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November
30
- Poor sleep then back up around 5am. . PCd a bit of this waiting for daylight but intending to walk early anyway, to get back in time to wait for the insurance peoples visit. Ugggh. :o( . .BB called briefly but I was hardly in the mood to be talking to anyone. . walked without incident . . TVd up tight and freezing. SO up tight, I felt sick - just waiting for a loss adjuster for gods sake! :o(. . somewhere around 10am the young lady loss adjuster arrived. She appeared to have no concern over meeting the 'devil dog', so I carefully introduced her to the living room and barking Bella. They both soon settled down. The woman asked a few questions and filled out some information on her laptop before starting off by having a look up in the bedroom. She took a couple of photos of the water damage (I explained I couldn't care less about that and was happy to fix that myself. It was the cause of it up on the roof which I WAS wanting her to concern herself with) and then opened one of the windows to try to see the lip of the roof over the bay. In so doing, she somehow caught herself on one of the curtains and promptly pulled one of the superglued curtain track supports away from the window frame! Damn!! Don't make things worse!!! I said nothing and let her carry on with what she was doing. Popped out into the garden and she took some more photos looking up but by this point it was VERY clear, she considered the leak to be simple 'wear and tear/age' and nothing to do with the storm! Went back in and answered a couple of questions and that was pretty much that. She confirmed it wasn't anything they would pay for and promptly printed off a letter to that effect (which I haven't even actually read!), which in MY words, in short pretty much says 'f** off loser'!! :o( So - it's all down to me then. No suprises there. Guess I'll just have to give it a bit longer and then chase up the roofer guy, who obviously isn't in any hurry to do anything for me since he hasn't been in touch! What DOES it take to actually get someone to do work for you these days? I thought everyone was eager for work? As ALWAYS, it seems to be the complete opposite!! Eventually thanked the woman for coming and bid her farewell . . glued the curtain track support back in place as best I could, although it probably won't stay up there for long now! . . . briefly popped up the local stores with Bella for tobacco (I CANNOT AFFORD THIS!!!!) and potatoes. . .ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps, chocolate biscuits . Interrupted midway through eating around 1:15pm by the postman delivering a box. Yayy - that'll be the kettle donated by JC. He'd mailed to say he'd be sending it yesterday. All credit to the Post Office for getting it here the next day despite all the atrocious weather and snow everywhere! . . napped - poorly - actually overheating a bit, still dressed in all my layers under a winter duvet . Image of a found gold braceletansaphone woke me around 5pm taking a call from a lady claiming and accurately describing the gold bracelet I found the other day. Her message said she was in a house just a short way up the road, right near where I'd found it, so I figured I'd just pop it round when we walked . . she called again before I'd managed to get out and deliver it. I said I was 'building up' to going out in the gale and I'd see her within the hour. . walked. Delivered the bracelet and as such was forced to do a somewhat different, longer walk to BGdns. It was VERY unpleasant on that top road, battling headlong against the gale. . The coastguard forecast on the scanner later suggested it was a NEasterly gale force 8! That's straight in at you in BGdns. VERY harsh! According to the TV weather forecast, the windchill in such temperatures makes it feel more like -4 or less. It WAS real unpleasant to be sat there playing ball (like a nutcase!))!!!! . Image of sheltering in the gun batteryEventually sat in the shelter of the main gun emplacement, right at the back on the cold concrete for ages again, cuddling Bella, smoking, drinking coffee, and listening to the scanner - mostly in TOTAL darkness. The roaring wind (and distant crashing waves down below) was deafening! Didn't really want to bother, but I eventually DID set the camera up (with the flash on) and take a snap or two. Pointless really, but I just wanted to get a record of the 'moment' - to remind me. Dunno what it is - but sat there like that, in the relative shelter, not 'overly' cold, with a few of my 'comforts' to hand, without another living soul stupid enough to be out braving the gale and cold there, imagining what it must have been like during the war, etc, etc, etc - I kinda enjoyed it (again). The picture makes me look like a real 'saddo' - and yes, perhaps I am - but imagine it in TOTAL darkness, relatively sheltered, with the gale blowing deafeningly across the open mouth of the cavernous space. There's something about it - about being there like that. It's VERY 'ok' to me. . Caught one or two little snippets over the scanner suggesting Portland coastguard were coordinating a shore search by a lifeboat and coastguard teams for a 'vulnerable' missing person. YET another with the same 'just sit and let go' idea?! There must be a lot of us about! :o| . . The 'sign was out'. Returned with a large tupperware full of left-overs dog-food meat from K . . TVd . touched base breifly with Mum . . TVd/guitarred/shivered in hat and gloves. . ate a pastry slice, crisps, some cake, last of the cobbler and a little chocolate. . to bed around 1am. s
29 - Up around 7am. .<10C inside, 2C out - much windier out, accounting for the 'higher' temperature I guess. It's gonna FEEL colder! . . walked. .On reaching BGdns I let Bella off her lead as usual. Soon after she ran and had a nip at someones small Jack Russel type dog, ran back towards me and then soon after went and did the same thing again!! At this point I grabbed her and held her nose and chastised her before, as is my usual whenever she does that, intending to explain and apologise to the owner of the dog. . . . .
-/unfinished/-
I've not encountered so much agression directed at me since - well - when I was attacked by Boyce back in Bristol!! (Oh my god, how THAT experience came spontaneously flooding back into my mind!) Every other word out of his mouth was the 'F' word - spat at me like venom! Ok - so I wasn't actually assaulted, but my god, it seemed to me it wouldn't have taken much for it to have gone that way! One wrong word or action from me, I have absolutely no doubt he would have, the way he was doing that provoking, advancing, 'squaring up to me' thing! (I very carefully did NOT swear back at him at all!) Incredible! Just unbelieveable to me someone could act in such a way!?! Even trying to be objective and see things totally from their point of view, I still can't believe that my actions warranted THAT level of abuse and intimidation from him. It was just so unexpected and so, SO unnecesary. All they had to do was calmly make their point for goodness sake! I'm not a complete Neanderthal idiot (like them?). I AM capable of understanding a rational argument. I guess I have to accept they ARE completely right! I can't be going around 'allowing' Bella to run riot and go and nip other dogs like she 'occasionally' does, just so I then have an opportunity to attempt to correct her anti-social behaviour. It ISN'T fair on other dog owners/dogs. I maintain that she isn't actually hurting any of them and If I'd seen ANY evidence of that from her I wouldn't have gone this far - and would have considered a muzzle or some such. I still believe she simply doesn't understand dog behaviour ettiquette and is simply doing it to elicit a response and a chase and play, as she has succeeded in achieving on a few occasions. Blah blah blah! Suffice it to say, I guess I AM going to HAVE to take a backward step, restrict her freedom and keep her mostly on the lead now. :o( That's REALLY bad news for her - and me too! If that's the way it's going to have to be, I'm never going to be able to attempt to break her of that behaviour!!! We're gonna be stuck with it for ever! . Nevertheless, whatever that nutter is liable to try to make of it, my playing ball with her in our usual place is NOT gonna be negotiable! That's what she lives for. I'm not prepared to take that away from her, just for him - whatever threats he makes! .. . . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:o(

desperately attempted to distract myself from the 'dark, swirling, feedback-loop wormhole' spiralling in my head threatening to completely suck me in, and forced myself to piddle around with some silly stuff I've been meaning to do. Drilled the firebreast wall in the kitchen and hung the clock Sis2 had recently sent. The coat of darker wood stain I put on it the other day, to attempt to make it match all the other dark wood around the room, doesn't look too bad at all. . fitted the new chrome, charity shop bath robe hook to the back of the bathroom door in place of the bank of brass effect key hooks on a dark wood backing plate that had been there! Removed the brass and dark wood towel ring near the shower, and managed to mount the charity shop toilet roll holder in its place, actually using the existing mounting screws which was a great relief. I don't think it really works very well, but I'm gonna leave it up there for the time being. It may look weird but no worse than what WAS there, and it does at least look more fitting being chrome to match all the other bits and pieces. Just the brass effect shower curtain rail, dark wood wall cabinet, and the brass handle and lock on the door to replace now. . .Pushed on and added and altered a couple of the hooks under the stairs on which I hang all my coats etc, to make things a little handier easier and better for me. . mounted one of the spare hooks on the wall by the front door for hanging up Bella's collar and lead etc, and moved my brass key holder slightly, again, just to make things a little easier and functional for me. Glued the insoles in place in my new shoes! .
. . . -/unfinished/-. . .

Felt a bit nauseas but forced down a couple of corned beef rolls, some crisps and some cobbler nontheless. .tried to nap to 'escape my mind
'. inevitable trouble getting to sleep, and oh SO wanting to be just not awake. Only managed 'minutes' before being woken around 5pm by the ansaphone taking a message. (Turned out to be from the insurance people about the roof saying they'd be here tomorrow between 9 and 10am.) Tried to sleep on, but my mind and heart started racing again so I couldn't. . PCd a bit of this, really, REALLY not wanting to have to go walk. I mean - are WE gonna be 'safe'?! (Oh what 'happy' memories THAT sickening, exhausting panicy feeling brings back! NOT! )
:o(
(I have to confess, I have of late (even before this mornings' nonsense) been thinking MUCH about one of the videos I did a while back. The one of the moon transitting the shot, while listening to radio traffic on the scanner. It was filmed during temperatures like as now. It has occurred to me, that if I shed some of my layers, and walked light, and just sat around in Bgdns for long enough - it'd be job done- as simple as that - and f***ing good riddance to it/them all!). .walked - in layers - with coffee. Strong breeze and very cold and unpleasant again. Tried out the 'new regime' of keeping Bella on her lead all round the gardens, except when sat down on the open grassed area for some ball play as usual. I don't 'think' she really cared. It's the ball play and chasing she lives for. Ended up in the shelter of the main gun emplacement again, sat on the gun floor in the dark smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. Sat there for ages with my back to the wall - with Bella ON her lead laying next to me. . . TVd the evening away watching nothing, , mostly 'trapped in my mind' involuntarily replaying events and imagining others, etc, etc, etc. God I HATE how my mind does that! It CANNOT be stopped. I just have to try to ride it out and wait for relative 'sanity' to eventually re-emerge whenever it chooses. It'll be a while at which point, if it is even possible I've already gone so far, I will inevitably seek to have even less contact with humanity. :o( That guy - not that he would care - but he couldn't possibly begin to imagine how much pain and distress he has caused me with his casual agression and unpleasantness. . no appetite and very cold. Ate a couple of bananas before to bed around 12:30am.
