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October 2009
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Saturday 31st October 2009
 14:26 GMT

 
I had anticipated that today would start out dry, but I was wrong. I am not sure when the rain started, but it had fortunately stopped when I went out to do some shopping in Tesco at around 9 am. Up until now the day has remained rather grey, but the sky does seem to be getting lighter, and I think the sun almost managed to pop out a few minutes ago. I am unsure of the forecast for tomorrow. I think it will be similar to today, but I believe that Monday will be very wet.

 Yesterday was fairly pleasant weatherwise, but less so in other ways. It was certainly dry, and there was some reasonable spells of sunshine. It was just warm enough not to feel cold, and just cool enough not to feel warm, and exactly the right temperature to remind you how hot the London Underground can get without it being unpleasant down there.

 Going out to meet up with Aleemah was really rather a waste of time. I met her at Edgware Road tube station, and we went shopping along the Edgware Road, or we tried to. Of course before the shopping could start Aleemah had to have her lunch. I didn't want to eat, but we went into a Middle Eastern cafe/restaurant and Aleemah had a rather nice looking meal with some rather tasty looking accompaniments. Meanwhile I ordered just a Diet Coke, and was presented with a Diet Pepsi which I took one sip of and left the rest. With my mood getting blacker we set off looking for a shop that sold Middle Eastern/Arabic footwear. A year or tow ago we were sure that there many shops that sold that sort of stuff along the Edgware Road, but it seems no longer. Having walked from Edgware Road tube station to Marble Arch tube station with  no success we got on the tube and went home again.

 It was fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet Iain for an early evening drink last night. I was feeling fairly pissed off at wasting a whole days holiday from work and achieving nothing. Apart from a couple of pints of beer, what also might have saved the day was if Aleemah had taken up my suggestion of coming back here for the afternoon, but no, she said she was already committed to coming here today, and that is what she would do !

 Of course this morning I received a text message saying she was feeling unwell and wouldn't be over today. That did leave me feeling a bit peeved. My idea of her coming here yesterday afternoon was so that I might be able to go out exploring today. It was with that in mind that I did not eat in the cafe with Aleemah. I then intended to eat very lightly last night so that I was in peak condition (cough !) to walk long distances if I needed to. With the assurance that I would not be doing anything too energetic today, I ordered a highly delicious Thai takeaway last night.

 Some of that takeaway was actually quite healthy. Well, it did have lots of lightly cooked vegeatables in it, but all the sugar and salt that elevated the crispy fish in "three taste sauce" from nice to pure ambrosia, was not that good for me (except in a mental health sort of way). The other stuff I ate was pretty good too.

 So this morning, but mentally, and physically unprepared to go out exploring, I resigned myself to another boring day in. The knock on effect of that is that I have already eaten far too much, and I very much doubt I would want to go out exploring tomorrow even if I wanted to (which bearing in mind the infrequencies of train services on a Sunday, I probably wouldn't want to anyway).

 With no other forms of entertainment today I have had to try and amuse myself in the best ways I can. One amusement has been to do some more reading., and another has been to experiment with some Linux stuff. I am particularly taken with PCLinuxOS Minime 09. It is a very compact distribtion, and the iso file that when burnt to a CD runs as a live CD which then has an installer to hard disk, is only a 298 MB download. It is this small because it does not install a pile of crap alongside the essentials. Installing extra software of your choice, is simply achieved by a few simple clicks on the package manager.

 I am very tempted to try PCLinuxOS Minime 09 as my Linux of choice on my main workstation. Linux Mint 7, as I am using now, seems so slow and sluggish for reasons I cannot even begin to guess at. Version 6 always seemed very speedy to my mind, and I am using it on two different laptops that have far less capabilities than this desktop PC. So version 7 has to go, and PCLinuxOS Minime 09 seems like a good candidate to try.
Friday 30th October 2009
 10:59 GMT

 
Today started out quite bright and sunny, but now it seems to be getting cloudy. It is unlikely to rain today, but tomorrow could get wet.

 This is going to be a very short entry, but I may write more later. Very soon I am off  to meet up with Aleemah in London. I could have written more but I have wasted a lot of time trying to resolve an issue with Kompozer, the web authoring application.

 Somewhere down the line Kompozer has gone all buggy - but only the Linux version. The Windows version works with no problems, but the Linux version has a tendency to crash a lot. One of the latest versions claims to have cured this problem, but it has introduced a new bug. It no longer works with remote filesytems ! The answer, for the moment appears to be to use Sea Monkey. Anyone who remembers Netscape will be very familiar with it. I am using it now, and although it seems a bit clunky, it seems to have worked OK
Thursday 29th October 2009
 11:44 GMT

 Today was supposed to be very warm, but so far I would not describe it as any better then mild. The sun has attempted to break through the clouds once or twice, but it has never fully made it, and it looks unlikely to any time soon. Yesterday was similar in some respects, but the lack of bright sunshine then did not stop it getting fairly warm even though the general ambience of the day made you think it should have been cooler. This was very apparent as I was going home from work. It looked dull outside, and I assumed it was a lot cooler than it actually was. After my mad dash to the platform at Waterloo East station I realised that I was actually feeling rather warm, and almost sweaty. I'd guess that the air temperature at 4 pm yesterday was probably on some sort of threshold where you feel neither hot, nor cold -  and without feeling hot or cold you are just not aware that a bit of extra exertion can warm you up a lot until it actually happens. (If that makes any sense).

 I never did go to the pub last night. Iain was unavailable, and I didn't fancy going there on my own. So I went straight home and attempted to cook myself an extremely healthy dinner. It was a success with just one minor problem. It was one of my super stews with loads of vegetable, loads of liquid, and hardly any fat. The one minor problem was that I added a couple of skinless chick breasts that had been lurking in the freezer for ages. They did me no harm, but they were suffering from freezer burn and had a slightly odd sort of taste. It wasn't so much unpleasant as unexpected.

 Had I stuck with just that super stew I would be able to claim that I had eaten extremely healthily last night, but I didn't. A little while after my dinner I topped up with some cream crackers and ultra-lite spreadable cheese. I did have rather a lot of that possibly because that spreadable cheese has so little taste. In fact if it's calorie/fat content were equatable to the amount of taste then it would be one of those wonder foods that have negative calories !

 After ruining my evenings diet I went to be reasonably early to read. I am currently reading Brian Aldiss' "A.I. Supertoys Last All Summer Long" compilation/anthology. One of the good things about this book, apart from being very readable, is that each chapter would appear to be a complete story in itself while also following on from the previous one. Each chapter (I have read so far) is fairly short, and that makes it ideal bed time reading - there's no need to wedge your eyelids open as you carry on reading into the night because you just have to know what happened. So I was also able to put the book down at a reasonable time, and get a pretty good nights sleep.

 I managed to get more sleep than I thought I would. I did wake up a couple of times in the night, but at 03:45 I was considering actually getting up. Judged on the timescale that existed before the clocks changed to GMT it would only be 15 minutes early, and I had originally fallen asleep at a time that would not be that late pre GMT. While I lay in bed pondering these facts I evidently fell aslep again. The next thing I knew was that my alarm clock(radio) was waking me up.

 It all seems a bit hazy now, but when I finally did get up I must have been feeling quite good. I was able to wash, dress, check my email, and attend to other matters in sufficient time to get the early train to work. In theory this was good because I did have some very urgent work to do as soon as I got into work. In practice I got to Waterloo station to find there were no trains. Some unexplained delay further down the line added a 15 minute delay to my journey to Earlsfield. I was still at work early, but not as early as I had hoped for.

 Tonight is New Scientist night, and I am going to go home via Tesco's to buy it along with a few other essentials. I wonder if I can avoid buying some non-essentials ? Probably not, but I will try, and if by some miracle I do succeed I will have another go at more healthy eating tonight. I didn't succeed 100% last night, but I think I do feel a bit better for my partial success.
Wednesday 28th October 2009
 08:11 GMT

I thought that it might be fairly bright by now, but if anything it is cloudier now than when I left home. If we can believe the weather forecasters it will be bright and dry today, with the temperature reaching 19 C. Apparently tomorrow may not be as good as earlier forecast when temperatures were set to reach 21 C in inner London, but it should still be a fine day, and hopefully one that is as good as yesterday.

 The brief advantage of lighter mornings after the clocks changed is already eroding away, and comes as no recompense to getting home when it's dark. Very soon my commute to/from work will be in total darkness both ways. I am torn between my traditionalist views that Greenwich Mean Time is the only proper and decent time, and thinking that the clocks should have changed in the opposite direction, taking us two hours away from GMT, to delay those depressing commutes home in the dark just a little longer.

 Another dilemma is whether to go home via the pub tonight, or to go straight home, and because it is dark, go to bed very soon afterwards. I suspect that I will be going home via the pub, but there could be other factors outside my control that will mean that is not an option.

 Nothing much else has happened of any note in the last 24 hours (or is that the last 48 hours ?). One brief diversion was that I quickly tried a live CD of the latest Xubuntu linux last night. It was good except for one major failing. It is possibly the only Linux distro I have tried that failed to discover my sound card, and without sound it is useless to me (actually I rarely play any music on my main PC, but I am just exercising my rights to be petty). I was up nice and early this morning so I spun up a disk with PCLinuxOS 2009 on it. That had sound, but seemingly no decent audio players (just the foul, overblown, iTunesalike, Amarok). I am sure that Audacious (the Winamp-like audio player) must be available, but I did not want to make myself too late for work (I was actually 20 minues early).  My workload is sufficiently light at the moment that I may well install PCLinuxOS 2009 on a virtual machine here at work. Then I can have another play with it to see if it is a suitable candidate for my main PC at home.
Tuesday 27th October 2009
08:24 GMT There has been a slight change in the weather today. It's raining ! As I walked to the station this morning there was some fine misty rain blowing about, and at Waterloo the rain had changed to fine drizzle.Since then the rain seems to have stopped, and that is how it is supposed to be. The weather forecast for this afternoon is for sunny intervals, and for it to be quite mild.

