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31 - Up around 8am. . . walked. Sally got all bouncy with one of the couple of dogs she appears to fancy, and did her running around chasing him (despite him never wanting her to!) and she ended up running straight into the edge of a low wooden signpost!! Hell of a bang it was. Would have probably knocked me out if I'd done it. A little while later I realised she'd actually hurt herself! She'd taken the skin off in the corner of her face right next to her eye and it was bleeding a bit. Wow - how close she came to losing her eye!!!! That'll teach her to 'play the tart'!!!! . . a huge mess of beer cans and broken glass bottles were litering the grass adjacent to the railings and road where idiots had been drinking last night, clearly in a car parked on the road and tossing their empties out of the window and into the gardens! Grrrr. Tipped off by the comments of a passing dog walker, it transpired that the people responsible (or at least one of them - maybe two) were actually asleep in the car! On closer examination, I spotted someone through the thick layers of condensation, fully reclined in the drivers seat and asleep. Part of a set of miniature headphones was hanging half out of the car, trapped in the passenger door, and tins and bottles lay around and under the car all over the road! B******s! If I'd been tipped off someone was still in there, I'd have flagged down the police car which drove by a short while before. No way was that guy gonna be sober when he eventually woke up and drove off - and given the huge selfish mess they'd made, he seriously deserved some 'hassle'. It was very tempting to collect up all the broken glass, cans and bottles and stack them up all over the car roof and bonnet - but thankfully I managed to resist and just busied myself picking it all up (as best I could. I'm sure I MUST have missed some hidden in the grass - so someones dog will probably end up getting all sliced up!! Sally always runs through that area!!) and doing multiple return walks all the way back to the refuse bin. (It occured to me, it would have been very cool to have put bottles under the front and back of all his tires for when he drove off in his still drunken stupor!). Eventually returned home all angry and pissed off. . PCd. . . JK popped in for chats and a cuppa and insisted on giving me a gift of a pack of Golden Virginia. Sheesh - he can afford that less than I can, but he absolutely insisted! . . TVd/PCd the day away, just trying to get though the day and get along with my dark, dark mood. . ate stew and 4xb&b. . . touched base with BB . .JK called . . ate massive quantities of biscuits. . sat outside with Sally in the cold with a coffee at midnight, watching the fireworks and listening to the church bells. I do like those bells on such occasions. Nevertheless, it all seemed utterly bizarre to me that people were actually 'celebrating'. Just exactly WHAT were they celebrating? This last year has been a bit of an economic disaster for many, and next year promises to be even more dire. As ever, I fail to find ANY cause for celebration. None whatsoever!! . . TVd until bed around 2am. ss
30 - Up around 9am, headachey!!. .walked . .tidied and vacuumed around just a bit - largely just in case Sis1 and family call in later. . PCd a bit of this and burned a quick 'as filmed' DVD of the last time they came down back in the summer, because I BET Sis1 hasn't given it to K, despite me managing to transfer it onto her laptop. . Mum called and said they were all down, but eating and walking around down town, and they'd be up to her place later . . ate stew and 4xb&b followed by a square of chocolate . . lay down to nap for a bit, to try and shake my headache, but Mum called to say they'd all arrived before I'd managed a wink . .left Sally at home and joined them all for chats, to see J&Ls new baby and to eventually have a bit of a Mum provided ham rolls buffet!! . .eventually said my goodbyes and walked . .PCd a bit of this, eager to get it done and 'off my back', so I can spend tomorrow in the time honoured way. On my own, feeling discontented and down, and wondering what the hell I should try and make myself do next year, to make it 'different'. Given that it's that time of year again, I guess I SHOULD be making plans to try and give up smoking. :o( I don't see me doing, or frankly even attempting it. If I do, all it does is assure me of having a really, REALLY crappy start to yet another year. The way things are starting to go - I'd be better off resolving not to drink!! Ho hum. . I can't believe I'm actually still doing 'this' - my journal. It really is only 'just' carrying on by the skin of its teeth these days. And as for all this video making nonsense - that absolutely HAS to stop! It takes SO much time and energy and really appears to be so utterly pointless, it's just incredible to me I've pretty much done it and nothing else, more or less for a whole year now!!! :o(
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Brixham Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5 a
. . TVd . .touched base with BB . . ate two left over ham rolls from Mums and then a large number of chocolate biscuits from the box Sis1 had given me . .TVd until bed after 1am.
29 - Up by sally at 6:30am!!? Let her out into the garden only for her to just go out and sit there! Grrr. Tried getting back to sleep but couldn't. Grrrrr double grrrr and brrrrrr! :o( . . PCd a bit of this . . walked . .did laundry chores. I'm terrified of what my gas and electric bills are going to be next time. Actually ran the heating for a good part of the day, drying stuff on radiators - and even ran the drier to get the bedding dry and straight back on the bed! . . PCd . . ate stew and 4xb&b and then napped until the alarm at 7pm . . PCd and eventually knocked off the 'MTS Progress' video, albeit very poorly. . .touched base with BB. .ate sausage rolls, crisps and chocolate . . TVd/PCd until around 3am before bed. Weird day. Pretty much the same temperatures as yesterday according to my thermometer (4c out / 12c in) but I didn't feel anywhere near as cold. Can only be as a result of eating that huge bowl of stew can't it?
