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My Diary/Blog For the Month of August 2011

Wednesday 31st August 2011
07:30 BST

 The weather forecasters have confirmed that this summer was the coolest, greyest, and wettest we have had for ages. So much for global warming ! For the most part, yesterday was dull and grey, but it did stay dry. By 5pm the temperature had inched it's way up to a dissapointing 18 C. As far as I can guess, today is going to be very similar to yesterday.

 I felt very ill yesterday. Some if I can possibly blame on a tuna and sweetcorn wrap I had for breakfast. It seemed the most likely culprit to leave me feeling very sick in the stomach. Nothing untoward happened, but I was worried that my stomach may have revolted during the afternoon. It felt particularly nasty after coming close to spilling my cookies when I gagged while brushing my teeth early in the morning. Perhaps the two things were related in some way, but I can't think how.

 It wasn't just my stomach that felt bad yesterday. I also felt dreadfully tired. It was a huge relief to get home after work, but it was no cure. If anything I felt worse. I may well have been running a mild fever because I felt chilly, and for the first time at this end of the year I turned the living room heater on full blast.

 I wasn't sure what I wanted to eat - if anything - last night. I first tried some foccacia bread dipped in some houmus, and that seemed to go down OK. Next I tried to eat some raspberries, but they seemed so sharp and tangy that it made me feel quite ill again. To provide a balance to the tartness of the raspberries I opened a tin of rice pudding. That helped a few more raspberries down the hatch, but in the end I didn't even finish the rice pudding.

 It is fortunate that forcing myself to eat some of that food did not do any harm, and may have done some good. Once I had stopped eating, and the food had settled in my stomach, it provided a partial cure to the nausea. A dose of gripe water (otherwise known as a large measure of Glayva) settled the rest, and I was able to go to bed quite comfortably at the unfashionable hour of 7pm.

 I didn't fall asleep quite that early, but it wasn't too long afterwards when I did. Apart from a few trips to the toilet, I stayed in bed until 4.20am, and during that time I did get lots of sleep in. Sometimes it was deep sleep, and at other times I was probably barely asleep, but it seems to have worked. So far this morning I am free from the deep fatigue I felt yesterday.

 One thing that sleep didn't do for me is to cure my sore throat - but it has changed the nature of the soreness. Yesterday the soreness was offset to my left side. This morning there is no specific place where it is more sore. It is just sore all over now. Fortunately it is more a dull soreness rather than the sharp soreness I was suffering from yesterday.

 This illness of mine does seem to be dragging on a long time, and it is quite annoying on several levels. I knew that the after effects, which I took to mean just the fatigue, could last for weeks, or even months, but I didn't expect that other symptoms would keep randomly popping up. There is the annoyance of just feeling crap a lot of the time, but there is an equally annoying thing on the horizon. In just a few weeks time I should be meeting someone I have only ever communicated with via the internet. At that meeting I would like to be bright, bouncy, healthy and fit (judged by my own standards of course - we are not talking about reality here). Instead I fear I will be presenting myself as a broken down old crock if this illness does not get a move on.
A lonely flower
 I forgot to bring my camera to work yesterday, and I had to use my mobile phone camera to take a picture of this little lonely flower growing in a pile of dust in a niche in the wall of the building opposite the one I work in. There is no real indication of scale in this picture, but I would estimate the entire plant is little more than three inches high.
Tuesday 30th August 2011
07:44 BST

 Summer is over, and it sometimes seems that autumn will fly by as we plunge into the depths of winter. Although yesterday was dry and for the most part bright, there was a definite chill in the air that foretold of autumn days.This morning has the appearance of an autumn day. It is very dull, and many trees are starting to lose their leaves now. It was 14 C when I left home to come to work, and there is little chance that it is going to get much beyond 18 or 19 C today - if it even gets that high.

 One thing I have finally remembered to do is to write up my latest consumer report. These come so irregularly that I am not sure if I actually write them or not, but today I do. The first pair of products are Ambrosia Traditional Rice Pudding versus Tesco "Value" rice pudding. Both are in similar sized cans. One costs 94p, and the other 17p. If you like sultanas I would recommend that Ambrosia at 94p a can - it has 10 sultanas in an other wise remarkably similar rice.

 Next up is Almat (Aldi's own brand) laundry tablets with built in fabric conditioner. This stuff makes your clothes smell horrible when you first get them out of the washing machine. After a few days the stench wears down, and turns into a not unpleasant, but still not nice, soapy sort of smell. The good news is that the fabric conditioner does seem to leave your clothing, and other stuff, feeling nice and soft.

 It was very handy having the day off work for the August Bank Holiday yesterday. Staying in, keeping warm, and generally doing a lot of resting, seems to have helped me get back on track fighting off the remains of my glandular fever. Standing in a cold wet field on Saturday night definitely seemed to set me back a few days, but by last night my main problem was a tickly throat. Like many little discomforts, it came to the fore when I tried to get to sleep last night, although earlier on my intermittent cough started to get my throat feeling sore again.

 As soon as my head hit the pillow my cough seemed far from intermittent. On a few occasions I would be just on the verge of sleep when the ticklishness of my throat would cause another raound of coughing, and I would be jerked back to being fully awake. After a while I decided the only course of action was to gargle with some scotch - and I really was gargling with it (though of course I swallowed it afterwards !). That seemed to help, and eventually I drifted off into a tenuous sort of sleep.

 Initially I was sleeping so lightly that any twitch would wake me up. On the plus side it is an ideal state to have dreams that you can, if you try hard enough, remember. Of course it is only the more interesting details of a dream that are remembered, and even then the details still fade away faster than a fart in a thunderstorm.

 One dream I had concerned me being at the British Telecommunications staff training college at Stone in Staffordshire - a place I never visited in real life. I was assigned a bedroom and study room with an ensuite bathroom, and in the dream I was getting ready for bed. When I went through the door into the bathroom I found the facilities were not exactly as you might think "ensuite" should mean. I came out into a short section of corridor that had two toilets and showers shared between several bedrooms.

 The first toilet door I came to was slightly ajar. As I began to push it open a ladies voice called out "hold on, I've only just started". So I went to the next one along, and this one was free, though it has a slight problem. There was no lock on the door, and it had a tendency to swing open. Not only that but the toilet bowl seemed to be fitted at a 45 degree angle. It was an unusually long toilet bowl, and in the relatively narrow cubicle it occupied almost the entire width leaving no room for your knees. The only option was to sit on it sideways, and this I did. As I sat there I heard some unpleasant toilet type noises from the cubicle next door. Then the woman who was in there said she had heard I was handsome. I thought I had misheard that and asked her to repeat it. This time it came out that she had heard I was unmarried.

 I had finished what I had to do, and as I passed the cubicle with the still unseen woman in it, she called out to me saying that she had just about finished what she was doing, and would I like to go in for a chat even though she didn't have any clothes on. Waking up at that point may have been one of the biggest disappointments of my life ! Her voice sounded lovely, and I am sure that if only I had seen her she would have been beautiful. Alas there were more important things to do - I had to wake up and go to the toilet for real !

 The other dream I had was set in a mixture of the past and the present. It also had some unrealised erotic potential. It was about meeting someone who I have not seen since about 1984, maybe 1985, and it was set in a modification of my mums old house. The precise details of the dream are now very hazy, but essentially I met up with this woman who was from the past, and I was meeting her in a place in the past, and yet the dream was set firmly in the present.

 I feel sure I was not as direct, and as crude as it sounds, but in essence I asked her if we were going to go to bed later, and she said yes with no reluctance, and yet also with no enthusiasm. I had it in mind that when it happened it would be a great mechanical success even if lacking in the emotion I would have liked. It was like being in a doctors waiting room as time seemed to pass by with nothing of any significance happening while I waited for some correct time to go up to bed with her. I can't even recall talking to her as we waited, but I do remember pouring out a drink. Eventually I think I got bored of waiting and woke up. Another dream that promised so much, but delivered so little !

 This morning I woke up feeling not that good - or worse. Although I had several naps of unknown lengths during the day yesterday, I did miss out on a fair bit of sleep last night. Fortunately I don't feel tired at the moment, but my throat is still a bit tickly this morning. It was so sensitive earlier that while brushing my teeth I ended up gagging on the toothpaste froth, and it was so bad I really thought I was going to lose my cookies as I coughed and spluttered over the sink. It was a close run thing, but everything stayed down thankfully. As usual, now I am at work, I feel reasonably OK. It sometimes amazes me how a good hot shower, and a bit of exercise can bring the dead back to life !
(bank holiday) Monday 29th August 2011
14:09 BST

 Yesterday was quite an improvement on the day before. It wasn't spectacular, but there was less rain and more sunshine. Today has been even better. At least so far it has. The day dawned bright with mainly just some high misty cloud, and maybe a few lower, darker hued, clouds. Now the cloud is looking thicker, and there could be the chance of a shower later.

 At midday yesterday I met Aleemah at the station, and we went to the pub so she could have some breakfast. I had some breakfast too, but mine was more of the liquid variety. I made the mistake of starting with half a pint of Caledonian 80/- ale. It's quite a strong flavoured ale, and the after taste initially totally overpowered the next half pint I had. That was called Ginger Tom, and initially it tasted horrible, but as I perservered with it the true taste finally broke through. There was a hint in the name as to the taste. It  had been brewed with ginger giving it a sort of mild ginger beer shandy sort of taste.  Once I appreciated the flavour I had to have one more half of it. I followed that by a double Fireball whisky.

 The DVD that Aleemah had brought with her was a film called The Toursist, and starred Angelina Jolie.  I came to the conclusion that Angelina Jolie is /was a wonderful actress for one particular reason.  Overall I would not rate her as being that attractive, but using her acting skills she still seemed to put on some wonderfully hot seductive expressions. Aleemah went home again at around 2.30pm, and I spent the rest of the day being very lazy, and trying to recuperate from the stresses of the previous couple of days.

 I was thinking that I had probably broken my body, and considered looking on the internet for a cheap replacement, but as I don't like doctors I decided against trying to get a body transplant done. Instead I concentrated on trying to repair my existing body.

 The rhuematism type pain the caused so much distress to my right foot was probably brought on from standing in a cold damp field while waiting for, and watching Chain playing at Party In The Priory. It gave me a fair bit of discomfort from time to time yesterday, and it was still slighly noticeable this morning. I think it has mostly cleared now.

 The worst thing yesterday was that once again my throat felt very raw. By the evening it was close to being every bit as bad as when I was fully in the throes of glandular fever. Once I had pieced together the minor clues I had been given up to a fortnight before it happened, the huge in-your-face clues when it did happen, and finally come to the conclusion that I had glandular fever, my research showed that I could expect lingering effects for week, or even months afterwards. I had assumed those after effects were just going to be fatigue, but it seems that the virus keeps trying to have a go at any weakness, and can cause all sorts of things.

 Once again it is probable that it was standing around in the rain that let my defences down so that the virus could attack my throat again. It really was painful last night, but a reasonable nights sleeps seems to have cured the worst excesses of it. Initially my sleep was not all that reasonable. I went to bed fairly late (for me - 10pm) and I was in that paradoxical state where I didn't feel I had the energy to go to sleep. Eventually sleep did come, but a few hours later I woke up again in a state that was the hallmark of the week when the illness was at it's worst. I was totally drenched in sweat with a soggy pillow.

