site map home page August 2015 diary
                  page October 2015diary page Clamwin free
                  antivirus for Windows Get the free Firefox web browser
Radio CarolineClick to visit
          Linux Mint
Get a free giffgaff Sim

September 2015
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

7 8

My Diary/Blog For the Month of September 2015

Wednesday 30th September 2015
08:01 BST
  Yesterday's weather was pretty much what it said on the tin - bright and dry with long, but not continuous periods of sunshine, and a top temperature of about 16° C. I think the tin said 17° C, but I'll not argue over a single degree. During the night the temperature fell to about 9° C, but now the sun is beginning to get a decent way above the trees, houses, and other things obscuring the horizon, it is starting to warm up. The forecast for today is highly specific in saying that at around 10am the sun will get a little hazy, but there will be clear bright sunshine for the rest of the day. That should take the temperature up to 17° C by the time I go home from work, but that now coincides with the sun getting so low in the sky that it provides no heat, and the day starts to cool down. Tomorrow is still forecast to be very similar to today (which is not terribly different to the last two days).

 I don't feel that bad this morning - which is not to say I actually feel good. There could be several reasons for this, and for some of the reasons it is difficult to identify which was the cause, and which was the effect. I felt quite variable at work yesterday. Sometimes, but mostly in the morning, I did not feel all that comfortable. I felt better in the afternoon, and provided I ignored a few things, I felt almost good as I made my way home. Maybe it was the power of positive thing or some such nonsense (although maybe it is not always nonsense).

 I made a deliberate effort to walk to the station to see how I felt. There is nothing particularly rare about walking to the station, but I do feel that I ought to get the bus when I can so I can get maximum usage out of my 60+ Oyster Card. I now tend to check that there is no bus in sight before walking to the station. Yesterday I didn't even check. One reason for that was because I wondered if when I got to the station I would feel like I had the energy and inclination to walk another mile and a half, and for the first time in a couple of years, go home via Wandsworth Common station. I think I probably could have, but I couldn't be bothered.

 Maybe I couldn't be bothered because I was brewing up another plan. As I approached Catford I found I had a very strong urge to have a walk around Iceland, and to buy something outrageous ! Iceland does sell perfectly healthy stuff, and maybe has actually increased the amount of it since I last shopped in there, but I always associate them with junk food ready meals - which is what I was after. In theory that does me no good at all, but there is also a bizarre theory I have that sometimes it is good to occasionally shock the system (and maybe provide some trace nutrient that is missing in a less well balanced diet).

 I ended up buying a few terrible things, and a few less terrible things. I am not sure what category chicken kiev goes into, but it's probably a bit bad with all that butter in it (assuming it is butter and not rehydrogenated gloop). Hopefully, whyen I try them, they will be better than the rubbish ones I bought from Aldi ! The first of two terrible things that I bought and ate for dinner last night were American style (?) pulled pork and beans, which had few beans in it, and lots of fried diced potato. The other was sausages in cheesy beans - which had very few mini sausages in it, and more fried diced potato than beans !

 Those two dishes probably had hundreds and hundreds of stuff that I shouldn't eat, but they were nice....well sort of nice.....hmm, on reflection they weren't terribly exciting, but they were much better than horrible. Whatever their pros and cons, they seemed to settle well, and may have contributed to a better nights sleep than I have had for a couple of prior days. I think they may have also made me feel good in a sort of happy way - sometimes it feel good to be naughty provided the damage is not too great.

 To celebrate feeling semi OK I sat down and went through the pictures I had taken of Chain playing in The Slug And Lettuce last Saturday. The vast majority were unusable, but with a lot of work, some were just passable. While I was doing that I noticed another photo opportunity. There was a lovely pink sunset last night. It is unfortunate that I don't really have any great views to the west, but I put some shoes on and rushed outside to take some photos anyway.
sunset on my Canon
                          SX210 camera
sunset on my Nikon S6300 camera
 I took two quick snaps using my Canon SX210 and my Nikon S6300 cameras to see which was best. On my work computer the Canon picture looks more dramatic, but I'm sure it was the Nikon picture that looked best on my home PC.

 I can't swear to it, but I think I was fast asleep before 9pm last night. The next thing I knew was that it had just gone midnight, and I was convinced it was a Sunday. It was a terrible blow to my psyche to notice that my clock was saying it was actually Wednesday, and I had to go to work again today. I didn't sleep so soundly for the next 5 hours, but it was a lot better than the morning before. In fact it was only slightly worse than normal. By current reckoning, it was the best night's sleep I've had for a good couple of days.

 I woke up this morning only feeling half as terrible as I have come to expect over the last couple of days. As well as a missing ache or two, the usual aches seemed more muted than usual, and it seemed less likely I would die within the first 10 minutes of opening my eyes. It always surprises me that I make the transition from sleep to waking without dying these days. It has been so many years since I have been able to open my eyes, throw back the duvet, and be ready to tackle the ascent of Everest within seconds (that is using the escalator route, obviously.  They do have escalators going up Everest, don't they ?). Even coming to work was less a test of endurance this morning. Am I getting better or something, or is this just a temporary boost from eating fat, sugar, salt, calorie laden junk food last night ?

 My main complaint, now I've been sitting down at work for sometime, is a mild headache located behind my forehead. It is not bad, but is annoying. I may have to give in and take some painkillers, and indeed they would help with a few other mild aches and pains, but I hope to lay off painkillers today. I seem to have taken a couple of Ibuprofen tablets most days for quite a long while now, and although it is literally just two 200mg tablets a day about 4 or 5 days in every week, I prefer not to take any - I take quite enough drugs for my blood pressure and stuff, thank you very much.

 I have nothing planned for tonight, but if it like last night, and there is every reason to think it might be, then maybe the last of the days sunshine will inspire me to do something or another - although maybe not laundry, I can still feel some tenderness in my back after the last lot - although that did involve some very heavy (when wet) items. However, sights like this one I took on my way home do give me an urge not to be totally lazy when I get home. See the lovely clear sky, and marvel at the bright colours of the train in the bright sunshine. (I've probably said this before, but I think South West Trains paint scheme looks really good on these old, hand me down, ex Southern class 456 trains).
class 456 train
                              in South West trains livery
Tuesday 29th September 2015
08:01 BST
  I guess yesterday's weather was as good as I hoped it might be. It was dry, bright and sunny, and at something like 17° C, easily mild enough to go home from work very comfortably in just shirtsleeves. There may have been some cloud in the sky during the night because it didn't seem to cool down as quickly as I would have guess, although it had dropped to 8° C by 5am when I got up. The weather today may not be quite as good as yesterday. It seems there will be more cloud around, and the sun will often be obscured. At the moment there is just some haze in the sky that is making the sunshine a little diffuse, but there should be periods of full sunshine, and eventually the temperature will rise to about what it was yesterday. Tomorrow may see more continuous sunshine, but the temperature is not forecast to be any higher than today - about 17° C again. The following few days are still forecast to be very similar.
to the station by
 This morning it was quite dark as I walked to the station. My way was partly lit by a big bright moon (that my mobile phone picture renders as a bright hazy blob). Yesterday was the full moon, but you had to look very carefully to see it was not full this morning.

 There was one very positive aspect about work yesterday - I managed to finally put back together the bloody unit I had taken apart to repair ! With the benefit of hindsight, it was all quite logical the way it went back together, and if I can remember a few key facts, I should be able to put one back together quite easily if there should ever be a next time - which I hope not ! With the great weight lifted from my mind/heart/soul, or whatever, I was free to enjoy going home in the sunshine.

 Obviously that is a special usage of the word enjoy, but it's close enough for now. Yesterday I mentioned how there were some hints I had lost some weight, and yet there were less hints that anything was easier because of it. Maybe walking to the station did seem a bit easier yesterday. Walking from Waterloo to Waterloo East station was about average, as was the walk from the station to home. It was when I finally got home that I quickly began to feel incredibly exhausted. It was as if I barely had the energy to raise my eyelids.

 Not only did I lack energy, but I seemed to develop a headache that felt a bit unusual in some unexplainable way. That developed after I had eaten my dinner. At the same time my guts felt strange. I think some of the reason was an excess of cheese. The core of my dinner was actually a couple of bowls of steamed vegetables, and I added the cheese to give them some flavour. I definitely added too much cheese in the sense that it must have doubled, or trebled the calorie count, but it wasn't a huge amount of cheese, and shouldn't have made me feel quite as ill as I seemed to feel.

 Some of the symptoms I had could be attributed to very high blood glucose levels. The lack of energy was one - or would have been one if hadn't come on so quickly. Another symptom was a thing that I don't know what to call. It is like a zit that has got out of control on my inner thigh. I think it is an old cavity that started life as a carbuncle almost 20 years ago. Sometimes it fills with bright red blood (but no pus like the original carbuncle), quickly becomes sore, and then bursts in a messy sort of way. The original carbuncle was the result of very high blood glucose, and sometimes these rare flare ups may be for the same reason, but maybe not always.

 Anyhow, the blood filled cavity burst while I was conveniently sitting on the toilet at work, and all but emptied itself painlessly. After that there was practically no leakage until I was in bed. Unfortunately the sheet on my bed will now need a very long soak in bio detergent, and maybe other stain removers too. Not only was I making a mess of my bed sheets last night, but I couldn't stop peeing - definitely a sign of high blood glucose levels. Sometimes it seemed that I only slept for 45 minutes before needing to pee again.

 This morning I woke up expecting to feel dreadful, and initially I wasn't disappointed. Quite a few bits of me were aching - mostly, if not exclusively around my torso. Once I got moving some of the aches and pains improved. The thing that most surprised me is that while most of my major organs seemed to be putrefying, my legs seemed to be in excellent working order ! Walking to the station seemed very unusually effortless. It really was as if I had lost some weight - and maybe I have. Even more unusual was the lack of effort required to cross the link from Waterloo East to Waterloo mainline station. It was almost as if I just floated up the slopes. That is quite a powerful argument against my blood glucose running rampantly high. I do wonder if some of my recent ailments are echoes of whatever it was that gave me the fever of 39.1° C a couple of weeks ago.

 Now I've been sitting here at work, just typing, I feel moderately comfortable. Various bits of my chest, and perhaps some parts around my gut area, still ache if I provoke them, but while I can avoid thinking about them they seem to fade into the background. Of course all that could change once I stand up and move around a bit, but for now I feel OK. I think I'll wait to see how I feel before deciding if I am doing anything tonight. The way I imagine it at the moment, I'll be doing my best to have more steamed vegetables for dinner - but with less cheese on them - and try to avoid snacks. I feel as if I am on the cusp of getting back into the eating habits I had that were inspired by my angina pains prior to my quad heart bypass operation 2 years ago. That eating system definitely shrunk my waist, and if I had been able to keep it up for the last two years I would be a 7 stone weakling by now !
Monday 28th September 2015
07:53 BST
  There were a few times when the sun was hidden for a few minutes, but otherwise yesterday was a rather splendid day. It was warm enough to be comfortable outside in the afternoon - perhaps 16 to 18° C for a while late afternoon - but the sun did it's best work warming up my bedroom. With no extra sources of heat, apart from my PC, and my own hot body, the temperature in my bedroom was at least a summer like 25° C ! Unfortunately, those same clear skies that allowed so much sun through during the day, let all the heat out during the night. I woke up to my thermometer saying it was just 7.6° C outside, and probably only a bit warmer in my bathroom !. There were a few clouds drifting around as I came to work, but all I can see from my office window is blue sky. It was originally forecast that today might start a bit cloudy, but it is looking like today may be quite similar to yesterday - and that is acceptable at nearly the end of September. Tomorrow may be a bit cloudier, but hopefully not too much, and the temperature will be similar to today (and for much of the week if we can believe longer term forecasts) - about 17° C.

 Yesterday was one of those days that seemed to feel good for no obvious reason beyond it being very sunny. Then again, it was quite satisfying to have got two loads of laundry done - and both of them being harder to do than just a handful of shirts. The first lot included a small bath towel, or was it a large hand towel ? Whatever it was, it was very heavy when soaked, and took a lot of strength and energy to wring out. The second laundry job was a double duvet cover. It was one of the lighter ones to do (although not nearly the lightest), but washing it in my new flexi-buckets definitely made it easier to do, and the new clothes horse made it fairly easy to let it start to dry by dripping into the bath.

 It felt quite an achievement to get those two lots of laundry done, but sadly it came with a price. It wasn't long after finishing that laundry that I became aware that my back was really sore. There were a few times, until I learnt to be careful, that the pains could be really excruciating. Just to make life more fun (?) I also managed to aggravate some of my chest pains too. There were certain postures that were very difficult to sustain - either because they made the pain worse, or because they relieved the original pain, but became painful in themselves. The most comfortable position was laying on my bed, and the most uncomfortable was sitting on the edge of my bed.

 I thought that a walk would help, and to a degree it did, although maybe not quite as effective as a couple of painkillers (although they were not that good !). My walk consisted of going no further than the local shops, but that was pretty much all I was planning to do anyway because I couldn't think of anywhere interesting to go to on my 60+ Oyster Card. I first visited the original 99p on the high street, and I bought all sorts of old crap in there. Much of that crap was food stuffs that I really should try to avoid, such as crisps, and stuff that I definitely should avoid at all costs - stuff with too much sugar in like chocolate coated biscuit bars.

 I did buy some sensible stuff too - stuff like household cleaning stuff, and even toothpaste. After paying for my basket of stuff I wandered a couple of hundred feet up the street to Peacocks. I am unsure what I really wanted in there, but I found myself looking at their jackets. I bought a nice thick coat/jacket in there last spring to replace an almost identical one bought a few years earlier for use in really cold weather. That older one suffered a catastrophic failure when I managed to catch on of the pockets on something. It ripped it a bit, and that rip stuck out making it easier to catch on other projections, and thus ripping it even more. That's the story of my previous deep winter coat, and it's as yet unworn replacement. The coat I saw in Peacocks yesterday was a so called biker jacket with a leather like look to it. It was just £35, and thus cheap and shoddy, or maybe not, but it looks OK, and it does up (albeit maybe a little tightly). It should make for an intermediate autumn coat when it starts to get chilly, but before it gets icy cold.

 After my little shopping trip I relaxed a lot. I spent a fair time laying on my bed reading while the sun blazed through my bedroom window. It was potentially a bit boring if viewed from the point of view that I should be making better use of the sunshine, but on the other hand, reading is a very enjoyable pursuit. The only problem is that those nagging doubts about wasting a sunny afternoon (despite still being in a fair amount of pain if I adopted certain postures) left me prone to getting the munchies. I ended up eating far too much crap, and undoing several days worth of being careful about what I was eating.

 It also left me feeling not very tired when I was trying to get to sleep at a sensible hour. I ended up sleeping quite badly, and had some quite unpleasant dreams about 1960s era gangsters. For all that, I didn't seem to feel too bad when I got up this morning. My back pain was no more than an occasional mild soreness - just a sort of reminder of what I had earlier - and even my chest aches and pains seemed quite minimal. The oddest thing was that I still sort of felt slightly slimmer than I thought I ought to feel after eating all the naughty stuff I ate yesterday. I guess the effects of that will appear a bit later - maybe tomorrow morning.

 One reason for feeling thinner is a bit strange. Yesterday I tried on, and wore, as I am today, the pair of jeans I mentioned washing a week or two ago. I was quite worried that they would shrink, but it seems I have no worries there. They are actually too large for me. I assume, although for some reason I keep forgetting to check, that they are one of my larger sized jeans, but I do know that they are stretch jeans with a little extra stretch around the waist. I guess I needed then at the time, but now they seem stupidly loose, and if my belt failed they would be around my ankles after as little as walking 10 ft ! It is rare for me to have loose fitting jeans, and even rarer to have them this loose, but it is as much good as it is an annoyance ! It might also being putting rather a strain on my belt.

 To hold them up I have to pull my belt up really tight - right up to the last notch ! It is almost as if I have been losing weight - which in theory I should have for at least 2 days a week, but this time I don't seem to be feeling any physical benefits from it....or, on reflection, maybe I have had a few hints. Just this morning I bumped into my line manager outside Earlsfield station, and we walked to work together. He has much longer legs than me, and pushed the pace a lot. Sometimes it felt like hard work to keep up, and I expected to either drop out, or be shattered when I got to work. It turns out I was neither, and I found that a bit surprising. It is a shame that we are now in autumn, and I am less inclined to go on long walks now because now is the time I probably should do just that. Perhaps if is dry I should try and do a five mile walk this coming weekend, but if I am lucky I will have forgotten this idea when the weekend arrives - which from the perspective of a Monday morning, is ages and ages away !!
Sunday 27th September 2015
10:07 BST
  Friday was often sunny, and once the day warmed up a bit it was quite comfortable even if it was rather tepid. I think the top temperature may have been as low as 15° C, but I'll admit that is more a guess than anything more concrete. Yesterday was also quite sunny. Possibly sunnier than Friday, and, once again, after a rather cool start, the day ended up feeling slightly warm - perhaps 17, or even 18° C. It still felt quite comfortable in shirtsleeves as the day turned into night, and quite possibly some time after that. This morning has seen a couple of short dull intervals, but it has been predominantly sunny, and the forecast says it should stay this way until sunset. The forecast reckons the temperature will peak at 17° C during the afternoon, and after dark some thin clouds will roll in to keep the temperature up to 13° C by sunrise tomorrow. Those clouds will spoil the sunshine tomorrow, but it is supposed to stay dry with the occasional sunny period. Then, if we can believe it, the rest of the week will be sunny with temperature typically peaking at 16 - 18° C.

 I was not happy at work on Friday - although I wasn't that unhappy. The thing I have repaired, and I am rebuilding that I mentioned last Thursday, with the myriad ways it can go back together (only one of which is correct) was too daunting to tackle in the mood I was in. I think moving the Thursday night drink to Wednesday left my poor brain confused. It thought that Thursday was Friday, and that Friday should not have been a work day. So I did a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and a whole lot of doing nothing ! That was semi-boring, or maybe it was annoying knowing that I really have to pull my finger out and do the job tomorrow. Whatever it was in whatever proportion it was, left me feeling very glad to go home at the end of the working day.

 Although glad, I am not sure I was actually happy, but worse still was that I didn't seem to find any get up and go. So when it was time to get up and go to see Chain's gig in Greenwich, I didn't ! Instead I had an intentionally boring night in by myself. Maybe describing it as boring is not that accurate. Perhaps uneventful may be a better description. It allowed me to catch up with some reading, and maybe it was worth it for that. For all the good and badness of it all, there is one thing I didn't miss out on by not going to the gig, and that was socialising.

 Since suspending smoking (for an unknown amount of time) I very rarely get a chance to socialise at these gigs. It is generally too loud to have any sort of conversation, and I never seem to go outside to join the smokers any more. It is actually quite a lonely sort of existence at some gigs, and because there are people there who I could talk to in theory, it is actually worse, or more frustrating than being at home alone.

 On Saturday morning I had some company. Aleemah visited and it was the usual meet at the station, go to the Wetherspoons pub for breakfast, and then watch a DVD at home. This time Aleemah brought over a DVD of a 1980s TV mini-series called Moondial. It was actually for children, and as such it is a bit bland, but at least that is better than annoying, and maybe some bits were interesting. It is a 6 part series, and we watched the first three. We will watch the other three next time we meet (probably next Saturday).

