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Me - on a train - June 2006 If you would like to comment on anything I have written you can go to and enter your comment in my guest book.
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Monday 31st July 2006
08:05 BST

 This morning it is quite cool but not as fresh as it could be. I think the humidity is a little higher than I would prefer. Last night itr should have been a lot cooler when I went to bed, and maybe it was, but it didn't feel thay way to me. I went to bed very early, about 19:30, but it was mainly to do some reading because last night's TV did not seem that appealing. I also had a bit of stomach ache, and lying down felt like a good idea. It felt like bloat, but having got to sleep, and then woken up again at 23:37 to dash to the toilet, I quickly came to the conclusion that I had a mild case of food poisoning. That conclusion was confirmed when within 5 minutes of getting back to bed I had to dash to the toilet again. Even after that I did not feel that comfortable, but I was able to get back to sleep until 05:20. I think the sweaty heat I felt when I was first in bed was probably the result of the food poisoning. I am sure the cause of the poisoning was some ham I had eaten for breakfast early on Sunday morning. It had been in the fridge for a few days, and I do recall some of it did have a slightly gamey sort of taste.

 I awoke this morning from a dream that I thought was interesting enough to remember, but my memory of it has evaporated already. Curiously I do remember a dream I was having when I woke up at 23:37. I was at work, although the premises were not quite the same as the workshop I am in now. As I was working on something I felt a little bit of tooth and filling crumble away leaving me with a couple of tiny flakes of "gravel" in my mouth. I spat those out, and as I did more bits of tooth crumbled away. Eventually a whole plastic thing came out of my mouth. It is hard to describe, and even harder to conjecture what dental job it was supposed to do. It was just this thing with various clips and apertures to fit around,  hold in, or maybe straighten teeth like a brace. At this point I was really rather worried as my whole mouth seemed to be emptying of teeth and other stuff. So perhaps it was actually some relief to wake up and realise that my top priority was to get to the toilet in record time !

 Mike seemed to enjoy his stay at my place. Yesterday morning I dragged him around Tesco. An extra pair of hands to carry a bag of cat litter made for an easier walk back home again. Than at midday it was off to The Ram for a quick pint and a bite to eat. The latter never happened. Mike only wanted something like a sandwich, or other light snack, but all they could offer was a full Sunday dinner. By about 12:45 Kevin called in to have a drink with us. He was the first to actually meet up with Mike, although there is a good possibility that Mike will be in The Ram on Wednesday night, and all those who have wanted to see him will be able to then (perhaps). Mike left at 13:20 to catch a train to Badgers Mount where he was meeting his aunt before moving on to stay with his Sister in Bexleyheath.

 Kevin and I stayed on in the pub for one more pint before I went home and had some lunch. Three pints of Stella Artois on ham that had gone off left me with a bit of a hangover during the afternoon. So I slept for an hour (or maybe it was two) until I got up to cook dinner. I had planned a fairly decent sized Sunday dinner for myself, but by then my guts were starting to trouble me and I could not be bothered to cook anything but the meat. So Sunday dinner turned out to be some pork and some bread.

 Today I will find out how I have been paid. I hope it has been by transfer direct to my bank, but there is a rather awkward possibility that I will be given a cheque today. A cheque will take so long to clear that I could be in dire straights before then. My bank account is now sitting at around the same sort of levels as it used to before I got this job. i.e. on the edge of negative numbers. I have applied for my overdraft to be extended. If that is done very quickly I will be OK, but if not, and I am paid by cheque I will be in the stupid state where  I will not be able to renew my season ticket to get to work on Thursday morning, and yet I will have money in my building society account that I cannot get to because I am at work when the place is open (it is an old style account with a pass book and not a plastic card). Maybe on Wednesday night I will have to go back to the days of relying on charity for drinking, and borrowing money for fares. Hopefully it will not come to that. Of course if I can't buy a ticket on Thursday to get to work, I will be home and able to get to the building society to get some money to buy a ticket to get to work...........or something !!
Sunday 30th July 2006
06:16 BST

 Yesterday did remain fairly cool by comparison with some of the previous days, and yet it was still rather warmer than cool. For the most part it was pleasant, but it could have been even better if it was one, or two, degrees cooler. This morning it is rather grey, but later on the sun may break through. Alternatively we could finally get the rain that has been promised for the last few days.

 Although it was hard to raise the enthusiasm I did finally manage to do most of the cleaning I intended for the living room.  Until I can work out a way of organising my book and video collection it will never be neat and tidy in there, but at least the floor is cleared and hoovered.

 Mike turned up at around midday to find me just finishing the last of the hoovering, and me covered in dust and grit where I had been shaking out the mat. I hadn't realised just how covered in dust and grit I was until I noticed that some trickles of sweat were leaving a muddy streak  !

 The first thing we did was to get Mike's external, USB connected, 300GB hard drive connected to the PC in the front bedroom. As we swapped many gigabytes of files I had my second shower of the morning. A little later on we went to The London And Rye pub for a couple of pints and a rather nice club sandwich for lunch.

 After our lunch was finished we came back home again and met  Jodie who wanted me to copy a CD for her. The afternoon was spent talking and watching some Ren And Stimpy cartoons, and an old Dr Who documentary caled "Resistance Is Futile". Sometime after 5pm Jodie left us to go and get her dinner, and Mike and I ordered a couple of pizzas. Then at 8pm it was back to The London And Rye for more beer. Amongst the beers on offer there were Arundells "Summer Daze", and the Phoenix Brewery's "White Monk". Mike preferred the first, awhile I preferred the latter. It was very noisy in there, but we stayed until 10pm in case anyone managed to turn up to see Mike, but I think most of the people who wanted to see Mike were at a Convention/show type thing hosted by ex-offshore DJ Roger "Twiggy" Day (if memory serves me well). We stayed up for another hour or so and had another drink and watched some pointless TV. Then it was off to bed.

 Judging by the snores coming from the front bedroom, Mike is finding the spare bed as comforatble as Patricia did. I don't know when he will be getting up, but there is no rush and I will not be disturbing him until it is time to go for lunch in The Ram. Later this afternoon Mike will be picked up by his sister and will spend the night at her place. After that he will be meeting up, and staying  with his brother for some sightseeing, but he expects to come for maybe one last drink on Wednesday night.  Hopefully those who have been waiting to see Mike will be able to turn up then (if they haven't joined us for Sunday lunch in The Ram).
Saturday 29th July 2006
08:08 BST

 It seems to be a nice morning. The sun is shining, but it feels fairly fresh. Hopefully it will stay moderately cool for a little while and enable me to get some work done. This morning I have a lot of housework to do prior to Mike arriving here. Last night I disposed of a load of junk, and although that has left a bit more space, it has also left a bit of a mess around. My first priority must be to try and get the living room livable in again, but a shine up of the bathroom would also be a good idea. The only place I don't need to touch is the spare room, although if I have time I will run the hoover over the carpet.

 I must admit that I did not do too much last night. It was still rather warm in the house, and after shifting half a dozen heavy transformers from various places in the house, plus other assorted bits, to outside on the front garden path I felt the need to sit down and recover. I am not sure what time I went to bed last night. It was a bit early for a Friday night, but I did do some reading before falling fast asleep. Whether it was because it was cooler, or whether it was because I was tired, I don't know, but I seem to recall falling asleep instantly after turning out the light.

 I recall having several dreams on the subject of women. Most are just a vague blur, but I can recall the vague plot of one dream. It concerned a rather beautiful looking woman who seemed to either be chatting me up, or was responding to me chatting her up. I remember her having medium length blonde hair, a pink top, and a silk scarf around her neck (it too may have been pink). She wanted to go to the cinema in Eltham (there was an article about the future of the disused Coronet cinema in the local free paper that I was reading last night). Things were a little complicated because she wanted me to meet her in Hastings, and then she would drive us both to Eltham. I don't know where we were when we were chatting together , but it certainly wasn't in Hastings. I think it may have been in Beckenham, or maybe in, or around, my old work place in Elmers End. I estimated that if I was lucky with the trains I could get to Hastings, straight from work, by about 6pm. Then, if the traffic was light, we could get to the cinema by 7pm. After the cinema she would drive me home, and I can't recall if it was merely implied, or actually confirmed, that she would be staying with me overnight. I think that dream ended with me setting off to Beckenham Junction Station to get a couple of trains to Hastings, but the end is really just a blur.

 There is a little bit of another dream that I can sort of remember some vague details. It concerned another woman who was a little taller than the first. She had dark hair and green boots on. The only thing I can remember of in between those two was a necklace she wore that had an ornemental representation of a fishing hook on it. She was playfully using it to snag my shirt as if she was fishing for me. I have no idea how that dream started or ended, but a woman actually trying to catch me is a bit of a novelty, well, a lot of a novelty to be truthful, but one that I would like to happen in real life more often than the zero times it has happened before !

 Tonight is boozing night with Mike. As yet I don't know what pub it will be in, or who will be able to make it on a Saturday night. Several people were calling on me to arange the drink for last night, but with Mike not being here that was obviously impossible. Besides which I am not Mikes social secretary, and he has come over from Canada, on his own, so he can just make up his itenary as he feels like it at the time.
Friday 28th July 2006
08:07 BST

 The weather has changed for the better. At least this morning is better. Even last night there seemed to be more cool air coming in my bedroom window. So much so that I actually woke up feeling quite chilly this morning. It was a sensation I was beginning to despair of ever feeling again ! After a tepid shampoo and shower I felt really rather good - apart from assorted aches and pains still caused by sleeping awkwardly. (It will be nice when, once again, I can actually sleep snuggled up under the duvet in a sensible position).

 My journey into work was mostly cool and pleasant. The only time I raised a mild sweat was in the long dash between Waterloo East, and Waterloo Mainline stations. I did do that at a rather faster pace than was probably sensible, and I "powered" up the various slopes rather faster than the average person was doing it. Perhaps the most important thing was that I recovered from that this sheen of sweat very quickly.

 I remained cool and composed until I got into work. It is not nearly as bad as yesterday, but it is still hot and stuffy in here. I hope that the morning stays cool and that this place has a chance to lose some of it's heat. Maybe we will finally get a thunderstorm here in the afternoon. Over the last few days several thunderstorms have been forecast, but the closest I have personally got to one was hearing some distant thunder on a couple of occasions. Maybe we will not need a good storm to cool things down now that the morning has turned out so much cooler.

