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April 2015
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My Diary/Blog For the Month of April 2015

Thursday 30th April 2015
10:59 BST

  I was hoping the rain might hold off when I came home from work yesterday. It did better than that, and instead of gloom and rain it was a pleasant sunny evening. It was even just about shirt sleeve comfortable at about 14° C. Today started off fine and dry, but a bit on the cool side. I am unsure of the temperature at day break, but it is now almost 14° C - although it doesn't feel like it to me. The sunshine is getting patchy now as more and more clouds appear in the sky, and so it may not get much warmer, but the forecasts says it should stay dry today. Tomorrow may be different - a lot different. It could well be cooler and wetter - as is traditional as we head into a bank holiday weekend !

 It was nice coming home in the sunshine, and it was nice to go straight out again to the pharmacy. I had worn a coat to come home from work, but I took a chance on leaving my coat off when I went to the pharmacy, and it was quite comfortable even though the sun was starting to get a little low in the sky (although it would still be nearly 3 hours until sunset). When I got to the pharmacy I was recognised without having to tell them my name, and my prescription was ready and waiting for me. Unfortunately it had a note attached saying that I really ought to see a nurse or doctor to get my blood pressure checked. Of course that immediately sent my blood pressure soaring - at least I assume it did !

 After the pharmacy I went around the corner to Aldi where I contrived to spend more money on groceries and stuff. Stuff included another pair of £3.99 sunglasses of a different shape to the previous ones, and also a fitted sheet. I did, of course, buy more food too. That included a fairly large looking, but still a meal/snack for one (probably) cheese and pasta salad. I may well have that as part of my dinner tonight.

 After a fair night's sleep, it was nice to be able to silence my alarm, turn over, and go back to sleep for an hour - and by pure chance it was almost exactly one hour ! I didn't have to get up even then, but I did anyway, and started preparing myself to visit the hospital for my retinopathy scan this morning. This is where they put drops in the eyes to dilate the pupils, and then photograph the back of the eye to see if there is any damage caused by high blood glucose levels.
pupils starting to dilate
 This year the on-the-spot analysis showed nothing at all, and that is quite strange. Usually there is some tiny little thing that they say they will keep an eye on, but it's nothing to worry about this time. Maybe the detailed analysis, which I'll get in a couple weeks, will tell me that they have spotted some teeny weeny bit of damage that is nothing to worry about, but is to serve as a warning to me.

 While I was waiting for the drops to fully dilate my pupils I went to the toilet (shouldn't have had beans for dinner last night !). While in there I took advantage of the privacy to take a selfie showing my pupils starting to dilate. It is not very impressive, and for some reason the lighting in there seems to show me turning yellow. I have no idea what the yellow tinge is, but it doesn't exist in reality !

 Some time has passed since writing the last paragraph. Also, two pints of beer have passed my lips. So I have partly lost the thread of what I was writing. Oh well, never mind !

It's now 13:45 BST, and to continue.....

 When I came out of the hospital the sun was still shining, and at any other time that would be wonderful, but with dilated pupils everything was dazzling bright. I put on my new sunglasses, and that tamed the dazzle, but with dilated pupils, and with not wearing my usual glasses, everything was terribly out of focus. After I had walked for a few minutes I decided that I would put up with the painful glare, and put on my glasses instead of the sun glasses. Now anything I could bare to look at was in focus - sort of ! One big exception was the view finder of my camera. I attempted to take a few pictures, but all I could see in the viewfinder was just one big smudgy blur ! A couple seemed just about usable - although I edited them while my eyes were still a bit blurry, and have not seen them since. I assumed that they would look sharper once my eyes looked sharper !

bluebells growing by
                          the railings
 Hmmm, this isn't the finest picture of a clump of bluebells growing by some railings.
The River Ravensbourne looking very
                          placid and still
The riverbanks of the River Ravensbourne looking green and lush by the still and placid water.
duck and it's reflection
This could have been a wonderful picture if I had held the camera steady, or allowed more time for it to focus, or some other thing. Still, at least it looks better than the vague blur I could see through the viewfinder as  I took the picture.

  By midday my eyes were still not completely back to normal, but there was no time to rest them because I met up with my friend Patricia. That's twice in one season ! Better than last year, and I think I'll be seeing her at least one more time before she flies away again. We met here at home for 15 minutes before I treated her to some lunch (soup of the day !) in the Wetherspoons. I had two pints of beer in there, and I now feel almost sleepy. I am going to put my head down for a while fairly soon, but I think I'll be going out again for a quick drink with the lads in The Catford Constitutional Club at 5pm.
my eyes
This is what my eyes looked like just before midday.
Wednesday 29th April 2015
08:36 BST

Hooray ! Tomorrow is payday !!!!!

  Unlike the day before, yesterday ended with plenty of sunshine. It was a bit warmer than expected too. My thermometer read 14° C when I got home from work. That was edging towards feeling very slightly close to warm !  This morning started out slightly cloudy, and in consequence it was less cold than the day before - around 8° C. The good news is that today is now forecast to be not quite as terrible as was predicted earlier. It is still going to be pretty terrible, but there will probably be less rain than expected, and there is now reason to hope that the rain might hold off while I go home - and go to the pharmacy to pick up my repeat prescription. If we're lucky the temperature might hit 12° C this afternoon. Tomorrow is not looking that good, but maybe it will not be quite as bad as today.

 It was nice to go home in the sunshine yesterday, but it didn't inspire me to do anything constructive when I got home. I had thought of washing a few shirts, but it seemed like too much effort, and a waste of that effort just to wash three short sleeve shirts. I'll probably have some spare time to do that tomorrow. Last night was one of those nights that are far too frequent when good intentions seem to melt away like snow in the spring.

 I was going to try and have a fairly light dinner - maybe lots of salad, and maybe little else. I have managed to do that in the past, but not last night. I did have a bowl of salad that I dressed quite simply with a sprinkle of sesame oil, and a good sprinkle of rice wine vinegar, but I also had a chicken korma and rice ready meal too, and I had a few snacks during the course of the evening. Perhaps I can blame some of it on the sesame oil dressing on that salad. I've had it before, but last night it seemed to be slightly unpleasant. Perhaps the oil has gone off, but the unpleasantness didn't seem to be an "off" sort of taste. Maybe the rice wine vinegar had something to do with it. I have never tried it before, but it seemed OK. It was probably more acid than I expected, but it seemed to be quite a pleasant vinegary taste. It would probably go well on chips.

 Either I've got the height of my pillows about perfect, or maybe the temperature of my bedroom was perfect, or maybe both were perfect, or maybe it was something completely different, but I seemed to get another improved night's sleep last night. My only complaint would be that having woken feeling fairly good half an hour before my alarm was due to wake me, I managed to fall back asleep so deeply that my alarm going off was a bit of a shock. If it hadn't gone off I might have slept on for another hour, maybe even two - who knows ?

 I don't seem to be suffering from the usual ailments in the usual ways this morning. One thing I do seem to be suffering from could be hay fever or the start of a cold. It's probably an allergy rather than a cold, but it does seem to involve a lot of sneezing, and a good powerful sneeze seems to aggravate my floating rib syndrome/costochondritus/???????? and cause some momentary pain across a bit of my chest. It does seem that my chest has settled down a lot recently, and most of the aches and pains I get are the result of very specific movements - some of which I can remember not to do and save myself some discomfort. For instance, while crossing the road it is best if I don't swivel just the top half of my body around to see what is coming up behind me - that, as I learned the other day, can be quite painful. In future I will have to try and remember to turn my whole body around so it is at right angles to any possible traffic (this mainly involves crossing very lightly used side roads).

 It seems that I have not been called to make an appointment with my GP before my repeat prescription is dispensed. So I don't yet have the opportunity to discuss my aches and pains with a doctor, but maybe I will sort out something sooner or later. In the more immediate future I assume that my drugs have been prescribed, and are ready for collection tonight. I was going to go straight to the pharmacy from the station, but I think I'll go home first for a mere few seconds (possibly). When I get in I'll dump the rucksack that I brought to work today, and I think I'll put my other rucksack that I use for shopping in Aldi on. While I am almost passing Aldi I might as well go in there as get some Olive oil, maybe some balsamic vinegar, and maybe a bowl of ready made salad or two. I'll probably get other stuff too while I am going around the store, but I'll try not to be too extravagant for two reasons. Reason one is that such extravagant items usually have too much sugar or fat or other bad stuff (but usually plenty of nice flavours !). Reason two is that my bank balance is unusually low at the moment. I'm paid tomorrow, but I don't like to stretch things too far !
Tuesday 28th April 2015
08:51 BST

  Instead of 14 or 15° C, it only got to about 12° C. That was not really unexpected, but I didn't expect it to be quite gloomy looking, almost as if it were about to rain, when I made my way home from work yesterday. At least that 12° C was just high enough to feel comfortable in just shirtsleeves -providing you didn't stand still for too long ! This morning dawned bright and clear, but the temperature had fallen as low as 4° C, and there might have even been a frost in some rural areas not that many miles away from me. Once again the forecast says that it is supposed to stay a sunny day all day, but the highest temperature is only expected to be 12° C again. The forecast is still saying that tomorrow will be cold, wet, and miserably dull !

 I did have a small selections of aches and pains while at work yesterday, but they seemed very minor, and hardly worth mentioning compared to some days last week. I didn't feel terribly energetic going home from work, but I also didn't feel it to be any more an inconvenience than the usual waste of over an hour of my life. Going home under a dull cloudy sky did not enthuse me, but I was forced to feel sort of enthusiastic about finishing off the laundry I had left soaking overnight and through the day. As expected, it was most unpleasant wringing out the cold soapy water. Even with rubber gloves on it felt nasty and slimy ! It was much nicer when I was rinsing and wringing out hot water. It also seemed like hard work, and my wrists seemed to be getting a bit sore after some vigorous wringing out.

 Eventually it was all hung up to dry, and I could concentrate on getting my dinner together. As I suggested yesterday, I had the two ready made salads I had bought from Aldi on Sunday. I left out the (presumed) sugary mango chutney from the chicken and mango salad, and substituted low sugar, but high everything else mayonnaise in large dollops to that salad, and did the same to the potato and egg salad too. That rather spoiled the healthy effect of those meals, and I further spoiled things by having a few snacks during the evening - but not terribly, terribly spoiled !

 I have to confess that I have a drink problem ! What I probably really wanted was a cigarette as I battled to take an interest on something, anything on TV, but a large glass of whisky usually makes for a substitute on such occasions. The trouble was I didn't buy a bottle of scotch this month after the previous month's bottle had lasted into the beginning of this month. I really wanted a large scotch, but it was not an emergency, and so I couldn't open my emergency half bottle of scotch. It was not a special occasion so I couldn't have any of my Jameson's Irish whiskey. I have other spirits and liqueurs about the house, and I have my small collection of "about to be banned" high strength lagers but I wanted whisky ! So I made do with sugar free cola, and went to bed completely sober. Now that is a serious drink problem !

 Last night I changed my pillow. I had forgotten that what I had been sleeping on was two completely knackered, and sometimes lumpy pillows stuffed into one pillow case. I am not sure why I don't throw them away ! I went back to sleeping on two non-lumpy pillows that are so soft that my heavy head compresses them to the thickness of one good quality pillow (I guess). Maybe it did some good because I did seem to sleep a bit better last night, but there could be other reasons for that. I do think I feel a bit healthier than I did a few days ago. Currently I reckon I am only 73% on my way to death compared with 87% a few days ago. This is obviously some sort of improvement, and maybe a better pillow might mean better sleep, and better sleep might even make me feel only 61% towards death.

 On the subject of health and death and other interesting things. I was most surprised not to hear from my GP's surgery about my repeat prescription request. It is looking like they have accepted it with no questions asked. That means I have a long walk home tomorrow night. I have to virtually walk past my own front door to get from the station to the pharmacy where I'll pick up my drugs. It will make my walk from the station to home over double the distance. That's not terrible - except when it is pouring with rain like it may well be tomorrow !

 There are many reasons why I should probably be sacked. I am the ultimate lazy bastard at work, and I cannot understand how I haven't been caught doing no work at all on some occasions. On the other hand there is no one here at work who can do some of the things that I do, and I would guess there are generally not that many people anywhere who have some of my specialist skills. Micro surgery on printed circuit boards is one example of my specialist skills.
micro surgery on a
                          circuit board
 This picture needs some explanation - It is the view down a microscope of some modifications I had to make to a dozen printed circuit boards. Running from top to bottom, down the middle of this picture, are two parallel conductors like train lines. They carry two signals - transmit and receive - and unfortunately the designer of the circuit board mixed up his transmit with his receive on these pre-production prototype boards. The error will be corrected on the final design, but so our development team can continue testing, I was tasked with trying to correct the error - and I did. I cut the two tracks and crossed the signals over with some very fine wires. I've coloured the wires red and black to make them more obvious. For comparison purposes I've laid a hair from my own head alongside those two wires to show just how fine this work is !
Monday 27th April 2015
08:12 BST

  If you ignored the rapidly falling temperature, not that there was much to start with, it looked like a pleasant sunset. The sky was dappled with tiny fluffy looking clouds, with plenty of blue between them. Of course the temperature continued to fall, and the forecast suggested that some sheltered parts of the countryside could see a frost. Here in London it was 5° C, but it is a bright and cheerful sort of morning. While a plume of frigid polar air heads our way ready to ruin the upcoming bank holiday Monday, and is already dropping snow on north east England, it is forecast to be a bright sunny day in these parts. It may not get to the optimistic 15° C that I mentioned yesterday, but it should definitely get to at least 12° C, and in the sunshine that should feel quite comfortable. It seems tomorrow may be similar to today, but after that we can look forward to getting wet !

 I didn't feel very comfortable in bed last night, and yet I think I probably got quite a reasonable amount of sleep. At first it felt too warm under the duvet, and too cold without it. As usual I sort of compromised by doing things like sleeping with one leg under the duvet, and one leg not. I can't remember what I did with my arms. What I do know is that I woke up just before 2am with a really stiff and sore neck, and had to take a couple of Ibuprofen tablets to reduce the pain. Maybe they worked better than I though because I seemed to sleep quite well after they had taken effect.

 This morning I felt more OK than usual when I got up. Nothing much hurt to any detrimental extent. All I had was just a bit of stiffness here and there. Even my guts seemed more stable than usual - and that was a surprise considering I ended up eating more than I thought I would. The only unexplained thing was a red mark like a rash in some respects, but unlike a rash in that if I hadn't noticed it while showering this morning I would never had realised it was there. It is possible that it started before this morning, and I had just never noticed it. It is one more thing to mention to my doctor. This morning I put in my request for a repeat prescription, and at 05:52am it was (electronically) acknowledged. Any minute now I am expecting a phone call saying I am past my review date, and will have to see a doctor first.
prescription request
 Yesterday I mentioned that I actually felt I had eaten enough while eating some fruit for lunch. I never really get that sensation, and wondered if it was something I could nurture and improve upon to help me eat less. Well, I have to admit it didn't last long. I guess it was just another symptom of something that was causing me a bit of stomach discomfort last week, but doesn't seem to be active this morning. The actual act that meant I ended up eating more than I thought I was going to happened in the middle of the afternoon yesterday.

 I was feeling a bit rough in the afternoon, and like on Saturday, I decided the only option was to force myself to go out for a walk. Just like on Saturday, I felt awful for the first minute or two, and perfectly OK after that. I walked to Tesco where I bought a couple of bottles of Diet Coke, a couple of tuna and cucumber sandwiches for breakfast at work this morning, and some other stuff. Some, or maybe quite a lot of that other stuff I ate a bit at a time during the rest of yesterday. A bit here, and a bit there didn't seem much at the time, but I expect the cumulative amount was a lot more than I expected to eat. I must try to do better tonight, and I think there is a chance I will because all the worst stuff has now gone !

