|My Diary/Blog For the Month of October 2014|
It seemed to take longer than expected for the mist and murk to lift yesterday, and even then the sun didn't really appear until quite late in the afternoon. It was nice being dazzled by the sun for about 100 feet of west facing road as I walked to the station after work, but by the time I was halfway home the sun was so low in the sky that it couldn't be seen. Then, by the time I arrived home it had completely set, and it was close to dark. It was comfortable yesterday, but I'm not so sure the temperature was as high as some forecasts. Today there is a good chance that the temperature will hit 20° C as forecast. Maybe it will get even higher. The sky has been clear all morning, and the temperature is already creeping past 18° C. This is all rather good for the last day of October. Unfortunately it won't last. The weekend will be moderately good, but it may well be back to work on Monday in the cool rain.
My day at work was not quite as tedious as I imagined it would be, and it actually ended on a high note. A week ago I broke my favourite chair. The temporary replacement was not that good, and I think I can blame it for giving me some backache. Little more than half an hour before I was due to leave work my new replacement chair arrived. The short test I gave it suggests that it will be quite comfortable enough to sleep in......
I was tempted to get a bit of shopping on the way home from work, but I decided against it because I wanted to try and have the lightest meal possible before going out to the pub to watch Chain playing there. While dinner may not have included the healthiest ingredients, it was certainly quite a small dinner by my usual standards. It was two little packets of Hula Hoops, and smoked sausage - and it was very nice !
After eating, shampooing, and showering, and getting dressed (!) I went to The Catford Ram at about 7.50pm. In some respects that was a bit too early. I arrived before some of the band, and it seemed to take a fair time for all the gear to be set up. It was worth the wait because it turned out to be a rather excellent gig.
If there was one problem about last night it was that there were too many stage lights stuck on red, and my camera struggles with over saturated reds. Nevertheless some pictures came out quite well without having to resort to using flash, but others needed it, like this one...
Chain on stage - Ravi, Jo, Chris and Dave (the drummer is behind Jo).
This coven of witches were (possibly) responsible for a fairly unusual event. Maybe they cast a spell, or something, but the succeeded in getting a second two song encore from Chain after the gig was officially supposed to be over. As a result I didn't get to leave the pub until twelve minutes to midnight ! That was the latest I've stayed out in ages, and I don't really know why I left then. No one actually knows what time The Ram closes. I think it is when the last drinker leaves. I could have stayed on for another pint, but I thought I would be good or whatever.
Maybe it was because I spent more time with a camera in my hand than with a pint glass in my hand, but I didn't feel more than a hint of drunkenness when I left the pub. That remaining hint was enough to get me to buy some cod and chips on the way home. I'm not absolutely sure, but I reckonn that the chip shop closes at midnight. The clue was in the way I ended up with not one bit of cod, but two, and a gigantic pile of chips for no extra money.
I am unsure whether I still had a bit of sanity left, or if that meal was too big even for me, but the generosity of the chip shop was a bit wasted because I ended up throwing away half the chips, and even some of the fish (but very little of the fish). After dinner (part 2) I went straight up to bed. I got into bed and I think I fell asleep straight away, and I slept solidly until the usual time I tend to wake up - 10 to 20 minutes before 5am - which is rather stupid when I probably didn't fall asleep until 1am or later ! So I got up for a bit before going back to bed and getting up at a more sensible time.
I knew it wouldn't happen, but I had made some tentative plans to go out today. It might have been nice to go to the seaside on what may be the last warm day of the year. I thought it might be interesting to visit Bournemouth until I found out the train fare was over £50 - bloody hell !!!! An alternative might have been Folkstone. It's a long trip, but it's a fair bit cheaper. Now I can survive well over a year without a cigarette, I could probably stand the journey without too much stress. Other alternatives were Bognor Regis, Sheerness, or even Southend, but as I expected, the late evening, and all the beer have sapped all my energy.
It's looking like my day out is not going to be beside the seaside, but a visit to Aldi this afternoon. I've spent the morning editing photos I took last night - and it took some time to decide which were the better ones from the 133 I took (although the choice of which to discard was screamingly obvious in many cases !). Of course the other thing I really ought to make a start on today is some laundry. I've been putting off doing any for over a week now, and while I still have plenty of clean clothes, the backlog pile is getting a bit uncomfortably big now. Now what should I do first ? The laundry, or the shopping........or do I fancy an afternoon snooze first. I must admit it is tempting !
I guess it would be unfair to say that yesterday was horrible. After all it did have one positive aspect - it was not cold, but everything else about yesterday was despicable ! It was grey and horrible all day long, although it wasn't actually wet, well not until mid to late evening. Possibly the very worst thing is that it was so grey that it seemed like the sun had almost set even as I was walking from work to the station, and of course by the time I arrived in Catford the sun had set. It was practically dark when I arrived home. This morning was the opposite. As I walked to the station it was like the sun was far from risen. Today has started off very misty and murky, but this is supposed to clear sometime this morning to leave a nice sunny day. It isn't exactly cold right now, maybe around 13 or 14° C, and by mid to late afternoon there is talk of it being at least 18° C ! Tomorrow is still forecast to be bright, warm and sunny - not bad for the last day of October !
It sounds sort of weird and twisted, but I was taking a sort of delight in being cross and grumpy about going home in light that wasn't too different to twilight. Of course in another week or two it really will be night time when I leave work to go home, and it will be very difficult to find any joy in that. I think that last night the joy came from anticipating just how bloody miserable and moody I could be if I really tried for it when going to work, and coming home again, in the dark soggy night !
I was contemplating going home via Tesco last night, but I didn't want to be too tempted to buy all sorts of stuff that I shouldn't eat. On the other hand I could have bought lots of stuff that I should eat - like brocolli, and similar nasty stuff. Instead of Tesco I went into the Turkish supermarket to get some stuff.
What I mainly wanted was some cheese - two lots of it - some for home and some for work, but I was also tempted to buy some other stuff. I bought a little seeded loaf, some aubergine dip, and some really, really delicious apple juice (as pictured on the left).
Duskin's website suggests that their apple juices are not available from supermarkets, but the Turkish supermarket calls itself a supermarket, and they seem to stock several different flavours of these Duskin apple juices. I may well buy another bottle tonight ! (Although I ought to be a bit careful of drinking too much because of all the natural sugar in it).
In some respects my dinner was quite healthy last night, but it was actually very unhealthy for anyone trying to restrict their carbohydrate intake, and their cheese intake ! I had a large baked potato - said by some to be full of healthy fibre and stuff. All the goodness is in the skin they say ! I then ruined any hope of it being healthy in any respect by smothering it with cheese. The "stewed red beans" as it said on the tin, were probably fairly neutral in the grand scheme of things.
As well as that big baked potato, I also eat rather a lot of bread last night. All that carbohydrate has probably sent my blood sugar level soaring, but it seems to have been good for both my blood pressure and half of my sleeping. I say half because for half the night I slept soundly, and then in the early hours of this morning I started sleeping badly. I was waking up at least once an hour, and sometimes sooner than that. I don't really know why I was sleeping so badly at that time. I didn't seem to wake up feeling uncomfortable, or anything like that, but when I finally did get up, and go to the toilet, I did let out the biggest, longest lasting fart know to mankind !
Last night my blood pressure was pretty good, and this morning it was a little lower than it is on most mornings. Of course that does come with a price, and the price is a bit of stiffness and mild pain from my right knee when making certain movements. Oddly enough, the rest of me seems to be working fairly well this morning, and I've had no new or stronger pains compared to usual, and maybe the usual aches, pains, creaks and groans are slightly subdued compared to most mornings. So I had a nice happy journey to work this morning.............well maybe not, but I suppose I could grudgingly admit that it was fairly neutral.
Work is trying it's hardest to piss me off today by asking for all sorts of things that should have been known about days ago to be done today. This whole company seems to be defined by last minute panics. I'm sure our CEO knew he was going to America before 5 minutes ago, and I am sure he knew he would need a demo unit modified days ago, but no one told me about these things until this morning. So today I have to rush around like a blue arsed fly when I should be relaxing before a night of beer and music. I have booked tomorrow off work (which was approved at the beginning of the week when there was no panic on, nor any hint of one), and the news of this has increased the panic no end......and I do my best not to care about it at all.....although I think that this little panic will be resolved far more quickly than I have lead other people to believe it would !
Not wishing to repeat myself, but.........It was nice and sunny yesterday - just like it was forecast, and once again it didn't seem to be as warm as the weather forecasters said it would be.....and at the end of the day, what they said it actually was. It didn't feel cold, but the best I saw on my thermometers was 14° C - three or four degrees less than it was said to be. The temperature hardly seemed to dip overnight, but the type of weather most certainly has. This morning it is grey and damp. Later this morning it will be grey and damp, and this afternoon it will be grey and damp. Believe it or not, this evening will be grey and damp too ! There were a few spots of rain while I waited for my train, and there will be more showers at any time through the day. It's not going to be pretty, but at least it won't be cold. Tomorrow may be mostly overcast, possibly wet, but should be slightly warmer. Friday is supposed to be a lot brighter, and the temperature could hit 20° C if the wildest fantasies of the weather forecasters come true.
It may have been the change of weather, or perhaps the foreknowledge of it, that made me feel a bit edgy yesterday afternoon/evening. The knowledge that sunset was at the same time as my train home from work arrived at Catford Bridge did little to improve my humour. I ended up more than I intended. Although having said that, the nutritional information on some of the stuff I ate suggested that my calorie intake was a lot less than I thought it would be (on the rather grand assumption that similar ingredients would have similar calories and stuff). It's probably a greater fantasy than Grimm's Fairy Tales, but by stretching the laws of mathematics, it might just be that I consumed less than 2500 calories yesterday - and that's the sort of recommended intake for an adult male, or so I believe. Unfortunately I seem to need to keep my calorie consumption to around 1500, or less, to lose weight at any noticeable rate - which I have done in the past, and maybe will again in some wonderful future - if such futures exist anymore.
I still maintain that my ongoing bad health is due to not smoking. 99% of my body was far healthier when I smoked. It was only my heart that got a bit dodgy, and that's been broken so many times that I am better off without it. Last night I could have eaten half of what I actually ate if I had a cigarette to drag on, and to chill out to. It's a funny thing this smoking addiction. Some say that it is nicotine addiction, but they don't know what they are talking about. Nicotine is just the stuff whose absence makes you feel crap for a few days if you are previously used to lots of it. Cigarettes are a whole load more than just a nicotine delivery system. They are a timer - you get to know how much time is passing as you watch the cigarette burn down.
They are also a toy to relax with, and a distraction too. None of these things can be simulated by any type of nicotine replacement therapy - patches, e-cigarettes etc. Last night I wanted a cigarette after my meal to take my mind off further eating, and last night I also got a strong urge to have a cigarette while I was watching some TV that was barely keeping my attention. If I were able to relax it may have grabbed my attention better - as documentaries about steam railways are supposed to ! There were three possibilities last night. I could have switched the TV off and gone to bed absurdly early - as I seem to do quite often. I could have eaten some snacks - and if I had anything in the house that would have excited my taste buds I would most probably have eaten something. The last option was to pour myself a small glass (by my standards) of whisky. The sharp bite of that, and the mellow feeling as it slides down the throat sometimes seems to be a passable substitute to the relaxing effect of watching the smoke curl up to the ceiling as I lay back in a relaxed pose with a cigarette in my hand.
I obviously did not have enough whisky last night because I didn't sleep very well. My sleep started off OK. I don't think it took long to get to sleep, but after midnight I started to wake up more and more frequently. I was also having loads of bizzare dreams - though I can't seem to remember anything about them now. Maybe I just had one dream that was about loads of dreams or something !
It didn't seem a good start to the day, and the day has continued to be a bit crappy so far. Soon after I got up I came to the conclusion I had a mild stomach upset, and it was very mild, but still significant enough to delay my journey to work - which turned out to be rather unfortunate !
On the left is a screenshot from my mobile phone taken as I waited for the 07:01 train at Catford Bridge station. As you cans see, "This train has been delayed by poor weather conditions", and that almost sounds feasible considering how it was all wet and soggy this morning, but there are flaws in this argument. The first thing is that during the autumn leaf fall timetable the train is scheduled to run a bit earlier to allow it to take a little longer to reach London at the same time as it would at any other time. Then there is the fact that it is shown as departing 8 minutes late from a terminus. That is possibly but unlikely unless it had arrived late.
The trouble is, I was monitoring all the trains before this one, and also the train that followed it, and all of them seemed to be in the right place at the right time (apart from the following train that obviously could not overtake this train, and was forced to follow right behind it). So other trains didn't seem to be affected by poor weather. There is one other clue that the problem was actually with the driver. Maybe he was high on drugs or something, but at each stop he would take ages to release the doors. Many drivers will release the doors 24 microseconds (or thereabouts) before the train has actually stopped, and even the more wary drivers will release the doors within a second or so of the train coming to a halt. Today's driver seemed to wait 20 - 30 seconds after the train came to a halt before releasing the doors.
After an extended wait on the platform at Catford Bridge, and then a seemingly rather slow journey up to London standing in a cramped little corner of the doors area of the train, I finally arrived at Waterloo feeling rather peeved, and I refused to rush around like an angry commuter. The train from Waterloo to Earlsfield was standing room only from Clapham Junction, but I had a seat to myself all the way from Waterloo. Back at Waterloo there was a new "tenant" on the concourse.
There were pandas and caterpillars (not seen in this picture) wandering around the station giving away something (leaflets I think), and all promoting something or another that the mobile phone network EE are hoping you'll give them money for.
One thing I did this morning between visits to the toilet was to wash my hair. I couldn't be bothered to do it last night in the same way I couldn't be bothered to do it the night before that, but it is done now, and that's one thing I won't have to do tonight - although I now realise that the need to do it was less urgent than I thought. For a while I was convinced that today was going to be Thursday and not Wednesday as it really is. Quite how I made that wrong decision is complex to explain, but the simplified version is that I should have done more than glance at my mobile phone for just one second. Had I done that I might have noticed that what I was looking at was when the alarm was set for rather than the current day ! So tonight I can put my feet up - which will be nice, but not as nice as the Chain gig in The Catford Ram that I now have to wait until tomorrow night to see.
It was nice and sunny yesterday - just like it was forecast - but I'm not so sure I experienced the 20° C that was measured somewhere in, or near London. It felt comfortable but not exactly warm on my way home from work, and my thermometers there said it was only 15° C. Today should be very similar to yesterday, and once again the forecast is suggesting that the temperature could be very unseasonal - 17° C here in Earlsfield, and 18° C in Catford instead of the more usual 12° C for the end of October. Tomorrow might also be
It was certainly nice going home in the sunshine yesterday, but that sunshine only lasted until I reached Catford. By then the sun was so low on the horizon that there was no sign of it any more, and four minutes later it had officially set. I took a very short detour (15 yards ?) on the way home, and stopped to buy a couple of items from the Turkish supermarket. It was starting to look dim when I came out of there, but it was still what could be called light when I got home. Maybe ten minutes after that it was dark outside. Night had fallen, and the day was over.
There were three things I was considering doing last night. One of them was to cook a healthy dinner. I did that, but spoiled the effect in a massive way with some additional junk food. I blame Jodie ! She had discovered some crisps in the Turkish supermarket on Sunday that were a bit novel. They were "Lotto" brand, and Jodie, who could read the small print, said they were made in Romania. I forgot to check where they were made last night, but I can confirm they taste OK (I checked a couple of packs to be sure !). Dinner, by complete contrast, was mostly lightly boiled/steamed cabbage and brocolli cooked with too lean smoked bacon (that wasn't really smoky enough). In theory that dinner should have been packed with fibre, full of noxious cabbage based chemicals that some think are good for you, and because the bacon was so ungodly lean, low in fat. It might even have been fairly low in calories !
The other two things I considered doing were to wash my hair, and to do some laundry. I put off washing my hair because I had some fantasy notion that I might do it this morning (I didn't). I did look at the stuff, mainly shirts, that I had to wash, and then I looked at how many clean shirts I had hanging up ready to use. I think I still have enough clean shirts to last a good week still, and that's only short sleeve shirts. If I included long sleeve shirts, and t-shirts I could probably last until xmas - but would have one hell of a job catching up if I did that ! So I didn't do any laundry last night !
Considering how little I was doing I could have gone to bed extra early again, but I thought I would at least make the effort to stay awake until closer to 8pm. I forget when it was I got into bed, but I am fairly certain I fell asleep really quickly when I did. I don't remember waking up more than once or twice, but I get the impression I wasn't sleeping that well. For some reason I seemed to be having loads of dreams that included food. Another dream, which also included food, concerned me going to some sort of exhibition about I.T. arranged by the people for the I.T. website http://www.theregister.co.uk.
While there I accidently stumbled up an exhibit or something that was not supposed to be revealed until the next day. To keep it secret I was told that I was not allowed to go back to the main area, and had to be ushered out of a side exit. To make up for my early exit I was given a huge goody bag of all sorts of exciting stuff (at least I hope it was - I wasn't able to check what was in there, but I believed it was stuff like books, DVDs and memory sticks plus the usual pens, paper and mousepads that are frequent trinkets given away at some events). The only problem is that the exit I left by came out into an unfamilar road at the back, and I didn't know my way back to the station (Charing Cross......I think). I then had a sort of adventure exploring bits of London that sometimes seemed not to have aged since Victorian times. The most curious sight was a tube train carriage shaped and sized bus that was painted a sort of bronzy gold colour.
I woke up 20 minutes early with a it of a headache after all that intensive and inventive dreaming. I didn't think it was worth the effort of even trying to get back to sleep for just 20 minutes, and so I got up. My headache soon dissipated, and I felt tolerably well. Even my blood pressure was a bit lower than it usually is in the morning (apart from the first reading when I coughed while taking it - that was rather high !). All that makes it sound like I feel fine this morning. All I am prepared to admit is that I feel less crap than usual this morning.
