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31 - Woke a couple of times earlier but managed to snooze on (Sally let me) before finally up, after 9am!! . . . walked real late. The woman of that old house on the corner which was egged the other night, was out in her yard as I passed. I couldn't resist passing a word with her and referring to the egging incident (as much as anything else, just to make absolutely certain, they didn't think I'd done it!). Turns out they've been 'having problems' with the group of kids. Apparantly started when the kids were playing football in the street, and the ball was continually kicked over the high fence into their garden, followed by them knocking on the door asking for it to be handed back. Yeah - you can imagine how that went with those brain dead kids. The first time it happened would have been an accident, but then they would have started doing it deliberately as part of the game, just to wind up the house owner. I can't recall the order in which she said stuff happened, but apparantly at some point I think it was her husband who ended up retrieving the ball from their garden, and puncturing it with a knife before returning it. Nice one. (Ooooo yes - I remember doing exactly that, in frustration years ago, when some kid kicked his football at my chop parked outside in the street. (I'd built and laboriously painted it with lots of spray cans - it 'hurt' to have a kid kick a football at it!) I was doing some work on something, in the living room with the front door left open, which involved using the knife, so I dashed out and stabbed the football. They called the police on me, and I was in danger of being charged with possessing an offensive weapon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A 'frenzied football stabbing'. :o/ I had to pay for a replacement football, to avoid the charge!) At some other time, the boy who lives nearby (the one 'just' coming out of his house when the egging was done the other night) called at their door with his mother asking for the return of his ball. The womans son had apparantly emptied a bucket of water out of the bedroom window onto them, as they stood at the door below! lololol Nice one (although it mostly missed them apparantly). I wouldn't have had the nerve. Of course she was fully aware, that was innappropriate behaviour, and she made it clear she'd chastised her son. All these goings on lead to the group of youths constantly hanging around near their house, the egging the other night, and having snowballs thrown at their windows!!! I commiserated - very briefly told MY tale - said I knew exctly who one of the group was (and indicated how she could find out for herself, just nearby - although it seemed that she knew many of them anyway, through her son I think?) - and strongly recommended she should call the police (she hadn't yet) if ANYTHING else happened (after all - I have a vested interest in the police being more aware of what is REALLY going on round here - particularly with regard to little ******'s activities!). . during the conversation, I finally got to ask about her disabled son. Cerebral Palsy apparantly. So - not much point in saying good morning to him as I pass, I think. :o( . . Dumped in the nettles by the poop scoop bin at the top of the field was something strange made out of chain. I've some vague recollection of having seen pieces of dangling chain-mail acting as mud flaps on lorries, or something like that, so I suspected it was one of those. Couldn't resist picking it up for a closer look. It was NOT one of those. Oh my god! That has to be the absolute weirdest thing I have EVER found dumped over that field - EVER!!. Absolutely bizarre! It was a full blown chain-mail hood, of the type that ancient soldiers once wore!!! A hoodie for the hood?!! MUST be a modern replica because it was SO perfect and clean (once I'd taken it home and washed the mud off it - very heavy to carry!). I could have just left it there because it's hardly something I want, but I couldn't resist the photo opportunity for here (funny how doing this journal 'feeds back' into 'real life', and affects some of what I do), so I guess I'll be having to hand it in to a police station somewhere, some time. What on earth is the story behind it ending up dumped there I wonder? Stolen from a 're-enactment' person's car/house, seems most likely. Wow - if only I could find the rest of the outfit - the shirt, a lance and a sword would be good, then maybe I'd feel safe walking Sally again. I could 'prod' yobs from a distance with my lance! lol :o/ . . . left wet, muddy Sally at home (put my footstool on my chair, to prevent her being tempted to sit in it while I was gone, as is here weird habit) and drove to Emersons Green. Popped in the Argos store and clumsily asked what the gift vouchers I'd found over the field, actually were, and if they were worth anything. They'd not been 'activated' and were worthless, so they suggested they had just been stolen from the display on one of the desks. I handed them all back in. Damn - I was kinda secretly hoping they may have bought me a camcorder! lololol. . . stopped off in Sainsburys (YUK!! .absolutely packed with people!) and bought a couple of new 100 watt screw cap bulbs for my outside light, just a handful of groceries, and a full box of 50 cigarette papers. . . back home to find Sally had sat in the OTHER chair in my abscence, and COVERED the throw in mud!! So weird how she needs to sit in one of those chairs if I leave her - rather than on the 'protected with an old sheet' setee, like normal. . . dragged the old wooden step ladder out of the understairs cupboard and succesfully fitted one of the new bulbs into my outside light, before cleaning all the glass and putting it all back together. . . ate liver sausage sandwiches with two bags of crisps and a handful of biscuits . . . napped the rest of the day away until around 5pm. . .PCd a bit of this . . .walked around 7pm - NOT wearing the chain mail! . BIG firework explosions coming from the direction of town, but they all finished 'just' as I reached the field, and would have been able to see some of the display in the distance! . .lots of people out walking, on their way to wherever, to get even more drunk than they obviously already were!! . heading back up and out of the field, right up the top in the distance was a HUGE fire, somewhere behind the first line of houses!!! Plenty of sirens echoing around the area, so clearly the fire brigade were on their way/already in attendance. I was convinced it was a house fire - the flames were leaping into the air, at least twice the height of the surrounding houses!!! WELL alight!!! Headed with Sally back up the field in the light rain and out of the top in the 'hope' of maybe having a photo opportunity, but by the time I reached the street in which the fire engine was parked, I think it'd been brought under control. Turned out it was kids who'd set fire to a garage up a lane behind the houses (which made it inappropriate for me to walk up there to rubberneck). They've done it before apparantly!! :o( Oh well - at least someone wasn't gonna be starting off the new year without a home. . . touched base with Sis2,BB,Mum . . . TVd . . .ate four buttered crumpets and bowls of corn flakes . . .smoked the last of that 'stuff' I'd found. .as midnight approached - I felt - ummmm? - Yyyyyyes! - Scared!!!? Just - Scared! :o( Horrible feeling. Couldn't relax or feel in ANY way happy about anything at all! Felt as though everyone around was gonna be drunk and liable to do something nasty. Couldn't help myself - spent a large amount of time, looking out of a darkened bedroom window at groups of noisy drunks passing by! Plenty of blue flashing lights visible through the living room curtains throughout the night, as speeding emergency vehicles went quietly down the road! . . .wanted to see in the midnight hour and all the fireworks from the attic windows, but eventually decided to stay downstairs with Sally, just in case she was unnerved by the noise and my sudden abscence. . BB called before midnight and was on the chordless phone with me as midnight came and went and I went out in the front garden with Sally and sat on the wall to watch the fireworks and listen to all the hullabaloo. Wow - very loud and fireworky this year! Couldn't even hear what BB was saying on the phone! Sally took it all in her stride and amazingly just sat quietly at the gate, happily looking about (for cats no doubt!). .Happy new year? Yeah - that'll be the day! I think it's ended up being a pretty crappy year - and it's gonna drag on into the next one (anxiety, paranoia, court case and all!) :o( . . .TVd and maybe touched base with BB again before eventually to bed (once 'most' of the drunken noise in the street and the fireworks had calmed down) around 3am or later. psss
30 - Woken earlier by Sally then up at 9am . . walked in the rain. Wow - how weird that in such a short amount of time, it can be several degrees warmer all of a sudden. According to my outside thermometer, it's been regularly below zero for the last few days - today it was suddenly up around 6 degrees C. .a couple of days ago, someone dumped around six full bin bags of rubbish in and against the hedge on the edge of the field. Someone had moved one of those bags and left it in the middle of the road on a fast sweeping bend, forcing cars to awkwardly swerve around it. Dragged it back over to the hedge. Looks like someones Christmas rubbish - wrapping paper and such poking out of ripped holes. Why would someone dump stuff like that? What reason can there possibly be in this day and age? Scumbags! . .my 'obsession' with all the litter over that field has changed somewhat since 'the attack'. I'm much less inclined to do 'litter duty', something along the lines of just feeling less secure in myself about doing so, not wanting to give the yobs further reason to belittle, ridicule and abuse me - and sadly, can't help feeling, why the hell should I do ANYTHING to improve the environment of anyone else around here, when everyone seems to go out of their way to ruin it for me and Sally! :o( Maybe it's because of the Christmas season, but whoever it is (alchoholic?) who throws those miniature glass wine bottles over the fence into the field every day - they've been drinking more. Two or three a day on occasions. Rather than continually pick them up and carry them to a bin, I've started to be silly about it, to hopefully 'make a point'. Every time I find one of late, I walk over to the chain link fence, push the bottle firmly in between the wires at around head hight, and leave it there. The most I've managed to have poking out, all along that side of the field at any one time is, around half a dozen I think. Sadly, every day, someone walking down the street, will push them back through onto the grass - and I'll put them back!!! lololol DO wish they'd leave them there. Kinda like a bizarre work of art if I could fill that fence. Make a good photo. Even tempted to start doing the same with all the plastic bottles that lay all over the place. lolololol . . .skipped food and worked on the 'building site', and spent the whole day, eventually successfully installing the new back bedroom door, in the stud wall. Slow laborious work cutting out all the hinge/latch rebates. Turned out to be a pretty good fit first time (but swings shut! Damn!) , and although a tiny bit needs cutting off the bottom to clear a carpet, and maybe just a millimeter off the side at the bottom, it's quite serviceable for the time being, without any planeing! VERY glad to have FINALLY got that done. It was holding me up. With that in place to keep the dust back away from the computer, I can start to think about all the nasty dusty reconstruction and cutting in of socket boxes and cable conduit, etc, of the walls at the top of the stairs. .all done, vacuumed and clean by around 6:30pm . . . touched base briefly with BB . . . walked in the mud . .stopped for a bag of chips takeaway on the way home. Reheated half a chicken in the oven and then ate half a chicken and chips . . . BB called briefly . . . PS popped round for chats and biscuits until early. . . touched base with BB before ending up in the back bedroom, 'admiring' (!?) my new door for a while (as one tends to do with DIY stuff) before bed in the early hours. ps
