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Friday 30th June 2006
20:39 BST

It's a hot evening, and I guess it is going to be hot overnight. I hope I can sleep OK in this heat.

Patricia is still here, but tonight we have spoken a few times in a slightly guarded, but civilised way. I think she will be leaving for her holiday early tomorrow morning. Tonight she went to go swimming, but the pool was in use by a group of disabled people. I was not asked if I wanted to go. This does not surprise me, it would have been if I was asked to go that would have been a total surprise. Of course not being asked was also a result of me saying earlier that I was knackered.

 I am indeed knackered. It was very hot at work today and that drains my energy. What sapped the last of it was getting the bus from work to the station. I was forced to sit right at the beack on top of the engine while we crawled through heavy traffic. I have no idea what the temperature was back there, but I was sweating buckets. If the outside air temperature was around 27°, then at the back of that bus it must have been approaching 35 to 40°. I missed my early train, but only had to wait 5 minutes for the next one. That gave me a bit of a chance to dry off, but once the train arrived it was cool air conditioned paradise. The train was very lightly loaded and the air conditioning was working well. I could almost feel goosebumps erupting on my skin it was so delicious. It is sort of lucky that the fast walk across the link from Waterloo to Waterloo East help acclimatise me to the warmth again. Southeastern trains do not have any air conditioning on suburban stock, and both trains I caught were almost unpleasantly warm.

 Last night I downloaded all 3.9GB of Suse Linux 10.1. I was surprised that I got it all in just one overnight session. The incoming data rate was so high that it must have been seriously affecting Patricia's Skype sessions, and may have even rendered the web cam unusable. Well, it's my internet connection, and she will be seeing her lover face to face tomorrow. So I guess she will get over it if she was affected.

 Now I have Suse Linux 10.1 I can try getting it to work on this PC as a replacement for Simply Mepis linux. Mepis has been pretty good apart from no blasted printer. I am sure there is a simple explanation for it, but I will not care if Suse works OK. I think it may well be a project for tomorrow though. It is getting a bit late and I will be off to bed soon.

12:10 BST

I've just read another really nice letter of support - many thanks Sarah. This has helped my to try and think some positive thoughts. One thought took me back to another article in The Metro. It reported that an increasing amount of old (45+) women are turning to toy boys for quick energetic thrills. By turning the logic of this on it's head it must be the case that there are an increasing amount of younger women (under 45, for instance) who are left unattached as the old women snap up the young studs. Plus many of them may yearn for the more relaxed and thorough approach of an older and more experienced man. At least they would if only they knew what they were missing !

 Still no news from the young women who I had been hoping to have a quasi-blind date with. Of course being older I have far more patience (I think) so I still live in hope - whoops, that was the tragedy with Patricia !

08:10 BST

 From now on things get a little weird. Last night I had what was probably the last chat with Patricia. It was not good. She did thank me for a lot of what I had done for her, and cursed me for the rest. So our parting is not exactly amicable. It is true that she is not moving out just yet. Tomorrow morning she flies away for a 13 day holiday with her lover. Then on the 13th of July she will be back, but will be moving out as soon as she can. Whether that will take hours or days (or even weeks) remains to be seen. Perhaps after the holiday she will be in a better mood, and at a guess, not affected by immenent hormonal changes. It would be nice to part on at least semi friendly terms once she finally does move on.

 I was sort of amused by an article in this mornings Metro free newspaper. Under the headline "Who's living in your house ?" it went on to say :-
"Getting a lodger is a good way to help pay the morgage, but make sure you know what you are taking on. First time buyers are being warned of the risks of taking in a dodgy lodger to help pay the mortgage.................But they are warning that taking in a paying guest without checking their references could turn the joy of owning a home into a nightmare"
 Well I am not young, and I don't have a mortgage to pay, but I do know the pain of when a lodger turns into a nightmare. Not that Patricia was a lodger, as such, although technically she probably was. I just never looked at it that way.

 So in all practical terms I am now back living on my own (plus cats). I truly had some great times with Patricia, and even when things were just mediocre it was great having some company around the house. Provided I can blank out the terrible times I will truly miss her company, and look back upon it with great affection. Right now I am so glad I have a job to keep me occupied, and give me a few people to talk to.

 What does the future hold in store ? Not much from my blinkered viewpoint. I think my potential "blind date" has probably blown out. I hoped I might hear some news and try and make some progress last Wednesday. So far nothing. Maybe sending a picture of myself has blown any credibility I had out of the water. Then again, maybe unforeseen circumstances have prevented her from getting on the internet. Last night I was mulling over the potential to use Skype to find a new woman. I kept finding the idea almost laughable, but kept drawing the conclusion Patricia's lover found her using Skype messaging. So perhaps, scary as it is, I ought to give it a go sometime. I did briefly dabble in a half hearted way just to see what it was all about, but maybe, just maybe I will give it a real go over the weekend. At least I can use the big PC in Patricia's (almost) ex-room. It has a webcam which could be good, or fatal, depending on your point of view. Let's hope that I have learned a few lessons over the last few years. The most obvious one is to try and get the physical side looking practical before the emotional side drags me in and sinks me like a stone.
Thursday 29th June 2006
18:08 BST

 Some, so far, anonymous benefactor obviously wanted to give me something to do this weekend ! Dumped behind my wheelie bin was a dustbin liner full of CD roms. Several contain old Linux distros, so I am guessing it must have been Steve who was my benefactor. There is also a lot of other interesting stuff, plus some curiously unmarked CDR's. Then there are what appear to be back-up disks from a server. Maybe I should see if I can resurect it with all it's data on it (if only I knew the root password). I am obviously going to have a whale of a time going through all the disks at some time.

 After last nights excess's I started to crash about an hour before leaving work. I now feel totally, completely, knackered. I am not even sure if I will stay up to watch The Bill, but I may do. There will be plenty of time for sleep over the weekend - if I can that is.

08:12 BST

 Soon after I finished writing yesterday I got the call to go to the pub. It turned into a good old fashioned binge session ! Instead of  going home again at 9pm I stayed until sometime after 10pm. I can't actually recall what time I left because I gave up looking at the clock. It was a 5, or maybe 6, pint session and I got well plastered. The only unfortunate thing was eating a goats cheese and red pepper quiche when I got home again. It was very nice, but that goats cheese does have a very strong flavour. I woke up this morning, surprisingly 2 minutes before my alarm was due to go off, and my mouth tasted like I had been chewing a hamster all night ! I also had a bit of a hangover, but a couple of paracetamols seem to have put that right.

 So here I am at work - on time, and feeling bright. Well I think I am. I doubt if I will be tackling anything too intellectual for a few hours yet, and I'll probably be falling asleep in the afternoon.

 prior to going to the pub last night there was that stranger in the house again. I heard her, but didn't see her or speak to her. It is hard to say who was avoiding who. I was watching TV when she came down to get something from the kitchen. She could have popped her head around the open door, but she didn't, so I guess she was avoiding me.

 Strangely, I don't feel too bad about the situation right now. There is now an end in sight I suppose, and yet I am sure the weekend will be really strange. I really must find something constructive to do with my time while I am alone. The weather forecast is for a very hot weekend so I doubt I will be up to doing anything that is liable to raise a sweat. Anyway, that is still a few days away and I'll worry about it then.

 I had a recent e-mail from someone, who will remain anonymous because his sanity is in doubt , who claims that with my clean shaven look, as shown at the top of the page  (and in larger format on the entry written on the 24th), I will "pull" easily. Maybe he is sane and was suggesting I get a job as a draught horse.
Wednesday 28th June 2006
18:40 BST

 I have had several letters of support for my actions last night. Thank you all.

 So far tonight Patricia and I have not spoken to each other.  I guess the silence will go on now until, and maybe after, she has left. It is not a nice way to be, but for a dream that started two years ago (roughly), and has turned into a nightmare, at least there is some sort of end in sight. It is not the ending I would have wanted, but I have said that too many times already.

 In other news, Smudge caught a rat tonight. OK it's not exactly exciting news, but at least it's a change of storyline.  I think she subsequently lost the rat, or maybe she devoured it further up into the inpenetrable depths of the garden. Fortunately the rat squealed at the right time and I managed to get the back door closed before Smudge could present it to me inside the house !

 Now to continue with a cheap schoolboy joke: Does anyone have a sister who wants to go out with me !!! I am a good catch. I own my own home (with no mortgage). I am a overweight heavy smoker. What more could any woman ask for. A couple of good energetic sex sessions and I would probably leave behind a rich widow !! The downside is I am as miserable as sin, but killing me with sex would probably cheer me up a bit :-)

I still haven't heard about any drinking tonight, and it feels like it is getting too late now. So I guess it will be watch The Bill while taking a couple of stiff scotches, and then straight to bed. Of course if a drinking offer does arise tonight I will be very tempted to stay beyond my normal 9pm for a midweek drink.

08:12 BST

 I have finally done it. Yet I am not proud of it, nor am I happy about it. Last night I had to send Patricia an e-mail asking her to move on once her holidays are over. I had tried to engage her in conversation, and managed to get as far as finding out that she is away from the 1st July until the 13th. After that the conversation came to a stop. So with great reluctance I e-mailed her to say I did not like living with a stranger in my house, and that it would be best if she looked for somewhere new to live. I also suggested that it might be the only way we might retain some of the slight friendship we still retain, and even regain some of that lost. I then added that in time, when some of the wounds had healed, we might be able to still see each other on occasions - maybe just meeting up for swimming, or perhaps even an occasional visit. However I am pessimistic that we will never see or speak to one another again once she moves out (barring accidental meetings if she still lives locally).

 Last night I did not feel too bad about it, but this morning I feel terrible. In some ways I feel I am letting her down. She came here to save loads of money to spend on her sons education, but in the outside world she will be spending most of her income on rent. I have to try and remember that I have done my best, and that if she wants to spend all her money on rent, and travel to visit her lover, then that is the path she has chosen. I offered her a home, but all she wanted was a base of operations. In the world of fiction we would have overcome the barriers that have stopped her loving me as much as a tenth of the amount I love her, and we could have lived happily ever after after. Unfortunately this is real life and it sucks.

 I wonder if we will finally have a discussion about it tonight. I both fear and look forward to the idea, or maybe I don't look forward to the idea. there is really nothing to add except just more that will hurt either or both of us. I think I would prefer to go out and have a couple of drinks instead. If I didn't have work tomorrow morning I could be very tempted to get blasted, but that will have to wait.
Tuesday 27th June 2006
19:11 BST

Good news everyone............................................
From Slashdot (23rd June 2006)
"Good news everyone! Straight from a one-eyed alien's mouth - 13 new episodes of Futurama have been confirmed by Katey Sagal on Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show. All the original actors have signed up too."

