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September 2008
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Tuesday 30th September 2008
09:32 BST

 The last day of September started rather drizzly. The sky has lightened up a bit since then, but there is not a single bit of blue visible in the area of sky I can see at the moment. Generally, the forecast is that autumn is upon us. The leaves are turning to browns and golds, and there is a bit of a chill in the air.

 The weather was rather variable yesterday. There was some sunshine, but it looked rather grey when I left work to go home. It was also fairly cool. I wore a caot to work in the morning, but because of some warm sunshine we had during the day I stuffed my coat in my bag to go home. Waiting for a bus felt slightly cool, but once I was moving again, and on the trains, I felt perfectly comfortable.

 I had a quiet evening last night. Ideally I wanted to get to sleep fairly early, but I decided to lay on my bed listening to a Dr Who audio adventure. I was on my bed, teeth brushed, and ready to get into bed by 7.30 pm, but I had some washing in the washing machine and I wanted to hang that up to dry once it had finished before I got into bed. I started listening to the Dr Who recording without really realising just how long it was. If I had listened to it non stop I may have been able to finish it in time to be fast asleep by 9.30 pm, or maybe a little earlier, but dealing with the washing, and a few other interuptions meant that the recording did not finish until gone 10 pm. I was dozing before it had finished, and I may have to listen to the last half hour again to find out what really happened.

 After such a late night I needed my alarm clock to wake me up, and I felt quite tired as I made my way to work. I am not too bad now, but I know I will be flagging later this afternoon. So maybe tonight I should attempt no more than to listen to that last half hour of the adventure once again rather than tackle a new recording (although there are some shorter ones to choose from).
Sunday 28th September 2008
19:32 BST

 It has been a most pleasant day. The sky was blue, and the sun was shining. I don't know how long this weather will last, but it would be nice if it could be as good tomorrow as it has been today.

 Yesterday the sun shined all day, and I had a pleasant time with Aleemah. She brought over a rather strange film for us to watch. It was, in effect, a Japanese porn film. It was a real movie with a proper plot and story line, but it was rather raunchy in places. Quite a lot of places to be truthful.

 After Aleemah had gone home again I had a quiet evening. There were several things I thought I might do, but I ended up reading a book. The book was a collection of Harry Harrison short stories called One Step From Earth.  I read about half of the book before going to sleep.

 I woke up quite early this morning, but after letting in Smudge, and feeding her, plus checking my e-mail, I managed to go back to bed and get some more sleep. I woke up again to brilliant sunshine at about 9 am. Once washed and dressed I read a little more of my book before going shopping in Tesco's.

 With the shopping done, and a load of washing in the washing machine, I continued to read. I took a few breaks in my reading to do things like hanging up the washing to dry, and to have some lunch. After lunch I lay on my bed to read some more, but after a few pages I fell asleep. I am not sure how long I slept for. It could have been anywhere between a few minutes and an hour. I woke up a bit groggy, but was soon reading again. It didn't take long to finish the rest of the book, and then I had to look for new amusements.

 One amusement was to copy some old TV news clips from a VHS tape to my PC via my DVD recorder. One of those news items was about Crossrail. This news item had former prime minister John Major saying that Crossrail was high on the governments agenda, and would definitely happen. That was in 1996, and still the plans for Crossrail are being talked up, talked down, bandied about and generally mucked about with. Perhaps one day Crossrail will be a reality, but I wonder if I will ever see it in my lifetime. There is more about the timeline of Crossrail here. You can watch (or download and watch) the news clip here.
Saturday 27th September 2008
06:54 BST

 There's a real autumnal feel to this morning. Outside there is a thick fog. Visibility is down to just a hundred yards, or so. Later on, as the sun rises further, it should chase away the fog leaving a brilliant sunny day. This is more or less what happened yesterday. There was no real fog yesterday, but in some parts, particularly over the old Catford Greyhound Stadium (now demolished) there was a very thick mist. By about 9 am yesterday the mist had cleared and we were left with a bright sunny day.

 The legacy of my cold lingers on. The major symptoms have all gone, and have for a couple of days now, but I still feel lacking in energy. I was fairly relieved to find out that no drinking had been planned for last night. I did fancy a pint, but I also fancied just lazing around after work. In the end it was the lazing around that won out.

 I was in the wrong frame of mind when I went to bed last night. Although I was in bed before 9 pm, I didn't take the idea of sleeping too seriously because I knew I didn't have to get up for work in the morning. In consequence it took a long time to get to sleep, and I woke up far too early this morning after a fairly poor nights sleep. In an ideal world I could get back in bed now, and sleep for several more hours, but there are two problems with that. Firstly I always have great difficulty in getting back to sleep after 5 am, and secondly I have a fair bit of housework to do before Aleemah comes to visit this afternoon. However it's too early in the morning to wake the neighbourhood up with my roaring hoover. So maybe I could try just for a tiny bit more sleep..........
Thursday 25th September 2008
08:44 BST

 Oh dear, another gloomy morning. The clouds are not very thick, and there is some variety to them as they blanket the entire sky with not a patch of blue to be seen. The forecast suggests we may see some sunshine later this afternoon. That will be better than yesterday when there were a few showers instead of sunshine. Once again it was a mild night, and it is a mild morning. We seem to be at that unfortunate temperature where it's almost too warm with a coat on, and too cool without a coat. The same sort of dilemna with the duvet caused me to sleep badly last night.

 Initially it felt good to be back at work yesterday, but later in the afternoon the novelty began to wear off rather sharply. Although I felt good emotionally, I was still recovering from this lasted cold. It has left me feeling rather weak, and when I was on my way home I felt close to the point of collapse by the time I had rushed to get the train from Earlsfield station. I felt a bit knackered by the time I got to the station. I was a lot worse after I tried to rush up the staircase to try and catch a train that was already pulling into the station.  I did just manage to get on that train, and then I walked through the train to get closer to the front, and hence closer to the exit barriers at Waterloo. The train was comprised of two four car units, but there is no public access between the two units. So I rushed through the first four carriages so I could jump off at Clapham Junction (the next station), and then jump on the rear carriage of the front four car unit. By the time I was at the doors ready to jump off at Clapham Junction I was feeling really unsteady. If I had tried to get off immeadiately I reckon I could have almost collapsed, but fortunately I had a minute or two to get my breath back 

 The rest of my journey home was less eventul, but I was still very glad to get indoors and sit down with a sandwich.