29 - Woke at 9am! Blimey - Sally's getting good at getting up later. . .walked in more sub zero temperatures. . . headachey. Crunched annadins to no effect. Headachey and tired and ended up back in bed. Slept off most of the day before eventually back up around 3:30pm! . . didn't want to have completely wasted yet another day, so, just as it was starting to threaten at getting dark, quickly dragged the old wooden step ladder out, and had a go at dismantling the outside light to replace the blown bulb. I'd forgotten - but it was easier than I thought. Just one screw holding it all together (although I DID have to cut through some overlapped masonary paint with a stanley knife before it would come apart). Oh NO!!! It's a screw fitment bulb, instead of a bayonet!! How annoying. Don't have any of those. Damn. Ended up having to put it all back together without a bulb for the time being. I can't think of ANY local stores that are gonna have screw fitting bulbs like that - it'll have to wait until I get to a supermarket or DIY store (AFTER all the holiday crowds madness is over!). . . ate a handful of chocolate biscuits just to keep me going. . walked on a light dusting of snow . . . PCd listening to music . . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd . . .ate a heated tin of steak in gravy with four pieces of bread and butter . . . TVd/PCd until early. paas
28 - Woken by insistant Sally more than once and finally up around 8am . . .walked in hat and layers in the freeze . . . slow getting going but eventually managed to force myself to do just a little more work on the 'top of the stairs'/bedroom-stud-wall-end part of the building site. Glued and screwed another upright to the right angled upright I put in yesterday and then cut miniature noggins and happily used some old bits of scrap door frame wood, to fill between the noggins on a small section of the wall. Wanted to do that, to give any future bedroom radiator cover, and or shelves, something more substantial to screw to, inside the eventual plasterboard covered stud wall. All went ok until I somehow managed to put the electric plane blade, straight into its power lead, and with a bit of a flash, cut clean through the live flex!!! Survived. . dismantled the electric plane and got away with simply undoing all the wires and shortening the flex by a foot, before putting it all back together. It didn't work!? Changed the fuse and luckily succeeded in getting it back up and running, little the worse for the experience . . called it quits, tidied up, vacuumed and got clean around 3pm. . . ate two bananas then garlic sausage sandwichs and two bags of crisps followed by half of the box of chocolates I got from the burgled woman up the road . . . napped until around 6:15pm . . . walked in the freeze around 7:15pm. Just down the road and round the corner, I became aware of a group of kids who I would have to pass, hanging around on the next corner up ahead. All of a sudden as I walked in their direction (they'd definitely 'registered' I was approaching), there were a couple of loud bangs, and then they all went running off past me!? I recognised little ****** amongst the excited running group. A kid just coming out of a nearby house to join them, called out asking what they'd just done (but I didn't hear any replies). . There is an old house on that corner. It doesn't look that old but I've seen photos of it from years ago - it's been there a while and IS of 'some' historical interest. The family who lives there has a dog, and I've exchanged the odd word with the lady of the house from time to time. They have a tragically disabled son who lives in a wheelchair. Physically AND mentally impaired. Very sad to sometimes see him parked by the window, presumably for a change of view - and sometimes in the summer, parked in the corner of their garden while he waits to be picked up by the social services bus with the hydraulic platform. I've dabbled on occasions with the idea of saying good morning or hello or some such while walking past with Sally (not sure - I may actually have done so once), but it 'appears' he isn't aware - or if he is, can't show it. As if all that isn't bad enough for the poor parents - he also seems to be one of those, who is prone to a bit of screaming, for who knows what reason. On several occasions walking past with Sally, I've heard some of the ear-splitting noise they must endure. What hell for them all. SO sad. :o( As I walked past, someone was attempting to peer out of the egg covered window!!!! Those little bastards, with little ****** in the group, had just egged their windows, top and bottom! For christs sake! Once I'd realised what had happened, I hesitated and walked back a few feet to look round the corner after the fleeing kids. Nothing I could do really was there? As I wandered hesitantly back and forth, I got all up tight about whoever was looking out of the window maybe thinking I'd just done it, so I gesticulated in the kids direction and motioned 'kids' ('short' people) with my hand. I think the person at the window understood. . carried on walking Sally as usual, full of a mixture of anger and deep sorrow - um - 'as usual' these days actually!! I also felt maybe just a hint of satisfaction, that I'd actually seen what I'd seen, and little ****** had been right in the thick of it. Reinforced my belief that HE, especially HE, really is a problem for this neighbourhood. . walking back from the field, I passed little ****** and a no good frizzy haired friend of his, heading in the opposite direction, presumably heading to the store across the field. My hate-filled, paranoid mind working ridiculously overtime, I convinced myself they were quite likely going over there to buy more eggs! As they headed across the field into the distance, I ended up back in the field and giving Sally a bit of an extra walk. Sat on a boulder for a cigarette. Just finishing my cigarette when little ****** and his friend returned across the field, eating something from a bag and with something to drink - without eggs. Headed home and ended up walking thirty or so feet, right behind them for part of the way. (Inevitably, the minute little ****** had finished eating, he threw the empty bag to the floor). I assumed just past the house they'd egged earlier, they would be heading off towards his house (the way I am no longer 'allowed' to walk!) and our paths would go our seperate ways. That didn't happen. They turned the corner and joined the same group of six to eight kids just down the road, all hanging around and writing in the frost on someones car. I was forced to walk past them all. Little ******, cocky as ever, looked me square in the eye as I passed him. I met his eyes and scowled back - with hopefully visible, utter contempt on my face. As I carried on and rounded the next corner out of their sight, one of them called out after me "Why are you following us?". . F****** idiots! Almost tempted to return and explain that there are only SO many ways to get from my house to the field twice a day, and since I'm 'no longer allowed' to use little ******'s street, I have little choice but to walk THAT way! Where the hell is all this gonna end? :o( . the bulb in my front outside light blew as I returned home. Can't recall how that light comes apart to replace it!! . . . touched base briefly with BB while 'on guard', watching out of a darkened window. .with all this anti social nonsense that has being going on of late, I've started to - um - kinda 'doubt myself'. Kinda like, I'm no longer sure what is and what is not 'acceptable' and should be ignored like most people seem to do. Am I actually 'just' a grouchy old man, living in the past, getting up tight and obsessed about nothing? Well - no, I don't think so. A couple of recent national/local news items struck a chord with me, so I surfed to find them and include them here.
MOPEDS AS GIFTS - NOT A GOOD IDEA
Police have advised parents not to buy their children mini motorbikes as Christmas presents, as they could be encouraging their youngsters to break the law. Officers now have the power to seize mopeds from persistent offenders and charge them a daily rate for storage. Many youngsters who already use these motorised machines are riding them illegally.
Riding them on the road, pavement, cycle-path, roadside grass verges and public parks is illegal if the vehicle is not insured and taxed
Police across Avon and Somerset have received numerous complaints about the bikes being ridden in an anti-social manner and illegally on private land, despite strong warnings from the force's road policing unit.
Vehicles being used anti socially do not have to be witnessed by a police officer but reports can come from members of the public, informing the police where and when it was being used.
DOGS KILLED BY 'MINI MOTORBIKES'
Miniature motorbikes are illegal on land which the public can access.
Children riding miniature motorbikes are thought to be responsible for killing two dogs in Wiltshire.
The lurchers were being walked by their owner on Poulton Fields in Bradford-on-Avon on Christmas Day. Pc Gary Jones, from Wiltshire Police, said: "At the time there were a number of children riding mini-moto bikes on the fields." One dog was killed at the scene while the other was put down after it suffered serious injuries. Owner Christine Ford said the animals had run ahead and she did not see what struck them. "Their injuries were horrific, the younger one had a broken back and his paw and legs were just smashed." Pc Jones said: "The vet believes that the dogs were struck by a vehicle, a motorcycle or something similar. "As there were no other cars or roads nearby, we believe that the dogs were both killed by mini-motos being ridden by very young children. I would remind all parents that these mini motos are completely unlawful for use on land to which the public have access."