08:09 BST

 First the good news. My internet PC at home is running again. The bad news is that I still cannnot get the printer to work on it. Re-installing the Simply Mepis linux operating system restored everything to full functionality - except the printer. It will have to do for now, but when I am feeling bold I think I will be putting Suse linux on that machine. I believe that there is a new version out now (10.2) that I will try and download tonight.

 Yesterday I mentioned feeling rather headachey in the morning. That seemed to disappear soon after I mentioned it. This morning it is my back and pelvic region that feels a bit achey. It is probably because last night was one of those nights where the temperature was mucking around. It felt really chilly with any windows open, and yet with the windows closed it was hot and stuffy. In bed it felt too cool without the duvet on, and too hot with it. So I compromised with bits of me under the duvet, and other bits exposed. I am sure that lead to some odd positions for sleeping, and that combined with my overdue-for-replacement mattress, is probably why I have these aches this morning.

 This morning I dared to weigh myself. It was a relief to know that my weight has remained stable. During the week, when I am at work, is the best time to avoid excesses of eating, so with luck I will lose a bit more before the weekend excesses start all over again.

 Once again I pulled in my trouser belt that extra notch, as I did yesterday morning, but today I have not released it again. It feels OK like this. One other surprise for me this morning was when, as a sort of masochistic experiment, I tried doing up the front of my new (in the last few months) jacket. Amazingly I can do it up, and although still a bit tight, I reckon it is wearable like that. Next time I am caught in a downpour I will try fastening it up and see how I get on.

 Tonight I really must try and have a word with Patricia to sort out some future plans. I want to know when she will be away on holiday for a start. I think she will be away for much of July, but she has yet to confirm it. If she is going to be away at the right time I will be able to offer Mike (Hi Mike) a chance to stay for a bit of his holiday in the UK, but her plans seem so loose, or secret, that I really have no idea what is going on. One other thing I want to discuss with her is moving out. I am sure now that it is a bad idea her living in my place. Just lately it has been like living with a stranger. That is no good. I never wanted just a lodger, and my offer for her to stay at my place was as a friend (obviously with hopes of further developments). The idea was that she could live somewhere cheaply, work hard, and try and save loads of money to help her son through university when he starts next year (if that actually happens). Maybe her plans for that have now changed. She seems to have stopped saving, and is spending money on all sorts of things. Her train tickets for her visits to her boyfriend must cost around £100 a time, and she seems to have aquired a lot of new clothes, and a brand new bluetooth headset, recently. It must be time she stopped using me and paid the full rate for renting somewhere else.
Monday 26th June 2006
08:08 BST

 A terrible thing has happened ! Last night I broke my main internet PC. I reported that I was having trouble trying to get the printer to work while running Mepis last night. Even after running the installation CD as a "live CD" (actually it is part of a magazine cover DVD) I could not get the printer drivers to install. If it had worked while running from the live CD I could have transferred all the files and settings to the hard drive. What I did next should have worked, but failed miserably. I tried to install Mandriva 2006 linux. Mandiva is the new name for Mandrake linux, and is the distribution I have had the most succes with in the past. This time it failed badly. The installation went OK, and it even installed updates from the internet, but the Nvidia garphic drivers went terribly wrong. On the first boot up the X server crashed and only the reset button on the PC would get me out of it. It was too late to do anything else last night so reluctantly I turned everything off and went to bed. Tonight I may try my luck with Suse linux. It is working fine on my server, so it ought to be OK - but..................

 This morning it is raining, and the forecast is for rain all day. So much for "flaming June" ! The low pressure left me feeling a little headachey this morning. I had better be careful if I do any fine work today. It is a certainty that I will, in fact I have something on my bench right now that needs "micro surgery". I may be forced to take some painkillers before starting that or the strain on my eyes will go straiht to my head.

 The other curious thing about my health is to do with my weight. After several recent excesses I have not dared weigh myself. Curiously then, this morning I had a strong desire to pull my belt up an extra notch as if I had actually lost weight. Half way to work I stopped off in the toilets on Waterloo East platform "B". On finishing my business I decided against pulling my belt up too tight because I thought that maybe I had overdone it earlier. I spent the rest of my journey into work forever hitching my trousers up, and fearing they would fall down at any moment. Is it possible that my waistline has decreased slightly in spite of a few recent excesses ?? Maybe my excesses were not as bad as I thought. Indeed some were just excess amounts of very low fat/calorie food. On the other had my sugar/fat intake from various "naughty" food on Saturday was truly horrendous. The yoghurt coated peanuts that I ate far too many of were just pure sugar and fat. I suppose it is possible that an occasional overdose either passes through untouched or kicks the body into an alternate mode for a short while. It does make me wonder what would have happened if I had not had a very sedentary weekend. It also makes me curious as to what my weight now stands at. I'll try and give it a few more days before weighing myself and see if the overall trend is still downwards.
Sunday 25th June 2006
19:47 BST

It's been a typical Sunday - mostly boring, but there have been some semi-exciting moments. No, even semi-exciting does not really describe it. There have been times when my concentration has been focussed might be a better way of describing the day. Mostly this has revolved around getting this new installation of Mepis Linux working how I want it to.

 I managed to get the Synaptic package manager working OK by fiddling with the configuration. You could say that it worked a little too well as I got a bit carried away downloading stuff and managed to break quite a few things. Everything is now repaired - I hope ! Much of this frantic downloading was to try and get my printer working. For reasons that I do not understand the printer refuses to print. I did get as far as it producing reams of almost gobbldeygook, but so far it will not print a simple text message. I am going to re-run the installation CD in live mode soon and see if I can configure the printer from there. If that works I will do a complete re-installation and the working configuration should copy across to the hard drive.

 One other thing that still does not work is running remote applications on the server - in particular Nvu. Once again, to write this, I am successfully running a remote desktop session. It's one way of editing this web page, but it is still rather slow and sluggish. It will just about keep up with my typing speed, but refreshing a whole page can take a second or two. It's a bit like using a ZX Spectrum !

05:09 BST

 Unsurprisingly Patricia did not come home again yesterday. So it seems pretty obvious she is away for another weekend of passion with her new man. She has work tomorrow morning, so I guess she will be home again late tonight. I guess I am getting pretty used to this now. I was a little disorientated being on my own again up until the very early afternoon, but I sort of forgot about it and got on with my life. I am now more convinced than ever that Patricia should move on and find somewhere else to live. It won't be quite yet, but towards the end of July she will have probably finished her holidays and have some idea about what her new job is about (assuming she does get one), and she can move out then.

 I spent much of the first part of yesterday lazing around and reading. I left it too late to do any shopping in Tesco (too crowded after about 10:00), but I did visit WH Smiths for a couple of magazines, and the "99p" shop where I bought some junk food. That is one aspect about yesterday. I never did eat a proper meal. Instead I had all sorts of high fat, high sugar, junk food. It will have wrecked my diet, but without the added burden of aany breakfast, lunch, or dinner it may be recoverable.

 As the afternoon wore on I decided it was time for some action. Initially this meant burning a pile of DVD's to back up a load of data on this PC. Then I took the bull by the horns and installed Simply Mepis linux on this PC. The installation did not take that long, but customising my installation did take a fair time. There are still things I have to do to sort out a few problems, but I am using it right now.

 One minor problem that I have encountered is when I come to update these web pages. Previously I would set up a secure link to the server and then run Nvu remotely. I can no longer do that, but what I can do now is to run a remote desktop, and this is what I am doing right now. I have the full Suse desktop open right now, but displayed on this desktop. It is a little sluggish to run, but at least it gets the job done, and it could be useful in other ways too.

 Today I have got up rather early, but I will be going back to bed again soon. Then once I am up again I will do a quick tour around Tesco and see if I can get some nice, but healthier food than I had yesterday. After that I will quite possibly do some more customising to this new installation of Mepis. One problem to sort out is the package manager that can download, and install, new software direct from the internet. At the moment it is not working, but this could be as simple as the application needs configuring.

 Another thing I might do today is to try and advance some plans I have for a blind date. It may seem like a contradiction of terms, but I have been setting myself up with a blind date. I don't know if it will happen, but if anything does I will try and explain it all another day.

 One other thing. Just looking back at what I wrote yesterday. Those who don't believe getting drunk is a good idea sometimes will be relieved to know that I forgot to hit the scotch last night. In fact I didn't even have a beer.
Saturday 24th June 2006
09:44 BST

Patricia went out about half an hour ago now. She did not say where she was going, or when she would be back - just a vague reference to later, but not whether later means today or tomorrow. She was so uncommunicative that either I have pissed her off, which I don't think I have, or more likely is that she is off on another love assignment with her man. If the latter is the case then I don't expect to see her back until late on Sunday.

 This leaves me feeling very, very bored and I don't know what to do. Ideally I should go out on a bender tonight, but I don't know where, and I doubt anyone is available to drink with me. So somehow I have got to try and find some things to do this weekend. For weeks now I have been meaning to reinstall all the software on this PC. Ideally I want to totaly reformat all the hard disk partitions (except the Windows partition). This makes it a slightly tedious job because I want to keep certain things like my e-mail archive etc.

 Ideally the motivation to actually do this work should come from boredom, but it can also work against me. I don't actually want to think today - hence the idea of a massive drinking spree is rather appealing, if rather destructive. If in the highly unlikely event someone were to suggest a lunchtime pint I would jump at it, but otherwise I think I will wait until much later tonight and have a few stiff scotches before going to bed.

04:55 BST

Me on a train at Waterloo 23rd June 2006 I think I know one thing about today - I won't be doing any sunbathing. At the moment it is raining ! This doesn't rule out the possibility of swimming this morning, but even if the sun breaks through later, as suggested by last nights weather forecast, I expect the grass will be too wet to lay on.

 I found out that I was incorrectly describing my present from Patricia as a gold choker chain. To be exact it is a 20in gold plated silver curb chain. I have to confess that I have never heard the term "curb chain" before, and that is why I described it as a choker - it is short enough to fit around the neck without excess dangling. You can just about make out an almost shadow of the chain in the picture that I took of myself while waiting for my train to depart from Waterloo station yesterday morning. The picture is none too clear because it was taken on my crap phone camera.

