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

Monday 30th November 2015
08:12 GMT.
  I don't really know what happened to the weather after I wrote yesterday evening. About all I can say is that the temperature hardly dropped through the night, and it was 9 or 10° C when I got up at 5am. It was also raining, and sometimes it was raining quite heavily. So I put on my hooded raincoat before I walked to the station. Five minutes before leaving it was pouring down. When I actually left it was no more than some fine rain blowing in the wind, and I think it had stopped completely before I got to the station. It is forecast to start again by, or before 1pm, and will then continue right through to beyond 5am tomorrow morning. By about 6pm today, the temperature is forecast to rise to 13° C, and it will stay there all through the night. The rain will finally stop sometime after I get to work tomorrow, and the rest of the day might be dry, but dreadfully overcast with miserable dark grey skies...ugh !

 Several things happened yesterday that didn't involve sitting at my PC for hours on end. One of the more useful things is that I did quite well at keeping my food consumption down for a Sunday. I had started the day feeling quite bloated, and that helped to remind me not too eat anything too terrible. I probably ended up consuming far more calories than are good for someone spending a very sedentary day, but on the plus side, I don't think I ate anything that would have a detrimental effect on my blood glucose level. In theory, my blood glucose level could be fairly low (as in normal rather than hypoglycaemic) right now, and there are some clues that support that theory, and maybe some that dispute it. The main, perhaps the only thing that argues against it is that I seem to lack energy, but that could be explained away by the cold, dark, and wet weather - which is hardly inspiring - or the fact that I have put some weight back on since the clocks changed, and the days became useless for human life.

 The other thing that happened yesterday was actually a thing that didn't happen...... I know I had a bit of a lay in, in the morning, and I am sure I dozed off at least once during the day, but I doesn't feel like I got so much sleep that I didn't need much sleep last night. Unfortunately that is what happened. I tossed and turned in bed until well past 10pm, possibly past 11pm, and I couldn't swear that it wasn't almost midnight before I finally managed to get to sleep. Once I got to sleep I didn't sleep all that well. I woke a few times in the night, and then to rub salt into the wound, I woke up about 25 minutes before my alarm was due to wake me at 5am.

 In theory it was a disaster, and maybe that will be what it actually was, but for the moment I don't seem to feel particularly tired, and I don't seem to have any great desire to lay down on my bed and close my eyes.....on the other hand, I don't think I would turn down the opportunity to do that if I could. There doesn't seem to be an awful lot wrong with me this morning, but that is such an alien concept that it can't be right...and it isn't really. I am not free of any pain this morning, and with one exception for which there is probably an obvious solution, all the usual bits are aching to some degree...although possibly not as bad as usual - except when I just sneezed (literally after finishing typing the word usual). As I sneezed a ripping pain went through my left breast/man boob as the broken/mutilated/torn/damaged ligaments/muscles/ribs protested. That pain has now gone apart from a very feint echo to remind me I still have a broken chest structure.

 The one new pain this morning is low in my belly area, and off to one side. There could be many explanations for this involving all sorts of organs, and all sorts of ailments they could have from rupture to cancer, but I think I'll go for the simplest explanation. This morning I am wearing one of my extra sized jeans. I may have complained about putting weight back on, and/or feeling bloated recently, but these jeans, which are only one size up from my usual size, are still very, very loose. So loose that if I didn't do my belt up extra tight they would be down around my ankles before I had walked 50 paces. Rather annoyingly, of the two possible buckle holes in my trouser belt, one still feels rather loose, and the other needs quite a bit of strength to pull the belt tight enough to use it - and I am using that extra tight setting. For some strange reason it feel quite comfortable while I am sitting down, but that may just mean I'll have to pull my jeans up if I stand up.

 If the weather forecast is correct it is going to be a very soggy journey home from work, and with sunset at 15:56, it is going to be a very dark and gloomy journey too (particularly with the sky full of thick black clouds blotting out any residual sky glow). That is not going to inspire me to do anything when I get home except to tempt me to eat more than I should. In theory I should be having a couple of Iceland "Slimming World" meals for dinner, but I might only have one and a bowl or two of soup. I have a couple of t-shirts, and I will also have the shirt I am wearing now that I could wash tonight, but I am not expecting to have much enthusiasm to do that. What I really ought to do is to upload one, or more of my latest photo albums to Flickr. As I mentioned yesterday, the tedious part of doing that is thinking up captions, descriptions, and tags to add to the pictures. It is so much better if they are done, and it annoys me when some users of Flickr don't say anything at all about their pictures.

  It will be annoying to do, but with luck I'll be able to provide a link to one or more of those new photo albums tomorrow - the 1st day of December. If I tried hard enough I could be excited about it being December. It's now just three weeks away from the winter solstice, and from then on the days start getting longer again. It will be many months before the change has any effect, but it is something to look forward to, and it's easy to see why early man had a great winter celebration on, or around the day (until some joyless Christians hi-jacked the day for their own fictitious purposes). During the great feast days, which those bloody Christians decided should start 4 or 5 days late, I will be on my own most of the time, but at least I won't be at work. That leads to many temptations of the eating kind, but it is still reason for great joy across the land...probably !
Sunday 29th November 2015
19:19 GMT.
  Yesterday stayed a lot drier than I believe it was supposed to. It was certainly a very dull day. Sometimes very dull, but whenever the rain fell I was either indoors or somewhere else. Unfortunately it was also a rather cool feeling day - possibly as low as 10° C, but it may have just been the wind that made it feel so cold. Today has been even windier, and that has made it feel quite cool despite the temperature being at least 12° C this afternoon. There have been a few showers today - at least I presume there were - I saw the road looking wet once or twice, but I was safely indoors in the warm, partly oblivious as to what was going on outside. It seems it will be quite cool, around 6 or 7° C, and raining during my morning commute tomorrow. Then it will dry up, and the temperature will rise to 12° C, and then the rain will start again just in time for my commute home from work. How lovely !

 I had a busy day yesterday. I guess it started when I went to the 99p shop to look for a spare HDMI lead - PC, or even set top box to Monitor lead. I never did find one, but I picked up some other junk. Amongst that were several strings of battery powered fairy lights. I am not sure what I am going to do with them because I won't be celebrating Xmas, and won't have a Xmas tree to light up. (I will be celebrating being away from work for about 10 days over the xmas period however.).

 While I was out I took a look in Peacocks to see what bargains they might have. I ended up buying a pair of 20% discounted purple/brown lounge pants, and also another winter coat. Once again the coat had a 20% discount. It was the same size as two other coats, both bought from Peacocks, but upon trying it on I found I had not lost as much weight as I had imagined. In fact I wondered if I had lost any weight at all in the last few months. I could do it up, but it was incredibly "snug". It is is thickly padded, and has a hood....and it is bright orange (although not so bright as high visibility orange) ! I have never worn a bright orange coat before, but I think I could quite look forward to wearing it in the middle of a blizzard. If I could lose about 6 inches around my gut, and a few inches around my chest, it could be good for country rambling in colder weather - although I very, very much prefer short sleeved shirts under a blazing sun ! Whether I'll be wearing it this year is open for debate, but my other, non orange, and non hooded extra padded coat still seems to fit quite comfortably (but is only comfortable to wear when the temperature dips below zero !

 After my shopping trip I prepared myself physically and mentally to go to Petts Wood where I wanted to see The Spangles playing as part of the entertainments for the switching on of the Petts Wood Xmas lights. Petts Wood is like a trap - it can be easy to get to, but hard to get back from. On the way there I have to change trains, and it is a convenient 4 or 5 minute wait for the second train. The whole journey takes 27 minutes (or so the journey planner says). To come home means changing trains again, but this time the trains arrive in the wrong order, and that means there is almost a 27 minute wait for the next train - or about the same time as the entire journey in the other direction ! On Saturday I opted to change to a bus for the second leg of the journey, but the wait for that was about 10 minutes. Then, because the bus was quite busy, it took so long to get back to Catford that I arrived home at least 5 minutes later than if I had waited for the second train, and travelled home in comfort.

 At Least I had a fairly good time in Petts Wood. A small delay with setting up the stage meant there was time to grab a quick pint in a little ale house called One In The Wood. If it was possible to find a quiet time in there, it could be a nice place to drink. There was still a short wait for The Spangles to start when we (I was drinking with Chris Mayer) got back to the Memorial Hall. I don't think The Spangles were firing on all cylinders on this occasion. Patsi, who I thought was quite a good singer, seemed to often fall out of tune, and even mess up her vocals. It was a bit of a shame, but it all looked rather good on a big wide, and fairly well lit stage (but mostly just white lights).
The Spangles at The Petts
                  Wood Memorial Hall
 From left to right - Jo Corteen, "Delores", Patsi Spike O'Shea, and "Geoffrina" (they are supposed to be an all girl band !!). Delores, whose real name I forget, is an honorary girl for the purposes of being a regular member of The Spangles. Geoffrina, usually known as Geoff Paice was standing in for Michelle Whitestar who was sick.

 Following on from The Spangles was Andrew Rogers. He is a nice chap, and has occasionally sung guest vocals for Chain. On this occasion he was singing solo, accompanying music from his mobile phone, and singing what is apparently known as rat pack music - named after Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, etc. It is not music I enjoy, but I stayed on to take a few pictures as a favour to him (and because he offered to buy me a couple of pints at some future time in exchange for a couple of good pictures.
Andrew Rogers at The Petts
                  Wood Memorial Hall
 I didn't stay until the end of his set, and left him singing once I thought I had exhausted all the possibilities of photographing one single man singing ! I headed straight back to Petts Wood station to start the tedious journey I have already described.  When I finally got home I did have more than a couple of hours to go before I had to go out again to another gig. This second gig was to see a band called Red Post Hill playing in The Black Cat - the pub formerly known as The Catford Ram. I had never heard of the band until I saw a poster in the pub window earlier in the week, and I was curious as to what they would be like.
Red Post Hill - the band in
                  The Black Cat
 Photography of the band was quite challenging. There was very little lighting in the pub, and they had brought quite a crowd with them, and I didn't want to piss them off by barging in front of them, or by using the quite powerful flash on my camera. This picture was an edit from a jpg image from my camera, and looks really grainy, but I have done a small albums worth of pictures edited from the RAW images from my camera, and by using all sorts of filters and stuff, I have managed to make many of the pictures look fairly passable (provided you don't look too carefully).

 While I had never heard of the band before, they were known to Andrew Rogers, and also to my friend Kevin who was also there - and looking quite well. I had a few pints while I was in the pub, but even though I was only 5 - 8 minutes walk from home, I still didn't feel like staying out too late. I left the pub just before they started their second set - which was maybe a mistake if the second set was as good as the first - but I was also feeling a bit isolated in the pub because conversation was as good as impossible against the noise of the band.

 I probably slept rather well last night, although I woke up too early again. However, I did manage to get back to bed after a while, and somehow I managed to stay in bed, evidently asleep more than it felt like it, for quite some time. It was getting on for 10am when I officially got up, washed and dressed. Apart from frequent breaks to rest my eyes, it seems that I have spent the majority of the day dealing with all the photos I took. I now have three photo albums to upload to Flickr, and whenever I get around to doing that I will provide links to all three. It is not the uploading that takes the time, but thinking of captions to describe the photos, and thinking of all the tags I could add. It can be really tedious, but it does feel neat when it is all done properly.
Saturday 28th November 2015
09:23 GMT.
  I stayed indoors, not paying too much attention to the weather yesterday. I think there was a little bit of sunshine, and I think there was a shower or too, but mostly it was just grey. The temperature could be described as the only positive feature, but 12° C is not a lot to shout about ! This morning started bright and cold. At sunrise it was just under 4° C. I expect if I had looked better I might have seen the twinkle of frost on a car somewhere. A few hours of rather glorious sunshine seems to have raised the temperature to exactly 4° C ! Sadly, it won't stay like this if the weather forecast I saw on TV last is to be believed. It will get warmer, maybe as high as 10° C, but a strengthening breeze will make it feel cooler, and the real cost will be some torrential rain passing through the area for much of the afternoon, and into the evening. Tomorrow should start dry, and it should be warmer less cool than today, but there will be some light showers in the afternoon, and some heavier showers at sunset.

 I was expecting a long boring wait for my new PC monitor to be delivered, but I was surprised when it turned up at around 1pm - only about 22 hours after I ordered it. At that point I was about halfway through re-editing some pictures to upload to Flickr. I was rather impressed that upon plugging in the new monitor it was recognised by Linux Mint with no faffing about, and the correct 1920 x 1080 definition set up automatically.
my new monitor
 This picture tries rather unsuccessfully to show how big the new monitor is, but there is not much in it to give some sort of idea of the scale. There is a clue as to how much extra screen area I have. The window with the picture of Jo Corteen in it, is probably close to how big the screen was on the previous monitor. That leaves the two strips either side of that window for stuff like tools when using The Gimp to edit pictures - which was the idea behind getting this new monitor in the first place.

 Unfortunately this bigger monitor doesn't make me any more artistic or creative, and it doesn't improve my photography, but it is certainly easier to do photo editing when there is plenty of space to work in. I am not so sure that it is so good for writing on. It is so wide that my eyeballs can't stretch to the edge ! I think that I would be quite happy writing these words on a 800 x 640, 4:3 monitor !

 The photos I was re-editing were of Chain playing a special all Fleetwood Mac set at a well lit gig in The British Legion hall in Petts Wood. It was one of a series of gigs by various bands that went under the banner of Petts Wood Rocks ! The Chain gig took place on Friday 31st January 2014, and you can see the pictures I took here -

 After the new monitor was delivered I was free to go out shopping, or any other outside pursuit, but when I looked outside, and considered what I might want if I went outside, I decided that I would prefer to stay indoors in the dry, and in the warm. It was possibly that decision that later triggered the desire to order a nice chicken shish kebab with salad - mostly fat free, and sort of healthy ! So just after 6pm I ordered one, plus a spare that I could have had for lunch today, and then I waited, and waited, and.......

 I ordered the meal online, and the first bad thing was that I got a confirmation e-mail that said they were busy, and that the delivery time would be extended. Fifteen minutes after the predicted worse case delivery time had passed I had a phone call from the delivery driver. Unfortunately I could barely understand his broken English, and he could barely understand me, but we managed to work out that he had got lost somewhere in the mile between me and the shop. I did my best to try and give him some directions, but he couldn't describe where he was - or at least not in words that I could understand. Eventually he claimed to know where he was, and I expected him to arrive at any minute.

 Another 15 minutes passed and he had still not arrived. So I phoned him back, and tried to find out where he was. That proved impossible. So I told him to take my dinner back to the shop because I no longer wanted it, and to tell the shop to refund my money. Later on I phoned the shop, but only got an answerphone. So I left a message explaining what had happened, and asked them to call back confirming my money had been refunded. I am still waiting for a reply ! I also emailed the customer care department of Hungryhouse, the web site that acts as an intermediary, and takes care of payment by credit card. Their promise is that they will respond within 24 hours - they still have half a day to meet that deadline. I have a horrible feeling I've just been ripped off.

 I had an even healthier, but rather later dinner last night. First course was a salad with balsamic dressing and Parmesan shavings. That was followed by a can of fried herring in balsamic dressing. At that point I should have gone to bed, but I stayed up a lot later than usual watching TV on my new monitor. I am undecided if it enhanced my viewing experience or not. Eventually, and I think that may have been getting on for 11pm, I went to bed, and slept unusually well.

 Today I have all sorts of things to do. Next on my list is to go to one of the 99p or £1 shops to see what they have in the way of HDMI connectors. I want a cheap and nasty one to disect for work, and a spare or two for my new monitor might be handy as well. Of course I'll probably buy loads of junk and rubbish too !

 Later on I have to try and get to Petts Wood by about 3pm to see a nice and early Spangles gig in the Petts Wood Memorial Hall. It is part of the Petts Wood "Turning On The Xmas Lights" ceremony. Several bands will be playing, and there will be stalls in the streets, and all sorts of crap like that. There are a couple of other bands that I would liked to have seen if it didn't involve a long wait while bands I don't care to see finish their sets, but more importantly than that is that I want to be back in Catford, refreshed and rested to go out again tonight to see a band playing in The Black Cat (formerly known as The Catford Ram). The band are called Red Post Hill, and I am not sure if they are very good, but I can't pass up live music on my own door step. Pictures to follow !
Friday 27th November 2015
07:51 GMT.
  The weather could have been far worse yesterday, but in the main it was just uninspiring. There was an unexpected brief sprinkle of rain at about 5pm, but otherwise it was just unrelenting grey skies and feeling quite cool. Sadly, today is going to be very similar. The sky will range from medium to dark grey, and there will be a few showers during daylight hours, and maybe some more persistent rain after dark. The temperature today will be an annoying 12° C - not quite cold, and yet still some way from being warm. Tomorrow could be considerably colder in the morning. Some parts may even see a frost, but apparently not here. It might even be a sunny morning, but it is not forecast to last. By midday it will be grey, grey, grey ! Persistent rain is forecast for after sunset !

 I'm not sure why, but I didn't feel very keen to go to the pub for the Thursday drink. I guess it was because it was dark outside. It didn't matter how early it actually was (about 4.30pm), it still felt like I was going out when I should have been going to bed ! I seem to be getting more and more cranky about this as the years drift by.

 It was enjoyable when I got to the pub, and there were some good beers available. By common agreement the best was a beer by The Tiny Rebel brewery in Wales. We never did manage to discover what the name meant, but we did conclude that it could probably only be pronounced with half a pint of phlegm in the back of the throat. It went by the unlikely name of Cwtch - - a name and word without any vowels in it ! The other beer I particularly liked was Northern Lights.
4 different beers tried last
 The Brighton Best, and Volden Pale Ale, seemed a bit insipid compared to the other two, although they were perfectly drinkable. I think I stayed for four pints last night (or was it five ?). I don't think it was more than four because I felt perfectly sober on the way home, and after I got home - although unlike most Thursday night drinks when I go to the pub straight after work, I was able to have a bite to eat at home before going out. So I was not drinking on an empty stomach.

 I was definitely sober enough to have some sort of control over my eating. I felt no desire to visit any takeaways on the way home for a change. Perhaps a better reason for it than sobriety was that I was very aware that I had some interesting stuff in the fridge waiting to be eaten. I had, and still have, stuff in the fridge that really ought to be in the freezer, but there is no room in there. In consequence there is a bit of imperative to use it before it starts to spoil.

