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March 2014
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My Diary/Blog For the Month of March 2014

Monday 31st March 2014
08:10 BST

 The weather forecast said yesterday would be bright and sunny. This morning's newspaper carried stories about how sunny it had been, and yet the sun never seemed to break through in Catford. At it's peak it was almost warm, maybe just over 18 C, but the whole day was grey, a very light grey with no hint of golden sunshine. I feel cheated ! I'm certain that there was no rain during the night in Catford, but here in Earlsfield a few small puddles, and damp patches here and there, suggest there was a shower here earlier. It is a very grey morning. Really rather dull, but the air seems very clear with no hint of mist, and it was a respectable 11 C when I walked to the station (although the forecast said it ought to be 13 C). I have a theory that today will be very much like yesterday with two differences - one minor and the other major - if it happens. It will probably be a couple of degrees cooler, and there is a chance of a shower this afternoon.

 I didn't really get up to anything apart from some photo editing yesterday. Had it been sunny I might have tried to go out for a walk somewhere. I am rather glad I didn't because in the early afternoon I suffered a major diarrhea attack. It may have lasted for nearly an hour, and required 5 or 6 quick visits to the toilet - not an easy thing to do in the middle of a country lane ! I was left wondering what had caused it. It may have been a dirty glass in the pub on Saturday night, or it may have been from the chicken and chips I had on Saturday night after the gig.

 There is one other possibility. On Saturday, in an almost failed attempt at reducing my sugar/fat/salt/calorie intake I ate rather substantial quantities of fruit and salad. So my fibre intake was possibly mega high ! I expect normal people can tell a stomach upset from hunger pains, but unfortunately I can't. So I ended up eating quite a lot yesterday, and only about half of it was fruit and salad. The rest almost certainly contained too much of all I was trying to avoid, but I couldn't be bothered to check. It's probably a consequence of that, that this morning I suffered from diarrhea again - although thankfully not as bad as yesterday.

 This morning I don't feel too wonderful. My guts feel rather hollow, and so far I've only filled them with a small apple and a small pear. I have more fruit here, and maybe I'll have something else later....or maybe not. I'll see how I feel. I think I feel a little tired, and it's not completely to do with the clocks changing. I didn't get to sleep until gone 9pm - and that is late for me - and I woke up at 4am (or 3am in "old money" GMT time) feeling rather uncomfortable. After a trip to the toilet where I released more wind than I thought the human body was capable of holding, and then another trip to the toilet where more unpleasantness in large quantities occured, I tried to get back to sleep again, but it never happened. So in effect I got up an extra hour early on a day when I had to get up an hour early - making it 2 hours early !

 My guts settled down in time to walk to the station for my usual train. I had predicted that I would be walking in darkness after the clock change, but it was more like twilight, and the sun rose 6 minutes after my train left the station. By the end of the week it will probably be sunrise when I walk to the station, but it won't be until the end of next month before I'll be waking up to daylight - and then only by the merest whisker if my guess is correct.

 Well I never got to see Patricia at the weekend, and maybe that is just as well - at least it was on Sunday afternoon - the house was definitely unpleasantly smelly for a while ! As much as I would like to see her as soon as possible, I hope she doesn't turn up tonight. I have a feeling that it might still be daylight when I get into bed tonight. I feel a strong need for beauty sleep ! Looking towards the future...I'm wondering if I want to take Friday off work. It is the Chinese holiday of Qinming, or tomb sweeping day. Now that sounds like an excellent day to have off. Not only that, but the Thursday gang are drinking in Beckenham on Thursday night. On top of that there is an open mic session that features several people I know in the pub up the road. Maybe I'll make a night of it, and recover at home on Friday. We'll see !

 Here's a couple of pictures I took on Saturday night....
Rob Todd nursing his broken hand in The William IV - Sat 29th March 2014
Rob Todd nursing his broken hand. He broke it earlier in the day playing rugby, but that didn't stop him going out in the evening.
The Bromley Bastards Saturday 29th March 2014
The Bromley Bastards - Geoff Paice, Patsi Spike O'Shea, Sidney Tiberious Bones, and (out of shot on the right) Vince Pross.
The Bromley Bastards
As above, but taken at a more "punk" angle, and Patsi wearing cheap punk sunglasses !!
Sunday 30th March 2014
10:13 BST

  The weather was rather fine yesterday. It would have been nicer still if it had been a little warmer, but it didn't feel that bad, and a day of sunshine is always to be welcomed. Very late in the evening, maybe 11pm, or thereabouts, it became quite misty, and this morning the mist has risen as thin cloud that is almost blocking the sunshine. The forecast does say that today should see a lot of sunshine, but up to this time, and for at least a little while into the future, that forecast is very wrong. Yesterday hit 17 C, and today was supposed to be the same or better.  So far the temperature has risen from about 7 C to just over 12 C. So I guess there is hope that we will eventually see 17 C or more. Tomorrow might, or might not, be a similar temperature, but will probably be even cloudier. There might even be a shower !

 I got unusually busy yesterday. I went to the pharmacy to pick up my repeat presecription, and then I went to Aldi where I bought a whole heap of healthy stuff, fruit and salad etc, as well as a few other items which were not quite so healthy. One of the least healthy things was an extending clothes line. So another fairly brief bit of busyness was to install the extending clothes line in the garden. A longer bit of busyness was to do two small loads of laundry to hang on the new clothes line to dry. I think I washed 7 shirts plus a t-shirt and some socks.

 Most of that took place in the morning. I took it mostly easy in the afternoon as I tried to ready myself for what could have been a very taxing evening. I was determined to get out last night after spending so many Saturday evenings indoors by myself. There were three possible gigs I could have gone to, and I  worked out that in theory I could make a short visit to each one because they were all linked by reasonable bus journeys. It would have been utter madness to attempt it, but fortunately I came to me senses, and just chose one gig.

 For the last 6 months (plus or minus a year or two) I've been wanting to see The Bromley Bastards, and last night they were playing in The William IV pub in Elmers End. It is fairly easy to get to, and easy to get home from even after midnight - if you take the right route !
The long way home !
 The screenshot above shows what would happen if you followed Network Rail's suggestion for getting home to Catford from Elmers End after midnight. It is possible to reduce that journey time by five and a half hours by taking the 54 bus - Elmers End to Catford in little more than 15 minutes that late at night (and very considerably longer in the rush hour !). I've just noticed one other stupid anomaly in the picture above. It says take the rail replacement bus service (this was for last night, and presumably engineering works are taking place somewhere today) from Beckenham Junction (where the 54 also stops) to Catford, and then walk for 6 minutes to Catford Bridge station. Even when my angina was at it's very worst it was still only about a 3 minute walk between stations, but worse than that is that I am fairly certain that the rail replacement bus stop is almost outside Catford Bridge station !

 I can't remember the last time I went out on a Saturday night. So going out well after dark to get a train last night was a bit of an adventure. Prior to going out you wonder how it will feel, and to my surprise it felt quite close to normal. I arrived at The William IV pub early enough to say a few hellos before the first band started. There were loads of people I recognised there, but I think there were only two people there who I really know to speak to to, and even then I don't know them very well. So my hellos were rather brief.

 There were two bands on last night. The Bromley Bastards were the headline act, and Ferdinands Northern Ferrrets were the support act. To be brutally honest, I thought Ferdinands Northern Ferrrets were better than The Bastards.
If the video above plays in your browser you'll be watching Ferdinands Northern Ferrets covering the Sham 69 song "Hurry Up Harry", and covering it rather well in my humble opinion.
 
 By the time The Bromley Bastards came on I was beginning to feel a little tired. So I watched them for about 40 minutes, and then bowed out. I could have got the train home, and if I had timed it right I would have done, but I realised I only had about 4 minutes to walk an 8 minute walk, and there was no way I could get to the station in time. So I went to the bus stop where I only had to wait a literal 2 minutes for the bus back to Catford. I yawned all the way home, but once I got home I got my second wind.

  Although I arrived home by 11pm, or thereabouts, it was 1.30am before I was in bed with the lights out. Of course there could be some confusion with the time. The clocks changed from GMT to BST around that time, and I'm not sure if my last glance at the time was GMT or BST. What I do know is that I slept quite soundly, and didn't wake up until around 6am (BST). It appears that I didn't get that much sleep last night, and maybe I'll try and have a long snooze this afternoon.

 I don't think I have any particular plans for today beyond having that snooze, and selecting some pictures I took last night for editing. Maybe it is possible that Patricia might visit today, but I've not heard anything from her yet. I hope she gives me plenty of advance warning if she is coming. As yet I haven't had a shower, and if I am not seeing anyone today then I might not bother to have one.
Saturday 29th March 2014
08:13 GMT

  Yesterday's weather showed a small improvement of the preceeding couple of days.....but not by much ! The morning fog lifted, but the sky didn't really clear. So what sunshine there was, and there wasn't much, tended to be weak and hazy. I'm unsure of the afternoon temperature, but it was probably in the region of a chilly feeling 12 C. Today has started off sunny and bright. With luck it will stay sunny for most of the day, and the temperature should rise to a more pleasant 17 C - if the forecast is correct ! Tomorrow may be even better than today. There was talk of the temperature hitting 20 C - almost comfortable !

 I felt quite tired at work yesterday. Maybe it was because I didn't have that much interesting work on, and so I passed a lot of time reading stuff off the internet. I fell asleep, only for a few seconds, several times while doing that. In other ways I felt quite good - perhaps better than I dared imagine. Once again I was able to walk faster than of late. Maybe it was not a lot faster, but at least it didn't feel like a slow hard slog.

 Perhaps the biggest change was that for the first time in absolute ages I didn't feel content to just let the escalator at Waterloo station carry me to the top, and I just started walking up it for no better reason that I thought I could. I don't think I would have liked to walk up a longer one, but maybe I could have done because it hardly slowed me down when I continued to walk across the link to the platforms of Waterloo East station.  It's still going to take some time, but I am beginning to think that there is a chance that I will get my stamina back one day.

 I had to stand all the way from Waterloo East to Catford Bridge station because of another half length train ! Fortunately there were no prams or screaming kids in my carriage, and it was only lightly packed. It's only a journey of 17 minutes, but standing in a confined space seems to make me feel a bit foot and leg sore when I get off the train. Nevertheless, I was able to walk home from the station at a quite reasonable pace.

 The first thing I did when I got home was to do the washing up, and take out the rubbish bin in the kitchen. Strangely enough, it didn't smell bad when I came in out of the fresh air. I'm not sure what changed between the morning when it seemed a bit smelly in the kitchen, and when I got home. There is one possibility that the smell was not from inside but from outside. I have a suspicion that some local tom cat can still detect that several cats once lived here, and he is in the habit of leaving his calling card near the back door.

 Once I had cleaned up the kitchen I sorted out my dinner. I started with bangers and vegetable mash.....
just 320 calories !
 Dinner, part 1, was as the picture above. It had far too much salt in it, too much sugar, and too much fat, but it was only 320 calories, and didn't taste that bad. Of course the only reason it was only 320 calories is because it was so small. I do know people, or maybe one person, who would regard it as a whole meal, but to me it was like a little in between snacks snackette ! To bulk things up a bit I had two ready mix salad bowls with extra baby plum tomatoes. I guess that with the added dressing they might have added up to 200 calories if I wanted to be extra pessimistic about it.

 In theory that was my entire dinner described, but I couldn't stop eating for long. As the BBC news droned on I demolished a small packet of raw almonds (probably several hundered thousand calories), and before I could pull myself away and go upstairs I demolished a cold smoked and spicy sausage (probably several million calories). For all that, I didn't really feel stuffed when I went up to my bedroom, and could easily have eaten more.

 Once in my bedroom I pottered around on the internet until 8pm, and then I felt bored and went to bed. Maybe another change for the better is that I didn't feel sleepy at all. I tried to go to sleep but after half an hour I got up again and plugged my TV dongle into my PC to see what was on. There was surprisingly little worth watching. In the end I started watching the movie version of The Addams Family. I don't think I've seen the whole film before, and once again I didn't this time. After watching it for something like half an hour I noticed there was a documentary about Robert Plant (from Led Zepplin) on BBC3. I watched that until it finished at 10pm, and I rather enjoyed it.

 Once it had finished I tried going back to bed, and this time I did sleep, and sleep well until gone 5am (the usual time I get up). Since then I haven't done that much beyond having a shower, and getting half dressed. Once I've finished writing here I'll get fully dressed, and then go out. First stop is the pharmacy to pick up a fresh truckload of blood pressure drugs, and then it will be round the corner to Aldi.

 After that my plans get a bit thin. I've got some laundry to do, and if I truly do feel better than recently I might hoover the living room and downstairs hall. My plans get even thinner still after that. I think I'll mostly be just hanging around hoping that I get a visit from Patricia sometime this weekend.

 One other thing. At 2am (or maybe 1am) tomorrow morning, the clocks change from GMT to BST. I think this means we have to get up an hour early to go to work on Monday - or at least that is how it will feel. That will be no problem, but it is sad that once again I'll probably be walking to the station in darkness again for the next few weeks. On the plus side, there will be more light in the evenings, and maybe, hopefully, that will inspire me to get out to some of the gigs I've been missing because I've just wanted to go to bed as soon as darkness falls.
Friday 28th March 2014
08:15 GMT

  My main impression of yesterday was that it was cold ! After the misty start to the day there were some rather hazy sunny spells, but there was also a splash or two of rain in the early afternoon. Fortunately it was dry when I left work, and as I neared Catford the sun made a valiant effort to shine again (but mostly failed). This morning is far mistier than yesterday. I don't recall seeing any more than a bit of haze yesterday, but this morning it might have been thick enough to say that it was foggy in places.
foggy London Friday 28th March 2014
 The thickest fog was probably in central London near the river. I took the picture above from London Bridge station. The top of the Guys Hospital tower on the left is almost obscured, and the top of The Shard is completely hidden (and quite possibly in sunlight above the clouds/mist/fog). The sun is supposed to break through later this morning, and we could have a nice sunny afternoon. By early afternoon the temperature may have risen to 13 C - which isn't exactly warm, but should be a big improvement over this morning's chilly air as well as anytime yesterday.

 My plans for after work worked out rather well yesterday. Once again I felt like I had a small amount of extra energy compared to what has become normal over the last few months, and the walk to the station wasn't the horrible slog that it has been on some occasions. I was starting to run out of steam when I got back to Catford, but I was far from knackered. Before going to the pub I got some shopping in from Tesco.

