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December
31
- Woken before 8am by piano playing. 15C in, 6C out. Blue sky with BIG shower clouds! . . . walked BGdns and just hung around down there for quite a few hours, filming anything that moved on the water . . . PCd still image posts of the earlier footage to Facebook for hours . . .rished to cook, and ate two quarter pound burgers in baps with a large plate of fried chopped onion, mushrooms and cheese. . DF called in (with biscuits) for arguments, and to talk almost exclusively about himself and his opinions on everything (when not ignoring me and poking at his mobile phone) until gone midnight. Jeeze - what a way to spend New Years eve! I SO should have said no, and just spent it on my own, as ever. :o( . . thankfully very soon after midnight he went. Ended up sitting on the cold step out front for quite a while, listening to the church bells, distant hullabaloo and watching the fireworks, etc, etc . . TVd, recovering from the high price I pay for such company, until around 2:30am before bed.
30 - Woke earlier, up around 9am. 15C in, 11C out. Grey and blowing a gale . . . walked BGdns in full waterproofs in the horizontal rain! Sheltered in a gun emplacement for ages. Plenty of rain and blowing a gale, but as is so often the case here, because of the SSW type wind direction, the sea and nearby coastline was pretty much a dead flat calm. (A VERY different story across the bay, with big waves along the Torquay coastline, but all out of sight in the very poor visibility.) Eventually climbed up the paths and sat under the roof for my coffee before eventually heading home. . TVd for a brief while, recovering from the very unpleasant walk. . PCd this - but boy, am I WAY behind with it, and frankly, I REALLY don't want to be sat here having to try to sort it all out at the moment!! I'm just far more interested in poking at bits of HD camcorder video. lol . Actually, I've been SO consumed with playing with the damned thing, I'm behind with LOADS of stuff, and just need to get on with other things (like eating and getting clean!) for a bit!! . . messed around on the PC for a ludicrous amount of time acheiving nothing. Even ended up listening to some Motorhead music for the first time in years! So much for trying to catch-up with stuff to do around the place! . . . TVd . . ate a bowl of going cheap/off chopped mushrooms, onion and grated cheese all cooked, melted and mixed together. Followed that with a banana and a large number of biscuits . . . to bed around 1am.
-//UNFINISHED//-

29 - Up around 8am. 15C in, 6C out. An almost clear sky, sunny start. . woke at the PC as usual and bumped into news reports that Lemmy (Motorhead) has died! :o( . . . walked BGdns and just sat around filming stuff for absolutely AGES. Rainbows, a guy flying a drone, coasteers, passing aircraft, boats, a tug towing a huge barge, etc, etc, etc.

All throughout Christmas, the poor crew of Dutch registered tug MTS Viscount have been towing a huge barge around Lyme Bay, presumably awaiting an improvement in the weather before continuing their passage (to Italy I think). Presumably because of tonight's forecast storm, today they finally risked towing the barge actually into the shelter of Torbay! Another capture of the optical illusion of the barge appearing to be towing away the Ore Stone and Thatchers Rock. lol

For the first time since I've had it, I actually ran the battery completely down flat - which has given me my first real feel for how much duration it affords, and how it acts when it dies in use, etc. Not 'bad', all things considered, but nowhere near enough for peace of mind, or some of the things I've filmed in the past. Inevitably at some point, I AM gonna have to bite the bullet and buy at least another. The bad news with that is, there aren't any cheaper alternatives, and they cost something like a quarter of the cost of the camera! Outrageous! :o( . . . eventually back home gone 2pm again! . . . PCd, reviewing footage, etc. A shout was going on, on the coastal path round towards Kingswear. Monitored developments on the radios, and even frequently ended up on the doorstep straining to locate sight or sound of the helicopters.

Filmed the rescue helicopter as it flew over the house on its way to the Torquay landing site, but only managed 'just' enough for a still image or two . . .PCd for HOURS more, posting LOADS of images to Facebook pages etc! I AM totally overdoing Facebook type posts at the moment! Trouble is, I really am still totally 'getting-off' on what that new camcorder can do, and having a couple of Facebook pages to share things with an audience, has become something of a hand-in-hand addiction. The down side of this latest obsession, is the amount of time it's all taking.

Read a post on Facebook of the sad news of the death of a local guy (prolific photographer) I'd spoken to on several ocassions, particularly this last summer when I was filming the swallows, etc, etc. :o(

. .DF called, inviting himself round on New Years eve! . . . ate a chunk of spam chopped ham and pork stuff with crisps, banana and biscuits. Not enough, but I was just too tired to 'do' anything else - again!! . . to bed around 1:30am.
28 - Up around 8am. 15C in, 10C out. Windy again/still but dry at least . . .walked BGdns, down to the harbour for my coffee, and then on round and out towards the marina to have a look at a lifeboat moored up there. Turned out to be The St Ives lifeboat

Carried on out to the breakwater and sat around on it for a while.