 After Aleemah went home I slowly, slowly got myself ready to go out - so slow that I was late going out. It didn't actually matter because Chain, who I was going to see playing a late afternoon gig, started even later ! They were playing at The Slug And Lettuce in Beckenham, and it was a charity gig in aid of breast cancer. They were the support act. The Dirty Perks were the headline act. It is possible that there was another band on after them, but no one seemed to know if that was the case or not.

 The only trouble with The Slug And Lettuce is that the stage area is rather dark, and unless the band bring their own lighting it can make photography very difficult. One of the people who came to see the gig was a chap called John Bull. He is a professional photographer who specialises in taking photos at gigs, and he has a web site here. When we can we have a chat about photography, and I was able to show off my new camera, and lenses to him. He wished me the best of luck taking pictures in there. He had been to another gig in The Slug And Lettuce a night or two previously, and admitted he had to give up because the lighting was so bad. Now I could, and on a few occasions maybe I should have used flash, but that washed out colour, and so I tried to do my best without flash. The end result was almost a complete disaster. Fortunately it was only mostly a disaster !
Jo Corteen and Chris
                          Mayer at The Slug And Lettuce
 I have only had time to have a quick look at the pictures I took yesterday, but this one with Jo Corteen on the left, and Chris Mayer on the right, stuck out as being one of the better pictures I took. It is still a rather poor, grainy picture. Sometime today I will go through all the pictures, but I fear I will not be able to salvage many (almost) acceptable pictures that I will be happy to show publicly.

 One of the good things about yesterday's gig was that it was still comparatively early when I left to go home, and one of the excellent things about going home was that I only had to wait 3.582 seconds for my bus home to arrive ! And that was purely by chance. I must admit I only stayed to see half of The Dirty Perks set (maybe less), but what I did see was better than I thought they would be, and maybe on another occasion I will see more of one of their gigs.

 I arrived home in time to prepare some dinner, and to sit down to watch Dr. Who. I must confess that I find these modern Dr Who stories more and more difficult to follow. For me the rot set in when Sylvester Mcoy was the Doctor. He had the potential to be on of the better Dr Who's, but he had to work with so many bad scripts. Some of the scripts made it seem that Dr Who had read the scripts, and new how the story would end, and so it wasn't worth trying to explain how he came to do the things he did, or how he knew the things he did. Now many modern scripts leave me feeling bamboozled (or something).

 This morning I have not been totally idle. I think I had a reasonable sleep last night, and I put my rested body to the test by completing quite a lot of laundry I had left soaking in bio detergent to get a few stubborn stains out of a towel and a table cloth. It also included a couple of shorts, and a pair of lounge pants. It was quite unpleasant getting that lot out of the flexi-bucket of cold soapy water, and quite heavy work going through all the rinsing and wringing out of pleasantly warm water. It's all hanging up to dry indoors now, but just to add some extra strain to my body I have left a duvet cover soaking ready to process that later on. Sometime late this afternoon I'll rinse and wring it out as much as possible, and then hang it over the bath long enough for it to stop dripping, and then over the banisters to complete drying overnight (and through the day as well in all probability).

 The sun has just gone in for a while, but if it comes out again, as it should, I could be tempted to go out before doing anything else. I had considered putting some more miles on my 60+ Oyster Card, but maybe I'll just take a walk to the high street and back. Maybe I'll visit the 99p shop, or maybe....I don't know. I'll just take a wander and see what grabs my attention. Meanwhile, I mustn't lose sight of the fact that I have some hard decisions about the heap of photos I took yesterday, and some hard work to try and make a few of them look acceptable.
Friday 25th September 2015
08:12 BST
  I'm sure I felt a few tiny raindrops on my way home from work yesterday, but it wasn't too bad a day. There was a lot of sunshine, and if wasn't actually warm, it was quite comfortable. I think it was about 16° C when I got home from work, and the sunshine had warmed the front of the house (where my bedroom and living room are) enough that I didn't need to put on any heating until the early hours of the morning when it seemed like my bedroom would be unpleasantly cold this morning. It was probably a wise decision because it was just 8° C this morning. The good news is that the big drop in temperature was caused by the sky being pretty clear, and although the sun is not rising until I am almost at Waterloo now, and it is another 20 - 30 minutes before it is high enough to be seen above the crowded skyline of London, it was, and still is a sunny morning. There will be times when the clouds blot out the sun, but today is forecast to be possibly sunnier than yesterday, and the temperature should hit 17° C.  One year ago ( I was reporting that the weather was very similar, but on the next day the temperature went up to 22° C. I don't think we will be that lucky tomorrow, but looking back yet another year ( suggests that the end of this month can sometimes get quite warm. 2012 seemed to break this theory, but 2011 slightly re-confirms it.

 I didn't feel good at work yesterday. Some of it was undoubtedly frustration. I was putting an experimental/demo unit back together after repairing it, and I could not work out how it went back together. There are 16 combinations of how just one motor can be fitted, and by the end of the day I had given up on mucking about with it. It was just another symptom of how I was feeling...or was how I was feeling a symptom of my frustration ? I guess the truth is that one was aggravating the other. I felt tired and irritable before I got frustrated, and I was also in some mild discomfort. It sometimes seems irrational that a selection of small aches in various places, most of which were so weak that they would individually be considered as ignorable,  can add together to spoil your day.

 The cure for those mild aches, and for all the frustration, was fresh air, a delicate feel of weak sunshine, and a bit of exercise. If the sun was stronger and warmer it may have cured me even faster, but it all helped even if the process was rather slow. I suppose it was because the bad effects were all so weak that I never really noticed they were gone until I had actually got home, and sat down. I'm not sure if I even noticed then - well not consciously, but something in me noticed, and I became unusually productive, and I also seemed to eat a lot less than usual - although I can't really offer a valid reason why that should be so.

 When I first got in I tucked into a little pot of three bean salad (with extra chilli and garlic sauce !!). Having eaten that I had a sudden urge to wash 5 short sleeved shirts. I tried washing them in the two flexible bucket type things I bought last week (instead of the three medium sized washing up bowls I usually use to do my laundry). Being able to fit all the shirts in the bucket like thing in one go, for both the soapy session, and the subsequent rinses, seemed quite good, although they are deep enough that I was worried about plunging my hands in too deep, and flooding the rubber gloves I was wearing.

 Once I had washed and rinsed those shirts, and hung them up to dry, I had the main part of my dinner. I did have thoughts that I might have soup (or canned stew) for dinner, but I opted for a rather simple cold dinner. It consisted of tomatoes, both fresh and sun dried, a few slices of red onion salvaged from an onion that had been in the kitchen so long that most of it was well past it's best, some peppers stuffed with cream cheese, some blue cheese, and two small bags of hula hoops. That list makes it sound like it was quite big, but it was actually quite modest by my usual standards. Later on I did have a small portion of chilli flavour peanuts. It was still quite a light evening food wise !

 Once I had eaten dinner I tackled another little job - a job that involved getting my soldering iron out, and clearing a few square inches of my bench. I haven't done anything in my workshop for what might be years (but is probably less). I decided to fix my "cat cam". It is a motorised pan and tilt web cam that I originally bought partly out of curiosity, and partly to see what my cat was doing while I was out. The instructions for it stressed that it was for indoor use only, but for the past 2, and maybe 3 years, it has been out on the back windowsill in all weathers (which included rains of cement dust and other stuff from the builders next door). After all that time it developed one serious fault - the 5V power input connector corroded away. It had been intermittent and dodgy for the last few weeks, and was not helped when a bit of temporary guttering that the builders next door had installed poured rainwater almost directly onto the camera ! The fix was to unsolder the input connector, and to solder the wires from the power adaptor directly to the main circuit board. It now works perfectly again (if you ignore the grinding noises from the cement filled bearings !).

 Having done two useful jobs, I should have been rewarded by a good sleep, but sadly not. It took a long(ish) time to get to sleep, and half way through the night my sleep became a bit lumpy. I was awake for maybe 20 minutes sometime after 1am, and then when I did get back to sleep I seemed to be waking up from dreams a lot. Sometimes I can think of reasons for certain dreams, but others seem to have no obvious inspiration. I have no idea why I dreamed that I was around the corner from home, outside the school gates, and attaching wires coming from the school to the handlebars of my bike. As soon as the wires touched the handlebars a large current flowed that heated the wires enough to burn off the insulation, and set for to something inside the school (although only in the playground, and not the school building itself).

 I have no idea what was burning in there, but I knew that I had to escape, and so did a friend who seemed to have appeared in the dream from nowhere. I have no idea who that friend was, although he may have had some semblance to how one of my school friends might have looked perhaps 4 or 5 years after I last saw him - so about when he was 14 or 15. I think I may have been not much older in my dream. The dream continued with me, and my friend going down a series of roads that did have some semblance to roads I know, but not in their correct geographical positions.

 That dream seemed to just fade away without reaching any conclusion. I remember trying to have another dream that kept going wrong. The dream concerned an old girlfriend - maybe not my first, but the first where things were briefly a bit more serious, and where for a while there seemed to be some sort of future for the relationship. In the dream I had heard that she was living in Brockley (which is only a mile or so away as the crow flies). I have no idea how I heard this, but I wanted to act on it somehow, but every time I tried to picture her and where she lived, I would wake up feeling claustrophobic. It happened a couple of times - I think. I guess it is a warning to let sleeping dogs lie, but it is a complete mystery why I should suddenly think of her again.

 This morning I sort of feel good still. My chest is as crunchy as ever, but it, plus some of the other places that tend to ache, all seem fairly (but not completely) quiet. I did have one painful episode as I stepped off the train at Earlsfield. As I stepped off I also twisted my body. As I did so a very sharp pain shot through my left breast, and underneath my right chest, but, as far as I can recall, not between these two areas. It was a very sharp pain, and for a few seconds breathing was quite painful, but I pretended it didn't matter that I was dying, and carried on walking. 10 or 15 years later the pain was just an unpleasant memory...well maybe there was some residual ache for a little longer, but the worst was well over.

 It would be nice if I felt all energetic and enthusiastic tonight. Chain are playing in The Mitre in Greenwich, and it is easy to get to - and this time, unlike last time, it should be dry. I would like to go for an hour or so, but I wonder if I would actually be a bit bored if I didn't take my camera along. The layout of the pub, and the ultra dim lighting, make photography  there almost a waste of time, and I don't think I could be bothered to lug my big, or even intermediate camera there. Maybe if I do go I'll take a pocket camera along, and take a few snaps using flash. If I don't go tonight, I have a better opportunity tomorrow when they play an early evening gig in The Slug And Lettuce pub in Beckenham. That would suit me better.
Thursday 24th September 2015
08:16 BST
  There was plenty of room for improvement, but yesterday probably wasn't such a bad day for the first day of Autumn. There was plenty of sunshine, but it was hard to recover from the cold morning, and the top temperature was probably only in the region of 14° C. I don't think I saw any advanced warning of it, but there was evidently some rain during the night. There were no big puddles, but many small ones to be avoided as I walked to the station. The forecast says that there should be a moderately heavy shower about now...and there is ! It didn't say that there would be 90 minutes earlier - starting mere minutes after I got on my train. If the forecast continues to wrong I guess we can kiss goodbye to the sunshine forecast to start in about 90 minutes, and continue as sunny intervals for most of the afternoon. With the reduced amount of daylight we now get, and with clouds blocking the sunshine, we are at the mercy of the winds now. The wind is from the west now, and that is a warm, but too frequently wet direction. So the idea that this afternoon's temperature may reach a pleasant 17° C is not that far fetched, and after the day starting at 15° C, the wind hasn't much work to do !

 On the whole, I felt fairly OK at work yesterday, but as usual, I started to feel a bit weary as home time approached. The only trouble is that I didn't get my second wind once I was out in the fresh air, and travelling towards home. By the time I got to the pub I was feeling really rather knackered. It probably didn't help that I was getting towards the end of my second pint before anyone else turned up. When I finally left after drinking three and a half pints, I felt really exhausted, and not that good in other ways too. Evidently I wasn't that bad because when I saw how full the bus I intended to get was, I decided to walk the three quarters of a mile home.

 It felt like the end of an endurance race when I finally dragged myself over the threshold of home. I couldn't work out if I really felt hungry, or if it was just the fact that I knew I hadn't eaten anything except my two bowls of ready made salad 10 hours earlier. Then having decided that I definitely did want to eat, I couldn't decide what to eat. I could have had shepherds pie or cottage pie (both ready meals that just needed 6 or 7 minutes in the microwave). In the end I ate both, plus some other bits and pieces. I don't think I enjoyed either of them, and they made me feel uncomfortable.

 By 8pm I was in bed feeling a bit bloated, and burping cheap mince tasting burps. Somehow that was no impediment to going to sleep, and somehow it seems like I slept a lot better last night. I woke up still tasting cheap mince and nasty mashed potato, and not feeling good on a number of levels. The usual bits ached, although maybe my chest didn't ache as much as recently, but conversely it did seem to be in fine form when it came to clicking and popping, and grating internally. That wasn't my main problem, or indeed,  problems in the plural.

 I didn't feel yawning tired, but I did feel so weak that I wasn't looking forward to the effort of towelling myself dry after showering. And then there were my guts ! I seemed to be very farty and "loose" this morning, and I did wonder if it would be safe for me to travel this morning. Fortunately it was, although I did have to visit the toilets at both Waterloo and Clapham Junction stations to relieve some of the trapped wind. The only good thing about it was I got the toilet at Clapham Junction just as the cleaner was leaving it, and she had done a good job of making it look unusually clean and presentable.

 Now I am here at work I don't feel too bad - or too good ! I've stuffed myself with salad, and I am wondering if that was a mistake that I shall suffer for later - possibly not, but.....well, time will tell. I don't feel all that comfortable in the gut area still, but it's not that bad. What does concern me a bit is why I suddenly seem to be suffering from hay fever. Maybe it has passed a bit now, but I did seem to be blowing my nose a lot, and even sneezing. I hope it was just something like fungal spores getting up my nose rather than a cold. I do have a weak allergy to early tree pollen, and to late fungal spores. These things have never been proved, but it does seem that my "hay fever" starts a month or so before everyone else suffers from it, and then stops while everyone else suffers. Then, once summer is passed, and hay fever sufferers breath a sigh of relief, mine starts up again for a week or two. Fortunately my symptoms seem very mild compared to how I've seen some suffer.

 I'm looking forward to work finishing today. I hope I don't feel as knackered as yesterday, but at least if I do feel that way I will be going straight home, and can begin to relax as soon as I get there. I must try and eat a more healthy dinner than the gloop I had last night. I am thinking along the lines of steamed mixed vegetables with some cheese on top. Apart from the fat in the cheese, which can be both good or bad for you depending on the wind direction, it would be a very healthy choice. Another, or additional option would be to have some soup. I have a couple of interesting choices for soup (although they may be officially described as stews). I bought two cans from Lidl when I went there on Tuesday night. One is a sausage and sauerkraut stew , and the other is a bean stew. Both intrigue me, and both don't sound like the sort of thing to have on an upset, windy stomach. Maybe I'll settle for tomato soup if I decide to have soup.
notice abouit
                          microwave oven at work
I can't decide what this notice above the microwave oven at work means. One interpretation is that you shouldn't leave your food dirty. A colleague at work suggested it was the cover that should not be left dirty. Maybe it is the microwave that should not be left dirty, but that seems unlikely to me !
Wednesday 23rd September 2015
08:17 BST
  Today is the first day of autumn. As the days have slowly become shorter since mid summers day, the length of the day has now equalled the length of the night. Things can only go down hill from now onwards.....but maybe there is still a smidgen of hope left. Yesterday started in the foulest possible way. it was cold. It was wet. It was very wet. It was extremely wet, and it was cold, and it was dark ! The worst of that was over halfway through the morning, and the afternoon was not bad. It still wasn't exactly good, but it wasn't bad. It was fairly bright, and it was dry, and there were even a few sunny periods, but at only about 14 or 15° C, it was, at best, tepid !

 During the night the sky completely cleared, and the temperature dropped to a rather cool 8° C, but by way of compensation it has been a lovely bright morning (even if the sun didn't rise until I was half way to Waterloo). The forecast reckons that we'll lose the blue sky by the afternoon, but it will still be bright, and the temperature could rise to 17° C today. Tomorrow could well be similar (fingers crossed).
about 15 minutes
                          before official sunrise in Catford
 I took this picture while standing in my usual position waiting for my train this morning. It was just before 06:30, and sunrise was at 06:47 this morning. There was already a hint of a yellow glow where the sun will eventually rise behind the houses, and the sky was already looking blue.

  I guess I was 99% over my recent illness yesterday. I felt mostly OK at work yesterday, and feeling rather weary about an hour before home time has probably been a standard feature that dates back years and years, and wasn't really anything to do with that recent illness. Of course I still suffered from the normal aches and pains that seem to have become a permanent part of my accumulating years. The main ache or pain or discomfort (depending on what sort of mood I am in) is still from my chest, but even that seems to be quite mild most of the time recently....although it has it's moments !

 It turned out that it was dry, and nearly sunny when I arrived back in Catford after work yesterday. Not only that, but I didn't seem to feel too knackered (just slightly knackered), and I was feeling just about comfortable enough to decide that if I was going to visit Lidls, then it was a good time to do it. In one respect it wasn't a good time because I couldn't find the seeded cheese that I hoped to find in there, but I did manage to find a few things to amuse me. I noticed that they had some bottles of Cien (own brand) "Red Sun" shower gel, and bought two bottles of that, and I also bought two 2l bottles of their "Freeway" diet cola.

 The latter choice was probably a mistake because it was quite heavy to carry home (Lidl is over twice the distance from home that Tesco or Aldi are). The former choice was a good one - I hope. I first found, and bought a bottle of their Red Sun shower gel at least a year ago as an experiment. I found it had the most delightful smell - hints of patchouli and sandalwood, plus other hippyish type smells - a sort of poor man's version of Angel perfume (the perfume that makes Jo Corteen, lead singer of Chain smell so delightful). When I finished that first bottle I rushed back to Lidl to buy more, and couldn't find it. I've checked everytime I've been in there, but it was only yesterday that I eventually found some - hence the reason why I bought two bottles. If when I try it out again, it is as wonderful as I recall it being, I may well make a special trip back to Lidl to buy several more bottles before it disappears again !

 I never did find the seeded cheese that inspired my visit in the first place, but I did find a couple of interesting cheeses. One of the was a sort of Brie with chillies in it. It sounded like a great idea, but in fact it turned out to be fairly bland - or at least it's delicate flavour got lost when combined with some sun dried tomatoes in the remaining two big non crusty crusty rolls I had bought from the Turkish supermarket the day before. those two big rolls, plus a couple of roast chicken thighs with some stuffed vine leaves made up my evening meal. It felt quite filling at the time, and I would have assumed that it would all have been quite high in calories, but there have been a couple of times this morning when I have felt like my stomach has been slightly, maybe very slightly, flatter than normal (where "flatter" is a very relative term). Maybe mornings like this morning, where my breakfast has been 360 calories of double salad has had a useful effect.

