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December 2003
Life in Catford ( S.E. London, England)
January (2004)

Wednesday 31st December 2003
09.12 GMT
Weather :
Cold, but not enough for frost. Mostly clear bright sky.
    And another years creaks slowly to an end. I wonder what will happen tonight ? Will there be anything good on TV ? Will I celebrate or have an early night ? The answers to these, and other exciting questions, can be read in next years thrilling installment of my life in Catford.

     Meanwhile, back to what has happened. Last night I had a few pleasant beers in The Ram with Kevin. I seem to be getting immune to Winter Warmer. I had 4, or 5, pints last night and didn't feel drunk. I came in and watched "The Bill" that I had recorded earlier. Once that was over I still felt awake but I went to bed anyway. After the beer I thought I would be feeling very sleepy, but it seemed as if I could not get to sleep. Quite how long I lay awake is rather unclear, because the beer was still working its magic. It felt longer, but was probably no more than 5 minutes before I was sound asleep. I had one very inellectual dream. I was discussing the nature of the universe with one or more cosmologists. I asked where the centre of the universe was - the place where the big bang actually went "bang". They (or he) answered, with what I believe is the official answer, that it was undefinable. This less than satisfactory answer is based on two things as I think I understand it. Firstly the current universe is an expansion of the big bang. So everywhere is where it happened - its just, in our terms, bigger. Secondly, prior to the big bang, and also beyond our universe, there is no such thing as direction or even time. This, in human terms, is utter bollocks, and I told them so. So I said I would say where the centre of the universe was and it was up to them to disprove it. For without that proof my location would be the official centre of the universe. There then followed some bizzare discussion and almost god like views of the universe. It was all so very complex that I did not understand one bit of it. Which is strange as it was my brain that invented it all in the first place !If only we could totally understand our dreams we could have the answer to life, the universe and everything. Now where have I heard that before :-)

22.23 GMT
I am sitting here listening so something very nostalgic. It is a recording of Radio Free London from late 1974 that is being broadcast on the internet. (I'd put up a link, but it will all be over sometime tomorrow). At the moment it is Mark Ashton on the air.

     Not much of this year left, and more importantly it is the last day of the month and tomorrow I have to design a new diary page. I am also going to do a new calendar page. The current one sometimes looks a total mess when viewed with some web browsers. As a further idea I am going to convert each month from this year as  PDF files which, I hope, will save some of my limited webspace. The PDF will be available from the calendar page. Tomorrow morning is going to be a busy morning. I have no idea, as yet, of how the new pages will look. They will be a similar format to what has gone before, but I have yet to find a single spark of inspiration for background and other images.
Tuesday 30th December 2003
08.30 GMT
Weather :
Grey and overcast, but not actually raining.
    Last night I seemed to have a continous stream of contradictory dreams. One thread that seemed to run through all of them was that I appeared to be living somewhere else. Everytime I looked out my back window the scene was different. Some views were similar to reality, while others were wildly different. I also appeared to be lost on a few occasions. I went out exploring where I lived and found that I was the last house before the area changed to an industrial area. Next door was a small factory that was set in what looked like wasteland where they made carpets using some very hi-tech equipment. Further away the area became even more industrial and the land, and a river in particular, seemed very polluted. When I turned round and tried to retrace my steps the road looked totally different and took on the appearance of a small town high street. At one road junction the traffic became very heavy, and the shops became bigger and more dense. As I was waiting at the traffic lights a small crowd of protesters ran by. They were certainly topless, and possibly totally naked. Once they had passed some people were able to cross from the other side while we still had to wait. The amount of people crossing from my side was so dense that the people from the other side could not get past us. One, not beautiful, but good looking woman put one hand on my shoulder and the other gripped my arm as she steadied herself in an attempt to get past us. Her hands felt very cool on my bare arm, and I think my shoulder was bare as well.It felt very sexy. As I progessed along trying to find where I lived I found that I was back in Catford which I recognised from the road layout, but all the shops were different somehow. It was then that Nelly, or at least I think it was Nelly started "singing" to me to wake up and feed her. Nelly is not usually so vocal so it may have been Schiba who was outside in the garden waiting to come in. Nelly was outside my open bedroom door and was very affectionate. So it may well have been her. Perhaps she has beening learning from Schiba.

    Tonight should be drinking night at The Ram. I am going to avoid the pub for new years eve. I find it can be a little too hectic for my tastes, although xmas eve was , by all accounts, pretty dead with the guvnor threatening to close earlier than the 1am extension he had.
Monday 29th December 2003
08.25 GMT
Weather :
Wet and cold.
    And so dawns another Monday morning. It looks really miserable outside, and that makes me feel a bit miserable myself. Although I do have a few things that I could be doing today I am not inspired to do anything at all.

     During the night I can recall fragments of a few dreams. In one dream I was back working in a telephone exchange. This seems to be a bit of a repetative dream by subject, but each one has a slightly different plot. In this one I was working on pre-2000 selectors and it involved a lot of close ups and detailed views. A lot of the selectors needed lubricating after a long period of neglect and it seemed as if the metal was actualy absorbing the oil becuse they were so dry.

    In a later dream I was in some sort of old fashioned off licence. It seemed to be on the verge of closing down as the shelves were looking very sparsely stocked. At first I was buying tobacco and wanted a hand rolling tobacco that was aromatic. The only one on offer was sea flavoured (!) and had a sort of salty, iodine like smell. I then noticed a few miniatures looking rather dusty as they sat in a display case. I think they were all whiskey, but I can't be sure now. I was offered them at 50p each and offered to pay for some with a £4 note. That was not a misprint. It was definitely a four pound note - weird !

     Schiba has just come back in after being out all night in the rain. He was very wet, but perhaps not totally saturated. I suspect that he only got wet as he moved from wherever he was sheltering to back here. He was a pest last night. Just recently we had seemed to come to an understanding that he would go out an hour os so before I went to bed, and I would let him back in just before I went to bed. That seemed to work OK recently except for last night. The rain had not started before I went to bed, but he had no interest in going out at all. It was not until I was actually first starting to doze off that he called up to me to let him out. So the silly fool spent the night in the rain.
Sunday 28th December 2003
08.40 GMT
Weather :
Dry after overnight wind and rain.
   It feels a lot colder this morning than it did yesterday. Perhaps it is just me. Last night I had "the runs". It might have been just one of thos things , or it may have been something I ate. This morning my guts still feel odd so I don't think I'll be doing anything heroic like going out to a computer fair. Perhaps by lunchtime I may venture as far as my local pub.
    With my guts aching, and the ever present risk of explosions I did not attempt any night photography last night. Besides which it was too cloudy and pouring with rain. For an hour, or so, Schiba was caught outside in the rain. He did not really want to go out, but in the end he just has to (with no prompting from me). When he came back in he was soaked to the skin. Once I had towelled him down and fed him I went to bed. This was just before midnight and I started to dream before I was properly asleep. I think I was dreaming I was back on the radio and doing the end of day closedown. All I can remember is saying something like "Thanks for staying tuned and goodnight". As I finished saying those words I heard my watch bleep midnight and I came back to full consciousness.

