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31 - Up after 8am . .received an unexpected e-mail from a friend of Sis2 (the one who contacted me to do all the photos for the photo frame last year) relaying information (for Mum mostly) that she is unable to call anyone at the moment, but that she is still in a hospital somewhere, and is apparantly likely to be for a little while. Phew - bit of a relief there then. I think I'm gonna have to try to talk to that friend of hers later. Called Mum immediately and read her the e-mail to put her tortured mind just a little more at ease . .walked late. It's definitely getting colder again! . TVd. . PCd this briefly while charging batteries on everything . . what a 'happy' new year THIS is going to be!! Just caught a bit of some nauseating speech by the prime minister on the news. Blah blah blah - we're all in it together - it's gonna be a tough year - we've all been living beyond our means - we're all gonna have to suffer cuts. God - that sort of talk (especially from someone who knows NOTHING of financial hardship) makes me SO f**ing angry! You know what mr selfish, self-centred, corrupt rich man - 'I' haven't been living beyond MY f**ing means! I've been surviving on 467.48 a month since June of 2009 - and will continue to have to attempt to do so for the forseeable future, DESPITE everything increasing in price and my dwindling savings earning near zero interest! (And 'I'm' one of the lucky ones!!!) Lets see the likes of YOU live like that! How cold and hungry have YOU been recently? <rant><rant> Makes me SO f**ing angry!. . Actually - this 'anger' thing I seem to be regularly having to deal with, is a relatively new (most undesirable) development in my personality!????? Something 'new' to have to try to get to grips with, along with all my other 'stuff'! Like I didn't have enough to be dealing with already!. . ate a tin of stewed steak with four pieces of bread and butter and then chocolate biscuits. . .napped . . walked (threw up). . TVd/PCd a bit before eventually calling the friend of Sis2 to get a better idea of the situation. VERY helpful. Touched base with Mum and Sis1 . . guitarred/TVd . .ate christmas cake . . BB called through midnight. .ate bowls of corn flakes before to bed around 1:30am. s
30 - Up just after 7am . .PCd a bit of this. Surfed a bit trying to get to the bottom of how/where Bella's microchip details may be registered. I DID ask about it from the rescue people, in the e-mail I recently sent them letting them know about the latest Bella video I've uploaded - but (predictably) they haven't replied! When I picked Bella up, I was given to believe that THEY would be updating the records (whatever and wherever they may be!), and I'd be sent a notification from 'the database company' in the mail in due course. Well - it's been quite long enough now, and yet I've recieved nothing! It's a VERY uncomfortable loose end. Assuming it hasn't been done - just imagine - if I dropped down dead in BGdns, or if she got lost in the woods, or who knows what unforeseeable eventuality, she'd presumably be picked up by someone, scanned, and end up being returned to her ORIGINAL owner, from who she was RESCUED! That's a pretty big deal under the circumstances! I am VERY eager to get this loose end tied up!!!!! . . . walked. Turned out to be a bit of an uncomfortable cold breeze blowing straight into BGdns for which I was NOT dressed! . . TVd briefly and put a couple of loads of 'winter layers' laundry on. If I'm lucky, it'll all have a chance to dry out on the airer inside the house before the next forecast cold spell arrives in a few days. .good grief! The BNC to SMA aerial adapter arrived in the post!! I sure didn't expect THAT so soon! How bizarre - the return address is actually blah, blah, 'Heathrow Airport'!???? There's GOT to be something funny about all that hasn't there? Some sort of scam or tax evasion or something - surely? All very weird - but it DOES suggest that ordering stuff on e-bay from those 'Hong Kong' suppliers with their knock-down prices, really may well be a straightforward VERY good deal? (nothing at all wrong with the part - but I can already see that when (if?!) I finally get my hands on the aerial I've ordered, I'll probably have to make up some sort of spacer for it to screw on appropriately, because the SMA side is a bit 'long in the tooth' so to speak.) . Also unexpectedly received a Fensa certificate for the windows in the post!?. . PCd and surfed a bit more on the 'Bella microchip' subject. Phoned the UK PETtrac Database people asking for help - and they WERE helpful. They confirmed the maker of her chip and that the owner details were held by a company called 'Anibase' and they gave me their number. Couldn't do anything with 'Anibase' on-line, so I ended up phoning them. Without breaching any of the data protection nonsense, they WERE able to confirm that the database details had NOT been updated, and it WAS all still the details of the former keeper!!!!! I have to WRITE to them (??! In this day and age?) giving them all appropriate details - will have to pay an administration fee of 6 - and will then have to wait while they contact the previous owner seeking 'agreement' to the change (without divulging any of my details)! (They admitted that in 'most' cases, the previous owner simply doesn't respond!) THAT made me rather uneasy - although at least now I know, and it's now kinda back under MY control to sort it out, rather than unknowingly have nothing done. It suddenly feels urgent - although it'll probably take me a couple of days to actually work up to 'hand writing' <shudder> a letter to them (because my printer isn't currently up and running)!. . . PCD a bit of this while listening to Brixham coastguard on the scanner. A single-handed yachtsman (on 'Somiers'?) had gone aground up the Exe I think. Exmouth ILB launched to assist. . .drank a bit of wine and cooked a pizza with extra cheese . . ate pizza and biscuits . . napped . threw up . walked and played muddy ball in the cold breeze . . guitarred/Tvd . watched the majority of 'DIY SOS:The Big Build - Littlehampton' on BBC1. I found the whole thing rather confusing. Ok - I missed the beginning - but I found myself wondering just exactly why this particular person had been chosen to have his life transformed by having a seemingly unlimited (licence fee payers) budget thrown at doing-up his house to such a high standard. In the paper it said he 'spent his life savings on home improvements, but became depressed when rogue builders left the house in a wreck'. It appeared that he'd done a series of 'poor me' type website postings and ammassed a huge following of well wishers from all over the country!? I'm sure I must have missed something - but the more I watched it, the more I found myself distastefully drawing comparisons between his apparant situation and mine (mindful of course that there are MANY people out there in MUCH greater 'distress', and MUCH more deserving of 'a bale out'). I think what got to me the most (putting his depression and state of his house to one side) was the fact that in all other respects, he appeared to have a relatively ok (dare I say 'normal') life! He had a son, friends, the apparant ability to enjoy himself, the apparant ability to engage in relationships, socialise, make new friends, etc, etc. I dunno - it just seemed to me, from MY perspective - he was in a largely enviable position!!!!! (Not even yet fifty, I have almost no one left in my life, and AM UTTERLY incapable of even attempting to engage in ANY form of 'relationship' with ANYONE whatsoever!!! What does that leave?) He sure was in an enviable position once they'd almost entirely rebuilt and turned his house into a luxury pad! (Was that HIS big screen TV or did they buy him that too?!!) . I dunno - I guess I just ended up with the bitter (wholely inappropriate) taste of envy. :o( I guess I should just count MY 'blessings' - whatever they are!? It's just hard to identify what they are sometimes - because I've had to 'make' most of them single handedly for myself. :o| . . Oh dear - I'm not very nice am I!!!! . . . ate christmas cake and chocolate and then ended up cooking up and eating a large plate of chips with some grated cheese . . to bed before 2am. sd
29 - Up around 7:30am . .PCd this . . .walked the woods etc in the wet fog. The whole day seemed to end up foggy, moving seemlessly to a bit of drizzle and then back to fog again. . tidied up just a little and then cut my hair/beard etc. It's been so cold for so long, I've hardly taken off my 'thinsulate' warm hat for weeks (outside AND in). With the temperature back up a little, with my hat off, it suddenly became apparant my hair had grown quite a bit! lol . . vacuummed. . TVd/PCd the day away. Picked up on the scanner the tail end of 'something' going on out towards Berry Head maybe, somewhere around midday. Coastguard teams, ILB and ambulance all responding for something/someone. .walked late in the fog. Pretty dense this evening. Couldn't even see the breakwater beacon. The pilot boat went out at one point, invisible in the gloom, and unusualy VERY slowly. . .returned Mums ansaphone call(s). She'd attempted to get in touch with Sis2 on her mobile but had been unsuccessful. All worried, she'd phoned the hospital (more than once) only to be given the run around, and eventually then get cut off! She had however been given to understand that Sis2 had been 'discharged' from their care - YESTERDAY!??? So - we're back to square one - not in contact, and not having a bloody clue what the hell is going on! :o( Mum was all upset and down and pretty much ranted about just about everything for around 45 minutes!!! Oh dear. I'm doing my best to be 'supportive' (in my own way) but that sort of stuff can rub off on me and drag ME down oh SO easily! My own 'mental state' is far too fragile to endure too many calls like THAT! :o(
showered (Yes - I'm afraid for the first time in a long while!). . drank a glass of wine while cooking burgers. . BB called only to hear me angrily rant and rave about the Sis2 situation - and my rapidly burning burgers!. . ate four (overdone)burgers in buttered bread rolls followed by a square or two of chocolate . . TVd . . to bed around 11:30pm.
28 - Woke around 6:30am, petted Bella then up around 6:45am . . 12C in, 8C out!!!? Amazing. . . PCd a bit of this. What a f***ing year THIS has been!! . . . .Got an e-mail to say the BNC to SMA aerial adapter I've ordered had been despatched from Hong Kong! . . walked. Felt incredibly mild out. After all the recent freezing weather, it was SUCH a pleasure to sit around and not feel SO cold and uptight. Just sat around for a LONG while . returned via the store for some eggs and mushrooms. Also picked up a replacement 9volt battery for my smoke alarm. The existing battery made the thing start intermittantly beeping when PS was here, suggesting the battery needed replacement, and I've had it disconnected ever since. I'm out of touch - I was utterly horrified to be charged the best part of 4 for one little battery! . . TVd and just sat around for a bit before eventually drinking a small glass of wine while doing a bit of a fry up 'breakfast'. Ate sausages, bacon, mushrooms and eggs with buttered bread rolls . . napped early. Woken by the phone ringing on more than one occasion . . eventually got back up and returned Mums ansaphone call. Sis2 had made it to a hospital apparantly. . eventually called the hospital trying to get more information, but predictably they weren't particularly forthcoming - which of course they shouldn't be.. Sis1 got a similar response later apparantly.
. . . surfed for a while on the net, researching 'Morgellons disease/syndrome' and 'delusional parasitosis', etc etc etc.
All very nasty, nasty, nasty. The trouble with this 'Morgellons' thing is, it appears to be one of those things that is potentially slowly emerging as a genuine bona fide 'thing', and yet is still in the stage of being largely ignored/dismissed/denied by much of the medical establishment! From the little I've read, one would have thought the fact that SO many people are exhibiting the unplesant symptoms, would have made it 'relatively' straightforward to confirm or deny it's actual existance!

If one first assumes it IS 'real' - just imagine what it must be like for sufferers - to go on year after year suffering such awful life changing symptoms - constantly being dismissed by the medical fraternity as 'imagining' it! That alone would surely be enough to actually TURN people psychotic! How easy THEN to dismiss them as having delusional parasitosis!! Catch 22!
. . . walked late in a sort of light 'mizzle'. Very mild and quiet out for the most part. I didn't even wear a coat! Again - very pleasant after the recent freeze. Sat around for ages and drank coffee etc. . walking back on the deserted streets, some young idiot in a junk-yard-fit car was racing around at ludicrous speeds. SO fast, I just stopped and waited at one point, because I was convinced he was going to crash, negotiating the hairpin bend at the end of the straight that he'd just done, as fast as that car would go. Just around that hairpin bend, there are always parked cars on the nearside, reducing the road to single file. Out of my sight, he only 'just' made it without crashing. I heard him lock his wheels and slide! Soon after, he returned down the same road doing 'at least' 70mph in my estimation (with another car behind doing its best to keep up)! Oh thank GOD Bella and I weren't just leaving BGdns and walking that bit of road with the nasty curves, blind joining junction and no pavements that we have to negotiate every day. At that speed, he would have HAD to have 'smoothed' out the curves and he WOULD have killed us both - no question. :o| . . back via Mums briefly to drop off the Xmas card and newsletter I'd received from the Devon GSD Rescue people. Thought Mum may like to read it.. . . guitarred/Tvd . . ate chocolate biscuits and then ham and mayo rolls, crisps and some chocolate. . to bed around 2am.