 By Thursday we have been promised a summers day. The winds blowing up from the south will keep the air warm, and the sky should be mostly free of clouds. Well, that's what the forecast is, and with a "I'm denying reality" optimism, I choose to believe it. If it does happen then afternoon temperatures could exceed 21 C in central London.

 Meanwhile the top temperature for today will probably be somewhat less at around 14 - 15 C. Even that is really rather good. It was pointed out on the TV weather forecast last night that this time last year saw snow in London (although checking back to my scribbles a year ago, I did note that the snow did not get as far south as Catford).

 Another thing I noticed was that a year ago I was just getting over a really heavy cold, and it seems the same happened a year before that. It seems that this year I seem to have avoided a really heavy cold in October, but there is plenty of time left to catch something terrible before the year is out. The problem a year ago, and the year before that, was the legendary "nose fountain" sort of cold that needs tissues in industrial quantities. Compared to yesterday I do not feel that good this morning, but I don't think I am heading for that sort of cold. Mainly I just feel a bit tired. I didn't get to sleep as early as I meant to, and I got up at pre-clock change time this morning - actually 3.45 GMT which would have been 4.45 BST, and not an unreasonable time to get up before the clocks changed.

 Tonight I had better try and get to bed super early, or will I just get up too early again in the morning ?  The answer to that is probably. I was going to get to work super early again this morning, and after waking up so early that should have been easy, but that does not take into account the power of the internet to waste you time. I researched some information on Network Rail Cards, and from there on I just seemed to get distracted to all sorts of internet sites. The net effect, if you'll pardon the pun, is that I only left home in time to get my normal train to work (the 06:54).
Monday 26th October 2009
07:41 GMT As I left home, to come to work, the sky to the east was brightening up nicely, and it was easy to see that there was not that many clouds in the sky. Now that it is fully daylight I can see plenty of blue sky, and plenty of white fluffy clouds. There is every reason to believe that it will be dry and suny today. According to the weather forecast I saw on TV last night, the weather for the week ahead is going to be dry, mostly bright, and surprisingly warm. One afternoon this week, Wednesday I think, is forecast to be 19 C, and that's really warm for the end of October. In fact it is pretty warm at any time of the year ! Of course The Metro, with their highly dubious pictograms for the weather, forecasts cloudy grey skies above London today, and even thicker, greyer, wetter, looking clouds above London for tomorrow. I think I'll believe the evidence of my own eyes before believing that.

 Last night I chose to ignore the change from BST to GMT and go to bed as if nothing had happened. At first I didn't think I would get to sleep, but the next thing I knew it was the early hours of the morning, and then it was time to get up. It felt like I had had a good nights sleep, and I decided I would make haste to get a train earlier than I have ever done before. For the first time I managed to get the 06:01 train, but it was a bit of a rush. I had to run along the platform, over the footbridge, and then fling myself through the closing doors to get that train. I thought I had plenty of time to catch that train, and I am convinced it departed a minute or two early. This notion is further bolstered by the fact that we waited for what seemed like an age at the next station before the doors closed and we moved off.

 After such an early start I was naturally early when I arrived here at work. For the second time I have managed to be first in. This gives me great satisfaction, but it has nothing to do with a desire to do more work. It's more in the nature of winning a race against one other person who has a very long standing reputation of getting to work early.

 I don't feel too bad this morning. In some ways that is a bit of a surprise. It is no great surprise that my tortured thigh muscles have practically recovered, but considering I have just had two very lazy days where I have eaten too much I thought I would feel a lot worse. The good sleep I had last night was obviously good, but I wonder what else I have done that might have left me feeling a lot less close to death than normal Monday mornings.

 It is a bit of a pity that I did eat so recklessly over the weekend. All the pain and stress involved in all the hill climbing I did last Friday convinced me that I could do with losing another Stone, and running for the train this morning was incredibly hard work. I dodn't know what I am going to do about it, but you never know, some sort of motivation might rear its head. I have a funny feeling that my doctor will want to see me soon after "forgetting" to make an appointment with her back in July, and I really to try and get myself in better shape for that.

 One slightly useful thing I did yesterday was to look back at the web page I made for my day out to Dover and Samphire Hoe. If you haven't seen it yet you have missed out on some tragic spelling mistakes. I think I have corrected most of them now, and you can see the finished result here.
Sunday 25th October 2009
 09:33 GMT The morning has started out quite reasonably bright and dry. Towards the north the sky is mainly blue, but there are more clouds to the south. I am not sure what that means so I will fall back on the old maxim that today will probably be like the day before. Yesterday was dry, apart from the first part of the morning, and occasionally bright. So I hope today will continue where yesterday left off.

 This morning my thigh muscles are still a little sore from Friday's hill climbing. They are improving, and so far today the only time I have had reason to complain about them is in the act of gently lowering myself onto the toilet seat. Yes, it is strange but true, that is the time they hurt most. Very soon now I will take my thighs for a walk to Tesco and see how they perform doing that. I reckon they will be fine, and that little walk may even help to speed up the recovery process.

 I am not sure what else I am going to do today. One thing is for certain, and that is I won't be reading the sixth part of the now amazingly misnamed Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy trilogy. I finished reading that book in bed a little while ago. Despite what a few critics said about the book, I did enjoy it. Some said it had a good start and a weak ending, but I found that it was only the beginning that caused me some mild irritation.

 While reading the book I found an idea I have had for quite some time gelling in my mind. It concerns the one flaw in many science fiction stories, and that flaw is the ridiculous idea that some extraterrestrial species would ever be able to build advanced spaceships to carry out their mayhem (and that mayhem usually being at the heart of the story). This theory of mine most definitely includes the Vogons from the Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy universe, but is better illustrated by the better known Klingons from Start Trek (and in particular the version of Klingons that appeared in the New Generation series, and onward).

 In Star Trek (the new generation), Klingons are depicted as a warlike race who like nothing better than hanging around in bars telling tales of old battles, and singing Klingon opera (which is also about ancient myths of killing and general mayhem). The idea of a Klingon academic, who may have time to sit down between epic battles and swilling Klingon blood ale, to sketch out the plans for an interstellar battle cruiser seems most unlikely.  So how come they managed to go out into space, and have untold rucks with various other species/races, and in particular the Federation of United Planets ? It just does not make sense. As depicted on TV, Klingons hsould never really got further than the stage of going around in furs and bashing each other over the head with big clubs. Yet somehow, in between all their activities that would make marauding Vikings green with envy, they had time to sit down and develop advanced particle beam weapons etc.

 To really appreciate Science Fiction you have to totally immerse yourself in the fictional environment, but now it's never going to work for you. I have  just ruined your dream by making you aware that those aliens who have the temper of an enraged super model, and seemingly the intelligence to match, could never in a million years have developed that fearsome spaceship that is raining electric death down on the planet below.

 Maybe there is a way to restore your confidence in those aliens. Just suppose there was a race of enlightened beings (or so they think) that decide to help some struggling space beings by inviting them to expensive cocktail parties to show, and sell them advanced technology. Of course once the sales are made the struggling space beings are never invited to have drinks with their "benefactors" again, and being heavy drinking space beings they get very upset and cross about it. So they just have to have an interstellar war to show just how pissed off they are. Of course any thoughts you may have concerning whether there could be any similarities in this theory to things happening more locally, here on Earth, are purely in your imagination.
Saturday 24th October 2009
 19:28 BST The weather today has been quite mixed. There was drizzle this morning, and some sunny spells this afternoon.

 I have had a quiet sort of day where I have actually done very little. I have done some laundry, read for a while, watched some TV and made up the web page with all the photos, and the full story of my day out yesterday.

 That day out, and I blame most of it on all the hill climbing, has left me feeling a bit sore today. It is my thigh muscles that seem to have been most affected, but I do feel a bit creaky all over. It has ceratianly added enough discomfort to make relaxing a bit hard. I wanted to take several naps to make up for not getting much sleep last night, but I found it difficult to get comfortable enough for that. As a cure I am just having my second, and even bigger, large scotch for the day. Soon I will go to bed, and the scotch combined with general exhaustion should get me sleep OK.

 It took quite a while to make up the web page for my day out yesterday. There are a lot of photos on it, and they took a long time to edit. Then writing it seemed a lot slower than usual. Looking back at it I notice one terrible spelling mistake, and I am sure there are others. I can't be bothered to correct it (or them) now because I am off to bed very soon. So if you get in quick you can see the inglorious result of my labours here.

02:48 BST


 It is the middle of the night, and so all I can say about the weather is that it is dry now. I think that today is forecast to be wet, and I'll be able to comment about that when I add a second entry to today later on when it is daylight.

 Yesterday started out all bright and shiny. It seemed like the whole sky was blue, and the sun definitely felt quite warm. With the day starting like that I just had to go out for my visit to Dover, and specifically, Samphire Hoe. I did not go out immediately. First I wanted to do some stuff on my PC.

 Plan 1 for my PC was to install Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" on a new hard disk, install that inside the machine, and copy all my wanted files to it. I did start that plan, and I got as far as installing the operating system, updating it, and installing my favourite software. That's as far as I got, but then laziness took over. Yesterday morning I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to replace Suse 11 linux with Linux Mint 7 on the existing hard disk as plan 2.

 Plan 2 was fairly quick to implement, but I did encounter one problem. The boot loader was installed on the wrong hard disk, and I could not automatically boot up without selecting the BIOS boot menu and manually selecting the right hard disk. This obviously played on my mind during the night, and that is why I have interupted my sleep to fix this problem. I had to do some research on Google about the grub boot loader, but having refreshed my memory the cure was very simple. Maybe one day I will automatically remember the command line invocation of "grub-install", but it's not the sort of thing you use everyday, and the only time it is ever likely to be needed is when using Linux on a PC like mine which uses a motherboard that straddles the time when hard disks were changing from parallel ATA to serial ATA. At that time the BIOS assumed that you would always be booting from the older parallel ATA disk (unless you manually selected differently), but Linux Mint's grub installer assumed that if you were installing Linux onto the serial ATA hard disk you would also want to boot from it. Anyway, as of just gone 2 am this morning the problem is fixed, and soon I will be able to go back to bed and get some more sleep happy that everything is OK with the world !

