site map home
                          page February 2016 diary page April 2016
                          diary page Clamwin free antivirus for Windows Get the free Firefox web
Click to visit Linux
Get a free giffgaff Sim
March 2016
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

My Diary/Blog
For the Month of March 2016
Thursday 31st March 2016
08:23 BST

  Yesterday's weather was not perfect, but it was good enough that it seemed to kiss winter goodbye. There was quite a lot of sunshine, but it turned a bit dull just before I was going to go out - several times ! However it stayed dry, and by late afternoon it was mild enough to go out in shirtsleeves. I think I saw 15° C on one of my thermometers (although I think the other said 12.5° C - could be time to check the batteries !). It all ended in a rather vivid sunset. It was about 6° C when I got up this morning, but the forecast says it is going to be sunny for most of the day, and it should end up at 12° C, although I would hope it might be a bit higher than that. It does seem we are now in the slow build up to summer. For instance it is possible that it will hit 16° C on Sunday. I think that really could be said to be slightly warm.
sunset on 30th
                              March 2016
 It is a shame this picture came out a bit fuzzy, but it does give an idea of how vivid the sunset was last night. It is a shame that there is no convenient place to see the whole of the sky near to where I live. On the day they build hills with lifts or escalators I will wish to live on a big hill with a clear view to the horizon, but not before !

 Yesterday may have started rather badly, but it ended well. I'm not sure when it was that my guts felt stable enough to go out for a short while. It was possibly around midday, but it might have been earlier. There was an added reason to defer venturing out and that was because I felt that I could wear an old pair of jeans that for the first time in years I can get back into again. I'm unsure when I last wore them, but what I do know was that wnever that was I had to re-inforce the button hole for the button on the waist band. It had obviously been under some strain once. Yesterday those jeans were slightly tighter than I have grown used to, but they were perfectly comfortable. It seems my recent eating habits are really paying off at last.

 I almost wonder if I dare to wear my red jeans to the pub tonight. I have two pairs of red jeans (although one pair is more of a sort of brick red). I bought two pairs becaused the first pair was too tight. It almost seems I have come full circle because one pair I can just about do up, but it is a huge struggle, and the other pair are definitely a bit tighter than I would like, but I can do them up without too much drama. Maybe it would be silly to risk exploding them tonight, but maybe it won't be too long before I can risk it.

 The first time I went out it was to take a look in the window of Cash Generators. They still have the Canon EOS 400D for sale for just £80, but nothing exciting has appeared. After window shopping there I went into the new Poundland shop (the old 99p shop) and bought some bleach, and other household stuff like bin bags. I wanted to get some of those reed diffuser type air freshener things, but they didn't seem to have any. So I went to the original Poundshop and bought three of them in there. The plum and fig flavour, or which there was only one left in the shop, seemed to have a very pleasant fragrance, although I doubt I would have been able to identify it as plum and fig !

 I had a little rest after that shopping expedition, and I think I had to go to the toilet again ! For a while the sun blazed down, and I felt more and more inspired to go for a walk in the park - possibly a different park. So I pulled on my jeans again, and put on some shoes....and the sun went in again. It felt too gloomy to go for a walk then, but I thought I would go out anyway, but only to Tesco. I was unusually selective in what I bought from Tesco, and I avoided buying almost anything that didn't suit my cause - except for a bit of smoked Dutch cheese that didn't seem to be a cheese I had tasted before.

 What I did buy a lot of (where a lot means 4) was some reduced price sliced meats. I think nibbling on those, or using tham as past of a salad is going to be better than using cheese. I alos bought a nice crunch white cabbage to nibble on. There was one more novelty item that I only bought after studying it's label, and that was a packet of rice crackers. I knew, but I wanted to double check, that they are indeed very low in calories, but more importantly they report almost zero sugar content. The carbohydrate content will get converted to sugar in the body, but they are surprisingly non starchy. They are not exactly moreish, but they should help to accelerate the process of getting into both pairs of red jeans !

 The final time I went out yesterday was the best time. I finally got my visit from Patricia, and it was wonderful to see her. After we chatted for something like an hour we went to the local Wetherspoon's pub where I had promised to treat her to dinner - which she didn't want - but we had a drink together, and chatted more for maybe an hour before we left the pub, and saw her onto a bus to go home.

 Yesterday evening was one of those very rare events when life actually feels good. I had a most pleasant visit from a most pleasant person. I was back in a pair of jeans that had become too small for me for a long time. I had beer ! It was mild enough to go to the pub in a short sleeve shirt and no coat. I was wearing the cheap trainers I had bought from Lidl a week or two ago, and they were comfortable with the aid of some moisturiser on my feet. I had eaten little during the day, and I knew I was going to have a very light dinner.

 All that positiveness all came together as I walked home almost effortlessly at a good pace towards the glorious pink sunset. I couldn't help the thought passing through my mind that here I was, only a few months short of being 61 years old, and age that I thought signified decrepidness, and I am striding along feeling almost fit in just a short sleeved shirt like a teenager. Of course some of it was illusion, but some of it was real. On some footfalls I could feel my wonky rib(s) lightly complaining about the shock, but that was probably the worst reality.

 When I got in I found that I didn't feel ravenously hungry - which is odd even after just two pints of beer. I was easily able to stick to my plan for a very light dinner. It had to include cheese because I had a lump of Red Leicester cheese that was developing green spots, and had to be used (although only half of it). I had that with a small stack of rice cakes (not crackers as I said earlier), along with some sliced ox tongue. I went to bed feeling very un-full for a change.

 I guess exhaustion gave me a reasonable nights sleep, but I was awake for a while around 3am feeling horrible. I had probably made an unfortunate movement in bed and sproinged my rib again. It was really tricky finding a comfortable position after that.  When I woke up a little before 5am I felt pretty horrible. All sorts of bits of me ached, but most aches evaporated to some or greater extents. When I finally walked to the station I managed to keep up a very good pace without feeling too strained, and I was very pleased with my progress crossing from Waterloo East to Waterloo Mainline stations. Unfortunately I must have worn myself out because the walk from Earlsfield station to work didn't seem so free and easy.

 As I write this I feel tolerably OK. Past experience suggests I will feel terrible hunger pains in a few hours, and they will persist for several hours. By the time I go home I will probably be feeling quite good. Now the good thing about tonight is that the Thursday night drink is in Catford, and that means I can pop in home for a few minutes. There will be enough time to change my trousers if I want to, although maybe not for the red jeans just yet.....unless..... I should also have time to quicly stuff a very small snack down my throat so I will not be drinking on a totally empty stomach. Now my only problem is to decide how much to drink....or how much should I chance that the beer won't reflect on my mid May blood test - remembering that one of the blood tests can (sort of) see back into the past !
Wednesday 30th March 2016
09:37 BST

  It was supposed to stay dry and bright with a fair bit of sunshine until about 6pm last night, but in the end there was a little less sunshine than I expected, and we did have shower at about 1pm if I remember correctly. Things were better, as in less worse, in the evening. There was a light shower just before 6pm instead of the hail that was forecast, and after that it was probably drier than forecast - although I can't be sure because I was paying little attention to what was happening outside. This morning has started bright, but rather cool. Long(ish) periods of sunshine are gradually warming the air up. By this afternoon it could be 12° C and if the air stays reasonably calm it might feel warm...maybe tepid is more apt for 12° C. There could be a few hours of mostly light showers after dark, but the rest of the night is supposed to stay dry. Tomorrow is forecast to start a bit dull, but from 9am there should be some sunshine, and it is supposed to continue right up until sunset. Along the way it will raise the temperature to 12° C again.

  If only my office had warmed up a bit quicker I might have felt almost good at work yesterday. By the afternoon, when the sun had helped the crappy heating system, and I was feeling warm, I did feel almost, but not quite good. I was pretty confident that my blood glucose level had fallen to a good level, and that helped my mood too. So when I set out to go home I was feeling mostly comfortable and mostly happy.

 Perhaps the main mood was optimism, and it was rewarded later when I saw my doctor. For once she was pleased with my blood glucose readings over the last few weeks. I'll admit that there were a few anomalies that I chose not to record, but the readings I gave here were substantially correct. The only bit of truth bending was to give a slightly lower weight reading than I actually was last night - although it had been quite close to that weight last week - before 4 days away from work for the long bank holiday, and some dubious eating and drinking !

 On the strength of all my own evidence I was judge to have done well, and urged to keep up the good work. I have been asked to give blood and urine samples in mid may so my progress can be more accurately checked. One of the blood tests can "see back in time", or at least arrive at an average over a month or two. So I have to try to be very good for the next 6 weeks, but I reckoned I could get away with one extreme extravagance last night, and as I suggested I would yesterday, I scoffed the whole walnut cake slice that has been sitting in my cupboard for nearly two months - I think I bought it just before all this blew up.

 That cake tasted delicious, as walnut cake tends to, but I don't think it would have lasted much longer in the cupboard. There were slight hints that it was starting to dry up. I treated myself to one other thing last night, although maybe "treat" is a little strong. It was a large can of lentil and meat stew. By itself, the whole can would only be a little more than an 800 calorie meal. That may be a bit high if it was part of a whole breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine, but as a sole meal of the day, plus a few light snacks, it wouldn't be so bad except for one thing - it did seem that the sugar content was a little high (unless you compare it with walnut cake !).

 The thing about lentils is that they contain a lot of fibre, and this can cause some interesting reactions in the gut. I was prepared for farting most of this morning, but I was not prepared for what actually happened. In truth it seems difficult to blame it on the lentils, but what appeared to happen was that there appeared to be an attempt at a new speed record for how fast a lentil could race through the human digestive tract.

 I went to bed feeling fairly stuffed, but not too uncomfortable at about 9pm, and it wasn't long before I was fast asleep. Sometime before 1am, and probably closer to midnight, I woke up feeling rather bloated. Initially it seemed like wind, and a couple of explosive reports had my bedroom stinking like a sewer. After a while the pressure grew again, and this time I thought it wise to go out to the toilet, and it was a wise choice that time, and the next half dozen times !

 To make matters worse, at some time, either while thrashing about in bed, or more likely during some sort of twisting action as I semi-rolled out of bed, I managed to pop my dodgy rib (or ribs, or ligaments, or whatever). So there I was lying in bed with my chest hurting and my gut hurting, and always the fear that I would have to dash to the toilet at any second. It didn't make sleeping very easy. In fact it made sleeping impossible until 3am or later.

 There was nothing for it but to turn off my alarm, ignore having to go to work, and just try to get as much sleep as I could. In practice that didn't seem much, but it was better than trying to feel like going to work half asleep, and with pains in my chest, and a tender gut. So I dozed off now and then, and eventually called work to tell them the good news. Most of discomfort has now gone, but even now I am getting little twitches from my gut, and I am thinking that yet another visit to the toilet might be wise soon. I don't know where it all came from before, but I have a feeling that those lentils have not actually appeared yet !

 It is nice and sunny as I write this, and it is starting to warm up a bit now - at least enough to stop my fingers tingling. I would like to use my unexpected free time to go out and do some exercise, and maybe I will later one, but for the moment I feel staying near the toilet may still be prudent (even if it is just paranoia). However, this doesn't mean my time will be wasted. Had I been at work it would have been after I got home, but it might be possibly earlier now, I am expecting a visit from my friend Patricia. It will be the first time I've seen her since she went to Argentina last year (maybe last June or July ?).

 As I mentioned a day or two ago, some bits of my house are looking cleaner and tidier than they have been for some time, and maybe this morning I could do a bit more cleaning. Sometimes I have to have a practical reason for doing these things, and a visit from Patricia seems a good enough excuse to get my hands dirty. Before doing that I might try and have a snooze !
Tuesday 29th March 2016
08:02 BST

  I think that yesterday was sunnier than I expected it to be, but right on cue it poured down at approx 6pm as the forecast said it would. It was an extremely heavy downpour, but it didn't actually last all that long, and the sunshine almost resumed again afterwards. While the air temperature hit 13° C it still felt rather cool in the wind. The wind eased off in the evening, and while it was still a bit breezy this morning, it was a quiet night. It was nice that today, on the first day back at work since the clockes changed to BST, it is a fairly bright morning. I expected to walk to the station in the dark, but the pre-dawn light was good enough to give bright twilight when I left home. It very quickly brightened up after that, and the sun was shining when my train reached Waterloo. Much of today, or at least right up to the time when I leave work to go home, will be bright and mostly sunny. It could be pouring down as I make my way home (Boo !). Tomorrow should be bright and mostly sunny too - apart from a hail shower forecast for 7pm ! Also like today, the temperature should hit 12° C in the afternoon. Maybe if the wind is a lot lighter it will actually feel warm - until we get pelted with hail !
red lights on
                              the cranes this morning
 These were the two cranes near my house this morning. I heard (indirectly) from an expert who said that the chain on the crane on the right should have been reeled in before the crane was left after the last time it was used to prevent it swinging all over the place in yesterday morning's fierce wind. As you can see, it was not quite light, and not quite dark when I walked to the station. With hindsight I realise that it brightened up a lot in just the 5 minute walk to the station. Sunrise was at 06:41 this morning, and I arrived at the station just before 06:30. Sunset is at 19:29 this evening.

 At midday I stated that I was going to indulge in extreme laziness prior to having to come back to work after the long bank holiday weekend (although I may not have actually used thos words). I have to confess that I lied - although it was more a case of not being able to see into the future rather than an attempt to deliberately tell an untruth. It all started when I suddenly remembered a fairly simple task I had to do. It wasn't an emergency, but it was possibly on it's way to being one. It was all to do with the fan heater in the front room. It had developed a squeak.

 The cure was easy enough. Unplug the heater, take out the four screws holding the case together. Take out the two screws holding the fan motor in, and oil the bearings at each end of the motor. That's the simplified version, but while it is open it is wise to clean out all the fluff and muck that gets sucked into it. Some of it can stick to the fan blades as well. So they need a good clean too. In practicaal terms this meant getting the hoover out to suck up all the loosed dust and debris. While I was at it I thought I may as well overhaul a spare fan heater too. The motor in that one was really stiff, but freed up easily with just a couple of drops of Three-In-One oil.