 It's now 09:05 and the clouds have broken up. I can see some blue sky, and one thin ray of sunshine has squeezed through a gap in the clouds. It's time to go outside for a fag and worship the sun !
Wednesday 24th September 2008
08:18 BST

 This morning is rather gloomy. The cloud cover is rather heavy, but that did lock in some warmth overnight. It isn't warm out, but neither is it really cold. My morning paper suggests it should be in the region of 13 - 14 C. Unfortunately the clouds will also stop the temperature rising more than 3 or 4 degrees above that by late afternoon. It's possible that there could be a light shower at anytime today, but it is also possible that the sun may find a brief crack in the clouds.

 I forgot to write anything here yesterday, but there was not much to write about anyway.  If I had written anything it would say that I left work at 11.30 am on Monday because I was feeling a bit rough, and that when I came to tackle the three flights of stairs at Earlsfield station I felt extremely rough ! To my surprise, even after a quiet sit down on an almost empty train, I still felt pretty bad when I got off the train at Catford Bridge. It really did feel like I was half way to collapse as I walked home from the station.

 Once I was indoors I did feel a lot better. After a long sit down, and a bite to eat, I felt reasonably OK. I even managed a quick snooze before my cough woke me up again. After that I just sat around doing stuff on the PC, or watching TV. I decided that I would not attempt to go back into work on Tuesday, so I didn't attempt to get a very early night, but I did not go to bed very late.

 Yesterday I woke up at 4 am after a reasonable sleep. It wasn't as much as I needed, but was probably better than I had been getting recently. I did try to get back to sleep, but that is something I always find very difficult. After half an hour of trying to get back to sleep I gave up and got up.

 I spent some time in the morning transferring an old VHS video recording to DVD. I started by recording the tape directly to my DVD recoder, but because it was a recording of a TV programme it had a ragged beginning, adverts in the middle, and the ending was not clean either.  So I then ripped my DVD to an Xvid file which I could then easily manipulate using Avidemux. This is a free video editor. As an editor it is pretty basic, but is perfect for trimming the ends of a video file, and in my case where the recording was made up of several parts, stitching those parts back together again. It will also convert between different formats, correct bad sound/video timing, and can do a host of resizing and other effects. One very useful thing is a noise reduction filter. It works really well on it's default setting to clean up VHS recordings. My finished video looks better now than the VHS original.

 Just before midday, yesterday, I went out to Tesco to buy some stuff. After sitting at the PC for a couple of hours it felt good to be out in the fresh air, but that feeling good quickly waned. By the time I got to Tesco I was feeling quite wheezy, and carrying  my shopping home felt like it was wearing me into the ground. I came very close to phoning work to say that I would still be off work today. I didn't do that, and it was just as well.

 This morning I do feel a lot better. After the best night's sleep I have had in ages, I woke up at 4.30 am. This was half an hour earlier than I might have liked, but not too bad. At first I was not too sure how I felt. I was still coughing, as expected, but my chest was clearer, and not so heavy. When I walked to the station it seemed less hard work than it does sometimes when I am apparently well (but I did leave in time to walk quite slowly). Going over the link between Waterloo East and Waterloo main line stations got me a bit breathless, but it often does anyway. While on the trains I was coughing a fair bit, but I didn't suffer any of the uncontrollable dry coughing that never seems to end until you are blue in the face, and your eyes are streaming, as has happened at the end of some previous colds I've had. The most amazing thing was when I got off the train at Earlsfield. I actually felt light on my feet. Not light headed, but as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I think I am really recovering at last !
Monday 22nd September 2008
07:44 BST

 The newly breaking dawn had a misty quality as I left the house to come to work. That mist, which was fairly high in the sky, is now dispersing, and I can see blue sky among the clouds. It only needs for one of those blue patches to line up with the sun and we shall have bright sunshine (like yesterday). The long term forecast is that we will not be getting that much sunshine, but it will remainly mostly dry, and the temperature will be good for this time of the year.

 My cold did take a turn for the better, if only for part of the day, yesterday. When I went out to Tesco it felt good to be out in the fresh air, but I did feel a little wheezy by the time I got to Tesco's. Inside it felt uncomforably cool, although this was more apparent near the freezer section.  I didn't buy as mch as I might normally, and so my bags were lighter to carry. Even so, I was struggling by the time I got home again.

 Once indoors, and the weight of the shopping gone, I felt much better after a sit down. I felt even better after some nice breakfast. From then, until the evening, I felt better than at any time during the previous four days. I felt good enough to play with some computer hardware.

 The computer hardware I had a play with was the old PC I used to do the majority of my email and internet stuff on until it died on me 5 or 6 (or 7, 8 ??) weeks ago. The problem turned out to be the memory. I seem to recall I had been trying to increase it when it died on me. I am not sure why it did not work when I put the original memory back, but it may be that it was a mixture of bad memory and a corrupt BIOS, and something else. Yesterday afternoon I found the correct combination of memory sticks, BIOS settings, and also a slightly faster CPU, and got it up and running again - although I have yet to install an operating system on it yet. The operating system will be linux, but I haven't decided what flavour of Linux to use yet. I am thinking of Suse Linux, but ultimately I'll probably try a few different ones and settle on whichever feels best.

 As the evening wore on I began to feel rougher again last night. My chest and throat seemed to be getting more congested, and my nose was close to dripping. It made getting to sleep very difficult, but eventually I did fall asleep. I only woke once in the night, and that was sometime between midnight and 1 am. The next time I woke up was a 4 am, and I thought I must have peed myself until I realised that it was the top of the bed that was wet and not the middle. I seemed to be well wrapped up in the duvet, and my head and chest must have been pouring with sweat. After a pee I did try and get back to sleep on the dry side of the bed, but my breathing was all bubbly with mucus and phlegm in my windpipe, and I could not relax and stop coughing. So I got up shortly after 4 am this morning.

