Smash the smoking ban. Smokers of the world unite and fight. I want to die.
Home Page
Site Map

smoking permitted

2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
( A pastel shaded background indicates two entries for that day)

Friday 30th August 2007
06:53 BST
 Another grey morning, but at least it seems to be dry. I'm guessing that today will be similar to yesterday. The cloud did thin yesterday, and there were a couple of sunny spells, but not many. The temperature has remained fairly mild, perhaps around an average of 20° C. Tomorrow see the start of September, and it would be nice if we had some more sunshine before the onset of autumn.

 I felt much better yesterday. The aches and pains that heralded the start of the week are finally fading away. Maybe it is because I have been eating a tiny bit more healthily, or maybe it was something else. These aches and pains do seem to come and go almost as if I have some sort of recurring viral infection, but it is probably something simpler like high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and generally clogged arteries etc. Oh well, just another nine months to hold out and I will have achieved my latest ambition of living a longer life than my dad did.

 Right now, as I type this, I should be on the train to work just approaching Lewisham station. Unfortunately I am not. Just as I was about to leave for the station I decided that one more visit to the toilet might be a good idea - and it was. I will get the 7:30 am train to work and just be a little bit late. I doubt it will matter, although I am hoping to leave ten minutes early tonight in an attempt to catch the early train home. I may feel a little guilty about that, but it has to be done if I am to get home in time to spruce myself up to get to Lewisham by 5.30 pm to meet up with Patricia.

 During the night I had a dream that was interesting in that it was similar to a dream I had many months ago. Like that last dream I was in a sort of college setting that was in a building that had some similarities to my old secondary school, but also some strange differences. However it was remarkably similar to the building in the earlier dream. The people in the dream were different. Apart from Patricia, who was "teacher", I didn't feel I knew any of my classmates, and yet I was quite friendly with some of them. Another similarity to that earlier dream was that it featured a tunnel. In the earlier dream this was actually a long underpass beneath a road junction. In last nights dream I have no idea where it went, but it looked identical. There is more detail I can recall, but time is running out and I have to get that 7.30 train.
Thursday 30th August 2007
08:17 BST
 The weather has changed again. The sky was grey, and there was a fine misty rain falling when I left the house this morning. I didn't notice any rain as I was travelling, but when I reached Wandsworth the pavements looked very wet as if there had been some heavier rain earlier. The forecast suggested on a slight chance of rain later in the day. So I don't really know what will happen. Maybe the clouds will break up and we will see some sunshine, or the clouds may thicken and we will see more rain.

 I wasn't quite so knackered when I got home last night. I was still feeling a bit too weary to bother going home via Tesco's, although that was only one reason why I didn't. the other reason, and perhaps the more important reason, was that I was trying to avoid spending any money and getting charged £5 (plus interest) for delving into my overdraft. (I think the £5 charge for daring to use the overdraft is a recent innovation from the capitalistic pigs who run my bank !). I seem to have succeeded so far. I checked my bank balance on the way into work this morning and I am still £22 in credit. Tonight I really have to do some shopping, but I hope that the payment won't make the bank until tomorrow when I am paid.

 Last night I finally tried my pasta with tinned chicken curry recipe. I think it would have been more tasty if I had not used wholemeal pasta, but it wasn't bad for a quick and cheap meal. As well as not using wholemeal pasta, I would recommend keeping the ratio of pasta to curry at about 1:1. I had twice as much pasta as curry, and the curry taste, already weak for being just supermarket tinned curry, was really too dilute to be very tasty. A splash of hot pepper sauce definitely perked it up a bit.

 I did not feel quite so tired last night as the previous night, and stayed up a little later. It was not that much later because I was still fast asleep very soon after 9 pm. I evidently have caught up with my lack of sleep, or whatever it was making me feel so tired, because I didn't really sleep much beyond 4 am. I woke up then and went for a pee, but after that I only managed to get odd minutes of sleep. I was up again feeding the cats at 4.45 am.

 It feels like a Friday to me for some reason, and I am slightly saddened that it is not (although even just plain saddened feels too strong a word for a feeling far milder than that). Maybe I am looking forward to Friday because I hope to have a drink with Patricia, and maybe Dee, after work. It will not be a very happy drink though. Patricia received news yesterday that her father has very serious cancer that is spreading all over his body.

 I saw something strange on my way to work this morning. It was not a completely rare sight, but this morning it really got me wondering. On the broad pavement, outside the shopping centre here in Wandsworth was a solitary ladies shoe. How does a single shoe get to be abandoned on the pavement ? The shoe had a bit of a heel. So if it fell off it would be very noticable to the wearer, and if, say, that wearer was running for a bus, and did not want to miss it, wouldn't they kick off the other shoe to balance up their feet ? I can only conclude that the lady was abducted by aliens using the well known machine that sucks you up through a portal in the bottom of the flying saucer. As she rose, kicking and screaming, into the air a solitary shoe fell off !
Wednesday 29th August 2007
08:28 BST
 The morning seems sunnier than yesterday morning, and I think it is a bit warmer too. Despite the various forecasts for yesterday saying it would rain in the afternoon, it actually stayed dry. It was not until sometime after 6 pm that the sky got very heavily clouded over, and even then it didn't appear to rain. This morning there is no evidence, puddles etc, that there was any overnight rain. I think today will be mostly bright and dry.

 As yesterday wore on I began to feel more and more knackered. I thought that I would be feeling reasonably well by the time I left work, but I was very wrong. I was feeling pretty terrible. I didn't feel I had the energy to go home via Tesco, as I had wanted to do. Instead I went straight home and cooked myself a big dinner of "crispy potatoes with mediteranean vegetables" and "Tesco Value fish cakes" served with lashings of sweet chilli sauce. It was a rather large dinner, but it slipped down a treat. I ate that while watching the news on TV. After that I lay down and read a couple of short stories from an Arthur C. Clarke book called "Tales From Planet Earth". By 8.30 pm I had gone to bed and was fast asleep.

 I didn't think that I had lost any sleep time over the long bank holiday weekend, but evidently I must have done. After a good nights sleep last night, I do feel a lot brighter this morning. I still have a few of the usual aches and pains, and  I think it is my kidneys that are the guest pain this morning, or maybe it is something else in that general region. As is usual, since getting into work the various aches and pains have subsided and I think I'll live long enough to earn my pay today.

 My long sleep last night brought with it a novel dream. The dream was total "virtual reality" and a good sign that some of my brain is still capable of being creative. In the dream I was in my dads old shop in Forest Hill. The dream was set some time in an imagined future some years after my dad died. What happened in real life was that soon after my dad died in 1968 (or was it 1967 ?) my mum sold the business. In the dream she had obviously retained the shop and business for quite a long time. It appeared that she had brought in a new engineer to do the work, but he never actually appeared in the dream. The shop, and the workshop in the rear, had been refitted in a more contempoary design, but the shape of the rooms, and the architectural fittings were exactly as I remembered them. One major difference was that my dads old workbench, which was large enough to work on some of the huge old TV's of the late 50's and early 60's, had been replaced by a more compact, but nicely fitted bench. The outline of the old bench was still visible on the wall where it was, as were several other bits and pieces.  I was apparently there because it was a bank holiday and I didn't have to go to work. While there I minded the shop while my mum went out to try and source a strange light bulb for a customer. One little job I did was to put a mains plug on a soldering iron for a customer. At the time I was thinking to myself that anyone who couldn't put a mains plug on a soldering iron should not be using one. It was only after I woke up that I realised that soldering irons were not just used for electronic tasks, but could be used by models makers as well.

