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April 2016
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My Diary/Blog
For the Month of April 2016

Friday 29th April 2016
08:02 BST

  It was pleasantly sunny for much of yesterday, and with lighter winds, the afternoon temperature of about 11° C didn't feel that bad. Sometime after dark the clouds started to gather, and this morning is not only dull, but there is evidence that there was some rain during the night. The clouds did help to keep the temperature up to 5° C, but for the first few minutes of walking to the station there seemed to be some viciously cold winds. After those few minutes the wind calmed down, and I didn't notice any significant wind for the rest of my journey into work. There should be some sunny periods today, but I suspect the overall impression will be of a rather dull day. Most of the day will be dry, but some showers are expected towards the end of the morning, and then again in the evening. Once again, the temperature will probably only be 11° C, but if the wind stays light it should feel fairly comfortable. Tomorrow, and the rest of the bank holiday weekend, will probably be so awful that I'd rather not think about it (I think it features quite a lot of rain and non May like temperatures).

 I don't know if I felt better or worse yesterday. My cold, if indeed it is a cold and not some sort of space plague, rumbles on.  I guess I didn't feel that awful yesterday, but it would have been a lot nicer if I had coughed less, and had to blow my nose less - particularly the latter. I was using cheap kitchen towel instead of tissues, and my nose was feeling very sore as the day wore on. Once I got out in the fresh air on my way back to Catford, I felt much better in many respects. I'm not sure whether to say I felt like I had more energy, or felt more fatigued. It seemed like it was a mix of the two, or maybe it was another case of my legs working really well while the rest of my body felt ready for the scrap heap.

 I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not, but I attended the Thursday night drink because it was so handily located in The Catford Constitutional Club. If it had been elsewhere I probably would have gone straight home. It was my intention to strictly limit the amount of beer I had. I thought that two pints should have been enough, but I ended up having three pints of a rather nice beer called "American Pale Ale" - a bit like IPA (India Pale Ale), but subtly different.

 When I got home from drinking my three pints I felt lightly drunk, and starving hungry. It was worse than hunger because it was post drinking hunger. The type that is so hard to satisfy. I ended up eating a little more than I intended, but probably not that much more. I always intended to eat the sandwiches I had bought the night before. They were reduced price then because they were near their consume by date. The two salads had to be eaten too, and were mostly harmless anyway. The grilled "Mediterranean vegetables" would have been mostly harmless to if I had not melted cheddar cheese on them. I also ate the last of the rice cakes I had opened a couple of weeks ago...or thereabouts. Maybe it was not so terrible after all, but along with the beer it would all have done nothing positive for my weight and blood glucose.

 I felt tired when I went to bed, and initially I slept well, but it didn't last. I'm not sure when it was that I started waking up, but in the end it seemed like I would sleep for 10 minutes before waking up to blow large quantities of mucus from my stuffed up nose. I was also coughing up quite a lot of mucus as well. It seemed like my cold was getting a bit worse earlier in the evening, but in the early hours of this morning it seemed to have reverted back to how bad it was several days ago. It was all rather unpleasant, and really quite annoying.

 I did consider the idea of phoning in sick again this morning, but I hoped that once out in the fresh air I would feel better, and to some extent that was so. Now I've been at work for some time I don't feel too bad, but my nose is wetter than a healthy dogs nose, and my cough is as bad as it has been during this period of illness. Tonight I am going to have a good rest and an early night in the hope that I will feel better for the long three day bank holiday weekend. The weather will probably be crap, and so I doubt I would miss out on any exciting adventures, but it would be nice to feel up to one if the opportunity arose. It would equally be nice to be lazy in complete comfort as well !
Thursday 28th April 2016
07:43 BST

  I seem to recall that there was more sunshine yesterday than the forecast made me think there would be. The rain and thundery showers didn't happen until after dark, and while I did see one flash of lightning, and heard it's peel of thunder, I don't think there was that much rain. It did feel quite warm when standing or walking in the sun on my way home from work, but it was still a very chilly day. I am not even sure the temperature hit 10° C. The forecast for today seems to describe what happened yesterday, although it predicts it might be a degree or two warmer. Once again rain is forecast for the late evening. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be totally dry, and apart from some light cloud obscuring the sun now and then, it should be bright, but once again it is going to stay cold and chilly. Maybe a maximum of 11° C.
lovely blue sky
 I took this picture walking to the station on my way to work yesterday, but I forgot to use it. Fortunately the view this morning was identical apart from a few microscopic changes. The feint dot in the blue sky is the moon, and while it was in the same position (or near as dammit), it would have either waxed or waned a little bit (I'm not sure which). Also, if it were possible to zoom in on the cars in the distance you would see that they had frost on them this morning instead of heavy condensation.

 I didn't feel too good at work yesterday, but it was not as bad as I expected, and I think I was beginning to notice some improvement in how I felt during the afternoon. Of course once I got out into the fresh air, and was heading towards home, I felt considerably better. In the morning I had broken the habit of the last couple of months and had some breakfast. That didn't stop me having a huge yearning for something like a sandwich as part of my dinner last night. In fact it may have contributed to it.

 I gave in to that yearning and went home via Tesco. I found some reduced price sandwiches and bought a couple for last night, and a couple for tonight. I also bought some cheese. I would like to eat less cheese, but it seems I am an addict ! I didn't have any the night before last, and maybe none the day before that, and I was getting withdrawal symptoms. So I bought two types of cheese. I bought some Cheddar because that can be used in a million ways, and I bought some Feta cheese to crumble over salad (which I did last night). I am sure some people, but I don't know who, say that feta cheese is good, or better for your health in ways that remain unexplained. It was probably the Feta marketing board who made such claims, and so they can be taken with a pinch of salt, but I had Feta cheese salad as well as sandwiches last night.

 It was last night that I realised that I was definitely beginning to get over this blasted cold I have. Being in the warm, relaxing, and well fed obviously made me feel better, but the sign that things were happening was my nasal mucus. I became aware that it had changed from thin and clear, and as as copious as tap water, to thick and yellowy green. It also appeared to be coming from deep within my face where it had been giving me face ache (so to speak). It really did seem like it was in retreat, and I would be able to look forward to a snot free nose in the near future. That may have been a bit of a premature thought, but time will tell.

 I'm not sure how to intepret the fact that while I thought I was desperate to get some sleep, I couldn't seem to go to sleep once I got into bed. I guess it's always possible that I didn't need the sleep I thought I needed. As far as I am aware, I slept badly last night, and didn't get nearly as many hours as I thought I deserved, and yet I don't seem to feel any worse for it - or not yet I don't ! This morning the old story continues - bits of me seem to be working quite well, and other bits less so. I felt generally OK while I was out in the fresh air. before that I thought my nose was rather more stuffy than I hoped it would be, and now I am at work I definitely seem to be blowing my nose almost as frequently as yesterday. I also seem to be coughing again.

 While my nose and tickly throat seems to have got worse again, my overall impression is that I feel better than yesterday - and I can't think of any particular reason why I should feel like that. It just seems that way. I'll just have to see how the day goes. One thing I can look forward to is some beer after work. Once again it's Thursday, and that means boozing night !  It is possible that if tonight's venue had been somewhere more distant I might not have felt up to the bother of travelling - even if it has been proved that I can get to some out of the way places faster than I can get to home. I still have to get home again afterwards, and that can be a bind. Tonight's venue is The Catford Constitutional Club, and that is little more than a few hundred yards out of my way when I go home. So I can look forward to a couple of beers in there tonight. Maybe I will have more than a couple if there are any really good beers there tonight, but initially I think I will try and aim for no more than two pints - like I did last week and ended up having four !
Wednesday 27th April 2016
09:07 BST

  As usual, the weather forecast for yesterday wasn't exactly accurate ! There were supposed to be a few hours of sunshine in the morning, and then it would be dull until late afternoon. The last hours of daylight were supposed to be a mix of bright and dry, dull and rain. What actually happened was that the sunshine lasted a bit longer than expected, and then it was temporarily suspended with a bang - literally. No, it came over quite dark and then the sky was split by a peal of thunder (but no visible flash of lightning). Five minutes later something fell from the sky, and I am not sure how to describe it. It was drier than sleet, and softer than hail, and yet it wasn't quite snow either, but it was very cold ! After that passed there were more sunny periods, and more dull periods, but I think it stayed dry and rather cold. It might have been 10° C in the early afternoon, but it fell quite quickly later in the afternoon.
bloody cold this morning ! This is what my thermometer was saying as I got ready to walk to the station this morning. Just 1.7 freezing bloody degrees ! That does seem rather excessively low for the end of April. I blame global warming ! The real reason why the temperature was so low is clear skies. Even now the sky is brilliantly blue, and the sun is shining. I think I'll just plagiarise the BBC's website for the forecast for today - "Starting bright, cold and breezy, with isolated showers possible in the east. These showers will become heavier and more numerous through the day, perhaps also locally prolonged as winds ease. These may become thundery later, with hail or sleet locally." Lovely !The max temperature will be just 10° C. Things are looking up a bit for tomorrow. The weather could be as good as mid February ! There should be plenty of sunny intervals. It should stay dry, and it should reach 12° C.

  One of the problems of being off work sick is boredom, and after being off work on Monday I felt pretty bored yesterday. I did have grand ideas about going out to do some photography at Fenchurch Station, but that sounded too ambitious when I wasn't feeling too great. I still fancied a bit of time in the fresh air though. It seemed easier to breathe with a fresh wind blowing up my nose, and that also made me cough less. I didn't fancy walking around the shops, and I didn't fancy the park - well not the usual one.
a walk in the park
 What was intended to be just a short walk into the park turned into a rather longer walk than intended ! I thought I would go to The Linear Park that runs all the way to Bell Green (Lower Sydenham) between the railway and river.

 It was soon after I entered it I realised that I was sort of enjoying the walk, and there didn't seem to be any reason to hold back from doing a longer walk. I don't think I really intended to do what I ended up doing. That was to walk to the far end, and buy some ready made salad from the Sainsbury's super store at the far end, but that is exactly what I did. I must admit that walking just under three and a half miles for a salad does seem a bit excessive, but they are very nice salads !

 Buying salad was not the only excitement. Oh no ! I had just re-entered the park of buying my salad when there was an ominous peal of thunder when rolling across the sky. I had three choices. I could have walked quite a short distance back to shelter, and ultimately to a bus stop for a bus back to Catford. I could have walked a little further and got a train back to Catford from Lower Sydenham station (just off the bottom of the map on the left). The third possibility was to shrug my shoulders and keep on walking through the park, and that is what I did.

 I had only been walking a few minutes when something fell from the sky in large quantities. As I tried to describe above, it was a sort of cross between hail, sleet and snow. It fell quite vigorously for several minutes or more, but slowly turned more to sleet and then rain. Before I was halfway through the park it had all but stopped, and by the time I arrived home the sun had come out.

 It was interesting that I managed to keep up a quite fast, non stop walking pace once that hail/sleet/snow started. On the outward journey I had stopped to take (or try and take) photos now and then, and that half of the walk averaged to a leisurely pace. That wasn't the case on the way back, and I felt quite pleased about the way I was able to sustain the effort for so long with no bad effects. I must admit I did feel rather shattered soon after getting home, but it was good while it lasted.
nice salad
All that way for this - but it was a very nice salad !
 I rested for the rest of the afternoon, and because I was bored again, I ate too much. When it came to dinner time I still wanted to eat a dinner, but I had to find some sort of compromise between what I really wanted, and what I should have. I don't think in reality it was the best compromise - it could have been better, or it could have been worse. I ended up eating three cans of soup. Two were a little bit innocent, and the other probably a lot less so. Oh well, at least I didn't go to bed feeling stuffed !

 I took the precaution of taking a couple of paracetamols before going to bed, and they may have been instrumental in getting me quite a good nights sleep. My sleep did feature one recurring dream - although it may have only been one "scene" of the original dream that recurred. The bit I can remember is looking at a photo I had taken looking up some steps towards the dome of St Pauls Cathedral. I was apparently testing a Pentax camera, and it seemed to have a fault because there was no red component of the colour picture. Any red component was replaced by grey, but blues and greens were perfectly normal - and so was white (which should have been impossible).

 If I hadn't set my alarm I think I could easily have slept past 5am, but I decided I probably ought to go back to work today. I am still trying to come to a conclusion about whether that was a good or bad idea. I still didn't feel well this morning, but I didn't feel terrible. Once again the fresh air as I walked to the station felt nice, and cleared my airways out for a time. Once I settled down on the stuffy train I began to have my doubts. Now I am at work I have experienced a few moments here and there when I have felt quite good, and some when I have felt absolutely dreadful. As I write these words I would describe myself as feeling "comfortable" - which could mean anything ! I think it is going to be a trying day, and I look forward to it being over. Dinner and early night could be the watch words for this evening !
Tuesday 26th April 2016
09:10 BST

  It's definitely the wind that is ruining the weather. My outside thermometer said that it came close to 15° C for a short while yesterday, but the lack of sunshine and wind made it feel far cooler than that. It certainly cooled down overnight, and I wouldn't have been surprised to see a frost at sunrise if I had been up to see it. At this moment the sun is shining, and my thermometer says it is 5.5° C. The wind blowing in through my bathroom window as I showered 10 or 15 minutes ago felt like it was barely above zero ! The forecast says that there could be more sunny spells for the next couple of hours, but most of the day will be dull. The top temperature is forecast to be just 10° C. Rather bizarrely, the last three hours before sunset will feature both rain and shine ! Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, but from about 3pm the sun will be interrupted by showers, and unlike today, some of them could be heavy. From then on things get worse. The temperature will drop to just 3° C by 4am on Thursday, and it will rain. That sounds perilously close to it snowing !

 It's difficult to describe how I felt yesterday because it depended so much on what I was doing. Sometimes I felt really quite rough, but at other times I felt almost OK. I felt mostly OK during my little walk to the shops in the morning, and I think that was the effect of the fresh air. Later on I felt tired and fatigued, and yet I couldn't seem to have the snooze I so desperately thought I wanted. This was partly because as soon as I relaxed I would cough more, or my nose would run more.

 The other aspect of how I felt was not the physical but the mental, and quite often I felt intensely bored. That resulted in me eating a lot more than I should have - although oddly enough I didn't find myself drawn to the sugar free cookies and wafers I bought. I did try them, and they were nice, but I guess I have managed to train myself not to eat such things, and to stick to savoury stuff instead - which I have always had a slight preference for. The other result of my boredom is that I washed two long sleeved shirts that had been hanging around unwashed for quite some time now. Washing them didn't seem to do me any harm, and may have done some good.

 I spent quite a bit of time reading yesterday, and I found that preferable to watching TV. I'm pretty sure I saw no TV at all yesterday. It seems odd that the reason I didn't watch any was because I didn't feel I could hold my concentration on it for long enough. I always thought that TV was supposed to be mindless pap that didn't need any intelligence or concentration to watch, or at least that is what I thought the popular opinion was. I guess I am different in some way.

 Despite feeling tired all day, I didn't attempt to go to bed very early last night. I didn't think I would be able to sleep much because I seemed to be coughing a lot in the evening, and yet I think I may have been asleep before 10pm. To my surprise I seemed to sleep quite well. I could always wish it had been far, far better, but it was probably not far different to many nights. I had a variety of nonsensical dreams including one where I seemed to be getting pictures from a micro drone, or robotic mouse, of the inside of the president of Argentina's house (Do they have a president ?). The pictures were to see if the president was squandering the countries money on furnishing her (I think it was a her) nest. It seems she wasn't.

 My sleep was interrupted a few times by some heavy coughing, but I had turned off my alarm on the assumption that I wouldn't be going to work again today, and I managed to get a little extra sleep beyond 5am - but not much ! This morning I feel different. It feels like I am getting the better of the bug that has invaded me, and yet I still have an occasional coughing session - sometimes just dry and tickly, and occasionally wet - and my nose feels a bit more blocked than it did yesterday. Just after starting to write this I couldn't stop sneezing for a few minutes !

 I might change my mind later, and I suspect I probably will, but the good thing I feel about my cold right now is that it feels just like the common cold. The reason that is a good thing is that the common cold is just a thing that happens for a short while, and maybe apart from the odd bad hour, it's often partly ignorable. At the moment I may be getting through tissues faster than I was at any time yesterday, but I actually feel better. Ain't life weird !

 I feel I ought to go out and get more fresh air today. I have been contemplating doing something like going to Fenchurch Street station to take some photos, but I am not sure if I am up to that. Maybe I'll just take a stroll around the park and see if I can sneeze on some smug joggers or something !