 It was an uneventful journey to work this morning. All the trains were running to time, and all were of the correct length so there was no overcrowding. The only "excitement", if it could be called that, and it probably can't be, was that there was something happening on the concourse of Waterloo station - something very, very static happening.........
text georgeous
  Those wonderful people at Asda were promoting their "George" clothing range. I once bought a most beautiful purple shirt from George at Asda, and it was obvious that it was designed for strange alien people. As I recall, it was very loose around the chest, and incredibly tight around the gut. I suspect it was styled on a cartoon character, maybe a character out of Tom and Jerry - some sort of strong man with a huge chest, and very narrow waist. I still have that shirt somewhere. It is too nice a colour to throw away, and yet I don't think I will ever be able to wear it - at least not before I've partly rotted away in a coffin for a few years.
George from Asda
 I have only been at work for 90 minutes, and yet I am already looking forward to going home. Once I get home I have some laundry to do. I left some stuff soaking yesterday afternoon, and tonight I have the unpleasant task of wringing out the cold soapy water before rinsing in 3 or 4 bowlfuls of warm water. Then I can hang it up to dry, and have some dinner, although maybe I might wash a couple of shirts as well while I am splashing around in soapy water. Dinner will be the two ready made salads I pictures on Saturday. I think I'll leave out what I suspect is sugary mango chutney from the chicken and mango salad, and I'll probably substitute something equally unhealthy, like mayonnaise, but unhealthy in a less damaging way. After that I can watch a bit of TV, and/or read a book, and then back to bed again.
Sunday 26th April 2015
12:35 BST

  So yesterday turned out better than expected - it was not as dull and wet as expected, and the unexpected amounts of sunshine made it less cool than expected as well - but what about today ? Maybe today is not as awful as expected. It is pretty awful - make no mistake about it - but it is not awful, awful ! There were some showers earlier on, but they seemed to have passed for now, and it is currently dry outside. Well maybe not dry. Everything is a bit damp outside, but there don't seem to be many puddles in the road now - at least in Catford. I expect the lousy pavements of Earlsfield are still like the great lakes ! It's currently 10° C outside, and under some circumstance that is not very cold, such as when it is sunny, but it is grey, dreary, and miserable outside, and that makes 10° C seem too cold to support life as we know it ! It may stay dry for the rest of the day, but this is probably about as good as it is going to get. Tomorrow may benefit from the temperature rising to 15° C, but it is not expected to be a very nice day. Once again we cross our fingers and hope that the forecast is out of date, and far too pessimistic.

 I had a quiet night last night. There was practically nothing on TV, and I spent more time reading than anything else. With nothing going on to grab my attention I was asleep in bed fairly early for a Saturday night. I can't recall the exact time, but I reckon it was around 9.30pm. I tried an experiment last night. I slept on one pillow instead of two to see if it made any difference, and I'm not sure if it did or didn't. It felt quite odd as you might expect, but it didn't seem to stop me going to sleep. What I am unsure about is whether it helped me stay asleep. I have a feeling that I slept for longer before waking up, but once I woke up at around 3am, if I remember correctly, I seemed to keep waking up every so often - sometimes an hour, sometimes as short as 20 minutes later.

 A little while before 5am I felt too uncomfortable to go back to sleep. Lots of bits of me ached until I got out of bed and had a good stretch. A couple of hours later I did go back to bed, and I probably stayed in bed for as much as two hours, but I don't think much of that was sleep. So eventually I got up, showered and got dressed. Having done that I felt awful ! I felt a bit like I did before going out to Aldi yesterday, and the cure was to do something instead of slouching around. So I washed some shirts, a couple of pillow cases, and a small towel. After that I felt genuinely tired, but otherwise quite well.

 Along with the various ailments I have been suffering with for a while I have developed a new and useful "ailment". I think I was first aware of it while having some dinner last night, although I had sort of noticed it before that. The big test was just a short while ago, although it wasn't pre-meditated as a test. I've just had my Sunday lunch, and it was quite a simple lunch. I had a can of Heinz tomato soup with "a hint of chorizo", or however they described it, and that was followed by quite a big crunch Conference pear and a not very sweet tasting apple.

 It was very strange. For the first time in my life, as far as I am aware, I actually felt like I had eaten enough. Normally I only stop eating because I have made a difficult, but concious decision that I am only going to eat so much, or I am beginning to feel stuffed, distended, and heading into pain territory. The idea of some sort of signal from my stomach to my brain to say I have eaten sufficient is a sort of alien concept to me, and yet that is what I felt last night, and that is what I felt a little while ago. It was so strong that I found I didn't even want to finish all the apple and pear. This is presumably how most people don't get fat. I think it is something I ought to cultivate even if the signal has been switched on by some sort of bodily malfunction - disease, microbes, viruses, cancer, decriptude, super enlarged spleen, alien abduction, or whatever !

 Well it's another thing to tell me doctor about when I have my standard 1.35 minute NHS consultation in the near future. I have to order a repeat prescription very soon, and I am past my review date. So the surgery is bound to call me up saying I have to see a doctor first - and when they call me that is the easiest way to get an appointment !
Saturday 25th April 2015
17:05 BST

  Yesterday afternoon turned out much better than expected. It was sunnier than I thought it would be, and I think it was probably a little bit warmer too - at least 14° C, and maybe more. The forecast for today didn't look good, but in fact after some rain until mid morning, it has actually been a fairly pleasant day. There are still many clouds in the sky, but most of the afternoon has still seemed quite bright, and frequently sunny. It has certainly been warmer than expected ! I saw 18.5° C on my thermometer a little while ago ! There is a possibility that it might rain again sometime after dark, and the forecast says that it will rain tomorrow morning. It also says that it will be no warmer than 11° C - but that forecast was made on Friday when the forecast for today was being made completely wrong ! I wait with baited breath to see how good or dreadful tomorrow really is !

 I felt dreadfully tired after work yesterday, but as is often the case, that tiredness seemed to partially evaporate after I got home - although it was only partial. I had what was supposed to be a light dinner, but felt a lot heavier. Part 1 was a big bowl of ready made salad with some Tesco "Value" sliced "tikka" flavoured chicken. I dressed that with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was nice, but it left me wanting more. So I had more. I had a handful of baby plum tomatoes and some brie. It was not a very big snack, not big at all, but it left me feeling like I had eaten too much. I do seem to be suffering from something wrong with my stomach that is giving mixed feelings at the moment. It could be an ulcer, or it could be something lethal, but as usual I assume it will eventually clear up if I try and treat it right.

 There were several things wrong with my sleep last night. The worst was that after getting to sleep before 9pm - at least I think I did, but I couldn't put an accurate time on it - I woke up feeling dreadful at about 11.20pm. Much of the "dreadful" was because I was convinced it was time to get up, and I was still feeling terribly tired. Once I realised what the time was I felt a lot better, and I was soon asleep again. My sleep was interrupted several more times by assorted aches and pains - mostly from my legs, hips or back (but not all at once) - but I think I eventually got enough sleep.

 This morning I saw Aleemah, and that meant going to the Wetherspoons pub for breakfast.
beer for breakfast
 As usual, while Aleemah had her vegetarian breakfast, I sampled some beers. I had a half pint of each of the beers in the picture above. I can't say that any of them were particularly nice, but all three were pleasant enough. The only notable thing was the price I was charged for the beer on the right, "Ghost Ship". The price tag clearly says £2.50 for a pint, but strangely enough I was only charged £1.18 for a half pint !

 After the pub we had a quick walk around the 99p shop where I bought a bag of "Stiglets" - complete with a picture of Top Gear's Stig on the front. It was obvious they were Twigletts, and that is exactly how the six small bags inside were labelled. I munched through a couple of  bags as we watched a film called Lucy. It was not a film I enjoyed that much. It was far too violent, and far too American for my tastes (despite none of the action action taking pace in America).

 After Aleemah went home I decided to go and do my weekly shop in Aldi. I'm not sure why I forced myself to go out when I felt tired, and when my stomach was feeling a bit uncomfortable, but evidently I know myself better than I think I do. By the time I was half way to Aldi I was feeling fine, and apart from being weighted down with shopping, I felt fine when I got home. I wasn't quite so careful about buying only mostly low everything stuff today, and I did but one very naughty item (or a packet of 4 very naughty items).

 Those naughty items were little pots of sugar laden ice cream, and just now I had two of them just to see what effect they would have on my stomach. It was feeling a bit weird earlier - sort of empty and full at the same time. After two little sampler sized pots of ice cream it feels normal - I think. I'm not sure what that means, but I am happy about it anyway. All I have to do now is survive off water for the next 48 weeks to counter the effects of all that sugar and fat !

 I did buy two things that small people may regard as complete meals, but I'll be treating them as being more like snacks. They are ready made salads that don't really need any further ingredients.
egg and potato
I've had one of these potato and egg salads before, and they are quite nice. The secret of how it is only 154 calories in total, with only a modest amount of sugar in it, is that they slice the single new potato quite thinly. It tricks the brain into thinking there is more of it.
chicken and mango
 I've yet to try one of these chicken and mango salads, but I expect it will make a nice snack. Rather surprisingly it only contains 108 calories despite containing slightly more sugar than the potato and egg salad. Most of that sugar will be in the mango chutney - or what I assume is mango chutney in the little pot that is visible in the photo. I might throw that away and have something with less sugar in it - maybe oil and vinegar. Maybe the sachet of dressing in the potato and egg salad is responsible for the majority of the sugar in it, and perhaps I'll not use that either.

 I haven't any plans for the rest of this evening. Maybe I'll stay up a bit later than usual if there is anything on TV that catches my attention, but otherwise I may well be asleep by 9pm. I find it hard to believe that tomorrow will be much better than the rather dull and wet day forecast for it, but I will concede that it could be better like today was. Even so, I think I will treat it as if it will be dull and wet and make appropriate plans for it - shutter the windows, and stay under the duvet !
Friday 24th April 2015
07:48 BST

  I was confused about the difference between the icons/pictograms showing the progress of the weather, and the written description yesterday. It turns out that the written description "Although many places will start cloudy and dull it will slowly brighten up with the cloud retreating back towards the coast by midday. Most parts will then have a sunny afternoon and with light winds it will feel warm." was the more accurate forecast. Even before midday the grey clouds had all but gone, and there was no sign of any black clouds. When I left work it was bright and sunny, and the temperature was 14 - 15° C, or a couple of degrees higher than the most optimistic forecast.

 The forecast for today was terrible a few days ago, but the latest forecast seems more optimistic that we will have a fairly good day. The sky was quite misty at sunrise, and the temperature was down to about 6° C. The forecast was that this morning would be bright and sunny, and once that mistiness dispersed that turned out to be correct, but the small bit of sky I can see from my office window is looking very cloudy now. The optimistic guess is that there will be many sunny intervals today, and that the temperature will slowly rise to something similar to yesterday. The pessimistic bit is that there could be some rain tonight, and maybe more tomorrow - although the forecast for tomorrow seems in a constant state of flux.

 It was nice going homewards in the sunshine after work, but I didn't go straight home. I had a message to say that boozing was taking place in The Catford Constitutional Club after work, but I didn't even head first. Last night I did the sensible thing and picked up some shopping first. Having to get some of it in the fridge was a good excuse not to stay boozing for too long, and carrying that shopping home, which included what I was to have for dinner, was a good reason not to go in the chip shop.

 I reckon I spent about 90 minutes with some very pleasant company having a few beers and a good natter. I tried half pints of four different beers before deciding on one to have a full pint before going home. It was a slightly weird beer....
Weird Beard - Little
                          Things That Kill You
 It was called "Little Things That Kill" ( microbes ?), and brewed by Weird Beard (whose web site is an abortion of  macromedia flash, and should be banned from the internet). It was just 3.9%, and so not very strong at all, and described as "A violently hoppy little beer". I would disagree with that. It was not strongly hoppy in my opinion, although the type of hops did give it quite a distinct, and very pleasant flavour. I think under different circumstance I could have drunk several more pints of it !

 It was a little after 6.30pm when I got home, and I felt hungry, but not famished. So I had an almost, but maybe not quite, moderate dinner. I had a couple of ham and jalapeno coleslaw sandwiches, a small pack of "Sweetfire" baby beetroots, and a packet of "Meateors". The latter might have started life as some sort of animal feed, but was adapted for humans. They were small balls of "90% pork" with an alleged barbecue flavour. I dread to think what the other 10% was - I didn't dare look. They weren't exactly horrible, but they had no appealing features, and I don't think I want to be repeating that experiment again ! The beetroot had some good stuff in it - vitamins, minerals, and stuff - but also rather a lot of sugar. Maybe it was a sacrifice  worth making, or maybe not.

 I was in bed quite early last night. I read for a while before turning out the light. I don't really remember anything after turning out the light. I reckon I was so tired that I fell asleep instantly (maybe three pints of beer helped too). I think I slept better than recently, but my mind has been teased by a conundrum that will probably never have a valid answer. Did I dream about attempting to cycle to work because my right knee felt sore in the way that cycling would possibly make it feel sore, or did my knee feel sore because I was cycling in my dream. The other unanswered question is whether my knee was actually sore at all ! It seemed to feel stiff and painful until I got out of bed. That seemed to instantly cure it !

 It could be because it is Friday (although unfortunately it is still another week until payday), but I do feel sort of not too bad this morning. What appear to be baked in aches and pains still ache and pain this morning, but quite mildly. Other than them, nothing much really hurts this morning - unless you count my feet (I am wearing shoes that are very comfortable to wear at work, but not so comfortable to walk in). All I have to do now is get through another day at work without too much grief, and the weekend starts as soon as I am out the door ! Tonight I expect I will be lazy and do bugger all. Tomorrow morning I'll be seeing Aleemah, and after that......who knows ? Maybe I'll do something wonderfully constructive........or maybe I won't !
Thursday 23rd April 2015
07:50 BST

  Yesterday morning was pleasant, although a little cool, but the clouds became thicker than expected in the afternoon, and my journey home from work was conducted under a gloomy sky. I think it was about 14° C as I made my way home, and normally that would feel quite comfortable, but the grey skies seemed to make it feel cooler than it was. It also felt rather cool indoors, but perhaps that was just me because it took very little heating to make it feel warm in my bedroom. Today has started off very dull, with not even the merest hint of the sun up in the sky. It is not quite as cool as yesterday morning - thanks to all the clouds during the night - but at 8 - 10° C, it is not exactly warm. It's not even mild !

 The problem with trying to forecast the weather from the weather forecast is that it is often contradictory when it is not just completely wrong ! Here is a screenshot of today's weather forecast, and underneath it is the written description cut-n-pasted from the BBC's web site. Maybe it is just me - perhaps I do not understand English, or I am stupid - but the pictures seem to tell a completely different story to the words !
the weather forecast
                          for today - Thursday 23rd April 2015
"Although many places will start cloudy and dull it will slowly brighten up with the cloud retreating back towards the coast by midday. Most parts will then have a sunny afternoon and with light winds it will feel warm."

  Let's take that last sentence - "Most parts will then have a sunny afternoon and with light winds it will feel warm.". The afternoon starts at midday, and the pictures show black clouds at midday, and at 1pm, and at 2pm. At 3pm the clouds change to grey or white, but there is still no hint of any rays of sunshine until 4pm, and then it's back to light coloured cloud again ! Also, 12° C, even with no wind at all, is not exactly warm. It ain't bad, but....... It all makes me wonder what next Monday will really be like. It will probably snow, but be described as a heatwave !

 I did not feel that good at work yesterday. There were no specific symptoms that made me feel rough. It was more a case of everything making me feel rough, and that included work itself. Over the previous few days I put my creative skills into overdrive to come up with some demonstration pieces for an upcoming exhibition. Apparently they are so good that they could even be described as pre-prototype prototypes that would need little work to turn into manufacturable units. Yesterday I was pressurised into drawing up some notes and stuff describing what I had done - and I hate doing stuff like that - particularly when to me it seems so blatantly obvious just by looking at what I've done. More importantly, it is the mechanics that need the most attention. What actually needs to be done is for one of our mechanical engineers to look at my bodges, and draw some proper technical drawings featuring real measurements (I did it all by eye). By comparison, the electronic bits and pieces are simple. Someone will have to design a printed circuit board to replace the lash up I made to interface a new camera module to our existing control board, but that was obvious to everyone before I even started my bodge. In short, I got completely fed up about the idea of writing a load of bollocks. I was going to try and start writing something this morning, but I've had another project dumped on me - and this one I would do differently to the waqy I have been asked to do it. So today is going to be another depressing day !

 I felt tired and aching when I got home after work yesterday. Not only that, but it did not feel very warm indoors. It seemed mild enough to come home in my shirtsleeves, but once I got indoors I turned the heating on. Not having any afternoon sunshine to warm the front of my house makes an awful lot of difference ! Once I had got changed, and my bedroom felt a bit warmer, I decided to lay down and read for a while. I expected I would probably fall asleep, but that didn't happen.