. . PCd a bit of this. . . returned Mums ansaphone call. . . TVd and ate the last of the chocolates. . .touched base with BB . . . TVd. . . ate a couple of bananas and then a couple of defrosted meat pastry pies with two bags of crisps. . . TVd and ended up watching 'Rio Bravo' (again!) until the early hours. Brilliant film. . eventually to bed after 3am! pss
27 - Woken around 8am by BB calling the ansaphone . . .returned BBs ansaphone call . . . walked on ice. Really cold, biting breeze! :o( . . . somehow mustered the energy and did a little work on the building site at the top of the stairs/back bedroom. Skimmed the edge of the bedroom firebreast with cement and then screwed and glued a length of 4x2 in position, to fill the gap between the stud wall and the firebreast. . 'stippled' in, a layer of varnish on the piece of dark flagstone on the low wall at the top of the stairs. Looks ok. . . PCd. . . walked. More abuse called out from a group of kids as I passed by. I've got into the habit recently, of walking carrying my small, six inch long, rubber pocket LED torch in my hand, held not by the handle, but by the lens/reflector end. It's a bit heavy to have knocking around in a pocket. I've got into the habit of using it quite a bit around the field, not only for poop scooping duties in the dark, but also to light up the hedges and overhangs here and there, to make sure there is no one hiding there ready to pounce on me!! I carry it by the lens end so that the reflector is covered and doesn't make me 'noticeable' in the dark! Amongst the taunts and abuse I received from the kids, one shouted out "Why are you carrying a Stanley knife!" (presumably having mistaken my torch). Good grief - I suppose that'll be the next story that goes around the neighborhood - the paedophile who walks the streets with a stanley knife!! :o( Miserable existance. . . touched base briefly with BB while the oven reheated. . . ate half a chicken with garlic bread . . .PS popped round for chats, coffee and biscuits until early. . .touched base with BB before to bed in the early hours. pss
26 - Woken by Sally at 8am . . . walked . . . PCd a bit of this . . Mum called to touch base. . .TVd . . ate garlic sausage sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . TVd . . napped . . . walked . . . drank the can of cider I found over the field that's been sat in the fridge for months. . . touched base with BB . . .TVd . . . ate half a chicken and garlic bread . .TVd . . . ate bowls of co-co pops. . .back to bed around 1am. pssssd
25 - Humbug! Woken by Sally just after 8:15am . . . walked late. VERY quiet out - really nice. Found three cigarettes in a pack and a pile of 16 Argos gift cards laying in the field!? Weird little things - cardboard, about the size of a credit card and all serially numbered. No indication of any value?? . . . TVd feeling tired. Wanted to go back to sleep! Tried calling Mum to touch base and get that out of the way but she was engaged for ages. Eventually she called . . . napped . . . drank a glass of red wine and ate roast potatoes, chicken, peas, beans and a pint of gravy. . Well - looks like a 'traditional' (???) Christmas around the neighbourhood!! Fireworks being let off somewhere and kids riding around the streets and pavements on their new motorbikes. Missed getting a picture of the toddler sat on the petrol tank with his legs over the handlebars, being given a ride by what I presume was his older brother! What utterly crazy parents to encourage THAT! The next kid given a ride, was at least wearing a helmet. . . back to sleep . . . walked. Really , REALLY quiet out. Rather nice. Dabbled with the idea of just keeping on walking, but too lazy. . . missed a couple of ansaphone calls (Mum and Sis2) but absolutely could NOT face having to make any conversation - with anyone. .touched base with BB . . .TVd . . ate huge amounts of chocolate biscuits, chocolate and bowls of co-co pops . . . TVd until bed around 2am. 'Difficult' day. :o( passd
24 - Woken by Sally well after 8:30am . . . walked . . . set the PC converting more MP3 files. TVd . . . ate garlic sausage sandwiches with two bags of crisps around 11:30am . . . back to bed (leaving the PC still converting files) and ended up sleeping off the day until around 4:30pm!!!! . . . PCd MP3s/PCd this . . . walked after 7pm . . .PCd/TVd . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd . . . ate a couple of defrosted meat pies and two bags of crisps . . .LB called to touch base a little after midnight, but I don't know why. . . TVd/PCd until bed in the early hours. ps
23 - Woken by Sally around 9:15am!!! Blimey - first 'lie in' I can recall Sally ever letting me have. . . walked late . . .PCd and polished off ripping the last of LBs CDs. All done and returned them to her around midday . . . ate a handful of chocolate biscuits to keep me going. A bit of sunny sky so set off around 2pm with Sally for a walk. Did our usual 'long' three hour walk - in reverse. Down through Fishponds to Oldbury Court, along the river to Snuff Mills, up onto the hill at Purdown for a cigarette by the monument, back down along the river to Eastville Park and a sit by the boating lake, and then all the way back. . stopped for a bag of chips on the way home. Found 2p. . ate half a microwaved chicken with the bag of chips. . .timed the earlier walk with Sally a bit wrong (but actually because I didn't want to be walking home in the dark) so felt obliged to take her out again, to keep to her routine. Walked. Sat on the seat by the swings in the dark for my cigarette, I spotted a car over on the road, pull up and stop in an 'unusual' place, which captured my attention. As I watched, the car reversed into a pedestrian pathway and then continued to reverse down the narrow sloping path and almost out of sight before turning off its lights!! Uhuh - so what illegal are THEY up to???? I'll never learn will I! I just couldn't help myself hooking Sally up, crossing the road, and walking down that path to see what was going on. The car was parked almost completely blocking the path. The asian driver still sat inside, kept the side-lights on so that the asian woman who'd emerged from the passenger seat would be able to see in the pitch black. She was moving round to the back of the car, obviously about to open the trunk. I was forced to squeeze between the car and the hedge to walk past. On the back seat of the car were three small asian children!!! I kept walking, looking back lots. Sure enough, the woman opened the trunk and started taking out rubbish and throwing it over the fence into the hedge!! Good grief - a 'family outing' to do some fly tipping!!!! How utterly bizarre!! The way the man remained in the car, as the woman had to do all the work, seemed to confirm something unpleasant to me about their culture! . . this 'fly tipping' business has started to become a bit of an issue around here of late. A whole load of rubbish has been dumped next to the rugby club gates - the remains of a two seat sofa dumped months ago, remains rotting in the hedge - the lightly covered in foam, metal base of a complete set of old style bench car seats (front, back, AND a section of floor pan maybe?) have appeared dumped on the grass in the field in the last few days!! My OUTRAGE at being confronted by such behaviour (SO unecessary in this society) , got the better of me again (as it always does!!), and I walked back up the lane towards the car and took a couple of photos - complete with flash!!!!! That got their attention - focused on me!!!!!!! Ooops - again! (I SO need a camcorder with low light ability! I'm gonna get one - I AM - it's only a matter of time!! Not only for all this nonsense though - I want to have a go at doing my own videos to go with some of my MP3 collection.) The man got out of the car and joined his wife and they both came over to me asking in pigeon english if I'd just taken a photo. I confirmed I had, and bleated on about how it was totally inappropriate to be dumping stuff like that. They claimed it was 'just' garden refuse - didn't want to get in any trouble, and would put it all back in the car. I was feeling 'vulnerable', (and who the hell did I think I was anyway!!) and really was NOT gonna stand there arguing about it (especially when I could hardly understand a word they were saying) and eventually withdrew, saying they should just get on and do whatever they wanted, Happy Christmas (which was probably the wrong thing to say to someone of Asian origin) and goodbye. . I left them to it, walked round the block and eventually made my way back past the end of the lane (they were STILL parked there) and back over into the field . . . Returned to the seat by the swings and sat for a bit. The car eventually emerged from the lane, drove back onto the road, and away. Sat for a bit longer, eventually intending to go back down that path to see what had been dumped. Just then, from the direction of the main road, a guy started walking towards me!!!! Uh oh!!!! Yep - it WAS the driver of the car!!!! 1 made ready with my phone (all dialed in - just one more button to press to connect), just in case I was gonna be needing the police! Turned out, as far as I could tell from his broken English, he wanted me to know he'd collected all the refuse back up and put it back in his car, and he pretty much just wanted to 'plead' with me and make sure I wasn't going to be reporting him to anyone!! That was of course all a 'bit of a relief' to me (much better than being attacked!), and a bit embarassing, and under the circumstances, after I'd ranted on about how dumping stuff like that was SO unecessary, I assured him I'd be doing nothing. He wished me a Merry Christmas (which seemed doubly absurd because I wasn't going to be having one, and considering whatever religion it was he followed, nor was he) insisted on shaking my hand, and off he went! Crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy!!!! Wonder what their immigration status is?. . I leisurely smoked my cigarette and then wandered back down the lane to have a quick look around with my torch. I think he was true to his word - I could see no signs of any 'new' dumped stuff. Wonder where he WILL be dumping it now? . . on the way home, as usual I crossed the main road on the pedestrian controlled crossing after having waited for the traffic lights to turn red and stop the approaching traffic. (That is the theory of course - I've had several near misses and have learned to keep looking both ways inspite of the red lights, because people on that road seem to regularly simply not see the stop lights, or often actually just choose to drive through them!) Half way across the road, I became aware of the revving of a motorcycle engine behind the stationary traffic to my right. The kid without a helmet on the trials bike with no lights, pulled out past the stationary cars, drove through the red traffic light behind me, straight across the main road and raced off out of sight, barely under control, down past the shops!!! Oooooh what I'd have given to have been able to pull him off! Grrrrr. .what I just can't reconcile in my mind of late, is the two images - these nauseating kids running riot around the area with their self centred antisocial behaviour - and the same kids having trouble sleeping on Christmas eve because of their excitement, and waking up early on Christmas morning to open their presents!! Weird. Wonder how many local kids are gonna get miniature motorbikes this year? :o( . . . PCd a bit of this . . .touched base with BB . . . PS popped round for coffee and chats until early . . . TVd/PCd until earlier. . . touched base with BB briefly before finally to bed around 4am!! pss
