS appreciably higher than that of my old JVC). Having said that, boy, does that 70x zoom work (zoomed in on the small print of a box across the room and was able to read it!! I've included miniaturised video-screen captures here, just to give a rough idea.) Amazing! THAT'S why I bought it!! That shows real promise. Despite my initial reaction, I am all too well aware that it is quite usual for me to have poor judgement and 'not like something' and find reasons to criticise when I first get a thing. (Recently - my new guitar for example. For some reason, I thought it sounded awful when I first got it. Now - I love it, and can hear it is FAR superior to my old one.) It's gonna take a few outings and a good bit of use before I really know how that camera performs in comparison to the old one. I must NOT be too quick to critically judge. . .ate crisps, bananas, two toffee treacle puddings and biscuits before eventually to bed just after 1am.
29 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am after little more than three hours sleep! Yet more rain - still! . .drove to walk and then ended up sitting around in BGdns for ages watching 'ship movements' and rainbows and listening to the scanner . . breifly messed with all the scart leads and managed to route the DVD player into the freeview box, and the output of that through the Sky box and thence to the TV. With 'scart control' turned on on everything, it makes for a very neat automatic switching between the boxes depending on which one is turned on when. Very cool. Only 'slight' disappointment was that the Sky box appears not to have a built in modulator for the coax output (damn - where DID I put the instruction manual!), so I can't watch the terrestrial-freeview/DVD output in the other rooms as I can the Sky-freeview. Oh well - can't have everything. :o). . PCd a bit of this while watching one of the old original 'digitally enhanced' Star Trek episodes on 'CBS Action' (on the Sky box). lol :o) . . ate ham rolls and crisps . . napped . . skipped the walk again . . checked Amazon 'tracking' and found it was saying my stuff had been delivered - but back to the Newton Abbot sorting office around 9pm?!! That's worrying. I was in all day so I couldn't have missed them, and there was no card or anything put through the door. Dunno what to make of that. Unsettling. . PCd and burned a CD-R of all the photos and then sat and watched a slideshow of many of them on the DVD player and TV in the living room (although as it turned out, my DVD player was only able to see around 640 of the files for some reason!? Bloody typical! Always the same! Something which should be so straightforward turns into a technical/compatability type nightmare which is no doubt going to take ages to figure out! :o( ). Actually turned out to be quite an emotional trip - and took a good couple of hours. Definitely need to put in yet more time on the project to try and re-order some of them. Sadly I know of no easy way of automatically sequencialy re-naming files (I think I used to once - maybe that was in DOS using batch files? Can't remember), so it means forcing the sequence by just manualy ammending the file names with a number or a letter here and there, and making some of them all long and meaningless! That's gonna be another potential pitfall when I eventually pass on the data to the recipient isn't it! Can their equipment recognise 'extended' filenames! Humph. . TVd . . cooked and ate a Mum donated pizza and a little chocolate around 1:30am . . eventually to bed under two duvets. Actually - with the lightness of modern high tog duvets, I'd forgotten how nice it was to have some weight on me when in bed. Feels so much more comfy with the weight of two. It's definitely turned rather cold. s
28 - Up around 8:15am . . . walked. Saw the 'aerial donor' dog walker, told her the good news and expressed suitable thanks. Ooooh - she mentioned she may be getting rid of a portable TV and a freeview box! Another freeview box would come in particularly handy. Fingers crossed - but I'm not gonna hassle her for it. She's done me proud already (same woman who gave me the big brass gun shell). . Spoke with T and he confirmed I could have another one of the large squares of double sided/insulated uPVC he'd salvaged. Figured since it wasn't 'too' windy this morning, it wasn't worth walking all the way back to get the car to transport it, so I ended up detouring to his house and then walking all the way back carrying it - sometimes with it on my head! About a metre square or so, by the time I reached home, after having had to stop for a rest on several occasions, my arms were aching pretty bad. Dumped it safely in the garage with the other one, where it'll stay until some time in the future when I can muster the energy to get round to measuring up and then cutting them up into loft hatches for both me and Mum . . PCd photos . . Mum called in (with more photos to scan in! Uggh!) with the paper and food donations, for chats and a cuppa . . PCd more . . ate the last of the 'dog food' pork, microwaved with chips . . napped until somewhere around 6:15pm when woken by what I 'think' was a huge clap of thunder. . lots more wind and rain. God it's never ending!!? It was the Xmas lights switch-on, down town this evening, poor devils! I'll be giving all that stuff a miss this year. Been there seen that done that. . .skipped the walk. Sally had to make do with the garden. Oh NO!!!! The bloody bulb in the back garden floodlight appears to have blown - again! That's the second time since I've had it isnit? Disappointing. :o( . . . PCd working on the photos collection, non-stop pretty much until around 3:30am, determined to pretty much 't get the final collection done and dusted (all but 'maybe' re-order/naming some of them) before Monday, which is the deadline I've set myself. The final-ish collection of photos (all re-touched and re-sized to 1024x768, etc) stands at an incredible 1150 @ a modest 576MB. Amazing - even plenty of room left on a CD-R! . . ate a Mum donated cold pork pie and a microwaved mushroom pastry slice and just a little chocolate before eventually heading for bed long after 4am. Couldn't get to sleep for ages because I was feeling cold. Under the winter duvet (and actually wearing a long sleeved T shirt AND socks!) I shouldn't have been. It was that hypothermic like 'inner cold' which I think I develop on occasions through lack of food and hours of inactivity!! aa
27 - Up around 8:45am . . .walked and bumped into the 'TV aerial' dog walker on the way. She confirmed she'd managed to save her old aerial and it was sat in her front garden waiting for me to pick it up. Yayyy! :o) . . detoured to pick up the aerial on the way home and carried it all the way back resting over one shoulder. Ooooh - I think it may well do the job, although it isn't the sort of construction I'm more used to. VERY flimsy 'X' type elements along the boom, and weird wire mesh reflectors? (I wouldn't be happy having something THAT flimsy out in the elements on MY roof!) Carefully bent all the elements and reflectors back into shape and then fitted a couple of metres of old coax to the aerial. Climbed it up into the attic and loosely propped it up on the floor of the attic, the mast held in place by a few boxes of stored junk (actually unopened since I moved in!). Dragged an extension lead up there and then carried the freeview box and portable TV up and connected it all up to test whether or not it'll pick up a signal. Oh wow. That worked - a full signal straight away without any further adjustment! EXCELLENT. :o) Image of an attic TV aerial . . pushed on and started the work of routing a proper low loss cable through the house to the living room via the inside of the airing cupboard, under the floors, down through the understairs cupboard, etc, etc.