27 - Up around 7:30am . . 10C in, 5C out with strong winds . . walked . . returned home to find an 'upset' ansaphone message from Mum. Sis2 had called her in a bit of a state with her health problems apparantly, practically saying her goodbyes!!!! Made a coffee and took a few minutes before being able to work up to calling Mum back to hear what the hell had been going on . . I can't really in all good conscience go into too much detail about all this here can I? Too much 'overlap' into OTHERS private lives!. . Called Sis2 to touch base and say what I had to say, and then Sis1 to keep her appraised of things and seek an alternative point of view of the situation - because my take on it was there is nothing ANY of us can do to assist her in ANY way! She's dug a hole for herself! Even if I could see some point in one of us suddenly dropping everything to try to fly over and assist in some way (how exactly?), given the snow storms that have just hit the Eastern states and the fact that most flights have been cancelled and then that HER state has been declared an emergency,etc etc etc - it just doesn't make sense. Simply not possible. (On a personal level - I no longer have a passport - I have Bella to consider (too much a handful for Mum now) - mentally I'd end up a gibbering idiot if I tried such a trip these days! Hell - I get 'stressed' walking down town!! Never mind the cost! No. No way!!!) All in all, I think we ALL ended up with an awful agonising feeling of total helplessness and guilt, where there was really absolutely nothing we could do but offer suggestions/recommendations, just hope for the best, and await 'an' outcome - one way or another!!!!!!!!! Poor Mum. Given her own health concerns and down mood of late, the last thing she needs is to be all upset and worried like this. . TVd/PCD what remained of the day away trying (needing!) not to despairingly agonise about it all for a while . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps, a pork pie and a little chocolate . . walked in full weather gear in the light rain and wind. Still 'layered' for the cold, in the milder temperature of around +4C, I ended up overheating badly. Played Ball in the drizzle and mud before retreating to the gun shelter for a coffee. Not a nice walk. .TVd . . Mum called at length. Oh SO sad she doesn't have Dad around, to share her concerns and frustration with, and be the voice of clear thinking reason he always was. In some small part, I have to 'try' to be a bit of that for her - and god knows, I'm not much good at it with my own 'stuff', never mind anything else! :o( . . .ate Sis1 donated luxury chocolate biscuits. Only 'just' able to eat those with my few remaining teeth, because they were so hard and didn't soften much when dunked!! :o( . .checked on the bedroom bay window ceiling several times as the rain continued, but thankfully no sign of any water getting into the bedroom. . . Got an e-mail from the seller of the antenna I'd ordered from e-bay. "Hi I am away till the new year if you cannot wait I am happy to refund Have a happy new year". Well what the **** is THAT supposed to mean? A year is a long time. Any particular part of the year you had in mind? Idiot. Guess I'll just sit tight and wait - for a 'while'. . . to bed before 11:30pm.
26 - Up around 7am . . <8C in, <-5C out. . PCd a bit of this . .knocked over the brass post-box ornament on the window cill in the living room as I drew back the curtains, and succeeded in putting a crack in a piece of the double glazing window trim!! That crack probably wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been so cold and brittle!! What a b***er! Ok - I guess it's 'hardly' noticeable, but bloody disappointing and annoying nonetheless. :o( . . walked the woods and BGdns, kinda replaying yesterday really - except it was colder - again - still - more!!! The weather forecast for the next 24hrs on the scanner is pretty dire (although probably slightly warmer out). "Possible severe gale force nine at times later"!! Oh dear - my poor leaking roof!! <worry><worry> :o( . . . PCd the day away (around 5C in the PC room) doing (at last!) the latest Bella video update for what it's worth. . walked in the +4C type temperatures. WHAT an amazing rise in temperature in just a few hours. Very windy although actually not that bad in BGdns because of the westerly type direction of it. Sheltered in the gun emplacement for coffee and cigs. Once again, on the deserted streets in the absence of other dogs and distractions, Bella was VERY good at walking to heal. Dare I hope that she really IS improving and really getting the idea - at last! Even now, after all this time, it still seems as though every day she is different! . . TVd. Bella (still very jumpy and afraid of any sudden leg movements) seems to have become EVEN more 'cuddly' of late for some reason. After her food she draped herself across me on the sofa demanding stroking and stayed there, exactly like that for 'at least' an hour (delaying my getting myself some food - because I didn't have the heart to turf her off me). .briefly touched base with Mum and let her know about the breaking news. A BIG snow storm was causing chaos in the eastern US States, with a state of emergency called where Sis2 is!! . cooked and ate Mum donated sausages and bacon with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a quarter of the christmas cake . .guitarred just a little before more snuggling with Bella. . almost fell asleep on the sofa before to bed around 11:30pm. Much wind whistling from various windows!! :o( s
25 - Up around 7:30am . . 9C in, -3C out. PCd briefly and aimlessly ended up checking on TV prices. Damn - that 42" Panasonic plasma one I thought was a good deal on Amazon is no longer available anywhere, at anywhere near the price it was! It's a good 60+ more expensive now!! Gonna have to keep an eye on that to see what happens when the sales start. I BET it just comes back down to exactly what it was only a few weeks ago. Cheating b******s! . . Cold, but a lovely blue sky, sunny day down here. Almost impossible to believe that half the country is covered in snow!!! Walked the woods. Incredibly quiet out to start with - and still that tangible Christmasy 'atmosphere'.. Very pleasant. Image of Bella in Christmas hatSat and played ball in BGdns for ages before eventually heading back after around 3 hours out. No 'incidents' with Bella - and her walking to heal was pretty good too. 'Almost' a pleasurable walk, all in all. :o) Called in briefly at Mums for a coffee and chats on the return (but really just to 'do my Christmas duty' AND satisfy myself she wasn't 'as' bad as she'd sounded on the phone yesterday. She seemed 'ok' ish - considering. Returned home with an unwanted bottle of wine (been in her cupboard since last Christmas - white unfortunately) AND 100 cash/'spending money' gift (- despite my trying to refuse to take it. I have yet to check my bank balance, but Sis1 suggested Mum has ALSO put a few hundred into each of our accounts for Christmas!!!!! It's GONNA be a new TV isn't it!!!!! :o| ) . . briefly dug out my suitcase of Christmas crap from the back of the bedroom wardrobe, and had a half-hearted go at photographing Bella in a hat (largely just so I could e-mail a 'Happy Christmas' to the fosterer from whence she came.).. drank a glass of red wine and PCd this. It's Christmas. If nothing else - I feel just 'slightly' less guilty about allowing myself a drink, and doing nothing with the day, etc. Hell - I may even have ANOTHER glass, and get myself proper tipsy - before then being able to feel entirely 'entitled' to having some (soft) food and a nap!) . . DID have another glass of wine and DID get proper tipsy! Ended up PC/TVing the day away, not feeling particularly hungry or tired . .Recieved a 20 paypal Xmas gift from JC!!!!! . . walked in the around -4C temperatures under a dark, clear, star-filled sky. Really felt the cold tonight (probably because I hadn't eaten - but eating would have ruined my not unpleasant 'tipsy' feeling)! Sat quietly in the dark in a lull in our ball playing (Bella appeared to be 'relatively' tired this evening), all of a sudden a group of half a dozen or more people all carrying torches started to make their way along the path just below us - which seemed rather unusual. They probably would have all passsed completely oblivious to our presence if not for the fact it turned out they had a dog with them, and it and Bella ended up having just a little bit of a go at each other somewhere across the grass in the pitch black. It came to nothing and we both called our dogs away, and they all carried on along the path and eventually out of our sight. It turned out they were all heading down onto the beach at Fishcombe cove!!?? Initially wondering what the explosions were (the first few really did sound like shotgunfire!!) I hooked Bella up on her lead and rather nervously stumbled and crept in the dark to an overlooking vantage point, just to try to figure out what was going on. Turned out they were letting off a load of fireworks, actually down on the beach! Weird. . retreated in the dark unnoticed, and went and sat safely up top for my coffee and cigs. Bella was completely unphased by the fireworks. . just leaving BGdns when my scanner 'just' picked up the end of an emergency coastguard 'pager' type call. (Whenever they do one of those calls, the scanner picks up a weird series of almost musical tones. I've learned to prick up my ears when I hear that, whatever it is.) I only caught the very last bit of the transmission, but I got the impression they were being called out for another 'vulnerable missing person' (suicidal female) in the Goodrington area. That had me abruptly about-face and head back to the seats under the roof, to have a listen and see how things developed. Within only a few minutes another call came that the woman had been located and the coastguard teams (already responding) were to stand down. You HAVE to admire these volunteer coastguard people - being on call like that ALL the time. No having a tipple on Christmas day for them! It DOES beg the question how such a call out will work in the future, now that the local 'Brixham' coastguard station is due for closure in the latest round of appalling government cuts. (Seems to me they are using this 'fabricated' economic crisis as a political excuse to just throw away much of what it has taken generations to achieve! Really makes me despair that we are all so self centred and wrapped up in our own selfishness, that we are all quietly going along with it! :o( ) No WAY can some centralised coastguard station in some far distant part of the country possibly as effeciantly deal with such an event, without the in depth local knowledge that is currently to hand. (On a purely personal level re listening on my scanner - I wonder how their comms will work when they've been centralised? I presume they will be remotely hooked up to local aerials and transmitters around the coasts, exactly as they are now?). . . snuggled with Bella and snuggie draped over me on the sofa unmoving, for almost an hour! . . ate Mum donated chicken and stuffing slices in three bread rolls and then a quarter of the Christmas cake donated by the lady dog walker. Wow - that IS a good cake! . . struggled to stay awake but soon had to cave in and was in bed shortly after 10:30pm!! dds
24 - Up around 8am . . 9C in, -2C out . . walked. . did dish washing chores . . Sis1 called and then popped in for chats (with food donations from Mum!) . Mum called briefly. She REALLY doesn't sound well at all! . . shared a bread roll thing with some salami that Sis1 brought with her. It was probably ok, but my few wobbly rotten teeth I have left, were quite incapable of actually biting bits of it off! Had to resort to a knife to cut it into mouth sized chunks (which I AM still JUST able to chew). I haven't dwelt on my teeth much here - but I really am >this< close to only being able to manage soup! REALLY!! :o( Maybe I should invest in a liquidizer (or do a proper search of the back of my cupboards to see if I may actually have an old one donated by someone, some time? I really don't know!)?. .Sis1 took a photo or two while she was here. Bloody good one I thought! Image of Bella and IPCd briefly and grabbed a copy. Forced her to watch the Uncle TJ ashes commital video (which she'd never seen). Poor Sis1!! What with Mums ill health and down mood - my (failed) attempts at explaining where 'I' was in MY life and my awful down state and how I regard 'the Bristol thing' as the defining events of my life (and discussing wills, and details of possible events when Mum finally dies, etc) - and apparantly then talking to Sis2 (very ill) on the phone later - I think Sis1 is going to need some time to recover from the awfull 'darkness' of her visit!!! . . napped briefly after Sis1 had gone . .TVd (delayed leaving to watch a Dads Army episode) and ate chocolate biscuits before walking in the -2 type temperatures. (Threw up a bit as is quite usual. It's my ongoing 'smoking/dust inhalation' thing. Always feel so much better afterwards - and then can't wait for a cigarette - or several actually!!) Very quiet and dark out, with a clear, icy-black, star-filled sky. Nice. Sat around for AGES before eventually walking back the long way, past the local pub (pretty busy - and a totally alien world to me nowadays) and then past Mums, just to check the lights were on and all appeared 'normal'. Bella was as good as she gets at walking to heal, just tied to my belt. There really IS a tangible 'atmosphere' about Christmas Eve and the like (assuming you can avoid the drunken yobs that drive by, yelling something unpleasant at you as they do!). It STILL makes me wonder about 'hocus pocus' and the power of such a shared experience/consciousness or however you want to put what I mean into words. It's becoming increasingly rare, what with the 'fragmentation' of the media, society, culture, etc, etc. . guitarred the evening away in front of the fire (and TVd, but not watching any of the drivel that was on) . . cooked and ate sausages, beans, eggs and four pieces of bread and butter and then some chocolate . . to bed around 12:30am. s