 Tonight, being a Wednesday night, it should be drinking night, but not this Wednesday night - as far as I know. Kevin is away on holiday. So he won't be coming to the pub. I am broke so I don't think I will be going to the pub. Instead I think I will try to have one more extra early night and a good sleep.
Tuesday 28th August 2007
09:00 BST
 This morning started off a bit dull and grey. Since then the clouds have broken up and there is some sunshine coming through the gaps in the cloud. Various weather forecasts seem to disagree about how the weather will progress today. Some suggest that there will be a lot of rain this afternoon, and others suggest there could be patchy rain this afternoon. I think the latter forecast may be closer to what will actually happen.

 I had another lazy day yesterday. I couldn't even be bothered to go out to see if Tesco was open to buy the usual catfood, and to get some fruit to bring to work today. I did go to the corner shop to buy some cat litter for Nelly, and some snacks for me. In fact I spent too much of my precious cash in there. With my bank balance nearing zero I wanted to keep the cash I had with me for emergencies. I would have drawn on my bank account if I had gone to Tesco anyway, so I guess it is a pointless argument. I still have my overdraft untouched, and I'll reluctantly use that if I really need to.

 I spent some of yesterday putting the finishing touches to one of my old PC's. On Sunday I had been experimenting with various operating systems for it. Xubuntu seemed pretty good, but I thought I would test some alternatives. I wasted a lot of time playing about with Windows NT4. It installed just fine, but motherboard drivers, or the lack of them, put paid to any advanced features. I finally decided that Windows 98SE seemed to work well on it, and I spent yesterday morning loading up the computer with assorted software. With only a 450MHz Pentium III processor, and 256MB of ram installed, it was a bit sluggish, but seemed to do all I threw at it. At some later stage I will have to consider whether I should be running Linux on that box, or Windows. The Xubuntu installation I tried was on a separate hard disk that I could fit back in if I wanted to. In some ways the decision over what to use is a mute point. I doubt I will ever actually use that PC for anything, but it is comforting to have a spare machine hanging around.

 One thing I did do yesterday was to eat badly. I had a very sugary breakfast at about lunchtime, and later in the day I had a rumage around the fridge and freezer. In the fridge I found some bread I had was rapidly getting stale. So I ate that with some cheese, and then I discovered that some hotdogs that I had bought as a buy one, get one free, offer some time ago were on their use by date. So I ate all those as well. This morning I feel pretty bad. I feel very stodgy, and some earlier dryness in my mouth suggests that my blood sugar level is rather high. By the time I have finished work today I reckon I will be feeling much more alert.
Sunday 26th August 2007
07:34 BST
 My first views of this morning made me think that it was rather cloudy outside, but that was while the sun was below the horizon. With the sun now peeping over the horizon I can see the sky is actually very clear. It will be very nice if today is as brilliant as yesterday, and I think there is every reason to hope that it will be. Yesterday was the first hot sunny day in what feels like ages. For much of the day the sky was a clear blue, and the sun felt very hot while I was out in it.

 As far as I can recall it was bright, but not actually sunny as I made my way home from work on Friday. It was certainly warmer than it had been the for some time. I felt tired when I got home, and I was suffering from a stiff, and aching, shoulder. I neglected to mention that on Friday morning because at that time I was more concerned about the amount of farting I was doing. I think the stiff shoulder was the result of being caught in the rain so many times in the previous few days. My jacket is by no means waterproof, and my leather jacket, which is waterproof, is too hot to wear until the weather gets really cool. Feeling tired and aching, I went to bed reasonably early on Friday night. I can't remember the time, but I estimate that I was fast asleep by at least 9.30 pm.

 I had quite a good nights sleep on Friday night, and even a bit of a lay in on Saturday morning. I was, of course, up ridiculously early to feed the cats, but was back in bed again an hour, or so, after that. I think I finally got up sometime around 8.30 am. I did not get showered and fully dressed until sometime later.I had a visit from Aleemah yesterday, so I spent some time doing some hoovering and other cleaning before I showered and put on fresh clothes.

 Despite the good sleep, my shoulder, and a couple of other joints still felt rather stiff. So it was a real treat to go out into the blazing sunshine and feel the heat diffusing into my joints. By the time we got back to Catford I was feeling really rather good compared to when I left home.

 After a meal in the Catford Broadway pie and mash shop we came back here to watch the film Quadrophenia. It was great film, and thoroughly enjoyable. I couldn't really identify with the mod lifestyle, but the music was great. I am a little surprised they they didn't try and make another film based on on the viewpoint of the rockers, but maybe the film makers had little sympathy for the rockers. I think it could have been a good idea though.

 After I came home from seeing Aleemah of at London Bridge station, I had thought I would stay up late watching TV, or maybe just reading, but I ended up feeling rather tired, and going to bed reasonably early. I was awake again just before 5 am to feed the cats, check my e-mail, and do a bit of web surfing, before going back to bed in an attempt to get a few more hours sleep. I did get more sleep, but it was not very good sleep. I am sure that I was alternating between sleep and waking every ten minutes. It probably was not like that, but that is how it felt.

 Today I have no special plans. I had though about seeing if anyone was up for a Sunday lunchtime pint, but my finances are low, and I want to avoid delving into my overdraft if at all possible. So I reckon I will be staying in doing some reading, maybe watch some TV or DVD, and perhaps play with a computer or two. It would be nice to get out into the sunshine, but I can't think of anywhere I want to go right now.
Friday 24th August 2007
08:31 BST
 At last, a dry morning ! It was a close run thing though. The ground was quite wet when I left home for work, and it looked as if it had only stopped raining in the previous twenty to thirty minutes. All the weather forecasts I have seen have agreed that the coming bank holiday weekend will be warm, dry, and even sunny. The change is supposed to start today, and as such it looks as if that could be correct. The sky is still rather grey, but it is a lighter grey than it has been for some time, and the forecast suggests there could even be some sunshine later this afternoon.

 I got home from work quite wet last night. It was raining for most of the journey, although I think the last bit from the station to home was mostly dry. I had wanted to go home via Tesco to buy some cat litter, but I seem to have a bit of a stomach upset lately. On the way home I visited the toilets on both Waterloo (mainline), and Waterloo East stations. Mostly it has just been wind. It continued overnight. Despite otherwise getting a good nights sleep, I woke up at sometime in the early hours feeling like I was inflated like a balloon. A quick trip to the toilet, and a very large contribution to greenhouses gases sorted that out, but despite otherwise fairly normal bowel action I farted my from home to work this morning. I think my contribution to global warming is coming to a close now. I feel less bloated, and the last couple of farts, which happened after I got off the bus in Wandsworth, were fairly feeble. I think I will blame it on wholemeal pasta. I have had that for the last three evening, and is the only major difference to my lifestyle that I can think of.