22 - Woke around 7:30am to the sound of slightly raised voices from next door. Snoozed on and then woken by Sally after 8:30am . . . walked. . . left Sally at home and shopped for just a couple of things - butter mostly, but ended up buying a few other things too. Jeeze - what a nightmare that was! Definitely started feeling a bit of 'trolley rage'!! . . . ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter. . . napped. Woken somewhere around 4pm by LB calling in with a christmas card (I'd told her not to!) and a small pile of more CDs for me to rip. Uggh - more ripping. :o( . . . walked . . . PCd music . . touched base with BB . . . PCd and listened to a bit of music, loud with the headphones on . . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . . TVd until bed getting on for 2am. ps
21 - Up at 8am again. . .walked. One of the old lady dog walkers was in a bit of a panic because she'd mislayed her dog lead. Ended up walking up and down the field looking for it. I found it - eventually. :o) Damn - I must know just about every blade of grass over there!!! . . . PCd music. Actually - I never did finish converting all those tracks (masses!!) DS sent me at 192kbps down to my more usual and entirely acceptable 128kbps (I just want them all the same for 'consistancy'). I'm not in the mood for doing any DIY - think I'll put in a little time sorting some of those out. Converting the bit rates like that, saves me around 100MB per four albums, or thereabouts. Only trouble is, the software I'm using can't do it in one step, so I have to convert to WAV and then back to MP3, which means I have to rebuild from scratch all the MP3 tag data! VERY time consuming. :o( Satisfying when done. . . left the PC running, transferred some of my savings, left Sally at home and popped up the local PC shop and treated myself to a 200GB Maxtor hard disk (£73) to put in the living room PC. That way (since my secondary 'back up' drive in my main PC died on me) I can pretty much keep a copy of everything I want to attemp to safeguard (MP3 music collection and my journal), on the machine in the living room. Also - I'll be able to play all my music through the living room stereo, without having to run BOTH PCs networked. Threw away £6 on a cheap new 'Intelligent' keyboard too. (Is EVERYTHING made in China these days?) I'm getting sick and tired of mis-typing stuff because all the letters have worn off all my keys - again! Maybe I should trim my nails more - although I rather suspect it has more to do with the abbrasive effect of all the brick dust laying on everything all the time!!. . .Mum called to touch base and report her water heater/central heating system had broken down!! Sheesh - what timing!! Fingers crossed for a successful engineer visit tomorrow . . . installed the new hard drive and set it formatting. Took a while. . . drank a glass of red wine while the oven cooked a meat pizza with extra onion, tomato and grated cheese. . TVd and ate pizza and then some chocolate . .set both networked PCs copying my websites data and all my MP3 music onto the new drive. Around a three hour process!!! My incredible/outrageous MP3 collection now runs out at around 21,500 files/tracks!!! OUTrageous - but SO cool to be able to search, point, click and play any track, immediately, on-demand like that. :o) . . .TVd . . just about to nap when Sis1 called to say she was popping in . . . Sis1 stopped by for coffee, chats and to give me a christmas card and something wrapped. I apologised and informed her I absolutely was NOT doing Christmas AT ALL this year - not even a card - for anyone! I'm just SO not in the mood, and begrudge kinda being 'forced' into sending cards and all that nonsense - so I'm just not! First time ever. Just tell everyone I'm Jewish this year, ok! :o! . . . walked. . . PCd this while listening to multiple 1971 Bonnie Raitt tracks ('Walking Blues' more than once!). . .touched base with BB . . . ate multiple bowls of muesli . . . TVd/PCd until bed around 1:15am. pads
20 - Up at 8am. . . walked late. Did a little 'litter duty' and found 10p. The school breaks up at midday today apparantly. . . PCd music files and worked at getting into order and assimilating into my collection, the latest batch of rips. . .in the middle of PCing, the doorbell rang. Some young kid? Huh? Good grief - how unexpected!!!!!! :o) Turned out to be the kid of that woman up the street who's house was burgled on the 25th November, whose purse and store cards and such I'd found in the street and had been able to return to her. She'd sent him up with a Christmas card and a present, to say thank you!!!!!!!!!! Blimey - I didn't know what to say ("You shouldn't have!") or how to say thank you enough! The card read "To Mr Jones. Please have a very merry christmas. Thank you once again for helping us to regain some of our belongings." The present was a box of expensive 'Thorntons, Premium Selection' chocolates! I was - um - 'touched' and 'moved'. Very nice thing for her to do. See how neat the world 'could' be?! Actually, it made me feel a bit awkward. I mean - it wasn't as if I'd done much was it. Wasn't it what most everyone would have done? I just don't know anymore. . despite the 'soft and fluffy' feelings that gave me, my mind pointed out ' Yeah - but you STILL have to face the anti social yobs and nastiness EVERY time you step outside the door don't you!!!! You still gotta walk Sally later!' :o(. . . ate grated cheese, onion, lettuce and tomato sandwiches with two bags of crisps, and then a bunch of chocolate biscuits. . napped until just before 6pm. Woke overheating and feeling sick! Too much food before sleep - or maybe that furry, funny coloured cheese IS past its best!. . . left the PC running convering files and walked. Found 6p. . .threw up! PCd . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd / PCd listening to music. Wow - who is 'Solas' (celtic music). They are soooooo gooooood!! :o) . . .ate bowls of co-co pops and chocolate. . . TVd until bed around 1:30am or earlier/later. pas
19 - Woken by Sally at 7:45am . . . walked in the thawing frost around 8:30am. Damn - PS had suggested all the kids were broken up for Christmas, and my walks should be 'clear' now. Wrong! :o( . . . PCd all day, ripping LBs boyfriends CD collection. .returned all but a handful around 6:30pm . . . walked after 7pm. Approaching the field, a large group of maybe a dozen kids, some walking, some with push bikes passed me. Shortly after, something 'wet', thrown, hit the pavement right next to me! Couldn't figure out what had been thrown, but something for sure. I stopped and turned and just stared at the group, as they slowly walked down the middle of the road, looking back to see what my reaction was. Several stopped. One rode back a little distance, got off his bike and got one of his friends to hold it for him. He took something from the kid who was holding his bike and then in a very deliberate and strangely 'careful' manner, launched something high into the air in my direction! It was dark and I couldn't see what was aloft, or where to go to avoid it, so there seemed little point in moving. I didn't move. It missed - just! I started walking towards them (definitely a pathetic bluff, considering recent events!!) and thankfully they all ran off (blocking the main road as they went and getting car horns blowing at them!). Heading back into the field I fired up my torch in an attempt to see what they had been throwing. Eggs - of course!! Little bastards! :o( Comes to something when you can't even walk down the street without kids throwing eggs at you. Outrageous! On THIS occasion, I did NOT take it 'particularly' personally. After all, they were already 'armed' weren't they. I've also seen a few egg cartons littering the field of late, so I guess it has become a bit of a common occurance for local kids to be throwing eggs at stuff (but at people? That's going a step or two further isn't it?). detoured out of the field half way through the walk, and bought some milk. Finished the walk and then a VERY nervous walk home - but, as it turned out, without further incident - and even the house had NOT been egged, as I'd imagined it surely would have been. . . called the police (seems SO silly!), just so there was a record of tonight's incident. The guy on the phone apparantly filled out a '420' form, which seemed fair enough, until after he'd finished, he went on to explain how nothing about that was computerised! The form would be paper-filed under todays date at that police station!! Jeeze!!! Well no wonder there are never any police around - if all the reports of anti social behaviour incidents are just filed away in a box in some station somewhere, never to be computer analyzed!!! What nonsense. I give up! :o( . . .PCd just a bit more but very soon had enough for the day. . .touched base briefly with BB . . .TVd feeling pretty fed up and miserable. . .ate half a chicken with garlic bread and extra butter, followed by chocolate . . . TVd until bed around 11:30pm. pas
18 - Up just before 8am. . .walked in the frost. Attempting to retrieve some litter, a large glass bottle thrown under some tree branches, I succeeded in poking my right eye with a branch!! Ouch! Ended up stumbling around the field with water streaming from my blinded eye! Luckily after a bit of a sit on the seat and some mopping with a handkercheif, I was soon relatively recovered! . . . called LB about the CD she'd said last night, I could borrow (to rip). Popped up LBs to pick it up and ended up borrowing a huge box of all her boyfriend's CDs! Blimey - that'lll be a few more for my HUGE MP3 collection. Better race to get all those ripped and returned as soon as possible - although I'm really not in the mood for all that work! :o( . . PCd ripping CDs . . PS popped round briefly for a quick coffee . . PCd . . ate six pieces of bread and butter with a tin of microwaved stewed steak. . slept the afternoon away and didn't wake until around 7:30pm!! . . .walked . . . ripped more CDs. . . touched base with BB . . . ate a couple of defrosted microwaved pasties with two bags of crisps. . . TVd . . . to bed at 1am. pss
