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Thursday 31st July 2008
16:03 BST

 Despite it being gloomy outside it, it feels oppressively hot right now. The air is still, and I think we may be heading toward a thunderstorm. As if on cue, it has just started to rain. It's only a shower now, but it could get worse.

 Today started off much brighter than it is now, and although there was a brief shower, there was also some occasional sunshine. Over the course of the afternoon the air has become thicker, the clouds more dense, and the overall ambience more gloomy.

 Within the last few minutes there seems to be a bit of a breeze springing up. Will this turn into a raging gale as thunder and lightning crash all around, or will it just freshen up the air and push the clouds away ?

 I think that I am enjoying this holiday in some ways, and yet feel guilty that I have not accomplished more than a tenth of what I wanted to. I blame the weather for making me lazy. Yesterday was a lazy day. I seemed to very little. I shuffled a bit of rubbish around in the back room, but I didn't even achieve the simple, or what should be the simple, task of clearing everything off the dining room table. Doing so is one of the key things for clearing up this back room. With a clear table I can put loads of stuff on it as I try and work out what is to be kept, and was is to be thrown away. Then subseqently use the space to pack boxes of stuff that is to be kept. All I managed to do was to open up a few tiny islands where you can actually see the table top below.

 One of the problems with being at home all day is that I find it hard to resist having a big breakfast, or more likely a big brunch. That slows me down for many hours, and yesterday it slowed me down until the early evening. I had a notion that I might get a call about boozing late in the afternoon/early evening. It didn't come, but I did manage to hold off eating any more in anticipation. By 8 pm, having finished watching Batman on BBC 4, I thought I might wander off to the pub to see if anyone was there. I half expected I might find Kevin in there. I didn't find Kevin, and I didn't find Iain either. Instead he found me after I had walked right past hime twice ! So instead of my more realistic expectation of drinking one pint while reading through a few pages of a magazine, I had three pints and a good chin wag with Iain.

 For the first time in ages, it was dark, or practically dark, when I left the pub. It had cooled off a few degress at that time, and it was most pleasant to walk through the cool air without the glare of the sun.

 When I got home I could have gone straight to bed, but I felt peckish after not eating since my large brunch some 10 or 11 hours earlier. After a large and tasty salad followed by a large tasty roll, and some TV I finally got to bed at around 11 pm.

 I slept well through to 4.30 am when I got up to feed Smudge, check my e-mail, and potter around the house not doing anything of any significance. At 6 am I went back to bed. After a faltering start I was amazed to find I had slept right through to 10 am !! Even then I did not shower and dress until 11 am.

 Once washed and dressed I made a half hearted attempt to start some clearing up. I didn't get very far before I decided I had to go out and buy some more diet cola. I couldn't be bothered to go as far as Tesco, and bought some Diet Coke from the corner shop. While in there I spied the latest copy of New Scientist, and one other magazine I wanted to read. From that moment on I was doomed. Since then I have had some lunch and read New Scientist from cover to cover, and I have even had another hours sleep.

 That brings me to right now. What shal I do now ? Probably the first thing to do is to prepare the August page for this diary. Then I should get down to tackling this back room, but the call of the other magazine is very strong...........
Wednesday 30th July 2008
06:41 BST

 The temperature has certainly dropped a lot since Monday. This morning it is bright, but almost chilly. I think there is a small chance we could see a light shower sometime later today, but right now the sky is bright with just light fluffy clouds.

 I complained that there was no wind yesterday to blow some fresh air through the house. I was a bit premature. Early in the afternoon the wind picked up to the point where I had to shut a few windows to stop everything blowing around.

 My mini fridges arrived just after midday. It was a bit later than I had hoped for, but no real problem because of that. They both work well, but do have some drawbacks. The small 8 litre fridge I had hoped to install in my bedroom. It does cool a glass of water down nicely, but it is also a bit noisy. I hadn't really appreciated that they use a fairly powerful fan to blow across the rear heat exchanger. There is another inside,, but that is relatively quiet. I did leave it on in my bedroom overnight and enjoyed some very cool water in the night, but I think that I may move it elsewhere in the house in the future.

 The second, 20 litre capacity fridge, is much more impressive.  It has a thermostat and temperature display on the front. It also has a "mute" switch that slows the fan down for relatively quiet running at night. Theoretically this one is better designed for use in a bedroom, but everything is illuminated by bright blue LEDs, and they do create a bit of a glare in the dark.

 Both fridges managed to get glasses of water down to 9 - 10 C. That was cool enough for the glasses to quickly gather a thick layer of condensation when stood in the room. Unfortunately it does take quite a long time, maybe a couple of hours, to get them this cool. The 50 word instruction leaflet suggests pre-cooling anything put in the fridge.

 Apart from playing with the fridges, I did do one constructive thing yesterday. I managed to completely clear all the rubbish off my downstairs, back room, computer table. I even went as far as polishing it !  With the table now clear, and clean, I brought my newly reconstructed PC down from upstairs and installed it on it.One interesting revelation occured. When I booted it up I found I had no network connection. This was the same problem with the old PC I had down here before I fitted it with a new network card. I came to the conclusion that it was more likely to be the network patch lead that was causing the problem, and changing it certainly got my network back. That is two network cables that have died on me recently. Funnily enough both were of the same type. If I ever manage to get the old PC to boot instead of just beeping at me, I reckon I will find the onboard network adapter will be OK after all.

 I passed a lot of the time waiting for fridge delivery by reading a book, and then read a lot more of it in the evening until I finally turned out the lights and fell asleep at something ridiculous like 1 am this morning. The book that captured my imagination was Richard Hammond's "On The Edge". It was the story leading up to, and his recovery, from the brain damage he sustained in a 300 mph jet car crash. It was a very good read. At times it was quite uplifting, and yet also rather scary.

 One of my prime aspirations for today is not to sit around eating too much like I did yesterday. I also want to go out and get a bit of fresh air, but I doub't that will involve going further than the local shops. I had intended to do more than just clean the top of my computer desk yesterday. There was crap not just on it, but under it and to the sides of it, but the enormity of the task seemed too daunting to make any headway. I think I want to try and make a start on clearing the rubbish from under the desk today. I predict it will be like clearing up the front upstairs bedroom. At first the mess seemed to just get worse, but eventually some order started to appear, and the process speeded up for a time while I was cleaning up on a large scale. Once it was down to the small fiddly bits I lost enthusiam and work slowed right down. That upstairs front bedroom is still not finished even now. There are small pockets of resistance, and the decisions about what to throw away are becoming harder and harder as I try and clear out the last nooks and crannies.

 Clearing this back room is probably going to be a harder task than the bedroom. There is loads of stuff down here that will be very difficult to throw away. Apart from the computer hardware there are loads of books and other carefully hoarded paperwork. One item still to be removed from the front bedroom is a filing cabinet. It would swallow up lots of my paperwork from downstairs, but until I can make some sort of space for it in the back room it will have to stay upstairs - and yet the paradox is that without it being down here there will be no way of clearing the space for it ! It may end up standing in the middle of the room until such time as I can prepare it's new home.

