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

Saturday 31st October 2015
18:00 GMT.
  I think there was a bit of sunshine yesterday, but I can't seem to remember when it was. Mostly I just remember it being grey - a fairly light shade of grey, almost white sometimes, but still grey. It wasn't particularly cold though, but I don't think it was mild enough to travel from work without a coat on. Today has definitely seen some sunshine - much more than I expected, and it has been quite mild, but nowhere near the 19° C that The Metro newspaper seemed to think it might be. It is now a fairly cool 12° C, and at best it might have been 15° C earlier. It should stay dry. So all those who go out in fancy dress should be ok, apart from shivering ! Tomorrow might stay dry despite heavy cloud being forecast, although the main feature tomorrow will be a misty or even foggy morning - and rather cool too !

 I didn't feel good yesterday. Some of it was continuing occasional discomfort from my ribs and chest, and more of it was just in my head. I just felt like I wanted to go home and hibernate, and ignore the outside world. That would have been fine if I had stayed out of Tesco on the way home. I ended up buy and eating some stuff that I shouldn't have.....or maybe I should have. Maybe the defying of all authority, mostly my own, and eating a box of 4 reduced (half ?) price cream cakes had a good effect.

 I was almost determined to do nothing last night, and yet after eating those 4 rather nice cakes I decided it would be good to wash my work shirts, and some underwear. So I did that, and then I spent rather a long time playing with the laptop that I had fitted the solid state hard disk in last Wednesday evening. I had previously installed the very latest version of Linux Mint on it, and although I had some difficulty customising the desktop to my satisfaction, the real problem is that I had no sound.

 Last night I installed a slightly old, but still just about supported version of Linux Mint (version 13 - Maya). At first I seemed to still have no sound, but at least I was able to set the desktops up to my satisfaction. Then I noticed I did have sound, but it was very, very quiet. So I turned up the volume of the media player, and went into the sound configuration panel, and set the volume in there to 150%. The sound was still low, but at least it was usable. It was then that maybe my subconcious made me run my finger along the front of the laptop. Sitting just to the right of the catch was a rotary control - an analogue volume control !!!! I turned that up, and there was loads of sound. Sadly the sound on that Toshiba laptop sounds pretty ropey. The small speakers sound horribly tinny - even worse than some of the mobile phone speakers that some kids (who deserve a good slap) blare out their non musical music from.

 It was getting on for midnight when I decided I had experimented enough on that laptop. There are still a few things I want to do on it, but basically it is working fine, and is very responsive - maybe more responsive that my desktop PC despite the desktop PC being twice to three times more powerful (in theory). It may be time to to "refresh" my desktop PC with a fresh install of Linux Mint.

 Just for a change, I slept quite well last night. Maybe, having gone to bed so late, it was no surprise that I should sleep so well - at least for the first 5 hours. It wasn't long after I got out of bed that my chest began to feel sore, but a couple of Ibuprofen tablets calmed it down - although it probably took a whole hour for them to work their magic. Although I had made a positive decision to be anti-social this weekend, I decided not to annoy Aleemah who I had agreed to see earlier.

 Seeing Aleemah was actually good because she very patiently listened to me while I told her how almost everybody in the world had pissed me off. She seemed to take it very well. It was good to have a good moan, and it was good to have an alcoholic breakfast ! We are right in the middle (I think) of the current Wetherspoons beer festival, and there were 4 beers I wanted to try. Click on the picture for a higher resolution, easier to read, version in a new tab or window).
                    beers for breakfast !
 These are the beers, and I had a half pint of each. I think it was the beer on the left, Takima Sun, that was a little too wheat beer like for my full enjoyment, and the smoked beer on the right, Minagof (which as the label says is a smoked porter beer) was very smoky. Unfortunately it tasted more like it had been smoked using burning tyres rather than wood smoke. It wasn't until I was just drinking the last mouthful that began to get some appreciation of the taste of it.

 Aleemah brought over another terrible DVD. It was of the movie "Mephisto Waltz", and it was presumably supposed to be more scary than boring. Somehow I find the supernatural very boring, and more so as that great commercial event, halloween takes place (or trick or treat as the young of today call it without realising that is something American that should be ignored because America is, and has been since 1776, the enemy !).

 In the spirit of being anti-social, and even more so in doing my best to pretend halloween does not exist, and also as part of my drive to be more positive, I have decided that I will not go out to Chain's halloween gig at The British Oak tonight. I very much doubt anyone will notice I am not there, or lose anything from my absence, but some will say it was a shame I missed it when reminded of my presence. Until then they will remain blissfully unaware of my existence. Anyway, it is a lousy pub to take pictures in. It's main good feature is good beer, but I find I don't enjoy too much beer in the evenings these days. The two pints I had this morning seems good enough for the day !

 There are two definite things I am going to do tonight - which is a pity because the contradict each other - or something like that. I want to order a takeaway very soon. I think it is going to be grilled chicken. That obviously means I will have to keeps some lights on downstairs, and answer my front door, but really I want to ignore my front door to piss off any trick or treaters who would dare to ring my door bell. I wonder if I can bring myself to pass a string of expletives, some "good old Anglo Saxon words", if any of the little bastards dare to try and disturb me ?
Friday 30th October 2015
08:20 GMT.
  Yesterday was wet - wet in the morning, wet in the afternoon, and wet in the evening ! There was one period in the afternoon when it didn't rain, and there was another a bit later in the afternoon when it almost didn't rain. That latter period was fortunately while I was traveling from work to the pub, but I was not so luck when I came out of the pub. The only good thing you can say about yesterday was that it was fairly mild - maybe even as high as 14 - 15° C during late afternoon. Among many other negative things, today has started off mild and wet. It was 13° C when I walked to the station in the rain. The rain is supposed to stop in an hour or two, and after that it will just be a dismal light grey until sunset. The temperature is supposed to climb to 15° C by mid afternoon, and then it will slowly drop to 11° C by early tomorrow morning.

 The papers have been full of halloween, which is tomorrow, predicted to be the warmest on record since 1927 (or something like that). The over eager gushings of The Metro have even suggested it could hit 20° C, although more sober suggestions a few paragraphs away say 19° C. I don't know what mythical part of the country that forecast is for because the BBC forecasts that it will be just 15° C in the afternoon, dropping to a rather cool 12° C by mid evening when mad people start wandering around in their stupid halloween costumes. By midnight, the witching hour, all the witches will be shivering in 10° C as they dance naked around their cauldrons.

 My day at work was only notable for one thing yesterday. The bulk of the day was semi-boring and semi-tedious, but just before I left work I visited the toilet to make sure I was comfortable for the long journey in front of me. As I went into the cubicle I bent over to pull off some toilet paper to polish the seat before sitting on it. This involved a twisting movement. As I stood up everything seemed to untwist except one of my floating ribs. It was very painful initially, but settled down to be mostly painful right up until I had a Ibuprofen and beer cocktail in the pub an hour later.

 The pub in question was The Baring Hall Hotel, and it is directly opposite Grove Park station - which is sort of handy - Grove Park station is just two stops (on a semi fast service) from Waterloo East station where I travel home from after work on most nights. The only mild irritation is that I mixed up what end of Grove Park station the exits are, and travelled at the wrong end of a very long 10 car train, although there was the plus point of that end of the train being almost empty.

 The Baring Hall Hotel hasn't been a hotel in living memory, but maybe it was once. Some years ago it was firebombed, and it lay derelict for several years. Then Antic, the pub company who run The Catford Constitutional Club, bought it (or leased it ?), and did their usual ultra cheap refurbishment to get it back into use. A few minor bits needed replacement or rebuilding, but basically they chipped off the worst of the charcoal and charring, and varnished it over. The put in some new second (or third, fourth.... hand) furniture, and started serving beer - some quite good beer as it happens !

 It should have been a pleasant boozing session, but I ended up hating it. Maybe it was a reaction to the earlier pain I was in, but although I was just about completely free of pain halfway through the session, I continued to feel more and more pissed off. Some of my annoyance was that I was not in the mood to cope with my friend Jodie's childish antics - playing with stupid kiddies halloween toys on the table among the beer glasses for instance. I was also pissed off with my apparent responsibility to see her part of the way home because she didn't know where her bus stop was in the dark. I was further pissed off that I had to wait ages for her to spend more time looking at stupid childish pictures on her phone instead of drinking her beer up.

 Then I was pissed off having to walk in the rain to the bus stop. I was positively fuming when we had to get a different bus to the one I wanted because Jodie wouldn't be able to find the bus stop on the other side of the road when we would have arrived at the best place for her to change buses (this would have been on a very well lit main road that she has travelled down thousands of times before on buses !). The next thing that pissed me off was that having let a couple of buses pass that would have been OK for both of us, the bus we actually got on, that takes the shortest route back to Catford, and normally passes Catford Bridge station (which is big enough that even Jodie can see it in the dark, and from where she can get a train home), announced that it was going to terminate at Catford Town centre - a stop that it does not normally even pass, let alone stop at. So once we got off at "Catford Town Centre" we faced a 5 minute walk in the rain to the station.

 I got as far as the chip shop before I told Jodie she could walk the last 100 yards by herself, and I went into the chip shop - which had no bloody chips ready ! In the grand scheme of things that was not such a bad idea, but it was still a bloody annoyance at the time. So I bought a large piece of cod, and trudged off again into the cold wet night. When I got home I ate my fish, and a couple of packets of salt and vinegar flavour Hula Hoops as a sort of substitute for chips. Not too long after that, at 8.47pm, I went to bed.

 I have no idea what all that stress did for my blood pressure, but I don't think it raised it that much because I didn't feel all that good. In fact I had a lousy night. Maybe I was sleeping awkwardly because my chest was still a bit tender if provoked too much, but I woke up three times in fairly quick succession with agonising cramp in my calf muscle. it is all a bit vague now, but I think it was twice in my left leg, and once in my right leg - which seems a bit weird if that is right. The final act when I got up was to turn over from my right side to my left side while twisting my body as I sat up, and once again I managed to twist my floating rib(s).

 So this morning I am getting chest pains in different parts of my chest - it all depends on what movements I make. Quite often the pain is just below, and to the right of my right breast, but in a thin line beneath both breasts, or just in the area of my left breast are also very popular. Physical pain like this gets you down, but it is not necessarily depressing as such. There are other annoyances that are quite good enough for that.
diverted train
There was a "lineside problem" between Waterloo East and Charing Cross this morning, and my train was diverted to call at London Bridge and Cannon Street instead. That meant a bit of extra exercise. On a dry and bright morning it might have even been an enjoyable exercise, but on a grim wet morning it was extremely tedious to have to get the tube from London Bridge  to Waterloo.

 Most mornings I get it easy compared to many commuters. This morning I experienced "real commuting" as I barged my way onto a packed commuter train. As a one off you could almost put it down to experience, and laugh it off. I wasn't in quite such a generous mood to do that, but I'll admit it was a bit of a novelty, and novelties have some amusement value.

 My troubles weren't over just because I had reached Waterloo station. I still had the walk in the rain from Earlsfield station to Sainsburys, and then I had the utter disappointment to find that Sainsburys had run out of ready made salad bowls ! I was not prepared to go hungry all day, particularly after my unusually small dinner last night, and so I had the perfect excuse to buy and enjoy a couple of rolls instead. then I had to walk through the rain to get into work.

 Now I am in work, in the dry and the warm, and I have written down all my troubles, I do feel a little less pissed off - although I am probably still on a hair trigger, and so I hope nobody says or does anything stupid today. An email showing what is expected to be the new company logo if the board approves it, came very close to pissing me off, but I am doing my best to laugh at it instead because it is crap !

 Tonight there are several things I could do, and it should be dry when I go home. These are both positive things, but I don't know if I will be, or will want to be very positive when I get home. I feel I would like to sulk, and explore the depths of complete misery, but maybe I'll end up doing some laundry, and/or playing with the laptop I mentioned yesterday.  Tomorrow I'll be seeing my friend Aleemah in the morning, and in the evening I could go and see Chain play a special halloween gig at The British Oak pub in Blackheath. In the past it has been an excellent gig, but this year I seem to be sick of halloween before it has even started, and don't get me started about "trick or treat". Blood could spill (if I could find an infallible way of not getting caught) the next time someone mentions that bloody American abomination !
Thursday 29th October 2015
08:08 GMT.
  The day may have started wet and soggy, but by the time I left work to go home it was bright, sunny and dry ! It was forecast to be 15° C at it's best, but I'm not sure if it did get quite that high, but it was pretty close. Today has started off variably bright, and it should stay that way during daylight hours, but when darkness falls, and maybe plus an hour or so after, it will start to rain. It will rain all night, and it will rain all tomorrow - although the forecast may change by then...which it has already !! It is now only going to rain in the morning, although there could be a brief splash sometime in the late afternoon. The good thing is that the forecast for tomorrow is now saying it could be as warm as 16° C, which is rather better than today. My thermometer said it was a rather cool 8° C this morning, and it felt like that, but the forecast says the temperature will be almost flat all day. It should have started at 13° C, have a brief flirtation with 14° C for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and then drop back to 13° C for the rest of the day.
first light
 This was the eastern sky just beginning to lighten up as I started to walk to the station.
red sky in the morning, shepherds warning
About 8 minutes later at Catford Bridge station and the eastern sky is now looking very pink.
brilliant sunshine falling on high buildings
                  against a very dark sky
This picture only hints at the effect I wanted to show. It was taken through the window of a moving train just past Vauxhall station on the way to Clapham Junction. The effect I am trying to show is how bright the tops of the buildings look from the rising sun, which is rising behind me, and how dark the cloudy western sky looked. In the foreground is the depot of a parcel delivery company (I think it's Yodel). To the left are two of the chimneys of Battersea Power station, and the buildings from centre to to the right are a new development that might, or might not be Embassy Gardens (but they are around there somewhere).

 It felt quite good as I went home from work yesterday. After a terribly gloomy and wet morning it was dry, and although too low in the sky to be properly sunny, it was bright with occasional flashes of sunshine. Even better than that was that it was mild enough to stuff my raincoat in my courier bag, and go home in just my short sleeved shirt (plus trousers etc !!). That felt deliciously good, and that made me feel like I had a fair bit of energy.

 That feeling of energy lasted into the evening, although it was enhanced by my possession of a new "toy". That "toy" was actually a solid state hard disk. It was one of two I bought. The other is for a later project, but the smaller, and fairly cheap one was to experiment with in a laptop that my friend Patricia seems to have abandoned at my place. I think her reasons for abandoning it were that the battery doesn't take a charge, and the hard disk is failing and/or is riddled with viruses.

 I fitted the solid state hard disk in the laptop before having dinner. Dinner was a selection of the good, the bad and the unhealthy. If I hadn't smothered the steamed vegetable in melted cheese they would have been far healthier. If I didn't have the oven cooked bacon I would have lived until I was at least 40 according to recent outbursts from the health nazis. (I guess these last 20 years have just been my imagination.). I think the Tesco Shepherds Pie ready meal is not worth commenting on.

 Having eaten, and eaten to excess, I went back to the laptop where I installed Linux Mint 17.2 - the latest version of Linux Mint, and a version that will have "Long Term Support". I opted for the Cinnamon desktop. The installation went slowly, and when it was done it had a pile of updates to download and install. From then on it seemed quite nippy and fast, but there were problems. It seems that it is now tricky to set up more than one desktop in the latest version of Linux Mint. I couldn't find out how to do it with the Cinnamon desktop so I installed the Mate desktop. I use that on my desktop PC, and setting up 4 desktops is easy on that, but not it seems on the latest version of Mate ! That was bloody annoying, but I could live with that - after millions of windows users get by with just one desktop.

 There was a far bigger problem, and one that I didn't notice until it was getting late. There was no sound output ! It seems that the "sound card" was detected, and all the correct bits and pieces installed to use it, but it didn't work. It is a possibility that there is a fault with the laptop itself, I'll probably have to wait until Friday night to check that by putting the original hard disk back in, and slowly and painfully firing up Windows on it. If that doesn't produce sound then the laptop is faulty. If it does then I will have to try something else than Linux Mint 17.2. I might try and earlier version, and see how well that works. At least an earlier version will give me back my multiple desktops.

 It was very late when I went to bed last night, and maybe that was a good thing. I guess it was a little after 10pm when I fell asleep, and going to sleep so late helped me sleep better - possibly. Oh well, if nothing else it was a positive step at getting myself in synch with GMT. I may not have slept very well, but I did sleep relatively well. Just to make a change, I was actually woken up by my alarm going off. That hasn't happened for ages now !

