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30 - Up at 8:20am. 16C in, 10C out. Grey . . . walked BGdns. Ended up picking up and filling a discarded carrier bag of other peoples poop bags and general litter all along the way to the gardens! Cleared up a small carrier bag of litter from around the lower gun emplacement and then sat and played ball for a bit. Eventually carried on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater as sunny spells began to break through. . eventually returned to the inner harbour and sat for my coffee on a seat by the old coastguard station. The whole area was all covered in 'cardboard conffeti' - the fallout from last night's fireworks display. lol . . . TVd/PCd this as the sky cleared to blue and sunny. Yet another of my e-cigarette batteries has failed in respect of the thread, rendering it too, fit for the bin! :o( Shocking how they should be made in such a cheap and crappy way that they quickly become unuseable like that! . . . ate a ham and coleslaw finger roll, crisps, Kipling almond slices and biscuits . . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd . . . drank a glass+ of red wine while boiling-up the mince P had donated for Bella. Vacuumed a bit. Eventually gave Bella half of the mince with just a little added rice with some of her usual Wagg complete, on top of her uneaten breakfast complete. A VERY large meal. She woofed it ALL straight down, leaving not a lick. :o) That's eating better than I do! lol . . . TVd . . ate crisps, almond slices and later bowls of rice krispies . . . to bed just after 1am.
29 - Up at 9:45am!! Unusual for me to sleep on like that these days, no matter how late I went to bed. 14C in, 12C out. Grey. . walked BGdns. In the lower gun emplacement as I passed, what appeared from his attire to be a rough sleeper/homeless guy was sat sheltering and rolling a cigarette. Nothing particularly unusual about that, so we carried on to our usual seat and started playing ball for a bit. After a little while the guy exited the bunker pulling the hood of his jacket up as he did. The whole of the back of one side of his jacket was layered in mud as though he'd been sleeping on the wet ground somewhere. He was carrying a clear plastic carrier bag, containing amongst other unseen things, a small carton of milk. He kinda paused and 'aimlessly' faced this way and that for a bit, in the manner of someone who really had nowhere in particular to go for any reason. He eventually started to kinda aimlessly wander up towards a not far distant seat and suprisingly as he did so, he looked over and made some polite conmment about how the weather was better this morning or some such. I dutifully made appropriate meaningless polite comments about the weather, and how I was still feeling quite cold. He replied that he had quiet a warm coat. (Didn't look it to me - especially if that was all he had to be sleeping in!!) . soon after, again apparantly 'aimlessly' to me, he keinad wandered off along the tree line in the direction of Fishcombe Cove, supping from his small carton of milk. . . . eventually headed back home via the inner harbour and town . . . briefly checked in on Facebook stuff with my tablet and bumped into news reports about an extensive search going on for a missing (possibly 'vulnerable'?) guy. Been missing for a few days now. Even unusually picked up snips of comms from Dartmoor search teams on the scanner!!! I ended up getting all wound-up about the homeless guy I'd spoken with earlier, just in case the missing person everyone was looking for was him! I got SO wound up about it, I eventually ended up actually reporting what I'd seen via the non emergency 101 number!!! When making the call, because I was SO concerned about wasting their precious time and resources, I made it as clear as I possibly could that it was most likely a well-meant false alarm, but I felt rather safe than sorry just in case. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats. . A detective rang back a short while later and tried to clarify and get more details about the homeless guy I'd seen earlier. Sadly I really couldn't give any sort of a description, or be of any use at all, other than to be absolutely certain he was a smoker. I felt really guilty I was quite probably wasting their time and resources on a red herring, and let that be known in no uncertain terms. Nevertheless, the police guy was reassuring and thanked me for the information. . .Upon exiting the front gate once it was too late for me to argue or do anything about it, YET again Mum announced she'd secreted some money (£100 this time) in the drawer beneath one of my sofa chairs, to help with Bella's vet costs! Jeeze - so far Mum has pretty much funded the entire business for me!! :o\ . . . ate an enormous slab of gala pie, crisps and some chocolate . . . the homeless guy thing from earlier was still preying on my mind rather, and I ended up making a flask of coffee to take with me and headed back out to scour BGdns, just in case he had stayed somewhere in the area. There was no sign of him so we ended up heading up the coastal path by the holiday camps, and also walking all through the woods having a look for any signs of him or makeshift 'camp sites'. There were none. . on the way back through the upper part of the woods, I became aware of the sounds of 'chopping' from within a particularly dense area of bushes near the edge of the 'stoney field' area. Figured I HAD to have a peek, just to settle the matter in my mind. Would have been very inappropriate to try to quietly creep up on whoever it was, so I actually called out 'hellloo' as we both noisily approached whoever was TOTALLY hidden from the view of any passers by.
'Found' a homeless couple living in the bushes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
. on down to the harbour to sit around for ages atop the viewing platform above the toilets, watching all the crowds and waiting for the Lantern parade, Xmas lights switch on and fireworks. . . the Lanterns parade headed off around through town . . a countdown and the harbour Xmas lights were switched on . . the fireworks began. Wow - we were pretty much as close as we reasonably could be. With hindsight it WAS asking a bit much of Bella to cope with it! Nevertheless, despite showing some obvious discomfort at times, and needing to have a constant flow of reassurance and praise and stroking and occasional cuddles, she really did handle it all remarkably well. WHAT a loyal companion. Increasingly SUCH a super dog at times. Heartbreaker!
Everyone else and his uncle would have been filming the fireworks (and no doubt uploading the footage to Youtube) so I didn't even bother to think about doing so.
Oh wow - I didn't think display's were done like that anymore!? I assumed they were ALL now remote computer controlled with electronic ignition, etc? Not so this one. A short distance across the harbour, two guys in helmets and presumably fire retardant protective clothes, were squatted down and scrabbling around on the floor, actually lighting the big cannisters of exploding fireworks with handheld flares! Amazing - and surely really dangerous?! Couldn't resist pulling my camcorder out and zooming in very briefly for a closer look. Extraordinary. . .
pretty much as soon as the fireworks were done, the crowds started to disperse, so Bella and I headed home via FGn and just a couple of ball throws on the way . . . PCd and after MUCH work on the audio (Prodigy - 'Firestarter' samples), eventually uploaded a real short clip of the guys lighting the fireworks from earlier. A little 'nothing' of a video really (I only happened to record around two minutes of footage in total to start with!) , but I really like the apparantly casual shortness and pace of it kinda. :o) Finally uploaded it to Youtube, etc . . . drank four shots of Baileys and TVd - and ended up watching my own little bit of firework-lighting video SEVERAL times on the connected TV. As I suspected would happen, someone else had even ALREADY uploaded a long ten minutes or so video of bits of the parade and most of the fireworks display (yawn! lol As I've long since learned from videoing plenty of firework displays myself, they're ok if your there to 'feel' them, they can be VERY tedious to watch in a video!) - so I even actually sat and watched THAT all the way through (being critical of someone elses videoing work. lol) . lolol . . ate a ham finger roll, coleslaw, crisps, mini chocolate logs and some chocolate . . .to bed around 2am.
28 - Finally up around 8am after almost no sleep at all! :o( 14C in, 11C out. Grey and windy. . HMS Ocean anchored in the middle of the bay apparantly, according to the AIS website. Frustrating to hear on the scanner that before I'd even left to go walking, she'd lifted anchor and was on her way out. . . walked BGdns. No sight whatsoever of HMS Ocean. She was long gone already, and comms on the scanner confirmed she was way out in Lyme Bay doing live gunnery firings again. Such a shame I was so late walking. The stiff easterly breeze was making the waters of the bay quite boisterous, and it 'may' have been quite a sight to see her head out East into it. . pretty much high tide and wind blown waves were licking over the top of the breakwater. Ended up walking down around the inner harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to enjoy the views. It actually wasn't 'that' rough at all, and I've seen PLENTY worse, but its always a bit exhilerating to see such weather. Couldn't resist pulling the camcorder out and filming the breakwater for a bit. It IS an amazing structure really when you think about it - that it can withstand such a pummeling all the time. Even on a not 'that' rough Easterly wind day like today, if it weren't for the breakwater, all the businesses around the inner harbour, and probably some of those up through the high street in town, would most likely be long since history, flooded and or destroyed. Overheard someone on the scanner informing the harbourmaster they were leaving a pontoon and intending to head out to sea (heading for somewhere in Cornwall I think they said). That seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, so I ended up hanging around in a small park area not far from my usual above-the-end-of-the-breakwater seat, waiting to be able to film whatever vessel was going to be braving the conditions. It turned out to be MTS Vector. A weird almost tug like working vessel, with a small crane on the front and not much in the way of structure above the waterline kinda. All in a day's work to those guys I guess, but 'I' wouldn't have wanted to head out in THAT weather - no way! I started filming before it rounded the end of the breakwater and encountered the rough seas. That turned out to be just a bit of 'practice' for me. Some comms on the scanner between it and the pilot boat suggested that some car keys had been forgotten about (either left behind or taken on board) and it promptly did a U turn and returned to the shelter of the outer harbour to briefly rendezvous with the pilot boat and pass the keys over before then heading back out. . I filmed and followed it as best I could as it headed across the bay and on out towards Berry head. I would very definitely have NOT been happy on board in such conditions, but as these things go, it sadly/suprisingly turned out to be not 'that' bad or much of a spectacle at all. . .eventually headed home through town. . . PCd and messed with the video I'd shot earlier and uploaded it to Youtube. A pretty pointless lackluster video perhaps, but I did it nonetheless, because I WAS 'exhilerated' by having been out in the breeze to see it all. I WAS for once impressed with how lucky I am to be able to be here to witness such things. It struck me as something of a shame that so many holidaymakers only come down here in the summer and just get to see the 'inert' breakwater set in calm blue seas almost a slumber in the comfortable warm sun. Such a shame that MORE people don't have the chance to see it and maybe walk it on a day like today. It really is a whole 'nother world. In such a 'strange' and 'up' (for me!) frame of mind, I ended up anonymously posting a link to the video on the local 'Spotted Brixham' facebook page. "A few snips of this mornings exhilarating weather down by the Breakwater, for anyone who may be interested - just for the pure joy of being lucky enough to live here and experience it." together with "And grockles home and warm Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That stood this day upon the Breakwater.(Henry V Act 4, Scene 3 - ish!)" The Shakepearey bit was supposed to kinda say I'm sorry you people from elsewhere can't be here for this - but from subsequent comments I'm not sure many people took it that way, and I think I probably offended more than otherwise! Typical of Facebook/internet stuff. Gotta be SO careful about always being misunderstood. :o( . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two chicken kievs, mixed veg and chips - while watching the end of 'Its A Wonderful Life', which was on TV YET again. Seems a bit early to be putting on so many Xmas shows already - nevertheless, that film really is an ABSOLUTE masterpiece in my opinion. Amongst other things, it struck me as interesting on this occasion, to kinda analyze how they chose to represent what would have become of the 'nice' Bedford Falls town, if the George Bailey (James Stewart) character had never existed. 'Pottersville' as the 'nasty' town was called, was all full of drinking, gambling, dancing establishments, and 'unpleasant' people, etc, etc, etc. Fascinating social commentary in its own right kinda. Funny thing is - so it seems to me - modern day society has MUCH more in common with that portrayal of the 'nasty' town than it does the 'nice'!! Anyway - a superb film. An ABSOLUTE timeless masterpiece. . DF called in for chats and coffees . . ate a handful of biscuits . . . TVd/PCd . . to bed around 2:30am.