 I am hoping that sweating session was another turning point for this illness. After that I did sleep well, and I awoke this morning with my throat practically back to normal, and no other significant symptoms except plain fatigue. It took some time to raise the energy and/or enthusiasm to go out shopping, but by 11am I was on my way. Walking to the supermarket wasn't too bad, but coming back home again felt odd. I wanted to walk faster, but I couldn't raise the enthusiasm to even try.

 The most importatant thing on my shopping list was cat food. All I had left was fish flavour, and Smudge was getting very picky about it. Today I bought some meat flavours and she almost licked the glaze off the plate it was so apparently good. As usual I bought some stuff I shouldn't eat, and some stuff I most definitely ought to (according to my "nutritionist" - Jo from Chain !). On her recomendation I bought more blueberries and raspberries. Allegedly they are "superfoods" that will help me recover. Maybe they help, or maybe not, but at least they are nice (except for those irritating little seeds in the raspberries that get stuck in your teeth).

 This afternoon, and into the evening, I think I'll be spending my time by doing a mixture of snoozing, reading, watching TV, and even more snoozing. If all goes to plan I should feel reaonably OK at work tomorrow. Hopefully even better that the best day of last week - which I think was last Thursday.
Sunday 28th August 2011
09:43 BST

 There was quite a bit of rain yesterday, and some of it was at very inconvenient times ! Between showers the sun did come out, and in some ways it wasn't too bad a day. This morning has started off bright. It is currently 16 C, and if the sun stays shining it may dry out some of yesterday's dampness, and add a few degrees to the temperature.

 I had a very lazy start to the day yesterday. All morning, and then into early afternoon I just pottered around doing nothing of great significance. As 4pm approached I decided it was probably time to get washed and dressed ready to go out to see Chain play at Party In The Priory in Priory Park, Orpington. While I was just slouching around the house I felt OK, but as I did more and more I began to feel like I wasn't really up to going out.

 5pm arrived and I felt fairly rough. I had an odd sort of pain in my belly that may have been my spleen complaining, and my throat began to feel sore again. Doing my best to ignore these negative things I set out to get the 208 bus for the long tedious journey to Orpington. I knew it would be a long journey from past experience, but last night it seemed to take forever. I think it must have been a good 90 minutes after leaving home that I finally arrived at the park.

 I arrived a good 30 minutes later than I planned, but fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, there was still plenty of time left before Chain were due on stage. I wasn't feeling my best, and all the hanging around did not improve how I felt. Chris (lead guitarist from Chain) bought me a beer - which was nice of hime, but it was a shame that they only had very unpleasant canned Tetley bitter on offer. The strange vegetable laden cocktails (Pimms ?) that some of the ladies were drinking looked far more enticing.

 First up on stage was Jo and Hanna. The meaning of Hanna's performance at Chain's gig on Thursday night (see two previous blog posts) became obvious. It had been a live rehearsal for Hanna. Up on the big stage Hanna's performance was very good even if that style is not to my personal taste.
Jo and Hanna on stage at Party In The priory
Hanna on stage at Party In The Priory
 After Hanna had sung three songs she retired from the stage, and the rest of Chain came on stage to start their set. It is really great to see Chain on a big stage, and with a good sounding PA. Unfortunately it started to rain soon after they came on, and I have a suspicion that water got into the PA equipment. For a little while Jo's voice sounded distorted with some popping noises.
Jo on stage at Party In The Priory
 Once the rain stopped the distortion seemed to clear, and the rest of the gig sounded good.
Jo on stage at Party In The priory
 As darkness fell the stage lighting started to give some real atmosphere to the gig.
groovy stage lighting at Party In The Priory
 Along with all the usual coloured spotlights there were also some laser effects too - most impressive ! For the final song Chain covered Sweet Child O' Mine, and for this Jo put on her Slash (guitarist from Guns 'n' Roses) top hat.
Jo wearing top hat for Party In The Priory
 For most of the gig I had my Sony VX1000 camera on a tripod capturing a wide view of the stage, and I was also running around with my Samsung camcorder to record some close up and crowd reactions. I also had one more camcorder on the go, and that was one of my mini camcorders that I left in the care of Guy, the drummer for a drummers eye view of the gig.

Sneak preview of drummers eye view of the gig


 Sometime, hopefully with the next week or two, I will collate all the video and edit up a couple of songs to upload to You Tube (and probably embed here too).

 By the end of the gig it was fully dark, and it was an interesting experience getting out of the park which has no lighting in it. The way out takes you past several deep duck ponds, and as I blundered around in the dark I wondered if I might accidently wander off the path and into the water. Fortunately no such mishap happened, and in a short while I was out on the road again.

 I didn't think I could stand going home by bus after the tedium of the journey there, so I took the first bus as far as Orpington railway station, and caught a train there to Bromley South where I changed to a train to Catford. My connections were quite good, and I was probably back in Catford in half the time it would have taken by bus. There was also the added advantage of the toilets being open at Orpington station. I wasn't desperate, but it was still a relief to take a pee there.

 I guess it was the damp, but on the way home I developed two sources of annoying pain. One was my throat. It had been slightly sore earlier in the afternoon, but by the time I got home it felt very raw. The other pain was across my right foot. It was partly like a stiff ankle, but more like someone had hit the top of my foor with a hammer. It was really sore when I was in bed, and before I could sleep with it I had to rub in a generous amount of Ibuprofen Gel to calm it down. It still feels a bit stiff this morning.

 In the end I had quite a reasonable nights sleep. A bit more would have been useful, but I wanted to get up to edit photos, and review some of the video I had shot. In addition I needed to tidy the place up a bit because Aleemah is bringing over a DVD to watch sometime around midday.  Apart from a shower, shave, and getting dressed, I think I am almost ready, and I still have enough time left to do a bit of hoovering - if I can be bothered !

 Once Aleemah has left there are several things I could do. One is to start the process of swapping my PC over to the new one I set up many weeks ago. It is a faster, more powerful PC that should make video editing a bit easier. I'm not sure if I will do that or go for the easier option of just laying on my bed being hyper lazy, and allowing my body a bit more recuparation time from the rigours of the tail end of my Glandular fever. Although I appear to be over the worst of it now, there are still lots of petty irritations left that I would prefer to be rid of.
Saturday 27th August 2011
08:30 BST

 You can have too much of a good thing, and as good as rain is when you need it, there comes a time when enough is enough ! Yesterday was one of those times. On many occasions it seemed to be getting bright, and sometimes the sun did actually shine, but all the time it would continue raining. Sometimes the rain was so light as to be totally ignorable, and at other times it would be pelting down.

 The extremes are best portrayed by reference to my journey home from work. At Earlsfield the rain was so light I didn't bother with a coat. As I walked to the station the sun did it's best to shine, and for a few moments it was strong enough to cast a very weak, wishy washy shadow. As my train went through Ladywell station, the station before Catford Bridge, the sun was burning down fiercely, and as if it was some sort of competition, the rain was lashing down like sheets of solid water !

 At Catford Bridge the rain had eased up, but it still seemed prudent to put on my cagoule for the last bit of the journey home. Maybe I might have chanced it without if I had been going straight home, but I wanted to get some shopping from Tesco. Among the less healthy offerings (hot chicken and spare ribs) I bought more blueberries and raspberries. These alleged super foods probably do have a beneficial effect when you are run down, and as well as the crap I ate, I also ate a small punnet of each as part of my dinner last night.

 Maybe I was less tired than I thought I was last night, or maybe it was just the idea that I could sleep in as late as I liked this morning, but I stayed up relatively late, and did some reading in bed until just gone 9pm. I am unsure if I fell asleep after that, or if I was just resting my eyes, but at just gone 10pm I was up again answering an email that had bleeped my smartphone.

 When I finally got to sleep I slept almost as well as an average night, but with one small difference. These days I tend to get up once or twice in the night for a pee, but usually I get back to sleep again very soon after having my pee. Last night it took a lot longer to get back to sleep as I coughed, wheezed, sneezed, and blew my airways clean. I think I manged three quite useful chunks of sleep during the night, and it is possible that I may get another hour of sleep once I have finished writing, and before I decide to get up properly.

 Sometimes when I am dreaming I dream about needing to go for a pee, and that is my cue to wake up and actually go and have a pee. Last night provided a subtle alteration to that. I was dreaming about being in a big bed with two ladies whose identities I can't remember this morning. It was no ordinary bed, and it was in no ordinary place. The whole dream was set on the moon, and the bed was in a small lunar habitation. This did have the effect that the dream was less erotic than it might otherwise have been because we were all specially clothed.

 We were all wearing skin tight cat suit like outfits that were made of a sort of elasticated webbing. The idea behind this was that in the event of an accident that depressurised the habitat, the outfits, after adding a space helmet, would provide sufficient emergency protection from the vacuum of space until a more formal space suit could be put on.  (Such outfits really exist, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_activity_suit ). As such, these outfits were designed for sleeping in. In the event that more formal skin to skin contact was required special precautions would be needed to seal off the sleeping room from the rest of the habitat in case other parts became depressurised.

 So although the dream had some powerful erotic possibilities it was in actual fact fairly innocent (damn !!!). Having set the scene the next thing to happen was a ring on the front door bell. (The front door was curiously similar to the front door of my mums old house.)  It turned out that an astronaut (or should that be lunarnaut ?) needed a pee, and in my dream interpretation of the times it was the custom for anyone wearing a spacesuit to knock on any door to ask to use the toilet (probably because there are no handy trees or bushes on the moon !).

 To let the astronaut in would mean depressurising part of the habitat, and that would mean putting space helmets on. Ideally these should have been immeadiately at hand, but one of my deepest fears arose. Someone had tidied up, and put the space helmets in some "tidy" place. As I searched for, found, and started putting on my space helmet I was aware that the poor astronaut outside was probably doing his best to cross his legs while wearing a bulky spacesuit as he became more and more desperate to go for a pee. Then I woke up and realised that although the need was not desperate, it was actually me who needed a pee !

 Today it is very damp outside, but it is not actually raining. The sun has made several attempts to shine, but apparently there is still a very good chance that it will rain this morning, possibly this afternoon, and most inconveniently during the early evening. The inconvenient part is because Chain are playing at an outdoor gig at 7pm in Priory Park, Orpington.  It is the Party In The Priory festival that runs the whole of this bank holiday weekend (tickets just 3 on the door !!). I intend to go, and I am hoping that I'll be able to use a couple of camcorders to video Chain's set. If it is raining it will make everything very unpleasant.

 Before this evening's entertainment I have several things I want/ought to do. Making sure camera batteries are fully charged is possibly the most important, but after neglecting it in favour of being very ill, I have a load of housework I ought to do. If possible I want to get a few things in from Aldi, and maybe the 99p shop too. Somehow I also want to fit in some extreme laziness too !

 To finish off, here's some of the pictures I took on Thursday night's gig.
Jo playing in grainy colours
 Here's Jo playing, and a picture that illustrates how bad my waterproof camera works under dim lighting. Boosting the brightness has revealed just how grainy the photo is.
grainy photo of Chris Mayer playing guitar
 Another very grainy photo of Chris playing his Gibson 355 guitar.
Jo and Hanna on stage
 On the right is Hanna, the special guest, singing with Jo accompanying her on guitar.
Hanna singing at Chain's gig
 Another view of Hanna singing.
Jeff (or Geoff) singing accappela
 Finally Jeff (or Geoff) who sounded a bit like Barry White when singing unaccompanied after the official end of Chain's gig.
Friday 26th August 2011
07:23 BST

 The brief glimpse of sunshine I saw yesterday morning must have been some sort of cosmic joke from one of the more cruel gods. After that little flash of weak sunshine it started to rain for the rest of the morning. Sometimes it was just light drizzle, and at other times it was fairly heavy, but all the time it was dull and grey. The rain stopped in the afternoon, and by home time there was some sunshine.