 This morning I feel tolerably well, although I have had a few isolated moments of pain from the left breast, and my legs don't feel anything like as supple and powerful as they were on my way home from work yesterday. As I walked from Earlsfield station to work I felt really creaky and slow ! Perhaps I'll feel better tonight. If I am incredibly luck it will be nice and bright when I leave work, and it will stay that way until I am safely inside tonights Thursday night boozing venue. Tonight it is The Baring Hall Hotel. That is opposite Grove Park station, and that is the next stop down the line from Hither Green where we were last Thursday. So it is easy to get to, and it is also easy to get home from there as well - easy, but a rather tediously long bus ride from almost outside the pub right to the end of my road ! Of course the only bad thing, apart from the length of the bus journey (20 minutes ?), is that when I leave the pub it will almost certainly be pouring with rain !
Wednesday 28th October 2015
08:24 GMT.
  Apart from the fact that sunset came much too early (and it can only get worse), it was quite a pleasant day for the last week in October. What I forgot to mention yesterday was that when I went out for my couple of pints in the Wetherspoons pub, I went out in a short sleeved shirt, and no coat - and it felt perfectly comfortable like that. I have a feeling that the rain that was forecast to start mid evening actually started a lot later, but regardless of that, it was most definitely pouring down this morning - and it still is - and as it will continue to do until midday, and perhaps an hour or two later. It is supposed to be dry, maybe with the odd hint of sunshine, when I go home after work, but I feel strangely pessimistic about that ! If it wasn't for the rain it would have been a decent start to the day with the temperature around 13° C, but not only did the rain ruin the "ambience" it will also stop the temperature rising by more than a single, solitary degree today - according to the gloomy weather forecast. Tomorrow is forecast to be the opposite of today. It will start off dry, but from about 11am it will rain, and rain, and rain until 5am the following morning when it will rain very hard !
waiting at Catford Bridge
                  station for the delayed 06:30 Charing Cross train.
I took a slightly better picture with less rain on the camera lens, but I thought this one looked more dramatic. I took it while waiting for the slightly delayed 06:30 train to Charing Cross at Catford Bridge station. The train was only 3 minutes late, but the driver took the trouble to apologise, and to explain that the delay was caused by a shortage of suitable rolling stock at Grove Park depot.

  When I look back at yesterday I seem to think that for a day away from work, when I spent most of the day indoors, and when I was quite frequently very bored, I get a most probably distorted idea that I didn't eat that much. That's not to be confused with saying I didn't eat far more than my wildest fantasies would dictate, but only that I had the opportunity to eat far more, and somehow resisted it. I also resisted many strong cravings for a cigarette. I've been having quite a few of them since the clocks changed.

 Being, not exactly bored - unmotivated is probably a better description - I had little reason to try and fight to stay out of bed until it was bedtime (GMT). There was stuff on TV that I could have watched, but I guess I had got myself in not the right mood for that. So at 7.30pm I sort of went to bed to enjoy reading several chapters of the book I am currently reading. I think I made it through to 9pm before I put the book down, turned out the light, and tried to fall asleep. I may have fallen asleep quite quickly, but I can't remember much about it.

 What I do remember is waking up many times in the night, and a dream about trying to find a toilet. It was one of those strange dreams where locations morph into one another. It started off on a train. There was no toilet in the carriage I was in so I got off the train into something like a big, long office building. I found a ladies toilet, but that was no good to me, and I carried on walking. Eventually I came to the end of this big open plan office, and I still had not found a toilet. Then I noticed there was another very wide corridor that was offset to the one I came down. As I went round the corner to it I found I was in a wide alley, or entrance drive to a rugby ground. I spotted a ladies toilet, but I couldn't see a gents. So I asked someone if they knew where the gents was. He said it was on the far side of the ground, but that many men used a drain hole by the perimeter wall. There was a match taking place, and I didn't fancy walking across the pitch just to use the toilet. So I turned around, and woke up. Upon waking up I did have a mild need to go for a wee, but the urgency was completely out of proportion to the effort put into finding a toilet in that dream.

 This morning I don't feel that good, but it is just a bit of this and a bit of that without any specific ache, pain, or malady. I guess I do have a mild headache, but I have to stop and think about it to notice it. That is also true in other ways for other maladies. For instance a few aches in my legs are only apparent when I try and use them in certain ways. My chest muscles/ligaments hurt when I cough, but otherwise I don't really notice them.

 The worst thing by far is the rain and the dullness. It most definitely pisses me off, but worse than that is that it sets me up to feel bloody annoyed at things like a few changes that might be coming up at work. I read an email this morning about these forthcoming changes. I am unsure just how much they will be impacting on me, but I still thought that this could be my cue to jump ship. That sort of scares me because coming to work is one of the most important ways for me to (sort of, almost, to a limited extent, just about) manage my physical health - even if it ruins my mental health. It's a tricky one, but at least now I know my finances are fairly firm, and I can quit without becoming more than 50% pauper ! Just another five and two thirds of a year to go before I get my state pension now !
Tuesday 27th October 2015
16:09 GMT.
  There was not much more sunshine yesterday than the bit I reported in the morning. However a lot of the day was fairly bright, and at least it stayed dry. The lack of sunshine meant that it never got any warmer than the 14° C that was forecast, and in reality it might have only been 13° C for most of the afternoon. One very noticeable thing was that it got quite cloudy as I was going home from work, and the cloud ended up thick enough to make it seem like night a good half hour before it should have. Today started off almost mild. It was probably 11° C at 7am, and after practically non stop sunshine, the temperature rose to 17° C by my reckoning. It is getting cloudy again now, and once again it is looking like night is coming early despite sun set still being half an hour away. The temperature has now dropped to 15° C, and it will continue to drop to below 10° C by morning when it will also be pouring with rain. That rain will have started later this evening if the forecast is correct. Tomorrow is going to be cold, wet and bloody miserable !

 With it seeming to get prematurely dark last night I decided to simplify my shopping needs, and go in Tesco.  I came away with all sorts of stuff - some of which was more suited to winter than a healthy weight shedding eating plan (or some such nonsense like that). I wasn't in Tesco all that long, but while inside the transition from something resembling very poor daylight to night happened. That inspired me to do bugger all last night, and to end up in bed by 7.30pm (=8.30pm BST).

 I read for a while, but turned over and went to sleep by just gone 8.30pm. I was foolish enough to leave the heating on last night when it probably wasn't needed. As a result I mostly slept mostly uncovered. That probably wasn't good for my sleeping, and I woke up quite frequently. At some point in the night I did something that resulted in an unpleasant headache this morning. I have no idea what that something was, or even if it was really "something" at all, but the headache was for real. It was like the sort of hangover you get from mixing wine and beer - which wasn't fair considering I had drunk neither !

 It may not have been quite as bad as I described it to work, but it was bad enough that I preferred to stay indoors, laying down, with the curtains closed, and the lights off for an hour while I waited for some paracetamol to do something useful. That didn't work so I walked to the station and picked up a copy of The Metro (the free newspaper). Just for a change it was nice walking in the grey early morning light, and the soft cool (but not cold) autumn air. Unfortunately that did little for my headache. I just had to grit my teeth and wait for it to dissipate by itself.

 I suppose the headache had gone by mid morning, and I contemplated doing something useful, but nothing came to mind - or at least nothing I fancied doing. So I lay down and read for some more while occasionally checking my email, and reading the odd page off the internet. By 1pm I decided that a pint of beer might be nice. So I phoned a mate, but could get no answer on his mobile phone, or his landline. So I went out by myself, and had 2 pints of beer made up of two halves, plus a full pint of these beers - half of Titanic, half of Low Blow, and full pint of Chinook.
this afternoon's beers

 I was probably in the pub for no more than an hour. Once I got back I had a nibble on some naughty snacks, and prepared for an afternoon snooze. I think I may have slept for a few minutes, but I can't be sure. Mostly I just read from a paperback (World Of Ptavvs by Larry Niven). I suspect that most of my evening will be spent reading, although it is going to be a short evening I think. I shouldn't do it because I will never get in synch with GMT, but it is so tempting to go to bed early still. I think that if I didn't have to go to work, and I could actually do it, I would get up when it gets light, and go to sleep when it gets dark. Some people might add "like an animal" after that, and I guess that is sort of true. I suppose I ought to fight it because it makes an already isolated existence even more isolated. I think everyone I know is a night owl instead of an early bird. It makes supporting the bands I like very difficult. At this time of year I'm often asleep an hour before they hit the stage !
Monday 26th October 2015
08:17 GMT.
  The temperature continued to drop as the sun sank below the horizon yesterday, but at least it had been a bright sunny day, and it warmed up the front of the house (that faces south). The temperature dropped quite slowly in the night, and it was just over 6° C when I got up this morning, but it was still dropping ! It was a fraction under 6° C when I walked to the station. The weather forecast makes no mention of sunshine for today*, but it is sunny right now as I write this, and although there are scattered clouds in the sky, it looks as if these sunny periods could continue for some time yet. If they are extensive enough it might warm the day up higher than the forecast 14° C. Tomorrow could actually get warm. 18° C is the forecast high, although rain is expected after sun set.

* Yes it does ! The weather icons for today just show light cloud with no hint of any rays of sunshine breaking through, but if you scroll down the page a little bit, and read the small print it says - "It will be a dry and bright day with sunny spells developing, especially later." ! So they are still wrong. It's still early, and the sunny spells have developed already !

 I didn't do anything of any note last night. I was still feeling edgy, or bored, or some feeling I can't quite define. Perhaps some of it was mild regret that I passed over a chance to go to an afternoon/early evening gig. It was a charity thing being held in The Barrel And Horn in Bromley. There were half a dozen bands on, and although none were on my favourites list, and I have a suspicion I would have actively disliked at least one of them. The main advantage of going would have been to have a couple of beers with a few people, and to snap a few pictures. On the other hand, maybe hoovering the cobwebs up near the ceiling in my front room in the afternoon was more important !

 My body said it was time for bed at 8pm (=9pm BST) last night, but I resisted the lure of my bed to try and get myself in sync with GMT. It seems I forgot to tell my bladder and colon about the change from BST to GMT because they both woke me up at what they considered to be the normal time, and I lost out on the (so called) extra hour in bed this morning. Once I had made myself comfortable I got back into bed and tried to get back to sleep (and resume some quite "spicy" dreams I had been having), but it didn't work. In fact it was worse than that. As I rolled from side to side trying to find that ultimate comfortable sleeping position I just aggravated my costochondritus - what may be the technical term for the muscular pains I get in my chest when it is subjected to various stresses. This morning, for the first time in a fortnight, and maybe longer, I thought it was prudent to take a couple of Ibuprofen tablets to calm the inflammation down.

 Now I am at work I feel moderately OK. I have no overt pains, but I still feel a bit creaky, and I definitely feel like I could have done with no one extra hour in bed, but two. Ideally I would have got up at 4am when I first woke up, pottered around for maybe an hour, and then got back into bed to sleep if I could, and not if I couldn't without having to worry about going to work. The flaw in that theory is that if I didn't have to go to work every week day I would probably never go out at all during the autumn and winter, and I would just eat all day because I was bored and depressed. It probably says something about the sense of humour of the designer of the universe that the only way I can stay semi healthy, and not too depressed is to wear my body out coming to work every day, and being really pissed off having to do it day in, day out !
Catford Bridge station at
                  06:30 this morning
 Here's one picture of my journey into work this morning. It was 06:30, and not yet sunrise when I took the picture, and although the camera has exaggerated it, the sky is starting to get light. It was rather cool at the time, possibly a little less than 6° C, and there was a very light mist in some places.
Obscured by clouds
 If my estimate is correct, the rising sun should be about in the very centre of this picture taken through the train window on my train between Waterloo and Earlsfield. I think this was about halfway between Vauxhall and Clapham Junction stations. Unfortunately the clouds are in the wrong position to let the sun through, but there were plenty of gaps, some even looking quite blue by eye, where the sun could have shone through if it had been in a different position - as has happened quite a few times in the last 90 minutes since I took this picture.

 Tonight I am...........actually, I have no firm plans for tonight. I want to buy a couple of bottles of sugar free cola on the way home from work. I could get them from Tesco, or Iceland, or maybe, in the unlikely event I am feeling all energetic, I could go to Lidl. It would be nice to have a wander around there, but I doubt I will feel like taking such a big detour on my way home. I might just get a couple of bottles of Diet Coke from the corner shop - it's a good way to avoid temptation ! Once I get home, and I have sorted out what I'll have for dinner, I might consider doing a bit more work on the computer I started building up from odds and ends yesterday - although I haven't recovered any enthusiasm for the project since I abandoned it yesterday.
Sunday 25th October 2015
15:55 GMT.
  Well here we are in the land of Greenwich Meant Time, and to celebrate the weather is being kind to us for one day only ! Yesterday saw more rain than forecast, and also less sunshine than forecast, although the latter wasn't hard to do. Hardly any sunshine was forecast anyway, but some was forecast, and therefore I demand my money back !  All of yesterday was rather grey, but the temperature seemed to be a fairly constant 13° C (although for some reason I thought I might have seen 15° C on my thermometer at some point in the day). The early afternoon rain lasted a little longer than it was supposed to, and maybe the evening rain did too.

 Sometime in the night the clouds thinned out, and the temperature dropped to a rather chilly 6° C. I feel sure that is the lowest it has been since last spring. There have been a scattering of clouds so far today, but for most of the time it has been sunny, and while it hasn't been that warm outside, that sunshine has warmed the front of the house up nicely. Thanks to the clocks changing the sun is already on the horizon, and the temperature is already dropping fast. It seems to be only 10° C now. I'm sure it was 14° C earlier. The forecast, which could be 2 days old now, says the temperature will only drop to 9° C by early morning. It will then climb again to 14° C despite it being a mostly grey day. It seems that there could be a chance of a little sunshine around the time I am travelling home from work - but I expect the whole forecast will change in the morning.

 There was only a small chance that I would attempt to get to a gig in Dartford last night, and once I saw how much it was raining that chance fell to zero (or below !!). I doubt I would have gone even if it were warm and sunny because I wasn't feeling in a travelling mood yesterday. After the early afternoon rain I went out to take a stroll, and pop into the 99p shop (the original one) to see what they had, and to buy stuff I shouldn't buy. Once I started walking there, and more so on the way back, I found that I didn't feel like walking. It seemed a bit uncomfortable in a way that is hard to describe - it was as if the Earth gravity had increased, or I had put on a lot of weight overnight.

 I doubt that it was technically, or biologically possible for me to put that much weight on over the course of 12 - 15 hours, but maybe the combined results of what I bought from the 99p shop, and ate in the afternoon, plus the Chinese takeaway I had in the evening, could have have increased my weight considerably during last night ! Maybe I exaggerate. My Chinese takeaway was rather large, but I didn't eat even half of it last night. The reason it was so big was that the restaurant gave me several free things to try and entice me to use them again. There was quite a big selection of starters that I thought must have been meant for some other customer until I saw "free" written on the container. It turned into half my meal last night !

 At 2am this morning the clocks went back to 1am (or was it the other way round ?). That made no difference to me last night, and this morning my body totally ignored it. Virtually all my clocks self corrected for the change, but my body woke me up at what it thought was the normal time. Although to be more specific it woke me up an hour earlier for some reason. I hope it works out what it is doing for tomorrow morning.

 In theory I didn't get enough sleep last night, but I seem to feel OK. Maybe it is because I am not at work feeling bored, or pissed off, or annoyed, or confused, or in pain, or feeling cold, or feeling hot, or any of the other things that make being at work not always a great idea. I actually woke up from a dream about conkers. I seem to recall someone saying how nice and shiny conkers are when they first come off the tree, but how dull they go when they dry off. In my dream I was putting conkers in a pocket sized deep freeze so they would retain their shine. Quite how that simple plot seemed to keep me dreaming for what felt like ages, is a mystery.

 I feel strange today. I am half bored, and half something else...perhaps unmotivated might be a good description, but restless or "edgy" must appear in the equation somewhere. There are two things I've done today that serve as good examples of how I feel - I think. The first was that I thought I would do just a little tiny bit of hoovering to pick up some spilled food. I got a bit carried away doing that, and not only did I change the hoover bag, but I started hoovering up cobwebs from around the ceiling, as well as hoovering bits of the floor that I never set out to do.  One thing that intrigues me is how cobwebs appear around in the area where the walls meet the ceiling. Obviously they are trails left by spiders, but I never ever see those spiders ! 

 The other thing I started to do was to build a new PC - new in the sense that it is newly constructed, although all the individual parts have been previously used.  I started off cleaning up the case I was going to build it in. Then I fitted an uprated power supply in the case, plus a bigger hard drive. The next step would have been to mount the motherboard, and it was at that point my enthusiasm collapsed for some reason. So I heated up another container of Chinese takeaway food (I had already had one for breakfast) and had an early dinner. At least I think it was early, but maybe with the clocks changing it wasn't that early. It is going to take working to a fixed time, like going to work, and coming home again, before my body clock resets to GMT.

 One thing I did do this morning was to finally edit the pictures of The Broadway Theatre, and upload them to flickr. It was quite a tedious process, and maybe it contributed to how edgy, or whatever it was I have been feeling today. The album can be found here -
Saturday 24th October 2015
10:58 BST.
  The weather was boring yesterday - it was grey in reality, and it was grey by nature. It wasn't hot, and it wasn't cold, but it was dry. Like most days recently, it was about 13° C. It's about 13° C this morning, and it is also grey outside - a medium grey ! One change if forecast compared to the previous few days - rain is forecast as a possibility for a short time this afternoon, and as a slightly more definite feature for a few hours in the early to mid evening. Curiously enough, sunshine is also forecast for the same time as this afternoon's rain. Tomorrow was going to be sunny, then it wasn't, but it seems it is going to be sunny again now. It will start a lot colder than recently - perhaps as low as 6° C, but the sunshine will push the temperature up into the heady heights of a not so sweltering 12° C ! - maybe.

 It is at 2am on Sunday morning (I think) that the clocks go back from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time. This should be good, but unfortunately it's bad. In theory I like the idea of Greenwich Mean Time. It is an international standard, and by jingo it's British ! Hurrah ! It reminds us that we once ruled the world until that upstart North America decided to go independent and try and rule the world themselves (and got their arse kicked every time they tried to take on any tin pot dictator using sealing wax and string against the Americans super expensive high tech weaponry - You would think they would have learned by now that the only thing that works is a fully armed gun boat and fixed bayonets.). Where Greenwich Mean Time falls down is that it accelerates the slide into the most depressing time of the year - the time when I travel to work in the dark, and come home in the dark. I hate it ! I hate it a lot !

