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Thursday 30th April 2009
 08:10 BST

 The weather swings round again ! After a warm sunny day we are now back to solid grey clouds, and the threat of heavy rain. The only saving grace is that the overnight cloud has left the air temperature very mild. So far it has remained dry, but even if we don't get heavy rain, would not be surprised if we didn't get prolonged periods of drizzle.

 My doctor really is taking the piss now - literally ! During my visit to her after work last night she came up with a theory about why all the medication I have been taking has not reduced my blood pressure in the way she hoped it would. It has gone down, and while I was in the surgery I remembered to write it down so I could record it accurately. It was 201/103. My doctors theory is that I am over producing adrenaline, and in a way that does feel sort of right. To test for this I am going to have to collect all my urine over a 24 hour period, and it will be analysed for the breakdown products of adrenaline and a few other endrocrinic substances.

 Now that my doctor has shifted to diagnosis mode, instead of just throwing chemicals at my body, I feel a lot happier, although maybe I shouldn't. If this first theory is correct, or more accurately, if the tests on my urine confirm the doctors suspicions we move on to stage two. This will mean final diagnosis by a specialist in a hospital. As far as my simple research shows, the causes of high adrenaline production involve some unpleasant things. Mainly tumours on a few assorted glands. Cures for those could involve some fairly exotic surgery. Things like microscopic surgery carried out through the nostril ! Well, however it turns out I know one thing. It will not involve stays in non smoking hospitals for periods of time greater than a few hours (and then only with copious quantities of nicotine gum and patches).

 This morning I have to arrange a pot to piss in ! I hope I can get the phlebotomy department, who allegedly arrange such things, to leave a kit of bits with reception at my doctors for me to pick up after work. If not I am going to have to either leave work exceptionally early  today, or take a day off tomorrow. Then over the long bank holiday weekend, and probably starting on the Sunday night, everytime I need to pee I will be doing it in a specimen bottle until the 24 hours are over.
Wednesday 29th April 2009
 08:47 BST

 It's another morning where the sky is a brilliant blue, and the sun is shining. It's possibly slightly less cool than yesterday. The main difference between today and yesterday is that today the sun should be shining for most of the day. Yesterday, after the bright start, the clouds thickened until we had some heavy showers. Maybe somewhere in the SE of England those showers were thundery, but not here. It was a close thing, but when the time came for me to leave work, the rain had stopped and it had even brightened up a bit here. As my train passed Clapham Junction I could see the sky was looking darker towards central London. As we approached Waterloo the sky seemed as black as night. Strangely enough, in the last few minutes as the train pulled into the platform, and as I walked across the station, the sky did get quite bright again, but I still got a bit wet as I smoked a fag outside the station. By the time I got to Catford the rain had stopped, and a bit later on the sun came out.

 Have you ever, while just walking down the road, suddenly had the strong urge to eat some dry roasted peanuts ? Probably not, it doesn't happen very often, but it did happen to me as I walked from the station to home last night. Maybe I had subconciously noticed a discarded peanut packet or something, but I suddenly came over with this urge to eat a large bag of dry roasted peanuts. Fortunately I didn't have any at home, and I couldn't be bothered to go out and buy any. Otherwise I would have delighted in consuming mega calories worth of the delicious things !

 I didn't do anything of any note last night. In fact I was in bed listening to another Sherlock Holmes story at 7.30 pm. Last night I only listened to one story, and I was fast asleep by 8.30 pm. As a result I think I feel a bit brighter this morning. Tonight will be different because I definitely do have something to do. In fact I have two things to do. The boring one is to see my doctor again. I must admit that all the blood pressure malarkey is making me feel a cross between depressed, bored and ill. The sooner I can convince the doctor to leave me alone the better. If all my blood vessels explode, so be it, but all this stuff is interfering with my life (such as it is), and is also interfering with my diet. I found it very hard to go hungry when either I am ill, or I keep getting told I am ill. In this case it is the latter.

 The other thing I shall do tonight, although it is likely to only take a very short time, is to install a new NAS (Network Attached Storage) device to my network. I am expecting delivery of it today. It is a "Extra Value USB2.0 & Ethernet Network Hard Drive Enclosure for upto 500GB IDE Hard Drive" , and at 9.99 each they seem rather cheap. I also ordered a 500 GB hard disk to go in it for 63.99. I think the combined price is pretty competative compared with similar ready made boxes, but I am sure someone will point out something cheaper. They are being delivered to work so I will be able to do the initial "playing" here, and I can leave the hard disk formatting while I get on with my real work. If the box works the way I hope it does I will just have to plug it in when I get it home tonight.
Tuesday 28th April 2009
 08:12 BST

 The weather today promises to be a mixed bag of delights (or not so delights !). Like yesterday, the day started with the sky blue, and the sun shining. Unlike yesterday it is still shining now I am at work. It was quite cold first thing this morning, and that encouraged a very light mist to form. It was more of a haze in the distance, but it did take the edge off the sunshine. Later today, if the weather forecasters are to be believed, there is a strong chance of thundery showers developing. Potentially I could get very wet on my way home, but I hope not. I did get quite damp during my fag breaks, but the rain had stopped when the time came for me to go home.

 It did feel cold enough that I put on my winter coat to come to work today. I am not sure if that was a mistake or not. It was certainly worthwhile wearing it as I walked to the station, but unusually the heating was on when I got on the train. So I didn't need a thick coat then. Transferring from Waterloo East to Waterloo station is always a rush (not that it actually needs to be, but I rush anyway), and racing around like that keeps you warm. The train from Waterloo to Earlsfield was warm, and a very brisk walk from the station to work left me feeling close to sweating. Now I wonder if the day will warm up sufficiently to make wearing my winter coat on the way home a very hot and unpleasant experience.

 Yesterday I wrote I was going to revert back to my steel toe cap safety shoes after satisfactorily testing my latest new black trainers/casual shoes. I didn't ! This morning I thought I would give the new white trainers a go. They are better than the black ones. I am not sure what extra support they give, and what they give it to, but assuming I haven't changed significantly since yesterday morning, I found they were far more comfortable for very fast walking. Perhaps they are a tiny bit less comfortable when just sitting down, but any difference is marginal, and I feel sure that after a time they will settle in to be extremely comfortable. Sadly, as is often the way with shoes, they will probably reach the peak of their comfortableness just as they reach the end of their cosmetic life (but I typically will continue to use them until they start leaking or something).

 Well it seems my feet are OK now, but the cold and damp seem to have reawakened some stiffness in my shoulders and arms. This was more apparent earlier this morning, but they seem to be improving now. It is possible that some of the stiffness was caused by sleeping awkwardly. I think I did sleep oddly last night, but it's hard to be sure. At one point I was brought to the point of waking up by some noise, but I don't know if I really did wake up. That noise could have been thunder, an exceptionally noisy freight train on The Catford Loop Line, a lorry passing the house, or even just me snoring ! While that seems hazy and distant, one dream seems to remain lodged in my brain. I could describe the journey on the tube train getting there, and climbing up the 156 steps of the spiral staircase to get out of the tube station, but the relevant part was the pub I ended up in near Trafalgar Square. In some fantasy scenario obviously plucked from the film "Passport To Pimlico", the grounds the pub stood while actually in England was classed as being French territory. As such it was not governed by this countries outlandish, unjustly cruel, and tyranical anti smoking laws. So in this dream I was taken back to the time when we really did live in a free country and you could enjoy a pint and a fag indoors, in the warm, and in comfort. Ahhhh, those were the days - when life had meaning, and I actually had something to live for.
Monday 27th April 2009
 08:07 BST

 When I left home the sun was shining and the sky was blue. The only slight downside was that the light wind felt quite cold. As I travelled west towards work I was also heading to where today's weather was coming from. Soon the sky became cloudier and cloudier until the sun was hidden. As I walked the final bit from Earlsfield station to work, the rain started. It was not heavy rain, but I fear the worst is yet to come. I think that the next few days will likely be overcast at best, and very wet at worst.

 My experiments with the evalation copy of Windows 7 did not come to much yesterday. I successfully installed it, but I don't really think I like it. It is hard to tell who is winning the race to make the desktop experience more feature laden, clunky, and ultimately irritating. The race is between Windows and the KDE desktop for Linux. I guess their goal is to create a seamless experience as you do one thing after another, but it's a bit like taking a break from doing woodwork and taking your drill and saw to the dinner table (or something). Once upon a time I did not care too much for the Gnome desktop for Linux, but I am beginning to appreciate it more and more these days. I consider that for Windows the pinnacle for the user interface was that of Windows 2000 (or maybe Windows 98). It was simple, clean, and functional. The Gnome desktop, with a few tweaks can also be just as good, and the Xfce desktop, once again suitable tweaked, is very usable too. Maybe the best Linux desktop, albeit one that is rarely supported these days, is Fwm95. This is a windows manager/desktop for Linux that looks as close as you can get to Windows 95, but it works a lot better than Windows 95.
http://fvwm95.sourceforge.net/screenshot-start.gif
 I finished playing with Windows 7 by very early evening and I couldn't think of anything else to do. Even playing with Windows 7 was just a way of passing some unused time. By 7 pm I finally had an idea. I would go and lay on my bed and listen to a Sherlock Holmes story that I had recorded off the radio 4 or 5 years ago. After one story called "The Adventure Of The Gloria Scott", I brushed my teeth and got into bed even though it was still bright daylight outside, and perhaps only 8 pm. I then listened to another adventure called "The Adventure Of TheLions Mane". I think I was beginning to feel sleepy by then, but decided to listen to one more story. It was "The Problem Of Thor Bridge". At about 9 pm, three quarters through the story, and some 3o minutes after I had originally intended to be asleep, I got a phone call. Much earlier in the day it would have been OK, but last night it was a bad idea. For a start it made me even later when I finally did turn out the light to go to sleep, but worse still was the disruption to my listening. It was just that I had to pause the cheap mp3 player I was using, but that the mp3 player turned itself off after being in pause for a few minutes. The player remembered the track I was playing when I turned it back on, but had not remembered the position in the track. It took an age of holding down the (not very) fast forward button until I found my place again about 40 minutes into an hour recording.