 If I ever do get this back room cleaned up I will finally be able to use my dining table for what it was intended for - eating dinner on. That could be important. I think there is a very small chance that Patricia may be staying here over christmas. It would certainly be nice to cook her a christmas dinner and serve it at a proper table. So that's the long term goal - to be able to use the back room as a dining room again by christmas. It would be nice if it was ready long before then, but I feel it is essential I achieve this goal by christmas.
Tuesday 29th July 2008
06:39 BST

 The weather has had a little experimental change. During the night some heavy rain fell. It's dry and clear again now. So whether the weather thought it's experiment was good enough to adopt for the rest of the week remains to be seen.

 It was hot yesterday, very hot ! In the upstairs front bedroom I recorded a temperature of a tiny bit over 31 C. That was a good full degree hotter than Sunday, and that was hot enough.

 Right now the outside air feels wonderfully cool and refreshing. Inside the house it still feels very warm. I have all the windows, and curtains open in an attempt to replace the hot stuffy air inside with the cool air outside. Unfortunately the wind died down with the rain sometime in the early hours of this morning, and there is not much air movement through the house.

 I didn't make it for a lunchtime drink with Ivor yesterday. Although I was awake, and pottering around the house quite early yesterday, it was not until around 11 am before I was washed and dressed. At that point I still had a few chores to do, and it was too hot to rush around, or indeed to rush about on hot sticky buses. I did suggest that Ivor might have just a short dinner break and then leave work early enough to stop off in Catford for a drink on his way home, but he already had arrangements for his lunchtime, and then needed to get back home a lot earlier than usual.

 I still went for a drink in the early afternoon, but it was just with Iain. We had a good drink, and left the pub a bit later than I had imagined we would. I think I was feeling quite thirsty, and the ice cold Stella Artois was going down a treat ! I think the experience, or the temptation to drink more, was enhanced by popping outside for the occasional fag. The Catford Wetherspoon's has rather good air conditioning. Inside it was cool and dim. Going outside, and at that time of day, straight into the heat and glare of the sun, really made you appreciative of that cool dim interior. It was like stepping into a furnace !

 At the risk of imploding my bank account I ordered a few bits and pieces, including my mini fridges, yesterday. It does take my bank balance to a precarious low, but payday is very close now, and I should survive. Those bits should be arriving today. Hopefully they will arrive fairly early today, but for the moment, the most important task for today is just to wait for the doorbell to ring.
Monday 28th July 2008
08:53 BST

 Some overnight cloud kept the temperature up during the night, and this morning has started off fairly warm. That cloud dissipated during the early hours of the morning, and it is bright and sunny now. Yesterday the sky was quite hazy, but despite the sunshine being rather muted, I did measure the temperature in the upstairs front bedroom at 30 C. That was with the window open, but with the curtains closed. It was the hottest room in the house, but the downstairs back room was only a few degrees behind it.

 It would be nice if today was a couple of degrees cooler, but I think it will be quite similar to yesterday. The weather forecast still suggests it will all end in a thunderstorm. Maybe some areas did get one last night, but there was nothing around here. I seem to recall that a definite change in the weather is predicted for a few days time, and that will definitely bring some rain without waiting for a thunderstorm to brew up from the heat. I don't really want a thunderstorm, nor do I particularly want it to rain, but an overnight shower would freshen things up a bit.

 With it being a Sunday, and being on holiday, I got into the holiday spirit (?) by spending quite a lot of yesterday lying on my bed, in just my underwear, with the fan on, reading a book. It was nice having the time to do that, but predictably enough, it has left me with a stiff back this morning.  Today I must try and be a bit more active, although one of my aims for today is to get in some sort of drink with Ivor if he is around.
Sunday 27th July 2008
08:30 BST

 The hot dry weather continues. Yesterday the cloud did bubble up a bit towards the evening, but it stayed dry. Out and about it did feel rather nice most of the time, but the evening did become a bit sultry. Although it never got so humid as when a thunderstorm is approaching. It was close though. Sooner or later this run of hot dry weather will end with a bang, and it is not just me who believes it. The TV weathermen have alluded to it several times. Maybe it could be today, but this morning is starting off fairly fresh. Not as fresh as it could have been if we had had an overnight shower, and although I am only going on the feel of the air coming through the windows, it does feel sort of nice - so far.

 It is one thing to sit around indoors sweating all over the place when you are alone, but I didn't want to do that when Aleemah was here. I had previously noticed that Tesco were still selling fans, and they were quite cheap. So yesterday morning I bought one. I soon found out why they were so cheap (the one I bought cost 7.25). They are supplied in it form. This was no problem, in fact it was a good idea. The only problem I had in assembling it was that I didn't realise that the screw thread for the plastic nut that holds the fan blades on was a left hand thread. Maybe it should have been obvious, but there was no reason for it. They could have designed it so that the fan rotated in the opposite direction and used a conventional right hand thread. Maybe I should have looked at the assembly instructions, but I still had the thing built in five minutes, and was soon enjoying it's cooling breeze.

 There is one problem with using a fan to cool yourself. Once you move away from the cooling blast of air it feels hotter than if you hadn't used it. Maybe that is why I have resisted buying one for so many years. Now I am hooked on it. In fact this morning I will be buying another one so I can have one upstairs and one downstairs. Another thing I think I will buy, but this time by internet order, is one of those miniature electronic fridges. The one I may get is described here. It will be handy for keeping a bit of booze cool. In fact I am very tempted to buy another, smaller one, to keep in my bedroom. There is a video presentation of the one I have in mind here.

 I had a pleasant time with Aleemah, yesterday. We watched the DVD of the BBC TV series Fanny Hill. It was quite good, and just mildly raunchy in parts.

 Today I have no specific plans. Shortly I will be going out to do some shopping - and get another fan. After that I think I fancy some sort of breakfast, and after that.....well, I don't really know.
Friday 25th July 2008
07:11 BST

 I am not sure, but I think this morning may be warmer than yesterday morning. Yesterday was a hot and dry day. Today should be similar, but there is always the threat of a thunderstorm brewing up in the late afternoon heat. The most recent TV weather forecast I saw did suggest that today, and tomorrow, could see some showers later in the day.

 Last night I went for a very pleasant drink with Iain. I met him at 5.30 pm, and we stayed for three pints. I'm not sure what time we left the pub, but it was early enough for me to watch a film when I got in, and manage to be in bed, fast asleep, by 10 pm.

 I won't be drinking tonight, but I expect I'll be going for a quick lunchtime pint with the lads from work. With luck we will have time for two pints !

 Tomorrow sees the start of my weeks holiday from work. I am not going away, but I expect I might make a few drinking trips. Mainly I will be pottering around the house doing a bit of this and a bit of that. All the constructive stuff will probably start on Monday. Tomorrow I should be seeing Aleemah, and on Sunday I expect to do some extensive relaxation (or something).
Thursday 24th July 2008
08:41 BST

 It is warm this morning. This is a little surprising because the sky was clear last night. Normally things would have cooled down a lot with clear skies. In some ways it is a little too warm. The bright sunshine, and the blue sky is certainly good, but it was just a little too easy to work up a good sweat while rushing around on my way to work.

 It seems it is going to stay hot for some time now, although we may not quite reach the threatened 30 for Friday. I am not sure if it will happen today, or tomorrow, but the high heat and humidity is bound to trigger a good thunderstorm sooner or later.