 Good news....possibly ! Last night I did some photo editing of a bunch of pictures I took on Thursday night. They are of Hither Green station, The Station Hotel, and a few shops in the near vicinity. Having edited them, I uploaded them to flickr, and you can see them here - Sooner or later I'll get around to editing and uploading the pictures I took of the statues and carvings on The Broadway Theatre too.

 Did I do anything else yesterday......yes, I guess I did. I had a slightly productive day at work, and that helped the day go a bit quicker. On the way home I popped into Tesco, and although I seemed to buy quite a lot, it didn't cost that much (thanks to reduced price stickers), and I was slightly restrained about what I bought. One thing I bought was some extra bacon after reading a news item here - . It seems the World Health Organisation (a bunch of killjoys in league with anti-depressant manufacturers) have declared that bacon (and other processed meats) could be added to the list of stuff that cause cancer like cigarettes and asbestos. Well neither of those two has given me cancer yet, and so the idea of extra bacon seemed like an excellent idea.

 Last night's dinner included, yes you guessed it, bacon ! Just to increase the effect, whatever that effect might be besides yumminess, I also had some sausages as well. I also had some odds and sods, which included a few naughty snacks, but that processed meat was definitely the core part of my food last night.

 As well as shopping and eating, I also did some laundry last night. I was feeling a bit tired so I only washed 3 shirts and some underwear, and even that seemed like hard work. I probably should have left it all for this morning...although sometimes a limited bit of hard work makes you feel good (as well as knackered) once it's finished. While I was allegedly feeling good a lot of unaccounted time seemed to pass. It really blew out the idea that I was too tired to go out last night...well maybe not. I wasn't too sleepy to go out last night, but I was too weary to go out.

 I didn't get to bed until gone 10pm, and even when I was in bed I decided I could read for a bit before turning out the light. Once I turned out the light, and turned onto my side, I think I fell asleep very quickly (or I can't remember being awake for long). I then slept solidly until 4am - which is a silly time to wake up on a Saturday ! I spent about another 3 hours in bed after that, but I don't think I got much extra sleep.

 That lack of sleep is beginning to catch up with me now because I've had a busy morning. The first thing I did once I felt attuned to the real waking world was to do the rest of my laundry. Not only did I wash my other two work shirts, but I did a few other bit and pieces as well. When that was done I did something I rarely do (but really ought to do 20 times as frequently), and that was to do some cleaning in the bathroom. I do try to keep the toilet bowl and wash basin modestly clean, but this morning I did some far more extensive cleaning - I even got rid of loads of cob webs from all but the less accessible places.

 Another very important task I did this morning was to make a back up of my entire home partition (equivalent to "my documents", plus lots of other stuff on a Windows PC). With all the pictures I take I have become quite paranoid about losing them if my hard disk crashes and burns. So I try and make a back up quite frequently - in fact I make two, on two different external hard disk, although the second one is only of my photos. In an ideal world I would store the two hard disks "off site", but the best I can do is to keep them in different rooms so if the house burns down there is a slim chance that one hard disk might survive.

 I feel a lie down, and maybe a snooze coming on soon. After that there are a few things I might do, a few things I'd like to do, and somethings I can only dream of doing. The dreams remain personal, but what I'd like to do is to see The Spiders playing in The Hufflers Arms tonight. Unfortunately it is in Dartford. That is the last stop in that direction that my 60+ Oyster Card is valid, and so it would not cost anything to go there, but it is a long and tedious journey involving at least one change of train. I'm not sure if I can bring myself to go all that way, although I feel I probably ought to try if I can.
Friday 23rd October 2015
08:07 BST.
  Just like the Earth was described in The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, yesterday's weather could be described as harmless. Apart from a brief glimpse of sunshine first thing in the morning (and quite a colourful sunrise) it was moderately grey all day, but it was dry, and the temperature was what seems to be the average recently - 13° C. That's not warm, but nor is it cold. This morning lacked the colourful sunrise, but in most other respects it is forecast to be just like yesterday. Tomorrow is forecast to be basically the same, but with a few showers now and then. Sunday was forecast to be a sunny day a few days ago, but the latest forecast makes it seem like it will be the same as today, or yesterday. It might be described as harmless, but it is pretty boring !

 Last nights boozing session was pleasant - pleasant until they turned the TVs on, with the volume up too loud, for some silly ball kicking game. Then it was decidedly unpleasant ! The pub was The Station Hotel a few minutes walk from Hither Green station. At one point in it's life it became very run down, and it had some very bad reviews on beer in the evening. A few years ago it was refurbished, and apart from those bloody TVs it seems quite nice. One unusual thing is that when it was refurbished it reverted back to being an actual hotel. I have no idea what the rooms are like, or what they charge for them, nor do I think I am ever likely to want to stay there, but it's another box to tick in the pub spotters guide book (if such a thing exists).
station hotel near Hither
                  Green Station
 Getting to the pub was easy enough. I wasn't sure I would get to Waterloo East station in time after a few delays (including leaving work), but I managed to catch the 16:09 train, and 15 minutes later (or less ?) I was leaving Hither Green station, and walking towards the pub. Going home was also easy, but it nearly ended in disaster ! Actually, when I say easy I mean easy from the point of view of railway connections. It wasn't easy to get to the platform to catch the first of two trains.

 There is a short slope that has to be walked up to get to the subway under the railway lines. Then there is a long slope that seems to go up forever from halfway through the subway up to the the ticket office. Having got up to platform level I then had to go up and over the footbridge to the correct platform. It seemed like it should be hard work, but evidently the beer I had drunk gave me super powers (as it usually does), and although I was breathing a little bit deeply by the time I arrived on the correct platform, I didn't seem to be completely knackered, or passing out as I thought I would be.

 The almost disaster happened while changing trains at Lewisham. I thought that there was a 10 minute wait there. So I didn't rush down to the subway, along the subway, and back up to the other platform. When I reached the other platform there was a train already there, and a glance at the destination screen showed it was my train - and that it was 2 minutes late! If I hadn't leapt aboard a few seconds before the doors started to shut I would have faced a half hour wait for the next train. I have no idea where  the 10 minute wait went, although I have a suspicion it was due to one of those timetable quirks when they switch from rush hour to normal times.

 When I got off the train at Catford Bridge I should have gone straight home, but I was feeling quite hungry after not eating for 12 hours, and that previous food only being my breakfast salad. There was also the fact that I hadn't managed to do any shopping on the way home from work the previous night, and I didn't have much in the fridge that I could cook quickly (although I could have had a couple of cans of soup - and I wish I had done than). So the inevitable happened - I bought some chicken and chips on the way home. At least I managed to keep some control, and only bought a modest amount. In fact in terms of physical size it was probably less than I eat on many nights. It's just a shame that it contains so much that I try to avoid eating when I can.

 Well, it was a very nice dinner even if it was grossly unhealthy. It wasn't all that long after eating it that I went to bed. It was 8.30pm when I turned out the light, and it seems like I must have fallen asleep within minutes because I can't remember anything after turning out the light - not until about half past midnight when I woke up feeling cold because I was no more than  half under the duvet. With that fixed I fell asleep again, and didn't wake again until just gone 4am. From then on I only slept intermittently until I gave up and got up at 4.45am.

 Maybe it is because it is a Friday, but I feel sort of good today. I don't seem to have any negative affects from the beer I drank (I think it was 4 pints, but it may have only been 3), and most of me seems to be working quite well. I think that this morning I am convinced that something is definitely happening to some of my nerves - and in particular the nerves that were damaged when my chest was cut open for my quad heart bypass operation in 2013. More particularly the nerve that connects the feeling of touch from my left man nipple to my brain. Until recently my left nipple has been numb. Even earlier still, most of my man boob was almost numb. In the last couple of days sensation has returned to my left nipple, and that sensation is pain - which isn't nice. Fortunately it only happens now and then, and then only when wearing a shirt, and most likely when I have my mobile phone in the breast pocket of my shirt. I think it will be nice when that nerve completes it's repair, and normal sensation returns. This does make me a little apprehensive about how my two semi-numb fingers on my left hand will feel if the nerves to them eventually repair themselves. It seems there is the possibility of it being quite painful for a while (hopefully just for a while).

 Tonight I could go to The Mitre Hotel in Greenwich where Chain have a gig. It's easy to get to, but it is not my favourite venue, and I'm not sure if a few other things will take priority, or get in the way of going. I probably need to do some shopping on my way home from work, but maybe not for much. I think I might go to Lidl for my main shop tomorrow or Sunday. It is possible that I will buy something irresistible, and eat it for dinner, and which will leave me feeling too stuffed to go out. I also want to do some laundry if I can. Obviously I won't be able to do that if my belly is bulging too much, but if I do it may leave me too hot and sweaty, and knackered to want to go out. I guess the short version is that I have no idea what I'll be doing tonight - like most nights !
Thursday 22nd October 2015
07:50 BST.
  It was an atrocious day yesterday - although to give it's due, the atrocity had finished by the time I left work to go home. prior to that the skies ranged between dull grey and black, and it couldn't stop raining - sometimes so light it was hardly noticeable, and sometimes really heavy ! The rain probably stopped at about 3pm, and by 5pm, with little more than an hour of daylight to go, the sky had become milky white, but there was still no sign of the sun ! It was probably about 13° C yesterday, and the temperature hardly fell during the night, and it was  13° C when I walked to teh station this morning. What's more, is that if the forecast is correct, it will still be 13° C by mid evening.

 The forecast for today says that it should be dry, which seems unlikely considering it will be another very grey day. The temperature will, once again, stay pretty constant all day at 13° C again, and the forecast does suggest that the sun could break through for a few brief sunny intervals this afternoon - although we have just had a sort of sunny interval just now. The sun is still so low in the sky that it only lit up the tops of some of the higher buildings and trees, but it was definitely sunshine !

 The very worst, and the very best thing in the forecast is for this coming Sunday. One aspect of it is prone to change, but the other is set in stone. The thing that might change is the forecast that it will be a gloriously sunny day. That is obviously good, very good ! The thing set in stone is very, very bad. At 1am (maybe midnight) on Sunday, the clocks change from BST to GMT. That means sunrise will change to 06:40, and that means that a short while most of my journey to work will be back in daylight, although I'll still be walking to the station in darkness until sometime next spring. Unfortunately sunset will be brought forward to 16:45, and that is perilously close to when I get home from work. The day is getting ever closer when both my journey to, and from work will be done in darkness, and that really pisses me off !

 For some, yesterday was a special day. It was the day that the time travellers travelled to in the movie Back To The Future Part II which was made in 1989. I think I saw the movie, and I seem to recall it had some good ideas in it, but it was a little bit too Hollywood zany for my tastes. So I am rather indifferent about the date, and the idea of a theatrical re-release, and similar stuff is just another aspect of the worst of Hollywood, but evidently someone working for South West Trains is a fan.
screen shot from SW Trains
                  web site
 There were three things I was going to do after work yesterday, but one one and a quarter of them got done. The first thing was to get some shopping from Tesco. I didn't do that because I had to rush home as fast as possible. It was at least a month ago, and probably more, that my BT phone line went very crackly. I mainly use my mobile phone for all calls, and so I ignored it. Then a week ago the line went completely dead. Last Sunday I decided to report it to BT as a fault. On my way home from work I got a call from an Open Reach engineer.(Open Reach - the notionally independent company owned by BT who deal with customer faults). He was at my place, and having diagnosed the problem, needed access to run a new external wire into my house.

 So I rushed straight home before he escaped, and he did the repair. When he left I went to the corner shop to get a couple of things from there - that was the one quarter of the job done I described. The one job I didn't do was the laundry, and the one job I did do in it's entirety was to upload the pictures of Catford I took last Sunday to Flickr. Before uploading them I spent quite a lot of time adding a small "Bill From Catford 2015" logo, or watermark, or ID to them, but for these pictures I didn't do any other editing. Apart from that added logo they are a direct copy off the memory card in the camera. The point was to see how well my old "Traveller D1" 4 mega pixel, with 3x optical zoom, camera would compare to more modern cameras - and it seems to perform very well ! It's only real problem is that it is very slow to use. It takes a while for the picture to be taken after you hit the shutter button, and so you have to remember to keep the camera steady for a second or two, and it takes several tens of seconds before you can take another shot. You can see the results here -

  Some dreams I had seemed to suggest that I didn't sleep too well last night. One was getting a bit unpleasant, and I woke up at 4am to stop it - or maybe because my brain had run out of ideas to continue it. After 4am I didn't really get back to sleep again properly - although I was asleep when my alarm went off at 5am. The dreams I remember all seemed to be set in a university somewhere. That is strange because I have never been to a university, although I don't think there was anything to suggest that I was actually a student in these dreams.

 I don't recall much from the dreams, but confusion seems to have been a common thread. In one instance I was trying to find my way to a disused wing of a large building whose core was octagonal. I evidently found my way because I was in a dusty old room where a friend (who has no existence in reality as far as I can tell) had set up his lodgings because there was more space than in the official places. Then we seemed to be at some sort of party in a very grand hall type place, and my friend was getting very, very drunk. For some reason I seemed to be stone cold sober. Once again the scene jumped to outside in the street, and my friend left me to get on an old RT type ex-London bus that was being used to take all the drunken students home. At that point I was left alone in a street I didn't recognise, and in an unknown town. That left me in a predicament, and I wanted to start smoking again. That was obviously the only thing my brain could think of to extend the story, and with no idea left, it woke me up at 4am.

 I don't feel terribly good this morning, but I don't feel terribly bad either. So I guess that's all right then. I would feel happier if my guts didn't feel a bit bloated this morning, and if my chest was behaving itself. My chest was a bit sore, and a bit ratchetty - which is a new word to describe my chest because when I pull my shoelaces up it sounds (or feels) like a ratchet in my chest as all the ribs, ligaments, muscles, or whatever bits and pieces the surgeon may have left in my chest, go clickedy, clickedy, click !

 I won't be able to do my Tesco shopping tonight, and I am highly unlikely to do an laundry tonight. the reason is that it is Thursday, and Thursday is booze night ! It is possible that I may get a little drunker than usual tonight. The reason for that is that tonight's venue is the Railway Hotel (or Tavern) by Hither Green station, and that I might end up getting there a lot earlier than the others - and so start drinking earlier. The first train to Hither Green station leaves Waterloo East at 16:09 - that is the first train as in the first I can probably get. Getting that one is a little touch and go, and if I miss it the next is as 16:27. If I get the earlier train I will arrive at Hither Green at 16:24, and I'll be in the pub by 16:30 - a full half hour, or at least one pint earlier than the others.

 Getting home from the pub could be interesting. There is a bus from Hither Green station back to Catford, but I think the bus stop is by the other entrance to the station, at the distant end of the platforms, and on the other side of the railway lines. It would be a fair walk. The other option is to walk up the hill to where there is another bus stop. However, once I am at the top of the hill I may as walk down the other side where I just need to cross the main road to walk down the road with my house in it. It is a fair walk, maybe close to a mile, perhaps more, and it involves a hill ! It could be quite a healthy thing to do, and maybe, being more direct, it won't take much longer than getting the bus, but either way, I'll still probably be busting for a pee when I get home !
Wednesday 21st October 2015
08:40 BST.
  For an autumn day, it wasn't too bad yesterday. It was bright with plenty of sunny periods, and it wasn't too cold - although 13° C (the best I saw on my thermometer) was pushing the limits a bit ! Today is going to be very different on at least two counts. The first is that most of today will be dull and gloomy, and the second is that this morning, and the start of the afternoon will be wet. The forecast says that some of the rain will be heavy, although I haven't seen any heavy rain yet. With luck the rain will have stopped by the time I leave work to go home. The temperature today will probably be similar to yesterday, but in the damp and gloom it is going to feel colder. Tomorrow will be just as cool, and just as gloomy, but the forecast says no rain !
Catford Bridge station in
                  the rain
Waiting for the 06:30 train in the rain at Catford Bridge station this morning.
Garatt Lane, Earlsfield, SW18 on a cold and
                  damp morning
This was the view looking back towards the station as I walked down Garatt Lane towards work at approx 07:30 this morning. The rain was very light, or may have even stopped, but it was still very unpleasant.

 It was nice to get home from work yesterday - as it always is - but there was an extra reason last night. My friend Patricia dropped by for an hour or so, and we had a nice chat. It was the topping on what was a sort of nice day. The other nice thing is that a well known social media website finally agreed that I was who I said I was after seeing some carefully contrived ID, and re-instated my account. Many of my musician friends, who seem to like my photography, were very happy about it.

 I assume I was feeling good about it all. It is the sort of thing I should feel good about, and of course the sunshine should have added to the grand total of happiness, but my appetite last night suggests I was deeply disturbed...or in some sort of negative mood situation. I seemed unusually hungry, and ate all sorts of stuff. Unfortunately that included comfort food when I was feeling bored watching TV. Maybe I was coming down from too much excitement. Who knows ?