 Maybe an hour after I had got home, and still awake, I decided to have some dinner. I wanted to try and have a fairly light dinner, and I half succeeded. I started off with a bowl of ready mixed salad, and added quite a few chunks of Feta cheese. I have no idea where I got the idea from, and if I researched it I am sure I would find out I am wrong, but I have this stupid idea that Feta cheese is somehow healthier than, say, Cheddar. A cold salad, dressed with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar was certainly nice, but it didn't satisfy like it should have. So I supplemented it with some hot soup. I had a can of cream of tomato soup - with added Feta cheese - and that was followed by a can of lentil and bacon soup. That seemed to hit the spot, and I went up to my bedroom feeling just about satisfied.

 I fully intended to go to bed extra early last night - even if it was only to do a bit of reading - but I got distracted. I decided to watch a bit of TV on my PC before going to bed, and to do that I plug in a USB TV tuner. I have a few of these, The reason why I have several to choose from is that they are both cheap, and not all of them will work on a Linux PC. So I bought a selection to try. One of them is a tiny little thing, and I have yet to see it working. It needs some firmware loaded on it, and on a Windows PC this would be included in the drivers. On a Linux PC the firmware is in the form of a discrete file. Everything seemed to load OK, and yet the tuner could not seem to find any stations.

 In a fit of frustration curiosity I decided to reboot my PC into Windows, and install the drivers and software to test the USB dongle on that. It still didn't work, and my conclusion is that it is probably a faulty unit (and I can't even remember when and where I bought it !). Just to make sure, before I throw it away, I have brought it into work to test on my Windows 7 PC. If it doesn't work here, on a modern, fast machine, then I declare it definitely faulty !

 Playing with that dongle kept me up later than I intended last night, but it wasn't that late when I went to bed. Once I was in bed I read for a while, and then I turned the lights off, and immediately started to sweat ! I don't really know why that was. It could have had something to do with some raw chillies I added to the salad I had for dinner, or it could have been something to do with the "three fingers of red eye" (otherwise known as Tesco special reserve whisky) that I decided I would have while mucking about on my PC. It may also have had something to do with whatever illness I had that made me feel so bad yesterday and the day before.
 I may well have been the latter because after what turned out to be an averagely OK sleep, I think I do feel better this morning. I still feel a bit lousy, but it is a completely different sort of lousy to the previous two days. Today it is more of a sort of poor weather sort of lousy, and maybe there is a hint of hangover thrown in too, but the amount of whisky I had last night doesn't normally cause a noticeable hangover. So it looks like I am going to live yet another day !

 Tonight is traditionally drinking night, but I haven't heard where we are drinking - if we are drinking. I do feel a bit ambiguous about drinking tonight. I am sure I will enjoy it if I do stop of for a few on my way home from work, but I don't find myself looking forward to it that much. It would be terribly anti-sociable, but I could be just as happy going straight home, and just vegetating - amybe reading in bed before an early night. Time will tell....
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
08:18 BST

  Once again the temperature failed to hit the fabled 19° C. The highest I saw was 17° C, but that felt very nice, and with a light breeze it was excellent drying weather. Like the night before, the clear sky allowed the temperature to drop during the night, although only as low as 7° C this morning. It is forecast to be a bit of a cloudy morning, but only light cloud, and indeed the cloud is so light at the moment that it is almost transparent ! The forecast has now changed. Maybe they looked out the window, saw that it is a bright sunny morning, and hastily changed the forecast in the last hour. There still seems to be the possibility of some cloudy periods in the afternoon, and that may limit the temperature to 14 or 15° C........but that is still fairly pleasant.

 After starting yesterday feeling too horrible to go to work, I seemed to recover quite quickly during the morning. It wasn't a complete recovery, but I think that washing the pillowcases, sheet, and duvet covet helped more than hindered. It certainly warmed me up, and it loosened up a few stiff muscles. It ended up that there was nothing really stopping me from going out for a walk in the afternoon, even just a stroll to the shops and back, but I didn't really fancy it, or just couldn't be bothered. What I could be bothered to do was a bit of gardening.

 Maybe "gardening" is a bit of an exaggeration. Perhaps "garden maintenance" is a better description. I just swept the garden path of assorted detritus, and filled a bin liner with some pulled up weeds - although it didn't feel quite as trivial as that description suggests. If I could do the same amount of weed pulling everyday for three days, and somehow get rid of the remains of a buddleia bush, and the short stump of a very immature tree, I could almost be ready to either lay a small lawn, or even plant some food crops. It doesn't feel like it will happen this year though, but you never know...

 It felt like quite a productive day yesterday, or at least pretty productive considering how I was feeling at the start of the day. It should have meant that I was nice and tired, and ready for an early night last night, but it didn't. I guess the extra sleep I got when I went back to bed after deciding I felt too rough to travel to work, plus the times I just lay on my bed quietly reading, provided more than enough relaxation for the day. So it was quite late before I got to sleep last night.

 I slept fairly well, but as seems to be the norm now, I started waking up every 30 - 60 minutes from about 3am onwards. I didn't feel all that wonderful when I got up, but at least I wasn't shivering, and I didn't feel like I might be heading towards vomiting. I did feel quite a lot of aches here, there and everywhere, but although the quantity and intensity may have been a bit higher than usual, they didn't seem to be any reason not to come to work today. Maybe the worse ache was from my chest. One lingering, although quite intermittent, symptom that started, or at least started in earnest yesterday, was a dry tickly cough. Oddly enough, it seemed to be worse while I was in bed, and it certainly shook up my costochondritus - inflammation of the bits that are "loose" inside my chest (probably) due to incomplete healing following my heart bypass operation.

 The journey to work didn't seem much removed from normality. I felt less inclined to rush about - maybe because I wasn't sure if I was up to it - but other than that it was pretty much like any other day - a bit boring, and a tragic waste of over an hour of my life ! Oh well, in a quarter of a day I can do the whole thing in reverse, and waste another hour of my life. If the forecast can stay relatively close to reality, I will at least have the pleasure of going home in warm sunshine. Once I am home I have no plans at all...or maybe I have one. I ought to try and eat rather sparsely if I can. I was a bit careful about what I ate yesterday, but it was inevitable that while I was home all day I ended up eating more than I should have.  The difficulty is that eating is the only pleasurable thing I have to look forward to when I get home (apart from sleep) !
Tuesday 21st April 2015
11:43 BST

  The temperature didn't hit the hoped for 19° C yesterday. I'm not sure how high it did go - it was either 14° C or 17° C, and I am thinking it may have only been the former. Maybe the latter was in one of those sun traps in the centre of London. It was certainly nice though, and if it didn't actually feel warm, it certainly felt very comfortable. The all day sunshine was certainly very welcome. During the night the temperature fell a lot - I saw just 4° C on my upstairs thermometer, although the one outside the kitchen downstairs said 6° C. It was a bright clear morning, and the sun is forecast to continue to shine all day long again. Fifteen minutes ago the old fashioned thermometer out the kitchen (not the radio linked one) was indicating the temperature was 14° C. Maybe it is today that we will see that fabled 19° C - although if this sunshine continues to pour heat into the air it might even go higher. Tomorrow is showing as cloud in the morning, and a bit of sunshine in the afternoon, but only 14° C max. Friday is showing as 16° C with thunderstorms !

 The most exciting feature at work yesterday was a fire drill.....
Fire drill !
                          Everybody to the rendevous point - the park !
 Here's our two fire wardens rounding up the troops (sort of) for roll call in a nice sunny park !

 As far as I can recall, I felt OK-ish at work. For a short while, a time when I was being lazy at an advanced level, I did start to feel very tired, and falling asleep while I read stuff from the internet would have been easy, very easy, so easy that I think I did fall asleep for a second or two. Eventually it was time to go home, and time to enjoy some direct sunshine on my neck, or wherever it chose to fall.

 On my way home I called in to Tesco to pick up some more salad - and some stuff to go with the salad - and some reduced price ready cooked, hot "mega meaty ribs in a chilli marinade". Of course the latter was not exactly the healthiest option, but they are very tasty, and at half price it would be criminal to ignore them....

 Although I was quite careful about what I bought in Tesco (with that one slip off the path of righteousness), I still ended up eating more than I should have done. Over the weekend, on Sunday I think, I found my old swimming trunks that have not been used since I used to go swimming with Patricia almost 10 years ago. They were not a generous fit then, but they were perfectly comfortable. They are not any more ! I can still get into them, but I didn't dare breathe out !! It was a good reminder that I ought to be seriously reducing my fat/oil intake. I have managed to reduce my sugar intake a lot, and my carbohydrate intake a fair amount. That has (probably) taken the load off my pancreas (I hope), and it will have reduced my calorie intake a bit, but to get back into those swimming trunks (which might be useful if I am ever ship wrecked) would take a lot more effort than I am currently achieving.

 If I was ever to take up a suggestion that Amazon gave me when looking at their web site last night, I would have to live off distilled water for a year and a half.....
Amazon think I
                              can wear these - they must be mad !
 The popular idea is that Amazon scour every move you make on the internet, and their super computers know everything about you. Evidently they have a very serious software bug if they think I can wear skinny slim fit jeans ! It would be nice if I could, but never in my whole life have I ever been skinny or slim. I was born fat, and I've been like that every single day of my life !

 This morning I woke up from a pretty average sort of sleep feeling averagely OK, but from then on I seemed to go down hill. By the time I was showered, dressed, and about to leave to go to the station I felt horrible. I felt shivery, and I had a sort of empty yet nauseas feel in my stomach. That rather put me off going to work. So I got undressed again and went back to bed with the heater on full blast. At some pint in the next two hours I fell asleep, and woke up just in time to call work to tell them the good news. 

 I still didn't feel that wonderful, but I had stopped feeling shivery, and a couple of tuna and cucumber sandwiches that I had bought in Tesco last night, and that I intended to take to work with me for breakfast, cured the empty feeling I had (although at one point I did wonder if I would throw up). I have no idea what ailed me. Maybe it was just the terror of going to work or something.....

 Despite the heater still going full blast I was not feeling hot, but I knew a kill or cure way of warming up - and it would either sort out, or really blow up some mild costochondritus I was suffering from. (Costochondritus is my new catch-all name to replace "floating rib syndrome" when describing clicking, popping, and cracking noises from with my chest, although strictly speaking it is only relevant when the proper bits are inflamed and painful). That way of warming myself up was to do some hand laundry, and this morning I really went for it ! I did a pair of sheets (easy), a fitted sheet (still fairly easy), and a rather heavy duty duvet cover (a real handful !).
washing on the
 The fitted sheet is drying indoors because there is no room on the washing line for it (well there is, but the far end is worryingly close to where many birds like to drop "little presents" from the overhanging tree branches !). That duvet cover is not one of the cheap and nasty ones from Poundstretcher, and is bloody heavy when saturated with water - far too heavy to wring out with any useful effectiveness. so I can only wash things like it on nice sunny days when it can drip away to it's hearts content in the garden. Funnily enough, I feel much better for doing that hard work...or maybe it wasn't such a surprise.

 I am going to have a lay down and read of my book now. That will probably make things worse again, and so maybe I might go out for a walk this afternoon.....or maybe not. I'll see how motivated I am later.
Monday 20th April 2015
07:57 BST

  Yesterday evening/late afternoon was not exactly warm, but it seemed to be quite nice.....but maybe only when viewed from indoors ! It was not always sunny, but it seemed to stay bright until the sun set, and I guess that I shouldn't complain about it being just 13° C, but I will anyway ! With the sky just about empty of clouds during the night, the temperature plummeted ! It wasn't cold enough for a frost, although the pattern of condensation on some car roofs or windscreens did look a lot like melted frost. My upstairs outdoor thermometer said it was just 4° C, but the downstairs one said a more generous 5.5° C. While it was most definitely "wear a coat to work in the morning" weather, it was gloriously sunny once the sun had risen high enough to clear the roof tops. The weather forecast on TV last night predicted that the temperature could hit a comfortable 19° C today, and tomorrow it could be similar (maybe even better if we are very lucky).

 Last night I had a wonderful sleep until about 3am this morning when it all started to go wrong. I kept waking up for no apparent reason. Maybe I just didn't need any more sleep, but that can't be so judging from ow easy it seemed to get back to sleep again. One consequence of this is that I remembered snatches of quite a few dreams - although I seem to have forgotten most of them now. I remember one featured an alien invasion. I was in some sort of bunker with several other people - one of whom seemed to be a girlfriend - although there was too much war like action taking place for any "romantic interludes" ! One scene sticks in my mind (although it is looking like a bit of a hazy view now). It was of something that looked like a giant buzz saw blade that was cutting up buildings under the control of the aliens (whoever they were). One other "scene" was worth taking the trouble to remember because it seemed to sum up how life sometimes appeared. I was following my "girlfriend" up a stair case as we escaped from the bunker, and I said "Don't worry. We are in next weeks episode, and so can't be killed yet !". I don't think I used the actual word "episode" in the dream, but it was something very similar. Hmmm, life is no more than a play that is only of any significance to those that watch us play our parts, while we are just characters with no reality outside of the play. I wonder who said that...maybe it was me !

 This morning I could judge myself to feel good, bad, or indifferent. It is one of those mornings where if I judge myself on how easy it was to walk to the station, or on the more testing experience of the race across the link from Waterloo East station to Waterloo station, I would have to say I felt pretty good. That's not the whole story though. The walk to the station seemed easy because I was concentrating on how bad other bits of me felt. For some unknown reason I developed a very tickly throat a little while after waking up (and a bit of a runny nose). The tickly throat made me cough a lot, and that made my chest hurt. So while I walked to the station I wondered if my chest would start to feel better or worse - it did start to feel very slightly better - and I also contemplated whether I had visited the toilet enough before setting out. So I sort of left my legs to get on with the business of walking to the station, and they seemed to do the job well. I was also quite pleased with my performance of racing other commuters across the link to Waterloo station. I didn't get to lead the pack, but we left the majority choking in our dust as we powered up the slope, accelerated on the level, and didn't slow down on the next slope. From then on it was full speed ahead on the level until the ticket barriers where we dispersed in all directions !

 Going home in the warm sunshine is definitely something to look forward to once I've got today's work out of the way. Today I am probably going to end up on a go slow. My first line manager is piling on the work, and the more he gives me the slower I go. This is partly because there is now no room to work on my bench, and partly because it pisses me off to have all these projects all on the go at once, but more important is the fact that by the time I get around to starting on the next project I have forgotten what it is all about. These are all projects for the exhibition coming up in about 35 days times (although I am still unsure if that is working days or actual days - I know the date and could work it out, but I can't be bothered).  Oh well, maybe my manager will learn how to manage me before I quit this job.....or maybe not ! To quote a well known unpleasant character "Am I bovvered ?".
Sunday 19th April 2015
17:07 BST

  It may not have been warm, but yesterday afternoon ended up quite bright and sunny, and at 5pm I was going to walk to Aldi in my shirtsleeves (I didn't, but not because I didn't think it warm enough). During the night the temperature dropped down to 6° C (or in the region). It made for a chilly sunrise, but at sunrise the day looked very promising. There was a scattering of clouds, but there was still plenty of blue sky to be seen. Unfortunately the cloud got thicker, and covered more and more of the sky. By 9am it looked as bad , or worse than the most pessimistic interpretation of the weather forecast. At some point, and it is hard to put a time on it because it happened very slowly, the clouds thinned again, and from mid afternoon there was quite a bit of sunshine. This was a departure from the weather forecast, and so was the temperature rising to about 13° C (the forecast was for a pathetic 10° C). The forecast for tomorrow is still saying it will be bright and sunny with a top temperature of 16° C.

 As far as I can recall, I felt perfectly OK last night, but I still had no inclination to go out to a gig in the evening - none at all ! Admittedly this was a pre-planned decision when it came to seeing Chain. They were playing at The Belvedere Hotel which is right opposite Belvedere station. If I was feeling adventurous I could have got there, and maybe even got home again, but it was having to travel to that very station every morning that made me quit my previous job (under voluntary redundancy terms) when work moved from Elmers End (easy to get to and from) to Erith (a pain in the arse !). I am sure there were more local gigs I could have gone to, but I just couldn't be bothered.