 Last night there were some moderately bad delays on the trains through London Bridge due to a broken down train there. In consequence I was a little late getting home from work last night. After a quick detour via Tesco I did not get home until 17:47. By this time Patricia had already left to see off her cousins who were, or maybe are just about to, fly home to Argentina. I was just about asleep last night when she came home again at around 23:00. So I never got to see or talk to her at all yesterday and haven't heard what her weekend plans are.

 Last night I treated myself to a curry instead of drinking myself to oblivion in The Herne. It was nice, but not excellent, and I think it was rather expensive for what it was. No doubt it has ruined my diet so I will not be lookng at the scales again until later in the week (or perhaps after coming back from swimming if that happens today).

 The only definite plans I have for today are to go back to bed in a minute, and to do some housework a bit later. Maybe I'll be swimming this morning, or maybe I won't. Maybe Patricia is away for the weekend, or maybe she won't be. In other words I haven't got any clue as to what I am doing today, or tomorrow.
Friday 23rd June 2006
08:25 BST

 All the stress of my birthday is now over and can I concentrate on other forms of stress (or something).

 I was shocked and stunned, left almost speechless, when Patricia did remember my birthday, and even bought me a present. Apparently there is a card in the post as well. The present was a gold choker chain. It is rather nice and I am wearing it even now. The present was presented to me as soon as Patricia came home from work. The rest of the evening was not so marvellous. Patricia had to go out to meet up with her cousins who are staying in London for just two nights before flying home to Argentina. So I spent the evening in by myself, and that was almost what I was expecting anyway.

 I lent Patricia my travel card so she could travel up to London, but I needed it for work this morning. So I had to stay up a lot later than I would have desired to retrieve it from her. In consequence I am a little tired this morning. Despite the wonderful present, Patricia did blot her copybook by refusing an extra hug and cuddle when she finally came back in. So despite my joy at her present I am still thinking that it would be a good idea if she were to move on. She is so desirable, and yet so unavailable that it is causing me so much stress these days.

 One plan for tonight, late afternoon to be more precise, was to go and get totally wasted in The Herne. I don't think I need to be doing that now. I would still have liked to go along for a quick drink, but I really need to do some shopping after work. I am desperately in need of cat litter, and a little more food, both human and cat,  in the house would not go amiss. So plan B is to get in some shopping, and then, a bit later, I will treat myself to a large curry (or maybe chinese) washed down with copious bottles of Argentinian beer. Once again, Patricia is out tonight with her cousins, so I will be able to wallow in my own indulgences.

 Tomorrow could be interesting. I hope that we will be going swimming. It would be nice if it was bright and sunny as well. Maybe we could indulge in more sunbathing. However I have a deep suspicion that Patricia will be away for the weekend. I seem to recall her saying that she would be away with her cousins, but they fly out tonight, or tomorrow, and besides which she has demonstrated that she does not have to be out all night to spend some time with them. I think she is off with "her man" again, but is reluctant to admit it for some reason. Time will tell, and maybe once again my pessimism will be exploded.
Thursday 22nd June 2006
08:08 BST

 Once again my birthday has come along, and another notch in my teeth added (or something like that). Will it be a good day, or will it be a bad day ? Previous experience suggests it could just be a nothing day. Having said that I have had a couple of birthday greetings. My older sister sent me a birthday card. My brother sent me an e-card, and John Brocks sent me an automated birthday greeting e-mail. So thank you all for those.

 Now I have to wait until I get home after work to see if Patricia has remembered my birthday. I will admit I am pessimistic about it, but I could still be surprised. I guess it will be true to say that if Patricia does surprise me it will be even more wonderful given that I am so pessimistic about it. On the other hand if she has forgotten, or just chooses to ignore me, it will not be the blow it would be if I were expecting anything. If my pessimism wins through then tomorrow night I think I will go and get wasted in The Herne with whoever is around. I will quite probably take a couple of hours off from work to make sure I get there in plenty of time to drink myself into oblivion (like a couple of Fridays ago).

 Despite all the gloominess there is some alternative hope on the horizon. It could be sometime next week, maybe even a bit later than that, but I have an agreement in principle to go on something similar, but not the same, as a blind date. Dates have not been set, and it is more of an exploratory meeting, but who knows, maybe I will find a future replacement for Patricia.

Minor update at 10:00 : I now have to add my thanks to Pam, Sarah, Kevin and Steve for sending me birthday greetings.

15:08 : Why do these tunes keep going around in my head ?
  1. Here Come The Nice - Small Faces (I think).
  2. Green Manalishi - Fleetwood Mac
  3. Highways Of The Sun - Camel
Wednesday 21th June 2006
21:25 BST

 Tonight I have been for a quick beer with Kevin and Howard. On returning home I asked Patricia if she would like to watch some of the football match downstairs, and have a beer with me. She declined so I am now up in my bedroom about to go to sleep. For that I hope Argentina lose !

08:07 BST

In theory I had plenty of sleep last night. Patricia gave no indication that she would watch any of the England match with me so I went to bed soon after it started. I read for some time before falling asleep possibly as early as 21:00. I did wake up again at 23:30 convinced that it might be time to get up. I think I woke up because I was sleeping very awkwardly. I had a terrible pain in my lower back, and partially across my stomach. This is the same pain that first manifested itself after sunbathing in the park last Saturday. Quite how it is related to that I am not sure, but I never had it until after that session. After going downstairs, stretching my legs, and checking my e-mails, I was back in bed within half an hour and asleep again very soon after that. I slept soundly, and comfortably, until about 05:10 when I woke up and got up.

 On first leaving the house I thought the air was nice and fresh after a fair amount of overnight rain. That feeling did not last. By the time I got to the station I was feeling a little clammy. At work now I am slightly hot, and feeling even stickier.

 I am looking forward to Friday. Not that anything is happening on Friday, but it will be past tomorrow. Tomorrow I am not looking forward to despite it being my birthday. I have probably said it here in this dairy for the last 4 years, but my birthday has always been an anticlimax since before leaving school. I really ought to be used to it now, but somehow the idea just will not gel.This year will be no exception - but I will allow that one day I could be surprised.

 Tonight Argentina will be playing in the world cup. I'd like to watch some of it with Patricia just to see her happy and excited (assuming that they win), and we could have a couple of beers together as well. My pessimistic prediction is that she will once again watch it by herself in her room, and I will be taking a book to bed with me again.
Tuesday 20th June 2006
18:46 BST

 I feel like having a bit of a rant tonight. The day has been OK, but I have had a lot of things on my mind - mainly about the future, or the lack of it. Lot's of things have been getting me down. So tonight, as well as having a rant, I am stuffing myself with a large bag of Prozac (aka salted peanuts !!).

 The reason for my feeling low is Patricia. We have had a lot of great times recently, and for a couple of hours last night everything was great. The problem still remains that there is no future in it. I am investing far to much emotional energy into our relationship for no return. The possibility of our ever ending up as lovers, especially after all this time, is so close to zero that that it is not even worth considering. It is great having her as a friend, but I want, no need, so much more. It is a fact that has been rolling around my brain a lot all day.

 Other things that have annoyed me are -
work: today we had a potential new production manager being shown around the place. The place has run quite smoothly (as far as I am aware) for the last 6 months without one, and yet if he is hired he will pobably be on double my wages and I have still not neen offered a permanent position.
Smoking: I saw (over someones shoulder on the train this evening) a couple of newspaper headlines suggesting that smoking will soon be banned outside offices and at bus stops. where in the hell are we supposed to smoke !!!!!!
Suburbs: Some arsehole on TV tonight was saying that all new building in London and the suburbs should be high density housing. Examples cited included low rise blocks of flats and strange housing complexes. I hate all that and I am so glad I live in a conventional house. How long before some hyped up beaurocrat decides to carry out a compulsory purchase to demolish all the old, but nice, houses and replace them with "people units" ?

 OK, rant over for now, but sometimes I think I come from a different planet. Maybe just a different age, but planet seems more likely considering how alienated I feel sometimes (including right now).

Postscript added at 20:11 : Here's the real problem with Patricia. If months ago, maybe even a year ago, I could have made her as happy as last night, and be able to do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, then maybe I would be writing something different here now. Last night it was done with cheap baubles and beads. It seems I am incapable of generating that level of happiness from just within myself.

08:13 BST

 I had a slightly tense time yesterday worrying if Patricia would like her presents. It seemed I needn't have worried. She liked them all. I always find buying presents a nerve wracking time, and then agonise over any choices I have made. This time it seems gut instinct won out.

 With Patricia's birthday out of the way, the next one is mine on Thursday. I have no plans to celebrate beyond having a bottle of beer with Patricia. It is possible I may go out on a bender on Friday night, but it is by no means likely.

 I think it is possible I may go out swimming tonight, but that is rather 50 -50 at the moment.
Monday 19th June 2006
08:09 BST

 Today it is Patricia's birthday - So, happy birthday Patricia !

 I am now at work feeling rather warm. Outside it is fairly fresh, but overcast. Inside it feels very hot and humid. Most of my sunburn has settled down now. A few parts are still tender, but unless I irritate them they are not causing any pain. Even the pain in my stomach muscles seems to have abated. I had a feeling yesterday that some mild exercise (such as coming to work) would get the kinks out of the muscles. I should have gone for a walk around the park, or somewhere, yesterday.

 At this point in time the only significant thing for the near future is lugging another 8 (or more) bottles of beer home with me tonight. Of course there are other things, but I will write about them later.

19:18 BST

Patricia with beer and birthday cake
I'm now back at home and feeling fine. I gave Patricia a little surprise with some presents and a birthday cake. She seemed to be very pleased with them.

Here's Patricia looking very happy holding her cake and a bottle of Argentinian beer. She is wearing her Argentinian football shirt that I gave her last Friday (not as a birthday present, but just a gift). There is another picture here showing another of her presents from today - a large Argentinian flag. Her other presents were a packet of Argentinian chocolate cakelet type things. a spare bra, and some rose quartz crystals *.

* Rose quartz crystals are alleged to have healing powers - particularly of the psyche.
Sunday 18th June 2006
08:30 BST

 Yesterday may have been a fantastic day, but it has left a legacy ! As I mentioned yesterday I left my bare legs unprotected in the strong sunshine. Despite liberal coatings of "after sun" moisturising lotion my legs were agony in the night. I woke up at 1 or 2am feeling as if my legs were on fire. There are a few other parts of me that got a little too roasted as well. There is a narrow strip just around my trouser waistband area that is very red, but fortunately not nearly as painful as my legs, and a few other odd patches that I must have missed with the sun block lotion.

