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October 2010
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My Diary/Blog For the Month of October 2010

Sunday 31st October 2010
08:09 GMT
 
 It is a grey and rather damp morning, but it is still relatively mild. While it doesn't seem to be raining at this precise minute it could start again at any time.  Perhaps it could brighten up later, but I doubt it. Yesterday didn't start off quite as grey as today is, and while there were some rather pleasant sunny intervals, there were also many times when it rained.

 I have had an incredibly busy week, but now I think I can relax. I finished off my project, as far as I knew, by only staying an extra hour and a bit after work on Friday. Then I rushed back to Waterloo to hand over the results of my labours, and to pick up my reward which included a pint of Stella Artois. After the pint I missed a train by a minute and had to wait 29 minutes for the next train back to Catford.

 I arrived home feeling both content and very weary. I could have eaten some sandwichs I bought at Waterloo, or I could have cooked something to eat, but I decided to treat myself to a large Chinese meal ordered from one of the numerous local restaurants. It was the first Chinese I have had in ages. Curiously enough I found that it was not as exciting as I thought it would be. Some bits were truly delicious, but other bits seemed not so special. Like many things, I think my tastes have changed over the years, or maybe my taste buds have just become jaded. Somethings just do not taste as exciting as they smell. Two particular smells get me dribbling, and they are frying steaks, and the aroma that drifts across (for instance) Soho from all the Chinese restaurants there. Yet compared to the smell I find the taste of those almost disappointing.

 Ideally I should have gone to bed as early as possible on Friday night. I was tired, and I had Aleemah visiting the next day with plenty of housework to do before her visit. Instead I stayed up quite late for me. The next morning I found, not unsurprisingly, that I just could not get myself into gear. After a lot of just pottering around I finally managed to get myself washed and dressed, and the bare neccesities of housework done before Aleemah was on the phone telling me what train she would be on from London Bridge.

 I met Aleemah at the station, and as usual we went to the cafe for breakfast. I had only just entered the cafe when my mobile phone rang. It was an emergency call asking if I could go over to west London to sort out some problems of the stuff I had built. I couldn't dump Aleemah there and then so I had to say no, but that I might manage it later in the afternoon.

 The problem with the stuff I had built was that it was only part of a bigger whole, and it was impossible for me to test it before handing it over. Aleemah left to go home at around 2pm and I set out for west London on the 14:36 train to Victoria from Catford station.  There was a some light, but getting heavier, rain as I walked to the station. As well as the rain there was also still some bright sunshine. Between Nunhead and Peckham Rye stations the train runs on and embankment, and for a brief moment there are no trees or buildings obscuring a very wide panoramic view. As we passed that spot there was a bright rainbow in the sky, and unusually I had a perfect view of it's entire arc with both ends appearing to touch down to the ground.

 I arrived in west London just five minutes late of my estimated time on 3.30pm and got to work. I was there for almost three hours. During that time I found I had made one mistake and repeated it 6 times ! I had also made one bad soldered connection. Although these were my mistakes I will still be nicely rewarded for being dragged out on a Saturday afternoon, and for not being given any means of testing my work beforehand. So even though it was all a pain in the arse, which included just missing a train home home again, and having to wait around Victoria station for almost 30 minutes for the next one, I came away quite happy, and besides which it was all a bit of an adventure.

  As I approached Catford I got a text message from the designer of the stuff, who had been out while I worked on it,  confirming that he was happy with it.  In case you are curious as to what it was I was building, it was a motor control circuit for a clean water pumping facility that is due to be demonstrated to some officials in Ethiopia tomorrow - hence the mad rush to get it finished ready to be flown out today.

 Once again I got home very late, and also rather hungry.  Last night I treated myself to plain old fish and chips. It was very nice, but once again not nearly as nice as the smell of the fish and chips that someone had brought onto the train on my way home ! Funnily enough I have heard many people say that the nicest chips ever are the ones that someone else is eating !

 Today I would like to do a whole lot of nothing, but it is not quite as simple as that. I have to get some shopping in having not had time to do any in the week. I also have a few bags of laundry to do, and I still haven't started on the artwork for the CDs I am making for chain. The shopping should not take that long, and the laundry mostly looks after itself. Inventing artwork is almost relaxing. So maybe I can have a mostly relaxing day unless.....................
Friday 29th October 2010
08:39 BST
 
 Who knows what the weather may bring today ? It is rather grey outside right now, but it is dry, and it is relatively mild. I think there is a chance it might rain later, but it's only a small chance. If I was very lucky today would be the opposite of yesterday when it started off bright before clouding over after midday.

 I feel really tired today. Staying late at work is really too much like hard work ! Last night I stayed even later, and didn't get home until close to 8pm. Tonight I may have to stay late again, but not as late as last night. Hopefully I won't have to stay at all, and I can enjoy the pleasure of one final journey home in daylight. On Sunday the clocks go back to give us an extra hour of daylight in the morning (when nobody actually needs it), and we lose an hour of daylight in the evening (when everybody does need it). I am very surprised this doesn't raise the suicide rate - or does it ?

 Talking of suicides. I have brought my tablet PC back to life by installing the old software back on it again. Evidently I am using the special update software correctly to be able to do this, and that strongly suggests that the software posted on the makers website is actually faulty ! It is quite handy that I work with a Chinaman because upon installing the old software the tablet booted up into Chinese, and although I could probably have worked my way through the menus to find where to change the language, it was far easier for my workmate to just read the Chinese characters and push the right buttons. Incidently, he checked the website where I downloaded the new (and old) software, and confirmed that the non-working software was definitely intended for my device.
Thursday 28th October 2010
08:10 BST
 
 Sunrise happened approximately at the time I reached Waterloo East station this morning. As I walked from Waterloo East to Waterloo station I could see the whole eastern sky lighting up in pinks and purples. That was not a good sign. Such a sunrise suggests bad weather is on it's way. At the moment there is a fair amount of streaky cloud high in the sky, but I think it will soon cloud over, and maybe later on it will rain.......or I could be totally wrong !

 My powers of forecasting the weather seem to be no better than the official weather forecasters recently. Yesterday I thought that the rain and drizzle would continue through much of the day, but I was very wrong. First the rain dried up, and then by mid-morning the cloud began to break up, and from then on we had quite a lot of sunshine. It even became close to being warm, and with very little wind it did feel warm while standing in the direct sunshine (and it did warm my office up nicely).

 My extended days at work are beginning to take their toll on me. I didn't get home until almost 7.30pm last night, and that left precious little time to do anything. I watched half of an episode of Start Trek Voyager while I ate my dinner (3 cans of soup), and then I got sucked into watching a documentary about the ordeal of the Chilean miners, and their rescue after 68 days trapped underground. As soon as the credits began to roll at the end of that I went straight up to bed, and after brushing my teeth I was actually in bed by one minute past 9pm.

 This morning I did wake up a few minutes before my alarm was due to go off, but I feel rather tired still. That's not "sleepy" tired, but something more akin to fatigue. Given the choice I could have quite happily gone back to bed and maybe slept for a bit more, or just idled a hour or two away reading. In some ways, coming to work was actually a good thing. Before leaving for work my back, amongst other places, did feel rather stiff and creaky, but that has now eased up. Oddly enough, two parts of me did seem in rather good order this morning. They were my legs, and they seemed to want to carry me faster and further than the rest of my body thought was a good idea.

 Today I will be staying at work late again, and maybe even later than last night. I am very close to the end of my project, and if staying an extra half hour enables me to complete it I will probably do that so I can get away as early as possible tomorrow night. Meanwhile, if I can fit it in between the official work I have to do, I want to do some stuff to my new tablet PC. I had a little accident with it yesterday. In attempting to upgrade it something went a bit wrong. Maybe there were bugs in the very freshly released firmware that only appeared on the manufacturers website just hours before I attempted to use it. In it's current state the thing boots up into Android, but a "driver" problem means that the touch screen is not being read, and as that is the only input to the device apart from the standby button* it is a little tricky to do anything with it. Recovering from this situation is possible, but it is going to involve a lot of tricky work delving deep into the bowels of the operating system via a USB link.

* It is possible to plug in a USB mouse or USB keyboard, and these do have some functionality, but probably not enough for my needs right now.
Wednesday 27th October 2010
08:31 BST
 

  It seems to be very mild this morning, but this isn't that surprising. We are blanketed by a thick cover of cloud right now, and have been since mid-morning yesterday. That cloud is leaking ! Sometime between 10am and 11am yesterday it started to rain. It wasn't heavy rain - sometimes just drizzle, and occasionally a little harder - but it has being doing it on and off since then, and it looks like it will continue through the whole of today.

 Not that much has been happening lately. I've been staying late at work doing some stuff, and then enduring horrible journeys home on packed trains. Once I get home I have little time to do any more than eat three cans of soup while watching TV, finish watching the TV programme, and then start preparing for bed. This will go on for two more nights (and no longer - I hope), but there is a reward at the end of doing this that wil be handy.

 One little thing has brightened up my days - at least for a little while. I spotted, and bought, a cheap tablet PC. It came via Amazon.co.uk, and was brand new, but reduced in price because the packing had been damaged. The unit itself is in first class condition, and up to a certain point works perfectly. It is not without it's problems though. The Android 2.1 firmware installed does not make full use of the electronic facilities that are inside the unit. A later firmware release, apparently released just this morning, and which I have downloaded, may address these problems.

 At the moment I would say the unit is half as good as an iPad, but at a cost of less than a quarter of the cost (maybe even a sixth of the cost). I must confess it is just a toy, and although it's bigger screen makes doing some stuff easier, there is nothing it can do that my Android smartphone can't do. Maybe as I learn more about it (chiefly when I carry out the worrisome task of upgrading the firmware), and play with it for longer, I will find that it is particularly useful for something or another. For now it is just a shiny new toy, and that's always good for the ego.
Tuesday 26th October 2010
08:03 BST
 

 The night started off clear as a bell, and I expected a thick white frost this morning. While I slept, oblivious to what was happening outside, the clouds gathered and kept some of the daytime warmth in. So this morning started off cold, but not icy cold. It seems the forecast is that the clouds will continue to get thicker as the day progresses. It probably won't rain, but it is going to be depressingly dull and gloomy.