 Last night was slightly odd. Iain pulled out of drinking last night, and I was not expecting Kevin to be available, but it was not until I was practically home that I remembered suggesting to Andy that he might like to pop in for a drink on his way home. I mentioned it to him earlier in the week. So I thought I had better go to the pub anyway just in case he turned up. I had one pint, and waited for just over half an hour in case he appeared, but after that I assumed he would not be drinking on that Wednesday night. So I went home.

 That short trip to the pub was actually handy. I knew I would not be in there that long whatever happened. So I left some dinner cooking in the oven. After only half an hour it was not fully cooked, but at least I had made a good start on it.

 I woke up this morning with the remnant of an inventive dream in my head. I have no idea what the dream was about, but I do remember what it featured. It was a boob cam ! This device, presumably useful at parties, and for other wild times, was shaped to look like a (female) breast, and had a camera in the nipple. It could be worn or stuck to the wall (or anything else presumably) and would beam video, via bluetooth, to any receiving mobile phone nearby. Quite why my brain invented this device in my dream, and how it was used in my dream, remains a mystery, but someone reading this may well think it is a wonderful idea and manufacture them. Feel free to do so, but do send me an example (stuck on a sexy model !!), and send me copious amounts of royalties ! The only minor problem is that I believe that Bluetooth has insufficient bandwidth for video.

 Tonight I think I am back in the pub again. Tonights session should be a bit longer, but I still hope I am home again by, or very soon after, 8 pm.
Wednesday 23rd July 2008
07:56 BST

 If the outside temperature was about one degree warmer I could describe it as warm outside. Instead it could only be described as very mild. That is not the full story though. The cloud built up overnight, and that partially sealed in the heat. It is still very cloudy this morning, and it feels very close and humid. Standing still, before doing anything like a fast walk, feels fine, and actually walking very fast is fairly OK because it causes it's own cooling draught. However, after a fast walk, say, across the full width of Waterloo station and then almost the entire length of platform 2, the sweat soon pours off me in the still air.

 So we are in for a very sticky day unless there is some rain. When I left home this morning there was a feint smell of rain in the air. The clouds are certainly thick enough right now, but no ain is forecast for today. It is difficult to trust that forecast when it suggests that the cloud will thicken in the afternoon. The sky is already 100% grey now, and it seems unlikely it could get any worse. I predict, foolishly perhaps, that the clouds will break up this afternoon. On the other hand, the heat could brew up a massive thunderstorm !!

 There is not much to tell about last night. Apart from going home via Tesco's it was the same as the previous night. What I have been meaning to mention is that I bought a new DVD player last Sunday. It is rather good. Besides playing DVD's it will also play mp3 files and xvid encoded avi files to. The best part was you get all that for something like a mere 17.45 from Tesco. It's actually a neat little unit too. Rather minimilist would be another way of describing it. It is little bigger than about 8 x 8 x 2 inches, and has only three controls and no display. There is, of course, a full set of controls on the remote control. To shave the price down to this level they do not supply the two AAA batteries for the remote. At that price I am very tempted to buy a spare.

 Tonight I may be going for a quick drink with Iain (and Kevin if he wants to come), but if not I'll be doing the same as last night, and the night before.
Tuesday 22nd July 2008
06:57 BST

 I am sure it is someone's birthday today, but I can't think who it is (besides my mum, who is dead). So to whoever it is I have forgotten - Happy Birthday !!

 It is a good day for a birthday today. The sky appears to be 100% blue as far as I can see. Maybe there is an odd cloud lurking out of site behind something that obscures my sight from the whole sky, but all I can see is blue. After a clear night it is quite cool this morning, but the temperature will soon climb. One day this week, and I think it will be towards the end of the week, the temperature is forecast to hit 30 C. Now that is HOT !

 Yesterday remained cool, and also fairly cloudy, until mid afternoon when a warm breeze sprung up. It made my journey home from work rather pleasant.

 As I predicted, after getting home late, I didn't do anything of any note last night. In fact I don't really remember doing anything except watching TV for a couple of hours before going to bed. I am sure I must have done more than that. Maybe writing an email counts as a bit more, and now that comes to mind, I remember I did spend a bit of time searching for a webpage I wanted to mention in that email.

 I seem to have got off to a slow start this morning. In theory I could have rushed out to get the 06:54 train, but I couldn't be bothered to rush about. I could get the 07:29 train, but I think I am going to get the same train as yesterday - the 07:56. Being a semi fast train, only stopping at Ladywell on the way to Waterloo East, it only makes me 5 or 10 minutes later than getting the earlier train. There is an intermediate train at 07:44, but that goes to Cannon Street station and I would have to change at London Bridge. While waiting to change trains I would probably see the 07:56 go by, and actually arrive at Waterloo East even later.

 I guess tonight will be similar to last night. I'll be getting home late and not feel like doing much. In theory I would have time to do many things. I expect I'll be home by 6 pm, and that leaves a whole three hours before I go to bed. Of course within that three hours I need to cook some dinner, eat that dinner, and do the usual preparations for going to bed. Each may only take a little time, but added up it probably accounts for nearly an hour used up. Thinking of dinner reminds me that I need to buy some on the way home. So That will take at least 20 minutes out of my free time as well.

 I don't know why it seems that I have to justify my need to be a couch potato in the evening, and in fact I wasn't really trying to. I think I was just working out, to my own satisfaction, where all the time goes to after work. I think the moral of all this is that life was a lot better when my journey to, and from, work was less than thirty minutes. That gave me anywhere from 1 to 2 hours extra time during the day. There was also less preparation needed for those short journeys. It takes me quite a long time to get comfortable for a journey lasting over an hour. Although there are toilets at Waterloo, and I do use them frequently, I still like to leave the house (or work) feeling like I won't need to use the toilet for an hour or two. Such is life with an irritable bowel !
Monday 21st July 2008
06:52 BST

 According to my morning paper the day has started at a mere 16 C. It certainly feels quite chilly outside. The sky is about 50% white cloud, and 50% blue. As yet the sun has not lined up with one of the blue patches. So it seems rather dull outside. Later today the temperature is supposed to rise to a rather disappointing 23 C. That seems a little low for mid July, but the long range forecast is that we will see 27 C before the end of the week.

 Right now I should be approaching Waterloo East station, but I am at home. I have been to the station, and have read a few pages of the free morning paper I collected there, but while I was at the station my train wasn't ! It was supposed to arrive at 06:34, but that time came and went with no sign of the train. The platform indicators changed to show the next train was at 06:54, but no one bothered to make any announcement. I could have waited for the 06:54, but I was feeling chilly, and I thought I might want a pee, but more importantly I knew that train would be absolutely jam packed. So I walked back home, and I shall either catch the 07:29 or 07:56 train. As I approached my front I did see what should have been the 06:34. It was travelling at speed, and I am guessing that it did not stop at the station. I couldn't actually see if there were any passengers on it, but once again I am guessing that there weren't any.

 Yesterday was an educational sort of day. I decided not to bother with messing about with my old PC, but to install an extra hard disk in the semi-redundant PC that was in the froont bedroom (it is still there, but I will be moving it downstairs soon). On that extra hard disk I installed Kubuntu linux. It wasn't straight forward !