 I think I had a good sleep last night, but it did include what seemed a rather long, and very inventive dream. In this dream I was with my friend Aleemah - although she didn't look anything like Aleemah. I'm not sure who she actually looked like. Maybe it was no one I actually know. The setting of this dream was the Lewisham end of the main road called Rushey Green. In reality there are a few small shops there, but in the dream there were many shops all selling a wide variety of stuff, or providing a variety of services. We were walking down this long row of shops, and "Aleemah" was looking for something. At first it wasn't obvious what she wanted, but I found that it was a dress she wanted. There was a dress shop, but she wasn't interested in anything they had because she wanted a dress in "kit form" (why ??). A few shops later we came across a tailors shop, and she decided to get measured up for a dress (in a tailors shop ??), and get the tailor to cut the cloth to some pattern, but she would stitch it together. I knew this would take a long time so I gave her a 50p coin, and told her to buy herself a coffee, and I would meet her later at home. The dream faded out then.

 This morning I've had a few aches here and there, but with one exception, none of them out of the ordinary, and surprisingly none made worse by the cold damp weather. The exception was a bit of a strange one - my left nipple. This could be one of those "it could be a good sign" type pains (except few or none of them has actually turned out to be a good sign). As you may recall, my whole left man boob was fairly numb after my operation in 2013. During the last two years most of the feeling as returned except for the nipple itself (and maybe half an inch around it). On the whole this is of no great consequence. I don't use that nipple for anything useful. It has never learned to operate a smartphone, or read a railway timetable for instance. However it is highly noticeable when it suddenly feel very painful when my mobile phone, sitting in the breast pocket of my shirt, bangs against it, or rubs against it. I suppose I would sort of feel more complete to have normal feelings in that nipple (which sounds, and mainly is nonsense), and maybe some internal healing is still taking place, and normal feeling is returning. It is a shame it had to be so painful, although maybe only a five out of a scale of a tickle to agony. Fortunately it was also fairly short lived - just a minute or two.

 Tonight I might do either or both of two possible, low-ish priority things. I need just a couple of things from Tesco, and I might go in there on the way home. I don't think I have ever managed to come out of there with just a couple of things, and tonight is likely to be no exception - it seems that just before 5pm on a Wednesday is when they go mad with the reduced price stickers ! The other thing I probably ought to do is some laundry. It is surprising how much harder work it is to hand wash long sleeve shirts compared to short sleeved shirts. It would seem prudent to wash less at a time to make the job easier, and maybe three (Monday, Tuesday and today's shirt) would be a good number to do. Oh, there is one other thing I ought to do, and that is to prepare more photos to upload to Flickr. If I am really diligent I might be able to provide a link to all the photos I took of Catford last weekend tomorrow.
Tuesday 20th October 2015
08:02 BST.
  If yesterday hadn't been so grey you could say the weather was ignorable. It was dry, and it was just warm enough not to feel cold, and it was just cold enough not to feel warm. I think the temperature ended up pretty close to the forecast at 13° C (the forecast was actually for 14° C, and maybe it did hit that for a short period). During the night all the cloud went away. That caused two things. Firstly, the temperature had fallen to a rather cool 8° C when I left to come to work. Secondly, and more importantly, we had a sunrise this morning ! Some clouds are now appearing, and messing up the brief period of blue sky, but the forecast allows for this. If the forecast continues to be correct there will be a bright sunny afternoon, and the temperature will rise to a rather pleasant (for this time of the year) 15° C.  So today is going to be a bit good, but sadly, tomorrow is forecast to be terrible. Dark grey skies, copious rain, and rather cool - perhaps just 12° C.

 I'm trying hard to think how I was feeling yesterday, and nothing much comes to mind. I guess that for most of the time I was feeling OK. There was one exception to this. We had a meeting to discuss some technical stuff. It was only scheduled to last for 30 minutes, but actually went on for 90 minutes. I was standing up, mostly fairly still for the whole 90 minutes. By the end my legs, back, and rather strangely, my arms were all very uncomfortable. I reckon it was caused by poor blood circulation, and that was caused by the drugs I take to make my heart work less hard to reduce my blood pressure. It makes me even more convinced that they are doing more harm than good.

 My journey home from work was uneventful, but when I got home I had a few jobs to do. The first was to fit a new multi-card reader into my PC. The old one could read any form of memory card except one - the most common of cards, the secure digital, or SD card. It should have been able to read them, but the socket seemed to be very intermittent. So I ordered, and fitted a brand new reader. The other job was to upload some photos.

 My account with a famous social media website is still in contention as I try to prove that the name I want to be known by is my real name. I have sent them pictures of two forms of ID now, and I am awaiting a decision on whether they will accept the second. I suspect not, but we'll see. In the meantime I have set up an account with Flickr to upload my photos to. Uploading photos to there is a bit tedious because it seems that you can only upload one picture at a time. Not only that, but you can't upload them direct into a photo album. They are all uploaded into/onto a "camera roll", and from there they can be marked to go into a named album. It doesn't seem like an efficient workflow to me, but I guess I'll get used to it in time. The first photo album is of the pictures I took of The Spangles performing at The H.G. Wells Centre in Bromley on the 10th October 2015. You can find that album here -

 I probably ate a bit too much for dinner last night (as usual), and I felt a bit full when I went to bed. However, I seemed to sleep rather least I thought I did, but now I wonder if I did because I can't stop yawning. I seem to recall having a couple of erotic dreams, but I can't remember if they ended well, or even had an ending - I suspect not.For quite some time it seemed that I woke up feeling crap, and felt better once I got moving, but it feels a bit like the opposite today. My chest was clicking quite a lot as I made certain movements ( such as rolling over in bed, or pulling my shoes on), but it didn't seem to hurt. I can't pinpoint the time when it started, but I think it was on the train between Catford and Waterloo that my chest started to hurt.

 Sometimes it was the left hand side of my chest, and sometimes it was the right hand side. It eventually settled down to a pain that I can only imagine that a badly fitting bra might give - a sort of pain across the chest just under my man boobs. That is on top of a variable pain from high up in my stomach area. sometimes it feels like hunger, and sometimes like indigestion, and sometimes like an acidy stomach, and sometimes there is no pain at all. None of these pains is terrible, but in combination they are annoying. I think my breakfast is settling my stomach, and a couple of Ibuprofen tablets would probably sort out my chest - although it seems to be feeling more comfortable all by itself. I'll see how it goes.

 Tonight I have a couple of tasks to do. I want to buy a bottle or two of diet cola on the way home, and then once I am at home, I want to upload another photo album to Flickr. I think I'll upload all the pictures I took of The Broadway Theatre. They are not quite so large as the pictures of The Spangles, and so they should upload a bit faster, and the job will be less tedious. Then with that done I can go to bed, and hope that I can complete my erotic dreams this time !!
Monday 19th October 2015
08:08 BST.
  There was no sunshine on Saturday, but at least it was dry (although there might have been a shower while I wasn't looking), and it was cool rather than cold. Yesterday was an improvement on that in two ways. There was quite a lot more sunshine than I was expecting, and the temperature was one notch better than cool - probably in the tepid region. I think my thermometer was saying 15° C mid to late afternoon. This morning it is desperately grey, but it is not cold (although close to it). It is going to stay grey all day - although sometimes it will lighten up to mid grey, and at other times it will be dark grey. It is possible there could be a shower or two today, but the forecast says they will be very light if they happen. The top temperature today is forecast to be 14° C. At the moment it is looking like tomorrows weather will be a clone of today !

 On Late Saturday afternoon, and going on into the evening, I only did two things of note. The first was to do some laundry. This included a small bath towel, so was fairly hard work, and I might have run out of energy before I had rinsed that towel through properly - it's sometimes difficult to tell with towels. I added a little disinfectant to the final rinse, and hopefully that will stop it getting smelly when it is next used. The other thing of note was to order a takeaway meal.....perhaps I should say I ordered a meal to be delivered, but "takeaway" seems such a universal word.

 I ordered it from one of the fried chicken places that does peri-peri chicken. It is grilled rather than fried, and doesn't have a greasy breadcrumb-like coating, and in theory should be a lot healthier for me. The only trouble is that I didn't actually eat it. What I ate was the stuff I ordered to pad the order out to meet the minimum payment for delivery. That included some potato wedges. They are unhealthy. I also ate the chicken burger and the special burger (which turned out to be chicken as well). Both those were very unhealthy, but it was a most satisfying Saturday night meal.

 Saturday night's sleep was uneventful, and with no pressure to get to sleep by a certain time, or to get up at a certain time, it was pleasant and fulfilling (at least that is what I keep telling myself). I woke up yesterday morning with three definite things I wanted to do. The first was to go around the Broadway Theatre to take a heap of pictures of all the carvings and statues on it. The second was to go out with my 12 year old digital camera to take some pictures, and see how it fares against my more modern cameras. The third thing was to have a wander around the 99p and £1 shops buying crap that I probably didn't want.

 The picture taking went well once I realised I had my Canon SX40 camera set to the wrong setting. I got some good shots of The Broadway Theatre. Once I have decided on a couple of the best I'll show them here sometime soon. I combined that outing with the test of my old camera. The camera was an Aldi own brand special that cost me £199.99 on 1st July 2003. It is a Traveller D1 camera. It uses a 4 megapixel sensor, and has optical zoom, and an optical viewfinder. In many ways it was quite an advanced camera. It's greatest problem was the long shutter lag - the time from when you press the shutter button, until it actually takes the picture. It also takes an irritatingly long time to get itself ready to take the next shot. However, when I remember to hold the camera steady for a second or two after pressing the shutter button, it does take remarkably good pictures under quite a lot of lighting conditions. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that the original "Traveller" branded 1850maH NiMH AA cells that came with it still hold a reasonable charge after all this time (although I fitted some 2500maH cells to take yesterday's pictures). Once again I will try and decide on a few pictures that demonstrate how good it is, and try and show them here soon.

 After taking so many pictures I seemed to spend hours editing them for display elsewhere, and that, plus some reading, accounts for most of my time yesterday. Being fairly busy meant that I ate less than I would have if I was bored. I did have a few naughty treats that I had bought from the £1 shop (or was it the 99p shop ?). Some of the food I ate yesterday was healthy or healthy-ish. My Sunday dinner, or early afternoon meal, was some fishcakes, and because there was four of them, nothing else. My early evening meal was a cheese salad based on a ready made bowl of salad with added chunks of cheese, plus an extra diced large "beefsteak" style tomato all dressed with olive oil and raspberry vinegar plus a good sprinkling of dried basil. The latter is nowhere near as good as fresh basil, but when it's all you have.....

 I should add at this point that one of the pair of fishcakes had Thai spices and lemongrass in it, and the other had some sort of other spices. I mention this because I feel the need to tell the world about the unpleasant effect something I ate had on the smell of my urine. Everyone is probably aware of how famous asparagus is for making your wee smell weird, well I didn't have any asparagus, but something I ate, and I reckon it was in those fishcakes, made me wee smell really weird in the evening - even though it was probably as much as 6 or 7 hours after eating them.

 I didn't feel sleepy when I went to bed last night, and I ended up getting to sleep a lot later than I would have desired, but once asleep I seemed to sleep quite well apart from one episode of dreaming. I was visited by Servelan, the most evil woman in the federation universe, in my dream. She used her seductive powers on me for a very strange reason. I have no idea how I did it, but somehow I managed to fulfil her desire to get awarded two pocket handkerchief sized plots of land in an allotment. In the dream I assumed she wanted to grow some vegetables, but upon later consideration it occurs to me that she might have wanted somewhere to bury bodies !

 This morning I feel occasionally good - but with a few caveats. I do seem to have more energy than I would have thought I would have. For instance walking to the station seemed curiously easy, and there was the completely bizzare idea that I felt light on my feet when running down stairs - going up stairs was a different matter....although it didn't feel as if I had to put much effort into going up the stairs of the footbridge at Catford Bridge station. It is possible that if I didn't have a headache (a quite localised pain) and a stomach ache (that didn't seem to be hunger, but seems to be fading after eating my double salad breakfast) I could almost describe myself as feeling quite good. Even my chest seems to be mostly behaving itself this morning.

 Here's a couple of pictures that will have to substitute for the pictures I took yesterday. I might have only shown these on a social media website, but I can't do that any more. I have been barred because I can't, or won't reveal sufficient documents to confirm the name I wish to be known by on that social media web site. I took these pictures at Waterloo station this morning. I am not sure what the point of the promotion is. I thought people bought pumpkins if the needed them. Maybe there is more to it than just flogging pumpkins.
pumpkin patch
View from the balcony down onto the pumpkin patch.
pumpkin patch at ground level
View from ground level.
Saturday 17th October 2015
15:30 BST.
  It was without doubt a very gloomy day yesterday. There was not a hint that the sun was alight above the sometimes thick clouds, and sometimes super deluxe thickness clouds. It was also quite cool, although I don't think it was as cool as the 12° C that one very pessimistic forecast said it would be - at least it didn't seem to feel that cool. I might have estimated 14° C. This morning started off very dull, and this afternoon is still very dull. Once again it has been dry, and the temperature is about the same as yesterday - quite cool, but not cold. Even early morning was not that cold being only a degree or two less than now. Tomorrow will be less gloomy, but always cloudy, and the temperature may creep up to 14° C - which is 2° C higher than the official forecast for today or yesterday.

 I guess I must have been feeling pretty good after all yesterday. Either that or I had some sort of brain seizure, and went slightly mad. When I left work I decided to go home via the scenic route. This meant getting the train from Earlsfield one stop to Clapham Junction. The London Overground from there as far as Denmark Hill, and then changing for a train to Catford station. I have no idea why I just described it as the scenic route because it is not terribly scenic on a brilliant sunny day, and very terribly dull on a dull day like yesterday. It is also quite unpleasant to go that way. The London Overground train has incredibly uncomfortable longitudinal seats, and the  train from Denmark Hill to Catford is quite full enough that you have to stand all the way.

 The real kick in the teeth is that it is no longer any faster than going via Waterloo now. Until one of the recent timetable changes it used to be 5 minutes faster than going via Waterloo (not including 2 minutes to walk from Catford station to the exit of Catford Bridge station. Now, including that couple of minutes walk, it takes exactly the same time ! The only other thing going for it, that it doesn't go through zone 1, and so was a little cheaper, is nullified because it is free on my 60+ Oyster Card - (but only in the afternoon).

 Oh well, at least it was a small diversion from the usual boring reality of the journey home from work, and I would not have done it if I hadn't been feeling OK and adventurous. When I arrived home I had a small snack, and once again because I was feeling OK, I set about washing 4 long sleeve work shirts, and some underwear. Now I have to admit that knackered me. It seems incredible that just adding full length sleeves to a shirt can make them so much harder to wring out !

 Once all the washing was hanging up to dry I started to get my dinner together. It was a slightly more moderate dinner than I ate the previous night. I could almost have been tempted to go to bed, maybe only to read, after I had eaten dinner, but I felt sort of restless, and so I forced myself to watch some TV.....or maybe the temptation to watch a couple of old episodes of Porridge was too tempting to turn down.

 When I eventually got to bed, about 10pm, I didn't do any reading, and fell asleep quite quickly. On the whole I slept quite well, but I did wake up in the night for 10 - 20 minutes - at least I think I did, but I cannot remember why. Maybe it was a dream. My last hour or two of sleep was very intermittent, but I did stay in bed 2 and a half hour later than usual. Maybe I might have been able to stay in bed a bit longer if I had really tried, but I was seeing Aleemah this morning, and I had to get up and do a bit of housework.

 Today's visit from Aleemah was slightly unusual in that I dragged her off the usual route from the station to the pub to do a bit of photography. With that done we had breakfast in the Wetherspoons pub, and then came back here to watch a quite tedious, and totally not scary horror movie on DVD. It was so "blah" that I can't even recall what it was called.
one of two owls on The
                  Broadway Theatre in Catford
one of two owls on The
                  Broadway Theatre in Catford
 These two pictures have nothing to do with that awful movie. They both adorn the outside of The Broadway Theatre in Catford. I had recently heard about one existing, and decided to take a picture of it, but upon closer inspection I found two of them (and there is a possibility of a third or fourth on the rear of the building, but we only passed the front and side on our way to the pub). Superficially both owls look the same - as if they had come out of a mould - but look closer and you can see small differences). There are other carvings around the building, and a future project is to try and take pictures of them all.

 This afternoon I am doing nothing, and this evening I am doing nothing. One of those is probably untrue because I have some laundry to do. It is already soaking in bio detergent, and I'll probably do all the rinses sooner or later, and get it hung up to dry. One thing I will do this evening, although it's not something that could be classed as "doing stuff" is to order a takeaway. I'm not going out, and I fancy a treat. All I have to decide is what to order. A chicken shish with salad is damn close to healthy, and that is what I may order, but the idea of cod and chips is very attractive. Maybe I'll confess what it was tomorrow.....or maybe not....drool !
Friday 16th October 2015
08:20 BST.
  It was cool and mostly rather dull yesterday, but at least it stayed dry....or to put it another way, I didn't personally get rained on, although I did see evidence of rain I had missed. The forecast for yesterday said it might only reach 12° C. It was a bit cool, but it didn't feel that low. Perhaps it was closer to 14° C, or maybe not. Overall, it wasn't a terrible day. That description could be reserved for today. If the forecast is correct there will be no evidence that that the sun is still alight. At the alleged time of sunrise it was almost still like night time here in Earlsfield. At least the starting temperature of 11° C was a positive step up from yesterday, but that is the only good thing that can be said about today if the forecast is correct. Maybe there is some hope that the forecast is wrong. For instance it didn't mention that I would feel some light rain on my face as I got off the train at Earlsfield station. However, if the rest of the forecast is close to right than it is going to be a very grim day indeed. It is going to be very grey for much of the morning, and when it isn't grey it will be black. Most of the afternoon is going to see horizon to horizon black clouds, and the best the temperature will manage is just 12° C. The even sadder thing is that the forecast for tomorrow is going to be very similar - apart from a cooler start.