back to the harbour, BGdns, and eventually home via the store. . .PCd for hours . . . TVd . . .ate left over spam and mixed veg together with all the remaining Ritz crackers, a banana, and a little chocolate. Immediately fell asleep in the chair with the TV and fire still on! Woke and to bed around 1:30am. Couldn't get back to sleep and tossed and turned for ages.
27 - Up around 8am. 16C in, 12C out. Wind and rain to start again. . . walked BGdns gone 9am after the rain had stopped. It may have stopped raining, but it was all still very damp and misty grey out. Sat around on the usual lower seat for quite a while. All very quiet aroundabout. . Eventually carried on down to the harbour to sit under the old fish market roof for ages, vaping and drinking my coffee. . eventually back up to BGdns to sit under the roof for a while - and grab just a little footage of a beamer heading out to sea (again already!) . . . PCd the trawler footage and uploaded a handful of stills to the Brixham Fishing facebook page . . .felt rather unwell. Napped until around 6:30pm. . .TVd the night off . . . ate chopped ham and pork with buttery mixed veg, biscuits, co-co pops and chocolate. . . fell asleep in front the TV again. Woke and to bed after 1:30am.
26 - Up at 8am. 16C in, 12C out. Mostly grey and blowing a gale still/again. :o( . . . Walked Bgdns. Sat around under the grey for quite a while, often peering through the camcorder at Paignton and Torquay's Corbyn head, in an attempt to see how many people were assembling for the 'traditional' Boxing-Day swims. Scanner comms from the coastguard teams confirmed they were also on their way to attend. Shortly after their arrival at Corbyns Head they promptly ended up having a 'shout', as someone had fallen on rocks and needed treatment and re-location to the ambulance which was called. Through my camcorder on high zoom, I was even able to locate the ambulance up on the road above the beach with its flashing lights! At some point, the ILB headed out across the bay to stand off in support of the swimmers. . eventually carried on down around the harbour and out towards the seat above the end of the breakwater. As I did so, the ALB was also launched (PR excercise more than anything else), to join the ILB to stand-off Paignton beach whilst THEIR swim took place. Through the camcorder, it WAS 'just' possible to make out hints of large numbers of people on the beach behind the pier! It soon became apparant that a much lower profile affair was also going-on on the Breakwater Beach right below me. It's generally a rule of mine to NEVER point the camera at the swimming pool or beaches, but on THIS occasion I figured I 'should' be forgiven for being unable to resist joining-in? Loads of other people were filming and taking pictures and - well, surely the people swimming are kinda doing it to BE noticed aren't they? Anyway - I dared to film the small crowd of people who braved the chilly waters. . soon after the Paignton swim was over, both lifeboats raced back across the bay. The ILB headed straight back into the harbour towards the lifeboat station, but the ALB did a fast 'blow-the-cobwebs-out' run straight past the end of the breakwater and along towards Berry Head and out of sight. ALWAYS a spectacular sight, even in more or less flat sea conditions. Good practice for me with the new camcorder. I even ended up walking along to the nearby slightly lower park area, so I could let Bella off her lead whilst I waited for them to reappear, before filming just a little more. . . eventually back to the inner harbour to sit under the old fish market roof to drink my coffee, back up to BGdns and ultimately home. . . PCd and reviewed footage etc. . . PCd a bit of this. Somewhere around 4:15pm the local CRTS were back out on another shout, over towards St Mary's bay on the coastal path I think. .

PCd the Breakwater Beach Boxing Day Swim and Torbay Lifeboat footage. . . TVd . . .ate two garlic chicken kievs with a mountain of chips followed by a little chocolate . . fell asleep in the chair again! Woke and to bed around 1:15am.
25 - Up around 9am. 16C in, 10C out. Wind and rain to start. . headachey. Annadin tablet for breakfast. walked BGdns after the worst of the weather had passed. Watched a woman releasing a balloon! I draed to ask why - for her dead mother as it turned out.

down to the fish market roof for my coffee . . carried on around the quiet harbour and out to the breakwater, and out along to the very end in the strong gusty wind.

Carried a big plastic fish box I retrieved from the rocks, the mile or so all the way back to hand it in at the Fish market

back to BGdns to recover from my exertions . . . back home around 2pm . TVd the whole rest of the day away, despite the lackluster schedules being the worst I think I've ever seen. Queen's speech was very clever and well put together.

.Ended up watching an absolutely fascinating program about the Queen's cameraman.

.ate two ham finger rolls, crisps, bananas, biscuits, bowls of co co pops and a little chocolate. . to bed before 1am.
24 - Up around 7:30am. 16C in, 10C out. Storm of wind and rain. . . walked late and just before the rain stopped to turn to showers. Walked BGdns, and eventually down to the harbour to sit under the roof with my coffee. It's been nice to see the recent return of a pair of swans to the inner harbour. With all the rain we've had, many of the open boats and tenders have a lot of water in them. One small, apparently 'unsinkable' boat in particular, is FULL, and has been for a while now! Despite a 'fresh' water source discharging into the harbour nearby, every day, the swans cross the harbour and have a drink from just that ONE particular boat. Here's a HD snip from this morning with my new camcorder. :o)

chatted with a drunk guy .!

. . . back up to BGdns to sit under the roof . . and eventually home . . . PCd and messed around for hours with the snips of footage I'd taken earlier. Wow - uploading HD footage to anywhere takes an absolute AGE!!!!!!!

ended up trying to do a bit of long overdue video of me giving Bella her tablets.

TVd . . . ate two haslet finger rolls with crisps and coleslaw followed later by a banana, bowls of co-co pops and a little chocolate. Fell alseep in the chair and didn't wake to go to bed until gone 2am, at which point I then couldn't get to sleep! Tossed and turned for ages before finally drifting off.
-//UNFINISHED//-