    At around 4 am Schiba came up to talk to me. At first he wandered around my bedroom meowing to wake me up. I thought he wanted to go out again, but it was just a social visit. After a bit he jumped on my bed and eventually settled down. I was most surprised to see him still there when I woke up at just gone 8 am.
Saturday 27th December 2003
12.25 GMT
Weather : Mild with a bright sunny start. Now clouding over.
    I seem to have survived the disease known as xmas. Following an extended lie in I am now up, dressed, shaved, showered and shampood (and the other "s" as well). I feel clean and sexy !

     I was up very late last night doing some spontaneious experiments with night photography. I noticed the clouds seemed very bright outside the back of the house. Light pollution round here is terrible. So I wondered how much my camera could see of the night sky. It as not as good as I hoped, but with a bit of enhancement this is what I got.
Night sky over Catford
Now I'll admit I have exagerated the colour of the cloud a little, but only to make the effects of the sodium street lighting pollution more vivid. If I stay up very late again tonight I have another experiment to try. Paint Shop Pro has the ability to mathematically add two images together. If I take, say, 5 identical pictures I can then add them together. The noise, which is random, will not combine, but any real light picked up by the camera will combine to make a brighter image. It will be interesting as to how well theory works in practice.

    The reason for my staying up late in the first place was to watch the last 3 episodes of "A Very Peculiar Practice" on BBC4. I commented yesterday how much I liked that series. Hopefully they will be showing the second series soon. On Monday night they are showing a night of once lost, and now recovered TV programmes. I can't think of a better excuse for having a Freeview box (or Sky digibox if you like being subserviant to the Sky mega "take over the world like Dr Evil" corporation).
Friday 26th December 2003
08.30 GMT
Weather :
Mild, but raining.
    I had a nice peaceful nights sleep. Schiba was out all night, and is still out now. Sooner or later he will realise I am up and come bounding out of wherever it is he shelters from the rain.

    I am forced to admit that bits of yesterday were not too bad. I enjoyed an early morning walk to photograph bits of Catford town centre without too many cars or people around. All the curry I ate was good (although some of the hotter spices are causing some irritation on the way out again). There was even a few good things on TV. Although the day was nearly over before the best stuff was shown. Second best enjoyable viewing was the first Austin Powers movie that was screened on ITV 2 (possibly the first time that ITV 2 has ever shown anything worth watching). Best of all was two episodes of "A very Peculiar Practice" that were shown on BBC4. That was truly an underrated programme. I'm not sure if you could decribe it as a comedy, or drama, or sitcom. It was really a combination of all three, and very, very English. What more could you ask for - a great theme song (sung by Elkie Brooks) and some great character actors (Peter Davison and Graham Crowden [the only two names I can remember off the top of my head]).

    Aside from that the day sucked ! At least today there is some transport. No local trains, but the buses are running. It is not that I want to go anywhere, or have anywhere to go to, but at least the choice is there. I think that I may have a wander to The Poundstretcher this morning to see if there is anything in their sale that I want to waste my money on. I might buy something exciting like an extra mains extension lead........................

    Got to go now as I just have to find out if contact has been established with Beagle 2.
Thursday 25th December 2003
07.00 GMT
Weather :

Christmas day, two thousand and three,
With no decorations or christmas tree,
No snow has fallen, not even a flake,
There's no roast turkey or xmas cake.

The cats have tuna as a special treat,
while I have plenty of curry to eat.
I could be drinking some of my beer,
Perhaps not now, but maybe next year.

Today I won't bother to shower or shave,
(with no one to see me its not so brave),
I don't think I'll even change my shirt,
it's got no stains or ingrained dirt.

Today's the day the world stands still,
with no trains, buses or clink of till,
The last bits a lie, the corner shops open,
and today they'll still take your token.

Todays entertaiment is all on TV,
I wonder what's on for all to see ?
90% rubbish, what more can I say.
This could be a really miserable day.

Wednesday 24th December 2003
00.25 GMT
Weather :
dark, but almost mild.
    25 minutes past midnight and I have only been in for 10 minutes. I have had a good time and drunk loads of booze. What I didn't expect was that I would be pushing a bus along at this time of night. I was half way back from the pub when I found that a 138 bus had died in the middle of the road. the driver, who may have been Greek, or possibly Turkish, beckoned me over and asked for a push to get the bus into the kerb on the next turning. It was only a push of about 30 feet, but it was only me and him doing it. I was most suprised when the bus ( OK it was a single decker) started moving, and even more surprised when the driver jumped back in to steer it, and yet I was still managing to push this goliath along by myself. Within a few moments the driver had the bus safely parked at the kerbside and I waS able to continue my journey home. Strange as it may seem it actually felt good and was a great climax for the end of the day.

09.45 GMT
Weather :
Damp, but mild.
     Back now after a good nights sleep. Well fairly good. I did get up for 30 minutes at approx 6 am to feed the cats and let Schiba out. I am quite surprised that I have no more than the merest hint of a hangover. On top of the usual 4 (or 5 ?) pints of Winter Warmer I had a double Jack Daniels and coke. The latter was Kevin's xmas treat. After that I did feel very merry, but not excessively drunk.

     I have little that I must do today. One priority is to go to a cash machine so that I have enough cash to order a gigantic curry tonight. There will be enough for a slap up dinner tonight and xmas dinner tomorrow. With care it will also be breakfast amd supper for tomorrow as well. Later on today I am expecting Jodie to pop round with a xmas present for me. It is something heavy so she will be geting one of her friends to taxi her here. "Something heavy" (for her)sounds like it is a large bottle of beer. Maybe it will be some seasonal brew. Then again I may just be surprised.

21.35 GMT
Not long to go now until xmas day itself. Not that it is such a wonderful idea. It just means it will all be over sooner than it would this morning. I thought I'd post the e-xmas cards I have received.
xmas card 1
xmas card 2
xmas card 3
So many thanks to Bernard, Barbarella and Albert.
Tuesday 23rd December 2003
08.20 GMT
Weather :
Rain (instead of the slight chance of forecast snow)
     There was only a very small chance it would happen, but I was quite looking forward to seeing a dusting of snow this morning. That is why I made sure I was up a little earlier than of late. Whether there was any sleet or snow during the early hours I may never know, but it does not look like it.