 After a good start to the day, I continued to feel fairly good almost all day at work yesterday. I did flag a bit during the afternoon, but I felt fine again when I left work. I had to get to Shortlands station (one stop before Bromley on The Catford Loop Line), and the route I chose to use was to get the train from Earlsfield one stop to Clapham Junction, and then to get the Highbury And Islington London Overground service as far as Denmark Hill. From there I caught a train straight to Shortlands station - which stopped at every station on the way - as I knew it would, but it was still very tedious - more so because the train was rather full, and I had to stand for most of the journey.
The Shortlands Tavern
 This is The Shortlands Tavern. It faces onto the railway station - except that the station is on top of a brick viaduct just off the edge of the right hand side of the picture. Unfortunately the station entrance is on the other side of the viaduct, and it's a good 5 minutes walk down the road, under the railway, and back towards the station. The pub had a good selection of well kept beers, but the building itself seemed very musty as if it was decaying (and maybe it was). That musty smell was soon replaced by a thick greasy pork pie smell from the kitchen.
The Shortlands Tavern pub
 I probably ought to get in the habit of taking more pictures of pub signs. They do seem to be a dying art, but this one looked fresh and crisp. I expect if I did enough research I could find the meaning of the shield and heraldic type stuff on the sign. It would probably be interesting, but maybe not interesting enough to waste hours of research.
boars head with terrifying
                  teeth !
 One of the features inside the pub is this fez wearing boars head. I always knew that boars could be particularly dangerous, but I had never appreciated just how big their teeth were. I definitely would not like this chap chewing my leg off ! One other feature of the pub was the toilets. They were spotlessly clean and in very good condition. There was a lock on the cubicle door, and a good supply of toilet paper in there. Sadly I have to award to negative points. The first is for the hand drier. It is one of those bloody awful Dyson things. We have one at work, and I refuse to use it because the air blade blast is almost painful, and the jet like roar hurts my ears. The second negative point was that despite looking spotlessly clean, there was quite an unpleasant sewage smell in there.

 I had three pints (as planned) before going home. When I left the pub I was feeling quite good, and maybe even a little drunk, but I started to flag a bit when I got back to Catford, and I began to feel quite cool. So it was nice to get indoors, and put some heating on, and to have some dinner after eating nothing but salad for breakfast almost 12 hours earlier. I might have been a little over enthusiastic about dinner. I doubt I really needed the sandwiches after the Tesco "Finest" (and reduced price) curries, but I had those sandwiches anyway. Then I did little more than go to bed.

 If it were not for one thing I would have said that I had slept well for yet another night. The thing that spoiled it was that I woke up at some time in the night with cramp starting my my right foot. That wasn't awful, but when I started to get out of bed to put some weight on my foot my right calf muscle immediately started cramping too. Now that was bloody painful ! After pacing up and down beside my bed for 20 (30, 40 ?) seconds I managed to get all the muscles reset back to their normal tensions and stuff, and got back in bed. Fortunately I seemed to fall asleep again fairly quickly after that.

 This morning I don't feel nearly as good as yesterday morning. I can probably blame some of it on a hangover, but it's not the conventional pounding head type hangover. It could be a high blood glucose level type hangover though - the type that saps your energy. The other thing is that this morning my chest is painful. It is a bit weird. Yesterday I complained that it felt like my chest "sub chassis" (the ribs, muscles and ligaments) seemed to be swinging loose as I walked along, but apart from feeling a bit unpleasant, it didn't actually hurt. This morning it feels like everything in my chest is tight, and not swinging about, but this time it does hurt ! It hurts when I twist my body in some ways, and it hurts when I sit down on a train seat using some sort of motion that I can't describe or replicate unless I do it without thinking about it. It can also carry on hurting while walking - perhaps more so when walking on the lethal cracked and dipped pavements of Earlsfield where you are forever lurching here and there to avoid the worst pot holes, loose paving slabs and other death traps.

 I think it will be very nice to get home again after work. I might wash a few shirts when I get in, but it depends on how I feel. I don't have to wash them tonight, tomorrow, or even on Sunday, but it would probably be wise not to put the deed off for too long. Other than that, I have nothing to do tonight, and while that might be boring for some, it seems highly appealing to me from this end of the day !
Thursday 15th October 2015
08:00 BST.
  Yesterday morning was quite pleasant with some sunshine, but then things went downhill. Before explaining why, let me correct a sentence I wrote yesterday "An occasional ray of sunshine may still make it through the clouds, but it was probably rain more than shine.". That should have ended ...but it will probably rain more than shine. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever learn to type proper English - my second language after Total Bollocks, and the Total Bollocks keeps leaking through ! Anyhow....It did get quite gloomy as home time approached, and when I left work it was raining - albeit so lightly that I felt a rain drop on my face no more frequently that one single drop per second. My train from Earlsfield passed through some heavier rain on it's way to Waterloo. Back in Catford there were plenty of puddles to show that there had been some much heavier rain earlier, but that was my total experience of yesterday's rain - which was quite good considering it was rather cool yesterday, and that rain would have felt very cold. Yesterday's temperature probably only rose to about 13° C, but today could be even cooler - just 12° C, and it will be a very gloomy day that will end with rain starting at 5 or 6pm for a couple of hours. This is from the latest forecast. At 5am this morning it was forecast to be 14° C by 4pm, and the rain would have been this morning. Tomorrow may, or may not be slightly warmer, 14° C, and it may or may not be dry but still very gloomy.

 In the last few days it has felt like I was getting over some sort of illness, and yesterday seemed to be the day when I was fully over it. I have no idea what that illness may have been, but last week (or earlier) I probably mentioned that I felt like I had some impossible mild version of 'flu. There were still plenty of things I could moan about yesterday, but it did sort of feel that I had reached some sort of normality - although "normal" is a very variable thing. The important thing was that I didn't feel too uncomfortable yesterday, and going home didn't feel particularly taxing (although of course it was still a waste of an hour of my life).

 As predicted, I went home via Tesco, and my timing was either good or bad depending on how you view it. I arrived there just in time to find that half the sandwiches had half price stickers on them, and there were plenty of other reduced price bargains to be had as well. It is unfortunate that most of the reduced price stuff was stuff that I should avoid, or at least avoid too much off, although of course the real unfortunate thing was that I was too weak willed to ignore all the bargains that surrounded me. Practically everything in my basket had a reduced price sticker on it.

 I could have feasted on reduced price stuff when I had my dinner, but apart from my just-got-home-relaxing-and-checking-my-email-snack, my dinner was not based on anything I had bought from Tesco. It could best be described as peas and cheese. It was a couple of Aldi "steamed vegetables" bowls of green vegetables, most of which were peas, but with a few bits of broccoli and stuff thrown in for good measure, together with probably far more cheese than was needed melted on top. In theory, probably a very warped theory, particularly with regard to ignoring how much cheese I added, it could have been a slightly healthy meal. There was one negative aspect that I suspect will have a more immediate effect on my health, or probably others health. All those pulses are probably going to give me the terminal farts !

 I went to bed feeling full, but not stuffed, and I think I ended up sleeping quite well. I was asleep soon after 9pm, and I only woke up briefly a couple of times in the night. Now I wish I could remember a particular dream, and I was able to describe it accurately, but the fine, and even medium fine details are now lost to the four winds. What I do remember is that it was a dream within a dream. I was dreaming that I was dreaming that I was having a pee. Such a dream made me wake up in the dream, and I hurried to the toilet where I let go like a firehose. That made me wake up properly in a sort of panic, and go to the toilet without stopping to consider how my bladder actually felt. Quite why I had this dream within a dream about peeing is a mystery because having woken up and gone to the toilet I managed to produce about a dessert spoonful of pee only after a lot of concentration rather than the gallons in my dream !

 The trend for feeling like I have reached some sort of normality continues this morning. From time to time something aches for a bit, and then goes away again. Sometimes it can be something bizzare. Just prior to getting out of bed I had a medium strength pain in my right little finger ! I have no idea what could have caused it, and I have no idea why I just seemed to ignore or forget about it a few seconds after getting out of bed. My main complaint is still my chest. Fortunately it is going through a quiet phase recently, but it can be provoked.

 For instance, last night, just after I got into bed, I started to cough. I presume it is probably something dreadful, with no cure, that makes me start coughing. It happens at least once a fortnight while I am on a train (usually a morning train), and probably twice a week when I am in bed. Last night I coughed maybe a dozen times, and while I did it while lying on my right side, it was a bit painful. The pain was from the muscles and ligaments of my chest (rather from inside it). This morning my chest doesn't seem to hurt, but it is still annoying me.

 On the whole, my journey into work was painless and comfortable, but while walking along it often felt like my chest was swinging from side to side like a large pendulous belly. It was not the first time I have thought that my whole chest sub chassis is detached from the rest of my skeleton. The only other mystery is why when it is swinging around it didn't seem to hurt this time. Oh well, I guess that it is a bonus that it didn't hurt.

 It was while walking from the station to work that I thought flitted through my mind. It was probably triggered by seeing one of the employees here sitting on the train, and not getting up until the train was almost stationary at Earlsfield station. He is probably 10 years younger than me, and although not slim, he is a quite a bit smaller than me. For some reason he didn't appear to be very agile, although because he went straight to work, and I went the opposite way to Sainsburys, I was unable to judge how he walked to work. This observation, although incomplete made me wonder just how well I am doing for a 60 year old. Once upon a time I used to think that 60 was a very old age, and I guess I still do despite the possibility that I could live another 40 years (although another 5 - 10 years is more realistic). I might suffer from many aches and pains these days, but many of them seem to be a direct consequence of my operation 2 years ago, and they don't seem to be getting worse any more, but few of them seem to affect my mobility. It's a bit of a grandiose thought, probably just delusion, but this morning I thought I probably wasn't doing too bad.

 Tonight should be interesting. It's booze night, and tonight we are meeting in The Shortlands Tavern. It is conveniently right next door to Shortlands station, and that is most conveniently on the line from Catford station (not Catford Bridge station). There are a couple of ways I can get there. The simple solution is to get to Catford Bridge as normal, and then walk the 2 minute walk to Catford station, and get the train there. Alternately I can get the train from Earlsfield as far as Clapham Junction station, and then change to the London Overground service as far as Denmark Hill. from there I can get a Sevenoaks bound train that not only stops at Catford station, but also stops at Shortlands station. Now I just have to decide which will be the less irritating route !
Wednesday 14th October 2015
08:10 BST.
  It wasn't that nice yesterday. While there were a few sunny intervals in the morning and/or early afternoon, it turned almost gloomy mid afternoon, and cold breeze made it feel cooler than the 13° C it actually was. It was a real taste of autumn going into winter....well maybe not winter. I guess winter would mean temperatures under 10° C in the afternoon, and even less than the chilly 7° C when I left to come to work this morning. At the moment the sky is very blue, or at least the bit of it I can see through my office window. The forecast says that most of this morning, and the first part of the afternoon, will see sunny periods, but then, just as I am going home from work, the clouds will thicken. An occasional ray of sunshine may still make it through the clouds, but it was probably rain more than shine. The highest temperature today is forecast to be 13° C, and that is the same as the forecast for tomorrow - except that tomorrow it will only achieve that for a couple of hours at best. Much of tomorrow is forecast to be cloudy and rather cool, but it could stay dry.

 Once again, at least I think it is once again, I didn't feel too bad at work, and like I think I said yesterday, there may have been a few odd minutes here and there when I felt fairly good. I can't say that I felt particularly good going home from work. Although, having said that, I suppose it didn't feel to be particularly difficult or taxing to walk from work to the station. It still felt annoying to have to do it because I couldn't see a bus coming up the hill that I could use my 60+ Oyster Card on for a free ride - which is my right as an old bastard !

 It didn't exactly feel like hard work walking from the station to home, but I was rather glad to get home and have the chance to sit down and relax. I didn't take that chance though. At least not at first. I had a little washing up to do followed by putting the first course of my dinner in the oven. Then I could sit down and have a snack of a past it's use by date ready prepared chicken Caesar salad with a few added extras (like hot chilli sauce and some more cheese). After eating that, and checking my email and stuff, I decided there was one thing I ought to do before eating more and relaxing, and that was to trim my beard, and wash my hair.

 Trimming my beard, washing my hair, and eating a not very healthy dinner, was the only thing of note that I did last night. By 8pm I was in bed reading, and by 8.30pm I think I was asleep. Some of my sleep was good, or seemed to be, but there was one period, around midnight, when I had a small period of insomnia. It was because I just couldn't seem to get comfortable to go to sleep again after waking up for what might otherwise have been for a very short period of time.

 One major source of discomfort was my left elbow, and another was my chest. I had a really annoying pain centred around my left elbow, and it was just like the pains that used to keep me awake in the first month or two after coming out of hospital back in 2013. It was diagnosed than as nerve damage that had occurred while I was on the operating table, and I think with some suggestions from the doctors, I believed, mostly incorrectly, that the pain was the nerves regenerating themselves. It was all probably tied in with the numbness in my left hand. As the pain got less and less over the course of several long weeks, my hand did improve, but to this day two fingers are still almost numb. I have no idea what the elbow pain was this morning. My fingers don't feel any different, but maybe there is one small difference - although how they are connected is a total mystery - but that small, very small difference, too small to be certain about, concerns my left breast. My left breast, but mostly around the nipple, was quite numb for ages after my chest was cut open for my operation in 2013. It slowly improved as time went by, but seemed to stop improving many months back. This morning I can almost imagine it is less numb than it was, but it's a stupidly hard thing to judge !

 This morning seems to be another morning when all my traditional aches and pains are still there, but somehow seem to be milder than usual. In some cases they are so mild that it takes hardly any distraction to ignore them completely. The exception is the creaks and groans from my chest. It seems that will never go away, and I am saddled with it for the rest of my miserable life, but by comparison there have been times when it has been far, far worse by a large degree. At the moment, as I sit here in the warm,  I am hardly aware of it, but I know there are lots of very common, and necessary movements I can make that would aggravate it.

 Tonight I have to do something very dangerous ! There are a few things I need that I won't be able to get tomorrow, and so I have to get them tonight. That means going home via Tesco, or maybe another supermarket. I don't think I fancy going out of my way to go home via Lidl even though that would involve less temptations (probably). I think I'll be going home via Tesco, and that could lead to many temptations to buy food that is not good for me despite being so delicious. What I had for dinner last night was bad enough, but it would be so easy to do far worse ! The reason I have to do this terrible deed tonight is that tomorrow night is drinking night, and even if there was a convenient supermarket on the way home (which there might be depending on where we all meet) it would be far more dangerous to go shopping for food while drunk !
07:14 - 8 minutes before
                  sunrise today
 I am not sure how I did it, but I managed to get the 07:03 train from Waterloo this morning, and it got me to Earlsfield, where the picture was taken, at 07:14 (or 07:15 by the time I got the picture lined up and taken). That was 8 minutes before sunrise this morning. Thanks to clear skies, it was as good as daylight when I got off the train - unlike Monday when it was still very gloomy despite it being after sunrise ! Provided I ignore the depressing fact that it was most definitely still night when my train arrived at Waterloo East station, it makes for an uplifting start to the day. Just don't remind me what happens on the 25th of this month.
Tuesday 13th October 2015
08:07 BST.
  The days just keep getting shorter and colder ! For some unknown reason this seems to make the weather forecasts more accurate - unless it is purely the case that the weather is very stable at the moment, and most days are like the day before. Yesterday was like the day before it, but maybe the afternoon was a bit sunnier (or was it ?). It was certainly dry, but it was not really warm. There may have been the odd puff of air at 14° C, but 13° C was probably a fairer measurement for the warmest hours of the day. This morning has started out semi-clear, and that let the temperature drop to 7° C. There is also quite a cool breeze to go with it. This morning is supposed to be the sunniest, but maybe there could be some sunny intervals this afternoon. With the wind coming from the east it is going to be quite a cool feeling day, although the temperature might reach 13° C. Yet again, tomorrow will be almost the same as today. Things might change on Friday with a splash of rain, and temperatures no better than 12° C, but Saturday may see a recovery to temperatures back to 14° C, although that is so many days away that the forecast is probably just fantasy.

  There were times when I felt rough at work yesterday, but there were also times when I felt no worse than neutral, and I think there were a few minutes when I might have felt slightly good. I don't know what that averages out to, but I know it was nice to leave work, and head for home. It certainly wasn't warm as I made my way home, but it didn't feel cold either, and with some sunshine to accompany me it was possibly a very slight pleasure for an unavoidable necessity. I headed straight home without stopping at any shops along the way. I did stop to take a photo.
mother and daughter
 I have absolutely no idea why I couldn't step back a bit more to make it easier to get these two mobile "cherry pickers" in the shot, although being in the shade obscures the bottom of both machines. The right hand machine is the one I showed in darkness yesterday. The smaller one also has no lights or reflectors, and something I forgot to mention yesterday, is that neither has a licence plate for driving on the road. So I still question whether they should really be left parked on the road.

