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- Up around 8:30am. 15C in, 10C out. Very windy (40+kt gusts according to the local weather site), grey, and big rain expected soon - again. The rain radar was showing the approach of a huge band of heavy rain again. Damn - if I'd got up earlier I probably could have got the walk done in the dry. . . by the time I'd woken up at the PC as usual, the storm had fully arrived. :o( . Walked FGn and sat and played a bit of ball in full weather gear in the full teeth of the storm. Horrendous! Difficulty walking back across the field in the strong gusts of wind. .back via the local store for milk, potatoes and burger supplies. .Drenched - YET again! :o( . . recovered from the walk with coffee in front the TV news before ending up back on the PC for a bit. The local weather site is now recording 50+kt gusts - which is surely a 'modest' report of what 'I' experienced on the exposed green I'm sure!! . . . PCd a bit of this . . .ended up aimlessly surfing a bit and monitoring radios. Haven't done so for quite a while, but ended up monitoring Kinloss Rescue too. There was a shout going on up in the lake district. Helicopter Rescue 122 was responding. (In theory I suppose it is conceivable that whilst monitoring such things, it could be Prince William piloting?) At 1300hrs, after a prolonged period of CPR, 'the casualty' (who'd been 'down for an hour'!) was pronounced dead, and arrangements were being made for the helicopter to assist in recovery of the body! Sobering, and put my silly little existance into perspective again. :o( . . eventually pulled myself away from the radios and did what has become a time consuming part of my daily routine of late. Used cotton buds to clear out some of the muddy muck from as deep in Bellas ears as I dare, and then administered a handful of the vet prescribed eardrops. I AM also brushing and grooming her a lot more of late (to make life just a little harder for any fleas?), although that tends to be done in bits and pieces all throughout the day whenever. High maintenance dog! All very time consuming. . cooked and ate four small burgers in two buttered bread rolls with lots of chips. . TVd . napped until around 6pm . . .walked. Half way to the field it began to pour with rain. I hadn't worn any rain gear. Got drenched. Half way home it stopped raining. That seemed to pretty much sum up the year! :o) . . TVd/guitarred the night away - wet. . ate a bunch of chocolates. .Felt rather down and in a strangely particularly 'frustrated' mood. Nothing on TV was of ANY interest, and I actually ended up having to turn the volume off for much of the evening, because I just couldn't stand the meaningless noise (especially every time unbelievably irritating and mind destroying adverts came on!). . spent the striking of 12 o'clock laying on the floor next to Bella giving her a stroke . . sat in the cold on the front step for a while after midnight, listening to (drunk) people shouting in the distance and all the fireworks going off, etc. A LOT of chinese lanterns all being set off and floating away into the starry sky. Looking up at the stars there, it all seemed SO silly and man-made empty. . ate ham sandwiches and crisps before to bed around 2am. s
30 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 9:15am! 15C in, 8C out. Breezy and 'almost' not raining. . walked the mud of FGn without getting rained on. An uncomfortably cold strong breeze. Back with a couple of small stones for the garden . . .PCd/TVd . .drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate mashed potato with chopped onion, four rashers of bacon, two eggs and peas with a very large amount of butter, followed by a little chocolate. . napped until around 7pm . . headachey. Just TVd the whole evening away - again! . . ate a banana and bowls of corn flakes. . to bed around 3am after having stayed up to watch the film 'Open Range' (Kevin Costner cowboy film) again. A good film that I reckon.
29 - Woke earlier then up around 8am. 15C in, 10C out. Strong winds and heavy rain - again! God this CONSTANT bad weather is really getting me down. On the up side, my mouth pain is definitely less than what it has been these last few days. Didn't even have an annadin for breakfast this morning (although probably will later). . VERY slow getting going. I SO don't want to have to go out in the gale and the mud - YET again. :o( . . .walked the deep saturated mud of FGn in wellingtons and full weather gear and then sat in the rain playing ball for as long as I could tolerate. One of the few small but still substantial trees on the green has been blown out of the saturated/liquified ground by the recent gales. If not for the support of an adjacent hedge, it would be flat on the ground by now! . trudged back and straight out into the garden to hose the mud off Bella again. SO ironic and frustrating that because of all this rain and mud and hosing down, my outrageous water bill is gonna be noticeably higher! . . . PCd a bit of this . . Bella 'announced' the postman was in the vicinity, which gave me the opportunity to dash out and give him back an envelope I've had hanging around for a few days now. Another 'not known at this address/return to sender' envelope I received which I've been meaning to put back in a postbox. Trouble is, the way I walk bella these days, I don't go anywhere near a postbox, and given the weather and all, I've just not gotten round to making a special trip out just to get rid of it. Funny how little things like that can start feeling like a weight of responsibility hanging over me. VERY glad to have it off my back. . PCd some more of this. SO much of this site is woefully out of date and should have either been ditched or updated - or something - but I just don't have the energy or desire to do all the work any more!? It HAS become pretty much JUST keeping my journal going - like I've said before, for little more reason than it just seems a shame to stop after having done it for SO very long. Who'd have imagined I'd STILL be doing it?!!! Utterly weird and bizarre. What are we now approaching - year thirteen?!!! STILL crazy after all these years?!!! . It's been LONG overdue that I do 'something' about the ever increasing 'archive' links at the bottom of this page. Been getting SO big, it was just silly. I'd always intended to try to figure out how to do some sort of small and neat drop-down selection boxes for the months and years, with associated hyperlinks, but I'm just not in that sort of a 'headspace' anymore. Just can't be bothered! Seemed easier to just make a single link and shift the big table of years and dates exactly as it's always been, onto a completely seperate page out of the way. I can't imagine ANYONE but me actually ever using it anyway - so - what the hell. 'Should' make THIS page just a little simpler and quicker to load - although in this day and age of ever increasing broadband speeds, I don't suppose that's even an issue anymore. How different things are on all those sites that cover most of the damned screen in advert links. Thoroughly depressing to me how the internet seems to have degenerated into one big advertising 'assault'. Almost every time I have difficulty loading a page when surfing, turns out to be because there is a mass of embedded advertising links, and some of those links may be having connection issues. Some pages actually FILL the ENTIRE screen with adverts and force a scrolling down to see what it was you were actually after. Others agressively INSIST you watch several seconds of some meaningless flash video advert before you are 'allowed' to proceed. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And that's not even including all the bloody pop-ups and suchlike. Oh yes - while I'm ranting, there's another thing which I 'think' some are deliberately doing. One page I use quite frequently to enter some information and look stuff up, seems to have a deliberately delayed set of facebook/twitter etc icons. Parts of the page load fairly immediately, including the text box in which you wish to type your data. The temptation is to immediately click in the box in preparation for starting typing - but - as the rest of the adverts on the page start to agonisingly slowly appear, that text box suddenly drops down a few lines, and the facebook/twitter etc 'like' icons appear in its place. I'm not sure if it 'actually' does it, but what that suggests to me is, they are deliberately trying to capture the mouse click and register it as another 'like' (whatever that is. I do NOT do facebook/twitter or ANY suchlike (although HAVE tried to anonynously have a peek on one or two occasions.) Why would 'I' - a social cripple, want to go onto a 'social media site'? lolol I just BET that someone has pretended to be me on some of them, in order to 'attack me' in some way! I just bet!). Anyway - consumerism and the all powerful advertising assaults to which we are CONSTANTLY subjected through EVERY possible means, 'I' find utterly sickening - and I am firmly of the opinion it is a HUGELY negative thing and has significantly soured what could have otherwise been so much better. (The way television has gone utterly down the toilet is to ME a particularly upsetting case in point!) Anyway - 'this' rant was all about originally simply wanting to point out that, despite its utter pointlessness etc, I am 'proud' to STILL be doing this WITHOUT (yet?) subjecting anyone who bumps into it, to ANY advertising assaults whatsoever. Not many websites left that don't are there? . . .cooked and ate mashed potato with chopped onion, four rashers of bacon and two eggs followed by a couple of mini mince pies. . napped until around 6:40pm . . skipped the walk. . guitarred/TVd/PCd the evening away. .ate a banana and a whole packet of Mum donated mini 'yule logs' before finally to bed around 4am!
28 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:30am. 15C in, 10C out. Rain. . I'm not in any way thinking everything is gonna be ok because of course it CAN'T be, but it DOES appear for some inexplicable reason that my tooth ache thing has 'changed' and doesn't seem 'quite' as severe at the moment. ??? Not sure what to make of that. Either I'm getting a 'cumulative' affect from all the various painkillers that I've been taking these last few days, or more likely, the offending teeth nerves are dieing off as a prelude to them falling out (which is what I've always experienced with all the rest I've lost). Still feel woozy headachey and pretty lousy nonetheless. I suppose I really should NOT take a painkiller for a while, just to see what exactly IS going on at the moment? . . VERY slow getting moving. PCd a bit of this . . . walked windy Fgn in full weather gear, although mostly without getting rained on. . .still a fair bit of 'discomfort' (and a real nasty headache), but definitely nowhere near as bad as things have been these last few days. Oh thank goodness! . . . just sat around and TVd for a bit before eventually taking an annadin tablet - for my headache rather than for my tooth pain this time. .touched base with D (in response to the ansaphone message he left last night) and said I wasn't really up for any company later as he'd suggested . . .really didn't want to do anything still, but somehow mustered up the energy to force myself to start having a prod at the network cable/microphone lead project thing. . awful fiddley, and on the edge of what my poor eyesight can cope with now, but eventually I managed to solder the network cable wires onto the back of the microphone socket, as per the internet instructions I'd downloaded and my own drawing of the required connections/colours etc. . with the connections made and the mic socket still wide open and 'unfinished', I hooked it up to the FT-897 and the MD1 base mic and yayyyy - it 'appeared' to be working as it should. The up and down buttons change frequency as they should, and the 'fast' button (like Ii'd read it would) not only toggled the fast frequency shifting, but ALSO acted as the main power on/off switch on the 897. Yayyy. Suceeded in having a quick chat/audio report on the local repeater. . carefully finished things off with a touch of superglue and then some hot glue around the fragile thin wires, a wrap of insulation tape around the lot, and then screwed the socket tight to the cable, with a small length of clear plastic tubing protruding from under the cable clamp for added support. . . tested it out on the radio again by giving a station calling CQ on 40mtrs a shout. Conditions weren't good and I was NOT given a particularly good signal or audio report, but considering they were in Stockton On Tees using 400watts, and I was on my 'bit of wire' using a 'relatively' modest 90 watts - that was good enough for me. Proved the MD-1 desk mic was working :o) (although 'may' well require a tweak to a setting or two to make the most of it on the 897 according to initial reports.) I'll need to actually use it a bit before I know whether or not it was all REALLY worth doing (and whether or not I'll maybe still go ahead and sell it?) . . PCd a bit of this . . Oh myyyyy godddd. Someone who reads this has 'donated' me 100!!!!!!! :o) Boy, do I feel SO unworthy! 'I' have NEVER shown ANYONE such generosity!!!! :o( I also have GREAT difficulty in expressing thanks under such circumstances. (It usually takes me a good 24 hours or even longer (!) to even begin to be able to muster what it takes to start trying to say thank you in such a circumstance!??) Just a couple of clumsy lines of a thankyou reply (ultimately saying little more than just 'thank you'!!) , took me well over an hour!!! . God I feel SO unworthy and guilty! I really do wonder if I shouldn't actually remove that paypal thing from the site - just to avoid the whole business! I AM very gratefull though of course - lots more so than the vet or the dentist who'll eventually get their hands on it, that's for sure!! . . PCd this until gone 7pm (with a howling window for constant company). No walk again tonight I'm afraid Bella - I just can't face having to grit my teeth and, all still headachey, go out in YET another gale - again! I just need to be warm and dry, and perhaps even persuade some food past my mouth! :o( . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine . . BB called to touch base . . needed food but really REALLY didn't want to have to actually eat anything!? . . eventually ate a six pieces of bread pile of tuna and mayo sandwiches, a banana and some chocolate around 11pm . . to bed before 1am.