. . Mum called to touch base and then popped down with yet more photos to scan in (!), and to sit through a slideshow of the collection I've assembled so far. Couldn't really carry on working pulling up floorboards with her here, so ended up watching a bit of the slideshow too. I 'think' it 'works'. Mum seemed to think so. Blimey - took over an hour to run through them all! . . quickly ate two microwaved, Mum donated jumbo sausage rolls to combat hunger pangs . . eventually succesfully finished routing the hidden cable and had the end in the living room by the TV, thanks to the oh SO cool spare hollow conduits I plastered into the wall, when I installed all the socket boxes in the bay. Soldered a plug on the end, connected up the freeview box, linked it to the TV via Scart#2 and hey presto - I have terrestrial freeview. Yayyyy. :o) A more permanent mounting of the aerial in the attic can wait for some other time. I'm VERY pleased to have finally found a solution to that niggling lack of useable terrestrial aerial and 'missing' channels , and at zero cost to boot. :o) Nice one. Actually turns out there a few channels available on terrestrial-freeview, and a few others available on Sky-freeview, which are not available on each of the others. Running the two systems together enables me to get both sets - i.e. I've ended up with a few extra channels. :o) . . drove to walk and stopped at the store on the way home for a few provisions . . TVd. . PCd a bit of this briefly. .TVd/guitarred. . ate defrosted 'dog food' pork in bread rolls . . TVd until bed around 1am.
s
26 - Woken around 7:30am, I think by a bird landing noisily on the flat roof of the bedroom bay window!! . .usual coffee and cigarettes breakfast at the PC. Been getting a lot of spam again all of a sudden recently. Annoying time waster. This morning it was a huge number allegedly from Facebook, aimed at trapping Facebook users. Grrr. . Image of a collapsed wall at Fishcombe Covewalked mostly between showers. Oh wow! Just off the main path above Fishcombe Cove, a bunch of hazard warning tape was fluttering in the breeze, alongside a somewhat slightly lesser-used earth path which leads towards the upper part of the beach and toilet block. Climbed down onto the beach to have a look and was dismayed to see that the old, old original 'Churston's' stone wall had collapsed! A huge section of it, at least twenty feet long had collapsed down onto the cliffside and beach!!! What a disasterous shame! Wonder when and why that happened? MUST be all the rain we've been having. What on earth is gonna happen about that I wonder? I can't imagine the council will invest in re-building it (if that is even possible) - and yet, they are going to HAVE to do something because of the danger. No way can that be left like that, ESPECIALLY for the next holiday season! What a terrible shame. . one of the local dog walkers suggested that the lease on the nearby (almost adjacent - out of picture to the right) beach-hut cafe was up for sale again. I think she said the lease was something like 30k!!!!!? I reckon that hut will sadly end up being demolished and removed. NO ONE can seem to make it a viable business where it is. All very sad. . that same dog walker is apparantly having a new TV aerial put on her roof today (at a cost of WELL over 200!!). I asked if I could possibly have her old one if at all feasable! Oooooh - I DO hope that comes about. That'd be a really neat way out of testing to see if a loft aerial would work here, without having to spend a bunch of money. . PCd yet more, working on the photos. I really have had enough of doing this, although with a random collection currently up around a thousand, all resized, cropped, sharpened, re-saved, etc, I probably could just call it quits - although there is still an issue in my mind, about the order in which they will probably appear. Being the prefectionist I am, I could probably spend another few days trying to rename most of them to get them to appear in 'some' sort of sensible sequence. Jeeze - the amount of time I've put into this!! :o( . . . ate ham ring, egg and chips with two pieces of bread and butter . . napped . . drove to walk. A metal 'crowd barrier' had been put across the path next to the collapsed wall, stopping people from walking that way . . PCd . . BB called . .ate defrosted 'dog food' pork in sandwiches . . PCd until eventually to bed around 2am or later. aa
25 - Woken before 8am by the sounds of neighbours bins being put out and then up around 8:20am. . .walked between heavy showers . . . PCd photos yet more!! . . Mum called to touch base, and mentioned that the main street in town was closed because a chimney had been blown down last night! Luckily no-one was killed. . . PCd non stop through until almost 3pm!! . . ate ham ring, egg and mashed potatoes with chopped onion . . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . drove to walk between showers . . PCd on photos until half past midnight. This trawling through all my PC based photos has been quite a trip. I've had to just try and do the work and ignore the content of them kinda - 'emotionally'. ALL the old ones of Bristol, the old house and all my alterations (I can't bring myself to do ANY of that - again - here! :o( ), BBs visits (my last 'relationship' ever) , Dad, etc, etc, are pretty upsetting to me. Been angry/tearful on a couple of occasions. WHATEVER you invest - everything ultimately amounts to nothing doesn't it! :o( . . ate chicken paste sandwiches, chicken soup and a little chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:45am.
24 - Up around 8am . . . walked and actually managed it without getting rained on. . .TVd . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate a couple of burgers, fried onion and chips . . TVd . . napped poorly until around 5:30pm . . . . skipped the walk and PCd all night assembling more photos as the latest storm front battered the house with high gusts of wind. :o( . . PCd straight through until around 2:30am . . grabbed a chicken paste sandwich, a banana and chocolate . . touched base with BB . . eventually to bed at getting on for 4am again!
23 - Woken by the slamming of next doors front door at 7:15am. More wind and rain. :o( . . drove to walk in the rain and got it over and done with pretty quick before heading straight back . . .balanced my accounts. .surfed and eventually ordered a '6 Socket 2M Individually Switched Ext Lead' from Amazon for 9.99 with free postage. I have SO many seperate chargers and power supplies etc for all my PC gear, external drives, cameras and what have you, I'm sick and tired of having to try and figure out which one is which when swapping plugs around to use whichever one I want to use at that time. I never have everything on all at the same time, so I figure one of those, slaved off my master switched power block and suitably labelled, will make it much easier to select what I want when I want it, and not compromise safety. Once again, (and it still surprises me for some reason) Amazon seemed to be unbeatable on price. I managed to resist (again!) ordering a TV aerial for the attic - but I have a horrible feeling sooner or later I AM going to order one! It'll be a (30ish) gamble because I'm really not sure one in the attic here will be able to pick up anything, but it's a better proposition than trying to get up on the roof to attend to the duff one which is on the chimney. I COULD just carry on as I am with the satellite dish and the Sky 'freeview' setup, but it's REALLY bugging me, more and more of late, that Sky don't provide the FULL set of terrestrial freeview channels! I want the 'Quest' and 'Dave' channels!! . . put in several hours of wasted time scanning in photos etc. SO time consuming and tedious!! Arrrgggghhhh . . ate a tin of spaghetti bolognese with three bread rolls and then a little chocolate . .napped until 7pm!! . . drove to walk under a clear sky (8 C), but boy did it feel cold in the strong gusts of wind!! Didn't hang around. . . sat at the PC to assemble more photos, but couldn't face it and ended up PCing a bit of this . .unusually had caller at the door around 10:15pm, which put my nerves on edge. Turned out to be a taxi!? Sorry mister - I didn't call one. . . . BB called breifly . . PCd more, surfing, looking at multi-pocket body warmers for what must have been a good couple of hours but all to no avail. . somehow ended up on Youtube looking at videos taken with, and about, the camcorder I've been interested in, which I've previously downloaded and studied the handbook for. The more of the videos I watched, the more of a good buy the thing seemed to be, despite the odd couple of apparant drawbacks. . for my birthday last month, Mum gave me a couple of hundred pounds, with a comment that it should help me out this winter and not have me worry quite so much about putting the heating on and keeping warm. Welllll - I guess I'll just have to put another jumper on instead!!!! I couldn't help myself!!! Apparantly trying to lift my recent down mood by indulging in a spate of 'retail therapy', I ended up on Amazon again and after agonising over it for ages and ages (and re-reading bits of the pdf manual), I eventually lifted the huge weight of one finger, clicked the mouse and ordered it - just like that - oh so 'easy'! A 'Panasonic SDR-S26 Flash Memory Camcorder With SD Card Slot - Black' and a free 'Panasonic 4GB Class 4 SD Card up to 20MB/s - Silver line' included , all with free delivery for 173.10. The 'main' reason I opted for THIS one? It has an unbelievable 70x optical zoom!!!!!!!!!!!! . .Oh dear! How on earth can I justify spending so much money on something like that! It's just a 'toy' after all. I should be spending money on the house (fridge/shower/roof/conservatory/windows/leaking back boiler, etc?!)