|My Diary/Blog For the Month of February 2014|
|Friday 28th February 2014|
I am fairly certain that the weather forecast for yesterday only gave hints as to what the weather would be like, and not an actual prediction. It might have been as early as 9am, but perhaps 10am is more realistice, that we were deluged in bright sunshine instead of the rain that had been forecast. There was some rain, and some of it very heavy, during the afternoon, but I managed to walk from work to the station in sunshine, and the sun intermittently shone until sun set. This morning the weather forecast was saying that the temperature would start off at about 4° C (which it probably was), and that it would rain for the whole day without the merest glimpse of blue sky, let alone sunshine. It was nasty and wet as I made my way to work, but right now I can see loads of blue sky outside, and there was a little sunshine just now. Maybe today will not be quite as bad as the forecast suggested it would be. Perhaps the temperature might even top the miserable maximum of 6° C that has been forecast.
I didn't feel all that good when I left work yesterday. There was nothing specifically wrong with me, but normally I feel a bit of sparkle when I am heading for home. Yesterday I was heading towards beer, and that really should have made me feel far more wonderful than I actually did. It was certainly nice to arrive back in Catford, and grab my first beer in The Catford Constitutional Club, but the pleasure was a bit tenuous.
The CCC, as it is commonly known as, has only just recently opened it's kitchen. When they operated out of the Catford Bridge Tavern (previously known as The Copperfield, and The Railway Tavern before that) the kitchen, and dining side of the pub was a big feature, and a seperate room (what was once the lounge bar) was set aside for it. Now the CC has tried to do the same thing, but the only natural division in the place, a sort of half wall, divides the area very unevenly. The result was that at least two thirds of the room was set aside for diners, and only one third for drinkers.
I expect that ratio is the best economic proposition for the place in theory, but the practice last night was something very different. There were two people sitting down to eat last night, and at least 100 drinkers cluttering up the place. When I say cluttering up the place I really mean it. There were seats for maybe 50 people - assuming every seat was taken - and that would assume that everyone was intimately familiar with everybody else. In fact it may have been only half that amount actually seated. the rest were milling around in the only space left - in front of the bar. So it was hard to get to the bar, and hard to get out the room to go to the toilet or go home. Meanwhile two thirds of the place is as good as empty. It's going to have a rather negative effect on the amount of customers they get in my humble opinion.
It will be a shame to drink in there less because they do have some good beers. I'm unsure how many pints I had last night, but I think it could have been as little as 4. I left a little earlier than the others because there were a couple of minor things I wanted to do, and one of those I didn't want to be too drunk to do. In fact I waited until this morning just to be doubly sure before I went online and did some financial transactions. I was quite pleased to see my current bank balance this morning. I'm never going to afford a luxury cruise this year, but maybe I might stretch to a week in a caravan at Leysdown on Sea if I saved hard. This morning I did save hard. After many months of sick pay, and a month and a half of real pay to get things back in equilibrium, I was finally able to move a dollop of money from my current account to my savings account where it will now earn interest at a far slower rate than it is depreciating. If only my mattress was as portable as a little plastic card I would store my money there !
I didn't get to bed that late last night, and I am sure I slept well. I have a vague recollection of waking up once or twice, but I could only have been half awake or I am sure I would remember more about those moments. For all that I still feel rather knackered this morning. I guess it must be the booze, and yet it was barely enough to qualify as a full government described binge drink - which what I would normally have been aiming for. My guts were a bit volatile for the first time this week, but not as dramatically so as a week or two ago. Fortunately I don't seem to have any significant aches or pains this morning. I just can't stop yawning, and I would dearly love to be back in my bed right now.
Tonight I;m not going out, and I could stay up late, but I don't think I will. I haven't got anything special going on in the morning. So I should be able to get more sleep in the morning, but I always seem to have a lot of trouble doing that. I may be able to sleep through to 7am, and on some occasions to 8am, but it is very rare for me to sleep beyond that unless I am particularly sick. I don't feel particularly sick at the moment, although presumably I am. Next Wednesday I have my echo cardiogram at 8.45am. It will be interesting to hear what they find inside of me. I'm not sure if I will enjoy any follow on treatment though.
To finish the month heres a screenshot of a memo sent to everybody at work. I don't think the young woman who wrote it, and who comes from overseas, realises that in these parts "tool" is not always an implement for working with wood or metal !
|Thursday 27th February 2014|
For all the sunshine we got yesterday, it was still a cool day. I'm not sure what the top temperature was, but if it was over 11° C I would be very surprised. My guess would be 10° C or less. As darkness fell the weather underwent a complete change around. Instead of clear blue skies the clouds crowded in, and it soon started to rain. This morning is the foulest, most evil, dirtiest, greyest, and bloody horrible-est morning you can imagine. There is wet stuff falling out of the sky, and wet stuff underfoot, it's cold, and so dull that you need infra-red night goggles to see your way down the street ! Later on it should brighten up a bit. In fact it is now almost bright enough to read by. The rain might become more intermittent, but there is a chance of a heavy shower at almost any time today. Tomorrow morning might see some wet snow or sleet.......or bright sunshine, or 6ft snow drifts........it all depends how accurate the forecast is.
Yesterday's sunshine felt good, and I really should have gone out for a frolic in it, but sadly I didn't, and it's magic wore off prematurely. Apart from my shoes not being my most comfortable, I can't say that I was in any discomfort on the way home from work, or indeed for most of the day at work, but I didn't feel quite right. Maybe some discomfort from my shoes triggered it, but most of my discomfort was in my head.
I had barely been walking towards the station for two minutes before I began to feel very depressed about the idea that I was just wasting the next hour and a bit of my life just to travel from work to home. It may very well be that if I had the choice I would have wasted that time anyway, but while it is of my choosing I am not too bothered about it, but I am effectively forced to waste it away, and slightly more in the morning too, by the constraints of my job. Many people have even longer commutes - and good luck to them - but mine is mine and I don't like it !
I think I had conciously forgotten about being pissed off about my commuting by the time I got home, but the venom was still there in the background, and I felt quite lacklustre as a result. Somehow I managed to moderate what I ate. It was by no means healthy, but in the mood I was in I could easily have done far, far, far worse ! Once the news had finished on TV I turned everything off downstairs and went straight up to my PC.
Once I had the PC on I calmed down a lot - I must have done because an awful lot of time went by without me realising it - always a good sign that I am enjoying myself. I had come across a blog written by a chemist about chemicals he definitely preferred not to work with, but also praising those, particularly the pioneers, who do handle those chemicals. Many of the chemicals are explosive, or are extremely toxic, or give off an incredible stench - and often all three ! One of the chemicals is affectionately known as FOOF from it's chemical formula of two atoms of Flourine attached to two atoms of Oxygen. It was seriously considered as an advanced rocket fuel at one point, but it has some issues. It is so unstable that an ant farting on the other side of the planet is enough to make it explode. It would be great for suicide bombers - they wouldn't even have to leave their lab to explode !
It is possible that if I hadn't pursued a career in electronics I might have gone into chemistry. It was one of my favourite subjects at school, and I even earned an "O" level in the subject (one of the old time real "O" levels with the examination paper set by, and presumably marked by Cambridge university). What more I earned a distinction, or whatever the top grade was called back in the day. It would have been interesting to have carried on studying chemistry (and also physics) but just before the exam, but not part of the exam, our teacher introduced us to organic chemistry - maybe as a sort of taster of what to expect at "A" level studies for those who went on to the 6th form.
The problem with organic chemistry is that, from my point of view, it becomes non-intuitive. Maybe that's because I just didn't know enough to start predicting things, or maybe it was like the barrier I met when in college we moved from algebra to calculus. I could do algebra with one hand tied behind my back, but calculus just seemed so alien I could not grasp it. That's how organic chemistry felt. All those single, double, and maybe triple carbon bonds, all going round in hexagonal circles was mind blowing - and that is just the simple stuff !
Maybe I would have got the hang of organic chemistry if I had stayed on at school into the 6th form, and maybe I would have got the hang of calculus if I had been taught by a decent teacher. The one in college was a Scottish twit (and if that sounds slightly prejudicial you are wrong - it is highly prejudicial). I could barely understood what he said, and I am sure he would have had trouble explaining 2 plus 2. Maybe his day job was as a PE teacher or something. One person who probably could have taught me was the Polish maths teacher from school. He had many stranger mannerisms, but he could teach, and he could make anything sound easy.
We had 5 years to learn enough maths for the "O" level exams. Mr (insert a string of YX and Zs that is prounounced as something similar to Pashalk) taught us to "O" level standards, and beyond in 4 years - and that doesn't count the time, maybe as much as two thirds of each lesson, he spent telling us about his experiences in a concentration camp during WW2, and warning us of the dangers of long hair. He failed on the latter - my hair is still long and I am only half mad.
I also had a good teacher at college. He was wonderfully laid back - "Pi squared....oh call it 10. It's not but it's close enough" and "calculators - stop wasting your time, Work to one decimal place and just round everthing up so it comes out to nice easy to work out numbers. Just show your working out, and the examiners won't mind - they know you can do arithmetic". During my City And Guilds exams I saw people sweating away stabbing at their calculator keyboards - I came close to just estimating most of my answers. I finished the exam in half the time, and still got a distinction. I have a lot to thank those two teachers for !
Instead of an early night I was half an hour late getting into bed, and it took a long time to get to sleep. To make matter worse I didn't sleep that well. Oddly enough, I don't feel tired - yet ! I did wake up feeling pretty crappy. Perhaps it is the change in weather, but I had a fair bit of lower back pain, and also some other pains around the belt area. I don't think the creases came out until I started to walk to the station. From then on I didn't feel too bad, although I feel I shouldn't ignore the analgesic affect of swearing at, and cursing the weather Gods for the horrible, horrible weather this morning. Feeling such extreme anger does tend to distract you from more minor concerns like your leg falling off or something.
With a bit of luck I'll get drunk tonight. Yesterday I made a big thing about trying to remember to have a large scotch or three last night - I forgot - again !!! Tonight, unless directed to go elswhere, I shall be going to The Catford Constitutional Club pub. If I am the only one there I shall have at least one pint of ale, and if the usual crowd are there then I will certainly be having several more. I'm not due to see my doctor, or give any blood samples tomorrow, so I can binge drink to my hearts content. I might even treat myself to cod and chips on the way home (might ???? it's almost a certainty !).
|Wednesday 26th February 2014|
I'm not so sure that the temperature did rise from the 10° C that yesterday started at. It may have even fallen a small bit. There was one shower that I can recall, but there was more sunshine. Sadly it had become a little overcast as I made my way home from work. I don't think there was any rain last night, and during the hours of darkness the sky cleared completely. That dropped the temperature down to about 4° C, but also meant that I walked to the station with the eastern sky already starting to get light.........but not so light that the thin crescent moon, with what I guess to be Venus near it, looked almost dazzling. The sky is now a brilliant blue, and even the weather forecast grudgingly admits that we are going to get quite a lot of sunshine today. Hopefully it will drive the temperature up to at least 10° C again because tomorrow it could all go wrong - a lot colder, wet, and generally miserable. Friday may even see a couple of soggy snowflakes fall if the weather forecast turns out to resemble reality.
I can't remember if the shower we had yesterday was anywhere near the time that I might potentially have gone out for a walk in the park. What is certain is that I had no real intention of going out anyway. For some reason it just didn't feel right despite me feeling fairly good in other respects yesterday. Maybe I wasn't wearing the most comfortable of shoes or something. I'm tempted to say that I felt fairly good when I got home from work, but on reflection, and it is probably true for most of yesterday, I think I felt fairly neutral. Nothing really hurt, and my energy levels were merely adequate for the tasks in hand.
I went home via the Turkish supermarket for some more of their lovely bread, plus a few other bits and pieces. I was thinking of having just bread and soup last night, but I thought I had better eat some smoked mackerel that was on, or maybe just past it's "best before" date. I had that with a plateful of mostly green salad........and that may not have been the wisest idea. It was very difficult to find where the bones were in the mackerel when it was hidden under leaves and stuff. Several times I ended up with a mouthful of bones. They are small and soft, and I don't think they present any lethal danger, but they are most unpleasant !
I did have a bit of that lovely seeded bread with a can of tomato soup, and I think tonight I'll be having more bread and soup, but I might also melt some cheese on it. I almost stopped eating after the soup, but I had a few biscuits before turning off the TV, and going upstairs to my PC. What I could have done than, and maybe should have done, was to wash a couple more shirts, but somehow I couldn't be bothered. Maybe I was feeling a bit tired because I went to bed at 7.30pm. Initially I didn't think I would fall asleep so early, but the next thing I knew was that 2 hours had passed.
I woke up several times during the night, but I had no difficulty getting back to sleep again until 4.30am. With just half an hour to go before I had to get up it was hard trying to concentrate on getting back to sleep. I think I fell asleep for a few minutes once or twice, but I ended up getting up nearly 15 minutes early. That might mean I'll feel like going to bed early again tonight, or maybe it won't. I'm sure I did lot's of dreaming last night, but apart from a vague impression that one or more of them was set in something like one of the old telephone exchanges I used to work in, I can't recal a single detail from any of them.
