Archive for December, 2006

Justice?

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

You can’t have escaped the news that Saddam Hussain was hanged this morning.

There can be little doubt, after what he’s done over the last thirty years, that he deserved to die. But there are millions of people who are alive in the world who don’t deserve to be alive, and plenty who deserve to live that have died. Deserving to die doesn’t necessarily make his death just.

The pro-execution lobby have talked about closure for his victims, and fair payback for what he did to them: But Saddam’s execution has done nothing to restore to life or health, those he gassed, bombed, committed to poverty through his profligacy or whatever. They celebrate his execution, but this time next week they’ll feel no better than they did a week ago. As for fair payback, he was executed with far more respect and dignity than he offered any of his victims.

That said, I don’t really have an alternative to offer. As a general principal I’m opposed to capital punishment, but that’s mainly because there have been far too many miscarriages of justice – people provably wrongly convicted – to go round killing people. In this case we can at least be sure that the right person’s been hanged, and that he did at least most of the things he’s said to have done. What else is possible? To have treated him in the same way he treated his victims? That would have made the “civilised” world as guilty as he was. Life imprisonment? He’d still have enjoyed a far better lifestyle than many of those left trying to survive in Iraq today.

I think Saddam’s execution was inevitable, the obvious least-worst outcome. But I don’t think it was justice.

Cheap Food and Working Gadgets

Friday, December 29th, 2006

I forgot to mention that on Wednesday I took my Luvvly Mum for lunch at our favourite eatery. The food there is pretty good value anyway (two main courses for a tenner), made even better when the waitress who usually serves us gives us a discount we’re not technically entitled to. Well, my Mum’s sort-of entitled to it, being over 60, but she isn’t a member of the over-60s-good-eating-club that would actually entitle her to the discount. Still, we had two starters1, two main courses, two desserts and two drinks2, and it all came to just over 21 squids, which – as I was paying – I was quite happy about.

But on to what I really wanted to tell you today: Remember a while ago, I took the old laptop up to Jenny’s for her to use on the internet, only to have the wireless card die? When I got back home, I tested the card in a couple of other devices, and sure enough, it was totallement3 dead. I threw it on one side, intent on one day dismembering it, not in the hope of mending it – I’m rubbish with SMT – but just for fun. Anyway, dismemberment never happened, and nor did buying a new wireless card for the laptop, and on Wednesday evening – when even the thrill of reading the whole SimonG canon was waning – I though “I wonder…” and plugged the non-functioning wireless card into one of the gadgets I’d previously tested it in.

You’ve probably guessed that it worked perfectly.

So – as long as I can dream up a way to keep it working for a reasonable time – Jenny may well be internetting lappytoppytudinously in the near future :-)

1 And yes, I had the salad.
2 Two between us, obviously, not two each.
3 As my French chums would say4
4 If I had any French chums, that is

Christmas Passed

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Back to work today :-(

Well OK, technically I could claim to have been back at work since ten pee emm on Christmas day, when I had to turn the work mobile back on and consider myself “on call”. But that would be cheating a bit, since I didn’t get called, and in any case, having to carry around a second mobile phone is nothing, compared to the fact that this morning the alarm clock went off, and I had to get up, at a horribly early time. The same thing is going to happen tomorrow – and it’s Hospital Radio night tonight, so I can’t even get an early night to prepare for the awfulness.

Still, I’ve completed one of the two jobs that I have to do before going to Nottingham for the New Year weekend, and all of tomorrow to do the other one. Except that my boss is going to be there tomorrow, so the chances of getting anything useful done are pretty remote.

Christmas Past(ime)

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

You’ll never believe what I’ve been doing a lot of, over the last few days?

I know you won’t believe it – I’ve been doing it and I don’t believe it, so why should you? I blame the fact that – at a time of year when I’ve got spare time to spend on the interweb – the authors of most of the blogs I regularly read, and all the people I normally talk to on MSN, have been otherwise engaged.

So I’ve been reading Simon G’s blog. Not just the front page, obviously – even I’m not that slow a reader – I went back to the beginning and started working my way forward. Of course I remember most of the stories from the first time round – although there were a few from before I joined the community – but I’ve enjoyed the reminders of the days when Simon was really rubbish. What started me on this odyssey was Simon’s own link back to a blog where he talked about his Mum’s cat, Muffin: I read that link, and the cat-related blogs either side, and just drifted…

He was geocaching long before me as well.