27 - Up around 7:30am! 13C in, 4C out. Clear sky, a hint of mist and sunny once the sun came up . . . headachey. Annadin tablet for breakfast again . . an unusualy high number of hits on my ferry crosssing video from the other day!?. Turns out the local newspaper has picked up on some of the (negative) comments people made on Spotted Brixham where I posted it, and has included a link to my video in a report on the comments on their website! More 'news' by just trawling social media!! Makes me feel uncomfortable 'kinda' having been the cause of such a report, and being partially quoted out of context amongst other peoples 'waring' comments, etc. :o( . . . walked BGdns after the sky had turned miserable grey. Played ball and then sat around for ages on the higher seat, just wasting away the time, aiming exclusively for the vet appointment later. Whilst we were sat there, a broken-down trawler (BM208 Jacomina) was towed back in towards Brixham by another (BM225 - Korenbloom). A failed gearbox apparantly. I find it kinda 'humbling' how those guys look out for their own and take care of each other like that - despite the massive £s costs/losses involved when they do. The minute the Korenbloom had released the tow just off the end of the breakwater, she quickly U turned and headed straight back out to sea/work apace, presumably eager to make up for lost time/catch opportunities. Pilot boat Celia T came out and took Jacomina back into and alongside the working harbour. I of course have absolutely no knowledge or understanding about such things, but one assumes that having a gearbox break in such a vessel is an absolute disaster financially, ESPECIALLY for the poorly paid 'hand to mouth' (laid off?) crew right before Christmas! SUCH a hard life those guys must lead! :o(. . . sat around in front the TV just waiting for time to leave for the 2pm vet appointment. Awful headachey and feeling very unwell. Another annadin tablet . . . eventually set off walking across town to the vets (with a rucksack on my back). Felt headachey, awful and like I was fit to collapse along the way!?! Can it really be that simply the tiny bit of 'stress' involved in doing nothing more than making a routine vet appointment has made me SO uptight? 'Consciously' it's no big deal to me - and yet, I really was in a pretty bad way for some reason!??? Have I gotten SO bad at dealing with the simplest of things requiring a bit of social interaction? Shocking! :o( . . . weighed Bella as soon as we entered the waiting room. Around 27.8kg. She's still a bag of bones and that is well below what she has been and I'd like, but it is at least pretty much what she was the last time I weighed her, so no 'further' deterioration, despite her recent on/off appetite. . . eventually in to see the vet and for me to report that things appeared to be going along pretty ok with her at the moment with nothing much to report. He had a LONG listen to her heart and confirmed although it was still very 'irregular', it was still improved on when we first presented, so as far as he was concerned it was a case of just keep taking the tablets. 'Status quo'. I asked if it would be safe to try reducing one of the tablets she's taking, for MY benefit. (The Frusemide - currently one, three times a day - for reducing the fluid build up in her lungs!) Because of the doses of all the different types of medication she's on, and the way they have to be given throughout the day, I've been having to give Bella her medication in differing amounts a total of FOUR times a day!! A REAL awkward bind. He agreed that it would be ok to reduce that one, and if there were any subsequent negative consequences, we could go back up. Yayy. That's gonna make things a LOT easier for me. That'll enable me to just do two lots of tablets, morning and evening. Far more manageable and easier for me to not forget any. .so - status quo - keep taking the tablets - return to have the next vet consultation in three months (unless I have reason to make that sooner). . waited in the waiting room for a while whilst the next month supply of tablets was all counted out and made ready (ish. A few short on one or other of them.) . settled my account and paid right up to date - two consultations and slightly less than a month supply of tablets - £139.36! :o( . . eventually back out still feeling headachey and awful awful awful!!! If it'd been possible, I really would have just layed down outside for a while, I felt THAT bad!??? . . . detoured as I'd intended and briefly called in to see P across town for a coffee and chat on the return. He'd said a while ago he had some surplus meat in his freezer for Bella. Turned out to be a carton of frozen pork mince (probably stll fit for me to eat, never mind her!). Didn't hang around for too long and was soon heading home - ALSO with an old 'Realistic Pro-2006' scanner which P had asked me to have a prod at and maybe load up some of the memory banks with desireable frequencies for him, no hurry. . . popped in the local store specifically for coleslaw supplies on the return home . . . immediately felt SO much better, simply being back at home! :o\ Ate corned beef and coleslaw sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . .had a MUCH needed nap until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd/PCd . . . messed around with the scanner P had asked me to have a look at. Downloaded the manual, and then after a bit of reading did a reset and then manualy laboriously built up a few banks of memories. My 'short' sets of marine frequencies, 2m amateur, local aircraft, PMR, etc, etc. Should be sufficient for him to start using it. Other than the LCD display backlight not working, it seems to work really rather well. I think he said he only gave £30 for it. I'd have been more than happy with that! . . . ate banana, biscuits, crisps and some mini chocolate logs . . touched base with BB . . to bed around 3am. Difficulty sleeping with the strong wind making the bedroom window howl all night! :o(
26 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8:30am! 14C in, 7C out. Grey. . .headachey. Walked BGdns. Eventually carried on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to sit for a while before then returning to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee before heading home. . . TVd . . . PCd a bit . . . ate corned beef and ketchup sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate . . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . .TVd the night off again . . drank a couple of shots of Baileys and a glass of red wine . . . ate a meat pastry slice, crisps, banana and several mini chocolate logs before to bed around 1am.
25 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8:20am. 14C in, 7C out. Rain. . . walked BGdns in a light rain a bit late. A bit of an easterlyish wind churning up the waters of the bay a bit, and making sitting on the lower seat rather chilly and unpleasant. Tug MTS Vengeance and the two barges suprisingly appear to have left their mooring and headed off out of Lyme Bay out of sight. . Played ball for a short while before taking shelter from the wind and rain in the nearby WWII searchlight gun emplacement. . Huh - surely not!? I'd totally assumed that the wind and swell on the waters of the bay would have been enough for the new ferry service to have been suspended, but it soon became apparant that was suprisingly NOT the case. The small dot in the distance having just left Torquay was indeed the 'Pride Of Exmouth' battling across the bay against the wind and underlying swell!!! Had a bit of a poke at it with the camcorder. Turned out it wasn't really worth filming because there was no obvious 'spectacle' about the footage, although it DID look like quite a ride for any passengers onboard. High zoom when it entered the outer harbour suggested there was quite possibly only ONE passenger on board! Oooohhh - dare I? Ummd and ahhd for a bit before eventually heading all the way down into the inner harbour, intending to 'maybe' take advantage of the 'free until Wednesday' and do the 11am crossing to Torquay! Waited around in the light rain for a while before eventually the crew reappeared from wherever they'd all disappeared to and we all boarded. A total of no more than a mere half a dozen (brave/crazy) passengers! Climbed up onto the mostly open upper deck and found a small covered area behind glass right at the front next to the bridge. . tied Bella to one of the suprisingly loose benched seats behind me, and stood in that corner intending to do a bit of filming if possible. . as soon as we exited the outer harbour past the protection of the end of the breakwater, things started to get 'boisterous'. It wasn't easy to have one hand holding the camera and keep filming, but somehow I managed it by spreading my feet quite wide, jamming my body against some of the superstructure and holding onto another peiece of metal across the 'ceiling' with my left hand. I suppose to be honest it really wasn't particularly 'rough' at all - but as a commited risk adverse landlubber, it 'worried' me enough! At times Bella didn't seem to be very happy either, but generally speaking she tolerated it all amazingly well, and mostly just lay there, even when at some point one of the metal bench seats fell over right next to her!!! (She ended up tied back to my belt at that point). Good god - how on earth can a passenger ferry put to sea without the seats being actually fixed to the deck!!??? That was a REAL shock. Surely the Health And Safety people would have an absolute field day with that wouldn't they? That's BAD!!!!! . around half way across the bay, staff confirmed that because of the conditions, they WOULD be suspending the service after the next return to Brixham. Oh well - that saves me aimlessly wandering around Torquay then - we'll just stay on board and head straight back! lolol . . at the quick turnaround in Torquay, I did actually take Bella down to the lower INSIDE deck of the boat looking for somewhere else to sit/film for the return. Wow - they had heating on in there. Much more comfortable temperature. What they didn't have were proper seats!!?? I didn't hang around in there for long, but as far as I recall, the outer walls of the large cabin were simply lined with metal-frame and plastic seat and back stackable chairs (of the type we used to have in school!!), and all of them just loosely placed there - not screwed down at all!!! Even MORE shocking they could get away with THAT!! I headed back up to the upper outside deck to make the crossing back, in exactly the same little 'nook' next to the wheelhouse. . apart from one or two 'moments', the return crossing was actually not as bad, thanks to the skipper detouring way out in an easterly arc before then expertly reading the waves and ultimately running in behind the shelter of the breakwater. The image I've included here is facing the stern and is an attempt to show the angles of roll. Like I say, as these things go, hardly much I suppose, but quite a bit for such a top-heavy looking little passenger ferry I think. . I was very happy to be back in port and have it over and done with. Dunno why I forced myself to do it! . . headed straight home through town in the drizzle, and was home before 1pm . . . warmed up a little and recovered from the 'morning walk' in front the TV for a while . . . PCd the bits of video I'd shot earlier for hours. Sadly, the camera/footage I'd ended up with made the trip look like nothing much at all. Didn't in any way convey anything of the ups and downs of my stomach or the frantic hanging onto the ferry's superstructure I'd had to endure!? Oh well. Eventually managed to put a couple of snips of the footage together to give just a 'taste' of the experience, and eventually uploaded it to Youtube (and posted a pointer to it on the local 'Spotted' facebook page in case anyone may be interested/amused). . . PCd this at length for ages whilst TVing alongside . . . skipped the walk as heavy rain fell. . TVd . . . drank a glass and a bit of red wine . . cooked and ate two garlic butter chicken kievs with chips and mixed veg doused with melted butter followed by a bit of chocolate . . . to bed around 1am.