 Despite the pain it is possible that we will be going to the park again today. If we do, I will take more care today. Up until the last 10 minutes ago the sky was very hazy, but as I write the sun is breaking through and it could be another sunny day. Apart from the possibility of going to the park I have no idea what else may be happening today. Whatever it is I hope that I will be able to spend more time with Patricia. There seems little time left to enjoy her company before she spends much of July away from here. Actually there is some possible doubt about that. She has sent off a load of C.V.'s and spec letters to various companies, and there is also a slim chance that the company who will take over providing the same service as the company the she currently works for may be taking on some of the old staff. So there are various scenarios where she could be back in a day job soon after the current one ends.

19:38 BST

 Today has been a really boring day. Absolutely nothing has happened. I saw Patricia very briefly this morning before she went out, and then when she came back at around 16:00 she went straight upstairs to have a nap. After that she watched the Brazil v Australia game on her own in her room. Since then she has been down to see me briefly to get two new CD's ripped to mp3 to play on her mp3 player.  I think that in around an hours time I will be going to bed, and I doubt I will see much of her before that.

 So no walks, or sunbathing, in the park today. In fact I have not even left the house today. I have spent some time watching TV, some time reading, and I have had a couple of short naps. What a contrast to yesterday !  I think a walk would have done me good. It would have stretched a few muscles here and there. In particular it may have done wonders for a muscular pain that keeps rearing it's head around my waistline. I think it is muscle fatigue after spending so much time lying out on the ever so slightly damp grass yesterday. The dampness has probably causd the pain in my lower back, and continually sucking in my gut as I lay there with my shirt off has strained a few stomach muscles. Either that or it is something unknown to medical science.

 One other ailment I was suffering from on Thursday evening through to Saturday afternoon was a pain in the nose. My right nostril was slighly inflamed and sore to the touch. Of all the things I considered, cold sore/herpes, syphilis, cancer etc, the one I didn't consider was a standard Mk1 zit just inside the nostril. That is what it was, and after some rather painful manipulation I cleared it. My nostril has been fine ever since. How do you get a zit up your nose ????
Saturday 17th June 2006
21:49 BST

It's the end of an almost perfect day.

 At around 08:30 we set off for the swimming baths. It was fantastic there. The water was at a perfect temperature, and the pool was not too crowded. I managed several thing I have not managed before. Most importantly I almost managed a complete length no stop. I did do a complete length, but had to stop for a few seconds three quarters of the way there to clear some water from my nose. Another thing I managed was a tiny bit of swimming on my back. At one point I even started off a short swim on my back when I was out of my depth - I am beginning to get bolder in the water ! The last thing was more minor still, but it did have delicious consequences.  I decided that it was time I totally submerged my head in the water. I am not very keen on that, and usually I am so puffed out that I can't hold my breath for more than a few seconds. This time I was relaxed enough to be able to hold my breath for far longer if it was needed. I tried it and was very surprised that my vision was totally crap underwater. I was under the impression that the short sighted, like me, can see better under water - but evidently not me. So Patricia said I ought to try her goggles.  I thought I would give it a go so she took them off and struggled to adjust the strap to fit my bigger head. She was trying to do this while partly clutching the side, and partly floating free. So I grabbed her by the waist and held her steady while she did it. Considering how little physical contact there usually is between us this felt very good indeed. Anyway, I tried the googles and was amaazed that I had crystal clear vision underwater. I am now considering buying a pair and chancing my luck on a tiny bit of underwater swimming.

 One other thing I learned today was that by swimming slower I can actually go much further. It was somethng I had suspected, and even slightly played with before, but this time I put it into practice. It is hard to have the patience to go so slowly, but the end result is far more satisfying.

 We stayed in the pool for over an hour this time, and even at the end I was still feeling rather good. After we got home I had a shower to rinse the chlorine off my body, and then I relaxed for a bit. Half an hour later we went shopping together. Then half an hour after getting back we went to the park to sunbath together. It was glorious being with Patricia in the sunshine. It was even better that she was wearing the "forbidden" bikini that had been the source of a row a couple of weeks back. She looked absolutely great in it.

 We stayed out for 3, or was it 4, hours. I did take a brief break when I went back to the house for a couple of beers that we drank out there. If it had nor been for Patricia offering me some of her sunblock I would have got severly burnt in todays sun. I meant to put some of my own on, but I didn't think we would be out that long. Next time I will know better ! As it happens, I did not put any sunblock on my legs and they are tingling quite badly now. I think I also missed a thin band just above my trouser waistline. I haven't really inspected it yet, but it does feel a little sore there.

 It was so relaxing and wonderful being with Paricia out there. I could almost have stayed there forever, but towards the end I did start to get a little bored even though we did indulge in a little mild horseplay with some ice. Fortunately we seemed to have reached the same conclusion about the time to give up and we went back to the house at around 17:00.

 That was more-or-less the end of the perfect day. I had to go out to meet Jodie, and Patricia had some work to do (although I think she mainly layed down watching the football). 15 minutes, or so, before writing this Patricia came down for a quick drink of orange juice and announced she was retiring for the night. So a quick peck on the cheek put the seal on the end of a wonderful day. I would really have like for it to go on for longer, but the chances of that seem as remote, or even remoter, than ever. Hopefully some of today will be repeated tomorrow, but not the swimming. Ladywell pool is closed tomorrow for some unknown reason.
06:25 BST

 It's a beautiful morning. It is both cool and bright. Later in the day it is going to get hot, but so what ? I think I may have got up too early, but I think we, that is Patricia and I, are going swimming very early this morning. After that the day is a little unclear, but at some point it will mean meeting up with Jodie who has done a little shopping for me.

 Yesterday was quite a good day. In anticipation of the Argentina versus Serbia & Montenegro football match, I finally found Mercado Argentino who have their store in the same business centre as where I work. I have been working there for over 6 months and yesterday was the first time I found where they were. I bought a case (24 bottles) of Quilmes beer, and an Argentinian football shirt for Patricia. Both went down well, particularly the latter, and were most appreciated after Argentina won the match 6 - 0. Patricia was in a jubilant mood, and even gave me a kiss (or peck on the cheek to be precise) she was so happy. Getting 24 bottles of beer home on the train was too much so I only brought 8 bottles with me. I believe Argentina play again next Wednesday, so I will make sure I have brought more home by then.

 Patricia went swimming last night, but I declined, although I am hoping we are going together first thing this morning. After she came back we sat outside and drank a bottle of beer each. She was in such a good mood that she even revealed some of her future plans to me. It seems I will be seeing very little of her in July. She intends to spend a week and half with her new man, and then a fortnight in Spain. So it looks like I have just a fortnight to find a new true love, and someone to keep me happy through July, and ideally ever after. I don't think it is going to happen....................

 I think the response to my question about hair cuts, although not entirely conclusive, suggests that I will probably be getting most of my hair cut off. I have even made enquiries about where it could be done. In theory I could go to the barbers at 08:00 and be shorn before going swimming, but my courage fails me at this point. Besides which I hope we set off to the swimming baths soon after 08:00.
Friday 16th June 2006
09:50 BST

 This just in......
"I think a poodle-permed-bleached-with-highlights-mullet complemented with a ZZ top style beard is the order of the day.....At least you'll have no qualms about getting it cut after that! "

Errrrrrrrr...................................................................Thanks Steve !

12:23 BST

...........and then this..................
"Bill, perhaps you should get a police id programme and try different hair  styles and beard
styles first.This way you could take a picture of the style you like and take it from there."    Thanks Mike.
08:47 BST

 It seems I am late for work again. Yesterday it was the trains, and this morning a case of the mild runs. I actually left the house, said good morning to my neighbour, and then went straight back inside again to use the toilet just one more time. That sorted things out and I am OK now.

 My sleep pattern has changed to something strange lately. I have been getting to sleep quite easily, and fairly early, over the last few days, but I keep waking up at sometime soon after midnight. I cannot seem to get back to sleep very easily so I get up and switch on the PC downstairs. after about an hour I go back to bed and seem to fall asleep just as easily as the first time. This is a little weird, but I do seem to be managing around 7 hours sleep a night. That should be enough, but these last few couple of mornings I have not woken up until my alarm has gone off, and I have been dozing off on the train coming home. I am wondering if this is still a legacy of the cold I had recently. Someone I know started off with identical symptoms and is convinced it was not just a cold, but real 'flu. I am not so sure, but it would explain the lingering effects.

 I have had a few comments in about me re-inventing myself. BD ( I assume that's you Bob) commented "Yes....Off with your head". While Sarah suggested definitely no beard, and maybe go for halfway for the hair - neither long nor short. Does anyone else have anything to say ? Click on the link at the top of the page and add a comment.

 My weightloss continues, but it is not going very fast. I have had suggested that this is a good thing as it makes the loss more resilient against future weight gain during those times when overeating becomes inevitable. I didn't weigh myself this morning because I know I ate too much last night, but the previous morning did show that another pound or two has gone. With the weekend looming it will be difficult to exercise the same control over daytime eating that being at work makes easy. There is a good chance that Patricia and I will be going swimming early on Saturday morning. This is good exercise, but can lead to raging hunger. I wonder how I will balance that evil act ?
Thursday 15th June 2006
01:46 BST

 I shouldn't really be up at this time of the morning, but for some reason I have woken up and can't get to sleep again. I think it is partially because I was a little dehydrated, and partially that I feel a bit wheezy. The reason for both is that I went swimming last night.

 I was not really sure if I was ready for swimming again after my recent cold, but when Patricia asked me if I wanted to accompany her I could hardly refuse. So with some trepidation we walked to the swimming baths. On the way there we had a bit of a chat. Principally it was about her job, or soon to be lack of job. The company she works for, as her day time job, is closing down at the end of the month. This won't leave her totally unemployed as she still has her translation work to do, but it will be a loss of a valuable source of regular money. It is difficult to say how this will impact on me, but in the immeadiate future is the likelyhood that she will bring her holiday plans forward, and extend them. She was planning a week in Spain during August, but now that is likely to be a fortnight at the beginning of July. With the prospect of her moving out looking even more unlikely now, it could give us some valuable breathing space while we (I ) evaluate our future prospects together.