! It's SO hard for me to spend money on non-essentials like this - and yet this year I've spent loads on new 'toys' haven't I. I can't imagine what it must be like for other people, who seem to spend such amounts on a whim without a care. One of the dog walkers said his wife went shopping the other day, and came home and told him she'd bought - wait for it - a new car while she was out!!!? She'd got a good deal on trading in their 'old' one - which is apparantly only three years old. That seemed utterly bizarre to me. A totally alien concept. For her husband to not even be consulted and just be presented with a 'fait accompli' like that. I couldn't live like that, even if I won the lottery! . . oh well - I've ordered it now. I SHOULD be excited and anxious to get my hands on my new toy, but instead I'll just be all up tight and regretful for days now - and of course as soon as I get hold of it and get to know it (assuming it doesn't prove to be a big mistake! :o(), I'll be out spending YET more money on spare batteries and SD cards and the like won't I!!!! Am I crazy - or am I actually 'allowed' to indulge myself like this from time to time? I dunno! (In a strange way - committing all this stuff to the web - making it public like this - serves to increase my feelings of 'guilt' about the spend, somehow!!??) . . ate a banana and a bowl of muesli, feeling up tight and a little bit sick, before finally to bed around 4am! s
22 - Woken by Sally earlier then up around 8am. Yet more wind and rain! Jeeze - I really am pretty tired of this weather already. . drove to walk in full rain gear. Actually ended up only getting rained on a bit before it cleared away to sunny spells. Felt a lot colder in the breeze this morning I thought - although my 'downs' always seem to affect my ability to control my own body temperature and make me feel cold - absolutely cold to the bone, no matter how warm my thermometers confirm it may actually be. . . PCd this nauseatingly self indulgent doom and gloom! I almost pulled the plug on all this yesterday. Perhaps I really should. If there EVER was anything of worth here, I'm aware there really hasn't been for a very long while now, and I actually almost feel guilty about leaving it all online! I've just been going through the motions - which pretty much sums up my future I think. blah blah . . ate ham rolls . . napped until woken around 5:15pm by someone repeatedly hammering on the doors and windows and shouting through the letterbox of the house next door! Grrr :o( . . TVd . . drove to walk. Cold (7 degrees C) under a clear sky with strong gusts of wind. . TVd and drank a glass of red wine . . ate a tin of hot dog sausages with four pieces of bread and butter and then chocolate. .TVd until bed around midnight. d
21 - Up around 7am as the sky darkened with yet more rain . . couldn't face trudging along in the rain so drove to walk, although as it turned out, it was mostly pretty dry. Ark Royal was still anchored in the flat waters of the bay. Much rougher seas out past Berry Head. Plenty of people passed through with cameras, apparantly coming down specifically to grab some pictures/footage of Ark Royal . . tried to nap but disappointingly couldn't. Dire mood/state of mind!! . . sat around aimless and somehow ended up TVing the WHOLE day away, hardly moving!!! :o( Must have watched three whole films - one of which was Captain Hornblower with Gregory Peck. If that's ever on again I'll have to watch it more closely - I became convinced towards the end, that one of the characters who suffered a serious leg injury, swapped legs somewhere along the line!! Watched 'El Dorado' which was on again (Burt Lancaster/John Wayne etc.). A superb film in my opinion. Absolute classic. . .ate defrosted K donated beef and chips . . TVd . . drove to walk around 8pm. Actually not a bad evening. Ended up sat in BGdns for quite a while listening to the scanner. Something serious was going on somewhere, although nothing was visible anywhere around the bay. Eventually guessed it was probably somewhere over Dartmouth way - and actually suprising the scanner was picking up any of it at all given the lay of the land. Tantalisingly I was only picking up little snippets here and there. It appeared there were multiple numbered teams of rescuers with the callsign 'relay #'. A rescue helicopter reported it couldn't lift from wherever it was because of the updraft and the casualty would have to be carried elsewhere. The teams were warned a camera crew were reported to be heading for 'the campsite'. There were mentions of walking wounded and a stretcher. .eventually gave up trying to figure out what was going on and returned home (where the scanner was picking up nothing at all). . News reports on TV later confirmed that a serious incident involving canoeists on a swollen river (crazy after all the rain we've had?!!!!??) had occurred on Dartmoor! One of them had got caught under a tree and eventually died. :o| . How on earth was the scanner able to pick any of that up from BGdns? I'm gonna have to spend some (more) time at some point looking at Google maps and satellite images and such, and really figure out how the topography of the surrounding area works. . TVd . . BB called to touch base . . ate ham rolls . . TVd until bed around midnight. s
20 - Up around 9am. . walked late, but boy did I not want to. If it weren't for Sally, I'd probably almost never leave the house now. No matter what I try and come up with, it really feels as though there is absolutely nothing out there for me anymore. . what IS it with suicidal people and trains at the moment? Seems to be a recent 'fad' almost (although probably nothing new and just the way recent high profile cases and the media have brought it into focus of late)! The most recent which got MUCH reporting in the news was of the German football goalkeeper, who threw himself under one at a level crossing! Why oh why do they end up choosing THAT particular way to go? I can't help but wonder if it is in some sense, a final act of 'aggression' against a perceived uncaring society? To impose 'that' on the train driver, passengers on the train, people who have to come and clear up afterwards, etc, etc. It seems kinda 'deliberate' to me!?? I don't understand it. I've always imagined that if it were to be done, it should be done in such a way that would leave the least 'impression' on others possible - and at the very least, should afford a certain level of 'comfort' (warm and dry, a good smoke, maybe even some music etc) in the doing. I'm sure there are those who would dismiss these comments along the lines of 'you don't know what you are talking about. No one can ever imagine the agony and turmoil of such a tortured mind' etc. Well - that may be the case for most. I don't know. I have no idea how much thought the average person gives to such matters throughout their lives. Presumably not much? I don't know - I've never known many people (currently, finally almost whittled down to none!). I however, HAVE had the misfortune to have a mind which has been drawn to ponder such matters at length over the years!!! For example - if your gonna use a hosepipe, you'll have to take the hoselock fitting off the end because it disappointingly won't 'quite' fit the inside diameter of your standard car exhaust! lololololololololol . . TVd . . Mum called in with food donations for tedious piffle chats. Both spent a while watching the news footage of the horrendous 'once in a thousand years' floods up north in which a policeman was swept away to his death from a collapsing bridge! :o( . . ate Mum donated sausage roll, pastry slice and banana . . napped . . drove to walk. Nice cool clear evening. Hard to tell what it was in the dark from just its lights, but some big military looking ship appeared to be anchored in the bay. . Checks on the PC/AIS later confirmed it was Ark Royal. .TVd . .ate mum donated pizza . . TVd until bed around midnight. s
19 - Up at 8:30am. . walked and dared to carry my new, unused bow saw with me. I wanted to see if it was any good, and also wanted to 'up' some of the mess of cut tree stalks/undergrowth down towards the lower gun emplacement roof. Uh oh!!!! A trio of 'official' looking tidy people were wandering around the place inspecting the 'vandalised' undergrowth!!!! I strained to hear but couldn't tell exactly what was discussed other than they were clearly unhappy about some member of the public having done stuff! Even a couple of photographs were - takendear! I kept my saw closely under wraps, and eventually scurried home, thankful at least that I hadn't been 'caught in the act'!!. . . . . oh TVd feeling awful down and VERY paranoid etc, convinced that something bad is gonna befall me now . .. ended up drinking a couple of glasses of red wine before midday, just to kick my mind into touch for a while! It worked - well! It'd be oh SO easy to slip into doing that all the time currently oh SO hard not to think, why the f*** not! . . ate defrosted K donated beef with chips . . thanks to the effects of the - and it's boozemanged to muster the energy to walk the woods around 2pm (although as much as anything, just to get the 'evening walk' , somehow over and done with. napped but only half asleep for maybe an hour before woken by next door banging doors etc . . PCd assembling photos ). until around long ago been asked by someone to gather up a bunch of photos for them. It's not something I can really refuse to do 9pm. I've and have been putting it off and putting it off - and having it constantly hanging over me like this is starting to make me feel even more down. Trouble is trawling through every photo I've taken over the last three years (and more!), and then having to decide which ones to - it means include and THEN having to resize/crop/save-as etc, every soddin' one of them. It's unbelievably time consuming and seems so utterly utterly pointless I could spit:o( . . TVd . .ate corned beef sandwiches dunked in oxtail soup . .TVd/PCd until almost 4am before bed as the latest ! storm battered the house. d
