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December
31
- Up around 8:30am. 16C in 9C out. Grey . . .pottered around doing nothing feeling down . . . N called in in-passing for a coffee and chat . . . popped up the local store for milk and supplies . . . put the silly big xmas decorations back down under the floor. Vacuumed. . PCd/TVd . . . ate two going cheap microwave cheeseburgers with cheddar crackers followed by fruit cake, ice cream and chocolate . . TVd and half snoozed through midnight etc before to bed around 1:30am.
30 - Woken by neighbour noise around 9:15am. 15C in 11C out. Grey and damp. . PCd this. . ended up feeling very down and unable to muster the energy to do 'anything' pretty much!! Polished a bit of brass and binned a few things. One of the things I binned was a small blind I used to have up against the window next to the front door before the double glazing was done. Before I binned it I did mess around and confirm it IS possible to dismantle the whole thing and rearrange all the slats before rethreading them and putting it all back together. So - one of these days I WILL have to give that a go with the bigger one in the PC room in an attempt to remove/replace the few broken slats near the top. It'll be a VERY long time consuming fiddly job, so that can wait until I'm in the mood . . .guitarred/TVd/Youtubed . . ate four sausages two eggs and chips followed by mum donated fruit cake . . asleep in the chair as another storm battered the house, woke and to bed around 4am.
29 - Woke around 6:30am by some significant but fast moving hail, thunder and lightning. 13C in 5C out. Threw up! . . PCd this . . .the overloaded bin was thankfully emptied without and issues . . guitarred. Managed to download the 'Anji' Youtube how to play video I keep returning to, so now I can maybe edit out the bits I don't need and stick it on a USB stick in a more useful edit, for local playing in the TV. . . postman delivered the short HDMI cable I'd ordered . . Mum called to touch base again . . briefly popped up mums to pick up a stencil type ruler she had laying around. . had a go at trying to 'engrave' letters into one of my old keyboards which the letters have worn off. Sadly it predictably did NOT work . . aimlessly pottered around for a bit, poloshing a bit of old post office brass etc . . ate two garlic sausage finger rolls with a couple of bags of crisps . . . napped for a couple of hours. . did dish washing chores . . . D called in to talk about himself from 7 til around 10pm . . . TVd/PCd. Ended up staying up until the early hours seeing what GSDs are advertised as in need of re-homing!!!! No no no!! . . to bed around 4am.
28 - Up around 8:15am. 13C in 0C out. Sun and big shower clouds. Plenty of aches and pains from yesterday's walk! . . PCd (looking at new TVs)/guitarred . . . ended up pottering around in the garage. Took the extension lead up there and used the drill to drill out the rivets and dismantle the PC case I'd already removed all the guts from. Folded up all the metal and crammed it in the already heavy bin. . sorted out a bit of the mess in the garage, just 'tidying' things up a bit, and toping the wheelie bin up completely before finally putting it out ready for collection tomorrow (a day later than usual due to Christmas etc). . . aimlessly TVd mostly Youtube . . ate shortbread biscuits followed by creamy co co pops and then later after a glass of red wine, a reduced price double chicken breasts and stuffing etc oven meal with four pieces of bread and butter . . asleep in the chair until around 3:30am before to bed.
27 - Up at 9am. 14C in 6C out, Sunny and windy . . .

walked over the hills to Mansands and then the coastal path all the way back via Berry Head and the harbour, taking photos of the amazing views all along the way

shopped for a few supplies on the way home through town in the unexpected light rain . . PCd the photos for hours and posted to FB . . . TVd . . . ate a meat pastry slice with crisps, cheddar crackers and a little cheese followed by bowls of co-co pops and cream . . to bed well before midnight.
26 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in 1C out. Clear sky and shower clouds. . . PCd . . guitarred . . briefly popped up Mum's in the drizzle to pick up the Jonathan Livingston Seagull book I'd loaned her and which she'd read since yesterday. I want to read that again myself before maybe trying to find C to loan it to because he once said he'd never read it. . . TVd/PCd?guitarred the day away . . ate yesterdays tiny bit of left overs with chips and gravy followed by chocolate and creamy rice krispies . . asleep in the chair until around 3:30am before to bed!
25 - Woken by neighbour noise around 6:30am. 15C in 9C out. Drizzle . . PCd this . . .sat around . . did dish washing chores . . youtubed/guitarred (trying to start learning 'Anji'!!! ). . . Sis2 called . . Mum struggled down to join me for lunch. . .left Mum sat watching the Queen's speech and drank a bit of red wine while cooking peas, garlic roast potatoes and a chicken breasts, stuffing, sausage and bacon ready meal etc. Worked out ok and seemed to be well recieved. . sat for a while and touched base with Sis2 before then having Mum donated tripple mince pies and cream! I ate more than was comfortable . . TVd (Oliver) for a while as a gale blew and rain poured outside . . . eventually escorted Mum home in the rain before returning . . .TVd/guitarred . . almost asleep in the chair again!! Managed to resist and to bed by around 10:30pm.