 Having finished with the scatalogical stuff I feel the need for a rant. I read in yesterday's paper that the police have been granted even further unethical powers as part of some new totalitarian law recently passed by the Houses of Big Brother. It seems that you can be banned from entering the town centre if the police think that you may be going to get plastered in the local boozer.They do not have to have any proof that you are intending to get raving drunk. I assume that all modern police officers are now clairvoyant. It seems you can be banned for 48 hours from entering the town, and if you break that ban you are fingerprinted, DNA sampled, and fined - and all this because some police officer has read the tea leaves and knows that you are intending to get blind drunk and act in a disruptive and unruly way. On the surface this new police state power is to be targeted at alleged known trouble makers, but the police will obviously use it as just another way of controlling the proles, dissidents, and anyone else who remembers the days when England was a just, and free country.
Thursday 23rd August 2007
08:14 BST
 It is hard to believe that it is still summer. This morning sees another grey, wet, miserable, start to the day. I was even feeling cold yesterday evening. That is very wrong for late August. Obviously global warming is not happening fast enough. I personally will smoke more fags to boost the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Maybe then it will get warmer.

 Last night I left work a little late, maybe ten minutes, and that meant that I had no chance of getting my early train from Waterloo East station. The upside to this was that I had time for a leisurely fag outside Waterloo (mainline) station. I went home via Tesco, for the usual catfood, and other provisions, and when I arrived home, nearly forty minutes late compared to the best possible time, the cats were starving !  I fed them, and then fed myself. I didn't hear from anyone about drinking last night, so I made a nice big meal of freshly cooked brown basmatti rice with tinned chicken korma curry. The nuttiness of the brown rice seemed to compliment the korma flavour quite nicely.

 There were many things I could have done last night, but I opted to watch the final episode of Blake's 7, and the series four DVD extras. I didn't appreciate just long long the DVD extras would last for. They were quite extensive, and mostly interesting. In consequence I didn't get to bed until 11 pm - some two hours after my preferred time. This morning I do feel quite knackered, and I am sure that by the end of the day I will be feeling awful.

 Watching all that Blake's 7, and in particular, the DVD extras, obviously gave me some interesting dreams. The trouble is I can't actually remember more than the last few seconds of a dream that was happening as I was waking up. This fading remnant of dream was about one of the cast of Blake's 7 being interviewed. I don't know who she was supposed to be because my memory of her in the dream does not match any of the major cast of Blake's 7. She was very good looking, and was dressed in a black leather dress. In the interview she revealed that the never used to wear anything under this black leather dress.  She then went on to say  "I suppose you want me to prove it". Just as she was about to peel out of the black leather dress I woke up - DAMM !!!!
Wednesday 22nd August 2007
08:04 BST
 The early hours of this morning saw quite heavy rain and winds. Both have died down now, but it is still very breezy outside. The sky is just unending grey, and more rain is likely at any time. Yesterday never got that bright, but once again the forecast got it wrong. Most of the rain, and the darkest skies were in the morning, and the afternoon was slightly brighter, and mostly dry. The forecast was for a brighter morning, and duller afternoon. This morning's wind felt rather chilly while I was showering near the semi-opened window in my bathroom, but outside the wind seemed to be much more mild. It was still cooling at it's strongest, but while it was down to just breeze level it did feel like a summer breeze.

 Work was fairly routine yesterday, but afterwards I met Aleemah for a drink at Victoria. It was noticeable that the concourse of Victoria station was less crowded than usual. This could be explained by many people being off work on holiday, but the effect was not so noticeable on the trains themselves. Maybe there were a few more empty seats on the trains, but not that many. So the comparative sparseness of the crowds on the concourse at Victoria station remains a mystery.

 I had two and a half pints of beer in the pub, and a cheese and salad baguette. It all seemed pretty nice, although changing between different brews of beer made the start of each pint often taste slightly odd. After a pleasant time with Aleemah I left the pub in plenty of time to catch the 18:19 train home. That train was most definitely packed and obviously no one in the South East was away from work on holiday. I was fairly uncomfortable on that packed train, but the train I changed to at Peckham Rye station was very slightly less packed. I stood up for the two stations between there and Catford, and that was less uncomfortable than being wedged into the corner of a seat.

 As I walked home from the station I began to feel uncomfortably hot. By the time I got home my face was dripping. I don't know if it was some sort of reaction to the beer, or what it was. I remained very sweaty until after I had eaten some hot food. That sounds counter-intuitive, but it happened. For my hot dinner I had a very slightly bizzare plate of Tesco tinned beef curry served with wholemeal pasta. It was actually very nice, and tonight, if I am not going to the pub, I will probably repeat the experiment with tinned chicken curry.

 I did very little after dinner last night. It seemed too late to do anything serious to my PC, so I just let it be and used it normally. It was my intention to get to bed very early last night, and I almost did. I guess I was upstairs, ready for bed, by 9 pm, but it must have been closer to 10 pm before I was actually asleep. I was partially kept awake by Nelly who seemed to be in a very friendly mood as she sat on my bed purring away. After finally getting to sleep I was woken up at least twice by the sound of the wind and rain. It was actually a relief that the storm had died down by the time I had to leave for work.

 Tonight I might, or might not, be going for my Wednesday night drink. Last week Kevin had doubts if he would be about for a drink this week.  I am not sure what Iain is up to, and I have no idea if Howard is even in London this week.
Tuesday 21st August 2007
08:06 BST
This morning is as grey and damp as yesterday morning. One difference is that it does not seem to be getting lighter. There was moderate rain overnight, but this morning there has only really been a few patches of light drizzle. The forecast is that this morning was supposed to be dry, but overcast, and that the afternoon would be even greyer with more rain. I read in one of the free newspapers yesterday that the long term forecast is that the weekend, and in particular the forthcoming bank holiday Monday, will be dry, warm and sunny. Right now it is hard to believe, but we can live in hope.

 I felt quite tired when I got home from work yesterday, but after a good meal and a sit down I felt a bit better. My evening was divided between watch an ancient Dr Who DVD, and playing about with my computers. As an experiment I tried installing the window manager on my main Linux PC. It installed easily enough, but didn't work properly. Instead of a nice graphical desktop, , I got a plain, blank, muddy turquoise screen. I did find that clicking on this desktop brought up a white menu area with white text that was highlighted in black text on a black background when the mouse was hovered over it. The menu did work, well at least I could bring up a couple of applications, but white writing on a white background is not the easiest thing to use !

 The main point of the experiment was to see how easy it was to install fvwm95, and as such it was easy, but configuration might be tricky ! I never intended to use fvwm95 on my main Linux PC, but I thought it would be a good alternative on the old PC I was experimenting with on Sunday. However, last nights experiments did reveal some interesting stuff. On the Xubuntu log in screen there is a session manager. It is an unlabled icon that offers a useful range of options. Choosing the window manager is one option, but two others I found very useful. One is a console login that just takes you to the command line. This allows you to log in as root, and then run "startx" to bring up the desktop. Logging in as root is not allowed in a normal Xubuntu session, but this is an easy workaround for those times when root access is important.

