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Wednesday 30th April 2008
07:29 BST

 I fear it will soon rain again. The sky was brighter, with more blue bits earlier on, and is now looking very grey. This morning could be a re-run of yesterday. After missing the chance to leave at the proper time, and with a few flickers of sunshine around, I may well be walking to the station in the rain again.

 Yesterday was a horrible day, weatherwise. After my soaking in the morning I did manage to avoid all the frequent showers when I went outside for fag breaks, but It was drizzling when I left work, and still drizzling, maybe a bit harder, when I walked from the station to home. I did have an opportunity to meet Iain for a pint in Catford, but I decided I just wanted to go straight home and take some of my damp clothes off.

 The dampness yesterday, and particularly walking around in a wet t-shirt, seems to have made my chest feel a little tight this morning. It is going to need some real, extended, periods of warm sunshine to sort that out. On top of that my guts are causing me some grief this morning, and that is why I missed both my early train, and the one I got yesterday. Looks like I will not be leaving work until 5 pm tonight !
Tuesday 29th April 2008
09:02 BST

This morning started out fairly bright and sunny. Had I left home on time to go to the station I would have walked in the dry. Instead, I left late again and had to walk in pouring rain. I got saturated !  I was fortunate that the rain had stopped for the long walk from Earlsfield station to work, but plenty more rain is forecast for the rest of today.

 Meanwhile my shirt is still soaking wet, and walking with a cold wet shirt does make my chest ache a lot ! Hopefully it will dry soon, but I reckon there is a good chance that I will get wet going home again tonight.
Monday 28th April 2008
 Today the weather has been quite variable. It has ranged from sunny to showery. It was quite bright when I went to work half an hour late, but at lunchtime it rained, and then for the rest of the afternoon it was mostly cloudy but dry. This evening we have had a few light showers, but the weathermen say that the clouds will clear overnight, and tomorrow may be rather cool, but also bright and sunny. Then, like today, the clouds will gather, and more persistent rain will follow.

 Saturday's weather was amazing. The sun shone for most of the day, and the temperature in London rose to slightly above 20 C ! Yesterday, Sunday, was fairly gloomy with sporadic light showers.

 On Saturday Aleemah brought her new laptop round so that I could have a go at getting the modem to work in it. The laptop had Windows Vista installed on it, and that made things slightly more complex as I am still unfamiliar with Vista. It was not a big problem though. The two bigger problems were that the AOL software that Aleemah installed seemed more invasive than a virus, and continually popped up windows asking about setting up an internet connection whenever I did anything to do with networking. Of course the major, and insurmountable problem was that the laptop did not actually have a modem in it. What Aleemah thought was the jack for the phone line was actually an ethernet port. To make matters worse it had no "legacy" serial ports, and no PCMCIA/Cardbus socket. The only way to use it on dial-up internet was for Aleemah to prchase a USB modem. She did buy one on Sunday, and apparently that worked OK.

 Despite the disapointment of not getting the laptop on-line via dial up connection (though the inbuilt wifi connected to my wifi point with no trouble) we had a good time on Saturday, and the warm weather was an added bonus.

 It was a shame that the weather took a turn for the worse on Sunday. I did some shopping, and some laundry, but the dull gloomy weather did little to inspire me to do anything else constructive during the day. I did leisurely sort out my CD collection. Well, not actually sort it out so much as collect it all together into one set of racks instead of it being scattered all over the place. It is quite possible that I spent more time snoozing than doing anything else useful.

 After all that snoozing I found it quite hard to get to sleep last night. I was probably gone 10 pm when I inally fell asleep, and then some idiot woke me up at 1.45 am by phoning me up thinking I was a taxi service. After all that I woke up at 4.45 am, and at that time it was pointless trying to get back to sleep for a mere fifteen minutes. So I got up feeling like I could have done with at least an extra hours sleep.

 Being up that early should have meant that I had plenty of time to prepare myself to get to work on time, but somehow the minutes seemed to slip by, and by the time I was ready to leave it was too late to get my proper train at 06:54 am. Instead I caught the 07:30 am train, and that proved to be an interesting experience. For some unexplained reason there was no lighting in my carriage, and possibly none in the whole group of four cars that made up my section of the train. It is quite an eye opener, if you can excuse the pun, as to how dark it can be in the couple of hundred yards worth of the St John's tunnel with no lights in the train. It is only the second time I have gone through a tunnel with no lights on. The first time was on an old class 205 (or 207) train on the East Croydon to Uckfield line shortly before those trains were taken out of service. Some of those tunnels are quite long, and it is quite exhilarating to travel like that. It has a hint of danger, but you know it is actually quite safe. It must be similar to the thrill on a fairground ride. Of course for some people it may have actually been quite scary, but I enjoyed it as a novel experience.

 It was a busy day at work and I had no time to even attempt to write anything here. So as yet I have not proved I can access my server from work now I have done the modifications to my firewall. Assuming I get to work at the right time tomorrow, I will be trying it out for the first time.
Saturday 26th April 2008
05:43 BST

 It seems to be a fine morning. The sun is still low on the eastern horizon, but the sky looks fairly blue already. There is a slight amount of pinkiness about the light over to the east. Maybe that is saying that wetter weather is due later today, but for now it looks fine.

 Yesterday did not go too bad. I seemed to be mostly over what ever it was that laid me low at the start of the week, and a warm, bright day helped a lot too, although there wasn't as much direct sunshine as there could have been.

 Despite some fairly urgent work required by the production department I was grabbed by the development department to develop an interface between one of our standard circuit boards and a new infra red camera we are trying. I found a neat solution, and got the two working together, although full functionality will only happen once someone has written some software to control the camera functions. Despite the simplicity of my interface it took a long time to make it. Finding all the parts after our recent move took a fair amount of that time. It was the type of project I really enjoy. It was not run of the mill stuff, and gave me a chance to exercise my creativity. It definitely made for a good day.

 After getting in late to work I more than made up my time by waiting for a few workmates to finish so we could all go to the pub after work. In theory I had made my time up by just after 4.30 pm, but I actually left work at around 5.15 pm, and then it was in to The Jolly Gardeners for four pints of Stella Artois. It felt really good to get that down me, and made the walk to the station afterwards seem rather easy. Of course the last bit, going up that huge flight of stairs to the platforms was, and probably always will be, bloody hard work ! It was made somewhat harder by a final burst of speed near the top to leap onto a train that was just about to depart. The doors of the train were shutting as I leapt through the gap, and I made it with milliseconds to spare. I had about a 15 minute wait at Waterloo, and that was convenient to smoke a fag and to make use of the toilets there (surprisingly, after all that beer, non urgent, but still a definite relief).

 I arrived home at roughly 9 pm, and after only eating two satsumas, an apple, and a pear as my entire food intake since the night before, I was feeling a bit peckish ! I could have cooked something up, although I didn't really have anything specifically in mind for last night. Instead I opted to order a Chinese takeaway - and very nice it was too ! I finally got to bed sometime after 11 pm, but I am sure it was before midnight.