 I'm not sure why I have this idea that I want to take photos of Fenchurch Street station. It is not a very exciting station, although it is a fairly old station with much of it's original architecture still visible (if I remember correctly). It only serves one line - the line to Southend and Shoeberryness with a monoculture of trains run by the same company. I think I probably want to make a photo album of it because it is a sort of forgotten station. It may be one of the four stations on the Monopoly board, and it may be used by tens of thousands of commuters every day, but it is still sort of forgotten. Ask anyone to name the main London railway stations, and it will probably be the one that is forgotten. (At least that is my theory, but I have no data to back up that theory).
Monday 25th April 2016
10:55 BST

  The weather has reverted back to early spring, late winter - or it sometimes feels. Saturday was dull and uninspiring, but yesterday was actually better than it was supposed to be.  Apart from it being dull, and sometimes wet, it is the temperature that is the biggest disappointment. We were just beginning to enjoy temperatures of more than 15° C, and looking forward to even more, but now we are plunged back to temperatures not much better than 10° C. On the odd occasion it has gone higher than that a cold wind has meant it has actually felt colder ! Yesterday was supposed to be suitable weather for the London Marathon, but instead of lots of freezing rain there was just some cold rain, and to stop the runners enjoying their misery too much there were a few unexpected sunny periods. Today has started out very dull, but dry, although rain is expected any minute now ! My thermometer says it is 13.6° C, but it feels closer to, or even less than 10° C. The next few days are probably going to be similar, and with any change likely to be for the worse.

 Keeping myself busy yesterday seemed to mostly hold back a cold I am now suffering from. After all my physical efforts of doing housework I mostly relaxed until it was time to go out to see Voodoo Room playing in The Black Cat pub. It was supposed to be a ticketed event. I had been given a complimentary ticket in recognition of my photography, plus a few public positive comments promoting the pub. I found it hard to believe that many people would buy tickets, but it seems that some did. There was no security on the door, and although the bar staff were probably asking to see tickets when people went to the bar, I suspect the small number were supplemented by a few people just walking in off the street.

 Voodoo Room, who, as a band, do nothing but covers of Jimi Hendrix and Cream songs, were very good, and while it may have been a small audience, they were very appreciative. It was lucky I took two camera to the gig. I started out testing out a Nikon DSLR camera, but I found it hard to get the feel of it. I did get a few good pictures from it, and I could see it did have some strengths that might make it better than my Canon Camera at times, but I soon reverted back to my favourite Canon. For some reason I didn't manage to take any pictures that I am very proud of, and somehow I didn't seem to take any good pictures of the type to justify my free ticket - pictures of all the band together with the Black Cat logo behind them.
Voodoo Room
 This was probably one of the better pictures. In the foreground is Pete Orr on lead guitar and vocals. Behind him, with the neck of his guitar at the same angle, is Andy Tolman the bass player, and backing singer. The whole photo album can be seen here -

 After the gig I think I got home just before midnight armed with some fried chicken. I was going to say that for some reason I felt incredibly hungry, but the reasons are fairly obvious. I had been careful what I ate, and eaten it all early in the day (probably nothing significant after about 1pm). I think I had drunk 4 or 5 pints of Young's "ordinary bitter". It is a fairly weak bitter (3.8% ?), but still enough to get me feeling "happy". Last, but not least, the common cold, or more accurately, Man 'Flu was no longer creeping up on me, but rushing up !

  I didn't sleep very well at all on Saturday night/Sunday morning. The most annoying thing is that I managed to develop quite a good cough considering I haven't smoked a cigarette for two and a half years now. That woke me up a few times. In the morning I was in the grip of the illness, or at least on aspect of it. I didn't feel that uncomfortable, but about all I felt I could do was to do some photo editing, and that only in half hour sessions with decent breaks between them. One little edded extra to my misery was that washing the duvet cover on Saturday morning had left a few aches and pains. The pains from my faulty ribs and ligaments was enhanced every time I had a deep coughing fit !

 Last night I had a lousy sleep. It was mild, but I even had a bit of fever in the night. At one time I would feel cold, and later on too hot. At 4am, after transitioning from cold to hot I got up and wrote work an email saying I was going sick today (and maybe tomorrow as well). I am now in the peculiar state where bits of me feel very good, and other bits feel crap ! I took a walk to the shops this morning. It was partly a test of how good/bad I felt, and partly for something to do, and partly to buy a few odds and sods like sugar free cookies that I look forward to testing soon. I will have to check carefully, but I expect they have just as many millions of calories as regular cookies. So they will only be partly good for me.

 The first result of treating the walk as a test is that my legs are still in excellent condition. The sort of condition that allowed me to walk up the three flights of stairs at Earlsfield station on Friday, and to run (or walk fast) up the escalators at Waterloo station a bit later. The only trouble is the rest of my body can't seem to support my legs ! It felt very good to get home again and rest. The fresh air helped to clear out my stuffy nose, and I can't recall coughing much, or at all while I was walking. My nose still seems to be fairly clear now, and while my coughing has resumed, it does seem that the urge to cough is coming less frequently.

 I still feel quite fatigued, and I feel a bit heady at the moment - it's like a headache but more a sort of thick feeling than a pain. I also feel slightly wobbly - something like a cross between very mild versions of dizzyness, or loss of balance and wandering concentration. The closest analogy is that it feels a bit like some aspects of mild drunkenness - a feeling that can occasionally be annoying, but is otherwise perfectly normal. The other curious thing about how I feel is that most of the symptoms are described in the side effects of one or two of the drugs I take. I note that one of the drugs is from a different manufacturer. I'll keep an eye on that. It could be a different formulation that is causing some problem, but more likely it's just adding a bit of relish to my common cold/Man 'Flu !

 If I was feeling very masochistic today I could wash a couple of shirts. If I was feeling masochistic in the extreme I could wash a bath towel. The only thing I can foresee me actually doing is to read the magazine I bought while I was out. Oh, and testing those sugar free cookies !
Bus stop in, or
                            near, Penge
 I find this bus stop that I snapped on my way back from the pub on Thursday, strangely alluring for a reason I won't attempt to explain.
Saturday 23rd April 2016
11:35 BST

  I am trying to remember if there was the merest hint of sunshine yesterday. I think there might have been, but I can't remember when it was, but it almost certainly was "the merest hint" ! For once the weather forecast was right about that, and it was right about it raining while I was going home from work ! I don't think I checked the temperature when I got home from work, but I wouldn't dispute the forecast temperature of 10° C. It's going to be just as cool today, but I think we have seen a little more sunshine than the forecast seemed to suggest there would be. Maybe we are seeing a little more temperature too. There is quite a strong breeze at the moment that is making it feel a lot colder, but my thermometer says it is currently 11° C.  The forecast says the temperature should not hit it's maximum for another 4 or 5 hours yet, and even then it should only be a cooler 10° C. Perhaps today might even end up feeling slightly warm. Tomorrow is forecast to be cold, grey and occasionally wet, but that doesn't matter - it's only the London Marathon tomorrow !

 My hangover faced away so slowly yesterday that I didn't realise I was feeling slightly good until the afternoon. Even then I didn't know how good I could potentially feel in small doses !  I can't say that walking to the station after work was easy enough to be enjoyable. Even though it was in the going home direction, I think I probably have to many psychological barriers to actually enjoy one of the major tediums of going to work. However it didn't seem to tax me, and so I thought I would have another go at walking up the dreaded three flights of stairs to get to the platform at Earlsfield station.

 It's difficult to be sure about these things because I am only talking in fractions, but it is possible that I made it up those bloody stairs slightly faster than last time. Like last time, I didn't have to break my stride as I transitioned from going up to going along, but I have to confess my legs were complaining badly for a few seconds. By the time I had walked to the far end of the platform I was breathing quite deeply, but a long way from actually gasping. It was almost as good as when I was smoking.

 My feats of heroism didn't end there. I think the lack of oxygen to my brain must have meant I passed out and didn't realise that I was running up the escalator at Waterloo station....well I am sure I wouldn't mean to do it - would I ! I slowed down a bit as I walked across to the link to Waterloo East, but I still seemed to be overtaking quite a few people.  All this excess energy must have been the result of a combination of my weight being unusually low, and my blood glucose level being unusually low.

 When I arrived home my blood glucose level was 5.8 - which is not far off the middle of the 4 to 7 target range. I find that reading, plus a low weight reading, perplexing. There is something I don't understand about human, or specifically, my metabolism. I have already proved that beer sends my blood glucose level shooting up, but now I think I have to prove that it comes down again far faster than if I had eaten something like cake. There is also the matter of the beer giving me a very fierce appetite on Thursday night, and it seeming like I had over eaten. Maybe I should have added chips to the fried chicken and then my weight and blood glucose level might have been even lower - although I strongly doubt it !

 After checking my blood I went out again to collect my repeat prescription from the pharmacy. This time it was ready for me. It seems my doctor didn't quite understand the new repeat prescription method. What happens now is that the wobbly old computer at the doctors surgery automatically generates a repeat prescription for me 56 days (in my case) after the last prescription was served. All I have to do is phone the pharmacy to tell them I will be wanting it. That seems convenient enough.

 After going to the pharmacy I went around the corner to Aldi. I did mention that it might be difficult to go in there and just buy some packs of ready made salad - and it was ! I didn't get a huge amount, but I did end up getting a few things I probably should not have done. One such thing was a pack of ready to cook "southern fried flavour" chicken. In a healthy, non American household it would probably serve three people, but I ate it the American way - I ate it all ! The only thing I can say in my defence is that I didn't eat a bucket of "fries" with it. In fact I ate very little with that chicken, but it left me feeling very full.

 Maybe it was having a gut full of chicken, or maybe it was just because it was Friday night, but I felt like I was in that peculiar state where you are very tired, but unable to relax. There was also the matter of feeling like I had gone down with a cold. My nose was a bit drippy quite a few times yesterday, and last night I was coughing quite a lot. I watched some TV until 9pm, but I almost had to prop my eyes open to do it.  Soon after that I went to bed, and fell asleep while thinking I would never get to sleep.

  I slept reasonably well as far as I can tell, although from about 3pm I woke up briefly quite a lot. Maybe the most annoying thing was that I wanted to have a lay in this morning. I had visions of sleeping until 8am, or even later, but habit set in, and I wasn't really able to sleep much beyond 5am this morning. After a few hours of trying to be as lazy as possible I decided it was time to do something useful. It was going to be to wash my work shirts, but it was sunny and breezy - ideal drying conditions for hanging stuff like a duvet cover on the washing line.

 So task one was to wash my only unwashed duvet cover (although the one on my bed at the moment is probably ready for a wash). It was one of my heavier duty duvet covers, and manhandling it knackered me, but it is now washed and hanging on the line to dry. It was impossible to wring it out before hanging it on the line, but the way it is blowing around in the breeze makes it look like it is half dried already ! I have put my work shirts in to soak, and I will finish washing those sometime after writing this. I did do one other household task before starting writing, and that was to wash up 3 or 4 days worth of dishes. I also washed out the inside of the microwave - a task I probably don't do often enough.

 Apart from finishing washing my work shirts (and some underwear) I only have one more definite task for the day, and that is not until this evening. It is to go to The Black Cat pub, and take some pictures of Voodoo Room playing their Cream and Hendrix covers. It sounds like it could be really good, and hopefully I'll get some great snaps. It will also be fascinating to see how many people are in the audience. It is £10 (in advance) to get in, or £12 on the door. Maybe Voodoo Room has a huge following, and that could be possible considering they have played far bigger venues, but it just seems unlikely that many people would want to pay that to go into what is my local pub, and doesn't really have any reputation as a music venue yet. (Although in it's last months as The Catford Ram it did acquire a negative reputation !)
Friday 22nd April 2016
07:38 BST

  The new and improved (actually it was the opposite of improved) weather forecast for yesterday was wrong. The earlier forecast, which included some sunny spells, was closer to reality ! I don't think I would argue with the temperature forecast. It probably was 14° C at it's peak, but it did fall quite quickly after about 6pm. This morning the temperature was a very chilly feeling 7° C. By this afternoon it will have limped up to 10° C before falling away again as early as 4pm. If today's forecast is correct, and it feels like it will be today, there will not be even the merest hint of sunshine. At 4pm it might start to rain. That will set the pattern for tomorrow - mostly cold and wet !

 Maybe it was the thought of beer, or maybe it was being able to comfortably wear a pair of trousers that were two inches smaller around the waist, or maybe it was something beyond human comprehension, but I felt mostly good at work yesterday. If only I had proper feeling in the little and ring fingers of my left hand, and didn't have all sorts of exciting little pains from assorted places in, on, under or around my chest, it would almost be like I think I used to remember feeling years and years ago. Of course I don't actually remember what I felt like, say, 10 years ago because it is hard to remember not really feeling anything - or at least there doesn't seem to be anything in particular to remember.

 There is definitely something wrong with the world. It probably extends beyond the world, and may encompass the entire galaxy. It is this - I now have experimental proof that I can get to a pub in what I consider to be in the middle of nowhere, in less time than it takes me to get home ! I left work at my normal time. I caught a train from Earlsfield station at the usual time, but at Clapham Junction station I had to break my journey to change trains. I then travelled to Victoria station where I caught a train to Kent House station - a station I last saw in the 1960s ! From that unfamiliar station in an unfamiliar area, I walked to The Moon and The Stars pub. I arrived 5 minutes earlier than I would have arrived at home if I had taken my two usual trains !

 There was a good choice of beers in the pub, and all the beers I tried were very nice except for the on that was merely OK. That makes it sound like I had many pints of beer, and I did, but my first 4 beers were in half pint measures. It was my original intention to only have two pints last night, but I ended up having 4 pints. At any other time that would be great, but not while I am trying to control my blood glucose level, and reduce my waist size. Drinking 4 pints has probably added quite a few days to my ultimate, long term, pure fantasy quest to lose another 8 inches around my waist !

 I left the pub feeling quite good, and that was just as well because it was a good 10 minutes walk to Clock House station where I caught a train back to Catford Bridge station. I passed a "Sainsbury's Local" on the way back to the station, and I popped into to see if they had any of their ready made salads - the type I was having for a fairly healthy breakfast before I stopped having any breakfast a couple of months back. Sadly they didn't seem to have any, and I think I'll blame the annoyance of that as the reason why I bought three pieces of fried chicken once I got back to Catford.

 It is possible that I might almost have got away with just having three pieces of chicken (and no chips). The booze had given me a terrible case of the munchies, but I followed the chicken up with some salad with some little cubes of feta cheese in it. I certainly could have eaten lots more before I went to bed, but I didn't, and I guess that is sort of good. Once I went to bed I fell asleep quite quickly, but only about three quarters of my sleep was passably good. The odd thing was that I expected to have to get up quite a few times with 4 pints of beer in me, but I possibly peed less than on other nights.

 This morning I don't feel terribly good. On the other hand, if I were to subtract all the negative bits I could attribute to a hangover, I guess there wouldn't be that much negativity left. I would have to be quite generous in my attributions though.... I think my overwhelming feeling right now is that I would rather be in bed than be at work. Some added sleep would always be nice, but In think my desire for bed at the moment is just a strong desire to be thoroughly lazy. Oh well, that's not possible right now - well not laziness at the level I would like to practice it, but I have no intention to work too hard today !

 There are several things I want, or need to do tonight. The first is to go to the pharmacy to pick up my drugs - assuming my repeat prescription has been made up by then. While I am there I could pop around the corner to Aldi to buy some more ready made salads. I am wondering if it is possible for me to go into a great big supermarket and then just walk out with two items ?  I don't think I've ever done it before ! The one other thing I think I might do tonight is to wash some shirts. I could leave that until tomorrow, but it would use up a boring half hour or so if I did it tonight.
Thursday 21st April 2016
08:08 BST

  Yesterday wasn't quite as good as the day before, but it was still very pleasant. As expected, the bright sunny morning didn't last. On the other hand it was still fairly sunny in the afternoon - not as expected ! The other good thing is that the wind didn't seem to cool things off as much as the forecast seemed to suggest. I think my thermometer said it was 15° C when I got home from work. Now the peculiar thing is that my thermometer said it was around 6° C, maybe even 7° C when I left home to come to work. That is a good degree or two less cold than yesterday, and yet this morning it feels a bit cooler. Maybe it is the east wind. The day started brighter than it is now, as I write this, but there should be some sunny spells today - although maybe not many. Correction: The forecast now says no sunshine at all, but it will stay dry, and it should be 14° C this afternoon. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be duller, cooler, and it might rain around sunset.