 Getting up so early gave me plenty of time for a wet shave, to wash my hair, and to have a long hot shower. Apart from feeling clean and warm it did not make me feel anything more than a tiny bit better. Later, as I walked to the station, I found the going easy, but still my nose wanted to run, and my tickly, bubbly, cough was just as bad as ever. I settled down a bit on the train, and by the time I got to Waterloo East I was feeling reasonably comfortable (but half falling asleep). Then I had that horrendous walk up, and over, then down, across the link to Waterloo mainline station. From towards the far end of the platform at Waterloo East to almost to the end of platform 1 at Waterloo is as far as it is from home to Catford Bridge station - and that's is all on the level. By the time I sat down on my train to Earlsfield I felt thoroughly knackered.

 I am now obviously at work, and I have been here for 40 minutes or so. At the moment it feels cooler than I believe it actually is. That's not a good sign. I'm not sure how else I feel. My cough is very moderate at the moment, and my nose is not running to any significant degree, but I do feel weary. While I am just sitting here at the keyboard I guess I am OK, but any more and I think I'll be feeling quite rough again. I feel sort of on the edge. It is quite possible that I may go home again in a couple of hours time if I do not feel any significantly better by then.
Sunday 21st September 2008
09:04 BST

 This morning's weather is a repeat of yesterday, although perhaps it is a little colder. However, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and it will soon warm up to a fine late summer/early autumn day.

 It's hard to say if my cold is better or worse this morning. It has certainly changed though. The main new feature, and it started yesterday, is that my nose has started to run. Potentially this is a bad sign. Whether it is actually the case, or not, but it always feels like it is an accumulation of snot that has run down into my lungs that is the cause of the prolonged wet coughing I am prone to whenever I get a cold. If this is so then my cough, that had started to improve will surely get worse again. There is some evidence that this may be happening already, but it is not definitive evidence. My level of coughing is influenced by changes such as sleeping to waking, or sitting still to walking around, etc. For the last few hours when I have woken up, wandered around, sat down, tried to sleep again, and finally sat down to write this, my cough has been on and off in an almost random way. At this very moment I am not coughing, seemingly have no desire to cough, but I am also trying not to think about it in case that triggers it off (my nose seems to have calmed down for a minute or two as well).

 Yesterday, like the last few days, was pretty boring. Apart from a quick jaunt to the corner shop I didn't go anywhere, or see anyone (nor speak to anyone). Going out in the warm sunshine felt both good and slightly disorienting. I can't quite explain that last bit. Maybe just sort of strange would be than disorienting, but for the first 30 seconds it did feel slightly other worldly.

 I seemed to spend more time listening to some Dr Who audio adventures than anything else yesterday. Curiously I seemed to find the idea of watching TV to be quite dispiriting, but I did watch something that I found entertaining, and yet I can't quite remember what it was. I do have a couple of movies here that I have yet to watch, but even those failed to inspire me to keep the TV on for more than the hour, or so, that I did watch TV yesterday. At this moment it doesn't feel like I want to watch them today either.

 One thing I must do today is to haul myself off to Tesco's. I could surivive longer on my stocks of food here, but I am bored of what I have on hand. Besides, I do intend to go to work tomorrow, and I need stuff for that. Whether I stay at work when I get there I will have to decide at the time, but I still have a full day to recover in, and I may be fit and well tomorrow morning. If nothing else it will be a bit of adventure and excitement. To be honest, it is boring here, and the most exciting thing going on is in thinking of things to do that won't be boring ! Maybe I should be thinking of exciting ways to think of exciting things to do (or something) !!
Saturday 20th September 2008
08:27 BST

 The temperature dropped fairly low last night because of clear skies. It was not low enough for any frost, but it can't be long until we see the first frosts of autumn. Meanwhile we are enjoying an indian summer. The morning dawned brighter than yesterday morning, and I think we have sun to look forward to all day. The weather forecasters seem to think we could have a week of this before the weather changes again.

 This illness I have, whether it is a cold or 'flu, is starting to get boring. Like on Thursday, I was mostly reasonable during a lot of yesterday, but as evening wore on I began to feel worse and worse. When I finally went to bed I fell asleep instantly, but then proceeded to wake up at hourly intervals throughout the night. For the first three or four times I woke up I had to go to the toilet. To keep my throat lubricated I have been drinking a lot (not booze, unfortunately). So each time I went to the toilet it was no trickle, but a full half pint or more hitting the back of the pan !

 Obviously, waking up every hour during the night does not give the quality of sleep I desire. So today I expect I will feel progressively knackered as the day wears on. I will attempt to grab some sleep during the day, but yesterday I was not very successful in doing that.

 I don't know what I am going to do today. I had hoped that by today I would be feeling well enough to go out to get some fresh air, but at the moment I am trying to work out if I have the energy just to pop into Tesco. Somehow I feel I ought to make the effort to get some shopping. One side effect of this illness is that it is interfering with my appetite. Yesterday evening I felt starving hungry, and yet I didn't fancy eating anything I had available. I am not sure what I really wanted, but in the end I opted for some garlic bread. It was a strange dinner, but it seemed to help at the time. However at 5 am this morning my stomach was rumbling and I felt starving. The only thing I could think of at that time of the morning, when I couldn't be bothered with any elaborate preparation, was a Pot Noodle. At that time of the morning it wasn't very nice, but it filled a hole for a few minutes.  Now, some four hours later, I do feel rather peckish again. Maybe I can find something in the freezer that will fill another hole for a few hours...........
Friday 19th September 2008
09:04 BST

 Today didn't start out quite as fine as yesterday morning, but it's catching up.  The mistiness that muted the sunshine, and added a slight greyness to the sky is now lifting, and with any luck, today will be another fine day.

 Despite the bright sunshine I began to feel quite chilly yesterday afternoon. This was due to my illness, and was a foretaste of what was to become later.

 Despite the cough, I didn't seem to feel that bad yesterday morning, but when I went out to do some shopping I became a bit wheezy before I was halfway through my outing. My earlier thoughts that I ought to plan my day as if I was sick turned out to be a good idea. As the day wore on I began to feel progressively worse. It's hard to describe any specific symptoms beyond coughing up tar, dog ends, and fag ash. I just felt weak, and generally yucky.