 Back to the swimming baths. Not only was I worried about how my chest would stand up to the exercise and chlorinated water, but I was also worried that the place seemed as if it was going to be crowded. I needn't have worried too much about either. My chest was not too bad, or at least not as bad as I might have predicted, and it wasn't too crowded there. Although not crowded there were still quite a few kids larking around and generally getting in the way of a side hugger like me. Nevertheless I was able to do more swimming than I would have predicted. I deliberately did not push myself too hard, and yet on a couple of occasions, when the path was reasonably clear, it did not seem too much like hard work to swim half a length. I think if I had pushed myself as hard as I did on some of my earlier visits I could have managed the whole magical length. There was another reason why I did not psh myself too hard and that was because I kept getting cramp in my left calf muscle. After three quarters of an hour in the water I had one very painful cramp grab my calf muscle like a shark bite and I decided to retire from the water. Surprisingly Patricia announced that she had swum almost enough and was going to get out five or so minutes after I did.

 Back in the locker room I had a minor disaster. I pulled my jeans out of the locker upside down and the entire contents of my loose change pocket scattered to the ground. All I could do was to chase all the loose change around and put it in one of my shoes until I had dried off enough to put my jeans back on and transfer the money back into the pocket.

 It was a reasonable walk home after that, and we were both starving when we got home. So for the first time in I don't know how long, we had dinner together. Not only that but we even watched some football together. I can't honestly say I enjoyed the football, but it did not seem quite so terrible watching it with someone who was knowledgable, and patient enough, to explain some of what was going on. All the same, it was not my first choice of entertainment, and I will confess that I was mainly humouring Patricia by pretending to be very slightly interested.

 When half time came Patricia left me to use her computer (and watch the other half in her room), while I stayed up writing a long e-mail while waiting for my hair to dry out a bit. Ideally I should have rinsed the chlorine out of my hair, and off my body as soon as I got in, but food was beckoning too loudly. After eating it was too late to rinse my hair through or it would never have dried enough before I went to bed. As it was, my hair was still damp when I got into bed. Once in bed I fell asleep very easily and quickly, but around three hours later here I am up again.  Now I have had half a pint of diet coke I feel a bit re-hydrated and I should be able to get to sleep again - any minute now (maybe)........

09:00 BST

 The story continues...........Fortunately I did get back to sleep again fairly quickly. I think I was woken up by my alarm, but somehow I can't seem to remember it.

 I do feel a little stiff this morning after last nights swimming. Feeling like that it was a little unfortunate that there were major problems on the trains this morning. A signal failure at Barnes left me standing on Waterloo mainline station for over half an hour. It soon became pretty obvious that even if a train to Wandsorth did arrive it would be full to crush loading. So I did what I should have done much earlier and caught a train to Clapham Junction. From there I got a bus into Wandsworth. It is possible that getting a bus from Clapham Junction does not increase my journey time significantly. The traffic was slightly heavy, but moving very consistently. What it would be like 45 minutes earlier, when I would normally travel, is hard to say , but in theory it may be slightly lighter. Maybe tomorrow I will carry out an experiment. I usually have as much as 10 - 15 minutes wait before my normal train departs from Waterloo. If I could get a train to Clapham Junction that leaves earlier than my usual train, and if it is one that misses out Queenstown Road station, I may be able to shave 5 or 10 minutes off my journey to work. 
Wednesday 14th June 2006
08:13 BST

 It rained a lot overnight and this has brought the temperature right down. Outside it is rather pleasant if not just a little too grey. Inside, here at work, it still feels very hot and muggy. I think I may have slept badly last night as I do feel a bit achey right now.

 I did watch a little of the Brazil match last night. It was a few minutes worth before Patricia went to watch it in her room. So by 20:30 I went to bed. Initially I could not sleep because Patricia had the TV up very loud, and she herself was very noisy with shouting and cheering. By half time, which I guess to have been around 21:00 , she quietened down and I was soon fast asleep. I woke up at around midnight convinced it was almsot time to get up. The house was silent then, and after a visit to the toilet I was soon back on my bed (not in it) and fast asleep again. I woke to the sound of Smudge meowing quite insistently that she wanted to come in out of the rain at 04:00. So I got up, let Smudge in, fed both cats, checked my e-mails, and was back in bed (yes under the duvet this time) by 04:30. I was soon asleep again, and slept through to when my alarm went off at 05:30.

 Despite getting almost seven hours sleep I still feel tired. With some of the stiffness I feel at the moment it could almost be that I am going down with another cold. I think, or at least I hope, this is highly unlikely. It would be rather tragic if I was because I am only just about over the last one. I made the entire journey from Catford To Waterloo this morning without any bad coughing fits. In fact I may have only cleared my throat very briefly once or twice.

 There is a little air starting to move through work now after I have left both doors open. If it finally cools down a bit I may finish the day without feeling so knackered again. This would be a good thing as I am determined to go swimming with Patricia tonight - if she is going.
Tuesday 13th June 2006
17:53 BST

 It's been another steaming hot day at work. I think that today was worse then yesterday. Probably because the weather was building up for a big storm in the afternoon. It poured down, but I never noticed any thunder and lightning. Amazingly I managed to stay dry coming home. I was only wearing a short sleeve shirt to work, as I mentioned this morning.

Once again I feeled totally drained. 75% of it is the heat, 20% of it was bad sleep because of last nights sticky conditions, and the remaining 5% is possibly a hangover from last weeks cold. Maybe I should attribute a little more than 5% to the hangover from last weeks cold. My sleep was not only disturbed by being too hot, but I did wake up to a few coughing fits in the night. However, those times when I did wake up coughing I found my pillow soaked in sweat. So it was probably more a combination of the two, and I may have been able to sleep through each one individually.

 Now, it is a real shame that I feel so drained. Just 20 minutes ago Patricia asked me if I would like to go swimming with her. I certainly would have liked to accompany her. Things are still a little tense between us I think, and it would be a golden opportunity to spend a little time with her. Plus I really do fancy the idea of wallowing around in water that is just the right temperature. The problem here is that wallowing is the operative word. I don't feel I have the energy to do the 20 minute walk to the baths, let alone do any real swimming. So Patricia has gone swimming on her own. Maybe I ought to grit my teeth, pretend to show some interest, and watch (some of) the football match with her tonight. It is one of her favourite teams tonight - Brazil. I can't recall who they are playing.

 At the top of the page is a sort of poll - well more like just asking for opinions - about me changing my appearance. Of course the people whose opinions I really want do not read this, and for the most valued opinion I have yet to meet her (!). However any opinion is grist for the mill. It's been a long time since I last had short hair (25 years ago ?), and I wonder if I could face that again. Those last few time I had my hair cut I was lucky enough to get it done by a friend's wife's sister who is, or was, a professional hairdresser. Now I don't know what the hell I would do to get it cut. I am not keen on barbers, or other hairdressers establishments. I guess it is that old fear of the unknown popping up again. Perhaps I ought to solicit a few people on the recomendations on where to get my hair cut - if I do. Ideally I want a member of "the fairer sex" to supervise the operation, and even decide on the style it should be cut to. In an ideal fantasy world what would happen is that I was partially aneathatised with a few pints inside me, and then I would be marched around the corner to a hairdressers by someone like Max or Ruth and the deed done then. Of course it ain't gonna happen, and the chances are that my hair will remain uncut forever and a day.

 The other aspect of my appearance is beard, or no beard. Well it's too hot now for beards, but later in the year I may start growing it again. this winter it was complimented on, but to look reasonable beards are high maintenance. It was good when Patricia trimmed it for me a few times, but even if our friendship regains some sort of lasting balance we are now physically further apart than ever, and I doubt she would entertain trimming my beard again now.
08:06 BST

 Yesterday's heat was pleasant, but left me drained after enduring it all day at work. During the night the heat became very oppresive. I slept on my bed with the window open, but still I just dripped for much of the night. I am not sure how much sleep I lost because of this. I woke up several times during the night, but getting to sleep initially didn't seem to be a problem. I thought that after all the interuptions to my sleep I would be awake again fairly early in the morning, but my alarm had been sounding for almost 10 minutes when I finally woke up.

 I woke up to reasonably heavy rain, but I cannot recall and thunder during the night as had been forecast. Despite the air outside being cooled a little it was still very hot and humid in the house. When it came time to leave for work it was still raining. I decided to just walk through the rain in shirtsleeves and just get wet. It actually felt good for most of the time, although standing on the station waiting for the train did feel a little soggy.

 The rain has stopped since getting to Wandsworth. So the last bit of my journey I did in the dry. It is still very overcast, giving plenty of scope for more rain. This may be a good thing. Hot bright sunshine now would just turn all the wet outside to steam, and it would be like being in a sauna. It is still most unpleasantly hot and sticky in work. With little prospect of it cooling down I think I will be going home completely drained once again.
Monday 12th June 2006
18:40 BST

It has been a really hot day. At work I felt as if I had been cooked medium rare. Now, after having some dinner, I feel totally drained of energy.

 After the baking day at work it was nice to get on an air conditioned train at Wandsworth. Most of the new fleet of trains running on the South Western division feature air conditioning - even the frequently stopping local commuter trains. Getting off the train at Waterloo was like entering a sauna. I felt very apprehensive about the train(s) I would use to continue my journey on the South Eastern division. The first train turned out OK. It was the slightly late running train to Barnhurst. I usually miss that train, but if I can get it I have a whole 10 minutes to change platforms at London Bridge for the Hayes train. It turned out to be one of the new class 376 trains. They have no air conditioning, but it was lightly loaded and fairly airy. Best of all is that these new trains have yet to get saturated with the body odour (and worse) of a million unwashed commuters. At London Bridge my Hayes train was a class 465 "Networker". these are the ones that can really stink, but today it was a refurbished train. I knew that some had been refurbished for longer distance work, and maybe this was one of them. It was clean, and by clean I didn't mean by the South Eastern trains definition of no loose newspapers, but it was actually washed clean with new seats and paintwork.

 There was an interesting article in this mornings Metro newspaper about depression, and in particular how it affects males differently to females with reference to how each deals with it. It suggests that if you regularly experience several of the following symptoms you have depression, and, ideally, ought to seek help about it. I have added some annotations in red.
  • Overwhelming sense of sadness -  Yes, had that
  • Loss of interest in life - Yes, had that
  • Suicidal thoughts - No, who would look after the cats ?
  • Sleep problems and fatigue - Oh yes, definitely
  • Agitation, inability to concentrate - ditto
  • Crying for no reason - Strangely, no
  • Feeling worthless and isolated - Oh, very frequently
  • Weight loss or gain - Yes, no, sometimes, maybe, and sideways ?
  • Loss of libido - No chance to actually find out
So it seems I am probably clinically depressed, and I thought I was just pissed off !