 I tried my experiment of checking my blood glucose level while at work yesterday. I was going to try and do it when I felt most hungry, but there wasn't a time when I felt particularly hungry. So I checked it just after midday. I was expecting it to be lower than it was. That was disappointing. What wasn't disappointing was when I checked it after getting home it had dropped to a nice 6.2 - still towards the high end of the target of 4 to 7, but still inside it. A couple of hours after eating it was 6.4 - also quite satisfactory. This morning it is....well, anyone's guess. I didn't check it.

 That high reading in the day was not my only disappointment yesterday. Most of the time I was feeling quite good yesterday, and once again I seemed to have some spare energy as I made my way home from work. If I had been carrying my rucksack I think I would have stuffed my coat into it, and gone home in shirtsleeves - it certainly felt warm enough for it - just ! In fact when I went out again, after getting home, I did leave my coat off, and I was perfectly comfortable. Initially I went to the pharmacy in the same building as my doctors surgery. I was hoping to pick up a repeat prescription that I had ordered online on Sunday.

 My doctors web site  has recently had a makeover, and I was deeply suspicious about whether the system for ordering repeat prescriptions was working as it should. My suspicions were right ! My prescription had not been generated, and passed on to the pharmacy. So it was almost a wasted journey, and now, having given the paperwork to the pharmacy, I'll have to go there tomorrow night to pick my drugs up. I said the journey (aka a five minute stroll) was almost wasted, but it wasn't a waste because I also took the opportunity to get some shopping in Aldi (which is just around the corner from my doctor).

 Aldi has less to tempt me than Tesco has - it's rare to see reduced price stickers for instance - and I managed to avoid buying anything I might regret later - except for one thing - maybe. I have to confess that curiosity overtook me when I saw ready cooked peri-peri flavoured chicken wings. I think I can get away with having them as a weekend treat. Mostly I bought stuff in three categories - salad, tinned fish, and sugar free drinks. Some of the latter were flavoured spring water (probably straight from the tap !), and flavoured "sparkling" spring water (also probably straight from the tap with some added carbon dioxide). Those flavoured waters, plus some spare bottle of  (Aldi own brand) sugar free cola made for quite a weight to lug home !

 My dinner last night was one of my more sparse dinners. I had two Aldi ready made salads. I added a small tin of pink salmon to one, and a small tin of mackerel to the other. They should have been low in most of the things that matter (sugar, calories, and stuff). It was a shame I couldn't help testing a chunk of Red Fox as a sort of slightly delayed dessert. Red Fox is a new cheese to me. It is an extra matured Red Leicester cheese, and is rather nice - unfortunately !

 One of the things I did last night was some needlework ! I decided it was time to see how comfortable one of my old pairs of trousers would be if I wore them to work. There was a pair that for some reason I thought were a slightly looser fit than others of the same size, but upon inspecting them I noted that the top button, which was actually a riveted stud, had almost pulled through the material - suggesting it had been subjected to a lot of strain in the past. I ripped it out, which was easy because it was almost falling out, and replaced it with a proper button that I sewed on. After trying those trouser on I found there was not that much strain on the button, and I am wearing them to work right now. So far they seem perfectly comfortable ! This is not wholly surprising. I weighed myself this morning, and I have lost even more tenths of a kilogram - several of them ! Admittedly some of the low reading was due to light dehydration after taking another diuretic tablet last night, but then again I am comparing it with readings taken under the same conditions.

 Tonight I have the opportunity to ruin it all over again. It's Thursday, and that means boozing ! Tonight's boozing is in a very inconvenient place, and that means I will probably be having no more than two pints. The boozer is in Penge, and to get there I'll have to change trains at Clapham Junction, and get a train to Victoria. From there I can get a slow train to Kent House station. The pub is 5 or 6 minutes walk from there. To get home I will have to walk for about 10 minutes to Clock House station. That is on the same line as Catford Bridge, and once on a train it's only about 8 minutes back to Catford.
busker on Waterloo
                            station concourse
An unusual sight - a busker at Waterloo station last night.
I wasn't terribly impressed with the few seconds I heard of him trying to sing, but he was having trouble with his P.A.
Maybe he is better when his equipment works OK. He has a website -
blue leaved tree at Waterloo
This morning there was this nice blue leaved tree on the concourse of Waterloo station
Waterloo concourse
Wednesday 20th April 2016
08:00 BST

  After a cloudy start yesterday turned out rather well. I'm not sure when the clouds cleared, but it was probably before 11am. After that the glorious sunshine warmed the day up to 15° C by my reckoning. That was very comfortable. At times, like when I was standing on Waterloo East station waiting for my train back to Catford, the sun felt positively hot ! Today has started off rather cool - between 4 and 5° C - but it is a lovely bright sunny morning, and it is supposed to stay sunny all day. Unfortunately the wind from the east will be picking up a bit later on, and that is supposed to cool the temperature to only 12° C, and it will add a bit of it's own chill factor to that. So it will look very nice, which is quite important, but it will not feel anything like as nice as yesterday was - unless the forecast turns out to be wrong again !

 I have to confess there were times at work yesterday when I felt fairly rotten. Some extended periods of what I thought were hunger pains didn't feel so good. There were also some times when I felt slightly strange in a way that it is hard to describe. It was a sort of light headedness that wasn't light headed, or a sort of dizzyness with perfect balance maintained, or a sort of out of the world experience. Maybe it was the latter, and it was caused by me being dead, but not actually stopping long enough to realise it.

 Whatever it was, it had faded away long before I left work to go home via The Black Cat pub. With the bright sunshine, and the warm air, it was almost a pleasant journey, and I felt something like energetic as I walked along. When I got to The Black Cat pub I met my contact there, and we had a chat. I can't decide if he is a bit of a bore, or just very enthusiastic about bringing some live music to Catford. He is slowly building up a PA system, and a lighting system for the pub, and took me into a non public area of the pub to show off his newly bought equipment. I think he is probably going about it the right way, and providing he can get some wider publicity about the gigs there, it could work out rather nicely - although I think charging for entry for some gigs may be a bit over ambitious until it becomes recognised as a good venue - particularly £12 ! To me it's still just a pub, and you don't pay to go in pubs ! Anyhow, I got my complimentary ticket for Saturday night. So I'm happy.
Ticket for Voodoo
 I was quite surprised when I checked my blood glucose level after I got home. Just one pint of Young's ordinary bitter sent it up to 9.9. That is really high. I was probably more surprised when I checked it again just over 2 hours later, and it had dropped to 6.2 - which is within the "normal" or target range (5.5 would have been about perfect). That suggests that my pancreas can still generate sufficient insulin when required, or it shows that something else was very good at reducing my blood glucose level. That something else, although I have no idea how it might have worked, was the result of what I ate last night.

 My dinner started with a bowl of Aldi's ready made "Mediterranean Style"  salad with probably too many chunks of cheese, and a very over generous amount of naughty mayonnaise on it. Part two of my dinner packed the killer punch. It was a very simple preparation of cauliflower and leek cooked in chicken stock flavoured with some tomato passata. It should have been quite low in everything except a lot of stock/gravy. Drinking all that hot gravy is quite filling, but as has been demonstrated many times in the past, it can trigger a chain reaction in my guts - and it did last night !

 Many visits to the toilet later, and I was feeling quite comfortable, and quite thin. Of course I wasn't thin, but when it seems like you have flushed the equivalent to half your body weight down the toilet (or that's what it felt like), you do feel unusually thin ! Whether that had any bearing on the big reduction in my blood glucose level last night is open to speculation. The good thing is that once it was all over I seemed to sleep quite well - and it hardly delayed my bedtime at all. This morning my weight was looking good, although I would always hope it might have been less, and I do seem to feel unusually not as bad as usual - almost good in some ways.

 I haven't got much planned for today or this evening. Out of curiosity I have brought in my blood glucose test kit, and I think I'll take a reading at some point this morning. Probably at about the time I feel hungriest. In theory my blood glucose should be quite low than, but I suspect it will still be quite high - as it now seems to be most mornings. After work I need to pop by the pharmacy to see if my repeat prescription has been made up. My GP has changed their website recently, and I am not convinced their repeat prescription ordering service is working. So it will either be a very quick visit, or a slow visit as it is made up while I wait. After that I shall be bored. So bored that I might even watch some TV !
Tuesday 19th April 2016
08:08 BST

  Yesterday was not as bad as the forecast suggested it might be. The sunshine seemed to last longer than expected, and the afternoon didn't feature that many really dark clouds. In fact most of the afternoon was generally bright (but far from dazzling). It stayed dry, and the temperature reached 13° C - a degree higher than expected. I hope that the forecast for today is slightly more pessimistic than reality. This morning started off at 10° C, and it is forecast to climb to at least 14° C by this afternoon. Maybe there is a chance it could hit 15° C ! It is currently cloudy, as the forecast predicted, but if the forecast remains on track we well have a gloriously sunny afternoon. Tomorrow may be similar, but perhaps a degree or two cooler.

 I was right when I wrote that being at work would make me feel sleepy yesterday. There was one period when it was hard to keep my eyes open, but generally I felt OK yesterday. One disappointment is that it seems like I probably wasted £35 when I bought an untested Nikon camera from a charity shop. Someone had forced a memory card in incorrectly, and that had caused both mechanical and electrical damage. I took the camera apart yesterday, and I managed to repair the mechanical damage, but the whole thing was too fiddly to try and find where the electrical damage might be. The power control circuit board is buried deep inside the camera, and it just felt like too much hard work dismantling it into a thousand pieces with a million different plugs and sockets. Actually the dismantling would be easy, but putting it back together would be a nightmare. Once upon a time I might have been keen to try, but not now - particularly when I was supposed to be at work !

 Rather than share a lift with a piss carriage (sometimes known as a pram) I decided to walk up the stairs at Earlsfield station on my way home. Once again it was easier than I remember it being, and last night I may have managed it fractionally faster. The last 3 or 4 steps were really quite taxing, but not so much that I had to break my stride, but I probably walked to the far end of the platform a little slower than usual, but only a little slower !  From then on it was an uneventful, typically boring, journey home.

 Soon after I got home I got a text message from Jo Corteen (singer/guitarist from Chain) asking if she could give my number to the man from The Black cat pub. He is impressed with my photographs of bands, and in particular the pictures I took at the Stone Blind gig last Saturday ( - so impressed that he will be giving me a free ticket for the gig happening there this coming Saturday. The band is called Voodoo Room, and they consider themselves so important that they will be charging £12 entrance at the door (or £10 in advance). I can't see them selling many tickets, but maybe they have a huge horde of followers. They specialise in covering Cream and Jimi Hendrix songs, and that sounds rather wonderful to me, but I didn't care to pay to see them in my local pub. Tonight I will be picking up my free ticket on the way home from work. Of course the pub, and maybe the band too, will be wanting to use some of my photos for publicity, but that's OK with me, although next time I think I should demand free beer as well !

 My blood glucose level was agreeably low when I got home from work. It would have been nicer if it was still lower, but after a weekend of boozing and only being slightly careful about what I ate, I expected it to be higher still. A couple of hours after eating it was considerably higher, and I am not sure why. Something I ate obviously had more sugar in it than I expected. The two cod fishcakes had potato in them, and that would cause a small peak, but would they put sugar in a fishcake ? You never can tell with some manufacturers.

 This morning, after what seemed like a reasonable sleep, I feel mostly OK again. My chest seems fairly well behaved recently, but I did note a warning pain from my dodgy rib(s) when I put my hand over my head while brushing my hair. I was a little more careful after that little twinge, and no further twinges happened. The one thing I am unsure about is why I didn't seem to be able to walk as fast as I wanted to this morning. The confusion is that I am not sure if I was actually walking slower than usual, or if I wanted to accelerate beyond normal, and couldn't.

 On my way in to work I noted another promotion going on at Waterloo. Suspicious small brown packets were being handed out. I assume they were hard drugs, but they could have been some sort of bread based confection.

freebies on
                            Waterloo concourse
a softer something ?
As my train arrived at Earlsfield station there was more stuff to see. My best guess is that this hot air balloon was drifting over Streatham (to the east of Earlsfield).
hot air balloon seen from Earlsfield

 The only thing I know I will be doing tonight is calling into The Black Cat to pick up my free ticket for Saturday night. While I am in there I will probably have a pint of bitter, but I mustn't get too carried away or I will end up eating who knows what. It is possible I may only eat vegetable tonight, but maybe I'll have a bit of fish too.
Monday 18th April 2016
08:24 BST

  Yesterday's weather could probably be described as "uninspirational" (a word my spell checker thinks doesn't exist - and maybe I just made it up, but it feels right) although there was some pleasant sunshine near to sunset. I guess a maximum temperature of 13° C wasn't too bad, but without the backup of some sunshine it seemed to be quite cool. During the night the temperature fell quite a lot, but not as low as it did the night before. A metre and a bit off the ground it was about 6° C, and about 4 metres off the ground it was a little cooler at just 4° C. That was (and still is) rather chilly, but in compensation it is a lovely sunny morning with the sky a lovely shade of blue. The forecast says this won't last for more than another hour or so, and from then on until the end of the day, and maybe more, the sky will be filled with thick black clouds. It sounds like a recipe for a terrible day, but while it will be deeply depressing, it will apparently stay dry, and with the temperature forecast to reach 12° C, and the wind predicted to be very light, it will at least be almost comfortable.

 I thought I was supposed to be relaxing, and thinking about bed after I finished writing yesterday, but maybe it was all the accolades I got for the pictures I had taken on Saturday night that inspired me to more photographic stuff. The accolades included several of my pictures being used as profile pictures, and other pictures shared on a well known social media web site. Meanwhile, I finally got around to uploading all the pictures of London Bridge station that I had prepared earlier. I am sure I have more of them somewhere, although some may be  "chemical" photos, and will need scanning to convert to electronic format. I'll add them as and when, but the first pictures, all 29 of them, can be seen right here -

 I finally got to bed a little before 9pm, and I think I may have even fallen asleep before 9pm. My sleep was interrupted a couple of times when I had to wee, and also once for what was probably sleep apnoea. I had a dream that there was a mouse running around outside my bedroom door, and I wanted to make cat noises at it as I tried to round it up. The only I seemed to be able to make were sort of hissing and very mild growling noises. I can only imagine that this was as my snoring reached a peak, and closed off the airways so I couldn't breathe....or it could have been for some completely different reason. One completely different reason is that I wasn't actually human ! I have a vague idea that the mouse was wearing a collar, and it could have been Jerry from Tom & Jerry. In which case I was Tom (the cat), and that was why I couldn't speak (but I should have been able to make cat noises !). It might also explain why I couldn't seem to kill the mouse - it was needed for the extended chase scene !

 This morning I feel unusually well rested, although I am sure that being at work will kill that off ! Most of me, with one important exception, felt unusually good, and although the magic seemed to wilt away once my train arrived at Earlsfield, I have been feeling quite energetic. This seems all wrong considering my bad eating over the weekend. I did sort of feel that my belly had expanded, and yet my trouser belt seems to be saying the opposite. It's still a little way off from when I am going to have to add an extra hole to make it tighter, but that day doesn't feel like it ill be that far away. It could even be next weekend if I can control my appetite during the week.

 One reason why my belly seemed as if it might have grown, and also why a small section of me was a bit uncomfortable this morning, can be summed up in one word - lentils ! I had a meal that was mostly these high fibre, gas making pulses, on Saturday, and the first results were seen, or felt, or smelled last night. While being on my own is not always a pleasure, it was a relief not to have to share last night with someone. Quite simply, I was farting ten to the dozen, and the stench was causing the wall paper to peel off the walls ! It finally all resolved this morning. The resolution made me miss my usual train, and has left some mild tenderness, but essentially I feel fine now (....maybe 97% fine if I am truthful).