 One of the things I did instead was to do some research, and I came up trumps. I was looking into possible reasons for all the clicking, popping, creaking and groaning that come from within my chest when I do certain things. These aren't always literal noises, and generally are felt rather than heard. It too very little time (1 minute ?) to find a web site that explains all - albeit in a general sort of way. Only a doctor or anatomist would bother to actually count my ribs, and stuff like that. Until some time in the not too distant future, when I finally bother to consult my doctor about it, and he or she gives it a different name, I will call it costochondritus.

 The website that both describes my symptoms well, and gives me that name is - Other websites, including our very own, concur with this, but the one I linked to describes it best. As I have previously said, this problem, whether it is actually costochondritus, or one of several very similar conditions, has no actual cure, and in most cases all  that can be offered is anti-inflammatory drugs - and I already know that Ibuprofen usually works very well when, and if it generates actual pain instead of just feeling unpleasant. Fortunately, since deciding to ignore the advice of the nurse to quadruple my Metformin dose, the inflammation that was causing me some pain seems to have mostly gone away again.

 I think I had another good night's sleep last night, and I eventually woke up feeling fairly refreshed - although I do seem to be yawning quite a lot now ! I did have one niggling little problem that spoiled some of morning - trapped wind. At least it was trapped every time I tried to deflate myself while sitting on the toilet, but I didn't seem to have any problem farting all the way from home to the station when I went to meet Aleemah at the station ! I guess as I age two things are happening - my digestive system is getting more decrepit, and my brain, as it becomes more senile, is reverting back to younger years when farting was a great joke. Just wait and see what happens when my mental age drops to about 15 !

 I still felt the effects of being distended when we got to the pub, but evidently I was just about empty, and no one in the pub had to suffer the consequences of it, and the same was true for those innocent souls shopping in Aldi when we went in there after breakfast in the pub.  Today Aleemah brought over a DVD of a film I thought I should know well, but evidently I didn't. It was the classic 1957 horror film Night Of The Demon (apparently called Curse Of The Demon in N. America). I was sure I had seen it before, and maybe I did remember a few minutes of it, but essentially it was a new experience. I am not a fan of horror stories, but I guess it was a little bit enjoyable.
Saturday 18th April 2015
14:07 BST

  Yesterday wasn't bad, but neither was it good - except towards sunset when it was sort of bad. Compared to a few days ago it was a bit cool, and there was a distinct lack of sunshine. I can't remember if there was any sunshine at all, but maybe there might have been the odd minute of sunshine here and there. The day did warm up enough to make coming home from work without wearing a coat quite comfortable, but it also cooled down enough near sunset to make walking home from the pub without wearing a coat definitely uncomfortable ! Today has seen much more sunshine, particularly this afternoon, but it is still no less cool than "mild" outside. Currently it is about 13° C, and that is supposed to be about as good as it is going to get. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be very grey with some rain in the afternoon, and very cool - a mere 10° C. Once the weekend is over, and we are back to work, isolated from the worst or best of the weather, it will be warm and sunny again !

 My mild hangover dissipated by mid morning, and my volatile guts evidently had settled down before that, although my guts still felt slightly distended for a while after that. By home time I was feeling fine, and maybe even better than fine. Even better because I had exchanged a few text messages from my friend Patricia, and she was free to meet up with me soon after I got home from work.

 She timed it well. I had just enough time to drag a comb through my hair (figuratively speaking - I actually brushed it), and to make other adjustments to make me and my home look less like a caveman and cave. We didn't stay here long. After I had dumped all her mail on her that had accumulated during the past year (a legacy of the couple of times she has stayed here in the past), I took her to the famous (?) Catford Constitutional Club for a quick drink.

 It was a quick drink too because the place was very busy, and there was nowhere to sit, but there was time for her to visit the ladies toilet - mainly on my recommendation rather than any need to use it (although she may have). The ladies toilet there is unlike any toilet in any pub  anywhere in the world - probably. I have never seen it first hand, but I have heard first hand descriptions, and seen a few mobile phone snapshots of some of the features. Some describe it as like a ladies boudoir. It is somewhere that is definitely on the Catford tourist trail if I am the guide !

 After the one quick drink there we moved on to the Wetherspoons pub where we could get a table to sit at to continue nattering, drinking, and also to have a light snack together. I guess it is the measure of a good friendship that despite not seeing Patricia for 12 months or so, it was like no time had passed at all, and we just resumed the conversation from where we left off. Actually I am not sure I've explained that very well, but hey ho......
Patricia in The
                          London And Rye
 This is Patricia in the Wetherspoons pub last night. It could have been a brilliant picture, but I think one of us moved during a slightly longer exposure time than I was expecting.

 I'm not sure how long we were in the pub, but it was getting on for sunset when we left. Patricia had a fair journey to get home - a bus then a train - although if she had taken my advice she would have got one bus from almost outside the pub to right outside the station where her train would take her - and with trains only every 30 minutes the single 45 minute bus journey might even been a lot quicker ! Oh well, maybe next time. I had a far simpler journey home - a 7 or 8 minute walk, but without a coat it was a very cold walk !

 I was tired when I got in, and also hungry despite the chicken and bacon pannini snack I had in the pub. I guess the beer, all three pints of it, can be blamed for both conditions. Fighting the tiredness was easy because I was feeling a bit excited or happy, but fighting the desire for more food was rather less successful, and I ordered a takeaway. I doubt it is any defense, but I was also mightily tempted by a simply mouth watering aroma of garlic and chicken wafting from some food establishment (possibly Nandos).

 So I had some curry, and I ended up not going to bed until after midnight ! I think I got my second wind while impatiently waiting for my food to be delivered, and although I only ate a smallish portion, I still had to wait some time for it all to settle down. When I finally went to bed I fell asleep very quickly, and I had two long chunks of rather good sleep - with a 2 hour pause between them. I didn't actually get up until gone 10am - and that is a bit of a record for me !

 After two consecutive evenings of light boozing I possibly felt better than expected. I can't think of anything specific that would stop me feeling rather good this morning, but I still only felt moderately OK. I had the energy and enthusiasm to do quite a lot of laundry, but that seemed to drain me. Maybe it is another case of the weather being half and half. It frequently looks like it is very nice outside, but the reality is that it is almost chilly. The thermometer says it shouldn't feel quite as chilly as it does, but the breeze is just strong enough to blow the meagre amount of warmth away.

 I was going to get some shopping from Aldi today, but partly because I had enough left over curry for a good lunch, and mostly because I just can't seem to raise the enthusiasm to go out for the sake of going out, I have put off shopping until tomorrow. I'll be seeing Aleemah for a couple of hours tomorrow, and that will mean another visit to the Wetherspoons pub, and more beer - but usually only a single pint unless there is some beer on that I get too curious about, and have to have another half pint. After that we will go to Aldi.....and then I can put my feet up and vegetate until it is time for work on Monday morning - maybe !
Friday 17th April 2015
08:14 BST

  It seemed like summer had been and gone, and that Autumn was starting yesterday. It was supposed to be a sunny afternoon, but I don't recall much in the way of sunshine then.....or any at all, although there were periods when it was quite bright outside. It was certainly not bright when I left work to go home (via the pub), and there was some rain as I made my way home from the pub. I would hazard a guess that it got no milder than 13 or 14° C. Today will be better and worse if the forecast is correct. It should stay dry today (but I am pretty certain no rain was forecast for yesterday either), and there could be a little bit of sunshine if the cloud cover stays similar to how it is right now - thin looking broken clouds covering over 50% of the sky, but with big enough gaps to let the sun through if those gaps happen to be in the right place at the right time. The forecast says it will get no milder than a not really mild at all 12° C. Tomorrow might be better, and Sunday could be worse. So much for the heatwave that some of the more wildly optimistic pundits were predicting for the rest of the month...or whatever.

 I don't think I felt particularly good or bad yesterday, and I suppose feeling very average is probably the best we can expect most of the time (brought to you by the department of the bleedin' obvious !). Of course that statement was not wholly accurate. I felt slightly blue because the sky was grey, and the shoes that had been quite comfortable in the morning seemed to get a bit uncomfortable in the afternoon - maybe my feet had swelled up a bit or something. Some booze seemed to correct the discomfort, and when I finally took those shoes off there was no sign of any fresh damage.

 It was very nice to have some beers with some friends, and I could have been tempted to have even more than the the one more than the three maximum I had planned to drink. The pub seemed to have some nice beers on last night, and the one I liked best was the Bedlam Brewery's "Golden" ale. At 4.2% it is slightly stronger than a session beer, and yet is weaker than many beers. I had three pints of it, plus a pint of Fusilier beer from the Hop Back brewery - which was OK-ish, but not so enjoyable.

 With four pints inside me it was time to walk back home through the park. It was at least an hour before sunset, and maybe even longer, but it was nasty and dull in the park, and it was not an enjoyable walk. It was made worse by it feeling quite chilly (I wasn't wearing a coat), and even more unpleasant by the rain falling on me. When I first started there was just the occasional drop of rain here and there, but by the time I reached home it was getting more like a proper shower. In the last minute of walking I did begin to get quite wet !

 The good thing about walking through the park is that there are no food shops on the way to tempt me off the path to righteousness (or whatever), although what I had for dinner when I got home was not exactly the most healthy option I had. It certainly wasn't salad weather, and so I had a heap of Hong Kong noodles - a container of ready cooked noodles that are described as Hong Kong flavour on the packet. I bought them from Aldi last Sunday. They are quite tasty, but a big plateful of noodles is not the right thing to have when you are trying to avoid carbohydrates to help control blood glucose levels. Four pints of beer was bad enough for that ! I can imagine my blood glucose level spiked quite high last night, but if I have been resting my pancreas enough recently, it might only be a semi short lived spike.

 This morning I don't seem to be too affected by an elevated blood glucose level, but I do have a mild hangover, and turbulent guts ! Oddly enough they do seem to be the only significant things to moan about this morning. Either my more usual aches and pains are being over shadowed by these other discomforts, or my usual aches and pains aren't there this morning. I certainly don't seem to have any of the pains associated with my so called floating rib syndrome. My chest still clicks and pops when I do certain things - such as doing up my shoe laces - but there don't seem to be any pains with it.

 This lack of pains may be just be because it has always been very variable, or it could be because of small changes I have made. I would guess that it may be a bit early to say that substituting my ruck sack for the shoulder bag has been useful, but maybe it is helping. Another change is that I have halved the dosage I am taking of Metformin. Now I have got my diet under better control, and I am (usually) avoiding stuff that raises my blood glucose level too much, I shouldn't need the higher dose of Metformin. Whether that has any bearing on the matter is another unknown, but I prefer not to take any pills if I can. I must be one of the few hypochondriacs who hates medicines ! Anyway, if it wasn't for the mild throbbing in my head, and the weapons grade trapped, and not so trapped, wind, I would probably be feeling fairly good this morning !
Thursday 16th April 2015
07:55 BST

  I don't think I could describe yesterday as hot, but it was certainly quite warm. The headlines shouted that some parts of London hit 26° C, but the best I saw on my thermometers was just a tad over 23° C - which I have to acknowledge is still rather impressive for mid April. Today will not be nearly as warm, but this morning's forecast is a little bit more optimistic than yesterday morning's predictions for today. It is a bit cloudy right now, but the cloud is not very thick, and frequently quite broken. Sometimes it blocks the sun almost completely, but for most of my journey to work there was at least a bright glare in the sky where the sun should be. The forecast says the cloud should disperse soon, and we will have a bright sunny afternoon. That will raise the temperature from about 10° C when I left home this morning, to a pleasant 15° C (or a couple of degrees higher than that forecast for today yesterday morning). If we are lucky the forecasts for subsequent days will improve because they are still rather unexciting - staying dry, but not always sunny, and top temperatures around 12 - 13° C.

 Compare ,and contrast these two images........
part of the frfont
                          page of the Evening Standard newspaper
weather forecast for
                          the week ahead
  The top picture is from the rather enthusiastic front page of The Evening Standard. They quote weathermen forecasting "that the hot spell could last until next week". Underneath it is a screenshot from the BBC's weather forecast web page taken early yesterday evening. The forecast for today was the new improved 15° C rather than the forecast for 13° C made earlier in the morning, but for the rest of the week there are no signs of a hot spell ! It looks more tepid than hot to my eyes.

 Yesterday I made the mistake of saying that the pain in right elbow was much diminished, and maybe implied that it was just another of those unexplained pains that suddenly appears, and then fades away again for no obvious reason. That did seem to be the case at the time, but it wasn't long before the pain flared up again, and from time to time, through the day, and even when I was in bed, the pain became quite annoying. It wasn't until later in the day that I remembered the reason for it....well almost remembered. I can't remember when or where it was, but I do recall catching the middle of my arm, around where the elbow is, on what was probably a door handle as I walked through a door, but it could have been something else sticking out. I do recall it was quite painful for an instant, but by the time I had walked another dozen paces I more or less forgot about it. This morning there is a feint sign of a bruise that may get worse, or made fade away. At the moment it is a bit like yesterday morning - the pain is almost not there, but it was quite fierce when I woke up this morning. Hopefully it will not get worse today as it did yesterday.

 Apart from my right elbow being rather sore, and my feet being slightly sore, I felt quite good when I got home yesterday. I went home via Tesco where I bought far too much cheese. It is not good for me, but it is hard to resist at the best of times, and impossible to resist when Tesco are selling off  "7 cheese platters" for just £2. I would hazard a guess they were originally a xmas item selling for a lot more, although the box is not christmassy. With one other exception, everything else I bought was fairly innocent stuff. That exception was a half price, cooked, and originally hot, bacon joint.  A lot of it is bone and lean meat, but being "baconised" pork it was also a bit fatty and a bit salty. It was also delicious when eaten with a bowl of salad !

 If my memory serves me well, once upon a time we used to have "off days" - infrequent days when you don't feel so good to one degree or another for various reasons. I guess most people still have them but I don't. I have "on days" - infrequent days when to some degree or another, and usually for unexplained reasons, I feel good, or at least better than average. After a fair nights sleep, however unlikely that seemed with my sore elbow demanding rarely used sleeping positions to reduce the worst of the discomfort from my elbow, and increasing discomfort in other areas, I woke up with my elbow still very uncomfortable, but everything else unusually good. By the time I had had a hot shower it felt like my elbow was on the mend, and by the time I was walking to the station I was hardly noticing any discomfort from my elbow.

 Maybe I was slightly distracted by the fact that I had dared to walk to the station without a coat on despite the temperature being a bit low for that. At first I wondered if I had made a big mistake by not wearing a coat, but once I got moving it felt all right, and once I stopped again as I waited for 5 or 6 minutes for my train to arrive, it did feel a bit nippy ! Apart from that I felt unusually good. Walking to the station seemed easier than usual, and perhaps that was helped a bit by wearing shoes that I thought might be uncomfortable, but weren't. I was so unsure about those shoes that I took a spare pair in my rucksack in case I needed to change them.

 I have to admit that these particular shoes are not completely comfortable, but they aren't bad, and are probably remarkably good considering what they are. They are a pair of very cheap (£4 - including p&p if I remember correctly) plimsoll like trainers bought from Amazon many months ago. They are made in China (but lots of footware is these days). The sole looks like it may have been made from recycled yoghurt cartons, and the canvas dies with some sort of white industrial effluent (and probably is). The do have a rather strange, possible deadly, part chemical - part perfume like disguise, smell about them. However, they are nice and roomy inside, and they don't rub. They are comfortable enough too be totally forgotten when sitting down, and are very comfortable to walk in, but rather strangely they are not comfortable to stand still in (although not terribly uncomfortable either).