 To clean the fan blades, and also to give the outside of the heaters a bit of a clean and polish, I opened up a packet of some of those pre-wetted flash wipes, and I also used a microfibre duster/cleaning cloth for the final finish. That meant I had all the tools and ingredients to do a bit of cleaning in the front room. I ended up cleaning and polishing the TV, which being an old CRT model collects dust like it's going out of fashion. I cleaned and polished a little occasional table - I think that's what it is called. It's a little table that stands about 14 inches high, and has a 14" x 14" glass top. Sitting on top of that table was my landline phone. It is very rarely used, and it was extremely grubby. It now sparkles ! Finally, I hoovered a lot (but not all) of the floor.

 I felt quite good for doing that work, and it is sort of nice to think that little bits of my house are occasionally clean, tidy and presentable (but only little bits !). Another of the good things was that it distracted me from food for a couple of hours. I don't think I would have given into my resolve not to eat anything in the afternoon, but it certainly made it easier. Apart from hoovering the floor, nothing I did was what you might call physical, and burning lots of calories, but when I checked my blood glucose level at approx 5pm it was right in the middle of the target range. That was surprising after how high it had been in the morning after my walk around the park. I really don't understand how my blood glucose level can be so high in the morning, and yet be close enough to perfectly normal in the afternoon and evening. In order to not scare my doctor I have stopped recording my morning measurements. When I see her after work she will just see the readings before eating dinner, and a couple of hours afterwards - and they are all with the target of "between 4 and 7" that she says they ought to be !

 Having found my blood glucose had returned to normal I decided that I would have some dinner last night. I didn't fancy salad, and that was a pity because what I did have, cod in batter, seemed to give me indigestion. That indigestion didn't help in getting a good nights sleep last night. Although I long for the days when I would fall into bed, and not know anything about it until I get woken by my alarm, it is possible that I am sleeping better than I sometimes think I do. Last night featured a rare example of getting more sleep than I thought I was getting. I had a dream that I was awake, tossing and turning, trying to get to sleep. It felt vividly real until I felt like a strong wind blowing across my naked back. As I thrashed around trying to both cover myself, and wondering where this strong wind was coming from, I woke up and realised I had been dreaming. I have no idea how long that dream actually lasted, but within the dream it felt like an hour or so. The odd thing was that when I woke up I didn't feel cold at all, and I was soon asleep again.

 This morning I feel better than I should. I definitely feel like I have more energy than some mornings, and I seem to have fewer aches and pains. I still have some aches and pains, and in particular I have painfully reminded myself that some movements can cause a twinge from my "floating rib(s)". I think the morning sunshine has elevated my mood, and that helps to make the day better. Now if only my office would warm up a bit I would feel almost comfortable ! I know I am being stupid when it come to trying to predict what my doctor is going to say this evening, but I have some optimism that the latest blood glucose readings will get her off my back for a while (hopefully 6 months or more). If that is the case then I know what I shall be having for dinner tonight - Walnut cake ! (Assuming it hasn't gone green and mouldy in the 2 months since I bought it, and then found out that I couldn't eat it until I had stopped seeing the doctor for a decent length of time).
Monday 28th March 2016
12:04 BST

  It was fairly windy when I was out to the pub with Jodie yesterday afternoon, but those winds would strengthen during the evening. It's hard to say when Storm Katie hit us, but it was very wet and windy during the night. The rain had stopped by about 9am this morning, but the gales continue. It is actually nice and sunny as I write this, but the forecast reckons there will be a splash of rain around 6pm. By then the wind will have decreased to a mere "stiff breeze", and the night should be a lot calmer. Tomorrow is forecast to be breezy, but there should be some sunshine, and the temperature should hit 12° C by late afternoon. Once again, rain will probably fall sometime around 6 or 7pm.

 It was notable that it stayed lighter for longer last night after the change from GMT to BST, but I didn't really appreciate it. It became rather nasty outside, and I think I may have drawn my curtains before sunset to hide the images of black skies and rain. It might seem strange, but I can't really remember what I did yesterday evening, or even what time I went to sleep. I'm sure that I didn't watch any television, and I didn't feel any need to eat any more than just an odd nibble after eating the large packet of crisps when I got home from the pub. I think I just sort of lazed about reading a few pages here and there, and tinkering on my PC. Then at some time I got into bed, turned the light out, and sometime later I was asleep.

 I woke at least once during the night because of the storm going on outside. There was no thunder and lightning that I was aware of, but the wind was howling, and I could hear the odd thump of a wheelie bin blowing over. I suppose every thump could not be a wheelie bin, and could have been fences blowing down, or sheds collapsing somewhere out of view, but in the neighbourhood. One slightly alarming thing is that the two cranes I can see out of my bathroom window were obviously getting buffeted a lot. At some point an orange light started flashing in the control cabin. First on one crane, and then on the other. I have an idea that the light was show that they were getting near their limit of stability. If either one came tumbling down it would probably miss my house by at least 100 feet, and probably more, but it would still make an awful mess !

 I shot this video at about 8am this morning. The wind was really buffeting me, and I couldn't hold the camera steady, the sound is lousy, but it does show the hoist swinging about in the wind.

 I really have no idea if I slept well or not last night. What I do know is that I woke up feeling no worse than I do on any workday morning - i.e. pretty bad ! While that may sound bad, it was just par for the course, and like most workday morning, I began to feel better once I was washed and dressed. Well I guess I couldn't be feeling that bad because I decided to brave the wind and rain to go and see what state the park was in. There was some light detritus to be seen, but nothing dramatic - which was a bit of a shame really !
a crow with
                                  a ruffled feather
A crow obliged me by posing to show a loose feather being lifted by the wind.
a very inconvenient puddle
At the Ladywell end of the park I found this big puddle. It looked as if it was quite deep, although I didn't check, and I had to go around it on the wet, muddy grass.
looking across the ark from
                                  the Ladywell road exit
It doesn't hint at the wind, but this picture probably gives a good flavour of how dull and grey and wet, and nasty the park was at approx 8.30am this morning.

 This second video, assuming you can see it, shows the weir by the bridge that crosses from the park into Lewisham Hospital. There is a fair bit of debris caught up in and around it, and the flow of water is unusually high. It is rare to see "white water rapids" on the river.

 If I ignore the fact that my fingers were feeling freezing in the cold wind, and particularly those of my left hand were feeling quite painful at one point, I felt perfectly OK on this (approx) 1.5 mile walk around the park - right up to the last 50ft. For some reason my legs felt a bit tired for that last little bit. It turns out that I probably could have felt much worse. Soon after getting home I checked my blood glucose level. Evidently three pints of beer, and a large packet of crisps yesterday still had echoes today ! I decided not to record the reading I got to avoid alarming my doctor when I see her after work tomorrow. I don't think I dare eat anything but lettuce leaves until then ! It seems highly likely that I will be on insulin before this year is out. That will be no problem apart from the inconvenience, and all the messing around while the doctors prod and poke me while testing this and testing that etc etc. I predict, but I could easily be very wrong, that it will feel like I've moved into the surgery for a couple of weeks !

  The wind seems much calmer now, there has been quite a lot of sunshine while I have been writing this, and the temperature has gone up to 13° C. I probably ought to take advantage of it somehow, but I don't feel like it. I actually feel a bit bored, and that is probably also a good reason why I should go out or something, but I think it is a sort of self imposed boredom. There are many things I can think of that I could do even without going out, but maybe I just want to enjoy as much laziness as possible before I go back to work tomorrow after this 4 day weekend.
Sunday 27th March 2016
19:59 BST

  As noted yesterday, after a dry, but rather dull day, it poured with rain in the evening. The thick cloud helped the temperature stay up a bit during the night, and this morning started at around 8° C. Unfortunately a strong wind made it feel a bit cooler, and while the temperature probably peaked at around 12° C earlier this afternoon, it still felt cool, if not chilly in that wind. On a more positive note, we had all the promised sunshine today, and very little of the promised rain. I think the last shower was over well before midday. The forecast is saying that the rain will resume at about 10pm, and will continue right through until almost midday tomorrow. After that it is supposed to dry up and there should be plenty of sunny periods.

 During the night the clocks changed from GMT to BST. I knew it was going to happen, but I paid very little attention to it. This was because most of my clocks auto update - at least the clocks I consult most of the time (i.e. my PC and my mobile phone). I went to bed rather late last night despite feeling rough, or maybe because of it. Once I got to sleep, I seemed to sleep well, but it seems that somehow my internal body clock updated in the night too, because I woke up at 5am as usual - except that it was 5am BST and not 5am GMT !

 It wasn't all that long before I was trying to get back to sleep again, and I eventually managed it. I can't remember how much more sleep I got, but I guess I probably managed to top up my total sleep for the night to 6 hours. That was still 2 short of the 8 hours I feel I deserve, and in consequence I still felt tired today, and I was yawning fit to bust when I started writing this !

 Apart from sleepiness, I still feel what I can only describe as rough today. It is so hard to describe it though. There are no pains that I can describe. The closest analogy is that it feels like my body is over pressurised. If you could feel high blood pressure, this is what it might feel like.  One slight possibility is that it is some sort of vague allergy to my new duvet. This feeling did seem to coincide with using that new duvet. The good news is that the rough feeling is getting intermittent now, and I predict that it won't be long, perhaps tomorrow, when I suddenly realise that I haven't felt bad for a long while.

 I haven't done much today. The most significant thing that I have done I did last night. It was uploading the full album of photos from my walk around London on Friday to Flickr, and adding all the notes and tags. It was what made me very late for bed last night. You can see the whole album of 39 pictures in high resolution right here - Don't forget that if you click on any of the pictures in album view you will that single picture with all it's tags and notes, and then if you click on that picture it will expand to high resolution. Move around the picture by dragging it with the mouse, and click on it to go back to normal display resolution.

 The most significant thing I have done today is to go out and have a few beers with my friend Jodie. We met in the Catford Wetherspoon's pub at approx 3pm, and I had 2 pints in there. Although it is "beer festival" time in there, there were not that many exciting beers to try. So after the two pints in there we adjourned to The Catford Constitutional Club for another beer in there. After that I showed Jodie where the bus stop behind Tesco was so she could get a 320 bus into Bromley. It was quicker to go to that bus stop than go to the bus stops on the main road, plus I had checked on my phone that a 320 was due with a few minutes of us leaving the place.

 A couple of hours before going to the pub I had eaten some lunch. It was a rather sophisticated lunch, and one designed not to add any sugar to my diet - because it was pure protein (and a bit of fat). Originally it was supposed to be some cheap and cheerful beef grills (the sort made out of reconstituted meat).  Unfortunately I rather cooked those to a crisp ! They were still nice in a crunchy sort of way, but were only half the size they should be. So I treated myself to a steak for a second course.

 That meal helped line my stomach before drinking beer, but it didn't stop the raging hunger than beer seems to bring on (well it does to me). After seeing Jodie on the bus I felt good, bad and hungry. It was another occasion when the bottom of my body (my legs) were in really good working order, and I almost sprinted home. The main problem with the top half of my body was my chest clicking, popping, and grating one almost each footfall. On this occasion it was not painful, but it sort of felt like it should be.

 It was was the very, very top of my body, my brain, that was most definitely feeling weird. I seemed to have an overwhelming desire to open a packet of crisps. It was more than hunger. It seemed as if I needed them, and maybe I did for some reason. Oh well, if nothing else it seemed a good excuse to open the packet of Guinness flavoured cheese on toast flavoured crisps. Eating them has completely wrecked my, not really. It's just a bit of a set back. Maybe it was something that had to be done because I do seem to feel different, in a better sort of way, since eating them. I think it possible that my diet has been a little too unbalanced in my quest to achieve my aims. It is possible that it may also have been a good thing for other reasons. I have observed (or imagined) that the system needs a kick now and then, and then afterwards weight loss improves. I am not so sure that holds good for my blood glucose level. Oh well, fingers crossed.

 There is nothing to do now but look forward to longer evenings. I will be back to going to the station in the dark when I go to work on Tuesday. That will be annoying, but it won't last long. On the plus side, sunset will be almost 7.30pm on Tuesday (actually 19:29). If we could just get the weather to go with it, it should mean I will be less reluctant to go out in the evenings. I'll still need to get to bed at 9pm so I can get up at 5am on work mornings, but with enough sunshine in the day I can probably relax that rule now and again.
Saturday 26th March 2016
17:22 GMT

  I guess that I just have to describe yesterday's weather as stunning ! Maybe it wasn't summer hot, but it was warm, sunny, bright and dry. The contrast with today is just like chalk and cheese. Today is dull and grey, and yet maybe saying it's like comparing chalk and cheese is going far too far. There is one similarity with yesterday - the temperature has once again hit 13° C. Unfortunately that has been dulled a lot by the wind. That is making it feel a lot cooler. That wind may also be responsible for today being a lot drier than was forecast. There was a small shower this morning, but it didn't amount to anything. Of course having just written that I turned to look at the window and it is covered with rain drops ! The forecast did suggest that this evening could be a lot wetter, and it seems that it is probably right. If the forecast for tomorrow is right there will be a mix of sun and showers with the temperature oscillating up and down between 6° C and 9° several times during the day.

 I didn't think I stayed up that late last night, but I did watch a bit of TV last night. There was an interesting programme on about Janis Joplin (the singer), and maybe that finished later than I thought. I had been looking forward to trying out my new duvet, and so looking forward to going to bed. The duvet, while nice and warm, and occasionally too warm, is very lightweight. That was both good and bad. It was nice being light, but bad that it didn't seem to follow the contours of my body. That left a few cool areas that needed a bit of fiddling around. Once I got the duvet where I wanted it I fell asleep, and as far as I was aware I seemed to sleep well under it.

 The only problem is that I still woke up at 5am, and it was only with hindsight that I realised that getting to bed late meant that I had maybe 2 hours less sleep than I first assumed. I've had periods when I have felt very sleep today. The worst thing right now is that I feel I want to go to bed more than I want to go out tonight. Chain are playing in Greenwich tonight, and I am still trying to convince myself that I really want to go there !

 One theoretical reason why I may not have got to sleep so early last night was fear (although it wasn't really). You may recall that on previous Saturdays I have been watching the 1980s BBC series The Tripods with my friend Aleemah. The Tripods in the series were somewhere between 100ft and 100 yards high. So I had to do a double take when I noticed two sinister red eyes looking down at me through my bathroom window (left open because of the mild weather).  The reason fr these two red eyes was obvious half a second later. Two new cranes have been erected where they are building the new flats on the old Greyhound stadium, and they tower over everything around here - and of course they have red lights on the end of the jobs to warn aircraft and helicopters.
two huge cranes
 I took this shot from the road this morning. The red lights are just visible against the light grey sky, but in the middle of the dark night they are very bright - as they need to be to warn aircraft.