28 - Up around 8:30am!!. .walked. Really is bitterly cold in that wind. . PCd for a few hours but got nowhere and eventually just gave up and sat freezing in front of the TV for ages. Seem to have rapidly slipped into a bit of a down. I think largely as a result of being constantly SO cold! It also doesn't help having CONSTANT TV news reports about how the economy is collapsing and how next year is going to be the absolute worst, ever! It's pretty frightening. :o( . . mustered the energy to do a little dishwashing and then sipped a glass of wine while cooking a huge pot of stew. . ate a bowl full with 4xb&b. . Mum called to let me know Sis1 and all her family were intending to come down to see her on Tuesday. . .ate chocolate and biscuits and touched base with BB. . TVd . .ate bowls of cornflakes before bed around 1:30am. sd
27 - Up around 8:30am!!. . . walked with the camera and tripod. A strong Easterly meant there may be stuff to film. Sure enough, the sea was pretty choppy. Pilot boat 'Celia T' seems to be absent at the moment, and a 'MTS Progress' alternative seems to be doing the usual to and fro. Her going out against the wind made for a bit of interesting film I thought. Eventually walked down around the harbour, on out past the marina and headed out along towards the pool and then on out further to the edge of Bury Head and down by the quarry, filming this and that (near where a guy committed suicide a day or so ago by jumping the 150 feet, after having mulled it over up there for a couple of days according to dogwalker witness reports! Just one of many such annual events, but jeeze - what a way to do it!!! :o( ) . .there was an extraordinary huge ledge of rock at the sea's edge, with a visible fracture right across it. As the big waves battered the coast below, air and sea water run off was forced up through the fracture in the manner of a geyser, with plumes of spray occasionally blasting up and then drifting away on the wind!! Very weird. . eventually got back utterly UTTERLY frozen, only to find my watch had lost an hour or two again, and it was actually around 2:30pm!! Weird but it's almost as though my watch can't stand extremely cold temperatures?? It seems to keep reasonable time at other times. . . mum called in late wondering where I'd been. Ooops. It'd completely slipped my mind it was Saturday. . .ate Mum donated chicken stuffing rolls, crisps and chocolate. . napped . . TVd/PCd/guitarred . . touched base with BB. .felt really cold all day. It's exhausting and seems to sap the life right out of you! I'm wearing four top layers around the house all the time these days, and yet still feel cold all the time!! Even with the fire on in my living room, it's rare to see the temperature anywhere above 16C - and if you turn the fire off, the temperature drops SO quickly with the heat evaporating out of the huge single glazed bay window, you can quite literally sit and watch the digital display on the electronic thermometer counting back down to just over single figures!!
26 - Up around 10am!!. . .walked a long walk through the woods and back to BGdns. Really cold easterly wind blowing in quite strong! Returned via town. Plenty of people walking off their Christmas, and several coach loads of elderly trippers visiting, and huddled around trying to stay out of the bitter wind. A handful of souvenir shops were open on the harbourside, but apart from that it was all pretty dead. . returned the ansaphone messages and touched base with Mum. She'd been 'playing' with the stuffed toys! lolol. . TVd . .ate ham rolls and crisps. . napped until woken by loud 'weird' laughing from next door around 6:30pm! These walls must be paper thin! . . skipped the walk and TVd the evening away . . touched base with BB . . ate two pork pies (donated by Mum actually intended for Sally) and crisps, and then half a Mum donated chocolate yule log . . bed around 1:30am. s
25 - Up around 8am!!. Opened the package DS had sent me. Wow - an expensive looking boxed set of Lynard Skynard CDs!! Cool. :o) I kinda rediscovered them when I did that Sally rabbits video a while ago. .re-compiled the quick 'Xmas set' dvd, to include the file I realised I'd missed . .burned a few discs . . drove to JKs on the way to walk and briefly dropped of a card, Sally calendar and DVD. . walked and gave a few discs away to dog walkers, 'xmas card' like . . back home to wrestle with burning more discs and eventually printed out a large photo quality card for Mum . . up Mums with Sally and insisted she take a ten minute break from the cooking, so I could present her with the Xmas card (the little silly amusing rhyme I'd printed on the inside kinda made it necessary to give it to her before we ate - "I know you don't do Christmas, But with all this 'credit crunch', I thought this card would bring a smile, While you're cooking my Christmas lunch!"). I had it in my mind that I had to give her the card first - then (actually as a joke) the talking furry Christmas decoration - then to explain the joke and the image on the card, for her to watch the 'Sally Xmas Card' videos on the DVD (oh and I gave her a calendar too). Trouble with all that was, Mum was so involved with all the nightmare of cooking (which she never does anymore), she wasn't really into having to be delayed like that, and I don't think it really worked. All felt like a bit of an anticlimax - which pretty much sums up Christmas I think. . .touched base with Sis2 . . ate the huge Mum cooked dinner of pork chops, roast potatoes etc. I had 'seconds' and easily enough for two full dinners!! Drank a glass or so of the 'black tower' fruity white wine Mum'd bought for the occasion. She hardly touched a drop and I eventually returned home with the rest of the bottle. Bizarre thing was - she really seemed to like the talking furry toys thing, and despite wanting to declutter and get rid of such nonsense, she said she wanted to keep it rather than let me have it back to return to a charity shop!!!! lololol Go figure. . . napped . . TVd drinking wine, and actually not feeling too good. . touched base with DS and then BB . . ate chocolate and biscuits . . TV/PCd until bed around 4am! ds
24 - Up around 8am!!. .walked . . battled with the printer and printed out a bunch of the Sally homemade 'christmas cards', complete with the printed links to the YouTube videos, and then eventually enveloped them up and walked up to post them. Yeah, yeah - they are all gonna get there late, way into the new year probably, but it's the thought that counts isn't it? And to be honest, the amount of hassle it is actualy creating one of those things, and getting it to successfully(ish) print out, etc etc - well - it really is quite a bloody gift in itself!! It'd be easier to just go and buy everyone something!! . bumped into Mum up by the post box and suggested she accompany me on the walk later, in the car, so I could drive her around a bit and have a look at the local Xmas lights on houses - like we used to as kids apparantly. . . way back on 6th February when walking home one day, I saw a lorry with a long extendable crane arm delivering a large single piece metal railing, obviously designed to go around a balcony. It was being delivered by lifting it high into the air and then 'threading' it through