Archive for August, 2005

Still Sexy

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005


I made a comment in the chatroom, that since I started on all this healthy-eating nonsense (I refuse to call it a “diet”), I’ve lost three stone in weight. In response, the Mother of the Lactogre said that in that case, it was time for a new photo to be posted. Always ready to oblige, especially as it makes an easy blog subject. Mind you, I do find it a bit disheartening that according to a height-weight table I found on the intermaweb (and now can’t find again), I’ve still got the same amount again to lose :-( .

And in other news, my good chum Andy the Bear and his wife Jane borrowed my spare GPS on Monday: On Tuesday they found their first geocache, the fabby Test Way 1. OK, OK, it’s one of mine, but I can still say nice things about it can’t I? :-)

Welcome to a great hobby, Andy and Jane.

Another Cheat Blog, and the Pub Quiz that Wasn’t

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005
You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.
At work and school, you do best when you’re researching.
When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.
Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.
You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

The Birth Order Predictor

Hmm – not sure about this one. For a start, although I AM a firstborn, I’m also an onlyborn, so I’m not sure it’s right. As for the rest…counselling?

I forgot to mention that on Sunday I went out for a drink with my chum Mark and his lovely new wife June – they were in Southampton visiting Mark’s parents. They showed me all the wedding photos (including the ones with me in a suit), and the honeymoon ones. Then, deciding we didn’t want to stay till the end of the pub quiz, we left when it started.

Hello…?

Monday, August 29th, 2005

I blogged yesterday about odd calls to my mobile phone, and writing about that reminded me of the last time it happened. Incidentally, this story may make clear why I’m reluctant to answer unknown numbers.

It all started on a Saturday evening, with a call from an unknown mobile:
Me: Hello?
Unknown Male Voice: Hello, who’s that?
Me: It’s me, who’s that?
UMV: Who are you?
Me: I’m the person you rang, who are you?
Unknown Male Voice: *Hangs up*

That was weird enough – but in the next ten minutes I had three phone calls from friends telling me they’d just had a phone call from someone who quoted my number and asked if they knew who the number belonged to. Needless to say, my friends aren’t daft, and hadn’t given anything away. Over the next few days there were a few more calls, all along the rather unimaginative lines of “Who are you?”.

A little more information was forthcoming courtesy of a friend of mine, who rang the mystery number claiming to be from BT, and asking the mystery man (or Mr. E, as we started to know him) for his personal details, only to be told, “Sorry, I’m an army officer serving in Northern Ireland, and I’m not allowed to tell you any more than that”.

After a couple of weeks there was a call to my phone, from a withheld number. Apparently I’d won a fantastic prize in some competition or other, and if they could just have my name and address…I said “You must think I’m stupid”, and hung up. A few moments later, another call came which I allowed to go to voicemail, and got the message “Look, I know you’re f***ing scamming me, and I’ve got some f***ing mates and we’re going to come round your f***ing house and f***ing do you. We’ve got your f***ing address from our mate in the
f***ing Police and we’re on our way”
.

Well, I too have a mate in the f*…sorry, in the Police, and he assured me that it was very unlikely that they had got my address that way, so I wasn’t too worried.

The end of the story – which I managed to track down because I’m a bit cleverer than Mr. E – was that it had been a mistake by Vodafone. A private in the Royal Anglian Regiment, who coincidentally had the same surname as me, had called Vodafone to change his billing address, and they’d changed mine instead. So he’d started receiving my bills, with all my dialled numbers itemised and the message “The amount due has been taken from your bank account by direct debit”, and rather than check his bank statement, he’d just started tracking me down.

I do think it’s rather funny that he went to all that trouble and learned nothing useful about me, yet with one call I got his name, his regiment and rank, his army serial number, and his BFPO address. But anyway, that’s why I don’t answer unknown numbers.

It’s a Mystery…

Sunday, August 28th, 2005

I’ve been having some odd phone calls lately.

By “odd”, I don’t mean nasty or sinister, just odd. I have a policy that when I get a call on my mobile, and it’s either “number withheld”, or a number I don’t recognise, I let it go to voicemail, and pick up the message to see who it was. Recently – over the last few weeks – I’ve been getting calls from a London number. Now I know a few people in London, but this number doesn’t belong to any of them.