 I heard from my friend Mike (from Canada) last night. He is due to come and visit me on Saturday, and not tonight as I had thought. This is actually good news as it means  I still have this evening, and tomorrow morning, to finish off clearing up the living room. I may even get enough time to do a little housework in other places too. Of course this all depends on the temperature. These last few evenings even thinking has been enough to raise unacceptable amounts of sweat - as for doing anything strenuous like opening my eyelids, or even breathing...........
Thursday 27th July 2006
08:06 BST

 I feel so hot !!!!!! It is a ridiculously hot and humid morning. There was a lot of cloud overnight that sealed all the heat in. Indoors, even with the windows open it was sweltering. As I left for work I was feeling like I could keel over with heat exhaustion. Fortunately the air outside was just a little cooler, and my movement through the air provided a little cooling effect. It wasn't too bad on the train, but due to a points failure near Charing Cross my train was diverted to Cannon Street station. So I had to change at London Bridge onto a very packed train to Waterlooo East. Thank goodness it was only one stop as I don't think I could have survived that much longer. As usual, my morning train from Waterloo (mainline) to Wandsworth Town station was one of the older non-airconditioned trains. That was a shame, but it was only lightly loaded, and with all the windows open there were some cooling draughts.

 In the last five minutes since starting to write this I have either started to become acclimatised to the stuffy heat in here, or my body temperature regulation has finally given in and I am about to collapse. Hopefully it is the former.

 Going back to yesterday. After my eye test I painfully walked home with my eyes constantly dazzled by the bright light (the result of the eye drops that expand the pupils to insane dimensions). I called in at the Aldi supermarket at the end of the road on my way back and bought some cat food amongst other stuff. Although fairly brightly lit in there, it was still a relief to get out of the glare of daylight. After getting home I made a sandwich and had some tortilla chips that I had bought at the supermarket. With my hunger satiated I decided to lie down in my hot bedroom with the curtains closed to give my eyes a rest and a chance to recover. Fairly soon I was fast asleep, and probably slept for two hours. After that it was too late to go back to work as I had been contemplating.

 It would have been nice to do something productive in my free afternoon, but it was just too hot to contemplate anything more strenuous than breathing and blinking ! In the end I did dismantle one of my big home made speaker cabinets. I definitely made those to last. After taking out the 62 screws, the wood glue I used still held them solidly together. I intended to re-use some of the wood for some small shelves, and some I still can, but other bits just got broken as I tried to prise them apart.

 Dismantling that speaker was really all I did for the whole afternoon, but in the evening I did go for a beer with Iain. The Ram is supposed to be air conditioned, and indeed there were a few cold draughts coming out of some vents, but overall it was still unpleasantly hot in there. We finished in the pub at around 21:00 and I made the mistake of having a sandwich before going to bed. I think it was a mistake only because I suspect the extra calories increased how hot I felt. Up in my bedroom it was like a sauna. I was really hoping that it would rain overnight, and that the rain would cool things down a bit. As far as I know it didn't happen, and so I woke up dripping with sweat again.
Wednesday 26th July 2006
04:24 BST

 It's hot, very hot. It appears to have clouded over last night trapping all the heat in. The air outside seems coolish, but inside the house it is very sticky, and at 04:00 I woke up to the sound of some very light rain, and my pillows wet with sweat. In fact the rain drops themselves were not light, it was just the amount of them that makes me describe it as light rain. In the 25 minutes since waking up the rain seems to have stopped, but I wouldn't mind betting it will start again soon. I would be even less surprised if there was not a bit of thunder and lightning later on. The air has that sort of feeling to it.

 Yesterday at work, and yesterday evening were very uneventful. The only thing of note about work was that we had a research and development meeting in the afternoon that over ran past my normal going home time. So I was late getting away from work, but still managed to get home only 10 minutes later than my normal time (such is the timing of the trains). Perhaps it is worth mentioning (moaning !) that the 16:32 train at Wandsworth is an 8 car unit of refurbished class 455 stock that has no air conditioning - so no luxury chill-out between Wandsworth and Waterloo !

 Very soon now I will go back to bed. I hope I can catch a few more hours sleep in the sweaty heat upstairs. If I can sleep I have the luxury of a lie in before going to Lewisham Hospital for my eye screening at 09:30. Once that is done I have the choice of going into work, or taking some more time off. My choice will depend on whether it is pouring with rain, and the state my eyes are in after the drips that expand the pupils to wide open. Either way it is a no win situation. If it is bright and sunny my altered eyes will be very painful and I am liable to get a headache from the artificial brightness of the day. It would be preferable if the day was dull and gloomy when I leave the hospital, but if it is in the middle of a storm I will prefer not to travel. Either way I will definitely be staying at home for at least an hour to let my eyes recover.
Tuesday 25th July 2006
08:06 BST

 Today started off wonderfully. It was cool(ish) in my bedroom, and definitely cool downstairs. As I left for work the air outside was nice and fresh, and there was some high mist, or thin cloud, that kept the worst of the sun shadowed. My journey into work was most pleasant, and I seemed to have bundles of energy. Now I am inside work and I am dripping, and all my energy has evaporated !!!

 Last night the only thing of note was that I watched a very interesting programme on Channel 5 about the Apollo 11 moon landing. Recent documents have, apparently, revealed just how unsafe the whole mission was. Despite revealing very little extra over that which I was convinced I had heard before, it was still an interesting programme. So interesting that I forgot to let Nelly in last night. There have only been a few times in her life that she has stayed out all night. Tonight was one of them, and like the previous times she appeared none the worse for her experience. As I woke up I could hear what sounded like a cat coughing badly below my bedroom window. Once fully awake I thought the noise I could hear was really Smudge scratching at the window frame of the downstairs window (as she often does). On reflection I think it may have been the combined noises of Smudge at the window frame, and Nelly at the back door.

 Today I am going to have to disappoint work again as I need at least the morning off work tomorrow, and ideally all day, for a Diabetic eye screening test. Unfortunately I do not make the appointment. Instead I just get called once a year, and the time and date are generated by their computer. So it is not easy to change the time and date. It was sort of lucky that I found the letter the centre sent to me over a month ago. I had forgotten about it until I uncovered the letter when I went to fetch my mobile phone bill from the pile of paperwork in my back room.

 Before paying that mobile phone bill I decided to check the balance of my bank account. It was dangerously low. This week I am pulling out all the stops to be as economical as possible. Fortunately I am not in the state I was in prior to starting this job. I have replenished a tiny bit of my savings, and I do have a little loose cash around the house (money from Patricia which I should have paid into my savings account). I'll get by easily, but it will be slightly tedious to do it. Next Monday I get paid, and hopefully it will be by direct bank transfer so the money appears in my account on the Monday itself. Even then I will need to be careful as it will only be two thirds of a month money. So if I am careful I will be able to start September with loads and loads of money (!!!).
Monday 24th July 2006
08:04 BST

 It is pleasantly cool outside, but here in work it is hot and sticky. I hope that now the doors and windows are open it will cool off a bit before the outside temperature soars to 30º C. Yesterday was a lot cooler than of late, and ever so slowly my house was starting to cool down. Overnight it got even cooler and I woke up feeling almost, but not quite chilly.

 I had some successes yesterday, and not all of them were with computers. I managed to get the hoover over 75% of the floor in the living room, and that included under the settee, and behind the chair next to the window. The latter was very disgusting. Behind that chair I found rather a lot of dead flies where they had fallen down after being trapped behind the windows until they died. It is one penalty of having cats in the hot summer. thier food does attract flies, and there is little can be done about it. If I could change Nelly from being a casual grazer to a cat who eats all her food, and then licks the plate clean straightaway, I could remove and wash the plates so as to avoid attracting the flies. Instead Nelly will insist on eating a few mouthfuls, going away, and then coming back for a few mouthfuls. It could be argued that by instigating a harsh regime I could train her to do it, but that hardly seems fair.

 Another success was my Sunday dinner. I had a yearning for some roast beef - which is a bit odd as I usually find beef to be a little tasteless these days. I selected a nice looking, but cheap small joint of rolled brisket (I think it was) when shopping in Tesco during the morning. I cooked it perhaps more carefully than usual. To accompany it I had some "roast mediteranean vegetables" (frozen pack also from Tesco). The beef was still very pink inside when I served it, and I decided to not bother with any mustard, or horseradish, on it. Together with the roast vegetable it was delicious. Perhaps the only bad thing about it was the cost. It was not much, but just before starting to write today I checked my bank balance. It is precariously low at the moment. With care I will make it through the next 7 days before I am paid, but it will be a close run thing.

 By and large I was fairly successful with all I did with my computers yesterday. The iMac is still working well. The MP3 playing/encoding program I installed, Audio 3, managed to rip two CD's before announcing that my free trial had expired. It is only the mp3 encoding that has expired, and it will still play mp3 files OK. as an alternative I download, and installed, iTunes-Lame. As yet I have not played with that. I am not even sure whether it is a plug in for iTunes, or a standalone program. What I do know is that it will encode audio files to mp3 using the open source, and free, encoder called Lame.

 I also managed to upgrade a few things on my Suse 10.1 Linux box. I had some trouble doing software updates, and I couldn't install certain software. The software update too did not seem to work, but I found that by starting it from the Yast2 management utility it would work. Once a load of updates had been installed everything worked as it should - almost. I  finally managed to install Nvu, the web authoring program, and that worked OK. what I could not get to work was mp3 playback using XMMS (the x multimedia system). The mp3 codecs exist on the system because other players can playback mp3 files, but xmms will not ! I have ben through this problem before on another PC running Suse Linux. I can't quite remember how I solved it though. I may have had to install xmms from the source files to stop whatever is crippling the compiled versions that work with Suse Linux. I am not sure if I can be bothered to do it this time. with other options, is it worth it ? Well maybe it should be. Like most craftsmen I do prefer to work with my favourite tools rather than having to accept someone elses choice.

 After work I have several choices in what to do with myself. The first, and most obvious choice, is to lie down in a puddle of sweat and gently drip the evening away (I am assuming the weather forecast for today is accurate in predicting the continuation of the recent heat wave). An alternative is to go into my workshop and ruin some repairs by dripping all over them ! Sooner or later the workshop option will become imperative, but there is also the need to continue my "beautifying" (!) of the living room. I strongly suspect that I will end up with my first choice - just dripping !
Sunday 23rd July 2006
06:14 BST

 This morning the outside air is very fresh. Inside the house it is still often very warm. Downstairs is not too bad, but upstairs it is still quite warm despite the windows being open. My bedroom did cool down just enough to make sleeping a fairly comfortable experience, although it was still too hot to sleep under the duvet.

 Yesterday was often overcast, and it did rain from time to time. The rain was never that heavy, although I did hear some distant thunder at one point. So somewhere the rain must have been far heavier than here. I haven't seen a weather forecast for today, but the sky does look a little overcast despite there being some weak sunshine breaking through. Some sun without the heat would be nice, but I guess that is too much to ask for as we near August.

 Most of my experimentation with the iMac is now over. I did spend rather a long time with it yesterday, but it is now working well. I think it is a very usable machine now. I suspect that the reason it was running so slowly before was the faulty hard disk. With a good quality IBM 20GB hard disk in it, and the fresh installation of Apple's OSX 10.3 "Panther" operating system, it is now fairly responsive. For most simple tasks, web browsing, office type stuff, and playing mp3 files, it is fine. More intensive tasks, such as mp3 encoding, may run slowly, but I have yet to try things like that.