 In complete contrast to how today will probably be, yesterday was glorious. The sun shone for most of the daylight hours, and with hardly any wind it did feel hot standing in those glorious rays. Away from the direct sunshine the air remained cool, but not really chilly (although the lack of wind helped there too).

 Four interesting things have happened in the last 24 hours. The first was a little before 6.30pm last night. As I walked along the platform at Waterloo East station I considered calling Patricia to see if there was any news about her mum who had been taken poorly last week. Before making a call I popped into the toilets, and just as I was finishing adjusting my clothing to go out my phone rang and it was Patricia. Was that a case of syncronicity, or just chance ?

 The next thing happened later in the evening. Smudge, who had been sleeping all day, popped out briefly when I got home, but was soon back inside sleeping some more, is evidently not doing her duty. While Smudge was snoring in the living room I spotted a mouse dive behine the cooker in the kitchen. At least I think it was a mouse. I only caught a blur out of the corner of my eye. Maybe it was a large spider, but if it was as big as I think it was I would rather it be a mouse ! There is a third possibility. It could have just been a ball of cat fur that got caught in a breeze as I opened the door.

 Event three happened in my sleep. I had a dream that was exceptional for the amount of erotic content in it.To describe why it was so exceptional would mean describing the whole dream, and I am not going to do that here, but there are one or two things I can say about it. My partner in this erotic dream adventure was a beautiful woman who I only saw for the first time in many years sometime earlier this year. It comes as a complete mystery to me why she should pop up in a dream last night. If I had seen or heard anything about her in the last few days I could blame that, but as far as I am aware I haven't even had a fleeting thought about her for weeks. It was also curious as to the level of detail in the dream. It may be the first ever erotic dream that I have had that I would describe as having happening in full 3D with stereophonic sound !

 My fourth odd happening happend between geeting up and leaving to come to work. I had fed Smudge, and let her out before going back upstairs to get ready to shower and shave. At the top of the stairs I heard a loud buzzing noise. At first I thought it might be some sort of elctrical problem - possibly the fan heater in my bedroom about to blow up - but the noise was coming from the bathroom. As I approached the bathroom the buzzing stopped, but there on the white bath mat in all it's black and yellow stripeyness was a huge wasp. Yesterday's bit of warm sunshine must have woken it up, and it had flown into my bathroom and waited somewhere. It was very cold in my bathroom, and the wasp appeared very torpid. I covered it with a large glass, and initially it did fly around for a second or two. As I tried to tip it out of the glass through the open window it became more torpid as the even colder air hit it. As I write this it is still in the glass with a face flannel over the glass to keep it in. I don't know if it will still be alive when I get home, but I will deal with it then when, unlike this morning, I am dressed and not naked, feeling very exposed and vulnerable !
Monday 25th October 2010
08:24 BST
 
  I am hesitant to describe this morning as being really good because it is so cold, but I should do really.  There is not even a frost this morning so it can't be that bad. The sun rose in a mostly clear sky, and that sky seems even clearer now.  Even before the rising sun turned the sky from deepest violet to bright blue the moon was shining brightly. Something at the back of my mind tells me that I missed the full moon, maybe the night before, but this morning, and even now , it is presenting most of a full disk.

 I am not sure of the significance of the full moon apart from it shines brightly, and Neil Young wrote a song about a harvest moon. According to the BBC's "Countryfile" programme on TV last night, it is actually harvest time for winemaking grapes from the Welsh vineyards in Monmouthshire. So I declare that last nights moon was a harvest moon, and in recognition of that we should all go round humming (or singing if you are so capable) Neil Young's "Harvest Moon".


 Yesterday the weather stayed good, but obviously rather cool, right up until just before 6pm. At precisely 6pm we had a hailstorm. It didn't last that long, and it wasn't even followed up by much rain, but had it gone on a little longer the ground would have looked white as if it had snowed.

 All my plans for yesterday afternoon went awry. Instead of designing artwork, slaving over a hot inkjet printer, and cutting up bits of photopaper like I though I would do I read a book. Not an entire book, but quite a lot of one. It was the book called "Five To Twelve" by Edmond Cooper.  It is a scifi book, and the title refers to the ratio of men to women living in a future world. It was written in 1968 when the oral female contraceptive was first introduced, and speculates about a future where a fallling birthrate, combined with longevity treatment, has favoured the female half of the population, and they have become as dominant in that future as man was to woman in our past.  I have read it at least once before, and maybe more than that. It is a jolly good read, and although sex is never described it is quite erotic in places.

 Over the course of the afternoon, and then in the evening until almost an hour after I planned to go to sleep, I read threequarters of the book, and I reckon I will probably finish it tonight despite not having that much time spare then.
Sunday 24th October 2010
12:22 BST
 
  This morning has been bright and sunny, but also very chilly.  What was a clear blue sky is now filling with light patchy cloud. If today follows the pattern of yesterday it will eventually rain as the evening approaches.  Yesterday's evening rain came very quickly after a bright afternoon, but I think it only lasted for half an hour, or maybe a bit longer. Once the daylight faded away I didn't really pay that much attention to what was going on outside.

 I seemed to spend most of yesterday preparing a couple of audio CD's of Chain's performance at The Catford Ram on Friday 15th October. I had mostly prepared the audio files earlier, but there was more to it than that. The entire performance takes up 2 CDs, and I decided to make 5 sets of disks. So I had to burn 10 disks, design Lightscribe artwork for the two different disks, and then burn the artwork onto the disks. It was the latter job that took so long. It takes about 20 minutes to burn the Lightscribe label onto each disk, and although I can do other stuff while the disk is "cooking" I still have to change disks once the previous one is done.

 The last disk was finally complete at about midnight. Obviously with that going on I didn't go out to see Chain play in Dunton Green. Although I would have liked to see them play there would have been a lot of obstacles to overcome to get me to Dunton Green. Besides being busy with all the CDs the main problem was in the travelling as I explained yesterday. To add to the grief of an awkward rail journey that would be off putting in daylight, it was dark and it was raining. It was just not worth enduring that misery for the sake of an hours entertainment before getting the last train home again.

 It is rather unfortunate that next weeks gig will be a similar pain in the backside. Chain are playing at The Folly pub that is reasonably close to South Croydon station. Getting there would be relatively straightforward. I would just get a bus to Forest Hill, and then a train direct to South Croydon station. The problem comes with getting home again. If I was to see more than half the gig I would have to change trains 3 or 4 times, and travel via central London to get home if I left later than a little before 10pm. Happily the gig after that is (I think I recall) at The Chattenden Arms in Bromley, and getting there and back is straightforward apart from the tedium of a medium long bus journey through the wilds of Bromley town centre after dark !

 So far today I have done some laundry and done some shopping. I have also been indulging in a bit of a technofest. The technofest actually started last night when I started to pull out some useful apparatus like pairs of headphones. In doing so I also came across a spare battery for my Sony MZ-R30 portable minidisk recorder. The original battery has ceased to function, but the spare seems in excellent condition.

 All this came about because I am unhappy with the quality of sound I have been getting from my camcorderes when videoing Chain. The next time I see them I am going to see how well my Minidisk recorder, and a stereo microphone meant for mounting on a camcorder. can record their performance. I do have another minidisk recorder made by Kenwood. It is not quite as good as the Sony, but I am wondering if it would be possible to record the sound directly from Chains mini stage mixer using it.

 All this multi media stuff is building in preparation for when Chain perform at The Daylight Inn for the switching on of the pubs Xmas lights on Saturday 27th November. I am hoping that I will have some help, probably from Iain when this gig takes place because in all probabilty I will be attending with two camcorders, and two minidisk recorders as well as a stills camera or two. If I felt really enthusiastic I could also take along an analogue camcorder too ! With all that recording equipment I would have enough media to edit up something special - assuming I had a miraculous surge in my levels of talent !

 It is still nice and sunny outside a good hour or more since the clouds started gathering, and apart from the chill in the air it would be ideal to go for a walk in the woods and fields. It would be nice, but I don't feel any deep need to do that today even though this could be the last such day like this before the spring.

 What I will do instead is to design some artwork for the jewel case for the double Chain audio CD, and I also want to have an afternoon nap. I got up too early this morning, and I did intend to go back to bed again, but so much time passed while I was searching for bits and pieces related to the minisdisk recorders that it got so late I stayed up. Now I feel an afternoon snooze would be really nice. Before that I have some lamb chops to cook and eat !
Saturday 23rd October 2010
09:36 BST
 
  At 5 O'clock this morning it was chucking it down. Since then the rain has stopped, the cloud is breaking up, and the sun is doing it's best to peep out from behind a cloud. There is quite an extensive area of blue sky I can see, but unfortunately it is in the wrong part of the sky to let the sun shine through unimpeded. Later on we should be getting a lot of sunshine, but it will remain quite cold with temperatures only just reaching into double figures.

 There was one little bit of significant sunshine yesterday. I seem to recall being dazzled by the low sun for part of the walk from work to the station, but I can't recall any more sunshine than that. At least it stayed dry all day because it was rather cool, but maybe not as cool as the day before.

 I think I did feel a fair bit better yesterday, but I was still a bit fatigued, and it felt bad enough to turn down the offer of meeting up for a few beers. I had it in my head that I was going to go straight home, have a couple of cans of hot soup, and probably go to bed by 7.30pm. I didn't quite work out like that.