 It certainly got cold in the night, and last night was the first night since last spring when I left the heater on low all night. Maybe it was just a little too warm for good sleep, but only just - although it was probably rare for me to have all four limbs under the duvet for any length of time. Some of my sleep was good - probably the portion where I was so tired that chest and/or leg pains were not strong enough to wake me up. At other times those pains were a bit intrusive until I had spent ages experimenting with different positions to find the most comfortable. Ideally I should have liked to have spent at least another hour in bed - although it is debatable as to whether I would have been able to make good use of it by getting extra sleep.

 I don't feel too bad this morning. My journey into work was just another chunk of time wasted, but was otherwise not notable for anything else. Now I'm sitting here mostly comfortable, but I do feel a bit tired. Maybe once I actually start doing what I am paid for, I will wake up a bit...although that does depend on whether I can raise the enthusiasm to try and enjoy what I am doing. There is actually the potential for that to be the case once I get started, but......sigh !

 At least there is tonight to look forward to. Tonight is another honorary Thursday night. Chris is playing a gig tomorrow night (one I can't really get to), and so tomorrow's boozing has been brought forward to tonight. It is very handily in The Ravensbourne Arms which is just 5 minutes walk from Ladywell station - providing I remember to get on the back of the train instead of the front as I usually do at Waterloo East station. The only downside is that I tend to get there a lot earlier than the others, and because I try to only have about three pints maximum, I'll be ready for my second pint just as the rest have their first. One more pint after that and I'll be going home just as the session gets interesting. Oh well, it's nice to have a bit of company, and a gossip, even if it is only for an hour or so.
Tuesday 22nd September 2015
08:02 BST
  Rain was forecast, and that was what fell yesterday. It wasn't continuous, but there was a lot of it from mid morning until about 4.30pm (yes, even while I was going home from work !). Fortunately it didn't feel like particularly chilly rain, nor was it particularly heavy when I was exposed to it. It had more or less stopped by the time I got off the train in Catford, and an hour, or perhaps 90 minutes later, the sun came out for the first time all day. I think the late afternoon temperature was at least 15° C, but it could have been a couple of degrees higher. That little bit of sunshine before sunset was not a taste of what was to come today. In fact it was the exact opposite ! This morning started cold, dark and wet - very wet by the time I got to Earlsfield. Thanks to the swamp that the local council laughably calls a pavement, I got to work with very wet feet ! This rain, sometimes heavy, and sometimes lighter, is forecast to continue until mid afternoon. It is possible that it will finish, and there is a minute chance that the sun may come out as I go home from work today. Just to make life even more miserable, the temperature is only forecast to rise from a chilly 10° C to a cool 14° C today ! Tomorrow should be dry, and 17° C.
light in the rain
Rain streaking past the light on the footbridge across the tracks at Catford Bridge Station.
soggy up and down platforms at Catford
I was using my waterproof camera to take this shot of the soggy platforms at Catford Bridge.
Unfortunately my glasses were so speckled with rain that I couldn't see that the camera lens was speckled with rain too.
Oh well, it's a bit of a soft, soggy picture, but then again, that is what it is supposed to show !

 To my great surprise, I didn't feel all that bad at work yesterday. There were periods of time, most of them in the second half of the day, where I felt quite comfortable. I didn't even feel tired until the last hour when I began to wind things down, and relax a bit. Even my chest was only giving a mild background ache for much of the time. If it hadn't been such a miserable day, weatherwise, I might have even enjoyed myself - a tiny bit ! It was a bit of a blow to have to walk out of work into light rain, but it was light enough, and strangely tepid enough to not be a great bother.

 Once I was on the train at Earlsfield the rain almost no longer bothered me. I say almost because it was still raining when I was waiting for my train at Waterloo East, and my favourite waiting position is not sheltered - nice in summer, but poor in winter ! Once I was back in Catford I found the rain had stopped. Earlier on I had thoughts about going to Lidl to buy some seeded cheese, amongst other stuff, but the earlier rain sort of put me off that idea, plus I was starting to look forward to putting my feet up by then. So instead of Lidl I went into the Turkish supermarket where I found some seeded cheese, some Polish smoked sausages, and some very nice looking crusty rolls.

 Unfortunately the rolls were not as crusty as they looked, but were still very nice. The seeded cheese looked nice too, but it was pre-sliced, and turned out to be rather tasteless. The Polish sausages were very tasty, and eating them all made me feel rather over stuffed ! I was still feeling a bit full when, after spending a couple of hours playing with some of the 105 photos I took on Sunday (some of which I must post here sooner or later), I finally went to bed. It took some time to find a comfortable position, and I reckon it may have gone 10pm before I was fast asleep.

 On the whole, I slept quite well, but I do recall having some quite vivid dreams - although most of the details have faded away now. What was probably a couple of separate dreams had a common theme. I am unsure where the inspiration of it came from, but these dreams featured a very large attic space, and two people whose identities I can't be sure of. In the first dream one of the people set about cleaning up this very large attic, and putting some boarding up. In the second dream, approached from the other end of the attic, he had finished his work, and it was like he had upholstered the entire interior with softboard featuring buttons and rivets and screws. I guess it may have actually been a third dream when the second person took centre stage, and said he was going to hold discos in the room.

 I felt quite groggy when I woke up this morning, but nothing much seemed to hurt - or not much. Having said that, it does seem a little odd that I decided I should take a couple of Ibuprofen tablets before coming to work. Maybe I was hoping to stop any pains developing, or maybe I had a few twinges that seemed to need calming. Sometimes when aches and pains seem to be your new friends, it is easy to confuse which ones are there, and which ones not...or something like that. In one respect it was a comfortable journey to work. Walking to the station was easy and stressless - well sort of, but I was a bit pre-occupied with dodging raindrops, so I wasn't paying full attention to my body on that part of the journey.

 At Earlsfield the rain was a lot heavier, and thanks to the utterly incompetent way the councils contractors have laid the pavements around here, I was completely and utterly pre-occupied with not only dodging great big fat heavy rain drops, but also desperately trying to see through my fogged up glasses where all the deepest puddles were. of course the latter was a joke - I was actually trying to spot any part of the pavement that had puddles less than half an inch deep. It didn't take long before I had one shoe full of water, and only mere minutes before the other was full too ! Luckily I have a nice dry pair of espadrilles here at work for such occasions.

 I guess I don't feel too bad at the moment, and hopefully I'll not feel any worse during the day. Maybe I might even feel better, although the terrible greyness outside my office window does little to exhilarate me ! (It's actually bloody depressing !!). If it is dry when I head for home I might slightly consider my idea of going to Lidl on the way home (even though it is quite a bit out of my way). If it is actually bright, and maybe even sunny, then it is even slightly possible that I will go to Lidl. I just hope they still have the seeded cheese I was told about.
Monday 21st September 2015
08:29 BST
  Yesterday was a lot sunnier than expected. Sometimes the sun disappeared behind some cloud, but contrary to the forecast, it was as good as being sunny for the whole day. The only thing letting it down was the temperature, particularly in the morning. It was barely comfortable in just shirt sleeves until the afternoon, and even then it only became quite comfortable rather than "warm". I'd guess the temperature ended up as high as 18° C by late afternoon, but it was only 13 - 14° C in the morning. This morning started off almost the same temperature, but it's looking like today is going to be very cloudy, and I'll probably get very wet going home in the rain this afternoon. It's going to stay very cool. Unless the forecast is very wrong, and I hope it is, it will only be 15° C this afternoon, and there will be 3, 4, and even 5 hours of rain. It's not until Friday until we will have another decent day - although that assumes that some sort of accurate forecast is possible 12 hours into the future !

 The only significant thing I did on Saturday night was to eat my left over Chinese takeaway, and go to bed. I can't recall how well I slept, but I felt good enough to go out yesterday morning - where good enough was actually fairly lousy, but the bright sunshine was beckoning, and I needed some fresh air and exercise. So I went all the way to Amersham to have a poo, or I had a poo while I was in Amersham, or it was a convoluted way to get to, and have a pint of beer in a Wetherspoons pub I didn't know existed in Cannon Street station !

 I caught the 09:42 train from Catford station to Blackfriars station. I changed train there, and after a short wait of about 4 minutes, I was on a train to Farringdon station. Once again I changed trains to a London Underground train towards Uxbridge (which I didn't want to go to on this occasion). At Finchley Road station, the first one out in the open air after all the tunnels, the train pulled up at exactly the right place to take an interesting photo.
cable alongside
                          underground rail line
 I have to confess that in this shrunk down version it is hard to read what is written on the big fat cable across the middle of the picture. I'll also confess that I know it is of no interest to the vast majority of people, but I found it interesting to be able to read what is normally just a blur when the train is moving. Basically this is a cable made in 1989 by British Insulated Calendared Cables for LUL. It carries 22,000 volts through a cable with a cross section of 240 Square millimetres.

 I changed trains several more times to first pay a brief visit to Chesham station, and a slightly longer visit to Amersham station. The reason for the slightly longer visit was not that I had to stop for a poo (there was plenty of time for that), but to wait for the 12:56 Chiltern Trains service from Amersham to London Marylebone station. It is the fastest way to get back to London - particularly on a Sunday when it seems there are no fast Metropolitan Line trains, and the trains stop at every stop.
roller towel
 One of the sights at Amersham was this roller towel in the gents on the station. I haven't seen one of these for years, and I had assumed that they had retired to museums or rubbish dumps. Mind you, many of the stations at the top end of the Metropolitan Line are like museums - unsullied by such modern conveniences as customer information screens to tell you when the next train is expected, and where it might go to. I am so used to these on even the most primitive railway stations in the South East that it was a bit of a shock to have to rely on my mobile phone for such information.

 The train back to Marylebone was fairly quick (30 minutes or so), and quite comfortable - particularly after Harrow On The Hill where enough people got off to reduce it's rush hour ambience, and freed up a few seats. The only thing I could fault at Marylebone was that the International Cheese Shop was closed. I was hoping to buy some exotic cheeses from there. The quickest was home from Marylebone would normally be to get the Bakerloo Line to Trafalgar Square (or Charing Cross as the station was misnamed 10 or 20 years ago) and walk through the subterranean passages to  Charing Cross mainline station. Unfortunately there were no services from Charing Cross yesterday, and so I stayed on for one more stop to Embankment station (that used to be called Charing Cross Underground station) where I could change to a District Line service to Cannon Street.

 I never knew that Cannon Street station had a Wetherspoons pub inside it, and I would never have guessed that a pint of beer in there would be £1 more than it would be in the Catford branch......actually maybe I would when I come to think about it. I had something like a 25 minute wait for a train back to Catford Bridge, and so a pint of expensive, but nice, beer helped pass some of the time. I was also feeling quite thirsty having not had a drink since leaving home about 7 hours earlier (I also had not even had any breakfast). Eventually I arrived back in Catford feeling really quite knackered, and also a bit uncomfortable where bits of me ached. During my day out all sorts of different aches and pains went across my chest. One of the worst was when I was getting off one train. I sort of twisted my upper body to face the direction I would be walking once my feet had caught up with me. That flashed quite strong pain across part of my chest. It was lower than usual, and could almost be described as upper stomach, but not quite that low.

 Back in Catford my first port of call was The Catford Constitutional Club where I was going to meet Jodie. She was running late, and I had almost finished drinking two half pints of beer when she arrived. I didn't care for either beer, and so I suggested we went to the Wetherspoons pub instead. They had better, and cheaper beer in there, and I had another two pints with Jodie. I have to admit that I didn't fully enjoy those pints either, but at least they were better. I think the problem was with me rather than the beer. One problem was that too much beer for "breakfast" does not go down too well. So once I had seen Jodie onto a bus I popped into the fried chicken shop to buy some rather late breakfast.

 When I got home I felt exhausted. I ate my three pieces of chicken and chips, and went straight up to my bedroom. I still felt hungry so I ate a few Blue Ribband chocolate bars while I caught up with the days news on the internet.  Not very long after that, and it was still broad daylight outside so it was as early as 7pm, I went to bed. I had half a good nights sleep, and half a bad nights sleep. Some of the bad sleep was because I was in pain. I seemed to discover that a way of sleeping that was comfortable for my chest gave me a bad pain in my right thigh muscle. Another reason for the bad sleep was possibly that I had enough sleep, but I kept trying for more. That is probably well illustrated to two events that I can only really remember one of. I was dreaming, and in the dream I remember, I was sitting on the settee with my mum (who I think appeared in several of my dreams for some unknown reason). I announced that I had better feed the cat, and as I got up from the settee I woke up. I am sure a similar movement woke me up from another dream, but I can't recall what it was.

 This morning I feel good and bad. It doesn't feel like I have much energy, and yet I don't seem to have had any difficulty doing whatever I have needed to do (walking etc.). I have had several different pains in my chest. All of them would seem to be weaker, and yet more persistent, and also more variably placed, than those I was suffering from before seeing my doctor. Who knows what is going on there, although that almost 'flu like illness I had, and still don't seem to be completely over, must have a bearing on it.

 Oh well, my main problem at the moment is that I feel cold. I could either put the heater on, or I could put a jumper on....decisions, decisions !! It will be nice to get work over for the day, but I guess that is nothing new. At least the day started well from one perspective......
free toilets today
 I was not desperate to use the toilet at Waterloo, not even half desperate, maybe not even a quarter desperate,but I went anyway - and I was delighted to see the newly repaired turnstiles were out of order again, and that the toilets were free !
Saturday 19th September 2015
17:06 BST
  The forecast said that there would be some rain, and some of it quite heavy rain, last night, but I don't recall any rain at all. Apart from when it was dull, it was a sort of nice day yesterday. It was neither cold nor warm, but generally comfortable. During the night some heavy cloud formed. Maybe it rained in the night, or maybe it didn't, but it was certainly terribly dull this morning. I had just about written the day off when a few blue patches appeared amongst the depressingly grey clouds. Then the sun burst through, and there was a whole chunk of day that was bright and sunny. There is still a lot of blue sky to the east, but the west seems increasingly cloudy, and the sun is having a hard time trying to shine through it for the last few hours of daylight. Like yesterday, it has been neither hot or cold. By 11am it was about 15° C, and it felt comfortable enough to go out in shirtsleeves. I would guess that the temperature has now hit it's peak, and it is currently 18° C - which probably isn't bad two thirds of the way through September. Tomorrow should see the temperature rise to about the same level, but after a sunny morning it will probably turn cloudy.

  Nothing of note happened yesterday evening apart from the ordering of, and delivery of some lovely Chinese food. I made a quite generous order, and I'll be having part 2 this evening ! It was a nice way to end a day that didn't have a lot going for it. It seems that whatever illness I had at the start of last week, is going to take quite a long time to completely clear. It makes me wonder if it was a mild version of 'flu, but I am not sure if mild versions actually exist. It would be entirely possible that I was, and I still am suffering from something completely different - and made worse by the medication I am on.

 Yesterday (and today) I was generally comfortable, but it just feels like I have very little energy - well it feels like it, but I may be deluding myself because I do seem to be able to find the energy when it's needed. It may be that my medication, and end of season blues are acting together to give a sort of depressed weariness that is as bad as, or worse than the tail end of my illness. Of course there are some physical effects that don't help. I think the nature of my chest pains has changed since going back on my medication, although how lowered blood pressure (at least that is what my medication is supposed to achieve) can change the nature of what always feels like a mechanical problem is anybodies guess. My chest still makes cracking and popping noises, but the resultant pains seem more muted - most of the time.

 It may not have been the physically healthiest option, but having that Chinese meal last night did cheer me up for a while, and I went to bed feeling slightly full, and sort of satisfied. The suprising thing is that I drank quite a lot of squash last night, but I didn't spend the night waking up and peeing like I did the night before. That was sort of strange - as was a fairly long seeming dream I had in the night. I dreamed that I was on a special rail tour train using heritage rolling stock, but before I could settle down for the journey I had to find a toilet - and not just for a pee. After passing through a carriage or two I found the toilet.

 Unlike in real life, this toilet was not at the end of the carriage, but in the middle. The door was parallel to the side of the carriage, and as you went in the toilet bowl was to the left, and there was a sink to the right. Once sitting on the toilet, the door was on my right, and there was a partly frosted window in the side of the carriage to my left. The floor looked like it had been hastily repaired with some sort of fine mesh, and I could see the trackbed below me. It was then that things got a bit weird ! People started to walk through the toilet while I was trying to use it. That was rather off putting, and it made trying to wipe my bottom discretely a very difficult exercise !

 The dream ended, or I woke up at that point. At first I woke up far earlier than I wanted to,but I managed to get back to sleep again. From then on I hit the point of diminishing returns. Every time I managed to get back to sleep, the amount of sleep I got was less and less. I'm not sure what time I eventually gave up, and started to slowly get up. I probably felt no worse than most days, but it seemed more annoying on a day when I didn't have to go to work, and I could have done something - at least I thought I could or would until I opened the curtains and saw just how bloody gloomy it was outside.

 There didn't seem to be any need to get up at all at that point, but I slowly went through the motions, and as I finally took a shower I noticed that I could see blue sky from my bathroom window. Half an hour, or maybe a full hour later, it was actually bright and sunny. By then I had done too good a job of convincing myself that it was basically a rotten day, and I couldn't motivate myself to go out exploring on buses and trains....or something. Eventually I decided that if I didn't go anywhere else, I could at least go to the Pound shop to get a few things in there, and also into Poundstretcher.

 One of the things I wanted from Poundstretcher was a couple of larger washing up bowls that the ones I currently use for doing my hand laundry. Bigger ones would possible make washing duvet covers a bit easier. The only washing up bowls they had were actually smaller than the ones I already had, but they did have flexible bucket like things that are probably better than what I was originally looking for. I also bought another clothes horse - one that will be more stable when stood in the bath. The only trouble is that it is bigger than I thought it was. It fits in the bath just fine - but it is too big to erect in the bathroom without sending stuff in all directions as I lurch around with it !  I'll be testing it all with a pair of jeans that are already soaking in bio detergent. I was going to throw those jeans away because they have some unpleasant blood stains on them left over from when my right legs was leaking quite badly after I came out of hospital 2 years ago. I hope the bio detergent will get the worst of those stains out, and I also hope that I don't shrink the jeans too much. The last time I tried them they didn't have a lot of width to spare !

 While I was in Poundstretcher I noticed something that will bring shivers to several people I know.
remote control
 I am not worried about an obvious toy spider, unlike some, but I don't think it is something I could love !! I definitely can't love the big garden spiders that seem to be hanging from huge webs all over my garden at the moment. This morning I felt brave enough to creep up on one, and take it's picture. It was not the biggest, but it was the easiest to get to without getting myself encased in web. I should have used a tripod to get an even sharper picture, but with a bit of post processing you can just about see that this spider has spiky (and stripy) legs !
spiky legged spider
 I was still debating going out at around 1pm, but I always seem to think the best of the day is over by then. Not only that, but I couldn't think of anywhere to go. If I had felt a bit better, a bit more energetic, and it had been earlier, I might have made a completely pointless trip to Amersham and back - taking in a bit of scenery, and a few photos - and all for free on my 60+ Oystercard, but ultimately I couldn't be bothered. So I've mooched around reading stuff on the internet, and another paperback.