 After such a late night I really should not be up at this time in the morning, and I will be going back to bed for a couple of hours soon. When I wake up again, hopefully not much after 9 am, I will have to rush around getting the place ready for a visit by Aleemah. It's going to be a slightly unusual visit because she will be bringing her new laptop with her so that I can help set it up for her. Apparently she was daring enough to buy it from PC World. So the only support she can get from them is a few trained monkies following a badly written script (or something). This new laptop runs Microsoft Vista - so this is going to be fun ! Aleemah's main problem is that the laptop has apparently got a modem in it, but Vista cannot seem to identify it, or find drivers for it. Were it not the case that it is running Vista, and the fact it was bought from PC World, I would find that incredulous, but considering the facts it seems par for the course ! I just hope that Aleemah has not confused a lan socket for a phone line socket on the laptop. If worst comes to worst I do have a good external modem that Aleemah can have, and I am sure that Vista will be able to use that. If Aleemah chose to do the sensible thing and not use AOL I would do the sensible thing and replace Vista with Kubuntu on her laptop.
Friday 25th April 2008
08:42 BST

 Success ! I can access my server from here at work. So it was just that I needed to update my firewall with the new i.p. address that we are using at the new site.

The weather has improved. The sun has burnt through some of the mist and clouds and it is rather fine out.  It is also surprisingly mild out there. I was feeling quite warm by the time I had rushed from the station to work. According to my morning paper, the clouds will gather again this afternoon, although any rain may be just scattered showers. Nevertheless it may make for a slightly gloomy commute home.
06:45 BST

 I noticed that there was a tiny amount of lighness in the sky as I got up at 5 am. It can't be long before I have the pleasure of actually waking up to daylight. Despite that bit of lightness visible in the sky at 5 am it is actually a rather overcast morning. At this point the weather could go either of two ways. The best thing would be if the rising sun disperses the cloud and mist leaving behind a nice sunny morning, or the clouds could thicken and give more rain.

 If I can get access to my web server from work today, I may update what the weather is doing in about 90 minutes time. I should be on my way to work now, but I decided to get the later train to give myself a bit more time to face the day (and I feel quite hot after a very hot shower).

 Compared to yesterday, and even more so to a few earlier days, I don't feel too bad this morning. Most of my creaky joints seem to be fairly free this morning, but I am still suffering a bit from either genuine lack of energy, or just plain old lethargy. Considering how I seemed to find unknown reserves of energy yesterday morning, I guess it is probably just lethargy. Probably the worst thing is I feel a bit bloated this morning. That is almost certainly because of careless eating last night. I was starving when I got home last night and I tucked into a rather large portion of Tesco spicy chicken drumsticks, and Tesco chinese flavoured chicken wings. Those, plus a bag of onion rings, (rather greasy, onion flavoured maize rings !) were my main meal last night. It was all a bit much, terribly naughty, but very nice, and it did hit the spot when I needed it most !
Thursday 24th April 2008
19:27 BST

 The weather today has been highly variable ! When I left for work this morning it was bright and sunny, but fairly cool. By midday, or maybe 1 pm, it had warmed up a bit, but at that time the sky was as black as night, and we had rain, hail, thunder and lightning. When I left work, to come home, it was bright, sunny and felt quite warm, and it has almost remained that way, but there are thick dark clouds in the eastern part of the sky, and more rain is almost certainly due soon.

 After my three days off work I was not very keen to go back to work. I still felt achey, and did not seem to have hardly energy left after washing my hair, showering, and geting dressed. Yet I felt that I should go in to work, and set off for the station feeling quite glum. When I arrived at Waterloo East station it seemed that half my joints were creaking as I got off the train, but somehow I seemed to be able to race up the slope from the platform to the link to Waterloo mainline station with more energy than I dared believe I could have. Of course I arrived on the mainline concourse almost puffing and panting, but I seemed to have done in almost record time - which was truly amazing when I originally thought I would be down on my hands and knees from halfway up the slope !

 I was not sure what time all the trains were that would call at Earlsfield station, but I did know that there was one at exactly the same time as I would have caught to go to Wandsworth Town station - 07:33 BST. With five minutes in hand I nipped outside for a quick smoke before getting on the train at platform 3.

 One of the things I was not keen on was the fairly long walf from Earlsfield station to work. Like at Wandsworth Town station, there are two fairly frequent bus routes, but I decided to walk, and that was obviously the right decision because the first bus passed me when I was almost at work (or the bus stop closest to work). Perhaps when it is raining I may wait for the bus and see how it works out.

 I fely very grumpy when I got to work. Some of it was because I was still suffering discomfort from various aches and pains, and some was because I had to go on several expeditions trying to track down tools that had gone missing, and other stuff that I couldn't find. A couple of paracetamols helped with the aches and pains, but I was still very tetchy for most of the morning. By the afternoon I was beginning to be able to some normal work and began to feel a bit calmer.

 One incident that had a happy ending, but added to my frustration, was that after doing a long overdue update of the Kubuntu installation on my dual booting work PC, I found that the boot loader, upon being updated, had decided that it wasn't going to give an option to boot Windows XP. For the moment, booting Windows is fairly important, but at some time in the future I may be able to do everything I need using Kubuntu Linux. Fixing the problem did not take all that long after a few false starts. The cure was probably a good example of the sort of expertise I have gained while using Linux, and may be typical of many less-than-guru "experts". I did not know the exact incantations to edit the grub bootloader, but I knew where to look, and fortunately the actual file, called menu.lst, provides some examples in a comments area. A quick bit of cut and paste, and I was booting Windows again. It is a shame that Ubuntu, unlike Mandriva (I think), does not provide an easy to use grub configuration utility, but I guess doing it the hard way (not that it was particularly hard) was good practise for me (even if I did "cheat" by using a graphical text editor to do it instead of vi).

 One other annoyance at work is the new I.T. system. The new firewall seems to have blocked port 22. This is the port used for the ssh and scp protocols that I use to access my server here at home. So I could not write anything here while at work. I doubt it will work, but I am going to try and see if a high numbered port has been left open that I can translate in my firewall back to port 22 on my server. If not then I am just going to have to think up a good excuse why port 22 should be opened up. Of course I have just realised that all that last paragraph was probably rubbish. The real reason I probably could not access my server is because port 22 was only open to two i.p. addresse's, and the one at work has just changed to one that is not valid. I have now changed that rule in my firewall, and hopefully I will be able to access my server from work tomorrow.

 I felt fairly good when it was time to go home. This is not that unusual, but after a fairly crap, and sometimes uncomfortable day, it had more significance than usual. I left at my usual time (i.e. a bit earlier than I really should) and did a fairly fast walk to the station. I was quite surprised to get there, puffing and panting, and rather sweaty, in time to get the 16:05 train. That got me to Waterloo in time for three quarters of a fag, and time for a quick wee, before getting my favourite 16:29 train back to Catford Bridge.

 I arrived back at Catford bridge still damp with sweat. This was in part because it was reasonably warm out, and in part from all the rushing around (at Waterloo I had my fag "on the hoof" as I walked around the outside of the station to get from one side to the other, and then had to rush across the link to Waterloo East in order to have enough time to have that wee before getting on the train). A fast walk to Tesco perpetuated that sweat, and Tesco's tends to be quite warm inside. When I finally got in after lugging three heavy bags of shopping back, I was hot and sticky, and dying to have a good sit down. I do wonder if some of that sweat was anything to do with the dying off of whatever bug has caused all my grief this week.