 It was not until 11:31 am that I got my train to start my expedition to Dover. Starting at Catford station, and changing trains at Bromley South, it is almost a 2 hour journey to Dover, and a hell of a long time to go without a fag. It was bright sunshine when I left Catford, and that sun was so warm that I took my jacket off because I felt too hot in it. For most of the train journey the sun shone, and it continued to shine when I arrived at Dover. It was not to shine for that long though. The clouds were already gathering, and half way to Samphire Hoe the rain started. At first it was just a light sprinkle, and I didn't bother to put my jacket on. Then it became a bit heavier and I stopped to put my cagoule on. At that point I should have also put on my waterproof over trousers, because the rain would very soon become a torrential downpour ! There was even a convenient seat where I could have sat down to pull those over trousers on, but I didn't, and the end result was that I ended up with soaking trousers !

 I am not sure how far it was to Samphire Hoe from the station, but I think the shortest route by road was something like 2.5 miles. I didn't take the shortest route because I took a detour up a very steep cliff path, and then there was some extra walking around inside the country park. The very least I walked in, and around, Dover was 5 miles horizonally, and 1 mile vertically ! There are some incredibly steep hills around Dover, and I climbed two of them. Some of those hills were very hard going, and I had to take a few breaks on the way up to get my breath back. It must have been very good for my cardiovascular system, or alternatively it has shorted my life by years ! I certainly felt very close to death at a few points !!

 Having started out so late in the day, I was also late getting home again. For the first time for any of my days out this year it was dark before I got home. After all that walking, and in particular the hill climbing, I was ravenous when I got back to Catford. The only answer was some takeaway food, and the quickest option was the fried chicken shop. Suitably loaded up with a pile of chicken and chip I arrived back at home to find Smudge had left me a "present".

 Fortunately that "present" was in the litter tray, but unfortunately she had not covered it up. It stank, but in one respect it was good to see it. Just recently Smudge had not been eating much, and was throwing up what she was eating. I suspected that she was suffering from fur balls clogging up her stomach. To ease the situation I started adding a teaspoonful of olive oil to her food. After a day or so she stopped throwing up, and began to eat more heartily. That smelly present she left me yesterday was final proof that food was passing through her in the right direction ! Hopefully it will be the last I see for some time.

 Later today I will try and work out exactly how far I did walk yesterday, and then make up a special web page with all the details and photographs I took. I'll put the link to that web page on my second entry for today, and of course on my site map. Right now it is almost 4 am and I think I ought to go back to bed again.
Thursday 22nd October 2009
 09:19 BST

 I almost had a treat this morning. As my train pulled into Earlsfield station the sun was only just below the visible horizon, and the sky in that direction was mostly clear. Since then the clouds have expanded to fill almost the whole sky. They are still light in colour, and there are a few small cracks in them. So there is still a chance to see some sunshine today, but if it happens it had better hurry up. More rain is forecast for today, but so far every recent forecast of rain has had no effect on me. There has been rain, but only on Tuesday night did I feel the lightest touch of it.

 This morning I am trying out my new slightly expensive hiking shoes again. This time they do not feel too bad, and I think I could come to like them once they, and my feet, have become friends with each other. If I do go out tomorrow I will definitely be using them as I walk around Dover. I guess I won't really know if I am going out until I have actually started out. When I left for work this morning I felt that I would probably not be going out tomorrow. I definitely need time to "warm up" before I can walk with pleasure. Now I have been at work for over an hour, and I have shaken off the cobwebs of sleep, I feel almost keen to go out. Perhaps the final arbiter will be the weather. Although  now feel fully equipped to survive a storm, it will take some willpower to actually want to start a day out in pouring rain.

 While I was looking for the link for Sports Direct that I put on yestedays page I chanced to have a look at their web site. As I noted, I originally placed my order for my hiking shoes through Amazon, so I did not see Sports Direct's own web pages. Looking at their website yesterday I noticed that they have many sale items offering savings as good as the saving I made on my hiking shoes. The cheap trainers I buy from my local high street shop are, on the whole, pretty crap ! The single biggest problem is the inside of the heel crumbling. I know this doesn't have to happen. The pair of trainers I wore to work yesterday are at least a year old, and maybe two, and they are still comfortable to wear (although a little worn now). So I delved into my credit card again and ordered not one pair, not two pairs, but three pairs of new trainers from Sports Direct. All were at least half price, and all three were different makes (and none of those makes were Gola who seem to make the crumbliest heels ever). I have high hopes that one, or more of these three pairs will turn out as durable as the pair I wore yesterday (bought at Aldi's for something like 9.99).

 Sports Direct seem to have a very efficient distribution system indeed. The hiking shoes arrived the next day, and I think the order I placed yesterday will be delivered today. Last night I had an email with a parcel tracking number in it. Clicking on that revealed that my parcel was already at the Vauxhall delivery depot, just 3 or 4 miles from here, at 7 pm last night. I reckon it will be delivered here by midday.

 Yesterday I took delivery of the new Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy book (the 6th book in the trilogy !!). This one was not written by Douglas Adams, but by Oein Colfer (with the approval and support of Douglas Adams' widow). Last night I read the prologue and the first three chapters. It's not perfect, but it is still pretty good - or at least it is so far. Some say that it loses the plot about half way through. My main complaint so far is that Oein Colfer has over egged the pudding. On almost every page he makes an attempt to gratuitiously drop in the names of other planets or people from the Hitch Hikers universe. Tonight I shall undoubtably be reading another chapter or 6 !
Wednesday 21st October 2009
 08:26 BST

 There has been a fair amount of rain this morning, but fortunately very little of it fell on me. The rain first started just after the sun made a desperate attempt to shine at a little after 3 pm, yesterday. Prior to that brief attempt at shining, the sun had been hidden away by clouds all day. The rain held off for nearly all the time I was travelling home from work. As I walked along the length of the platform at Earlsfield station the rain made a half hearted attempt at falling, but it was so light that I counted just one small spot on the left hand lens of my glasses, and three tiny spots on the other lens.

 I made it home before any significant amount of rain fell. I say "significant" to distinguish it from "hardly noticable" rather than meaning there was anything approaching a storm. As far as I was aware there was just a fair bit of light rain overnight. I could not even really hear anything to suggest that it rained while I was in bed, but the ground was definitely very wet when I got up this morning.

 I didn't go to bed early at all last night, and even when I did get in bed at about 8.45 pm I did not seem that sleepy. Once I got to sleep I slept well, but I was wide awake at 4 am this morning so that's when I got up. I suspect I'll be tired tonight after getting less sleep than I might desire, and if I end up in the pub after work I will really have to dig my heals in about not staying there late.

 I had a bit of a surprise yesterday afternoon. The new hiking shoes that I ordered on Monday arrived here at work. That was really quick work by Sports Direct who I ordered them from via Amazon.co.uk. It was only when I looked at the box they came in that I realised that they were not specifically cheap, but in fact were reduced from 70 to 25 in a sale. To give them a test I put them on when I went home from work last night.

 I am not sure that I like them, but I think I could get used to them. My main problem is that they are very bouncy. This feeling was accentuated by the fact that I had worn my cheap black canvas shoes to work yesterday, and on Monday as an experiment. Those canvas shoes have very little cushioning under the soles, and you feel every step. On Monday I found that they were surprisingly comfortable, but by yesterday afternoon I found the soles of my feet were getting a little sore. Going from that to the soft spongy soles of my new hiking shoes was a bit of a shock. It felt like I had to be very careful how I walked, and that put some extra strain on my muscles.

 The black canvas shoes, with their thin soles allow you to feel every nuance of the surface you are walking on. I feel very sure footed like that. The bouncy hiking shoes are the opposite of that. They have a more grippy surface, and so slip less, and yet with my feet so isolated from the ground it is a bit like walking with numb feet. Apart from that they are comfortable to wear, and they seem warm to wear too. I can't recall wearing any shoes that make my feet feel warm for ages (or ever ?), but these new ones do. I suspect that once I get used to that bouncy feeling I will grow to like these new shoes. At the moment I am wearing some transitional shoes. They are a pair of trainers that have some bounce, but not much. After a day of these I may try the new shoes on again tomorrow, and if they feel OK I hope I will be able to test them out for a hike on Friday (unless my already waivering enthusiasm fails me).
Tuesday 20th October 2009
 08:43 BST

 This morning did not seem quite as dark as yesterday morning. It could be ever so slightly warmer too, but that could just be me. It's hard to say why it might be lighter this morning. The sky is still all grey clouds. Perhaps they are a lighter shade of grey than yesterday. The only saving grace about yesterday was that the sun finally came out as I walked from the station to home. That should have made my evening a bit better, but it didn't.

 We are now getting closer and closer to the forecast wet weather, but there remains a chance that it could hold off until I am safely home from work tonight. After that there appears to be no further hope for any dryness for the next couple of days. One unfortunate side effect of the wet weather being delayed is that it will, or at least may, continue until Friday. Originally I believed that Friday would be dry, and quite possibly bright, although still on the very cool side. I have booked Friday off work, and I am contemplating going to explore a few bits of Dover then. If it is raining I will be less inclined to go out, but it could still happen.

 I felt absolutely lousy yesterday. The very worst thiing was that I just couldn't seem to get warm. I can't blame it all on starting the day under a tepid shower, and dallying with hypothermia after kicking off the duvet during the night. I think I may have actually been ill in some undiagnosed way. I certainly was still feeling very rough when I got home, and I ended up in bed very early on in the evening. I had some hot food, watched the news on TV, and I was in bed very soon after 7 pm. I read for a little, but I was fast asleep before 8 pm.