 Another useful option on the session manager options is remote login. I wasn't sure if it was what I hoped it would be, but it was. It allows me to use the entire resources of that Linux box as a to log onto my Suse server.  It is actually a waste of a good PC to use it like that, but for doing stuff on my server, which normally has no mouse, keyboard, or display attached, it is very useful. Running over the lan it was very responsive, and I think, though I can't be absolutely sure, that even sound is relayed from the server to the client machine. Of course there is a catch to all this. I decided to run a software update on the server. It turned out that it involved a huge amount of downloading, and while all this was going on I could not disconnect from the server, and so could not run the client machine as stand-alone to check e-mail etc. In the end I just left it all running and went to bed.

 This morning the server had downloaded, and installed all of the updated packages (most of which are totally unnecessary - most of the time), and I was able to log off and log into what was a client, but was now a stand alone machine again.
Monday 20th August 2007
08:20 BST
 The day has started grey and drizzly. This seems to contradict the forecast in my morning paper which suggests today should be partially sunny and dry. Maybe the sky is getting a little brighter, but I estimate the drizzle will continue, on and off, for some time to come.  The whole weekend was a bit of a washout. Saturday did have some sunny spells, but by the afternoon it was looking pretty grey, and there was some heavier rain overnight. Sunday was similar, but there was no heavy rain at night. Throughout the weekend, and this morning, the temperature is fairly mild. If it was not for the rain I would stuill be quite happy in shirtsleeves.

 I didn't write anything over the weekend because not a lot happened. Friday night started with a disappointment. I had thought that I was meeting up with Patricia (and probably Andrew) for an after work drink. It never happened because one of Patricia's workmates had planned a girls drink and Patricia said she would find out if it was OK for me to attend. I said don't bother, and that I would see her another time. Those girls would have spent most of the evening gossiping away in high speed Spanish, and I would be left totally bewildered !

 I had a very lazy day on Saturday. I hardly did any housework, and spent most of the time just watching DVD's, snoozing, and reading. One DVD was quite disappointing. It was a film called The Cold Equations. The core story of the film was about an astronaut delivering emergency medical supplies to a planet, and who finds a stowaway on board. This means all his fuel calculations are wrong and they will crash onto the planet. Why they were burning fuel for the whole trip is unexplained, but they did anyway. The only hope is to try and lose some excess weight. The astronaut is ordered to throw the stowaway, and passably good looking women, out of the airlock, but understandably he is reluctant to do that. So they start stripping the interior to try and get rid of excess weight that way. At one point they only had a few more pounds to lose, but somehow the forgot the obvious - the clothes they were wearing. The woman had some fairly heavy looking leather trousers on,and the astronaut had a heavy looking jacket on. The pilots chair looked heavy, and expendable, but they never thought of that either. Instead they faffed around with stuff like lightweight insulation. With all the glaring scientific inaccuracies I can't say I really enjoyed the film (and the woman stowaway not stripping down to her underwear was the final nail in that films coffin).

 On Sunday I started to have a lazy day, but changed my mind and investigated .  This is a lightweight Linux distribution that is supposed to work well on older, less powerful, computers. I tried it on a 450MHz Pentium III computer with 256MB of ram. I can't say the performance was that stunning, although I am sure it was a little more responsive that when running Windows 2000 on the same computer. I have a feeling that Windows 98 would actually be a better choice for that hardware. The good thing about Xubuntu is the amount of easily installed software for it. The desktop environment uses   , and is quite customisable, and I spent a lot of time playing with the options. The only real oddity that I found was that there are several applications that can mount a network filesystem on the local filesystem. None of these would work because they all need, or seem to need, root (administrator) authorisation, but at no time is root's password asked for. If I decide to keep Xubuntu on that PC I think I will have to delve down onto the command line and set up those network mounts manually.
Friday 17th August 2007
08:22 BST
 Today has started bright and fine, and I think it is going to stay that way. Overnight it did get very chilly. I woke up at 4 am freezing cold. It will soon be time to start using the duvet again. At 4 am I was only partially covered by the duvet cover, but even after I fully recovered myself with it I did not seem to feel that warm.

 Yesterday started fine weather wise, but I was not fine. I think that from soon after the time I got out of bed, until almost the time I left for work (rather late) I spent each alternate five minutes sitting on the toilet. It still felt like a hazardous journey into work, although I must have been totally empty and should have had no real reason to fear anything bad happening. For most of yesterday my stomach muscles, and a few others, ached a fair bit. Even this morning I still feel a little sore, but the volatility has gone away.

 Despite feeling rough I managed to have two drinking sessions last night. The first was straight after work with Aleemah at Victoria. I only had a pint and a half, but did take the brave step of eating a burger and chips in the pub. I was not sure what would happen after that. Fortunately it did not seem to have any bad effects, and possibly made me feel a little better by filling up an otherwise large empty space.

 My second session was only very brief. I met up with Kevin, Howard, and Iain for a double scotch with ice in The Catford Ram. Originally I wasn't going to go there, having already planned the drink with Aleemah, but I had some media to swap with Iain. I guess I was in the pub for as little as twenty minutes before going home again. I felt a little peckish when I got home, and as I ended up watching a programme about Mediterranean cooking on TV I had some tinned fish with a little olive oil and dry bread. The bread was the rather delicious Mediterranean bread that Tesco sells. It is slightly expensive, and I don't usually buy whole loaves, but I bought it because it was marked down at less than half price as they were clearing out the bread towards the end of the day. It was beginning to get a little dry last night, and tonight it will probably be almost stale, but I am sure it will make excellent toast. Maybe I will make some mini pizza like things with it in the oven tonight.

 I have more drinking to do tonight. Out of curiosity I sent Patricia a text message last night to see if she was going for a drink after work. She replied with some enthusiasm that she was having a bad week at work and would love a drink tonight. Of course the poor girl does not seem to realise that a glass of orange juice is not the best way to relax, but I bet that is all she has. Maybe she lets her hair down over the weekend when she is with her man (but last week he was on double vodkas !).
Wednesday 15th August 2007
08:15 BST
 After a lot of rain yesterday evening, today has started quite well. More rain is expected, but my commute into work was done in the dry, and there were even a fair few breaks in the cloud. There was even a few brief spells of sunshine. Yesterday's heavy afternoon rain did not materialise, but it was pretty soggy as I made my way into work. During the afternoon it actually got better instead of worse like the weather forecasts had predicted. I managed to dodge any rain on my way home, but soon after getting indoors the rain did start. It was quite heavy for a lot of the evening, but had appeared to stop by the time I went to bed. Smudge was reluctantly confident to go out shortly before I went up to bed, and she seemed to be dry when she came in this morning.