 Very soon now I will be off to bed. Just in case I can't write anything here when I am work tomorrow, I will mention here that it is possible that I may stay late at work to have a drink with some of my workmates. In which case I won't be drinking in Catford tomorrow night.

 
Wednesday 23rd April 2008
05:45 BST

This morning has started off dry - which is at complete odds to the weather forecasts lately. Maybe it will pour with rain later. There was some rain overnight. One feature of the weather lately is that it has been pleasantly warm. Yesterday the highest temperature was recorded at 19 C, but I am not sure whereabouts that was. Around here it was possibly a degree or two less than that, but still rather pleasant. Over the next few days the temperature is forecast to dip by a few degrees, but even at it's lowest, barring overnight temperatures, it will still be fairly decent.

 I have had the last couple of days of work sick. I am not entirely sure what is wrong with me. On Monday morning it felt like I had aged about ten years over the weekend. I have never actually tried it, but if you can imagine what it feels like to wake up after sleeping just a few hours in a shop doorway, or maybe a park bench, then that is what I felt like. Even after virtually a full eight hours sleep on Sunday night, I still felt very tired and I ached all over. It was very 'flu like, but I don't think I have the 'flu. Yesterday was an improvement, but I still felt quite achey, with my sides, shoulders, and neck being sorest. Movement does seem to help loosen me up. So today I think I'll take one more day off work and try and do some gentle exercise like taking a walk around the park, and see how that feels.

 I did managed to do a few things yesterday that may have made things better or worse. By late morning I felt good enough to try and do some hoovering. I managed the living room and the hall, but it left me feeling sore and tired. After a lie down, and a bite to eat, I decided to gather together all my old vinyl albums so I could dispose of them. Sorting them out was OK, but carrying them around almost killed me. I was amazed at how quickly my arms went into fatigue.

 Later in the afternoon Iain came round to be the first to cherry pick from the pile of old albums. By the time he had arrived I had been resting for some time and in that state I felt perfectly normal. After he had picked out a dozen or two albums we sat down and had a quick beer. I had one beer in the fridge that I gave to Iain, and I had a bottle of room temperature Cobra beer - which tastes almost nasty at room temperature ! As I sat there quietly drinking I felt perfectly normal apart from a slight stiffness of the neck. It was at times like that I felt a bit of a fraud taking time off work, but remembering how I felt while doing the hoovering, or carrying those albums around, I think justifies not going in to work.

 At some point today, probably on his way home from work, Ivor will take away the rest of the albums. I know there are a few rareties and/or nostalgic disks in the pile that he will like. I hope the plan is that he will take the rest to work with him so that at some point in the next few weeks a man, whose name cannot be mentioned on this blog, will be able to extract a lot of the heavy metal stuff that Iain and Ivor are unlikely to want. What will happen to the rest of the albums will be a mystery. Perhaps Ivor should take them along to the next drink up at Barming and thrust them on some unexpecting soul !
Monday 21st April 2008
05:30 BST

 The day is only just beginning to get light, and it is too early to get any real appreciation of what the weather looks like outside. All I could really see when I looked out the window just now was a large, very bushy tailed, fox slinking off towards the end of the garden. The ground looks damp but not actually wet. So maybe the rain will stay off at least until I get to work this morning. There was some heavy rain as I went to bed last night. One thing I did notice when I opened the back door for Smudge, was that I did not get the usual icy blast of cold air on my legs. I would estimate that it is at least 7 C outside, and that is not bad for early morning.

 I think I slept really well until about 3 am this morning. From then on I woke up several times before it was really time to get up. In that time I seemed to be having loads of short dreams. I can only remember any details of the last one, but for the others the subjects seemed to range from canals, rivers, railways, underground rooms, telephone exchanges, and computer stuff. Oh, and there was one dream that involved a large cat whose presence would re-occur in my last dream. Although perhaps it was not actually seen in that last dream.

 This big cat was something like a small lion. It stood about 2ft high, and was very powerfully built. It's upper canine teeth were as thick as a pencil, and it was coloured a sort of mottled brown and black. In it's first appearance it was menacing one of my cats. I think my cat was the late Nelly, and she was typically calm about the whole thing - keeping her distance, but not actually running away. I seemed to be watching this from un upstairs window, but the road outside seemed totally unfamiliar. After a very short time some old lady appeared in the road and the big cat started going for her, but she just waved her walking stick at it and it slinked away.

 I seem to recall that bit of dream happening just before I woke up sometime between 3 and 4 am. Just before I woke up at 5 am I was dreaming about cats again. I can't recall seeing the big cat again, but I knew that it was, or had been, in my back garden. I had let one of my cats in, but I was worried because the other was nowhere to be seen. Then other cats started to turn up and I couldn't work out if they were mine or not. I let about five cats in, and they all seemed to know me and knew their way around the house. Then finally one more came in looking quite thin and hungry. I was sure it was the cat I had been missing, but for some reason I couldn't be sure. The two cats I seemed to be expecting were my old cats Ben and Vicky. Yet I remember standing at the back door, ready to close it again in a hurry if the big cat appeared, trying to call Smudge's name. For some reason I couldn't manage more than a hoarse whisper. When the thin cat finally came in I gave him some food and went to look at the other cats. They had all seemed to have made themselves quite at home in my living room, but it was only one who had curled up, oblivious to the world, fast asleep on an armchair. This I assumed to be Vicky. With both cats apparently accounted for I woke up.

 I woke up feeling very stiff and sore. Even now, almost an hour since then, my back still feels slightly uncomfortable. I hope that a good hot shower will sort that out. I had better go and have that shower now or I will be late for the first day of work at the new site (not that I am all that bothered about being a bit late - I can always make the time up).
Sunday 20th April 2008
12:23 BST

 It feels slightly warmer than yesterday, but it is still rather overcast. Some sunny intervals are forecast for today, but so far there seems to be no sign of any chance of a break in the clouds. The long range forecast suggests that things will definitely warm up during the course of the coming week. The London temperature next Friday is forecast to be 18 C, but to get there it seems we will have to endure a few days of rain. Next Wednesday is forecast to be particularly wet.

 Having just written that there seemed to be no sign of the sun ever breaking through, the sun did just briefly, and rather weakly, shine for a few seconds. Maybe I was too pessimistic. Perhaps we will see some sunshine this afternoon.

 So far today I have got up and fed Smudge, and then went back to bed again. Then at 9.45 am I finally got up properly. To celebrate getting plenty of sleep I washed my hair and had a wet shave. Then I went shopping in Tesco. Now I am just being lazy. Maybe I will get around to doing some cleaning, or tidying, later on, or maybe not :-)
Saturday 19th April 2008
21:00 BST

 Today has been mostly dull and grey with occasional light showers. It has also felt very cold, and I decided that I really ought to close the bathroom window that I have had open for the last few days. For the last few days it has been damn chilly in there, specially first thing in the morning, but tomorrow morning I hope I will not be shivering half to death when I get out of my warm bed.

