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My Diary/Blog For the Month of September 2010

Thursday 30th September 2010
07:53 BST

  This is one of those mornings where the difference between mist and cloud becomes almost nothing. There is some very light mist at ground level, but just half way up some of the taller buildings it is far mistier. Or is it cloud ? Technically they are the same thing, but what is the corect name ? (.......pause while I discuss this with a colleague...). If it is in the sky it is cloud, but because even the tallest buildings don't poke out above the sky into outer space, it must be mist. Anyway, this morning probably marks the beginning of the autumn mists and fog.

 As you might expect, it is very damp outside, but there is no rain, and I don't think any significant amounts are due to fall today. It was forecast that yesterday would be very wet, and at times it was, but most of the time I was at work it was actually dry. In the evening there was indeed copious amounts of rain.

 My abrupt change in diet  the other night may have done some good. I felt the best I have been for what seems like ages yesterday. (Where "ages" can probably be translated to less than a fortnight !). Last night I did another abrupt change of diet, although this time it was an even more unhealthy selection of stuff. The worst offenders being two big Pasties (which may or not have been Cornish like). I bought those from the half price counter at Tesco the day before, and they had to be eaten fairly quickly before they went off. There is a definite hint that my trousers feel slightly tighter this morning, and so I had better be a little more selective in what I eat tonight.

 I didn't have a very good night, last night. I went to bed early enough, but as I lay in bed I got to wondering whatever became of an ex-girlfriend of mine. Her name was Marion, and some 20 - 24 years ago we not so much split up, but more just stopped seeing each other. The circumstances of this are far too hard to explain, and after all these years I am not convinced I fully understood them at the time. As far as I can remember there was no particular animosity involved, and in theory we could be civil to each other if we ever met again, although for reasons I'll not explain, I am not sure if she is still alive today.

 After considering all this from multiple angles I finally got to sleep a lot later than I wanted to. It was a rough sleep with loads of dreams that seemed to involve Marion even if she was not present in the dreams herself. One recurring symbol in my dreams last night was a thing that was a square of glass with sides slightly less then 3 inches long. I think the edge of the glass was slightly bevelled like perhaps a small bathroom tile (in fact the size was similar too, now I think about it). Inside a pale green border that was approximately half an inch wide, was a slightly raised area where the glass was patterned in various ways. Sometimes the glass was like different types of ridged/patterned/crinkled window pane as used in bathrooms, toilets, some front doors, etc (but not plain frosted glass). On at least one appearance it was like the bubbles/domes that cover some solar cells. I cannot think for the life of me what this tablet (for want of a better word) symbolized, or what in real life might have inspired it.

 After last nights poor sleep I am probably going to feel sleepy today, and I will probably doze off while reading something off the computer screen. In other ways I feel pretty reasonable now, and I'll probably continue to feel this way, or even feel better still, later on. I know that my blood pressure is lower today after losing a lot of blood this morning.  It is amazing how a tiny nick, just a millimetre long, and a tenth of that deep, can almost seem to spurt blood like a severed artery when it is between the nose and the upper lip. It is a well known fact that you can sever your leg with a chain saw, slap on a sticking plaster, and be running a marathon later in the afternoon. However, one small slip while shaving and it's like Jack The Ripper is back in town !
Wednesday 29th September 2010
07:46 BST

  A lot of rain was forecast for today, and it looks like there is a good chance it may turn out to be one of the more accurate weather forecasts. It was raining before I left to come to work (as evidenced by a very soggy pussy cat who had only been out for maybe 20 minutes). The rain seemed a lot lighter as I walked to the station, and by the time I reached the platform it had more or less stopped. Since then I have only felt a few brief  moments of rain on my face. In fact you could hardly call it rain. It was more like a mist. The rain may have stopped for now but the sky looks as if it is ready to drop an ocean of water on us. It's very dark and threatening up there.

 The weather yesterday was so featureless that it is hard to remember any significant facts about it. There was a bit of sunshine, but not much. Sometimes the sky was very cloudy, but it didn't rain. I don't know how close we got to the forecast 19 C. The temperature was pleasant enough, but I don't recall feeling particularly warm until after I had walked to the station (only Earlsfield station and it's knackering three flights of stairs). That always warms me up regardless of the air temperature. I did think it felt a bit humid though.

 Last night I had a bit of a feast. After another day of rumbling guts I thought a change of diet might help (and I think it has). So I went home via Tesco with the idea of buying some ingredients to make a few sandwiches. Unfortunately I passed the hot chicken counter and noticed nearly everything had been marked down to half price to clear the shelves as closing time approached. I only spent 1.50 on "flavoured thighs and legs", but it was rather a lot of chicken, and I stuffed myself with the whole lot. Then I ate some more perishable stuff that I had bought for half price. I went to bed feeling rather stuffed, and this morning I feel a bit heavy.

 As well as the rumbling guts, I felt very tired and sleepy yesterday. So last night I was determined to get to bed early. It actually required little effort to do that. It was dark by 7pm last night, and it seemed like bedtime even then. If I had nothing else to do it would have been easy to actually go to bed. I did a bit of this and a bit of that, but did end up in bed at 8.17pm. The annoying thing was that as soon as I lay down I no longer felt I was utterly exhausted, nor did I appear to be sleepy. I lost track of time after that, but I think it is possible that I was asleep before 9pm.

 As far as I can recall I slept solidly until 3.30am when I woke up with a feeling rather more awake than I thought I ought to. After having a pee I went back to bed feeling quite annoyed that I did not feel like sleeping. That was the last thing I remember before waking up a few minutes before my alarm was due to go off at 5am.

 To sum up; I went to bed feeling on the verge of collapse and couldn't initially sleep. Then later I got back in bed feeling wide awake and was asleep in seconds. Am I weird, or am I weird ?????????
Tuesday 28th September 2010
08:35 BST

  It is not raining, but it is very damp outside.The air itself feels damp. I believe it might rain sometime this morning, but there is apparently a chance for some sunshine in the afternoon. That should drive the temperature up to almost 20 C, and it is possible that some sheltered parts of inner London may even reach that. The sun's contribution to this will not be that great because most of the warmth is blowing in from the west. That warm western wind has skimmed off the top of the Atlantic Ocean, and it will apparently dump all that water on us tomorrow !

 Yesterday turned out better than I thought it would. We did have some nice sunny intervals, and although I thought it cool enough to wear a coat to work, I didn't bother wearing it to go home (although if it were a tad cooler I would have done so). When I left work it had got dull again, but the earlier sunshine had inspired me to want to walk to Wandsworth Common station. In the end I didn't do that because at the last moment I started to get a bit of a gut ache, and I thought it might be more prudent to go home via Waterloo where there are toilets if I needed them.
 
 It turned out that I didn't need the toilet on the way home, but about 90 minutes after getting home I did - a lot ! It is amazing the power that a gut full of hot cabbage, leek, assorted fish, and a pint (or more) of stock has to turn a mild bit of gut dissent into a whirling maelstrom of outright revolution. I am not sure if it is the heat or the pressure that does it, but if I have eaten the right ingredients the night before I can be sure that one of my very low calorie, very low fat, nearly all water and vegetables, meals will act in a way that prunes could only dream about.

 Sitting on the toilet was not all I did last night. I can't admit to watching the very latest episode of The Simpsons, as shown for the first time on American TV on Sunday. To admit that would be to admit obtaining a copy of the show by means that some do not wholeheartedly approve of. In fact it makes some very angry. So of course I wouldn't do it even though I believe it was an enjoyable show.

 I also installed some more software on my Dell Inspiron 2500 laptop. In particular I installed ME-TV. It's a piece of software that the package manager suggested for watching digital TV in conjunction with a USB digital TV receiver. Windows would suggest that it couldn't be done because that laptop does not have USB2 ports, but Linux didn't seem to mind. On such a low power computer it was only on the threshold of working, but it did work. It found every single "Freeview" channel, and I was able to watch them with little problem apart from the occasional freeze or picture breakup due to low signal strength from the little toy aerial that comes with the dongle. If I had placed the aerial in a better position it would probably have worked perfectly.

 My "illness" of last week seems to have either morphed into a different illness, or it is definitely over. Gone are the aches and pains to be replaced by different and milder ones together with a different type of fatigue. Most of it is just early morning stiffness. It takes a while for my body to transfer from sleeping inertness to waking litheness (not that I can ever remember being particularly lithe). The fatigue is something else though. After a nice hot shower I went back into my bedroom to get dressed and looked longinly at my bed with love in my eyes. Given the chance I would have gone back to sleep for several more hours.

 With the days getting shorter and shorter there is going to be more of this urge to hibernate, and of course to fill these pages with moaning about dark mornings and dark nights. My journey to work already starts in the dark (except this morning when I caught a later train), and it won't be long before most of it is done in darkness. At the end of next month, 30th October, the clocks go back an hour to GMT. If I've got it the right way round that gives me an extra hour in bed provided I go to bed an hour earlier at night. So there might be a little daylight in the morning for a few days, but daylight will be totally destroyed in the evening, or something. I am not sure if I am thinking about this correctly, but I really shouldn't be thinking about it at all because it is highly depressing.
Monday 27th September 2010
07:58 BST

  This morning is not as cold as yesterday morning, but we have paid a price for it. The sky is just dense clouds, and it is raining. When I first left home there was just a some very fine misty rain blowing in the breeze. When I walked from the station to work it had changed to a more substantial, but still very light drizzle.The odd thing is, I thought that the weather forecast for today, as only issued a little more than 12 hours ago, was that today would stay dry. The only day where rain was expected, and then in significant quantity, was to be Wednesday. Maybe the clouds will break up later, and the rain will stop. Stretching optimism to previously unheard of lengths - maybe there will even be some sunshine. The more pessimistic me says that it is going to be a wet and miserable day !