a narrow gap between a couple of houses and then along to its unseeable final position. This meant the crane arm going clean over the house. Really quite an unusal thing to see - so I took a handful of photos. Seemed funny at the time that no one else was watching, particularly so the absent house owner. I'd fully intended at some stage to print a handful of them out and post them through the persons letterbox, in case they wanted the momento, so somehow I just never found the time to get round to it. Well - feeling a little 'infected' with the Christmas spirit, it seemed like a good time to actually get that done. Printed a bunch of the pictures and then walked with Sally, intending to pop them through their letterbox with a bit of an explanation on a Sally Xmas card. Actually ended up giving them to the houseowner (who saw me hesitating and came out) , because a cat was in their front yard which prevented me from safely reaching their door with Sally. Wouldn't have been very Christmasy to have had Sally kill their cat in front of them on Christmas eve would it!! lol I didn't get bogged down in conversation and pretty much just handed over the envelope it was all in, and turned and walked away before the guy knew what had hit him. . blimey - he didn't waste any time! Within the hour he'd sussed out the YouTube links on the Sally card, had gone on line and messaged me saying thanks (he'd been called away just at the crucial moment and had actually missed the crane delivery) and was there any chance of getting a 'floppy' copy of the pictures! Humph! I could have saved all that printer ink I just wasted!! Too big to e-mail, I quickly copied the files to an old CDR (nowadays pretty useless except for such 'small' things. I still have a bunch I 'inherited' with the house to get rid of!) . delivered the data disc (AND a test burn of an Xmas compilation of all the parade, carols, Xmas lights, etc. videos) on the way to Mums in the car. Drove to walk with Mum and then cruised around town a bit looking at the lights before eventually dropping Mum off back home . .reversing the car back onto the hardstanding in the lane, I drove forward a bit too far and 'crunched' the front of the car on the bank alongside the lane!!!! Sickening noise but as far as I can tell, no proper damage. Don't know what's the matter with me. I feel kinda wobbly, a bit like drunk, but not!? Just tired I think. Real exhausted, tired to the core, tired!! :o( . . PCd a bit of this but I'm just so, SO tired - I gotta have a break. I'd fancied the idea of dropping a card and DVD into JKs letterbox late at night so he'd get it in the morning, but I just couldn't muster the energy to have to go out all over again . . TVd, almost tempted to go to sleep around 9pm!! . . touched base with BB. . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and the last of the Mum donated chocolate mini rolls . . TVd until bed around 1am. s
23 - Up around 8:30am!!. .walked and then carried on along to 'Tony's' to drop in a scrap of paper with a link to the YouTube video of his Xmas tree lights. I really should have returned to that window and done a better job of it - but I'm just SO burned out with it all, I couldn't face doing so again. . It's a shame I couldn't make more of that and kinda share some of the story that goes behind it, and him and his wife. They are 'salt of the earth' type people it would appear. They've fostered 'needy' children all their adult lives. A total of around 200, he told me the other day. 200!!!!! For every child that is with them at christmas, a bauble is hung on the tree with the date and their names written on it. Many a now 'grown up' will sometimes visit, and rush to the tree to seek out their bauble. That's - um - 'special' stuff! (There's something about that which begs to be written into a Christmas story of some sort isn't there?) Special people. Watch that video with this knowledge, and it looks a bit different - warmer, brighter and more sparkly doesn't it? .. returned via a walk through town and a sit with a cigarette for a while watching the world go by. Everyone was rushing around with that pre-christmas shopping frenzy about them, with queues in all the shops (not least of all the little butchers, with a rack of big turkeys hung up in the window. Almost a 'Dickensien' scene!). . PCd a bit of this. I guess I should admit, more so than EVER before, I have completely ignored the fact that Christmas is happening. I still don't understand it, but such has been my complete absorbtion by doing all this video making nonsense, I've just not bothered with ANY christmas stuff at all!!!! I normally at least send people cards, but this year I haven't even done that! Not a single one!!!!! I've received the usual small handful from family and a few old aquaintances, so I'll be starting the new year carrying the guilt that I haven't recipricated! Oh well - in the grand scheme of things, lets be honest, what the hell difference does it make - to their lives or mine? Humbug and all that. <guilt, guilt>. . PCd the day away doing the Sally card video. Ate a banana along the way. lol . .eventually called it quits on the video and walked, leaving the machine uploading the file to YouTube. .eventually returned only to find that YouTube had blocked the video because of the copyright breach! Arrgghh NO! :o( Damn. Given that was all 'linked' to my idea of sending out my home-made Xmas cards with a printed link to the file and such ("Watch the video of the making of this card at - "), that was a bit of a blow to say the least. I don't know WHY I have to have such ideas and make life so difficult for myself!!. eventually tracked down a scratchy version of the same song already uploaded onto YouTube by someone else, quite some time ago, so I figured it'd be worth just slightly re-editing the video with THAT piece of music. Since it already exists, it should get past the copyright police. . . re-edited the video using sound from the download and eventually managed to get it up and accepted by YouTube. Ha! :o). . ate ham sandwiches with crisps and chocolate rolls. . .touched base with bb. . .TVd until bed around 1am. s
22 - Up around 9am!!. .walked and found two 5ps. Returned with YET another plastic container of food from K for Sally (who I AM starting to worry IS overweight, as was suggested by a woman giving her treats in a charity shop!)! . . PCd and polished off the short 'Sally's-reaction-to-the-talking-fluffy-toy' video and then the 'Tony's Christmas tree' video. . drank half a glass of red wine (definitely becoming a dangerously irresistable habit!!!!!!!!!!) while cooking two burgers, eggs and chips . .fitfully napped until around 6pm. . walked. Incredibly still and quiet out with the water across the bay like a mill pond, and actually pretty mild. Pleasant. . PCd a bit before having the 'night off' from it. I dabelled with the idea of trying to pull my bad front tooth, but just couldn't face it in the end. . guitarred/TVd. . touched base briefly with BB . . ate large amounts of chocolate, Mum donated mini chocolate rolls and then eventually a tin of hot dog sausages with 4xb&b before eventually to bed around 2am or later. ds