 Last night I had a non "Slimming World" curry from Iceland (the supermarket). It didn't come with any rice, which was good, and I thought it was rather a small portion, which was probably good. Fortunately it was rather tasty, and rather tastier than the Tesco king prawn curry with rice - which was not all that tasty at all. I had some other stuff to eat too, including a nice (almost still) crunchy conference pear. Then I had an hour or two to kill to let it settle down before going to bed.

 If I could have just slept through to when it was light, I would have said that I slept well last night. I was in bed about an hour later than usual, but I still woke up just before my 5am alarm was due to go off (because I had forgotten to cancel it). It was nice to be able to relax in bed before getting ready to face the day - a luxury denied me on days when I have to go to work - but I would have much preferred it if I could have dozed off for another hour or three...

 Well, maybe not three hours because I have to be very alert today ! Yesterday, in a moment of madness, I decided it would be easier doing my photo editing on a bigger monitor screen. So I had a look on Amazon and found a 24 inch high definition monitor that seemed to be cheap, but (hopefully) not cheap and nasty. The premium for next day delivery didn't make my eyes water too much, and so I ordered it.

 It should be delivered sometime today, and because of my paranoia, everything is now taking second place to making sure I don't miss the delivery. I have put fresh batteries in the doorbell - and tested it - and I am keeping the radio down low to make sure I can hear that doorbell. I reckon that the delivery will take place quite late today - after all I only ordered it at about 3pm yesterday - but I still don't dare to even go as far as the corner shop, and if I could I would even stay off the toilet.

 Unfortunately that is proving a little difficult this morning, or at least it was. I don't know if it was the beer, or too much curry, but my bottom has been quite volatile this morning. I think, or I hope it has settled down now. I suppose it puts some other things I might moan about into some sort of perspective. Nothing else limits me in any way even if it is painful - as indeed a bit of my chest is under certain circumstances. Yesterday, while swinging my rucksack full of bottles of sugar free cola onto my back, I pulled an already pulled muscle, or ligament, or whatever it is I broke in my chest. Apart from at the time, and maybe some remnants of tenderness from time to time, I didn't give it much thought until I was towelling myself dry after my shower this morning. I managed to get one or both my arms swinging in such a way to provoke a strong painful reaction from my chest.

 I say chest because I am fairly sure that is where the trouble actually lies, but the pain was from the end of the rib on my side - just under, and a few inches to the right of my right man boob. It does seem to be a very delicate area recently, but I guess it will recover if I could only stop bothering it ! While that was bad, I am tempted to think that there is more good news about the little, and ring fingers of my left hand. This morning the little finger was feeling quite painful. That may sound bad, and I must admit it was not pleasant, but at the same time I seemed to have something approaching normal touch sensitivity. I could just about feel a single hair with my fingertip - which is an improvement over just being able to distinguish textures. Since then the pain has stopped, and the sensitivity has reduced again, but it does seem that what seemed impossible not that long ago, might still be possible, and maybe the nerve damage will not only heal, but will heal quicker than I thought possible - which would be rather good !

 Today I very little until my new monitor is delivered ! In the meantime I may do some quite reading, but taking extra care not to doze off, and I probably ought to start editing the pictures I have been meaning to edit for uploading to Flickr for the last few days now. I have probably run out of excuses not to do it even if I have to do it on my current, smaller monitor.
Thursday 26th November 2015
14:59 GMT.
  The BBC's website weather forecast said there would be some sunshine yesterday - and there was ! It was just that there was less of it than forecast, and it wasn't when it was supposed to be. The rest of the day was mildly overcast, and mildly gloomy.  With a top temperature of 9° C it didn't feel desperately cold, but it was cool enough. Today hasn't been much different to yesterday. The temperature, the amount of cloud in the sky, and the little bit of sunshine were almost identical. Tomorrow will probably be even gloomier, but it is supposed to stay dry, and it should be a couple of degrees less cold.

 I didn't feel too bad at work yesterday. The inner infection, or whatever it was I had, seemed to have completely gone, and any slight light headedness was probably just a parallel universe trying to break through. Even my dodgy chest seemed to be mostly (but not completely) behaving itself. It was still a relief to be heading home after work - although some, if not a lot of that relief was the joy of knowing I was starting the equivalent of a four day weekend.

 On my way home I detoured via Iceland and bought a few more of their "Slimming World" products. I found a chilli con carne that looked interesting, and I thought I might try one of the meals that was pasta based. I also bought a couple of ordinary high calorie/high fat curries. What I actually ate when I got in was a mixture of the good and bad and unsure ! I did have one of the low calorie sweet potato curries - I rather like them. I also had a strange hybrid meal. Lurking in my fridge was an (alleged) slow cooked brisket of beef in sauce thingummy. The sauce comes in a separate sealed bag, and upon checking the ingredients, which I am very glad I did, I found that demerara sugar was one of the prime ingredients. So I chucked that away, and substituted a can of tomato soup - which I hope was a lot better (although I never actually checked), but it did make for a tasty sort of meal. I topped all that lot off with a nice crunchy conference pear with some strong cheddar cheese.

 I'm not sure where I got the energy from, but I found some to wash three work shirts, and some underwear last night, but I couldn't find the energy, or maybe the inspiration, or whatever it takes to edit up a bunch of photos to upload to Flickr. I did manage to go through the set and make a note of the file numbers of the photos I wanted to edit, but that was as far as I got. I seemed to find it a lot easier to watch lots of clips of the late comedian Dave Allen on You Tube. Try any of these - - some are better than others, but all range between good and hilarious !

 I didn't have to get up this morning so I could have stayed up all night, but old habits die hard, and by 10pm I was more than ready to fall asleep, and maybe ten minutes later I was ! In some respects I slept quite well apart from the terrifying nightmare I had where the button on the waist of my jeans broke, and then my belt broke. I don't think I found a way to hold my trousers up before I woke up. At 4am I woke up, and because it felt too much like hard work to get back to sleep, I temporarily got up and started reading news articles on the internet. It was probably a couple of hours before I went back to bed. From then on I had that weird sleep where it feels like you are awake, but many hours pass without you being aware of it. It was almost 9am when I got up again.

 It seems like I haven't done nearly enough to account for all the time since then. I have washed a couple of towels - which is is sort of good exercise, although I am not totally sure what it is I have exercised. I have also been to Aldi to do some more shopping  - stuff like toilet paper, and whisky as well as some food items. What I don't seem to have found time, or maybe the inclination to do is my photo editing. So I can't provide a link to Flickr to show off some photography I did in 2012 yet.

 In theory I could start that editing now, but I fancy a rest before going out for the Thursday night drink. We are drinking in The Ravensbourne Arms in Ladywell tonight. It is a shame that it will be as good as dark before I have to walk there. I could still walk through the park, and may still do so, but it will not be as pleasant as walking there in sunshine !
Wednesday 25th November 2015
08:55 GMT.
  There was nothing wrong with yesterday's weather that couldn't be cured by it being 20 degrees warmer, and brilliantly sunny ! It was a rather grey, and rather cool day in reality, although there was a minute or two of sunshine sometime around midday - at least I think I recall seeing some, but I may be confusing yesterday with another day. I was probably lucky that the rain managed to stop before I left work to go home, and stayed stopped until after I got home. Rather surprisingly, because it didn't feel like it, it was about 9° C when I got home. This morning it is very cloudy, and there have been a few brief showers. I even felt a few drops of rain while I was waiting for my train this morning. For some unfathomable reason, the BBC's website is saying that it should be sunny right now, and there will be sunny periods all morning, and even some into the afternoon. All I can see from my office window right now is moderately dark grey clouds with streaks of lighter grey through them. It seems more likely that it will rain rather then become sunny, but the forecast that the temperature will be a fairly constant 9° C during the hours of daylight, and dropping to 8° C at sunset seems feasible. Tomorrow should be dry, rather cool, and lightly overcast...well, it could be worse (and probably will be) for my day off tomorrow !

 I think I said that I felt both good and bad yesterday morning, or if I didn't, I probably meant to. That was pretty much how I felt for most of my day at work. Despite getting loads of sleep I still managed to find my eyelids drooping while reading some stuff on my PC early yesterday afternoon. That was more surprising than anything, but the occasional ache, and feeling of tenderness in my chest was sometimes annoying. I also had a mild headache from time to time, and it was sometimes a bit distracting. I must be in a terrible shape these days !

 Going home was unremarkable except for the usual waste of an hour of my life, but it was still very nice to arrive home. One of the first things I did was to look at the old coat that I am considering hand washing. I even went as far as to try it on. That suggested that there is very little rush to clean the coat up - although it most definitely needs cleaning. I can't recall if I was ever able to do it up, but I definitely can't now. I suspect I never could because I would need to lose at least an inch from around my chest to even get the two halves of the zip to touch - and that with the aid of an industrial hoist ! Even on the few occasions when I have lost a lot of weight, I don't recall my chest size changing that much ! When I look back at all the coats I have had since I was a kid, I realise it is something of a luxury that I now have coats that I can do up. It never used to be the case !

 I did myself no favours in regard to doing up that old coat at some time in the future last night. The plan was to have a couple of the Iceland "Slimming World" curries, and nothing else, but I had a deep primeval urge to have some bacon (of which I had several packs enticing me from the bottom of the fridge). So I had a pile of bacon for starters, and one Slimming World curry for my main course. I also had a couple of snacks. I don't think it was a total disaster, and maybe I should expect much more on these cold, dark, and probably sinister, nights, but it is not really setting myself up for an early start to possibly healthy active outdoors pursuits when the weather improves...or something like that.

 I didn't feel I had the energy to do any laundry last night, and I couldn't even be bothered to wash my hair (which I really ought to have done), but I didn't feel so tired that I felt the need for an extra early night. So I spent quite a lot of time trying to find some photos I had taken, and thought I had lost. After checking through several memory cards, and even a few old hard disks, I eventually found them exactly where they should have been ! They were pictures of Chain performing their special Fleetwood Mac set. Normally I would identify the gig by the date and venue where it took place, and that is what I was looking for, but I had actually identified the gig by the name of the the series of events that it was part of - Petts Woods Rocks.

 Having now found these pictures I will re-edit a set of them to upload to Flickr. The reason I was looking for them in particular was that there was a full lighting rig at the gig, and many of the pictures are bright, colourful and sharp - unlike some of the recent gig pictures I have taken that have been dull, gloomy, soft and noisy - because without lighting that is almost how it looked to the human eye !

 Tomorrow, and Friday, I am off work, and as yet I have no idea what I will be doing with those couple of days. One thing that is most likely is that I will be able to spend a little long drinking on Thursday night. I might even go along to the open mic session at The Coach And Horses in Beckenham, but that is not that likely. Before than I need to consider what I will do after work today. I don't feel all that bad now (not that good either), and I have no idea if I'll feel good or bad when I get home, but at the very least I should be able to sit down and edit a few photos. Maybe I'll find the energy and enthusiasm to wash a few shirts - maybe even that dirty, ill fitting jacket too, or maybe I'll just wash my hair (and let it dry while editing photo). Maybe I might even be able to eat, who am I kidding !
Tuesday 24th November 2015
08:05 GMT.
 Yesterday was cold, very cold. The temperature stayed under 6° C, and for a lot of the time it was closer to 4° C. Fortunately it stayed dry or it could easily have snowed - particularly in the morning, and that would have looked nice in the few bursts of sunshine we had later in the morning. Most of the day was rather dull. During the night the temperature actually rose as the clouds thickened. It was 8° C when I left to come to work, and it was raining ! The rain will continue for much of the morning, and there will be another hour or two of it early in the afternoon, but it seems there is a chance that it will be dry when I go home from work - with almost all the journey being done in the dark now !
weather forecast for the
                  first part of Tuesday 24th November 2015
 Tomorrow is forecast to be sunny, and while it will still be rather cool, the temperature could be ever so slightly less cool than today is. Today actually feel cooler than the numbers in the forecast seem to suggest, but that might just be because it is wet and windy (although I say windy to complete a well worn phrase - breezy would seem to be a better description). I was hoping that Thursday and Friday might have better weather, and maybe there are hints that the trend in the forecasts is getting better for those two days - days that I have booked as holiday from work. At the moment only Thursday is looking anything less than horrible !

 This morning I feel far better than expected. There were plenty of reasons yesterday why I should feel rotten today, and one reason why I shouldn't. The first significant problem yesterday was that I just could not seem to warm up at work. I don't know if it was just me, and it still might have been, or whether the new "climate control" units that have replaced my trusty fan heater are just rubbish. Maybe it was me feeling off colour, but I think there is still evidence that those new units just can't cope when the outside temperature falls too low.

 So I felt pretty rotten at work, and it wasn't helped by feeling tired. On a day when I felt less cold, less rotten, and had something interesting to do, I possibly wouldn't have felt so tired, or wouldn't have noticed it too much, but I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. I felt partly rejuvenated when I left work wrapped up in my new padded winter coat. I felt close to energetic, and I started striding down the road at a good pace. With every step I took my chest would seem to sway and creak as if the whole front superstructure had come loose from the rest of my skeleton.

 This sensation in my chest was nothing unusual since coming out of hospital over two years ago now, but it comes and goes for no obvious reason that I can see. It did feel a bit excessive last night (or late afternoon if you want to split hairs), and I had only gone halfway down the road towards the main road when...... sproing ! It felt like one of my ribs had broken free, and stabbed the inside wall of my chest just below, and just to the right of my right man boob. It was bloody painful for a few seconds, and put a bit of a crimp on my walking. The worst of the pain was over in literally seconds, but the area remained tender until well after I got home, and maybe I can imagine it is a bit tender this morning too.

 I wasn't exactly in pain for the rest of the journey home, but I was acutely aware of where the pain would be if I did something stupid. I waited for a bus when I got to the bus stop, and I was able to rest for the two stops to the station. After that brief rest I was able to walk at a reasonable pace again. When I arrived back in Catford I was hardly aware of any pain, but only because I was trying to avoid any movement that might jerk my ribs around again.  I felt perfectly fine to detour via Iceland (the supermarket) to buy some of their "Slimming World" products as I had planned to do. I had hoped that there would be more variety in their range, but it seems it is a pretty limited range - although they do seem to stock a very wide range of Heinz "Weight Watchers" products, but I am not keen on them. Maybe my opinion is wrong, but they always seem to reduce their calorie count by being ridiculously small portions for which they charge a huge excess !

 When I git home I put the heating on full blast. It was rather cool indoors, and while I had been warm inside my coat, and very comfortable on the trains, I still seemed to feel the shivers from when I was at work. I also didn't waste any time in getting my first low calorie meal in the microwave. It was the only other curry out of an apparent range of three that I had not tried. It was a saag chicken curry, and like the others it came in at under 400 calories (355 if my maths is correct). My second course was to be another sweet potato curry. That was also under 400 calories, but there was a period of indiscretion while it cooked, and I had a few things that would have boosted the total calorie count a lot. One was a cheese and onion roll because I wanted to use the roll up. The other was some skewers of ready cooked, but eaten cold, chicken satay. I thought they should have been fairly low in calories, and they looked fairly innocent, but the packet said otherwise !

 It wasn't that long after 6pm when I had finished eating, and I decided I couldn't be bothered to watch the news on TV. So I went up to my bedroom and checked my email and stuff. It seemed a bit warmer up there, and I decided I would lay down and read. I am unsure when it first started, possibly before I left work in it's most mild form, but while I was laying down I became more acutely aware that it was like I had pepper in my nose. It was itchy, and twitchy, and getting very stuffy. It was like I was on the brink of a head cold. While I had to give my nose a good blow every now and then, it wasn't actually running, and it didn't interfere with my reading too much.

 What did interfere with my reading was my eyes..or more specifically, my eyelids. they kept drooping and trying to close. So I got off my bed, went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and then went back to my bed, turned the lights out, and I think I was asleep before 7pm ! I kept the heating on full in my bedroom during the night, and for a lot of the time I slept under the duvet despite the room being quite toasty ! I didn't sleep perfectly, but I did sleep almost non-stop for the first 5 hours. At just after 1am I got up to stretch my legs and I spent 15 minutes on the internet, but I was soon asleep again.

 I didn't sleep non stop from then, but I slept fairly well, and just for a change I was woken by my alarm clock (app on my phone). Out of the 10 hours between first going to bed and getting up again, I must have got well over 8 hours sleep, and maybe as much as 9 hours. I think I feel a lot better for it, although I did feel that I needed a couple of Ibuprofen tablets to relieve some aches from my chest this morning. Since getting to work my nose has started to feel a bit stuffy again, but it was fine while I was out in the fresh air. I can't decide if I feeling anything better than the bare minimum, but I certainly feel far better than I expected to feel. Being at work is starting to dull it now, but while it was mostly fantasy, I did seem to feel some sort of extra vigour this morning.

 It does feel nice and comfortably warm in my office this morning, and hopefully I'll have a comfortable day, and maybe it will productive too. I have a couple of important things to do before I have my two days off work on Thursday and Friday (plus the weekend), and I did very little yesterday. Tonight my only plan is going to be to try and eat sensibly. I have two Iceland "Slimming World" meals to eat, although I think I will only be eating one plus some other stuff in the fridge that needs using before it goes off. If I seem to have an unlikely amount of energy I might consider washing the coat I mentioned yesterday, or maybe I'll just go to bed super early, and read until my drooping eyelids say it's time to turn out the lights.
Monday 23rd November 2015
08:21 GMT.
temperature at 06:14 on Monday 23rd Nov 2015
 Yesterday was pretty cold, but maybe not quite as cold as expected. By late afternoon, and maybe with the help of a fair amount of sunshine, the temperature hit 6° C, or a degree higher than I expected. Once the sun set at the ridiculously early time of 4pm, the temperature began to drop, but it seemed to be incredibly slow to do it. It was still 5° C at 10pm last night, but it did fall eventually, and appeared to be still falling when I walked to the station to come to work, but that was actually not quite correct. Having the outside sensor sitting on a windowsill means there is a bit of a lag while the stone heats up of cools down. The sparkling frost outside was a better indicator that the temperature was below zero at 5am when my thermometer was still saying it was 1.1° C. At 6:14, just as I set off to come to work, my thermometer, pictured on the left, gave the temperature as 0.9° C - and that is cold enough for anyone ! (Anyone who isn't in Canada - hi Mike !!).