28 - Only managed to snooze and half sleep for less than a couple of hours. I should have eaten more. Even with the two duvets I've had on the bed for the last few days, I was utterly frozen with that weird 'internal', hypothermic, cold-to-the-bone feeling I get! It was nevertheless perhaps something of a blessing - Somewhere just before 7am I became aware of Bella leaving the room. I asked her where she was going and she returned and just sat next to the bed. Seemed pretty likely she needed to poop. Raced to get some layers on and then rushed down to let her out into the garden. Sure enough, she raced out and 'had the runs'! That was a close call for the kitchen carpet tiles! Bad news she STILL has a bit of an upset (although I'm sure the pork pie treat from Mum didn't help matters)! . . .9C inside, -2C out!!!! These temperatures really are starting to take their toll on me and feel pretty wearing and unpleasant to say the least!! :o( . .sat in front the fire cuddling Bella for a bit before PCing a bit of this - in layers - with my hood up and fingerless gloves on - and STILL utterly frozen!! :o( . . walked and found a Pyrex measuring jug discarded on the grass above the rocks!? How on earth something like that found its way to be there, intact, is anyones guess. Felt obliged to carry it home even though I am already well stocked with seldom used measuring jugs. Maybe I'll charity-shop it sometime. . . not sure where I got the energy considering I'd had so little sleep, but I figured I needed to eat as much as possible today, and I finally got round to having a go at knocking up a cobbler again after all these years. I really SHOULD have done one with some of the blackberries I picked a while ago - but didn't. I've been meaning to do one for ages with one or other of the old tins of fruit I have in the cupboard - but I just kept on putting it off (despite having also bought some 'real' butter for the purpose a little while ago). Had to fire up the PC and look up the old recipe instructions I once had on-ine as part of the site. All very simple, but I couldn't remember how. Used a tin of pear halves - cut into smaller pieces. .drank a glass of wine while it cooked. It turned out 'ok', and the heat from the oven was also very welcome. As soon as it was done I ate a bowlfull. Something missing and not 'quite' right, but perfectly edible - and nice for a change. I think the let down was the pear halves were in juice rather than syrup? . didn't want to waste the heated oven so I popped in the Mum donated pizza and ended up cooking and eating that - followed by another bowlfull of cobbler!! Too much really - kinda like yesterdays food and todays all in one sitting!! . . . napped. . PCd . .walked. As soon as I left the house, I was aware of the sound of someone playing a drum!? It was really quite loud, but you could somehow tell it was quite far off and the sound was being carried in on the breeze. . it got louder and by the time we reached BGdns it was clear it was somewhere thereabouts. What I couldn't possibly have guessed was that it was actually coming from the very end of the breakwater by the 'lighthouse' beacon!! A generator must have been running out there, a blue spotlight was trained on the lighthouse, other lights were set up, and a band was actually playing a set out there!!!!! (Funny how only the drumming carried so far across town and beyond.) Sods law - one of the rare occasions I wasn't carrying my camera, so I couldn't zoom-in or really tell from that distance exactly what was going on. (Actually I now frequently DON'T carry my new camcorder during the winter nights, because it is SO poor at recording anything in low light.) From what I could see and hear, it is my guess that the band were doing a video shoot. The music was kinda some of that grunge/thrash metal stuff (I think that's what it's called?) which I'm not keen on at all. The most notable thing about what I heard was, it was one of those bands that has a vocalist who puts on a weird sort of roaring 'demonic' voice. Dunno how else to describe it. They all sound the same when they do that - and personally I find it just plain unpleasant and rather silly (learn to 'sing' dude!). SUCH a shame when the musicians are all obviously quite skilled in their instruments. Seems like a waste of talent. Anyway - I guess it's all a matter of taste, and such bands DO seem to have a large following these days (although as far as I could see, there was almost no-one out on the end of that breakwater listening or watching). Anyway - whatever my criticism of the sound - you had to admire them actually being out there doing that in such freezing temperatures! I think they wound things up somewhere around 8:30pm at which point I was finishing my coffee and heading home. . . TVd the evening away sat in front of the fire. All this recent e-bay nonsense where I've been playing a 'bit loose' with my money, IS absolutely going to have to stop now. What money I DO have is obviously going to go to the energy companies pretty soon isn't it, what with them having just massively increased their prices immediately before a harsh cold spell - again!! :o( I swear they are better at forecasting than the met office! . . ate two corned beef and mayo rolls, crisps and chocolate . . to bed around 1am. d
27 - Up around 7:45am. .11C inside, 0C out but with a wind making it feel colder. Nothing to complain about I guess - I hadn't realised how bad the rest of the country had things until I saw the news last night! MUCH snow everywhere. During the night I half woke when I become aware of Bella leaving the bedroom briefly at some point. Turned out with her upset stomach she'd pooped all round the kitchen again! Ugggh. :o( Cleared up as best I could - but really not very well. . . walked. Very cold breeze! Stopped at a couple of the local stores and asked them to put the little notice I'd written about 'Found item of jewellery' in their windows . . PCd and knocked off the 'Night Before Christmas' VIEW-MASTER reel video and uploaded it to Youtube. . Mum called in (despite her bad foot) with the paper and food donations . Showed Mum the view-master videos I'd done. Funny - she TOO remembered those images from all those years ago. Dunno how they can become embedded and retained in ones mind like that, despite all that happens of far greater importance and significance throughout ones life?? . . ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps and biscuits . . napped until the alarm at 6pm - as much as anything, just to be warm! . the Xmas parade and a big firework display in town. Bang flash, bang flash - yeah yeah. Didn't bother going down to see any of it. . walked in the cold. VERY strong easterlyish wind was blowing a gale straight into BGdns. Sat and played ball for as long as I could but couldn't take it for as long as usual. Just too unpleasant. Biting wind. Eventually ended up taking refuge for coffee and cigarettes, unusually in one of the main gun emplacements. Big sheltered area all to ourselves. Sat there in the dark, sheltered from the howling wind for ages. Bizarre life I lead. Actually found it quite pleasant. . . TVd/guitarred/PCd the night away in layers and gloves with the fire on in the living room, or the electric fan heater in the PC room, just trying to stay warm - and largely failing! Ate some biscuits, chocolate and Mum donated cake . . didn't want to have to face the chill of getting into bed - and actually didn't feel tired for ages! Didn't end up going to bed until getting on for 5am!!? s
26 - Up around 7:35am. .10C inside, -1C out . . PCd . . walked and played ball on the hard frosty ground in the sun. . uh oh - Bella appears to have a bit of an upset stomach and didn't particularly want her breakfast again!! :o( . . PCd the WHOLE day away just messing around and ultimately spent MANY hours on starting to knock up a simple little video slideshow or two of a couple of the reels for the 'View-Master' thingy I dug out of my old boxes yesterday. Pretty difficult to actually capture something which reflects a little of how those reels look when viewed through the thing (not helped by a bunch of my rechargeable camera batteries suddenly deciding to die on me! :o( ). Eventually uploaded the first slideshow to Youtube. Peter Pan! :o) That video just can't do it justice. The colours are SO vibrant and the scenes really ARE amazing in 3D. Why go to all the bother? Well - even though I can't remember ANYTHING of my childhood - those images ARE strangely 'familiar' to me!? There IS a certain 'pleasure' in reactivating some sense of ones past like that. I would like to think that maybe someone somewhere will bump into that video, feel the same and get some pleasure from it. . ended up back on e-bay as the auction neared a close, agonising over whether or not to 'have a punt' on the Yaesu VX-2R radio I've been watching. I dared to! I put more than one bid on, only to be outbid immediately - and then I dared to put a 'big' 77 bid on (+ the 6 postage) and it 'paused' with me as the maximum bidder!!! YIKES! With less than five minutes to run on the auction, I walked away from the PC (with shakey legs! Really!) and went to make a coffee in a 'what will be, will be' frame of mind - actually panicing a bit. If I won it - damn - I'd HAVE to sell my scanner and get back into radio and try to reactivate my amateur licence and learn all I've forgotten and, and - yikes!!!! Do I REALLY want to have to do all that? Thankfully (?) by the time I returned with my coffee, I'd been outbid. Phew! Watched the end of the auction (WITHOUT bidding again!) and someone sneaked in right in the last few seconds and picked it up for 93 (including postage) which actually only saved them 3 on the original buy-it-now price. Ho hum. What will be will be. lolol If I was actually gonna get serious about going HAM again (which I surely can't be! I mean - just like when I gave it up - what on earth would I have to say, and to who?!) for a couple of hundred or three, I could get a 'similar' but much newer, upgraded, brand new version of such a radio. . .walked in the cold and back via the store for some milk and an impulse bought couple of pieces of breaded fish. Found a small -/item of jewellery/- along the way. (Terrible ain't it! I SO distrust people these days, I'm not even prepared to put here what it was I found, lest someone should stumble upon the details here and falsely claim it from me! I DO intend to put a couple of 'FOUND' notices in the local shop windows - but if it isn't claimed in a week or so, I'll add it to my 'jewellery box' collection of stuff I need to try to sell) . . briefly touched base with Mum. Problems with her foot. Doesn't sound good! . . cooked and ate the fish with chips, followed by just a little chocolate . . TVd for a short while before being drawn back to the PC. Finished off the suprisingly bloody 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea View-Master slideshow and uploaded it to youtube . .ate biscuits before to bed around 2am.
25 - Up around 7am. .12C inside, 0C out . . PCd . .walked in the cold northerly breeze and eventually carried on down town to tour the charity shops etc. Actually spent a bit of money on a few bits and pieces. A chrome bathrobe hook for the bathroom for 1.50, a (more or less matching - from a completely different charity shop) chrome toilet roll holder for 1.50 (which I reckon I can maybe use as a towel hook by the shower) and a salter kitchen scale with bowl for 2.50. The scale appears to be a really quite sensitive one, and was bought not only to maybe sometime use in the kitchen, but also to perhaps weigh stuff I may eventually want to list on e-bay so I can try to work out how much the postage may be. The bathroom stuff is all part of my ongoing attempts to gradualy attempt to replace all the ugly dark wood and brass fitments with chrome. Bit by bit, I'll get there. lol . popped into the 'other' jewelers in town on a whim, because they had a sign outside advertising the fact that they buy gold. Asked for a ball park figure for a 1/10th Kruggerand. They had to make a phone call to their main store and then came back with - 55! Yeah, right - I should co-co! . . one of the clothes stores in town was selling bodywarmers on special offer at around 11. Well would you believe it - they looked the same as mine which (although cheap and already showing signs of some of the velcro tabs coming away) I HAVE eventually grown to like because of the way I've managed to make all the pockets work for me (although of course it isn't a patch on my old worn-out one - which I haven't yet had the courage to throw away! lol)! Damn - at that price it was really tempting to go in and buy a couple the same, but I didn't have enough money on me so couldn't. . In a shop window was an advert for a CRT non-digital television. A Panasonic 36" widescreen, complete with stand and built in dolby surround sound speaker system - for 60. That's a LOT of TV for that price! Yet more temptation I need to resist! :o( . .on the walk back, actually not far from home, a dog in someones raised unfenced garden came bounding down to stand threateningly just above us, and Bella went spontaneously airborne and totally uncontrollable!!! We made something of a 'scene' in the street - to say the least!!! With her tied to my belt and with a carrier bag of my shopping in one hand, her unexpected outburst almost had me off my feet, and in wrestling to control her on her lead after having had to throw the shopping bag to the floor, I tore open the wound on my little finger! I was VERY angry and very rough with her, and shouted at her in a way I don't think I have ever done before - and eventually continued to speak unkindly and growl at her the short rest of the way home with her roughly checked on a VERY short leash! :o( Once back in home I continued my growling and angrily told her to just get out of my f*****g sight! (She IS undoubtedly familiar with being spoken to like that - not only from me on a few occasions! She definitely knows the F word from her previous life!) Poor dog ended up a horrible cowering mess! Really painful to see. :o( She was SO upset by my behaviour, she even didn't want to eat her breakfast (unheard of!!), even after I'd made up with her on the setee and had a cuddle!!!!? Poor dog. That I think is probably the worst episode (of MY behaviour) I've had with her yet!:o( I hope I haven't made backward steps in the trust I've worked SO hard to build up in her!!! :o(. . . ummd and ahhd, had a coffee and then eventually headed back down town with Bella, armed with my chequebook, fully intending to buy a couple of the bodywarmers if they had them in my size. . would you believe it - turned out the black bodywarmers they had, weren't on sale. Only blues and greens because they were allegedly a different make (although pretty much identical in pocket configuration). So - that was all a wasted walk and effort. :o( . bought on impulse a 1 garden thermometer in the cheap-rubbish shop. Cheap rubbish indeed. Didn't notice until after I'd bought it, that the actual glass bit was free to move a little bit within the plastic cover on which was printed the temperature scale - so it's easy to read a couple of degrees out! Rubbish! . . back via the harbour, BGdns and some ball throwing . enouraged Bella to finish her breakfast by mixing the frying pan burger grease into it . . PCd a bit of this. Very headachey. . . ate ham rolls, crisps, biscuits and chocolate . . napped . . walked in the cold and sat around for an hour or so watching the moon rise. Incredibly dark before the moon appeared, with a beautifully clear, star and aircraft filled sky. . TVd the evening away, trying to keep warm in front of the fire, and petting Bella quite a bit, trying to make sure our 'relationship' hadn't suffered too much from the devil dog incident and harsh words of earlier! . . ate eight fish fingers in sandwiches and some chocolate . . TVd until bed around midnight. aa
24 - Up around 7:45am. .13C inside, 3C out . . PCd . .walked. . PCd. Read on the local newspaper website that the police helicopter yesterday had been called out to follow a stolen 4x4 which had been spotted in town being driven eratically. They'd followed it until the idiot driver had ended up in a cul de sac or some such. 25 year old of no fixed abode was apparantly arrested at the scene. . surfed e-bay some more checking on what more of my old 'stuff' could be worth - with of course the same diisappointing results. One of the things I researched was an old (50s?) bacolite 'View Master' with a handful of discs, in it's original fake leather box, which we played with as kids. LOTS of those on e-bay, and mostly going for next to nothing. :o( I actually ended up sitting in front the PC for hours just lookinhg through it and going through all the old discs. You know what - if I was working and had a bit of money to throw around like I used to - I REALLY would be tempted to start collecting those, just for a bit of fun - to try and build up entire numbered sets of discs. Some of the 3D images really are quite breathtaking. Amazing how long they've been around what with 3D television only just making an appearance etc. Really is an undervalued little toy. I even saw an advert on e-bay for a (local) disc of Torquay, from way back when! There are even companies who actually make the discs from your own photos (instructions on their site how to take the two photos to make the 3D even with an ordinary digital camera, etc). Sadly - as with much of the stuff I've got cluttering up the place, even though I don't want it hanging around, I really don't think I can bring myself to just get rid of it for a few pennies. Somehow - even though I don't want it - it all seems kinda worth more than that to me (at the moment). . the 'playing' with the viewmaster and discs actually went on for several hours, and turned into experiments and absurd attempts to actually photograph some of the images on the discs by setting the thing up in a vice with the digital camera on a tripod next to it with the lense focused down one of the eye pieces!!!! Without some sort of projector (which apparantly WERE made and ARE sold on e-bay) - it seemed the only way to attempt to do it. I'm not sure I can find the time, but I'm VERY tempted to maybe have a go at knocking up a little video or two to put on Youtube - kinda for the 'historical record', because I don't think anyone has really done so yet (I may be wrong). . Boy - I'm in a mess around the house now. All this old junk taken out of boxes and scattered all around the place!!. . cooked and ate four sausages and chips with two pieces of bread and butter followed by a huge quantity of chocolate biscuits . . napped. . delayed walking and sat watching the end of an e-bay auction for a bit. It was an auction for a 'Sharmans Wide Band Multi-Scan Base Scanner Antenna'. (Living where I do, more or less at sea level in a valley, my scanner is all but totally deaf in the house! I HAVE been dabbling with the idea of rigging up a loft scanner aerial and dropping a long coax down into the PC and/or living room, so I can have it monitoring 'something' while I PC or TV etc.) I'd been watching the auction for days, and there seemed little interest in it and I thought it really would actually go 'cheap'. I actually put a bid on of 4 or so, (but was promptly outbid of course). I sadly decided to go no further. Doesn't sound like much, but the problem was, because of the size of it etc, the postage was 8!!!! I'd looked around on the net and found them available brand new for around 18. It finally sold for just 5.19 - but PLUS the 8 postage! NOT 'such' a good deal. Shame. :o( . The same e-bayer is actually also selling a Yaesu handheld radio. Not only a transmitter for 2m and 70cms but also a broadband reciever! Of interest to me, not least of all because if I've read the specs and reviews right, it appears to have none of the gaps that my scanner does. i.e. - it'd pick up some of the 'interesting stuff' mine can't (like for instance the Red Arrows display frequency etc.) If I'd paid more attention and realised my scanner had all the gaps it does (aswell as some of the other considerable draw backs I've found it has) I really would NOT have bought it! :o( Having said that - it HAS given me a LOT of - um - 'pleasure'? I carry it and listen to it most evenings especially, when walking Bella. . having researched the radio as a result of the e-bay listing, I've 'almost' found myself wanting to get back into HAM radio!!! Heaven forbid!! What a money pit that would be! Sadly - I'm gonna be watching THAT auction to the end now, tempted to throw loadsa money at it for no good reason! It WAS up for a buy-it-now of 90 - but that's now gone because someone has bid 60 to start the ball rolling. :o( (If it WAS more what I'm after, I could CERTAINLY then sell my scanner on there and recoup some of the loss.). . walked late and sat around quite a bit as is now quite usual. Didn't get back until around 9. pm. . returned PS ansaphone calls and touched base . . TVd/guitarred . . ate a pastry slice, two bags of crisps, banana, biscuits and chocolate . to bed around 1:30am. s
23 - Woke around 6:45am and up around 7am. .PCd a bit checking on on some watched items on e-bay etc, as has become my recent breakfast usual. Don't knowWHY I bother! Everything I keep a watch on, eventually goes for lots more than I'm prepared to pay. It's the postage that is the killer the rest of the time. :o( . . walked. . did laundry and dish washing chores. Seem to be just a little more 'energised' today? The expectancy, dare I say 'excitement', about having my first ever on-line Sainsbury's shopping delivered later! lolol . . the delivery slot was 11am till 12. The van turned up around 10:50am. I explained to the delivery guy it was a new experience for me and wasn't sure what people usually did and what I should be doing (in terms of checking receipt, etc.). He was all 'gentle with me' and said it was usual for him to bring it all in and put it wherever the customer wanted! I'm not used to having a slave like that - especially considering the long climb up my garden, up all the steps to the front door - and all the heavy stuff I'd ordered (which included two 15kg sacks of Wagg-Complete dog food, AND a whole bunch of tinned!)! I helped by carrying a couple of the crates up. Unloaded everything out of the crates onto the floor of the hallway. The only issue with all that I'd ordered was with some dog food. I'd ordered four twelve packs of Sainsbury's own chunks in jelly - they'd only been able to supply three, although the reduction of the bill was all in order, so no problem. In short time the hallway was all full of stuff, I'd signed for receipt, and the guy was on his way. Took me at least half an hour to VERY meticulously check everything against the receipt and get it all stowed away, but I have to say, I don't think they can be faulted. Even the sell-by dates on everything were pretty generous. I don't think I could have done better in the store myself. In short - for a first try at having stuff delivered (for FREE!!!!) like that, I was VERY impressed. Damn - I wish I'd ordered some of the things I didn't, now! lol So long as they keep their free delivery thing going, I DEFINITELY will be doing that again. Hell - it's almost worth even ME considering doing it again EVEN if I have to pay for delivery, what with petrol prices and all. Yep - I'm pretty impressed by being able to do that - just go click click and have it suddenly appear. I AM behind the times - STILL seems amazing to me it's even possible! . .bit of a crisis with my little freezer. Can't get everything in it! (STILL full of lots of old K donated left-overs dog food. Gonna HAVE to shift that!) Defrosted and gave Bella a bone to make a little room. Like it or not, I'm gonna be eating lots of burgers in bread rolls today! Four of those out, was the easiest way to make enough room for everything - JUST!!! . . PCd a bit of this - but got all distracted out in the front garden trying to video the police helicopter which was hovering much over the town. Something going on somewhere - but not a peep out of the scanner so 'police business' I guess ('tetra' - which I can't receive of course). . drank the last glass and a bit from a box of wine and ate four burgers in buttered bread rolls and some chocolate biscuits . . napped briefly . . walked . . TVd . PCd for hours, going through some of the stuff I've been hanging onto for years, researching on e-bay what (if anything) it could be worth. SO disappointing - nearly everything I have is of little or no value at all! All the cost and hassle of packaging and posting the stuff IF I was able to get a few pennies for it, hardly even makes it worth my while listing any of it on e-bay!!!! :o( Utterly pointless having had them hanging around cluttering up the place(s) all these years! :o( . . ate bowls of corn flakes before finally to bed around 2am.