On the left is a screenshot from my mobile phone that I took this morning. In the top right hand corner is the time I took it - 06:26. In the middle is a list of all the stations my train calls at, and the blue circle is where the train is currently located - or so it claims ! Usually it is correct, but this morning it scared me by saying that my train had not left Hayes (Kent) when it should have been just 4 minutes away from Catford Bridge. In fact, at 06:26 it had left New Beckenham, and was approaching Lower Sydenham. Four minutes later, perfectly on time, I was boarding the train at Catford Bridge.
Of course after that it all went wrong. We were held at signals for a minute at Lewisham, and then held at signals for a couple of minutes outside London Bridge. I think we arrived at Waterloo East station about 4 minutes late. That didn't worry me, but presumably some had connections to make, and were monitoring the time more carefully. They went haring off up the link to Waterloo mainline station, and the rest of us were left in their dust. I had time to use the gents on Waterloo station, and to buy a cheap (and nasty, it turns out) manicure set from Boots inside Waterloo station, and I was still early to work.
I hope I can enjoy going home in the sunshine again today, and I hope I can enjoy a pleasant evening - even if it is rather short in these currently shortened hours of daylight. I don't think I am going to bother doing any laundry tonight. Although I will almost be disappointed not to be starting the day with a hangover on Friday, I am off work on Friday, and could do some laundry then. Plus there is also the weekend when I could do it. I think there is a fair chance that I might get around to washing my hair tonight, but even that doesn't seem ultra important quite yet - however it will be very important to have done it before I go out to get that hangover on Thursday night !
It's a shame that the sun only managed to come out for a few minutes, and that was near the end of the day yesterday. The rest of yesterday was grey, a fairly light grey, but still grey. Fortunately the temperature was on the upper reaches of cool, maybe 14 or 15° C, and that made it mostly comfortable. Today sees a significant improvement, but comes with a sting in it's tail. The sun rose on a clear sky today, and the sky should stay mostly clear all day. So it's going to be dry and sunny practically all day. The sting in the tail is that the sun will be setting far too soon after I get home from work now we've changed to GMT. I'll just have to grab some happiness from the idea that today should end up feeling warm. It will only be 17 or 18° C, and while that's poor by summer standards, it is rather good for the end of October. There seems to be a good chance that tomorrow will be similar if not a tiny bit better.
I definitely felt weird yesterday. I mentioned that I couldn't describe it yesterday morning, and now 24 extra hours of studying it still doesn't reveal any better way than saying I just feel distracted by an invisible distraction now and then. It's a bit like feeling light headed, but nothing like it as well. Maybe light eyed could be a possible explanation. There's no dizzyness, no loss of balance, and my eyesight remains steady, but there is this strange sort of feeling that I want to look elsewhere. At least I think it is something like that. I expect it's the aliens/angels/gods/government/zombies (delete where needed) trying to contact me again. Maybe I ought to make one of those mind control proof tinfoil hats that are so popular with madmen, or others who have had a 'flu jab recently (which was probably a government micro-chip being fitted if we believe the conspiracy theory experts).
I spent a lot of yesterday morning laying on my bed. Sometimes I was reading, and sometimes I was just staring at the inside of my eyelids. I wasn't actually feeling bad, but neither was I feeling full of beans (although I was feeling full of naan bread and vegetable curry !). It must have been about 1:20pm when Jodie phone to find out if I still wanted to go for an afternoon beer. I did, but I'm not sure if Jodie did or didn't. She was suffering from something nice and easy to understand - a hangover. She said she could get the 13:41 train, and that arrives in Catford 9 minutes later at 13:50. So I arranged to meet her in The Catford Constitutional Club about 5 minutes after that, but actually met her at the station because I was running slightly early. I think I thought it would feel a bit of a slog to walk to the pub, but I seemed to be able to walk very easily.
On the way from the station to the pub I introduced Jodie to the Turkish supermarket. She was quite impressed with the selection of vegetables and fruit they stock, and was moderately impressed with the selection of beers and ales they stock. Even the strange foreign branded crisps and chocolates excited her ! After a while in the shop we walked to the pub, and found it rather less exciting. Like a fortnight ago it was full of kids, and the choice of beers failed to excite us. To make matters worse, one of the beers was revolting, and the kids were revolting too ! One group of five year old were just running wild playing hide and seek everywhere - including hiding in the toilets ! I think I'll be avoiding the place on Sunday afternoons in future.
Jodie never drinks cider, or at least she never used to, but apparently just does now when she has a hangover. So she had two halves of still cider, and I ended up having two whole halves of beer, and a mere sip of the revolting beer before we decided it was time to move on to the Wetherspoons pub. There are times when I don't like the 'spoons, but Sunday afternoon is not too terrible in there (and early Saturday morning is quite civilised). On the way between the pubs we passed by one of the bits of green in Catford, and it's the bit where for some unknown reason all the pigeons gather.
Among all the usual pigeon coloured pigeons was one brown pigeon. Of course the eye was drawn to the different one, and I noticed that the poor little thing had a damaged foot (as so many pigeons in London have), and it appeared to be shivering as if it had a fever. It's a bit sad, but there's little that can be done for it. In all probability it will heal well enough for it to go hobbling about like so many other pigeons I see in central London (and they still manage to perch under the canopy of Waterloo East station platforms, and crap on people !).
The Wetherspoons pub was very busy, but the service was still very quick. The downside is that there beer selection seemed to be very poor there too - particularly so when you consider they are in the middle of their latest international beer festival. I ended up just having two more pints of beer, while Jodie just had a single pint of cider before we left to go home. It was easier for Jodie to get the bus from there. It was only a short wait for her, but the bus takes 3 or 4 times as long to get back to Elmers End compared to the train.
It must have been almost 5pm when I got home, and the first thing I did was to get my left over curry heating up in the microwave. It was very nice, but I hadn't realised what a small portion it was - and the restaurant it came from is by far not the cheapest ! So I had some other stuff because I still felt peckish. While I ate I watched some TV. There was nothing wonderful on TV at that time, but a programme about British designed aircraft was quite interesting. When that finished I turned off the TV, and went up to my bedroom where I checked my email and stuff. There was nothing doing on the computer, and because of the clock changing it was pitch dark outside. So I went to bed - at 6.20pm !
I was asleep not long after 6.30pm (as far as I can guess), and I didn't wake for 5 hours. At that point I got up for 20 - 25 minutes, and then I was back in bed, and asleep again by midnight (I think). I have vague memories of waking a couple of times for a pee, but I slept right through until about 4.45am. I didn't think it worth trying to get back to sleep for 15 minutes, and so that is when I very slowly got up. After all that sleep you might think I would be feeling really refreshed, but I'm almost sure that if I had the opportunity I could possibly sleep for another hour or two.
I didn't feel too bad when I got up - apart from what I've decided to call "light eyedness". Since slightly increasing the dose of Bisoprolol, one of the drugs I take for blood pressure, I am starting to get a slightly painful stiffness in my right knee, and maybe some creakiness in my hands, but at this point in time I am unsure if it is the drug or some sort of long lasting legacy of the reaction I had to the 'flu jab (which was like having extra full strength 'flu for half a day). I didn't notice any pain from my knee when going to work today - which is still an improvement over when I was taking the higher does of Bisiprolol a month ago, but it was difficult, and painful trying to raise my right foot high enough to get it into my trousers after putting in the left foot first.
So I guess I have little to complain about this morning. I've had plenty of sleep, and while a few things are still creaky, nothing stands out as being significant compared to an average day these days, and it is possible that I actually feel better in some ways. I could even very grudgingly say that I liked the fact that the eastern sky was looking bright as I walked to the station, and that it was practically fully daylight as I waited for the train this morning.
It's not terribly apparent in this photo, but at 6.30 this morning the sky was looking quite blue - except for a few small pink coloured clouds. The old saying says that red sky in the morning is shepherds warning - suggesting it is going to be a bad day. That rather contradicts the weather forecast, although is possibly more accurate, and although there is still plenty of blue sky at this very minute, there are also rather more clouds in the sky than is good for a bright sunny day ! Anyhow, while the brighter morning was welcome, it won't stay like this for very long, and in the here and now it just sort of rubs it in that there will be very little daylight left when I get home from work. Sunset is shown to be at 16:44 today, and that is only 4 minutes after my train arrives back at Catford Bridge. I didn't realise it was that early ! It takes 6 minutes to walk home. So I am going to arrive home 2 minutes after sunset tonight. Now that is deeply depressing !
Yesterday stayed dry, and it stayed mild. With the sky seeming to stay semi-clear as darkness fell, and then presumed to stay that way for much of the night, it seemed like this morning would be rather chilly, but in fact it doesn't feel that way. The sky is very overcast this morning, and the temperature is a rather mild 14° C. Unfortunately the weather forecast says it will stay like this all day. The temperature could rise by one degree by early afternoon, but will soon fall again giving the unusual condition of the evening starting cooler than the morning. There are only two reasons for hope at the moment. The forecast suggests that we are currently experiencing the densest cloud of the day, and that later on it the day will be a lighter grey. Secondly, tomorrow is forecast to be bright and sunny, and it might even feel very slightly warm (17° C if we pray to the correct deities or demons).
I enjoyed a quiet night in last night, and I enjoyed a bit of an Indian takeaway too. I ordered the takeaway online, and for a change it was delivered before the estimated time. The only problem, if you can call it a problem, was that I realised that I was a lot less hungry than I imagined I would be. So I only ate a small part of what I had ordered, and saved the rest for today. Sometime later today, almost certainly after spending some time drinking beer, I can look forward to lamb bhuna with rice for dinner. Meanwhile, I've just enjoyed mixed vegetable curry on naan bread for breakfast !
Last night was the night the clocks changed from BST to GMT, and it was totally non traumatic thanks to modern technology. During the night my computers, my phones, and my wireless thermometers all changed over by themselves, and when I woke up this morning I just saw the corrected time. The effect of this change will only hit me tomorrow afternoon at work. It's going to feel like home time is an hour late, and ten of course will be the deep disappointment as daylight fades away soon after I get home home from work.
So in theory the clock changing should not have affected me yet, and in reality it has caused no effect, but I would love to blame a strange thing on this buggering about with time ! I slept fairly well as far as I can tell, or remember, and when I woke up at 4am (5am BST) I felt perfectly OK. I got up for a short while and felt perfectly normal, or maybe even a little better than usual for that time. It's probably very likely that the knowledge that I could go back to bed for more sleep elevated my mood and that elevated my physical feelings.
So after a while I got back into bed, and I was soon asleep. There was weak daylight visible through the curtains when I woke up, and I felt, and still feel rather different. I'm not sure how to explain it, but it's like I feel distracted by something that's not there. It's a sort of light headed feeling, but there is no dizziness or loss of balance that would probably go with the idea of being light headed. It's more like my eyes don't want to look at what I want to look at, and it's not even quite like that.
No matter how much I try, I just can't seem to be able to describe how it feels, but it is notable that the harder I try and analyse it, the more it recedes away from me. While I can't think of a way that comes anywhere near describing this feeling, I can offer a couple of explanations for the cause of it. One is the old cliché that it is the result of some sort of stroke, or other brain trauma, and that might be possible. Perhaps a tumour or parasitical worm suddenly grew in my brain. The theory that bends the rules of physics and biology beyond their breaking point, and is the theory that I personally subscribe to, is that my eyes are having trouble with the one hour time warp we have just been through, and are seeking out the hour of missed time to see what happened.
If all goes to plan I will have a good opportunity to bend and twist my vision this afternoon. The time hasn't been confirmed yet, but sometime this afternoon I should be meeting Jodie to do some beer tasting in the The Catford Constitutional Club initially, and probably in The London & Rye, the Catford Wetherspoons pub, as well. Before that I have at least one thing I have to do, and maybe one thing I could do if I felt too bored. The first is to get washed and dressed, and the second is to do a bit of laundry.
It didn't seem possible, but there was some sunshine yesterday. It was not terribly impressive, but it was there - and so was the rain. I don't think rain was expected yesterday, but even the 30 seconds of very light rain was still rain ! I'm not sure what the expected temperature was, nor am I sure what the actual temperature was, but maybe the two were about the same, and the overall feeling was that it was neither warm nor cold. Today is a lot different - today has seen some real extended periods of sunshine, and this afternoon has seen the sky almost perfectly blue on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately that is has not lead to any great rise in temperature. It is currently 15 or 16° C. I might have deluded myself about the amount of blue in the sky - I just noticed that the view out the back of the house is not quite as nice as the view out the front windows. It's nice, but not that nice !
The nasty reaction to the 'flu vaccine that laid me low on Thursday morning, left me feeling a bit off colour on Thursday afternoon, and was still detectable yesterday morning, was substantially over by yesterday afternoon, and yet I still didn't feel up to swinging from the chandeliers - or any other athletic pursuits. I think I must have imagined I felt a bit tender or something, and I didn't care to rush around on my way home from work - although I did find the energy to go home via Tesco.
It may well be that I tucked into more than I should have from the stuff I bought in Tesco, or maybe it was because I was still feeling genuinely a bit off colour after that 'flu jab, but I didn't feel like doing anything last night. There was a gig on that I would liked to have gone too, but it just seemed too much effort to even consider cleaning myself up, and getting dressed up to go out. Some of the blame, somewhere between 5 and 95%, must lie with the cold and relatively dark evenings. I was hardly doing all that well earlier in the year, but now the autumn and winters blues have kicked in, going out gets harder still.
So I stayed in feeling slightly peeved that I was missing out on what should have been a very enjoyable gig (and one that was basically easy to get to, and easy to get home from), but also even more peeved, if not actually annoyed, maybe even greatly annoyed (!) that I had eaten so much earlier so that I didn't have room for a tasty unhealthy takeaway of some kind in the later evening. Watching TV, even when it's stuff like QI is no substitute for a good gig, gallons of beer, and maybe a Chinese takeaway, but watch TV was what I did last night.
Oh, I can't tell a lie, there was a couple of glasses of whisky involved in last night as well, and they were probably responsible for one of my better night's sleep last night. I think I was asleep around 11pm, and although I would have liked to have slept until 8am, I regard 7am as a reasonable substitute (not including a couple of brief visits to the toilet in the night). Even that early did feel like a lie in compared to my usual 5am starts to the day, and it was quite early enough to get barely sufficient housework done to make the place look a little less like a slum when Aleemah visited this morning.
On my way to meet Aleemah at the station I spied this....
This picture shows a load of fly tipped rubbish that someone has selfishly dumped into a little piece of land next the railway where the turnstiles into the old Greyhound Stadium used to be. It is a place that is frequently used to dump stuff, but usually it is just one or two big items that are easy for the council to remove. While it is obviously wrong it is not normally unsightly, and certainly doesn't register on my rage-o-meter. However someone has been taking the piss and left a mess behind that will make difficulties for the more responsible dumpers in the future. I wouldn't be surprised to see CCTV overlooking the site sooner or later. However, this morning the white tape appeared across the front of the rubbish. It says Lewisham Council Environmental Enforcement. If my guess is right some council worker is going to slip on the rubber gloves and go searching through this stuff. Some of it seems to be business communications or accounts, and that is going to give a very big clue where it came from, and who is responsible for it. I think they are for the high jump !
After meeting Aleemah it was straight to the Wetherspoons pub for breakfast. While Aleemah had her usual coffee and vegetarian breakfast, I sampled the beers ! Wetherspoons are having their latest International Beer Festival now, and there were a few interesting beers to try.
I had a half pint of each of the three beers in the less-sharp-than-I-would-like pictures above. The middle one, Mermaid's Red was probably the most tasty, but at 5.7% it was not really a breakfast beer. The beer on the right, at a more reasonable 4.1% was closer to a breakfast beer. The "Reaper" beer had a far more subtle flavour than the words on the pump handle label seem to suggest, but it was quite drinkable. I hope to sample a few more beers from the festival tomorrow afternoon with Jodie (although we are actually meeting in The Catford Constitutional Club, and if the beer in there is good we may well stay in there).
I think that there might have been a gig I was thinking of going to tonight, but without checking, I can't remember who it was, or where it was. So it can't have been terribly important. It may have been Chain or Night Owl playing one of the pubs deep in the inaccessible countryside, and because I can't get there I've just sort of dismissed it from my brain.
I think I'm actually looking forward to staying in tonight, and maybe if I can be patient and not start eating too soon I might justify ordering a takeaway - if such a thing can ever be justified on anything except the most hedonistic terms - probably not, but what the hell !
There was some rain yesterday afternoon, but it was very light. Almost like mist. I'm not sure if the evening rain was any heavier, but this morning's puddles suggested that there had been some heavier rain at some point during the night. It was a relatively pleasant 14° C when I woke up this morning, and rather sadly it will only go a few degrees during the course of what is forecast to be a rather dull, and frequently wet day. It is possible that we will see a bit of sunshine today, and it is possible that the Earth will be obliterated by a comet today, but the chances of some sunshine are slightly higher. There is a far better chance of sunshine tomorrow. The weather forecasters seem quite optimistic about it !
Today I feel far better than yesterday - but that is not hard to do. At this time yesterday I felt really dreadful. This morning I feel moderately lousy, but evidently well enough, or insane enough, to come to work. On reflection, I think I have an even better excuse to feel like I want to be back in bed, than I have on countless other mornings. Although having said that, I don't think I was actually in bed at this time yesterday, although I did lay on my bed, with the heater going full blast, many, many times yesterday.
By mid afternoon I was feeling like I should be feeling OK again - except that I wasn't. My temporary 'flu, the unfortunate side effect of my 'flu vaccination on Tuesday night, was trying too hard to be the real thing. I could have done in far, far worse condition, but when I went to the corner shop towards the end of the afternoon, it was a less than pleasant experience. My leg muscles and joints felt really cranky - maybe not actually painful, but quite bad enough for it to be a relief to get home again, and to sit down. This was, and to some extent still is, the worst reaction to a 'flu jab I have ever had. I assume it's not the real thing because of today's improvement over yesterday, and yet.......