 On the way home from work I called into the cafe on platforms B & C at Waterloo East station to buy New Scientist magazine. I also bought a couple of hideously expensive sandwichs. Once I was home I ate the sandwichs with some hot pepper sauce (for extra taste), and initially that was all I intended to have, but as 6pm approached, and time for the news on TV, the living room was still feeling a bit cool, and I was beginning to feel cold as I sat there reading.

 The answer was to have some hot soup. First I had one can of tomato with a hint of basil soup. That felt (and tasted) good so I had another can of just plain tomato soup. I sprinkled on some grated mature cheddar on both bowls of soup, and with hindsight I don't know why I did that. The grated cheese, being alleged mature cheese, should have been very cheesy, but I found it to be practically tasteless. I did have some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and I am sure that would have been a far better addition to the soup.

 After the soup I felt nice and full and warm, and in theory I would have started preparing to go to bed after the news had finished at 7pm, but I had a little surprise coming. The following programme, The One Show, had as special guest the subject of yesterday's blog - Felicity Kendall ! So I had to stay watching that, and in doing so it saved me from the horrors of watching Strictly Come Dancing (possibly on TV tonight). Felicity was looking good, and still has the cute mannerisms that made her so delightful many years ago, but I found I couldn't really get excited about her in the same way these days.

 Today I have got up, gone back to bed for a couple of hours, and got up again. I am not yet sure how I am going to spend the day. Having had another surprise call from Patricia during the week the chances of meeting up with her today have changed from infinitely impossible, to finitely improbable. There is a gig on tonight. Chain are performing at a pub in Dunton Green. The pub is tantilisingly close to Dunton Green railway station, but that is not so easy to get to, and the last train for a very roundabout way of getting home is hopelessly early at just gone 10pm. There is a small chance that I will attempt to get there to see half their gig, but next weekend sees far easier places to get to.

 One thing I will be doing today is making audio copies of the video I took when Chain played in The Catford Ram. This follows on from a short email exchange I had with the band (or more precisely, Jo who does most of their internet stuff). Initially I had suggested that Chris, with his deep gruff voice, should not start the vocals for Hotel California. The vocals start after some tinkly sounding Spanish guitar, and Jo's voice would suit it much better. It transpired that even before the email had been read they had watched the video I had posted and reached the same conclusion.

Chain - Hotel California

 We agreed that the sound I hear at the front is not quite the same as the sound the band hears on stage. I suggested "Don't forget that you can always ask for copies of the original recordings if you want to study them. I have both sets at The Ram recorded in their entirety from the camcorder on the tripod. The video is pretty lousy, but the sound is just about passable." To which Jo replied "It's easier to see how things could work better from your point of view at times - which is what your video gives us. (A copy of the Ram set would be very useful for that reason.) ". So by the end of today I hope to have Chain's very first "double live" album ready for them to listen to and study. The video from the camcorder was pretty horrible, and the sound was not exactly wonderful, but if it doesn't sound that bad I may make up a few spare copies of the CDs that they can give away to some of the biggest fans one night.
Friday 22nd October 2010
08:45 BST
 
  More cloud means that there was no frost this morning, but there was still a lot of condensation on all the parked cars. It has actually taken very little cloud to achieve this (though it may have been a lot thicker during the hours of darkness). There are enough breaks in the cloud right now for occasional bursts of sunshine.

 Yesterday was mainly dull and occasionally gloomy. Even with, as far as I can recall, a complete lack of sunshine the day did warm up a bit after the viciously cold frosty start. By the afternoon it was almost warm enough to go outside for a fag without a coat, and not shiver too much.

 For most of the working day yesterday, I felt almost like I had shrugged off the disease that was like 'flu. It didn't last though. I stayed at work for an extra couple of hours last night, and then went to the pub with a couple of workmates for a few beers. As my normal going home time appraoched I began to feel tired, aching, and other stuff. When I left work to go to the pub I felt as bad as some of the worst times during this disease. Three pints of Kronenberg did take away some of the discomfort, but I felt really all-in by the time I got home at 8.55pm (five minutes before my usual bedtime).

 I didn't want to bother with preparing any dinner when I got home so I bought some spicy hot wings and a portion of chips on the way from the station to home. As I ate them I watched some TV. Happily my spirits were raised when I found that a new "Have I Got News For You" was showing. As usual it ranged from the amusing to almost side splittingly funny, but there was also a dark side to it.

 One of the guests was Janet Street Porter. It seems that the illness, the tiredness, and maybe the booze, all conspired to lower my defenses. It is to my utmost shame that I began to see Janet Street Porter as attractive, and maybe even desirable. There is only one TV celebrity who it is perfectly legal, moral, and normal, to have fantasies about, and it is not Janet Street Porter. It is in fact Felicity Kendall. This is true at any time, but particularly so when she was playing Barbara Good in The Good Life.
Barbara Good aka Felicity Kendall
 Now I hear that Felicity Kendall is appearing on the BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" as one of the dancers, and is looking as good as ever. Maybe I might have to grit my teeth and watch some of the show, or maybe I should download it and then fast forward between all the bits that don't have her in it :-)

 This morning I am not too sure how I feel. I don't think I feel as good as yesterday morning, but infinitely better than last Tuesday morning, and maybe a little better than Wednesday morning. I definitely know that I am looking forward to the weekend, and particularly tomorrow morning. If it were possible I would attempt to sleep all through tomorrow morning. That is highly unlikely, but I will have the luxury of getting up for a bit to feed Smudge, potter around a bit, and then go back to bed for as long as I need. Then if neccesary I can repeat the prescription on Sunday morning. By Monday morning I hope that this 'flu like malady* will be completely gone and forgotten.

*As I wroteI wrote a couple of days ago - I can't be suffering from 'flu because I was vaccinated against it a fortnight ago. So I can only describe this horribleness as 'flu like.
Thursday 21st October 2010
08:47 BST
 
  It was not only the early hours of the new day where the sky was clear, but the whole of the night. That means we have had our first thick frost of this autumn (or fall if you are Atlantically challenged). The pattern of frost on the cars suggests that it was not the slow freeze, with big ice crystals, that you get when the temperature on just makes zero, but small crystals from fast freezing where the temperature dropped a good few degrees below zero. It certainly feels bloody cold this morning (and Smudge refused to go out - so I can look forward to a mess somewhere when I get home !).

 Unlike yesterday, this cold, but bright sunny weather is not going to stay all day. The weather men think that it will cloud over this afternoon, but with that the temperature will actually rise a degree or two compared to yesterday. On the whole that is bad. The temperature rise will only change the feel from very chilly to unpleasantly cool, and losing the bright sunshine will be tragic too.

 It was a joy to go home in the bright sunshine yesterday.  Within a warm train, and with the sun low in the sky almost behind me, but still very bright, the view from the train was really good. London seemed to be almost sparkling at the sun lit up the sides of all the buildings I was approaching. As the train neared Waterloo that included the Houses of Rogues, sorry, Parliament, and The London Eye. It all looked astonishingly beautiful. There was a similar affect as my train approached London ridge station. The sun wasn't at such a good angle, but it was still rather amazing.

 I seem to have almost thrown off the disease that has caused me some discomfort over the last three days. I still do not regard myself as fully healed yet, but I am getting there. I woke up in my unheated bedroom feeling a bit sweaty this morning. That is usually a good sign that things are improving (or it could be that I was thrashing around battling some sort of unspeakable enemy in some sort of dream that I have not just forgotten what it was about, but forgotten even happened).

 I knew I would begin to feel chilly so I turned the heating on, and set it to maximum in my bedroom, and then went downstairs to feed Smudge, and cool off. Once I began to feel cool I went to the bathroom for a hot shave, and an even hotter shower. After that, and back in my now warm bedroom it would have been easy to go back to bed, but I had to get dressed for work. Once dressed I realised that I didn't feel all that bad. Later on, even while commuting to work, I didn't feel that bad. I do still feel a bit chesty, and a few joints are still a bit stiff, as is my back, but the headaches have gone, and so has the peculiar feelings in my gut. More usefully I don't feel as fatigued as I did yesterday. I am beginning to feel that I will be perfectly normal, whatever that is, in time for the weekend.
Wednesday 20th October 2010
07:54 BST
 
  Clear skies this morning makes for a bright and cheerful sunrise, but it also means that it is very cold this morning. I suspect we only avoided a frost by a gnats whisker. Examining some of the condensation on cars as I walked to the station showed hints that frost was close to forming. On a few of those cars there was a sort of frosty pattern starting to appear, but the cars still looked wet. While today should stay bright and sunny, the temperature is forecast to barely reach double figures, and the high could be as low as a mere 9 C.

 After observing that the sky was relatively clear yesterday morning, I failed to observe that it was not long before the clouds gathered in again. Some time around midday, or maybe a bit after, we had a light shower, and then later in the afternoon it absolutely poured down. It rather blew out of the window my theory that winds from the north tend to be dry.

 I felt really quite strange yesterday. Even my choice of food changed a bit. Through the day different bits of me ached, although headaches were by far the most common problem, but strange sensations in my gut area featured too. Various diferent bits of me were giving conflicting ideas about eating. I either didn't feel hungry but wanted to eat, or I did feel hungry but didn't want to eat. In the end I mainly just ate soup yesterday - about 5 cans worth !

 This morning I really didn't want to go to work again, but I can't afford not to go so I am here, and not really enjoying it. Every fibre of my body suggests that I would be more comfortable in bed, but that is not really so. It would be more true to say that I would feel better knowing I could go to bed if I wanted to.