22 - Up around 6:45am. .PCd . .walked. Theremometer said around 6 degrees C but it felt lots colder than that to me . . PCd and tried to check on the tracking information for Mums new kettle, although no new details were revealed. . Touched base with her and coincedentaly as we were talking, at around 10am her doorbell rang and the kettle was delivered. lol . . she seems happy with it . . somehow PCd/sat around and frittered away the whole day pretty much doing nothing - yet again!!! I felt absolutely freezing ALL day! Cold to the bone - independant of the 'actual' room temperature (around 13C or less)!?. . .early evening I suddenly decided to 'operate' on my dodgy painful left foot again. It's been hurting quite a bit of late again. I HAVE been mulling over going to the doctor with it - but the 'actual' prospect of having to do so, and sit in waiting rooms, and actually wave my dirty foot at some poor person who has far more serious stuff to deal with on a daily basis, and the likelihood of being referred to the local foot hospital place, etc, etc - well, I'd rather just cut the bloody thing off MYSELF!!!! Less 'pain' involved for me! Rasped and cut away at it (with the foot rasp thing Sis2 included in her recent package, and with a now rather too blunt stanley knife blade!) until I reached blood this time, and excavated what turned into quite a large hole really, and amazingly deep!!! I'm convinced there is 'a structure' there which, if I could have it cut away sufficiently, would eventually heal and solve my problem! . Dunno why the hell I decided to do that immediately BEFORE walking though!!! Fool! . . I felt SO cold before setting off, I actually layered on yet more clothes including jogging bottoms under my trousers! The sort of outfit which worked during last years sub-zero snow temperatures! Inevitably once I'd been walking for a while, my 'internal temperature' seemed to come back up to something more like normal, and because it was actually up around 6C out, I ended up overheating a bit - especially on the way back after my thermos of coffee. Of course my left foot hurt quite a bit on the walk, but I have to say, not as much as it did before I'd cut that piece out. If I HAVE to, I guess I'll just get into the habit of repeating the 'operation' every now and then! :o( Perhaps I should start doing a bit of yoga so the next time I have a go, it isn't quite so difficult to reach the soul of my foot! Half lotus?!! . .drank a glass of red wine while cooking up four sausages, half a ring of black pudding and chips . . TVd the rest of the evening away, struggling to stay awake until eventually to bed around 11pm. d
21 - Up around 7am. .walked the woods etc (left foot hurting quite a bit) and back via BGdns for ball play, cigs and coffee. Up around 7degrees C or more, but felt real cold in the north easterlyish breeze. Forecast says it's gonna be getting colder over the coming days! Cold I can handle - as long as it doesn't rain quite so much! :o( . . returned home with a bin-liner of left-overs dog-food meat from K for Bella. Gave her just a little and a sausage with her normal breakfast of a tin's volume of dry-mix. Briefly let her out into the lane to play with next door's dog, which suprsingly she actually DID without 'too' much 'nipping' to spoil things. . PCd looking at TVs again. I just don't understand the current TV market. :o( It seems almost to be a weird time of uncertainty from the manufacturers, where they don't seem to be too sure about which way to go with the specifications of what they are producing. As I understand things:- High Definition seems to be fixed as the way they have ALL gone, so pretty much everything new out there IS 'HD Ready', which is fair enough - but what seems utterly bizarre to me is how many (most?) DON'T come with a built-in Freeview HD tuner! Most of the 'affordable' sets seem to be HD ready with a built in freeview tuner, but NOT with a Freeview HD tuner! (Even Mum's nice new Sony, only a year or so old, fully 'HD ready', does NOT have a HD tuner built in - so could perhaps already be regarded as obsolete?!!!!!) Seems as though increasing numbers of channels on Freeview ARE going fully HD, so if you have a HD Tv you're GOING to want to be able to get them aren't you. So what does that mean? Even with a nice new(ish) LCD TV like Mum's, if you want to actually get the HD channels, you're gonna have to go out ALREADY(!) and buy yourself YET another set top box to pick up the HD!!!!! That's outrageous! THAT must surely be why the prices appear to have come down so quickly on many of the nice looking sets. If I'm right - half the country is out buying these sets (because of the impending digital changeover - which we've already had down here), without fully appreciating they are NOT gonna be able to watch the free HD broadcasts (unless they have a Sky box and expensive monthly contract, or go buy an HD set top box to clutter up their room with and use yet more electric, remotes, etc!). Damn - it's all SO confusing, it's enough to make you stick with your old dodgy CRT for another few years!!!!! No way can I afford to spend such a large bunch of money on something only to find within a year it was 'a mistake'!! I've never wanted a Plasma TV for some reason (just somehow got the impression they weren't as reliable or long lived as LCD screens) but having spent MUCH time surfing and desperately trying to get a grip on all this stuff, I've found myself VERY tempted by the 'Panasonic TX-P42G20B 42-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 600Hz Neo Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD' (currently available from Amazon (??!) for 579.99). To have BOTH the Freeview HD AND Freesat HD tuners built in, seems SUCH a good idea. (VERY few do!?) Surely that would 'future proof' it at least a bit wouldn't it? All I'd need to do is plug it into the existing aerial and satellite dish. BIGGGGG bunch of money. BIGGGGG decision. Probably best to wait - but I AM itching to 'upgrade'. It's LONGggggg overdue. Life is short (ain't that the truth LB!). It IS what I mostly do each day (when not walking or PCing - or checking on a leaking roof!!!!). Arrggh! Decisions, decisions. :o( . . PCd this for a LONG time! . . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans and some black pudding with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped briefly for an hour or so . . walked. NOT a good walk! Bella acted 'devil dog' on the lead lots, to EVERY passing dog - there and back!! To be honest, by the time we got back after all that fighting to control her, I was in an awful mood with her, really had had enough, and was in danger of 'mistreating' her!!!! I'm NOT perfect - I have my moments! :o( I put her in the living room, closed both the doors and just took myself off up onto the computer for a bit, to get a grip on my anger/temper! She thankfully didn't seem to hold it against me and after her evening meal we cuddled up on the sofa for a bit and made up.. . ate bananas, cake and chocolate . . early to bed around 11pm.
20 - Up around 8am. . . walked . . PCd surfing looking at rainwear and keeping watch on a couple of e-bay auctions. Brand name 'Helly Hanson' seems to be some pretty good stuff, but of course on e-bay as a result, anything with that name seems to go for quite a price and mostly to the 'sharks'. :o( . . Mum called in with the paper, food donations, etc. Spent most of the time she was here (which was at least a couple of hours) pottering around on the PC with her, showing her the order and 'tracking' details for her kettle (delivery Monday I reckon) and actually spending a lot of time looking for shoes which her increasingly bad feet would 'maybe' be able to walk in!! . . ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps, banana and chocolate . . napped until woken by Bella making a weird groaning noise around 5pm? . . walked in the strong cold wind. Actually pretty harsh and unpleasant - ended up taking shelter from it in one of the gun emplacements for my cigarette. Sat under the roof for a coffee and cigarette despite the wind . . back home, once again Bella acted all cuddly after her eveing meal, and lay on my lap for quite a while before eventually ending up on 'her' (now VERY mud covered) setee. Hardly comfortable, but boy she sure does keep ya warm when she does that. :o) . . TVd/guitarred the evening away with the fire on much of the time. . ate ham rolls and chocolate. . to bed around midnight. s
19 - Up around 7:15am. .PCd a bit of this waiting for 8am and my trying to call the loss adjusters office. Called more than once and just ended up being on hold for a total of about twenty minutes in the end. Rang a different number and after being on hold yet again for ages, it was agreed THEY would call ME after 10am. . .walked and quickly back via the store for a few supplies but mostly coffee and sugar. I need to do a BIG shop! I haven't for ages and I'm running out of everything! . .at 10:35am the insurance people called me back. I'd tried to make it clear in my earlier calls, that whatever date and time they wanted to visit, it'd be good by me and I'd make it work. Turned out the earliest they could was the 30th of November! With water potentially pouring into my bedroom every time it rains, that seemed like an awfully long time to have to wait! I muted this and explained I'd never made a claim before and didn't know what I was supposed to do in the interim. They said I 'could' organise an 'emergency repair' but I should take photos etc, so that I could support attempting to claim that money back from them in the future! . so - what the hell do I do? Ended up calling a local roofing company asking for a free quote/advice visit whenevr they could manage it. . .PCd and distracted myself from the nightmare quite literally 'hanging over my head' by dabbling with the Sainsbury's shopping website. I've been meaning to try 'shopping on-line' for ages, and with the car currently potentially iffy with the squealing alternator belt, and not wanting to leave Bella home alone for too long, and all running out of everything, and with the roofer 'maybe' gonna call me back and visit - well, now seemed like a good time! They were STILL doing their 'free delivery' offer on certain days if over 100 was spent, so it seemed like worth giving it a go. VERY easy for me to spend WELL over that on a 'big' shop. In fact, I actually shopped LESS than I would have in store in person, because never having done it before, I figured I'd restrict what I got and certainly not bother with fruit and veg and the like. This first time - just an experiment in how it works and what is liable to go horribly wrong - for me.Took ages to get a grip on stuff, and find all the cheap rubbish I would normally buy if I actually went there in the car, but eventually I had a pretty loaded basket on the go.. somewhere along the line, early afternoon, the roofer called me back and said he'd call in shortly. Ten minutes later he was here. Helped him carry his ladder up and get it up against the roof edge above the bay windows. Up he went and he ended up sat on the bay window roof, which I had my heart in my mouth! I wouldn't have chanced that, given the leak and likely rotted timbers beneath! As I'd feared, because of the strangely nailed down tiles (botch!) adjacent to the area of interest, there wasn't 'that' much he could determine from a superficial inspection. (To remove those tiles would inevitably have broken 'at least' several - neither of us had any to hand - and it WAS currently obviously watertight in THAT immediate area.) He DID suggest there was a hairline split in the lead bay roof (I thought it was zinc?). I climbed the ladder to have a look, because I'd not seen any such thing the last time I looked up there. He WASN'T making it up. Ther WAS a hint of a hairline fracture (and a couple of other areas of weakness), although I couldn't see how THAT was in any way the source of my 'pouring in' leak. The guy was actually VERY good. He happily engaged me in my absurd and lengthy conversation about what 'I' thought was going on up there and what was causing the problem. He actually volunteered that the rest of the roof was all pretty much in good shape (albeit with a couple of obvious weak points) and wasn't anything I should worry about! THAT in itself suprised me and seemed to indicate to me he was a decent, honest workman. How rare is THAT in this day and age. I mean - how many roofers would have tried to wangle a whole roof replacement job if they could? (Maybe I've just been watching too many 'rogue traders' type TV shows?). .anyway - at length, he suggested the fix for my problem was going to be a fibre glass adhering type treatment, applied over the existing flat roof, over the stub facia and onto the timber boards beneath the tiles. A small done-in-a-day job (should be acheivable without scaffolding - but could only be done on a dry day - and THEY weer busy right now!) and it would cost in the region of 350 ball park figure. To be honest - somehow he calmed my panic and made me feel a whole lot more optomsitic about the thing. A 'few hundred' is a whole lot less than I'd envisaged. He'll - the insurance excess would be 100 even if I waited for THEM to arrange it all (if they are even going to!). . I got his business card, thanked him and said I'd have to think about it for a bit. I didn't think about it for very long. I liked the way it appeared he'd been straight with me, how he'd indulged my questions, how he'd criticised similar repair work on a nearby house, and how he'd even drawn sketches on a piece of paper to help explain things to me. I called him back and said I'd like him to do it - even though he couldn't say when it would be. It was agreed that if he didn't get in touch within a couople of weeks, I should call and 'gee him up' about the job. SO - there's nothing much I can do but wait - for the insurance people AND him now - whatever the weather! Pretty stressful - seeing the forecast is for loads more HEAVY rain!!! I'm VERY uptight ALL the time now! :o( . .went back on line, completed my shopping and actually nervously placed the order - to be delivered (free) on Tuesday (explicitly saying I do NOT want ANY alternatives to what I'd ordered, even if the stuff was not available. Under these circumstances - what happens if they don't supply some of the stuff - and especially what happens if as a result the total order drops below 100? Would that mean I'll be charged for delivery? They'd bloody better not!! The free delivery is what it's ALL about for me!) So - there it is. An experiment in progress. I'm almost looking forward to Tuesday! If it is a success - it could be something of a final nail in my coffin kinda. Like - occasionaly going out for supplies is one of the VERY few times I actually go out amongst people these days. If I DO finally prove I can do 'most' of my shopping this way - take away Bella - I really have almost no reason to leave the house! It's probably NOT at all a healthy development - but it sure is appealing to me! :o/ . . ate crisps and corned beef and mayo sandwiches followed by a little chocolate . . napped . . walked in weather gear. Just minutes before leaving the house the heavens opened with a deluge (as forecast. Some seriously HEAVY rain!! Oh dear - what will I find in the bedroom when I get back home!!! :o( . got utterly, utterly drenched in all my NOT waterproof coat and leggings! That's TWO pairs of leggings I can now put to one side as fit for the bin! . Horrendous walk! REALLY horrendous! Bella didn't seem to care! . . TVd all damp (as usual, letting my cold, soaking wet clothes dry on me - which they always do - eventually!) as the rain absolutely poured for hours. VERY stressful! I checked on the bedroom and the bay window roof MANY times throughout the evening - and just couldn't believe what I found. As far as I could tell, none of that deluge was coming in!!???????? How the hell is that possible - especially after how it was pouring in the other day, in VERY similar conditions? I don't get it??!!!!! I'm not complaining - in fact oh thank god - but just how is that possible?????? That roofer guy have a midas touch? lol. . .PCd . .ate corned beef sandwiches followed by a couple of bananas and a little chocolate . to bed around 2am or just after.