 I had high hopes of quitting my job and becoming one of the paparazzi, but I think I failed my audition. My reaction time was just not quite fast enough for a clear picture of two of my work colleagues walking in the park together yesterday lunchtime ! She came out OK, but he has a tree branch across his face. Shame really - he is now my first line manager, and a clearer picture could have been good for blackmail purposes ;-)
two work colleagues
                          caught walking in the park together 
  Tonight, or it is technically late this afternoon, I am looking forward to a beer or three. Three is the maximum I am aiming for, but I could be having less, and I could be leaving the pub too early for more anyway. If I am lucky I will have about two pints before at last meeting up with my friend Patricia. Maybe it will happen this time, or maybe not, but there is an added incentive for her this time because I have a letter for her at home that she needs to collect sooner or later. So maybe a double bit of excitement before one more day at work, and then the weekend is upon us.
Wednesday 15th April 2015
08:12 BST

  Yesterday ended up with glorious warm sunshine. There were reports of the temperature hitting 24° C in one or two parts of the city, but I don't think I experienced anything higher than 20° C, although I might accept 21° C if anyone challenged that. The sun rose on a clear blue sky this morning, and the forecast says today will be a couple of degrees warmer than yesterday. The BBC gives a rather conservative forecast of 23° C, while The Metro uses tabloid hyperbole and says 26° C ! So today should be great, and it was just barely warm enough to leave my coat off to come to work this morning, but tomorrow, if the forecast is correct, blows all the grand theories that a heatwave has started that will last through the spring, into the summer, and if the more extreme sensationalist writers were correct, until the next ice starts. Tomorrow will be perfectly average for mid April - about 13° C, and probably mostly overcast with a very improbable, but still possible, chance of rain - perhaps after dark when it doesn't really matter. That's not quite the average in my dreams, but that is the official average worked out since records began in 1967, or was it 1952, or 1927, or 1854, or maybe even 1745 !

 If I had been wearing suitable shoes (i.e. shoes that were comfortable for extended walking) I might almost have been tempted to walk the 2 miles (by the more scenic route) to Wandsworth Common station after work yesterday. I haven't done that walk for a few years now. It always got me hot and sweaty, and always left me feeling a bit knackered after a day at work, and I can imagine it would have left me more than knackered if I had done it yesterday afternoon. I should try and force myself to do it sooner or later, and then try to do it as often as I can. I desperately need the practice to build my stamina up again.

 I went home from work the usual way yesterday - walk to Earlsfield station - train to Waterloo - cross over the link to Waterloo East - train to Catford Bridge - and then walk home. I must admit that the warm sunshine did not inspire me to be all energetic like I used to a summer or two ago. Until the angina pains ruled it out, I used to have this strange masochistic desire to run up the escalators on the hottest days. I sometimes wondered if I was a lizard who needed extra warmth for my muscles to work properly. Maybe I did have the desire, but not the physical wherewithal to do it. One not insignificant brake on my intentions was the shoes I was wearing. I had specially selected them as being a pair that would not aggravate the sore places on several toes where some ill advised shoes had rubbed all the skin off. So while the shoes I was wearing did not rub the top of my feet, and nor did they pinch at the side, the soles seemed very lumpy and uncomfortable to walk on. The pair I am wearing today are different, but similar...although maybe not quite as extreme.

 I did not feel good when I got home yesterday. I wasn't in any physical pain or discomfort (apart from my feet), but I didn't feel excited or happy, and I only have a vague idea why that might have been so. Perhaps I was a bit disappointed that I had not been able to make better use of the warm sunshine, or maybe it was just some sort of chemical imbalance in my brain caused by a lack of vitamins J and U. Maybe I don't have enough pumpkin in my diet or something. Whatever may have been lacking in my diet was certainly not quantity. I had a double dinner last night. Part one was a fairly simple salmon salad, and just the sort of thing to make me fit and healthy when that is the only thing I eat in an evening. It wasn't enough though, and I ruined everything except my enjoyment by eating a prawn masala curry - a ready meal I had bought from Aldi last Sunday, and being as it was not a frozen meal, was probably approaching it's best before date, and would have had to be eaten sooner or later.

 Last night was another night where I seemingly slept well when judged by the lack of times I apparently woke up in the night, but in actuality must have been a bad night. I must have been sleeping on my right arm in a some very awkward way sometime before I woke up at 4.45am. My right arm was really rather painful when I woke up, and most of the pain was centred around the elbow. Once I started moving it the pain quickly diminished, but even now there is still a feint reminder, like an old wound, of how it felt when I woke up. Whatever the precise cause of it was, there is definitely one factor that probably contributed to it happening. It was my right elbow that I dislocated 15 - 20 years ago when I stumbled and fell while getting out of a car in the pitch darkness one night. It is the first place on my entire body that starts to ache in very cold damp weather now !

 This morning I have started an experiment to determine if some of my "loose rib cage/floating rib syndrome" pains are made worse by using a shoulder bag (or courier bag, or whatever your favourite name for a bag with a long strap that you wear over one shoulder is). It does present an asymmetrical load on my upper body, and maybe could be making things worse for me. So today I have left it at home, and I am using a ruck sack to take stuff to and from work. It is not quite as handy for commuting because you have to take it off everytime you sit down on the train, but in other respects it is more comfortable. I'll try to keep this experiment going for at least a full week, and hopefully more, and I see if I can detect any useful difference.

 With it being so bright and sunny yesterday I had to get out for 10 minutes around lunchtime (but not actually in my lunchbreak) to enjoy it. It was rather nice in the park, but there wasn't a great deal to see - or take pictures of.
three trees
 I noticed these three trees lined up nicely when standing in the right place. Two are in blossom, and one is still bare. There is also a dog in the picture, and although you wouldn't know it unless you saw the original (or were there when the original picture was taken), there is also a magpie in the picture.....and also that intense blue sky !
blue sky with an
 Here's more of that blue sky with a plane flying through it.
open window
Yesterday was the first day this year, and possibly since autumn started last year, that I have been able to work with the window open. It felt nice and fresh in my office for a change (it's usually polluted with nasty cooking smells in the afternoon).
Bloody Cameron
 Well one politician has lost my vote - not that I could have voted for him anyway - he's not a local politician, but he does represent a whole bunch of politicians. He is in fact David Cameron, current leader of the Conservative party, and he says that he and his chums will be delivering the good life to all hard working Britons. Well good for you chum, but what about us lazy bastards ? Who is going to raise out standard of living, and enhance our happiness. Evidently not this bunch of public robbing, power seeking, self centred bunch of egotists ! I tried working hard once, but I didn't like it, and it got me nowhere. So now I do the minimum possible, and work down from there !
Tuesday 14th April 2015
07:57 BST

  I can't recall if there was any sunshine yesterday, but it was brighter than I expected. On the whole it wasn't a bad day, although it would have been better if the top temperature had been a bit more than 15 or 16° C. That should happen today. Before sunrise the sky looked like it was a bit cloudy, but once the sky got a bit lighter any cloud that was there seemed to disappear. The forecasters seem quite confident that it will be a bright sunny day with a top temperature of 22° C. Tomorrow could even be a degree higher, but after that, and contrary to earlier forecasts, the weather will resume a more early spring like theme - cloudy, occasionally wet, and under 15° C ! As usual, let's hope they have that very wrong again !

 I hate to say it, but work has almost become not hateful recently. As we build up to an exhibition in June, interesting things and jobs are coming my way - also some frustrating things, but frustration can be better than boredom - sometimes ! It left me feeling moderately happy yesterday, and that seemed to feed through to feeling physically not too bad. I arrived home after work (on trains that seemed to work as usual instead of the disastrous service in the morning) feeling very slightly more than still alive.

 Two results of that feeling were that I almost had a healthy dinner, and I did yet more hand laundry. I washed three work shirts and a pillowcase. None of those items were particularly taxing, but to do them after work must mean something. I certainly didn't feel like doing anything similar last week, nor the week before that. For dinner I had two bowls of "ready mix" salad. The reason for two was twofold. Firstly I enjoyed the first, and secondly, they had been in the fridge for a few days, and were just on their best-before date. While all the greenery and raw stuff was mighty healthy, I'm afraid I spoiled it all be using too much mayonnaise, and a rather generous amount of cheese. (Although I did cut the cheese into small chunks to make it look like there was more of it).

 After spending quite a while composing an email I went to bed. I semi lost track of the time, but I think I was asleep not too long after 9pm, and I slept remarkably well until about 4.30am when I woke up feeling like it was time to get up. Prior to that I had woken up twice. At least I think it was twice, but one occasion might have been a dream. All I can remember was straightening my pillow before apparently falling straight back to sleep again. At 3am I woke up feeling very cold because the duvet had partly fallen off me. Once again I seemed to fall asleep very quickly.

 Once I had attended to the usual morning necessities I felt quite reasonably good. I knew it would mean walking to the station with damp hair in the rather cool morning air, but I felt good enough to wash and condition my hair this morning. In fact because I was able to wash it so early it was almost dry by the time I set out for the station. Walking to the station was almost pleasant, although as I have said many times before, even on days when I managed a 10 mile walk, it was still hard work to walk to the station.

 From still feeling quite good when I got on the train, I went to feeling quite rough when I was about half way to Waterloo East. It may have been the way I was sitting, or it may have been something else, but I had one of my chest aches - and it was just a dull ache rather than what I would call a pain. It is the one bothersome thing about the problems I've had with my chest and what seems to be some loose ligaments, ribs, or other skeletal bits. It's a pain that could have more than one reason, but until it actually interferes with anything I will continue to lump it in with other random pains that happen as my rib cage swings here, there and everywhere (or seems to).

 One thing that could have given me an immense amount of pain, far exceeding anything I have experienced ever before, and that would be to have a very large lump of concrete drop on my head !
debris around a big
                          crater on the pavement
 These lumps of masonry, one with a Western Union sign still attached to it, and one with a TV aerial still attached to it are on the pavement just around the corner from Catford Bridge station. I took these pictures this morning, but I first saw this debris on Saturday. I took some pictures then, but the pouring rain, which probably caused the problem, also seemed to cause my lens to mist over, and the pictures came out too fuzzy to use.
A most impressive
                          crater in the pavement
 The falling masonry made quite a crater in the pavement, and would almost certainly have killed someone if it had landed on them. The single traffic cone that guards the pavement was probably found lurking somewhere, and is obviously unofficial. I can imagine that if the council happens to notice this incident there will be more than an old traffic cone involved !
the source of the
                          fallen masonry
This is the source of that fallen masonry. It was a decorative divider at roof level between two shops - an Afro-Carribean barber on the left, and an Afro-Carribean hair dresser on the right.
Monday 13th April 2015
08:31 BST

  The weather was rather good yesterday, although it did come with one minor annoyance. It was bright and sunny, and almost, but not quite, warm. A top temperature of 16° C (or maybe a little more at times) sounds very good, and apart from one little problem, it was rather good. The problem is that all that bright sunshine made it look as if it might be warmer still. When doing something active that was irrelevant, but when relaxing, such as laying on my bed reading, it quickly began to feel quite chilly. It started getting cloudy during the night, and that kept the temperature up a bit, although it was a quite chilly feeling 7° C when I started out to come to work. The forecast says most of today will be cloudy and overcast, but it is only light cloud, and it shouldn't rain. Even without much sunshine it should still get to 15° C or more, but tomorrow, fingers crossed, we will see some real warmth. Temperatures of 22° C are forecast !

 It was nice to hear that someone is concerned about my recent reports of bad health (thanks Ruby), but things are not quite as bad as they may seem - I think. It is true that I could possibly avoid quite frequent bouts of discomfort if there was some miracle cure for what ails me, but if it is, as I firmly believe, a muscular-skeletal problem, then there is actually little the medical profession can do for it (although if I was a surgeon I would open myself up and get busy with the super glue and staples, but I don't think normal surgeons tend to do that). My biggest concern is that all these pains I get as my rib cage seems to click and pop and move and rattle and hum, could mask pains that might indicate some sort of heart problem. However, being aware of that fact makes me consider the nature of the pains most carefully, and there have only been a few occasions when I have had doubts. The biggest argument against those few doubts is that walking makes any pains less instead of more. That is consistent with the idea that bad, or maybe just different postures, cause some of those pains. Walking, with my back nice and straight (usually - at least I think it is) keeps my ribcage nicely centred (probably), and there is no discomfort from it at all. Shame I can't sleep like that - unless I sleep on the floor with no mattress - something that I believe those with spinal injuries have to endure sometimes.

 I did lots of stuff that could have made my aches and pains a lot worse, but the fact that they didn't proves something or another ! My main achievements, or if I am honest, the sum total of my achievements yesterday was to go shopping in Aldi, and to (hand) wash three loads of washing. The first load was some shirts and underwear. The second lot, which I dried in the garden, included a medium sized bath towel (very heavy when saturated with water) and some mini tablecloths. The third lot needed extra soaking to get out some more stubborn stains, and I started that in the morning, and finished it mid afternoon. All that left me feeling knackered, but quite pleased, and most importantly, it didn't produce any new pains, or even really wake up any dormant ones.

 I find it hard to believe, but it seems like I must have been fairly careful about how I ate over the weekend. At some point last week I seemed to increase my waist by somewhere in the region of an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Doing up my trouser belt to it's ultimate notch made it very slightly too tight prior to the weekend, but it just seemed to do up to that notch with no effort this morning. Maybe some of the things that I feel guilty about eating over the weekend will actually do their worst today or something. Having said that, I think the worst things I ate were on Saturday, and that is despite a shopping trip on Sunday.

 One of the innocent things I got from Aldi, and which I ate yesterday, was a masterpiece of culinary engineering. It was a potato and egg salad. It had a mix of common salad ingredients - lettuce leaves of some description, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, and I think there were some slices of radish too. It has one boiled egg cut into two halves, and one new potato sliced into thin slices. It was the latter I found most clever. If that new potato had been unsliced I would have eaten it in one bite, but when the slices were distributed amongst the rest of the salad it made it seem like there was so much more of it.

 One of the problems of spending a considerable amount of the afternoon laying on my bed reading and dozing off, and then more of the same in the early evening, is that when it came to going to bed I found myself wide awake ! Luckily it was one of those false alarms, and although I did lay in bed seemingly wide awake for maybe half an hour, I actually fell asleep while wondering if I would ever fall asleep ! I ended up sleeping quite well apart from one little problem. It seemed warm in my bed when I first got in, but during the night the temperature in my bedroom fell quite a lot, and at 3am (or was it earlier ?) I woke up feeling freezing cold ! I got out of bed and turned the heater on, and then got back in bed and made sure I was fully covered (except for my face) with the duvet.

 One aspect of my health that has become apparent over the last week or two is that I seem to be taking care of my blood glucose level far better than I was a month or more ago. Although the symptoms never got severe, and the fact that they crept up on me so slowly, meant that I was not immediately aware that I was starting to get thirsty, and peeing more. The change in the opposite direction, after cutting out, or severely cutting down on anything I believed to be capable of raising my blood glucose level, is more apparent. I can still wake up in the morning with a mouth like the Sahara, but I haven't spent the night getting up for a pee, and my drink consumption at work has dropped to less than 500ml a day.

 This morning I almost feel good. Maybe one day I will actually feel good, but today is as good as, or better than average. It's just as well that I feel like that because it was an "interesting" journey to work today. On Southeastern Trains there were signal problem and/or over running engineering problems between New Cross and London Bridge. So my train was delayed getting to Hayes (Kent) where it starts it's run towards Charing Cross. That meant it was late leaving Hayes, and late arriving at Catford Bridge station. Then because we were late we lost our slot onto the main line at Lewisham. So that delayed us a few more minutes. Next were a couple of failed signals we had to go through the procedure to pass at danger by getting verbal permission from the signaller, and then proceeding at a cautionary speed. We arrived at Waterloo 15 - 20 minutes late. That was all a bit tiring, and I could have done with somewhere to sit and have a rest. Fortunately Catford has all the most modern conveniences, and I could have had a rest on the way to the station !
somewhere to sit on
                          the way to the station
 Once I got to Waterloo I thought all my troubles were over.....wrong ! The train I got from Waterloo was, if I recall correctly, the 07:24 to Dorking. It was a bit of a rush, and instead of making my way almost to the front of the 8 coach train, I had to get on the back portion of the train which was one of the refurbished, ex-Southern, class 456 2 car units. That would have meant a longer walk at Earlfield station, but not today ! I think it was a few minutes after we had left Vauxhall station, and had accelerated to full line speed (~50 mph), that there was a bang followed by the sound of something hitting the train, possibly (and probably) the underside of the train a little further towards the back.

 When we arrived at Clapham Junction the doors nearest to where I was sitting seemed to be a bit hesitant to open, and then refused to close again when the train was ready to leave. It seems obvious that something fell off the door closing mechanism, and bounced on the track a couple of times under the train cause the first bang I heard, and the second one further back. After waiting at Clapham Junction for 10 minutes, and with huge crowds building up, the train was finally declared a failure, and everybody was ordered off the train.