23 - Up around 7:15am. 16C in, 5C out. Clear sky to start. . . Images of Battery Gardens birdfeeder wildlifewalked BGdns with the new camcorder. Typical - almost nothing moving on the water at all to point it at. Carried on down to the harbour and then up the steep steps on the other side to 'the' place to get a shot of the working harbour all full of all the fishing boats. Used the new camcorder to do some digital still shots. Back down to sea level and carried on out towards the seat above the end of the breakwater. Before reaching the seat the rain started, and I ended up taking shelter in the 'archway' which leads to the car park from the breakwater beach. With the shower having mostly passed we headed straight back to the inner harbour to sit under the roof for a short while. . Back along and up into BGdns. Ended up sat on a seat under the roof playing with the camcorder, mostly filming the wildlife under the birdfeeder. . to the store for a few supplies, getting caught in a sudden downpour on the way, and then home . . .TVd recovering from the walk. . . PCd for hours reviewing the footage I'd shot. VERY impressed with the quality of the images (compared to the blurry images I've become used-to with my old camcorder). Even the stills that camcorder can do are pretty close to the quality of what my broken 10 mega-pixel stills camera could do. The icing on the cake of that is, it can still manage a respectable 62x zoom or similar, in still picture mode! I haven't even scratched the surface of some of what that camcorder can do, but it really does look as though it IS going to be the only camera 'I' need ever carry, for high quality video AND stills. Yayyyy. All in all - I think I do NOT regret having spent the money on it. :o) . . TVd . . . ate two large sausage rolls, a meat pastry slice, coleslaw and three small mince pies followed by a little chocolate. . . to bed around midnight.
22 - Up around 7:45am. 16C in, 11C out. Broken cloud and blowing a gale again. :o( . . . walked BGdns (with an empty rucksack for doing some shopping). Cleared-up a bag of cans and litter from the lower gun emplacement before sitting on our usual seat for quite a while, happily mostly out of the wind. VERY quiet about the place, with nothing moving in the bay at all. Eventually sheltered in the gun emplacement as a bit of drizzle arrived, before then carrying on down to the inner harbour. Sat under the old fish market roof for quite a long while, drinking my coffee, etc. . shopped for supplies in town and then straight home. . . my front garden gate had been left open by someone. If it hadn't been for that, I wouldn't have spotted the small 'Amazon' cardboard box which had been put on the floor on the front patio adjacent to a stack of unused recycling containers! That HAS to be my new camcorder then doesn't it!! Outrageous the delivery driver would just leave it laying in the garden like that - not even covered by the recycling box! If I had the nerve, I reckon they almost 'deserve' to have me claim I'd never received it! On opening my door, a card HAD been put through, saying my parcel had been left 'in the porch' (which I don't have of course!)!? Outrageous - but of course I WAS happy to have my hands on it so quick, without having the hassle of having to chase after it. . . recovered from the walk for a bit before nervously opening the damp and damaged Amazon box. Thankfully the contents were undamaged and were all sealed in a plastic envelope. . read the brief 'basic operating instructions' which came with it, checked everything was there, and then put the camcorder battery on charge for a couple of hours. Played around in the down time and ended up messing around with my cheap tablet. (I never DID get round to buying a long HDMI cable for it, so I could maybe try plugging it into the living room TV.) The new camcorder came with a short HDMI to mini HDMI lead. First time I've ever had one to play with, so I jumped at the chance of seeing how the tablet would connect to the TV. Oh wow - that really isn't half bad! Facebooked, Youtubed, and generally messed around with it, just to see if it may be worth getting a long cable like I'd originally intended. The answer after all that messing around, was definitely YES, I think. For the sake of a few s for a cable long enough to reach (hidden) from near my comfy chair to the TV, it really would seem to offer the ability to 'mostly' do what I've been pining-for, for years. To be able to sit comfortably in the living room, poke around a bit on the net, and have it all displayed on the big screen TV! Yep - gonna HAVE to order a cable, once I've figured out how long I'll need it to be 'hidden' (under the floor or even just the carpet). . . once the camcorder had charged the battery (two hours-ish!), it was anxiously up to the PC to get serious with reading the big pdf manual (which I'd already downloaded a while ago) and getting ready for some tests.

Uhoh - the PC would NOT read the memory card, neither in the camcorder via the supplied USB lead, nor via my usual USB card multi reader! Dared to try one of my older SDHC cards in the new camcorder. Yayyyy - THAT works fine. Damn! Have I wasted my money on that new card? Surfed and found a Microsft 'patch' for enabling XP to recognise the new format cards. Risked downloading and installing it and hey presto, now I COULD read the new card, but only by means of the new USB lead plugged into the camcorder. Looks to me as though I simply need to spend a few s on a new USB card reader. Excellent.

YAYYYYYYYYYYY - my trusty-old editing software (Powerdirector 7) loaded the new video file straight in without a hitch. Oh my god, WHAT a relief. The upshot of all that is, I AM in a position to immediately start using the new camcorder, in 'almost' exactly the same way I have been my older one, without having to immediately rush out and buy a new PC and software etc, etc. :o)