 Somehow I managed to be quite particular about what I bought in Tesco, and almost everything I bought could be considered to have some sort of vague health benefits when used properly, but probably tastes horrible ! I am curious to see how the "Healthy Eating" (their words, not mine) bangers and vegetable mash ready meals work out. I didn't study the label too deeply last night, but I think it claims to be less than 400 calories (302 sticks in my mind for some unlikely reason). Of  course to be that low in calories the sausages are tiny, and made from old brown paper, and the vegetable mash probably contains something revolting like turnip, but tonight I will be brave and try it.

 Having got my shopping I went to the pub to meet with the other guys. It was my intention to be anti-social and only have two pints, and somehow I managed to do just that. It was either that or 24 pints and a gigantic dinner afterwards. Two pints almost allowed enough control to eat wisely when I got home. I actually ate quite a small dinner, but it wasn't long before I got the munchies. I ended up eating a packet of mixed fruit and nuts (although it was the nuts that were mixed). It did spoil things a bit, but maybe not too drastically.

 This morning I feel fairly good...although I am not sure how much of that to attribute to it being Friday, and how much for other reasons. I'm fairly sure I got a full 8 hours sleep last night, and maybe a little extra spare.
early train to work !
 According to my train from Waterloo I was up and about incredibly early this morning ! Back in the real world, I woke up at about 4.40am, and it didn't seem worth fighting to go back to sleep for 20 minutes. The train I was on when I took the picture above was actually the 07:16 train from Waterloo, and it hadn't even departed when I took the picture of the passenger information display showing 01:49 in the early morning.

 I hope I get home from work with a little spare energy left because there are a few things I need to do. I noticed the kitchen is a little smelly this morning, and I know why it's like that - the remains of some smoked mackerel I had the other day. Some is in the rubbish bin, and I haven't washed up the plate I ate it from. Last night I didn't do any cooking, and so didn't spend any time in the kitchen..and that's my poor excuse for not emptying the bin and washing the plate up.

 Doing all the washing up, and emptying the bin, plus some other stuff could be quite important for this weekend. My friend Patricia is back in London after spending the winter south of the equator, and there is a chance that she might drop by sometime over the weekend for an all too brief visit. The last time I saw her was back in September last year, just after I came out of hospital, and I very much look forward to seeing her again soon.
Thursday 27th March 2014
08:03 GMT

  Yesterday was a horrible day - it rained on me as I went home from work ! Not only that, but it was bloody chilly. I didn't see it personally, and in fact it is possible that only one person did see it, but they did shoot a few seconds of poor quality video that was shown on the news last night - way up in the sky, near the top of some huge skyscraper, it snowed - snowed in London - in March ! Actually snow in March is not that rare, but it happening yesterday, even if it was half a mile up in the sky, shows what a disgusting day yesterday really was.

 This morning started a bit misty in places, and with a frost. The sky was rather hazy, but occasionally there was some weak sunshine as I came to work. If actually looks sort of nice in an early morning sort of way, and it would be if the temperature wasn't still close to zero. There could be weak sunshine at almost any time today, including the afternoon when it is almost certain to rain too. The best temperature we can expect today will be a shivery 9 C. The good news is that early indications are that the weekend could be reasonably warm - maybe even as high as 20
C on Sunday.

 Just eating one and a half apples until I got home from work seemed to do some good - as I hoped it might. I felt like I had more energy as I walked from work to the station. It is possible it was one of my fastest walks in some time now. It still wasn't fast enough though, and I feel sure I can go much faster when my legs, ankles, knees, and feet don't ache. It is possible there is a reason for those, and other aches and problems, and it was not one that I had considered before.

 I was inspired to do some research on statins, and in particular the statin I have been prescribed - Atorvastatin. There is lots of anecdotal evidence that it can be a bit poisonous for some people. Even the NHS's own website suggests that I probably should not be taking Atorvastatin ! Then there are all the horror stories and good advice. Until yesterday I put the blame for some of my problems on another drug, Amlodipine. Maybe that is more harmless than I previously thought.

 Last night I didn't take my Atorvastatin, and I will stop taking it for 2 to 3 weeks to see what difference it takes. It is far to early for my body to have rid itself of the last dose I took, and far, far too early for any damage it might have done to have healed itself, and yet this morning I do feel sort of different in a positive way. That is doubly surprising considering I ate terribly when I got home last night. I started off OK with a moderately healthy steamed ready meal, but as soon as I ate that I got the munchies big time ! I ended up eating a pile of grilled bacon, and even cheese sandwiches - two ingredients guaranteed to give a heart attack (in popular myth).

 This morning I forced down nearly three quarters of one of those hideous Granny Smith green and acrid apples. I followed that with a delicious crisp conference pear. Later on I may have a nicer apple, and/or another pear. That will all I'll be eating before going for a drink after work. Tonights venue is The Catford Ram, and there are two reasons I had better try and not drink that much tonight. Firstly it will be all too easy to get drunk with on the remains of an apple in my stomach (I know this from ample previous experience). Secondly, too much drink will inspire me to eat far too much when I get home (I also know this from previous experience in industrial quantities).

 On second thoughts, I might be a bit confused about reason two. There have been times when I have just eaten cod and chips, and nothing else after staggering home ! I am sure there was one occasion, I think it might have been after a gig, when I somehow persuaded myself to go straight to bed without eating. It may not be healthy in some respects, but I would like to be able to do that a lot more often ! There is a possibly a third reason for not drinking too much tonight - the beer in The Ram is not well looked after these days, and can occasionally be dreadful !

 There were bees on Waterloo station concourse last night - Friends Of The Earth bees....
bees on Waterloo concourse
Wednesday 26th March 2014
08:05 GMT

  There was a bit of sunshine yesterday afternoon, but it was a pretty poor show. I think the afternoon was dry, but I wasn't paying all that much attention to the outside world. The ground certainly seemed bone dry this morning, but it was very cold, and it was a bit misty in a few places. The cloud seems fairly thin and patchy this morning - thin enough for a few bursts of hazy sunshine on my way to work. The official forecast suggests that it will be like this all morning, but after midday the clouds will thicken, and we can expect rain. The highest temperature predicted for today is a very wintry 7 C ! We seem to be heading back into winter instead of charging through to summer !

 I just did not feel like doing a thing yesterday. I considered washing a shirt or two, but with plenty of clean shirts spare there seemed no need for it. About the only positive action I took was to have a relatively light dinner to make up for all sorts of bad food during the day. I had two cans of soup. One can was tomato soup, and I had some dry bread with that. the other may not have been a wise choice for someone who started the day with dodgy guts. It was Tuscan bean soup, but I seem to have got away with it this time.

 Despite resting all day, plus having the extra 2 hours sleep in the morning, I had no trouble getting to sleep last night. I did stay up reading a little later than usual, but I turned out the light at 9pm, and I was asleep not that long after. More incredibly, I almost stayed asleep through the whole night. I got up once or twice for a pee, but fell asleep the instant I got back in bed. It wasn't until 4am that I started to sleep more lightly, and I did end up getting up about 15 minutes early.

 After getting all that rest and sleep I should have felt quite refreshed this morning, and in a way I did. I wasn't exactly bursting with energy, but the walk to the station seemed easier somehow, or maybe it was faster or something. I'm not really sure. Maybe the walk between Waterloo East and Waterloo main line station seemed fractionally easier too, but the walk from the station to work didn't seem to be any easier than usual. On the other hand, I have known it to be much harder.

 After my excesses yesterday, and maybe some earlier ones, I thought I should try extra hard to eat a bit more carefully this morning, and maybe even tonight, but tonight is another battle to be fought when the time comes. I am now in work with no possibility of getting anything more to eat than what I bought on my way in to work.....
Apples - 2 nasty, 2 nice
 The are two problems with these packs of apples. Firstly you can't put chilli sauce on apples, and secondly the green apples are bloody horrible ! There is a theory that like medicine, the nasty taste is the stuff that does you good. The green acid in the green apple is thought to be able to cure anything from hair loss to death encompassing ingrowing toenails, and phantom pregnancy along the way. It is highly likely that the people who believe this have eaten enough acrid green apples to cure their brains of sanity !

 I have already eaten one of the red/yellow apples, and it was very tasty. I managed to eat half of one of the nasty green apples, but had to throw the rest away. Along with all the other loony theories about green apples is that they are somehow filling, or supress hunger in other ways. That is so completely wrong. After eating just half of one green apple I crave a huge chocolate cake to take the taste away !
Tuesday 25th March 2014
11:45 GMT

 The thing I don't understand is how the weather forecast for yesterday could have changed so drastically between the middle of Sunday to early Monday morning. I was originally expecting dark gloomy clouds, and copious rain, and yet when yesterday morning arrived the forecast had changed to a suny morning, and slightly overcast afternoon. In reality the afternoon was almost as sunny as the morning, and even the rain forecast for the night seemed to be no more than a very light shower or two (or at least that is all I was aware of). Despite all that sunshine it was still a rather cool feeling day, but maybe not as bad as the forecast suggested.

 This morning started off damp and dull, but I am sure it was not as cold as expected - which I thought was only 3 or 4 C. It may have actually been closer to 5 or 6
C, but I confess I am only guessing. What I do know for sure is that my outside thermometer is now reading 11.6 C, and that is almost 5 C higher than the forecast for right now predicted. The forecast is right in one respect - it is rather grey and rather damp outside. The damp is the result of intermittent light drizzle.  The sun might breakthrough to some extent at some time this afternoon, but I am not totally convinced that will be so. Even if it does I would not expect it to get any warmer, and in any case the temperature could plummet low enough for a frost overnight !

 I don't know why, but I felt sort of edgy when I came home from work yesterday. In fact I can't even explain what I mean by edgy, or maybe I can't explain what the significance of the feeling was because I really didn't know.  I think it was probably some sort of early warning about how I feel this morning - more of which later. I stopped off at the Turkish supermarket on the way back home, and bought several assorted items. Amongst those items were the core of my dinner - a time of giant Greek beans, and a tin of "Mediteranean meatballs".

 I poured the beans and meatballs on to three slices of bread, and covered them with a generous amount of sliced cheese before zapping it all in the microwave. That was a very unhealthy dinner, but it was what I seemed to crave at the time. I don't know what was so special about it that made me crave it. It wasn't even very nice. That's not to say it was horrible in some way, but just that it wasn't terribly exciting. I had some other junk food as well before I went up to my bedroom, and slowly prepared for bed even earlier than usual.

 My memory is quite hazy, but I think I might have fallen asleep by 8pm last night. I sort of slept OK, but I had quite a few strange dreams. One such dream was that I was on some sort of space station. You might think that dream was inspired by some sort of floating sensation brought about by who knows what sort of medical condition/brain siezure/paralysis/etc, but this space station had gravity ! If anything, I was wondering why I wasn't floating !

 After so much sleep it was probably inevitable that I would wake up early. It was only half an hour or so early, but I had little chance to get back to sleep because it turned out I was full of wind, and other digestive disorders. I visited the toilet enough times to think that I would never be stable for long enough to even get to the station, let alone survive a train journey ! It turns out I was wrong, and I made the decision to go sick from work a bit prematurely. At worst I might have had to turn up a bit late.

 On the other hand it might have been the right decision, but for a slightly different reason. Once I had called work to tell them the good news I got back into bed. I fell asleep almost instantly, and slept solidly for one hour and 55 minutes. For the next 5 minutes I didn't sleep solidly, but had a partly very nice, and partly very confusing dream. I dreamed I was on a training course from work, and on a half hour lunch break. A lot happened in that half hour lunch break...

 Once I got out of the classroom I went to find a toilet. It was two floors up in what seemed to be a hospital ward. Having found the toilet there was a sort of movie style cut to me walking down the high street. It had some similarities to Bromley high street, and like Bromley on a Saturday night it seemed to have it's fair share of drunks and tramps. As I crossed the road a drunken tramp was vomitting on himself as he stood on the central reservation, and he started stripping off his clothes to rub himself down with newspaper.

 At the same time an attractive young woman was also trying to cross the road, and I somehow did my best to shield her from the unpleasant sight. Evidently she appreciated this because she held my hand as we negotiated the traffic on the other side of the crossing. She contined to hold my hand as we walked down to the bottom of the high street. As we passed a pub I suggested we pop in for a very quick drink (I was still aware that I was on a half hour lunch break, and only had about 15 minutes left before I had to be back in the classroom). She said yes, but she had to get her keys from her brother first.

 At the bottom of the high street there was a very strange housing estate - very strange indeed ! It was like it was in another country, or another time. The few cars there were all strange and old looking, and the housing was like thin narrow tennaments. We climbed up an iron staircase to a very cramped little flat. At first there was no one there, but then her brother appeared. He looked foreign, perhaps Italian with a hint of mobster about him. He offered to drive us back to the pub. His car was more modern than the others I had seen, but still like a classic car. It was quite wide, and the roads we were going down at speed seemed very narrow. The last I remember of the dream was going down a road that was so narrow that the door handles of the car were passing under the window ledges on either side. There was no more than about a quarter of an inch to spare on either side and yet we were going incredibly fast - or so it felt. I woke up at that point.

 I'm not sure what I'll be doing for the rest of today. I can't say I feel perfectly OK now, but I also can't say that anything in particular feels wrong. I just feel like being lazy, and that may well be what I do. Should I feel anything different I do have a couple of shirts that need washing, and should I feel very different I could pop out and do a little shopping. I think the latter is unlikely, and even the former might be a minor miracle.
Waterloo concourse 24th March 2014
 Last night it was The Friends Of The Earth who were cluttering up the concourse at Waterloo station. I am surprised that Network Rain, who run/own the station and tracks allowed them to bring in leaf dropping items. It is now well known that a single leaf on the line can cause a cascade effect that stops all trains in a 1000 mile radius from running.
Monday 24th March 2014
08:16 GMT

 
It might have appeared to get very cloudy yesterday afternoon, but that cloud did not survive. Instead of the rain that was predicted to fall during the night, the clouds dissipated to give a bright and clear morning...and sub zero temperatures. As I walked to the station this morning the sky was blue, and the great golden orb of the sun hung just above the horizon. Meanwhile, all the cars glittered with frost. The sun is forecast to continue shining all morning, and maybe a little way into the afternoon. It should raise the temperature to an improved, but still chilly 9 C. By mid afternoon the sky will cloud over, the temperature will drop, but maybe only as low as 6 C because after midnight it is forecast to start raining. If the forecast is correct then tomorrow is going to be horribly wet and dreafully cold !