 There are now three hard disks in that PC. One is a big one connected via a SATA interface card. Unfortunately the disk partitioning tools seemed to have an argument with the boot loader installation tools. The disk partitioning tools reckoned that the SATA drive was the important one, and that would be booted first. The boot loader tools agreed with the PC BIOS that one of the ordinary hard disks would be booted first. Between the two of them they made a right mess of things. The installation only became successful when I disconnected the SATA drive. Once everything was running correctly I reconnected the SATA drive and set a mount point for it.

 My troubles were not over even then. There is some software I like to use that is now being considered legacy software even though it is still very good. One program in particular, Xmms, caused me some grief. It would not install because it relied on a certain library. To install that library I needed to remove an alternative version of that library. Having done that I ran the Xmms installer again and the first thing it wanted to do was to uninstall the new library and re-install the old library. Then it said the installation had failed because of the missing first library - the one it had uninstalled itself ! I went round in circles like that for some time before I decided to see if Xmms would actually work despite the installer saying it had failed. It worked perfectly !!

 I did have some similar, but perhaps milder, problems to that, but I seem to have overcome them all. There may be a few things I have forgotten, but this PC (I am using it to write this now) seems to be working pretty much the way I like it. I am having a good clear up around the space where the dead PC lived downstairs. Once that it done I shall move this PC downstairs to it's rightful place.

 I doubt I will be doing much tonight. I will be an hour late to work this morning, and so I will be leaving an hour late. By the time I get home I probably won't feel like doing much, but we'll see.
Sunday 20th July 2008
09:13 BST

  The weather has changed once again. Yesterday started off with some heavy cloud, and Aleemah said there was some rain in North London, but by mid morning most of the cloud hadf broken up, and we were treated to warm sunny spells. This morning has started bright and sunny, and more than half the sky is free from cloud. The clouds that are there look white and fluffy, and totally non-threatening.

 One peculiarity about the weather has been the red skies. There was a beautiful red sunset last night, and that usually indicates a fine day to follow. This morning the sun rose on a flame coloured sky, and that usually indicates bad weather on it's way. They both can't be right. So I choose, and looking out the windows suggests my choice is correct, that today will be a beautiful summers day !

 On Friday night I could have gone for a drink, but in the end decided against it. It would have been difficult to resist the temptation to stay out late, and I did rather want to get to bed early. In fact I wasn't in bed all that early, but I reckon I was probably in bed asleep not very long after 10 pm. I actually slept quite well and I was able to get up early with enough enthusiasm to do some long needed housework before Aleemah came over. There was one place where I could have spent far longer hoovering. That was on the stairs where Smudge has decided that she sleeps now. It is a stupid place, and one that will get her trod on one night ! Hoovering the stairs is awkward at the best of times, but when one stair is covered in cat hair it makes it more difficult still. To make matters even more difficult, the stair carpet there is wearing a bit thin, and cannot take the scrubbing to lift all the cat hairs at one time. Once Smudge decides to find a new place to sleep, which she does every so often, I will have to attack the spot carefully with hand tools.

 I had a pleasant time with Aleemah yesterday. We watched a really strange film called "The Science Of Sleep". The film is almost impossible to describe. I found it really difficult to keep track of what was a dream sequence, and what was reality. Although some dream sequences were so weird that it was obvious they were dream. It was one of those films that was sort of enjoyable at the time, and yet you can't really remember why. We finished off our time together with a very tasty Chinese takeaway.

 This morning I was up quite early for a Sunday, and I have already done some stuff, and I have plenty more to do. I have finally changed the processor fan on my FreeNas network storage box. Hopefully that box will now continue to run reliably for a good few months, and if the hardware holds up, maybe even several years (although I may replace it with extra storage built into my server mkII - whenever that is built !).

 One very important job for today is to get some service for my most important PC. It's the one in the back room that I use for most of my web surfing, and for email. Last night, having recently aquired some spare memory, I decided to increase the amount of ram in it to 1 GB. Sadly, doing that, seems to have killed the box. When I turn it on I just get this lonely bleeping sound. Putting the old sticks of ram back in did not cure the problem, and that leaves me with some unanswered questions. The initial problem is that the case is really full of dust. That makes working in it a bit unpleasant, and I didn't want the roar of the hoover disturbing the neighbours late into the evening last night. It is possible that the ram sockets are just contaminated with dust, or it is possible that the BIOS needs a reset. Both things could be sorted out once I have hoovered out all the dust, although physical access to the BIOS reset link will be tricky with some dismantling.

 It is possible that the motherboard in that machine has reached the end of it's useful life. It seems that the network interface died on it some months ago, and I had to resort to adding a new network card, and diasbling the onboard one in the BIOS. Maybe other bits have now died. One difficulty is that I am not exactly sure what the bleeping is trying to tell me. I am reasonably sure it's playing the wrong "tune" for a faulty graphics card (which is an onboard one anyway). If I can find the motherboard manual there could be clues in there. If not I'll have to search for clues on the internet.

 I do have contingency plans if the motherboard is beyond repair. I plan to add an extra hard drive to my spare Windows machine, and install Kubuntu on that. Then it will just be a matter of copying all the important stuff over from the old hard disk.

 I don't know what the end solution will be, but I am sure it will provide many hours of masochistic pleasure !
Friday 18th July 2008
08:07 BST

 Friday has started off very grey, and it seems to be getting worse. There is every chance of drizzle and showers later on. I am taking a big gamble by not bringing my coat to work today. I wanted to get some shopping on the way into work, and the coat took up too much room in my bag. So I will probably get very wet going home tonight !

 Last night I did a little shopping on the way home. It was, of course, in Tesco's, and while in there I noticed they had the latest edition of New Scientist on the shelves. It was a bit unusual for me to buy it on a Thursday, but I had nothing else to do, and read the whole thing once I got home. I finished reading it by 8 pm. After that I didn't fancy watching any TV so I headed for bed. I think it is quite possible I was asleep by 8.30 pm last night.

 Apart from a brief interlude when I got up for half an hour at around 2.30 am, I think I slept rather well. I certainly do feel a bit fresher this morning. As yet there is no news as to whether the it of plastic fork that I probably swallowed on Wednesday night has passed through me yet. There is no evidence either way, but I am guessing that it should have done by now.

 Tonight it is possible that I may go for a drink, but I reckon there is only a 33% chance that I will. I rather fancy getting another early night so I can get up early and do some housework before Aleemah comes to visit.
Thursday 17th July 2008
08:21 BST

 The cloud is back this morning. The sky is very grey and showers are forecast for this afternoon. The temperature is reported to be in the mid teens, and is unlikely to top 19 C by the end of the day. It doesn't actually feel that cool though, and either it is just me, but it still seems humid this morning. It doesn't seem to take a lot of effort (such as running for the bus) to raise a bit of dampness to the skin .

 I had a really great time last night. I met Iain in the pub at 5.30 pm, or thereabouts, and we had several pints together (and a couple of shorts !). It was one of those sessions where the conversation seemed to flow very easily, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Towards the end I couldn't get food off my mind. I hadn't eaten any more than fruit all day, and I very much looking forward to my dinner. So while outside having a fag, I popped into the kebab shop next door and ordered a chicken kebab, and told them I would pick it up in 15 - 20 minutes time when I had finished my drink. That worked out really well. We left the pub at 7.30 pm. I picked up my kebab with none of the usual waiting around that causes the bladder to swell after a drink, and was home again before 8 pm.