 I woke up early this morning - which was rather surprising considering how late I went to sleep. I didn't feel all that good when I first woke up, and I don't feel that wonderful even now. Obviously I was suffering from a lack of sleep (and almost dozed off on the train to work), but I felt rough in other ways too. It was nothing very serious, and the change in the weather probably explains some of it. I didn't really fancy going to work while feeling like that, and I had to force myself to actually leave for work. I knew that the other reason I felt rough was because I had slouched around feeling bored  for too long, and I had too much over the weekend. The only cure was to come to work, get some fresh air and exercise, and keep away from the fridge (although few of my over indulgences came from the fridge). Bits of me feel better already, but my ankles feel very stiff. I am thinking that my new cheap comfortable trainers are not providing the right support somewhere. They are great for slow walking - no nips, pinches or rubbing - but it seems they are not ideal for fast walking. Tomorrow it's back to the steel toe cap safety shoes - I just wanted to try out my new trainers on a long run today. ("A long run" being more a motoring term rather than the high speed shuffle of the legs that runners do and I don't !).
Sunday 26th April 2009
 16:52 BST

 I was under the impression that it would be a very wet day today. I was very wrong ! There was a short period of time during the morning when the clouds seemed to be gathering, but after a time they dispersed again. For most of today the sun has shined, and the sky has been blue. It's also almost warm. While moving around the temperature has been very comfortable, although I find it a little cool if I sit still for any length of time. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, but I thought it was for today. So anything could happen tomorrow.

 It's been a quiet day. This morning I went shopping in Tesco. I didn't buy much, but what I did buy was quite heavy. There was a couple of two litre bottles of diet coke, a couple of litre bottles of fabric conditioner, bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and 4 large tins of catfood. They were the heaviest items, but there was some lighter stuff too. Altogether it was quite a feat to lug all that back home. I was aided in my trek home by wearing my new trainers. They are so comfortable compared to my other new trainers !

 I seem to have achieved very little since that shopping trip, although I haven't actually been idle. I've done some laundry, and I've been playing with my computers. I recently obtained an evaluation copy of Windows 7, the version of Windows that will come after Vista. So far I am not terribly impressed. When I tried it on my Dell 4600 computer it just ground to a complete halt before the installer even started. I had more luck when I tried it on my home built Pentium 4 computer, but even that had major problems.

 It seems that the hard disk tools provided with my version of Windows 7 are seriously lacking in ability. I tried installing twice, and each time the computer failed to boot unless I had the installer disk in the DVD drive. That was even the case after I had repaired the master boot record. In the end I tried another hard disk that I installed DOS on to test it before I tried with Windows 7. This time it seemed  to work, and as I write this it has just rebooted succesfully without the installer DVD being present. Now it's time to go away and play with it a bit more.
Saturday 25th April 2009
 17:02 BST

 Up to now the weather has been pretty good, and there is nothing to suggest that it is going to deteriorate for some time yet. There was at least one shower this morning, but for most of the day the sky has been mostly blue with a scattering of fluffy clouds, and the sun has been shining. I don't know what the temperature is, but it is definitely warm enough for Smudge to decide that she is an outdoor cat today.

 Last night I went for a drink. I met Iain in the pub at 5.30 pm, and Patricia turned up a little bit later. Originally I was only going to stay in the pub until about 7 pm, but it didn't work out like that. Patricia turned down my offer of getting something to eat together because her bad tooth was playing up. So she left about an hour after she got there. However, before she left Kevin turned up in the pub. So after I saw Patricia off on her bus I went back into the pub intending to have just one more pint.

 At the moment Wetherspoons pubs are having an international beer festival. That meant there were interesting beers to test out. Just before I was going to go home another beer became available. It was a rather strong (6.2% abv), and was brewed in Finland. So instead of going home I stayed for yet one more pint ! That really was my last pint, and I went home after I finished it. I didn't go straight home. I was feeling starving hungry, and I was drunk enough to buy some fried chicken on the way.

 I think it was around 9 pm when I got home. I started to stuff myself with chicken while watching old episodes of Red Dwarf. I watched one full episode, and tried to watch a second, but I found myself falling asleep in front of the TV. Although I remember going up to bed, I don't remember much more. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillows ! If that was around 10 pm then I only got around 4 hours sleep before I woke up with a dull, but unpleasant, hangover. I had to get up and "surf the net" for an hour before I was ready to go back to sleep. I woke up several times after that, but mostly managed to get back to sleep again after a short time.

 Ideally I would have slept right through to at least 10 am this morning, but I was up, washed, dressed, and ready to go out at 9 am. My first port of call when I went out was the building society. I wasn't sure if they would take them knowing how they hate mucking about with small change, but my account is now richer to the tune of 90 worth of 2 coins. Next I went to the shoe shop. The pair of black trainers I bought last Saturday are really uncomfortable. They are so tight across the toes that wearing them again last night was agony where the site of the last blster they produced was rubbed red raw again. Eventually they may soften up, but I needed some alternative casual shoes. This morning I bought another two pairs of very cheap (9.99) trainers of two different styles. One black pair had a similar style to the very comfortable pair I recently threw away, and the other pair (mostly white) were very similar to another pair of very comfortable I still have, but they are near the end of their useful life. A quick test this afternoon, just a short walk to the corner shop, showed that one of the new pairs, the black ones, was quite comfortable even with my right little toe red raw from it's previous abuse.

 While I was in the pub last night I tried out my new O mobile broadband dongle - this time for real. I paid my 2 and bought 24 hours of airtime. It did pretty much what it said on the tin. So this morning I decided that I had to try and get it to work while booted into Linux. It took a bit of time to do it, but I am happy to say that it did work, and maybe worked too wel in some respects. I have written all about it here in my "techno blog".
Friday 24th April 2009
 08:21 BST

 This morning is better than yesterday morning, and not just because it's Friday (although that is very good in itself). Unlike yesterday the sky is clear apart from the finest, whispiest clouds. In theory this clear sky, assuming it was clear for most of the night, should have meant that it would be a lot cooler, but in fact I am sure it is warmer than yesterday morning. Hopefully the day will remain bright and sunny because once again I have come to work with no coat.

 It did seem to be very warm when I left work yesterday. I can't be sure, but it could easily have been over 20 C. The warmth, or maybe something else unknown, left me feeling a little tired during the afternoon. So it was with some reluctance that I detoured on my way home to pick up my mobile broadband dongle from DHL's depot in Vauxhall. I seem to recall that the last time I had to pick up a parcel there (also from O) it was rather warm, and I was wearing comparatively new shoes. My new steel toe cap safety shoes are still not perfectly comfortable yet. They fit well, and there is no rubbing, but they feel sort of lumpy under the sole of the foot. This is mainly for my left foot, but also to a lesser extent my right foot too. By the time I left the train at Vauxhall station I was very much looking forward to getting those shoes off, and putting my feet up.

 To avoid walking too far I caught a bus for the two stops from Vauxhall bus station to the end of the road where DHL are located. The only trouble was that I did not realise the bus stops just a few yards beyond the road leading to DHL. Like an idiot (or a tourist maybe) I carried on walking until I was virtually at the next bus stop. On the rather baseless assumption that bus stops are equally far apart, that extra walk totally nullified getting the bus in the first place. Once I got my package I got the bus back to Vauxhall bus station. From there I went back in the railway station and continued my journey home as usual - usual apart from getting the 17:17 train instead of the 16:29 train !

 Despite my aching feet I went home via Tesco's where I bought lots of nice salad stuff - and no mayonaise !  I also bought some ready made sandwiches because I was feeling too starving to stop to make up my dinner. Another thing from Tesco was turkey and ice dog food. I know I haven't got a dog, but it is identical to their turkey and rice cat food, and there is more of it for the same price. It's sounds strange, but it is true ! The significance of this is that this particular flavour is Smudge's favourite food, or at least it used to be. It has been out of stock for at least the last three weeks, and Smudge would tell you that she hasn't eaten anything at all in those last three weeks ! In fact she has learned to eat other food, and Whiskers salmon in jelly seems to be the favourite for now (although how what is actually in the tin is related to salmon is a mystery).

 Once Smudge had been fed and I had fed myself, I pulled my new mobile broadband dongle out of it's packaging, and had a look at it. It turned out to be a Huawei E160 device, and it seems it does have some support when using Linux. When I plugged it into my Aspire One, booted into my strange Ubuntu hybrid installation (Easy Peasy converted to XFCE desktop with random bits of plain Ubuntu installed), It did register as a GSM modem, but I did not have time to play with it. I will be writing more about this in my computer blog sometime over the weekend (I expect). After rebooting to Windows XP I gave the device a quick spin, and everything worked as the manuals suggested it would. I briefly connected to O's mobile broadband, and the connection seemed fine. At that point I wasn't ready to pay for any air time, and reverted back to my own WiFi network. It is something I will have to try soon because once everything is registered it seems that one interpretation of the reading matter that came with the dongle, is that it does give you usage of The Cloud without having to pay for airtime. I am sure I am being too optimistic in my interpretation, but while there's hope.........
Thursday 23rd April 2009
 07:52 BST

 The sky is very hazy this morning, but that is both good and bad. It's good because it has helped to stop the overnight temperature dropping too low, but bad because bright sunshine in the morning makes the day seem so much better. In theory the sun should drive away the haziness, and we should see another bright sunny day. I have no idea what the temperature got up to yesterday, ut if today is similar it will be very pleasant.