Back to work tomorrow, and I’m only up to March 8th 2004. Looks like I’d better get a move on.

(oh yes, and I’ve organised myself a favicon! Look in your address bar if you don’t know what one of them is)

Christmas Fairy

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

I spotted this during my afternoon’s caching. Just look at the name of this bit of kit – it’s on the arm of the jib. Go on, just look at it!

OK, I suppose that IS a bit small. Try this:

Deary me. It reminds me a bit of my mate Colin: Colin’s a paramedic, and always refers to the Fire Brigade as “The Water Fairies”. I don’t know if he says it to their faces, but he’s a big bloke and if I was a fireman, I wouldn’t argue with him ;-)

Anyway, I bet you want to know about those caches don’t you? After the excesses of the last couple of days I was starting to think that Fatso’s Box might have been named after me: it was also my nearest “not found” to home, so that was number one. Not far away – and my second nearest “not found” – was Grockles Gumbo South: The World’s Greatest: This is the second incarnation of GG South, I did the original ages ago, and this one was just as good.

Finally for today, A Common Cache was hidden in some nearby woods

Christmas Day

Monday, December 25th, 2006

I hope your Christmas has been as lovely as mine :-)

An excellent meal out with my luvvly Mum, and lovely presents too (thanks to Sarah and Rob, great in both cases :-) ). And I have Baileys!

Although there seems to be rather less of that in the bottle now, than there was when I unwrapped it. I think I’d better go to the gym tomorrow.

Christmas Peace

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

Oh dear.

There’s been something I’ve wanted to blog about since last weekend. But it’s something I’d really only want read by those closest to me, and I don’t really like those password-protected blog posts. Don’t get me wrong, I know some people have excellent reasons for restricting access to their blogs to trusted friends, and I’m not criticising them – I just don’t want to do it myself.

So, remember I said in last Sunday’s offering that there was a poem at church that made me cry? It just reminded me of the situation some friends of mine find themselves in, this Christmas. And that’s as far as I’m going, publicly :-)

I’ll close by wishing you all you wish yourselves, this Christmas. Be at peace with the world. And if there’s someone you care about who doesn’t know it, make sure you tell them.

Christmas Quiz (Nicked from Stu and Kouros)