Too much rain and wind to point it at anything distant outside etc

. . . PCd just a little bit of this . . . TVd . . .ate two ham finger rolls, coleslaw, crisps, mini cheddars and chocolate biscuits . . fell asleep in the chair before to bed around midnight.
21 - Up around 7:30am. 16C in, 8C out. A brief dry spell and then wind and rain - lots! . . . walked BGdns in full leaking waterproofs and sheltered in the lower gun emplacement for a while. The plaintive 'wailing' of a seal boisterously interacting with another off the rocks just down in front of us, saw me venture out and brave the wind and rain to watch for a while. .back up the slippery track through the trees and then sat under the roof for my coffee, watching the wildlife around the birdfeeder as the gale strengthened. It would appear that the rat I've enjoyed watching eating the fallen bird seed there, has either had babies, or has been joined by others. . eventually reluctantly headed back, walking with difficulty against the howling gale, stopping off at the pet store for more supplies (eight packs) of frozen tripe for Bella. More than enough to see me through the holidays. . .TVd for a short while, recovering from the horrendous walk. . . PCd this in cold damp clothes . . Sis1 called to touch base and say she was at Mums visiting, and they were both going out for a meal later. I declined to join them. . .distant comms on the scanner early afternoon suggested a ship (Liberia registered LNG tanker 'Navigator Saturn') was making rapid progress towards the bay, to hand a sick crewman over to the lifeboat to be brought ashore!? The weather does appear to be starting to maybe slightly improve (60mph gusts recorded around 1pm at Berry Head!), but visibility looking out my PC room window here, is still SO poor, I can hardly see the hills across town - otherwise I'd have been tempted to head back to BGdns to see what there 'may' be to see of the transfer. . the Torbay lifeboat was launched 'on service for the medevac' at around 2pm, and made a speed of around 20knots out to the pilot station off Berry Head. (The walking casualty was reported as 53 years of age - having suffered a suspected 'minor' stroke affecting his face, etc!!!! Jeezuz!) By 2:20pm the weather and visibility had indeed suddenly improved, but the AIS showed the rendezvous was well out to the SE past Berry Head, so I wouldn't have been able to see anything even if I had gone back out to any of my usual vantage points. It's a terrible addiction, being SUCH an 'ambulance' chaser! :o\ . The lifeboat had the crewman onboard and was heading back to a waiting ambulance at Torquay (because of the current pontoon work and temporary mooring arrangements at Brixham) by around 2:45pm. By 3pm they were in Torquay and the casualty was soon transferred to an ambulance. . . Sis1 called in to say hello and chat. . .TVd . . . ate two slices of gala pie with crisps, mini cheddars and some Ritz crackers followed by three mince pies, a banana and then later on some more mini cheddars with lumps of cheese on top heated in the microwave . . . fell asleep in the chair briefly before to bed whenever.
20 - Up around 7:20am. 16C in, 9C out. Shower clouds. . . FFS. Yet another of those hugely expensive GU10 type energy saver downlighter bulbs has blown - the 'vital' one above my PC desk this time. WHAT a con those bulbs are, with their bogus claims of lasting ages! :o( I only have one or two left from the big box-full I once bought! Actually - I recently noticed the little bulb in my illuminated doorbell has also blown again. Trying to sort THAT out again, can wait for some other time. . . walked BGdns. Pleasant and sunny for quite a while. The lifeboats were both out in the bay on their usual Sunday morning excercises, and I couldn't help grabbing a little footage as the ALB did a fast run across out towards Elberry Cove and back. . Carried on down to the harbour as the first bits of rain arrived. Sheltered under the old fish market roof with my coffee and ended up having to make mind-numbingly meaningless 'polite' conversation with someone the WHOLE time I was sat there! :o( Ended up sitting there (trapped in the 'brain dead' conversation) for quite a long while as the rain continued to pour. . eventually the rain eased and I headed home through town after having bought a large heavy bag of potatoes and a few other things at the greengrocer. . .PCd and posted a few images of the lifeboat to a facebook page, etc . . . surfed for ages, AGAIN, reading up on camcorders and the like. Have I mentioned it here yet? My Samsung 10MP stills camera recently seemed to develop an intermitant fault, and can no longer be relied upon to take a picture. :o( Everything appears to be ok until immediately after the point at which you actually take a picture - and then the screen shows the saved image is nothing but a blurred white-out. So - I no longer have the ability to take 'proper' high resolution stills. I WAS tempted to just buy a cheap replacement for it, but having to think about such things, just got me all frustrated anew at the limitations of my beloved trusty high-zoom camcorder, and its not being able to do HD video like everyone else in the world seems to be doing these days (even on their smart-phones for goodness sake!). If it weren't for the amazing 70x optical zoom that my camcorder has, that NO more-modern HD camcorders can match, I WOULD have 'updated' it by now. Given just about everything I ever point it at is several miles distant (literally), having such a high OPTICAL zoom is everything to me, and I just couldn't accept having to take the backward step of buying something new with less than that. Well - after MUCH surfing, and reading of manuals, and watching Youtube test videos, etc, etc, etc, at length, I ultimately concluded that the results people were getting with a so called HD 50x optical/90x'intelligent zoom', were pretty much as good or more likely better, than the 'blurry' low-res images I've been used to with my old 70x optical SD one. On top of that, the camcorder I favour as my new possible replacement, allegedly (if I read the manual etc right) can also do something like 10MP stills. Of course I know full well from past experience that such a compromise can't really compete with a dedicated stills camera, but under my financial circumstances, and given the sort of images I 'usualy' take with one, I ultimately concluded I'd be better-off spending money on an attempt at updating my camcorder, rather than replacing my broken stills camera. Having said all that, there ARE for ME, some VERY good reasons why I should NOT upgrade it!

-/unfinished/-

File format? Massive file size making for increased storage (more external hard drives!) costs? Breathtakingly extortionate extra battery costs!!! Existing editing software incompatable/requires updating - but the update will NOT run on Windows XP - so a whole new PC would be required, just to be able to do what I currently do - and less!!!!!!

Owwww . . what the hell. I've hardly spent a penny on anything this last year, since Bella's ongoing tablet expense shock. It IS Christmas - and Mum WILL be putting some more money into all us children's accounts etc etc etc. Ordered a new camcorder!!!!!!!

Panasonic HC-V270EB-K Full HD Camcorder (50x Optical Zoom) for 175 and a Integral UltimaPro 64GB Class 10 SDXC Memory Card for 14.99

A terrible 'money pit' risk.

