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30 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:30am. 14C in, 7C out, sunny with a chilly northish breeze . . . walked BGdns . . .PCd monitoring radios. Around 12:29pm dive charter boat 'Seaquest' called the coastguard and ('casually'?) informed them they had two missing divers - a quarter of a mile north of the Orestone. They'd been diving a depth of around 20m on 15ltr cylinders of air, and had been due back on the surface at around 11:41am. The Torbay all weather lifeboat was already out on a shout, out past Berry Head, towing fishing vessel "Our Olivia Belle" back into harbour. Torbay and Teignmouth ILB(s) were both tasked to attend. Around 12:42pm the all weather lifeboat was asked to ditch their tow and join-in the search. 'Our Olivia Belle' was cut loose to anchor as best they could off Berry Head, and bid the lifeboat "Good luck gentlemen". By 12:44pm Teignmouth and Torbay ILBs were on the water and responding at speed. At 12:45pm members of the National Coast watch Institute in the Torbay tower near Daddihole Plain phoned the coastguard and reported they had what they believed were the missing divers sighted, swimming a quarter of a mile south of the NCI tower, towards Thatchers Rock. AWLB ETA 8-10 minutes. ILB ETA 4 minutes. By 12:53pm the ILB was on scene. It was confirmed that there were two 'smbs', one yellow, one red, and two divers alongside. At 12:55pm the Torbay all weather lifeboat confirmed the located divers WERE from the Seaquest and were being recovered from the water. Teignmouth ILB picked up the second casualty and was alongside the Torbay all weather lifeboat at 12:56. Seaquest was informed the missing divers had been picked up 12:57. The Teignmouth ILB transferred its casualty to the AWLB @ 13:02 - as Seaquest made way to pick them up. They were ok and did NOT need medical assistance. By 13:08 the divers were back on board the Seaquest. The ILBs were stood down, and the all weather lifeboat headed back out to pick up the 'Our Olivia Belle' tow and bring them back into Brixham. I couldn't drag myself away from listening-in to all of that until I knew the outcome, and rudely carried on listening even when Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats, etc! . . From a geeky radio enthusiast point of view, it was 'nice' to be able to hear the ENTIRE sequence of events, from first call to last without missing ANY of it (by simultaneously monitoring marine channels 0, 16 and 67 on the FT-8800 and FT-897), AND having a happy outcome. It is also perhaps necessary for me to sincerely apologise to those NCI guys. I've long been rather dismissive of them and considered them well-meaning but ultimately largely 'useless' 'wannabees'. Well - on THIS occasion, they absolutely did the business for those divers. Their spotting them from their lookout tower, and 'conning on' the lifeboats, was absolutely pivotal in such a speedy resolution of the incident. So - I was wrong and I must salute them. (On the other hand, why did the charter dive boat wait so long before putting out the shout? And why did they sound so 'relaxed' about it all? Ahhh - whadoIknow.) . . . ate a pork pie, crisps banana and a little chocolate . . napped until the 6:30pm alarm and then somehow continually 'snoozed' the alarm until around 7:15pm before finally managing to wake up! . . . TVd (Dads Army) . . walked BGdns quite late. A cracking evening - almost no wind and clear starfilled skies, with the near-freezing temperature low enough to take most of the moisture out of the air. Sat around for coffee and smokes, in warm hat, gloves and multiple layers for ages until well past 10pm. . .TVd . . PCd/radiod locally just a bit as the outside temperature hovered around freezing. . . nothing on worth watching on the regular TV channels AGAIN, so ended up catching-up on stuff on the internet connected TV BBC IPlayer. Watched 'Light and Dark' back to back - Two hour-long programs in which Professor Jim Al-Khalili "shows how, by uncovering its secrets, scientists have used light to reveal almost everything we know about the universe. But in the last 30 years we have discovered that far from seeing everything, we have seen virtually nothing. Our best estimate is that more than 99 per cent of the universe is actually hidden in the dark." Brilliant stuff, even though I'm sadly not quite intelligent enough to 'get it' all. . . ate four chopped ham baps, two small kipling apple pies and biscuits . . . to bed around 3:30am.
29 - Woken earlier by a neighbour 'slamming' their front door, snoozed on then up around 8:25am. 14C in, 7C out, cloudy grey. . .walked BGdns . . . PCd/TVd the day away, mostly just sitting around feeling incapable of movement, hopeless, VERY down and ENTIRELY alone. Real 'basket case' stuff!! Felt totally 'disconnected' from everything . . . the zip lock plastic bags I'd ordered off e-bay arrived in the post around midday. . around 1:30pm whilst monitoring radios and aimlessly surfing, I 'crossed a line'!! The local pilot station was in communication with a vessel coming in to pick up a pilot, and it was VERY obvious that the radio located in the pilot's office had a fault on transmit. The person on the vessel they were communicating with didn't have very good English, and didn't seem to be fully aware that there was a fault, and/or unable to effectively communicate the fact. It was SO obviously a serious issue (almost like the coax was unscrewed from the back of the radio, giving a 'dangerously' intermittant transmission) I got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about it, and the frustration of not being able to let them know. I've no idea what came over me (overwhelming need to 'control' and 'restore order'?) , but with a quick click at the internet, I found the phone number of their office down in the harbour, and I ended up giving them a quick call and told them they had a fault on their radio!!!!????!! It was soon corrected, and confirmed on air with a brief radio check, so hopefully I got away with my craziness without any negative consequences! (Actually, I somehow got the impression they 'may' have thought the person who rang up was actually monitoring from a vessel, so no harm done.) . . eventually mustered up what it took to return DFs ansaphone message from yesterday and called-off his intended visit this evening. Took ages to muster up to doing that, because I SO 'resented' being forced into a position where I had to!????. . . skipped the evening walk - because I just couldn't face it. . There was a program on recently, all about ex-forces people having problems returning from the war zones to a civilian life, and suffering from PTSD, etc, etc. Of course I can't even begin to imagine what horrors they've experienced, but there was one bit of the program which I TOTALLY 'got'. The cameras followed a couple of guys with PTSD, just walking down some busy crowded streets, with them attempting to explain how difficult it was, involuntarily, hyper-vigilantly assessing the 'potential threat' from everyone who innocently passed by. As I recall it, one of the guys even had to resort to 'taking a breather', by backing into the relative safety of a half-glazed shop doorway for a while. 'I' know what THAT feels like - still! If I stop to look into a shop window for a while, at least a proportion of that time will be spent checking out what's going on behind me in the reflections of the glass, etc. Can't turn it off. :o(. . . reluctantly filed and emery-clothed my newly ruined upper denture, and at least managed to take 'some' of the sharpness and 'burr' off where the dentist had ground part of it away. :o( . . . TVd the rest of the evening away, VERY down and 'out there'. . . ate a tin of chicken curry with rice, crisps, banana, biscuits and chocolate . . . watched some of the developing news story of a scottish Police helicopter crash on the news channels. Awful of course, but also a strange irony almost, in that the helicopter is buzzing around essentially trying to keep people safe, and yet it ends up suffering some catastrophic mechanical failure and goes and kills a bunch of people! :o( Like I've said before, it amazes me, how much faith we put in 'things mechanical', and that such failures don't happen more frequently! . . . to bed around 1:30am.
28 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up just after 8am. 14C in, 8C out, cloudy grey with little wind. . no major re-occurence of my 'rhinitis' so far this morning thank goodness. . . walked FGn after 9am. Just a little hint of a 'lift' on the VHF radios this morning. Around 9:45am I suprisingly began to just about start picking up a Solent coastguard/mayday shout going on over Shoreham way! A 27ft vessel, the 'Margaret Rose' with one person on board, was on fire and well alight, around 6 miles SSW from the Shoreham harbour entrance. The person had abandoned the vessel (and his VHF radio) and had taken to a life-raft (with his mobile phone). Rescue helicopter 104, and both Littlehampton and Shoreham lifeboats were tasked to attend. Outside of my normal range, I only picked-up little snippets, but it was clear that by 10:10am the person had been rescued by, and was onboard the Littlehampton lifeboat. . . .phoned the dentist and managed to hopefully get a slot for this afternoon. When I clench my teeth (like I always do really badly when I'm asleep of course) that top denture is pushing one of my main two front teeth forward and out of place, and making it wobble back and forth. If I just ignore it (like I have been trying to do, because I SO didn't want to have to go back to the dentist YET again), I'm surely gonna pretty quickly end up losing it (I may be too late already!). On top of that, it IS making the upper gum in the front of my mouth in the vicinity of that tooth, feel as though I've been kinda punched in the mouth all the time. :o( Needs just a touch, grinding off the edge of the plate where it meets the back of that tooth I think. . . PCd this . . . at 11:07am I heard Solent coastguard in communication with the Shoreham lifeboat. There was no way of extinguishing the fire, so Shoreham lifeboat was going to simply continue observations. Wow - STILL burning and not yet sunk!? . someone yesterday kindly sent me an email entitled 'Heat a small room for 8p per day?' with a link to a video on youtube. Basically some tea light candles and a convecting chimney affair. Probably makes a bunch of sense for a small room, such as my PC radio room - but I WON'T be trying it. No way could I ever live with the worry of having such a ready ignition source - paticularly in a house like this where SO much of it is of just timber and old highly flamable timberboard construction. I've still got an old ceramic scented oil-burner thing laying around somewhere, together with a large supply of tea-light (and other) candles, etc, but I've long-since decided to never use it again, because of the inherant dangers. (I'm VERY careful with my cigarettes of course. Thankfully, hand-rolled ones like I smoke, happily go OUT more than they keep burning, so aren't likely to ever act as an ignition source for something else.) Picking up all that stuff on the radio about a burning boat, convinces me even more, that I will NOT be trying to heat my house with candles! (Shame though - I do have a LOT of those tea-light candles. lol) . . .Around midday, the local ILB and CRTs were all called out ('high-risk-mis-per') to apparantly look for a missing (from the local college?) 14 year old female in the Mansands area. Lots of police and the police helicopter (callsign 'Empass 73' ????) were also apparantly in attendance, doing a significant shoreline search. . I caught occasional glimpses of the police helicopter, above town immediately in front of me through the window, whilst PCing this. . at 12:34pm she was found safe and well by the police in St Marys Park . . .briefly had a search on the net (wasting away yet another day!) seeing if I could find anything related to the vessel which had gone up in flames over Shoreham way earlier. Bumped into plenty of references with the same name, but eventually only one of a similar size with the name Margaret Rose. I wonder? Oh no - can't be that one, it's had a name change. . . oh MY god!! A BBC news report from Bristol - "A man has been jailed for life after admitting he murdered his disabled neighbour who had been wrongly branded a paedophile.". That's messed me up, reading all about that (and on various other sites/reports too)! :o( Boy - how familiar are some of the little details - like being told by the police to get video evidence etc - which then directly leads to being labeled a paedophile etc! How close did 'I' come to being JUST such a case. (I'll NEVER 'get over' it.) :o( . . . -/ unfinished /- . . . headachey and shakey . . . forced down corned beef, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and a square of chocolate. . . cleaned my teeth ready for the dentist and would you believe it - a chunk of tooth came out as I did so! :o( . paused mid teeth brushing, to watch the BBC news channel as it transmitted a substantial piece about the murdered guy in Bristol etc. Found it VERY difficult to watch. VERY upset. Oh my god, that poor guy. All the horrendous suffering he'd been through in his life, and all to end up like that. 