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

1. Ever been given an engagement ring? No

2. Longest friendship? Thirty years, with Mark the Buddhist. He died earlier this year

3. Last gift you received? I was given three Christmas presents this afternoon. I haven’t opened them yet.

4. How many times have you dropped your cell? Too many to count

5. When’s the last time you worked out? This afternoon, 50 minutes on the treadmill

6. Thing you spend a lot of money on? Gadgets

7. Last food you ate? Chicken and mustard sandwich

8. First thing you notice about the opposite sex? Face, then wedding ring (or not)

9. One favourite song? Chris Rea, “Driving Home for Christmas”

10. Where do you live? Southampton, UK

11. Cell phone service provider? Vodafone (personal) and O2(work)

12. Favourite mall store? John Lewis’s Coffee Shop

13. Longest job ever had? Current job, 18 years

14. Do you own a pair of dice? I’ve got loads of board games, so probably

15. Do you prank call people? No

16. Last wedding attended? Chris and Jenny

17. First friend you’d call if you won the lottery? Jenny

18. Last time you attended church? Last Sunday evening. Or if you’re reading this on Sunday, this morning

19. How old are you? 36 plus VAT

20. Biggest lie you have heard? “I’m on your side” (from someone I work with)

21. What do you want to drive? A brand new Land Rover

22. Where’s your favourite place to eat with friends? Anywhere that friends are!

23. Can you cook? Only at “survival” level

24. What car do you drive? The Gruntmobile

25. Best kisser? I’m too much of a gentleman to say…

26. Last time you cried? Last Sunday in church. There was a poem that set me off

27. Most disliked food? Tuna

28. Thing you like most about yourself? Modesty

29. Thing you dislike most about yourself? The fact that my answer to (28) is a lie

30. Longest shift you have worked at a job? 16 hours. But it wasn’t a job, it was volunteer work

31. Favourite movie? Don’t know, really

32. Can you sing? I sing about as well as I play the ukelele. I’ve never played the ukelele

33. Last concert? TBC, this time last year

34. Last kiss? Sadly, I have to admit I don’t remember

35. What colour are your eyes? Hazel. And bloodshot

36. Who knows your darkest secret? Gill. And Jenny

37. Last movie rented? No idea

38. Thing you never leave home without? Wallet, cross neckchain

39. Favourite vacation spot? New Wine

40. Do you like Chinese food? Yes yes yes yes yes!

42. Is your room clean? Ha ha ha ha ha!

43. Laptop or desktop computer? Laptop, and a dead desktop

44. Favourite comedian? Mike Harding. Remember him?

45. Do you smoke? Nope

46. Sleep with or without clothes? Either, depending on temperature

47. Who sleeps with you every night? No-one :-(

48. Long distance relationships work? I guess they can…not sure they would for me

49. How many times have you been pulled over by the police? None

50. Pancakes or French toast? Pancakes

51. Do you like coffee? More thanI should, I’m trying to cut down

52. How do you like your eggs? Poached is favourite

53. Do you believe in astrology? I believe that if people believe in it, they can adapt their life to fit it

54. Last person you talked to on the phone? Rockin’ Rob

55. Last person on your missed call list? Rockin’ Rob

56. What was the last text message you received? “Full time Portsmouth 3 Sheffield Utd 1″

57. McDonalds or Burger King? Whichever’s nearest, but only if I’m desperate!

58. Number of pillows? 3

59. What are you wearing right now? Slippers, Socks, T-shirt, Jeans, two jumpers.

60. Pick a lyric, any lyric or song? “Girl you’re everything to me, let’s go make a family”

61. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich? Eh?

62. Can you play pool? Yes, badly

63. Do you know how to swim? Yes

64. Favourite ice cream? Ben and Jerries Phish Phood

65. Do you like maps? Oh yes!

66. Tell me a random fact about yourself? I’m gorgeous

67. Do you do drugs? Only pain killers and Rennies

68. Ever attend a theme party? Probably, don’t remember

69. What is your favourite season? Summer

70. Last time you laughed at something stupid? This morning, the sign on Henry’s blog

71. What time did you wake up this morning? 9 ‘clock

72. Best thing about winter? Wearing silly hats

73. Last time a cop gave you a ticket? Never

74. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Public speaking

75. Name of your first pet? Bill and Ben (they were goldfish)

76. Do you think pirates are cool or overrated? Eh?

77. What are you doing this weekend? As little as possible

78. Who’s your best friend? Jenny

79. What is the third letter of your name? U

80. How old are your pets? None at the moment

81. What colour is your backpack?Blue

82. Are you sick? Are you nosey?

84. Is the bathroom open? Probably

87. Are you smiling? No, I’ve got indigestion

88. Do you have on eye-liner? Eh?

89. Do you miss someone right now? Not really

90. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? Somewhere warm

91. Do you have a Myspace? No

92. Are you in high school? No

93. Do you have a crush? No, but I’ve got a vice in the shed

94. What is your favourite nickname for yourself? Most people call me “Gottle”

95. What colour is your bathing suit? Sort of pale beige

96. What’s your favourite brand of water? Umm…the wet sort?

97. Did you go on vacation last month? Yes, a long weekend for John and Marie’s party

98. Have you ever been on a cruise? No

99. Do you have a sister? Only “sort-of”

100. Are you upstairs? No

Christmas Peace: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

This morning’s Thought for the Day on the radio came live from Bethlehem.

I visited Bethlehem several years ago, during a brief lull in the troubles in Israel. I say a lull – the building opposite the hotel was mortared the day before we arrived, and there was a suicide bombing at the bus stop up the road a couple of weeks before. But compared to the times either side, it was fairly safe and peaceful when I was there. Even then it was obvious that there were problems – very few of the postcard views of Manger Square, the nearest road to the Church of the Nativity, show the machine gun posts on top of buildings. Inside the church is a little better – if you can ignore the fact that the church is divided up and shared between the various Christian denominations, each having their own little part laid out in their style. Sadly as soon as you leave the church buildings, the most dominant feature is a bunch of aggressive souvenir sellers.

