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Friday 30th May 2008
18:52 BST

 Today has been nearly dry, but there one or two light showers.Most of the day was, although fairly bright, overcast. I think the sun may have broken through for one short period, but that is all I remember. Despite that it has been reasonably warm, and even the one time I got caught in a very light, and fairly brief, shower, it did not really feel cold.

 Last nights drink with my workmates was very pleasant. It was made even pleasanter by the appearance of Anna who was our production manager until she left last year. The only one single thing that spoilt it being a perfect session was that I got bored (and thirsty) waiting at work and left for the pub by myself. I thought the others would catch me up before I had finished my first, but I had nearly finished my second pint before they turned up. What a load of workaholics !!

 It was not late when I left the pub, and I arrived home rather drunk at around 9.30 pm (I think). I would have been earlier but I missed a train at Waterloo East station by a few minutes. At that time of night it is a 30 minute interval between trains. That compares rather sadly with the 4 or 5 minute interval between trains from Earlsfield and Waterloo ! With it being so late I did not want to waste any time mucking about with food, but I was still starving hungry after not eating anything apart from some fruit at lunchtime. To save time I bought some sandwiches , and another of those rather despicable cold Cornish Pasties, from the shop on the platform at Waterloo East. I seemed to eat it all before I made it home. With the last of the last sandwich being finished just as I approached my front door.

 Once I got indoors I fed Smudge and pottered about while she ate. After that I went to bed and had a good nights sleep. I did have a mild hangover this morning, but overall I didn't feel too bad. I  probably could have done with a bit more sleep than I actually got, but the good news, but also bad news, is that I am not seeing Aleemah tomorrow and I can have a long lie in - if I want it.
Thursday 29th May 2008
08:08 BST

 The weather has been very variable over the last couple of days. The early hours of Wednesday morning saw torrential rain with lots of thunder and lightning. The rain had stopped by the morning, but the day stayed very overcast and rather humid. This morning the sky is hazy, but also rather bright. If the haze clears before the next batch of cloud comes over we could see some sunshine.

 When I came into work on Tuesday morning I found our server had died (again !), and I had no internet access until it became too late to write anything here. I meant to write something in the evening, but what that something was eludes me now.

 I should have been able to write something yesterday when I took the day off work, but somehow I didn't. The thunder, lightning, and the rain rattling against my window yesterday morning kept me awake through what seemed like half the night. Even when the storm died down I only seemed to be able to sleep very fitfully. Despite that I still woke up before my alarm was due to go off, but I woke up with a splitting headache. It wasn't just the headache that caused me to call in sick to work, but it did play a fair part. It was actually when I found myself asleep on the toilet shortly before I would be leaving to get my train that finally made me decide that I really ought to get some more sleep. I forced myself to stay awake until I could get hold of someone at work, and then I managed to get some real sleep in.

 Later in the day, yesterday, I went out and bought a few things for the front bedroom. Amongst those things were a couple of table lamps, and also some light bulbs for them. I wanted to use so called low energy bulbs. This is because you can use the equivalent to a higher wattage bulb than is recommended for the lamp shades because the bulbs run cooler. I think I chose 22W bulbs that allegedly have a light output equivalent to a 100W tungsten lamp. Of course the problem is that the low energy bulbs are longer than tungsten lamps and they stick out the top of the lampshades. This looks a bit silly, but also causes a distracting glare. So at some point I have got to get some low profile bulbs. They do exist, and I already use some, but they do not seem to be as well stocked as the longer ones.

 Today I should have come in late to work. It is my workmate Stefan's birthday today, and we are all invited to the pub for a drink after work. This won't be happening until about 5.30 pm - 90 minutes after I would otherwise be leaving to go home. So I will continue working and offset the time by going home early if I am late for work tomorrow. Or something !
Monday 26th May 2008
18:15 BST

 For a bank holiday, the weather has excelled itself ! There has been copious amounts of heavy rain today. At times it has been so dark and gloomy that I have thought it was time to go to bed. The forecasters say that the rain should be drying up around now, but it will return tomorrow morning - hopefully after I have got to work.

 It's been a tiring day (or maybe it was just the gloomy weather). I was up very early this morning. I am not sure exactly what the time was when I started more clearing up of the front bedroom, but I know I thought it better to wait for a few good hours before doing anything noisy like hoovering or drilling.

 I do seem to have made very good progress up in the front bedroom. There is still one corner that is a complete shambles, but the rest of the room does look very much like a bedroom in some ways. One particular hurdle that I passed today was to move the computer, and all it's attached bits, from the old table it was on to the new "computer desk". With the tangle of wires under the old table now gone I was able to give that a good clean. I finished that at about 3 pm, but it actually felt like 6 pm. I was ready for some dinner, and if I hadn't checked the time I could easily have gone to bed half an hour after eating my dinner. It felt that late in the day.

 I reckon I will be in bed very soon after 8 pm tonight. I just hope that I can manage to sleep through most of the night. My sleep patterns do seem quite disrupted lately. Since the beginning of the weekend I seem to have been sleeping in two shifts. In some ways it is nice pottering around the house at 3 am when it is quiet and peaceful, but it really only works if I don't have to get up to go to work in the morning at the same sort of time I would be going back to bed for the second half of my nights sleep.