 After such an early night I thought I would be awake very early this morning, but I really must have needed a lot of sleep because if anything I woke up later than usual. I do feel a lot better for all that sleep. I ache less. My smokers cough seems very mild at the moment, and unlike yesterday, I do not feel cold. In fact I haven't even turned on the heater in my room at work (although I shall very soon).

 It was probably a touch of madness that made me book Friday off work to go out exploring when I was feeling so rough. Maybe it was some sort of wild eyed optimism that I, and the weather, would be fine by Friday. I am actually beginning to think that could almost be a possibility this morning. To make my next day out exploring even better, whether it is on Friday, or at some later date, I have ordered a cheap, but hopefully decent, pair of proper hiking shoes. I declined the chance to pay well over 100 for a pair of shoes, and settled for  a pair that were under 30. There is only a small chance that they will be delivered in time for me to use them on Friday (they are being delivered to my work address), but if I don't use them then, there will always be other chances, and maybe I'll end up using them for commuting (which is a bit like hiking anyway).
Monday 19th October 2009
 08:40 BST

 The days continue to get shorter. It was still night up until at least Clapham Junction on my way into work. Of course the sun could have risen earlier, but the sky seems thick with grey clouds this morning. That didn't stop it being very chilly when I left the house, and there is little prospect of any warmth today. Apparently there could be some sunshine today - maybe enough to cheer, but not enough to bring any warmth to the day. The forecast bad, and by bad I mean wet, weather that I mentioned yesterday is still coming, but at the earliest it will be after I get home tonight, and if I am really lucky it won't get here until I am at work tomorrow.

 Yesterday saw a fair bit of sunshine, but there was less and less of it after I had written about it yesterday. It did possibly help to bring a little warmth to the day, but I definitely needed some heat on indoors. In some ways this was unfortunate. Instead of playing with my PC, or even doing any gardening, I ended up spending a fair amount of time on my bed reading during the afternoon. I even had a good nap while lying there. I started reading a book that I pulled down from my bookshelves. I am sure I must have read it once, but I can't really recall any of the storyline. It is called "Nature's End" by Whitely Streiber and James Kunetka. It has an interesting plot, but the writing style is not quite to my taste. Nevertheless I will plod on with it until I get to the end - unless it becomes really bad further on. Maybe this is why I just don't recall reading it before.

 One aspect of having the heating on in my bedroom as I read yesterday afternoon, was that the room was still fairly warm when I went to bed. It wasn't so warm that  was actually uncomfortable when I went to bed, but it was close to it. As I slept I think my body temperature fell faster than the temperature of the room. Well that's the theory, but maybe there is another explanation. What is more significant was the outcome which is that I seemed to throw off most of the duvet during the night. I woke up at 2 am, freezing cold, and as stiff as a board.

 That stiffness at 2 am was just as bad, if not worse, when I got up. I should have had a scalding hot shower when I got up this morning, but nearby pipe replacement works mean that the water pressure is a bit low at the moment. This morning my shower water was definitely tepid. I could have gone down to the kitchen and adjusted the water heater, but I just washed as quickly as possible, and rushed back to my bedroom to get dressed in front of the heater.

 Now I am at work, in the warm, and after getting some exercise during my commuting, I am beginning to feel a bit better. I think most of the pains have gone away apart from the one in my chest caused by a lot of coughing. It is quite feasible that I'll live. I think I am confident enough of that to the extent that I am going to take a days holiday on Friday. By then the wet weather should have passed, and there is even a minute possibility of a sunny day (and an even more minute possibility that it might be even something approaching being warm). I feel another long walk coming on, but whether this one actually happens on Friday, and whether it will be along the coast somewhere, remains to be seen.
Sunday 18th October 2009
 11:03 BST

Today could almost be good if it were not so cool outside. The sky is quite bright, and there have been a few sunny spells. The real spoiler is the wind. It is not that strong, but is blowing from the north west (I think), and it has a definite chill about it. I don't know when the forecast wet weather will catch up with us. I don't think it will be today, and with luck it will hold off until I get to work tomorrow.

 Aleemah's entertainment for me yesterday was the film "Rain Man". I am not sure if I liked it or not. The beginning of the film started off quite bad with the two main characters being very irritating. It was difficult to know which of these two characters, the autistic brother, or the yuppie brother, you would most hate to be trapped in a lift with. Eventually the film settled down a bit, and the two brothers revealed some very slightly more endearing characteristics. I suppose one good thing about the film was that there were no guns, no violence, no gallons of blood everywhere, and most amazingly for an American film, no WOWIE-ZOWIE special effects. In short, it did actually have a story to tell rather than a 90 minute demo film from the special effects team.

 After Aleemah went home I became a bit bored so in the end I decided to make a start on installing Linux Mint 7 on my main computer. I had two choices. I could have installed Linux Mint 7 on the existing hard disk, or I could install it on a new hard disk. I chose the latter, and installed it on a 750 GB hard disk. That will give me plenty of space to do stuff, and having also decided not to bother dual booting with Windows XP (as on the existing hard disks) I have even more space to play with. Linux Mint 7 seems to run rather well on my laptops, and I am hoping it will on this desktop machine too. I am not actually using it yet. I will be transferring all my data over to the new hard disk at my leisure, and once it is transferred I will move over to using Linux Mint 7 on a permanent basis (until something better comes along). I think doing the file transfers is probably going to be my project for the afternoon.
Saturday 17th October 2009
 09:31 BST

 It is not a pleasant start to the day, but then again it could be a lot worse. The sky is light grey, and it is dry. It is not particularly cold, but cool enough. One unpleasant thing is the wind. There is not a lot of it, but it does feel quite chilly when the occasional stronger gust comes along. This morning does not seem as bad as yesterday when there seemed to be a lot more cold wind. Yesterday was also mainly grey. At some times it was darker than this morning, but I think there were a few brief snaches of sunshine. I think I heard that tomorrow should be brighter, but the temperature will only peak to about 14 C. After tomorrow some wet weather is supposed to be on it's way.

 Yesterday was mostly uneventful. I tried to ring Patricia, but there was no answer. So I didn't get to meet her for an after work drink. Instead I came home, had some dinner, watched some TV, and went to bed. There was one aspect about yesterday that was nearly very good. I thought that I had finally repaired every single circuit board of a particular type. It would have been a first, but just as I was about to celebrate, and move onto a different type of board, the production staff presented me with another 5 circuit boards that they had found faulty. I didn't bother to even look at them as it was getting too near home time, but generally speaking these "out of box" failures (ones that are found faulty on first switch on) are easy to repair. Often it is silly things like something missed out during their production. With luck, by mid Monday morning, and maybe even earlier than that, I will once again be in the position where I can celebrate having repaired every fault on every single one of this particular circuit board that we have in the place.

 In just under an hour I expect to get a call from Aleemah telling me when to expect her at the station. Then later this afternoon, when she has gone home again, I will ...................? Actually I am not sure what I will do. Maybe I might replace Suse Linux on my main PC with Linux Mint, or maybe I'll do something else. Perhaps I might watch TV, or perhaps I'll sit down and read a book. I think it is unlikely that I will do any gardening (of the slash and hack variety), but it's not impossible that I might.
Friday 16th October 2009
 08:26 BST

 It looks like we are in for grotty weather again. There was some fine misty rain swirling around in the breeze as I made my way to work. From the grey nature of the sky I would predict that there will probably be more water falling out of the sky during the day. Whether that will just be fine misty rain, or a complete and utter torrential downpour is in the lap of the Gods, but I suspect the latter intensity of rain is unlikely.

 This is all in complete contrast to yesterday which was a rather fine sunny day. The was little wind, and that sun did feel very warm when falling directly on me. It never did manage to warm the air up though. The air temperature was probably around the mid teens (and I doubt we can expect even that today).
bullet through the head or third eye ?
 I took the picture above while standing outside work having a fag. The bright sunlight I was standing in cast quite a deep shadow that has not come out so deep on this photograph. Notice the light shining through the bullet hole in my head ! Or maybe it is my third eye ? Actually, just beyond my head is a car, and that car has a Polish number plate. Polish number plates have a hologram to show their authenticity, and that hologram was reflecting that bright dot of light directly onto the shadow of my head. I must admit it confused me until I noticed that hologram.

 It is with great sadness that I have to report that I had to put my black corded jeans out to stud yesterday. They were not my favourite trousers, but the were comfortable to wear, and had given many years of good service. Wear and tear had taken their toll on the material as it aged, until finally a small wound opened up on the inner thigh area. In theory I could have put a bandage on, but I decided a good long rest in the wheelie bin was the humane thing to do.

 This morning I think I smell rather good. Yes, that is an unusual statement, and yes the smell may be rather poofy, but I like it. While shopping in Tesco, after work last night, I needed to buy more shower gel, and with only sufficient left for one wash this morning it was rather vital that I didn't forget to buy it last night like I did on the previous two occasions I was shopping in Tesco. Happily I did remember to buy a bottle of my favourite shower gel, but  had a look round to see what else was available. I spied some dragon fruit and capsicum flavoured shower gel, and having tried that a long time ago I bought another bottle because I couldn't remember what it was like. In theory anything flavoured with capsicum, which is part of the family of plants that chillies are a member of, should be OK, but I can't remember if it is ! It is not chilies I am flavoured with this morning though, but something else. It was purple so it had to be good, and it is goji berry and mallow flavoured shower gel. It has one drawback. It smells so good that it makes me feel hungry ! I reckon it would go well with vodka, although it could be a bit soapy !