18 - Up around 7am. . walked . . PCd, surfing, and ended up looking everywhere for a replacement body warmer for the multi-pocketed one I've been wearing daily for the past several years. I've lived in that black bodywarmer for years now - and it's starting to look really tatty and has gonbe a funny colour in the sun, etc. The trouble with it is - it's turned out to be almost PERFECT for my needs. Padded to offer a bit of warmth, a secure fastened pocket for money, another for gloves, another for phone and tobacco, another for the video camcorder, etc etc. I've even perfected a way of clipping the scanner onto a high breast pocket, akin to how the police have theirs - which is the only way to have it close at hand/ear and have a decent clearance around the aerial for optimum hands free reception when walking about. In short - I will be lost without it, and of course because it must surely be at least ten years old by now, as far as I can see, there is nothing currently available which comes anywhere near close to being as ideal and functional. :o( . . ate corned beef and cheese sandwcihes and biscuits . . napped . . drove to walk. As I was sat in the dark in BGdns, a couple of people turned up and started ferreting around beneath the trees in the dark, looking suspicious and guilty of something, as only people trying to look really inoccent seem able to do. Turned out they'd come to pick up fallen branches for firewood - as SO many people do these days. (I've seen people carrying whole trees out of the woods - and one guy with logs tied to sack trucks, etc) I don't think people should feel guilty about doing that and feel obliged to do it under the cover of darkness etc. Another of those cases where everyone benefits kinda. They get some free heat, the area benefits from being tidied up, and not a penny in council tax has been wasted. . I couldn't resist poking my nose into their business, and once we'd got over the initial frosty reception because they probably thought I was gonna cause trouble, I suggested there was a particular area where there was PLENTY of chopped up timber all just dumped in a heap (where 'someone' had been 'clearing the view' ) which would benefit from being burned. . . cut my hair and did vacuuming chores, etc. . returned BBs ansaphone call breifly . .ate bowls of muesli . . TVd until bed at 3am.
17 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. .walked. Most of the fallen tree has been cut up and removed already. . sat around/TVd, feeling oh SO low! Everything I can think of seems utterly pointless. :o( . . ate a tin of sausage in baked beans, grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter . . napped . .PCd breifly. The local news site had reports of a new navy ship on excercises in the bay because of the poor weather elsewhere. Damn - I missed seeng it, although THAT explains all the helicopter activity last night. . . drove to walk without taking the scanner - and typical - both lifeboats appeared to be out and about along the coastline for some reason. . . TVd . . ate bowls of cornflakes and biscuits.TVd until bed around 1am. as
. .
16 - Up around 7:30am. . walked. Carried on down town to draw out some cash. Toured charity shops and spotted a four drawer filing cabinet in a second hand furniture type store for only 10. Tempted to have a look but managed to resist - although to be honest it was less a case of resisting temptation and more a case of being so 'down', that I just couldn't see the point in looking at it! . .Mum called to touch base. . eventually managed to muster the energy and raise myself enough from the blackness of my mood to leave Sally at home and walk back down town to have a look at the filing cabinet. Would you believe it - arrived minutes after the store had closed for 15 minutes, according to a sign on the door! Sat around and popped in a couple of shops, wasting time until eventually the shop re-opened. As it turned out after all that, the filing cabinet was in a hell of a state and I wasn't interested - even when he offered it to me for 5! What a waste of time all that was! :o( . . bought some ham and scored some bones for Sally in the butcher. . ate ham rolls . . napped until around 5:15pm . . drove to walk with a thermos of coffee. Sat around in BGdns for ages. I'd got the impression from a little half heard snippet of something or other on TV earlier, that there were liable to be lots of meteorites tonight. Plenty of clear-ish spells between shower clouds but didn't get to see any. There was however plenty of multiple helicopter activity around the bay. In the far, far distance over the sea towards Portland, a helicopter was doing what appeared to be a search! For at least a couple of hours it was going back and forth back and forth, and even on a couple of occassions was swooping low over areas of the sea with its 'night sun' on. Impossible to see at such a distance what may have been going on, and suprisingly there was absolutely zero, related radio traffic audible on my scanner!? Intriguing. . TVd while washing the last of the mini chandelier lampshades from the upstairs landing. . ate ham, peas and chips . . PCd a bit of this . .TVd/PCd until early before bed. a
15 - Up late around 9am! Wow - Sally let me lie in for a change! . . walked in the calm and sunny spells. What a difference a day makes. Several of the sheltering ships had slipped away already - including the 'Tokyo Car' transporter . . removed the moss and lechin blocking the back garden guttering downpipe drain . . aimlessly TVd/PCd feeling really very, VERY down. . ate beef and veg soup with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate . . napped until around 5:30pm . . drove to walk. Calm before the next storm . .PCd/guitarred . . TVd . . ate pizza and chocolate biscuits . .TVd until bed around 1am as more wind and rain battered the house.
14 - Up around 7:45am. Appears to have been dry for a while but VERY windy with severe gusts battering the house! . .made the mistake of walking without my full weather gear. By the time I reached Bgdns it was raining. Image of a fallen treeA medium sized tree had been blown down. Looks as though it was diseased and rotten. As usual with the wind in a south westerly type direction, the sea in the bay had been mostly kinda blown flat, but such was the strength of the wind - huge gusts of spray were being blown across the surface as though the sea was 'steaming', and as if a water spout could perhaps appear at any moment. Through the murk, it was just possible to make out the sea in the far distance past Berry Head. MUCH rougher out there! As all the dog walkers sheltered under the roof, a huge torrent of rain fell for quite a while, turning the paths into absolute rivers! It eventually passed, and with the odd break of blue sky 'almost' visible here and there, we headed home. . knocked on someones door on the way home to attempt to tell them that the plastic strip from their car roof/roof-rack slot was about to be blown away, but no one answered the door, so I left it flapping wildly in the wind, banging against the side of the car. I probably could have banged it safely back into place, but god knows what would have happened if someone had looked out and seen me doing something like that to their car! :o| . the walk home INTO the wind was horrendous. The wind gusts were so strong, at times they literally stopped me in my tracks. And then it started raining! Got cold and drenched! . . changed out of all my wet clothes and then touched base with Mum and recommended she NOT venture out today if she can possibly help it! . .awwww DAMN! My milk is well out of date. I'm gonna have to go back out to the store! :o( . . PCd a bit of this as more heavy showers raged through on severe gusts of wind . . eventually put wet clothes back on and popped up the store for milk. Only got rained on a little this time. . ate a tin of sausages, four pieces of bread and butter and some chocolate . . . napped until around 7pm!! . . .drove to walk. It appeared to have been dry for hours and was much quieter out, so I didn't wear a coat. Half way round the walk it bucketed down so I ended up getting drenched yet again! Got my own personal little rain cloud haven't I! I had enough of this weather already, and yet they are forecasting much the same for the coming week on and off. :o( . . there were clear spells in between the rain showers and I spotted a shooting star (while facing roughly east north east - it was travelling north), and then over to the south were sheets of seemingly silent lightning. . PCd . . touched base with BB . . ate salami, onion and cheese rolls . . TVd until bed around 3am.