 The only thing I did late yesterday afternoon, and then into the evening, was to eat stuff that I really should not have eaten. Cheese and salami sandwiches, even without using any spreadable fat (butter, margerine etc) are pretty lethal, and I ate two of them ! Maybe it even shows this morning. My walk from the station to work seemed like really hard work...although there could be an alternative explanation for that. This morning I am wearing some extremely comfortable shoes, and I most definitely wanted to walk faster than I am capable of doing so now. Maybe that felt more like hard work than it really was.

 Actually there may be more to it than that. I woke up feeling none too good. I slept well for most of the night - apart from a very unsatisfactory dream - but after about 4am I started waking up feeling all creaky and stiff. I wasn't sure if my legs would actually work at first, and my back felt so sore I wondered if I would even be able to stand up. It's odd how these extreme feelings 99% evaporated within seconds of getting out of bed. Now I can feel where the pain was in my back, but not the actual pain itself, and it is a similar story for my legs.

 Oh well, there's less than 8 hours to go now before I start heading home again, and there is only a week to go before I am paid again. It would be great if Friday was pay day, but I think it is going to be next Monday. That means I'll have to pay for any fun and frivolities next weekend out of this months pay packet. That will be no problem, no problem at all, except that it does rather spoil my plans to make a very generous deposit into my savings account to finance early retirement, or cushion actual retirement. Shame really, because I was almost getting excited about the prospect of making another large deposit like last month.

 Maybe I'll have to plot and scheme to become an even tighter miserable tightwad miser next month. It is, of course, at this point that I should be making a typical miser type laugh, but I can't remember how misers laugh. I know several villain type laughs, but not miser laughs. Even if I did there is no telling if I could actually spell that laugh properly. The thought does occur to me that maybe misers don't laugh when fondling their money. Maybe Disney lied, or maybe I am confused. Do I have a very faint memory of someone counting coins, and maybe they might have been cackling ? Cackle, cackle, there, does that sound like a miser counting his money ? Sounds a bit weak to me !
Sunday 23rd March 2014
15:18 GMT

 
I think the temperature may have hit 12 C, but it still felt quite cool. I believe there was some rain after sunset, and I am sure i heard a clap of thunder, but it wasn't raining hear when it happened. Today has turned out to be far better than expected. There have been a couple of brief showers - one of them quite heavy, but most of the day has been bright and sunny - until now. The last of the blue patches of sky seem to be filling in now, and maybe we will get some more persistent rain.......or maybe not ! The sun has warmed up the front of my house rather well, but the air temperature outside is still very chilly - currently about 11 C. Hopefully tomorrow will be better than the forecast - a 2 C start and almost black clouds all day !

 My enthusiasm for doing housework quickly ran down yesterday. After I had rested for a bit after my earlier hoovering and stuff, I hoovered my bedroom floor, or the easy to get at bits of it, and called it a day. I spent the rest of the day taking it nice and easy. I did quite a lot of reading. A little bit of TV watching, and some eating. For some reason I can't remember what time I turned out the light, but I reckon it was before 10pm, and I'm sure I fell asleep quite quickly.

 I probably should try and convince myself to stay up a bit later because, once again, I was awake well before I needed to be. It would have been rather less fun if I had to go to work today, but it being the weekend I didn't have to fight being awake, and I got up for a while before going back to bed for another hour of poor quality sleep. I felt reasonably OK when I woke up, nit as good as on Friday, but quite good enough to meet my friend Aleemah at the station, and then to walk to the pub for (her) breakfast.

 After Aleemah had eaten her breakfast, and I had drunk my breakfast (!) we wandered over to the 99p shop where I bought all sorts of stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time, but that I really should not have bought. I now have quite a lot of stuff in the cupboard that I really ought to make last several months, but will probably be gone by the end of the week, and any attempt at eating more healthy stuff will just have flown out the window !

 If I was really enthusiastic there is probably stuff I could do this afternoon, but I think I am just going to be really lazy. Maybe I'll find something on TV worth watching, or I'll do some more reading, and then I'll be off to bed to prepare for another gruelling week of commuting to and from work.
Saturday 22nd March 2014
13:13 GMT

 
Yesterday's weather followed the forecast fairly well. The morning was sunny, but the sunshine fizzled out during the afternoon. Sometime after dark there were some showers. I think the temperature was a little higher than forecast - perhaps as high as 13 C instead of a mere 11 C. I'm sure that the earlier forecasts for today made it out to be a far worse day than it actually is. There have been a couple of very light showers, but mostly it has been sunny - I'm sure the forecast only mentioned occasional sunny spells. There is supposed to be some heavier showers this afternoon, but it doesn't look like they will be starting that soon. I think the day started at a fairly cool 5 or 6 C, but it is now almost 11 C, and if the sun can stay out a bit longer it might manage 12 C. Tomorrow is forecast to be slightly cooler, and wetter. Hopefully that is wrong !

 While I may have been feeling crap by universal standards, I was actually feeling rather good by recent standards. Going home from work only felt about 80% of the dreadful slog that it usually is. This may have been reflected in my blood pressure being higher than usual. I'm sure my body works better with higher blood pressure even if it is life shortening. On this occasion there could be another reason for high blood pressure. I was attempting to get a couple of reading just before going to see my doctor. Before I could get the first reading the batteries went flat on my meter. I had to rush around like a mad thing to find new batteries.....and time was running out on me.

 My doctor accepted my explanation for last nights high readings, and just concentrated on the three others I had take during the week. As far as he was concerned my blood pressure was being satisfactorily controlled by my current drug dosage, and he was happy to leave that alone. The results of my echo cardiogram showed nothing that wasn't expected - presumably what was expected after heart surgery. My doctor will now be passing those results, plus his own observations on to a cardiologist to see if anything needs to be done, or just to let my body heal itself.

 There was an option to go to a gig last night. It wasn't one I was desperate to see, and that's just as well because even as I was seeing my doctor I could feel my energy drain away. By the time I was home I felt as tired as any other night. It was nice to have the extra energy earlier on, and it would have been nice if it had lasted a bit longer, but at least it was a step in the right direction - assuming it was part of a tend and not just a flash in the pan.

 I don't know how I got the "bee in my bonnet", maybe it was something I had smelled while I was out, but I had a strong yearning for some Chinese food last night. In particular I wanted some spare ribs. I didn't want the sweet and sour type because of the sugar involved, but I was prepared to accept the grease of plain ones. When it came down to it I ordered two types because I couldn't remember which was the best type.

 When my rather extravagant order turned up I found that one type was what I expected, but the other, which I was sure was described as salt and pepper flavour, turned out to be like nothing I had tried before. If it had been less fatty and greasy it could almost have been healthy. It was little chunks of rib cooked with onion and diced chillies - and those little chillies were fiercely hot ! I had those ribs with some noodles (unfortunately fried and rather greasy). The other stuff I ordered made for quite a nice meal for todday once zapped in the microwave - and I still have a container of egg fried rice I could do something with - maybe.

 There was no reason, apart from tiredness, for me to go to bed early last night. So I stayed up a bit later than usual, but not much. I guess I was still fast asleep in bed by 10pm, but I wasn't really paying much attention to the exact time. Initially I slept well, but at 4am I seemed to be rather more awake than I should have been at that time. Rather than fight it like I would on a work day, I got up and pottered around for an hour or so before trying for sleep again. I did manage a bit more sleep, but I was probably up again in under two hours.

 By my lazy standards I've been quite busy this morning. I started off doing some laundry. That laundry included a bath towel - which are real heavy buggers to manipulate. I didn't even try and wring it out fully, but hung it in the garden where it could drip away to it's heart's content. Sadly I brought it in again after little more than an hour when we had a very brief shower. I expected more, but with hind sight I could have left it out until the real rain starts this afternoon - if it does.

 Doing that laundry was one thing, but I did far more than that ! It may not have been a very thorough job, but I've cleaned up the bathroom. I even hoovered the floor, and the cobwebs off the ceiling and walls (including the short passage that leads to the bathroom at the top of the stairs). I even changed the mats using some spares left from when I had a working washing machine, and could clean them (and then spend ages unclogging the fluff filter). I threw away the old mats. It's not exactly sparkling in the bathroom now, and unless you knew how bad it was before you might never realise how much work I put into it, but I know !

 The next thing I do, after writing this, is probably to have a snooze, but I have this itchy feeling that I might do some more housework later. I know I've said stuff like this before, and ended up doing nothing, but maybe the sunshine has given me a sort of spring fever.......it's a shame that as I write these words the sun has just gone in and it is looking all drab outside. Maybe it will be shining after I wake up from a snooze, and the spring fever will continue. If not, it doesn't matter. I've already done more than I ever dreamed of !
Friday 21st March 2014
08:00 GMT

  Yesterday's weather was almost bland. I think there might have been some sunshine, but it was so insignificant that it didn't really register with me. One thing that did register was the strong breeze/medium wind that made it feel really chilly as I walked to the station after work. Oddly enough, I didn't seem to notice it when I was back in Catford. Sometime not too long after it got dark we had the first rain fall for a couple of weeks. It looks as if it rained for some time during the night but had stopped by this morning. Today is not going to be quite as bad as was forecast a couple of days ago. There should be a fair bit of sunshine today (it's sunny right now), but it will rain after sunset (and probably for lots of tomorrow). The major annoyance is that after the temperature starting at about 8 C, which seems a reasonable start for this time of year, it's hardly going to get any higher despite the sunshine. The forecast reckons 11 C is the best we can hope for, and that's just pathetic !

 I feel extremely variable recently. Last night the walk from work to the station seemed a tiny bit easier than recently, but once I was on the train I began to feel quite weary. That continued all the way back to Catford, and it felt like I could barely put one foot in front of the other as I walked from the station to the Turkish supermarket. Once I had bought some bread and stuff from there it felt unusually easy to walk from there to home. Explain that, because I can't !

 I didn't go for my usual Thursday night drink for two reasons yesterday. The first, and maybe more important reason was that I am seeing my doctor after work. The other reason is that I didn't think that anybody would be drinking in what is now the usual haunt - The Catford Constitutional Club. I was wrong, but for a reason that I could never have guessed, and which I shall explain soon. I went straight home with my tasty Turkish seeded bread, plus some other stuff.

 That other stuff included some Turkish Succuk sausage, and that probably formed the core of my unusual dinner last night. I started off with some bread and cheese, and then had grilled sausage with tomato soup (with some extra bread). I actually ate the sausage and soup as one course, but not mixed together. I had a few mouthfuls of soup followed by a bit of sausage followed by a bit moe soup etc. I am unsure why I ate it like that. It was just one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time. I followed all that by a plate of fruit.

 Another slightly odd thing is that I now classify tomatoes and even peppers as fruit. They might even be so technically, but are rarely thought of like that. I only think of them like that when I eat them raw. If I cook tomatoes or peppers then they are vegetables ! I once would have thought that peppers and plums, for instance, don't mix, but they seem to work together on the same plate for me quite well.

 I'm not sure if my strange dinner could be classified as healthy in any way that is relevant to me, but this morning I could swear my waist has shrunk a little bit. Obviously one meal last night could not effect me this morning, but maybe some of the care I have taken to avoid the very worst offenders recently might have worked to my advantage. Of course it is such a small change that it is not really statisticly significant. On the other hand, I might possibly even feel a little better this morning.

 For various reasons, mostly the same ones as ever, I went to bed extra early last night. It saves a bit on heating, and more importantly it saves me from getting bored and eating more. Plus it is the most comfortable way to read a paperback ! I think I might have been in bed by 7pm, but it might have been a little later. At about 7.30pm I received a phone call from someone with a very Canadian sounding voice !

 I didn't get any advance warning, but my friend Mike had come to the UK from Canada to visit his parents and brother. At the time of the call they were in Catford, and in particular, they were in The Catford Constitutional Club asking me if I fancied a beer ! If I had been pre-warned I would have dropped my decision about drinking last night, and I wouldn't have been undressed in bed while there was drinking going on. It was hard to say no, but I had to turn down the very tempting offer.

 Thirty or forty minutes after getting off the phone I had turned out the light, and I was fast asleep. I've always liked a lot of sleep, and while I seem to be still healing after my operation, even though it seems ages ago now, I seem to be able to use all I can get. I'm sure I woke up more frequently than usual last night, and yet it feels like I got a good nights sleep. I certainly seem to feel better for it this morning. I seemed to ache less, and had a tiny bit of extra energy this morning......although there was one exception.

 I'm not sure what it was that caused it, or even what exactly it was that I was feeling, but I felt most peculiar when I got off the train at Earlsfield this morning. It has echoes of when I got off the train in Catford last night, but the symptoms were completely different. This morning I felt slightly nauseus, very slightly light headed, and almost, but not quite, very weak. Those feelings, which I feel sure I have inadequately described, persisted until I had bought some stuff in the little Londis supermarket by the station, and then disappeared entirely. The walk from there to work then felt a lot easier than usual !

 After having sat at my desk for over half an hour, and having eaten some breakfast, I now feel like a lie down would suit me well. That is impossible until tonight. So I'll plod my way through work before I haul myself home and prepare to go out to the doctor an hour later. In the meantime I have had a bit of a smile. Sometimes I am easily amused, and one thing that amuses me a lot is to see a Windows error message on a very big, very public display - such as a huge display on the forecourt of Waterloo station !
Windows message on huge screen at Waterloo station !
 This display is supposed to be showing how well the London Underground is running this morning, but much of that info is obscured by the error message. This picture was not really sharp enough to display it clearly, but here's a fuzzy blow-up view of the message.
error message
 It says "To help protect your computer Windows Firewall has blocked some features of this program".
Thursday 20th March 2014
08:10 GMT
  One plus point about yesterday was that it stayed dry. Another was that it warmed up in the afternoon......but only just. The wildly optimistic forecast was for the temperature to reach 18 C, but the reality was closer to 16 C, and the breeze made it feel closer to 14 C - in my possibly distorted opinion. This morning started off at a mere 6 C. It seemed as if it was going to be a very dull grey morning, but at London Bridge there was a few seconds of sunshine, and there have been a few short sunny spells since then. This is a little better than the forecast, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more sunshine, and that the temperature will rise to at least 14 C - which is only a tiny bit higher than forecast. So it might be possible. 18 C would be nicer still ! The forecasts for the weekend seem to be improving. It's now looking like it will be merely horrible instead of bloody horrible !