 Yesterday was not quite so traumatic as I feared it could be. In some ways it went quite smoothly, and even had a few high points.

 I went into the old work premises for one last time to pack up my computer, and attend to a few other things. With that done I grabbed my tools, that were packed up in my ancient briefcase (that has been accumlating dust under my desk for the last couple of years), grabbed my shoulder bag thingy that had my dinner in, and slogged it over to the new site. Walking seemed incredibly hard work lugging all that stuff, and I felt knackered when I finally arrived.

 When I first arrived at the new site there was very little to do until later on when the first deliveries from the old site arrived. Once the crates arrived it was a case of trying to empty them as quickly as possible to try and make some sense of my work area.

 As I feared, my work area was really unsuitable for the work I do. By some curious quirk of planning there was a room set aside for electronic work (and a storage area for electronic components). When I pointed out that 90% of what I actually do is electronics I was offered the choice of setting up in the electronics room rather than in an ill lit area on the outskirts of the main production area. It has many plus points, but also some disadvantages. For empire building it would be great to have, in effect, my own office, but I would be isolated from the action. Moving there still requires the approval of the MD, but I expect he will approve. Once I had started to organise my present work area I found it wasn't quite as useless as it first seemed, and maybe with the addition of some drawer/cupboard space, due to be delivered by Monday, it might even be fairly usable.

 My moaning fell on even more ears than I thought. Part of my brief is to support the design/development office, and they think that is more important than supporting production. In the old site they were fairly cramped, but now they have lots of space. So it has been suggested that when they manage to grab me away from production that I work in their office - which would be fun.

 Those few victories about my working area were pretty good, but the high points came at lunch time and home time. I went out to lunch, in our new "local" with the production manager and the best guys from the development office. It was not a long drink, but at two pints it was a bit longer than my usual lunchtime. Then, an hour after my normal going home time, we went back to the pub for another three pints (or was it four ?). I left to go home then, but I hhave no idea when the rest of them left. Probably considerably later ! I finally arrived home just before 9 pm feeling totally starving.

 I did have some part cooked dinner in the oven waiting for it's final half hour, or so, of cooking, but elected to order a rather large takeaway. I had both a chicken kebab and cod and chips. It was a big dinner, but I felt that I deserved it ! After watching some TV I finally went to be at around midnight.

 I awoke this morning at about my usual time, 5 am, and fed Smudge. Then I pottered around, visited a few internet sites, and a couple of hours later I went back to bed. It was nearly midday when I woke up again.

 Even after all that sleep I still did not feel like doing anything very active. So I did some laundry, and that was about the extent of my household tasks. My enthusiasm for rushing around was dampened by two things. First it seemed so dull and gloomy out, and that alwways dampens my spirit. Secondly I had rather a big lunch. It was the chicken based shepherds pie type thing that I had prepared for Friday night but never eaten. Most of it was just mashed potato, and several large helpings of that laid rather heavily on my stomach. So I have spent much of the day either playing on the PCs, or reading. It's nearly 10 pm now and I am feeling incredibly tired. So off to bed I go.
Friday 18th April 2008
06:14 BST

 The ground is dry outside, but the sky looks very grey for this time of the morning. I am sure it will be raining quite a lot today. Yesterday stayed dry, but there was little sign of any sunshine.

 My day at work, yesterday, was not as bad as I feared. We were packing up all the stuff for the move to the new premises. There seemed to be so much stuff to pack that I doubted we would ever finish. Much to my surprise I had finished packing virtually all the stuff I was responsible for, or had been dumped on me, by mid afternoon. Of course it was all just dumped in crates, and it will be "fun" sorting it all out at the new premises, but there will be no pressure there to get it all done in one day. I'd guess I will still be sorting stuff out at the end of next week.

 I was on my feet for most of yesterday, and by the time I went home my feet were feeling quite sore. By the time I was home it was a huge relief to get my shoes off and put my feet up. I am not sure why my feet seem so unusually sensitive. I did notice that they were getting a bit sore now and then while wearing my previous work shoes. I guess they were geting a bit old and tired, and had lost any cushioning. My new work shoes certainly caused some pain when I started wearing them just over a week ago, but that was predominately the heels rubbing. Now the heels have softened up a bit that is no longer a problem, although I still have slightly sore scars there. What I do find surprising is that the soles are not more comfortable.

 This morning I am going in to the old place to finish the one final bit of packing before leaving there for the last time, and then walking over to the new place. That one last bit of packing will be my computer. So until I come home again I will be out of touch with the outside world (except by mobile phone). I have decided that I don't have to get to work quite so early this morning, and hence I am leaving a bit later than usual.

 I am in two minds about what to do tonight. After a couple of days of pressure at work I could go and get slaughtered in the pub tonight, or I could just stay at home and chill out. Both seem sort of appealing at this end of the day. To a great extent it depends on what Kevin's plans are, because I will not be going to the pub alone.

 This weekend Aleemah is otherwise engaged, and so I won't be seeing her on Saturday. That would make a long night in the pub more feasible, but it will also give me an opportunity to try and do a bit more spring cleaning on Saturday, and that means starting the day without a hangover (or at least not one as dreadful as last Saturday's hangover !!)
Thursday 17th April 2008
05:32 BST

 It seems to be very cold and damp outside. It is difficult to add to that. It is still dark outside, and I only had the back door open for a few seconds to let Smudge out. I believe that some rain is forecast for today, although yesterday, with a similar forecast, remained dry.

 I came home from work yesterday intending to just do some concentrated relaxation. I even decided that diverting via Tesco's to buy some fags was too much trouble (but I will definitely have to do that tonight), and I had declined an invitation to join Jodie for a quick drink in the Catford Wetherspoon's pub.

 My intended intense relaxation was rudely interupted by finding my mobile phone bill on the doormat when I opened the front door. I have just upgraded my mobile phone, and the deal was that for renewing my contract I would get a 150 credit, and 76 of that would be used to purchase a new phone. It was a strange way of doing it, but it seemed reasonable. It should have left me enough credit for a couple of months of, effectively, free usage. So I was rather perplexed, and quite annoyed, that my new bill actually stated that I owed the compant 54.99 ! A very long and wearisome phone cal to he companies accounts department finally revealed that they had charged me twice for the same phone, and they finally agreed to credit me with the cost of the second phone which I do not have.

 As soon as I had finished with that phone call a text message came through from Kevin saying that he was in the pub and so was Sarah, the delighful barmaid from last Friday. A second text message came through to say that Jodie was there too. With that I had no choice but to turn off the oven, where my dinner was cooking, and go out again to the pub. I defnitely needed a drink after that long tedious call to the mobile phone people.