This morning I am all confused about how I feel. My legs seem to be easy to use, but don't want to exceed the speed limit - which is a bit annoying when trying to race all the other commuters - I could keep up, but I couldn't overtake. My torso doesn't feel that wonderful this morning. I had a few unexplained pains in the area below the chest, but above the waist. They could come from any of several organs, or from some sort of muscle/tendon/bone posture problem. My actual chest is free from pain, but above the neck things are definitely wrong.
The worst time was when my train was approaching Earlsfield station. I'm not sure whether to say I felt light headed, or heavy headed. Perhaps heavy headed is closer because I had a very strong feeling that I wanted to lay my head down on a pillow and close my eyes. I don't think I felt sleepy though, so perhaps I wanted to die. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to die because there were no pillows on the train, and I had to get off the train and walk to work.
The walk from the station to work was frustrating because I wanted to walk faster, but I just couldn't seem to. I was probably walking at my usual 3 mph, and at that speed it was almost effortless, but I wanted to walk at 4 mph, and it seemed that there was no energy in the universe that could accelerate me to that speed. It is so annoying that there is no halfway point - it's either easy or impossible. It's like how I instantly become tired when I start to walk, and don't seem to get significantly more tired after a mile....maybe two, maybe even more, but I've not tried that yet. Maybe it's the tablets I take, or maybe it's this (possible) heart muscle problem I have. I do wish it would go away though.
Tonight I have no plans. No plans at all. Maybe I'll eat a little, or maybe I'll eat a lot. Maybe I'll do some laundry, or maybe I won't. It's not a plan, but I have a suspicion I'll be in bed early again, but before that I would like to remember to have a big glass of scotch. I haven't had any booze since last Saturday, and even that was a tragically poor one single pint of ale. I can feel the withdrawal symptoms beckoning even now. Yes I hope I remember, and can find the time for a very large scotch or two tonight. If nothing else, I have remembered now. So my lonely bottle might forgive me if I forget it for another night.
|Tuesday 25th February 2014|
Yesterday morning was gloriously sunny, but sadly, by about 1pm the sun went back in, and the rest of the afternoon was rather dull. Even worse than that was that I got rained on as I walked from the station to home. It was only 47 individual rain drops, but it was still cold and wet ! During the night the rain got going in earnest. I felt a few drop as I walked to the station, and as my train passed through central London I saw some really big puddles. The ground was fairly wet as I walked from the station to work, but it wasn't raining. It is raining now, and it is possible that it will rain intermittently all day.......although having said that, I can see a small blue area growing in one patch of sky. One good thing is that it was about 10° C when I left home at 6.15pm, and it might rise a degree or two during the day.
It is surprising what a bit of sunshine can do.......or maybe it is not so surprising to me. Yesterday morning certainly thrilled me enough to go for anotherb walk in the park....and this one was a bit longer than last time.
Apart from the start and stop points appearing to be slightly different, this is a very accurate plot of where I walked. For some reason the plots went all wrong for the next couple of walks. The third walk of the day, which was from stepping off the train at Waterloo, and then walking over the link to the train at Waterloo East station was done indoors, and the satellite signals got too corrupted. The plot went all over the place for that walk. The fourth walk I tried to measure should have come out OK. As far as I remembered, I walked from Catford Bridge station to home. The GPS tracker suggested my walk started somewhere in the vicinity of Brockley cemetary, and that the first part of the walk was done at about 700 mph. Maybe I'm dead, and that was my ghost, but I seem to feel fairly substantial. My second walk, from work to Earlsfield station looks a bit wobbly, but is substantially correct.
For some reason I thought the walk from work to the station was 0.9 miles, but looking back a couple of years, a more precise plot also says it was 0.6 miles. So I guess I've been getting less exercise than I thought. One day I'll find out exactly how far I have to walk to get home from work (or to work in the other direction). I find it hard to believe it will be much less than 1.5 miles !
The mornings sunshine, and maybe the walk in the park, must have gone to my head last night. When I suggested that I might do some laundry, or I might wash my hair last night, I was not totally convinced that I really meant it. I felt like I wanted to do either, or maybe both, when I wrote yesterday morning, but wanting something is a bit speculative. The reality, much to my surprise, turned out to be that I did both, and I trimmed my beard too !
If I hadn't had the cheese and oat biscuits as a snack after my two part dinner, I might even had eaten less than usual. I started with a chicken chow meain ready meal. It said it served one, and it was probably chock full of all sorts of unwholesome ingredients. The great unknown is what the "one" it is supposed to serve actually is. Maybe I overcooked it, but it was so small that a cat could eat it, and still ask for more. So I had another ready meal. It was almost certainly far more unwholesome, but at least it was it was three times the size of the first, and the "meal for one" (or similar words on the packaging) probably did refer to one small adult human.
I went to bed, not feeling full by any means, at 8pm last night, and it did take a little while to get to sleep. Once I did get to sleep, I don't think I slept that well. It feel like I was often almost but not quite concious - either that or I had some dreams that were so realistic that I couldn't tell a dream about being half asleep in my bed from reality. One definite dream was supposed to be highly erotic, but sadly it wasn't. I was coming out of my bathroom, freshly showered, and I had a choice of going into one room where a beatiful woman was laying naked in a huge double bed waiting for me, or going into another room where there was a packet of cigarettes. I went and had a fag ! Oh, I do miss my dear departed friends - so much that they now feature in my dreams and corrupt my sexuality.
This morning I feel sort of OK. The first half of the walk to the station felt like walking through treacle, but it became easier as I progressed. I don't think I had any significant pains to report today, and I don't think I had any episodes where I felt my eyes starting to close while on the train this morning. It is even possible that my feet and ankles are less swollen today. My left hand has got no worse, nor any better in the last few weeks. It's usually useable for most things these days, but is still numb(ish) in parts. My chest isn't too bad most of the time. Coughing or sneezing can be painful sometimes - it probably depends on how I am sitting/standing/laying/etc.
There is still a large, but possibly shrinking patch on the left side of my chest that is still numb, but most of the time it is completely ignorable. I still getting a sort of popping sensation in my chest under certain conditions. I haven't been able to demonstrate this to my doctor yet, but I have a strong suspicion it something weird like a fluid filled void that is not too far under the scar on my chest. I have a suspicion that it is the result of me breaking something that was supposed to heal during the early stages of healing after my operations, and I have a strong suspicion that it was when I carried two stupidly heavy bags of shopping back from the supermarket. They were only about 25 times heavier than the heart surgeon recommended I carry for the first few months.............
|Monday 24th February 2014|
Maybe my memory is deceiving me, but I think the sun eventually came out for a few minutes yesterday, but basicly it was a grey day. I read in this morning's paper that there were showers not too far away, but it was definitely dry in Catford through the day, and through the night. The old saying "red sky in the morning, shepherds warning" suggests today could see some bad weather......
This was the view of the eastern sky from outside my house at about 6.30am this morning. Almost two hours later, and now in Earlsfield, I can see nothing but blue sky from the limited perspective of my small office window, and the sun is definitely shining. The forecast says, or did say, that today would be rather dull until after dark when there was some possibility of rain. It was 7° C this morning, and that doesn't seem so bad for February. The top temperature today was originally forecast to be only about 10° C, but if the sun can stay out a bit longer, it's weak winter rays could add another degree or two to that. Maybe it might be a nice day, or maybe it will all change to something horrible in the next 10 minutes. Who can tell ? Not the weather forecasters, that's for sure !
I don't think I was particularly lacking the energy, but I definitely lacked the enthusiasm to do any laundry yesterday. I also felt that it might be nice to wash my hair, but I couldn't be bothered to do that either. I just felt like sitting or laying down in the warm being completely lazy. I guess I was feeling a bit off colour, but it was hard to describe why. It was just a pinch of this and a pinch of that - just little things adding up top a big bleuurghhhh (that's not the vomity type of bleuurghhhh, but just the I couldn't give a shit type of bleuurgh).
I probably should feel the same this morning, but somehow I don't. I am still suffering from some of the same little aches and pains, and there was one extra little problem this morning that made me a little late getting to the station. The odd thing was that walking to the station was not as hard as expected. One problem here is that I don't really know how hard it should be to walk to the station. Going back a couple of years to when I was doing some rather long walks, it sometimes seemed harder to walk to the station than the subsequent 5, 6, 7 or even 10 mile walk. Of course walking home from the station after one of those walks was always a most uncomfortable affair with sore feet.
Maybe a better measure of how fit I am feeling is the walk from Earlsfield station to work. Now that indicates I was close to death, or even passed it. I definitely felt like an old man, and I struggled to keep up with the faster walkers. Now I've sat down I don't feel that bad, and I even feel almost cheerful. This is partly because I've got some simple but satisfying work to do, but mostly because I have told my line manager the good news from my doctors appointment last Friday night. I told him that I would almost certainly be taking off days sick at short notice for tests and stuff, and that there was even a chance that I could end up with another stay in hospital. Both are essentially true in as much as they are possible.........I just wanted to give him the good news as soon as possible :-) Hopefully neither will actually come to pass because I can't afford it.......or at least I don't want to afford it.
The ultrasound scan/echogram test seems quite likely, but that only takes an hour or so, and is likely to be done in Lewisham hospital. I will probably take a days holiday for that, and so I'll get paid that day, and providing it is a reasonable day, I may be able to go and frolic in the park - or even further afield - for the rest of the day (hoping it will be an early morning appoitment). That is for some unpredictable future, but right now I am thinking about today. When I get home from work, providing I am not pissed off because it is raining or something, I'll have another go at doing some laundry, and washing my hair. The latter will probably be the most important, but both may provide a useful distraction from food.....at least for a bit of the evening.
|Sunday 23rd February 2014|
After all the sunshine yesterday, it was a quiet and dry night. Sometime during the night the cloud came back, and today has been rather dull. The sky is horizon to horizon a sort of burnished aluminium grey. Sometimes it seems to thing out a bit, but never thin enough for the sun to break through. By was on compensation, the temperature has soared to almost 14° C. I wouldn't like to stand still outside in just shirtsleeves, but it is definitely not cold. Having said that, it is a bit breezy outside, and that is making it feel a bit cooler than it actually is. Tomorrow is forecast to be a couple of degrees cooler, but the sun may break through during the afternoon, and we may be treated to a few shorts spells of weak sunshine.
I was in the curious state last night where I had plenty of potential food for dinner, but I didn't fancy any of it. What I did fancy was a kebab or two. So I spent quite some time on the UK Food agency hygiene ratings web site until I found a local kebab shop that had a 5 star rating (the best there can be). From them I ordered a chicken shish with salad, and an alternative chicken shish with grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms (and chilli sauce). It was rather nice, and of course rather filling, but in theory it was about the nearest thing to a healthy meal you can order around these parts. The meat is skinless, low fat, and grilled rather than fried, and the salad is.........well, it's salad, ain't it !
I stayed up extra late last night. I think it was close on midnight when I went to bed. It was one of those nights when I tried to watch both QI and Top Gear at the same time by flicking between the channels. It is a completely crap idea, but I sort of got the gist of both programmes. When I finally got into bed I tried to read for a bit, but after just a couple of pages I put the book down, turned out the light, and fell asleep almost instantly. I didn't sleep that well, but it wasn't bad, although I would have been happier if I had slept a couple of hours longer.
The day is by no means over, and things could still change, but I've had another lazy day. Just before midday I went out and bought some shopping from Aldi. So far that stands as my only major achievement for today. I was very conscious to be very careful about what I bought today, and mostly it is all good stuff, but a proportion was less healthy stuff......and I seem to have eaten most of that already. It would probably be better if I skipped dinner tonight, or at least just had a small snack, but if I feel so inclined I might have what could be a very nice steak with some salad. I would be hoping that 6 months after smoking my last cigarette the steak would taste as wonderful as the smell of cooking steak, but I dodn't feel that lucky. It's probably a good thing too because if steak tasted as wonderful as the smell of it cooking I would be wasting huge amounts of money by having steak obscenely frequently.
Talking of money........it's only 5 days until pay day now, and I think my current account is going to have an unprecedented amount of money in it at the end of the month. That surplus should make a very useful improvement to my saving account, and bring forward the day when I could just about scrape by without and income from work. The only problem is that there may be a fly in the ointment, and that fly is my Creatine Kinase level.
It all concerns the recent blood test I had. I've been looking up what it is all about. There is one of several differently worded, but basically the same explanations here. When muscle is damaged it releases various chemicals, and if I understand it correctly, one of these chemicals is associated with the heart muscle. It may be possible that my heart muscle sustained more damage than thought, or it may just be a more long term healing effect, but my CK level is moderately high. The only trouble is that there is little explanation about how it may be reduced. The least intrusive would be more, or different drugs, and the most intrusive could mean another stay in hospital. The very, very least intrusive would be to do nothing except monitor it, and see if it is just part of the healing process that is quietly carrying on by itself.
I could almost enjoy a couple of weeks in hospital.......well, it would be better than being at work....assuming the hospital treatment didn't include anything too unpleasant. As enjoyable as it could be, it is an option that would disrupt my cash flow too much to be acceptable - so too would be loads of non consecutive days off work as an outpatient at the hospital. I am definitely not a keen taker of pills, but unless doing nothing is an option, the pills would be acceptable, and maybe they would also cure the fatigue that is also an indicator of heart muscle damage. That would make me a bit happier.