'One' of the things which really stuck with me during that report, was old footage taken the day after it had happened, of outside the guys home. It appeared that his home was one of several in something of a horseshoe shaped 'courtyard' type area, with all the neighbours all real close by and all kinda somewhat looking-in towards each other. Who lived behind those windows and doors? ALL of them MUST have known EXACTLY what was going on there, and every single one of them just looked the other way - because it wasn't THEM! HIS home was highly distinguishable from all the rest (aside from the recently draped police 'do not cross' tape), because all outside it there were pots and a beautifuly cared-for, impressive display of flowers. God - how he single handedly defended his flowers as best he could - and ultimately died for them. Absolutely heartbreaking to me. DEEPLY distressing. And most of all because - behind all those windows and doors - EVERYONE knew and did absolutely NOTHING! . . . left Bella home alone and walked to the dentist for my 3:30pm appointment. I had a horrendous headache, and my mind was all full of 'Bristol' stuff (and I asssume as a result, my body all coursing full of 'poisonous' adrenaline). The short wait in the waiting room turned out to be the most difficult I've ever experienced there. I was absolutely climbing the walls and had the hardest time not actually just fleeing back home away from everyone! . . explained to the dentist that the upper denture was pushing my front tooth out of place. She had a quick look in my mouth, and with her little mirror on a stick, and then promptly set about grinding off a bit of the denture. Nothing was improved so she then went straight ahead and ground off some more! I couldn't for the life of me figure out why she was doing what she was doing, because 'I' was convinced that the problem was with the very edges of the sharp protruding lugs that sit into the little gaps between the teeth, which just needed the 'slightest' of touches with the drill, but I had no choice but to accept that SHE was the dentist/expert and knew what she was doing. The denture was STILL pushing on my upper front left tooth! She got me to clench my teeth again and then announced that the tooth in question was being acted upon by the ones below (it OBVIOUSLY isn't?)! And that was pretty much that, as far as she seemed to be concerned, so I just kinda had to accept nothing more being done. I didn't show it (I don't think) but by this point I was becoming overwhelmed with utter despair, and was absolutely KICKING myself for having been SO stupid as to think she'd spend sufficient time and care over making the slightest of modifications, to what was FINALLY very nearly a very functional and well fitting denture there for a moment. Her 'rushed' examination and grinding-off of part of the denture, had just gone and f**ed it up for me - again!! There was NO improvement to the pressing on the back of the wobbling front tooth, and I NOW had a 'large', sharp-edged gap behind it, to permanently irritate my tongue and have food get stuck in for evermore!! Stupid, stupid, STUPID woman! Oh for F**** sake!!! :o( . . She then had another look in my mouth, to see where the bit of tooth which had 'just' come out when I was cleaning them, had come from. Turned out it was actually one of the fillings she'd done on a bottom right front tooth. She quickly re-did that filling - although it rather seemed pointless to me, if it was liable to fall back out as easily as it just had! . Given all the extractions and work I've had done on my mouth, having that filling re-done was really of no great consequence, but it ended up being one of the worst times I've had in that dentists chair. I even had to actively fight off tears at one point! :o( . . . returned home to find Bella had NOT scratched and chewed herself raw for once. It may simply be because of the slightly colder weather, but she does thankfully appear to be much less scratchy - at the moment. Short lived no doubt . . . a very bad headache and really just completely overflowing with a feeling of UTTER despair withall. Impossible not to CONTINUALLY have my tongue probe into the irritating new gap behind my upper front tooth. Stupid, stupid, STUPID woman! . . . napped until the 6:30pm alarm but somehow repeatedly snoozed right through it and didn't get up until well past 7pm . . . walked BGdns - in a poor state of mind, and just going through the pointless motions for Bella's sake . . . aimlessly PCd - still deeply upset by the news from Bristol. I found myself at some point surfing looking at stuff related to where I used to live and even 'wandering' aimlessly up and down the streets around my old house, on Google streetview. SO painful to look at that house and still be able to see such things as the TV aerial I put up, the repairs to the chimney I managed to do, the PIR sensor and outside light I fitted, etc, etc, etc. All that blood sweat and tears - all for nothing. God - HOW I'd love to be able to see inside and see what they've made of the attic conversion, kitchen etc, etc. Most of my life is a complete blank to me, and yet I can bizarrely STILL vividly recall in amazing detail, how parts of that house were constructed (by me). SO painful. Much of all the work which needs doing on/in my current house I - well - I simply 'can't', as a result of all that experience and the overwhelming everlasting feeling of wasted effort and pointlessness about it all. Like I said - I'll NEVER get over it. It has permanantly influenced 'who' I now am, and absolutely cast in stone my 'negative', distrusting, and full-on schizoid attitude toward the whole of repugnant humanity. Like that poor guy in the news, I know - I absolutely KNOW - because I HAVE experienced it - that when push comes to shove, there is most likely NO ONE who would be prepared to actually risk putting themselves in the firing line and lift a finger to help you. Peer pressure, mob mentality, fear, self interest - all of that nauseating human social group stuff which sees people just look the other way and pretend such things aren't happening - and then all rationalised and justified by placing the blame on the victim. . . -/unfinished/- . . . 'unhealthily' surfed (as I admit I HAVE done on occasions before now - although not for a while) and DID end up finding something 'of interest' to me!!! 'Pool-ball-in-sock attack man jailed' from October 2010. The interesting bit to ME of course is this bit:- "Only 20 days later he hit Lee Boyce in the head with a hammer, leaving him with cuts which needed gluing.-//- The court heard Hall fled the scene, but 20 days later was in Speedwell with Poyet when they threatened a group of schoolgirls and attacked Mr Boyce when he intervened. Mr Lanchester said: "Hall used a glass hammer, for smashing glass, to strike Mr Boyce in the head twice. Police were called and Hall was being restrained by Mr Boyce and Poyet was being restrained by by-standers." Mr Boyce had to have head wounds glued and also sustained a swollen right collar bone, bruised ribcage, cuts and grazes to his knee and a two-day headache, the court heard." On balance, that just HAS to be the same Lee Boyce who assaulted me, doesn't it, given Speedwell and all? The details of that case make him out to be some sort of 'hero', defending a group of vulnerable schoolgirls! Having lived there, I can VERY easily imagine a VERY different reality behind those words. Sadly - I can't pretend that I'm not disappointed he wasn't VERY much more seriously hurt! :o( . . . TVd . . ate chips, two pieces of bread and butter and what should have been a three egg cheese omlette, but something went wrong and it ended up being pretty much just scrambled egg! . . . TVd until to bed at 1:30am.
27 - Up just after 8am. 13C in, 7C out, cloudy grey . . . walked BGdns . . aimlessly PCd as I rapidly began to increasingly start having major trouble with my sinuses/blocked/streaming nose again! The next several hours were pretty much a repeat of the hell I went through on the 20th, just blowing and blowing and blowing my streaming and yet simultaneously somehow partially blocked (on the right side) nose! Again - I won't go into the full and disgusting details, but it IS worthy of note here, that SO significant and debilitating are the effects of those symptoms, if I had employment and was working, I absolutely would NOT be able to whilst enduring such a 'flare-up'. . endured the hell for hours, getting through several handkercheifs again. All of a sudden, somewhere around 4pm, after a dangerously vigorous bout of nose blowing (again), something 'cleared' and the symptoms fairly immediately lessened. What on earth IS this all about???? I was left feeling all exhausted, but WHAT a relief. . celebrated feeling a bit better, by hand-washing all the handkercheifs I'd just got though! . . . swallowed one of the few remaining decongestant tablets (despite not having identified any particularly beneficial effect from them) and then walked BGdns early with a coffee. Substantially warmer this evening - still in double figures. Things were 'ok' until I reached BGdns, but I then experienced a partial re-emergnce of the earlier streaming/blocked symptoms! :o( . ended up sat on the higher seat with my coffee, mostly just wrestling with and constantly blowing/wiping my increasingly sore nose! :o( . .things eventually (for no apparant reason) somewhat eased-off again . . back via the store for potatoe supplies - and even in desperation, a £3.85 tube of 'Vicks Decongestant Nasal Spray' to try the next time I have a major flare-up of my symptoms!! . . . by the time I got home, the nasty symptoms had improved again, and thankfully pretty much remained at bay for the rest of the evening. . . monitored radios for a bit while surfing, reading up on things sinus and nose related!! Because I've been 'brainwashed' by all the government propoganda about how bad smoking is for you, I always assume that anything that is wrong with me, is smoking related - and of course particularly so when breathing/nose/sinus issues are involved. I HAD been assuming the recent symptoms were all about my smoking, and it was 'all my own fault' and just something to have to put up with, kinda. Upon more careful reflection, and after having surfed for a bit, I became convinced that it really was NOT that simple. At length, my 'diagnosis' is 'Non-Allergic Rhinitis' (NOT sinuses after all). My smoking can of course significantly aggravate things, but I really don't think it is actually the cause. My theory is, I had some sort of weird virus a little while ago - when I ended up having such severe breathing problems I visited the doctor and had my chest x-ray etc, etc (because of course I'd assumed it was smoking related, and probably influenced the doctor with my related comments!). . Although I've largely gotten over all of that, I believe it HAS somehow left me with this re-occuring 'rhinitis' problem. What the 'trigger' is for it to flare up like it has been, is NOT something I've been able to identify. So far, it just appears to happen at random!? . . . TVd an hour and a half long show about an 'archeological dig' at the site of the Treblinka death camp! More unbearable horror. :o( . . .cooked and ate four quarter pound burgers in buttered baps eventually followed by biscuits and chocolate . . .TVd until to bed around 2am.
26 - Up at 8am. 12C in, 1C out, sunny . . . walked FGn . . . did laundry . . PCd. Surfed ebay and at long last, finally went ahead and ordered five hundred 3.5" x 4.5" 'Small Clear Grip Self Press and Seal Resealable Polythene Zip Lock Plastic Bags' for £5.09 including postage. My small collection of electronic components (for my 'shelved' morse-oscillator projects, etc) has long since proven to be completely unmanageable to me in its current mixed up mess (especially given my poor eyesight now), and has largely been the reason why I haven't touched any of it for SO long. I figure if I can laboriously sort everything out into individual marked bags, and put them in a small box in some sort of more easily 'flipped through' sequential order, it may encourage me to return to 'experimenting' - just a bit. I've been meaning to buy some of those bags for absolutely ages. Probably yet more money just thrown away, but I HAVE to give it a go or I'm just NEVER gonna return to it all . .got the laundry out on the rotary clothes line for a bit and then went ahead and washed my old 'puffa' jacket with the failed zip! I figure even if the zip is no good, I could still wear the thing open, around the house in the really cold weather. Actually had a bit of a surf just to see if they are still available and how much a replacement would be. The good news is, they ARE still made and readily available on ebay etc, for only around £20! I've been calling it a 'puffa' jacket, but it's apparantly more accurately a 'MA1 Flying Military Army Security Doorman Pilot Biker Bomber Jacket'. I've started using the other one I've had laying around for years, so no great need to rush to get a new one. Like I've said before, you just can't beat them for keeping you warm in the cold weather. (Shame the pocket lining seams always fall to bits though.) . . . ate a tin of oxtail soup and grated cheese sandwiches made from four crusts of bread and butter followed by a square of chocolate . . . brought the cold and damp laundry back in and hung it on the airer in the kitchen before napping. I wasn't 'particularly' tired. More a case of just needing to be warm for a while, in only the way wrapping myself in a duvet can seem to do. I seem to be managing to 'do' less and less with every cold day that passes - and it isn't even 'that' cold yet!! Definitely in 'hibernation' mode already! :o( . . . napped until the 6:30pm alarm . .a neighbour from up the road called by, and let me know (in case 'access' may be needed) the water company were apparantly intending to do a camera-survey of the drains out-back, early next Tuesday. That's good news. Ooooh - I wonder - I'd LOVE to be able to look over their shoulder when they do it, and have a chance to actually SEE the drains! . . . walked BGdns in layers (5C out/cloudy), played ball and then sat around for ages drinking my coffee etc. Hardly a breath of wind this evening and everything everywhere seemed very quiet. . . PCd surfing a bit and then PCd this - hoodie up, in double trousers, and with fingerless gloves on - and STILL feeling awful cold! All I need is a candle on the table, and it'll look like a scene from Scrooge! (I DID put the fan heater on for just a short while) . . . TVd . . ate garlic sausage slice sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate . . .to bed after 2am.