24 - Up around 8:30am. 15C in 8C out. Grey . . PCd this . .I did toy with the idea of forcing myself to go out for a walk today, but misty drizzle soon put paid to that idea. . pottered around, not really in the mood to do anything much at all. . messed with the newly strung guitar for a bit, re-tuning the stretching strings and having a bit of a play with it . . . vacuumed and tidied up around the place a bit, getting things as dustless and good as they can get before Mum visits for dinner tomorrow. . . couldn't resist just a bit of silliness and ended up going under the floor and retrieving the big snowman and father christmas garden ornaments I once salvaged from a skip and have had stored down there ever since. Washed them all down out in the garden with the hose before then sitting them both on chairs at the dining table. Should give Mum a smile. :o) . . ended up taking a quick photo of the scene and then doing a silly 'happy christmas' type post to Facebook. . . moved living room furniture and the brass fire surround and after vacuuming away all the revealed dust and dog hair, routed the new flat HDMI cable across the room from the TV to under my chair. The brass fire surround went back on top and because of the way the furniture is layed out, it ended up almost entirely invisible apart from a couple of little six inch lengths either side of the fireplace which is entirely acceptable as a temporary easy setup. A bit of a loop under my chair means whenever I want to do it, I can just reach down beneath me, pull the lead out and connect it up to the laptop on the footstooll right in front of me and have the display on the main TV. Yep - that worked out well and will do quite nicely for the forseeable future . . . guitarred/TVd . . . ate tuna and mayo with chips before falling asleep in front the TV until around 1:30am before to bed to toss and turn for ages.
23 - Up just before 6am. 16C in 8C out. Grey . . PCd for quite a while and then spent another day just 'pottering' around the place, inexplicably somehow keeping busy. Turned off the power and replaced the kitchen power socket with the new one with the built-in USB sockets. That original socket box has been put in there SO poorly (one of the original faceplate bolts was a long screw!!), it was touch and go I'd be able to do it, but I managed it 'good enough' in the end. Charged up USB e-cig batteries etc to test it. . polished up the two brass ashtrays I recently aquired . . the postman delivered the little digital alarm clock and long flat HDMI lead I'd ordered. . the clock is sadly as predicted - made in China, a near identical version of the one I already have, only perhaps just a tiny bit brighter in the display, and would you believe it - the in built thermometer shows a completely innacurate room temperature, up to three or even four whole degrees C above what it should be!! Useless! . . fired up the laptop in the living room and tested that the long HDMI lead works ok when connected to the TV. Proper routing of that under the carpet etc to my chair in the corner will wait for some other time . . surfed and spent ages 'researching' Youtube videos on how to replace the 'saddle' bit of a guitar. It turns out it isn't as much of a major deal as I'd feared, and all manner of different parts are widely available on e-bay etc, etc. That old ornate classical style guitar I've had laying around the place unused for years turned out to have a broken saddle 'bone' when I recently bought some cheap strings to re-string it. I'd feared that would make it fit for the bin, but that turns out to be very much not the case. The 'bone' bit which has broken turned out to be just a bit of hard plastic, albeit of a rather unusual shape and size, which strongly suggests to me that guitar may well be more of a 'toy' than a serious instrument. All the 'standard' replacements available on the net appeared to be 'different' and smaller in width, without the sloped ends which suit the ornate style of the guitar. To cut a long story short, with nothing to lose, I ended up having a go at making one!!! A broken old white ruler I had seemed strong enough, so I cut and fashioned a piece to be around the the size and shape I needed and managed to use wet and dry abrasive paper to grind it down to near enough the right size for the same sort of string action etc, etc. Very fiddley but got there in the end and then after having reminded myself how, by watching lots of youtube videos, actually managed to restring it and ultimately make it useable again. It's gonna take days for the new nylon strings to settle down and stop stretching before I can figure out how it now sounds. If nothing else, it 'would' make a reasonable 'wall ornament' somewhere. lol Quite pleased with how that all turned out. . . TVd and ended up watching some AWFUL and tedious film Mum had called to suggest I watch. . .

ate rice krispies followed by three chopped ham sandwiches. This falling asleep in the chair business (which has actually become something of a concern to me) has hit a new low! I fell asleep in the chair whilst actually still eating the last ham sandwich. I woke somewhere after 2am and forced down the remaining bit of now dry sandwich before heading for bed!!!!
22 - Woke in the chair shortly before 5am. Tried laying down on the bed but couldn't get back to sleep so up pretty soon after. 16C in 9C out. Still dark. . . PCd. Ended up posting a link on facebook to the old Battery Gardens dog rescue video we'd watched last night. Also scanned in the bit of old sorting frame divider I've been hanging onto for years which had a couple of bits of barely legible paper attached to it, detailing old wartime information about the RAF hospital in Torquay. Did a post about that too, before I get rid of it, just in case anyone local has an interest . . . Mum called at some point and I suggested the 'come for Christmas dinner' thing - so now I'm committed !!! . . . ended up spending the WHOLE morning messing around cleaning the PC room blind and window. The layers of mud dust on all the slats of that blind had become extreme and a thorough clean of it and the filthy window and frame behind was LONG overdue. Took the blind down and ended up washing it off in soapy water with a scrubbing brush in the bath! The window frame was all covered in remnants of the cellotape I'd once used to try to fully seal it, and cleaning all that off was a real pain. Had to use some white spirit and plenty of scrubbing away with a pan sponge from the kitchen. Got it all done in the end and put the still wet blind straight back up to dry. several of the slats on that blind are now so broken, I really should revisit all that at some point, and see if I can dismantle the blind and swap the slats around so the broken ones are all hidden at the bottom. That'll be a long and 'risky' job, so it can wait. . . made a coffee to take and filled a rucksack with a few odds and ends and headed down town to get rid of it all in a charity shop. Toured charity shops and shopped for a few supplies including the shampoo and soap Mum had asked me to get her. Eventually ended up sat on the seat near the old coastguard station. I'd been doing really ok these last few weeks, but sitting down there without Bella and with people walking past with their dogs, I suddenly got all overwhelmed with the loss and missing her and I pretty much went to pieces and embarassingly ended up shedding quite a few tears!!!