 It then stayed dry until just before 9pm last night. As far as I can tell it rained all night, and it only stopped just as I left home to come to work at 5.50am this morning. It was probably just me, but it did feel almost warm and sticky as I made my way to work. According to the weather forecast, today should be much like yesterday. It's not raining right now, but with the sky just one mass of dull grey cloud it could rain again at any moment. It will continue like this all morning, but there is probably a fair chance that I will go home under more friendly skies tonight.

 After the poor night I had the night before last, I did feel under par yesterday, but maybe it was not quite as bad as I expected. Maybe it was the thought of the gig last night that kept me going through the day. At home time I rushed home and was washed, dressed, and out the door again by 5.15pm. Ten minutes later I had a pint of Guinness in my hand, and the evening looked very rosy.

 It was an excellent gig with a few surprises thrown in. Chain played a couple of new songs, one of which was a cover of Wishbone Ash's "Throw Down The Sword". It is a song I know well. It has a catchy riff, and for some reason I don't like to like it. I think it is because the lyrics are a bit "dungeons and dragons", and somehow I think that is better done by Spinal Tap. Nevertheless, Chain played an excellent rendition of it.

 Another surprise, though I had been tipped off about it, was that there was a guest singer. Her name was (if I recall correctly) Hanna, and she is the daughter of Chris who is one of the women who tend to dance a lot at the Chain gigs they manage to attend. Hanna was accompanied by Jo on guitar, and sang really well until finally overcome by stage fright as she finished her last song. There were two other unofficial guest vocalists last night. One was semi official in that he did sing with Chain doing backing music, but I think I was outside when he did it. The final extra singer took to the mike to sing accapella after Chain had performed their final number. He was quite good, or at least anyone who likes the sound of Barry White should have liked him.

 One annoyance last night was that I took along my waterproof camera instead of my normal camera. I wasn't expecting anything extra interesting to happen, and it seemed like a good time to see how it performed at a gig (though as I write this I am becoming more and more sure that I had already done this test some time ago). The answer was - not that well ! I have yet to check, but I think I did get some good pictures, but I am sure that I also took many crap pictures last night.

 Usually I would copy the pictures onto my PC after the gig, and maybe even prepare a few to use here the following day, but last night I didn't have the energy for that. During the course of the gig my energy levels plummetted, and I also developed a nasty headache along with an increasingly uncomfortable back ache. The gig was excellent enough that I stayed to the end, but towards the end I was really desperate to get home again.

 I got home at about 8.50pm, and had a bit of dinner. I wasn't all that hungry - which was just as well because I didn't have all that much available that wouldn't need cooking for ages before it was ready to eat. I started off with a tub of pickled (or soused) herring. That was to be followed by strawberries and (probably) rice pudding. Sadly, the strawberrries that were bought a few days ago, and that I hadn't kept in the fridge, had gone all hairy with mildew, and I had to throw them away. I ended up having a tin of tapioca, and a tin of semolina as the last part of my dinner.

 With many pints of beer inside of me, I assumed I would fall asleep easily, and have a good nights sleep. The first part was correct, and I did fall asleep rather easily at first. The problem was that I didn't stay asleep. A couple of hours after getting to sleep I woke up again with the most excruciating headache. It felt like my brain was trying to bore it's way out of my skull through the back of my neck. I took a couple of painkillers, and after a few more hours I finally fell into a fairly deep sleep before waking prematurely at 4.30am.

 After yet another rough night I didn't expect to feel quite good as I made my way into work this morning, but after writing about the night I now find myself feeling desperately tired. Nevermind, today is Friday, and starting tonight I can get back into recuperating from my glandular fever over this long bank holiday weekend.
Thursday 25th August 2011
08:40 BST

 It took a while to happen, but yesterday did turn out to be bright and fairly sunny. Maybe today will turn out to be similar. It rained several times while I was coming to work, but it was only the first hundred yards, or so, of the walk from Earlsfield where it actually rained on me. In the last hour it has dried up, and just now there was a brief hint of weak sunshine.

 All the sleep I got the night before last left me feeling quite good yesterday (if you don't count the extreme coughing fit I had on the train as I made my way to work yesterday). When I left work to go home I didn't feel significantly worse than on other occasions where I got into work at 7am. It only took a very short time to get over the stress of the journey home, and for the rest of the evening I felt close to being almost back to normal.

 I decided that I ought to try and get another good nights sleep last night. That didn't work well. In fact it was a disaster. I was in bed with the light out before 8pm, but I just could not get comfortable. Maybe I had been a bit too liberal with the chilli sauce earlier on, or maybe it was this rotten virus that has set up home inside me, but I came over feeling hot and sweaty. I eventually got to sleep only to wake up again feeling too cold with the duvet almost on the floor.

 Throughout the night I tossed and turned, waking up feeling too hot or too cold, needing a pee, or for no apparent reason at all. Finally, at 4.15 am I woke up for the last time. My neck was stiff, my nose felt blocked, my throat was dry and sore, my elbow joints hurt, my legs hurt, and my head was pounding.As usual a nice hot shower sorted out many problems, and fresh air and exercise, as I made my way to work, sorted out much of what was left. Now I am mainly left with a feeling of being very sleepy.

 This morning I avoided any coughing fits on the trains as I came to work. The secret to doing this was to take a few thimble sized sips of my magic cinnamom whisky. In an attempt to replicate Fireball whisky I have had some cinnamon sticks in a small bottle of whisky for several months now. Without adding sticky sweet syrup it will never replicate Fireball, but the cinnamon taste has come through correctly. For reasons that are mostly a mystery it appears to be better than any cough mixture I have ever had in my life. Just a tiny swig out of my hip flask seems to control my tickly throat really well.

 It is a shame that I didn't get more, and better sleep last night because I won't be able to get to bed early tonight. Chain are playing in The Catford Ram. It is an early gig, and if I rushed I could still just about be home, and in bed, by 9pm, but I think I will be relying on copious amounts of Guinness to ensure that I get to sleep easily tonight !
Wednesday 24th August 2011
07:22 BST

 I'm not sure if there was any time when some sort of rain wasn't falling from the dull, grey, miserable sky. The rain was never exceptionally heavy, and sometimes it was just a fine mist, but it never stopped. According to the BBC weatherman this morning should have started misty, or even foggy. According to the BBC website this morning there should be thin cloud, no rain, and a temperature of 14 C. I measured closer to 17 C and the cloud is thick enough to bring yet more rain.

 As I walked from the station I did notice that in one quadrant of the sky there was some lighter patches in the clouds. Maybe, just maybe, the cloud will eventually break up, and some sunshine will peek through. According to the BBC website that should happen by 1pm. Looking out my window I find that hard to believe !

 After my bad sleep I did feel pretty rough while at work yesterday. I was walking around more like a zombie than a highly skilled electronics technician. At any other time the dull drizzly weather might have pissed me off, but it did feel nice and refreshing to go out for a quick walk in the park at lunchtime.
mowing the grass in the rain
 I took my waterproof camera with me, and I was surprised to be able to take a picture of the grass being mown while it was raining.

acorns
 There are several things wrong with this photos of acorns. One problem may have been slow shutter speed because it was rather dull outside, and the slow shutter speed has allowed some slight camera shake. There also seems to be some problem as to where the camera is actually focussing. It's certainly not on the closest acorns. Maybe a simpler explanation was that there was a raindrop on the lens !

tiny snail
 The rain brought out all the snails again yesterday. I didn't notice any of the yellow ones, but did notice this tiny lentil sized snail with an almost transparent shell.

evil looking spider
 This not so little fella was not in the park but on the wall of the building opposite the door here at work. From the fangs to the tip of the abodmen it must have been nearly three quarters of an inch long. As far as I can tell it is probably some sort of huntsman spider, and may well be venomous (thank goodness for lots of zoom on my camera !).

 After getting so little sleep the night before, I made sure I got plenty last night. I was in bed at 7.30pm, and as far as I can recall I was fast asleep very soon after that. I woke up quite a few times in the night, but I think I still managed to get a full 8 hours sleep.  There was one time when I woke up that I felt so bunged up, and stiff and cramped, that I did have to have a good clear out and stretch before I could go back to sleep.

 At a quarter past four I felt I had had all the sleep I could manage. I woke up feeling terrible. I was stiff and creaky, I had a headache, and my windpipe felt clogged with mucus. Most of these things were cured by a nice hot shower. That had one downside in that it left me feeling hot and sweaty. I had also washed my hair, and with all the sweat pouring off my face I thought I would never get my hair dry. My hair was still wet when I arrived at Earlsfield, and it felt like walking in the rain was not getting it any drier.

 I got the very early train to work (the 06:03), and arrived here at work very soon after 7am. That is a whole hour ago now, and my hair is now almost dry. Apart from a tendency for my throat to get insanely itch - leading to some convulsive coughing fits - I don't feel too bad right now. Most of me seems to be in fairly good condition again, but I can't deny that if I had the choice I would go back to bed right now.

 Some of the bits of me that are no longer complaining may have been helped, or will be helped by the pile of blueberries and raspberries I ate last night. I was recommended them by someone who said they would do me good. Personally I think they'll have me on the toilet for most of the day, but nothing has happened yet.

 Tonight I will be eating more berries, but ones that haven't had, as far as I know, the tag "superfood" added to them. Tonight it will be strawberries that seems to be on some sort of special offer in Tesco at the moment. Perhaps they will be good for me, or perhaps not, but it will have to wait for tomorrow night before I have some real superfood - Guinness ! Chain are playing an early evening gig in The Catford Ram tomorrow night, and I can't think of a beter excuse for multiple pints of Guinnesss !
Tuesday 23rd August 2011
07:58 BST

 If yesterday had been a day in mid autumn it would have been classified as excellent, but for a late summer day it was merely quite nice. It was warm, but not hot, and it was bright, but not always sunny. The weather forecast on TV last said it should all have come to a crashing end in the small hours of this morning. Thunder and lightning, and possible flash floods should have pumelled Catford at 1 or 2am this morning. I don't know what happened in other parts of London, but nothing happened in Catford.

 As I left home to come to work at 06:20 it began to drizzle onto what looked like dry ground. Just over an hour later, as I got off the train at Earlsfield it was raining quite heavily, and continued to do so as I walked to work. In the unlikely even that there was the merest hint of truth in the weather forecast last night, then it should continue to rain all morning, but it should dry out during the afternoon.