    With a lot of help from the weather, I think I may have finally come close to training Schiba to stay in all night. He is now almost volunteering to go out for an hour or two, and come back in before I go to bed. Last night he managed to stay in all night, and has only just gone out. Mind you he still woke me up at 3 and 4 am this morning. He was not, aparently, desperate to go out, but just wanted some love. Twice I thought he was going to settle down on my bed, but each time, just as I was falling asleep again, he would jump off the bed and wake me up again. I suppose I shouldn't complain, because he was very affectionate, but I do fancy the odd night of uninterupted sleep now and then. Nelly is a model of perfection which is why I rarely mention her in these pages. In case you were wondering. She is well, still slightly aloof, but affectionate in her own delicate way.
Monday 22nd December 2003
09.36 GMT
Weather :
cold and bright.
    I really didn't mean to be up this late this morning. I wanted to be up early so I could get to Tesco's before the hordes of panic shoppers descended with their double trolley loads of provisions for xmas. I have never quite understood the need to buy 3 months worth of provisions just because the shop will be closed for 2 days. You might say it is because xmas is a bit of a feast day, but the same happens for August bank holiday. Maybe most people in these parts have 12 children and both inlaws and assorted aunts and uncles all living under the same roof and they consume a supermarket trolleys worth of food per day. Whatever the reason is, it is too late for me. By now Tesco is probably filling up to riot proportions and I want no part in it !

     My late morning is because of the usual combination of late night and getting up in the middle of the night to play/feed and let Schiba out into the cold night air. When he comes back after his hunting he'll probably be frozen solid. I'm sure I had some strange dreams last night but all I can remember is something like freeze-frames from them. In one dream I was hiding a video tape from someone, or some people. I can't remember if the tape had something special on it, but it was labelled Bug Bunny Movie. In another brief flash of remembered dream I was helping a friend (Ivor, I think,but I am not sure if I saw his face) to change his artificial leg from a double articulated limb to a single monopod limb. It was "connected" at the knee joint somehow and I seem to recall trying to find an allan key to take the retaining screws out. There might have been more to that, or it could have been another dream, but I was also tasked with doing some sort of complicated software update on an unfamiliar system. It is possible it may have been software to control an artificial limb, but I am not sure.

     Away from the fantasy world of dreams I did meet up with Howard to go and have a few pints with Nigel in Ilford. Our timing was impecable because we found him at the bar with his wallet open! He is doing OK. His medication is still giving him the shakes, although possibly not as bad as when I last saw him. During late summer he said that he had cut off his beard, but it is back now. It is slightly better tamed than last year and less "mad-mullah" looking. We had 4 pints of beer before leaving, and it was nice beer as well. I started, and stayed with "Winter Tipple" brewed by a brewery whose name I didn't manage to read on the beer pump. It was like a very good mild, but at 4.1% it was a little stronger than most milds. It slipped down easily and didn't leave any unpleasant after taste. By the time I was close back to home the weather had turned really cold. When Howard and myself changed at Lewisham from the Docklands Light Rail we decided to get a train back to Catford. Howard had never been on a train at Catford Bridge Station and decided to sample it as a novelty and also as a convenient place to get his bus back home. While waiting on the draughty eleveated platforms at Lewisham I really started to feel the cold and felt frozen by the time I finally got home. With hindsight it was probably pretty stupid waiting nearly 20 minutes for a train at Lewisham when it would have only taken 20 minutes to get home by bus. On a warm summers evening it can be nice waiting there as it is aligned just right for the setting sun, but I must stop doing it in winter!

    (Final note if you're reading this Howard. I'll download the pictures taken yesterday and e-mail them to you later, but I'll put some lower definition versions on here probably later today)

12.00 GMT
    I finally did it! ( I think). Any minute now I'll find if I have successfully edited a photograph using The Gimp (Linux graphics program).
Howard and Nigel - The Great Spoon Of Ilford (21st December 2003)
   Well it looks good so far. This is Howard (left) and Nigel (right) together in "The Great Spoon Of Ilford" Weatherspoons pub in Ilford, yesterday. All that's left for me to do is to remember to upload the image before I upload this page.
Sunday 21st December 2003
09.00 GMT
Weather :
Light grey sky, but dry and windy.
    I think today is the shortest day, but it could have been yesterday, or maybe tomorrow. It demands some sort of pagan worship so I am off to see Nigel for a beer today. I am being accompanied up to Ilford by Howard so the journey will be less tedious than going on my own.

     I did, finally, get Basilisk II, the Mac emulator, to work under Linux. It has one disadvantage compared to the Windows version - there seems to be no way to scan for an inserted floppy disk. For the Windows version the keystroke ctrl-shift-F11 would alert the operating system that new media had been inserted and it would take a look for it. That does not appear to happen with the Linux version so I have to run it like a legacy free system with no floppy. I managed to install Photoshop 3 onto the emulated Mac, and that works OK, but any attempt to access the modem causes the system to lock up. I think it will need some more experimenting with modem drivers. Overall I am quite happy with it. I thik I said it yesterday, but it is not something I need, but it is fun having it to experiment with.
Saturday 20th Decmber 2003
08.35 GMT
Weather :
     I didn't realise it was so late this morning. The sky is so dense with rain clouds that it almost seems as if the sun is not up yet. Nelly woke me up this morning instead of Schiba (he actually woke me at 05.00 to go out). She started by loudly stretching her claws on the door frame at the bottom of the stairs. That was fairly loud. Then she raced up the stairs at high speed sounding like a herd of elephants, and then she sat outside my (open) bedroom door and did the loudest meow I have ever heard her do. That certainly got my attention. I wondered if there was something wrong with her, but no, she was just saying "good morning and where's my breakfast". Some of this may have been augmented by her being stoned on catnip that I had sprayed on her favourite scratching place.

     I was up late last night playing with Basilisk II. It is a Mac emulator that can run under both Linux and Windows. It needs the image of the ROM from a genuine Mac, and also a copy of the Mac operating system. Fortunately I had both so I decided to give it a go. Sadly I could not get the Linux version to work, but I did manage to get the Windows version up and running. I even managed to install Internet Explorer 4 and get on the internet with it. The ROM image I used was from my Mac Powerbook 180c, although I think it is actually used in many similar models, but it turned out to be fine for Basilisk II which can only emulate a "68k" architecture. It rather odd the way bits of the emulation run at about the same speed as an original machine with a ~20MHz processor, while other bits seem to be able to take advantage of the 1.3GHz host processor and run really fast. I should point out that due to differences in the way the systems work that 20MHz , or so, is actually more akin to a 100MHz 486 PC system.