 It is going to be a rather cold day today. The temperature is only going to rise very, very slowly according to the BBC's weather forecast on my mobile phone.  By night fall it will only manage to reach 5° C, but apparently it will continue to rise a couple of degrees until at 5am tomorrow morning when it will hit 7° C...and it will be raining ! - Lovely !

weather for Catford Monday
                  23rd November 2015
 Yesterday was one of those days where I combined intense laziness with a few bouts of action ! I mentioned yesterday that I hand washed five work shirts. After that I did some intense relaxation. I lay on my bed, read a dozen or more pages of a book,  and I had a snooze. When I woke up it was starting to get cloudy, but I still decided I ought to go out and stretch my legs. I considered going to Iceland (the supermarket), but instead I opted for a wander around the 99p shop and the £1 shop.

 I bought some cleaning stuff from both shops, but it was in the latter shop that I bought something that I later regretted for two reasons. The item was a small pack of Bounty bars. The first reason for regret is maybe not that sincere - in an ideal world I would avoid sugar laden stuff like that, but now and then....providing the "thens" are not too often....which they can easily be in wintry weather. The other reason for regret is that I managed to get a few bits of coconut stuck between my teeth, and while getting it out with toothpicks and floss I managed to damage my gum in two places. The teeth exposed by the damaged gum tingled annoyingly for much of the afternoon after that.

 Later on in the afternoon, at about sunset, I did a bit more hand laundry. That cleared the backlog of anything that needed washing except for the sheets on my bed, and they will have to wait for another time. That was probably the last thing I did of any note...or at least the last physical thing. I did do one other job that kept me up a bit late last night. I had noticed that some photos seemed to be missing from my PC. In particular, I couldn't find the pictures I had taken of Chain performing their special all Fleetwood Mac set at the Petts Wood British Legion club a few years ago.

 I also noticed that there were a few empty folders in my 2012 photos (which is probably the year that Chain played that special gig). I managed to recover most of the missing photos from my server, but the ultimate source would be the memory cards from the camera. I make a point of never re-using them, and have kept them safe as a last ditch back-up. The only problem is that they are not catalogued. Last night I made a start, a very small start admittedly, in cataloguing them. I still haven't found the pictures I was looking for, but I am confident they are not lost for ever.

 Yesterday I mentioned that I was almost over what was looking very strongly like an inner problem. I didn't suffer any of the giddyness that I had experienced on the previous few days, but it seems I was not over it completely, and maybe there is still a small lingering effect. The only thing of note that I noticed yesterday when I went to the shops was a slight tendency to want to go to the right. It was like I was walking along a very gentle slope that sloped down to my right. It was no harder to steer a straight course than it would be if I was on a real slope. At any other time I would hardly be aware of it, and correct for it automatically, but knowing I was on level ground drew attention to it.

 I think I may have had a small hint of the inner ear problem during the night, but it was mild to the point where I had to stop and wonder if I was really feeling it. Besides, there were other things that were disturbing my sleep. I think it was sometime between 2 and 3am when I woke up, and couldn't get back to sleep because I felt uncomfortably hot. I am not sure what that was, but the only thing I could do was to pull the duvet to one side, and cool off. It didn't take long to feel too cool after that, and for some time I alternated between duvet on, and duvet off until I could leave it on and get back to sleep. At about 4am I felt really uncomfortable in bed. No matter how I positioned myself, something hurt, or ached, or itched, or tickled, or  rubbed, or..... At 04:36 I got up - which was a silly time to get up !

 This morning I feel, you may not be surprised to hear, both good and bad. Well, nothing new there then ! My chest is a bit sore this morning...or at least it was. It seems to have settled down now. I also had a bit of discomfort in my stomach area. Despite eating more than adequately yesterday, I think it was just hunger - maybe with a bit of excess wind thrown in too ! Now I've had some breakfast, which was two small bowls of ready prepared salad, maybe totalling somewhere in the order of 400 calories, my guts feel OK.

 I have two plans for tonight, and there is only a fair to good chance that I will carry one of them out. Unless some unforeseen circumstance prevents me doing it (alien invasion maybe), I will be going home via Iceland (the supermarket) to buy some more of their "Slimming World" embarrassing products - probably more curries, but I'll see what else there is. As I mentioned on Saturday, the two curries I bought, and ate on Friday, turned out to be quite nice after an initial odd taste (probably the result of them being fat free). I want to try and use them to keep my intake down to the point where I can start to lose a few millimetres, or more, from around my waist. It is tricky in this cold weather, but those curries were hot and filling. So maybe it might work out. I won't know until I've tried it.

 The second thing I am thinking about doing, but probably won't do, is to wash an old coat. I can't remember what state it is in beyond the fact that it looks a bit grubby. I haven't worn it for a good few years now, and I'm not even sure it still fits me, but if I can get it clean, and maybe if I do manage to reduce my gut size, it could be useful to wear in late spring/early summer before it gets too hot. It will probably take that long to dry !

 While I was out yesterday afternoon I remembered to take a photo....
Directions to L3 bus stop by
                  Tesco in Catford
 A friend reminded me of the existence of this sign that is to be found near the front of Tesco in the Catford Shopping Centre. The only problem is that the L3, originally an experimental route for some new mini-buses, only ran between 1988 and 1990 according to one source of information I found. The sign, still in perfect condition after all these years, is still pointing to the bus stop behind Tesco where the replacement for the L3, the 366, still runs to this day.
Sunday 22nd November 2015
11:15 GMT.
  The sky completely cleared yesterday evening (or as good as), and the temperature dropped - a lot. I don't know if I saw the very lowest temperature, but at 5am my outside (but fortunately radio temperature at
                09:11 on Sunday 22nd Nov 2015linked so I didn't have to get out of bed to read it) thermometer was registering -1° C (yes that's minus one degree).  The clear sky allowed a nice bright sunny morning, and the temperature started to rise. By 09:19am the temperature had risen to plus 1.5° C. The sun is still shining, and with luck it will continue until sunset. The forecast predicts that for a couple of hours this afternoon a few wandering clouds may get in the way of the sun now and then, but then the clouds will go away, and allow the sun to run full blast in it's final hour before it dips below the horizon, and we are enveloped in night again. Unfortunately, for all that sunshine, we can only expect the temperature to rise to 5° C.

 Yes, it seems winter is finally here...and yet it is a very sunny winters day. It's the breeze coming from the north that is to blame for the cold, but also the cloudless sky. Unfortunately the cloud is coming back tomorrow. It is forecast to be a very grey morning, and by my normal theories that should mean it would be warmer than this morning, but most of the morning is going to be under 2° C, but after an hour or two of sunshine late in the afternoon, it will rise to 5° C - and then it will start to rain (hopefully well after I am safely home from work).

yesterday's beer
 I forgot to mention how boozy yesterday was - mostly because I had hardly started when I was writing yesterday. The picture above shows the two beers I had for breakfast with Aleemah yesterday. I had a half pint of each as she drunk her coffee, and ate her vegetarian fried breakfast. Both these beers were quite nice, but I think the one on the left was probably the nicer of the two - although really it takes a full pint to get the best appreciation of ales like these.
Aldi's rather nice Irish whiskey
 While I was in Aldi I spotted that they now do* their own label Irish whiskey. It was just £13.99, and I couldn't resist buying a bottle. Last night I had a couple of generous tots of it to see how it went down. It's not as good as Jameson's whiskey, but it's not bad, and considering the price differential, it is indeed very good !

* Maybe they have always sold this, but I've just never noticed it before. I'll be keeping an eye out for it in the future !

 Maybe a few glasses of whiskey helped me get to sleep last night, and more usefully, helped me sleep a bit more continuously. I woke a few times in the night, but it felt like I generally slept well. One thing I didn't suffer from was any episodes of giddiness. Maybe on one occasion I had a very light twinge, but it was hardly noticeable.

 On reflection, I think the times when my head felt a bit light seemed to get less and less as yesterday passed by. I am not yet fully over it because my head felt a bit weird for a while this morning, but unless anything should happen to make me change my mind, I think I can say I am almost over this annoying malady.

 I might be over that, but I don't seem to be over something else. That something else is more than likely high blood glucose - the result of satiating an ill-desired urge to eat something very naughty last night ! It has left me with a feeling of no "get up and go" this morning....and yet I did manage to force myself to hand wash 5 shirts this morning - and two of them were long sleeve shirts that need extra energy to wash, rinse, and wring out multiple times !

 After that I ate 5 Lincolnshire sausages for breakfast, and I have written this. Now I feel a strong desire to lay down, read for 10 minutes, and have a snooze while the warm sunshine pours through my bedroom window. That sunshine is actually keeping my bedroom warm (no doubt helped by the heating being up high downstairs while my shirts dry). It's a shame that it is so bloody freezing outdoors. It is tempting to try and walk in this nice sunshine, but it would only mean numb fingers and frozen ear lobes !
Saturday 21st November 2015
18:38 GMT.
  When I consider yesterday, I think there was probably more sunshine than I thought there would be. Perhaps it was a bit intermittent when it first broke through the clouds around midday, but by the time I left work to come home it was shining continuously. The only problem was that the sun was so low in the sky it was difficult to see it most of the time, but at least I could see the blue sky.
blue sky as I walk from work
                  to the station.
 This was the view as I walked towards the main road where, out of laziness, I caught a bus to the station. The sky was lovely and blue, and the sun is lighting up the top of the trees. It loos sort of idyllic, but it must be remembered that the temperature was possibly less than 9° C, and dropping. There was also quite a bit of breeze to chill the bones even further.
The Shard seen from
                      platform A of Waterloo East station as the sun was
 By the time I got to Waterloo East station the sun had officially set, but the sky remained blue. With The Shard in the background, one of the Thameslink trains that South Eastern are borrowing from Thameslink, passes through the station empty. It will be used for the Hastings service from Charing Cross, and calls at Waterloo East on it's way at 16:33 (I think).
half a moon and a
                          bird in the post sunset sky
 Swivelling round by about 60 degrees and the half moon glows brightly in the still blue sky. I think the bird accompanying it is a sea gull of some description. When I got back to Catford I went home via Iceland (the supermarket). By the time I had finished shopping, and walked half way home, it was most definitely night time. Sunset was at 16:02 if I recall correctly, and it was getting on for 17:00 when I got home, and yet the western sky still seemed to be glowing pale blue. I have a feeling it was actually city sky glow. That used to be a sort of browny orange because of the sodium street lamps, but now so many street lamps have been changed to white LED lights, I think the sky glow is taking on this new bluish colour. I don't think I like it for the simple reason that it is confusing - though I guess we'll all get used to it pretty quickly - assuming my theory is correct.

 I didn't have too bad a day at work. I often felt a bit light headed, and now and then I did suffer some momentary giddiness. Mostly it was annoying rather than particularly unpleasant. I have come to the conclusion that it is almost certainly an inner ear problem, and I think that may be being fed from what may be a painless infection in my gum - a sort of painless abscess. There are two clues to this. If I suck in the area of gum where there used to be two teeth, I can sometimes suck out some foul tasting muck. The second clue is that I noticed that any hint of light headeness and or giddiness went for quite some time after chewing some Hoola Hoops. I think the motion and muscle work, moved/stirred up whatever is upsetting my inner ear. I know many people who would dive for antibiotics at this point, but I reckon it will clear itself up soon. It is rather variable, but it seems to have improved over the course of today. Maybe it will be gone tomorrow if I am lucky.

 After a whole 5 days at work, and with some of those days a bit trying, I didn't feel like doing anything last night - except for one interesting little experiment. While I was in Iceland I was mainly buying some 3 litre bottles of Diet Coke, but I also bought two ready meals from their "Slimming World" range. I bought a Chicken Tikka Masala, and a Sweet Potato Curry. They are fat free, and the entire curry only has about 400 calories in it. I ate both of them last night without any rice, or other stuff, and I found them fairly filling. They do taste a little odd at first, but it was a flavour that was easy to grow to like, and I enjoyed each one. They are fairly filling, and if, as I will try now and then, I only eat a couple of them for my evening meal, and about 400 calories of salad for breakfast (as I do most mornings at work), I could possibly manage to get through the day on 1200 calories. That is about the right amount for me to lose useful amounts of weight. It is about what I was managing in the months leading up to me going in hospital.

 I stayed up a bit later that usual last night, but I think I was in bed, and asleep around 10pm. As far as I can recall I slept reasonably well last night. Once or twice I did have some mild giddiness when I laid my head on the pillow, but it was so mild I shut my eyes and ignored it. If I had any particular problem is the old story of bad heat regulation. It was a very cold night last night, and as low as 3° C at sunrise. So I kept the heating on all night. I was sometimes too hot under the duvet, and because the heating was on quite low, I felt too cold if I uncovered too much of me.

 Anyhow, I managed to have a lay in. Before actually getting up I didn't really know when I was awake, and when I was asleep and dreaming, but sometime after 7 am I slowly started to get up. I thought that washing my hair could be a comedy, but to my surprise, hanging my head over the bath didn't invoke more than a mild hint of giddiness. I had visions of falling head first into the bath, but I think if I hadn't been expecting some giddiness, I wouldn't have even have noticed the very brief, very mild hints of it.

 Curiously enough, it was while I was sitting in the pub having my beer breakfast while Aleemah had a traditional cooked, but vegetarian breakfast, that I came across feeling a bit "something" - that curious indescribable cross between something that isn't quite giddy, and something that isn't quite like light headedness. It didn't feel nice, but had absolutely no consequences - I could walk, talk and drink beer with no difficulty, and that's all that counts.

 Aleemah brought over another dreadful horror movie today. It was another one based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, and like all his stories, it was loaded with plastic suspense, and plastic horror, and fake blood and fake tentacles, and ultimately was very boring ! I spent some of the time it was playing by playing with a new toy I bought from Aldi on the way back from the pub, and poor Aleemah seemed to spend half the movie in the toilet suffering from a stomach upset !

 When Aleemah went home I was going to try and get busy doing something, but ultimately I just couldn't be bothered. Maybe I just couldn't summon the energy to do something like wash 5 work shirts. I did spend a little time playing with my radio controlled weather stations. It was another of these that I bought from Aldi today. What is now my second newest one decided it couldn't read it's outside sensor. I though that it had been knocked off the kitchen windowsill one too many times, and had become so detuned that it would never work again.

 When I brought it indoors, and placed itcloser to the display unit, it started to work again. So I moved the display unit into the back room, and I think it is working OK again for now. The new unit I bought from Aldi today was, or would have been a bargain compared to the price of my other units, but unfortunately it seems to have come with no instruction manual. It presumably fell out, or has been stolen - something I may have to resort to. I have worked out how to see most of it up, but a few things are baffling me. In particular I want to know what the USB socket on it is for. I suspect that there may be a way to get it to record the current temperature and stuff, but I have no idea how to trigger it if that is possible.

 It was very wet, and very cold this morning. A few degrees lower and we would have had some snow. Some people outside of London, and on higher ground did have a sprinkling of snow this morning. By about 11am the rain had stopped, and there was some sunshine. It even warmed up by several degrees, but now the temperature is dropping fast. By my reckoning it is now down to 1.5° C outside, and if it should rain it will almost definitely fall as snow. The forecast says it will be 0° C by 5am tomorrow, but tomorrow morning is going to be nice and sunny (but still bloody cold !!).It is supposed to get a bit cloudy in the afternoon, but should stay dry all day. The top temperature is forecast to be no more than 5° C !
Friday 20th November 2015
07:55 GMT.
  There were a couple of brief glimpses of sunshine yesterday, but the overall description must remain as dull and gloomy - and exceptionally so from about 3pm until sunset at just gone 4pm. The only redeeming factor was that it stayed dry - maybe not for the whole 24 hours of yesterday, but all the parts that were relevant to me and my travels ! It's definitely getting colder now. I'm not even sure that it reached 10° C yesterday. Tomorrow may well start with a frost, although an early suggestion that some snow might fall seems to have changed to forecasts for rain instead. Today, or all the important bits of it can be summed up in this screenshot from my phone.
weather forecast for Catford
                  on Fri 20th Nov 2015
  So most of today is going to be a rather cool 8° C, but it could be a glorious 9° C, and sunny when I start to go home from work. The only trouble is that sunset is at 16:05, and by then I will only be half way home. I will arrive home in darkness. Looking on the brightside, if wishing away a whole month of your life can be considered a positive thing, it's now only about a month (plus a couple of days) until we reach the winter solstice, and the days start getting longer again ! Incidently, the weather warning is for very strong winds tonight, plus the possibility of snow in some places, but not locally.

 I felt pretty strange at work yesterday. My chest was constantly aching to some degree or another, and I often had a feeling something like light headed, but not that. I blame going home on Wednesday night in a cold, wet, and soggy shirt for a lot of the chest pain. I'm not sure what the light headed-like feeling was. It could have been an extension of the strange giddy sensation I woke up with in the night, and it is just possible that an explanation for that might be forthcoming. It was all a bit unpleasant, but not terribly so.

 I did wonder if I should go to the pub after work last night, but I felt fairly OK as I made my way back to Catford after work. In some ways I felt better than I did here at work. I think it is about a half mile walk from the station to The Blythe Tavern where we were drinking. The walk starts off with a double climb - first up and over the railway, and then up the short, but moderately steep bit of hill by St Dunstans College. Neither seemed particularly taxing, but still annoying, and I was quite happy to reach the pub.

 I didn't feel that good in the pub, and decided I would only stay for a couple of pints, and that turned out to be about right. It was still quite early when I left the pub, and the traffic going back towards Catford was heavy and slow moving. Under such circumstances it is better to walk, but I saw a bus just a hundred years from the bus stop, and decided to wait for it. It was slow progress at first, but when we hit the bus lane we speeded up for a bit. I think it would have been difficult to get back to Catford faster than the bus on foot, but maybe I might have made it if I had tried.