13 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am. . feel just slightly less down today, for no apparant reason. . walked . . pottered around doing dish washing and vacuuming chores, etc. Actually part dismantled the vacuum to de-Sally-hair it a bit. Doesn't take long for her hair to wrap around the brush spindles, etc and start making it 'less efficient' than it should be again. .ate salmon paste sandwiches and biscuits for lunch . . after a suprisingly quiet and relatively calm morning, the forecast storm began to roll in, in earnest somewhere around 4pm. Much wind and rain. . I HAD intended to probably skip the evening walk, but listening for a bit on the scanner, I overheard a ship which had come into the bay for shelter (one of many) and had then lost its anchor! Being a land-lubber, that sounded pretty serious to me, and the radio traffic I listened to DID seem to have an occasional hint of panic about it. Couldn't resist driving to walk and seeing whatever there was to see. Spent quite a time sheltering from the wind and rain in the lower gun emplacement, trying to figure out which of the dozen or so ships whose lights were visible, was the one with the problem. I could NOT make out anything out of the ordinary at all. I may be wrong, but as far as I could tell from what I overheard, I think the ship in question (which 'may' have somehow retrieved its anchor!????) had decided to head out into deeper water and ride out the storm on its engine! That sounds like a busy night for someone! . horrible horrible evening to be out! Very glad to eventually head back home - although it actually felt kinda 'safer' in that gun emplacement! :o( . . gave Sally the last of this batch of the dog-food beef - because I'm a bit tired of eating it all the time! . . PCd a bit of this. . .BB called breifly . . TVd . . ate salmon paste sandwiches, kipling pastry slices and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
12 - Up around 8am. . walked . . sat around/TVd/washed lamp shade no2 . . ate dog-food beef sandwiches with crisps . . napped . . drove to walk. Several ships have appeared moored in the bay, obviously seeking to escape the weather. Forecast for the next few days is appalling. The weather IR satellite images look 'almost' as though there is a hurricane developing over the UK! Intertwining 'lows' all rotating about each other, drawing in huge amounts of rain from the Atlantic!! . . Stopped at the store for a few provisions on the way home. . TVd . . ate a tin of beef and veg. soup with much extra dog-food beef, with four pieces of bread and butter, followed by a couple of kipling pastry slices . . touched base with BB . .TVd until bed around 2am. a
11 - Up around 7:25am. . . walked. . .sat around aimlessly. Seem to have plunged full-on into a 'down' right now. :o( . . noticed a small pool of water on the hearth tiles beneath the gas fire in the kitchen!!!!!!!!? Turns out there is a leak from a pipe leading to/from the back boiler!!!! That's REALLY bad news - although it DOES appear to have been leaking like that for a VERY long time. :o( I suspect it was putting the heating on for a bit of late which has aggravated things. It appears to have settled down a bit again, so I guess I'll just let it occasionally drip until such time as it really lets go. One more thing to worry () about. :o( . . spent an absurd amount of time cleaning a lampshade! Two lampshades in the hallway and one more on the upstairs landing which I 'inherited' with the house, are like little miniature chandeliers. Dusty and stained an ugly nicotine brown from the previous owners smoking habit! Dunno why but the disgusting colour of them has been bugging me of late. I'd been puttting it off for ages, but figured what the hell else am I going to do, so sat in front of Judge Judy on the TV (THAT in itself is an indication of me being down!) , with a bowl of soapy water on my footstool, and laboriously dismantled all the bits of clear plastic imitation glass - and washed them all, one by one! Took absolutely AGES! Hardly my choice of lampshade - it almost seems worth just replacing the other two rather than have to go all through that again - twice! :o( . . ate defrosted, K donated dog-food-beef (I 'think' it's fit for human consumption!) and chips and a little chocolate. . napped . .TVd/PCd the evening away. . touched base breifly with BB . .had a good go at removing splinters from my hands, given I won't be 'trimming' any more. Hadn't realised how many I had! My hands are just covered in little black spots, all of which turn out to be splinters! Much hacking away of flesh with the nail clippers, and quite a bit of 'digging' with a needle and tweezers got some of the worst! . . aimlessly PCd and ended up going through some old footage and then uploading a quick silly video of the breakwater at sunset. NOT because of the rather mediocre sunset view (a failed timelapse) - but because of the choice of music and what the youths captured on the right hand side of the frame were doing. Jumping off a raised area and down onto the beach. Strange childishly innocent way for 'todays youth' to be entertaining themselves - although of course they WERE attempting to video themselves on a mobile phone whilst airborne. lol . . received a 3.95 paypal donation from someone saying "Thanks for your entertaining writings over the years!". Nice one - that'll be my gloves paid for then. :o) Entertaining writings? You know what - it's impossible for me to imagine what it must be like to have actually followed my rantings over the last several years. Almost TEN years in fact!!!!!!!!!! Extraordinary I've been doing it so long - and definitely rather weird! lol . . ate biscuits before to bed around 2:30am. s
10 - Up around 7:15am. Rain . . .walked. .the postman delivered the gloves I'd ordered. Well - they aren't Damarts that's for sure, aren't as warm, and I strongly suspect they'll start to fall apart pretty quick, but considering the price of 3.89 for three pairs, I guess they'll do quite nicely for a bit. The rrp price actually printed on the tickets is 5 a pair!? . . Mum called to confirm she was still alive. .PCd and finally got round to doing an e-mail reply to DS. Worthy of note, because me actually doing an e-mail reply to anyone about anything these days is a VERY rare event! Just a few lines took hours as usual - which is part of why I never do e-mails! . . ate fried 'dok-sausage' slices with half a tin of baked beans and chips. . napped . . drove to walk . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate salami sandwiches and chocolate . . TVd until bed after 2am. s
9 - Up around 7:15am. Only a couple of degrees above freezing . . .walked. Picked up a carrier bag of litter as usual - hardly worth mentioning here any more - it's a given ('seasonaly' - a carrier bag of spent fireworks and beer cans from all around the gun emplacement the other morning). Putting the litter in the bin, I spotted a bag of three quarters of a loaf of bread and some crumpets already in the bin. Seemed like a waste, so I pulled it out and threw most of the bread onto the roof over the seats, and put the crumpets on top of the napoleonic range finder post, all for the birds (Actually NOT the first time I've made such a find and done that). Dog walker and bird lover 'T' always puts some dry dog biscuit (!?) on top of that post for the birds each morning. Amongst others, magpies and a local colony of crows seem to suprisingly appreciate it. With him not around for a week or so, they are going to go hungry, so the 'bin find' seemed fortuitous. A short while later a couple of council bin men turned up to empty the bin, so I attempted a bit of conversation and asked to have a quick look down into the bin bag as they removed it, just in case there was any more 'bird food' in there. They were hardly enthusiastic and then started on about how 'someone' had been cutting down the undergrowth! Although neither of us directly said it, I'm pretty sure they've seen me doing it various mornings and knew it was me.