21 - Up around 10am!!. . walked late. . . PCd and drew a line under the 'house lights' video and then messed around doing a 'Sally christmas shoot' kinda thing. Basically a re-enactment of the previous Christmas photo I did last year, of her on the setee draped in Xmas hat and tinsel etc. Videod the whole thing, determined to make 'something' of whatever was her reaction to the battery powered Xmas fluffy toy I'd picked up in a charity shop the other day for a mere 2.50. Of course I don't want the toy/ornament (I'll donate it straight back after I'm done with it), but I couldn't resist spending the money, just to see what her reaction would be to it. Well - turned out her reaction was - um - pretty much zero! She couldn't have cared less, even when I plonked it right on her back and set it going!!!!! She is SO laid back, she's almost comotose at times! (although she HAD just eaten a cooked bone I'd given her out in the garden). . . returned Mums ansaphone call and touched base . . ate ham, cheese and onion rolls, crisps and chocolate. . napped until the alarm at 7pm! . . skipped the evening walk . . TVd/PCd . . touched base with BB. . drank half a glass of wine and cooked and ate two cheeseburgers around 1:30am before eventually to bed. dd
20 - Up by Sally just after 8am . .walked and carried on down to tour charity shops and return through town. Briefly popped into the marine shop and let them know about the carols video with their kids in it, although I'm not entirely sure the woman I spoke to quite understood. Scored a long sleeved black T shirt for 2.50 in a charity shop. . As I'd been given to understand was the case, sure enough the singing santa was back outside the cafe, but he seems to have lost his sparkle and is no longer dancing - which was really what made him special. Hardly suprising. No way on earth was something like that going to be made sufficiently well to be able to stand all that 'motoring' for endless hours. . PCd this . . Mum called in with food donations, for chats and to watch the carol service videos - and the dancing santa one again, because every time she goes down town specifically to see it, it isn't there apparantly. lol . . ate Mum donated chicken and stuffing rolls with crisps and then kipling apple tarts while watching a film ('Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont'), which from the write up looked as though it may be of interest to Mum, so I called her and suggested she give it a go. Turned out it WAS a cute little film, and I actually sat through the whole thing, which is most unusual these days. I confess, it had me in tears a bit. . . napped until around 7pm. . walked and then pounded the streets for hours, trying to film a few more of the local christmas light displays. Incredibly mild out. Eventually returned home well after 10pm. . PCd. . ate black pudding, sausage and beans and 4xb&b and then some chocolate around 2am!. . TVd until bed around 3:30am. d
19 - Up around 8am headachey. . coffee smokes and annadin tablet for breakfast, PCing a bit of this. . walked. Got chatting to the guy who gave me the bedside cabinet, and he insisted on giving me a bottle of wine to carry home in a pocket. Nice one. :o). . straight back to get on the PC and continue editing the carol service videos. Turned into the editing job from hell, thanks to the software once again getting into an unstable state where it crashed every five minutes! :o( Wish I knew which series of commands inserts that bug into the project so I could avoid them! Crappy 'fragile' software, despite how clever it is in certain areas (and perhaps too clever for its own good). . . ate ham, tomato, mayo and and lettuce rolls with crisps along the way . . fitfully napped for only an hour or so before woken by Sally again!?. Still headachey! . drove to walk. Sally had a bit of an upset stomach . . PCd more for hours . . eventually called it quits and then touched base with BB . . TVd eating bags of crisps, kipling apple tarts and chocolate until bed around 3am. aa
18 - Up just before 9am with a rather painful back! Doesn't take much these days does it!!. . walked and ended up coming home with at least four more huge pasties from K for Sally. .picked up another handful of sacks of rubble from up the road before then breaking rocks all morning again. That's gonna have to do for a while. Most of the rest of the rubble he's got is really hard stone that just won't easily break up. Too much like hard work - and I really don't want to be seen by the neighbours actually doing it!!! They'll think I've gone utterly mad - and of course wouldn't be far wrong. At least the little I have done has improved the lane a bit. I'm parking the car round the back again now since it isn't 'quite' so dodgy trying to drive my 'minimal ground clearance' car up the deeply potholed and rutted lane. . . ate ham and salad rolls with crisps and then chocolate. . napped but only managed fitfull sleep for only an hour or so. Back up around 5pm just in time to be able to answer the door to a packet delivery!??. . walked with Sally camera and tripod and headed down town for a look at the carol service. Turned out it wasn't 6pm as had been advertised on some leaflet or other. Hung around for an hour before eventually running around filming everything I could, while Sally was left tied to a harbour rail. (Some old guy who seemed to spontaneously break out into tamborine playing from time to time, had apparantly tried Sally with a mince pie at some point, but he said she'd turned her nose up at it!? I suspect I know what that was. She is still rightfully cautious of people (she doesn't know), but SO laid back these days, if she is offered a tit bit of food like that, she will quite often need a bit of encouragement or want it just left on the floor so she can sniff and eat it in her own good time. She'll even take a tit bit from me if I'm in the middle of eating, drop it to the floor and wait for a while, just to make sure there isn't more coming. lol She is SO cool. ) Funny the tricks I've learned doing all this filming nonsense. In the middle of filming the band - at a highly desireable point where they were just starting playing 'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reigndeer', which of course I just HAD to get, the old tambourine playing guy engaged me in a long conversation all about ex forces German shepherd dogs and such stuff! I couldn't be rude and stonewall him, so I responded politely as appropriate while he talked, all the while holding the camera atop the tripod at arms length kinda behind him, as far away from us as I could while still filming!! It worked. You can only 'just' hear traces of the conversation behind the perfectly reasonable recording of the band. lolol :o). . hung around at the end in a hint of drizzle for the 'everybody leaving' timelapse opportunity shot, before eventually heading home via the outer harbour and BGdns. Home at last by around 9pm! . .PCd and had to delete stuff before transferring the footage to the ever overflowing PC . . JK called to touch base. . started working on editing the video down, until around 3:15am before bed. All multiple attempts to phone and speak with BB throughout the day proved futile. She was always either elsewhere or the phone was engaged. Oh well. So much for the traditional-deliberately bad singing of happy birthday then!