25 - Up around 8:15am. 12C in, 6C out, cloudy/breezy . . .walked FGn. . .PCd/monitored radios and then PCd a bit of this . . messed around for an utterly absurd amount of time with my outside gas-meter box, trying to botch a fix to the issue of the long-since broken door-flap catch. (The flap hinges are also missing, and the flap is just held in place by nylon cable ties there instead!) Because of the nature of the parts, it suprisingly really wasn't possible to figure out how on earth I could botch any sort of alternative! I eventually had no choice but to laboriously try superglueing AND hot glueing a piece onto the broken nylon/plastic latch centre, to act as a handle for opening, but after all that work, it predictably pretty soon all fell to bits. (My half full pot of superglue is also drying-up and going off!) That put me in a pretty foul mood, and I simply was NOT going to waste any more time or effort on such a silly thing. I eventually heated up a large screwdriver blade and just carefully plunged it into the centre of the broken nylon catch, melting a 'notch'. That at least enabled me to re-fit and close the damned thing (for the first time in months, without having to use a strip of parcel tape to hold it closed!), using a screwdriver as a temporary 'key/handle'. Trouble is of course, the next time the gas company turn up to read the meter, THEY won't be able to get into it!! It IS apparantly possible to get a replacement set of parts off ebay, but I totally begrudge the idea of having to spend £5 or so, just for the benefit of the gas company/meter-reader! . . WHAT a waste of most of the day!!! . . dabbed a bit of grease on the front garden gate hinges etc, to stop the irritating squeak it's been making of late - which of course always sets Bella off barking and going crazy etc. . . started the car up and ran it for a little while. It started straight away without any hassle, so hopefully that cheap solar battery charger IS now keeping the battery topped-up? . . ate corned beef, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, banana and a square or two of chocolate . . napped until waking from a deep dream, before the alarm at around 6:30pm . . TVd all very bunged up again. . walked BGdns . . . TVd the 10pm docudrama No Place on Earth - about Ukrainian Jews surviving during the second world war by living in underground caves !!!! A breathtaking, mind boggling and deeply disturbing story of survival against ALL the odds. How is it even possible people can endure SUCH suffering?!!!! I absolutely could not. Not even the tiniest fraction of it! . BB called during the film but was quickly dismissed. I just HAD to watch it! . . ate bowls of rice krispies . . had to seek out and watch a bit of 'lighter' programming, in order to 'recover' a bit, before eventually calling BB back to touch base. . ate biscuits before to bed around 4am.
24 - Up around 9:15am. 13C in, 5C out, mostly cloudy with occasional sunny spells. . walked BGdns . . PCd a bit of this. Had to suddenly mess around sorting through batteries and charging a couple for my chordless mouse. It would appear that my collection of various old rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries is gradually starting to all get past their best. The fancy charger I use which has an LCd screen, has been reularly reporting several as faulty of late. I've no reason to suspect the charger of misleading me. ALL my rechargeable batteries have been dreadfully overworked for a number of years now, what with walking with the scanner for several hours EVERY day, etc, etc. I'm definitely gonna have to work up to buying a selection of new ones, and ditch all the old ones I think. Long overdue. . .gave Bella the remainder of her bone - out in the garden . messed around with my puffa coat, trying to see if I could get the zip back working like normal. There's absolutely nothing 'visibly' wrong with it, so I really can't figure out why it's suddenly all failed and pulls apart like it does. Carefully went all up and down both sides of the zip, trying to clean between the teeth with a soft wire brush, and then even sprayed some WD40 on it. It 'appeared' to then be working fine for a while - but it wasn't long before the zip all pulled apart and jammed again, so it really HAS had its day I think. :o( Shouldn't complain really I guess - it must surely be 'at least' twenty years old by now!!! Wow - how time flies. . .drank a glass of red wine while cooking. Ate a couple of quarter pound burgers in buttered baps, chips, buttered peas and chopped onion, followed by a square or two of chocolate. The one glass of wine really got to me for some reason, and I felt particularly tipsy and briefly 'content' (once I'd put the fire on), but oh SO very tired. . . napped until the 7pm alarm. BIG trouble waking. . TVd a bit 'coming to' - and all 'bunged-up' again of course. . .walked late. Walked down through town to see the christmas lights. All the way down the main road into town, the council (I presume) have put little solar powered flashing LED christmas trees on all the street lamp posts again. Given all the cuts to services, I can't believe they have wasted money on such a thing. I wouldn't mind 'quite' so much if they at least looked good - but they absolutely do NOT! Immediately under the bright street lamps, they are SO pathetically 'dull', they are almost ENTIRELY unnoticable. Utterly pointless waste of money under such circumstances . . down in the harbour, the usual type of displays, on a floating pontoon, around the harbour walls, and up the rigging of the heritage sailing boats, were 'better', but 'I' wasn't particularly impressed. Bah humbug and all that. . carried on out along the outer harbour towards BGdns in an apparantly strengthening, biting-cold wind. . skipped ball play and climbed all the way straight up to the higher seat - sweating and badly overheating in all my many layers. Sat for coffee and listening to radios etc for quite a while, before ultimately heading home. . . TVd . . . ate half a mum donated chocolate 'yule log' . . to bed around 1am.
23 - Up around 9am. 13C in, 6C out, sunny . . walked BGdns quite late. Played ball in the lower cold shade and then sat around in the sun on a higher seat for my coffee . Well - I'm not so keen on those new fingerless gloves I bought. They ARE warmer than what I've been using of course, but they very obviously aren't going to last very long, especially considering what I put them through, stroking and playing ball with Bella, etc. They also actually cover slightly more of my fingers, which makes 'doing' stuff with them on (especially rolling a cigarette) rather more awkward and difficult - which kinda rather defeats the whole point of them being fingerless. Yet ANOTHER silly little thing which 'isn't as good' as I used to have things. Feels as though EVERYTHING new these days is permanantly going in that same direction!? Moan, moan, grumble moan. . Mum called in with papers and food donations for chats . . . ate a pork pie and a small piece of gala pie, crisps and a little chocolate . . napped. Missed something going on somewhere. A lot of fireworks going off. The christmas parade and turning on of the lights probably. Snoozed on then eventually up after the 7pm alarm . . walked BGdns in the near freezing temperatures under a star filled sky, in double trousers and many multiple layers. An unusualy large number of people fishing from all along the breakwater still? Some sort of competition I presume. Must be mad in these temperatures! . .TVd/PCd the night away, with the fire on when in the living room, and even the electric fan-heater on for a bit when in the PC room, as the outside temperature dropped to just below freezing. Without the heaters on, the house rapidly dropped back down to around 13C. Coldest so far this winter I think. I'm already feeling and having difficulty with it, more than I ever have done before!! Gettin' old. :o( . . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps, a banana and a little chocolate before finally to bed around 4am again!
22 - Poor broken sleep then up around 6:30am. 13C in, 2C out, mostly clear but with some big, dark, rapidly moving rain clouds . . .Very slow getting going. PCd a bit of this as the sun rose . . .cleaned my teeth and put the painful new upper denture back in my mouth, to ensure it has time to 'show' the dentist later, where it's cutting and hurting, etc. . walked FGn in the still uncomfortably stiff, chilly breeze. Back via the new local pet store. Bought a big pre-cooked bone for Bella for 65p, to hopefully act as a distraction from her gnawing on herself when I leave her alone and go to the dentist later. . . popped an annadin tablet and showered and got clean. True to form, whilst I was showering, Bella had taken herself to her bed and had gnawed on herself a bit!! Grrrr . . . eventually gave Bella the 'distraction' bone (on the living room carpet!!!) and then walked to the dentist for my 11:30am appointment . .a good quarter of an hour wait in the busy waiting room this time. In the small cramped waiting room, there is a square table with four neatly stacked piles of magazines for people to look at. A woman went through two of the piles of magazines before she found one she wanted to look at - but as she did so, she just threw every magazine she'd picked up into a great big messy, threatening-to-fall-off, heap in the middle of the table! A silly little thing, but it really bugged me how she was SO remarkably self centred to leave everything in SUCH a mess. She was called in for her appointment before she'd even opened the cover of the magazine she'd finally chosen. After she'd disappeared, I got all 'OCD' about the mess she'd left, and ended up having to get up and sort the heap out, and neatly stack them all back up!!! lolol . . explained to the dentist about the pain, the 'slight' rocking of the denture, and the poor bite with the teeth on the left side not 'quite' meeting as they should. From my sore and damaged gum, it was obvious where the MAJOR issue was, and she quickly ground off some of the denture edge. Yayyy - hard to fully tell because of my earlier annadin tablet and the soreness of my mouth, but whatever she did, appeared to immediately do the trick. Instantly, MUCH relief from the pain. She then inserted a thin marker plate on the right hand side to reveal where the bite wasn't meeting properly, and then ground off a little of one or other of the offending false teeth. Went through that process more than once before ultimately having all my teeth 'meeting' much, much better. I 'think' it could be improved maybe just a 'little' more, by taking just a 'touch' more off, but time will tell if that's going to even be necessary. Suffice it to say, I eventually walked out of there with the set of dentures feeling about as good as they are likely to ever get. Once that damaged sore area of gum has healed, I am cautiously optimistic (huh?! Me? Optimistic? Good grief!!!!) that FINALLY, I'll be able to start eating and making use of them like I SHOULD be able to! Jeeze - it's been a LONG hard and painful road to finally reach this point! All in all, the best part of a year isn't it?!! :o| . . . soon got home to find at least half of the big bone already eaten, and Bella had NOT gnawed on herself! Yayyy. The flip side of that good news was, the unpleasant odor and the horrendous mess all over the living room carpet!! Ugggh. :o( . . . TVd a bit . . PCd just a bit of this . . .eventually put the remains of Bella's bone into a plastic bag and vacuumed all the bits of bone from the carpets. I think I pretty much got away with that, without too much, if any, lasting 'unpleasantness' - other than perhaps a slight lingering odor. . . walked BGdns mid afternoon and then carried on down town. Bought some new Thinsulate (40g) fingerless gloves - for £2.95 I think it was. All the cheap knitted ones I've been wearing, are all pretty much wearing out, and they certainly don't keep my hands very warm. . damn, damn, damn! It would appear that the big zip, up the front of my old 'puffa' jacket, has started to fail, jam, and continually pull apart all over the place, making it unuseable! Why on earth would that 'suddenly' start happening? That's gonna be a sad loss. In my experience, nothing beats those type of jackets for being a remarkably warm final top-layer in REALLY cold weather. I DO however have another (I scored in a charity shop MANY years ago) so hopefully no urgency in seeking a replacement. . .bought some milk, onions, etc before eventually heading home . . . DF called looking for a quick radio-test on the local GB3TQ 6m repeater. Ended up a little worried about the radio, after he informed me I had really low audio through the repeater on FM (despite the repeater's CW ident being all 'normally' loud). I AM paranoid about my faulty FT-897, although I DO seem to recall the last time I spoke with someone on that repeater, THEIR audio was real low too - so it 'may' be an issue with the repeater rather than my end. I'm in no hurry to get to the bottom of that. . . PCd . . .oven-cooked two pieces of going out-of-date/cheap fish, buttered peas with chopped raw onion, and chips. A HUGE piled-high platefull. (probably enough for two really!). Ended up feeling a bit queezy. . . DF called in for chats etc until well after 10:30pm . . TVd/PCd the night away . . to bed after 4am!
21 - Up around 7:10am. 13C in, 4C out, windy (37mph gusts) with big threatening rain clouds in the distance. . still feeling very lousy and fragile. Annadin tablet for breakfast. . Put the wheelie bin out, together with one of the big plastic sun-lounger chairs just propped next to it, in the hope the bin men would take it (without me having to cut it all up and put it IN the bin). Very comfy tall-backed chairs, but sadly my attempt at glue repairs to the brittle, 'gone-off' old plastic didn't at all work, and now I'm using the cushions as part of Bellas bedroom bed, it seems pointless keeping them hanging around. .walked BGdns in hat, gloves, double trousers and multiple layers. Really unpleasant sitting playing ball, with the strong cold northish wind, blowing straight in at me across the boisterous waters of the bay - with occasional drops of rain. . eventually carried on down town, to have a quick look in just a couple of charity shops on my way to Boots the chemist. Bought a £2.59 pack of 12, Boots own-brand 'Decongestant Tablets Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride' in the desperate hope they may have 'some' beneficial effect on the seemingly permanent blockage of my (right) sinus. Bought a few food supplies before heading home . .yay - the bin men took the garden chair. Right - I'll just do the same with the other in a fortnight then. . . read through all the information for the decongestant tablets. Wow - some potential nasty side-effects possible (life-threatening anaphylactic-shock seemingly top of the list!), including feeling sick, headache, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, tremors, anxiety, etc, etc, etc - but then again, that list pretty much sums up my 'normal' every-day state, so would I even notice?!! :o( Popped one of the tablets and then PCd a bit of this, not feeling fit for doing ANYTHING with yet another day! :o( . . .PCd/TVd and just sat around the day through, blowing my nose etc! . . by early evening I ended up feeling really awful and headachey. Given the amount of handkerchiefs I've been getting through, the headache could well have been as a result of a state of relative dehydration rather than a side effect of the decongestant tablet. As for its affectiveness - assuming it was because of the tablet - I guess things were NOT as bad as yesterday and I wasn't so bunged up overall, but I can tell that it hasn't really 'particularly' touched whatever is filling and causing 'pressure' in my right side sinus. I am NOT imagining it. The pressure changes in that sinus, caused by blowing my nose or unnaturaly inclining my head or when I go into different temperatures, can often spontaneously cause an audible 'gurgling' noise or even a prolonged high pitched 'whine'!!!!!??? VERY unpleasant and bizzare. Thank god there's been no-one around to hear it! Could be HIGHLY embarassing! I won't go into too much unpleasant embrassing detail, but on the very rare occasions that something from down that way gets dislodged and with great difficulty blown out, it's hard to recognise that such thick and bad looking stuff could even be produced by the human body! Something very 'wrong'. If THAT is what is filling my sinus, then it's been there for a while, and I don't see how it's possible it can ever clear itself! :o(. . popped another decongestant tablet and an annadin tablet, more or less together! I felt so bad, it took a superhuman effort to do it, but I eventually walked BGdns. Played ball and sat around in the cold listening to radios for a while under a clearing mostly starry sky. Still quite an unpleasant breeze, but lots less than earlier. . . Felt a bit 'better' for having done the walk (or more accurately perhaps, because the annadin tablet got to work and eased all my aches). . TVd . . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking. Ate a single garlic chicken kiev, buttered mushrooms and chips followed by a square or two of chocolate . . .TVd in front the fire until to bed at midnight.