But there’s more to Bethlehem than the birthplace of Jesus: The tour company I went with – who specialise in Christian tours – were keen that we should be more than religious tourists, so we were taken to visit an orphanage for blind children funded by an English charity – the idea being that some of us would sign up as sponsors. I must admit that I found it a bit cheesy and embarrassing, with the children being wheeled out to smile at us and sing a greeting song, before we were served tea and biscuits in the hall. It was good to see them well cared for, but the biggest impression made on me was when we saw how they’d have been living if the orphanage wasn’t there, as the coach drove through the streets of the town. It was like being in an episode of News at Ten, with bomb-damaged buildings, and vehicles from the United Nations charging around everywhere.

One day everyone will live in peace, but sadly I don’t see it being any day soon.

Christmas Feast

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

The denizens of the Portacabin – that is to say me, Mike, Mick, the other Mike, Derek, Graham, Diane and Cheryl – had our Christmas lunch today. It was very nice, and featured sausage rolls, vols-aux-vents, cheese and crackers and mince pies :-) . Oh, and left-over Naan bread, of which more in a paragraph or two.

And on Tuesday we had the “proper” company Christmas buffet. That was also very nice, although majored rather more on sandwiches: I think the catering company have lost the recipe for sausage rolls. They’ve certainly lost the recipe for a decent cup of tea, but that’s another story :-( . Sadly I only got half of mine anyway – we had Captain Charisma from Head Office doing an unannounced visit (on free food day…there’s a coincidence), and as soon as he saw me eyeing up the gateaux he decided it was time we got back to the whinging and whining.

But the major feast of the season so far was last night – there’s no point pretending it was salad ‘cos Sarah watched me eat it ;-) . We’d decided that curry would make a nice change from the usual chinese, so we rang the takeaway, ordered what we wanted (mainly on Sarah’s recommendation, as it was a takeaway I’d never been to before), and fifteen minutes later toddled round to collect our grub. While we were waiting, Sarah mentioned to the guy behind the counter “Don’t worry about it now, but the last time I was in here you forgot my Naan bread”. He was very apologetic and promised to do something about it…

Our order finally appeared in two HUUUUGE carrier bags. “I’m sorry I forgot your Naan bread last time: I’ve given you some free Naan bread, some extra poppodums, some Bombay potato, some…”. To cut a long story short1, we all ate as much as we could, and there was enough left over for Sarah and George’s dinner tonight, and for me to supply Naan bread for the lunchtime buffet2.

And I’ve got enough spare mince pies to take some to Hospital Radio tonight, too.

1 Too late!
2 Although somehow there were still no leftover poppodums for Maggie the insane boxer dog. She wasn’t happy.

Christmas Holiday

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

OK, it isn’t really about Christmas holiday, but I had to keep the week’s title-theme going somehow ;-)

I booked my next-year’s summer holiday this morning. I’ll be doing the same as usual, working on the medical team at the New Wine Christian Conference for two weeks. I haven’t done my team application yet – the online form is pretty user-unfriendly, so I’ll wait until I’ve got a bit more patience than I have at the moment :-) . I’ve also got to send my first aid certificate, and I’m not sure how they want me to do that except by scanning and attaching the file, and in the absence of my desktop (hint hint to Technical Support Buddy), I can only do that by setting the scanner up on the lappy – something else I don’t currently have the patience for.

And in any case, my current certificate expires before next year’s event anyway, so all I can do is send them a copy of that with an assurance that I’ll renew it in time – which in turn depends on HR booking me on the course *makes note to start nagging HR*. The good thing is, there’s now a much better choice of venues for the course, one of which is only about ten minutes walk from my house :-)

And just to keep us on-message: Two days to the start of the Chrimbo holiday – and assuming I don’t get called in to work, I’ve got five days off, if you include the weekend! Then only back for two days, and another four days off, which’ll include meeting a load of geocaching chums in a pub, and going to Nottingham to play with kittens – hurrah!

Christmas Wrapping

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

I’m going to have to buy some Christmas wrapping paper soon.

By “soon”, I don’t mean before the end of the week or anything – but certainly in a year or two I’m going to have to put my hand in my pocket. Lest you think I’m the kind of tightwad who wraps Christmas presents in old newspaper, let me explain…

I used to take part in an annual quiz every year, a couple of weeks before Christmas. The organiser worked for a company which supplied Christmas wrapping paper, among other things, and arranged for his employers to sponsor the prizes for the quiz. As well as a generous amount of traditional-style Christmas quiz prizes – puddings, mince pies, Chrimbo cake and alcoholic sustenance – there was always enough of the company’s principal product for every participant to take home a couple of rolls. Several years of competition – each year coming home with at least twice as much paper as I needed – meant that Gottlegog Towers built up several years worth of stock.