     My last entry, yesterday, was written while coming down from the booze and I was feeling rather morose. In the end I did not get a ginormous curry and carry on drinking. I had some tuna and green pepper rolls while watching TV. Once all that was safely inside me I got the itch to play with Basilisk II, as just described, and felt much happier - even elated once it started to work. I will be playing with it a bit more today.
Friday 19th December 2003
09.00 GMT
Weather :
Cold, but no frost. Sky a uniform milky colour.
    I think I had a good nights sleep, last night. This morning I do not feel so creaky as the last couple of mornings. During the night I another variation on a recurring dream that I get at least once a month. In the dream I was back inside a telephone exchange. This particular dream was based on when I was sent to Bromley Exchange as an expert on pre-2000 exchange equipment. In the dream the actual exchange was supposed to be Forest Hill, but it was a sort of amalgam of several different exchanges. The people there were also a mixture of people from different times and places. As it was in reality, I was to sort out poor performance in the director section. Things went quite smoothly, dream wise, until I was examining the printout from the overnight routiner. I noticed that one particular switch, A digit selector AA8, kept failing. Then my dream went into a sort of loop and I kept seeing the printout and trying to glean more information from it. Now it so happens that this particular switch would be identified as ADS 0118 on the printout. I wonder if it is those bloody 118 118 directory enquiry service commercials that have warped my brain somehow, and everytime I see the numbers 118 my brain revolts against me. Whatever it is, or was, I can't be sure, but seeing those numbers on the printout ruined a perfectly happy dream ! (with apologies to anyone who is baffled by the old GPO/PO/BT exchange terminology).

     I think that later this morning I will give Ivor a ring and see if he will be in his lunchtime local. Perhaps I feel like a beer today !

16.27 GMT
It was actually quite hard to motivate myself to go out this afternoon. I still felt a little off key, but it was worth it in the end. I met up with Ivor and had a few beers with him. For some time Paul was there as well, and he is an OK bloke. Much of the discussion with Ivor was pure nostalgia, and until the last 10 or 20 minutes I was riding high on a wave of nostalgia. Now though the beer is wearing off, and the rest of the day will be just me and the TV and I am feeling fairly sad. It is stupid, but unavoidable, to remember loves lost and things that might have been, but that is the pit I am sinking into. I am definately going to order a blow out curry tonight, and maybe finish of some odd beers I have around the place. The consequences are irrelevant.
Thursday 18th December 2003
07.05 GMT
Weather :
Cold and frosty.
    After a very late and drunken night I am up very early thanks to a certain furry alarm clock. Schiba decided that it was time for breakfast and told me so in a loud clear voice !

     Schiba learnt a new trick yesterday evening. He had followed me out to the bathroom and while I was standing up taking a pee he noticed the cord of the light switch was still moving after I had pulled it to turn the light on. So he reached up and managed to swipe it with one paw and plunged the bathroom in darkness while I was still only half way through my pee. To make matters worse he managed to snag one claw in the cord and couldn't get it out. So there I was peeing in darkness while he was doing this "dance", standing stretched out on his hind legs, trying to retract his claw. He managed it just before I was able to get to him to help.

     I have a choice of several things to do today. First I will probably go back to bed for another half hour or so..... Once I am up I'll probably nip out to get todays New Scientist. After that there are two things I could do. One is to design a DVD case inlay for the Skyline Video. The other is to go out and do some photography. It seems that the local council will soon be spending a lot of money making some major changes to my local park (Ladywell recreation ground). Some of the changes will be to alter the course and/or nature of the river that runs through it. It would be nice to get some before and after pictures. I'll have to see what the weather is doing when it is fully light before commiting myself to that.

21.53 GMT
Today may not have been very productive, but it was a good day to learn a few things. While it is still fresh in my memory I'll mention Horizon that I have just watched on BBC2. It was a both fascinating and mind stretching programme about time travel. Some of I head read about before and some of it was new. All of the (serious) theories about time travel are derived from Einsteins equations and their subsequent refinement or extension. The trouble is that common sense quickly runs adrift from the realities derived within the worlds of physics and cosmology. I think I may have written my conclusions before in this journal, but I'll repeat them anyway. They are that I have total faith that physicists and cosmologists will soon, one day, work out the complete recipe for the nature of the universe at both the gigantic and microscopic scales. BUT I do seriously wonder whether it will be our universe. Just because all the mathematics reaches a final, and perfect, solution does not prove that it is the only solution. I have this sneaky suspicion that the basis for some of that work is suspect. Without a true understanding it is improper , or even arrogant for me to think that some cosmic measurements, that are the basis for some grand theories, seem to involve a sort of circular logic. I ought to give some examples of what I mean, but because I do not claim to understand more than 5% of it, I will decline. Instead I'll give a slightly cranky idea of what is buzzing in my head. If we liken the universe to computers, what seem to have happened is that they have traced the various hardware ports back in the software and proved that it is Intel/PC architecture and assumed the universe is running Windows (presumably when our sun explodes that will be the ultimate blue screen of death !), but without being able to see the start up screen, and maybe the logon (Name : God, Password : *********), nobody can be sure it is not Linux. (Although presumably God logs on as root).

    Todays New Scientist had some good articles in it. Of particular interest to me was an article entitled "Be Happy". Its sub title is " Even if you're a chrismas curmudgeon, try to be cheerful this year. Just one smiley happy holiday can lift your mood for ever." It then goes on to say that the memory of one event can alter your mood for life. Seems unlikely to me. Three years ago I had the best xmas for something like 20 years, but every xmas since has been an almost miserable affair. Perhaps there is some truth in it. These last few xmas's have not been total misery, just more like a wet Sunday afternoon. I actually have little recollection of xmas day throughout my adult life. There are one or two notable exceptions such as when I spent a lot of the day in a friends attic doing an illegal broadcast. In general though, xmas day has so often just been an extra day off work, but when all the married friends disappear off the face of the planet for a few days, or a week.