 One thing I didn't do today was to go shopping. I was up, washed, and dressed to go to Tesco at 10 am, but at that time the rain was bucketting down. Having missed that opportunity I could have gone later, but somehow it never seemed to happen. This means I have no fruit to take to work tomorrow. Fortunately I haved saved on baguette that I will fill with something and take that to work for my dinner tomorrow. It's going to lay heavy on my stomach when it comes time to go home, but I guess I can take it.
Sunday 25th May 2008
03:39 BST

 Sunday morning and it's pouring with rain ! With a bank holiday tomorrow, the rain is not really unexpected.

 Friday remained mostly warm and sunny. I joined two of my workmates for a beer after work. At first it was pleasant sitting out in the pubs beer garden, but after a couple of pints it did begin to feel quite chilly without a coat on. I left after my third pint, and as I arrived home a little earlier than predicted at 8.45 pm. I really should have had something to eat than and gone to bed shortly after, but I was distracted by the TV. I wasn't distracted from eating. As I munched my way through a rather fine kebab I got totally sucked into watching several hours of BBC 4's Pink Floyd Night. There were two long, but very well put together documentaries being shown. The first was a history of Pink Floyd, and the other told the story of Syd Barret's decent into LSD induced madness.  It was a little after midnight before I finally got to bed.

 On Saturday I was far too tired to do much in the way of preparation for Aleemah's visit. I managed to get out early to do some shopping in Tesco before the place got really crowded, but that was about all I could manage.

 When I met up with Aleemah she surprised me with a month early birthday present. By pure coincidence it was a large book/4 DVD set celebrating 40 years of Pink Floyd.  We watched two of the DVDs. By comparison with the BBC's offerings they were rather badly put together documentaries, but still very welcome.

 After Aleemah left in the mid evening I did very little. I was still feeling tired from my late night. I was in bed, fast asleep, before 10 pm, and it was only the rain beating against my bedroom window that woke me up at the early hour of the day. That was about 30 minutes ago, and I think the rain has eased off a little now. Soon I will be back in bed, and I hope I can sleep through until mid morning now. With tomorrow being a bank holiday, I do not need to rush out to Tesco to buy my fruit to take to work. I can do that tomorrow.

 When I do finally get up there is nothing that I have to do all day. Although I ought to continue my front bedroom transformation project. I did get a very sad email from Patricia last night to say that her dad had finally died. I think that means it will not be long before Patricia is back in London, and will be wanting to stay here in the front bedroom.
Friday 23rd May 2008
 The weather has gone back to being very overcast today.  One forecast suggests that the afternoon may be sunny, and another suggests we may have some scattered showers. All forecasts seem to agree that it will still be quite warm today.

 It was a joy to get home reasonably early last night, but it was a bit of a strain moving a fair amount of stuff downstairs ready for Howard to take away. I have now disposed of just about all the stuff worth reclaiming from my upstairs front bedroom, but there is still a pile of stuff that really ought to be thrown away. It will have to wait until Sunday now before I tackle some of that.

 Today I came into work deliberately late because I'm going for a drink after work with some of the lads here. Unfortunately all of them work 9 - 5 and so I have adjusted my time to coincide with them. I reckon it will be as late as 9 pm before I get home tonight (it could be even later). Once I get home I really need to get to sleep as soon as possible. I was late getting to bed last night after being kept up on the phone, and I do wish that I could have had a few more hours sleep last night. Tomorrow I can lay in for a bit, but I have a fair amount of housework to do before Aleemah comes over.
Thursday 22nd May 2008
08:29 BST

The morning sun continues to shine, and it is slowly getting warmer. The forecast for today is for plenty of sunshine, and for the temperature to go as high as 21 C. That should be a degree higher than yesterday afternoon, and that was fairly pleasant.

 This morning I feel far better than yesterday morning. Coming to work yesterday was really horrible. It is difficult to describe just what constituted horrible, but I'll mention some of the more obvious bits. I felt very fatigued. My back, stomach, and chest ached, and my guts felt queasy from one end to the other. Overall, I just felt crap. However, I forced myself along, and arrived at work about 45 minutes late (too late to write anything here). By midday I was not feeling too bad, but the fatigue and a sort of all over pain/stiffness/discomfort never really left me.

 Going home from work was luxury by comparison to going to work, but I was still very glad when I arrived home again. I didn't stay in long because I went out again some fifteen minutes later to go for a drink. I would have preferred to stay in, but arrangements had already been made. I estimate it was about 6.15 pm when I got to the pub. I found there were two beers available that I wanted to try, and initially I was only going to stay for two pints. After one pint I was feeling quite irritable, and after waiting to be served for what seemed like an excessive time (but probably wasn't) I gave up and went outside for a fag leaving my money on the table for someone else to try at the bar. Having suitably refreshed my nicotine levels (and found that nobody could be bothered to go to the bar) I queued again for some beer (and a cider).