20 - Up just before 8am. 14C in, 6C out, raining. . .walked FGn . . . aimlessly PCd/listened to radios all morning . . somewhere around midday I started having major trouble with my sinuses/streaming nose again. My right sinus in particular seemed to be horribly blocked and under extreme pressure again (as it has been for months?), but all the while my nose was streaming! . . the symptoms just seemed to get VERY rapidly worse and worse - almost like an instant bout of flu!?? That was pretty much the end of my day! Languished for miserable hours in front of the gas fire, feeling chilled to the bone and getting through many handkercheifs. Ended up all headachey, and that on top of the awful pain from my dentures, made my entire head and face miserably uncomfortable. . . forced down garlic slice, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate . . managed to nap for just a couple of hours until around 6:30pm, only to wake up in a similarly awful state, and VERY bunged up and 'under pressure'! :o( . . TVd for a while. Despite the cold, wind and heavy rain showers, I eventually wrapped myself up and walked. Not for Bella's benefit. I just needed to get out in the cold and 'excercise', in the hope that it would partially clear my blocked right sinus and nasal passages! Reluctantly walked BGdns, mostly between the rain showers, but did not play ball or sit there under shelter of the roof for long because I felt so weak and awful! The walk did clear my blocked nose a little, but didn't in any way help dislodge whatever is blocking my sinus. :o( . . . languished at length in front the fire some more. I finally caved-in with the pain and just HAD to remove my upper denture. It's definitely cut-into and 'damaged' my mouth in some way, and removing it did NOT give me much relief from the pain at all! Jeeze - what a thoroughly miserable day this has turned into! To be honest, in terms of general health and having to endure persistant pain, etc, etc - I really am starting to think this is the worst year I've EVER suffered through. :o( . . hand washed a large pile of handkercheifs (for the second time today!) and quickly dried them on the edge of the footstool in front of the fire again - before rapidly starting to get through them all over again! . . .more hours of miserable languishing! . . . Forced down dunked biscuits and a banana. To bed around 3am.
19 - Up just before 7am. 13C in, 2C out, some blue sky breaks between mountainous dark storm clouds. . . walked in hat gloves and multiple layers despite the sun, and boy, was that a biting cold Northerlyish breeze coming in off the bay! Walked the woods and ultimately back to BGdns for some ball play, and then some sitting in the sun on one of the higher seats for smokes and coffee. Found a decent rubber ball for Bella to play with. It's made to look like a tennis ball, so seems to meet with her approval. .back via the store for milk, and scored two packs of going out-of-date/half-price garlic sausage slices. . . phoned the dentists reception about my ill-fitting and increasingly painful new upper denture, and managed to get an appointment for this week, for hopefully some 'modification' work. I DID manage to poke around in my mouth with a finger and figure out what I 'think' is going on in there. The denture is SO tight on the right side, it's kinda driven the flesh of the gum upwards, forming something of a substantial 'protrusion' ABOVE its edge at the join with my cheek. Every time I put pressure on the denture, the thin plastic edge is effectively trying to 'cut off' that small protruding area of flesh! Suffice it to say - it bloody hurts - increasingly lots! :o(. . PCd and surfed, reading-up on old 'Nato 2000' CBs. Someone was advertising one in the window of the local newsagents - for 'offers'. Despite their advanced age, it appears they 'can' go for pretty good prices on e-bay! Sadly of course, me and e-bay don't have a good track record, EVER, so I WON'T be making them a silly low offer with a view to trying to sell-it-on and turn a profit. Someone else will - I just bet! :o( . . Radiod locally briefly (when called). . balanced my accounts . . . left a bit of positive feedback on e-bay for the couple of pairs of training shoes I recently received, and then went ahead and 'escalated' the case of the Size 9 shoes and my out of pocket £6.53 loss, for e-bay to make a judgement on. "The seller advertised Size 10 shoes. Upon receipt they were a Size 9 and marked as such. On 10th November I messaged "I will return the shoes once you confirm you are prepared to refund the original £7.99 - AND £5.60 return postage to leave me 'whole'." The seller immediately replied "That will be ok with me and i will give you a refund asap." I duly returned the shoes in the post in good faith. On 13th November the seller made a Paypal payment to me of £7.52 !?? After paypal fees, this amounted to only £7.06. I remain £6.53 out-of-pocket, entirely as a result of the misrepresentation of the listing. On the 14th November I requested the seller make a further payment sufficient to cover this amount without delay, as per our agreement of the 10th. The seller has NOT responded and I remain £6.53 out-of-pocket!!" . . I really don't think for one moment I'll get anywhere with it, but I figured I HAD to push it to that final conclusion - out of principal, and just to at the very least, hopefully 'irritate' the seller for a few hours! . . .ate two large buttered and mayod baps filled with a whole pack of garlic sausage slices, crisps and biscuits . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6:30pm . . TVd for a bit as I came-to, all the time watching the thermometer as the outside temperature gradually counted down towards freezing. Eventually just couldn't face it, and skipped the evening walk. . .PCd/monitored radios. . breifly checked-in on e-bay and - oh wow - I'd received a VERY unexpected message from customer support already. "Refund information: We've initiated a refund of £7.99 back to the PayPal funding source that you used to purchase the item. Please allow 48 hours for the refund to process.Final decision: This case was found in your favour. Customer Support comments: 'The case is closed.' " . That 'should' have been good and happy news, but instead, they don't appear to have fully grasped the content of the message I sent them! As things stood - I was NOT due £7.99 at all! They appear to have overlooked that the seller has already made me a payment (outside of the e-bay refund process?) via paypal, for the 'majority' of the initial purchase/postage price. Unless the seller (or ebay?) has the ability to actually retrospectively cancel and claw back that previous £7.06(net) payment, I'm gonna end up with more than I rightfully should!!! That's not 'right'!! Wow - I bet the seller is gonna be angry! It also leaves ME with the likelihood of further ongoing hassle over it all. As things appear to stand at the moment, sooner or later, one way or another, I figure 'I' now owe the seller £1.46!!!!!!!! A silly little pittance perhaps, but it makes me uncomfortable - on principle. If I DO attempt to ultimately do the honourable thing and refund it via paypal, it's gonna be a hassle working out what the likely paypal fees each end would be, to make things right and still leave ME 'whole' to the penny! WHAT a stupid, conscience niggling, pain in the rear. :o( . . .TVd - with the fire on most of the evening . . guitarred a touch . . .ate a banana and bowls of rice krispies. . TVd until to bed around 3am.
18 - Up around 7:30am. 14C in, 8C out, grey . . . walked FGn . . . PCd a bit of this. . I think I just want to be warm, quiet and asleep - oh, and in less pain would be nice! My mouth is back to being permanently 'sore', thanks to my new ill-fitting upper denture! :o( . . .PCd/TVd/aimlessly sat around . . . walked BGdns . . TVd . . . cooked and ate two small chicken kievs, chips and peas followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . . early to bed around 11pm.
17 - Up around 8:30am. 14C in, 10C out, grey . . . walked FGn quite late and sat around for ages in the chilly breeze with coffee etc, chatting to passing dog walkers. . .PCd and had a look on-line to see if there was any mention of the 'detached 'digit'' incident which I overheard a bit of on the 14th. (Doing an initial Google search for 'fish finger' was NOT a good idea! lol) Took me a while but I eventually found mention of it on the website of the Dorset Echo. "Man Airlifted To Hospital After Fishing Accident" What a shame it doesn't say whether or not they were successfull at re-attaching his thumb. Errrr - 'fingers crossed'? !! . Long overdue - I need to start searching-for and bookmarking such 'local' news websites, to enable me to more quickly check for such snippets after I've heard stuff. . . PCd this . . radiod locally for a bit again (as a coastguard 'medivac' shout, went out over Kingswear way. Apparantly a 65 year old guy had slipped and broken his hip whilst on the coastal path (oh yes - I know all about how treacherous THAT coastal path can be!) , and needed transporting to a nearby ambulance.) Spent an absurdly large amount of time trying to self-analyse and get to the bottom of why I don't feel 'comfortable' with people being at liberty to stream local radio communication onto the internet. It really makes no sense at all feeling 'uncomfortable' about it. After all - I do THIS journal - and of course readily accept that every time I key up a mic and speak on any frequency anywhere, there likely will be any number of people potentially listening-in - and I HAVE even dabbled briefly with streaming live video whilst on the radio myself! I can't put my finger on why potentially having EVERYTHING streamed onto the net 'by default', and potentially without my explicit knowledge, 'feels' different to me? In local conversations, I bounced the subject off others, and found none of them had ANY problem with it. So - what on earth is going on in MY head (again/as ever)?!!! . . .drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two quarter pound cheese burgers in buttered baps, a banana and some biscuits . . .napped until before the 7pm alarm. . .briefly listened in on the VHF(UHF) radio for a bit, as a small bunch of locals messed around in a chit-chat net, with one of them doing 'cross-band repeating'. My FT-8800 can do that of course (although I never have). Totally beyond me why some of them seemed to find being able to do that with their radios SO exciting? With VERY rare possible exceptions, I can hardly envisage a situation where it would ACTUALLY be of any real practical use to ANY of them. . all in all, I ended up starting to feel rather 'distant' and seperate to everyone, and rather 'radiod out' with all the UTTERLY pointless local chatter I've been listening to, AND engaging-in of late! . . . walked BGdns quite late. Played ball and sat around with my coffee etc, all the while once again, listening-in to local amateurs chatting - endlessly - about really, absolutely 'nothing'! I think I may be descending into a bit of a down mood. Ended up feeling all completely 'radiod out', and just sick and tired of the whole pointless, noisy business! :o( . . . TVd the rest of the evening away (without monitoring radios) - and also actually just HAD to sit in silence for much of the time!!? . . . ate a banana, a whole pack of almond slices and some chocolate . . to bed around 3am.