 It was a curious morning. I felt pretty rough in ways that I can't quite describe. I felt both very active and very inactive at the same time. I had a feeling that was like my head wanted to explode, and my whole torso, and not just my chest, felt fizzy. I naturally assumed that I was about to die of something, but I wanted to go to Tesco before I did that. I was able to go to Tesco for two reasons. The first was obviously that I didn't die, and the second was that after all my housework yesterday morning there was little to do to prepare the place for a visit from Aleemah.

 If it had just been a little less windy, or a little less cool, it would have felt quite nice going to Tesco at 8am this morning. I was amazed to find that there was quite a lot of reduced price stuff available at that time of the morning. So I ended up buying more sandwiches than are good for me, and also rather more cheese than I should consume. It seemed perfectly effortless walking back from Tesco with my shopping, but as soon as I relaxed I felt bad again. In this case bad equated to a deep feeling of weariness.

 Between 30 and 60 minutes later I was out again to walk to the station to meet Aleemah, and I felt perfectly OK walking to the station, and I felt perfectly OK walking from the station down to the pub. It is still spring beer festival time in the Wetherspoons pub, and so I resolved to have an extra couple of half pints of beer. Two out of the four halves were neither good nor bad. The Bruges beer was not quite to my taste, and the "Benjamins" beer was rather good - although maybe not in large quantities. If you click on the picture you can open a larger version where you can read the flavourings of that Benjamin beer. It includes cinnamon, cardoman, and coriander flavours.
4 half pints of beer for breakfast

 After sitting down feeling all relaxed in the pub I felt like I didn't want to get up and walk home - and it wasn't just because I wanted more beer. In fact I had tasted all the beers I wanted to taste. It was just another aspect of whatever seems to be ailing me today. It's probably a combination of high and low blood pressure, and high and low blood glucose, several cancers, Weils disease, third degree insanity, and post death trauma.

 Mostly it was tiredness, and there was some sort of proof of that when we got back here. Aleemah had brought a DVD of the film Jupiter Ascending to watch. To be honest, I hated it. Despite it being all action with explosions every 2 minutes, I found it really boring, and I could hardly follow the plot. It may have only been for a few seconds here and there, but I actually fell asleep 3 or 4 times while it was on. Even in those few seconds I managed to dream, but to my great annoyance I could not remember the dreams. At least twice when I woke up I was going to make some comment about the film before realising that what I was going to comment about was part of my dream, and not part of the film. Then as my mind tried to reconcile the difference between dream and reality it chose to just forget the dream.

 Side note; it's now 6.35pm, and it is now really chucking it down outside. Maybe I really, really don't want to go out tonight - even if it makes me look like a wimp !
Friday 25th March 2016
17:40 GMT

  Yesterday's weather was more or less what was forecast. The morning was dull and grey, although fairly mild. During the afternoon the rain started - and it got slightly warmer ! The rain was fairly light at first, but as sunset approached it seemed to get quite heavy (that was the impression I got when peeping out from behind the curtains). It was actually quite a mild evening with the temperature not really falling below 9° C until maybe 9 or 10 pm. The temperature fell a bit during the night as all the clouds dispersed. This morning the sun rose in a clear sky, and it wasn't long before the temperature began to climb. By mid afternoon it was 13° C, and in central London it might easily have been 15° C. It is a shame that the forecast says we will lose the glorious sunshine tomorrow. It is going to be ghastly grey, and from midday it will start to rain. By 5pm it could be quite heavy, and yet the temperature might hit 13° C again.

 On the whole, I felt fairly OK yesterday. I had the odd twinge here and there, and some hunger pains, but no real discomfort. In at least one respect, or perhaps I should say one part of me seemed to be on particularly good form. It was raining when I left work, but my recently bought hooded rain jacket seemed to work well at keeping me dry and comfortable. I still wanted to get the bus the two stops to the station rather than walk through the rain, but the buses followed the long standing tradition of being nowhere in sight on a day when it would have been really useful to get one.

 So I put my best foot forward and carried on walking to the station. Apart from the annoyance of having to walk when I didn't want to, it was easy going. When I got to the station there were some kids yobbing about jumping in and out of the lift for no apparent reason. Rather than spoil their fun I went up the three flights of stairs to the platform. I feel most reluctant to do it, but I could almost describe it as being easy. Of course it wasn't, but maybe it was easier than it has been for ages and ages, and maybe ever. No it can't be ever, can it ?

 I didn't repeat my athleticism (cough) by running up the escalators when I got to Waterloo station, but I didn't hang around as I made my way to Waterloo East station. In theory I was all set up to rush home, grab a quick bite to eat, and then rush out again for the Thursday night drink, but two things stopped me doing that. The first was that it was pouring with rain (it started getting quite heavy as I got home), and secondly I was considering my quest to reduce my blood glucose level,  and my trouser size along the way. Beer would have spoiled that a bit, and getting even slightly drunk could have given me the uncontrolled munchies. So I was good and stayed in and ate sensibly - mostly. I suppose there was also the third reason that I just didn't fancy going out once I got home, but maybe that is covered by the heavy rain.

 It is probably just as well that I didn't go out and have beer because it turned out that my blood glucose level was not as low as I hoped it would be (although still in the OK area). It didn't help that some new chilli sauce I had found had stupid amounts of sugar in it. Part of me questions why chilli sauce needs to be so sweet, but the other part knows that the answer is that it was probably the sugar that made it so nice.

 It's a bank holiday today, and that meant I didn't have to get up for work today, and in turn, that meant I slept better last night than usual ! I was still awake at 5am as if I was getting up for work, but I didn't actually get up straight away. I eased myself into the waking world over a period of time, and felt much better for doing it that way. It must have worked because I have had quite a busy day.

 One of the first things I did was to wash my work shirts, and some underwear. Once that was hanging up to dry I did a pretty thorough job of doing all the washing up and cleaning some of the work surfaces in the kitchen. While I was feeling all domesticated I brushed the back garden path as far as it went until it disappears under mud and twigs and weeds (a job for a sunny afternoon !). I also did a bit of tidying up in the front room.

walking around London By 11am it was looking warm and sunny, and I decided I would definitely go out and take some pictures. There is loads of engineering work going on on the railways this long bank holiday weekend, and most of the seaside is not easy to get to, but just for a change there were trains to Charing Cross today. So I went up to Charing Cross and estimated a sort of circular walk. It seemed warm enough to go out in just shirt sleeves, and no coat - and it was !

 When I checked the "Simply Walk" tracking app on my phone I found my route, although obviously not a perfect circle, turned out be close to one. It seems that my navigational skills in the West End have not completely faded away over the years.

 I was a bit surprised to see that I had only walked 1.94 miles. I would have estimated it as being a bit more than that. Then again I thought I had probably been walking for longer than 54 minutes. Sometimes it is quite surprising just how compact central London is.
                              Routemaster bus
 I took heaps of photos while I was out, and I'll eventually edit them ready to show a few here, and make a new album on Flickr, but one photo I took turned out to be a little special. I didn't realise until I got home that while taking a picture of the monument to the right of the bus, I had taken a picture of the Fender Routemaster bus. Both Fender, the famous guitar maker, and the real Routemaster bus, not this new plastic version of one, are both celebrating their 50th anniversary. As far as I can tell, only one bus has been specially painted like this one. It is a shame I never took pictures of the sides and back of the bus. Both have pictures of guitars on them. You can read all about it, and see the all over pictures here - or read a TFL press report here -

 I was very lucky when I got back to Charing Cross station. If I had just missed a train I would have had to endure a 30 minute wait for the next one, but my timing was such that I only had a three minute wait ! 25 minutes later I was back in Catford. The walk, and the rail journey there and back, didn't seem to tire me, and indeed I would hope a mere 2 mile walk would not do so. Instead of going straight home I went and did a bit of shopping.

 The first shop I went to was the original Poundland where I wanted a packet of "magic sponges". I don't know if they are something new, but I have only recently discovered them. They are a white sponge with some fine white silica sand on the surface (at least I think that is what it is). So they are mildly abrasive, and rather good for polishing things like the bathroom or kitchen sink. Of course I bought other stuff in there too, but nothing of particular note.

 After Poundland, where everything costs a mere £1, I went to Poundstretcher where everything doesn't cost just £1. I had this yearning for a lighter duvet, and I bought a nice lightweight 10.5 tog one for £8.99 (reduced from £9.99 !). It is now on my bed, and I have fantasies that I am going to sleep differently, in a positive way, under it tonight.

 I now feel like I have had a rather full day, and while I might make a start on some photo editing, I think I'm mostly going to be very lazy until I can test my new duvet. Tomorrow I'll be seeing Aleemah in the morning, and I am looking forward to a couple of halves of beer for breakfast (and maybe more !).
Thursday 24th March 2016
07:56 GMT

  I can't seem to recall seeing any sunshine yesterday, but it was still sort of bright, and by the afternoon it was very mild. I think the temperature did hit the forecast 12° C. Today the temperature may hit 10° C for an hour or two around midday, but most of the time it is going to be just 9° C. To make matters worse, it is, and will continue to be a rather grey, sunless morning. To make things even more worse it is forecast to pour with rain from about 2pm until 4am tomorrow morning. Friday, which is a bank holiday, is currently forecast to be dry with some sunshine now and then, and it could reach 13° C. After that it gets cold and soggy again - just what we need for a long bank holiday weekend !

 I was surprisingly free of any discomfort yesterday. I had a couple of brief twinges from my chest, but basically nothing really hurt. That's not to say I was feeling fully fit and limber - I doubt that will ever happen again - if it ever did ! One negative feeling I did have was a rather strong sensation of hunger for a while. That was not surprising considering my current eating regime. It was lucky it happened at work. If I were at home I would have probably slaughtered the fattened calf (if I had one) and put it between two slices of bread !

 By the time I was going home from work the hunger pangs had gone, and I felt quite comfortable to change my shoes at home to more comfortable shoes, and go straight out again. It wasn't the grandest of expeditions. I first walked to Cash Generator's shop out of curiosity. I noted they had another Canon EOS 400D DSLR camera in the window, and it was only £80. That was cheaper than the price I paid for my secondhand one from there, and it looked like it came in a better carrying case (possibly with some extra accessories in it). If I hadn't bought one already I would have bought it. They are a fine camera.

 After Cash Generators I walked to the pharmacy attached to my doctors surgery, and picked up my prescription for all my blood pressure drugs. Then I walked back along the high street towards Cash Generators, but only as far as Aldi. I did a very selective shop in there. I topped up my salad ingredients, and bought some ham and stuff, plus three 2l bottles of their own brand sugar free, diet cola - which is very good for a supermarket own brand cola - infinitely better than the muck that Tesco sells ! I also bought a 9 roll pack of toilet paper that I hope will last for ages if I keep eating as I am at the moment.

 Apart from building a huge salad I did little else last night except exchange a lot of messages with my friend Patricia. She was admitted to Lewisham hospital with deep vein thrombosis yesterday, and she was very good at keeping me up to date with her progress. I think I can safely leave her care to the hospital and her boyfriend (aaarghh !), but I hope to visit her in there soon. Maybe even tonight unless she is about to be released soon. Treatment for deep vein thrombosis, a potential killer, was once meant a 5 to 10 day stay in hospital, but I believe new treatments usually mean only a couple of days is needed, although a lot of aftercare is still needed. The improvement is all due to nanotechnology...sort of !

 I feel I must add that my salad was so huge purely because I got a bit carried away pulling leaves of a head of lettuce. The actual lettuce looks quite small and compact, but once you start pulling them off it can quickly grow to a huge towering mass of lettuce - well maybe not for experts or the sensible, but it seems to happen to me. Maybe it is the result of having to buy a whole lettuce for one person. So my salad was very big, and yet because it was mostly lettuce, it had very little nutritional value, and very little sugar in it. When I checked my blood glucose level 2 and a bit hours after eating it had actually gone down compared to when I checked it before eating. It is now consistently in the normal range (ignoring any spurious early morning readings), but higher than I would hope for.

 This morning was one of those mornings where I would have liked to go back to bed after getting up. I seemed to sleep reasonably well, at least until 3am. After that it didn't seem so good, but I still slept intermittently after that until I gave up and got up just after 4.30am. My chest felt a bit delicate and easy to provoke this morning, but aside from a few twinges, one involving having to reach over to tie one of my shoelaces up, it seems to be generally OK so far. One good piece of news is that my trousers continue to get looser. I can't be definite because I don't know what the starting point was, and I haven't paid much attention to tenths of kilograms, but it seems I have now lost 3 or 4kg, and maybe more. It's not going as fast as I would like, but some say that is better for you. If I could just cut out some of the nibbles I have before and after my dinner !