    Another litle titbit from New scientist that amused me was about Party Animals which told the truth about how many animals get their kicks from drugs. Of particular interest to me was about cats. I know about, and have observed the effects of catnip, or Nepeta Cataria. I did not know that the active chemical is nepetalactone. Not that means much to me, but if I could remember the name it would be a good way of boring people at parties. Apparently cats in Japan prefer a different plant, one called Matatabi which contains similar, but different chemicals. Apparently catnip can act as a mild stimulant OR a mild sedative in people. It seems odd that two effects are opposites, but some people take catnip tea to help them sleep. It is truly time that us people had a herb like catnip. When it affects cats it seems to be such a nice thing. The trouble is that were such a thing available then the puritan nannies would jump on it and label it as a class a drug (miserable gits !!!).
Wednesday 17th December 2003
08.38 GMT
Weather :
Clear sky and frost.
     I feel rough this morning. My head and neck is aching in a migraine sort of way. There are a few other bits of me that were aching yesterday and still are today. Mostly it is a few creaky joints and some assorted muscles. I may, or may not, be going to a xmas dinner type booze up today. It is actually a double maybe because I am not sure if it is actually going to happen, and if it is, whether I feel up to it at the moment. Perhaps once I am washed and dressed I'll feel better.

     Yesterday I finished re-editing the Skyline Radio video. It is not perfect, but I think I have done a reasonable job considering the starting material. There are several things I would do differently if I did it all over again, but for now it will have to stand. Also achieved yesterday was the conclusion of downloading two huge video files. In fact they were actually two films that were segmented into several files. The largest individual file was a whopping 180 MBytes !! In all I downloaded something like 600 MBytes which was hard going on a dial up connection that times out every 2 hours. Over the next couple of days I will have fun joining the bits up and converting them to burn to a video CD. One other thing I did yesterday was to send out an e-Christmas card to a bunch of people. Rather than use one of those online companies that send out a prepackaged greeting, and collect e-mail addresses for future spam mailings, I made my own simple greeting. It is a picture of Catford Town Hall and Lewisham Theatre (home of the Catford Beer Festival) taken last January complete with seasonal snow and xmas decorations. If you didn't receive one from me by e-mail then this is just for you.
Merry Christmas
Tuesday 16th December 2003
07.45 GMT
Weather :
very cold with clear skies
    An early start this morning. I really should be getting up this early, or even earlier, everyday, but things have slipped from my normal discipline. It is so easy to let late nights accumulate when you don't have to get up early in the morning. Well this morning I do have to be up early enough to get to the job centre to sign on. It is a shame that even though last night I was in bed just before midnight, I could not get to sleep straight away. So I reckon I'll be taking an afternoon nap today. Actually that would be a bad idea. I should "save up my tiredness" until the evening and try and get to sleep before midnight.
Monday 15th December 2003
06.52 GMT
Weather :
Dark. Dry
    Here's a nice early morning entry. I was woken up 30 minutes ago by Schiba. He wisely decided to volunteer to go out early last night and so was able to come back in before I went to bed. It is slightly unusual for him to spend the whole night indoors, but he managed it last night. When he woke me up he was very affectionate and did not seem in any rush, but when we came downstairs he did not stop to eat his breakfast, and instead went straight out.

     Yesterday was fairly succesful, although it was the afternoon before I really started doing anything. For much of the day I was online downloading video files. That will continue for much of today as one of the files queued in Kget is 180 MBytes long - rather big for my mere dial-up connection. During the afternoon I got stuck into the Skyline video editing again. I have not finished yet, but I have transferred the very last clip into the editors timeline. All I have to do to finish it is the last bit of cleaning up. Hopefully I'll be finishing that off today. It will take many hours to render the final film, and I will have to do it several times as I want to extract the sound and clean that up seperately before mixing it back with the video.

     Question : Is raw cabbage a diuretic ? I had the muchies while watching some TV last night. Crisps and peanuts is what I craved, but I actually had a large quantity of raw cabbage. I had a large pee before going to bed, and a large one 3 hours later and another large one when I woke up. I didn't seem as if I had drunk several gallons before bed, but if cabbage is not a diurectic, then I must have. Now that Nelly has had her breakfast, and Schiba has gone out, I am going to go back to bed while my video downloading continues.
Sunday 14th December 2003
11.03 GMT
Weather :
Dry and sunny. 7°C
    It seems like another late start, but I have been up since 08.00 and already used up one 2 hour allocation of dial-up internet time. For another day I am downloading some fairly huge video files. Even as I write the Kilobytes are slowly trickling in as I attempt to get nearly 200 Mbytes of mpeg files.

     Yesterday was a bit of a yucky sort of day. It stayed wet and miserable the whole day. Although I had seen a weather forecast (that was correct), it was still a very pleasant surprise to wake up to sunshine. I feel I ought to do more for today, but the chances are I'll just be playing with video files for the whole of it. I do have a couple of alternatives. There is still one of the printers, I mentioned a few days back, that I could strip down to its component parts in the hope of being able to make a repair. I still have an immense back log of BBC Radio 7 recordings to top-and-tail. I still have a PC in almost kit form that I could put back together. Whether I do any of these things is anyones guess.

     It seems that I may be going to a Chrismass dinner with Ivor and his media services department next Wednesday. Nothing has been planned as yet, but I expect I'll hear some infomation about it tomorrow afternoon. Personally I don't think I'll be celebrating Christmas again this year. With a few rare exceptions I find Christmas to be a real tedious time with little, if any pleasure, to be derived from it. I have to admire animals who are able to hibernate through it. I might just celebrate the winter solstice this year. I don't know any rules for celebrating it so I can make my own up. It will probably consist of a decent high calorie meal with some booze while playing something like "Echoes" by Pink Floyd.
Saturday 13th December 2003
12.55 GMT
Weather :
Rain earlier. Now dull and dreary.
    I have been too preoccupied to write an entry earlier than now. I was awake at 08.00, but started setting up some batch mpeg conversions on the other PC. After that I got dressed and went out to do a little shopping. Since then I have had some breakfast, converted a few more video files and read some of this weeks New Scientist. I have two other magazines to read so it will be another very lazy day.

     Yesterday afternoon I did meet up with Ivor, Kevin and Howard for a liquid breakfast. I did not get totally plastered, but it was still enough that I lost all enthusiasm to do any more than watch TV for most of the evening. But I did enjoy myself and that is more important than editing videos !
Friday 12th December 2003
09.11 GMT
Weather : Grey sky, but dry
    I had another very late night, last night. I was waiting for a 104 MByte file to download. As you can imagine this took quite a while on my dial-up internet connection. It was only possible with the assistance of a program called Kget. This is a download manager similar to GetRight and other Windows applications, but is a Linux application that comes as part of the KDE suite of applications. I had never even investigated it before, but it worked faultlessly and allowed me to span the download over 5 dial up sessions. (NTLWorld limits dial up connections to a 2 hour maximum). The last bytes came in at 01.00 this morning and I had to test what I had downloaded before I could go to bed. It must have been close on 01.45 before I actually got to sleep.