It is strange what you find out when following links on medical web pages. I can't remember how I got to one particular page or I would provide a link to it here. It concerned another test that could be a follow on to the CK blood test if certain other symptoms were found. It was another blood test, and the results could be skewed if certain drugs were taken. It gave a list of drugs that included cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, alcohol and statins.......yes statins, those pills prescribed to me, and millions of others, to lower cholestrol levels, and in a rather different category to heroin, amphetamines etc !
|Saturday 22nd February 2014|
It seems many hours and many pints have passed since yesterday, but I remember it as a mostly splendidly sunny sort of day. It's just a shame that it was not a little bit warmer. The top temperature was probably quite close to the forecast 10° C. Today has also been very sunny, and the curious thing is, it didn't seem to feel quite so cool despite the thermometer saying otherwise. this morning. This afternoon the temperature was back in the region of 10° C, but this morning we may have come close to a frost. Tomorrow may be wet, but I don't think it will be a total deluge - just odd showers now and then, although having said that, The BBC reckons tomorrow will be grey all day, but dry, and perhaps a degree less cool.
Work was almost not stressful yesterday. I was only subjected to a few minutes of nonsense, but it was mostly ignorable. Of course the commuting remains a touchy subject. I can't really say it is stressful, but it always seems to take up so much of my day. One on-line article from the BBC claims the average commute is a mere 54 minutes per day. Mine is closer to 140 minutes, and although I can't remember the exact quote, it said that every minute over 54 makes you even more pissed off. Maybe I am doing quite well to hold on to my sanity faced with such an awful truth.
I have to travel by fixed train times so I can't exactly rush home after work, but it sort of felt like it. Once I got home I had about an hour to get myself ready, and to my doctor. As it happened I didn't need to rush that much. My appointment was notionally for 5.45pm, but my doctor told me not to worry if I was late, and 6pm would do fine. I got there on time, and was seen at 6pm ! I think he did it on purpose.
My visit to the doctor was partly routine, and partly to get the results of my recent blood test. Two blood samples were taken, and I can't remember what each one was for (even if I did understand the tests). I do know that one test gave some sort of measure of how well my heart muscle was working. The answer was not 42, but it was 70, and that is high. Apparently not desperately high though. Normal is 47, and my doctor says he has seen many people with scores in the hundreds.
My score may have been high enough to automatically trigger a request for an ultrasound scan of the heart to see what is going on. My doctor suggested that I could cancel the test if I had any problems getting time off work. In the meantime he will be consulting a cardiologist to see if a scan is really needed, and what further treatment may be needed. He didn't say what such treatment might be, but I would guess it would either be a change in medication, or maybe another operation. I reckon the surgeons left something loose inside - it even feels like it sometimes. Still, at least it explains why it always feels like I am walking slightly uphill all the time, and also why I tend to get slightly swollen ankles - which was actually the diagnostic clue that something was wrong.
After I had seen my doctor I rushed to The Catford Ram to see Chain playing an early evening gig there. I guess it would normally be a 7 or 8 minute walk, perhaps a little more, but last night I arrived there almost puffing and panting in about 6 minutes flat ! It's always a joy when they play there because it is so local. They were on good form, and played a couple of new songs along with a selection of the regulars.
Chris often steps down from the stage at the beginning of a gig to get some idea of what the sound is like. Recently he has been doing it in the middle of gigs too. Sometimes it is to interact with the audience, but last night it was to prop the bar up, and play in the most relaxed manner possible ! Still sounded good !
Maybe it was the rush to get there, but I semed to feel rather thirsty last night, and the Guinness was going down very smoothly. I think I managed an official government binge drink before the gig ended, and I didn't stop there. After we had done our stint as roadies, and waved the band off, Kevin and I decided to pop around the corner for a quiet drink in The Catford Constitutional Club pub.....except it wasn't so quiet !
The most important reason to leave The catford Ram was that they seemed to be setting up a karoake session in there, and some truly terrible singing had started. I was expecting the CCC to be fairly quite and civilised. Well it was sort of civilised, but it definitely wasn't quiet. The place was packed, and the noise level from a million and one conversations was almost deafening ! Luckily we managed to grab the very last table, and had some quite pleasant beer to drink.
I think it was just after midnight when we left the place, and I headed for the kebab/chip shop for cod and chips to take home. That cod and chips was the fist substantial thing I had eaten since the morning, and I was feeling rather hungry, and, as you can probably imagine, after drinking on an empty stomach, I was feeling quite, quite drunk ! Fortunately I somehow managed to avoid writing anything too outrageous on Facebook, and by 2am I was in bed, fast asleep.
I slept solidly until I woke up just 5 hours later, and couldn't get back to sleep again. In a way it was just as well that I didn't fall asleep again. I saw my friend Aleemah this morning, and needed plenty of time to get ready for her visit. As usual we had breakfast in the Wetherspoons pub, and I had intended to pop into Aldi on the way home, but I had a more important task to attend to first. I had received a call from the doctors surgery asking if I could pop in before 11am to sign a form for my free prescriptions. I got there on the dot of 11am, and happily I was just in time. If I had been too late I would have had the bother of going there after work on Monday.
I've felt rather tired today, and I've done very little. One of the best things I did was to snooze for half an hour or so this afternoon. I also seemed to spend quite a fair amount of time editing photographs of last night. Here's another of them.
This picture includes Dan Murphy from the band Stone Blind. He's playing guitar between Jo and Chris. As far as I know it wasn't planned that Dan would be there. He may have just dropped by on his way through Catford to Elmers End where his band were playing in The William IV pub later in the evening. I had been thinking of going along to see his band play, but decided one gig was enough for me last night.
Tomorrow I had better do some of the things I was going to do today. I need a bit of shopping from Aldi, and I ought to wash a few shirts. After that I can probably put my feet up, and be as lazy as I want. If it is as grey as the forecast says it will be tomorrow, I'll have very little inspiration to do anything except slouch around doing nothing of any use for the universe.
|Friday 21st February 2014|
Yesterday was a cooler day than the day before, but both the sun and rain were more extreme. The sun didn't come out that often, but when it did it seemed to be quite powerful. Likewise, the rain didn't fall that often, but when it did, it was quite a downpour. This morning has started out with a very clear sky. So it is a nice sunny morning, but the temperature dropped to around 4° C - almost low enough for a frost (one car I passed did look like it might have had melted frost on it, so maybe it was even colder at some point). Today is forecast to be a quite sunny day, but the temperature will barely make it to 10° C - which is a great shame !
I took the above picture at London Bridge station at 7am this morning. The sky was a clear blue in all directions (I think), but in amongst all that blue was a bright 3/4 moon. I tried to take a picture of the bright sun above the cemetary as my train pulled into Earlsfield station, but the movement of the train, plus the dirty train window, meant that all I pictures was just a bright blur. I had better luck taking a picture that I have been meaning to take for ages. It doesn't show the rising sun, but incorporates the glare of the sun....sort of.
It probably looked better one recent afternoon when the sun was shining from the far end, but I still like the effect of all the arches going down towards infinity. It almost looks innocent in this morning light, but I fear that after dark it is a most sinister place. It is probably all very ordinary to those who call it home, and they can't all be thugs, drug dealers and murderers.......probably.
I felt fairly good yesterday......well good enough to actually get a fair bit of work done. I was working so hard that I didn't even get time to sneak outside for a walk around the park........although wearing a slightly uncomfortable pair of shoes, and it pouring with rain just as I was considering going out, may have had something to do with it. Of course 10 minutes after I let the rain persuade me top keep on working, it was blasting down with dazzling sunshine. Such is life !
I had a strong urge to go home via Tesco and buy a large juicy steak yesterday. I resisted that urge, although with hindsight it might have been the better option. Grilled steak and a heap of green salad would have made for a healthier meal than what I did have. Instead of Tesco I went into the Turkish supermarket and bought some bread and cheese, and a couple of Turkish sausages. I started my dinner with melted cheese on bread (like cheese on toast, but without toasting the bread), and I should have finished it with grilled sausage.
I doubt even 20 minutes passed before I felt the need for something else to eat. It was like having the munchies after smoking "certain substances" (as they used to say back in the 1970s). So I had some even more, by a factor of ten, unhealthy food stuffs that I refuse to name, and some raw peanuts that I will name as being raw peanuts. I don't know what my blood glucose might have gone up to, but my blood pressure was still nice and low. Perhaps not the very lowest, but still pretty good.
This morning I feel pretty good. That is to say I have no significant aches and pains. It is even possible that my legs, and their assorted joints are at least 1% better than usual. Of course walking to the station with the eastern sky already looking quite bright, and it being full sunny daylight by the time the train has reached London Bridge also puts me in a good mood. I ought to make a bit more effort to go for a walk during my lunch hour, or any other time I feel I can steal.
Of course I don't want to feel too good when I get home because I am seeing my doctor soon after that. He is almost innocent, but he is still a doctor, and deserves to be seen by someone feeling ill. That's one philosophy, but there is always the contra argument that showing any signs of weakness is just asking for more treatment, and most treatment makes me feel worse than no treatment at all (unless it is treatment by a surgeons who are generally quite good unless they manage to damage the nerves in your elbow, and give you a numb left hand).
I haven't moaned about, or given an update about my left hand for some time now I think. That is probably because I can usually use it close to normally now. Most fingers are back near to full strength, and I get very little pain from them. That's the good news. The bad news is that the little finger side of my hand, including the little finger itself, is still half numb. I can just about feel texture with the little finger, but it's more an absence of pins and needles/tingling that is allowing some sensation through. There are still times when it feels like the skin is tight, and the hand is less flexible. I now tend to wonder if it will ever fully recover, and yet it is a 100 times better than it was 4 months ago, So I guess it must still be healing.....just very, very, very, very slowly !
Things should look up once I've seen the doctor. It is possible, yet unlikely that he will have suggestions about new magic potions, or different ways of taking, or different dosages of my existing ones, but even better than that is that once I've seen him I'll be going straight to The Catford Ram where Chain should just be starting a gig. When that gig finishes I might go to another gig, but maybe that is not that likely.
|Thursday 20th February 2014|
Yesterday's weather included some rain and some sunshine. There was more of the former, but neither were in big amounts. With little wind, the temperature didn't feel all that cool. Today could be a supersized version of yesterday. There may well be more rain - it's been raining for a while now, but only lightly. This afternoon could see a bit more sunshine, but still with the chance of showers, and the temperature should get up to an "almost not cold" 12° C. Tomorrow could be more extreme - except it will be colder !
I calmed down a bit yesterday after my burning fury the day before. I can't say I enjoyed work, or worked particularly fast, but I did more than the day before. Once again I did take a little extra time out to go for a walk in the park. When I first went out it was bright and sunny, but that didn't last long. For a minute or so it very lightly rained on me - light enough to ignore, or I would have been quite annoyed ! It was a slightly longer walk than the day before, and this time I fired up Cardio Trainer to plot the walk on a map.
I think the 1.17 miles may be quite accurate, but the idea that I climbed 44 metres is pure nonsense, and because of that I have my doubts about burning off 196 calories. In theory I would be going out for a walk today too, and also in theory I would be walking a bit further still, but I don't think I made a very wise choice when I selected my shoes this morning. They don't feel all that comfortable. Maybe I can re-arrange my socks to improve the comfort, and maybe if it seems very sunny I might just go out anyway - even for just a short walk.
When I got home from work yesterday I felt hungry. Usually I am looking forward to eating, but this was real hunger - or so it seemed to me - not that I am very good at diagnosing sensations from my stomach area - I would probably think that severe appendicitus was a hunger pain. In this case there was some evidence to back up the idea of it being real hunger. My blood sugar was quite low. It was 5.8, and that is not as low as I would have like, but still pretty good. At the end of the working day, and after commuting, I would hope that it was closer 4 than 5 if I was hoping to lose weight.
Not only was my blood sugar very acceptable, but my blood pressure was unusually low when I first checked it. I can't recall the exact figure, but it was something like 145/72, and that was measured within a few minutes of coming through my front door. Later on, after I had eaten and was more relaxed, I got it down to 132/69. That's not as low as I have had it recently, but I think my doctor would still be very happy with it.
One of the things I did last night should have had a good outcome, but didn't ! Instead of preparing, and eating my dinner as one of my first priorities after getting home, I sat down and spent some time writing an email (as well as reading a couple, and looking at a few web pages). When I finally sat down to eat my dinner, almost an hour later than usual, it was a most healthy dinner. The core of it was a whole little gem lettuce. The rest of it was tomato, sweet peppers, spring onions, and some diced hard cheese. I dressed it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
It was very tasty, and was the same recipe I used when I lost as much as a couple of stone in the couple of months leading up to my operation. Unfortunately it is still not the right weather for cold meals, and I couldn't stop there. I should have had a can of hot soup or something, but I had more cold stuff. It was just two cold items, and one of them is going to play merry hell with my blood sugar levels. I should have gone for the hot soup !
I was feeling a little cool, a little tired, and a little bored last night. So I had a very successful early night. I think I was in bed at 8pm, and fast asleep very soon afterwards. I have a vague recollection of looking at the clock at sometime after 11pm, but I can't recall if did any more than glance at the clock and go back to sleep again. I think it was around 3pm that I definitely got up for a pee, but I was soon asleep again until 10 or 15 minutes before I was due to get up at 5am. I guess I must need all this sleep because it seems effortless to do it.