 When I got to the pub I found that both Kevin and Jodie were drinking halves of beer instead of pints. This was actually a good idea because there were still several beers from the beer festival range that I had not tried. I was able to sample four different beers before I reached my self imposed limit and went home again. One beer was just a rather pleasant bitter, but the other three were rather notable. One was a ginger beer, or more accurately a beer with ginger in it rather than a traditional, usually non-alcoholic, ginger beer.  I think there was also something like some corriander in it as well. I found it to be unusual, but quite pleasant. Another beer was a Polish (I think) beer that had been brewed with plums. That was unusual, and rather pleasant. The final beer was one I was warned was really rather unpleasant. It was brewed in a UK brewery, by the head brewer of a Californian brewery who had been flown in specially for the beer festival. It was called Stones Double IPA, and its strength was 7% !! I found it had a fairly unleasant grapefruit type smell, but was otherwise not nearly as bad as Kevin and Jodie had suggested it would be. In other circumstances I would have tried a full pint of it.

 It was a rather pleasant little drink last night. I had tasted four different beers, and was home again a little after quarter past seven. That left me enough time to have my dinner, and do a little relaxing in front of the TV before hitting my bed at 9 pm. I think the beer helped me sleep, but it could have just been exhaustion, because I slept solidly right up to 4 am this morning. After a quick pee I managed another 40 minutes of poor sleep before it was time to get up again.

 I am glad that I have managed to catch up on a little extra sleep because today is going to be a horrible day.  It will be spent packing everything up ready for the move to the new work premises. There is an awful lot to pack up, and it is not exactly clear who is responsible for a lot of stuff near my work bench. I have a nasty feeling that it is all going to be down to me. Once today is over things will be a lot easier. The plan is that tomorrow we all troup over to the new premises leaving the old behind for ever. From then on it will be a case of trying to set up my work area in a way that may well prove impossible, and getting used to the new journey to and from work. From sometime this morning I will be losing internet access at work, and I won't be getting it back until sometime Monday (at a guess).
Wednesday 16th April 2008
08:15 BST

 The day has started out a bit damp. There was rain overnight, but the sky does seem to be clearing a bit. Maybe there will be some sunshine later on. Some sunshine is needed. Despite the overnight clouds it is quite cool this morning. Some of this is due to winds from the east. They are not as bad as wind from the north, but still on the cool side. Yesterday did see some sunshine, and it felt very hot in that sunshine, but at other times it was grey and overcast. It seems we have some way to go before the average temperature gets up to something in the region of pleasant.

 I was late into work yesterday, and things were a little too hectic to find time to write anything. I was considering writing something in the evening, but yesterday evening seemed to just flash by. Having got in late to work, I also left late and did not get home until almost 6 pm. I started going to bed at 8.30 pm, and that just left two and a half hours to do anything. I know that some of that time was spent preparing food and eating it, and I did watch half an episode of Top Gear on TV. Where the rest of the time went is a mystery to me.

 The past two nights I have suffered from insomnia. Yesterday I woke up at something like 2 am, and it took almost an hour to get back to a rather bad sleep. This morning I woke at 3 am. I did get back to sleep a lot quicker this morning, but I was sleeping so badly that I was awake again by 4.30 am with a stiff neck, a headache, and other aching bits. So I got up, took a couple of ibuprofen tablets, and played on the internet for well over an hour. By the time I came to have my morning shower I was feeling a bit better, but also feeling quite tired. There were a couple of times when I almost dozed off while reading my paper on the train into work. I think I will be trying to get to sleep even earlier tonight, and somehow, maybe aided by a few stiff scotches, I hope I can sleep through the whole night. Tomorrow is going to be a very hectic day at work, and I'll need all the energy I cam muster.

 I saw a strange thing on TV last night. It was about a report that suggested that ethnic children get into far less trouble when wearing traditional (for their ethnic background) dress. To illustrate this point they had two friends side by side. One was a very cute looking westernised Indian/Pakistani girl, and the other was an obviously overweight girl with a similar background. The overweight one chose to wear some tent like garb with a lot of her head wrapped up in a scarf. According to the report made by some research group or charity, the girl wearing the tent was less likely to get into trouble than the cute one wearing the tight jeans and t-shirt. Now at that age I admit I did wear ethnic dress - grey school flannel trousers and a shirt (I was too young for a flat cap), and I didn't get into much trouble, but it had nothing to do with the way I was dressed, and more to do with the fact I was, like the girl in the news story, very fat. In that state you do have to be very selective about what mischief  you get up to because you do not have the stamina to run away effectively ! So I was very discreet about my misdeeds, and chose things where being able to "leg it !!" was not necessary. All that last night's TV news story proved was that fat kids, unless they are very stupid, do not overtly do any criminal acts.
Monday 14th April 2008
06:46 BST

 This morning it is a bit grey, although there are plenty of breaks in the clouds where the sun could shine through if it so desired. The temperature is sort of middling. It is at least a few degrees above freezing, maybe around 5 C, but it still feels fairly cool. I haven't seen any forecast for the day ahead, but my guess is that it will be similar to the weekend - some sun, and some showers.

 I still feel a bit ill after Friday nights binge, but not as ill as yesterday, and that was an improvement on Saturday. I should think that by the time I get home again from work I will be feeling tired, but reasonably OK.

 Today marks the start of the last week in the old work premises. I can foresee that much chaos will ensue, particularly towards the end of this week. Then there will be more chaos for another week, or maybe more, as we all settle in to the new premises. I have a strong suspicion that there are some at work who still believe that the move will go smoothly, and that production will be up to full strength in a matter of days. They have obviously not experienced a move like this before. Having seen it at first hand, in my previous job, I think I am better able to predict what will happen. It was the chaos (and the extra travelling) that caused me, and something like 20 out of 24 of my former colleagues to quit the last job. I think this move will not be quite so destructive, but it will certainly be disruptive.
Sunday 13th April 2008
18:18 BST

 Today has been wet interspersed with sunny intervals. This is very similar to yesterday. The temperature is somewhere in the middle of warm and cold. Yesterday morning it felt mild enough to go out to the local shops without a coat on, but it is still a little too cool to stand around not moving.

 On Friday night I went for a beer in the local Wetherspoon's with the lads. I had written that I hoped I could get there early, and leave early too. One of those things happened, and the other didn't. I was summoned to the pub just as I was outside locking the front door, on my way there, at a little after 7 pm. When I got there the latest Wetherspoon's beer festival was still in progress, and there were about five different beers to sample.  Several of those beers were to be served by a very charming young barmaid by the name of Sarah who, amazingly, complimented me about my hair, and asked what shampoo I used (Tesco own brand !) Sadly she was only on loan from The Bankers Draft - the Eltham branch of Wetherspoon's - and it is unlikely our paths will cross again for some time.

 I had left some dinner in the oven on a very low gas while I was out drinking, and was still intending to be home fairly early. Sometime around 9 pm I bought myself two halves of beer so that I could say I had sampled all the special beers on offer that night.  On finishing those I had every intention of going home. By then I was feeling fairly "happy", and it took remarkably little peer pressure to stay for two more pints (The opportunity to chat a bit more to Sarah never even entered my mind !!!). Sometime in the next 90 minutes someone, Kevin I think, had persuaded Sarah that we all needed a hug before we went home. Remarkably that did happen, and I think we all left the pub feeling very happy. As we chatted outside the pub plots were hatched to go drinking in Eltham the following lunchtime.