 Last night was another uneventful night (apart from the heavy rain). I did little more than eat and watch another two episodes of Blake's 7.  Tonight will hopefully be different. Being a Wednesday night I expect it will be pub night. I know that Kevin is shortly to go on holiday, but I think that may be next week. So I assume he will be there, and Iain is hoping to get some computer files from me, and I suspect he will be drinking too. I have no idea if Howard will be there or not.

 I have come to the conclusion that the smoking ban, that started on July 1st, is having a bad effect on my health. I am sure that I am smoking more since the ban came in. With so many places now no smoking I tend to grab a fag at every opportunity that presents itself. Despite probably smoking more, I am still feeling very depressed about the ban, and that is leading to me eating more. These last few mornings I have been feeling very unwell as I make my way to work. It's hard to describe accurately, but there are various aches and pains here and there, and a feeling of intense tiredness and lack of energy. These feelings fade after I have been at work a little while, but it can take as much as an hour before I feel reasonably OK. Towards the end of the afternoon I often feel drained and tired, and once I get home I lack any enthusiasm to do anything that might require brain power of physical effort.  It's a shame that when I die I would like to be made into catfood, or compost, (after the surgeons* have removed any useful bits) because if I had a tombstone I'd like it inscribed "Killed by the British totalitarian government smoking ban of 1st July 2007".

* I say surgeons rather than doctors because provided they stick to knives and catgut they are relatively harmless. It is doctors who seem to be getting more killjoy than your average puritan every day. Soon they will want to wrap us all in cotton wool, and feed us through tubes, from the day we are born until the day we die, in the hope that we all live to be a miserable 100 years, or more, old. You can live more life in a boozy, smoky, night at the pub than you can in a fortnight of their recommended way of living.
Tuesday 14th August 2007
06:39 BST
 I should still have time to go out and catch my usual train for work, but it is pouring with rain. I somehow doubt, judging by the thick grey sky, that it will have stopped when I go for the next train, but there is always reason to hope. The last weather forecast I saw predicted heavy rain and thunderstorms for this afternoon. There is also the possibility of some gales. So not a nice day at all. I wonder if this is a brief interlude in the run of quite summery weather we have had these last couple of weeks, or if it is now all downhill to autumn and winter ? My guess is that there are still some pleasant days to come before autumn really starts.

 It was quite pleasant coming home after work last night. Perhaps more pleasant in that I managed to get the 16:09 train at Clapham Junction which leaves me enough time for a fag at Waterloo before getting the 16:31 train from Waterloo East station. I came home via Tesco where I bought some cat litter and Tesco Diet Cola as my important purchases, and some other stuff too. Of particular note was a couple of jars of chestnuts. These were part of the Tesco "Seasons" range that appeared last Xmas (and possibly earlier than that). They were old stock, but well within their use by date. The rather good thing about them, apart from the fact that they are rather delicious (and laden with calories) is that they were selling them at 1p (yes, £0.01 !) a jar to clear the stocks. I already had a fairly full basket when I spotted them in an obscure corner. So I only had room for two. The next time I am in Tesco, and that may even be tonight, I will buy many more.

 I didn't do much at all last night once I was home again. Apart from eating, I watched a couple of episodes of Blake's 7, before going to bed to do a little reading. I wasn't paying any attention to the time, but I think I was asleep soon after 9 pm. I woke up once in the night and could remember lots of my dreams. It feels like I had lots of dreams after that, and at least one I was going to write about. Sadly all the details of those dreams have evaporated, just leaving the feint memory that I dreamt a lot.

 One memory that I do have is something I intended to mention when I was writing on Sunday about my day out with Aleemah on Saturday. On our way home we were sitting in the last seats of the train, right at the back. We were obviously near the transformer that steps down the 25Kv overhead power supply to whatever the train needs to run on. Wafting through the bulkhead behind us was the smell of hot transformer.  To most people that probably means nothing, but some transformers, mainly old fashioned ones, and very big modern ones, are impregnated with a certain type of varnish. As the transformer heats up some volatile parts of the varnish boil off giving a possibly slightly nasty, but very evocative smell. Maybe it reminds me of my younger days when certain projects I, and others, built would push under rated transformers to close to their destructive limits (and occasionally over !). Most of these transformers would be second hand, quite often army surplus, but the extremes of heat we would incur by over running them would often produce this same smell.
Monday 13th August 2007
08:10 BST
 The weather forecast suggests that today will be the last sunny day for some time to come. I woke up at just gone 4 am this morning and the eastern sky had a golden colour to it. As the sun gradually came up the sky turned blue and the first rays of the sun could be seen on the treetops. Since then the sky has stayed blue and the sun has been shining. With a fairly clear sky for most of the night, the air was very cold this morning, but it is warming up fast. Yesterday turned out to be a mostly sunny day. All the greyness that I noted at 9 am soon evaporated leaving a lot of white fluffy cloud. During early afternoon there was a shower of rain, but it was over within ten or twenty minutes, and the rest of the day was mostly sunny.

 I had a very lazy day, yesterday. After doing a bit of shopping I spent much of the rest of the day either reading, eating, or watching old episodes of Blake's Seven. I think I did do rather a lot of eating, but not all of it was unhealthy. Or at least was not supposed to be unhealthy. The under ripe plums I had were theoretically very healthy, but maybe not in the sense that I blame them for giving me the runs this morning. It was the desire to go to the toilet that woke me up so early this morning. Had I drunk several pints of beer the night before I would not have been surprised about an early morning dash for a pee, but I hadn't drunk any beer, and it wasn't a dash for a pee !

 Tonight nothing special is happening. I still have a few articles in the recent New Scientist to read, and I expect I'll watch another episode of Blake's Seven. Unless I get carried away I expect to be in bed and fast asleep by 9 pm.
Sunday 12th August 2007
07:27 BST
 There should be some golden sunlight lighting up the tops of the taller trees and building by now, but somewhere off to the east the sun must be hidden behind a cloud.There is a lot of whispy cloud in the sky. Maybe as much as 50% of the sky is obscured by cloud or haze, but that still leaves 50% of the sky blue. It is rather chilly as I write this near an open window, but I am confident the day will soon warm up as it has every morning over the last week.

Yesterday started very similar to today. One difference was that I felt slightly more tired, and another difference was that I think the sky was a bit bluer than today. At 10.20 am I left home to meet Aleemah at Tower Hill tube station at 11 am for our day out to Southend.

 After a quick fag we made the short walk to Fenchurch Street station to buy our tickets (just £9 return) and get a train to Southend. The train journey took almost exactly one hour, and we arrived in Southend at 12.10 am. This was rather good. One hour and 50 minutes travelling, door to door, to Southend bears no comparison to the two hour train ride from Victoria to Margate that could have been our alternative destination. I estimate that if we had gone to Margate it would have taken me at least three hours "door to door".

Futuristic lift at Southend Our first port of call, upon arrival in Southend, was a pie and mash shop. Aleemah does rather like her pie and mash, and in this case she had extra eel as part of her meal. I just had a cheese salad roll.

 After eating we had a look around some shops as we made our way to the seafront. My memory of when I last visited Southend was that it was a rather steep walk down from the town to the front.It's not so bad going down, but coming up is tiring, so I was pleased to see that a rather futuristic lift had been built (pictured left). The roof looks a little "Chinese" in my picture, but the thin curving entry way at the top look very "sci-fi" in my opinion.