 It is getting very hard to predict the future. Tonight I would hope that I might see Patricia, but nothing has been arranged yet, nor has it even been suggested yet. The only reason for optimism is that Patricia did say she would give me a ring at the end of the week, but I bet she doesn't. Tomorrow I will probably be seeing Aleemah for a few hours, but after that.......anything could happen ! 
Thursday 15th October 2009
 08:38 BST

 Today it could rain or it could shine. The day has started with a curious mix of cloud and sunshine (although my day actually started in the darkness of the night). As my train left Waterloo station the view out the windows, particularly to my right, or to the west, was very vivid. In that direction the sky was black with cloud, and yet in the other direction the sun was shining with some ferocity (by comparison). That bright sunshine was lighting up all the tall buildings to dazzling proportions against the black sky. It was very surreal or even sci-fi like. While being stunning visually, I can't make up my mind as to whether is felt cheery or miserable. On balance, it was probably neither.

 According to the ever dubious Metro newspaper it should be sunny and dry today, but the temperature will struggle to reach even 15 C. I am not so sure that the morning started at much less than that. So maybe, if there is any reasonable amounts of sunshine, it could get a little warmer. It wasn't particularly cold yesterday. Against my expectations it did stay dry, but I cannot recall any sunshine of any significance.

 After work yesterday, I did go for a drink, but I didn't wholly enjoy it. Once again I ended up having 3 pints of beer. That's fine as such, but had I wanted to get drunk I would have had more. Last night I just wanted to lightly destress before going home for my dinner. So all I really wanted was two pints. Experience has shown that the peak of enjoyment for an after work drink comes at a tiny bit over two pints. At three pints stress levels really build up again because you know that at that point you really want four pints, and to stay all evening. Staying all evening was not an option last night.

 By a curious coincidence Kevin walked into the pub while I was waiting for Iain (who had sent me a text warning me he would be late). Kevin was apparently only out to buy some fags, but thought he would pop into the pub anyway. So we had our drinks, and managed to finish one of the crossword puzzles in The Evening Standard. Once we had left the pub, and were standing in the cold, Kevin and Iain decided to go into an extremely detailed geneology/history discussion about the staff of the Catford Wetherspoons pub. I have to confess this became a little tedious, and I left them to it. Somehow it would not come as any surprise if they then went on to visit the Wetherspoons pub to check if their soap opera was still running.

 Apparently there may be an opportunity for another drink tonight. I don't think I will be going, but it is still too early in the day to say that for definite. If I do go I feel I am going to have to make my excuses and leave after two pints no matter how rude it is considered to be. There is the old saying ; "get out while the going is good", and after two pints of moderately strong lager, on an empty stomach, the going is pretty good. It makes for a nice relaxed dinner, half an hour or so of TV, and then straight to bed.
Wednesday 14th October 2009
 09:19 BST

 From how I read the weather forecast yesterday I didn't anticipate rain this morning, but rain it did. Happily it had stopped before I left to come to work, and it remains dry even now. The sky is still very grey, and I can't see we are going to get any sunshine today, but maybe miracles will happen later this afternoon. Before then I would not be surprised if there were more rain.

 After my feasting yesterday, and having a very poor nights sleep, I don't feel too bad this morning. Having confined my severe overeating to yesterday morning, and only having one small snack for dinner last night, I do feel more hungry than bloated this morning. Nevertheless I managed to avoid buying a sandwich while coming into work, and I'll not be eating anything more than fruit until I get home tonight.

 At the moment I am torn between a curious dilemma of whether to feel happy of miserable. There is little to be happy about, but maybe not feeling all uncomfortable and a general absence of some of my more popular aches and pains is reason to be happy. That isn't to say I am totally free of any pain or discomfort. There is the rumbling in my gut that I interpret as hunger (but knowing my gut it could mean absolutely anything in reality), and I do have a pain in the neck. It's not my more common pain in the neck which is usually a horizontal aching stiffness. This is sort of more vertical in nature, and is probably the result of sleeping awkwardly in a different way to how I usually sleep awkwardly.

 My next big dilemma is to decided whether to try and go for a drink after work tonight. I am not even sure of the pros and cons of it. On balance I think that I like the idea of just a couple of pints, but I will give it further consideration during the course of the day.
Tuesday 13th October 2009
 18:12 BST

 So far the forecasters have been right. Today has been another bright sunny day. Usually this would be excellent, but today, or at least this morning, I would have been happier if the sun had been hidden behind dark grey clouds. I'll explain why in a minute. This evening the sky is still very clear. The immediate impact of this is that it will probably get very cold overnight. I would not be surprised if there was a frost tomorrow morning, although I don't think it will be quite that cold. Maybe no frost then, but I bet everything is drenched with dew when I leave to go to work in the morning.

Update : I've just seen the weather forecast on TV. Apparently tonight will be cloudy, and that will keep the warmth in. The day should start at 10 C, and daytime temperature will rse to 15 C. It will be dry, but not so sunny.

 Yesterday was very pleasant, and ended on a pleasant note. After work I met up with Patricia to get my "present" from Argentina (200 Marlboro fags). Getting the fags was good, but it was even better to see Patricia. She was looking really good after her holiday. Unfortunately we could not spend that much time together because Patricia was effectively still at work manning a stand at a presentation for retail opportunities (or something - actually I am not sure what it was really about).

 I took a day off work today. I needed at least a few hours off work to attend an eye screening, and thought I may as well take the whole day off. The result of the test was the usual "slight problem, but nothing to worry about". As well as the usual result, there was also the usual problem of the eye drops that dilate the pupils. That dilation makes the eyes very sensitive to bright light, and that's why today, or all days, I would have been quite happy if it was the dullest, gloomiest morning possible. I must admit that today, despite it being very bright, I didn't suffer quite as much as on some previous occasions. I was reasonably OK until I came out of the station at Catford on my way home after the appointment. Maybe it was the angle of the sun, or maybe the pavements in Catford are just brighter than others, but the short walk from the station, until I got into the shadow of the rear of the town hall, was an eye watering experence.

 During my appointment I was given the usual lecture about looking after my blood glucose levels, and blood pressure. I found that depressing in a way, and more so when I stopped to think about it all. It is difficult to think objectively about these things, and there is no way of doing some sort of controlled experiment, but thinking back as best I can, I have concluded that there have been many more days that I have felt unwell since going on all my medication compared to before that. My conclusion is that the medication I take does not have any direct side effects of it's own, but does have the side effect of magnifying any other illnesses/ailments I may suffer from. They convert a stomach upset into full blow dysentry, and convert muscle/joint from ache into pain. Of course I have to admit that being another year old may account for some of this, but I am sure that it doesn't account for every bad day.

 The result of those depressing thoughts was that I rebelled against all the good advice, and my own intentions, and bought loads of stuff to eat in Tesco. Once I got home I had a good feast. Of course now I feel all bloated and horrible, and have probably just shortened my life by another year, but who cares ? Maybe I will in the morning, but right now the intention of my doctor to extend my life does not have great appeal if it is just more days of aches and pains. There's a lot to be said for the Blondie song "Die Young, Stay Pretty". It's just a shame that as far as I am aware I have never been pretty. 
Monday 12th October 2009
 08:16 BST

 It was still dark when I left home to come to work, but it was obvious that the sky was clear. Firstly it was very chilly out, and secondly the moon and stars were really bright. I have no idea of the precise time of sunrise this morning, but it must have been around the time I arrived at Waterloo East station. That was about 7 am, and the sky was looking blue already. When I reached Earlsfield station the sun was a few degrees above the horizon, but some thin cloud was partially obscuring it. The cloud was thin enough to show the golden disk of the sun, but it was not bright enough to dazzle me. That cloud was a bit of a rarity, and all I can see from my window here at work is pure blue sky. I believe it will be sunny all day today, and it is forecast that the next few days could be similar. Unfortunately temperatures are only predicted to rise to 18 C, at best, and then only in the heart of London.

 Yesterday was supposed to be very wet. There was some rain, but not much, and it is possible that the sun was out for more minutes than the amount of minutes it rained for. The sun was very welcome when it shined, but my overall impression was that it was a bit of a grey day. I probably ought to have gone out somewhere, but I stayed in all day, and spent a lot of the morning, and then into the afternoon watching the DVD of the TV series "The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy". I took a break between every 30 minute episode. Sometimes a very short break, and sometimes a long break, and overall I think it took me over 4 hours to watch every episode, and very enjoyable it was too !

 One thing I didn't do yesterday was to eat a lot. It was hard work, particularly when watching TV or the DVD, but I managed to resist the temptation to have an extra meal. I was partly helped in this respect by having very little food in the house that didn't need a lot of preparation before eating it (although a couple of frozen pizzas in the freezer would not have needed much effort to heat up). I was also help a little by suffering from a lot of wind in the later part of the afternoon. The bloated feeling from that was a sort of reminder not to eat, although I did feel hungry. I actually went to bed feeling hungry, and this morning I could not work out if my guts were feeling strange because if some minor gut upset, or from hunger. Of course this is one of my problems. I tend to interpret any sensation from the gut area as hunger whether it is or is not. On my way into work I bought a sandwich, and that has helped to settle a certain amount of the feeling of instability in my stomach area. Tonight I will see if I can restrict what I eat again, but there will be the complication that I do need to get some shopping in from Tesco on the way home. I just hope I can resist buying some of the things I would like to avoid.

 On Saturday I was going to do some experimentation with a virtual machine running on my PC. I did do some experimentation, but it was not to do with web servers as I intended it to be. As I played around I formed a stronger and stronger feeling that my PC (by which I mean the PC I do my everyday stuff on at home) was getting to the point where a fresh installation of the operating system could be beneficial. Currently it is running Suse Linux 10.1, but I have added so much stuff to it that many things are getting out of sync with the latest release of Suse Linux. One of the great things about Linux is that increasing amounts of clutter do not slow it down in the way that it would with Windows. There is also the fact that Linux just runs and runs, but that is only true if you don't fiddle with it unless you really, really, really know what you doing.  I can only satisfy two of those really, really's, and so bits of my installation are a little bit broken. I am not sure what my original reasons were to install Suse Linux. Maybe it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Well the next time I install the operating system I think it will be Linux Mint - because I like it !