17 - Up around 8am again.. . walked . . back with YET more food for Sally from 'K'!!!!! The amount that place throws away is utterly outrageous - and a lot of it is clearly perfectly edible and still fit for human consumption when dumped! Just imagine the quantities that must be thrown away from businesses like that across the whole country. Obscene! Sally is very much eating better than I do at the moment! Most of the freezer is full of food and bones for her!! . . .popped up the road in the car to the house where the guy recently did some building work on his wall. I'd asked in passing a while ago if I could maybe help myself to some of the stones/rubble for filling in potholes in the lane. Filled a few sacks with rubble, drove them round the back to my hardstanding and then spent the whole rest of the morning breaking rocks into golf ball or smaller sized pieces again!!! Boy - I've done a lot of that in my time! Awfully time consuming - but it works. They still make roads like that in China don't they? Amazing how much effort you have to put in to doing that, to only end up with enough to fill one small pot hole!. . drank half a glass of wine while cooking black pudding, sausages in beans, mushrooms, onion and grated cheese and then ate with 4xb&b. . napped until around 6:30pm . . drove to walk. . PCd . . touched base with BB. . TVd/PCd until early before eventually to bed. d
16 - Up around 8am. That's like a 'proper' nights sleep for a change! A good minus temperature outside!. . walked and back via town and a tour of the charity shops. Actually popped in the cafe and asked what had become of the absent dancing santa. Broken and undergoing attempts at repair apparantly. No suprises there then. Let him know there was a video of it on YouTube. I think that kinda answered in his mind the question why, when he'd gone to the next town round the bay, people had been coming up to him asking how Santa was! lololol . . PCd . . felt all restless and slipping into a 'down'. Guitarred for what somehow ended up being much of the afternoon! . . walked and messed with the camera filming some of the xmas lights on houses. . ate a large pork pie with some chopped onion and some chocolate. . . touched base with BB . . ate a whole pack of Mum donated mini yule logs!! . . TVd until bed after midnight. s
15 - Up around 8am . .PCD a bit of this. . walked. Ended up coming home with YET more 'left-over-food-from-the-golf-club' for Sally donated by 'K'. Struggled home carrying a sack of food, together with some more, useful empty plastic containers. . left Sally at home and drove back to K's with some strong plastic garden waste sacks (empty PAL dog food sacks are pretty strong and useful too) and a shovel and loaded up all the tarmac type rubble from his front garden. Returned to my back yard/hardstanding and broke it all up into gravel with a lump hammer (I'm gonna HAVE to buy a sledge hammer some time!) before putting it all into a large pothole in the lane, just in front of my gate and next doors driveway. My attempt at levelling a bit of the lane a while ago seems to have caused a little aggravation to my neighbour(s). All the mud I shoveled around has just turned into a sticky wet paste and is getting everywhere - including running down from the big pothole/puddle straight into his garage!!!!!! Ooops. Feel obliged to try and make that 'better'. . tidied up a few of the fallen leaves in the garden. . cut my hair and beard. . PCd . . walked in the freeze. . .drank half a glass of red wine while cooking chips, mushrooms, onion and grated cheese. Ate big with four pieces of bread and butter. That fried mushrooms/onion/cheese mix thing is REALLY nice! . . TVd struggling to stay awake and almost fell asleep on the setee!! . . touched base with BB . . TVd until bed at midnight. d
14 - Up around 9:15am . .walked . . PCd again and eventually polished off the silly moon/star wars video. My attempt at 'animating' the image of Santa going across the face of the moon was an absolute pain. Took hours! Had to actually creat individual images of each frame in Paint Shop Pro , and nudge the santa image over a few pixles in each frame before saving it - at what ended up being MORE than 25 frames per second!!! Ended up with 100 individual pictures edited and saved! And what happens, after all that work? It looked crappy and the conversion eventually back to an MPG video file, made the transition all jerky! Arrrghhh!! What a waste of time! But - well - that's my life for ya! . .drank a glass of red wine while cooking black pudding, two burgers, three bacon, mushrooms and onions. Ate big with four x b&b. .TVd . . napped until around 7:30pm!! . . TVd . touched base briefly with BB . . . ate Kipling apple tarts and eventually ham sandwiches. . .TVd until bed around 2am.
