Bill's diary page for November 2007
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Friday 30th November 2007
06:45 GMT
 It looks rather damp outside, but I don't think it is actually raining. Rain is forecast for today, and the next few days after that. The one good thing about these cloudy days and nights, is that it has kept the temperature a few degrees higher than we might otherwise have suspected.

 I feel sort of strange this morning. For one thing, my guts seem rather unsettled. I have a mild stomach ache right now, and that is the reason why I have not just left for the station. The other strange thing is that I woke up this morning feeling slightly dizzy. Actually, dizzy does not accurately describe it. I feel as if I have had one too many beers, and as a consequence feel slightly wobbly. Of course I haven't had any beers except for one single, solitary pint last night. In some ways this reminds me of when I went down with the 'flu about ten years ago. Like my more recent bout of 'flu, it also caused some sort of secondary infection of my chest, but that time I was coughing so much that I totally lost my voice for a few days. My cough, this time, never got so bad as that, but one of the things that happened some time after that 'flu had apparently gone away was that I woke up one morning with my sense of balance completely gone. I remember getting up and trying to get to the toilet. I walked like I was on a rolling ship supporting myself on one wall or the other as I lurched from side to side. The effect slowly disappeared after a few hours, but getting to work was fun ! I had to walk to the station with my head absolutely still, If I attempted to turn my head I came over all unbalanced again. Crossing the roads in this state was more a matter of luck than any proper road sense, but I made it into work, and by lunchtime I was back to normal. This morning the effect is only a minor subset of that dizzyness of some ten years back, but it is still not exactly pleasant. So that, combined with my gurgling guts, means that I will be taking the late train to work, and will probably have to stay late to make the time up.

 I sent off a text message to Patricia yesterday afternoon asking about the possibilities of meeting for a quick drink either last night, or tonight. I heard nothing from her by the time I left work, and didn't hear anything from her until I was just about to board my train home at Waterloo East station. After some delays on the bus getting to Clapham Junction station I did not get to Waterloo East in time to get my early train, and had had to wait around the tedious 24 minutes for the later train. When Patricia's text reply came through she said that she was on a train heading towards London Bridge. I am not sure why she included this information, but I suspect it was to emphasise that she was nowhere near Lewisham, and wouldn't be able to meet there as usual. I immediately called her back and suggested that we meet at London Bridge as we were both due to arrive there at similar times. She readily agreed to this, and so I boarded my train home, but got off again at London Bridge. Patricia arrived there five to ten minutes after I did (so I managed to get in a quick fag outside the station while I waited), and we went to the All Bar One pub just outside the station. I had never been in there before, and it would have been nice had it not been fairly full, and very noisy (and London Pride was 3 a pint !). We only stayed for one drink, but had a nice chat and exchanged the latest gossip.

 It was purely chance that we seemed to pick a good time to leave. When we got back to the station we found that Patricia's next train was due in a few minutes from platform 4, and that my train was five minutes later from the same platform. In fact my train was a little more than five minutes later because it was late by a few minutes, but it was not a bad piece of accidental timing. When I got back to Catford I went home via Tesco to stock up on even more catfood, and some bottles of Tesco Diet Cola. I also bought a couple of sandwiches, and some other bits and pieces including this weeks edition of New Scientist magazine.

 I finally got home a little while before 7 pm. After feeding the cats I sat down with my sandwiches and read New Scientist. I didn't even bother turning on the TV. I managed to read most of the magazine before realising that it was getting quite late. I estimate it was quite close to 10 pm before I was finally in bed and asleep.

 I slept quite well apart from waking up in the early hours with cramp in my left leg. It was mild compared to some cramps I have had, and disappeared completely within a few seconds of jumping out of bed. I took that opportunity to go to the toilet, and when I got back into bed, and laid down, I got my first hint of this mornings dizzyness. In the few instants before I fell asleep again I did feel sort of dizzy. It was a little like the effect many people get when going to bed after a boozy night in their first days of drinking. It is many years since I last had the effect of the room spinning round as I tried to get to sleep after a night in the pub. In fact I reckon it goes away once you get beyond your teen years, or maybe you just learn to ignore it, but I definitely had a hint of it as I fell asleep.

 It doesn't look like I will be getting the 07:30 train now, and I think I had better aim for the 7:54 train. That will get me into work about an hour late, and I suppose I will not be leaving work now until 5 pm. Hopefully, when I leave work I will be in possesion of my new laptop. I saw one of the guys from the company, upstairs at work, who will be selling it to me, and he thought he had sorted out a fairly nice laptop with an 800 MHz processor in it. That makes it fairly modern by my standards, and it should have all the facilities that I am hoping for. I guess that I will spend a lot of the evening playing with that lap top (assuming I do get it today) instead of the housework, etc, that I should be doing in preparation of Aleemah's vist tomorrow (although I have yet to confirm she will be coming). You never know, I might even compose Decembers web page on it tonight.
Thursday 29th November 2007
08:21 GMT
 Prior to leaving home I think it was raining fairly hard, but as I walked to the station, and waited on the platform, the rain had reduced to just drizzle. It was still rather unpleasant though. This afternoon we are promised some lengthy periods of sunshine. That was promised for yesterday, but I can't really recall it happening beyond one bit of sunshine I saw. Maybe today it will happen. the clouds, although looking thick and dark, are already breaking up, and I have seen some minute patches of blue among the black and grey.

 It was dry going home last night, and I managed to leave work early enough for an almost, but not really, relaxed journey home. I went home via Tesco to buy the fags I mentioned yesterday, and also bought a couple of packs of sandwiches. One was a Christmas special, and was gammon in brown bread with some special chutney. That latter one was sort of nice, but ultimately disappointing. The brown bread seemed too course and dry for my liking, and I was not sure about that chutney. Among the flavours I could detect cloves. This seemed a good idea, but maybe like when you use whole cloves in some sort of apple dessert, I think the taste of cloves is better when it only appears in every (say) fifth mouthful. To taste cloves all the way through seems to dull the nice taste and leave a taste that is not so good.

 As I ate my sandwiches I watched a Russian Sci-Fi movie. It was not very good because I just could not follow the plot. I know that a lot of the subtitles were not exactly a good translation because they came across as like something from a comedy, but aside from the terrible English grammar I did wonder if some were just plain wrong. In the end my attention wandered and settled onto my "new" laser printer. This was the printer that I had been given a little while before I went down with my 'flu. Since repairing the major fault on it, and re-assembling it, it has been sitting there still not working. I seem to recall writing here, quite a few weeks back now, that I strongly suspected the fault had something to do with a lever attached to the top flap of the printer. Well last night I finally got around to investigating it. My fears were correct. I managed to trick the mechanism into thinking that lever had operated whatever it operates, and I managed to print out two pages without a paper jam occurring. Sometime, hopefully in the very near future, I will have to partly dismantle the printer again to attach that lever properly, and then I will have to decide how I am going to connect it up to a PC. The obvious solution is to attach it to my server and have it shared across the network. That ought to be simple, but I'll have to see when the time comes.

 Playing with that printer almost made me late getting to the pub to have a pint, or three, of Winter Warmer with Kevin. In fact I was late, but only by five or ten minutes. I did in fact have three pints of Winter Warmer, and jolly nice it was too ! I am still not convinced that it is as good as when Youngs used to brew it in Wandsworth, but then again every year we used to say it was never as good as the previous year.

 I was home again by, or maybe even a little before, 9 pm. I did try and watch the last bit of the Russian film, but those last ten minutes seemed to make no sense at all. I had one more sandwich while watching the film, but it was only a small one. I would estimate that I ate only half the amount of food last night compared to that which I ate the previous couple of nights. I think I do feel slightly better for it this morning. Maybe I even slept better. I turned the light out at 9.36 pm, and was asleep very soon after that. Despite having drunk three pints of beer I can't recall waking up in the night, but when I finally woke up at 5 am I was quite keen to get to the toilet !

 I think I am going to see if Patricia is available for a quick drink after work tonight, or tomorrow night. I feel sure that she won't be, but I may as well enquire. If I don't see her tonight I will possibly attempt to do some more work on the laser printer, and if I don't get to see her Friday night I will either be finishing off the printer, or maybe doing some housework in preparation for a visit from Aleemah on Saturday (except I know I will probably just veg out in front of the TV on Friday night !).
Wednesday 28th November 2007
08:15 GMT
 Another gloomy morning, although maybe not as bad as yesterday. The clouds are broken, but stil look very thick. The forecast suggests the chance of some showers this morning, and I may have felt two drops of very fine rain in the last few seconds before coming into work. There are supposed to be some sunny spells this afternoon. That will be nice, but it is now dark so soon after leaving work that there is relief to the tedium of going home from work in the dark.

 Last night was typical of recent nights. It was dark by the time I got to Clapham Junction station. I was almost very slightly cheered by the fact that I was there in time to catch a train that would get me to Waterloo in time to not have to rush to catch the early train from Waterloo East. After the train ride back to Catford I went straight home. I fed the cats and made myself lunch. That was a larger than expected "French stick" or "baton" (approx 12" long, but fatter than usual) filled with "" cheddar cheese, and coleslaw.  Very soon after I made, and ate my dinner. That was a pile of Tesco "value" fishcakes with tinned garden peas, and the rest of the coleslaw, topped off with some chilli sauce ! It all left me feeling very stuffed, and maybe that was not such a good idea considering I had eaten far too much on Monday night too.

 While eating I watched the film "The Alpha Incident". It wasn't bad for a low budget B movie. That finished some time between 7 and 8 pm, and it was my intention to get to bed very early last night, but some how I didn't make it after getting distracted on the internet. It was 9.06 pm on my clock as I finally turned out the light to go to sleep. I fell asleep very quickly, but woke again an hour later feeling a bit uncomfortable. A visit to the toilet, and a few belches, put that right and I then slept soundly until 3 am. I have no idea what woke me up then. I went to the toilet anyway, but I was not desperate to go. I was soon asleep again, and did not wake until 5.16 am.