 I think in another hour I will turn on the TV, and heat up part two of my Chinese takeaway. Hopefully there will be something worth watching on one of the freeview channels - maybe some episodes of QI, one of the generations of Star Trek, or some similar repeats of repeats back from the days when there were actually some good stuff on TV. Until then I will continue to drink ice cold squash. This is the only way to drink squash !!
icy peach
This is actually "no added sugar" peach flavour squash with a heavy crust of ice on the inside of the glass (that I had to smash through with the blunt end of a fork !).
Friday 18th September 2015
18:13 BST
  There was a fair bit of sunshine yesterday, but it often seemed a bit weak and watery. It did manage to raise the temperature up to 18° C, or thereabouts. So it was more than comfortable going home from work (possibly very slightly uncomfortable in a coat). Today started off quite cool - a mere 9.8° C on one of my thermometers ! It's been a rather patchy day. There have been some nice sunny spells, but  more of the day was rather dull. There was also some rain this afternoon. It's currently 17° C, dry, and there is some weak, watery sunshine. The forecast is currently saying there could be some heavy rain for a couple of hours soon, but it should stay dry after that until tomorrow evening. Tomorrow is not going to be all that nice. There should be a lot of short lived sunny periods, but the dull periods will probably be longer than the bright periods. The highest temperature could be the same as today - 17° C.

 I didn't feel too bad at work yesterday, but from time to time I felt uncomfortable, or tired. Feeling tired was the worst thing, although some quite vivid stabbing pains in my head were of some concern. They felt as if they were just under the skull. If they had caused continuous pain it would have been very unpleasant indeed. Fortunately they only lasted a second or two, and I don't think the interval between events were probably much less than 30 minutes, and frequently a lot more. It was definitely a relief when the working day was over.

 Going home was good, but only in so much as I was heading home. I didn't feel I had much energy, and yet it didn't seem to be particularly hard to walk to the station from work. I wanted to get a bus, but the curse of the vanishing buses is still active. There is only a bus available when I don't want one ! When I think about it, it didn't seem to be difficult to go home via Tesco....although maybe it was very slightly fatiguing to carry a couple of semi-heavy bags of shopping home. My main complaint would have to be that it was getting rather warm under my coat by the time I got home.

 I am getting a little sick of salad now that summers seems to be long past, and so I tried an experiment for a possible substitute last night. I bought a couple of bowls of "cook in it's own steam" microwavable vegetables, and a bag of grated mature cheddar while I was in Tesco. The idea was to cook the vegetables, and then sprinkle them with grated cheddar before giving them a couple of extra minutes in the microwave. The vegetables would be considered very healthy, or would be if they weren't typically overloaded with carrot. The cheese was not healthy, but may not have been too terrible. At least it is carbohydrate free (at least I think it is). The amount of carrot spoiled it, and it could have done with a very generous sprinkle of black or white pepper, but two bowls of that were quite tasty, and surprisingly filling.

 During the evening I felt quite comfortable, but I came to the conclusion that all the evidence through the day pointed to the fact that I wasn't really over whatever bug it was that laid me so low at the start of the week - actually starting on Sunday. One clue was that I was persistently dry mouthed. I don't think that equated to feeling thirsty, but I suppose it may have. Unless I was talking a lot, I found just an occasional sip to wet my mouth was all I needed at work, and on reflection I may have actually drunk less at work than usually. That wasn't the case in the evening.

 In the evening I was having a lot of chilled drinks, and the colder the drink, the more I drink. When I leave a pint glass of squash in the freezer until it has almost frozen over (or occasionally has frozen over), I can barely stop myself gulping it down in a few gulps. I had quite a few pints of squash like that last night, plus a can of chilled high strength lager. It meant that I seemed to be peeing half the night ! Other than that, I seemed to sleep quite well.

 I had originally booked today off work with a view to going to Canterbury to meet a friend, but various things conspired against that. The early morning weather did not inspire me to want to do any travelling. I was not feeling all that great, and finally, I got a call from my friend Patricia quite early this morning. She is back in the country to act as an interpreter/translator for the Argentina, and Uruguay rugby team organisers. She loves rugby (and football) and so it is virtually a paid holiday for her.

 Patricia used my address to get tickets to a couple of the rugby games she will be attending, and they were sent recorded delivery - so needed a signature. Of course they all arrived while I was at work, and so I have had to go to the sorting office to pick them up. As of first thing this morning I had not picked up the second set of tickets, and one plan was that Patricia would collect the card that the postman dropped here, and take it along to the sorting office herself, but I thought I would do a good deed and go get them myself. Going out was a good test of how I really felt. While indoors I didn't feel that good, but I didn't feel too bad while I was walking. I did feel a bit fatigued when I got back, and my body hurts - only mildly, but it definitely hurt ! I say body, because I can't really define it to any particular part.

 A little before 11am, Patricia turned up to collect her tickets, and some other paper work. We had a good natter (although I found it hard to get a word in edgewise sometimes). As midday approached I offered to buy her lunch (probably in the Wetherspoons - good excuse for a quick pint !). She had almost come directly from the airport (but had dropped off her things, and partner at the place they are renting for the next 6 weeks), and wanted to get back there to have a good wash, and get some sleep. So we will hopefully be meeting for a lunch or dinner date at least once before she flies away again for anther 6 months or so.

 Since Patricia left I have done very little. I've spent most of the time reading - either my book, or from the internet (mainly I guess I now feel basically OK, but I still seem to lack any get up and go. So I guess relaxing, and hopefully getting better, is probably what I should be doing. What I shouldn't be doing is putting pints of squash in the freezer again, and I probably should not be considering ordering a takeaway meal tonight, but I think I am doing both !
Thursday 17th September 2015
08:31 BST
  There is no doubt in my mind that yesterday was terrible. I'm not even sure that ducks would disagree ! It was cold. It ranged between dull and extremely dull. And it rained. It rained an awful lot ! Maybe not in quantity, but certainly in time, from dawn to dusk.......OK, that may be a tiny exaggeration. There were times when it stopped to get it's breath back for a few minutes. I seem to recall there might even have been a short sunny spell, but I can't think when that was...or if I just dreamed it. Today has started off rather better.
about 10 minutes
                          before sunrise this morning
 This was the view towards the east at roughly 10 minutes before sunrise this morning. There is some cloud visible on the horizon, but much of the sky is blue (or as blue as blue can be in the dim pre-dawn light). Now, almost 2 hours later, there are quite a lot of white fluffy clouds to be seen through my office window, but 10 minutes ago there was a huge expanse of blue to be seen. The forecast for today says it will be mostly sunny. It will stay dry until well after dark, and with a maximum temperature of 18° C it will feel almost warm - eventually - it was a rather cool 10° C when I came into work !

 I ended yesterday still not sure if I was fully over the bug that had laid me so low on Sunday and Monday. It felt like I had achieved a lot, and with the washing of the last double duvet (except for the one on my bed), I think I am justified in thinking that I had achieved a lot, and probably under adverse conditions. That made me feel rather good in my own head even if the rest of my body didn't wholly agree, but then again, one of the triumphs was that my body didn't seem to complain that much at all - although it had resisted turning on the energy taps as high as I would have liked when, for instance, trying to wring that duvet out.

 After the triumph of finally hanging that duvet up to dry I had some dinner. It turned out to be quite a simple, if rather unhealthy dinner. It consisted of no more than a pile (a small one!) of "southern flavoured" chicken bits that I had cooked in my mini oven. They came out fairly, but not excessively dry, and so were probably a bit healthier than fried chicken shop chicken, and of course there were no greasy "fries" with them. I did have some naughty salted peanuts as a snack a bit later in the evening, but as far as I can recall I ate quite lightly for a day when I was at home, alone as usual, and with almost nothing that had to be done, or which might distract me from wanting to eat. It was quite strange really.

 It was a real struggle to go to sleep at 9pm, and in fact despite that being the ideal time to sleep to ensure I got enough of it, I failed completely to get to sleep until gone 10pm. I have no idea when I fell asleep, but I think that once I did get to sleep, I slept quite well. I think I probably woke up for a few minutes at 3am to have a wee, but the only thing that I really remember is the broad details from what feels like was an extended dream.

 In this dream I was in a building that was evidently based upon the real life Catford Telephone Exchange, but was 3 or even 4 times bigger. I think I worked there (I did once in real life), but I have no idea what I did there. My first memory is of being on the top floor where there was a large canteen. Someone, and I have no idea who, was upset for some reason that I had no idea about. He was shouting, but I couldn't seem to make out the words. The next thing he did was to pour about a pint of petrol on the floor. When it had made a little river, and pooled near a group of people near the serving area, he set light to it. I didn't feel threatened by this, but thought I would go down stairs to avoid the rush when the fire alarm started. I went down about 4 floors worth of rather bare, almost fireproof, stone stairs, and then out onto the raod to see what would happen next.

 My only worry is that at some time before all this happened I had been told that a complete loony friend of my had called for me, and had been left in a waiting room for me to collect him. I wasn't worried about my friend being in a building that was on fire, but I was worried about the safety of some of the delicate apparatus in the building with my loony friend wandering around in there unescorted ! Eventually, to my relief, he turned up outside the building. There was no sign of any fire from outside the building, and I think we got bored waiting for it because I seem to recall I was heading for a bus stop to get a bus home when I woke up.

 This morning I didn't feel any worse than virtually all mornings start these days. One change is that for the first time since last spring it felt bloody cold in my bathroom - and with the window open to the 10° C air outside, that probably should have come as no surprise ! I did feel a slight sluggishness to my movements as I got myself ready to come to work. It became more apparent whenever I started to walk. It is hard to tell at this point what proportion of the effect is a hangover from the illness, and what proportion is the effect of the drugs that I am back on now (most probably the Bisoprolol). The slight swelling of my ankles points to it being the drugs !

 Now I am at work I feel slightly rough. I guess that more than anything I would like to lie down, and quietly read or snooze as I recover from the shock of coming to work. On top of that I have a slight headache, and my neck feels a bit stiff. My chest has clicked and popped as much as it usually does, but after a period of it being mostly painless, it has returned to generating some occasional pain. On the way to work, as I was walking along, I had some stabbing pains below my left breast. During the next bit of walking, after sitting on the train, those stabbing pains were just below my right breast !  At this very minute I seems to have only very mild pains, but many of them. My chest, my left elbow, my right wrist, my neck, my head, my right knee, and my left big toe all hurt very slightly. It is also rather cool in my office. I've put on my thin jumper, and I am now more comfortable. I could, and still might, put on the heater, but sooner or later it could get quite warm from the sun on the tin roof above the ceiling tiles.

 I don't know what to do about tonight. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how I feel on my way home, but it is Thursday, and that means there will be drinking going on tonight. Unfortunately it is in Bromley, and about the simplest way to get there is to get a bus from Catford when I get there. The problem with that is that even on a good day I am usually pretty fed up with travelling by the time I get back to Catford, and if I am feeling tired after work because I am still struggling with the remnants of that illness, then it tips the balance from maybe to definitely not. There could still be a possibility of popping in The Catford Constitutional Club for a pint or two with Jodie, or even by myself.
Wednesday 16th September 2015
14:36 BST
  I must be very jaded because I seem to want to say that yesterday's weather was not bad. I suppose it depends where you stand. By comparison with summer it was awful. By comparison with autumn it was probably better than expected, and by comparison with winter it was luxury ! I guess I feel like I'm in the autumn groove now, and so a dull miserable start, and a brighter, and warmer than expected second half of the day was "good" ! The high of 20° C I noted yesterday did not last long, but the rate that the day cooled off was very slow.

 It wasn't particularly cold this morning, perhaps 10° C, but it was pretty dull, although not actually wet as far as I can recall. It actually brightened up for a while, and I began to wonder if the forecast was, as I had wished, wrong ! For a while I pontificated about whether I should go out somewhere. Sadly it didn't last long, and by midday, and possibly earlier, the weather had fallen in sync with the forecast - cold dull skies, and rain. It is currently just 14° C, and that seems to be about the best it is going to get. The forecast for tomorrow seems to have changed since I last checked it. Instead of being even worse than today, it should stay dry, and there should be quite a lot of sunshine. It will be warmer too - an almost acceptable 18° C if we are lucky.

  I didn't do anything of note after I reported that doing a bit of hand laundry left me feeling rather strange. I'm not exactly how to define it any better than "strange". It was a mixture of fatigue with a few aches and pains, but it was a subtle mixture. It didn't feel that bad, and it was a sort of gentle warning that I was pushing a bit too hard...or something like that. To tell the truth I probably made up half of that. 24 hours later I can't really capture that feeling in my mind. I described as strange yesterday, and it is even stranger today !

 What was even stranger is that I didn't seem to feel tired last night. I can't remember every hour of the day (particularly when I was reading), but I don't seem to recall snoozing that much, but evidently I found some way of warding off sleepiness when I decided I really ought to turn off the lights and get to sleep. As midnight approached I still seemed to be tossing and turning trying to find that ultimate comfort spot for sleep. I must have found it a lot quicker than it seemed at the time.

 The next thing I knew was that it was about 3.30am. I had overslept my traditional "waking up for no obvious reason" time of 3pm. This morning I don't think I stayed awake long enough to even have a pee - although I may have done. I might even have dreamed the whole thing.  The next time I woke was at 5.30am. I had even overslept my built in alarm clock that always wakes me at least 15 minutes before my actual alarm clock wakes me at 5am (which I had turned off before going to bed, and I had better turn it on again before I resume writing........done !).

 I woke up from a terribly important dream, and I made a mental note that said I had to remember it, and write it down. Of course almost all of it has evaporated now, and the only remaining fragment means practically nothing now. That remaining fragment is of being on the top portion of a bunk bed like arrangement in a sleeper train. Hundreds of people, some of whom had recognisable faces, had crowded onto the train, or at least into the carriage I was in, and they were there to vote on something. My overall feeling was that it was getting a bit claustrophobic. It all seemed to be a very important part of some far bigger story, but what that was has now floated away into the infinisphere (which my spell checker does not recognise as a word !).

 Having made that mental note not to forget the dream (!), I turned over, and went back to sleep until about 7.30am. That was a great lay in for me ! I woke up feeling just as crap as any average day, and I concluded I was all but over my recent illness - whatever it was - and in theory I could have been back at work today. In my specially biased opinion, it would have been foolish to go back to work without making sure I was OK, and maybe doing a test or two.

 Well I have done a test, and the results seem quite satisfactory - although maybe not perfect. Prior to the test I made sure I was fuelled with some premium bacon - Aldi's special dry cured, oak smoked bacon. It is not actually premium bacon, but it's pretty good for a supermarket these days. I cooked it in my mini oven so it was less greasy than if I had fried it - at least that was the theory, but it did still seem a little greasy.

 With my breakfast inside me I made a very bold, and what could have been a foolish move, to set about hand washing my last unwashed double duvet cover (apart from the smelly one currently on my bed). It has felt like a great achievement to have worked through a great backlog of duvet covers, some unwashed for over a year, and it felt like a huge achievement to do this last one. I may not have made a great job of it, but it was an adequate job. Of course the best bit is that while it seemed really hard work, and I didn't have the strength to do it as well as I should (particularly the last wringing out of the last rinse), it didn't seem to leave me shattered when I was finished.
double sized duvet
                          dripping over the bath
Here's that final (until the next one) double duvet cover starting it's path to drying out by dripping over the bath. After half an hour, and several more attempts to wring a bit more water from it, I hung it over the top banister rail to dry out - where it still managed drip on the carpet !

 I think the results from that are that I am fit to go back to work tomorrow (for certain values of "fit" !). Going back to work tomorrow is rather important. I previously booked Friday off work as holiday, and I can't take leave from work unless I am there to start with....or something like that. If I am OK, and the weather is at least passably well, I hope to go to Canterbury to have a couple of beers with my old friend Ivor. Meanwhile, there is quite a lot of today left, and I have no idea what I am going to do to fill the hours......No, I lie. I think I know precisely what I am going to do. I am going to read as much of the latest book I am reading (Artifact by Gregory Benford) while I have the time to do so !
bruise left after
                          blood sample taken
Not a picture for the squeamish maybe. This is the bruise left after I gave my blood samples yesterday morning. I think I mentioned that I was unlucky enough to get the blunt, rusty needle this time, and it was not exactly a very comfortable procedure. On a good day, with a good nurse, and when the sun is shining, it can be, and on a few occasions, it has been, 99.96% painless !
(99.96% painless - blink and you'll miss it !)
Tuesday 15th September 2015
14:54 BST
  The descent into Autumn and Winter seems to be accelerating now. Yesterday wasn't that bad a day, but it wasn't exactly summer ! Most of the time I was feeling too rough to pay too much attention to what was going on in the big wide world outside, but I do remember some rain and some sunshine. I think the morning was when it rained most, and the afternoon was when there was more sunshine. The temperature was probably a rather moderate 16  to 18° C - not cold, but not warm. It was near 10° C this morning, and that was definitely on the cool side. It was also rather wet as dawn broke, but the rain stopped around than, and I don't think it has rained since. We have had a few bright spells since then, but it was very dull, even extremely dull, this morning. I find it a little surprising that my thermometer is saying 20° C right now, although maybe it should not be a great surprise - I turned the heater on in my bedroom 10 minutes ago, and had to switch it off 5 minutes later. The official forecast reckons it should only be 16 to 17° C right now, and that is as high as it will get for the next few days....or week.....or months....or until next summer ! I hope the forecast for tomorrow is wrong because it says rain, rain, more rain, and even more rain in an unending biblical deluge....or something.

 I began to feel better yesterday - although this is a very variable disease. Sometimes I feel good, and sometimes I feel bad, and sometimes the silvery September reminds me of when I was recuperating from my heart operation two years ago ( I said that yesterday, and it is just as true today). Of course I didn't actually feel "bad" while I was recuperating. In fact it was an exhilarating time in some ways as I explored the limits of my resilience, but laying on my bed, resting from my endeavours, with that unique September light, sometimes bright, and sometimes dim, coming through my bedroom window is very evocative.
temperature getting
                          closer to normal
 By mid afternoon, my temperature was down to 38.6° C. That's still a bit high (101.5° F in old money), but better than 39.1° C (102.4° F) as it was the day before. An hour or two later after taking my temperature my appetite suddenly returned. I had eaten very little until then, but once my appetite returned I wolfed down two Aldi curry ready meals - and thoroughly enjoyed them ! I could potentially have enjoyed even more food before going to bed, but I took into account that I might feel well enough to go and give my blood samples this morning, and that I would have to fast for 11 - 16 hours before doing so. So from 7.30pm I had nothing but plain water.

 Well actually it wasn't just plain tap water, it was super chilled tap water. I filled several pint glasses with water, and kept them in the freezer long enough for them to partly freeze. Now the only problem with super chilled tap water is that I like it too much. I am unsure how many pints I drank before going to sleep, but it was quite a few, and it was quite a few times in the night when I had to have a pee. In fact it was worse than that. Every time I woke up, and it was many times for many different reasons, I had a pee no matter how lightly it felt like I needed it. Sometimes I felt too hot, and sometimes I felt too cold. Sometimes my phone would bleep to say I had received some sort of message, and sometimes I just seemed to wake for no reason at all.

 At 6.30am I decided I just could not sleep any more. Well maybe I could have if I had been comfortable, but bits of me ached a lot. My neck was one bit that ached a lot because I have this maddening problem in that my pillows are too high when I lay on my back, and too low when I lay on my side. At least that is how to often seems to be. Once I was out of bed, and could have a good stretch, many of the aches and pains faded away. Washing my hair, and having a shower helped them fade even further.