This morning I feel tolerably well. My legs feel a bit creaky and stiff, as they do most mornings now. I doubt that will improve until summer. The rest of me seems in fair working order, but reluctant to move. It felt dreadfully tiring when I walked from Waterloo East station to Waterloo mainline station via the elevated walkway, but I did notice that I seemed to be walking a lot faster than most people, and yet it never seemed fast enough because I couldn't seem to summon up any more energy. Maybe I am getting closer to being fit than I imagine, and yet I don't remember it being this miuch hard work when I was fitter. Maybe my doctor will come up with some magic when I see him tomorrow, and we discuss the results of my last blood test.
|Wednesday 19th February 2014|
On the whole, the weather was not too bad yesterday. Apart from an afternoon shower it was dry, and with little wind it didn't feel too cold. There was even quite often blue patches of sky showing - sometimes, well maybe once or twice, the sun managed to find those blue patches, and we had a little sunshine. As far as I am aware it stayed dry during the night, but it is rather a grey morning. I think today may follow a similar pattern to yesterday. It may brighten up around midday. That might be followed by a shower, but it will be (or else I'll be having a stiff word with the weather gods) dry, and hopefully bright(ish) when I go home after work. Then, well after darkness falls, there might be some slightly more substantial rain.
While the weather was quite well behaved, and perhaps including some far too subtle hints that spring might be on it's way, it was most definitely stormy inside my head. After my work area had been sterlised with some sort of atomic bomb, and my line manager had rubbed salt into the wounds, I wrote out my resignation letter - or at least a draft of it. A brief moment of rationality made me think again. After my savings plan for emergencies such as this went limp while I was off on sick leave, I don't really have enough savings to quit just yet.
I would have to rely on getting job seekers allowance if I did quit now, and getting that, and keeping it, is enough to drive anyone insane. My finanaces are all back to normal after my months of sick pay, and the small debts I racked up (mostly from being a bit over eager to buy a few things after I got back to work, but before my first full pay packet arrived) have all been paid. So I should have a reasonable surplus to add to my savings at the end of the month. What I should do in the coming months is to be the meanest, tightest, miser going, and try to save as much as possible. It will make resigning in the future so much more possible ! The only trouble is that I am not sure I can do it.
By midday yesterday I had calmed down quite a lot, but I had a headache, and I still wanted to kill. Unfortunately they haven't legalised murder on Tuesday's yet. So I decided to take an extra lunch break and take a walk in the park. It would have been nicer if it had been a bit brighter out there, but it wasn't too bad, and it didn't feel any worse than just slightly cool. Initially I was just going to look for ducks on the river, and I was only going to spend a few minutes doing it, but after a minute I decided to do something I might not have done since the year before last. I walked the long circuit around the south half of the park.
I think its only a three quarters of a mile walk, but I did walk around the business estate before getting to the park. By stretching the truth an awful long way I could claim that I walked a mile. I wasn't completely comfortable walking that distance. I should have been, but part of the blame for that can be laid at the tablets I am taking for my blood pressure. While I wasn't particularly comfortable, I wasn't particularly uncomfortable at the end, and I am sure I could have done two circuits without feeling any worse, but one was enough....and I had been outside of work for long enough, and I didn't want another row !
While I was out I took this photo. Apart from showing part of the business estate where my office is, it also shows that there was at least one big blue streak of sky on show (although it doesn't look very blue on my work computer monitor). It was while I took this photo that I felt the first few drops of rain of what was to become quite a heavy shower some time after I was safely back in my office.
It was a relief to finish work yesterday. The rain had stopped when I walked to the station, and although I don't recall it actually being sunny, it did seem quite bright out. When I got home I had a sort of plan that I might be a lot more careful about what I ate, and how much of it. It didn't quite work out like that because I felt an urge not to waste some bread that was rapidly getting stale, and I had a defrosted ready meal that I didn't want to leave in the fridge for much longer.
I had a couple of slices of the bread with melted cheese on. Until I saw it done here at work I had no idea how easy it is to make ertsatz cheese on toast in a microwave. The bread doesn't actually get toasted, but the cheese melts beautifully. Cheese is a terrible thing to eat when you are trying to reduce your intake of practically anything. It is probably the most evil, and yet delicious food there is ! This is even more so when it has scotch bonnet chillies embedded/brewed (?) into the cheese. So I made things even worse by having cheese on oat cakes as a sort of afterthought to dinner.
I could have eaten even more if I hadn't switched the TV off, and gone up to my room. After using the PC for a while I went to bed early - about 8pm I think. This time I fell asleep easily, and I slept well. I even had some almost pleasant dreams. Maybe remembering that I had dreams means I didn't sleep that deeply, but I think I feel better for it. This morning I have no significant aches or pains. Maybe the worst was some pain from my right knee, but that is nothing unusual. It is soon to be a major failure point, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. It is certainly a far less significant pain than having my work area re-arranged by a soulless automaton.
Today I may take another extra lunch break, and another walk in the park. It is even possible that I might take in some of the north end of the park too. It all depends on how I feel, how much time I feel I can get away with, and maybe even more importantly, what the weather is like. If it is dull and damp I may not even go out at all. Tonight I will have another go at eating healthily. Unless I accidently go shopping I will almost certainly have to start attacking the salad stuff I bought on Sunday, and haven't used yet. Some of it will be getting a bit close to it's use by date. So I have few excuses not to eat it - it's what I might eat with it that could make all the difference !
|Tuesday 18th February 2014|
I don't think I paid enough attention to the weather to remember exactly how it was. I think there was some rain, and a few bright spells. It did seem mild though. One of my thermometers said it was 13° C outside, but I think it was being influenced by heat leaking from the house, but it did seem very easy to keep my bedroom warm. There was some rain during the night, but it had stopped when I got up. At least in Catford it had. Here in Earlsfield it was very damp underfoot, suggesting that it had rained more recently. Most of today is forecast to be moderately grey. This morning should stay dry, but this afternoon could see some rain, and also, rather paradoxically, some sunshine too. The forecast says it will only get up to 10° C today.
Yesterday was one of those days that had some similarities to the days when I was in the middle of my convalescence after my heart surgery. While I did nothing I felt perfectly OK, and wondered why I was off work sick. It was when I attempted to do stuff like washing a few plates in the rather cool kitchen that I remembered I was suffering from some unknown malady. It didn't stop me washing the last two unwashed shirts, but afterwards I did wonder if it had been such a good idea !
The surprising thing was that I didn't seem to want to fall asleep during the day. I hadn't slept well the night before, perhaps getting as little as 4 hours, and I rather expected to feel really sleepy during the day. I thought I was going to have a repeat of that night last night. I didn't feel comfortable in bed again. I was either too hot or too cold, and bits of me hurt. One bit that was rather unusual was my left ankle. From time to time I would feel a sort of dull stabbing pain on the side of the ankle. The pain is not very intense, and only lasts for a short time. I've never really felt anything like it before, and it is still happening now. The pain feels to be coming from just under the skin.
The other pains were nothing new. I had some twinges from my left hand (mostly the little finger). They were rather mild compared to the pains I was getting there a month or two ago as my nerves slowly, incredibly slowly, recover from their damage. In a similar way I was getting some discomfort from my left bmoob area. That area might have had the nerves cut when I was sliced open, but slowly, slowly, slowly I am getting feeling back there, and sometimes it is a painful feeling. Other pains were just assorted joints and stuff.
This morning I am in less pain, but feel a lot worse.....and I am unsure why. I do know why everything is 10 times worse since getting to work. This morning I feel sort of heavy. Not over weight sort of heaviness, but the weight of the world on my shoulders sort of heaviness......or maybe that is only since I've arrived at work. Right now, as I write this, my head is throbbing, and the stabbing pains in my ankle are going off quite regularly. I also feel bloody angry.
I am very close to resigning from work. When I left here on Friday I had cleaned and tidied my work area. I even put my tools away. It looked like I never did any work at all on my desk and adjoining bench.Sometime after I left, or it could have been while I was off sick yesterday, someone has totally blitzed my work area, destroying any sense of any work flow. I don't feel I can work in here any more than I could eat my dinner in a public lavatory no matter how well scrubbed. I guess what I feel now is despair.
Could I survive on my meagre savings ? It's a year and 4 months until I get my meagre pension, and that is a long time to go hungry. It's a stark choice to make - insanity or starvation.
|Monday 17th February 2014|
If only it had been a bit warmer, yesterday might have been like a spring day. It was gloriously bright almost all the time, right through until sunset. This morning it is rather overcast, and it looks like there could be a shower at any time. The current temperature is 7° C. Strage as it may seem, that is exactly what is forecast for this morning. If the rest of the forecast is accurate there will be a couple of sunny intervals this morning, but most of the day will be light grey. The top temperature will be just 9° C, and there will be some rain after dark tonight.
I began to feel a bit off colour last night. It didn't seem to be anything significant, and it didn't stop me from washing a couple of shirts, but it did seem to partly put me off my food. I already knew I had eaten a bit extravagantly during the day, but I thought my appetite might have stretched a bit further than the yoghurt that seemed to end up as my evening meal. The feeling of not feeling right continued into the night. For the first half of the night it was a struggle to work out if I was too hot or too cold.
It is possible that it is all psychosomatic because I was not looking forward to work for the next couple of days, but if it is, it is very realistic. When I finally stopped experimenting with throwing the duvet in all directions to leave various combinations of limbs and/or torso uncovered, I managed to get a good couple of hours sleep, but I woke up with my pillow and the top of the duvet damp with sweat. It seems I have, or had a fever. Some paracetamol has now equalised that a bit, but I still feel off colour.
As well as the shivers I've had some assorted aches and pains. For reasons that I don't understand, some of these aches and pains seem very transient. Several times I felt a sort of tightness of the head like the start of a headache, and assorted joints have been really rather sore for short periods of time. My right knee is often stiff and sore, but while I was lying in bed shortly before getting up, my left knee seemed to be so sore that I wondered if it would actually work. As soon as I put some weight on it the soreness instantly vanished.
All these transient pains, and perhaps even the fever I could live with, and I might still have gone to work, but there is one part of me that is still rather sensitive - my chest. The big scar may be perfectly healed on the outside, but I still get all sorts of pains on the inside. These pains are nothing like the angina I was getting before my operation. That was a most distinctive pain. The pains I currently get are almost certainly to do with internal healing. I don't know how long they will go on for. Some wounds, like a deep bruise on the leg for instance, can be sensitive for ages.
Many things can cause chest discomfort in my state, and coughing and sneezing are amongst the worst. A few months back a single sneeze could be agonising. It is less so now, but it is still something I very much want to avoid. So I waste maybe another couple of days off work, lose a couple more days wages, just in case I am heading in the direction of a cold. Whether staying in the warm will do any good or not is debatable, particularly when I've already had some fever, but it seems worth a try. Just staying off a packed commuter train would seem to be sensible if nothing else is.
I guess I'll be doing nothing today. Apart from if I was going to work, I have no reason to even go out. I have everything I need here - including beer (although it is well past it's use by date, and I don't really fancy any beer anyway). I haven't showered yet, but I have pulled some old clothes on while I write this. Maybe I am not ready to get up yet, and I think I'll go back to bed soon. It does feel like I could spend quite a lot of the day in bed at the moment. Hopefully that urge will wear off later.
|Sunday 16th February 2014|
As far as I was aware, it was quite a calm night last night. The wind was not noticeable from indoors, and it seemed to be dry. This morning the temperature had dropped to around 4° C, but at it's peak it rose to about twice that, and it may have been due to the sunshine. It has been a remarkably sunny day today, and the sun pouring through my front, south facing windows has been almost all that was needed to keep those rooms comfortably warm. Sadly it won't last - according to the most recent BBC weather forecast. Tomorrow morning will probably see some showers, but there could be some sunshine peeping through a cloudy sky in the afternoon.
I ate far too much crap during the day yesterday. It would probably have been better to skip my evening meal, but I sort of compromised by having just a couple of cans of soup for dinner. One was a basic tomato soup, and the other was called "Mexican chilli bean soup". I have to say it was rather nice, but I did worry about the consequences of eating it. Maybe if I had been trying to get comfortable to catch a train at 6.33 this morning I might have regretted it, but with far more time on my hands to get comfortable it was of no great consequence.
All the circumstances seemed right for a big boozing session last night. I still had echoes of being pissed off about work, and I had missed out on a good gig on Friday night. I didn't really feel like going out last night, and it was sort of annoying that I didn't feel like it. So how much did I drink to drown my sorrows ? I'm ashamed to say that it was a great big zero ! I can't think why that was now. Maybe I just sort of forgot to have any.......or maybe I was too busy.
I was sort of busy, but only by watching TV. I had switched off the TV relatively early last night, and "closed down" the living room. I toyed with the idea of an early night, but continued to watch some TV on my PC using my USB DVB-T dongle. I watched a bit of Dr Who, but not all of one episode, and I think I watched either some QI or it may have been Top Gear - or probably both.