18 - Broken sleep, pretty much waking up every time there was the sound of a passing shower (there were several!) worrying about the leaking bay roof and how much of the water was getting in!! :o( Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:30am . . PCd. Oh wow - someone who reads this had e-mailed me offering to send me a spare kettle he has, the same as I am currently using - for nothing!!! Blimey - how generous is THAT! I'm sure I really don't deserve such amazing generosity from people. I must be the most penny pinching selfish b*****d I've ever met - who would never have it cross his mind to be so generous towards others! There are plenty of others in far worse shape and more deserving - of that I am certain! I don't know how to deal with that. . .walked. Bella 'acted up' pretty bad on the way to Bgdns as we encountered a bunch of dogs all along the way (and dwelling on my roof issues) by the time we reached BGdns I was in a foul, downwardly slipping mood! Bella covered me in muddy splashes during and after ball play which didn't help matters. . As we crossed the road and started heading away from BGdns, I spotted a big fat slo-worm curled up against a high wall on the tarmac of the road, with it's tongue darting out tasting the air. Amazing it had managed to reach that place without being squished by passing traffic! Quickly grabbed it and dashed back over into the safety of the gardens and popped it down in the grass next to the boundary wall. Good luck. . found myself back home just sitting feeling pretty down. Even Bella sensed the atmosphere and took herself off up to her bed! :o( . .had just turned the PC on when the postamn rang the bell. It was my e-bay-auction-won, second-hand kettle. . nervously unwrapped it. Wow - that's in better cosmetic condition than the one I'm using! Wiped and swilled out some of the fine white dust from inside (obviously came from a harder water area) and filled it up and gave it a test boil. Worked fine - and NO leaks! Wow - feels so weird to be able to boil a whole kettle full if I want, and without having to always have an absorbant sponge wrapped around the base. . Mum called to touch base. Coincedentaly she'd been down town and had made a note of the model number of a kettle she'd seen, which she had decided to get, but which I'd suggested I could maybe get cheaper on-line. (Hers too (different model) has started leaking of late!) Immediately surfed and found the one she wanted for 18.99 including postage (around 8 cheaper than the local shop) on Amazon. Amazingly managed to persuade her to 'just do it' and I ordered it for her. (Damn - that'll teach me to rush into things - should have researched better - could have got it even cheaper from Tesco on e-bay!) . . PCd for AGES and finally completed an embarassing e-mail to the person who'd offered me their kettle, rather cheekily asking if I COULD have it (despite having just got one in the post!) to keep 'as a spare', for eventual use when the one I just got breaks! If it's a yes - depending on how they last, I 'could' end up using the same old familiar model of kettle for - well - the rest of my days!! lolol . . briefly 'reflected' around midday. I think it was LBs funeral around now. :o( I DID actually buy a card the other day, intending to send it to T, but I just didn't seem to get round to writing or sending it. I'd ALSO intended to go out and 'sit quietly' somewhere about the time of the funeral, but I didn't do that either. I DO intend to drink 'more than usual' some time in her memory. Maybe that I WILL do later. . .ate pilchard and onion sandwiches with crisps, the last of the biscuits in the house and some chocolate. .napped until the alarm at 6pm . . Spoke with a neighbour on leaving the house and he confirmed they'd once had a similar problem with their bay roof which had required a repair of the join to the main roof, using some sort of self adhesive material. He ALSO suggested some sort of 'botch' may have been done to mine in the past (because they knew they were going to be selling up) which may well account for the tiles having been somehow nailed down!? Uhoh! . Walked, played ball and sat and drank coffee. I DID notice a discarded beer can this morning just dumped on the grass in front of one of the seats. From where I saw it, I couldn't be bothered to walk all the way back across the soaking wet grass to clear it up, so I left it there. This evening it had 'been moved' - clearly just kicked by someone away from the seat, rather than them go to the bother of picking it up and putting it in the nearby bin. I didn't notice it at first in the dark, but it turns out they'd kicked that tin out of the way because they were depositing someones cremated remains on the grass right there - poured out in the shape of a cross right in front of the seat! So - thanks to muddy wet Bella laying there while I smoked and drank my coffee, I probably now have someones cremated remains added to the layers of mud dust around my house! 'Ashes to ashes, dust to - dog'?! lololol . . Returned home to find an ansaphone message from the loss adjuster, who'd apparantly rung around 7:30pm to make an appointment to visit! Tried to call them back straight away but got a recorded message saying the office had closed at 6pm and wouldn't open until 8am!? . . TVd/guitarred the evening away, having a couple of glasses of red wine 'in memory of LB'. Just those two glasses ('poison' to me) were more than enough to make me feel VERY tipsy. Bella seemed strangely particularly in need of a cuddle early on, and actually lay on the sofa and across the top of me for a good hour without moving while I stroked her!? Actually really quite uncomfortable for me with all her weight draped across me, but I was determined to let her lay there and keep stroking her until SHE decided SHE'D had enough. lol. . BB called. Sat talking to BB on the phone, I suddenly heard someones voice in my hallway!!!??!!! That freaked me out a bit to say the least. Turned out I'd left my scanner on in my bodywarmer pocket! Phew!. . ate corned beef and mayo rolls and some chocolate before to bed somewhere around 1am. dds
17 - A few fitful hours sleep as the 'gale force 8' battered the house pretty badly. Back up at 7:50am. Uggh - I sure don't want to be going out ! :o( . PCd a bit of this . . walked in raincoat and leggings in what turned into a prolonged HEAVY downpour (although without the strong wind of last night). I AM gonna HAVE to look around for and buy some proper new (expensive?) rainproof gear. The large collection of old raincoats and leggings I have are ALL pretty much fit for the bin. The nylon leggings I wore this morning simply aren't AT ALL waterproof anymore and I may just as well have not been wearing them I got so wet! . threw the ball from inside the gun emplacement a bit again before eventually ending up taking shelter from the HEAVY rain under the roof over the seats for ages. Eventually trudged home in the downpour. . the street outside home was all a big lake with the water threatening to start pouring down the driveway of the house opposite again. The drain in the street was all blocked by fallen leaves washed down the hill (again! The tyres of neighbours' parked cars, often parked directly on top of the drain, quite often help to block it! I regularly try to kick the leaves clear of it when setting off walking, despite it having no direct effect on my property at all). Took off my fingerless glove, rolled up my sleeves and reached into the filthy freezing water and managed to clear the drain cover, just dumping all the debris in a big heap on the edge of the pavement. Eventually with a big, rather frightening sucking sound and swirling whirlpool effect, the big lake of water disappeared down and away. . raced up to the bedroom to check on the leaking roof. Damn!!! Water WAS coming in, dripping down onto the rolled-up towel, which was by now quite wet!!! Something HAS changed after the storm of the other day - for the worst! Has something somehow moved? For water to be pouring in like that without there being any wind, is now a pressing desperate situation!!!!! SH*T!!!! :o( . Image of bedroom roof water penetration damageThe picture I've included here, doesn't really do what's been going on justice, or show it for how bad things really are. The roof is at the very least stained and it does drip from the stain, but the water on top has found a way out by the windows and mostly drips down onto the window cill, curtains and then down the wall beneath. During that first storm which has somehow made things worse, I was unaware of what was going on and how bad things were! The water had saturated the curtains and run down the wall and into the the live, stud-wall socket box and then soaked into the stud wall! It had ALSO soaked Bellas bed duvets up against it! Thankfully she'd presumably been disturbed by the 'downpour' and had retreated to the other, dry (NOT electrified?!) side of her duvet!!!! At least one of the varnished floorboards also absorbed water and is now stained beneath the varnish. To be honest, I care little about the internal cosmetics - it's the reason for it happening, the hidden damage and how I'm gonna fix it that is causing me greatest worry. . PCd a bit messing with bits of video (avoiding facing up to having to start dealing with the roof problem) as the rain eventually eased and some sunny spells appeared. .finally mustered up 'what it took' and had a bit of a dabble on-line looking at local roofing company adverts! . . dug out my house insurance paperwork and retreated to the living room to read through all the small print of the policy booklet while drinking a coffee. I've NEVER claimed for anything on house insurance - EVER! I've absolutely NO idea if this sort of thing IS actually something I 'could' claim for, or how things are done if I did. It's certainly well beyond anything I can attempt to tackle myself and IS gonna be a (quite nasty little/big repair of something at the very least) job for a roofing company, quite possibly requiring scaffolding etc! Just a fix for where its leaking - where the metal cover of the bay window flat roof joins the main roof slope beneath the small flat, all nailed-in-place tiles (how CAN you just take the bottom ones off when the whole lot are nailed in place from the top down?!!) is gonna cost me a bunch - never mind the fact that the chimney is in need of re-rendering and the whole roof really could do with taking off and having a layer of waterproof felt put on the boards (I can actually see the underside of all the ridge tiles and the poor blobs of mortar they are sat on from inside the attic!!!??!!) - and who knows how much of the hidden, is all rotten and in need of replacing, etc, etc! Arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This really could 'wipe me out'! :o( Eventually bit the bullet and phoned the insurance company and kinda did my "I've never claimed. Please help me!" act. They were VERY busy! I didn't realise until watching the news later that half of Cornwall had been swept away in floods overnight! In comparison to all them, I guess I'm VERY lucky and shouldn't be feeling so upset and distraught. :o| . The upshot of my call was, my details were going to be passed to a seperate 'loss adjuster' type company (who'd have to eventually come out and inspect), and they would be in touch by phone soon. . touched base with Mum and suggested she too should call her insurer about the render on her walls having been blown off in the storm. Even if they refused to get involved, what did she have to lose? (Having already decided to get the guy down the road who'd painted her house to probably do the rendering job, she wouldn't! ! Bit of an argument there - but she stood firm. ) . . fried up and ate the same feast as yesterday, minus the potatoe, but with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate . . the loss adjuster people called and said someone would call to arrange a visit before Friday. (The call or the visit before Friday - not sure which they meant?) So - nothing I can do in the meantime except hope for a drought!!!!!! Yeah - right - get real! More showers forecast for later and the forseeable future - and even then, they may turn up and wash their hands of it somehow, as insureres always seem to be able to do - leaving me with the absolute nightmare of trying to get a roofer/builder in myself, whatever the cost!! :o( . . napped until the alarm . . woke feeling a bit unwell. Slow getting going but eventually walked. Didn't hang around and got back by just before 8pm . . TVd really feeling a bit iffy and strangely overly hot. Even Bella seemed to spend a lot of time just staring at me as though she could 'see' something was amiss!? . eventually felt just a little more normal as the hours passed. I think maybe there was a lot of salt in the food I ate earlier and I was a bit dehydrated - or perhaps just the cumulative effect of having had so little sleep of late? . . ate just some chocolate with lots of coffee before caving in and heading to bed before 11pm.