13 - Up around 8:15am . .walked . . did dishwashing chores all morning . .Mum called in . . ate ham and lettuce rolls followed by half a box of jaffa cakes! . . napped until around 7pm! . . walked and ended up messing around experimenting with camera settings while filming the moon!! Didn't appear any noticeably bigger or brighter to me. . touched base with BB . . PCd the 'star wars' moon video for hours! Ate a banana and a couple of biscuits before bed around 4am, only to have difficulty sleeping! Didn't eat enough (AGAIN!) I suspect.
12 - Up by Sally around 8:30am . .PCd a bit of this. . drove to walk . .left Sally at home and drove to buy dog food supplies. Popped into the office supplies place next door to the dog food store and photocopied a handful of the Sally calendars. Colour copies in there are around half the price of locally!! . . stopped in Sainsburys for a few supplies on the way home . . cooked and ate three bacon, three eggs and chips followed up by a few squares of cheap chocolate. . napped until around 6:15pm . . big storm. Skipped the evening walk again I'm afraid. Shame. Tonight is apparantly supposed to be the night when the moon is closest to the earth and is all big and bright - AND there are supposed to be meteor showers too. Oh well. :o( . . PCd this while drinking a glass of wine (AFTER having watched the dancing Santa video at least four or five times!). . finished the last few drops of the box of wine and felt tipsy. . touched base with BB. . ate something or other
11 - Up around 8:15am . .PCd a bit of this. . . walked. Carried on down town and ended up filming just a little of the building site again. Really flippin' cold, and yet the divers were in the water working on the yacht club slipway!! How on earth can they stand such temperatures?! Amazing. . despite plenty of coachloads of visitors arriving, the harbor and town was real quiet, and we pretty soon headed back up the high street. Wow - WHAT an amazing christmas decoration was out in the street outside the Lemon Tree cafe and bakery. A slightly less than life size santa automaton, all singing and dancing to christmas tunes and wishing passers by a merry christmas ho, ho, ho, etc. Really bizarre, and actually quite impressive. Not seen anything like that before. Couldn't resist setting up the camera and then spending the next hour or so, just sitting around in the freezing cold with Sally, as I filmed the scene from a handful of different angles (incidently none of which were particularly good. Just couldn't get in a decent position to film it and the street scene). What was freaky about sitting there for so long, was seeing how many passers by (and sadly there weren't many because it was quiet) felt obliged to go and do a little dance with the santa, and or have their photos taken next to it. lol If it was possible to set up a permanent static camera on that decoration, you'd end up with being able to make up a superb video of people having fun! :o) . eventually called it quits (as dictated by the near end of the film/battery, and how cold I was) and headed home to eagerly PC the (mostly disappointing) footage. . on reviewing the footage and trawling through my music collection, I suddenly realised that maybe, just maybe, there was enough footage in between the people walking past, to be able to edit it down so that it was JUST the santa in the shot, and then set it to just THE perfect piece of music. '2 Unlimited's 'Let The Beat Control Your Body'. It really did almost look as though the Santa was dancing to actually THAT piece of music!!!! . couldn't resist and started work on it straight away. Nine straight hours later (really!!!!!) I called it quits and uploaded the result!!! . .skipped the evening walk . . played the dancing Santa video, over and over again! There's something hypnotic about that video. I love it. So bizarre and silly, and sadly, one of my best I think! There aren't 'too' many places where I wish I'd done the editing differently - although - maybe?! lolol. . . touched base with BB . . eventually ate a tin of spaghetti bolognese, grated cheese and 4xb&b. . TVd until bed (after playing the santa video again - and again - and again!!!) around 2am. s
10 - Disturbed sleep (partly thanks to Sally taking up most of the bed!) and then up around 7:15am!!! Freezing out with the car just a block of ice again. Wonder if that's why Sally joined me? Was she cold?. .PCd a bit of this. . walked . . PCd . . Mum called to touch base and tell me she'd had to have two teeth out when she finally got to see her dentist!! . . Mum popped down to watch the latest (parade) videos. Just as Mum was leaving I spotted an aerial rigger putting up a new high gain freeview type antenna on a house down opposite. Dashed over and asked if he'd be interested in fixing a new downlead to mine, sort of 'nowish' since he was right here. He didn't seem over keen on having the business and when I explained that I was specifically after having the downlead 'pinned' to the tiles as it leads down across the roof (a spare bit of lashing kit wire just looped around the cable and pushed up beneath the tiles here and there is all that is required to stop it blowing back and forth in the wind and eventually snapping the inner core, which is what I'm pretty sure has happened to it!), he said he didn't do that, so I pretty much went off the idea of him doing it anyway. Despite that, I then asked for a ball-park figure for him replacing the entire installation with a fresh aerial and downlead. Around 80 was his reply, which didn't seem 'too' bad I suppose. I asked for a business card but he said he didn't have one and would instead pop a bit of paper with his number through my letter box later. He never did - which actually is just as well methinks. Bit of a cowboy I reckon. . drank just a splash of red wine (almost an empty box now) and cooked and ate four small defrosted burgers and chips . . napped the rest of the day away . . drove to walk . . PCd a bit of this . .guitarred/TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate a tin of hot dog sausages with 4xbread and butter and some shortbread biscuits. . TVd until bed around 1:15am. d
9 - Up just before 9am . .PCd a bit of this. . walked and carried on down to the harbour and somehow ended up videoing a bunch of the building site goings on for hours!! Actually longer than I'd thought, because once again my increasingly unreliable watch somehow lost an hour along the way!? It 'may' have succumbed to the cold. A strong northish wind, and me filming not moving for hours, saw me absolutely frozen by the time I got back home around 1:15pm. .PCd, working on the dalek footage from after the xmas parade. . ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped for maybe only a couple of hours . . skipped the evening walk and carried on PCing 'the dalek' video. Actually could have spent hours and hours with that footage and YouTube downloads, doing something completely different and more clever, but I just couldn't face putting in all the work and just settled on screwing with the audio on some music. . touched base briefly with BB . . ate a couple of bananas and chocolate biscuits . . called a halt and uploaded the singing dalek file (watched a bit of Terminator 2, on TV YET again, while the file uploaded) before finally to bed, exhausted around 3am! Disturbed sleep and then at some point, unusually, Sally came upstairs and climbed up on the bed next to me and lay down to sleep! Wonder why? - although I was deep into dreaming when she did so, so maybe I was talking in my sleep or something?