 I don't know if anyone did go for a drink Saturday lunchtime, but I certainly didn't. I woke up with a terrible hangover. It was one that kept me feeling ill all day long ! Some of the blame must lie with just one of the beers I had drunk the previous night. That beer was Marston's Pedigree 6%. As it's name implies it is a strong beer with an abv of 6%. It was very nice, but also very devastating.

 By 10 am I was just about ready to go out and do a bit of shopping. I wanted to buy a small plastic 4 drawer, cheap and cheerful, storage unit to put some loose stuff in to try and make the place look a bit tidier. I went out feeling decidedly worse for wear, and dreading the long queues in the local Argos store. Much to my relief the store was still almost empty, and I was served amazingly quickly. It was still a relief to get out of there and to get back home. I had just enough energy to make the drawer unit up, but after that I just sort of collapsed into a stupor ! It wasn't until late afternoon that I started my tidying up, and even then I really had to draw on energy and enthusiasm that I really didn't have. My reward for almost finishing the job was to treat myself to a takeaway. I bought a couple of dishes from an Indian restaurant that specialises in Nepalese dishes. One of the dishes I had was a sort of Nepalese lamb and potato stew/curry. It was delightful in it's simplicity, and had a delightful spicy taste.

 After laying around for much of the day I didn't feel sleepy until it got very late, although I was still feeling drained of energy. I eventually went to bed around, or even some time after, midnight. I awoke this morning after just five hours of sleep (maybe less - I was not really paying that much attention to the exact time). I fed Smudge, and played on the internet for something like an hour, which gave time for Smudge to eat, go out and do her "business", and then come back in again. Then I went back to bed, and didn't wake up until almost 11 am. I was still feeling very ropy, and because of that, plus the fact that it was raining quite hard for a couple of hours, I did not get out to Tesco to buy my fruit for work, until nearly 1 pm.

 Today I still feel very horrible, and it is going to take a good week of dieting to get my blood sugar, and blood pressure, back down to safe limits again. Next Friday, if we are drinking again, I must try and avoid an excessive amount of beers !

 Just for a change, but mostly because I have cleared enough space to use it, I have written today's piece using my iMac.  It is still painfully slow to directly type stuff in. So I wrote the majority of this using Apple's "TextEdit" and pasted it into Nvu (Document made with Nvu).
Friday 11th April 2008
09:00 BST

 It is a tiny bit warmer this morning, but even so it is still chilly. Overnight, at some unknown time, there was a bit of rain. If it had not left a few tell tale puddles I would never have realised there had been any rain because the sky is clear, and the sun is shining. Rain is expected today, and this afternoon it could get heavy enough for some thunder and lightning - or so my morning paper says. From what I can see in the sky right now it looks like the start of a warm sunny day.

 Last night I had a call from my younger sister. It was the first time I have spoken to her in years. She informed me that one of my nephews, the son of my older sister, has died recently of sudden death syndrome. This is bad enough, but for my older sister there is still worse to come. My nephew, Robert by name (I think) converted to Islam so he could get his leg over marry some muslin woman. Well I guess we all choose are own punishments in life, but it means that his funeral service will be performed, if that is the right word, in a mosque, and 50% of it will be in arabic. This, apparently, and for good reason, does not exactly please my elder sister. I am not sure whether it was conjecture, or if it was actually the case, but my older brother, who is a bit of a Christian god botherer, is outraged by the idea. Thank goodness when I snuff it they can dispose of my corpse in any way that makes them happy - burn it, bury it, or dump it at sea (or eat it) !!

 I have turned off my webcam for the moment. Tomorrow, if it is quite bright outside, I may experiment with some different setting to try and stop the bleaching out of the picture whenever the sun comes out. As an alternative to the USB webcam I can also use a proper video camera fed into the TV tuner/video capture card. I do have an excellent camera, with powerful zoom, that I might try and rig to look at The Catford Loop Line, or something.

 Tonight I think I am going drinking with the usual suspects. As far as I know, the Wetherspoon's beer festival is still on. So there could be some new beers to try. I am hoping for a relatively early start, maybe 7 pm, and then a relatively early finish, maybe 10 pm, or perhaps even earlier.
Thursday 10th April 2008
08:57 BST

 This morning has started clear and sunny again. Unlike yesterday there was definitely a frost this morning. Hopefully the day will stay sunny, and it will soon warm up.

 The internet had died when I came into work and I couldn't write anything here. Now it is up again it is too late to write much more than this. Actually I have little to actually write about.

 The one thing to mention is the latest news on my webcam experiments. Last night I discovered that the exposure control was not locked on automatic, and in fact it appears that automatic exposure is not a working option. Maybe some new drivers will cure this problem. I have also experimented with using option to add sound to the stream. That seems to work OK, but it is not something that I expect to use most of the time. The webcam is on right now with the exposure control set to low. This has still not stopped the rising sun from totally bleaching the picture, but once the sun has risen far enough a better picture than yesterday should emerge (unless now it is too dark !). I wait with bated breath to see how the picture looks at, say, 11 am.
Wednesday 9th April 2008
08:55 BST

 Once again it is a beautiful sunny morning. It is even better than yesterday because there was no, or at least, very little, frost this morning. There is also very little wind, and that is making the sun feel very hot. The top temperature today is only supposed to be as little as 12 C. Somehow it feels like it could get hotter than that. Maybe even 14 or 15 C.

 My webcam experiment on Monday was a little unsatisfactory. In full daylight there was far too much light for the camera to handle. So I have turned it back on again with all the exposure controls set far lower than last time. As I write this the sun is shining almost directly in to the lens, and all I can see is a pure white screen. I am keeping my fingers crossed that after the sun has risen a bit more I will be rewarded with a reasonable picture. Once again you can access the webcam here.
Tuesday 8th April 2008
 It's a beautiful clear morning. Unfortunately that means there is a thick white frost outside. Later today the temperature is forecast to rise to a meagre 10 C, but with that rise will come more cloud, and the possibility of some showers. Yesterday managed to remain dry, as far as I can recall, but for most of the time it was very cloudy. For a few brief moments the sun did manage to find a gap in the clouds, and the direct sunlight felt wonderfully warm.

 This morning I feel horrible. I am almost certain that I am coming down with a cold. At 1 am this morning I woke up to a sneezing fit. Only a squirt of nose drops managed to stop my nose running. I have a feeling that is wearing off now, and once again my nose feels wet and itchy. I am going to go in to work this morning, but after I have sneezed on a few people I may well give up and come home again. On the other hand maybe the fresh air will act as a good remedy and I will be OK for the rest of the day.

 Last night I had an unexpected beer. Iain had made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I met him in the Catford Wetherspoons straight after work. It was not as early as I had anticipated. I made sure I left work in plenty of time to catch my early train from Waterloo East, and indeed I did get a nice early train from Clapham Junction station. It was as my train was approaching Vauxhall station that things went very wrong. According to the guard there was signalling problems at Waterloo, and we were soon crawling along between signals for the rest of the journey. It would be easy to imagine that our average speed between Vauxhall and Waterloo was just 2 miles per hour ! When I caught that train at Clapham Junction I had every confidence that I would arrive at Waterloo early enough to be able to have a fag before getting the 16:29 train from Waterloo East. I did have time for a fag, but not that much spare time before going to get the 16:55 train from Waterloo East.