 Yesterday was not as bad as it could have been, but it was mostly unpleasant. I don't think I can recall any sunshine, or if there was any it was too brief to register on my concious mind. After the really chilly feeling start to the day it did warm up a bit, but nowhere near enough to forego any additional heating indoors. For much of the afternoon there was intermittent drizzle, and after dark the rain became heavier. One odd aspect of the rain was that it seemed to be hitting the north and south facing windows with equal intensity. If it was coming straight down it shouldn't have hit the window panes at all. Possibly some sort of sophisticated vortex effect was being caused by the wind coming from the west, and this was creating low pressure areas to both the front and back of the house. It's probably happened loads of time in the past, but it was only yesterday that it struck me as odd.

 I had a nice lazy day yesterday. In this case being lazy didn't mean being idle. I spent a geeky afternoon on the settee installing software onto a Dell Inspiron 2500 laptop that I was given ages ago. Until the weekend I had kept it at work, but brought it home as an extra spare after giving my spare laptop to Dee last weekend.

 It is quite an old laptop, but the battery still has at least an hour of life left in it. While I had it at work I made a few improvements to it by way of adding an ethernet port, and some more memory. With only 512MB of ram installed, and with a slow 800MHz processor it was never going to be a fast machine, although that was sufficient for Windows ME and Windows 2000 as the label on it says it was designed for. I tried installing Windows XP and as expected it was quite sluggish, and couldn't play a movie in full screen mode.

 Once I had finished installing Windows XP plus service packs 2 and 3, and a few bits of software, I took the hard disk out and replaced it with a spare one I had laying around. On that I installed PCLinuxOS 2010. Doing that was as simple as pie, and took less than a third of the time it took to get to a similar point installing Windows XP. With Linux installed it really came to life. I could play a movie file full screen as smooth as silk, and everything else became so much more responsive. It was as if that laptop had been designed to run it.

 Playing with that laptop took up most of the afternoon until it was time to watch the BBC's Countryfile to see all the countryside stuff, but more importantly to see the long term weather forecast (that is probably wrong already !). When that finished at 7.30pm I did some more stuff on my PC for a little over an hour, and then I went to bed and did some reading. It was my intention to try and get to sleep by 9pm, but I had had the heating on in my bedroom earlier on and I found the bed too warm to be comfortable in, and it felt too cool to not cover myself up. After much thrashing about I finally fell asleep sometime after 10pm. Not counting a brief visit to the toilet sometime in the night, I was awake again at 4am. I did try and get back to sleep again, and maybe for a few minutes I did sleep, but for the most part I have been awake since 4am. I think I'll be looking forward to my bed tonight !
Sunday 26th September 2010
09:50 BST

  The main feature about this morning is that it is bloody cold ! I was surprised there was no frost on the ground, but I guess the reality is that it is probably near to 10 than 0 C. Plucking a figure out of thin air I'll say it was 7 C this morning. By this afternoon I don't think we are expecting anything greater than somewhere in the mid teens. At least it is dry, but the sky is very grey and it does look as if rain could be a possibility some time today.

 Yesterday morning was bright and sunny. If that had been the only feature it would have been quite pleasant, but there was also a cold wind blowing that brought a chill whenever I was in the shade. The wind dropped during the afternoon, but by then it had gotten quite cloudy and there was no help from the sun to make it feel warmer than it was.

 I had a bit of a surprise yesterday morning. I was waiting for Aleemah to arrive at the station when I got a call from Patricia. It was the first time I had spoken to Patricia for maybe a couple of months, and I had just about given up on her. In the couple of text messages we had exchanged since then, all of them over a month ago, she had just seemed too busy and too disinterested to bother trying to make any other exchanges. Then out of the blue came this voice call - which is a rarity in itself.

 Under other circumstances I think we would have met up for an hour or so, but by then I was committed to seeing Aleemah. Had I had any forewarning I would have put Aleemah off and seen Patricia instead. Now I expect there will be another wait of a month or two before we meet again.

 My drive to reduce my carbohydrate intake too a mild blow yesterday. When I met Aleemah we went to the cafe as normal, and also as normal I indulged in double egg and chips in there. Later on in the day I did manage to moderate things a bit, but the worst offenders were probably some assorted very low fat baked crisps I tried. In theory they should be low in everything except for the cardboard they taste as if they are made from. In practice they still contain a lot of carbohydrate.

 This morning I have indulged in the recently rare luxury of some breakfast. It was simple enough - sardines and some pickled cherry peppers.  They were not tinned sardines, but real uncooked fish (until I cooked them). I bought them frozen from Aldi a little while back, and there were quite a lot of them for just under 2 (as far as I can recall). They come in an aluminium tray that you can put straight into the oven. I just sprinkled them with some vinegar from the pickled cherry peppers jar, and gave them a sprinkle of white pepper, and a squeeze of garlic before putting them in a hot oven for about 35 minutes.

 To be honest I can't say they were delicious, but they were pleasant. It was difficult eating them because apart from being cleaned they retained a full set of nasty little sharp bones. Initially I started fiddling around with a knife and fork, but found it easier just to use my fingers. That made the job a lot easier, and I found it was quite easy to peel back the flesh from the bones leaving the traditional cartoon fish skeleton behind (but minus the head). Just like meat improves if you let it stand after cooking, I found that the fish flesh peeled away from the bone far easier as the fish cooled off.

 That was definitely a low carbohydrate breakfast, and the fish oil should be beneficial to me. The only trouble now is the lingering fishy taste in my mouth. If I had eaten those sardines at 8pm instead of 8am I would flush my mouth out with some whisky (any excuse !). What I should have done is given my teeth a good brush before I started writing, and having thought about it, that is exactly what I have just done since writing the previous sentence.

 I think I had some vague thoughts about going out today, but I don't think that will happen for a couple of reasons. The grey sky is one cliched reason, but other reasons are that I have some stuff to do, and I have a small wound that could do with a bit more time to heal. I think what I am going to do is a bit more laundry, a bit more snoozing, and try and get restarted on a DVD making project that I seem to have neglected all week.
Friday 24th September 2010
08:16 BST

  It is not so much cloudy this morning, but more like someone has draped a blueish-grey tarpaulin over the sky. It even had the gall to rain on me while I waited for my train at Catford Bridge station (though this would have annoyed Smudge more because she elected to stay out today). For all that it is not that cold yet. It was cool enough that I thought it prudent to put on my very lightest coat - the very thin hooded black bomber jacket - and it was quite helpful having that on when it started to rain. The rain didn't last long, and may even have stopped seconds before my train arived, but it could rain again at any time today.

 There was quite a bit of rain yesterday. I think most of it fell between about 10am and 11am, with some odd spits and spots up until maybe midday. At some points the rain was exceedingly heavy, and when I inspected the River Wandle during my lunch break it was running deeper than I can recall seeing it before.

 It stayed dry for the rest of the afternoon, and after I left work to go home I decided that for the third night running I would walk the near 2 miles to Wandsworth Common station again. It did get reasonably bright as I walked, and the sun came so close to breaking through what were really just misty clouds, that for a short time it was casting a weak shadow.

 Although yesterday afternoon was as much as 5 C cooler than the day before, I still worked up quite a sweat as I walked up the long hill. I did a little more fine tuning of my route last night, and I think I have shaved a few more yards off the distance. I now esitmate that I have found the very quickest and easiest route, and it is in reality only about a 1.9 mile walk now.

 The new main part of the route goes up a different part of the hill, and spreads the rise out a bit more. My old route had a fairly steep bit towards the top. As I predicted, last night was less of a ordeal, but it still felt like really hard work compared to the far longer walks I have done for leisure. Of course one big difference is the long country or coastal walks were not done after a full day at work.

 Apart from the previous two days of practice, there were two other things that made yesterdays walk a little easier. You could say the two things were closely interlinked. I walked at a slightly more sedate pace as I went up the long hill, and I distracted myself from thinking about it too much by reading some stuff off my mobile phone. I am not sure which came first - slowing down to read the phone of reading the phone because I was walking slower.

 I think I am definitely on the mend now, but I still have some assorted aches, pains, stiffness, fatigue and maybe more beside. This makes me think it is a bit more than just the fallout from a particularly hedonistic long weekend. It does remind me of a flu like, (probably) viral infection of some sort that I, and as I later learned, several others suffered from back in June (I think). It is almost as if it has flared up again - which is what some virus' do. (Is the plural of virus virii, or as I spelled it, virus' ?).

 Maybe what I really need to cure me is what I have been avoiding all week - booze ! Well I won't be avoiding it for much longer. I checked my bank balance last night, and although it is perilously low, I decided I should splash out and buy two 1 litre bottles of Teachers whiskey which is on quite a good offer in Tesco right now at 25 for two bottles. So far I haven't tested the Teachers, but it can't be too long before I do.

 Apart from the booze, I was going to be highly selective of what I bought last night, but then I realised it was a Thursday night, and time for the latest edition of New Scientist. For a more relaxed lifestyle it is easier to eat sandwiches while relaxing on the settee reading. So I bought some sandwiches, and I also bought a half price tub of Tesco's "Finest" spinach and pine nut pasta. Even at half price it is a rip off - they don't even use real olive oil in it ! Still, it was fairly tasty, but I would have preferred not to have eaten all that cheap vegetable oil. The other stuff I really should not have had was the pots of "bio-active" fat free (allegedly) yoghurt. While some might argue it is terribly healthy, green and generally vegetarian, it also has far too much teeth rotting, diabetes causing, waistline increasing sugar in it. It really ought to carry a government health warning on it in the way that cigarettes shouldn't carry one.

 Anything could happen tonight. I might even take the long walk to Wandsworth Common station tonight, but I feel that's unlikely. I may get the call for a couple of beers after work, and although I would prefer to only have a couple of pint, I think I would accept that invitation. What I must do tonight is to ensure I don't get carried away and stay up too late. Being a Saturday I don't have to go to work, but I will stall have plenty of work to do trying to make the place look vaguely sanitary ready for Aleemah to visit.
Thursday 23rd September 2010
08:09 BST

  The weather forecasters tell us that we are now in autumn, and the weather will be appropriate for autumn. Happily we are not there just yet. The day started off rather dull, but it was quite mild, and now it does seem to be getting brighter outside. Sadly it wil not be as warm today as it was yesterday, and all the while we will be surrounded by pockets of rain that might get lost and wander overhead. By all accounts it will be strictly downhill after today, and tomorrow is supposed to be cold and wet with temperatures not much better than the mid teens.