 It was a bit of a shock to the system to come back to work yesterday, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. There were only a few times when my fatigue felt so bad that I would dearly have loved to lay down and rest. Mostly it was just a sort of feeling of moving through syrup. Somehow I still found the energy for a walk in the park at lunchtime. I even managed to take a couple of fuzzy photos.
small bird in riverside vegetation
 The photo above needed full zoom on the camera, and some generous cropping of the full picture to show this unidentified bird. I expect it is some sort of tit. If it had a yellow undercarriage I would have said it was a blue tit.
duck taking off
duck taking off - full view
The picture above shows a duck just about to take off (and the picture above it is a crop showing a little more blurry detail). It is really hard to catch a duck taking off. I did get a couple of good sharp pictures of the duck completely hidden by a wall of splashed water. This was the only one where I managed to react fast enough to the first hint of movement. Half a second later and the only thing to see would be a maelstrom of water with the duck somewhere inside it. Perhaps this was some sort of party trick of this particular duck - maybe showing off to it's mates - because it didn't actually fly more than a few yards before getting back in the water ready to do it again.

 At the end of the working day yesterday I felt like I was running on empty. It felt like I would probably have to crawl up the stairs to the platform at Earlsfield station, but when I actually got there it seemed I had more energy than I thought I might. Once I got home, and had sat down for mere minutes, I felt remarkably good. I am sure there have been times when I haven't been ill when I have felt more knackered when I've got home from work.

 I possibly made two mistakes last night. The first was not to force myself to go to bed a lot earlier than I did. The second was to allow my brain to hear about the forecast weather for the night. Having got off to quite a good sleep a fair bit later than I should have, I woke up when the storm was due before it woke me up. The problem was that there was no storm, and it was just warm, humid and quiet. It was really difficult to get back to sleep - made even harder by my brain suddenly deciding it was going to imagine a comedy setting for a TV show instead of doing what any other brain might do and just dream about it.

 To add to my woes, my darling pussy cat decided it was time to get up half an hour before I needed to, and to demonstrate this idea to me by attempting to claw all the paint off my bedroom door. Overall, the amount of sleep I got last night was hopelessly inadequate. So if the fatigue doesn't get me today, the lack of sleep almost certainly will.
Monday 22nd August 2011
08:34 BST

 Yesterday was a surprisingly nice day. It was quite warm, and for the most part it was bright and sunny. That has continued into this morning. The clear sky overnight has left it fairly cool so far this morning, but a lot of the sky is blue, and if the sun keeps shining it may turn out to be another nice warm day.

 I spent most of yesterday afternoon just relaxing and/or psyching myself up for the return to work today. As I lolled about the house, or lay on my bed, there were times when I didn't feel too bad at all. There were possibly even a few minutes when I forgot I was ill altogether. Had I not come to work today I can imagine having a hard time trying to balance the conflicting desires of comfortable boredom and the fatiguing effects of doing something interesting.

I can best describe how I feel this morning by asking you to imagine how you feel after a long day, and you are looking forward to your bed. That is more or less exactly how I feel right now at the start of another day at work. When I first woke up I felt very sluggish, and in a certain amount of discomfort. I had the merest hint of something like nausea, but it was a headache, and some discomfort in my throat that concerned me the most.

 After a hot shower I felt slightly better. As I started to dress I checked my temperature and it was 36.1 C, or 0.9 C below normal, but that seems typical for me first thing in the morning. The fact that my temperature was low didn't stop me breaking out into a sweat, and I ended up being quite happy that it was chilly outside to help in keeping me dry on the way to work.

 I took it very easy coming to work. I left home a few minutes early so I could just amble to the station, and at Waterloo I walked at an almost sedate place across the link between Waterloo East and Waterloo Mainline stations. At Earlsfield I went up the big temporary staircase at a steady pace ignoring the wishes of those who wanted to go a lot faster behind me on the narrow steps. I don't think I have ever managed to walk so slowly from the station to work before, and yet even after that I still arrived in quite a sweaty state.

 I suspect it is because I expected to feel a lot worse that I don't feel all that bad at the moment, but not all that bad is still a long way off from feeling good. Given the chance I could very happily have a lie down, and probably even a sleep right now. Also, given the choice, I would definitely not have chosen to have a coughing fit, so bad that it almost turned me blue, just now.

 They are just a few of the bad things, but there are good things too. The effort of coming here should, in my own distorted view of reality, assist me in getting fit again a lot faster than staying in bed. Then there is the positive fact that I am no longer isolated from the world at large. Here at work there are people to talk to (or mostly moan in front of !) - telling the cat that I think I am dying (or on a few occasions, actually dead) doesn't have the same therapeutic effect of telling a human the same slight exaggeration.
Sunday 21st August 2011
11:29 BST

 It didn't feel like it got particularly warm yesterday, but during the afternoon the sun came out, and in the full glare of it it did feel very fierce. This morning started off bright and mild. There's not that much direct sunshine, but the morning, and hopefully the whole day, has a sort of niceness about it.

 The fight between me and something that probably escaped from a biological warfare laboratory seems to be changing in my favour. Before explaining how I got here it is instructive to describe how I am faring this morning. After a not very good night I woke up feeling like there was a definite change in the air.

 After a bit of a slow start I washed my hair and showered. After some fairly vigourus toweling dry I didn't feel the need to lie down and rest for half an hour (as I have done over the last few days). I'll admit it was very slightly tiring, but not enough to stop me getting dressed and going to Aldi to get some shopping. Upon getting home again I still didn't feel like I was close to death (as I did when I got back from my walk yesterday morning). This is all rather miraculous, but things are far from rosy.

 So far it has just been me who has been enduring all this unpleasantness, but I think it is time for you to share in it and voice your disgust at what confronted me when I got out of bed this morning.
salt stains
 It is a very large salt stain on my sheet resulting from some heavy sweating in the night. It is approximately where my chest would be, and each of the two main interlinked circles is about 7 inches across. There have been many occasions when I have broken into a profuse sweat without apparently having a fever, but I suspect from how improved I am that I did have quite a good fever in the night.

 Going back to yesterday, I managed to complete all the tasks I wanted to do in the afternoon. I did all the washing up, and did one load of laundry. I also found the energy to go to the corner shop. It was while I was there that I experienced the glory of the sun. The sun was at such an angle as to shine directly into the cornet shop through it's open door. As I stood in that actinic glare I could feel my skin start to crispen as I waited to be served.

 I rather expected to sleep well last night, but it all went well because of one increasingly irritating part of this disease. My cough has changed in nature, and is now on a hair trigger. While I was coughing assorted bit of offal, old socks, and the like, it was unpleasant, often irritating to my sore throat, but at least it was productive. Now it has changed into a dry cough, and is far, far more irritating. At the moment my throat feels very sore as a result of all the random coughing attacks I am suffering.

 As soon as I got in bed and turned over to go to sleep last night, my throat became irresistably tickly, and I spent the first few hours in bed just coughing. Eventually exhaustion kicked in and I slept fitfully until morning.

 While the cough is undoubtably worse, and could easily be the most significant thing to make being at work tomorrow highly unpleasant, I am winning in other areas, and winning a lot faster than I thought I would. The day before yesterday, and it may have started before that in a mild way, I began to suffer from a carbuncle growing on my inner thigh. These are quite common for diabetics who allow their blood sugar level to rise too high, but I didn't that was the cause this time. Instead I think it was just sweat and a overstretched immune system.

 During the course of yesterday the carbuncle grew in size, and became extremely tender. I had visions of it being almost too sore to walk with when I go to work tomorrow, and then messily bursting at work where there is little I could do about it. Thankfully it came to a head in record time, and started to drain before I went to bed. Potentially that could have been very messy, but I had an ace up my sleeve.

 Once upon a time, back in the mists of time, I had woman staying here (nearly said lady, but that would be an insult to real ladies). One thing she left here, and perhaps some extreme long term sixth sense stopped me throwing it away, was a brand new sanitary towel in it's original air tight wrapping. I have to say, that with the addition of some surgical tape to hold it in place, it did an excellent job of mopping up all the unpleasantness coming out of my inner thigh.

 More unpleasantness was shed while I showered this morning. There is still some lingering tenderness, but I feel I have to believe that this incident is now just about over. Apart from the cough, I do seem to be recovering far faster than I thought possible a few days ago. It is even possible that work won't be the living hell that I expected it to be when I decided not to seek medical help, and rely on my English stiff upper lip, and gritted teeth to help me get through the day.
Saturday 20th August 2011
11:07 BST

 The trouble with my illness is that the days tend to flow into one another, and if nothing spectacular happens there is little to remember them by. As far as I can recall it was dry and often bright yesterday. This morning is like I remember yesterday - dry and bright. It is possible there will be more sunshine today.

 I finally managed to get to Tesco in the middle of the afternoon. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but I definitely needed a lie down when I got back. What was worse was that I bought lots of nice stuff to tempt my flagging appetite, and once I was home I hardly fancied any of it. The two little cartons of ready prepared mixed fruit were far from exciting, but I almost forced them down because they theoretically might have had some useful vitamins and minerals in. The prawn salad was not too bad apart from it being 50% carrot shavings.

  Later on in the evening I thought I would try a ready prepared cheese salad. Once again that was very heavy with carrot shavings, and I couldn't finish it. I have nothing against carrot shavings, and in other circumstances I may even like them, but yesterday they just seemed like too much to chew through.

 I slept better last night than I have done recently, but better still equates to badly. I was a lot less sweaty, and that helped, and even my persistent cough calmed down a bit. I feel sure I was inspired by a book I finished reading yesterday to have an extended, seemingly multipart dream. Quite why I think the book inspired me is a mystery. The plot and scenes from my dream bore no resemblance to the book at all.

 In this dream I, or it could have been someone else, had a new job at a premises close to a tributary of the River Medway. Much of the dream(s) seemed to be in speculating whether it would be possible to get to work by boat. In theory it was, but with the river through Catford being mostly shallow, and the river near this place on The Medway being little more than a muddy gulch, it would need to be done in an inflatable dinghy.

 If you started the journey at 1am there would be a good chance of getting to work before it was time to go home. The route is fairly simple. Paddle downstream on The River Ravensbourne until you reach The Thames. Hang a right, and paddle for hours and hours until you hit the River Medway. Hang a right, and paddle for all your might a short way up the River until it's time to pull off into the tributary.

 This morning I thought I would find out just how bad I feel, and the answer was awful ! I went out for a slow walk around just a small part of the park. I didn't measure it, but I estimate I walked little over a mile at quite a sedate pace most of the time. As far as my chest was concerned I had walked well over five miles, and the ache in my thighs was like the time I walked 10.35 miles last year (the only time my thigh muscles have ever really complained).

 It is difficult to describe how my head felt without it seeming rather alarmist for a simplified version, and the full version is too complicated to describe. One very weird way of describing it is to compare the feeling when you go to the dentist with bad toothache, and you are given a shot of anaesthetic. A glorious numbness sets it, most of the pain dies away, but you are still very aware that once the dentist prods you with his sharp pointed thing it is going to hurt again.

 That was actually a really crap comparison because I didn't experience any severe pain in my head, but I did have a sort of numb feeling. I describe it like that because at no point did I feel like I would feint or fall over, but my head definitely kept heading to gaga land. It was like thinking through treacle, and with the overtime the back space key is doing at the moment, my brain is still not firing on all cyclinders.

 As all my limbs complained about the effort, and my brain would have preferred to watch the pixies, I could get away from the taking a few pictures while I was out. I even took my underwater camera in case the was an opportunity it use it. While the park behind work is looking almost autumnal, and mostly boring, my local park is still full of colour, and even the squirrels are better trained.
Squirrel climbing a fence
 This squirrel is climbing the 8ft high wire that stops the athletes escaping from their exercise area.
a nice bright yellow flower being visited by a fly
 What's a lot smaller than a sunflower but looks like a sunflower, and attracts flies. Dunno, but here's one !
green tomatoes
 The wondrous variety of plants in my park has been added to by these tomatoes casually growing at the base of a tree.
all the colours of an English meadow
 This picture would look far more spectacular in 3D, but it still give an idea of all the meadow flowers growing lustily in some parts of the park.