The number starts 0208-204, followed by four more digits. A bit of research on the intermaweb reveals that prefix to hail from the Stanmore area of London. The people I know live not far away – not far by London standards anyway – but in a different dialling code area, so it isn’t them. What I find really odd is that they’ve called nine or ten times now – including twice yesterday – so they’re obviously quite keen to speak to me, yet they don’t leave a message.

Perhaps I’ll answer next time they call, just to see who it is.

Anyway, this afternoon I had to go to the local caravan shop to buy some bits and bobs, so I stopped off and did the geocache Tickling the Trout on the way. Then it was home to watch the England innings in the Test Match.

Busy Busy

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

Ooh, I’ve done a lot today!

I started with going to the local shops: The plan was to restock the fridge with wine, and get my next two months supply of blood pressure pills from the chemist: In the way these things happen, I ended up struggling home under the weight of two huge carrier bags, and that was only partly due to the wine shop having a three-for-the-price-of-two offer on at the moment.

Then I took my Mum out for lunch, which was lovely: In part we were celebrating the fact that I’ve now lost three stone since the start of this healthy-eating rubbish, although I suspect we may have undone some of that. Then it was a visit to the craft shop, where Mum spent twenty zillion squids on cross-stitching materials.

And then I went and finished the cache I mentioned last night, Alphabet Jumble, which was pretty fabby.

IQ Test

Friday, August 26th, 2005
Your IQ Is 115

Your Logical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your General Knowledge is Average
A Quick and Dirty IQ Test

Hmm…don’t want to sound like I’m bragging (but I will anyway) – but when it was measured professionally it was higher than that…

After work tonight, I went and had a go at the middle section of Alphabet Jumble, a pretty involved puzzle cache. I think I’ve got an answer that makes sense – all I have to do is find it…

Taxing Times

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

Thanks to everyone for your supportiveness over the Loony yesterday – I have to admit, after he departed I felt so flippin’ demoralised that I spent most of the afternoon staring at the desk and doing nothing, as my office-sharing colleague Graham could testify. Mind you, he’d also say that’s nothing unusual…

I stopped at the post office on the way home to tax the Gruntmobile. Why are public services in the UK so rubbish? For a start you’re supposed to be able to do car tax1 on line these days, but the DVLA website was broken all day when I tried. The post office was also broken: There were five people in front of me, and only two counters open, so of course I had to wait half an hour while they refused to sell one man a fishing licence, explained to another the various options for posting a 12-kilo parcel second class, etc. etc. I eventually got to the front, to discover that the tax has gone up another ten pounds in the last year, and then found that they’d locked all the doors so none of us could get out2.

I realised the answer to my own question – about why are things so rubbish – when I was near the front of the queue. It’s simply because they’ve got no incentive to improve. Car tax can be set at any figure the government chooses because they know we’ve got no choice but to pay it3. The DVLA can have a broken website because they know we’ve got to buy our car tax from them one way or the other, so they’ve got no reason to make it easy. And likewise with the post office – they know they can provide rubbish service because we have to put up with it. If I’d been queueing in a shop to buy something, and I’d been kept waiting that long, I’d have walked out, but in this case the only place I could go would be another post office, so they don’t care. And by the time you get to the front of the queue you’re so grateful to have been served at all that you’ll put up with any kind of rudeness from the staff.

I wish I could round this off with some kind of suggestion for a solution, but there isn’t one.As long as we have to go on paying this ridiculous tax, we’re stuck with it4.

And yes, I know you can buy your tax by post. But it means trusting the post office with your car insurance and MOT certificates, and on the return journey both of those plus a tax disk worth a hundred and seventy quids. I’m daft, but I’m not that daft.

1 Sorry, I mean “Vehicle Excise Duty”
2 In contravention of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
3 Yes, of course there’s a choice. But with public transport so expensive, and so unreliable, it isn’t much of one.
4 Yes, it is ridiculous. I’ll blog about why I think that another day.

Meeting

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Well, the Head Office person came, as I predicted on Monday. We’ll have no more trouble from him.