 I sat down to munch my kebab while watching "Top Gear" on TV. I was eating it with one of those little plastic forks they sometimes provide wih a kebab. Half way through I realised that one of the tines of the fork was missing. After poking about in the kebab for a bit I came to the conclusion that I must have eaten it. Fortunately it was very brittle plastic. So I could possibly have broken it into small pieces as I chewed on it, and it was little over half an inch long. Provided it goes straight I will have no problems, but if it comes out sideways it could be an interesting experience !

 I was probably asleep by 9.30 pm last night, and it could have been a bit earlier than that. I slept well until about 2.30 am when I woke up for no obvious reason. It seemed difficult to get back to sleep after that. If I hadn't needed to come to work today I would probably have got up, had a pint of water, played on the internet, or read a book, for an hour or two, and then gone back to bed. Unfortunately I didn't have that luxury and so did my best to get back to sleep again. My sleep after that seemed very disturbed and there are lots of fragments of dreams lurking in my memory this morning.

 When I finally woke up for the last time I was feeling quite rough. I think I have a bit of a hangover this morning. It was bad enough that I called into Boots on the concourse of Waterloo station to buy some aspirin. That may not have been a good choice even though it seemed like the right thing at the time. If my guts are being lacerated with that bit of plastic fork then the last thing I need is something that will thin the blood and making the bleeding worse. We'll just have to see what happens in the next 24 hours.

 I had thoughts about staying late at work and going for a drink here, but on second thoughts I think last night's drink is sufficient for now. Maybe I will go for a drink in Catford tomorrow night, or maybe not. Tonight I will go straight home, and do whatever feels ike a good idea at the time.
Wednesday 16th July 2008
08:26 BST

 This morning is a bit brighter than yesterday morning, but there is still a lot of cloud in the sky. When I first left home I thought it felt nice and fresh, but after rushing about, particularly the long walk between Waterloo East and Waterloo mainline stations, I came to the conclusion that it is still a bit humid this morning. The weather forecast says differently, but it seemed to take very little effort to feel a bit warm and sticky.

 I couldn't resist watching a bit more Billy Connolly yesterday, but I did tear myself away from that for long enough to do the woodwork I mentioned yesterday. I didn't get as far as hanging the shelves because there was more rubbish than I anticpated stacked up on a rough and ready bookcase I once knocked up from some scrap wood. I did make very good progress sorting out some of that crap, and disposed of a large bin bag full of it. There is another bag three quarters full, but I don't think there is enough room in my wheelie bin for that this week. Once that bookcase is clear, and the replacement shelves hung on the wall for the remaining stuff that I refuse to throw away, then the front bedroom rehabilitation will finally be over, or at least as over as it is ever going to be. That will be damn handy because I learned yesterday that Patricia could be coming to stay earlier than the last estimate. It's still a long wait, but September is closer than October.
Tuesday 15th July 2008
07:46 BST

 It seems we are back to a murky morning. It is very cloudy, but it is also fairly mild outside. I believe there could be a small chance of a light shower, or two, but the day should mostly dry, and there could even be some sunshine this afternoon.

 Yesterday remained mostly bright and sunny, and towards the end of the day it was feeling really rather warm. I certainly felt hot and sticky when I went to be last night, and I can't remember if I even bothered to pull the duvet over myself at any point in the night.

 There could have been an alternate reason why I felt so hot and sticky last night. It could have been something else brewing. This morning my guts very extremely volatile ! I feel rather empty now, but it is probably a bit late to start off for work now, and I think I would prefer to wait at least another hour before straying too far from the toilet anyway. So I will have to amuse myself at home today. Work is not going to like it, but because I am basically OK now, I will be asking for today to be recorded as holiday.

 Last night I seemed to do very little. After getting some dinner ready I sat down to watch "Billy Connolly live in New York". The show itself lasted about 90 minutes, but with a few breaks to do things like serve up my dinner, and check on my emails, I found that one single programme took me virtually up to bedtime. I was actually in bed a few minutes before 9 pm, but I read for a little while, and then found I was too hot to go to sleep straight away. I reckon I finally fell asleep at around 10 pm.

 One of the first things I will be doing today is to open up my network storage box. After just a few days the processor fan has failed again. This time I really will throw it away and find something else to replace it.

 Later on I could attempt to complete my server mkII, but maybe I a little inclined to do some woodwork, and put some shelves up. I do feel a bit tempted to seek out the possibility of a lunchtime drink, but I ought to resist that. Drinking on an empty stomach is not always a wise thing, and drinking on a stomach that feels as empty as mine does right now could be foolish ! (Although it is actually my lower digestive tract that ought to be emptier than a politician's skull, rather than my stomach).
Monday 14th July 2008
08:45 BST

 Much to my surprise it is a sunny morning. This should feel rather good, but being a Monday morning it doesn't (although if it were cold and wet it would definitely feel very bad). No, being a Monday morning, I feel a bit crappy. Sitting around over the weekend, eating more than is good for me, always gives a very sluggish start to a Monday.

 Yesterday was a strange day. I achieved very little, but I didn't seem bored, and the day went by very quickly. I did do a little more to my server mkII, but it was a very, tiny little. In fact I just installed one interface card, and slid the motherboard back into the cabinet. A more productive, or useful thing was to clip some articles out of a few old Linux Format magazines.

 I was recently reading what I believe to be the latest issuse of Linux Format magazine, and there was one particular article in there about something, but I can't remember what, that I thought was so useful that I ought to keep it. So part of my shopping in Tesco's for esterday morning was to buy some A4 plastic pockets, some A4 seperators, and an A4 ringbinder. Looking around I found I only had about three back issues of Linux Format, but I went through those and found a few useful things to add to me folder of tips and tricks. As yet I have not cut up the current issue to keep the article about whatever it was that I thought I ought to know about, but maybe I will do that tonight.

 I guess partially re-reading old magazines used up some of my afternoon, but I am not sure where it all went. In the evening I watched the film "Adolf Hitler, My Part In His Downfall" which was based on the first part of Spike Milligan's war memoirs. It was a very enjoyable film, but didn't really capture some of the humour of the original written version. That took me up to bedtime. I guess it was around 9.30 pm before I finally fell asleep, and I slept well until Smudge, who was out, woke me up sometime after midnight. I was probably woken by the sound of her climbing up the garden fence. It is a high fence and she makes lots of scratching, scrabbling noises when she climbs up it's shear face. Once outside the back door she made more scratching sounds, and a bit of meowing. Thinking it might be pouring with rain I got up to let her in. There was no rain and she came in quite dry. Quite why she was so keen to come in is a mystery, but maybe she had a run in with a fox or something.

 After letting Smudge in I went straight back to bed via the toilet. The second half of my sleep was not as good as the first half. I think I was dreaming a lot, although the only bit of dream I can remember was being on a train at 23 minutes after midnight. As I remember it I was trying to get to somewhere unremembered so I could catch some sort of special train back at 00:58 in the morning. Other intangible fragments of dream seem to be lingering in my mind, but nothing that would make any sense to decribe. Some are just like very blurry snapshots. I woke up again, feeling quite stiff and sore, at 4.30 am. There wasn't much point trying to get back to sleep again at that time, and so I got up.