 I eventually arrived in the pub and had a look at the selection of beers available. Currently Wetherspoons are doing another beer festival. They are so frequent that I have given up trying to remember what each is is about. There were 4 or 5 new beers that I could have tried, but I managed to control myself and only have three pints of moderatel strength beer. I left the pub at around 7 pm feeling starving. It is odd how some of the food they sell in the pub can smell very slightly unpleasant, and yet still give you a raging hunger. As I walked home I pondered over my eating options. I was very tempted to get a chicken kebab, and maybe that would actually have been better than what I actually did. I went into the Aldi supermarket and bought several things that are not exactly low calorie foods. I did buy a few sensible things though, like toilet paper and a new pair of cheap and nasty trainers.
Monday 7th April 2008
08:34 BST

 It is very chilly this morning. This is not surprising considering there is a little snow still lying around after yesterday mornings snow. The sky is very overcast, and more rain, sleet, or even snow, is forecast for today, particularly in the afternoon.

Snow on Sunday morning (6/4/08) This picture was a snapshot from my webcam pointing through the upstairs, front bedroom, window. During the morning a good few inches of snow fell. The ground was just a little too warm for it to successfully settle (though it did try), but it did leave a thick white blanket on the roofs, fences, cars, and anything that kept it off the actual ground. I have left the webcam on just for today, and you can see live pictures here. Unless anything exciting happens I will probably switch it off when night falls tonight. I did leave it on overnight, last night, and I was very pleased with it's low light capabilities. The camera itself is a quite cheap, very weird looking, MSI Star cam 370i. I paid 12.60 for it here.

 I spent a lot of Sunday morning just experimenting with various schemes to get the webcam online. I would have liked to use a Linux solution for it, but eventually I settled on a Windows solution using the free trial version of WebcamXP. With the webcam finally up and running I did very little for the rest of the day, although I did keep going back to the webcam to either watch it on one of my other PCs, or to do little tweaks to it to enhance the presentation. I ended up in bed watching the outside world go by, and finally turned off the light as late as 9.30 pm. It did take some time to get to sleep.
Saturday 5th April 2008
13:20 BST

 Today is cool, but so far it is not as cold as I thought it might be. The sky is very cloudy, and some clouds do look rather dark , almost black, but there have been a few sunny spells. Early in the morning there was some fairly heavy rain. I have no idea when it started, and I am not even sure what time it stopped, but it was definitely raining when Smudge popped out briefly at around 6 am.

 Yesterday did get quite warm. It was only supposed to be about a degree warmer than the previous day, at around 18 C, but it felt much warmer than that.

 I had quite an arduous day yesterday. Mid morning I went to the new work location. It is a good 15, and maybe 20 minutes walk from the old (and still current) site. The new place is quite good. I would guess that the floor space we will have is one and a half times the total floor space of the old place. There does seem a lot of work still do considering we will be moving there on the 21st of the month, or roughly a fortnights time.

 My visit to the new place was to get started on wiring up some test bays. I went with one of my workmates from the development office whose brief is to get the test bays working prior to the move. It is a curious mixture of skills. He is the "boss" (of just this particular job), while I am just the technician. So my job is to supervise the "white collar worker", and teach him how the job should be done. In theory the entire job should be mine, but I am too valuable to use doing the menial work while I could be repairing the circuit boards needed by production. So while I "slave" over a hot soldering iron, the man from research and development is wiring up test bays. Periodically, and probably that will be a few afternoons when I am bored doing repairs, I will go back there to supervise !

 I had my first taste of what the journey home will be like from the new place. It was not a good one, although I did leave a whole minute after my official time, or as much as six minutes later than my habitual time. The walk to the station is longer than I had imagined, and it is uphill almost all the way. The road does look fairly flat because "uphill" only really means a rise of maybe fifteen feet over a ten minute walk, but it is just enough to make the walk just that little bit harder. At the end there is quite a long flight of stairs up to the railway station platforms.

 So I arrived at the station with aching feet ( I had been on my feet all afternoon), and just in time to wave the 16:12 train goodbye. That would have been the last possible train if could get if I was to get to Waterloo in time to catch the 16:29 train home to Catford. The next train, and obviously the one I did get on, arrived at Waterloo at the exact same time as that 16:29 train departed from Waterloo East station. I was none too happy, but it did give me time to be able to stroll instead of rush, and, of course, to grab a leisurely fag outside the station while I waited for the 16:55 train home.

 I arrived home absolutely starving. Although we had a lunch break at the new premises, it was in the local pub, and I didn't get a chance to have my usual three pieces of fruit (but I did get to have one pint of Stella Artois). I thought that I would probably be going to the pub last night so I tried not have more than a bit of a snack. As it happened I did not hear from Kevin about drinking so by about 8 pm I did have more to eat. I did hear from from Kevin this morning, and it seems he was available for a beer at about 7.30 pm. He was expecting to hear from me it seems. I think I could have enjoyed a pint, or three, but I was tired. I actually fell asleep on the settee for what might have been as long as an hour, and was only woken up by a call from Jodie  at roughly 7.30 pm.

 After Jodie had woken me up, and we had chatted for some time, I had a bite to eat before playing with my ancient NEC laptop. My goal was to get the sound working on it while running Damn Small Linux. I did succeed, although I think it was a temporary victory. I did manage to play a couple of mp3 tracks through the tinny in-built speakers, but I am sure next time I rebooted the sound had got lost again. I continued to play with the laptop, and watched some TV until midnight when I decided it was high time I was in bed asleep.

 I woke this morning a bit later than I would during the week, and I fed Smudge. I stayed up playing on the internet until Smudge had eaten her breakfast, had been in in the rain to do whatever she needed to do, and then came back in again. I then went back to bed. For quite a long time I couldn't seem to get back to sleep despite feeling like I was needing more sleep, and then, suddenly, it was ten past nine. At that point I thought I really should get up. I had lots of things I needed to do before Aleemah came round to visit.

 I only did half the things I should have done, but I did do quite a lot beside. The extra, and unneeded stuff was to clear up a large chunk of my bedroom. The stuff I didn't do was to hoover, and clean up the living room. I got so far behind schedule that Aleemah called me from London Bridge saying she was just 30 minutes away while I was still having a wet shave prior to a shower. Putting on a little bit of speed I managed to get to the station just five minutes late to meet her.

 Since then we have been to the cafe, and spent a long time in Tesco's (the checkout queues were typically horrendous being as it was Saturday). Right now Aleemah is watching the film Scum, which is such a horrible, nasty, unpleasant, film that I hought I would let it run while I wrote this !
Friday 4th April 2008
06:45 BST

 This morning is once again rather overcast, although there are breaks in the cloud, and a few blue bits are peeping through. Perhaps when the sun is in the right position it will shine through one of those breaks in the cloud. The temperature now feels rather cool, but it is predicted to rise to as high as 18 C today. Although it is possible that the temperature rose to as high as it was predicted to yesterday, it did not feel that warm. On the few occasions when the sun broke through it did feel very warm, hot even, but it was not out for long enough to heat anything up to give a warm feel. This mild, or warm, depending on your personal definition, weather is not set to continue. According to the forecasts we are to return to wintry conditions tomorrow, with icy blasts gusting in from the north. Probably direct from the north pole ! Where it is most definitely cold despite all the global warming doom mongers predicting we could all go and sunbathe there next Tuesday.