Does anyone know of anywhere near here I can bury a body without anyone noticing? And on a totally unrelated subject, anyone want to buy a big knife, only used once?

I don’t normally swear – not at work anyway – but in his case I’ll make an exception. In fact I have to admit that I swore loud and long just after he left, and I haven’t really stopped yet.

Oh well…it’s only a job.

That Reminds Me…

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

I should have said yesterday, welcome to the world of blogging, to my good friend GillyBee – a link to her blog appears over there in the links bar on the right. I’ve been friends with Gill for seven or so years, and regular readers will remember that last November I went to Kent for the weekend when she and Geoff renewed their marriage vows. We first became friends when we worked together on the Medical team at New Wine, and in fact it was Gill who first named me “The Short Fat Bald Bloke” 1.

Something else that deserves a bit more detail is my comment of Sunday, when I said:
“There may be those who are critical of me going caching, when I was supposed to have been at a regional Hospital Radio meeting today.

Tough.”

The thing is, I went through quite a long time when I had to attend all these meetings because of the various positions I held on the committee: Since I gave up those positions I don’t have to any more, although I had been planning to go to this one because it was being held within a couple of miles of where Ickle Godson and his family live, and I could have gone and visited them at the same time. Then the venue was changed, it would have been a rush to get there after church2, and I’d have got home in the middle of the evening with a load of stuff still to do. Honestly, the whole diabetic/blood pressure/cholesterol/getting older thing has made me rethink the way I do things, and frankly I’m not as willing as I used to be to spend sunny afternoons shut away in a committee room – discussing the same subjects we were discussing six years ago – when I could be out in the fresh air having fun3.

1 May not be 100% of fact, but she may as well get the blame for something.
2 Especially now that, being diabetic, I’m not allowed to miss lunch.
3 I’d still have gone if it’d meant seeing Ickle Godson, though.

I Am Not A Number!

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Oh. Apparently I am a number.

Under the heading of “Not what you want to be told on a Monday morning” is that I’ve got my least-favourite member of head office staff coming to see me in a couple of days. M’colleagues have started hiding all the blunt instruments and big knives in preparation.

More Caches

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

I’ve done a cache that Rockin’ Rob hasn’t!

That may seem a bit of a hollow victory, given that I’ve actually found over 200 more than him, but there were a load of new ones hidden locally just before I went on holiday, and for the last couple of weeks it’s felt a bit as if I’ve been following him and The Lovely Miche around. Anyway, today I found Triple Bog Challenge (New Forest), which they haven’t done yet. Mind you, I nearly didn’t survive the experience – I discovered as I was putting the lid back on, that there’s a toy in the cache that makes a noise just like a small child saying “Hi” very loudly – being convinced I was the only person for miles, I leaped about six feet in the air, and my pulse and blood pressure went even higher!

After that, it was on to Solent Way Series – Sowley Woods, where I parked about a mile and a half away and made a circular walk, snacking on fresh blackberries as I went, which was rather nice. Then once I was back at the car, I went and had my second – and this time successful – try at Solent Way Series – Oak Arch. Then I went home.

There may be those who are critical of me going caching, when I was supposed to have been at a regional Hospital Radio meeting today.

Tough.

Shopping

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Well, why change a winning formula, that’s what I always say. Mind you, for fourteen flippin’ quid, they’d better last.

While I was hitting the shops, I also spent a few quid dragging Gottlegog Towers into the 1990s – yes, I now have a DVD player. Only one DVD mind you – plus a free magazine cover disk I’ve had for ages, and may have a quick look at once I find it. I don’t want to rub it in folks, but it’s now only nine weeks to my birthday…

Oh, and in other news, my Rick Wakeman CD I told you about last week arrived this morning, so the walls are shaking to the sound of prog rock classic.

Joke

Friday, August 19th, 2005

A joke unashamedly stolen from Rockin’ Rob:
“I’ve got an Israeli friend staying with me at the moment: Whenever any mail arrives addressed to ‘The Occupier’ I just give it to him”

It was nice to see Jenny in the chatroom today – and really fun that for some reason the rubbish sweary filter doesn’t apply to her posts: Next challenge is to get her blogging.