 There are several things I could do tonight, but I am not sure which, if any, of the things I will do. I might wash my hair. That will keep me amused for a good 20 minutes ! I might see if I can dig out, and scan some earlier snaps of London Bridge station, and if I do, it will keep me amused, or more likely frustrated, for anything from minutes to hours. Of course once these currently blue skies are replaced by the forecast thick black clouds, all the euphoria will evaporate, and I'll probably just be looking to eat and go to bed tonight. Before then it's over to Waterloo station concourse.....
Free Ribena at
                            Waterloo station
On the concourse of Waterloo station they are giving away free bottle of Ribena Light.
Ribena Light
I would imagine that they are promoting the light version of Ribena in advance of new regulations that will add extra tax to sugary drinks, and maybe other products with unneeded added sugar.
get your free Ribena Light here !
Sunday 17th April 2016
16:36 BST

  As far as I can tell, or recall, yesterday stayed dry, but it was a rather dreary dull day, and the temperature never went higher than "almost tepid", or about 10° C. During the evening the temperature fell into the "really rather chilly" area. This morning it was almost cold enough for a frost. In fact it is quite possible that there could have been a touch of frost on some cars, but I didn't go outside to check it. During the day it has warmed up, or as I like to say, it has become less cold. To my great surprise I see my thermometer is currently saying 13° C - it doesn't seem to feel like it though. I don't think they were expected, but we have had a couple of brief sunny intervals today, but overall I would mark the day as being mostly dull and grey. The current theory about tomorrow is that there will be a couple of hours of sunshine soon after dawn, but the rest of the day will be very overcast. No rain is expected, but there could still be a shower, and it will only be about 12° C at best.

 I had rather a good night at The Black Cat watching Stone Blind playing a quite loud, and occasionally heavy rock gig. I thought that maybe there wouldn't be many people there (there were other local gigs that I know people were going to), and that I would have no one to talk to, but it turned out there were several people I knew there. One of them was John Bull, "Mr Rockrpix" himself - without his camera ! That initially left me as the only person with a decent camera, and the weight of getting a good record of the gig fell on my shoulders - with a pro looking over my shoulder ! Gulp !  Actually John is a nice guy, and quite helpful, and he occasionally praises my efforts.
Stone Blind play
                            The Black Cat
Here's one of the pictures I took (shrunk to fit the page). On the left is Dan Murphy with his guitar. He sings as well. Dylan Tidman is on Drums. I can't seem to recall the bass players name, and on the right is Jamie Bull (who is John Bull, the photographers son).
Stone Blind
For the second set they were joined on stage by Amanda who seemed a competent singer.
 I took an insane amount of pictures last night (over 500 !), and in a way it was all because there was good lighting. It is probably no secret, although it may not often be admitted, but with good lighting the photographers job is half done. I have uploaded a 51 shot album to Flickr, and many shots needed hardly any editing. That is so different to many gigs where it is a struggle to pull a grimly passable picture out of a dull smeary mess. If you want to see the full album, in high resolution, it is right here -

 There was one picture I was quite proud of. John Bull suggested I try and catch the grand finale when Dan Murphy, the guitar player, leaps high into the air. It wasn't the perfect picture, but I was damn happy with this -
Dan Murphy
                                leaps in the air.

 I must admit that I was so happy with the picture that I stayed up after getting home from the gig trying to edit it to perfection - although I realised that apart from a bit of cropping it was pretty good as it was. It was probably close to 1.30am before I went to bed, and maybe 2am before I was asleep. It seems stupid that I was awake again just 4 hours later, and didn't get much sleep after that.

 If you subtract the time I have spent photo editing today you find that I have done very little all day. I've tried to have a few snoozes with very limited success, and I have done a bit of reading, and a bit of cooking, including part cooking some of tomorrow's dinner, but that is about all. I've probably nibbled on quite a few snack today too - and some of them have been very inappropriate ! Most of these other activities have just been breaks to rest my eyes after sitting at the PC for so long. I assume I am going to sleep like a log tonight - but maybe that is an assumption too far.
Saturday 16th April 2016
17:20 BST

  It was raining when I left work yesterday. Fortunately it stopped by the time I reached Catford. I have a vague recollection of it getting quite bright at some time during the day, but I think the day has to be written off as a generally dull and miserable day. The forecast didn't hold out much hope for the temperature getting any higher than about 8° C, but I think it was probably nearer 10° C when I arrived home from work. There was more rain in the evening. Today has been dry (unless I missed a brief shower), but it has been very dull, and it is still rather cool. Like yesterday, it is currently 10.3° C. Tomorrow is forecast to start with a frost (!!!) but it is supposed to be a mostly sunny day, and by mid to late afternoon we can look forward to 12° C.

 I'm not sure if it felt good because the scales said I was lighter than I have been for some time, or because I actually was lighter. Starting the day with a slightly more sensible blood glucose level was good too, but neither of these things did much for my usual discomforts - mostly my chest/ribs/ligaments, although they were possibly a little tiny bit better behaved than usual. To celebrate feeling less bad than usual I walked to the station in the rain after work. Of course this was actually more to do with no bus being in sight (as is God's plan for any time when it might actually be nice to get a bus [and he wonders why I don't believe in him !!]). The next bit of the celebration was also not really celebration, but advanced masochism mixed with a personal "dare ya", and a sprinkle of bravado.

 Having walked all the way to the station (in the pouring rain) I found the lift doors had just closed and it was on it's way up to the platform. Rather than wait I walked up the stairs. I possibly started with a little bit too much enthusiasm because after a fast start I had to slow down as I reached the top. I have to admit I was a bit puffed out when I got to the top, and assorted leg muscles were complaining, but I managed to keep walking at a fairly fast pace without hesitating all the way to the other end of the platform. By the time my train reached Clapham Junction my breathing was just about back to normal.

 When I got back to Catford I went home via Tesco where I was extraordinary careful with what I bought.....well OK, mostly very careful. I didn't buy any cheese and I didn't buy any meat - apart from what was in some sandwiches. In theory I was going to have an ultra healthy dinner, but it didn't work out that way. When I got home I did two things. I weighed myself, and I checked my blood glucose level. My weight was a tiny bit less than in the morning. So the low reading in the morning was not dehydration after my violent stomach upset the previous evening (and part two just after midnight). That was most encouraging. What was not only not encouraging, but totally mystifying at the same time, was how my blood glucose, after fasting for near on 24 hours, was exactly the same as it had been before I went to work some 10 hours earlier. Where did all that sugar come from ?

 Unfortunately it gave me one of those "what the hell" moments, and I ate the sandwiches that I had bought for breakfast this morning. I also ate the two packs of salad - which would have been fine if I had not opened up a bottle of mayonnaise and used it very generously. I don't think the ham I had with one salad, and the pickled eggs I had with the other were too bad for me, but it would have been better if I had omitted them (although the ham had to be used sooner or later).

 After that I felt slightly bloated. I also felt fairly tired, and it was raining outside. Three excuses seemed more than enough to not go out and see a gig I was only marginally interested in, or one I was only very slightly more interested in. So I went to bed nice and early, and as far as I can recall I slept rather well. This morning I was up bright and early (unlike the weather which was definitely not bright). I didn't really have to get up as early as I did, but it turned out to have been a wise decision.

 The first thing I did this morning was to weigh myself. Weighing myself so frequently is a bit stupid because the day to day changes can be smaller than, say, the result of trimming my beard, or blowing my nose, but what I saw hinted that the change was in the right direction. It was a bit of a shame that I actually felt slightly bloated this morning, and later on I was !

 I saw my friend Aleemah this morning. It was useful that I had got up when I did, and tidied the place up early because Aleemah arrived in Catford extra early. I'm not sure why she didn't give me any advanced warning, but she was already in the pub at 9am when she called me. So I had the delight of a pint and half of beer for breakfast at about 9.15am ! It could have been two pints, but I found the half pint of Irish peaty ale to be very unpleasant, and left most of it !

 After breakfast we went to Aldi. I had already bought most of what I needed from Tesco, but as we were passing Aldi anyway it seemed wise to pop in and buy some more diet cola and some diet lemonade plus some replacement bowls of salad, and sandwiched for breakfast (or breakfast part two). While Aleemah was here we watched the third and final part of the Johanna Lumley documentary that we started watching when Aleemah was here a fortnight ago.

 Since Aleemah went home I've done some photo editing, and some laundry. The photo editing also included searching through old photos of London Bridge station. I found quite a few from 2002 and 2004, and very few more recently. The reason for this interest in London Bridge was because on my way home from work on Wednesday I had to divert via London Bridge because my train was cancelled. It seemed a good idea that while I was there I should get a few snaps of the old platforms 1,2 and 3 before they are ripped up and rebuilt as part of the Thameslink rebuilding that is slowly transforming the station.
London Bridge
                            platform 1
 This picture, and many more will appear in a photo album I will be uploading to Flickr sooner or later. This picture shows a class 375 train run by SouthEastern that is probably going deep into the heart of Kent, and possibly to the coast. If I wasn't lazy I could look it up, but I can't be bothered. All I can add is that it was at approx 16:30 from platform 1.

 Tonight I should have another shed load of pictures to deal with. Fairly soon now I have to start thinking about getting myself ready to walk to The Black Cat to see Stone Blind playing there. It should be good, and I hope there is a good audience. Hopefully not so many that they block my camera, but enough to keep the pub happy so they continue to have bands there on a Saturday night.
Friday 15th April 2016
07:51 BST

  It wasn't a bad day yesterday. It was mild, or perhaps slightly better than mild, and when it mattered, it was dry. When it didn't matter, such as when I had no intention of going out, or while I slept, it rained - sometime quite hard ! There was no mention of the rain in the forecast at first, and the icons were still showing sunshine, but this note appeared in the small print - "From: 1300 on Thu 14 April To: 2100 on Thu 14 April
Heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected to break out on Thursday afternoon. Not everywhere will see these, but where they do occur, be aware of localised impacts from hail and lightning, as well as heavy rain producing standing water on roads and reduced visibility.
The showers will slowly die out on Thursday evening
I think it was spot on 13:00 that the rain started here in Earlsfield. Before that I heard a distant rumble that could have been thunder, but may have just been some man made noise. It was dry and bright, although not sunny, when I left work, and it stayed that way until I arrived home by way of three pints of beer in Ladywell. Contrary to what the weather warning said, the showers didn't die out Thursday evening, but restarted, and they continue now ! Today has got off to a wet, but quite mild start - 11° C - and we can expect it to go up a few degrees by this afternoon, but it is going to remain a rather soggy and dull day. It's looking like tomorrow is not going to be nice at all ! The temperature is forecast to range between just 5° C and 8° C, and while most of the day will be dry, there will be a few showers in the morning, and maybe one in the afternoon. Curiously enough, the forecast suggests that the afternoon shower will be accompanied by some sunshine - the only sunshine forecast for the whole day !

 I didn't feel that bad at work yesterday, but neither did I feel that good. This was particularly so towards the end of the day. I couldn't really work out what it was that was wrong, although with hindsight, some of the symptoms make more sense now. I felt basically OK while I was travelling from work to The Ravensbourne Arms pub in Ladywell. That was the venue for last nights "Thursday night" drink. I felt quite thirsty when I got there, and sunk my first pint rather too quickly. I then went on to have two more pints.

 After those three pints, drunk on a completely empty stomach, I had not only had my self imposed maximum allowance, but I didn't feel too good. It was not a matter of drunkenness, although I was a bit tipsy, but I felt like I could throw up if I didn't take care. It made my walk through the park just a little less pleasant, although after walking for 10 minutes I was feeling relatively OK. Maybe I was helped by being distracted by some photo opportunities.
parakeet high in a
The parakeets in Ladywell Fields are hard to photograph as they zip between the trees in a blur, and rarely pose on an outside branch. This one didn't pose properly, but at least it was stationary for a few moments. I thought most of the parakeets in the park were of the ring necked variety, but I can't see a ring on this one.
pigeon in a tree
Pigeons are anything but rare if you live in London, but most of the pigeons you see are scrawny parasite infested ones that peck at heaven knows what on railways stations, and drop droppings on you from the roof supports. It makes a change to see a nice clean looking pigeon in a tree. It would have been even nicer if it was looking my way.

 I felt tired and hungry when I got home. Fortunately I had solutions for both these conditions. A bed for the former feeling, and a ready made dinner that just needed another 10 minutes in the microwave to satisfy the latter. Dinner was another microwave cooked beef stew featuring onion and  cabbage cooked in beef stock and tomato passatta. Ideally it would have been cooked for an hour or two over a low flame, but the microwave did a passable job of it. It possibly had less meat in it than some of my recent dinners. Apart from a couple of naughty chunks of cheddar cheese, it was all I ate all evening.

 My original intention was to do more photo editing last night, but I didn't feel up to it. The earlier beers enhanced how sleepy I felt, and there was something else that made me want to go to bed. So I was in bed before 7.30pm, and up again 20 minutes later. That something else revealed itself as my stomach doing somersaults. After a few visits to the toilet I felt far better, and I was able to get to sleep soon after 8pm. I seemed to sleep well until around midnight when I woke up feeling vaguely uncomfortable. That was the start of another hour or more of rushing to the toilet. As far as I can estimate, I managed to purge my entire digestive tract - including tonights dinner ! (It's the only way to account for the perceived quantity).

 After that I was able to sleep fairly normally until just before 5am when I was due to get up anyway. To my surprise I had to go to the toilet once again. Where was it all coming from ? I did feel remarkably hollow after all that, and it showed when I weighed myself. It is a shame it was under such artificial circumstances because I haven't seen my weight that low in years ! Curiously enough, or maybe it was actually logical, my blood glucose level was only a tiny bit above normal this morning.

 I am obviously a bit dehydrated this morning, and my legs didn't feel much like rushing around, but basically I think I feel no worse, and possibly a microscopic bit better than contemporary days - i.e. I don't feel like I'll be dying today, but I would still much prefer to be in bed asleep again. In the last 10 minutes I have felt a few gurgles from my stomach, and I am wondering if I will need to dash to the toilet soon, but it's probably just gas from my Diet Coke.

 I think I need to get some shopping from Tesco on my way home from work. That always carries some danger, and with an even emptier stomach than usual it could be difficult resisting everything bad for me, but I'll do my best. I hope there are not too many, or even any reduced price sandwiches available to tempt me because I do intend to buy a couple for tomorrow, but I intend most of my shop to be salad and leafy vegetable and stuff - more cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. I must remember to get a couple of tubes of tomato purée, and also a tube of garlic purée (or some other form of ready prepared garlic). Some claim that garlic is good for you (although rarely provide any acceptable scientific proof to back up such claims, but at least it keeps the vampires away !).

 Apart from shopping and eating, I don't have any concrete plans for tonight. I think I would be quite happy to have another early night, but there is a possible alternative. There is another gig at The British Legion Hall in Petts Wood tonight. It is a tribute act to Elton John, and quite a few people I know are going, but I wonder if that is a good enough reason to go ? I am not exactly a fan of Elton John. He has sung a few good songs, but I can take or leave them. The worst thing is that the singer is not, in my humble opinion, very good at singing ballad type stuff. He is far better belting out rock songs, and that is what he will be doing tomorrow night with the band Stone Blind in The Black Cat in Catford. I am rather looking forward to that. It is possible I might go to Petts Wood tonight, but not particularly likely.
Thursday 14th April 2016
07:25 BST

  There was a lot more sunshine than the forecast for yesterday seemed to suggest there would be. So it was another dry, bright and warm day - almost as warm as the day before. I think my outside thermometers averaged out to about 18° C. This morning it was between 8 and 9° C, and that is an improvement over yesterday, but the afternoon may be a degree cooler than yesterday - which will still be acceptable. Less sunshine is forecast for today, but than again they said that about yesterday !  Some rain, and some of it may be heavy rain, is forecast for very late evening (10pm), and it will continue through to the early hours of tomorrow morning. Then it will be dry for a few hours so I can get to work in the dry. The middle of the day will be sunny, and then I will get soaked going home from work ! Of course the reality will probably end up completely different !

 My creaky, cranky chest/ribs/ligaments are getting a bit boring now. All too frequently they just very gently ache. It's often ignorable, but it is spoiling times that ought to be more pleasurable. Yesterday was a case in point. It was warm and dry, and I sneaked out of work for 15 - 20 minutes to get some fresh air in the local park. It was nice out there, and I had a short walk, but I was forever reminded that if I made the wrong move, and it is difficult to predict just what that move will be, the odd little creak, or gentle little ache could turn into a wrenching pain. I am happy to say that I haven't actually suffered from any of the very sharp pains for some time now. Most often it is no pain, nor even an ache, but just an annoying rubbing/crunching/grating sound as I walk along that serves as a constant reminder that my chest is broken, and nothing can be done about it.
A tractor cutting
                            the grass in King Georges Park
One of the several pictures I took in the park yesterday. This tractor is cutting the grass. I may have more pictures of (mostly) flowers tomorrow, or I may just provide a link to Flickr. I got fed up with photo editing last night, and while I have a small album to upload to Flickr, I haven't done so yet, and I didn't shrink any more pictures down to show here.