 I didn't have my boring appraisal at work yesterday. Maybe I'll have it today - it would be very nice to get it out of the way so that life can return to the usual boring humdrum existence. I don't think that the appraisal, or the thought of it, had any bearing on how I felt on the way home, and once I was at home yesterday. I think I felt a bit tired when I started going home, but I can't really remember because all my circuits were engaged on spitting bile after my train from Waterloo East was only 5 coaches instead of 10 - AGAIN !!!!

 My venom level was raised to new heights when no prior warning of it being a short train was given - and the train driver remembered he was driving a short train this time. That meant having to (almost) run down the platform in an attempt to get on the second to last coach. I didn't quite make that, but I was almost far enough down the train that it should have thinned out at London Bridge. Unfortunately that was not the case, but at least there wasn't three urine soaked prams crammed into the doorway. No, there was only one plus an unfolded folding bicycle.

 I arrived home feeling totally drained, but thirsty for blood, guts and gore ! I thought I would calm down fairly soon after arriving home, and maybe I did and it was something else, but I felt incredibly hungry all evening. I could have killed for peanuts, crisps, and cake. Fortunately I didn't have any or I would have eaten them - in great quantities. I did have fags available, but I resisted that temptation despite strong cravings all evening. I actually ate more than I should have done, but far less than I actually wanted, and most, but not all, of what I ate was moderately healthy sort of stuff (vegetables and fruit). So maybe there is some sort of hope after all.

 With the way I was feeling I didn't dare stay downstairs watching TV after I had eaten dinner. Sooner or later I would have found something else that I wanted to eat. So having watched the national news I went up to my bedroom at 6.30pm. I could almost have got straight into bed and read for a while, but I spent a little while on the internet, and wrote an email before getting into bed to read. It was getting close to 9pm before I turned the light out and went to sleep fairly quickly.

 I think I probably slept better than usual last night, and just for a change I was woken up by my alarm (although I had been awake several times before it went off). I think I would have been very happy if I had been able to turn over and go back to sleep, but work beckoned. I didn't have any booze at all last night, and yet this morning it does feel more like I have a hangover than yesterday when I had every reason to have a hangover ! This morning I have a mild intermittent headache, and a rather vague ache in the guts. Other muscles and joints ache too - particularly my ankles.

 Strangely enough, my ankles didn't seem as swollen as they have been most mornings for the last few months or more. In fact I think there is a trend of them getting less swollen now. Maybe my weak heart muscle, if indeed that is the cause, is getting stronger all by itself. It would be nice if other bits of me could continue to get better since my operation. As I mentioned recently, my left hand has half, or three quarters recovered, but seems to have stopped improving now. The same is so for my chest. The outside has healed, but my left man boob is still slightly numb and odd feeling. It also feels like there are loose bits under the skin. I can't really describe what that feel like, but it doesn't feel right.

 Maybe I'll hear some of the answers tomorrow when I see my doctor. I don't think there is any drinking going on tonight, but even if there was I would try and not do any so I am theoretically in better condition when I see the doctor. After the doctors I'l be going straight to a Chain gig in The Catford Ram, and I can get drunk as a skunk there if I so wish - and I might do :-) I might do some laundry tonight, but my only real aim is to try and eat as healthily as I can manage, and get to sleep nice and early.
Wednesday 19th March 2014
08:00 GMT
  Yesterday was as bad as forecast - with extra rain ! I may be wrong, but I can't recall a single glimpse of any sunshine, but I don't think any was forecast. Around midday there were a couple of showers, and I felt a few drops of rain on my face a few minutes after leaving work to go home - that wasn't in the plan, although fortunately it was just literally a few drops. Overall, I would have to describe yesterday as cold.

 This morning has started out very grey, and with the temperature a rather bracing 6 C. All the forecasts for today, from various sources, have been consistent for the last 36 hours, and tell us that all this grey cloud will break up around midday, and we'll have a bright sunny afternoon with temperature as high as 16
C -  the more optimistic suggest 18 C ! Today is likely to be the high point of the week. Friday is still forecast as close to the end of the world - dark skies, copious rain, and a high of 9 C !

 Before I leave work I usually check the trains to see if there is likely to be any trouble getting home. Generally it works well, but like the other day, they can't foresee a train breaking down before it happens. Sometimes the information just doesn't make sense.....
does this make sense ?
" This train will now be formed of the usual number of coaches. This is due to a train fault". It makes you wonder how many coaches they would add, or subtract if the train didn't have a fault on it !

 I arranged to meet Jodie for a quick drink on my way home last night. At least it should have been a quick drink, but there were a lot of beers to test. Perhaps more importantly was that Jodie had arranged for her friend Mark to meet her in the pub, and give her a lift home. So it was only polite to wait until Mark arrived, and have a drink with him. It was just about dark when I left the pub, and I guess that made it a little after 7pm.

 Any attempt to eat healthily last night was drowned under a torrent of beer, and I ended up having cod and chips for dinner. The only hint of any attempt to make them slightly less unhealthy was to use white pepper instead of salt on the meal. I don't know why chip shops don't offer white pepper as a condiment because it seems to me to go with both fish and chips rather well. As soon as I finished my dinner I headed up to bed, and was actually in bed by 8pm if I recall correctly (which may not be the case).

 I seemed to do my increasingly normal, and yet a bit annoying, half and half sleep - sleep really well for half the night, and various shades of badly for the second half (or quarter) of the night. This morning I think I feel better than usual. I was expecting a far bigger hangover, and just having a mild one is such a positive thing that it even outweighs my usual moans about assorted aches and pains. There was one point while I was walking from the station to work where it almost felt good. It didn't last long, but for that brief instant I must have got my stride length and speed perfectly correct, and it didn't feel like I needed much effort to move. Prior to my operation it was usually like that (except when crippled by angina pain).

 I had a not completely unexpected surprise when I turned on my work PC this morning...
The end of Windows XP support
 I knew these pop up message were planned, but I didn't know what they would look like, nor when I would see my first one. Now I know. In theory I should be badgering the company for either a new PC, or for my PC to be upgraded to Windows 7, but I rather like my PC and the way I've set it up. So I will rely on my anti virus software, and the companies firewall to keep my PC safe once the final Windows XP update is installed. I will also rely on common sense - not opening dodgy email attachments from unsolicited and/or unknown sources - not visiting some of the dodgy sites that I would if at home using my linux PC - and probably other stuff that I can't think of right now, but will when the time comes - if it comes.

 I didn't have my appraisal yesterday as planned. My line manager was too busy attending to some panic or another. So I've got it to look forward to today....and what a bloody bore it is going to be ! Hopefully it will not be too late in the day when I have it so I can cool down before I go home. I intend to have a lazy evening, and if I am in a good mood, a fairly healthy dinner. Then a nice early night - even if I don't actually need one.
Tuesday 18th March 2014
08:04 GMT
 
The last weather forecast for yesterday turned out to be rather over optimistic. The earlier ones that suggested it would be a mainly overcast day turned out to be correct after all. There was some some sunshine, but not enough to raise the spirits or raise the temperature to more than 13 C. With a bit of a breeze it felt close to chilly, but at least it stayed dry. Today is forecast to be worse then yesterday. There is no sunshine and it feels rather chilly now, and that's the way it will stay today - although the temperature will rise a bit, it may not even hit 12 C ! The very worst thing is that there is a definite chance of a shower today - possibly just after midday. Tomorrow may see a brief blip in this run of poor weather. It might be sunnier, and it might reach 16 C - if we are lucky !

 Going home in the dull was not that wonderful, and having my train cancelled was very annoying.....and yet I didn't feel that bad about it. In some ways I felt good in a smug sort of way. I realised the train had been cancelled early enough to catch a train to London Bridge. From there I can also catch the slightly slower train that comes out of Cannon Street station. It departs London Bridge just 5 minutes after the train that comes from Charing Cross (and Waterloo East where I normally catch it).

 So you have to catch a train from Waterloo East before the time of the cancelled train to get to London Bridge in time. I caught the very convenient 16:18 train that currently goes to Robertsbridge until the landslips on the way to Hastings, it's normal destination, have been repaired. I had a brief wait at London Bridge, and then I was on my way home feeling quite smug on a suprisingly not packed train - evidently very few other people realised the best course of action to take upon hearing about the cancellation.

 I wanted to eat as healthily as I could last night, and I almost did, but I had to use up the liver and bacon ready meal that had been sitting in my fridge (not freezer) since last Friday night. I am unsure just how much fat, sugar and other empty calories and stuff it had, but I knew it was quite flavoursome.  I had it with some more petit pois. For "pudding" I went a bit overboard with the fruit - far exceeding my "5 a day". I had two kiwi fruit, two tangerines, two plums, and two nectarines. That makes 8 pieces of fruit, and the petit pois makes it 9 (because the "5 a day" idea includes both fruit and vegetables).

 It is possible that my recent eating strategy is making a measurable amount of positive difference. If I could just avoid some of the stuff I've eaten but not mentioned, it would be greater still. It could, and probably should be due to just natural variation, maybe the pull of the moon (!), but wild optimism is probably closer to the mark, and it makes me want to believe that my trousers are anything up to one thirty second of an inch looser than they were last week. By suspending all belief in reality entirely, I could even imagine that I feel slightly better this morning.

 I thought I might feel bad because of what I believe to have been a bad sleep. I was in bed before it was dark last night, but only because that was the most comfortable place to read. However, I did turn out the light around 8pm, and it wasn't long before I was fast asleep. Just like the other night, I was wide awake again at roughly 11.30pm. The problem last night was that I stayed awake for nearly an hour before getting back to a very poor sleep. Maybe I'll be yawning soon, but so far I feel wide awake.....although the more I think about it.......

 I can't have a drink on Thursday night partly because I am seeing my doctor on Friday, but mostly because I don't think there will be any drinking going on. Chain are playing in The Catford Ram on Friday, and Chris doesn't normally drink on a Thursday night if he is playing in Catford on a Friday night. So instead of a Thursday night drink I may go for a drink tonight if I can raise a drinking partner. The only problem with that is that I really would prefer it to be a quick drink, and no more than 2 pints. That does make the choice of drinking partner tricky, but we shall see what, if anything happens after it has happened.
Monday 17th March 2014
08:19 GMT   Yesterday was a very pleasant day. There was loads of sunshine, and I think the temperature hit 17 C. Some reports in this morning's paper had the temperature as high as 20 C in unnamed parts of London - evidently not Catford ! The weather is supposed to be on a long slide downhill now...although the forecast for today is now more optimistic than it was earlier. Today started off cold at just 6 or 7 C. It could have been a sunny start, but a large wodge of cloud to the east was shading the sun. The rest of the sky was actually clear, and it is now clear enough in the east for the sun to shine. There may be a few light grey intervals, but the sun should stay out most of the day, and the temperature should reach, and hopefully exceed 14 C - a degree higher than the earlier forecast. By the end of the week temperatures could be as low as 11 C, and the sky could be all murky and wet - that is unless the weather forecasters have another burst of optimism like they appear to have done for today.

 I did little of note yesterday afternoon. Perhaps my finest achievement was managing to eat rather more healthily than many recent Sundays. My dinner was a rather nice grilled steak that carried very little fat. I had that with nothing else than petit pois (or little peas as they say in France). In an ideal world I would also have had a plate of chips with it, plus a tub of ice cream afterwards, but this is not an ideal world, and I stopped eating after I had consumed the last little pea.

For supper I had a plate of fruit, and only spoiled it by nibbling at some stilton cheese to take away the flavour of the fruit (although the tangerines were unusually tasty). It is a shame that I had eaten a couple of tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches for (very late) breakfast. They rather spoiled what could have been a very succesful day. Tonight's liver and bacon ready meal, bought from Tesco on Friday, and getting very close to it's use by date (if not on it) will spoil a just about passable start to today. Shame really.

 I had a bit of a strange night last night. I went to bed early to read, but turned the light out before 8.30pm in an attempt to get to sleep before 9pm. It didn't feel like it would happen, but it did. Three hours later I woke up convinced it was time to get up. I started at the clock unable to believe it was only just after midnight. After a quick wee I got back in bed convinced I would never get back to sleep again, but I did, and I'm now convinced it was incredibly quickly. I don't think I slept that deeply though, and I have a dreamlike memory of waking a few more times, even as late as 4.30am before my alarm woke me properly at 5am.

 I thought I felt quite good this morning, and attributed this to me careful eating. If it was not so cold I might have felt even better. Even my legs seemed to feel better than they have done recently (which is still really crappy compared to 12 months ago), but it was all change after getting to Earlsfield. For unknown reasons I feel really weak and tired, and it was like wading through treacle as I walked from the station to work. I feel perfectly OK now I am sitting at my desk, and with a bit of luck I'll feel OK for the rest of the day, although I would feel a lot happier if I could lay down, have a snooze, and generally be a totally lazy bastard.

 If you like con men, tricksters, bankers, and their bonuses, there is a man waiting for you on Waterloo station this morning.
this morning at Waterloo
Sunday 16th March 2014
13:54 GMT   I'm fairly certain that the temperature hit at least 16 C yesterday, and that puts it firmly in the tepid region ! It may have even hit 17 C, but no higher.  This morning started off bright and sunny, but it was a lot cooler than yesterday morning -  maybe as low as 6 C, but the sunshine is certainly working it's magic today, and it is already 16 C, and I am fairly sure it could manage a couple more degrees before the sun starts to sink towards the west. Tomorrow is likely to be cloudy, perhaps quite light cloud, and with little chance of any rain, but the temperature will suffer because of it. It may struggle to even reach 12 C....On the other hand, the forecast has just changed. Maybe there will be some sunshine in the afternoon, and maybe the temperature will hit 13 C.

 I really must find new stuff to moan and grumble about. Although it is not yet light when I wake up, all my commuting is now done in daylight, and there it stays light for over an hour after I get home. It's almost civilised ! Of course the clocks change from GMT to BST at the end of the month, and I am sure that will give me ammunition to moand, groan, and grumble about until the days get longer still.

 Yesterday was an unexpectedly longer day.  Instead of an early night I had an exceedingly late night.  I'm not sure what it was I ate, or even when I might have eaten it, but something had a violent disagreement with my digestive tract. I say violent, but that's not really true - it was persistent, but sort of passive. At no time was I in any great discomfort, and the first clue that something was wrong was when I started belching eggy flavoured burps - without having eaten anything eggy. Then at about 9pm I started having to make trips to the toilet every 10 - 15 minutes (occasionally more frequently). Rather unusually there was no great urgency to get to the toilet, although I dread to think of the outcome if I had tarried for too long. I kept this up until I was obviously very empty at about 1am !