 I was awoken from a dream, that was taking on an interesting direction, by Nelly who was demanding I get up and get her some breakfast. Some dreams are so far from reality that they are obviously the product of a deranged mind (like mine), but others are so close to reality that they might well be leakage of reality from a parallel universe. The dream Nelly woke me from was one of the latter. What I dreamt could easily have been actually happening to a parallel version of me in a parallel universe.Alas, it is only in the realms of fantasy for this me, in this universe. I was in a pub, or bar, but the background details are irrelevant, and talking to a very pleasant Irish sounding woman. She suggested that I ought to have my beard trimmed and shaped. I replied that if I did that I would have to be kissed and cuddled. Her response was that she could probably survive that. Then she said that I ought to get my hair cut. My response to that, was that if that happened I would definitely have to take her into my bed.  She suggested that I ought to get along to the barbers ! Then Nelly woke me up !!

 I was somewhat cheered this morning when I checked my bank balance. I have been a little careful with my money this month, and I have been rewarded by staying in the black. With just another couple of days until pay day, I think there is an excellent chance that I will finish the month with a surplus of a couple of quid ! It's not much, but at least I won't have to pay any overdraft charges like last month ! That statement was after withdrawing some cash in case I end up in the pub tonight, and my estimate includes the 42 that I will be spending on fags in Tesco on the way home tonight.
Tuesday 27th November 2007
06:49 GMT
 It seems wet this morning. I am not sure if it is just heavy condensation, or if there has been some rain overnight. It is far too dark to get any real idea of what is happening outside, and so far this morning I have not been outside.

 I think I ate far too much last night, and also put too much hot pepper sauce on it. My guts feel a little volatile this morning, and it seems I am going to have to get the next train to work instead of the one that will be leaving Catford Bridge station any minute now.

 It is slightly ridiculous that I should need an extra half hour to make sure my guts are stable since I have been up since 4.30 am. Yesterday afternoon I began to feel very tired, and I thought that it wouyld be a good idea to get to bed nice and early. I was in bed very soon after 8.30 pm, and was definitely fast asleep before 9 pm. Instead of getting extra sleep I just woke up even earlier than usual. So I would not be surprised if by 3 pm today I was feeling tired and weak, yawning fit to bust !

 Judging from the amount of dreams I seem to have had, and that I woke up up with a mouth like the bottom of a parrot cage, I would say that I did not sleep all that well last night, and maybe that is the problem. The dreams were quite varied, and although I cannot recall many details, maybe three bits of dream linger in my memory. One dream was very (Monty) Pythonesque. I seemed to have a long conversation with Kevin, I think, and much of that conversation seemed to be quotes from Monty Python. It semed to end with me going into a toilet and finding several of the cast members in there rehearsing for a new episode (although the material I believe I heard was already classic stuff). Curiously the part of John Cleese seemed to be played by the late Graham Chapman.

 In another dream I was on a train going through a forest, or jungle, during some sort of war. It seemed that the track had only recently been repaired after some sort of bombing, and there was a lot of apprehension as to whether we would make it throgh to wherever we were going. At one point we seemed to have come off the rails, but kept going until we regained them again. The train seemed to be a surburban electric multiple unit. So how it kept going when not on the rails is one of those mysteries that dreams are good for.

 The last dream I can recall may have been the tail end of the second dream I described, or it may have been something completely different. I was crossing a footbridge over a river. The river had recently been in flood, or something, and the river bed was strewn with boulders and brickwork. The part of the riverbed I could see from the left hand side of the bridge seemed to be covered in cobblestones. A great chunk of these had been lifted up by the force of the water and were piled up under the bridge. Where they had come from was a big hole (also lined with cobblestones). The really curious thing was that this was a deep hole, maybe a couple of yards deep, and I could not work out why it was not filled with water. On the far side of the bridge was an even deeper hole, although this time it was just lined with clay and rocks, and this too was not filled with water. I have no explanation for these dreams. What inspired them, and what their significance is, totally eludes me.

 I was wondering about trying to meet up with with Patricia tonight, but I don't think I will. On these cold dark nights I find that once I am indoors I do not want to go out again. Maybe if I am not overcome with fatigue this afternoon I might text her, but I reckon it is going to be another night in, in front of the TV, and and then off to bed early again.
Monday 26th November 2007
08:24 GMT
 Monday morning, and it's very gloomy outside ! It's not the most promising start to the week, but at least it is dry, and the forecast suggests it will stay mostly dry for the next couple of days (not counting a few brief showers). The temperature has stayed high enough to avoid any frost, but it can only be a few degrees above zero (5 maybe).

 Yesterday went pretty much as I predicted. I did my shopping in Tesco, and then came back home and just sort of slouched around for the rest of the day. The phone calls for assistance for using a new computer did come through as predicted, but it did not take up much time. I did have difficulties in answering some questions as in some ways I am unfamiliar with Windows XP - even though I use it everyday at work, and also at home. The problem is that I immediately customise Windows XP to make it look like classic Windows, and I do that by "sense of touch". It's like walking to the station every morning. You  could probably do it with your eyes closed, but trying to describe every step you take from memory is a totally different task to just letting your brain go on autopilot. There is also probably some small differences between Windows XP Professional, and the home edition. I am not sure if I have ever used the home edition, and that may well have caused some confusion. despite that, my lessons seemed to do the trick, and the user seemed to be catching on quite quickly.

 Having watched all the TV I could stomach, I went to bed as early as 8.30 pm last night, and did some more reading before I switched off the lights and went to sleep. I wasn't reading for long, but while I was reading I was joined by Nelly. While it was nice to lay there with her purring her head off, it was not so nice that her guts were making the most disgusting noises. From deep within her I could hear loads of gurgling and squelching noises. It was some relief when she decided to jump off the bed, and probably went to visit her litter tray.

 Nelly slept downstairs, while I seemed to have quite a good sleep in my bed. I did wake up at around 4.30 am from a dream that seemed to have got stuck in some sort of endless loop. In this dream I was playing with a linux distribution on a new computer. It said it had found a robeful graphics cards in the computer and was going to install the correct drivers for it. It then prompted me to a web page where I clicked on the link to download the drivers. That link just took me to a new page where there were supposed to be even better drivers, and that, in turn, took me to another page that said the same thing. This seemed to go on and on, and it was some sort of relief to wake up and get out of the loop. The odd thing about all this is that there is no such thing as a robeful graphics card. In fact a Google search for robeful only brings up 10 results, and it looks as if a couple of them are the results of spelling mistakes. So where did I get this name "robeful" from ???

 I had thought that I might try and see Patricia after work tonight. I have no idea where she is working today, and the chances of her being available would probably be slim, but that idea has now been overridden by the need to go shopping after work. I guess the shopping trip is not absolutely essential, but I do panic when I have just started my last roll of toilet paper. That roll could well last me until late into the week unless disaster strikes. Have you ever tried using toilet paper after the roll has fallen into a wet bath ? That is unlikely to happen, but it could do ! So tonight I buy more toilet paper !
Sunday 25th November 2007
08:31 GMT
 The day has started with bright hazy sunshine, but even now it seems to be getting cloudier. It would be very nice if the cloud remained broken, allowing some sunshine in, or even better if the cloud broke up entirely leaving a bright sunny day. We can only hope. Yesterday was was very gloomy, and there was even a few spots of rain. It was also very chilly, and I seem to recall the day started with a thick frost. I didn't notice any frost this morning. So maybe today will be a bit warmer than yesterday, but even if it is warmer on the thermometer I would probably still classify it as cold.

 On Friday night I did not leave work exceptionally early, but after a bit of rushing around I managed to catch my early train from Waterloo East. So I got back to Catford as early as I could possibly do so, but it was all in vain. I had heard from Patricia, earlier in the afternoon, that she would be unavailable for a drink after work.

 Like most of these dark winter night, it's hard to tell where the time went on Friday night. I came home directly, and did not call in at Tesco's. Very soon after getting in I made myself some dinner, and from then on I did very little. There were many things I could have done. I was due to get a visit from Aleemah the next day. So I could have done some housework in preparation for that, but I couldn't seem to find the enthusiasm for that. For the next few hours I just slouched around, watched some TV, and then went to bed.

 I got up at more or less my usual time yesterday (Saturday), fed the cats, and "surfed the net" for a little while before going back to bed. I didn't really sleep all that well, but it was nice to relax in bed for an hour or two before getting up to start on my preparations for Aleemah's visit. My preparations were, in fact, rather superficial. I did a miniscule amount of dusting, and ran the hoover over some of the worst parts of the carpets. My hoovering could have been more thorough, and I could have done a sink full of washing up, but I didn't. I couldn't even be bothered to do any shopping.

 I met Aleemah at London Bridge, as normal, and we came back to Catford on the next train. After a meal in the pie and mash shop I dragged her around Tesco where we bought the ingredients for her dinner, and of course some cat food. Once back home we watched the film "Eat The Rich", which Aleemah enjoyed a lot. Later on we watched the film "Taking Liberties". That was a seriously scary film which underlines some of the rants I write here. If the next government of this country continues the headlong plunge into a totalitarian police state, then that film will surely be handed around in the underground as a history lesson in how Big Brother finally ground down the ordinary people, the "proles", under the jack boots of  oppression. At the current rate of progress, just owning a copy of it in five years time will probably warrant indefinite detention in a psychiatric re-orientation gulag.

 When it was time for Aleemah to go home I felt too drained to accompany her back to London Bridge. I confessed that I did not have any reason apart from laziness to not see her part way home, but she accepted that and I waved goodbye to her at Catford Bridge. Although I had cooked her a dinner before she left, I didn't eat anything myself. So I was beginning to feel peckish after a stroll in the cold night air. I am afraid that common sense was overridden by gluttony, and I made a small detour via the fried chicken shop on my way home. Once back home, in the warm, I became a little more rational and I still have some portions of chicken and chips left over that I will eat today.