 On the whole, apart from my moans about my chest, I felt fairly good at work yesterday.....actually, maybe there are more exceptions to that statement. It was probably more to do with boredom, but I did feel very sleepy from time to time. I also felt quite hungry for a while, but apart from that I felt mostly good. It was still very nice to head home though. Going home was not straightforward. In the 30 - 40 minutes since I checked online they cancelled my 16:20 train from Waterloo East. That was bothersome, but not a disaster. Since getting my 60+ Oystercard I can travel for free on the tube at any time (and for free on the trains - but only after the morning peak). So I walked through Waterloo East station to Southwark tube station where I could get a train to London Bridge station. The 16:35 train from there that originates from Cannon Street, stops at all stations, but it still arrived at Catford Bridge five minutes before the next train from Waterloo East. In some ways it makes a nice change to break the usual routine.

 My blood glucose level was higher than I expected when I got home from work, but not terribly so. Once again that curious thing happened where a couple of hours after eating my dinner my blood glucose level dropped instead of going up. That later reading, about two and a half hours af6ter I ate my dinner, was very good, and spot on target. Eight hours after that, when I got up this morning, it was very high again, and I am not entirely sure why. I have this theory that it is caused by the slow digestion of meat, but I am sure I had less meat last night than most nights, and yet this morning it was one of the highest morning readings I have had. This was reflected in feeling a bit sweaty on my way to work this morning. I have no way of checking it at the moment, but I have a theory that the strong, but thankfully dwindling hunger pangs I am feeling now is caused by my blood glucose dropping back closer to normal.

 I can't even begin to predict how my blood glucose level will change tonight. Last night I prepared my dinner for tonight, and it has less beef, and more vegetable in it, but it also has some tomato passatta in it which probably contains a fair amount of natural fructose in it. The real complication is that tonight is boozing night !! We are drinking in Ladywell, and that means I will be drinking on an empty stomach. Three pints would probably get me feeling quite drunk, but even two will probably generate a fierce hunger. It is probably going to be difficult to keep that under control. Oh well, it's only one night of the week, but then there is the weekend.....

 I did a bit of photo editing last night, but I couldn't manage to make myself feel enthusiastic about it. I think I was tired, and so I went to bed a bit earlier than usual, and it didn't take long to get to sleep. It didn't seem to take much effort to stay asleep last night, but I did wake a couple of times - although those times seem to have a dreamlike quality when I try and remember them now. I guess it is possible that I dreamed that I was awake sometimes, and sometimes when I was awake I thought it was a dream and forgot it...maybe !
free coffee at
They were giving away free coffee at Waterloo station last night (and also this morning)
free coffee
Wednesday 13th April 2016
07:25 BST

It was warm yesterday !
 It turned out to be a rather splendid day yesterday. There was a lot of sunshine, and it stayed dry. When I left work soon after 3.30pm, I noticed two things. There were some dark looking clouds to the north, and maybe to the north of London there were some of the showers that were mentioned as a possibility in the small print of the weather forecast. Here in the south of London the sky was mostly clear, and it was warm. Not just tepid warm, but actually warm - particularly so in Catford. The picture on the left shows what I saw on my upstairs thermometer when I got home from work. The downstairs thermometer said a degree cooler, but it was still probably the highest temperature we've seen since last Autumn.

 It cooled down quite a lot in the night. This morning the positions were reversed. My upstairs (outdoor) thermometer said it was only 5° C, and the downstairs (outdoor) thermometer said almost 7° C. If it were not for a bank of cloud sitting on the eastern horizon it would have been a nice sunny morning. The rest of the sky was mostly clear, and so even if it wasn't actually sunny, it still looked bright and cheerful. There is probably going to be less sunshine today, and the temperature may peak a couple of degrees cooler, but it should be bright and dry - and while not perfect, it seems good enough.

  I didn't suffer from a runny nose at work yesterday. So that was an improvement, although I did seem to need to clear my nose a little more frequently than I might desire. On the whole I felt moderately good. I think I even found some small reserves of energy when I left work and made my way home. I would probably have found a little more energy if my blood glucose had been a little lower. It wasn't high when I got home from work, but it would have been nicer to see it even lower. Strangely enough it was lower a couple of hours after eating, and then moderately high again this morning.

 I have come up with a theory to explain these high readings in the morning. My understanding of the digestive process, and in particular how different foodstuffs are converted to energy, has a few glaring holes in it, but recently I saw mentioned somewhere or another, that meat releases it's energy quite slowly, and so causes less stress on the pancreas (the tasty bit of the body that releases insulin). I try to avoid carbohydrates when I can, and so my diet includes a lot of meat as a sort of replacement. My guess is that it is the slow breakdown of that meat while I sleep that is causing my spike of blood glucose in the morning. I think it is a problem I had better address soon.
Jo Corteen looking
                            crisp and sharp
 It loses a bit when shrunk down to fit on the page, and on reflection I could have chosen a slightly better picture than this one, but this is one among many pictures that I took last Friday at Chain's Fleetwood Mac special gig. Last night I finally finished selecting and editing the best of the pictures I took on the night, and you can see the resulting album of 41 pictures right here -

 I did several other things as well as photo editing last night. For one thing I made dinner for tonight after eating last night's dinner. I think I ate unusually sparingly last night - apart from the main dish containing a lot of skinless chicken because Aldi don't sell small packs of skinless chicken, and I couldn't be bothered to split the big pack. I think in future I will have to split a big pack, and that will give more room for even more broccoli and cabbage - both of which are very innocent foods (and allegedly good for you). I also had a nice salad with some pre-cooked "peri peri flavoured" chicken. Those two dishes, plus a handful of peanuts were all I ate yesterday. If I had just used half as much chicken I might have had rather lower blood glucose this morning. It's something I will have to experiment with.

 Tonight's dinner will also be fairly meat heavy too. What I prepared, and half cooked last night, was beef that was ready prepared to go in a stir fry, and the last of the head of broccoli with yet more cabbage. I don't think I could have easily split that pack of beef because it was already past it's sell by date, and maybe even past it's use by date - but then again, beef is supposed to be closer to brown than fluorescent pink as most supermarkets like to sell it.

 The final thing I did last night, apart from going to bed, was to wash and condition my hair. It may not seem like it to others, but that was a pretty full evening for me. The last thing was to go to bed. I was sure I was very tired, and yet it took a long time to get to sleep. This time it was not my imagination, and it definitely took well over half an hour of tossing and turning before I fell asleep. Once I was asleep I seemed to sleep quite well. I woke up a few times during the night, but only briefly, and I had a good selection of mostly forgotten dreams. Finally, twenty minutes before I had to, I seemed to wake up for the last time.

 I am not sure if it because I want to feel this way, but I do seem to feel almost good this morning. The memory of it being warm yesterday feels good, and while it was slightly chilly this morning, it was nice and bright and cheerful. I weighed myself this morning, and while it was only a small loss, it does seem like I have shed a couple of tenths of a kilogram in the past few days - and that's after shaking off some of the excesses of the weekend. Before another hedonistic weekend (maybe) I might shave off a few more tenths of a kilogram. I'm not sure how long it will take, it probably won't be for another week yet, but I think I am approaching the point when I will have to make a new notch on my trouser belt.

 It might be a measure of how good I felt that I managed to rush from Waterloo East to Waterloo mainline station to catch the 06:57 train. I will admit I was helped by my train from Catford Bridge arriving at Waterloo East station a minute earlier than usual. If I had managed to walk a little faster still I could potentially have made the 06:54 train from Waterloo - a service I didn't even know existed ! (Although I could have guessed there would be one around that time). I didn't waste time walking from the station to work, and I arrived here 10 minutes earlier than I usually do. It feels like a good achievement, but I think I have now worn myself out for the rest of the day. I can imagine being very lazy tonight !
Tuesday 12th April 2016
08:02 BST

  It was as I feared - the weather forecast for yesterday contained all the right ingredients - but in the wrong order ! The morning started off OK. It was bright and often sunny, but the afternoon went all wrong. The sunny periods were supposed to continue until at least 4pm, and maybe 5pm, but soon after midday the sky grew dark, and several quite heavy showers fell. I may be slightly prejudiced on this point, but it seemed the heaviest shower fell as I left work and squelched towards the station (but I actually got a bus there). It was raining as I waited for my train at Waterloo East, but the rain miraculously stopped when I arrived in Catford. A little later, when the forecast said the rain should be just starting, it was actually sunny ! It was also feeling slightly warm once the rain stopped. I think my thermometer was saying 16° C, and with possibly enough tenths of a degree to take it close to 17° C. There was evidence of some heavy rain in the night, but apart from the puddles, it was dry as I came to work. Sadly, the sky was rather grey, but the forecast says today should end up just as warm as yesterday, and along the way it will be dry* and there should be plenty of sunny intervals.

* There could be some discrepancy about this dryness. All the icons show fluffy white clouds with the sun showing around them, but the small print actually says there could be showers at any time, and some of them could be thundery ! Do we believe the simple icons or the small print hidden below ?

 I felt pretty lousy at work yesterday. For a start I felt tired - as in both fatigued and sleepy. Worse than that was my nose. I have my doubts, but I think I will blame some sort of allergy for a pricking sensation up my right nostril. It made both eyes water, and I was producing copious amounts of snot. It was as if I had a heavy head cold, but it didn't feel quite right for that. Once I got out into the cold and rain my nose started to dry up, and I felt a whole lot better. By the time I got home I was enjoying the slight warm feeling to the air, and I was feeling really quite good.

 I was glad the rain had stopped when I got back to Catford because I wanted to go home via Poundland to buy a couple of their "hobby boxes" - small boxes divided up into small compartments to store stuff in - like all the assorted camera batteries I seem to have these days. I nearly had another battery to add to my collection ! On my way to Poundland I glanced in a charity shop and saw a Nikon camera in the window. The asking price was just £35, and I decided I would take a chance and buy it - a big chance because it said it was untested because the battery was not charged.

 The camera was a Nikon Coolpix E8400, and for it's time must have been quite a high end digital camera. Externally it was in good condition, and fairly clean (but it cleaned up to be even nicer). Charging the battery needed a bit of special bodgery, but I got enough charge in it to test the camera. The results were not good. In fact they were the worst possible - the camera remained dead and inert. I did find a probably reason for this. The camera, being both upmarket and 11 years old, uses Compact Flash memory cards rather that the currently more universal Secure Digital memory cards. Somehow someone had forced something else in, or maybe a damaged memory card, and two of the connector pins were bent over and one was touching another pin. One pin actually seemed loose, but it was hard to do diagnostics down a very narrow slot ! At some point, when I am feeling brave, I will take the camera into work and try to dissect it. I think there is a chance it is repairable, but if not I will just have to remember that the £35 I spent on it has gone to a good cause (at least I hope it has !).

 I was supposed to be editing photos taken at last Friday's Chain gig last night but I never got around to it. I spent a while investigating my new camera, and I spent a while preparing both last night's dinner, and tonight's dinner. Last night it was mainly salad with some assorted pre-cooked/pre-sliced meats, and tonight it will be chicken and broccoli stew - with lots of skinless chicken in it because Aldi don't seem to sell small packs of skinless chicken. In conventional terms I still had time to do some photo editing, but I was feeling tired, and decided to go to bed at 8.30pm.

 It took very little time to fall asleep the first times, and also on the two occasions when I woke up for brief periods in the night. It was probably the best nights sleep I have had in quite some time - at least I hope it was. Time will tell.
trouble on the trains this morning
 If it weren't for a few bad bits I would be feeling rather good this morning - at least I think that's right. The first positive thing is that my nose is not dripping - yet. The bad things are my chest, my legs and my feet (but mostly my left foot). My chest is in that curious state where my ribs feel a bit tight, and like they are about to hurt, but mostly just lightly ache. My legs feel a bit stiff, but that could just be a function of the Vans trainers I am wearing. I thought those Vans trainers, with their slightly spongy feeling insoles would be kinder on my left foot. That foot is suffering from what I believe was an old injury. What may be old scar tissue adds a barely detectable lump on the sole of the foot. With some shoes it can get a bit sore. Oddly enough, it is less of a bother, or even no bother, when wearing my cheap Chinese slip on plimsolls that have practically no padding or softness under my feet.

 It wasn't just me feeling the effects of old age, or other forms of decrepitude. The railway signalling just outside of Waterloo station caught a cold this morning. Had I rushed I could have been on the 06:57 train this morning. It is rare to be at Waterloo in time to catch it, and this morning it would have been an exceedingly close run thing if it had run at it's correct time.

 It actually departed Waterloo nearly 20 minutes late, and had I realised it was sitting in an unusual platform, and was just about to leave late, I could have got on it. Instead I had to get on the next train - the 07:03. As you can see in the screenshot I took, it left Waterloo 21 minutes late.

 Hopefully I will be comfortable at work today, and in a good mood to do some photo editing tonight. I must also wash my hair tonight, but apart from those two activities, plus eating my dinner, and maybe preparing tomorrow night's dinner, I have no desires to do anything else. I think I could be tempted to have another early night, but I'll see how it goes.
Monday 11th April 2016
08:38 BST

  The weather was fairly nice yesterday - good enough to 99% dry a soaking wet towel hung on the washing line ! The temperature stayed up overnight thanks to some cloud. It was about 10° C when I walked to the station this morning. That felt cooler than I expected, but I was still comfortable in just my lightweight jacket. The forecast says there will be some occasional sunshine this morning, but by the time I leave work it will have become heavily overcast. On a positive note, it will be about 14° C, and on a negative note my journey home will be perilously close to the time it will pour with rain. I hope the forecasters have got their times right today ! It will probably be time to wear my new raincoat tomorrow !
sunrise more
                            orange than red/pink
 This was sunrise this morning. You can see that it was a bit cloudy, but there were gaps in the cloud. That is the likely pattern for most of this morning. What has not been captured is how this sunrise looked more orange than the pinky/red sunrise that is more common. As tradition dictates, and the weather forecast seems to confirm, such colourful sunrises herald bad/wet weather approaching.

 Also as tradition dictates, I was in bed by 9pm last night ready for an early start at 5am this morning. I think that in reality I was asleep quite quickly, but it didn't feel like that at the time. As my head hit the pillow I felt both light headed and heavy headed. Some bits of my aches. and other bits didn't. I felt both sleep and not sleepy, and......well, there were a whole load of contradictadory feelings including feeling incredibly alive after a great weekend, and feeling like I would die at any moment of a host of medical conditions, murder by raging axeman, or annhilation by rogue comet.

 If I had got my stop watch out I would probably have noted that all that took ploace in under 10 minutes even if it felt like half an hour or more. Finally I was asleep, and I slept well for 3 or 4 hours before it all went wrong. I woke up and tried to fight the wakefulness that I felt. That was probably a mistake, and it just made things worth. I thought I had learned that the best thing to do was to get up, and do some stuff for half an hour or so before trying to get back to sleep.

 Eventually that is exactly what I did. It is possible that I was originally woken up by a message coming in on my phone. It was the band I had seen and photographed on saturday night. They wanted to know if it was OK for them to use some of my pictures. If they were a professional outfit, instead of most likely a bunch of mates who perform as a hobby (sort of), and had my pictures been even better, I would have suggested at a minimum free beer was required, and maybe some sort of payment, but I was more than happy for them to use my pictures. Being entertained while a bunch of musicians act as unpaid models for me to practice on seems like a fair trade to me. So eventually I goit up and replied to their request.

 When I went back to bed it felt like I didn't sleep at all, but the evidence suggests that I did get at least some sleep. I couldn't have had the fantastical dream I had without being asleep, and I wouldn't have been annoyed when my alarm woke me up during it...Actually maybe I wasn't annoyed because the dream had taken on a slightly sinister twist. Logic tells me it was actually a series of dreams I had featuring a common thread. That thread was that I lived, and I think owned, a completely different house. It was a very big house with lots of rooms both big and small. One room was only accessible via a curving corridor that was so narrow I couldn't get down it. One curious, and probably most perplexing, but also exciting aspect, is that the house kept morphing shape. You would go in one room, and come out the same door into a different layout.

 When I woke up I felt not quite awful, but close to it. I think it was a mistake to decide to eat the sandwiches I had bought from Aldi late last night. They were intended as a simple lunch, but I had some fish and green vegetable for lunch. That made those sandwiches a bit redundant, and I couldn't think of any other time when they might be appropriate. I really didn't want to eat them today because I have a lot (and now even more) dieting to catch up on. They wouldn't really last another day, plus they would be no more appropriate tomorrow. I didn't want to throw them away. So I ate them last night. The doubly annoying thing was that I didn't really enjoy them.