     Today, all being well, I'll be meeting up with Ivor, at his lunchtime local, along with Kevin and Howard. It should make for an interesting session that would have the potential to last a long time. In some ways it is good that it won't be that long. Kevin will have to leave early to do a school run, and Ivor has to drive home the ?? miles to beyond Ashford (Kent). Part of me would like a long boozy session, but realistically I'd prefer not to get too out of it as it makes for a wasted evening.
Thursday 11th December 2003
10.47 GMT
Weather : Grey, miserable and rain. 10°C
    Last night was another boozy night in the pub drinking lashings of Winter Warmer. It was only myself and Kevin. Howard had to rush to Suffolk to attend to some matters and did not get back in time. After I got home I watched The Bill that I had recorded while out and then, as I turned the video off, I noticed UK Gold (2 ?) where showing some old "Have I Got News For You" editions. I ended up watching the second half of one and another in full. By that time it was 1.30, or later, and I went to bed. The combination of the beer and waking up to pee at 4.30, and then Schiba waking me up at 6.00 to go out, and then Nelly at 8.00 to be fed, led to some pretty weird dream sequences. I cannot possibly describe them all. At least one was so complex that it would take a whole page to explain. But I will recount part of one as it is sort of relevant. It concerned Pam who may be discovering these diaries soon ( Hi Pam !). The timelines of this dream are a little confusing and I cannot remember if the events took place in the past or present, but it was probably a bit of both. As I say it concerned Pam who either was going to, or had moved a long way away (possibly abroad, and I am sure it was with Andy). Before going she had decided to photograph much of the area around where she lived and worked. In the dream this was Catford (well if dreams were reality we wouldn't need TV !). I can't remember now if I was accompanying Pam around Catford as she was taking the photos or it was much later and we were revisiting the same places. I seemed to be flicking between the two. Sometimes it was definitely in the present as some places were different, but sometimes in the past because I "knew" the places had changed. What I do know is that I woke up feeling very confused as I could not reconcile the mental map of Catford in the dream with what is actually reality. I lay awake for some time trying to think back to my very earliest memories of Catford to see if anything would fit in. I came to the conclusion that the further I went from the end of my own road, in either direction, the more my dream drifted from reality. Still, at least the dream was calm and enjoyable. The last thing I remember on waking up from my extended lie in this morning was very chaotic and unsettling. I will not attempt to recount it, but I can say how it ended. In the aftermath of a party I was desperately trying to tune in my cable TV receiver, which had hundreds of channels, with a broken remote control while a never ending line of Indian Takeaway delivery men kept standing in the way of the TV when they were waiting to collect the deliveries from the kitchen. How bizzare is that ???

     Today I feel a little rough. It is not just the remnants of a hangover, but I feel a little stiff and creaky. It may be, or at least I hope it is, just that I slept awkwardly. The chaotic nature of some of the later dreams suggest that I was probably thrashing about in bed. I think I'll have a lazy day today.
Wednesday 10th December 2003
09.23 GMT
Weather :
A reasonably fine start with a little sunshine. 4°C
    A bit of a late start today, but I had to get washed and dressed before sitting down at the PC because Kevin is popping round with a repair in a minute. Apparently it is some sort of light flasher he has built from a kit and it doesn't work.

      The poor old cats are starving lately. I have bought them some food they don't like and I have been trying to feed it to them for the last couple of days. They can manage a nibble, but leave a lot of it. Schiba has shown that he doesn't need me, or he thinks that I too am starving, by leaving a nice juicy rat on the back door step this morning. Thanks Schiba !! I think that once I have dealt with Kevin I had better go to the shops and buy more catfood - edible stuff this time !
Tuesday 9th December 2003
08.27 GMT
Weather :
Another bright start to the day.
     After a bright start to the day, yesterday, it went really dull and dreary. It took little imagination to think it might even snow. Of course it didn't snow, but I felt very listless and unmotivated. I went out shopping first thing in the morning and bought food and a magazine and a comic. Most of the rest of the day I spent lying around reading. It was not until the evening, just when I would normally watch a bit of TV, that I decided to have a look at one of the printers I mentioned yesterday. The printer I looked at was the Epson 660, and for all my fancy ideas about electronic faults it turned out to be just blocked nozzles in the end. That may have been compounded by a sort of little rubber squeegy that cleans surplus ink from the nozzles being inoperative. I don't know if it was originally inoperative, but I didn't even notice it as I was pulling the mechanism apart. If it didn't work then it seems to be working now. I flushed the nozzles, as best I could, with some alcohol and I started to get some print appear. After a lot of print head cleaning I finally got a full colour picture from it. It is still a little intermittent, but with use, and some fresh ink cartridges, I reckon it will work OK. So out of the list of things to do, I wrote yesterday, I can tick one off, but that still leaves the rest for today.

      I can remeber some of a dream I had last night.It was a bit egotistical in some ways, because in part of it I appeared to be Dr Who ! It was also strange in that parts of it seemed to be in the near future and other in the past. I had gone into a hotel and found that the doors were electronically controlled and had a voice synthesiser. (Almost, but not quite "Genuine People Personalities" - read The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy). I was joking that they wanted to take over the world in the way that all mad computers want to, and started to record Dalek impersonations into a digital voice recorder - "We are the doors and we will exterminate you etc". While I was out it seems that a hotel employee had found these recordings and thought they were real. Next thing I heard an announcement over the radio that the world should prepare for invasion. It was this part of the film that was set in the past as I seemed to be in an old Rover 90 car (or something similar - big, spacious and leather upholstry). I'm not sure who was driving but I told him to get back to the hotel as soon as possible. So started some high speed driving that ended with having to drive partly on the kerb to pass other cars as we went round the old Catford one way scheme by St Dunstans College. At that point I woke up, but I do remember we were heading back to the hotel in Forest Hill which was located where Forest Hill telephone exchange is.
Monday 8th December 2003
09.05 GMT
Weather :
Cold and bright. Clear skies. 0°C
    Monday morning comes around again. Today I must go shopping, but after that I have three things that I will do in variable amounts - continue editing the Skyline video, top-and-tail some recordings off the DAB radio in the PC upstairs, and finally finish putting together another of my spare PC's that I abondonded when both simulataneosly upgrading and downgrading. Also, now I think of it, I was given two dead inkjet printers by a neighbour. I gave them a quick look yesterday and concluded that one has a mechanical fault and the other an electrical fault. The one with the mechanical fault could possibly be repaired with lashings of superglue, but the other may be more tricky as parts may be impossible to get, and almost certainly uneconomical to buy. That latter printer is an Epsom 660 which is almost identical to my Epsom 640. By swapping parts around with my own printer I could find out which area has failed. If it is the main PCB then I may as well bin it as that contains the parts that it would not even be worth trying to track down.
Sunday 7th December 2003
08.20 GMT
Weather :
Very cold, but dry and 50% clear skies. 3.5°C (at 10.24)
    Although early in the day, I can see real sunshine for the first time in many days. So today should be the day I go out to do some photography in Crystal Palace Park. Expect to see some pictures here later.