 Tonight I have several choices. One is to do nothing, and that is attractive. On the other hand I could join the regular Thursday night drinkers. Tonight's venue is The Greyhound in Bromley. The only problem with that place is it is easier to get to from home than it is from work, and once I get home I don't want to go out again. I am also tempted to go home and then go out a bit later to go to one or both of the open mic/jam sessions happening in Beckenham tonight. If I were younger, much more fit, and much more healthy I would spend some time in Bromley before getting the bus or train to Beckenham, but I am neither young, fit or particularly healthy ! Plus I need to avoid too much beer until I've got the doctor off my back. All these options could be null and void if I decide I need to visit Patricia in hospital.
temporary bus
 This temporary bus stop is just around the corner from work. Judging by the state of some railings 15ft back from the stop, there was quite a serious crash that totalled the railings, and knocked the permanent bus stop out of the ground. That must have been some smash ! I don't see many temporary bus stops these days. In fact I can't recall when I last saw one. What I do know is that I very much prefer the old traditional design with it's elegant concrete bottom. A triangular piece of plastic, possible around concrete, or filled with sand, just doesn't look right.
class 707 train
 I think I mentioned that South West Trains Ltd were showing off their new class 707 trains (or a semi plastic replica of the front of the train) on the concourse of Waterloo station yesterday. Here's the first view I got as I emerged from the link from Waterloo East station. Frantic work was going on to get it all ready to show off to the long suffering public. Having more trains available means that some of the existing trains can be marshalled into longer formations, but that's about all. The new trains will be no more reliable, and no more comfortable. In fact many people will not even realise they are any different to their usual trains. Here's another couple of snaps - the second taken on my way home from work when the "train" was open for the public to inspect.
Front of a new
                              class 707 train
class 707 train exhibit allowing
                              the sticky fingered public to prod it
Wednesday 23rd March 2016
08:12 GMT

  Yesterday was definitely like the day before was supposed to have been. It would be nice if the forecast for today was very wrong, but it's not looking like it yet. Yesterday was sunny and warm...or at least warmish by the time I left work to go home. I think the temperature only hit 11° C, instead of 12° C, but with hardly any wind it felt rather nice standing in the sunshine. By the time I got home the clouds had just about covered the sky, and that kept a bit of warmth in. So this morning started off a cool, but not too chilly 8° C. The latest forecast predicts a few sunny periods for the next couple of hours. That seems very unlikely when I look at the sky. After about 11am, and then for the rest of the day, it is supposed to be like it is right now - misty grey sky, and rather dull. The good news is that the temperature is supposed to reach 12° C. Tomorrow is probably just going to be a slightly cooler version of today.

 I felt pretty uncomfortable yesterday morning. At 10 or 11am I decided to take some Ibuprofen. I usually take just two tablets because that is the normal recommended adult dose, but on this occasion I took three for the simple reason that there were three tablets left in the packet. There should have been four tablets left in the packet, but some days ago, maybe last week, I accidently dropped one tablet, and it rolled away to an inaccessible place (unless you are very small with knees of steel). So I took three tablets, and they worked very well ! I had hardly any pain after that, and somehow the effect lasted until it was bedtime.

 It made going home feel good, and the warmth and sunshine made it feel even betterer.* I even found some reserves of energy, and walked up the escalator at Waterloo. All this put me in a good mood to be even more careful about what I ate last night. Dinner was just a single course - although it was a big one ! It was a salad, without too many tomatoes this time, and some smoked mackerel with a side serving (or something like that) of some peri peri mackerel. I still snacked on a fair few nuts, and a chunk of cheese, but my blood glucose level tests suggested that I was being sufficiently careful in what I ate.

 * Betterer is a new word invented to suggest one notch better than better !

 Yesterday morning I went to the toilet more times than usual, and I assumed that it was a delayed reaction to the excesses I ate over the weekend. I also went once (or was it twice ?) later in the day while at work. That seemed a bit unlikely after all I had done in the morning, but it happened. Then last night, at around 8pm I had to go again, and boy did I have to go, and go, and go ! I would say it was a mystery where it was all coming from, but I think a better phrase would be it was a dysentery where it was all coming from ! It was all very unpleasant, and very stinky, but wonderful for my weight. Most of the loss was obviously dehydration, but it was nice to appear to have lost almost 4kg in just a few weeks when I dared myself to get on the scales again. Whether this explosion in the digestive tract had any bearing on the chest discomfort that plagues me for a day and a half is unknown, but it does seem to be a bit of a coincidence.

 I did two other things last night. I finished reading the book I was reading. Reading the last couple of chapters was nice and relaxing while my guts turned somersaults. I also washed my hair. That was a pretty dangerous thing to do. I did it in the middle of when I was only getting a very short warning that I was about to explode again. It could have been most unfortunate if I had the three second warning while my eyes were full of shampoo !

 It took a little while to find the ultimate comfortable position to go to sleep, but once I had gone to sleep I seemed to sleep better than recently. I did have one extended period of being awake at 3am, but I don't think that lasted more than 15 minutes. I woke up this morning feeling pretty lousy. My chest felt like it was as bad as ever, and it clicked and popped as bad as ever when I was pulling my shoes on and pulling up the shoelaces, and yet it seems to have been mostly OK since then. I came to work feeling quite good. I seemed to have almost the sort of energy I have after work, and I seemed to be able to walk as fast as I dared without having to breath too deeply. I could have pushed it a bit further, but I was wary of irritating my chest. One twist, or jerk could easily "pop" whatever bit of my chest is loose, and flapping about inside me.

 I have a cunning plan for tonight. No, it isn't cunning, and I'm not Baldrick, but it is a plan. I think I may go via home, but I need to pick up a repeat prescription from the pharmacy, and while I am in the vicinity I might go into Aldi. If it is early enough I might even take a look in Cash Generators and see if they have anything interesting in their window (or inside). After that it will be dinner time, and then not long after that it will be bedtime again.

 This morning they were selling trains on the concourse of Waterloo station. I haven't time to process the picture I took of that, but at the other end of the concourse Admiral were giving away carrier bags in direct defiance on the governments 5p per bag scheme. That's anarchy ! Hooray, Anarchy In The UK !!!!

this morning on
                              the concourse of Waterloo station
Admiral at Waterloo
Tuesday 22nd March 2016
08:03 GMT

  It's looking like there is a far better chance of today being like yesterday was supposed to be. There was some bright sunshine yesterday, but not much. There was also some hazy sunshine, but a lot of yesterday was rather dull. Without the sunshine the temperature only reached 9, or maybe 10° C. During the night the cloud that spoiled things yesterday went away and the temperature dropped to 3 or 4° C. It looked like some cars had frost on their windscreens when I walked to the station, but it could have just been dew. Despite it obviously being rather chilly, there was a sort of spring feeling in the air. The sky was, and remains blue, and with luck we will get a morning of solid sunshine, and with a bit more luck it will extend into the afternoon. The forecast says it will start to cloud over from 2pm, and by 5pm we will have lost all the sunshine. It seems more feasible that today could hit 12° C, and perhaps more. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be much like yesterday. That is not too bad, but it would be nice if it was a lot better.

 I felt lousy at work yesterday. I had all sorts of aches and pains plus I felt tired, hungry, and not very warm. It was a joy when home time came around. Once I got moving I felt warmer, and many of the aches lessened. By the time I got home I was still feeling a little delicate, but basically comfortable. The first thing I did when I git in was to check my blood glucose level. It was a little high, but still under 7 mmol/l, and considering the excesses of the weekend, it was probably lower than I thought it might be. Approximately 2 hours after dinner it had actually fallen to a quite reasonable level.

 One reason for the fall was that I was able to eat very carefully. Fifty percent of my dinner was very low in calories, and it should have been very low in sugar content as well. When I was in Tesco last Friday I bought a bag of beansprouts. I thought I would see if they made a good salad ingredient, but I didn't make any salads over the weekend (but I did eat a couple of ready made ones). Last night those beansprouts were starting to look like they had to be used very quickly, and so I made one of my special meals. I haven't made one of these for ages. It is no more than beansprouts boiled for a few minutes in water with a beef stock cube, a squirt of chilli sauce, and a generous squirt of tomato purée. It is the latter that adds the unknown sugar content. The beansprouts are eaten with the stock, and together they can be quite filling with very little food value.

 The other half of my dinner was salad with some sliced Polish smoked sausage. The main source of sugar in that was the tomatoes - and there were quite a few of them. Once again I decided that the pack of tomatoes needed to be used very quickly - one of them had grown green fur ! If I had only had half the amount of tomato my blood glucose level might have been a bit closer to normal this morning instead of being a bit high.

 I felt quite comfortable yesterday evening. I didn't even feel particularly tired, but I decided I ought to get to bed reasonably early. I don't know if that was a good thing or not because I ended up having a lousy sleep. There is always the thought that if I had felt much more tired I might have slept better. Once again it was a night where I seemed to wake up every 2 hours - sometimes with good reason, like needing a pee, and at other times for no obvious reason. A little after 2am I woke up with a very peculiar, and very cruel ailment. The sole of my right foot was itching badly. It is an ailment I have had a few times over the recent years, and I have never known what causes it.

 In some ways it feels a little bit like how a scratch or small cut might feel, and in other ways it feels like a gang of hungry fleas are gnawing away at the sole of my foot (or whatever fleas do). In the grand scheme of things it could never really be called painful, but it seems impossible to ignore, and the only answer was distraction. So I got up and spent half an hour on the internet to amuse myself. The itch hadn't gone completely by then, but was causing less grief that the pains from my dodgy ribs.

 Something might, or might not, have happened to my "floating ribs" recently. I seem to have had less sharp pains from them recently, and more widespread dull aches. While tossing and turning in bed they also seem to be popping and grating more. I am unsure what is going on, but much of my discomfort at work yesterday was aches from quite a few places in my chest. The ache or pain from just below and very slightly to the right of my right breast is an old friend, and usually that is the source of the sharpest pains when making a bad move. In addition to an ache from that region, I also had aches coming and going from several other areas. I sometimes imagined that there was something wandering loose in my chest poking me every now and then.

 Unfortunately I think I will be suffering in a similar way today. While sitting on the train from Waterloo to Earlsfield the pain was diffused across my chest, and I did wonder if it was less muscle/rib/ligament based, and might have something to do with my heart. That probably remains an option, but quite what is a mystery. It would be far more obvious if it got worse instead of better when walking from the station. I actually felt quite good when doing that walk, and it felt unusually easy.

 Now I am sitting down at work, and have been for an hour now, I have an assortment of aches and pains. Many of them I can explain, and some I can't. I think the hunger feeling in my gut is pretty obvious. Some back ache is most probably the result of sleeping awkwardly to cause less pressure on my chest. I have no idea why I have a headache, and I can only guess why my chest is aching again. To top it off, I feel like I want to go back to bed again, and sleep for another hour or two.

 It is going to be nice to go home again today. Hopefully it will feel warm on the way home, and hopefully I will feel less bad. I do have one thing I want to do tonight, and that is to wash my hair. The rest of the evening I will be doing no more than battling against feeling hungry so I can continue to lose weight and reduce my blood glucose level. One other thing I could do is to try and remember to be a bit more careful when folding Peacocks carrier bags !

It really says
                              Peacocks !
Monday 21st March 2016
08:00 GMT

 After a rather grey day it should have been nice when the clouds broke up about 90 minutes before sunset. Unfortunately the largest patches of blue sky were not where the sun was until the sun was so low in the sky that it could do no more than light up the tops of some of taller buildings around. It did make for a quite pretty sunset though. The temperature held up remarkably well last night, and this morning it was still 8° C when I walked to the station. The sky is very misty grey right now,but if the forecast has any credibility it will all suddenly go away in a few minutes time (!!!), and we will have a gloriously sunny morning, and a fairly sunny afternoon. That is supposed to send the temperature up to 12° C - which is almost warm, and some say it could rise to 15° C - and that is warm. Tomorrow is not supposed to be quite as good, and then things get even worse. The current theory is that the forthcoming long bank holiday weekend is going to be a washout !
sunset on 20th
                              March 2016
 This was the best snap I got of the sunset last night. It is not as impressively pink as it was a few minutes earlier, and there was hardly a trace of pink left a few minutes after I took this picture.
the moon at
                              about 18:30 20th March 2016
 Turning around to look at the eastern sky I noticed that the moon was very visible between gaps in the clouds. So I took this picture of it. I think it was at about 18:30. The sun was below the horizon, but there was still a lot of after glow, and that's why the sky looks grey instead of black.

 I spent late yesterday afternoon laying on my bed reading, and I also had a snooze. It was not a long one though. I don't know how long it lasted, but it may have been no more than 10 minutes. It was rather perplexing that I didn't really seem to feel tired yesterday - and that was despite not sleeping at all well on both Friday and Saturday nights. I thought I had better try to go to sleep early last night, but for all my best intentions I think it was almost 9pm before I turned out the light, and turned over.

 At first I didn't feel like I would ever get to sleep, but I guess I was probably asleep not that long after 9pm. Apart from it being in something like 2 hour sessions with very small gaps between them, I sort of slept OK last night. I guess all dreams could be classified as weird, but last night I had one dream that falls into a special category of weird. It was a purely third party dream - like watching TV. If I had any part in it at all it was as cameraman. I can't believe I wrote the plot, but I guess it had to have come from some strange dusty corner of my brain. I can remember very little of the plot now, but I do remember the climax. It concerned a man who had two girlfriends, and what happened when they arrived at the same time at the man's house (which appeared to be on some country lane). If it had been a traditional soap opera there would have been an almighty row, but it wasn't like that. The final scene was of the man sprinting away down the country lane as the two woman watch from the middle of the road. The scene was shot from a camera crane which slowly elevates as he runs into the distance. The final view before fadeout is looking down at the two woman who appear to be holding hands. If I describe that as if it was a film script it was because that is what my viewpoint was in the dream. I was just an observer, and didn't take any part in the action. Even curiouser is that I have no idea who the "actors" were. They were no one I know from real life, or even from TV or movies.

 My first thought when my alarm woke me at 5am, which is a rare occurrence, was that I seemed to feel quite good. That feeling lasted all of 30 seconds ! I actually felt, and still do feel, pretty lousy. Most of the lousiness is from my chest. Bits of it randomly ache. I think a lot of it is a delayed response to the strain of washing a towel and a sheet yesterday, but the rest of it is just because that is what my chest does these days. A small part of my overall discomfort could be the result of eating too much over the weekend. I did my best to avoid all the stuff that directly raises my blood glucose level, and I hope that when I test it when I get home from work it will be reasonably OK. If it is not then I shall blame it on the strawberries I ate. They didn't taste very sweet, but I expect they still had a lot of fructose in them.

 I expected my belt to feel a lot tighter this morning after all the excesses of the weekend, but it is possible that it is actually a microscopic bit looser. It certainly seemed no effort at all to pull it up to the tightest notch. It almost make me wonder if I would have survived wearing one of my small pairs of jeans at work today. I think I prefer to play it safe and where my usual work trousers - not only that, but between the two identical pairs that I have, they still have a good 6 to 12 months, or even more, of wear left in them, and I wouldn't want to make the redundant prematurely.  Maybe if I am really good this week, I'll be able to wear one of the smaller pair to work next week. If I can keep it up for another fortnight I may even feel comfortable wearing my red jeans to a gig !