 Once I had showered and dressed I didn't feel too bad apart from some trapped wind (that escaped in a few inappropriate places as I commuted to work !). Not feeling too bad is not the same as feeling good, but bits of me did feel good, and those bits were my legs. They seemed to want to work faster than I thought my body could cope with, and somehow they did. It made walking almost close to pleasure, but not a patch on the pleasure of walking home from the pub on Saturday night. I feel mostly OK now I am at work, but I am very much looking forward to my office warming up because it is bloody chilly in here, and I am also looking forward to resting as well as I can while at work (shame I can't really have a snooze on the sofa in the rest area !).

 Tonight I have nothing to look forward to except photo editing....and maybe some nice food, and some sleep, and if sleep doesn't come easily, a large glass or three of whisky !
Sunday 10th April 2016
16:17 BST

  We seem to have had a run of quite reasonable weather recently. I can't quite remember if it was dry all day on Friday, but it was dry when it mattered. Yesterday was dry all day, and today has been dry too - so far. There was a fair bit of sunshine yesterday, and today would have probably been sunnier still if it weren't for some haze that has made the sunshine a bit diffused. It is still probably a bit early to expect more than the occasional freak hot day, but these last few days have been mild enough to be called comfortable. It is currently just under 15° C (14.7° C), and maybe a degree or two better than the best of the previous two days, and two degrees higher than the current forecast for this time today. That same forecast says that tomorrow will start off dry and bright with some sunshine until 5pm when it will pour with rain. The rain will continue for some or all of Tuesday !

 I seem to have been very busy since Friday evening. It is lucky that Friday evening was both dry and mild, and then more importantly that sunrise was after 7.30pm. It all went together to get me feeling rather OK to go out to see Chain's magnificent all Fleetwood Mac covers extravaganza in The British Legion Hall in Petts Wood. Earlier in the day I had made an important discovery regarding travel to and from Petts Wood. It had always been one of those places that didn't seem to be in a good place to travel too, or more significantly, to come home from.

 Getting there has always been only a mild pain in the nether regions. I get the train from Catford station to Bromley South. Then there is a short (~9 minute) wait for a train to Petts Wood station. Getting home via the same route had two problems - the wait between trains at Bromley South was over 20 minutes, and the last train back to Catford was annoyingly early in the evening. It would mean leaving Petts Wood station at something like 10.30pm, or maybe earlier, to make the connection. The solution to this problem is to take a train from Petts Wood to Lewisham station, and then there is a 5 - 7 minute wait for a train to Catford Bridge station. I opted for the 23:24 train from Petts Wood, and I could have chanced the very last train with a connection at 23:54 !

 The great thing about gigs at The Petts Wood British Legion Hall is that it is a hall ! What that means in practice is that the band has room to breath and perform, and is not crammed into a corner as is the case in many pubs they play in. On top of that, being a premium gig, there was a proper PA system, and good (although not perfect) lighting. Good lighting make my photography ever so much easier. Maybe too easy because I took a shed load of snaps, and loads of them came out well or very well - unlike at some dim and gloomy gigs where I have to take loads and loads of picture in the hope that some are OK. I estimate that once I have edited all the snaps, and been unable to only select the very best of the best ('cos I don't seem very good at that in real time) I will end up uploading an album to Flickr containing as many as 75 snaps !
artistic shot of
                            Jo Corteen
 With nice lighting I can attempt what I hope are artistic shots like this into the lights. It's one of those pictures that probably breaks all the rules, but I like it even if no one else does !
Catford station
I was even snapping pictures on the way to the gig. One can't have too many pictures of Catford !
how to burn your feet off using
                            rocket exhaust
I snapped this picture on the train to Bromley South. I am not sure how much I could trust a company who advocate burning your own feet off by dangling them in the white hot exhaust from your personal rocket back pack !

 I arrived home just in time to see my radio controlled digital clock change from 23:59:59 to 00:00:00 - I just happened to glance at the clock in that split second ! I had in my hand a few pieces of fried chicken. It was, I will confess, rather naughty, but in my defense I had only eaten two Tesco (alleged) "Healthy Eating" egg salad sandwiches before going out, and they were all I had eaten in the previous 24 hours (or maybe only 23 hours). The biggest problem is that combined with the four pints of Guinness I drank at the gig, that delicious chicken started off an eating frenzy that was difficult to control. That frenzy included a small tin of cold, and drained, garden peas, and a big naughty lump of corned beef !

 I went to bed feeling rather guilty, and strangely not very tired. I think it was at least 1am before I went to sleep. In theory I should have slept very late the next morning, but I was up at about 7am, although it was some time later before I was washed, dressed an presentable. Yesterday was a very busy that that included physical tasks as well as mental tasks. In among the physical tasks were stuff like doing two lots of hand laundry, and hoovering the living room mats. I also did a couple of days worth of washing up, and some other little household tasks. The mental tasks were mainly photo editing - and although I only did less than half of the photos that I intended to, it seemed to take for ages.

 After my late night eating frenzy the previous night I decided I probably should attempt to eat the bare minimum yesterday. I found myself hovering between not feeling hungry and not feeling hungry. I certainly didn't feel like eating a big meal at any time, and yet I didn't feel like going completely hungry. The compromise, if indeed it was a sort of compromise, was to just nibble on stuff now and then. That kept me happy, although I shudder to think just how much I might have consumed over the course of the day. Oh well, it was all stuff that shouldn't affect my blood glucose level significantly. It's the longer term affect on my waistline that worries me.

 I guess everything was conspiring to keep me feeling rather good (no, I don't know what that means either !). The fact was that I was feeling more than good enough to go out to a second gin yesterday evening. Maybe I wouldn't have done it if it meant mucking about on buses and trains, and maybe I wouldn't have done it if it were pouring with rain. Lastly, maybe I would not have done it if it were a gig where I might be reasonably expected to stay for a large part of the gig, or where leaving early might be of some offense.

 None of these things applied when I was just sampling a band I had never seen before (or even heard of until the posters went up for a gig in The Black Cat pub in Catford. The Black Cat is the pub formerly known as The Catford Ram before it was closed in disgrace. Two things happened, plus a nice touch, that kept me in the pub from the start to the end of the gig. The nice touch was what happened when I ordered my first pint of beer. It was a pint of Broadside, and the barman was having a little difficulty filling the glass because the beer was very frothy, That is often a bad sign, and in this case it was because the beer was going off.

 When I tasted the beer it had a hint of vinegar about it. I made no demands of the barman when I mentioned this, but he took the glass back, and waved it at the other barman who immediately said that he could smell it was off. I was offered an alternative beer, and I chose a pint of Youngs "ordinary" bitter. I was never keen on Youngs beer, and used to find it too hoppy, but now it is brewed in Charles Wells brewery in Bedfordshire it's flavoured has changed - as everyone said it would. Happily it has changed to a flavour I am beginning to like.

 Getting my pint changed so easily, and with so little fuss, was not the end of the story. It was what came next that showed how far the current staff are prepared to go to give a good impression, and to try and turn around the bad reputation that the premises acquired in it's final year as The Catford Ram. I took my beer across to a table, and sat down ready to watch and photograph the band. A few minutes later and there was a tap on my shoulder. It was the barman handing me about 30p - the difference in price between what I had paid for the bad beer, and the price of the good beer. I hadn't even given a thought as to the price difference. In older times, and as well in other places, that difference would end up in someone elses pocket, and not mine !

 The two main reasons for staying right to the end of the gig at 11pm was that the band were rather good, and there was some decent lighting. The lighting was not ideal, but good for a small corner of the pub, and plenty enough for my biggest lens on my DSLR camera. The music the band played was all cover versions of stuff from the late sixties (with a few exceptions). On average it was pop music, but some of it was rock, a few blues songs, and some of it would have been called soul music in it's day. I would guess that modern instruments and amps gave some of the songs a harder, more rocky edge than the originals, but it worked well, and was most enjoyable - probably more enjoyable because of it.
Billy Hyland
                                the singer/guitarist for Fifth Element
Here's a taster from the night - Billy Hyland singing what must a be a sad song. The full set of pictures (or the best of them) are right here -

 At 11pm I would usually be feeling pretty dead, but I was feeling rather good last night. In fact it seemed like a joy to walk the long way home through Catford, pausing only at the chip shop. All I bought from the chip shop was two small pieces of cod, and they were very delicious when I got home. Unlike the night before they weren't the start of a food frenzy. Maybe I had learned my lesson, or maybe I was only moderately hungry. I was still awake enough to copy some of the pictures to my PC ready to start editing them today.

 I think I slept quite well once I got to sleep again, but I'm sure I got up too early, and yet it is only now, with bed time looming, that I begin to feel quite weary. (It's still three hours to bedtime as I write this, and with work in the morning I had better try and get to bed at the proper time. It's been a fairly productive day today - at least I think it has been, although I am unsure just where all the time has gone. This morning I washed a bath towel, and hung it in the garden to dry. It was 99% dry when I brought it back in shortly before I started to write this - a sure sign that the weather has been nice even if it hasn't been great.

 I have also been out shopping to Aldi. I did a mostly careful shop in there, and came away with such healthy ingredients like salad and skinless, boneless chicken. I also bought some semi-naughty stuff too. The worst was the pack of sandwiches, and a filled roll. They were going to be for a sort of brunch today, but I haven't eaten them yet, and I am not sure when I can justify eating them. The other thing I have done today is to spend hours at my PC editing photos and uploading them. I still have 25 selected pictures taken at Chain's gig on Friday night to edit. I don't care to do any more tonight, but I assume I can get through most of them tomorrow night. Maybe the night after that I will upload them to Flickr, and then I will finally be able to post a link to them here - just on the off chance you are curious enough to want to see them.

 That's it ! Time to put my feet up and vegetate before going to bed to rejuvenate myself ready for another day at work tomorrow !
Friday 8th April 2016
08:09 BST

  Well thank goodness it's Friday !

 Yesterday saw some really torrential downpours (which didn't directly affect me), but I think there might have been a sunny period as well - maybe two ! For some reason it didn't feel terribly cold even though the temperature barely topped 10° C. Today is forecast to be a better day. Apparently there is still a very small chance of a brief light shower, but today is supposed to be predominantly dry, and there should be plenty of sunny intervals. For an hour or two before sunset it could be very sunny - which would be great of the sun was a bit higher in the sky instead of hiding behind any convenient tall building or tree. For all that it will only warm up from about 4 or 5° C first thing this morning, to 11° C by late afternoon - unless the forecast is wrong (as usual). Of course having said that, the forecast has changed in the last hour or so !The new forecast says there will be much less, as in hardly any at all, sunshine, and yet the temperature will be 12° C - and it will now be that for most of the afternoon. I wonder what will really happen ?

 I felt quite tired at work yesterday, and that was tired as in both sleepy and fatigued. Quite why I decided to go for a drink after work in that condition eludes me, but I did. The drink was in the pub called The Partridge in Bromley, and my initial thoughts were that Bromley was very awkward to get to from here at work. That theory was right in one sense, but very wrong in another sense. To get to Bromley I caught my normal train from Earlsfield station, and went just one stop to Clapham Junction. In just a minute or two I had changed trains for a non-stop train to Victoria station. The train seemed to arrive at Victoria in half the time that a train takes to get to Waterloo, and even after a fairly moderate walk from one side of Victoria station to the other, I had plenty of time to get on the 16:07 train from platform 1 that runs non-stop to Bromley South station.

 After using three trains instead of two, I arrived at Bromley South station only a few minutes after I would normally be boarding my second train at Waterloo East station on any other day. Upon arrival at Bromley South station I had to walk up the stairs to get out of the station, and walk up the slope of the station forecourt to get on the road. So far, so bad, but then I had to walk up the high street to get to the pub. I don't think I had ever realised just how much of a hill the high street is, and I found it quite hard going. It is of course evilly planned by the forces of evil to flatten out just at the point when you are almost on your knees ! I think I eventually arrived at the bar of the pub at 16:33 - and that is three minutes before my usual train home is timed to arrive at Catford Bridge station !

 I don't particularly like The Partridge pub, but it does have one redeeming factor - it is owned by Fullers, and they brew the delicious ESB (Extra Special Bitter) ! It was very tempting to have many pints of it, and indeed I did have one more pint than I intended. Making one pint last a long time is impossible so I had to have two pints ! It was nice to have a bit of banter with the lads, and the only downside was also an upside. I had a ticket forcibly thrust upon me for Chain's special (normally £8 entrance fee) all Fleetwood Mac covers gig at The British Legion hall in Petts Wood.

 The gig is tonight, and while I know it will be excellent, and most probably with good lighting for good photography, I didn't think I would find the energy to go to it, and enjoy it if I did. I guess I will have to find that energy now. It is touching that I am wanted so much that I get a free ticket, and I had better try hard to get some good snaps of the band ! One encouraging bit of news is that I now realise I have several transport options when I go there, and when I leave to go home. The last time I saw them play there I got a bus all the way, and it was a horrible cold wet night, and that made for a really unpleasant journey. I am unsure why I got a bus because I can get a train to Bromley South from Catford station, and provided I don't leave it too late (which I think it would be if I stayed to the very end of the gig) I can go home via the same route. Now I realise there is an alternative route, and it runs much later. I can get a train from Catford Bridge to Lewisham, and then change there for a train direct to Petts Wood (and the reverse going home). that option cheers me up a bit.

 Back to last night, and after my two pints of ESB I said my goodbyes, and after a few minutes wait I was on a bus back to Catford. I arrived home fairly quickly at about 6.45pm. Even two pints of ESB, which is a moderately strong beer, and drunk on an empty stomach, was enough to almost tempt me to buy some fried chicken on the way home. In some ways I wish I had given in to that temptation. If I had I might have felt too guilty to have eaten anything else. What I actually ate was probably rather more extensive, and worse for me ! It started off with a Tesco curry ready meal, and went downhill from there....

 One other thing I ate last night was another Furosemide tablet, and once again my sleep was punctuated with breaks to drain off quite large helpings of wee ! Taking those diuretics is definitely working, and maybe has worked enough for the time. My swelling of my left ankle and lower leg has reduced remarkably. It may not be fully normal, but it seemed "as good as" for the moment. It may, or may not, have put a tiny added spring in my step, but getting rid of all that excess fluid has certainly reduced my weight by a couple of kilograms. This morning my weight was getting quite close to what it was prior to my operation in 2013 when I was desperately losing weight in an attempt to cure or slow down my increasing angina pains. I don't think my waist has shrunk enough for me to attempt to wear my red jeans tonight, but I might try them on - just for a laugh !

 It was very satisfying to see the scales reading so low this morning, but I don't seem to feel all that good physically. It doesn't seem to be causing any discomfort now, but for the first half hour after I got up, my chest was clicking/popping/grating/grinding and groaning fit to bust ! I guess it is partial dehydration, although I don't feel particularly thirsty (apart from more ESB !!), but I do seem to have a low level headache. I had one yesterday as well. It's at the level where any distraction can override it, or where if you concentrate on it, it can become a real annoyance. Through all this there is some good news - my trouser belt seems very slightly looser despite my excesses last night. I don't think it is loose enough for my legendary red jeans yet - which is a shame, but I think the bulge above my belt line has shrunk a fair bit over the last week. Maybe what I am doing is working after all even when it sometimes doesn't seem to be the case.
Breakwells !
Breakwells - it doesn't sound like the ideal name for a haulage company, but check the small print. They deliver carpets, and carpets don't break....well not much, and you have to try very hard to do it :-)
Thursday 7th April 2016
07:49 BST

  The weather was very uninspiring yesterday. I have a vague recollection that there may have been a few minutes of sunshine, but overall it was a dull grey day. The temperature eventually hit 11° C, but even with my warmest winter coat on it didn't feel even slightly tepid. Today is forecast to be even cooler. It was only 6° C by my reckoning when I walked to the station this morning. By mid afternoon only 9° C is forecast, but after dull grey skies, and showers, a little bit of sunshine might push the temperature up to 10° C for an hour or so before sunset. The one thing the latest weather forecast doesn't account for is all the bits of blue sky I can see through my office window. It seems possible that we could get some unexpected sunshine this morning if we are very lucky. Tomorrow should see lighter skies, and there could be some sunny spells in the afternoon. It should be warmer, or should I say less cold, with the temperature forecast to be 12° C in the afternoon.

 I would say that I felt fairly good at work yesterday, but that wouldn't be wholly correct. I can't really recall the details now, but sometime mid to late afternoon I felt like it would be a good idea to take a couple of Ibuprofen tablets. They presumably worked because I don't remember feeling bad in any way after taking them. It is even possible that I felt like I had a bit of energy left when I left work to go home.