eventually headed along and up into BGdns and sat on the usual seat in the quiet dark for my coffee and a couple of cigarettes. A remarkably mild and calm/quiet evening. Quite pleasant. . eventually home via the local store for more supplies. Unloaded my shopping and then headed back out to drop off Mums soaps but also to call in at the neighbour opposite Mum who is connected with the Battery museum group etc. I'm sure he didn't really want any of it, but I wanted to give him the sorting frame divider, military water bottle, rifle bayonet and .22 starting pistol I wanted rid of. With his connections I'm sure he'll find a home for at least some of that. They were very pleasant as always and invited me in for a brief chat etc. . called in at Mum's to drop off the soap etc and bagged a couple of nice candles from all the unwanted junk she has in the garage for my new living room candle sticks . . . guitarred/TVd . . .ate cold ham, two fried eggs and chips . . . 'just' managed to avoid falling asleep in the chair and to bed whenever, well before midnight.
21 - Up just before 8am. 16C in 9C out. Grey . . . PCd . . . ended up somehow spending the whole day again just sorting through all my junk, mostly in the PC room sorting through all the spaghetti of cables and leads and old PC parts etc in the big 'dumping ground' storage chest I have in there. After hours and hours of sorting through everything and just trying to get the big tangled mess in some sort of order, I didn't even manage to throw very much away, but at least it's all now a bit more manageable and 'ordered'/pre-sorted so that when I DO finally decide to ditch some of it, it'll be easier to do. Wow - what a big collection of unused multi gang extension leads and sockets I've ended up with! Made up a big plastic sack full and stashed it up in the garage, together with another big bag containing phone cables and extension leads and even old dial up modems etc! . . wow - the postman delivered the cig papers and power switch plate I'd ordered from Amazon only yesterday! . . later a courier delivered the other brass ashtray I'd ordered the other day. Very pretty, but very small. lol . . carried on poking at all the PC room junk and red mud dust on everything . . .N rang and then called in for coffee and chats from around 7pm. Whilst we were sat chatting, the coastguards and a lifeboat were called out to do a search for a suspected dog over the cliffs by Hopes Nose. After some conversation we ended up watching my old 2009 video of the dog rescue in BGdns. I rare opportunity for me to see someone watching one of my such videos for the first time. . . guitarred/TVd . . ate three ham sandwiches with crisps . . immediately asleep in the chair!
20 - Up after woken by neighbour noise around 7:30am. 15C in 7C out. Broken cloud. . .PCd this before getting back to surfing looking at clocks! lol . spent hours surfing looking at all manner of stuff, but continually encountering exactly the same stuff just all sold by different suppliers at different prices, but all of it seemingly made in China? I'm increasingly convinced we actually have LESS choice these days, thanks to the mass production of cheap stuff from China killing off all the alternatives! . eventually ended up ordering some HDMI cables (10m flat @ 9.99 + 1m @ 1.89), some left and right angled adapters (2.95), and a cheap digital alarm clock (7.99) from e-bay. Also ordered a box of cigarette papers (24.50) and a power socket switch plate (9.56) from Amazon. The HDMI cables should enable me on occasions to have the laptop plugged into the TV display from across the living room where I sit etc. The little black battery operated bedside alarm clock thingy is identical to one I already got in a charity shop. It 'should' work rather nicely next to me in the PC room, except the LCD display on the one I have seems to be rather 'washed-out' and difficult to see, and it even doesn't hold the time very accurately! If the new one turns out to be the same, that'll be a waste of money. The double power socket switch plate is the first such type I've bought, with an extra two USB ports included in it, for charging USB devices, and is destined for one of the sockets above a kitchen worktop. At the very least, that will be handy for charging up my e-cig batteries on occasions (and my tablet), without having the clutter of seperate power supplies etc constantly being plugged in there. . .did a little laundry . . felt a bit down and ran out of steam a bit and ended up just doing a little more brass cleaning in the living room . . . heading for the local store for supplies, on stepping out of the front door I discovered a package had been just left on the dorrstep by the postman at some point during the day!! That's bad - that he didn't even ring the bell! Now I'm not going out all the time, that 'could' conceivably have just sat out there for days without me knowing!! It turned out to be one of the little brass ashtrays I'd ordered off e-bay. Immediately upon opening it, it was clear I'd completely underestimated exactly just how VERY small it is. I knew it was gonna be small from the measurements etc, but I'd underestimated exactly how small the actual container part of the actual ashtray top was going to be. It really is tiny, and barely holds more than a couple of smoked cigarettes, and is 'almost' too small to even lay a still burning cigarette IN it! It's a pretty little thing, but I shouldn't have bought it - and damned if I don't have ANOTHER on its way!!!! THAT was definitely a mistake and waste of money - but I'll probably still not want to ever part with them because of how cute they look! More clutter around the place! lol . . briefly popped up the store for milk and supplies . . knocked on a couple of neighbours doors and eventually managed to find the recipient of the Xmas card I'd recieved wrongly adressed (the ex policeman opposite who used to live here many years ago). . . pottered around trying to clean up and sort out just a little more. . PCd (surfing wireless on the laptop in the living room. yay)/TVd(Youtube vids) . . . ate two garlic sausage and mayo finger rolls with several bags of crisps followed by chocolate biscuits . . . to bed before midnight.
19 - Back up around 8:30am (woken by next door's constantly yapping dog-again!). 14C in 2C out. Sunny . . . PCd and ended up surfing for ages looking at wall clocks and the like! My (considerable) collection of various different charity-shop wall clocks is causing me nothing but 'disatisfaction' and frustration. A couple have simply stopped working, and the others which DO still work, are inexplicably loud in their operation. So much so with one or two in particular, that when mounted on the wall of the PC room for instance, the noise of the 'ticking' is SO obtrusively loud, it interferes with me concentrating or getting to sleep in the adjacent bedroom!! In my current uncharacteristic phase of being prepared to spend some money to pare down all the rubbish I have to instead end up with stuff I actually want/which works, I'm absolutely no longer prepared to put up with all this loud ticking noise etc around the place. I AM going to order a couple of new clocks for around the place - SILENT SWEEP clocks. . . . a knock at the door turned out to be C calling by! How unexpected but not unpleasant. I'd rather got used to seeing him in Bgdns for a chat most days, and had asked a couple of people to let him know about Bella etc. He gave me a Xmas card and then stopped for a chat and a coffee. . . PCd and just pottered around some more. . . a courier delivered a large box containing the candlesticks I'd bought on e-bay just the other day. Nervously opened it up to be pleasantly surprised. Apart from one of them being just a fraction less than straight (which seems par for the course with such things), they were in good condition and entirely acceptable to me. Put them straight onto the mantle piece with the existing candles in. Yep - I like those there far more than the others. Despite the absurd amount of money I spent on them for such a little cosmetic difference, I am much happier with them than the others. I temporarily put the old ones on the dining table and even came to the conclusion that THEY look rather ok - there, so I'll probably end up hanging onto them for there. Yep - quite pleased about all that. lol . . . more poking around on the PC wrestling with my desire (again) to 'maybe' get another newer PC to sit next to the TV in the living room, etc. I was very very close to buying another reconditioned one of almost exactly the same type as I've ended up with in the PC room as my main PC (hence the drawing out of more cash yesterday evening) but actually in the process of being on-line and studying what was available from that same supplier, an advert suddenly got posted and appeared on a local 'for sale' facebook page for a 'reconditioned' Dell laptop!! A Dell Latitude E5440 with a small 320GB hard drive (fresh instal of registered Windows 10) for 'just' 100. That caught my interest. Quickly surfed and read up on that model as best I could and ummd and ahhd for ages before daring to message the guy saying I was interested. Assuming it is all ok 'mechanicaly', that seems to be a GOOD going price. Thanks to the power of instant messaging on social media, it was soon arranged I'd have it and he'd deliver it around 3:30 this afternoon!!! . . Dismantled the old OLD PC I'd had no luck with yesterday and after stripping out the hard drive and some of the parts which 'may' be worth hanging onto for at least a while, crammed much of it into the bin. The bulky metalwork of the main chasis got dumped in the conservatory until such time as I can break it down to fit the bin or get rid of it in some other way . . . around 3:30pm the computer seller turned up with 'my' laptop! He seemed like a decent bloke and inspired confidence in my purchase. The deal was done and as soon as he'd gone I set about having a quick play with it. The very first thing I needed to play with was connecting it up with an HDMI cable to display on the TV screen. Yayy - that works ok. Downloaded free AVG anti virus software and then had a quick poke at this and that on the net to make sure all was working as well as I'd want. Dug out my router manual and information and eventually managed to get it connecting to my router wirelessly rather than by netwrok cable. Wow - after all these years I FINALLY have myself a very useable laptop (turns on and boots into windows within 40 seconds) all wireless and fully capable of surfing the net etc from even out in the conservatory! WHAT unaccustomed decadent luxury! lol All I need now is a long HDMI cable hidden beneath the edge of the carpet leading from the TV to near where I always sit in the living room (like I bought for the tablet, although sadly that one has a smaller end connector so isn't any use) , and I'd be able to sit in my usual place using the footstool as a little 'desk', and display whatever I'm looking at on the laptop onto the main TV screen if I so desired (like I've wanted to be able to do for SO many years). Ok - so it won't be 'cast' onto the TV wirelessly like I gather modern phones/TVs can do, but still - having such an ability on the odd occasions I'd want to, would be a major step forward for me. AT LAST! :o) (I just need to buy a long HDMI cable now.) . . what a weird almost 'contented' feeling. Ended up leaving playing with setting up what I want on the laptop until some other time. . did a bit more cleaning and dish washing chores etc. . TVd . . . ate chicken kievs, peas and chips followed by jaffa cakes and then rice krispies! . . to bed before midnight.
18 - Woke in the chair around 5:15am before heading for bed. Couldn't get back to sleep all bunged up and coughing and spluttering and being sick a bit so soon got back up. 14C in 6C out. Grey . . .pottered around the house acheiving nothing. I DID pull one of my old PCs out of a cupboard to try to see if there was anything it could be used for, only for me to somehow get into a big mess the moment I went on line with it!? Ended up promptly losing the ability to boot into windows!!! Given how awfully out of date the whole thing is, it just isn't worth me trying to resurrect it. I'm gonna have to tear it apart and just save some of the components (maybe) before trying to cram it in the bin. :o( . ended up aimlessly surfing and listening to just a little of my old music collection feeling very increasingly down. . briefly popped up the road to draw out some cash and then stop by Mum's to change a lightbulb which had blown and which she can no longer reach . . . TVd mostly watching youtube videos. After watching several guitar tutor videos from a teacher new to me who struck me as excellent and worth returning to ('AnyoneCanPlayGuitar'), I was presented on screen with an auto suggestion for a next video all about how to make 'the perfect' grilled cheese sandwich (American style?)! Bizzarly, after having watched a couple of those, that actually had me head to the kitchen and give it a go. I've grown up with cheese on toast done under a grill, but this way of doing it entailed actually frying the sandwich in a pan - with mayo spread on both pieces of bread on the OUTSIDE of the sandwich before frying both sides! Well - it worked, and wasn't at all bad. So much so, I ended up doing another. lol Definitely quicker and less work than doing it under a grill. . as soon as the food hit me (NOT enough for a day again!) I was asleep in the damned chair again!! Uncomfortable fitful sleep but didn't wake until around 3:30am!! . to bed only to then toss and turn coughing and spluttering for ages again, before finally managing to get just a bit more sleep!
17 - Up around 8:15am. 14C in 6C out. Grey . . .PCd . . spent the whole day just whittling away at sorting, cleaning, doing laundry and PCing etc . . bid for and won for under 10 each on e-bay a couple of little brass ashtrays I'd become all obsessed about! Like I need more brass stuff! Jeeze . . .N called and popped in for chats . . ate two frickadelen sandwiches followed by rice krispies . . asleep in the chair.
16 - Up around 9am. 13C in 3C out. Sunny . . .PCD and went a bit crazy with buying and bidding for some stuff on e-bay! With all this sorting things out and cleaning of much of the brass etc in the living room, I seem to have become a bit obsessed with the two tall brass candlesticks I have in pride of place either side of the top of the fireplace. I've grown to really rather dislike them there, purely because of the design of the things. The open twisted rope type design just isn't at all to my liking, and doesn't seem to fit with the feel of the rest of the brass stuff I have all around the place. I've been wanting to find something more suited for quite a while now, and my recent bout of wanting to clear stuff out and only keep what I actually need/want, has brought that all to a head. I've been looking on e-bay for a while now, and this morning spontaeously decided to just go ahead and buy a chunkier more solid looking pair which I 'hope' will be much more pleasing and acceptable to MY eye. A ridiculous expense (18.99!!) - but I AM in the sort of mood where I AM going to be spending some money on bits and pieces, just to get things 'better' for me around the place, rather than continually put up with all the 'rubbish' I've been putting up with for so very very long. . . pottered around trying to tidy up and sort all my junk out some more. More in the bin and a small pile of shirts and things put aside for another charity shop donation . . I suddenly found out I'd never pushed the immitation brass bedknobs down onto my headboard like they should have been, which is why they've been rather loose and rattley all these years! lol All this sorting stuff out is LONG overdue and actually quite satisfying! Huge amounts more stuff to sort out, slowly whittling away at it all, bit by bit. . .popped up the local store for supplies and to get some stanley knife blades and lighter flints etc . . .put in an absurd amount of time into messing around with that big rubber and carpet shop type door mat I once found in the street. Far too good to just get rid of, it's been hanging around for ages, sometimes used in the PC room where Bella used to lay, but it really wasn't appropriate for there. It had become apparant that if I cut it into two, and trimmed the corners to fit, I could make a very much more useable door mat just inside my front door. Took an absurd amount of time cutting it in half and then cutting one half to fit by the door, but got there in the end. Worked out ok. :o) Waste not want not. . messed around with the non funtioning solar light which I long ago mounted on top of my ornate brass candlestick on the living room window cill. Tested things as much as I could with the multitester and came to the conclusion that the actual solar cell/charging part of the lamp had failed, so nothing more I can do about that. A shame that, because I did kinda like the idea of having a little solar lamp there. I AM in danger of even buying a few new little garden solar lights, just to be able to put a new better looking one back atop that candlestick!! We'll see. . . polished up Sis1's brass bedside lamp number two. Sadly I need a lampshade for that one - or rather two new matching . . TVd/guitarred . . . ate lots of weetabix followed later by two burgers, beans and four pieces of bread and butter . . fought off sleeping in the chair and to bed around 1:30am.