After work I decided that a little light caching would round the week off nicely, so I drove down to Keyhaven. There were a few dark clouds starting to gather when I arrived in the car park, so I took my waterproof just in case – lucky I did, as about thirty seconds after I found Solent Way Series – Keyhaven, the heavens opened and it absolutely lobstered down for about twenty minutes. I’d originally intended to carry on along the Solent Way to another cache, and decided that in spite of the rain I may as well: I’d have been soaked anyway even if I’d walked straight back to the car, so I may as well get soaked and have a good walk at the same time, and in the end the rain stopped just before I found Solent Way Series – Milford-on-Sea, so by the time I got back to the car I’d almost dried out.

A quick stop in Lymington on the way home gave me Muggle Trouble Micro, then it was time to go home to eat, shower and put a dry shirt on.

Coff Coff

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

It’s pretty well known, among those who take execise seriously, that you shouldn’t do strenuous exercise while you’ve got a chest infection.

Back in the days when I was a serious runner, I knew the in-depth medical explanation for this, but that was a long time ago and age has done it’s thing with my…um…er…thing you…oh yeah, memory. However, I do still remember the basic principal. I haven’t made a big thing of it, but I’ve been really chesty these last few days, with a nice productive cough that’s kept me – and probably the rest of Gottlegog Road – awake at night.

So I haven’t been going to the gym. It’s been hard – I need to get back into training after my holiday – but I’ve managed to keep myself interested with a little light exercise of a different kind – guess what, I’ve been caching.

On Tuesday I did a little cluster of caches near Bucklers’ Hard in the New Forest. The first – where this picture was taken – was The Full Nelson, a nice multi-cache placed by my good caching chums (and fellow Pompey-supporters) Paul and Judith, and my 350th cache! Next came two more caches in the “Solent Way” series: Firstly The Old Telephone Exchange, a really cunningly-concealed micro-cache, and then Tithe Barn.

Wednesday after work I was still a bit raspy, so I went and did Take Me to Zion.

By the way, I have found time to do a bit of work on the tracker function: Take the sidebar link to “My Bits ‘n Bobs”, and have a look at “Gruntmobile Trace” (not Track). It’s still not how I want it, but it’s better than it was.

Yet another meme

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
How You Life Your Life

You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside.

You are always tactful and diplomatic. You let people down gently.

You tend to have one best friend you hang with, as opposed to many aquaintences.

You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren’t attainable.

How Do You Live Your Life?

Cheat!

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Some sectors of the geocaching community expend a lot of energy debating what makes a “fair” cache find, and what constitutes cheating.

I don’t see the point, myself – caching is the ultimate “no winners, no losers” game, and if someone wants to claim to have found a cache just because they managed to successfully find their way to the recommended parking place, who cares? I wouldn’t claim a cache I hadn’t actually found, but if someone else wants to, that’s their business. To a degree, I can see that it’s a bit unsporting – if you look for a cache and don’t find it, but claim the find because you’re sure you were looking in the right place, then you fail to alert the cache owner to the fact that his cache might be missing. Even worse, someone might see your log and decide to use that cache to introduce newbies to the sport, secure in the knowledge that it was there when you looked, so it’s almost certain to be a find. But that aside, you haven’t really cheated anyone, and you’ll always have it in mind that your “caches found” numbers aren’t quite right.

Equally controversial is the means by which you found the cache – how much help did you have with the clues, did you visit all the locations on a multi, and so on. There’s a really famous geocache called WildCat, the first cache of the highest difficulty rating ever placed in the UK. The first part of this requires you to solve a clue that takes you to a location, where you can get some numbers you’ll need from a plaque: Not only have I visited the location, years ago before caching was invented, but I’ve got a photo of the plaque: The required numbers are easily visible. Now, would it be cheating to find the cache without revisiting the plaque?