 Today I have few plans. I need to visit Tesco again this morning to buy fruit to take to work, and a few other bits and pieces. I now that I will be spending quite some time on what will probably be a series of phone calls as I talk someone through setting up their new computer. Apart from that I expect I will be watching TV and reading for a lot of the day.
Friday 23rd November 2007
08:25 GMT
 It is not as cold as I thought it would be this morning. It is still very chilly, but there was no frost despite the sky being very clear this morning. As I left my house to come to work, the eastern sky was just lighting up, and it looked very clear, although there was some dark looking cloud to the south. By the time my train left Waterloo the sun had risen, but it is so low on the horizon at this time of year that  there was no direct sunshine to see. Even now the sun has not risen above the surrounding buildings, and although it is bright outside, there is still no sunshine. The weather forecast suggests that this afternoon will remain dry, but there will be more and more cloud. The temperature is not really expected to go much above 8 C.

 Last night I made damn sure that I left work in time to get my early train from Waterloo East, and I did get it. I went straight home from the station without doing any shopping, and it felt good to be home so early after getting home so late every other day since the start of the week.

 Despite getting home early, or even on time (as I would like to believe), the evening passed by all too quickly, and I didn't really achieve anything. I cooked myself a very tasty, but very unhealthy, dinner of sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, and baked beans, and topped that off with a very, very, unhealthy quantity of jaffa cakes ! I watched some TV while eating that, and then "surfed the net" for a little while. After that I watched one more TV programme and then it was time for bed. It's hard to imagine where all the time went, but I blame these dark evenings.

 I was actually in bed by 9 pm, and asleep very soon after that. I had two dreams that almost stick in my mind, although as I write this one of them seems to have escaped my memory. Earlier on this morning both dreams seemed worth recording, and I thought I made a point of attempting to remember both. Perhaps as I describe one, the other will come back to me.

 I can only remember a sort of overview of the first dream. The fine details elude me. It seems I was trying to buy some Arabic cigarettes made with "green leaf tobacco". It is tempting to think that "green leaf tobacco" may have been a metaphor for cannabis, and it may well have been, but it didn't seem that way in the dream where it was just some sort of novelty. I remember going into several shops looking for these fags, and in one there was a charming young Indian lady who offered me several different brands, from what seemed like a stock of only about a couple of dozen packs of cigarettes in the whole shop. Some of the brands were novelties for me, and I may have bought a packet, or even two, but I cannot recollect ever finding the exotic "green leaf tobacco" cigarettes.  I am sure the other dream featured cats, but try as I might I cannot remember a thing about it.

 One thing I am hoping for today is that I get a new laptop computer. I have done a couple of favours for one of our neighbouring companies.They do computer repairs and sales, but lack the facilities to do any fine soldering. I did one of those favours yesterday, and asked if they had any almost scrap laptops that they might want to sell. I said my top budget was just 50, and their boss said they could probably dig me out something reasonable for that price. So now I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will come up with something good today.

 Today I hope I am going to attempt to leave work in plenty of time to get my early train home. That is hope is piled on the hope that I will be able to meet up with Patricia for an after work pint or two.
Thursday 22nd November 2007
06:57 GMT
 It is very damp outside, but I don't think it is raining right now. I can't remember what the forecast is for today, and the sky is still too dark to make an opinion from what the clouds may look like. I would hope that today is similar to yesterday. There was a lot of sunshine yesterday, and it provided enough warmth on the south facing fire escape at work for a few flies and wasps to start flying around. It was not until about 7 pm, last night, that the rain poured down, and may well have continued for some time overnight. Hopefully I will make it into work, and then home from work, in the dry today. I do remember that it is tomorrow that the weather forecasts are predicting very bad weather with cold winds, and more rain. At least one person has predicted that it will snow tomorrow. I think that is a bit pessimistic, but anything could happen.

 As the tail end of my 'flu continues to linger on, I felt quite tired at work yesterday, although I had few other symptoms. It was a relief when 4 pm came around and I could make my way home again. Unfortunately I left work some five or ten minutes late, and the knock on effect of that was that I arrived at Waterloo station with barely enough time to make the 16:55 train from Waterloo East back to Catford. I decided not to rush about like a madman, and to have a fag, and then spend five minutes in the toilets before waiting for the next train at 17:17. So I arrived back in Catford a lot later than I would have desired, and then came home via Tesco. It was around a quarter to six when I finally got home, and that did not leave me much time to prepare myself for going out again to the pub for 7 pm.

 As we are now well into Winter (even though it doesn't officially start until 21st December - I think) the pub had Winter Warmer on. This was the first year that it has been brewed in the Bedford brewery of the now combined Wells-Youngs brewers. It was not bad, but then again a poor copy of the stuff we used to drink many, many years ago !
Wednesday 21st November 2007
08:08 GMT
 I think there was some overnight rain because the roads are still very wet, but it didn't rain on my way to work, and now as the sky gets lighter and lighter I can see that the sky is mostly clear. As the sun slowly creaks it's way higher in the sky there is a good chance that we will see some sunshine soon. It is also a lot milder than yesterday. The forecast high for today is 11 C, which is a bit better than the 8 or so  degrees that we had yesterday.

 I made a strong point of making sure I got into work on time yesterday. There was no problem in getting in an hour late yesterday, or no problem with work. I made up the time by staying an hour later, and that has left everything straight. The real problem with being an hour late to work is that the travelling gets horrendous. On my way into work I had to stand all the way from Catford to Waterloo. I wasn't crushed in, but by about half way through the journey it seemed absurdly hot and airless in the carriage. I was feeling really bad. I was sweating profusely, and the stale air brought about almost non stop coughing for the last five minutes of the journey. It was the most marvellous relief to get out into the fresh air again. The rest of the journey, from Waterloo to Wandsworth, was not so bad, but my throat continued to be quite tickly until I had been at work for a few hours.

 Going home last night was not a happy experience either. My bus seemed to take an age to get around the Wandsworth one way system, and I had an unusually long wait for a train at Clapham Junction station. That wait was caused by a delayed train, and was only about seven minutes, or maybe even a tad less. At other stations, and at other times a mere seven minutes is nothing, but I was on a very tight schedule. I had hoped to catch the 17:39 train at Waterloo East, but I missed it by mere minutes. The next train was at 18:01, and that meant I did not arrive home until a little after 6.30 pm after standing on the train all the way back to Catford. Getting home an hour and forty minutes late compared to my best possible time left the evening a bit short to do anything useful.

 Despite feeling hungry and tired I managed to take the time to cook myself a tasty curry last night. I had some left over meat, and I couldn't think what to do with it at first. As I glanced around the kitchen my eye came to rest on a jar of Sri Lanken "Columbo" curry sauce. I had bought it quite some weeks (months ?) back, but had never got around to trying it. Even now I am not sure what it was really like because I added a fair amount of extra garlic, ginger, and chilli to the mix. Plus I am not sure if it was intended to be used with left over pork, carrots, and parsnips. I ate it with some Tesco Thai rice. I am still unaware of what the required qualities are for rice to be labelled as Thai, but it does seem a very nice sort of rice, although maybe not quite as tasty as basmati.

 I had two very large portions of my home made curry as I watched some TV. By 8 pm it felt like it was getting late and I switched off the TV and played on the computer a bit. I was probably fast asleep in bed soon after 9 pm. Smudge woke me up at 2.30 am meowing to go out out. So I briefly got up then and rushed downstairs to let her out, but five minutes later I was probably back in bed asleep again. I then woke, possibly because Smudge may have been meowing to come back in again, but possibly not, at a few minutes before 5 am. It wasn't long after getting up that I felt like I really wanted to go back to bed again, but I gritted my teeth and made sure that I was ready to catch my usual train to work.

 I was reading in yesterday's paper that a man has appeared in court on terrorism offences. apparently his house was raided and the police found weedkiller, sugar, matches, ball bearings and a hollow metal pipe. It can only be that there is more to the story than this, because if that is all it needs to be a terrorist you can count me as one too. Well actually I would have to substitute flea killer for weedkiller, but I have got sugar and matches at home, and I am sure I have at least one ball bearing in my box of assorted bits and pieces. I also have some pipe - much of it is hollow too, as pipe does tend to be ! It sound like the man who was arrested was going to make some sort of bomb, but was he really a terrorist, or did he just have a grudge against, say, a parking warden ? Blowing up parking wardens is a bit naughty, but hardly rates as terrorism. No doubt this will eventually be cited as yet another success in the war on terror by the same people who terrorise the British public by telling us there are men with bombs round every corner just waiting to blow us all up and that we should forego all our liberties to save us all from the bogeymen. I am so glad that some of the pains I had this morning probably foretell an imminent heart attack. I'll soon be out of this poxy world.
Tuesday 20th November 2007
07:03 GMT
It's very wet outside, but I don't think it is actually raining right now. There is definitely more rain to come though.

 I am writing this as a two part entry today. This morning I had to wash my hair. It was really yucky. Unfortunately the extra time involved has made me miss my train. So I will write a little now, and a bit more when I get to work.

 Last night I felt very drained as I came home from work in the dark, cold and wet. After sitting down and having my dinner I began to feel a lot more alive. I wasn't quite sprightly enough for dancing, but at least I no longer felt knackered. It's just one more sign that the awful 'flu I had is still receding. By the end of the week I hope to be feeling really good, or at least as good as is possible in the gloomy depths of winter.

09:40 GMT
 It's is now far too late to write more now, but I will add that it stayed dry as I made my way into work.
Monday 19th November 2007
08:46 GMT
 It's raining ! When I left home for work the ground was quite wet, but it wasn't raining. As soon as I got to Wandsworth Town station it started to rain. I did get a bit damp waiting for a bus. When I got off the bus it was still raining, but it had eased a little. The sky looked very, very, grey, but there were a few cracks in the grey, and through one of these the sun was actually shining. Unfortunately it did not shine on me, but I could see the tops of some buildings glowing with the yellow rays of the sun. The forecast for today does suggest that there will be more sunny intervals later this afternoon, but heavier rain is expected towards the evening.

 After I finished writing yesterday I had my "instant heart attack" breakfast. I was late getting it out of the oven, but it hadn't burnt. Unfortunately the sausages had dried out a bit too much and had lost their succulence. It was still a most enjoyable breakfast though, and was big enough to make me not want to bother with any formal dinner later in the day. I did snack a lot though.