 I was considering installing Linux Mint on my main PC yesterday, but for some reason I couldn't raise the enthusiasm. What I did finally raise the enthusiasm for was to get the Samba server working properly on my server machine. Samba is the software that allows the machine to act as an extra storage space for all the other machines on my network. Since installing the software for it, some time back, it has never worked correctly, but now it does. The main problem was just one tiny setting to do with security. I had made it so secure that even I, as administrator with the priveleges of a God, could hardly access any of the shares. Now me, as an ordinary, but permitted user can access all my files with ease.
Saturday 10th October 2009
 12:33 BST

 The weather seems very unsettled recently. Thursday should have been dull and overcast, but was brilliantly sunny. Yesterday should have been bright and sunny, but after some sunny intervals it rained in the evening. I am not sure what today was supposed to bring, but it started off quite damp, grey, and miserable. Now things have dried up, and we have been treated to some extended sunny spells. If today follows the pattern of yesterday the cloud will thicken again, and there will be rain by tonight.

 Tomorrow is forecast to be wet, but the weather forecasters are trying to convince us that Monday will see the start of another mini Indian summer. If the weather lives up to their promises (OK, predictions !) the week will be mild with lots of clear bright sunshine.

 Last night I was hoping to get a few beers in, but it didn't happen. Dee, who had originally arranged to meet for a drink a month ago, had totally forgotten about it, and didn't want to reschedule whatever it was she was actually doing last night. Iain would have liked to come for a drink but was broke. So I stayed in. I think that when I wrote yesterday I said I was contemplating getting some sort of takeaway. I did, but I had a lot of trouble deciding between something as simple as fish and chips, or something more exotic like Indian or Chinese food. Then I had a brain wave. I would combine elements of all three. In the wrong combination that could have been an unpleasant mess, but Chinese chicken curry and chips go really well together, and that is what I had !

 As well as eating I spent a few happy hours reading some pages of New Scientist, and some pages of Linux Format magazines. Afterwards I went to be quite late relative to what has become my normal time over the last week or so. It was gone 9 pm when I fell asleep, but not by much. Maybe I have had too much sleep lately because at 3 am I was wide awake again.

 I couldn't be bothered to try and fight the wakeful state I found myself in so I went for a short walk in the park. It is delightfully weird walking around there in the peace and solitude of the night. I am not sure if it is good or bad that there is lighting on all night along the paths. From a safety point of view it's good, but if it had been a clear night I think I may have preferred to be able to look up at the night sky without the light pollution. In all the time I was out, which was not that much more than about 20 minutes, all I saw was one car moving, and a couple of foxes. The car was a probably a mini cab that I suspect parks up round the corner from here waiting for the call to pick up more late night passengers. One of the foxes was in the road, and avoided me, but the other was some way off from me in the park, and by standing still I was able to watch it grubbing around in the grass for some time. If it were not for the fact that it was a little cool out there, and I knew I would need the toilet soon, I could have watched that fox for longer. Maybe I could even have very slowly edged closer to it.

 Next year I must see if there is any way I can take a short holiday somewhere I can go on a night ramble under clear skies with no light pollution. I think it could be fun, and ideally I would like to have someone with me who could share, or at least endure, this particular insane idea I have. I think a walk along a beach by moonlight could be particularly enchanting, and maybe even romantic with a simarly afflicted person of the opposite gender :-)

 Today I could have gone out somewhere, but after my walk I did go back to bed again, and despite seemingly not really sleeping that much, it was quite late when I finally decided to get up, and wash and dress properly. Even then the day still looked very grey and unappealing. It was only later that the sun first came out. There was another fact or involved in not going out. My Chinese takeaway left my guts in a very volatile state this morning. Much of it was just wind...but some of it wasn't !

 So today I stay in, or atleast I think I do. There is one infinitely small chance that I could somehow meet up with Patricia today. She probably arrived back from her visit to Argentina sometime early this morning. In theory she has some duty free fags for me, but after an immensly long flight I doubt she will want to meet up today, but tomorrow that chance of a meeting goes up from extremely improbable to a mere highly unlikely, but I live in hope.

 I have already done one washing machine load of laundry, and I am currently doing another (or at least the washing machine is). Next on the agenda is to sit down and watch a film. I think it is likely to be a film called "The Bamboo Saucer". It was made in 1968, and the plot is - "A flying saucer hidden in a Red Chinese peasant village is sought by teams from the United States and U.S.S.R". It's probably rubbish, but maybe not.While watching I will have to fight hard not to start some sort of nibbling action. With the prospect of trying to encourage Patricia to get fit, I ought to make some effort to try and get a bit fitter myself. Somehow I have got to get myself back onto a real diet rather than trying to just be careful (on increasingly rare occasions lately it has to be admitted). I do have one weapon in my arsenal to help this - my fridge is almost empty, and I don't need to go out shopping for anything this weekend. I have enough catfood to last the weekend, and I have a drawful of fruit already at work.

 One other thing I may well do today is to experiment with setting up a web server on a virtual machine. I have already installed Virtualbox on several machines, including my PC at work, and have successfully swapped virtual machines between them. Up until now I have regarded them as a sort of toy to play with, but virtual servers is one of the current buzz words in the world of servers, and it is only very recently that I have realised why. Even then I don't know if my reasoning is correct, but it was having to re-build my main web server recently that sparked off the idea that a virtual server would be good for me too. The handy thing is that the whole system, and that includes the operating system, all the files that support it, and all the data files that the web server serves as web pages, are stored inside just one big file on the host computer as an image of the virtual hard disk. That file can be copied, and then transported to another PC, and no matter what operating system is used as the host, the virtual machine can always run in a fixed environment defined by the Virtualbox program itself. A virtual machine would not be practical for all the functions my server provides, but for the web server part it would be ideal.
Friday 9th October 2009
 08:12 BST

 There should be some sunshine this morning, but it seems the sun just can't find any of the numerous holes in the cloud. A further glance out of the window revelas he sun is shining now, but although I could see plenty of patches of blue sky while commuting into work, there was no dazzling sunshine to see. With so little cloud in the sky it was no real surprise that this morning is very chilly. It is still a good few degress above the point where frost could form, but each morning it gets closer and closer.

 Earlier in the week the forecast was that today would likely be a sunny day. The forecast in the notoriously spurious Metro newspaper seems to suggest exactly the opposite. The evidence of my own eyes is that there is plenty of potential for sunshine now, but the clouds could thicken later. I think it unlikely that it will rain.

 Yesterday was, to my great surprise, a gloriously sunny day. All that sun did little to raise the air temperature, but where the air was fairly still I could feel it warming up my clothing, and the black jeans I was wearing in particular. Whether it was all that sunshine, or just the natural progression of things, but I feel less unwell today than I did yesterday. The big improvement is to the top of my body. The strange quasi pain from what I think was (and probably still is) a dental problem has almost faded to nothing, and my stiff and painful shoulders (and collar bones and a fair bit of my upper chest) are almost back to normal. The lower half of my body is what is causing me some discomfort today. My lower back, and my right hip, are the most troublesome areas. The pain in my right hip seems to penetrate right into my groin on some occasions. My right foot has also had a few twinges. The good news is that all these aches, pains, and stiffness have improved quite a lot since leaving home. As I sit at my work desk I am mostly comfortable, although I know that I will be as stiff as a board for the first 19.37 seconds once I stand up and try and walk - but that's pretty common even on a good day !

 I feel that I may be lucky to have arrived at work on time, or indeed a bit early. When my train called at New Cross station I noticed there were permanent way workers, in their screaming orange high visibility workwear, scattered about all over the place. I have no idea what they were there for specifically, but I can imagine all the trains being stopped, or at least badly delayed, while they swarm all over the tracks doing some sort of repair. A check of SouthEasterns web pages reveals nothing apart from delays caused by a lineside fire at Brixton. That's only a few miles from New Cross as the crow flies, but many, many miles away by train.

 I am still rather looking forward to the weekend. If Saturday was exceptionally sunny like yesterday I would almost have to make the effort to jump on a train, and take another long walk by the sea. I don't think that will happen, but there is still tonight to look forward to. I am still waiting on confirmation that we will be definitely be meeting, but about a month ago Dee invited me to meet for a drink together early tonight. It would be nice to see Dee, and it would also be nice to get in a couple of drinks. In theory I could stay in the pub later than usual because it if a Friday night, but I'll still probably be itching to be in bed by 9 pm. If I don't get any confirmation from Dee I will still go to the pub, but I doubt I will feel any particular urge to stay late. In fact I might get an urge to order a curry, or a chinese takeaway tonight. I haven't had either for quite a long time now - it must be months at least. A really good feast tonight would probably mean that I would be unfit to go out tomorrow, and that is unfortunate because that is probably the time I would need the exercise most !
Thursday 8th October 2009
08:16 BST

 It was very nice to be dazzled by the sun rising above the cemetary as my train pulled into Earlsfield station. The sky is about 50% clear at the moment, and with luck it will stay that way (with even more luck the cloud will this further). It does seem rather cool out this morning, but it could have been worse. Yesterday's cloud lingered until the early hours of the morning, and that kept some heat in. Some parts of England, to the north of London, saw clear skies overnight, and there are reports that they had a frost this morning. I think the best daytime temperature we can hope for today is forecast to be 18 C. That's not too bad, and is allegedly typical for this time of year.

 Yesterday I wrote that I predicted some rain for yesterday. I was right ! It was mostly dry until after I had left work to go home. While waiting for my train I felt a few drops of rain swirling about, but by the time I arrived back at Catford the rain was moderately heavy, and it continued like that until sometime in the night.

 When I arrived back at Catford I headed straight for the pub where I was meeting Iain. I was still feeling an undefined unwellness, and a couple of pints made me feel so much better. Iain was a little late getting to the pub, so what should have been just two pints turned into three pints again. After those three pints I went and "raided" Tesco. I had three priority purchases to make - catfood, bottles of diet coke, and fruit for my lunch at work. That is all I really needed, but I bought other stuff as well that I proceeded to stuff myself with once I got home. I'll not list what I ate, but I will admit it was far more than I should have eaten.