24 - Up around 7:45am. 14C in, <1C out. Sun and frost. . . walked BGdns in the cold sun under mostly blue skies. Played ball on the lower seat for quite a while. At some point I saw the new cross bay ferry heading back to Brixham from Torquay. . ummd and ahhd for a bit before deciding to try to take advantage of the advertised free trial day. Quickly walked straight down to the inner harbour - actually kinda racing the ferry as it headed in past the end of the breakwater. . . by the time we'd reached the harbour, the ferry was pretty much just berthing at around 10am. A camera crew (local BBC Spotlight News I think - because a report was on the news later) appeared to be pretty much the only passengers. I'd assumed they'd be turning straight round and heading back to Torquay, but that turned out to be NOT the case!?? All the crew left the ferry and started heading off somewhere around the harbour (for a breakfast perhaps?). I enquired what was going on and was given a card of sailing times by one of the staff. Turned out the ferry doesn't do a 10am (or a 2pm or 3pm) crossing, despite being otherwise hourly from 7am until 6pm! How irritating. I dabbled with the idea of hanging around for an hour, but eventually just couldn't face doing so. Hell - I didn't actually want to go to Torquay anyway! . . eventually just sat and drank my coffee by the Golden Hind before heading home . . . did dish washing chores . . aimlessly TV/PCd the rest of the day away until after dark and quickly plummeting temperatures . . messed around with my trusty little LED torch I always carry at night. I've been starting to realise it isn't giving the light it used to, and at times in the pitch black of Bgdns at night, has proven to be damned near useless! Changing the batteries turned out to suprisingly have absolutely no effect!? Ended up digging out one of the other two I have (so far unused) and was amazed at how much more light it gave out with the same set of batteries. So - it would appear, of the pack of three cheap but very nice little metal bodied torches I bought (how many years ago was it now?), I have finally actually gotten through the first one. All the bulbs still light, the body and the switch are all ok, but for some reason it just doesn't actually emit much light any more, so it's presumably something to do with the little internal non-removeable circuit-board. SUCH a shame. SUCH a cool torch. SO hard to just throw it away, despite having two more as yet unused. Sad man I am, I may well end up with 'spares' cluttering up the place! lol . . . walked Bgdns in the chill under the stars - with the 'new' torch. Wow - I hadn't realised just exactly how bad that old torch had got. Absolutely amazing to suddenly be able to see in the dark again. lolol . . paused for ages in the pitch dark looking down at the boisterous waves in Fishcombe cove. The easterlyish winds had driven a lot of flotsum and debris up towards the beach, all being churned up by the waves. What was VERY weird was there 'appeared' to be some sort of flashing of lights in those waves!!!??? It's remotely possible that light from distant street lights or the stars was being reflected by some of the debris and or waves, but I stayed there for ages watching and trying to work it out, and the more I watched, the more it really did look as though 'something' (alive?) was emitting little flashes of light IN and below the surface of the water! Never seen anything like it before. Very weird. . played ball and then sat on the higher seat mostly looking at the star (and aircraft) filled sky while drinking my coffee . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine . . ate two corned beef baps with the last of the coleslaw, two bags of crisps, two bananas and a little chocolate . . . to bed after 11:30pm.
23 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8:30am. 15C in, 9C out. Grey after the heavy rain. . . walked the woods (VERY wet and muddy) and then back into BGdns for a bit of a sit. .UK registered Tug MTS Vengeance was STILL sat around ten miles out in Lyme Bay, with what appear to be TWO barges in tow. How's that possible I wonder? That trio has been sat out there now for at least a week. I presume they are waiting for better weather before continuing wherever it is they are going? According to the marinetraffic AIS website data, the tug is anchored (which it doesn't appear to be when looking out at it using the breakwater as a 'datum') and its next destination is Las Palmas. What's also intriguing is that on the AIS map, there is a second 'ghost' entry allegedly for a tug called 'MTS Venge' in close proximity - which isn't there in reality. The barges presumably have no AIS and aren't showing at all. All rather 'unusual'. . eventually ended up aimlessly heading down towards the inner harbour. As I walked along the coastal path from BGdns towards the harbour around 11am, the 'new' ferry service was just leaving and heading out across the bay towards Torquay. Starting trials of the new 'Brixham Express' service today apparantly. It's being billed as 'the first time a year-round service will run across the Bay'. Apparantly a new £1.5million custom-built catamaran is ultimately gonna be running the service, but it isn't ready yet so they've chartered the 'Pride Of Exmouth' to do it in the interim (all of which seems a bit ludicrous. Why start the service now when you don't even have a boat yet?). I dunno - the whole thing seems a bit ludicrous and has the smell of corruption about it to me somehow. If the concept was financialy viable, someone (most obviously the existing summer ferry operators) would surely already be doing it? Every time there is bad weather, it won't be able to run. Who can put up with that when commuting to work? Time will tell - but I just don't see it lasting long term. It'll be interesting to see what sort of a new boat they are having built, and whether or not it'll be as much of a spectacle crossing the bay as was the 'Red Jet' they trialed a few years ago. .carried-on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. All the time I was sat there, the police helicopter 'NPAS 44' was hovering real low in the far distance over the coast across the bay behind Torquay. Looked as though it was doing a shoreline search (but unusualy the coastguard wasn't involved - nothing on the scanner) . . .eventually headed back into the inner harbour after midday just as the (almost empty) 'Pride Of Exmouth' ferry was returning from Torquay. Felt obliged to grab a couple of photos as it drew in alongside the near deserted (new-ish) ferrys pontoon. (Actually - if I'd known it was a 'free trial' as the local newspaper article suggests, I WOULD have done a back and forth trip on it!) . .sat under the old fish market roof for my coffee. Just after finishing my coffee the police helicopter appeared hovering in the sky in the vicinity of the seat above the end of the breakwater! It hung around there for a few minutes before eventually disappearing away along the coast in the direction of BGdns. Weird how it must have suddenly detoured straight over to THIS side of the bay? That saw me end up quickly walking all the way back up into BGdns in case there was anything to be seen. . by the time we reached the upper seat in BGdns, the helicopter was way back over on the other side of the bay beyond Torquay again, and soon disappearing down out of sight. . whilst still sat on the seat recovering from the walk up, a page was transmitted (finally!) from Solent coastguard at around 12:50pm. "Torbay CRT team page. Missing person." All the troops were soon en route to wherever it was they were going to be starting their searches. Poor guys - gotta feel sorry for them - YET again, pretty much by the time they'd all just arrived at their rendezvous, and with the Teignmouth team also just then all getting paged, as I was heading home around 1:30pm, the shout went out that the police had found the person safe and well, and everyone was stood down! (The local newspaper later reported that a 75 year old man had gone missing from Torquay, but was found safe and well in Brixham - so I guess that explains why the helicopter 'suddenly' appeared over town? Hmmmm - IF the helicopter appearing hovering over Brixham was indicative of when the guy was actually found, it DOES beg the question why there was such a delay in informing the relevant parties and why the coastguard didn't get to know until after they'd pointlessly paged and mobilised all their troops!! ) . . . drank a little cider and TVd for a bit. I HAD intended to do my usual get a little tipsy and cook and eat something, but somehow I ended up leaving half the drink for later and PCing this instead for hours. . . wow - temperatures have suddenly fallen low this evening. Clear skies and down around only 6C outside by 7pm. . . walked BGdns in gloves hat and layers and after some ball play, on down to the inner harbour. Sat on the viewing deck above the toilets for my coffee. Back through town after buying a tub of coleslaw in one of the late opening stores . . . TVd . . drank the last of the bottle of cider . . . cooked and ate two quarter pound burgers with grated cheese in buttered baps with chips and coleslaw eventually followed by a little chocolate . . . returned BBs ansaphone call from earlier and touched base . . .TVd until to bed around 1:30am.
22 - Up around 8:15am after only a couple of hours sleep. 15C in, 13C out. After the rain. . . walked BGdns, the harbour to sit for my coffee and then back via town . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . . ate a slice of gala pie, crisps, banana and some biscuits . . napped . . drank a bit of cider and TVd the whole night away again, as heavy rain poured outside. .Watched the second episode of a two part Channel 4 show called 'It Was Alright In The 70s'. Lots of clips of old shows (all my childhood viewing - now banned?!) showing how VERY much times and attitudes have changed and how sexist and racist and politicaly incorrect etc etc everything from back then now appears. I AM a product of that age! It isn't easy to suddenly rewire/erase all that old mental programming! It's VERY easy for me to think/say the 'wrong thing' these days as a result. Having said that, I really do think that far too many people these days are somehow allegedly 'offended' by far too much of little 'real' consequence - and somehow now have the power to instantly destroy peoples jobs and lives as a result. . . ate haslet finger rolls, crisps and some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am. Bella ate ALL her own food today, PLUS the thick slab of gala pie treat from mum.
21 - Up around 8am. 15C in, 10C out. Raining. Headachey . . walked BGdns . . . pottered around sorting and tidying a few things . . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two quarter pound burgers in buttered baps with chips and coleslaw . . . napped until around 6:45pm . . headachey again/still! :o( Another annadin tablet. . .DF called in with biscuits for chats until around 10:40pm. Drank a small glass of cider . . heavy rain . . TVd/PCd until to bed around 4am or even later! Bella ate fairly normally today.