 I was still feeling the after effects of my 'flu yesterday, and even this morning I only feel about 75% back to some sort of normality. One of the few things I did yesterday was attempt to rescue a failed installation of that I had been attempting to install on a spare hard disk in one of my old PCs. I still don't really know what went wrong with that installation. I knew that the PC was a little cranky at times, and that the hard disk I was using may have been close to the end of it's life, but Fedora made a right balls up of the installation. After a few attempts at sorting it out I slapped in a Kubuntu DVD and had Kubuntu installed, and working, without a hitch.  Why Kubuntu should just work, and Fedora be a calamity, I have no idea. I do know it was a bit of a shame because I was looking forward to playing with an alternative Linux distribution. It is a long time since I have played with a derivative (which Fedora is). Last time I tried it was actually Red Hat Linux itself before they split between enterprise and free versions (Red Hat itself being enterprise, and Fedora, son of Red Hat, being the free version). I was never very happy with it then, and soon discovered that Mandrake linux was more to my liking. Mandrake became Mandriva Linux, but before I really got into that I discovered the delights of . Suse was good, but once I discovered that Kubuntu didn't use the disgusting brown theme that uses I was almost instantly converted.

 Playing with that computer made me a little late for bed, and even once I got to bed I did a little reading before falling asleep. I slept quite well, and only woke up once in the night, and amazingly that was more for a wee than to have a good cough (which I did anyway). I surprised myself a little by waking up again at ten past five. This was twenty minutes before my alarm was due to go off, and the sort of time I might have been waking before the clocks changing, and my disease, totally disrupted my sleep patterns. I look upon this as a good sign. Apart from a lingering cough, a few twinges here and there, and feeling hot and sweaty from time to time, I do not seem to be feeling tired, or even particularly weak, right now. Can it be that I am really getting better ? Will life return to normal again ? The answers to these questions can be found in future episodes of this blog.
Sunday 18th November 2007
11:02 GMT
 Sunday morning is not very sunny. In fact it is grey and miserable. The one saving grace is that it is not raining - yet ! So far today is very much like yesterday when it remained cold, and grey, until sun set. By about 8 pm it was doing it's best to rain. The rain, as far as I am aware, did not get very heavy, but I was out in some of it and it felt icy enough to be only a few degrees away from falling as snow. The last weather forecast I saw predicted rain for today. The rain will be coming in from the north east of London, and hasn't got here yet. There was even a prediction that some of that rain could briefly fall as snow on some of the high ground out beyond north east London.

 On Friday night I came home from work feeling quite knackered. This 'flu virus, if indeed that is what I have caught, does drag on a long time. For much of the day I just felt under par, but by the afternoon I was most definitely feeling that a good lie down was required. I had intended to go home via Tesco, but I didn't feel I had the energy for that. So I just bought a packet of fags from the corner shop, and ordered a rather tasty kebab to be delivered. After eating, and having sat in a nice warm room, I began to feel a bit better, and stayed up a little later than I should have done. I think it was around 10 pm when I went to bed.

 I had a reasonably good nights sleep, but was not keen to get up on Saturday morning. I finally did get up, washed and dressed, but about 9 am, and soon after dragged myself out to Tesco. That drained my energy, and instead of all the cleaning I should have done prior to a visit from Aleemah, I just sat quietly reading. Once again a bit of a rest was all I needed before catching the midday day train to meet Aleemah at London Bridge. Well I say it was all I needed, but I didn't exactly feel like running for the train. In fact I left a few mnutes earlier than I would have and did a slow walk to the station.

 We came back home via the pie and mash shop, and the 99p store. By that time I was feeling knackered again. It was nice to sit down and watch a film while I recovered my energy. We watched the film "Sid And Nancy" which was about the love affair between Sid Vicious, from The Sex Pistols, and Nancy Spungen, a sort of deranged American heroin addict. It was one of those films that was very good in parts, but was interspersed with some almost boring bits. I wouldn't rave about it, but I am glad I saw it.

 When it came time for Aleemah to go I took her to the station, but was feeling far too tired, and even aching, to accompany her back to London Bridge. So I saw her on to a train and walked back home in the light, but freezing rain. Once indoors I made myself some hot food. I had some tinned raviola with extra grated cheese on top. This was the same as I had done for Aleemah a bit earlier. I could have ate with Aleemah, but I knew that if I had eaten then I would not even want to leave the house, let alone go up to London Bridge with her. I topped off the hot meal with a cheese sandwich while watching some programmes on ITV 3 on their Sherlock Holmes night. It was good stuff, but I declined to watch the whole of Hound Of The Baskervilles. Instead I went to bed and read for a little while.

 This morning I have made another trip to Tesco, and amongst the stuff I bought was all the ingredients, except perhaps kidneys, for a full English breakfast. Right now I have sausages, bacon, tomatoes, and mushrooms, cooking, or by now maybe burning, in the oven. To that I will add a couple of eggs, and maybe a slice of fried bread. The latter two ingredients I am off to cook right now !!!
Friday 16th November 2007
08:32 GMT
 I have made it back to work today. Whether this was a good idea or not I will decide later. Also whether it was foolish to come out into the frosty air is something that I will find out later. The weather forecasts all seemed to predict a very foggy morning, but it seems to be quite clear outside. They certainly got the frost part right. There is a very thick frost outside right now. I was surprised that the bus shelter I waited at in Wandsworth, near the roundabout on the south side of Wandsworth Bridge, was covered in thick frost. To get frost on both sides of glass seems unusual, but I cannot see any reason why this should not happen, or why I can't recall seeing anything like it before.

 It may have been the beer, but I suspect it was more to do with being exposed to the icy air, on Wednesday night, but I did not feel very well at all yesterday. My chest still felt sort of tight for much of the day, and my back continued to bother me in a similar way. I felt rough enough that I decided that I would not go to Tesco's as I had wanted to, and just made do with what I had around the house.

 I made a point of going to bed early last night. I was in bed around 8 pm, but I found it quite hard to get to sleep. My throat was feeling quite tickly, but coughing produced very little results. Eventually I dozed off properly, maybe as late as 10 pm, and  I slept solidly for maybe three hours. After that I slept rather fitfully, and soon after 4 am I gave up and decided to get up.

 Getting up so early was good in one respect. I had a couple of paracetamol and codeine tablets to take the edge off how I was feeling, and by the time it came to leave they had worked well enough that I was feeling passably OK. I think those tablets have worn off now. When I first arrived at work I was feeling ghastly, but sitting in the warm has made me feel a bit better. I still feel far from fit, but if I make it through today I will try and convince myself I am at last on the road to recovery. 
Thursday 15th November 2007
09:20 GMT
 The day started with a thick white frost. Even now, with the sun shining, some of the cars outside are still frosty.

 Once again I am off work. This morning it may have been partly self inflicted. After moping around for most of yesterday I accepted an invitation for an early drink in the Catford Wetherspoons - The London & Rye.

 It was beer festival time in the pub, and although I am not exactly sure which beer festival it was supposed to be (November ?), it did mean that there was a small choice of some rather good beers available. I got to the pub just a little too late to see Ivor, but Iain and Kevin were there. Unfortunately an old friend aquaintance someone I knew from the past also happened to turn up out of the blue. There was nothing wrong with the man apart from being a crashing bore, and I had no regrets that I had not seen him for at least 10 years, and probably more. I didn't even recognise him or I might have hidden, but unfortunately he recognised me. So we were saddled with his company for half the time we were there. Despite that it was a good drink. The "Old Tom", clocking in at 8% was particularly nice, and I had quite a few halves of that during the course of the evening (it was only sold in halves, and not pints).

 After the first beer started to take effect I felt very happy, and all my aches and pains faded into the distance. Coming home again was not so pleasant. Even the alcohol could not protect my chest from the intensely cold night air. I had little more than crossing the main road before that air made me feel like I was breathing in icy daggers. My chest was really hurting by the time I got home - and that was little more than a ten minute walk.

 With the pain of the walk home rather fresh in my mind, plus a rather head crushing hangover, I didn't even think about going to work this morning. After feeding the cats I just went straight back to bed. I really get back to sleep properly, and maybe that was because I did get a better nights sleep last night than the previous fortnights sleeps. After getting in bed I fell asleep very quickly, and only woke up once during the night. That was purely for a pee, and I don't think I coughed once (although my chest did still feel tight from the earlier walk in the frosty air).

 I have been awake, and pottering around on the computers, for a couple of hours now I would guess. My chest has eased a lot, but my back is giving me a fair amount of trouble. I think that had I survived the journey into work I would probably be OK now provided I went for lots of little walks to stop my back from siezing up.

 There were some plans for another drink tonight, but it was mainly the beer talking (I think). It would be hard not to be tempted to do it all over again, but I think that tonight I ought to get myself to bed early and make a concerted effort to try and get to work tomorrow. Working tomorrow could be a bit of a gamble. On the one hand it may be what I need to blow some of the cobwebs out and so feel better for Saturday. On the other hand, like last night in the cold frosty air, it could set me back a little and ruin my Saturday.

 Today I have one task that I ought to do. It seems the CPU fan on the PC I am using to type this is beginning to run slow. It is possibly clogged with dust. I have had a new (but used) processor sitting by this PC for some time that I have intended to fit to upgrade it for faster operation. Today will be the day when I do that upgrade, and clean out the processor fan at the same time.
Wednesday 14th November 2007
07:13 GMT
 The sky almost looks like a homogeneous grey, but closer inspection reveals some variation in it. As the sun started to rise it did throw some of that variation into stark relief, but that lasted only for a few minutes. Now the sun has risen it is nowhere to be seen !

 This morning I made it as far as the station. I had hoped that the fresh air would be beneficial, but it convinced me that I need at least another day off work to get over this 'flu. So I am back at home and will stay in the warm being fairly bored hoping to finally get the better of the the virus that is clobbering my body.