16 - A dreadful few hours of fitful sleep, all tossing and turning. Turned out the cut on my little finger was causing me considerable burning pain!! For such a little cut, I don't recall pain like it!! Eventually couldn't stand it any more and got up a little after 4am to pull the plaster off and run it under a cold tap to attempt to 'cool it off' a bit, while sucking an annadin tablet! . . ended up on the PC looking at e-bay for a bit and then elsewhere looking at TVs, occasionaly mopping my leaking finger with some kitchen roll. The combination of the annadin tablet and having the wound 'unwrapped' seemed to do the trick and it appeared to have become much less painful by around 6:30am. I blame it all on the plaster. I've never liked putting a plaster on wounds. Always far better to just leave them open for things to heal in a natural way. I just need to figure out some way of stopping the leaking getting all over the sheets when I go to bed! I need some of those plastic gloves they give away in garages maybe? Sooner or later I'm gonna have to 'operate' and cut off that flap of skin - but too painful and raw underneath right now. .PCd this through sunrise . . walked and eventually carried on down town to tour the charity shops, etc. Bought a metre and a half of elasticated chord for replacing the drawstring on my combat jacket, and because it was only a couple of s actually bought another lot of the slightly thicker as well, because I'm not entirely sure which thickness would do the job best. I 'may' also be able to use it to 'repair' some waterproof over trousers, whose elastic has gone all mushy making them useless. . also popped in the butcher and bought four sausages and half a dozen burgers. Scored a small handful of gristle and bone for Bella which I actually just carried out into the street and gave her straight away. I ALSO asked them if they had any of the plastic 'serving gloves' such places often use (for me to use to cover my bleeding finger in bed). They DID and happily gave me a few pairs. Jolly decent people in that place. . TVd and then touched base with Mum telling her to turn it on and watch the breaking news (because I imagined she'd like it. lolol) Prince William had announced his engagement to Kate Middleton. . drank a glass of wine and cooked up a massive fry up of potatoes, two eggs, two sausages, one burger, four slices of bacon and two mushrooms. Ate with a couple of pieces of bread and butter. Cholestrol suicide - but WHAT a way to go. Delicious. . . napped (wearing one of my plastic butchers gloves. :o) ) until the alarm at 6pm. My left hand was all a bit wet with sweat inside the plastic glove but strangely it did seem to have had the effect of helping the wound knit together and carry on starting to heal a bit. . walked and didn't hang around because another storm was forecast to soon arrive . . TVd . . PCd for many hours knocking up another 'random clips of Bella' video update thingy. I DO seem to be uploading some pretty random, 'samey' and overly long (boring?) clips now, but I just can't help sharing some of the sights we see. Most of that video (at the beginning) was actually filmed on just one single day/walk. It was a beautiful quiet bright day - with the picturesque sight of a sailing ship in the bay and then sightings of seal etc, etc. (I didn't even bother including the footage I shot of Bella romping through the autumn woods). Some days really are just beautiful down here. Eventually had it uploaded by after 2am as the forecast storm arrived with a vengeance. . TVd and ate a banana, crisps, iced bun and pastry slice in some of the uploading down-time. . frequently chceked on the bay window roof and sure enough, water was somehow being blown in again and finiding it's way across the ceiling to drip down onto the window cill. Ended up putting a rolled up towel on the window cill to hopefully 'hold onto' the worst of it before eventually to bed after 3am. d
15 - Woke earlier, snoozed on, then up around 7:45am. .Chilly. The thermometer says 13C in, 1C out and plenty of frost on everything. Much condensation on the inside of all my windows too. Damn - that'll teach me not to have vacuumed and dusted as much as I should recently. Playing ball with Bella every day at a particular seat in BGdns, has churned up the grass in front of it into a big muddy mess, which she happily lays in when she has an occasional breather. The mud sticks to her fur and is then transported back home - it eventually dries and turns into a fine red dust, and that dust is now absolutely covering EVERY inch of the house - including all the new window cills! The little pools of condensation are mixing with the dust making an awful mess!! . . had a half hearted attempt at reducing smoking and walked without having had my morning cigarettes and without my tobacco tin. Felt awful, woozy, disorientated, short tempered and 'confused'! . . pottered in the garden a bit sweeping up the enormous masses of fallen leaves from the trees and hedges. Pointless doing a 'proper' job because there are plenty of leaves on the big tree still to fall - but I HAD to clear some of it because of the danger of it blocking the silly small outside drain. Also cut away some of the massive growths of thick grasses that have grown up between all the paving slabs up where I have my rotary clothes line, using a large old carving knife type implement from the garage. Pretty soon carved a big gash in the little finger on my left hand!!!! Difficult to ignore - lots of blood and a nasty flap of skin. You know you've cut yourself pretty bad when looking into the wound you can kinda see 'white bits'. lol Sort of the structure of the underlying flesh/fat I guess. Because I really had little choice, I took the unusual step (for me) of washing it under the tap and then wrapping a (mum donated?) plaster around it, just so I could carry on working. . filled up two rubbish bins full of the leaves and grass etc and just dumped them up by the garage for disposal some other time . . caved in around midday and had cigarettes - and pretty promptly made up for the ones I'd missed earlier!! :o( . . cut my hair beard etc, vacuumed and dusted just a bit here and there and then got cleaned up . . felt low and in danger of being engulfed by a proper down mood. I'm not sure why, but I DO keep finding my thoughts frequently returning to the 'LB thing' at the moment. Aside from anything else, I guess it's a bit of a wake up call about how little time I actually have left. At the very least it makes me want to start getting some stuff sorted out and get rid of all the masses of junk I'm surrounded by and such like. Am I REALLY gonna end up having spent my whole life feeling as I always have done? Jeeze - what a tragic waste! :o( . . around 1pm a delivery driver delivered an enormous box??? Despite the size of the box, from the postmark it appeared to be my replacement pair of shoes. Somehow I just couldn't face opening it up and just dumped it on the setee in the living room and left it for later! . . aimlessly PCd the afternoon away surfing nonsense, acheiving nothing - and chain smoking as normal! :o( . . eventually opened up the big box. Why so big? It included not only the box of shoes but also another box containg a 'free gift' (allegedly valued at 6.99). An enormous mug - emblazoned with the store's logo! Advertising crap! Who the hell would want that? Some 'free gift'! What utter nonsense. I'm almost inclined to send it back to their freepost address just to make a point. If they were gonna waste money like that, they'd have surely been better off reducing the price of their merchandise, or actually giving something more usefull like a spare set of laces or some weatherproofing treatment or - anything! It actually makes me feel insulted! :o( . on a more positive note, the shoes look 'ok' for the money although as was suggested by the reviews I read, I can see how they probably won't last very long. The soles appear to be very soft and the tread pattern won't afford much wear. . walked around 7pm wrapped up in multiple layers and wearing my new shoes for the first time. Considering I was 'breaking them in', they really were quite warm and comfortable and didn't rub anywhere, so that was a relief. .cold crystal clear night of only around 3 degrees C, with hardly a breath of wind. Very pleasant. . TVd . . touched base with Mum. She'd called a couple of builders, but true to form, they'd not turned up when they said they would or hadn't even called her back at all! What the hell is the matter with such people?. . ate pizza with extra cheese . . to bed around midnight after having wrapped my finger (too tightly?) in another new plaster at some point, just to stop my white bed linen ending up all red.
14 - Up around 7:15am. . misjudged the weather and walked without leggings. Pretty much ended up raining ceaselessly all the time I was out! Played ball in the rain for a bit before being forced to take refuge from the downpour in one of the gun emplacements. Turned out it IS 'just' about possible to throw Bella's ball from there, but it's a bit dodgy because of the proximity of the cliffs, and she is SO intent on chasing it, she is in danger of hurting herself on the uneven ground and low walls nearby. . one of the dogwalkers dogs had gone into the undergrowth chasing rabbits and had eventually re-emerged minus the raincoat (!) it was wearing. In no great rush to return home, once the usual crowd of walkers had wandered off and I'd had my coffee and cigs under the roof, I walked back down in the rain and had a damn good prod around near where the coat had been lost trying to see if I could find and retrieve it for them. Despite getting my legs scratched up a fair bit on the brambles, disappointingly I could find no trace of it. . . PCd the morning away mostly on e-bay yet again . . .drank a glass of red wine and cooked a pot of rice, chicken pieces and a tin of cheap chicken soup and eventually ate a huge bowl full with four pieces of bread and butter followed by biscuits and a little chocolate. . . napped . . walked and sat around for ages again. . TVd/guitarred with the fire on all evening as the outside temperature hovered just above freezing. . ate the remaining chicken rice concoction with bread and butter and then a little chocolate . . to bed just after 1am. d
13 - Up around 7am. . PCd . . walked . . Mum called in briefly with the paper and food donations. . PCd lots watching and waiting for another e-bay Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop auction to end. I've been watching several over the last week or so, and most of them have gone for what 'I' consider, rather a lot, considering how old, inherantly faulty, and out of date they are. It just seemed that having the broken one from Sis2 laying around offering a ready supply of lots of spare parts, meant that aiming for one of those was a good idea. This particular auction was of interest to me because of the pristine condition of the machine, complete with all its original software and discs etc, and with the hardrive returned to its original 'as purchased' state. Set myself up (shark-like) with two screens ready, to put in what I considered a pretty high bid at the last minute of over 100, but before I'd even put my bid in, there was a sudden flurry of bids from the sharks and it went straight over what I was about to and prepared to bid!!!!! It finally sold in the last few seconds for 129.99 including postage. . Right - that does it. I'm not gonna waste my time trying to get one of those any more. It just doesn't make sense to me to spend that sort of money on such an old, slow, out of date machine and software. In fact - in the cold light of day (I think thankfully my bizarre 'shopping frenzy' period may finally be wearing off) I'm not really sure I can justify wanting a laptop at all anyway! I mean - for goodness sake - I already have my old desktop PC sat cluttering up the living room crammed into my TV unit, totally unused (really because my old TV can't display the appropriate screen resolution to be readable/useable). Hell - if I was to buy a small cheap, flat screen monitor and move the thing nearer to where I sit (and maybe even do something clever about making a 'cabinet' for it in that corner) it'd be almost as good as a laptop to me anyway! Moreover - would it not make FAR better sense to bite the bullet and finally spend some serious money (including the remainder of Mums birthday money + ) on buying myself a new big flat screen freeview LCD HD TV? Sooner or later I'm GOING to HAVE to get a new TV one way or another anyway - and as soon as I do I'd be able to plug the old living-room PC straight into it and hopefully be able to use it as a fully readable/functioning monitor, and be able to surf from the sofa etc using the infa red keyboard I have. Yeah - buying a new TV makes much better sense I think. To hell with the laptop idea. Instead, I guess I need to set about trying to sell Sis2s duff one - which on the plus side, from what I've seen, 'should' be worth a little bit on ebay even in the state it's in (although now I can't get the thing to boot at all, I'm gonna have an issue over the hard drive and its contents, which I haven't deleted!! May have to sell it at a knock down token price minus the hard drive!). So - guess I'd better start getting serious looking at TVs. It HAD occurred to me (following the local digital changeover especially) that plenty of people were getting rid of (even simply throwing away!) their old but otherwise perfectly functioning CRT NON freeview big widescreen Tvs, and maybe I could/should try to pick one of those up for next to nothing. ANYTHING would be an improvement on that old 4:3 set I have! I've been watching a very LOCAL auction (pick up only) for a 32" widescreen Panasonic Tv, which looked pretty cool at first because it had a 99p reserve and understandably not much interest in it. Well - all of a sudden the bids started coming in and it eventually went for what to me was a suprising 38.42. Ok - I guess I won't be going THAT route then (especially since I'd have to find someone to help me carry such a heavy old thing in!)! Yep - the more I think about it, the more I reckon I should buy a new one. On a limited budget, I just need to try to figure out which one (one that will do for quite a while, even as the emerging technologies quickly (immediately!) overtake it) - tough enough in itself!!! . . I'd also been keeping an eye on an auction for a kettle. A second-hand one - exactly the same as the 'Tefal Vitesse Gold' fast boil one I have, which has recently begun to leak rather badly (as ALL those of that model eventually apparantly do!). The large amount of postage on the thing probably made the deal rather absurd (since at best, it WILL eventually fail and leak (perhaps very soon) - and an alternative cheap 3kw fast boil kettle can be picked up brand new for less than 20), but for some reason I just couldn't resist going for it and putting a just-over-the-minimum maximum bid on. No one else appeared to be interested so chances were I probably WOULD get it for that. Put the bid on and promptly turned the PC off . . ate Mum donated mini pork pies, crisps and chocolate . . napped . . PCd and found I'd not suprisingly won the kettle auction for 8.98 including postage. It'll be interesting to see if I've thrown that money away, or if it'll manage to last a while. The old one I have HAS actually lasted 'quite' a number of years (at least five+?) in almost constant use. . .walked. Played ball and then ended up just sitting, smoking and drinking coffee in the dark for absolutely ages. Hardly a breath of wind and a delicious quietness to the evening. Eventually a shower of drizzle saw us return well after 9pm. Yet another 2 hour+ walk! . TVd the evening away despite there being absolutely nothing on worth watching - yet again! . . ate ham and mayo rolls, an iced bun and a little chocolate . . to bed around midnight.