 When I got home I had a small snack of a pot of three bean salad, and two small (25gm ?) packets of crisps. I really the latter were very naughty, but I couldn't resist when I knew what my next task had to be. That task was to plunge my rubber gloved hands into cold soapy water (urghhh !) to continue washing a couple of white shirts, plus a few other items. The next step, the rinsing, was done in warm water, and so was less unpleasant. Despite soaking for 24 hours, those old white shirts did not come up gleaming "Persil" white, but they don't look too bad now they are dry this morning. The next time I wash them I'll try to remember to soak them in bio detergent. Whether that will help is anyone's guess, but it has to be tried just to satisfy my curiosity. Those shirts don't need to be gleaming white for the work I do. It wouldn't even matter if I tie-dyed them. Now there's an idea....

 For my proper dinner I had a pair of rather tasty "Thai flavoured" fish cakes. I must remember to get some more of them when I go to Aldi next time. I also had some cheese on toast - except it wasn't actually toast, and it was no ordinary cheese. I thought I had better use up the loaf of bread I had bought from the Turkish supermarket last week. It was still OK, but past it's best. A similar thing could be said about the cheese I had ordered all the way from Holland. As well as having cumin seeds in it instead of caraway seeds, it was rather hard, and getting harder all the time. Some chunks of that cheese on some blobs of tomato purée on top of thick slices of bread, and all nuked in the microwave turned out to be rather nice - certainly nicer than the ingredients individually.

 That dinner on top of the snack I had earlier, left me feeling pleasantly full without feeling stuffed, and evidently made going to sleep quite easy, although it didn't feel like it at the time. It was another of those nights where you get in bed, and think you will never fall asleep - except five minute later (probably) you are fast asleep, and only realise it when you wake to see many hours have passed. I feel reluctant to admit it for some unknown reason, but I guess under duress I would probably admit to getting a reasonable to fairly good night's sleep last night.

 This morning I initially felt tolerably good, but there were some negative things. The first negative thing was hardly surprising - I felt bloody cold in my bathroom ! It had an awful lot to do with the bathroom window being open, and a chilly breeze blowing outside. Closing the window provided a very effective cure. A couple of Ibuprofen tablets would probably gone a long way towards clearing my aching chest. I think the pain in my chest was worst while sitting on the train (either of them), although "chest"  is rather too vague a description of where the pain was, and "pain" is probably a bit dramatic too.....

 The "aches" were over quite a large percentage of the front and sides of my torso. Some bits were worse. My left breast is a typical area where the ache can be a bit strong sometimes, and this morning both my left and right sides seemed to ache a bit more than usual. Sneezing, which I seemed to do quite a lot this morning, was actually briefly painful. While Ibuprofen tablets would have been effective, or should have been, walking was also a fairly effective cure. I don't feel too bad now I've been at work for a while. The only other thing that has caused some added discomfort was, and maybe still is, wind. I would say trapped wind, but there have been some occasions when it has been far from trapped (as some nearby people on the train as it approached Clapham Junction would probably agree !).

 Oh well, I don't feel that bad right this minute, and for some reason I reckon I'll feel OK at work today - although that is no excuse for not wishing the working day would come to an end as quickly as possible. I don't think I have anything planned for when I get home. I'm certainly not going to start doing any laundry for just one shirt - the shirt I am wearing right now. Maybe I'll watch some TV, or maybe I'll do some reading, or perhaps I ought to do a bit more work on a web page project I've started in anticipation of being kicked off a well know social networking website !
Monday 12th October 2015
08:25 BST.
  It wasn't very warm, little more than 14° C, but it was nice and sunny yesterday. This morning the temperature had dropped to about 9° C thanks to a lot of cloud that is still filling most of the sky. I can see a few small blue patches, and if one of them happens to be in the right place we could see a burst of sunshine, but the forecast reckons that only the last hour of daylight will see and lengthy periods of sunshine. Most of today will be varying shades of grey, and with the temperature not expected to get any higher than 13° C, it is not the recipe for a good day. Tomorrow may be a bit brighter, but no warmer as we slide into winter. Sunset is at 18:14 tonight, and it can only get worse....well sort of. The good news is that the forecast for today has changed to show that the hour of solid sunshine forecast for 5pm has now been spread out to "sunny periods" from 4pm until sunset.
Earlsfield three minutes
                  after sunrise this morning
 There are two trains I most commonly get from Waterloo to Earlsfield. One is the 07:06 service to Hampton Court, and the other is the 07:09 service to Epsom. This morning I got the 07:09. If I had got the 07:06 I would have arrived at Earlsfield three minutes earlier at 07:18, and by coincidence that was the exact time of sunrise this morning. It won't be long until I will be arriving at work during the hours of darkness, and that is deeply depressing, but not as deeply depressing as travelling home from work in darkness. I probably have something like a month to go before I arrive home in darkness, and and 3 or 4 weeks after before I leave work in darkness. Sigh !

 I thought I felt pretty terrible yesterday, but it was probably more to do with boredom and winter depression. I actually did a few useful things, and felt OK for doing them. The one thing I didn't achieve was to think of a good enough reason to go out, and so I stayed in all day. After a breakfast of sausages (and nothing else apart from some mustard and tomato sauce) I rested and read for quite some time. I guess it was getting on for lunchtime when I decided that the couple of Ibuprofen tablets I had earlier had killed enough pain and discomfort to allow me to wash some shirts (or maybe it was the sausages and not the pain killer).

 I expected that washing 4 shirts, and some underwear would be really tiring, and leave me aching. I should have known better. It actually left me feeling sort of good. So I went on to do a bit of housework. It started with painfully crawling under the very wide shelf at the bottom of my left hand bookshelves in the front room to pick up an old scrap recordable CD, and some other stuff that had been out of reach. I bagged that, and some other old junk that I no longer needed (and probably hadn't needed for years). Then I decided to dust the TV. That lead by some convoluted route to cleaning the windows in the front door, and also lightly cleaning the top half of the door itself (I couldn't be arsed to bend down to do the bottom of it). That all felt most satisfying, and I resumed life as a slob, laying on my bed reading, with renewed dignity, or whatever word it is I am looking for.

 Later on I decided to sort out some of my shirts. Today might be the last day this year that I wear a short sleeved shirt to work. So I've moved half a dozen short sleeved shirts into the spare room, and brought out half a dozen long sleeved shirts. To be precise I actually brought out eight long sleeve shirts, but only six are ready to wear. The other two were white shirts, and they probably haven't been worn for a good couple of years, and look a little brown from when I last used to smoke. So I've left them soaking, together with some t-shirts in what was supposed to be bio detergent if I had thought about it properly -  but didn't ! Somehow I hope to have the energy and enthusiasm to deal with that cold soapy bucket of washing when I get home from work tonight. I hope those shirts come up nice and white - but I am not holding my breath.

 Last night was one of those nights when I really missed not smoking a packet of cigarettes - not that such nights are that uncommon. Even a couple of large whiskies didn't seem to take the urge away. Oh well, such is boredom and ennui. The good news is that I seemed to sleep quite well last night. I fell asleep soon after 9pm, and the first time I woke up was 2.30am. At that point I thought I was doomed to lay awake for the other half of the night, but while I contemplated that depressing idea I fell asleep far, far faster than I expected, and didn't wake again until about 4.15am. I even managed to fall asleep after that until my alarm finally woke me at 5am.

 I didn't feel that bad this morning. Even my chest felt a little less crunchy than usual. Of course it still made the usual popping and grating, and crunching sounds/feelings when I put my shoes on, but it didn't really ache like it does sometimes. As far as I can recall all my stiff and creaky joints seemed less stiff and creaky this morning. It should have made the morning almost joyful in a very attenuated form of joyful, but it was over ridden by two very negative things. The first was that it was cold and dark outside, and it would be that way for almost my entire journey to work. The second was something I had feared coming for some time, although it never featured heavily on my conscience until now.

 For the last year a well know social media website has been trying to get people to use their real names, and has barred quite a few people who don't use their real names - including a few celebrity cases where people had accounts in their stage names. The rules for celebrities have been relaxed under certain condition, and indeed, if I understand correctly, the website will still allow the use of nom de plumes provided they know your real name. This morning I was ordered to prove who I really am, and I have 7 days to do so before my login is disabled, and maybe all my stuff deleted. I am thoroughly pissed off proving my identity.

 I had to jump through a load of hoops just to buy some Premium Bonds, and recently I had to prove my identity, or address, or something to work as part of some draconian government diktat ! Funnily enough, to prove my address I used the same paperwork that I used to buy the Premium Bonds - paperwork whose authenticity was endorsed by a company director - the company director of the company that wanted me to prove my identity or address (or both). There is no way to prove the identity I use on the well known social media website*, and there is no way I am going to tell them who I really am. So in seven days I will probably be locked out of my account, and a bunch of "cyber friends" are going to miss seeing the photos they like to "like" so much, and I will miss being nosy about what many of them are up to. What I won't miss is a few of those cyber friends who are forever sharing pictures with inspirational message in them. They really do believe that their dead loved one are in heaven waiting for them. Never since the days of Victorian seances have so many daft old biddies clung to so many straws.

* I might forge something which seems to confirm my identity. I have nothing to lose by doing so, and maybe something to gain.
travelling crane parked
                  overnight with no lights or reflectors
 This rather dark scene shows a large self propelled cherry picker parked on the road leading to Catford Bridge station. I feel a bit unsure about just how safe it is for it to be parked there. My initial thought was that although it was parked opposite a street lamp, it still might be hard to spot to anyone speeding down the road (which many drivers do despite the speed humps). As far as I can see it has no lights, and no reflectors. It wasn't until I had a good look at many of the parked cars that I realised that most of them didn't seem to reflect any light back from their lamp fittings, and so could be easily as hard to see, that I thought that maybe the cherry picker was not so bad, and yet........
Sunday 11th October 2015
09:29 BST.
  Friday did turn out to be quite sunny, although I am not so sure that it got as warm as I thought it should. Yesterday started off quite chilly, but I guess that has to be expected in October. At sunrise it was about 7° C. For some reason I can't seem to describe yesterday as a sunny day despite there being quite a lot of sunshine. Maybe it was because it was sometimes rather weak and feeble. At least it stayed dry, and once again the temperature was hovering between warm and cold at around 15° C. Today has started cold and sunny, but the forecast says the best of the sunshine won't be until mid afternoon. It could cloud over a few times this morning. Today sees the start of a short run of the highest temperature being only 14° C, and I guess it won't be long before we lose another degree. Tomorrow might be similar, although the forecast that is based upon is now rather stale.

 All the bad or excess stuff I ate during the week really caught up with me on Friday - unless a possibly unlikely explanation was the cause of me feeling rather rotten. Principally I felt very weary and lacking in energy. On further reflection there are two alternate explanations for that, and the likely hood of either being correct seems to vary by the hour. One possibility is that I am suffering from man 'flu (a condition that has recently been realised by medical science to have some real roots), or I am suffering from early Seasonally Affected Disorder (or Depression).

 After work on Friday it was a relief to go home. Being out in the fresh air perked me up a bit, and I can't recall feeling that bad going home. I guess it actually felt pretty normal. On the way I called in at the Turkish supermarket to buy some of their excellent bread to go with my new seeded Dutch cheeses. While I was in there I also spotted some cheese slices with peppercorns in them. I bought that, and also treated myself to a bottle of freshly pressed cox apple juice.

 For my dinner I had chunks of the cumin seeded cheese with nice seeded bread and a large rip tomato all washed down with apple juice. For anyone else it was probably quite a healthy dinner, but the apple juice does contain rather a lot of (natural) sugar, and of course the bread ends up as a source of sugar as the bodies enzymes decompose the carbohydrates. So once again it was not a good dinner for me, but at least it was a relatively small dinner for a change.

 In theory I could have gone out on Friday night. Chain were playing in Greenwich at The Mitre Hotel, and it is an easy place to get to, but I was feeling so weary that I ended up going to bed, and falling fast asleep before they were due to start playing. At this point I am unsure if I was in bed before 8.30pm, and asleep by 8.30pm, or if it was 8.30pm when I got into bed, but I do know I was asleep very soon after getting into bed. I didn't sleep all that well, or did I ? I know I woke up a few times, but it was 11 hours later, at 7.30am when I decided I probably ought to get up.

 Even if I slept a bit badly, I must have got at least a full 8 hours sleep, and possibly 9, but it didn't seem to take long until I felt tired again. I remember it involved a lot of yawning, and that suggests lack of sleep, but it wasn't long before the yawning was replaced with a sort of weary fatigue. That suggests some other form of tiredness.  I didn't even feel all that good when I met Aleemah, and we went to the pub for breakfast. I guess a pint of beer must have revived me a little bit because in the course of half an hour I went from thinking I couldn't be bothered to go in Aldi on the way back from the pub, to thinking I definitely would (and did).

 During the afternoon, after Aleemah had gone home, I did briefly feel OK, but that was while laying on my bed trying to doze off. The more I tried to go to sleep the better I felt - which is ridiculous ! A few hours later the situation reversed. I was trying not to go to sleep because I wanted to go out to Bromley to watch The Spangles playing in the H.G. Wells centre. As I cleaned myself up, and changed into the clothes I wanted to wear, I felt pretty awful. Maybe the core of the problem was my chest.

 I do seem to be going through a bad phase with my chest recently (and that emphatically includes this morning). It is a strange feeling that is almost only related in some weird way with pain. It definitely does ache in various ways in varying strengths, but right now, for instance, the predominant feeling is something akin to how the stomach can feel after eating too much. A sort of bloated feeling, but only a "sort of" one !

 Anyway, I forced myself to go out. I knew there would be some people there I wanted to say hi to, and I wanted to see The Spangles playing. They were actually third on the bill. Second were Whitestar, and although I am not a complete convert, they did seem to be better than I thought they would be the last time I saw them. Top of the bill were Bouncer, and I had no interest in seeing them, although if I had been feeling good I might have stayed to see them.

 I felt a bit creaky as I left the house, and being on the bus didn't seem to help. In some ways it made things worse in as much as I began to feel really depressed. I think it was the expectation that I would not enjoy the gig much for a host of reasons, but including that I felt creaky and aching, and for some reason I didn't fancy drinking much - which was a sort of crime considering the beer is at private club prices, and not at pub prices - i.e. quite a bit cheaper !

 So I got to the venue. Said hello to a few people, and even got a couple of kisses, which was very nice, but I still felt incredibly isolated - particularly so once the music started. Once again it was one of those times when I wished I could go outside to smoke and socialise. I never used to feel so lonely in a crowd back in the days when I smoked. Now I even wonder if I go to hear the music, or whether it is just a photographic opportunity. Maybe it is the latter, sad as that might seem, because once I felt I had taken enough photos, which was partly equated by how many times I felt OK getting in others way as I lined up my shots, I went home - and that was probably not much later than half way through The Spangles set.
The Spangles
 The lighting at the gig was rather fiercely red with some strong blue. I am not sure what happened to greens, or even a bit of white light, but at least it was fairly bright - although I still used my f1.4 lens for all the photos I took so I could keep the shutter speed fairly high for less motion blur.  O the left of the picture above is Jo Corteen playing electro-acoustic guitar. Then there is Auntie Doreen playing the sax. A bit out of focus at the rear is Michelle Whitestar, and on the right, a lot out of focus, is Patsi "Spike" O'Shea.

 I think it was about 10pm when I got home after being out for little more than 2 hours. I felt really pissed off when I got home, and I am not sure why. I think it was a combination of many little things. The only thing I didn't seem to feel was tired. So I stayed up editing the twelve best pictures of the 50 or so that I took. That was sort of relaxing, and while I was generally unhappy with most of the pictures I took, I was happy with a few of them. I chose the picture above because it showed all the members of the all female band (except the drummer who wasn't female, and so doesn't count !), and I was sort of pleased with it.

 It was gone midnight when I got into bed, but I still didn't feel all that tired, I just didn't have anything better to do. In reality it was probably not that long before I was fast asleep, but it felt longer. After four hours of probably moderately good sleep, I woke up, and it took a long time to get back to sleep again. It hardly felt like I had slept at all apart from one big contradictory clue - it was light outside when I woke up.

 This morning I feel a heap of contradictions. How can my chest feel so bad when it doesn't actually hurt ? How can I feel creaky like I have 'flu if I haven't got 'flu (or at least no other symptoms of it - but how many symptoms do you need ?). I can't work out if I feel tired, weary, fatigued, or none of the above ? Do I feel depressed or pissed off, or is that bright sunshine making me feel good ?

 It's probably all and none of the above. The bright sunshine is a bit of a tease. It is bright, but it is still cold outside - and it seems to be getting cloudy even as I write this. I can only describe my chest as feeling heavy - not heavy as in congested, but heavy like an over-expansive stomach, although even that doesn't really describe it. I can't even be sure that I do feel that creaky, or if it is just some sort of fear that I would do if I was to attempt anything more physical than typing.

 As for depression.....It was quite some time ago that I don't suffer from depression, but from despair. I am unsure what the difference is, if indeed there is any difference, but I just like to be bloody awkward - and it makes me happy to do so !  I like some, perhaps many of the tools of the modern world - digital camera and digital photo processing in particular (as an example) - but I really don't like this modern world. It is not the world I grew up in, and I feel like an alien in my own town. I think it is fun to look forward to the end of the end of the world, but an acceptable substitute will be the end of my world. The annoying thing is that I don't know how to die. I haven't had the course that explains all the rules and regulations involved, and of course when exactly to stop breathing. I guess I am cursed to carry on until a rogue bus driver runs me over or something - and even then the bastards will probably try and put me back together again ! Oh well, I enjoyed my last stay in hospital. Perhaps the next one will be as good (but I wish they would use a thinner catheter if they have to use one !!!).