-/unfinished/- They agressively said it was 'vandalism'.

Actually - in the 'Ark Royal' video I just uploaded, I couldn't help including a bit of footage for entirely personal reasons, connected with all the hard work and trimming I've been doing. At around the 1 minute 46 seconds mark there is a slow, jerky, sweeping pan of the view from the roofed seats. That view up to around the 2 minutes + mark is only now visible thanks to my 'vandalism'!!! Formerly it would have been 15+ seconds of blurred, close-up buddliea/tree.

-/unfinished/-

. . Despite the overwhelming number of positive comments from everyone I've spoken to on the subject, I always knew 'someone' was going to take exception to the 'trimming' I'd been doing. It WAS inevitable (given how ignorant and small minded oh SO many people seem to be - (thinking specifically of the guy who objected to the lane pothole filling, etc)) and I'd long since tried to make myself psychologically prepared for it. Unfortunately, despite all that, predictably, by the time I'd sat and smoked my cigarettes and then walked back home and sat around with a coffee and such, the 'poison of ignorance' had begun to take its effect on me. Ended up feeling increasingly down and overwhelmed with the utter pointless futility of doing - well - ANYTHING! If you have a 'mental filter' such as I, which effectively filters OUT all 'positives' , all you are left with ALWAYS are the negatives. As such, it IS my curse to feel (and I CANNOT escape it, no matter how much 'cognitive behavioural toss' I attempt to apply!)), everything I have ever sought to achieve, everything I have ever done or will ever do, is rejected and regarded as of zero worth and is worthy of ridicule and criticism by everyone. . I don't think I've yet typed it here, and I'm not sure quite how to word it, but - although in time I will not remember the actual 'number' of the year (because, what difference does it make), THIS year will be looked back on by myself, as the year in which I finally gave up on people/society/humanity and any illusions I may have had as to me being accepted by or attempting to fit ANYWHERE into all of that. These words don't look like much - but I've been aware for a while, THIS year HAS become one of the pivotal moments in my life. It's actually a bit scary. This isn't a good thing. :o( . . Mum called to confirm she was still alive. . .PCd/TVd and just sat around all day . . skipped the evening walk . .ate half a Mum donated coffee cake . . touched base with BB briefly . . ate salami and lettuce sandwiches and crisps . . tobed around 1:30am. s
8 - Woken by Sally around 8am after only a couple of hours of fitful sleep - ugggh!! :o( . . walked in the biting cold breeze, and couldn't wait to get back home, out of it!. .I need sleep!! Definitely experiencing symptoms of sleep(food) deprivation. My mind feels 'befuddled' and I seemed to be talking a load of nonsense (more than usual) when trying to make conversation with dog walkers! I even 'imagined' I saw a bunch of stuff blowing past in the wind - but it was just my bleary eyes playing tricks! . . today, I will be eating and sleeping - ONLY! . . PCd breifly . . touched base with Mum . . drank a splash of red wine and ate fried 'dok-sausage' slices with half a tin of baked beans and chips . . returned to bed. . woken after only a couple of hours by Sally barking as something was put through the letter box. Ended up unable to get back to sleep and got up. Turned out an enevelope containing a blank DVD had been pushed through the letterbox together with a short note from the owners of the recently cliff-rescued dog. "Here's a blank DVD to replace the one you kindly made for us. We've enjoyed watching it and passed the link to various amused relatives". Nice one. Jolly decent of them (although - shame I was woken! lol). :o) . .ended up sat in front of the TV all afternoon and bizarrely somehow ended up watching most of the old original classic Judy Garland 'Wizard of Oz' film which was on! It's one of those old films that's been around and on TV at various times all throughout my life, and is SO familiar, and yet somehow I can't actually recall when I may have actually watched it! Presumably when I was very, very young? I watched it this afternoon as if it were the first time. Remarkable film for its age, and just innocently pleasing. None of the modern special effects, etc. Just loads of people doing loads of work to create what really MUST rank as a masterpiece. Impressive. Classic. Probably never watch it ever again. . drove to walk. . TVd . . ate a large pizza. I'd bought one of Sainsburys own, large, economy, plain cheese pizza bases last time I was there, in the hope of maybe being able to make up my own topping to go on it, and make the whole thing cheaper than a pre-made one. Added salami slices , chopped onion and more grated cheese as the topping. As it turned out, it wasn't 'bad', but somehow it ended up being really rather tasteless, so all in all I think that was a bad idea and a false economy which I won't be repeating. Ate a little chocolate . . TVd . . touched base with BB breifly . . TVd until bed before 11pm. ads
7 - Woken by Sally around 6:45am. Wiped down all the thick running layers of condensation on the windows. Thermometer says only 4 degrees C outside this morning . .walked and trimmed - and 'jogged'!!! Sat in BGdns cooling down after my 'trimming' and wood-pile building excercises, someone remarked how a loose dog had suddenly come in off the road on its own! Sure enough, as far as one could tell, it WAS on its own!! One of those big, fluffy, long haired, 'Lassie' type dogs. I quickly followed down the path as it made off, and after having caught up with it, with Sally's 'noose' lead at the ready, did my best at encouraging it over, 'dog whisperer' style. Unfortunately it wouldn't come 'quite' near enough to get hold of it, and then it got a bit spooked and ran off back up the steep path. By the time I'd climbed back up the steps after it, other dog walkers were appearing all around the gardens, also all worried and in gentle pursuit. By the time we'd exchanged a few words and confirmed it definitely WAS running loose, it'd disappeared out of sight. I 'staked out' the main entrance to BGdns, actually stood in the road so as to be able to attempt to see if it re-appeared at the other entrance and once more took to the roads. Just then a guy in a van pulled up and said he'd passed it running back down the road (the way we normally go) looking scared! Sally and I took off in pursuit at a brisk walking pace, but for quite some distance there was no sign of it, so I fiigured that was the end of that as far as we were concerned. About half way home we spotted it again and had another go at encouraging it to come near (I've found that if I loudly pant like a dog, it generally gets a dog interested enough to come have a sniff). It DID show an interest but perhaps because of having Sally in tow, once again it wouldn't come quite near enough to grab, and it soon took off running across and along the roads! Sally and I ended up jogging after it (as best I could, in a manner NOT to make it run away faster)! Ended up going back around the block, waving at passing cars to slow down, etc. as it criss crossed over the roads. Lost sight of it - 'jogged' faster - emerged from a junction and spotted it again running along the pavement some distance ahead. Just then, a woman in a car pulled up alongside it, and tooted her horn, at which point it miraculously stopped running! She got out, opened the back door of her car and in it got!! Well - would you believe it. It turned out to be a dog called 'Jake' who she knew, owned by a neighbour/friend of hers. Their fence was apparantly broken, and the dog had escaped. She'd seen me running down the roads, had put two and two together, and had set out in her car in pursuit. Phew - all's well that ends well. That's tired me out for the rest of the day then! . . PCd . . Mum called to touch base and say she wouldn't be down today because she wasn't well (again). She refuses to call the doctor and insisted she didn't need anything, and seemed more concerned about ME having enough food in the house! Worrying. . breifly popped up the paper shop and bought a couple of the 'TV schedule' papers she always gets and dropped one in for her . . . PCd for hours working on the 'Ark Royal +' video. Really fiddly one this, but I'm determined to acheive 'something' like I have in mind with it! . . ate sausage sandwiches . . napped for just a couple of hours before getting straight back on the PC to labour over it some more. .BB called breifly . . carried on PCing and at very long last, somewhere around 5am (!!!!!!!!!!) called it quits and uploaded it to Youtube (despite Youtube having developed some sort of bug of late, where the browser window scroll bar and all the page objects don't operate with the mouse in the way they should!!? Also - all my video 'star - ratings' appear to have been wiped, although at least that confirms to me it isn't a problem MY end!) . . ate a crab paste sandwich, two bananas and a square of chocolate while the file uploaded and then finally lay down for a bit of shut eye, getting on for 6am!! I MUST be mad! aa