 I'm not even guess what I may be doing tonight, but it could involve watching some Billy Connolly. Maybe it will involve watching a lot of Billy Connolly. Who knows ?  but I think I fancy the idea of a bit more comedy tonight.
Sunday 13th July 2008
08:19 BST

 Although there is still a fair amount of cloud in the sky, the morning has started bright and sunny. This is an improvement over yesterday. Much of yesterday was overcast, and there were a few light showers. I expect today will be fairly similar, but I have not seen a weather forecast recently. Depending on how long the sun actually stays shining, it could warm up nicely today. The mornings recently have been almost chilly, but most days the temperature has risen to above 20 C by late afternoon. Maybe today we will hit a more July like temperature of the mid to high twenties.

 Yesterday was a fairly productive day. It started out with two shopping trips. The first was the usual visit to Tesco for catfood and general provisions. Then I went out again to visit three more shops. In the first I bought a couple of belts to replace a couple that are already getting a bit flaky. Those cheap belts, and they are cheap at an average of 5 each, do not seem to last long. I guess they are sold more as a fashion accessory rather than something that is neccessary to hold my trousers up. If there was anywhere I knew locally that sold genuine, hard wearing, leather belts I would be inclined to invest in one, or maybe two, but for the moment the simplest source only provides cheap and nasty belts.

 The second shop I visited was a shoe shop to buy a cheap pair of trainers for work. My current ones, bought in a supermarket have proved to be quite durable, but are showing signs of wear. I reckon they only have a few more months of life left, and as I hate buying shoes I thought I would get a spare pair in while I was in the right frame of mind. The last shop was the 99p store where I bought some assorted junk. Included in that junk was some food for Smudge. I tried some on her yesterday afternoon and she was not too keen on it. So I will only give it to her now and then.

 My productivity continued in the afternoon when I investigated the strange whirring sound that emenated from my network storage box shortly before it died earlier in the week. The cause turned out to be the fan on the processor. I had only oiled it a month or two back because it was running a bit stiffly. The oil I used was "clock oil". It was a very thin oil designed not to be sticky in clock mechanisms. Obviously that did not work too well. I meant to use "Three-In-One" oil, but the can was up in my workshop and I couldn't be bothered to go up and get it. This time I couldn't be bothered again, and so I used WD40. It will be interesting to find out how long that will last. Eventually I will replace the fan, although that processor runs so cool it could work without a fan on the heatsink. I think it was the BIOS shutting the machine down when it detected that the fan had stopped rather than the processor overheating. Next time the fan fails I may unplug the fan and monitor how hot the processor gets. If it's OK after, say, an hour, I may well decide to do away with the fan.

 My next bit of productivity should probably be classed as mostly just experimentation, but it kept me busy, and did involve a bit of definite productivity. I went back to the PC where I was experimenting with using a compact flash card in place of a hard disk. Although it worked I was not too happy with Suse linux. So I tried Xubuntu instead. The installation was quicker, and I had mp3 and xvid playback. It felt very usable, and only used just over 2 GB of memory for the operating system. I think it reported that I had 1.7 GB of memory left for my personal files. That is not a lot, and in fact is very small if you are thinking in terms of media files, but for surfing the net, doing e-mail, and a bit of office work it was more than adequate. It would be easy to add additional storage using a USB connected hard disk, or pen drive, if multimedia stuff was required.

 While waiting for stuff to happen in my Xubuntu experimentation I did some real productivity by making a start on the mechanical construction of my server mkII. I only got as far as mounting the motherboard, and a few of the interface cards, but at least it was a start. I may finish the construction, and get the operating system installed today.

 By early evening I decided to leave the PC's alone and cook some dinner. One item I found in Tesco was a fairly large, reduced price, steak. It's price was reduced because it had been sitting on the shelf for too long, and even though it was in a sealed container it had started to discolour. One end of it was no longer bright pink like beef shouldn't be, but was dark red/brown like it ought to be. It looked good sitting on the shelf, and although I am not a great lover of steak I decided to buy it. That was the right decision. I fried it until it was about medium rare, and it was very tasty ! It was quite a big piece of steak, although I have no idea what it weighed, and I had it with a pile of "lightly spiced" potato wedges. It was both delicious and very filling (more so considering I had eaten quite well during the day). After that there was nothing to do but "veg out" in front of the TV.

 Of course being a Friday night there was very little on TV, but I found a few things to watch. One was a comedy programme that I think has only recently started. It was called "Would I lie To You", and featured Angus Deyton as the host. It was both good and bad. The good was Angus Deyton sounding very similar to when he hosted "Have I Got News For You", and the bad was that it was very flashy. It was a modern touch that reminded me too much of trashy American stuff. All the flashy lights and graphics, and the SciFi styled desks, just seemed to distract from the essential Britishness of a comedy quiz show. If I have nothing better to do I may well watch next weeks programme, and maybe I'll get to like it more, but I won't be going out of my way to see it again.
Friday 11th July 2008
07:56 BST

To my surprise there is some sunshine this morning. The sky looked very overcast as I walked to the station this morning, but now, here in Earlsfield, the sun is shining. The forecast suggests that showers will break out later in the day, and that some of them will be heavy. So I'll probably get drowned on my way home from work.

 It was most pleasant going home from work in the sunshine last night. Maybe it inspired me to do more than just eat and watch TV last night. Maybe it was because I took delivery of a couple of 4GB compact flash flash cards yesterday. Whatever the reason was, I was inspired to do some experimenting on a PC last night.

 Some time ago I ordered a compact flash card to IDE converter. This allows a compact flash card to be used as a solid state hard disk. At the time I ordered the converter I also ordered a compact flash card, but the one I ordered turned out to be out of stock, and that bit of the order was cancelled. Having re-ordered a couple of card, and received them, I carried out a dual experiment.

 The first part of the experiment was obviously to try one of the cards as a hard disk. The second bit was to try out Open Suse 11 linux. So I installed Open Suse 11 on the flash card. Mindful of the fact that I only had a 4 GB card I opted for the lightweight Xfce desktop. The installation went very slowly, but succeeded OK. I did have a few niggles with how a few things worked, but overall I was happy with it. One thing I was not happy with was how Open Suse seem to have restricted the playback of many common media formats. MP3 plackback I can understand because in theory mp3 decoding requires a licence, but plackback of xvid coded video files seemed very strange because xvid is an open format.

 Apart from those few problems I think the experiment was a success. The card converter certainly works, but I still have some experimenting to do using other linux distros, and probably Windows too. Open Suse 11 seems OK, and I feel I will probably be using it to power my new server (whenever I get around to building it).

 Tonight I will not be doing any experimenting, or at least not on computers. Unless anything goes wrong this week, I should be meeting Aleemah tonight.
Thursday 10th July 2008
08:10 BST

 There was almost clear blue sky in Catford this morning, but when I arrived in Earlsfield I was greeted by a lot of cloud. In fact the sky was very nearly all cloud, and it looked as if there had been a shower not too long before I arrived there. That was about half an hour ago and the cloud has now broken up. There was even a brief flash of sunshine.

 According to the weather forecast there is low pressure centred over north Britain, and as the cloud swirls around it we are getting all this recent rain. It seems to take a few days for the weather to revolve around this low pressure, and so today we are getting the same break in the cloud as happened on Tuesday. After today we return to far wetter weather again for a few more days.