 After a long wait, due to O2's computer system being unable to accept a proper and full address, I finally received my mobile phone upgrade yesterday. It was sent direct to work where I had to make special arrangements with reception to look out for a poorly addressed package. It is a Nokia 6300 phone. To be honest it is not a great improvement over my previous phone, and in some ways it is worse, but it was free, and provided lots of distractions as I played with it and learnt how to drive it.

 Today I believe I will be visiting our new work place. This will be the first time I have seen it. I have a fair amount of work to do there in preparation for the actual move, which should be in about a fortnight. I expect that I will be there until it is time to go home, so I can find out if my theory about it being quicker to get home from there are correct. Actually I didn't mean quicker, but less hassle. I am pretty sure that I will still be getting the 16:29 train from Waterloo East station, but it will be less of a mad rush to get there in time for it.

 It is quite probable that I will be spending a lot of next week at the new place. I am not expecting to get any internet access there until my work PC is moved over on the day of the great move. So I will be off the air for e-mail and for writing here in the mornings. Maybe next weeks thrilling installments (!) will have to be written in the evening.
Thursday 3rd April 2008
 08:04 BST

 The weather forecasters promise that today will be the second hottest day of the year so far. The hottest day prior to this was back in February sometime. Today's temperature is supposed to get up to 16 or 17 C. Unfortunately it will apparently not be a sunny day. The sky is mostly cloudy, but there are a few breaks in the cloud, and the sun has peeped out for a few moments at a time. Yesterday was mostly cloudy with very few signs of the sun, but by the afternoon it was pleasantly mild outside.

 I spent most of last night playing with the old NEC laptop. I successfully installed Damn Small Linux on it, and it worked fairly well. Only one of my two PCMCIA/Card-bus network adaptors was recognised, and my wireless card was not recognised. However one network card was all I needed to get internet access on the machine, and that was good enough. The only thing I have yet to get working is the sound. The automatic scripts can't see the soundcard. I believe it is, or is equivalent to, a rather standard Soundblaster 16. That is definitely supported by Linux, but being an ISA device it will probably mean some configuration of it's ports in the laptops BIOS setting, and even then I may have to resort to installing the "drivers" from the command line. I have done that before, but it was a long time ago, and I will definitely need to seek out some documentation to remind me what to do.

 I have a feeling that I ate too much last night. That was not too much by the normal scheme of things. In fact by normal standards (my standards) is was still a small amount, but it was a lot more than perhaps I should have got by with. Instead of some fruit, as a snack, when I first got home from work, I had a small tin of mackerel in spicy tomato sauce with a small tin of sweetcorn. By itself that would make up half of my eating target, but the main meal I cooked would have probably equalled three quarters of my target. Essentially I had one quarter more food last night than I really should have done. That second meal was rather tasty though. It was a couple of skinless, and boneless, chicken breast cooked in tikka masala curry sauce with broccoli and a bell pepper. I have a strong suspicion that the curry sauce had too much oil, and other stuff in it compared to other ready made sauces by the same maker. Tonight I must try and do better.

 I need to visit Tesco on the way home from work tonight. That can be a bit of a temptation to buy food that I would really prefer to avoid. I think that apart from the fags I want, I might have to try and force myself to only buy vegetables (it will never happen though !).
Wednesday 2nd April 2008
08:20 BST

 After an exceptionally warm and sunny day yesterday it is a bit of a disappointment that this morning is very overcast. Some showers are forecast for today, but mainly in the morning. So far it is dry, but rain does look imminent. According to the thing that looks like an advanced pile of scaffolding with adverts on it, possibly meant to be some sort of digital clocktower, outside of the Wandsworth shopping centre, the temperature as I came into work was 10 C. It doesn't really feel like that, but there is a bit of a strong breeze and that would make it feel a bit cooler than it actually is.

 Yesterday I spent a little more time with the old NEC laptop that I had re-installed Windows 98SE on. After reporting that it did not appear to shut down properly the other day, I found that it booted up correctly. I added some software and had another go at using the card-bus WiFi card on it. The main reason I had been experimenting with try to get Windows NT4 to work on that laptop was because I could not get that WiFi card to work properly unless I turned off all security on my WiFi point. Even with a fresh installation of Windows 98SE, and the latest drivers and software for the WiFi card, it still would not connect properly.

 I finished yesterday saying that it would be almost impossible to run any Linux with a graphical desktop on that laptop. I am now thinking that it might just be possible - but only just ! Just for fun I tried running Damn Small Linux on it. It got as far as a 85% complete desktop before grinding to a complete halt. It may be possible that if I installed to a spare hard disk (I have a 1.4GB disk spare) it may actually work. It is supposed to be able to run on an ancient Intel 486 computer with as little as 16 MB of ram, and I have more than that, but whether that is for a full graphical desktop is something I will have to investigate. The first thing I will investigate is whether it can install itself from the command line rather than by clicking on an icon. I think that will be the make or break point of the experiment whenever I get around to trying it.
Tuesday 1st April 2008
06:26 BST

 The weather this morning seems to be dry and rather cool. It is a bit early to see any sunshine yet, but from what I can see of the sky it looks as if the start of the day is going to be a bit gloomy. Maybe we will see some sunshine later, or maybe it will rain. Maybe it will do both !

 Yesterday was a fairly fine day. It remained dry, and there was some sunshine. The best of the day seemed to be when I was coming home from work. It was almost warm outside, and the sky was about 75% blue with a scattering of white fluffy clouds. Had it been a lot warmer it could almost have been mistaken for a summer day.

 When I came home last night I couldn't be bothered to do any cooking. So I had a couple of cold meals. The first was just a tin of mackerel in spicy tomato sauce served on some tinned peas. The second was smoked mackerel served with the closest approximation to salad that I could muster. That "salad" consisted of sliced tomato, diced red onion, a diced yellow pepper, and shredded savoy cabbage leaves.

 Some time ago, a month or three ago, I was trying to get an old Pentium laptop to run Windows NT4. I never did succeed, for reasons that remain obscure to this day, and last night I decided to re-install Windows 98 (second edition) back onto it. The installation took a long time compared to installing a modern Linux installation, but it went smoothly, and seemed to work OK apart from maybe one thing. After I had given it one final test, I don't think it shut down properly. Next time I switch it on I will see if anything broke as it was shutting down. It is a damn shame that that laptop uses a weird sort of proprietry memory. It would be nice to get Linux working on it, but with only 32 MB of ram it would never be able to run any more than the most basic graphical interface, and then would have no memory left to run any useful programs. (For any Linux Gurus reading this, I know that is not strictly accurate, but it's close enough).