 Once the science of teleportation has been perfected there would be no problem at all coming to work today. There would be no horrible commuting to and fro (which is tedious at the best of times), and if I fancied a lie down I could be on my bed in seconds. It is really only the lack of freedom that makes being at work worse than being at home when suffering like I am today. Sitting here at my desk in the warm (once the room has warmed up) is really no different to sitting at my desk at home (apart from having to go out into the icy cold to smoke a fag while at work). So I'll just grit my teeth and carry on.
Tuesday 19th October 2010
07:39 BST
 
  There was some evidence that it rained during the night - mainly that the ground seems very wet - but it is not raining now. In fact the sky looks quite clear. It is possible that it is not quite so cold as yesterday morning, but at the moment, for reasons that will be obvious a bit later, I can't trust my own feelings about the temperature.

 After the little bit of early morning rain yesterday it stayed dry for the rest of the day, but it did stay very overcast. Yesterday morning did feel rather chilly, but that may have been an illusion.

 This morning my body is telling me I drank 10 pints of strong lager last night, and ate a hot curry afterwards. Furthermore, it also suggests that I slept most of the night in an uncomfortable armchair.

 The thing is, none of that happened. I haven't drunk any booze at all since last Friday night, I haven't had a good hot curry for weeks and weeks, and I slept in my bed quite normally last night.

 The conclusion is that I have come down with some sort of bug. I did feel pretty ropy at work yesterday. In the morning it seemed to take ages before I warmed up, and in the afternoon I can only describe how I felt as blueeeergh (which is a different type of blueeeergh to that associated with vomiting, in case you wondered).

 I feel a bit better after a long hot shower, and it was a long shower. I didn't want to get out because it felt so nice. After that shower I did start getting dressed ready to go to work, but the effects of the shower began to wear off, and I decided I couldn't face the long journey to work feeling like I did. So I've put on my "slouching around the house" clothes, and once I know there is someone at work to take my call I will phone in sick and go back to bed for a few hours.
Monday 18th October 2010
08:07 BST
 
  My theory about the weather staying dry has turned out to be completely wrong, or maybe I was just a little premature because the icy winds from the north are not due here for another day or so. It was dry when I left home, but at London Bridge station there was some very light rain, and I caught the tail end of a very light shower as I came out of Earlsfield station. Apart from just a few drops of rain, my walk from there to work was to all intents and purposes in the dry.

 The little rain we have had has come from the relentless layer of medium dark grey cloud that is blotting out all traces of sunshine and blue sky. I feel it will be like for most of the day, but the chances of any significant rainfall are fairly low, but not impossible today.

 I am feeling the effects of too much food and too little exercise today. It's not painful, nor is there any great inconvenience, but everything feels that little bit more difficult or uncomfortable right now. Admittedly some of the same things could also be blamed on a mixture of the cold and greyness today. It is probably a mixture of all these things in reality. One of the excessive things I ate yesterday morning was some vegetable crisps. There are two pertinent facts about these crisps. Firstly I bought them from Aldi where they are a damn site cheaper than from Tesco. Secondly, at least a third of the ingredients of a bag is beetroot. A third fact is that they taste really good - even the beetroot.

 It seems surprising that so much colouring should remain in the beetroot after it has been fried. It certainly surprised me when soon after eating a bag of these rare treats I happened to notice in my bathroom mirror that it was bright red inside my mouth. It came as an even bigger surprise to learn how quickly all that fried beetroot had passed through my digestive sytem, and how little of it's colouring had been removed in the process !

 After indulging in several such treats that I had bought from Aldi in the morning, and ate the same morning, I thought I had better make an effort to cook something healthy for my dinner in the evening. I opted for one of my simple fish and green vegetable poached in stock dishes (assuming you could the cauliflower a green vegetable). It nearly wasn't a healthy meal because the fish had been in the fridge for a couple of days and was very close to turning. It was a tiny bit whiffy, and maybe some bits had gone off (and possibly accelerated my digestive process), but fortunately once cooked everything tasted perfectly normal.

 It's going to be a long day today. I am staying at work even after finishing work for the day to use some of the facilities here. Most important of those facilities is the stereoscopic microscope that has become so essential in these days of micro electronics. Half the things I solder these days I can barely see with the naked eye at my age. I think I may be here a couple of hours, and when I get home I'll only have a short time to eat my dinner and go to bed. Then the whole things starts all over again - the weekend can't come soon enough !
Sunday 17th October 2010
12:36 BST
 
  The nights are now getting very cold, but today is rather nice. It is very mild outside, and there is plenty of sunshine, but there are also a fair amount of clouds in the sky. Some of the clouds have dark centres, but I don't think they pose any threat of rain. The last I heard was that the weather should continue dry for some days to come. The wind will soon becoming from the north, and unless it is just my imagination, I think that winds from the north do not carry much moisture in them. They will be cold though, and sooner or later we will be waking up to thick frosts.

 Yesterday's weather was unremarkable. It was cool and there were only a few times when the sun came out. I think there may have been a tiny bit of rain. I didn't see it fall, but I did observe a few spots of moisture on the old dustbin outside my back door, although I never noticed anything on the pavements.

 Friday night at The Catford Ram was an excellent night. I arrived a tiny bit late, and Chain were just finishing their soundcheck. That gave me a little time to chat to the band, and to set up my equipment. I took along both my digital camcorders, and a tripod. My cheap Samsung camcorder is not too good under low light conditions, and the picture quality is never quite as good as my semi-pro Sony camcorder, but it seems to have better audio quality. So I set that up on the tripod and essentially just left it recording by itself.

 What I had hoped to do was to combine the pictures from both camcorders to make a more interesting video, but with the poor quality of the pictures from the Samsung camcorder it didn't really work when I tried experimenting with it yesterday. However it did capture superior sound, and did capture, albeit a bit fuzzy, a great moment while Chain were playing.

The excited fan

 As usual the band played really well apart from a couple of minor gaffs, and Jo's usual guitar going faulty on her. She changed to a spare guitar that I had never seen before, and oddly enough I thought it sounded a little better than her usual one.

 I had hoped that a few more people might have turned up to watch the gig. Jodie said she might drop in, but was really intending to go to another gig at the venue known as The Dirty South (which used to be The Rose Of Lee on ethe borders of Lewisham and Lee Green). Iain had said the previous night that he had hoped to come, but never turned up. Kevin did turn up, but a bit later on, and then had to go early because of backache. There were plenty of other people in the pub to watch the gig, and the band received lots of hearty applause at the end of each song. I can imagine that when Chain next play in The Catford Ram, on 3rd December, there will be even more people going to see them as word spreads of how good an evening it is.

 Such was the applause at the end of the planned set that Chain had to play a second encore. At the end I was both slightly drunk, and honoured to be invited to join the after gig "party". It wasn't quite on the scale of what Guns And Roses may do, and in reality it was just a final round of drinks all sitting at the same table, but just as enjoyable.

 I awoke yesterday morning with a mild hangover. It wasn't really of the painful sort, but it slowed me down a lot. I still managed to do a reasonable job of doing some housework to make a few areas reasonably presentable for when Aleemah visited. After she left I got down to the serious business of trying to do something with all the video I shot on Friday night.

 So far I have only touched on the nearly three hours of video I took. So today, while it may be criminally insane not to go out and enjoy one more day of sunshine and mild air, I am going to stay in and see what else I can do with that video. There are one or two songs that my hazy memory suggests may contain some reasonable camera work at the same time as the band were performing really well. I am going to experiment with trying to "jazz up" one of those songs with some video effects using just the video from the hand held camera (but using the sound from the Samsung camcorder on the tripod). Unlike yesterday's experiment I am going to try to remember some of the video editing rules that I forgot in my haste to bodge something together.
Friday 15th October 2010
08:28 BST
 
  This morning seems lighter than yesterday morning, and yet paradoxically it is this morning when it is raining. So far the rain has been very light. There was just some very light, almost misty, rain when I walked from home to the station, and then some fine drizzle when I walked from the station to work. From the colour of the sky there would seem to be plenty more rain up there should it decide to fall. One very small, practically useless, effect of all the cloud is that it has kept the temperature up a bit. Without all the cloud there could have been a frost (and a cheery sunny day), and with it there was no frost, but it's still rather cool anyway.

 Yesterday remained overcast practically all day, and late afternoon, and into the evening, there was some occasional very light rain, but nothing worth taking shelter, or even doing up my coat for. That pleasure could be saved for tomorrow when heavier rain is expected. After tomorrow the clouds go away and we could get both a sunny day, and a thick frost in the morning. That does sound very preferable to today, and it might inspire me to go out taking more wildlife photographs like I did last Sunday.

 The unexpected happened last night. I was waiting for my train at Waterloo East when I got a call from Kevin. He said he was going for a quick beer, and would I like to join him ? I hadn't originally planned on boozing last night because I intend to make a proper go of it tonight, but a couple of pints sounded like a good idea. Even better was that Iain turned up as well so that I didn't feel guilty about abandoning Kevin after just two pints.

 I managed to get to bed on time again last night, but I still have not managed that early night yet. Once I turned out the light I was asleep in no time, but I woke up from a dream at 2.50am. Within this dream I was woken up by my alarm going off. It was the alarm on my Google Android powered smartphone that I currently use to get up every morning. I am not sure if I can recall having a dream where I am woken up by an alarm clock before, but this dream had a new twist to it, and a hint of paranoia too ! In their quest for world domination, or at least internet domination, where everything you see, touch, taste or smell has a Google advert in it, Google had changed the beep beep beep of my alarm to a song from a new Australian band as a form of advert. In the dream the name of the band seemed familiar, but I have no idea what it was now.

 Having the alarm sound changed sort of annoyed me, and I think that was enough for me to really wake up. I do realise that much of the stuff we get for free on the internet is paid for by advertising, but at least you can ignore that for much of the time,. You can even make a concious decision to avoid any product whose luridly coloured, flashing and flickering advert has burned your retinas and scarred your brain, but changing my wake up call would be going a step too far, and yet I can see the sad day coming where that really does happen in real life. Then it's back to a mechanical, wind up clock for me !