 It was strange how there was no particular pain associated with all the unpleasantness, and also strange that I didn't feel ravenously hungry this morning. Since getting up I've had a couple of sandwiches, and I am sort of wondering if they are travelling through me at an unusually fast rate. Maybe I'll find out later. The good thing is that no matter what else they are doing, there is no hint that they are travelling in the wrong direction.

I got surprisingly little sleep last night. Ideally I would have slept through to at least 8am, and preferably later than 9am, but I don't think I slept much after 5am. By 8am I washing another double fitted sheet, and hanging it outside to dry. After that I lay on my bed reading. I had hoped to doze off, but I don't think that happened. I have a vague recollection of closing my eyes for a minute or two, but maybe it might have been a lot longer. Who knows....

 I could have gone shopping in Aldi a lot earlier than I did, but I held back to allow the first mad rush after opening to die down. I should have waited even longer because I came up against another major delay. When I got there the place was full of those types who go to their "happy clappy" churches in all their Sunday finery. You would have thought that all that happy clappy stuff would gee them up, but no. They were too busy contemplating "his wonders" or something, and moved at the speed of glaciers wearing ill fitting shoes. It was incredibly frustrating !

 Just like I was going to do some hoovering yesterday, but didn't, I had some stupid idea that I might go out for a country walk today. In some respects it was an ideal day for it. I was pretty certain that I was empty, and so toilets would not have been a problem, and it is gloriously sunny out, but there was a certain conflict of interest bewteen going out or just doing some shopping and some laundry. Obviously the laundry and the shopping won out, and now it is a bit late to start out walking anywhere.

 I feel I shall be spending much of this afternoon, and maybe this evening, just reading and eating healthily - maybe. Today I was very ruthless about what I bought in Aldi. I bought lots of fruit, some vegetables, and no cheese. Also no crisps, biscuits, ice cream, cakes or yoghurt.  In theory I could lose an ounce or two this week if I am careful. That is a very big if, but I'll see what I can do. It would be handy if it did happen because I'm seeing my doctor next Friday. It's then that I'll learn if my insides are falling apart, or if I am just too overweight.
Saturday 15th March 2014
14:00 GMT
temperature definitions
 I thought it was time I made an official temperature definition guide. Half an hour playing with The Gimp, image editor, and I came up with the scale above. Now providing I can remember what I've invented, all my weather notes will make much more sense - or not !

 I am a little confused as to how high the temperature actually reached yesterday. Maybe the still air felt less cool than the 15 C that seemed to be displayed on the side of the "Banham Burglary Prevention" headquarters that the train passes on it's way between Clapham Junction an Waterloo station. The air did feel sort of tepid as I made my way home from work in the sunshine.

 This morning started off cool with the temperature an unusually high 12
C. The sky has been mostly clear since sunrise, and it has been nice and sunny. The temperature is now definitely in the tepid region - about 16 C, but there is quite a breeze outside that makes it feel cooler. Inside, with the sun streaming through the window, it was hot until I opened the windows. Now it is merely warm, but still very comfortable. Most, if not all of last week was dry, and no rain is forecast for this weekend, and probably beyond it.

 I was not happy when I arrived back in Catford after work yesterday. In fact I was blazing mad. I wanted to kill, maim, and see people die horribly in the most eveil ways possible. I was not happy when I saw that my train was shown (but not actually announced - thanks platform staff, you pile of barely evolved simians) as only being 5 cars instead of 10 at Waterloo East, but of course you have to meet these problems with a certain amount of stoicism when you are a commuter. So before the train arrived I tramped to the other end of the platform to get on near the back of the train which experience showed to be slightly less crush loaded after calling at London Bridge where many people get off.

 That would have been fine, but the trained rat who was driving the train must have forgotten that he was driving a half length train, and didn't stop until he was well passed the middle of the platform. Then, with my blood pressure reaching new impossible heights, it was a mad dash down the platform, and a scramble to find a way onto an already crush loaded train. I was not pleased, to put it mildly, to find that where I had managed to squeeze on the train there were two bloody prams crammed in that doorway with two stinky screaming little vermin babies in them. I was very close to committing hari kari right there, but didn't have my ceremonial sword  with me (mainly because I don't own one).

 I stupidly imagined that things could only get better at London Bridge station. Usually more people get off the rear of the train than get on there, and that was partly true this time, but....................Some bloody family got on with a third, a fucking third !!!!!!!!! pram with another screaming pile of shit in it. If I had had a Thompsom sub machine gun, or a tactical nuclear missile I would have used it. It was only that I didn't want to get blood stains down the front of my shirt that stopped me using my bare hands and teeth to kill everyone on the train.

 I spent the entire journey from London Bridge to Catford Bridge trying to get in touch of one of those God type beings who could have rained down thunderbolts, or loaves and fishes or something on the train, but it seemed no one was at home. It was a huge relief to get off that train. The same sort of relief experienced by 1000 cancer sufferers who have been told they are free of cancer all at the same time.  The sort of relief you can cut with a knife, and share amongst your friends. It was that thick.

 I went home via Tesco where I somehow managed to avoid buying 24 carrier bags full of comfort foods. In fact I was almost sensible in what I bought. For instance, part of last night's dinner was just a bowl of Tesco ready mix salad which I seasoned with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Another part of dinner was some pre-cooked hot chicken, but it's probably best not to talk about that.

 Feeling a bit rough at work, and then traumatised on the way home, drained me of energy. As I got home I concluded that there was no way I was going to get out to see any of one gig, let alone see any of a second gig. That may have been a mistake because I did feel less exhausted once I had eaten and had a sit down, but maybe less is not the same as not at all. Perhaps it was half and half because I did feel like having an early night, and because I wanted to read in bed it was a very early night. It was also a good strategy to avoid any temptation to eat any more.

 I was in bed just 5 or 10 minutes after 7pm. That's pretty early even by my standards ! I guess I read for an hour before I attempted to go to sleep. I'm unsure just when I did go to sleep, but I suspect it was getting close to 9pm. I didn't sleep that well. I woke up quite a few times in the night, and I actually got up for a while at 4am - that's a sort of luxury I can't do on a work day.  After a while I got back in bed and sort of intermittently snoozed. I officially got up fairly late - perhaps 9am.

 So far today I've done a lot of reading. I think I mentioned I ordered 5 books from Amazon last week, and I wanted to finish my current book so I can start a new one - and I now can. I've also done two lots of laundry. One was just a fairly lightweight double bed sheet, and the later lot was three shirts and 4 pillowcases. The second lot are now drying in the garden. It's quite windy out there, and they should dry fast - I think. Time seems to be flying past now, but I hope I can find the enthusiasm to do some hoovering before the day is out. I'm now going to read for half an hour, or maybe a full hour, and then after that it's hoovering time - possibly !!
Friday 14th March 2014
08:00 GMT   Yesterday's fog slowly lifted, became cloud, and by the afternoon it had mostly dispersed leaving a lot of sunshine in it's wake. The afternoon was not all susnhine, but it was pretty good, and it did get the temperature up to 15 C. For some reason the evening remained fairly mild (although a lot of beer may have distorted my perception of it). This morning the temperature had dropped whithin a gnats whisker of being cold enough for a frost. It is possible that some places did get a frost. Once again, fog was forecast, but it was clear in Catford, and here in Earlsfield. Surprisingly enough it was also clear around Clapham Junction - which is usually a fog hotspot.

 One place that wasn't clear was near the river at Rotherhithe - roughly halfway between New Cross and London Bridge stations. For quite a distance there was really thick fog, thicker than I've seen it for ages ! Like yesterday, except it seems to have happened here already, the fog will lift and disperse to leave golden sunshine in it's place - probably ! I think there is every reason to believe that this afternoon could be as mild as yesterday, and there might be arguments that say it will be a little warmer.

 I aquired another camera yesterday. One of the guys here at work was throwing it out, and I sort of caught it. It seems to have one major problem in that the charging circuit appears not to work, but it is possible to charge the lithium battery using a bench power supply. It is made my Samsung - not the greatest company for cameras, but I've seen worse. It is old enough (4 or 5 years old maybe) that it uses a non standard Sony style memory stick. It is entirely possible that it would be hard to get a new memory stick for it, but that is not something I've checked, and I doubt I ever will except just for pure curiosity. It actually takes quite reasonable pictures for a 3.2M pixel camera.
The Shard from Waterloo East
 I took this picture using my "new" camera on my way home from work yesterday. The colour rendition seems OK, and it looks fairly sharp, but zooming in on it reveals many artifacts where the jpeg compression level has been set rather high to squeeze more pictures on a fairly small memory stick. I'm not sure what the point would be when I have a far better camera for such occasions, but I might take this new one to a gig one day and see how well it performs there. I do have an idea of how well it performs under low light conditions from this picture.........
Catford Constitutional Club dining area
 This is the dining area of The Catford Constitutional Club. I used the small inbuilt flash to take this picture, but it still came out looking quite dark, but there was enough detail to bring out using some adjustments of the black level, the while level, and also a few tweaks in the grey area. It's not a great picture, but it shows all that is needed to be seen.

 To take that picture I had to go to The Catford Constitutional Club after work last night, but that was planned anyway. I took the picture to show how much space is usually wasted there now the kitchen has opened. My picture only shows about a third of the dining area, but by coincidence the area shown is about equivalent to the drinking area. Maybe they do better at weekends, but during the week it seems to be rare to see anyone sitting down to eat. It is noticeable that there are far less people just drinking now the drinking space is so restrictive. I very much fear that The CCC have made a big mistake by dedicating so much space to diners who just aren't there.

 Last night the place was not that busy, and walking around, or getting served at the bar was quite easy. Maybe too easy. I am unsure how many pints I had, but I think it was quite sufficient !! I was drunk enough to allow myself to be lured into the chip shop for cod and chips on the way home, but sober enough to tweak up the picture above using The Gimp image editor. Once I went to bed, at around 9pm as far as I can remember, I was drunk enough to get to sleep with ease, and to wake up with agonising cramp in my right leg at 2am.

 I probably slept fairly well last night, but I did wake up with quite a hangover. It wasn't like an old fashioned one - pounding head, and sometimes a delicate stomach - this modern hangover, possibly age related, or probably related to all my tablets and other factors relating to my general health, felt more like all my internal organs were all swollen and ready to burst. Everything hurt except my head which was clear as a bell, and in excellent order to capture every tiny bit of pain from all parts of my body. I think I much preferred old fashioned hangovers that could be cured with a couple of paracetamol tablets.

 So I am at work feeling dubious, but not too uncomfortable now I'm sitting down. It's how I'll be feeling tonight that concerns me, and how I'll feel tomorrow morning if I do what I would like to do tonight. If I can find the energy I want to go to two gigs tonight. The first is in West Wickham where Chain are playing, and the second is in Elmers End where Tokyo Toys are playing. In theory it all works out well. I don't like the pub where Chain are playing, but I do want to see them. To get home from there after the last train has gone at the ridiculous early time of 11:17 (or 10:47 - I can't quite remember) I have to get a bus down to Elmers End...to a bus stop that is literally 2 minutes walk from the pub where Tokyo Toys are playing.

 So my plan is to watch Chain's first set, and then get the bus to see as much of Tokyo Toys as I like, and then get the 54 bus home (and the 54 runs beyond midnight, and maybe as late as 1am). Tonight, if I feel like I do right now, I don't think I'll be going anywhere. In fact I am 100% sure I wont be, but there is still a great deal of doubt if I were to feel just a tenth as bad as I feel this morning. The view from this end of the day makes the idea of a nice relaxing evening, and an early night, look very,very attractive !
Thursday 13th March 2014
08:20 GMT   I think yesterday's top temperature was a mere 12 C. Maybe it hit 13 C, which is what I think was forecast, but it didn't feel like it. The problem was that we didn't get the promised sunshine. It was bright from about midday, and there may have been the odd flash of sunshine, but mostly the sky was a milky white colour instead of blue. This morning the most significant thing is the fog.
Foggy morning at Catford Bridge station
 I took the picture above as I waited for the 06:33 train at Catford Bridge station. The most obvious sign of the fog is where the railway tracks quickly disappear into the grey under the bridge in the middle of the picture. I saw much thicker fog near the River Thames as I travelled through the centre of London. It was a chilly, but not freezing 8 C when I left home this morning. In theory the sun is now lifting the fog into cloud, and will then "burn it off" to leave a nice sunny afternoon - and this time it could be a degree or two warmer than yesterday !
guide dog stand on Waterloo station yesterday
 On my way home from work last night I noticed that a stand I had seen before was back on the forecourt of Waterloo station. It's to raise money for guide dogs for the blind. I think if I was blind I wouldn't want a dog. I'd want a cat instead, but domestic cats are a bit small. Lions don't seem to have the qualities to lead people around. They are too busy eating people, and they do look a bit bland. Tigers look good, but are prone to eating children (which is actually a good thing). I think I would have to go for a guide puma. I don't know too much about puma's, but I feel sure they would be great for some completely insane reason.

 I wasn't exactly brimming over with energy when I got home, nor was I completely free from discomfort, but I didn't feel that bad. I certainly felt good enough to wash a duvet cover before I prepared my dinner. It started off as a rather healthy dinner. I had two well grilled low fat beef burgers with steamed vegetables. In theory it should have been all I needed, but I still felt a small space to be filled. Worst of all is that I got curious - I wondered what steamed vegetables with melted cheese on them would be like. Now of course cheese is the work of the devil - which means it is fabulous and tasty, and not grotesquely bland like Christian food ! It's also terribly full of calories and otehr bad stuff, and I had rather too much of it. The worst thing is that it wasn't a very nice meal. It wasn't bad, but it failed to excite.

 I went to bed a little bit early last night, and I read for a bit. I turned out the light at about 9pm, and in the 5 minutes before I fell into a deep sleep I was convinced I would never get to sleep. I think I slept OK last night. I know I woke up a few times to go to the toilet, but I feel sure I was fast asleep again before my head hit the pillow. The biggest disappointment was waking up half an hour early again, and not being able to get back to sleep.

 I feel fairly OK again this morning. Once again my ankles felt a bit weak, maybe slightly sore, as I walked from the station to work, but perhaps not as bad as yesterday. My legs felt like they had already walked 10 miles before I started, and I am wondering if someone is borrowing them during the night without me realising it. It is my left hand that is bothering me most this morning. It is not doing anything special to draw attention to it. It varies between good and bad all the time, and this morning is a bad time. When it's bad it's not terribly bad, and when it's good it's far from perfect.