27 - Up around 8:15am. 15C in, 8C out. Heavy showers of course. :o( . . sucked annadin (letting it dissolve between my cheek and teeth, and sit there in a numbing sludge for as long as I could!) and woke at the PC with coffee and cigs. Just after 9am I called the local NHS dental phone number and gave my details to put myself on the six months + waiting list for the only local dentist allegedly liable to accept an NHS patient. Only after I'd finished the phone call did I bump into an online 'review' by someone of that very dental practice. "This practice advertise all the time that they are taking on new NHS patients, (possibly because they are being paid by the NHS to do so?) but after 7 months on their waiting list we were still not taken on. When I went in to inquire about this situation the receptionist was offhand and dismissive. However when I saw that they had 2 separate queues for patients at their reception desk- labelled "Private patients" and "NHS patients and that they were dealing with all the private patients first, I decided that I was most uncomfortable with this form of "apartheid" and would most certainly not want to be a patient there!". Well - that looks like it's a dead-end and wasted phone call then doesn't it. :o( What the hell AM I going to do?! . . . walked FGn in full rain gear but mostly missed the rain. Returned with a stone for the garden. . the earlier annadin tablet seemed to be really effectively doing the business this morning, and I felt just a little more capable of 'doing' something other than just sitting, whilst not in such pain. . did the mountain of dish washing chores . .it was suprisingly around 2pm before I needed to suck another annadin tablet. Ate chicken and stuffing slice sandwiches, crisps and mini mince pies . . napped . .took an ibucalm tablet around 7pm. .tu . . Walked BGdns. Actually not an unpleasant evening for once. A calm before the next forecast storm. .I've recently taken to sitting on a different higher seat after ball play, because the lower seats no longer have much of a view due to all the jungle-like growth of trees and self seeded bushes all around the top of the main gun emplacements. (Everything I cut down a year or so back, has all grown back up anew, completely blocking all the view! Outrageous and a tragedy it's all just being left like that! :o( ) That particular memorial seat is apparantly still occasionaly visited by the family of the deceased named on the plaque. At different times of the year, it would appear that young children from the family, join-in in decorating the seat appropriate for whichever is the seasonal event! Moving and sad. The seat is currently bedecked and wrapped in much tinsel, flowers, christmas cards, etc. Under the circumstances, the natural temptation is to unfortunately go and sit elsewhere, but since that one is 'THE' one to sit on there, I decided to dare to 'respectfully' sit on THAT seat nonetheless. So - there I sat for a while, all surrounded by tinsel etc. Had my very own little bit of Christmas all going on for myself in the calm darkness! :o) lolol . . TVd . . Mum called briefly . .just TVd the evening away, delighting in the pain killers seemingly having really done their job today, and not feeling in 'too' much pain at all for the first time in quite a while. Dunno what to make of today. Either I'm getting more experienced in how to use the various tablets to their utmost effect (seemed to get up to a good five hours pain relief from each today), or just 'maybe', the pain is 'calming down' a bit? Whichever - it was an overwhelming feeling of 'delight' to just be able to sit throughout the evening without 'squirming' in my chair and hurting SO bad . . managed to eat a whole small tin of ham in sandwiches, two mini mince pies and a bunch of chocolate. . . to bed around 1am, WITHOUT taking another tablet beforehand. s
26 - Up around 8:45am. 15C in, 9C out. Grey. Annadin tablet, coffee and cigs for breakfast . .walked FGn in what turned into some rain but mostly drizzle. I don't even need to listen to the MSI broadcast anymore. It's 'always' the same! "Gale now ceased. Severe gale imminant."!! The forecast is just the same/awful/wind/rain for as far ahead as they are forecasting! The cold breeze made my mouth/head pain particularly hard to deal with, despite having had the annadin. . . sat around feeling awful. My breakfast annadin seemed to have had little or no effect. Despite the worry about overdoing it AND mixing brands, I had absolutely no choice but to take another of Mum's 400mg 'Ibucalm' tablets. (The box says no more than three in any 24hr period!! The poor way they seem to be performing, makes that an issue!) No matter what I seem to take, I'm only getting 'some' relief for a maximum of four hours so it seems! Being 'cold' all the time seems to be making things feel lots worse. :o( It would appear I AM in some pretty big trouble here - and I don't think I'm gonna be able to get through this 'on my own'!!!! . . PCd and poked around online VERY briefly to see what the state of play is locally with regard to getting an NHS dentist. Despite it obviously being not the day to do such things, I even rang the NHS phone number one apparantly has to ring to try to get on the books of the one local dentist that appears to treat NHS patients?? I was of course told to ring up when it wasn't a bank holiday, however they DID let me know, it'd likely be around six months before I would get to the top of the waiting list and actually get to go and see them. . Yep - I'm in trouble here! Even if in desperation I was willing to see ANYONE, (or even an emergency NHS facility - wherever that may be - if they even actually exist anywhere anymore?) my lack of my own transport makes that a distant impossibility anyway!! And when all is said and done - what the hell are any of them even going to be able to do? I've looked stuff up. I KNOW , at BEST, I have the worst possible form of long untreated (smoking related) gum disease which has rendered ALL my teeth as rotten, loose and unsalvageable. I AM facing some SERIOUS specialist treatment (likely including the surgical removal of the few wobbly teeth which remain) and without question, a FULL set of false ones! It's all gonna be unimaginably difficult for ME - never mind the s. Even if I COULD get on a subsidised 'NHS dentist' list, I reckon it's gonna cost well over a thousand. Several thousand if private! Yep - I'm in big trouble here, however I look at it! I'm hurting BAD! :o( . . just sat around all day again, hurting and feeling 'beaten down' by enduring the constant pain - and absolutely unable to do ANYTHING but just sit with it. . . managed to eat a tin of soup, a ham finger roll and two chicken and stuffing buttered rolls . . sat in front the TV suffering more, just barely existing between (over?)doses of the various tablets when the pain became more than I could stand again, every few hours. . ate a couple of mini mince pies . . to bed around 1am.
25 - Back up at 9am. 15C in, 8C out. Sun and showers. . .slow getting going. Eventually walked the woods and BGdns. Felt fragile, exhausted and really wished I hadn't bothered. The cold breeze seemed to make my mouth ear and head pain increasingly unbearable. 'Dipped' Bella in the sea on Fishcombe beach to wash some of the mud off before heading home. Stopped by Mums on the way to take possession of all the pain killers she was given when she had her leg operation. She isn't in to using painkillers and they WILL go to waste, so I may as well get through them all. Recovered from the walk a bit and quickly took an annadin tablet . .TVd feeling just awful. Being in this much pain all the time seems to just wear me out and make doing 'anything' just out of the question. Eventually drank two glasses of wine and got pretty tipsy on an empty stomach . . eventually cooked and ate two quarter pound burgers in buttered rolls with chips around 4pm . .pretty soon after that the earlier painkiller had obviously 'run out' - and my mouth pain was climbing back up to intolerable levels. God this is misery! What a f***ing awful christmas this has turned out to be! Popped one of Mums 400mg 'Ibucalm' tablets. Not used to those of course. It appeared to do absolutely nothing for the longest time - before then maybe having 'some' subtle effect. . continued just sitting and TVing . . touched base briefly with BB . . ate some chocolate and a whole box of Mum donated mini chocolate rolls . . PCd. Sis2 called to touch base . . popped another ibucalm tablet before to bed before 2am.
24 - Woken around 8am by Bella barking at people coming and going next door! 16C in, 11C out and blowing pretty strong (according to the howling PC room window!) although not raining 'just' at the moment - and then it got darker and WAS raining yet again. :o( . . battled my way through the storm in full weather gear and wellingtons to FGn. Thoroughly unpleasant, and Bella got absolutely covered in mud of course. Sat around in the rain for as long as I could stand before heading back. Stopped off at the store on the way home to grab some milk, bread and eggs. You'd have thought it was the last chance to get any food for months, what with all the cars and people and mayhem going on up there! . hosed Bella down out in the garden. . sat around feeling 'fragile' again with my head/tooth ache thing continuing. . eventually had a prod in Bellas ears with the cotton tipped buds before administering some of the ear drops the vet had pescribed! Her ears are in a hell of a state again! :o( . . PCd a couple more of the George Carlin videos on youtube before PCing a bit of this - as would you believe it, some dry and sunny spells broke through. Nevertheless, the MSI broadcast was forecasting 'gale force eight increasing to severe gale force nine imminent'! . . .TVd . . ate three ham finger rolls and a bag of crisps. . napped . .skipped the walk even though it wasn't raining. I just couldn't face getting Bella all covered in mud again! . . just TVd/PCd the night away - in pain . . ate all the rest of the fruit stoll cake thing Sis1 had left behind. . .to bed around 2am. . woken within two hours by my toothache mouth pain, which had suddenly decided to get worse!! Agony. Sucked another annadin tablet and 'inflated' my cheek with gulps of cold water until it eased off enough to eventually get back to sleep. :o(
23 - Up just after 8am again. 15C in, 10C out. Blimey - not raining at the moment. .Oh FFS!!!! Bella had scratched her ears all bloody in the night!! :o( . . .walked FGn. Returned with a stone for the garden . . just sat in front the TV trying to find something worth watching . . less pain from my mouth than yesterday but still pretty bad . . groomed Bella plenty . . not feeling capable of doing anything at all (other than being in pain!) I desperately continually searched through all the TV channels of utter piffle, looking for ANYTHING I could tolerate sitting in front of. I usually just end up on the news channels when I can find nothing else, but as always, the news (BBC - Asia) was just full of utter horror which did NOT help my already 'despairing' and sinking mood - I was particularly upset by the latest Muslim obsenity (in Pakistan this time/again)."A mob in Pakistan has stormed a police station and beaten to death a Muslim man accused of desecrating the Koran. The victim's body was then set alight, according to witnesses. The unnamed victim had earlier been handed over to the police after burnt pages of the Koran were found in a mosque in Dadu district, 330km (200 miles) north of Karachi, where he had been staying overnight. Hours later a mob went to the police station, seized the man and killed him." Pure horrifying 'evil', and all in the name of 'religion', YET again! I just can't believe it!! :o( I AM now sadly FIRMLY anti-religious. And anti Muslim ESPECIALLY. Very especially! . . Yayyyy - I found something VERY worth watching! Suprisingly on the 'Al Jazeera' channel for an hour or so!!!! A special program - 'Dawkins on religion. An interview with renowned atheist Richard Dawkins on whether religion is a force for good or evil.' Marvellous stuff. Oh I SO admire that mans mind! I even found the young presenter quite impressive at first - until the jaw dropping moment around 14 minutes in, when he said he absolutely actually believed that the Prophet Muhammad had risen to heaven on a winged horse! <gulp> . . . God I'm feeling pretty down. How exactly is it that other people are NOT despairing and depressed in such a world?Happy f***ing Christmas! . . . Mum called in with food donations and the paper . . . painfully ate two mini pork pies and a tin of chicken soup with four pieces of bread and butter . . retreated to bed and napped . . skipped the walk because of the forecast rain. As it turned out, it didn't start raining for quite a while, so I 'could' have walked . . . Sis2 called to touch base. Called her back and chatted for ages. TVd . . PCd and found the Dawkins debate on youtube. Sent the link to Sis2 and briefly called to tell her. . she suggested looking up and watching some 'George Carlin'. I've never come across him. . hooked the main TV up to the modem and ended up watching a whole bunch of the George Carlin videos on youtube for well over an hour. (e.g. 'On Religion And God') I'm not a 'fan' of his particular manner of delivery necessarily, but he sure did have a neat way of putting things. :o) . . ate a bit of the fruity 'stoll' cake thing Sis1 had left behind . . ate cheese and mayo sandwiches before to bed around 2am or later.