 During the evening I became progressively weaker and more and more tired, and yet I didn't think I would be able to falll asleep very easily. So I stayed up a bit later, and finally went to bed, feeling awful, at something like 9 pm. At 11.30 pm I woke to a good fever. I was hot and sweaty until I got out of bed to go to the toilet. At that point it felt as if I had a bucket of cold water thrown over me. I went from beyond shivering to at least shaking, but probably not convulsing, as I walked to the toilet. It's very hard to aim straight in such a condition :-)

 I seemed to fall back to sleep almost the instant I was back in bed, but I did wake up several more times during the night. At some point I may have even been delerious ! More likely I misread the time on my bedside clock, but it seemed as if I had woken up around 1 am to go for a pee, and then a few minutes later for another pee. What I am sure about is that I knew I was on the mend again. At the second 1 am pee I felt sort of good. I was still coughing up the occasional ashtray, and my chest felt heavy, but I felt good in a way that is hard to explain.

 I woke up at about 4.30 am this morning feeling like I had been in bed too long. I was stiff and creaky, and had a mild headache. So I got up, let Smudge in, and fed her, then I spent some time writing a couple of e-mails. I was tempted to stay up, but it did feel ridiculously early on a day when I didn't have to go to work. So I went back to bed again. I probably only slept for about half the time I was in bed, but at least it was a bit more sleep.

 Once again I woke up feeling stiff and creaky, but a quick walk to the corner shop at 8 am seemed to work wonders. I now feel sort of half and half. I am still not well, but I am not in too much discomfort. So I think my initial plan is to carry on being unwell, and laze around for a bit. Maybe later I will tackle sorting out the huge pile of CDs and CDRs cluttering up the dining room table. I was going to do that yesterday, but I lacked the energy and/or enthusiasm.
Thursday 18th September 2008
08:58 BST

 The sun really is shining this morning. It looks to be a beautiful day, and the forecast, or at least one of them, suggests that there will be some light cloud later, but there will still be some sunshine throughout the day. The maximum temperature is predicted to be only 18 C, which is a little disappointing, but still not too bad. I would hazard a guess that yesterday's temperature was similar. It's on the borderline between coat, or no coat (assuming you don't want to rest or sleep outside).  Yesterday remained cloudy, but dry for the whole day, but just as I was setting off to the pub, with only an hour or two of daylight to go, the sun did finally break through.

 I didn't stay as late as I could potentially have done at the pub last night. I think it was just after 8.30 pm that we all decided we had drunk enough. I had about four pints, and that was sufficient to divert me into the the fried chicken shop on the way home. One change to a normal Wednesday night drink was that once I got home I was able to eat my dinner at a more leisurely pace, and stay up for an hour or two to let it settle. So I almost got a good nights sleep.

 Today I am on holiday (or more specificly I am not at work today). With the sun shining I could do all sorts of things, but there is one flaw in my plans for world domination. I seem to have a bit of a cold ! Yesterday I was a bit snotty, but my nose wasn't pouring. Today my nose does feel a little clearer. The chief problem is my chest. I do seem to be coughing up all sorts of crap, and my chest does feel a bit congested. It was made worse yesterday by flux fumes from my soldering iron. That was mostly cured by the beer last night, but I did wake up coughing in the night a couple of times last night. This morning it's not bad, but neither is it good. I guess the sensible thing to do is to go through the motions of actually being ill, and hope it provides a quick cure.

 I don't want to spend the day in bed, although I will probably take some serious sized naps during the day, and there are a few things I want to do around the house, but things like a possible trip to Greenwich will have to go on the back burner. So I think the plan of action for today will be to get washed and dressed (yes I am still in my underwaer this late in the day), take out the rubbish, do the washing up, set a load of laundry off in the washing machine, and then go out and buy some magazines. Then I will sit (or lie) down, and as my body atrophies I will feed my mind. When that gets too boring I still have a huge teetering pile of old CDs and CDRs to sort out, and theoretically dispose of about 75% of them. If I manage that I will have cleared the table, and made room to do some computer hardware experiments (like why did my old computer, that I would have been writing this on, really die ?)
Wednesday 17th September 2008
08:57 BST

 This morning the sun has tried a little harder to shine. It never quite made it, but when I left home I could see the hazy shape of the sun through some thinish clouds. It is certainly brighter than yesterday morning, and the forecast suggests we could see some sunshine at some point. The forecast also suggests there could be a light shower or two during the morning.

 Yesterday remained dry, but the sky never cleared. It felt like the sun could break through several times, but, alas, it never did.

 After work I went home via Tesco's. I did try and buy lots of healthy food, and in part I did succeed, but the barbecue chicken thighs were too much to resist. I also ate some other crap as well, but I did exceed the recommended fives pieces of fruit or vegetables. I noticed that a pack of ready prepared fresh tropical fruit salad claimed to have the equivalent of two portions for half a pack. I ate the whole pack, and I also had three pieces of fruit for my lunch here at work. That makes a whole seven pieces, or two more than the minimum recommended. If only I had eaten my planned grilled tuna with green salad leaves I would probably live for ever. Instead I am reasonably confident that I'll live until lunchtime. After that the guarantee runs out !

 Tonight I think I will be boozing. I have tomorrow off work so I could stay later, and get drunker than usual. Maybe I will, or maybe I won't. It probably depends on whether Wetherspoons has any decent guest ales on the go.
Tuesday 16th September 2008
08:27 BST

 I am very disappointed that this morning has started out rather dull and dreary. It is quite possible that it will brighten up later on, but somehow it doesn't feel like it will be bright and sunny like yesterday.  A recent long term forecast I saw suggested that it would be dry all week, and into the weekend. Maybe I mistook that for meaning it would also be bright as well. I little bit more sunshine would be treat now is we start to dive headlong into autumn.

 My duff leg has totally cured itself. By yesterday evening I had to concentrate hard to feel the remnants of the pain and stiffness I had on Sunday. Best of all, I was in absolutely no discomfort as I lay in bed (apart from a cat who insisted she had to sleep on my bed, and who tried to hog the best position to sleep).