 We didn't take the lift down, but walked down the slopes and stair ways ending up by the pier. The pier railway was operating, and we took the train to the end of the pier. The railway is a 2ft 6in gauge (I estimate) narrow gauge railway hauled by diesel powered locomotives. The railway carriages are almost like steel tanks - you can see the welds on the inner seams ! Southend pier is long - very long ! It seems to stretch halfway across the estuary opening, and it felt like we were almost half way to Margate (our original preferred destination).

I was most dismayed to learn that the entire pier was non smoking (except for the diesel train). How is anyone supposed to get some fresh air, relax, and watch the sea go by without a fag ! I suppose this is the new totalitarian anti-smoking laws coming into play again. Under these new regulations any public place that is more the 50% enclosed is compelled to be a no smoking area. We were enclosed to the left, to the right, ahead and behind, and under us, by water, and that is five sixths of the possible surfaces for enclosure, or 83.3% enclosed. In an attempt to weasel out of their responsibility for this inhumane state of affairs, the pier owners would probably cite fire safety as the reason. Although there had been some recent fire damage to the pier, this still does not adequately provide a good reason for banning smoking. That pier has been there since Victorian times, and for most of the last century 100% of the population smoked. If the pier could survive for a whole century with smokers on it, why can't it now ? The only answer can be criminal negligence on the part of the operator/owners.

 After our trip to the end of the pier we had a quick look around before getting the very next train back to dry land. All the no smoking signs were making me feel very queasy and it was a relief to get back on dry land and light up a fag. We didn't hang around on the sea front, but took the new lift up to the high street for another bit of window shopping on the way to the pub.

 There seems to be only one pub between the sea and the railway station, and that is "The Old Post House" operated by Wetherspoons. We made one tragic mistake in selecting the wrong end of the pub. It has a quiet end, and a noisy end where several loud TV's were showing a football match to many loud football fans. We had one drink in there, used the toilets, and then investigated the high street beyond the station. The road there is closed to traffic, and is a bit wider than the road in the other direction. As well as the shops there were many market stalls either side of the main thoroughfare. Many sold useless tat, and others sold some rather enticing food (of which I resisted the temptation to buy). The weirdest sight was of a group of Red Indians doing some sort of war dance (or something). they looked pretty authentic from coppery skin colour to the clothes they were wearing. I have no idea what they were doing in Southend, but if I go there again I am taking the Colt 45 and a Winchester (although I am sure they could be pacified with a few bottles of firewater) !

 After seeing the sights at that end of the high street we went back to the pub for another drink. This time we chose the quiet end of the pub and were able to enjoy our drinks in peace and quiet.

 There didn't seem to be much to do after the drink so we left the pub and went to the railway station which was just across the road. After a mere five minutes wait on the platform we were back on a train heading back to London. Aleemah alighted at West Ham station where she could get the Jubilee line for the long journey back to Cannons Park, but I stayed on the train all the way to Fenchurch Street station.

 Once I had arrived I was quite keen to use the toilets there. I wasn't desperate, but I still had a fair way to go. This posed a small dilemma. The toilets are inside the main entrance to the station, but the easy way back to Tower Hill tube station is via a side entrance. Until last night I did not know the way from the main entrance to the tube station, and I even seem to recall getting lost when attempting to find my way once in the past. After having a pee and leaving the station I noticed a map outside that showed the surrounding streets. The route back to the tube station looked slightly complicated, but I did my best to memorise it and set out to find it. I  had only gone around the corner before none of the street names seemed to match what I could remember from the map. This was rather curious, but at least I could see parts of the railway viaduct as a reference point and navigated by that. I was very pleased with my sense of direction that I was back at the side entrance to the station in no time at all, and the route I took seemed far shorter than the map had suggested. From that side entrance it is a few minutes walk to the tube station.

 Tower Hill tube station is slightly weird when travelling westbound. There are two possible platforms because some eastbound services terminate there. The station was very crowded, and full of slow moving confused tourists. Fighting my way through the crowds delayed me by a few vital seconds, and I missed one train. There is an indicator on the platform pointing to which of the two platforms the next train will depart from. It was pointing to the left hand platform, but there was a train in the right hand platform. Like most, but not all, people I boarded that train in case it went first, but I made a point of standing by the door in case a train pulled in on the other platform. It did, and I rushed over to the other train (it is an island platform so it was only 10ft across level ground). A few others did the same, but as we pulled out of the station I could see the other train was still full of patient passengers gently sweltering in the heat of a semi crowded train. By contrast my train was only about 20% full.

 Two stops later I was back at Cannon Street station where I rushed up the stairs to see when my Hayes (via Catford Bridge) train would leave. The service from Cannon street station is only every half hour, and I was pleased that my train was due to leave in ten minutes. That gave me just enough time to go outside the station to smoke three quarters of a cigarette before going back into the station to get on my train.

 Although it felt warmer in London than it had been by the sea, I still felt fairly fresh and with some reserves of energy left. It was when I finally got back to Catford, and was walking from the station to home, that I suddenly found myself running out of energy. The last hundred yards felt like a bit of a slog, and I was most happy to sit down and relax on the settee (after feeding the cats - of course !). It was not long before I began to feel very hungry. I had not spent that much money on the day out so I decided to treat myself to a large Chinese/Thai takeaway. I ate enough to feel totally stuffed, and I still have enough left over to use as the basis for two meals todays (or a couple of large snacks).

 Since I started writing this, and describing the weather, I have had a few distractions. It is now 9.05 am and the sky is now looking very grey. I believe there is a possibility that it could rain if the clouds continue to build up. It would be nice if it was bright today, but I am not going anywhere (apart from a brief visit to Tesco's), and I will be having a lazy day. So if it does rain it will not be any major inconvenience.     
Friday 10th August 2007
06:51 BST
 It's another beautiful morning ! The sky is blue, and the sun is shining. It is very chilly outside, but will soon warm up.

 I seem to have missed my train again this morning. Time seems to have drifted by almost unnoticed since I first woke up some two hours ago. I spent some time reading e-mails, and checking a few internet sites, before shaving, shampooing, and showering. It was probably the combination of a good wet shave followed by washing my hair that caught me out. Still, no worries, the next train will do OK.

 I did get to work very slightly early yesterday (only a few minutes though), but I had a few things to do before I could start writing. Hence the rather brief entry for yesterday. There wasn't really that much more to say about yesterday apart from that I was meeting Aleemah after work for a drink. The pub was unusually crowded last night. The last time we met there was Friday of last week and the place was packed. I was hoping that it might have been a bit quieter on a Thursday night, but it seemed just as bad - maybe worse ! I only had time for two pints last night.

 I managed to retain enough energy to call in at Tesco on my way home and get a few essentials, but forgot a couple of important items. (Toothpaste and shower gel). So it looks as if I will have to call in there again tonight. The reason why I summoned up extra energy to visit there last night was because tonight I am going to meet Patricia for a drink after work. Until I read an email from her this morning I thought I would be dashing home, feeding the cats, and then dashing straight out again. It seems that tonight she will not be available as early as I had previously thought, and so I will have time to do some shopping before catching a bus to Lewisham.