23 - Up around 8am . . 9C in, -1C out and rather windy. Quite a bit of wind seems to be a feature of the forecast for the next several days, with something potentially rather nasty with 50mph gusts arriving around boxing day it would appear! . . walked the woods, pretty much because the wind was so strong and bitterly cold blowing straight into BGdns. Sheltered and not unpleasant down in amongst the trees. . eventually carried on all the way out to the Shoalstone pool. Well, well, well - after all these months (or is it years now?) of multiple crude oil tankers all crowding the horizon, moored in the deep water anchorage 'awaiting orders' (allegedly waiting for demand to increase and the price of oil to go back up), all of a sudden they seem to have drifted away, just leaving 'Aspasia Lemos' out there on her own. Funny how you 'get into' these things when you look out from the coast every day/night like I do - but I HAVE been longing for them all to just bugger off! At night, I'm sick and tired of being blinded by all their massive array of lights all the time, and have been yearning to have a proper dark horizon back, so I can more likely see some shooting stars again. . The engines of the lifeboat were being warmed up a bit as we passed. I did that with the car just the other day, whenever it was. . . eventually back via town and a tour of a few of the charity shops. Scored a biscuit barrel for 2.50, exactly matching the metal canister-set Mum bought me for my tea coffee and sugar. :o) . . bought a few supplies before eventually heading home. Spur of the moment detoured into a solicitors office on the way past, and got a little information about getting a will done. I'm gonna have to give that a little more SERIOUS thought and then make an appointment in the new year I think. Gonna cost around 100 - but I figure worth it, to get it done 'proper legal' AND have them keep a copy safe in their vault. . drank a glass of red wine and cooked four sausages, two eggs and half a tin of sausages in beans and ate with four pieces of bread and butter. . TVd . . napped . . walked. A degree or so below zero C and up around a gale force 7+ again. SUCH a relief to shelter for coffee in the gun emplacement again. . called in at the store for a few supplies on the way back. That should easily see me through until next year now, avoiding any need to battle my way through all the inevitable Christmas 'panic buying' shoppers mayhem. . TVd for an hour with Bella all curled up ON me appearing to dare not move (her way of stopping me waving my legs around maybe?) She jumps every time I move! :o( . . eventually ended up on the PC. (Bella never joins me in the PC room these days. Hasn't done for a while. When I PC she usually takes herself off into her bed in the bedroom in the evening - or during the day has taken to laying at the foot of the stairs near the front door.) Sick and tired of constantly looking at different aerials and such, unable to make an intelligent decision, I eventually just went click click and ordered 'an' aerial (?!) which 'could/should' improve the Yaesu VX-2 performance, to enable me to get to the bottom of whether or not it'll do what I want (with its current 11cm long rubber-duck antenna, compared to the scanner, it is SO deaf!!!) and do I really want to keep it (or should I 'eventually' sell it on and just stick with my scanner?). 2/70cms ULTIMATE GAINER HAND HELD ANTENNA 40cm LONG (short enough for me to still have it poking out of a pocket- albeit poking me in the eye) for 16.95 including postage. . also ordered a BNC to SMA antenna adapter socket for 1.79, to enable me to hopefully be able to try that same antenna on the scanner aswell (because it allegedly also does wideband receive). Ordering that adapter socket was also done as a worrying 'test'. As SO many such things are on e-bay, it was listed as coming directly from a Hong Kong supplier. I never trust such listings, so figured something so small was worth testing them out, to see if it's some sort of scam or actually really IS a good way of getting a good deal (customs allowing!). I can't help it - I reckon it just HAS to be a horrible scam of some sort. That little adapter was only 1.79 INCLUDING postage! How can that be right? If my paypal and or bank account is suddenly emptied, I'll know the score won't I! That's gonna be a few weeks of worrying now (and both delayed longer because of Christmas etc of course)! . . .Mum called to say Sis1 had arrived to visit. . . PCd this at length - cold . . .ate bowls of muesli and biscuits before finally to bed around 3am!
22 - Woke earlier then up around 7am . . 9C in, <-4C out. .PCd over breakfast coffee and cigarettes and somehow ended up having a prod at a couple of ('scanner geek interesting') websites. ( http://www.flightradar24.com , http://www.radarvirtuel.com , http://casper.frontier.nl/egkk/) Breathtaking how things have developed over SO few years. I'm SO out of touch and behind the times!!! It's now possible to watch (live-ish) a radar representation of aircraft actually in flight!!! I gather a clever modern mobile phone would even allow you to do so while out and about!!!!! Just amazing. (Wow - I could almost see some fun in doing that on a clear day in BGdns - tracking them on a phone, and then actually watching them going over while listening on the scanner! lolol) I wonder what else is being done out there, that it hasn't even occurred to me to look for? (What a shame more radio communications traffic from all over the place isn't relayed live in the same way. With the current chaos as detailed on the news, Gatwick and Heathrow etc airports could have made for some interesting listening!) Imagine in the future - live feeds from rescue helicopters, lifeboats, etc, etc, etc?? Amazing! . . walked in the very cold. . Image of my living-room in/out thermometer readingsOn returning from the walk I grabbed a quick photo of the indoor/outdoor thermometer readings (as sat on the unit next to the TV in the living room) - because it was still, uncharacteristically for round these parts, VERY cold outside. -4C!!!!! The indoor temperature of around 9C, seems to be pretty much the norm for this house in the winter - largely independant of the outside temperature (thanks to the neighbours' heating?) . Having said that, a thermometer propped up on the PC room window cill, within three feet of where I sit (in multiple layers, hat and gloves!), was showing only just above freezing. I DO find it increasingly hard living in these temperatures - especially since it's been going on for SO long now - AND it's SO early in the winter!!! :o( . . TVd/PCd another day away, just trying to endure the cold. . Mum called to touch base for almost an hour!!! . . ate the last of the stew with four pieces of bread and butter and then biscuits and some chocolate . . napped. My napping was 'disturbed' by being consistantly woken by noise from next door! Snoozed-ish through it until the alarm at 6pm . God only knows what was going on next door, but it seemed to entail much running up and down flights of stairs by a herd of elephants - and of course the frequent/constant slamming of their front door. It made the old disused (yet to be removed) radiator on my bedroom wall 'rattle' as they did so!! Grrrr. How bloody inconsiderate. I just don't exist do I! . .By the time I'd woken up, made my coffee and got ready to walk (takes at least an hour), I was VERY glad to just be getting out and escaping the noise! Walked in a biting cold gusty wind. Temperature was up around 0C but it felt much colder. Didn't play ball for long before having to retreat to the gun shelter for coffee etc. .back home to TV, only to have to endure even more noise STILL coming from next door!!!! It eventually became apparant to me (rightly or wrongly) that what was going on was some sort of computer game on the TV in their living room right next to mine! I could hear what sounded like some sort of game generated cheering in between bouts of someone 'running' (in 'triplets'?) on the spot! The walls here are paper thin - the floors are boards over ('joined' in the cavity wall?) timber joists, with the enormous under floor space acting like a soundbox! Someone 'running' on these floors is LOUD! Loud like a bloody bass drum being banged. This went on for hours! There was no escaping it! It started to drive me VERY crazy and angry. I turned the television volume up SO loud at one point (deliberately trying to be heard), it was hurting my ears, and yet I was STILL being 'disturbed' by their noise (over and above the TV ) - which did not cease or alter in any way. :o( . somewhere getting on for 10pm I lost my temper proper, and lifted my leg from my footstool, and banged my foot down three times onto the floor. Finally I think that DID get their attention - or perhaps it was just a coincedence that some little while later things got quieter. . sadly, that wasn't the only effect of my outburst!! Poor Bella got in an awful state. My banging my foot down like that 'traumatised' her - to say the least! She appeared to be utterly terrified and cowered on the floor. There was NO consoling or reassuring her, and from that moment on, every single time I moved my leg on the footstool in front of the fire (which is often), she cowered and sought to flee!!!!!!!!! For the whole rest of the evening, she sat staring at me ears down all nervous and upset. She even refused to take any treats I offered her. Awful awful awful! Anyone seeing her behaviour would surely conclude that I'd just been giving her a kicking!!!!!! Can she be SO nervous that me doing that caused her SUCH distress - or does it maybe suddenly bring back memories from her previous life? HAS she been receiving a kicking?!!! . whatever the answer, unfortunately my banging the floor like that, has dramatically damaged our relationship! :o( If I'd given her the choice, she WOULD have taken herself off somewhere away from me! :o( I confess to having started to do a little bit of a 'Kenny Everett' character style crossing/uncrossing of legs (you have to be a certain age to remember and know what I mean by that!), in an attempt to immediately desenitise her to my 'scary leg', but I've a horrible feeling I've actually made things worse!!!!! In the living room - specifically in THAT setting - she is acting terrified of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is no longer prone to following me around and always being there! She's keeping herself more to herself - away from me!! I'm heartbroken things have suddenly gone so terribly wrong. We've gone 'backwards' - BIG time! I don't know how to repair that damage. I'm pretty upset. :o( . . guitarred a little . . ate a bag of crisps, a chunk of corned beef, biscuits and chocolate before eventually to bed around 1:30am. s
21 - Woke around 7am, snuggled on the bed with Bella for a bit. Somehow in the dark I managed to get her paw/claw plunged into my left eye! Damn that hurt! Not a good way to start the day! Up around 7:15am with a streaming eye!. So much for the lunar eclipse which 'may' have been visible first thing. Total cloud cover. :o( . .<10C inside , 0C out . . walked the woods, just so as not to get so muddy. Detoured on the way home to call at a dog walkers house (the one who gave me the freeview box etc) and pick up the christmas cake she'd earlier reminded me she'd made for me!! She said she hadn't iced it. 'Any instructions for eating it?' I asked. 'Try it with a bit of cheddar cheese' she suggested. Huh? What a weird idea!??. . I guess I may aswell mention here (because I don't think I have yet) - I am NOT observing Christmas in ANY way whatsoever this year. It holds NOTHING for me except sadness and regret and a taste of bitterness. I've received some cards (I DID look to see who from - eventually). A couple from people I've not even spoken to for years (you still alive then?) - getting on with their lives. I just can't see the point in the charade of sending any out at all this year. Not even to family. (With regard to my guilt over the family side of things - hopefully they'll forgive me when they eventually come into their inheritance? - although they WILL have to work for it - clearing out all my pathetic accumulation of worthless junk! I SO need to get a will done!!!) I'm (rightfully) not a part of any of their lives. I just can't manage it. I'm just letting it ALL go. ALL of it. I AM become 'Scrooge' - without the ending. . . TVd . . PCd a bit of this (instead of doing my paperwork and accounts as I should be), chain-smoking of course. Damn - my eye is sore! . . .drank a glass of red wine and made a potatoe, peas, onion, gravy stew, with a large chunk of the 'dog-food' beef K donated. It smelled and looked pretty fresh and didn't taste bad in the stew, so I guess it's ok. Froze three times as much for future stew makings. . napped . . a dramatic drop in temperature to around -3C had caused a cold (freezing?) fog to descend. No wind at least - and I rather like a good fog. Walked and played ball in the very bright dark. Sat and listened to the scanner for ages. Ended up sitting around listening to the scanner for ages. Not particularly because of the fog, but there WAS a lot of comms traffic going on this evening. Invisible in the fog out in the bay, actually moored in pretty close, was a big Greek oil tanker - 'Corossol'. One of the 'Brixham pilots' vessels was alongside and a diver was in the water, just finishing off whatever work they'd been doing to the hull (and then taking pictures)!!!! WHAT a weird job - in freezing temperatures, in the pitch black of night, in a thick fog! (Surely only a 'few' years ago, before modern radar, radios etc, such weather would have brought everything on the coast to a grinding, fog-horn sounding halt? Not now - everything was running like normal!) The pilot boat 'Celia T' joined them, bringing a pilot over from Torquay. Yes, yes - so I'm a bit of an anorak-scanner-geek, but I really DO find it - um - 'entertaining' having the ability to listen in to a bit of their stuff, and get a glimpse of the world that's REALLy going on out there. Looking out into the thick gloom, it was 'just' possible to see the mast lights of (pleasure craft?) 'Audrey' as it slowly threaded its way past the breakwater entrance and into the harbour, to moor up overnight because of the fog. Listened to the friendly banter on the radio with the harbourmaster as he guided them in, about which pubs they could call in at once they'd safely found their ('free - because of the weather') mooring. Blah, blah, blah, etc, etc. :o) . . TVd and drank the bottle of Belgium beer PS had left behind. . guitarred/TVd . . BB called . . ate pork pies, crisps and chocolate . .saw -5C as the outside temperature on the thermometer around midnight!! That surely MUST be the coldest I've seen it here!!. . TVd until bed around 1am.