 The main thing that annoys me is that it seems to have stopped improving. I can do most things most of the time with my left hand now, but half of it still lacks proper sensation, and it is still a little weak. It is now exceedingly rare for it to actually hurt, but there are still times when it can be a little "pins and needles" when touched. Maybe it is still improving, but if it is it is now exceedingly slow. There is a potential cure for this condition, and that is a small operation on my elbow. I feel that is a very low priority until more major problems are sorted - like the tendency for my feet and ankles (and calves) to swell up.

 Tonight I should be feeling good. It's Thursday, and that means beer ! Tonight the Thursday gang will be back in The Catford Constitutional Club (pub). So no messing around needed - straight off the train, and beer in hand 5 minutes later !! I ought to try and not get too carried away, but I feel quite tempted to do just that.....and I almost certainly would if I didn't have work in the morning Boo !!!
Wednesday 12th March 2014
08:39 GMT   Yesterday's weather was even more disappointing than the day before. The weekend weather lulled me into a false sense of security, but now I know that spring has not started ! During the night the temperature fell low enough for a frost to settle on many of the cars, and it was damn chilly walking to the station. While I was coming into work there was some sunshine, but it didn't last long, and now the sky is just horizon to horizon grey. The sun might break through again sometime this afternoon, but it seems like most of today is going to be dull and cold. If we are very lucky the temperature might hit 14 C according to the latest forecast, but the feeling in my bones says 12 C will be all we can expect, and then only if we are lucky.

 Last night I achieved something I have been aiming for, for some time, but I have absolutely no idea why I achieved it. It concerns eating. Actually I lie. I fell at the last hurdle (I also fell earlier in the afternoon). It all concerns food. I had a very healthy dinner of steamed salmon with salad (and no mayonaisse - just a bit of olive oil and vinegar). For the next course I had some fruit, and then I ruined it all by having some yoghurt. Yoghurt is often perceived as being healthy, but not the stuff I had despite it being low fat.

 It was only by chance that I happened to notice how much sugar was in each pot. I sort of knew it was high, but I was quite disgusted to learn that these particular yoghurts, billed as healthy with their low fat, and that special bacteria, had 8gm of sugar per pot. By itself that didn't mean that much, but it also said that 8gm was also 8% of the recommended daily allowance. So by eating all 4 pots, which I did, I managed to eat a third of the normal allowance for normal people.............but I really need to keep my sugar intake as low as possible. It's all a bit annoying really. I like yoghurt, but evidently I am going to have to give it up now I know the truth about it......or about flavoured yoghurts. Plain yoghurt may be OK, but who wants plain ?

 After all my hard work doing laundry by hand, I hoped I would be able to sleep well last night, but I was wrong. I don't think it was some of the mild muscle ache that stopped me sleeping, but I've no idea what it actually was. I guess that it wasn't that long after 9pm when I first got to sleep, and if I had slept well I would have been happy with that. The only trouble is that I didn't sleep well. I kept waking up thinking that it was time to get up. I'm not sure how many times I woke up thinking it was just a few minutes to 5am, and I'm not sure if it was a relief or disappointment to discover it was actually far earlier in the night.

 I'm fairly certain that I could esily have done what I did yesterday - turn my alarm off and go straight back to sleep - but I had to come to work this morning, and so that wasn't an option. When I first set out to come to work, my main complaint would have been of the cold. I didn't, and don't seem to have any more than a slight legacy ache from all the rinsing and wringing I did yesterday, but I have to think about it to realise it. It wasn't until I started to walk from the station to work that I felt particularly bad. My legs were typically stiff, and wouldn't get up to the desired speed, but as annoying as that is, it is part of life at the moment.

 My ankles feeling really stiff and sore was rather unusual, and rather unpleasant. The strange thing is that I am sure that my ankles (and feet, and calfs) were less swollen this morning compared to recently. So I am not sure what caused it.......unless it was having to stand on the train all the way to London Bridge. The train was rather crowded this morning because it was the late train, and the trains before that didn't run because of signalling problems between Lewisham and Hayes(Kent).
screenshot of live running info
 What the above screenshot doesn't show is that the two previous London bound trains were also cancelled. I had to get the 07:04 train, and it was packed solid ! I could have got to the station before 06:30 and touched my Oystercard in for a cheap off peak journey, but I didn't fancy waiting, bored stiff, in the cold. So I paid an extra 1 for the privilege of having to stand in a ram-packed train - hummphh !
Tuesday 11th March 2014
17:39 GMT

 
Disappointing is probably the best was to describe the weather yesterday. After a nice bright and sunny start it clouded over around midday. It wasn't that dull, but dull enough, and the top temperature was very disappointing.  I think it barely made it to 13 C, and the temperature dropped quite quickly at sunset. I think that by 8pm it was no more than 8 C, and by 5am this morning it was probably under 6 C. It has been cloudy for much of today, and only during late afternoon was there any hint of sunshine. So it's been a rather cool day. Once again the temperature hit about 13 C, but even this early in the evening it has now dropped to just below 10 C. Tomorrow maybe a bit brighter, and a bit warmer. It may not be brilliant, but at least it should stay dry.

 I wasn't feeling anything like the enthusiasm I felt over the weekend, but I thought I might do some stuff after work yesterday. It never happened because of a phone call from friend Kevin who wondered if I fancied a pint on my way home. It was hard request to refuse, but I did stipulate that I didn't want to drink too much. I almost got away with just two pints (actually 4 halves), but The Catford Constitutional Club had 5 different beers that needed trying. For the last one, Oyster Stout from The Whitstable Brewery, I elected to have a full pint.

 It was just about dark when I left the pub, and it felt really chilly as I walked home. A lot of the chill can be blamed on a rather cool wind that had sprung up. Maybe some of the chill was just me. I'm not sure why I should have felt it was so cold, but I had to close my bathroom window because it felt devastatingly cold in there. Even some hot food didn't seem to help that much, and maybe too much of it hindered my sleep.

 I had a very restless night. It took ages to get to sleep (or felt like it) and it seemed hard to stay asleep. The very best sleep I got was after my alarm had gone off, and I had silenced it. I had an ace up my sleeve - a visit to the surgery - and I had ample time to turn over and go back to sleep again for a bit. I seemed to fall asleep almost instantly, and slept solidly for what must have been close to exactly 59 minutes and 59 seconds.

 I've had quite a mixed day today. Sometimes I've been very busy, and sometimes I've done bugger all ! Like Sunday, I did two lots of laundry. In the morning I washed a towel and 3 small (1 yard square) tablecloths. This afternoon I washed three short sleeved shirts, one t-shirt, and two pairs of pants. The next washing I shall do, and I sort of hope I can start on it tomorrow after work, will be either a sheet or a duvet cover - both rather big jobs, but both need doing sometime. I don't know if I will have the energy or inclination to do any laundry after work tomorrow, but at least both the duvet and sheet are very thin, lightweight material like the bed set I did over the weekend. Once summer starts, and I can dry stuff outdoors, I have some heavyweight bed sets that need doing, but there's no rush for them now.

 It's back to work again tomorrow, and I had better try and get an early night in - if I can. If not I guess I'll try reading instead of thrashing around trying to get to sleep. Maybe a book will relax me - or maybe not ! I'm currently reading the third book of a three book series by Harry Harrison (the "To The Stars Trilogy"). Once I've read that I'll have more Harry Harrison books to read. Yesterday I had a mental siezure, or something, and ordered another 5 books from Amazon.  Three, or is it four of them, are from the hilarious Stainless Steel Rat series.
Monday 10th March 2014
08:05 GMT

 
Yesterday really was a rather nice day. It was bright and sunny almost from sunrise right through to sunset. What's more is that it actually felt very close to warm. Reports vary as to how warm it was. One very spurious sounding report said that 24 C had been recorded in Erith - about 6 miles to the east of me. Other reports suggested 18 to 19 C, but my thermometers only showed 17.5 C as the highest temperature. Maybe Catford was in a cold spot. That was outdoors, but with the sun streaming through my front windows, it was very warm indoors. My bedroom was very close to hot ! The sky seems a bit hazy compared to yesterday, and the top temperature may not be quite so high, but otherwise today should be similar to yesterday - fingers crossed !

 After all the sunshine on Saturday, and then all the sunshine yesterday morning, I felt like an animal coming out of hibernation ! For much of yesterday life seemed worth living, and bits of it were even enjoyable. After writing yesterday I had my shower, got dressed, and went to Aldi to do some shopping. For the first time since heaven knows when, I walked to Aldi without a coat, and just as short sleeved shirt on (plus trousers and shoes - obviously). Even though my legs did not want to get into top gear, it still felt rather good, and carrying all the shopping back did not seem to be much of an effort - provided I walked at a sedate 3 mph.

 I thought I was going to have a big naughty dinner, but it didn't work out that way. It was always going to be a sort of salad using a left over container of salad from my Saturday night takeaway, but the big ingredient was going to be some pork belly. I love that greasy meat, but I didn't want it that greasy. So I took steps to remove much of the grease - and went too far ! First I cooked it for 15 (or was it 20) minutes in the microwave. That almost cooked it, and a lot of the grease came out - probably more than I realised. Then to give the meat and skin some colour I put it the electric grill for maybe 10 minutes. Just to make sure it was fully cooked I then gave it another 10 minutes in the microwave.

 What came out of the microwave was almost greaseless, and it was tough and stringy - and half the size compared to when it was raw. I reckon it might have been useable in a slow cooked stew, but with salad it was rather a let down. That was the first time I had ever tried cooking something similar to a joint of meat without using a proper gas oven, and it provided some valuable lessons - most importantly - don't over do it ! Maybe I might try that experiment again next weekend, or maybe I'll stick to something that is easier to cook in my grill - like a beer burger !

 I don't think it had anything to do with my small, and none too good dinner, but had an awful lot to do with the warm sunshine pouring through my bedroom window as I lay on my bed reading a book after dinner. It gave me uncontrolled urges ! The prime urge was a matter of complete fantasy and stupidity (or something). I had an unnatural urge to spend some time in the garden resuming the devestation that I had made some progress on last spring and summer. I thought I could pull out some weeds without over exerting myself, and I did that. Then I thought I could pull up/out some ivy, and even some brambles - and I did that. I didn't think I could saw through the 2 and a bit inch trunk of a small tree and similar sized stem of a bush without causing some sort of heart attack or cholera or cancer of the big toe, but I did it anyway - and it didn't hurt........that much !

 I probably could have found some reserves of energy to do even a bit more than that, but at that point I was feeling quite smug and self satisfied, and I didn't want to spoil that. So I resumed my reading, watched a bit of TV, and eventually sorted out some supper. It was a bit of a rag bag of food oddments, but included a couple of small apples, a chunk of cheddar cheese, and some oat biscuits. It wasn't exactly low calorie, but it wasn't too terrible.

 Like the previous night, I found I wasn't tired, and I had difficulty getting to sleep. Even when I did sleep I had loads of dreams, and the fact that I can remember so many, even if I can't remember the details from them, suggests that much of the sleep I did get was very light sleep. I estimate I got no more than 6 hours sleep, but that seemed to be all my body wanted. I was awake half an hour early, and although I tried very hard, I couldn't stay asleep for more than a few minutes at a time in the 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

 I'm not sure how I feel this morning. I feel sort of good after having a good day yesterday, but I also have a few extra aches after doing all that laundry, and the work in the garden. Somehow those sort of aches, the result of hard work, don't seem to count in the grand scheme of things. The aches and discomfort of trying to make my legs move faster while commuting do count because there is nothing I can do about it, and it is bloody annoying. In the long term, losing a lot of weight would undoubtably help, but prior to my angina, heart operation, and buckets of pills, I could move my legs a lot easier than this even when my waist size was the same, and my gut was really over hanging my belt (which it isn't now...well not significantly). Maybe more practice would help - sooner or later, and hopefully next weekend if the weather is as good as this weekend just passed, I'll get out for a long(ish) ramble. Then, if I can keep them up, things may get better.
Sunday 9th March 2014
09:09 GMT

 
Try as I might to find something negative to say about yesterday, and all I can really say is that the wind felt a bit chilly when I walked to the station in the morning. After the sun went to bed the temperature did drop off a fair bit, but this morning, right now as I write this, it is almost 10 C. The sky is blue, and the sun is blazing down. It seems very likely that it will get even warmer than yesterday's 17 C. 20 C would be wildly optimistic, but maybe 18 C might be possible. Tomorrow is, or was, forecast to be fairly cloudy, but it should stay dry and the temperature might reach 15 C - at least that is what the forecasters were saying yesterday. In reality, anything might happen.

 After all my laundry exertions I reverted to being lazy yesterday evening. I know I shouldn't have done it, but I ordered myself a takeaway from "Tasty Grill", and most of it was grilled and served with heaps of salad. Apart from the expense it was probably only medium naughty food. It seems to have had a good effect this morning, and maybe it had a good effect last night too. I stayed up watching some TV, and stayed up a lot later than usual because I didn't seem to be very sleepy.

 TV was quite infuriating yesterday. Early in the evening there was nothing on, and then mid evening I had a choice of three programmes all going out simultaneously ! Sometimes the answer in these situations is to watch the programme being showed on one of the Sky TV controlled channels. They have such gigantic ad breaks that it is possible to watch an entire programme on the BBC while something like Pick TV is having an ad break. That didn't work last night because two of the programmes were on BBC controlled channels, and the third was on "Dave" which has slightly more moderate ad breaks.

 When I had got tired of flicking between channels I went to bed. Sleep didn't come easy last night, and it was probably 11pm before I fell into a light sleep. I can't really remember, but I think I might have woken up many times during the night, but only once or twice to have a pee. I got very little sleep after 5.30am, and by 6am I had half got up and read some stuff on the PC. A bit later on I was going to read from a book while laying on my bed, but I got an itch to do something else.

 Yesterday I washed a duvet cover, and a pair of pillow cases. This morning they were all dry, and I thought I may as well complete the set by washing the sheet. Now I've got sore (but recovering fast) wrists because I got a bit carried away. I ended up washing a bath towel, and t-shirt which was hidden between two pairs of lounge pants.  The sheet was difficult to manhandle, and impossible to wring out completely, but it was very thin material, and I just about managed to do it OK.