 So tonight I have to eat mainly salad, and that is about my only plan for tonight. I have plenty to read, and I can imagine spending most of the evening laying on my bed reading. On the other hand, I still need to do something about building a more permanent replacement for my temporary-for-three-years web server ! I might do something to that project, or I might strip down to my underpants and brush the stair carpet, or another carpet somewhere (read what I wrote yesterday if that seems completely weird - it's actually only slightly weird !).
Sunday 20th March 2016
15:31 GMT

  The thing about yesterday's weather was that it was uninspiring. It was cold, but not terribly cold, and it was grey, but mostly not terribly dark grey. I am sure I saw the thermometer indicating 10 or even 11° C at one point in the afternoon. Today has not been that much different up until now, but there could be a small change happening. The forecast did say that there could be a sunny interval at about this time, and indeed there has just been a few minutes of sunshine. The sun has gone in again now, but it still looks brighter outside, and maybe the sun will come out again. My downstairs thermometer currently says 11.5° C, and the one outside the upstairs spare room is saying 12.6° C. I guess it is almost mild outside. It's back to work tomorrow, and at one point it looked like it might be a grim day, but the forecast is currently saying there will be some sunny intervals during the morning. The afternoon will be lightly overcast, and the temperature is supposed to peak at 11° C at 3pm.

 Yesterday was another demonstration of how at heart I am a day person. I had no real difficulty going out to meet Aleemah at approx 9.30am, and I could have easily enjoyed more than the two pints of beer that I had time to drink. By 6pm my body was already going into low gear for the night. I wanted to see Chain playing in The Chatterton Arms, and I quite fancied seeing a bit of Room 306's gig in The H.G. Wells centre, but I just could not raise the enthusiasm to get dressed and go out.

 In one respect it was the right decision. Chain could not start their gig until all the sportists in the pub had finished watching their rugby match. As far as I could see, the match didn't seem to end until 10pm, and I doubt Chain started playing until some time after the final whistle had been blown (or whatever they do in rugby to split the opponents and get them back to their hutches). It would have meant a really tediously late gig. I think it would have finished at around midnight. The gig at The H.G. Wells centre could have been far more attractive, but I just could not be bothered.

 The sad thing is that after all that I didn't get the wonderful eight hours of beauty sleep I wanted and deserved. Last night was another night where I slept really badly...or did I ?  Maybe it was all a dream because I don't seem to have felt terribly tired and sleepy today. I'm pretty sure that the scorpion attacking the spider on the wardrobe that I don't have in a bedroom I have never seen before, was definitely a dream - although curiously not a nightmare. I didn't seem to be overly concerned about having those two nasties in my bedroom, and I was rather more concerned about the birds that flew in the open window - not for attacking me - the fear was that they might do what birds do, and shit on everything !

 I had some grand plans for today, but the cold and dull weather put me off. One thing I did do ended up a bit more extensive that I thought it would. It started with using the dustpan and brush to brush up a few bits of lettuce I seemed to have dropped on the floor while eating last night. I have to say that I have never tried using a dustpan and brush while only wearing underpants, and now I have I can recommend it ! It makes bending over so much more easy than wearing even the least restricting jeans. I liked it so much that I used the dustpan and brush on the stairs too. In a curious way I did like it too. I've never tried using a dustpan and brush on the stair carpet before. In the past I've always struggled to use the vacuum cleaner, but that is such a palava that I rarely do it. Going back to hand tools may seem retrograde, but it seems to work quite well. Maybe if I was ultra keen I would run the hoover over the stairs too - just to pick up the last remaining specks of dust (of which there were probably plenty if you were stupid and looked too hard !).

 With that little bit of housework done I finished dressing, and went to Aldi to get some shopping. I tried out another pair of jeans from my "I wonder if these will ever fit again" pile, and while they may still be a bit tight for work, where I spend long sessions sitting down hunched over a microscope, they seemed perfectly comfortable for shopping. I also tested out a pair of shoes I bought some time ago ready for the summer. They are a pair of Vans slip on shoes. Being expensive and "Branded", I had some sort of naive idea that they might be better than cheap and cheerful ones. They were OK to walk to Aldi and back, but I can't honestly say they have any special properties.

 The next thing I did was split into two halves with dinner (or lunch) in the middle. I decided to not only change my bedding, but to wash some of the old smelly bits too. The duvet cover is a thick heavy one, and I think that will have to wait for a warm sunny day when I can hang it, still dripping, in the garden to dry. I have washed the bottom sheet, and two pillow cases, and they are currently drying. I also washed a small hand towel at the same time. The only unfortunate thing about the new duvet cover is that it is one that I haven't used since I came out of hospital back in 2013. While my chest was all safely stapled together, the bottom of the wound on my legs, where they extracted the vein for the bypass transplant, was rather messy and leaking a lot (until I stopped the nurse mucking around with it, and just let it dry out naturally). I didn't realise how much a mess it had made of that pale beige coloured duvet cover. Anyone know how to remove 3 year old blood stains and hide a corpse ?

 I guess my lunch was actually my dinner because it was a fairly substantial steak and salad dish. It was both a treat and sensible too....sort of. The salad would have been almost innocent - particularly since I realised that some of the flavoured vinegars I use have an awful lot of sugar in them, and now avoid them. I assume that steak is not a source of sugar (unless marinated in treacle or something weird), and it was fairly lean meat. So in theory, while quite a big meal, it should have ticked many of the boxes for my new healthy eating lifestyle....well, at least until I have seen my doctor in 9 days time.

 Now there is nothing left to do until bedtime, and work tomorrow. I think I feel a snooze coming on. Maybe it is more to do with boredom, or avoiding it rather than a real feeling of tiredness. I think I'll just lay on my bed reading and see what happens.
Saturday 19th March 2016
15:09 GMT

  Yesterday was every bit as bad as the forecast suggested it would be. It was unrelentingly grey, and it was cold. Maybe it wasn't quite as cold as I thought it would be as I made my way home from work, but it still wasn't comfortable. I think the best I saw was 7° C. Today has been better than the forecast suggested it would be. Instead of unending dark grey skies there have been a few occasions when the greyness was quite light grey, and the temperature has been higher than the maximum of 7° C forecast. I have seen figures of 10 and 12° C on my thermometers. Unfortunately the wind, while not that strong, is still strong enough to make it feel much cooler outside. I'm not sure what to make of the forecast for tomorrow. It starts off the same as today, but, if taken literally, at 5pm we switch from dark clouds to light grey clouds, and then at 6pm a few rays of sunshine may peep around the clouds. Some of the afternoon could be 9° C, but the morning, and after dark may only be 5 to 7° C.

Waterloo concourse from ground

 Yesterday Air New Zealand were having some sort of competition/promotion for their wares on the concourse of Waterloo station. The first thing that caught my eye when I saw this stand was what appeared to be models of flamenco dancers. I couldn't work out how this related to an airline - particularly one based in New Zealand and not Spain. I'm still not sure.

 I felt pretty lousy at work yesterday. A combination of tiredness, hunger, and not feeling all that warm, made my aches and pains both better and worse - and by better I really mean I was sometimes distracted from them, but when I wasn't they were enhanced. It was not a good time for my manager to inform that the higher echelons are thinking that I ought to work on two desks/benches. One would be spotlessly clean, tidy, and surreal for when I am supporting production, and the other my usual one with it's high efficiency filing system for when I am supporting Research And Development. What a load of bollocks. I thought the days of this crap were over, but it seems not.

 I did my best to let t all pass over me, but because I was not feeling good to start with it got me feeling rather bad. Revolving around in my brain were thoughts of resignation, revenge, murder, mutilation, genocide, and a few unpleasant things, but mostly I just felt very depressed ! It cheered me up a little bit when I left work to go home, and it felt good to find that I had far more energy than I thought I had, and my walk to the station was almost exhilarating in it's speed...well, maybe not quite good, but it was sort of satisfying.

 Of course once I got on the train, and started reading The Evening Standard, I was soon very pissed off again. It seemed it was all politics and doom and gloom, and sport. I am not sure what had me grinding my teeth together most, the sport or the politics. Had there been something about politicians playing sport I would probably have jumped under the train - which is not easy to do from inside a train !

 When I arrived back in Catford I went home via Tesco. For once I was very selective about what I bought in Tesco. I was very mindful about the thrill of being able to squeeze into my red jeans again on Wednesday night (I wrote about it last Thursday), and I want to continue the process that made it happen for as long as I can. The worst things I bought in Tesco was some cheese - low or no sugar, but quite high in calories - and some salmon fishcakes - containing some unwanted carbohydrates. Almost everything else was salad type stuff.

 Earlier in the day I was hoping I might feel OK to go to a gig last night, but before I had even left I had formulated an alternative plan. It was to try and have a fairly low calorie/sugar meal. Then have some very large whiskies, and then go to bed. That is pretty much what I did. Dinner was mostly fish, although I did have a chunk of cheese and some nuts. My blood glucose level only went up to 6.1 two hours after eating (it had started at a very nice 5.9 before dinner). That was about what I would have wished for.

 After just two large whiskies I went to bed at 8pm. At first I wondered if I was fooling myself going to bed so early, but the next think I knew was that it was about 10.45pm, and I had got over a couple of hours of sleep under my belt. Unfortunately things were not very straightforward after that. It seemed I could only sleep in dribs and drabs after that. At 1am, or thereabouts, I actually got up and read some technical news on the internet for half an hour, maybe more. (Fortunately technical news rarely pisses me off).

 For the rest of the night I got 30 minutes sleep here and 20 minutes there. At 6am I gave up trying, and started to get up. By 7am I was washing a shirt and some other stuff. After that was done, and hung up to dry, I started tidying the place up a bit, ready for a visit from Aleemah this morning. The trains were not running to and from London today, and Aleemah had to get the bus from Canada Water to Catford, and I met her in the pub instead of at the station.

 That gave me time to pop into the new Poundland (where the 99p shop used to be) to buy some bleach and some other useful (and useless stuff - why did I need some new cigarette lighters just because like many before them they had LEDs in them ?). I also had time to test two halves of beer before Aleemah arrived. I then had two more halves while Aleemah ate her breakfast, and drunk her coffee. They were all rather nice, but the second two were the best.
                                  beers ?
 I think I have pictured the beers I drank in the correct order from left to right. The curious thing is that the Vienna Red is described as a lager beer. Now lager doesn't have to be pale in colour, although it usually is. Maybe that is not curious at all, but what definitely is curious is how the Yakima and the Vienna Red looked to be identically coloured, and tested amazingly similar. I suspect a mix up with the barrels ! I'm not sure if it was best, but the Trooper 666 was very nice. It is one of the beers produced for Iron Maiden (the heavy rock band) - and that seems a fine reason to drink it in my opinion !

 The only other significant thing about going out to join Aleemah in the pub was that I wore another pair of jeans from my "I wonder if I'll ever be able to get back in them ever again" pile of jeans. They were a snug fit, but seemed perfectly comfortable. The only fault I could find with them is that the pockets are a bit small when you try and stuff in a wallet, an Oyster card in it's plastic wallet, a 60+ Oyster card in it's own plastic wallet, and a handkerchief all in one pocket.

 Later today I face a difficult decision. I do and don't want to go to a gig tonight. It may be that if I don't have a snooze soon I may be too tired, but my decision hangs on more than that. Chain are playing in The Chatterton Arms in Bromley tonight. It is fairly easy to get to (and get home from), and usually it is a fairly nice pub to be in. The trouble is that Chain can begin to play until some bloody rugby match has finished. Maybe people will be watching it on the TVs in the pub. It is possible that the gig won't start until 10pm, and it is even possible it could be later than that ! I could die of boredom waiting for the gig to start.

 There is also a gig going on in The H.G. Wells Centre in Bromley. That is supposed to start at 8pm - much more civilised. I'm not a great fan of the performers, but they are OK, and it is possible that it could be lightly attended because I think there is something else going on elsewhere that many people who would normally gravitate to the HG Well will be going to. That would make photography easier (assuming there is some decent lighting). In theory I could spend an hour or two there, and go on to The Chatterton Arms. The only fly in the ointment is that I am not sure if I really want to go out at all tonight.
Friday 18th March 2016
08:00 GMT

It was certainly sunny for much of yesterday, and the temperature ended up somewhere near the 10° C that was forecast. It may have even made 11° C for a while. That extra temperature was certainly noticeable when I left work, but I was still happy I had my winter coat on. It wasn't all that long after sunset, maybe an hour, before the temperature had dropped to just 7° C. Fortunately it didn't fall to much further overnight thanks to a thick blanket of cloud to keep the heat in. It was just under 4° C on this overcast morning. Unless the forecast has been changed recently it is forecast to be grey all day, and the temperature will struggle to reach 7° C. There is the chance of some drizzle today, but I think they said that is more likely to the west (or was it east ?). The worst thing is that the weekend will very likely be very similar !

 Talking of the weekend - it's been mucked up already !
no trains this
 I took this picture of the monitor on platform A of Waterloo station the night before last, but forgot to show it yesterday. I don't think I had any plans to go into town this weekend, but if I did there are ways and means. Trains from Catford Bridge will be terminating at New Cross. From there I think The London Overground service is running to Canada Water, and from there you can get the Jubilee line to London Bridge and Waterloo. Trains from Catford station are probably running to Blackfriars as usual.

 Yesterday I had an extended train journey to meet up with the Thursday drinkers in The Shortlands Tavern. It's now a familiar route - Earlsfield to Clapham Junction - Clapham Junction to Denmark Hill, and Denmark Hill to Shortlands station. Simple really, but still a pain in the backside ! I was considering having just one pint, and trying to make it last, but that was a stupid idea. I did manage to just have two pints before getting the train home again (direct Shortlands to Catford station).
                              Overground train at Clapham Junction
 This picture is technically all wrong, but I sort of like it. It shows everything I wanted to show. It is the London Overground train at Clapham Junction station that took me to Denmark Hill yesterday. I hope it is obvious that it was gloriously sunny.
                              station just after sunset
 This was Shortlands station about half an hour after sunset last night. I don't know where the camera managed to find all the blue in the sky from. To my naked eye it looked quite dark grey. By the time I got home, maybe 15 to 20 minutes after this picture was taken it was fully dark.