 Buying those essential items, and more, will be fairly important tonight. Tomorrow I have a fairly early start to meet Aleemah. We are going to Southend for the day. The weather looks promising for tomorrow, but I am not sure if it will be a good day, or not. I don't really like Southend that much, and some of our visit will be taken up by shopping. To be truthful I am not sure what I would want to do there if everything was my decision. I certainly want to see the sea, and to have a pint or two(of beer - not sea water !!), but shopping and sunbathing would not really be on my agenda.
Thursday 9th August 2007
08:37 BST
 The good weather continues, although it is not as warm as it could be. It seems the temperature is staying in the region of about 20 - 22° C. Once again it was fairly "bracing" when I left the house, but once again the day seems to be warming up nicely.

 I had a day off work yesterday. It was an emergency day off to do some maintenance. The plumbing job was simple but damp and dirty, but the PC maintenance was nice and simple, and of far more relevance here. On Tuesday my downstairs, backroom, Linux PC refused to start up. Unplugging the power supply for ten minutes restored normal service, but yesterday that trick did not work and I had no choice but to replace the power supply unit. What I should have done with my free time was to attempt to repair the old power supply, but maybe I will just get a new one. It is only a low rated unit, and any cheap and cheerful one should do the job. Currently I am using an (almost) posh unit as a replacement, but I ought to keep that as my emergency unit as it is powerful enough to supply any of my PCs.
Tuesday 7th August 2007
08:24 BST
 Today has started with a blue sky and plenty of sunshine. The air is delightfully cool, almost too cool, but will soon warm up. The weather forecasts I have seen all seem slightly contradictory. Some suggest that it will be a very cloudy day, and some suggest that it could rain, but the latest seem to suggest that the clouds will be patchy with plenty of sunny spells. Yesterday there was some rain late in the morning, but after that much of the cloud went away leaving pleasant sunny intervals.

 Last night I did very little, but I was not in bed as early as I could, or should, have been. I think it was closer to 10 pm when I finally turned the light out, and that is at least an hour later than I was initially intending to get to sleep. I slept under the duvet cover, and that was about right to keep warm and comfortable without overheating. I did keep the bedroom window open all night despite the night air getting very cold (maybe down to single figures). I think I slept well until 4 am when I woke up. I tried to get back to sleep, but I gave up at 5 am and got up. I do feel tired this morning. On my way to work, sitting on the train with the warm sunshine pouring in the window, I nearly fell asleep at least twice as I read my morning paper. I dread to think how I will feel on my way home again.

 Last week I mentioned that I had a sore nose, and how I was expecting a big disfiguring zit to appear. The zit finally appeared on Sunday morning, and erupted later in the day, but it was surprisingly small for how painful my nose felt. The smallest pressure on my right nostril was like a touch from a Klingon painstik.  I am glad to say that all the pain has gone now, and there is only a minor remaining scar from the zit that should fade away very soon. It is amazing how something so small could be so painful.
Monday 6th August 2007
08:11 BST
 It seems that high summer is over. This morning it is quite cloudy, and I thought I felt a single drop of rain as I walked from the bus to work. It felt good to get out of the stuffy house into the much fresher air outside. Compared to indoors it is remarkably cool out, although far from chilly. I made one small error when I left to get my train. I did not leave enough time for a casual stroll to the station. Although I felt cool and refreshed when I started to walk, the pace I had to keep up to get my train meant that I arrived at the station feeling very warm and sticky. After cooling off on the train I was fine until I came in to work. As usual, it is very warm in here. If it were not that I have a fan blowing on me I would soon collapse into a puddle of sweat.

 Yesterday was a glorious summers day - not that I really took advantage of it. I spent most of the day reading with the curtains closed to keep out the worst of the heat. I am not sure how effective that was because I still had to leave my shirt off to try and stay cool. I went to bed very early last night. I was on my bed well before 9 pm, and closer to 8 pm. Although I had prepared for bed (brushed my teeth etc.) I did not feel the need for sleep straight away, and continued reading for maybe half an hour. I think I may well have fallen asleep before 9 pm, but I was not paying any real attention to the time. I do know that I woke up at 11.30 pm with my pillow wet with sweat. I got up, had a fag, washed my face, and tried to get back to sleep again on a second pillow. Sleep eventually came, but it was not very deep. I awoke at 4 am and fed Nelly, who realising I was awake, demanded her breakfast then and there ! With Nelly fed I went back to bed and tried for more sleep. I think I managed another thirty minutes of sleep before deciding that I may as well get up as it had gone 5 am.

 At 5 am the day is pretty gloomy now, although the cloud did not help much. Smudge, who had been out all night, now came in and demanded her breakfast. Nelly demanded seconds too. I think I put the wrong flavour food out for Smudge because she did not seem to eat that much and went out again. Seconds later I heard some squealing from outside and saw that Smudge had caught a "takeaway" to eat. I think it may have been a vole or something. It was too big to be a mouse, and not quite the right shape to be a rat (although I did not have my glasses on at the time and could not see clearly). I later noticed that Smudge had not eaten it, but had just had a bit of fun torturing the poor thing for 15 minutes or so. when I left for work the corpse was still outside the back door, and Smudge was nowhere to be seen. Maybe she had gone for some ketchup, or something.

 I don't think anything is happening today. With luck it will be a lot cooler when I go to bed and I am looking forward to an early night and a decent sleep.
Sunday 5th August 2007
05:41 BST
 Yesterday was a proper summer day, and it looks as if today will be the same. It is very early in the morning as I write this. The sun is not yet fully risen, but the sky looks totally clear. I think it is going to be another gloriously sunny day.

 I was up reasonably early yesterday despite feeling like I could have done with an extra hour in bed. I managed to get a little housework done, but not everything I should have, and I made one trip to Tesco. With all that done I had an hours, or so, to cool off before going up to London Bridge to meet Aleemah.

 The plan with Aleemah was to get a train from London Bridge to Blackfriars station, and then to get a train to Nunhead station. The timing of the trains was fairly tight, but there should have been sufficient time for a leisurely change of trains at Blackfriars. Unfortunately our train from London Bridge was delayed, and we arrived at Blackfriars just as the train we wanted was departing. So we took a wander and had passed a little time sitting by the River Thames. Trains depart to Sevenoaks (calling at Nunhead) every thirty minutes, and twenty five minutes later we were back on the station waiting for our train. It was very ironic that the train was eight minutes late. Had the train we originally wanted to get been late too we could have caught it with ease.

 We finally arrived at Nunhead station, and under the blazing sun, we walked to Nunhead cemetery. Aleemah had never visited Nunhead cemetery before, and in fact I don't think she had ever heard of it until I sang it's praises as a really fascinating place. We walked to the very highest spot where there is a bench seat that we sat down on to rest. There is a pleasant view from there that looks down on St Paul's Cathedral. The view could show a lot more, but the trees, which I suspect are specifically cut to allow that one single view, cut off what could be a rather grand panorama. We had a bit to eat there before continuing our walk back towards the main gate. There was lots more to see, but I think Aleemah was tired from all the walking, a lot of it uphill or on very rough paths, and so we made our way back to the station.