 Since sitting down to write this, and after consuming 4 or 5 chocolate biscuits, I feel like I am slowly recovering. Most of the words I am typing seem to be coming out close to how they should be spelled, and I seem to be leaving far less words out entirely ! This is a good thing because I have three other tasks I want to tackle during the course of the day.

 I want to go out again, but only as far as the corner shop to buy some diet coke. I really, really need to do some washing up. The kitchen sink probably has more lethal bacteria growing in it than my body does at the moment - and it stinks. Finally I wan't to wash some stinky, sweat drenched clothes before they too become too stinky. Before all that I am going to have another extended lie down.

 One more thing before I go, my web server statistics have detected one or more viewers from the antipodes. If one of them is you Ruby, don't worry about me. You just get on with your fabulous holiday, and let me worry about bending the rules of medicine. I'll still be here when you get back.
Friday 19th August 2011
06:45 BST

 Yesterday turned out to be a very wet day. I was not aware of any heavy rain, but at minimum there seemed to be a continuous fall of drizzle. This morning has dawned quite bright with several blue patches of sky visible. It seems that much of today will be sunny.

 My illness keeps changing, and occasionally it feels like I am getting better, but I am still a long way off from being well. One good thing happened yesterday. I was able to spend nearly all afternoon in bed without feeling uncomfortable. I was wearing a t-shirt, lounge pants, and some thick woolen socks. More importantly I was under my duvet as well and I was not sweating despite nursing a mild fever of 38.3 C (nearly 101 F).

 I kept that high temperature up all afternoon, and I thought it should do some good. I am not sure if it did or didn't now. Just before 6pm I took a couple of paracetamols to cool me down so I could watch some TV and have some dinner. I didn't feel like eating much, and in the end "dinner" was 5 or 6 ginger biscuits.

 At around 7.30pm I phoned a friend to give an update on how I was feeling, and while I was standing up and walking around while using my mobile phone I did actually feel almost OK if you ignore that I was starting to drip with sweat. One thing that surprised me was how easy it was to talk. Apart from a few words to Smudge, my cat, which seemed to come out very croaky, I had not talked to anyone for a couple of days. It was a pleasant surprise to find my voice still worked OK.

 For the rest of the evening I continued to drip with sweat, and when I went to bed I had no choice but to cover my pillow with a towel. Perhaps it was shear exhaustion, but I found I could sleep quite easily. I guess I slept for over two hours at a time before waking up again. The first couple of time I woke up I found that not only was the towel over my pillow very wet, but parts of the duvet were wet with sweat too.

 This morning I would feel fine if it were not for all the coughing that is making my chest and stomach muscles very sore, and the strange twinges in my legs that make it feel I am about to collapse when walking about. In the last two minutes I have even stopped sweating. One of my earliest symptoms has also faded to almost ignorable - my sore throat.

 I am not sure what I will be able to achieve today. Ideally I would like to get some shopping in from Tesco, but I am not completely sure I could manage that right now. A more likely thing to do is to turn on some heating. Despite the fact that I was sweating quite profusely five minutes ago, it does feel quite cool in here right now, and I think I now would like to lie down on my bed for a snooze.
Thursday 18th August 2011
10:09 BST

 Yesterday stayed dry but fairly cloudy. This morning that sun is trying to shine, but there is just too much cloud. At the moment it is 19 C, but I think the temperature is slowly creeping up, and like yesterday it could end up somewhere in the region of 22 - 24 C. Unfortunately there is a good chance that there could be some rain later on in the afternoon.

 This morning there is still plenty wrong with me, but at last I think I am on the mend. I felt very ropy yesterday, but at around 7pm I felt a sudden chill, and my skin seemed to go tingly. When I took my temperature I found that for the first time I was heading towards a fever. An hour later my temperature peaked at 38.1 C (100.5 F). I had been hoping for something like 104 F because that would really help burn out the bugs, but my lesser fever seems to have marked a turning point.

 The biggest change is that my throat is no longer as sore as it was. The lingering soreness has more to do with the amount I am now coughing than with it being swollen. If it were not for the cough I have raised to new heights of inconvenience I would probably be feeling a lot better today. It is a wet cough rather than a dry cough, which is a little less unpleasant, but it is so frequent that I doubt I could keep asleep for any more than about 15 minutes at a time last night.

 It is entirely possible that I got no more than four hours sleep in short bursts last night, and in consequence I am feeling much the worse for wear this morning.  Under such circumstances I didn't even consider the idea of going back to work today. If I had I would be falling asleep at my desk, and quite possibly sweating everywhere.

 As I write this my temperature is a rather low 36.4 C, or 0.6 C below normal, but it does feel like I have a fever from the way doing anything gets me sweating. I am tempted to see how much I am suffering from fatigue this morning. The easiest way of doing that would be a short walk in the park. Some fresh air may be nice, but I fear it would leave me dripping if I did it.

 What I am going to do is to lie on my bed and do some reading. With luck I might drop off to sleep. If I do I hope that I won't wake up to a saturated pillow. During the night I had to rotate three different pillows as each became wet with sweat. It is all rather unpleasant, but there is a positive side to it - I think. I've always thought a good sweat cleans the inner body (or something), and there is also a benefit to a fever that goes beyond it putting the bodies self defense mechanism into overdrive. It takes an awful lot of energy to raise the temperature of my carcass. That energy comes from calories consumed as food. This morning I feel I might have even lost a few ounces of weight ! Every cloud has a silver lining.
Wednesday 17th August 2011
07:15 BST

 At some point yesterday there was a brief splash of light rain, but I can't remember when. All I can remember is looking out the back window and seeing a few raindrops on top of an old dustbin out there. It did cloud over enough in the evening to make it seem prematurely dark outside. This morning it is 16 C, and so far rather overcast. It should get warmer, but apparently the cloud is unlikely to break up to any significant extent.

 I feel pretty lousy at the moment. I have been monitoring my temperature quite frequently, and late last night it did get as high as 37 C - just 0.3 C lower than normal. That is the highest I have seen it. The lowest I saw was in the middle of the night when it had dropped to 1.5 below normal. I am starting to hope that I do run a nice high fever soon. It is usually an indication that my body is repairing itself, though it could also be the missing part to complete a diagnosis of Glandular fever.

 While my measured body temperature seems fairly consistently low, my appreciation of room temperature seems to bounce around all over the place. When I first tried to go to sleep last night it felt cool, and I gut under the duvet. Within a few minutes I was covered in sweat, and I was forced to abandon that idea and sleep on the duvet with a spare duver pulled over me like a sheet.

 I slept in two hour segments last night with periods of non sleeping ranging from a few tens of minutes to a couple of hours on one occasion. During those bits of sleep I had a recurring dream. Each one had minor variations, but they were all about trying to retrieve some cameras I had attached to some temporary fencing. I am not entirely sure what they were looking at, but I was convinced that if only I could retrieve them, or just their memory cards, I would have an interesting selection of stills and video.

 One other dream featured a camera, or maybe a microphone. I am sure it started as the former and turned into the latter. It appears I was making some sort of bootleg recording of a band performing. I recall it sounded good, but there was a very improbable problem. The microphone seemed to be hidden somewhere near a urinal. Everytime the singer stopped singing I could hear the sound of someone weeing !

 While I still have a very sore throat, some swelling inside my cheeks, really bad fatigue, and a headache behind the eyes running down into the cheek bone area, my illness does seem to be settling down to something more like a head cold. In the early hours of the morning I was sneezing, and producing copious amounts of mucus. As well as that, my chest is rather weezy, and I am frequently coughing up who knows what.

 The other curious, and rather severe thing is the effect it is having on my appetite. It takes something pretty drastic to put me off food, but to some extent that has happened. I feel quite hungry, and my stomach has been doing some hunger rumbles, but I keep looking in the kitchen and thinking there is nothing there I fancy eating. If I feel up to it I am going to try and go to Tesco sometime today, hopefully this morning. There is one thing I think I would fancy, and that is "Franks Diabetic Ice Cream". I assume it is very low in sugar, but also that it is probably loaded with lard. It is impossible to make a totally healthy, and yet still edible, ice cream. I think I could fancy eating some of that, and it might even help my sore throat.
Tuesday 16th August 2011
13:40 BST

 Yesterday turned out to be mostly pleasant. It was dry, often bright, and mild. Late in the afternoon the clouds thickened up, but as far as I know it stayed dry. This morning started out, and has stayed rather cloudy, but once again it has stayed dry, and at just over 23 C, warm.

 Once again I am off work sick. After doing a bit of research I discovered I have all the symptoms of Glandular fever except for one very important one. I have no fever ! Everytime I have taken my temperature I have found it to be anywhere from 0.5 to 1.1 C below normal ! I do have the sore throat that makes swallowing liquids uncomfortable, swollen glands inside my cheeks, mild headaches, fatigue and muscular aches and pains, and I have had sporadic indications of an inflamed spleen and liver as explained on the NHS website, but still no fever !

 During the night my illness took on more the guise of a head cold. My nose was either completely blocked or running, and I was coughing up lumps of unpleasantness. After spending quite a lot of the morning in bed those symptoms have subsided, but my throat is now as sore as it has been at any time (which was probably Sunday afternoon). Apart from the sore throat I currently have a sort of tight feeling in my head that feels like the precursor to one of several headaches I've had.

 If I stay resting, as I have done all day so far, I will probably continue to feel relatively OK. The problem with that is it is very boring, but I know that if I tried to do anything more I would quickly feel a lot worse. One thing I probably should do is to see my doctor. If it is Glandular fever there is no treatment, but I expect I would get a certificate for a week or two (maybe more) off work, but only at the expense of a load of tiresome tests.

 Besides, I don't really want to be off work too long, and I don't think I could afford to anyway. So I'll just do my own tests (am I alive or dead this morning ?) and see how I feel the next day, and maybe the day after until I can face getting to work again.
Monday 15th August 2011
08:03 BST

After a dull morning the cloud broke up, and yesterday afternoon was bright and sunny. I am unsure as to how hot it got, but I think it ended up somewhere around 22 or even 23 C. This morning has started out bright and clear, and also a little cool. While the sky stays clear the sun should warm things up nicely, but it is forecast to cloud over later in the day. That should make for a pleasant warm evening (and probably a horrid sticky night).

 The sore throat I complained of yesterday morning got worse during the day. By late afternoon it was quite painful to swallow anything. It took a lot of will power to swallow four cans of Special Brew during the late afternoon, and into early evening. In some ways swallowing solid food seemed easier. Something, presumably the illness I had, made the effects of drinking four cans of 9% Special Brew seem strangely negligeable. I assumed that I would be feeling quite drunk by the end of the last can, and that I would fall asleep easily once I got into bed. Instead I felt surprisingly sober, and I appeared to not have suffered any after effects either.

 It felt like my nose was getting very blocked during the night, and I assumed that this morning it would be streaming. If anything it is slightly improved. My chest still feels wheezy, and I have had a few passing mild headaches. I suspect that if I were at home I wouldn't be feeling all that bad, but here at work I do feel lousy. Unfortunately, having already taken one day of sick this month, I can't afford the loss of pay to take any more time off to go sick, though if I do begin to feel significantly worse I may have to.