17 - Woken by Sally around 6:45am again!? . . .walked. Huge amounts of litter all over the place so did some 'litter duty'. I don't 'dare' to do any on a week day now, because of the likelihood of inciting more hassle and ridicule from the school kids!! What a world! Filled and binned three carrier bags full, but hardly made any impression on the mess. Can't complain though - found a £10 note. Yayyyy. :o) . . .checked my accounts . . . back on my knees and fitted the new hot water stop tap beneath the boiler, without any particular trouble, and still not a leak in sight thank goodness. Dismantled the old stop cock and verified that two rubber washers (actually looked pretty impossible to just replace the washers) had pretty much turned to hardened powder, as I'd suspected!! I imagine the heat from the HOT water, reduces their lifespan considerably. . . Mum called to touch base as I was running hot taps and checking everything was ok . . . put a couple of the floorboards in the bedroom back in place and then vacuumed and tidied up a little around the place. . . LB called to touch base and report she'd got herself a half share interest in a local allotment!!!! That'll be a lot of work. I bet! lol . . . did dishwashing chores while the oven reheated. . . ate half a chicken and a cheap garlic bread stick with extra lashings of butter and then some squares of chocolate . . . napped the afternoon away until around 5:45pm. Woke with renewed aching and stiffness in my legs. :o( . . PS called . . .PCd this while sucking an annadin tablet, to take the edge off my aches for walking Sally. Silly really - I have most of that large box of co-codamol left. I ought to be popping one or two of those instead. . .walked. Taunts of 'bin man' and possibly some other abuse from a group of around a dozen kids outside the chip shop :o( . . . touched base with BB . . . PS popped round for chats and biscuits . . LB popped in briefly during the evening. . .TVd/PCd until early. pass
16 - Woken by Sally climbing up on the bed around 6:45am. Bit of stroking and then up at 7am. . . walked around 7:30am. Oh my god - I am SO stiff and achey!!!!?? All the muscles in my legs seem to be aching the worst. Couldn't even bend my legs to crouch down to do poop scooping duties (if I'd squatted down, I wouldn't have been able to push back up!!) and ended up trying to reach down at arms length. Big disaster and got poop on a couple of fingers!! EEEEwwwwwww, eewww, eeeeewwwww!!!!!! . . . PCd this with the heating on again, occasionaly running around and looking at the pieces of newspaper I'd placed under all the new soldered joints, looking for signs of leaks. Fingers still crossed. :o) . Funny the timing of some of the junk mail I get in the post. This morning I got a letter from Bristol Water trying to get me to sign up for some expensive Plumbing and Drainage Emergency Cover. A week or two ago I was suddenly coincedentaly getting frequent fliers through the letterbox from estate agents looking to sell my house for me!!! Yeah - well - they're gonna have to wait a bit. . . .left Sally at home and drove to Lidl for four boxes of jaffa cake supplies and then on to Wickes at Longwell Green to buy a replacement stop cock (£3.39) and then on to ASDA for a couple of chickens and a handful of other stuff before filling the car up with petrol (35.34ltrs @ £30). I'm SO stiff and achey, I even had trouble just getting in and out of the car!!. . ate six pieces of bread and butter ham sandwiches with two bags of crisps for an early lunch. . . lay down before 1pm and napped the afternoon away until shortly before 5pm! . . .PCd briefly while sucking an annadin tablet. Walked. . . TVd and ate six pieces of bread and butter ham, lettuce and tomato sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . touched base with BB . . . ate a couple of bananas . . TVd and ate even more!! Some chocolate, a handful of chocolate biscuits and then a few bowls of cornflakes!!! Blimey - guess I was hungry. . eventually to bed just before 1am. pass
15 - Woke around 5am something, snoozed on then up around 7:20am . . walked. Very stiff and achey. :o( . . A couple of kids on their way to school were throwing stones at stuff. (Some early twenties guy walking across the field actually threw one back at them in anger!!) As I walked around the field near the rugby club building, they were launching stones over from the road, onto the roof of the building and roundabout (and some bouncing off not far from me and Sally!!). I walked over to the hedge and just shouted 'STOP IT!' - which of course they didn't . . walking back past the school with those two kids somewhere behind me, a thrown stone bounced off the road next to me and hit a nearby parked minibus!!!!! Grrrrr. I ended up walking back towards them and giving them some "Idiots! Haven't got a brain cell between you!" abuse. Amazing how all these kids around here are brought up to immediately lie and deny having done anything - even when they know, you just saw them do it, right in front of your face! Idiots, all. . .PCd this, putting off having another go at tackling that really awkward leaking central heating joint. Much colder weather forecast for the weekend apparantly. Typical! :o( . . . ended up being pretty much a re-run of yesterday, racing around for hours, draining the heating system, re-soldering leaky joints, refilling the system - repeat, repeat, repeat!!!! I need more practice at soldering pipes. How on earth that plumber guy who did my gas pipes was SO 100% confident his joints wouldn't leak, is beyond me. I seem to have a knack of being able to solder up a joint, only to find that the flux forms part of the seal, and as soon as it gets warm under pressure, it blows the flux out and leaks!!! . . at some point during the battle, the electric meter reader called at the door. Poor guy. He was nervous of barking Sally (shut in the kitchen) and wanted reassurance it was safe to come in. That was the least of his worries! I answered the door with a knife in one hand!!! :o( . . .at long long last, approaching 6pm, it appeared that I MAY have succeeded in making all the joints watertight. The trade off for that was, I now have no hot water!!!!!!!!! The stop tap/valve just beneath the boiler on the hot water supply has developed a leak. Understatement actually. Obviously the seal around the tap handle part has failed completely, and with it open even the smallest amount, a jet of water rushes straight out! WHAT a pain! Gonna have to replace all that now! Oh well - with a kettle and electric shower, I hardly ever use the hot tap anyway. Forced to make a choice at this time of year, I'd rather have heat than hot water. . . ran the heating up pretty hot, until the house felt like a greenhouse (but probably felt that hot because I was all up tight and hot and bothered and racing around checking all the pipes and radiators everywhere) and still no leaks. Oooooh fingers crossed. . . walked just before 7pm. Just inside the field was a small dark shape on the grass. Luckily I spotted it before Sally and managed to get her back on her lead before shining my torch on the cute, grass munching rabbit. The stupid thing just sat there! Eventually Sally, straining on her leash, dragged me towards it (almost off my feet) and it suddenly ran off into the cover of the brambles. :o) . . Stopped for jumbo sausage and chips takeaway on the way home. . . TVd and ate . . tidied up just a little and then put the heating on again. It'll be a few hot/cold 'cycles' before I'm confident nothing is gonna leak and I can put the floorboards back down. :o/ . . . touched base with BB, but only briefly. SO exhausted, I just wanted to 'sit', quietly. . . blobbed in front of the TV (although occasionaly my paranoia got the better of me and I had to go checking for leaks) until bed around 11pm. D.I.Y. tip of the day. Do not use a gas blow lamp on the back of your fingers. It hurts like hell and makes all the skin bubble up and come off!!!!! ps
14 - Woken by Sally just after 8am. . .walked . . . slow getting going but around 11am eventually mustered up the courage/energy to have a go at altering the central heating pipes and getting the back bedroom radiator re-connected in its new position, and have a couple of capped off pipes for an eventual connection to a run up into the attic, clipped to the side of the firebreast wall in the back bedroom. Doesn't sound like much, but with having to run around all over the house turning off radiators, pulling up floorboards, draining the system, cutting into the existing pipes, making new runs, blow lamp soldering in awkward tight spaces, etc, etc, etc - it was a LOT of work! It didn't go well - and the first attempt at a re-pressurisation of the system revealed that just about every joint that I'd soldered was leaking!!!!!!!!! :o( Trouble with that happening so I've found is that once you've reintroduced water into the system, it's damn near impossible to drain it all out to enable an attempt at re-soldering. Ended up having to cut out a couple of pieces of new pipe and re-do it all. :o( . . around 7pm I had another go at pressurising the system, only to find I STILL had a leak, from one of THE most awkwardly placed 'T' joints! Bugger! So - no heating in the house for a while! :o( . . . walked, aching all over (bad back in particular) like I'd just done a strenuous work out! Found 8p. Actually relatively mild out for the time of year, and I was wearing too many layers and overheating. . All but one of the street lights near the field were all intact, lit and working. :o) Seemed strangely quiet out. . One of the dog walkers remarked on how there had been a 'large' police presence in the area lately. Huh? Turned out she'd seen several of them last night, a little further down the main road - two on push bikes and one on a horse!!! Blimey. Wonder what (really bad?) must happened to get them out (temporarily) in the area like that? . . stopped for jumbo sausage and chips takeaway on the way home . . just down the road (in my 'usual' direction, I no longer walk) , a large group of kids were taking it in turns to go running across the road and then throw themselves into someones garden hedge and garden!!!!! I don't suppose the occupant of the house would dare to object would they! :o( . . . ate chips in front the TV and then touched base with BB . . felt oh SO EXHAUSTED!! Struggled to stay awake watching TV before eventually to bed around 10:30pm. p