20 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in, 11C out. Grey . . .walked BGdns, played ball, sat around with coffee then eventually back via the store for a few supplies . . .put all Bella's food left from last night out in the garden for the seagulls and crows to quickly clear again. . . TVd . . PCd a bit of this . . .gave Bella a wash in the bath . . . did laundry . . .TVd and just sat around feeling very miserable . . . drank cider. . ate two chicken kievs with chips followed by most of a whole bar of chocolate . . . DM unexpectedly called in for brief chats and a coffee around 10pm! . . . to bed after midnight. Bella left most of her food again. :o(
19 - Up around 7:30am. 14C in, 10C out. Grey . . .STILL all headachey! :o( . . walked the woods, BGdns, down to the harbour to sit and drink my coffee and then back via town and a tour of a few charity shops. A few drops of rain on the way back, exactly as forecast almost to the minute. . . annadin tablet. TVd the news channel on the new TV while PCing a bit of this - at length. . . ate cheese coleslaw and corned beef sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . . napped for a couple of hours until just after 5pm as some heavier rain fell . . .PCd a bit more of this . . walked BGdns. Both lifeboats were out on excercise in the bay. Played ball and then drank my coffee on one of the higher seats under the roof while listening-in to the local radio club net for quite a while. Partying youths in one of the gun emplacements down below were playing with a green laser, shining it about the place. Amazing range the thing had, easily lighting up the little lighthouse on the end of the breakwater and even some of the clouds in the sky above, etc. . -//- . . eventually carried on down around the quiet harbour and ultimately back home through town. Something going on down there somewhere. A couple of empty police cars parked up around the place? . . . TVd . . drank a small wine-glass of cider . . . ate a meat feast deep pan pizza with extra grated cheese followed by a square of chocolate . . . to bed around 2am. Bella left most of her evening meal again this evening (but did at least eat half a rawhide chewy thing and much of the crust from my pizza). :o(
18 - Up around 7:10am. 15C in, 9C out. Dark grey . . .walked the woods and Bgdns. Found fleas on Bella again/still/ as always!??? . . . dared to give scratching Bella a flea tablet again for the zero long-term good it does! :o( . . .ummd and ahhd for AGES again, trying to make a decision about (ludicrously?) spending yet more money (Birthday gift money from Mum) on ANOTHER small screen TV - to replace the old eyesore tiny CRT and Freeview box one I have stacked-up on the end of the worktop in the kitchen! Given all in all, it's a crazy 'waste' of money, but I'm just SO eager to get rid of all the old outdated bulky junk I have littering the place. Although the footprint is large, the screen size on that old TV in the kitchen is also SO small, it really is borderline unwatchable with my tired old eyes now. Nevertheless, I do NOT want to do without one there. Whenever I cook or do washing up chores, it's on to keep me company (often on the 24 News channel). Without it, if I get part way through watching an engaging TV show but need to go cook food, I WILL often simply go without the food to see the end of the show! It IS a terrible unecessary 'luxury' - but very desireable to me. I could probably do with a slightly smaller one there than the one I just bought for the PC room, but it seemed to make sense to me to just get one the same so that if one breaks I could maybe just switch them over? . . . . eventually mustered the nerve and energy to drive with Bella and my two old portable CRT TVs to the tip. WHAT an appaling waste! . . drove back the short distance to shop for supplies in Sainsburys . . .carried on across to Torquay. Bought a couple of lided/stackable 14ltr plastic storage containers for hopefully tidying up some of my junk, for £5.98 the pair in Dunelm. .drove the short distance to Currys/PC world and with little ado bought another 22" Logik TV , exactly the same as the other for £119.99. . headed home . . . bought a large rectangular Addis washing-up bowl in the local store on the return for £3.99 - to replace the slightly broken (dark green!) one I inherited with the house. Even that turned into an absurdly lengthy period of indecision - over which (of the limited options) colour to buy! Idealy I'd have had brown to match the sink, but they didn't have any brown. The choice of which colour seemed important all of a sudden, because of how long the thing is likely to last. Throughout my entire adult life, I don't recall having had to buy a replacement washing-up bowl more than perhaps only two or three times. I'd likely be having to live with whatever colour I chose, for MANY years - possibly even all of them! Ended up with a 'Roasted Red' one - to kinda match the kitchen-diner carpet tiles and other reddish bits and pieces all around the place. I don't suppose it really matters. Like everything else these days, even though it's made by the same company to the same design, the quality and robustness of the material of the new one isn't as good as the split old one (which went straight in the wheelie bin when I got home later), so I'll probably be having to buy a replacement again some time. . briefly shopped for a few supplies in the nearby store (using my new bowl as shopping-basket lol). Ended up investing in a 2litre bottle of Three Hammers extra strong white cider for £3.59. Since I'm effortlessly drifting towards being an overweight smoker alcoholic (!) and having a drink most every day (!!!), I figured I needed to start experimenting with just exactly which is the cheapest way to achieve the desired 'tipsy' result. I've never been into drink, and don't actually like the taste of ANY of it very much - so actually what I'm drinking doesn't matter to me too much, as long as I can 'tolerate' the taste. I'm far more interested in what % volume of alcohol it contains, and how cheaply I can achieve the desired 'mood altering' (lessen the intolerable 'pain' of reality) effect. The 2.25 litre boxes of Sainsburys House Shiraz wine I've been getting through a lot of, of late, have an alcohol content of 13.5% and currently cost £12.50. The 2 litre bottle of cider has an alcohol content of 7.5% for £3.59. Errr - um - duhhhh - having trouble with the simple maths here! Gotten very rusty cause - well - I just don't think about such things these days do I! Haven't really done so for years!! Broadly speaking, if I've got it right, I figure I'd have to drink 1.8 glasses of cider to get an equivalent volume alcohol hit to one of red wine (which is usualy all I want to be drinking at any one time). I 'think' that works out at £7.27 of cider = £12.50 of red wine for the same volume of alcohol content. I 'think' that's right!?? That IS quite a saving isn't it! Definitely worth trying out. . . . fixed up the TV in the kitchen . . 'experimented' with the cider and eventually drank the best part of two small wine glasses full - which I calculated should be broadly equivalent in alcohol content to having my usual one glass of red wine. It seemed to work - albeit a bit slower of course. It was something of a suprising relief to find the taste of the actual cider was quite weak and tolerable to me. In the past I've been unable to drink the stuff at all because I so hated the taste of it. Anyway - it seemed to get me suitably 'altered'/tipsy, and is definitely cheaper than the red wine. (In fact, with hindsight, I could have probably got away with drinking slightly less of it, making things even cheaper!) . . . Ate haslet and cheese-coleslaw finger rolls with crisps . . . napped late for less than a couple of hours until the alarm at 7pm. Trouble waking, still feeling under the effects of the drink - and very not so good! :o( . . . TVd the whole evening away, hardly moving, with an increasing headache. . both lifeboats and all the CRTs were called out at one point, to do a 'high risk missing person' search all along the coast on the opposite side of the bay. Just as they'd all turned out and reached their search areas, the person was apparantly located in Torquay hospital A&E and they were all stood down! . . Annadin tablet . . ate a handful of biscuits before to bed around 1:30am. Bella left much of her evening meal this evening. :o(
17 - Up around 7:15am. 15C in, 9C out. Grey . . . walked BGdns. Breezy drizzley and generally pretty unpleasant sitting around playing ball. Didn't hang around and was home again rather earlier than of recent times . . . PCd for a bit and ummd and ahhd for ages yet again before eventually mustering up the 'nerve' to get in the car with Bella and head over to the Currys store in Torquay. . left Bella in the car in the car-park and had a quick look in the store at the small screen TV display before finally getting one of the hoards of 'too busy to serve anyone' staff to sell me a Logik L22FED13 22" LED TV with built-in DVD player for £119.99 . . . drove straight home. Oh FFS! On arriving home and getting the car parked back under the car-port, it transpired that something had broken on the rear passenger door-handle mechanism inside the door, and I can't now open the bloody door (which made getting Bella out a bit more of a hassle than usual)! How the hell I'm gonna be able to attempt to get to the bottom of that I have no idea, given I can't actually open the door to start trying to remove the inner door trim to work on it!!?? . . messed around in the PC room, unpacking the new TV, fixing the base on and shifting my small second PC monitor out of the way to eventually be replaced by the new TV. Ultimately nervously turmed everything on and scanned through the instruction book for the TV, familiarising myself with the basic operations and controls etc. Well - it all works and does what I'd imagined/wanted. Aside from being able to watch all the Freeview TV channels AND play DVDs, with the PC connected to it, on the rare occasions I want to make use of my extended desktop/dual-screen ability, I can, more than adequately. :o) The one criticism I may have of the arrangement is that for watching TV, the screen is actually maybe just a little too big and close for comfort - although my failing eyesight/cheap 'reading-glasses' may well actually be the reason for that. Leaning back in my chair with my feet up on the footstool beneath the desk, it's better. . .disconnected the old CRT portable TV and freeview box setup and temporarily dumped it all out of the room/way on the landing. . .after having made sure the new TV was ALL fully working, I 'celebrated' having a useable DVD player again by actualy stopping to sit and watch an episode of the boxed set of 'Open All Hours' DS long since sent me. (The 'Beware Of The Dog' episode. SUCH classic/quality stuff - I laughed out loud on several occasions (which is generally unheard of for me). So much (all?) of the modern current-day (BBC especially) sitcoms are SUCH utter juvenile piffle in comparison, its really shocking to me how 'people' have presumably 'dumbed-down' SO much over the years! . . -//- . . ate a banana, two ham baps and crisps . . . napped for a few hours until the 7pm alarm . . all drizzley and damp out again, I just couldn't face doing the evening walk YET again! . .TVd . . PCd a bit of this - whilst watching the new TV of course. :o) . . Someone left a comment on my 'Brixham College Sponsored Walk 2009' video on Youtube. "SniFFyyy1 - Should I be worried that someone was filming school kids from a distance?" The obvious 'inference' was - 'upsetting'. I despair - I really just TOTALLY f**ing do. :o( . . . drank a glass of red wine . . ate a bag of crisps and two slightly toasted haslet finger rolls followed by the last third of the jam and cream filled swiss roll . . to bed around 2am.
16 - Up around 7:45am. 15C in, 9C out. Sun and rain clouds again . . . walked BGdns. Sheltered from rain under the roof and drank my coffee before eventually heading back. On the way back through the gardens, I spotted what appeared to be some rubbish laying a short distance away on the grass on the opposite side of the wall that divides the gardens from the parking area on the steep road which leads down to the holiday camp, etc. It was less than a hundred feet from the bins, so I went out of my way to go get it. Bizarrely I 'recognised' the bag of rubbish. It was the same bag of rubbish I'd thanked the youths for picking up yesterday morning! They'd carried it all the way up there and then obviously just tossed it over the wall from the road! FFS! Worthless little shits! :o( . . . returned home via the local store for a few supplies between showers . . . TVd . . . drank a small glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two quarter pound burgers in baps with chips and a whole small tub of coleslaw followed by a square or two of chocolate . . napped . . TVd . . ate a banana, sausage-roll, crisps, a third of a jam and cream filled swiss roll and a couple of squares of chocolate . . to bed around 1:30am.