 One of the irritating aspects of this disease, whatever it may be, is just how easily I can start to sweat, particularly across my forehead. Last night, as I attempted to go to sleep, I either felt slightly cool if I didn't pull the duvet over me, or it felt like I was stewing in my own juices if I did. On the whole it was better to feel slightly cool, but it didn't help me sleep much.Out of curiosity I took my temperature to see if I was feverish or anything. It was 0.5 C below normal, and I think that is about right for me. I meant to check this morning, but I forgot.

 Tonight I really must try and get a few more hours sleep in. It's difficult to estimate how much sleep you get when you keep waking up in the night, but I doubt if I got that much more than four hours last night. To catch up I probably need to go to bed before 7pm tonight. I doubt I'll manage that early, but it's something to aim for. The main thing I have to try and remember is have bland food tonight, and not too much of it. If I can leave out the chilli sauce it is possible I won't start to melt once I do as little as cover my big toe with the duvet !
Sunday 14th August 2011
06:24 BST

As far as I can remember, Friday stayed dry, warm, and sometimes sunny. There were occasional showers forecast for yesterday, and some of the heavy clouds I saw could easily have dropped some rain, but it missed me, and I experienced a lot of warm sunshine. Today has started rather dull, and apparently most of the morning will be like this. This afternoon should see some sunny intervals.

 If there is one thing worse than seeing the fabled horse-eating spider of Catford eyeing you greedily from near the ceiling of the corner of the kitchen, it is checking again a minute or two later and finding it gone...........Somewhere loose in my house is a fearsome beast with dripping fangs, and legs long enough to reach into the next county ! However, I had more interesting things to consider yesterday.

 It didn't seem a great start to the day with heavy looking clouds in the sky, but I felt compelled to go to the seaside. I wanted to start out a lot earlier than I did, and it was gone 11pm before I started out to the station. By that time the clouds had parted enough to allow the sun to light my way to the station. My destination was Ramsgate, and it was a hell of a long journey to get there, and even longer coming back.

 I chose Ramsgate because I didn't feel up to a very long walk, and my destination from there, Broadstairs, was not that far away, and it would contribute a few miles to my long term quest to walk as much as feasible of the south east coast. My total walk was only 3.8 miles, but it did involve a lot more hill climbing than I bargained for. Things started well when I left Ramsgate station. It is downhill to the town, but then there is a very steep hill to climb to get up to the sea front. In this case "the front" is actually the top of a cliff that looks down onto the beach.
Ramsgate harbour
This is the first view I saw of the sea looking down, and to the south. In the middle distance is Ramsgate harbour, and somewhere in the far distance is Pegwell Bay and Sandwich.
north of Ramsgate beach
 Looking the other way gives a better impression of how high up I was. In the distance you can just make out the huge offshore wind farm in the haze.
seagull in flight
 There was one picture I took of a boat that was partially obscured by a seagull that flew through the frame just as I clicked the shutter. I thought I would try and capture one in flight, and I got lucky with this shot.
telephone cable sign
 I was about halfway between Ramsgate and Broadstairs when I saw this rather odd, rather rusty sign. I couldn't recall seeing anything like it before.
UAX building
 The "Telephone Cable" sign is erected behind this building which I think was what was known in the days of The GPO as an UAX, or unmanned automatic exchange. The three manhole covers in front of the building give a further clue that it was, and indeed may still be, a very small telephone exchange.
starfish
 In all my walks along the seashore in the last couple of years I have seen very little sealife despite looking quite closely for it. I've seen dead crabs, and assorted sea shells, but I have never seen a starfish. I don't know if this one was alive or dead, but with the tide going out it probably only had an hour or so before the water would recede enough to leave it high and dry.
Broadstairs
 Finally I reached Broadstairs, and after climbing up five flights of steps to the top of the cliffs, and onto the road, I could look back and take this photo looking down onto the bay. In the centre of the picture is what must pass as the town pier. What is most apparent is the amount of sand. Most of the beachs I have walked on during my walks along the south east coast have been either pebbles, shingle, or mud, but between Ramsgate and Broadstairs there is a lot of real golden sand.

 From where I took the above picture it is quite a long, and mostly uphill walk to the station. I started out struggling a bit as I walked up the hill in Ramsgate, but by the time I had reached Broadstairs I was feeling fitter, but slightly tired. If there had been an opportunity to walk and extra mile, and that extra mile had some views that were worth seeing, I may well have walked it.
map and statistics of my Ramsgate to Broadstairs walk
 Here's a map of my walk yesterday. Considering some of the effort that went into it I am disappointed that it only burnt a measly 609 calories. I started out feeling stiff, and with some chest pains from a minor chest infection, and ended up sweating most of my pains away. It is a shame that I was so out of practice, and feeling so rough. Had I felt fitter I may have attempted another six or seven miles and gone on to Margate.

 The real crazy thing was that this walk only lasted for an hour and 49 minutes, and yet the train journey to get there lasted slightly longer (around two hours). The journey home lasted even longer ! At Broadstairs station I noticed the the first train was one of SouthEastern's high speed trains going to St Pancras International station. After double checking with the ticket office that my ordinary tickets were valid on the train until it reached the high speed line at Ashford, I decided to take that train to see what it was like.

 The class 395 "Javelin" trains are pleasant to travel on, but are nothing special. Perhaps while racing along on the high speed lines they may have some special aura, but on the slow lines they seemed most ordinary. I travelled as far as Ashford, and the route taken from Broadstairs is a long way from the most direct route towards London. At Ashford I only had time for a quick pee before I was off on another train heading towards Otford station where I changed trains again for one stopping at Catford (I could have changed at Bromley South, but at Otford there is no need to change platforms, and it is easy to get outside the station).

 The route from Ashford to Otford is a long and meandering route, but for many parts of it the train does travel at about the fastest you can get a non high speed train on non high speed lines to run.  At Otford I had to wait 15 minutes for my final train, and I eventually arrived at Catford two and a half hours after leaving Broadstairs. In the same time I could have been three quarters of the way to the Lake District from Euston station !

 I presume it was because I was ill that two odd things happened yesterday. My normal craving for nicotine seemed subdued. Even after spending almost two hours on a train I wasn't exactly gasping for a fag. Then, having finally arrived back in Catford, a fair bit later than I first imagined I would, and after not eating anything all day (and only drinking less than a quarter of a pint of water while out) I didn't feel exceptionally hungry. I was very much looking forward to eating when I got home, but I didn't feel like there was any rush to do it.

 I was so relaxed about it that I decided I could quite happily wait for a takeaway to be delivered. Had I had some company when I got in I think I may have got by eating very little, but I ended up ordering far more food than I needed. Amongst that food was some chicken shish kebab with lashings of chilli sauce. It was probably that chilli sauce that left me burning up while I was trying to get to sleep. I went to bed at around 10pm, but it was more than two hours before I could get comfortable enough to get to sleep.

 This morning it seems quite obvious that I have a cold. As well as the tight chest and coughing, I have added a sore throat, and the beginnings of a runny nose. For all that I don't feel too bad, but I think I'll be going back to bed for a while before I get up again. I doubt I'll be going out much today, but I think I'll have to take a walk to the shops sometime this morning. After that I think I'll just be relaxing to get ready for another day at work tomorrow.
Friday 12th August 2011
07:20 BST

Yesterday ended with the cloud getting thicker. That trapped in a lot of heat, and it was almost 18 C when I got up this morning. It was also still very cloudy. The forecast suggested there would have been some rain in the early hours of the morning, but I saw no evidence of that on the way to work. Since getting up the cloud appears to have thinned a little, and there was a brief spell of weak and watery sunshine. Much of today is supposed to be cloudy, but it will probably stay dry apart from the chance of an isolated passing shower. Apparently the temperature will not be markedly different to yesterday - somewhere in the region of 20 - 22 C.

 This morning I think I feel better than yesterday. Lots of bits of me hurt, but I think I can attribute a lot of that to either being in my bed, or laying on it, for a very high percentage of the last 36 hours. Provided those pains ease up now I am moving around, as seems to be happening, I could be feeling fairly good later today.......or maybe not. I currently have a headache, and I was sweating like a pig by the time I got to work. I blame it all on Malaria that I contracted while fighting in the jungles of Kuala Lumpur 12 years before I was born !

 One thing I feel like I want to do today, or at least part of my brain does, is to fast for the whole day. I don't think I feel hungry right now, but the idea of not eating when I get home from work seems an appalling idea to part of my brain. Maybe I ought to try and kill, or numb that part of my brain with plenty of strong alcohol. Actually that would probably make the cravings worse. Perhaps I could drown it with water instead... or nuke it from orbit just to make sure (now where does that quote come from ?).
Thursday 11th August 2011
19:22 BST

Once again yesterday's weather was very average. It was not hot, wet, overcast or bright. Sometimes the sun was bright, and sometimes hazy. I would say it was more like a good day in early May rather than August. Today saw a small change for the worse. There were one or two showers, but apart from that there has been several longer sunny periods. At the moment it is comfortable, but hardly exciting 21 C.

 I've took the day off work today because I felt unwell. I am not entirely sure what is wrong with me, but I have a few ideas. I got up as usual at 5 am, and I shaved, washed and got dressed ready to go to work. Having got dressed I got undressed again and went back to bed and slept for an extra couple of hours. I didn't feel all that good after that, and spent much of the morning laying on my bed reading.

 This afternoon I fell asleep again for an hour or two. I was in a deep enough sleep to have an interesting erotic dream, but even after that I didn't feel all that good. This evening I decided to have a hot meal instead of all the cold meals I have been eating recently. I had a large tin of stew, and it felt good to have some warm food in me. I don't know if it was a legacy of that but I now feel quite hot and sweaty. Alternatively it could be a result of whatever ails me.

 I hope I am back at work tomorrow, but I am keeping the weekend free to do whatever feels good at the time. Maybe I'll spend half of Saturday in bed, or maybe I might try and get out for some fresh air. I did think I might get out somewhere today, but I couldn't face any travelling. If I had an instant teleporter I think I could have quite happily spent a couple of hours by the sea, maybe with a beer, even if it was raining.

Perhaps I can face a long rail trip on Saturday, and actually visit the seaside, but right now it doesn't feel like I would want to do any walking around when I got there. Of course the trouble with that it would be really hard work doing nothing if I got there.  Relaxing on my bed with a book is one thing, but I don't seem to know how to relax elsewhere.
Wednesday 10th August 2011
07:45 BST

The weather was so bland yesterday that it is hard to remember just what it was like. It was not hot, nor was it cold. Sometimes there was some sunshine, and sometimes it was cloudy. The only definite thing is that it didn't rain. I have a feeling today will be very similar. The temperature when I was getting up was a rather cool 13 C, and the forecast is that the hottest part of today will only reach 20 C. As I write there is a lot of blue sky streaked with white cloud, and the sun is shining.

 Nothing much has happened recently - to me. Eleswhere there has been rioting, looting and arson. I finally saw some pictures of the centre of Catford on TV last night, and my theory that Argos had been looted was correct. It looked like Boots had also been hit as well. Other shops had smashed windows, but I doubt that they would have had much of the sort of stuff the looters were after.