 With platform 11 now blocked the following trains were diverted into platform 9. Now the only problem with platform 9 is that there is no way for the train to cross over to the usual platform at Earlsfield, and the train would have to use the very, very, rarely used platform 1 at Earlsfield, and that meant someone had to find the keys open up the barriers that close off platform 1 at any other time. Happily it all went to plan, and apart from the platform staff only opening one of the barriers, which may have been reasonable in the rush hour with platform 2 already getting quite busy, everything proceeded smoothly, and for the second time in the last 5 or 6 years I have had the pleasure of alighting from a train at platform 1 !
A train at platform
                          1 at Earlsfield - Hoorah !
 The very slightly late running 07:48 service to Hampton Court calls at the very rarely used platform 1 at Earlsfield station.
crowds stream
                          through the barriers that usually lock off
                          platform 1 at Earlsfield
 Crowds stream through the opened barrier that normally segregates the unused platform 1 from platform 2. I wonder what my journey home from work will be like ? Surely it couldn't be this exciting again !!
Sunday 12th April 2015
09:45 BST

  Friday afternoon was very pleasant - it was sunny and warm ! It was all change yesterday morning. For a while there was torrential rain, but by mid morning that stopped, and the clouds disperesed to give a rather nice sunny afternoon. The temperature in the morning was over 10° C, but in the rain it felt damn chilly - particularly when your trousers are soaked with rain water ! The temperature went up in the afternoon, but I am not sure how high - maybe above 19° C. This morning started bright but a rather cool 8° C(although as little as 6 weeks ago that might have been considered a luxury day time temperature !). This afternoon promises to be warm, sunny, and rather pleasant, although the forecast says the highest temperature will only be 15 or 16° C. Tomorrow the weather takes a brief holiday. It will be cooler and greyer, but if the forecast is right we can expect bright sunshine and temperatures in the region of 20° C on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 I predicted that I would feel terribly tired at work on Friday, but I was wrong. Maybe it was because I was doing something interesting, and that distracted me. It was still very nice to get home after work and put my feet up. I came home via Tesco where I bought a couple of bowls of ready mix salad, and some other less healthy stuff. The most unhealthy was probably also the most delicious - which is typical of life ! It was something I had not seen before on the hot cooked chicken shelves - which occasionally has stuff that is not chicken. In this case it was described as extra meaty ribs in a chilli glaze (or marinade - I forget which). Oh my, were they delicious. It would be worth dieing for more of them ! I suspect they are not a regular feature, and being so wonderful means they are probably snapped up early, but maybe I'll get lucky again some day.

 After dinner, and a bit of TV, I sort of collapsed. Not the falling to the floor screaming sort of collapse, but the more gentle falling asleep in front of the TV sort of collapse. I decided I didn't have the energy to watch an episode of Start Trek (the original series), but I did have, or at least I thought I might have, the energy to listen to it. I had probably watched that episode several or more times in the past, and I could fill in the pictures from my imagination as I listened to the dialogue. Well that didn't last long, and the next thing I knew was that something like an hour had passed without me realising it.

 At that point Sods law, or one of the other tragedies of life kicked in. I turned off the TV (which was actually the PC in my bedroom), brushed my teeth, and got into bed - and realised I felt completely wide awake ! Life is never easy or predictable - or maybe this was predictable, but I wasn't thinking straight. So I started to read in bed, and I read until it was quite late - by which I mean after 10pm. Then I turned out the light, and while thinking up a million reasons why I would never get to sleep, I fell into what seemed as if it was a very deep sleep.

 At 3am I woke up, and thought that I was going to have another episode where I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep. Maybe it was because I didn't have to worry about not sleeping, because I didn't have to go to work in little more than three hours, that I did fall asleep again quite quickly. I woke up twice more after that, but only for minutes at a time, and I felt rather pleased that in the end I managed to sleep until 7.30am. I know that is early for some, but that is a two and a half hour lay in for me !

 I didn't have to go to work yesterday, but I did have to meet Aleemah. So I couldn't really try for any more sleep, but I felt reasonably refreshed, and I don't think I felt too bad in other ways (just the usual background aches and pains). It was the usual procedure of meeting Aleemah at the station, going to the Wetherspoons for breakfast, and than back here to watch a DVD. The DVD that Aleemah brought was slightly interesting, but not actually enjoyable. It was called Coven (I think) and concerned a group of schoolgirls who decide that camping out in a wood known to be used for witchcraft on Halloween was a good idea - how clichéd can some film plots get ?

 The film was of more immediate interest to Aleemah because her latest interest is Wicca, and that the film was filmed in her local neighbourhood. She has visited the woods where it takes place, and been inside the circle of oaks trees shown on maps as the coven. Well the woods looked nice, and although we never experienced Lucifer rising, or any supernatural goings on, it reminded me of lurking in the woods at night looking after an illegal radio transmitter back in the early 1970s ! Instead of Lucifer we would get the occasional visit from The Post Office Radio Investigation Branch....although there were some who did suggest that the head of that branch, a certain Mr Gotts, was actually the devil incarnate !

 After Aleemah went home I did..........nothing ! If I had felt like rushing around there was a chance that I could have met up with my friend Patricia. She sent me a text message asking if I fancied meeting for a drink, but because I was busy with Aleemah I didn't see it until over an hour had passed after Patricia had sent it.  The only thing I did to break doing nothing was to have a late lunch - so late that it could also have been an ultra early dinner. It was a rather disappointing Tesco ready made paella. It wasn't nasty, or anything like that, but I couldn't recommend it to anyone else. It just failed to excite. Oh well, it filled a small hole.

 For the rest of the evening I tried watching a bit of TV, but there was nothing on worth watching - at least not at the time I tuned in. I did some reading, and between reading I watched some videos I had on my PC. I'm not sure where they came from, or maybe I do but cannot say, but I seem to have 160 episodes of Tom And Jerry cartoons stored on my PC. They cover the good ones made in the 1950s (maybe) through to the complete and utter crap ones made in the last 1960s (probably). I watched a few of the earlier ones.

 Once again I went to sleep quite late, and last night I think it was closer to 11pm, and that is very late by my usual routine. I had another pretty good nights sleep - it wasn't perfect, but what ever is in this area of the universe in this time period ? After getting a total of about 8 hours sleep, at least I think I did, I got up feeling strangely fragile. It's quite hard to explain that. The closest, although unsatisfactory explanation is that it felt like I was on the threshold of feeling dizzy, or in pain, without actually being so.

 To test the strength of that threshold I have done some laundry. Sometimes that makes me feel worse, and sometimes better. After all the discomfort I have had from my imaginary floating ribs (and split sternum - allegedly impossible, but sometimes it has felt like that), I haven't done any laundry in the last fortnight, and I've built up a bit of a backlog. Well I've now done some shirts and underwear, and I don't think I feel the worse for it, although I haven't finished yet. I have left a towel, and some little mini tablecloths soaking in some bio detergent, and very soon I will finish them off. It's a nice bright and breezy day, and I can let the towel drip itself dry on the washing line in the garden. So no frantic chest busting wringing out required for that today !

 I don't know what I'm doing for the rest of today - probably not much. I suggested to Patricia that today might be a better day to meet up, but I don't think I'll be seeing her today. I may go to Aldi at some time today. There is nothing I really need from there today, and probably tomorrow, but going there today would be cheaper than going to Tesco later in the week. I could go to Aldi after work, but it is a long walk, and I have to go right past Tesco to get
Friday 10th April 2015
07:47 BST

  Once the morning fog had lifted yesterday morning,  it turned into a nice day. It was starting to get a little cool by about 7pm, but prior to that it was bright and sunny, and although still a tiny bit short of warm, it was very comfortable to just stand around in without a coat. Of course standing in direct sunlight, particularly when the air was still, did feel more than warm !  It was about 7° C when I walked to the station this morning. In Catford it seemed quite clear, but in west London it seemed to be a bit misty. The forecast allows for the occasional cloud to drift in front of the sun, but it should mostly be a bright sunny day, and today it should actually feel warm if the temperature hits the predicted 19° C. It seems like tomorrow could start off wet, but by mid-morning it should dry up to give a bright, mostly sunny day. The temperature is forecast to be lower than today, and could be as low as 13 or 14° C - which would have been wonderful a few weeks ago, but is now looking a bit disappointing.

 Most of the aches and pains I had yesterday morning diminished as the day went on - but not all of them. The yellow Converse trainers I wore allowed the raw skin on my feet to heal, and although at one point I wondered if my feet were swelling because they felt a bit tight, that came to nothing, and I was able to go home from work in comfort....well, my feet were comfortable ! I arrived at The Catford Constitutional Club feeling pretty good, and I assumed that a few beers would act as a good analgesic for any remaining aches. For a while I assumed correctly !

 I only had three pints last night, and none of them were stronger than 5%. One pint was a moderate strength ale (4.2% ?) and the other two pints were of "Midnight Special" perry. The first pint of that perry was rather nice, but the second rather less so. I guess I'm just not really a cider/perry drinker. My original plan was to get some shopping from Tesco either before or after drinking, but all it took was three pints to break that idea down, and instead of some nice healthy salad, or maybe somthing slightly healthy, I went for what was the worst possible option, and bought a couple of battered sausages and chips on the way home. What's more worrying is that the two sausages didn't taste the same, and I think one of them may have been slightly off.

 I don't know if it was the perry, or the sausage, or just the general state of my health, but after getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and apparently sleeping OK, I woke up sometime after 2am feeling absolutetely awful. It felt like my whole body wanted to explode. Maybe my blood pressure had hit an all time high, or maybe it was something completely different, but I could not lie down again. I had to get up and read some pages from the internet while I hoped this horrid feeling went away. To some extent it did, and I did manage to get back to sleep for about an hour before I woke up again a few minutes before my alarm was due to go off.

 It is possible that I had some sort of heart attack during the night - 2.30am is a popular time I believe - but I still seem to be alive this morning, and I made it to work with no trauma. I still don't feel terribly wonderful, but it feels better than in the early hours of this morning. My biggest annoyance now is that I feel terribly tired, and I felt myself dozing off a couple of times on the train to work. On top of that noyance is the grand aggravation that I am probably going to have to do some work today just to keep myself occupied, and not falling asleep ! I would really like to lay down and have some more sleep, but this malady is the exact opposite of the angina pains that put me in hospital in September 2013. I was perfectly comfortable back than provided I was resting, but a walk of a few hundered yards got really painful. Now I find that a walk of a couple of hundred yards, or a lot more, and done at a forced pace, is the cure for many discomforts. Weird, ain't it ? Oh well, at least this time I'll be able to walk to the hospital rather than call an ambulance if things get much worse. I wouldn't be surprised if I had to do that before the end of next week, but we'll see how things go.
Thursday 9th April 2015
08:16 BST

  After the cool and misty start, yesterday turned out fairly nice. The afternoon was bright and sunny, and warm.....well maybe not actually warm, but certainly not cold. The only fly in the ointment was that a smattering of clouds shaded the sun for most of my journey home from work. That made it feel ever so slightly cool - although I had stuffed my coat into my bag, and was just in a short sleeve shirt. I think the temperature was just about the forecast 16° C. The sky was mostly clear overnight (I think), and that allowed the temperature to drop to a chilly 6° C, and also precipitated a fog ! It may be starting to lift even now, and the forecast is for another bright and sunny afternoon. It could even be a degree or two warmer than yesterday, but once again, there could be a gap in the sunshine just as I am going home ! Tomorrow could see the temperature get up to 19° C, but the latest forecast for the weekend says the temperature will drop to as low as 13 or 14° C instead of the earlier prediction of 20+° C.

 Here's a little video showing how foggy it was as my train to Earlsfield approached Clapham Junction station.

 I don't know if it was the loss of sunshine while I travelled home from work, but I found myself feeling unaccountably miserable when I got home, or maybe soon after. I had had a tolerably good day at work, but it was a painful day. My red Vans trainers that I wore to work (without socks) seemed to abrade skin from my right foot, as well as wearing through the thin scab on my previously damaged left big toe. The only reason I wore them was because I seemed to remember they didn't do stuff like that. It made for a rather uncomfortable day - particularly when that pain was added to some of the muscle/skeleton/ligament pains in and around my chest, and the stiff and painful right shoulder blade. Yeah, I probably was not happy at work !

 As a result of my aches, pains, and general feeling of "meh !", I ate a bit more for dinner than I really wanted to, although it wasn't actually the size that was probably most damaging, but the chilli relish I added to it. That stuff is like jam, and contains a horrendous amount of sugar in it - it's little more than sugar and chillies. It's a nice idea, and rather tasty, but I really should not make a habit of eating it. Maybe I survived it OK though. While I haven't checked it by my meter, I am not getting any symptoms of high blood sugar at the moment. I'm not feeling thirsty, and I am not peeing a lot.

 I wasted some of last night watching some previously unseen episodes of The Simpsons that I downloaded, and that cheered me up a little, but then I had one of those random events in my head that had me experimenting with Bluetooth audio. I suppose it was not entirely random. Earlier in the day, while at work, I had a rather long phone call from a friend. Holding my mobile phone to my ear for so long got all sorts of bits aching, and it was one of those times when I wished that I had my Bluetooth headset charged up and with me. That little gizmo hardly gets any use because I don't have long calls on a regular basis, and it doesn't really fit my (evidently) non-standard shaped ears. So yesterday I ordered a cheap and cheerful across-the-top-of-the-head pair of stereo bluetooth headphones with built in microphone.

 I thought that it could be useful sometimes to have a pair of stereo headphones that I could also connect to my PC - either at home or at work. Although they won't be delivered until tomorrow at the very earliest, and in practice sometime next week, I thought it would be interesting to try and get my single over-the-ear-and-stuff-it-in-your-earhole earphone working with my PC at home. I have had it working before, but I think that was before I upgraded to the latest version of Linux Mint. Initially it didn't work, and I tried several things as recommended on various internet forums, but the actual answer was to try several different USB Bluetooth adaptors. The slightly expensive super duper type 4 one didn't work, and neither did the one I bought from the 99p shop, but the one I paid the penny extra for, from Poundland, did work - straight away with no mucking around ! It was all rather strange. Each one seemed to be accepted by the operating system with no trouble, and all seemed to have the correct drivers, but only one would transfer audio to the headset. Weird !

 I finally got to bed rather later than I intended, and that was a great pity because I didn't sleep very well. In fact my sleep was crap ! I seemed to be awake more than I was asleep (although I realise that the truth is probably different to how I seemed to perceive it). It was one of those nights where some bits of me were too hot, and some too cold. Where lumps that weren't there the previous nights seemed to grow from my pillow and mattress, and when the duvet shifts in it's cover, and can't be flattened out by kicking your legs and waving your arms - I should have got out of bed to fix it, but I couldn't be bothered !

 This morning I feel pretty lousy ! The only good thing is that my yellow Converse trainers are not causing me any pain - at least not yet they aren't. The red Vans didn't seem to be that uncomfortable at first, but my feet felt raw before I got to work yesterday. So my Converse trainers are doing quite well so far. One bit of me that can be painful if I make the wrong move is my left shoulder blade. I am not sure what the wrong move is, but it is very easy to make it. It feels like I slept with a brick under my shoulder last night, but really it is just an extension of the pain I had there yesterday, and I think the day before too, although this morning it seems a lot worse. Of course I also have some of the usual pains around, under, in, and on my chest as my bones and ligaments, and heavens knows what else, swings around in the breeze. When I pulled my shoelaces up this morning I generated quite a symphony of popping and grinding sounds inside my body !