Getting to sleep last night was no trouble, and on the whole I slept well. Of course I woke up a couple of times for a pee, but there was no shivering, and no painfully stiff legs as I walked to the bathroom (where the window is still open, and it was probably only a degree or so less cold than the outside air). It almost felt like I was OK, but not having painfully stiff legs is not the same as not having stiff legs, and in the middle of the night I was not paying too much attention to how my arms felt. Now I've travelled to work I feel I can assess the situation more exactly, and yes I still have slightly sore legs and arms. Luckily I have just remembered that I have some Ibuprofen in my desk, and the couple of tablets I've just this second taken should calm down those inflamed muscles and joints - I hope !
Of course it is entirely possible that the margarine like substance, that I notice does not actually call itself margarine, that I used on my courgettes and baked potatoes recently, could be responsible for something bad happening to me. After all, it is a little after it's use by date I recently noticed !
It's not hard to see that the best before date was the 18th May 2013 ! I've kept it in the fridge since the day I bought it (obviously except when using it), and it looks, smells and tastes quite normal....and quite pleasant. I may not be the best judge of spreads/margarines considering I use so little of it, but the approx 350gms that I have eaten from this 500gm tub over the last 2 years (or more ?) have suggested to me that it is a tiny bit better than many other margarines, and quite a passable substitute for (according to some) artery clogging butter. Of course the pros and cons of butter and margarine depend on whether you read literature from the Butter Marketting Board or the Margarine Marketting Board - both of which are probably lying through their teeth !
It was back in September, the 11th of September to be precise (at least that was when I took the picture) that I showed this picture.
On that particular day there was a power cut at Catford Bridge station, and I couldn't tap in using my Oyster card. I took this picture, plus a couple of more general ones showing bits of the station in darkness, to show the ticket inspectors at Waterloo in case they didn't believe me that I had tried to touch in. In the event they didn't even blink an eyelid when I explained that I hadn't touched in, and just open the gates and waved me through. That is now old news, and there is more old news. It was no more than a day or two after taking this photo that the look of the Oyster card readers were changed at Catford Bridge by the addition of a few stickers. I have been meaning to take a comparison photo for ages, and this morning I finally did it. This is the same reader this morning....
This coming weekend is the last one this month, but unfortunately there will still be a lot of days left before pay day. That's bad or sad, or something, but a mere nothing compared with the more momentous change from BST to GMT that happens at 2am on Sunday morning (or is it 1am ? - not that it matters - I'll be fast asleep when it happens). This is a time of year I hate - the time when what is left of hardly any evening to start with is stolen from me. Next Monday morning there will be a little extra, but completely useless daylight as I travel to work, but it will be dark almost as soon as I get home. By the end of next week it will be dark when I get home from work, and as far as my brain and body is concerned the day will be completely over. Maybe it is a concept I ought to fully embrace in a twisted sort of way - if the day is over then there is no point eating any more until the next day. It would be a good trick if I could pull it off.........if !
This morning it felt like it was still night as I walked from the station to work. After a few minutes of walking I turned around and took a picture. The street lights seem to have gone off, and the sky is starting to look light, but the shop lighting, and headlights all say it's night time when every good animal, including humans, should still be curled up in their nests.
I had high hopes that yesterday would be bright and dry, but it rained as I waited for my train home at Waterloo East station. Maybe it was only the finest mist of a rain, that hardly even wet the lenses of my glasses, but it is the principle that counts ! The rest of yesterday was not all that bad, and if it had been a few degrees warmer it might have been nice from time to time. There was some rain during the night, at least I think there was, but so far today has been pleasant enough. There has been a bit of sunshine, and it hasn't been too cool. It's currently nearly 18° C - which is pretty fair for late October. In the last few minutes it has gone very grey outside, almost as if it might rain, but rain is not supposed to fall until after sunset - a whole hour after sunset maybe. It seems like there will be a lot more rain tomorrow - perhaps it was rain all day long !
One of the problems of getting a 'flu vaccination is that sometimes it can cause mild 'flu like symptoms for a while, and yesterday, after getting jabbed the night before, I did occasionally feel very mildly off colour. I thought that was a reaction to the 'flu jab, but I was wrong - maybe only substantially wrong rather than completely wrong, but in the grand scheme of things I could be classified as wrong - as I was to find out today !
I decided to experiment with a couple of courgettes for dinner yesterday. In this experiment I just topped and tailed them before part boiling, and mostly steaming then in a small amount of water in the microwave. I also left the skins on (which I hadn't realised were perfectly edible the last time I experimented with courgettes). When cooked, and then slathered with plenty of olive oil based margarine, grated strong cheddar, and plenty of ground white pepper, they were almost nice - although it was mostly the cheese and pepper that I could taste. As a way of making courgettes edible it was a successful experiment, but I'm not sure it was the best way to turn me into a courgette eater. I've had a suggestion that grilling courgette slices makes then quite nice, and the next time I feel in an experimental mood I will be trying that method.
I felt a little tired (and a little stuffed after a dinner that contained much more than two courgettes) by 8pm last night, and I was in bed not too long after that. I can't remember too well what happened next because it was all overshadowed by later events - a late, but full blown reaction to my 'flu jab. At 2 or 3 am I woke up needing a wee. As soon as I got out of bed I felt really, really cold, and started shivering so much I was almost convulsing.
It was a joy to get back into bed after doing the necessary (and turning the heater on), and pulling the duvet tightly around me. I was soon back asleep, but not for that long - maybe an hour ? I woke up and it felt like every joint, and every muscle was aching. My legs felt like they were on the point of going into cramp, or at least that's what if felt like, but I don't think they were now. So I tried to get out of bed to stretch my legs. I did manage to do so, but my legs were so stiff and aching that I could hardly walk on them.
Eventually I got back to sleep again, but of course I woke up at almost precisely 5am despite turning my alarm off earlier when it became obvious that I wouldn't be fit for work this morning. Once again I managed to fall asleep again, but I had to get up to phone work at 8am. I got up a little earlier than that, and walked around a bit. That loosened up many of the aching joints and muscles, but not completely. Even now, after spending many lazy hours, my legs, and to a lesser extent my arms, still feel sort of weak and mildly aching. I could probably restore them to normal with a couple of Ibuprofen tablets, but I don't think I need do that just yet - or at all. Assuming this is just a reaction to the vaccine, and previous experience strongly suggests it is, it should be completely over by tomorrow morning, and maybe as early as early evening today. Of course there is always the possibility that this is real bona fide 'flu, but it has improved so much in the last quarter of a day that it can't be real 'flu can it ????
Under normal circumstances I would be having some beers tonight, but these aren't normal circumstances ! As well as my short lived (hopefully !!) psuedo-flu, Chris is probably not drinking tonight, and I don't know where the other Thursday night guys will be drinking (although it probably will be in The Catford Constitutional Club). There is a band playing in The Catford Ram, but the last time I saw them play I was not over enthusiastic about them. I think that my best bet is to stay in tonight, and look forward to a pint for breakfast in the Wetherspoons pub on Saturday morning with Aleemah....although maybe there was a gig I was going to on Friday night. I had better look in to that in case it is something important.
Earlier today I touched up one of my old photographs to show it elsewhere. It is of my old pussy cat Schiba. He was a stray who elected to spend his last 3 or 4 years with me before he quietly passed away in someone's back garden - curled up like he was asleep, tucked away behind a flower bed. This picture was taken in 2001.
Most of yesterday wasn't bad, but it did rain on me on my way home from work, and the strong winds brought down a few trees here and there. On the plus side it was sometimes sunny, and if it wasn't actually warm, it was certainly very mild. Today has started rather cool, just 7 or 8° C, but the rising sun revealed a lovely blue sky. We can expect a lot of sunshine today, and that will help lift the temperature to a cool, but just acceptable 13 or 14° C. If you choose to believe the weather forecast, it will stay dry until 11pm tonight, when it will pour down ! Not that I care about that because I hope to have been fast asleep for 2 or more hours before that rain falls !
It was nice going home until the very last bit yesterday. I was dazzled by sunshine as I walked to Earlsfield station, and it was nice and sunny as my train took me to Waterloo. I could almost have got a sun tan as I waited for my next train from Waterloo East station. It looked wonderful as my train took me to Catford Bridge. From inside the train it looked like a bright summers day. When I got off the train at Catford Bridge I noticed a couple of dark clouds on the horizon, but it was still sunny and bright as I walked to the Turkish supermarket. After spending 5 or 10 minutes selecting and buying some stuff, I came out of the shop into pouring rain ! Well maybe "pouring" is a bit strong, but it was heavier than light rain.
It was tempting to start eating all the stuff I had bought as soon as I got indoors, but I had important stuff to do before I could have dinner. I did have a small cheese and tomato purée sandwich before washing my hair, and taking a shower to make myself "clean and beautiful" (!) before going out again to see my doctor. Before going out I had to take two final blood pressure readings. I expected both of them to be quite high - I had been rushing around, and going to the doctor always stresses me out - but the first reading, while high, was not as high as I feared, and the second reading, a minute or two later, was higher than by best, but not that untypical.
I did quite well at the surgery. The first bit didn't involve the doctor. It was business with reception ! Back in April my name, according to health service records had mysteriously changed from Bill to William, and I had tried a few times to get it changed back, but the wrong name seemed to stick. Yesterday I took along my birth certificate to prove my real name, and by luck I also got to talk to the intelligent receptionist. I think that this time it has worked !
When I finally got in to see my doctor, after a tedious wait of 25 minutes in the waiting room (I was 5 minutes early, and she was over running by 20 minutes) I presented my two weeks of self taken blood pressure readings to her. She seemed less concerned than I thought she would be. She pointed out that sometimes my blood pressure can be satisfactory, and on a few rare occasions it can be excellent, but that there was the very obvious difference between morning and evening readings. That's when I made my pitch for a compromise solution. My old dose of 10mg of Bisoprolol causes too many problems for me, and 5mg leaves my blood pressure a bit high, particularly in the morning. So I suggested that I could try taking one 3.75mg tablets in the morning, and another 12 hours later, to see if that would even things out a bit. The total dose, per day would be more than the 5mg I've tried for the last 4 weeks, but still less the the 10mg I was on before. To my surprise she readily agreed.
I think I could get to like this new doctor. I have a gut feeling that she may not be a very good doctor, and maybe that is why I can negotiate with her, but while I can negotiate after doing my own research about my drugs and diagnosis, I think I'll be happy to continue to see her. ("Happy" is, of course, a relative term that is used here in a way that does not apply to outside the medical world). The other thing my doctor did was to give me my yearly 'flu jab. I'm not so sure about her injecting skills though ! It was a lot more painful than many other injections I've had - and I had many while in hospital last year ! I do wonder if the amount of pain is down to the skill of the doctor/nurse or if it is down to pot luck as to what the needle finds under the skin. It's probably a mixture of both. All I know is that the usual pain as the needle first breaks the skin was slightly worse than usual, but not that bad. What was a shock was the second bit of pain when either the needle went through something denser, or when the vaccine was squirted into my body. There doesn't seem to be a bruise this morning, but even without pressing the area I can feel it is still a bit tender around where the needle went in.
As I walked home from the surgery I felt remarkably good. I guess it was joy and elation after surviving another visit to the doctor, but it partly expressed itself as a feeling of energy and alertness. It was the way I really want to feel if I were to go out in the evening. I could easily have jumped on a bus and faced a 40 minute ride to a gig feeling like I did as I walked home. Sadly the exact opposite is usually the true feeling when I've wanted to go out any evening of this year. It's a bit of shame that I can't capture last nights feeling more often because I almost didn't feel hungry when I got home.
Maybe under different circumstances I could have gone to bed after eating no more than a small snack, or even nothing at all, but the circumstances last night was that I had a loaf of the wonderful bread they sell in the Turkish supermarket, and I also had some strange sausages I was ultra curious to try. So I had a couple of thick slices of the bread with some soft Boursin cheese spread on it while I cooked those sausages. Unfortunately I overcooked the sausages. I left them unattended in the electric grill, and came back to a very foggy kitchen. In one way it was good because I had grilled out almost all the fat from these special sausages, but that did leave them a bit dry, and that would have spoiled the taste. Nevertheless, they were still quite tasty. I'm not sure what they were called (it was a Turkish name I think), but the ingredients said 98% beef with herbs and spices.
It was like my whole evening was time shifted by the trip to the doctors. I ended up staying up late watching two episodes of QI on Dave, and didn't get to bed until 10pm - and that is very late for me when there's work in the morning. Fortunately all the grit, lumps and bumps in the mattress and pillows that caused me so much trouble the night before seemed to have all but disappeared last night, and I was mostly comfortable when I got in bed. I didn't get to sleep as quickly as I would have liked, but it didn't take that long, and once I was asleep I slept quite well. The only disturbing thing was that I had a dream about football.....well not actually about the game, but about footballers. I cannot understand why, and I think I might have to undergo brain surgery, or strong psychiatric drugs if I ever dream anything like this again, but I seemed to be in charge of a small team of footballists. It was probably the worst nightmare I have had in years, if not my whole life !
Here's a good picture to show just how blue the sky was as I walked from the station to work. It also shows how low the sun is in the sky. The road is still almost dark, and yet the sunlight shining up from near the horizon is lighting up those vapour trails like laser beams. I had to tone down the photo for fear it would burn out your retinas if you saw it at at full brightness ! (or maybe the camera in my phone could not capture just how bright those vapour trails looked to the naked eye). If it hadn't felt rather chilly it might have been a very early summers morning.
Turning from the sky to the ground there is one of autumns signs in the city - leaves on the footpath. I nearly took this picture on my way home from work last night, but it wouldn't have looked as nice as this one (not that this one looks particularly nice). Earlsfield (Garret Lane to be exact) is in the London borough of Wandsworth, and the council is so backward that they get residents to put their rubbish out in plastic bags. More enlightened councils use wheelie bins. The trouble with plastic bags is that they get ripped open by animals, and in the special case of yesterday, ripped open and scattered by fierce winds. Yesterday, in roughly the same spot, there was about 50% leaves, and 50% litter, and it did not look very nice. This morning it was mostly just leaves, and I was careful to try and photo an area with hardly any rubbish in it, but there is still rubbish to see (particularly in the higher resolution, and un-cropped original photo). Of course the next stage after the autumn leaves is snow............
It was fairly pleasant yesterday, although maybe not quite as good as the day before. It was dry, there was some sunshine, and it wasn't cold (nor was it any better than knocking at the door of warm). Today sees the return of wet weather, but it may not be significantly cooler than yesterday. It was almost 14° C when I got up this morning, and it was raining. The rain stopped for long enough to get all the way here to work, but the sky was still completely covered with clouds, and it stayed almost night time dark right up until my train was approaching Earlsfield. Since arriving at work the clouds have parted leaving big patches of blue in the sky - and it has started raining again ! It is possible there could be some sunshine today, but wind and rain feature most prominently on the forecasts. The wind will be no more than an annoyance for the most part around here, but those up in the north east of the country may be getting a right battering !
I felt slightly strange when I got home from work yesterday. The journey home was the usual boring non event. So that didn't make me feel strange....well no more than usual. I guess I should point out that I was feeling mentally strange rather than physically strange, and that strangeness manifested itself in what I chose to eat for dinner. I had an urge to try some little noodle and rice pots that I had bought from the 99p shop. I didn't dare look what they had in them, but it was probably everything I should be avoiding.....or maybe not. Who knows ? They were very small, and I ate three of them. One was Thai inspired, and featured satay sauce. Another was black bean and chicken, and the third was something that I can't remember. I also can't remember which one was with rice instead of noodles, but in each case there was this sort of gloop to pour over the rice or noodles before nuking it in the microwave for 2 minutes. If you looked hard there was bits of something that might once have been part of a chicken in one or more of the three pots I had, and there were at least a couple of black beans, or parts of black beans in the chicken and black bean sauce pot.
I guess that dinner was tasty, but I don't think I could really recommend those 99p pots for anyone but those with the smallest stomachs who need a very quick fix of hot food at short notice. I felt the need for more than those three pots to complete my dinner, and in another rush of strangeness to the head I decided to have a bowl of oats topped with milled linseed with bit of gravel in it (otherwise known as seeds and dried berries) soaked in cold milk. It probably sounds like a breakfast dish, but it worked well enough for me as a sweet. Some say oats are good for you. Others say oats are good for horses. I don't think a mere mortal like me should have an opinion on oats.
I went to bed at just gone 8.30pm, and as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come, I couldn't help but thinking that sometimes life can be good - My crumbling sink unit has been fixed, the hot water tap on the bathroom washbasin is now as smooth as silk, and I had an interesting variety dinner. Of course those are the only good bits of life, the rest of it is pretty gritty most of the time, and in fact life turned out to be pretty gritty as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep. It was also very lumpy too. In fact I wondered if I had got back into the same bed that I had got out of in the morning. It was one of those nights where every lump and bump in the mattress or pillow, and every speck of grit feels to be ten times bigger than usual. Plus I was too hot or too cold.
I make it sound like it would be impossible to ever get to sleep in that state, and indeed that was what I was thinking when I fell asleep about 20 minutes after I had got into bed. Once I fell asleep I had nothing to complain about......well actually there are three things I could complain about. The first complaint would be about the dream that I have completely forgotten about. That would be the dream about the beautiful lady etc. etc. that I can't even remember dreaming !! A more tangible complaint is about my radio connected indoor/outdoor thermometer with clock and alarm clock. I never use the alarm on it, but since changing the batteries in it two days ago it has set itself to wake me up at exactly midnight, and I keep forgetting to turn the alarm off (mainly because it meanings consulting an almost unreadable pamphlet written in Chinese English !). I shouldn't complain about my proper alarm waking me up at 5am - it is deliberately set to do that, but usually I am awake before it goes off, and I can cancel it before it starting bleeping at me. This morning, if it hadn't gone off I would probably be late for work, but who cares ? Without that alarm I could still be sleeping now, and I would very much prefer to be doing that !
Apart from what is probably a bit of trapped wind, but could be an alien growing in me that will soon be ready to burst through my chest, I feel tolerably well this morning. I have been trying to take stock of how I feel on the lower dose of Bisoprolol I've been taking so that when I see my doctor tonight, I can tell her how wonderful it is to be on a lower dose. Well that's the theory. It's a shame that last weeks wet weather added or made worse a few aches and pains, but overall I do feel better. My feet, ankles and calves are less swollen, I have more energy, and occasionally more enthusiasm. The trouble is that all these things are relative - what does a bit better mean ?