The quiz wasn’t held last year, and this year I forgot to go :-( . Combined with some less honourable paper-mountain-control techniques (like wrapping birthday, wedding, engagement and baptism presents in Christmas paper), I’m now down to two rolls

Christmas Caching

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Well, I had a day off work today, using up (almost) the last of my annual holiday. And it wasn’t a bad day, by December standards. And I’ve not been caching for AAAAAGES.

So, having done the first part of The Great New Forest Cache Dash last weekend, I did the rest of it today. Part three eluded me for a while, until a phone call to my chum Nobby Nobbs brought a hint, and then it was an enjoyable plod through the New Forest mud to finish off.

And then I did Motorway Mayhem J2 M27 on my way home. Not the most fun cache I’ve ever done, but it was my nearest-to-home unfound.

And yes, I did go to the carol service last night – and had TWO mince pies with my coffee afterwards :-)

Christmas Church

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

This morning in church, we put on “A Walk Through Christmas”, and invited non-church people from the area to come and visit and see what we were up to. We had:

Breakfast – which featured bacon, sausage, mushrooms and black pudding. I only had the salad, of course. Oh, and a nice cup of coffee.

A foretaste of what all my chums can expect for Christmas next year (see yesterday’s blog!). Some may have been disappointed that they were remarkably well-behaved.

My contribution was providing the wherewithal for people to watch the “More To Life” DVD. That’s my new laptop, for those of you who’ve not seen it yet.

And lots of other things going on. There was a quiet room out the back where people were encouraged to sit and reflect or pray awhile. It had some poems up on the wall, one of which made me cry.

And then I came home, and now I’m just thinking about what I need to do to be ready to head back out again for the carol service.

Christmas Shopping

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

Bah humbug.

Next year everyone I know is getting a donkey off the Christian Aid website. I saw a friend of mine who was working in John Lewis this afternoon – he said everyone is in last-minute panic mode this weekend, so I’m glad it’s not just me :-) . I even found time to spend fifteen squids on a new pair of shoes, once I found Shoe Express – it had to be that shop because I had a discount voucher for there.

Oh, and I got royally stiffed over in one shop as well :-(

Still, that’s Chrimbo shopping out of the way, I think – I even got some wrapping done this evening. So now it’s time to rest.

Smell

Friday, December 15th, 2006

You’ll remember that a couple of weeks ago I had my Big Scary Eye Test.

Because the eye drops they use stop you seeing for a while afterwards, I’d made plans to get through the rest of the day without having to drive: for this reason, Rockin’ Rob gave me a lift home from Hospital Radio that night. The first thing we noticed when we got in his car was that his new air freshener was a bit on the overpowering side: the second thing was that it was a bit unpleasant as well.

Before I got out, back at my house, he gave me the offending smelly and asked me to throw it away for him: I thought I could do better than that and said “I’ll take it to work tomorrow and put it up in the office. Better yet – I’ll HIDE it somewhere in the office and see how long it takes for someone to complain”. Ten days later there was quite an impressive argument between Cheryl – who works at the opposite end of the Portacabin from me – and Jean the Cleaner, based on Cheryl insisting that the new polish Jean was using smells horrible, and Jean insisting that she was using the same polish she’s always used.

I love it when I get to stimulate conversation between workmates ;-)

The other thing I need to show you is this proof that at least some people are getting into the Chrimbo spirit: I took this near Sarah’s the other night – and yes, that’s George in the centre of the picture.

On a technical note – I don’t think that’s bad for handheld on a little camera at night. Mind you, I was leaning against a lamp-post for stability.

Oooh!

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Reading an old copy of the Daily Mail, I spotted a story about a new treatment for male impotence that’s under trial. Not that a vigorous young blade like me needs such a thing, obviously, but I was interested on behalf of a friend, and read it through.

Apparently the treatment relies on twice-yearly injections to ensure things keep working as intended. Amazingly, the article stated “Test results have been variable, but two of the subjects have been able to have sexual intercourse for six months after treatment”.

Blimey!