 Even with a visit to the pub and to Tesco, I was still able to get into bed not very long after 8 pm, and once again I fell asleep very quickly. Between about 1 am and 1.30 am I didn't sleep. I had anticipated that I would get some disturbance in the night, and I was not wrong. Smudge had declined to go out during the evening because of the rain, but by 1 am she was getting desperate. After sniffing the air from a respectable distance from the open back door a couple of times she eventually could not stand the discomfort anymore, and finally went outside to attend to her needs. I think the rain had stopped by then, or if not it had dwindled down to just a light sprinkle. So I quickly shut the door and went back to bed. I don't think I slept as well as I had earlier, and I did wake up before my alarm went off, but only by 10 - 15 minutes. When I went downstairs I wondered if I would be greeted by a soggy cat, but Smudge was barely damp when I let her back in.

 I felt very rough again when I woke up this morning. My head was aching slightly, but the worst aspect was the pain from shoulder to shoulder across my back, and extending to my neck as well. Other joints and muscles also ached, or were stiff, but that upper back pain was the worst bit. It is still painful now. I think the malady I am suffering from this week is a combination of many things. I have definitely been eating far too much recently, and that is taking it's toll in many ways. There is also one other problem that I think is a dental problem. I have been suffering from something that is unlike toothache, but seems to be centred somewhere on my lower right jaw.It's not a sharp pain like toothache. In fact it is not always a pain at all, but sometimes a sort of tight feeling, but the closest description is like the pain from an old injury that is almost, but not quite healed. The area is not sensitive to pressure from any direction, and that is one reason why I find it hard to define exactly where the seat of the problem is. A random, but almost unrepeatable movement of my jaw can bring about some mild pain, but as I say, I can't repeat that same movement to get the same effect to investigate further. I feel that I am probably suffering from some sort of infection under the gum. It is definitely not an abscess, well not yet it's not, and is probably something far simpler like cancer eating away at the bone. With luck it'll clear itself up soon.

 I think I am quite looking forward to the weekend now. I am not seeing Aleemah so I can choose to do whatever feels good at the time. Considering how I've been feeling this week, it will be quite a hard decision to make if I choose to go out exploring, and if it was Saturday morning right now I think I would be turning the heating up high in preparation for a long bit of "advanced relaxation".
Wednesday 7th October 2009
 08:39 BST

 I thought we were going to have a sunrise this morning, but we didn't. When I left home to go to work I could see patches of clear sky to the east, but it seems they were filled in by more cloud before the sun could reach the horizon. Although very cloudy, it hasn't rained this morning - yet ! Using the statsistically more accurate way of forecasting the weather by just saying today will be like yesterday, I predict that there will be some rain today, and there is the potential for some heavy showers.

 All this thick grey cloud, and lack of sunshine is rather depressing, but there is one saving grace to it - it has kept a lot of warmth in. Yesterday did apparently reach 20 C, and it certainly felt like it. I was feeling rough yesterday, and I took the easy way out by getting the bus from near work for the two stops to the station. Having arrived at the station I suddenly realised that a train was due at any moment. Considering how weak I thought I felt I should have ignored that and made a more sedate climb up the three flights of stairs to the platform. I was quite early, and I could have caught the two following train, and still made it to Waterloo in time for my connection (although the second train would have made things a bit tight). Maybe some adrenalin kicked in, or something, but I raced up those stairs, two at a time, and almost made it to the far end of the platform before the train drew up alongside of me. After those couple of minutes of exteme rushing around I felt very hot, and quite sweaty. It still felt hot as we approached Waterloo, but fortunately my heart rate had settled down almsot as far back as Clapham Junction.

 While racing up those stairs at Earlsfield was quite exhilerating, it did have a knock on effect. I definitely lost any will to race up the escalators at Waterloo, and I felt incredibly tired as I walked home from Catford Bridge station. I felt so tired that I was in bed, and probably asleep by 8 pm. For the first time this week, and perhaps a little before that, I had a full 8 hours sleep. During the night I got up twice, as far as I can remember. Once was to let Smudge out at 11:20 pm, and the other was at some time in the early hours to have a pee - I think. Memories of having that pee has a sort of surreal feel to it. Maybe it was a dream, or maybe I was only half awake when I had it. What is definite was that the next thing I was aware of was my alarm going off. That in itself is a rarity. It is set for 5 am, but it is quite usual for me to be up as early as 4 am on some mornings.

 After all that sleep I should have felt good this morning. I certainly don't feel tired like I did yesterday, but I did have to have a couple of Ibuprofen tablets before I left to come to work. Some of the aches and pains I can blame on the damp weather, and maybe sleeping so heavily last night, possibly not in the most comfortable positions, may have contributed to the back (upper and lower), and leg/joint pains, but it doesn't account for the headache, amongst other areas of discomfort. The ibuprofen finally kicked in as I arrived at Earlsfield station - just over an hour after taking it - and since then I have not felt too bad. Maybe I'll feel even better as the day wears on, but I fear that after sitting here typing, and doing some slightly more work related stuff for the past hour, my legs are going to feel painfully still when I stand up to go outside for a fag.

 Tonight I think I am going to try for another full 8 hours sleep. To help with this I have a cunning plan. I need to get some shopping in Tesco on my way home from work, and that means walking very close to The Ram. Maybe a couple of pints of beer, not three like last week, but just two, will aid my relaxation a bit. I wonder if I can get to sleep by 8 pm tonight ?
Tuesday 6th October 2009
 08:20 BST

 I think it would be fair to say that this morning is mild and wet. In fact it is very wet ! As I looked out the window at the night sky before leaving for work, it seemed as if I could see many breaks in the cloud. Also, Smudge who went out for nearly an hour this morning, came in almost dry. The only dampness on her appeared to be where she had ducked under some wet foliage. On the basis of those two observations I thought that it wasn't raining, and at the time I was probably right, but as I left the house the rain started to fall. Fortunately the rain was not that heavy apart from when I was under the shelter of the the platform awning at Waterloo East. For a minute, or so, the rain sounded really heavy, but maybe it was just because it was falling on a tin roof.

 I did wonder what I would do if I found that the rain has increased to torrential level as I neared Earlsfield. Was I to change into my ultra wet weather gear on the train, or not ? Changing coats would be OK, but putting on my over-trousers could have been a bit exciting. The pair I have in my bag, ready for such occasions, have never really been tested. In particular I have never tried pulling them on over my shoes and trousers.  I know they fit in theory, but at some point I am going to have to test that theory for real. If the weather stays as wet as it is now that test could come at lunch time if I go for a walk in the park.

 Yesterday was very wet in the morning. I put my cagoule to good use everytime I went outside for a fag. It's quite handy for that. By the afternoon the rain mostly cleared up, but I can't recall the sun breaking through at any point.

 Last night I went to bed quite early. In fact I think it was soon after 8 pm, but it may not have been a good idea to go to bed that early despite feeling tired. I did not sleep that well. Soon after turning out the light I entered a strange state that I can't really distinguish between dream and imagination. Perhaps it was just really advanced lucid dreaming. It was about recycling PCs at some sort of facility near to the coast somewhere. I didn't actually seem to be there, but somehow I seemed to have a lot of input as to how the PCs should be recycled. All the PCs were identical externally, but they had different amounts of memory in them. I advocated trying to get 512 MB of memory in each one by taking out the excess in machines that had more, and adding it the machines that had less. Then I advocated that each machine should have Linux Mint installed on it before it was either given away, or sold for a nominal sum. When I try and think back to what was happening last night I think I may have an answer. I was probably dreaming about imagining how I would recycle PCs. That satisfies the difficulty of working out "was it a dream" or "was I just letting my imagination run wild" !

 Have you ever noticed that there is some sort of conspiracy to sell men trousers with the legs too long. This can apply to any form of trousers, but to jeans in particular. This morning at Waterloo was not a fair test because the were too many men wearing business suits, but I am sure that in the high street, or away from the morning rush hour at any station, you will spot as many as 1 in 3 men with the bottom of their trouser legs scuffing along the ground. That was definitely so of me yesterday. In dry weather it is not so bad, but yesterday my trouser legs were getting far too soggy as I walked around in the rain. It was time to do something about it ! I did the preparation last night by cutting off a full 3 inches from the bottom of the trouser legs. They were too soggy to do anything else to them, but this morning I used some Uhu glue to make new hems (if you can call them hems) on each leg. I just turned in the bottom half inch of material and stuck it to the inside of the leg. I was quite confident about doing this as I had tried it on a pair of jeans back during the spring. It works, and it works quite well. It would be going to far to suggest that any clothes look good on me, but the black jeans I am wearing right now definitely look less bad on me compared to how they looked yesterday ! If you ever want to try this at home it is important to use the right glue. Experiments I did years ago with PVA "wood glue" worked exceeding well until the trousers were washed. The PVA glue withstands getting wet with rainwater, but melts in the presence of hot water and detergent. Uhu glue, which is little more than clear plastic dissolved in thinners, seems totally waterproof - so far !
Monday 5th October 2009
08:49 BST

 For the first time in what feels like ages it was raining as I made my way to work. The rain was mostly light, but there was a brief spell of slightly heavier rain while I waited for my train at Catford Bridge. I am happy to say that my new winter coat did a good job of keeping me dry, although I still feel that it may not actually be warm enough for very cold weather. If the rain had been considerably heavier I would have had a chance to try out my cagoule and waterproof over-trousers combination, and maybe I will tomorrow.

 It is due to be quite overcast with intermittent light rain all day today, and the temperature is only expected to reach around 16 C. Tomorrow should have some sunshine, be a lot warmer, and yet have some very heavy downpours. I think it will probably be a better day than today. The endless gloom of today does little to raise my spirits.