15 - Woke earlier then up around 7:40am. 15C in, 9C out. Sun and threatening big shower clouds. .annadin tablet for breakfast. . . walked BGdns. A group of youths appeared to have been spending the night in the lower searchlight/gun emplacement bunker just below the lower seat where we usually play ball. Rubbish was strewn all around and they'd even had a fire against the painted inside wall of the bunker, at the very least, damaging and blackening the paint! As I passed by the bunker on our way to our usual seat, several of the group were starting to walk away, with one other briefly left behind still in the bunker. So outraged was I that they were simply going to walk away leaving all their rubbish strewn all around, I 'lost it' a bit and unusually called after them and had a bit of a go at them about it. The guy seperate from his mates still in the bunker gave me some BS about how he was just about to start clearing it all up - at exactly the same time one of the group walking off paused to say it was all nothing to do with them! The contradiction of their responses almost laughably immediately exposed their lies! My angry clumsy response was something along the lines of 'You're not children. You don't expect someone to still wipe your nose for you do you? Just take care of it!'. Surprisingly the leaving group DID return the short distance to the bunker and did actually clear up at least 'some' of their scattered rubbish. As they all made to leave and walk up past me sat on my ball playing seat, they were carrying a carrier bag full of their rubbish. I felt obliged to try to keep things civil and rewarded their efforts by saying thank-you and adding in as friendly a way as I could muster, that there WERE bins just up the path the way they were going up top to dump it in. . played ball for a while before then clearing up most of the remaining litter, empty bottles and smashed glass which even then they'd left behind! (The smouldering ashes against the blackened damaged wall and what appeared to be used toilet paper in another corner of the bunker, remain as unpleasant long lasting reminders of their disgusting abuse of the place! :o( ) . . Carried on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while. Returned to the harbour and aat under the old fish market roof for my coffee before heading home . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations . . . ate a slice of gala pie, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped . . . TVd the rest of the day away. . . ate a sausage roll, crisps, banana, chocolate and a third of a jam and cream filled swiss roll . . . to bed around around 3am or later.
14 - Back up around 7:30am. 15C in, 9C out. Clearing skies and sun. . . walked BGdns. A couple of medium sized trees blown down across the upper path in yesterday's storm. . Silly, because it couldn't possibly have reached here in so short a time or with the currents and wind directions etc, but as is my habit after hearing such things on the radio as last night, I couldn't help myself scouring the sea and rocky shore making sure there was no sign of a body as I made my way to our usual lower seat! Sat around for ages playing ball before sitting around some more with coffee on the higher seat. . . eventually headed home via the store for milk . . . PCd a bit of this . . .TVd/PCd and just sat around, wasting away a whole nother day - again! :o( . . . drank a glass of red wine . . ate corned beef sandwiches, a pastie, two bags of crisps, a banana and some chocolate . . . struggled to stay awake. TVd until to bed around 11pm or even earlier. Bella skipped a good portion of her evening meal but spent ages chewing on and devouring almost all of a rawhide chewy thing.
13 - Woken I think by the window whistling, with the strong gusts of wind around 6am. 15C in, 12C out. . . walked Bgdns a bit early, before the worst of the gale arrived. Picked up a carrier bag of litter from the lower gun emplacement where some teens had been partying last night before sitting on the blustery higher seat for my coffee. Strong gusts (S/SE) which appeared to be giving the Torquay and Paigton coasts across the bay to the North a bit of a battering again. . finished my coffee pretty quick and headed home in an increasing bit of driven rain. Already gusting up around 50mph, with worse to come in the next couple of hours it would appear. As I was walking home, on the radio around 8:40am, the coastguard put out a special MSI broadcast warning of 'violent storm force 11' over Plymouth way!!!! Yikes - how much of that are we gonna be getting here I wonder! :o( . . charged batteries and PCd a bit of this . . . got the car out, loaded up Bella and then drove to pick up Mum around 10am as had been agreed the other day. . drove across to Torbay hospital to drop Mum off for her 11am appointment. Increasingly windy rainy weather. Nasty even just driving. Dropped mum off and then headed the short distance to the Pets-At-Home store car park. Sat in the rocking-in-the-gale car for a while, making sure my mobile phone was on (so Mum could call me to pick her up when her appointment was done) , and just wasting time. Eventually went into the pet store with Bella and allowed her to get all excited over the floor level glass fronted enclosures of rabbits and guinea pigs. Aimlessly wandered around a bit before buying a pack of four medium sized rawhide chewy things for £6.49. . eventually drove the short distance to the other out of town shopping area to leave Bella in the car for a bit and have a quick wander around Comet/PC world. I hadn't even gotten to the back of the store to look at the TVs before all of a sudden Mum was calling on the mobile to say her appointment was over and done with already! So soon? Blimey - that was hardly worth all the aggro and effort, and I'm SURE her just being referred to yet someone else in the future, could have been done at less cost by the local doctor/hospital to begin with!? . . immediately exited teh store, jumped straight back in the car and quickly drove to pick mum up. Neither mum nor I particularly wanted to be out and about or going anywhere else, so we ended up heading straight back. Wow - WHAT strong winds on the drive back. My little 'Noddy car' was being blown all over the road! (On the news later, wind gusts of around 95MPH were apparantly recorded on Berry Head at some point today!!)dropped Mum off and then back via the store for supplies . . . ate two haslet finger rolls with crisps and coleslaw followed by a square or two of chocolate . . . napped (without setting the alarm) the whole rest of the afternoon away right through until around 8pm, despite the battering gale! . . . more wind and drizzle. Skipped the evening walk . . .TVd . . ended up on the radios around 10pm when it became clear there was a major coastguard incident going on over by Torquay in the vicinity of Meadfoot beach, co-ordinated by Solent Coastguard. Someone had allegedly been 'snatched' from the road next to the sea wall by the mountaneous breaking waves. Everyone was called out on this one. The police, both Torbay and Berry head coastguard teams, both inshore and all weather lifeboats (difficult and dangerous conditions for the ILB!), police helicopter Enpass 44 (female voice on comms) and Sea-King helicopter Rescue 169 (out of Chivenor I now believe, but I 'thought' they said Culdrose during comms I overheard - on scene around 22:48) . Filthy dangerous conditions for all concerned. (Early on in the shout, CRTs on the shore DID report that they'd seen a body by the light of their searchlights, face down in the boiling surf around 20 metres off the sea wall - but sight of it was soon lost!) Ended up with several radios monitoring different frequencies. Even able to listen in on 123.1Mhz AM as the two helicopters spoke to each other to ensure 'deconfliction' before the Police helicopter cleared away back to Exeter around 22:51. . . to cut a LONG story short, after MUCH searching of the sea and nearby coastal paths by all concerned with searchlights, image intensifier, thermal imaging, para-illuminants etc, etc, nothing was found and everything was scaled back, 'assets' returned to base (Rescue 169 circa 23:30, Both lifeboats circa 23:51), and the whole business was pretty much called off and CRTs mustering to return by around 00:35. I guess it remains to be seen if anyone ends up actually being reported missing, or if it is YET another well meaning costly false alarm? (BBC News Article / Local Newspaper Article) .That was pretty much the first major incident I've listened-in to following the recent closure of the Brixham Coastguard station. I'm very much trying to avoid any sort of bias, but based on what I overheard and what I've heard before, I can't help feeling that the co-ordination of events offered by Solent coastguard WAS subtley 'lacking' in what WOULD have been offered by Brixham. Apart from their ongoing 'Max Headroom' style occasionaly jittering comms, Solent appeared to be generally slower in their decision making and subsequent comms, kinda. At one point Rescue 169 had completed a search pattern and was sat in the hover at 500 ft in the wind and the rain awaiting further instruction from Solent. It was SEVERAL minutes before new search instructions were issued to them - and although I can't be certain, I'm pretty sure the instructions included telling the helicopter to go East when they should have said West. (A CRT on the ground quickly soon after more fully elaborated where the search was 'actually' to go!) In my experience of having easvesdropped other shouts, Brixham coastguard personel seemed quicker, more confidant and precise. In practice of course, I guess it'll be impossible for anyone to ever prove one way or another, whether closing down all the stations and centralising everything like they have, will ACTUALLY have endangered anyone or ultimately cost any lives. :o| . . . not tired after that long nap earlier, aimlessly surfed e-bay and the like for a while . . . ate a meat pastry slice, coleslaw, crisps, banana and chocolate . . drank a couple of shots of Baileys . . . to bed around 3am after the latest wind and rain front had mostly passed.
12 - Woken earlier by the sound of a heavy rain shower battering on the windows, lay there for a bit then up around 7:50am after the rain had stopped. 15C in, 8C out. Dark grey . . . walked BGdns with a rucksack and eventually on down to the harbour to sit and drink my coffee. Bought a large bag of potatoes to carry back . . . pottered around for a bit sorting out stuff to throw out again. Didn't manage to make much progress . . . spent a fair bit of time throughout the day just watching the news. Ultimately it was being reported that the European Space Agency had actually successfully(ish - maybe?) put a lander down onto a comet! Amazing. Fantastic stuff. . aimlessly TVd/PCd the day away . . .walked BGdns a bit early . . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate Mum donated roast pork slices, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings and stuffing with a pint of gravy. A 'proper' huge feed again - although the pork slices were a couple of days past their best-by date (I'd not noticed how soon when Mum donated them on Saturday) and did appear to be now noticeably past their best. All eaten on a tray atop my footstool in front of the TV as usual. The little image I've included here is deceptive. It doesn't show how piled high the plate is, nor does it show all the other potatoes and the other half of the stuffing I had to add later once I'd eaten some space to squeeze them on. lol . . . fell asleep in my chair and only woke when a bit of a 'heartburn' type event saw me start to choke to death!! Wow - no wonder so many people die like that when they've had too much to drink and don't wake to cope with it! . . to bed just before midnight. Bella ate fairly normaly again today - and of course then also was treated to all the left over gravy and token bits of my pork and potatoes, etc.
11 - Back up around 7am after almost no sleep yet again. 15C in, 11C out. A slight easing in the gale for a bit. . .walked BGdns in leggings and shower coat. Turned out to be a prolonged spell of NOT raining. Played ball on the lower seat in BGdns as usual. The high-tide waters of the bay appeared to be quite flat and calm, but that was deceptive. There was a significant underlying swell and across the bay particularly on the North end of the Paignton seafront so it appeared, there were some BIG waves being thrown up skyward by the sea walls etc. . eventually ended up walking down to the inner harbour (VERY quiet) for a sit and to drink my coffee. The waters in the harbour weren't 'particularly' high, but the underlying swell and the gusty winds had all the boats, including the Golden Hind replica, moving about quite a bit. One small sunken boat was lifted out by the small crane on the working quay by the harbour staff whilst we were sat there. A couple of other boats near the Prince William Of Orange statue were getting knocked about quite a bit and seemed in danger of doing damage to each other. . eventually headed back through town and home before 10:30am. . . Bella promptly ate 'most' of her breakfast again. :o) . . . TVd and watched the BBC news channel 11am Armistice Day coverage. Unusually, the 'live' directors cuts, camerawork, audio feeds and coverage in general, came across as being an utter shambles!? Very surprising, very poor. . .PCd this at length . . .TVd as more wind and rain arrived. . . drank a glass of red wine. Ate tuna onion and mayo with chips and buttered mixed veg followed later by biscuits. . to bed around 1:30am. Bella ate everything I gave her today and really seemed to have gotten her appetite fully back.