-/unfinished/-

. .climbed on a stool and fitted a new lightbulb into my desk downligher, AFTER having first written the date on the thing with an indelible marker, so the next time I have to replace it, I'll actually know exactly how long it lasted for, and will be able to get suitably outraged. . got clean (very overdue!) and did more laundry . . .TVd . . . ate two chicken kievs with chips followed by chocolate biscuits and chocolate. Actually, I haven't bothered to mention it here, but for the last few days, I've also been 'forcing' myself to drink a small glass of orange juice each day. I've been feeling SO bad of late, and am aware that my diet has been increasingly unhealthy (and sparse), I figured I'd better buy some juice and try to get at least a little bit of 'fresh' fruit type vitamin C into me, in case it'll make me feel just a little better. Other than bananas, fruit is just something I'm not into, and it's a struggle for me even to regularly drink some orange juice! . . . to bed around midnight.
19 - Woke earlier then up around 8am. 16C in, 12C out. Grey . . .walked BGdns. Soon after leaving the house the rain started and soaked me pretty good. Sheltered in the gun emplacement and under the roof in BGdns for quite a long while. . eventually a break in the rain had me head home via the local store for a few supplies . . . did bed-linen laundry chores, sewed up holes in a pair of socks, polished my army boots and knocked up another e-cig desk holder from the fishing-gear rubber rings I found in the harbour a while ago. . . PCd for a bit . . . TVd . . .ate four sausages with buttery mixed veg, biscuits and chocolate . . .fell asleep in the chair again. Woke and to bed around 1:30am.
18 - Up around 7:30am. 16C in, 11C out. Grey. . . walked BGdns feeling down, tired-out, aching all over, and generally feeling VERY not good! Eventually on down to sit under the old fish market roof. Mustered the energy to carry on out to the breakwater to have a look at progress on the lifeboat pontoon. Not much to see, although the floating pontoon part does now appear to be fastened to two of the new uprights - but still not 'connected' to the shore, or in use yet. . Sat on the nearby breakwater for a while before eventually heading back home through town . . . forced down a tin of soup with some boiled rice and a bag of crisps, deliberately trying to eat more today. .TVd . . napped . . .TVd . . ate four sausages and chips followed by a whole pack of chocolate biscuits!! . . to bed around midnight.
17 - Woke earlier, lay there for a while then up around 7:40am. 16C in, 13C out. Grey . . .walked BGdns and very soon had to shelter in the gun emplacement from the rain. Filmed boats for quite a while from down there and then from the seats under the roof while drinking my coffee . . eventually home after the rain had eased a bit . . . PCd . . . the postman delivered the new battery for my watch through the letterbox. Successfully fitted it and got my watch back up and running thank goodness . . . PCd . . TVd . . drank a little baileys . . ate just two Mum donated sausage rolls, crisps, banana, biscuits and a little chocolate . . . to bed before 1am.
16 - Up around 7:30am. 16C in, 12C out. Grey and breezey . . . walked across town to the vet to pick up the hundred each of Bella's Lanoxin and Frusemide tablets for 10.30 inc. . carried on down to the harbour and then out to BGdns. . sat around for a while and filmed the occasional fishing boat before ending up heading back down to the harbour and town because I needed to buy some supplies of coffee. Permanent light drizzle in the air, and quite a breeze blowing. I don't recall which way the breeze was blowing, but there was something about its direction and strength which had all the boats in the inner harbour moving backwards and forwards on their moorings a lot. The (closed for the winter) Golden Hind replica was also similarly strangely affected, and a large chain inapropriately around part of its wheeled gangway, was splintering and gradualy 'sawing through' a thick piece of the gangway timber, leaving a pile of splintered chippings on the harbourside!! The damage was significant enough for me to stop in my tracks and fire up my mobile phone, in an attempt to inform the owners of what was going on. Sadly, all I got was an ansaphone, and I ended up finishing my call not even knowing if it had taken my clumsy message or not. Oh well - I tried. . . PCd . . Mum called to ask if I could pick up a prescription from the chemist in town for her tomorrow (because she has SUCH difficulty walking now!! Yeah - ME too!!!!!) . . ummd and ahhd a bit before deciding that given the poor showery weather forecasts for the forseeable future, it'd make sense to head straight back out and try to pick up the prescription this afternoon, rather than in the forecast rain tomorrow. . rushed to shut everything down, made a coffee to take, and headed straight back out down town with Bella. Eventually picked up the prescription, and then headed for the grocer to buy some wallnuts, which Mum had also requested. (Two bags full, for 5). .carried on down around the harbour and eventually out to BGdns to sit on the higher seats under the roof, as darkness closed in. Couldn't help myself having a go at videoing some of the fishing boats coming-in in the dark, despite being FULLY aware that my camcorder is all but useless in such low light. My attempts turned out to be a pointless waste of time, as usual. . . eventually walked all the way back to drop stuff off at Mums. She wasn't in the best of humour (upset about being very nearly housebound now because of her feet, AND having just broken her iron, etc, etc), and by the time I left, I too was 'irritated' and extremely pissed-off. :o( . . . recovered from the walk and ended up having yet another go at adjusting the poor timekeeping of my old mechanical watch. Damn - I somehow ended up with (I think) the spring parting from the adjuster - so that's the final end of THAT one! :o( . . . TVd . . . ate left-over buttery spam and mixed veg with a cheesey bap, followed by biscuits and chocolate . . . to bed around 11pm.
15 - Woken earlier by a faltering piano rendition of 'Away In A Manger' from next door, then up around 8am. 16C in, 10C out. Grey and drizzley . . walked Bgdns and just sat around there under shelter from the rain for a long while . . back via the pet store for treat supplies in torrential rain . . . PCd . . phoned the vet requesting a repeat supply of the cheaper Lanoxin and Frusemide tablets for Bella. Collectable as from tomorrow . . . messed around with an old mechanical wind-up watch which I've dug out of a cupboard and started temporarily wearing. Turns out it's really poor at maintaining the time. :o( The back just pops open easily when levered with a small, sharp knife-edge, and I ended up repeatedly opening it up and trying to make adjustments to the spring tensioner so it keeps better time. I lost count of how many times I made adjustments over the hours, but no matter what I did, it persistantly either gained or lost around a minute per hour. Frustrating. :o( . . napped for a couple of hours . . TVd . . .ate a chicken slice bap, chopped spam with buttery mixed veg, half a chocolate log, co-co pops and chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