20 - A dreadful night of hardly any sleep at all, thanks to the noise of a storm battering the house (and more than one whistling window!!!! Grrrr!). I guess the only consoloation was, it was rain rather than snow, which apparantly it was only a few miles up the road! . gave up trying to sleep around 6:45am, and soon after got up. <10C in, 2C out . . PCd a bit of this . .walked and played ball - in the mud!! Our twice daily ball play has turned that whole area of grass in BGdns into something resembling a ploughed field - ESPECIALLY just in front of the seat I sit on! It's not been 'so' bad with the recent stretch of constantly frozen ground, but this morning it had truly thawed out and turned to awful wet mud. Every time Bella races full-pelt back to me with her ball, she arrests her charge right in front of the seat, tearing up the ground terribly. I've tried eavening it out by sitting on the other two seats nearby aswell, but all that's done is make a muddy mess in front of ALL of them! Not only am I embarassed to have made such a mess of the place, but it also now means we both get absolutely covered in mud every day! Sadly I may yet have to try to wean Bella off her daily ball playing, and just get her to walk around like a 'normal' dog (before I end up getting in trouble with the council!). . . returned with a huge bin-bag of left over meat for Bella from K. Blimey - some bits and pieces and a whole BIG joint of beef!! (Unfortunately, I have no idea if that was all for her, or if it 'may' be fit for human consumption. Oh dear - only one way to find out I guess!) . popped up the store for bread and milk . . TVd. .did laundry . . PCd and started sorting out the huge amount of paperwork and bills I've had piling up for ages. Spent hours on it and actually got no further than a 'pre-sort' and throwing away of the rubbish! . . ate pilchard sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and chocolate . . napped . . walked. Encountered a group of four young 'adults' (!?) walking towards me on the way home. Two 'couples'. As I drew to within twenty feet of them, the lead male said something along the lines of 'right - NOW' to the female he was with, at which point they both started walking in an exaggerated 'bobbing up and down way' as they passed me. (It's how 'I' walk. I've always had something of a more than 'normal' vertical 'bounce' to my gait.) They were seeking to make fun of me and take the piss. Returned home feeling publicly ridiculed, humiliated and upset (aaagain!) - and couldn't shake it for the whole rest of the evening (+). A tiny insignificant incident to most perhaps - but entirely sufficient to make me long for the (smoking/dust inhalation related?) pain I'm now suffering in the left side of my chest ALL the time, to just bloody get on with it! . . TVd/PCd (looking at antennae and sockets and microphones, etc!????) the evening away until around midnight . . ate bowls of cornflakes before to bed around 1:15am.
19 - Woke around 7am, snuggled on the bed with Bella for a bit then up around 7:15am. . .9C inside the curtains, -1C out with quite a bit of wind it appears. One of the windows in the PC room is 'whistling'!!!! :o( . actually - no it wasn't -1C - that's my failing eyesight for ya! I think it was +1 based on how everything seemed to be thawing. . walked in the strong wind and a bit of sleety drizzle, in full layers AND wet weather gear! The slushy half melting ice was far more treacherous under foot than it had been last night in the calmer, much colder temperatures!! . a proper bit of a North Westerly gale was blowing straight into BGdns when we got there. Very 'sharp' and unpleasant, although I DID get my layers about right for it, and suprisingly wasn't 'too' uncomfortable at all. . just as we reached the lower 'ball playing' area, UK Border Agency patrol ship, HM cutter 'Searcher' was making ready to leave the outer harbour and head off into the wind and waves. Couldn't pass up THAT opportunity! Ran to one of the lower gun emplacements and had a 'prod' at filming it as it went. Given the conditions, and the fact I didn't have a tripod, I reckon I got it pretty good. Bagging a bit of video like that, made the walk in such unpleasant weather, quite worthwhile to me. :o) . . sat and played ball for as long as I could stand, before heading to the gun emplacement for a cigarette break - and then home. . .PCd and managed to do something with the 'Searcher' video and eventually uploaded it to Youtube by early afternoon - by which time really 'most' of the snow visible from my window had vanished already. We almost always are SO lucky down here with the weather, compared to other parts of the country. Having said that, funny how its snowed here proper 'at least' twice since I've been here - and yet it hardly snowed for years before. Climate change indeed.. .TVd and ate a packet of crisps and the last of the curry concoction with four pieces of bread and butter, followed by a square or two of chocolate . . napped . . walked. -1C and real treacherous under foot, where small unexpected areas of ice remained on the pavements here and there. Unpleasant sitting in BGdns in the strong cold breeze. Took refuge in the gun emplacement for a coffee and cigs, as my reward after ball play. . TVd (rubbish - with the sound off most of the evening!) while guitarring . .ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps, a box of chocolate logs and some chocolate . . TVd until around 1am (watching 'Eddie Izzard: Stripped' live on stage on BBC2. Good stuff. ) before eventually to bed. s
18 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:15am. Image of Bella in snow covered Battery GardensA little more snow in the night had put around an inch or so on everything. . walked. Tyre tracks in the virgin snow on the road drew my attention. They went up the hill - stopped - and then tracked back at a funny angle, straight over the pavement and up to a high garden wall. A couple of bits of red brake-light plastic were laying on the snow! Bad news for someone! Pretty silly to have even attempted that hill I reckon. They don't grit or salt this bit of road! . BGdns also had a light covering. Sat and played ball as usual. Image of smouldering Palm Court Hotel from across TorbayA passer by eventually drew my attention to a pall of smoke hanging over Torquay. It hadn't seemed significant enough to draw my attention until they'd said. Turned out it was the smouldering remains of what had only a few hours earlier (started around 6:30am), been a very significant and major blaze on the Torquay seafront! The derelict 'Palm Court Hotel' had gone up! Zoomed in across the bay with the camcorder, but really couldn't make out anything much (especially without glasses!) other than the hint of a fire engine and a bunch of smoke. Seemed as though plenty of people appeared in BGdns while I was there, specifically to look across. . Image of a robin in the snowsat trying to film the robins for just a while, although impatient Bella pretty much made that impossible! Grrr . . back via Mum's to see if she wanted me to get her anything while I was out. Briefly popped up the store for the papers and some milk . . swept the front steps up to my door a bit, just to remove the majority of the snow and hopefully allow it all to dry out in the sun - rather than have it all turn to treacherous ice later. Ice on those steps, particularly when being dragged down them by an eager-to-walk dog, is a real dangerous nightmare here! . . PCd. Set up the old camcorder pointing out of the PC room window, to act as a webcam while I pcd a bit of this. All blue sky and sunny - amazing that little sprinkle of snow has lasted as long as it has. . . Mum called around 1pm to let me know that RL ('Uncle R' - lifelong friend of Dad and Mum) had died suddenly yesterday!! He allegedly climbed the stairs to go to bed - sat in a chair at the top to rest - died right there, just like that! Not a bad way to go I guess - but a bit of a shocker for the rest of the family! Happy Christmas!!! . Getting that news was another one of those 'woooow' moments! :o( . . .PCd messing around with a few photos and bits of video. Ended up knocking up a bit of pointless robin footage and uploading it to Youtube. The upload appeared to consistantly fail several times and I eventually just gave up and turned the PC off in disgust. .defrosted some 'dog -food' pork and cooked up a large pot of curry with rice. Ate a BIG bowl full with four pieces of bread and butter . . . walked in -4C temperatures. With a clear sky, a fairly full moon, and snow on the ground, it was incredibly bright and easy to see everywhere without a torch . . TVd struggling to stay awake . . ate a whole box of Mum donated mini chocolate logs . . early to bed shortly after 10:30pm.
17 - Woke around 7:15am, snuggled on the bed with Bella for a bit then up around 7:30am. . .10C inside the curtains, -2C out . . PCd over coffee and cigs, and then when I next looked out, it'd snowed!! Just a light covering on everything. . walked and sat and played ball (once I'd wiped the snow off the seat). Bella didn't seem to care about the sprinkle of snow at all - and was just all about her ball as usual. She DID however seem to have trouble recognising it on a few occcasions, once it had rolled and turned into a 'snow' ball. lol . ended up returning home under blue skies and in full sunshine! The morning was mostly sunny with an occasional snow shower. The sun coming through the windows seemed to make the house feel MUCH warmer (even if the thermometers said otherwise). Perhaps as a result of the bit of sun, I don't feel SO bad today. (I could hardly get much worse than I was yesterday, and last evening/night in particular!) . It surely IS connected to food isn't it? (That WAS why I started putting down here what I ate - to try to see if it was related.) If I consistantly don't eat much for a while, my mood gets worse doesn't it? (Even Mum and Sis(s) recall how when I was a kid, I'd get 'flakey' if I was hungry, apparantly!) Trouble is, its a catch 22. If I'm down, I just can't be bothered to 'do' food proper! . . PCd a bit of this and that, (including trying to 'resurect' the old software I used to use, to upload my webcam images. I never DID put it back on my current machine. Figured it might be fun to point the camera out of the window for a bit - although by midday there was so little snow left, it didn't seem worth all the aggro trying to remember and work out how to set it all up ) . . around 12:15pm the postman delivered a box. Right - that MUST be the charger and battery (which I hope and pray will fit the radio). That's me all messing with that for ages now. Fingers VERY crossed! . .Well - fingers crossed still - but straight out of the pack, allegedly 'uncharged', the battery fits the radio and even powered it up! That's a good sign. The instructions for the battery/charger say "CAUTION : The allowable temperature range when charging the battery is 10 to 35 degrees C. Charging under temperatures outside this range creates the risk of fluid leakage and overheating. And can lead to deterioration of battery performance and loss of service life." Blimey - I'm not sure the PC room is warm enough to avoid that - but I put it on for its first charge for a couple of hours anyway!! . eventually fitted the new, charged battery and had a play for a bit. Living in the near-sea-level/black-hole that I do, of course there was very little to be heard on it in the house, on it's little rubber duck aerial. It DID however 'appear' to be fully working (although still not sure about the transmit side). . breifly left Bella at home and popped up the nearby radio amateurs house with the radio, but got no answer at the door. . .drank a glass of wine and cooked and ate a pizza with extra cheese . . napped . . walked. Took the radio and left it scanning in my pocket while I sat. Predictably, everything was pretty quiet on that front - although NOT as quiet as I'd thought. Turns out the radio has a battery-saver thingy amongst all its other absolute MASS of settings, and at some point it'd turned itself off! I'd been sat there like an idiot, listening out for it nonetheless! lolol. Compared to my scanner, it DOES seem to be incredibly slow at scanning through all the (marine) frequencies, which IS a disappointment. Having said that, once I've learned more how to use it, I reckon I should be able to 'trim down' that big list of pre-set frequencies, to just those that are actually worth listening to - after it which it 'may' do what I want. It's gonna take AGES to get a grip on all it does, and to figure out how best to set it all up for MY purposes - and that is PARTICULARLY difficult now my eyesight has deteriorated to such a degree, I can't read the tiny screen without wearing glasses!!!! :o( . . TVd/guitarred/scanned with the radio some more, before somehow locking the entire thing up, and having to go fire the PC up to read the manual I downloaded, to figure out what I'd done and how to unlock it! NOT the easiest thing to ONLY have a manual ON the PC - particularly when the thing is SO complicated (75 pages!!)!! Predictably ended up surfing antennas - AGAIN! I have every intention of soon spending 20 or so on a different antenna - longer - which will hopefully somewhat improve its reception. (But of course make it less 'handy' and bulkier/more difficult to discretely carry around.) I ALSO intend to get a coupling socket which would enable me to use that new antenna on my OLD scanner aswell - so no matter how things work out and which radio I end up sticking with, it'll not be wasted money. . . . grabbed just a handful of biscuits and warmed up a little in front the fire before to bed around 1:11am. d
16 - Up around 7:45am . . walked. Not 'that' cold but the wind had started to get up and it felt pretty unpleasant. . TVd/PCd/sat around and just shrugged off another day. Recieved YET another call from the AA (because I did the car insurance with them) trying to sell me something - again! Got pretty angry on the phone and told them never EVER to call me EVER again. . I guess I'm actually pretty down and have been for a while. Not really 'functioning' at all right now, and seem to be feeling a bit tearful(ish). Seem to be getting deeper and deeper into it as the winter months drift by. Feels like it's been a long LONG winter already! . . forced down a handful of biscuits . . walked in a dreadful mood - that got worse. Bella pulled all the way to BGdns, promptly nipped a dog when we got there, lost her ball more than once requiring I wander around in the cold wind looking for it, and then lunged at another dog on the way home. (Sat in the gun emplacement for a cigarette feeling 'distant' and unconnected. Letting my eyes close for quite a bit, I could oh so very easily have just let myself fall asleep there!!) By the time we got back I was losing my temper, was giving Bella a hard rough time on a VERY short lead, and really had just had enough of it (her!) all! . put her food down and then just shut her safely in the living room and went and sat in the PC room for a long while , just staring in silence at the monitor (turned off) for ages, letting my anger subside and involuntarily exploring 'endings' for myself! . Wow - I really am awfully down at the moment! No matter how hard I try to see it differently, everything is just a hassle, hard grind, almost unbearable feat of endurance for me, day after day after day - with nothing - absolutely nothing that I can identify offering me ANY 'pleasure' or reason to continue - EVER! This IS as good as all my tomorrows will ever be. I just want it over with (again-still-MORE!). I REALLY do. :o( Poor LB - SO unfair it wasn't me.