 I am told that yesterday the temperature did hit 25 C in a few places, but while it felt very pleasant it did not feel particularly hot. That was probably because there was a lot more cloud around in the afternoon shielding us from the direct rays of the sun. (as I wrote that the sun has just come out here). While it didn't feel that hot, it was hot enough to make any physical effort a damp sweaty process for me.

 I managed to convince myself that another walk to Wandsworth Common station after work would do me some more good. I made a small change to the route I took after studying Google maps. One of the options that Google maps does not give you when planning a route is to walk across the common. In fact it doesn't know about any foorpaths despite having a walking option. My new route starts of straighter than the old route, and maybe the hill climb is a bit more moderate, and then I cut across Wandsworth Common itself.

 It is difficult to say if it is any easier by comparing the two walks because on Tuesday night I felt close to death anyway, and last night I only felt close to going into a coma. What I do think is that it is a tiny bit shorter, about this much :-
       >|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|<
I should have recorded the walk using the app in my mobile phone, but the battery was too low to leave the GPS satelite receiver running, and so I couldn't make any meaningful measurement. Depending on how I feel, and what the weather is like, I may do it tonight.

 These two nights of adding an extra (approx) two mile walk to my day, and being careful with what I am eating, have made me feel considerably better than I was on Tuesday morning. I still don't consider myself to be feeling well yet, most of the aches and pains have gone, but other milder ones have appeared, and some complaints defy any sort of useful description. It probably means that I should force myself to walk again tonight in spite of any reasons not too, and try to sweat a bit more crap out of my body.

 Walking tonight should be still easier, but it is afterwards where the danger lies. I am probably picking up some shopping on the way home, and that leads to great temptation to buy stuff I would prefer not to eat (or can't afford at this end of the month - like the Scotch that Tesco's were advertising in the paper for 25 for two bottles [1 litre bottles I think]). What I think I will buy is some more fish, and some more skinless chicken fillets.

 What I won't buy is the cheap diced beef I had for dinner last night. The way I cooked it left it tasting quite bland. What I should have done is fried it over a high heat until it was nicely browned before putting it in my casserole. The trouble is that defeats two points. The first is that I try to avoid fried food except on special occasions (like coming home from the pub after a good boozy session !), and secondly it takes too much time, and there is a third thing too - it's another pan to wash up !
Wednesday 22nd September 2010
07:46 BST

  Once the haziness in the sky has melted away it could be a fine sunny morning. The sky is almost, but not quite clear, and the sun is trying to shine through the misty clouds. This afternoon is forecast to be bright and sunny with temperatures of a rather amazing 25 C possible in inner London. Tonight marks the autumnal equinox, and apparently the weather will obey this order as decreed by the lords of the weather forecasters, and tomorrow we will be plunged into cold and wet misery.

 At least we will have enjoyed several recent days of decent weather, and yesterday turned out to be one of them. It wasn't as warm as today might achieve, but the afternoon was definitely warm and sunny. It certainly warmed me up when I left work to go home.

 By the afternoon I didn't feel nearly as bad as when I started yesterday. I knew that part of the cure for that affliction was to do some walking to stir up the blood and other bodily humours (as 19th century doctors would put it - and probably correctly too !). I didn't really feel up to it, but I pushed myself in a kill or cure situation, to walk from work the 2 miles over the hill to Wandsworth Common station. It felt touch and go a few times, but I survived, and I did feel much better in more ways than I felt worse when I got home. The feeling worse was only normal fatigue.

 It is sort of weird how I can feel both fatigued and pulsing with subdued energy at the same time, but that is how it felt. I was close to being productive last night instead of completely lazy. Probably the most dynamic thing I did was to do a lot of several day old washing up, but my cooking involved a tiny bit more than "shove it in a pot and hope for the best". Mind you, it was only a tiny, tiny bit more than that. I actually cooked two dinners, and it was just the act of cooking the second dinner that made the process that tiny bit more dynamic.

 My dinner last night was a lot smaller than intended, but that was probably a good thing. It was basically a chicken, mange tout, and green french bean stew with loads of garlic and tomato puree. As planned it would have included a lot of very filling liquid (gravy, stock, or whatever you want to call it). Unfortunaely I left the gas a little bit too high, and with my newly re-discovered dynamism I was doing some stuff on the PC that took longer than I realised.

 At this point you may be thinking that I made the second dinner because the first one burnt, but you would be wrong. There was one small hint that one bit of chicken was beginning to burn a bit on the bottom of the pan, but basically all that happened was the stock was reduced down into an intensely flavoured sauce that made the meal one of the tastiest I have made in ages. If I had made double, or even triple the amount I would have most probably eaten the lot. Sadly all I had was quite a small portion, and I actually felt slightly empty when I went to bed later on.

 The second dinner I cooked is for tonight. With luck it will be rather tasty too, but I know it will not be anywhere near the almost narcotic delights of last nights dinner. What I made was a beef casserole with, once again, loads of garlic, a lot of paprika, some cherry tomatoes, more french green beans, and onion and bell pepper. It was very cheap stewing steak that I used, but I gave it as much as two hours cooking last night, before turning off the gas and letting it marinate in situ. All I have to do is to turn on the gas and reheat it when I get home.

 Despite singing the praises of my extra two miles walk last night, I still feel slightly crap this morning again. It is a different sort of crapness to yesterday, and in the main it is just a sort of creakyness with a headache. I can only liken it to the imagined effects of sleeping on sacks of potatoes while cuddling a sack in your sleep. In theory it should all wear off as the day progresses, and some warm sunshine may well help the process.

 I came very close to walking from Wandsworth Common station to work this morning, and if a bus to take me to Forest Hill station had arrived at Catford Bridge before the train to Waterloo East, I would have done so. Tonight I may well walk to Wandsworth Common station, but I'll probably make the final decision about it when I either enter or pass Earlsfield station. If I do choose to walk I know I'll be sweating loads of toxins out of my system. Last night, with the sun on my back, it did feel rather warm as I walked up the hill towards the station. That gave me a fairly good sweat, and tonight I could be dripping everywhere !
My shadow as I walked up the hill in bright sunlight
As snapped on my mobile phone, my shadow looks really peculiar, almost as if I was wearing a dress or something.  This picture is intended to show how bright the sun was by how deep my shadow was as I puffed and panted my way up the hill towards Wandsworth Common last night. Some of the peculiarity of my shadow comes from the sun being quite low in the sky, and the shadow being formed on ground sloping up away from me. It still doesn't explain why I seem to have not the merest hint of a crutch though (not to mention a shrunken head)!
Tuesday 21st September 2010
08:05 BST

  The theory is that this afternoon is going to be warm and sunny. In practice I have some doubts about it. Just before sunrise, when the sun first appears over the horizon, the thin high clouds in the eastern sky were lit up in pinks and oranges. Following the old adage "red sky in the morning, shepherds warning", that would seem to predict bad weather on it's way. It is not here just yet, but the sky is very cloudy right now. Maybe it will clear again and we shall see the sunny afternoon the weather forecasters promised us.

 Yesterday's weather was definitely rather better than I could have hoped for. There was a lot of sunshine, and with the prevailing wind coming from the south it did get up to 20 C. If the weather forecasters prediction about today and tomorrow are really for this reality, and not some alternate reality, then today should see another two degrees added to that, and even more amzingly another two degress on that on Wednesday. After that it will rain !

 I feel pretty bad this morning. Four days of no exercise, too much food, drink, and smoke, not to mention variability in my sleep times, have broken enough bits of my body to make me feel crap. I can't even blame it on the wages of sin. Then again, maybe some would. For certain miserable bastards any form of pleasure is a sin, and even while I was being occasionally bloody miserable yesterday I was still enjoying myself in some respects. It is a curse of mine that even in the depths of utter despair there is a corner of my brain enjoying working out the motivations for my despair, what could be done about it, why it only happens during 74 degrees of rotation of every third orbit of the third moon of Neptune (I defy you to prove that this rubbish is actually rubbish !), and should I wash my hair in the morning.

 Now I am back at work I should begin to mend some of those wounds of the body, and maybe wounds of the soul. I might even force myself to do the two mile walk to Wandsworth Common station after work for the more scenic, more time consuming, but cheaper and healthier way home. It is even possible I might do it for pleasure, but considering that now seems a bit hasty.
Monday 20th September 2010
10:13 BST

  Since daybreak the weather has deteriorated, but it is still dry, and sun continues to find chinks in the cloud to shine through. It looks like the clouds will soon get to dense to allow the sun to shine, and though they are small at the moment there are some very dense looking black clouds in the sky.  Maybe they are just passing by, but my best guess is that there could be rain this afternoon.

 Yesterday had relatively pleasant weather. There was some sunshine, and it was not too cool. One aspect that became quite apparent yesterday was how low the sun is getting in the sky now.  Outside my front door, a little before midday, the sun was blindingly bright, but it carried little heat with it.

 The high point of yesterday was going out to meet Dee in The Ram to give her my old laptop. I threw in a "3" mobile broadband dongle with 3GB of "credit" on it valid for 30 days to get her started. This elicited two surprises for me. The first was just how good the mobile broadband signal was inside the cavernous interior of The Ram. Once upon a time many mobile phones struggled to get any signal towards the back of the place where we were sitting.

 The other surprise was how Dee seemed to devour all my travel photo blogs. I am sure if I had invited her to come round to see my "holiday" snapshots she would, like most people cringe at the idea, but wrapped up as a web page she found them fascinating. We had a couple of drinks in there while Dee played with the laptop (borrowing power from a nearby power socket because the laptop has no battery in it). Dee just had a couple of soft drinks while I had a couple of pints of Kronenberg.

 After those couple of pints it was really nice to come home and devour some roast lamb and potatoes that I had left cooking while I was out. With lashings of mint sauce it was a delight to have something like a proper Sunday dinner for the first time in ages. After stuffing myself with dinner I initially watched some TV, but ultimately went and laid on my bed to read a magazine before dozing off.