15 - Up around 7:45am. 13C in 3C out. Blue sky and shower clouds . . .sorted out a few 'I'll never wear that again' clothes to get rid of, but mostly all Mums unworn expensive shoes! I really should have sold all those on e-bay as I had intended, but the more I thought about doing so, the less I could face the prospect of all the hassle doing so. At the end of the day, it was worth more to me to just have the clutter all gone rather than have to go through all that hassle. Touched base with mum and she was quite happy about them being donated to a charity shop locally. . . eventually loaded up a rucksack and a refuse sack to carry and headed off down town with everything. Drew some cash out and then offloaded all the stuff at one of the animal charity shops . . shopped for supplies and then had a very brief wander down around the harbour. Briefly sat for a quick smoke before braving the cold north wind and heading up to BGdns. Briefly sat there for a short while before heading straight back home . . . aimlessly pottered around poking at all the mountains of junk I still have to sort through. Ended up destroying the hard drive and then binning BBs old laptop which I've had hanging around in the back of a cupboard for SO many years! . polished up one of a pair of old brass table/bedside? lamps Sis1 once gave me. A time consuming lot of work, but it actually came up really nice. Kicking myself that when I'd stashed it in the back of a cupboard years ago, I'd 'allowed' the shade to be destroyed on one of them. But for that, they'd both be more suited to the decor to use as bedside lamps in my bedroom. . TVd/guitarred . . ate two burgers with microwave new potatoes in butter followed by chocolate biscuits. . asleep in the chair until around 4:30am before to bed.
14 - Woke around 6:20am and up a short time later. 14C in 3C out. Clear starry sky. .put a little more junk in the bin (carpet from the understairs cupboard) and then struggled down to the gate with the big stack of Bella's old duvets. . .woke at the PC as usual. On the guesthouse webcam I could see the harbour staff with a forklift dragging the wrecked remains of vessel 'Blue II' out of the water and up the steps! . . eventually set about sorting out the understairs cupboard. Ended up spending hours cutting and laying spare carpet tiles all the way through. I have so few of those tiles left, and all of them in pretty poor shape of varying colours, it seemed a reasonable way to make better use of them rather than just have them piled up under there. Took a ridiculous amount of time to do, and ended up with scissor blisters etc, but managed it 'good enough' in the end. . with the bit of old shelving out of there, and with that much extra storage space, I managed to get all of the 'dog stuff' stowed in there out of the way, before cleaning dust off everything and getting things put back in there in a more orderly accessible way. . finished off the nonsense by TVing a bit whilst polishing my meagre shoe collection before getting them all stowed back under the stairs . . TVd . . ate tuna and mayo with chips followed by chocolate biscuits and ice cream . . asleep in the chair and woke and to bed around 3am.
13 - Up around 7:20am. 14C in 7C out. Grey and damp. . . wow - that Bella post sure struck a chord with people and got a load of very nice responses. More tears reading through them all! . . Mum called and I read a few to her - in between more tears and having to call her back etc! . . whilst briefly poking at an old (outdated) link looking for the (taken over and no more) dog rescue place I got Bella from, I ended up getting a persistant 'ransomware' type screen stuck in the 'Edge' browser!!! That shook me up and had me fearful I was all infected with something nasty! Managed to close the browser ok, so immediately set about doing a monster 'depp' anti virus scan. Left the scan running for hours while I set about sorting through one of the bedroom cupboards all full of junk, looking for stuff to fill the bin up with for tomorrows collection. The trouble with all this trying to sort stuff out, is how time consuming it is. It means going through absolutely everything trying to be rational and ruthless. Spent ages going through all the Christmas junk I've ended up with and eventually managed to trim it down to fit in just the one old suitcase. 'Some' of that decorations/ornaments stuff is really rather nice (Sis2 gifts?), but I really can't see me ever putting up decorations ever again. It just isn't my thing. . carried on looking for stuff to bin, and ended up emptying out much of the understairs cupboard. One of the pairs of 'proper' tidy black polished shoes I've been keeping for funerals or the like, which were like brand new and I don't think I've ever actually worn, turned out to have gone 'off' !!!? The rubber soles of both had somehow inexplicably turned to a soft tar, which was coming off in a black tarry mess on anything they touched! Never had anything go like that before. WHAT a waste of a pair of unworn shoes - straight in the bin. . at some point the many hours of virus scan on the PC finally completed with the all clear, and the Edge browser seemed to have settled back down to normal without the ransomware thingy. Phew - WHAT a relief. . . .ever since I've lived here, there has been a poorly constructed 'junk' set of chipboard shelves under the stairs which had apparantly been constructed in situ, blocking access to the narrowest part of the understairs. Time for THAT to finally come out and be disposed of. . moved all my shoes and junk out before managing to eventually dismantle it. Despite the fact that it really was just fit for the bin, I suddenly realised that with a bit of reworking, if I could pull it off, it'd be useful for actually putting in the bottom of the bedroom cupboard beneath the clothes hanging on a rail, for stacking all my black T shirts etc on. THAT ended up with me working out in the conservatory for several hours with the drill etc, roughly drilling and screwing all the bits back together. Got there in the end. It's a junky looking mess, but just for somewhere to stack my clothes in that cupboard, it's better than nothing and how I have been managing all these years. .vacuumed and cleaned up. Under the stairs, revealed by taking that shelf unit out of the way is actually a small square hole a couple of inches across cut through the floorboards into the underfloor area! Jeeze - no wonder theer are so many cold draughts in this place with hidden stuff like that! More work to do to sort it out! . . . TVd . . .ate a meat pizza with an enormous amount of (going green) extra cheese grated over the top followed by a few jaffa cakes . . made the decision and bundled up and tied with some old string the big pile of multiple old duvets which used to be Bella's bedroom bed, ready for putting out with the bin tomorrow. A tragic shame to just bin such a perfect dog bed, but it's all so huge and unweildy, it really makes no sense hanging on to it. I didn't even salvage the duvet cover holding it all together. If I ever do go the dog owner route ever again, I'll just have to start from scratch - although I HAVE currently held on to the slab of memory type foam I got out of a skip not so long ago. . almost asleep in the chair and early to bed well before midnight.
12 - Up around 7:50am. 13C in -1C out. Mostly calm clear and sunny . . . PCd . . did a 'Bella' post with much tears