 I did very little yesterday beyond laying around dozing off. I was quite surprised just how easily I managed to doze off on the settee during the morning. I must have been pretty tired because I find that laying down on my settee is not very comfortable.

 I was in bed by 7.30 pm last night, and asleep not long after that. I think my first lot of sleep lasted as much as three hours, but after that I was waking up every one to two hours. I think it was around one or two am when I woke up to the greatest coughing fit I have experienced sine this bug took hold of me. It was as if I had a lung full of feathers. Until I got it under control I was quite convinced that I was going to cough my own testicles up, but fortunately they stayed put, and eventually I managed to cough up what ever it was that was irritating me. After that I managed to get back to sleep again, and only had to clear my throat a couple of times whenever I woke up.

 My original plan in going to bed so early was to get up at something like 4 am this morning, and then I could slowly potter around, acclimatising myself to being awake, and would feel OK to go to work. It never really happened like that. I did wake at sometime around 4 am, and even turned the light on, but I fell asleep again and did not wake until my alarm went off.

 One thing I have to remember is not to feel guilty about taking yet another day off work. After being ill all last week it feels like I am taking an excess amount of time off, but I have to remember that being ill last week all happened in my own time. So I guess it would not be outrageous to even take tomorrow off if I feel I need it. The trouble is I am getting rather bored with being at home, and then there is the fact that I have bought a weekly travel card and it is going to waste. One more factor against me staying home is the expense of heating the house all day. I will be a lot happier once I am feeling well again.

 Being as it's Wednesday it should be drinking night. I do feel like a few pints, but I wonder if I ought to go drinking tonight, or not. I probably ought to get another really early night, maybe as early as 7.30 pm again, but I guess I'll just play it by ear.
Tuesday 13th November 2007
07:02 GMT
 It's a wet miserable morning, and I think it is going to stay that way for most of the morning, and maybe all day. Yesterday started out quite bright. There was even some sunshine, but gradually it started to cloud over starting with a lot of very high cirrus cloud, and then some lower clouds.

 I did go to work yesterday, and I even wrote a load of stuff here, but my silly work computer went and crashed taking all my writing with it. There wasn't time to rewrite it, but I'll write what I can remember now.

 I was up and ready to go to work in plenty of time, but my train arrived a few minute late. It was not much, but enough for some extra delays to add up to arriving five or ten minutes late at Waterloo East station. I didn't feel like the usual race over the link to Waterloo Mainline station. So I took my time and managed to miss the 07:33 train. That was no worry because the next is only four minutes later at 07:37. When I boarded that train, very close to departure time, it was saying "not in service" on the internal displays, but the platform displays still said it was definitely the 07:37 to Hounslow. Along with quite a few other passengers I waited and waited until we finally pulled out of the station in parallel with the 07:45 train, which would have been my next option. It was not until the doors closed, and we were actually moving, that the guard announced that to get back on schedule the train would be non-stop to Barnes station, which is two stops after Wandsworth Town station where I wanted to get off.

 Well, this was a bit of an adventure, but maybe not one I wanted on a Monday morning and still recovering from my 'flu. I am not sure if I have ever visited Barnes station before, but I definitely know now that it is a bit of a convoluted walk to get from one platform to the next. Firstly I was on the wrong end of the train for the footbridge, and had to walk at least half the length of the platform to find it, and then having puffed and wheezed my way over that I found you had to go outside the station, and then go around the corner to get back on to the platform for trains heading back to London. Happily my arrival on the platform coincided with the arrival of a train to take me back to Wandsworth Town station.

 My day at work was not too bad apart from the soul crushing crash of my work computer taking all my writing with it. I guess it took maybe as much as an hour to warm up, and get my breath back, figuratively speaking, and after that I felt slightly weak, but otherwise fine until towards the end of the day. By 3.45 pm I was feeling quite tired and decided to leave early to avoid having to rush about changing buses and trains. Despite having a fairly relaxed journey back to Waterloo East I was feeling desperately tired by the time my train arrived to take me back to Catford. It was peculiar though. The tiredness was not the same as muscular fatigue. I found that I was able to climb the subway stairs at Waterloo East without my legs aching, and apparently without my shattered lungs complaining in any way. That was actually better than usual, but while my body seemed to be working well, my brain kept telling me it really wanted to lie down at the very earliest opportunity.

 I came home via Tesco where I bought a few odds and sods including anew bottle of whiskey, although my main priority was to buy some more tissues (which I did). I noticed that all the Tesco's own brand "man sized" tissues were sold out. So I bought some super soft mens tissues and balm impregnated tissues. I have never tried the balm impregnated tissues before, and now having done so, I wonder if they are actualy worth the small price premium they carry. Maybe they do because when my nose is in full flow it can get very sore with constant blowing. I am well past that stage now, but my nose is still getting blocked with some regularity.

 Later in the evening I had a phone call from Aleemah. We spent quite a long time talking, and while that was going on I poured myself several large glasses of scotch. When our phone call finished it was past the time when I had intended to be in bed, and I was feeling quite mellow. I thought I would have a good nights sleep, but it still didn't turn out that way. I think that once I got to sleep I did sleep solidly for about three hours, and that is an improvement over what I have been achieving lately, but after that I kept waking up, usually coughing, at as little as thirty minute intervals. I think that the next longest continuous sleep I got was the last bit before my alarm woke me up, and that may have been a couple of hours.

 This morning I feel rather tired, my back is aching a bit, and I just generally feel a bit yucky. I have been awake for just over two hours now and I am beginning to feel better, but I still can't face going out in the rain, and then getting on a hot, stuffy, crowded, train. So I am about to call in sick. I feel a bit of a fraud because I am sure that if I could endure the travel to work I would be feeling quite able to work once I had sat down for a bit. However, having left it this late, I know I would have to get an extra crowded train, and it would not be very pleasant to have a major coughing fit like I did on the train yesterday morning. So, that's it, I am going sick !
Sunday 11th November 2007
10:37 GMT
 I have recently got back from some shopping in Tesco, and amazingly I don't feel knocked out !  When I went out two things were obvious - it had recently been raining, and it was surprisingly mild. I found I was dripping with sweat by the time I reached the checkouts. The sweating is most probably caused by a combination of things. Firstly my body is still fighting a winning battle with all sorts of sundry pathogens and virii, and then there is the general mildness of the air outside. Lastly my blood sugar level should be quite high after what I ate yesterday. I actually ate very little in terms of bulk yesterday, but the chocolate cake and ice cream, which accounted for about 75% of all I did eat yesterday, would both have been very high in sugar content. It may not have been good for me physically, but sometimes you have to take into account the psychological advantages. Right now the sun is shining, and that can have as much uplifting effect as chocolate cake, but maybe not as much as ice cream and chocolate cake (although I did not actually eat the two together - and now I wonder why ?).

 After I went back to bed yesterday morning I did manage to get some extra sleep, although maybe not as much as I would have desired. Even after that extra bit of sleep I was feeling too ill, in a general sense rather than any specific problem, to contemplate doing some shopping in Tesco. One thing I was quite desperate to buy was some proper high tar cigarettes.  One of the thing I thought I had already written here was how Patricia brought me back some Benson & Hedges "Ultra Light" cigarettes from her recent visit to Argentina. Since getting those on Monday I had been smoking them all through my illness, and I am sure they contributed to all my lung problems. It was only when I reverted back to normal cigarettes on Thursday afternoon that I began to notice a change in the nature and frequency of my cough. Since then I have been beating my lungs back into submission with normal fags, and it seems to be working. Yesterday I couldn't face the idea of going to Tesco while it would have been crowded with Saturday shoppers, and made do with the corner shop despite really needing more than they could supply.

 I feel the green ink coming on, but my breakfast is almost ready. If you have read this far, and there is nothing below this paragraph, then check back in a couple of hours and see if I have continued with a rant............
12:31 GMT
 Since stopping for breakfast the sun has almost gone in and there has been a sprinkle of rain. Judging by the sky there could be a lot more rain to come.

 I am wondering if I should pop down to the police station to get myself put on the new, or soon to be new, terrorist register. It would save time waiting for the thought police to arrive and take me there themselves.  I am astonished how easy it has become to be assumed guilty of being a terrorist in contradiction of the innocent until proved guilty form of justice that had been the British way of doing things for the last several hundred years. The very notion that you are assumed guilty before even doing anything illegal is a concept that is more associated with countries who we have fought wars with to liberate it's peoples from tyrants and despots.

 I am reminded to think this way by recent news stories concerned with some Muslim woman who is now doing porridge for dreaming about becoming a so called martyr, and collecting "forbidden" books - but hadn't actually done anything to inconvenience people, and maybe never would. Now I can imagine that being a Muslim, and a woman Muslim at that, is enough to piss any one off. All that praying, and not being able to eat bacon, will inevitably bring about escapist fantasies. I think these people should be afforded every opportunity to blow themselves up, although preferably somewhere where they don't cause too much mess - say in some unpopulated part of the countryside, or the house of commons where the loss of a few politicians lives will quite probably be of benefit to the country. Then there is the question of all the "forbidden" books and other media she was collecting. Assuming that the same certainty applies that collecting this stuff is an absolute prelude to her becoming a suicide bomber, then it is just as certain that my collection of   I.T. related paperware, hardware, and software means I will soon be running an I.T. business to rival Microsoft. Except that it doesn't, but I can dream about it, and so can she dream of whatever she likes. There is the problem. It is now illegal to have non government approved dreams, and this is why I really should turn myself in. After the smoking ban came into force on 1st July I had some really wild fantasies about blowing people up, and maybe I might have even done it were it not for a few problems. I didn't want to mess about with exploding chappatis. I wanted to do it the proper way like the IRA. Unfortunately I had no rich sponsors in the USA to buy the fertiliser and fuel oil, and I had no country cousins who would know where to buy them even if I could afford them, and lastly I can't even drive a ordinary car, let alone the HGV lorry to transport the stuff. So it was back to dreaming, and the hope that revenge would be possible in later lives.