 Unlike the previous Thursday, two pints did not leave me feeling drunk, although it was still enough to slightly weaken my resolve. I hadn't eaten for a full 24 hours when I arrived back in Catford, and I wanted instant gratification ! I hadn't completely lost my resolve so I only ordered three bits of fried chicken and nothing else. It wasn't quite as satisfying as a bucket of chicken and chips, but was probably a lot better for me ! I did have a zany idea that I might eat nothing else but those three pieces of chicken, but that didn't happen. I also had a large handful of peanuts and walnuts, and then some slices of fairly lean looking smoked Bavarian ham. I didn't bother with checking my blood glucose level last night, or this morning, but I think I probably got away with it. I did weigh myself this morning, and in two days I have either lost 0.1kg, or I didn't really bother to remember the reading down to one decimal place two days ago. I think the latter is more likely.

 I don't think I had a very good night last night. The main problem was my chest. I noted one curious thing when I was laying on my back. Everytime I breathed in there was a click, or pop from the centre of my chest. If I applied very gentle pressure to the centre of my operation scar it stopped. Once upon a time I thought it was my sternum, the bone that runs down the centre of the chest, that I had damaged when I carried some stupidly heavy shopping not that much more than a week after leaving hospital. I was told that was impossible, but maybe it was only unlikely, and I managed to do it. I suppose I could try and demand an X-ray to show what has happened to the bones in my chest, but even if I had a broken sternum I doubt anything would be done about it. I guess I'll just have to live with this discomfort for ever.

 This morning I felt pretty rough when I first got up, but by the time I had showered some of the aches and pains faded into the background. Unfortunately I managed to upset my chest when brushing my hair. Pushing and pulling with my arms above my head is one thing that can often lead to some discomfort, but it is often unavoidable. Now I am at work I feel pretty creaky, and I have a strong desire to lay down and be bloody lazy - probably snooze too, but I guess I had better try and do some work today.

 Tonight and tomorrow poses a problem. There are two gigs on that I want to both go to and not go to. The Spiders are playing tonight in The Swan in West Wickham. I'd like to see them, but I really don't like The Swan. Plus getting out on Friday after a week at work is usually really hard. Tomorrow night Chain are playing in The Chatterton Arms in Bromley. It is an easy venue to get to, and the pub is usually quite pleasant, but there is a problem. There is some sort of Rugby match on Saturday night, and it will be watched in the pub until it finishes. That means Chain will be on late - possibly as late as 10pm, and that's past my bedtime ! As I say, I want to go to both gigs, but I don't want to go to either !
Thursday 17th March 2016
07:52 GMT

 Maybe today will be the day that yesterday was supposed to be. There was some sunshine yesterday afternoon, but it was a bit patchy, and not as strong as I expected. Not only that, but by the time I reached Waterloo on my way home from work the sun had all but disappeared. By the time I arrived in Catford it looked like it was about to pour with rain - it didn't, but there was certainly no sunshine for the rest of the day. I think the temperature did get as high as 9° C yesterday afternoon, but a cold wind blew it all away and it felt very chilly as I made my way home (except on a hot South West Trains train). This morning it was just cold enough for a frost to form, although the air temperature seemed to be slightly higher than 2° C. The reason for the cold temperature is that the sky is completely clear, and unless the weather forecasters are lying again, it is going to be a gloriously sunny day...and today the temperature might hit 11° C. Hopefully the wind will not be too strong and make it feel chilly. Hopefully the forecast tomorrow will either change, or be completely wrong, because cold grey skies are forecast for tomorrow, and Saturday, and Sunday, but next Monday might be less cold and less grey (but still not actually sunny).

 I didn't feel that comfortable at work yesterday. I sometimes felt hungry, and sometimes my chest was mildly sore, and maybe a few other bits ached as well. I still intended to do some sort of extra walking exercise on the way home from work, but it became so dull, miserable, and cold that I went straight home instead. When I got indoors I had a nice surprise. I checked my blood glucose level, and it was 5.2 mmol/l. That was right in the middle of the ideal, or normal range which my doctor keeps blathering about - between 4 and 7.

 I decided not to celebrate, and had another low most things dinner - the core of which was a salami salad - which to be honest was not low in fat, but it should have been low in sugar and other carbohydrates. Maybe it was because when I checked my blood glucose level again, some two and a half hours after eating, it was still 5.2mmol/l. In theory that indicated that my pancreas was working quite well and able to supply enough insulin to quickly deal with any sugars in, for instance, the tomatoes that formed part of the salad.

 I didn't really do anything of note last night except to get into a long, and somewhat boring discussion about faulty washing machines with a friend of mine on the phone. STOP ! I almost forgot something very significant that I did last night. I think it was sometime last year, when I had tried to half heartedly to lose a little weight, that I went through my collection of trousers. I ended up with two piles. One pile was trousers that would fit me easily, and some that I could squeeze in even if they were a little tight for comfort. I kept that pile in my bedroom. The other pile was of trousers that I didn't have a cats chance in hell of even doing up (in many instances I couldn't even make the two ends of the waistband even touch each other). I put those in the spare room, and sort of hoped that one day I might be able to wear them again. Last night I tested them again. There were still quite a few that I couldn't get close to doing up, but two pairs were almost wearable again, and one of those pairs was my red jeans. Those red jeans were always a bit tight, but last night I could do them up, and walk around the room. I didn't dare try to sit down in them, but it was a good indicator that I do seem to be losing more weight again.

 I went to bed at 9pm last night, and as soon as I turned over onto my right side my chest went pop ! It didn't hurt at the time, but it felt quite dramatic. Ultimately it did leave my chest feeling a bit sore, and I had to be careful how I slept. It didn't really make for good sleep, but strangely it does seem that I slept reasonably well after all. I had an assortment of dreams that were interesting, but of no particular significance, and one that was a bit nightmareish. I dreamed that I was living in a small flat in North London, and that I hadn't seen or spoken to anybody for weeks. It was an incredible feeling of isolation such that I have never felt in real life despite often being totally isolated during the Xmas holiday period when work closes for almost a fortnight.

 I know my sleep was getting intermittent as morning approached, but I only really woke up just 5 minutes early. I didn't feel too good when I woke up. All sorts of bits ached to some degree, and my chest felt extra tender. After my shower I got another indicator that I had slept well - although I still don't know how it works. I checked my blood glucose level and during the night my body had found enough sugar from somewhere to raise the level into the bottom of the danger area ! It had doubled overnight, and I hope that it was a misreading. It is possible, though unlikely, that there was some residue of shower gel on my finger, and that residue somehow affected the reading. A slightly more likely possibility, although still stretching it a bit, is that I used a faulty test strip. I have found that there can be small differences in the reading shown by different test strips, but such a large error is unprecedented. I guess my blood glucose level really was that high this morning.

 Hopefully my blood glucose level will have returned to a nice low value by this evening, but I may never know about it. It's Thursday, and Thursday is boozing night. Tonight the venue is The Shortlands Tavern. It is simple to get to, although the actually journey is a bit gutty. I have to get one of TFL's awful Overground trains from Clapham Junction to Denmark Hill station, and then change onto an overcrowded Thameslink train direct to Shortlands station (via Catford station). The problem with this journey is that the Overground train has uncomfortable longitudinal seats, and sits at Clapham Junction for ages before leaving. All the while it is waiting the doors keep bleeping and closing as if we are about to depart, but it is just a timer closing any open door after a minute or two to try and maintain the temperature on board the train (they have both heating and cooling systems). The Thameslink train is tedious because it is crowded, and because it stops at every stop - and there are loads of them - 8 to be exact.  The very worst thing about tonight is that I can only allow myself 2 pints (although 1 pint would be better). Even two, after fasting for almost 24 hours, does get me feeling decidedly wobbly.
Wednesday 16th March 2016
07:44 GMT

 I have no idea where I got the crazy idea that it might be sunny, and 11° C yesterday afternoon. It certainly wasn't ! I don't think there was a glimpse of the sun all day, and it certainly didn't warm up at all...well I guess it did - just a little bit. It almost made 8° C (I think the highest I saw was actually 7.8° C). Oh well, at least it was dry. It is forecast to be dry again today, and there is some reason to hope that this afternoon will be sunny. It's almost sunny right now. There are some gaps in the clouds where I can see blue sky, and if one of those happens to get in the right place then it will be sunny - albeit for as little as a minute or two. The forecast reckons the temperature will climb one whole degree by midday. That will take it from 7° C to 8° C, and then at 2pm the light grey clouds will start to break up to give some sunny periods. An hour after that, if you can believe this level of detail, the clouds will totally clear to give continuous full strength sunshine until sunset. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be very sunny with the temperature going up high enough to be detectable as slightly mild if the wind is not too strong (10° C). I guess this means it will actually snow !

 There were times when I felt quite hungry yesterday, but excepting one small thing, that is about the worst I felt while I was at work. (I am also ignoring the brief pain when I stabbed my finger with the sharp end of a scalpel blade. Such pains have obvious reasons, and so don't count in the long lists of aches and pains.) The one exception was mostly my left foot, but also a little bit from my right foot. The new shoes I was wearing gradually caught up with me. At the end of the day they still didn't nip, pinch, or chafe, but still managed to feel uncomfortable. All the discomfort was on the underside of my foot, and I guess it was a symptom of a hard thin sole on the shoe.

 I still felt that it would not have happened, or at least would not be as bad if it had been a warm day with nice sun warmed pavements to walk on. It was for that reason, maybe helped by a general feeling of feeling not as bad as many nights, that I walked the long way round to home via Lidl. I bought two more pairs of those cheap shoes. I may wear them for short periods, such as going to the shops, but I won't be wearing them to work again until the summer. They could be this years version of the cheap Chinese slip on plimsolls that I enjoyed wearing last summer.

 While I was in Lidl I couldn't resist buying some other stuff. In fact I ended up with quite a heavy bag of stuff to lug home. Some of the weight was a pile of salad ingredients, and some of the weight was a bottle of whisky. (It's always useful to test supermarket "own brand" booze - in the case of Tesco it is nicer than well known brands). One addition to the weight was a tub of herrings in a creamy sauce. This was in addition to the two I had bought on Sunday, and waiting for me in the fridge. It was a bad purchase !

 I made the terrible mistake in thinking that those tubs of herring would be healthy in some way, and I was terribly, terribly wrong. Who would ever believe that fish had to be served in a sauce containing more sugar than full sugar cola ! For someone trying to avoid sugar they were a disaster. The only thing I could do, apart from throwing the tubs away, was to carefully fish out the fish (!) leaving as much sauce behind as I could. I think I almost got away with it.

 When I first got home my blood glucose level was not as low as I hoped, but lower than yesterday. The curious thing was that it actually dropped very slightly two and a half  hours after eating. This morning it was high again, but not as high as many previous mornings. Maybe if I had not eaten that fish it might have been lower still because the rest of my dinner was particularly low in sugar. The worst thing would have been the tomatoes, and the best thing the Little Gem lettuce.

 I think I probably intended to go to bed a bit earlier than I did last night, but I had to stay up a bit to allow at least two hours to pass after eating so I could take another blood glucose reading (as requested by my doctor). It was almost exactly 9pm when I turned out the light, and turned over in bed to go to sleep. As I did that my chest started hurting. It was a worrying hurt because it was a bit more central than usual, but it went away again when I sat up, and didn't seem to return when I tried sleeping on my left side. It was almost like a bit of acid reflux, and maybe it was, but that is more likely to happen when sleeping on the left side, and less when on the right side - the exact opposite of what happened.

 I don't really know if I slept well or not last night. I know I woke up once or twice, and I remember some pretty weird dreams. One dream was very inventive, and it was something that might actually work. The dream started with me leaving work to go out and stretch my legs. I seemed to be working in a house on a village street, but I have no recollection of what was inside the house. At the top of the lane was a field, and through a gap in a tall hedge I could see a machine a bit like a tractor or back hoe.  Mounted on what would be the bucket of a back hoe (bulldozer) were two conical tubes. These produced two vortexes of air that had different coloured smokes added to them. This was being blown into a large air vent on a building so the effectiveness of the ventilation, or chimney system could be checked. The idea being that the two streams of different coloured smoky air would still come out as two distinct streams. It seemed to be quite an imaginative sort of dream.

 This morning was one of those morning where I felt (and feel) both good and bad. Many bits of me seem to be working quite well. It seems a bit early for my reduced dose of Bisoprolol to be working yet, but I imagine that I have a small increase of feeling of energy. This is all spoiled by my chest feeling quite tender. I've had a few twinges from it this morning, but mostly it is just simmering, and waiting to bite at any false move. There is another reason to feel good this morning. It is more in the mind than physical, but it has it's basis in the physical world.

 For the first time since before I went into hospital in 2013 (I think this is true) I weighed myself. My memory is not always reliable, and this is in an area where self delusion rules, but my weight this morning was exactly the same as the figure I am sure I used to enter into the late lamented Cardio Trainer app I used to use to track my long walks, and estimate how many calories I used. The only reason this impacts head on with reality is that my waistline, as judged by my trouser size, has not shrunk back to what it was then - though it does seem to be a lot closer than it was some months ago.

 Bearing in mind that self delusion in this area of thought can throw up all sorts of bullshit, but it is possible there is a real and rational reason for this - even if it does nothing to satisfy vanity issues. It has been said that once all the muscles in the chest have been cut, such as when being opened up for quad heart bypass operations, as happened to me, it can take for ages for the muscles that control the droop/shape/whatever of the gut to recover - if they recover at all ! It sounds like a good excuse as to why I can still only just squeeze into some of the more generously cut trousers that once fitted perfectly. Hopefully, if I carry on eating like I have been recently, or ideally cut out a little more crap still, I'll even get back into my red jeans one day - and I could only just do that at best before.

 Tonight I have no plans apart from a loose sort of idea that it would be good to do a little more exercise in the form of walking on my way home from work. The ultimate goal will be to get back to walking the 2 miles to Wandsworth Common station like I used to, but I don't think I'll be ready for that tonight. Maybe I might get off the train at Ladywell and walk through the park to home, but I reckon the best I will do is to walk via the high street and the shops. (I wonder what I could waste my money on in Cash Generator today ?).
Tuesday 15th March 2016
07:40 GMT

 This morning there is hardly any wind, and even though it is only 3 - 4° C it doesn't feel desperately cold. That is in complete contrast to yesterday. It was gloriously sunny for most of yesterday afternoon, and even though the forecast said not to expect the temperature to be any more than 7° C I was expecting it feel almost pleasant when I went home. Unfortunately there was quite a strong wind, and it felt bloody freezing ! We probably just missed a frost this morning, and that was probably because it became cloudy overnight. It was only light cloud, and that meant that while it was grey this morning, it wasn't that grey. There are signs the cloud is breaking up a bit earlier than expected, but the forecast says we have to go through an hour or so of it getting very grey, almost black, before the clouds break up again to leave a very nice sunny afternoon. It could raise the temperature to 11° C by the time I go home from work. Tomorrow is not looking good. It is supposed to stay dry, but it could be a very grey day, and probably no more than 7° C.