6 - Up around 7:15am . . walked and trimmed a little. (I have reason to suspect the reported sighting of alleged 'council' workers the other day was nothing of the sort, and was far more likely to be someone connected with the heritage group, or English heritage or something similar - based on how they trimmed a few bits of stuff here and there around various structures, and just dumped the trimmings where they fell.). Boy - my hands are in a state! Living with permanent splinters all over my hands has become a painful way of life. . PCd for several hours, having a prod at doing something with yesterday's video. . ate chips and dared to try half the 'Doktorska Sausage' I bought yesterday. Having no idea what it is, I just sliced it up and heated it in the microwave for a minute - although I did experiment with frying one slice. It seems to be a sort of chicken/pork pate/luncheon meat type cross-over - kinda! Surprisingly it wasn't 'that' bad, although I think with hindsight, the nausea I felt afterwards was all to do with overdoing it by eating a whole half of the 500grams in one go. Much less would have been sufficient - which would make for a VERY cheap meal. No wonder a Google search for 'Doktorska Sausage' brings back a first result from a site entitled 'How To Be Poor' ! lolol . ate a little chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 6pm . . skipped the evening walk. PCd a bit of this . . guitarred . . touched base with BB briefly . . TVd . . ate marmalade sandwiches and biscuits . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
5 - Woke before 7am, snoozed on just a little then up just after . . walked and filmed a little as HMS Ark Royal unexpectedly came back into the bay and moored up over by TorquayImage of car carriers from left Tokyo Car and Triumph, and HMS Ark Royal moored in Torbay. Unprepared - it was the usual struggle of trying to precariously perch the camera on my folded gloves on something solid, to be able to get a sufficiently stable platform to be able to film the several miles distant at maximum zoom, without it being too shaky for any use. If it wasn't such a preposterous proposition, I really could do with carrying a small bag of fine sand for such occasions! . . with the available film in the camera almost spent (and some I wanted to keep, not yet transferred to the PC), I eventually headed home and desperately tried to find another cassette over which I could record. That resulted in a prolonged and infuriating wrestling match with the tired old camera! (You can hear HOW tired that camera is, on that dog rescue video I just uploaded. Whenever I use the zoom, there is an awful, loudly audible, knocking-like 'click click click' from the worn out zoom drive motor - which is now very much interfering with the audio recording!!) Carrying it with me always, results in it getting quite a few bangs and knocks from time to time, which seems to jar and slightly alter the recording/playback heads position. That causes problems, particularly when I try to change tapes. Either the newly inserted (already recorded on) tape won't read/play at all, or it'll show huge 'tracking' type bars all across the image. Luckily, so far, persevering with it and laboriously winding it back and forth a couple of times over the entire length of the tape, will 'eventually' line it up again so I can start using it!!!!! This is another one of the reasons why investing in a new MEMORY CARD camcorder in the near future, is an increasingly attractive proposition - no such moving parts to go wrong. . . left Sally at home and drove (with the camera tripod and scanner) to T's to pick up the big square piece of double sided/insulated UPVC he'd come by, and had offered to let me have. It's the sort that is used to make door/conservatory panels by double glazing companies. I figure it could well make a rather cool/zero maintenance, easily wiped down loft hatch, to replace the tatty looking painted wood panel I currently have. . stopped off at BGdns before returning home, to have another bit of a prod at Ark Royal, this time with the camcorder, nice and still on the tripod. . actually ended up seeing the 'Triumph' car carrier leave anchor and head off out to sea. What a HUGE vessel! It actually almost dwarfed Ark Royal! . .hadn't intended to, but somehow ended up hanging around for hours!!! I was absolutely DETERMINED to get some shots of Ark Royal steaming back OUT of the bay - whenever that was liable to be. Hung around for ages, waiting for something to happen, getting utterly frozen, as rain showers blew through making plenty rainbows. Even my watch felt the cold and lost time again!? Weird how it does that - but only in cold weather? I really should invest in a new one - but I can't find the time - boom, boom. Given how cold I ended up, all motionless for hours, it was absolutely amazing to me that there were several wind surfers all racing around in the bay with the stiff north westerly-ish breeze. How on earth is that possible? Ok - so they had some sort of wet-suit on, but surely - their faces at least must have been borderline hypothermic surely? I just couldn't do that sort of thing. My (Mum side of the family inherited?) metabalism and wirey build is such, that I get REAL cold REAL quick! I simply wouldn't survive getting so cold. . at long long last, Ark Royal started up its engines and started drifting around a little bit as if making ready to leave. Uh oh - DAMN! I only had a few more minutes worth of charge left in the camera battery! Would you believe it! :o( And then - oh NO!!!!! - on the scanner I overheard Ark Royal talking with Torquay harbour saying they were delaying their departure for at least 30 minutes - and soon after all the smoke from the funnels ceased as she shut down her engines! Arrrggh! Foolishly, 'tunnel vision like' I continued to hang around waiting - absolutely determined to see her leave. Attempted to squeeze a little more juice out of the camera battery, by taking it off the camera and stuffing the ice-cube like block, deep into a trouser pocket, to try to warm it up a little - as if I wasn't cold enough already!! Their '30 minutes delay to departure' ended up being well over an hour - or more - I'm not sure how long, because I finally just couldn't take any more sitting around freezing/waiting. I eventually concluded I was being utterly crazy, got in the car and headed home - with the heater on! . WHAT a waste of time all THAT was! . stopped at the store on the way home and experimentally bought a Sokolow 'Doktorska Sausage with Paprika' !?? Every time I go in that store I see those great big red packaged sausage things for only 1.09, and I've been desperate to know exactly what they are and if they are any good (mostly because of 'the amount for the price'). I'm not sure I've ever before seen anything edible with SO many 'E' numbers! That can't be good! (A recent news report suggested new research had fairly conclusively linked consumption of processed food to depression! There's NO hope at all for me then is there, given MY diet!!!) There isn't any hint on the packaging as to exactly what to do with it in terms of cooking suggestion, and no-one in the store ever seemed to have any idea even what it actually was. It's clearly started being stocked, for all the Polish people who've ended up living here! . . wasn't in the mood to start experimenting straight away, and I'd already defrosted some regular sausages from the freezer, so ate four regular sausages with chips, and then some chocolate biscuits . . napped until woken by fireworks around 6:45pm . . drove to walk. Another disappointing bonfire night in terms of the view across the bay. Relatively quiet (VERY quiet compared to how it used to be in Bristol) and actually not 'too' good visibility as rain showers frequently blew through. Must be an awful time for wildlife - although the hooting of an owl in a nearby tree, competing with the explosions, seemed to suggest it didn't care too much. . PCd todays footage all evening. .touched base with BB and somehow both ended up on Google, searching for (and largely failing to find) 'Doktorska Sausage'! lololol How sad are we! lolol So - my life has now degenerated to such an extent, that the highlight/sum total of my day was buying a strange Polish sausage - and not content with that, I then felt obliged to write all about it on a website! lolololololololol. Actually - worthy of note here, that I DO seem to have suddenly descended into MY brand of winter 'S.A.D.' /hibernation type existance. I only seem to have quite literally 'a handful' of functional hours in any day, before having to return to sleep (although part of that 'may' have something to do with being so cold most of the time, not eating as I should and not daring to invest in having the heating on!! My afternoon nap is SO something to look forward to, because I just wrap myself fully dressed in a duvet, and feel oh so wonderfully WARM for a change!). .TVd . . ate bowls of muesli before to bed around 2am. a
4 - Up around 7am . . PCd a bit of this . . walked in showers . . PCd . . ate left over pizza, crisps and kipling lemon pastry slices . . napped . . drove to walk . . PCd/touched base with BB. With temperatures down to single figures, I actually dared to put the central heating on today for a bit, as much as anything else, to just make sure it still works after not having been used for so long. It does. . . ate K donated pork (dog food!) sandwiches with crisps and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am.