16 - Up around 7:20am. 14C in, 2C out, sunny . . woke at the PC/radios . . walked BGdns under a blue sky with hardly a breath of wind. Played ball (and a bit of squirrel chasing) in the cold shade, and then sat around for ages on one of the lower higher seats in the sun for my coffee. Bit of a 'lift' on the VHF radios. Briefly picked up Swansea coastguard doing a test page! . . . aimlessly PCd/monitored radios for a bit. Wasn't in the mood to actually concentrate on anything, and I somehow ended up on the Flighradar24 website in '3D Cockpit View', 'flying along with' a light aircraft which was out on a convaluted training or pleasure flight, all along the coast from Exmouth and over and around Torquay, etc. Given how sunny and clear the skies were, that computer trip can't have been 'that' much different to the real thing. SUCH a shame the website (understandably) always stops well short of displaying the actual final approach and landing. I 'think' it landed on a small grass airstrip somewhere. I ALSO briefly flew along 'in' a helicopter, a little further south from Dartmouth along the coast. That one DEFINITELY landed in a 'field' somewhere. The last few seconds of the trip, just before the screen froze with a message saying 'landed', felt as though it was about to crash into the upcoming coastal cliffs!! I thought I was potentially flying along during an accident there for a moment. lol . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats. . . ate a pork pie, crisps, biscuits and chocolate . . napped. Real trouble waking again, and didn't manage to come-to for around 45 minutes after the first sounding of the 7pm alarm! . . couldn't muster the energy and skipped the walk, despite it being a fairly calm and pleasant evening out. . nothing at all worth watching on TV again! Hadn't at all intended to, but ended up chatting locally on the radio most of the evening . .around midnight, I had another go at IRLPing and connecting to the 5400 node - GB3PZ repeater up in Manchester, with a view to hopefully actually speaking to someone up there, so I could ask questions about how that particular node (which appears to be acting more like a reflector!?) works, etc. As luck would have it, the actual repeater keeper came back to me, and I was able to grill him and ask all my dumb questions. At length, I ended up with a 'slightly' better picture of things in my mind. The live audio stream on their website (upon which I DID hear myself coming back to me via the PC, a few seconds later, when I called in on the radio) is actually not only transmitting the audio from that repeater, but is ALSO relaying other signals on completely different frequencies in the geographical vicinty of the repeater, by virtue of a 'skimming' scanner connected at their end! (which explains why I was hearing a conversation on the website audio feed, but NOT on the node via the radio when I connected.) According to what I was told, the repeater their end has two IRLP ports, two Echolink ports and even a DStar port, with the ability to have simultaneous connections on each, - and for every one of the connected stations to be able to talk with the others. That DOES apparantly mean that there IS the possibility of doing a 'cross system' communication, linking between IRLP and Echolink! That suprises me because I'd hitherto (mistakenly?) believed from what I'd read, that wasn't 'allowed'. Surely it also means, that 'node' should really be registered as a 'reflector' doesn't it? . anyway - I think I'm done with trying to figure out in my mind how all that works. It's all very clever and all, but I'm left feeling 'not too keen' about it all from a 'user' point of view. Not sure why - something like there's too little of MY radios and far too much of the internet and 'being in the hands of others' (and their techi/£ egos) about it all for my liking - and of course there IS an 'uncomfortableness' about suddenly finding your VHF 'chit-chat' being 'broadcast' live, worldwide over the internet for ANYONE to listen-into like that! Yeah - I definitely think that's taking things a bit too far for my liking . . . ate two ham rolls, crisps and some chocolate before to bed after 2:30am.
15 - Up around 6:50am, well before the alarm. 14C in, 4C out, mostly clear - and sunny, once it comes up later! . . .Grrr. Trouble getting online with my broadband AGAIN! Finally got there after around a dozen tries. . Couldn't get back on a short time later. My ISP really is on 'borrowed time' now! . . . walked FGn . . showered and got clean . . left Bella at home and walked to the dentist for my 10:30am appointment. The dentists reception appeared to have turned into a cake shop!? Several tall stands of all manner of small cakes! Turns out it was a fundraiser type thing, for 'Children In Need'. Seemed a bit of a contradiction almost - having loads of sugary cakes in a dentist! On top of that, just to complete the insanity, all the staff were dressed in pyjamas! Well - all the staff I saw except the receptionist, who appeared to be wearing 'not so much', and what one woman waiting in the waiting room called a 'negligee'! . a short wait in the full waiting room and in to have my new top plate put in my mouth. Ouch!!!! The dentist ground a little away from the same problematic edge. Still ouch, but I agreed to give it a go as it is for a while, because I was just too worried about having too much ground off and ending up back at square one with it all liable to easily fall out of place all the time again. . made an appointment for six months time (in the full knowledge, I will likely be back there before then, for adjustments to the new (painful) top plate). There was some confusion over an amount to pay, showing up on their computer system, but whatever that may or may not have been will have to wait for next time. . before leaving, I chose a 'Pudsey Bear' shaped gingerbread man type 'cake', and ended up 'donating' £1 for it. . . back home to find Bella gnawed raw, bleeding, and almost hairless on her back and back legs! FFS! . . . banished her to the garden for a while, to allow my frustration and anger to subside, and while I vacuumed and pointlessly flea-sprayed some of the carpets and her bed - again! :o( . . . did laundry and got it out on the line to mostly dry . . PCd a bit of this . . .did the mountain of dishwashing chores . . . ate a two eggs and grated cheese omlette with two pieces of bread and butter, a banana and biscuits . . I had intended to nap but somehow ended up chatting locally on the radio for quite a while instead . . . too late to reasonably nap - walked BGdns a little early in the cold breeze. . .DF called in for coffee and chats until around 10:30pm. He actually brought a packet of chocolate covered toffey biscuits, but I only managed to eat one (dunking) because of the pain from my new upper denture! :o(. . TVd . . ate biscuits, a banana and a large bag of crisps . . to bed around 2am.
14 - Up around 7:45am. <15C in, 10C out, sunny and breezy briefly, before some heavy rain moved in . . .received a notification from Paypal that the shoe seller had sent me a payment of £7.52!?????? WTF??? Contrary to what they had 'agreed', that does NOT refund me my £5.60 return postage costs, and isn't even a full refund of the original £7.99 purchase cost!? What the hell do they think they're playing at? HOW insulting to me! More ongoing hassle then! What UTTER lieing cheating B*****DS! :o( . . .PCd this . . late walking, not at all eager to have to venture out into the storm . . around 09:28hrs, rescue helicopter 106 was in the air (in Lyme Bay way over by Portland) and briefly in comms with Portland coastguard. They were discussing 'whether or not the 'digit' could be reattached' and their intention to take the casualty (once lifted from a fishing boat?) to 'A&E DCH'. !!!! Ouch - that sounds REAL nasty! . (I 'think' they 'may' have transported him ('in two parts' perhaps? Eeeew!!!) to Salisbury hospital in the end? :o( ). . .walked FGn real late, thankfully AFTER the 'squall' had passed. Sat and played ball for a bit in the sunny spells. . . -/ ! /- . . back via the store for a few milk/potatoes, etc supplies. Uncomfortable struggling back with the small heavy 'sack' of potatoes. . . wasted away the remaining part of the morning, wrestling with appropriate wording for a response to the 'immoral' ebay shoe seller! "You advertised Size 10 shoes. They were in fact a Size 9 and marked as such. On 10th November I messaged "I will return the shoes once you confirm you are prepared to refund the original £7.99 - AND £5.60 return postage to leave me 'whole'." You immediately replied "That will be ok with me and i will give you a refund asap." I duly returned the shoes in the post in good faith. On 13th November you made a Paypal payment to me of £7.52 !?? After paypal fees, this amounted to only £7.06. I remain £6.53 out-of-pocket, entirely as a result of the misrepresentation of your listing. Please make a further payment sufficient to cover this amount without delay, as per our agreement of the 10th. " To the point - without succumbing to the temptation of getting straight into an abusive slanging match I think? (Actually - with hindsight, I imagine he made the seemingly 'random' payment of £7.52, because he ALSO paid a paypal fee which was presumably deducted his end before it reached me - so he probably DID try to refund the full £7.99 at least? Little consolation to me - I still end up paying £6.53 for HIS mistake!). . . aimlessly TVd/PCd/sat around the day through, feeling a bit down . . phoned my bank and then my ISP, to sort out how their bills have been paid. Turns out it was somehow being done as a repeating debit card payment rather than a direct debit. Got that corrected and changed over (hopefully!) . .walked. A short distance up the road, a police van and several policemen were assembled near a row of lock-up garages. One of the garages was open, and they were all showing interest in the flashy expensive looking high-performance car which was parked up in it. Walked BGdns in the uncomfortably chilly breeze. Forgot to take Bella's ball, so we BOTH just sat around for ages. Drank my coffee and radiod locally a bit before eventually heading home. . . TVd . . drank the last glass of red wine from the box and cooked and ate a whole pack of going out of date/cheap thin sausages with chips, eventually followed by a couple of mini jam doughnuts - whilst watching 'Question Time' on TV. . TVd with the fire on for a bit until to bed around 1:30am.
13 - Up around 8:10am. <15C in, 6C out, sunny . . . woke at the PC and happened to notice on the APRS website local map that the guy with his streaming-truck-cam was over Torquay way. Ended up calling him and having a brief chat on the radio and watching his live truckcam, as he drove off through Totnes (past the vets where Bella was stitched-up the last time we had an emergency incident) and on out towards Plymouth. . walked FGn and sat in the warm sun for a while. Eventually back with a small stone for the garden. Wow, and ouch - like carrying a block of ice! . . recovered from the walk with a coffee in the sun at the top of the garden. . . radiod locally briefly and PCd this . . .'dismantled' the big pile of large old sofa cushions and duvets I have in the bay of the bedroom acting as Bella's bed, in the hope that IF there are any fleas amongst them, I'll be able to have an impact on them! . Vacuumed and dehaired/dusted all around the bedroom and got the duvet cover (and an alternative I used to use in the back of the car, retrieved from the garage) laundered and out on the rotary clothes line to dry in the diminishing sunny spells and strengthening breeze for just a few hours. Did another load of laundry and just hung it all on the airer in the kitchen to dry. . . 'reconstructed' the pile of old cushions in the bedroom bay in a slightly different/better way, dispensing with a couple, and using two elongated old cushions from garden chair/loungers instead. Those two long 'lounger' cushions are needed around the wall beneath the windows, to protect the 'fragile' stud-wall from Bella's claws when she does that upside-down with her paws in the air thing she sometimes does. . vacuumed all around the place . . ate corned beef, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate . . . retrieved one of the duvet covers from the line, wrestled one of the old single duvets back into it, spread it out all over the old sofa seat-cushions, and got Bella's bedroom bay-window 'bed' pretty much finalised and back to normal - just a little cleaner than it was, and hopefully totally flea clear (if it wasn't already anyway. I didn't see ANY.). It IS a pretty comfy little corner for her - I HAVE tried it myself. lol (although it does make opening the curtains a real hassle, and something I NEVER do.). . . napped until around 6:45pm . . felt overly hot and yucky again. Skipped the walk . . TVd the whole evening away, wrestling with my blocked sinus and streaming nose ALL evening! :o( . .guitarred just a touch . . heated two packs of going out-of-date/cheap turkey chunks, in some garlic salt and butter, and ate with a large amount of garlic mayonaise 'dip' and four pieces of bread and butter, followed by chocolate biscuits and a few squares of chocolate . . . to bed after 1:30am.
12 - Up around 7:35am. 15C in, <11C out, sunny spells . . PCd a bit of this. .got the size 9 shoes all packaged and labeled up ready to return. . walked a little late and headed straight for the post office to get the shoes posted. The cheapest possible was 2nd Class for £5.60, so that's me a total of £13.59 out-of-pocket, with nothing to show for it right now! . carried on down to BGdns for ball play and sitting with my coffee etc. A bit chilly in the NWish breeze. . . PCd and tried to message the shoe person via ebay, but ebay's messaging server appears to be down, so ended up just wasting lots more of my time! Grrrr . . .DF called at some point, experimenting with some radio gear, and wanting to know if I could confirm he was getting out up around 50Mhz. Try as we did, I couldn't hear a thing from him. More likely to do with how far apart we are (and how little power he was running through a 'lashed up' aerial) rather than his gear not working I reckon . . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two small chicken kievs, peas and chips followed by a square or two of chocolate. A BIG meal - and much needed. . . napped until around 6:30pm. Woke in a dreadfull, seriously overheating state!? It surely must be dangerous to get THAT hot! 'Spontaneous' human combustion springs to mind! lol The T-shirt I was wearing was SO saturated in sweat, I HAD to immediately change it!!?!! Felt pretty damned iffy as a result! . . .TVd and recovered a little . . . walked BGdns a bit late, once I'd come to a bit, in the clear cold, under a starry sky. Only around 4C out. Played ball and sat around with my coffee for ages in hat, fingerless gloves and layers monitoring the scanner. . . aimlessly TVd/PCd the night away . DF called again briefly, but I could NOT hear him on the (50Mhz) radio again . . ate a couple of bananas, a whole pack of jaffa cakes and a few chocolate biscuits before to bed around 3:30am.