 It seemed eerily quiet in Catford when I arrived home last night. I noticed quite a few small groups of youths/potential looters hanging around - presumably waiting on orders to start rioting/looting on their Blackberry phones. Sometime, maybe 10pm, perhaps a bit later, the noise level, as heard from my bedroom window increased. Many more cars seemed to be moving around, and there were far more indistinct voices to be heard. There was also the sound of sirens. I don't think that Catford had any real trouble last night, but it felt like there was the potential for something to kick off.

 I didn't sleep well last night. It wasn't the sounds of a potential riot brewing that kept me awake, but rather uncomfortable trapped wind. It didn't make it's presence felt until about half past midnight. Prior to that I had fallen asleep quite easily, and apparently slept quite well. When I initially woke up I thought I just needed a pee. I had that and got back into bed. Maybe the action of doing that upset the equilibrium. As I lay in bed trying to get back to sleep I became more and more uncomfortable, and two more visits to the toilet were needed. Even then I still felt uncomfortable so I switched on my PC to check the latest news. It may have been an hour later when I got back in bed and fell asleep very quickly.

 With a big chunk of my sleep missing I fear I am going to suffer here at work. It is also another nail in the coffin of going to a gig tonight. I wanted to see two bands play tonight. They were Chain, and Shades Beneath. The drummer for the latter band, Matt, is the drummer who frequently fills in for Guy, Chain's normal drummer, when he is unavailable.

 I haven't ruled out going tonight, but I am getting close to 90% sure I won't go. There is even the possibility that the pub might cancel the gig, and even close the pub, if there are any fears of trouble in Croydon tonight. I am not sure I want to be wandering around Croydon after dark at any time, but much more so after the events of the last few days. Then there is the difficulty of getting home if I wanted to stay to the end of the gig (which could be midnight) - any late night exit from Croydon means going to West Croydon through the heart of riot country, and West Croydon bus station is a mere stones throw from some of the scummiest parts of Croydon.

 Finally, there is the problem that I have to get up again at 5am for work tomorrow. Losing two hours sleep last night means I am going to be yawning, and dropping off to sleep in front of my PC monitor today. If I were to lose 4 hours sleep tonight, which could be very likely if I went to the gig and stayed to the end, I would be looking like a zombie and after YOUR BRAINS !!!!!!!
Tuesday 9th August 2011
08:20 BST

There was a tiny bit of rain yesterday. For a few seconds a few dozen medium sized raindrops fell from a passing cloud, and then it was all over again. It actually happened when the BBC weather forecast predicted there would be rain - 1pm. The rest of the day was mostly bright, but even at the end of the day the temperature didn't rise much beyond 20 C if indeed it even got as high as that. Today may well be similar to yesterday, but there is less likelyhood of rain. At the moment there is a blue sky and bright, but cold sunshine.

 I did have thoughts that I might walk to Wandsworth Common station, and then perhaps even walk from Forest Hill station to home last night, but in the end I went home the normal way via Waterloo. One reason was I couldn't be bothered to raise the energy to do it, and a more significant reason was that I needed to buy some cat litter on the way home.

 I am not sure if it occured to me while making that decision, or if it was only with hindsight, but the idea of getting back to Catford via the fastest route may have been wise. The recent bouts of rioting and looting hit Catford last night, and an overheard conversation on the train this morning suggested that much of Catford closed up last night. I did contemplate taking a walk through the centre of Catford on the way to the station this morning, and I may well have done so if I had spent less time at my PC reading all the news reports before going out.

 There was so much to read that I nearly made myself late for work. I completely missed my usual 06:33 train, and I only arrived at the station with five minutes to spare to catch the 07.04 train. Maybe I might dare to venture into the centre of Catford on my way home tonight to see if there is anything to see. I predict, based on seeing a large wheeled council rubbish bin with three contraband flat screen TVs in their boxes in it being pushed down my road by a group of laughing youths, that there is a strong possibility that Argos was looted last night. On the other hand, maybe those youths pushed the bin through the park all the way from Lewisham which definitely had widespread looting last night.
Monday 8th August 2011
08:22 BST

Yesterday evening seemed very nice. In the last hour of daylight there was some sunshine, a lot of blue sky, and pinkish fluffy clouds. There seemed to be all the clasic signs that today would be a fine day, and yet in the small hours of the night a fair amount of rain fell. At the moment it is bright and sunny, and I can hardly see a cloud in the limited amout of sky I can see through my office window. It would seem that this will not last, and the sky will become increasingly cloudy as the day progresses. However it should stay dry, and the cloud will be white rather than grey. For all that, it is not forecast that it will get very warm today.

 Feet and shoes are funny things. This morning I am wearing a pair of lightweight hiking shoes that I have owned since the spring (or maybe earlier). I stopped wearing them after very little use because they have hollow heels that started to crumble. I've now slipped in some anti-shock insoles that I bought from Aldi. These insoles seem to be rather excellent. They are made from a tough fibrous material, and so far that is doing a good job as supporting the heel where the internal support is crumbling.

 The really funny thing, as in weird thing, about these lightweight hiking shoes is how variable in comfort they are. When I first put them on, and started walking to the station, I felt a very small amount of discomfort to my left foot. My right foot felt fine. As far as my right foot was concerned I was wearing the most comfortable shoe in the universe. Somewhere between Catford and Earlsfield there was an unnoticed swap.Walking from the station to work it was my left foot that felt like it was wearing the most comfortable shoe in the universe, and my right foot felt a small amount of discomfort. Sometimes life is pretty weird.

 I rather like the anti-shock insoles I bought from Aldi. It is a pity that I only managed to find three pairs in my size. The last of the three I bought yesterday morning after digging right to the bottom of this huge box of assorted sizes. It doesn't seem obvious, but they provide far more comfort than memory foam insoles do despite the fact that they are made from a fairly hard fibrous material. I thought I would have a look on the internet to see if anyone was selling something similar, and I couldn't believe the prices when I found them. Aldi were selling them for 1.99, and the cheapest I could find online was double that. More typically they ranged from somewhere in the region of 6 to a staggering 25. For the latter price I would expect them to come with a personal fitter and foot pamperer ! Let's hope that Aldi get some more in one day because they are dammned handy !
Sunday 7th August 2011
18:30 BST

It got rather cool overnight, and for the first time in ages I had my bedroom window closed, and had to make sure the duvet cover (minus the duvet itself) was well wrapped around me to keep me from feeling cold. Even this late in the day the temperature has only risen to 19 C. Today there has been a mixture of weak sun and light showers, with the latter only happening during the afternoon.

 Maybe it was because it was cool last night, but I seemed to get the longest amount of sleep I've had in ages, or maybe I was just knackered ! As I recall, I went to sleep not too long after 10pm, and apart from a brief interlude where I got up at around 5am to feed Smudge, and check my email, I was asleep until almost 8am. It's nice to get my full 8 hours beauty sleep, though I don't feel more beautiful for it !

 My main achievement today was spending rather more than I thought I might when shopping in Aldi this morning. I think the main reason for this is because I took my ruck sack along with me. Normally I am more restrained knowing I have to lug the shopping back by hand, but with the rucksack taking the weight of the bottles of drink, and a few other items, I had more scope to load up with other stuff. I seem to be accumulating my winter stores early this year ! (and that includes enough washing powder tablets to last until next spring !!).

 This afternoon I spent several hours researching hacking wordpress blogs for a sort of internet friend. This wasn't so I could hack into a wordpress powered blog, but to see if there were any clues that her website may have been hacked. If it has, and it does seem quite possible, she will have a lot of work on her hands. I'm glad that this page, as are almost every other of my web pages, is built on plain vanilla static html code, and lack most of the popular routes to being hacked. They may not have all the wizz-bangs of most "modern" web pages, but exploiting those whizz bangs is the usual route for hackers to get into a web site.
Saturday 6th August 2011
21:00 BST

There were a few quite brief light showers yesterday, but overall it was a reasonably pleasant day apart from it still seeming to be humid until late in the evening. Today has seen a few more light showers, and some slightly more persistant drizzly rain this evening. There were also several sunny periods as well. The rest of the time it has been lightly overcast. At the moment it is almost 19 C.

 Yesterday evening was almost a disaster. Having realised in the nick of time that Chain were playing in The British Queen I almost failed to get there to see them. I let time slip by far too easily, and when I finally got my act together I got to the bus stop about five minutes after the bus had left without me. The bus service on a Friday night is half hourly, but I had to wait a lot longer then twenty five minutes for the next bus.

 The next bus turned up 10 - 15 minutes late, and I was on the point of giving up when it arrived. My mood was not enhanced when upon consulting the timetable on the bus stop I realised that what had always seemed like a long ride was in fact a mind numbing 56 minutes ! I eventually got to the pub a few songs into the first set that Chain were playing. I don't think I missed anything significant, and certainly not one of the highlights of the gig.

 For reasons that Jo may not want to be publicly revealed she did one song as a solo accompanying herself on guitar. The song was a cover of Bad Company's "Seagull". It was a song that I was unfamiliar with, but I enjoyed her rendition of it.
Jo singing "Seagull" solo
Jo performing solo
I didn't take all that many pictures last night, but here's one more of Jo and Chris throwing a rock star pose.
Jo and Chris
 I would have liked to stay to the very end, but that would almost certainly mean missing the last bus. There was one other reason for leaving early, but one that was in the end pointless. I left to get the 11.30pm bus, and the idea was that I would get to bed in time to get up early to clear the place up for when Aleemah visited today.

 In fact after that nearly one hour journey home, stopping off to buy some dinner, eating that dinner, and watching a bit of TV, I was in bed ridiculously late - 2am ! I did still managed to get up early after only about 4 hours sleep, but it took me ages before I felt ready to start doing all the housework that needed doing. Somehow I managed it before Aleemah called to say she was on the train heading to Catford.

 After Aleemah had had her Wetherspoons vegetarian breakfast in the pub we popped over the road to Peacocks where I was suckered into buying a few unnecessary bargains. I found a few pairs of their lightweight canvas trainers going for half, or less price in their sale. I do seem to be amassing rather a lot of shoes these days, but it is only because I don't like throwing old ones away until long after they have become uncomfortable and have become completely unserviceable.

 The excellent thing is that I think I have managed to get another pair of the black canvas shoes I was wearing to the pub last night. Despite having quite thin soles they seem unusually comfortable for wearing in the pub, and for moderate amounts of walking. I have no idea why these particular ones are unusually comfortable, but with the old ones already starting to split across the sole it is rather nice to have their replacements ready to go.

 This afternoon Chain were playing at Petts Woodstock, and I did want to go along and see them, but I didn't. Aleemah went home early enough that if I had rushed around a lot I probably could have got to the venue by 4.30pm. After getting so little sleep last night I didn't fancy rushing around, but what I did fancy was some breakfast. It was a little after 2pm, but what I had was most definitely breakfast - eggs and bacon !

 Since then I have done a bit of this and a bit of that, read some New Scientist magazine, watched some TV, and the hours seems to have flown by with undue haste. Very soon now I will either be in bed or slumped fast asleep across my PC keyboard !
Friday 5th August 2011
08:17 BST

 It would be fair to say that it rained yesterday. It rained quite a lot in fact. There was more ime when it was raining than when it wasn't. On top of that, it was very humid. So if the rain didn't get you wet, the sweat would. Eventually the rain petered out, and apart from a couple of brief very light showers, I was able to go home from work without my rain protection on (which made things a bit cooler, and less sweaty). My bedroom still felt rather warm last night, but by the time I went to bed the humidity had dropped a lot, and it was not such a sticky night as the night before.