 I'm not sure what is happening tonight, but I am assuming that I will be having a few pints of muscle relaxant somewhere - and hopefully "somewhere" will be The Catford Constitutional Club. I wouldn't be terribly averse to going elsewhere, but being a lazy sod it is so convenient to go somewhere that is only a 50ft diversion from going straight home after work. I haven't heard from anyone if it will be there, or even if there is any boozing tonight, but I might pop in for at least a pint regardless, and I expect Jodie would be up for a pint or two. The only small problem is that I ought to buy some shopping on the way home too. Maybe I'll end up with delicious, but naughty cod and chips for dinner !
Wednesday 8th April 2015
07:49 BST

  There were reports in the paper this morning that temperatures of 21° C were recorded in some parts of central London yesterday. I guess that might have been possible where some of the big buildings all huddled together trap the heat, but away from the centre, here in Earlsfield or in Catford, a top temperature of 16° C may have been more realistic. It was certainly very nice though - blue skies, and sunshine - sunshine that actually felt hot !
The River Wandle
                          under a clear blue sky in Earlsfield
 This was the view from the bridge into King Georges Park around the back of where I work. The sky was a lovely shade of blue, and the heat of the sun on my back, particularly my left shoulder blade, which has been a bit stiff and sore recently, felt wonderful. Most trees are still bare at the moment, but the tree just right of centre in this picture is just starting to go green.
tree top
 Here's a close up of the top of that tree. It's not terribly distinct, but the pale green of the new leaves is obvious.

 Today has started off rather cool, and the sky is misty, or was misty. The rising sun is starting to "burn off" the mist, and we should be in for another nice, warm, and sunny day.  After a few false starts it does really seem that spring has really sprung, and will be leading us into summer. The next few days are forecast to be dry (but maybe not exclusively dry), and daytime temperatures should be in the mid teens on most days. It can only get better - I hope !

  I didn't feel all that wonderful yesterday morning, but two very short walks, each little more than 5 minutes, seemed to get some of the creases out, and 5 or 10 minutes exposure to the warm sun seemed to work wonders. By the time I left work to go home my main complaint was that the sore spot on my left big toe, the bit where I had rubbed the skin off on Monday, was starting to feel a bit sore again. It was never very painful, but it was a big relief to get my shoes off when I got home.

 Having eaten so little on Monday, I did feel very hungry from time to time while I was at work yesterday, and I felt very peckish when I finally got home. I had pre-cooked a heap of vegetables the day before, and I reheated those with the addition of some ready cooked barbecue flavoured chicken fillets (the small ones that I think are meant to go in sandwiches). That filled a small hole, but it didn't satisfy me enough to stop me eating more - although I did manage to hold out for at least 10 minutes !

 I had some ready cooked, ready to eat, barbecue chicken wings in the fridge, and they probably were getting near their use by date, and would have to be used sooner or later, and I used them last night after warming them up in the microwave. They were, of course, very nice, but I am now wondering if they were even more unhealthy for me than I first thought. I am wondering if the barbecue glaze contained a lot of sugar. Until last night it seemed like my blood glucose level had come right down. I didn't feel the need to drink much yesterday, or the day before, and I wasn't peeing much. Last night, by which I mean through the night, I woke up to pee 3 or 4 times. That is one sign of my blood glucose level being high, although I didn't seem to match that by feeling thirsty. Maybe the combination of vegetables I ate had diuretic properties - although that must just be fantasy !

 Despite needing to pee 3 or 4 times in the night, I seemed to sleep quite well again last night. Once again I allowed my bedroom to cool right down during the night, and I also swapped a pillow for one that was very slightly lower than my usual - but only by a quarter of an inch, or something like that. Maybe it made a difference, or maybe not. I certainly woke up feeling rather good this morning, but it didn't take long before I felt crap. Washing my hair meant working with my hands above my head, and that annoyed my floating rib syndrome, and all the twisting and arm waving action (well how would you describe it ?) of soaping myself up, and rinsing it all off under the shower, and then towelling myself dry, really got a few things hurting !

 Many of the aches and pains went away again as I made my way to work, and a few new ones appeared. Of particular annoyance is that the shoes I put on, my red Vans trainers, which should have been comfortable, and not chafed my left big toe, turned out to be not very comfortable at all. I was right in that they are not chafing my big toe, and probably are not actually chafing anywhere, but they just don't feel comfortable at all. So, once again I am looking forward to getting home again, and putting me feet up.

 I have nothing planned for tonight, but there is a very small chance that I might get a visit from my friend Patricia. She is back in London again after spending 18 months in Argentina, and I look forward to seeing her sometime soon. Other than that, I look forward to a chicken curry ready meal that has to be used soon, and then, if I have no visitors, going to bed with a book quite early in the evening. I would look forward to a good night's sleep, but I think I can only realistically hope for that rather than look forward to it.
Tuesday 7th April 2015
07:52 BST

  I don't know, or care what the weather is like in Folkestone, but here in (south) London it is a fine morning......
My shadow as I
                          approached work this April morning
 The clouds that started to obscure the sun, or make it a bit hazy before sunset last night, dissipated during the night. The result was a rather fine sunny morning that was only spoiled by being a very chilly 6° C. The depth of my shadow in the photo above may give some idea of how bright the sun was (and also how low in the sky it is at this time of the morning, at this time of the year). It is forecast to stay sunny for most of today, and that should take the temperature up to as high as 14° C. This morning's paper was very enthusiastic about a plume of warm air heading our way, and suggested we could see temperatures of 20° C or more this coming weekend.

 Although I didn't exactly do much exercise on my rapid 1.8 mile walk around Folkestone yesterday, there was still a lot of train travel involved, and that always seems quite tiring by itself. It also makes me hungry. Well usually it does, but it seems yesterday was an exception. It was almost dinner time when I got home, but somehow I decided to review and start to edit some of my photos before eating. When I did eat it was a cheese salad based upon a bowl of Tesco "ready mix" salad with some extra baby plum tomatoes and a couple of mini sweet peppers. (Also a generous helping of full fat mayonnaise !) On most days that would not be enough to satisfy me for the evening, but last night it did.

 There are various reasons why I might have slept better than usual last night. They might include not eating too much, fresh air during the day, and allowing my bedroom to get quite cold in the night. Whatever the reasons were, I appeared to sleep well last night - or at least I don't remember waking up in the middle of the night for too many random reasons - and yet I didn't wake up feeling that refreshed. I feel decidedly average at the moment. My floating rib syndrome doesn't seem to be painful, but it still feels like my rib cage is detached from the rest of my skeleton, and it still sort of clicks and pops as I make certain movements. The good news is that the sore spot on my left big toe is not causing me any discomfort this morning, and my legs do seem to be working rather well. If it wasn't for the very chilly air it might even have been pleasurable to come to work this morning (which doesn't equate to it being pleasurable to be here !).

 I've made mention of what a long journey it is to and from Folkestone, and I thought I had better put some figures on it. I have never bothered to measure it, but it takes at least a good 10 minutes to walk to Catford station, and I usually allow at least 15 minutes to give time to buy tickets. From then on I can give "exact" figures based upon the railway timetables. I caught the 11:33 train from Catford, and arrived at Bromley South station 11 minutes later. Then there was a 10 minute wait for the 11:54 Dover Priory train that would stop at Folkestone at 13:19, or an hour and 25 minutes later, or 1 hour 46 minutes after my first train left Catford, or roughly 2 hours after leaving home - all to go about 60 miles !

 Going home again was slightly different. I caught the 14:14 train from Folkestone Central station, but instead of changing trains at Bromley South, I changed at Sevenoaks. I could have stayed on the train to Bromley South station, but that would mean a 22 minute wait for the train back to Catford. The train I caught at Sevenoaks was the same train that I would have the long wait for at Bromley South, but it was only a 10 minute wait at Sevenoaks, and so less boring. I arrived back at Catford station at 16:11 - three minute less than 2 hours after I started - and then it was another 10 minutes or so before I had walked home. That makes about four hours travelling for just less than one hour in Folkestone. Was it worth it ? Maybe !
close up on the
                          lighthouse at the end of the pier
It seems sort of stupid that even in the gloomy daylight I couldn't see the picture on the viewfinder of my Panasonic LX20 camera very well. In bright light it is all but hopeless. That does seem to give a clue as to what sort of scenes that camera excels at - gloomy overcast days. A camera for sad occasions ! The picture above of the lighthouse at the end of the pier under a steel grey sky, and surrounded by steel grey water, came out nice and sharp (and grey) even when using the full x21 zoom.
a ship on the murky
 I'm not sure if any of my other cameras would have managed to do any better capturing this picture of a ship of some sort on the distant misty (or rainy) horizon.
sailing ship
 This boat was not so far out, and wasn't in the mist and murk. I didn't have to crop the picture too much to add a bit more zoom to it to get this level of detail while still showing that it was quite distant.
I guess no trip to the seaside is worthwhile without a picture of a seagull on the railway station platform !
Folkestone Central
 I guess this picture should have gone first somewhere, but I took it on the way home, and I guess it marks the end of the story about my brief visit to Folkestone.
Monday 6th April 2015
19:03 BST

Day 4 of a 4 day weekend !

  Yesterday turned out far better than it was supposed to. I'm not sure how warm it actually got, but far more sunshine than forecast certainly raised indoor temperatures, and outside may have risen as high as 14° C (I think I saw more on the thermometer outside the back bedroom, but I think that one exaggerates a bit). Today was good and bad, and the good was in Catford, and the bad in Folkestone (Kent). By 11am it was warm enough to walk to the station in a short sleeve shirt, and although the sun was starting to get a bit hazy behind some thickening cloud, it was still very comfortable late this afternoon - unless, like me, you were in Folkestone where it was rather chilly, and exceedingly grey ! The forecast for tomorrow has changed to rather good. The latest theory is that it will quite sunny, and 13° C. The end of the week is currently forecast to be rather wonderful after all the crap days we've had until now - maybe a very agreeable 18° C !

 Not a lot happened yesterday - well, I didn't do much at all. I had thought about going out, but the morning started off looking like it might be a nasty day. By the time I realised it was turning into a sunny and warm(ish) day I had eaten too much breakfast to want to do anything worthwhile, and so I spent much of the day relaxing, and quite a chunk of that on the phone to a mate. All that laying around makes me ache in all sorts of places, including my anti-angina, the chest pains that happen if my posture is all wrong while relaxing.

 The only cure for these assorted aches and pains is movement, and walking is best for it. So today I made sure that I was (sort of, in a way) fit to go out. If my theory is correct, this weekend is the first time ever that "weekend engineering works" have actually gone in my favour. The last time I planned to go to Folkestone I am sure I abandoned the idea because the journey was horrendous. If I recall correctly it meant three changes of train with long waits at each train. This weekend I was able to do it with just one 9 minute change of train. It was still nearly a 2 hour journey, but it was a fairly smooth journey.

 When I started out from Catford it looked like this.....
Catford station in
                          the warm sunshine
 ......the sky was blue, the sun was shining, and I felt perfectly comfortable in a short sleeved shirt with no coat on. Then the closer I got to Folkestone, the crappier the weather got. It didn't actually rain - but only by the skin of it's teeth - but the sky was cloudy and grey, and it was really quite chilly - and that was with a coat on ! Nevertheless I boldly set off to find the sea !
Stagecoach Gold
                          service to Canterbury (I think)
 One of the first things I saw of interest was this bus. I've never heard of "Stagecoach Gold", but here's a service to Canterbury (at least I think that's what it says on the front) in full colour.
vintage cigarette
                          vending machine
 Maybe the whole point of my trip was to see this vintage cigarette vending machine. I haven't seen one like this for countless years. If it was working, and I had taken a few 2/- coins with me I would definitely have bought a pack or two !
The town is a lot
                          higher than the sea !
 After 10 - 15 minutes of fairly fast walking I finally found the sea - and it was a very long way below me ! It seems that Folkestone town centre is a long way above sea level - 100, maybe 200 feet above sea level. By the time I took this picture I had already decided that it was not nice out, and that I would not be staying long. So I didn't go down to sea level - which I could have done using The Leas funicular railway that is the easy way up and down the cliff.
lighthouse at the
                          end of the pier
  This is what Google maps describes as Folkestone pier, but it is actually the end of Folkestone Harbour station branch line, although it was used as a terminal for cross channel boats. The branch line was officially closed last year, and there are proposals to convert it from a railway line to a proper seaside pier. It looks as if anglers already have access to it, and if I had more enthusiasm today I might have investigated it more.
slope going up
                              the platforms at Folkestone Central
 One final picture for today, but I have a few more I will try and remember to post tomorrow. This is the slope from the ticket office to the platforms at Folkestone Central station. The weird railings seem to have the effect, whether intended or not, to trick the mind that it is not such a long haul to walk up to the platforms. I rushed back from the sea front as fast as I could walk to get the next train home. It's only an hourly service, and I would have been really pissed off to miss it. At such speed I thought I would only have enough energy left to drag myself up to the platforms, but it was surprisingly easy. I worked up a light sweat getting there, but I didn't seem to be short of breath at all. The best thing of all is that I was completely free of any of the pains I had started out with (although I did gain a painful abrasion on my left big toe where it was rubbing something rough inside my shoe. It still seems that my heart is sound provided I overwork it - which is obviously ridiculous !

 All the pictures above were taken with my new Nikon camera. The pictures I'll show tomorrow (providing I remember to take a copy of the file names of them - they are already uploaded to my server) were taken on my Panasonic camera. I've been trying to find what scenes that camera likes, and it seems it is overcast seascapes ! All the pictures I took on it today were usable (although maybe not always "good"). If only I could see the viewfinder in daylight, even crappy daylight like today, it could be a good camera. At the moment it's only real positive attribute is that it only sips from the batteries. It takes ordinary AA batteries, and I think I am still using the original set of Duracell Lithium batteries (non rechargeable) that I fitted when I first got it a few years ago !
Saturday 4th April 2015
12:35 BST

Day 2 of a 4 day weekend !

  Yesterday could have been worse - it could have been a winters day with snow and ice and stuff. Instead it was merely a fairly unpleasant overcast day that was just mild enough to be almost comfortable if you kept moving. I think I'll let the BBC decribe today's weather by way of a screenshot from their website. What you see here is pretty close to reality - rather horrid really !
The weather forecast
                          for today = Saturday 4th April 2015
 None of the following days seem to inspire any spring jollity, but at least tomorrow and Monday will be a little less cool, and once the long Easter weekend is over the temperature goes up another degree. Then once this bank holiday is a distant memory that is best forgotten, the sun will probably come out, and the temperature will shoot up to a comfortable 20° C - maybe !

 If yesterday wasn't actually a good day, it at least had it's good points. My little outing just after midday was enough of an achievement to make me feel good enough to go out again in the evening. I left a little later than intended, but that was good on two counts, and only mildly bad on one count. The good things were that the rain had stopped when I went to catch the train to West Wickham, and that I didn't arrive too early. The gig was scheduled to start at 8pm, and I thought that I would arrive to late to say hello to the band before they started, but it turned out hat they were late setting up, and didn't start until 8.30pm. The bad thing is that almost al the journey was in the dark, and looking out of a train window at blackness is not very exciting !

 Last night was the first gig I've been to this year, and also the first opportunity to test my new Nikon camera at a gig. The results were both terrible and brilliant. It is not only possible, but probable that if I fiddle with the settings I can improve on the terrible - maybe a lot. The problem is that in auto the camera will go for very long exposures to compensate for lack of light, and it does it far more aggressively than any other camera I've used before. With the flash turned on, which I try not to use at gigs, the results are really crisp. Here's a few pictures taken last night.
Jo Corteen guest
                              vocals spot - singing Layla
 This picture was taken from about 6 - 8 feet away with the flash on. Apart from a bit of cropping, and shrinking to fit on the page, it is essentially untouched. It's Jo Corteen doing a guest vocal spot for the song Layla.
The Spider
                                  with Jo Corteen doing guest vocals
Using less zoom to get Chris Mayer and Graham in the shot too.....
Chris Mayer and his white
.....and in this one, John Sutcliff, the drummer as well.

 There was no good reason why I couldn't have stayed to watch the entire gig, but I decided that it would be handy to go home again after the first set. It was quite pleasant going home. For one thing it is downhill to the station, and the train always seems quicker when heading towards home. I had limited myself to two pints of Guinness, and I suppose that was one reason for going earlier, but those two pints acted like medicine, or a tonic that made walking effortless.

 I arrived home feeling so good that I hardly touched the chicken and chips I accidently bought on the way. By hardly touched actually meant that I ate the chips because reheating chips is never very successful, and the type of chips you get in fried chicken shops are thrice as bad ! So I ate the chips rather than waste them, and kept all the chicken for today. I then headed towards bed, but not before reviewing all the photos I took, and editing some of them.

 It was midnight before I went to bed, and a few minutes later I was fast asleep. I managed to get a good sleep last night. I lost track of how much sleep I got, but it was a two part sleep. I woke up a little before 5am, and even though that was stupidly early after such a late night, I got up for a bit and checked my email and stuff. Sometime later I went back to bed. I didn't really expect to sleep much, but it was 10.30am before I woke up again.