22 - Up just after 8am as the phone rang and no message left. Second time in two days! 15C in, 11C out. Still raining and blowing, but not quite as hard as last night. . Bad toothache (and backache of course). Looks like I'll be spending Christmas suffering toothache prior to losing another! :o( . . woke at the PC and looked up Brave Tern on the AIS to see where it'd sheltered from the storm just for interest. VERY surprised to see it was right in the middle of the Irish Sea between Fishguard and Rosslare! . . walked in wellingtons and full weather gear in heavy rain. Drenched right through everything pretty much straight away. Bella got utterly COVERED in mud again. . A remarkable sight looking out over the outer harbour and breakwater, which I don't think I've seen quite so markedly ever before. ALL the water on the harbour side of the breakwater was a muddy red/brown - all the water on the seaward side was a normal light sea-green. A stark contrast. . eventually trudged home (with a stone for the garden) and marched Bella straight through the house for some hosing down again, out in the back garden. Like it or not, I think I'm going to HAVE to avoid the 'grass' and ball play for the forseeable future. Can't go on her getting THAT muddy every time we go out! The house is in a hell of a state, with muddy splatter 'tide marks' on all the walls, doors - EVERWHERE! . Checked out the state of the garage. Just full of mud and water. :o( . . sucked annadin tablet and PCd a bit of this, letting wet stuff dry on me. . poked at the network cable and worked out the pin assignments/cable colours for the microphone socket. The more I looked at everything, the more difficult it appeared it was going to be, to get the leads soldered to the appropriate pins (as much as anything, because of my increasingly failing eyesight!). Ended up feeling increasingly down and ended up just walking away from it all and leaving it for some other time. . . Sis1 phoned more than once saying her and Mum were going out for a meal etc, but I REALLY didn't want to have to go out and subject myself (purely out of feelings of 'guilt' and obligation) to being amongst crowds of people in pubs, etc, etc, and I just point blank refused. . . my toothache became increasingly bad as the day wore on . . managed to eat some corned beef sandwiches and crisps . . napped until woken by Sis1 calling the ansaphone - more than once. . eventually got back up in a foul foul mood with a badly aching mouth . . Sis1 popped in for cogffee and chats soon after. . sucked yet another annadin tablet while 'chatting', although of course 'I' actually had absolutely nothing to talk about - and probably very rudely kinda just ended up watching TV whilst she was here much of the time!! She left to get back to Mums around 10pm. . . TVd the evening away again, not much moving. Briefly PCd. Received confirmation messages letting me know that both the gardening book and the antique diabolo have been received by the buyers. I hate to say it, but given the time of year and all, that IS pretty good work by the post office. The message from the gardening book woman started with the phrase 'The eagle has landed'. I didn't need to, but I couldn't help myself doing a one line reply of 'Tranquility base. :o)'. It is my (perhaps mistaken?) assumption that EVERYONE in the whole world is familiar with the first radio transmission by a human being from another world. When the appollo astronauts landed on the moon - 'Tranquility Base - the eagle has landed'. My intent with my one liner was with reference to that, but also to suggest that I was no longer worried about it arriving safely, and thanks to her message, had now returned to a state of tranquility. With hindsight, I bet she didn't 'get it', and probably now thinks I'm a right weirdo. lolol . . ate half a tin of baked beans on two pieces of toast with some grated cheese . . to bed around 2am.
21 - Up just after 8am. 15C in, 6C out. Blue sky sunrise. One 'not-raining' day before the next storm. . .walked FGn in the heavy dew and mud as the sky turned to increasingly cloudy grey. Saw the remarkable sight of a HUGE jack-up ship briefly entering the bay, to either drop off or pick up a pilot. Image of vessels 'Brave Tern' and 'Arcadia Highway' in TorbayMalta registered 'Brave Tern', built in Dubai and operated by 'Fred Olsen Windcarrier Denmark AS' - apparantly used in the construction of offshore wind turbines. Absolutely HUGE great thing it was - and yet it turned 180 degrees 'on a sixpence'! (Dwarfed the enormous, and impressive in its own right cargo vessel 'Arcadia Highway', already anchored further out in the deep anchorage.) Looking up 'Brave Tern' on the web later revealed 'the four 78.4m long cylindrical legs have a diameter of 4.5m, and a maximum length below ship baseline of 58m'. Astonishing. I HAVE seen TV shows on such vessels (maybe even that one?), and how they lower the legs and stand up on the sea bed to do construction work, etc. It remains absolutely mind boggling to ME that such things are possible. I wonder what sort of storm conditions they can actually safely cope with? . . back via the store for potatoes and bread supplies . . briefly swept and raked up around the back garden and got the majority of the fallen leaves all stowed in the compost bin. . . PCd a bit of this, monitoring radios. Some sort of military excercise going on 'just' in range of my radio. Weird and thought provoking to hear a female voice announcing 'I have the co-ordinates of the IED' etc!! . . .vacuumed . . did paperwork and attempted to balance my accounts. I failed!!? That's unlike me, but try as I did - at length, I just could NOT locate my error and couldn't balance - and not by just a few pennies, but actually by a couple of hundred pounds!!!!!!??? Another indication of my noticeably rapidly declining mental abilities? Frightening! When I worked on the post office counter (Kingswood BO), I'd almost always balance pretty quick, and then leap in and help find the mistake of the old guys who regularly didn't - and probably show my 'frustration' with them in the process. It would appear the (wellington) boot is on the other foot now! :o( Anyway - I just could NOT find my mistake and eventually after several hours of going over everything, had little choice but to simply give up! Not as bad as it sounds, because at least whatever mistake I'd made was in MY favour kinda. I've got more in my bank account than I think I should have. I have actually recently bought a little excercise book from the local newsagents to keep recording my outgoings in, because the bank no longer supply transaction record books like they used to - and mine has just run out of space and needed replacing. Now I have more space to write stuff down in it, hopefully I'll be able to get back on top of things - after having 'drawn a line' and made adjustments for my error!! (I ALSO maintain an Excel spreadsheet of course). . Sis1 called to touch base and confirmed she's coming down tomorrow but would be sleeping at Mums. (It would appear the Bella/flea thing was putting her off sleeping here. Understandable of course, but I still felt a little hurt and rejected nonetheless.). Mum called to touch base shortly afterwards. . . walked real early somewhere around 5pm, to get it over and done with before the next gale soon hits. .got talking to a dog walker I've spoken to on a couple of occassions before. HE started the conversation with 'Eeeeer CB man.' Humph! He's always struck me as a 'bit' of a weird guy, who isn't the easiest of people to hold a conversation with, and someone who I'm instinctively more than happy to 'keep at arms length' kinda, but I've always tried to be polite and friendly in passing. He sat on my usual seat next to me and seemed to want to talk about how he'd just come back from 'being away' for a while. I politely made some small talk nonsense and asked if his being away was a good or a bad thing. It turned out he'd 'been away' proper!! He'd been in prison for a few months (which was only about a third of the time he'd actually been handed to serve)!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!! I VERY carefuly dared to ask what he'd done to get that. 'Threats to kill' - with an AXE apparantly (although he'd ultimately been convicted of a lesser charge!)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! F***ING HELL!!!! <run awaaaayyyyy!!!> What DOES one say in such a conversation? I didn't feel entirely safe sat there next to him in the dark, all of a sudden! At some point I enquired as to why exactly it was he was in posession of an axe. It was something along the lines of he was in the process of breaking up some old furniture to be able to sneak it out in his wheelie bin! (I recommended next time - use a saw!) Whilst doing so, someone in the rented block where he lives had allegedly sworn at him for some reason and in the ensuing altercation, he'd 'lost his temper' and had made threats - presumably whilst weilding his axe! The police had been called ( a significant call out I imagine! Man armed with an axe and all!), and armed with tasers, had calmed him down and taken him into custody without further major incident. And so - he'd eventually been locked up! His poor dog had apparantly been looked after by some generous person for the months he was away. To cap it all - he was now a thousand pounds or so in arrears with his rent, and proceedings were underway to have him evicted - for the anti-social behaviour aspect rather than the arrears! He was gonna have to find somewhere else to live before the end of the year (unemployed - on benefits of course)! I confess - during the 'difficult' conversation, I VERY much avoided mentioning ANYTHING about where I live! A part of me - at arms length - felt very sorry for the impossible position he was now facing (and I felt SO sorry for his dog, which he obviously cares deeply for!). What hope has he for finding private rented accommodation now, with all that history - and with a dog in tow also? Just another 'mental health issues' homeless person in the making? In THIS weather and at Christmas - and there's ME with a three bedroom house all to myself! I DID feel sorry for him - but certainly NOT enough to entertain the prospect of in ANY way opening my life up to 'an axe weilding maniac'! How CAN such a person be helped? I wished him luck and merry christmas and all, but boy, was I SO glad when he carried on his way! . very soon quickly returned home, feeling 'lucky' - but increasingly down! . . TVd. Ended up watching one of the old original Star Trek episodes. (The one where the genetically enhanced character Khan was originally introduced - found in suspended animation two hundred years after having put to space on board spaceship 'Botany Bay' after the 1990 gene wars! lol ) Was amused to hear and instantly recognise 'CQ' being continually sent in morse-code from the drifting space ship when the Enterprise unexpectedly discovered it in deep space! lolololol . . . ate a pastry slice, chips and half a tin of baked beans followed by a few biscuits and some chocolate. . TVd/guitarred the evening away as the storm arrived and wind and torrential rain began to batter the house yet again. . ate a couple of pieces of buttered toast before to bed around 1:30am. Difficulty sleeping with the noise from the storm.