3 - Up around 7:15am . . .walked mostly between showers. A dog walker 'warned' me that council workers had been in BGdns yesterday, discussing (disapprovingly?) what on earth was going on with the (mess) trimming that had been done there, so I guess I better hold off and keep a low profile for a bit!!! It appeared they'd trimmed some of the brambles that were growing over the site of the old WWII canteen, but suprisingly they'd just left all the cuttings strewn around on the ground where they fell! Even 'I' wouldn't have left things in such a mess. I better not get the blame for that! . . a pair of huge, seemingly identical car-carriers were moored in close by Torquay. (Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd operated - 'Tokyo Car' and 'Triumph' I think, according to the AIS data, although I've learned not to trust the data on that map as necessarily up to date or accurate. Seems like sometimes the computers that generate the data aren't turned on, and some ships turn their AIS equipment on and off occasionally - a case in point being Ark Royal the other day - it was in the bay when the map said it was still off Cornwall, somewhere else entirely - although of course with military it could be for security reasons!) . .some 'crazy' homeless looking guy on drink and or drugs was stood by the entrance to BGdns looking out at the expansive view, dancing and waving his arms around and gibbering unintelligably in the rain!!?? Scary and weird! . . caught out in torrential rain (without leggings) and drenched on the way home . TVd as an even heavier rain shower blew through. Huge amounts of water came into the conservatory - and it appears there is a blockage of some sort in the end of the main roof guttering above, which is gonna be a real pain to reach to clear out. Really don't know how I can get a ladder anywhere near it. It'll have to wait until some better weather and when I have more energy! . . PCd and bought '3pairs MENS FINGERLESS THERMAL STRETCH MAGIC GLOVES' on e-bay for 3.89 inclusive of postage. For most of my life I've lived in 'proper' Damart black fingerless gloves and was going to just buy a couple more pairs of those, but it turns out they are 10 PER pair!! I may yet end up getting some of those because they really are rather good and I've lived with them for so long, but I figured I may as well take a chance and try those others first, given the price. Hard to tell from the advert, but I DO hope they aren't the 'knitted' variety, which from experience I consider pointless/useless. Knitted mesh just lets the wind straight through and they always start to unravel pretty quick, especially when wet. . found a follow-up to the dog rescue news report on todays newspaper site. :o) Armed with their name, it didn't take much effort to find a phone number for the dog owner, and I took the liberty of giving them a call to offer them the chance of having a copy of the DVD with the video and photos etc on. .Turned out they'd asked the paper to keep their details private, so weren't overly happy their names had been published etc, and even seemed disturbed the video was on Youtube!! Uh oh! I do hope they don't start asking for it to be removed! That'd be a shame and a bit awkward because of the embedding/links etc which have already been made to them! . They eventually said they WOULD like a copy and it was agreed the guy would pop in to pick it up in an hour or so. .quickly burned a disc for them . . ate crab paste sandwiches, crisps and a couple of mum donated kipling lemon pastry slices and TVd while waiting . . eventually the guy turned up a few hours later and I quickly handed over the DVD to tie that loose end up nicely . . napped until around 6pm . . drove to walk in rain showers . . drank a glass of red wine and ate a huge Mum donated meat pizza with extra pepperoni and cheese . . TVd . . touched base breifly with BB . . TVd struggling to stay awake until bed around 11pm. d
2 - Woken by Sally around 7:15am. Wiped(smeared!) running/dripping condensation from all the windows and cills! Much colder than of late but sunny spells at least . . .walked and trimmed a little before eventually walking back via town, specifically to re-visit the hardware stall in the market. Bought the saw I'd been tempted by the last time I was in there. A 21" Hilka Bow Saw for 3.80. Lets hope I don't break it as soon as I try to use it, like I did the cheap secateurs I bought from there! . .PCd a bit and found a report about the dog rescue I'd filmed, on the local newspaper website. Mailed the guy from the paper with links to the YouTube videos. Yayyy - he actually went to the trouble of embedding the video in the news report, to get maximum coverage. Nice one. As if to confirm my lack of ability at editing stuff down to the bare essentials, he only embedded the second half - part 2 of 2. lol Shame - I reckon the seal and all that in part 1, was worth people seeing too. Oh well . . drank just a splash of wine and ate ham ring and chips . . napped . . pouring with rain. Skipped the evening walk again . . guitarred a little . .TVd . .touched base with BB . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 1am. ds
1 - Woken by wind and rain battering the windows and then by Sally around 7:15am. Awful weather! Bad headache. Annadin coffee and cigarettes for breakfast . . drove to walk in full weather gear. The weather began to clear almost as soon as I got out of the car. Well would you beleive it! The Ark Royal has gone already!? I thought I read it was here for a few days? I didn't even get to film it! Hummph. . Weather was threatening almost sunny spells by the time I returned, looking a bit silly dressed in full rubber. . PCd this at length. . ate a mum donated pastry slice, crisps, half a battenburg cake and chocolate biscuits. . napped, deeply until around 6pm . . TVd . . walked, mostly in between showers . .PCd and did the work to knock together a data DVD of the dog rescue footage and the handful of photos etc. which I'd promised to let the coastguard guy have. Worked out roughly what part of town his address was on Google maps and figured it wasn't 'too' late to go and pop it straight through his letter box tonight and get it over and done with. Left Sally at home, drove across a deserted town in the car, found the house, and since lights were on, actually hand delivered it. Had a breif conversation during which he confirmed they ARE all volunteers! If I didn't have the comittment of being engaged walking Sally at various times (and of course hardly being a 'team' person! lol), I 'd love to do something like that. Oh well - not this lifetime. :o( . . touched base with BB . . TVd . .ate corned beef rolls, a tin of oxtail soup and a couple of squares of chocolate . . eventually to bed around 2am.a
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