 Today I shall.......I don't know what to do. Maybe I'll take a couple of pain killers and see how I feel about doing some laundry. I ought to go out and get some fresh air, to stretch my limbs, and maybe even get a small infusion of vitamin D from the weak sunshine, but I am not sure if I can be bothered. Perhaps I'll just lay on my bed reading, dozing off and ruining my sleep tonight !
Friday 9th October 2015
08:15 BST.
  It was rather disappointing that it started to become quite cloudy as I made my way home from work, and it looked like it would rain as I made my way home. Prior to that it had been very sunny. Maybe the other disappointment was that it stayed a bit cool all day. I think the top temperature was only 15° C. During the night the clouds went away again, and the day started it's coolest since last spring. It was just 6° C by my reckoning. It seems like it can't be long before we get the first frost of the autumn. Today is supposed to be very sunny, but the sky that was very blue a little while ago now seems to be a milky blue colour. Perhaps it is just a high mist, and will dissipate again soon. The temperature today is forecast to be 16° C. If the forecast is correct, and continues to be correct for the next few days, each day will be a degree colder than the previous one. Next Tuesday could see the highest daytime temperature as low as 13° C. We are rapidly entering the realm of the chilly !

 One good thing about yesterday was that the special cheeses I had ordered from Holland arrived here at work. Lugging them home was a small annoyance, but was offset by the convenience of having it delivered here at work where there is always someone to take it in. There is a sad possibility that one of the cheeses is not as exciting as I had hoped, and there is also a possibility that it is not the cheese I was hoping to get. I was after a cheese that had caraway seeds in it. A brief taste last night seemed to show it had cumin seeds in it instead. They are not as nice as I imagine caraway seeds to be, but it still makes the cheese "interesting". The other cheese is supposed to contain cloves, and I can't really imagine what it will be like. I think it has the potential to be rather good, but time will tell.

 It took a long time before I could sample the one cheese I did sample because I had to wait until I got home after going home via The Ravensbourne Arms pub for the Thursday night drinking club. There were a few people missing last night, but one slightly surprising extra. Andy, who busted his leg while on holiday in Thailand, managed to drop in (via a cab) to join us for a few pints - and probably more ! I ended up having a half pint extra over the limit of three pints I had set myself, but I put my foot down over staying for even more. It is quite probable that the rest stayed in the pub for hours after I left.

 I treated myself to a bus ride home after leaving the pub. I usually walk it, but it was free using my 60+ Oyster card. There were two reason for not walking. One reason was that it really looked like it was about to rain (it didn't), and the other was that my left show seemed to be really irritating my left foot. I don't know why it was irritating it so much. There were no marks on my left foot to show it had been rubbing, or anything like that. Oddly enough there was an indication that my right shoe had been rubbing my right foot, but it didn't seem to be that noticeable while I was walking around during the day.

 After my gut busting dinner the previous night I should have been a bit more careful about what I ate last night, and to a very small extent I did - which to me was quite impressive after 3.5 pints of beer (and at least one of those pints was a medium strong beer). For starters, while I waited for stuff to cook, I had a couple of reduced price, past their sell by date, Tesco ready made sandwiches that I had bought the previous night. Then I had a bowl of steamed mixed vegetable that I ruined by being rather generous with some melted cheese on them (although they tasted much better like that). Then, for the grand finale, I had a Tesco Hot Chicken Tikka curry.

 I didn't feel half as stuffed when I went to bed as I did the previous night. I'm not sure that I slept much better for it though, although without the mega dose of sugar from the toffee apple crumble I ate the previous night, I didn't wake up to pee nearly as frequently. It all sounds good, but the reality is that I didn't feel all that good when I got up. Many bits of me ached, and I felt that sort of deep weariness where blinking, and even breathing seems like a lot of hard work, and it would have been easier to go back to bed and ignore doing both.

 Instead, here I am at work and I don't feel too bad, but then again I don't feel all that wonderful either. Sitting here quietly typing doesn't feel too bad, but any greater movement makes my chest, back, left leg, right leg, left arm, right arm, front of my head, back of my head, somewhere inside my head, my left ring finger, my right little toe, three teeth, right knuckles, left wrist, the back of my right knee, my left ankle, my eyelids, and my left nostril hurt to some degree or another. The good news is that my left earlobe seems to be in perfect working order !

 Tonight I have the opportunity to see Chain playing in The Mitre Hotel in Greenwich. It is easy to get to, but I don't know if I'll have the energy or inclination to go there. Nor do I know if I won't be fast asleep in bed before they even play their first set. I suspect I'll be putting all my effort into seeing The Spangles playing in The H.G. Wells Centre in Bromley tomorrow night. I suspect that will be a far more enjoyable evening in a less crowded venue, and a better lit one from a photography point of view. Other plus points are that the beer is cheap, and I don't particularly like the headline act, Bouncer, and so could go home early. the only downside, although it is an extremely minor one, is that there is a £3 entry fee.
Thursday 8th October 2015
08:10 BST.
  The forecast for yesterday was probably about right - at least in spirit. It wasn't too bad a day. There were a couple of light showers, but it was dry when I went home from work. I think there was even some sunshine, although it wasn't particularly warm - maybe 15° C. This morning started out particularly cool. It was just 7 or 8° C, and of course it was still fully night until my train reached Waterloo East. It almost felt like it would still be dark when I arrived in Earlsfield, but no, there was a rather pretty pink/orange sunrise as my train left Waterloo mainline station. Now the only trouble with a red/orange/pink sunrise is that it is supposed to herald a bad day. The forecast tells a different story. After a slightly cloudy start to the day (which it isn't) there will be lots of sunshine from mid to late morning until sunset. There is the possibility of an isolated light shower, but it should be mostly sunny, and a little warmer than yesterday - perhaps 17° C.  Tomorrow should be very similar.

 I wasn't sure how I would feel at work yesterday, but on the whole, I felt at least comfortable, and possibly even very slightly almost good in a way, sort of. It wasn't until late afternoon that I began to feel rather tired, but that only lasted until I started to make my way home. As planned, I went home via Tesco where I bought a few essentials, and lots of unessentials, and even undesirables ! It all resulted in me eating far too much, and even worse than the quantity was the fact that one item was loaded with sugar. It was a rather lonely looking toffee apple crumble pie (or tart) that was sitting on the shelf with a reduced to half price sticker on it. I was always a sucker for lonely strays - usually cats, but it seems pies as well. Even by the time I went to bed I was feeling quite stuffed !
I'm the one on the left !
Maybe it was less the case this morning, but last night I would be fully qualified to sit in one of the seats this notice was guarding. I was the one on the left !

 I am not sure if being stuffed was a reason why I couldn't seem to motivate myself to do anything useful last night. I suspect not, but I can't think of a reason any more rational than blaming it on Autumn and it's short dull days. Whatever the reason truly was, I was bored, and decided to go to bed to do some reading quite early in the evening. I was in bed before 8.30pm, and I think I may have turned out the light, and been asleep not very long after 9pm. In some ways I slept well, but all the sugar in that pie had me up peeing quite frequently. It is hard to judge these things, but it seemed like I peed far more than I had drunk last night.

 I expected to feel quite bad this morning, but I certainly feel better than expected, and maybe I actually feel better than many contemporary mornings. As I came to work I suffered a few episodes of short lived, but quite a strong pain centred on my left nipple. I noted that one particular time when the pain was very strong started when I lifted my arm and hand to flick some of my hair off my face. I am not sure if the word pain describes the sensation properly. It is pain, but not proper pain in the sense that it feels like damage is happening to the body. It is annoying rather than anything else.

 This morning I had my usual double salad bought from the Sainsburys round the corner from Earlsfield station. I was debating whether I should eat anything at all this morning, and maybe on a different morning I might have decided not to. However, I will be having a few pints of beer after work, and although salad hardly counts, I decided that I shouldn't drink on a completely empty stomach. I was tempted to buy sandwiches rather than salad, but I managed to keep some control over my urges. It remains to be seen how I control my urges when I get home after a couple of beers (at this end of the day I plan to have a maximum of three). If all goes to plan I will have one or two curry ready meals (and if it is two I will probably only eat one of the portions of rice). Then I shall go to bed......probably !
Wednesday 7th October 2015
08:12 BST.
  Yesterday was a remarkably variable day. There was heavy rain, and there was warm sunshine. The day didn't start out too bad. Until about 10am it was dry, and it sometimes seemed that the sun would come out. That all changed rather quickly when torrential rain started to fall...well, occasionally torrential, but mostly just very persistent. A few hours after that the clouds parted, the sky became blue, and we were washed in warm sunshine. By mid to late afternoon the temperature had reached a rather unexpected 20° C! The clouds eventually returned, and it got dark prematurely early, and there may have been a few more splashes of rain. It was a warm(ish) night, and this morning it was an almost warm 15° C as I walked to the station. There was evidence of a recent splash of rain when I left home, but it has been dry since.......sorry, spoke too soon. I've just seen a few raindrops hit my office window ! The forecast says that there could be an occasional shower this morning, but after about mid morning it should stay dry for the rest of the day. Unfortunately it is going to be a very grey day all day. The other slightly weird thing is that the temperature will drop as the day passes. By the time I go home it will only be 14° C. Tomorrow should be drier, or even dry, and there should be some sunshine that will raise the temperature up to 16 or 17° C.

 I didn't feel too good yesterday. It was a combination of two things. The first was that I had a very bad night. It sometimes felt like I was awake most of the night. There was no obvious reason for this. It was just one of those nights where it seemed my pillows were full of rocks, and the mattress was full of lumps. It was not helped by it being one of those nights where the temperature was sometimes too high to be fully under the duvet, and yet too cool to not be. The other problem was that I had a mild stomach upset first thing in the morning. The two combined were enough to make me call work to say I was taking the day off sick.

 It was one of those days where I felt both good and bad. The stomach upset didn't last long, and while I was doing nothing I didn't feel excessively tired. There were times when I didn't feel I had any reason to be off sick, and yet I found it very hard to motivate myself to do anything. During the early afternoon, when the sky was blue, and the temperature was almost high enough for shorts and t-shirt, I really wanted to go out somewhere - maybe just to do some shopping - but I just couldn't find the energy and/or motivation to shift myself.

 I did manage to do a little more tidying up in the back room, but only to the extent of half filling a large extra strong black bin liner bag. One unpleasant aspect was finding yet more indication of the mouse infestation I had a couple of years ago. At least I hope it was a few years ago, and not something more recent. I am gradually clearing the way towards where I think there is a hole in the floorboards where an old gas pipe used to come through, and I am sure that is, or hopefully was one of the prime entry points for the little bastards. Hopefully I will be able to get to, and plug it in case any more find their way under the floorboards. The really odd thing is that the original infestation happened while I Smudge the cat lived with me, and seemed to stop after he died. I know that he would catch the occasional mouse in the garden, and now I wonder if he brought some indoors that subsequently escaped from him !

 Being at home all day, and being bored for a lot of the time, made it far too easy to eat too much - and of course I did, but I did manage to have some control over it. One plan I had was to go out fairly early while it was still dry, and but some salad for breakfast (like I have when I am at work now). I even considered the possibility of jumping on a bus and going to the Sainsbury's in Lewisham. Sainsbury's do seem to the best ready made salads that I know currently. Another possibility was to go to the Co-Op store which is about the same distance as Sainsbury, but in the opposite direction towards Bromley. It is many, many years since I've shopped in a Co-Op, and it could have been interesting.

 The only trouble was that by the time I was ready to go out it had started to rain. So I ate a pasta and feta cheese thing I had in the fridge. It was nice, but had too much oil and too much pasta in it (which wasn't that surprising considering it was a pasta dish !). Later on I had several naughty snack, and in the middle of the day I had some double roasted chicken thighs. When it came to dinner time I decided I ought to be a bit selective about what I ate. I decided the best thing was some soup. I had a can of Heinz tomato soup "with a hint of chilli", and a can of Aldi own brand tomato, basil, and creme freche soup. Both were very nice, and extra nice with the unfortunate addition of a pile of grated mature cheddar. the latter rather spoiled the idea of the soup being a nice light dish.

 I didn't sleep all that well last night, but at least it was better than the night before. I have concluded that I am using the wrong combination of pillows. The two I have been using since changing my bedding at the weekend may be a quarter of an inch too high....maybe. Anyway, tonight I will test another pair, and see if that makes any difference. It seems I don't feel too bad this morning. Perhaps it helps that I have resumed wearing the cheap and nasty (but good) plimsoles, and this has made walking seem more comfortable, and easier. I felt half energetic as I came to work, although I did seem to be running out of steam as I walked from Earlsfield station to work. That last walk was not hard, but I didn't seem to fancy to push myself to the speed I would liked to have walked.

 Tonight I think I may pop into Tesco on the way home, but I have no other plans, and I think I will end up being very lazy. Hopefully a change of pillows, and maybe a change of temperature in my bedroom, will mean a better sleep. That would be be most handy so I don't feel too tired for tomorrow nights drinking session - which is rather handily in the easy to get to Ravensbourne Arms near Ladywell station.
Monday 5th October 2015
08:10 BST
  There were reports of temperatures as high as 20° C somewhere in south east England, but I have no idea where that was. In Catford it was pleasant, but only around 16° C. The contrast with today could not be more stark - except for one little detail, and that detail was that it was 14° C when I left home to come to work. The reason for that is that during the night we became wrapped in warm, and very moist air. That moist air was in the form of thick clouds that made it still almost dark when I arrived in Earlsfield, and even now it's more twilight than daylight. There was one light shower just before I walked to the station, but the rain held off while I came to work, but more, and probably heavier rain is forecast for this morning. There will then be a couple of hours respite before the taps turn back on, and I get heavily rained on as I go home home from work. At least that is what the forecast says. The actual timing of the rain is anyone's guess, and while the odds look very much against it, there is still hope that the rain might hold off for at least some of my journey home. The only good thing is that it could be almost warm today, maybe 17° C, but that is also bad because it usually gets unpleasantly sweaty under my rain coat. The even worse news is that it is likely to be very similar tomorrow, and the day after. Thursday might be a half decent day, but I'm not holding my breath !

 Maybe it was a self fulfilling prophecy, but yesterday afternoon, and evening were both pretty boring. Perhaps if I had stuck my fingers in my ears, and blown hard, or whatever it is you are supposed to do, I could have motivated myself to do something useful. For instance there is still plenty of crap to be sorted out in the back room, and much of it could be thrown away, but I just could not be bothered. As well as not doing anything interesting, I somehow managed to not do too much excess eating. My evening meal was mostly salad, but it was almost a futile effort.....well maybe not futile, but it wasn't good enough to stop me feeling a bit bloated this morning.

 Sometimes I just don't help myself. I spent a lot of last night dreaming about cheese - or that is how it felt. In reality it was probably no more than a few minutes here, and a few minutes there. The reason for these dreams was because I did have one brainstorm yesterday, and ordered some special cheese via the internet. I ordered two 500 calorie packed grammes of two different cheeses from a cheese emporium in Holland. One is a cheese that I read about recently, and that fired my imagination. It is a variant of Gouda or Edam cheese, and has carroway seeds in it. That sounds like it could be tasty. The other cheese has cloves in it if I understood the description (in English) correctly. I'm not so sure about that combination of flavours, but it has to be tried once in my life. If I am lucky these cheeses will be delivered to me here at work later this week.

 I think I can only describe how I feel this morning by way of saying that I have felt considerably worse in the the not so distant past. The dull wet weather is obviously depressing...well maybe it is not obvious to you, but it is to me. It was because of the wet part that I decided to put on proper shoes/trainers rather than wear the cheap Chinese slip on plimsoles that I have enjoyed wearing recently. Now I don't know if it is the change of shoes, or if it is the weather affecting my joints, or even if it is a legacy of eating far too much crap over the weekend (and for a couple of evenings prior to that !), but this morning it felt like I was walking through treacle. It didn't hurt, or anything like that, but I just couldn't seem to get up to, and sustain the sort of walking speed I like. Most annoying !

 This morning I have had double salad - the same as I have been eating every work morning for the last month (or more ?), and what has contributed to my ability to get back into trousers/jeans that I couldn't get into after I put on so much weight last year. With the new carrier bag reduction legislation coming into force this morning, I made sure that I took a carrier bag with me this morning wnen I bought the bowls of salad - a Tesco bag to shop in Sainsbury's !! Tonight I ought to try and match that by having just steamed vegetables for dinner. There are several flaws in this argument. The only steam in the container vegetables I could find in Aldi yesterday were the mixture with far too much carrot in the mix. Carrot has far too much sugar and stuff in it. So that is one negative point. There is also the truth that the only way to endure pure vegetable is to add generous amounts of melted cheese - another negative point.

 There is also one other factor to consider. The last time I went into Tesco I noticed, and bought variants of their Indian ready meals that were marked as "hot". They were indeed slightly warmer than the non-hot versions, but only just, and could still have benefited from some extra hot chilli sauce. Yesterday I noticed that Aldi have also added a hot variant to their almost identically packaged Indian ready meals. They do, of course have to be tested, and so I bought a couple, and they, alongside a few other things, will be competing for my attention for dinner tonight. Maybe I'll have one of them, and a bowl of steamed vegetable (with cheese). It should be OK if I don't have several packets of crisps, or something equally worse.....and pigs might fly. Oh well, as usual I'll do what I can, but with no sunshine, little warmth, and rain falling, it's going to be very difficult. I can't wait for the end of next spring !
Sunday 4th October 2015
13:45 BST
  Maybe yesterday was only a gentle reminder that the weather is turning toward the bad now. It wasn't that cool, and except for the morning it was comfortable without a coat if you didn't stand still too long, and of course it was dry. Today the weather is more sunny, and once again it is quite mild - 15 - 16° C - at least that is the story so far, but there is every reason to believe that it will stay this way until sunset at the far too early time of 6.32pm. Once darkness sets in mysterious and sinister changes will take place, and tomorrow will be revealed as a dark and wet and bloody miserable day ! Perhaps we ought to summon up hope from somewhere that the forecast is wrong, and tomorrow will not be such a shock to the system !