A class 455
                              train enters Earlsfield station
 This picture sets a theme - trains - but is really here to show how bright it was as I waited for my train at Earlsfield station on my way home from work yesterday. The sky was blue, the shadows were deep, and a howling wind forced icy air into every crevice ! Well maybe it wasn't exactly a howling wind the pierced every crevice, but it was damn chilly in it !

 Before I leave work I normally check all then trains are running smoothly. Yesterday there were reports of problems in the Charlton area, and that caused a few cancellations from trains to and from Cannon Street station, but trains from Charing Cross, via Waterloo East, seemed to be running normally - and that included my 16:20 train back to Catford. However, when I got to Waterloo East station some 25 minutes later, I found that my train had been cancelled. It is only 19 minutes until the next one, but it was still a grand annoyance.

 Rather than hang around on a draughty railway station platform I jumped on the 16:05 train to Dartford mere seconds before the doors closed. It was the same train I had got to Lewisham last Thursday. I thought I could get a bus from Lewisham, and maybe get home only slightly later than usual. While I was on the train I checked on the trains at Lewisham using the National Rail app non my phone. It showed that my train should arrive at 16:19. It also showed that a Cannon Street to Hayes train (via Catford Bridge) that I thought was cancelled was running. It was timetabled to arrive at Lewisham at 16:15 - 4 minutes before the train I was on - but it was running about 8 minutes late. That gave me enough time to dash through the subway from platform 4, where my train arrived, to platform 2 where the Hayes train was just arriving. It is a shame that that wasn't the usual timing for the trains because I actually arrived at Catford Bridge station 8 minutes earlier than I normally do. A result I was most happy about.

 I was also reasonably happy about my blood glucose level when I got home. I had fears it would be a bit high after a long weekend of eating inappropriately, but it was 6.2. I want it a fair bit lower than that in the future, but it wasn't bad, and within the normal range. Later on, 2 hours after eating, it had gone up a little higher than I would have liked, and I am not absolutely sure what to blame that on. Tonight I must try a little harder to eat less, and to attempt to try and make sure that what I do eat has less sugar, or carbohydrate in it. That could be tricky for a reason I'll come to soon.

 I felt very uninspired to do anything last night, and if I hadn't found myself absorbed in the 4th segment of the Ringworld series of books by Larry Niven, I might have been in bed and asleep a fair bit earlier. When I did turn over to try and go to sleep it seemed like my chest was going to play up, and ruin my sleep, but while I woke up with my chest feeling sore, I managed to sleep fairly well - at least I think I did.

 This morning was a morning where if I had the choice I would not have come to work....well not straight away. I wasn't specifically in pain, but it felt like I wanted to lie down, and even if I didn't actually sleep, to have a long rest as I acclimatised to the waking world. My chest felt like it was on a hair trigger, my guts felt that way too, and my head felt ready to explode. None of these things came to pass. I could have taken some Ibuprofen before setting out to come to work, but I didn't, and it seems I didn't need to.

 I am still not 100% comfortable, but it's good enough. Another thing that is good enough is, or are, my new shoes - the ones I bought in Lidl on Sunday for £4.99. As I probably mentioned on Sunday, they seemed to be a broad fit, and indeed that is how they feel. They seem to fit well, and during my journey into work they didn't nip, pinch or rub. They do feel a bit stiff, but seems to be wearing off now. The soles seem rather hard and inflexible. That reduces their comfort a bit, but in warmer weather I reckon they could be quite good.

 I think that for £4.99 it might be worth getting a spare pair or two. If I still feel they are comfortable when I go home, and if Lidl have any left, that is what I shall do. Of course this does raise the danger of buying other stuff in Lidl - stuff that may not fit in with my zany idea of what I should be eating (instead of what I would like to eat). It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get some salad, and maybe a couple of apples. Apples can be a powerful source of sugar, particularly the sweeter varieties. So I will have to be very careful, but I could probably do with a bit more fruit and vegetables in my diet. I quite wish I was just trying to lose weight rather than sugar because losing weight seems easier The fact that weight loss usually lowers blood sugar by itself is true, but I am trying to please my doctor and not myself - which is ultimately stupid because it is me who wants to feel better, and not my doctor.
Monday 14th March 2016
07:42 GMT

  I am rather liking this early spring weather we have been having recently. Yesterday's sunshine was rather glorious even if it wasn't warm outside. Today could be a bit of a disappointment. It is grey morning, although I have seen a few thruppenny bit sized blue patches in the grey clouds. The worst aspecct is that there is a very chilly wind blowing. Not only is it making the current 5° C feel colder than it is, but it is also cooling the day down. The forecast says the temperature should have dipped to just 4° C now. Later on it will warm up a tiny bit, but the forecast says 6° C at best. At least it should be a gloriously sunny afternoon. Tomorrow is forecast to be almost warm ! The temperature will hit 11° C, but no sunshine is forecast. It will be mostly light grey, but there could be a few periods when it gets very grey.

 What I wrote yesterday evening really sums up about all I did yesterday. I think I would have liked to do more, but I couldn't raise the enthusiasm yesterday, or indeed on the Saturday and Friday before that. It makes me wonder where I got the enthusiasm from to go out on Saturday. I think two contributing factors are that I ate far too much over the long weekend. It wasn't excessive "excessive", but definitely more than I am trying to eat at the moment. It is even possible that it was less than I would typically eat when I am only trying to be a bit careful with what I eat. It was certainly enough to give me some periods of feeling a bit bloated. Oddly enough, I didn't feel bloated this morning. I guess that after a little eating frenzy yesterday morning I was a lot more careful about what I ate (and how much of it). If I had not gone to Lidl (or any other supermarket) I would not have had that eating frenzy, and it is possible that I might have ate a bit more sensibly.

 The other thing that is holding me back...or at least I think it the dosage of one of my blood pressure drugs. It is true that when I am trying to achieve a blood pressure that my doctor very grudgingly approves of, a 7.5mg dose of Bisoprolol does help. Unfortunately, when I am not being bothered by doctors, and I can relax, my blood pressure tends to be a bit lower. That seems to produce two effects. One is a useful indicator that my blood pressure is low, and it is that my feet and ankles swell. I have been having that a lot recently. The other effect is that walking seems harder, and I am getting that a lot recently. Compared to how it was, it is only a small change, but it still decreases my pleasure. The answer is to start ommiting the 2.5mg tablet, and just take the 5mg tablet - that was the reason why I asked the doctor to prescribe the two tablets instead of the single 7.5mg tablet. Rather amazingly she agreed, and said it was a good idea.

 One thing I have suffered from less recently is any long lasting, nasty pains from my twisted ribs (or whatever). I still get the occasional painful twinge, but they have all been very short lived - often just lasting for a matter of seconds. However, I can still feel a lot of tenderness there, and I try to take care not to provoke it. I also still get almost persistent very low level aches from my chest. These are often caused by posture, and posture definitely includes how I lie in bed. Last night I found it difficult to get comfy in bed. I think there was some sort of conflict between the best position for my chest, and the best position for a few aching muscles after some of the more physical stuff I did over the weekend - such as clearing up bits of my garden.

 So I didn't sleep terribly well last night. I think I got enough sleep in total, but it was a close run thing, and I will have to try and think very positive not to feel tired today. Other than that, I feel almost OK this morning. However I am reminded of something I read in the book I finished reading last night. The book was written by Sci Fi author Larry Niven, and he wrote the book when he was 58 years old. I feel sure that what one of the characters in the book said was written from Larry Niven's own personal experience - "If you can wake up in the morning with nothing hurting anywhere, it's a sign that you have died in the night". So true, so true !

 I am trying to think if I have any plans for tonight. I think the answer is mostly no, but one idea keeps wafting through my mind. Maybe today it will catch on something, and I'll do it....but probably not. It will, or should be, sunny when I leave work. Although it will be rather cool, that sunshine may be enough to get me to do something I haven't done since before I started suffering angina, and ended up in hospital in 2013. That something is to walk to Wandsworth Common station. On the plus side it would obviously be a good healthy thing to do, and I am wearing comfortable shoes today. On the negative side is that it is an uphill walk for half of the 2 mile walk. I think I have just put myself from doing it !
Sunday 13th March 2016
16:38 GMT

  There is no doubt about it, yesterday was a rather splendid early spring like day. After a slightly murky start it turned gloriously sunny - and that sun felt very warm. It is a shame that it only warmed the air up to 10 or maybe 11° C. Once the sun had set it got misty. Around these parts the mist was only thick enough to give a sort of halo effect around street and car lights without significantly reducing visibility. Today has been almost a re-run of yesterday. The main difference is that it is a couple of degrees cooler outside. It's about the same indoors though. Sunlight streaming through my south facing windows is making my front room, and bedroom very comfortable with no additional heating. I have very little faith in the two day old forecast for tomorrow, but if it is right it will mean that tomorrow will be similar to today, except that the highest temperature will only be a rather cool feeling 7° C.

 It did seem like I was going to waste the sunny weather yesterday. When it came down to it, I just was not in the right frame of mind to go out exploring. I didn't waste it entirely though. I have a vague recollection from last year that I wrote about doing some clearing up in the garden, and saying that it was only a half hearted effort, but it should make it easier to do something better this year. Assuming that wasn't just fantasy, then it seems to be true. I think I did some weeding last weekend, but I don't think I seem to have written about it. On that occasion I pulled up all the weeds in a patch about 2 yards by 1 yard. Yesterday I did a little more than that - although the two jobs are not that comparable. Yesterday's weeds were deeper set, and harder to pull out. I also used the rake to rake up more weeds and debris into a pile to collect and bin the next time. While doing that I made a tiny bit of progress in levelling what was once, and maybe again, the lawn.

 One problem with my garden is that many years of foxes using my garden for the entrances, and spoil heap, for their digging under next doors garden, is that there are, or were several lumpy heaps of soil. Another unusual aspect of my garden is that there is a huge layer of old cat litter mixed with soil. Back in the past, when I had cats, tipping out the occasional unpleasant litter tray onto the garden didn't seem to be a problem, but I did it more and more until I realised that the soil out there had changed markedly. If I ever return that area to grass it is going to be well drained grass !

 One last thing I did was to spray weedkiller onto the ivy that is taking over the fence. It looks OK, but is quite destructive, and I don't think next door would approve of it taking over their garden. I have no idea where it originally came from, but I think it escaped from the garden behind mine. With that last job done I came back inside feeling like I had done enough hard work for the day. I did wonder if it was wise doing it on the same day that I wanted to go out in the evening.

 When the evening eventually came around, and it was time to go out, I was still wondering just how I would feel after that "gardening". I was particularly concerned about how my chest would feel after all the pushing, pulling and bending over. In fact it turned out that it was hardly affected at all. It was both nice and nasty to go out last night. It felt very unnatural to be going out at the same time that on other nights I would be getting ready to go to bed, but once I got moving I almost enjoyed it. The mistiness added a certain charm to the journey to the pub, as well as te journey home again.

 The pub was The British Oak on the far side of Blackheath, almost in Charlton, and it was a Chain gig. It is generally a nice friendly pub, but it suffers from one big problem from my point of view. It is always so terribly dark in there. It made photography particularly difficult. Rather than waste most shots I resorted to using flash - something I usually avoid now. I started off using my DSLR camera, but later on I gave my little pocket sized Canon Powershot SX210 a go. Under those conditions it was no worse, and probably slightly better.
Jo Corteen and
                              her pink guitar
Jo Corteen and her pink guitar.
Chain at The British Oak
The whole band against the backdrop of dark wood panelling that seems to suck all the light out of the room leaving it rather gloomy.

 The two pictures above can also be seen in (grainy) high resolution alongside 16 more at -

 I'm not sure what time the gig finished last night. In the past it has been a little after 11pm, but I suspect it went on a little longer than that. I left a few minutes before 11pm, and I had an almost pleasant journey home. I had to wait no more than 5 or 6 minutes for a bus. It was a different bus to the one I got there on, and it takes a different route back to Catford. I think it is a slightly longer route, but that could be just my imagination. Towards the end of it I was getting a little keen to get home to empty my bladder, but only a little keen. I was concerned that I might become very keen to get to a toilet. We had a late night nutter on the bus who didn't seem to know where he was going, or where he wanted to go. I can only imagine what was going on out of sight of me downstairs. I think he was ringing the bell to get off at each stop, and then changing his mind. A couple of people raised there voices in protest at one point, and I had visions of the bus driver stopping to call for police assistance or something.

 Fortunately nothing happened apart from a few minutes wasted when we called at unwanted request stops, and I was not so uncomfortable that I couldn't be very naughty and buy some fried chicken on the way home. I wasn't completely naught because I opted for just chicken  and no chips. So although it was bad, it wasn't a disaster. Plus of course it was most welcome to have some hot food when I got in. I had deliberately not eaten anything for several hours before going out. So I was feeling quite peckish, and with just a light coat on I was beginning to feel the cold night air.

 I may have left the pub early, but it was till almost 1am when I went to bed this morning. That made sleeping rather easy, although I wish I could have slept another hour or two this morning. I feel I ought to get to bed fairly early tonight so I am not excessively tired at work tomorrow. I could, and to a lesser extent, I still can feel the effects of my weeding/gardening yesterday, but overall I didn't, and don't feel that bad today.

 There were some transport options today if I wanted to go out, but those options were either buses, or services from Catford Station. Catford Bridge station had no service at all today except for replacement buses as far as Lewisham. From Lewisham, that I can get to using half a dozen different buses, I could either have got a train as far as New Cross, or to Victoria. Neither destination seemed very interesting ! Catford had a normal half hourly service to Blackfriars in one direction, and Sevenoaks in the other. I could have probably got to the seaside by starting from Catford station, but I didn't fancy mucking about on Sunday service trains.