 I tried, with limited success, to eat a bit more healthily again last night. I think I kept the quantity down, but the crackers and cheese were not the best choice. Nevertheless I do feel reasonably OK this morning, and maybe have just a little more energy than is usual at this time of the morning.

 As well as eating, and watching a bit of TV, I watched a bit of TV last night. Let me explain. Recently I ordered some new toys, and they were delivered yesterday. One of those toys was an MSI Digivox Mini II USB connected digital (Freeview) TV receiver.  I installed it on my laptop, using the Windows XP boot option, and it worked surprisingly well. I used the tiny little aerial stick that came with it, and indoors I seemed to be getting a perfect signal from all the channels I checked. Things were not so good when I tried it after booting into Linux. Linux does have some support for TV cards, but unfortunately not this one. Some research showed that people were trying to get it to work with some very experimental software, and some reported success, but it looks like the project was abandoned a year ago. If I was feeling ravingly experimental, and found an extraordinary amount of patience, I could have a go at following some of the recipes to try and get it to work, but I can use it if I need to using Windows, and that's probably enough for now.
Monday 15th September 2008
08:48 BST

 
I've been waiting for the sun to come out since I first woke up this morning. As the sky became lighter it looked as if there were plenty of holes in the cloud where the sun could shine through, but so far there has been no significant sunshine. It looks as if the haze is dissipating, and hopefully today will turn out bright and sunny like yesterday. Apparently it will be 19 C by this afternoon.

 My sore left thigh remained uncomfortable all day yesterday, and it was difficult finding comfortable positions to sleep in. I don't know if it's just me, or whether it effects everyone, but what is often just a mild, sometimes ignorable discomfort during the day, can become severe enough to be actually painful while in bed, and trying to get to sleep. Despite the discomfort I did manage to get to sleep fairly early last night, and I slept well for three or four hours. The first time I woke up I tried aling some paracetamol to see if that helped the discomfort. Maybe it did, or maybe it didn't, but I did wake up again in less than two hours (although the exact times elude me). I tried taking some aspirin then, and I think that helped a lot more than the paracetamol.

 When I finally got up this morning my leg was still very stiff, and it was difficult to raise my leg high enough to pull on a pair of underpants. A combination of the painkillers I took earlier, a hot shower, and a lot more movement seems to have freed up my leg nicely. I felt a bit stiff walking to the station, but since then I am hardly noticing much discomfort at all (although there is still some stiffness).

 I am still not sure whether to rest my leg, which is what I did, was the best thing to do yesterday. Perhaps if I had forced myself to go out for a walk I would have felt better in bed last night. However I didn't go out again after shopping in Tesco, and I had a thoroughly lazy day. One thing I did do was almost eat rather healthily. My Sunday dinner was grilled salmon fillet on (raw) spinach and watercress with a sprinkle of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. I also ate quite a lot of fruit yesterday. If I had not spoiled it by giving in to the temptation of breakfasting on southern fried chicken from Tesco's hot meat counter, it could have been one of my better days for eating healthily.
Sunday 14th September 2008
09:22 BST

 This morning is amazingly bright and sunny. It's rather cool at the moment, but I expect it will warm up later on. The real change in the weather started yesterday afternoon. Saturday started with a mixture of many clouds, some quite thick, with the odd chink of sunshine showing through. Soon after midday the cloud had just about dissipated, and it was sunny all afternoon right up until sunset.

 On Friday night I was feeling a bit off colour and didn't fancy going to the pub. Fortunately I didn't miss out on anything because no one else went to the pub either. The biggest disappointment for Friday is that some bits I oredered, and had been e-mailed to say they were on their way, did not turn up before I left work. I was hoping to play with some new toys this weekend, but I guess I'll have that pleasure tomorrow night (after a quick play at work).

 I saw Aleemah yesterday for the first time in ages. We watched a really weird, and to be honest, totally crap scifi film together. It was called Liquid Sky, made in 1972. It really couldn't decide if it wanted to be a psychodelic 1960's film, or 1970's, David Bowie inspired new age weirdo film. It did have it's moments, but they were few and far between, and the best thing about watching it was that I'll know to avoid it in the future. Incidently it was my choice this time, and not one of Aleemah's weird films !

 After Aleemah went home I had some dinner and watched some TV. Strangely enough I found myself watching Virgin 1. For anyone not local, this is not a porn channel, but a usually really crap general entertainment channel. Last night they actually had two things on worth watching (that must be some sort of record that won't be repeated this century !). The first was an episode of The Outer Limits (the modern series) which starred Leonard Nimoy (Spock !) as a lawyer defending a robot against murder. The story was (very) loosely based on an Isaac Asimov story. The second programme was an episode of Enterprise (the Star Trek prequel).

 When Enterprise had finished it was dark outside, and I was feeling tired. So I turned everything off and went up to bed thinking that it was 9 pm. I was actually in bed, checking to make sure my alarm was turned off and not set to wake me up at 5 am, that I noticed that it was actually just a little after 8 pm ! Well, I was feeling tired, and even though it was rather early for a Saturday night, I turned out the light, and fell asleep rather quickly.

 This morning I had contemplated going out for a walk in the park. It is so (unexpectedly) sunny that it seemed like a good idea. So far I haven't done so, and with Tesco opening soon I doubt that I will be going now. There was another reason for considering that walk. I bought a new pair of shoes yesterday and I want a test run in them before committing myself to wearing them all day at work tomorrow. I think that test run will now just be a shopping trip to Tesco. Maybe I will go out later, but if there is something in Tesco that is too tempting to refuse for breakfast, then I may well be too stuffed to consider any walking. Sunday is the one day when I do like a full breakfast even though it floors me for almost the rest of the day.