 Yesterday evening was another boring evening when nothing seemed to provide any excitement except eating crap again. I'm not sure why I didn't attack my bottle of whisky instead of the larder. Oh well, what's done is done, and it just means, or ought to mean, that I should work harder at restricting my food intake during the week. At least going to bed, and going to sleep provided something enjoyable to do. At least I think most of it was enjoyable. It was a typical two part Sunday sleep where I got up soon after 5am for an hour or so, and then went back to bed for another hour or so.

 I didn't get that much sleep in that second session, but the joy came in being able to do it - something I obviously can't do when I have to go to work. One advantage that comes from that second session is that I have more get up and go when I get up for the second time. So I wasted little time before tackling some washing I had left soaking for almost 24 hours. The long soak was in bio detergent in the hope that it would loosen a dried in bloodstain that was the result of a large spot opening up. Unfortunately it was only partly successful, and I'll have to keep that sheet from public view until such time as I can use more drastic methods to get that bloodstain out - probably involving methods that will eat through the sheet !

 This morning I took stock of just how wealthy I am. As I lose a bit of weight, and can get back into pairs of trousers and jeans that I had almost given up on, I find I have an embarrassment of pairs to choose from now. Careful shopping in the 99p and £1 shop means I have maybe as many as a dozen exciting flavours of shower gel to choose from. Hand washing shirts and t-shirts means they seem to last forever now, and I have piles to choose from. All this wealth and I have no idea what is so good about it. True wealth may be the ability to be able to eat a giant Chinese or Indian takeaway with no health consequences at all, or even no consequences of any kind up to the point where you can eat another after half an hour, and still ignore it as if it hasn't happened. True wealth is being able to find a wonderful beer, and be able to drink it by the gallon without falling over, making an idiot of yourself, or waking up the next morning wishing you were dead. True wealth would  be not being bored on a Sunday afternoon. It's all a bit pointless really.
Saturday 3rd October 2015
17:08 BST
  Yesterday definitely saw the end of a run of quite pleasant weather. It was a bright sunny day, and it ended up near to warm, although not as close as the previous few days had been. I must confess it didn't feel much different, but my thermometers said that the temperature only rose to 16° C. Today was only one degree less, but it is only now, just a couple of hours before sunset, that we have seen much in the way of sunshine. Earlier on the sky was covered by thin white cloud - thin, but still not thin enough to show even the disk of the sun. It hasn't actually been all that bad a day, but it is a terrible reminder that even worse is to come - and quite probably on Monday when the sky will be a lot darker, and cold rain will fall. Tomorrow may be quite similar to today.

 I didn't seem to suffer physically from the effects of four pints of the beer yesterday - the day after drinking it. Although it might have had a mental affect on me. I felt what I can only describe as very edgy (even though I don't really know what that means) in varying degrees for the whole of yesterday. I found it hard to concentrate on my work - although my concentration was as steady as a rock when I actually got around to needing it. It was very nice when the working day was over, and I could go home.

 I went home via Tesco where I bought some stuff for dinner. Unfortunately I was in no mood to only select healthy options, and I ended up not only eating a semi-junky sort of dinner, but during the course of the evening boredom had me eating quite a few naughty snacks. The really unfortunate thing about this was that it was positive reinforcement of feeling even edgier, and eating more crap. On a good week I seem to be able to stick to a healthy diet for at least 4 days, and sometimes 5 (and on incredibly rare occasions even 6), but this week I only seemed to manage it for about 3 days.

 At least the good days are having a positive effect, and some of the bad days are fairly neutral, but last night was surely a set back, and the less said about today the better. The set backs are all the more galling because after not smoking for 25 months now, in the last couple of months I have come quite close to getting my eating under control again. It still depends on being sober, and being warm and sunny, while maybe not essential, does make it a damn sight easier !

 Last night, as I threatened to, I tried on some more of my old jeans and trousers. I found one more pair that are now relatively easy to do up, and one pair that can be done up with a mild struggle. I don't think either would be comfortable to wear for long periods of time - at work, for instance - but this is an indication of a very slow improvement. Today I wore a pair  that I had attempted to wear to work, but found them quite uncomfortable to sit down in for long periods of time. They seemed far more comfortable today. At the current rate of progress it will take many months, or perhaps years before I will be able to wear my red jeans - but they were so tight as to be uncomfortable the few times I was able to wear them back in 2012 !

 I guess I slept reasonably OK last night. Being a Friday night, and with no work today, I can't judge it by the normal rules, but I can't find much to complain about. I can't even really complain too much about how I felt this morning, or indeed later today. My chest was averagely sore here and there, now and then, but that is not really news any more. Maybe for the sake of a moan I could add that my right wrist seemed a bit sore this morning. I think it was from wringing out laundry.

 This morning I saw Aleemah. We had breakfast in the Wetherspoons pub, and then watched the last three episodes of the mini serial "Moondial" on Aleemah's DVD of the same name. Sometime after Aleemah went home I went out to both the 99p shop and the £1 shop where I bought all sorts of junk - including junk food unfortunately. Some of the better stuff I bought was a couple of new flavours of shower gel. One is a Natural Source shower gel that is pineapple flavoured !! The other is Imperial Leather ylang ylang and something flavour. I thought it might be a bit hippy-ish, but I fear it might actually smell a bit too girly for my liking. I'll probably give it a go on some day when I am unlikely to see anyone - perhaps tomorrow.

 Talking of smells.......One of the better reasons for going out to those shops was to buy some talcum powder for the rubber gloves I wear when doing my hand laundry. I actually have a couple of pairs I rotate, and one pair, a pair that will probably split any time now, is difficult to get on and off now. A quick blast of talcum powder should fix that, but....The talcum powder I bought is Cusson "baby" talcum powder (which is a very unpleasant concept, but it was all I could see). I would have thought that if it were for babies it would be odourless, but no - it's stinky ! Oh well, it will do for rubber gloves provided I wash my hand well after using them.

 I wonder if the Croydon council are about to make a major blunder. It's a long story, and I guess a good starting point is these pictures taken on 21st May (or the day before).
new street lampnew
                  street lamp
 I showed these pictures back in 21st May 2015, and I wrote that new LED streetlamps had just been installed in the neighbourhood. So far, so good. When I came home from work on Friday I found a flyer sitting on my doormat bearing the logo of Lewisham Council. It said that the company called Skansa, the same company who had installed the new lamps last May, were about to renew all the streetlamps in the neighbourhood ! It warns that they might change the position of some of the lamps, and that the lamps would be a lot whiter than the old lamps. This all sounds like rather old news, but I wonder, I just wonder. Despite this taking place well inside the Borough of Lewisham, the contract is actually being overseen by Croydon council. It doesn't seem unreasonable that money can be saved by going for a bigger contract by combining the work for several areas, but I wonder if Croydon being so far from the action are about to make a great blunder by ripping out all the work already done, and doing it all over again. It sounds stupid, but councils have been noted doing even stupider things in the past ! I'll report back if anything happens.
Friday 2nd October 2015
08:19 BST
  Today could see the end of a run of comfortable weather. Yesterday, like the previous few days, and as a template for today, was dry, bright, usually sunny, and it ended up on the high side of tepid - around 17° C. Today might see a very minor, but still very welcome improvement over yesterday. While there were a few clouds around yesterday, and occasionally one would float across the face of the sun, today there should be even less cloud, and more continuous sunshine. That is forecast to take the temperature up to a warm feeling 18° C. By comparison, the day started off at a rather cool 8° C ! There may still be hope that the forecast for tomorrow is a little pessimistic, but if not we can expect more cloud, and the temperature to be a couple of degrees lower. On the other hand, that is still an improvement on the forecast for Saturday made a few days ago. That, if I recall correctly, included rain !

  It's odd how my energy levels, and perception of how I feel, can vary so much day by day, and even hour by hour. I mostly felt generally OK while I was at work yesterday, but it seems that going home, or to be more accurate, travelling to Catford drained me. No, even that is not quite right. I didn't feel totally drained, but it definitely took the edge off how I was feeling. Unfortunately things were to get a little worse. I thought I was meeting Jodie for a quick couple of pints, but I had finished my first pint before she had finished shopping in Catford. She was shopping for just one item, but like me, when she goes around the 99p shop, Poundstretcher, and the £1 shop, it is possible to get a bit carried away....

 To make matters worse still, we had to wait for Jodie's friend Mark before I could go home. I'm not sure I could have changed things if I had been warned that he was almost an hour away while I started my second pint. I guess there was nothing any of us could have done anything about it, but it still annoyed me a bit. On the plus side it did give me a chance to sample a rather delicious wheat beer that The Catford Constitutional Club had on one of their keg taps. I ended up having four pints instead of two, and that rather ended my evening.

 It was getting dark when I left the pub. Not only was I mildly annoyed, and mildly drunk, but I was strongly hungry ! There were many bad choices I could have made at that point, but I somehow made a less than bad choice. I bought a large piece of battered cod from the chip shop - and nothing else ! No chips, no burgers, kebabs, battered sausages, fried chicken - just the fish, and not even any salt and vinegar on it (although I did put that on at home). I also ate that fish with a couple of packets of puffed hula hoops, and then I made things worse by having a couple more packets of crisps with a small chunk of cheese that was lurking in the fridge looking lonely.

 All the beer, and what I ate afterwards, was not really a good idea considering what I did this morning. After what sometimes seemed to be a good nights sleep, and sometimes seemed to be not so good, I let curiosity get the better of me. I put a new battery in my electronic scales, and for the first time in a couple of years, I weighed myself. Unfortunately I weighed very close to what I expected to weight....or maybe that was not unfortunate. It all hinges on when it was that I recall my weight as weighed either in hospital or in the doctors surgery. My current weight matches one of those times, and if it was within a month or two of being in hospital it would be rather good because I know I was at a low then. If it was a year later, a year of not smoking, and not being able to stop eating, then my weight is still stupidly high. The only real measure I have at the moment is the tightness of my trouser waistband.

 The trousers I have been wearing the last few days are incredibly loose. They are stretch jeans, but even so, I have almost 5 inches spare around the waistband. I presume, but I haven't checked, that they are the extra sized jeans I bought when not smoking was causing me to balloon last year. What I think I ought to do now is to check the fitting on some of my older jeans. It was at least a fortnight ago, maybe three weeks ago, that I actually wore a pair of  a more generously sized smaller pair to work, and they were almost comfortable for most of the day (although it was a relief to take them off when I got home). Since then I have been mostly eating in the same way that got me into those jeans, and maybe they will be even more comfortable now. Maybe some that on the last test were too uncomfortable, or even in a couple of cases too tight to even do up, are now starting to become almost wearable. It will be quite exciting if it is the case, but also a little sad that I have doubts I can keep this up during the long cold and dark months of winter. What I am doing to achieve this, if indeed I am achieving anything, is really a summer sport, and not one for winter.

 Tonight I have two things planned. The first, and most essential, is to rinse out the bed linen that will have been soaking in bio detergent for 48 hours when I get home. I was supposed to deal with it last night, but a combination of being mildly annoyed, mildly drunk, a full gut, and it being dark outside, took away any ambition to do anything at all. The other thing could be most depressing, or most enlightening, and that is to go through my collection of trousers, and see if any of them are coming back in the range of wearable now that I have deluded myself that I have lost a bit of weight in the last few months.
Thursday 1st October 2015
08:01 BST
  October is traditionally one of the Autumn months, but our descent into Winter hell seems to have slowed down a lot. yesterday was another very pleasant day that started off quite cool (about 9° C), and after almost all day sunshine ended up on the pleasant warm side of tepid - about 17° C. As far as I can tell, or as far as I can believe the weather forecast, today is going to be almost identical to yesterday. Tomorrow may even be very slightly better (18° C), but then on Saturday the cracks start to appear, and it's looking like next Monday will resume that Autumn  feeling - dull, wet and a several degrees cooler !

 Apart from some yawning, and drooping eyelids for a while when I was feeling bored, I didn't feel that bad at work yesterday. Going home from work revealed a new story, but I am not sure what it was exactly that was revealed. I was waiting for my train at Waterloo East station, and there were a few minutes to go before it was due. While I waited I got involved in swapping some text messages to a friend. After a while a train pulled into the platform, and it was immediately obvious that it was not my train. It was in fact the service that follows my train, and goes to Hastings. I hadn't heard any announcements about my train being delayed or cancelled, and when I checked the real time information for trains arriving at Catford Bridge station, I saw that my train was already on it's way to Ladywell (the stop before Catford Bridge).

 The only conclusion I could come to was that I was somehow so engrossed in typing text messages on my mobile phone that several hundred tons of train had pulled into the platform, just 2ft from my face, and somehow I had failed to see it. A very "senior moment" indeed ! However, when the next Hayes train arrived (the service that goes via Catford Bridge) I noticed that two people who had been standing next to me almost as long as I had been standing there, and certainly there before the previous train should have departed, both got on my train. So maybe the earlier train had not called at Waterloo East, and I hadn't missed it after all. Maybe the train that was shown approaching Ladywell, and should have arrived at Catford Bridge on time, had actually started from New Cross, or even Cannon Street station, and no one had bothered to tell Waterloo East. I doubt I'll ever know the truth, but it's nice to know that there is at least an alternative explanation to an early adventure in gaga land !

 When I finally arrived home I felt sort of good. A few bits ached, but nothing significant, and even the aches were very mild. Not only that, but I felt not exactly happy, but some sort of contentment. So I had my dinner, and almost managed to make it a healthy one. Bit's of it were a bit healthy, but not much. The double roasted chicken thighs lost a little fat when I gave them their second roast, and the flabby skin crisped up nicely. I guess I might rate them as slightly healthy - ish. The steamed vegetables I had as a second course failed in so much as they contained far too much carrot, but smothering them in grated cheese really did it in for them ! Perhaps there are reasons to believe that all was not lost though.

 Apart from a feeling of being a little full (which was odd for how much I ate - my standards must be slipping - maybe for the better) I was still feeling what I can still only describe as "sort of good". Although I was very wary about how recently my back had been hurting as a (presumed) result of doing some heavy laundry, I thought it might be worth taking a chance on washing some shirts. It did feel a bit like hard work, and it was certainly hard enough to get me sweating, but hand washing 4 work shirts, plus a t-shirt didn't seem to do me any damage, and maybe it was key to me getting the best nights sleep I seem to have had in ages.

 An alternative explanation is that a strings of nights of poor sleep left me so exhausted that a good sleep was inevitable sooner or later. An alternative, alternative explanation is that my health has improved in some small ways recently. All I know is that I slept non stop from about 9pm to 1am, and within 5 minutes (maybe 10) I was fast asleep until 4am. I do have a feeling that I woke up once between 1am and 4am, but I cannot seem to remember doing so. Maybe it was a dream. I probably had had enough sleep by 4am, but it was nice to quietly lay in bed trying to doze off again, and maybe even succeeding for a few minutes here and there, until at about 4.50am I got bored and got up a bit early.

 This morning I feel pretty good - except for one eye watering agony. All my usual aches, pains, creaks, grindings, and moans, are still there in a very low level format, and are mostly ignorable and forgettable. Although I did get a bit of a jolt across my left breast when I must have twisted as I got off the train. The pain didn't last long, and was almost mild in comparison to some previous similar events. So what is this new eye watering agony I mention ? It is very small. So small it can't even be seen yet. It is (I think) the start of a little tiny zit on the left edge of my left nostril. It is only painful if touched in a certain way, and then it goes from nothing to like a red hot needle poked direct into the brain in less than a nanosecond !

 I have plenty of work today so I shouldn't be bored - but I probably will be just for consistency. Once work is over it is boozing time. The Thursday night boozers are meeting in a pub that would be an awful lot of messing around for me to get to. So this Thursday night I'll be meeting Jodie for a couple of pints in Catford. Hopefully I will be able to keep it to just a couple of pints, and no more. Despite doing stuff like over cheesing vegetable yesterday, my overall plan seems to be working. There is evidence of my gut flattening out, and this morning I seemed to pull my belt up to it's tightest notch without even thinking about it. For a while I even thought that I might feel a bit lighter. Being careful with beer may be helping achieve all this. I feel it is important to try and make some sacrifices now because as the days get shorter and shorter, colder and colder, and sunshine is replaced by grey skies, it will be time to over eat in preparation for hibernation until late next spring when the cycle ought to start all over again.
class 450 train at
 If a bit of novelty is a treat then I had a treat this morning. The train I got from Waterloo to Earlsfield was a class 450 outer suburban unit. This was probably substituted for the normal class 455 train because there is a shortage of them while they go through a refurbishment programme. As a far newer train it should have been better in some way, but apart from air conditioning, they are no better than the older trains, and in one respect they are worse. Originally they went into service with 2 + 2 seating, but to pack in more passengers they were converted to 3 + 2 seating, and to be honest they made a bit of a hash of it. The gangway between seats is so narrow, and at the ends, so twisty, that it is hard to walk through the carriages. This morning I came to a firm conclusion that I don't like them after all !