20 - Up around 8am with continuing torrential rain. No way am I walking Bella over the muddy field in THIS! The rain radar website was a joke! SO much brightly coloured splodges indicating heavy and torrential rain, you couldn't even see where the underlying map of the UK was! . . woke at the PC before eventually getting togged up in wellingtons and full weather gear and then VERY reluctantly walked with Bella just up to the post office to get the book posted. Absolutely bucketing down with rain! Immediately drenched right through! Despite being on steep hills on the upper side of the valley, all the drains along the streets were full to the brim of rainwater going nowhere - with rivers of rain all flowing over and straight down past! . got the parcel posted and then just returned straight back home. The lane out back was just flowing with water and mud! A big 'lake' has collected right outside my garage because of the slopes of the lane, with a river of water and mud flowing directly under the garage door, into and 'through' my garage! Hell of a mess. Everything in there is gradually being destroyed (permanent damp = rusty tools) - and there really is absolutely nothing I can do about it! My leaking conservatory isn't much better off. All the multiple tupperware containers and jam jars etc I've put down to collect all the roof leaks, which I have to empty several times a day, are probably collecting a good gallon or so every 24 hours! :o( It isn't an exaggeration to say I really don't recall ever having seen SO much rain falling SO persistantly day after day after day - with maybe a day or two of a break, and then more and more!! The ground everywhere has been permanently saturated for absolutely ages now and there just seems no end to it in sight! . All those raving lunatics who think the world is coming to an end on Friday because of that mayan calendar nonsense - if they'd said it was gonna be by flood, I 'may' have started to think twice about it! lol . .notified the book buyer it was posted and then PCd a bit of this. Would you believe it - it 'almost' stopped raining for a bit as I did so. . Received some spam - allegedly from 'Ark Stores'. That made me laugh, as I immediately deleted it. . headachey and with an aching lower back. Just sat around doing nothing and TVing a bit. . cooked up and ate mashed potatoe with chopped onions, peas, and lightly fried garlic sausage slices followed by a little chocolate . . the postman delivered the screened network cable I'd ordered. Wasn't in the mood to start wrestling with trying to do that. It can wait - I'm in no hurry to start messing around trying to work out the pinouts and strain to see through a magnifying glass with a fine tipped soldering iron, etc, etc.(especially after having been messed around for weeks just trying to get my hands on a simple network cable!) . . . napped until around 7pm - by which point the rain and drizzle HAD finally stopped as forecast . .walked FGn, although avoided crossing the deep mud of the main field. Sat with a coffee and cigs while playing ball for quite a while. Even saw a few stars in the clearing sky. .eventually returned carrying a stone for the front garden from the rough ground alongside the path. More of a boulder than a stone actually! Hard to see what I'm grabbing in the dark there. Overdid it and ended up all of a quiver and shaking from the over exertion by the time I'd finally carried it all the way home! That HURT - and did my aching back no favours! Despite having done nothing particularly strenuous for ages of late, I seem to be experiencing an increasing amount of the constant pain I get from my lower back/pelvis area!? :o( . . TVd/guitarred/PCd the evening away. .ate the last of the garlic sausage in sandwiches with grated cheese and then a little chocolate. To bed around 2am.s
19 - Up around 8am after almost no sleep, thanks to the sounds of the storm. 15C in, 9C out, 40knt gusts of wind and much rain - and pretty similar forecast for the most part, right through until at least Sunday!! :o( . . . walked Fgn in wellingtons and full weather gear. Wow - what luck - a brief lull in the rain and only got drizzled on. Unfortunately however, the ground was SO waterlogged and muddy, Bella got absolutely covered in mud! Actually returned home and hosed her down out in the back garden (despite the impact on my water bill!) before her usual toweling down, in the hope of reducing the impact on everything in the house! . . .TVd for a bit, really not in the mood for doing anything given the miserable weather, and feeling horribly 'heady' and sleep deprived. DID have a very gentle scrape and a poke in Bella's ears with a couple of the cotton buds I recently bought for the purpose. Have to be SO careful with her, lest I do ANYTHING to start her scratching herself raw again. HIGH maintenance dog! . . PCd and PCd a bit of this around 13:10 as the MSI was reporting 'gale now ceased'. Ok - the wind has temporarily dropped, but its STILL raining loads. . got a message back from the 'chancing their arm' person about the gardening book. They DO want it (yeah - I BET at THAT price) - so straight back to climbing up into the loft to retrieve packing stuffs and then packaging it all up for whenever they make me the payment. So - more queuing (wet!) in the post office tomorrow then! Ugggh. :o/ . . . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans, chopped onion and grated cheese with four pieces of bread and butter . .checked back in on the PC and the 'book person' had payed for it. She actually fully understood the high postage situation with it (and e-bay's stupid listings 4 maximum postage charge for books, etc) and had done what she'd said she would, and had made the 15 inc postage payment as a 'gift', in order for me to avoid the e-bay commission fees etc. Nice one. I was all ready to rush it straight up the post office, but because of the way we'd done things 'outside' of e-bay, I couldn't determine her address and had to mail her back asking for it - so sadly can't post it until tomorrow now! . . napped until around 6:30pm . . continual rain so easily skipped the walk again. Felt increasingly very down as the evening ground on. . Listened in to a bit of the local radio club slow morse and weekly waffle net . . PCd/TVd . . forced down a banana and biscuits before to bed around 3am. s
18 - Up around 6:50am, apparantly having a hot flush kinda. 15C in, 6C out, and a forecast of just one day of reasonable weather before more wind and rain hits . . walked FGn just a 'little' earlier than of late . . stripped the bed and put on a load of bed linen laundry before checking e-bay yet again, to see if the person had paid for the projection clock they'd won yet. They STILL hadn't - so went ahead and left Bella at home and walked up the post office and queued up again, to get just the vintage mens grooming stuff posted. It's rather starting to look as though that projection clock winner is gonna be a non payer! SO irritating. All that work doing the listing and and answering all those dumb questions (including several from the winner) only to be jerked around like this now - and potentially have to go through the whole thing all over again!!! GRRRRRR! People! . .on the way back from the post office, I embarassingly knocked on the door of a house and asked if I could have some of their 'rubbish' laying out front. I get the impression the place has recently changed hands, and of course is now having lots of work done as they renovate it and bring it up to date. Amongst the pile of rubbish in their front garden, was smashed up old kitchen cupboards - with some small brass cupboard knobs on! Ended up coming home carrying two big drawer fronts for the two knobs. Not really suitable for morse keys, but 'may' come in useful sometime, somewhere. (I just can't help myself hanging on to 'brass stuff'. I love my brass bits and pieces and ornaments in the living room).. . did more laundry and then all the mountain of dishwashing chores whilst waiting for my monster shopping delivery. . yayy - ALL delivered no problem just before midday. . immediately called at next door and gave them the 'money off your next shop' vouchers as has become my habit (because the 'use-by' dates are too soon for me to be able to make use of). Jeeze - they do allright out of me! 14 off their next shop (if over 70 - before the 25th) and double nectar points too I think it was! (I confess - if someone was donating such things to ME, I'd feel obliged to split the money with THEM. They've never offered. Oh well - that's 'people' ain't it.) . . meticulously checked everything off and stashed everything away as best I could. One of the major problems with doing shopping in bulk like I do is finding somewhere to put it all! A whole kitchen alcove is piled high with sacks and tins of dog food! . . briefly checked in on the PC and the 'clock bidder' had finally paid. Immediately left Bella at home and rushed straight back up the post office to stand in line and get it posted - AGAIN. Stopped by Mums on the way back to drop off the big box of soap powder she'd asked me to get with my shopping. Unusually she wasn't in (sod's law) so I took the risk of leaving the soap on her doorstep (hidden beneath her doormat!). . messed around with the brass knobs. Sadly one of them was corroded into position on the mounting bolt and broke in the removal attempt. The other polished up a treat. Experimented with using it on one of my prized old 8amp black bakelite and brass morse keys I currently have on my firebreast as 'ornaments', because the mounting bolt was 'just' small enough to go through the knob hole without doing any damage to the thread or need any modification. Well - it works. I'm not sure it isn't a bit too 'pretty-pretty' - but I think I'll leave it like that for the time being. Hmmmmm. I just couldn't resist - I ended up leaving Bella at home and popping back up the road to the same house (with a screwdriver and a morse key in my pocket), knocked at the door, explained and showed them why I was being a nuisance, and then dug through the rest of their pile of rubbish (destined for their wood burner apparantly. Brass knobs and all???) and removed as many of the knobs as I could find and which didn't break in the removal attempt!!!! Image of my 'display piece', brass-knobbed 8 amp Mk III morse code keysCame home with four more knobs (actually so it turned out, sadly of slightly different designs and threads - and one a bit too dented for use!). Polished up a matching knob and fitted it to the other morse key atop the firebreast, to temporarily at least, match the pair. Actually also fitted a couple of old washers beneath the knobs, to act as 'skirts' (as is quite common practice, and does make a bit of a difference/possible improvement to how they feel during use). I'm really not sure I like em all decked out like this. It's hard to improve on something which is just SO cute and perfect (to MY eye) to start with. Maybe they'll look better once the polished knobs have dulled back to match the other brass bits? . . Mum called to touch base and say she'd safely got her soap powder. . ate a tin of tomato soup with corned beef sandwiches . . brought the still wet laundry in (actually getting damper in the weird saturated atmosphere) and just draped it all over the airer in the kitchen . . napped (on the bare matress and pillows!) until the alarm at 7pm. . . walked FGn with a coffee . . . dared to put the airer of bed linen in front of the gas fire for a few hours. .gave Bella the last anti biotic tablet from her recent course. She remains all itchy and scratchy - but 'perhaps' just a little less so? Her ears look better, purely because she hasn't been scratching them. For some intuitive reason, I had taken it upon myself NOT to (YET) administer the ear drops the vet had prescribed, lest the irritation of the drops should make her scratch them more. If things stay as they are, I probably won't adminster them. . PCd. . informed the clock buyer I'd posted it - to the 'wrong' address!! Turns out the payment notification I finally received, has a different shipping address (place of work?) listed on it, to the shipping address I was originally notified by e-bay. Because of the delay in getting payment, and then when I did, rushing straight up the post office to get it gone in time for todays collection and hopefully Christmas, I hadn't done my usual checks and noticed! Ooops!! Oh well - if she hadn't kept me waiting for payment like she did, it wouldn't have happened would it. .Someone had messaged me via e-bay, 'chancing their arm' and enquiring about the big heavy gardening book I'd listed which hadn't sold. Eventually mailed them back and said they could have it if they were interested for 15. (It'll be 9 postage - so I won't be making much on it if they say yes - but still a VERY good deal for them, over the price it is new!!). .monitoring radios, that same radio amateur guy who'd got my back up recently slagging off people on benefits, reared his ugly head on the local repeater via IRLP again. YET again, he started ranting on about 'inappropriate for the radio/licence-conditions' stuff - and got me all angry AGAIN! THIS time he was slagging off the queen! Going on about how he gets up at 5am to do a hard days work and yet SHE hasn't done a days work in her life etc, etc. Whatever your opinion about the monarchy, surely even the dumbest person can appreciate that she DOES actually 'work' really hard - always has and likely always will until the day she dies, without ANY choice in the matter. Not 'work' as most of us perceive it our lives perhaps, but DEFINITELY hard work nontheless. (Boy - how much you'd have to pay me to continually have to endure all the events and suchlike she HAS to attend - and all those plebs she has to continually meet and make small talk with, etc etc etc.) Incredibly priveledged in many ways she may be, but she also does NOT have the sort of freedoms the rest of us enjoy. She is SURELY more of a (largely actually powerless?) 'slave' to our political system than many, and much more so than ANY self serving politician. It's all obvious isn't it? And on top of all that, she lives with the CONSTANT awareness that she is a target - under threat of death from every nutcase out there, worldwide. Blah blah. Anyway - suffice it to say, that particular ignorant radio amateur with a chip on his shoulder and his abbrassive manner, breaking his licence conditions yet again by talking on such subjects, got me all frustrated and angry AGAIN. It really was all I could do to stop myself either having an outburst myself, or alternatively simply keying up my mic and having a go at just shutting down his IRLP connection without saying a word! It's really reached the point where I LOATH the sound of the guys heavily accented voice SO much now, I can hardly bear to turn the radio on at times, lest my scanning should 'lock-up' on him again and expose me to yet more of his ignorant vitriol! :o( . . . eventually 'rebuilt' my bed with the still 'slightly' damp in places laundry. Always seems like real hard work stripping and remaking the bed. Getting the king size duvet (all falling apart and in need of replacing) back in its cover especially! . . touched base with BB to say happy birthday and chat - mostly about 'the death of innocents' of course! (Even BB has what sounds like a semi-automatic rifle around the place!! Bizarre!) :o( . . .ate garlic sausage sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate before to bed around 3am as the big forecast storm was moving in.