11 - Up around 7:45am. 15C in, 13C out, grey and all wet but stopped raining. Had so much rain last night, and so much of it comes into the conservatory through its leaking roof, the big deep icecream tupperwares I put down to catch the leaks were almost full to overflowing this morning! . . . slow getting going again. Walked BGdns. The 'Nord Dorado' cargo ship was still moored in the bay with divers working under it. All grey and damp but not an unpleasant morning, with hardly a breath of wind reaching the sheltered lower seat. Finished ball play and then sat on the higher seat for my coffee and cigs for quite a while . . eventually back via the store for bread and milk supplies and then the new pet store for a large bag of peanuts for the bird(mouse)feeder and a new £2.99 pin and bristle, double-sided grooming brush for use on Bella, to replace my old worn-out one. . . PCd/monitored radios . .tried to phone the local repeater keeper, but ended up getting an ansaphone and having to leave a message. Wasn't long before he called back and we got to speak for the first time and have a lengthy chat about it all - and then much else. Radio stuff aside, it turned out to be quite a surprise, how much we had in common - ish! . . . ate corned beef, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, banana and a square or two of chocolate. . . walked BGdns. Still relatively calm and mild and not an unpleasant evening. Sat and played ball in the dark on the lower seat. Sat there for a bit longer than I otherwise would have, because it became apparant the 'Nord Dorado' cargo ship was about to heave anchor and leave the bay. I have a funny habit of kindof imposing 'durations' to how long I sit around there, based on what's going on. Like - if a particular vessel is on its way into harbour from out in the distance (the pilot boat especially) I'll quite often have to sit there until it reaches the end of the breakwater before I carry on. !!???? lolol Anyway - I sat and waited for 'Nord Dorado' to heave anchor, turn around, drop the local pilot back off onto the 'Celia T' pilot boat, and then start heading out across Lyme Bay, before I headed up to the higher seat for my coffee and smokes . . back home after 9pm. TVd briefly recovering from the walk . . . PCd a bit of this. Received a message with the return address for the shoes . . radiod locally again for a bit!! In the middle of overs, BB called to touch base. Got off the radio, called her back and chatted for ages. . . ate a banana, bowls of rice krispies and a little chocolate . . TVd until to bed just after 3am. Not enough hours in the day again! lol
10 - Up around 7:45am. 14C in, 8C out, blue sky sunny. . just missed 'something' going-on, on the radios. Coastguard mentions of 'the police helicopter, crowds, significant police numbers dealing with stragglers', etc, and all just winding down. No idea what that could be. . . walked BGdns with a coffee. Sat for ball play on the lower seat in the damp chilly shade. Singapore flagged cargo ship 'Nord Dorado' was moored in close, in the middle of the bay. Comms on the radio revealed that divers were being put down from 'Liberty Lass', the smaller vessel (actually quite large in itself) which can 'just' be seen tied up alongside near the bow, in the camcorder image I've included here. Uk Border Agency cutter 'HMC Valiant' was also moored up, even closer in, but hauled anchor and left the bay, disappearing out past Berry Head whilst we were sat there. . a dog walker confirmed she'd heard on the local BBC Devon radio station, that a 'rave' had been going on last night in Ansteys Cove across the bay behind Torquay - so THAT was what the comms I heard when I woke up were all about. ( Checked the web later and found the BBC News article. "Police have broken up what they described as an all-night rave being held in a cove. About 100 revellers were estimated to have congregated at Anstey's Cove in Torbay, Devon and Cornwall Police said. There were no arrests. Coastguards said they were also involved in the operation at the cove between Babbacombe and Torquay, using lights to illuminate some of the area. A boat was on standby in case anyone ended up in the water, they added."). Bet that cove is in a rubbish and faeces strewn state. Another few £s from my council-tax bill just thrown away then! :o( . . eventually climbed up out of the gardens and headed along the clifftop road to FGn (as a broken down fishing boat was towed back across the bay into harbour by a trawler). sat on a seat on FGn in the sun, looking out across the harbour and marina towards the war memorial. Around 10:30am the usual well attended procession accompanied by a band, left the sunny assembly point in front of the coastguard station and paraded along the marina walkway towards the Breakwater beach, and then up and along the road in the chilly shade to the memorial. It wasn't long before the oh SO sad sound of a trumpet playing the Last Post drifted across on the gentlest of breezes. Sat quietly with another dog walker for the minutes silence - and it really did seem as though the whole town had gone quiet. The crew of the Torbay lifeboat were all in uniform and stood to attention on the bow of their boat, at its mooring a short distance below the memorial crowd. Thought my usual oh so sad thoughts. . wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial. . Soon after, it was 'just' possible to hear a 'familiar' (even to me!) hymn being sung. 'Eternal Father Strong To Save'. Always moving to hear that being sung, especially when you live in a place like this - "O hear us when we cry to Thee For those in peril on the sea." - and even more moving when it is being sung just as the lifeboat backs away from its mooring and turns and heads out to sea. The lifeboat with its crew and eight passengers on board, headed out across the bay in the bright sun at speed, to soon disappear around Berry Head on its way to St Marys bay, for its usual rememberance day wreath-laying at sea ceremony. . sat in the sun, drank my coffee, smoked my cigs and played ball for quite a while - until well after the lifeboat had returned. . at length, the service was done, the processionhad marched away and the crowds by the memorial dispersed. . .walked with Bella around the busy harbour (full of people in black, all adorned with poppies and medals) , along the marina walkway and then cut up the steep steps directly to the tall stone memorial. Had a brief wander around reading some of the notes and quotes on the multitude of small crosses and wreaths covering its base. Easy to 'feel' and be affected by the concentration of emotion and sadness there. :o( . . . walked straight back through town (a lot of food stalls all set up along the high street, seemingly doing good trade) and was back home well after midday . . . PCd this . . . ate a trio of ham finger rolls with crisps and then some chocolate . . . napped until the 7pm alarm, although I had SUCH difficulty waking, it was around 7:45pm before I stopped subconsciously lashing out at the snooze button and actually got up . . .wind and rain. Skipped the walk yet again. . TVd . . PCd/radiod. Received another e-mail reply from the repeater keeper, including him asking when is the best time to phone me. That's a difficult one to answer funnily enough, given my chaotic sleep patterns, etc. After 9pm and into the early hours seems to be the most likely to guarantee I actually answer!!! . Chatted locally on the radio for a bit, before forcing myself to withdraw and deal with the anxiety-inducing unpleasantness of the e-bay shoes reply thing. Eventually settled on just re-sending the original message to the guy, but also with the 'bottom line' of asking for a refund of the return postage aswell - "My original message which you appear not to have received. "I received the shoes this morning. Contrary to your listing which said they were a size 10, they are in fact a SIZE 9 and clearly marked as such. Your returns policy states the buyer must pay for return postage. This would leave me substantially out of pocket! Under the circumstances, this is unacceptable to me. I await your response." I will return the shoes once you confirm you are prepared to refund the original £7.99 - AND £5.60 return postage to leave me 'whole'. Sincerely T ". I expected a swift refusal. I actually had a suprising reply within twenty minutes: "Hello,thank you for your response. That will be ok with me and i will give you a refund asap." Blimey - I hadn't expected that. It remains to be seen if he actually will of course, but on the face of it, he seems to be playing ball. I replied I'd post them tomorrow and let him know when they are on their way. It wasn't until a couple of hours later I realised, since 'I' was the buyer, I had no way of accessing an address for him, so I had to mail him yet again asking for the return address! That'll hold things up for another day at least. . listened in on the radio as a local station played with IRLP a bit, dialing into a node number at random again I think, and then just listening-in for a bit. Turned out to be a rather 'interesting' and confusing (to me) node. (5400 - GB3PZ up in Manchester). As we listened-in to the fairly large number of stations that were chatting on it, at least one US and one Australian station briefly connected up and joined in!?? I 'thought' I'd just begun to understand the difference between IRLP 'nodes' and 'reflectors'. Put simply, that a node to node connection was a 'one to one' repeater connection, and that a reflector connection was a 'one to many'. THIS node appeared to be acting and being used, far more like a reflector, with multiple connections possible!??? Huh??? Read through everything I could find on the web about it, but nothing seemed to plainly state exactly what sort of a system they had going on up there. . connected back up to the 5400 node a little later, with the intention of eventually trying to break-in and have a word with someone up there in the hope they could enlighten me. That didn't go to plan. It 'appeared' the stations using it at the other end, couldn't hear us down here, and they were also talking with such short gaps between their overs, their system didn't give our local repeater enough time to be able to disconnect when we wanted to!??? All very strange - and has left me feeling I DON'T understand IRLP as much as I thought I had begun to!! . . . ate two very stale and cannon-ball like mini doughnuts (SO past their best - I had to cut them up with a knife and dunk them in my coffee, to be able to eat them!!) and a couple of bananas before to bed at getting on for 3am.
9 - Woken around 6:30am by Bella making some noise or other which in my slumber, I thought was her gnawing on herself. Couldn't get back to sleep and got back up around 7am. I'm really starting to suffer from ongoing lack of sleep! :o( 14C in, 8C out, drizzle at first and then some sun, heavy showers and rainbows. . woke at the PC and chatted locally on the radio until I'd 'come-to' a bit . . . walked FGn in light blustery showers . . .VERY much in need of food (as well as sleep)! Ate two crusts of bread and butter, with a tin of sausages in baked beans and some grated cheese . . . PCd a bit of this . . damn - it IS fleas on Bella still/again/still/again (despite that outrageously expensive vet pescribed flea collar etc, etc)!!!!!! I FINALLY managed to spot one - albeit a small and 'hungry' looking one! In desperation, I gave her another flea tablet and dabbed one small bottle of spot-on stuff on her. :o( . . .shouted just once or twice at the ISS as it orbitted over around midday - to no avail again of course. According to the news yesterday, they've just sent a new bunch of crew up - complete with an olympic torch! They are allegedly going to be doing an EVA (spacewalk) complete with the torch in the near future! So - probably not the likliest time to hear them playing ham radio huh? lolol . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations - by which time I was really feeling pretty awful and so, SO tired. My simultaneously streaming/blocked nose and cold-like symptoms seem to have returned with a vengeance. I rudely 'encouraged' her not to stay long. . . forced down a ham roll, crisps and a few chocolate biscuits before, immediately after, heading back to bed . . thankfully eventually succeeded in sleeping until just after 5:30pm (not long enough! Dunno why I'm having such trouble sleeping of late. Very unlike me!) . . slowly came-to in front the TV (watching a couple of old 'The Good Life' episodes. Always amazes me watching such shows, how empty the streets are in the incidental distant background of any outdoor shots. Just one or two instantly recognisable old cars - and lots of empty space. HOW different and FULL of cars EVERY street in the country is today!) . . 15C in, 8C out and raining - skipped the walk again. . . ended up chating locally on the radio for a bit. . recieved another e-mail reply from the local repeater keeper. Awww, what a shame. Because of the 'multiple keying up' problem which I'd mailed him about (which WAS the same issue they'd had in the past), he'd had to lock out the IRLP reflectors again. Oh well - it was nice to have been able to experience them there for a brief moment for the first time. I guess I COULD listen-in some more via some of the live audio feeds on-line, but since that doesn't involve the actual radio my end, I couldn't chip-in if I felt I wanted to, and any non-amateur could just click and listen-in via the net, I doubt I will . . . PCd a bit of this - and intermittantly being drawn back to talk on the radio a bit more! . . No - it's no good - I need to get away from doing this and out of the PC room for a bit. I'm in a all worn-out, weird, 'need to be comfy and quiet' mood . . TVd but 'nothing' on again. Ended up catching up on some programs I'd missed via the BBC IPlayer. . guitarred just a touch . . .ate a Mum donated slice of gala pie, a LARGE bag of cheese and onion crisps, a banana, a large chelsea bun, a whole pack of Kipling almond slices and some chocolate! . very chilly. Had the fire on for a bit. . to bed around 2:30am.