 Maybe if I had walked back I wouldn't have been lured into the fried chicken shop that is 20ft from the bus stop, but I was ! I did manage to keep my order down to three pieces of chicken, and a portion of fries. It was the only thing I ate last night, and last night I didn't go to bed feeling full like the previous few nights. One curious thing is that I had an urge to put a lot of salt on the fries, and also on the chicken too. It is rare that I use any salt on my food, and I think I make a 500gm container of salt last about 5 to 10 years (depending on getting any snow). Last night I had a desire to make the meal salty. It seems unlikely that my body was short of salt, particularly after the amount of ready meals I've eaten lately. They are, or at least were, renowned for the amount of salt they have in them, although most have cut the amount a lot compared to 5 or 10 years ago.

 I'm not sure if that salt did any good or any bad. I had a both good and bad night last night. I was in bed, and fast asleep not that long after 8pm, maybe 8.30pm, and I seemed to sleep well until just gone 1am. There seemed no particular reason why I woke up then, and why I should feel like I could not get back to sleep again. I did get and check my computer for 10 - 15 minutes before trying to get back to sleep, but it was hard to get comfortable for some reason. I did have a brief bit of mild giddyness (although that still doesn't describe the sensation to my satisfaction) when I lay on my right side, but it was mild, and once I shut my eyes the sensation was pretty much ignorable. Eventually I fell asleep again, and although I woke briefly a couple of times after that, they were brief, and I essentially slept through to when my alarm went off at 5am.

 This morning I have felt good and bad. One of the good bits is something I have been aware of for a few days now. My left hand is feeling stronger lately. This is the hand where the little and ring fingers are semi numb since the nerves were damaged during my operation over 2 years ago now. Back in September 2013, when I came out of hospital, my left hand was so weak that I had difficulty doing my trousers up. The change has been so slow that it is impossible to say when any change actually took place, but I think that hand has recovered at least 75% of it's previous strength, and maybe more - it is a difficult thing to measure.

 Not only that, but I think I have recovered more sensation in those numb fingers. They were never completely numb. The sensation was more like when they are numb with cold - they could be almost painful to touch. Cutting the nails was a test of endurance, and buffing them on an emery board was a real challenge. Just recently they do seem to be less tingly, and I think I can feel more texture with them. Six months ago I had assumed that the nerves causing the numbness were about as healed as they would ever be, and I would have to live with the condition for the rest of my life, but now I am thinking that in another 10 to 20 years, in the unlikely possibility that I live that long, they could be almost back to normal !

 So that is good news for my fingers - possibly - but other bits of me seem less good. My chest has been very clicky and crunchy this morning, but is not really hurting much - and probably hurting less than my back. From time to time I get a bit of back ache. It is very rare for it to be cripplingly aching, and that is definitely not the case this morning, but it does feel a bit creaky here and there, now and then. My chief complaint this morning is still this mild to very mild giddyness, or light headedness. It does seem that when I hold my head down, and holding my head over the sink while brushing my teeth is the best example I can think of, I do slowly start to lose my balance, and this morning I had to stand upright to finish brush my teeth because I was starting to get wobbly.

 That is an extreme example, but even as I write this I am suffering from a more, much more minor form of it - or maybe something completely different. I don't feel giddy, or dizzy, or unbalanced, but it does feel like my head could float away if I didn't keep a good hold of it. I really wish I could describe what I feel more accurately because that was a truly crap description, but it was the best I could come up with. For a while I thought I might have an explanation for this condition. Maybe it will just go away, or maybe it will turn out it is a blood flow problem to the brain, but it is easier to assume it is an inner ear problem.There could be some credence in that. It has happened after I had suffered from the 'flu like bug last week, and while I was coming to work I thought there was another explanation for it about to pop up. I guess it was just the cold air, but it did seem like I was heading towards a head cold. My nose wasn't bad enough to drip, but it did seem to get very stuffy, and needed blowing fairly frequently. I also thought it felt like my sinuses were starting to fill up - perfect conditions for inner ear problems ! Since getting to work, and sitting quietly in the warm, my noses and sinuses seem to be normal again. So I guess I am heading for a quad brain bypass operation or something....

 I am going almost straight home from work tonight. I'd like to pick up a couple of bottles of sugar free cola on the way, and if they have got any this time, I may get them from the Turkish supermarket, but otherwise I was considering seeing what crap and junk I could buy if I visited Iceland (the supermarket). When I finally get home I might wash a few shirts, but apart from that I intend to just vegetate !
Thursday 19th November 2015
08:15 GMT.
  Ultimately, the only thing that mattered about yesterday's weather was that it was cold and wet ! Maybe there was some sunshine in the morning, but when it mattered, it was cold (about 12° C) and wet, and miserable ! The particular time when it was at it's worst was as I was walking to the station on my way home from using. By re-using an old photo I can almost show how bad it was. it was actually twice, or three times, maybe four times worse than this. Plus it was a lot darker !
torrential rain outside
                  Earlsfield station
 When I left work the rain was fairly light, and I wasn't too worried about it. I knew I would get a little damp walking to the station, and so I headed for the bus stop. I wouldn't have minded waiting under the shelter for a few minutes, but I couldn't see a bus in the distance, and the traffic seemed to be almost at a standstill. So I gritted my teeth, and started to walk. I hadn't gone more than ten paces when the heavens just opened right up. I have possibly never walked to the station so fast as last night, and to my surprise it was quite easy. Unfortunately, by the time I reached the station I was soaked from head to toe. The rain has soaked through my coat and my shirt was dripping wet, as were my trousers, and it felt like my shoes were full of water. It made for a very unpleasant journey home !

 It had stopped raining by the time I arrived at Catford, or maybe I was still too wet to notice it. I think that much of the night was dry, and this morning I could see a few stars in the night sky as I walked to the station. It was a cold morning. My thermometer said it was little more than 9° C.  The forecast still insists it should be about 12° C this morning, but it also says it will drop by a degree at 10am, and another degree by 7pm. It will finally end up at at just 9° C late tonight. It seems that it will rain around midday, and some of it may be heavy. I hope I can believe the forecast when it says it will be dry again a good hour or two before I leave work today ! Tomorrow is going to be even colder than today ! Much of the day is forecast to be rather dull, although there could be a bit of sunshine just before night falls. There could be quite a bit of rain from early evening, and the temperature will slowly fall from a max of 9° C down to 7° C by early evening, and then way down to as low as 3° C by 5am the following morning. It will soon be snowing at this rate !

 It was a joy to get home from work yesterday, and to get out of my dripping wet clothes. I really wanted to have lashings of hot food, but somehow I managed to stick with my plan to have a fair bit of salad last night. I did have one hot dish, and that was an alleged roast chicken ready meal. It was an experiment, and one that I will try to avoid repeating because it was close to revolting. I think it was a good couple of days before it's use by date, but the tiny little roast potatoes tasted so awful that I left a couple. I don't know how, but they tasted a bit like meat that is going off. The actual bit of supposedly roast chicken was so small that I doubt any bacteria could find it to make it go off ! The peas and carrots, in their own little compartment, tasted like they had been smeared in lard rather than butter (which was presumably what the intended taste was supposed to be). The little, large marble sized, ball of stuff was quite nice though....

 The two salad dishes I had were a plain salad that I garnished with some scotch bonnet flavoured cheddar cheese, and a ready made salad with creole flavoured chicken, and some little stuffed pepper things. The latter salad was quite nice except for when first opened. It was initially like opening a bag of dry roast peanuts - rather farty smelling ! As well as all that lot I also had a couple of sandwiches while I was getting changed, and checking my email and stuff. As usual it all added up to too much, and I went to bed feeling a bit full, although rather a lot less full that the day before (or was it the day before that - Tuesday ?).

 I don't know if what I ate had any bearing on how I slept, but I had a good and bad night. The good was rather pleasingly good, and the bad was rather bad. I think I turned out the light at approx 8.30pm, and I fell asleep rather quickly (as far as I can recall). I seemed to sleep very solidly until at midnight, and it was indeed with a few seconds of midnight, with my phone saying 00:00, I woke up with the room swirling around. Curiously enough it didn't seem to make me feel dizzy, or to worry me too much, but it was sufficiently unpleasant enough that I could only stand to lay down for a minute before deciding to sit on the edge of my bed.

 All the time it was happening I was concious of my weight pressing my down on to the bed - just like gravity always does. So I didn't seem to have any problem knowing which was up, down or even left and right. It was almost like it was my eyeballs which were wandering rather than my sense of balance. Maybe that was the case, but I have no idea what might have caused that. I have experienced waking up with my sense of balance gone, and having a rather comical time getting to the toilet, but that was at least 15 years ago, and possibly 20. In that case it was most likely to have been an inner ear infection following on from a bad head cold or 'flu. Maybe this time it was a follow on from the recent 'flu like illness I had, but this didn't feel quite the same.

 Maybe, although it is highly unlikely, and just a coincidence, that it was something to do with a most unusual, five minute period of exceptionally intense, almost explosive, bout of flatulence that seemed to start as soon as I woke up. Perhaps it had started before I woke up, and I had partly gassed myself. I guess it took no more than a minute or two for my eyes to stop twitching, if indeed that was what was happening, and I was able to walk to the toilet with no problems to finish that bout of extreme flatulence (and to see if anything else was on the move).

 When I got back in bed again I found the laying on my right side seemed to start my eyeballs off again in a mild way, although I didn't continue to experiment to see how bad it could get. Laying on my left side didn't cause any whirling or instability, but it seemed to compress my dodgy chest in an uncomfortable way. Laying on my back seemed to be the best compromise, but it was not terribly comfortable for my back, and every time I breathed my chest would click and pop, but I think that was how I got back to sleep for a couple of hours. The next time I woke I seemed to feel basically OK, and I turned onto my left side and went back to sleep. When I woke up for the last time before getting up, I woke up still on my left side, and I did feel some visual disturbance that was almost, but not exactly like dizziness.

 This morning I do feel a bit light headed in some ways. It's not that unpleasant, but I would be happier if I didn't feel that way. On top of that my chest seems to have not liked getting cold and wet as I came from work. It feels sort of stiff, and definitely a bit more sore than usual. Now and again I wonder if it feels differently sore to it's more usual soreness, and so could be trying to tell me some important information, but it probably isn't.

 I hope that by the end of the working day I feel a lot better than I do no so I can enjoy a couple of pints with the Thursday night drinking club. Tonight we are in The Blythe Tavern. It's usually a summer venue because it has a nice beer garden. tonight will be the first time I will try drinking inside.

 Southwest Trains, who run Waterloo station (leased from Network Rail), appear to have solved the problem of those who alight from the low numbered platforms in a state of desperation, and can barely make it all the way across the long, long concourse to get to the toilets opposite the high number (ex-international, Eurostar) platforms.....maybe.....
toilet on Waterloo station
crap here
Wednesday 18th November 2015
08:09 GMT.
  I was very lucky yesterday. After a bit of weak sunshine it started to rain yesterday morning, and it continued to rain right up to the time I left work to walk to the station. I did feel some very light rain in the last 30 seconds that I waited for my train on the platform of Earlsfield station, but it was practically ignorable - more so because with the temperature at almost 16° C it was almost warm. From then onwards the big feature was wind. It really started to pick up once I was safely indoor, but by 9pm, and for an unknown time after, it was a very fierce and noisy wind. The weather forecast on TV last night reckoned it would die down at midnight, and maybe it did. One thing it did was to blow most of the clouds away. It was 10° C at 5am this morning, and the residual wind made it a rather cool walk to the station, but there was some compensation in that I could see the stars, and the sky started to get light much earlier than it has done recently.
barriers blown over by the
 Last nights wind didn't appear to blow any tiles off anyone's roof, and it didn't seem to blow any trees onto any railway lines around here. It didn't even seem to blow any leaves on the line - maybe it blew them off the line instead. All trains seemed to be roughly on time this morning - where roughly means ignoring that my train from Catford Bridge was a minute or two late, but that is almost, almost forgivable ! (and it was on time when we arrived at Waterloo East).
sunrise as seen from inside
                  a moving train
 Sunrise was at 07:22 this morning (according to the BBC's website weather forecast page). This picture was taken at 07:08, soon after my train left Waterloo, and if you ignore the motion blur, and the reflections on the less than clean train window, it shows that the sky is already bright, and starting to look blue except where some low lying cloud is lighting up a pinky-orange colour. Red sky in the morning, shepherds says the old saw, and once again it will be proved right - maybe. The forecast today says that most of the morning will be bright, and often sunny, but this afternoon will see the sky cloud over. There will also be a few spells of rain both before and after I travel home from work, but if the forecast holds true I should get home in the dry again. It might reach 15° C today, but after today the temperature drops, and drops quite sharply at the weekend. Saturday and Sunday could almost be heading into snow territory with temperatures expected to peak at 5° C - at best !!!

  I carried out my plan to go home via Tesco last night, and I stocked up on a few essentials, and predictably enough, some bargains and unwanted stuff. Some of what I bought was good healthy stuff like bowls of salad, and some things like the reduced price sandwiches were less healthy. I am not sure what to make of the little reduced price (39p) triangles of red pepper and stuff quiche. I'm guessing I should have bought them, and ate them !

 On my way home, and after I got home, I felt rather good - by comparison to when I was travelling under the influence of my recent 'flu like illness. It really did feel like I was finally 100% over that illness. I wasn't perfectly comfortable all the time, and I didn't have boundless energy, but it was probably all within tolerance for an old broken body like mine. I was probably more uncomfortable after I had finished eating. It didn't seem like I was eating a lot as I ate it, but I certainly felt rather full, and with hindsight, I guess I did eat quite a bit when you add all the small things together. This is going to have a detrimental affect on my trouser belt if I don't get careful soon !

 I don't know if it was being rather full that caused it, but I had a very uncomfortable night. Maybe I was tossing and turning a lot because my belly was full, or maybe it was something else (like the cold - I didn't put any heating on in my bedroom last night). Whatever the reason was is not important. The important thing is that my chest became really sore in the night. At one point I wondered if it might get even worse, and if it had I might have prepared my "emergency rucksack", and if it got worse after that I might have considered getting some professional help.

 However it didn't take long to realise that if I tried to rest on one side a different part of my chest hurt compared to if I tried to rest on my other side. If I lay flat on my back the pain almost went away, but was substituted by the snap, crackle and pop of my ribs and ligaments moving about as I breathed in and out. At 1am (or was it 2am ?) I had to take some Ibuprofen tablets, and wait something like an hour before they had calmed the pain down, and I could get to sleep again. It was actually quite a mild pain to begin with, and if I had been anywhere else I probably would have slept through it, but chest pains have a certain uncertainty about them that gets you wondering...

 This morning I feel like that I wish I had managed to get a lot more sleep, but on the whole I don't feel too bad. My chest is not actually hurting, but there is a sort of subliminal tenderness there that feels to be some sort of dividing line between pain and no pain. After tossing and turning, and maybe sleeping awkwardly, my neck feels a bit stiff this morning, but to my amazement my back is not sure at all. There is probably no connection between sleeping badly and some stiffness/soreness in my lower back, but under some circumstance it has been a bit edgy recently. One such circumstance is bending over the bath washing my hair. I did that this morning and my back seemed quite supple and painless. That was a pleasant surprise !

 Now, have I any plans for tonight ? The answer is probably "maybe". I will have three dirty shirts after I get home and change, and it would probably be a good idea to get them washed, but that would be "nice" and not "essential". So maybe I will, or maybe I won't. Other than that I guess I ought to continue my long quest to try and eat far more sparingly. At least one part of my evening eating will be salad. So that will be one small step towards the ideal - one small step that could still easily be overshadowed by a whole mountain range ! Hopefully I'll be in bed nice and early tonight, and hopefully I will somehow get a full 8 hours of quality sleep (but I doubt it).
Tuesday 17th November 2015
08:39 GMT.
  To my great surprise, the sun came out yesterday. It was only for about 30 seconds, but at least it proved that it is still up there and working OK. The rest of the day was dry, but dull, cold, and generally sort of miserable. It was little better than 12° C when I got home from work, and the rather gusty breeze/wind made it feel a lot colder. During the night the temperature actually rose to about 13° C when I woke up at 5am. This was as forecast - I think - but what was not forecast was the fine misty rain that made for a damp journey to work. The latest forecast has the temperature rising to a pleasing sounding 16° C by about the time I go home from work, but even stronger winds than yesterday may still make it feel a bit chilly. For some of the time the clouds could be quite thin (like right now) and there could be a few sunny periods today. Unfortunately there is also some rain forecast for this afternoon. It is forecast to fizzle out around the time I go home from work, and depending on the actual timing, I could be going home in anything from light rain, heavy rain, or no rain at all !

 I was predicting that yesterday might have felt like a very long, and unpleasant day at work, but the day went by much quicker than I imagined. I definitely felt pretty bad in the morning, but at the same time I had some interesting stuff to do that distracted me from feeling so bad a lot of the time. By the afternoon I was further down the road to recovery from the 'flu like illness that had floored me at the end of last week, and although I was starting to feel tired, I didn't seem to be suffering as much as I had anticipated.

 Going home from work invoked a mixture of feeling good and bad at the same time ! On the whole, my legs seemed to be back in good working order, but the upper part of my body still had a few aches and pains. For some curious reason, the most popular side for  my chest to ache was back to being on the right side. Most recently it has been the left side, particularly diagonally across the left breast, but at times it has been random patches both sides of my chest, and at other times it has been even more strongly (than yesterday evening) on my right side.

 Despite some of those aches and pains, I felt quite good when I got home from work. I guess it felt like some sort of achievement, and it appears I had to celebrate it by eating too much - again ! It started off innocently enough - steamed mixed vegetables - and I didn't even smother them in cheese ! The things slipped a bit and I had a bangers and mash ready meal. It was probably full of all sorts of crap, but I didn't want to read the label and scare myself. It was also quite a small portion (judged from my own twisted viewpoint), and so I felt the need to "top up". If I had just had a few poppy seed crackers with some thing slices of cheese, I might have gotten away with it, but I had many biscuits with thick slices of cheese on them. To make matters worse, and it was probably the very worst thing I could have done, I plastered them all with (so called) Scottish chutney (ginger and rhubarb). That stuff is basically savoury jam, and is pure sugar - just what I don't need (but it was nice !).