One really perplexing thing is trying to decide if the feeling in the little and ring fingers of my left hand has changed over the last 6 months or more. I haven't mentioned those fingers on my left hand for ages, and I think I've just sort of got used to the fact that until I submit myself to some (probably) unpleasant medical tests, and probably surgery, it is never going to get better after the nerves were damaged during my heart surgery last year. Sometimes I think that there is a change, and maybe there has been one recently, but how do you explain in a way that anyone could possibly understand that the sort of, but not actually, painful tingly sensation to touch has changed to a sort, of but not really unpleasant, tickly sort of sensation ? Even I don't know what that means, and yet I think it has happened. If it really is a change, and it is a change for the better, then it may only be another 10 - 20 years before I have normal sensations from those two fingers.
Yesterday morning I decided to log a temperature profile for my day at work, and my journey home, using my new USB "toy".
After not much happening at Waterloo station for over a week there is still not much happening, but there is a little bit !
There is some writing on this thing that is not visible in the glare just under it's curved "roof". It says something to the effect of "Are you getting the best from your medicines ?". I haven't a clue what that means, or who was saying it, and what they were hoping to sell to the gullible.
Meanwhile....the sun has come out again, and there are lots of big fluffy white clouds drifting over a big blue sky. It looks rather nice from my office window, but I have a dirty suspicion that the reality is not that nice at all...and as I type this a big black cloud has replaced the small fluffy white clouds as they scud along.
Yesterday was quite pleasant. We seemed to be in the Goldilocks zone as far as the weather was concerned. It wasn't cold, and it wasn't warm, but somewhere between them. Sometimes the sun was out, and sometimes it was in. The only thing that wasn't half and half was the rain - there wasn't any ! Today is going to be a bit cooler, probably peaking as low as 16° C, but otherwise today should be similar to yesterday - except here in Earlsfield where the weather forecasters have decided it will rain at 4pm. Six miles away, as the crow flies, in Catford, it will stay dry as a bone until the early hours of tomorrow morning when the rain will fall in torrents ! My theory about the low pressure area that brought us the warm weather now bringing down cold air from the Arctic might still have been right, but it has been overtaken by the news that the tail end of hurricane or tropical storm Gonzalos will be passing the north of the England tomorrow, and that will bring strong wet winds then, and probably the day after too. Friday is rumoured to be a nice day though !
I had a nice lazy afternoon and evening yesterday. The only thing I did of any note was some washing up and cooking. I had eaten a fair bit of junk yesterday, and so I tried (but mostly failed) to cook something more wholesome for my evening meal. It ended up as a baked potato with some canned beef burrito filling poured on it. I am not sure how you are supposed to use the beef burrito filling in the real world because as far as I know a burrito is a sort of wrap, but there is no way you could fill a tortilla, or whatever, with the sloppy mess in the tin I opened last night. It wasn't all that nice either. The main flavour component was that very cheap and nasty spice - ground cumin - and rather a lot of it !
I didn't dare to look what else might have been in that burrito filling, but I feel sure it was the sort of stuff that is full of fats, sugars, and salts - basically all the sorts of stuff that should be avoided by the clean and healthy living - like I am (in my nightmares). Sometimes I do try though. A half hearted attempt at trying had avoiding topping up with any junk food, and instead having a sort of sweet of a couple of nice crispy conference pears - although I did completely ruin the effect by having a lump of cheese with them.
It would have been easy to stay up late last night, but I decided I just had to have one more go at being sensible, or healthy, or maybe I was just feeling a bit tired. Who knows ? But I did end up in bed before 9pm, and I think I might have fallen asleep before 9pm as well - but only just. I think I slept well for most of the night, but I was annoyed when I woke up from a dream that had lots of potential even if it was very weird potential. You see it involved this attractive you woman who was not actually a woman but an anatomically correct android programmed to give pleasure - at least that is what I seemed to think was the case in the dream, but I can't recall reading any specifications, or asking her/it if it was actually true. I guess it was just blind optimism really - just like real life, and just as disappointing !
I don't feel all that good this morning, but I have no idea why. Some of the usual aches and pains are, as usual, just above the threshold of detection, but are generally insignificant, and I don't think I detect any new pains, aches, throbbings, swelling, blood, pus, breaks, or other ailments. In theory I have nothing much to complain about, but I will anyway. It is my inalienable right as a grumpy old man to complain about anything I choose whether real or imagined, and today I imagine that I ought to be getting out of bed right now, and thinking of a nice full English breakfast instead of being here at work having a couple of Cox's apples for breakfast (with a couple of Cheddar stix).
This morning I thought I would try out my new toy. On the whole it is rather pointless - at least at the moment it is. If I try hard enough I could imagine it could record some useful stuff when the weather gets seriously cold. It is my new USB temperature logger. It works in the most cack-handed way, but it does work. Here is the result of recording at one minute intervals the temperature on my way to work.....
Yesterday was not perfect, but it was pretty good for a mid October day. A bit more sunshine would have been nice, but 21° C was supposed to be unusually warm for an Autumn day - or so our weather forecasters say. If I was in power I would decree that any less would be illegal....off with their heads and all that ! There may have been a splash of rain, as was forecast for the early hours up to sunrise this morning, but I was not really aware of it. Overall it has been quite a sunny day so far. Sometimes a big cloud drifts in front of the sun, but so far they have all passed by without raining - and it should stay that way. The next rain is not due until next Tuesday morning - maybe.... At the moment it is a quite comfortable feeling 18 or 19° C.
I was right to express doubt about whether I would go out last night. I probably should have expressed even more doubt because I probably knew that when it came down to it I didn't really want to go out............... Oops, I didn't mention any such thing. I guess I knew I wouldn't bother going out, and didn't bother to write about it ! What I did mention was that I might do a little bit of laundry - which I did - and that I might watch the latest Dr Who episode - and I did that too ! After watching Dr Who I started channel surfing, and I found a few things to watch. An episode (episode ?) of QI XL was one thing I watched, but for the life of me I can't remember what time I turned the TV off and went to bed.
It's more than a guess than a fact, but I don't think it was much past 11pm when I went to bed, and I think I probably fell asleep quite quickly. I also think I slept well, I recall a snippet of a dream that was about a pet horse. Well the mental label in my mind says horse, but it was remarkably small for a horse, and looked uncannily like a medium sized cat. The narrative said horse, and who am I to argue with my own brain even if this horse was cuddly like a cat (and I am pretty sure it had claws and not hooves).
Maybe it was another dream, but I am sure I had grand plans for this morning, and maybe even for the whole day. One of the keys to those plans was to not have any breakfast so I would feel all energetic and....and something ! Well it didn't take long to break that plan, and I soon had a smallish, but very satisfying breakfast in me. Although I didn't feel much like walking after that, I did seem to have the energy and will power to do a bit of assorted laundry. It was quite amazing just how sweaty I got doing that laundry, and it took a fair amount of time to dry myself out again. I blame the hot chilli sauce that I had with my breakfast !
Eventually I had cooled down a bit, and I decided that maybe I would go for a very short walk - to the 99p shop. There were a few things in there that it would be useful to have, and there is always other stuff in there that I can waste money on ! On the way there I had a brainwave. At least I think it was a brainwave. It could have been a stroke or something, perhaps it was an unusually strong cosmic ray ploughing a furrow through my brain, but I suddenly realised that despite mentioning it in my writing over the last 11 years, I have never shown a picture of the corner shop. So here it is !
At the moment it seems to be waiting for new signs to be put up. I can't remember what used to be there before, but it may have been something disreputable like The Sun, or maybe something that is sadly frowned up, or even illegal these days - like something sponsored by a tobacco company. It seems strange not to remember what was there before, but I guess it's like the best wallpaper - completely invisible a week or two after putting it up.
At the 99p shop I bought a couple of big smoked sausages. I'm not sure how much they would cost anywhere else, but I feel sure that 99p is a good price for them. It was only recently that I discovered that heating them for just one minute in the microwave transforms them from nice to delicious ! They are almost certainly packed with evil ingredients, fat, salt, nitrites, maybe even some meat, but they are so yummy that I like to keep a spare in the cupboard (they have a very long shelf life).
I also bought some packs of cheap and nasty face flannels. There are 6 of the little flimsy feeling things in the pack for 99p, and that makes them disposable without guilt if they should turn smelly with use - which sometimes happens in warm but damp weather. I also bought a spare bottle of rather delicious raspberry and cocoa shower gel. It really does smell edible, but I imagine it still tastes rather soapy !
Going to the 99p shop was possibly the last thing of note that I shall do today. Earlier on I wondered if I would end up drinking beer this afternoon, but on reflection I seem to recall Jodie saying that she was off to Finland (again !) for another gig. I really don't know has she does it. I can't even make it to Elmers End - just 9 minutes on the train - let alone Finland ! Oh well, back to Earlsfield tomorrow. It's not quite seeing the world, but it earns me some sort of living.
Did it or didn't it rain yesterday ? I can't remember if it did, and if that is the case then the answer is more likely that it didn't. I tend to remember rain ! While the morning was sunny, the afternoon turned duller and duller. It felt like nightfall took ten times as long, and started early in the afternoon. The daylight just slowly, slowly faded away, inch by inch, until it was completely dark outside. Even the streetlights didn't seem so bright as usual last night. The saving grace was that it was just about warm for a while when the temperature hit 19° C (it may have been even higher, but that was the best I saw). This morning started off fairly bright, and it was quite mild - maybe 15° C.
There was even some sunshine until mid morning when it became increasingly cloudy. Despite the cloud the temperature continued to rise, and it has definitely hit 20° C (and maybe 21° C). So far it has stayed dry, and should stay that way until at least midnight, but it will be raining for a few hours at sunrise. The rest of tomorrow should be dry, possibly bright, but the temperature is likely to peak at a cooler 18° C.
Yesterday was one of those odd days where time just seems to fly by. I was going to go to a gig last night, but what with it getting dark so early I seemed to lose all track of time, and I ended up eating too late, amongst other things. One thing I can't use as an excuse for ultimately not going out, is that I felt too tired. Well maybe I did feel a little tired, but it was more like inertia rather than sleepiness. I did do some laundry late in the afternoon, and I guess that sapped some of my energy.
So I stayed in, but I didn't go to bed early. On the contrary, I stayed up very late. I didn't mean to. It was another example of time passing faster than I thought it was. What I ended up doing was looking back at some of my blogs from years ago. One thing I noticed was that it must have been sometime around 2009 that these blogs started to become very verbose. It is actually boring to read more than a few days worth at a time because just like today's blog, nothing Earth shattering has actually happened - again !
I also realised that until 2010 I used to post very few pictures. Even now days go passed without any pictures, but I try and include at least a few of anything I have done that is different from getting up, going to work, coming home from work, having dinner, and then going back to bed ! The final thing I got out of it was some sort of rapidly fading idea that I really ought to try and get myself fit again so I can go out exploring. Even if the most frequent goal of some of my long walks was to get them done as quick as possible so I could go home again, I still enjoyed them, and I want to do more if I can - probably not in the winter, but maybe I could try and get some light practice in - if I tried very hard !
Today has seen nothing like practice for exercise for fitness, but a couple of things of note have happened. The first was that there were no trains to Catford Bridge today. That meant that Aleemah, who was visiting me today, had to get here by bus. She phoned at about the halfway point, and because the bus stop is near the pub I said I would meet her in the pub. She took longer to arrive than I expected, and that gave me time to get an extra pint of beer in for breakfast !
The second thing of note is, or should be cause for great celebration, or something. This afternoon I have finally fixed the tap in the wash basin in the bathroom. For the last year, or possibly longer, it has been almost impossible to fully shut off. I wanted to replace the entire mechanism to match that cold tap that I changed a good few years ago, but there was a problem. The screw that holds the perspex tap handle on was stuck solid, and every time I tried to undo it it just wrecked the slot on top of the screw even more. Eventually the perspex started to crack up with all the force I had to put on it.
Today I managed to break the perspex away, and get at the nut underneath. So I turned off the water into the water heater, and that tap started dripping. That wasn't good, but fortunately it stopped as soon as I turned the water back on. That was a huge relief because I have no idea what I could have done if it continued to drip. It was quite a fight undoing the old washbasin tap, and then it took several goes to get the new tap mechanism to work. I had forgotten I had to fit the "long reach adapter", and so the water would not stop when I first tried it. The amount of times I had to run up and down the stairs getting tools, turning the water on and off, left me completely shattered, but it was all worth it. As far as I can tell I have no leaks anywhere, and a smoothly operating hot tap. I can now put me feet up with the satisfaction of a job well done - except I chose to write this, but I will put my feet up soon.
I might do a bit more non essential laundry when I've rested for a bit, but I have no more plans for today - well none except that I will probably watch Dr Who if I remember it is on at the right time. Tomorrow I might go for a little walk if I feel good about the idea, and I might go for an afternoon drink if I feel good about that, but mostly I shall just make things up as I go along.
I'm not sure if it did really hit 18° C as we hoped for yesterday, but it definitely did feel almost warm. On top of that, it was nice and bright and sunny for a big portion of daylight hours, although by 4pm the sun was no more than a very bright hazy blob in the clouds. Those clouds got thicker and thicker until very late in the evening, when the day was almost over, there was at least one quite heavy downpour of rain. This morning the sky was clear again, and anyone who managed to sleep beyond sunrise would have been woken to bright sunshine. It feels pleasant again today....or has done. At the moment the sky has clouded over, and we have lost the sunshine, but it is still fairly bright outside. It is possible, but maybe not probable that it will rain later. My guess is that if it is going to rain it will be after again like last night. Tomorrow could be a degree warmer, perhaps 19° C, but it is forecast to be a lot duller, and there will be more daytime rain.
I felt quite resilient yesterday. I thought I had slept badly, but that didn't seem to translate into feeling fatigued all day, and I feel weirdly awake in the evening. Maybe the bright sunshine pouring in my small office window was responsible for extra energy. Of course most of these things are all in the mind - much of the time, but not all the time. Anyway, I felt reasonably OK going home from work - or as reasonable as wasting another hour of your life can be.
When I got home my priorities were to have some dinner and get that digesting before checking my blood pressure. Different doctors and nurses have different ideas about what blood pressure should be. Some like it as low as some mildly dead people have. I can't quite manage that, which would disappoint the cardiac rehabilitation nurse at Lewisham hospital, but I think my doctor will basically approve of the readings I am still getting while on half the previous dosage of bisprolol - she has already seen in my clinical notes just how high my blood pressure can get when unregulated ! With the wind in the right direction, and after doing some mildly cheating breathing exercises, and having a gut full of digesting food, I can just about meet the guidelines on one of the official medical websites (maybe the NHS website) - about 130/70.
The only trouble with eating a full sized dinner was that I felt rather sluggish afterwards, and it slowed me down a lot. I had intended to go out to The Catford Constitutional Club for a beer or two before going to The Catford Ram to see Bonnie & Clydes gig. It turned out that I left home so late that I just went straight to The Catford Ram. My timing turned out to be quite good in one sense - there was very little wait before the "band" struck up with their first song.
Bonnie & Clyde aka Frank Gypsy Rebel on guitar, and Jade Foreman on vocals.
The "band" - just two performers and a karaoke machine !
The performance was both good and bad. Frank is a good guitarist, and Jade can sing well, and the karaoke machine machine can do a good backing track, but no matter how it is dressed up it is still karaoke. I guess it was enjoyable enough, but it was not what I was expecting, and there were too many classic soul music songs. In isolation they would have been fine, but too many spoilt it a bit for me. Plus some of those soul classics were really meant to be sung by a smooth voiced man instead of a staccato women's voice - in my humble opinion.
It is very easy to criticise (and it is !) but there was only one time when I thought about leaving early, and that was more to do with a slightly worrying ache in my gut area (the toilet facilities in The Catford Ram can be highly variable !). Fortunately that went away when I stood up and moved around to take some photographs. It also coincided with a feeling of fatigue coming on, but that went away too, and I got my second wind.
I booked today off work so I could stay out late if I needed to last night, and I took full advantage of it in the end. I stayed to the end of the gig, and then a bit later still ! There were just three of us left in the pub when I walked out into the pouring rain at some unknown time after 11pm. I wasn't wobbly drunk, but all will power had left me, and I ended up getting a pile of fried chicken and chips on the way home. They were lovely, and warmed me up nicely when I got home and out of the pouring rain. I couldn't eat all I bought so I had enough for a decent late brunch today.
I went to bed sometime after midnight, and maybe it was getting close to 1am because I remember working out that I ought to get up as late as 9am to get a full 8 hours sleep. I fell asleep quickly enough, but I couldn't manage to sleep that late. I still wanted to get up at 5am as usual, and for an hour I did get up, but I went back to bed and slept rather intermittently until almost 10am - which felt delightfully decadent (although I wish I could have done it naturally instead of forcing myself to do it).
The first thing on my agenda was to do some shopping in Aldi. I did that, and bought quite a lot of stuff that was rather heavy to carry home. The next thing was to do some laundry, but although many hours have passed since getting back home with my shopping, I still haven't got around to doing that laundry. It is still on the agenda, and I hope I will get some done before I go out again. In theory I am going to another gig tonight.
The Bromley Bastards are playing their favourite punk covers in The William IV pub in Elmers End tonight. The pub is easy to get to, and easy to get home from - although not as easy as just a five minute walk round the corner like The Catford Ram is. To get to Elmers End I have to walk to the station, and then it's no more than 9 minutes on the train (once I get the train), and five minutes walk at the other end. Coming home is by bus from a bus stop a couple of minutes from the pub, and the bus, after about 20 minutes of boredom or sheer terror, drops me off at the end of my road.