8 - Really almost no sleep at all then back up just before 7am and before the alarm. 14C in, 9C out, heavy rain . . . walked FGn real early, in wellingtons and full weather gear. As luck would have it, the rain eased off and then actually stopped for the return walk . . showered and got clean . . left Bella at home alone and walked to the dentist (in the pouring rain) for my 9:35am appointment. Eventually called-in from the waiting room only to find that all I was there for (again!?) was a couple of minutes of sitting with a wax upper denture in mouth 'to see how it fits'! Damn-I thought I was actually getting the new denture this week. So - "see you next week" - AGAIN!!!!!! :o( . . .predictably, Bella had gnawed her back legs bald and raw again by the time I got home!! In desparation, just in case, I sprayed some flea-spray on all her bedding!!!. . ate three stale doughnuts, a banana, tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps and mini cheddars . . . PCd briefly . . returned to bed. Trouble getting to sleep again - not helped by the toxic smell from the flea spray filling the room!? . . roused from half sleep by the postman delivering the two pairs of e-bay shoes I bid for the other day. Left opening them for later and returned to bed. More short awful half sleep. 'Woken' before 3am by the repeater keeper calling and leaving a message on the ansaphone! . Gave up trying to sleep and got back up. . opened the shoes up and had a look at them. Their 'ok' - for the summer. :o) . . walked BGdns a bit early, for ball play and sits with my coffee. . .DF called in with his guitar for coffee, biscuits and chats until a little after 10pm. . pretty soon after he'd gone I ended up on the radios again, when I heard someone on the living room scanner playing with IRLP. Chatted locally quite a bit and then happily just sat and listened while the other person played at connecting up to IRLP reflectors etc. . . ended up having a play with the reflectors myself until early. Went through connecting to a whole bunch of them, mostly just quietly listening for whatever was going on, on them. One conversation by a couple of US mobile stations was quite an eye opener, and I listened for quite a while. Suprisingly they were very much talking about politics (tut tut) and slagging off government and 'Obamacare', etc, etc. (I quietly disapproved.) Quite an eye opener to hear people talking so freely. VERY different to anything I've heard on any of the HF bands etc. .ate just a couple of bananas . . at some point I connected up to the extensive (60+ nodes connected?) 'WinSystem' Reflector (9100) and just quietly sat listening in. There was a bit of chat before things went mostly quiet. It was then that someone explicitely called whoever was connected via the Torbay Repeater!! I almost fell off my chair!
told about a repetative 'Keying-up' issue by the 9100 WinSystem reflector Control Operators ('COPS') affecting every connected node, and was asked to disconnect until the problem had been resolved. The repeater keeper needs to run a 'Pulsecheck' script to correct a setting!
tripping over my words and
undoubtedly appearing to be a right plonker I'm sure, I
laboriously apologised for any inconvenience I may have caused,
and promptly disconnected pretty damned quick! . . e-mailed the
local repeater keeper and let him know about 'the problem'!
Finally to bed after 2:30am.
7 - Woke earlier, snoozed on, then woken by the phone ringing (no message left) around 8:45am. 16C in, 11C out, mostly cloudy and still damp, but brightening and stopped raining at least . . .walked in the increasingly bright, with even almost some sunny spells. Walked the woods, Churston cove for some ball throwing and swimming by Bella, and then back to BGdns for a little more ball play. The weather had turned out to be so much better than the last few days, I toyed with the idea of heading down around the harbor and out along the breakwater. Just then, my scanner picked up a local amateur starting a brief conversation with someone currently parked-up across the harbours, in the breakwater car park by the lifeboat station. Oh wow - it turned out to be (G0HWC) the guy who runs a LIVE streaming video/audio webcam from his truck as he drives around the country delivering stuff! He was having a tacho-break and making himself a coffee in his cab. THAT seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. Briskly walked down and around the harbour and on out towards the breakwater carpark. He was still parked-up there when we got there, so I gave him a quick shout on the radio from only a few feet away and then suggested we QSY (change frequency) - to his drivers door. lol Had a brief conversation during which I was able to ask about how he was doing the live-steaming video thing. Turned out (from his description) to be by means of some little black box, with connections for up to four cameras. It also takes a regular mobile-phone simcard, and uses 'not that much' of the data he gets on his phone contract. Apparantly people from all over the place (frequently ex-pats) quite regularly actually 'tune in' and 'drive along' with him, and even request he go a certain route where they once lived etc. . What an amazing and bizarre world we all live in now! Our conversation was cut short when he had to suddenly move his truck to allow someone he'd blocked-in to drive away. As he drove off, I headed off along the breakwater with Bella. Walked the measured mile round trip to the end of the breakwater and back. Sat for my flask of coffee near the old fish market on the inner harbourside before eventually heading home . . . cooked and ate two quarter pound cheese and mayo burgers with chips followed by a little chocolate . . napped for just a couple of hours. . .TVd . .PCd. Received a reply from the e-bay 'wrong-size' shoes seller. "I am sorry to hear that you weren't satisfied with this item,can you please tell me what is the problem? However i will give you a refund and try to resolve this problem ASAP,if i give you a refund will you mail the item back please,thank you." THAT clearly shows that once again, ebay's automated message system has failed to forward the damned message detailing the issue! FFS! :o( . . Oh wow - I'd received an e-mail reply from the local repeater keeper already, who said they'd had issues with them in the past, but that he'd try and take the block off the IRLP Reflectors tonight!!! Blimey - that's good of him (and explains why the repeater was down for a while.) . . messed around for hours trying to do a simple little e-mail to someone who'd contacted me through the website. Hours - just for a few confused and silly lines of reply! THIS is why I never e-mail anyone these days!! It just takes me far too long. . eventually the local repeater was back in action, so, well after midnight, when I assumed the coast would be clear and no-one would be inconvenienced by me hogging it with my experiments, I had a good poke at the IRLP again. Oh wow - true to his word, the reflectors appeared to now be available. Having never connected to or heard how reflectors work, I thought I'd better start off very carefully, so I set out to choose one at random which didn't have 'too' many other repeaters connected to it. It amused me to find and connect to one (9210) which was located in North Carolina - around where Sis2 lives. lol Well - it worked. Had a brief chat with a K4JDR. :o) . . poked at other reflectors (had one other 'chat') and messed around on the radio (mostly just connecting and listening, getting a feel for what may be going on) until around 3am!!!! I DID end up mailing the local repeater keeper with my concerns, that there now appeared to be some sort of interference on the local repeater as a result of whatever changes had been made. Made me feel all guilty in fact. That my stirring things up and having got things changed, may be rocking the boat and opening a can of worms and causing problems for others! :o| . . my mind was all over the place, and that combined with not having eaten as much as I should, I ended up having BIG trouble sleeping!
6 - Up around 7:45am. 15C in, 14C out, grey, drizzle, windy gusting to 34mph. . . walked FGn in the unpleasant wind and drizzle. . . headachey. PCd this. Paused for ten minutes to hollar at the ISS again, as it silently passed over. I have been making doing so, something of a recent habit on their higher/'better signal' passes. All to no avail again of course. . .PCd more of this . . shouted at the ISS again just before 1pm, but the usual negative results of course. I DID however manage to pick up and decode some 'APRS' ('packet'?) signals coming down from the ISS on 145.825Mhz I think it was. (Callsigns : 'Destinations' listed as follows:- SP1TMN-6 : CQ. G6HMS : APRS. M1SDE-9 : U4QXRQ. RS0ISS : CQ. OE1PDB-11 : APRS.) I really need to try to read up and get a handle on what the hell that APRS business is all about. All TOTALLY incomprehensible to me at the moment! . . .PCd more of this . . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate a chicken kiev, peas and chips, followed by a little chocolate . . napped. Real trouble waking and didn't get up until gone 7pm despite the alarm . . . TVd . Drizzle. Skipped the walk. . ended up on the PC/radios all evening. Radiod locally for a few hours, and managed to get someone who does it, to give me a basic 'overview' of APRS. It pretty much just confirmed the picture I already had in my mind. . the AIS website suggested that the 'Odyssey Explorer' ship (as seen on the Quest channel TV shows) was out in Lyme Bay testing its submersible ROV. . . PCd until early. Actually knocked up an e-mail to the keeper of the local GB3TR repeater, asking a few questions about a couple of points, including asking about why the IRLP 'reflectors' were currently unavailable to us and if there were any plans to change that. . . TVd . .ate tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps, mini cheddars, banana and chocolate . . to bed around 3:30am!
5 - Up around 8:10am. 15C in, 12C out, grey, damp, windy. . My broadband is down! That's not good. Amazing how 'powerless' and kinda lost that makes me feel all of a sudden, not being able to check on the usual things I poke at (emails, weather, AIS, etc) when waking up with my first coffee and smokes of the day. :o( At some point the ISS orbitted over. I became aware of it by my scanner suddenly locking up on one of the somewhat lesser-known frequencies they use (143.625Mhz) for some sort of downlink communications. It appeared they pretty much had an 'open mike' for almost the whole duration of their pass, and there WERE occasional voices heard, but as usual with that frequency, they appeared to be speaking Russian, so of course I've no idea what was going on. . .tried and tried over and over again to get the PC online, but the connection simply wouldn't do it. Briefly confirmed by plugging in my seperate router attached to the TV, that it WAS an ISP problem and nothing to do with my PC etc. . . . walked FGn in the breezy dry but under threatening clouds - 'test-driving' my new army boots. They work. :o) Eventually returned, with another stone for the garden ('disguised' inside a carrier bag). Quite a large decent one that - and the cause of quite some pain by the time I'd carried it all the way back in my arm! . . PCd/monitored radios again. On the next ISS pass, that same frequency was STILL in use, with Russian voices heard again. . STILL no broadband connection!! That's at least a good couple of hours now. I know things break and s**t happens and all, but given how VITAL the PC/connection has now become to everyone, especially with all the big companies INSISTING everything be done on-line, it strikes me as a pretty damned poor show for it to be off for so long like that! Unbelievably frustrating, not being able to do anything about it. I couldn't even report the fault, because I don't have a phone number for the ISP written down anywhere, and of course I couldn't go on-line to try to look one up! Radiod locally a bit in frustration. Yayyy - my broadband connection finally reappeared late morning. . . somewhere around midday, the postman delivered the shoes I'd won on ebay on the 3rd. Nervously opened them up and was pleasantly suprised at their style and condition. I was NOT pleasantly suprised when I tried them on! Suprised yes, but very much not pleasantly! Oh for F***S SAKE!!!!!! They are a size nine and NOT a size ten as they'd been listed!? They are even clearly marked with a 9 on the underside of the tongue! WHAT a TOTAL dork that seller must be! Just MY luck all over again isn't it! 'People' f***ing me up and over YET again!! Who would have imagined it?! . so NOW what? They've cost me £7.99 in total. If I demand a full refund (including the original postage charged?) and send them back, I'll have to pay the £5.60 (what they ACTUALLY cost to be posted to me) return postage - which I believe according to e-bay rules, would NOT be refunded. Catch 22 isn't it? Quite frankly, mentally, I've already 'written-off' the money to save myself the hurt and anguish about it! :o( I'm still angry though. VERY! Out of principal, I opened a dispute case on e-bay, requesting a full refund and including the following message:- "I received the shoes this morning. Contrary to your listing which said they were a size 10, they are in fact a SIZE 9 and clearly marked as such. Your returns policy states the buyer must pay for return postage. This would leave me substantially out of pocket! Under the circumstances, this is unacceptable to me. I await your response. Sincerely T" :o( . . . cut my hair/beard etc . vacuumed all around the place. .PCd, surfing, aimlessly poking around at who knows what like I occasionaly do (although perhaps suprisingly, I actually don't do that very much at all. It's kinda like there's too much out there (MUCH of it 'unpleasant'!), little of which sufficiently interests me, and almost all of no 'relevance' given my pathetic little day to day minimalist hermit existance! :o() . . OH NO!!!!! No, no, no - please NO!!!!!!!!!!! I don't BELIEVE it!!!!!!!! I got infected by a virus! Locked me out and made the PC instantly completely unuseable! No safe-mode etc boot options - no way around it!!! FFS!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the F**K is the point of running anti-virus software and dilligently keeping it up to date, when it'll STILL allow THIS to happen?! DISASTER!!!!!!! And there was me just going-on about how VITAL the PC has now become to me! Boy - I'm in the S**T now!!!!!!! . . . and so went the whole rest of the day pretty much, battling with the PC in an attempt to 'salvage' something AT LEAST! . . to cut a VERY long story short - I didn't ultimately make a note of what the malware/virus was, but it WAS most definiately something to do with sun/java YET again! Dunno what I'm doing wrong with how I have things set up, to have java be SO open to allowing attacks through like that?! As pure luck would have it, it turned out that my second hard-drive in the machine, still had a bootable copy of Windows on it (presumably from some previous similar disaster I'd had?). Oh thank god - I was able to boot-up on the unaffected drive, get on-line and look stuff up, and after a LOT of time, aggro, hassle and re-boots etc (and a damn good measure of pure good luck), managed to run virus and malware scans across the main drive and clean affected stuff up. Finally - late evening (oh, the wasted hours!) , I succeeded in booting up in the normal way on my main drive and was then able to do a restore from an earlier date for added safety. So - ultimately, I got away with it, intact! . I HAD been intending to walk BGdns and watch all the fireworks going off all around the bay, but that sadly had to go by the board. It was actually drizzling a bit anyway, so just as well I suppose. As usual, plenty of fireworks were being sent up from just down the valley in front of the house, so I had my own little display - pretty much at eye level from my seat in the living room (which IS actually a bit worrying)! . . . eventually called it quits and walked away from the PC and TVd. I felt utterly exhausted - as though I really had been involved in a battle (which ultimately I HAD won.)! The whole business left me very much in a poor state of mind. Exhausted, paranoid, avoidant, angry, and bizarrely feeling a deep sense of loss, even though ultimately I hadn't lost anything at all apart from the time!?? God - the consuming HATE I feel towards the people who inflict those viruses on others just for kicks. And what the hell are the ISPs doing, having such stuff on their servers? Don't THEY have automated virus/malware scans running every day? . spent the whole rest of the evening feeling very not good! :o( . . . ate corned beef, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, mini cheddars, a banana and a little chocolate . . PCd some more, largely just confirming that all was still well with the machine. Distracted, I foolishly allowed Bella to go out of my sight to her bed in the adjoining bedroom. In no more than five minutes, she'd bitten and gnawed herself raw again! What the hell am I supposed to do to stop this? If I keep her close-by, she doesn't do it! :o( Eventually to bed around 3am!