 This morning I took a chance and left my coat at home. Going home in shirtsleeves last night was rather nice, but this morning it was obviously a fair bit cooler. I did put on a long sleeve shirt this morning, and that was enough to keep me close to comfortable in the cool morning air. Of course the train was bloody chilly again. I am not sure how, with no air conditioning, they manage to get the trains so cold overnight. That caused some minor discomfort, but there was worse. Someone in my carriage was wearing some really unpleasant aftershave. It was similar to Old Spice, but much worse. It was the sort of smell that you would expect to associate with elderly paedophiles (not that I am aware of ever meeting one).

 Tonight I have an arduous task to perform. It is the result of a sales call that happened to come through at a time when I was already thinking about buying the product. The product in question is a mobile broadband modem dongle. It is the perfect compliment to my Aspire One netbook. Now at this point I should mention that I am keener to try the technology rather than use it, although there are rare times when it could come in damn handy. This particular deal, from O, is particularly good in that respect. The deal is for pay as you go mobile broadband. The upfront price for the dongle is 29.35, and that's not bad. I have spent more than that before on toys that get very limited usage. From then on you buy "airtime" by the day, week, or month. I belive that one days usage costs 2.50. That's steep, but I can handle that on a few rare occasions. A weeks usage is slightly cheaper (7.50) , and a months usage slightly cheaper still (15).  There is also a limit on the amount of data that can be downloaded. The best deal is 500MB for one day, Going up to a week only gives you 1 GB, and for the month, only  3 GB. It seems there is no surcharge for exceeding these limits - it just cuts you off. Part of the deal also give free usage of O's "The Cloud" WiFi hotspots (which are often free in Wetherspoon pubs anyway). Usage here is unlimited, but of course this is the special usage of the word "unlimited" that is used by all flim flam artists, and general crooks like internet service providers.

 My arduous task tonight is to collect the damn thing from DHL's depot in Vauxhall because those miserable bastards at O will not send anything to, say, a work address. As well as being nearly 15 minutes walk from Vauxhall station to get there, and then the same back again, there is also usually a long wait to get served. I am going to get home a lot later than I like tonight.

 One niggly problem with this Mobile broadband dongle is that there is no official support for using it with Linux. I have done some light research about it, but until I get the dongle home, and can plug it into a Linux box I won't know what is actually inside it. So far my research says that it will probably be possible to use it with Linux, but it's going to be fiddly. Once I get into the nitty gritty of it I will report what I have found and done in my techno blog (or computer blog, or Linux blog, or I really haven't thought of a good name for it yet !).
Wednesday 22nd April 2009
 07:44 BST

 It's another fine spring morning. As I left home to come to work the sun had just cleared the roofs of the houses on the eastern horizon, the birds were singing, and everything seemed to be just fine. By all accounts, today will be very similar to yesterday, and tomorrow similar to today. Yesterday remained fine and sunny all day, although the sun did grow a bit hazy later in the afternoon. I am not sure what the highest temperature was yesterday, but I don't think it reached 22 C, or at least nowhere I went to. My guess would be that it did not go much higher than 19 C, but that still felt rather splendid when, with my coat stuffed into my bag, I made my way home from work in just my shirtsleeves. Hopefully I will be doing that again tonight.

 I felt tired again when I got in from work yesterday. It wasn't as bad as Monday night. So I did stay up a tiny bit later than then. I was in bed just a little before 8 pm, but I attempted to do a little reading before I turned out the light. I didn't read for long, and it is very possible that I was fast asleep by 8.30 pm. Once again I slept very well, although for some very peculiar reason I woke again at around 11 pm. What is so special about 11 pm ?  I think I awoke very briefly once more before I was unusually woken by my alarm clock. On most mornings I am awake a good 15 - 20 minutes before my alarm is set to go off at 5 am.

 One possible reason for my feeling tired after work is that my blood sugar level is higher than I would desire. This could be a legacy of my excesses over the weekend, or it could be the new potatoes I had last night. Maybe it was not the new potatoes by themselves, but the chilli sauce I poured over the entire meal. I did use a very thick chilli sauce that probably has a lot of syrup in. I must check this tonight. In the past I would have suggested that chilli suace does not count because you don't drink it by the pint. That's true up to a point, but I probably did use quite a lot last night. Switching to thinner chilli sauce, like Tabasco, may be the answer, but it doesn't stick to the food so well. There is an alternate reason for my tiredness last night, and the night before, and once again it is another legacy of the weekend. I have mentioned here before that I can't seem to balance late nights at the weekends with late mornings. In all probability all these things are a mixture of everything.

 I was considering going for a pint or two tonight, but with my blood sugar level being on the high side I probably ought to resist that idea. I will quite probably be going to bed early again tonight anyway. So tonight I think I had better go easy on the new potatoes (that's easy because they are almost finished), go easy on the chilli sauce, and bulk my dinner out with more leafy vegetables and lots of gravy. Then in the morning I might even dare weigh myself.
Tuesday 21st April 2009
 07:57 BST

 Today seems to be the perfect spring day. It has started out rather cool, but there is little wind, the sky is blue, and the sun is shining. It will soon warm up, and the forecast is that it could get as high as 22 C, although 20 C may be more realistic. I think I would be happy with anything over, say, 18 C. So it's going to be a good day, and apparently it will be similar every day until the weekend (when more "unsettled" weather is forecast - probably howling winds and driving rain !).

 I felt really tired when I got home yesterday. I suppose it is a legacy of staying up later over the weekend, and not being able make up the lost sleep in the morning. So last night I was in bed, and possibly fast asleep, before 8 pm. It was still daylight outside ! I woke up at 11 pm feeling reasonably refreshed and was convinced it was time to get up for work until I checked the actual time. I thought I may have had trouble getting back to sleep after that, but in fact more sleep came very easily. I woke up from interesting dreams a couple of more times after that. The only describable bit of the only describable dream was a short sequence featuring a rainbow. It was no ordinary rainbow, but what could be described as a "laser rainbow" (a brand new description, just made up, for an improbable thing). This rainbow, set against smoky black clouds, was narrow, very sharply defined, and very bright. It also had an unusually tight curvature. I seem to recall it had something to do with some sort of space disturbance, although what my subconcious mind might have dreamed up to invent it is now beyond recall.

 This morning I guess it is nothing unusual that I feel both good and bad. I definitely feel refreshed after my full 8 hours sleep, and the sunshine is always a good boost to the spirits, but I am having trouble walking. Sometimes walking seems like hard work because I seem to get short of breath (we are talking about very brisk long walks here), and yet it seems like my legs could continue moving for ever. At other times I seem to have plenty of breath, but my legs feel tired. This morning I seem to be suffering from the latter case. The reason for this is almost certainly my new shoes. I am walking slightly awkwardly at the moment. It does feel like I have made great strides (if you'll excuse the pun) in breaking in my new shoes. They seem almost comfortable this morning, and I am expecting them to be almost perfect by tomorrow, but my right foot does seem to be almost loose in my right shoe. I don't think I have quite worked out how to tighten the laces properly on these new shoes. Either I have to work out an alternative way of lacing them up (ignoring the manufacturers lacing layout) or I have got to try some alternative angles to pull up the laces. It seems a little strange to not get this right first time, but I guess it's all part of breaking the shoe in.

 I am ot sure what is happening with my diet. After a weekend of eating badly I did not excell myself last night. I have not dared weigh myself since last Friday, but I found I could do my trouser belt up an extra notch this morning. It was rather tight like that, but it wasn't that far short of comfortable. Maybe I have been overestimating the value of some of the foodstuffs I have been partaking in. Some have said that bread is not particularly fattening, and it is only the butter (or margerine) that people usually spread thickly over it that makes it over laden with calories, and maybe this is actually true. Another explanation is that the tablets I take to moderate sugar uptake work particularly well as a diet aid when consuming carbohydrates. A third explanation is that I was just feeling extra strong this morning, and pulled my trouser belt tighter than I had realised !
Monday 20th April 2009
 08:17 BST

 There is a sort of mistiness when looking towards the horizon, and there is a lot of light broken cloud. This is giving everything a sort of soft focus look. It's probably just the right light conditions for some sort of photography, but I would prefer it if the sun could shine thorough one of the breaks in the clouds. There are lots of blue bits visible in the clouds, but unfortunately these seem to be nowhere near where the sun is rising. It is reasonably mild this morning. Some suggest that this morning's temperature is 8 C, and that by the end of a sunny afternoon the temperature will have risen to 17 C.

 This morning I am wearing my new steel toe cap, lightweight boot style, safety shoes to work. At the moment they are not all that comfortable. They are a slightly loose fit, and nothing is rubbing or chafing, but they do feel very stiff, and it will take some time before either they have moulded themselves to the contours of my feet, or my feet have moulded themselves to the inner contours of the shoes. It made the walking bits of my commute into work slightly uncomfortable, and in particular, walking from the station to work itself seemed like hard work. Despite that I did seem to do it quicker than I think is normal.

 It is not only my new shoes that are making feel a bit uncomfortable. Too much slouching around on the settee, and too much eating of the wrong sorts of food, have left me feeling quite creaky (or something) this morning. All this was most noticeable when I first woke up after a rather good sleep. Nauseus is not the right word to describe how I felt, but it comes close in severity. Try as I might I just cannot find anyway to explain exactly how I did feel. Perhaps it was like when you are woken up unexpectedly by something in the middle of the night, and your mind has to work overtime to mentally reconstruct your body so that it can try and control it. All the time you wish that you were asleep again, but you know you'll never get comfy until you have woken up properly and tested half a dozen new sleeping configurations. Even that description is probably nothing like how I felt, and now I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable as I try and imagine a couple of dozen different ways of being in pain or uncomfortable, and see if any of them fits the way I felt when I first woke up. I don't think any of them do.