 I was sort of feeling quite good at that point, but my forehead would not stop sweating. That and all the peeing in the night could be a strong indicator of high blood glucose level, and considering what I had been eating recently (or the lack of it), that would indicate that my pancreas had totally failed.....or it could also mean that I was still fighting an infection. Considering the fever I had suffered from, an infection actually seemed the most likely.

 However I felt good enough to go and give my blood samples - both of which were to do with blood glucose level measurement. Whether it was a good idea to give blood in the state I was in is debatable, but the deed is now done even though I had to wait three quarters of an hour to be seen. Once I had given my blood samples (through a blunt rusty needle - sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn't. today it did !) I went around the corner to Aldi to buy a few things. Having fasted for over 14 hours by the time I got home, I thought I was at least entitled to a couple of tuna crunch rolls. I probably wasn't entitled to a small tub of chocolate ice cream, but I was in a devil-may-care sort of mood, and bought one anyway - and it was very nice !

 After eating I lay down to read for a while, and I think I had a snooze too. I can't actually remember if I did or didn't, but it feels like it was the sort of thing I would do, and there is certainly some time I can't seem to account for. When I got up again I was feeling sort of good, and it felt like I could find the energy to do a little housework. I came close to washing the last remaining unwashed duvet cover. I am very glad that I didn't attempt it now.

 What I did attempt, and achieve, was to wash just two pairs of lounge pants, and a small hand towel. I very quickly found that I was running very low on energy before I was even halfway through. It took a lot of will, power to complete that wash (by hand, of course). When I finally finished it, and had hung it up to dry on a clothes horse in front of the front room heater (on low), I felt really knackered deep down to the bone. That was a good two hours ago now, and I still feel sort of strange.

 Oh well it was a good test to see how much better I am, and I wonder if I am any better at all ! No, I must be better than yesterday, and particularly compared to Sunday. At least today I only hurt if I stress myself, and while I haven't actually tested it, I think my temperature is back to normal. Maybe I am not quite ready to go back to work tomorrow, but I'll wait until tomorrow to make a decision about that. A lot can happen over night - particularly if I get a good therapeutic sleep (although I can't remember the last time I got one of those !). Oh well, I'll take it easy, and see what happens.
Monday 14th September 2015
07:37 BST
  I wasn't expecting any sunshine yesterday, but there was some - not a lot, but some ! There were a few flashes of sunshine around 1pm, and some longer periods from around 6pm to sunset. I can't seem to recall what the highest temperature was, but it felt neither hot nor cold. Perhaps is was in the region of 17 or 18° C. There is a good reason why this description of the weather is rather vague, and I'll explain it soon.  Today has started off wet, but it seems to be brightening up a bit now. I can see some blue between the clouds. It's just 13° C at the moment. I could wish for more, but it's not too awful. Apparently this is all in line with the latest forecast for today. It predicts some sunny periods up to midday, but it may be rather grey after that. Rain showers are forecast for late morning (at the same time as some of the sunny periods), and then some further showers around 5pm. Tomorrow is forecast to start fairly bright, but with some showers, but by mid morning it is supposed to stay dry with more sunny periods. Like today, the highest temperature is forecast to be 17° C.

 Yesterday was an interesting day ! I finished my two lots of laundry, and prepared to go to Aldi. I went a little later than intended - about 1.30pm (I had been aiming for midday). I felt pretty normal going there, but slightly under par coming home. It was nothing serious. I just felt a little tired, and was looking forward to getting all my shopping home. One notable thing I bought in Aldi was a pack of two buffalo meat burgers. I had never seen them before, and I had never tasted buffalo meat before either. The only other thing of note when I was going to, and coming home from Aldi, was a horrible smell at the crossroads half way to the place.

 I have no idea what this smell was, but it was more chemical than anything like decay or sewers. I wondered if it was something coming from a Romanian registered van that I saw go past. I speculated they were using some sort of home brewed diesel or something. Whatever it was, it was still quite a powerful smell when I was coming back from Aldi 20 or 30 minutes later. It is possible I was gassed !

 When I got home I cooked the buffalo burgers in my mini oven, and tried them. I have no idea what buffalo meat is supposed to taste like, but I am sure it is not supposed to taste like rancid motor oil ! I ate both of them, but maybe I shouldn't have done. Half an hour later I started to feel really rough. From then on everything gets a little muddled. First of all I developed a fever - except it wasn't a fever because my temperature was actually lower than normal. That didn't stop me shivering, and shivering convulsively sometimes. Somehow I managed to get to the toilet where I threw up, but it was only a small amount, and certainly not too burgers worth. Eventually I stopped shivering, and it was at that point that my temperature went up to 39.1° C !
39.1 degrees C -
                          that is a fever !
 For the rest of the afternoon, and through the evening, I mostly laid on my bed with the heater on. Sometimes it was literally just on my bed, and at other times I had the duvet wrapped tightly round me because I felt cold. At one point, while I wasn't shivering, or sweating, I went down to the kitchen and brought up two pint glasses of squash. I took a sip from one, and as I put it back down on my computer desk my hands, and arms, and everything, were shaking so much I managed to knock both glasses over and flood the desk with two pints of squash !

 My original plan had been to stop eating by 6pm, and only drink water during the evening, and through the night so I would have fasted for the required 11 to 16 hours before giving a blood sample this morning. Fasting turned out to be very easy the way I was feeling ! I had eaten those burgers, and some salad at about 2pm, and that was the first and last thing I ate all day ! And I had thrown some of it back up ! At 3 or 4am this morning I was feeling quite wobbly. If it had been intended it would have felt like being pleasantly drunk, but it wasn't intended, and it did cross my mind that my blood glucose level could be unusually low (it probably wasn't). So I went to the kitchen and brought back a mini pack of mini biscuits. It was obvious the way I was feeling that I wouldn't be going out to give any blood samples this morning, and so it would be no bother to break my fast. The strange thing is that I almost had to force myself to eat some of those biscuits.

 I don't know if eating those biscuits did any good or not. It is possible I felt a little less wobbly, but it was difficult to tell. The funny thing is, that when I wasn't shivering, or pouring with sweat (which was more common than shivering from late evening) I seemed to get some quite good sleep. This morning I do feel better - but that is not hard to achieve considering how bad I felt from time to time yesterday. I have an almost hangover like headache, and bits of me ache, Some bits of my legs and arms ache, and my chest aches too. Some of the chest ache is just from laying on my side in bed for extended periods of time. It does seem to scrunch up all the internal bits of bone, ligament and muscles. Some of the ache may be a legacy of the extreme shivering yesterday.

 Since I've been up and walked around a bit, I am beginning to feel even better, but I don't seem to have much energy. This reminds me of the first few weeks after I came out of hospital two years and two days ago. Even the silvery September daylight reminds me of it. There must be a word that describes this sensation. It is a bit like deja vu where you think you have been in the same situation before, but in this case I really have. Well, not exactly the same situation - I don't have a row of staples down the middle of my chest holding it together - but many of the thoughts and feelings seem very similar.

 I am not going into work today, but I am not sure what I will do today. Perhaps if I am feeling a lot better by early afternoon I might consider starting to fast again so I can try and give a blood sample tomorrow morning - and then maybe go on to work....or not ! Even if I do decide to fast again, or not, I ought to see about eating something before then. At the moment I don't seem to feel hungry. That is surely an indication that I am desperately ill !

 I think the first thing I might do is to lay on my bed and do some reading. Then if I feel like closing my eyes and snoozing I can, and I can also contemplate how amusing it would be if I was suffering from Anthrax ! Whilst that is highly unlikely to the nth degree, it is actually possible. That buffalo meat could have been infected with Anthrax spores, but there could be another source. I recently bought two new leather belts, and leather can be a source of Anthrax (but only if it is uncured). I think if I was suffering from Anthrax I would be feeling considerably worse than this, but then again, there is still plenty of time left to die before Xmas.
Sunday 13th September 2015
09:27 BST
  I consider that we are still in summer, and that yesterday was a poor imitation of a summer's day. On the other hand, considering some of the weather we had a couple of weeks ago, it still ended up as a pleasant day after a dull wet start. As darkness started to fall the cloud thickened up, and probably covered the whole sky. That kept a bit of warmth in, and today started off tepid. I doubt that the temperature has risen much since sunrise, and it is now 15° C. Sadly enough, if the weather forecast holds even partly true, that is about the best we can expect today. The more obvious, or simple part of the forecast is correct - it is rather dull this morning. I thought I saw a solitary patch of blue in the sky about the size of my little fingernail, but it has gone now. The real question is when will it rain ? I'm sure an earlier forecast said around midday, but the current forecast, that claims not to have been updated since the earlier one I saw, has now put the time back to about 3pm before the first showers fall. There will be further showers, maybe of heavier rain, late tonight. Tomorrow is still showing as a mixture of quite frequent showers with the occasional ray of sunshine breaking through. It will be as cool as today, and it very much sounds like a coat will be needed tomorrow - or a Sou' Wester !

 I couldn't raise the enthusiasm to go out last night. It seems I preferred to stay in, eat even more food, and drink a couple of large glasses of whisky. If it wasn't for a slight pang of guilt, both for eating too much, and for missing what was later described as a good gig, I would have otherwise enjoyed myself last night. I guess I must have been a bit drunk, but I didn't seem to feel any negative effects from the booze. I did feel one positive effect, and that was that I think I fell asleep very soon after getting into bed.

 I slept well too, although I did seem to have a very long rambling dream at some time in the night. At one point in the dream it was literally rambling. I dreamed that I was walking barefoot through the countryside - although it wasn't the deep countryside. I seemed to be aware that Croydon was not far away in that dream setting. Walking barefoot over chalky/flinty paths didn't seem to bother me in any way. That was probably a throwback to when I was a kid, and the soles of my feet were like least I think they were.

 Some of this dream countryside was mildly hilly, and some forested. Inside the forested area were small houses. They were very small except in height, and they were occupied by normal sized people. I went into one to meet someone, and it was so small we had to stand in different rooms ! That seemed to fade to me looking at a letter from Amazon( who said that even though I wasn't a member of Amazon Prime, I was still entitled to a free gift, and they were sending me three free books - one of which was worth £250, and like the other two, was a completely useless book unless you were interested in 18th century finance statistics. (I'll admit I made that up because I can no longer remember what the books were really about, but I think that 18th century financial statistics conveys a pretty good flavour of how uninteresting the free books were going to be).
 It was a bit early when I first got up (about 5.30am if I remember correctly). I didn't feel good and I didn't feel bad - or no more bad than any random morning in the last year or so. After checking my email, and reading some stuff off the internet, I decided to go back to bed and try to get some more sleep. I feel certain that I didn't go to sleep, and that I was in bed for no more than 20 minutes, but I can't account for at least an hour of lost time. When I got up again I felt slightly worse than I did first time, but it was only that scrunched up post bed feeling.

 Some hard work seemed to sort me out. I gave it at least half an hour to prepare myself before I started on the hard work, and then my hard work commenced. I may be exaggerating by calling it hard work, because it was mild compared to digging a large hole in the ground, but hand washing 5 work shirts, plus some underwear was enough to get me sweating. I sort of feel good after doing it. Maybe it is just a sense of achievement, or maybe it just acted as an antidote to my blood stagnating drugs, and got the blood flowing in my body again.

 I haven't finished washing yet. I'm taking a breather for now, but soon I'll be washing a small bath towel, and some t-shirts. In fact they are already soaking in some bio detergent, and a splash of disinfectant to try to avoid the towel getting smelly if it dries slowly - which it will probably do on a day like today. I do have other stuff that I could wash if I had anywhere to hang it to dry, but I don't, and so I'll leave that to another day (or possibly later this evening). I hope that before Winter really sets in e can have just one more brilliantly warm sunny day so I can wash the final unwashed double duvet cover (except for the one on my bed - it never ends !). Maybe for the sake of completeness I'll wash it and dry it indoors in front of a fan heater. It will be an awful lot of messing around, but it should be possible...On the other hand I could just throw it away. It is quite old, and extremely faded (it used to be a dark blue Paisley pattern), but it is not torn, or worn through, or anything like that. So it is still serviceable even if it looks pale and knackered. It's difficult for me to throw away stuff that is still usable, but I know others who would have thrown it away years ago !

 There are still many hours of today left, and I only have a few ideas how I am going to fill them. It won't be long before I need some more laundry soap capsule things, and some more toilet paper, and maybe some more food and drink. So I think I'll try and get to Aldi before it rains. Other than that, I have an empty, or almost empty wheelie bin, and it would seem like it could be a good idea to collect another big bin bag of stuff to throw out from the back room. I sometimes imagine I am getting to a point where a small amount of effort could leave quite a large area free of junk.

 The one thing I have to do today is to be very careful about what and when I eat. I have to fast for 11 to 16 hours before giving some blood samples at (I hope) about 8am tomorrow morning. So I am planning on not eating after 7pm. That sounds a sort of reasonable time, although I could try to aim for 6pm. The other thing is that I want to avoid anything with more than a hint of sugar in it, and preferably the very least amount of any sort of carbohydrate in it. The latter requirement could be tricky, but I'll do my best. The quantity and colour of my pee suggests my blood glucose level is quite well controlled now, and has been for as much as the last month or so. On the other hand, the way my forehead has been getting so sweaty so easily after the least amount of physical effort, suggests my blood glucose level is running out of control. I wonder which is right ?
Saturday 12th September 2015
18:00 BST
  I think that the forecast for yesterday was about right - roughly speaking. It may not have stayed quite as sunny as it might have been, but it was close, and I'm not sure if it hit 21° C, but once again it came pretty close. Perhaps the biggest discrepancy was that the late evening rain was a lot lighter, and maybe briefer than the forecast seemed to suggest. Today was supposed to be wetter and duller than yesterday, and indeed it was - but only until about 10am, and even then it wasn't that wet, nor was it that dull. The rest of today has been pleasantly sunny for most of the time, and it has probably been at least a degree warmer than yesterday. The current weather forecast is saying that tomorrow will either be quite dull, or very dull. There will be a few hours of rain around midday, and probably more later on in the evening. It will also be quite cool at just 15 or 16° C. I have a feeling that things have changed a lot in the 24 - 48 hours that have passed since that forecast was made, and if we are very lucky it might be a much nicer day...but time will tell.

 The effect of all my blood pressure, and stuff,  drugs grew worse during the day, yesterday, but it is a subtle effect. It's only when I try to walk, and even then only when I try and walk at my preferred speed, that the effect becomes pronounced. I can only describe it as like walking up a very gentle, almost imperceptible hill. Putting in the extra effort to keep going at a reasonable pace becomes like hard work. It is most annoying ! Maybe at other times I feel better for it, but it is such an intangible thing that it is hard to tell if I do feel better, and when I am sure I do it could just as well be pure coincidence. All I know is that until I restarted taking those drugs I was almost enjoying rushing around, or maybe It was enjoying being able to rush around even if doing so did involve some wear and tear on my knackered body.

 I guess it was nice getting out of work, and heading home, and it was nice to find a little remaining extra energy to walk to Tesco and buy some stuff. As always, the theory was to be careful about what I bought, and as usual I partly failed. The worst mistake was to think that the reduced price, Tesco Finest, king prawn spaghetti ready meals, were actually good value when reduced from £3.50 ( a complete rip off) to £2.75 (still a rip off), and worse still, that they might actually be nice in some amazing way. I'll grant you they weren't horrible, but the completely failed to excite me !

 One of the amazing things about last night was that even after eating far more dinner than I intended, I managed to convince myself that not only was I not bloated and uncomfortable, but I actually had enough energy to go out again - and to stay awake long enough to do it ! It helped a lot that my intended destination was relatively easy and fairly quick to get to - and with my 60+ Oystercard, it was free to get to as well !

 The catch was that the pub I was heading for, The Swan in West Wickham, is a pub I really dislike. It is a sort of shrine to Crystal Palace football club, and I detest football ! On the plus side I was going to see a Chain gig. I arrived there just before 9pm when they were due to start, but only stayed for about an hour. In that time I took a pile of photos - of which the majority were really crap ! Maybe it was just me and that pub or something, but the photos were plagues with motion blur, or the focal plane was in completely the wrong place. I guess one in ten were usable.
Chain at The Swan in
                          West Wickham
Here's a good example of a very soft focus and noisy photo of Chain last night.
the audience
This picture of some of the audience came out better. I guess that proves the camera was working OK, and that it was just the way I tried taking the other pictures.

 I am unsure what time I left the pub, but I think it was just before 10pm. I found I had left just after a light shower. That made it feel deliciously cool after the pub, which felt warm and stuffy, and there was a delightful freshly damp earth smell as I walked to the station. It is downhill to the station, and that made for a pleasant stroll. The very best thing was that I got to the station, purely by chance, just 2 minutes before a train was due. About 12 or 13 minutes later I was back in Catford, and less than 10 minutes after that (maybe just 7 or 8) I was back home again.

 I had a very good reason for being able to completely ignore any takeaway shops on the way home - I already had a sort of takeaway waiting for me. While in Tesco I had bought some of their hot mystery bird chicken bits and pieces which had been reduced in price - just £1 for a bag of four unidentified bits of flesh and bones in a mystery fatty/oily flavour. All I had to do was to zap them in the microwave to warm them up again.  Maybe it was because I only had just one solitary pint of Guinness while I was out, but I found I failed to be excited by that hot chicken. It wasn't horrible, but maybe it was just too much guilt or something.

 I went to bed soon after eating that chicken, and to my surprise I slept very well. Initially I woke up at 4am, and that depressed/annoyed me for a few minutes, but before I could get really bothered about it I realised I was waking up again, and this time it was a far more reasonable 7am. If I didn't have stuff to do I would have like to have have tried for another hour or two of sleep, but I got up and started preparing for a visit by my friend Aleemah. This preparation included the rare act of doing some hoovering !

 Maybe that hoovering used up the last of my energy for the whole day...or maybe not. It certainly felt like hard work to walk to the station to meet Aleemah.....although "hard work" is not a very good description, but I am not sure what is. What I do know is that most of last week, and I think the week before, I kept mentioning how easy it seemed to be to walk to the station, and other places, despite sometimes suffering from assorted pains. That easiness seems to have faded away again, and walk is more a chore than pleasure again.

 By the time I got to the station I was starting to limber up a tiny bit, and walking down to the pub didn't seem so bad - but I was walking at Aleemah's slower pace. Walking from pub to home was likewise not so bad, and in addition to doing it at a more sedate pace, I was also lubricated with two half pints of beer ! Things could only get worse - and they did !

 Aleemah brought along a DVD of a biography of the early days of the recently deceased Cilla Black called "Cilla". Cilla Black did sing a few good songs back in the 1960's but I hated her, and her bloody over the top Liverpudlian accent, when she took to doing stuff on TV. So once again it was not a great pleasure to watch yet another of Aleemah's DVD's (although I've seen worse), and I guess I could grudgingly admit that there were a few minutes that were OK !

After Aleemah went home I had a late lunch, and set about reviewing/editing the photos I took last night. It was quite a stressful session trying to carefully crop and enhance as many photos as possible, but I only ended up with about 10 out of 60 that I would want to show publicly. The only saving grace is that all the good ones were far better than many mobile phone pictures are - although I have seen some remarkably good gig pictures taken on mobile phone - but only very well lit gigs.