. . sat in front the TV, not watching whatever rubbish was on . . forced down ham, cheese, mayo sandwiches, crisps and bowls of co-co pops . . to bed before midnight.
15 - Up around 7:45am . .still no payment for that last toy car I auctioned. Come on guy - I just want to get this all over and done with! . . walked the woods etc. Poor Bella seemed impatient to get going, and minutes after leaving the house, positively exploded all over the pavement!!! Took me half a dozen poop bags to get anywhere near leaving the pavement in a unpleasant mess!! :o( Wonder what did that to her - the bone or the K donated left-overs (a rich mix of sausages, various cheeses, meats etc) she finished last night?. returned home around 11am to PC and find I'd recieved that outstanding payment whilst I was out. Excellent. Immediately packaged the thing up in bubble wrap and addressed another old, re-used padded envelope. (As I was doing so, the power went off!!!! Turned out to be MY trip switch on the fusebox!!!!??? Can't imagine why that went - although we DO seem to have been having a few power dips and surges of late.) . . walked with Bella up the post office and got that last item straight in the mail. (Scored some breaded fish, reduced for just 1). I am SO pleased to have that all over and done with. I guess in reality it was all straightforward and no big deal, and I HAVE made a nice little amount - but that's NOT how 'I' experienced it! I just found the whole business a real worry and a 'it's never worth it' hassle for some reason. Thumbnail image of items auctioned on e-bay Anyway - I guess it's time to look at the 'score'! The central heating controller sold for 32 + 3 postage. The Citroen Safari car for 7.50 + 3 postage. The Green Hornet's Black Beauty car for 6.01 + 3 postage. The Scammell Highwayman Transporter for 5 + 3 postage. A grand total of 62.51. The ACTUAL postage paid at the PO counter by me for each was 2.98, 2.46, 1.80 (re-used an unfranked stamp), and 2.46. A grand total of 9.70. Total e-bay listing and final value fees (including the two things I listed which didn't sell) appears to come in at 6. So 62.51 - 15.70 = 46.81 . . I'm not ungrateful - but - I dunno. I mean - the amount of time, stress and effort involved!! What's 'minimum wage' these days? . . So - what of all that other stuff I WAS going to try to sell on e-bay? Not sure. I'm just not sure. . As for the radio and missing charger I've burned my fingers on buying - despite my EXTREME anger at the guy who sold it (who hasn't even had the decency to reply to my message), I guess I'm just gonna 'let it go'(and let him get away with it!), WITHOUT trying to kick up a big fuss with e-bay/paypal etc. I just can't face it. I've ordered that battery and charger now - until it comes, I can't use the radio and won't know if the deal is a total loss or not - but whatever, I guess I'm sticking with it and will 'take the hit'. The whole thing has just left me with a sour taste in my mouth so to speak.. . . received another automated call from the bank (the ansaphone took one last night, and failed to fully take another when I was out earlier), asking for someone I've never heard of again, in connection with an issue being dealt with by their fraud department!!! This time I managed to write down the name they were seeking and then had to call the bank in an attempt to sort out what the hell was going on! Nothing at all to do with me - but REALLY worrying MY number was in the frame for some reason! (and of course the long telephone call has cost me a bunch! Grrrr) Ever since that bank was taken over, its efficient service to 'loyal' customers appears to have gone down the pan - but - same with everything these days isn't it?! :o( . . .drank a glass of wine and cooked and ate fish and chips . . napped . . walked. Just a couple of degrees above freezing. The coastguard weather forecast for the next 24hrs, listened to on my scanner was pretty dire, with winds possible up to gale force 8 at times! That's gonna feel cold. :o(. . TVd feeling nauseas and really VERY unwell. :o( . . .to bed around 11:45pm. d
14 - Up around 8am . .10C inside, -0C out . . well - the PO training stamps I'd listed on e-bay sadly did NOT sell, but the last toy car I'd listed DID (for the minimum asking price of a fiver - although I've yet to receive payment). . . walked and returned via town for a tour of the charity shops and to buy some burgers from the butcher. . .pottered around. Called the roofer to make sure I wasn't forgotten. Blah blah blah about the weather and higher temperatures needed to do my roof - so I just have to sit tight and wait for warmer weather!!!! Easier said than done when you potentially have water pouring into your bedroom when it rains and when arctic temperatures are likely for - um - months?!!!!! :o(. . Defrosted a bone from the freezer and treated Bella in the garden (with the door open letting the little bit of heat in the house straight out!) . .PCd a bit acheiving nothing, wasting away YET another day! . . drank a glass of wine while cooking two cheese and mayo burgers in buttered rolls with chips. Ate followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . napped . . walked. A bit of cloud and a few degrees above zero saw me all overheating in my layers again by the time I reached BGdns, although maybe more so the fact that I'd eaten a proper meal earlier and had some decent 'fuel in the furnace' for a change. It really does seem to make ALL the difference. . . PCd for a few hours hardly moving until I felt frozen, and had to retreat to the living room and the gas fire . . TVd wrapped in my Snug-Rug. :o) . . ate ham and mayo rolls, crisps and mini chocolate logs . . to bed around 1am. da
13 - Up around 7am . .12C inside, 5C out . PCd a bit of this (after having checked e-mails, again to no avail). . walked. Found a ball and ended up bringing it home, even though it wasn't the one we lost last night and isn't a tennis ball, so probably won't be to Bella's liking. lol . . TVd a bit before ending up back on the PC. . two bidders are now showing interest in one of my toy cars, although for little more than the 4 minimum asking price (BOTH apparantly toy car dealers from the little I can see! I did my research - I reckon they should somehow be able to make a tidy profit on that one from collectors - NOT for the car but mostly because it includes a couple of little plastic men that came with it, which from what I gathered when doing my research, ARE really quite rare. I've seen other 'accessories' (the little plastic bob-sleigh) from that car, actually listed for 3 on their own!! A pristine condition car - with ALL the accessories - in a box - over 100!!). One of the other auctions is gonna end sooner without ANY bidders at all - so I've actually made a loss because of the e-bay fees! All this is NEVER worth it!! :o( . spent a while bubblewrapping the car and men and sorting out a used padded envelope for it, so I can get it straight in the post (this afternoon?), as soon as the auction ends and I get paid (which I 'think' with this one, IS liable to be pretty instant). . postman called at the door delivering an unexpected box from Amazon!??? DS had done it again and sent me a gift! A 'Snug~Rug Deluxe'. A weird great big fleece, open at the back, to put over you when watching TV - with arms and a pocket on the front, presumably for a remote control! Left it for later to fully open and experiment with . . not sure if I'm supposed to or not when selling stuff, but I used e-bay to actually generate an invoice/reminder to be sent to the winning bidder of the heating controller, saying I was awaiting payment and would immediately despatch when received. I'm not holding my breath! (Awful to admit - but the fact that he 'appears' to be Polish, makes it seem even LESS likely he'll 'actually' pay me. Don't ask me to explain THAT!!) :o( . . ate half a Mum donated large pork pie with crisps and then biscuits . . TVd a bit before inevitably checking on the PC yet again. Oh blimey - ok - I need to eat humble pie (or some sort of Polish sausage perhaps? lol) All of a sudden I'd received Paypal payment for the heating controller AND two of my toy cars! . (It would be SO easy to go back and delete or ammend a bit of this, to make me not look SO bad or appear SO racist - but I'm too honest and open for that!) . immediately rushed to get them all packaged up and adressed. I'd kept all the packaging from ALL the stuff I've recently recieved in the post, to be re-used. Wrapped everything in the bubblewrap that my kettle had been wrapped in (thank you again for that) and then sorted out some used padded envelopes to put them in. (One of those envelopes even had an unfranked stamp on it, so that helped me out just a little bit with making a little out of some of the postage costs). . raced straight up the post office with Bella. Ugghh - a big queue to have to wait in for ages. Got talking briefly to the guy behind me in the queue, and it turned out he too was there posting stuff he'd just sold on e-bay!! What a coincedence. He appeared to be doing just a little bit of 'dealing' here and there, and recommended both buying and selling to foreign bidders (as long as the amount didn't stray into import duty territory). He seemed to exibit none of the stress the selling process has been causing me!!?? . . All the costs of postage (not including the re-used packaging - but that didn't actually cost me anything except a bit of parcel tape, so that was ok) came in within what I'd estimated and charged on e-bay, so it seemed reasonable to just go ahead and mail everything first class recorded delivery to keep everyone happy (but mostly me!). . returned home with my po 'barcode' numbered reciepts and immediately messaged the bidders, informing them the items were in the post - which hopefully as far as I'm concerned, is the end of the matter. Actually a tremendous relief to me (although I AM still worrying about the old heating controller, and the 'possibility' it 'could' be not working when the guy comes to use it - despite it fully working ok the last time I used it! Dunno what'll happen or what I'll feel obliged to do about it, if that transpires. Fingers crossed.) . . snoozed without 'actually' sleeping for an hour . . walked in the 'around freezing' temperature, although without any wind to speak of, it was quite pleasant out, with a clear, star-filled sky. Coffee and cigs in the gun emplacement. . TVd/guitarred the evening away - trying out my new snug-rug thingy for part of the time. It's a bit of a polava to get it 'on', but boy is it warm once succeeded! Something weird about that material, to be so warm like that. If they made such a thing as a hooded robe out of such stuff (like the old monks used to wear - I'm thinking TV's 'Cadfael' here) I'd definitely have to go get me one. Imagine me walking Bella in something like that? (especially in a gale?!!!) lololol I DID try 'wearing' it the wrong way round kinda, but it didn't quite work, and sadly doesn't have a hood. Still - with really cold weather again forecast for the end of the week, DS couldn't have sent it at a better time!. . . ate the rest of the large pork pie with a packet of crisps, some toffee popcorn and some mini chocolate logs. . .struggled to stay awake all warm under the snug-rug thing before eventually to bed around 1am. s
12 - Woke in the night once as Bella barked at PS visiting the bathroom, although suprisingly she didn't go completely crazy, and soon settled back down. . up around 8am . .PCd a bit until PS woke later. . all walked and eventually carried on down town. (UK Border Agency ship 'Searcher' was moored just outside the outer harbour.) . Had a full English breakfast at an outside table on the harbourside, all paid for by PS. (There are at least TWO boats sunk in the harbour!) Eventually returned via BGdns and arrived back home just before midday, in time to get on the PC to see the final stages of my first ever e-bay auction (for the central heating controller). On turning the PC on, I was utterly amazed to see how high the bids had already gone. 27!!!! Made a coffee and sat and watched with PS as the auction actually came to an end. In the last three seconds there was a flurry of bids and the winning bid came out at a VERY surprising 32! I guess I 'should' have been delighted - but I wasn't. Seemed a bit high to me, and based on some of the things I've recently read about auctions (and how 'I' always seem to be a victim and 'prey' for others), I am now FULLY expecting NOT to receive payment for it. From what I've seen, suprisingly it DOES appear 'quite' common for people to bid like that and then simply not follow through with any payment. If that happens - if I've gone through all that hassle for nothing, and have missed out on a genuine buyer only to have to re-list it and go through it all again (AFTER having been forced to sit around waiting for a week or two (10 days I think I've read e-bay suggests!!!!!) to see if he DOES intend to pay - or not!), I'll be SO annoyed - and may not even bother! . . . PS left soon after (leaving a pair of unwanted boots behind for me to wear out). . TVd. . ate chicken and stuffing slices in bread rolls, crisps and a square of chocolate . . napped until 5:30pm. . K called by to drop off a big tub of left overs food for Bella . ..walked. Wasn't particularly cold but the wind had picked up so it felt pretty unpleasant. Bella lost her ball somewhere in the dark. We both spent a while wandering around searching for it by torchlight, before having to just give up. Grrr. :o( . . TVd/PCd frequently checking my e-mail - but nothing! . . surfed all evening reading up on stuff and looking at power supplies and batteries for the radio again, before eventually biting the bullet and going ahead and ordering a 'New Battery (1500mAH) + Charger for Fuji NP-60' for 11.69 including postage from e-bay. Based on everything I've read on-line, that 'should' be a compatible battery for it, so seemed to be the best way to go to get me out of my predicament. If it turns out that it isn't compatible for some reason, I'll have thrown THAT money away and will have to consider spending ANOTHER 20+ on buying the 'actual' replacement Yaesu external powersupply/charger for it!!! Grrrrr. :o( . .someone (a 'dealer' it appears to me) has put a 4 e-bay bid on one of my toy cars. . ate two mince pies and two mini chocolate rolls before to bed well after 1am.