 My second pint was of Marston's (I think) "Old Empire". It was 5.8% abv, and fairly nice. That pint, which I seemed to drink quite rapidly, seemed to calm me down a bit. So after having another fag I bought another pint and downed that in quick time too. I felt much better after that, but I decided to quit while I was feeling OK. I guess I was home again as early as 7.30 pm, but it could have been a bit later.

 At that point I had only had my lunchtime fruit and I was in need of some dinner. I wanted to avoid eating too much so I had a couple of bowls of instant noodles and a few salami rolls. It wasn't exactly a healthy meal, although the noodles do boast being very low in fat.

 While eating I had a play with a new, and rather cheap, PCMCIA/Cardbus wireless network card that had been delivered to me at work. I had added it to an order that was primarily blank CDs and DVDs. I was curious as to how well it would work under Windows 98SE - which it was listed as being compatible with. My other wireless card was also supposed to be compatible with Windows 98SE, but it just wouldn't connect properly to an encrypted connection when used in my ancient NEC laptop. Upon trying to install the drivers and application I hit a snag. The installer said a file was missing, and then crashed - fortunately not crashing Windows itself. So I installed the drivers manually, and copied the application programme to the hard disk. With a few tweaks here and there I found that it actually worked. For the first time I was able to connect that old laptop wirelessly, and encrypted, to my wireless access point. It was a bit flaky. A couple of times it announced that the card had been removed when it hadn't (and Windows agreed with my observation), but I was able to connect to the internet, and play a few mp3 files from my server. So I was quite happy. I'll forgive it the flakiness it has because that is almost certainly down to the stupidly small amount of memory installed in that laptop. It would be nice if it could be increased, but NEC decided, in the infinite wisdom, to use a memory card that is only used on that model, and some similar laptops in Alpha Centuri ! Memory upgrades are available for it, but they would cost three time more than the laptop is worth.

 This morning I feel about as good as I did yesterday lunchtime. If, by lunchtime today, I have improved by a similar amount I should be feeling quite good. I have been invited to lunch at The Brazilian Buffet near Earlsfield station today. Several of the guys, and at least one of the gals, are going. I am very, very tempted, but I dislike having a large lunch, and I dislike travelling on a full stomach. Perhaps I should have been deliberately late this morning so I would have to stay late. That would give more time for lunch to settle before getting the train home. At this point I don't know whether I will go or not.
Tuesday 20th May 2008
08:41 BST

 It's another sunny morning, but it is really cold this morning. According to my free morning newspaper it should be 11 C this morning, but it feels more like half of that. Perhaps it is just me feeling cold for some reason (I do feel off colour in other ways too), but after clear skies overnight, I would not be surprised if the temperature was a lot lower than the paper predicted.

 The sun should shine for most of the day, and if it does, the temperature may rise to 16 C. That is still not very warm, but maybe better than the last couple of days. Apparently the daytime temperature should continue to rise for the next couple of days, but then more rain is due. That sounds about right for the bank holiday next Monday !

 I was feeling very tired when I got home last night. So once I had sorted some stuff out that Kevin will be taking away (one day !) I had a lazy evening. Maybe tonight I will do some more to my front bedroom project, or maybe I'll just put my feet up again. The way I was feeling when I first arrived at work suggests it will be the latter, but as I warm up I am beginning to feel less crap.
Monday 19th May 2008
09:20 BST

 Finally, after a fairly wet and soggy weekend, the sun is out again. Despite the sun it is still very chilly out. My morning paper forecast the day starting at a mere 11, and only rising to 14 at best. This is a long way from the summery weather we were enjoying until the middle of last week.

 Last Friday I finished by saying the worst bits of my front bedroom clear up were behind me. I think I spoke too soon. It was true that the big heavy bits were in the right places, but there are far more small fiddly bits than I considered when making that rash statement. It seems I spent a fair bit of Saturday just boxing up bits and pieces that Howard has kindly volunteered to take off my hands.

 On Saturday I had Aleemah over so didn't get the chance to do much more work upstairs, but I did manage to find myself up there for half an hour, or so.  While we were wandering around the shops in Catford I did buy a couple of things to put into the room. That included a couple of storage boxes to hide some of my stuff under the bed, and a really cheap and nasty row of coat hooks. Personally I would not really like to hang any coat heavier than the lightest jacket on those hooks. The row of hooks cost 2, and the hooks themselves, of which there are five mounted on a bit of varnished orange box (!), are no thicker than about 3/16 inches, but they do have nicely rounded ends. What they will be good for is hanging shirts, on coat hangers, on. There is a large sturdy hook on the back of the door that will serve for heavy coats.

 Yesterday I almost took things easy, or at least that was my intention. I did do some shopping, and I did do some laundry, but I also did some light work upstairs. This was mainly just re-stacking my CD collection in a less precarious way.

 This morning I felt pretty lousy. I woke up at 4.38 am, and at that time it was not worth trying to go back to sleep. Maybe it was lack of practice after four days of not commuting to work, or maybe it was something else, but I felt really quite rotten for much of the journey. Of course, all the aches and pains, strained muscles, etc, gained while shifting stuff around in the front bedroom, did not help that much. Now I have been at work for over an hour I do feel considerably better, but I have run out of time to write any more.
Friday 16th May 2008
07:26 BST

 The sky is grey, but it is not raining at the moment. More rain is forecast, but gradually the clouds should start to break up. As far as I can recall, it is not until Sunday that we will get any significant amounts of sunshine. Even then the temperature is supposed to only be around the seasonal average - which is apparently just 17 or 18 C.