 As I think I predicted yesterday, I lost the will do do anything too serious after the booze, food, and sleep. I hadn't had enough beer to get a painful hangover, but I definitely felt like my brain was wrapped in cotton wool. Nevertheless I managed to do a little work on the PC before eventually forcing myself to get to bed at a little after 9pm.

 It wasn't important to get to sleep early for any particular reason because I have one more day off work today, but I felt it important that I should get back to normal ready for tonight. It's back to work tomorrow, and that means rising at 5am at the latest. To get my ideal 8 hours beauty sleep I should be asleep by 9pm. In practice, 7 hours seems to be enough on most days, and even 6 at a pinch, but I'll never be beautiful on that little sleep :-)

 There is still a possibility that I might finally get out for a walk today after wasting the opprtunity for one over the last few days. It is, however, a slim possibility. Maybe all the recent excitement has dulled the urge to go out exploring, and it was the need for excitement that exploring gave that urged me forward rather than any health reasons (although that was a useful byproduct of my longer walks). I might get as far as a local shop or two, but I can see me spending yet more time at the PC today.
Sunday 19th September 2010
09:08 BST

  The shine has come off this morning. It started bright and sunny, but there is more cloud now. Maybe it will clear again, and we'll see more sunshine, or maybe it will become gloomy as the day progresses. There is, or was, no rain forecast for today, but it seems that fate will be on us tomorrow.

 On the whole, yesterday was a fine, but rather cool day. There was plenty of sunshine, but I didn't take advantage of it. Being out so late on Friday night seemed to affect my body clock quite badly. It was probably made worse by the fact that sometime around 10am, or maybe a bit later, I went back to bed. It was almost 1pm before I surfaced again, and it felt like the best of the day had already passed me by.

 I ended up watching a bit of TV and tinkering on my PC during the afternoon. Around 5pm I was contemplating ordering a takeaway, but decided to cook up something nice instead. I had a pack of chicken legs and thighs in the fridge that I used for a very tasty, but insubstantial meal. On a baking tray I sprinkled a handful of small cherry tomatoes and a sliced up small onion. I put the chicken pieces on top of some of the onion, and then squirted a very generous amount of garlic paste on them. I followed that up with a covering of terriyaki sauce, and finally some olive oil. I then baked the whole lot in the oven for about 45 minutes.

 It turned out to be very tasty, but I should have cooked some more stuff to go with it, but I am not sure what. Maybe some potato wedges would have been a good idea, or better idea might have been some sort of green vegetable. One thing for sure is that I ought to have a really bad garlic breath this morning. Obviously I can't tell if I have, but I bet no one comes within 6ft of me when I go out in public later. I guess this is the penalty for enjoying strong garlic occasionally.

 Having had my "garlic chicken deluxe" I felt that I ought to do something more productive, and it was back to the PC for more serious stuff. I've had a few distractions recently so my project to create a comprehensive DVD of Chain's (or The Bluesicians as they were at the time) performance at the Fox And Hounds (Sevenoaks beer festival) has not progressed much lately. Last night I copied another two songs from the camcorder to the PC.

 I have begun to worry that the sound from my big, semi-pro, camcorder sounds a bit thin. So last night I did some experimenting with sound enhancement using some broadasting software left over from my radio days. It does make a useful difference to the sound, but it is going to make my project a lot longer if I decide to treat all the video that way.  Basically I have to extract the sound from the video, process it, and then re-edit the sound back into the video. That's followed by the tedious wait while the re-edited video is rendered back into one single video file.

 Today there are many things I could do, but I am constrained to one course of action at least until later this afternoon. At midday I am meeting with Dee again in the pub. She will become the lucky recipient of my old laptop. That's not the old, old (ancient !) laptop that I use by my bed as an mp3 player, but my Acer Travelmate 290 laptop. It's the one that has a tricky fault in the battery charging circuit, and destroyed the new battery I bought for it a year or two ago. It is fine running on mains power, and that is all Dee wants it for. So at midday I hand it over to her, and have a beer while doing so.

 It is possible that I will have more than one beer, and this could be good , or it could be bad. Several beers would be very nice, but it will wreck my chances of doing anything this afternoon. That in itself is not bad. The idea of coming home, having some Sunday dinner, and then dozing off while reading or watching something interesting on TV (unlikely !) is actually appealing. It will be the hangover in the evening that I won't appreciate because it will stifle my creative jiuces (or something).

 I don't go back to work until Tuesday so I will still have tomorrow to recover from today, or to go out, or anything else that needs to be done. Of course it is likely to be raining tomorrow so I probably won't go out, but I can always stay in and try and make some progress on my DVD project, although a good long walk is really what I need to sort out my stagnant body after a few days of hedonism.
Saturday 18th September 2010
08:54 BST

  I don't think I expected that this morning could also be bright and sunny. The sky is not as clear as yesterday morning, but the sun is definitely shining and it is starting to warm the front bedroom up nicely. Outside it is very chilly. I would imagine that the temperature dropped into low single figures at the coldest point this morning. It can't be long before we see the first frosts.

 I haven't see a weather forecast that might give some sort of clue as to how today will turn out, but I would guess it will be similar to yesterday when the clear blue morning sky gradually clouded over. By the afternoon it was still bright, but we had lost most of the sunshine. After dark the sky did clear again as evidenced by the bright three quarter full moon.

 There were many things I could have done yesterday, and I did very few of them. Instead of going out for a long healthy walk I only made it as far as Tesco's. I then came home and ate a brunch that was rather on the large size.  I then lazed about feeling very full for the rest of the day.

 It was fortunate that I ate so early in the day or I would never had made it out last night. As it was I did feel slightly uncomfortable when I did go out to see Chain play at The British Queen in Locks Bottom, Kent (which I think I incorrectly called Pratts Bottom yesterday). I was fortunate that Iain joined me on the hateful 40 minute bus journey from one end of route 336 to the other. I don't really know why I find long bus journeys so horrible, but I hate them !

 The band were on good form last night and I enjoyed the gig more than I thought I would.  With the prospect of another 40 minute bus ride to get back home I limited myself to just two pints even though I stayed at the pub a lot longer than I thought I would. In the end we got the third to last bus home arriving back in Catford at twenty to midnight - the latest I have been out in absolute ages.

 I had two very nice surprises in the pub, The first was when a woman complimented me on the t-shirt I was wearing. It was a t-shirt that had lain unused in my bottom drawer for many years. Usually that would mean that I had not worn it because it was too small for me, but last night it seemed to fit ok despite being a little snug. The t-shirt was one I bought at a gig way back in 1991 when John Kay & Steppenwolf performed at The Marquee Club as part of their "Rise And Shine" tour.
John Kay & Steppenwolf t shirt front from 1991
 Above is a photo of the front of the very t-shirt I was wearing. I think my mystery complimenter was actually more drawn to the picture of the wold man rather than the whole design. It was a shame that it was too noisy and crowded to say that after all the walking I do my legs and thighs look pretty similar. It's just a shame that the match is rather less good above the legs :-(

 The second surprise came after I commented on the set list that Liz, the bands guest/backing vocalist, showed me. It had Sweet Child Of Mine listed for an encore. I mentioned to Liz that I couldn't recal hearing the band perform that before, and it was a shame that I would most probably be leaving before the encore and would miss it. Unbeknown to me, Liz had a quiet word with the rest of the band, and they offered to move the song up the set list. I felt deeply honoured when it was played specially for me in the early part of their second set. It sounded pretty good too !

 One useful thing last night was that the band were performing in front of a window giving a view out onto the road. Also it was doubly convenient that right beside the window was a clock. At 10.20pm I noticed a bus arrive from Catford, and it was 10 minutes before it appeared again having turned around and headed back to Catford. From then on I spent more time looking past the band and out into the road. The next bus appeared from Catford at 10.50pm, and that was out cue to pay one last visit to the toilet and get to the bus stop.

 The bus duly arrived at 11.01pm and we were back in Catford at twenty to midnight. At that late hour even the chip shop had closed, but the KFC was still open. If Iain had not wanted to get something to eat I may have resisted the temptation, but I didn't. I bought some hot wings and a small fries to top up with before going to bed. I was more than happy to get home to eat my supper while Iain had another 30 minute bus ride to get him home (although only a 30 second wait at the bus stop to get his bus).

 I am not sure of the exact time, but it was close to 1am before I was in bed, and I am sure it was after 1am before I got to sleep. I slept solidly for 6 hours, but then I woke up and got up. Since then I have edited pictures and done other stuff on the PC. Now I feel rather weary again. I think I may go back to bed and get another hours of sleep before getting up again and deciding what I may do today. I don't think I'll be going out for a long walk today, but it could happen. More likely is that I will spend some more time doing video stuff on my PC.
Friday 17th September 2010
09:38 BST

  The day has started off well. The sky is blue and the sun is shining. It's also rather chilly, and I am thinking that I ought to turn some heating on. If the day goes as forecast it will stay sunny, and it will get pleasantly warm, but after today I think things go downhill again with more wet autumnal weather.

 Yesterday went rather well. Apart from the cool breeze it wasn't too bad out, but it was the evening that was most pleasant. After work I went to The Ram to have a very brief meeting with Chris from Chain to give him some disks I had prepared of Chain's recent performances.  I also met up with another very rare person by the name of Dee. I haven't seen her in ages, and as we chatted what should have been one drink became two, then three, and I think the total for the evening was 4 pints. I enjoyed myself, and she giggled a lot so I presume she enjoyed herself too. Maybe it won't be another year before we meet again !

 After 4 pints the only answer was to get cod and chips for my dinner. As an experiment I tried eating the fish with some wasabi sprinkled over it. It made for a change and tasted rather good. I'll be doing that again in the future.

 Today I am on holiday from work, and in theory I should be going out for a long walk in the sunshine. In practice I don't think I will be doing that. I feel rather lazy today, and there is plenty of other stuff I can be doing. I'll probably do some laundry, and I'll do some shopping, but I think much of my time will be spent doing stuff on a PC.