One of the basic philosophies of geocaching is that if a non-cacher finds a cache by accident – for example, they’re out for a walk and think “I wonder if there’s anything hidden in that old tree stump?” – and they sign the log book, then subsequently take up caching, they can claim the cache they found by accident, as long as they’ve signed the log. To me, that sets the overriding principal – as long as you’ve signed the log, then how you got there is less important. One of my multi-caches is “do-able” without going to any of the clues, as long as you know the area really well, and at least one person’s found it that way. I regard that as all part of the game between me, as the setter, and the seekers: If I, intentionally or otherwise, make it possible to do that, then good luck to anyone who gets one over on me!

Virtual caches – where there’s nothing actually to find, and therefore no log book – are a much murkier subject: You normally claim these by e-mailing the owner with the answer to a question about the location the cache has taken you to. Some people have made a hobby of researching virtuals on the internet and finding the answers that way, and amass a good score without ever visiting the locations. I wouldn’t find it particularly satisfying, but again, if I set a cache and someone was able to claim it that way – well again, it’s all part of the game and I’d let the claim stand. I know some cache setters would be upset about it, but if they’ve set a virtual question that can be answered without a personal visit, that’s their fault.

Ultimately, it’s up to each individual or team to decide: I’ve got my own rules about things like when it’s OK to phone a friend for advice, how long I search for the cache before decoding the clue and so on, and I’ll stick to them. Other people have their own rules, and that’s their business!

Tyred and Emotional

Monday, August 15th, 2005

I told you last week about my tyre-bursting experience with one of the caravan tyres while coming home from New Wine. Over the weekend I managed to have a closer look at the offending article, and the mystery (such as it is) deepens…

An undamaged section of the tyre which burst, showing the tread wear indicators (circled): There’s loads of tread left on this tyre.
Part of the damaged section of the tyre: The tread in this section seems to have simply delaminated away from the casing. Although the picture doesn’t show it, there’s no visible damage to the sidewalls of the tyre.
A close-up of the edge of the damaged tread area, showing how the tread is peeling away from the tyre casing.
A long shot of the wheel and tyre, with the limits of the area of damage shown.

So what happened? There doesn’t appear to be any readily-apparent reason for the tyre to have failed in the way it did – but I do know that before I tow it again, it’s having two new tyres.

Party Party

Sunday, August 14th, 2005

This weekend was the birthday party of my good chum Jenny. In Nottingham. I spent the weekend in Southampton.

Fair enough, Jenny and I have been friends for eighteen years and it’s only the second time I’ve missed her birthday party, but it still upset me a bit, especially when the date was selected with my availability in mind – Jenny would have preferred next weekend, the Saturday after her birthday rather than the one before, but I was booked to work on an event next weekend. To add to the grump factor, I’m no longer needed for next weekend’s event anyway :-( – although there is something else fairly important that I ought to go to instead.

The reasons for this missingness were firstly the residual unable-to-stay-awake-ness left over from the illness of earlier in the week, and a bit of non-specific-Mum-not-wellness. I think I made the right choice – I did two caches in the Hythe area on Friday after work, and was so tired after walking just a mile and a half that I seriously considered leaving the car there and getting home by public transport. I certainly wasn’t up to a 2-hour drive to the frozen north.

The day I should have been at the party I did hardly anything, and still retired knackered at 10:00PM :-(

And today – the day I should have been driving home – I did two caches and gave up in disinterest and went home, so I MUST be ill! It all shows I made the right choice in not going to the barbie, but I’m still really sorry about it – and doubly determined not to miss out next year!

Those caches by the way – Friday’s were Solent Way Series – Salt Marsh Stopover (which I only accomplished after some telephone guidance from Rockin’ Rob), followed by a short walk to Solent Way Series – Furzedown Woods, which is hidden away not far from a lovely little art deco pub / restaurant that I must explore more thoroughly sometime.
Today I did Solent Way Series – Forest Front, a walk through a little nature reserve that I’ve driven past a hundred times and never knew it was there. Next was a fail-to-find at Solent Way Series – Oak Arch – better cachers than me have had trouble here, so I’m not that downhearted. Finally I stopped off at Salmon Wood No It, a nice easy walk in a place I’d often thought about putting one myself. Ah well.

Nighty night chums.

Cacher Map

Saturday, August 13th, 2005
County map
I’ve found caches in the counties in yellow.
Which counties have you visited?

made by marnanel
map reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data
by permission of the Ordnance Survey.
© Crown copyright 2001.