4 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in, 9C out, sunny, dry and much calmer . . .all yesterday's sheltering ships appear to have left the bay already. . walked Bgdns - with a pair of secateurs in my pocket!! Played ball for a while, and then on the way up the path past the main gun batteries to the higher seats, put in a bit of time with the secateurs, reaching up for and cutting back all the overhanging brambles. I'm sick and tired of having to quite literally bend over double, to be able to get along that path without getting all torn up on those brambles and budlea branches, etc. Absolutely lethal in the dark! Outrageous 'couldn't-care-less' neglect on the part of the council workmen, who seem to do the absolute minimum they can get away with, around those gardens! . . . poked at radios. Did a couple of loads of laundry and got it out on the rotary clothes line, making the most of the dry spell. . somewhere around midday I got a phone call, which turned out to be from the ebay seller of the leather, seven eyelet, army-style boots I'd won. Turned out he WAS intending to deliver them as I'd suggested. . blimey - within ten minutes he WALKED up the street with a rucksack on his back, and was soon handing them, wrapped in a carrier bag, over to me. Funny old guy - he hardly said a word, and declined my offer of a coffee, and off he disappeared back down the road! . well - on the face of it, those boots are an absolute steal for what I got them for! In truly excellent cosmetic condition, all highly polished, and hardly any wear on the soles at all. Turns out they are 'proper' forces boots too - they have the 'crows foot' mark inside. I'll need to walk in them to be sure of course, but as far as I can tell at this point, I'm delighted. :o) . . .mowed and strimmed the lawns. Had a coffee break around 14:24hrs and listened-in as the ISS passed over again. It was due to be having a 'telebridge' contact with participants at the 'Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY' via a station in Italy. Pretty quiet audio and only S3 to S4 signals on this occasion, but still audible for most of the pass. . . returned to the garden. Trimmed a little of the overgrowing ivy under the pergola, etc. Swept up cuttings, leaves and fallen debris, and filled a few carrier bags for hiding in the wheelie bin. . .Brought the still damp laundry back in and hung it all on an airer in the corner of the kitchen (where it will stay for days). . lay down for a nap but couldn't sleep and soon got back up. . had a play with my 'shoe collection'. I have at least three pairs which anyone else would have probably put in the bin long ago, and yet, each of those pairs is still 'just' about useable for different things on different occasions (like just a bit of pottering in the garden, etc), and I just can't bring myself to chuck them out while there are still a few steps left in them!!! Clutter! Well I'll be damned. I actually found a pair of cheap, unworn, 'five minute' trainers at the back of the cupboard under the stairs that I didn't even know I had! lol Sat in front the TV and using the covered footstool as a bench, laboriously put some much needed polish on a couple of pairs. . . . walked BGdns (in the newly superglued and freshly polished shoes, eager to see how the latest repair attempt is going to hold up). A wonderfully clear night out across the bay. Despite occasional fireworks going off, mostly in the distance, the lack of wind and people about made it feel VERY quiet this evening. Almost 'magically' so. If only there hadn't been so much cloud cover, it really would have been the perfect night to be sat there. The radios were equally quiet, except that somewhere out of sight a (navy?) helicopter (out of Yeovilton?) was doing some live fire excercises off the coast with tracer. Their evocative callsign was 'Skewer ###' which somehow seems SO fitting, given what they were doing. It was SUCH a cracking evening, I ended up sitting around on the higher seat with my coffee and smokes for absolutely AGES - until long after I was pretty damned cold. Radiod locally briefly to 'break the spell', before soon heading home . . drank a glass of red wine . . TVd . . cooked and ate two quarter pound cheese/mayo/ketchup burgers with chips followed by a little chocolate . . to bed just after 1:30am.
3 - Up just before 7:30am. 15C in, <9C out, windy, sun and showers. . .briefly poked at e-bay. Ended up bidding for a cheap 'undesireable' pair of leather shoes again. I'd actually seen those same shoes in an auction the other day, and had been very tempted to bid on them, but had eventually decided not to. Obviously they hadn't sold and had been re-listed. I won them for £7.99 (including the £5.99 postage). . . walked Bgdns in layers, hat and gloves, all wrapped-up against the cold wind. Sat and played ball on the lower seat in sunny spells for ages (although THAT seat is always in the chilly shade), as squally showers and rainbows blew past west to east, mostly over Torquay out across the bay to the North. A trio of cargo ships were anchored in the bay, sheltering from the MSI forecast 'westerly gale force eight, severe gale force nine later'. Latvia flagged cargo ship 'Bonay', Netherlands flagged cargo ship 'Hydra', and Netherlands flagged cargo ship 'Emuna'. . Our luck eventually ran out and we had to take shelter in one of the gun emplacements, as a squall with high winds and heavy rain blew through, suddenly 'whitecapping' waves on the otherwise 'calm' waters. . eventually back home in the sun again. Drank my flask of coffee on the sunny seat at the top of the back garden. . . poked at my recently glued shoes again. The glue 'repair' hadn't really worked out, and the heel of one of the shoes was starting to seperate from the upper again - accompanied by a weird and embarassingly noticeable squelchy noise whenever I take a step! :o( Tried re-doing the repair with the G-clamp and some superglue this time! I think I'm on a (£) loser with this pair. :o( . . . played with radios for quite a while, just listening around. . .ended up very headachey. Napped but didn't really sleep much if at all, and eventually back up after 6:30pm with the same nasty headache . . skipped the walk as torrential rain and winds battered the house much of the evening. A special MSI broadcast was warning of storm force ten! . . TVd whilst monitoring the living-room scanner. I couldn't hear much of the comms, but a big coastguard search for a missing person was going on for a good few hours over Dartmouth way, involving the Dart lifeboat, Torbay lifeboat, Rescue 169 helicopter (from Chivenor?) and multiple coastguard response teams doing shoreline searches. The appalling radio reception down in the dart valley appeared to make things VERY difficult for everyone, never mind the difficult terrain and awful/worsening weather. Around 10:20pm a body was apparantly finally located and most of the 'assets' were soon-after stood down. :o( . . . TVd and watched the whole of the disaster film '2012' which was on TV for the first time. Incredible, truly breathtaking effects throughout, but boy oh boy oh boy, what an utterly appalling script/storyline/film! Such a waste to put all those effects into what was otherwise such a loud of utter 'computer game' type tripe! . . ate a couple of mini doughnuts, a banana, a six pieces of bread and butter pile of ham sandwiches, mini cheddars, biscuits and a little chocolate. . to bed around 1:30am.
2 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am. 16C in, 11C out, breezy, much threatening cloud and damp . .Hmmm? That's unsettling! One of my webspaces had received a massive amount (311 in total!!) of attempts to find various files, all at 3:43pm yesterday!?? (E.g. - /cms4jadmin/login.jsp ; /admin/login.asp ; /cgi-bin/login.cgi ; /master/login.aspx) All from a Chinese ISP (184.108.40.206), www.baidu.com. Is that just some sort of spider/crawlery thing, or more of a hack type attack I wonder? Unsettling! . walked BGdns. Played ball for a bit before heading for the cover of the higher roofed seats, as a bank of rain moved in. Sat and drank my coffee, as really torrential rain absolutely poured. It luckily eventually stopped and we got back home without getting drenched . . . listened to radios (on 28mhz) for a bit. Ended up listening for absolutely ages to a particular station, calling occasionaly, and eventually 'just' managed to get heard through the pile-up, and managed a brief signal exchange into Bahrain. :o) . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats, etc. . . ate a gala pie slice, small pork pie, crisps and a banana . . napped until almost 7pm . . . TVd . . walked BGdns. Jeeze, did it feel cold and unpleasant in the strong, frequently mizzley wind. Less fireworks visible around the bay than one may have expected. Sat on one of the top seats under the roof for my coffee and cigs before eventually back home by before 10pm . . . PCd/monitored largely silent radios. The outdoor thermometer poked through the PC-room window is saying only 7C!! Well no wonder it felt cold and unpleasant out in the 30mph gusts - and none too warm in the room either, with the thermometer showing only between 15 and 16C! . . . TVd . . ate a small bag of crisps and then cooked and ate two quarter pound cheeseburgers eventually followed by three small jam doughnuts . . to bed around 3am.
1 - Up just before 7am. 16C in, 11C out, grey and damp . . .walked FGn in full weather gear, but missed any rain. Found a penny . . showered and got into clean clothes before leaving Bella at home and heading to the dentist for my 10:40am appointment. Checked in at reception only to be told the dentist had this week off because it was half term, and my appointment had been cancelled! "Hadn't I received a phone call?" I didn't say it, but I bloody well wouldn't have been stood there if I had now, would I! I remained almost calm, clenched my false teeth, and accepted the receptionist re-scheduling my next two appointments - but boy was I angry! Imagine how angry I'd have been if I'd had to take time off work, like many people would have! LIVID! So - all that 'aiming for it' for days, the getting up early, etc, etc, etc, was all for nothing - and yet another week goes by in the neverending saga! . . returned home via the store for bread, milk and cigarette paper supplies. When I returned home, Bella was in a mess, all sore and bleeding from having gnawed on her increasingly hairless back in the brief time I was out! :o( I ended up shutting her out in the back garden for an hour or so, whilst I tried to regain control of my temper! . poked at the radios. Fruitlessly called the ISS on a pass, and then made a concerted effort to have a listen for Amsat SO-50 on the 436.8Mhz downlink, as it orbitted overhead somewhere after midday. Even less chance of EVER doing anything with THAT on my verticle colinear, although I DID at least briefly hear some hint of a human voice amongst the noise in the back of the radio at one point, so at least I know I was listening in the right place! lol I admit I DID dare to call on the 145.85Mhz uplink once or twice, but soon stopped. Given I couldn't hear anything (including me) on the downlink, I may well have been shouting all over the top of someones conversation for all I know!!! The sad reality IS, I just don't have the antennas for playing such 'satellitey' games. :o( . . . Heard snippets of a coastguard shout involving the rescue helicopter, going on over Exmouth way again. I don't know the details or outcome, but the helicopter reported that the casualty had fallen between 200 and 250feet ('tumbling' on something of a slope)!!! Amazingly transported alive by the helicopter to Dorchester A&E I believe . . . ate the remainder of the rice, peas, chicken soup concoction with a couple of crusts of bread and butter, followed by a square or two of chocolate . . napped until around 6:30pm. Woke feeling pretty lousy from 'cold-like' symptoms again! A simultaneously blocked and running nose/sinuses and bouts of uncontrollable sneezing!. . . DF called in with his guitar for coffee biscuits and chats until around 10:30pm . . . TVd . . ate just a couple of bananas and a handful of biscuits before to bed around 1:30am.