 It is even difficult to describe how I feel right now, some three and a half hours after I woke up. One obvious thing is that I am very aware of my feet. They are not hurting, but it is very obvious they are on the end of my legs ! I do have a few small stomach twinges. The best approximation for these are hunger pains. In a way they are hunger pains, but they are inappropriate ones. After all the wrong (junk) food I ate yesterday (which did include some ice cream and crisps !), my gut is saying it wants more. Well it's not getting any partly because I don't want to give it any, but mostly because even if my will power did fail there is nothing here to eat (except a bit of fruit, and I'll be eating that for lunch). This is, of course, the easiest way to diet - no food means no eating. Meanwhile, my gut continues to rumble !

 Yesterday was not all slouching on the settee watching back to back old episodes of Red Dwarf. I did do a little clearing up. I managed to sort out another half bin bag of old clothes, and I managed to throw out some old video tapes. After all that I still have even more old clothes I could throw out, but now I am facing a dilemma. I have a drawer with many pairs of underpants in it. I have already thrown out the worn out ones, but now I am left with an assortment that I cannot decide what to do with. Some are in a style I no longer currently favour (at the moment), and some are not comfortable to wear, but both are in almost as new condition. There is no way I am going to just throw out perfectly good underpants, but I think I am going to have to do some testing to see what feels good to wear (and hopefully what will feel good to wear if my diet proceeds in the right direction). Then, and only then, can I finally throw out what I don't need. Who would have thought that underpants could have such a significant effect on my, or anyone's, day to day affairs ! Who would have thought that underpants could provide enough fodder to feed a whole paragraph of useless writing !
Saturday 18th April 2009
 21:25 BST

 Today's weather has been nothing like I expected, and nothing like I believe was forecast. It has been dry and bright. Even better than that, it has been reasonably warm. I am sure that grey skies with occasional showers had been forecast, and that would have been most depressing. Instead it has been rather wonderful.

 This weather is in great contrast to yesterday. Not only did I get rained on as I went to work, but I also got rained on when I made my way home from work. Luckily only one of my fag breaks happened in the rain, and even then it was extremely light rain which wasn't enough to even get me noticeably damp.

 One of the strange things about yesterday was that even the bad weather didn't seem to get me down. I guess there were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly I was feeling almost well, and secondly I was doing some stuff I enjoyed doing. For a lot of last week I was making up some cables to use at a trade exhibition where work will be showing off our latest product. Making up cables does get very repatative after a while, and after a few days becomes very boring no matter what creative effort you put into it (initially I was inventing the specification for the cables as I worked). Yesterday I got back to doing what I like, which is repairing circuit boards. Some added spice to this was that I also formulated a strategy to diagnose a particularly awkward type of fault involving lots of signals and actions that occur almost at the same time. It is too complex to explain here, but it gave me a lot of satisfaction to put this new stragedy to use and speed up the repair time tenfold (perhaps).

 On my way home yesterday I called into tesco to get some stuff to feed Aleemah today, and I also got some extra stuff to feed me. I resisted buying a lot of stuff, but I did suddenly decided that I really wanted some new potatoes to go with my poached salmon. I wasn't really sure, but I had it in mind that new potatoes cooked without salt, and not smothered in butter could be not only still rather nice, but wouldn't bend my diet too much. It seems I was right. Even though I did eat rather a lot of these new potatoes the scales still registered another pound loss this morning.

 Tomorrow morning, when I come to weigh myself (if I dare) I am not expecting to have lost any weight, and I may even have gained a pound. I have eaten a lot of stuff today that I really should not have eaten. Maybe it was some sort of hangover from the yesterday's bad weather, or maybe it was something else, but I this evening I did seem to have developed an insatiable hunger. That doesn't seem to read quite right, but I had to write it in the past tense like that because I now seem to have come to my senses, or I am otherwise satiated.

 One problem with Friday nights is that I can't always seem to discipline myself to get to bed early enough. It is because I know I do not have to get up for work, but despite that I still seem to wake at the same time, and in conseqence I start the day feeling rather tired. I could have gone back to sleep, and indeed I did try to, but it never seems to work like that. Now tonight I am doing exactly the same thing. It might be 11 pm before I am in bed, but I will still be awake at 5 am. However, tomorrow I don't have to prepare the place for Aleemah to visit, and Tesco's does not open to 10 am, so I do have a better chance of going back to bed for more sleep in the morning. I think I actually do better when I go out on a Friday for a drink. In that case I leave the pub quite early so I can get to bed at a reasonable time, but the drink makes me sleepy and I do actually go to bed early.

  One minor problem with the clearing up I did last Sunday, when I threw out two small bin bags full of old clothes, is that when I came to hoover my bedroom this morning there was more floor to hoover. It's only a few percent increase, but now I have an awkward corner to clean. I am not sure whay I should complain about this because I do like the overall effect of a slightly tidier bedroom. Tomorrow I think I may do a little more. I still have a drawer full of old t-shirts, and it is going to be difficult to decide to throw some of them out. Some are practically unused because they have never fit me, and I keep thinking that one day they will. Maybe they will one day, but that day could still be a long way off despite my best efforts (except today !) to reduce my size requirements. There are a few t-shirts in there that do have a certain sentimental attachment. I have often thought that I could maybe cut the front off a t-shirt and frame it as a sort of picture. I reckon that could work, but I doubt I will ever get around to it. So I will have to grit my teeth and bin the lot (maybe).

 I have two more items I ought to throw out tomorrow. They are both old pairs of shoes. I bought two replacement pairs today. One pair was a new pair of steel toe cap safety shoes (mainly) for work, and the other was a black pair of trainers for other days. I hope they are both going to break in nicely. I tried the ordinary trainers today when I saw Aleemah to the station. They did feel slightly uncomfortable, but no more so than any other new pair of shoes (I hope). The chief problem is that they feel a little too narrow for my feet. After a bit of use they should settle in as the material remolds itself to my feet, and once I have got the tension in the laces correctly fine tuned. Tomorrow I wiill give the safety shoes a quick try out when I go shopping in Tesco. Apart from a slight variation of the colour of the trimmings they are basically the same as the pair they are replacing. I seem to recall that they were comfortable practically from day one. So here's keeping my fingers crossed that they won't cripple me when I am wearing them all day when I go to work on Monday (subject to a satisfactory "test drive" tomorrow).
Friday 17th April 2009
 08:01 BST

 I got rained on when I walked to the station. I got rained on while I waited for my train. I got rained on as I walked from Earlsfield station to work. In short.......it's raining ! The only positive you can say is that the rain is quite light. Although I got damp during the episodes of being rained on, I didn't actually get wet. The sky is a very uniform shade of mid grey, and it doesn't appear that any crack will appear in it for quite a long time. If indeed any cracks do appear at all today. Meanwhile, the temperature is probably around 14 C, and I doubt it rise any higher today. That makes it just inside the comfort zone while on the move, but cool to stand still in.

 Taking into account the negative effects that grey skies, wet weather, and slightly cool temperatures have on me, I would say I am definitely better than yesterday. In actuality I feel similar to yesterday, and I am presuming that on a level playing field the ugly weather today would usually make me feel worse than on a better sort of day. It's a complicated thing this trying to work out if past ill health is still improving, and sometimes even harder to describe how I feel about it. I suppose I could have simplified things by saying that I feel quite positive that I am almost back to normal. Except that "normal" is a highly variable state ! When I think about it further there is an even simpler description - when I woke up this morning I didn't feel like crap !

 Just to make sure I don't forget to do some moaning, I will comment that there is definitely still one source of pain and/or discomfort. My feet hurt ! After my long walk in the sunshine on Wednesday I commented that my steel toe cap shoes were not ideal for walking in. That is not strictly correct. When new they were pretty comfortable, but now some of the lining is wearing thin, and there are a couple of areas that chafe a bit. Yesterday I wore some alternate steel toe cap safety shoes. Unlike the usual ones I wear to work these are in a more formal lace up style (the others are a cross between a boot and a trainers * ). I have owned these shoes for over a year now and I still have not broken them in . When I first tried to wear them the right shoe tore my heel to bits, and I had a huge ugly great blister on the heel that took a long time to heal. The left shoe tried to do this too, but was less effective. So every now and then I give these shoes another go, and gradually they are wearing in, but overall they are still uncomfortable for long periods of wear. This morning, to give my feet a rest, I am wearing quite a light pair of trainers, and gradually the sore areas are recovering.

 * trainers = sneakers in N America, and maybe elsewhere, at least I think that is the case.

 One thing that is contributing to my wellbeing this morning is the result of another dare to weigh myself. I am now back down to where I left off with just 5 lbs to go to reach my next target, and unlike when I reached this low a week or two back, the scales gave a very positive indication. As I recall (and I may be wrong here), the last time I recorded this weight the scales were sort of hovering between rounding up or rounding down. This would have meant that my proper weight was more likely to be closer to 5.5 lbs from my next target. This morning the scales were quite positive and didn't hover at all. The probability of me reaching that target before I see the doctor again on the 29th is now looking very good. All I have to do is to eat more meals like last night. Of course the doctor is more interested in my blood pressure than my weight, but I might be able to get a bit of grudging praise out of her if I brag about it enough.

 My main meal last night (ignoring the fairly low calorie/low fat snacks) may sound slightly strange, but it was actually quite nice, and I will be eating it, or something very similar again. Essentially it was poached eggs with broccoli. I cooked the whole thing up in one pan, using beef stock with chilli and garlic sauce as the poaching medium/gravy. I suspect that two beef stock cubes may have made it a bit salty, and salt is one thing I am supposed to avoid. In fact I only put salt on roast potatoes or chips, and I don't think I ever use it in cooking. Tonight my main meal will consist of poached salmon with white cabbage and/or leeks. Of course there will be the obligatory chilli in it somewhere, but I will try and avoid garlic to make Aleemah's visit tomorrow more pleasant for her (assuming she is coming over to see me - I haven't checked yet). If I should end up boozing tonight, although that is not my intention right now, the recipe for my main meal could change drastically, and for the worse, but I'll overcome that hurdle if and when it may be neccessary.
Thursday 16th April 2009
 07:54 BST

 The weather has swung around again. Yesterday the glorious warm sunshine eventually arrived. All morning ten clouds got thinner and thinner. By midday the sky was just hazy, and the sun was shining. I am not sure that the sky was ever 100% clear, but by the end of the afternoon it was considerably clearer than it was at midday. Without having a thermometer to hand I can't say if the temperature did reach the magical 22 C that had been forecast for the western parts of London, but the morning paper did say that the temperature for central London was 21 C, and it certainly did feel very pleasantly warm.