 I felt OK when I got home, and OK for the rest of the evening if you discount a bit of tiredness. When I checked my blood glucose level it was very satisfactory before I ate anything, and unusually it had hardly changed a couple of hours after eating dinner. That was surprising considering my dinner included a couple of tuna and cucumber sandwiches that I had bought from Tesco the previous evening. The main course of my dinner was beef and broccoli stew. I think the beef I used for it was probably a bit leaner than the beef I used the previous night, and so it was probably a fairly healthy meal.

 I didn't do much last night. I didn't watch any TV (apart from the 6pm news as I ate my dinner), and I didn't do any photo editing as I intended to do. In fact I am not sure where all the time went, but it went very quickly. One thing I did do last night was to take a Furosemide tablet. These diuretic tablets were originally prescribed by the hospital after my operation to help reduce the swelling of my left leg after the vein was removed from there to be transplanted to my heart.

 The one tablet was enough to make me pee a substantial quantity through the night, and my left ankle and the lower end of my left leg are much less swollen this morning. This has also had the beneficial effect of reducing my weight to closer to what it was a week ago. This seems to explain the contradiction of my waist still slowly shrinking, and yet my weight apparently increasing. All the weight is fluid in my left leg (and to a lesser extent my right leg too). I think I will be periodically taking a Furosemide tablet to try and keep my leg from swelling. At some later time I will tackle my doctor about it - particularly because it seems that it may not be because my blood pressure is over-controlled at the moment. With just a few minutes to spare before I had to rush to the station I took a somewhat frantic blood pressure reading this morning. It was both low and high. Low because I expected it to be higher because I took it with no preparation while in a rush. High because...well, it was higher than my doctor would like.

 Getting up several times in the night for a substantial pee should have been of little consequence. I wake up in the night at any time, and it often takes some time to get back to sleep again. Last night I seemed to fall asleep again very easily. So that doesn't explain why I keep feeling sleepy this morning. I don't feel that good this morning. It is nothing specific, and it's more like the cumulative effects of several or more minor things. The sleepiness/tiredness is one thing. A very mild, but annoying headache is another. My chest is in that peculiar state where it doesn't actually hurt, but it feels very tender, and as if any wrong movement will be painful. The other thing is that I seem to have even more symptoms of having a cold. My nose has been very drippy this morning - particularly out in the cold air - and from time to time I suffer short bouts of a tickly cough. Maybe this is what a non smokers cold is all about and I fail to recognise it. It could account for a few other things too.

 As well as a few negative physical symptoms, I am also slowly getting over a brief period of intense depression. The new company handbook has just been released, and I just hate all the rules and regulations. In theory I break many of those rules and regulations. For instance I should not be writing this on the companies computer. In reality these rules and regulations are to protect the company from "anomalies". If everything is running smoothly they are not actively enforced, but for some reason, obviously something to do with my twisted mind, having them shoved in my face really pisses me off.

 Maybe what I need is a drink, and of course it is a Thursday, and that means tonight is drinking night...or it should be. At the moment I have no idea if I will be drinking tonight. There are two reasons why I might not. The first is that it interferes with my current eating regime. The second is that it is in Bromley - and Bromley is not straightforward to get to after work. My best bet would be to go from Earlsfield station to Clapham Junction station, and change to a train to Victoria station. From there I should be able to get a semi-fast, or even a fast train direct to Bromley South station. From there I would have to walk up the hill to The Partridge pub. Maybe I will, or maybe I won't.
Wednesday 6th April 2016
07:57 BST

  Yesterday was a nice day, or most of it was. There were a few unscheduled rather grey clouds late in the morning, but it was generally a sunny day, and the lack of wind made the 14° C feel rather pleasant. In a perfect world tomorrow, being nearer to summer, would be even better, but sadly we live in a very imperfect world. and today is not going to be very good. I don't think it will deserve to be called terrible, but there has already been some very light rain, and a few more showers will probably crop up today. Most, if not all of the day will be dull and grey, and it is likely to feel quite cool, with a top temperature of just 11° C. If I am lucky there is a small chance of some sunshine when I go home from work. Tomorrow continues the trend back into winter. Even more rain from dirty grey skies, and the temperature may only be 10° C.
red sky in the
                            morning, shepherds warning !
 The weather forecast for today is confirmed by this picture. The old weather lore says "red sky in the morning, shepherds warning".  I took this picture on the way to the station this morning (at approx 06:20), and that red sky heralds poor weather.

 The trend for my health to be a bit weird continued yesterday. If anything I felt better yesterday than I did at work the previous day, and yet I found I had little energy as I went stomping off up the road towards the station on my way home from work. I didn't find any more energy by the time I arrived back in Catford, but I still went to Tesco anyway. As has become my habit recently, I was mostly careful about what I bought, but not completely careful.

 Probably my biggest error of judgement was to buy a reduced price "pulled beef" sandwich. Not only am I trying to avoid bread, but this particular bread contained not only beef but some very sugary chutney. Eating that was probably a major contribution to my blood glucose level rising from a very satisfactory 5.2 to a really rather bad 8.8 two hours after dinner. The rest of my dinner probably only had one major flaw, and that was fat.

 One of the things I found on the reduced price counter was a packet of rather discoloured cheap steaks. I cut them into small pieces, and blasted them in the microwave for 5 or 6 minutes. At that point I should have decanted off the fat that had come out, but I omitted to do so. I added a couple of stock cubes, a pint of water, three quarters of a red onion, a couple of small chillies, and as much white cabbage as I could get in the dish. I then zapped that in the microwave for about 15 minutes to make a sort of beef and cabbage stew. It turned out rather nice, but it is a pity I left that fat in it.

 I did just three things before going to bed (plus brushing me teeth and taking my clothes off). First it was cookery as I made my dinner. Then I started editing photos for a big photo album I'll be uploading to Flickr sooner or later. It will be about Waterloo station, and feature architecture, trains, and people. Halfway through doing that I took a break to wash and condition my hair.

 Once my hair was fully dry - dried naturally rather than using a hair dryer - it was just about time for bed. I fell asleep quite quickly again last night, and once again I slept quite soundly for about three hours. On this occasion it felt like I could turn over and go back to sleep again, and it worked, but only for two hour when I woke up feeling too awake to go back to sleep. So I took a half hour break from bed before getting back in bed. It took a while before I was asleep again, but once I was I had a most marvellous dream...well I hoped it would be marvellous. It got off to fine start, but my alarm woke me up just as it was getting really interesting ! (Yes, it was of an erotic nature !).

 This morning was yet another morning where I felt good when I woke up (apart from the annoyance of ending a dream before the final chapter), but subsequently I have felt less good. On reflection, I probably feel less bad than yesterday morning, and hopefully today will turn out like yesterday when I ended up feeling mostly good apart from that lack of energy that slowed my journey home - except it didn't because the the timing is set by the train timetables, and there is enough slack that I can walk fast or slow to get the trains I do. It's all in the mind. If I could I would run to the station, but no matter how fast I could run I would still end up getting the 16:20 train from Waterloo East station !

 Something that isn't in the mind...well not my mind, is my weight, but it could be in the mind of my scales. It sometimes seems they are messing with my mind ! I know that I have not been eating as sparsely as I would like to be able to do, but I thought I was eating as little or even very slightly less than I was a couple of weeks ago, and yet according to my scales I have put a couple of kilograms back on. Even more mysterious is that this morning I did a fairly substantial poo, and appeared to weigh more afterwards ! One thing that might explain some of it is the swelling at the bottom of my left leg. My foot doesn't appear to be swollen, but the ankle is, and so is the bottom of the leg. It is quite noticeable when compared with the right leg (which is also slightly swollen). I think I have mention before that I believe this is the result of my blood pressure dropping. That would also account for my lack of energy when walking recently. I really ought to check my blood pressure, and alter my dose of Bisoprolol if less is required to keep my blood pressure somewhere near what my doctor believes it should be.

 I hope my blood glucose level has come down again tonight, and there is some indication it might do. I wore my thicker coat this morning because today is going to be cooler than it has been recently. I usually have terribly sweaty arms when wearing that coat in hot trains (or when rushing from Waterloo east to Waterloo stations - as I did this morning). This morning I was not sweaty at all. That is a good indicator that my blood glucose is already down near the good area. I think what I'll be eating tonight, or at least the main bit of it, a beef and broccoli stew, should be perfectly innocent. Cooking that, plus some more photo editing, seems to be all I can think of doing tonight. What a dull life I lead ! 
Tuesday 5th April 2016
07:38 BST

  I had a theory that the weather forecasts for yesterday changed so often because the forecasters didn't really have a clue as to what the weather would turn out to be - except for a vague, non-localised, idea of what it might average out to - and I was right. Well I was right in so much as real life didn't imitate the forecast. There was no rain in the morning, or in the early afternoon, but there was rain later in the afternoon when none was expected. Prior to that rain there had been sunny intervals, and I will admit they were forecast in the vaguest of terms, and the forecast for the temperature was probably about right too - I think it was about 12° C when I got home from work. This morning it was 9° C when I got up - fairly cool, but not too bad. At sunrise the sky looked quite misty, but I can see a lot of blue sky now. This is as forecast, and if the weather follows the forecast for the rest of the day we can look forward to quite a bit of sunshine. It seems it may only push the temperature up to 13° C, which is a bit disappointing. Sorry, that was the old forecast. The latest theory is that we could see 14 or even 15° C today. Tomorrow might, or might not be, a degree or two cooler, and more cloudy.

 I have no idea why my nose started running yesterday morning. Maybe it was an allergy, but it dried up an hour or so later. Apart from that runny nose in the morning, I also had a few twinges from my chest. One lasted longer than usual, perhaps a minute or two, and was in an uncommon place. It was a slightly more, but not much more, than mild stabbing pain slightly above, and slightly to the left of my left nipple. This is an area that has remained slightly numb since my chest was opened up, and put back together for my heart operation in 2013. The numbness was obviously nerve damage. I don't tend to notice it any more, and I am pretty sure that it was far, far worse originally. Those stabbing pains could be something to do with that nerve damage. It sometimes happens when nerves regenerate. I just wish it would get on with it. Two and a half years is a long wait !

 The funny thing is that despite a few pains and inconveniences here and there, I feel like I felt mostly OK, and maybe even slightly good yesterday. To a limited extent, that carried over to when I was going home from work, and I guess I felt fairly good yesterday evening too. It did seem that I had some small reserves of energy when I was going home. I didn't feel like rushing around, and I could not find the energy to walk really fast when I was walking from the station to home. There was a reason why I was in a hurry then that I shall explain soon. None of that explains why it seemed very easy to walk up the escalator at Waterloo station at a good pace.

 Another oddity was that I didn't seem to get any hunger pains at work yesterday, and although I was keen to eat when I got home from work I didn't really feel hungry in the evening either. In theory I could almost have eaten nothing all evening. I theory I could have eaten quite lightly. In practice I did neither, although I think I probably ate less than normal. It would have helped the cause if I hadn't decided to eat an extra (ready cooked) spicy smoked sausage after my main meal of (mostly) leafy vegetable stew with some ham tossed in it.

 That stew was nice except for two things. The first was that some of the ham wasn't covered by the stock when I zapped it with microwaves, and it burnt a bit. The second problem (which the ham probably made worse) was that I think the Maggie stock cubes I was trying out were a bit saltier than Oxo cubes. It did leave me feeling a bit thirsty for a while. I'm not sure what it was in all I ate yesterday that raised my blood glucose level from the medium high end of ideal when I got home from work, to slightly higher than normal approx 2 hours after eating. That two interval test is supposed to be a good indicator of how things are doing, and a good way to identify food that supplies high levels of sugar. I blame the carrots - except that my dinner didn't contain that much carrot.

 My sleep seems to be falling into a new pattern since the seasons changed. I now seem to get two fairly good blocks of sleep with each lasting about three hours. Maybe it is better since I've stopped fighting it, and I tend to get up for half an hour or so when I wake up typically just after midnight. What I do know is that I felt considerately better this morning when I first got up. I didn't seem to be that stiff, nor did I ache much. I didn't even feel hungry ! So I was able to set out for the station with a song in my heart, and fleet of foot. It was only after walking for 12.72 seconds that I realised I had little energy, and that by the time I had reached the station I was almost short of breath. There could be many possible reasons why I felt mildly asthmatic on the way to work. Those reasons range from lethal heart disease to Uranus being in the house of the ascending Aries (and all points in between). Personally I blame the EU....well people blame it for all sorts of things - some true, many false, and I don't see why I should miss out on a good scapegoat.

 Now I am at work I feel fairly good again. Assuming I last the the day I have a few ideas of what I might do this evening, and there is a good chance that I will do two of them. The first is to get a bit of shopping on the way home - probably from Tesco. The second is to wash my hair. Other than that I will attempt to eat a light dinner and no snacks (which after shopping in Tesco must be some sort of joke), and I will attempt to sleep early and well (probably another joke !).

 I mentioned a desire to walk very fast when I arrived back in Catford after work yesterday. This was because I had spotted something from the train that I was curious about. What I had seen turned out to be the aftermath of a car crash. I don't know exactly what happened, and how many people were hurt, but I could make some guesses from what was left as it was being cleaned up.
car crash clean up
On the right is the roof and a door that have been cut off the red car on the left. The presence of a number plate that is different from the plate on the front of the car suggests two cars were involved, although I only saw the one. The front of the red car is mostly undamaged so it must have been hit in the rear.
car crash 2
One of the cars involved obviously ploughed into this front garden wall.
car crash 3
On the bottom right of the windscreen, that is still attached to the roof section, can be seen a Transport For London sticker and licence for a hire car. this was presumably a mini-cab. Maybe it was a paying passenger that had to be cut out.
car crash 4
I couldn't see the rear of the car, but I am guessing it was completely caved in. I don't think the (presumed) second car was visible anywhere. Maybe it was still drivable, and had been driven to the police station, or maybe it had been put on a transporter earlier on. There was no indication of when all this happened - it could have been hours earlier than when I arrived back in Catford. All the emergency services had obviously long gone, and there was just one solitary police car there with the coppers helping with the clear up (while still taking notes and pictures).
Monday 4th April 2016
08:00 BST

  The light early evening rain came as no surprise yesterday, and the heavy rain that started after dark didn't seem unusual in any way, but the thunderstorm that accompanied the heaviest rain was a surprise. As far as I am aware, the last bit of the day, and the early hours of this morning were dry, but there was still a thick blanket of cloud to keep the temperature up to a cool, but not chilly 10° C. What happens next is anyone's guess. The forecast keeps changing. Here is the most recent forecast.
The laatest
                            version of the forecast for today
 The top temperature of 12° C has remained a constant part of the forecast, but the amount and time of sunshine and rain keeps changing. What is not shown here is the small print. No icons are shown for it, but the small print warns that some rain showers could be heavy and thundery. Whether that will be at 9am or 1pm, or both is anyone's guess ! The small print also says that with light winds from the south it will probably feel fairly mild. Until today is sorted out it is hardly worth worrying about tomorrow, but my guess would be that it will be similar to today - whatever that is !

 If I did anything of note early yesterday evening it was to have an unnecessary dinner. I think I had eaten enough earlier in the day, and I should have resisted the temptation to have an evening meal. At least it was a fairly innocent meal of smoked mackerel and salad. A slightly more serious problem is that the smoked mackerel left such a fishy taste that I ended up eating other stuff to take the taste away. Smoked mackerel is one of those tastes that I find truly delicious at the time, but rather unpleasant later.

 I don't think it had anything to do with food, but when I went to bed I couldn't sleep because the bed felt so uncomfortable. It was one of those nights where the mattress and pillows seem to have lumps that weren't there earlier. On top of that my duvet felt too hot or too cold depending on what I did with it. Eventually I dropped off to sleep, and I slept for probably a little less than four hours. I woke from a dream that had an interesting concept in it, and when I say interesting I probably mean annoying. The dream concerned a girlfriend from half a lifetime ago. I always wanted to get closer to her, but it never really happened, and it didn't happen in the dream either despite the fact we were sleeping in the same bed. It was a very strange bed. Very strange indeed ! It was only about 3ft wide and it was 15ft long. So we slept head to toe with about a foot gap between head and toe ! Apart from passion being difficult in such circumstances, it was a rather gloomy dream that sort of encapsulated all the negativity of that relationship.