11 - Woke earlier, 'snuggled' with Bella on the bed for a bit then up around 7am . . walked . . did dish washing chores, tidied up and vacuumed just a little . .headachey much. . Mum called in briefly with the paper and food donations for chats . . just eating a Mum donated pastry slice and crisps when PS arrived early afternoon . .Bella had a good bark and was clearly a bit nervous (as was PS lol) about having an unknown visitor, but she pretty soon calmed down rather well. Apart from being startled and having a bark when PS occasionaly moved suddenly, Bella adapted to having someone else around 'mostly' really VERY well. I was happily suprised - especially considering she had to give up 'her' (muddy) sofa for PS to sit on. lol. . . TVd/chats . . walked and returned via town . . TVd/chats . . ate sausage rolls, crisps, mini chocolate logs and mince pies . . eventually to bed around 2am. Bella was a little up-tight at first about having PS in the next room, but very soon settled down in her bed as normal, after a little reassuring and cuddling next to me. aas
10 - Woken around 6:45am by flashing lights!!? The whole room was brightly flashing like a disco! Turned out it was the council street sweeper vehicle going slowly down the street sweeping the gutters. I SO need thicker curtains up there! . . walked . . PCd researching power supplies/chargers for the radio etc. as a beep beep beep eminated through the wall!! The beeping wasn't 'particularly' loud, but with my strangely declining hearing, often such small noises are somehow amplified and it's difficult to establish the actual direction from where they come!! I DID end up running all over the house looking for the source of it, before I eventually realised it was coming through the wall! Out in the garden at one point (checking there was no smoke) - I couldn't even be sure it wasn't coming from the next house down the rank! I DID try knocking at their door, (I'm CERTAIN someone WAS in!) in case I could be of assistance, but no-one answered the door! Chinese water torture - for hours!!! Mid afternoon I think it was before someone returned home and turned it off. (Saw the neighbour later and learned it was an alarm clock been left on by mistake.) . . ate tuna and mayo sandwiches . . napped . walked. +5C. Still in most of my layers, I actually returned home feeling a bit too hot (although still bloody cold for just sitting around the house). .returned PS ansaphone call about him visiting briefly on the weekend. . TVd . . touched base briefly with Mum . . PCd looking mostly at radio aerials and then batteries and chargers again. What to do? What to do? . . ate a bit of cake before to bed around 1:30am.
9 - Up around 7:40am . .9C inside (dropped to 8 when I opened the curtains!), -2C out . . walked and broke-in a new tennis ball. That last one we just got through, lasted ages somehow. . TVd briefly . .messed around clearing up some of the mess I've been in for a while, with lots of my old junk speread out all around the place while I try to figure out what 'may' be worth trying to sell. Roughly dumped it all back in boxes and just shoved it back into a cupboard to wait until some other time. I've had enough of messing around with it, spending hours researching it and then being all disappointed about its potential value. I just want it all out of the way again!! Lets see what happens with my current little handful of auctions before I decide what to do about it all. It just doesn't seem worth all the bother. Only this morning, someone has mailed me about the 'Corgi Green Hornet's Black Beauty' car I've listed, asking 'How much for Royal air mail Small Packets to Australia' - and that, despite me explicitly stating ON the listing, "Paypal and UK bidders only."F***ing nuisance! On the plus side - the central heating controller HAS received a few bids now (and a handful of 'watchers'), so it WON'T be going for a mere 99p as I'd feared - so at least I've covered the amount I'll have spent listing all the items I have. At least one of the bidders appears to be a plumbing concern - selling similar types of stuff! NOT a good feeling to think someone 'could' be making a nice little profit from me - but - I guess I can't complain if I get anything for something which is surplus to my needs. :o( (It'll be interesting to me to see how 'shark' bidding 'may' supress the final selling price!). . PCd this . .around 12:45pm the postman delivered a tiny plastic 'wrap' of a recorded delivery item!!??. Huh?What on earth? It can't be the radio, surely - it's just not big enough. Unwrapped it with difficulty (sharp scissors!) and it turned out it WAS the radio - just wrapped in a bit of clingfilm and plastic, NO bubblewrap, cellotaped over and thrown into the post just like that!!!!! It was all covered in dust around the knobs (he couldn't even be bothered to wipe it over?!!), but otherwise apparantly suprisingly intact!!!!!! What an a**hole!! Oh NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where's the f***ing charger? The listing said "HERE IS A USED BUT FULLY WORKING EXCELLENT CONDITION YAESU VX2 TRANSCIEVER RADIO. COMES WITH CHARGER AND HARDLY USED". I wouldn't have bid on it if it'd said it didn't come with a bloody charger!!! (I HAD fully anticipated, having to immediately at the very least, buy a replacement battery.) Is EVERYONE (except me?) out to screw everyone else over these days? I just don't f***ing believe it!!!!!!! :o( It IS every single time isn't it! EVERY single time I dare to stray out of my reclusive self-dependant comfort zone, someone somehow will screw me over! IS it the same for everyone else? I just CAN'T believe it is. It's something to do with ME! What I do. I just don't get it. Time and time again. It's hopeless. I am NOT a 'hermit' for no reason!!!! :o( . . . .used e-bay's automated system ( I 'think' that's what I'm supposed to do) to generate a VERY 'gentle' message to the 'seller' (bloody rogue trader!):- "Item I received is not as described: Dear ensorcelling_skullduggery, Recieved the radio wrapped in cling film !! this morning. The listing said "HERE IS A USED BUT FULLY WORKING EXCELLENT CONDITION YAESU VX2 TRANSCIEVER RADIO. COMES WITH CHARGER AND HARDLY USED." I have not received the charger!!! Is the charger being sent seperately? Please explain. T " I just BET he doesn't reply! Really - what's the best I can expect? At the end of the day, if I kick up a BIG fuss, based on all I've read on e-bay, I gather the way things work is I'll be required to send the radio back to the guy and just get a reciept/proof of posting from the Post Office - and then 'hope' I can get a refund (from someone - somehow!?). I'm VERY loathed to do that!! That'd put me in what 'I' think is the oh SO weak position of having nothing, AND being 50 out of pocket!!!!! As it stands, I DO have the radio, which 'appears' to work (I HAVE dared to turn it on and listen just briefly - there IS enough charge in the battery to do that for a short period - but I can't be 'really' sure it's ok until I have the luxury of being able to play with it at length, and then be able to re-charge it!). Assuming it IS working ok, I guess it IS 'worth' the 50 - even if one has to start buying a 22 power supply (or maybe a cheaper battery charger?) right away. The crux of the matter here is that it's ME - WITHOUT the money to play around like that. THAT is why I bid on it - because it allegedly came WITH a power supply - and I should have been able to use it straight away without having to start spending more money I don't really have! Despite my best efforts, I HAVE been thrown straight into the poverty trap of having to throw good money after what may yet still be bad!! On top of all that - I'm now in a bit of a catch 22. I can't really start using the radio and making sure it works and IS worth keeping, until I have a means to charge the battery. How can I spend money on a power supply or charger until I know which way things are going and what is gonna happen? If I buy a charger - and then somehow DO end up sending it back to him for a refund, I'll be even 'deeper in the hole' won't I!!!!!!!! ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!! You B*****D!!!
. .mentally - I MUST just 'write that 50 off' - quickly - and yet again, just put it down as another costly lesson in how utterly SHIT 'everyone' out there IS! (yes, yes - I know that's NOT actually the case - but I still DO totally end up feeling it! Can't help it) . . . . . . . . . ate late a microwave curry with four crusts of bread and butter followed by a square of chocolate while watching the live news-channel coverage of student demo riots! Outrageous idiots! They all deserve a bloody good beating as far as I can see. Aside from anything else - how much has all that policing and criminal damage just cost 'us' all? That'll put up their fees won't it. F***ing idiots! Ironically - looking at their behaviour and listening to them all being interviewed - my god, if there was ever anyone who sorely
needed some educating, it must be them. Just spoiled, dumb kids all! . . napped for just an hour or so . . walked . . TVd/guitarred. Horrified to see on the news that the dumb rioting kids had attacked the car of the 'future monarch'. I'm not particularly a monarchist, but I DO at least have the intelligence to understand what they represent - and I DO have respect for them and what they do (it ain't like they were born with much of a choice is it!). Outrageous people should 'attack' them like that. And - oh, that poor old beautiful car!! And the 'students' (YOBS!) have the outrageous cheek to suggest the police were heavy handed? Not a bloody bit of it. They SHOULD have been SHOT!!! . This country really HAS gone absolutely down the f***ing toilet as far as I am concerned. . cooked and ate two cheeseburgers, some cake and a couple of squares of chocolate. . to bed around 1am.