 Since then I have done hardly anything at all. I have tried to have a snooze, but that didn't work. I could go out again this evening. Chain are playing The Chatterton Arms. It is a nicer pub, and just as easy to get to as The Swan in West Wickham (although it does take twice as long), but I am having trouble raising the enthusiasm to go, and I feel I have eaten rather too much this afternoon to be comfortable going out - particularly when The Chatterton Arms has such awful toilets - they were good for two weeks after the pub changed hands a year or two ago, but now they have no locks on the cubicle doors. The light had failed in one of them the last time (or time before ?) I was there, and it was only the one that was pitch dark inside that had toilet paper, an intact toilet seat, and no vomit on the floor. The place doesn't really go out of it's way to attract me - only flies !!
Friday 11th September 2015
08:08 BST
  It may not have been hot, but yesterday was still rather glorious. It was definitely warm feeling after a cool start to the day. The sun shone practically all day, and the sky was blue. It's a shame it didn't get a little warmer. The temperature may have touched 20° C, but it was probably only a little over 18° C for much of the time. Even so, that was warm enough to generate a bit of sweat while fast walking in the afternoon sunshine.Today has picked up where yesterday left off (except for the temperature dropping back to 10° C during the night). It is a beautifully sunny morning, and it should continue like this until at least sunset. The temperature could hit 21° C by then, but then it will get very cloudy, and by midnight it could be raining. Tomorrow may be a bit dull, a bit cooler, and a bit wetter, but it is not supposed to be all that terrible !
the end of the day
This is how the sky looked as I came home from the pub at just gone 7.30pm. The sun has almost set, but the sky is still blue, and although it's not really visible in this photo, there was a hint of pink sky above the houses in the distance (which is to the west where the sun is setting).

 I tried to capture how brilliant and cheery the sun was this morning while I was on the train. I was sitting on the wrong side of the train for that while travelling from Catford to Waterloo - which is a pity because that has better views towards the east. I was on the right side (which was the left side !!) of the train from Waterloo to Earlsfield, and I tried to capture something through the less than clear windows very soon after we left Waterloo.
view from the
This picture gave hints of a warm yellow glow beyond the buildings, but is basically useless.
the sun shining
                              through the train windows
This picture is boring and bland, but does show the sunshine streaming in through the train windows !

 Yesterday was a very satisfying day in many ways. I got to see the doctor, and I got my Electro Cardiogram done. I still have to get my blood samples taken and analysed, but I have a cunning plan for that. I will visit the phlebotomy clinic as early as possible on Monday morning, and then I will just come into work late (probably about 90 minutes late if I am lucky with the trains), and make up the time as and when :-) After all the medical stuff, which is both stressful and enjoyable in a peculiar way (maybe it is only enjoyable to get it over and done with), I had a few hours to kill before going out again for a few beers.

 Last night the Thursday night boozing club met in The Fox And Firkin pub. It is only a shadow of it's former self when it used to brew good beer actually on the premises, but it wasn't bad when we were in there. I stayed for just three pints. I would have liked more, but that is all I would allow myself. I doubt if three pints is particularly unhealthy, but the almost mile walk there and back was particularly good for me - I think. I did quite a lot of walking yesterday. I walked to the doctor and back, but that is only a 5 minute walk. I walked to the hospital and back, and if you include going through the corridors in the hospital, and walking up the stairs in there, it probably adds up to at least three quarters of a mile there and back.

 I can't say that all that walking was particularly easy, but it wasn't bad. It would have been easier if I hadn't tried to walk as fast as I could - which wasn't as fast as I wanted, but it never is. It is probably a good thing that I don't drive a car because no speed is fast enough ! On the whole I felt pretty good yesterday. I had a few twinges from my chest, but I think most can be accounted by not being too careful how I moved my body. I find the idea that I should take care to only move in carefully considered gentle ways, and to walk like a shuffling old man, to be particularly appalling, but I guess I can see it coming one day.
a collection
                                  of severed hands !
I noticed this collection of severed hands in the park on the way to the pub yesterday.

 After I left the pub I couldn't resist the lure of the fried chicken shop on the way home. I can blame it partly on the booze. Partly on the fact that I didn't really have much in the fridge to make dinner from, and partly because I am weak willed, and couldn't resist the smells coming from the place. I did manage to curb my enthusiasm a bit, and didn't order much, but my timing was all wrong. I ordered a small portion of fries, but because he was just coming to the end of a batch of freshly fried fries, he just tipped the whole lot into my bag ! In some circumstances that might have been nice, but not with American style "French fries". They are pretty nasty in large quantities - unlike big chunky, greasy, proper fish and chip shop chips !

 I filled my face with chicken and chips fries, and by 9pm I was in bed (at least I think it was about then). It may not have seemed it at the time, but I think I fell asleep quite quickly, and I seemed to sleep quite well last night. This morning I don't feel too bad. I have the usual mild aches and pains - and that includes a low level dull ache from my chest. I have also had a few sharp pains from my chest when doing certain things. Brushing my hair behind my head with my left hand, but not my right, seems a good way of getting a momentary sharp and hot pain flash across my left breast.

 The worst thing about this morning is that I think the curse of my blood pressure drugs is already kicking in now I am taking them again. This morning was my second dose of Amlodopine, Losartan K, Bisoprolol, and Avorstatin (some or none of which may be spelled correctly). It definitely felt like a lot harder work to walk from the station to work this morning ! I am not happy with that. It is an effect I told my doctor I would want to discuss the next time I see her.

 Tonight I have two important tasks. The first is to go home via Tesco, and do some shopping. The second task is to try and eat as little of it as possible ! I really must try to avoid anything with high levels of sugar in it. I have been mostly careful for the last few weeks, although I have had a few slippages, but if I can be careful enough over the weekend, I may be able to get a good result when my Monday morning blood sample is tested. The test for blood glucose is sort of magic in that it can look back in time to provide a sort of average over about 28 days. I'm not sure about the cholesterol test. That could be a bit high, but that one is of less interest to me at the moment. I once blamed the statins for making me feel bad, but I have proved to my own satisfaction that it is not them. I'm not sure it is the other drugs either. It may be the apex of insanity, but I wonder if after 60 years of obesity, I am actually supposed to have high blood pressure, and can only function correctly when it is a lot higher than the doctors think it ought to be - based on the average of a load of skinny, half starved waifs !
Thursday 10th September 2015
14:19 BST
  Yesterday was almost a nice day. It was a bit variable through the morning, but it settled down to be nice and sunny by later afternoon. It may have only reached 18° C, but walking in the sunshine felt far warmer - particular;y when walking quite fast ! During the night it cooled down, but only to 10° C, but it didn't take long to warm up under almost continuous sunshine. Maybe it feels warmer than it actually is because my thermometer says it is still a smidgen under 19° C. There could still be potential for it to touch 20° C before the sun gets too low in the sky. Tomorrow could see a few more clouds in the sky, but the forecasters reckon it could be a degree warmer. It will cool after after that, and it might rain on Monday.
Ladywell Fields on a
                          sunny September day
I don't think they sky was exactly the same shade as my mobile phone camera thinks it is, but it was certainly nice and blue while walking through the park at about 11am. It was warm too.

  Work unusually provided enough distractions, and some triumphs to distract me from feeling bad except on a few occasions. By the end of work I wasn't feeling tired, although I didn't seem to have quite the energy I had the day before when going home. I'm not sure how far it is from Catford Bridge railway station to Catford sorting office. It is less than a mile, but probably not that much less. It certainly got me breathing hard, and maybe I wish I had not tackled it at about as fast as I can currently walk (for sustained periods), it didn't seem to onerous to walk there and pick up Patricia's tickets. They seemed to accept one of her bank statements to identify me as a bone fide representative, and accepted my 60+ Oyster (photo)card as proof that I was who I said I was. With the tickets in my sweaty hand, I caught a bus back to the end of my road. I would have got the bus there, but missed it by about 15 seconds - hence the reason why I walked.

 Going home via the sorting office only delayed my arrival home by about 20 minutes, I found that rather surprising, but I guess that was aided by only having to wait about 15 seconds for a bus to take me home. I have a suspicion that it actually took longer to get the bus to the end of my road, and then to walk home than it did to walk from the station to the sorting office. That seems all wrong, but I can't argue with the clock !

 In theory I would have eaten very lightly last night so that I would have felt better when I saw the doctor at 9am this morning. At least my blood glucose level would have been lower if I didn't eat what I did eat ! My main dinner was all the curry from two different Aldi ready meal curries, and about half the rice from each. As such, that wasn't too bad, but maybe the stress gave me a fierce case of the munchies. So I ate quite a few assorted nuts, as well as a couple of mint Club Biscuits (the type that are coated in chocolate). I think I over did it a bit !

 I might have eaten more than was good for me, but it didn't affect my sleep. I went to bed a bit later than I should have, but otherwise early considering I didn't have to leave to go to the doctors until two and a half hours after I normally leave to get the train to work. I should have been able to have a lie in, but I seemed to get up a little before 5am - as I do on any working day. I did try to go back to sleep, but I guess I must have slept quite well, and just didn't seem to need any more sleep.

  I feel that by rights I should have at least been in some sort of pain or discomfort when I saw the doctor this morning. It would have made the whole thing more convincing (to me on a subconcious level, or some such nonsense). I did have a few minor twinges from time to time, but mostly I felt quite good. However, with no internal references to refer to except memory, I described my symptoms to the doctor. She agreed that my diagnosis of Costochondritus was probably not that far wrong, but she (for it was a she) preferred to say it was a muscular problem.

 I mentioned to her one of the biggest problems was that I worried that the muscular pains my chest could be masking other pains, such as heart pains. Having ascertained that I was familiar with one type of heart trouble pain - angina - she said that if it was something like a heart attack happening it would be a very concentrated pain that was quite distinct to the pains I described. To be on the safe side she gave me a letter to get an Electro Cardiogram made in Lewisham hospital to check for any heart problems. She also gave me a ticket for some blood tests, and gave me a prescription for all the drugs I had run out of (over 6 weeks ago !).

 After seeing the doctor my first port of call was the blood testing suite on the floor above the GPs surgeries. What the doctor had failed to tell me, although had written it out in black and white on the request form, was that I was supposed to fast for 11 - 16 hours before giving one of the blood samples. I am boozing tonight so I can't fast tonight, and my boss would be quite pissed off if I demanded to take tomorrow off work at such short notice. However I did email him to say that that I would need to go to give those blood samples on Monday morning, and that I will need at least a few hours off work. I have a cunning plan about that - this could work out quite good if I time it right !

 I couldn't give blood, but I could go along to the hospital where they have a walk in service for Electro Cardio Grams. It was very pleasant to walk through the park to the back entrance to the hospital, and even after that walk to still have enough energy to ignore the lift, and walk up the stairs. Unfortunately that did leave me rather sweaty for quite some time. I wasn't fully dry after a long and boring wait to be seen, but at least I had stopped dripping. I guess it was only a 20 minute wait, but it felt longer because it was bloody boring - why didn't I remember to take a book or something ?

 There was a nice young oriental lady operating the ECG machine. The first time I was wired to one was some years back, and it was a little more primitive than the one today. I gave some pretty erratic results because I was both very apprehensive after my doctor prescribed a battery of tests for me after not seeing him for something like 20 years, and I was also fascinated with what was going on. This time, particularly after spending days permanently wired to a slightly simpler machine they use on the wards, I was far more relaxed about it. The operators don't do any diagnosis on the spot, to my surprise that seems to be my GPs job, but they can usually spot any major abnormality. My results drew no comment at all. Maybe she didn't want to speak out of turn, or speculate, or maybe my results were superficially good. A more detailed analysis may reveal something more minor, but that can be dealt with at a more leisurely pace (assuming I have the slightest clue as to what I am talking about).

 The truth to these questions or answers, plus the results of the blood samples I should be giving on Monday morning, should all be answered when I manage to get another appointment with the doctor sometime in the week after next - probably. In the meantime I can sit back and relax - for a while ! I had hoped there would be more time to do something more exciting today, but after getting back home from the hospital I have achieved very little apart from eating stuff I shouldn't and doing a bit of reading. In about another hour and a half I will be going out again to walk through the park once again, and continue on the The Fox And Firkin where boozing will be taking place at 5pm. If I didn't have work in the morning, and if I wasn't trying to limit my beer intake, particularly with the blood tests looming, but also for more general reasons, I could have been tempted to get drunk tonight !
Wednesday 9th September 2015
08:04 BST
  It seems amazing to me that weather forecasts are given for 5, or in some cases even more days ahead, and yet the forecast for the next day can change radically up to zero hours before it actually happens. Today was forecast to be quite similar to yesterday - plenty of sunny periods, a top temperature of 18° C, and with very little wind, feeling almost warm in the afternoon. 24 hours later and the forecast for today says it is going to be various shades of cloudy all day - although it could still end up at 18° C by 4 - 5pm. I can't be 100% sure, but I think the forecast has changed again ! At 11am there could be the odd ray of sunshine peeping around the clouds, but seems to be the most optimistic those forecasters can be. Tomorrow is still forecast to be bright and sunny, and with the later afternoon temperature supposedly hitting 20° C, it will be feeling warm.

 It is really amazing what the power of mind over matter can achieve.....or maybe it was pure coincidence ! I started yesterday feeling pretty rough. My chest was sore, and I felt terribly tired after a terrible night's sleep. That at about 9.30pm I phoned the doctors to make an appointment, and as soon as that was done I felt a lot, lot better, and I have done since ! Even the tiredness that had a real cause - a couple of hours of lost sleep - seemed to recede into the background. I ended up feeling fairly OK at work. Maybe more surprising is that I seemed to have an excess of energy when I was going home. I didn't want to push it too far because getting too short of breath would probably have hurt my chest with all the deep breathing involved, but I did partly run up the stairs from the subway to the platform at Waterloo East.

 To my surprise it seemed a lot less hard than I thought, and I didn't feel knackered at the top, and nor was I short of breath to the extent that I imagined I would be. I had to breath a lot more intensely than usual for a few moments, but it wasn't bad enough that I couldn't have carried out a normal conversation - which, curiously enough, was one of the criteria set by the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre's indicators of exercise being taken at an appropriate level. Way back, 18 months or so ago, when I went to my one cardiac rehabilitation session, I found their exercise regime boring, but quite easy. Since then there would have been times when it would have been difficult, but just for an hour or so yesterday, it might have been more than easy. No only was I almost running up the stairs at Waterloo East, but I walked from the station to home at about the pace I always used to be able to do, and arrived home almost feeling still fresh, and while I was breathing a little more deeply than usual, I was a long way from out of breath.

 Unfortunately that deep breathing did make my chest ache a bit. I was reminded of a period of time many, many years ago, half a century ago maybe, when I could run around like a loony until my chest was heaving, and ached for minutes after, and think nothing of it apart from to be rested enough to do it all over again. Of course, unlike the other kids who were slim, I could only run a quarter of the distance they could, but it didn't seem to matter much then - although it did make me realise that I could never take up committing crimes for a living, as I wanted to, because I couldn't run away from the rozzers fast enough !

 I planned to have a simple dinner last night, and amazingly enough, I actually did it ! Well, maybe it wasn't that simple, but I did manage to avoid any extra snacks and stuff. I had a two part dinner. Part one was an Aldi chicken and mango salad. The mango is in the form of a little tub of mango chutney that is almost pure sugar. So I threw that away and just had a chicken salad - with an unadvised amount of chilli flavoured mayonnaise on it instead. At least the mayonnaise is not packed with sugar - at least I hope it's not. Part two of my dinner was roasted beef meatballs with half a roasted onion, and a generous splash of smoky chipotle chilli sauce.

 As soon as I had finished my dinner I went up to my bedroom and PC because the TV news was boring me. I checked a few things on the internet, and it wasn't long before I decided I would lay on my bed and read for a while. It was almost instantly after that, that I decided I might as well get ready for bed before starting to read. I read a few pages of a magazine, and then I turned out the light. I was asleep before 7.30pm, and I slept remarkably well. I guess I was just too tired to do anything else. I know I woke up twice in the night, but both times were so brief that it barely registered. I finally woke up up at about 4.45am. I then jumped out of bed, turned the heater on, and jumped back into bed again, but I was up again before my alarm went off at 5am.

 This morning I feel both good and bad - well, no change there except maybe there is more a bias towards the good than the bad. All that sleeping left me with a few back ache like twinges, but mostly they are, or were of no consequences. My chest seems to be consistently very mildly sore. It feels more like an old injury just gently reminding me it's still there. It is so mild that almost anything can distract me from it - apart from writing about it of course ! I would have thought that all the sleep I got last night should mean that I don't need more, and yet while I am not yawning away like I was yesterday morning, the idea of laying down and closing my eyes is very appealing right now.

 I have something unusual to look forward to after work today. When I get back to Catford I will be going to the Catford sorting office to try and pick up a registered (or tracked) letter containing tickets to a rugby match (or two, or three) for my friend Patricia. She is currently out of the country, but will be here for about a fortnight in about 10 days times. The big problem will be bluffing the man at the sorting office that I truly represent Patricia. The "Sorry we couldn't deliver it" card said I need to take some ID from her along to the sorting office. All I have is a recent bank statement for her, and I hope that is sufficient.

 Tomorrow, at 9am, I will be seeing a doctor to tell her (I think it is a her, but I am not entirely sure) all about the clicks and pops, and creaks, and groans that come from within my chest when I perform certain actions, including breathing on some occasions, and how it can became sore sometimes. I've got a sinking feeling that I won't be able to produce a click or a pop on demand. I guess it is something I could rehearse, but even when it is non painful, as it is the majority of the time, it still feels sort of unpleasant, and so I prefer not to do it on purpose. It happens naturally enough on it's own, but I bet it doesn't happen while the doctor is listening with a stethoscope. It will come as no surprise if I am ordered to have loads of tests and checks before a full diagnosis is made, but hopefully the doctor will be able to offer some sort of opinion before I am prodded and poked, bled dry, and x-rayed in the hospital. All being well I'll have a story to tell at about 10am tomorrow.
Tuesday 8th September 2015
07:57 BST
  I was disappointed that the sun went in just before I set out to go home from work yesterday. Prior to that it had often been cheeringly bright and sunny - and it was for a while after I got home ! On the whole it wasn't such a bad day. It was dry, there was a fair amount of sunshine, and I think it was a little warmer than I expected. I do recall looking at my thermometer when I got home just before 5pm, but I can't remember what it said. I think it might have been 19° C, but I can't swear to it. Today was forecast to be slightly better than yesterday, and for the first 20 minutes after sunrise it really did look that way. Most of the sky was clear, and the rising sun's light had a very mellow, silvery, nice autumn day feel to it. Unfortunately it quickly clouded over, and we have been left with a rather grey light. The latest forecast still insists there will be plenty of sunny spells until about 2pm when the sun will stay in. The only change then will be a short period of black cloud at 6pm before it reverts to thinner, lighter grey cloud. In the unlikely event that the forecast bears some resemblance to reality, it should warm up from about 10° C now to 18° C by late afternoon. The forecast for tomorrow is practically a clone of today, but Thursday is summed up by a big friendly sun symbol (and 20° C).
plaque at Waterloo station

I spotted this plaque at Waterloo station while going home from work yesterday. I feel sure I have never seen it before, but maybe it has always been there, and it has recently been cleaned. Alternatively it may have been moved from somewhere else, perhaps a less accessible part of Waterloo station. A third possibility is that it is new, but I don't think so. It currently resides at balcony level to the right of the entrance to Waterloo East station. Clicking on the picture should bring up a much larger version of this picture - although the details are still a bit indistinct.