13 - Woken by Sally at 8am. Headachey! :o( . . . opened the living room curtains only to be immediately confronted by a couple of schoolkids on their way to school, stop opposite and attempt to remove the badges from the neighbour's cars parked on their drive!! They were unsuccessful I believe, and eventually carried on their way, little angels! :o( . . PCd this, so I could walk later avoiding the school kids . . . walked around 9am. Bumped into that guy down the road who does up houses and who'd also been the victim of a yob assault. He asked me if I'd had any more 'problems' recently. I said, 'touch wood', things seem to have quietened down a bit of late. Suprisingly, he mentioned the name of Little Xxxxxx (despite me never having told him)!!!!???? I asked how he knew and he said something about how 'people talk'. I asked what he'd heard about the incident and he said the story was that I'd hit the kid! Grrrrr. :o( He confirmed he knew the kid and that he was no good and out of control. He'd allegedly - seen him jumping up and down on a nice old car that used to be parked near his house, and had also seen him walk into the road and deliberately stand there laughing, obstructing a learner driver in the middle of doing a driving test!!! Ahuh! :o( . . . just about to go into the field when I spotted a van pulling up about to start doing maintainence on the street lights. He pulled up underneath a light which was fixed just a couple of days ago, but which now once again had the lamp fitment at the top dislodged from its post mount and dangerously just hanging from its wire and swinging in the breeze! Doing my 'old man busy body' thing, I wandered over and explained that I'd called the council the other day, and then pointed out ALL the lights in the vicinity which I knew needed attention, a couple of which they'd missed the other day (and also mentioned my suspicion that one light had been removed and not replaced when the road was dug up - but I don't think he cared). He didn't seem to mind me sticking my nose in (I justified having a word with him by saying how scary at night it was around there without decent lights), and I asked him out of interest, how on earth the vandals manage to destroy the tall ones like that. Turns out, despite the lamp fitments being clamped to the top of the pole, if you just continually push/shake the pole from the bottom, the oscillations will eventually dislodge the fitment!!! Good grief - given they had that knowledge - you'd have thought it would be pretty easy to alter things to prevent it, and save all that money on sending someone out with a hydraulic platform every few days!!!??? Bizarre. . by the time I was leaving the field he had moved on to the other lights I'd pointed out, and was adding a whole new fitting to replace the one which I'd seen laying in the hedge (and which was subsequently moved into the street and smashed to pieces by someone and traffic). Wonder how long they'll last this time? Found 11p. . .Yayyyyyyyy. Five £50 premium bond wins in the mail this month. Happy Christmas. :o) (although - I've unilaterally decided to utterly ignore christmas this year. Not even sure I'm gonna bother with all that nauseating obligation/hassle of sending cards. What exactly IS the point? HUMBUG!). . balanced my accounts and then rang up my bank and transferred some money. . . walked with Sally up to Kingswood to bank the PSB cheques . . . returned Mums ansaphone call and touched base . . . ate six buttered, grated-cheese covered, toasted crumpets . . . napped from before 2pm until around 4:30pm. Healthwise, (aside from the subsiding pain from my ribs and increased congestion in my lungs) I've not been feeling quite right since 'the attack' . Can't quite put my finger on it, but I don't feel as 'clear' in my head much of the time somehow, - and it seems as though I'm only able to muster the energy to do less and less each day. Walk Sally, a quick wander up to the bank, and that's me pretty much done for the day!!!!!!??? :o( . . .walked. Found 2p. The street light that guy attended to this morning, and one of the others wasn't lit! Surely he would have tested them?!! Approaching the field, a large group of maybe eight kids were all assembled in the shadows. One of them called out to me, but NOT with the more customary abuse I've become used to. He seemed insistant so rather than continue to ignore them, I DID walk over for a word as he'd 'requested'. Turned out to be that same kid that's been calling out about me having taken his Betty. Basically, I think he pretty much wanted me to recount the tail of the policeman driving it away, to his disbelieving friends. It was a coldly calulated act on my part, that engaging in such a conversation with those kids and having at least a little kinda non confrontational 'lets laugh about it - together' dialogue, could actually make MY life a bit easier around here!! I used the angle of explaining that on that night when they'd been stood there in the bushes with the bike, if I hadn't intervened, with a police chase and helicopter going on all around, it was THEM who WOULD have been caught! Unfortunately I couldn't help going a little bit into 'preaching mode' and tried to explain why I'd call the police if I ever saw someone (them) breaking the law. "Would you call the police if you saw someone bunking off?" one of them asked. No - but I'd like to! And then off I went into why they shouldn't bunk off!!!!! "Yeah, but you wouldn't call them if you saw us smoking dope would you" one said (because clearly I HAVE seen them smoking before now - yep - I think I can remember the time), and I had to admit, I probably wouldn't - but added I WOULD if I saw them dealing (which - don't ask me to explain how - but I'm pretty sure that kid DOES deal a bit!!!). Then I was encouraged by comments from one of them about the risks of psychological problems, to launch into why people of such a young age shouldn't smoke. (I'm no judge of such things - but if that little Xxxxxx person was eleven, then some of those kids MUST have been in single figures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Yeah - like anything 'I' say is gonna make a difference to the way they are flushing their lives down the toilet! Well - that'll teach them to speak to me! lolol Eventually carried on with the walk - feeling as though the conversation had been 'beneficial' - to me. .back out of the field and the kids had gone. Checked out a big new notice, hardly visible in the dark, attached to the lampost that wasn't lit that the guy had worked on this morning. Turned out to be one of those crazy (bluff/wishful thinking?) police notices announcing that regular off-road patrols were being done in this area! It actually had the effect of making me say out loud "Yeah f****** right!" in disbelief. . found 2p. . some of the same group of kids were now hanging around by the chip shop. As I passed, I became aware of some 'slightly' older guy dressed in black, wheeling away a push bike from them and off across the main road. Huh?I couldn't work out what was going on, and became fixated on a strange red flashing light coming from his mobile phone clipped to his lapel!?? I was so preoccupied staring at his red light, I didn't respond particularly well when he said good evening and I belatedly realised it was a policeman!! Funny thing was - that same kid who said I'd taken his Betty, was the one who'd just had the bike taken from him. He 'good naturedly-ish' called out to me across the road that he'd just had his ?????? (another nick name) taken!! Being all 'matey'-ish again, I exchanged a word or two and asked him who HE'D taken the bike from and how come the 'copper' wasn't taking HIM as well! His story was (and around this crazy twilight zone it WAS 'almost' believable) that he'd found it dumped at another small nearby grass area (from where I actually salvaged some dumped bike parts myself once!!). Well - I guess the policeman believed him. Bet it didn't even cross his mind to do a search for drugs on such a small child!! . Bizarre, bizarre bizarre. Ended up walking home actually talking out loud to myself (which I can get away with, cause I 'could' be talking to Sally) saying how absolutely f***ing crazy the world, especially round here, has become! . . .BB called briefly from a payphone, because her phone line was laying in pieces in the street!!?. . .PCd this . . . TVd and 'did my duty' of watching this months Crimewatch UK . . .ate bowls of co-co pops. . . touched base with BB . . .TVd/PCd until early. paass
12 - Woken by Sally at 7:30am. . .walked. On the way back from the field I had to pass a small group of kids by the school, all stood chatting and smoking (instead of actually going IN to lessons!). A couple of them started on about how I used to be a policeman!!??? One of them started up with that same calling out that I've been confused by before. This time I understood the words. "He took our clunk. He took our f****** Betty!" In as good natured a way as I could, I stopped and pointed out that I was not and had never been a policeman, but I WAS 'old fashioned' and WOULD call the police if I EVER saw something illegal going on right in front of me - and just exactly what the hell did he mean by calling that out at me all the time? Aha. I'd suspected as much (despite not being able to recognise one hooded yob from another!). God - it's SUCH a relief when my tortured, paranoid mind is proved to have actually reached the right conclusion about such things!! He'd been one of those kids in the bushes on the 3rd of November with the stolen C90 motorbike!!!! He claimed it was his ('Clunk' and 'Betty' being his nick names for it) and he'd bought it - and I'd taken it away from him. Trying to keep up my good natured 'matey' act, I actually told him about how the policeman had turned up and then driven it off, and how funny it was to see. As I carried on my way with a smile, he was complaining that he'd put half a tank of gas in it! lolol Well - lets hope that puts an end to his calling that out at me all the time. Probably not. At least, now I know - and will be less fearful and more able to smile when I hear the taunting. :o/ Found 3p. . . PCd this. . .left Sally at home and drove to Wickes at Longwell Green for a couple of short lengths (2.4m) of plaster edge bead, some plaster and some galvanised clout nails (£7.84). . . cut to fit, nailed and cemented the edge bead onto the bit of wall at the top of the stairs. The wall is SO uneven, it didn't go very well and will require quite a bit of further attention - and maybe some grinding back with the disc cutter before any attempts at plastering! :o( . .too late for a nap so PCd a bit. .walked. Round by the shops, a group of kids including little Xxxxxx were hanging around. Little Xxxxxx was attempting to vandalise/remove the top of the pillarbox as I passed by!!! Taunts of bin man etc. called after me. . On the way back from the field the kids had gone - and so had the entire little plastic covered 'window' on the front of the pillarbox that gives details of the collection times etc. :o( . . . TVd while the oven reheated food. . ate garlic bread and half a chicken and then half a bar of chocolate. . .touched base with BB . . . TVd until bed at midnight. ps