14 - Up around 8:15am. 16C in, 10C out. Grey and breezey - and then rain. . . walked Bgdns in waterproofs and made a bee-line for the shelter of the lower gun emplacement. Jeeze I'm feeling just drained and aching ALL over (from every joint? My back and knees especially!)!! I don't think I've ever felt so physically lousy for such a long period of time before. Worryingly it doesn't seem to be getting any better, like it should. :o( . .eventually headed back up the paths and sat on a seat under the roof drinking my coffee for a while, before finally heading home via the store for a few supplies. Embarassingly ended up suddenly lurching across the store when I stood in the wrong way somehow and suffered sudden stabbing pains in my LEFT knee (whilst trying to take the weight off my always painful and swollen right knee joint!) FFS!!!??? . . Heavier rain on the way back home. Cold and damp. . . TVd recovering from the walk for quite a while . . . got serious with a desk lamp, a large old hat pin, and a magnifying glass, and had a bloody (literally!) good go at digging out a few of the splinters that absolutely cover both of my hands. :o( . . . PCd and online-ordered the next hundred 5mg Vetmedin (@39 inc) capsules for Bella. I haven't actually counted how many I have left, but it isn't many, and with likely Christmas and the new year postal delays coming up, I need to get supplies pretty urgently I think. . . PCd a bit of this - stopping every now and then to plug the desk lamp back in and have another dig at an irritating splinter or two . . .managed to unscrew the back of my watch using a pair of fine nosed pliers!! (scratching it in the process of course), extracted the old dead battery, and managed to use a magnifying-glass ('just' - my eyes are so bad!) to figure out what type it was. and then ended up ordering a new battery for it online. Duracell 377 SR626SW @ 1.36 inc. . . surfed looking at camcorders for ages! . . . TVd . . . ate two chicken slice baps, two bags of crisps, a banana and some chocolate . . . fell asleep in the chair for an hour or two before to bed.
13 - Up around 7:45am. 16C in, 10C out. Grey . .walked BGdns. After all the recent wind, it was comparatively quiet and calm out this morning. Felt terribly achey and not good again/still. Sat around for a long while before eventually heading down to the harbour to sit under the fish market roof for a while. Back to BGdns where I ended up filming a fishing boat coming in for a while. Eventually home early afternoon . . . PCd posting trawler photos to Facebook etc. . .did dish-washing chores at length (because I'd literally used up everything, and had nothing left to eat from!). . . TVd . . . ate some slices of corned beef with a large bowl of buttery mixed veg followed later by half a Mum donated chocolate log, biscuits and a little chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
12 - Up just before 7am. 16C in, 10C out. Broken cloud to start with, then grey. . .Image of gig rowers in Santa hats walked BGdns. One of the local gigs was out rowing the bay, crewed by women all wearing Santa hats. lol . . Eventually carried on down around the harbour and on out towards the breakwater, to have a look at whatever progress had been finished on the new lifeboat pontoon. Four big steel tubes had now been fixed to the sea floor, and appeared to have been 'finished'. Having said that, bizarrely, so it seemed to me, every one of those steel uprights had been finished off 'slightly' differently. Even two which seemed to be almost a matching pair, had been left with sloping tops of noticeably different angles for no apparant reason. What do I know! It'll be interesting to see the finished project, to perhaps better understand why they've done them like that. . Image of Santa driving a beach buggysat on the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while, before heading back to the harbour to sit under the old fish market roof for my coffee. . just after I'd finished my coffee and was back on my feet, with a head turning 'rorty' noise, a red beach buggy went down the road - driven by Father Christmas!! That's that same guy I saw driving around 'spreading the cheer' last year. He did a U-turn near the Rockfish restaurant and started heading back alongside the harbour, which gave me 'just' enough time to get the camcorder out of my pocket and grab a small snippet of video as he passed. He spotted me at some point and gave a wave as he did so. lol Good luck to him - spreading a little seasonal good cheer, just for the crack (although DOES strike me as a little early?). :o) . . . back to BGdns to sit around some more before eventually heading home . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats, etc. . . PCd for ages, posting a video snip of Santa etc, etc to Facebook pages . . . TVd . . . ate a Mum donated large sausage roll, a chicken and mushroom pastry slice and two bags of crisps, followed later by creamy co-co pops and some chocolate . . . to bed soon after midnight.
11 - Up around 8:25am! 16C in, 9C out. Grey . . .walked BGdns. Ended up spending the day cutting up more stuff in front of the roofed seats. Mostly kinda 'tidying up' around the area I've cleared, in case I end up calling it quits and just leave it like it is. Briefly sat under the roof taking shelter from rain before ending up doing a bit more cutting and trimming of brambles, etc after the rain had passed. . , eventually called it quits and sat for a long while under the roof, 'recovering' just a bit. . With daylight rapidly fading, all of a sudden, almost silently and with the minimum of comms on the scanner, Image of MTS work barge leaving Brixhamthe big crane-barge which has been doing all the piling work on the new Lifeboat pontoon, slipped out of the harbour, towed by a tug and pushed by another vessel. Oh wow - I guess they've finished using it for drilling those new piles into the sea floor? Given all the cutting work I've been doing around the gardens, I haven't walked out that way for quite a while. I'm gonna have to make a point of going out there soon to see what progress has been made. .as darkness closed in, the trio of vessels held position just off the gardens as the crane was lowered and the barge made ready and safe for its voyage (all 'just' visible from where I was sat, thanks to all my cutting. lol) . Comms on the scanner revealed it was going to be on its way to Southampton. . by now in darkness (and my camcorder useless of course), I left them to it and eventually headed back home, via the store for a few supplies . . . TVd . . .ate a whole pack of jaffa cakes followed later by four quarter pound burgers in buttered baps and then some chocolate . . to bed before midnight.
10 - Woke earlier then up around 7:30am. 15C in, 9C out. Threatening clouds and some blue sky . . walked BGdns and ended up sheltering from the chilly breeze in my favourite searchlight gun emplacement whilst filming boats for quite a while. . eventually down to the harbour to sit under the old fish market roof for my coffee before then heading straight home through town. Drizzle in the air by the time we reached home . . . PCd for hours going through bits of video to extract some still frames, before then posting loads of low quality images to Facebook's 'Brixham Fishing' page. I can't possibly post all such images here, because it'd immediately use up all my web space, but I can't resist including one example of the type of stuff I'm 'contributing' - because 'I' think it's a cracking little picture. A fisherman in yellow waterproofs on the bow of beam trawler 'Barentszee' as it steams in through some waves. I really seem to 'get off' on being able to include 'people' in such images - and I genuinely DO think they really are amazing people. No way could I EVER do any of what they do. I am not man enough! . .DF called at some point, seemingly excited and wanting to tell me he'd bought himself a new camcorder. A Sony CX330E apparantly. Eventually downloaded the manual and had a breeze through it all, before checking out a few of its 'test' videos on Youtube, etc. It DOES do pretty good video I think (it IS HD after all), but 'I' wouldn't have bought or been happy with THAT one methinks. . .napped . . . TVd . . ate two whole packs of going cheap/off spicy miniature meatballs (yuck as it turned out! Too spicy for my likeing.) with a tin of sausages in baked beans followed by biscuits and chocolate . . to bed around 1am.
9 - Up around 7:15am woken by seagull noise I think. 15C in, 4C out. Mostly clear, but with enough clouds on the horizon to make for a very cool sunrise. . annadin tablet for breakfast . . walked BGdns with a rucksack of tools again. Sat on the usual lower seat and played ball for a bit, before managing to muster the energy to have another bash at the trees on the cliff edge in front of me, that ruin the otherwise expansive view of the majority of Torbay. . . . two seal 'frolicking' in the water directly below me as I sawed stuff off . . . -/unfinished/-