Even when I had shut the PC down I did not try for sleep straight away. I read in bed until about 11pm. When I turned the light out I fell asleep rather quickly.....as far as I can remember. I think I slept well, but woke up far too early. I spent at least an hour pottering around until I got back in bed and managed another hour or two of sleep. I can't really explain how I felt when I finally got up. I wasn't in pain, but I didn't feel relaxed or comfortable.
I probably should have measured my blood pressure. It might have been interesting, although there would have been no practical reason for doing so. I did note that my feet were a bit swollen this morning, and that I had to loosen the laces on my shoes a lot before I could put them. Once they were on they were quite comfortable - possibly more comfortable than usual for some bizzare reason, although I have such a wide selection of shoes in different colours that it is not easy to remember which ones are particularly comfortable or uncomfortable - and I'm sure they randomly change their comfort levels on each wearing !
Today I was supposed to do some laundry - which I haven't - yet - but I have been out to Tesco to get some shopping. On the whole I was quite careful about what I bought in Tesco. Some of what I bought had to be eaten today, and that meant I couldn't make a start on some of the healthier stuff today. Maybe tomorrow I can find the enthusiasm to eat one of the small lettuces I bought. I could have it with no more than some tomato, spring onions, peppers, and some oil and vinegar dressing. Maybe I might add some chunks of cheese, or maybe I could have the liver and bacon ready meal I bought !
For some reason I bought two liver and bacon ready meals. It just seemed like a good idea at the time, but they are both unfrozen, and I'll need to consume both with a few days because there is no room in my freezer to freeze them (if that were a valid option). So even if there was fierce sunshine all day, and the mercury soared to 25° C, or higher, I couldn't really have the salad only solution. It's a shame I didn't have the salad today. I feel I have eaten rather badly today, and like yesterday I shouldn't have any more than a can of soup - if anything. The problem is that I am still going to do some laundry. It's next on my list, and it could well leave me feeling peckish......
|Saturday 15th February 2014|
Yesterday was very wet and extremely windy ! Fortunately it wasn't wet all the time. It was quite dull and gloomy, but it didn't rain, bar a few odd drops now and then, when I travelled home from work. According to my thermometers the temperature did reach 12° C as was forecasted for late afternoon, but maybe it was all the puddles and general gloominess that stopped me realising it as I made my way home. During the night the wind went from fairly strong and gusty to strong in the extreme. My disused satelite dish no longer points where it used to, and both my wheelie bins were on their backs this morning. Today has been slightly mild again, and between the odd shower it has been bright and sunny. It is still a bit windy, but it is dying down all the time.
I wasn't very happy at work yesterday. We have an ISO 14001 audit next Tuesday (yesterday I incorrectly mentioned it as ISO9001), and all hell has let loose. Desks and benches have to be spotless, and show no sign that any work actually takes place in the building - at least that is my interpretation of the orders I was given. So by midday I had put all my tools away in my desk drawer, and cleaned all my work surfaces. From then on I basically did nothing - with no tools, and no work on my bench I had little option. I find all this crap to be really upsetting.
There was even worse news from work - basically an utter disaster could be happening in the future. Someone is thinking that everything could be re-arranged to make better use of the space. To some extent this is true, but one of the consequences of this is that I could be moved out of my own office to work alongside the development team (who I do much of my work for). This would have a few small advantages - sometimes I miss out on the banter, and sometimes a bit of company is nice - but it would also have a major, major disadvantage. I didn't get to be the laziest person in the company by having people looking over my shoulder ! If I am moved I might have to start doing a bit of work now and again, and after all these years I've forgotten how to.
When I got home from work yesterday I felt cold, tired, hungry, and immensely pissed off. If I could have faced another cold miserable journey I could have gone out, and maybe the gig would have encouraged me to be happy or something, but I couldn't. I actively wanted to stay in by myself and sulk - and that is exactly what I did. I ordered an over extravagant kebab takeaway, and made a pig of myself. The consequences don't bear thinking about, but it was what I felt I needed at the time. I made a strict decision that I would not hit the scotch last night, and I didn't ! I did decide to finish off a bottle of vodka that has been sitting on my fridge for maybe 10 years (maybe longer).
I'm not a great fan of vodka, and that's why the bottle had lasted so long. I estimate it had about a quarter of the bottle left when I set about using it up. Perhaps I didn't really like it because it didn't seem to get me drunk. In fact I hardly noticed I had drunk it. Maybe it helped me get to sleep a bit easier, and maybe it help me sleep a bit deeper, but I seem to have been doing both quite well all week without any booze. If it had any effect at all it was to give me a very mild, quickly forgotten hangover - something that vodka is usually thought of as not doing - "it's so clean !".
The high winds last night got the railway all paranoid, and no trains ran this morning until about 10am. That meant that my friend Aleemah had to get the bus to Catford (although 10 minutes later she wouldn't have needed to). When she gets the bus it is easier to meet her in the pub for breakfast instead of at the station like I usually do. With some uncertainty as to when she would get there I made sure I got there a little early. That meant I managed to get in an extra two halves of beer before my traditional two halves while she eats her "traditional vegetarian breakfast".
This afternoon I've been fairly lazy. I watched most of a James Bond film on TV, and I've had a snooze. I doubt I will be doing much for the rest of the day, and that means I ought to be mildly busy tomorrow. I should go to the supermarket - maybe Tesco, just for a change - and I had better wash a few shirts. It was forecast to be bright and sunny, and possibly almost mild with little wind tomorrow. I am unaware if that forecast has changed since the last one I saw, but if it is as good as that I probably ought to take a stroll through the park. Somehow I doubt if I will though.
|Friday 14th February 2014|
There was some lovely sunshine yesterday, but it didn't last long enough. It wasn't exactly gloomy when I left work to go home, but it wasn't exactly bright either. At least it stayed dry, and there didn't seem to be any rain overnight either. I thought I felt a few spits or rain when I started to walk to the station this morning, but that only lasted half a minute at most. Now, almost an hour after getting to work, it is starting to rain......and there could be a lot of it !
The odd thing is the way the temperature starts to climb after midday. 12° C is almost not cold ! It's a shame that it is very likely to be raining this evening. I was considering going to a gig, but I am less keen now.
There was no strong Belgium beer in The Catford Constitutional Club pub last night, but there was a semi strong (4.8%) IPA that was rather tasty. I enjoyed that, and I enjoyed the company, but that IPA was so hoppy that it made the transition to or from another beer rather a shock to the system. There was another nice beer called Hoppy ???????? (I can't recall the second part of the name), but despite it's name it was not nearly as hoppy as the IPA. My first taste of it after the IPA tasted like wet brown paper. After a few mouthfuls the true taste came through, and it was rather pleasant.
Drinking on an empty stomach, as I was last night, does tend to get you drunk far easier, and although I was nowhere near rolling drunk, my resolve was certainly weakened. I couldn't stop myself buying cod and chips on the way home from the pub ! I may have been very weak willed to buy them, but my resolve was still strong when it came time to go to bed..........or maybe I was just very tired. I went to bed very soon after eating my fish dinner, and I slept rather well again. I think it was around 3am again when I first woke up, but I did not stay awake for long.
The next time I woke up it was about 20 minutes before 5am when my alarm was set to wake me. I guess that made for quite a painless way of settling into the waking world, and presumably showed that I had sufficient sleep. If that is the case then why did I feel a strong urge to go back to bed after showering this morning, and why was I yawning, and almost falling asleep on the train to work ? It does feel like it has been a long week, and once again I find myself wondering what is so great about work that I was so keen to come back to it after I had barely recovered from my heart surgery ?
The answer to that is not just money, but that is a very strong reason - My sick pay was such a pittance that without plundering my savings I would have gone well into the red. The other answer was that it would be better for me, improve my physical stamina, keep me from over eating and stuff. Well that was the theory. The practice is that two and half hours commuting each day pisses me off, and being at work is only occasional enjoyable. At other times it "does me 'ead in !". If it wasn't for the despair of not earning a wage, I could consider that work is truly depressing.
While work can sometimes grind me down to the depths of despair (like when we have another bloody ISO9001 inspection next Tuesday and we all have to go mad), it can sometimes have a few perks. One of those perks is to see what is happening on Waterloo station in the mornings and late afternoon. This morning there was a gig on ! A trio were singing songs for some reason that I couldn't work out. I am fairly sure it was some sort of sales promotion somehow tied into Valentines day from a compnay who have something to do with energy - whether making it, wasting it, or distributing it as gas, electricity, petrol, AA batteries, or nuclear reactors, is another thing I don't know.
I also have no idea if the band had a name, nor do I really have any idea of how good or bad they were. They were singing what would best be described as some sort of pop song, but it didn't sound very clear. That the trouble of choosing a railway station for a venue - it has the acoustics of..............a railway station !
Well I may have only heard 30 seconds of the gig as I rushed by like a typical dyspeptic commuter, but I count it as the first gig of the day attended. I could go and see The Bromley Bastards perform for a mere £6 tonight, and I would like to, but I am not sure if I will. They are playing The Legion in Petts Wood, the same venue where Chain did their special Fleetwood Mac set a fortnight ago, and I've been there once in the pouring rain, and it wasn't very nice. I'm not so sure I want to experience that again, particularly when I think I can see them perform a couple of songs in Bromley tomorrow night. Maybe I'll get a sudden urge to go out tonight, but for the moment I think I'l be staying in.
|Thursday 13th February 2014|
It took several hours after the forecast time for the rain to get started yesterday, but once it did start to fall it became torrential for a while.The next part of the forecast was uncannily correct. When I left work to go home I walked to Earlsfield station in blinding sunshine while slowly being soaked by fine, but substantial rain (very small rain drops, but lots of them). Luckily I was back under cover before it really started to soak in. The rest of my journey was dry, but not very sunny. While I waited for my train on Waterloo East station the wind seemed incredibly strong. It seemed to die down after that, but was back with avengance around 7 or 8pm.
The first I was aware that it had started raining again, and that the wind had picked up again, was when it sounded like someone had thrown a bucket of water at the window. That didn't seem to last long, and I didn't hear anything more of the weather while I was in bed. This morning was grey, and rather cold, but it wasn't raining. Most of today is forecast to be dry, and there should be some sunshine. The temperature started out at about 4° C, and it should rise by a couple of degrees during the day, but that's all - rather cold to moderately freezing !
I can't quite remember (or evaluate) if I felt better when I got home from work yesterday or the day before. On reflection, I probably felt a little better, and strangely enough that was reflected in my blood pressure being not quite as low as it was the day before. It made me a little more determined to be careful what I ate last night........but only a little bit more careful ! I had my steamed vegetables (which was good) with well grilled Turkish garlic sausage (not so good, but oh so tasty !) for part one of my dinner. In an ideal world that would be all I would have had, but I have yet to reach that level of enthusiasm.
What I had for courses two and three was a couple of cans of soup. Soup can be quite low in all the sorts of things that expand the waist, but I am not so sure that what I had last night came into that category. For instance the minty lamb and vegetable soup must have had loads of animal fat in it. Lamb is always fatty - that's why it tastes so wonderful ! The good thing about hot soup is that it is filling - albeit for a short time until the bulk of it, which is water, drains through the kidneys. So after two cans I didn't feel like eating any more.
Last night I went to bed just a bit early. I am sure I was fast asleep before 9pm, and I seemed to sleep really well until just gone 3am. I can't recall waking up for a wee before then, and that seems quite unusual, but maybe I did and just can't remember it. I most definitely had a wee at 3am, and then I suspect I fell asleep again much quicker than it seemed at the time. The next time I woke up it was about ten to five - ten minutes before my alarm was due to go off. I seemed to be quite wide awake then, but after attending to my bodily functions (what a strange description !), and having a shower, I am sure I could have got back into bed and slept for another 3 hours !
This morning I feel both good and bad. The good is that my guts are, unusually, very stable this morning. Maybe it is not concentrating on my guts that has left me to notice all the other creaks and groans from my body, and the feeling of brain failure. I did not feel very energetic this morning, and I lay the blame on my blood pressure tablets for that. I'm not sure if this morning was all that much different, or whether it just annoyed me more today. I think anything else I felt can just be written off to discrepitude.
Well, today is Thursday, and tomorrow is Friday. Tomorrow night is the night for the full moon over London (at just gone 10pm if my research was correct). Tomorrow also signals the start of the weekend, but tonight signals beer time !! I haven't heard if the usual gang are drinking in The Catford Constitutional Club pub tonight yet, but I am sure Jodi will pop out for a beer or six, and Kevin may want to join me to pick up his webcam, and the drivers I managed to find for it (which I hope will work for him). There is precious little chance that it will happen, but I think I might try and avoid the chip shop on the way home from the boozer. If I was really, really good I would go straight home and just have a couple of cans of soup. If..............
|Wednesday 12th February 2014|
I had another sunny, but rather cool journey home from work yesterday. I think it stayed clear and dry for some time into the night, but eventually it clouded over again. Half an hour ago it was supposed to be raining, and it should be raining for most of the morning, and into the afternoon. The first few spots of rain seemed to be hitting my window now, but it is a very lacklustre display as yet. Later this afternoon, when I leave work to go home, it might be raining, or it might be sunny. The graphics on the BBC weather forecasts suggest both at the same time ! The temperature started at around 5° C this morning, but is unlikely to get much higher than 7 or 8° C by the end of the day. Tomorrow may well feel similar, except that it should be drier (assuming today finally gets as wet as predicted).