 While I am registering as a potential terrorist I may as well get myself put on the sex register as well. I can publicly confess that I have had my hand inside the knickers of a 7 year old girl. It was about 45 years ago if I remember correctly, and I think her name was Linda. To this day I still think younger girls, say 38 to 45 years old, are pretty horny. I do get worried about the scope of the sex register. Someone caught urinating in the street after drinking 12 pints in the pub and finding the nearest public toilet is 2 hours away by slow night bus, is lumped in with that most bizzare of people, the old man who like young boys. What worries me most is the unfortunate young women who are hauled over the coals for initiating just under-age boys into the joys of sex. As a 15 year old I would fantasise about being taken under the wing (or more hopefully, duvet) of a horny 22 year old(for example). I mean, it can be fun putting an airfix kit, or a piece of flat pack furniture together just from black and white diagrams, but only fun once, and if, you have succeeded. How much better it is if there is someone more experienced than yourself to guide you through the process for the first time. There have been several reports of women being prosecuted for doing this valuable service for young soon-to-be-men in the papers over the last year or so. My first thought has always been "you lucky bastard" rather than what an evil woman (although in one case I didn't think the boy had been so lucky as his "abuser" was not exactly pretty, but hey-ho, any port in a storm !). Come to think of it, my last thought is still "you lucky bastard". So in the words of the Spanish Inquisition I have committed heresy by thought and deserve to be put on the sex offenders register.

Once the new laws have been enacted by the thought police I guess that I will also be guilty of robbery (fantasising  about robbing the crown jewels) and murder (imagining the relief of taking an AK47 to a bus full of noisy, irritating, undisciplined, smelly school children). Funnily enough I can't think of anything I want to burn down, so I guess I'll stay off the arsonists register.
Saturday 10th November 2007
05:04 GMT
 It is cold and dark right now, but the forecast sounds like a typical mid November day of sun and showers. Yesterday was very sunny, but it remained quite cool, and I think there was a small splash of rain in the early evening.

 Yesterday my illness had subsided enough that I was beginning to feel a little bored. The last painful bit of the illness, my aching stomach muscles, slowly returned to normal, and even my cough died down a bit. All was not that well though.

 Whether it was coincidence or not I don't know, but late in the afternoon I decided I had to do something with Nelly's litter tray. It was close to overflowing, and obviously getting very smelly. As I worked on it I had the back door open to give me a bit of fresh air to work in. That air was also pretty cold compared to the warm stuffy air inside. I had been using some quite heavy clay based litter, bought in an emergency from the corner shop, and picking that lot up, and transporting it to the wheelie bin was slightly heavy work. It was after finishing that work that I noticed conditions in my chest had changed. No longer was I having an occasional cough, bringing up some occasional mucus the thickness of gravy. Instead my windpipe felt quite tight and restricted, and when a good cough did shift some muck it was like that gravy had cooled and congealed (probably with bits of sprouts in it).

 It was quite unpleasant to sit around with my breathing almost wheezy, and coughing up lumps. So I wondered what a good hot curry would do for me. I considered that my appetite had returned sufficiently to tackle a takeaway, and so I ordered a chicken vindaloo as my main dish, and a lamb pathia as an extra dish with a few more things to bring the order up to the minimum for home delivery (in fact I exceeded the minimum by a very comfortable margin of error). As soon as it arrived I got stuck in, and I must say I enjoyed it tremendously, although I still could not consume as much as I probably could have prior to going down with the plague.

 I am not sure if the curry had any beneficial effect, but I did seem to sleep rather better last night, or at least I did at first. At around 4 am this morning I woke up and my cough seemed as bad as ever, and the muck I was coughing up had returned back to it's warm gravy consistency. I now feel terribly tired, and like many mornings I somehow doubt I will get any significant extra sleep, I am going to try for it right now.
Friday 9th November 2007
06:47 GMT
 It's the last day of my holiday (I don't count the weekends as holiday) and the sun is just beginning to reveal a clear sky. That clear sky has left the air temperature very low this morning, but it is reasonably comfortable indoors, and it doesn't take long for the heaters to get the rooms up to a pleasant working temperature.

 This morning I can report that my illness continues to subside, but there is still some way to go before I would declare myself my normal 75% fit. Last night I tried the whiskey cure for my sore throat, and it did work remarkably well. Although it seems to have left me with a bit of a hangover this morning.

 It must have been around 8 pm, or maybe a bit later, that I sat down and started to read the year 2000 adventures of the BOFH (Bastard Operator From Hell) on the internet. While reading I started to sip from my tumbler of scotch. Towards the end of the first (small) tumbler full I noticed that, as hoped, my sore throat was going away. By the time I was nearing the end of the second, and last, tumbler of scotch virtually all the discomfort had disappeared. Even my hacking cough had subsided a lot. At that point I should have gone straight to bed, but I still had many BOFH episodes to read. So I ruined all my good work by eating a few spoonfuls of lemon sorbet as I read more. The lemon sorbet revived some of the pain in my throat, and made my cough worse than before. I tried to recover some ground by finishing off a bottle of bourbon I had. That helped a little, but I went to bed with my cough as bad as ever, and suffered from terrible sleep as a result.

 For the second morning in a row I woke up a couple of times with my pillow wet with sweat. Maybe it was not the bacteria/virus burning themselves out, but some other effect taking place. Whether the sweats has anything do with it or not, I can report that I continue to recover. My throat is merely tender, as opposed to being very sore, and there has been some improvement in my aching stomach muscles. If I try and take care of myself today I am hoping for even more improvement tomorrow morning.

 Were it not for the lack of sleep I reckon I could have worked today. It would be a fairly uncomfortable day, and I would have come home feeling close to death. With three days to improve upon that, I reckon I will be OK for work on Monday morning, but now I ought to see if I can manage some more sleep.
Thursday 8th November 2007
16:34 GMT
 I am feeling a little bored, or maybe not exactly bored, but restless. So I thought I would write some more about today.

 After I had finished writing this morning I was determined to have a fag. I knew it would probably be catastrophic. So I tied down my liver, and some other organs, and took a drag. I had one explosive coughing reaction before settling to normal. With the fag finished I got into bed, and rather amazingly I fell asleep very quickly. Even more amazingly I stayed asleep for at least two hours, and maybe more. I woke up with my pillow saturated with sweat. Now this is none too pleasant, but to me it is a sign that things are beginning to improve.

 I changed my pillow and went back to sleep again, and once again I was soundly asleep for another two hours or more. This time there was evidence that I had been sweating, but it was nothing like I had found before. My attempt at further sleep was not too successful. After about half an hour I found myself in that sort of no man's land where you are both awake and asleep (more likely rapidly alternating between the two).

 I tried to assess how I was feeling. One thing was for sure, my sore throat was as sore as ever, and my stomach muscles ached from all the coughing I had been doing (and continue to do so). Any other symptoms seemed to have diminished to the point of insignificance compared to the pains I was getting in my throat and around my stomach muscles. So my conclusion is that I am finally recovering - albeit rather slowly.

 Today is also the first day that I have felt miserable about this illness. There are two factors for this. The first is that it is really only today that I have become really aware of the pains I am suffering. Prior to this I only had discomforts, some extreme, but now just swallowing my own spit is actually painful, and every cough is like a kick in the stomach. The second effect is that I am, in some areas, well enough to do more than just sit around all day (although still only in small doses). Although I had no specific goals for my week off work, I did have a vague list of possible things that I might have ended up doing. As yet I have not felt well enough to tackle the least taxing of these, although today I did, with some trepidation, do some shopping in Tesco.

 I was not sure how I would feel going out to Tesco, but it was something that had to be done. I needed the usual cat food and cat litter, as well as some diet cola. I also wanted to try an experiment. What would the effect be on my throat of eating cold ice cream ?

 So I started slowly walking to Tesco, and it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The fresh air, although quite cool, was rather refreshing. I came away from Tesco with three rather heavy carrier bags, and slowly made my way home. Once again it was not a bad as I feared it might have been. I did feel a bit wheezy when I got home, but I have had far worse just rushing to the station in the morning. Apart from the wheeziness I did not suffer in any other way. I had thought that maybe my muscles would start to complain, but in that respect everything was just about normal.

 My experiment with the ice cream was a total failure, and may have even made things worse (the ice cream was delicious though !). The cold of the ice cream may have reduced the pain in my throat as it slid down, but the effect was really only noticeable while it was actually in contact with my throat. I am not sure if was just the oils and fat in the ice cream, or whether it had some sort of preservative like sulphur dioxide in it, but it does seem to have left my throat, or more specifically the top of the bronchial tubes, more irritated, and I am coughing more as a result. I think the effect is beginning to die away now, but I am not sure. I hope it has definitely gone by the time I attempt to go to bed. Maybe if it was the oils and fats causing the irritation I could wash them away with some alcohol. Sounds like the perfect excuse for a couple of large glasses of whiskey before I retire.

 One thing I have been thinking about recently is how I seem to be able to write this diary, send and receive e-mails, and check web sites even when I feel close to deaths door. Admittedly there are times when I have had to do a lot of editing to make what I have written passably similar to the Queen's English, but I have just about always managed to write something. Even once upon a time, many years ago, when I damaged my right elbow, I was able to send and receive e-mails. They just took a little longer to write because I had to reduce to one finger typing using my left hand. This is in complete contrast to someone I once knew. She would have to leave the keyboard alone for up to a week even if she got a runny nose. She went down with some more serious illness a few years ago, and I don't think anyone has heard from her again (although I am sure my "spies" would let me know if it was anything fatal). Even her website has been neglected for several years now (not that it contained more than a miniscule amount of original input). Even if my fingers were cut off I reckon I would still attempt to hack something out using my nose or toes.
01:58 GMT
 The only thing I can comment about the day right now is that it is dark outside, and that it is dry. Yesterday was mostly bright and sunny, but I don't believe that it warmed up much.

 I am up at this ridiculous hour after giving up on trying to get a good nights sleep. I spent most of yesterday just watching TV or reading. By 7 pm I decided that I would go up to bed. As an experiment I thought I would lay off the fags and stick on a nicotine patch to help me through the night (knowing I would be waking up at least a few times in the night, and wanting a fag). In fact this may have not have been such a good idea. I think the maximum continuous time I managed to sleep was about an hour, and the average was as little as 30 minutes. I would wake up coughing and spluttering, and it would take quite some time before I could attempt to try for sleep again.