 This morning started fresh and bright. The sun has gone in a few times, but it should be a mostly bright and dry day today. Although my first taste of the fresh air when I left home to come to work seemed clean and fresh, I don't think the humidity has dropped all that low. I measured 17 C outside this morning. Normally that would feel cool, but a bit of rushing around like a mad commuter soon raised some light sweat.

 Although it seemed to rain for most of yesterday, there were times when it stopped at almost inconvenient times. I was intending to test out my waterproof camera in the pouring rain at lunchtime, but during that time the rain stopped, and for the only time yesterday, and then for only a few brief seconds, the sun tried to come out. I did take one picture in moderately heavy rain in the middle of the morning.
view across a rainswept yard
There is very little sign that it is actually raining as I took this picture, but it was. This is the view across the yard/carpark where I work. The cream coloured building at the back is a rather specialised night club catering for swingers ! An industrial/business estate seems an odd place for it, but why not ?
pigeons
 All the rain brought out hundreds of pigeons, and a few other birds, to check the grass playing fields for worms and/or bugs brought up by the wet conditions. This pictures shows just the middle of a flock that must have included 50 or more birds.
wet apples on a a tree
 This picture was a bit disappointing. In real life the rain drops driping from the apples looked all bright and sparkling. On the phote you have to look hard to see them.
yellow snail
 I think it was probably last autumn that I noticed that many of the snails around the footbridge in King George's Park were bright yellow instead of the more usual shades of dark brown. I have no idea why this should be, but the wet brought out this one to pose for me.
nettle in flower
 This wasn't really a wet weather photo, but more of a test of the macro function of my waterproof camera. It shows up the vicious stinging hairs of this nettle quite well.

 Tonight I was planning a nice relaxing evening, and an early night, but then I discovered that Chain were playing at The British Queen in Locksbottom tonight instead of tomorrow night as I previously thought. Tomorrow they are actually playing at Petts Woodstock, and are scheduled to be on stage at 4.30pm. That presents a small problem because I didn't realise it, and invited Aleemah over. Maybe I'll have to time to get to the gig after Aleemah goes home, but it may be a bit of a mad rush. Meanwhile there is tonight to get through first !
Thursday 4th August 2011
07:59 BST

 The BBC's forecasters thought it would rain at 10am yesterday. It didn't. They also thought there would be thundery showers at 4pm. There wasn't any. Apart from the humidity being a bit high, and an occasional slightly dull spell, yesterday was bright and sunny, and rather warm too. I measured 29.3 C when I got home from work last night.

 The forecast continued with the idea that it would become clear overnight, and this morning would start out bright, but rather cool. That didn't happen either. There was rain sometime in the night, and lots more rain from the time I woke up. It is still raining now, and if continues to rain until at least mid morning it will finally catch up with the forecast again. It seems there is a likelyhood that it will rain on and off all day today. With the temperature at nearly 20 C when I woke up, and some rise likely during today, it could be a nasty damp sticky sort of day.

 Nothing of any significance happened yesterday except I walked a little further when I did my usual lunchtime patrol of the the riverbank. Instead of the normal round trip probably being little more than a quarter of a mile, I probably walked double that yesterday. It was nice in the hot sunshine, but even checking something like twice the length of riverbank, and an area a little way away from the river, didn't reveal any good photo opportunities. Ideally I should have liked to get a sharp photo of a large iridescent green dragonfly I saw, but it was moving so erraticially that I could barely focus my eyes on it, let alone find it with my camera.

 Something of significance could happen today. There is a very strong chance that I will be able to test my waterproof camera this lunchtime. Then after work I am meeting Iain for a quick drink or two (or three !) before going into Tesco to get some bits and pieces.Soon after that comes Friday ;-)
Wednesday 3rd August 2011
07:55 BST

  I didn't expect it to rain at 7pm last night. That wasn't part of the forecast for the day. Much of the forecast turned out to be close, but not exact. There was less sunshine than expected, but the temperature did manage to rise to almost 29 C. Today there is supposed to be a light shower in the middle of the morning, but after that it may be bright and sunny for a while until storm clouds gather for a thindery shower or two just as I am going home from work. Once again the temperature will rise as high as 29 C (maybe a degreee or two less), and after the morning's rain it will become unbearably humid. It is not going to be nice gently cooking under a rain coat as I make my way home from work. I hope that the forecasters have got their sums wrong today.

 Last  night I came the closest I have come to eating really heathily for ages. The large chunk of cheese I nibbled on definitely spoiled things, and the potato salad was not ideal. Apart from those two things, everything else was low fat, low sugar, high in fibre, and possibly other good things too. Tonight I might do even better. All the cheese and potato salad is gone, but I do have other stuff that is as bad, or worse, that I might, or might not, avoid.

 I think I feel reasonably good this morning. It was horribly sticky last night, but I think I managed to get close to my ideal of eight hours beauty sleep. I do have a very slight legacy left over from a bit of madness yesterday. It wasn't always sunny enough to be ideal, but it felt hot enough to go for a bit of a walk during my lunchbreak. Just how much is best illustrated by a picture.
A long hot sticky lunchtime walk
 As you can see, I walked 2.54 miles at an average speed of 3.5 mph. You might notice from the graph at the bottom that I started my walk high in the air - or at least that is what the graph shows. It is one of the limitations of the processing of GPS signals in my phone. It takes ages to work out your correct height. The right hand side of the graph is correct, but the left hand side cheats me out of all the effort I put in to climb the hill at the start of the walk. If the app on my phone had taken that into consideration it might have shown that I had burned another 100 calories.

 I arrived back at work dripping with sweat from head to toe, and it took over half an hour before I felt I had cooled down as much as you can cool down on a hot day. Today I can feel the result of some of the stresses of that walk, but apart from a tiny bit of foot ache, nothing hurts.

 I doubt if I'll be going for a similar walk this lunchtime. One reason is that I haven't finished reading my newspaper. Yesterday was an exception in that the newspaper was so thin that I finished reading it on the train. The usual ritual is to finish it during my lunchbreak. That's not the most important reason why I feel I won't be doing a long walk today. The real reason is that I am scared of drowning. Yesterday was bad enough, but with the increased humidity today I would probably sweat faster than it could run off my face, and I would end up drowning in my own sweat !
Tuesday 2nd August 2011
08:19 BST

  The BBC's weather forecasts are turning out to be spookily accurate recently. The day we were promised yesterday turned out to be just as forecast, and it's looking as if today is starting correctly too. After an hour or two of dullness yesterday morning, the clouds broke up and shrunk, and we were left with a bright sunny day. The temperature rose to 28 C as measured by my own outside thermometer, and that was one degree higher than forecast.

 This morning started at nearly 20 C, but also cloudy enough for some light showers as BBC forecast said there would be. The cloud is now breaking up, and soon it will get quite hot and sticky as the sun evaporates all the rain that fell earlier. I think the BBC are playing it safe with a forecast of 28 C, but The Metro newspaper seems to think that in some parts of London the temperature could climb to 30 C.

 The heat and sunshine made me feel rather good on the way home from work last night. If I hadn't wanted to pick up some shopping on the way home, and had I been wearing suitable shoes, I may well have walked to Wandsorth Common station, and maybe even walked from Forest Hill station. Having gone home the normal way via Waterloo, the best show of exuberance I could manage was to run up the escalators. I have no idea why it should be so much easier to do that when it is very hot, and when everyone else slows down, but for me it does.

 Another peculiar thing is how I get strange urges to buy certain foods while I am in the supermarket doing some shopping. I believe it is my body telling me it wants something in particular. Sometimes it is fish, and sometimes some particular type of vegetable. Last night it was something different. I had an urge to buy some cans Carlsberg Special Brew. It was a rather novel idea, but I decided to go with the flow, and bought a four pack.

 I only had room for one can after eating quite a substantial dinner last night, but maybe tonight I'll eat more sparingly and manage to drink two cans. My substantial dinner was actually in two parts. Part one was a rather large salad featuring one huge tomato, a whole heap of mixed salad leaves, spring onions, cucumber, and some cold "Mexican flavoured" sliced skinless chicken. Part two was some Tesco sandwichs I noticed going for half price near the end of the day.

 It all left me feeling rather full, and glugging down the can of Special Brew laft me feeling a bit uncomfortable. I don't know if that had any relevance to my back feeling very sore last night, or not, but it was definitely painful to lie down when I went to bed last night. I had to experiment a lot to get find a comfortable position. Life was made a bit more difficult by the heat. I had a fan on because it was really very hot in my bedroom, and yet I didn't want to blow cold air onto my sore back.

 Eventually I got to sleep well over an hour after I first went to bed, and I think I slept quite well. This morning there is a hint that my back was so sore last night, but it is not causing any pain or discomfort now. Overall I feel reasonably good. I certainly seem to have retained some of the energy I had last night as I rushed around during my commute into work. Going up the ramps on the way out of Waterloo East station I found myself weaving in and out of commuters as I overtook them by while they all seemed to be dawdling along.

 It was nice in the park here at work yesterday. Once again there seemed nothing new and vibrant to photograph except one thing. It was only by chance that I spotted a mayfly istting on a leaf about 10 ft away. At that distance it was hard to pick out in the viewfinder, but once I found it I managed to take an almost reasonable picture of the creature.
mayfly sitting on a leaf
Monday 1st August 2011
07:57 BST

  Yesterday continued bright and sunny, but the temperature didn't seem to improve that much. Today has started off slightly overcast, and very slightly cool at around 17 C. If the weather forecast is to be believed the thin, but comprehensive, cloud cover will disperse leaving some warm sunshine by this afternoon. That is supposed to raise the temperature to as high as 27 C. Let's hope that actually happens because from the sky looks as if it could start to drop water on us, and I haven't got a coat with me today.

 My Sunday afternoon was spent relaxing in front of the TV. There was nothing being broadcast that could raise more than a yawn from me, but fortunately I have a stock of old recordings. Amongst that stock is the complete two series of Colditz made by the BBC in the early 1970's - in the days when the BBC made quality television, and before they squandered all their money on making soap operas and reality TV.

 Colditz was so well made that it was very easy to sit and watch the first five episodes almost back to back. It may have helped that it is based on the real memories of some who were in Colditz, and that apart from a certain acceptable dramatic licence, it was portrayed as accurately as possible.

 I did my best to take a modicum of care with how I ate yesterday, but with so much inactivity, and particularly with so much time spent watching TV, I did eat more than I might have intended. However that little bit of care, and moderation, seems to have left me feeling fairly good this morning. I didn't actually feel like rushing around, but coming to work seemed to be no more hard work than any other day.

 The one bit of me that is still giving trouble is my right ear. It is still very full of wax, and after using ear drops it is now very soft and sticky wax. I woke up almost deaf in my right ear, but slowly the wax is shifting position and my hearing is OK again. The ear drops are evidently doing something, albeit rather slowly (but then again I don't use them every night). On the train this morning I pulled out a few small lumps of sticky wax, and I think it won't be long before there will be more. With patience I may be able to avoid visiting the surgery, with all it's risks of infection and attempts to drum up business by telling you how ill you are, or ought to be feeling.