 Until that low pressure moves, or dissipates, it seems the weather will continue like this - several days of rain followed by one of partial sunshine, and then back to the rain. It means it is looking bad for the weekend.

 All the rain we have had recently, and there has been a hell of a lot of it, started life as water evaporating from the Atlantic Ocean. By my reckoning, and only considering that amount of rain that has fallen on Catford and Earlsfield, the Atlantic Ocean must be several feet shallower now. Several more days like we have had recently and the US of A will be panicking that all the millions of terrorists who try and bomb them daily will be able to wade across the ocean instead of flying there with their bombs tucked in their shoes. Expect to see the Yanks nuking the Atlantic and day now.
Wednesday 9th July 2008
06:43 BST

 When I first woke up there were still some breaks in the cloud. Towards the east there was a very red looking sky, and that red sky confirmed the forecast for today - rain ! Now it is raining, and will probably do so for the rest of the day. Some of the rain is forecast to be very heavy. I can't say I am looking forward to that.

 Ideally I would have left for work by now, and if I had caught my extra early rain I would be somewhere near London Bridge by now. There could have been a chance that I may have been able to complete my journey into work before the rain started, but that is not the case. I expect that when I do leave for work I will be rained on for most of the journey into work.

 This morning I really do have a case of "the runs", "Delhi Belly", or whatever. Yesterday morning was only a taste of what I have this morning. Maybe, after a multitude of trips to the toilet, it is all over, but I am not very confident of that. I do feel rather empty now, but I still get the occasional twitch, or spasm, from somewhere deep inside my lower digestive system. I blame it on the free range egg and mayonaisse sandwich filler that I bought from Tesco last night. It was near it's sell by date, and on the reduced price counter. Of course it could have been caused by any number of things, but eggs are always good to take the blame.

 There's not much to tell about last night. I bought some poisonous food. I ate some poisonous food. I watched a few episodes of The Simpsons. I went to bed. Tonight I may, or may not, go for a beer or three. If it's raining I doubt that Iain will be at the pub. I think Kevin is out train, and ferry, spotting tomorrow morning. So he may not be drinking tonight. On top of that, from this end of the day, I am not sure if I fancy a drink tonight. So I would say that there is only a 25% chance of me going to the pub tonight.
Tuesday 8th July 2008
07:59 BST

 This morning has started out overcast, but it is dry. The rain finally stopped late yesterday evening, but it is certain to return sometime today. Apparently today will be one of the drier days this week - which doesn't actually fill me with much joy !

 Yesterday was very wet, but we did see one or two brief glimpses of sunshine. As I left work there were a few distant peals of thunder, and I did see some heavy rain. Fortuately I was under cover at the worst moment. The first really heavy downpour was while I waited for my train at Waterloo East. The rain fell like stair rods, and the noise under the tin roof of the platform was deafening. The rain then cleared up for a bit. In fact I think it went south because I caught up with it again at Catford Bridge station. Once again it lashed down for a few minutes, but once again I managed to stay under cover. I didn't wait for the rain to completely stop before I walked home, but it had lightened considerably when I did. I guess you could have called it heavy drizzle. As I got with 50 ft of my house there was a flash of lighning followed just a few seconds later by a real bone rattling peal of thunder. The lightning must have been as little as half a mile away. There were a few more similar crashes of thunder after I got indoors.

 I was pleased to see that Smudge seemed fairly unphased by the thunder and lightning. Some cats really hate it. Schiba always wanted to hide from it, and often his instinct would be to find a hiding place outside. Smudge, like Nelly used to, was more interested in me serving up her dinner !

 By 8 pm, or maybe a little after, the rain had finally stopped and I persuaded Smudge that she should go out for a while. She actually needed very little persuasion. She had been in all day and the litter tray had not been used. So I guess she was busting. While she was out I prepared myself for bed, and even lay on my bed to do a bit of reading. Half an hour later I called Smudge in again and she came bounding in with none of her usual hesitation. By 9 pm I was fast asleep in bed.

 I was woken at 1.30 am by Smudge who was trying to cough up a fur ball (or something). So I got up, and as it was still not raining outside, I  opened the back door so she could cough it all up outside instead of on the carpets. From then on I had great difficulty getting back to sleep. It was the usual combination of brain refusing to go into standby, the bed felt too lumpy, the pillow felt too lumpy, and the temperature was all wrong. I don't know how long I thrashed about trying to get to sleep, but I was woken by my clock radio, and I felt dreadful.

 It has taken quite a few hours but I am beginning to feel OK now. Had I not had that week off work sick a few weeks back I might well have been tempted to call in sick today. At first I felt quite stiff and aching, and also very tired. On top of that I had guts ache. Bits of me slowly improved as the time approached to leave for the train to work. Walking to the station seemed like hard work. By the time I got to Waterloo I thought I was beginning to feel better, but I had to visit the toilets on the platforms at Waterloo East, and on the main concourse at Waterloo mainline before I felt comfortable enough to continue to Earlsfield.

 It is a long walk from one end of Waterloo station to the other, and this is what you have to do when using the toilets before catching your train on platform 2. To make matters worse, the toilets are below the level of the concourse, and you start your walk going up a flight of stairs, and then the best part of the train for alighting at Earlsfield is the front of the train, which is even further to walk. I  have never tried to time it, but I would guess that starting from the time you leave the cubical, until the time you get on the train, may easily take five minutes of reasonably fast walking. Perhaps even more. Waterloo station is a fairly big station, and that little walk is roughly equivalent to walking round two sides of the perimeter.

I felt really fatigued walking all that distance across the concourse, and it was rather pleasant to finally sit down on the train. So here I am at work. I don't feel terribly keen to work that hard right now, but I don't feel too bad now. As the day progresses I may even feel even better until I start flagging again towards the end of the working day.
Monday 7th July 2008
08:12 BST

 There is nothing worse than a rainy Monday morning, or maybe there is, but it still makes for a most unpleasant start to the working week. To make matters worse, the forecast is that the whole week will be, at best, cloudy, and usually fairly wet. Apparently Wednesday is likely to be a very wet day.

 The weather over the weekend was not that good. There were some occasional sunny intervals, but there were also a few heavy downpours. Poor old Smudge had got used to being an outdoor cat during the recent warm sunny weather, and she tried to stay out several times over the weekend only to have to come back indoors in a very soggy state.

 The weekend was rather relaxing in some ways, or to put it another way, I did very little. That's not to say I did nothing at all. I think I had two major achievements. One was to take down all the crap on top of my wardrobe. Most of it I threw away, and then I loaded up the top of the wardrobe with alternative crap. The alternative crap was some of those large plastic storage bins that I stuffed with things like spare bedding, towels, and that sort of thing. In theory doing that should have made more room somewhere, and I suppose it did. The storage bins were originally in the front bedroom, but they were tucked away in a corner, and so the extra space gained was not really obvious.

 The second major achievement was to finally get my spare PC rebuilt, and all the latest bits installed in it. It seems to be working well now after replacing the faulty fan on the processor. I also upgraded the graphics card, and fitted an extra hard disk in it. Ideally I need to do a fresh installation of windows, and omit some of the accumulated crap that has built up on that PC. It would most probably speed things up a fair bit. Should I ever need to do any (semi)serious video editing on that PC, which is what it's original purpose was, it would be a very worthwhile exercise to re-install Windows, but for now it works reasonably OK, and I'll leave it at that.