 I can't remember if it was at 1am or 2am that I felt wide awake enough to get up and send a screen capture of the changing weather forecast to a friend in Argentina. Eventually I got back to sleep and promptly dreamed that I was in Argentina. I think I was a guest of my friend Patricia, but my other friend was there too, and yet for most of the dream neither of them were there and I felt very lost and alienated. I think the dream ended when I realised that the house I was in most of the time couldn't keep growing. My last memory was that the living room had grown to the size of a concert hall, and had small shops, or kiosks in it. At that point my imagination had been stretched to breaking point, and as it broke the recoil must have woken me up - annoyingly 20 minutes before I had to wake up.

 This morning I feel pretty lousy. All that tossing and turning in bed has left my ribs/chest feeling sore -which is a pity because before I went to bed I felt I had recovered from the aching state that Saturday's hard work had left me in. Just to make life more interesting, in the last 15 minutes my nose has started to run. There could be several reasons for this. The most obvious is that I have a cold developing. It would seem unusual for it to start indoors, but an alternative reason could be my own bastardised version of hay fever. I don't suffer from hay fever when other do - when the grasses are shedding pollen in the hot summer sun. I have an allergy to some spring tree pollen, and to some autumn fungal spores. Neither allergy usually causes a strong reaction, and it is rarely more than the most minor of inconveniences. Most of the time I can mostly ignore it, and I really only pay attention to it because it seems fun to collect novelty ailments.....well, sort of ! I don't think what I am suffering from now is an allergy - it doesn't tickle enough. Maybe I do have a cold, or maybe it will dry up once my office finally warms up. Ho humm......
Sunday 3rd April 2016
15:38 BST

the top temperature todayThe slow build-up to summer continues, but first we have to have the April showers, and we certainly had those last night. All those wet clouds blanketing the sky meant that it was a fairly mild night. I think it was about 8° C when I got up at dawn this morning. Since then it has slowly warmed up. Today the warmth has not come from direct sunshine, but from warm, and also wet air from the south.

 Today was supposed to be very sunny, and indeed there was some nice sunshine for a few hours this morning, but it started to become overcast, admittedly lightly overcast, from as early as 10am. Since then there has not been much sunshine at all - although as I write these words the sun has just popped out again !

 That warm continental air was forecast to raise the afternoon temperature to 16° C. According to my electronic thermometer sitting outside the spare bedroom window, it actually hit 18.2° C just before 2pm. I wasn't sure if I actually believed that, although I can't really account for any extra sources of heat.

old school thermometer showing just
                          over 17 degrees today To give some sort of sanity check to that temperature I went downstairs, and checked an old school type thermometer outside the kitchen in a shaded bit of the garden. I took the snap on the left just before I started writing this, and in my judgement it is saying 17.5° C !

 So it is officially a better than mild, and getting close to warm day (or a hot day for those who live in Cumbria !). It won't last !  The forecast has changed again since yesterday (and possibly since this morning). It now says we can expect rain from about 5pm. There might still be a few sunny periods between showers.

 The forecast for tomorrow has changed too. It is now forecast to be a bit cooler than before - just 12° C - and there should be a lot less rain too. Maybe just a light shower or two around midday. The last couple of hours of daylight might be nice and sunny.

 After all the stuff I described doing yesterday I should have felt very tired last night, but I didn't seem to be in any rush to get to bed. I think it was probably close to 11pm before I got to sleep last night. Once asleep I slept quite well, but I did wake up too early to get up at 4am - as in is too early to get up and stay up. I did get up for a while to go to the toilet, and to spend a little while on the internet. Then I went back to bed, and had another couple of hours sleep.

 This morning I felt enthused to go somewhere to take some pictures, and to enjoy what was supposed to be a very sunny day. A few things went wrong with this enthusiasm. The first thing that really damped my enthusiasm was the appalling state of the trains. It seemed almost anywhere I might want to go was affected by engineering works.

 I could still get to London Bridge and Cannon Street stations directly, but I seemed to lack any imagination about where I might go after going to one or the other. Another very valid possibility was to go to Southend-On-Sea. I could get the bus or train to Lewisham. From Lewisham I could get the Docklands Light Railway to Limehouse, and from there a train to Southend. I did get close to doing that, but two things made me lose interest in doing so.

 The first thing was that after spending so much time researching possibilities, and deliberating on the pros and cons of it all, the sun hid behind a mass of cloud - and it didn't seem that it was ever coming out again. There was another problem that wasn't apparent at first, but manifested itself in the strongest most possible terms after I had lie down to read my book, and contemplate the possibilities of travel.

 It seems that all the washing and gardening stuff I did yesterday had taken it's toll on me - and specifically my dodgy rib/ligament.muscle. Certain movements became painful enough to take my breath away. No matter how true is was (and it was), it was difficult to convince myself that what I needed to do was some walking. It is the best cure for my condition. I think it is the posture that does it - although it can take some time.

 I decided that I just couldn't be bothered, and didn't feel up to a long walk no matter how good it would be for me in many ways. What I eventually could be bothered to do was to go to the SAM 99p shop to buy some tools for more housework ! On the face of it, bearing in mind the sorry state I had ended up after yesterday's housework, that might seem a less than rational idea, but I had a cunning plan. And when I say cunning plan I actually mean a mild idea.

 There is one household tool I have never owned, and I thought that maybe I ought to get one. It was a feather duster (or it's modern cheap and nasty plastic equivalent). I found two slightly different types that I bought (for 99p each), although neither was quite what I imagined I would be buying. Upon getting them home I did some very gentle housework - using the "feather dusters" to knock down and scoop up some cobwebs from up near the ceiling in a few places. They worked well doing it, and sometime when I have more enthusiasm I will do more than an experimental dusting.

 That is about all I have done today, and probably about all I intend to do. I am unsure how I will amuse myself for the rest of the day. I could watch a £1 DVD I bought from Poundland last week, but having sampled a few bits of it I realise that it is a total and utter complete pile of crap. The movie is called Derailed, and it stars Jean-Claude Van Damn. I think he is supposed to be famous, but he just seems like another loud mouthed yank with an over fondness for violence and explosions. Anyone want a cheap DVD ? I'll pay you 50p to take it away !
Saturday 2nd April 2016
18:16 BST

  The weather yesterday continued in a way that is probably described best as "comfortable". Specifically it was dry, and often sunny. Plus is wasn't cold, but than again, with a top temperature of only about 12° C, it wasn't exactly warm either. The forecast for today was spot on right up to 4pm. There wasn't much of a breeze, and there was bright sunshine - albeit a bit low in the sky, and that made 10° C tolerable in just shirtsleeves when I went shopping at 8.30 this morning. The sun continued to shine, and that took the temperature up to 16° C for a while. At 4pm it all went wrong. We were supposed to lose the sun a bit later, and moderately heavy rain was forecast to fall at 6pm. In fact the first rain fell at 4pm. It was only a light sprinkle, but it has been slowly building up. Maybe it will get heavy soon, or maybe not. Tomorrow is forecast to be very sunny, and the top temperature will be somewhere between 15 and 17° C - they can't seem to make up their minds, and keep changing it.

 After a dubious start, I felt mostly OK at work yesterday. My yearly appraisal went well. In fact in one way it went very well. My manager acknowledged that he knew and understood that I didn't really care about it. So we went through the motions, talked about some stuff that was work related, but nothing to do with the appraisal, and agreed that he would mark my appraisal as "good".

 One of the peculiar things about my appraisal, although it was off-topic to the actual appraisal, was that  my manager has now blatantly said he is scared to upset me because he thinks I would be very hard to replace. I think he probably acts as a good buffer between me and others of the upper echelons. Sometimes they don't seem to think I share the companies ethos, or do things the way they think they ought to be done (the certainly don't like my filing systems !), and yet they have to, and do acknowledge that time and time again I get them out of some deep holes by pulling the odd rabbit out of the hat.

 I felt a bit tired when I came home from work. It wasn't so much sleepiness, but more like general fatigue. I just didn't feel like rushing around. I wondered if my blood glucose level had gone too high again - perhaps after a couple of evenings which had included beer. When I git home I checked my blood glucose level and it was exactly on target. My doctor kept telling me it should be between 4 and 7, and 5.5 is exactly between the two ! So it wasn't that, but when I weighed myself it seemed like I had put some weight on - in fact half the weight I thought I had taken off. That didn't seem logical because it hadn't affected the fitting of my trousers.

 I got a clue as to what it probably is a little later. I noticed that my feet and ankle, particularly on the left, were quite swollen. It was the same swelling I was getting when I was on the full dosage of one of my blood pressure control drugs. I really ought to check my blood pressure to see if this theory is complete and utter bollocks, but I am guessing that as I have lost a bit of weight, and my blood glucose level is lower, my blood pressure has dropped a bit. My doctor says it is nonsense (but without any conviction) that when the drugs throttle my heart back too much it can't pump the blood out of my legs. Maybe next week, when I am back at work after the weekend, and my life is more routine, I'll check on how my blood pressure is doing, and if it is lower I will adjust my drug dosage.

 I may not have had much energy coming home from work, but I seemed to find the energy to wash some shirts last night. I also left a duvet cover in soak overnight. I think last night was one of my better nights, and I was up relatively early for a Saturday. Initially I felt truly lousy, but after a while I thought I would live long enough to complete washing the duvet cover I had left soaking overnight. Hand washing a duvet cover is bloody good exercise - at least I think it must be - it's hard work. It is impossible to wring out a big duvet cover - it's a double, and this one is of heavier cotton than some. Fortunately I didn't have to wring it out too much because I intended to hang it on the washing line where it could drip dry. In fact by 3pm (approx) a combination of the sunshine and a light breeze had 99% dried it, and I brought it in to air over the banisters.

 After hanging the duvet on the line I found even more energy, and I went shopping in Aldi. I got back here in time to put my feet up for half an hour before going out to meet Aleemah at the station. I thought I had better be careful not to drink too much when we went to the pub for breakfast, and fortunately they only had two beers on that I wanted to try, and I had a half of each.
this mornings
                            breakfast !
 As usual, Aleemah brought over a DVD to watch, and this time it was a rather good one. It was Joanna Lumley's Trans Siberian Adventure - a three part BBC made series. Joanna Lumley is obviously very pleasing on the eye, but she is also very intelligent, and very articulate. Both, and the former made for an enjoyable experience.

 After Aleemah had gone home I had a little treat for lunch. A couple of big lamb chops with mint sauce. I haven't had any lamb for ages, and it was delicious. I gave a bit of time for that to settle down before embarking on another piece of masochism. I washed two towels. Now had washing towels is murder, and washing two of them is double murder. They are very heavy when wet, and it seems almost impossible to completely rinse out all the soap. After much hard work I managed to imagine that the water was running almost clear.

 In this one instance I didn't mind that it wasn't perfectly clear because they are going to have another long rinse while hanging on the washing line. By tomorrow morning there is supposed to be quite a substantial amount of rain to rinse them, and then, if the theory holds, the sun will come out, and everything will dry out during the day. If I am terribly lucky it will be taking in two sun baked towels at about 6pm tomorrow.

 All that hard work should have been enough for the day, but I didn't stop there - I guess it must be some sort of spring madness. I did some pruning and weeding in the garden. Most of it was actually pruning. One thing I realised was that a tree that has grown wild is not the tree at the bottom of the garden, but is a tree in front of the tree at the bottom of the garden, and that tree has been smothered by the new tree. What I probably need to do is to get in one of those people who clear gardens using chainsaws, and tree macerators (and take all the debris away afterwards). One day, maybe one day.....

 Hopefully I will sleep OK tonight, but some bits of me are probably going to ache later - some bits are aching now ! Maybe that will affect my sleep, or maybe I will have tried myself out enough to sleep well. Hopefully I'll feel OK tomorrow, and with luck I'll get out and about somewhere with my camera. I think I would like to go to Herne Bay again, but I expect it will be more convenient to (or indeed more possible) to get a train up to London for a walk starting from Charing Cross again.
Friday 1st April 2016
07:44 BST

  Yesterday's weather was probably best described as "comfortable". It was dry, and there was plenty of sunshine, but it didn't feel warm. I guess "tepid" is probably an adequate description. Today is supposed to be remarkably similar. There may be a few less slightly dull periods, but the temperature is still only forecast to peak at 12° C. I guess the extra rays of sunshine will all be used up melting this morning's frost - that was a feature we didn't have yesterday morning !  The latest revision of the weather forecast claims that tomorrow will also be very sunny until 6pm when it will start to rain. The temperature is guessed to rise to 14° C, and for Sunday the forecasters are really sticking their necks out with a definitely warm 17° C forecast !
sunrise this
 You can't see the frost twinkling on the car windscreens in this picture, and that may be because I don't think the cars here had any frost on them. It was around the corner, where the road runs north to south, that the cars were frosty. What you can see is that it was a fairly pink sunrise - which normally means bad weather on it's way, but maybe not this time (fingers crossed). You may also spot, just slightly to the left, and slightly up from the centre of the picture, a UFO. I am unsure what it really is, but it is easy to imagine it has the classic flying saucer shape.

 Under duress, I would have to confess that I felt unusually slightly better than quite reasonable at work yesterday. In general terms I was almost pain free, and maybe even mostly free from discomfort, but there was a sting in the tail. Just before I left to go home I went to the toilet. So far so normal, but in a fit of exuberance I came sweeping out of the toilet, and as I turned sharp let I leaned into the turn like you would on a motorbike. As I did that my dodgy rib went twang, and I was back with an aching chest. For a second or two it was rather painful, but it soon settled into the more familiar dull tenderness. Unfortunately it is still like that this morning.

 It didn't really cause much discomfort on the way home, but it did make me very wary of rushing and leaping about - not that I tend to do much of that at any times, but occasionally a little flourish is nice...until it breaks something ! It was drinking night last night, but I didn't go straight to the pub. We were drinking in Catford so I took the opportunity to pop home for 15 minutes to cram a light snack down my throat, and to change out of my work jeans into my smaller sized jeans - just to show them off.

 It was nice to relax with a few beers last night - even if it was rotten old Young's ordinary bitter (I've never been a great fan of Young's beers). Last night I stayed for three pints, but even that was enough to give me the munchies when I got home. I didn't wait to cook anything but dived straight into a stack of rice cakes with some cheese and some sliced beef, plus generous amounts of harrissa paste (whose ingredients I didn't dare look at). In theory it should have been the sort of meal that would not increase my blood glucose level, but the cheese was definitely incompatible with my desire to get into all my old trousers in a comfortable way. To make matters worse, I somehow managed to eat enough of it to feel pretty full when I went to bed. It's a long shot, but I wonder if those rice cakes swelled up when they hit the beer in my stomach, and made me feel fuller than I was ?

 I can't work out whether to say I slept well or not last night. I was certainly sleeping well until just gone midnight. I woke up after three hours sleep, and felt good enough to think it was time to get up. I can't remember if I woke up with my eyes closed, or if I was just looking the wrong way to see the clock, but I wasn't initially aware of what the time was. Worse than that was that I wondered why my alarm had not gone off. I concluded it must be Saturday ! It was a bit of a shock when I finally saw that it had only just gone past midnight, and that it was only Friday.

 I managed to get back to sleep again fairly quickly, but from then on I think I woke up several more times, and each time felt more uncomfortable than the last. When I finally got up I felt pretty lousy, but that is very far from unusual these days. For a while I couldn't stop yawning, and all the time I felt a strong urge to go back to bed, but I washed and dressed, and then, with gritted teeth, I made it into work. It was not a bad journey, but I definitely didn't feel any exuberance like I felt at work near home time yesterday. Rushing over the link, at full enhanced commuter speed (!) felt like bloody hard work this morning, but I managed it.  I couldn't raise the enthusiasm, nor the energy, to do much better than just plod my way from the station to work.

 Today I have my yearly appraisal here at work. Once upon a time it might have meant something, but these days I just try and co-operate so that management get some sort of satisfaction out of their miserable jobs. Sometimes I am generous like that. At this stage in my career I just don't care what the result of my appraisal is. Although having said that, I am not immune to a bit of flattery ! Experience tells me I will only really be marked down for my lack of enthusiasm for the appraisal process.

 I have no concrete plans for tonight. I don't think I am going out to any gigs, and that is probably just as well. As much as I like my beer, I feel that two sessions this week, plus a pint or two with Aleemah tomorrow morning, is probably as much as I ought to have, and there is no way I could go to a gig without sinking a couple of pints ! I'm not sure I would have the energy or enthusiasm to go to a gig anyway, although the lengthening days may be making me feel that is less of a problem. I suspect that what I will end up doing tonight is washing a few shirts, and probably read a chapter or two of the book I've been neglecting for a couple of days.