Carried on sawing down trees whilst listening on the scanner to a shout for the local coastguard teams to man a landing site for a helicopter at a school over Torquay way. Turned out to be for a baby being flown from Bristol to Torbay

sawed up a finger and thumb on my left hand quite nasty!

Yayyy - nothing but a few of the smallest of twigs (if any) fell off the cliff to enter the sea. :o)

dragged the larger de-twigged branches up into the trees behind my favourite searchlight gun emplacement, and dumped them in the undergrowth alongside the short-cut path up through the trees past the '1940's room' building, etc. Chopped everything else up and carried it all to a suitable natural 'heap' site, in the higher tree line just off the path behind our usual seat.

eventually called it quits around 3pm and resumed sitting (collapsed with exhaustion actually!) on our usual seat. Finished off the bit of coffee from my flask and grabbed a quick snip of video to enable me to do another 'before and now' type photo comparison. Wow - just looking at these little photos makes it look like not very much doesn't it? It's been a HUGE amount of effort and work, and all on the VERY edge of a 40ft+ vertical cliff down to the rocks/sea below (depending on whether or not the tide was in or out)! SUCH a shame I can't 'quite' cut down that remaining (third) tree on the left! I absolutely COULD cut it, but because of the way it leans out over the cliff, single-handed I don't think I'd be able to stop it falling and drag it back up. Just too risky.

Filmed gulls flocking after fishing boat 'Conat Friend' . . .

Listened on the scanner a bit as a fishing boat came safely back into harbour under its own steam after having had some sort of exhaust fire on board! CRTs and fire brigade were tasked to meet it at the fish quay.