 If I can conserve my energy, and get the timing of my eating right, there is a gig I'd like to go to tonight.  Chain are playing at The British Queen in Pratts Bottom. It is easy to get to provided I can stomach a ride along the entire length of bus route 336. The bus starts a short walk from here, and ends right outside the pub. So apart from the tedium of a 46 minute bus ride there are no excuses there for not going.  

 The one reason I might have for not going is that it starts at my normal bedtime - 9pm. I didn't sleep that well last night and I could well be quite tired by the time I would have to go out. I am not sure why I didn't sleep well last night. Maybe it was the knowledge that I could get up and go back to bed for extra sleep this morning. In fact I did wake up unreasonably early at a little after 3am. If I had to go to work today I may have been able to convince myself to go to sleep again, but I got up feeling wide awake. At first I read some stuff off the internet, and then I went for a short walk into the park.

 At 4am it was quite nice in the park. With less street lighting the sky looked a bit darker, and with the clear sky there were loads of stars to see. I wish I had taken my phone with the Google Sky application on it so I could identify some of the stars. My walk was actually quite brief because I had not been out all that long before I decided that I really should have gone to the toilet before going out into the cold night air.

 Having dealt with that I did get back into bed, and although it didn't really feel like I had gone to sleep it was bright daylight when I woke up. Since then I have downloaded some dodgy software that doesn't seem to work, but didn't raise any alarms when I checked it with my anti-virus prior to running it. I've also uploaded an eight minute video to Myspace - which took an age ! The video was about trains, so any trainspotters can find it on my Myspace pages here.
Thursday 16th September 2010
08:21 BST

  After yesterday's bright sunny morning it is disappointing that this morning is all grey and nasty. It is dry, but it feels like rain may be a possibility at some time. One positive aspect is that all the cloud has kept the temperature a tiny bit higher than yesterday morning. There's not much in it, and as such I think many people would describe it as cold outside. Some, like me, were still just in shirtsleeves, while others whose ancestors came from hotter climates are fully wrapped up in their sinister looking hoodies, or wearing stupid looking hats.

 The bright sunny morning did not last all that long yesterday. By midday it had nearly clouded over, and for the rest of the afternoon tehre was little contribution from the warm sun. Had there not been a strong breeze it might have felt relatively pleasant, but that breeze did make it feel cooler than it could have been. It will soon be time to starting using some heating again unfortunately.

 Last night I cooked myself up some wonderfully healthy (maybe !) mixed fish and vegetable stew with plenty of garlic in it. If I had only had that I would have declared it a victory, but I did have 4 pots of bio-active yoghurt which were close to their use by date, and like all allegedly healthy dairy products contain unhealthy amounts of sugar.

 I was quite busy last night. I have given in to the lure of so called social networking by opening up a Myspace account - http://www.myspace.com/550578655 . It won't be replacing my boring daily whinging and moaning here, and if the truth be told it is mainly just to use Myspace's video streaming facilities. It may have other uses as well. I have already uploaded a few photo albums, but there are few photos that haven't appeared here before.

 Of course the real reason for using Myspace is so that some genuine filthy rich, stunningly beautiful, 30 - 40 year old widow with no kids, will see my profile and fall madly and passionately in love with me. Of course that's just fantasy. In reality I am prepared to lower my expectations. She could be either stunningly beautiful, or filthy rich (provided she looks better than a sack of old spanners). That's what I hope for, but what is more likely is that I will be approached by some grotesque 50 year old chicken plucker from some godforsaken ex easten bloc country, or an (alleged) Nigerian princess who wants help taking her illegally amassed fortune of $2,300,000 ("two million, three hundred thousand american dollars") out of the country, and can she have my bank account details please ?
Wednesday 15th September 2010
08:04 BST

  I guess I may have been a little more comfortable if I had rolled my shirt sleeves down as I made y way into work. It was a little bit on the cool side after the sky cleared overnight. Even 90 minutes after I first ventured out into the morning air the sky is still very clear, and the sun is shining from fairly low on the horizon. It's now too late in the year for the sunshine to warm things up very much, but I am expecting that the afternoon will be pleasantly mild.

 It was quite a surprise for the weather to change like this. Yesterday was dull, damp and murky, and I feared it could only get worse. At the beginning of the week the forecast was for Friday to be exceptionally wet, but now a warm(ish) sunny day is forecast. That would be quite handy because I have booked Friday off work. Maybe my subconcious had access to information that my concious didn't, and knew that Friday would be OK to go out walking - which is what I wanted to do.

 I did no boozing last night, but I did do a fair bit of eating. I realy couldn't convince myself that I was just going to eat vegetable stew last night, and so I went home via Tesco. My shopping was all healthy stuff until I noticed a couple of pots of ready to eat (cold) prawn pasta reduced to half price. The temptation was too much so I chucked them in my basket. They were very nice with some extra hot chilli sauce, but contained all sorts of stuff I would have preffered to avoid.

 Having no cooking to do was handy last night because it gave me more time to do some work on the PC. The work I did was preparing stuff to pass on to Chain when I see their lead guitarist tomorrow night. Having now done everything I needed to do last night I can have a more relaxed time tonight, although I doubt if I will.

 What I may well do tonight is to prepare some stuff for a new Myspace account I am thinking of starting. I chiefly want it to take advantage of some of the media possibilities it offers. Embedded video is definitely one handy option, but I may also use it for some of my photo collections - mainly thematic albums instead of the albums by date (if you could call my special photo blogs of specific days out "albums"). The first album I'll set up will be a collection of all my wildlife photos. I now have quite a few wildlife pictures scattered through my collection that I am fairly proud of, and it would be nice to display them all in one place.
Tuesday 14th September 2010
08:08 BST

  It seems very dark and overcast this morning, and yet it is dry, and it is reasonably mild. The temperature today is forecast to barely reach 20 C, and maybe a degree or two less. That's still not cold, but the likelyhood of rain means that I don't think I really approve of today.

 Yesterday was actually not that bad. I think the sun did show itself for a few brief moment, and even when hidden it still didn't feel that gloomy with all the white clouds overhead. Those clouds did leak on a few occasions. As I walked from work to the station was one time. It was not heavy rain, but that persistent light rain that you can, at your peril, try and ignore while it sneaks up on you and renders you soaked through without realising it is happening. I was a coward and put my lightweight bomber type jacket on (with the hood up). It did, as I expected, feel quite warm walking with that on, and with the rain just about over I took it off and stuffed it back in my back pack at Waterloo station.

 Last night was rather good. I had just started walking towards home from Catford Bridge station when Kevin called me to ask if I fancied a "swift half" in the pub. History will record that the "swift half" was in reality more like 4 pints, and I left the pub feeling at the peak of everything good about being drunk ! One more pint I would have began to feel bad effects, but I definitely felt very good. My mood was also enhanced by seeing Chris, the lead guitarist from Chain, drinking in the pub and exchanging a few words with him. One of those words was that Chain have been booked to play in The Catford Ram again in the not too distant future (maybe mid October). I'll be checking their website frequently until the actual date is published.

 My plans for an extra healthy lightweight vegetable stew were wrecked soon after I finished the first pint last night. What I actually had was cod and chips from The Catford Chippie. I ate that, with a light scattering of hot chilli sauce, while watching some repeat of Top Gear on TV. I am not exactly sure when that finished, but I am reasonably sure I was in bed very soon after 9pm, and fast asleep very soon after that.

 I don't think I slept that well last night even though I don't feel sleepy now. Not unexpectedly I woke up at sometime after 1am to have a pee, and at that time I did seem to have a hangover type headache. I thought I might need to get a paracetamol, ut as I pondered this I fell back to sleep again. I did dream a lot last night, and although many of the details are fading fast, the fact that I remember so much suggests I was probably on the verge of waking up many times.

 One dream seemed to make some connection between rockets (or missiles) and Felinfoel ale. Quite what that connection was remains a mystery, but I am convinced it was nothing scatalogical. We used to jokingly call Felinfoel "Feeling Foul", but it was only because we could rather than it having any bad effects on the digestive or other body systems.

 Another dream, possibly the last before I finally woke up at 4.40am, made a curious connection between rampaging space alien hells angels and Radio 4 (with a rocket ship thrown in for good measure). This latter dream was quite horrendous, and definitely X rated. I was on a rocket whose interior shared some similarities with my house, and we had landed on a planet somewhere. When we went through my back door the air lock we spotted some ravening alien hells angels who started throwing rock at us (but they may have been some kind of hand grenade). I was able to duck back inside and went to lay on my bed to listen to Radio 4 (which I don't think I have ever done in real life). When I checked a bit later I found my shipmates were all dead and horribly mutilated in ways that I would rather not describe. It was all horribly unpleasant and I decided that it would be a good idea to wake up at that point.

 Considering the beer, the chips, and the seemingly restless night, I don't feel too bad right now. Given the choice, I am not sure if I would opt for some more sleep or more beer right now. Unfortunately those choices are not available to me, and I am now stuck at work until home time. Once I do get back home, or maybe as far as Catfod Bridge station, I will have to decide if I am going to eat my slightly unfullfilling vegetable stew, or whether I will divert my journey via Tesco's and buy something more tasty. Maybe I might go for the best of both worlds and get something to give a bit more body to the stew - a bit of fish perhaps, but not any carbohydrate based thickeners.
Monday 13th September 2010
07:48 BST

  Today's weather is a bit unpredictable. As the sun rose over Catford there were some patches of clear sky, but now I am at work the clear patches seem to have been filled in by either cloud or mist. I did see the "Countryfile" five day forecast yesterday, and as far as I recall we are not due any significant rain until the latter half of the week (with Friday potentially being ultra wet). Maybe the white areas of sky I can see are just mist, and in time they will evaporate and let in some sunshine.

 Little by little the mornings get cooler and cooler, but after yesterday's sunshine this morning may have bucked the trend by a micro amount. I fely comfortable enough coming to work with my shirt sleeves rolled up, but it is now too cool that I would not want to hang around for too long outside.