 I believe that the temperature did not get much above the seasonal average yesterday. While it was not exactly cold, it was not very warm either. That suited me fine while I was working hard shifting stuff around, and doing woodwork, but it does mean the night time temperatures are definitely chilly. Earlier this week I was sleeping under the duver cover without the duvet in it. That was fine when the daytime temperatures were hitting 27 C, but yesterday morning I woke up feeling rather chilled. Last night I put the duvet back in the cover, and slept much better. This morning I do not have some of the aches and pain I anticipated having.

 After the chilly night I had on Wednesday night/yesterday morning I did seem to ache in a few places, particularily my back. As the day progressed, with all the lifting I was doing, and also some of the odd positions I was taking up as part of my woodworking (crouching down, or reaching around corners) I began to feel very sore. So I was expecting to wake up in agony this morning. Fortunately I do not feel significantly worse than any other morning.

 It did take a long time to get motivated yesterday, but soon after I finished writing I managed to slowly get my act together. From then on things started to happen. The first task was to convert my old studio console into a desk. The end result was a bit rough and ready, but quite serviceable. Then the fun started. I had to transpose the positions of the bed and the new desk in an area that was barely big enough to swing a cat in. Eventually I managed it, and I could breath a sigh of relief.

 After some intense hoovering, the bedroom was beginning to look something like I intended. I continued tidying up. Selecting some more stuff to throw away, and other stuff that I am giving to Howard. By mid evening I was beginning to feel quite strange. It was a mixture of exhaustion and elation I think. I had obviously been working quite hard, despite fairly frequent breaks, because I seemed to have eaten quite sparsely yesterday. Apart from the leftover rice I had for breakfast, and some nibbles during the day, I only had a very large salad to eat. It is surprising what a huge heap a couple of tomatoes, some spring onions, a few radishes, and a large couple of handfuls of Tesco ready prepared "al fresco" salad can make. Add to that some sweetcorn, coleslaw, and salami, and the plate ends up piled quite high. After all those raw vegetables I would have liked to finish off the meal with something sweet, like a packet of jaffa cakes, but I had none, and I just had a few sesame and poppy crackers to round things off.

 Today I have more selecting and tidying to do, but the most important, and perhaps worst bits of the project are now behind me, and if need be I can take things at a more leisurely pace. So this morning I have time to go and do some shopping, and maybe put my feet up for a while and do some reading. However, even now, I do feel a bit of a compulsion to keep doing even more to bring this whole project to completion. Despite having done most of the big stuff, I realise that there are still a host of small things to do. Luckily I still have as much as a couple of months before Patricia needs to use the room, although with her prediction of coming back to London sometime in June or July, I could have as little as three weeks to get the room habitable.
Thursday 15th May 2008
11:09 BST

 As the weather forecasters promised, it is a cool, dull, wet, rainy day. Yesterday was remarkably good compared with how the weather was forecast.  The morning remained fairly dull, and at around midday we had a short shower of rain in Earlsfield. After that the day brightened up, and I came home in sunshine. I did hear that there was a very light shower in Catford some thirty or forty minutes before I arrived back here, but there was no evidence of it, that I can remember seeing, when I got off the train.

 Apart from a few small passing clouds, the sun continued to shine right up until sunset. I went for a beer in The Rye with Kevin and Iain at 6:15 pm last night. It was pleasant drinking weather. If only the pub had a real beer garden, instead of a couple of small tables out the front, it would have made for a really pleasant experience. The few tables out the front were already taken and we drank inside, but every so often I would pop outside for a fag and be dazzled by the setting sun.

 As is normal when the beer is flowing pleasantly, I stayed a bit later than perhaps I should have. I guess it was a three hour session instead of the two hour session that I thought it might have been.  I felt quite mellow when I left the pub, and also starving hungry. Prior to going to the pub I had a couple of crackers with some cheese, and during the rest of the day I only had my usual three pieces of fruit to eat. Even then I may not have cracked if it had not been for several delicious looking meals being served to nearby drinkers in the pub, but crack I did. On the way home I called into "Hello Tokyo", a Japanese/Chinese restuarant/takeaway, and ordered a substantial meal.

 I have to admit that it was rather delicious as I munched my way through a fair bit of it while watching some TV last night. I didn't eat it all though. Some of the plain rice I threw away, and I had half a large portion of Singapore fried rice for breakfast this morning. I think I was in bed by 11 pm, or maybe a little later, and I fell asleep very quickly.

 This morning I awoke normally at a little before 5 am, but with a bit of a hangover. I could almost have been ready to go to work, possibly even on time, but after having a shower I decided I wanted more sleep and went back to bed again.