12 - Up around 7:30am. . PCd . .walked in the drizzle (in full rain gear and black leather 'dress' shoes!) and then eventually carried on down town. Popped in the local jewellers (jolly decent helpful people - even allowed Bella into the store) and even though they don't trade in gold, asked if the guy would give me his professional opinion on the 1/10th Kruggerand and is it a real one. He gently prised off the damaged lower-quality gold surround and then popped it on a scale. It IS a real one. Even though they don't deal, because I'd said I 'may' be prepared to let it go cheap rather than have to 'do the work to get more myself', he even suggested (after having done a quick calculation on his calculator) he'd be prepared to give me 75 for it. I know it's worth a little more than that from what I've seen on-line - but good to know I could simply walk down the road and get 'something' for it like that. I'll hang onto it for a bit longer while I decide what to do I guess. (Knowing my luck, there'll be a sudden drop in gold prices! lolol) . picked up my parcel from the post office and trudged home in the rain. . made a coffee and then nervously opened the parcel and had a look at my new 17.05 (inc postage) M65 repro combat jacket. Well - in terms of the auction and having won it and paid that much for it - I guess I have to say it IS a bargain. :o) There's no question it IS brand new. It's NOT 'overly' large as I'd feared it would be (after having read everywhere they are generously sized and you should buy a size smaller) and certainly fits pretty well over the top of my bodywarmer as I'd wanted it to. Being a new repro, it does seem rather lightweight (very much so in comparison to the 'real' old army jacket I used to live in, which didn't even have the button in quilted liner!) - so I wouldn't want to go to war in it! All in all, I guess as much as I ever can be about anything, I'm pretty happy with the spend. As I did with my old one, I intend to probably eventually put a little 'fitted/shape' into it by replacing the inner waist drawstring chord with an elasticated one of 'just' the right length for me. I even managed to find a place in town this morning which sells the elasticated chord by the metre for a or so, so no difficulties there. All in all - yep, quite happy with that. :o) Phew! So - at least THAT 'obsession' is pretty much done and dusted. I actually never have yet (ever), but I guess I really SHOULD get round to doing some 'feedback' for some of the sellers of the things I've recently bought. I 'should' even maybe do a product/customer review type thing on Amazon for the insulated mug and the torches. Until they break, the torches I am PARTICULARLY happy with. Absolute BARGAIN at that price - and somehow they are almost a 'thing of beauty' from a size/functionality/feel/design point of view. They just do what they should and feel rather nice in the hand. Call me sad - but every time I use it every evening, I still get a kick out of it (and it really does fit SO perfectly in the phone pocket of my new bodywarmer. The ONLY negative - they WOULD benefit from a longer strap.). lololol . . Mum called to touch base . . PCd a bit of this while charging torch, camcorder, phone, camera batteries, etc. . PCd for hours in fact . . Mum called . . DS called . . too late to eat or sleep. PCd some more . . walked in the wind and rain and sat with coffee . . guitarred/TVd (the second of the excellent Attenborough 'origins of life' programs). . ate pizza, biscuits and chocolate. . to bed before 1am. s
11 - Poor handful of hours sleep then up around 7:20am. .uhoh. I've got wet bedroom curtains!!! Rain has been getting in behind the flat bay window roof and apparantly dripping down from a small gap where the ceiling meets the new windows! That's REALLY bad news - and what the hell can I do about it. I'm hardly in a position to have a new roof put on am I! :o( . . got all togged up in coat and leggings and eventually set off in the gale. Just up the road I found a wet 5 note! :o) It WAS actually 'just over the line' of someones open driveway, so it could be argued by rights I should have knocked at their door and handed it to them, but given how rainy and windy it was, it must SURELY have blown there from the street (and given the expensive motor home parked in the driveway which never moves, they aren't hard up!) , so I think my conscience can live with me keeping it. Walked and sat and played ball in the rain (like an idiot! lol) . . PCd mostly this for hours - probably just sitting thinking a bunch of stuff through more than typing . . at 1pm a parcel was delivered. Ooooh - which (disappointment?) is it I wonder? . . boy - was that a prophetic statement, typed and uploaded before I'd even opened the package!! Turned out to be my new Karrimor shoes. On first glance they looked cheap but ok, and I figured they WERE a good enough buy for the money (incredibly for THAT money, included in the parcel was a 'free gift' (!??!) of a robust, advertising-the-company nylon carrier bag with handles AND a huge phone-book sized catalogue!!). Or they WOULD have been a good buy if not for the fact the left shoe was a size 9, the right shoe a size 10!!!! For F***S sake! . . back on the PC to fire off a 'contact seller' message via Amazon before deciding to call their customer helpline. Apparantly I have to parcel them all back up and post them back to a freepost address (SportsDirect POBox 9034, Mansfield. NG818 9DD) BEFORE they will send out a replacement pair. Incompetent rotten F*****S! That's gonna be week(s) isn't it! . . parcelled them back up as best I could (oops - I forgot to include the carrier bag!) and then walked with Bella up the post office to mail them and get a certificate of posting. Long queue and much waiting (with some young woman's screaming bratt running around all uncontrolled) - very irritating. . on the way back I passed Mum's and noticed a huge area of (long been 'blown' and loose) render on the front of her house had been dislodged by the hurricane force winds and was now finally laying all smashed on the floor in her garden!!!! That's bad news. Called in and let her know the bad news. She very suprisingly didn't seem to take it 'too' badly (although underneath I bet she is understandably absolutely distraught! We ARE very alike!). Broke up and bagged all the rubble and dumped it in her garage. She'd (understandably) been putting off facing up to dealing with that (avoidance? Oh yes- I know all about THAT don't I!), and despite actually already having contacted a couple of local builder types, had decided to try and postpone having any (big re-rendering) work done until after the winter. Well - there's no putting it off now! Rain WILL get in there now! I don't envy her - and really can't get involved (unless I absolutely HAVE to - because dealing with such a thing (being thrust into the clutches of 'builders') would be just as much, if not MORE of a nightmare for me, than it is for her!!!) She got back in touch with a builder who she'd once contacted before, who said he'd come and have a look tomorrow. The bad news is I reckon that whole 'wing' of the house needs stripping off and re-doing, and NOW, it really needs to be done pretty damned quick. There ARE signs of blown plaster inside!! I suspect the cavity wall insulation 'may' even be saturated!!!!!! :o( . . would you believe it! I pop out for half an hour for the first time in ages and lo and behold, I miss the postman trying to deliver a parcel (which must surely be my combat jacket. I'm VERY eager to get my hands on that and see if it's any good and/or too big for me.). How frustrating! I'll have to walk down the sorting office tomorrow to pick it up. . ate a couple of ham rolls with a tin of oxtail soup real late. . half snoozed for an hour or so until the alarm . . walked in the strong gusts of wind (SO strong, almost worrying at times in BGdns under the big trees!). .TVd/guitarred the evening away and eventually drank a little wine . . cooked and ate four buttered cheeseburgers with mayo after midnight. . to bed around 1am.
10 - Up around 6:30am. . . PCd . . just getting ready to walk when unusually the phone rang. Turned out to be 'T' (from Bristol). He'd been trying to get in touch for a couple of days but had apparantly been ringing my mobile (which I never have on of course). He'd rung to let me know that LB had died in the early hours of Sunday! That I confess was not entirely unexpected - but I didn't imagine it'd be quite so quick - I assumed I'd talk with her on the phone again - some time. I must admit, it rather took my breath away for a bit. :o(

-/unfinished/-

Her funeral is on the 18th apparantly. It didn't take me long to decide I would NOT be going - although I kinda would have like to have done, as a gesture of respect kinda. Trouble is, just being practical, it's SUCH a long way to go, so much petrol (), AND there would be the Bella thing to have to sort out.

. . walked and sat for ages - kinda feeling guilty, 'I' of all people, am still alive when others are not - before eventually returning via town and a tour of the charity shops. I must admit, this recent browsing of e-bay has changed the way I look through stuff at the charity shops now. I AM finding myself keeping an eye open for stuff which 'could' potentially be bought just to re-sell. (Boy - have I missed some opportunities in the past!) Having said that, perhaps because of the economic downturn and all that sickening nonsense, certainly from MY point of view, there doesn't seem to have been all that much of ANY good stuff in any of them for quite a long while now. (I need SHOES!!!!!) Bad news for me for sure. . . eventually back home to PC yet more . . attempted to touch base with DS but only got an ansaphone so dropped him a brief e-mail . . Mum called in to have a look at the Sis2 stuff and I think really rather see my point about it all!. .touched base with BB and told her about LB . . cooked and ate two sausages, eggs and chips followed by biscuits and chocolate . . napped . . walked. Another pleasant starry sky, glittering lights across the bay evening calm before the storm. Coffee and cigs, admittedly thinking sadly about LB quite a bit,
-/unfinished/-

before eventually back home getting on for 9pm! . . PCd on e-bay, pointlessly looking at - everything! . . eventually called it quits after midnight and then sat in front the fire and TV for a bit . . ate biscuits and a banana . . mustered what it took, bit the bullet and touched base with Sis2 - and was brutally honest about what she'd sent! Well - that's me ain't it! Always has been. I'm SO not keen on me. :o( Turned into almost a two hour phone call!! Ouch !!!! . . grabbed a quick ham and mayo roll before to bed around 2am, struggling to sleep as the latest gale absolutely battered the front of the house.
9 - Up around 7:30am. Uh oh. Bella appears to have an upset stomach. She'd pooped on the carpet tiles all round the kitchen/diner in the night!! :o( Well - at least I 'just' managed to notice before walking in it this time! Cleared up as best I could and left newspaper down for a while to absorb some of the rest. Such a shame she didn't come and wake me to be let out, as I could rely on Sally always doing! . . walked and played the obligatory ball in the gale and rain - and really didn't want to be! Evil cold wet weather. I can handle a bit of cold and wet - but oh boy do I HATE it when there is a strong wind blowing! Really, really hate the wind. . somehow managed to PC through pretty much the entire day, keeping an eye on a few things on e-bay and reading up on Kruggerands etc. Actually appears that old coin I've got 'should' be worth nearer 80 or so, depending on the current gold price at the time I try to sell it. Selling it to a coin/bullion dealer (somehow!) appears to be the way to go with it when I do. I wonder if I could maybe sometime get the local jeweller to confirm it really IS a real one first? . . somewhere around 2am the postman arrived with a large unexpected parcel - from Sis2!?? Huh? Turned out she was having something of a clear out of stuff and had decided to send some of it to me, together with some tennis balls for Bella and this and that. She'd put a lot of time and effort into that parcel, writing some little notes and wrapping everything up before presumably excitedly sending it. I SHOULD have been very grateful. Unfortunately, I just couldn't be!! The postage alone was $76.80!!!!! Just by looking at the customs declaration, I could immediately tell there really was likely nothing whatsoever of interest in it to me, and certainly nothing worth 40 or so - and I'd now be trapped into having lots more unwanted junk around the place for which I would have to pretend I was very grateful!! :o( Being 'trapped' into pretending I'm grateful to someone like that, is something I have a REAL BIG problem with - even with family! I just can't do it! Ended up having to just put the open box on the kitchen table and walk away from it, without even opening everything up until I had the energy to have to face it! :o( . . aimlessly PCd yet more . . really didn't want to have to venture out into the ongoing gale, and eventually decided to drive to BGdns in the car - just to make sure it still moves as much as anything else. Up by the car, one of the enormous, almost too heavy to carry living-room radiators I'd propped against the side of the garage had fallen flat onto the ground!!!! Good grief - just exactly how strong WAS that wind to be able to do that?!!!!! Incredibly lucky it had JUST missed the side of the car, literally by half an inch or so! Thank god Bella was nowhere near it whenever that happened. She's so slight, it WOULD have killed her!!!! Struggled to right it and propped it back up at a rather less steep angle. . drove to walk. Haven't done that for a while - and probably won't again until I sort out buying and fitting a new alternator belt!! It squealed LOUDLY almost the entire trip there and back!! Horrible walk in a raging cold northerly type gale, blowing straight into BGdns and taking your breath away a bit. Sat and played ball for as long as I could stand before soon heading back. Bella seemed particularly excited by having a rare car trip!?. . mustered up what it took to sort through the rest of the stuff Sis2 had sent, while drinking a glass of red wine and cooking a mum donated pizza with extra cheese. . Over the years Sis2 has had a habit of sending parcels like that. Dad especially would always be utterly horrified at the waste of money spent on postage in particular, and on the contents - which no one EVER really wanted - and would squirm in well meant discomfort and horror. I AM become he! She'd sent some glass mugs - two were smashed in transit. Pretty much ALL the rest of the stuff was not anything I would have bought - even for next to nothing from a charity shop! ONE thing which I 'would' have made use of was a fleecy zipped hoody with potentially useful breast pockets - but when I examined it closely, despite it appearing to have been new complete with sales tags, bizarrly the elasticated waist was all completely worn out and full of holes! Even 'I' would have had difficulty wearing such a 'rag' - and to cap it all, the metal zip was all corroded and SO much so, it wasn't possible to actually undo it!!!!!?? (What on earth was the story there? Some shop soiled remnant from the New Orleans hurricane perhaps?) What on earth was she thinking? Oh dear. I'm gonna have to call her to say I've received it all. What on earth am I gonna say to her?!!! I just couldn't face doing so today. :o( . . ate pizza . . touched base with Mum and told her about Sis2's parcel. I sounded more and more like Dad to myself with every word I spoke about it! . . TVd until overcome by the wine and tiredness. To bed before 11pm! d