 Yesterday was perfect weather for walking. It was not too hot or sticky, there was a pleasant breeze blowing, and it was bright and sunny. Unfortunately my best laid plans to go out exploring came to nothing. Originally I had wanted to explore some of the riverside by Tilbury, but there were engineering works on the Docklands Light Railway making getting to Limehouse or Fenchurch St stations (for services to Tilbury) complicated. Even if I had got to one of the stations where I could catch a train to Tilbury it seemed that the train services were unusually sparse and lengthy.

 I gave up on Tilbury and decided to check the train services to Sevenoaks with the idea I might do some more exploring there, or at one of the intermediate stations. It was possible to get to Sevenoaks via Lewisham at hourly intervals, but the route from Catford via Swanley at half hourly intervals was closed. I probably could have thought of a third destination, but by then I had the hump and decided to stay in.

 It would have been nice to go out and enjoy the sunshine, possibly the last summer like day this year, but my time was not wasted by staying indoors all day. I managed to get a lot more video transferred to my PC, and finally I have a more definite idea of how I am going to use it.

 One interesting fact occured while my camcorder was connected to my PC. On attempting to transfer some video from one tape to my PC I was getting lots of dropouts of the sound (I also spied a couple of tiny video disturbances too). I am not sure if the tape is faulty, or if it is because that tape was recorded after the camcorder had lain idle for years. The latter is more likely, and if I had used a head cleaning tape before I did that recording I might be having less trouble now. The interesting fact I found was that while there were all these pops and glitches on the sound from the PC, a pair of headphones plugged into the camcorder played near perfect sound. Evidently the camcorder has some rather fierce inbuilt error correction to feed it's analogue audio outputs. I have yet to try it, but I think the USB analogue video capture unit I bought recently is going to come in very handy to transfer that dodgy tape to the PC.

 Having stayed in all yesterday my food comsumptions was considerably higher than if I had gone out for a lot of the day. With my little ailment healing faster than I expected I allowed myself a little more leeway with what I ate. I still avoided anything with conspicuous amounts of sugar in it mainly by the fact that I had nothing of that nature in the house. That was quite fortunate because by late afternoon I had that fierce Sunday teatime hunger that comes over me most boring Sunday afternoons. If I had any in the house I could have very easily consumed a 2l tub of ice cream. What I did find lurking at the back of the freezer was some potato wedges. I had those with some remarkably low calorie (for a ready made food item) Thai marinated chicken strips.

 Those marinated chicken strips came from Aldi's, and I must get some more to keep in the fridge. I have tried two flavours and both seemed quite tasty (and there may be more flavours to try). It was only yesterday that I checked the packet, and it seems the entire packet only contains around 450 calories with minimal fat and sugars. One whole pack, and a pile of green beans or similar vegetables,  would make quite a tasty meal in all probability.

 The potato wedges were naturally greasy and full of unwanted stuff, but I don't feel too bad for my excesses yesterday. I thought my gut felt a bit sore but it turned out that I had done my belt up too tight. I think the optimum fastening for my belt is currently in between two notches, and I chose the tighter one. On checking the wear on the notches I noticed that the tighter one has rarely been used if at all. It may be possible that I have reduced the size of my gut by a few microns.

 I have started the day with a couple of greasy samosas. They were naturally very tasty, but tonight I better have something a little blander. I actually have little in the fridge or freezer at the moment, and I don't think I am going shopping on my way home, so tonight I will have to be creative with just plain vegetable, stock, herbs and spices......and loads of garlic !
Sunday 12th September 2010
07:51 BST

  Is today going to be the final day of summer ? It has started out well with a clear blue sky, and fairly mild feeling. If, in the unlikely event, the forecast for today is correct, it will stay a nice sunny day with the temperature climbing to 21 C or more. This will be somewhat better than yesterday when the sun did finally come out, but not until the afternoon. It was also a god few degrees cooler too.

 Yesterday was a day of mixed frustrations. I couldn't raise the enthusiam to go out walking. This was due to a combination of the morning weather being unappealing, and also because I was feeling under par. I had a bit of a mild headache, and I just didn't feel very energetic.

 I did go out just once, and that was to the Aldi supermarket. It is a most dangerous place to go with all the unhealthy food possibilities in there. You'll just never know how difficult it was to avoid buying any of the delicious ice creams, peanuts, and crisps etc. that they have in there.  Somehow I managed to limit myself to stuff that was reasonably OK, or at least seemed to be. The chunk of salmon cooked with some (alleged) hot spices seemed to be unnaturally oily when I ate it for my breakfast. I didn't check the ingredients, but I suspect it was doused in some nasty oil instead of it's own oils.

 I guess everything I did buy was chosen for it's low sugar content rather than low energy value. I bought several types of nuts, and while they provide plenty of fibre and minimal sugar, and may contain some useful minerals, their natural oil content packs in a lot of energy. I did eat rather a lot of walnut halves yesterday so I am not expecting to lose any weight in the near future. My one concession towards what could almost be called comfort food was some battered cod fillets that I had for my supper. The amount of oil they gave off while cooking them in the oven was rather high, and the batter quickly re-absorbed a lot of that oil as I attempted to scoop them off the baking tray I cooked them on.

 Another frustration yesterday was trying to make the best of some video I took on my mobile phone. It was taken in a dim pub and needed sharpening, and the colour and contrast improved. Before I could do that I needed to convert it from the 3gp file into something more useable. It took a lot of experimentation, but eventually I think I have managed to extract the best possible picture using standard computer tools. If I had the facilities of NASA I could probably have extracted even more detail, and if I had the facilities of the CIA, or the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch I could have probably made the band performing in the video look like they were committing a terrorist attack (and The Daily Mail, or Fox News would have believed it).

 Today I must take a break from the computer and get out and do some walking. I am thinking of exploring the area around Tilbury and the riverside. According to my map it is a mixture of wasteland and marshed dotted here and there with industrial plants and other stuff. What the map does not make clear is what to expect from some of the footpaths it shows, but I guess I will get a clearer picture once I am there. I am hoping that Iain will join me on this little adventure. Some of the walk may be boring, and a bit of company would be useful. The good thing about the area is that it is very flat with no hills to climb (or at least no big ones).
Saturday 11th September 2010
08:39 BST

  The sky is grey and it seems to be raining this morning. This is all part of the plan, or so we are told, but it's not too cold, and there is a chance that it will brighten up later. The forecasters still seem to think that tomorrow is going to be a nice day. Well, they did yesterday, but maybe today they have changed their minds again. After the brief light shower yesterday morning it did brighten up, and overall it was not such a bad day. Although a bit more sunshine would have been welcome.

 There are lots of different things I could do today, and I am not sure what I'll end up doing. It would be most beneficial for me to go out walking somewhere, and I am trying to psych myself up to do that even if it is raining. My recent few days of being careful of what I eat has been quite beneficial. I think I might have lost a pound or two, but more usefully my blood sugar level may have dropped sufficiently to promote the curing of a little ailment I have been suffering from. It is not cured yet, but in the last 12 hours or so I have seen very positive movement. So I ought to capitalise on this by a good long walk which will further reduce my blood sugar level as well as stirring up the circulation.

 There could be one flaw in that plan. I do feel rather hungry at the moment, and it is possible I could overdo things and take my blood sugar level down too low. Maybe now would be a good time to actually measure my blood sugar level.  Of course the other beneficial thing about going out for a long walk is that I never eat before or while walking, and it keeps me away from the larder. Considering how hungry I feel at the moment, being kept away from the larder, even though there is little by way of anything detrimental in it, would definitely be a good thing.

 My alternative to going out walking is to do some techno stuff. I have recently bought a new toy, and I am still experimenting with it. It is a Kworld USB video capture device. It allows me to record analogue video from, for instance, my old camcorder directly onto my PC. My first impressions are that it works very well, but to use it I do need to use the excreatable bundled Powerlink software that came with it. I am sure that should not be neccesary, and I am looking into alternatives. Fortunately once the video is captured onto the hard disk I can use more familiar tools to manipulate it. What I would really like to do is to use the device with Linux, and although I have had hints that it could work, I have yet to capture both sound and video together (and even then the video was a bit crappy).

 I probably could spend hours recording some of my old analogue camcorder tapes to the PC, but those hours would probably be spent more wisely in doing more work on my Chain (the band formerly known as The Bluseicians) big DVD. I have several more songs to transfer from the digital camcorders, and for some of those the difficulties of trying to improve dark noisy recordings videoed in a dark gloomy pub. On top of that I want to generate a video slideshow using the still images I have taken on my camera.

 Before all these possibilities of things to do there are some things I must do first. Since starting to write this I have been interupted by a long(ish) phone call, and it is now nearly twenty to ten and I am still not washed and dressed ! I think I should make that my next priority ;-)
Friday 10th September 2010
08:04 BST

  I thought that the forecast for today was for a nice warm suuny day. Instead it started to rain on me as I walked from the station to work. That rain didn't come to much, but the sky looks grey and horrible now, and I would not be surprised if there was more rain to come. It makes me wonder if the bit of weather forecast I saw last night (or was it the night before ?) was 100% fiction or if any part of it can be relied on.

 If the weather forecast describes the general trends instead of the reality then tomorrow might not be bad. The earliest forecast suggested torrential rain over all of south east England. More recently it has been changed to passing showers. Maybe tomorrow morning they will forecast some sunshine, and no doubt on Sunday they will make a "forecast" for the day just gone and get that wrong too !

 If Sunday is not the warm sunny day that is forecast I think I will be very angry. Unfortunately it is no longer legal in this quasi police state we live in to threaten to blow up the weather forecasters no matter how tongue-in-cheek it is said. However, as far as I know, it is still legal to say that I am going to do my best to summon up enough psychic energy to hurl the weather forecasters into the seventh dimension (which as everyone knows is far worse than the fifth dimension, but not as bad as the thirty second dimension). Now where did I put my Orgone accumulator).