 Tonight should be an excellent night. Chain are playing in The Catford Ram at 5.30pm tonight. It's almost like a little taste of heaven (with a bit of hell thrown in too). The heavenly side - excellent music, beer, close to home, nice and early so no getting to bed at stupid hours, more beer, and some good friends. The hell is of course that I have to go out into the cold and rain to have a fag. I will be taking one or even two camcorders along with me tonight. So I won't be drinking too much to start with, but maybe I'll catch up once the band have finished playing sometime between 7.30pm (official) and 8pm (likely).
Thursday 14th October 2010
07:47 BST
 
  Another dry, but now rather cool morning. There is a definite chill in the air now, and the daytime temperature will only get as high as the mid teens if we are lucky, and a bit lower if we are not. To compound the autumn feeling is the ever decreasing amount of daylight. My whole journey into work was done in darkness, or twilight. It is still rather dim even now, but the fairly thick cloud covering accounts for a lot of that. Apparently it should stay dry here in London, but the south east coast could have a splash of rain.

 Last night it was still just mild enough to go home without putting a coat on, but I don't think the same will be true tonight. I did have hopes that it might even be sunny when I went home. During the day a few gaps in the clouds did let in a few brief rays of sunshine, and while that happened it did feel rather nice, but overall it was not a nice day.

 On my way home from work I called in to Tesco's and bought some stuff. On the whole I was fairly selective about what I bought. I didn't buy anything too outrageous, but then again I totally forgot to get any leafy type vegetables. Now that is a shame because I am cooking a fish dish tonight, and the idea was that it would be one of my "poached fish and green vegetables in a lot of stock" type healthy meals. Now I will have to see what vegetable I have in the back of the freezer to go with the fish.

 My one indulgence last night was some (alleged) fat free yoghurt that had some chocolate in it. One of my workmates says that chocolate flavoured yoghurt is quite popular in South Africa, but he can't find anything similar here, and that seems to be what I found when looking for some. There are all sorts of strange flavoured youghurts on the shelves of Tesco, but none of them are chocolate. The stuff I got was vanilla flavour with chocolate sprinkles.

 It hard to know if I can blame anything I ate last night for how I feel this morning. For some time now, and by that I may mean many years, but I am not exactly sure, I have been waking up feeling rotten. It's not the mental anguish that I know many people go through with their stretching and yawning, and trying to come to terms with real life. I usually wake up very alert mentally, but I generally feel stiff and aching, and other physical effects. Once I start moving things improve, and a good hot shower provides a lot more improvement. By the time I get to the station I am almost back to normal, and by the time I get to Earlsfield it seems everything is functioning corectly.

 This morning that wasn't the case. I woke up feelling really rather good, but by the time I got to the top of the ramp leading out of Waterloo East station it felt like I was running out of energy.  Then later, as I walked from the station to work, it felt like I had already walked 5 miles. Even the soles of my feet felt like I had walked a long way. Since sitting down here at work I feel perfectly OK, but it does feel like cause and effect are not operating in the correct order (or some other bizzare sci fi stuff). It is fortunate that last night another minor change in the space time continuum meant that I didn't get that sudden surge in energy an hour or two before it is time to go to bed. By 8pm I was definitely feeling like sleep would be a good idea, and although it was not for another hour before I went to bed, when I did get to bed I had no trouble falling asleep. I went out like a light, and apart from one brief visit to the toilet sometime in the night, I slept solidly until my alarm woke me.
Wednesday 13th October 2010
08:39 BST
 
  It is still dry, and still not unduly cold, but there is a lot of steely grey cloud in the sky, and it looks as if it could rain sometime soon. I am not expecting the temperature to rise to much more than the mid teens today, and from here on it is likely that we begin the slide into winter. Tomorrow morning I will probably have to put a coat on to come to work. This mornings temperature was starting to get a bit challenging without a coat, and unlike yesterday morning I did keep my sleeves down on my shirt.

 On the whole it wasn't bad yesterday. There was still a good deal of sunshine, and if it hadn't been for a slight uncertainty about the state of my guts I would have walked to Wandsworth Common station in the weak sunshine. There was a secondary problem with walking there. I was wearing trainers rather than my hiking boots, and while the trainers were quite comfortable most of the time, as I approached Earlsfield station I could feel the sock rucking up on my left foot. It is at Earlsfield station where I have to decided whether to get the train there, or carry on walking the extra mile and a half to get to Wandsworth Common station. With my left foot feeling uncomfortable, and a slightly bloated feel in my guts, I opted for the far more difficult, but far quicker choice of heaving myself up those bloody stairs at Earlsfield station.

 I had a bit of good news yesterday. I was contacted by my old boss who had a proposition for me. "Could I make up a couple of circuit boards, please ?". I was offered quite a generous amount of money for this, and readily agreed to do the work. It is the sort of odd job I was dying to be offered during my long lean years on the dole, and it is sort of ironic that I am offered it now when I am not desperate for the money, at least not desperate in the way I was when trying to survive off the pittance they call Job Seekers Allowance.

 I feel slightly better than recent average this morning. It is because I ate a fair bit less than usual last night. If I had anything naughty available I would have no doubt eaten it, but fortunately my cupboards are bare of stuff like biscuits, cakes, ice cream, chocolate, or similar stuff. What I did eat was fairly low in fat, low in calories, and exceedingly high in fibre. It was a variation of Chilli Con Carne. The main ingredients were trimmed and diced beef, mushrooms, and a lot of red kidney beans (the source of all the fibre). Other ingredients were tomato puree, stock cubes, and half a pint or more of red wine that had been open for long enough to start turning vinagry.

 It was quite a big meal, but a lot of the bulk was just gravy, and after finishing it I really fancied a desert of some kind. I am not sure what exactly, but some yoghurt may have been as nice as some chocolate biscuits. Tonight that fantasy may come true. I think I'll be stopping off on the way home from work to visit Tesco, and although I will try not to get too carried away I'll probably end up buying something that is not that good for me. I am not sure why it should be so, because it was never like this in the past, but I have recently developed a fixation for chocolate ice cream. It's pretty evil stuff, and once I would gladly have traded it for something savoury, but now maybe I feel the need to get into practice for when more of my teeth fall out, and grinding away on peanuts becomes impossible. I think I can resist buying chocolate ice cream tonight, but maybe I might get some chocolate flavoured yoghurt.
Tuesday 12th October 2010
08:49 BST
 
  The summer like interlude we have had seems to be over, the the weather is reverting to how mid October should be. The good thing is that it is happening slowly so as to acclimatise us to the change. This morning is almost not chilly, and the clouds are not very dense and well broken. As I write the sun has found a gap in the cloud and is weakly shining through it. With luck the afternoon will be slightly sunny, and slightly warm. After that autumn will come to dominate leading us slowly into the fogs and frosts of November.

 Yesterday was another brilliant day, although only about three quarters as brilliant as Sunday. By midday the sky was nearly all blue, and the sun was shining brightly. It could have almost began to feel hot if it were not for a strong cool breeze blowing. Under such conditions I felt I couldn't waste that sunshine, and I went home from work via Wandsworth Common station.

 I am evidently still very unfit because going up the hill took it's toll on me like any other time......or maybe not. It's difficult to tell. At the time it seemed that I was walking up that hill a bit faster than previously, and it did seem a microscopic bit easier, but I still felt knackered at the top, and the total walk seemed to take about the same time as usual, if not longer. I thought I had managed to shave a few more feet from the walk by optimising where I crossed roads, but evidently it makes no practical difference.

 There was one small indication that my fitness levels are improving, and that was at Forest Hill. Last night I actually considered walking from Forest Hill station to home - I didn't, but at least I considered it. The last couple of times I went home via that route I couldn't even find the energy to consider that second walk. If it is bright and sunny this afternoon I may walk to Wandsworth Common station again, and this time I may even do the second walk.

 I was my intention to be in bed extra early last night, but that didn't happen. Instead of being in bed by as early as 8pm, it was past 9pm when I got into bed. So I got my average amount of sleep, but nothing to cover the sleep deficit of Sunday night. Maybe tonight I will do better, and maybe today I won't fall asleep while reading stuff off my PC at work (like I did once or twice yesterday).
Monday 11th October 2010
07:50 BST
 
  This morning is starting off better than yesterday morning, but in my wildest optimism I can't believe that today could be as good as yesterday. Yesterday turned out to be an exceptional day. During the afternoon the sky was the most wonderful clear blue, and the sunshine made it feel quite warm. It was an autumn day that was better than many days in the middle of summer. Today is supposed to be very good, but there is a cool wind blowing in from the east, and that will make this afternoon a lot cooler than yesterday even if the sun manages to stay shining.

 I felt very comfortable at home yesterday morning, and yet I couldn't bear to waste what was probably the last decent weekend until late next spring. It would have been easy to stay in but I made a rapid decision to go out for a walk. I had a yearning to walk among some pine trees, and I wanted to try taking some pictures of the fungi that spring up in these autumn days.

 My walk from Hayes (Kent) station towards Locksbottom didn't take me through any pine woods as I hoped it might, but I did find plenty of fungi to photograph. I haven't made up a web page about the walk yet, but you can see some of the pictures I took on my Myspace pages.

 I walked for about 3 miles across the woods and fields, and came out somewhere completely different from where I thought I was heading for. In fact where I ended up turned out to be quite handy. I was on a main road with a handy bus service running on it that would take me directly back to Catford.

 The three miles I walked seemed to have been done with such ease that I thought I would walk some more. I only added about an extra half mile to the walk because the road I was walking up was a hill, admittedly a very, very gentle hill, but it still took it's toll on me. More significantly I found a pub right opposite a handy bus stop, and this was like a divine signal from heaven that I should stop there. So I cooled off with a pint of Young's Special in the beer garden before waiting maybe 7 or 8 minutes for my bus to arrive.