 I have now been up again for a couple of hours, but so far I have done very little. The point of this day off work was to get some work done preparing the front bedroom. The cool wet day was unanticipated when I askked for the day off, but it should be an added bonus to make working a little less sweaty. I have charged my power tools, and sorted out the other tools I need, but the dullness of the day has sapped some of my inspiration, but I will get started on some simple woodwork sooner or later.
Wednesday 14th May 2008
06:51 BST

 According to the weather forecast it will rain later today. It is slightly grey outside right now, but that could just be mist that will be burnt off later. The real question is, will I be able to get home from work before the rain starts ? It is possibly cool enough now to consider wearing a coat to work, but by the afternoon it will be too warm whether it is cloudy or not. Tomorrow promises to be different. It will be a lot cooler, and there will be much more rain. This will actually be good because I am taking the next two days off work, and I have lots of stuff to do in what I hope will be a much cooler upstairs front bedroom.

 It's going to be an interesting day at work today. All, except for one, of the production staff are being bussed up to the IFSEC exhibition in Birmingham. So I am expecting a very quiet day.

 Tonight, all being well, I hope to have a beer or three in Catford. This does depend on anyone being available. So I shall just have to wait and see'
Tuesday 13th May 2008
08:28 BST

 This morning is definitely colder than recent mornings. I think it is the breeze that has cooled things down. It will soon warm up, but the afternoon high is supposed to be a degree or three cooler than the 27 C that some reports suggested the mercury rose to in some parts in, or near, London.

 I left work at 4 pm last night, and as I walked to the station I was aware that the sun was feeling very fierce. It's the first time this year that I have felt in danger of getting sun burn. Although that walk to the station is around 10 minutes, or so, some of it is done in the shade. So there was no real chance of getting burnt, and it could be argued that short exposures like last night prime the skin for longer exposure during the proper summer months.

 For the first time in ages I managed to get to Waterloo in time to have a smoke and still get the 16:29 train home. I didn't take full advantage of it because I went home via Tesco's (where I got in the wrong checkout queue and was delayed even further by slow customers).

 It felt quite warm when I got indoors, but the worst was yet to come. After eating my dinner, and watching a bit of TV, I had the urge to do some more of my cleaning up project in the upstairs front bedroom. When I went into the room it was like an oven in there despite having left the curtains closed all day. Even with the windows open it would not cool down. I did my work, which was mainly unwiring the mains wiring for my old studio console, with my shirt off, but still ended up dripping with sweat.

 Work on that front bedroom, which I am doing to make Patricia's next stay with me a bit nicer, is now approaching the point when the madness begins to make some sense. With just a bit more stuff to throw out, I will be able to start re-arranging things to make it look a little more like a bedroom. There will still be more stuff to throw out after that, but at least I can move a bit in there.

 Following on from the furore at the beginning of the month, I have made the offer of first go at my old 7 inch singles collection to the man who moaned most about my fast disposal of my 12 albums. Strangely enough they have been sitting in my hallway for the best part of a week now. So maybe my previous method was the best after all - despite the flack it caused.
Monday 12th May 2008
06:57 BST

 I think the temperature dropped a fair bit overnight. I am sure that this is in direct contradiction of the weather forecast that predicted that it would be a warm night. It should soon warm up. The sky is mostly clear, but with a few hazy patches, and this is very similar to yesterday.

 It did get fairly hot yesterday, but I didn't really take advantage of it - except for one thing. It was perfect drying weather for laundry, and did two loads of washing yesterday. Much of the first was already close to dry by the time I got the second lot out of the washing machine.

 Apart from laundry, and a bit of shopping I had a fairly lazy day yesterday. I spent most of the day inside with the curtains closed, to keep the place a bit cooler. On the one occasion that I tried to tackle some more of my clearing up/furniture re-arranging in the front bedroom I very quickly began to feel very hot and sweaty. I managed to do a bit, but gave up and relaxed again to cool down.
Saturday 10th May 2008
04:16 BST

 It is fairly mild outside, but indoors it feels rather hot and humid. At this time of the morning it is still too dark to see what the clouds are doing, but the forecast is for a bright sunny day. Yesterday was slightly disappointing in that there was quite a bit of cloud. On one occasion the cloud seemed heavy enough for a shower, but mostly it was rather thin, hazy cloud, that only just obscured the sun. Despite that cloud the temperature remained fairly high all day and into the night.

 I was feeling rather dehydrated when I finished work yesterday. It was quite hot in my office, and I didn't drink all that much during the day. So I needed very little encouragement to pop into the pub for one quick beer with some workmates. That beer quickly became two, then three, and I think it became five pints before I left to go home. It was classic drinking weather, and the pub, The Jolly Gardeners, has a nice beer garden (where, of course, smoking is permitted).

 One feature of last nights drinking was that the pub had a live band playing. They came on at the three pint mark. They were sort of good, but I know my workmates enjoyed them far more than I did. Initially they were just a two piece doing a sort of imitation of Simon And Garfunkel. Later they were joined by a woman who sang more 1980's soul inspired stuff. Fortunately I was very close to leaving when that happened.

 I am not sure what time it was when I left the pub, but it had been dark for a little while. I got to Earlsfield station just in time to miss a train, but the one compensation for the horrendously long staircase up to the platforms is that trains run there at tube frequencies. After just a couple of minutes another train arrived, but those couple of minutes were just enough to miss my connection at Waterloo.  I think it was the 22.25 train that I finally caught from Waterloo East, and that arrived here in Catford at 22.45. I am sure that is the latest I have ever arrived home from work !