 I am almost forgetting another major achievement from the weekend. I managed to sort out, and with clenched teeth, throw away some old clothing. It wasn't much, about a fully stuffed carrier bags worth, but it was a start. I don't like throwing clothes away that are still just about, by any stretch of the imagination, still serviceable, but there were shirts in there that I haven't worn  for years. Even so I only threw out the most seriously threadbare shirts. I still have some shirts (both T and conventional) that have barely been worn before, but don't fit me. Sometimes I believe that one day I might be able to get into them, but by then I may want to buy new stuff. So really I ought to dump those small ones, and maybe I will - one day !
Friday 4th July 2008
08:17 BST

 After thunderstorms early yesterday evening the day has started with a clear blue sky. Yesterday was not very warm, and so this morning has started out quite chilly. There is some cloud bubbling up now, but the forecast is for a dry day.

 I was quite lucky going home from work last night. At around lunchtime we had a very heavy downpour of rain, and it started again just as I was about to leave work. Luckily I managed to stay on the fringes of the storm. A few miles away there were flashes of lightning, and deep peels of thunder, but the rain was only severe as I made the short walk between the bus and Earlsfield station. For the rest of my way home I was only inconvenienced by a few spits and spots. I did have my coat in my bag, but I never bothered to put it on.

 I left work unusually late last night. So I didn't get home until gone half past six. I would have been home a bit earlier had I not called in at Tesco's for some shopping. I meant to try and eat lightly last night, but like so many intentions it didn't happen that way. The barbecue chicken wings were bad, but the strawberries, pecan nuts, plain raw oats, and semi-skinned milk were good. Unfortunately wolfing down the rest of the bag of pecan nuts was not such a good idea (but very delicious !). Worst of all was the pair of pecan and maple tartlets that I should not even have bought in the first place.......but they looked so delicious sitting there on the shelf...and they were !!!!

 Who knows what I will eat tonight ? Well maybe I do have one or two ideas. I have a couple of chicken sandwiches in the fridge at home, and I have a rack of ribs waiting to be cooked. The real unknown is the time when, and if, these things get consumed. The chances are that I will be going for a drink tonight. That means I'll probably have no more than one pack of chicken sandwiches before going to the pub, but after that things get much more speculative. With sufficient booze inside me I could get tempted to get a takeaway, but I have pencilled in a takeaway for Saturday night. Perhaps I ought to use an unusual amount of will power and ignore the temptation tonight !
Thursday 3rd July 2008
06:54 BST

 The sky is about 50% cloud this morning, and it is quite cool outside. Earlier on this morning there was a rain shower, and I got up to let a fairly soggy Smudge in. The forecast for today is for a mixture of sun and showers.

 There was one minor shower that got me on the way home last night, but it only lasted a few minutes, and I hardly got wet at all. Hopefully today will be similar, or better.

 After poor sleep, due to the heat, on Tuesday night, I didn't feel like going out again for a drink when I got home yesterday. Fortunately Kevin was not available anyway.

 I slept badly last night too. At first I felt quite hot, but in the early hours the problem was stomach ache. My guts still feel a little volatile now, and so I am getting a later train to work to allow things to settle down a bit.
Wednesday 2nd July 2008
07:50 BST

 Summer has decided to take a rest ! It is very overcast this morning, and there has even been a quick splash of rain. All the cloud has locked in some of yesterday's heat, and this morning it feels very sticky. More rain is expected during the day, and some of it could be quite heavy. At least one forecast suggests I will have a very soggy journey home after work.

 This is all in complete contrast to yesterday. During the afternoon the temperature peaked at 28 C, and the sun felt very fierce as I made my way home from work. I have the very merest of hint that my right arm almost got sunburnt. I think it was soon after I got up that I noticed a very slight warm feeling on my right arm. It was a pale imitation to the heat you get from genuine sunburn, but close enough.

 What was surprising about the heat yesterday was how little it affected me. It did make me feel rather relaxed and lazy, but there was none of the sweaty discomfort that I am more familiar with. Perhaps it was the breeze, or perhaps my blood sugar level was just low. Funnily enough it felt sweatier this morning, or maybe I was just rushing around more as I made my way into work.

 I was getting close to having another go at the PC that I was working on Sunday night, but as I mentioned, the heat was making feel fairly lazy, and then I got distracted. I had a call from Iain asking if I had a copy of  some software, and could he pop round to pick it up if I had. Fortunately I did have a copy, and he came round to enjoy a nice glass of cool cider and pick up the disk the software was on. He then went off to the pub to meet Kevin (I think), and I sat down and ate some sausages.

 If there isn't a raging thunderstorm going on tonight then I may be going for a drink in the local Wetherspoons. If it is all wet and windy then I will be very tempted to stay in, and I might spend ten minutes looking at that PC.
Tuesday 1st July 2008
07:55 BST

 The day, and the month, have both started with glorious blue skies. There is hardly even an aircraft vapour trail in the sky. For now the weather is astonishingly good, or at least how I like it. It's bright, fairly warm, and with a light refreshing breeze. It may not last. The high today is forecast to be 27 C in London, and there is still the threat of thunderstorms being brewed up towards the evening.

 Yesterday afternoon I felt very sleepy, and drained of energy. Yet I did seem to recover a fair bit of energy once I left work. Much to my great surprise, and possibly the first time ever, I went up the dreaded three flights of stairs at Earlsfield station with something approaching easiness. Normally my legs start to give out just before the top, and I am puffing and wheezing when I do reach the top. Yesterday I made it to the top, and half the length of the platform, and it only took a few minutes to get my breath back once I was seated on the train.

 I did have some extra rest on the way home. All the trains from Waterloo East were delayed after an earlier "fatality in the St Johns station area". My train was ten minutes late arriving at Waterloo East, and the journey to the next station, London Bridge, was very slow because of all the congestion. I guess I was sitting on that train for a good ten minutes longer than usual. After all that extra rest I got off at Catford Bridge feeling like I still had plenty of energy left. Had Patricia been at my place I might have even suggested we go swimming. Of course that energy did not last. Once I had sat down in front of the TV, and had my dinner, I no longer felt like conquering the world.

 It really feels like my recovery from the recent ilness is almost complete. All the intermittent extra energy is one indication, but there are other things. My throat is gradually starting to behave itself. I was never seriously bothered with any coughing keeping me awake last night. Though I did have a really good clear out soon after getting up ! The other really useful thing is that the lower back/right hip pain, that has caused me a lot of discomfort over the previous few days, seems to be almost gone this morning. Despite all this good news I did feel awful when I first woke up this morning. It would have been very easy to have gone back to bed soon after waking up, but after fifteen, or twenty, minutes I began to feel better. It made it a bit touch and go getting my newly favoured extra early train at 06:34, but I made it with a minute to spare.

 I wonder if I will find a similar burst of energy tonight ? If so I will try and do the one thing I really wanted to do last night, and do it before I sit down in front of the TV with my dinner. That one thing is to try another heatsink/fan combination on the PC I was rebuilding Sunday night. Once I had eaten last night, it seemed too hot, and too much effort to fiddle around with that PC. So maybe tonight........or maybe not......we'll see.