8 - Up at 9:45am!! . .breakfasted on coffee and cigarettes at the PC as usual. Checked out the local newspaper website and found they'd 'just' uploaded an article about the christmas parade. Since very few had probably rea it yet, it seemed like an opportunity not to be wasted and I attempted to put a 'comment' on the page, with links to the YouTube videos of the parade, for anyone who may be inetrested. The comment did NOT appear, so I assumed it had been automatically blocked because it included hot links, so I just added a shorter comment suggesting anyone interested could go to YouTube and search for the parade videos. . walked the woods. Unusually cold down there (it's usually a couple of degrees warmer down there, but today it was the opposite), with ice on the big puddle by the beach. Felt in a 'strange', not myself mood. . back via K's to pick up yet another carrier of donated meat and bone for Sally. . PCd and found an e-mail reply from the local newspaper website moderator!!??? Turns out that the comment/hotlink block wasn't entirely automated, and he actually vets them! His nice reply included "I have embedded your YouTube films in the carnival story, with appropriate credits"!! Huh? Wow - he'd actually done exactly that. On the revelant story page, the report had been split up and the embedded links to two of the videos had been actually inserted into the text. How cool is that! Nice one. :o) . . ate the last of the stew with half a large pork pie. . lay down to nap but couldn't and was back up on the PC by 5pm surfing YouTube trying to find useful Dr Who clips. Looks as though the copyright police have been at work on that subject. Plenty of videos yes, but not as many as one would have imagined and nothing much useful for what I had in mind . . drove to walk in the rain. . TVd feeling headachey and a bit yucky . . Jk called to touch base. His Dad has died. :o( . . touched base with BB . . browsed on jaffa cakes, cheese, pickled onions, crisps and chocolate before to bed around 1:30am.
7 - Woken by Sally before 8am . .walked and then got straight ono the PC to work on the parade videos. . ate stew and bread and butter late afternoon and then napped until around 7:30pm! . . skipped the evening walk and pretty soon got straight back to the PC . . briefly called BB and said I'd call later . . called it quits on editing attempts and managed with some lengthy difficulty to upload the parade videos to YouTube in the early hours. Particularly happy with the 'preamble' bit, set to the jazz band music I 'just' managed to record when I first arrived down there. . . touched base with BB . .ate ham and salad rolls and some chocolate and TVd during the 'uploading' down time. Frustrating as hell - each one of those files took around an hour to upload - and one of them failed after around three quarters of an hour!!!! Finally, FINALLY to bed at getting on for 5am!!!!
6 - Up around 8am . . checked on the e-bay auction and actually decided to put a low bid on of 22.50. First time in my life I've ever actually placed a bid on an auction! Instantly it let me know I'd been outbid! lol Oh well - it ISN'T gonna go for 'silly' money then is it. Resist. Resist. Until mine breaks, I really can't justify (well - maybe!!! lol) spending money on another. And I guess the longer I can wait, the more technology will move on, and with a bit of luck, by the time I do replace my old one, I'll be looking at massive optical zooms and all solid-state memory cards rather than moving parts, which would be SO cool - not least of all because that would presumably also mean a massively extended battery life. . .walked . . pottered around until Mum popped in . . ate a pastry slice . . left Sally at home and walked down town with the camcorder and tripod, intending to try to capture footage of the Christmas parade. As far as I'm concerned, the Xmas parade is the last 'event' of the year, and having managed to capture some representative sample of almost all of the other events throughout the entire year, it would have been a pity not to have got a bit of it and 'completed the set' as it were. . turned out, as I'd suspected (but Mum popping in prevented it) I should have gone down earlier. Other stuff HAD been going on throughout the day and I'd missed it all! (Even an intriguing sign outside a pub function room saying free guitar lesson around 2:30pm!!?) . got there as a jazz band were already playing a Christmas number under the old fish market! Hastily started recording (at least to capture the 'useful' audio) and had to try and attach the camera to the tripod and get all set up ready to film, whilst actually already doing so!! Good job I did as it turned out. They didn't play another Christmasy tune, and pretty soon stopped playing altogether! . wandered around and up onto the high road to overlook the quarry car parks where the parade was apparantly going to assemble, getting whatever footage I thought may be of use. Eventually wandered back down to the harbour and got set up on the corner amidst the crowds, ready to attempt to film the entire parade as it passed. . seemed to go 'okish' . In fact - as things go for such a small town, I was actually quite impressed with the parade and how much effort everyone had put into it. Good spectator turn out too . . As soon as the parade end had passed, I pikced up the camera and tripod and RAN up the road just in time to be able to get the whole parade again as it started to return from circuit one. So out of breath, I just set the camera up on the tripod on a traffic island and left it running (which with hindsight was a mistake - because of course half of the stuff like the floats, you couldn't really see unless you turned around as they passed. Also, that part of town was pretty dark and almost completely deserted of spectators! ). . the minute the end of the parade had passed, I was back up and running, back up to the high street to get their second pass down it, to take up my now customary filming position for such things - me and the tripod perched on top of the metal waste bin next to the seats, hanging onto the adjacent church railing!!! lolol Precarious and noticeable, but really the only way to get the 'altitude' you need for the shot. Sadly, once again I made the unknowing mistake