 Until I was waiting for the train at Waterloo East I had only eaten four small pieces of fruit for the whole day. So I was feeling a bit peckish - to say the least ! While I was waiting there I bought a cold cornish pasty which I started  on the platform, and finished on the train. It was almost tasteless, but if I belch I can still taste it this morning. When I got home, and after feeding Smudge, I cooked some "southern fried chicken flavour" chicken breast fillets. I then munched my way through some of them while blearily watching some TV.  I guess I was in bed by midnight, and asleep very soon after that.

 I do seem to have got up very early for such a late night, but I woke up feeling thirsty, and my guts were rumbling. I have now sorted out those two, and I will soon be back in bed trying for a few more hours of sleep before getting up again and trying to prepare the place for a visit from Aleemah.

 While writing all that the sun has started to rise. There is a glorious red sunrise. Normally that would foretell bad weather on it's way, but in a fit of optimism I will choose to believe the last weather forecast I saw that suggested a warm sunny day.
Friday 9th May 2008
07:30 BST

 The good weather continues ! Yesterday was like a real summers day. The temperature peaked at something like 25, or even 26 C. Today is forecast to be a little cloudier, but it should still stay dry, and the afternoon temperature should equal, or maybe even exceed yesterday's temperature. The outlook for tomorrow is upposed to be pretty good too.

 I spent far too long yesterday morning trying to get a Bluetooth connection to the internet from my Palm via my work computer. Using Windows XP on my work computer I couldn't do it, but by booting into Kubuntu Linux, and by following a "recipe" on a web page I was able to do it. It was mainly just an academic exercise, but it could be useful in the real world one day. My productivity did take a dive yesterday, and today I ought to work a bit harder. Whether I do, or not, is something that will remain a mystery.

 I do know that I will be working late tonight after getting in late this morning. It is even possible that I will be coerced into going for a drink after work. How this will affect any later drinking in Catford, I don't know. I do know that I will have a lot of housework to do in the morning before Aleemah visits. So I should not stay late in any pub tonight.
Wednesday 7th May 2008
06:57 BST

 Yesterday's experiment of leaving my coat at home was a huge success. The weather remained fabulous, and there is every indication that today will be the same. I think the temperature peaked at 25 C in London. I don't know if today will be quite as good, but it will be very similar. So once again I will be travelling light when I leave for work in 15 minutes time.

 I had some good and sad news from Patricia this morning. She is currently in Argentina caring for her mum and dad who are both suffering from cancer. It's good news that her mum seems to be quite stable, but sadly it seems her dad is very near the end. The good news for me is that Patricia will be coming back to London sometime in either June or July, although it will obviously be for the saddest of reasons.
Tuesday 6th May 2008
06:48 BST

 Once again the sun is shining. The weather seems stable enough that I am going to leave my coat behind when I go to work. I think it may be a little chilly to start off with, but it should be pleasantly warm by the afternoon. My only worry is that the warmth could trigger off a shower. Hopefully if that does happen it won't happen while I am on my way home from work.

 Apart from a tiny, tiny, bit of clearing up I continued being fairly lazy yesterday. That tiny bit of clearing up cosisted of nothing more than taking some old posters off the wall. They belong to Jodie, and were up in what was my old radio studio, but what is now fast becoming the front bedroom again. Sooner or later I will have that room looking like a proper bedroom again, but I think that later is more realistic than sooner.

 I forgot to mention a small disaster I had back on Saturday (or was it even Friday evening ?). I was copying some rather large picture files from my server so that I could process them from huge .tiff files to more e-mail friendly .jpeg files, when my network card suddenly died on me. I have no idea why this should happen, but it is slightly worrying because it is not exactly a card, but part of the computers motherboard. I hope it is not a sign that the motherboard is about to fail on me.

 I disabled the network card in the computers BIOS and fitted a proper network card. That took little time, and worked just fine. One good thing that this triggered, although the connection is too spurious to descibe here, was that I tried installing Paint Shop Pro on this Linux computer. Much to my surprise it works perfectly. The Wine emulation files must have come on a fair bit since I last tried installing Paint Shop Pro.
Monday 5th May 2008
15:21 BST

 Today the weather is fabulous. It is bright and warm. The sky is a little bit hazy, but there is no sign of any impending rain. This is surprising for an English bank (public) holiday. Yesterday was pretty good too. There was more wind yesterday, and it was probably a bit cooler, but not by much.

 It really is spring cleaning weather. I have had most of the windows open to give the house a good airing, but apart from clearing a big back log of washing up, and doing three loads of laundry, I have done very little cleaning. One thing I did yesterday, that has left a bit of a legacy in the form of a few aches and pains, was cutting back some of the undergrowth in my front garden. It was all a bit hack and slash, but if I feel so inclined, and the weather supports my inclination, I have made it far easier to do a neat manicure on it next week end. My excuse for stopping when I did yesterday, was that all the cuttings nearly filled my wheelie bin, and I needed to leave space for normal household waste. Ideally I would have had enough space to dump some stuff from inside too. Sadly there is not enough room left in that wheelie bin to make it worthwhile me doing any more spring cleaning - oh dear, what a shame :-)

 So these two last days I have been resting a lot. I have also been eating too much. After starting the day with a very large, and quite early, dinner, I am now desperately trying to restrict my eating so I don't feel too crap when I go back to work tomorrow. Somehow I think I will only partially succeed in this.