09:00 BST

 It's another very hot morning, and I am sweating like a pig. Even with the heat my journey into work was not too bad. The last time I came into work, last Thursday morning, my coughing got the better of me and I had to get off the train at New Cross to buy a drink. Today I had a few coughing fits, but they were much smaller and passed quickly. The only fly in the ointment for this morning was that I missed my train at Catford by mere seconds. I went home again for 10 minutes before succesfully catching the later train.

 Last night Patricia was as good as her word. She came home, a little later than I would have liked (almost past my bedtime), but she did have a couple of cans of Stella Artois with her. So we sat outside in the cooling air and drank beer together. I have to admit I was too flabbergasted to really say much to her. We talked a little about football, and a little about the weather - just small talk with any contentious issues carefully avoided. I did feel good though, and I am sure that Patricia feels more relaxed now. Our parting words before we went off to our own rooms included the possibility that we may go swimming together again on Wednesday night (depending on her translation commitments).  I am now not so sure that she will be moving out by the weekend. I am almost afraid to ask what her plans are now, but I am beginning to hope she does move out soon - at least for a little while. If she goes now while we are friends again it will be far better than if she goes while we are enemies. As friends there is always the chance that we will still see each other now and then. Maybe that will be just swimming together, or maybe the odd evening out, or in, together. Plus it leaves the way clear for her to move back if things do not work out so well for her.
Sunday 11th June 2006
06:54 BST

 It's another bright morning, and looks as if today will be another very hot day. I haven't really mentioned about all the sunshine we have had over the last week, but summer is definitely here, and "flaming June" is at last living up to it's expectations.

 My weight loss has slowed down a lot over the last couple of days. I have slightly over indulged now and then to the extent that I seemed to have gained 0.2Kg. One of those indulgences has come back to haunt me in the last 5 minutes. In the last 36 hours I have eaten a whole packet of Pepperami Firesticks - very nice and fiery on the way in, and still fiery on the way out. It is hard to predict how my dieting will fare today, but I'll be back on track once I am back at work on Monday.

 Patricia never gave me the chance to make a formal apology to her yesterday, although we continued to pass odd comments to each other as we passed each other around the house. I had to resort to sending her a late night e-mail with my apology, and some reasons why I let her down. I also took the opportunity to explain how to clean up Internet Explorer so that she doesn't leave a trail of evidence behind her. I am not sure how she will take an apology by e-mail, and I fear it will possibly make her feel peeved. Maybe she will be indifferent to it, but I am sure it will not be enough to heal any wounds between us. That, if it ever really happens, will take a very long time.

 So far as I can tell, this morning my chest feels a lot clearer, and my cough has subsided to to a mere Mk2 smokers cough. It may be a little premature still, but I think that I could almost face a visit to the swimming baths this morning. I am still a little worried about how my tickly throat would react to the chlorine in the water. It could be a kill or cure situation. Of course this discussion is rather academic. I very much doubt I would go on my own, and it is highly unlikely that Patricia would ask me to accompany her.

18:30 BST

 This morning I went out for a very long walk. First I did a circular tour around the mains roads of Catford with my camera. I photographed loads of things. You can see the first results here. Then I did a complete circumnavigation of Ladywell fields. Sometime soon I will make some use of a pile of photographs I took there too. After that it was time for a lie down for an hour before going out to Tesco again. The rest of the afternoon alternated between being lazy and building the new web page mentioned above.

Now I am confused. There are probably things I have to say here that should not be said, but with no one else available to chat with, this becomes the place where I record some of my feelings.

 Earlier on this afternoon I finally had my chat with Patricia. I am pretty certain that the end result was that Patricia would be moving out soon. Probably by the end of the week. With that I was doing my best to think positive thoughts. I will have the whole of my own house back. I will be able to smoke anywhere, anytime, and I will be able to wander around naked without fear of embarassment (it sometimes happens first thing in the morning, or last thing at night). I will be able to get to use my studio again. All these things hardly offset the loneliness of being in an otherwise empty house, but at least they are positive thoughts.

 Half an hour ago Patricia went out for a quick visit to her brother-in-law. Maybe she is thinking of staying there - but I really don't know.  Now what really confused me was that just prior to going out she gave me the most wonderful hug, and asked me if I would like to have a beer with her when she gets back. She is going to try and buy me one on her way back. What does this mean ? I just do not have a clue. Perhaps I'll find out later.  Perhaps I won't, but I am wondering if this is the "last supper" or what ???
Saturday 10th June 2006
03:15 BST

 I feel dreadful ! To be more precise, I have a bad hangover ! This is not surprising. With only a single dry unfilled bagel, and a packet of beef jerky as buffers against alcohol, I spent far too many hours in The Herne drinking copious amounts of beer last night. Once again, to be more precise, I spent all afternoon, and into the evening, drinking Stella Artois. I think I still feel drunk even now. So I am going back to bed right now.

18:36 BST

 It took many, many hours until my hangover subsided. However I now feel as well as can be expected - my throat is still often tickly, and the mucus I am trying to cough up has now reached the consistency of Evo Stick (not that you really wanted to know that).

 It's been a lazy sort of day, today. For the first time in nearly a whole week I have stayed in all day (except for one visit to Tesco). Patricia has been in and out, and we have actually passed a few words between us. My reception is very frosty, and although I have briefly asked for a chance to apologise, it hasn't happened yet. I think it could be many months until we are talking properly again - if it ever happens at all.

 I have been doing a bit of website creation today. At long last I have added the rail subsection to my NTL hosted web pages. So far there are four subsections to the rail index page. One is 100% brand new. It is about Shoreditch tube station that closed forever after the last train last night. The other pages are resurrections of  some pages that were scattered all over the previous build of the site. They all required some re-editing, and one in particular, the page about bubble car 121020, still has some errors that I have to sort out. It may just be that there some files I forgot to upload. In which case that will be fixed well before you have read this.
Friday 9th June 2006
03:00 BST

 It is stupidly early in the morning, but after waking up coughing I need to let my throat settle down before I try and get some more sleep. So far I've only had about 3 to 4 hours sleep, and that is not nearly enough.

 I have already commented on the big disappointment at the beer festival, yesterday (no ability to smoke and drink at the same time). I will add to that one positive comment. From the "foreign beer" section of the festival I was able to buy a bottle of German rauchbier. This was not for my own consumption, but to give to one of my workmates. He goes by the name of Stefan, and comes from Germany. Surprisingly, to me at least, he has never heard of rauchbier. Maybe this is not so surprising when you learn that only two breweries out of hundreds ( thousands ???) in Germany actually brew this style of beer. With such diversity of brewing I suspect that regional tastes are far more sharply defined than the British apparent love of standardised national corporate beer (gi's us a lager mate !).

 I only stayed at the beer festival for a mere three halves of beer (although two of those were 8% continental specials !). I came straight home again, and after a little while I was ready to go out again. This was another exercise in giving Patricia some breathing space, but also a reconnaissance mission to Shoreditch tube station which finally closes for good at around 20:30 tonight. I took a few pictures then, and I hope to be back there with my camcorder later today. I'll post some pictures about Shoreditch some where on my webspace over the weekend maybe.

 It was a little early when I got back to Catford so I called in at The Catford Ram for a quick pint of beer before coming home again. Patricia was out when I got back. My initial prediction was that she had gone swimming, but later on no wet swimming costume appeared in the bathroom to day as it usually would. My second guess was that she was out looking at some alternative accommodation. Some noises, similar to packing going on, coming from her room would lend some extra credence to this theory.

 Since early on Tuesday morning I have not spoken to, or even seen, Patricia (but I do hear her in the house). This is quite amazing considering we are both staying under the one roof. It may be that if she is still here on Saturday I might have to force  a chat together. Sooner or later we will bump into one another, and it will be better to do it under controlled conditions. I have no desire to kick her out, but it will probably be for the best if she does decide to move on. That will be best for me, but for her it may possibly be a bad move. Her principle aim in staying here was to take advantage of very cheap accommodation, and the unrestricted use of the computer so she could carry on her translation work, and try and save as much money as possible to help pay for her son through his imminent university life. I can't recall that using the computer to chat up men, and then subsequently spend around £100 a time on a couple of weekend rail trips to see her new lover, being part of the original idea. Despite all my misgivings about what she has been up to, it is her, and not me, who has broken off "diplomatic relations". She now hates and despises me for (allegedly) investigating too deeply about what she has been up to. Obviously I never dug deep enough because her reaction suggests that she is feeling very guilty over something I still do not know about. Sadly it is the same, often invalid, argument about the compulsory use of I.D. cards - if you are not doing anything illegal, you have nothing to fear (but that is an argument for another time).
Thursday 8th June 2006
16:32 BST

 I am just recently back from the Catford Beer Festival - and I am not happy ! I suppose I am not surprised either. The bastards have decided to uphold the no smoking rule in the venue !! How is anyone supposed to enjoy a pint without a fag ? The reasons, or situations that might induce the giving up of smoking are, in order, sex, work, health and drinking. Drinking becomes such a low priority that smoking becomes the number one reason for giving up drinking. Next year I am going to buy a large bottle of scotch and drink that instead of going to the beer festival. Unless I have given up smoking for another reason, and the unlikely chance of sex is the only reason that might induce me to go cold turkey at the moment. Of course that is so unlikely that I imagine I will be smoking until my dying day. According to the critics that will be very soon, but with no joy in life , so what !

05:38 BST

 I was up very early this morning. Despite that I had almost enough sleep for this time of year. I guess I was asleep by 22:00 last night, and I first woke up again at something like 03:00 this morning. After that I never really managed to sleep again. By my reckoning I managed 5 hours of fairly good quality sleep. That is less than I would normally desire (about 7 hours seems reasonable), but sufficient for my immediate needs. It was good old coughing that woke me up, and prevented me from getting back to sleep again. The nature of my coughing is slowly moving from wet to dry - meaning the infection is virtually over, and it is the smokers cough that is now coming to the fore. Unfortunately this latter cough will be the phase that's takes longest to dwindle away. I reckon I can look forward to it now for many weeks to come (but still diminishing during that wait).

 Most of yesterday, while I was at work, I did not feel too bright. Within an hour of writing that I felt crap yesterday, I did improve a little, but the day still seemed like hard work. The worst part I reserved for the journey home. Up to an hour before I was due to go I felt as if I had run out of steam. Going home itself seemed far too much like hard work. It got to the point where I decided that I would just wait at Waterloo East station for the next direct train to Catford Bridge. In fact I didn't, and got my usual Gravesend train and changed at London Bridge. Somehow I found the energy to get over the footbridge in time to get the Catford train.