of just leaving the camera fixed and filming what passed by, so the result was disppointing. . ended up by sitting there for ages attempting to get the 'crowds clearing afterwards' sequence for a possible timelapse. Very boring - and pretty much ruined by a couple of women with two large dogs who decided to stand right in the foreground and chat unmoving for around a quarter of an hour! Oh well. Yet another wasted effort. . wandered around seeing what there was to see as the crowds dispersed. Couldn't resist doing a bunch of filming of the dalek near the harbour masters office. It was just parked up there for ages, waiting to eventually be driven off on a trailer. It just seemed SUCH a bizzarre and surreal scene to me - but then I guess I should be getting used to that by now. So much of what goes on down here, day to day, seems bizzarre and surreal to me!! . . drove to walk. . PCd . . BB called . . ate half a large pork pie with crisps and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
5 - Up around 8:30am again. . .walked and eventually back via town and a tour of all the charity shops . .felt all tired and aimless and somehow ended up on the PC just surfing nothing much for the remainder of the morning. Did actually bump into an interesting auction on e-bay of a camcorder. Old style not unlike the one I already have, but this one had an optical zoom of x40 which made it interesting to me, and 'no reserve' price. I'm gonna end up keeping an eye on that I suspect! I SO want some way of being able to experiment videoing stuff (out at sea mostly) at a more extreme magnification. 'Bolt-on' lens converter doublers are far too expensive, and probably wouldn't be as good as claimed. I've even dabbled (semi seriously) with the idea of buying a full-on high magnification telescope (some these days are suprisingly cheap) and then an eyepiece attachment to be able to bolt the video camera onto the end of it!!! Being able to zoom into distant stuff just fascinates the hell out of me. Obvious from all the videos I've done I guess. I've SO overused the zoom on my tired old camera, that it actually makes quite a noticeable 'motoring'/clicking noise ruining the sound on the recorded footage these days!! . . ate a bowl of stew with bread and butter and then biscuits . .napped until around 6:30pm . .raining. Skipped the evening walk and PCd a bit while supping a glass of wine, transferring some old footage to the PC and sorting through the few of my camcorder DV tapes I can tape over and re-use. A ha. Actually located the footage of the pile-driving building works I thought I'd deleted. :o) . . touched base with BB . . guitarred/TVd . . ate ham and lettuce sandwiches with crisps . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. d
4 - Up around 8:30am . . PCd a bit of this over coffee and cigarettes . . walked . . dropped the packet for next door round, just to get it off my back. Weird how no one rushed round to pick it up. If that was me, as soon as I saw the card telling me it had been taken in by a neighbour, I'd have rushed straight round to get it, and if they weren't in, would have kept an eye open and returned as soon as I knew they were. People are strange. . PCd the silly 'box song' video. Damn - I DO wish I knew what he was doing with his guitar to make that simple little tune. Nice sound - and I can't make it! . . drank a little wine and cooked and ate two cheeseburgers with chips . . napped . . drove to walk . . returned JKs ansaphone call and touched base . . TVd/guitarred . .touched base with BB . . ate bowls of cornflakes. . TVd until bed around 2am.d
3 - Up around 8:15am . . walked. As I reached BGdns, K called out saying 'I want you!' Scary moment! Turned out he had a car full (literaly!) of dog bones and left-over meat from where he works. lol Ended up struggling home with a huge sack full. I just couldn't say no. They'll keep Sally going for ages if she only has one every few days. Probably best to not over do it. . wrapped all the bones in freezer bags and almost filled a whole section of the freezer, as Sally excitedly devoured one out in the garden! . .PCd/TVd. A UPS driver called at the door? Signed for and took receipt of a packet for next door who were out. . ate salad rolls with crisps and a little chocolate . . napped until around 6:30pm . . drove to walk after scraping ice off the windscreen! . . PCd and balanced my accounst . . TVd. . BB called to touch base briefly . . ate stew with bread and butter. . TVd until bed around 2am as the rain poured.
2 - Up around 8:30am . .walked in the drizzle . . PCd, actually fairly rapidly sorting through my cassettes to get rid of . .spent a while emptying out and hanging up a box of creased clothes I've not touched since I moved in! I've not missed all those collared shirts and ties, so I guess it could be argued I should just get rid of it all! I'll have to work up to sorting that out again, some time in the future . . found a massive heavy box of yet more of my cassettes in the garage! Brought it into the house to eventually plough through. Really is gonna take AGES to sort them all out and discover the few I've not yet commited to the PC . . yay. Found all my old play guitar books and bits of paper in a box . . ate a bowl of stew, bread and butter and then a mass of biscuits again before napping . . woke 'just' before the alarm at 6:30pm . . drove to walk between rain showers . . PCd this. . touched base with BB . . TVd/PCd until almost 4am.
1 - Woken by Sally around 9:15am!!. . walked in the cold (ice on the car windscreen) but sunny morning and carried on out to the breakwater beach for a sit and cigarette. Back via town and a quick look in a couple of charity shops. Bought ten more 50p burgers in the butcher and scored a bone for Sally . . PCd a bit of this while Sally had her bone out in the garden. . eventually drank a glass of red wine while cooking up another huge pot of stew. .ate a 'four ladels' bowl with four pieces of bread and butter and then some biscuits. . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm. .drove to walk. Took a while before I could set off because of the ice on the windscreen! . . TVd . .LB called to touch base . . touched base with BB . . ate ginger cake and biscuits . . TVd until bed just before 2am. ds