 One thing annoyed me in my dreams during those brief bits of sleep. It sounds like the ravings of the paranoid, but now that I can hardly remember any details of those dreams, I wonder if it was just another layer of dreaming that I vaguelly recall. The annoyance itself was the amount of times my dreams seemed to be invaded by advertisers. The only half remembered instance I can actually recall is a woman trying to sell me some pink ointment for my cough. She warned me that it could turn my snot pink.

 I have no idea what the inspiration for the sales pitch was, but the idea of stuff turning pink was lifted directly from the pages of "How To Fossilise Your Hamster" that I had been reading prior to attempting to sleep. There was a paragraph in there that stated that one natural dye was poorly broken down by the digestive system, and could come out almost unchanged turning urine pink. That natural dye comes from beetroot, and as an experiment suggested eating a large quantity of Borsche (beetroot soup) to see what would happen.

 The current state of my health shows some improvements, and some deterioration. I am not sure now if I have the 'flu or not. There were a few days when I felt weak with aching limbs, and a pounding in my head. With some obvious, but not measured, changes to my body temperatures, I felt sure that it was the real thing. Now I am not so sure. Maybe it is just a head cold with added extras. The frequency, and quantity of mucus I am coughing up may suggest bronchitus (or potentially worse), and all the coughing is making my stomach muscles extremely sore. My throat continues to be very sore for the second day now. Although the symptoms of my illness have changed a lot since last weekend, I am not so sure if I can say I am getting any better. If I could reduce the coughing down to just an ordinary smokers cough it would really only leave the sore throat as a major symptom. Maybe that is related to the coughing as well, but it feels very different in nature to past experiences of a coughing related sore throat. I know one thing, and that is that I am still very tired. As I stopped typing to think I could feel my eyes closing, and I could very easily have fallen asleep at the keyboard.

 I suppose that I ought to try and get to sleep again. It seems unlikely it will happen in any decent quantities, but I ought to try.
Wednesday 7th November 2007
08:26 GMT
The third day of my holiday starts with a lot of light wispy cloud in the sky, but quite bright, and the sun could break through at any minute now.

 Yesterday was, for the most part, quite bright and sunny, but with the sun ever lower in the sky the amount of heat it is giving out gets less every day. I went out shopping around lunchtime yesterday. It was bright and sunny, but I was surprised how cool it was. Maybe it was really warmer than it felt to my illness wracked body. I don't know, but I wished I had put a coat on to go out. I seemed to buy a lot of stuff without buying much food yesterday. Amongst what I did buy were two new books to keep me amused. One was by Jeremy Clarkson, and the other was "How To Fossilise Your Hamster" from New Scientist magazine. I am already half way through the latter book, and it is a good read.
Route 185 bus ticket
 In the evening I was due to meet Patricia for a drink in Lewisham. The pleasure of meeting up with Patricia would just outweigh my reluctance to go out last night, but I never did get to meet up with her. No sooner had I jumped on a bus to Lewisham, and paid my 2 fare, I received a text message from her saying she would be unable to meet me. So I got off at the next stop and walked back home. The sun had set by over half an hour by then, and already the night air felt cold and damp. I don't know if that was the reason, or not, but after that walk my chest felt very heavy and wheezy. Later on, as I tried to get to sleep, my airways filled with tickly bubbling phlegm, and I found it impossible to sleep like that.

 Another variation on the numerous symptoms that this illness has, flared up last night. My throat became very sore. It was not the soreness associated with, say, too much coughing, but more like a painful swelling. It felt like my tongue no longer fitted the back of my throat. There was no restriction on my ability to swallow, but the actual mechanics of it made the process painful. Or to put it another way. I could easily swallow something like a hard boiled egg, but trying to force down the last drips of a drink were painful as I tried to manipulate my tongue to exert pressure in the right place. I am trying to remember if the sore throat started before, or after, I ate 2/3rds of a large pineapple. I had bought the pineapple, along with some big juicy oranges, during my earlier shopping trip, with the idea that the extra vitamin C, and other stuff, may have been of some benefit to me. The pineapple tasted good, but it was quite acidic, and maybe this actually made my throat worse, or perhaps instigated the soreness by itself.

 I first went to bed at 9 pm last night. With my sore throat, and congested chest and airways, I found that getting to sleep was almost impossible, and staying asleep totally impossible. So I got up again and watched some TV for a couple of hours while consuming a large quantity of Scotch Whiskey. After that I was able to sustain sleep for as much as a few hours at a time. I didn't get anything like the ideal amount of sleep, but it was enough for the moment, and I hope to notch up a few more hours sleep very soon now.

 This morning I have come to the conclusion that I am not taking this illness seriously enough. I haven't the patience, or inclination, to spend all my time in bed with a hot water bottle, but I think I should try and spend more time just relaxing in the warm, and avoid going out except for essential shopping. So unless there is a radical improvement in my health in the very near future, I have cancelled any drinking opportunities (including a tentative plan to see Patricia tomorrow). Hopefully, if I work really hard at getting better, I will be fit for work on Monday. As I am now convinced this is the 'flu, rather than just an extreme head cold, I know that even on Monday I will still feel fatigued, but if all the assorted, and frequently intermittent, pains have gone away by Monday then I should be reasonably OK, and will just have to be patient for as much as the next few weeks as I finally throw off the remnants of this naughty little viral infection.
Tuesday 6th November 2007
07:02 GMT
 The second day of my "holiday" has started with just a few wispy clouds in the sky. It looks as if it could be a sunny day today. Yesterday was not bad. It was fairly bright and sunny for most of the hours of daylight, but there was a light shower of rain in the early evening.

 I did feel a little better yesterday, but I was still far from being fighting fit. I eventually got up at a little past 7 am, but really only pottered around doing very little. In fact it was not until early afternoon that I had a shower and got dressed properly. Most of the aches and pains I was suffering from on Sunday had subsided by yesterday, but my nose is still almost continually blocked with thick sticky mucus, and I continue to cough up chunks of lung.

 I did not look forward to going out to see Patricia last night (although I looked forward to seeing her). Going to the pub was not as bad as I had imagined. The fresh air seemed to clear some of my airways, but I still felt rather weak. When I finally saw Patricia she handed over my duty free fags (Benson And hedges Ultra Lights unfortunately) but didn't have time to sit down for a long chat. She suggested we meet again tonight when she will have more time.

 The one pint of beer I had in the pub should have perked me up a bit, and maybe it did give me a little appetite, but that was all. On the way home my bus pulled up almost outside "Hello Tokyo", a Japanese/Chinese restaurant and takeaway. It was from there that I had ordered the bento boxes that Aleemah and I ate on Saturday night. So I called in and ordered two more bento boxes. With the hot food beginning to cool I attempted to rush the last bit to home. That was a mistake. I very quickly "ran out of steam" and got home puffing and wheezing with an aching chest. The food was nice, but I very quickly ran out of appetite and had to force myself to finish off the tastiest bits (I threw away a lot of the rice).

 I spent the rest of the evening just watching TV before going to bed sometime around 9 pm. My sleep pattern was very similar to Sunday night. I would fall asleep easily enough, but wake up an hour or two later with a blocked nose or some other discomfort. I do seem to have needed to pee quite a lot in the night. I am not sure why this is, or even where the excess water is coming from. It doesn't feel like it, but I am possibly drinking more to relieve a dry mouth caused by frequently breathing through my mouth because both nostrils are blocked solid. During the course of the night I estimate I passed several pints of pee. Well, I guess it is just another indicator that my body is falling apart at the seams.

 I am not sure if my appetite has returned this morning. I did feel quite empty a little while ago, and I have just eaten an almost stale bread roll with some corned beef and horseradish in it.  The fact that I am having to even consider whether to have a second one suggests that my appetite is still not back to normal. At any other time, with the bread and corned beef just sitting there waiting to be used, I would not give it a second thought.

 I will soon go back to bed to see if I can grab at least another hour of sleep, but later this morning I will be going out to Tesco. Not only do I need the inevitable more catfood, but I am getting desperately low on tissues. Even with Kleenex man sized tissues I am lucky to use one twice. Quite frequently one good blow of my nose completely decimates one sheet of tissue.

 After Tesco's I am just going to be very lazy until it is time to go out and meet up with Patricia. In theory I am getting better, although sometimes I am not so sure, so going out this evening should be less hardship than last night. We'll see.
Monday 5th November 2007
02:08 GMT
 It was too early to guess the weather yesterday, and this morning I am up even earlier. It will be nice if today is like yesterday which was mostly sunny, and fairly mild. At least I think it was fairly mild. I seem to have suffered a relapse into last weekends cold. Maybe it is even worse than that, and I have come down with 'flu.

 I went back to bed yesterday morning, and managed about one more hour of sleep, but I could not get into the deep sleep I desired. In the end I pulled on a t-shirt and some pants, and played with a PC for an hour or two.  It was close to midday before I found the enthusiasm to get washed and dressed, and out to Tesco. I wasn't all that keen to go, but I was desperately short of cat food, and a few other things beside.

 I got back home feeling quite knackered, and sat down to eat my breakfast. I then had my first indication that I am seriously ill. Halfway through my breakfast I decided that I wasn't hungry after all, and abandoned it. I only lose my appetite when I am asleep or dead. I wasn't asleep, as far as I could tell, so I must have been dead ! I was actually feeling a little woozy by that time, and many of my joints were aching badly. So I went back to bed. I just pulled my trousers off and climbed into bed. I was in bed until almost 4 pm, but I am not sure how much sleep I actually got. Maybe it was in the order of a couple of hours.

 I woke up, or got up, still really achey, but the almost, but not quite, dizziness I had earlier seemed to have subsided. I also felt quite chilly. It was at that point I did what I should have done a lot earlier and took a couple of paracetamol. Eventually that started to work and I felt slightly better. I even tried to eat again. It was only two packets of crisps, but I ate them mechanically, without much enjoyment, and decided not to eat anything else.