 I am still enjoying the novelty of my Palm handheld pda. The most recent piece of software I found for it was a rather decent media player. I am not sure if I really want to make a habit of it, but last night I watched two episodes of The Simpsons on it while in bed. Being able to watch video on it sounds like it should be a good idea for things like long journeys, but for me it isn't really. In a car, or on a train, I find it almost impossible not to stare out of the windows and watch the world go by. This is true even when I have company who I should be paying attention to. One time when it is not wholly true is when commuting. I do read a newspaper while commuting, but that only partly keeps my eyes busy. I still like to have my ears open to hear what is happening around me. That rather rules out anything that involves the use of headphones (The Palm also makes for a rather good mp3 player as well as a video player).

 One use of the Palm that I haven't tried yet is as an "e-book" reader. In the past I have downloaded a few books, but it never really seems comfortable reading them on a computer screen. I like to be able to take a book anywhere I want to read it. Frequently reading it on the settee, or in bed, occasionally in a pub, but on some rarer occasions even while sitting on the toilet. None of those places are really convenient for reading on a computer monitor, although maybe the laptop is almost usable. The palm I can easily take to any of those places, and more beside, but whether I will be happy reading from that small screen remains to be seen. The biggest problem is that a real book is just so easy to use. It is just so easy to leave it open at the page you want, or stuff in any old scrap of paper as a bookmark, and although I don't think I have ever really done it, you can easily add annotations in the margins.
Saturday 3rd May 2008
19:16 BST

 Most of today has been fairly bright and sunny, but this evening we have had on light shower, and there could be more to come. The day has been fairly mild, but that too is changing now the sun has been hidden for an hour or two. I have closed the windows and turned the heating on.

 This morning I managed to haul myself off to Aldi's to do some shopping. Amongst other stuff I was hoping to buy another pair of the trainers I bought from there a couple of weeks ago. They do seem pretty comfortable to wear, and a spare pair would have been useful. They did have lots of pairs left in the shop, but most of them seemed to be size 9, and there were no size 11 left that I could find. Quite why size 9 should be so unpopular is a mystery. Another mystery is why they do two ranges, one described as for men, and the other for women, when the only visible difference seemed to be that the mens version had parts of the design done in yellow, while the ladies version had the same parts done in red - and quite a deep red at that - no sign of pink or anything !

 As is unfortunately normal whenever I shop in Aldi's, I bought quite a high proportion of either junk food, or food that I should otherwise avoid. It has been quite difficult not to munch my way through a lot of those goodies. I feel I have been quite restrained, but the caramel ice cream has all gone !

 I have done a little enhancing of my Palm pda today. I downloaded an application that reads personalised railway timetables. The timetables I downloaded were for all the trains, 7 days a week, between Catford Bridge and Waterloo East, and between Waterloo and Earlsfield (both for journeys in either direction). You might think that this marvelous free service would be available from Network Rail, or from one of the UK train operating companies, but no, it comes from German Railways (This link takes you straight to the journey planner). It works extremely well, and could be damned handy.
Friday 2nd May 2008
23:20 BST

 
Sometimes booze does you no good. Of course at other times it is the best thing in the world. Tonight, after maybe six pints, I do not feel terribly happy. The trigger was being told off for not offering my albums more widely.

 I don't think I mentioned it here before, but I have just disposed of enough old 12 inch vinyl albums to stack about 1 metre high. My choice of recipient was mainly governed by who could take them away the quickest. After Jodie had taken away her personal albums I suggested that Ivor, who drives through Catford after work most nights, might like to take all the albums away and distribute them to those who would like them the most. In fact it was Howard who called round to transport them away, but the plan still sort of stood. Iain, who may not even have owned a single album in his life, grabbed a selection, and Ivor grabbed some of his most nostalgic records.  
 Howard, I believe, took many of the more heavy metal stuff, and I believe there are still albums left for people to fight over. I still have a few dozen more albums here that will be available soon, and then I have several tens of singles that I will be disposing of soon. Now how do I arrange a fair distribution of the remaining stuff ?  It has to be acknowledged that a lot of these records hold a certain nostalgia for some people who used my old pirate radio studio many years ago. Should those people be give priority, or should my offer be open to all ? I don't know, but I do know this conundrum has spoiled an otherwise good boozy evening.

 Too complicate matters I have just torn myself away from an interesting, and rather thought provoking programme being broadcast on BBC4 right now. The title of the programme suggests it is about The Byrds, but it is far more reaching than that. It is about many of the great, and not so great, bands who made a great impact in the charts at the end of the 1960's.