finally finished the weather video edit and set it uploading to Fb . . N called in for chats until around 10pm . .TVd/guitarred . . . ate just bowls of rice krispies and weetabix before to bed before midnight.
11 - Just lay in bed for a while before up around 7:45am. That's a long sleep for a change. 14C in 2C out.Grey and blowing . . . Around 08:30 while on-line viewing the Sea Tang guesthouse webcam, I spotted a distant vessel apparently adrift in the vicinity of Oxen Cove. I quickly telephoned the Brixham Harbourmaster's office to let them know in the hope it could be caught and saved. I was informed they were aware and "next to it now" (although on the next pass of the webcam, I could see no sign of anyone anywhere near the vessel at that time). Given the apparant roughness of the waters out in the bay, I mustered up the energy to actually go out and have a walk!! . . walked Bgdns and then straight on down to where I'd seen the boat adrift on the webcam earlier. Sadly it was by now washed up on the rocks and partially submerged and slowly being smashed up by the waves. . carried on down around the harbour and out to the small park past the breakwater and tried sitting there for a while. In the distannce I could see the coastguards at around 10:20 briefly attending the wrecked boat. The cold N wind was bitter and I didn't stay there for long. Carried on out to the Shoalstone pool to grab a snip or two of video before heading all the way back the way I'd come. The wrecked boat was by now losing debris which was washing up on the yacht club slipway, and a pungent slick of fuel was drifting in the same direction. Another yacht out on one of the moorings had been demasted with the mast hanging on but now largely in the water! . . ending up sheltering in the usual gun emplacement in BGdns for my luke warm coffee . . home via the store . . PCd and quickly uploaded a couple of bits of video of the wrecked yacht to one of the local yacht pages 'for info' in the hope that whoever needs to know would get the message from someone . . . TVd/guitarred . . . ate sausages and baked beans with four pieces of bread and butter and some chocolate biscuits . . to bed around 1am.
10 - Up around 7:45am. 14C in 5C out. Mostly grey and still blowing quite a bit . . . PCd and eventually got round to having a serious go at swapping one of the drives (2TB SATA) out of my old PC and into the new one. When I'd first looked in the new one, I thought it wasn't going to be readily possible