 Apart from it always being nice to leave work and go home, I can't seem to remember anything good or bad about going home. Like the previous day, it was just another wasted hour of my life that I will never get back.

 When I got home I called a friend I had been speaking to in the morning. He is one of those friends where a good deal of time can pass, and yet chat comes easily. The last time I saw him was when I he visited me in hospital 2 years ago. In that two years he has moved, and three of his kids have got married, but that was just incidental news to our chat that went on for as much as an hour. I am going to try and visit him towards the end of next week.

Last night was a night of good intentions that quickly fell apart for some reason. These good intentions were to do with dinner, and food in general, and started off OK. I had a salad with some smoked mackerel, and while it was very nice, it did leave a fishy taste in my mouth. So I had another small bowl of salad with some spam. That was all I intended to have, but later, after, I have to admit, a couple of large whiskies, I had some junk food - including two Cadbury's Flakes. I don't know what possessed me to buy them from the 99p in the first place - and it was a pack of four !

 I don't know if it was anything to do with the booze, or the food, but I ended up having an atrocious night. I got to sleep OK at about 9.30pm, and I seemed to sleep OK until I think 2.30am. I woke up feeling edgy and my chest was sore. I turned over and tried to go back to sleep but I felt too uncomfortable for several reasons. My chest went crack, which didn't help the soreness, but I also realised that I needed the toilet - and not just for a wee. With that taken care of I went back to me bed and tried to relax, but it seemed impossible.

 The pains in my chest changed depending on whether I tried laying on my right side, my left side, or on my back. When I lay on my back my chest would sort of pop when ever I breathed in. I am reasonably confident that it was all just more of my costochondritus, or whatever related malady I suffer from, but there is always that worry that underneath all that my heart is trying to get my attention. Eventually, and with the help of a couple of Ibuprofen tablets, I felt more comfortable, but everytime I started to relax something else happened. The most annoying was an itch suddenly starting on the sole of my right foot. I have no idea how that happened, or even if it is some sort of symptom of something, but it's bloody annoying, and it's not a place you can easily scratch. Once that had died down, and I began to feel as if I was about to go to sleep, one of my own hairs fell down and started tickling my face. Well, at least that was easy to deal with, but as I did so I became fully awake again....and then I turned over which aggravated my chest again ! I must have been awake for something like two and a half hours in the night, and I feel shattered now.

 Not only do I feel incredibly tired, but my chest is feeling sore again...or at least it was. As I write this I realise it isn't sore right now. Hopefully it will stay that way, although if it were still painful it might spur me on to finally make an appointment to see a doctor. The good news is that once again, my legs seem to be in excellent working order, and several parts of my journey to work that involve walking seemed unusually effortless. I was slightly holding back from maximum effort to avoid stressing my chest with too much deep breathing, but it was only slightly, and I imagine that I could have put a lot more effort in to walk faster without feeling any particular stress from it. I sometimes wonder if invoking more heavy breathing would be beneficial to my chest, and on a few rare occasions there have been hints that it is so.

 I don't see any reason why I shouldn't go straight to bed when I get home, although I very much doubt that I will. I'll have my nightly battle with trying to keep my food intake as low as possible without the benefit of cigarettes, and then, probably after eating more than I would like, I'll go to bed. The only problem is that I don't expect I'll get a very good nights sleep. I seem to be going through a period of time where my sleep is getting mucked up by silly things. One of the problems last night, and quite a few recent nights, is the annoying thing where I feel too hot under the duvet, and far too cool to not be under it. Maybe once Autumn really sets in, and the nights become even colder, I will look forward to wrapping myself up in the duvet, but in this halfway house between Summer and Autumn, I just suffer !

 Probably the most important thin today is that I have washed my hair as well as showered. I have clean underwear on. My credit card may have a small amount unpaid on it, but most of it is paid. My Oyster card (the one I have to use in the morning when my 60+ card is invalid on trains) is topped up. So if my chest completely freaks out on me, and I end up in hospital, I'll be fine. I'll be able to relax, and have a nice holiday. I have to bear in mind that it's now 2 days past the two year parts and labour warranty on my quad heart bypass operation, and once the warranty runs out it's bound to fail again. To do otherwise would be to fail Sod's law, and Sod's law is usually unbreakable !

Update :
09:43 BST

 I've bitten the bullet and made an appointment to see a doctor this coming Thursday morning. Hopefully I will get a definitive diagnosis about my chest troubles, and see if there is any remedy for it that doesn't involve being mummified for 3000 years while my chest rebuilds it's internal superstructure. Maybe it will be something worth a couple of weeks off work. Now I have the additional income from my BT pension, I could survive on sickness benefit without ending up in the poor house. So maybe a few months of work might be good ! Back in the real world, I wouldn't be surprised to be told to just keep taking Ibuprofen, and hope for the best.
Monday 7th September 2015
08:15 BST
  Maybe I was a little pessimistic about how yesterday afternoon's weather would turn out. It didn't continue to get cloudy as it seemed it would, and there were still plenty of sunny periods in the afternoon. By late afternoon the temperature was probably approaching 18 or 19° C. It wasn't me but the forecasters who were ultra pessimistic about today's weather. Yesterday the forecast said that today would range between quite dull, and extremely dull to the point of seeming almost like night. That forecast was hastily changed when this morning dawned bright and clear. Now the forecast says that today will possibly be slightly better than yesterday. There should be more sunshine, and it should get a little warmer, although that may be a little too optimistic. There is also a chance that we could get a cover of thin cloud mid to late afternoon. At least it is very cheerful now, and in a way it needs to be. Admittedly 10° C is a couple of degrees less cold than yesterday started, but it is still rather nippy out there ! Tomorrow could even see a small improvement over the best that today can offer.
dawn at Catford
                          Bridge station
This picture was taken at a similar time to the one I took on Friday morning - about 06:28am.
As the days get shorter it is even closer to sunrise, but the sky is bright and blue - chilly, but nice !

 Yesterday afternoon I laid on my bed, and read for a while, and I think I had a short snooze, although I have to confess I don't seem to remember if it was a 10 second, or full hour snooze. Maybe I just wasn't timing it. When I had finished doing that I allowed a bit of time to pass so I could get the creases out of my body, and then I washed 4 shirts and some underwear. There was a theory that I might do more housework after that, and in a very limited way I did. I cleaned part of the work surface in my kitchen, and washed up several items, but that is all I did...apart from cooking some lamb chops and some peas. They made a nice Sunday dinner, but maybe not as wonderful as I had hoped for.

 I tried to go to sleep at 9pm, but sleep wouldn't come, and it wasn't until 10pm, or maybe even a little after that, that I finally dropped off to sleep. I didn't sleep that well - partly because something interesting happened. I had always wondered if I suffer from sleep apnoea. This is the condition, usually associated with snoring, where the throat closes up and you stop breathing until you wake up gasping (although apparently the waking can be so brief that it is quickly forgotten). Last night I definitely suffered from it.

 The interesting thing was that it was accompanied by a suitable dream. I was running up a slope like the exits from the platforms at Waterloo east station, except this slope was in the open with just railings either side of it. At first running seemed easy, but after a while it seemed like my ankles were tied together, and although I still seemed to be making good progress, and apparently with no shortage of breath, I had to adopt a very strange (probably impossible) running style. As I neared the top I saw a rabbit running away below me. Then at the top I noticed a dog in an adjacent field, and I tried to attract it's attention by calling to it, but all I could manage was a sort of hissing sound. It was then that I woke up slightly short of breath, and my throat feeling as day as a bone.

 The interesting thing about it was that I have very rarely experienced a similar set of feelings, and then not for many years. With a completely unwarranted excess of optimism, I am tempted to think that it is rare for me to suffer from sleep apnoea, although obviously it does happen, and maybe more frequently than I think, but maybe less severe than the episode last night. One reason for it happening last night was that I wasn't comfortable in bed. It was one of those nights where I was feeling a bit too warm to pull the duvet over me completely, and I thrashed around rucking up the sheets, messing up the pillows, and it almost seemed like I managed to rotate the duvet in it's cover (with some of it hanging out the bottom !).

 This morning is one of those ambiguous mornings where bits of me feel quite good, and other bits not so good. My legs seemed to be in good shape this morning, and walking could have been pleasurable if it wasn't so cold, and I wasn't suffering from a sort of empty, almost acid feeling in my stomach. On top of that there were a selection of common complaints from my chest area. It does seem that that the aches and pains have moved around in the last few days. Once again, particularly when I was sitting on the train, and for a short time after I alighted from it, I have had a pain across my left breast. It is a slightly sharper, but usually briefer pain than the milder, but longer lasting pain that was concentrated more across the middle of my chest prior to the weekend. Once again I amuse myself with the fallacious notion that the surgeon left something inside me, and it is moving around, and so different bits of my chest hurt and different times. I could almost wish it were true just for comedy reasons, but it can't be, can it ?

 Tonight I probably only have one goal, and that is to try again to have a modest dinner, and few, or no snacks. Maybe it will happen one day. This morning I had a whole £3 bowl of salad for breakfast. Unfortunately some pervert insists on including grated carrot in these salads. Carrot has no place in a civilised salad unless it is part of coleslaw - and some might even argue with that ! Even more unfortunately was that I threw in a whole pack of cheddar Mini-Babybell's to give the salad a little more texture and flavour. I think that was about 120gm of cheese, and apart from any cheese being too much, I am unsure if that equates to a big portion or small. I will probably "pollute" tonight's salad with fish. That should keep it a bit healthier.
Sunday 6th September 2015
13:50 BST
  I can't seem to remember how the weather turned out on Friday. That must mean that it was neither hot, nor, cold, and neither was it notably sunny, although I do have a glimmer of memory that makes me think that there was some sunshine, and I am fairly sure it was dry. Yesterday was good, bad, and indifferent. I don't think it actually rained yesterday morning, but the sky looked ready to drop rain at any moment. The afternoon was brighter, and the sun broke through on a couple of occasions. The only problem is that it felt damp, and while it wasn't cold, it wasn't warm either. In the last couple of hours before sunset the sky cleared to give a rather pleasant looking evening. The sky stayed (probably) clear overnight, and this morning the temperature had dropped to a definitely very cool feeling 6° C. It seems to be getting a bit cloudy now, but until now it has been quite sunny. The current temperature is currently 17° C, but it does seem to be dropping again by a few tenths of a degree. On the other hand, the forecast reckons it could still rise to 18 or even 19° C. Tomorrow won't be much cooler, and it should stay dry, but it is going to be a damn miserable grey, or even black day !

 I didn't have a wonderful day at work on Friday. For a lot of the time I felt very weary - a sort of end of the week weariness that would be understandable if it were a 5 day week, but with Monday being a bank holiday, it was only a four day week. Sometimes something exciting would happen that would make me forget the fatigue, and any pains I might be feeling, and I would feel fine physically, but maybe not mentally. For instance I had an interesting non extreme argument with one of my workmates. He decided that because some connection boxes I had made used a different connection to one he had bodged together, they were wrong, and he had to correct them so he could use the same connector. I said go ahead, while quietly calling him all the names under the sun under my breath, but I had to warn him in the strongest most possible terms, that when my connector boxes were handed over to the sales team (a team of one who is mostly, but not completely technically competent) the connector should be changed back to match the leads I had made for them.

 Going home was neither good nor bad to do, but obviously good to be able to do. In other words it was a completely harmless, pointless, totally bland hour lost of my life. When I got home I abandoned any idea of eating salad and stuff, and opted to the Tesco curry ready meals I had bought the previous night. They were nice, and were filling. More importantly, the filled an empty part of my soul....or something like that. Well it must have done something good because instead of spending the whole evening being totally lazy, I set about doing a slightly important job.

 As part of my Local Area Network I have an ethernet hub connected to the local side of my firewall. All my computers, wifi points, servers and other stuff all plug into that hub. Currently about 6 things are plugged into my network. I have, or had three different hubs I could use, and they all suffer to some degree an identical fault - noisy cooling fans. The best hub is what was an incredibly expensive Intel made hub (actually calling it a mere hub is an understatement, but it will suffice for now). I was using that until Friday night because it had the least noisy fans in it.

 My project for Friday night was to open up the other two hubs and either change or clean and lubricate the fans. The next best hub had fans that it didn't have spare for, and there seemed to be no easy way to lubricate the bearings. So I left one fan that had seized disconnected, and squirted in generous amounts of WD40 into any orifice I could see. That seemed to help a little bit at first, and I put it into service. A couple of hours later it sounded like there was a hornet loose in my back room. So I replaced that with a medium sized, not exactly professional, hub, and that was, and still is, as silent as a mouse (a mouse that isn't chewing through the floorboards that is !).

 For the rest of the evening I reverted to plan A, and was completely lazy up until I went to bed at around 10pm. Once again it seemed like I theoretically slept well, but I did not feel too good when I woke up. A pint of beer while I watched my friend Aleemah have her veggie breakfast in the Wetherspoons pub help a little, and the fresh air and walk helped too. Aleemah left a little later than would have been useful (as I'll explain in a minute), and once she had gone I battled to not eat too much because I wanted to go out in the afternoon.

 Ideally I would have liked to have been free to leave at least an hour earlier than I did. In fact two hours would have been helpful.  I'm still not exactly sure what the event I was going to was called, but it was a sort of mini festival type thing in The Kings Arms pub in Leaves Green (just at the far end of the runway at Biggin Hill airport). There was a band on at 3pm I would have liked to see, but more importantly I wanted to get there to see Chain at 5pm. I got there about 10 minutes late, and I think the schedule was slipping by then, and I only missed about 5 minutes.
Chain on stage at
                          The Kings Arms, Leaves Green, Kent
It was a nice big stage with bright colourful lights - none of which lit up the musicians !
This is Chain - (l to r) Chris Mayer on lead guitar, Jo Corteen, vocals and ryhthm guitar, Guy Harris, hidden at the back on the drums, and Matt Helmsley on bass guitar.
Jo Corteen
Being able to take pictures like this made buying my new Canon DSLR camera worthwhile. My Canon "bridge" camera can achieve this sometimes - unless you look too closely ! The full sized picture looks rather splendid in my humble opinion, but it is too large to show here.
Chris Mayer
Chris Mayer hasn't got as pretty a face as Jo, but I thought I would do one close up while he was singing backing vocals.

  I guess Chain probably over ran a bit, and the next band, Strange Brew, were on a little late, and they in turn over ran quite a bit. So the next "band" who were due on at 7pm didn't start until gone 7.30pm. That next band was not a band but Matt Sharp doing a solo spot. I am 99.99% certain that Matt doesn't know the existence of my blog, and so I hope I am free to say that he sounded awful. His guitar playing was all tinny and twanging, and his voice left much to be desired - which is a shame as he is a nice bloke. The band on between him and Chain were Strange Brew, and they were mostly good. What let them down was the singer not having enough vocal range to sing all the songs they performed. I don't think I can fault their instrument playing, and I can congratulate their guitar and keyboard player for playing some very authentic sounding brass on the keyboards.
Strange Brew
This is Strange Brew on stage with a guest harp(harmonic/mouth organ) player in the white shirt.

 As the last wails of Matt's set died away, I went to get my bus home. I had intended to leave 15 minutes earlier, half way through his set, but I exited the pub just in time to see my bus disappearing in the distance. So I went back inside for a while, and got the next bus. I guess that was quite close to 7.30pm because it was just starting to get dark, and sunset was around then. It was gone 8pm by the time I arrived back in Catford. It was an almost uneventful journey, but I had either jarred my right shoulder somehow, or it was the result of standing in a not very warm, and definitely damp, field for a few hours, but every time I yawned, and I yawned a lot on the way home, I got a brief unpleasant pain across my left breast.

 When I got back to Catford I could, and should have cooked something at home, but I couldn't seem to resist buying a few pieces of chicken, a portion of fries, and load of spicy chicken wings on the way back. It was certainly nice to have instant hot food when I got in, but it did bring a twinge or two of guilt ! At least I save all the chicken wings for breakfast this morning (more guilt !). After I had eaten I felt too tired to even take a quick look at the photos I had taken, and it wasn't long before I was in bed, and fast asleep.

 I'm sure I must have got at least 8 hours sleep last night, and yet I was feeling sort of tired all morning. I was also feeling some of the effects of standing in a cold damp field. Fortunately I had a nice simple (mostly), but also mentally tiring job to do - selecting and editing photos. It took hours to do, but I was quite pleased with a lot of the results, but.... The trouble is I am still seeking some sort of perfection, and I am not there yet. I look back at pictures I have taken in the past, and what seemed good at the time, and now I can take far better pictures, but it is still not good enough. The sad thing is that I may never be satisfied with my photos unless someone invents a way to capture the sights, the smells, the textures, the movement, the whole air of the pace. Well the movement can be captures as video, but it is not immersive. I guess I am looking for Star Trek Holodeck technology. Maybe that will exist one day, but not in my lifetime.

 Sitting down, editing photos for hours on end is a real artery clogging experience (or....), and by midday I needed a break and some fresh air. By then it had warmed up after the very cool start to the day, and I went out in just a t-shirt (plus trousers and shoes !!) to see what was good in the 99p and £1 shops. I seemed to spend quite a lot of money in both of them, but I do seem to have ended up with enough cleaning materials to do a very useful amount of housework some imaginary day. I also bought some tins of coconut water with lime. My friend Aleemah likes them, and so I thought I would try one today. Hmmm, when ice cold it is drinkable, but I can't seem to find it enjoyable.

 It's now almost 3pm, and I seem to have been writing for a long time. The next thing I think I will do is have a lie down, and maybe read or snooze. After that I ought to do a bit of laundry. After that, if I have any enthusiasm or energy left, I could start to use some of those cleaning materials I bought today, but somehow I doubt I will get around to doing that.
Friday 4th September 2015
08:18 BST
  As far as I can recall, it was dry yesterday, and there was even some sunshine. It probably wasn't a bad day on the grand scale of things. It even felt a tiny but too warm in my coat on the way home from work. It was almost 17° C when I arrived home. It does feel a bit sad to say that was anything like good for an early September day, but I suppose it wasn't bad. Today has started off horribly grey, and cloudy, and rather cool. It was only 10° C when I walked to the station this morning. I would reluctantly confess that I still haven't actually felt that Autumn nip in the air yet, but it's not far off  - although maybe it has reached my bathroom. It was definitely damn chilly standing in the wet and naked with the window ajar !  Apparently it will rain soon, but it shouldn't last long. From then on it is supposed to be dry, but the whole day is going to see the sky wrapped in light cloud except for the times when it is wrapped in heavy cloud ! The forecast reckons it will be no more than 16° C today....I've known warmer xmas days !
grey miserable sky
                          10 minutes after sunrise
The view towards where the sun should be rising as I waited for my train this morning. I took this picture at approx 06:28, or about 10 minutes after sunrise. It is not visible in this picture, but one cloud did have a slightly bright edge to confirm that the sun had actually risen, and hadn't gone out !