 Installing software on the iMac is a slightly strange process the first time you do it. All the software I have installed has come in the form of a .dmg file. This is like a virtual hard disk. When the virual disk is opened there is what looks like a file in it, but in fact it is a packet of files. This is then dragged out of the virtual disk onto the real hard disk. That is all there is to it. For some applications I have added an alias (a link) onto the desktop. The desktop, in a show of defiance, (or maybe that should be weirdness) is now bliss.bmp, the Windows XP "tellytubbyland" default background image.

 The first package I installed was Mozilla Firefox, the web browser. Apple's own web browser, Safari, which is based upon the Linux KDE browser/file manager Konqueror, is OK, but just like when I use Linux I prefer to use Firefox as my web browser. The next application was Open Office.  I am not sure what the "standard" office suite for Mac's is, but it is probably Microsoft Office. I cannot afford that, and anyway, why should anyone bother with it when Open Office is available for free and does pretty much anything you might do on Microsoft Office. The next package I installed was Audion 3. It is an MP3 player/encoder. By default it looks pretty grotesque, but the Platinum skin (I think) makes it look OK. I would have preferred to use XMMS the Linux equivalent to Winamp, but  although it is possible to install it on a Mac the process depends on too many other things being installed. So while not being my first choice, it is far better than the horrible iTunes, and seems to work OK. Next came Nvu. This is one of my favourite applications, and I am using it right now (on the Suse Linux PC) to write this.The final package installed was Skype. Initially it would not work, but it started working OK after I did a system update. In the future I will install Thunderbird, the mail client, and I believe there is a port of Mplayer for OSX as well.  No doubt I will find other applications to install, but first I have to find a place where the iMac will live. I am thinking of installing it in my living room if I can sort out some sort of desk to put it on.

 Since starting writing this I have seen a weather forecast. It looks as if it may be a little cooler today with temperatures only around 28° C ! With a bit of a through draft it may be comfortable enough to finally pull my finger out and get cleaning up in the living room. The chances of me getting distracted by something more fun to do are high, but I  at least I am going to have a go and doing that tidying and cleaning - after I have done a bit of shopping and ............???
Saturday 22nd July 2006
06:10 BST

The latest spell hot weather ended with a bang at 04:00 this morning (possibly earlier). I was woken up by a clap of thunder and heavy rain. It is still raining now, although very gently. Outdoors it is really nice and cool. It felt so pleasant that I went and stood in the rain for a few minutes while wearing no more than my underpants. Inside the house it is still very unpleasant. The downstairs back room, where I am typing this right now, is beginning to cool down since openeing the window and back door, but upstairs it is still hot and sweaty despite having the winows open up there all night. I would have loved to sleep a little longer this morning, but after waking in yet another pool of sweat I just had to get up. Maybe I'll try for more sleep later on.

 One of the few tasks I have planned for today is to play with the iMac again. Last night Iain found, and brought over, Apple OSX 10.3 on genuine CD's. I restored the original CD drive back into the machine before going to the pub last night, and now, even as I type this, I have just started the installation process. So far it is going well. With luck I will have finished playing with the iMac in a few hours, and then, if the house has cooled down a bit, I will be able to do more housework.

00:13 BST

 Tonight , or more accurately last night, was a curious time. It started off with a drink in The Ram. So far so good. Things went a little astray when I made a pact withe the devil. I cannot explain what went on, but in essence I offered some junk to someone I thought could use it even though I really did not want to talk with him.  That was bizzare enough, but I then went on to alienate at least one other person.

 My argument concerned the Brazillian guy who was  murdered by the police. My opponent was trying to argue that it may have been justified considering the actions of the suicide bombers of the same ( or previous) day. First of all that got me worried. Suicide bombing is a really rather strange practice, and can only be done by people who are really, really desperate, or by people whose beliefs are so far away from the rest of the animal kingdom (and that includes humans) that they would have to be considered to be from a different universe. Whilst there is no excuse for taking human life, I can't help but compare some terrorists with the agents of the "Special Operations Executive"during World War II. What they did would have been classified as terrorism by todays standards. Yet today the agents who perperetrated "terrorist actions" against the Nazis are revered. As much as I hate the idea of the suicide bombers of 7th July 2005 killing innocent people, I cannot help but compare them with the SOE agents who conducted special operations behind enemy lines. The fact that they were acting against the best interests of Londoners ( and that includes me) was terrible, but in some small way the fact that they were "fighting" for a cause they believed in gives some hope to humanity as a whole.

 Getting back to the shooting of the Brazillian guy, and my most staunch argument. This did cause a bit of a rift, and it also caused me to walk out of the pub a little early. It may have even caused a complete breakdown in my friendship with my drinking partners. I feel so alienated these days that I will not mourn that much. My concience would rather be on the side of right than to compromise my beliefs. My argument was that the Brazllian guy, Charles De Menezes, or some such similar name, was gunned down by a bunch of thugs who had no connection with the values I associate with the British Police force. To my mind it was just the act of the the security forces as foretold in George Orwell's "1984".I seriously believe that this country is on the verge of being a police state, and I hate the idea. This idea did not go down too well, and I had to leave the pub early.

 It is bad enough that I feel like an alien amongst people who I regard as friends, but sometimes principles have to come first. I know that I am banging my head against a brick wall, and nothing I can do will change anything, but concience dictates that sometimes you have to believe in something. If ever there is a great day of reckoning, I believe that my thoughts will be worth a few brownie points. I am aware that I could be very wrong. I do not believe in any God character, but I do believe in right and wrong even though I am not sure what planet I am from.  The chances are that I am wrong as judged by local customs, but the evidence points to me being not affiliated with local customs. It must be many be weeks since I last mentioned it, and last night with the drink at Barming being just another example, I just feel that I am an alien among the humans of Earth.
Friday 21st July 2006
16:18 BST

 At this very moment in time I am hot and annoyed !!

 As I suggested yesterday I am having a day off work today. It is another very hot day today. Maybe not nearly as hot as Wednesday, and maybe not as humid as yesterday, but it is still hot enough to get sweaty with any excess body movement. This most definitely has not been helped by yet another large quantity of sugary ice cream.

 I have done a few little odd jobs today, a bit of laundry, and a bit of shopping, but I have mainly been amusing myself with my new iMac. It is, or was, working well with Apple's Mac operating system 8.6 which I installed in favour of the rather wonky installation of OSX 10.1. I say working well, but it was refusing most USB memeory devices for some reason. It is quite possible that I need an updater to get more accurate results from the USB ports. What I really wanted to do was to install a DVD drive in it so I could install OSX 10.3. There is a minor problem with this in as much as it uses a laptop type optical drive. I thought I was fortunate in that I located a CDRW/DVD drive in an old laptop.  After much experimentation I realised why it could not boot from that drive. The bloody thing is set internally to be a slave drive, and there is no means of altering this. While OS 8.6 was running it would recognise DVD disks OK, but it just would not boot from them.  Now I know why, and like I said at the top, I am bloody annoyed !!!
Thursday 20th July 2006
08:09 BST

 I feel pretty awful this morning. The reason is that I slept very badly last night. Although I coped with the heat during the day, and coped with it very well, I found that last night it was just too hot to get comfortable. It may not have helped that I had drunk 3 pints of Stella Artois in the pub with Iain earlier on, and then had a cheese and salad bagel. Whether that lot contributed to me feeling the heat, or whether it was just that the air was so still last night that there was no breeze coming through the open windows. Initially I fell asleep fairly quickly, but once again I had to put a towel on my pillow because my face was dripping with sweat. Like the previous night the towel slipped down and got rucked up under my neck. The gave me a stiff neck yesterday morning, and improved upon it this morning ! In the early hours I woke up still feeling very hot and uncomfortable. So I changed ends of the bed and got to sleep again that way. I woke up at about 05:10 feeling as stiff as a board - and still too hot. A cool shower helped a bit, but the best thing was going downstairs. There was such a temperature difference between upstairs and downstairs it made me wish I had slept on the settee.

 This morning the air is still and rather humid. It is a fair bit cooler than yesterday, but the humidity is making for a very sticky morning. It may well rain later. There is no sun at the moment, and the sky is fairly cloudy. A bit of rain may help for a little while, but I think that today will feel worse than yesterday when temperatures reached a record high - as much as 36º C. Now that is hot for London !!

 Tonight there is another drink at The Bull in Barming. I don't think I will be going though. It is now principally a curry night, and the last thing I want in this hot weather is a resturant curry (maybe one at home would be OK where I could cool off a bit easier). Besides which I suspect that after two bad nights of sleep, and with the prospect of a slightly cooler night, I may just collapse on my bed fairly early in the evening.

 Tomorrow poses and interesting problem. Until it was called off last night, there had been a rail strike set from midday tonmorrow. I had already told work that I would be having my first day off (with pay) tomorrow as getting in to work would be very difficult. Having the day off after a drink at Barming would actually be ideal, and not being able to do it has been my excuse for not going to the last few meetings. However, as I am almost ceratinly not going to Barming, and there is no rail strike, I am not sure whether to save the days holiday, or take it anyway. I do have some stuff that I had planned to do tomorrow. Maybe top of that list was playing with the iMac. Iain dropped me off the keyboard for it last night, and now I can experiment to me hearts content - and I am most keen to do so. There are two other possibilities for tomorrow, although they could be mutually exclusive. It is possible that Jodie may pop over and do some recording, or I may go to The Herne for a lunchtime drink. Decisions, decisions.........
Wednesday 19th July 2006
14:10 BST

It is now really hot both indoors and out. I can't wait to get home and have a cold shower. After that a couple of pints of ice cold beer would go down a treat. When I think of it (difficult in this heat) the first thing I look forward to is the journet from Wandsworth Town Station to Waterloo (mainline) station. It should be in a nice air conditioned carriage that will be icy cool. at least I hope it will be. It could be in a non airconditioned older train, or the air conditioning may have broken down. Both would be rare, but they are still possible.