Mum called and let me know the woman opposite had been enquiring after me . . . . . popped up the store for milk . . . . . . .

very down. . . drank wine and cooked. Ate two chicken kievs, peas and chips followed by chocolate biscuits . . .to bed not long after 10pm!!!
9 - Back up around 9:15am. 13C in 2C out. Mostly grey . . .woke at the PC before having a go at sorting out the broken curtain track mounts in my bedroom. I'd only recently noticed but whenever Bella layed down in her duvet bed in the bay, she always seemed to brush up against the curtains as she lay down. It would appear that had broken most of the old nylon curtain track mounts.

successfully glued the new mounts in position, cleaned everything including all around the windows and frames, and eventually got the make-do blackout curtains back up. Thankfully and suprisingly all the mud marks and dog hair on the bottoms of the curtains pretty much eventually just wiped off leaving them looking clean and 'ok'. . . carried on de-dusting (lamp shade etc) and wiping away more little traces of mud splashes on everything etc . . . TVd . . . ate a pepperoni pizza with a lot of extra cheese followed by ice cream and jaffa cakes . .asleep in the chair as strong winds and rain lashed the house . . to bed around 3am.
8 - Up around 8:40am. 15C in 6C out. Sun and big wintry shower (snow?) clouds . . .PCd . . did dish washing chores and then pretty much just ran out of steam and ended up sat in front the TV for what turned into HOURS, polishing up some of my brass (ashtrays, ornaments,gun shells etc) in the living room!! A filthy laborious task which I haven't done for years, but it all sure looks good when recently done. Plenty more bits of this and that to get round to some other time! . . ate bowls of rice krispies followed by crisps and then a couple of frikadelen with a crust of bread and butter and a tin of baked beans. Promptly asleep in the chair! . . woke in the chair and to bed around 4:15am, only to then cough and splutter for more than an hour before eventually finally managing to sleep for a bit more.
7 - Woken earlier by neighbour noise, snoozed on then up around 9am. 15C in 11C out. Damp and grey clearing to sunny . . PCd . . popped up the local hardware store for clock batteries and a couple of other bits and pieces . . . ate a going cheap microwave burger in a bap with crisps . . napped . . TVd . . ate bowls of weetabix . . .PCd . . to bed around 4am.
6 - Couldn't get back to sleep all coughing and spluttering and gave up around 5:30am. 15C in 9C out. . .breifly pottered in the garage clearing up a bit of the mountains of mess. . .vacumed and 'de-dogged' another corner of the living room. . aimlessly PCd . . the expensive cremation urn I'd ordered was delivered. Within minutes it was clear I'd thrown my money away. Despite being the right height and shape as the one I already have Sally in, it turns out the actual size of this one is substantially smaller in overall volume, and no way would it hold all Bella's ashes, even if I could have reworked it to remove all the engraving etc! WHAT a waste of money! And now I'm back to square one about where to keep her ashes. A HUGE disappointment - which saw my mood immediately plunge! :o( . . . TVd . . spent ages polishing up the smaller (the one from Grandma) of my brass gun cartridges for the first time in ages. Spilled the new pot of brass cleaner all under the fire wasting loads!! I'm not overkeen on the idea, but it IS conceivable I could dispense with Sally's ashes urn, and actually seperately bag up both sets of cremated remains, and store them in the large brass gun shell that has pride of place in the very corner of the living room where Bella died.? We'll see. I'm SO disappointed I can't just have two matching plain brass urns like the one I already have. :o( . . BB called to touch base! . . . TVd mostly Youtube for hours while a storm battered the house. . ate two turkey slice finger rolls with crisps . . 'just' managed to resist falling asleep in the chair and to bed around midnight.
5 - Poor fitfull sleep, woke earlier then up around 8:45am feeling a bit iffy. 15C in 6C out. Grey . . .