With the transport that easy I ought to go, and there are other good reasons for doing so. One is the simple fact that the Bastards put on a good show, and there will be many people I know there - although many of them are what you might call "nodding acquaintances" rather than actual friends. The other good reason is that to be able to get out tonight would sort of vindicate my argument that the change in the dosage of my blood pressure drugs makes for a better life even if it is a shorter life from raised blood pressure - although my blood pressure still seems to be reasonably well controlled at this lower dose.
Whether I do go out tonight, or stay in, is something I will only find out at the time. There is no obligation on me to go so it's purely up to how I feel at the time. Maybe I'll feel too tired, or maybe it will be pouring with rain, or something entirely unpredictable will bias me to stay in. Maybe staying out so late last night is a big enough achievement for this week. Will I or won't I ? Stay tuned to this channel for the next thrilling episode from life inside my brain from Catford !
Yesterday turned out much as expected except that it was dry when I was going home from work. I can't recall any sunshine yesterday, although there may have been the odd minute of it that I have forgotten about, but it was dry and quasi-bright, and with a top temperature of 15° C in the afternoon, it was not cold. Soon after darkness fell it started to rain. As far as I was aware it was quite light rain, but the size of the puddles as I came to work suggest that there had been, at a minimum, quite a downpour in the early hours of the morning. This morning sees the all too brief change in the weather we have been looking forward to. Today started off at just 12° C, but at the moment we have some real genuine sunshine, and that could last long enough to push the temperature up to the dizzy heights of 18° C !
It's not only the sun that will push the temperature up. Sitting out over the Atlantic Ocean is a huge area of low pressure, and that, as tradition and physics demands, has winds circulating around it in am anti-clockwise direction. That low pressure will be passing to the north of the UK, and as it passes, the bottom of it is dragging air from the warmer south with it. It is that warmer air that is going to push the temperature up to 20° C, and possibly higher, in the next day or two.What no one is mentioning is what happens when that low pressure has passed the UK. My warped logic suggests that the top of the low pressure area will start dragging cold Arctic down, and blowing all over us !
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a picture of the low pressure area in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. I probably chose to steal the wrong picture because this one doesn't show the "swirleyness" around the area.The centre of it is heading north-east, and is predicted to pass over the top of Scotland. At the moment the lower part of it is pulling in high pressure air from Spain and other places where it is warm, and then it blows that warm air over us. The same must be happening at the top of it, and it must be dragging in cold air that will eventually be blown straight up our trouser legs. That air could be incredibly cold. Maybe even snowing cold. Maybe that's all in my imagination because no one has mentioned this idea.......yet !
It was raining, and I felt too tired to bother going out to the first open mic session at The Catford Constitutional Club last night. I have a feeling it was less than spectacular - a feeling reinforced by a plea put out for a spare guitar. I'm sure it is highly unusual for a venue to provide acoustic, or any other guitars at an open mic session. Guitars tend to be personal things that don't usually get shared around, but it appears that was the way it was going to be last night. I expect that if any musicians turned up they would have brought their own guitars.
So while I didn't go out last night, there is a better chance I'll go out tonight. If things go to plan it will be a couple of pints in The CCC, and then a wander around the corner to catch a bit of Bonnie & Clyde's gig in The Catford Ram. I don't think I'll be staying out late, or getting too drunk tonight, but you never know.....(actually it depends on whether my line manager gets too upset about asking for tomorrow off at very short notice - he prefers 7 days notice, as per the company handbook, instead of 7 hours notice !).
One of the reasons I felt too tired to go out was because I got a bit carried away constructing my dinner last night. It started off with a medium sized baked potato, and then I started adding stuff to it. It seemed to end up as a bigger dinner than I had anticipated. There is a tiny chance that the amount of calories and bad stuff in it was a bit less than it's physical size would suggest (said he, while clutching at straws). While that big lump sitting in my gut made me very disinclined to go anywhere, it did have a beneficial effect on my blood pressure. It wasn't the very lowest I have ever measured, but it was low enough that even that over enthusiastic cardiac rehabilitation nurse at Lewisham hospital might even grudgingly admit that it was satisfactory. Of course it is not a "real" reading because all the blood rushes to the gut to run the digestive process, and that leaves the limbs with a reduced, and hence low pressure blood supply - but they don't have to know that.
I could blame the chilli sauce I had on my dinner for feeling too hot in bed last night, but I didn't have that much chilli sauce, and it wasn't a very hot one either. Plus I have never known the effect to last practically all night. It was as if my bedroom was too warm, like on a summers day, but outside the duvet it felt quite chilly. Under the duvet it felt almost stifling, and the only way I could sleep was with half my body uncovered. It didn't make for a great nights sleep, and yet this morning I feel better than after what I have previously thought of as a good nights sleep. It is a bit perplexing as to why this should be so, but the answer is to embrace it without wondering why.
Just like there are many mornings (hundreds of them !!) where I just can't really explain why I feel so rough, this morning is the opposite. I can't explain why this morning I feel sort of good. It's just that nothing seems to be aching as bad as usual, and walking fast seems easier even if does require more effort - but I seem to have small reserves of energy to fuel that effort. It is sort of similar to how it feels after losing a bit of weight, but I am sure I have lost any - particularly after last night's dinner ! Maybe this feeling won't last long, and the more I think about it the more I am thinking about how wonderful it would be to go back to bed (and the more I think about that, the stronger the desire becomes !!).
There was every indication that yesterday would be a complete washout, but apart from the possibility that my train passed through a shower in the morning, I cannot recall seeing any more rain.....although maybe there was a light shower in the evening after it was dark. Another positive thing (although only just a teeny weeny bit over the dividing line into positive territory) was that yesterday was a sort of light grey rather than dark. There wasn't a single sign of the sun, but it was sort of almost bright in a non sunny sort of way ! Today seems to be over. It looks far darker outside now than when I walked from the station to work. It looks dark enough for a thunderstorm right now, and yet the probability of rain is forecast to be very low this morning. It's this afternoon that the odds of rain start climbing. There is a fair chance it will be raining as I go home from work, and it's almost a certainty that it will be pouring with rain at 8pm. On the plus side, today might reach 15° C, and that's probably a degree higher than yesterday, but it's only two degrees higher than it was when I got up this morning. I was hoping it could do better than that, and maybe it will tomorrow and the day after.
All the sleep I seemed to get the night before didn't seem to do me that much good yesterday. I still felt sleepy from time to time, although mild boredom may have been a significant factor. Other than that, I didn't feel too bad while I was at work. There were a few times when my right foot ached a bit, and it definitely did while I was on the train going home. The train was unusually full, and I had my foot at an odd angle to keep it out of others way. Apart from that, my journey home was quite satisfactory (it was, of course, quite boring, and has been for ages and ages - possibly since the universe started).
I came quite close to having another insanely early night last night, but I was saved by curiosity. I think I had finished dinner, and I was watching the TV news when a boring bit came on (most TV news is boring these days - why stretch a 1 minute news story out to 5 minutes - we want facts, and nothing but facts Mr Newsreader ! ). So I did some "channel surfing", which is not easy, nor is it so satisfying since TV went digital only, and I noticed that Channel 4 were showing an episode of The Simpsons that I was unfamiliar with. Fortunately there is a Channel 4+1 that repeats everything an hour later. So I watched as much of the local news as I could stand (I don't give a shit about backstage, or front stage, of The Lion King stage play - which probably has Ebola anyway), and then I went up to my bedroom to half prepare for bed.
Instead of actually going to bed, I plugged in my DVB-T USB dongle in my PC, and watched the repeat of The Simpsons shown on Channel 4+1. Some later research showed it to have been part of season 24, and I was sure I had seen all of season 24, but apparently not. While I was searching for stuff I found that the very latest episode of The Simpsons was available to download via various nefarious ways. It downloaded very quickly, and I watched that episode too before going to bed. Unlike the previous night, my right foot was very slightly aching before I got into bed, and once in bed, if I laid on my right side it became very uncomfortable.
Curiously enough, it was far less uncomfortable if I lay on my left side.....but that brings it's own problems. It is not painful to lay on my left side, but it can sometimes feel very weird. Sometimes it feel like half my chest has moved relative to the other half, and it does it with a sort of internal popping sensation that is completely painless. It just feels damn weird ! Although it has been checked (although not actually x-rayed), and would be impossible anyway, it still sometimes feels like my sternum, the flat bone that runs down the centre of the top of the chest, and was cut in two to reveal my heart when I had my bypass operation, has not knitted together properly. Whatever it really is, it started on the day when I carried at least 10kg of shopping back from the supermarket only a couple of weeks after getting out of hospital. The surgeon said I was to carry no more than 1kg for the first month or two, but that's ridiculous - a 2l bottle of diet cola weighs 2kg, and who ever just buys one at a time ? I bought three bottles, plus a weeks worth of food and other goodies !
I had to resort to taking a couple of paracetamol tablets to dull the pain from my right foot before I could fall asleep. Of course I'll never know if those tablets helped, or if I just fell asleep anyway. It's all a bit of a blur now. There have been times, most of them while I was on the full strength dosage of my blood pressure tablets, when I would wake up in the night more frequently that I thought I ought to. I wondered if it was sleep apnea, but I didn't seem to wake up gasping for breath, or anything like that, and so dismissed it as an idea. It definitely happened last night though - at least I think it did, but it might just have been a reaction to a nightmare. I was having a most strange dream. The relevant bit was where I was laying on my back on the belly of a stumpy legged green elephant who was eating far too many watermelons - at least that is how I seem to remember it. As I lay there the beasts stomach became so big that I began to be engulfed by it, and I had to fight my way out before the weight of it crushed me. At that point I woke up feeling just very slightly short of breath. I didn't feel I had to gasp for air, but it did feel like I had been walking just fast enough to start breathing hard. I feel certain that it must have been an episode of sleep apnea, and I am also wondering if someone had spiked my Paracetamol with LSD - that was a very weird dream, far weirder than my imagination can usually manage !
This morning I don't feel particularly great, and yet some bits of me seem to be working fairly well. It's a week until I see my doctor again, and I am doing another week of twice daily blood pressure readings for her. This morning I had one high reading, and a couple of minutes later, after some intense relaxation, I took another that was still a bit high, but really quite good for me in the morning. On the basis of that I may get a couple of good reading tonight. The only fly in the ointment might be that it could be raining when I get home. I'm not sure how that should effect my blood pressure. In general terms it shouldn't effect it at all, but if I am all cross and angry my blood pressure could easily go through the roof.
It is a shame about the rain because I was thinking about the possibility of going out for a bit tonight, but the rain could very easily put me off going out - particularly if I am caught in the rain coming home from work.. There is an open mic session at The Catford Constitutional Club tonight. It starts at 7pm, and I feel curious about it. It is going to be mostly acoustic, and there are no drums, but it could still be interesting. I can't stay out too late tonight, if I do go out, but maybe I could watch for an hour to see what it's all about. It's a shame that I don't think I know any musicians who are likely to be there.
Yesterday I said that I couldn't complain about the previous day's weather, but today I can - in spadefuls ! It was horrible, horrible, horrible ! It was grey and wet almost all day. It rained on me when I went to work, it rained through the day, and it rained on me when I went home from work (although the rain was so light to be ignorable at the very end of the journey from the station to home). I don't know if it rained through the night, but it probably did.
I took a screenshot of the Met Office's website showing the forecast for the Lewisham area today (which includes Catford), and is usually good enough to be right for Earlsfield as well. It doesn't look nice ! It was very soggy as I came to work, and although I think the train might have passed through a shower, it didn't actually rain while I was outside walking. It seems that it is going to be a cold grey day all day, and it could rain at any time - except at 11pm when the chances of rain drop below 5%. At least it gets warmer towards the end of the week, but only Thursday looks to have any chance of a bit of sunshine. Depressing !
I was not happy at work yesterday. There were two problems. The first was that I was a bit bored. I have just finished a fairly long task, and now I only have some little, rather uninteresting jobs to do. It is not easy, if it is even possible, to let your mind turn off when doing short boring tasks. For long tasks it is easy, and for the occasional interesting task it is not necessary. The other problem yesterday was that the chippies were in building a new work bench, and while doing so they had the door off the office open - AND - my heater was turned off because it was where they were working. It didn't feel so bad at first, but by lunchtime I was shivering. I did have a jumper with me, and I should have put it on a lot earlier, and I don't know why I didn't.
It was fairly unpleasant going home. I felt tired, weak, fatigued, and suffering from Malaria, Ebola, Beri Beri, and probably many more diseases than that, but most of all it was dull, grey and wet ! Actually walking to the station was not that terrible, and the other bits of walking at Waterloo and Catford, were also not that terrible, but sitting in damp clothes on a hot train was unpleasant, and it seemed soooooooooooooo boring !!!! I think it would be fairly accurate to say that I was not feeling like I was in a joyous mood when I arrived home.
The black mood I was in did influence my dinner choices a lot (never mind the snacks I also had). My actual dinner was a couple of fairly well grilled lean beefburgers (mostly OK), a small tin of sweetcorn (possibly not too terrible), a medium sized baked potato (rather high in carbohydrates, but otherwise not too bad), and a very generous portion of grated cheddar over the baked potato (instant killer, sky high cholesterol, and other terrible stuff - you know it's terrible because it tastes so nice!). It was warm and filling, and that was what I was after more than anything.
After I had eaten dinner I watched the TV until the end of the national news, but I just couldn't be bothered to watch the local news. So I went up to my bedroom where I first checked my email, and a couple of web pages. That took all of ten minutes, and after that I felt bored. So I brushed my teeth and went to bed. It was cold, dark and wet outside, and bed seemed the obvious place to be even if it was only about 6.50pm ! I couldn't get to sleep at first because my right foot had decided it was going to start aching as soon as I laid down. It was fine until then, but when laying down it felt really uncomfortable.
Eventually I found some sort of position that calmed my foot down, and was still comfortable to sleep in. I can't be certain, but I think it must have been around 7.30pm when I fell asleep. I woke up at least three or four times in the night, but usually only very briefly, and essentially I slept right through to 4.30am. I tried to go back to sleep for the last 30 minutes, but I couldn't. In theory I had slept for quite enough time, but that didn't stop me yawning while sitting on the toilet soon after, or even on the train coming to work (and having mentioned yawning I can feel one coming on even now !).
I had some pretty vivid, and rather inventive dreams during the night. As usual, most of them have evaporated from my mind, but bits of one stick out. I dreamed that I was visiting my friend Ivor who I haven't seen in real life since he visited me in hospital last year. It's difficult to describe his trade because it has, or had many strands, but one of those strands was a printer, and once upon a time he had some impressive printing equipment to play with. In the dream he was showing me a book he had printed. It was his autobiography, and much of it was more like a photo album....and some of those printed photos were rather special - they moved ! Using a very clever printing process (that doesn't actually exist) he managed to print short movies into his book. It would be worth a fortune if it could be done for real (on real paper, and not in an e-book).
Looking out of my office window it is looking like today may be one tiny shade of grey lighter than yesterday. That makes things a tiny, tiny bit better. What is a lot better is that the door is closed, and my heater is on. I don't think I am even going to need to put my jumper on today - well not while I am in my office. I might need it in other parts of the building. I still haven't got any exciting work to do, and most of the people who would seek to see me working are out today. So I could almost put my feet up if it wasn't such a boring thing to do. Maybe I am going to have to use my initiative to find something exciting to do ! Oh well, only just over 6 hours to go now until I make tracks for home.
Am I going to do anything exciting at home tonight ? I suspect the answer may be no. After my dinner, which will be "Hong Kong noodles" I'll watch as much of the news as I can stand, and then I could be tempted to go straight to bed - although I can't imagine I could sleep for so long again for a second time - but maybe I could ! It does seem very natural to curl up in bed once it is dark, and sunset is at 18:09 tonight. That's incredibly early, and with the sky so cloudy it will seem dark long before that. The more I think about it the more attractive it seems to be in bed, isolated from the cold, dark, and wet night. Ideally I wouldn't get up until spring !
I can't complain too much about yesterday's weather (although for completeness I would like to). Most of the day was dry and bright. It was only as evening started that some rain inconvenienced me as I walked home from the pub. It may not have been warm, but it wasn't cold. Today is different. Here's an artists impression of today.......
Apart from a brief half hearted respite when the clocks change to GMT next weekend (or the one after that), I'll be going to work in the dark until next spring is almost over, but it was not the dark, or the temperature (12° C) that pissed me off this morning, and will be pissing me off all day and at least some of tomorrow. It was the rain. There is an awful lot of it falling out of a dark gloomy sky, and while there may be a few brief respites from it, it is going to be falling all day. The temperature is hardly going to budge all day. If we are lucky we might see 15° C for a short time, but 13 or 14° C is going to be more typical.
An article in this morning's free paper, The Metro, says that we will be in for a sort of treat soon. In compensation for a few cold, miserable, rainy days (today and tomorrow, and if we are unlucky, the day after that as well) we will be getting a mini heat wave. For as long as a whole week we could see mid afternoon temperature rising to 20° C again, but I don't think the article was very clear about whether this very comfortable temperature will be accompanied by any nice bright sunshine. Without the sunshine it just isn't going to feel that warm. For instance, this morning it feels like 3° C instead of 12° C - except in certain railway carriages where it feels like being in a steamy sauna !
Last night I speculated about the possibility of being asleep in bed before 8pm, and I think I managed it. I was going to do a bit of reading when I got into bed, but once I was in bed I just couldn't be bothered to pick up a heavy book or magazine. So I turned out the light, and before I could finish debating with myself about the almost impossibility of falling asleep so early, I was fast asleep ! I was in bed for a long time, and almost all that time I was asleep. I'm not sure if that means I slept well or not. I tend to imagine that if I seem to have been dreaming a lot then I probably had some sort of disturbed sleep, and I certainly seem to recall having many dreams. I even remember a few bits of them. Perhaps the disturbance in my sleep that allowed me to remember dreaming was nothing more than the couple of times I woke up needing a pee (I'm surprised it didn't happen more after drinking lots of beer in the afternoon).