11 - Woken by BB calling around 7:30am . . today I will NOT be doing any rendering! Ouch! :o( . TVd and watched a bit of the live coverage of the big oil fire in Hemel Hempstead. . . . walked. The recently repaired street sign illumination light has been smashed again. Found an 18" hacksaw with a weird wide blade (badly worn needing replacement), frosted to the grass. Salvaged it to add to my tool collection. I think it'll take a more 'normal' blade . . TVd more news channels while eating four pieces of toast with marmalade and jam. . . felt dreadfully tired and ended up going back to bed! Slept through ansaphone messages until early afternoon. . . TVd/PCd. . . PS called, still battling away with his PC problem. Made a rather useless suggestion or two . . . PCd and put in some hours attempting to come up with a new list of all the music in my collection, for my badly outdated website page. Ended up downloading a 'Windows XP Winter 2003 Fun Pack', just to be able to get hold of the media player 'Media Info Exporter' plug in. That enabled me to export all my media player library Tag information for manipulation in Excel/Access etc. Put in hours of work before coming up with a half finished decent list. . walked in the fog and found a penny. . .PCd some more, only to end up with a massive list of over three and a half thousand entries!!! Eventually had to conclude (after crashing the machine more than once ) that no way was I gonna be able to get that lot on a web page! Stupid waste of time!! . . . touched base with BB . . TVd . . ate a tin of stewed steak and five pieces of bread and butter followed by half a bar of chocolate. Felt increasingly weird/unwell and 'out of sorts', almost fell asleep in the chair in front of the TV, and eventually ended up in bed before midnight. ps
10 - Woken by Sally earlier but she allowed me to snooze on until I woke around 8:20am. . . walked late. There's been a broken spade laying in the field for the last few days. Actually - I think it's been laying under a bush for several months, but the recent fall of leaves has revealed it. Someone in the night had picked it up, walked it over to the school fence and hurled it high in the air and over, smashing one of the sports hall windows! :o( . . . trimmed with the disc cutter, that piece of black Indian flag stone I bagged from the reclamation yard, and cemented it in on the top of that low wall at the top of the stairs. Not sure it worked out too well - but I'm working at stuff with a different attitude now - definitely less 'perfectionist' (although I wouldn't call ANYTHING I've done in this house, 'perfect' at all! Just remembered - I've not yet mentioned here how over the last few weeks, all the plaster on the wall immediately behind the central heating radiator in the living room has been 'cooked' off the wall, is threatening to actually fall off, and will have to all be re-done!! Not sure what I did wrong - won't know until I remove the radiator to investigate and attend to it. I BET it's something to do with that rubberised damp proof sealant, drying out too much with the extreme heat of the radiator. :o( ) . trimmed a floorboard and a couple of ceiling laths out of the way, hacked off just a little more of the dust plaster from the edge of the back bedroom firebreast and then mixed up a load of cement in the mixer and rendered the bit of wall in the corner. In that corner is the couple of inches void I've left between the firebreast and the new stud wall, to take the wiring and eventually some central heating pipes up into the attic. With that bit of wall all rendered, when it's dry, I'm clear to start thinking about altering the heating system pipes and maybe reconnecting the radiator in the back bedroom. Unfortunately, my plan of temporarily having the pipes just go straight up into the attic a couple of feet above the floor level, to be capped off with a compression fitting, isn't going to be possible! I'd forgotten that right above where they will go up, is one of the double joist attic floor beams. That's gonna complicate matters and may force me into doing more of the plumbing in the attic than I'd wanted to at this stage. :o( . . mixed up too much cement and ended up having to use it to render up a 'vertical-to-aim-for' on part of the stripped-back-to-brick wall facing the top of the stairs. Lots more strenuous work than I'd planned!! . . vaccumed a little and cleaned up by around 2:30pm. . ate half a chicken and a cheap garlic bread stick, re-heated in the oven, with massive amounts of extra butter!!. . . napped from around 4pm until PS ansaphone message woke me around 6pm. Ouch - my chest is hurting - differently! Definitely over did it with all that rendering earlier, although I'm gonna try and resist taking any more of those pain killers I think. . .walked . . . PCd this . . .touched base with BB . . . PS popped round for chats and chocolate biscuits until early. . . touched base with BB until early before bed long after 2am. ps
9 - Woken by Sally around 7:15am. . .walked. Someone taunting me with calls of 'bin man'. Yet more evidence of vandalised street lights near the field! It really is getting frighteningly dark on that corner at night these days. Can't imagine how those lights are vandalised like that - to the extent of having the entire light fitment removed from the top of the high pole and smashed all around. One 'relatively' intact (almost tempted to salvage the light sensitive sensor) was actually laying in the hedge! . mentioned the state of the school wall to one of the teachers on gate duty. A large portion of the bricks below the fence near the side entrance, where all the kids climb over, had been dislodged and was clearly pretty dangerous and would require some serious rebuilding!! . . . sat down to address a couple of envelopes, noticed the 'Important Numbers' leaflet next to me, and actually ended up ringing up the listed council phone number and informing them of the location of multiple broken street lights and street sign illumination lights. Actually - I'm still pretty convinced that an entire street light was removed and not replaced when those guys from the building site dug up the road a while back. I really have turned into the local 'old man busy-body' haven't I!!! . . walked with Sally round the local sub post office and mailed a couple of letters . . . TVd . . .my chest is still feeling permanently 'uncomfortable' in places, but it IS a lot improved. Dared to put in a couple of hours messing around at the top of the stairs with cutting/drilling/fixing and cementing a couple of edge beads to the end of the low bit of wall adjacent to the attic doorway. Nothing heavy or strenuous. Think it went ok, but sure felt exhausted afterwards, for such a small amount of work!!! . . . ate corned beef, grated cheese, mayo, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of (eat before October'05!!) crisps and then a handful of biscuits . . . napped from around 3 until 6pm. Felt a bit achey and nauseus for a while! :o( . . PCd this . . . walked. Some kid playing football in the road with a friend (REALLY dangerous place to do so!!) suddenly spoke to me and thanked me for returning their stuff!!!!?? Turned out it was a kid who lived in that house that was burgled last week . just round the corner a large group of kids hanging around outside the chip shop was truer to form. Some verbal abuse and what I presume was the same kid as once before, swearing at me and calling out 'E took our <unintelligable>, 'e took our f***ing betty!!'. What on earth does that mean? What AM I being accused of??!!???. .at least one of the street lights, and the vandalised street sign illumination light had been fixed - although there are STILL two consecutive street lights down that road missing the light fitting/not working!. . . surfed property sites . . . turned on both networked PCs and listened to music, loud through the stereo, in the living room. . . returned BBs call and touched base. . . ate two defrosted pasties with two bags of crisps . . . TVd/PCd until bed around 2am. ps
8 - Up around 7:45am. . . walked . . . walked with Sally up to Kingswood to draw out some money, pick up a passport application form from the post office (mine has expired!) and buy a handful of birthday cards. Found a penny. . ate a couple of buttered crumpets . . . TVd/PCd . . . napped the afternoon away . . .ate a couple of bananas and a handful of biscuits. . . walked . . . returned Mums ansaphone calls . . . TVd . . . BB called . . . ate multiple bowls of co-co pops . . .LB called briefly, enquiring if I wanted to have, to have a go at fixing, her relatively new washing machine which she can't seem to fix and which she's gonna replace. It is SUCH a new expensive one, ordinarily I would probably have given it a go, but I've changed of late - I just can't be bothered with such things any more. :o( I declined. . .TVd until bed around midnight. pcccs
7 - Up around 7:15am. Headachey again! . . . walked in the frost . . . balanced my accounts . . . left Sally at home and drove to ASDA at Longwell Green to stock up on coffee, sugar, dog food etc. . .cooked and ate mushrooms, onion, fried potato, ham ring and four pieces of bread and butter followed by squares of chocolate. . .TVd . . . napped from around 3pm until 6pm . . . walked in the rain . . . TVd. . . touched base with BB . . . ate corned beef sandwiches with two bags of crisps. . . TVd until bed around 1am. pccs
6 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. . . walked late after 9am. Did a couple of carrier bags of 'litter duty'. Collected up all the fire extinguishers that were littering the field and then reported where they were (until the school kids get out) to the local police, for what it's worth. THAT explains the weird 'metalic banging against the swing frame' noises that were emanating from that rowdy group of kids last night! Found 3p. . . PCd this . . .TVd . . . ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter and then a few squares of chocolate . . .napped until around 3pm . . . Tvd/PCd and put in a little time bringing my 'Hood' page a little more up to date with most of the relevant recent events. I live amongst all this, so it's difficult to be objective - but with it all layed out in front of me like that, considering how small a world I live in (just walking my dog twice a day round the local field - I've seriously considered counting the paces to record here, so few are they!), it IS a lot of 'stuff' going on, isn't it??? Been a busy month!!! :o( . . .walked. The fire extinguishers (three of them at least) were still there, thrown around by the kids and by now all dented and the worse for wear. What a waste! . . TVd more bike building channels . .ate multiple bowls of co-co pops and squares of chocolate. . . touched base with BB. . . TVd until bed around midnight. pccs