 I wasn't feeling terribly tired, but tired enough, and I knew I needed to try and get as many hours of sleep as I could last night, and so I headed for bed extra early. I was in bed shortly after 7pm, but that was mainly to get a bit of reading in before trying to sleep. I can't remember what time I put my book down, but I am sure it was before 9pm, and could have been before 8.30pm. All I can remember is putting the book time, turning out the light, and falling asleep very quickly. I slept really well until sometime between 1am and 2am. From then on my sleep became annoyingly intermittent. I guess I must have got close to enough sleep because tiredness is one of the things I don't seem to be suffering from this morning.

 Since waking up, and sitting here at work writing this, I have experienced a variety of things I haven't cared for. Perhaps the worst was some gut ache that made for a slightly uncomfortable train ride. It seemed to be cured by eating, and I guess it was partly hunger - although that seems unlikely after pigging out of cheese and biscuits last night. Once again my legs seemed to be in very good working order as I came to work, although maybe they started showing some signs of fatigue as I walked from the station to work. I could not seem to walk comfortably as fast as I would have liked to. A few bits of my still ache, but nothing exceptional, and I reckon I'll have pretty much the same aches and pains until my dying day, but it is still worth mentioning their existence every day because I like to moan. It makes me feel like a man...(what ?).

 I have no few plans for tonight beyond getting a bit of shopping on the way home from work, and then trying not to eat it all at once. I don't think I'll be trying for an early night tonight, but I do aim to try and get to sleep at around the proper time for a 5am start - about 9pm. I do have some future plans - very loose to the extreme plans. This morning I booked Thursday and Friday of next week as holiday. At this point in time I have no idea how I will use those days. It mainly depends on what the weather is doing, but I think that booze may come into it somewhere :-) That still leaves me with three days of holiday to take before Xmas. Do I save them until the last minute in case it snows, or go out in a blaze of glory !
Monday 16th November 2015
08:11 GMT.
  It was a warm and mostly dry night - where warm means warm for a mid November night, not actually warm, and mostly dry means that it was dark, the curtains were closed, and I didn't look outside to see what was happening until it was time to go to work, and it was only them that I realised it had been raining. The idea that it might rain this morning was not in the forecast last night, but it did appear first thing this morning. The sky is currently looking a very leaden grey, but if the forecast is correct, which I doubt, there will be no more rain until about 7pm tonight. While it might have been almost 14° C when I got up at 5am, it is forecast that it will cool off by a couple of degrees as the morning progresses, and a bit of wind will make it feel rather cool as I go home from work late this afternoon. The forecast says tomorrow could be almost warm at a possible 16° C, but it is also forecast to be another sunless grey day, and rather wet in the afternoon.

 Nothing happened last night, and to a limited extent that is also true of my sleep. It seems it only takes a couple of nights where I am up later than usual, plus a few random snoozes here and there, to completely mess up my sleep patterns. For as much as a couple of hours I tossed and turned trying to get to sleep last night. I couldn't relax enough to feel sleepy, and I seemed too warm under the duvet despite turning any heating off in my bedroom a couple of hours before I went to bed. It must have been getting on for midnight before I fell asleep, although there is a slight possibility that it was after midnight !

 Once I was asleep I probably slept fairly well, but when my alarm woke me five hours later at 5am, it didn't feel like I had anywhere near enough sleep. I don't seem to feel particularly tired now I'm here at work, but I would not be surprised if it ends up feeling like a very long day ! This morning it doesn't feel like I am fully over my recent 'flu like illness. I don't feel terrible, but some of the joint and muscle pain I get does seem to be worse than usual, and it feels like I have the brakes still on when I try and do anything. This is all considerably better than how I felt last Thursday and Friday, and even last Wednesday. I guess today I feel like I did last Tuesday which is when the first symptoms slowly crept up on me. When looked at from that perspective, that is almost enough days to say it was actually 'flu. If it is still going to take another couple of days to get over it, as it is feeling right now, then that would be another 'flu symptom. The only trouble is that, while bad, it still felt a little mild to be 'flu, or is that because after over 2 years of not smoking I did not develop a hacking cough too ?

 I have nothing planned for tonight, and that is a good thing. I think I shall be looking forward to getting in my bed tonight. Hopefully I will be able to sleep OK, but I have this feeling that I'll fall asleep as early as 8pm, and then wake up at midnight. Then from midnight I will sleep badly until I give up at some silly time like 4am. I hope I am being too pessimistic, and I'll get a full eight hours of quality sleep tonight.

 In other news, I've snapped a couple of pictures this morning.
new shop on the concourse of
                  Waterloo station
There is a new "shop" on the concourse of Waterloo station this morning. The building had been boarded up for ages, and now and then there were hints that several different retailers were interested in it, but now it has finally opened as a money laundering shop. It faces on where most temporary promotional stands usually are.
The Wandle - aka The Sailor prince
It doesn't seem that long ago that The Wandle (formerly The Sailor Prince) was closed for refurbishment - 3 or 4 years ago perhaps - but it has done it again.
The Wandle - aka The Sailor prince
I can't help but feel that an "extensive refurbishment" should take rather longer than a week, but I guess they know what they are doing. Perhaps it just means a new lick of paint rather than changing the ambience from wine bar inspired to proper pub inspired ! Perhaps that will happen next time, and they will change the name back to The Sailor Prince again - if they can avoid converting it to yet another block of flats !
Sunday 15th November 2015
18:46 GMT.
  On the whole, yesterday was rather damp, and definitely rather grey ! The forecast said that it shouldn't rain after about 7pm, but the rain stopped an hour or two before that. It then restarted, albeit quite lightly, and only sporadically, just after 8pm until almost 11pm. The surprising thing is that it got slightly warmer (or less cool) in the evening. For much of the day it was barely more than 11 or 12° C, but by midnight it was nudging 15° C. This morning it was still around 13° C, and with no more than about 30 minutes of intermittent sunshine during the day, the temperature rose to 15° C, and it is still 15° C now. It has been a dry day, but mostly grey and uninspiring. Tomorrow should be dry until about 7pm, but it will be cloudy all day. Rather curiously, the forecast reckons that after sunrise the temperature will drop from 14° C to a rather cool 12° C, and stay that way for most of the day.

 Yesterday afternoon I completed the laundry I had left soaking in the morning. I did the rinsing and wringing out in two batches with a long breather between the two. The first was just some shirts and a couple of small towels - not that stressful ! The second batch, was, if you can call one item a batch, a medium sized bath towel - and that took a lot of manhandling and energy ! I rinsed it many times, but I don't think I rinsed it that well. After about the fifth rinse and wring out the water seemed to get more soapy rather then less for some unknown reason. I could only manage another couple of feeble rinse and wring outs before hanging it over the bath to drip towards dryness overnight. I hung it in front of the fan heater, set on low, in the living room to finish drying this morning.

 After such hard work it wouldn't seem logical to go out in the evening. Under normal circumstances, where normal is defined by my behaviour for the last 18 months (maybe), I would feel knackered, and be in bed by 8pm, but not last night. I did some research and found that getting to Belvedere station was long winded, but possible. On paper it looks nice and simple......
getting to Belvedere
...It's just 6 minutes on one train, 11 minutes on another, and 8 minutes on the final train, but with three trains to catch there is always the possibility of something going wrong, and then there is all the hanging around waiting for the next train. This is why travelling to Belverdere station every morning when my place of work moved was so annoying, and was a significant reason why I quit that job some 12 or 13 years ago. However, for some reason I was feeling bold and adventurous, and I was also feeling almost like I had gotten over the 'flu like cold I had.

 So I went out to see Chains gig at The Belvedere Hotel - which is conveniently just a couple of minutes walk from the station. I think I stunned a few people when I arrived - being as it was the first gig I've been to for many weeks, and it would generally have been considered to be outside my travelling range. I enjoyed almost all of the first set that they played, but as I warned Jo and Chris, I left to get the 10pm train. There were later trains, and I could have stayed at least another hour - probably. I had pre-planned my trip home to start at 10pm, and I stuck to it. That wasn't a bad idea because it turned out that I had only gotten over about 90% of that illness, and I didn't feel all that good some of the time.

 There is an album of pictures I took at the gig here...
....and there is also some night photography I did while waiting a long 17 minutes on platform 2 for my train at Lewisham station here....

 I arrived home just a minute or two before 11pm - and that was incredibly late for me these days. I was in two minds about whether I was hungry or not. While I was at the pub I found I wasn't keen on drinking, and I ended up only drinking about a pint and a quarter of Guinness. I left the other three quarters undrunk on the table when I left. So I deliberately avoided buying anything like fried chicken on the way home, but I did warm up some ready cooked noodles when I got home. I thought they might be a sort of light meal. Of course they weren't, and even less so after I smothered them in chilli sauce, and of course the more I ate, the more I wanted to eat. Although I have to confess that I almost left the last of them because I was feeling full.

 I was tempted to start checking, and even editing my photos after I had eaten, but I suddenly found myself feeling really tired. I don't think I made it into bed before midnight, but maybe I did. What I am more sure about is that it was one of those nights where 30 seconds waiting to fall asleep feels like an eternity for the first 29 seconds, and then the next thing is that you are waking up. I think it was about 6pm when I woke up, and I still felt extremely tired. So I did the necessaries and went back to bed again. It didn't seem like I slept much, but an awful of time seemed to pass by without me realising.

 It seems that today is a day where all time seems to be passing without me realising. I have had a snooze or two, and I've spent some time reading, but I also seemed to spend a long time editing photos, and writing comments/captions for them. Editing photos, or post production as I think it is called in the television trade, is both the worst and best bit of photography. Thinking up captions or comments is definitely hard work - particularly when trying to think of something witty to say - and even harder trying to condense that comment or witty caption down to a reasonable size sentence. Sometimes I just don't bother, but I do my best. Un-captioned photos on social media can be annoying sometimes !

 Bed time seems to be approaching ever faster, and tonight I ought to try and get a good nights sleep so I am fresh when I go back to work tomorrow. Of course the harder I try the less likely it is to happen, but.....Well, on the bright side, describing my struggle to sleep will provide material, admittedly boring and dull material, to write about tomorrow morning - unless something exciting happens between now and then.
Saturday 14th November 2015
13:12 GMT.
  Yesterday was a bit frustrating for several reasons, but in regard to the weather it was because the day was so variable - except for the temperature. It was rather cool all day. I'm not sure if the temperature went much above 10° C all day. In many ways yesterday was like the day before. In the morning there was some nice bright sunshine, and apart from the cool air, and the even more cooling strong breeze, it all looked rather wonderful. An hour later it was pouring with rain ! There were several cycles like that before it settled down to just a rather cool, rather wet, grey day leading into a cold, damp night. I think there may have been a few seconds of sunshine first thing this morning, but since then the day has alternated between light grey and not raining, and darker grey and rain - and there has been much more of the latter than the former ! The last of the rain is forecast to fall at 7pm, by which time the temperature should be about 14° C, but it will remain cloudy all night. Tomorrow may reach 15° C, and it might stay dry, but it is going to range from overcast to very overcast !

 After one day of feeling a bit rough at work, and one day of feeling very rough at work, and one day of feeling very rough at home, and then one day of feeling less rough at home, I am now feeling considerably better. I'm not entirely sure what it is I have been suffering from. Although there have been times when I have felt really rough, it doesn't seem as if it was bad enough to be 'flu, and the timing is/was all wrong for 'flu, and yet the symptoms were very 'flu like. I have had a fine selection of aching and/or stiff joints and muscles, and periods of deep fatigue. My sleep has been disturbed, and while it may well be coincidence, or perhaps caused by an altered diet, I have had a very mild, but noticeably upset stomach (for instance some of my farts have smelled treble strength vile - even to me !!!!).

 On Thursday I didn't feel like doing anything, and when I did feel like doing something I couldn't find the energy. That something was to go to Croydon to see Jo Corteen playing a live solo set outside Marks And Spencers. It would have been great to go along and take some pictures, and being off work, albeit sick, meant that I could have gone, but on the other hand, had I been well enough for that I would probably have been at work anyway !

 After a day of intensive resting I found the energy, or maybe forced myself to go to the pub for the regular Thursday night drink. It didn't seem to be too bad walking there - it was The Catford Constitutional Club, and that is about a 7 to 10 minute walk away - and sitting down in a warm pub drinking was no hardship. However, there were a few times when I felt "odd". On one occasion I felt slightly nauseous, and on another occasion I felt sort of light headed. That is the only way I can describe the latter feeling because I can't think of a better way to describe it. It didn't feel threatening in any way, but nor did it feel pleasant !

 What I definitely felt at one point was hot. I think that my temperature was quite unstable for most of Thursday, through the night, and a bit of yesterday morning. It didn't seem to be extreme enough to be called fever, but it was like it. No one else seemed to complain it was hot in the pub, but I had to take my coat off. I stayed a bit longer in the pub than I would have if I had work in the morning, but I worked from the idea that it would be a self fulfilling prophecy. I could only stay late if I didn't have work in the morning, and I wouldn't go to work if I still felt rough in the morning. By drinking enough I could ensure that I would feel rough in the morning !

 It didn't actually happen like that. I had just one extra pint compared to my typical consumption, and while I may have ended up with a mild hangover in the morning, it would not have been nearly enough to stop me going to work. It was nice to go out into the fresh air again, and the beer made me feel a lot better (but not invincible on this occasion !). I was definitely feeling peckish, and evidently reckless because I headed for the fried chicken shop, and bought than I needed for my evening meal.

 One of the things I did to that meal probably wrecked my sleep. I sprinkled more black pepper on the chicken, and black pepper, PLUS, hot chilli sauce on the chips. When I went to bed, maybe half an hour to an hour after eating, I was feeling very hot - but not all over. Bits of me, including my head and chest were hot enough to sweat, while my buttocks, and a few other bits definitely felt cold and chilly. It made positioning the duvet really tricky.

 On the whole I had a lousy sleep, and I still felt rather hot when I got up yesterday morning. It was sort of nice when my shower started to run rather cool towards the end of my shower yesterday morning. I felt very half and half yesterday - or was it purely crap ? When the sun came out I had strong urge to go out, and I even considered getting a train to the seaside, but by the time I had found the energy to start getting ready it had started to pour with rain.

Later on the sun came out again, and I decided that what I really ought to do was to go and get some shopping. As I considered that further I felt all my energy drain away, and I gave up on that idea. By the afternoon I was down to just half a bottle of Aldi sugar free cola, and I was drinking icy (actually semi frozen) squash to preserve the last of my cola. So my next idea was to just go to the corner shop. That shouldn't have taken much effort, but ultimately I just could not be bothered. So I carried on drinking icy squash while mostly quietly reading until it was bedtime.

 I slept much better last night, and I woke up this morning feeling a lot better. Going out to Aldi to buy some shopping didn't seem to take much effort - either in the getting started, and the actual execution. A few bits still ached - particularly when carrying my shopping home - but I speculate that some of it was the result of being so lazy and immobile for two days. The good thing is that I didn't feel that deep weariness and fatigue that had felt so bad the previous 3 or 4 days. That encouraged me to try a bit of housework after I had eaten some breakfast, and allowed some time for it to settle.

  The housework I did I normally find quite taxing at the best of times. It was de-cluttering, sorting rubbish, and generally cleaning up another small patch of my back room. After filling a bin bag and a half with stuff I would love to have kept even though I have no need of it, I decided I had had enough. One of the reasons I find that work so hard is that it involves so much mental anguish. Much of what I am throwing away is paperwork. It's like burning books ! It is destroying information. It may be old, out of date, and in some case faded or stained, but no one would agree that was a good reason to burn down the great library of Alexandria....maybe.

 This afternoon I feel almost normal, but also a bit fragile. A little later I may tackle some laundry that I have left soaking (with some stupid hope that a white shirt will come out whiter than white like all the detergent salesmen claim for their products. If I can do that without too much stress then I might consider something far more stressful.

 Last night I missed a Chain gig at the easy to get to Mitre Hotel in Greenwich. With hindsight I probably felt good enough to spend an hour or so there. Tonight they are playing in The Belvedere Hotel almost opposite Belvedere station. It is both easy, and an arse to get to. Belvedere station I used for the short time I worked in Erith before I quit that job because, amongst other things, I couldn't stand the journey ! If the trains are running well it is a fairly simple journey - in theory. I might look into it further, and there is a minute chance that I might go there for their first set...or not !
Thursday 12th November 2015
11:33 GMT.
  I can't recall any sunshine finding it's way through the clouds while I was at work, and I don't think there were any bright patches in the cloud where the sun was trying to get through. I am more sure that there were no thundery showers last night. As far as I can remember I mentioned these things yesterday because that is what the weather forecast predicted. Unless I missed something important it was just another cool, but not too cold, grey day - just like we have had a lot of lately. This morning there was a change - it was definitely very sunny until about half an hour ago. I think that was in the forecast, and perhaps the only discrepancy so far is that the sun has gone in a little early. The rest of the day will be sadly rather grey, and the temperature will drop from the forecast, and actual 15° C to 14° C until 10pm when it is forecast to go back up to 15° C again ! It is also set to rain at 10pm. After an hour or two at 15° C, the rain will stop, and the temperature will drop to a rather cool 10° C by 5am tomorrow morning. Well, some of these things might happen, and some might happen at the times predicted. In general terms, tomorrow will be rather cool, maybe not much more than 10° C, and rain will be interleaved with bright sunshine. It might be a bit windy too !

 I felt rough in all sorts of ways at work yesterday, and so it was nice to finish work and head for home. Perhaps one of the most significant symptoms that I had some sort of illness was that I had a few periods of feeling too warm, or too cold during the afternoon. It was like I was a bit feverish, but it was also a bit like the unpredictable behaviour of the new fully computerised (possibly) air conditioning units in my office. They replaced my fan heater for winter, and basic air chiller for summer - both of which worked really well, and couldn't be faulted !

 The other symptom was a feeling of deep fatigue that would happen now and then. I wish I could describe how it felt, but it was too complex for that. Some of it would almost be like being light headed except that instead of wanting to float away into the clouds I wanted to rest my head on my pillow, and close my eyes.  It was unpleasant, but easy to fight and ignore - which I guess is rather strange. On top of that, or was it underneath all that...maybe it was sideways....was a general sort of creakiness. In many ways it reminded me of having the 'flu.