 Yesterday saw a reasonable amount of sunshine, and by the afternoon it did feel somewhere better than mild, and maybe close to warm. In such weather I should have carried out my threat to go for a long walk while my dinner slowly cooked in the oven. I didn't ! I got off to a bad start for walking by having some breakfast. Having a proper breakfast is a rare event for me, and having something as traditional as eggs, bacon and tomatoes for breakfast is an even rarer occurence. I served it with lashings of tomato and chilli sauce, and it was delicious !

 So I didn't go out at all yesterday, but I didn't do that much indoors either. I washed a sheet, pillowcases and duver cover, and I cooked my dinner too. Of course it wasn't actually me who did thse things. The washing machine took care of the washing, but I had to hang the stuff up to dry. The oven cooked my dinner, but I still had to serve, and eat it. It was slowly roasted lamb with (ready prepared) roast poatoes served with mint jelly. I have to say it was rather delicious, and I am looking forward to part 2 tonight as I use the leftovers.

 I think that just about sums up my Sunday. I am sure I must have done other stuff, and maybe I did, but obviously it was of no consequence or I would write more about it.
Saturday 3rd October 2009
18:01 BST

 The warm weather has definitely come to an end - at least for now, anyway. This morning could have been a lot colder, but there was plenty of cloud around overnight, and it is still cloudy now. That has kept some of the heat in, but there is quite a bit of wind, and that can make it feel quite chilly outside. Although it has been very cloudy all day, there has been some sunshine today. I estimate there was as much as a whole ten minutes of sunshine !

 Indoors it did get cool enough that I put the heater on half in the living room for the afternoon. That was quite sufficient to get the room more than comfortable while Aleemah and I were sitting quietly watching a DVD. As usual it was Aleemah's choice of DVD, and today we watched the film "Telstar". It was a film that I had been curious to see, and I was surprised, and happy, that Aleemah brought it along for us to watch today. I have to say that I was disappointed with it. It was good in parts, but I guess I was just being an anorak when I thought that more technical stuff should have been shown during the film. A significant factor in the Joe Meek story, who the film was about, was that as well as his personality problems, which the film laboured over, he was also a technical genius in the recording studio. Some explanation of just how he was a technical genius would not have gone amiss. One "attraction" of the film was the music in it, and indeed some of it was good, but there was also a lot of music of a style that pre-dates my personal tastes. I like golden oldies, but Lonnie Donegan, et al, seems positively prehistoric to me ! Skiffle groups were a sort of dark ages between the romance (or something) of Frank Sinatra, and the energy and zest for life of the "the 60's" !

 One notable thing I did today was to try out my new winter jacket that I bought from Peacocks last week. (OK, mabe it's not notable, but I am going to record it anyway). It seemed there could be a chance of light rain when I went out to meet Aleemah at the station, and it seemed cool enough to give it a test run. It is both good and bad. I don't think it will be a particularly warm coat to wear, but I can wear it fully done up in perfect comfort, and I think it will be pretty waterproof. It doesn't seem to hang quite right unless it is done up, but either I will get used to that, or it will sort itself out as I wear it more. For some reason I thought it was a lot heavier than it appears to be when I wear it. In fact I think that I could probably roll it up into quite a small space, and that could be handy, probably in the spring, when on warmer days I might prefer not to wear it on my way home from work, for instance.

 It seems that I have a very wide choice of clothes to wear lately. This is odd for me. I guess it is because everybody else is catching up with my body size, and on odd occasions I shrink to pass them on their way up. (It's rare, but it does happen). Once upon a time it was hard to find clothes that fir, but now it seems easy. So I have a choice of three coats to wear, plus the cagoule for ultra wet weather, and it seems I have a plethora of shirts and t-shirts. Even trousers, always a difficult area in the past, seeem easy to get, and once again I have a large choice to wear. Never before have I had such a choice. It's all a bit exciting when I think about it that way (which is not very often, but it does happen - like right now).

 Tomorrow I could go out for a long walk, but I am not sure if I will. For all my collection of coats, etc. for all weathers, and in particular for wet weather, for which I made special plans, I feel I don't have the urge to go out exploring on dull, overcast days. One forecast suggests that tomorrow could actually be a fairly bright day, and in which case a walk wouldn't be so bad. There is one other reason both for and against a long walk. Tomorrow I am having roast lamb for dinner. It is a cheap cut of meat that I bought this morning, and I thing a long slow cook would be best for it. I am think in terms of 2, or more hours - possibly as long as 4. A good walk before eating dinner would be an excellent idea, but obviously I can't go too far if I leave the lamb cooking in the oven. In effect that means I would have to walk locally, and walking locally is very boring. So on balance I think I will be staying in tomorrow, but maybe I'll get a call to go for a couple of beers while my dinner cooks, and that would actually be ideal. As I sit here thinking about it I wonder if I should take some reading matter along to the pub, and have a couple of beers on my own anyway. There is definietly some attraction to that idea !
Friday 2nd October 2009
08:08 BST

 This morning it is unambiguously cold. It's still several degrees above the point where frost could have formed, but a lot cooler than yesterday morning, and I reluctantly had to wear a coat to work. As  I went to bed last night the sky seemed very clear, and the moon was shining brightly. It was that clear sky that allowed the temperature to drop so far, but at first light it was obvious that the sky was very cloudy again. If night had come several hours later it may have been warmer this morning.

 Although there is a lot of cloud right now, it looks fairly thin, and there are even a few small streaks of blue visible. So it looks like it will stay dry today, but apparently rain is a possibility for tomorrow.

 I must complain about the quality of computers being dumped lately. It seems ages since a computer was last dumped by the skip here at work. One tatty one was dumped yesterday, and I hauled it upstairs, into the workshop, to dissect it. There was no hard drive in it, but it did have a x52 CD rom drive still fitted. The original case front would have also served as the front of the floppy drive, but that was missing. The motherboard was a rather glorious shade of deep purple. I've never seen such a motherboard before, and I was quite looking forward to being able to use it sometime (for some unknown reason). Unfortunately it was dead ! I think the processor, an 850MHz AMD Duron, looked as if it had badly overheated. That may not have been a problem except that the processor was not in a socket, but was soldered directly to the motherboard. I think that is probably the only PC motherboard that I have ever seen that didn't put the processor in a socket. (For non "PC" computers, Apple Mac's in particular, not using a socket was quite common). In theory I could have unsoldered the processor and replaced it, but with over 400 pins to unsolder, and no guarantee that I had made a correct diagnosis, it was not a worthwhile exercise. I threw away the motherboard, and all I was left with was the CD rom drive, a couple of fans, and a mere 64 MB of memory on two miserly 32 MB sticks. The last thing I saved was the power supply. It appears to work OK, but more importantly it is of a special type. It fits like a standard ATX power supply, but is half length. I have a PC at home that uses a half length power supply, and no amount of shoehorning would enable a full size replacement to fit. So having a spare that will fit is a very handy thing. Shame about that glorious deep purple coloured motherboard though......

 The days are getting shorter and shorter, and towards the end of this month (the 25th ?) the clocks will change to make my commuting even more miserable. This morning I caught the early train, and I don't think I could actually see anything out of the train windows until we had almost reached London Bridge station. Soon that will be happening even when I get my normal rain, and eventually it will still be dark at London Bridge, then Waterloo East, then Waterloo, then Vauxhall, then Clapham Junction, then Earlsfield, until it will be dark even when I arrive at work. Fortunately I will still be arriving home after work in daylight for a little while yet, but once the clock change back to GMT even that will become a bit of a luxury. From now on you can look forward to me moaning about commenting on the lack of daylight quite a lot (as I do every winter).
Thursday 1st October 2009
 08:19 BST

 The forecast for today, at least how it was a few days ago, was that today would be significantly cooler than yesterday, and yet this morning I was still able to come to work without a coat on, and with my shirt sleeves rolled up. It was on the edge of the comfort zone like that, and maybe I wouldn't want to stand around for any length of time, but today everything was fine. I think tomorrow will be similar to today.

 The reason why it did not get as cool as the forecast would have us believe is because there was still a fair amount of cloud overnight. Yesterday stayed very cloudy until shortly before sunset. It looked like all the cloud would clear, and we would indeed wake up to a very cold morning, but first light this morning revealed that the sky was very cloudy. Since then the cloud has broken up again, and as I type this the sun has come out. Maybe today could end up being pleasantly mild if the sun can stay out for a good few hours.

 I felt very strange yesterday. My stomach remained ever so slightly tender until well into the afternoon. I also felt tired all day. I decided what I needed was a beer on my way home from work, and that's what I had. I thought I was going to meet Iain at 4:50 pm, but he was about 20 minutes late getting to the pub. The result of that was that I had three pints instead of the two I intended to have. I left the pub feeling the first effects of the alcohol, and that was good. What was bad is that it gave me a raging appetite. I ended up eating what I had planned for dinner plus more on top of that.

 I don't know if it was the extra food, or just another effect of what ever it is has been ailing me for the past few days, but twice during the night I woke up with very mild cramps in the calf muscle of my left leg. I may have been lucky in waking up early enough to recognise and treat the symptoms before it turned from discomfort into agony. The treatment I find best for muscle cramps in bed is to leap out of bed as fast as possible, stand up, and in extreme cases, walk around for a short while.

 Like the night before, I had more erotic dreams, and like the night before (and possibly 99.99% of all the erotic dreams I have had) things got exciting, but nothing actually happened ! One curious aspect of one of the dreams I had last night is that I have no idea who the woman of my fantasies was. It was certainly no one I know, but I suspect she was a sort of composite made up of many women. Another curious aspect was that in my dream she was a hired maid - hired by my mum. Well my mum has been dead for many years now, and I can't think of any time in my life when we could have even come within 1% of having enough cash to pay for a maid. So this dream was 200% pure fantasy. Still, it was enjoyable while it lasted !