 I seem to feel very variable these days. I didn't feel too great yesterday morning, but by the afternoon, apart from a few mild tingles coming from various teeth where I had been a bit over eager with some flossing, I felt pretty average with a mere hint of good. Unfortunately it didn't translate to any great desire to rush around, or perform other heroics, but at least getting home wasn't a huge chore. While I didn't seem to have any energy for rushing up and down stairs, escalators, or long passages between stations, I didn't seem to lack the energy to detour via Tesco on my way home from the station. Maybe it was the lure of tasty food that did seem to unlock a bit of extra energy, and I did have a very small spring in my step as I walked to Tesco.

 I was partly careful about what I bought in Tesco, and partly not ! I bought a couple of ready meal curries to amuse myself (probably tomorrow night), and I bought some reduced price sandwiches to enjoy last night. Plus I bought some salad stuff to amuse myself with at anytime - including last night. I wasn't quite sure what I intended to eat last night, but I ended up having three packs of tuna sandwiches, a sort of oriental flavoured chicken salad, and some noodly things. What I probably should have had a was a big steak and kidney pudding with lashings of mashed potatoes.....but we can all dream !

 I didn't do anything constructive last night, and I was in bed, and asleep, very soon after 9pm. I am tempted to say that I slept well, because it did seem that way, but it is inconsistent with how much I would love to go back to bed right now. I certainly only woke up a couple of times in the night, and they were all very brief, but I seemed to be in that weird state where you think you are awake for the last hour, and yet all you can remember are non stop dreams - some seem like reality, and others rather less so.

 One dream I had felt like I was actually in someone else's dream. It was a dream set against an unknown background, but it did feature someone from my past. She was one of the young women who used to work in the office of my previous employer some 15 years ago now. I can't recall having any great affection for her, nor any erotic desires for her. At best my feelings or desires were neutral, and maybe very slightly negative, and yet 15 years later she appears in what turns out to be a mildly erotic dream - featuring nakedness, but no actual "action" !! I can't believe I would have invented that dream. So it must have been someone else's dream. Maybe it was hers, but hopefully not. It would be a major tragedy to find out 15 years too late that she fancied me !

 This morning I woke up feeling better than usual. Nothing of any significance seemed to hurt until I started brushing my hair. There were no problems using my right hand, but when I swapped the brush to my left hand, and started brushing, my chest went pop, crunch, and creak, and it then became slightly sore. The discomfort was not enough to stop me brushing, nor to do anything else, but it did feel a shame that it had spoiled what might have been a nice morning.

 Later on, particularly after being out in the cold, a few other bits of me felt a stiff and creaky - elbows and wrists in the main. I did have one other ache, and that was from my guts. They say that a bit of roughage is good for the digestive system, and while backed up with some stodge, it probably is. It may not be so when your breakfast is just one huge heap of salad - like yesterday and today. The amount of salad I had yesterday was huge. It had to be to allow a pile of weeds to come to 82 calories ! This morning, when I went to the toilet, I was passing cow pats instead of the usual ! This morning I have had another huge, but only 72 calories, salad. It didn't stay at 72 calories because I added a chunk of Mexicana cheese to it for a bit of extra flavour, but it was still probably fairly low in calories compared to some breakfast options. My guts now feel a bit bloated again, but that should pass soon - I hope.

 I do feel sleepy right now. Some say that lettuce has a soporific effect, although I don't know if that is true of all the varieties of lettuce, and I am not sure if all the leaves I ate for breakfast were all lettuce. Some looked like the leaves of weeds growing  on the roadside ! Hopefully the effect will pass soon, and that I am as fit as a fiddle when I go home from work - although I am not wildly optimistic that will happen. These grey clouds weight heavily on me like extra rolls of fat around my gut ! Tonight I will aim to have a non salad dinner, and attempt to not eat too much of it. Then I will either have a brain seizure and start doing some housework, or I will be as lazy as lazy can be before falling into my bed for (hopefully) a nice long sleep !
Thursday 3rd September 2015
07:51 BST
  The weather forecast came very close to correctly predicting the weather yesterday. After a sunny start it slowly began to cloud over, but it was quite thin cloud, and so it stayed fairly bright until sometime after 5pm. Around 6pm there was a moderately heavy shower, but it didn't last very long. An hour later there was an even heavier shower. Somewhere not too far away it was an even heavier downpour still - heavy enough for a flash of lightning, and a peel of thunder ! There may have been more rain after dark, but I was unaware of it. At some time in the early hours the clouds thinned out, and that allowed the temperature to drop to just 10° C this morning. The sun was still very low in the sky as I came to work, but it was mostly a sunny journey. Now the clouds are beginning to cover more and more of the sky. They should stay thin enough for the day to look fairly bright until 5 or 6pm when rain is forecast again. Once again, the top temperature is forecast to be around 15 - 16° C - which is rather disappointing. In an effort to cheer us up, the weather forecasters are saying that the weekend may see temperature a degree or two higher, and there may be more sunshine. Some pundits are still saying that there is a brief heatwave due in the near future - just before it turns more like winter !

 I didn't feel too good at work yesterday. There was no one thing that I could complain about. It was just a selection of mild annoyances. I suppose one the biggest annoyances was that I felt I should be feeling rather good, but instead I was feeling decidedly average. All the energy I seemed to have on Tuesday night seemed to have completely evaporated. I think that maybe my body was practising for winter when the cold and damp will really make me stiff and creaky ! Leaving work and heading back towards home via the pub didn't seem to enthuse my body to perform any better than very average.

 The pub we met in was The Ladywell Tavern, and it wasn't where I thought it was. There used to be a pub right next to Ladywell station, and I thought that was The Ladywell Tavern, but that is now a cafe and bakery. The pub I wanted is a few minutes walk from the station and is the pub I hoped it wouldn't be !  Once upon a time it was a nice pub, and was frequented by nurses from Lewisham Hospital - which was rather nice - then 10 or 12 years ago it seemed to fill with all sorts of disagreeable characters (probably football fans). The place is under new management now, and didn't seem so bad last night, but I am still not that comfortable in there.

 I left after three pints, and I was going to walk home through the park, but I had to see Jodie on the train back to Elmers End, and I thought I might as well get on the train for the one stop to Catford Bridge, and walk back home from there. With some beer in me, I was able to walk back home from the station fairly fast while remaining comfortable, but I still didn't feel like I had the energy of the previous night. To boost my chances of feeling good today I had carefully planned dinner to be almost sensible. The almost is because what was supposed to be a large part of it was some bits of chicken I had pre-cooked in my new mini oven the night before, and left in the microwave ready to be zapped up to hot again for eating (too hot as it turned out).

 All that chicken, with the skins on, was not the healthiest option, and for some reason didn't seem tasty enough to justify it anyway. I also planned to have some salad with the chicken, but I had that with a bit of left over cheese that was drying up and getting crusty (but was actually nicer for it). That should have been more than enough, but I guess even three pints of beer was enough to corrupt my senses, and I had another salad. The second salad was a spam salad featuring a whole mini tin of spam.

 When I had finished over eating I went up to my PC, but made a point of not using it to watch any TV. Soon after 8pm I was in bed reading, and having finished the book I was reading (The Integral Trees by Larry Niven) I turned out the lights, and I think I was fast asleep by 9pm. I guess I slept as well as most days - not as well as I would hope, but not bad. The only anomaly was having to get up at about 1am to go to the toilet - but not for a wee !

 This morning I feel no better than I did yesterday morning, and maybe the morning before that. I feel rather creaky, and I think last time I described as reminding me of what 'flu feels like. Many of my joints feel stiff, and I feel sort of weak - or maybe it's more of a feeling that I can't be bothered to raise the energy to rush around. Following on from the unusual stabbing like pain I felt on Monday, I have had some other unusual pains. In the pub, while sitting in a less than comfortable chair, I had an almost cramp like pain on my left side. That went as soon as I stood up, and I have a similar thing on my right side while sitting on the train this morning. The most peculiar pain this morning is around whatever the joint is called that connects my left thumb to my left hand. Of course the weird thing is that as soon as I tried to move my thumb around to better describe the location and strength of the pain it almost went away. I still have some very mild pain/stiffness in both wrists.

 I feel like what I need is to bake in some hot sun, but that's not going to happen. What is going to happen soon is that I am going to be using the heater in my bedroom again. I'm sure it is premature, but it is really feeling like Autumn now. Reports in this mornings paper say that this August was officially the wettest August for 100 years for the Isle Of Wight, the wettest for only 50 years in most other places (where records were conveniently only started 50 years ago !). It may have also said that it was one of the coolest Augusts in living memory....or something ! Yes, this summer has been a total wash out. I had hoped to get far more exercise on days out while I was out of blood pressure drugs and feeling good, but I guess that I had better see my doctor soon, and get a new prescription made out to keep my blood pressure down during the sedentary months of Winter. I did attempt to make an appointment two nights ago, but I couldn't be bothered to spend so much time on the phone, and hung up after a few minutes of listening to muzak.
Wednesday 2nd September 2015
08:34 BST
  Yesterday was a great improvement on the day before, but it still had it's low spots. At around 10am, an hour earlier than expected, there was a torrential downpour. It was far heavier than expected as well as being early, but it didn't last that long. Probably no more than 10 minutes. From then on it was a reasonable day with a few sunny spells. It was still mild enough to be comfortable without a coat (although I wore mine on the way home from work), but it was a close run thing. I didn't check the temperature when I git home, but I would be surprised if it were any higher than 20° C, and maybe 18° C might be a generous estimate. There was a further splash of rain in the evening, but the skies cleared overnight, and that meant the air definitely had a nip of Autumn in it when I was showering with the bathroom window open. Brrrr ! On the plus side it is a lovely sunny morning, and hopefully it will stay this way for some time yet. The forecast says that it will occasionally cloud over, but it should stay dry until early evening. The wind, although no more than a very light breeze, is coming from the north, and is pushing in cold air to kill any gains made by extra sunshine today. It is possible that the temperature will rise to no more than 15 - 16° C today. Tomorrow could be cooler still, and also more cloudy.

 I wasn't in any great discomfort at work yesterday, but I could have wished to feel better. I started the day with my chest feeling a little crunchy, and sitting down at my desk for long periods created some discomfort from that crunchiness. So it was some relief when I left work to go home. At first it was annoying, but not actually painful, as I walked up the road with my chest clicking and popping. I was also getting some very localised stabbing pains almost in the centre of my chest. That was something new, and it wasn't until I got home and changed that I realised what it was. The good thing is that I seemed to have an unusual amount of energy as I made my way home.

 While I ate too much over the long bank holiday weekend, I was still careful about what I ate, and my aim was to minimise sugars and starches. I even kept my beer consumption down to help in that respect. The result is that my blood glucose level must be not too far above normal, and only eating salad for breakfast (and no lunch) must have dropped it even further. It is the only explanation of why I could almost run up the stairs from the subway at Waterloo East station last night. Of course it could also be that I might have lost a pound or two, and that would explain why I was only very mildly, almost not, short on breath when I got to the top.  I think I may have even shaved 20 - 30 seconds off the time when I walked from the station to home.

 I was feeling rather good when I got home. Virtually all pains and discomforts had receded right into the background, and because my blood glucose level was low(er than usual) I didn't even feel ravenously hungry. When I changed out of my work clothes I noticed what looked like a zit on my chest. It was roughly where the stabbing pains I felt earlier were coming from. The only peculiar thing was that I don't recall starting the day with even a hint of a zit there, and this one looked like it had popped all by itself. I don't think it was a zit, but I don't know what it could have been. However, I am sure it is where I had a small scar from where a drain tube was fitted in my chest sometime during my operation 2 years ago. I can't even guess how that might mean anything, but I feel it is no coincidence, and in some ways it does seem to bolster my theories that all my chest pains and stuff is from stuff happening just under the skin - at bone/ligament level. If it wasn't for the fact that I am sure it would have been incredibly more painful, I might even think that what looks superficially a bit like a popped zit, is actually a miniature stab wound from the inside out !

 If I hadn't got bored, and started munching on stuff like a pack of crispy bacon, I might have got away with eating quite healthily last night. Part 1 of my dinner was a couple of cod and cheese fishcakes with a bowl of salad. part 2 was another ready made salad that came with sliced egg in it. I added some leftover blue cheese to it, and an extra sprinkle of (allegedly) "Healthy Living" honey and mustard dressing on it. If I had found something on TV that grabbed my attention, or had started some housework or something, I may have got away with eating no more than that, but I got bored.

 Another thing I could have done was to give up on TV even earlier, and done some reading in bed instead. That is what I ended up doing a little while after 8pm, but I could have done it soon after 7pm if I had had any sense. Oh well, at least I did it in the end, and after less than an hours reading I turned out the lights, and I think I went to sleep pretty quickly. I'm not sure if I slept well or not. My confusion mainly stems from being unable to tell if my last hour in bed was dream filled sleep, or if I was awake exercising my powers of imagination. It probably was sleep, but it seemed like I was awake just thinking. The clue that much of it probably was sleep was the shock when my alarm went off at 5am !

 This morning is another morning when I don't know if I feel good or bad. On the whole I would say my main complaint is that I am beginning to feel cold since sitting down at work. I was perfectly OK while travelling. So I guess the answer is to try and keep moving. My chest is good and bad again - good while moving around (with a few exceptions) and prone to the odd ache while sitting slumped in a train seat. Occasionally I have had a few hot feeling pains diagonally across my left breast. I am unsure what it is, but I know it is when I make certain movements with my left arm or shoulder. The only trouble is that I cannot do those movements on demand because I have yet to work out exactly what they are - the pain seems to lag the movement by a second or two so I can never catch it in the act !

 Tonight is booze night ! It should of course be on a Thursday night, but Chris is playing a gig (which is impractical for me to get to) on Thursday night. So we have moved it to today for this week. We are going to try the Ladywell Tavern. It is both very conveniently by Ladywell station, and quite close to The Ravensbourne Arms if it turns out to be an unsuitable/unpleasant venue ! All I have to do is get there - and that could be tricky if the trains are still mucking about like they were this morning. My train to Waterloo East was delayed by unspecified problems, and after it arrived 12 - 15 minutes late at Catford Bridge it didn't seem to be able to regain any time on the way to Waterloo East. When I got to Waterloo I found all the trains there were cancelled or delayed because of a problem the other side of Wimbledon station (which is the next stop after Earlsfield).

 The only train that was shown as in service was the 07:12 service to Shepperton. So I got on that and waited, and waited, and waited until it was announced that the service was cancelled, and we all had to get off the train again. After a 10, or minute wait another train was shown in service, but it was going to run fast to Kingston, and that was no good for me. It was still standing at the station (I think) when the train I did finally get left Waterloo. It was the 07:42 Shepperton service - and it was packed when we left Waterloo. By the time it arrived at Earlsfield it was so packed that the rivets along the sides were beginning to pop, and I was convinced I would never be able to push my way to the door to get off. Fortunately I did.
delays, delays, and
                          finally the train I did get
Some screenshots of the state of the trains at 07:20, and 07:36. Right at the bottom of the middle image in the 07:42 to Shepperton, and indeed that was on time at 07:36, but I think we actually left Waterloo 3 to 5 minutes late.
Tuesday 1st September 2015
08:19 BST
  Yesterday was so horrible that it is best for it to be forgotten ! Fortunately the incessant rain and drizzle and cold of yesterday has given away to.....actually I am not sure what it has given way to. It hasn't rained since I got up this morning, but the day did start horribly grey. Then a miracle happened. As my train was pulling out of Vauxhall station a beam of sunshine found it's way through the clouds, and suddenly the world seemed a better place. It didn't last long, maybe no more than 60 seconds, but since then I have seen some quite big patches of blue sky drift past my office window. The official forecast is that a lot of the day will see a lot of white clouds, but they could thicken and darken enough for a shower at 11am this morning, and they could thin enough to let in a few more rays of sunshine during the afternoon. There could be some rain later tonight, but the forecast, while totally inaccurate for any particular hour, or even half day, says that the outlook is for improving weather in the coming days. It seems the main complaint about today is that it is going to have an autumn coolness about it, but even that could change in the next week or two said a drunken weather forecaster who had just slipped off his bar stool while drawing isobars on his soggy beer mat.

  Nothing much happened after I wrote yesterday. I had yet more food, and a couple of glasses of whisky before going to bed. Maybe it was the whisky, or maybe I was just tired, but I had almost enough sleep last night. Maybe it would have been nice to go back to bed instead of coming to work, but I'm not sure if I would have managed to get much sleep...but then again I might have got loads of sleep. Who can tell ? What I do know is that I woke up with my elbows, wrists, knees and ankles feeling slightly stiff and slightly sore. I wondered if I was going down with 'flu, and I suppose there is still a possibility of that, but apart from some pain in my elbows while I was coming to work, all the other pains seemed to have disappeared sometime between starting my morning shower and getting dressed for work.

 This morning I am unsure how I feel. There were those early morning pains, and I have had some very brief pains in quite diverse parts of my body, but some bits of me do seem to be working remarkably well - sometimes. At one point I thought I would be crawling to the station on my hands and knees, but it actually turned out to be one of the easiest walks for some time. At Waterloo station I even ran at least one carriage length (maybe almost 2) to make sure I could get on the front portion of the train before the doors closed. I know it was an extremely short distance to run in the grand scheme of things, but it felt unusually easy, and I also came away with the impression that I could have run double or treble that distance without dying too irretrievably. It's been an awful long time since I was last able to do that !

 Of course the good stuff couldn't last, and as I got ready to get off the train at Earlsfield my chest went crack-pop-pop as I swung my rucksack over my shoulder. That spoiled my walk from the station to work by causing a few assorted aches from chest  as I walked along. It still felt like I was walking fast as I did my best to keep my chest still, and maybe I did get to work a few seconds faster than usual - or not ? At the moment I feel mostly OK. My biggest complaint is that it feels a little cool in my office at the moment. It's not so cold that I need to shake the dust off the thin jumper that has been hanging on a coat hanger here for the last 6 months, but it may not be that long before Autumn gets it's grip on us, and I'll start wearing it.

 Today marks 2 years since I called 999 to get an ambulance to take me to hospital with a suspected, and maybe actual heart attack. Six days later I was having my quad heart bypass operation, and six days after that I was back home again ! A week and half after that I was at a gig ! Many people still think it was a traumatic experience, or at least somehow dreadful. There were a few times when it was a bit unsettling. For instance I did get a bit stressed when I realised that if I stayed in hospital too long I might miss the deadline for my credit card payment. Maybe I am a bit strange, because overall I found it a very pleasurable experience. I was in a nice comfortable bed being waited on hand and foot, and the period when I was under the anaesthetic was the best sleep I've ever had ! There is one difference between sleep and anaesthesia. No matter how deeply you sleep you are always aware that time has passed by. Under anaesthesia you are unaware that time has passed by - usually. I think in my case I passed from anaesthesia to natural sleep sometime in the early hours of the morning. To me it felt like I was waking up from a good sleep. There was no grogginess, no nausea. It was all rather amazing. If it were not the line of staples down my chest, and the swathes of bandages around my left leg (and the numbness in my left hand), I woul;d hardly have believed that my chest had been split down the middle, and opened up like a rack of ribs ready to be barbecued. Maybe the biggest surprise was that I had no post operative pain at all unless I did something stupid. The nurses kept offering me pain killers, but I didn't need them. It was the best holiday I've had since childhood, and I would recommend it to anyone !

 After a 5 day weekend of eating half carefully, but mostly badly, it's back to the healthy stuff for breakfast this morning !
a healthy breakfast