8 - Up around 7:30am . .10C inside, 0C out with wind. That's gonna feel colder! Uggh. :o( . postman delivered a box (the barometer) early before I'd even set off. Left it to open later. . .walked and played ball in the cold wind and then carried on down town to draw some money out. In the rather choppy outer harbour, someones boat appeared to have slipped its mooring at some time and was hauled up on the concrete slipway, held by a rope! . the inner harbour (tide was in) seemed to be in a horrible toxic mess, full of rubbish and debris and LOTS of dead floating bird remains! (Just imagine the putrid stinking state it'll always be in if the people who want a 'Northern Arm' addition to the breakwater get their way!! It would SURELY stop the 'flushing' action of the tide completely? ALREADY it pretty much doesn't!). Next to the Golden Hind replica, a moored boat was sunk, completely under water and only just visible! . . Got down to the building society place around 9:30am only to find that today , they didn't open until 10am! What a pain. Had to sit and wander around in the cold for half an hour!! . .eventually returned home to find a card from the Post Office had been put through the door by the postman. "Unfortunately we can't deliver your item because there's a fee to pay. The sender didn't pay the full postage. Payment due: 1.10. Includes 1 handling fee for underpaid items." WHAT? How f***ing irritating is THAT - not least of all because I'd only just come back from down by the sorting office!! I imagined it 'could' be the radio I bid for on e-bay (which I am SO worried about and eager to get my hands on, I can't tell you!). Phoned them up asking for a bit more detail. Turned out it wasn't the radio. It was allegedly a letter - "perhaps a Christmas or birthday card" said the guy on the phone - "with NO return address marked on it". Under those circumstances, I told him I had no intention of paying for it and they should just destroy it. It may seem like a small amount, but I live on small amounts - and to have to pay the Post Office a 1 'handling fee' for the sake of a 10p underpayment - when I didn't even ask for whatever it is - seems pretty outrageous to me. To hell with it whatever it was. Now THAT'S gonna prey on my mind isn't it! Someone (my money is on Sis1 and a Xmas card. Humbug!) has sent me 'some' sort of communication which I will never receieve - and they will never know! (My mind is even torturing me with the unlikely concept that the radio auction person had reneged on the deal and sent me my payment back by post!!) Ain't people weird - to send stuff through the post without putting a return/sent-by address on it. I mean - these days, all it takes is a house number and a postcode. Being the son of a postal worker (and then one myself) , somehow I was brought up to ALWAYS do it - because it just makes sense! Oh well . . . finally got round to opening the box. LOTS of packaging. Disappointingly it turned out to be a cheap 'repro' type thing made of chipboard etc. etc. All the 'brass' was crappy plastic! Very disappointing. Having said that, the clock and thermometer DID appear to be all fully working, and it didn't look 'too' bad except on close examination, so I figured it WAS worth hanging on the wall - if for no other reason, than to be a permamnent reminder to me NOT to buy anything like it in an e-bay auction EVER again! lol Perhaps I'm being unfair. If I'd seen it in a local charity shop for 5.50 (which IS MY reality-check guide, on whether or not I'd buy something second-hand for such and such a price), I probably WOULD have bought it to put on that wall as a 'feature', and written off the money as though it was a 'picture', kinda. Trouble is - it cost 13.50 because of the bloody postage. I probably would NOT have paid that for it in a charity shop. Oh well - lesson learned. (To be honest - this was just the 'sideshow'. The 'main event' for me is the radio I've paid 50 for! I'm MUCH more anxious about that - and the more I think about it, the more worried I am, and convinced something is gonna go horribly wrong with the deal!!!! I mean - after all - the radio sellers 'ID' on e-bay was "ensorcelling_skullduggery". I really should have taken the hint shouldn't I?!!) . . Image of a barometer on the dining room wallGot tools out, modified a brass picture hanger, drilled a recess in the back of the barometer timber, screwed it on and hung it on the screw in the wall in place of the clock Sis2 sent me. It actually would be aesthetically better off lower, but I didn't want to go drilling another hole in my firebreast for such a piece of cheap tat. DID drill a hole in the living room firebreast, popped a screw in, and managed to squeeze Sis2s clock in there, in the narrow space just above the big mirror. Makes THAT wall look rather cluttered to my eye, but I'll live with it like that until maybe changing things when I finally get round to decorating that wall (if ever!). Mum called to touch base during all this messing around and drilling. At the end of the day, cheap rubbish or not, that barometer thingy DOES give some 'minimalist interest' to the big empty space on that wall, and happily covers over a bit of that bleading-through-the-emulsion, yellow staining that I never got round to sorting. It tells me the time and temperature. It'll do. (SO tempting to MAKE one, better, myself!) It's certainly quenched my appetite/ended my obsession about wanting a barometer, that's for sure! What WAS I thinking?! . . walked to Ms place to pay him for the tobacco. Called in at Mums briefly on the way to she if she needed anything. Finally got to actually see her bad leg. Wow - that IS nasty!! That can't be far away from being an ulcer can it? That's bad news!! . . carried on and delivered the money to M and then stopped at the store and bought Mum some milk as she'd requested. On the way back to Mums and dared to call at a house to ask a favour. From the aerials I've seen there for many years, it seemed pretty obvious the guy was an amateur radio operator. I called and briefly explained I was hoping to soon come into possession of a radio, and when I did, I'd like to be able to quickly check that it is all working and not a dudd. Without a current licence (and having completely forgotten anything and everything I once knew about such stuff), I wanted a licenced HAM to 'test' the thing for me - just somehow confirm it transmits and try to access the local repeater at the very least, etc. He was eventually willing, so I said I'd maybe see him sometime soon. . dropped off Mums milk and returned home. . .drank a glass of wine and cooked and ate four sausages with mashed potatoe and gravy a bit late . . pottered around/PCd. . Some sales guy from Talk Talk called at the door mid afternoon. God I SO hate sales calls like that - especially when his opening line was VERY borderline a lie. I wish I could have recorded what he said and sent it to some sort of watchdog type show! It was something along the lines of suggesting that 'they' had recently upgraded my telephone line, and asking if I was taking full advantage of it! A blatant and deliberate attempt to mislead me. I was rude - said it was nothing to do with me - asked him to close the gate on his way out, and angrily shut the door. (Unusual for me not to be napping and get woken up by him!) 'Talk, Talk'? F*** OFF, F*** OFF!!! I am SO gonna have to have some sort of sign made up saying no sales or collections callers!! On the gate would be best! Then if they DID call - I could REALLY get rude, or maybe just let Bella out! lol . . . Yayyy. Thank god. Some e-bay bids on the heating controller . . walked. No cloud, pitch black and star filled sky . . sat in the freezing pitch black gun emplacement for ages . . TVd/guitarred the evening away in front the fire . . ate tinned ham sandwiches with crisps and chocolate. . .to bed around 1am. ds
7 - Woken by Bella earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:10am. 10C inside, -2C out. . walked, played ball, and then back via town for a tour of all the charity shops. . .PCd a bit. Received an e-mail confirmation the barometer has been posted to me. . .yayy - dog walker M called in with the supplies of duty free tobacco he'd generously offered to get me on his weekend away. 20x50g packs of Golden Virginia for 82. That's easily a third the shop price!! Didn't have the cash to hand but he was very ok with that. . .Bella barking drew my attention to a young guy in the garden reading the gas meter at one point. The meter box latch is of course broken (how DID he open it?) so he just left the thing wide open with the meter all exposed to the elements. He ALSO left the garden gate wide open. I find it really irritating when callers do that. (Remember - I used to be a postman doing deliveries). It's just a common courtesy thing, to at the very least leave a place the way it was before you called (I always used to make a point of closing gates behind me). Such a concept doesn't even seem to occur to 'younger' people. Anyway - all irritable I had to secure Bella, go all the way down to shut the garden gate, and then faff about for ages trying to get the gas meter box to stay shut - all the while losing what little heat there was in the house through the open front door. In desperation I eventually had to just wedge the meter box door closed with a sliver of wood from the garage!!! I SO need to sort that damn thing out - somehow?! (Actually just stopped typing this and briefly surfed, and found latch kits ARE available on e-bay for just a few s, so I guess I'll be having to order one of those eventually.). . drank a glass of wine and cooked and ate four sausages, two eggs and chips . .temperature outside didn't rise above freezing all day! I really AM finding it a bit hard, going on for SO long, feeling SO cold ALL the time! I really do seem to be 'hibernating' through the winter months this year more than I EVER have done before. I seem to be capable of doing little more than the dog-walk thing, a bit of food - and then sit around frozen, counting the minutes until I can sleep and get warm under a duvet again! It's the only time I get to feel warm. Already - I must surely have used as much gas running the fire as I did throughout all of last winter - and it's not even Christmas yet!! I'm terrified of what the bill will be (and I HAVE used the electric heater in the PC room a bit too! Just imagine the cost of THAT!!!!) :o( . . napped until the alarm at 6pm. .walked. I think the temperature was hovering just around freezing, or maybe a bit above judging by the wet mud in BGdns, but a wind seemed to be getting up, making it feel much colder and less tolerable. (The coastguard forecast on the scanner was talking about a gale force 7 later I think.) Spent a LONG time just sat in the gun emplacement smoking and supping coffee. Even actually played ball with Bella a bit in there too. lol . . TVd/PCd . . ate chicken slice sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate before eventually to bed. d
6 - Woken by Bella scratching, moving around and making a noise around 6:15am. Up a short while later . .PCd. . walked the woods etc. It had to be above freezing but it sure felt cold. To do with the extremely damp atmosphere maybe? Found a complete pack of new playing cards in the woods!??? . . PCd and spent hours and hours just puting three of my old toy cars up for auction on e-bay. Boy - what a time consuming hassle it is listing this stuff!! I've actually submitted to e-bays fees (15p a pop!) to put some minimum required bids on them (which I SHOULD have done with the Potterton heating controller!! Damn, damn, damn! It's gonna go for 99p isn't it! Damn, damn, damn!), because I just couldn't bear to see them go for 'nothing'. Actually - I figure I'll be lucky to even get a sniff from anyone for ANY of them. They're all in pretty ropey condition and plenty like them that have been listed by others haven't sold. Oh well - worth a shot I guess. Given all the hassle with doing the listings - and then IF I sell them, with all the packaging and posting - it really just doesn't seem worth all the time and effort! :o( Almost better off just charity shopping them to get them out the way (so 'when I'm gone', 'relatives' don't have the hassle of clearing up such HUGE amounts of stuff all around the place - everywhere! It really WILL be a nightmare for someone!)!. . Called a halt mid afternoon!! No 'communication' from anyone yet about those auctions I won yesterday - and promptly paid for!! <worry> :o| . . .ate chicken slice sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . napped. . walked and sat and played ball in the -2C temperature. Drank coffee on a seat beneath the roof before heading back . . TVd briefly but YET again, nothing on worth watching, so ended up back on the PC researching and eventually putting up a couple more auction listings. One more toy car and a (surely rare?) group of date-stamped machin training stamps! Sadly, both very 'niche' - and costing me money just to list them (cause I ain't just 'giving them away'!)!! :o/ . Pulled the plug around 12:50am!! . . . ate chicken slice sandwiches, soup and a square of chocolate. To bed soon after, with the outside temperature showing -4C.