17 - Up around 7:50am. 15C in, 7C out and more heavy showers in the sky . . walked FGn . . PCd and finalised getting everything that sold and has been paid-for, ready for posting. Assuming I actually get paid for the outsatnding items, the score NOT including the postage is :- Vintage grooming/shaving stuff 25 ; 10 amp power supply 19.20 ; Radio controlled projection alarm clock 7.35 ; Vintage diabolo set 4 ; Chain biker belt 10 ; UHF Coax splitter 6.01. . . . left Bella at home and walked up the post office to join the long queue - which funnily enough turned out to be mostly 'ebay sellers' in front of me! I started up a bit of small talk with the two people in front of me about outrageous postage prices, and how it was a lot of work for so little , and how irritating it was for some of the bidders to have not yet paid, etc, etc, etc. The guy at the head of the queue admitted to selling stuff on e-bay as a bit of a 'hobby'!? He had three carrier bags stuffed full of loads of packets and envelopes to send - and admitted to having spent most of the weekend at his computer screen. He shared some gloating over a coin he'd sold which had suprisingly gone for over three hundred pounds to a foreign bidder. . it was quite a long time before I eventually returned home - more or less 'even' on the postage, which I hadn't got 'quite' right again as ever. . PCd and did the despatch messages and notifications etc . . . wow - what a relief to have that all over and done with - with the exception of the two still to pay, which means I'm gonna have to go through all that queuing up at the post office all over again if/when they do pay. :o( . . .cut my hair, trimmed my beard, showered, etc . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate . . .napped until around 7:15pm! . . skipped the walk as yet more rain fell . . guitarred/TVd/PCd the evening away. One of the two outstanding payments on sold e-bay items had been made (the collection of vintage mens grooming stuff) so THAT can go tomorrow. SO irritating that people 'dawdle' with making payments like that. Means I waste loads of time continually checking the PC, etc, so I can live up to my promise to despatch the stuff the next working day after they pay! . . . ate two garlic sausage rolls, crisps, banana, mini mince pies and biscuits . . TVd until to bed around 2am.
16 - Up around 8:50am. 15C in, 7C out, sun and BIG showery clouds again. . . walked FGn between the showers . . spent the majority of the day (?!) after climbing up into the attic and sorting out boxes and bubblewrap and the like, just packaging up the half dozen or so items I've got listed on e-bay which ARE going to sell, and just pottering around a bit. . sat and watched a handful of my auctions end mid afternoon. All but one did NOT sell! Oh well. At least I've sold one more thing (the 'coax splitter' - for 6.01 + 5 postage) from the 'box of toss' I gambled on. I can't recall how much it all was now, and how much I've sold stuff from it for, but I'm happy with how the gamble turned out in the end. Shame about the remaining stuff which didn't sell (absolutely, because of the outrageous costs of UK postage), which I really SHOULD now just throw in the bin, and be done with all the hassle. . a few hours before everything else ends, so time to walk away from it all for a while thank goodness. . . had an urge and walked with Bella up the local store specifically for a pack of burgers . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate four small burgers in two buttered rolls with chips . . TVd struggling to stay awake for a couple of hours . . PCd/ebayed the whole evening away watching several listings end without selling, answering related communications, and packing and labelling up the things that did sell . . Sis2 called to touch base . . finished wrapping and labelling not long before midnight. Feel utterly exhausted by it all! All seems like SUCH hard graft for a few s. Cleared up a little and got empty boxes and stuff stashed back up in the attic (as yet more heavy showers passed through) . . grabbed a banana and biscuits before to bed around 1am.
15 - Up around 8:40am. 15C in, 8C out, sun and showery clouds . . . walked FGn feeling pretty rough. . PCd. Couldn't help myself and replied to the network cable company acknowledging receipt of the refund. "Thank you very much for the refund. I fully appreciate why you made it, but I feel compelled to let you know that your comment "I hope you can be honest and let us know when it does arrive." has irritated me considerably. The obvious implication is that you 'expect' me to be dishonest, and steal from you if I get the chance! I can ASSURE you, if it did miraculously now turn up, I would most certainly do the right and honest thing and would contact you to let you know and WOULD pay for it! My conscience would demand nothing less! You 'may' wish to know that in the last week I have won two e-bay auctions and promptly received both items by second class mail within three days. I also spent twenty years working for the Post Office. I strongly recommend you pursue a line of enquiry and complaint with the Post Office. Expecting a customer of yours to continue waiting for TWO weeks, is in my opinion, NOT appropriate customer service. I will refrain from leaving you feedback on this occasion. Sincerely T" Perhaps I over reacted, but I feel better for having had a 'bit of a go' back at them! Load of silly nonsense over 99p! (I bet it bloody turns up now! lol) . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . ate two corned beef, grated cheese and mayo finger rolls, two mini pork pies, crisps and a banana . . napped until around 6:20pm. Headachey and don't feel so good - again/still. .PCd. The Romanian person seems pretty intent on being able to get hold of the 'biker chain belt', so I reluctantly altered the listing and opened it up to foreign bidders!! . . TVd . walked FGn a little late between the showers. My god that place is waterlogged! Crossing the main football pitch is like walking through a bog! Shoes trousers and dog are all covered in mud! . . .TVd . . PCd. FINALLY a few bids on a couple of my ebay listings all ending tomorrow. I really was starting to think absolutely NONE of it would sell! . . went on e-bay and after studiously avoiding all listings from the cheap company that just refunded me the 99p and got my back up, eventually went ahead and ordered a 'Cat 6 Snagless Shielded Ethernet LSZH Cable Black 1 Metres' for 1.69 inc postage. Slightly more expensive, but also a better 'sheilded' cable, which I guess IS desireable for my intended use of it, given the remote possibility of RF 'leaking' into the cable etc when transmitting. So - fingers crossed on THIS one. . PCd a bit of this . . .TVd (mostly the news) until early. . touched base with BB . . ate a sausage roll, crisps and banana before to bed around 3am.
14 - Woken by the howling PC room window (despite having closed the door on the room against the noise) and the rain and wind pounding on all the front windows after just a few hours of almost no sleep at all. Tried to get back to sleep but just couldn't (with the loud 'howling' mostly) and got up just before 7am. :o( . . 14C in, 9C out with the wind gusting up around 40mph. The MSI broadcast was talking gale force eight and nine - and even storm force ten further up towards the Thames! PCd a bit of this , in no hurry to have to go out in it. . got all togged up in full weather gear and walked FGn around 9am. Miraculously the storm had somewhat abated, and we pretty much got the walk done without getting rained on. The ground was of course very waterlogged and muddy, and Bella got covered in mud to bring back home and spread up the walls, on the carpets and - everywhere! :o( . . .PCd this - at length (apparantly with hindsight, in a very angry mood!) - but mostly just thinking of course. I'm sick of doing this. . received notification that the company I'd ordered the network cable on 30th November from, have refunded my 99p. High time they did something, rather than just keep telling me to keep waiting for it to turn up! They also messaged me to tell me, thus - "Hi, I have now refunded you for the item. I hope you can be honest and let us know when it does arrive. Kindest Regards". That REALLY got my back up! On the face of it, it appears all courteous, but that 'I hope you can be honest' bit struck me as totally inappropriate. Kinda 'passive aggressive'? To me - the clear inference from it is, they think I'm trying to steal from them! That's not the sort of thing you say to a customer who's just been inconvenienced for two weeks surely? Grrrrr. That didn't help my mood! . . . the postman delivered the latest morse key I'd bid for. Good enough for the money (once I'd carefully cleaned the contacts and actually made it work again!). Actually, I think I neglected to record here a day or so ago whenever it was, that the one with the slightly dodgy looking knob was also safely delivered. Happily, once I'd cleaned THAT one up a bit, it has actually become one of the best ones I have in terms of overall condition! The 'dodgy looking knob' (so it seemed in the listing photo) did turn out to be somewhat 'non-standard', but just mostly covered in grime, and once cleaned and polished up with some brasso (!!), is actually arguably BETTER than a standard one in use! (a matter of feel and personal preference perhaps anyway?) So - quite happy with that. :o) . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate . . . napped until around 6:30pm . . heavy rain showers . . TVd the news!!! Horror in the states - again. A whole class of innocent little kids executed by a nutter! Utter horror. Agony. :o( . . . D called round with his accordian mostly just for coffee and chats, with a little bit of 'noise making' in between until around 11pm . headachey. Sucked annadin. . . back to the TV, just glued to watching the breaking news from the states on the various news channels for hours. :o( . . ate bowls of cornflakes before eventually to bed before 2am.
13 - Woken around 7am by door slamming from next door! So loud, Bella got all upset and came back upstairs to her bed! Snoozed on then up around 8am. 12C in, 3C out . . .walked FGn. . gave Bella her morning anti biotic tablet which she took and ate straight from my hand without the need for messing around trying to disguise it! Cool. What a weird dog. . did a couple of loads of laundry and spent the whole rest of the morning with the door and windows open (and the temperature in the house well down into uncomfortable single fingures!) attempting a major vaccuum of mostly the living room. Moved all the furniture and vacuumed as much as I ever succeed in doing with both my useless vacuums (just 'stirring' the dust really) before then almost emptying the can of remaining flea spray all around the carpets, with a token few squirts on Bellas bed in the bedroom too. . .D called to touch base and confirm he'll be popping over Friday. . guitarred breifly before calling it quits on the latest (pointless?) flea assault . . cooked and ate two burgers in buttered bread rolls with chips followed by a square of chocolate . . .pretty soon retreated to the warmth of being wrapped in my duvet, and napped until the phone woke me around 6:20pm taking a wrong number ansaphone message from someone. . .PCd briefly. Someone from Romania now wants to be able to bid on the heavy duty 'biker' chain belt I've listed (despite having explicitely stated UK bidders only of course!) Hmmm. Not so sure about Romania. Probably go 'missing' if I try to post it there won't it? Oooer - ain't that racist! . STILL no sign of the network cable I'd ordered, so mailed the company - AGAIN! "I STILL have not received my order, despite having now 'patiently' waited LONGER then anyone should reasonably be expected to!! I await your response." . . Received a mail from someone I've had some little correspondence with in the past - but not for ages. Sadly, things had not been going well for them. I was genuinely VERY sorry to hear it - however - and this is gonna be difficult to find the words for, but it ended 'Bet your lot doesn’t seem quite so bad now eh?'. I don't get many mails (and almost never respond to any!), but over the years, I HAVE had a FEW, where people have 'shared their own misfortunes' and have passively, and sometimes openly agressively pointed out 'I should think myself lucky'. I can't help myself getting - um - 'irritated' when I get such comments - no matter how benign or even potentially well intentioned. I KNOW I'M LUCKY. I KNOW I'M IN A REMARKABLE, UNIQUE, AMAZINGLY LUCKY POSITION. I SHOULD be SO HAPPY with my circumstances. Prematurely 'retired' with a modest income for the rest of my life, at MY age - and in such a place, with my own house, even a doggy companion. It's almost like I won the lottery. Many many many others are in SUCH a worse position, I can't even comprehend the suffering 'I' would experience in their position, and am in awe that people can survive such things. I KNOW I'M SO, VERY LUCKY. I watch the news every day. Unbearable suffering beyond comprehension in every direction. I'm not trying to do a poor me and play 'top trumps' with any of it. I KNOW I'M SO, VERY LUCKY. I SHOULD be SO HAPPY! But that's actually what 'this'(journal) is all about isn't it? Isn't that obvious? Why do you think I still do this nonsense after all these years? It's because there's something unusually horribly wrong with me, which I can't understand. I KNOW I'M SO, VERY LUCKY. I SHOULD be SO HAPPY - and yet I'm not am I - (without being 'medicated outside of myself' to do so) I absolutely CANNOT feel any fulfillment, pleasure or happiness in my life , and am almost CONSTANTLY plagued with uncontrollable thoughts of emptiness and 's' ideation, etc etc - for NO 'rational' cause. Many worse off do not experience 'this' particular burdon. That's all. I KNOW I'M SO, VERY LUCKY. Being 'reminded' of it by being exposed to the hardships of others, sadly seldom has a positive impact (if only! How simple that would make things for me!) , and indeed, can actually increase my own 'difficulties' by virtue of my guilt about it, and my own empathic responses (which actually remain pretty private to ME for the most part, despite all this). If I am to be judged as just some sort of a 'poor me', drama-queen winger - well - all this was for nought. You didn't 'get it'. Just stop f**ing reading it, ehh?! . . . walked FGn . .TVd and watched a horrific Panorama show about how more and more people are losing their homes in the economic crisis etc!! Families with children, all of a sudden just thrown out of their homes for not making the mortgage for a while. The woman with breast cancer literally thrown out onto the street - and STILL weeks later, the house remained empty whilst the bank tried to sell it! Outrageous. Horrfying program. Deeply, deeply upsetting - and for me, just proved that my feelings about how soiety has gone are absolutely TOTALLY correct! Barbaric. On the heels of the e-mail I'd recieved earlier, I WAS oh SO grateful for the position in which I find myself. I DID make a LOT of sacrifices in my life to buy my own home outright - but I'm also SO lucky that I pulled it off. From an early, early age, I knew it was ALL important to have my own roof over my head. I skipped on holidays, skipped on nice stuff - put every penny into the mortage. Always did. I was always of the opinion, no matter what else happens, having a place to live is all important. (Tortoise?) Horrible to admit, even after all my recent rantings here, during that show, I found myself unwittingly starting to play the 'blame game' with the poor people in the show!!!!!!! Kinda questioning how it was possible to have previously lived such an apparantly affluent lifestyle only to somehow come out of it with nothing - like, why am I seeing all that nice stuff they own, and pictures of foreign holidays - why didn't they do without - like 'I' did!!!! You get the idea. Unpleasant nonsene. Is it human nature to start thinking in such an unpleasant way? A perverse 'Darwinesque' psychological self preservation thing? At least I rightly fought against the thoughts. Awful awful painful program to watch - and that must surely be just the very tip of the iceburg, with far worse going on every day all around. Yeah - I'm very lucky - and oh jeeze - the GUILT at having my own three bedroom home all to myself whilst watching that program (and having every intention of keeping it that way if I possibly can!)!!!!!!! Hateful-me. :o( . . . Mum called to touch base and talk about the program, a little upset and also feeling 'lucky'. . followed that up by watching Question Time, which was probably hardly the best thing to do!! I'm not keen on 'Will Self' I think his name is, but boy, he sure does have a mind that seems to be able to strip away all the political crap and get to the root of an issue. Impressive. . . TVd/PCd . . ate a banana and biscuits before to bed before 3am.