 The big bath towel was a right bugger. It is amazing just how much one of those weighs when saturated with hot soapy water (or any water !). To make things worse it needed loads of rinsing. Towels (and face flannels) seem to accumulate lots of stuff (soap and dead skin I guess) in use, and the longer you use them , the more they accumulate (obviously). I had evidently over used this towel, and it needed loads of changes of rinsing water before it started to approach running clear. At that point I gave up because my wrists were about to fall off.

 As a special treat I hung it in the garden where it could partly drip dry. I'm not sure if it will dry all that quickly out there. The sun is warm, but still too low in the sky to play it's warm rays over the towel until later this afternoon, and the air is fairly still. At least it will have stopped dripping when I bring it in before sunset, and maybe it will be close to dry. Everything else is drying indoors. The sheet is over the banisters, and the lounge pants and t-shirt are on a clothes horse in front of the turned off for now fan heater in the living room.

 I suppose my next task should be to wash myself, and then a bit later on I'll take a wander to Aldi to get some shopping in. I'm not sure what to do this afternoon. I feel I ought to go and take a walk in the sunshine. Maybe I will, or maybe I won't. I had considered going for a short country ramble, but I don't really feel confident I am up to that yet, and yet I seemed to be able to tackle that laundry without having to complain about it. Maybe I am feeling better than I care to admit.
Saturday 8th March 2014
17:09 GMT

 
Yesterday departed from the weather forecast by quite a long way, but not in a very bad way. The morning was quite cloudy, but it didn't rain. It was cloudy in the afternoon too instead of being sunny. The sun did eventually come out, but only about 20 minutes before the sun set ! During the night the sky clouded over again, but it was very light cloud. It was heavy enough to completely block out the sun at first, but by 10am it was thin enough to let some weak hazy sunshine in. After another hour or two the sun blazed through at practically full strength (if not actually at full strength). The day started at around 7 C, and at it's peak I measured the temperature at 17.5 C. The temperature has dropped a few degrees now, but it's not bad even now. Tomorrow might be sunnier, and even warmer if the forecast bears any relation to reality.

 It was very annoying yesterday. I had felt reasonably OK at work, but I started to flag a bit on my way home.  When I got home it became increasingly obvious that I was not feeling in the right mood to go out again. I didn't exactly feel exhausted, but I could feel deep down inside that I was running on empty. At least that is how it seemed to feel. Later events would suggest that if I had just gritted my teeth and gone out I would have been OK for an hour or two (but maybe not longer).

 Having resigned myself to not seeing The Bromley Bastards playing in Bromley, I settled down to do less energy intensive stuff. The last thing I did was probably stupid - I decided to re-boot my PC into Windows XP, and install some updates. I rarely use Windows here at home, and there were rather more updates than I had bargained for. So instead of a nice early night I tied myself down to installing all these pesky updates.

 It was 9pm before I got to bed, and it took ages before I fell asleep. Maybe it was the stress of updating Windows, or maybe I was just not tired. Who knows ? What is obvious is that had I gone to Bromley I could have seen The Bromley Bastards play (they were first on of about 5 bands playing at the venue last night), and I could have been back home, and in bed potentially earlier than I actually did get to bed. Oh well, I'm sure there will be another time.

 I saw my friend Aleemah this morning. So at least I had one pint of beer this weekend (while she ate her vegetarian breakfast in the Wetherspoons pub). After Aleemah went home I had a bit to eat, and then all the sunshine, and the (almost) warmth, inspired me to do stuff. I suppose it was only one small(ish) job in the greater scheme of things, but it seemed significant to me. I hand washed a couple of pillow cases, and a duvet cover. The puddles on the carpet remind me why I was waiting until the weather had improved even more before washing stuff like a duvet cover. It was a very light duvet cover - a Poundstretcher special - thin as tissue paper - but it was still difficult to wring out. I suppose I could have hung it outside to drip to it's hearts content, like I was doing last year, but I hung it up indoors, and it's dripped all over the carpet. Nevermind, it shouldn't do any great harm, and at least it is done now. Maybe tomorrow I'll do the matching sheet.

 I'm not intending to go out tonight. I think there is a gig on somewhere, but if my memory is correct it is in one of those places that are tricky to get to, and even harder to get home from. So I reckong I'll have a nice lazy evening. I might even treat myself to a takeaway, although I ought to wean myself off them. They are a reckless waste of money, and aren't exactly healthy, but they can be so tasty and satisfying (droooooooool !).

 It is a bit premature to say that spring is really here. In theory we still have the March winds and April showers to get through yet, but today has been a nice reminder that winter can actually end. I'm now wondering if I can somehow get myself into condition to go out for a country, or even coastal ramble soon. In 2010 I managed to drag myself out, and go all the way to Walton On The Naze as early in the year as the 13th March. If the weather can possibly improve a little bit further by next weekend, then it could even be even better than it was at the same time in 2010 - which as this picture shows, was not terribly good. Click on the picture for a photo album of my day out.
Walton On The Naze
Friday 7th March 2014
08:01 GMT

 
It's hard to believe it, but yesterday was another fairly nice day. There was a lot of sunshine, and by later afternoon it felt like it hadn't felt for ages - sort of mild in a neutral sort of way. I think I can believe that the temperature really did hit 13 C. During the night it clouded over, and that kept some of the warmth in. This morning it wasn't completely cloudy, or at least the cloud was not dense enough to delay daybreak, and the temperature was around 6 C - which is not too bad. It is now considerably more cloudy than at sunrise, and rain is forecast for this morning, but the afternoon should be bright and sunny.......and it might be a degree less cool than yesterday !

 I was not feeling all that wonderful after work yesterday. My shoes were still uncomfortable, but not desperately so, and I still felt constipated, but once again, not desperately so. Nevertheless I was stil prepared to attempt to walk the 20 minute walk (maybe 20 minute plus) to the Blythe Hill Tavern.  That changed while I waited for my train at Waterloo East. I got a phone call from my friend Jodie asking if I would like to meet her for a quick drink in The Catford Constitutional Club pub.

 A drink in there suited me better. Plus I liked the idea of it being a short drink. For some reason, maybe some kind of senile insanity, I didn't fancy a big session last night. I had just two and a half pints of medium strength ales before we left the place. As a bonus it was still just about light when we left. Jodie was picked up by a friend to go and see her mum in hospital, while I walked home. As I walked all the local birds were twittering and tweeting good night to each other, and it sounded rather nice. It took 5 or 6 minutes to walk home, and by the time I was home it was just about dark - nice timing I thought.

 I felt quite good when I got home. Even the short walk home felt sort of good despite the less than comfortable shoes. I was possibly in the right mood to eat lightly last night, but I was partly constrained by stuff that had limited shelf life, and had to be used sooner or later. Any attempt at trying to avoid some of the worst possibilities were completely nullified by the cake I had as sweet. Like all cakes, it was loaded with naughty sugars, insane amounts of highly dubious fats and greases, plus, in this instance, walnuts !

 For yet another night I felt like I sould go to bed at around 8pm. Now the days are getting longer it is a habit I've got to try and break, but last night I was fast asleep by 8.30pm, and I slept non-stop for 5 hours (at least that is how I remember it). The next four hours were not quite so smooth, but I slept for much of them. I guess I need all this sleep I'm getting. It is making the healing process, if that is what it is, after my operation seem incredibly slow. When I count it up on my fingers, I find it is exactly 6 months and one day since my heart was re-plumbed. That feels like it should be enough time to grow a completely new cloned body, let alone heal a few cuts. Therefore it can't be part of the normal healing process, but indicative of further repairs that need doing.

 This morning my legs, knees and ankles feel rather stiff, but otherwise I don't feel that bad. Maybe I really feel dreadful but the effect is being masked by it being Friday - the day that always boosts the spirit. Tonight I may go to a gig. I think there is maybe more than one I could choose from, but the most convenient is a charity gig being held in The H.G. Wells centre in Bromley. It is easy to get to, and easy to get home from. More important is that the first band of several to go on will be The Bromley Bastards - a tongue in cheek "punk" band - and I really want to see then play at least once.

 I've missed several of their appearances in the recent past, and tonight could be the night when I get to see them. I'm not sure if I want to stay to see much of the other bands. Some I know will be good, and others less so, but the venue is going to be rather full, and at the moment I am not in the right mood for crowds (if indeed I am ever in the mood for crowds). There is an entry fee, but I think it's only 2 or so, and I feel I have to stay to get my moneys worth.

 Here's what sunrise looked like halfway between home and the station this morning at approx 6.20am - lots of pink clouds.
sunrise over Catford 7th March 2014
Thursday 6th March 2014
08:24 GMT

 
I feel compelled to describe yesterday as a nice spring day. The sunshine was delicious even if it wasn't quite warm outside. Maybe "mild", and then only in the afternoon, is the best we can expect for the beginning of March. Today is forecast to be slightly better, but I'm not sure if that is wholly correct. There is a fair amount of thin whispy cloud around that is adding a bit of haze to the sunshine this morning. Maybe that will "burn off" later, and the afternoon will see the sky a more pure blue. I don't think the temperature hit 13 C yesterday, but there is supposed to be a better chance that it will today. It was around 5 C with no frost this morning. So today does have a head start on yesterday.

 My most annoying medical problem at the moment is just how quickly I get tired when doing anything. It is a strange sort of tiredness because it comes on very quickly, but gets no worse if I carry on doing whatever it was that made me feel tired in the first place - which is sort of weird ! Hopefully, yesterday's echo cardiogram will help in explaining what is going on, although I am apprehensive about what the treatment may be - if any.

 The upshot of this strange condition is that I am not terribly enthusiastic about doing certain stuff. I had almost a whole day where I could have been quite busy yesterday. I did go out to Tesco to get some shopping. There were a  couple of things I wanted, and once you get started it is difficult, or impossile to stop. The same was true when I hand washed a few shirts. Once you have strarted splashing around in hot soapy water you can't stop until the deed is done. Then I picked up the hoover and thought sod it ! I am notoriously bad when it comes to hoovering, and always have been. When I know that I'll barely be able to hoover more than a couple of stair treads without feeling knackered it is a great disincentive to even start. So my stairs remain filthy dirty !

 During the afternoon I fell asleep on my bed for at least an hour, but it may have been much longer than that. So there was no reason why I should have gone to bed early last night, but I guess I must have trained myself to have very early nights because at 8pm I almost went to bed on autopilot. It surprised me that I should have felt tired then, and maybe it surprised me even more that I fell asleep quite quickly. I suppose I ought to say that I was astonished that I only woke up very briefly a couple of times until I woke up more or less completely at 4.30am, but maybe astonished is ten times too strong, and mildly surprised is probably closer to the mark.

 In theory I have no reason to feel sleepy today, and that is just as well on a Thursday because Thursday is drinking night !! The lads are drinking in The Blythe Hill Tavern tonight. That's about a 15 - 20 minute from Catford Bridge station in the opposite direction from home. I'm not sure how I am going to feel at the end of the working day for a walk like that, and to make matters worse I am wearing my green shoes. My green shoes are, apart from their colour, supposedly identical to my yellow shoes, except the yellow are comfortable and the green ones aren't ! Maybe I'll get a bus, but I am such a miser that I hate getting a bus just for a couple of stops unless it is essential. I had to do it many times when I suffered from angina prior to my operation, and I hated doing it, but needs must......
most people say octopus

 Most people when they caption similar photos describe the coat hook as an octopus, but not some graphiti artist who used trap 14 in the gents toilet at Waterloo mainline station sometime prior to 7am this morning.

 I was in the toilet for the opposite reason to my more usual reason for visiting. This morning my guts were too stable. Now there is a change of circumstances ! I'm not sure if 30p, the entrance fee, is worth a tiny brief smile about the graphiti, a chance to sit down for 5 minutes, and passing a little wind, but I guess it has to be paid
Wednesday 5th March 2014
11:17 GMT

 
The weather forecast for yesterday was, once again, quite close to correct. After a bright sunny morning it started to rain in the afternoon. Fortunately it didn't rain for as long as forecasted, and I was able to go home from work in the dry. There was some more rain in the evening, but during the night the clouds all went away, and the sky was crystal clear this morning. That did mean that the temperature dropped low enough for a thick frost, but the sunshine not only feels quite warm, but is actually warming the air up. It was 2 C or less at 8am this morning. It is now 8 C, and if the sunshine continues, as is should, the temperature could reach 13 C by mid afternoon. Rather amazingly, tomorrow could be very similar to today.

 I think I felt fairly good when I got home from work yesterday. At least I can't recall any special aches, pains, or other assorted traumas. I soon took care of that by eating a couple of small ready meals. I'm not sure which one it was, but it made me feel slightly sick. I didn't actually vomit, but there was a short period of time when I felt like it could be possible. Strangely enough it didn't seem to affect me this morning. If anything my guts were more stable than usual this morning.

 I don't know if it was anything to do with what I ate, but I did feel unusually tired last night. I was thinking that I might allow myself to stay up a little bit later last night, but it got to 8pm, and I felt dreadfully tired. So with nothing better to do, I went to bed. For most of the night I seemed to sleep quite well, but from 3.30am, perhaps a little later, I seemed to wake up quite a lot for no apparent reason. At 4.40am I I gave up trying to sleep.

 The reason that I might have stayed up a bit later last night was because I could have had a short lie in this morning. So getting up early than usual was a bit annoying, but at least it gave me plenty of time to do assorted stuff before going to the hospital for my echo cardiogram scan. I arrived in the Cardiology department of the hospital 10 minutes early, but I wasn't seen until 45 minutes after my appointment time - which was a bit annoying.
Ultrasound work station
I took my camera along to see what sort of pictures I could take. I had considered a selfie, but that would have been a bit tricky to do. So I asked the technician if I could take a picture of the ultrasound scanner. It is probably the same type as used on pregnant women, but it is used slightly differently for heart patients like me.
My heart
  The picture above is a close up (via some photoshop type trickery from the top picture), and a skilled cardiologist looking at a better version of this picture would be able to identify my heart in the centre of the image. It looks as if it might have been possible for the technician to email me some of the images, maybe even moving images, but because she was running so late I didn't dare to ask if it was possible (or blocked by internet security measures - which would have been good and annoying in equal measures).

 The technician didn't offer any opinions about anything she had seen, and I'll have to wait until all the images have been studied by a cardiologist. He will then pass on his opinions to my doctor, and he will tell me the good or bad news.  I feel it will be bad news, but not terrible news - although I am unsure what would count as terrible news. Probably something that would involve keeping me off work, and on sick pay for any length of time more than a few days. If it wasn't for the abysmal amount that is sick pay, I would be more than happy to have another 6 months off work.