 There is one final reason why I thought a walk might be good, and the same reason for another excuse not to do it. I seem to have pulled a muscle in my left thigh (that is not totally accurate, but is the closest description of how it feels). I am not sure what is actually going on with my thigh, but I have a good idea what caused it. To be slightly more accurate than "pulled muscle" it is like a combination of stiff hip and stiff knee with the pain meeting in the middle. It is mildly uncomfortable to walk on, but the worst of it was that it was difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position when the pain first became apparent in the early hours of the morning. Hopefully, my walk to Tesco and back will un-knot all the knotted bits (or something).
Friday 12th September 2008
08:31 BST

 The sky is very overcast right now, but the cloud looks to be fairly thin. The forecast suggests there will be some showers later on. I hope those showers can possibly avoid falling while I am going home from work. For the third day running I have taken a chance on not waering a coat to work. Yesterday seemed precarious after there was some rain around lunchtime, but I went home in the dry, and it was quite bright and very mild. This morning is cool, but not quite chilly. At least it's not if you keep moving around a bit. It's not going to be quite as mild as yesterday, but with a tendency for bus drivers to turn the heating on full, that's not such a bad idea.

 Last night I played with my Palm PDAs again. I actually have three of the beasts. The first one I owned I bought off a woman who worked in a charity shop. They are not allowed to sell anything electrical "because it might be dangerous !". In fact the Palm, a model M105, runs off two replaceable AAA batteries - hardly enough to kill someone.

 The M105 is a very basic Palm. It has no card reader, or external connectivity beyond an Infra Red port. I played with it for a bit  when I first bought it for 5 (or something), but it never had any real appeal.

 My second Palm is a M505 model. It is slightly sophisticated with a colour screen, and a card reader, but otherwise still rather basic. I acquired when it's original battery failed. By the time I had found a replacement battery I had lost touch with it's oroginal owner. The new battery is actually a Nokia phone battery. I had to make some modifications to make it fit, but it is working just fine.

 My third Palm is the model called the T|X - a strange name, specially with the "|" between the T and the X, but that's how it's labelled. It is a sophisticated model with a high resolution colour screen, card reader, and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. This model is actually quite useful. There are several free programs for it that I use quite a bit.

 Perhaps one of the most useful programs is the German personal train timetable. You may wonder why a German train timetable is useful to me, but it is in fact in English with UK train times in it. Once a small, free, application is downloaded and installed on the Palm, you can then download timetable database files for journeys between any two stations. Last night I tried instaling it onto the Palm M105. To my amazement it all worked perfectly. There is also a similar sort of thing using Java for mobile phones.
Thursday 11th September 2008
05:44 BST

 The forecast for today is that it will be bright and warm, but more rain is expected later on in the day. What I don't know is just how late in the day it will be when the first rain falls. If it was in the evening I could be tempted to leave my coat at home like I did yesterday. It was a pretty good day yesterday. There was intermittent sunshine. It stayed dry, and by the afternoon it was mildly warm.

 One of the two university students who interned at work over the summer finished yesterday. So we went for a couple of drinks at the local pub. The first drink was just a single pint with a pub lunch. I didn't eat then, but I did go for the pint. After work there was a longer session. It meant staying late at work because the guys from the development department start late and finish late compared to me. Fortunately the student, and one other guy had to leave the pub early and so the boozing started a little while after 5 pm instead of a more usual 6 pm. I had three pints of Stella Artois before coming home. I mistimed my train connections and had an almost half hour wait for my train at Waterloo East. After calling in at the chip shop for sausage and chips, I didn't get home until 9 pm.

 If I had gone straight to bed as soon as I got in I would be fine this morning, but I had that sausage and chips to eat. It wasn't until gone 10 pm that I got to bed, but I couldn't get to sleep properly until gone midnight. The food had given me terrible heartburn (or I was having a heart attack). I had a streak of burning pain all the way up my chest. After a couple of antacid tablets it gradually subsided and I was able to get to sleep.

 That sausage and chips was very nice, but tonight I think I will eat something a bit safer. I don't know what it will be yet, but it will be far less greasy, and not on top of three pints of beer. I will also be aiming to get to bed as early as possible, and try to get at least a full eight hours sleep instead of the five I got last night. I think I am going to feel rather sleepy today, and if my workroom gets as hot and stuffy as yesterday, I will be falling asleep at my desk.
Tuesday 9th September 2008
08:55 BST

 The sun was trying to shine when I left home this morning. Unfortunately it was also raining. It was not too heavy, and could have been described as a light shower, although I think it got heavier about the time I got on my train. Since then the skies have darkened, but the rain has stopped. I am sure there will be more rain later today.

 I feel far better this morning. I'm still a bit creaky, but that is wearing off. It's probably all down to getting a decent nights sleep, last night. I did very little when I got home from work. I played with my Palm PDA for a bit, and watched the TV news. By 8 pm I started making tracks towards bed. I am not sure what time I turned the lights out, but I estimate I was fast asleep by 9 pm.

 I slept well until 3 pm when I got up for a pee. I think it was then that I awoke from a partially lucid dream. In the dream I was in my bed that rather strangely seemed to be in a room at work. I was aware that more boss had arrived and was walking down a long corridor towards the workroom.. I knew it was fairly late, and that I should have been up and ready for work, but I was still in bed. I wondered if I would have time to pull some clothes on and get into the workroom before my boss arrived there. It was as I was getting out of bed that I questioned how I could have known my boss was coming down the corridor if I was still in bed. That wasn't quite the same as lucid dreaming where you can actually conciously alter the course of the dream, but I was aware of the inconsistencies within my dream experience. Maybe that is what woke me up. I didn't need a pee with any desperation, but once awake I took advantage of it.

 After I went back to sleep I had another very unpleasant dream. I was at a party, or some sort of social gathering in a friends house. Sitting on the floor was a baby. Now I am not keen on babies. Generally speaking they are just loud wet things. This baby lived up to it's reputation (in my opinion) by peeing itself. Somehow it didn't stop, and I soon had to move away from this huge growing puddle of pee. In fact I think I had to leave the room because it was getting deep, and still the thing wouldn't stop ! I could do without nightmares like that !