It is a shame that blood pressure tells you absolutely nothing about how your state of health actually feels to you. My doctor would probably say I was very healthy if he saw this on the blood pressure meter............
.......This must be the lowest reading I've ever had ! What was most surprising is that it took very little effort to get it this low. To improve my readings I have developed a special breathing technique that some might say is a bit like yoga or meditation, or some such stuff. I'm not sure about all those eastern mystical things so I use genuine Catford mystical things. They are not so subtle and spiritual as the eastern techniques. You just sort of huff and puff a lot in random directions until you get it right !
I didn't actually feel as good as my low blood pressure might indicate to my doctor. I didn't feel good or bad, but just sort of bland. During the day I had felt a lot more tired than I would have liked, and I think the slight tenderness in my gut area stayed with me until I had my dinner last night. It was almost as if it was a sort of hunger pain, but not quite. Later on in the evening I did have a few definite stomach pains from trapped wind. This morning my guts were a bit more lively than I am happy about, but not terribly so. I could blame some of what afflicts me on the moon......
It wasn't a full moon, but I thought I had better take another picture of it while the sky was clear. Sod's law says that on the night of the full moon, which I estimate to be a few days away, the sky will be knee deep in cloud, and the moon will be invisible. I ought to check with a greater authority before pulling numbers out of thin air, but to me it looks to be a few days away from full - unless I missed it and it is actually waning now. (Waning - is that the right word ?).
One of my plans for last night was to wash my hair before having dinner. The theory was that the later I ate, the less time I would have to eat. I did wash my hair first, but the theory was, of course, nonsense because I had washed it in time to watch the BBC national and local news, and that provides plenty of time to consume a whole cow, a field of potatos, and a silo of vegetables......plus some tomato sauce !
It was a bit of a struggle, well quite a lot of a struggle actually, but I did manage to partly moderate what I ate again last night. It would probably be so much easier with either a cigarette or strong hot sunshine. As I had suggested yesterday, I had a couple of cans of soup, and some dry bread and cheese (and a tomato). I am surprised that anything I have managed over the last few days has done any good, but I think that my jeans are very slightly looser than they were last Saturday. If this very half hearted attempt at reducing my food intake is working, and it's not just my jeans (and leather belt) stretching, then it is possible that in another week or so I will be able to get back into all my other trousers/jeans/etc.
One of the peculiar things about the jeans I am currently wearing is that I seem to recall that the reason that they look so new is that I didn't like them because they were too tight. It doesn't really compute that they are now just one of two pairs of jeans that I can do up by myself without resorting to industrial hydraulic machinery and tyre levers. Maybe it was just the knees that seemed too tight - which is the case now - not agonisingly, or walk throttling tight, but they do make bending the knees hard work.
Tonight, in sheer defiance of what may well happen to my dodgy guts, I think I'll be eating a pile of steamed vegetable, and..........well it could be some grilled Turkish sausage, but it might be something theoretically a lot healthier like steamed fish. Then I will have another go at getting an early night. Last nigh I was in bed, with the lights out, soon after 7.30pm, and a few minutes before a mate phoned me and kept me on the phone for nearly an hour ! I might have got to sleep by 9pm - which would have given me my full ration of sleep, or maybe just a bit later. It did seem easy enough to get up at 5am this morning, and it would have been even easier to go back to sleep again instead of coming to work ! So another early night beckons tonight........ready for a boozy night tomorrow !
|Tuesday 11th February 2014|
The weather almost followed the forecast yesterday. We certainly had the afternoon rain, but when the sun came out it seemed to chase the rain away. There was plenty of evidence of earlier rain, but there was lots of blue cloud as I made my way home.
This was the view to the north as I walked towards home last night. The sun was very low in the sky off to the left of the picture, and that left the road itself in shadows, but the sky overhead is mostly blue, and although it seems a bit muted in this photo, the cloud in the distance was glowing a very bright pink. Also note the puddles - there must have been quite a heavy downpour sometime before I arrived back in Catford.
Once again it was all change overnight. The temperature dropped almost low enough for snow - around 3° C - and the clouds covered the entire sky. There was probably some rain during the night, but it stopped long enough for me to walk to the station, and it was just starting to spit a bit as my train pulled into the station. Here in Earlsfield the rain was starting to get a bit annoying as I neared work. If we are lucky it is going to be another sunny afternoon, but it will remain rather cool at just 5 or 6° C.
Sometimes I get quite annoyed, and sometimes it is because I look at things too logically - on purpose !
The sign in the middle of this picture, taken on the steps leading down to the subway, and the entrance to Southwark tube station, on the platform at Waterloo East station, annoys me, and has done for the last couple of years. Maybe I shouldn't be annoyed about it now, while I am not smoking, but I am still definitely annoyed about it. You see, to my mind, if I am entering a no smoking area I must logically be leaving a smoking area - otherwise the sign has no purpose. Yet if I stood facing that sign with a lighted cigarette I would very quickly be hauled off to face the inquisition, and once the thumbscrews had been taken off I would be handed a large fine.
Having calmed my annoyance I stood on a nice sunny platform waiting for the 16:23 train to take me back to Catford. Back in Catford I made a decision that was partly wrong. I decided to buy some bread and cheese from the Turkish supermarket. Then I remembered that I was going to try and eat a little more healthily last night. Taking my blood pressure drugs in the morning does seem to have made a difference, and I was feeling quite reasonable when I got home, and I thought it might be worth taking a chance that a healthy meal might not upset my stomach so much.
If I was still smoking I might well have got away with only eating a pile of steamed vegetables with some steamed salmon - and nothing else all evening. Unfortunately it doesn't work quite like that yet, and I still felt hungry enough to have one dry bread and cheese sandwich, and also - horror of horrors - a couple of packets of crisps ! (I really should have known better than buy a jumbo size pack of packets of crisps last week - 30 of them !!! - and they all have to be used up one day). Well it could have been worse.
This morning my guts are not perfect, but not too bad either. I did have a slightly sore/tender stomach, but it didn't feel bloated in the same way that the worst of my recent chronic guts ache seemed to produce. Maybe I'll explode later in the day, but at least I was comfortable for a lot of my journey into work. I am hoping that I have turned a corner now, and that tonight I'll eat a more measured dinner. The less I eat the more settled my guts will be. Now I've bought some bread I've got to eat it, and I will have to consider what would go best with it - soup or cheese.
The soup would probably be better for my cholestrol levels, but it's rather a vague "probably". It really depends on the type of soup. Plain tomato would be mostly innocent, while minted lamb with vegetables (yes I do have a can of that waiting for me in the kitchen) may be rather less innocent. I have a couple of other nice meaty soups, but I am now thinking along the lines of tomato soup with bread and cheese. The only other question for tonight is.....do I wash my hair before or after eating ?
|Monday 10th February 2014|
The weather was very consistent yesterday. The temperature stayed very similar all through daylight hours, and probably only dipped in the small hours of this morning. While the temperature followed the forecast moderately well, the amount of sunshine was at huge variance to that forecast. The sky was often cloudy, but most of the time the sun found a way through the clouds. Sometime, maybe as much as an hour before sunset, the sky almost totally cleared. However, it was all change overnight !
During the hours of darkness the clouds gathered in again, and there was probably some rain in the small hours, but there was no rain at 6pm, as the screenshot of the weather forecast for today shows. Neither was there any rain at 7am, and it still hasn't started even now. I hope that some of this forecast is correct. At the moment it is horrible and gloomy, but I look forward to some sunshine at 4pm to see my way home from work - even if it does come with a few rain drops !.
I ended up eating a wide variety of stuff yesterday, and almost certainly too much of it. By previous experience that would have been rather disastrous - it was probably the perfect recipe for gallons of trapped wind, and all sorts of other intestinal problems this morning. It is too early to be definite about this, but it seems possible that altering my drug uptake - taking most of the drugs in the morning, instead of the evening - has reduced this infernal problem. My guts were not totally stable this morning, but very close to it, and for the most part I had a comfortable journey into work.
It is even possible that this change of timing has improved the problem I had where I felt quite fatigued very soon after starting to walk, but it never getting significantly worse. It will be interesting to see how I feel when I go home, but I didn't notice that much premature fatigue as I walked from Earlsfield station to work (the longest continuous walk of the various stages of my journey to and from work). It may have been because I didn't seem to be walking quite as fast as usual......or maybe I was walking at normal speed and it just felt easier. Going home is going to be the real test, and speculating about it now is almost certainly senseless.
Yesterday was one of those days where time seemed to pass very quickly despite me being very idle for much of the time. In theory I should have felt very bored, but apart from possibly one odd moment I didn't. In that odd moment I decided to do a little more laundry despite having to double park the clothes horses that I was drying it all on. I'm not sure if I did that second lot because I was bored, or if I did it out of some warped sense of duty...........or maybe, just maybe, it was a leak in time....all the susnshine did make it seem a bit spring like.......time for spring cleaning or some such nonsense...........
The lack of boredom yesterday, or perhaps just a reduced amount of it, meant that I did not rush to bed that early last night. Maybe I wasn't that tired because even when I did go to bed I couldn't get to sleep for a long time. I even resorted to getting up and checking something on Google maps before trying for sleep again. Eventually I got to sleep, and for a large part of the night I slept well, but much to my annoyance I woke up over half an hour early, and could not get back to sleep again. That can't be because I had enough sleep because I can't stop yawning now !
What I was checking on Google maps last night is sort of relevant to what should be my current project. Back in 1982, or thereabouts, I lost a lot of weight ! Some of it was due to following a diet of my own devising, and some of it was that I started to walk to and from work. I was living with my mum at the time, and working in Forest Hill telephone exchange. I never knew exactly how long that walk was, but with the aid of Google maps I now know it to be 2.3 miles there, and obviously the same going back again. I guess it comes as no surprise that I was losing weight walking 4.6 miles a day on a reduced diet.
There is no easy option for a straight forward A to B walk like that now, but there are some possibilities for shorter walks as part of my commute into work (mind you, my normal commute probably adds up to a good couple of miles a day). My current project, at least I think it is my current project, but I'll only for sure if I've started it today in about a weeks time, is to try and get back to the state I was in prior to my heart surgery - but obviously minus the angina and the need for more surgery.
I've got to get in the right mood to get my trousers feeling looser - a lot looser ! In the couple of months leading up to my operation, warm sunny months I might add, I got very close to losing 2 inches from around my waistline. It wasn't enough to cure the angina unfortunately, but it was feeling otherwise sort of good. I've now got to start again from the beginning, and it is not easy, in fact it's bloody hard, doing it when I am feeling cold, miserable, grey, wet and wintry ! Not smoking fags was easy by comparison to giving up food !
|Sunday 9th February 2014|
The weather is about the only thing moving today, and even that's not moving much. It might have rained during the night, but if it did it was nothing like the torrential storm, with howling winds, that earlier forecasts predicted - either that or I sleep a damn site deeper than I ever realised before. This morning it was supposed to be rather dull - it's not !
There are no photogenic views from my house, so the above will have to do. It's a view to the north, and although the sky looks very cloudy, look at the depth of some of the shadows. They are fairly deep because most of this picture is illuminated by bright sunshine. There is some confusion as to the exact temperature at the moment. Near ground level it seems to be little more than 5° C, but at 10ft (3m) high my other thermometer is saying 9° C. The upper thermometer may be telling it closer to how it feels. The air seems to lack the bite that 5° C would have, although that is closer to what the forecasts predict.
This was how the weather was forecast at 8.04pm last night. I'm sure there was no rain between 7 and 8am, and although there has been a lot of grey cloud, as shown, there has been, and still is, plenty of sunshine all morning - which is not shown.
At 5.04am this morning the forecasters re-checked their seaweed, or chicken entrails, or just too another guess, and decided that there wouldn't be a brief bit of fractionally warmer weather during the early afternoon, but they did work out that there would be no rain this morning. They still could not manage to predict that most of this morning, and it seems the start of this afternoon, was going to be sunny. I've got no means of measuring the wind speed, but I suspect it is a lot lower than the forecast as well. Maybe I would grudgingly admit they got the temperature about right - plus or minus a couple of degrees.
I almost changed my mind about not going out last night. There was one gig on that might have been interesting, but the most interesting was Chain's gig. I would have liked to go to that one, but there was a little problem......It was in Totton, near Southampton, and Google maps reckons the venue was 85 miles from here, and that it would take over two hours to drive there - if I had a car, and if I had a driving licence. I have neither, but the venue was only 0.7 miles from Totton railway station - which is about two hours away out of Waterloo station.
There are many venues that Chain play at that are tricky to get to, and aften harder still to get home from, but Totton has broken all records for inaccessibility. So last night I stayed in and watched some TV. I think I turned the TV off at 9pm, and I went to bed to read for half an hour very soon after. It all seems very hazy (without the benefit of booze) to remember going to sleep, and most of the night. I guess that suggests I fell asleep easily, and slept well. I think it was about 5am when I woke up a lot (as opposed to being half awake just to go for a pee). From then on I didn't sleep very deeply. I remember dreaming a lot, but not the actual dreams until I finally got up at 7am...........or maybe it was 8am because it was light outside.