 I did not stay at home for long. After a quick wipe around with a wet flannel I was off again doing what I do best, and hate most - being on my own. Once again I took a book along to The Ram and did some quiet reading while drinking three pints of Stella Artois. Much to my surprise I was not alone all that time. For something like 30 minutes I was with Ivor, albeit via mobile phone, and later on I was joined by Kevin (in person) who had dropped in for a swift half before going to the opening night of the Catford Beer Festival. I did not see him in there until he walked over to me with an almost empty half pint beer glass. Apparently he did not see me until I virtually walked past him without noticing it.

 With the two unscheduled, but quite welcome interruptions, I left the pub a little later than I intended. I was aiming to get home in time to watch The Bill, but I made it home about 20 minutes late. I watched the episode, which was not really terribly good, and had a bite to eat. Once it was finished I was straight up to bed where I read for another 30 minutes, or so, and I am sure I was asleep by 22:00.

 Today I am only working a half day. This afternoon I will be visiting the beer festival. I may be joined by Jodie. In which case I will probably stay a little longer than I would if I was on my own. After that I will come home for a few hours and probably go out again. There is the offer of a lift to another old pirates drink in Barming that is happening tonight. It would be a great way to spend a lot of time away from the house (and give Patricia more breathing space), but right now I do not really feel that sociable to big crowds (i.e. more than 3 close friends).
Wednesday 7th June 2006
05:12 BST

 My health coninues to improve to the extent that I managed to sleep in my own bed for the whole night (the previous two nights I spent on the settee). I still have some way to go though. I may have spent the entire night in my own bed, but sleep was frequently punctuated by some bad coughing fits. I think that I have now caught up on enough sleep, and my major coughing outbursts are now infrequent enough, for me to return to work today. After losing two days pay I cannot really afford to spend another day sick, although I'll admit that under different circumstance I would. A plan conceived some time ago was that I would be taking tomorrow and Friday off work. Now it looks as if I should work tomorrow morning as well. That would be OK because it is really only tomorrow afternoon I need off to visit the Catford Beer Festival. I much prefer the afternoon sessions, when entry is free, but more importantly, it is less crowded and quieter.

 The reason for the day off on Friday is that I want to visit Shoreditch tube station one more time. It is due to close forever after the last train leaves the station at 20:33. I will only finalise my plans for this on the day. Among my options are to visit there in the morning, and have a second visit to the beer festival in the afternoon, or to go to the beer festival in the afternoon and go on to Shoreditch after that.

 Despite the optimism over my improving health, there is still a very dark cloud on the horizon. Patricia and I have had another major falling out. It is about me intruding into her private life. (That is the simplified version). Yesterday morning she stormed off to work aftre accusing me of interfering in her life. Since then we have not spoken, and I am not sure when we will again. Last night I went out to the pub by myself just before she was due home from work. I stayed for three pints, and finished reading a book. I came home a little while before 8pm and after a quick, and rather tasteless bite to eat, I went up to my bedroom. By 9pm I was already having my first sleep session. It lasted for at least an hour before I woke up coughing. That more or less set the pattern for the whole night. An hour or two of sleep followed by a period to finish coughing my lungs up before trying to get to sleep again.  Tonight will probably be a repeat of last night. I shall get home from work, grab a book, and leave for the pub again before Patricia comes home.

08:11 BST

 I am at work now - and I feel crap ! I think it is more than just a touch of bronchitus from being a heavy smoker. I felt cold at some points on the journey, and I was sweating. I am sweating even now. This is not a good time to be going threough what is probably an irretrievable break up with Patricia. My defences are so low at the moment it makes it hard...............I was going to add to that, but I think I'll just leave it at "hard".

 Of course to decribe it a break up is something of a misnomer. In truth we have never really been together. There have been times when it felt like we had something, and maybe even times when I felt we were on the edge of a breakthrough, but I now find myself wondering if those were just window dressing designed to deflect me away from other suspicions. The truth is that I have probably allowed myself to be used. I went into it with open eyes knowing that it was a gamble. There was always a hope that Patricia would have become comfortable with our relationship and allowed it to grow, and I never believed her when she said it couldn't happen. I read that as unlikely, rather than impossible. So I had to take a chance on it. What I now feel is that Patricia had never intended to allow herself to have any feelings, and on a few rare occasions, when she forgot it, she would quickly bring herself in check again. I do feel sort of sorry for her. By denying herself she is forever going to be feeling lost, and carry a load of guilt around with her. (That is a simplification of a far more complex set of arguments).    
Tuesday 6th June 2006
04:40 BST

 It feels like I have done ten rounds with some famous boxer, and it feels fine ! All things are relative, of course. I am comparing how I feel right now with how I felt yesterday. There were times yesterday when it felt like I had spent 10 minutes with an American army interrogator, or 30 minutes with with a German S.S. one.

 The big improvement over yesterday was that I have managed to get some sleep. After hardly any sleep on Sunday night/Monday morning, it did feel good to get just one hour sleep yesterday lunchtime. Last night I managed to sleep for at least an hour, or even maybe two, while in bed normally. Sometime between midnight and 1am I woke up again after a particular heavy coughing fit. Try as I might, I just could not get comfortable again. Whenever I lay down it felt as if I was breathing underwater. The mucus in my lungs and windpipe would seem to bubble, and I would feel breathless, and all the time the cough reflex (is there one ?) would be kicking in to try and clear the obstruction.

 I don't know if it was sleep deprivation, lack of oxygen, or just exhaustion from all the muscular effort needed to cough, but when I woke up I felt almost dizzy. I can't describe the sensation in any other way, although it hardly describes what I felt. Perhaps the other bit to the almost-but-not-quite dizzyness, could be described as being in the no mans land between fantasy and reality. For instance, it is hard for me to tell where dreaming left off, to trying to learn something advantageous from a dream. The dream, as I remember it, was set at work, and the coughing was an attempt to project a part onto a new assembly. At some point I decided that it would be easier to project the parts into large boxes as less accuracy would be needed.  Somehow this obviously worked well because I slept OK until the next box coincided with the edge of the duvet. I woke up feeling cold, but attempted to get back to sleep using the same technique for controlling my coughing. The idea failed miserably, and I pulled myself awake as much as possible to consider what my next action would be.

 That action was the same as the previous night. For a change of scenery I went downstairs. I thought I might read for a bit. It was rather cool down there, and I was only weaaring underpants, so I put the heater on. Very soon the room warmed up and I decided to lay down on the settee to read. Astonishingly enough I did not seem to be coughing much, and very soon after I fell asleep. I slept there for well over an hour (nearly two, I think).

 When I woke up I went back upstairs to try and sleep in my own bed again. Five minutes of coughing and spluttering convinced me it was not going to work. So I went back downstairs and fell asleep on the settee again. This time it was only for an hour, but it has helped.

 Right now, as I type this, I am smoking an unlit cigarette. I am dying for a fag (and dying because of it), but I know the smoke is going to irritate me. Sooner or later I will have to light it, but I may try for another hours sleep on the settee first.

In another five minutes (05:30) I would normally be getting up for work. Today, despite feeling better than yesterday, I think I will be taking off sick again. Maybe I could survive the journey into work, but I doubt I would be very productive when I got there. So that's two days pay lost, and I already had planned to take Thursday and Friday off - another two days with no pay. It looks like it is going to be a pretty lean week, this week !
Monday 5th June 2006
09:33 BST

 I am writing this from home because I have gone sick for the day. My cold did go to my chest and I spent most of the night coughing instead of sleeping. Right now, after a sleepless night, I feel close to death's door. Sooner or later I will try and grab some more sleep. The good thing is that my nose, although still running a bit, is only doing it in manageable proportions.

 Over the weekend my diet went totally haywire. So I was quite happy to see that I have not gained any weight at all, but then again I have not lost any either. I guess that all the effort needed for my hacking cough has provided me with some exercise while I have been otherwise quite sedentary.

 Patricia finally came home at around 23:00 last night. We only exchanged a few words, but I guess she had a good time. She looked very tired when she got home, but one thing she did say was that she had some work to do on the computer. I presume this is the same work that she took my laptop to work on while travelling. I estimate it was gone midnight when she finished. I don't know where she finds the energy from. In my state of tiredness I am making some gigantic spelling blunders. I think I have corrected most of them, but I would not be surprised if I haven't left the odd word or two totally spelt rwogn :-)
Sunday 4th June 2006
11:31 BST

 My cold rumbles on. This morning my nose had dried up a little bit, but now the cold seems to be going to my chest. I seem to be developing a real hacker of a cough. So far it is not a frequent event, but when I do cough it is from deep inside with plenty of mucus brought up with it. Even that is not so bad, but I know that in time it will dry up and leave me with a very dry ticklish smokers cough that will last at least a week, and maybe more. The only salvation is that the weather is now dry and warm, and that will make my chest far more comfortable than cold damp weather.

 With my nose gushing to the point that the water company almost came round to either harvest the liquid, or to check for a burst water main, I did not feel that sleep would be easy last night. This, despite the fact that I was feeling very tired as the evening progressed. When I eventually gave up and tried to sleep it came very easily. That was a little while after midnight, or even possibly nearer 01:00. I slept OK until 05:00 when I got up, peed, fed the cats, and soon after went back to bed. After a time I regained sleep, and slept through to just before 09:00.

 After a nice hot shower I felt ready to tackle the outside world. Or to put it another way, I needed to do some shopping and wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. Out in the warm, or at least mild, fresh air my nose did behave itself reasonably well. During my entire time out I probably only had to have a few good clear outs. Fortunately Tesco is still pretty quiet for the first 30 - 50 minutes of trading on a Sunday, so I was able to get around Tesco, and then get back home again in less than 30 minutes.

 This next bit describes the real tragedy of this cold. Throwing all caution to the wind I abandonded my diet in favour of my preferred form of natural prosac - tasty food ! (Yesterday I was still making a half hearted effort at sensible eating). This morning I bought a pack of "variety" meat sandwiches, a pack of barbecue chicken wraps, and some barbecue chicken pasta. I have now eaten the lot and feel fairly full, but it was not the feeling full I was after so much as the actual pleasure of eating the tasty food. Sadly my blocked nose meant I could hardly taste the food. So all I was left with was some small pleasure in feeling the texture of the food as I ate it. Hopefully my nose will have eased off enough that I will be able to enjoy the liver and bacon, and colcannon, that I am having for dinner tonight.