 This morning rain has returned. When I left home the sky was completely overcast with patches of different shades of grey wherever I looked. I am fortunate that I was sheltered whenever it started to rain. There was at least one light shower while I was on the rain to London, and I think we passed through another one on the way to Earlsfield. I managed to get to work in the dry, but now it is teeming down. I can see I am going to have a few soggy fag breaks today. Apparently this wet weather will continue tomorrow, but the weekend might be a bit better. From then on I don't think it is actually a scientific forecast, but more idealistic optimism, or more likely just the law of averages, but next week could see a return to nicer weather.

 When I reported that there had been no apparent rain on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning it seems that either I did sleep through the whole thing, or Catford just had a lucky break. One of my correspondents reported driving in the Clapham/Tulse Hill sort of area, and said that all hell broke loose in that part of London. That is only 4 or 5 miles from Catford, but I gues the weather has it's borders like any other thing. Of course there is always the argument that places like Clapham and Tulse Hill need a good wash, and the rain targeted those areas deliberately.

 It may have been just the glorious weather, or it may be that I am finally recovering from whatever ails me, but I did feel exceptionally good yesterday. While the sun was shining, and I was feeling so good (by comparison !) I decided to take a long walk during my lunch break. This time I really did walk all the way to Southfields tube station.
Southfields tube station
 I have to admit it was a bit further than I thought it would be, and I definitely did not realise it is at the top of a hill. It was a brisk walk that took a full 30 minutes for the round trip from work and back again. When I got back to work I was not exhausted, but my feet were a little sore (steel toe cap safety shoes are not ideal for long walks), but I did feel like I had done some useful exercise.

 I left work nearly 45 minutes early to make sure I was on time for my appointment with the doctor. Even after my long walk it still felt like I had some energy to spare on the way home. So I ran up the stairs at Earlsfield again, and this time it felt easier. After a very brisk walk to the far end of the platform my heart was really thumping, but soon settled down. Then at Waterloo I ran up at least half the escalator. I just wanted to see if I could, and it seems I could without it seeming to be too much effort.

 When I got to the doctors she took my blood pressure, and of course it was still very high, but it had come down a few more points. She did admit that my mysterious surge in blood pressure after my first visit to the nurse there was indeed mysterious, but would not attribute it to the cold I had. She gave me a quick once over with her stethoscope and declared me fit and healthy apart from fatal blood pressure, obesity, and smoking !

 I still remain convinced that something about that illness caused my huge surge in blood pressure, and as the last of the cold symptoms slowly dwindle away I am expecting my blood pressure to fall. The fact that doctors actually admit that they don't know what causes high blood pressure, does not mean that I not aware that something is affecting me. My ultimate experiment will be to see what happens if I stop taking the magic potions I have been prescribed. I will wait until my blood pressure has come down some more before trying that, but if my blood pressure stays at what I consider to be acceptable then I may think twice about whether to resume taking all my pills.

 Despite this damp and gllomy day, there is one thing that has brought a cheer to me. I dared weigh myself this morning. After a long weekend of assorted food mayhem, and not exactly taking that much care in the preceeding week, I have only gained two pounds. I was expecting at least half a stone, and even more would not have surprised me. It seems there is now an excellent chance to hit my next target before I see the doctor again in a fortnights time. I'll have to work a bit hard at it, and it would help if we could have some more warm sunshine. I ate reasonably carefully last night, and if I don't give in to temptation when I do some shopping on my way home tonight, I could be in for another good run of weight loss. Alternatively I could buy the biggest chocolate cake I can find, and serve the whole thing piled with chocolate ice cream...............droooooooool !
Wednesday 15th April 2009
 07:59 BST

 The weather is most confusing right now. Last night I saw a weather forecast on TV that said there would be heavy rain overnight with some thunder and lightning likely. When I first looked out the window, soon after waking up, the road outside looked dry, and I certainly don't remember being disturbed by thunder, or even heavy rain, while I was asleep. After Smudge had her breakfast she went out to do her morning duties, and it was still dry, but the draught coming in the kitchen door was definietly on the very cool side. Ten minute later the heavens opened, and shortly after a very soggy Smudge came in. That rain only lasted for 10 or 15 minutes, and as far as I am aware it has not rained since then.

 Maybe it has rained in Catford, but not here in Earlsfield. That's what happened last night. I left work under slightly grey skies, but it was dry. There was a little light rain as my train approached Waterloo station, but it had probably stopped before I alighted from the train. I didn't notice any more rain while travelling, but when I left the station at Catford I noticed deep puddles, and it seemed obvious there had been some sort of sustained downpour.

 Just like yesterday it was freezing cold when I got on my train at Catford this morning. I am sure it was warmer outside the train ! It is sort of mild at the moment, but the forecast for the highest temperature, and the amount of sunshine vary enormously depending on who you believe. The forecast on TV last night got the overnight rain very wrong, and the pessimist would assume that the forecast of hot sunshine and temperatures as high as 22 C (for the more western parts of London) by this afternoon are probably wrong. My morning paper is forecasting a rather overcast day, but still predicts the temperature to reach 20 C. I think I will opt for the TV version - it sounds rather nice ! Funnily enough, both sources predict much lower temperatures, and a lot of rain for tomorrow.

 I think I might have been thinking of trying to do a bit of dieting last night. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't, but I didn't ! I didn't actually go too mad, and if I had moderated the quantities a bit better I could almost claim that it was light dieting. I found I still had that urge I had on Sunday for fish finger sandwiches. So that is what I had - fish fingers, watercress, cucumber, mayonaise, and chilli sauce all stuffed between two slices of thick oatmeal bread - twice ! There wre still a few fish fingers left over from the sandwiches, and I ate them with more watercress and some cherry tomatoes. The fish fingers were cooked dry in the oven, and so apart from the mayonaise (garlic mayonaise to be exact) it was all semi healthy and fat free. What ruined it all was the ginger nuts I had for sweet afterwards.

 I really should ahve avoided those ginger nuts, because without them it is possible that my entire food intake for the day might have qualified me to lose a whole ounce ! That would have been a good thing because I think I am beginning to feel a bit better. Last night I forced myself to run up the three flights of blasted stairs at Earlsfield station, and do a fairly fast walk to the end of the platform. This excess of energy expenditure was all so I would a slightly earlier train that would leave me time for a quick smoke at Waterloo ! By the time I reached the end of the platform my heart was pounding away, but nothing seemed to explode. I wasn't even entirely breathless either, or at least I wasn't gasping for air. Four minutes later, timed by my train pulling into Clapham Junction station, I still felt the effects of that surge of useless energy, but I was rapidly getting over it.

 In some respects this is all good, but on the other hand I was presuming I would be feeling like a crippled wreck when I see the doctor after work tonight. I am sure I can still find her some interesting symptoms to play with, and you can bet that my blood pressure will still be horrendously high (but what is normal blood pressure for one of me ?). I am still hoping I can persuade my doctor that a course of antibiotics is worth trying to clear up some of the things that still feel like a hangover from my cold all those weeks back (and improve my memory - I forgot to write the words (my doctor) in that last sentence, and without them it didn't make much sense ! Obviously I have added them now). The thing I will try an emphasise is that if I can get to feeling happy and healthy, no matter what her instruments might say, I will be able to get back on my diet and lose another stone or two. That in itself should improve my blood pressure more effectively than her bloody little pills.
Tuesday 14th April 2009
 08:01 BST

 I haven't got a clue what today's weather is supposed to be like. Many forecasts I have seen, perhaps because some of them are now a few days old, seem contradictory. The day started looking very grim and grey, but now I am at work the cloud is breaking up leaving a fair bit of blue sky. Hopefully the sunshine will stay long enough to warm the day up. It seemed to be quite cold this morning (and the train I got at Catford was freezing inside), but maybe the temperature is rising even now.

 I arrived at work feeling both cold, and a bit sweaty across the forehead. The only explanation is that after eating too much, and too much of the too much being quite sweet stuff, my blood sugar level is quite high. Either that or I have a temperature for reasons unknown. I do feel fairly horrible this morning. Apart from my guts being a bit rumbly, I have no major ailments, but I do have some minor ones My back, both lower, and, less usual, the upper part seem a bit stiffer than usual. In addition to that, my cough seems wetter than it has been, my throat feels very slightly swollen (in the sort of tonsils area), and finally, my nose feels stuffy (although it's not actually running). Overall, I am a bit of a wreck this morning, and I am thinking that when I see the doctor tomorrow night I should ask for an estimate first ! Perhaps she will declare me beyond economic repair, and leave me to cure myself as I have done with reasonable success in the past.

 I don't think I slept all that well last night. I felt hot when I went to bed, and that always makes me uncomfortable and makes sleep difficult. When I did finally get to sleep I had some vivid, and some less vivid dreams. One dream promised to get quite good, but if it did I can't remember how it ended. It started with me buying some new carpet. The carpet sellers daughter for some amazing reason offered to help me fit it. She was younger than I would normally get excited about ( perhaps in her low to mid twenties), but attractive, and very keen to help. As we arrived back at my home I was certain that it wasn't just carpet that was going to get laid (cough !). Unfortunately the dream did not seem to continue beyond that point. (bugger !).