 Bits of song, and bits of interview, with various people have really stirred up my poor old brain, and raised many questions.  Among these question is how can a song, or maybe a few songs, from an album suck someone down deep into almost insanity. Many songs have meddled with my mind, but I have never, ever, been tempted to play the same songs over and over again until my mind has become totally warped beyond redemption. I am thinking of an old friend called Marion who got so immersed in a few Joni Mitchell songs that she lost touch with reality.

 Another interesting facet emerged while watching the programme. Some songs, even if I don't really care for the artist, nor the song style,  do seem to set up a great resonance in my psyche. The prime example, and one that was featured in the programme, was James Taylor's "Fire And Rain". No matter how much I try and dismiss it as a trite (country) pop song, something in the lyrics bores deep inside my brain. I am not even sure what it is my brain's inner workings pick up on, but I think it triggers some sort of sadness.

 Overall, I don't think that the outcome of my boozing tonight is very good. They do say that alcohol is actually a depressant. Tonight I think they may be right.

08:27 BST

 At last ! I am in work on time (more or less). Maybe this is because it is a nice sunny morning, or was a nice sunny morning. It seems to be clouding over again right now, but the forecast suggests that this afternoon will be warm and sunny. It needs to be sunny. After clearish skies overnight it is very nippy this morning. I think we came within a few degrees of having a frost this morning. There was a lot of heavy dew when I left home, and I could definitely see condensation in the air when I breathed out.

 I didn't go straight home after work last night. I succumbed to the temptation to have a couple of beers with a couple of workmates. In fact I have to admit, I instigated it. We didn't stay that long, and only had two pints each, but it was around 8 pm when I arrived back in Catford. That was too late to do any shopping in Tesco, but I did buy myself a chicken kebab on the way home. It was very tasty as I ate it while watching half an episode of Top Gear from 2004. In no time at all it was time for bed. It is possible I was fast asleep by 9.30 pm.

 I think I slept well last night. I awoke ten minutes before my alarm was due to go off, and I can't recall any significant dreams unlike two mornings ago. I am certain that the reason I often can remember many of my dreams is due to sleeping badly on some nights. Sometimes this is not a bad thing. I wish I could remember more vividly the dream I woke up to on Wednesday morning. It was a highly erotic dream that involved me, someone's wife, and, rather amazingly, no nudity (although had I managed to continue the dream that could have happened). Maybe it doesn't actually need disturbed sleep to remember such significant dreams. My only regret is that no matter how I tried, I couldn't dream part 2 the next night, or last night. perhaps I might have better luck tonight !

 Since I was in work on time (roughly) this morning I will be able to leave at the right time. Hopefully I will be able to catch the 16:29 train from Waterloo East, and get into Tesco's before the evening rush. Whatever happens tonight that shopping is essential. This morning I missed out on my caffeine fix. I had run out of diet cola and had to drink cranberry and raspberry juice. It was nice, but just didn't hit the spot (and you tea or coffee drinkers can stop sniggering - you are just as addicted to caffeine !).

 It is possible that I will be going for a drink with Kevin tonight, but I can't allow myself to stay late in the pub. I need to get up reasonably early to do a load of housework before Aleemah comes over.
Thursday 1st May 2008
12:43 BST

 At last ! I managed to stay dry when I came into work this morning. Just like yesterday, there have been plenty of showers today, and just like yesterday, some were violent enough to trigger the odd flash of lightning.

 After arriving at work rather soggy yesterday, I managed to avoid getting too wet while out having my fag breaks. Unfortunately I got wet again going home. I was lucky in one respect. There was only strong drizzle as I made my way to the station, but once I was under shelter the heavens really opened up. It was at this time, on the rather exposed and elevated platform of Earlsfield station that I saw a massive bolt of lightning. At that time I was under the platform canopy, but as my train drew near I braved the storm and walked down the exposed platform as the centre of the storm seemed to come closer. I was expecting a bolt of lightning to my head at any moment, but fortunately I must pleased the right Gods enough to escape that, but not enough to avoid a milder soaking as I walked from Catford Bridge station to home.

 The weather really is the feature of the week, although tomorrow might see an improvement. So far today there has been bright warm sunshine, a lot more rain, and a bit of thunder and lightning. Just before I started writing this I was outside having a fag and warm hot sunshine was pouring down on me. Within minutes of coming inside, the rain just thundered down !

 I have bought myself a new (secondhand) toy. It is a Palm T|X pda. This unit has built in wifi and bluetooth, and it is these two features that attracted me to it. Navigating web pages on a small screen is not ideal, but it was easy to set up on my home wifi system, and if I only had the patience to hang around on Waterloo Station I am pretty certain I could use the public wifi provided there. I shall definitely be taking it with me the next time I drink in any Wetherspoon's pub - most of which have free wifi Internet access. Apart from web browsing it also can work as a fairly good mp3 and video player. Oh, and of course, it will display pictures as well. Slightly less exciting is that it will open office documents, albeit in a slightly limited fashion, as well.

 Having got into work an hour late this morning (again !) I will be leaving an hour late - roughly the same time as the development guys leave. I will be very tempted to go to the pub after work if any of them suggests it. Tempted, but maybe I shouldn't. I really ought to do some shopping on the way home, but the most important thing I want is some diet cola. Maybe I could forgo that .