 For the next few hours I just sat watching TV with the heater on, but by 7 pm I had had enough and I went to bed. Once again there were a lot of fireworks going off, but it didn't appear to be in the immediate neighbourhood. So I was able to fall asleep fairly quickly. I did not get the continuous sleep I wanted though. Every 90 - 120 minutes I would wake up, perhaps just to give my nose a good blow, or to go and take a pee. My last bit of sleep only lasted 30 minutes, and so I have temporarily got up for a little while.

 I have taken another couple of paracetamols, and half an hour later they seem to be working quite well. I don't seem to be aching quite as much, and with the heater on low, but blowing straight at me, I am even feeling quite warm and sweaty. I did feel a little hungry earlier, and so I have eaten a couple of packets of crisps. Not the most healthy of "midnight" snacks, but sufficiently tasty to have a modicum of appeal when I didn't really feel like eating, but wanted to fill some of empty feeling inside.

 I am not sure how I feel right now. I don't ache too much, and I don't feel exceptionally tired, but I still feel like lying down. I am beginning to notice that my nose has not been very blocked and snotty for the last 30 minutes, and even my hacking cough seems to be improving. Maybe I am on the mend, or maybe it is just temporary relief from the paracetamols.

 Fairly soon I will go back to bed and try and sleep until at least 5 am, and preferably a lot later. It would be very nice if I felt even better when I finally get up later this morning. If I am just suffering from the tail end of last weekends cold, and exhaustion, then maybe I will feel better. If, on the other hand, I really have got 'flu then I can expect to feel crap for the whole week, and longer - which is a bit of a shame as I have taken this week off work as holiday.

 I turned the heater off some time ago because I was feeling hot. I am now sweating profusely, and this is usually a good sign. Maybe, just maybe, I will feel well enough to meet up with Patricia in Lewisham tonight.

 Having just re-read all I have written above I found some really bad mistakes that I think I have corrected. No doubt there are others I have missed. I thought I was able to think clearly when writing this, but maybe my brain is still addled !
Sunday 4th November 2007
06:06 GMT
 It's too early to even guess what the weather may be like this morning. I do get the impression that it may be a bit colder this morning, but if today is anything like yesterday it could warm up once the sun rises. Yesterday got a bit gloomy later in the afternoon, but until then it was a nice sunny day. It felt so good that I did not even bother to put on a jacket when I went up to London Bridge to meet up with Aleemah.

 Friday night was a disappointment. Patricia called off our meeting during the afternoon citing pressures of work, but has promised that we can meet up on Monday night. We'll see!

 In some ways it was a relief not rushing out to see Patricia. I was feeling very tired on Friday after my late night on Thursday. Plus I am suffering after shocks from my cold the previous weekend. My nose stopped running as early as last Tuesday, but it is still very stuffy even now. The worse bit is that I have developed quite a throaty cough. A few catastrophic coughing fits have strained a few stomach muscles (or so I kid myself) and that has left an intermittent ache in the front of my lower torso. Despite feeling very knackered on Friday night I found it hard to get to sleep with a lot of very loud fireworks going off in the neighbourhood.

 I woke absurdly early yesterday morning. Ideally I should have slept through to midday, but I actually woke up at about 4.30 am. I did attempt to get some more sleep after feeding the cats and checking my e-mails, but proper sleep did not come. I think I was too aware that I could not stay in bed for that long because I needed to do a lot of preparations (housework etc.) before Aleemah visited.

 It was good to see Aleemah, but I was in a semi daze for half the time she was here. We watched a couple of films together, and then, as a change, I ordered a Japanese takeaway for our supper. A local Japanese restaurant has, apparently, just started a home delivery service, and I was keen to try some Japanese food. I ordered three bento boxes - one for Aleemah, and one, plus spare, for me. They did not look like they held that much food, but I found them to be surprisingly filling. They were also very delicious.

 A combination of feeling quite full, and also feeling very tired and achey, led me to ask Aleemah if it would be allright to just put her on the train to London Bridge rather than accompanying her all the way there. There was also the consideration that I was pretty sure that the air in the train would trigger off some bad coughing while my throat/airways/lungs were feeling rather sensitive. Fortunately for me she readily agreed to this and after seeing her off on the train I went straight back home and ate my second bento box. My plan then was to get to bed fairly early, but world war 1, 2, and 3 kicked off again in the local area, and the booming of the rockets overhead made sleep unlikely. To add to my woes I was suffering from that most annoying effect where whenever you lay down the phlegm in your airways tickles and bubbles forcing a good cough to momentarily clear it. I would guess I finally fell asleep at around 11 pm.

 I first woke this morning at 2 am. Even at that time some distant hooligan was still setting off some fireworks, but it was far enough off not to disturb me too much. Nor was it bad enough for Smudge to get scared. Having heard me get up to go to the toilet, she meowed that she wanted to go out. I opened the back door and she was gone with a whoosh ! I managed to get back to sleep fairly quickly after that. Which was not surprising considering I was virtually asleep on my feet. I awoke again at 4.30 am (5.30 am BST - my normal time for work before the clocks changed to GMT). Sooner, or later, I will be going back to bed again. I have no need to get up until, maybe, 11 am when I will need to get ready in case there is a drink in The Ram with my name on it.

 The sun is now beginning to rise. I can see that the sky looks very clear. That would explain why it seems colder this morning. On the eastern horizon I can see some misty clouds that are glowing reddish pink. That heralds some bad weather, although it may just be cloud and no rain.
Friday 2nd November 2007
06:53 GMT
 I think that today is starting brighter than yesterday when it stayed overcast for the whole day. I seem to recall that some sunny spells are forecast for today. The temperature is also expected to rise to at least 13 C - which is not too bad for November.

 I was not too late for work yesterday, and I did stay two hours beyond my normal time, so tonight I am going to try and get away with leaving an hour early. I had a pleasant drink in Wandsworth with all my work mates. After one pint, and then two, and finally three, almost everybody went off to boogie the night away at some inner London night club. I didn't fancy that, and my workmate Stefan, who has a broken leg, did not fancy it either. So we stayed for a fourth pint before making our respective ways home. As per usual I went to Clapham Junction station where I had just a few minutes wait for a train back to Waterloo. It was 9 pm when I arrived at Waterloo, and I thought that the next train from Waterloo East station, for Catford Bridge, was at 9.17 pm. In fact it was at 9.11 pm. A fact I only discovered in the nick of time after having a leisurely smoke outside the station.

 Upon arrival at Catford I decided that I wanted to buy some food, but decided that this time it was not going to be an excessive pile of chicken and chips. Instead I thought I would have fish and chips. In the chip shop I could only see the tiniest bit of fish, but they did offer to cook me a large bit. That would have taken at least 10 minutes, but after drinking four pints I decided that might have been too long. So I had two saveloys with chips instead. I am not sure who was hungrier when I finally got home - me or the cats. Of course they got their dinner first before I settled down to eat mine. And very delicious it was too.

 I don't know what time it was that I went to bed, but I am pretty sure I fell asleep almost instantly. This morning I woke up at 4 am despite being so tired and late to bed last night. I was going to get up then, but after a pee I got back in bed. At first I didn't think I was going to fall asleep, but the next thing I remember was being woken by my clock radio. It must be ages since I have been roused by the clock radio, but without it I could easily have slept for maybe another hour or three this morning.

 I should be meeting Patricia for a drink tonight. The previous couple of times I thought we would be meeting failed to happen, but I am reasonably confident it will happen tonight.
Thursday 1st November 2007
06:50 GMT
 The first of November has started dry, but rather dull and gloomy. While it is possible that the colour of the sky could change from all over grey to all over blue when the sun rises a little more, I don't think it is likely. Yesterday remained overcast all day, and I can't seem to recall the sun ever finding a crack in the clouds.

 I should be boarding my train right now, but I seem to have spent too long in the bathroom this morning. Having a wet shave, and washing my hair, never seems to take long while I am doing it, but that is in my personal time frame. The clock seems to disagree with me. I left work nearly an hour late last night, and so I am not too bothered about being late in this morning, or am I ? I did have a cunning plan.

 Last night I stayed late because I was curious to see how a job turned out, but tonight I will be staying about two hours late. This is because we are having a drink after work with our soon to be ex-production manager who leaves tomorrow. With nearly three hours of unpaid overtime under my belt I intend to go home early on Friday night. Getting into work very late this morning will make that less credible, but you can't argue with the maths (unless you include some other times when I have been late and never quite made up the time !).

 I didn't go drinking with Kevin last night because he was stuck on a job, and didn't get back home until too late. Instead I did some experimental cookery. I found that pasta, black eyed beans, red pesto, and a sprinkling of cheese on top is rather nice. Although taking account of the fried onion and garlic in the mixture it may have been a dangerous experiment. I did feel very bloated when I went to bed, and still felt fairly full when I first woke up this morning. So far I have not had any calamitous after effects, but there is still plenty of time for that !

 As it is the first of the month, and I have started this new web page, I had better put in all the trigger words to make sure that my international readership is maintained. So hi to all in MI5, the CIA, Mossad and the KGB. Bombs : Plutonium : Polonium : Semtex : Nitroglycerine : chappati flour : Brylcreme : Jihad : Yeehad (similar to Jihad but carried out by cowboys) : Terrorist : Hand grenades : Tactical nuclear weapons : Antrax : Botulism : Salmonella : Troutella : Nicotine : Machine Guns : Firearms : Waterarms : Airarms : Eartharms : Sagitarius : Scorpio : James Bond : Osama Bin Laden : Che Guevara : Groucho Marx : Ethel Stoats : Mohammed : Moses : Hotblack Desiato : Queen Victoria : Lemon Curry : Guided Missiles : Anti tank weapons : anti can weapons : bananas : pointed sticks : Harold Wilson : Tony Benn. Have a good day, and I hope smoking is permiited on rendition flights, and in the torture chambers.  
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1st October 2007

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