So far this morning I have done some laundry, and cooked myself a rather big, probably absurdly high calorie, breakfast despite that being a really stupid thing to do. Somehow I have to get into a clean pair of trousers tomorrow - my most comfortable ones stink, and I dare not wash them until I've lost a good few pounds or I'll never get back into them if they shrink by as little as 0.003623 inches around the waist. It is possible, but highly unlikely that I'll take advantage of the sunshine and go for a nice healthy walk around the park. Somehow the enthusiasm for that is just not really there at the moment.
|Saturday 8th February 2014|
Another day, and another missing mega storm ! There was some rain during the night, and it might have been quite heavy for all I know, but I was unaware of any howling gales. There was some moderately strong gusts of wind this morning, and one or two heavy showers, but also quite a lot of sunshine. Despite the temperature only being around 8° C it almost felt nice on a couple of occasions. It rained once or twice this afternoon, but there was also more sunshine. It's now dark outside, and currently it is not raining, but maybe sometime tonight the promised/threatened storms will disrupt Catford.
As I wrote about my impending second visit to my doctor, my blood pressure started to rise. I felt so annoyed by the potential disruption to my life, to my work, and all sorts of things if my doctor really wanted to start mucking around again that my blood pressure rose quite considerably by the time I left to go to the surgery. It was fortunate that I had kept an hourly record of my blood pressure, and my doctor could see that it came down to below panic levels, and then shot up again. He was happy with that, and said it would be pointless measuring my blood pressure in the surgey because the result would be a foregone conclusion.
So we changed the subject, and discussed some other problems. From my perspective the most annoying problem was how I felt so fatigued so quickly when walking, and how it doesn't get worse when I continue to walk. (I am sure I've mentioned here how I feel like I've walked miles after just walking the first 100ft from work on my way to the station, and feeling no worse after walking the rest of the 0.9 miles). My doctor saw what is probably another aspect of the same underlying problem - namely a slight puffiness of the bottom of my legs (including the ankle and the foot itself).
Both these problems could be because my heart muscle is weak, and that may be because one of the drugs I am on, a beta blocker I reckon, may be doing too much good (if such a thing was possible). The blood sample I gave in the morning will, apparently, tell more about this. One other little problem was identified as well. It seems that the advice that the hospital gave me may have been wrong. Apart from the cholesterol controlling drug, a statin, which should be taken in the evening, the other drugs should all be taken in the morning. I've been taking them at night. It will be interesting to see how changing the time I take the drugs affects me.
I next see my doctor on Friday 21st Feb at 5.45pm, or 6pm - I'll be his last patient so he doesn't mind if I am late. I won't need to take a day off work with an appointment that late in the day, but I don't know how it will affect me after all the rushing about of commuting. I've no idea how I am going to do it, although I have some incentive in the shape of trousers being too tight, but somehow I want to try and lose a pound or two over the next fortnight before I see my doctor.
This is not the time to have a fridge overflowing with goodies, or to have to consume large quantities of dry bread and cheese to stop my guts getting highly over active. Maybe I do have a little something in the fridge that may help if I am pro-active about the problem (as the useless management consultants would say). While stocking up on all that's bad for me I also bought a microwave egg poacher, and half a dozen free range eggs to try in it. Maybe they might bugger up my cholestrol levels, but poached eggs are otherwise fairly benign unless accompanied by something like piles of greasy bacon.
All the stress I felt yesterday made me feel really tired during the afternoon, and I decided that I would not have enough energy to go out in the evening like I wanted to. So I made plans to stay in. It was a bit of a mistake because after I had seen my doctor my stress evaporated like morning dew on a summers day (remember them ??). So when I followed the earlier plan, and went to bed at 10pm, I lay in bed unable to sleep until about 2am this morning.
I saw my friend Aleemah this morning, and that meant I could not lay in bed as late as I thought might be a good idea. I expected to feel quite knackered today, but that doesn't seem to have materialised.........although I did have a little snooze late this afternoon. Potentially I could go out tonight, but there is nothing that important on, and once again I've been thinking along the lines of not getting to bed too late tonight. I wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight ?
|Friday 7th February 2014|
I was lucky as I made my way home from work yesterday. The heavy rain that might have been falling according to the most pessimistic forecast turned out to be no more than light drizzle in Earlsfield, and I don't think it was raining at all in Catford. I didn't notice any rain during the night, and it has been dry today. Even better than that is that it has often been nice and sunny. According to the forecasts it can't last that long, and torrential rain is on it's way. Meanwhile, with a bit of sunshine, 9° C has been feeling almost nice.
I had a good time last night. It was beer time with the gang in The Catford Constitutional Club pub. I allowed myself to stay a tiny bit later last night because I am not at work today - although, as I shall explain, it may not have been a great idea. Perhaps the best and worst thing is that they had some 7.3% Belgium beer, whose name I cannot recall, available. Initially I just had a half pint of it, but it tasted so nice that I couldn't resist a second half pint. I didn't feel that drunk when I left the place, but maybe I was.
On the way home I picked up some cod and chips. It was just as tasty as I expected, and it upset my stomach in a way that I expected too........well, maybe not quite as severely as it could have been, but still not too good. I estimate that I was in bed at 10pm, and I'm sure I fell asleep almost instantly. I slept well until 3am when I woke up, and had a hard time getting back to sleep again. I managed to stay in bed for another 4 hours, but it felt like I only slept for about half that time.
This morning I saw my doctor. We were going to discuss the results of the blood sample I gave over a week ago (nearly two), but I let slip that my blood presure was rather high this morning - very high in fact. Well that was like a red rag to a bull. It was almost certainly because I drank a bit too much last night, and as such it was just a blip, but no, it has to be investigated. Here we go again ! In the surgery I hit all the cherries on the blood pressure meter, and now I have to go back to the surgery at 6pm to see if it has gone down - which it has, but maybe only here at home.
The trouble is, is that now I fear I am going to get entangled in a whole load of stuff as the doctor faffs around, and the more I get entanged in it, the more I get annoued about it, and the higher my blood pressure climbs. As everything else gets back to normal - apart from a little tiredness I'm back at work normally, and even my left hand is working like normal most of the time (the little finger is still fairly numb, but not bothersome like it was, and the whole hand is getting close to being as strong as it was) - the last thing I want is to be distracted from this normalcy, but unless I put my foot down that is likely to happen. It makes me feel all agitated or something.
In other cardiac news, I gave another blood sample today. This one is to to do with two related problems I am suffering from. The first part is the annoying thing which I think I've mentioned before, where I feel 90% knackered almost as soon as I start walking, but hardly get any worse no matter how much more walking I do (although I've really only tested that for a walk of about a mile recently). Potentially related to that is some swelling in the bottom of both legs. Both could indicate my heart is not working at full efficiency - which, in my non medical opinion, is only to be expected when I am taking all these drugs to throttle it back. It is interesting that while my blood pressure was unspeakably high I felt really rather good, and I wasn't far off feeling that I could have run to the doctor this morning - and I never run ! At the moment, with my blood pressure a bit lower, I feel sort of wretched !
|Thursday 6th February 2014|
They forecast it would rain yesterday afternoon, and it did. However, by some miracle, it stopped by the time I left work, and I don't think it has rained since then. If the weather forecasters continue with their lucky streak of forecasts I will not be so lucky when I leave work today. There is every chance it will be lashing down, although if I still have some residual luck it will be merely raining. The rain is supposed to continue, with a few breaks, for the next couple of days. Yuck !
While I didn't have to worry about the rain as I came home from work, the trains were a source of worry. I wasn't affected by the tube strike, although some trains seemed to have more people aboard than usual, but I thought I might be affected by a points problem at New Cross.
Once I was on my train at Waterloo East I took a screenshot of what Network rail were saying about my train on their Android app on my phone. The little yellow warning symbol says the train has been delayed, but it left London Charing Cross on time, and it left London Waterloo East on time too.
If the naming convention for Charing Cross and Waterloo East were continued I could say that it also left London London Bridge on time as well as from London Ladywell and arrived at London Catford Bridge perfectly on time !
I arrived at Catford Bridge feeling quite good, but also feeling that going to Tesco, with all it's temptations, would be a mistake. I still wanted a few bits and pieces, so I went into the Turkish supermarket and couldn't resist the temptation to buy different stuff that I probably should not have.
What may have been the worst thing I bought was some Turkish sausage. The wikipedia article that I have linked to suggests it has a very high fat content - which is one of the things I try to avoid when it is feasible to do so. I grilled my the sausage last night and didn't notice that much fat coming off it - very little in fact. Maybe I got lucky. Nearly everthing was written in Turkish on the packet, and maybe hidden in the description were the Turkish words for "low fat".
I had a bit of a mixed up sort of dinner last night. There were a couple of things that I decided had better be used up because they had been in the fridge for too long. One was an alleged low calorie chicken tikka masala with rice ready meal. I'm sure the only reason it was labelled as low calorie, despite having 550 calories in it, which I regard as high, was that it was so small. So I didn't feel too guilty about having some steamed salmon for a second course, and the grilled Turkish sausage with raw tomatoes and peppers for a third course. I have to confess it was a bit extravagant, but I did do my best to limit the damage, and it didn't seem to have any adverse effects on my guts - which is a huge plus point !
I didn't feel I would have to go to bed early last night, but 8pm approached and there didn't seem to be anything better to do than go to bed. So I was in bed at 8pm, and I laid there thinking I would never get to sleep. The next thing I knew was it was 11.30pm ! I don't know why, but that seems to be a very popular time for me to wake up when I've got to sleep early. It didn't take long to get back to sleep again, and I seemed to sleep quite well (but not 100% soundly) until about 10 minutes before my alarm was due to wake me up.
It seems I really do need loads of sleep at the moment. I don't know how much of it is due to my continued recovery from heart surgery, or how much is just due to it being winter. The chances are that it's a bit of both. I thought I was feeling reasonably OK this morning until I got to Earlsfield station. I came bounding down the stairs, through the ticket barriers, and out on the road when it almost felt like I could go no further. I really wanted to sit down, or ideally lay down, but there was no chance of that. So I continued walking, and within 50 ft (maybe 50 yards) the feeling had passed, and I just felt the usual creakiness, and instant fatigue that is the fault of the blood pressure tablets I take.
Tonight, assuming I manage to avoid drowning in the tumultuous rain that is forecast, I'll be going for a few beer in The Catford Constitutional Club pub with the usual Thursday gang. This means I have to pass the Star Kebab fish and chip shop on the way home, and I'll will probably end up having fish and chips for dinner tonight. If they were taking bets about it you could say it was a certainty.
I suppose it is theoretically possible that I might have a last moment feeling of guilt and have the bread and cheese that is waiting for me back home. For instance, I could convince myself that it could make some sort of difference when I see my doctor tomorrow, but if I went down that route I may have to take my beer consumption into account as well, and I can't do that. I haven't had a beer since 1am on last Saturday morning, and I am very much fancying one now......right now !!! Oh well, in 8 hours time then !
|Wednesday 5th February 2014|
Yesterday afternoon was not as bright as I hoped for, but at least it stayed dry and medium bright as I made my way home from work. A few hours after getting home the rain started, and soon after that it was lashing down. When I walked to the station this morning the rain had stopped, but it had left behind some very big puddles. It was slightly less cold according to my thermometer, but it was, and will continue to be, very windy, and that makes it feel freezing ! I can see plenty of blue in the sky right now, but also lots of cloud. By this afternoon it is forecast to be raining again, and possibly very heavily. If I am very lucky, although I think the weather forecast is teasing me, there could be a small lull in the rain as I make my way home from work today.
All the extra sleep I've had left me feeling fairly OK as I made my way home from work yesterday. When I got home I checked both my blood sugar level, and my blood pressure. My blood sugar level was 6.4, and that would be most satisfactory at any time except now when I am trying to raise the discipline to start reducing my waist size. If I am very lucky I have reduced my waist size by 1/64th of an inch recently. At the current rate of progress it will take another 6 years to reduce it by the other 1 and 63/64ths to get back to where I was before my operation last September. Then it will take another 36 years to reduce it by another 6 inches !
My blood pressure reading was high, but not too bad considering I measured it through my shirt sleeve, and within a couple of minutes of getting through the front door after walking back from the station. A couple of hours later, maybe half an hour after I had eaten my dinner, and after I was nice and relaxed watching a bit of TV, it was nice and low. Dinner was basically dry bread, cheese, tomatoes and sliced peppers again, but I did fancy a bit more. I fancied something hot, and considered some soup, but in the end I opted for a can of red Thai chicken curry - which was almost light enough to be a soup !
If I could manage this on demand at the doctors surgery he would be well pleased !
I have to confess that it took several attempts using my new breathing technique to get a reading that low, but it may be the third time I have managed similar readings, and I think I may be getting the hang of it now. Maybe I'll be able to surprise my doctor when I see him on Friday. Meanwhile, I've sort of surprised myself by getting my guts back to normal this morning......although it could be argued that this morning is not normal, and non stop farting with diarrehea has been my normal state for the last couple of months. I think I prefer how my guts were this morning !
To prolong some of these good feelings I made sure I was in bed nice and early again last night. I washed my hair, and I had to allow a bit of extra time for it to dry, but I still managed to be in bed, and asleep before 8.30pm (It may have been by 8pm - for some reason I can't quite remember the exact time). I seem to have "paid back" my sleep deficit now because I didn't sleep that well after about 3.30am this morning, and I actually got up at 4.45am - 15 minutes before my alarm was due to wake me. I just didn't seem to need any more sleep.