    Last night a miracle happened. Schiba stayed in all night and didn't try (or manage !) to wake me up once. He has just had some breakfast and gone out to do his business.

      I can remember parts of a couple of weird dreams last night. The first was about railways. I was working on a preserved railway that only had a preserved tube style train. Somewhat bizarrely this was supposed to run on only 8 inch track. That is 8 inches wide, not long. The entire length of the railway track was not available so it was planned to loop the line that was available back on itself a bit like a simple model railway. Unfortunately this involved laying the track up a short flight of stairs.Most of the remainder of the dream involved trying to solve this very odd idea of laying track on a staircase ! The second dream was not quite so surreal, but I can only remember fragments of it. It concerned pirate radio and several old and ex-friends. I think we had put on a succesful broadcast from my old bedroom at George Lane and decided it would be a good idea to move al the transmitting equipment out in case of a subsequent raid. So Percy said that he would bring his bus along to take the gear away and store it at a university. So Steve Ego and myself gathered as much gear as we could carry and and went outside where we found a single decker bus waiting. We got on and were surprised to see so many people on it. Most of them appeared very happy and drunk. Having sat down we looked up and saw what we thought was Percy, but when he turned round it was someone else. The bus had started at this point and looking round we saw that the posters inside said it was The Medway Towns to London Ale Bus. Quickly realising we were on the wrong bus I managed to jump off at some traffic lights which were conveniently located outside the university and I recognised someone (but I don't know who it was) waiting to take the gear from me to take inside. Meanwhile Steve Ego got stuck on the bus and dissappeared from view. There was some other stuff that I cannot explain in context like a wood that was on a gently sloping hillside that turned into a beach when the tide came in. Somehow the wood was involved with pirate radio, probably as an old or potential new site to use, but the turning into a beach is something only the most enlightened psychoananlyst could ever explain !!!
21.15 GMT
I had a wonderful day out today. I spent almost three hours walking around Crystal Palace park with Howard. We had wondeful sun and, unfortunately, a biting cold wind. But it was all worth it to see the dinosaurs and have a look in the Crystal Palace Museum. I can't honestly say that place was fascinating, but it was mildly interesting and worth a look. As well as burning off a few calories I also took plenty of pictures. Here are some pictures of dinosaurs.

picture of dinosaurs - 1

picture of dinosaurs - 2

picture of dinosaurs - 3

picture of dinosaurs - 4

picture of dinosaurs - 5

picture of dinosaurs - 6
Saturday 6th December 2003
08.00 GMT
Weather :
cold and damp
     Yesterday was a good day ! I went out for "lunch" with Ivor and Howard in Ivor's lunchtime local. I even got a lift home afterwards. Having only had half a pineapple and a banana for breakfast I got nice and sozzled. It looks as if I have a few more drinking sessions coming up in the next seven days. It starts this afternoon with the first Saturday of the month drink with my old work colleagues. Then on Tuesday it is likely to be a trip over to Ilford for a drink with Nigel. On Wednesday night it should be my regular drink, and then next Friday it will be back to Ivor's lunchtime local with Howard and probably Kevin as well.

21.00 GMT
     I had a terrific drink this afternoon, with some terrific people. Sadly a lot of them had some rather nice looking food in the pub, and there was a fair amount of conversation about food going on. I only had two bananas for breakfast before heading to the pub and was ravenous when I got home. I was also feeling very cold so my defences were very low. I succumbed and ordered a takeaway. On a positive note it was a modestly low calorie meal. It was also worth it to try something I have never had, or seen before. It was tandoori fish. I think it was something very similar to trout, or maybe was trout. It was a firm, slightly oily reddish fish cooked so that the skin was almost blackened and crispy. I have to say it was delicious and I can't wait for another excuse to try it again.

      I saw a weather forecast this morning that suggested that there could be some sunshine tomorrow. If the morning looks fine I must make an effort to get out and take some exercise. Some (almost) mountaineering in Crystal Palace Park (well bits of it are very steep) would help burn of a calorie or two.
Friday 5th December 2003
08.26 GMT
Weather :
Dry with grey skies, and very cold.
    I think I had a good 8 hours sleep last night. I was only woken up briefly by Schiba who wanted to go out at 03.00. He must have been desperate because unusually he went straight out with no fuss. While letting him out I could hear, and just see the light of what was presumably a police helicopter. It was someway to the north. Perhaps over the far end of Lewisham. I thought I had heard a helicopter while waiting to go to sleep sometime before midnight. If it was the same one then it had been up in the air a long time. I wonder what was going on ?

      Schiba woke me up from a very strange dream. I didn't get a chance to remember any details of it, but I can remember a tiny fraction of it which makes no sense whatsoever. It involved farting and piles of bricks. It is tempting to speculate that it was the force of the farts that were knocking down walls or something, but I don't think it was like that. It was almost like it was the bricks themselves that were farting, and bu knocking them down and rebuilding the wall (?) they could be stopped from producing eggy farts, and, instead, produce odourless farts. Without being able to recall any more details it must sit as the strangest memory of a dream I have ever had. Even stranger still is that I cannot recall any person, even myself, being in the dream. Perhaps I am finally cracking up :-)