12 - Up around 8:30am. 13C in, 4C out and breezey. . walked FGn. Uncomfortable cold breeze! . .gave Bella her first antibiotic tablet and the last bit of defrosted bone . . PCd and finalised my massive shopping order and selected delivery for next Tuesday. Circa 282 - THE biggest shopping bill EVER!!!!!!!!! (although DOES include some wine, and even tobacco on this occasion. May well have to be the last time I get wine.) Rang up hoping to ensure I actually GET all of what I'd ordered (the dog food mostly of course) . . PCd for ages tending to and answering absurd e-bay listing questions and the like. FAR more trouble and time than its all worth - definitely! :o( . . ate a tin of soup with four crusts of bread followed by a square of chocolate . . napped until around 6:45pm . . sat in waiting for the local club net morse practice, which DIDN'T happen again of course. Humph. Couldn't bear to listen to the pointless dragged out waffling of the actual net. Walked FGn in the cold. Returned with a stone from alongside the path to the field! There are quite a few there alongside a high wall, just laying in the mud amongst the weeds, which could well go 'missing' unnoticed. Not sure my guilt will allow. Feels VERY wrong walking home just carrying a rock in my hand like that . . sat in waiting for a morse key auction to end on e-bay. Messed up my 'snipe' in the last few seconds through lack of concentration, didn't get my bid in in time, and missed probably wining it . . .TVd the night away, although much of that time was spent brushing and grooming Bella!! That fine toothed flea comb I bought really does seem to be largely an extremely expensive waste of money methinks. I can see how it 'could' work on nice straight cat hair, but never on this weird wool like underfur Bella has. Hellish trying to get it to actually run through. Having said that, once I HAVE spent hours giving it my best shot, and dragged out great clumps of fur to fill the bin, she DOES seem to end up with a lovely silky smooth coat. What is particularly shocking is the amount of little 'scabs' and bits of skin from healing old flea bites which it reveals and helps dislodge. The carpet ended up looking as though I'd spilled a part bag of sugar, with all her 'dandruff'!! Poor dog. I am deserving of criticism, for having unwittingly allowed it to get so bad and for her to obviously have suffered itchy and scratchy so much. . .drank a glass of red wine. Ate a pastry slice, crisps, a couple of bananas and a bit of chocolate before to bed around 2am.
11 - Up around 7am. 13C in, 0C out. Woke at the PC listening to the radio as it picked up a signal and halted scanning. I've bumped into and endured listening to several conversations by different radio amatures of late (both local and more distant), which have had the result of really getting my back up and making me less and less inclined to actually want to ever go on and speak to anyone!! One of our various licencing conditions is, that we shouldn't talk politics - nevertheless, without going into detail, what I KEEP on bumping into of late is people more than willing to spontaneously start venomously ranting on at length about how benefit claimants are all just workshy spongers. They go on about how THEY have worked hard all their lives only to be getting squeezed by the current economic situation and all the cutbacks etc, whilst people who have 'never' worked are living in the lap of luxury on benefits - and they should all just have their benefits stopped!! I'm not on benefits of course, and have yet to receive a single penny from the state for anything, but I sure know what it's like to try to get by on a low income. So low, I now feel I have much more in common with the unemployed and people who ARE on benefits, than with any of those lucky people who aren't. There WILL be the exceptions OF COURSE, but I simply do not believe there are the masses of 'scroungers' all living the high life on handouts, which many of the politically right wing biased papers and politicians would have one believe. I've certainly NEVER met any - and that's going back in time. Things are FAR worse for claimants these days. It's just blatant political propoganda - and yet it appears that most people lucky enough to not need benefits, are totally swallowing it, becoming more and more right wing and less and less inclined to have ANY feeling for the very real suffering of others. I know what it's like to have absolutely NO CHOICE but to count every penny, be cold all throughout the winter, to ration my food, smoke instead of eat, to think twice about pulling the flush because of the water bill, to pull my own teeth out, etc etc - and yet 'I' AM incredibly lucky and 'well off' in comparison to most (claimants). The true extent of THEIR suffering and hardships I can only guess at. (I WOULD NOT survive it!) I with all my pathetic faults am at least intelligent enough, to recognise that! I am utterly appalled and disgusted that so much of mainstream society now seems so willing to quite literally 'write off' anyone who isn't fortunate enough to command their level of income. So what exactly is supposed to happen to someone who hasn't an income if you stop their benefits? Where are they to sleep? What are they to eat? How are they ALWAYS somehow to blame for their impossible predicament - born into a blatantly unsustainable economic system entirely reflecting the barbarism of the jungle where the few lucky rich and powerful get ever richer and more and more powerful by bleeding the poorer dry? "It isn't luck - I've worked hard for what I've acheived." Oh yeah? Really? How hard? How much harder than anyone else? How many hours in YOUR day? Aren't you maybe just 'lucky'? Just lucky you were born with enough of an IQ to get a foot up? Lucky enough to have been born into a circumstance that instilled the appropriate social skills and values to enable having a good chance of being able to make a go of things? Lucky to have got that job when and where you did? Lucky not have had fateful catastrophic misfortune befall you along the way? Lucky not have been struck down by ill health? Lucky not have lost your job, your home, your friends, your family - your life! Lucky, lucky, lucky! You didn't make it all happen for you. No one is that powerful. How is that SO many people steadfastly believe it couldn't possibly happen to them - and blame, and ignor the suffering of those for whom it has?? Are they really prepared to see the brutality of the jungle brought back to our society? The streets of this country (as so many others are) littered with the desperate, homeless, beggars, sick, dying? . Ok - so I'm 'damaged' and a selfish recluse and all, but just by watching the news and Question time, etc on TV, and by reading this and that on the internet, by talking to older people, I've become aware of how society has increasingly moved in this selfish self centred right wing direction. VERY much so in the last couple of decades. Locked in my reclusive 'lucky' little bubble, I'd hoped I was wrong and that the vast majority of people 'out there' weren't like that - but now I keep bumping into people on the radio unashamedly regurgitating the same poisonous rhetoric. It IS mainstream! I'm in danger of ranting on here lots more - but I know it counts for nothing. I haven't sufficient intelligence or literacy or incisiveness of mind to fully understand or be able to explain enough to be understood. If you don't 'get it', likely something REALLY bad is gonna have to happen in your life before you do, and then, oh boy, what a world of suffering. . <give up thinking for yourself! That's the answer. Ok, I give up ranting>. . . walked FGn. Bad timing. All the little kids were on their way to school. Stopped and picked up some childs fingerless gloves that had been dropped, and carefully placed them over the top of a couple of small fence posts around the play area. Played ball and then got chatting to dog walker S about the job I'd recently heard she's started doing. She has MS and other health issues, and hasn't worked for a while through no fault of her own. She was subjected to the beginnings of the brutaly calous system which now automatically determines that EVERYONE is 'fit to work', no matter what their reality. The inevitable slashing of her 'just surviving' benefits. After much fear and worry, and despite her medical situation and the pain she endures, she's managed to succeed (for the moment at least) in getting a job at a local care home. Working two 12 hour night shifts per week in a home 'for the living dead' - old people with alzheimers, dementia, etc. (What else is there around here? Nothing of course.) She told me how it involved changing nappies and cleaning up after their inconinance etc. How one of the people had died on one of the nights she worked, and she'd had to help clean and prepare the body for removal! She'd been in pain and had difficulty walking the day after one such shift. Minimum wage. . . oh god - how lucky I am not to be forced to do such a thing - not quite yet. Oh god, how I fear the future - when my savings are gone and my pension doesn't cover the absolute minimum basics - which it actually may not be already (but for Mum's unrequested generosity - food donations and all). :o( . . . when I walked back, the gloves I'd picked up and carefully placed on the fence posts had been pulled back off and thrown on the ground into the long grass by someone!!? ("Oh look - someones lost their gloves. Hah hah hah - yeah - f*** 'em - hah hah hah!"?) I left them there in despair. :o( . . . PCd aimlessly for a while before then knuckling down to reluctantly modifying my e-bay listing for the vintage Diabolo, to enable foreign bidders, so a guy from Denmark (looks to be a collector) who'd mailed me wanting it, could bid on it . . . Showered and got clean (for the vets' benefit later). . PCd and ended up starting to do some online shopping. Touched base with Mum about some soap powder she'd said she wanted me to try to get for her . . .all up-tight (why oh why oh why!!!) waiting for the hours to pass before my 2:20pm vet appointment. . eventually set off early (as always, no matter what the 'appointment') and walked with Bella (and a coffee) across town to see the vet. Took a slightly different route to my normal, and as it turned out, ended up going past the house across the valley which I can see from home, which every year is fully outlined with Christmas lights (right around the entire structure including the top of the roof!) and which has also developed some sort fo enormous mast in its back garden. That mast has been flying a flag for most of the year. The flag has now been replaced with an enormous illuminated star! Close up - the house had a sign on its front suggesting the lights were somehow a fundraising thing in aid of the RNLI. The big, very tall mast out back (interesting to me to see what it was and how it had been done from a 'jealous' amateur radio/antennas perspective) turned out to be what looked like a motorway lamppost without the top on. A HUGE great thing, and right up against a shipping container in their back garden! Sadly I couldn't see how it was actually secured to the ground. Boy oh boy oh boy, wouldn't it be nice to have one of those in the back garden for putting an aerial on. How on earth did they managed to transport all that there up these little streets, and it must've taken a substantial crane to get it all into their back garden!?? Extraordinary. . arrived at the vets at least twenty minutes early and sat outside for a ciggie before going in, 'just' as the vet was about to come out to get us (still earlier than the appointment). I explained what was going on with her and her constant skin irritation, and the damage she'd caused to her ear(s) with her scratching, etc, said I hadn't seen any fleas for a while, and asked about the possibility of mites or some such. He looked her over and quickly said that she was presenting with the symptoms of classic flea infestation rather than anything else. He then even said he just saw one! Damn, damn, DAMN!!! (How come 'I've' not been able to find any for a while? Are my eyes just THAT bad now?!?). So there I was - despite all my efforts to combat them and avoid being sucked in to enormous bills, just like 'Alien', she STILL has them, and I was now trapped in my worst nightmare of being in the hands of the vet. .the vet determined that the booster jabs would have to wait until after the flea thing had been taken care of. Her scratched ear was likely to get infected so he was going to pescribe a course of antibiotics, some ear drops and also give her an injection to relieve her desire to keep scratching. To tackle killing the fleas was either going to be a super duper expensive flea collar that can only be gotten from a vet (which should allegedly last MANY months), or weekly injections I 'think' he said. I elected to go for the collar, mostly because it seemed less invasive kinda - but I admit, also because I imagined it 'may' be just a little cheaper! . Bella took her injection without complaint. Instructed to see how things develop and return in around two weeks. . Once we'd been frustratingly kept hanging around for ages whilst their glitched computer system eventually re-booted, I eventually had and paid my bill. 92.17. F**K!!!!!!! :o( 24.50 consultation; 7.80 Dexafort injection; 17.47 Rilexine tablets; 10.32 Canaural drops; 32.08 Seresto flea collar. Jeezuz. The best part of an entire weeks income - just like that - and that's probably only the start - and doesn't even address the cost of her booster jabs which will still be due. Jeezuz!!!!!!!!! :o( . sat outside for a ciggie to recover, actually feeling really quite disconnected and shell-shocked. How many bills like that can I cope with - and how often? We're talking about the never ending 'Alien' saga here, which could very well run and run for months (forever?) - just in time for a whole new infestation next summer, and possibly EVERY time we go out? The vet must think it's Christmas . . sat on that wall outside the vets for quiet a while, involuntarily desperately trying to think of a way to make money. ANY way! Look at the way I become a gibbering idiot with the SLIGHTEST amount of 'stress' (things which aren't even regarded as in any way stressful, by others!) - what possible work could I actually now manage to do? What 'use' could I possibly EVER be to ANYONE for ANYTHING? NO ONE in their right minds would 'employ' ME! And what jobs are there anywhere near here anyway? Changing diapers and caring for 'the living dead'? . And all such thoughts are utter nonsense anyway until I've managed to kick my smoking addiction!!! Yeah - like I'm suddenly gonna be able to do THAT, just like that. :o( . I involuntarily rehearsed selling my radios on e-bay. :o( . . eventually managed to get up off that wall and head back. . On the way back down towards the harbour, I popped in the little local pet store as we passed. Despite the shocking expense, I went ahead and paid 5.29(!!) for a 'Premo Professional Grooming' fine tooth flea comb with a handle. Never tried one of those before, but I've really reached the point where I have to try absolutely everything haven't I - or end up with ALL my remaining money going to the vet!! . .back through town and up to FGn for my coffee and some ball play and more sitting feeling strangely s numb and shell-shocked . . gave Bella a defrosted bone out in the garden. . . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps, ritz crackers and a square of chocolate . . Utterly worn out by the 'stress' of the vet visit! The whole process of reading instructions, fitting her flea collar and starting her tablets and eardrops etc etc is gonna have to wait until tomorrow. Napped until the alarm at 7pm . . PCd. Waited at the PC to bid on an e-bay auction I've been watching. Succeeded in bagging another 8amp morse key for 11.02 inc postage . That's 'mission creep'!!! I really shouldn't be going above 10! Trouble is, they seem to be pretty few and far between at the moment, and all going for a few s more than that. . skipped the walk . . Mum called to see how the vet visit went. Told her the bad news. . had my first go at Bella with the flea comb, and with my glasses on having a REAL good look all over her. Oh my god what a nightmare THAT was! It says suitable for dogs on the packet, but it was the hardest thing imaginable to actually get that comb to run through her soft fluffy underhair. I hurt her on more than one occassion! Took lots of real physical effort (actually quite good for keeping warm) and was unbelievably time consuming, but at length it WAS indeed eventualy possible to start making some progress. ('Like painting the Forth Road bridge with a mascarra brush', springs to mind.) Despite having already ended up with half a bin-full of Bellas soft downy underfur, the comb did NOT at any stage 'collect up' a single flea like it's supposed to, as far as I could see! I really, REALLY started to think the vets' determination she still had fleas was entirely wrong, and I'd just been lumbered with that huge bill for nothing! A little later I DID finally actually see one on her. It scurried away and the (useless?) comb couldn't possibly keep up. :o( . . .touched base with Sis1 to say happy birthday. Chatted for quite a while before I suddenly remembered she's done away with her landline phone and was on her mobile! Cheaper for HER perhaps, but absolutely NOT for anyone calling her like I'd just done - at length! From recent experience, that one little call will likely now DOUBLE my monthly phone bill!!! Sh*t! :o( . . . . TVd/guitarred the evening away . .ate grated cheese, crisps and mayo sandwiches followed by biscuits . . to bed around 2am. s
10 - Up around 7:50am. 13C in, 3C out. Sunny. PCd - and back to that weird unhealthy thing of frequently looking at my own e-bay listings, trying to imagine 'what others may see in them' kinda! . . walked FGn in the sun and then carried on down town for a tour of the charity shops (actually looking for anything with small black knobs on!! lol) . . PCd. Would you F**ing well believe it! After all that time and effort polishing up the brass bullet belt and then meticulously photographing and listing it, e-bay have removed it because it contravenes their nonsense policy on weapons and ammunition etc. God that is SO frustrating and politically-correct stupid. Really makes me angry. Absolutely fuming, but went ahead and removed the listing for a bullet pendant aswell, since their bound to have an issue with that too, and if I keep on having such issues, my account could get suspended. Grrrrrr. . and while I'm in the mood to be angry and just sick and tired of EVERYTHING - where the hell IS that damned network cable I ordered? That's over a week now! FFS . . .PCd a bit of this - but feeling increasingly down and SO not in the mood to be doing so. I'm really VERY down, deep down, and have been for quite a while now. Everything I do (and lets face it, that's little more than occassionaly being awake) is just superficial 'going through the motions'. . the postman came and went and still no cable. Attempted to contact the seller via e-bay. . PCd more of this while monitoring the radios. A crewman with a hand injury was airlifted by helicopter Rescue 106 from MSC Tanzania (on her way to New York) and taken to Dorchester hospital around 1:45pm . . rang the vet and made an appointment for tomorrow (they must have had a cancellation, for me to be able to get in so quick). They'd sent me a reminder that Bella's booster vaccinations are due. Despite the fact I think those 'booster' jabs are a pointless con to extort money out of me, it's good I have the excuse to force me to go see the vet. I want an expert opinion about Bella's ongoing skin irritation. She's still scratching loads, (haven't seen any evidence of fleas for a while) and whenever my back is turned (most mornings when I wake up at the PC and she remains downstairs), she'll gnaw herself quite literally raw!! She's recently scratched one of her ears so much, she's made it all bloody and painful!! Something seriously not right - and I've NO idea how to tackle it. Yep - it'll be good to see a vet to have an opinion on whether or not it's maybe some sort of mite thing. If it's STILL judged to be fleas (even though I can't see any) - then I think I need some advise/help with that too! . . .ate a banana, TVd for a bit and then just gave up and returned to bed . . napped until around 5:30pm . . .walked BGdns under the stars. A cold, cold wind. . . TVd and ate four mum donated mince pies . .Mum called to touch base . . . ate a chunk of spam, crisps, ritz crackers and a lump of cheese. I just couldn't be bothered to 'do' food. . TVd until bed at 2am.
9 - Up around 8:10am. 14C in, 6C out. Overcast and breezy. . couldn't resist - bid on and won an 8amp type morse key for 9.50. Actually NOT a good price because, despite it looking in very good nic otherwise, it obviously needs a replacement knob. You just can't get those knobs, (I've long needed one for a different key I have, have searched and have failed to find any suitable) so I'm gonna have a problem there! . . . walked FGn. . .straight back home to carry on poking at all my silly bits of junk for listing on e-bay. .spent AGES polishing up an old (7.62mm) bullet belt I've had for years. Also messed with the bullet on a chain pendant I made when I was younger. Used the blow lamp to solder the bullet and get it firmly fixed back into the top of the cartridge before then spending ages polishing all that back up. All looked prettyy damn good in the listing photos once I'd finished. I can't just throw it all away can I! . . used the wire brush drill attachment out in the garden to polish up the heavy 'biker' chain belt I've also had for years. . . Took photos of more bits and pieces etc etc. Hours and hours of silly silly time consuming nonsense. Jeezuz - I sure put some work into listing these silly bits of nonsense. It's just NEVER worth all this effort!!! . . finally retreated to the PC to review all the photos and knock up the final collage of images for the e-bay listing for each of the things. . moved on to weighing everything with the kitchen scales and then used the post office price finder website to work out what postage to go for and charge on everything. STILL at it all by gone 7pm!!!!!! . . skipped the walk and let Bella use the garden and fed her and grabbed a quick bite myself. Ate a Mum donated sausage roll, crisps, two mini mince pies and chocolate biscuits in front the TV before then straight back to the PC . . spent the whole rest of the evening actually FINALLY getting things actually listed on e-bay. What an eclectic bunch of absolute rubbish it all is! I can't imagine much of it selling at all - thanks to the outrageous postage costs. :o( . . exhausted!! TVd . . ate a couple of fried spam buttered finger bread rolls and some chocolate before to bed around 1am. Astronomer 'legend' Patrick Moore died this day. :o( Sad news - mixed with envy.
8 - Up around 9am. 13C in, 5C out. Sunny, and moreover, without the wind. . walked FGn . . another free listings weekend on e-bay - but they only just informed me! . poked around sorting out possible e-bayable stuff . . carried the heavy glass panel door I've had propped up in the hallway for months, up to the garage. I'll probably try to list/sell that at some point, but feel obliged before I do, to do a little work on the old hinge and lock holes/scars. Trouble with that catch 22 is, I just can't be bothered. Actually, the 'I just can't be bothered' pretty much sums up my entire attitude towards life at the moment!!! :o( . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations . . . poked at some of my paltry posessions and photo'd a few for e-bay listing. Messed around for AGES with an old Golden Virginia logod solid-brass zippo-style lighter. Why oh why oh WHY do people think it's a good idea to laquer brass stuff for goodness sake!!!!! As ALWAYS happens, the laquer on that lighter had failed and started to make it look a real corroded mess (even though its never really been used), so I spent ages removing it all and getting it back to polished bare brass so I could photo it looking nice. . . walked FGn early around 5:30pm. Cold and clear. Saw just one minor 'shooting star'. Took a huge risk and walked Bella a good way back (before we reached the roads) without her lead on!!! . . . PCd/guitarred/TVd . . finally ate ham rolls, crisps, banana, a whole packet of fig rolls . . TVd and actually sat through the film 'Predators' which was on, and which I've never seen before. Okish in parts . . . to bed around 1am.s
7 - Up around 8:50am. 13C in, 6C out. Sunny. . walked FGn in the strong biting cold northerly wind. Back via the local store for a few supplies and then the newsagent for tobacco (a small fortune I SO cannot afford!). :o( . . . just sat around feeling cold and miserable. . did vacuuming chores . .popped into the garden and retrieved from the middle of the lawn what turned out to be a pair of womens nickers! Embarassing for one of us. ME mostly!! The 'gale' had blown them off the neighbours clothes line I presume. Hung them on the fence post for them to notice. . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate two slices of bacon, two eggs, chips and half a tin of baked beans. . . slept the rest of the afternoon away, dreaming much, until the alarm at 6:30pm . .skipped the walk for no reason other than I was so cold and just didn't want to have to bother! :o( . . . TVd . . PCd. Bumped into a news item saying that a nurse at the hospital where pregnant Kate was being treated for morning sickness, had been found dead - apparantly a suicide as a result of the 'prank' phone call she'd taken from an Australian radio station. Wow - that made me so, SO sad - and angry. I've always HATED those 'prank call' type of things. NEVER understood why people thought they were 'amusing', 'entertaining' and acceptable. The word 'prank' has never seemed appropriate to me. Seems to somehow belittle and dismiss the significance of what's REALLY going on. And what exactly IS actually going on when people do such things? For me, its a nauseating and deceitful way of delighting in someone elses humiliation and ridicule, without a hint of a thought for the distress they are liable to be causing. It's an act of 'aggression' based on lieing - with a bit of a 'mob' mentality (THE worst thing EVER) thrown in there too. It's just SO f**ing wrong - I just don't understand why SO many people think it's acceptable. Why isn't such stuff simply against the law generally - never mind the fact that on this occasion, someone impersonated the Queen? Time was when such a thing would have surely been regarded as treason and worthy of the death penalty? . I could try to continue on about all of that at length, but I just can't put my feelings into appropriate words. I am just so, SO deeply sorry for that woman and her family. :o( (Funny thing is, assuming people have woken up to whats been done, I have no doubt that sooner or later, I'll probably be feeling sorry for the radio presenters who did it, because the 'mob' is fickle, and no-ones friend.) I LOATH HUMANITY! . .<upset> . . touched base with Mum to see if she'd heard the news, and spoke about the nurse thing for a bit . . . PCd until early . . ate spam sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate . . to bed around 3am.