8 - Dreadful few hours sleep as the wind and rain battered the house then up around 6:30am!. . walked the beach and woods in the calm after the storm. .defrosted and gave Bella a bone . .Didn't drink the coffee I took with me until after I'd got home after a couple of hours out. It WAS still steaming (it was cold in the room) and fairly warm, but not very. Obviously isn't insulated much, and you wouldn't want to go for much longer than a couple of hours. Still - I'm not complaining. It's ideal for my needs (as long as the rubber seal lasts). Taking a coffee with me when I go out, has already become almost the norm!! . . PCd for yet hours more on e-bay still trying to get a handle on stuff. I 'think' I've kinda sussed out how to do the final few seconds type bidding thing - and even actually half heartedly gave it a go on a pair of shoes or boots (I forget which, I've been looking at SO much!). I put a 'fairly' substantial (20) bid on them three seconds from the end of the auction - and was promptly beaten by one of the sharks who'd put the same (+) bid on them a day or so ago!! (Eralier placed bid wins). Not only are these 'sharks' bidding in the final few seconds, they are ALSO putting some pretty high bids on stuff. The only thing I think I now don't understand is just exactly how they then go on to somehow sell and make a profit on what they've got - particularly when they have paid a 'going rate' for the items. Some of those guys are absolutely all over the place on every auction hoovering up EVERYTHING!?? They must have a warehouse full of stuff! It's all very weird and frankly rather yucky. It did at least please me that my experiment in last minute bidding, cost one of them (and profitted the seller) around 7 more than if I hadn't. lolol . dug out a piece of jewellery from my (Mums old, old) jewellry box and had a bit of a prod around on the net to see what it may be worth. I have a small pile of old broken bits of this and that which I've collected/picked up over the years, stashed in that box that just 'could' be worth a penny or two. I can't quite recall where I picked up THIS particular item (back in Bristol), but I always KNEW it WAS going to be worth a bit. It used to be a pendant on some necklace or other. The mount/surround is all damaged and bent, but the coin looks as though it's still in reasonable nick. It's a 1/10th oz. gold Kruggerand. Should be worth in excess of 50 I reckon. Only thing is - to who and how? I'm not convinced e-bay is the right way to attempt to sell that. (Far more of them appear to be being traded on the US e-bay. Wonder why the yanks are all buying gold? Something we should know?) . . ate a chickena nd mushroom pastry slice, crisps, chocolate chip muffins and chocolate . . napped until te alarm . . walked between showers. A pleasant calm clear night again. . . PCd briefly checking in on another e-bay auction I'd noted as of interest to me, for a pair of low backed hiking shoes. The bids (from 'sharks') had already reached an absurdly high amount. Searched Google to see what they may actually be worth and found that you could buy something pretty much identical, brand new 'on offer' at Amazon for less! The comfy (charity shop) trainers I've mostly been wearing of late, have almost turned into rags, and I'm literally about to 'walk out of them' at any moment. I have one pair of white (charity shop) trainers I've yet to wear, but they aren't at all the type for anything other than a dry sunny day. I've even recently resorted to trying to walk in a pair of (charity shop) black leather 'dress' shoes I would never otherwise wear, just to 'use them up' (I have a different pair kept 'tidy' for funerals and the like) but they tend to hurt the weird painful area on my left foot, and really aren't made for going anywhere near wet slippery grass, leaves, mud, etc. My old, OLD (charity shop) walking boots I use specifically for when it's pouring with rain (I can't walk in wellingtons) are all splitting and the eyelets are all rusting, and THEY won't last much longer. That finally leaves my best (charity shop) leather, army-like walking boots, but they are so old and heavy and kinda stifff in the sole, I seldom wear them except when intending to do a long walk through the woods or on rough ground. They seem to somehow take greater amounts of energy to walk in, and even THEY are pretty worn, and I'm kinda walking on some screws protruding from where the heal has presumably been replaced at some time - which 'can' make them a little dodgy when walking on wet pavements or rocks!! So - all in all (given size 10's are popular and the charity shop supplies appear to have completely dried up - and given based on what I've seen, e-bay is suprisingly a dead loss because of the 'sharks') I'm fast reaching the point where like it or not, I may have to actually invest some big money in some 'proper' NEW footwear! :o( I've been horribly shocked at how expensive decent new shoes, and 'walking' shoes and boots especially, seem to have become since I last bought any new. :o( . . The reviews for the ones I was looking at on Amazon, suggested they were pretty cheap and not hard wearing at all, which was probably why they were being discounted so much. Despite the reviews, I am SO desperate for something, I decided to go ahead and order myself a pair - just to 'get me by' for as long as they last. (According to one review - assuming I'm doing around four miles a day - I should wear them out within two weeks!! lolol) Ordered a pair of size 10 "Karrimor Men's Mount Low Weathertite Hiking Shoe Black" for 18.99 including postage (reduced from the original, utterly absurd RRP of 70!!!!!). The e-bay auction for something almost identical ('like new') sold at 28.99 inc the postage! Go figure? . I really have done a lot of walking and gotten through a whole bunch of shoes and boots over the years! The hidden cost of dog ownership! . . TVd/guitarred the rest of the evening away . . cooked and ate four sausages in buttered bread rolls, a banana, cake and chocolate after 11pm . . to bed around 1am. s
7 - Woke earlier, snoozed on poorly then up around 7am!?. . oh mYyyyy god! I've actually won an e-bay auction (which ended just before 2am)!!! At LAST!! Despite one of the 'sharks' putting TWO increased bids on, three seconds (!! How??) before the end of the auction, my belatedly increased maximum bid still 'just' managed to beat them! So - if everything is legit and and honest about it and it isn't a con in some way, in around a week+'s time (allowing for delivery) I should have myself a black "BRAND NEW (M65 style) COMBAT JACKET SIZE L (REGULAR)" for 17.05 including postage. That's gotta be a good 10 saving on the next nearest 'buy it now' at least. It IS gonna be too big - I'm pretty sure about that from what I've read about the 'generous size' of them, but I may be able to get away with it given I'll be using it over the top of lots of other layers (including my bodywarmer) in the cold weather. We'll see. I 'should' be able to re-sell it and not make 'too' much of a loss (postage costs mostly) if needs be. . PCd a bit of this . . walked - with coffee. :o) Boy has it suddenly turned cold! T shirt yesterday - freezing in multiple layers, hat and gloves in a cold wind today! . back via Mums to have a look at her in need of replacement PIR unit, to see what type it is in the forlorn hope of trying to get a direct replacement of the same type (so I wouldn't have to re-wire anything or disturb the wall etc!). Immediately clear it is SO old, that won't be possible. :o( . . PCd some more looking at this and that (e-bay doesn't seem such a neat thing anymore) and then PCd a bit more of this . . ate weird Mum donated pitta-bread things with grated cheese and ham, warmed in the oven, a chocolate chip muffin and chocolate . . napped . . .walked and sat around with a coffee during and after ball throwing. Very calm before the forecast-for-later storm. Actually a very pleasant, not too chilly evening. . PCd the evening away on e-bay yet again!! I AM getting real sick of it (Bella too I think), but it IS awfully addictive! I think I neglected to mention the other day HOW very much I really was disapointed to have missed that Dell laptop on e-bay thanks to one of the 'sharks'. Ok - they have every right to play their games and try and make a bit of money and all that - but it DOES 'mess up' the market - and presumably for the winner of that laptop it was 'just' a few pounds of profit somehow. If I'd got it, although it sounds a bit weird, it would have actually meant a whole different 'lifestyle'! I could have sat in comfort in the living room, playing ball with Bella (who now rarely stays with me while I am in the PC room!), while casually surfing and prodding around looking at stuff, or recorded some guitar twiddles, or PCd this, etc, etc. In short, it meant a whole lot more to me than it did the 'shark'! :o( Oh well - I'm sure this is just a passing 'interest' I'll soon work out of my system, as is most everything I do so it seems.. . ate four chicken slice rolls, crisps, banana and chocolate . . eventually to bed around 1:30am.
6 - Up around 6am!? . .back on e-bay to check on some 'soon to be ending' auctions I'd highlighted as worth watching. I HAVE actually placed a few bids. Some second-hand rather worn looking 'patrol' boots were listed, and I figured were worth a punt. I've actually increased my bid up to 8. Doesn't sound like much but the 4 postage makes it even more, and given the wear on the heels visible in the photos, I'm not really 'too' fussed about winning them (since brand new ones are less than 30. If I'd seen them in a local charity shop for 12 or more, would I have bought them? Probably not!). Just kinda using it as an education in how the auctions work. With only around 15 minutes or less to the end of the auction, and with me as the high bidder, I delayed the walk and came off-line to go make another coffee and PC a bit of this. Eventually went back online only to find I'd been outbid by 50p at the last minute! :o( So - THAT's how it goes then!!!! How on earth did that person suddenly swoop in like that? I need to learn more about how all this is done!! Ho hum :o| . . walked. With Bella's latest tennis ball just about to fall to bits, I grabbed an alternative this morning - and actually ended up taking one of the more expensive rubber types. . in BGdns, on only the second throw, Bella fumbled it and off it went straight over the cliff into the sea! Eager to attempt to retrieve it if at all possible, I climbed down over the rocks with Bella to the waters edge. The ball was floating only a metre or so away, but despite much encouragement, Bella wasn't prepared to launch herself after it off the rocks. I'm embarassed to admit, I may have pushed her a bit! In she went - straight under!!!!! She immediately swam back to the rocks and started having difficulty getting out! It all got a bit 'worrying' to say the least (and of course I felt awfully guilty about having 'encouraged' her like that!). I ended up having to quickly scramble down, get on my knees at the waters edge and grab her collar and haul her out! Serves me right I (and my new bodywarmer!) got utterly drenched in the process. Bella actually didn't seem to mind 'too' much once she was out - just all running around expecting me to produce another ball from a pocket! NOT a good start to the day! Without having 'burned off' the energy she has with the usual ball play, she was awful on the lead on the way home via the store. . on the way home, next door was driving up the road and pulled in next to me and handed me a package the postman had just tried to deliver in my abscence. Jolly decent of them to accept it for me like that. It was my new thermal flask. :o) . . made a coffee in the new flask and then left it sitting around for a bit as a test while I PCd for a bit. . Ain't people weird. One of the auctions I've been watching on e-bay ended (while I watched to see what happens), and the winning bidder actually paid MORE for a pair of walking shoes/boots than they could have paid for them on a 'buy it now' elsewhere!???. . eventually drank the coffee from the new mug after it had been sat around for an hour or so. It works. :o) It ALSO fits very nicely in an insulated nylon pouch I've had knocking around for years, which I once bought (from Lidel?) with a plastic drinks bottle in, which fits nicely (almost ) on my belt - so that's a neat unobtrusive alternative to a pocket. . . did dish washing chores and then incredibly sat in the sun in the front garden in just a shirt playing ball with Bella waiting for Mum to call in. Incredibly warm - almost like a summers day (although the forecast is for soon turning much colder and wetter)! . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations. . ate Mum donated mini pork pies. Headachey and oh SO tired, but couldn't nap because I'd put some bids on some soon to be ending auctions on e-bay. Spent the whole of the rest of the afternoon at the PC nervously watching and waiting for the auctions to end. The first was for a pair of walking boots. I was the top bidder for a couple of days and thought I was gonna get a bargain for a little over a tenner - and then - FOUR seconds (!?) before the end of the auction, someone somehow managed to swoop in and outbid me by just 50p! B******s! How on earth did they manage to do that? I'm not even sure my broadband connection is up to working that fast! There's a lot more to this e-bay auction business than actually meets the eye methinks - and whatever it is, it's currently beyond me! It seems to be a mixture of really knowing how it all works and 'poker like' gambling (and having the money to gamble)! Damn! I don't think I can compete with that. .although e-bay keep peoples details hidden, it DOES seem possible to get 'something' of a feel for the other bidders if you look at the bid histories. I get the impression that anyone with a medium to high 'feedback rating' is someone who knows what they are doing and could well be either 'in business' or at least 'playing the e-bay market' to make money (with a robust and fast connection?)! It's THESE people who seem to be able to judge things right (with maybe an early exploratory bid), guess what you're maximum bid likely is, and then bid over that in the last few seconds and win the auction! Seems to me I'm a little inexperienced fish in a sea full of sharks! :o( . . the 'main event' for me was going to be the listing for the Dell 1150 laptop I'd put a bid on. It was due to end just before 6pm. Prior to that, I'd even raised my maximum bid up to 45.01 (a LOT for me)!! It all looked like I was doing ok until - bang - all of a sudden in the last twenty seconds (I don't think my connection was even able to keep up!) there was a sudden flurry of bids from three different people - with VERY high feedback scores! I was outbid and some lucky bugger got the laptop for just 56.01 - which made me feel a bit sick!!!!!! Absolute BARGAIN! :o( With the fitting of a 5 keyboard, that could easily be resold for 100+ according to the listings/bids I've been watching! Based on the bid history stuff (bids all over the place on PC stuff), whoever picked that up, was very obviously in business fixing laptops and selling them on for profit. Pretty soon turned the PC off in disgust. I'm totally out of my depth here. With so many people on there playing such games and making a busines out of it, that rather explains why there aren't the bargains that one could maybe once have got. On the flip side, I 'suppose' it isn't quite so bad if you're selling stuff? Or is it? (If they hadn't sneaked in at the last minute like that, I may have been tempted to bid more!) Guess I'll be trying to sell both Sis2 and BBs old laptops some time. I don't hold out much hope of getting much for either from the 'sharks'! :o( . . made a cup of coffee in my flask and then walked. Played ball for ages, making up a bit for Bella's lack of excercise this morning, before eventually sitting on one of the higher seats for ages watching the view, chinese lanterns, fireworks etc, smoking cigs - AND supping hot coffee. :o) . . TVd but ended up feeling really rather unwell and nauseas! Lack of sleep, too much stress and too many annadins throughout the course of the day?. . PCd some more but was pretty directionless and fed up about the whole e-bay thing. The last auction I've actually got a bid in on is for an M65 jacket - and the auction is due to end somewhere around 2am. The original listing had a 'buy it now' price of 15 (PLUS 5 for postage). With hindsight, now I've learned a little bit about what's going on out there, I probably should have just gone ahead and bought it for that price! Instead, I'd put the minimum (first) bid on, with my maximum bid being only 10 (which promptly removed the buy it now option!). Given what I now know about how people swoop in and buy stuff at the last minute, it seemed MOST unlikely I'd have ANY chance of getting it for anything like that. As a token gesture before giving up on it as a lost cause, I increased my maximum bid to the 15 (which I 'could' (should!) have got it for in the first place!), and then just turned the PC off in disgust! Whatever. . ate tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps, chocolate muffin and chocolate . . eventually to bed after 1am. aaa+