worked at finishing off the DVDs of the 16/9 shout and knocking up a few words to accompany them

the vet called to say 'Bella' was there.

walked across town to the vet to pick up Bella's ashes . 239. popped DVDs through the letterbox of the coastguard CRE and then headed straight down through town and out towards the lifeboat station. Rang the bell and handed the package of copies to a guy who I 'think' may have been the station engineer. I didn't say so, but his voice was oh SO familiar from all my time listening-in on the radio.

Last walk with Bella

Breakwater . . seat by the old coastguard station . . . the usual lower seat in Battery gardens. Retrieved some of her fur from the nearby hole and popped it in a poop bag to take back home . . .

shopped for supplies in the local store on the way home . . . ate all the remaining stew followed by bowls of rice krispies. Immediately fitfully asleep in the chair until well gone 4am before making it up to bed.
4 - Up around 8am. 14C in 4C out. Sun and blue sky between the cloud . . . surfed for HOURS looking for a creamation urn for Bella!! All I wanted was one identical to what I ended up with (after some 're-working' and polishing) for Sally's ashes, - a PLAIN brass urn. Sods law dictates such an urn is apparantly no longer available. After looking at e-bay and amazon and all manner of funeral supply places, I eventually had to pretty much just give up. I DID however decide to go ahead and buy a highly decorated and engraved one, which as far as I could tell was likely to be identical at least in shape and size. My hope is that I may be able to put in lots and lots of work to grind out and file away all the engraving and enamel, and ultimately end up with just plain polished brass again. A heck of a gamble - and a 'significant' 45!!!!!!!

Given how many years it's been since I used my radios, I figured it likely I needed to go on line (every five years) to revalidate my Ham radio licence before

chatted on the radio and let P know about Bella . . .

ate stew and bread and butter . . . napped for almost a couple of hours until woken by the sounds of next door's piano, and then the ansaphone! . . . N called in for chats until around 10pm . . . TVd . . ate jam sandwiches and biscuits. . PCd nonsense until around 4am before to bed.
3 - Up around 7am. 14C in 4C out. Broken cloudy . . . ended up spending pretty much the whole day working on editing the 16/9 shout video!! Despite all the hours at the PC, every time I walked away for a moment to get a coffee etc, I ended up 'tinkering' with more cleaning/wiping down around the place, continuing 'de-doging'. Although there's still much to do, the place is starting to look rather cleaner at least than it has done for years. . briefly popped out into the back garden when I saw the neighbour hanging out washing and gave him the parcel I'd accepted for them the other day, which they seemed in no hurry to want! . . by evening I called it quits on the shout video edit (around 24 minutes long) and burned a test DVD, before then setting multiple copies burning. Briefly popped up Mum's and gave her the DVD to watch. . TVd . . did a bit of dish washing before cooking up a pressure cooker pot of mixed veg and beef mince stew . . ate a bowl of stew with four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate biscuits and ice cream . . to bed gone 2am.
2 - Woken around 9am by christmas music from next door! Up soon after. 14C in 5C out. Grey. . , Mum called and let me know that Sis1's partner had a stroke earlier in the week and is in hospital with left side paralasis, etc!!!!!!! BADDDD news. Touched base with Sis1 . . .ended up sitting at the PC for pretty much the whole day, just trying to get on top of my accounts and the absolute mountain of bills/paperwork/cashpoint/vet receipts etc etc which I've been ignoring for most of the year as it turned out! Slow, slow laborious work checking it all off, but WHAT a relief to get it all done, balanced and filed away at last. . .briefly poked at a bit of brass in the living room, starting with Sally's cremation urn. Turns out that all the little 'splashes' everything has recieved from Bella over the years has actually eaten into the bare brass quite badly, and it's all gonna take quite a bit of rubbing down with abrasive paper and repolishing, etc. :o( . . TVd nothing/Youtubed/guitarred . . .ate just some turkey slice sandwiches, crisps, half a pack of jaffa cakes and a handful of chocolate biscuits . . almost asleep in the chair and to bed somewhere around 11pm.
1 - Up around 7:50am. 13C in 2C out. Mostly clear. . . PCd backing up files and acheiving nothing much else . . lack of milk demanded I pop up the local store for supplies. Bought two 9V batteries. One for my datong morse tutor and the other for the old smoke alarm, which had started beeping to anounce the battery was dead a few days ago. Also bought some Brasso to start having a go at 'de-dogging' the little green splash marks on all my brass ornaments etc in the living room. 'Uncomfortable' being briefly 'out'! . . .accepted a parcel delivery for the neighbour . . . ate a meat feast pizza . . . napped around 5pm - or so I'd intended. Didn't wake up until around 11pm!!!! . . . TVd and ended up watching all manner of nonsense on Youtube until early . . ate bowls of rice krispies . . PCd until around 5am or later before back to bed.
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