6 - Poor broken sleep then woken around 8:40am by the sound of the bin men. 13C in, 1C out. Frosty and a threatening covering of grey cloud. . . walked FGn . . raked, swept and eventually managed to clear all the fallen leaves littering the back garden. Filled much of the newly aquired empty space in my compost bin straight away. Plenty more leaves lingering on the tree, so I'll only have to do it all again pretty soon . . climbed atop my small step ladder and had a bit of a look at the top of the conservatory roof, just to try to see why it has begun to leak SO badly. There was nothing I could easily do anything about. Aside from the pre-existing issues which have always been a cause for some water ingress, it would appear that all the rubber seals on the roof panel joining bars have all now perished and lifted - which of course means that all the rainwater which hhits the slope now just runs straight in between the gaps. There's no point in spending a penny on trying to botch it. The WHOLE wooden conservatory is rotten and just falling to bits. Just needs to be all knocked down - and replaced with what, and how? !!!! . ended up just sitting around in the cold damp conservatory surrounded by all the containers I've put down to catch the rainwater, feeling utterly miserable and frankly 'beaten'. :o( . . PCd a bit . .cleared empty boxs and just a little bit of cluttering 'stuff' up into the attic temporarily out of the way. . ate ham, mayo, grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, ritz, banana and chocolate . . napped until 6:30pm . .rain . Mum called to touch base . . PCd . . TVd/guitarred . . ate biscuits and a banana . .BB called to touch base . . TVd/PCd until around 5am before bed!
5 - Woke earlier, snoozed on, then up around 7:45am. 13C in, 4C out. . walked FGn. . PCd a bit looking up wiring info on mics etc, and grabbed and saved relevant extracts/images I'll need when I come to have a go at the conversion cable experiment . . . just sat around unable to function, feeling VERY down and oh SO cold. . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps, ritz crackers, a banana and chocolate . .returned to bed and slept the afternoon away until around 6:40pm . . TVd a bit and then sat in at the radios, quietly waiting for the local club net practice slow morse. Wasted my time because it didn't happen again. . . walked BGdns with a coffee, in the near freezing temperatures under a clear, star-filled sky (with an extra layer of jogging bottoms on under my trousers!). Got Bellas ball play out of the way and then sat for ages on the higher seat with cigs and coffee, listening to the net guys chatting on the radio. Much gibberish . . very cold by the time we returned home . . TVd with the gas fire up high for quite a while, struggling to warm the place up just a bit. (Wish the neighbours would turn their heating up!) Even with the fire on for ages, I NEVER get to see even 20C in the room. I'm really starting to have a bit of a problem always feeling cold like this for so many months of the year. :o( . . PCd for a few hours . . cooked and ate two slices of bacon, two eggs, chips and half a tin of baked beans around 1:30am. . .TVd until to bed around 3am.
4 - Up around 7:50am. 14C in, 4C out. Sunny spells and showers . .and a heavy shower just as I was about to leave the house! . . walked FGn in full weather gear only to miss the rain pretty much . . . knuckled down and spent the morning and upto around 2:30pm in the afternoon working on the four morse-code practice oscillator boxes. (It rained most of that time - and most of that rain came INTO the conservatory through the increasingly seive-like leaking roof!! :o( ) Succeeded in getting all the holes drilled for the tone and volume controls, and also got holes drilled for the key-in and line-out sockets on each of the project boxes. Also sorted out some suitable nuts and bolts and got the last key temporarily bolted in place on the box lid. So - in theory, the four boxes and keys at least, are all ready to be 'fitted out' at some time in the future. Maybe having them all sat there waiting like that now, will encourage me to return to my components and breadboard experiments, with a view to trying to improve on what I've already acheived in terms of the actual oscillator circuit etc! I'm actually NOT looking forward to that - and WILL end up having to buy a few more components. It can wait - I'm in no hurry. . yayy - part way through working on drilling the boxes, the postman delivered the two eight-pin floating mic line sockets I'd ordered. The old Yaesu MD-1 base-mic lead/plug fits them fine, so that's part the way there. Just need to get my hands on that ethernet cable I've ordered, and then get serious with circuit diagrams to work out the pin connections etc! I'm actually quite eager to give it a go. . . PCd this . . .ate ham and mayo sandwiches, crisps, ritz crackers, banana and chocolate . . napped . . TVd/radiod locally . .touched base with Mum - who IS now having a bit of a painful problem with her leg. . TVd . . ate the last of yesterdays cheesey mushrooms concoction with four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate and biscuits. . . TVd until bed at 2am.
3 - Up around 7:35am. 14C in, 9C out and grey. . woke at the PC as usual before 'starting' to package up the e-bay stuff I need to post today. . walked FGn . . back to the PC and finished off packing and addressing everything up before then walking with Bella up to the local post office and getting it gone. Yayy - no mistakes on the postage and everything within budget for a change. . . PCd and notified people stuff had been dispatched and updated my ebay etc . . PCd this at length . . .reheated in the microwave the burger in a bun from yesterday and ate it with some chips. Actually quite a success. . . napped the rest of the afternoon away until just before the alarm at 6:30pm . . . walked FGn in the cold dark with just a hint of a rain shower on the way out . . . TVd/PCd trawling through e-bay listings and the like . . . TVd and drank a glass and a bit of red wine. . cooked up the going off/cheap mushrooms I bought yesterday with four slices of chopped bacon, a tin of mushroom soup and some grated cheese, and ate half with two buttered bread finger rolls . . to bed before 2am.
2 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am. 13C in, 3C out with a brief bit of sun between the increasing cloud cover. . . walked FGn . and back via the local store for supplies (and a pack of quarter pound burgers, which THEY did have) . . PCd briefly . . I HAD intended to try to clear up and sort out all manner of junk and clutter and boxes all around the house, but instead, I suddenly ended up messing around with my morse code key 'collection'! I've already spent a whole bunch of money on 'parts' (littering the house!), and have at least four '8 amp' type keys fit for the purpose, so sooner or later, I AM going to be trying to make up copies of my morse code practice oscillator (of which I'm SO fond). I already know I'll NEVER make a profit on them or even break even IF I come to sell them, but I'm SO fond of the one I've already made, and really do see it almost as a piece of art, I figure I'm already 'stepped in so deep' with the s investment in parts, I may as well push on and aim to get them made at some point. IF I can manage to make a few copies - and then sell them for whatever I can get (probably making a few s loss on each?!!), if nothing else, I'll be clawing back 'some' of my investment. Strangely, I'm not 'overly' upset by the prospect of the loss!!!!!!?????? lol Why? As I've said before, 'I' think what I've made is VERY unique and cool. Giving a vintage key a new lease of life, it's compact, self contained, 'pretty' to look at and handle, works/beeps well enough to more than fulfil its modest purpose (despite the 'less than perfect' drawbacks I'm still intending to work on - the weird 'non-linear' volume adjustment and no earphone socket mostly). Whatever my losses, I kinda like the idea of being able to give someone else who's eagerly after a practice oscillator (like I was), the chance to play with one like THIS, and maybe grow to appreciate it as I do - and look at all the others on the market and think nawww - yeah, this IS a pretty cool one. lololol 'Art' for arts sake? Anyway - I ended up spending the WHOLE rest of the day 'starting' working on copies. Concentrated on the time consuming business of modifying and removing all the unwanted lugs inside the project boxes (hot knife on the gas stove), drilling the circle of hidden speaker holes (using my sink strainer template), and then getting the mounting holes for the morse key drilled and the key actually bolted to the top of the box - all that x 3 - and another project box ready to go, but held up by needing to sort out and cut down to size more nuts and bolts to mount the other key. Hours of work - and that's only the start! I still have to drill all the VERY awkward and PRECISE holes for the volume/tone controls and line out/key sockets!! Four holes for each box!! (and ANY fraction of a millimeter mistakes with any of those, and the box is immediately fit for the bin!! Eeek.) That'll easily take a whole nother day!! I MUST be nuts! lololol . . . increasingly grey and dark, and the forecast rain arrived by the afternoon. . .eventually called it quits for the day and tidied up a little around 6pm! . . PCd briefly . . raining so skipped the walk. . . TVd/guitarred . .Felt weird and I've no idea why. Felt very unsettled and frankly, paranoid for some reason!?? (Lack of food? Inhalation of the fumes from those plastic project boxes when I was melting the lugs with my hot knife on the stove? Inhalation of bits of the burning plastic that got into my tobacoo tin when drilling the speaker holes??). . PCd and checked after the end of all my latest e-bay listings. Really disappointing that SO many of the things did NOT sell. Only three did. BEFORE adding postage costs, the three vintage post office savings bank money boxes sold for 6.01, the Moonraker scanner pre-amplifier sold for 18 (a substantial loss!), and the little handful of Polish currency sold for a VERY suprising 8.50. That last one intrigues me. Including the postage, that guy gave 11.50 for 55Z 33G of Polish currency. Did I make a mistake when I tried to look up what that 'could' be worth before I listed it? I thought it was only around a tenner? (Maybe the buy/sell/conversion/commission costs mean it makes sense if your going there?) Oh well - I'm just glad to be free of it at last. One less thing. .Hmmmm - what to do with all the stuff that didn't sell? Seems rather pointless re-listing any of it, for it not to sell again. Sadly a combination of 'binable' and 'charity shopable' I guess. It's all just gonna end up cluttering up the house for ages longer isn't it! :o( . . . ate a mum donated iced bun and half a pack of some other cake slices. .ate three quarter pound burgers in buttered bread rolls. I'd cooked four but couldn't manage them all, so put one back in the fridge to try to reheat some time! . . TVd/PCd until bed at 2am. s
1 - Up just before 9am. 13C in, 2C out and sunny. . . walked FGn . . did laundry and vacuuming chores . . Mum called in with the papers and just a few food donations. Her leg still seems to be doing ok, but of course we won't really know what shape its in until all the bandages come off . She was told not remove them for a week (which seems like a long time to me)!?. . ate a chicken pastry slice with chips . . napped until around 6:30pm . . walked FGn and back via town. Went in every mini supermarket (three) looking for frozen Birds Eye quarter pound burgers, but none in any of them!? . . PCd briefly checking on ebay listings. Most of my last lot of listings are NOT selling! All those hours of work doing the photos and listings and all - for nothing! :o( . . drank a glass of red wine and TVd the evening away . . ate a couple of corned beef finger rolls, crisps, ritz crackers, banana and a little chocolate . . to bed around 1am or earlier.