 It didn't seem to be hard work or unpleasant to make my way home from work. In some ways it felt good to be out in the fresh air, and moving around, but it was nicer to finally arrive at home...or if you look at it in another way, it wasn't. Having got home I stopped fighting, and maybe that made me feel worse. For some reason it also inspired my nose to start getting stuffy like it was just about to start running.

 Once again I had quite a modest (by recent standards) dinner, but ruined things by gorging on a big bag of (alleged) split roast steak flavour crisps. The crisps were allegedly free from mono sodium glutimate, and hydrogenated fats, and were still tasty, but nowhere near as wonderful as my imagination thought they might be.

 I went to bed feeling like I deserved it, and went to sleep quite quickly, but not exceptionally early. As far as I can recall I slept OK until about 4am. I woke up then feeling very stuff, a bit achey, and convinced I didn't want to go to work today. So I turned off my alarm, and went back to sleep - seemingly far more easily than if I had left the alarm still on to wake me at 5am - which is, of course, when I woke up anyway !

 I did get up for a bit at 5am, but mostly just to attend to the things I normally do at 5am - mostly going to the toilet ! Maybe it was just the light and the yawning, but my eyes were very rheumy, and that got my nose dripping at one point. That was enough to convince me I had a cold, and that seemed to justify not going to work. Instead I got back into bed, and slept fitfully for a couple of hours until I could phone work to give them the good news.

 I'm not actually sure how much sleep I got between 5am and calling work, but it probably wasn't that much - then again it is hard to tell what was dream, and what was day dream. The same is true for the next couple of hours - except for some of that time I gave up trying to sleep, and did some reading. Finally I got up and cooked myself some bacon for breakfast. Since then I have trimmed my beard, washed my hair, showered, hoovered up all the crumbs that were starting to accumulate under my computer desk, and I have selected a few pictures to show from 2002.

 There is no reason that I can think of for showing these old pictures - I just wanted to break up my writing with a few pictures. I think I selected a couple of good ones...
train on viaduct
I took this picture on 9th February 2002 on a day out on the trains. Back in 2002 you could open the window to take pictures from a moving train, and this is the view from the train approaching Brighton station on the curving viaduct from Brighton, London Road station.
rough sea at Seaford
Part of that same day out included a stop at Seaford. It was early February, and the sea was pretty lively ! I wish I had the whatever it takes to do more trips to the seaside outside of summer months.
Catford Bridge station with Catford Greyhound
                  Stadium in the background
This picture was taken from the footbridge of Catford Bridge station on 7th April 2002.
Of particular significance is Catford Greyhound Stadium in the distance. This was before it was demolished, and before the listed scoreboard building, that was in the way of developing the site after demolition, was accidently burnt down (a well known fate for buildings that get in the way of developers and builders) !

 There have been times when I have felt particularly bad this morning, and some of the worst times is when I was trying to describe just how bad some feelings were. That almost proves that a proportion of all illness is just in the mind. At this very minute I feel sort of OK because I know I am just about to lay down, open my book, close my eyes, and maybe fall asleep ! Earlier on I was thinking that I could jump on a train and see the seaside for a while, but although that involves mainly sitting in the warm on a train, it can still be hard work.

 Other, and perhaps more likely possibilities were to go for a walk in the park. This would have the advantage of a bit of fresh air, and stretching my legs - which could be beneficial. Another idea, and one that may come to pass, is to go out and do a bit of shopping. That would have the disadvantage of having to carry potentially heavy stuff home. If I do decide to do that, and suddenly come over all enthusiastic about it, I could go further afield than usual - maybe not the obvious choice of Lidl, but possibly Sainsburys in Lewisham, or The Co-Op in Southend (the Southend that is between the borders of Catford and Bromley rather than the Essex seaside town). The latter two would be better than Lidl because I have to walk all the way to and from Lidl, but the other two have bus stops near them.

 Maybe I won't go out at all this afternoon, and the more I think about it the less I am inclined to go out. However I will definitely be going out to The Catford Constitutional Club at approx 5pm. That is where the Thursday night drinking club is drinking tonight.  As strange as it may seem, I hope I feel a bit rough when I go out. If that is the case I will be relying on the beer to be good medicine, and cure me up to a point - just not so well that I have to go back to work tomorrow !
Wednesday 11th November 2015
08:13 GMT.
  The thickness of yesterday's cloud cover ranged from near thin to medium heavy, and the temperature ranged from14 to 15° C. It was a very bland day, although as I was going home from work I thought I felt some very fine rain hit my face for a minutes or two just to break the monotony. It is still seeming like today will be more or less the same as yesterday. It was almost 15° C when I ventured out into the dark to walk to the station. The first sign of the sun starting to rise was at Waterloo when the sky turned from black into grey. It is quite grey as I write this, but I can see some whiter patches among the blanket of grey. If one of those gets in the right place we could see a slightly yellow fuzzy blob that shows the sun is still there. Tomorrow should see some sunny intervals, although the temperature will stay pretty similar today. The big change will come tomorrow night when thundery showers are forecast !

 I started off feeling a bit rough yesterday. All sorts of things ached to some degree or another, but by the time came to go home many of them had faded out, and if they hadn't faded out they had at least diminished to almost nothing. Perhaps the biggest exception to this was my chest - although it would be incorrect to say it ached as I made my way home. It would be more accurate to say that I could feel it moving, and clicking, and grinding with every step I took, but it was painless.

 Walking to the station from work seemed as easy as it ever has been (more or less), and by the time I got home I was feeling OK - which is neither good nor bad. It was good enough to decide to do some more laundry without trepidation. The decision to do that laundry had actually been taken in the morning when I left the stuff soaking. So I was sort of obliged to do it come what may, but the important thing is that I didn't have any hesitation about doing. I might have even looked forward to it - which might have been a bit stupid because I rapidly lost enthusiasm towards the end when my arms, wrists, and hands started to feel tired.

 Maybe that brief burst of physical exertion had some effect, or maybe it was something else, perhaps it was just because of what was in the fridge, but I managed to have one of my smaller dinners last night. The first course was a couple of smoked haddock fishcakes (on their own), and that was followed by the rest of the grapes and brie that I had bought to eat together. Once again the brie and grapes were disappointing ! Either side of dinner I did have a nibble of some sea salted mixed nuts. Of course nuts are a two edged sword. They have all sorts of things in them like minerals, fat/oil, and in the case of the brazil nuts - excess radioactivity ! Some are good, and the oil/fat is bad. Although salted, they did not seem to have much salt on them, and I reckon I will survive that - maybe not the others !

 I went to sleep extra early last night - although only for 10 minutes or so. It was barely 7pm when I was laying on my bed reading, and my eyelids started to droop. So I shut them, and promptly fell asleep. I think it was my phone going "ping" when a message came through that woke me up. It was closer to 9pm when I had brushed my teeth, got into bed, and fallen asleep properly. I seemed to sleep well until 2am when I was awakened to a most definite case of sleep apnea. I have wondered if I suffered from this in the past, but the amount of times I had any clues it had happened upon waking up were very, very small. Last night I am convinced it happened. I didn't sleep well for the rest of the night, but that was more to do with long periods of being unable to sleep rather than waking up.

 This morning I definitely feel rough. The amount of joint pain I have is almost like I am heading towards 'flu, but I guess it is just a seasonal thing. I seem to recall complaining about this time last year of my hips feeling sore, or stiff. They were stiff/sore this morning, as were my shoulders, elbows, and, strangely enough, my right thumb ! They were/are the more significant bits, but other bits of me hurt to variable extents too. I am still not comfortable several hours later, sitting in the warm at work.
Tuesday 10th November 2015
08:10 GMT.
  The BBC made a lucky guess when they hastily added some rays of sunshine for 9am on their weather chart yesterday. After the bright morning it did seem to cloud over remarkably quickly. So to see just the one burst of sunshine later was surprising. sadly that one short burst of sunshine was all there was, and the rest of the day varied between very light grey and medium heavy grey. The forecast said that the top temperature would be 14° C, and that was probably right. Normally you would expect the temperature to drop overnight, but this morning it was an almost warm 15° C. Of course part of the requirements to achieve this is thick cloud, and this morning it was, and by all accounts will remain all day, thick enough to completely obscure any hint of sunrise. This afternoon there could be some rain, and it might last long enough to get me soaked as I go home from work. The forecast says the temperature will stay just about flat all day, but it will dip during the night.Tomorrow may be similar to today, but after that there will be the first hints of winter. The forecast for Saturday predicts some sunshine, but the temperature could be as low as 11° C at the very best !

 I didn't feel all that good yesterday, but the worst of it, which was not actually terrible, was over by the afternoon. It was still a relief to be heading for home where I could put my feet up, and generally rest and rehabilitate my body. Of course it didn't actually happen like that... On the way home, as I passed through Waterloo station, there was a promotional stand (is that the best was to describe it ?) for Crossrail 2. This will be a new north - south rail line that will be like the tube, but run using full sized trains, and (probably) linked in to the national network.
crossrail 2
crossrail 2 event
crossrail 2 event on Waterloo station
waterloo concourse
 You can be certain that all the NIMBYs will be up in arms about Crossrail 2 - they always are ! Every new rail project creates some disruption while construction is under way, but once it is finished all the whingers who say it will devalue their houses will probably keep very quiet about how much their houses have increased in value with the new transport possibilities that the line will offer.

 When I got home I decided I didn't want to relax. Just being at home seemed relaxation enough. So I put some fishcakes in the oven to cook, and while they did that I hand washed four t-shirts, and some underwear. That too longer than it takes to cook fishcakes, but I thought that allowing some time for them to cool down would make them nicer. Unfortunately they had cooled to the point of being tepid when I ate them. That spoiled them a bit, but they were still nice, and in a way they were a meal in themselves. As well as fish there was potato in them, and one type had peas in it too !

 When I had finished eating those fishcakes, I took the plate out to the kitchen, and had a look in the fridge to see what I might be having for dinner tonight. I think it may be more fishcakes, but I'll decide that when I get home. While rummaging I noticed that some smoked and/or flavoured fish I had was just past it's best before date, and I thought I had better heat it up (it was pre-cooked and vacuum packed), and eat it. In truth, I ended up overdoing dinner, and I felt a bit stuffed when I went to bed a bit later. Oh well, nothing had any bad amounts of sugar in it (if indeed there was any added sugar at all), and the fish oil in the smoked/flavoured salmon would have been good for me - I think.

 There were a couple of reasons why I had a bad nights sleep last night. The first was that I was feeling a bit full, and the second was that I thought I had turned the heater down to just blowing cold air in the living room where I had hung the t-shirts I had washed to dry on clotheshorses in front of the fan heater. I think I had probably forgotten that I had initially had it on full heat instead of half heat. So when I turned it down one click it had gone from full to half instead of cold. I also left the heater on in my bedroom set to low - as I tend to do when the weather starts to cool off in autumn.

 The result of all this was that I felt rather warm in bed - although I didn't seem to notice it until 2am for some unexplained reason. I had slept OK from 9pm until 2am, at least I think I had, but from 2am until getting up at 5am, it is hard to know how much I slept. I often could not tell if I was day dreaming or really dreaming. I would be aware that I was awake, and start thinking about something. Sometimes that would lead into a dream, and sometimes I think I was just still thinking. It is all a blur, and all know is that it felt like, and feels like, I didn't sleep well for the last 3 hours of the night.

 This morning I don't feel that good because lots of little things are annoying me. They range from the most common aches like my chest to the more rare like a developing zit on my outer ear. The latter was more like a specialised sort of itch, and it has gone away now. The aching and clicking from my chest has also mostly gone away now, but I still feel a bit headachey. It's almost like a big change in the weather is coming - except the weather forecast seems to suggest otherwise. I guess I feel mostly OK now I am in work, and sitting down in the warm.

 Tonight I have another opportunity to break myself - maybe again if some of my aches and pains are the result of my hand washing yesterday. I have a few odds and sods that need a good wash, and I have left them soaking in bio detergent in the hope they will come out white than white - as the advert used to say - although how that works on a black pair of lounge pants is anyone's guess !
Monday 9th November 2015
07:59 GMT.
  There was some rain after dark yesterday, and it might have continued, perhaps on and off, until the very early hours of this morning, but by 6am this morning, all the clouds had gone away. The temperature dropped to about 9° C, and that felt quite cool in the strong gusty breeze. On the plus side, and it was a big plus, it meant that it got light unusually early this morning, and when I arrived at Earlsfield station the sun was a big bright golden ball peeping over the top of the distant trees and houses. It looked rather nice. This is not how it was originally forecast to be, and I notice that the BBC website has hastily added some rays of sunshine to the cloud symbol for 9am this morning. The rest of the day is still forecast to be overcast, and maybe it is happening already. The sky does seem to be looking less blue, and more a bluish milky white now. It should stay dry today, and the top temperature is forecast to be just 14° C - rather poor compared to the weekend !
a thin crescent moon
                  outshone by a lamp
 I took this picture as I waited for my 06:30 train to Waterloo East from Catford Bridge. The camera has made the sky look a bit brighter than it actually was, but not by much. It was roughly half an hour before sunrise, but the eastern horizon was already glowing well with the light of the rising sun. Without being able to see a lot more of the sky it is hard to appreciate just how light it looked above those dark house roofs. Just to the right, and slightly lower than the bright lamp post light is the moon. It was just a fairly thin crescent this morning, and 10 minutes earlier, when the sky was a little darker, I tried to capture an image of it using my Nikon camera with a lot of zoom. Unfortunately the camera kept deciding it couldn't focus on it, and when it did it decided to use a very long exposure. I couldn't keep the camera steady enough while pointing up towards the sky, and so the very best picture I got out of half a dozen attempts is still crap !
shaky image of the crescent
 Oh well, at least the picture does sort of show the crescent shape, and it also just about shoes the feature I particularly wanted to capture - the Earth shine that was just bright enough to show the full shape of the moon. If I had had enough time to go back indoors, and get my Canon SX40 camera, I should have been able to get a sharp, detailed image, but this was all I could manage with the Nikon S6300.

 I am desperately trying to think just how bad my eating was yesterday. The highlight was obviously the bacon I had for breakfast. That was fairly well grilled, and so not too laden with fat. What was probably best called my dinner was a bit unusual. Now and again you see grape and Brie cheese sandwiches, and I wondered what the two would be like when not in a sandwich. So part one of my dinner was to eat too much artery clogging Brie accompanied by too many sugary red grapes. In my defense I will point out that the grapes were those rather firm textures ones that Aldi have been stocking recently, and which don't taste that sweet. I finished that dinner off with two allegedly real, made in Lancashire, made with real artery clogging butter, Eccles cakes - which were nice, but not wonderful.

 All that lot, plus some other stuff I won't bother to list, probably means that I should have run a hundred miles to burn off all the stuff I shouldn't have, but all I did was walk to the shops twice, and hand wash some shirts. This morning I am wearing one of the pairs of jeans I had to specially order last summer when my regular jeans were getting far too tight. It's not that I had to wear them, but a case of wanting to get some more mileage out of them before I hide them at the back of the wardrobe (or even throw them away). They are stupidly loose on me, and if it wasn't for a good belt done up tight, they would be down around my ankles in no time at all. (Should my belt break before I get home, which is unlikely, but possible, I will be in deep trouble !). I can't understand why those jeans are still so loose after some of the eating I have done recently, but they seem to be. Maybe I am doing better at being careful with what I eat than I think I am - mainly because I know, that given the right circumstance to put me in the right frame of mind, I can do so much better.

 Maybe tonight is the night when I will do better, but that sounds unlikely with it being dark when I get home from work now. The only possibility of doing better will be some sort of distraction, and if I don't feel too bad there is one thing I could do that will distract me for a bit. That will be to do some laundry. I have a few odds and ends that need washing, and maybe I'll do them tonight if I feel good enough. This morning I started off feeling quite good, but I evidently did something, maybe sitting down awkwardly, when I was on the train from Catford Bridge to Waterloo East. I developed a pain which was very like, but not exactly like my "floating rib" problem. This pain had an added hint of something like indigestion about it. It is far from a strong pain, and anything vaguely interesting can distract me from it, and so it appears to come and go. It is still there 2 hours later, but it now seems to be splitting into two. There is some pain, or perhaps it is best described as an ache, on my right hand side that is very typical as one aspect of my "floating rib" problem. Meanwhile, the ache that is a bit like indigestion has moved downwards, and is a bit more like indigestion. I suspect these are all symptoms of cancer of the toe, but I have just taken a couple of Ibuprofen, and with luck that will be a complete cure.
Sunday 8th November 2015
18:01 GMT.
  It was, as far as I am aware, a fairly mild, and dry night last night. The temperature at first light this morning was probably 11 or 12° C. Unfortunately I didn't seem to make an accurate mental note of it, but I'm sure it was in that region. At it's peak, just before sunset, the temperature was only a couple of tenths of a degree below 17° C - which is almost warm. In fact, under the right conditions, such as carrying heavy shopping, it is warm, and rather surprising for November. Even now, several hours after sunset, it is still just under 16° C ! The reason it is so high is a gusty wind blowing in from warmer places. It is not a strong wind, but a few gusts get the trees moving a bit. The forecast, that was apparently updated at 16:08 today, says it will start to rain for a few hours soon, but tomorrow should be dry. Unfortunately it will be like today - permanently overcast, and rather dull.

 I did have wonderful idea that I might go out and take some photos of Lewisham High Street, and the Clocktower at the end of it, this morning, but the dull grey light put me off. On top of that I wasn't quite sure if my guts were terribly stable this morning. Events a bit later suggested they were not that stable !  All that greyness left me feeling one notch less than depressed - not actually miserable, but uninspired. I don't think uninspired was actually the word I was looking for because I did have one inspiration, and that was to go down the bacon route to end it all !
bacon saves !
 Before hitting the bacon I did do one useful thing. I finally got around to washing last weeks work shirts. Hand washing five shirts in one go was a little taxing, although it was my hands that seemed to bear the brunt of all the wringing out. Maybe my wrists ached a bit too, but it didn't seem to tax my arms much doing all the thrashing about and up and down motions that are supposed to emulate what a washing machine does - although of course a washing machine doesn't have to bend over a bath while doing it, and lift the dripping shirts out of the water to wring them out !