 Apart from one dream set on a bus, all the other bits of dream I remember seemed to be centred around weird things happening at home. In another dream I was in my bathroom and it had an extra window. It was just a slit window about 6 - 8 inches wide set aout a yard to the left of the proper window. Through this window I could see the dusty window of an outhouse I didn't realise I had. Then looking more closely I could see that the outhouse was actually in my neighbours garden, and somehow this new window looked out over their back garden. That was a bit weird, but another dream got weirder still when, still at home, I looked out my front door and found my neighbours house had been demolished. Apparently they didn't like it and wanted to build a new one. I had more dreams that were of home, but home wasn't quite right in peculiar ways - rooms the wrong shape, or even more extra windows. Unfortunately none of these other dreams seemed to contain beautiful women in them, but I guess they were amusing in their own way.
Monday 13th April 2009
 16:00 BST

 There were one or two light showers this morning, but gradually the clouds dispersed, and this afternoon has seen some occasional sunshine. The temperature has been on the mild side, although it is now at that awkward point where it feels mild enough when moving, but still too cold when sitting still.

 I've had a mostly lazy sort of day, and there are only two things I have done of any significance, although one of those carries it's own significance. After sorting through piles of my old clothes yesterday I was left with a pile of perfectly serviceable t-shirts that were all rather grubby. This morning I put the whole pile of white t-shirts through the washing machine. Now they are all hung up to dry. I don't think I will ever have to buy a white t-shirt again. I have a smaller pile of coloured t-shirts that also need a good wash, but that will have to happen another day when I have somewhere to dry them.

 I am a little surprised as to how many t-shirts I have accumulated. I think there are two reasons for it. One reason is that I have continued to buy new t-shirts at the same rate as when I used to wear one every day. For the last year, and possibly a bit longer, I have been wearing ordinary shirts to work, and at other times too. Then there is the temptation to buy new t-shirts because Tesco suddenly have them in stock (in my size) after a famine of sometimes several months.  This is also made worse when they do twin packs of one white t-shirt with one black t-shirt for a very low price, and all I really wanted was the black t-shirts which were not being sold seperately.

 The other thing I did today was to go shopping in Tesco's. I didn't buy any t-shirts today, but I did buy some essentials and a few other bits too. The essentials were cat food and toilet paper. One other item I particularly wanted was some fish fingers. I had this urge to have fish finger, watercress, and mayonaise sandwichs for my lunch today. It looks like I'll be having that for dinner tomorrow night now because I gave in to temptation and had hot spicy chicken followed by rhubarb pie for dinner today. I feel rather stuffed now, and I will be trying to avoid eating anything else today. It is possible I might succeed because I will be going to bed extra early tonight to make sure I am nice and fresh when I get up for work tomorrow morning.

 There are many things that could have made this long Easter weekend better. Seeing Patricia was one of them (and maybe it is still not too late even now, but rather unlikely). Overall though, it has been fairly pleasant, and I think the rest has done me some good. Not counting right now when I am feeling rather bloated, I think I have been feeling far less fatigued than lately. Many of the aches and pains that have been troubling me for the past few weeks seem to have gone, although my throat still gets a tiny bit sore now and then. In fact there are odd times when it still feels like I am only 97% over the cold I had many weeks ago now. Fortunately those brief times are counterbalanced by other brief, and maybe extending, times when I feel quite good. The really confusing thing is in trying to know how much of these conflicting feelings can be apportioned to the drugs I am taking. It will be interesting to get my doctors perspective on this when I see her next Wednesday evening.
Sunday 12th April 2009
 11:37 BST

 It's another damp and dull morning. I don't think it has rained, or at least not to any noticeable extent, since before sunrise. At the moment there is a hint that the cloud is thinning. It is almost believeable that the cloud could thin enough to let some sunshine through. The sky is now 100% light grey instead of the 100% dark grey that is was an hour, or two, ago. It is some consolation that the temperature is probably in the low to mid teens.

 Last night I watched the second episode of the resurected sci-fi comedy "Red Dwarf" on the digital TV station bizarrely called Dave. Both episodes ( the first being shown the night before) were rather better than I feared they would be. You could say they were almost rather good. I did have a problem though. It seems that my set top DVD recorder is running out of the will to record properly. After recording episode 1 I found that the DVD disk was unplayable. Fortunately Linux came to the rescue, and I managed to retrieve a watchable video file from the disk last night. I say watchable because it was not perfect. You can read how I did it here. Since then I have obtained a perfect copy of not only episode 1, but episode 2 as well.

 This morning I have been having a bit of a clear out. I have managed to fill two small black bin liners with, mostly, old clothes. I never really realised just how much stuff I had stuffed in the back of my wardrobe. There were shirts and t-shirts that were old and faded, or were far too small for me (I must have bought them during one of my more successful diets in the past). Now I have stuffed into the wardrobe clothes that were previously on the outside. In theory things should look neater in my bedroom, but this is not the case. There is still stuff outside, and I will need to be even more ruthless in disposing of more stuff at some future date when the wheelie bin has more space in it.

 I don't know if it is the physical effort of sorting through all those old clothes, or the psychological effort of convincing myself to throw the stuff out, but I feel quite tired now. I am not sure what I will do this afternoon, but I think it may involve some sitting, or even lying down ! Maybe later on I will think of something exciting to do.
Saturday 11th April 2009
 18:10 BST

 So far today there has been no heavy rain, but there have been frequent light showers. As well as being damp it has also been very grey with only a hint of sunshine early this morning. Tomorrow should be brighter, and warmer too. At the moment the temperature is that sort of halway point between cold and mild - if you sit still it feels cold, but if you keep moving it feels fairly mild and comfortable.

 After a very quite day yesterday it was good to see Aleemah. She brought with her a most perplexing movie on DVD. It was called Cypher. It was set in the near future, and concerned rivalry and espionage between 2 mega (and meglomaniac) corporations in the computer industry. I did get a bit confused, but I think there may have been a third party involved too. I would imagine that the inspiration for the story was a wild (or not so wild) bit of speculation about what might happen in a future world between Microsoft and Apple. Maybe the third party was Sun, or Novel. Perhaps it was Google. The truth lives in the writers mind, and we will probably never know that truth, although the corporations in the movie had methods to wrinkle it out as easy as pie !

 I've had some interesting email lately. Along with all the penis pills, and fake watches offers, I have had my first scam artists in a long while.
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From: "Kevin Harvey Esq."<kevinharvey@gogo.mn>
Subject: please help me to invest in your country
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2009 07:48:59 +0100
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Hello,


We wish to request for your assistance and guidance in making a business investment of GBP12, 800,000.00 (Twelve million, eight hundred thousand British Pounds Sterling) in your country to establish an Agricultural, Construction and Alternative energy development business.

Kindly take out a moment of your very busy schedule to reply back my email, for further details and include your full names and private telephone numbers and email for an easier communication.

Please send your reply to my Private e-mail address: kevinharveyesq@gmail.com

Regards,

Kevin Harvey Esq.
(Harvey Solicitors)
London, United Kingdom
Private E-mail: kevinharveyesq@gmail.com
If I had the time and patience I would set up a disposable email account and reply to this scammer to see what fun I could have. Obviously the first thing to do would be to tell the scammers I would be delighted to help them out, but that I would need 500 "consultancy fees" up front. If they think I am stupid enough to fall for this sort of thing then there is no reason to think that they are not stupid enough to fall for my demands. However, I think I'll leave this sort of thing alone, and leave it to the experts to wind up the scammers.
Friday 10th April 2009
 06:03 BST

 So far this morning it has remained dry, and reasonably mild, but rain is apparently on it's way. Today, being a British public holiday, this is only to be expected. Of course it is possible that it might remain mostly dry. Yesterday was far drier than the forecasts might have predicted. During the morning there were several very light, almost like mist, showers, but eventually the constipated clouds just gave up, and the afternoon was dry with an occasional bit of sunshine. So maybe it is not too optimistic to hope that today could be similar to yesterday.

 I did feel pretty rough yesterday, and terribly tired in the evening. Fortunately my thoughts that my previous cold was returning seem to have not happened, or have not happened yet. Were it not for the occasional times when my throat felt a bit sore, I would say that I was possibly just suffereing from some sort of hay fever. My nose did, and still does, feel a bit sort of stuffy, and yet it is not running.

 I carried out an unpleasant, but very interesting experiment yesterday. Experiment is not really the right word, but when I describe it I will let you think of the right word. Perhaps made an observation better describes it. Sometime around midday I blew my nose and apart from a bit of clear mucus there emerged a tiny, approx 2 - 3 mm, almost disk shaped lump of semi-congealed snot on my tissue. Being curious, and having the microscope I use to work on sub miniature electronic circuits to hand, I decided I would take a closer look at this snot. Inside it, looking like the nucleus of a cell, was a tiny blob of blood (or something red) about the size of a full stop in 10pt printing. What was more interesting were the tiny fibres that were caught up in this snot. At first I wondered if they were not fibres but actually some sort of tiny worm, or other organism, but closer examination showed them to be indeed some type of fibre. The ones I saw were very dark probably black. It's possible that there could have been lighter coloured ones, but the dark were obviously far easier to see. I guess there were half a dozen of these dark fibres. Most were very short. Perhaps a millimetre, or less, in length, but one was maybe 2 mm long. I at a loss to suggest what they were made of, but using the sharp tip of my dental pick (another very handy tool when working on micro circuits) I got the impression they were quite strong. So I would rule out cigarette ash as the source of the fibres. The chances are that they were just fibres from clothing. I found it all rather fascinating, and I am inclined to take another look if a suitable distinct lump appears in my hankerchief one day while I am at work.

 Despite feeling very weary when I got home from work I didn't get to bed as early as I thought I might. I had bought this weeks edition of New Scientist on my way home, and spent some time reading that. I also did some stuff on, or to, my laptop. I'll be writing about that in my computer blog. Basically I was using gParted Live to resize some partitions.