One dream that I remember some elements of was very science fiction orientated - which is fairly unusual for me - I think. I dreamed that I was either on the Moon, or on Mars, and some sort of alien bug had been discovered. It was dangerous, and we all had to evacuate the habitat we were living in. Getting out of it seemed very complex, but I can't quite remember how or why. Once out on the surface we (I ?) headed for our spaceship - which bore an uncanny resemblance to a white transit van ! I had just about cleared the bundles of newspapers on the front passenger seat (apparently ready for distribution to shops and newspaper sellers - why ?) when I noticed a twinkle in my eye. It was like a silvery flower shape that obscured a small percentage of my vision. This was a sign I had been infected by the alien nasty. It saved a lot of unpleasantness to wake up at that point, and go for a pee ! Another dream that I tried to remember involved one of my old cats. Maybe it was Ben who used to live in my mums house, but the details of that dream seem to have evaporated so much that there is nothing left to describe now.
After a restful(ish) weekend, and what should have been a lot of sleep last night, I should have woken up feeling wonderful this morning, but I didn't, and I still don't feel terribly wonderful. Some of my joints seem to ache a lot in this cold damp weather, and even my right foot feels sore in a way that is hard to describe. For some reason that I cannot fathom, my right index finger sometimes seems sore as well. The most peculiar thing about that finger is that it isn't tender, and all the joints seem to work smoothly. There is nothing I can do to provoke any pain in it. All I can do is to try and forget about it, and if I manage to do that I sometime become aware that it is hurting.......but it stops as soon as I try to investigate it. Maybe it is the alien infection I caught on Mars in my dream !
It will be nice when the working day is over. I don't think today is going to be a very exciting day, and the greyness outside my office window is not filling me with joy at the moment. I fear it will be like that all day. At least when I am home I can draw the curtains and pretend the outside world does not exist. Then I can tuck into another hot baked potato - maybe with cheese, maybe with beans, or maybe with something else entirely. Once I've had dinner I can...........I have no idea at all. The best thing would be to try and sleep through the evening, and then through the night so I don't get too bored. On the other hand, maybe something exciting will reveal itself before tedium sets in.
Yesterday's weather was rather complicated. It was often bright and sunny, but it also rained now and then. The temperature was probably about what we might expect at the time of the year - not exactly cold, but not warm either. Maybe it was around 16° C. In some ways today has been like yesterday. It was mostly dry, and there were a lot of sunny intervals - some long, and some very short - until about 5pm when it started to rain, and it's still raining now. It seems that the rain will continue on and off through the night, and through a lot of tomorrow too ! Like yesterday, it is not quite cold, and not quite warm again.
It took a lot of willpower to force myself to do it, but a few hours after Aleemah went home I managed to get started doing some laundry. I did seem to have quite a lot to choose from - more than I had realised. I ended up washing 4 shirts, and two small(ish) towels - large hand towels I guess. That seemed enough to get on with for one afternoon. I have to confess I didn't do much more for the rest of the afternoon, or in the evening.
In the evening I had this bee in my bonnet about getting a takeaway - just like I did on Friday night, but last night I actually ordered it. I chose a chicken shish kebab on the twisted idea that it is sort of healthy - as grilled lean meat and salad should be, or would be if the salad was not overdressed with oil, and too much oil was not used to baste the grilling meat - which it was. To make matters worse, I had to pad the order out to qualify for free delivery.
I tried a shop that I didn't think I had tried before, but it turns out I had used it once before. I can't recall id that other order was as bad as the one I had last night - which was bad in a couple of ways. Most annoying was the estimated delivery time. It's only revealed once the order has been processed, and last night it was estimated to be over an hour. In reality it was half an hour more than that ! It was intensely annoying, but there was worse.
After waiting all that time I found I didn't really like what I ordered, and I had almost given up feeling hungry. There was nothing specifically wrong with the kebabs, but they just did not seem as enjoyable as those bought elsewhere, and by the time they arrived they were cooling off - which didn't help the flavour. Finally, because it arrived so late it gave less time for it to settle down in my stomach, and I didn't feel comfortable when I went to bed.
It must have been almost midnight when I went to sleep last night, and then for some stupid reason I woke up at 4am feeling like it was time to get up. I felt so awake that I did get up for a an hour or so before I became overcome with sense, and went back to bed again. I didn't feel like I slept much after that, but quite a lot of time seemed to go by without me realising it. Eventually I was up and dressed in time to go out and buy some shopping from Aldi.
When I came back from shopping I decided to do a little more laundry before having what was probably brunch. I washed two more shirts, a t-shirt, and some underwear. Once that was hanging up to dry I reheated the spare bit of last night's takeaway, and had chicken and chips.....and when I say chips I mean about 6 of them (I had eaten most of them last night !). Finally I could lay down and rest......but only for a bit.
I had a snooze, and was woken up by Jodie who had phoned me to ask what time we were going to meet for a quiet afternoon pint in The Catford Constitutional Club. We settled on 3pm, but it was a less quiet pint than I would have liked. I don't know what was going on, but it was like a mothers creche in the pub. I had to fight my way past 6 stinking prams, and there were kids running amok everywhere in there. It took 0.00002% more than zero persuasion to get Jodie to agree to wander down to the Wetherspoons pub at 4pm to see how bad it was there. The ambience in there was not wonderful, but it was considerably better, and we had another pint in there before we left, Jodi got the bus to Lewisham where she was getting a train up to London for a gig, and I walked home in the rain. Yes, by then it was raining. It would never have happened if the CCC had been civilised this afternoon !
My post boozing dinner was a baked potato with cheese and baked beans. The baked potatoes was the result of one of those brainstorms I sometimes get when shopping. It was completely out of the blue, with no obvious trigger for it, that this "message" suddenly appeared in my brain. It said that it was ages since I last had a baked potato, and wouldn't it be a good idea to buy some baking potatoes...and I did, and I had one tonight ! It was very nice too !
In theory it is still early (my clock now says 7pm), but it is dark outside, and it feels a lot like bedtime to me. I could force myself to stay up watching some TV, but I rather like the idea of reading in bed, and if I should fall asleep well before 8pm, then so much the better ! When I consider how much cash is in my current account, and how much month there is left, it sometimes feels like the more of the month I sleep through the better it will be. Maybe next month I will have to be sensible about the amount I put in my saving account. I think I overdid it again this month !
There was plenty of potential for yesterday to have been horrible. The weather forecast painted a picture that was not pleasant. Fortunately it was all wrong ! There was some rain in the morning, when it was supposed to be dry, but there wasn't much of it. The afternoon, when it was supposed to be very wet and soggy turned out to be mostly bright and shiny. It wasn't warm, but neither was it chilly when, for what could have been the last time this year, I went home from work in just shirtsleeves - short shirtsleeves !
This was the view from platform A at Waterloo East station on my way home from work yesterday. In the distance is The Shard, and Guys Hospital, but more significant is the amount of blue sky. There is some blue sky this morning, but not much of it - blink and you'll miss it. This morning has been quite wet, but if the forecast is correct it will dry up soon, the sun will come out, and then the first part of the afternoon will be.....wet and rainy again ! The temperature now is 12° C, and with luck it will manage to rise to about 15° C by late afternoon. It's not much, but it could be worse !
My invisible ebola/hangover settled down by mid morning, maybe earlier, but by mid afternoon I began to feel a sort of tiredness come over me. Even worse than that was my feet began to swell. At least I think they did. My shoes, of which one of them felt slightly uncomfortable when I was going to work, began to feel uncomfortable in a completely different sort of way. It was almost as if they were too small for me - which would have been the case if my feet had swollen. The trouble was that they couldn't get any bigger than the inside of the shoes, and so when I took off my shoes at home, my feet did not really look swollen. Then with the weight off them they had no reason to swell.....or something.
It is entirely possible that if I had loosened off the laces a bit, my feet would have felt a bit less cramped, or squeezed, but I didn't, and endured an uncomfortable journey home. As I was travelling I had grand ideas about buying some tasty food from Tesco. I'm not sure why, but I wanted something exciting, extra tasty, maybe even something like junk food designed to appeal to the senses instead of being real food. Anyway, with my feet feeling uncomfortable I decided I would prefer to go straight home, and not bother with Tesco.
My next plan was to order a takeaway. That would satisfy my hunger and lust for "naughty" food. That didn't happen either. What I did have was far simpler. If you ignore condiments, including chilli sauce, there were only three ingredients. The first was a couple of packets of Hula Hoops. The second was a pack of cooked, smoked Polish sausages. I ate rather too many of them for what was supposed to just be a little snack to keep me going until I had ordered, and had a takeaway delivered. So they became a main ingredient to what turned into dinner. The third ingredient, if the first two were not bad enough, was a packet of salted peanuts !
It would be easy to blame that junk like food for what ails me this morning, but I know it started with my tight shoes before I had eaten anything. I ended up going to bed moderately late last night, and then I couldn't get to sleep until 11pm (or was it later than that ?). When I finally did get to sleep I seemed to sleep quite well, but I recall having lots of dreams - but not the actual dreams themselves. I think I ended up getting sufficient sleep, and maybe just a little more than usual.
When I first got out of bed I nearly fell over. My feet, and my left foot in particular, seemed very sore, and my ankles and knees didn't want to flex properly. I did notice that my knees felt a bit stiff, although not enough to be painful as I made my way home from work yesterday. I'm guessing some of it is caused by the damp weather. It seemed to be affecting my fingers too when I first got up. Little more than 10 minutes after getting out of bed I was almost back to normal, but I can still feel some vague stiffness even now after doing a bit of light housework, having a hot shower, and washing my hair.
It won't be long now until I go out to meet Aleemah at the station, and that will be a good test of how my walking bits are working. Luckily the first stop will be the lubrication shop - the Wetherspoons pub. I'm sure a pint (and usually only one single pint) will help somehow. Later on, after Aleemah has gone home, I will face bigger tests. I still haven't done any laundry, and I think I am going to have to force myself to wash a few shirts this afternoon. After that I can just vegetate for the rest of the day !
There is no getting away from the fact that yesterday was very wet ! There were odd moments when the sun broke through the clouds, but that was overshadowed by the torrential rain at lunch time, and the rain that fell on me as I made my way back to Catford after work. It didn't pass too close to here, but some of the rain storms were thundery. There were several peals of thunder from a few miles away during the afternoon. I never did get to see what the temperature actually reached yesterday, but I estimate it might have been no more than 15° C, and in the damp that felt cold !
Today has started off all blue skies and brightness (once the sun managed to creak and groan it's way above the horizon). I was running a bit late this morning, and the sun was only rising as my train left Waterloo station. It can't be long before it is still dark when I get to work - although the clocks change to GMT in a couple of week, and that means a bit of useless extra light in the morning, and no light in the evening at all ! Grrrrr !!!!! Anyway, the day has started clear and rather cool, and half of that changes at lunchtime when the rain will start, and ruin the rest of the afternoon. It will warm up, or more accurately, it will be less cold this afternoon, but it will not amount to much - 15 or 16° C at the very best, but even 14° C would not be surprising. Tomorrow may be less wet....maybe.
It was not pleasant going home in the rain yesterday, but just like cars are reported to run better on damp days (or used to before engines were run by computers), I seemed to be running better too as I walked to the station from work. Well I wasn't actually running, that would be highly unlikely for anything more than a few tens of yards if I had a hungry velociraptor on my tail, but it felt strangely easy to keep up a good pace. Getting out the rain was a good inducement to keep up the pace, but I am sure it didn't actually make it easier than usual. The same could be said about looking forward to a beer and some music in the evening - except after a day at work that seemed tiring, I wasn't looking forward to the evening that much at all.
As my train travelled towards Waterloo I was thinking it would be a struggle to get myself out again after I got home. I was really looking forward to some hot food, and putting my feet up, or even going to bed. I was about half way between Waterloo and Waterloo East stations when a message came through on my phone to say the gig had been cancelled.On another occasion that could have been disappointing, but last night it simplified matters. Instead of going home, and then struggling to go out later in the evening, I went straight to The Catford Constitutional Club where I was very soon joined by Chris, Dave and Alan (and a bit later, Andy).
The CCC had it's usual mixture of good, excellent, and indifferent beers on, and I think I tried them all. One in particular was rather good. It's called Jaipur, and is a specially brewed India Pale Ale (IPA). It's 6%, which is strong, and once you get over the initial shock to the system, perhaps after the first half pint, it slips down most easily !! I have to admit I was a little drunk when I left the venue. Not so drunk that I didn't feel the cold and damp when went out, but maybe drunk enough to decide that some nice hot cod and chips would help me feel better on several levels.
I think I was probably walking fairly fast as I walked home, but I wanted to go faster still. It wasn't raining then, and possibly hadn't rained for a few hours, although it did train quite heavily sometime after I got home. I just couldn't wait to get home and tuck into my dinner. All I had eaten all day until then was a single apple, and a too large block of cheese with it. So I feel I was probably justified in feeling starving ! So I got home as fast as I could, ate my cod and chips, and went straight up to bed - stopping only to turn on my PC to check my email and stuff.
I wouldn't swear to it, but I think I was in bed, and possibly fast asleep before 9pm, but maybe not that much before then. I don't think I can describe as a good sleep last night. I woke up once or twice with my legs almost going into cramp. If I recall correctly it was the right leg first, and the second time it was my left leg. I seemed to get a lot of sleep, but I recall having loads of dreams even if can only remember a tiny snapshot of two. I have no idea what order these dreams came in, but one concerned some sort of bizzare status symbol between African men. It seems for some reason they judge their worth by how many USB ports they had, and the single thing I can remember from that dream was this horrendous great monstrosity of interconnected USB hubs, and this man gloating about how wonderful it was ! The other bit of dream was of my sister coming home from somewhere, and me having to clear a pile of parcels and mail from behind the front door so she could come in. I'm unsure why I thought it was my sister because I don't think I recall seeing any more than a blurred outline of her through the frosted glass in the front door.
I woke up this morning curiously free of any discomfort - that happened after I got out of bed ! I think I may have invisible Ebola disease with invisible blood oozing out of invisible orifices. Either that or I have a hangover. The damp has definitely made my knees and ankles feel a bit stiff, but without any more than the first hints of pain (both my ankles and knees remain far better since reducing the dose of Bisoprolol, and, as far as I know, without significantly increasing my blood pressure). The main problem this morning is that I feel rather sluggish. I just couldn't find the mental energy to put more physical energy into walking as fast as I would like to. I should look at that in a positive light, but I can't be bothered to. The positive aspects were that walking at the pace I did, as I came to work, put far less stress on all sorts of bits of me, and it hardly took any longer than usual, but that is not good enough. I didn't go as fast as I wanted, and that's depressing....and I guess it always will be until I learn to walk at at least 70mph !
Tonight I think I can look forward to a nice lazy evening. There's no point trying to fight having to use any heaters now. So it's going to be a nice warm lazy evening.............although there are a few things that I really should do tonight. I still haven't managed to get any laundry done, and I probably ought to wash a few shirts tonight. It would probably make sense to do some other housework tonight. Aleemah is visiting tomorrow, and I could either do some tidying, maybe even hoovering, tonight or in a rush tomorrow morning. Ahh, what's the point making plans like this for tonight when I'll just end up doing whatever I do whenever I do it, whenever I feel like doing it - on the spur of the moment. No, even though it's only a few hours since I got out of it, the one thing I can look forward to tonight is getting back into my nice warm bed again.
Nearly forgot - Waterloo concourse this morning - a new stand - Plan ( a global children's charity apparently).
There was one torrential downpour at around 1.30pm yesterday, and many smaller showers in the morning. Then the sun came out ! From about 3pm it was rather nice. At 16 or 17° C it wasn't really warm, but it was very comfortable for anything but relaxing or sleeping. The later it got the more the sky cleared, and this morning the sky was almost perfectly clear. What is surprising is that the temperature only dropped to 10° C at 5am this morning. Maybe it continued to drop because sunrise was still a couple of hours away at that point. There is the chance of passing showers today, but much of the day will be sunny, and it may be a degree warmer than yesterday. If, as I am hoping for, it is bright and sunny when I leave work to go home I shall be most pleased. It seems like there is a good chance that tomorrow may be similar to today, and if that happens, and maybe it is a big if, it will be rather nice.
Just to give some idea about how nice it was as I was going home from work yesterday, I took this picture through the "less than optically clear" (!!!!) train windows. As well as the soft focus effect given by the train windows, it shows patches of blue sky, and in the distance, Battersea Power station's iconic chimneys. Work has now started to turn the old shell of the power station into homes, shops and offices. It only took something like 30 years to get around to doing it. The shell of the building, including, and perhaps particularly the chimneys are listed, and can't be changed. For some reason the chimneys have to be taken down and re-erected. Presumably they are structurally unsound, but the snail like speed of taking the first one down (looking like a broken tooth in the picture) suggests they are not that unsound, and are fighting the demolition team all the way. The new chimneys are being built to the original architects plans, and should look identical but "better" (somehow).
My stomach was still feeling a bit odd when I got home yesterday, and that should have meant that I would be highly selective in what I ate for dinner, but dinner turned out to be rather strange. I started off with probably the worst thing possible - three bean salad with added hot chilli sauce. I have to admit that the next bit was a little weird ! I had bacon with stuffed vine leaves. It was possibly one of the strangest combinations ever, and I have to confess it didn't really work. The two things did not compliment each other. Fortunately they did not violently clash together either. I think I was just following some inner instinct when I chose the components of my dinner, and maybe I am glad I did because I seem to feel much better this morning.
Out of all the things I wanted to do last night I managed to do most of them. I washed my hair, wrote two emails, and was in bed before 9pm. In fact I think I might have been asleep before 9pm, and I slept very well if judged on the amount of times I woke up - I can only remember waking once in the night if you ignore waking up nearly an hour early, and then being unable to get back to sleep for longer than a couple of 10 minute naps. It felt almost weird to wake up feeling relatively good for a change. I couldn't in all honesty say that nothing hurt, or ached, or creaked, or groaned, but nothing stood out as being particularly decrepit and decayed.