 Afterwards I completely enjoyed a bacon overdose, and just to make sure I mixed bacon from Tesco with bacon from Aldi. The Tesco bacon was just their ordinary smoked back bacon. It gave off a lot of water and gunge when it was cooked in the oven. It was nice, but maybe not quite as nice as the Aldi dry cured smoked back bacon. They describe it as dry cured, but I reckon it gave off even more water and gunk than the Tesco bacon. One of these days, when I am feeling rich, or stupid, I will order some traditionally prepared bacon, which will presumably be similar to the type of bacon I used to eat when I was a young kid, and see how much water and gunk that gives off when cooked.

 While I enjoyed the bacon, I can't say that it inspired me to greater heights, although once it had all settled down nicely I did decide to go out to the shops - twice ! The first shopping expedition was a second visit to Aldi to buy an extra glitter lamp. I bought one to give as a xmas present, and some bastard had stolen two parts from the box (or maybe they had just fallen out). There is no obvious customer service in Aldi, and taking it back would have been too frustrating. So I bought an extra one, and used the bits from that one to complete the other (unfortunately the one I originally bought seemed to be the only one in the colour I wanted. So changing it would not have been practical).

 While I was in Aldi I looked to see if they had any spare light bulbs for the glitter lamps (like a lava lamp but glitter instead of lava). They didn't have any, and that inspired me to go out again to check the SAM 99p shop, Poundstetcher, and the Pound shop. I did find some lamps of the right wattage, and the right small Edison screw fitting, but they were all too big. Maybe I'll have to see what is available on the internet.

 This afternoon, like yesterday afternoon, seemed to go by in a flash without achieving anything particularly useful. I think I passed all the time doing some photo editing, and laying on my bed reading. I did find my eyes drooping while reading, and I put the book down and closed my eyes. It felt like no more than a few moments passed while my eyes were shut, but maybe I dropped off to sleep, and those moments were tens of minutes. Maybe more ! It won't be long before I'm in bed, and reading again. The way I have just started yawning suggests it won't be that long before I am asleep.
Saturday 7th November 2015
19:19 GMT.
  I don't think there was any sunshine at all yesterday, but as most of the different forecasts suggested, it did stop raining in time for me to get home from work in the day. Maybe I did feel the odd spot or two of rain, but it was so insignificant that I choose not to remember it. The only good thing is that it was very mild, but that doesn't really make up for the gloom and doom ! Today has been significantly wetter, and also windier. The wind is not exceptionally strong, but far stronger than anything recently. Somehow it is almost a shame that it hit 17° C today. It wasn't that surprising after an almost warm night where the temperature didn't really drop below 11° C, and maybe not even that low. If there had been dry, and even a bit sunny it would have seemed worth it hitting 17° C, but somehow it seems wasted. Tomorrow may start a bit cooler, 11° C, but it is supposed to stay dry until late into the evening, and although the sky will probably stay 100% cloudy, it should be thinner, brighter cloud.

 It was a relief to finish work yesterday. It's probably all in my head because I haven't really done anything physically taxing, or even mentally taxing all week, but I still felt exhausted by the time I got home. Sometimes I will recover once I get home, and put my feet up for an hour or so, but not last night - although I did manage to find the energy to finish washing a pair of jeans, and hand washing jeans  is quite a physical task !

 It was only recently that it became comfortable to wear those jeans. I wore them to work earlier in the week, and they felt OK. I guess I could have done the same several weeks ago because I am sure I couldn't have lost any weight for the last few weeks, and maybe more. If anything, it feels more likely I've put a little weight on even if my jeans disagree with that idea. Apart from a few test wearings, I've probably not worn those jeans since before I went into hospital in September 2013, or if I did it was before my size exploded in the spring of 2014.

 The significance of this is that the last time I wore those jeans a lot I was still smoking, and the significance of that is that I was surprised how brown the soapy water was when I tipped it away, and did my best to wring out the jeans prior to quite a few rinses. I managed to rinse most of the soap out, but the water was still coming off slightly blue before I ran out of energy to rinse and wring out any more.

 I felt quite drained by the time I hung those jeans up to dry, but it seems drained is not always the same as sleepy. I felt far too knackered to even consider going out to West Wickham to see a bit of The Spiders gig there, but I didn't feel sleepy enough to go to bed until quite late, and even then I didn't fall asleep very quickly. I think it was probably past 11pm before I fell asleep, and it could have been a fair bit later then even that !

 I have no idea what I slept like, but I guess it wasn't that awful because I didn't manage to take that much advantage of not having to get up for work this morning. I woke a little after 4am, but managed to fall asleep again fairly quickly. Then I woke at about 5.30am. That was the sort of equivalent of a half hour lay in compared to a weekday, but it was almost hard work trying to sleep after that. I did drop off a couple of times before finally getting up, but each of those couple of times may have been as short as 10 minutes.

 My main complaint this morning is something that seems to have stayed with me all day, and was also a problem for most of yesterday, and it is stiff legs. I'm not sure that "stiff" is quite the word I am looking for, but it is adequate, and well used by others. It feels like hard work to walk - maybe it could almost be described as a hint of painful. It is not bad enough to stop me walking, but obviously it hardly encourages me. I think it is the weather causing it as much as anything else. I could be wildly wrong about this, but I think I might be roughly the same age as my mum was when she started to seriously complain about the cold wet weather making her legs stiff. Maybe it is a hereditary sort of thing - that doesn't bode well for the future !

 This morning I did a little bit of walking. I went out to meet my friend Aleemah at the station. For reasons that were never explained, and barely admitted, all the trains seemed to get held up at a string of red signals on the way to Catford Bridge station. Aleemah's train was supposed to arrive at 10:06, but ended up arriving 20 minutes late. That meant a bit of a boring wait, but I had a camera with me (my Nikon S6300), and I spent some of the time taking a few snapshots of the station.
attractive lady in orange
 This is one of the pictures I took this morning. Without my glasses on, and without the benefit of using zoom eyes, the lady in the orange jacket reminded me of Sarah the Zombie (who I had a very brief fling with at the start of 2013).   It wasn't her, but I thought this lady looked very attractive - maybe it was the orange jacket. Is it possible to be excited by an range jacket ?  There are another 13 pictures in the album I shot this morning, and you can find them all here -

 Apart from using up a bit of time, there was a good reason to take these snaps, and upload them to Flickr. Sometime in the future Catford Bridge station is likely to change, and possibly change a lot. At the very least it could be taken over by Transport For London, and become part of the London Overground network. There are even plans that if they come to fruition will make the line from Catford Bridge to Hayes (Kent) part of an extension of The Bakerloo Line. The latter could be talked about for decades, but Transport For London taking over the line could easily become a reality with a few years. So pictures of the station as part of National Rail will be interesting in the future in the same way that pictures taken when it was British Rail are quaint and interesting.

 When Aleemah's train eventually arrived we walked down to the Wetherspoons pub where we had breakfast - cooked in Aleemah's case, and brewed in my case ! I almost reprised my 2 pint breakfast again this week, but stuck with just 3 half pints of different ales. After breakfast we went in the 99p shop, and for the first time ever, I didn't buy a thing - but Aleemah did. Then we shopped in Aldi where I bought an assortment of stuff.

 After the shopping it was movie time. Aleemah has a recent fascination with occult and/or horror films. Today she brought over The Necronomicon (1993 version - I think). The film's main character was the author H.P. Lovecraft, and was about his quest for a book called The Necronomicon that contained "forbidden knowledge" - at least I think that was what it was about. I found it a bit confusing. However it was a bit like the only Lovecraft book I have ever read, At The Mountains Of Madness - rather boring. There were some bits that had loads of blood, gore, slime, and worse, but there was no suspense, and no real feeling of horror. All in all, it was a waste of 90 minutes, or how ever long it was !

 This afternoon I seemed to spend editing and uploading photos. I am not sure how that accounts for all the time that has passed since then, but a bit of this, a bit of that, a phone call, a bit of eating, and maybe 25 minutes of TV seems to have used up loads and loads of time ! I don't seem to have had time to do any washing up, and I have a sinkful of it, and I don't seem to have had any time to wash a few shirts, and I definitely don't seem to have had any spare time to get a train all the way to Longfield to see a Chain gig - something I thought I had a small chance of doing tonight.

 It's too late to have any plans for tonight beyond going to bed, and going to sleep, but I have an idea for something I could do tomorrow morning. If it is dry in the morning, as it might be if I can get out early enough, and if I feel adventurous, I might go and take some photos of Lewisham High Street. It's got far more shops in that Catford, and at the end is a nice clock tower. It could make an interesting photo album. I wouldn't bet on it actually happening, but at least it's an idea !
Friday 6th November 2015
07:56 GMT.
  The weather is in a state of flux recently, and that means the forecasters can still make a very broad sketch of the weather, but have no idea where it will happen. So they keep changing their minds ! The got the "flavour" of yesterday about right, but I think the timing was all wrong. After it not raining in the morning I expected to get drowned going to the pub after work, and going home from the pub. The clouds certainly put on a good show for me as I walked from the station the short distance to the pub, but I saw only the odd raindrop before I arrived at Ladywell station, and it had mostly stopped when I left the pub. Yesterday was nearly warm at about 15° C at it's best. Today could hit a slightly warm 17° C, but the forecast keeps changing. The forecast last night, at 5am this morning, and the revised one at just before 8am all agreed that I would make it to work in the dry - and I did. It is what happens next that keeps changing. The latest guess is that it will start to rain in about an hour or so, and it will keep raining, possibly with a brief glimpse of sunshine near midday, until just before I leave work to go home - which is a big improvement on the earlier forecast that said I would be drowned on my way home !

 After four days at work I was not in a jovial mood last night, but I was quite happy to have a couple (3 to be precise) pints of beer after work in the handily placed Ladywell Tavern. It's just two minutes walk from Ladywell station, and all the trains to Catford Bridge stop there too. All I have to do is to remember to travel in the back of the train instead of the front to be closest to the exit - which I did. I encountered very little rain on my way from work until I got to Ladywell. I may well have travelled through torrential rain as I approached Ladywell, but I was unaware of it until I alighted from the train. I think it may have stopped a few minutes after I arrived at the pub - and who said there was no God ? And why whoever it was did they stupidly say that he loves me ? It seems evident that the rain God did not love me for a few minutes last night !

 The last time we were in The Ladywell Tavern they had 3 or 4 beers on, and the main bar area didn't smell like a toilet ! Last night there were only two beers on, and fortunately they were both being served in good condition. I have no idea why the bar area smelled like a toilet unless it was a smell seeping out the ladies toilet. The gents toilet smelled fresh and clean - far nicer smelling that the bar - which is very strange !
drinking in The Ladywell
 This dim fuzzy picture makes it look like we were having a miserable time, but it misrepresents a pleasant couple of hours of beer and banter. The timing of the picture only represents the time when I got up to go to the toilet. Going round the table in a clockwise direction starting from the left of the picture - Chris, Dave, Alan, Andy, Paul and Jodie. I think Jodie, who was perfectly capable of walking back to the station by herself along a brightly lit main road, would have much preferred it if I had stayed for at least an extra pint, but she wanted me to see her on the train, and I did not want to drink more than three pints. So after the third pint we walked to the station. There might have been the odd rain drop still blowing around, but essentially the rain had stopped for the night.

 I don't know how it keeps happening, but delays on the trains suited us well. The train we aimed for was running at least 4 minutes late, but so was the one before it (possibly more than 4 minutes late), and it pulled into the station while we were still walking down the platform. That was some relief because when I say walking I meant to say walking painfully ! The shoes I had put on in the morning seemed OK for the first hour, but maybe my feet started to swell a bit, and it wasn't long before both the left and right shoe were chafing away at my bunions (are they called bunions ? - probably !). I was fortunate that I had a spare pair of shoes at work, but the damage had already been done, and one different area on each foot is still rather tender this morning.

 I felt quite ravenous when I got home, and ended up having a very strange, and unhealthy dinner. I started off with a couple of ready made sandwiches that I had bought from Aldi the night before. Next came the sausage rolls. The original idea was to have a couple with some baked beans, but I seems I don't have any cans of baked beans at the moment. So I had sausage rolls with sausage with added sausage rolls ! They were cheap and nasty one that were fortunately not dripping in fat like some can be, but they were also not exactly dripping with flavour either ! To finish off I had some more of the the very firm textured red grapes that I recently discovered I rather liked.

 I didn't waste much time after eating dinner before I went to bed. Initially I read for a bit, but I felt too tired to read for long, and 9pm was rapidly approaching. So I turned out the light and fell very quickly into what was probably a not very good sleep. I can remember what they were all about, but it seemed I was dreaming non stop all night. That rather suggests that for a lot of the night I was barely asleep, but maybe that is not the case. If it were then I wouldn't have got up at 4.30am this morning because I couldn't seem to sleep any more. Of course 30 minutes later, when my alarm would have been going off, I couldn't stop yawning !

 I don't feel too bad this morning. Both feet are rather tender, but I am wearing my very comfortable, cheap and cheerful, flimsy slip on plimsoles, and they are not irritating those tender spots any more (although I have put plasters on the bloody mess that remains of my ground down bunions [or whatever they are]). My guts felt a bit "wobbly" earlier on, and that made for a slightly worrying journey on the train from Catford Bridge to Waterloo, but 30p wasted in the toilets at Waterloo proved there was nothing to worry about. The only other negative thing is that it feels like my legs are still not working that well. It wasn't exactly hard work walking from the station to work, but it usually feels a lot easier than it did this morning (or yesterday morning).

 Maybe my energy will return by this evening. It would be handy if it did because there are two things I could do. One I will almost certainly do, and that is to complete washing another pair of jeans that I left soaking in bio detergent this morning. Once again they are an old pair that I an get back into comfortably again, and should still be wearable if they only shrink a tiny bit in the wash - although it is going to be close this time ! Maybe I'll have to keep them for next spring when I hope to be able to lose more weight. At the moment I am only able to keep myself stable - I hope ! The other thing I could do, and would like to do, is to pop up The Swan in West Wickham for an hour or two, to see The Spiders play a few songs. It is their last listed gig for this year, and it would be nice to catch them, but I doubt I'll have the energy, and raising the enthusiasm for going out instead of going to bed may be more than I can manage.
cash machine showing Windows
                  error message
It's not often you see a cash machine displaying a Windows error message, but one of the three opposite platform 1 at Waterloo station was showing this screen this morning. I can't be sure, but I think it is a Windows XP message. Windows XP as a desktop operating system is now obsolete, and unsupported, but there is a special embedded version for things like cash machines that is still supported by Microsoft - but that support comes to an end very soon, and all cash machines will need to be upgraded very soon. Here's a closer look at the screen.
closer look at error message on cash machine
Thursday 5th November 2015
07:58 GMT.
  As forecasted, it was fairly mild yesterday, but the predictions of rain were all wrong. It was a dull and miserable sort of day, but it didn't rain when I was going, I lie - I did feel a few light drops hit my face when I exited Catford Bridge station. It is possible that it rained under cover of darkness, in the middle of the night, but I was unaware of what was going on outside. This morning at 5am the forecast was that there would be three or four hours of rain this morning. At 07:55 this morning the forecast was for no rain this morning, and indeed that turned out to be correct. Both the old and the latest forecast say it will be raining when I leave work, and it will still be raining when I leave the pub, and it will still be raining when I am fast asleep tonight, but it won't be raining when I get up tomorrow morning. However it is supposed to rain from mid morning, and could well be raining when I go home from work again. Today could be a degree or so warmer than yesterday. 15° C is forecast, and tomorrow it could be 17° C. It seems a shame to waste that warmth on what seems like it will be a dreadfully horrible day !

 After three days at work I was beginning to feel the strain as I went home from work. When I got back to Catford I decided that I couldn't be bothered to walk to the pharmacy. So I waited for a bus to take me 3 stops to pick up my repeat prescription. Sometimes I despair about the organisational skills of my doctors surgery. My prescription was ready for me to just take away, and that was good. What was bad is that despite no ordering fresh supplies of one drug, I was prescribed another two boxes of it - to add to the two boxes I already had. The history of this is that one of the nurses decided to double the dose of one of the drugs I am on. She prescribed 4 a day, my historic prescription was 2 a day, and I was taking just one a day. 4 tablets a day seemed to almost poison me, and it may be a coincidence, but that was when my "floating ribs" when from a bit annoying to often very painful ! Now I am back to taking just one tablet, or two if I know I have had an excess of sugar, my "floating ribs" are only very painful intermittently. One other stupidity is that my prescription is still saying my next review date is/was last March ! This is despite being seen by a doctor on, or around, the 10th of September who reviewed my medication.

 After I had picked up my prescription I wandered around the corner to Aldi. I had a couple of big bags with me, and so I decided to do a bit of shopping. I didn't buy that much, but I did buy a few heavy things like two 2 litre bottles of sugar free cola, and a bottle of "no added sugar" orange squash. The box of very useful disposable rubber gloves was pretty heavy too - and was the most expensive item on my bill. The good thing is that a box lasts for ages - even longer now I no longer have a cat litter tray to empty ! There was one thing I bought that was very, very dangerous. As part of their xmas stuff, Aldi have some special 500ml tubs of ice cream. I couldn't resist buying a tub of ginger bread ice cream.

 When I got it home I could not resist a couple of spoonfuls, and I found it delicious beyond belief ! How I managed to get the lid back on, and the tub hidden at the back of the freezer, after two highly addictive spoonfuls I will never know ! Most of the rest of what I bought was fairly innocent provided it is not eaten all at once. I still couldn't manage to reduce the size of my dinner by much last night, but I probably managed to shave a few percent off it. If I ever get that up to 50% I will probably be happy.

 Maybe it was more than an odd percent last night because I definitely didn't feel full when I went to bed, but I did feel very tired. I thought it would be like the previous night when after laying down for a bit I felt a lot better, but last night I found I couldn't keep my eyes open after reading for about half an hour. I lost track of time, but I am sure I was fast asleep well before 9pm last night, and I seemed to sleep for most of the 8 and bit hours between falling asleep and getting up at 5am. I think I woke up quite a few times in the night, but each time was fairly short, and I possibly slept for a full 8 hours in total. Whether that was good or bad sleep is unknown.