 Eventually I was in bed by sometime not all that long after 9 pm, but I have no idea what the time actually was. It was one of those nights where you get into bed and initially it seems like you can't fall aslepp, and then the next thing you know is you are waking up again. Apart from one brief visit to the toilet in the early hours, I slept very solidly. So solidly that it took me a moment to realise that I didn't have to go to work today. At that point I could have turned over and gone back to sleep again, but a certain pussy cat reminded me that it was breakfast time. So for the moment I am up, but I think I may well go back to bed once I have finished writing. I have been awake now for some time, but I am optimstic that I will be able to grab another hour or two of sleep. Ideally, with nothing better to do today, I would be happy if I slept through to midday !
Thursday 9th April 2009
 08:47 BST

 The potential to get rained on while walking to the station was there again this morning, but fortunately it stayed dry. It is very overcast this morning, and rain can't be far off. Maybe it will pour, or maybe it will drizzle. I fear that the cloud will ot break up like it did yesterday. That's a pity because it is reasonably mild this morning, and some nice sunshine could make it nice and warm by later this evening. That's what happened yesterday, and it was warmer than I had predicted it would be.

 On my way home from work yesterday I did a bit of shopping in Tesco. I was still in two minds as to whether I should try and eat very frugally, or not to bother. While in Tesco I sort of compromised. I didn't by anything that awful, but I didn't go for the lowest possible calorie combinations either. What I did buy had the potential to go either way - bread. I rarely buy bread, but I fancied some sandwichs. What I actually bought was a half loaf of delicious multigrain brown bread.  By itself, bread is not too bad, and I never use any butter or margerine in my home made sandwichs. So far, so good. I had some sliced tomato, and some green salad as part of the filling. Still so far, so good. The thick chilli sauce probably had a lot of bad sugars in it, but it's not as if I drink it by the pint. Finally, the bit that turned the healthy into the unhealthy - frankfurters ! I didn't read the packet but I guess they had loads of fat and preservatives in them, and I wouldn'y be surprised if they had sugar in them as well. I used a whole pack of 8 (or was in 10) and laid them side by side in the two sandwiches I made. I have to admit those sandwiches were a bit messy to eat, but they were very, very nice !

 This morning I feel funny. My chest feels a bit "chesty", and I keep getting a hint of sore throat to go with my still achey shoulders and collar bones. The sore throat is worrying because that is how my last illness started (the one I probably caught by going to the surgery and mixed with ill people). I hope that my long Easter weekend is not spoilt by another bout of gushing nose, and then coughing up even more lung. It doesn't feel like I have much lung to spare at the moment. On the other had it could be fruitful when I come to see my Doctor next Wednesday. I would be able to say "see, I was ill, and I still am. Now give me antibiotics instead of pills that make you feel bad, and ticket for a fortnight off work !". I might add, "and make the sun come out too !".
Wednesday 8th April 2009
 08:08 BST

 I was rained on as I walked to the station, and rained on more while I waited for the train. This was not how the weather forecast predicted it would be. I was sure that heavy rain was forecast for this morning. Instead, the rain that fell on my head was actually quite light. Now, about 90 minutes after I first left home, the clouds have broken and the sun is trying to shine. If I ignore the weather forecasts, and just make my own prediction, I would say that today will be a mixture of sun and showers. I don't believe that it will that warm today. Two days ago, on Monday, the temperature was reported to have peaked at 19 C. Yesterday probably fell short of that by a couple of degrees, and I suspect today could be a couple of degrees cooler still.

 I didn't go to work yesterday, and for some reason I couldn't be bothered to write anything here either. I was sort of ill, and sort of not ill. I did feel tired, and also a bit constipated, but most of all I just didn't feel like going to work. I suspect it is just another side effect of a side effect of the pills I am taking. I almost made it work. I was washed and dressed and ready to leave for work, but when the time came to go to the station I didn't feel like leaving. So I waited to see how I felt for the next train. I still didn't feel like leaving. It was at that point that I decided I wasn't going to fight it, and later on I phoned work to say I wanted to take a days holiday. Taking holiday at such short notice is frowned upon unless it is an emergency. So maybe I will be invited to discuss it, or maybe not.

 I spent most of yesterday just relaxing. I had a snooze or two, and I watched a film, but I also relaxed in a masochistic sort of way by playing about with my old 700 MHz computer. I'll eventually get around to reporting about that separately, but I will say now that I have four different hard disks with four different Linux distributions either connected, or sitting on top of that PC now. All that rest must have done some good because I had no hesitations about coming to work today despite feeling a little stiffer than usual (probably just the weather - it affects us old bastards you know !).

 Tonight I would like to get an early night, but I want to write about my computer/Linux experiments, and I will probably be tempted to turn that PC on play with it more. (Which is something I ought to try and resist - there's the long Easter weekend when I could do  everything I think I would like to do, and stuff I haven't thought of yet). Another thing I would like to do is to see if I can get back on my diet. The counter effect, or one of them, of the pills I am on is to make me feel bad. That in turns makes me feel like eating more, and eating more is probably the main cause of the problems the pills are trying to fix ! It's all slightly ludicrous. I have been trying to be careful with what, and how much I eat, but recently I have had some spectacular failures. Perhaps tonight I will actually stick with the diet, or maybe do the exact opposite. It all depends on how I feel, and I'll find that out when I get home tonight.
Monday 6th April 2009
 09:24 BST

 This morning the weather is not too bad. It is fairly mild, fairly bright, and (so far) definitely dry. There is some cloud, but it is broken, and some slightly hazy sunshine appears now and then. It is very similar to how yesterday was.

 I feel unenthusiastic today, at least I was most unenthusiastic about coming to work. I seem to have a sort of lack of obvious energy. I say obvious energy, because at times I needed energy, starting with the walk to the station, for instance, it came quite easily, and yet I would still prefer to be in bed. Sitting down at work is a poor compromise, but it will have to do for now.

 I had a pleasant day on Saturday, and a pleasant day yesterday. Yesterday I spent absolutely ages playing with the old computer I used to use in my bedroom. It's an old, and fairly slow machine, but it still potential to be very usable. Rather than write about it here I have made a new blog page specially for long techno ramblings. I would link to it here directly, but because I am writing this at work, and I am too lazy to work out the path through the file structure, you will have to go back to my home page and click the link there if you want to read a whole pile of writing.
Saturday 4th April 2009
 04:31 BST

 It's a misty morning as far as I can tell, but sunrise is still some way off, and it's too dark outside to really see what's going on. While I had the back door open to let Smudge out it did seem to be fairly mild out, although I wouldn't want to be outside without a coat on for any length of time. Later on this morning it is forecast to get slightly wet, but that is supposed to clear in the afternoon, and sunny intervals will follow. Yesterday brightened up earlier than I expected, but the sky never seemed to completely clear. So the afternoon, and early sunshine was slightly hazy. It was pleasantly warm though.

 It was busy at work yesterday, and I never did get to finish what I was writing. I left off saying how peculiar it was that although I still felt ill in some respects, I still seemed to have far more energy, and stamina than I thought was feasible. That remained so for the whole day. On the way home from work I tried running up the escalators at Waterloo station. It did seem to be fairly easy, and I felt no (new) ill effects for doing it.

 By the time I got home I was feeling a little foot sore, but I changed my shoes and went out again. I was due to meet Patricia and Dee in the Lewisham Wetherspoons. Unfortunately it didn't work out quite how it should have done. Dee sent me a text message saying she was on her way and would meet me soon. That came through just after I left the house. I got to Lewisham and spent 10 minutes in Iceland buying a couple of Easter eggs before going in the pub. Once I had bought a pint of Stella I went outside to drink it. After a while I got a text message from Patricia saying she was on her way. Then some time after that I got another text message from Dee saying she had been waiting for 50 minutes for a bus and was now giving up, and would try and see us another time. A little more time passed and then I got a voice call from Patricia asking where I was. It seems she had gone to the Catford Wetherspoons. My glass was just about empty so I told her to stay put and I would jump on the first bus available.

 I finally met up with Patricia some 10 or 15 minutes later, and we had a couple of beers together. After we left the pub we went to a newsagents to buy a top up for Patricia's mobile phone, and then I saw her onto her bus home. I was about half way home when my phone rang, and it was Kevin. He had just got back to Catford, and said he was meeting Iain in the pub very soon. So I turned around and went back to the pub.

 During the course of the evening I drank either 5 or 6 pints of beer, and all that on an empty stomach ! There was only one thing for it - a large shish kebab bought on the way home again. I was feeling rather good by then, apart from being starving hungry. I was in no pain or discomfort, and once I had stuffed myself with kebab, including the pita bread that I often ignore, I felt well satiated. After watching a bit of TV I fell into bed and was asleep in no time at all.

 This morning I do have a good old fashioned hangover, but with the help of a pint of diet cola that is beginning to dissipate even now. It is ridiculously early right now, and I am only up because once I woke up to go to the toilet Smudge decided it was time for her breakfast. I could have ignored her, but she would only start to make a fuss and wake me up again. She has now eaten, gone out, and is now back in again. I expect she will go to sleep again, and soon so will I.

 Later this morning, when I decided to get up properly, I need to do some shopping, do some laundry, and prepare the place for a visit by Aleemah. Fortunately I don't think much preparation will be required. A quick bit of light hoovering should be enough, although if I feel I have the energy and/or the enthusiasm I might expand on that.
Friday 3rd April 2009
 08:46 BST

 Another grey morning, but after the experience of yesterday I am more inclined to believe that everything will work out right. This morning the mist is lower, and the effect on visibility was more apparent, although it is more a "soft focus" effect rather than a complete obscuration of distant views. It gives a sort of soft ambience that is not displeasing, and could almost be enjoyable if the temperature was just a little milder than it is. Later this afternoon, and literally later than it happened yesterday afternoon, the sun is due to flood in to give a most pleasant (early) evening. After the sun came out yesterday the air did warm up, but the breeze kept things feeling a little cool. Apparently there will be less breeze today, and it will be from a more favourable direction. So if the temperature does hit the promised 17 C it will feel very nice indeed.