 I don't know exactly how far I walked yesterday because I had a few technology failures. First of all my (spare) mobile phone threw a wobbly and would not update the tracking program I use to record my walks. (Like many computer based things it needed a reboot to set it back onto the path of righteousness). The second technology failure occured when my camera announced that the batteries in it were flat. That stopped me taking a few pictures, but happily I passed a shop where I bought new batteries before plunging in to the wilds.

 The third technology failure occured an hour or two after I got home, and I can illustrate the nature of the failure.
capped tooth showing the screw that held it in.
 It is probably not obvious what the picture is showing. So I'll explain. The thing that looks like a screw thread is indeed a screw thread. The top half is the remains of a tooth with a crown fixed to the top of it. It fell out while I was eating my dinner last night. There was no pain then, and only once or twice since then have I experienced something like the merest, feather touch of a sensation that could hint that some pain might be expected. There is not even any apparent tenderness of the socket, although I am too much of a coward to really probe it. All I seem to be left with is that weird sensation of a new hole that will be familiar to anyone who has had a tooth extracted. Within a couple of days it all seems perfectly normal again.

 I suspect the tooth was actually loosened during the extreme, and extremely painful process of extracting the tooth that was next to it. Lots of things apeared to go snap, crackle and pop as my dentist wrestled that tooth out. I am now left wondering if I should my last three days of holiday up seeing my dentist, or whether to just ignore it. With no pain to guide/compel me it is a hard decision to make.
Sunday 10th October 2010
12:06 BST
 
  The sun has finally done what it should have done yesterday - it has broken through the clouds and mist, and it is now a bright sunny afternoon here in Catford. I think it is warming up too. I am writing this with the window open and I feel completely comfortable.

 I got up early this morning to feed Smudge, as usual, but after an hour or so I went back to bed. It was another of those occasions where I didn't think I would get to sleep because I was thinking about all sorts of things. Evidently I did get back to sleep because the next thing I was aware of was that it was 10am. Since then I have been doing a lot of reading, thinking and writing.

 What I should have been doing was getting ready to go out exploring. I have a slightly irrational desire to take some photos of a stand of pine trees if I can think of somewhere I can get to that has them. In that respect, all the time I spent reading and writing could be considered wasted, but it wasn't really. I could have chose a better time to do it though, but sometimes I have to act/write while the ideas are fresh in my mind - and that was the case this morning.

 Perhaps if I make this very brief I can still get out and have a walk......Come to think of it, I've said all that I had to say. So now it's time to shower and get dressed in my explorer outfit !
Saturday 9th October 2010
17:45 BST
 
  I am most disappointed by the predictive powers of the weather forecasters - again ! After a dull and misty start there was supposed to be a bright sunny afternoon today. If the sun did come out today I must have blinked and missed it. Not only was there no sunshine, but the wind kept it a lot cooler than forecast. It was only just tolerable going out in just a t-shirt today when it was supposed to be a warm day.

 For a while it was a sunny day yesterday, and maybe I should have put that extra effort in to go out. It occurs to me that now would be a good time to take a wander in woods or forest and take some pictures of some of the marvelous fungi that (I think) pop up in these autumn days.

 Instead of going out I spent quite a lot of time reading. It's something I greatly enjoy, but it hardly tunes my body to physical perfection. Instead it does quite the opposite, but I think the mantra still applies - no gain without pain. It's just yesterday I gained knowledge rather than fitness.

 In the evening I spent far too long on the internet. I ended up getting to bed far too late, but once again I learned a few new things. I came across a web site by a very pretty looking Indian woman who, by profession, does mystical healing stuff of the mind and body. Her website provided some very intereresting reading, and some very interesting video too.  I don't subscribe to the mystical aspects of this sort of thing, but strip that away and what's left is a series of ideas and opinions that do, in some respects, mirror my own.

 My true beliefs and opinions are probably more in line with stuff I imagine John Lennon might say or think. Of particular relevance here is a saying that might, or might not, have originally been said by John lennon, but was quite prominent in the film "Yellow Submarine". That saying was "it's all in the mind". That probably means different things to different people, but here it is highly relevant because I am making this up as I go along without doing any research. So it is literally all out of my mind no matter how warped that may be. There is one very important fact that I am sure of, and that is that had he lived, John Lennon would have been 70 years old today. I'm happy to see that even Google acknowleged that.
image shamelessly ripped from Google
 Unfortunately my shamelessly stolen from Google image above does not link to the little video that played when you clicked on it. Nevertheless, it is the thought that counts. It is at this point I have to confess I have just used Google to look up the saying "it's all in the mind", and it turns out it was George Harrison who said it. Well, no matter, he was a pretty good guy too.

 It was past midnight before I finally got to bed, and later still before I got to sleep. I woke up again at 6am, and with lots to do I got up soon after.  I saw Aleemah today, and that meant rushing to get some housework and shopping done before  10am. I can't honestly say the house was very tidy when she arrived, but I think I got it barely passable in places.

 We watched the film Species today. It wasn't a bad film, but it had it's pros and cons. Against it was the Americaness of it (is that actually a word ?). For it was the amount of time the very pretty lead actress wandered around topless. The rest was reasonable scifi fare.

 I think that Species should actually be a warning to any extra terrestrials who come visiting here. Whatever you do E.T. don't land in North America. If you do you will be chased around by loads of excitable government types who will want to find increasingly more violent, and explosive ways to slaughter you. I'd recommend you landing in England. Here you will be able to sit down and have a nice civilised chat over a cup of tea, and if you are lucky you will be offered a council house and child benefit for your blood crazed, brain slurping, all devouring, carnivorous human/alien hybrid offspring.

 In theory I should be setting out on a long lonely journey in the dark to see Chain play at The British Oak pub in a place that is described as Blackheath, but is actually somewhere in the no mans land between Blackheath, Greenwich, and Charlton. To get there demands a 30 - 40 minute bus ride and a 15 - 20 minute walk. After my late night and early morning I don't feel I have the energy to go out tonight, but I shall take comfort in the knowledge that they are playing in The Catford Ram next Friday night - and that is going to be a really great event. 
Friday 8th October 2010
11:10 BST
 
  It is amazingly mild this morning - almost on the verge of being warm. So far the sun has not broken through the mist, but once it does it promises to be a pleasantly warm day. Most of the mist is high in the sky. At ground level there was some mistiness earlier on, and that gave the air what I can only describe as a nice soft feel to it. Yesterday was dry and mild, but it didn't live up to it's promise of being a sunny day.

 At 10:45 I set off to the doctors to get my 'flu vaccination yeterday.  I had some wildly optimistic idea that if I arrived ten minutes early I might not have to wait that long before being seen. It could have worked if only 20 other people had not had the same idea. As is usual for my doctors practice, the nurses started 10 minutes late, and it ended up that I had to stand around for a good half hour before being seen.

 Another thing I got terribly wrong was the idea that there would be time to get an unwanted health lecture. Maybe if I had chosen to book a time rather than opt for the walk in service there may have been more time, but happily it was just jab and out ! After that was over I went and did some shopping. First off I had a walk round the 99p shop and spent just over 14 on assorted stuff, and then I went to WH Smiths to buy the latest New Scientist magazine.

 WH Smith's seem to be living a week in the past because all they had a was a big pile of last weeks edition. While I was in there not buying the edition I had read a week ago I bought a copy of Linux Format magazine, and a book. The book was Top Gear's version of the Highway Code, or "How Not To Pass Your Driving Test".  It was less funny than I expected, but still amusing, although I think I should have waited until it appeared in the bargain bins rather than pay 10 for it.

 Having now accumulated quite a few carrier bags I had to lug them all into Tesco's to buy the newest edition of New Scientist magazine. It must have been one of the very few times I have shopped in Tesco and come away with just one single item. Much of the rest of my day was spent either reading or resting, but in the early evening I did try and be a bit creative. I say try because what I actually achieved was not worth achieving. I was trying to do a bit of clever "photoshoppery" but I ran out of talent before my creation  resembled how I had imagined it would turn out. Still, it's all good practice.

 Today I had intended to go out if I didn't suffer any reaction to my 'flu jab (which I didn't). Maybe for a walk along the coast somewhere. It could still happen, but it is looking unlikely now. Today got off to a slow start. I had intended to be knocking on the door of Aldi waiting for them to open so I could buy a pile of catfood amongst other things (Aldi catfood being flavour of the month according to Smudge). It was pleasant walking there in the sof misty air, but  I didn't get there until about 40 minutes after they opened. Unlike Tesco, Aldi was still fairly quiet while I shopped in there at that time.

 While walking there was rather pleasant, walking back with a lot of heavy shopping was less so. As well as 28 foil trays of catfood I had bought quite a few other heavy items such as tins of soup. In the very still, almost warm air, I felt quite hot once I had lugged it all home. That made me less keen to go straight out again as I thought I might. While I cooled off I thought I might write this. No sooner had I made a start I got involved in a long phone call from a friend whose friends computer had got a virus.

 Also between then and now I have put some stuff in the washing machine and eaten what might be very loosely described as breakfast. That brings the time up to 11:50 and it seems like I am destined not to get out. That is a shame because even as I write the sun is now finally starting to break through and the afternoon really does look like it will be a sunny one. It is difficult to explain the reason why I can't motivate myself to go out unless I start quite early in the morning. I can't even explain it to myself. It is just one of those facts of life.

 There is one more likely possibility of going out this afternoon, and that is to the pub. I've just sent an invite out via text message, but I in all probability it won't come to anything. On the assumption that I will be in for the rest of the afternoon, what I really should be doing is to give several places in the house a really good hoovering, and do some other overdue housework. Personally I would rather get slightly drunk, and then sleep it off this afternoon, but these things aren't always possible :-(
Thursday 7th October 2010
09:08 BST
 
  Once again we have an Indian summer. At the moment the sky is a little hazy, but the sun is shining, and it should "burn off" the haziness leaving a bright sunny day. It is still cool right now, but this afternoon it should get to feeling quite warm. If I choose optimism mode, and believe last night's weather forecast on The BBC, tomorrow will be even better. They are predicting temperatures up into the mid twenties for inner London. Now that is warm for this time of year ! This mini heatwave could continue through the weekend too.