 To help ease my nose I have bought some fresh Sudafed nasal decongestant spray. To help with my coughing I have bought a bottle of Benylin. The former I have found to be quite effective in the past, while the effectiveness of the latter is subject to some dispute. I am not sure if the rather old bottle of Sudafed nasal decongestant spray I was using was working too well, That is why I bought a fresh bottle today. So far it does not seem to be too effective, but this may be that my nose is so wet with mucus that the active ingredient(s) are not getting to where they should be.

 Interestingly both medicines claim to be "non drowsy". I have often thought that is a euphamism for saying they have taken out the ingredients that actually do a good job, and substituted old ditch water instead. Right now a good dose of something that knocks you out until you wake up recovered would be a really nice idea. I think that substance will probably be scotch whiskey.  Very soon now I am going to have one or two very large whiskeys and then lay down on my bed and do some reading. If I do drop off to sleep, so much the better. Hopefully, if that is the case, I will wake up feeling a little better.
Saturday 3rd June 2006
16:19 BST

 Today I am being reminded that no matter how sure you are of your perceptions of the future, you can still be wrong. I was certain I would be having a pretty miserable time today for the reason that Patricia is away with her lover. Now that has become less important as I am having a miserable time for another reason. I have a cold. My nose is gushing like it is going out of fashion. This could be some advanced form of hayfever, but I am not aware that hayfever gives you a sore throat and a throbbing head. Oddly enough my nose started to pour after I went out to the corner shop around lunchtime, but the very first symptom was a soreness in my throat. I have also had a few hot and then shivery periods during the afternoon.

 The idea of catching a summer cold seems at odds with the so-called healthy lifestyle I have been leading recently. All those fruits and vegetables are supposed to contain wonderful vitamins and minerals that should increase my resistance to colds and 'flu. They don't seem to have helped much today though. Instead, I am pinning my hopes on a couple of Paracetamol Plus tablets.

 I shall blame this cold for the reason I did not go swimming this morning. I was feeling fairly OK early this morning when I could have gone swimming, but just did not fancy it on my own. Maybe if Patricia had been away for a different reason, and if my recent swimming history was a little more extensive, I might have gone alone, and maybe my body knew it was going down with a cold before I fully realised it.  Whichever of the three reasons was most pertinent is hard to say, but each played it's part - and will probably do so tomorrow.

 It has been a fairly lazy day today so far. It is a brilliant warm sunny day, but from the outset I did not fancy going out anywhere. The only time I went out was that brief visit to the corner shop, but even Tesco seemed too far today. I have managed to do a couple of things today that transcend the strict definition of being very lazy. Although it uses so little time and energy to be counted as being busy, or productive, I have done some laundry. I have also spent a fair bit of time doing some work on my bedroom PC. Originally the predominant operating system on that PC was Suse Linux with a small token amount of disk space given over to Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Unfortunately the linux installation did not seem to be working the sound card correctly. This meant that I could not use Skype for voice calls correctly. Also, there is a TV card in the PC and Linux did not set that up correctly (although it made a better job of it than I had previously seem Linux do). So I decided that I would take out the two hard disks in the PC and replace them with one very slightly larger on (25GB) and just install Windows 2000. In the normal course of events this should have been easy, but a bus conflict between something and the TV card was causing the installation to crash all the time. After several abortive attempts I took out the TV card (being extra careful not to let my nose drip into the works of the PC) and Windows installed correctly. With Windows working correctly I put the TV card back in and was able to get it configured to work correctly. Initially one, or more, of the driver files was installed incorrectly causing a few crashes, but even that got sorted out OK. About an hour ago I finished installing all the other software, and have been listening to some mp3's on it (it's main reason for existence) until coming downstairs to write this.

 What I ought to do now is to obey my body and get in some sleep, but I'd really like to save up the tiredness until I finally go to bed. It is late at night when the thoughts of Patricia getting all the hugs, kisses, and love that I want for myself come to haunt and torment me. To just fall asleep instantly from exhaustion would be my greatest desire tonight. So I may force myself to stay awake until the very last minute. Maybe I'll set Skype into "Skype me" mode and see if any lonely women contact me (living in cloud cuckoo land again !).
Friday 2nd June 2006
08:00 BST

 Happy birthday to Jodie (not that she will be reading this dairy).

 Another Friday comes around, and the prospect of a gloomy weekend looms ahead. I feel a little tired this morning (nothing new I suppose). I went out to The Ram for a drink with Kevin last night. It was a "three pinter", but I still managed to leave by about 21:20, and was in bed by 22:00. I think I went to sleep pretty quickly, but I can't really remember now. I certainly slept solidly until 04:00 when I was woken up by Nelly (I think). After a quick visit to the toilet I went back to bed, but never managed to get back to sleep properly. I may have gained an extra 15 minutes of poor sleep, but I very much doubt it was any better than that.

 This evening, quite early in the evening, Patricia goes away for another weekend of love with her man. That will, once again, leave me high and dry for the entire weekend. There is no way I will be able to go swimming on my own under those conditions, and it will be hard to do any dieting as well. The best I can hope for is that I can manage some sensible eating and to try and keep my weight stable. The great temptation is to eat and drink myself senseless like I did last time. I am fairly certain I will be able to cope with it far better than last time, especially as Patricia has been so good to me over the last week or so, but unless there is some way I can clear my mind of all thoughts about what she will be up to, particularly at night, it will still be a pretty miserable weekend. Strangely enough it is not so much what she will be doing that upsets me, but more the fact I won't be doing it too.

 So tonight I will probably just watch TV and/or do some reading. Maybe I will prepare my studio for some recording sessions on Saturday. I think I will be doing some recording on Saturday. Not only are recordings wanted from me, but they are a great way of expressing your feelings, often in a coded way so to be a bit unobtrusive. It will be quite probable over 50% of the songs will carry some personal meaning to me, maybe just in the title, or even just an odd line or two of song, and only those who realise what I am up to will know that anything is going on. Actually, that is probably rubbish as I doubt I will be able to resist a few words of moaning !

18:14 BST

 Just about half an hour ago Patricia left here to travel to the arms of her lover. I think, but I am not sure, she has gone to Darlington. Already the house feels really empty. All the reasons for doing anything have evaporated, and so things like the washing up are just going to get left. Even double salad has done little to make me feel any better. I now really crave to eat something that would wreck my diet. It could be curry, fish and chips or even chocolate. I don't know if I will give in tonight, but perhaps it will happen tomorrow. I am now sure that my chances of going swimming tomorrow are rapidly approaching zero - and that's in direct contradiction to my orders from Patricia. Well, she is not here to supervise so I can do as I like, and that includes smoking anywhere in the house.

 Maybe tonight will not be so bad. I was tired enough to doze off on the train coming home from work, and there are a few things on TV that will, or could, keep me up until late tonight. By then I should be ready to sleep no matter what. It will tomorrow that will be difficult (difficult with a capital D !). On Sunday night Patricia will be home again. I have no idea what time it will be. Last time her mainline train was delayed, and that caused knock on effects to her local travel. She got home then around 23:00 if my crap memory can be relied upon. I think she was originally aiming for at least an hour earlier. Maybe this time it will be even earlier. She does have some work to do that is important enough that she is going to attempt to use my ancient and slow laptop on the train going to Darlington (or wherever). I just hope, as she seems to think, that tehre will be a socket to plug the laptop into on the train. The battery life of that laptop is zero ! If she can't find power she will have lugged a heavy laptop around for nothing.
Thursday 1st June 2006
05:40 BST

 Welcome to yet another months worth of scribbling. It's a reasonably fine morning, but so far there is not much sun. The clouds look very broken up from the small viewpoint that I can observe, so there may be some decent sunshine soon. After all, June really should live up to it's reputation of "flaming June".

 Last night we had a lot of sunshine, and that did help when, at about 18:15, I went swimming with Patricia. I was really starving hungry after only eating two bananas and a single apple and pear throughout the whole day. Coming home from the baths I was feeling close to the point where you feel close the the point of collapse (not that that makes any sense). It was a succesful swim, and I did not have to push myself too hard to break a few personal records. The pool was not crowded, but there were still a lot of people, mainly kids with floats, who kept getting in my way. So I had very few clear runs in which I could push myself to the limits. The strong swimmers were either sticking right to the middle of the pool, or just had to weave around the kids. I still don't consider myself strong and confident enough to move far from the edge as the water gets deeper, so most of my swims were fairly short, but I did do a lot of them. When spaces opened up I found I can now do at least two thirds of a length without too much trouble. I almost did an entire length at one point, but did have to stop and grab the side for a couple of seconds to kick my left shin which was beginning to go into cramps. So progress continues to be made. Now the big question is do I dare go alone on Saturday morning to continue with all this practising ?

 This morning I still have not worked out quite how I feel. I guess I won't really know that until I get to work. Right now I have a strong desire to go back to bed, and I have a couple of aches, but overall I don't feel too bad. One reason for a little elation is that, as of this morning, but probably only when I do not have a shirt on, I can now actually do up the zipper on the front of my new jacket, and what's more it does not even feel as tight as a straitjacket.

 There is probably more to add to this, but right now I have to get ready for work.

08:10 BST

 I am now at work. I think I feel reasonably OK. A few muscles are a little bit sore, and I do feel a little tired, but it nothing compared to how i felt on Tuesday morning ! I still have this extra energy that I don't like to use prematurely, but I did use a small bit of it after leaving the station in Wandsworth. I saw a bus coming and ran the 30 - 40 metres to the bus stop. It was curiously easy to do. I felt fairly light on my feet, and I was only winded to the extent that I had to breathe hard through my nose once I was on the bus.

 Despite all these improvements in my stamina, I feel, or at least felt, that I was not losing weight sufficiently fast considering the diet I have been imposing upon myself. On the way to work this morning it suddenly came to me why this was so. All this swimming exercise is building muscles. Muscle is far more dense than fat so it weighs more for a given volume. So right now I am shrinking, there is plenty of evidence for that, but my weight is going down at a slower rate than that shrinkage would suggest. Sooner or later the muscle growth will slow down, and then, in theory, my weight should go down a lot faster.

 With luck I should undo a bit of dieting by going for a beer tonight. I am still not convinced by the alleged calorific value of beer (/alcohol). When I was dieting back in about 1978 I lost well over a quarter of my body weight, managed to get into jeans with a waist size smaller than any time in the previous 15 years (or something), and yet I probably drank more beer then than at any other time. I think there is something food nutrishionists are not telling us. Alcohol may have a high calorific value, but can you actually convert that to energy giving sugar ? Antracite coal has a very, very, high calorific value, but I doubt anyone has got fat by eating it !