 It was my intention to have a pretty healthy meal last night, but I managed to get seduced by the sight of some Tesco southern fried chicken for half the usual price as they were clearing the shelves at the end of the day. So I had the fried chicken with the tin of garden peas and small tin of new potatoes that I was going to have with the salmon I had bought. Even that was not too bad, but I followed it with a large cherry pie. That was most decidely unhealthy, but on the other hand I did feel pretty good this morning again.

 I still have some aches from my right arm, but I also have full mobility again with little or no pain. The main aches do seem to have migrated down to the elbow and wrist. The elbow will proably plague me for the rest of my life as a result of the long unattended dislocation I (probably) suffered, and my wrist aches is probably just repetitive strain injury from too many mouse clicks.  Now the pain has subsided from my upper arm I have become more aware of pain from my right collar bone/muscle. I suspect that this pain, and some of the lower arm pain is a result of using lesser used muscles to compensate for the agonies I was suffering when trying to use the twisted/knotted/buggered upper arm muscles. I hope that all these things will settle down now as everything starts to return to normal.

 It is a curious thing, but in some ways I still do feel rather ill. My chest is still occasionally congested, and the odd bout of coughing brings up all sort of clag and clinker. Various muscles and joints are still mildly stiff or sore. Yet for all that I did feel good this morning. I seem to have more energy thtn would seem feasible. For instance I flew up the link between Waterloo East and Waterloo stations. At the best of times this can be a chore, but it seemed relatively effortless this morning. It's all a bit peculiar really.
Thursday 2nd April 2009
 08:19 BST

 Grey. Grey is the best word that sums up this morning. I am hoping that all this unrelentless grey is just mist that will soon dissipate to reveal glorious sunshine. At ground level the visibility is reduced, but still stretches for many miles. So the mist must be higher up, but higher up is where the clouds are. Somewhere there is a fine line between what is high mist, and what is low cloud. Technically they are both just water vapour, but one has a habit of dissipating, and the other of dumping water on your head. So I am hoping for the one that will dissipate and let through some glorious sunshine like we had yesterday. Yesterday did turn out to be sunny and warm. At 7 pm I was quite comfortable smoking outside without my coat on.

 I left work half an hour early yesterday to allow myself plenty of time to get myself ready to see the nurse. I probably didn't need to leave quite that early, but it made for a more relaxed journey home, and was it was a sort of safety net against any unpredictable delays on the trains. When I got to the nurse she briefly discussed the results of my blood and urine test (although I was not sure if that had been sent away for any special analysis, or whether it was just from the dipstick test she did herself). The results were basically "mutter, mutter, yeah their OK". We then went on to check my blood pressure. It had fallen. That was no surprise considering all I had been through in the last week and a half. However it had only fallen by a very small amount, and I am apparently still a danger to the public who may be hit by shrapnell when I finally burst. The answer was to double the tablets, and this was not the answer I was looking for. So we made an appointment to see a proper doctor in a fortnights time to try and find what the underlying cause is for this high blood pressure. I have a feeling that the only answers I get will be to do with obesity and smoking. If that is the case I think I will discontinue any treatment and attempt to cure myself.

 Curing myself may sound laughable, or even stupid, but if you are in tune with your body you can sometimes realise what it wants. For example, after leaving the surgery last night, with not a small amount of defiance, I headed straight to the pub and had a serious drinking binge (or three pints of beer as we once called it). With those three pints lubricating the rustier parts of my body I next went to the fried chicken shop and bought four pieces of southern fried chicken and a portion of nasty chips. ( The chips being of the breed favoured by Americans, and having little to do with the genuine healthy lard cooked English chip). Beer and fried food is something I really should avoid in this condition, but this morning I feel better than I have done for almost the last seven days. So what gives ?

 The troubles with my right arm, whether they are related to blood pressure or not (I don't think so), have also changed. Paradoxically I have more movement and yet more static pain. The static pain is actually more ache than pain, and it seems to be in the lower arm. I think it's because I have been using those muscles a lot more to compensate for the difficulties higher up the arm. There is also a certain amount of achiness from my Elbow that might be slightly worse. So although I ache a little more, and some movements are still really rather painful, I can now do stuff like get my right hand behind my head unaided. Getting my right hand behind my head is useful for stuff like brushing my hair, and something I would have liked to have done this morning, washing my hair. One problem of geting my hand behind my head is getting it down again. I have found a route upwards that generates little pain, but there is a particular rotation and bend that I cannot seem to avoid on the way down that is very painful to go through.

 I do prefer to write about technology here when I am not distracted by bio-engineering (or the lack of it). I haven't done any significant computer stuff lately. This is not because I haven't been able to, but simply because everything is just working almost the way I want. If I could make one significant change it would be to double the amount of storage on my server. This would actually be quite easy because the actual storage (as opposed to the operating system), and it's backup, are on their very own hard disks. Someday I will do a double hard disk transplant, but not now. So all I have to write about is just one tiny little command. It's called mv and it's great ! The command mv is basically the move command, but it's so much more. It's real meaning, at least as far as I am concerned here, is "copy as". I think one of the satisfying things about doing stuff on Linux is when you suddenly realise you are doing stuff automatically. This could also be true of Windows, but doing stuf on the Windows command line is sort of perverse. I have used mv in the past, but often while just copying someone else's instructions. As March was coming to an end I wanted to copy my March web page and use the copy for the basis of this page. I was doing this while at work, and the easiest way was to do it from the command line over a secure ssh link. Without really realising what I was doing I just typed :-
 mv March_2009.html blank.html
and the deed was done. It's funny how just a stupidly simple thing like that can feel sort of good to me - although it probably seems totally inconsequential if you have never experienced something similar yourself.
Wednesday 1st April 2009
 08:34 BST

 Sometime in the small hours of the morning the clouds dissipated. Fortunately it was late enough that the morning has not started too cold. It is a great lift to the spirit to find the sky is blue, and the sun is shining, when going to work. If it were a few degrees warmer it would be the perfect spring morning. Maybe it actually is the perfect spring morning, and I am asking for too much for an April morning. My morning paper forecasts that the temperature could reach 16 C today. That seems a degree or two more optimistic than I how I remember a weather forecast on TV last night, but I do distinctly recall that it said that Friday would be bright and sunny with a top temperature of an amazing 17 C. If it could keep that up it would make for a great weekend !

 Last night the significant portion of my dinner was cans of tomato soup. I tried three different ones, and can report the following ;-
  • Heinz cream of tomato : very nice
  • Tesco cream of tomato : not bad
  • Tesco "Value" tomato soup (with very generous added parmesan, and loads of hot chilli sauce) : quite edible
 I still have not researched the effects of chillies on blood pressure, and it is the slightly more long term effect, rather than the instant effect that interests me. Perhaps tonight I will find out. I had plenty of chilli sauce last night, and in a show of defiance to the whole world, I had some biltong with chilli dressing for breakfast this morning. Tonight I see the nurse again for her to check my blood pressure. I hope there is enough improvement in my blood pressure to stop the medics getting silly again. It's all very well giving me loads of drugs, but when those drugs actually make you feel worse you do begin to question just what good they are doing. They would say they are prolonging my life, but I don't particularly like my life like this. It's better to burn out, than to fade away ! (The curious may wish to research that in relation to Neil Young, and see just how badly my memory has corrupted his lyrics).(Maybe Blondie's "Die young, stay pretty" is more apt, or would be if I was "pretty").

 Aside from the general gloominess of Nurse doom and the Doctors of despair, I do feel rather good in some ways. The bright sunshine always makes me feel good even when bits of my body are falling to pieces. Ignoring the fairly low level 'flu like aches and pains that are most probably caused by the drugs I am taking, I still have some pain and discomfort from my (mainly) upper right arm. Last night I discovered that if gave the sorest point a good massaging and kneeding it made a great improvement. At first it actually felt sort of lumpy under the skin, but now it is much smoother. It may have been knotted muscle tissue, a blood clot, an alien monster, the brood of a parasitic wasp, or I may have accidently injected myself with an angel cake, I don't really know, but my manipulation seems to have made it shrink. I still cannot raise my arm, or reach out beyond a certain point, or angle, but it's getting closer now. I guess I would need some sort of medical advice before deciding whether to fight the restriction, or let it rest. Then again, I would probably do the opposite of what a doctor would tell me. Maybe I have a unique body, but it does seem that everytime I have let a doctor try to manage my body they make it worse.

 When I try and think back to every time I have volunteered to visit a doctor I can only come up with a few times. Although at sometime between the ages of 2 and 3 hardly make me a volunteer, there was the time I seriously scalded myself. The local doctor almost killed me by bandaging up the burns and overdosing me on bromine (but it might have been morphine). Later on as a kid I was taken to the doctor for a varooka (or something similar) on my heel. That was actually cured quickly and effectively by a Doctor who was proud of his dad who was a 100% genuine African witchdoctor. I suspect his varooka cure probably contained some mumbo jumbo, but it worked.

 Along came a new family doctor, and at the age of 12, maybe 13, I was treated for being obese. I was prescribed some pills, possibly amphetamine, and they certainly made me rush up for seconds of pudding at school dinners. The next time I saw a doctorne thing they are good at. He gave me a certificate for a week off work. Originally I had a weeks holiday, and during that holiday I had bad toothache, - the cure was extraction, and I also went down with a cold. I decided I wanted to get my holiday leave  cancelled and converted to sick leave.

 I had better do some work now. Maybe I'll describe more of my few (mis)adventures with doctors another day.