So I set off to work in relative comfort apart from a growing realisation that one foot felt like I had a small smooth pebble in it's shoe. That was annoying, but the big bright moon was rather nice - and not only for me. Before I left for work I could hear a couple of foxes making use of the big round moon for their foxy business. They were doing it in a nearby garden, and their shrieks must have woken up the whole neighbourhood ! It is a most unearthly sound. Meanwhile the moon followed me all the way to work. Sunrise was roughly when I got to Waterloo station, and it was just about fully light when I got to Earlsfield - and yet the moon still loked big and bright in the sky.
All the details have been lost in this picture, but the small white disk to the right of the cell phone tower, about halfway between the top structure of the tower, and the roof of the building, is the moon. To the naked eye it looked brighter than this picture shows, and of course you could see all the craters and stuff. If it is visible tonight I must try and remember to take a picture of it in close up using a proper camera.
Tonight is entertainment night ! I've already drawn some drinking vouchers from my rather worryingly diminishing bank account, and my hair is washed and clean. So I am all set for a night of drunken debauchery and some fine music..........sadly, in reality, I can't stay out too late, or get too drunk, and I'm not even sure I will like the band I will be seeing tonight. They are called The Dirty Perks, and will be performing in The Catford Ram. I have a feeling that they perform mostly original material rather than covers. If they can bring a lot of fans with them then they should do alright, but it's not so good for the merely curious. Perhaps the fairly short visit that I am planning to make will turn out to be a good idea if they don't really grab my attention.
It seemed to stay bright until the sun set last night, and there was no obvious signs that the weather was deteriorating overnight, but as the forecast warned us, this morning started out dull and wet. Well maybe the dull was obvious considering that sunrise is now happening when I am already half way to work, but even now I am at work, it is a dull leaden grey outside. Unfortunately it is forecast to stay this way, with frequent rain showers, all day. The only small positive thing is that it will be a little bit less cool than yesterday. The forecast says it should reach 17° C. That's not exactly warm even if it is comfortable, but it is no compensation for grey skies and rain.
I wondered how I would feel in the morning when I went to bed last night. My guts still felt slightly tender, although they didn't actually ache, or gurgle, or indicate any other unpleasantness, when I got into bed. So they didn't interfere with my sleep in any way, and on the whole I slept quite well. I think I came close to getting my 8 hours beauty sleep, although maybe 7 hours is closer to reality. That should mean that I feel as bright as a daisy (pin ? a thing that is bright ???) this morning, and if I don't think about it too much it does carry a hint of truth.
I think my guts would be feeling a bit better if I hadn't managed to choke and gag on toothpaste as I was brushing my teeth this morning. Quite why a dribble of diluted toothpaste running into the back of my throat should cause me to gag is anyone's guess, but it did, and if I had recently eaten there is a chance that I might have vomited. Instead I just dry retched, and added to the strains of my stomach muscles. Everything else about my stomach and lower digestive system seems to be close to normal again, and so I am back at work today where there is still a sign on the toilet saying not in use even though it looks very much finished to my eyes !
It's been quite a wait, but the concourse of Waterloo station has new residents today. As I passed through there I spotted East Village London showing off their whatever it is they are showing off. They do have a website, but I just can't be bothered to look at it.
There is stuff that I should do when I get home from work. I still haven't washed a couple of shirts from last week, and now it's the season to be back in long sleeve shirts, that need a bit more effort to wash, I probably should catch up with my laundry tonight, but there is something even more important than that. I have no idea why I didn't do it yesterday when I had so much time on my hands, and when I had the heater on so it was nice and warm, but I completely neglected/forgot to wash my hair. I last washed it last Saturday morning, and it was feeling yucky yesterday. This morning it is fairly unpleasant. I think washing my hair must be a priority tonight - particularly because I am going to a gig tomorrow night (or at least a bit of a gig - I will try not to let myself stay out too late when I have to get up early in the morning).
On the whole (and for more reasons than just the weather), yesterday was a pretty horrible day. It was cold and grey with occasional showers. As far as I can recall there was only one brighter, but not actually sunny period, and that happened just as my train pulled into Catford Bridge station on the way home from work (what a wonderful place sunny Catford is !). While yesterday was bad, this morning was even worse. At 5am there wasn't just a shower, but quite heavy rain ! Maybe that thick blanket of cloud helped keep the temperature up to 10° C, but it was far from warm ! By 8am it had stopped raining, and maybe it wasn't too long after that that the sun appeared in the sky. Most of today has turned out to be bright and sunny, but the thermometer has barely registered anything better than 15° C (maybe it might have reached 16° C when I wasn't looking).
The weather, as it turns from late summer into mid autumn, is quite schizophrenic at the moment. Today looked nice, and ended up just mild enough to be almost nice. Tomorrow it lurches two different ways - according to the weather forecast. It's going to be a lot, lot wetter - like autumn often is - and it is going to be several degrees warmer than it was today like autumn usually isn't ! As we soak in the pouring rain we could enjoy 17° C - so in my rain coat, the one that claims to "breathe" to stop the build up of sweat, but doesn't in even the most fevered imagination, I am probably going to be as wet inside the coat as it is outside as I rush around commuting !
Yesterday was a most unpleasant day. On Sunday I had felt constipated, and yesterday I wasn't ! I thought everything had settled down before I went to work, but I wasn't 100% comfortable when I got to work, and mid morning it al kicked off again. At any other time it would have been a slight inconvenience, but the toilets at work are being refurbished, and are out of use. We had to use the toilets downstairs, and not only is it an annoyance to have to go up and down the stairs, but they are unpleasantly smelly as well (and not just from me using them !).
I don't know what it was that afflicted me exactly. It was a bit more than the usual "runs" because it left my belly feeling quite tender, and it still feels a bit odd today - although it is far better behaved today. This morning it gave me some conflicting messages, and with the prospect of having to run up and down stairs again, I took the easy way out, and called in sick for the day.
I may have felt better if I had stuck to my original plans yesterday. I decided that I would not only get some nice crunchy conference pears from the Turkish supermarket, but also get some of their wonderful bread. The idea was that I would have a very simple dinner of dry bread and cheese, but it got more complex than that. I had originally meant to have sprouts cooked with diced skinless chicken, and I decided to cook that anyway, and see how I felt about eating it.
The main reason for still going ahead with cooking it was that the chicken had been in the fridge for a while, and I knew it had to be used soon. I was wrong - it had to be used last week ! When I opened the pack it was a bit smelly. Under different circumstances I might have chanced it, but last night I gave it to the first fox, cat, or slug that found it in the back garden ! I still cooked the sprouts, and the smell of them was really quite sprouty ! (or horrible !). While looking in the fridge I realised I also had a ready made salad in there, and I didn't want to let that go past it's use by date. So as well as some bread and cheese, I also filled my face with a lightly dressed cheese salad.
After dinner I watched some of the TV news, and checked my blood pressure. It was a little higher than at the same time for the last few days of last week, but a bit lower than the Monday of last week. The TV news was either boring, or annoying, and before it was over I turned off the TV and went up to my bedroom. Originally I was going to wash a couple of shirts, but with a recently filled sore stomach I didn't fancy bending over the bath. Plus I was feeling quite tired. I ended up going to bed at about 7.30pm. By 8:15pm I was fast asleep, and on the whole I slept quite well all night.
As I have already mentioned, I got some mixed messages from my guts this morning, and decided I didn't want to mess around with the downstairs toilets at work. (They are actually communal toilets for the many smaller businesses that are on the ground floor - we use the entire top floor of the two floor building, and have our own toilets up there). So I've been home all day, and I have done very little ! I've spent quite a lot of time laying on my bed, with the heater on, either reading or snoozing. This afternoon I went out and did some shopping in Aldi. It was nice and quiet in there, and maybe that helped me make more rational decisions about what to buy. Much of what I bought was just on the right side of the healthy/unhealthy divide (although some was right on the divider !).
A few items were not foodstuffs - stuff like tissues, whisky, batteries and light bulbs. It seems, if I read the price label correctly, that the price of LED light bulbs has dropped since I bought my first one as an experiment. Today I bought two of them. The trouble is, when I got them home I couldn't think where I was going to use them. I've ended up putting one in the table lamp by my PC - where it shines on the ceiling, and not on the keyboard where it would be more useful ! LED light bulbs seem to be far better than compact florescent lights, and I have a feeling they will last a lot longer than the rather short life of some CFLs (particularly the early ones). Some LED lights, like the two I bought today, can be used with dimmer switches - unlike florescents. I might re-instate the dimmer switch in my living some time.
Yesterday was the first day since summer that I have felt too cool indoors. It wasn't terrible, but it was a sure fire indicator that it will soon be time to bring out the heaters again - maybe even tonight ! To my surprise it wasn't an extra cold morning this morning - not that it wasn't ordinary cold ! My thermometer was saying 9.9° C when I got up. That made for a chilly visit to the toilet when I got out of bed. It will soon be time to close the bathroom window overnight, and not long until it will stay closed for most of the winter, and into the start of next spring. To compensate for all this there was a very colourful start to today.
I took the above picture when I first stepped outside to walk to the station. I was running half an hour late this morning, and had I left at the usual time it would still have been dark - and dark until my train had reached Waterloo (and maybe even beyond there). This picture doesn't represent how glorious the sunrise was a little bit later. The camera has made everything look a lot lighter. The sky should look a lot closer to black, and the eastern horizon was more a coppery sort of colour rather than pinkish. I think it was as my train was in the New Cross area that the spectacle reached it's peak. The sun was not high enough to be seen above the visual horizon, but a good quarter of the sky looked like it was ablaze with glowing reds, pinks and oranges. It looked wonderful, but sadly it was probably the last bit of colour we will see today.
The forecast for today is grey, grey, grey, and more grey. The temperature will fluctuate between 11 and 12° C all day, and there could be frequent showers. It's a milder version of what is happening up north, Cumbria for instance. I gather they will get a bit more rain, and will be a degree cooler, but will have gale force winds just to make their day worse (or spectacular if you like that sort of thing).
I lost track of how much I ate yesterday. I have a feeling that in quantity it was almost moderate, but I know that a lot of it was stodge....well maybe not stodge exactly, but stuff like the Singapore rice I had that was stuffed with carbohydrates that I could have done without. I was feeling a bit bloated last night, but I suspect that was more to do with the temporary constipation I was suffering from. I wasn't feeling so bad that it would affect my sleep. Other things did that quite well.
I was not comfortable when I went to bed last night. It was 8.20pm when I got into bed, and I was going to read for a bit, but decided to try and go straight to sleep instead. At least I tried to, but it was one of those all too frequent occasions when I felt too hot under the duvet. At other times I would just leave myself half uncovered, but last night it felt particularly cold outside the duvet. Quite how it is possible to have freezing cold feet while your legs feel mildly sticky with a thin film of sweat where they touch each other, is a mystery to me. So I thrashed around, experimented with leaving odd bits of me outside the duvet, and by about 9:15pm my eyelids were drooping, and I was just slipping into sleep.
Then the phone rang ! Many people got called all sorts of nasty names as I reached for the phone, but none deserved those names because it was my sister calling. I wondered who had died, but it turned out that she was just checking that I hadn't died recently. We had a half hour chat while the last bits of sleepiness drained out of me. After the call I laid back down and felt completely and utterly wide awake. That was almost an illusion because I did eventually fall asleep, but it was way, way past the time for any hope of getting enough beauty sleep.
The really stupid thing is that I woke up 20 minutes early......and also 4 hours early, two and a half hours early, two hours early, and an hour early too, but at 20 minutes it wasn't worth trying to get back to sleep again. Besides, I needed the toilet, and this time it was for more than a wee. I can happily say that my constipation is over. In fact it was dangerously close to being too over ! The toilets are being refurbished here at work, and we have to use the ones downstairs. For a while I was wondering if I shouldn't even try and come to work, but my guts seemed to settle down in time to get the late train.
After my lack of sleep last night, I think it's going to feel a bit tedious here at work. I can imagine falling asleep at my PC many times today. So it will be nice to get home today, and then I think there are two things I want to try and do. The first is the usual fantasy of trying to eat no more than half a cabbage leaf for dinner. I doesn't take a genius to know it will be a lot more than that, but if I am in a good and settled mood, it could be something as simple as skinless diced chicken and sprouts partly steamed with chicken stock. There is a sort of loony reason to think that could happen. I did manage to convince myself to have just two Pink Lady apples for breakfast........with cheese, unfortunately.
The other obvious thing is to try and get to sleep at a sensible time tonight (maybe as early as 8pm if I can manage it). One other thing comes to mind that I will do before all that. I hope I will be buying some nice crunchy conference pears from the Turkish supermarket on the way home. It's odd - within reason, I love hard/crunchy green conference pears, but I just cannot abide hard green apples - the type that are supposed to be good for you (or so some sadists would try and convince us).
The end of yesterday afternoon, and then into the evening was not as bad as it might have been. It was definitely rather cool, but as far as I was aware it had stopped raining, and the sky looked a bit clearer. Of course that meant the temperature dropped a lot overnight, and today started off in single figures. I think I noticed a shivery 7° C on the thermometer this morning, and although it has been quite a sunny day, the temperature didn't really get much above the 12° C it is now. By the end of the month we will surely be seeing the first frosts !
I lost track of time yesterday afternoon. I know that I started writing here at 15:34pm, and it would typically have taken me about an hour to write. After writing here I laid on my bed and started reading, but I read very little before deciding to rest my eyes. The next thing I know was that it had gone 18:30pm. It seems I slept like I was unconscious for at least an hour, and possibly closer to 90 minutes.
I wasn't exactly starving when I woke up, but I fancied getting a Chinese takeaway. There is much that is very wrong with Chinese fast food - it's usually got too many calories, too much salt, too much oil, and quite often, too much sugar in it - but it is one type of meal that is excellent for saving, and reheating the next day. So I ordered more than I needed, and when it was finally delivered I sat down to a feast......and didn't have one !
Maybe it was some sort of guilt, or maybe I was suddenly overtaken by a whiff of sense, or maybe I just decided that I wasn't really hungry at all. So I utilised that other great thing about Chinese fast food - you can pick out the tastiest bits, and leave the rest, and that is what I did. What I did have had all the bad stuff, but just not much of it, and had the best bits - the flavour ! At the end I still had plenty left for a medium sized meal for today.
I wasn't sure if it was the day out and all the fresh air that made me feel tired, or if it was what I ate, but I did feel very tired at the end of the day. The only trouble was that it was not sleepy tired. Igot into bed expecting to fall asleep instantly, but nothing happened, and nothing kept happening until gone midnight ! At 4am I woke up feeling like 4 hours sleep had been enough. That was stupid, but I couldn't seem to fight it. So I half got up, and pottered around a bit. I read some stuff on the internet, and other stuff until I tried to go back to bed. I did get to sleep again, and maybe added another 2 hours to my total for the night.
I've felt sort of strange today, and I don't know how to describe it. I've felt both alert and sleepy, and I've felt bored and too busy at the same time. Two things I have actually done were two lots of hand laundry. I did some t-shirts and underpants this morning, and it felt like hard work. Later this afternoon I did some work shirts. I've still got a few very unessential things to do, and maybe I'll be in the right frame of mind to do them after work tomorrow.
I can't really account for the rest of the day. It is like nothing has happened, but not happened quite fast. Perhaps if it hadn't been bright and sunny outside I would have this nagging idea that I've sort of wasted a day. Two things made the idea of going out today not terribly attractive. One was the fact that while it looked very nice from indoors, it was actually unpleasantly cold out doors. That deception made it seem worse than it really was. The other little detail can best be described as constipation. I haven't "been" at all today, and it does feel a little tiny bit uncomfortable.......
My intention is to go to bed nice and early tonight. I just hope I can get to sleep properly. I think I would be aiming for lights out at 8pm, but that sounds ridiculously early. Maybe I'll aim to be fast asleep by 9pm. I think that sounds more reasonable. The sooner I can get to sleep the sooner the next enjoyable bit of life will come along, and that will be days away - next Thursday to be precise - booze night !!! Until then the only thing to look forward to will be finishing work every day. It's no wonder that some of my evening meals can be rather extended. They can be a second source of enjoyment.
The last day of summer was very pleasant. Of course yesterday wasn't officially the last day of summer, but the gloomy forecast for later days made it feel that way. It was mildly warm, dry and sunny. Some say the temperature reached a good few degrees above 20° C in some parts. During the night the temperature was supposed to drop quite sharply, and this morning I expected it to be cold and wet. In fact it was very mild all morning, and there was a fair bit of wonderful sunshine. By midday, or thereabouts, it was all change. The sun went in, the sky changed from blue to grey, and the first rain fell. The temperature right now is just a tad over 12° C, and that is four degrees cooler than it was earlier this morning. It's time to batten down the hatches, and retire under the duvet until spring !
Yesterday afternoon - blue skies and fluffy white clouds.
One of my aims for last night was to curb my enthusiasm for eating. I didn't want to go out this morning farting, and continually looking for toilets. Unfortunately I came home via Tesco, and bought all sorts of exciting things. I ended up overdosing on Tesco hot flavoured chicken thighs, and that was really playing with fire ! There was other stuff I ate as well, and I felt really rather full for a while. It did have one beneficial effect. All the blood rushed to my stomach to deal with the overload, and my blood pressure went down to the lowest it has been since my heart was stopped for surgery !
Earlier on I felt quite tired, and the weight of the chicken in my stomach should have made me feel even more tired, but when I attempted to go to sleep early, I found I wasn't sleepy at all. So I read for a while, and then finally got to sleep sometime closer to 10pm. On the whole I slept quite well, but despite it being a completely different time to when I get up for work I still suffered that common fate of waking up half an hour or more before I wanted to wake up. I had a half hearted attempt to get another 30 - 40 minutes sleep, but after 5 or 10 minutes I gave up, and got up.
This morning was a sort of exciting morning. It was the day to go to The Star Trek convention at The Excell Arena in docklands. It was also time to see my friend Ruby, who I only see about once or twice a year, and who bought me the ticket. Under normal circumstances I would have little interest in going to a Star Trek convention. On this occasion I thought it would be a good chance to see a Star Trek convention - wasn't going to take part in the convention, but to observe it.