PCd and edited the seagull footage down to the bare minimum. Eventually uploaded it to Facebook pages . . .TVd . . . ate a large sausage roll, two mini pork pies, a pack of small meatballs, crisps, bowls of co co pops, banana and chocolate . . to bed around midnight.
8 - Up around 6:25am. 16C in, 10C out. Sun and showers . . .walked BGdns and just sat around there on different seats for ages feeling tired-out and rather fragile. Had a brief exchange of words with a park ranger. A team of two or three council workers turned up to 'blow the leaves around'! Sheltered from showers under the roof for quite a while before heading back in a dry spell. Stopped at the local store for a few supplies and then the pet store for eight packs of frozen tripe before then home. . . TVd, PCd, did laundry chores. . napped. Woke from a nightmare just before 7pm.(In the nightmare, aliens had taken the form of Bella, there were three of her, and I was somehow gonna have to figure out which was the real her. Easier to just wake up at that point.). . TVd . . ate the other half of the chopped ham, cheese, onion and mayo from yesterday, with chips and mixed veg. Followed that later with bowls of creamy co-co pops, biscuits, chocolate, banana and then two small sausage rolls! . . to bed around midnight.
7 - Up around 8:15am. 16C in, 12C out. Mostly grey . . . walked BGdns with the saw etc and cleared more foliage in front of the roofed seats until gone 3pm . . walked to the post office and picked up a packet for mum and then walked it all the way back to her place to drop it off before finally heading home . . .TVd . . ate two ham cheese onion and mayo finger rolls with crisps, a banana and biscuits . . .to bed before midnight.
6 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:30am. 16C in, 10C out. Drizzle and wind, although MUCH less windy than yesterday . . walked BGdns. Found a penny. What a difference to yesterday in the bay. Much 'flatter'. Sheltered from the drizzle in the lower searchlight gun emplacement for quite a while before eventually heading down to the harbour to sit under the old fish market roof for my coffee. . back up to the roofed seats in BGdns for plenty more sitting around, watching the birds, a squirrel, and the rat, eating the bird-feeder food. . eventually headed home chilly and damp . . . PCd for hours, whitling down the beam-trawler footage from yesterday again. Ridiculous it took me SO many hours to edit down, what turned out to be only about twenty minutes of footage in total to start with!??? Anyway - got there in the end, and called it quits late afternoon. BM172 Kerrie Marie Steaming Home. Set the long, hour and a half + upload to Youtube going, before then PCing a bit of this in the 'down time'. . .TVd . . .ate four sausages with buttery mixed veg, two fairey cakes, biscuits and chocolate . . . to bed around 1am.
5 - Up around 8am. 15C in, 10C out. Grey and windy. VERY windy! One of the lengths of timber has been blown off the fence out back, on the new neighbour's side! :o( . . . walked BGdns and just sat around there for ages. Ended up filming a couple of fishing boats battling with the strong gusty wind, before eventually heading home in time for Mum's usual visit . . . quickly got the extension lead and drill out in the garden, and screwed the timber rail back on the fence without any hassle. Just a case of the original, old, 'too small for the job' nails having rusted away I think, although 'maybe' a bit weird the way in which it fell off. I DO wonder if maybe it was given a helping hand by some critter (fox/badger?) in the night?! . . Mum called in with food donations, etc for chats. . . PCd for hours as the gale continued to batter the house, and eventually uploaded the 'Morning Star' crossing Torbay footage to Youtube, and then posted a link to Facebook's 'Brixham Fishing' of course. . .TVd the evening off . . ate a slice of Mum donated gala-pie, crisps, banana, rice-krispies with cream and chocolate. Given all the energy I've expended this week, and the little I've been eating, yet again, that was NOT enough food for a day! . . fell asleep in the chair with the TV and fire on, and didn't wake to go to bed until around 2am!!!!!
4 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in, 6C out. Brief sunny spells. . . walked BGdns with my tools and spent the day cutting down more undergrowth etc, although 'much' of the work I did was all about 'tidying up' the area I've cleared, and chopping up all the branches into chunks to go on the spoil heap etc, etc. Occasional bits of unforecast drizzle. Much noise of helicopters during the morning? The new saw made things 'slightly' easier. Didn't stop working until well past 3pm. (Had to fire my mobile-phone up, just to figure out what time it was, because I still haven't gotten round to sorting out a new battery for my now long-dead watch!) That's a good six hours of HARD labour - again! Celebrated the partialy reinstated view, by sitting on a seat under the roof, and actually filming a few of the fishing boats steaming in after their day's fishing. Yayy - I haven't been able to do that from up there for YEARS - probably since the last time I cut all that stuff back, whenever that was (although plenty of the view remains obscured by larger more established trees lower down the hillside, which I 'daren't' go anywhere near!) :o) . . eventually headed home, utterly exhausted again, but not feeling as 'ill' as the other day. Wow-my hands are just a MASS of splinters! . . PCd for a bit, posting boat pics to the Brixham Fishing facebook page, etc . . .no appetite again, but I just HAD to eat 'something', so I quickly forced down a defrosted pastie and bag of crisps . . . DF called in for arguments and biscuits until around 10pm. . . ate a bowl of rice krispies and some chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
3 - Woke earlier then up around 7:30am. 16C in, 11C out. Grey and damp. . . annadin tablet for breakfast. Walked BGdns with an empty rucsack on my back, intending to shop for a few supplies on the way home. Sat around for quite a while feeling still really rather unwell - and actually increasingly so!!? Eventually ended up heading back up to sit on one of the seats under the roof, enjoying the newly opened up bit of view, and mentally rehearsing further cutting work - when/if I feel better and up for it (AND assuming I don't get 'noticed/stopped' by anyone!)! . . .eventually down to the harbour for my coffee under the old fish market roof. Shopped for a few supplies and headed towards home through town. Stopped-off at the Jewsons builders merchant on the way home, looking to buy a new wood saw (my old one is seriously blunt, and apparantly they are made in such a way these days, that sharpening them is not a viable option!), only to find the place being emptied! Turns out, they were moving to a new unit in the local industrial estate, just up the road from home! That's gonna be kinda handy, having TWO builders merchants right on my doorstep like that - or would be if I was up for doing any 'building works', which these days, I just don't seem to want to or be capable of!! . ended up going to the 'usual' builders merchant on the industrial estate, and bought a new 'Bahco 22 inch universal saw' for 9.59 inc. I DO need a new one anyway, but the fact I'm willing to spend that money NOW, on one to mess around with cutting down trees and budliea in BGdns, says something about how much I care, for and about that place I think. lolol . . TVd . . .no appetite but I just HAD to eat something. Ate two boiled eggs and two toasted crusts of bread . . . napped. . . PCd a bit of this . . .TVd . . cooked and ate four sausages with chips, biscuits and chocolate . . .to bed around 1:30am.
2 - Up around 7am. 16C in, 11C out. Grey . . . Image of the Battery Gardens sea viewwalked BGdns with a rucsack of saws, loppers, secateurs and coffee. Sat on the usual seat for a while mustering up the courage and energy, before heading up to the area in front of the roofed seats to do some SERIOUS trimming. That actually ended up being pretty much 'clear felling' an entire section of the hillside there - although bizarrely, the big area of bare earth I've created is largely hidden from most peoples view behind a low hedgeline - kinda. Personally 'I' would love to see that little hedgeline completely removed and the entire slope just laid to grass right down to the rooves of the main gun floor bunkers (like it used to be in years gone by), but at the moment, it's providing me with 'cover' whilst I take it upon myself to do what I'm ('illegaly'!!) doing. . .-//- . . .The (camcorder) image I've included here, is a sort of 50/50% as it stands at the moment, AFTER my (around six hours?) day of HARD graft. The right hand side of the image gives an impression of the WALL of foliage which has grown up to COMPLETELY obscure the sea views from ALL of the memorial seats up there. The clearer/lower left hand side (with the napoleonic rangefinder post just visible), which now 'just' about gives a view of the end of the breakwater, is what todays labour has acheived. . . .-//- . . . Back home via the store for a few supplies, well after 4pm . . not feeling well. (Given what I actually did today, I really am genuinely suprised I didn't have a heart attack or some such!) Not feeling well at all!! A bit nauseas, and stiff and aching all over, but mostly strangely mentally 'agitated'!?? Tried to nap but couldn't, and just lay there for quite a while before getting back up! . . . TVd . . put the wheelie bin out with that big circular toy thing the wind deposited outside my gate the other day, stuffed in it. No one came forward for it, and I'm just sick of having the thing hanging around the place. Good to see it gone, but what a terrible waste! . . . felt a 'little' bit less nauseas as the evening wore on, and eventually ate a small bowl of left-overs buttery spam and mixed veg, followed by biscuits, and then a bit later, chips and slices of beef followed by more biscuits . . to bed around midnight.
1 - Up around 8:10am. 16C in, 11C out. Grey and breezy again. . . walked BGdns. Sat around for a while before eventually ending up weilding the secateurs for a few hours, carving a route into the jungle of overgrowth in the area in front of the higher roofed seats. Through pure 'no one gives a shit' neglect, those seats haven't had a view of the sea since I last did cutting there several years ago now, and it's absolutely driving me nuts to see the place go to neglected 'ruin', like it so rapidly has. Whoevers responsibility it is (whether it be the council, or English Heritage, or the Coast and Countryside trust - or whoever!??) THEY simply aren't doing it!!! It NEEDS to be done - so 'I' am gonna bloody well go ahead and do it!!!!!! Armed only with the secateurs, there wasn't a great deal I could achieve, except to successfully carve a decent route through into the jungle of growth, to enable me to return another day - with 'tools'!! . . . drew money out and stopped at the pet store on the way home. Bought a big 12kkg sack of Wagg and carried it home over my shoulder. . . forced down a cheese sandwich and crisps . . . napped . . . TVd . . . ate buttery mixed veg and a diced tin of Spam chopped ham and pork, followed by chocolate . . . to bed around 1am.
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