I hope going home tonight will be plain sailing. I have not yet mentioned my journey home last night. I got to the station just a bit too late for the 16:00 train, but it had been cancelled anyway. The next train , the one I usually get most days, was 5 minutes late. So I was a little late getting to Waterloo East station. That doesn't matter too much as only the earlier train from Wandsworth is time critical for Waterloo East. However once I ot there I found that Platform A was closed for some unexplained reason (although there was a train standing there that left the station very soon after I got there). Most trains were running late, and the next Hayes train (for Catford Bridge) was cancelled. The train I would have caught, the 16:44 to Gravesend, was running too late to enable me to change trains at London Bridge, but I caught the next train to London Bridge anyway. It was 17:10, about the time I often get home, before I managed to get a train at London Bridge that had come from Cannon Street. Amazingly it was not too packed, although it was definitely more fully laden than usual. So I got home about the latest I have ever been (except where I have left work late for other reasons).
08:04 BST

 It's another beautiful morning. Just like yesterday, the sun is shining, and the sky is blue. The problem is that it did not cool down that much overnight, and today we could hit record temperatures. It was nice outside, but here in work it is very hot - and it can only get worse. Despite that I do seem to be coping with this heatwave remarkably well. Although I am sweating now I am inside, while out and about I have remained remarkably dry. This has been due to my continuing restriction of sugar in my diet (I believe), but last night I did gorge myself on another large tub of sugary icecream. Maybe that explains why I am now dripping. I knew at the time it was a mistake to even buy the stuff, but I just could not resisist it.

 Some of my excess eating, such as the icecream, who be curbed if I still had the company of Patricia. It is one of the many reasons why I miss having her around, and yet in some ways I don't miss her as much as I thought I would. I have managed to keep myself pretty busy lately, and that has kept the loneliness at bay. It could be the case that I regard Patricia being away as if she were only on holiday, and in some ways she is. I still think that she will be back in a month or two. I strongly believe that she doesn't miss me, or even think about me most of the time, but that is only on the surface. Maybe it is conceit, but I still believe there is some unknown bond betwen us that means we are destined to meet again in the future. I doubt it would be a good idea for her to move in long term again, but after we managed to part friends when she left for Spain, I am sure that if she had her own place nearby we would be meeting up fairly often. I have said all this before in one form or another, but thinking out loud helps me to put things in perspective.

 Last night I managed to get 95% of my new installation of Suse Linux working how I wanted it (on my downstairs internet PC). The only major thing missing at the moment is Nvu, the web editor I am using right now (from my work PC) to write all this. I think there is a problem with the software installation routines that will need to be fixed, but the main applications are all there and working. My next bit of computer juggling will be to play with the Apple iMac. This website, , confirms that it will run Mac OSX 10.3, but that the hard disk must be partioned with a bootable partition less than 8GB for OSX to be able to boot. It also mentions that it will take hard drives as big as 128GB.  So the rest of the disk, after that first partition, could be just for data. Ideally, being a unix type system, that first partition should be the root partiotion, and the next partition would be /home. Unfortunately the Mac disk partitioning software hides all that from the user making it difficult to set up like that.  Of course I am only a raw beginner for Mac OSX. The next time I have a play I will see what I can learn about it all, although my next experiment may well involve putting Linux on the machine. Another web site, , reckons that this machine that once retailed at $1300, is now worth $75 - $125 (prices in U.S. dollars). So that would equate to something around £50 here I guess. In fact I am sure I have seen some advertised in the small ads for around that price.
Tuesday 18th July 2006
08:11 BST

 It's a beautiful morning. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, there is some breeze, and best of all it has not got too hot - yet ! Today is forecast to be one of the hottest on record (and tomorrow could be even hotter !). It is going to be murderous in here later, unless the breeze picks up a bit more and we get a through draft of fresh air. Last night it started pretty hot, but it did cool down after thye sun went down. Despite that it was almost still too warm in my bedroom for sleep. I just slept on top of the bed naked with the front and back upstairs windows open, and the bedroom doors open too. Now that is one advantage of Patricia having moved out. While I wouldn't care if she saw me sleeping naked, she was really rather coy about her body and would have made sure her bedroom door was firmly closed even after getting into her nightwear.

 Surprisingly, considering the heat, I did get to sleep much easier than I thought I would. This may have been because I stayed up a lot later than I would have intended. Yesterday evening, rather later than I should have, I decided enough was enough and made the decision to install Suse 10.1 on my downstairs internet PC. If these things were planned I would have started a lot earlier in the evening, but for no particular reason I decided to have one more go at getting the printer to work on my installation of Simply Mepis. When that attempt failed I decided it just had to go.  After a couple of false starts (maybe a dodgy DVD) I succeded in getting most things working - including the printer - but it was gone 22:00 before I turned off and went to bed. There are still many things to set up on the PC now, but the core is there and working, and I'll almost certainly do some more tonight.

 Once in bed my brain was still buzzing a bit. So I read for another 30 - 40 minutes before turning out the light. I fell asleep quite quickly, as I recall, and slept solidly through until about 04:30. After a quick pee I was back asleep, and was pleasantly awoken by my clock radio alarm playing Cream's "White Room" to me at 05:30. I cannot recall any details of my dreams from last night. I have a vague memory of a dream involving lots of people, and a lot going on, but who they were, and what was going on is a mystery. One bit of dream I do recall by concept rather than detail was to do with Maxine ( I think). The only bit I remember was that she almost stood me up in the morning by turning up (where ??) very late, so I decided to do the same to her in the evening.
Monday 17th July 2006
09:35 BST

 It is 08:17 as I write this, and I am writing it using Windows Notepad. We seem to have a problem here at work with no access to the internet. So I shall carry on writing using Notepad, and then cut-n-paste this text into Nvu once our internet connection has been restored (probably when someone in the office reboots the rathet flaky router we use).

 It is very warm this morning, and the temperature is expected to get a lot higher this afternoon. Tomorrow is forecast to be even hotter still with London temperatures expected to reach 33 degrees C.In some parts of the Southeast (England) it could even get as high as a truly baking 35 degrees. In true English tradition all this hot weather wil finally end with a bang as heavy rain and thunderstorms get brewed up. The one saving grace for this spell of extreme weather is that the humidity is forecast to be low. That, combined with some gentle breezes will make it far easier to bear.

 Having now repaired my TV, and found nothing to watch on it last night, I checked The Metro to see what was on TV tonight. The same as last night - NOTHING ! Well maybe that is not quite true. I did not check to see what was on some of the satellite/freevie/cable channels.Maybe there is something on UK History, or The Discovery Channel.

 I had some odd dreams last night. (Although I do not know why I describe them as odd - all my dreams are odd). I dreamed that I was at my own birthday party, but that I was bored. I knew a lot of people there, at least I knew their names, but in some ways they looked liked strangers. For instance my aunt was there, but looked 50 years younger. I did not recognise her as my aunt, but just sort of knew it was her. Another woman turned up who I think was supposed to be my ex-sister-in-law (divorced from my older brother 20+ years ago). She actually looked a little more like Suzy who used to perform with the band New Cross in the early eighties.I do recall she had on something that I do not think I have seen before - a black pinstriped mini skirt.

 At some point I overheard a conversation where one person challenged another to make a journey from one point to another. It was supposed to be across difficult terrain cutting across one corner of the coastline to another. I thought it sounded interesting so I decided to try it for myself. Maybe it was a seperate dream, I have no idea now, but I do know I was to return to that sort of party gathering later on.

 This part of the dream started with me crossing some heavily vegetated land in twilight. I say heavily vegetated because I don't really know what it was underfoot. It was not quite grass, and not quite moss. The land seemed to be springy underfoot like bog land. I walked for some time across this land before coming to the first bit of water. It was a very steep sided pond. The water level was about a metre below thye surface of the land, but the water was not that deep. I skirted around it until I came to a river. My goal was just the other side of the river, but it seemed impossible to cross. It was not wide, maybe 3 or 4 metres, and did not appear to be that deep. Nor was the water flowing very fast. The main problem seemed to be that it had very muddy banks and I did not want to get myself dirty.The light was still not very good at this time, and there were details I could not make out easily. At one point I grabbed a thin branch of a tree that was overhanging my side of the river. I am not sure what I intended to do with it, but it snapped off and there was nothing I could do with it.

 The next I can remember was being back at the "party". I think it may have changed location to the side of a road with a bus shelter. Very soon a bus turned up. It was a London Routemaster that seemed to have been fitted with powered doors on the platform. As the doors opened a man came down the stairs with a woman in tow. He said he would like to introduce us to ???? (and I can't remember the name). She was about 5ft 2" with short dark hair (a style that I always think looks French). Around her neck she had some bright coloured silk scarf. Her most striking clothes were her trousers. They were bright red and fitted so tightly they could have been rubber. In fact I am sure they were rubber or some similar material. As far as I know I don't have a rubber fetish, but the effect was so striking that maybe.....................

 I don't recall anything after that, and maybe that is when I woke up.
Sunday 16th July 2006
18:55 BST

I have been very lazy today. A lot of my time has been spent just reading. However I have done a few things of note. I have started to make some sense of my living room. It is a very long way from being clean and tidy, but I have done just enough to make the prospect of further cleaning and tidying seem feasible.

 I have also done some laundry. That,of course, mainly does itself. Well it does under normal circumstances, but this was not normal. The two main items were a pair of jeans and an old blanket. The blanket has seen better days, but it is still useful. Unfortunately it is shedding a load of fluff. This was compounded by my attempt to include some soft toys in with the wash. I am not sure if they were supposed to be washed, but I tried it all the same. One not so soft, toy was a hedhehog made from cardboard and some sort of fur. It was definitely not washable as I was to find out. All the fluff from that and the blanket blocked the output filter of the washing machine. It was easy to fix, but it meant that the blanket came out still very soggy, and covered in fluff. I pulled off a lot of fluff and then did another rinse and conditioning cycles. This time the blanket came out just very damp, but it still had a lot of fluff on it.Once it has dried I may have to brush it, or something, to remove even more fluff. The rest of the soft toys appear to be OK. I am going to give them to Jodie who appreciates such things, unless someone else has a soft spot for soft toy hedgehogs.

 My major achievement for today, and one that I only finished about an hour ago, was in some ways a waste of time. I finally fixed the TV. My waking up thoughts the other morning (Friday) contained a few errors, but were in essence correct. The fault was indeed dry joints around IC501, the frame output chip. I was very lucky that the chip had not been damaged, but after resoldering it the TV worked perfectly. Once the TV was working I watched the second half of one episode of The Simpsons, and the first half of another episode of The Simposons. Both episodes were playing about their 20th repeat. So I turned off the TV and came out here to use this computer. There appears to be nothing else on TV that I fancy watching tonight, but at least I know the TV is ready and waiting when something exciting does come on in the future.
11:49 BST

 I needn't have worried about getting bored yesterday. It turned out that I had plenty to do - not that what I had to do was that desirable. I managed to crash the Windows 2000 installation on the machine in the upstairs front bedroom. One little quirk on that machine made the repair cause more damage than I wanted, and worst of all the "repair" was to reformat the hard disks and start again from scratch. The problem is that was some reason lost in the mists of time, the main Windows partition is on the slave drive. The Windows 2000 installation disk had a go at doing a repair, but it was only looking on the master disk. Had I realised this I could have done something about it. Instead I managed to format the master disk with a load of backups on it before realising that I should have been doing it to the slave disk. Fortunately much of the data is also backed up elsewhere.