10 - Up around 7:30am with the same damned headache I had yesterday. 15C in, 8C out. Threatening clouds . . .annadin tablet for breakfast as the rain arrived . . . walked the woods in a prolonged break in the rain. Bella was in fine fettle, chasing all around the place like there was nothing at all wrong with her again. Heading back towards BGdns from the woods, we passed the Battery Heritage Museum. A small group of people were milling around and (temporarily) screwing a curtained frame to the wall of the museum. I'd recently read on the newspaper website or somewhere similar that the Torbay Civic Society/Town Council was going to be unveiling a blue plaque there some time this week. I guess it's today then. . the weather was looking very iffy, and it was still some time before the offical 11am unveiling, so I eventually just carried on and headed for the roofed seats in BGdns to sit and drink my coffee. While I sat there, several people were parking up on the road and all walking down through the gardens all smartly dressed and some carrying cameras etc, obviously heading for the unveiling. I eventually couldn't bring myself to miss having a look, and ended up walking back down to the museum around 10:45am as a shower of rain began to fall. . hung around just inside the entranceway to the museum for a bit, listening to the couple of speeches going on inside. Eventually after the rain had stopped, everyone came outside for the official unveiling - and of course I couldn't resist pointing the camcorder at things for a short while. Seemed funny to me how the plaque itself was only placed temporarily in the ceremonial curtained unveiling frame. It was later in the day (after I'd gone) it was actually screwed to the wall there in its final resting place. The whole thing was all very 'small town', and I must confess, I actually haven't a clue just exactly what point that plaque actually has. Nevertheless, I got a small record of events such as they were for posterity (which hopefully those taking part 'may' appreciate?). . of course as soon as the unveiling thing was over, there was the threat of them all starting to do the 'social thing' of standing around chatting, having cups of tea and the like. My cue to QUICKLY walk away and head home. . . back via the store for milk. Oh wow - yet again they had a big stack of going out-of-date/cheap chicken kievs on their 'reduced' shelf. They may well perhaps be processed junk, but I DO very much like them (both the garlic and herb and creamy peppercorn sauce filled ones), and especially so when they are being sold around half price for a mere £1 a pair like they were! Eating the pair in one sitting with chips etc is a BIG feed, and it's entirely adequate to use just one to make a decent meal. In my book, that's eating VERY well very cheap. Wow - if I had a bigger freezer I'd have bought the lot! As it was, I ended up carrying 'just' four packs (of the creamy peppercorn sauce filled ones) home to squeeze into my little freezer. lolol. . . PCd and eventually uploaded the 'for the record' snip of blue plaque unveiling video to youtube (together with just a couple of stills of 'The Cove' building site development included - although sadly from that vantage point, progress is difficult to see. I think I've wasted my time periodically taking photos from there in the hope of showing the development). . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two chicken kievs with chips and mixed veg. Yummy. :o) . napped late (despite the battering noise of the gale) and then had trouble waking with the 7:45pm alarm. Didn't manage to defeat my unconsciously lashing out at the alarm snooze button until well gone 8:30pm!!!!!!! . . . TVd the night off as the gale continued. Ate all the remaining Mum donated cherry cake. . played, groomed, petted and fussed with Bella lots. Today she acted entirely as though there was absolutely nothing wrong with her whatsoever. She ate both her breakfast dry complete AND all her evening meal of dry with a tin of meat, together with whatever other treats and bits and pieces I gave her off my plate etc. It WOULD appear at the moment, that reports of her impending demise may have been greatly exaggerated. That should of course be considered as wonderful news, but there IS a bitter sweet side to that. The difficulties of the unpredictable emotional rollercoaster - and the money! At a £100 a month just for tablets, then plus the cost of frequent vet consulations, the longer she lives, the less I have left in savings, the more fragile my existance becomes, and the more anxious I end up about everything ALL the time as a result. The possibility of me having central heating put in, a desperately needed new conservatory and double glazing to the back of the house, and repairs to the porch at the front, etc, etc is all fast simply disappearing. :o( . . . to bed around 2am as the wind and rain continued to batter the house. Howling from the botched/poorly fitted bedroom window all night saw me get hardly any sleep at all!!!!!!!!!!! (B******S!) :o(
9 - Up around 7:30am - with ice cold feet!? (Lack of food/poor smokers circulation?) 15C in, 6C out. Mostly clear and sunny. . vehicle carrier 'Grand Race' appears to have lifted anchor and resumed it's passage towards the east across Lyme bay around 6:30 this morning. . . walked BGdns. Eventually carried on down to the inner harbour and watched from the viewing platform on the opposite side of the harbour as the rememberance day parade mustered on the harbourside by the old coastguard station and eventually set off marching along towards the breakwater. . eventually ended up walking along to sit on a town-facing seat next to the breakwater. From there it was possible to partially hear and 'almost' observe the rememberance service on the distant closed Berry Head Road above. The lifeboat crew and some dignitaries/members of the public were all stood 'to attention' on the bow of the lifeboat in front of me facing the memorial service. . I 'stood' for the ceremonial silence, as did one or two others behind me along the top of the Breakwater. Suprising to me how many people just ignored what was going on and carried on with their normal 'trivial' activities. Couldn't even be bothered to stop for a mere couple of minutes! Sheesh. . as usual at some point, the lifeboat headed off into the bay with its guests to lay a wreath somewhere out in Lyme Bay (round past Berry Head I think - probably St Marys Bay, as they have done before). . eventually walked up to the seat above the end of the breakwater to sit for a while more. Ate a mum-donated large sausage roll I'd brought with me and drank my coffee. Didn't hang around and soon headed all the way back, before the rememberance service had finished, avoiding the crowds. . . TVd. . . drank a glass of red wine and ate two fried spam baps followed by a slab of cherry cake . . . napped until just after 6pm. Woke with a nasty headache which persisted all evening. Skipped the walk and just TVd yet another night off, monitoring the radio parts of the time. For much of the night the Exmouth lifeboat was out on a Solent Coastguard co-ordinated shout, towing a broken-down fishing vessel all the way back into Brixham. .BB called to touch base . . . ate crisps and two chopped onion, mayo and tuna baps followed by a square of chocolate . . . to bed around 2am just as the Exmouth lifeboat was entering harbour with its tow. Bella ate 'most' of her evening meal again today.
8 - Woken around 7:35am by the noise of the window howling and wind and rain battering the house. 15C in, 11C out. A real nasty SSW gale gusting up around 40mph with torrential rain. . .woke at the PC and ultimately decided I simply could not face going out in such atrocious weather. . delayed turning the PC off, put the radios on and actually had a listen-in from around 9:54am as the international space station orbitted over, having an amateur radio contact with schools in Germany. Picked up a little but of course they started talking German, so the little I did pick up I couldn't understand. . touched base with Mum and suggested she not come down later if it was going to be like this. . . thankfully the gale gradually passed and I eventually decided to get out and do Bella's morning walk somewhere around 10:15am or later. Walked Bgdns in waterproofs, for the first part in the dry between the surrounding heavy showers. Delayed returning and drank my coffee sheltering under the roofed higher seats as a heavy shower passed through. Eventually returned home in a bit of rain but thankfully without getting too wet at all. Things eventually gradually improved and turned dry. .Bella refused her breakfast of yesterdays left-over food with a bit more fresh dry mix . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats. Bella didn't hesitate in eating the whole big slab of gala pie mum had brought as her usual Saturday visit treat. I got her to mix the chopped pieces into the food already in Bella's bowl, but Bella just sorted through and picked out all the gala pie and left the rest . . Ended up spending ages trawling through Youtube on the internet connected TV, finding snips of video about a guy who's book (A Street Cat Named Bob) Mum was currently reading and all full of. James Bowen, a homeless drug addict busker in London who had luckily ended up with a cat called Bob which went with him everywhere. He'd apparantly ended up with publishing deals, best selling books and possible film rights etc etc and was by now a VERY wealthy man. It WAS a highly unusual cat so it seemed from what I saw. Kinda more like a dog in character. Try as I did, I couldn't find any Youtube clips of the guy ACTUALLY playing his guitar or singing, so I rather gather he actually couldn't, and was just 'playing' the cat to make money. Boy, would I love to be a fly on the wall when his cat passes away. His entire life now appears to be the cat, so when it goes, what then? I guess having so much money will ease the pain. . . ate a Mum donated slab of gala pie and a whole very large bag of cheese and onion crisps. . . napped until around 6:40pm . . TVd . . walked BGdns real late in low single figure temperatures. Bella was all still full of her normal self, and showing no signs of being unwell at all. Plenty of fireworks going on across and around the bay again. There appeared to be a particularly big and impressive distant display going-on, mostly below the hill-line way inland, kinda towards the West Behind Goodrington. I counted and counted again to check when some of the bigger fireworks went off there. Took around 14 seconds for the sound to reach us. . eventually aimlessly wandered down to the inner harbour and sat on a seat near the dark and empty former coastguard station for my coffee. Actually didn't feel too good. Bit of a stomach upset maybe. It was pretty quiet down there but there were still groups of people coming and going and noise of music and laughter coming from all the local pubs. (Pretty much at least five visible around the harbour from where I was sat). With the prospect of soon losing Bella, I felt unusually painfully 'alone', and totally incapable of being able to be anything else. As we started to head home up the high street, a live band playing in one of the pubs started doing the familiar old Dire Straits Money For Nothing' guitar riffs (Which of course I used to quite like, 'back in the day'). Like a real sad 'outsider', I briefly stopped on the pavement opposite to listen, and watched all the alien to me comfortable merrymaking of the sociable happy people all warm inside. . trudged home feeling very down and intractably long since terminally 'lost' to my AvPD. Dead man AND dead dog walking. :o( . . .Bella woofed down her whole evening meal pretty much like normal? . . TVd/PCd the night away until deep into early before finally to bed near 5am!!!?