Rick

Friday, August 12th, 2005
“Who so pulleth out this sword from this stone and anvil…is the true born king of all Britain”

If those words immediately make you think of a crashing orchestral fanfare, followed by an hour of musical prog-rock genius, it’s likely you’re familiar with Rick Wakeman’s concept album “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table”. I had a copy on cassette, back in the days when cassette was the forefront of home-entertainment technology, and although I can’t really remember what happened to it, I’m fairly sure it died of overuse in some car stereo or other back in the late eighties.

As regular readers will know, New Wine – where I have my annual Summer holiday – happens within a stone’s throw of Glastonbury, the legendary Isle of Avalon, and every year as I come over the last hill and see the Tor in the distance, I hear in my mind those words again, followed by the opening fanfare of the first track, Arthur, and start wishing yet again that at some time in the previous year I’d got myself organised and located a CD copy to play in the car.

Now, it may well be that as my Gran used to say, “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride” 1, but in this context at least, my wishing days are over, since through the excellent offices of Amazon, I’ve located a brand new copy, available by mail order. Some minor credit-card damage ensued, and within a few days the music will be mine – har har har! Incidentally, if any of my readers are yet contemplating my birthday – only ten weeks away – Amazon also have copies of Wakeman’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Seven Wonders of the World. Just a thought.

Anyway, I promised that today I’d blog about what it was like going back to work after holiday plus illness. It was pretty rubbish really – I spent most of day one dealing with filing that should have been done by someone else, leaving the decks clear for day two to be spent doing important tasks like preparing for two meetings next week, buying prog rock CDs on line, and looking for my cheque book2.

1 Don’t ask me – she was full of stuff like that.
2 Which eventually turned up locked in the glove box of the car – where it’d been all holiday.

Bang Bang

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

In all the excitement of sorting out the holiday blog and photos, being violently ill etc, I forgot to tell you about my adventure while coming home from holiday. Before I go into that tale, I should tell you I had a passenger on the return trip – a nice young lady called Emily, and stop waggling your eyebrows – she’s a friend-of-a-daughter-of-a-friend who needed a lift back to Hampshire, and the friend etc said “Oh, Paul’ll help you, no problem”. Since she was happy to be taken to Southampton railway station, which is about five minutes from my house, it would’ve been churlish to refuse, wouldn’t it?

Anyway, back to the journey home, and we were making good time – the journey passing extra-quickly with Emily’s tales of life as a student vet – until, about 15 miles from home, there was a bang and a sharp juddering from behind. Received wisdom in the world of caravanning is that when you have a tyre blowout on a caravan, it’s all death and destruction, overturning, dirty underwear spread all over the road, etc, but I’m pleased to say that on this occasion none of that happened: I just slowed down, drove to a convenient layby a hundred yards up the road, and prepared to change the wheel.

Long term readers will remember that just after I bought the Gruntmobile, my lovely Mum bought me an airbag jack, and I’d like to say that this made short work of raising the appropriate side of the caravan – that wouldn’t quite be true, although it was probably easier than any other kind of jack. The old wheel came off surprisingly easily, and then the fun started: The caravan spare wheel slides out from under the back of the caravan, and of course having jacked up one side, the other was correspondingly lower and the spare wouldn’t come out. To compound the difficulty, I’d parked as close to the left-hand side of the layby as possible, to give me extra room for wheel-changing, so accessing the spare now involved crawling through the brambles and laying in the mud to grovel under the caravan for the release clips1.

Anyway, the job was eventually completed without having to resort to the assistance of the RAC, Emily was deposited at the station, and the caravan and I both reached home safely. The only real casualty was my white “Heavenly Sheep” T-shirt, which’ll never be the same again, but in a way I’m glad it happened: I now have the confidence of knowing that a blowout isn’t necessarily as life-threatening as all the caravan pundits would have you believe, and also of knowing that changing a caravan wheel at the roadside – something else the pundits are very vocal about – is well within my capabilities.

Tomorrow, I’ll blog about what it was like going back to work :-(

1 One of the caravan projects for the end-of-season is to dream up an easier-release method of securing the spare wheel holder.