 Working through the morning, and on to past 16:00, I did a complete installation of the operating system and much of the software. This time around, because there is a chance that Patricia may be using that machine again, I have set it up with proper users on it. If she uses it she will log in as Patricia and have her own "My Documents" folder. I would say a private folder, but the system administrator can always look in there, and I am that system administrator. It took a while longer than that to copy all the assorted backups back onto the hard drive, but I think very little data of any great importance has been lost.

 I spent the rest of the evening just eating and reading. In fact I ate far too much yesterday (and Friday evening). With no Patricia here eating becomes far too easy. Despite it being a very long day I still did not turn out the lights to go to sleep until almost midnight.

 After such a late night it seems madness that I should get up earlier than 07:00 (I don't know the exact time). I wasn't even really aware I had got up that early. I did mean to get up a bit early to carry out a nefarious task. One of my neighbours would appear to have a skip that has been used for old decorating materials. I wanted to, and did, sneak out early this morning to dump just a few items in it. I may add some more later tonight. So far it is just three items that would easily have gone in my wheely bin, but I want to leave some space in there for other junk. You see I have made a start on clearing up the living room. The only trouble now is that having started it looks a worse mess than before, and the task facing me seems ever more daunting.

 I am taking a break now after having gone shopping in Tesco, and having some elevenses. It was almost low calorie healthy food apart from the dry bagel and some olive oil over the green salad and tinned salmon. Not only have I just eaten, but the day is warming up. The sun has been out all morning, and it feels as if it will be out all day. By later this afternoon I am expecting it to be really hot. I just hope I can resist the temptation to break out and eat the entire tub of ice cream I have in the freezer.

 I am going to have a lie down now and do some more reading. I hope that later I can muster the energy to do more clearing up in the living room, and also to have a go at repairing my TV. It has been three days now, and although I seem to be coping well without aTV, I do miss the occasional programme.
Saturday 15th July 2006
05:41 BST

 I am so glad that I do not have to go to work this morning. I seem to be having terrible trouble with my guts. It has meant at least three dashes to the toilet, the last was more than a dash. It was more like a sprint. Things seem a little more stable now, but I must try and do some healthy eating over this weekend because I do not want a repeat of this on Monday morning.

 Yesterday remained bright and sunny all day. It never did get very hot though, and there was plenty of stronge breezes around to take away any accumulated heat. Overnight the temperature dropped a lot, and this morning feels quite chilly. It is early, but the sky looks very grey, a light grey, but there is no sign of the sun even though it rose some time ago now.

 I survived another night with no TV, but today I really must look into the fault on it. Before that I need to do at least some basic tidying up in the living room to enable me to pull the TV out and get the back off it. Even now I am wondering if I will achieve my major clear up of the living room because I suspect I could easily throw away more stuff than will fit in the wheely bin. There are still a few items to throw out left over from the last bit of tidying up - and they were not from the living room.

 The other major distraction for today is the iMac. Last night, on my way home from work, I called in to Tesco and bought a USB connected wireless mouse and keyboard. It worked on the iMac OK, but suffers from one major problem. To boot the Mac from a CD you have to hold down the "C" key straight after turning it on. A few seconds later and it will only boot from the hard disk. Unfortunately the wireless keyboard takes a few seconds to become active after the computer first powers up. By which time it is too late to select the boot device. I wanted to see if it would boot a CD with Yellow Dog Linux on it. I think that with a blank hard disk it will automatically try the CD drive as a boot disk automatically. That will be OK as an experiment, but my aim is to make the machine dual boot, and for that I will need to be able to select the boot device on start up.

 At the moment the iMac seems very slow. This could be for several reasons. The most obvious is that it is underpowered to run Apple OSX. It is only a G3 processor  (speed unknown), and only has 160MB of RAM. Another suspicion falls on the hard disk. It is one I had taken out a Windows machine because when connected to another disk it also ran incredibly slowly, and yet when used alone it seemed perfectly normal. (this was not some configuration problem. It started out perfectly OK, but deteriorated over a period of some months). One last concern also centres on the hard disk. It could be too big for the controller (even though it is only a 30GB device). It appears you cannot make a partition greater than 8Gb on it (but you can make several of them). It seems the obvious thing to do is to change the hard disk to a smaller one (I have several spare 10GB disks - thanks Steve !), and try to install the operating system again. There lies a problem. The youngest Apple operating system I have at my disposal is the fairly ancient 8.5, but I do have an almost up-to-date copy of Yellow Dog Linux. So that will be my first attempt - maybe later today.

 I think I will go back to bed now. Maybe I will be able to see how a dream of mine will finish. As I woke up I was on some sort of rail tour.  It appeared to be on a modern,or at least semi-modern, EMU (electric multiple unit). I cannot remember where we had been, but we did go to Catford Bridge station and reveresed direction. I was hoping we would be stopping there. I asked the guard if we would stop at Catford Bridge, and he sadi we would but had to call at Plimmer station first. Now I am intrigued to know where this Plimmer station is. I know of a Pinner, and of a Plymouth station, but I have no idea where Plimmer is. I seem to recall it was important to get back to Catford, but I cannot remember why. From the way I had to dash to the toilet when I woke up I would guess it was because I wanted to use the toilet, but maybe I was late for the pub, or perhaps I was hungry. Who can tell, but in the unlikely event that the dream continues (sexy dreams never do !!!!!!!) I will report back later.
Friday 14th July 2006
08:13 BST

 My predictions about the weather, and associated heat, for yesterday were wrong. By mid morning the sky had become fairly cloudy, and there was very little direct sunshine for the rest of the day. This kept the temperature nice and pleasant, although the humidity still felt a little high. As the sun went down it did get quite chilly, and this morning it is brilliantly fresh with a nice breeze. the sun is shining right now, and if it keeps it up it wil probably get quite warm today. Here in work the temperature is not too bad. It would be a little better if it were cooler, but for now it is pleasant enough.

 With a cool, practically chilly, breeze blowing through my bedroom window it was too cold to even attempt to sleep without the full covering of the duvet. Maybe that helped me get one of the best nights sleep in a little while now. I did mysteriously wake up for a few minutes at 03:00, but then slept right through until my alarm woke me at 05:30. I woke up feeling rather hot, and it was nice to throw the duvet back. I had some sort of dream involving travelling on the London Underground. I was with Kevin and Roger, and I think there was someone else there as well. We seemed to be out in the outer reaches of the system, but where we went is a mystery now. The dream ended with me trying to work out how I could get across London from some tube station on the District Line (which mysteriously seemed to be to the north of London). I was trying to get to London Bridge station where I had some sort of interview taking place on a special train. I think it was probably a job interview of some sort. I had just 15 minutes to get to London Bridge, and there was no direct tube service. As I fretted over the possibilities I was awoken by my alarm.

 One other thing came out of my nights sleep. Not as a dream, but somehow my brain dragged up a bit of knowledge from my befuddled memory. It was about the fault on my TV I mentioned last night. There was a Sony TV chassis that used to suffer dry joints on one particular bit of circuit. I still cannot remember what chassis my Sony TV uses (I can't even remember it's model number off the top of my head), but there is some hope that it could still be an easy fault to fix. Well maybe tonight I might take a look, or if not tonight, tomorrow.

 I'm glad it is Friday. Although spending the weekends alone is not always that much fun, I think I have a fair amount to do that will keep me busy for much of Saturday. So like the vast majority of workers everywhere I am looking forward to the weekend.
Thursday 13th July 2006
18:26 BST

I have had two disasters here tonight. Well maybe not disasters exactly, but maybe more like calamities. First of all my TV has blown up.I have got as far as diagnosing the nature of the fault, but not the fault itself. The simplified explanation is that the vertical scanning has failed. Once upon a time, while I was in the trade, I would know exactly what had failed, but these days my memories of that TV are very hazy. I have serious doubts that I will have a replacement part here. I do have a couple of spare TVs here. One is in the upstairs front bedroom. Patricia used to watch that one a lot, but the picture on it is pretty bad. There is also one down in this back room I could use in emergency, but it has no scart input for the cable TV box, or the DVD player. Maybe sometime soon I will be looking for a new TV. Perhaps someone is upgrading to a widescreen set and would flog me their old TV for cheap.

 The second calamity is that I thought I had a USB keyboard here to use on my "new" iMac. After looking around I have concluded it must have been one of the bit that was heavily contaminated when I had rats and mice in the under stairs cupboard some years back. In such a case I would have thrown it away, and that is what appears to have happened.

 So tonight I can't easily entertain myself with the TV, and I can't entertain myself by playing around with the Apple iMac. Luckily I do have a good book to read, and there are a few other things I can do to  pass the time. Plus, as I have mentioned earlier, an early night would not be a bad idea. Another tiny silver lining to a black cloud is that my searching for the USB keyboard has finally prompted me to replace the keyboard on my downstairs internet PC (the one I am using to type this right now). The old keyboard had a bad habit of generating multiple "a"'s whenever you typed a single one. This keyboard is not without its faults though. The space bar is sometimes a little no responsive, and it has a very hard feel to it. Originally it was upstairs, but Patricia complained about it so much that I swapped it for a spare. Now I am using it and I can see what she means. You really have to press down hard on the keys. For a two finger typist like me it is bearable, but for a proper typist like Patricia it must have been awful. I could swap it out with yet another spare keyboard, but for now it stays.

08:07 BST

 It's going to be another steaming hot day today. It got very hot yesterday, but unlike yesterday this morning did not start so fresh. So it was warm coming to work. Inside work it is pretty hot, and it wil be very hot on my way home.

 Last night, when I got home from work I found my promised new 100Mbps hub that Steve dropped off during the day. (Thanks Steve !). Along with it was a whole bag of network cables. Two of those proved instantly useful. The PC in the upstairs front bedroom (the one Patricia used to use) was fed by cable that was only rated for 10Mbps usage - at least I think it was. After installing the new hub two of my PC's were reporting the new high speed conection, but the upstairs one was still stuck on 10Mbps. That was expected because there was a small 3 port hub up there that was only a 10Mbps device. After taking that out all sorts  of strange things happened. Windows was reporting the cable was disconnected, connected at 10Mbps, or connected at 100Mbps. It was flash all those different messages up at random in quick succession. Using two of the longest cables Steve had given me, plus a back-to-back connector enabled me to get a reliable 100Mbps conection.

 The next bit of computer news is that Iain offered to swap his old G3 imac for my old 10Mbps hub. this is the same Mac he was going to give me around xmas time, but managed to lose under a huge pile of paper in Ivor's paper store. So I am now the proud (I hope) owner of a "modern" Apple Mac. All I have to do now is to try and find a USB keyboard that I am sure I have somewhere. I am much more confident that I can find a USB mouse. Now I have to make the decision as to what operating system to put on it. It is a little low spec for Mac OSX, but that will work on it. It was designed for System 9.x, and maybe I will put that on it if I can "aquire" a copy somewhere. If I do that I may well make it dual boot with Yellow Dog Linux.