 I thought I should be feeling pretty good this morning, but maybe that was only on the condition that it was not trying to rain on me as I came to work. I must admit I didn't eat quite as frugally as I could have done last night. The cabbage, leak, and mixed fish stew was pretty healthy stuff, and the two rice cakes I had were allegedly very low in calories and fat. The thing that was very bad was the chunk of cheese I ate. Cheese is, like most evil things, absolutely orgasmic, but there may have been a subtler reason why I decided to eat it.

 This apparent breakdown in will power actually happened while I was shopping in Tesco's. Every single thing I bought was vaguely healthy sort of stuff except for the cheese. It was no ordinary cheese. I felt an urge to buy some blue Stilton cheese. The blue in Stilton comes from copper wires put in the curing cheese, but some say the colouration comes from penecillin mould, and those that do say there is no active penecillin even in "matured in a damp French cave" cheeses. Despite most of my brain knowing this, there was obviously some dusty corner of it urging me to specifically buy some blue cheese. This I did, and last night I ate a medium size chunk of it.

 The cheese added more fat to my diet than I would have preferred, but this morning my trousers do feel looser after these few days of attempting to get my blood sugar level down to something more conducive to healing a little problem I have. I think that if the sky had been blue, as I came to work, instead of dirty grey, I might have felt like I had more energy. Sometimes these things are all in the mind. What isn't in the mind, and yet is still hard to physically measure, is the progress I seem to be making in curing my little ailment. It is certainly different, and I think for the better.

 Tonight I could theoretically go to a gig. Chain (the band formerly known as The Bluesicians) are playing in The Bulls Head, Pratts Bottom, Kent from 9pm tonight. I would like to go even if only for an hour or so, but it is one of those places that is hard to get to by public transport from Catford without changing from trains to buses and yet more buses (or other unpalatable combinations). So I think I'll be passing that one by. Instead I think I'll end up playing video editing type stuff on my PC dedicated to such stuff. Provided I don't get carried away I should also have the pleasure of getting to bed, and probably asleep, not long after Chain play their opening notes at 9pm. That should leave me fresh and raring to go out exploring tomorrow (if the weather does not put me off).
Thursday 9th September 2010
07:58 BST

  It is looking as if today could turn out to be a fine day. The sky was fairly clear when the sun rose this morning, and now, looking out at the limited amount of sky I can see out of my office window, I can't see a single cloud in the sky. I did catch the tail end of the weather forecast on TV last night. I missed the forecast for today, but for tomorrow a warm (21 C) sunny day is predicted. Maybe the same will be true for today.

 Yesterday was not exactly a pleasant day, but it did have it's moments. It was overcast for much of the day but we did get some weak sunshine valiantly forcing it's way through the misty sky around midday. When I left work to go home the sky had become even gloomier with many dark menacing clouds in the sky. Rain could have come at any time, but for me it was when I was within ten paces of my front door. For a while the rain was quite persistent, but it was only moderately heavy. By sunset it seemed to be all over, and as far as I know the rest of the night was dry.

 My little ailment, that is a direct result of letting my blood sugar level run too high, continues to cause some discomfort from time to time. Worse than that is that yesterday I believe it was contributing to making feel slightly ill. This morning, after taking steps to reduce my blood sugar level over the last few days, I think there may be some signs of improvement. It may be a few more weeks before everything is fully healed, perhaps sooner if my body continues to fight the infection with the intensity that it appears to be doing. A bit of minor surgery and some antibiotics would speed things up, but that means seeing a doctor, and I hate seeing doctors when I feel unwell.

 Tonight is potentially a dangerous time. I need to get some shopping from the supermarket, and of course there are loads of tempting things in there. This time I may be safe because my little ailment might painfully remind me that I ought to just buy lean meat, fish and vegetables. It would be helpful if it also reminded me that I am out of garlic, and that I need to buy more.

 It is said that garlic is good for you, and maybe it is, but it is also good for turning a bland meal into a tastier meal. Whichever way you look at it you can't lose. I am not sure if that argument holds true for red wine though. I've had a bottle of what I believe to be reasonable  red wine in my kitchen for some time now. One of those mysterious (non vocal) voices in my brain suggested that last night would be a good time to try it. There is stuff in red wine, various phenols etc, that some say are good for you, but I think at a subconcious level my brain, using sensors in various areas of my body, is better at analysing the pros and cons of stuff I ingest. So last night I drank a half pint of the red wine (it was a Merlot, by the way).

  There is an old adage that the only medicines that do good taste nasty. On the whole I think that red wine must do some good ! No doubt some would declare my wine to be quite pleasant, but to me, someone who very rarely drinks wine, it was actually hard work to finish it. I haven't discovered what good it did yet, but it must have done something or I would not be planning on drinking the other half pint tonight (besides which it would be a sin against the great God Bachuss to pour it down the sink).
Wednesday 8th September 2010
08:05 BST

  I am having great difficulty deciding if the grey colour of the sky is mist or cloud this morning. I was hoping that it was just mist that would evaporate once the sun got a bit higher, but now I am beginning to think that is unlikely, and we are in for a depressingly dull sort of day. The sky is such a uniform grey colour that it could be just one huge rain cloud that will drop it's load as one massively colossal city wide raindrop that will drown us all.

 When I think about it, it would seem likely that we are in for bad weather today. I feel sort of strange today. It could be post death trauma, or even a broken leg, but I think it is a change in the weather or the realisation that it won't be long before I'll be leaving home before sunrise (6.26am this morning according to my morning paper). It is hard to describe how I do feel today. Comfortable but not dynamic seems the closest description that comes to mind. For instance, it felt fine just plodding along from the station to work, but I just could not raise the enthusiasm or energy to quicken my pace.

 Perhaps the way I feel has nothing to do with the weather, and everything to do with me inducing my own depression by thinking about the days getting shorter and shorter. I guess it was the cloudy/misty (whatever) sky that made this morning just that little bit darker for me to be acutely aware that it was still totally dark outside as I had my shower this morning. That lead me on to think how terrible it's going to be soon when my entire journey home from work will be done in darkness, and the long depressing wait until next spring when the evenings start getting lighter again. I am insanely jealous of creatures who can hibernate away during the dark winter months.

 On a slightly more positive note, I think I managed to mostly eat healthy sort of stuff last night. My beef and mushroom stew was low in carbohydrates, low fat, and had some (probably) healthy green stuff in it. The only problem is that I found the beef was not very tasty. I think all the taste had dissolved into the gravy (or stock, or whatever), which was the best part of the whole meal. I did round off my dinner with some more low/reduced fat cream crackers with the remains of the Cheese Marmite, and then some real Marmite. The fatty Cheese Marmite was obviously bad, but I am not sure of the pros or cons of plain low fat crackers and Marmite.

 The other positive thing was that I successfully remade the artwork, and re-burned the DVD that I made such a mess of the night before. It is a bit basic, but does the job it was designed for. My next DVD making project is going to be a big one, and it's going to take many hours to complete. I probably could work on it all day on Saturday, but I hope to feel fit enough, and for the weather to be pleasant enough, to go out exploring somewhere. It's a few weeks now since I last went out walking, and even longer since I tackled a long walk. If I can find somewhere relatively level to walk I am going to aim for a very long walk - if I feel up to it !
Tuesday 7th September 2010
07:45 BST

  If ever there was a reminder that autumn is creeping up on us very fast it was the thick mist that was rising from the flattened site that was Catford Greyhound Stadium. It did look truly autumnal. It is actually a lot milder than that mist would suggest. After the sunny start to yesterday the clouds thickened up, and by mid morning we had our first light shower. There were a few more brief showers during the day, but it stayed dry as I made my way home from work.

 In the early evening the rain had another go, and this time it was fairly heavy at times. I suspect that the rain continued, on and off, until the early hours of today. Then the cloud that had kept some of the warmth of the day dispersed and left us with a nice blue sky. I think it is almost certain that it will cloud over again, and there will be more showers sometime today. Meanwhile, every day, the average temperature drops little by little as we head for another ice age !

 I found that my initially high energy soon dwindled yesterday. It only dwindled to about average, but that makes the day a bit of a slog. When I got home I ate far too much bad food, and had to force myself to go and do some creative stuff on the PC. It was a bit of an unfortunate coincidence that on the same night as I had planned to eat some breast of lamb, which is always fatty and unhealthy, one of my workmates gave me a jar of Cheese Marmite.

 Cheese Marmite is a South African product and not available in the UK except for specialist import shops. It a sort of gooey cheese spread flavoured with Marmite, and comes in the traditional Marmite jar. To be honest it is not that wonderful, but spread thickly on reduced fat cream crackers it is not bad. I would guess that the biggest ingredient in it is lard, and so the 6 or 7 thickly spread crackers I had were mightily unhealthy. I did do my best to drain as much fat away as possible from the breast of lamb I had, and I even cooked it a long while to drive off as much fat as possible, but I guess it still contained several million giga calories when I shovelled it down with some surprisingly healthy green beans.

 All that fat seemed to affect my already meagre creative artistic skills. I knocked together a single song DVD last night, and although the video was good, my creative efforts for the DVD menu were unbelieveably bad.  Having seen it once it will never see the light of day again !

 Today I don't feel nearly as bad as I thought I might, and it's possible that I feel better than average as unlikely as that seems. Tonight I have planned a slightly healthier meal. It is relatively lean beef cooked with tomotoes and mushrooms. I did most of the cooking for it last night, and I am hoping that the acid from the tin of tomatoes I added wil help soften the rather cheap braising beef I used for it while I waits for me to finish cooking the stew tonight. I say cooking, but really it just needs heating up unless I add some more green veg to it.

 If I just ate the beef stew tonight I could potentially feel excellent tomorrow, but I still have half a jar of Cheese Marmite to tempt me. Maybe I'll fight that temptation if I try to remember that I have a free weekend to do some serious walking coming up. At the moment, despite feeling fairly good, I don't think I am really up to any very long walks. Maybe if I can take care of my body for a few days I might feel a bit more potential stamina. On the other hand maybe it will bucket down with rain for the whole of the weekend.
Monday 6th September 2010
07:55 BST

  The time for raincoats and warm clothing is not on us yet. It may not be far away, but this morning is rather nice. It is cool without being cold, and it may be a bit weak, but the sun is shining. Most of the cloud, and there is admittedly a fair amount of it, is too high and whispy to be of any worry. Later today things may not be so good, but right now it is all rather pleasant.