Fritters

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Those of you who follow goings-on over at Jenny’s blog will know that I’ve been struggling to deal with a spam comments issue for her.

Last night I completed the first wade-through, which means that in the last two weeks I’ve deleted two hundred thousand spammy comments. Unfortunately I suspect a few innocent comments will have fallen victim to the clearout, but when you’ve got a fifth of a million comments to get rid of there isn’t time to read each one first :-( Sorry to everyone whose comments have vanished – I suspect Jane, Katie-Jane and Hutters to be among the victims.

Something struck me as odd while watching the news last night: A Police spokesman was delivering the latest news on the prostitute murders in Suffolk, and was talking about the two latest bodies to be found. “We have not yet confirmed that these bodies are those of the two latest women reported missing, but we are assuming the worst”.

Assuming the worst? I’d have thought the fact that you’ve found two dead people confirmed the worst – that two more people are dead. Obviously the identification is pretty important to the relatives of the people concerned, but from the long-range view it’s as bad as it can get that two more people have been killed, and I don’t really see how identifying the bodies can make things worse. Worse for the loved ones of those killed, of course – but the fact that two people are dead is bad news for someone :-(

And on the subject of bad news, I was one of the recipients of the Surprise E-mail yesterday afternoon, as I suspect were a number of my readers: Thoughts and prayers are of course with those concerned.

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

A lot of people have said it doesn’t really feel like two weeks before Christmas.

Certainly round our way there aren’t many decorations up: They never go up in our house before the Sunday before Christmas (which this year means Christmas Eve) anyway, but there’s usually a few twinkly lights in other people’s windows before now. There are a couple of outdoor displays that I pass on my way home from work, but not as many as usual. And of course, the “No decorations without a risk assessment” impasse, referenced here last week, continues at work

Perhaps it’s the weather? It’s more Autumny than Wintery, so I suppose that might be a factor: Certainly the shops have been doing their best to get us into a mood for spending – sorry, I mean giving – but then they always do. Tescos near me put Christmas decorations in the “seasonal goods” aisle as soon as the back-to-school displays come down in September.

Still, I’ve written and handed out nearly all my Christmas cards, so that’s a bit of progress: of the shopping, I’ve got two presents (one of which is for my Mum) to decide what to get, and buy; One that I’ve decided on, still to get, and one that I’m waiting for, ordered by telephone this morning for postal delivery. I hope it arrives in time!

Fridge

Monday, December 11th, 2006

We’ve got this magic fridge in the office.

One of its tricks is that anything nice left in it – like my diabetic emergency choc bar I’ve told you about before – goes missing overnight. Lately it’s been teaching this trick to the filing cabinet where the biscuits live, as well. But the oddest thing is that any milk left in there will go lumpy the minute I reach for it. OK, that doesn’t affect me directly, I usually drink hot chocolate, herbal tea or black coffee, none of which require milk, but it does mean that I get moaned at every time it’s my turn to make the tea. You’d think they’d have learned by now.

Which reminds me – I need to get milk on my way to Hospital Radio. We had the Raynet meeting there on Saturday, and used nearly all the milk that was in the fridge. Luckily there won’t be many people there tonight, we’ve got an outside broadcast from the Guildhall, so a lot of the normal Monday programmes aren’t happening. It’s the band of the Royal Marines with their annual Christmas Concert – hurrah!

The Best Laid Plans…

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Today didn’t go totally as planned…

I never made it to church this morning – the Gruntmobile didn’t want to wake up, and I flattened its battery in the process of trying to wake it up. It was a bit dodgy on cold mornings all last winter and I think a new battery is called for in the near future: Unfortunately Grunty has such a huge demand for power that it has two batteries, each of which is roughly the size of a small car, and contains more lead than the average church roof. So I’m delaying that expense as far as possible.

Still, I spent the morning writing Christmas cards, so the time wasn’t wasted.

This afternoon, with the batteries charged, I took Grunty on a nice long drive around the New Forest and down the Waterside. In the process I found the first part of a four-part multicache, The Great New Forest Cache Dash: I know where the second part is, but I wasn’t dressed for mud so I’ve left that for another day.

Then when I got home, I once again broke-and-then-mended Jenny’s blog. Unfortunately this time she tried to log in in the middle of the process, so she caught me out. Two phone calls later, I think she’s forgiven me :-)

I’m not going to do anything else technical today, just in case.