 After Iain delivered the Mac, and put the hub in his car boot, we wandered around to The Ram for a few pints. So I did get to have a drink last night after all. We only had three pints as I did not want to stay late. I still wanted to catch up with some sleep. Even after leaving the pub early I still did not get to bed as early as I really should have, but at around 22:00 it was not excessively late.

 I fell asleep very quickly, but woke again at 01:37 (I think). I could hear some strange noises. Initially I thought it was a distant explosion, but there were 7 or 8 of these strange noises I heard while I was awake. They came at random times, and could best be described as like a brick being thrown into an empty skip some distance away. That distance could have been over a mile from the way sound travels on a quiet tranquil night. Each boom, or thud (it was a sort of cross betwen the two)  had an echoey sort of sound to it. Maybe it was someone hitting a bass drum, but I really have no idea what it really was, or even what direction it was coming from. I have a suspicion that it was some maintenance being done on the railway - maybe a mile or two away.

 I heard from Patricia last night. She e-mailed me some instructions about what to do with her mail, and also confirmed she had arrived safely. She suggested I open any mail that appeared to be to do with job seeeking. One of the letters I opened did seem to offer her some hope of a job because they said they would be looking into her references.
Wednesday 12th July 2006
08:09 BST

 It is a glorious morning. The sun is shining, but it is still fresh outside. After an overcast start to the day yesterday, the sun broke through mid morning, and the day ended quite hot. Fortunately everything cooled off in the night, and I was able to get a good nights sleep.  I did have a rather vivid dream about stringing up an aerial wire between two houses. I think one of the houses was a rather magnified version of Ivor's old house in Turney Rd, Dulwich. Where the other was I have no idea. The peculiar aspect about the aerial was that it was a quite thick multicore cable instead of the more conventional single core cable. The multicore able suggests it was for phone, or computer, communication, but in the dream it was definitely for a medium wave (pirate) transmitter. Although the dream was vivid at the time, I am now beginning to forget large parts of it. I cannot even remember who was helping me now. Only one other thing comes to mind and that was I was having a lot of trouble with the cable either getting tangled with itself, or getting snagged on various obstructions. I think I woke up before it was finally erected.

 I did something last night that I haven't done in ages. I actually wrote a handwritten letter of nearly five pages. It must be many, many years since I last did that. Although my handwriting is still totally crap, I think that I made less spelling mistakes than I do when writing these diary entries (or maybe they were just easier to cover up).

 Today I was hoping for a drink after work. With no Patricia around I can go days with no face to face conversation in the evenings. Rather sadly Kevin's mum has been taken into hospital for some reason, and so he will not be around tonight. Instead I will probably open a bottle of Quilmes Argentinian beer (I still have as many as a dozen left), watch The Bill on tv, and go to bed. It is probably just as well because I do feel I have a fair amount of sleep to catch up on after a lot of lost sleep due to the last heatwave, and sleepless nights thinking about Patricia.
Tuesday 11th July 2006
08:08 BST

 In a few hours time Patricia will be boarding her flight to Spain. So tonight I go home to a truly empty house (apart from Nelly the cat). Last night we had our final chat together. It did not last that long as Patricia had one more important translation to finish. The most important thing about it was that I know we have departed as friends. Seeing as that is all we started out as I suppose it can't be bad, although life would have been more worthwhile if we had made the transition to lovers. In a final act of surprise Patricia gave me her final payment for her keep for June. We didn't speak again until I went to bed. Then it was one final hug before I went to my bedroom, and she continued working on her translation. This morning she was still in bed as I left for work, so that final hug was a nice ending.

 However it is not ended yet. At some point she has to come back. She is leaving one bag of stuff behind, and also has a UK bank account with a fair amount of saving in it that she cannot access from abroad. So I am assured of at least one more visit from her sometime in the future. There is also still the possibilty that she will end up working in the UK again. What I really hope is that I can find someone new before that. As much as I love Patricia there can be no hope for us, and clinging to a dream can only distract me from what I really should be doing. On top of that there is still a strong possibility that she will finally return to Argentina sometime in the next year or two. If she loved me as much as I love her, I would gladly follow if that was what she wanted, but no, she doesn't love me (although I am sure she has more love for me than she even acknowledges to herself - last night was proof of that).

 I slept very badly last night. I don't think it was anything to do with Patricia leaving, although that was to play a part in the early hours. I fell asleep soon after 22:00 quite easily, but at 02:37 I woke up again. From then on I only managed short periods of intermittent sleep. The consequence of this is that I seem to have all sorts of aches and pains this morning. I  could not seem to find an agreeable compromise between being too hut under the duvet, and too cold without it. So I tossed and turned sometimes under the duvet, sometimes partially under the duvet, and sometime without the duvet. On top of those troubles my mattress has a broken spring or two and badly sags in one or two very lumpy places. So now various bits of my torso aches in all strange places, and even one arm feels achey around the elbow. 
Monday 10th July 2006
14:00 BST

I have done two important things since last writing at 08:09 this morning. First I have corrected a few grotesque spelling mistakes (and probably added some new ones). Secondly I have finally signed my contract for a permanent job with Overview Ltd - well as permanent as any job can be these days.

08:09 BST

 Today is the first day of my permanent work contract. At least it should be. So far I have not actually signed a contract, but I am expecting that I will today. I will have to be careful with my money for a little while now. I will have one more pay packet from my temporary contract paid this coming Friday, but then I will not get any more pay packets until the end of the month. I can't even remember if that is the last Friday of the month, or much more likely the very last day of the month. Even when that comes in it will only be a half months worth of pay, and then I will have to survive on that for a full month before the next pay packet arrives. After that things will be back to the old routine. In theory I should have enough money not to worry about the transition, but I feel it would be prudent to play safe.

 I do feel a little sad this morning. Tonight will be the last time I see Patricia for what could be a long time, and maybe ever. Last night we had a beer and watched the first half of the cup final together. I did not find the match very thrilling, but it was nice to spend some time with Patricia without any stress. After the first half she had to go out to see her brother-in-law to pick up some stuff that she is taking back to Spain with her. She did not get home until almost 23:00 and we had no time to speak after that. We wished each other good night, and that was it. No goodnight hug, or even a peck on the cheek. I sometimes wonder why I love that woman so much, and yet I still do.

 I have come into work with no coat this morning. This is a dangerous gamble. Rain is forecast for this afternoon, but it is debatable whether it will effect my journey home. If I am lucky the rain will be somewhere else as I do my long journey home, and it will not hit Catford until a little later in the evening. It is cooler here at work than last week, but the forecast is for the week is for it to get progressively hotter. By Friday it could be just as sweltering as it was during last week. I can't say I am looking forward to it.
Sunday 9th July 2006
16:53 BST

 Just over half an hour ago Patricia turned up unannounced having cut her holiday with her lover short. It is actually nice to see her and we have talked a bit, but so far she has not revealed why she cut her holiday short. I have my suspicions as to why it happened, but I don't expect to get them confirmed for some time, if ever.
 Patricia has announced that she will be going to back to Spain on Tuesday, and that it could be for a long time. There is a possibility that she could be back in September to start a potential job, but it may be a slim possibility. I have offered to put her up for a short period if she does come back (and I have a spare bed - which is most likely), but unless she wants to dramatically change our relationship I will not make any open ended offers this time. That same offer is also there if she just wants to come to London for a holiday. If she does not return to London then she says there is a strong possibilty she will finally return to Argentina.

 I feel rather sad that she cannot seem to settle down and find happiness somewhere, somehow. What she is doing sounds like my vision of hell. Forever moving on, never really making close ties with anyone, and all her friends being very transative. Yet she seems to take it in her stride somehow. She does have the gift of making friends, or at least finding company, very easily, and yet those friendships often seem so vaporous. Despite our past differences I still feel there is a strong bond between us, but with the physical barriers between us there is no hope of any future together, and yet that really ought to be our destiny. Our perspectives are so different. If I had the physical love from her I crave so much I would follow her to the ends of the earth, and if I stopped having the craving for physical love from her she would stay with me forever (providing she had a lover on the side who could satisfy her physical needs).

 So far today I have been mostly, but not exclusively lazy. I did give the bathroom a good scrub, and most of the porcelain is looking fairly bright and shiny. I also did some shopping in Tesco, but beyond that I have had a nap, did a litle reading, and watched some TV. Tonight, bearing in mind Patricia and I have only two more possible evening together, I would like to have a beer with her and watch some of the world cup final. I am not really interested in the outcome, nor I am terribly interested in watching the game exactly, but it is one thing we could do together, and one where Patricia could be happy.

09:00 BST

 It has been a cold wet morning. The rain has now stopped, but it feels almost chilly. In fact it is that sort of half way world where it feels cold if you are just lazing around, or rather warm if you do any work. I think it rained for a lot of the night, but the sky is getting brighter by fits and starts. There could be some sunshine this afternoon.

 My efforts at tidying up did not go too well yesterday. I did achieve a fair bit, but it was in the wrong places, and now the wheely bin is full and that will hamper any further efforts until it is emptied next Thursday. The most obvious bit of cleaning I did was in the upper hallway. That looks most clean and tidy - especially compared to the landing that still looks an awful mess. What is less obvious is that I did a fair amount to my bedroom. The floor has been hoovered, and a little more space has appeared on the floor, but there are still some piles of debris that I will have to deal with sometime. The great ommision yesterday was tyhe living room, and that was the one place I really did want to tackle. I am going to do a little in there today, but without anywhere to throw the rubbish, the wheely bin being full, there is really little I can do apart from hoover the bits of floor I can get to and replace the throws on the chairs and settee.

 So far this weekend my diet has really taken a beating. Yesterday I ate far too much, and this morning I had steak and beans for breakfast. I bought the staek for dinner last night, but realised I had eaten too much to finish off the day with a big meal. Somehow the temptation to try the steak (on special offer in Tesco yesterday) became too much and I had it for breakfast. It was fairly nice, but steak no longer seems very wonderful to me. Had it been barbecued so the outside was almost charred, and the inside still slightly pink, then I suspect it would have had more flavour. Of course if it had been a decent cut of beef instead of "supermarket special" it may also have been tastier. Despite the moderate taste it filled me up and I had a 30 minute nap after eating it. I still feel tired now, and had I not been feeling almost cold lying on my bed with the window open, I could easily still be asleep now. I think I am going to give the steak another 30 minutes to digest before staring hard at the living room and contemplating doing some cleaning there. This means I may not even start cleaning it straight away, and perhaps another bit of cleaning I may do is the bathroom. That requires far less work and may make for a preferable start.
Saturday 8th July 2006
11:52 BST

 Howard has been and taken away a boot full of junk, and I have just about made the tiniest start of a bit of tidying up. Unfortunately I seem to have made more space in my bedroom than in the living room or upper hallway. At least it is a start. There is stil so much more to do that I find it daunting even trying to consider where to start next. That is why I have allowed some interuptions to take place. Writing this is one interuption, the other was I have been laying on my bed finishing the book I started nearly a week ago now. It was Dan Brown's "Angels And Demons". Like most of his writing it is fairly compelling reading even when you know his style. Even the way the plot unfolds is predictable, and yet it still made for an enjoyable read.