 I still think Nunhead cemetery is a pretty good place, but Aleemah was not so impressed. She still thinks Kensal Green cemetery is the best Victorian cemetery in London. I suspect this is because Nunhead is too rugged for her. Kensal Green is mostly on the level, and has better paths, but I like the wildness of Nunhead. It looks like the next time I go there, I will have to go alone.

 Our train from Nunhead, back to Catford, was spot on time, and we were soon home again where we sampled a few movies before settling on the movie "Eye Of The Needle" to watch. We finally finished watching the movie just in time to rush for the station to go back to London Bridge. Unfortunately I did not have time to go to the toilet and although I got as far as the station I had to ask Aleemah to get the train back alone as I rushed home to the toilet. It turned out to be less urgent than I imagined, but I preferred to be safe rather than sorry !

 Today I have no plans beyond getting in a few more supplies from Tesco (mainly fruit to take into work tomorrow). It is probably going to be a very hot day (28° C forecast), so I will probably just sit around dripping !
Friday 3rd August 2007
08:30 BST
  Each morning now seems to be warmer than the last. It is most pleasant outside at the moment. There is a bit of a breeze that brings a  chill to damp skin, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue. There was some very light rain during the afternoon, yesterday, but it was mostly insignificant, and it would not have been too awful to be outside in it.

 Yesterday's rain did coincide with the time I would normally have been going home from work, but I stayed late for a drink last night. I continued working, albeit intermittently, until a little after 5.30 pm. Then it was time to go up the road to The Kings Arms pub for four pints of Stella Artois. It was a most pleasant and civilised drink. I never knew it until last night, but The Kings Arms has a large beer garden where smoking is permitted. So not only did I have some excellent company, but I could smoke freely as well. Sometimes life is worth living ! we were there to give Gaya, the company web page, and graphic designer, a send off as it was her final day with the company (although she is popping in today to pick up some stuff that she did not want to carry in the pub).

 I left the pub a little while after 9 pm and did not arrive home until 10.20 pm. I arrived starving hungry having not eaten any more than one banana, one pear, and two small satsumas all day. So my sympathy for both Nelly and Smudge who were desperate for their dinner, was a little less than usual. They were soon tucking into catfood, while I tucked into an excess amount of chicken and chips that I had bought on the way home from Catford Bridge station.

 I got to be close to midnight after watching an episode of Blake's Seven. This was nearly two hours later than I usually prefer. I fell asleep easily enough, but did wake at 2.30 am and had a pee. I remember getting back into bed, but I must have fallen asleep instantly because I don't remember any more until Nelly started calling for her breakfast at 5 am using her 120dB meow ! So I was up again at 5 am feeling exceptionally rough. I don't think the booze accounts for any more than 10% of that roughness. The lack of sleep must have made a major contribution, and I am sure that gorging myself on chicken and chips contributed to the rest. It seemed like a lot of hard work getting to work, but now I am here I don't feel too bad.

 Tonight I am doing more boozing. I expect it will be three pints worth, but it will probably be some slightly weaker beer than Stella Artois. I am meeting Aleemah for a drink at Victoria after work, but unlike last night I should be home by 7pm if I get the 18:19 train.
Thursday 2nd August 2007
08:26 BST
 The fine weather continues ! As well as being bright and sunny, it is also a fair bit warmer this morning. Although it is expected to cloud over around lunchtime, I am expecting that this afternoon will probably be rather hot, and possibly humid too. One forecast I saw, maybe on BBC 1 last night, suggested that the clouds may give a few showers early in the afternoon, but they should pass before it is time for me to go home from work. I rather hope it is dry at 4 pm because I am not only not wearing a coat, but I am wearing a shortsleeve shirt. However, if it does get very hot and humid, it could actually be nice if there is some fine misty rain to cool things down a bit.

 Yesterday I received an order of a few assorted I.T. bits that I had placed the day before. I was very, very, slightly irritated to realise that I had ordered two 2GB USB memory sticks, and one 1GB instead of two 1GB and one 2GB. In fact it is of little consequence in the long run, but it did cost a little extra when I am trying to be a bit careful with my spending this month. One particular bargain I did get was a couple of . At £10.57 (inc VAT) I thought they not only look neat, but are very reasonably priced too. The box itself is extruded aluminium, and it comes with fixing screws, a USB lead, a power supply, an IEC lead for the power supply, driver software for Windows and Mac, and...............a small screwdriver !

 Last night was drinking night with Kevin, Iain and, once again, Howard. I think that there were more people in the pub than last time. I am sure I counted as many as thirteen people in there, including ourselves. Amusingly, at one point there were more people outside the pub smoking than there were inside ! The smoking ban is really showing it's colours ! Pubs are closing down left right and centre as fewer and fewer drinkers go out to enjoy themselves. With fewer pubs around it is obvious that some are, maybe in certain areas, actually seeing greater numbers of drinkers, and so the hardcore nazi anti-smoking brigade will cite this as a good thing (while ignoring all the pubs that are going out of business). The English way of life has now changed beyond all recognition - third world here we come !

 I have come to the conclusion that three pints of moderately strong lager makes for an excellent evenings drinking. It's just enough to get quietly drunk without wobbling, and yet still sober enough to do quite complicated things on a PC. I am sure it would make me a better driver too if I did drive a car. I did do a few semi-complex things to a PC when I got in from the pub last night, and I have to say they were 100% successful.  After that I went to bed, a little later than I might have desired, but fell asleep very quickly, and I seem to have got a good night's sleep. I did not wake until my alarm went off, which is unusual, but I felt quite good. This morning one of my main aches or pains is what feels like a zit growing near my right nostril. There is nothing obvious yet, but the skin is tender, and I if I am unlucky I will soon have a big disfiguring zit on the end of my nose. Of course if I am lucky it will come to nothing.
Wednesday 1st August 2007
08:16 BST
 August seems to have started with fine weather. The mornings are still very cold, but this morning the sky is mostly blue, and the sun is shining. The official long range forecast is that high pressure is now in charge of the weather, and we can look forward to mostly dry and sunny weather for the immediate future. I expect it will get quite warm today if the sun continues to shine - which it ought to do.

 Nothing much happened yesterday except for one major thing. That one major thing was that I was paid. This was a good thing because my funds had reached a critical low in the last few days of the month. This month I ought to try and spend a little less, and try and build up a small reserve in my bank account. Whether that will actually happen is anyone's guess.

 I am a bit worried about Nelly recently. She is showing signs of increasing old age. Being a rescued cat, I have no idea how old she is. She is very lethargic these days, and spends most of the day, and presumably the night, just sleeping, although she never was a very active cat. I think she is happy enough. She still purrs at all the right times, and still usually comes and sits on my bed at night for a little while to send me off to sleep.

Original template made with Seamonkey 1.0.6 30th December 2006