 It was very nice in the park as I walked back from the hospital. The air was still cold, but the sun was dazzling, and it felt warm ! I might easily have spent more time out there, but there was one thing I sort of forgot about. Just before I left the hospital I debated about whether to go and have a wee. I was by no means desperate, and only had the very first hints that I might need one. Well that was before I got out into the cold air. I was still not desperate, but I didn't want to hang around too long - just in case !

 I now have the rest of today to do whatever I fancy. I should probably wash a couple of shirts etc. and I might even do that. I might also go to Tesco, but there is one thing I really fancy doing, and that is to lie on my bed, start reading, and then slowly fall asleep - luxury !
Tuesday 4th March 2014
08:11 GMT

  I guess the weather did follow the forecast for yesterday fairly well. After the nice sunny morning it poured with rain during the afternoon, but ratther luckily for me, it stopped just as I headed for home after work.
barely visible rainbow by the shard
 It had only just stopped raining when I got to Waterloo East station, and there was a rapidly fading rainbow almost arching across The Shard. By the time I got my phone out to take a picture it had all but vanished. If you use an awful lot of imagination, and stare into the violet circle in the picture above, you can just make out a sort of curved blur that is the last few valiant seconds of the rainbow.

 It was very wet in Catford when I arrived there, but it didn't rain on me as I walked home. I think there was a bit more rain after dark, but by the early hours of this morning the clouds cleared, and the temperature plummetted. This morning I measured the temperature at about 2 C, and some cars had a frost on them. You could tell that the temperature only just brushed zero by the huge size of some of the frost crystals. The sun was shining as soon as it rose above the horizon this morning, and today should see even more sun than yesterday, but it seems there is a chance of a shower or two just as I am going home. The temperature could be a degree higher than yesterday, maybe 9
C. Towards the end of the week it is possible that we could see temperatures as high as 13 or 14 C - that is getting tantilisingly close to "mild".
by dawns early light
 This is not the greatest photo ever taken, but looking to the east, it shows the early dawn light as I walked to the station this morning. The eastern sky is already blue, but the street lamps are brighter than the sky. That didn't last long, and 15 - 20 minutes later the sun was over the horizon, and dazzling all who gazed upon it.

 I grudgingly confessed that I didn't feel all that bad yesterday morning. I attributed it to the early morning sunshine, but maybe there was another explanation. I still felt reasonably good when I went home, and that was under leaden skies with the threat of rain hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles. I now think I can thank my government (dis)approved binge drink of scotch on Sunday night. I used the last of the scotch on Sunday night, but it's influences still seems to continue. This morning I don't feel that bad again. Provided I was content to bumble along at no more than 3 mph I was comfortable walking from the station to work (except for the freezing cold !). Ideally I would have liked to go faster, but it was like a physical barrier to exceed 3 mph (or thereabouts). My legs just would not go any faster !

 I am a little surprised that I don't feel worse this morning. I had a rather wild and wonderful dinner last night. I tried an experiment to use up some bread that was rapidly getting stale. At the core of this weird and wonderful dinner were two thick chunks of bread which I hollowed out to put an egg in each chunk. It was almost like French toast (if that is what I think it is) except I cooked it in the microwave and the bread didn't toast. I also added a tin of large Greek beans in tomato sauce, and a rather generous amount of slices of cheddar cheese on top. It had the potential to be very wonderful - or so I thought, but it wasn't. It was perfectly edible, and rather filling, but it failed to excite me.

 Tomorrow morning I have my echo cardiogram where they check to see if they left any screws out when they put me back together after the last operation. So tonight I should probably try and behave. I've got no sctoch left. So there is no chance of getting drunk tonight (although I do have some 18 year old scotch that I save for special occasions, and some Irish whiskey that is also for special occasions - just no ordinary scotch). It doesn't really matter what I eat for the scan itself, but I should probably try to avoid anything that might cause me to fart all the way through the examination. The appointment is not until 8.45 am so I can have a lie in if I want, but I might still go to bed early anyway. I enjoy my sleep, and if I can somehow continue last nights dream I might get to the really good bit - it's in the script so it's got to happen sometime !
Monday 3rd March 2014
07:49 GMT

  While yesterday morning was mostly sunny I noted that it was becoming a bit cloudy around midday. Within another hour it was very grey outside, and eventually I resorted to closing the curtains at least half an hour before sunset. Very soon after sunset the rain started. At times it seemed like it was probably quite heavy, although I did my best to observe it as little as possible. Later on, still under cover of darkness, the clouds all went away, and this morning started off gloriously sunny, and rather cold - just 4 or 5 C.
Weather forecast for 3rd March 2014
 This is what has been forecast for today.  So far it seems about right, but it would be nice if the rest of it was wrong. 8 C is not terribly user friendly, and I don't really care for all those black clouds with rain coming out of them - particularly those around 4pm when I am travelling home from work. At least they only have one drop of rain coming from them. It could be worse. They could have two drops. Anyway, the  wind looks fairly inoffensive. So maybe that's something to be happy about.

 I didn't feel terribly happy yesterday. Than again, I didn't feel all that depressed. I just had a nagging feeling that I had wasted most of the weekend, and continued to do so. The feeling was definitely most acute yesterday. It's strange because I was doing exactly what I enjoy doing - being mostly lazy, sitting or laying in the warm, and doing lots of reading.  I could have found other stuff to do if I had tried hard enough, but why stop when you are warm and comfortable ?

 A lot of the introspection came about because I was not feeling particularly well. I wasn't in any pain or discomfort, but I couldn't help but feel that since my operation I was actually in far worse condition than before - if you discount not having the rather nasty angina pain I had before. In my darker moments I wondered if I would have been better taking a chance  of brain damage from stroke if I had relied on GTN spray to provide relief from the angina, and continued to lose weight. Ideally I would have given up smoking as well (a bit difficult without the couple of days of "cold turkey" I had while in hospital).

 Eventually the fatty deposits that were blocking my heart blood vessels may have broken up and dispersed, and I would have come out of it ultra healthy - or dead, or merely brain damaged if a piece of the blocking material moved up into my brain and blocked a blood vessel there. Unfortunately I wasn't given the choice to persue this fanciful bit of therapy, and now I have what looks like an unsightly chemical burn on my left leg where something weird went on in the operating theatre. Worse than that is that my heart, or something, may well be damaged somehow, and that is leading to my ankles and feet swelling. There are some shoes that can be difficult to get on at the moment.

 I am not entirely convinced that my swelling waist, which seemed to expand very quickly, and then stop again, is purely due to overeating (except for this weekend when I ate all sorts of unwholesome stuff in large quantities). The fact that it happened almost overnight is a sort of clue that maybe it is also something to do with my surgery, and the healing or lack of it. Perhaps Wednesday, when I have my echo cardiogram, will eventually provide some answers. Until then, and quite possibly after that, I shall make a point of being miserable about it (if I can keep it up). Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, time is running out, and I hope we get some good weather soon so I can try and get out and see some new places before I am unable to.

 It was because I was feeling a special kind of misery that I decided to get rebellious and drink several very large scotchs. That turned out to be a mistake because as I was listening to the radio I heard mention of http://vaughnlive.tv/cruisinradio - well, I didn't hear it clearly like that, but that's what a google search eventually turned up. http://www.cruisinradio.net is run by an old friend of mine who I haven't seen in years and years. The radio station only do a limited amount of live shows, and Sunday evening is a favourite time for them. It took me right back to my days of doing radio, and then when I found I could view a webcam of the studio where my old mate was doing his show, I became very nostalgic for more exciting days when radio, music and booze and girls all swirled together in a heady mix that made life worth living. Mix that extreme nostalgia with the effects of too much scotch and you go to bed feeling quite, quite morose !

 This morning I feel almost good. My guts were a bit unstable for a while, but that passed. My feet and ankles were annoyingly swollen, and my gut felt swollen. On top of that my leg muscles just would not operate at top speed. Despite all that I still sort of feel OK. I guess it was the strong dazzling dose of sunshine that flew into my eyes as my train passed the cemetary immediately before Earlsfield station (plus the lower level exposure to the brightness for almost all my journey to work). Now if only it were a bit warmer - warm enough to not need a heavy coat - warm enough to stand still taking photographs - warm enough that you don't get frostbite on your fingers (ok, scrub that last one - it's not quite that cold) - I could do stuff. I'm not sure what stuff, but it would be better stuff than what I'll be doing once I've hit the save button at the top of my page as I write this. Oh for a paddle in a warm sea !!
Sunday 2nd March 2014
12:15 GMT

  I guess the weather forecast for yesterday was reasonably accurate. There was no rain (that I recall), and it was frequently sunny. Even the temperature forecast was about right - a rather cool 8 C around the middle of the afternoon. Today started off quite bright, but it seems to be getting quite cloudy this afternoon.  The temperature, 13
C if my outside thermometer is reading correctly, feels like it is on the transistion between chilly and cool. Another 10 and it would make it a nice day.  Sunset tonight is 17:42, but before that, at 17:00, rain is forecast, and that rain will continue into the night. It seems tomorrow could be rather wet, and rather cool - almost cool enough for snow in the morning, and only a few degrees higher in the afternoon.

 One of the things I meant to do yesterday I didn't do. That was to go shopping in Aldi. I thought I might go mid to late afternoon, but when the time came I didn't feel I had the energy or enthusiasm to walk that far. So I decided to just go to the corner shop for a couple of essential. Now the strange thing is, as soon as I went out my front door a huge wave of energy came over me, and I walked to the corner shop at double rate. I could easily have walked to Aldi and back, and maybe even enjoyed it !

 One reason why I thought I might not want to walk to Aldi was because I had eaten a rather unusual, but wonderful lunch. It was re-heated bombay aloo (left over from my Friday night takeaway) with a heap of grilled bacon, plus some extra tomatos.  I can highly recommend it as a way of using leftovers and that packet of bacon that is on, or past it's use by date. I wouldn't say it was a particularly big meal, but it seemed quite filling - so much so that I didn't seem to want or desire a proper dinner in the evening. I just opened up a can of "Chinese hot pot". I have no idea who invented such an unlikely dish, but he (or she) didn't do a particularly good job of it. I had been looking forward to trying it for some time, but it turned out to be little more than gravy, with a possible of something Chinese about it, with rice. I didn't check, but I assume it was fully of dodgy fats and sugar that contibuted little, if anything, to the flavour. Without them, assuming they existed, it might even have been fairly healthy.

 I stayed up late again last night. Mostly I was just reading, and the book became too heavy at about 11pm. Minutes later I was fast asleep (or so I imagine). I think I slept OK, but I do remember a hint of one dream. I dreamed I was in a vehicle, I might even have been driving it, and we had to go through a barrier of some kind that was covered in bees. For some reason this did not bother me at all, and the last thing I remember was that I was hoovering up some bees that had stayed behind when all the others flew off to somewhere.

 I slept later than usual, but still not late enough to get my eight hours of beauty sleep, and I have yawned a few times since than. Sooner or later, and it is most probably going to be after I have had some lunch, I am going to lay down on my bed and have an afternoon snooze. Before then I have to make my dinner using stuff I've just bought from Aldi. I finally got there this morning just half an hour after they opened at 11am. This time I felt I had plenty of energy, but I was knackered before I even got to the corner shop. I am beginning to think that I have no idea what I am feeling any more. It must be an advanced (or mature) sign of complete senility !
Saturday 1st March 2014
10:15 GMT

 There was some sunshine yesterday, but not much of it. The susnhine barely lasted for an hour, and most of the day was wet and horrible. I needed my rain coat on to go to work, and I needed it on to go home again - most unsatisfactory ! I'll grudgingly admit that the rain was quite light as I went home, but as darkness fell it became much heavier. I don't know what time it stopped, but it has been sunny this morning, and the road outside seems fairly dry. There is still a lot of cloud about, and the temperature is still only 5 C, but the latest weather forecast, which is totally different from the forecast for today made 24 hours earlier, says that it should stay dry, and there should be plenty of sunny intervals. It is less optimistic about the temperature - 8
C at best !

 Meanwhile, over in Canada where they saw snow by the shed load, and temperatures in silly figures like minus 15
C, with wind chill making it feel like minus 22 C, things are looking up if I read the right weather chart. By the end of this week they can expect temperatures of plus 22 C or better.  That sounds rather fantastical, and I'm wondering if that is in Ontario California instead of Ontario Canada !

 I couldn't be bothered to prepare any dinner last night. So I ordered an Indian takeaway. I have to admit that it was rather delicious, but it was a luxury I should have done without. It will have done nothing to stop me swelling up like I have done in the last month or two (the speed of the transition does make me wonder if it is more than "getting fat"). It is ironic that by the time it was delivered, over two hours later than my normal dinner time, I was over the hunger hump, and if I had gone up to bed I might have got away with having no more than the very small snack I had soon after getting home from work. That would certainly have been better for me.

 I didn't think I would be staying up very late last night, but waiting for that curry (I guess it was delivered about half an hour late) also took me over the tiredness hump too. It started when, unusually, I stayed watching a TV programme that finished at 9pm, and then I watched something else. On most nights the TV would be off by 8pm. I think it might have been as late as 11pm before I was in bed (and possiby asleep). I slept fairly well, but stupidly woke up at 5.30am. That was like a mini lie in, but I needed more.

 I did get up for a while, and pottered around for an hour or two, but then I went back to bed - because I could !!  I didn't sleep all that well, but I did sleep, and at the moment it feels like I slept enough - at least for the moment. It wasn't one of my stated objectives, but I guess having a lie in, and getting up very late (by my usual standards) should have been one. The other unstated objective for today can also be ticked off. I really wanted to wash my hair  last Thursday or Friday, but I was put off by the rainy mornings. Now it is done, and I feel so much better for it !

 I have two more objectives for today. The first is quite important, and it is to do some laundry. I have a pile of dirty shirts to do this morning, and if I can find the energy, do some more assorted stuff later in the day.  The next objective is not so important, but still a bit important. It is to go shopping in Aldi. After that I could do some other stuff that is theoretically important, but could wait until a traditional nice spring day - stuff like hoovering here, there, and everywhere. It is possible that I could make a start on it, but it would be nice if I could throw open the windows to do it while golden sunshine beams through them. It's not exactly like that at this minute - it's shivery cold outside, and the weak sun that was peeping around the edge of a cloud has gone in again. I've also got a book that is only a third read, and it is just the first book of a three book series. I've got to leave time to read that - quite a lot of time...............