 Tonight I must try for two things. Another early night is the first, and more pleasant, hopefully sexy, dreams tonight is the second !
Monday 8th September 2008
07:47 BST

 It's just possible that this morning is ever so slightly brighter than yesterday morning. It is certainly drier. Yesterday was not all wet. In fact most of the rain had probably finished by midday. At about 3 pm the sun actually shone for a sort while. That was most surprising ! Looking at the sky a little while after only showed a tiny patch of blue that the sun somehow found it's way through.Using a somewhat bizzare comparison, if you imagine your face representing the whole sky. Then that tiny patch of blue would have been no bigger than a medium blackhead ! According to today's paper, it will stay dry today, and there could be some rare sunny intervals. The top temperature is forecast to be a mere 19 C.

  After I got back from shopping in Tesco, yesterday morning, I found an e-mail from Patricia. She asked if it was OK for her to come and visit me, and suggested she would be ready to leave in about an hour. It was sent at 10:51. I immediately replied to say she was more than welcome, and then I sat back and waited, and waited. By 3 pm I was almost convinced that she had not got my reply, and wasn't coming, but 30 to 40 minutes after that came a ring from my doorbell, and I got to see Patricia for the first time in 6 months.

 I expected it to be a relatively short visit, but she stayed for nearly 4 hours (although I wasn't counting the hours, so that's a guess). During that time we caught up on each others gossip, and shared a bottle of cider. She approved of all the work I had done clearing up the spare room for her, and although she doesn't need it right now, she renewed a promise that she had made while in Argentina that she would come and stay with me one weekend soon so we can spend a bit more time together.

 With all the waiting I did until Patricia arrived, I didn't get a chance to eat (apart from a couple of biscuits). I missed both my breakfast, and my lunch. Patricia did not want any dinner, although she did polish off half a packet of Jaffa Cakes, and so I waited until she had left before having my dinner. That was around 8 pm, and it had barely time to settle before I went to bed.

 I went to bed feeling warm and happy after seeing Patricia, and in theory I should have slept extremely well, but it was not to be. I guess it was what I had eaten, which included two pot noodles (of all things !!) that lead me to sleep very badly. I kept waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.

 If I had slept uninterupted for the whole time I was in bed I would probably be feeling on top of the world now. Instead I almost fell asleep on the train coming to work this morning. It was a struggle forcing myself to get ready for work, and get myself out of the front door this morning. I think that if I had slowed down, and taken my time to get ready, I may well have gone back to bed again.

 Now I am at work I don't feel that bad, although it does feel like I could be going down with a cold. There's nothing definite yet, but just that sort of feeling you get that things are happening.
Sunday 7th September 2008
08:51 BST

 It's a horrible, damp, gloomy morning, and on top of that, it is also fairly chilly too. Yesterday was similar, but not quite as bad.  It was fairly dry during mid morning, and later on the sun almost broke through, but the majority of the day was wet with a few heavy downpours. I think today will be a very soggy day, but I hope I am wrong.

 I finished writing on Friday saying that I expected I would have a lazy evening. This turned out to be so. Were it not the case that I had a bit of a stomach ache shortly before intending to go to bed, I would have been in bed, and fast asleep about an hour earlier than I actually was. I was definitely feeling very weary on Friday night.

 Yesterday I did not get up until gone 8 am - some three hours after I would get up if I was going to work. Even then it took me some time before I felt ready to face the world. It must have been 10.30 before I went shopping, although some of the delay was waiting for some rain to stop.

 With my shopping done I tried to raise some enthusiasm for some housework. I didn't raise as much as I wanted, but I did manage some hoovering, and I did do several loads of washing. It was when I started to consider what needed doing in the living room that my enthusiasm failed me. That could have been a bad mistake because there was a fair chance I would get a visit from Patricia. The spare bedroom is all clean, relatively tidy, and ready for her if she had decided she needed to stay here, but the room where I would have entertained her for just a visit is still looking a bit poor. I think I was actually working on the assumption that she would most likely drop by early evening, after visiting The National Gallery (one of her favourite haunts in London), and that I would get sufficient advance warning to do some hasty hoovering, etc.

 I spent all day constantly on alert for a phone call, or even a knock at my door, from Patricia, but it never came. Her last e-mail, to say that she had arrived safely back in London, did say that she would try and call, or visit, this weekend. So maybe it will happen today, or maybe she is just too busy preparing for work on Monday.

 I feel today will be a re-run of yesterday, but hopefully with one major change. That being that I will at least hear from Patricia. So soon I will be off to Tesco to buy my fruit for lunch at work, and then I will give the living room it's much needed clean up. After that I just sit back and wait.
Friday 5th September 2008
08:50 BST

 Friday has started gloomy and damp. It's better than yesterday when it was actually raining when I left for work. It seems that autumn has come early this year. The days are shorter, the sky is more overcast, and it is definitely getting much cooler now. If today could be as good as yesterday it could brighten up later on. I can't really recall much in the way of sunshine yeasterday, but it was fairly bright when I left work to go home.

 On my way home on Wednesday night I called in at the vets to buy flea drops for Smudge, and flea spray for the carpets, etc. It was bloody expensive, but it had to be done. I still didn't go straight home after that, but called in to the pub for a few pints.

 When I did get home I noticed that Smudge had obviously had a premonition that something was up. She was very twitchy. How do they do that ? I fed her, and while she was eating I got the flea drops out of my bag. I am convinced that she did not see me open the packet, but she tensed as soon as I approached, and nearly jumped out of her skin when I touched the back of her neck. Then she leapt out of the window before I could administer the drops.

 Smudge stayed away all night, but was ready to come in for breakfast the next morning (yesterday). As I put her breakfast down for her I took the opportunity to grab her and put the flea drops on her neck. She was not entirely happy about that, and it was a good five minutes before she resumed her breakfast.

 Last night she wary, but quite friendly again. Not quite trusting enough to stay in all night, but enough to sit on my lap for ten minutes. This morning she seemed normal enough, but she had some unfinished business, and went back outside. The good thing is that she has almost stopped scratching, and I have not been bitten these last two days.

 Another good thing is that Patricia is finally back in London. Her plane was due to touch down at Gatwick last night, but I have not heard from her yet. She has found someone else to put her, and her boyfriend, up for a few days while they sort out accomodation (I only have room for one person - or maybe more if none of them is a rival !). I am hoping that I may get to see her sometime this weekend, but maybe finding a new flat will be their overriding priority.