5 - Up around 7:30am. Headachey. . .walked around 8:15am. Carried on and walked down to Eastville Park, along the river (past a burned out car) and then up onto the hill at Purdown. Well - if I'd 'put money on it' last night, I would have lost it! No sign of any new burned out car up there anywhere - and in fact, the one I took a picture of the last time I was up there has been removed. Weird - wonder what it was I saw making that light in the distance last night? Intriguing. . was sat on the top of the hill by the monument with Sally when I spotted a fox, way off down below in the distance near the lake. Sally eventually saw it too, and ignoring my frantic calls for her to 'come', she raced off down the hill after it. The fox thankfully disappeared into the safety of some brambles. Very weird feeling to be stood at the top of that hill and just have to powerlessly watch, as Sally did her wolf impression/hunting thing far off below. Eventually she returned. . . back down to Snuff Mills, along the brown and swollen river and then back up through Fishponds and a quick stop off at the Morrisons store for a couple of ready cooked chickens. Blimey - two for £4 now!! They'll be giving them away soon at this rate. :o) Back home by around 11:30am. Found 10p along the way. . . returned Mums ansaphone call . . . ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter and then a few squares of chocolate . . .napped until around 4pm. Still a bad headache!!? . . . TVd/PCd. . .walked and found a penny. Some passing kid actually passed the time of day with me and wanted to stroke Sally and such! Took me SO by suprise (and with my poisoned mind I assumed there was probably an alterior suspicious motive) I probably appeared abrupt and rude. It's just SO unusual these days around here - although - a kid (maybe the same one?) said something like 'all right?' as I passed a couple of them last night. I'd concluded he was just being 'big' and 'cocky' in front of his mates. . Big group of rowdy kids assembled by the swings in the dark. One of the dog walkers told tales of having seen some of them kicking parked cars, writing foul words in the condensation on the windscreens, and a couple of others kicking down someones garden fence (and STILL she doesn't attempt to report it or do anything about what she sees!??? Weird - although - maybe MY experiences have warned off, so doing!) . . .headache eased but still felt a bit out of sorts. . PCd property a little. . .TVd and ended up watching 'guy' stuff (car and bike renovation / building) on the new channels. How sad am I! Once I used to build ('assemble' really) and ride my own custom bikes - now all I do is watch someone else do it on TV!!!! :o( Makes me want to get back on one! . . .touched base with BB . . .ate a couple of bananas, biscuits and chocolate. . . TVd/PCd until early. Wow - this weeks special deal in one of those 'cheap' stores is a £90'ish set of night vision binoculars! How bizarre - but how neat that'd be over that field - but how hard to explain!! lololol. Gay marriage became law this day. pccccs
4 - Woken by Sally at 8:10am. . . walked. Lots of evidence laying around of more things afoot in the night - most likely a stolen moped. Bits of a wiring loom laying on the pavement, a cracked ignition lock in the gutter, loads of 'doughnut' and tyre marks in the grass, and a green plastic petrol container left on the grass just inside the field (which I think a dog walker bagged for himself). . . TVd . . . ate four pieces of toast with marmalade and jam . . . napped until woken around 2:45pm by BB calling. . . TVd and ate chocolate . . . back to sleep until around 6pm . . . walked. Sat on a boulder for my cigarette - felt kinda quiet out. Way off in the distance, a few miles away up near the monument on Purdown, there was an unusual light in the middle of what is usualy just a dark silhouetted hill. Couldn't really tell from such a great distance, but I'd put money on that being another stolen dumped burned car up there. . . PCd a bit of this while drinking wine and listening to some Tracy Chapman. 'Behind the Wall' "Last night I heard the screaming,loud voices behind the wall. 'Nother sleepless night for me, it won't do no good to call. The police, always come late, if they come at all". . TVd . .tipsy on one glass of wine!! :o) . . . ate corned beef, lettuce and coleslaw sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . .touched base with BB . . . ate huge amounts of chocolate and TVd lots of channels :o) until bed around 1am. pccccds
3 - Up around 7:45am. Still raining!. .hmmm - not sure which bit of what I did yesterday was a mistake (sawing the scrap wood in half?), but I think I've aggravated my painful chest and have set things back a step or two! :o( That's the trouble with jacking up on pain killers like I have been - you don't realise what damage you may be doing until they wear off! With my slightly better mood yesterday, I was even almost tempted to start gently having a go at some of the lighter 'building work' at the top of the stairs. I think I MUST resist any such desires, for a while longer yet!! :o( Maybe I WILL have those extra TV channels put on, since all I can do is just sit around at the moment anyway! . . . walked in the heavy rain. Found a penny and some sort of cheap metal bangle to add to my 'jewellery collection'. Actually - I've added that big silver earring I've worn for years, to the collection in the cupboard. It got torn out and bent when that guy 'attacked' me - I surprisingly found it lying on the carpet amongst the eggs at the bottom of the stairs when I cleaned up afterwards. I think I've reached an age and state of mind where wearing 'jewellery' is no longer something I'm gonna do. Too old for that. Just a watch (so I can know what day, month AND year it is when I need to!). . .sat around as the rain poured yet more. It hardly gets light when the weather is like this!! . . PCd this. . . Mum called and chatted to an obviously slightly happier me - which hopefully made her happier. She's having her own 'winter blues down' at the moment it would appear. She's missing Dad. :o( . . .PS called about a spyware type problem he was working on with his PC. I wasn't much use (cause I think it was 'user error' and he's actually installed something nasty) other than to suggest going onto the Microsoft site and downloading their spyware beta. . actually - I haven't done that myself yet! Set the machine running and downloaded (SUCH a pain with only a dial up still!) and eventually installed the software. Actually almost disappointed it reported I was all clean. I'd rather hoped it'd find something and speed up the machine! . . . at last - got round to changing the worn washer on the kitchen tap. Such a pleasure to have it all renewed and cleaned and back working smoothly like it should. Nice to have some 'flow control' back after the last few weeks of pretty much either on (with the possibility of noisy 'bouncing' pipes) or off! . . . cooked and ate mushrooms, onion, fried potato, ham ring and four pieces of bread and butter . . . napped until woken around 5pm to the sound of next door arguing with her boyfriend - although all I could really hear was pretty much him! :o( Hard to explain, but there's something about the way he speaks - arrogant/irritating somehow. . . walked in light drizzle . . . succumbed to temptation, rang the cable company, and had all the extra channels put on for an extra £10 per month! . . PS called about his PC again but I was no help at all. . . PS popped round for chats . . . BB called briefly. . . ate biscuits and jaffa cakes with coffees. . .PS left around 12:30am. Next door and her boyfriend (apparantly been out) returned home around 1am and promptly started their argument again!! It got bad - it got loud - it got 'physical' (but I can't be sure in what way - despite actually putting my ear (a traditional wine glass is best) to the wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!) :o( Horrible, horrible, horrible thing to have to hear - little snippets of intelligable shouting amidst the banging and crying - on tenderhooks - ('are you happy now?' he said at one point as she cried, although I got the impression SHE was physically preventing him from walking out the door "stay and TALK to me!") not knowing if it had escalated to such a degree that calling the police was necessary. The following silence was probably worse. . . called BB and touched base. I just needed to hear - um - someone 'good'!. . .PCd/TVd . . eventually to bed, deep into early. pccccss
2 - Woken by Sally more than once then eventually managed to get up around 8am . . . walked in rain showers. Spotted a toad on the way home, in the gutter next to a parked car, trying to hold its position against the rivers of rain. Not a healthy place for it to be, so popped it in a poop scoop bag and relocated it to one of the little 'caves' I made in the raised bed in the back yard. . . PCd and set updates downloading and such. Did a bunch of laundry/vacuuming and cleared up just a little. Even sawed a piece of scrap wood in half so it would fit in the bin. Took a 'herculean' effort to get on and do something, but felt better for it afterwards. Actually, I guess I just feel a bit 'better' today, thank goodness. Even came very close to calling the cable company and treating myself to having all the extra channels put on for Christmas - although managed to resist in the end - but I suspect, not for long. . . ate half a chicken, coleslaw and four pieces of bread and butter in front of 'Hill Street Blues' on the TV. . . slept the afternoon away until woken by Sally around 6:20pm . . . walked in the cold wind and yet more rain . . .TVd and drank a glass of wine . . . touched base with BB . . . ate multiple bowls of cornflakes . . . BB called again briefly . . . TVd until bed around midnight. . . some of the nonsense I record here (like what I eat - and when I used to 'rate' my daily mood out of ten!!) was originally done in an attempt to identify any possible causes or patterns to my spontaneous 'down' moods. Funny how BB is aware (more than I am!) that I usually DO have a 'down' at around this time of year!!!! I'm more aware of having a down in the early part of the year, when the long winter months seem to have worn me down. I've that to look forward to - probably coinciding with a court case!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o( pccccsd
1 - Up around 7:20am again. Wow - I'm glad to see the back of that month! It's been awful! . . PCd looking at property in the U.S. (!!!!) until around 8:30am . . . walked in the rain and found 2p . . .PCd a bit of this - but really just can't be bothered with the typing. Can't seem to shake the involuntary mental response to every attempt at trying to force myself to do something - ANYthing! (Can't even find a TV show I can be 'assed' to watch!) !! The response is - 'yah F*** it'. I'm pretty down right now - and this is ON fluoxetine!!!! Shit! :o( . Funny thing is - hard to explain - but despite how it may look, the 'down' isn't 'particularly' connected with 'recent events'. That was all just 'another' brush stroke on the big canvas. The 'darkness' of the work, the hues and tones, remain the same as they always have been - just that the picture is a little more complete. Considering the limitations of the pallet - what the hell am I supposed to try and paint?. . Mum called - and I rather suspect, regretted it! . . . blah blah blah! . yah F*** it. . . ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter. . . PCd/slept. . walked in the torrential rain and waterlogged mud. . .TVd and drank wine. . touched base with BB . . ate buttered golden syrup cake . . . PCd looking at property in Kentucky for hours, as heavy rain continued to pour!! Astonishingly cheap - for lots of acres!?. touched base with BB again before surfing more, until around 4am, before bed!!! Difficulty getting to sleep - didn't take enough pain killers today. The pain from my chest is definitely improved (oh SO slowly!) - but is still very much there when the tablets wear off. :o( pccssd