 Last night was bright and sunny, although a light wind kept things feeling cool. It inspired me to walk from work to Wandsworth Common station. I varied my route once again, and this time it was a bit longer rather than shorter. My route took in more of Wandsworth Common itself, and I had a better look at the ponds on the common (and also the pretty young mums who conduct their offspring around that part of the common).
Work to Wandsworth Common station
 It was quite a pleasant walk, although the 41m (143ft) climb does leave me knackered. Fortunately most of that climb is where the road runs alongside Wandsworth Cemetery (quite handy if my hearts gives out as I wheeze my way up the hill). Just beyond there the hill flattens out, and from Trinity Rd it is gently downhill to the station.

 It was only a 2.18 mile walk, but in theory it should have perked me up for when I cross the threshhold of doom into my doctors surgery to get my 'flu vaccination sometime after 11am this morning. In practice that is not the case. The cheese, pasta, and sugary dessert I had for dinner last night would ensure alarms bells going off if the nurse decided the queue was so short, and she was so bored, that she attempted to take any measurements of my health. I am pretty sure there won't be time for that, and although she will almost certainly try and browbeat encourage me to book a check up, I should escape from there relatively unscathed.

  If I survive that experience, and I don't get a reaction to the vaccine like I did last year, I hope I can get in the right frame of mind to get out into the sunshine, and do some more extensive walking tomorrow. If I do suffer a bad reaction I still have the day off work, and there are plenty of warm and quiet things I can do here on the PC while the microbes ravish my body.

 I had considered going out for a bit of a walk this morning, but time seems to be flying by. I got up at 5am as usual this morning, but after an hour reading some stuff on the internet I went back to bed for a couple of hours.  After washing my hair and showering, and then preparing pictures and stuff to include right here, I didn't start writing this until rather later in the morning than my original plans called for.

 Once I have had "the jab" I could go out for a walk, but maybe I won't. I'll have to see how things go. One thing I will have to do is to buy more catfood today, and then I'll be buying the latest edition of New Scientist. What I predict will happen is that while buying the catfood I will also buy some human food, and I'll sit down to eat that while reading, nad then lay down to continue reading. By the time I have finished that it will be too late to do anything of any significance, but I will have still enjoyed my day off work.
Wednesday 6th October 2010
07:53 BST
 
  A lot of rain fell overnight, but it stopped while I came to work. From the look of the sky it will rain again any time soon, but I could be wrong, and so could the weather forecasts. I predicted the possibility of heavy showers for yesterday based on the grey leaden sky, but in fact there was no more than some occasional, and brief, drizzle. Maybe the skiy is even more gloomy than yesterday. It certainly kept the daylight away. It looked like night time for most of the journey into work.

 These ever shortening days give me a good excuse to moan and groan about the injustices of life, and provide proof that God does not exist.  Or at least does not exist as a sane, rational, kind God.  If I designed the universe I would have either have designed it in such a way that the days didn't dwindle to almost nothing during winter, or I would have designed humans to be able to hibernate during the winter. Of course I would also be a cruel and ruthless tyrant too, but hey, that's Gods for you !

 It didn't rain during my lunchbreak yeaterday, and although I had forgotten to bring in a proper camera, I went out bug hunting again. I still had no luck getting a recognisable picture of a Harlequin Ladybird larva, and the attempted picture of a baby snail came out blurred too, but I did take another picture of a snail, and this one had a tiny red spider mite posing in the picture as well.
Snail and red spider mite
 I did some shopping on the way home from work last night, and of course I bought stuff that I really shouldn't have bought. The tiny piri piri hot roast chicken was a bit naughty, but the tray of chocolate brownie was terribly evil. Stuffing myself with that has probably done me no good at all. It certainly made me a bit sweaty while rushing about during my journey to work. On the other hand that could also be because it is very mild still. I suspect the temperature was in the mid teens this morning.

 For all the hedonistic eating I have been indulging in recently, I don't feel too bad for it. I could feel better though, and it would be handy if several of my key health indicators were a lot better right now. If I can get the day off work tomorrow I am going for my annual 'flu vaccination, and of course that means going into the lair of my doctors surgery. If I can just get away with a quick jab of the needle I will be happy, but if it turns into an inquisition, I will be most unhappy. If that happens I could be forced into eating a huge quantity of chocolate ice cream.........Although that is the standard antidepressant in literature, and indeed does work, I feel it more likely that I would commit a carnivourous act, and go buy a titanic sized kebab, or a barrel of fried chicken.

  Whatever the actual outcome, unless it is the case that I am unable to take the day off work, I am sure I'll feel bad on Friday. That could be because I have self medicated on class A food (of which "southern" fried chicken is just one example), or more likely the 'flu jab has, once again, gave me a very short lived dose of the 'flu (or 'flu like symptoms). It's probably lucky that both tomorrow and Friday could well be bright and sunny, and on one day or the other the temperature could be nudging close to 20 C (actually 18 or 19 according to our famous "pluck some figures out of thin air" weather forecasters).
Tuesday 5th October 2010
08:03 BST
 
  It started to rain just as I was a few minutes away from work this morning. Prior to that it was dry, apart from condensation on cars etc. Even the road and pavements looked dry. So far the rain has been no more than a very fine shower, but the colour of the sky suggests that there is potential for some heavy downpours during the day. Apparently, tomorrow will be similar, but on Thursday it will brighten up for a day or two. Meanwhile, all the cloud is keeping the temperature very mild. I didn't even bother to put a coat on this morning (though I had one in my back pack), and once I had boarded my train at Waterloo I rolled my sleeves up and they are still rolled up even now.

 I can't recall the sun coming out yesterday, but it seemed to be a pleasant enough day. At lunchtime I took a wander over to the park, as I do most days. Normally I just watch the ducks on the river while smoking a fag or two, but yesterday I managed to capture some wildlife on my phones camera.
garden snail with pointy spiral and yellow areas
This snail was posing for me on the bridge over the River Wandle that leads into the park.
Although I believe it is just a common garden snail it seemed pointier than usual, and more yellow.
Harlequin Ladybird
Harlequin Ladybird
Two different patterns on the back of the Harlequin Ladybird.
 The two Harlequin Ladybirds pictured above are not native to this country, but come from Asia (so my exceedingly brief bit of research showed). I also saw some of their larvea. Unfortunately my attempts to use just my phones camera to take pictures of the larvea were so lacking in definition that they were useless. That's a pity because they are strange little things. They almost look prehistoric with a spiky looking back with a bright orange stripe along it. It struck me as odd that the full grown ladybirds and the larvea should choose a cool, damp, October day to hang out on the footbridge together, but I guess they know what they are doing.

 Last night I had an interesting/unusual dinner when I got in from work. The previous evening I noticed that the use by date on some packs of ready made curry were coming up very fast except for the pack that should have been used nearly a year ago ! These curries were in plastic sachets, and in all probability would remain sterile for tens of years even if their flavours did deteriorate. I decided it might be best to use them up anyway, and that is what I did. The reason I had them so long was that they were really meant for cooking in a microwave oven - which I don't have - but it seemed to work just as well pouring them into a small saucepan to heat them up. The big difference was that I could have cooked them all in one go using a microwave. In point of fact they didn't need cooking but just heating up.

 Two of the packs were just big enough to fill a small soup bowl to a little over halfway, and the other was rather less than that. The smallest was red Thai curry made by one company (whose name is on the tip of my tongue), and the other two were a Thai green curry, and a Chicken Korma curry. In theory they should have been served with rice, but I had them almost as a lumpy soup on their own in a soup bowl. The green Thai curry was probably the tastiest, but I am not sure what sort of chicken was in it (possibly cat or alsation).

 There was one other thing I ate a lot of last night, and that was walnut halves. Walnuts could be, if it were not for one fatal flaw, one of those very rare foods that is both super delicious and good for you. According to one theory, the oil in walnuts is very good for the heart. It not only has the right sort of cholesterol in it, but helps convert the wrong sort - apparently ! The one fatal flaw is that any oil is packed with energy, and energy equates to calories. So it's still going to kill me, but in the healthiest way possible !
Monday 4th October 2010
08:11 BST
 
 Autumn is wrecking it's vengance on us this morning. There was no freezing fog, but it is dark and wet - a fine start to a Monday morning - NOT ! That's the bad side, but on a more positive note it is surprisingly mild outside. A degree higher and I would only have to stretch the truth a bit to say it was almost warm out there. I didn't get to see any forecasts on TV yesterday, but my morning paper suggests that it is tomorrow when the sky will be black all day with pouring rain, and that there could be some sunshine today. I don't believe a word of it. The Metro's weather forecasts are so skewed that they are probably not for London, England, but for the London in Ontario, Canada (at least I think there is one there).

 There were a few bright spells yesterday, but drizzle was probably the order for the day. I did go out very briefly to the corner shop, and it was dry while I was doing that. Smudge attempted to go out a few times but was repelled by the rain. She did go out eventually, and came in damp, but not actually soaked. That was obviously annoying for her, but also annoying for me too. The flea drops I bought from the vet on Saturday are not exactly cheap, and by now any lingering traces of the stuff must have been washed clean away. I'll leave it for a fortnight and maybe treat her again if needed instead of waiting the recommended 6 weeks between treatment.

 I am not entirely sure what I achieved yesterday. I did a bit of this and a bit of that, and the day seemd to fly by. It was certainly nice having a pressure free day to recover from my adventures of Saturday night, but I did surprisingly little extra sleeping through the day.