7 - Up around 7:25am. 15C in, 8C out. A sunny break in the rain to start. . . walked BGdns in rain gear mostly between showers. Bella was all full of racing around wanting to chase after her ball like normal again. How on earth has she got the energy given the 'starvation diet' she's imposing on herself?! . The breathtakingly enormous Panama registered vehicle carrier 'Grand Race' checked in with bay reporting and anchored up out in the distant deep anchorage whilst we were sat there. . Oh FFS! Turns out Bella's recent increased scratchiness IS down to her running with fleas again! Spotted two while inspecting her between ball throwing. After all I've done and spent and she's STILL (again?) infested with them - and that on top of her current deteriorating condition generally!! Given the fragile state of her and the medication she's on, I don't think I dare start throwing any more tablets/chemicals at her for the fleas. She IS of course still wearing her useless/rip-off £30+ flea collar. :o( . . sat on the higher seat for my coffee. Bella demanded we play even more ball while I sat there admiring the view and occasional rainbows! . an old woman walked past at one point carrying a bunch of flowers. She made her way to a nearby small tree where a small wooden cross had been inconspicuously placed at the base of the trunk. She set the bunch of flowers into a low cleft in the trunk and I think placed another small wooden cross adorned with a rememberance poppy next to the other. She then stood there for a minute or two, obviously thinking 'appropriate thoughts' for her lost loved-one. When she walked back past me, her eyes were full of tears. I've no idea what my face actually ended up doing, but I tried my best to give a 'supportive, understanding' smile kinda, so as not to make her feel at all embarassed or awkward, etc. Oh dear. Emotionally I'm pretty much 'wide open' at the moment. Seeing her 'yearning distress' was all I needed to end up losing it a bit and shedding an empathic tear myself!!! Blimey, if I'm that open to 'losing it', I better make sure I'm nowhere near any up and coming rememberance day commemorations or the town parade this Sunday!!!!! :o( . . . Bella showed NO interest in her breakfast food again. . . PCd a bit of this . . .I just HAD to. Despite the possible risks, I gave Bella a flea tablet, because the irritation she was suffering was clearly causing her some distress - again! . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking. Ate two reduced price pepper sauce chicken kievs with chips followed by biscuits . . .napped until around 6:15pm. Lay there for a bit longer before getting back up . . . DF called in for chats. . bizarrely, Bella acted in fine fettle all the time DF was here, really almost like there was absolutely nothing wrong with her. After having had it sat there untouched for weeks, she suddenly set about chewing and eating all the remaining half of her rawhide chewy thing. She also ate most of her evening meal and plenty of treat biscuits!? . . .TVd . . . ate a banana, multiple bags of crisps and a large chunk of spam on its own before to bed around 1:30am.
6 - Up around 7am, feeling very down and having to keep tearfulness at bay immediately upon waking. Just another day then. :o( 15C in, 8C out. Heavy grey sky and a stiff breeze. . . walked BGdns and played ball from the lower seat for quite a while. Unpleasantly chilly and damp with a hint of spots of drizzle in the air already. Breathtaking to me that despite almost starving herself to death of late, and as a result, diminishing into just a pitiful bag of bones beneath her fur, Bella 'appears' happy enough in herself, doesn't appear to be actually suffering in any discernable way, and is all still up for chasing after her ball and rushing back and forth in her usual way. . eventually carried on up and drank my coffee on a seat under shelter of the roof before finally heading home . . . TVd, once again unable to motivate myself to do anything other than kinda just sit around waiting for Bella's condition to get worse. Life is on hold. Dumped almost all of her last night's main meal in the bin and put down her usual dry meal breakfast. She showed no interest in it and just ended up laying motionless on the floor next to me as has become usual of late. .put the recycle bin of all Bella's refused food out for the bin collection later. That's the first time I've ever had occasion to put that bin out and thrown away such an enormous amount of food. :o( I don't anticipate ever doing so again. I need to get into the habit of dumping whatever Bella refuses, out in the garden for at least the gulls to benefit from . . . the forecast wind and rain arrived in earnest by around 11:30am. Wind gusting up near 50mph. 15C in the house is feeling particularly cold, and I'm having to wear multiple layers, hood up and fingerless gloves already. . . PCd a bit of this, but soon couldn't face the meaningless chore . . .ate a tin of sausages in baked beans, crisps and biscuits . . .glanced out of the window at some point at the gale and rain, and happened to spot a large military helicopter barely visible through the downpour, well below the ridge-line of the hills opposite, apparantly heading along the coast perhaps in the direction of Dartmouth. Wow - I wouldn't have wanted to fly (VFR?) in such appalling conditions, never mind SO low near land! Amazing they actually can! . . . napped until the alarm. Trouble waking and didn't managed to stop lashing out at the snooze button until almost 8pm! . . . TVd nothing, hardly moving from my chair all evening as the wind and rain continued, but gradually easing down. . . ate two or three bags of crisps and then bowls of rice krispies. . . Bella finally ate a small evening meal - perhaps as much as only a third of her previous daily intake! :o(. . to bed around 1:30am.
5 - Up around 7:20am. 15C in, 7C out. Showers again to start . . walked BGdns . Back via the store for a few supplies as things eventually cleared to sunny spells . . . put Bellas double sized duvet cover from her bed and all her muddy towels from the conservatory in the wash. That stack of old double/king sized duvets I've got stuffed into the water/flea-proof cover for her bed, really is a VERY cool way of doing things (despite the annoying rustling sound it makes). Makes for washing the cover and ensuring there is no flea/dustmite infestation there SO much easier (although of course wrestling it all in and out of a duvet cover is no easy feat in itself). Wish I'd come up with that arrangement years ago. It even works out that folding it all in half and stuffing it into an old SINGLE duvet cover is even better still - so that double cover I've just washed 'may' end up ultimately going in the bin. . . pottered around trying to ruthlessly sort out stuff to put in the wheelie bin for tomorrows fortnightly collection again. Bit the bullet and amongst a few other bits and pieces filled the bin up with my favourite puffa jacket with the worn out zip that wont stay closed, and THREE favourite zip-up fleece hoodies all with big holes worn through the elbows. (I'm NEVER gonna get round to patching them as I'd fantasised I 'could'. Even if I did, no one dares to walk around wearing such repaired stuff in this nauseating consumerist/throw-away age. I'd be the laughing stock!) :o( . .touched base with Mum a couple of times. In the conversation she mentioned something about the hardware store in town having put a leaflet through her door showing a step ladder. When sis2 was last here - (STOP! Right - HERE was an example of how I feel I am starting to go a little bit 'dementia' kinda! When I typed the word 'here', I couldn't remember what the correct spelling was!!!!! 'hear' or here' - and I actually had to stop typing and sit and think for quite a while mentally 'reaching' for it (I'd actually typed 'hear' to start with, but somehow instictively 'felt' it wasn't right!!!) !!!!!! My spelling may be pretty poor, but that is NOT a word I am used to stumbling over like that! Worrying. :o( ) Anyway - as I was saying, when sis2 was last here, she'd ('rashly'?) gone with Mum and bought a small ultra-light aluminium step-ladder for Mum to use in the house, to reach high cupboards and change light bulbs and the like. It only had three treads and had quickly turned out to be too low for her purposes. The recent leaflet was advertising a slightly larger four tread ladder on special offer. Since that local store is VERY good with regard to customer service etc, I agreed with Mum that if she had the nerve (despite the amount of time that has passed), she should ring them up and ask if she could possibly swap the one she had for the slightly larger one . . . ate garlic sausage slice and mayo finger rolls, crisps, banana and a little chocolate . . I WAS going to lay down and nap, but the forecast for the coming days is all rain, and the morning sunny spells had dried the overgrowing lawns 'just' enough to 'force' me into considering dashing out to mow them. . Mum touched base again and confirmed the hardware store WAS happy for her to return her small step ladder and get a higher one. . quickly mowed both front and back lawns . . . I REALLY didn't want to have to bother, but I figured since Mum had only recently rung and agreed it with the hardware store, it'd be best if the return/exchange of the ladder was done today whilst it was fresh in the shop assistants minds etc. . Touched base with Mum again and then walked with Bella to pick up the step ladder and associated paperwork from her. (Pointless driving because there is nowhere down there to park etc) . carried the ladder all the way down town and to the hardware store and was quickly able to do the swap without any problem at all. (Apparantly Mum had actually phoned them to explain I was on my way. lol) The swap from a three to a four tread ladder cost a suprising mere extra £3!? Gotta salute that store ('Hammer And Nails') and their consitantly excellent customer service. Every time I've ever gone in there (complete with Bella), they really have been VERY helpful. . immediately walked all the way back and returned to Mums with her more suitable replacement. . . coffee and chats before returning home. . TVd for a bit and looked out the front at some of the early 'Bonfire Night' fireworks. Even did the unheard-of and opened my bedroom curtains to look out across town for a bit. Sat on my bed with Bella in the dark and looked out for a short while . . . walked BGdns later. Very chilly out. Only around 4C or less. Watched fireworks around the bay from the lower seat for ages in between much ball throwing for insistant Bella. Despite there being quite a few fireworks going off everywhere around the bay, as always I was left with the an overriding feeling of anticlimax somehow. It never seems to quite live up to how spectacular you imagine it 'should' look like. Maybe that's because throughout the summer we get so many BIG professional displays? . maybe it's because of my clogged up smokers/vapers lungs and rhinitis, but I did find the atmosphere particularly thick with smoke this year, actually almost to the point that it was difficult to comfortably breath at times! . predicatably at some point, the (Solent) coastguard were on the radio doing a pan-pan asking for people to report on a distress flare sighting over Teignmouth way I think it was. Despite the coastguards best efforts to stop people doing it, some idiots will always let them off. I even saw two (red) set off myself, over land somewhere behind Goodrington it appeared from where I was sat. Around this time of year is NOT the time to be out on the water in distress, and trying to attract a 'saviour' by flare! . .eventually headed home feeling VERY cold. Even put the fire on briefly when home. . . Bella ate almost none of her evening meal again. :o( . . . TVd . . . ate a defrosted pasty, crisps, banana and then chocolate biscuits with a large amount of cold milk . . . to bed around 1am.
4 - Up around 6:35am. 15C in, 5C out. Clear sky (and sun once it came up) but with threatening shower clouds on the distant horizon again. . walked the woods and then BGdns. Sat under the roof for my coffee when it began to rain a bit. Treated to the unusual sight of a female pheasant picking at the bird seed under the feeder. Presumably the same one Bella chased down the lower path a little while ago? Looks as though it's somehow making a living hanging around the gardens. It was eventually chased off by Ts pack of dogs (including 'the' dobermans). . . back via the store for a few supplies . . did dish washing chores . . . pottered around finding just a few bits and pieces to load the wheelie bin up with. I'm trying desperately to throw away a bunch of the junk I am up to me eyeballs with around the place but which I've been hanging onto for years. Makes absolutely no sense hanging onto lots of this old crap - but it's SO hard for me to just chuck stuff away which 'could' be useful in some imagined circumstance. But that's the key isn't it. It's just imagined circumstances. In reality, times have changed - things have changed - 'I' have changed - society has changed - and it really doesn't make ANY sense thinking of old fashioned 'make do and mend' type stuff anymore. Gotta be ruthless and bin stuff - gotta get real! . . . ate two corned beef and ketchup finger rolls with crisps followed by biscuits. . . napped until just before 7pm. Woke to find Bella had been gnawing on herself a bit again. :o( . . TVd . . . Bella all but refused to eat any of her evening meal again. . VERY down and 'SID'ish . . drank a glass of red wine and a small tot of Baileys and smoked quite a few cigs, none of which helped at all. Terrible down mood. . . microwaved the plated roast chicken-kiev meal from the fridge and ate with a pint of gravy well after midnight . . . . eventually to bed around 2:30am.