Getting there should have been easy, and it was, but not in the original way I thought I would get there. My instinct was to go the most direct route. That would have avoided going into travelcard zone 1, and would have saved a few pennies. Unfortunately there were some engineering works on The Docklands Light Railway which stopped me taking the route I wanted to take. I ended up going up to London Bridge, and then getting the Jubilee Line to Canning Town. From there I could get the Docklands Light Railway to Royal Albert station where I was meeting Ruby.
I feel sure that route was actually the more sensible route, Maybe I was lucky with connections, but it was a lot faster than I had anticipated. The reason for going to Royal Albert station was to meet Ruby at her hotel. Sadly she had twisted her ankle the night before, and could not move very fast. Instead of going directly to the venue we went via a Boots where she bought a folding waking stick to make walking easier.
The convention itself was something like I expected, but maybe worse. It came as no real surprise that virtually everything there was designed to extract as much money from the fans as possible - and that was on top of a fairly hefty ticket price ! I felt no inclination at all to investigate buying any souvenirs, but many people did. Many people dressed in Star Trek style clothing, and some of them looked really good - obviously a few didn't !
There was a fair size area set aside for uniforms and props, and in this area was one of the most interesting items (to me). It was Gene Roddenbury's computer or word processor. He was the man who "invented" Star Trek, and to my great annoyance there was no information at all about this exhibit beyond a small label saying something like "Gene Roddenbury artifacts".
This rather fuzzy mobile phone camera picture shows people queuing up for autographs from many members of the casts of various Star Trek series. I'm unsure, but I think this "service" cost extra money too.
These were free - I know because we sat in on a few minutes of these lectures and/or Q&A sessions. In this picture the guy on the left of the three small figures up on the stage is someone who provided scientific expertise to the writes. The guy on the right is some sort of set designer or something. Heaven knows who the compère in the middle was. This session was probably interesting to the more hard core fans, and maybe there were others from some of the leading actors who may have been interesting to more mainstream fans.
If you got bored you could always volunteer to be insulted by a ham actor pretending to be a Klingon. This service was free as far as I am aware, but those Klingons were so over the top and annoying that they deserved a kick in the nuts (probably provoking instant death in return, but oh so satisfying !).
If Ruby wasn't in pain, and if we were both a bit more interested in being better (read nuttier) fans we could stay a lot longer than we did. For some it was an all day event. We lasted little more than an hour before we went out to find a pub. There was a vague idea that we might go into the convention again, but I had seen enough, and I think Ruby was in too much discomfort to walk around a lot longer. So we had a couple of beers. Discussed when we would probably meet again (next May), and then headed home again (or in Ruby's case, back to her hotel).
When we had originally entered the convention it was bright, sunny and still feeling war, or if not warm, then very mild. When we came out it was raining, and the temperature was dropping. I did have coat in my bag, but I declined to put it on until I was back in Catford where it was raining fairly hard. Once again I had a remarkably fast journey retracing my steps - DLR to Canning Town station - change to Jubilee Line to London Bridge - then London Bridge to Catford Bridge.
I have to confess it was nice to get home again - partly to get out of the rain, and partly to get some breakfast. Two pints of Spitfire Ale makes a good substitute for a meal for a short period of time, but ultimately makes you feel even hungrier. I had a few little things when I got home, but one thing was notable because it turned out really well despite it saying it shouldn't be cooked in a microwave oven. It was cod in breadcrumbs with extra stuff including some sort of cheese, and maybe some herbs, spices and maybe even nuts. It cooked beautifully, and tasted very nice.
Tonight I could go to a gig, but time is getting on and I am feeling rather tired now. On top of that it is cold and wet outside. It is still possible that I will get to the gig, and it is also possible the world might end tomorrow.......
Yesterday was probably sunnier than expected, but I don't think it got much warmer than the forecast of 18° C. It was pleasant without being exciting - a sort of bland pleasantness ! It was still perfectly comfortable to do a fairly rapid walk from the pub with no coat on, and wearing a short sleeved shirt at getting on for 10pm. It did get quite cool later on in the night, and this morning started off at only 14° C. The reason for the extra drop in temperature was a clear sky. Now the sun has risen properly, it looks rather nice outside. I can't see anything but blue sky from my office window, and the forecast says today should stay sunny until at least late afternoon. That may drive the temperature up to 21° C if we are very lucky. So it's a fitting end to an extended summer. Tomorrow all hell lets loose, or so we are told. It will be cold, dark and wet until next spring (possibly).
A slightly fuzzy view, perhaps caused by condensation on the lens, of the eastern horizon as I walked to the station this morning. The time was about 6:15am, or roughly 45 minutes before sunrise, but the clear sky is not blocking the first hint of light from the rising sun.
Last night was rather good on many levels. I felt better than expected when I left work to go home. I wasn't exactly feeling energetic, but I seemed to be able to move faster with less physical stress than I expected. I'm not sure why that should be unless by some quirk of biochemistry and physics, I haven't failed as much as I thought I had when trying to moderate my food intake. I thought it was just wishful thinking when I thought that maybe my trouser belt was a little looser than usual. It is possible that if I keep up this eating pattern I will be able to comfortably get into my old trousers in another 17 years.
Once I got back to Catford I headed straight for The Catford Constitutional Club. I found Jodie had got there first, and she was drinking lager (a continental one whose name is unspellable, and almost unpronounceable). She said that none of the ales looked that good to her, but I found a couple that were pleasant enough, and later on a new beer became available. It was an organic brew from a Liverpool brewery, and named after the hops they used - Styrian. (That link should go directly to a page about the beer, but the picture of the pump label doesn't seem to show in my web browser for some reason).
Soon after 5pm all the usual suspects turned up - Chris, Dave, Alan, Andy and Paul - and we had a jolly good drink. I was still thinking that I shouldn't get too drunk, nor should I stay out too late last night, but as the clock ticked on, and the beer flowed, it became apparent that we all (except for Jodie who left a fair bit earlier) we curious about the band who were due to play in The Catford Ram. So a little after 8pm we all got up and walked round the corner to see what the band looked like, and eventually to hear how they played. They looked like this -
The Scorchers, for that was their name, were a three piece playing a variety of covers ranging from classic 1960s soul music to 1980s punk with other stuff thrown in for good measure. I feel I would have to describe them as very competent, but rather unexciting. Maybe I wasn't there long enough for their personality to come over or something. One of the last songs I saw them cover was The Clash's "London Calling". They played it note perfect, but it lacked fire. Out of the three, I would say the drummer was best. He was tight but loose, and seemed to be enjoying himself more.
I'm not sure what time it was when I left the pub, but I don't think it was any later than 9.30pm. Fortunately the band had started playing fairly early, and so I did get to hear quite a few songs before going home. I can definitely say one thing in the bands favour - unlike some bands who will wait and wait hoping for a bigger audience, they started almost as soon as their P.A. had been set up. I did feel guilty about leaving so early because they didn't exactly have a very big audience - which isn't surprising because there was zero publicity about the gig - not even a flyer on the outside of the pub ! However I had to go.
I could have gone home via the chip shop, or even the fried chicken shop, and indeed was tempted by both, but somehow I resisted that, and I even resisted dinner when I got home. I had made a sort of dare with myself that I would not have any dinner when I got in. However I didn't mention anything about snacks, and I have to confess I ate 4 little packets of Hula Hoops before I brushed my teeth and got into bed. Before going to bed I checked my blood pressure, and it was most satisfactory. The second reading, after I did my relaxation stuff was really quite low (for me).
All the beer I had drunk, and it was quite a lot, and I was definitely mildly drunk, did the necessary, and I slept rather well last night - so well that I had a very realistic dream that I had slept all night, and all through the next day ! I woke up with a bit of a headache, and a few other mystery aches, and I thought it was probably something to do with high blood pressure, but my blood pressure this morning, although always higher than in the evening, was actually fairly reasonable - particularly the second reading which would have been reasonable for an evening reading.
I can't say I felt that wonderful when I started to walk to the station this morning, but I can't have been that bad because it seemed quite smooth journey coming to work. Once again I arrived earlier than I usually do. So something must have been right. Of course it did help that the 07:06 Hampton Court train from Waterloo left a few minutes late or I would never have got it. Even so, it is fairly rare for me to be early enough to get the next train after that, the 07:09. So the 07:06 was a rarity.
After not eating much last night I made up for it with a bigger breakfast than usual. I expect I will have totally forgotten about it tonight, but there is a sort of fantastical theory that it might encourage me to eat less tonight - some hope ! Regardless of that, I should make some sort of attempt to eat lightly tonight so I am firing on all cylinders for my visit to the Star Trek convention with Ruby tomorrow. It's going to be an interesting experience.........but I'm not in which way it will be interesting.
2nd October 2014
The sunshine that the weather forecasters promised us for yesterday happened early in the afternoon, and that meant going home after work was a rather dull experience. Maybe that wasn't totally unexpected. The actual forecast I saw said the sunshine would happen soon after I got home. The cloud never got that thick yesterday, and so it was never terribly dull, but dull enough at times. However that same cloud was useful overnight to keep a bit of the warmth in. I'm sure the temperature got up to 20° C, and may have even hit 21° C for a while. This morning started off at 16° C, and while that's not warm, it is still good enough to be comfortable without a coat. The forecast is quite pessimistic about the temperature today. It seems it could stay quite low - maybe just 18° C, but it should be brighter, and there may even be some sunshine. The longer term forecast says that tomorrow will be the end of this poor relation to summer, and that Saturday is going to be cold and wet. Lovely ! Just what I wanted for a day out !!!
I added up all the pros and cons, and decided that it would be useful to buy a few things in the Turkish supermarket on the way home from work yesterday. I didn't really need anything last night, but I would tonight, and tonight I'm boozing instead of shopping. I got a few interesting things in that little supermarket. I bought a small tin of stuffed zuchini (or courgette as we say in this part of the world) and a little tin of stuffed peppers and tomatoes (or to be precise tomato - there was only one of them). I had those as part of my dinner. There is one thing I bought but haven't tried yet. I wonder how you are supposed to pronounce the name of this dip ???
Dinner was supposed to be a highly healthy skinless chicken breasts cooked in reduced salt stock with green leafy vegetables - but it wasn't. I had some bean and chick pea salads followed by those stuffed vegetables. They were stuffed with rice, and dripping with olive oil. That is one good thing about Mediterranean products. That place is awash with olive oil, which is allegedly good for you if you ignore the huge amount of calories in it, and they tend not to use the rehydrogenated, super saturated, reclaimed engine oil that American firms, and their UK subsidiaries use.
That little lot left me feeling full, but not over stuffed, and I had a theory about how it might affect my blood pressure. I am, if I haven't mentioned it before, taking twice daily readings for a week to help my doctor decide if I am taking a suitable dose of one of my medications. As I suspected, my blood pressure was much improved compared to the previous three days. In fact the second of the two readings I take in the evening (and it's two readings in the morning - which strictly speaking means I take four readings a day, and not two) was really exceptionally low. So low it was almost low enough for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse who rules Lewisham Hospital with a rod of pure tempered chromium steel ! (Fortunately I never have to see her since escaping from that rotten gym they hide in the sadist building of the hospital).
Sometimes when my blood pressure reading is too high I get all depressed and seek out some comfort food. Sometimes when it is exceptionally low (by my standards) I feel like celebrating, and that same comfort food becomes celebration food. You really can't win in this game ! I would imagine that I sent my blood glucose level up quite high last night, and all the beer I will probably drink will send it high again tonight ! This left me feeling good, bad and indifferent, but also rather tired. Well, I was tired before eating all and sundry, and I had intended to try and get an early night anyway.
I can't actually remember what time I went to bed, and what time I went to sleep, but it was fairly early - I think. I slept a lot better than recently last night, but I definitely did wake up in the night suffering from sleep apnea. At least I think it was sleep apnea, but it may have just been a common or garden nightmare - of a very technical variety. I was dreaming that I was forced to run the dreaded Windows Vista on my PC, and that it had caught an extremely serious virus infection. The things I did to that PC to try and get it running virus free were amazing - so amazing that even I don't understand them - and I kept on doing them until I woke up feeling short of breath. The other times I woke up were probably for a wee.
After that night I woke up feeling unusually good. Some of the usual stiff and/or aching joints were less stiff and aching, and I just felt generally less crap. This was highly unusual for a Thursday. Thursday is normally my worst day of the week ! Somehow it was also reflected in my blood pressure. The first time I took it, it was high, but not as high as at the beginning of the week, and after a few more relaxation exercises, I managed to get it down to a figure that wouldn't be that bad for a carefully contrived evening reading. For all that goodness, I didn't really notice that my journey to work was any better than usual, although it was a lot better than the worst. Maybe there was one hint that it was more fluid than usual. I don't think I've ever managed to get the 07:06 Shepperton train from Waterloo before. It got me to work before 07:30 this morning !
Tonight poses a little problem. I was not aware that a band will be playing in The Catford Ram tonight. They are The Scorchers, and I've never heard of them before. I wonder if anyone else has ? There seems to be zero publicity about the gig, although I expect there is a small poster on the outside of the pub. Now the trouble is, I have already committed to an early start drinking in The Catford Constitutional Club, and it was my intention to go home from there by 7pm, or maybe earlier. Now I am curious about what will be happening in The ram. No matter what happens I can't stay out too late, or get too drunk tonight, but I have a naughty suspicion I'll be getting very close to those limits !
It was a rather pleasant day yesterday. By mid to late morning it had brightened up, and a lot of the afternoon was quite sunny. The temperature definitely rose to 20° C, as the forecast promised, and may have even reached 21° C. Sometime after sunset it became very cloudy, and that kept a little of the warmth in. This morning was a comfortable 16° C, but some of the clouds are leaking. The forecast said there would be rain early this morning, and there was. The platforms were wet at London Bridge station, and we passed through a shower on the train between Vauxhall and Clapham Junction stations. The ground was damp when we arrived at Earlsfield, but it wasn't raining - it is now though ! The rain should have done it's worst by midday, and the afternoon will be brighter - or so says the most recent weather forecast. It might even be sunny later on, but maybe not until I've got home ! Tomorrow may be dry, but probably no more exciting than light grey.
I carried out part of my plan for yesterday evening perfectly. I even expanded on it, but the rest of my plans didn't fully come to fruition. The bit that worked was washing my hair before I had dinner. I managed that OK, and I added in a severe beard trimming too. Then came the matter of dinner. Part one was as planned - cabbage and leak with some diced ham. It was quite nice, but didn't really hit the spot. The plan was to have nothing more than that, but I ended up eating a not all that small bag of Marmite flavoured peanuts. They were low in sugar, which was good, but high in just about everything else. So no taking in my belt a notch in the foreseeable future then !
While I was just about relaxed, or as relaxed as can be when watching the news and seething at all those inept politicians, I checked my blood pressure. It was predictably high, or maybe not....Maybe it was actually a tint bit lower than I might have predicted. It is rapidly becoming apparent that a half dose of Bisoprolol is only having half the effect of lowering my blood pressure, but it is beneficial in reducing the swelling in my feet, ankles and lower legs. It is possible, if not probable that one of the other tablets I take, or perhaps a combination of two of them, is responsible for much of the other crap I put up with like bad sleep.
I felt tired at work, but a little less tired when I got home yesterday. I was going to have another early night, but decided to get in bed early and read for a while. I think it was getting on for 9pm when I put the book down, turned out the light, and tried to get to sleep. As far as I can recall I got to sleep fairly quickly, but I didn't stay asleep for more than a few hours before waking up again. One obvious reason for waking up is sleep apnea, but I don't think it is that.....but I could be deluding myself. One thing is for sure, I had far less sleep disturbance in the last 3 or 4 days of the 7 days when I had run out of blood pressure medication, and that provides a very strong hint that it is the drugs that are causing the problem.
However, on one occasion when I woke up last night, at 3am if I recall correctly, I gave the idea of sleep apnea some serious consideration - too serious as it turned out. I became so aware of my breathing as I tried to analyse how every part of my breathing system was working, that I became almost breathless. There was two things I could have done. The first was to get up and walk around for a minute or two, and the other was to treat it a bit like an asthma attack. I have an asthma inhaler that I got the doctor to prescribe for me during the early part of my recuperation. It was painful to cough on my newly butchered chest, and because I wasn't smoking, I had a bit of a cough. If it became too painful I would have a squirt from the asthma inhaler. That opened up the airways, and I could cough up all the tar and old dog ends with ease. At 3am this morning I had a squirt from that, and my breathing returned to normal. I don't think it actually did anything apart from break the cycle of forced breathing.
I didn't feel quite as bad as yesterday when I got up this morning, and yesterday was better than the morning before that. For all that, I still didn't feel too wonderful, and even though I feel improved since getting to work, I would still dearly love to be back in bed, or slouching around the house. In theory I am supposed to be working myself up to peak physical condition in time for Saturday when I meet Ruby to go the the Start Trek exhibition/convention/whatever at The Excel Arena in London. I'll make it there alright, but something amazing is going to have to happen between now and then if I am going to be fit enough to rush around and swing from the rafters..........
Something that is happening a lot recently is getting to Catford Bridge station and finding the ticket office closed when it is supposed to be open. Here are the opening times as shown on the Network Rail web site. I took the above picture at approx 06:23.
The table above is a screenshot from the "station facilities" part of Network Rails web site. It is a little confusing - it shows the ticket office is open at 6am seven days a week except of Saturdays when it also opens at 6:00am and then again at 6:10am. This is also the case for Mondays to Friday except when it is a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or indeed a Friday. Quite how one ticket office can open up twice is anyone's guess. However, the fact remains that it should be open well before 6.23am when I arrived this morning, and there have been several more occasions recently when I've found the ticket office closed. It doesn't actually cause me any inconvenience because all my commuting is done using my Oyster card, but I am sure it must annoy a few people.
What shall I do tonight ? Probably almost nothing apart from another attempt to eat sensibly. I don't know what else I might end up eating, but the main course of dinner tonight will be a very quickly made stew of diced skinless chicken with broccoli, cauliflower, and the remains of the bag of cabbage and leak that I used last night. If it is just that, then it is going to be low in everything except the good stuff - I think.