 I don't think I feel sleepy this morning, and lots of bits of me feel pretty good, but there are exceptions. The most notable pain is, or was, on my left foot where my shoe was slowly grinding off the skin on what would be the knuckle if it were a hand. I don't know if there is an equivalent name for a foot, but there is a very sore spot behind my left big toe. I've put a sticking plaster on it now, and everything should be fine - I hope. The other notable exceptions to feeling good are my legs. They both feel like they have been used too much, and need a rest - and that feeling started 30 seconds after leaving home this morning. They might have improved very, very slightly since then, but it's hard to tell.

 The great test of my legs will come tonight. Maybe that should say could come tonight. It's Thursday, and it's boozing night again. Tonight we are drinking in The Ladywell Tavern. I am not a great fan of the place, but it's OK, and it is, under normal circumstances, a reasonable walk home from there. The first obvious thing is that it will be dark when I leave the will be starting to get dark when I get there so I won't have to stay for any more than three pints until it is fully dark when I leave. Walking home through the park, which is the most direct route, is normally fairly nice, but no so much in the rain and the dark. If Jodie attends tonight, I'll accompany her on a train from Ladywell station, and then my walk home from Catford Bridge will only be about half as far, but it will still test my legs (and how effective the sticking plaster on my foot is).
Wednesday 4th November 2015
08:38 GMT.
  I don't seem to recall any sunshine yesterday. Either the forecast was wrong, or my memory is wrong - it could be either, but a third possibility is that any sunshine was so weak that it didn't penetrate into my office enough to be noticed. At least it was a dry until a few hours after sunset, and at 14° C it was not chilly. It's going to be 14° C again today, but that is where the similarity ends. It has been raining since late yesterday evening (maybe not non-stop, but as good as...), and while the rain may stop for a few hours this afternoon, there is almost zero chance of seeing any sunshine, and it will start to rain again just as I am going home - unless it is late and I can get home before the evening deluge starts.

 Having said all that, the forecast has changed in the last hour or so. The latest idea is that the rain will stop soon after midday. From then until 5am tomorrow, there will be just enough cloud to make it grey and horrible during daylight, and enough to obscure the stars after dark. At 5am tomorrow it will, or may start to rain again, and I'll have another very soggy journey into work. The only saving grace is that the temperature tomorrow may reach the giddy heights of 15° C !

 We had a meeting at work yesterday afternoon, and it over ran  enough that I couldn't get to Waterloo East in time to catch my normal train home, and I arrived home 20 minutes late. It wouldn't have been so bad if the meeting was interesting or relevant to me. In truth I had no idea what half the things were that the new Project leader was droning on about. It is perhaps unsurprising that for the second time in a week that was, at that time, only two days old, I arrived home feeling very grumpy ! Maybe it was some sort of compensation that I did at least have a whole pair of seats to myself on the train to Catford Bridge - although of course they were the seats next to the toilet door !

 Not only was I feeling grumpy, but I was also feeling extremely tired when I got in. It was almost as if my blood glucose level was very high, but all the other symptoms were missing - no unusual thirst or excess weeing. Almost the opposite in fact. Another cause of tiredness, although a slightly different sort of tiredness to what I experienced last night, is my blood pressure getting a bit low. That would be an extremely rare event ! Once again there were some symptoms that support it, and some that argue for the opposite.

 Just recently my left ankle has been swelling up a bit (and the right ankle, but less so). This seems to happens when one of my blood pressure tablets is working well. It slows the heart, reduces the pressure, and I am like a car with low oil pressure - all my moving parts overheat, and get stiff ! Apparently this is good - although why those mad doctors think so is a mystery to me. When this happens it feels like walking is hard work, but last night I walked from work to the station with ease, and it almost felt like in record time too. Walking from the station to home was less easy, but still not terrible.

 Filling myself up with dinner just made me feel even more tired. I partially managed to reduce my dinner size, but it could still be counted as a three part dinner if you include the snack I had when I first got in. That snack was probably a meal in itself for some people. It was pasta with a sundried tomato sauce and a few lumps of feta cheese, and I found it on the sandwich shelf at Aldi. Part 2 of my dinner was some fishcakes, and part three was some ready cooked (allegedly) barbecue flavour chicken legs that I zapped in the microwave for a few minutes. The bad thing was that I didn't really enjoy them at all. The even worse thing is that I thought they would be really nice and I bought two packs of them because they had reduced price stickers on them. Maybe tomorrow I'll wash off the flavour slime, and give them a fierce roast in the mini oven.

 By 07:20 I decided I was so knackered that I would go to bed with my book, and try and finish it before I fell asleep. Maybe a rest was all I needed because after half an hour I felt much better, and I continued reading until I got to the end of the book. By happy coincidence that was at 9pm. So I turned out the light, turned over, and I was asleep in minutes - so maybe I was very tired after all. With hind sight that became almost certain when I consider that I hardly remember anything until my alarm went off at 5am. I do have a hazy recollection of getting up more than once for a pee, but the recollection is so hazy it could equally have been a dream.  I blame the short days. It is unnatural to want to stay awake during the hours of darkness !

 This morning I can't think of any major things to complain about, or at least nothing new. I have the usual aches and stiffness, but on the plus side, my chest seems quite well behaved this morning. On the negative side, I hated coming to work in the dark night under pouring rain ! It wasn't until I got to Waterloo station that the sky became grey instead of black. When I finally arrived at work it was still exceptionally grey outside. At least it was still just about daylight when I left work yesterday, but because I was running about 15 minutes late, it was almost dark before my train left Waterloo East station, and it was fully night time before I arrived home. How depressing !

 I hope that I will leave work on time this afternoon, and I hope I get my normal train, but even then it will still be dark when I arrive in Catford (or very close to it depending on how thick the clouds are). It will almost certainly be fully dark when I get home because I have to detour via the pharmacy, next to my doctors surgery, to (hopefully) pick up my next two months worth of drugs. I put the request in early Monday morning, and that should have been plenty of time for it to be processed. I'll be doubly grumpy if it hasn't been by the time I get there this evening ! All I wonder now is if I'll have the energy or enthusiasm to walk there through the back streets, almost past my house, or whether to get a bus a couple of stops along the main roads. In theory I'll get the bus so I get the maximum free usage out of my 60+ Oyster Card, but I may decide the exercise would do me good - which if it doesn't kill or knacker me, it would be.

 I've now written so much crap that I wonder if I can fit in a few pictures ? I guess I can.
baker at Waterloo
 This morning on the concourse of Waterloo station - two promotions. The first is for some sort of soft, and possibly tasteless bread. The second is for Berocca giving away samples of their vitamin C tablets/sweeties.
Tuesday 3rd November 2015
08:08 GMT.
  There was hope that after a foggy and misty day there might be a brief ray of sunshine in the afternoon while I was going home from work. It was rather better than that !
blue sky and sunshine in
 I can't quite say it was gloriously sunny because the sun was so low in the sky, but this was the scene as I waited for the 15:47 train from Earlsfield to London Waterloo yesterday.  The sky was blue, and the sun was twinkling through the trees on the right of the picture. It's a shame that it wasn't a bit warmer, but at about 14° C it wasn't chilly. Sadly we won't be seeing this today - at least not at home time. The forecast says there could be some sunshine for an hour or two, and it should be starting any minute now....which is hard to believe as I look up at very dull grey skies. What I see now is what is forecast for most of the day. At least it will be 14° C again today - and tomorrow. Unfortunately tomorrow is going to start off very wet, but the afternoon should be dry - I hope !

 There was always the potential for me to end up feeling grumpy by the end of the working day yesterday, but the blue sky and sunshine seemed to put paid to that - until I got to Waterloo East station and found all the trains in disarray. Some trains were cancelled, or even diverted. The train I can never get to Waterloo East in time to catch, the 15:50, was running so late that with the tiniest modicum of effort I could have caught it. The only trouble was that I didn't realise that until it was too late. It might have been nice to catch it for a peculiar reason. It was going to run fast from Ladywell all the way to Hayes. That could have been an interesting journey, but I think I would have got off at Ladywell and walked through the park in the very last of the sunshine before sunset. The train I did get was my normal train, but it was running 8 minutes late, and rather than sit in a carriage with noisy brats in it, I moved to the next carriage and had to stand all the way home. So I was suitably grumpy when I got off the train !

  Maybe I wasn't grumpy when I got home, or maybe I was - I can't remember, but a bit later I had reason to feel grumpy again. This time it was about food. I had a lovely bit of smoked pork belly that I accidently microwaved to oblivion. On the plus side, I managed to microwave almost all the considerable amount of fat from it. With part one of my dinner considerably diminished in size I moved on to part two. This was a Tesco cauliflower cheese ready meal that I added some extra cheese to. It was one of the cheese I had ordered all the way from Holland. I'm sure I didn't order extra hard cheese, but both were like that. Cutting it into slices was really hard work, but that wasn't the worst of it.

 The cheese I am still trying to use up is the one with cloves in it. Now I will admit that the cloves do add an interesting flavour to the cheese, and that went well with the cauliflower, but why are there so many millions of cloves in each chunk of cheese ? I got so fed up chewing on them that I spent ages picking them out before eating the rest. There was also a part three of my dinner, and it was red grapes and peanuts. The red grapes were interesting. I bought them from Aldi on Sunday, and have some on each day since then. I don't know if it is just the variety, or if they were unripe, but they had a very firm texture, and I seem to think they were less sweet than grapes usually are. I think I liked them more than any other grapes I've had in the past.

 One day I must try and limit my dinners down to two parts, or ideally just one part, and no snacks before or after. This morning I am wearing one of my old pairs of jeans that I could not get into when my gut exploded in size last year. They are a little snug now, but I think they will be comfortable to wear all day at work. Sometime in the last 12 months, but probably 6 months is more likely, I have managed to lose an inch or two around my gut, and maybe even more than that above the belt line, but progress has been annoyingly slow. If I could just have a small dinner, and nothing else in the evening for five days of the week, I know that progress would be much, much faster, and I would be able to wear a few more pairs of jeans, including my red ones, within a couple of months, but it is so bloody hard without the aid of fags or falling hopelessly in love (with much emphasis on hopeless !!).

 As for falling in love.....well maybe there is some sort of hope in the not too distant future. I calculate there is a one  in twenty-seven billion, thirty-six thousand, and eighty four chance that I'll fall in love with a woman that I may be meeting in a couple of weeks when I pass on a letter that will be arriving at my place a week or two after the person it will be addressed to has gone back abroad. I also calculate that there is a one in sixteen trillion, ninety nine billion, three thousand, and five chance that she will fall in love with me. Oh I do love to live in hope !

 I know that it is only a few hours (approx 4) since I got out of bed after a reasonable sleep (featuring an amazing dream that I can't remember a thing about, but I do remember it was amazing), but I think I look forward to going back to bed again this evening. This is mostly because I can't think of anything better to do, and it will keep me away from the fridge and larder. If I go early enough I also stand a good chance of finishing the latest book I am reading, and maybe even start another. On the other hand I may suddenly find some inspiration to continue putting together a new PC (using old bits and pieces) that I started assembling  sometime last week. I bought a nice, and rather expensive 480GB solid state hard drive to put in it. So I ought to do some more to it sooner or later.

 Before I forget - Last night I uploaded to Flickr the album of pictures I took on Sunday of Catford in the fog. These were taken outside the park near Catford Bridge station. You'll find them here -
Monday 2nd November 2015
08:10 GMT.
  The temperature feel to about 9° C by 9pm last night, and there it stayed - wrapped up in a layer of fog ! This morning everything was dripping with dew, and once again the world was enveloped in fog - or mist. Catford seemed pretty foggy, but Earlsfield only seemed to be misty. The forecast reckon that odd pockets of mist could linger almost all day in some places, but the fog will mostly lift before midday. Unfortunately it will be just like it has risen, rather than dissipated, and while visibility will be good at ground level, the sky will stay foggy - except when I am going home from work. If I am very lucky, and the forecast is correct, the temperature will reach it's peak then, and there could be the occasional ray of sunshine breaking through. Unfortunately that peak of temperature will only be 14° C. Tomorrow should be clear of fog and mist, but it is going to be a grey day, and some light rain is forecast for when I am going home from work - BOO !!!!
streetlamps in the fog
Here's one view of my walk to the station this morning.
one sodium lamp remains
Very near the station now. If one of the lamps looks more yellow than the others, it is.
For unknown reasons, one lamp fitting was not changed to LEDs, and it is still a sodium lamp.

 It seems to be the norm now that half of my sleep is good, and the second half is bad. I went to bed at approx 8.30pm last night. Initially it was to read rather than to go to sleep, but it wasn't long before my eyelids started to droop, and I was probably fast asleep by 9pm. I think I slept well for about five hours, but I am not sure if I did. It all depends on whether I really woke up several times, or if it was just a dream. What I remember seems dream like. I apparently woke a few times with the duvet wrapped around my legs...well maybe not wrapped, but restricting them in some way. Apparently this was a metaphor for the struggle some artists (musical ones I think) have with copyright - which is what I had been dreaming about either in reality, or in a dream. I have no real recollection of what the dream, that was maybe within a dream, was all about. All I can remember is this dreamy idea of "a metaphor for.......etc". Did I dream it, or was it reality ? Maybe I'll never know.

 Maybe it is because it is a Monday, and I have rested my brain, and partly rested my body, but like many Monday's, and contrary to the law of the land, I quite like early Monday mornings. Going out in the fog is better than going out in the night (even though it was still night when I went out to come to work this morning). One consequence of all this is that it didn't feel too much of a chore to come to work. All the usual discomforts seemed to be well in the background, and for an hour and a bit I felt not exactly happy, but content. Now I am at work all that is slowly starting to dissipate. A few bits are starting to very, very mildly ache, and I can feel my contentness evaporating. By this afternoon I will probably be grumpy, and by the end of the week I will be knackered !

 I have no fantastic plans for this evening - except with one small insignificant exception. I think I ought to cook and eat the cauliflower cheese that has been sitting in the fridge since last Friday. I think I may add some extra cheese to it ! My only future plan is to go along to the pharmacy adjacent to my doctors surgery, to pick up a repeat prescription for all my blood pressure, and stuff, tablets that I ordered on line this morning while giving my freshly washed hair a few extra minutes to dry. I guess I could add that Thursday night should be drinking night, and that is also a sort of future plan. Other than that I shall just make things up as I go along !
Sunday 1st November 2015
18:29 GMT.
  After a mostly sunny, and mild day, the temperature dropped during the night, but it didn't drop far. At some time in the night some cold air met some warmer damp air, and the result was the first fog of the autumn - and I think it was most definitely fog rather than mist. It was about 8 or 9° C this morning, and that was enough to get my hands feeling cold after being outdoors for some time. The fog thinned a bit during the morning, but it never really went totally away despite there being some sunshine in the afternoon. The temperature may have reached 14° C during the afternoon, but it is now down to 11° C. Tomorrow is also going to be very foggy, possibly even thicker fog. I hope the trains know where they are going !

 Yesterday evening was good on two counts. I didn't get a single trick or treater ringing my doorbell, and I had a nice takeaway dinner. On the first count, I am didn't seem to hear any packs of feral kids roaming the neighbourhood last night. Maybe the rumours of there being a "peedo" on every street corner kept them all indoors watching fireworks - and there were certainly some of those in the neighbourhood ! Having said that, they all seemed to be over by or before 9pm, and didn't keep me awake. My dinner was peri-peri grilled chicken, and it was rather delicious !

 One other thing I did last night was to wash a towel, and start to wash a pair of jeans. It is rare that I wash pairs of jeans because I am scared they will shrink, and I'll never be able to get them on again. I didn't need to be too worried about that this time. Those jeans were a generous fit, and while my chances of losing any weight in the autumn and winter months are slim, I do still seem to be able to keep a few of the small gains* I made back in the late summer (and maybe early autumn too).

* Where "gains" actually means a small loss in waist size, and maybe a slightly bigger loss in gut overhang !

 Last night was one of those nights where I slept well, and I didn't sleep well. If I only needed 4 or 5 hours sleep than I slept well, but the other 3 or 4 hours were not too good. I guess I fell asleep at about 10.30pm, and I slept solidly until just gone 3am. From then on my sleep was annoyingly intermittent. I finally half got up at just before 6am - which is a bit early for a Sunday. I did consider going out to take some pictures of streetlamps and stuff in the fog, but I thought it would probably make more sense to wait a couple of hours until it was fully light outside - albeit a very soft diffuse light !
The river Ravensbourne
                  shrouded in fog
 This was one of the pictures taken in the park. It was terribly hard to resist editing the picture to make it brighter, more contrasty, and sharper, but of course that would destroy the effect I was trying to achieve. There is a whole album of these pictures in high resolution here -
Catford shrouded in fog
 This picture was taken on Catford Bridge (the one over the railway line at Catford Bridge station), and is looking to where Lawrence house, home of the library, and Lewisham Council, should be somewhere in the mist. I have a small album of these pictures taken outside the park that I will upload to Flickr soon.

 My walk around the foggy park and back home again was probably about a mile and half, but maybe less. That was a good bit of exercise - although only good when considered from the fact that I didn't stay in with my feet up - which is all too frequent on a Sunday. Some other exercise was wrestling with a soggy pair of jeans. Trying to wring out wet jeans is an difficult task ! Even after my best effort they were still slowly dripping into the bath where I had left them on a clothes horse in the bath. Once they had stopped dripping I hung them in front of a fan heater on low, and they are almost dry now. I could probably wear them tomorrow if I needed to, but I think I'll be wearing another pair.

 One final bit of exercise was to walk to Aldi, and walk back with 6 litres of sugar free cola in my rucksack, and two almost heavy bags of other stuff. I resisted the temptation to buy anything too outrageous in there after my cream cake madness on Friday evening. Having said that, those cream cakes must have done some good because they seemed to cure me of feeling very pissed off. I have probably been feeling almost happy today. Even the idea of going back to work tomorrow doesn't seem too terrible. Maybe I am even looking forward to it a bit...well, maybe travelling in the fog will be exciting - assuming the trains don't go all huffy, and refuse to move !

 So there is nothing to do now but look forward to going to bed. Maybe now I have set my camera to GMT I will sleep better - although I can't offer a scientific, supernatural, or theological argument why that should make the slightest bit of difference. All I know is that when I checked the time stamps on the pictures I took today I found they were all out by an hour !