 One of the reasons for coming back to writing here is that I forgot to mention my dreams when I wrote a little earlier on. One dream in particular is worth recounting for it's sweet start and bitter end. I was standing on a fire escape not too dissimilar to work. I may have even been at work, but for a few suble changes in my surroundings. While having a smoke I could not help but overhear two women talking together. One was moaning that she could not find a boyfriend. At that I had to butt in and comment (with a certain amount of irony)  that maybe she should try Skype. That was enough to get a conversation going. After a brief conversation recounting how Patricia had found her "true love" via a Skype instant messaging session, I said that she was good looking and couldn't see what the problem was, and then followed it up by saying that I was looking for a girlfriend and maybe we ought to get together and see if we liked each other. She was indeed good looking. She had dark hair, a face a bit like Patricia's and figure similar to Ruth's (there are pictures of both if you look back far enough in these diaries). She said I seemed nice and that maybe we should meet up for a drink sometime soon. But then she warned me why she had trouble finding a boyfriend. She didn't actually tell me, but pulled down the front of her skirt to reveal her underwear, and there in the front was a sinister bulge. It turns out I had unknowingly been chatting up an only partially reconstructed transexual, although from external appearances there was nothing to suggest that. Thankfully, at that point, I either woke up, or the dream just faded out !
08:45 BST

 It's a lot cooler this morning. It is really rather refreshing, and that is good because there is a lot I want to do today. However there is a catch to that idea that I will explain later.

 Last night I had a reasonable drink in The Herne with Ivor, Iain and Howard. Later on Ruth came in, but did her usual ignoring us trick. I first saw her as I came out of the toilet. She said she was just going to the bar to get a drink, and would come and see us afterwards. Of course she never did, and I had to have a word with her as I was leaving. I never did get to smack her bottom (she was sitting down), but I did give her wrist a gentle smack and told her she was very naughty for not phoning me back last week as she had promised to do.

 I managed to time my exit from the pub reasonably well and did not have to wait too long for a train back to Catford. Once indoors I decided to order some dinner (or maybe it was a late lunch). I opted for a large quantity of kebab. In absolute terms it was two large kebabs - I thought I was feeling very hungry. In fact one was enough to satisfy me. So for breakfast this morning I have just eaten a large mixed kebab - cold. It was very nice, but as it was just about all protein I will be feeling sleepy for many hours to come as it starts to digest. So my plans to do a lot today are in jeopardy.

 There are some things that I must do though. Sometime  this morning, maybe sometime between 10:00 and 11:00 Howard will be dropping by to pick up some old junk I have reserved for him. It consistes of a few old Grundig radios to add to his collection, and some other assorted stuff. As I write this I have yet to collect all this stuff together and get it in one heap so Howard can select what he wants. Right now I feel like laying down, but I guess I will have to risk indigestion to make a head start on it.

 Once Howard has taken the stuff away I will have liberated a little bit of space. The plan then is to do some more serious tidying up. My aim is to try and clear the living room of "debris", and try and make some headway in doing the same for the hall and stairs. To do the latter there will be even more stuff I will have to throw away that I don't really want to. Much of it is precious junk - hard to get hold of when you need it, and useless when you don't. There are certain items I can never see myself using now, and yet obtaining them when I thought I did need them was so difficult, and needed so much patience, that it is now a real wrench to throw them away again. Some of the item could probably be sold quite easily on Ebay, and could even bring in some useful money, but it would be a lot of hassle to have to arrange that.

 Looking further ahead I think it will soon be time to throw out some of my excess computer equipment. Perhaps I can persuade someone that they need some "Network Attached Storage" and use one, or other, of my low spec PC's for just that purpose. It would be nice to see some of my lovingly resored junk go to a good home rather than end up in the wheely bin.
Friday 7th July 2006
08:19 BST

 It feels like a rather pleasant morning. It is cooler than recently, and yet there is still plenty of sunshine. The day is beginning to warm up, and with that the humidity is rising as well. That will make the day another sticky one despite the temperature being anything up to 10 degrees cooler than the heady heights it has reached recently. I guess the daytime difference will be rather less than 10 degrees, but overnight it was a lot cooler. It was still warm enough in bedroom to make sleep a bit of a sticky affair, but at some time in the small hours it did feel cool enough for me to put one leg under the duvet. Here in work it is more pleasant than it has been for some time, but it is still rather sticky in here.

 I have now worked four extra half hours. So today I can leave 2 hours early, and by adding my lunchbreak, I will actually be leaving here at 13:30 this afternoon. Just like the last time I did this I will go home first, get myself cleaned up, and still have time to get to The Herne by about 16:00. I am looking forward to a drink with Ivor, Iain, Howard and maybe Kevin as well. I expect Ruth will be there at some point too at some point in the proceedings. After her performance last Saturday, and not sending the apology text she told Iain she was going to send, I think the only thing I can do is to give her a mild, playful, smack on her bottom., and see what she thinks of that !!

 Last night I was unexpectedly called to the pub by Kevin. Normally we would go for a drink on a Wednesday night, but on Wednesday I was hot, tired, and I had just eaten a rather large meal. I suggested we might try again for last night, but Kevin had a dental appointment and was sure he would not be able to make it. as it turned out his treatment was less brutal than he was expecting, and used a different anaesthetic, and he was quite keen for a drink. So we met even earlier than usual at 19:00, and I didn't leave until about 20:45. Strangely enough it was only a "three pinter". I thought all the heat would have made me thirstier, but apparently not.
Thursday 6th July 2006
08:06 BST

 So far I have been very lucky dodging all the rain. Last night I went home in the dry, and this morning I have avoided any rain. The weather feels a little strange right now. It is overcast, still quite warm, and the humidity is high. There is also an intermittent strong breeze. I suppose all those semm fairly normal, and it is how they feel that is a little odd. Although still warm, it is not exactly hot, but the high humidity is causing a fair bit of sweat to appear. Once that is hit by the strong breeze it chills the body quite nicely, and yet because of the intermittent nature of it I have been alternating from hot and sweaty to almost chilly. I am sure that is not good for you. Inside work it is still very hot and humid, and I forgot to put on any deodourant this morning !!

 Last night I did a little more "clearing out the larder" and made myself another huge steaming pile of pasta. This one which had ham and peas in it was tastier then the one the previous night. Unfortunately it seems to have settled on my stomach like a big lump and I felt rather heavy this morning - a fact that, sadly, was confirmed by my bathroom scales.

 Despite this little set back I have been feeling far happier than I predicted I would be. Maybe it is just because I know she is only away on holiday, but I am not missing Patricia nearly as much as I thought I would. It would be true to say that I don't miss Patricia at all since I wanted her to move out. So what I really mean is that I am not so miserable to come home to an empty house as I thought I would. After all, there were still some days when Patricia and I could still have a bit of a civilised conversation when we weren't at loggerheads with each other.

 Tonight I will be working late again so I can get away early tomorrow. Every night this week I have stayed on an extra half hour, and tonight will be no exception. This should mean I can get away from here at 13:30 tomorrow. That will give me enough time to get home, change, and then get out again to go to The Herne and have a nice drink with Ivor, Iain, possibly Howard, and maybe even Kevin. The problem with working late is that it feels like it is a longer journey home, but I guess in reality it is much the same. So roll on tomorrow for a short day and plenty to drink !!
Wednesday 5th July 2006
08:09 BST

First off, hi to Rob who wanted to know what the rotating cubes were as the background images for this page. Initially they just seemed like a good idea at the time, but now the officail explanation is that they are a talking point.

 It is a rather sultry morning. After overnight rain the air has cooled a bit, but the humidity has risen a lot. I have been quite lucky with the rain. There was no rain here in Wandsworth until sometime after I left work. When I got to Waterloo East it was apparent that there had been soome rain, and I later learnt that it had been very heavy rain. In Catford too there was plenty of evidence that there had been some very heavy rain, and once again I learnt later that it had been a quite violent thunderstorm.

 Overnight there was some light rain, but not much. There was one very light shower before I left for work this morning, but it has remained dry throughout my commute into Wandsworth. There are some large puddles here in Wandsworth so it must have rained hard quite recently. Now I am wondering if I will be lucky enough to get home in the dry. The forecast for today is for heavy thundery showers over the whole of London, but there will probably be gaps in the cloud that I may be able to stay under. However if it rains it rains. I won't mind getting soaked on my home - it could even be nice if the rain is not too heavy, but I didn't really want to turn up at work soaking wet.

 Last night I had some hot food for a change. It was a rather nice home made pasta dish. It may not have been quite the obvious thing to eat on a hot sweaty evening, but I can't recall feeling any worse than the previous night. I have decided that I am going to try and save some money by economising a bit. Eating food that has accumulated in the larder and freezer is one bit of economy. There is stuff there that I bought principally for Patricia, and it is time to use it up. I am also back on roll-ups while at work, and for some of the time at home. While travelling I will stick to ready made fags.

 There are two reasons for this economy drive. the most pressing is that I think I am about to get that permanent work contract that I have been after these last few months. I was given a blank copy of it yesterday, and I think I will be thrashing out the fine details with the boss sometime soon. Once that happens I will go from weeekly to monthly pay. Depending on the timing (which I haven't worked out yet) I may need to support myself for a week or two without pay. There is a secondary reason, and maybe a related  third as well. I have saved very little money since starting this job. I have partially relied on Patricia's monthly contribution to add to my savings (which she forgot at the end of June !!!). Her contribution to the houses running costs have now ceased, so I will have to rely on my own income to add to my savings. If, one day, I do end up dating someone I will probably need a little bit of reserve cash for those spaecial occasions.

 Talking of dating, I have not heard anything from Jenny still. So I guess that one is dead in the water, and I reckon I have scared off my mystery date who didn't even know it was supposed to be a date, but maybe has since guessed !

 I'll finish on a positive note. I had a beautiful dream just before waking up this morning. I deamt that I had ruined a CDR disk by cutting off the wrong bit. I had shaved it down to a 3 inch disk to remove an audio track I hated. On realising I had ruined it I threw it, frisbee style, out of an open window. As it sailed through the air it hit a wall off to the side and turned round and came back through the window. I tried to catch it in my hand but it slipped and I ended up catching it between my chin and shoulder. I said to someone, "I bet I couldn't do that again". So I tried it and did exactly the same thing. What this dream might mean I couldn't even begin to speculate, but it was most satisfying being able to do the same trick twice.
Tuesday 4th July 2006
08:36 BST

 I am starting writing a little later than usual. I had already written a couple of paragraphs before windows decided to crash and take all my work with it ! So frequent saves today !!!