Maybe I won't try and go to sleep quite so early tonight, but I can decide on that when the time comes. A less easy decision is whether to go home via Tesco tonight. There are a few bits of shopping that it would be useful to get, but it may be too tempting to shop there. What I should probably do is to just buy some more of the delicious Turkish bread, and have another simple bread and cheese dinner again. I'm sure it is not the healthiest option, but the evidence suggests it is. If my blood sugar level stays low, and my guts behave, then I guess it can't be that bad for me - except for the one thing that is difficult to measure - cholestrol levels. I may be misinformed, and perhaps I ought to research it, but I am sure cheese is very bad for cholestrol, and it is also incredibly high in calories. Maybe I might consider having bread and fish tonight. It's not so nice, but it would be better for me.
|Tuesday 4th February 2014|
I thought I had seriously overslept this morning.........When I got on the train at Waterloo it was more or less daylight, and when my train reached Earlsfield it was almost like night outside. Of course I hadn't overslept, and it was just the weather changing once again. Yesterday, although remaining very cool, perhaps around 7 or 8° C, was very bright with blue skies and frequent sunshine.
As I waited for my 16:23 train at Waterloo East station yesterday the sky was very blue in most directions, and if the temperature had not been in single figures, I could easily have described it as a very pleasant day. Today we are waiting for a big swirl of cloud coming all the way from Canada - according to the weatherman on the BBC news yesterday. That's going to bring some very wet, very windy, but slightly, very slightly less cool weather. The temperature could leap up to a whole 10° C ! We had a little foretaste of the rain this morning, but most of today should be bright, and there should be some sunshine. Then, after dark, perhaps some time after 7pm, the rain will start..........
I felt good enough to be lured out into the sunshine yesterday lunchtime. I did a brief walk to the park followed by a brief walk around the business estate here. I only walked for 10 minutes, but if I had more than the 5 minutes left of my lunchbreak I may have walked a bit more. There was very little, if any wind, and that helped to make it feel less chilly than it actually was. The bright sunshine also made it feel like it should be less chilly than it really was. Providing I kept walking I was able to convince myself it was like a nice day.
My legs and feet complained a bit, but otherwise I felt quite good going home in daylight - it was close to sunlight, but the sun, although not set, was too low on a cluttered horizon to be seen. As planned, I popped into the Turkish supermarket for some of their delicious seeded bread, and some cheese and vegetables. The vegetables were a couple of those long pointy peppers - like bell peppers, but pointed. I also bought a couple of "white cup" peppers. At least I think they were called white cup, but I can't find any reference to them with a brief google search. The closest I could find is here - at least they look similar.
The second part of my plan for last night was to eat a simple dinner of dry bread with cheese, tomatoes and peppers. If I had stuck to that, and not had some bean salad and lentils with couscous as well, my guts may have been perfect this morning. As it was, they were merely greatly improved, but not quite perfect. Maybe that will come tomorrow because I have more bread, cheese etc to eat, and no more bean salad, nor lentils and couscous.
The final part of my plan for last night was to get to ed early, and I certainly did. I was fast asleep at 7.45pm last night, and I slept rather well ! I slept solidly for three hours, and then for another couple of hours. At 1am I was awake for 20 minutes, but after that I slept well, if not solidly, until my alarm woke me up at 5am. I think I probably needed all that sleep. As well as eating a similar dinner, I'll also try and get to sleep very early tonight as well. It won't be quite as early as last night because I want to wash my hair, and I'll need some time for it to dry, but hopefully it won't be too much later.
|Monday 3rd February 2014|
The sky was fairly clear at sunset last night, and it seemed like it might be clear overnight. If it wasn't clear it may have only been patchily covered with thin cloud, but despite that there was no frost this morning. The temperature only dropped to about 4° C first thing this morning. The sky was almost clear in the east as I walked to the station this morning, and it was very pleasing to see that the sky was beginning to get light (although I was half an hour later again like I was last Friday morning). It was as good as daylight by the time my train went through London Bridge. Today should be bright, and even sunny during the afternoon, but we will be lucky if the temperature gets up to 8° C.
After my rather self indulgent breakfast, plus some naughty snacks during the day, I had dry bread and cheese for dinner last night. I had hoped that it might keep my stomach a bit settled over night - it didn't ! I felt OK when I went to sleep rather later than intended because I wanted to finish the book I was reading. I felt OK when I got up a couple of times in the night. I actually felt OK for a few minutes when I woke up just 10 minutes before my alarm was set to wake me up.
I didn't feel that good 10 minutes later, and it is only now that I am sitting down comfortably in my rather cool office that I am starting to feel OK again. After those first 10 minutes after getting out of bed my stomach began to emit all sorts of gurgling noises, and once again the curse of the blood pressure tablets (almost certainly the Amplodamine) was upon me again. I didn't feel stable enough to get my normal train, and I had my doubts when I went to get the next train to Charing Cross (via Waterloo East) half an hour later.
It was not my most comfortable journey into work, but nothing more happened to my guts despite a few dodgy feelings. That was fortunate, but I had other problems. It didn't really happen until I got to Earlsfield station, or maybe I had other worries and didn't notice it, but my legs and ankles felt quite stiff and sore. I don't think it was caused by anything more sinister than cold weather, and although it hasn't rained since last Friday night, it still feels sort of damp. Life should be much better once spring arrives........unless it is a horrible cold and wet spring !
There are lots of exciting things I could eat when I get home after work, but I feel a night of plain dry bread with cheese and tomatoes may be the best thing for me. I might even get some of that tasty bread from the Turkish supermarket bu the station on the way home. I have got some sliced seeded bread I bought from Aldi, but I don't think it works as well as the Turkish bread. After I've had my fill of that I reckon I'll be going to bed extra early after my moderately late night last night. On some days it feels like there is only time to eat, sleep and work. Exciting, isn't it !
|Sunday 2nd February 2014|
As the weather forecast promised, it stayed dry overnight, and it has also been dry all day today. Not only has it been dry, but it has also been sunny for most of the day. I haven't been outside today, but I did have the bathroom window open all afternoon, and I had the heating off in my south facing bedroom for a couple of hours this afternoon. I'm not sure when a mere 8 or 9° C became mild, but while the sun was shining it seemed that way - from indoors ! I'm sure that it probably felt bloody cold to hang around outside. At the moment there is a rather pleasant looking coppery sunset. By tradition that should herald a fine day tomorrow. If the temperature could get into double figures, even 10° C, I might be able to grudgingly admit that it is a nice day - if it happens !
It seems I missed a really good gig last night, and I was missed being there. Well I knew that at least some parts, if not all, would be really good, and I really wanted to go, but I just didn't feel well enough to go. There was nothing serious wrong with me though. It was just all the little things. My guts felt a bit dodgy, but that was because I ate too much earlier in the day. I definitely had quite a headache after spending what felt like all day at my PC. That was already getting less by the time I finally decided to give in trying to convince myself to go out. I was also feeling tired after my ultra late night on Friday (or technically speaking - Saturday morning), and I didn't manage to get my full 8 hours of beauty sleep.
I ended up in bed early, and I think I was asleep by 9pm. As far as I can remember I slept well. Even the bizarre, and seemingly long dream about the volcano under London didn't seem to bother me too much. It was amusing rather than scary. It was another immenent explosion that woke me up fully well before I wanted to wake up. My guts that had seemed mildly worrisome the night before went into full overdrive at 7am this morning. I don't think I left the bathroom for nearly a full half hour (and had to flush the pan halfway through).
After that most unpleasant start to the day I've felt fairly OK since. I have felt unnaturally peckish through the day, and that was after a rather Sunday sized breakfast ! The worst thing I've eaten is some salted, roasted peanuts. I've not eaten of these for a long time because I thought they reacted very badly with one of my blood pressure drugs. Several hours later I am getting hints that they may still react very badly. If there is any unpleasantness I hope it is all over by the time I go to work tomorrow.
One of the very few things I've done today is to collect together some of the photographs I've taken that just didn't work !
For maximum colour I didn't use the flash on my camera. This meant a long exposure time.
I had Jo lined up perfectly in the viewfinder, and she was standing fairly still.
Just as I clicked the shutter she moved - fast !
This was really annoying. Chris made this dramatic pose with the lights making everything look very colourful, but I couldn't get a wide enough angle, nor focus quickly enough before his pose was over.
|Saturday 1st February 2014|
Yesterday morning's sunshine did not last long. By the afternoon it was overcast, and then the rain started, and it didn't stop until the early hours of this morning. Sometimes it was torrential, and at other times that fine misty rain that soaks you right through in a surreptitious sort of way. All the while it was raining the temperature stayed in low single figures. This morning the sun came out, and it was all rather glorious, but we still had a few showers, and the temperature stayed very low. Currently it is a mere 6° C, and now the sun has set it will probably go down a few degrees, but, fingers crossed, it should stay dry for the rest of the night.
On Thursday night I felt really awful, but last night I felt almost reasonable. After my extra sleep on Thursday night I didn't feel totally exhausted after work - not totally exhausted, but I didn't feel like I had much in the way of reserves left. Feeling that way, and it pouring with rain outside, didn't really inspire me to feel terribly excited about going out last night, but I sort of had to. So I ate a light dinner, had a shower, washed my hair, gritted my teeth, and set out into the storm.....
By chance I managed to walk to the bus stop in one of the lulls of the storm. It was raining, but not very hard, and I got to the bus stop at least half dry. I then had a longer wait for a bus than I expected. Luckily I was under shelter while waiting because it started tipping it down again. Eventually my bus turned up, and I got on and endured a really foul 40 - 50 minute journey on a cold soggy bus with windows that were so steamed up I had no idea where I was a lot of the time.
Eventually we arrived in Petts Wood, and the venue for Chain's Fleetwod Mac special gig was just a short walk from the bus stop. It was nice to get in the warm(ish) and dry, but not so nice waiting for ages as the totally inefficient bar staff slowly, slowly, slowly served a rapidly growing scrum at the bar. Eventually I got myself a Guinness, the first of only two that I had all evening, and could relax a bit.
It is always a pleasure to see Chain play on a proper stage, and with a proper sound engineer. The band last night were Jo Corteen (vocals, and guitar), Chris Mayer (vocals and electric guitar), Guy Harris (drums), and joining them from the band Dupe were Dave Griffiths the keyboard maestro who has played with them many times before, and Pete who was bass player for the night. Pete was a remarkable bass player. Most of the time you weren't aware he was playing - but all the bass notes were there, in tune, at the right tempo, and at the right volume.
Jo Corteen, Pete, and Chris Mayer
Dave Griffiths, Jo Corteen, Pete and Chris Mayer
Jo also plays the recorder for the song "Tusk"
A rare sight - Chris Mayer playing electro acoustic guitar
Chris steps of the stage to dance with the audience (although it's not so obvious in this static picture)
Pete, Chris Mayer, Jo Corteen, Dave Griffiths and Guy Harris (who decided to adjust his hair at exactly the wrong moment
I hadn't imagened that I would stay to the end of the gig, but I did, and I'm rather glad that I did now. I could have stayed a bit later for more drinking, but decided that getting the midnight bus would be a nice idea. I persuaded Kevin that it would be a good idea too by the simple thing of suggesting that we would get back to Catford in time for a last beer in The Catford Constitutional Club which doesn't close until 1am.
The bus ride back was definitely quicker than the journey there, and seemed even quicker with some company. We actually got to The CCC quicker tham imagined, and had time for two beers before going our seperate ways home. My way home took me past The Favourite Fried Chicken shop, and I discovered it is open to 3am on Froday and Saturday nights. Naturally enough I had to have some supper, and carried home some chicken and "fries".
There was some interesting musical stuff on TV when I sat down to eat my chicken, but it couldn't hold my attention that long. It was getting on for 2am, and I was definitely feeling tired. I think it was closer to 2.30am before I was in bed asleep. I slept fairly well, only waking briefly one or twice until 7.30am when I seemed to wake up permanently. No matter how I tried to get the rest of my 8 hours beauty sleep I failed.
So far today I've had a quick shower, done some shopping in Aldi, eaten all sorts of stuff, and gone through the 130 plus photos I took last night, and edited the best 30 of them. I did manage about a 15 minute snooze, but that was all. Now, as the clock ticks towards 7.30pm I have to consider if I am going out tonight. I would like to in some respects, but I am not sure if it would be a good idea.
Tonight there is a gig on in The William IV pub in Elmers End. It's a tedious 20 - 30 minute journey there by bus, and since they stopped using the most convenient bus stop for the pub, it is a tedious walk from the next nearest bus stop. On the plus side there are something like 8 bands playing there tonight - I know, to some degree or another, most of the musicians who will be there, and most of them are in more than one of the bands tonight. There will probably be one or two who will be in every band ! That's how they can have 8 bands on in a small pub !
One of the bands are "The Bromley Bastards"and they intrigue me. I suspect they sound pretty authentic, but it is still just a sort of fun project to blow off steam etc............but I may be completely wrong. So I ought to make the effort to go and see them, but I don't really want to go out tonight for the second night running. Well I've got about an hour to think about it before making a final decision............