5 - Up around 6:30am, woken by one of my phones needing a charge and beeping again. Grrr. :o( . . PCd, keeping a gentle watch on how much people are bidding on a few e-bay items of interest. Generally, more than I could/would, it appears! :o( . . walked the woods in a bit of drizzle. Even now, every day seems to be different with Bella. All of a sudden she seems to have really got the idea about how exiting chasing squirrels in the woods can be. She had little hesitation in racing around like an excited nutcase and has suddenly developed the confidence to run off quite a distance and completely out of my sight! I bit worrying but she seems eager to return if called, so I'm happy to go along with it to a point. Silly dog doesn't seem to have the learned skills that others do and at one point came racing DIRECTLY back to me, straight through a huge mass of brambles!! She actually got stuck in them and I had to wade in and try to flatten them all down so she could pull herself free and get out!!!!! . . PCd 'keeping watch on stuff'. dragged out some of my old clothes and using the tape measure, attempted to figure out from them, what (over)size I could get away with in coats and jackets. . PCd this. One thing I forgot to mention here the other day, was about having received a belated birthday card from LB. She sent it all perfectly addressed on the 26th of October, but I didn't get it until after the 2nd of November! Someone had written on the front of the envelope in red pen "DELIVERED TO No ### - IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO No ###". There was also a second postmark dated 1st November! So - what that all suggests is, the postman made a mistake, delivered it to the wrong house just a hundred yards up the road, and then the people in that house wrote on it and either handed it back to the postman or put it back in a post box!!!!!! That really pissed me off! No - actually, that REALLY pissed me off! Less than a hundred yards up the street, those miserable, oh SO busy people couldn't be bothered, to just pop down and put it through the correct letterbox! It's a small thing of no great significance I guess, but to ME, it is absolutely symptomatic of the attitude pervading todays society - with which I seem to recently be having SUCH difficulty. It's ignorant. Selfish. Insular. Anti 'social'. Just NOT 'nice'. Why is this sort of attitude (from otherwise probably seemingly decent pleasant people) now the norm - and oh MYyyyy god, who am I (the increasingly schizoid avoidant) to judge!!!:o( . . ate liver sauasage sandwiches, a tin of cheap vegetable soup, biscuits and some chocolate. Somewhere after 3pm the postman delivered my new multi pocket body warmer! Just from the insignificant weight of the packet I could tell it wasn't going to be anything like what I've been wearing and actually want. :o( Quickly opened it up and tried it on. Well - I think the size is pretty much ok-ish, and it DOES have a very useful range of pockets (actually more than my old one, although some not big enough or not in the right place for my needs) BUT - it really isn't very 'robust' or thick at all, and over the top of my usual layers, I can't do up the popper tight around my neck (as I often need to in the wind). . napped until just before the 6pm alarm. . messed around for quite a while with the new bodywarmer, loading up pockets with all my usual stuff, trying to figure out what should go where. Not only does everything have to be reachable and secure, but given the rediculous amount of stuff I carry, I also have to pay attention to weight distribution and roughly equalling it on either side, to stop the thing being pulled off one shoulder etc as I walk about. . at length I eventually set off (with a raincoat over the top) in the drizzle and strong wind and gave it a test run, 'FULLY' loaded. To be honest, it didn't do 'too' badly. If only it was different here and there, around the neck especially, and made of heavier fabric with poppers down the storm flap instead of a couple of silly token bits of velcro - and thicker and warmer! I KNOW it won't last 'long' like the old one, but I guess on balance I don't consider it a 'complete' waste of money. I WILL have to sew on something on my left shoulder to hang my scanner from. The pocket there just isn't robust enough, like it is on my old one. :o( . . played ball in the drizzle and then sat around for ages watching fireworks across the bay before eventually returning home. Bella was her usual self, not particularly disturbed by any of the fireworks at all. EXCELLENT. :o) . . TVd watching the first of two brilliant, BRILLIANT David Attenborough programs on the history of life on the planet. It's utterly mind boggling. I'm not very intelligent and can only manage to think 'evolution' all through up to a point (backwards and forwards) - but given all the evidence - it's just SO absolutely undeniably the way it IS. EVERY new discovery just adds weight to the evidence. It IS fact! How on earth do so many otherwise seemingly intelligent people still somehow choose to deny it? It's utterly mind boggling to me. I ought to make copies of it on DVD and the next time some religious nutter knocks at my door forcing their nonsense down my throat, I could give them a copy, tell them to go watch it and actually THINK about it - and then invite them back to hear how on earth they can still justify their absurd nonsense. . . guitarred . . ate tuna and mayo sandwiches, biscuits and chocolate before eventually (after checking e-bay) to bed around 1:30am. s
4 - Up around 7:20am . . walked. . PCd this for ages . . ate four sausages, chips and four pieces of bread and butter (too much!) . . napped until just before the alarm . . . walked . . PCd surfing e-bay and such looking mostly at kettles. I made the mistake of filling my kettle the other day intending to do some washing up, but didn't get round to it and ended up napping instead. A few hours later when I returned to make a coffee, half the contents of the kettle had leaked out all over the worktop in a bit of a flood! Damn! (Feedback on the net for that model suggests it WILL go that way in time! Design fault.) The new outrageously expensive stainless steel cannister set Mum bought for me, containing my coffee and sugar, was sat in a pool of water. Mum'd commented repeatedly how they were supposed to be airtight, but I disagreed because it was absolutely obvious to me they weren't (and couldn't be), no matter how expensive they'd been. As if to prove it, the water they were sat in had seeped into the seem at the bottom of the cannisters and reached the contents inside making it at the very least, all lumpy!! Bugger! That kettle still works ok-ish as long as I don't put any more than a single cup of water in it, and because it's a fast boil one (expensive in its day) I've just been soldiering on with it, rather than revert to a spare, slow-boil one I have in a cupboard (I may even have two!). Once you've had a fast boil one, reverting back to an old slow boil one is more frustrating than can easily be tolerated. I really SHOULD bite the bullet and buy a new one - trouble is, they (fast boil ones) DO appear to be suprisingly expensive - and even more so if I wanted to go the matching stainless steel finish type! I'm in no rush to spend THAT much! (Living out of charity shops for so long, I REALLY have lost touch with how much stuff costs. Back on the 'treadmill' of walking so much each day, I'm fast wearing out my shoe collection and am in dire need of getting some more. I've been really shocked in the local 'cheap shop' by how much they all are these days - even half worn out second-hand ones on e-bay!! I also appear to be in dire need of some actualy waterproof waterproofs! :o( ) . .Still firmly entrenched in my outrageous (Mum's birthday money?) retail therapy frenzy (I'm nowhere near finished yet!!! - although actually only buying stuff I need and/or would REALLY make LOTS of use of) I surfed again (not for the first time) looking at 'insulated mugs'. I DO have an old 'small' plastic thermos flask, but it holds at least a couple of cups full, and is much larger than I actually need and is a pain to accurately fill and then carry. I've had it in mind for a LONG while now, that it'd be real neat to be able to make a normal SINGLE cup of coffee, cram it in a pocket and take it with me on the walk, to be able to sup with a cigarette after we've finished playing ball - most especially at night when I seem to be spending increasing amounts of time after the arduous climb back up to the seats under the roof, just sat with Bella (keeping watch for rabbits) in the dark, listening to the scanner and watching the stars, chinese lanterns, lights and fireworks around the bay. Ended up ordering a "WebTex AMMO POUCH THERMAL FLASK Insulated Mug - BLACK" for 7.95 including postage. Now I've finally gone ahead and ordered one, I can't wait for it to arrive. WHAT decadence ! lol :o) . . ate liver sausage sandwiches a bag of crisps and some chocolate . . to bed around 1am, only to soon get back up to let whining Bella out into the garden. She has a bit of an upset stomach it would appear - and isn't too good at letting me know why she may be whining!
3 - Up around 7:30am . . walked the woods and back via town. Shopped for a couple of supplies, some sausages from the butcher and scored some bones for Bella . . Mum called to touch base. . gave Bella her bone in the garden. . started up and ran the car for five minutes just to make sure it's still charged and working etc. Haven't used it for ages. . . put in more hours looking at nothing much on e-bay etc. It really could become something of a terribly time consuming addiction! Actually had a look at one or two items being sold which are the same as stuff I have hanging around the place which I though I could try and sell myself (like the old central heating controller etc). Disappointingly, it would appear that what I have laying around to sell really isn't worth much anyway! Figures. :o( . . . . . ate curry with four pieces of bread and butter and some chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 6pm. . . walked. What an incredibly mild evening! Sat around for ages listening to the scanner. Someone called the coastguard saying a fifty plus year old female passenger on their vessel had slipped and suffered a head injury (nasty cut) and they'd need an ambulance when they arrived at Dartmouth in a couple of hours!! . . .TVd/guitarred the evening away. . eventually ate the last of the curry with four pieces of bread and butter again, followed by chocolate and some biscuits. . . to bed around 1am. s
2 - Up around 7:20am . . walked and back via town. . ended up PCing and on e-bay, yet again looking at laptops, trying to get a feel for what I may do with the duff Dell Inspiron 1150 one from Sis2. It would appear from everything I've found, the absolute minimum I could hope to get an allegedly working motherboard for, would be somewhere around 60+ - with a whole allegedly working machine not worth much more than 100 if you're lucky!! Motherboards are rare - all other parts appear to be there in HUGE quantities and don't fetch much. That says much to corroborate the conclusion, THAT particular type of machine IS very prone to failure (hence an ongoing legal wrangle on behalf of disgruntled customers in the US courts with Dell!!!)! All in all, that pretty much confirmed to me, it really isn't worth pursuing ANY further. I'd be far better off looking for something else - even maybe a new 'netbook' type thingy?! . having said all of that, I couldn't help myself getting interested in one that was being privately sold as allegedly fully working (with just a slight imperfection/fault to the keyboard). For the first time EVER as I recall - I actually put a bid in on an auction (I ONLY ever look at 'buy it now's usually)! (I'm really not even sure how proper auctions work! Can it go all the way through to the end - you think you got it - only to have the seller withdraw the item because they didn't get enough for it?) VERY difficult to be rational and firm about what a 'top bid' (and absolutely NOT A PENNY more) from me would be. IF - IF - it really IS actually fully working and just has a slight keyboard fault, I have a whole machine as spares to sort that bit out don't I! So - theoretically, whatever it is sold for (plus the heavy postage), IF I got it, whatever I paid would be the price of a working laptop. So - what would it be worth gambling? How much can I afford to lose? Proper 'big money' market value? (It HAS suprised me on e-bay how much interest 'some' items get, and how much some people are willing to 'gamble'. Laptops especially!! Really quite large amounts by my standards! So much for the once-upon-a-time give-away bargains people allegedly used to get!) Arrrggggh. Gonna be all up tight about that for the next few days now, trying to make a decision about how far to go with it! . .I really REALLY need to get a bit more serious with e-bay and actually learn enough to finally get around to trying to actually sell some stuff! It all seems horribly complicated to me, and full of nasty pitfalls and potential for being ripped off and screwed over by people! Something I really couldn't handle at all! . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked up the rest of the big lump of defrosted dog food pork with a can of curry cook in sauce and ate a huge plateful with rice and three pieces of bread and butter. . napped until the alarm at 6pm. . walked and sat around in the strong wind in BGdns for ages . . TVd . . BB called to touch base . . PCd e-bay yet again, just looking at absolutely everything (none of which I want of course). I had this crazy idea that if I searched for everything that was being auctioned without a reserve, and which was due to end pretty soon, I'd be able to stumble across interesting stuff that 'may' not have been bid on, and which could be won at a ridiuclously low price - especially considering I'm able to be surfing the stuff when most people are asleep and not. Well - nice in theory - didn't really seem to work in practice. Everything was either not worth looking at or was going for really high bids anyway! Very time consuming too. . . ate a bunch of biscuits before finally to bed around 2am.
1 - Up around 7:15am . . PCd over coffee and cigarettes waking up. Yayy - around 8am the postman delivered my new torches. Quickly cut one of the three out of the packaging and popped the batteries in to try it out. First impressions - wow, that's cool. Gives plenty more light than my old 3led one of course and it IS much smaller and more easily stowed in a pocket. It's little more than the size of a large lipstick! I suspect the on/off switch under a rubber pad at one end will be its weak point. Actually looking forward to tonights walk to try it out proper. . . walked in the sun. Didn't play ball too much this morning! Once again, a swarm of tiny midges were attracted to us both as I sat on the shaded seat. Really unpleasant. Returned home with a bin bag of left overs meat from K for Bella. . . did a little laundry and then PCd the whole morning and part of the afternoon away once again looking at mostly body warmers. SUCH a frustrating waste of time, I could scream!! I've looked at enough now (not only body warmers!) to pretty much have a handle on ALL that are actually available on the market - and NONE of them are what I want! When you really start to look like this (thanks to the web), you very quickly start to get a feel for how this dreadful consumerist society we are now slave to, is really actually working. It would appear there are a relatively small number of actual manufacturers, in 'slave labour' 'emerging' type economies who supply ALL the commercial outlets. What that means is, no matter where you look, you end up looking at EXACTLY the same products at massively varying prices(?), over and over again! Surprisingly, there really is actually very little real variation or choice these days! :o( All I actually want is EXACTLY the one I already have (which I've quite literally 'lived in', every day for at least the last ten years!) - but new, without the fading and broken zip (and increasingly tramp-like appearance!). Sadly, it would appear they simply don't make that kind anymore. It may sound such a silly little thing, but I really am SO upset by not being able to buy a straight replacement. It's mostly all about the pockets. The one I have is just absolutely perfect for my funny little life and carrying all the masses of stuff I always carry when out (phone, tobacco tin, video camera, stills camera, dog ball, treats, poop bags, money, scanner, torch, gloves, hat, etc, etc). A secureable dedicated pocket, in just the right place, for EVERYTHING - and with a decent high collar that can be double poppered shut around my neck above the zip for the cold and windy weather! Nothing on the market today comes close (never mind the likelihood that all the new stuff is cheaper in quality, less robust and unlikely to last anywhere near as long). :o( (If it wasn't such a proposterous idea, I bet what would be just perfect for me would be one of those weird 'tactical' vests the army/SAS/police use, with lots of pockets, bags and attachments for all their kit!!! It's bad enough I always wear combat trousers, often wear 'army' boots, and am considering buying an M45 jacket!! I'm gonna end up looking like some sort of paramilitary obsessed nutter!!!! I'm REALLY not - honest - it's just that for my weird little life and what I do, all that sort of stuff seems to be the cheapest, the most hard wearing, and the most practical. :o|). . eventually figured I really had no choice but to go for one that I really didn't want (not 'quite' the right pockets arrangement) but which would 'maybe/almost' do what I wanted (especially if I could maybe 'customise it' with a bit of sewing!!!). Had a go at working out what I think 'may' be the required size by using an old tape measure from my sewing box and trying to match my measurements to the advert description measurements. SO difficult (it absolutely MUST go over a thick fleecy hoody - and under other coats for the really cold weather - and not appear too baggy when worn over just a T shirt in the summer)! Seems to me that's the worst thing about trying to buy clothes/shoes via the net - not being able to actually try them on to check the size is right (never mind be able to see how cheap and poorly made they REALLY are!)! . .Not being a 'huge' amount of money (it's a bunch to me!) I eventually ordered from e-bay a 'MENS PADDED MULTI POCKET BODYWARMER BLACK Medium (42-44")' for 16.98 including postage. If it's no good or the wrong size etc, I guess at that price I would just have to write it off as worth a shot. :o( My desire to push on and buy a repro M65 combat jacket, I think is gonna have to wait until I get my hands on the bodywarmer. If it IS ok - it'll determine the size of the jacket (which is a lot more expensive, will be MUCH more of a gamble, and is by all accounts gonna be even more difficult to get the size right!!!). Even with THAT, it isn't what I actually want. All I want is one the same as I used to have (Army surplus but NOT an M65) - which you can't seem to get any more!!! Arrrgggh! Mass produced cheap quality foreign crap, designed to maximise profit and fuel consumerism (to me - a SO obviously flawed basis on which to build a decent society!), does not = 'progress'! . . . ate defrosted old 'dog food' pork with chips and then some chocolate . . napped until around 5:30pm . . walked. The new torch did the job VERY nicely - although the on/off button is very definitely gonna be the cause of it's premature demise. (They don't sell packs of three at THAT price for no reason I BET!) For SUCH a small pocket (9 bluish LED) torch, it DOES give out a jolly decent amount of light. Although subdued, it even makes 'something' of a 'beam' over quite a reasonable distance. More than adequate for lighting up Bellas eyes when I've lost sight of her chasing after her ball or a rabbit or something. Yep - I'm quite pleased with that purchase. Just remains to be seen how long the switch lasts. (I can even see a new bodywarmer being modified to have a miniature dedicated torch holder/pocket sewn to the outside somewhere!) . . . TVd the evening away. . ate tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps and chocolate . . to bed around 12:30am.
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