 Tonight I expect there could be an opportunity to go for a drink, but I would prefer to stay at home for at least two reasons. Firstly I want to stay near the phone in case Patricia phones, and secondly I felt, and to a certain extent still feel, slightly rough this morning. For the second night running I didn't get to sleep as early as I ought to have done, and for the second morning running I had to be woken up by my clock radio alarm (normally I wake up well in advance of it going off). I may not go to bed any earlier tonight, but I just feel like I will want to be very lazy tonight. Maybe I'll feel different later on, but right now I fancy going back to bed. If only I wasn't at work I would do so !
Wednesday 3rd September 2008
09:14 BST

 Thankfully it is a dry morning, although a little overcast. The sun has peeped through the clouds a couple of times, and the forecast is that there could be more sunshine later on. At the moment it looks as if it could get cloudier, and maybe even rain, before it gets sunny.

 After the soaking I got going to work yesterday morning, I was relieved to go home again in the dry. Like this morning, the sun did pop out a few times as I made my way home. Unlike this morning, those periods of sunshine were longer.

 I had a quiet evening, but it was not entirely a lazy evening. I seemed to spend quite a long time playing with my Palm PDA. I had found some more free software that I wanted to try on it. None of it was particularly useful, and one program caused the device to crash a few times. Another, a Samba client for accessing Windows shares, seemed ridiculously complex, and what's more it was totally redundant because I already have a program installed that works quite efficiently for accessing Windows shares over my home network.

 Tonight will involve some early drinking, but before that I think I ought to try and find a little energy to go via the vets to get Smudge some flea drops. Once again, I stupidly bought some completely useless flea drops from the supermarket a week or two ago. The small print actually suggests it is no more than a flea repellant rather than a lethal flea exterminating liquid. So Smudge's fleas have multiplied, and I have been bitten several times now. It's time to put a stop to it !
Tuesday 2nd September 2008
06:23 BST

 The weather is most unstable lately. Yesterday's sunshine continued intermittently until the evening. It did get get windy at the ened of the afternoon, but overall it was a nice day. This morning the sky is dark and gloomy, and it is raining. The rain is forecast to continue until this afternoon. Although it seems certain that it will be raining when I go into work, I think there is a chance that it will be dry again when I come home from work.

 Last night I felt too tired to rush around after work with Aleemah. So instead of coming back here we had a drink together at Waterloo. We visited a pub call Auberge that is at the bottom of the hideously long staircase that comes down from the middle of the walkway linking Waterloo East and Waterloo main line stations. Thankfully we didn't have to come down that long boring staircase, and mercifully we didn't have to go up it. We made our way there "overland" from where I met Aleemah outside the mainline station.

 The pub itself was not too bad. There was plenty of seating, and Stella Artois was only 3.20 a pint. That's not cheap compared to the Catford Wetherspoons, but not bad for an inner London pub. I was fearing it would be over 4. The toilets in the pub were very clean and modern, but the cubicles were some of the smallest I have ever been in. Any smaller and I would literally have had to climb onto the seat to open the door when I had finished !

 When we left the pub, after I had drunk two pints, we had a choice of routes to take us to our station platforms. The quickest route for me, but also the most knackering, would have been to climb the 73 steps up to the Waterloo East walkway. Aleemah could have have disappeared into the bowels of the earth through the lower entrance of Waterloo station to make her way through the miles of subterranean passages to the Jubilee line platforms (or they might have been close to that entrance - I don't really know). Instead we both went exploring through the back streets of Southwark to find Southwark tube station. During a fag break I had already wandered round the corner and spotted the tube station, and I thought it was much closer than it was. The bit I saw was close, but it is such a sprawling station that it was another five minutes walk to find the entrance.

 Once we had found the entrance, and gone inside, Aleemah took the escalators down to the Jubilee line station, and I walked through the station to come out onto Waterloo East station. At that point I was within a few hundred feet of where we had first started from, but it was an interesting bit of exploration. Quite by chance my timing was quite good. I had just over ten minutes to wait for my train, and I used the time usefully by having another pee in the toilets.

 After diverting via Tesco to buy some fags, I was home again soon after 6.30 pm. From then until I went to bed seem to pass in a flash. I had some food, watched an episode of The Simpsons, answered a phone call from Jodie, wrote an e-mail, and then I went to bed. For some unknown reason I dreamed about PDAs and WiFi. I can't remember too much about my dreams, but I do remember getting a new PDA that was labelled in very cryptic pictograms, and to make life more interesting had no instruction manual with it. Then I discovered that a Wifi signal was leaking through what looked like mini manhole covers. I guess they were the sort of covers that you might get over a stop cock or something. Although I could get a WiFi signal I found that the only web pages I could look at were weird and didn't make any sense. Not a very satisfactory series of dreams ! 
Monday 1st September 2008
08:22 BST

 It's hard to believe after the nasty day yesterday, that this morning is bright and sunny again. Yesterday morning's fog did lift, but as it lifted it turned to rain. The rain fell intermittently for most of the day, but probably petered out in the early evening. There does seem to be more cloud in the sky now compared to when I left home nearly two hours ago, and I believe that it may well rain later this evening. I hope it stays dry until I get home again. I didn't bring a coat with me this morning.

 I didn't do as much yesterday as I thought I might. The gloomy weather took away most of the enthusiasm I had built up on Saturday. So I did my shopping, and I did some more laundry, and did a tiny bit of tidying up. The rest of the day seemed to pass quite fast, although I did go to bed very early. So it was quite a short day. I started the process of going to bed at 7 pm. I had already watched too much TV, and I didn't want to start on anything that might take a long time. So I shut everything down downstairs, and I was in bed, and I think I may have even been asleep by 8 pm.

 Going to bed so early did allow me to get up nice and early. I started to get up at 4.30 this morning. That gave me time to have a wet shave and wash my hair as well as the usual shower. In addition to that I made some preparations for Aleemah to visit for a few hours tonight. I guess I feel pretty good right now. It was always so. I had a bit of tummy trouble on the way in to work. I had to stop at Clapham Junction to use, horror of horrors, the toilets there (the worst toilets anywhere on the rail network). I'll probably die of some horrible disease now !