     Yesterday, apart from burning a test DVD, I left the skyline video alone. I may do so again today as there is a possibility of a lunchtime pint. I spent a lot of the day reading (New Scientist and Micro Mart), and another hour, or so, loading Linux on to an old PC. I have this old PC that was made up to play mp3 files for a pirate radio experiment. It was never used and the PC has been sitting around gathering dust for the last 4 years. Occasionally bits have been robbed from it - like the memory and hard disk. It uses the worst motheroard in the world - the via mvp4 chipset - which has onboard sound and graphics, and is fitted into a very slim line case. I have no immeadiate (or any) use for it, but I wanted to use the cpu from it. So I took it apart the other day and took the cpu out. I then decided that I ought to get it into a working state before putting it away again. So I installed a hateful Cyrix pr300 cpu and a 680 MByte hard disk. The pr300 bit of the Cyrix cpu is supposed to stand for equivalent performance rating to a 300MHz Pentium 1 processor, but it is considerably slower. I got the chip when I paid to upgrade a PC at work. I took out the Cyrix chip and replaced it with a 200Mhz MMX Pentium 1 that I bought at a computer fair for something like a fiver ut of a dusty bargain bin. It performed a lot better than the Cyrix chip. Back to the PC here..... I tried installing Windows 98, but I had a terrible fight trying to get the vga driver in. I recall that last time I tried to use it I had trouble with the drivers then. So yesterday I had an idea. I would see what Linux would do. Initially I thought I'd try Corel Linux. That version was the first I had ever tried and made to work, but only just about. Sadly the disk refused to boot so I tried another distro. The next was Redmond Linux. That has now developed into Lindows, but this was the original version. That could have gone well apart from it does not check there is adequate disk space and there is no option to select the packages to reduce disk usage. So it appeared to go in smoothly until 99% when it crashed. Finally I decided to try and old version of Mandrake Linux. Version 7.2 to be precise ( I am currently using version 9.2). It all went in smoothly and detected the sound and graphics correctly. By careful selection of the packages it all fitted onto the small hard disk, and has left some space over. That PC now performs its original function of playing mp3's. Instead of Winamp it uses XMMS. Just to make things slightly bizzare I have used a Mac OSX skin for XMMS. So that PC can now be slung back in the cupboard and forgotten about safe in the knowledge that it is fully working.
Thursday 4th December 2003
07.45 GMT

Weather :
cold and grey
     I think my brain hurts ! Last night I had copiuous amounts of Youngs Winter Warmer in the pub with Kevin and Howard. I managed to get very drunk after drinking on an empty stomach. When I got home I watched a DVD that I made to test how well the editing was going on the Skyline video. It looked reasonable, but failed half way through. Upon checking I found I had run out of hard disk space on the  hard drive I had rendered the video to. I am somewhat surprised, and also annoyed that it gave no warning of this happening. So I shifted some stuff from one disk to another and left the PC rendering the video overnight. It sems to have worked OK and generated a 4 GByte file. I am now burning that to DVD and will see it later. Having started the rendering process last night I went straight to bed. I was so "out of it" that I had that strange sensation of the room spinning round when I closed my eyes. I can't remember the last time that happened, but I am sure it was back in the days when I was a mere amateur drinker. Luckily it only happened when I was lying on my left side. I was OK when I turned over and quickly fell asleep.

    I am not sure if I am going to stay up now, or go back to sleep again.
Wednesday 3rd December 2003
09.13 GMT
Weather : Grey and misty - nor rain.
    I seemed to have lots of dreams last night, but I cannot remember any specific details apart from a few isolated scenes. One brief memory is being on the lower deck of a bus chatting to the driver (or conductor), but what we were chatting about is a mystery as were the circumstances of being on  the bus. I also remember sitting round a large table with a lot of other people. I think we were eating and talking, but with whom or what the converstation was about is another thing that escapes my memory.  I woke up twice in the night, but both times it was a very slow and gentle awakening, and that is not the best way to remember dreams. The first time I woke up was probably to the distant sound of the dustmen. They were certainly in the area, but the first noise that took my attention was the birdsong. My attention was distracted by that for long enough for all my dreams to evaporate. When I awoke the second time I noticed that it was light outside and started to consider getting up and not about dreams. So a hards night dreaming was all wasted - well I suppose it was good for whatever dreams are really for.

     I made more progress re-editing the Skyline video yesterday. So far I have worked my way through 20 minutes of the original and reduced it to 10 minutes.As far as "the plot" goes I don't think it has lost anything at all, but the whole thing looks a lot better now (in my humble opinion). I'll probably continue to do more work on it today. I might even finish it.
Tuesday 2nd December 2003
08.40 GMT
Weather : 75% Grey. Damp but no rain. 7°C
    I am up and dressed and ready to go out and sign on at 09.25. I am wearing a nice new pair of black trousers bought in the Tesco clothing sale yesterday. They are cut like a pair of jeans but are a very fine cord instaed of plain denim. It's nice to be able to go to the supermarket and buy a cheap pair of trousers that you can just put on and wear without a struggle. Maybe it is something to do with my accidental diet that I appear to be on.

     Yesterday was an awful day. It was dull, cold and miserable. I had no get-up-and-go. I also had a headache for a lot of the day. It would come and go and at it's worst it felt like my head was going to explode. Even laying down did not help. It felt like my head was really heavy and was pressing against the pillow as if it was just a ball of iron. (Which is bad English as that could read as if the pillow was made of iron and not, as intended, my head).That was only at the most extreme time. Most of the time I was fairly OK and by late afternoon all the pain had faded away. It faded so subtly that I am not sure at what time I could say it had actually gone. This morning I feel slightly stiff with just a hint of a sore neck. I am sure that a brisk walk to The Job Centre will loosen me up.
Monday 1st December 2003
08.25 GMT
Weather : 
Grey with copious rain
    I'm glad you have managed to find Decembers entries. It has been a bit of a rush to make this page. I was hoping to have a picture of a Crytal Palace Lion to use as a background, but with no trip to Crystal Place park, yesterday, I haven't got one yet.
12.34 GMT
   Since writing this mornings entry the weather has not changed at all. It is still cold, grey, damp and miserable outside. I have been out to Tesco's to but some more provisions. They have a sale on (finishing tomorrow) where all clothing has 20% of the price knocked off at the till. Thanks to Kevin for pre-warning me about it, although it was pretty plain to see even before I got to the store. There was a sandwich board outside the multi-storey car park announcing it. I have taken advantage of it to stock up on Socks, underpants, T-shirts and another pair of trousers. I was initially confused as the description of the style of underpants has changed since last I bought some, although they appear to be the same product. Also the T-shirts were described as vests, but seem to make good t-shirts anyway.

     With it being so grey outside I feel listless. Somehow watching TV seems a better idea than doing some of the stuff I ought to do, but even that does not really appeal. Maybe once I start doing whatever it is I am going to do I will feel some enthusiasm returning. Right now I could murder a mega curry with extra chips ! I could feel very enthusiastic about that, but I had better not or I won't be able to get into the new trousers I just bought. I might just have some curried brocolli later, but that is all.

Copyright - Bill 2003