  It may be independance day in America, but here in SW London it is just another hot day, or it will be. Right now the air has not warmed up too much, and there is a pleasant breeze. So outside it feels rather good (for the moment), but inside work it is still just as hot and stuffy as it was when I left last night. I left work half an hour late to build up a little reserve of time so I can leave work early on Friday when I want to go for a drink with Ivor and Iain. The bus from round the corner to the station was unpleasantly hot, but the relative coolness once I got off the bus gave me a little kick of energy. I was able to almost run up the stairs to the platform, and although I didn't actually run, I did do it at high speed and felt none the worse for wear at the top.

 The journey home was uneventful. The South West train was nicely air conditioned, and the South Eastern trains were hot and smelly as usual. It was only once I got indoors that sweat started to pour from my head, and the first place it ran to was straight into my eyes. It stung like mad and I had to wash my eyes in cold running water to relieve the stinging. After the cold water on my face, and with some air movement from the now open windows, my head soon dried up again.

 One of the things I tried to do last night was to install Webalizer on my web server. It is a program to generate statistics on the "hits" these web pages generate. Unfortunately it did not install because it said it could not find some supporting software it needed - despite that software supposedly already existing on the computer. Well it was too hot, and I felt too weary to persue it any further. So I gave up, but I may try again tonight. (if Steve does not get there first).

 Despite the forecast for this afternoon suggesting it will be hotter, and more humid, than yesterday (maybe with a thunderstorm), I will try and stay on another 30 minutes at work and get a little more spare time saved up for Friday night. Staying any later this afternoon could well be labelled as masochism, as indeed it could well have been last night. It will be difficult compelling myself not go home at the earliest opportunity. I already feel slightly drained by the heat in here, and I did not sleep that well last night. I stayed reading later than I should, and then woke up just as the sky started to lighten. I woke up in a pool of sweat with my pillow, and part of the duvet soaked. I turned over my soaked pillow, and placed it at the other end of the bed, turned myself round, and when back to sleep "upside down" with my head where my feet usually go, and my feet where my head usually goes.
Monday 3rd July 2006
08:17 BST

 It is going to be another steaming hot day today. Yesterday was hot enough, and today might be slightly hotter still. I suspect it is going to be pretty unpleasant at work. We really could do with some air conditioning in here.

 It was too hot to do much yesterday. So I had a very lazy day. I never did get around to upgrading (actually more like "sidewaysgrading") my main internet PC from Mepis to Suse linux. After writing yesterday I spent the next few hours either watching TV or reading. There was very little on TV to watch, but I did find one or two interesting programmes on either the Discovery or History channels. For reading I still had a few unread pages in New Scientist, and a few unread pages in Linux Format.

 As midday approached I was just lying on my bed, stripped to my underwear, reading. The heat made me doze off and I probably slept for over an hour. By 15:00 I decided it was time to go to Tesco. I needed fresh cat litter, more diet cola, and some bananas to bring to work today. They were the essentials, but I also bought some ice cream and some of the new Zero Coke drink. The icecream was allegedly low fat, but almost certainly saturated with sugar. Neverthe less during the course of the rest of the afternoon I ate the whole tub ! The Zero Coke, a new zero sugar content version of Coca Cola, was something I had seen and was curious to try. I am not sure how it is supposed to differ from Diet Coke, but it definitely tastes different. In fact it tastes like a cheap supermarket cola. (although that is an insult to Tesco's own diet cola which I rather like). I shan't be buying any more of that having tested it once.

 One other purchase in Tesco was the book "Angels And Demons" by Dan Brown. Apart from watching the repeat of Friday's Dr Who, on BBC3, and a brand new episode of the The Simpsons, on Sky 1, that book kept me pretty occupied until it was past the time when I really should have been asleep.

 It was so warm last night that I kept on reading thinking I would not be able to sleep. That turned out to be slightly wrong in that I did get to sleep quite easily once the lights were out. In fact it may have been a little too easy as I woke up at 04:00 this morning feeling very sore and stiff. My legs were feeling quite chilly, and my back felt twisted and aching. Although I was feeling uncomfortable I did manage to cover bits of my legs enough for them to very quickly warm up again, and I got back to sleep in a more comfortable position.

 As usual, all it need was a few minutes of walking to straighten the kinks out in my back, and right now I feel as right as rain - well, except that I am melting in the heat.

 Still no call from Ruth, but that is not surprising. She probably forgot I even exist soon after I last spoke to her. No e-mail from Patricia saying she is having a lovely time either. The last two do not surprise, or disappoint me.What is just very slightly disappointing is that I have no heard a response to my message to Jenny. It is still early days yet, and I am only being impatient because of the novelty of the situation. 
Sunday 2nd July 2006
10:36 BST

 I have just done something really rather novel, and sort of scary as well. I have responded to a personal ad in The South London Press !  The ladies name is Jenny and she describes herself as being 49, 5ft 2" and divorced. She seeks an easy going man, honest, and with an interest in computers. I think that does sort of sound like me -as I perceive myself, others may know different.  I sent my message via text and just gave details of my ntl web pages. So now I just have to be patient and hope that she contacts me (and also that the link on my web page to contact me works). Of course the ntl web pages have links through to here. So if you are now reading about yourself here Jenny - Hi !

 I am expecting today to be another typical boring Sunday. I have no plans to go out after yesterday's waste of time (apart from to do a little more shopping). I blew out the idea of swimming on my own this morning. Without someone to encourage me to carry on I would probably get bored and be out of the pool after 15 minutes. So really I am just left with one thing to do today. And that is to upgrade this PC to Suse Linux 10.1 as I have been meaning to do for a couple of days now. It is a traumatic step to take though. If it works perfectly it will be simple and fairly quick. If something goes wrong I could be playing about trying to fix things for the rest of the day.

 Towards the end of my writing yesterday I mentioned that Ruth said she would phone me at home once she was home from the pub. My pessimism won through and I never did get that phone call. I don't really understand Ruth. On the phone she can be enthusiastic about me going to the pub, but once there she practically ignores me. Maybe I am supposed to act of of character and start taking serious liberties with her. She is certainly pretty enough to think about it, but without some form of interaction it would be rather less than satisfying. I think I will make any future visits to The Herne purely on the basis of going to drink with Ivor and Iain. After the trauma of Patricia I can do without any more wind ups.

 I'll finish on some positive news. After many days without weighing myself I was most pleased to see that, this morning, the trend is still for my weight to be going down. It was not a great loss, and that is not surprising considering the times when my will power has failed in favour of comfort eating lately, but obviously the days when I do have my diet under control I am still doing the right thing. Perhaps when I have finally got back into the swing of a Patricia free life, or if I find a new friend, I will be able to accelerate the process again and lose those last few stones.
Saturday 1st July 2006
21:03 BST

What a day ! I am now feeling very weary. This is just as well or I might be feeling very pissed off.

I thought I ought to do something positive today. So just before midday I phoned Ruth to see if she was working in the British Legion bar. She was, and I asked for an invite to go and see her. Things started well when, purely by chance,  my arrival time at Catford station coincided with the arrival of a train to Peckham Rye station. From then on things went down hill. I misjudged the correct bus stop for the bar and had to walk for another 5 minutes in the blazing heat. (Did I mention that today has been really hot and sunny ?). The bar was pretty much as I had imagined it - slightly grotty, but with very cheap beer. I opted for Courage Dark Mild, and it was cool and delicious. Unfortunately Ruth was not in a very talkative mood, and I did not have much to say that was not totally negative.  After three pints I was bored senseless. Unfortunately I had offered to buy a bottle of wine in The Herne later that evening, but at that point I really wanted to go home. Ruth was due to leave the bar in a short while, but was going to cover the bar at The Forest Hill Tavern during the second half of the England v Portugal football game. She said I ought to go to The Herne and she would meet me there later. Yet more misfortune was to come my way when the football match went into extra time followed by penalty shootouts.  So I waited, and waited, and waited in The Herne with only a copy of The South London Press to keep me company. Having read it from cover to cover, and done the cryptic clues in the crossword I got totally fed up and wanted to go home. So I walked up to The Forest Hill Tavern, thrust a ten pound note into Ruth's hand and told her to buy her own wine.

 I then caught a bus back to Peckham Rye Station where I missed a train by mere seconds. The next train was going to Lewisham, but only after a 20 minute wait. So once again  waited and waited until the train came. One good bit of fortune is that the train has a reasonable connection with the Hayes service train back to Catford. Once back in Catford I called in to Favourite Fried Chicken and bought a large quantity of chicken and chips. I have  eaten a lot, but not all of what I bought. I guess it did not make me feel that much better, but it did taste very nice ! Of course now I feel some guilt for wrecking a weeks worth of sensible eating.

 I think I have to put today down to experience. I can say that I did do something positive no matter what sort of disaster it turned out to be. Now I wait to see if Ruth phones me back as she promised to earlier. I have my doubts, but she may do.

 One thing I did notice while reading The South London Press was a couple of "interesting" personals for women seeking men. I find this method of dating to be entirely weird, but I may be tempted to waste a lot of money on a super premium rate number. Mind you that "may" is a lot similar to a recent "may" I wrote in connection with going swimming this morning. When the time came I did not even consider considering the idea of going swimming. Maybe, just maybe, I might consider considering going swimming tomorrow morning. Right now though I am seriously considering going to bed even though Ruth has not phoned back.

05:17 BST

 It was very hot last night. So I ended up falling asleep naked on my bed. It's a shame then that, 30 - 40 minutes ago, I woke up cold, and almost shivering. I have since warmed up again, and I reckon it will be a long time until I am feeling cold, or even cool, again. Like yesterday, today promises to be another very warm sunny day. The only hint of trouble is from some views their seems to be a touch of red in the early morning sky. Perhaps it is not going to be as sunny as I thought.

 It's only a few hours now and Patricia will be off on her holiday leaving the house to myself. We never said all that much last night, but what we did say was polite and civilised. I could almost miss her when things are like that, but I know that in the longer term the bad feelings would re-occur. I wonder what she will be like when she gets back from her holiday. After her weekend sessions she has always come back rather tired, and whether it is that, or something else, she never seems to broadcast any positive "vibes". I would have expected her to come back looking all radiant and pleased with what she has been up to, but it seems not. So we'll see if a near fortnight of being with her lover can do any good for her. It would be rather ironic if she came back all happy and pleased to see me. In fact it would be almost tragic as it would make throwing her out all the more difficult. Nevertheless, unless some miracle happens, that will happen, but it would be nicer if we departed as friends.

 Today I have the usual houshold chores to do - laundry, shopping, and maybe some cleaning. I also will be converting this PC from Mepis to Suse linux. How I will fill in the rest of the day remains a mystery.