 I seemed to get up a lot quicker at 10.30 than I do at 5am, and I think it was no more than than 30 minutes later that I was heading to Aldi to get some shopping. There was nothing I desperately needed, but I still seemed to spend quite a bit of money. The silly thing is that quite a bit of what I bought was perishables, and I already had stuff like vegetables, plus a couple of ready meals that have to be used soon - not to mention some fried chicken that I bought last night ! I had some of that fried chicken, but not all of it, for lunch today. I followed it with a small punnet of rather average strawberries, and a small little pot of mixed "woodland" nuts. (Although I wasn't aware that cashew nuts grew in the same sort of woodland that the more common nuts grew in).

 The Spders are playing another gig tonight at The Chatterton Arms pub in Bromley. It's an easy venue to get to by bus, and to get home from. I thik there is a 50% chance I'll be going to that gig too. I don't feel too keen at the moment, but I've just eaten. Maybe once I've had a little lie down, and maybe a snooze, I'll feel more keen, or able.
Friday 3rd April 2015
17:30 BST

Day 1 of a 4 day weekend !

  It didn't end up quite as cold as predicted yesterday. Instead of 8 or 9° C, it was probably closer to 11, or even 12° C when I left work to walk to the station. The day was also sunnier than expected. Even today has not been quite as horrible as expected. Instead of non stop rain there have been long periods when it has been dry, and while 95% of the day has been terribly overcast, there have been a few brief glimpses of hazy sunshine - that was very unexpected ! On top of that, it has once again been warmer than the forecast predicted. Earlier this afternoon it was definitely over 11° C ! While today, and maybe the day before, turned out better than the forecast, the forecast for tomorrow seems to be getting worse. A few days ago the forecast said that there was a good chance of some sunshine, and that it would be at least 12° C. Every forecast since then has predicted the temperature to be lower and lower, and the chance of any sunshine to be smaller and smaller. The only unchanged thing is that it is supposed to be dry. So I presume it will pour down tomorrow !

 It was nice to get some beer in after work last night, and nice not to feel constrained by work the next morning. I think I probably had four and a half pints of beer last night, but I still left the premises sober enough to not go in the chip shop on the way home ! Some how I actually waited patiently for some time before I had my dinner. If I was able to wait that long I should have made do with a small snack, and nothing more, but I waited that long because I ordered a takeaway. It was a couple of kebabs - one chicken, and one lamb. I ordered then from a shop that I am sure I have used before, but maybe I didn't because I think I would have remembered such a poor quality meal if the last had been like last night's. The chicken was fairly OK, as was the salad, but many other places do far better than "fairly OK". The lamb was a real disappointment. Most of it was tough and chewy, and a few pieces were so tough that I spat them out ! I ended up eating far less than I ordered, and maybe, just maybe, my total calorie intake was within acceptable limits (and there should have been nothing in what I did eat that would have any bad effect on my blood glucose level).

 I went to bed not hungry, but not stuffed either. The booze, despite not seeming to affect me that much, may have helped me fall asleep quite quickly, but going to bed later than usual probably helped more. Last night was one of those nights where I slept seemingly solidly for about 4 hours, and then I woke up for no obvious reason, and felt wide awake. On most nights I have to fight that because of work in the morning, but last night, or more accurately, this morning, I didn't. I got up and amused myself by reading some of my favourite web pages/web sites. Some of them are :- - The Register: Sci/Tech News for the World - A webcomic of romance,sarcasm, maths, and language. Arthur Pewty's maggot sandwich Catford Central is a hyperlocal blog and news site covering Catford, Bellingham, Downham, Rushey Green, Hither Green and surrounding areas.

 After an hour, or was it two (?) I went back to bed, and slept for a few more hours, although not particularly well. I seem to recall it was around 7.30am when I slowly started to get up. I didn't feel that wonderful when I got up. The chief problem was my floating rib syndrome problem. My chest felt very crunchy, and laying down just made it get worse. I sometimes speculate that as well as having some sort of "loose screw" holding the bones of my chest together, that maybe I also have some sort of hernia as well. What I do know is that sometimes my chest can get quite uncomfortable sometimes. At it's worst I can get a nasty pain about halfway down my right side, and sometimes when that goes I get a nasty pain near my left breast bone. It is as if I had a loose diagonal strut across the front of my chest.

 Chest pains are always of some concern, but I don't think mine are lethal - unless all the bones and ligaments that make up my chest collapse completely one day - it reminds me of the occasional Austin Allegro (I think it was) you would see with a front wheel poking out sideways after the front suspension had collapsed when the warning signs had been ignored. I was never sure is such cars were repairable, or if they were just scrapped. Oh well, I guess I'll try and get my doctor interested in my dodgy chest some day. Meanwhile, there is one thing that helps a lot, and that is going for a walk. Unlike the angina pains I was getting in 2013, these pains feel completely different, and a good stiff walk can sometimes completely cure them for a while.

 The train now departing....
My original idea was that it would be very unlikely that I would go out today, but with my chest starting to annoy me, and it not only not raining, but brief glimpses of hazy sunshine, I decided to go out for a short walk - and it was very short ! I walked to the station where I sampled a ride I have wanted to try on several recent occasions when the trains from Catford Bridge are diverted to Victoria station instead of the traditional Charing Cross or Cannon Street. By the time I had walked to the station, travelled to Victoria, and then came home again, I was feeling far better. There were two negative things about this little excursion. The first was that taking picture through train windows never works that well, and the second was that Victoria station was far, far busier than I had imagined, and I didn't really get a chance to take any pictures there. I did take a couple of picture though, and I also shot a little bit of really crappy video !

 The screenshot on the left is of the service I took to get home - the 13:28 London Victoria to Hayes (Kent) service from platform 5. Once upon a time that route would only be used in a dire emergency. I remember the first time I had ever seen it used was probably about 8 years ago. There was a fire under a railway arch on the approaches to London Bridge station, and they had to send my train somewhere, and the signallers chose to send it to Victoria. That was handy because plenty of trains from Victoria call at Clapham Junction, and I was easily able to change there for a train to Wandsworth Town station (which was my normal destination before work moved to Earlsfield).
Battersea Power
This is an absolutely lousy picture that I just managed to snatch as the train home passed Battersea Power station. It shows that they have finally demolished on of the chimneys. Those big white chimneys are listed, and each one will be demolished and rebuilt to be identical to the original plans. It has taken many months to demolish just one chimney - that doesn't sound as if it was as rotten as it was made out to be !
Brixton station
This is Brixton station. On the way too Victoria we went along the high level lines that pass over and behind the station. On the way back we passed through the disused side of the station. You can just the remnant of the old platform in the bottom left of the picture.
solitary bronze figure on the remains
                          of the disused platform
Standing on the remaining bit of disused platform is this solitary bronze figure forever waiting for a train that never stops.

 Time seems to be passing quite quickly now. Sorting out these photos, and writing all this writing seems to have taken a full hour. In one respect this is good. It has stopped me getting too relaxed, and that means there is probably a fair chance that I will finally get out to see a gig, or at least a bit of a gig tonight. The Spiders are Playing in The Swan, West Wickham. It's only a short train ride away (plus a 10 minute uphill walk), and maybe because it is a bank holiday, they are starting nice and early at 8pm. The only fly in the ointment is that it is now pouring with rain. Oh well, it might stop again soon.

 Here's the video I shot on the train today. It starts as we enter Lewisham station on the way towards Victoria. As the train pulls out again we go over the famous diamond crossing where the two routes converge and then diverge. Then we go up the incline to where the Lewisham rail disaster happened in 1957. The "temporary" bridge that was hastily put up to restore service (they didn't muck around in 1957) is still in use today - solid as a rock. As the train goes around to the left the new tracks that bypass St Johns station can be seen with "Do Not Pass" signs on them. I can remember when there was no track there. First of all a single track was put in, and then within the last couple of years, it has been extended for full two track operation.
Thursday 2nd April 2015
08:20 BST

  The theory that yesterday would be like the day before was almost perfectly correct right up to the point when it didn't rain in the afternoon ! Not having to go home in the rain was a definite bonus, but yesterday's weather did not really inspire me, or make me feel good despite there being a fair amount of sunshine around the middle of the day. Maybe that because I felt cold all. I think the heating was off in the main part of the building at work, and while my office had the heater on, it didn't seem to make me feel comfortable, and it felt positively freezing (or a bit chilly) in the rest of the premises. Today has started off wet, but I managed to dodge all the rain except for half a minutes worth of very light rain while waiting for my train at Catford Bridge. It will continue grey and murky for the rest of the day, but it is not supposed to rain again until later tonight - and if you believe that you'll believe anything ! Today, as well as being dull, wet, grey, and generally nasty, is also going to be quite chilly. The highest temperature is forecast to be a mere 8° C. Tomorrow, the first day of the long Easter weekend, is forecast to be even worse than today - copious rain falling from a grey-black sky all day long ! The temperature, which will be low, is irrelevant - I will probably bolt the doors, leave the curtains closed, and the heating on full all day and attempt to sleep through the whole sorry business.

  I invented a simple test yesterday. If it was raining I would go straight home from work, and if it was dry I would go home via Tesco's. It waqsn't raining so I went home via Tesco's where I hardly made any effort to buy anything healthy. I had a strange desire for bangers and mash, and so one of the items I bought was a bangers and mash ready meal. In the end I didn't eat it because I also bought some other old junk. The prawn layered salad that I had as a starter sounds like it should be healthy, but it had too much carrot in it, and it also had some pasta in it. It probably wasn't terribly unhealthy, particularly if eaten as a single meal in it's own right, but in combination with other stuff it probably teetered more on the edge of harm rather than health.

 One of the tragedies of life, or maybe just my life, is that feeling rough often promotes behavior that makes me feel rougher still, and so it was last night. I was not feeling great yesterday for a variety of reasons, and eating too much of the wrong stuff did nothing to make me feel better - at least in the long term. At the time of eating it was a most enjoyable experience of course. So I went to bed feeling a bit too stuffed, and based on the preceding theory I assumed I would have a very rough night. In fact I didn't have a terribly rough night. It could have been a fair bit better, but it turned out to be a fairly average night. I woke up a few times, and I probably mildly needed a pee on a couple of those occasions, but also, as I have only recently realised, my phone was flashing to say it had received a new message, and so would have beeped, on every occasion that I woke up.

 The fact that it seems to be my phone that wakes me up more frequently than the need to pee in the night, and perhaps on some nights, maybe even including last night, it is the phone that is the single reason for waking me up in the night, does give me some hope that my blood glucose level is still better controlled than I assumed it to be. So I should have woken up feeling wonderful this morning - but miracles only happen in months with a "Q" in them (and then only during the full moon). Perhaps I wasn't in any actual pain, but my rib cage felt looser than ever, and was clicking and crunching with every movement...and I was constipated too !

 Well, I'm at work now, and having finished fighting my way across London to get to work (even if it is a mental fight with myself) I am more relaxed, and more comfortable. All I have to do now is get through the rest of the day without going mad from the sound of the motor and pulley test whining away 10ft from my desk (see the video I posted a few days ago), and then I can grit my teeth for the milder commute back to Catford. Once back in Catford I can look forward to several things. The first thing to look forward to is some beer in The Catford Constitutional Club with the lads. I suspect I'll be staying a bit later than usual tonight, and I'll probably end up reeling drunk (with luck !). Then I can look forward to four glorious days of not having to go to work. Even with tomorrow looking like the end of the world weather wise, I can still enjoy it by doing bugger all, and seeing nobody. Maybe on Saturday it might be dry enough to do something or go somewhere, but even if not, it will still be another bonus day of not having to go to work. I don't like work !
Wednesday 1st April 2015
08:26 BST

  Yesterday was quite a sunny day, but it was not very warm, and could be described as cold. Another feature was the wind - which didn't help the temperature. Actually it did help and hindered. It was blowing in air that was 11° C, but making it feel only half as mild as that. The wind was quite gusty, but not terribly strong until sunset when it really picked up for some time into the night. There will be less wind today, but otherwise much of today will be like yesterday. It will even be a bit colder to make it feel more like yesterday. The other feature is that it will probably rain a lot more than it did in the late afternoon yesterday. It was sunny when I left work, and it was sunny when I got home, but while I waited for my train at Waterloo East station the rain fell in torrents !
This picture is supposed to show the torrential rain - but it doesn't ! You can hardly see that the opposite platform is wet.
Networker 465165 standing in the rain
                          at Waterloo East
This picture does show the rain - but only if you see the huge original blown up to full size ! Although this small version does show a sort of haze that you can imagine is rain falling. What is more prominent is Networker 465165 that leads this 6 car train that forms the 16:12 service to Gillingham (Kent) from Waterloo East platform A.

 I seemed to be suffering from some sort of fever or delusion that it was Friday yesterday. It must have been a severe case of wishful thinking or something, or maybe it was just the sunshine, although it's hard to rule out madness. It should have made me feel pissed off that it was not the end of the week, but still almost the start. Fortunately it didn't because I am riding on a bit of a high because it's a short week this week - and so is next week. It may not be logical to get excited about staying indoors for four days by myself as it pours with rain outside, but that is still better than being at work (although it will probably be very bad for my health). Maybe I am too pessimistic - Friday is still forecast to be pretty poor, but there seems to be some hope that Saturday may be very slightly reasonable.

 I felt pretty good when I got home from work last night, and the fact that I came through almost a cloudburst without getting a drip on me was good for the spirit too. Luckily I knew a good way of ruining that, and so one of the first things I did was to wash some shirts. That re-introduced a few aches and pains here and there, and may have contributed to a poor nights sleep too. Once the shirts were hanging up to dry I cooked my dinner. It didn't turn out that well because in an attempt to use up a red cabbage I rather over did it. Maybe I should have cooked it a bit more to soften that cabbage, but in the end I threw quite a lot of it away. I made up the deficit by snacking on too much junk. It was all low sugar junk, but it certainly wasn't low fat ! It feels like my blood glucose level (based on thirst and amount of peeing) is probably in the reasonable range, but I can't see my belt getting any looser after the last couple of days of, besides other stuff, too much cheese eating !

 I had another night's sleep where I seemed to sleep well for half the night, and then really badly for the rest of the night. One significant problem was my incorrectly named "floating rib syndrome". For the first part of the night I was sleeping on my right side. That is my favourite side, and I probably do over 75% of my sleeping like that, but sometimes when I wake up in the night I turn over to my left side, and attempt to sleep like that. It doesn't feel quite right, but if I am tired enough I can usually fall asleep like that, and suffer no ill effect from doing so.

 Last night I rolled over to my left side, and I felt my whole rib cage shift off centre - at least that is what it felt like. I have no idea what actually happens. It doesn't hurt as it happens, but it can hurt afterwards - usually very mildly, but it can also make me very concious of my breathing. Now there is nothing worse than trying to ignore your breathing when trying to relax. On top of that my chest felt very slightly tight, and it was uncomfortable to breathe in too deeply. The cure is remarkably simple - change to any other posture except laying on my left side, but it was too uncomfortable to try to sleep on my back, and too uncomfortable to sleep on my right side. Laying on my back makes my back, arms, buttocks, neck, and legs uncomfortable. I am usually comfortable laying on my right side, but after 4 or 5 hours of it I feel the need to relax all the muscles used in laying on the right side - or some old nonsense like that. The short version is that I slept well for half the night, and terribly for the second !

 There is a good chance I am going to get wet on my way home from work today, and yet I am still looking forward to going home......but that is true of every day I am at work. I have no concrete plans for tonight, but I am wondering if I should go home via Tesco. Tomorrow night I am boozing, and can't get any shopping then, and I am assuming that Tesco will be closed on Good Friday. Perhaps I ought to check on that because Friday, when I am not at work, and probably bored stiff, would be the best day to go shopping - even if, as is likely, it is pouring with rain.
breakfast on
                              Waterloo concourse
It's been a while now since any big stand has appeared on the concourse of Waterloo station, but this breakfast bar advertising several well known names appeared this morning. It looks as if they should be giving away bacon sandwiches, but there was no smell of frying bacon - which was probably both good and bad !
Hovis and HP sauce, but where's
                              the bacon ?