 I did sleep well last night. I thought I  might go to bed extra early, but in the end I went to bed at my normal time, and fell asleep very soon after 9pm (possibly even just before 9pm). This morning I feel rather peculiar. It is almost like I am still on the very point of going down with a cold, but in a different way to how I thought I was about to go under with a cold on Friday and on Saturday morning. I am thinking it may actually be some sort of allergy, but if it is it strikes in a damn peculiar way. My nose feels slightly itchy, and several times while travelling into work I found myelf sneezing when the air quality or temperature changed. (Like when entering or leaving a train).

 The thing that bugs me about whatever it is that ails me is that it is so beige. There is nothing dramatic about it. I have a hint of back ache. I have a hint of headache. I have a hint of a runny nose and I have a hint of a developing cough. It's all hints without any drama. I suppose that is a good thing except that the suspense of waiting for something to happen is getting tedious. Fortunately there is one thing on the horizon that is guaranteed to cause me misery. I have been invited for vaccination against assorted 'flu and other stuff by my doctors practice. Making you feel worse is the one thing doctors are really good at !

Smudge sleeping in the bath
 I meant to show this slightly blurry of picture yesterday. As you can see it is Smudge my cat in the bath. Smudge, being an ex-wild cat, knows that it is best not to sleep in the same place for too long. It protects against predators, and protects against a build up of parasites. In her wisdom, Smudge has decided that the best place to sleep at the moment is curled up over the plug hole of the bath. Next week she will probably find somewhere new. The one place she really wants to sleep is on top of the open laptop on the shelf next to my bed. Unfortunately some mean brute always shoos her off if she attempts to get on it. So maybe sleeping in the nath is a sort of sulk actions too !
Sunday 3rd October 2010
11:03 BST
  There was a hint that today might not be that bad, but now as the morning has progressed the sky is getting darker, and more rain must surely be on it's way. So far today there has been no rain, but it is very wet outside after the heavy downpours we had last night ( and the frequent drizzle before that). All the cloud over the last few days has managed to keep it fairly mild. So as they say, every cloud has a silver lining.

 Yesterday was composed of a short burst of frenetic activity in the morning. Being quite productive on the PC interspersed with lazy moments, and then a most enjoyable evening. I had woken up feeling quite rough yesterday, but after shrugging off all the effects of sleeping, and then having a nice hot shower, I felt far better. Certainly well enough for a triple shopping run.

 The first stop was the vets to get some flea drops for Smudge. After the hot summer she was getting quite infested, and the previous flea treatment I gave her was not very effective at all (if indeed it did it even worked at all). The flea drops from the vet, although expensive, definitely do work, and in a few days she should be free of fleas.

 My next bit of shopping was in the chemists to get some stuff for me (ear drops), and then I went and spent far too much money in Aldi. I bought another pair of walking shoes in there because they seemed to be quite similar to the excellent, and very cheap trainers I bought in there a couple of years ago. I am not so sure that these walking/hiking shoes are quite that good, but they are very light, and at just 14.99 I thought it worth taking a chance on them. The other expensive item I bought in there was a some German herbal liquer. It seems to be very similar to Yaegermeister, but at nearly half the price.

 Once I got back from shopping I insulted Smudge by putting the flea drops behind her head. On reflection she took it quite well. She didn't struggle too much as I held her down, and then after a few nasty glares from her she went back to the food I had put down for her to get her into a grabbable position.

 With Smudge treated, and after having a sort of snack like breakfast, I set about experimenting with some morphing software. It took a bit of effort to get the hang of what I was supposed to be doing, but it did finally end up achieving what I had started out to do. The only problem was that when I outputed the resulting sequence as a video file it wanted to play at a ridiculous 1000 frames per second. That is a little faster than the standard 25 frames per second for conventional video. It took an awful lot of mucking getting it into the state where I could use it, and even then it was all over too fast. I think I am going to look into using a hex editor to see if I can change the metadata within the file to change the frame rate to make it more useful, but for now I have managed to use it as it is.

 All that messing around was quite taxing on my brain, and I needed a good lie down after I had finished my project. Having had a lie down I did something I very rarely do these days. I went out - into the dark, and into the rain. I travelled to Elmers End to watch Chain play in The William IV pub there. For some reason that I didn't catch, they reverted back to playing as The Bluesicians last night.

 It was a most enjoyable evening. I think I have been misjudging Chain for a long time now. What I mean is I seem to be always judging them by the first time I saw them. That was good, but it they did drop a few notes here and there. So almost everytime I see them now I want to say that their performance was extra good, but in fact it has been consistently good for most of the gigs I have seen. However, last night one song did seem to be performed exceptionally well. It was their cover of The Faces' "Stay With Me". It is one song where they all do small solo bits, but I have never noticed it working so well as it did last night. The two significant solo parts, the drum and the base solo seemd to be done with extra vigour, and it sounded magnificent.

 In the past I had considered The William IV pub to be a bit unfriendly, but last night it seemed very friendly, and I ended up talking to a few complete strangers.  One was a young woman who was dressed up in a very 1960's style and despite my normal reticence I had to compliment her on her appearance. To my great joy my compliment was well recieved.

 Such was my pleasure last night that I threw caution to the wind and stayed until the band were almost through their second encore before leaving to catch a bus home at the unprecented time (for me) of approximately midnight ! I missed one bus by 20 seconds, but it didn't seem to be that long before another bus appeared to take me back to Catford. That bus ride did not seem so traumatic tedious as it know it can be for three reasons. After such a good night I was feeling really great, and I was also nicely drunk. I am not sure if the third reason is correct or not, but the fact that it was teeming with rain seemed to make the journey more interesting. I did get fairly damp walking from the bus to home, but after such a great night it seemed irrelevant.

 By the time I had eaten some supper, and then writen up another blog specifically about the night,  it was getting on close to 2am before I was in bed and asleep. I had about 4 hours sleep before waking up with a hangover and then proceeding to edit some photos of last night.
Bluesicians on stage 2nd October 2010 William IV pub, Elmers End
 Above is one of the pictures I took last night showing all the band on stage.

 Today I do feel a bit under the weather. I can't see me doing that much today apart from being very lazy. Although there is only so much laying down you can do. So I expect in reality I'll end up at the PC playing about with something (hopefully) creative, but I don't think I'll be doing anything much more than that. No longs walks for me today - specially in the rather foul weather that has developed since I started writing. It's pouring with rain again !
Saturday 2nd October 2010
08:53 BST
  This morning seems rather better than I would have hoped for. The sky is quite hazy, but the sun is doing it's best to shine through the haze, and it is reasonably mild. I am not sure what the weather has in store for us, but it seems a very reasonable start to the day, and with luck it will continue this way.

 Yesterday was rather wet. The rain did stop for a couple of hours around lunchtime, but it was raining as I walked to the station to come home from work. It had stopped by the time I got to Catford and walked to the pub to meet Kevin, but there were several heavy downpours while we were in the pub. Happily it had stopped again when we left the pub and made our ways home.

 After several pints I felt quite good, and I also felt quite hungry. So I had a fish and chip supper (with some hot wings on the side !). I went to bed feeling nice and warmed through, and I slept well until 4am when I woke up feeling really lousy. I still seem to be hovering on the edge of the cold that is going around at work. Sometime my nose gets quite stuffy, but as yet it has not done it's usual trick of pouring like a waterfall. From time to time my throat feels a little sore, but that goes away again, and from time to time I get a bit of a tickly cough, but that has failed to develop into a full blown, hacking, smokers cough as I expected it to.

 Maybe I am not so close to a cold as I thought. After a hot shower I actually feel reasonably good, but I don't exactly feel all that dynamic right now, and if I didn't need to go out and get some shopping I could quite easily turn on the heater in my bedroom and lay on my bed for most of the morning. I may well do that this afternoon, but if I can I want to try and get myself in the right mood to go out tonight.

 Chain are playing at The William IV pub in Elmers End, and it would be a shame to miss out on a gig that is so easy to get to (but maybe a little less easy to come home from if I stay out late). It is only four stops on the train from Catford Bridge, and then a 3 or 4 minute walk from Elmers End station. If I were to stay to the very end it might mean getting the 54 bus back to Catford, which isn't a pleasant idea, but at least the bus stop is almost right outside the pub. Before then I have to rest and rehabilitate myself or I'll never get out at all.
Friday 1st October 2010
08:13 BST
  There have been a few minor spits and spots of rain so far, but the extended downpour that the forecasters promised us has not arrived yet. It is possible I could be exceedingly lucky and go home from work in the dry, but the weather forecast suggests that water wings might be a useful accessory for the journey home. Apart from a potential downpour that even Noah might think is a bit fierce, the temperature remains relatively mild. It was only just cool enough to make wearing my ultra lightweight jacket feel comfortable as I made my way into work, and the temperature will have to drop a few more degrees below the mid-teens, as it is now, before I would consider putting on a warmer coat.

 Yesterday did get sunny for a while, and while I put the heater on first thing in the morning, I came very close to putting the air conditioner on during the afternoon. I couldn't actually say it was warm outside, but it definitely wasn't cold. Maybe yesterday was the final, final, final gasp of summer. Now we are into October things can only get worse.

 Talking of things getting worse........ These last few days I have returned to very close to normal after my undefined illness sort of thing I was suffering from. After all that I may now be falling victim to the common cold. Many people have had it here at work, and I think there are three people who are off sick with it even now. As yet my nose hasn't started gushing, but yesterday it felt itchy, and during the night it was very stuffy. This morning I can feel pressure building in my sinuses. Maybe it won't come to anything, or maybe I'll spend the weekend with my head dripping into a bucket ! At least if I have got it I can suffer it in luxury at home in the warm, and at my leisure without having to either tough it out at work or lose a day or two of pay.