 I had a good day yesterday - except for one annoying irritation. Come to think of it there were two, and both were caused by buses. According to Transport For London's lying web site I should have expected a number 208 bus at my local bus stop at 13:08. I got there nearly five minutes early and waited and waited and waited. A 208 finally arrived at gone 13:20 (maybe as late as 13:25) and it's destination blind was rather ambigously between two different destinations, but upon boarding the automated announcement system confirmed it's destination was Orpington/Perry Hall Road.

 It was evident that I hadn't missed the earlier bus because it hadn't run. As a result the later bus was soon packed tight. Happily the bus cleared out at Bromley, and at Bromley South Jodie joined me on the bus. Everything was fine until the driver, for reasons unknown, decided that he was going to change the buses destination to the local bus garage and promptly threw everybody off the bus. I think we then waited another 10 minutes before the next bus took us to Orpington.

 The Party In The Priory, our destination, was considerably less crowded than I had imagined. Maybe it was the threat of rain that put some off - there was one very light brief shower while I was there. With plenty of space to work in I wish I had taken my big camcorder and tripod to the event. I could have shot some really good video as The Bluesicians played on the big stage. Along with the big stage came a big P.A. system, and joy of joy, it was professionally run. The band sounded excellent through that big P.A.. All the instruments and vocals seemed perfectly mixed - something that seemed rare in the days when I used to see a lot of bands perform in some of the bigger London venues.

 Despite the hardships of the bus rides there, and the tedium of the bus ride back (which went without incident), I rather enjoyed myself yesterday. When I got home I had my breakfast, lunch, and dinner combined into one great heap of cold chicken (that started out as hot chicken bought from Tesco yesterday morning). There was rather an excess of it, but that was literally all I ate yesterday if you don't count a few chewy mint sweets.

 After stuffing myself with chicken I felt like sleeping, but I fought that off and did some photoediting, and even a little video editing. I didn't take that many pictures of the band on stage, but I did take a lot of pictures of ducks and geese on the ponds in the park ! I have still to check and edit the wildlife photos, but here's the band on the big stage
The Bluesicians (or Chain) on stage 5th Sept 2010
and a close up...
Bluesicians (or Chain) on stage 5th Sept 2010
 I could have gone on to do more editing but it started to get late, and I invoked some discipline to stop what I was doing and get to bed. I think it was gone 9.30pm when I finally got in bed, and I was so tired that I fell asleep almost instantly. I have a vague memory of getting up for a pee at some point in the night, but otherwise I rather unusually slept like a log until just 2 minutes before my alarm was due to go off.

 Maybe it was the fresh air, maybe it was the enjoyment, or perhaps it was the chicken, but I feel rather good today. I shouldn't because I suspect I have let my blood sugar level drift too high recently, and I am suffering one minor ailment because of that. Nevertheless I do feel pretty good. I hope I feel this good when I get home so I can get stuck in to some more serious media editing, or maybe I'll just slouch in front of the TV. Who can tell !
Sunday 5th September 2010
09:31 BST

  The weather is starting to edge back towards autumn, but it has a little way to go before it gets unpleasant. The sky this morning is a mixture of light cloud and mistiness, but the sun has broken through, and with luck a lot of today will be warm and sunny. It is just a shame that the temperature  is unlikely to get much higher than around 20 - 21 C today. Yesterday was very similar to how I think today will end up. It was nice, but not as good as Friday, which in turn was not quite as good as the day before.

 Yesterday was a busy day. In between trying to do some housework prior to Aleemah visiting me I finished burning 5 demo DVDs for The Bluesicians. When Aleemah came over she brought a rather weird film for us to watch. It was called The Red Violin. I think I would use The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy classification of "mostly harmless" to classify it. I neither liked nor disliked it.

 After Aleemah went home I had another visitor. It was Jodie who came to pick up one of my spare tickets to the Party In The Priory "music festival" in Priory Park, Orpington happening today. I don't know how many bands Jodie will enjoy there, or even how long she will stay, but I am going mainly just to see The Bluesicians and All You Need playing, although there are a few other bands that look potentially interesting. The length of time I stay there will depend on how crowded and busy it is. As I discovered when I went to Petts Woodstock, I still don't like crowds. In theory, with it taking place in quite a large park, there should be room to breath and chill out without tripping over babies and prams (like at Petts Woodstock).

 There are several ways of getting to todays venue, and the simplest is to endure a long tedious bus ride on the 208. I think it takes in excess of 40 minutes from Catford to the end of the route which happens to be almost right outside the park. There is one change to today's entertainment. As of last night The Bluesicians have changed their name to "Chain". The change of name was was not unexpected, but it's a shame they changed on the same day that I finished making the DVDs that bear the ame "The Bluesicians". It's also unfortunate that the name "Chain" is so similar to "The Chain" who are a similar covers band operating in the Chichester area. I suspect a further change of name is due.
Friday 3rd September 2010
07:56 BST

  It's hard to believe that we seem to be heading for yet another fine day. It was only a week ago or so that I was saying that summer was over for this year, but there seems to be still life left in summer after all. Yesterday was like the day before, and today will probably be roughly the same. The day has started clear and cool. If the weather follows the plan it will soon warm up to around 21 C, and although there may be some occasional light clouds passing by, it will stay dry.

 I feel pretty good today. Maybe not perfectly good, but many times better than I how I felt yesterday. There are several reasons for this. Some are psychological, some are physical, and some are a combination of the two. The simplest physical reason is that I didn't eat too much last night, and to that I can add a fairly decent amount of sleep. I was in bed and asleep soon after 8.30pm, but I did wake up a couple of times during the night. Fortunately these times were only brief, and I didn't try and bite through my tongue like I did the night before (which was bloody painful !).

 There are several psychological reasons why I should feel good today. The more obvious one is that it's Friday. Another is the feel good factor that comes from finding yourself 20 richer than you thought you were. I topped up my Oyster card on the way home last night. I fed in a 20 note and waited for the "please touch your card to the reader" message to come up. When it did I touched my card to the reader and waited for the "card updated - thank you" message. Instead of that message I got "an error has occured, please try again", and the machine spat out my 20 note again. My next attempt went normally and I continued my journey to Catford. At Catford Bridge station my balance, when I touched out, was 49 instead of the 29 I was expecting. Evidently my first attempt at topping up my card had worked, but the machine thought it had failed. I expected the error to be corrected when I used my card this morning, but no, my extra 20 still seems to be there.

 As a result of having a good nights sleep, and not over stuffing myself last night, I was able to get the early train to work. Doing that saves me an extra 1.20 of fares, and that makes me feel good too. Finally, in all this feel good stuff, is that despite being weary I managed to be fairly productive in my video/DVD project last night. I think that tonight, after a little more work,  I will be able to burn the first "production" DVD of my project,. All being well I should have half a dozen copies ready to present to The Bluesicians when I see them play on Sunday.
Thursday 2nd September 2010
10:18 BST

  Yet again the gods smile down on us with the gift of another fine day. With luck, today will be very similar to yesterday, and yesterday was a fine sunny day that ended up pleasantly warm after a chilly start. This morning may have been a little chillier, but it still wasn't bad.

 My evening started pretty good last night, but things were not so good later on. It started with a quick whizz around Tesco followed by a couple of beers with Kevin in the pub. After the pub, and only marginally near to being very slightly drunk, I allowed myself to have a bit of a feast of a dinner ! It involved not just quantity, but more importantly in the long term, rather too much sweet stuff.

 I went to bed quite early feeling rather stuffed, and I think I was fast asleep before 9pm. About two hours later I was awake and in a fair amount of pain. I think I may have been trying some new advanced form of snoring, and managed to bite the end of my tongue deep enough to draw a small amount of blood. It has been ages, probably years, since I last bit my tongue while sleeping, and even then never deep enough to draw blood. The rest of my night was OK by comparison, but I did wake up a few times feeling too hot under the thick duvet.

 I did feel quite rough when I first got up to go to work, but as time has passed I shrugged that off, and I don't feel too bad right now (apart from the tip of my poor tongue). Tonight I must try and regulate my eating a bit more, and maybe take the duvet out of the duvet cover if this afternoon is as warm as yesterday.
Wednesday 1st September 2010
08:28 BST

  It's very much looking like the start of another pleasant warm day. Like yesterday, the sky is clear, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining. With a starting temperature somewhere around 9 C it was a little chilly when I left for work, but with luck it will be back to around 21 - 22 C when I leave for home again this afternoon.

 So a new month starts, and for a little while I am rich again ! My wealth won't last long. Once all the utilities and other money grabbing institutions have got their grubby little hands on my pay there will be little left for me. I fancy buying some new electronic toys, although I have nothing specific in mind, but after a couple of lean months I think I would be better if I past that temptation by.

 I had a most excellent evening yesterday. I met up with Chris, the lead guitarist from The Bluesicians, for a few beers and show him how I had been progressing with my video editing/DVD making project. Originally I thought that we would just have one quick beer together before Chris went off for his dinner, and I did the same. I guess in the end we were like a couple of old women knattering away because it actually turned into a 4 pint session !

 It was a most fascinating chat we had together, and I learned a few new things. More importantly I gave me a better idea of what I should be trying to achieve for my DVD project. I now realise I was trying to do both too much and too little. I now think I need to make two DVDs. One simplified one for the original purposes of a demo DVD to show to potential venues, etc. The other DVD is more of a vanity project to show off my skills (or lack of them) and to show of the skills of the band. This second DVD is going to be far more comprehensive than the one I have started to put together, and I am going to see if I can get hold of copies of the original files that the band have already uploaded to the internet. There are some legal technicalities that make the sale of the second DVD difficult, but I think there is a feeling that maybe the band can give away a few "souvenir" disks to some of their regular audience, but mostly it's just a band and friends ego trip video !