3 - Woke earlier, tossed and turned for a bit then up around 7am. 18C in, 9C out. Grey and a few drops of rain to begin with . . walked BGdns. 'Galatea' was out in the distance working on the Emstrom wreck marker buoys again before heading off down to Cornwall I think when finished. Headed down to the inner harbour and sat out of the light rain under cover of the old fish market roof for my coffee. Suddenly remembered - oh jeeze - I'd forgotten!! Mum had an appointment at the local hospital for some scans today as some point, and I'd offered to maybe drive her there if the weather was bad!!!!! Tried calling her on the mobile as I walked up the high street, but suprisingly couldn't get a bloody signal! Quickly rushed all the way home and rang her straight away. Despite the intermitant showers, she was adamant that she was happy to walk and declined my offers. . . recovered from the rushed walk home in front the TV for a short time. It soon began to rain again, and absolutely poured! Tried to ring Mum to get her to reconsider, but there was no answer and she'd presumably already set off walking - in that downpour!!! Quickly grabbed the car keys, left Bella at home alone and dashed up to get the car out and quickly drive up the road in the direction I imagined Mum'd gone. Sure enough, there she was battling through the rain under her umbrella. Swerved across the road, pulled up and soon had her sat in the passenger seat. It was really rather too early, but it was agreed that under the circumstances of the downpour, I'd drive her straight up to the hospital and she'd have to wait around up there for almost an hour for her appointment (and call me later if she wanted a lift home, rather than do shopping and walk around town before getting the (free to pensioners) bus home as had been her plan). . dropped her off just outside the hospital door and then headed straight back home. Would you believe it - by the time I reached home, the rain was pretty much over and it turned to sunny spells. lol . . . Mum called to touch base a short while later, suprisingly already out and done with her scans!? Turned out someone had cancelled their appointment and she'd been called in real early. All worked out nicely for her. :o) She elected to do the town thing and get the bus home, so I was free to potter around and do my own thing . . . messed around in the back lane and front garden for a short while, relocating bits of grass into bald patches in the front lawn again. What an awful patchwork mess it is out there! At least the saturated ground meant I could stamp it all down and in and try to make things as flat as reasonably possible . . ate two ham and mayo finger rolls with crisps . . walked with bella across town to the vet for our 2pm appointment. Immediately weighed Bella in reception. Only 27.5kg!!!! Had a word with the receptionist and mentioned the awkwardness of having not been given enough of the Vetmedin tablets to match the numbers of the other tablets for 'whole days' of doses. Dunno why it was so easy on this occasion, but without any hassle at all, she said she'd calculate and dish out an appropriate number to bring the 25 days dose up to the thirty days of the other tablets. . . Bella was actiing all alert and her normal self, and the vet could see at a glance she was 'improved' - confirmed by him listening at length to her heart. As I'd already figured out for myself, he confirmed it was 'somewhat' more regular but with occasional extra beats here and there. Got the poor vet to 'indulge me' and asked a whole bunch of silly questions, trying to get straight in my confused mind what he'd pretty much already told me, so I could attempt to be sure about what I could or 'should' be doing for Bella for the best! He suggested he sees only one or two dogs with Bella's symptoms in a year, and is not an expert on such things. He likened his position to that of a GP in the NHS. If someone presented to a GP with an irregular heartbeat like Bella's, the GP would NOT be an expert on the condition, and apart from perhaps perscribing some medication to help alleviate the immediate symptoms and keep them going, would rapidly refer the patient to a consultant/expert for more specific tests. The medication she is taking HAD clearly made a positive short term difference, albeit with NO long term happy outcome. Of course there IS no NHS for animals, and he estimated again that if I DID go the route of being referrred to a canine heart expert, a heart scan would maybe be around £400, ultrasound £400, etc, etc. Basically, at least a thousand pounds to 'knock on the door' kinda. He reitterated she probably wouldn't have any more than six months to live, no matter what. He accepted that we have to live in the real world with regard to such costs, and seemed in no way critical of me when I suggested the best course for Bella would be to just continue 'status quo' as things are for the time being. :o( He didn't (yet?) want to start altering the dosage of any of the medication (because one of the pills at least - the Lanoxin I think he said - is actually a toxic/dangerous one that either helps or makes things worse on a fine line!) and suggested I should make an appointment to see him again in around four weeks. . made my next appointment at reception and got the odd small number of Vetmedin tablets to 'round up the days' of dose on the way out . . . walked back down through town and sat around the inner harbour for a while. A threatening shower cloud coming our way saw us head out along the outer harbour and up into BGdns. Thankfully the shower missed us and things returned to sun and rainbow. Sat around drinking coffee for a while before eventually heading home . . Mum called to touch base. . napped poorly for almost a couple of hours. Woke to find Bella all raw where she had been gnawing on her back and the fronts of her back legs whilst I slept! FFS! :o( Why the hell has she suddenly started doing that again? Can it be because she had that swim the other day? . . . true to form, never having a clue what's next with her, this evening Bella showed little interest in her food again, and left half of it despite me trying to encourage her by adding some grated cheese and marmite. This awful emotional rollercoaster of her looking 'ok' one minute, and then as though she'll soon be a gonner the next, is oh SO hard for me to cope with! :o( . drank a glass of red wine. TVd all despairing . . . put the immersion heater on for a bit before then giving Bella a shower and shampoo in the bath . . . TVd as some heavy rain showers passed through . . .ate a banana, bag of crisps and some chocolate biscuits . . . to bed after 1am.
2 - Up just before 7am. 18C in, 13C out. Grey but quieter and much less wind than last night. . . walked BGdns for a bit of ball play. On the way to the gardens I overheard vessel 'Galatea' checking in with bay-reporting, saying they'd lifted anchor in the bay and were heading out to do work on the buoys marking the wreck of the Emstrom and would be returning to anchor back in the bay again later. No doubt as a result of last night's bit of a storm (and more to come?), there were several ships to be seen in the bay(s). From the top in the images I've included here:- Antigua Barbuda registered cargo ships 'RMS Lagona' and 'RMS Rhenus', Netherlands registered cargo ship 'Douwe-S', (inset) Malta registered oil/chemical tanker 'Minitank Five' in the FAR distance round the bay towards Teignmouth off Maidencombe , and finally UK registered buoy-laying vessel 'Galatea' (with several enormous buoys visible on its aft deck) on its way out towards the distant site of the Emstrom wreck . . . Eventually carried on around the harbour and headed all the way out to the Breakwater beach. I wasn't sure I should given Bella's 'questionable' health, but I dared to throw her ball on the breakwater beach for her to swim after for just a bit, before then sitting on the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while. Eventually returned to sit in the inner harbour on some harbour steps by the Golden Hind in some sunny spells for my coffee before finally returning via BGdns. . stopped off at the local newsagents on the way home and bought three small pots of 18mg nicotine e-liquid for £10. (One strawberry, two menthol - just for a change from my 'iffy' home-mixed stuff). . . recovered from the walk in front the TV for a bit. A sudden race to get Bella out into the back garden when she suddenly started to throw up after having had a rushed long drink. Unfortunately we didn't quite make it in time, and she dumped a load of the water she'd just drunk all over the carpet near the back door in the conservatory! Eeew. Mopped it up as best I could with multiple sheets of newspaper. :o( . . PCd a bit of this . . . TVd . . drank a glass and a half of red wine while cooking somewhere around 6pm and later. The wine got to me quite a bit and I ended up feeling really quite tipsy - and quite pleasantly so. Cooked up two large plated meals of garlic chicken kiev, mixed veg, roast potatoes, stuffing and mini yorkshire pudding whilst smoking, vaping and watching (yet again) a favourite old John Wayne cowboy film on TV. (Rio Bravo I think it was.) Ate one piled high plate with most of a pint of instant gravy and put the other in the fridge. . Bella happily ate down a whole large evening meal mixed with some of the gravy . . try as I did I just could not stay awake, and at some point ended up falling asleep on the sofa! . woke up somewhere near 11pm, managed to remember to give Bella her last tablet of the day, and stumbled straight off to bed. Acker Bilk died this day.
1 - Up at 7am. 18C in, 11C out. Mostly clear. Headachey - annadin tablet . .walked the woods (two seal doing mating type frolicks in Fishcombe Cove), BGdns and then on down around the harbour and out to the seat above the end of the breakwater for a bit of a sit. Mostly sunny but with a stiff and chillier breeze in the shade. Eventually headed back into the warmer inner harbour to sit near the Golden Hind to drink my coffee. . . PCd briefly until Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats. Still a nasty headache - another annandin tablet to no avail. Bella ate Mums gala pie treat together with all her breakfast dry complete. :o) . . ate a slab of Mum donated gala pie, two packets of crisps, a banana and some chocolates . . . napped until 7pm. Yet another annadin tablet. . . windy, drizzley and nasty out. Skipped the walk. . TVd monitoring radios. A whole bunch of stuff going on by the sound of it. From the bits and pieces I overheard, it appeared the pilot boat was towing a yacht back into harbour around Berry Head after having taken over the tow from the Torbay lifeboat earlier. The lifeboat and coastguard teams were doing a major search along the coast North of Torquay (co-ordinated by Solent coastguard). Coastguard helicopter Rescue 106 also attended at one point but weather conditions were too poor for them to be effective (turbulance and drizzle, no good for the FLIR) and they soon returned to base. Somewhere around 8:30pm the 'casualty' they'd been searching for was located and stretchered out from wherever he was found to a waiting ambulance. A report on the local newspaper website suggests it was all about someone with dementia (yet again!). An 83 year old who'd been missing since 2pm. Good job they found him when they did. Looks like the weather is further deteriorating into a proper nasty storm. . . Bella ate her evening meal like normal - so it is currently looking as though she appears to maybe be over her particularly poor appetite phase. . . PCd a bit of this . . drank a small glass of red wine. Ate two oven cooked large sausage rolls, crisps, a couple of mini jam tarts and some chocolates . . .to bed after 1am as the wind and rain battered the house.