5 - Up around 8am . . walked in 3C cold but sunny spells. . 'pottered' for a bit (no pun intended) before finally getting my a** in gear and PCing and actually placing my first ever for-sale advert on e-bay!!!! Oooer. lolol Advertised my old Potterton EP2000 central heating programmer/timer. MUST surely be a good time to advertise it, after all the recent weather and all? I can't wait to see how this'll somehow turn into a disaster for me! :o| Without having put a reserve on, I just BET it'll go for next to nothing and not make all the hassle worthwhile - OR, whoever buys it'll probably claim it doesn't work and leave me out of pocket/blacklisted on e-bay or some such. We'll see. It's made me all nervous and wet armpits (eeew! But - really!) just listing it!! . . PCd a bit of this . .awful headachey all day! . .ate two cheese, mayo and salami rolls followed by a bunch of biscuits. . napped for only an hour or so until around 5pm, well before the alarm - which actually suited me fine because an e-bay auction I've been watching for several days was due to end pretty soon. I've been umming and ahhing over it ever since I first found the listing - checking on it and looking YET again at the description and picture EVERY time I turned the damn PC on!! (It 'may' seem otherwise, but I DON'T put bids on stuff lightly. It IS a BIG deal to me every time I am tempted to do so, and a GREAT DEAL of agonising and thought has gone into it beforehand, believe me!) Bizzarly I deliberately didn't bid on it before napping, allowing 'fate' to take it's course. If I slept until the alarm I'd miss it - if I woke earlier, I'd maybe put a bid on - what will be will be! lololol And the item in question? Dare I even admit it? It's gonna make me look really 'old mannish' and a bit nuts considering my financial position - but - well - believe it or not, for some time now, I've had a hankering for owning my own 'banjo barometer' type thingy to hang on a wall somewhere!!!!! One of those wooden things that has a clock/thermometer/barometer/hygrometer all mounted on it. I've been looking at quite a few being auctioned on e-bay these last few weeks, but they all seem to be snapped up for some pretty high prices (made even worse by the BIG postage costs for such large/fragile/heavy items!). No WAY could I justify spending such a huge amount on such a nonsense. Anyway - this particular one that'd caught my eye was potentially NOT so desireable, and therefor likely to go cheaper, for two reasons. Image of a barometer auctioned on e-bayFirstly it was actually kindof 'overly ornate' and not to everyones taste, and secondly it was listed as "Possibly Italian, no makers mark Clock fully working as is Thermometer Barometer, Hygrometer not sure if works as different from English". That'd put people off for sure I figured. From MY point of view, as long as the clock and thermometer were liable to be functional, I couldn't 'really' care less about the rest. I mean, I don't really (yet?) know how barometers and hygrometers work - but surely - given it'll be mounted IN the house, won't they ALWAYS be innacurate? If I cook chips or boil rice, it'll make a nonsene of the readings won't it? Whatever - anyway - I could maybe just about picture it mounted in the middle of the big bare firebreast wall in the kitchen diner, as a bit of a 'feature' - all dark wood and brassy to match the table and brass light fittings etc. I absolutely WOULD actually use the clock and thermometer if mounted there. Blah, blah - blah, blah, blah! . Only one other person had made a bid - and a VERY low one (the 3.99 reserve price) at that (although postage alone was gonna add 8!!!). I dared to bid a maximum of 7 (plus the 8 postage), which seemed like QUITE enough for ME on such an absurdity. There was a bit of automatic bid incrementing and then - damn it all if I didn't actually win the auction!!!!!! Bloody hell - I didn't expect that! I got it for 13.50 including the postage!!! That ain't bad considering what I HAVE seen them going for (and none of those looked as overly ornate as this one - which I actually like, for the location I have in mind). Well - I didn't expect that! It remains to be seen if it'll get here in one piece or if it 'actually' works, etc - and then, is it actually gonna be to my liking, etc. Very much something of a gamble. In fact - that seems to pretty much sum up e-bay to me. It's like gambling - and I AM starting to worry that I'm developing a bit of a 'gambling habit' here!! . . . agonised (YET again!!) over a couple more auction listings ending later, before finally walking. Well - so much for that brief 'warm' up. Back down to -1C tonight, and with everything a bit damp, pretty damn slippy underfoot! Cloudless sky full of stars and ultra dark in BGdns. Didn't hang around because - well - I hate to admit it, but - two Yaesu VX-2 e-bay auctions were gonna end soon, and I wanted to sit and watch the end(s) - and try to resist bidding (again!)!!!!!! They are far from being the latest model of their type - but I've read reviews and read up on the specs, etc. and I am SORELY tempted to try to bag one as a possible replacement+ for my scanner (which I could then sell to recoup the loss?)!!!! . . . . . .

Image of a Yaesu VX-2 auctioned on e-bay-/unfinished/-

agonised - much! . . Put a bid on, 'shark' like, around five seconds from the end of the auction!

OHHHHHH MYYYYYYY GODDDDD!!!!!!!!! I bloody won it!! 49.99 including postage! OHHHHHH MYYYYYYY GODDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o/

As far as I could tell, my 'shark like' bidding only 'just' pipped someone else to the post. Bet they were annoyed! They went on to win the other identical radio, who's auction closed only a minute or two later, for 1 more.

Right - that's IT! NO more looking at or buying stuff on e-bay for a while!!!!!!! In fact - I need to try and sell some stuff and 'recoup' the money I've just spent!
I don't feel well. I think I need to go lie down!!!! <worry, worry, worry>

. . TVd actually feeling really rather ill!!? Felt nauseas and all feverish for a good couple of hours!? . . eventually felt well enough to eat bowls of co-co pops before finally to bed after 1am.
4 - Up around 7:30am. .11C inside, 3C and a hint of drizzle out. What a remarkable change from yesterday morning! . .walked and sat and played ball in the drizzle for a bit, before seeking the shelter of one of the gun emplacements as some heavier rain fell . .Joined a passing dog walker watching seal over the cliffs. A HUGE male (I think) was out of the water, basking on a rock - with presumably a female and a youngster occasionaly sighted swimming nearby. At one point, TWO seal were on the rock next to each other, and there was an occasional bit of 'talk' between them! (First time I've heard that.) Watched for ages in the drizzle before eventually 'getting bored' and heading off. It IS such a priveledge to see them like that - but you can only stand in the rain and watch them just motionless laying there on a rock for 'so' long before it gets a bit 'samey'. DID point the camera at it/them for a bit, purely out of habit, but that too soon seemed rather pointless. Unless I spot something 'different', I think I've had my fill of filming the local seal. Still - I ALWAYS have to stop and watch for a bit whenever I see them - which IS actually quite often. . . did dish washing chores. . Mum called in with the paper and food donations etc (despite her bad leg really seeming to be causing her serious problems getting around now!! Under the circumstances, it should be ME buying and delivering stuff to HER, not the other way around - but she'll have none of it!) . . ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps and a square or two of chocolate . . napped . . walked. Sat around for ages enjoying the quiet and the higher temperature than of late. Eventually returned via town to have a look at the Christmas lights etc. Rowdy drunken youths rampaging about made it typically unpleasant. . TVd . . ended up on the PC, largely surfing e-bay YET again! I have no idea why, but I keep watching auctions for various portable ham radios!! (Yaesu VXs specifically, because of their tiny, TINY size and amazing wide-band receive. Should have done that when I bought my scanner, instead of buying the one I did, new!) Makes absolutely no sense me getting one, but I just can't help myself 'longingly' watching as each of the auctions ends, and the radios go for not a 'huge' amount!! PCd thus for HOURS! . . ate cheese, mayo and salami rolls, crisps, and chocolate immediately before to bed just after 3am!!
3 - Up around 7:15am. .<8C inside, -4C out! . . PCd a bit of this until I was so cold I could hardly move my legs. . walked and played ball for a good quarter of an hour before sitting under the roof in the low sun for a bit . . TVd/PCd and had a prod at e-bay - 'researching' values of stuff. I have a LARGE collection (don't ask me how I came by it - although on reflection, I'm not even sure I can actually remember!) of post office 'training stamps'. Regular stamps but overmarked with thick black lines of ink, to 'de-value' them and indicate they were for training purposes only. Such things ARE being sold on e-bay and - well - it would appear, they may well be worth 'a bit'. Having said that, I if I was going to try to sell some, I reckon I'd have to do it bit by bit - drip feed like (as it would appear is already being done by clever/careful people!). If I didn't - if I suddenly swamped the market - they'd probably suddenly be worth nothing - and even get 'someone' asking some difficult questions!! . .I just don't seem to be able to raise the energy to do ANYTHING about ANY of it right now! . . defrosted some old dog food beef from the freezer, drank a splash of wine and then ate beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . napped . . walked in a bit of drizzle. Amazing how in such a short space of time, a weatherfront moved in and the temperature leaped up to a seemingly almost 'balmy', three degrees C above freezing. Still warpped in all my layers, by the time we reached BGdns I was actually overheating (although maybe that was the effect of having eaten 'dodgy' old beef!! Bella will be having the rest of that!) . played ball and sat under the roof with coffee etc, before walking back in a light rain. . . returned PS ansaphone call . . TVd the evening away with just a brief prod at the PC, e-bay, etc for a short while, as rain fell outside. Actually ended up back in front of the TV later, reading through my scanner manual, picking up nothing and failing to make sense of it again . . ate cheese, mayo and salami rolls, crisps, cake and chocolate. . to bed after 1am. ds
2 - Up around 7:30am. Well - we'd been incredibly lucky (as usual here) to have escaped it this far - but this morning the snow had finally reached us! Just a light covering on everything. Shame. Until now, all the cold weather and wind had made everything incredibly dry, so walking about hadn't been a problem, no matter how cold it got. Gonna be a different story now! :o( . . walked - carefully, giving poor Bella a hard time on her lead. Today is NOT a day to be pulling me around! . What little snow there was appeared to be very patchy and totally absent in places along the way. Suprisingly in BGdns there wasn't ANY at all, so it was just play ball, business as usual. At one point while playing ball, a small jack russel type dog appeared and Bella started to show an ineterst in it and began to run towards it. Given recent events (and not knowing if it was the dog of the nutcase) I was filled with panic and had to frantically call Bella back to me - 'just in case'. There's little/no enjoyment in any of this for me now - being constantly on guard and so on edge all the time. :o( Too cold and windy to hang around for too long . . .TVd in front the fire, frozen . . Mum called to touch base. . . I've just come to a total grinding halt here. Can't seem to find the energy or will to do anything - anything at all!! :o( I'm in a dangerously down mood! :o( . . drank a little wine and cooked up a rice, peas, tin of chicken soup, turkey pieces concoction. Ate a large bowl full with four pieces of bread and butter, some toffee popcorn and a little chocolate . . napped . . walked - wearing the absolute maximum possible number of upper-body layers. Six!! Any more and I wouldn't be able to move or get a coat on top! Hardly a trace of any snow left anywhere, and although it wasn't, with the wind having died down, it felt SO much warmer and more tolerable. Sat on the seat under the roof for coffee and cigs before heading back . . huddled in front the fire all evening with hat/hoodie and gloves on, as the outside temperature dropped to below -2C quite early. Without so much wind and draughts, I managed to get the room up to around 15C at one point . TVd/guitarred . . reheated and ate the last of the rice/chicken soup concoction with four pieces of bread and butter, some toffee popcorn and a little chocolate . . to bed around 1am. s
1 - Up around 7:25am, woken by the sounds of Bella moving about a bit in her bed. I DO so hope she's not too cold, but there's not a damn thing that either of us can do about it!! It'd have to be a HELL of a lot colder (freezing pipes type territory) for me to consider sleeping downstairs with the fire on all night!!. .<10C inside, 0C out and VERY windy still. Actually hovering around 9 to 10 C inside the house seems to be the norm in these sort of temperatures, presumably acheived from the heat coming from the fridge and freezer and leakage from the neighbours central heating either side? Just opening the thick old (came with the house) living room curtains will see the temperature drop by a degree or so! Really wish I'd pushed on and had the cavity wall insulation done after I'd had the new windows put in. Without a doubt, especially in these strong winds, there is a HUGE amount of draft and heat loss through the cavity and thereby through all the floors etc (especially upstairs where I varnished the boards and don't have carpets of course). The gas fire on setting number 2 in the newly open plan living room IS struggling to raise the temperature by a handful of degrees according to my thermometers, but it DOES make it feel just a 'little' more comfortable - although I still wear multiple layers, hat and gloves to make it tolerable sitting motionless for hours watching TV! The PC room is largely out of bounds at the moment - it's just far too cold to sit up there all motionless for ages typing this, etc! I will happily admit to not being very clean for the most part at the moment. (Even more so than 'my' usual!! I live alone - never 'near' anyone - whadoIcare?!) It's just SUCH an uncomfortable business showering in such a cold bathroom - and then as soon as I have, I have to open the window for hours to allow all the condensation to clear from the running walls, making the house much colder in the process! . . .walked and sat on a bench and played ball in the gale again. Managed to sit there and play for around fifteen minutes before retreating to the shelter of the gun emplacement for a much needed cigarette before then heading back home. Remembered to detour via the local stores to remove the two 'found jewelery' notices on the way back. . sat in front the fire and ended up just staying there for a good couple of hours, not able to find the energy to do anything else (not helped by finding a couple of the old Star Trek epsiodes being aired on TV - again! lol)! This constant cold just seems to sap the strength right out of you! . . fully unwrapped and test boiled the donated kettle. My goodness - it's in good nic! Looks almost brand spanking new! Shifted some stuff around in the cupboard and with some difficulty eventually managed to just persuade myself to pop the old, OLD, corroded metal one and my recently leaking one straight into the bin - and then stashed my new spare in the space. The other old slow boil one I inherited with the house 'may' be worth donating to a charity shop - it isn't visualy in 'too' bad condition. . showered (BrrrrRRrr!) and PCd a bit of this . . forced down a tin of soup and four defrosted crusts of bread followed by biscuits . . napped until the alarm at 6pm . . walked and did the sitting in the gun emplacement thing again after fifteen minutes of ball play in the still strong, cold wind. . TVd with the fire on higher, but still not able to raise the room temperature much beyond 13C (<-1C outside already tonight!!)!. .drank a glass of wine and oven cooked a couple of pieces of fish in bread crumbs. Ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . to bed after midnight. daa