 I did end up going out today, but it was only to Lidl - just a fairly brisk 10 minute walk away (perhaps a bit more when carrying shopping back). I went there partly as a break from editing photos, and partly to get a couple of items. Those items where a pack of variety tomatoes, and some Red Sun flavour shower gel. I also bought other stuff including a pair of cheap trainers for £4.99. The thing that attracted me to them is that they looked to have a very broad fitting, and that suits my great big feet very nicely. They certainly seem to fit well, but only time will tell if they are comfortable to walk in. If they are I might be tempted to go back for a few spare pairs if they stil have any left in a few days time.

 Photo editing and Lidl seems to be the only significant things I have done today, and yet I am beginning to feel quite tired. I am now looking forward to putting my feet up for a couple of hours, and then going to bed. Tomorrow see the start of another full week at work. The week after, if I have my dates right, we can look forward to a bank holiday. I can't wait !
Saturday 12th March 2016
09:56 GMT

  The thermometer said that yesterday was between cool and cold, but there was so much sunshine, after some early morning fog had lifted, it actually felt warm. That was particularly so in my south facing front room, and bedroom. With sun pouring through the window I didn't need any heating on during the afternoon. Maybe a lack of wind helped to make the most of the 9° C. That was the highest temperature I saw late in the afternoon. Earlier on it was only 7 or8° C. This morning it has warmed up to 10° C so far, and it may go higher, but without any glorious sunshine it doesn't feel all that good. The forecast warns of fog this morning, but there doesn't seem to be any here. Sometime after 11am the sun is supposed to break through, and although there will be some duller periods, it is supposed to be mostly sunny. By 3 or 4pm the temperature should have risen to 10° C - except it is that already ! Does this mean the afternoon will be even warmer ? Will the sun actually come out today ? Will tomorrow be several degrees cooler with any sunshine confined to late afternoon ? I don't think anyone knows, and that includes the weather forecasters more than most !

 I had grand plans for yesterday, and I didn't achieve any of them. I did achieve quite a few things though. So the day was far from wasted. In theory it should have given me more time to pursue some interesting ideas today. The ultimate grand plan was to go to the seaside, but that got throttled back to going for a long walk around one or more of the parks in the area. I did actually make a start on doing the latter, but I hadn't gone very far when I felt uncomfortable. It felt like I would soon need the toilet. This feeling went away again after a bit, but by that time I had decided I didn't want to go too far away from home. As well as that problem I also seemed to have a little lower back pain. Oddly enough, that went away as well after I had walked a few hundred yards. What I did do was to walk towards Lewisham hospital where I wanted to take some pictures.

water pump
                              outside Lewisham Hospital
close up on makers plate
plaque describing preserved water

 I think the plaque in the third picture says more than I can say about this relic from the past. There are higher resolution versions of these pictures, plus big pictures of the Rushey Green village pump that I showed here in February, right here -

 After photographing the pump I started to walk back towards the centre of Catford. I hadn't formed a new plan at that point, but gradually useful options opened up for me. The first option was to go into Superdrug and buy some Natural Source "Wild Cherry and Nettle" shower gel. My friend Aleemah bough some last Saturday, and claimed she only paid £1 for it. I was charged what was on the shelf price tag - £2.29 ! If only I could have been patient enough it might have eventually turned up in the 99p shop.

 The Sam 99p shop was my next port of call. I picked up a few things in there - including a bottle of Natural Source "Orange and Ginger" shower gel. I hadn't seen that flavour before. It smells rather nice, and of course it was only 99p ! After the 99p shop I went next door to Poundstretcher where I bought two sets of new bathroom mats. In an ideal world I could have washed the old ones, but it was easier to replace them. The old ones did have a few stains, but the worst thing was that they looked so grubby where my black towel had shed black lint all over them. Maybe I could have hoovered it off, but it is not easy hoovering a small mat !

 I tracked that little walk on my mobile phone, and it seems I walked just 1.37 miles. That wasn't much, but in the bright sunshine I was getting quite hot and sweaty in the thick coat I was wearing. I would have been much more comfortable in my lightest jacket. I was obviously home a lot earlier than if I had wandered further afield, and I had to think of useful things to do to make my day off work worthwhile.

 Replacing the mats in the bathroom took a few minutes, and inspired me to do more in the bathroom. I decided that I would wash the dreaded black towel. I knew that it would take an awful lot of effort to wash and rinse it, but I wouldn't have to wring it out so much because I could hang it in the sunshine to dry...well sort of. Unfortunately the sun is not high enough in the sky to shine into my garden, but I hung the towel out there anyway - and it hardly dried at all ! Soon after I had washed the towel I did some more washing. This time it was 5 shirts and some underwear. They dried far quicker on a clothes horse in front of the fan heater on low in the warm front room.

 That washing was the last constructive thing I did yesterday. After that I was either reading, or doing semi destructive things - like eating too much. The worst thing I ate was not the worst because it had lots of sugar or calories in it, but because it wasn't cooked properly. It was a pile of fish fingers, and some of them were really rather rare ! I think it would have been better to have zapped them in the microwave for 5 minutes before transferring them to the mini oven to cook for another 10 minutes, and to crisp up the breadcrumb coating. I don't think those fish fingers gave me anything like food poisoning, but it felt like my stomach reacted badly to them. I had to take some antacid in the middle of the night to calm things down !

 One thing I did last night, because TV seemed boring, was to read some almost three year old stuff about when I came out of hospital. It was a very exciting time for me. Some of the actual days could be boring as I waited to heal, but at the same time it seemed so much was going on - for instance going to a gig just a week after getting out of hospital (which was only a week after my quad heart bypass operation). I don't know if that was madness or not, but it was certainly one of the less mad things I did. During that time I got a huge amount of support from all sorts of people. Jo and Chris were doing my washing, and even volunteered to get shopping for me. Many more people wished me well, and some went out of their way to visit me - in one case well out of her way (300 miles ?), and twice - once in hospital, and once here at home. What I wondered last night was whether I was often too tired (and sometimes in pain) to let those people know just how much I appreciated it. Maybe I appreciate it it even more now.

 I guess I didn't sleep that well last night. As I have already mentioned, I had to get up to take some antacid in the night. I think that was at 4am, and I stayed up for a couple of hours before getting back to some poor sleep. One peculiar thing that happened in my last few hours of sleep is that I couldn't tell if I was asleep or awake, and whether I was dreaming or having olfactory hallucinations. There were several occasions when I smelled strange smells for a second or two. One smell was that of burning cannabis. I guess it was a dream because as soon as I tried to concentrate on it, it went away.

 This morning the lack of sunshine squashed my enthusiasm, but since I started writing some hazy sunshine has started. It seems to be right on time too ! Could the rest of the weather forecast be correct ? I really ought to pull my socks up and take advantage of the sunshine. I had earlier ideas about going to the seaside today, but I think I've left it a bit late in the day for that. There are no direct trains to London from Catford Bridge station today, but maybe I could still get up to London for some photography. The only trouble is that I do not feel particularly enthusiastic about going out at the moment. I think I am saving my energy to go out tonight. Chain are playing in The British Oak pub in Blackheath, and apart from it being appallingly dim in there, it is usually a nice venue.
Friday 11th March 2016
08:45 GMT

  I'm sure the temperature never got as high as 10° C yesterday, but it didn't feel too chilly. There might have been a few more sunny intervals than I expected, but the day was mostly grey. This morning has started with a frost and it is rather foggy too. The forecast says in 15 minutes we will have our first sunny period of the day. Looking out the window suggests that is very unlikely ! Once the fog lifts there is a good chance that it will be sunny, and while the sunshine may sometimes be a bit hazy, and interspersed with grey periods, it should be a mostly bright day. Unfortunately the temperature is not forecast to go higher than 8° C, which is probably very similar to yesterday. The forecast for tomorrow keeps changing every 10 minutes, or so it seems, but the last forecast suggested it would be a degree warmer, but probably with less sunshine. At least it should stay dry...well maybe it will, and maybe it won't. No one knows - especially our illustrious weather forecasters !

 Once again I had a few periods when I felt particularly hungry yesterday, and also once again I didn't seem to suffer from much else - at least I didn't once I took a couple of pain killers mid morning. I'm sure I had a decent sleep yesterday, but during the afternoon there was a time when it seemed I could hardly keep my eyes open. Maybe it was just boredom. I have been doing a task that was once nice and relaxing, but it is now becoming very tedious. Unfortunately I will probably have to continue doing it for most of next week !

 Once I left work I perked up a bit, and maybe I perked up a lot. I really wanted to be lazy and get a bus to the station, but of course there is only a bus in sight when I don't want one ! So I walked to the station as I do most days. When I got to the station the lift was on the ground floor, but when I pressed the button to open the doors the doors didn't open, and the lift went up to the platform. I guess someone up there hit the call button milliseconds before I did. I could have waited, but I thought I would have another go at walking up those hated stairs. The third level of stairs was really hard work, but it wasn't terrible this time, and I was able to continue on to walk the entire length of the platform at a reasonable speed without dying.

 I must have been feeling far more energetic than I would have thought possible, because at Waterloo station I walked up the escalator. I haven't done that in ages, and it seemed rather easy. The next thing I did was rather bold. I had managed to get an earlier train at Earlsfield (a whole 3 minutes earlier), and that meant I faced a 17 minute wait for the 16:20 Hayes train, the train I normally get going home, and the same train that calls at Ladywell station, which was my first destination. An alternative was to get the first train to Lewisham, and walk from Lewisham to The Ladywell Tavern (the pub I incorrectly called The Railway Tavern yesterday).

 The first train was the 16:05 Dartford service, and I only had to wait 2 minutes for that. When I got to Lewisham I did two things. The first was to invent a new description that I think sums up Lewisham very well right now. There is this thing called "integrated transport". It is where the station and the bus stops, taxi ranks, and other means of public transport are all as close to each other as possible. While hideous amounts of building work are going on around Lewisham station the correct term would be dis-integrated transport ! The national rail and Docklands Light Rail stations are still adjacent and linked together, but the bus stops are a good five minute walk away because some idiot has plonked a half finished tower block where the bus stops used to be !

 I'm not sure how far it is from Lewisham station to The Ladywell Tavern, but I reckon it is at least a full mile. I was OK at first, but I found myself feeling quite tired as I approached the pub. I guess fasting for near on 24 hours has that sort of effect. I did stop a couple of times along the way to take a few snaps of a couple of Lewisham landmarks.
Lewisham clock
                              tower - north side
This is the top of the north side of Lewisham clock tower. I thought this would be the only picture I would take of it - there was a bus parked in front of it for ages and ages !
Lewisham Clocktower - north face
Eventually the bus moved, and the traffic parted for a whole second. This is the whole of the north face of the clock tower. It is situated at the north end of the market. Once upon a time it was a couple of hundred yards to the south of here, and it was moved stone by stone to it's present location.
south face of Lewisham clock
This is the south face, and is better lit by the rather grey daylight.
The Lewisham Pyramid
Half a mile (maybe) to the south of the clock tower is this strange pyramidal structure. It is in the middle of a roundabout (which is anything but round !). It replaced another really crap sculpture of a pair of giant sumo wrestlers (are there any other kind) holding up a shipping container. Before that there was no roundabout. My personal choice would have been for a pool with a fountain in it.

It was nice to get to the pub, sit down, and take a swig of beer. I thought I would limit myself to just three pints last night, but after two pints I began to feel the effects of the beer on an empty stomach. That seemed a good time to leave. There are three ways of getting home from The Ladywell Tavern. The first is to get a train one stop back to Catford Bridge (and walk back from there), or I could get a bus, or I could walk home through the park.

 I decided to walk through the park. It was just about dark by then, but the path through the park is well lit, and I found the ambience of the park to be sort of nice. The mist that turned into fog this morning was just starting to form, and it seemed restful on the eyes (or something like that). Considering how knackered I was when I arrived at the pub about 90 minutes earlier, I managed to keep up a good pace as I walked through the park.

 It was very nice to get home again, but it was a bit disappointing to see that just two pints of beer had pushed my blood glucose level up quite a bit. If I had not had the beer my 24 hours fasting, plus all the added exercise I got, should have taken it down to one of my lowest readings for ages - at least that was the hope. My raised blood glucose level didn't seem to dissuade me from eating rather a lot last night. Most of it, but not all, was fairly low calorie/sugar stuff, but I decided I didn't want to know what my blood glucose level was last night - nor this morning.

 I seemed to sleep well again last night, and I feel reasonably good this morning. Maybe my feet feel a little sore this morning, but a change of shoes should look after that. I now face using up a whole day without being tempted to eat until tonight. I am off work, and I think I will be going out soon - but where. Maybe I might just jump on a train and see where I end up, although on second thoughts I could do what I was thinking of for last weekend - some photography around the west end.
Thursday 10th March 2016
08:01 GMT

  The forecast predicted it would rain all day. You would probably assume, as I did, that it meant there was no chance of any sunshine, but yesterday saw several sunny periods, and a lot less rain than expected. There was a little drizzle while I waited for my train at Waterloo East while going home, but it was dry when I arrived back in Catford, and as far as I am aware, it stayed dry all evening and night. Just before sunset the temperature hit 9° C, and that was unexpected too. Today has started off cool, but not freezing, and it is also rather greyer than expected. It was dry in Catford, but here in Earlsfield the puddles suggested a recent shower, and I did feel a few spots of rain hit my face as I walked from the station to work. The rest of the day is forecast to be mostly light grey with a few periods of very dark grey, but also a couple of sunny periods squeezed in somehow. By the end of the afternoon the temperature may hit 10° C, and that heralds what could be a semi decent day tomorrow. It may not be terribly sunny tomorrow (or it might), but it is currently forecast to be bright, and with the temperature probably hitting 11° C.

 I must confess that I felt rather hungry from time to time yesterday, but it wasn't terrible, and it didn't put me off omitting breakfast again this morning. Feeling hungry was probably the worst feeling yesterday. In other respects I felt mostly, but not entirely comfortable - I was still very aware that my chest still felt tender, and I was careful not to provoke it. When I arrived back in Catford after work, it was very tempting to flee straight to the comforts of home, but I decided to stick to my plan and go home the long way around via Cash Generator.

 It was a bit disappointing to see the camera I had my eye on had gone, but I did see a tiny little Sony "Cyber-Shot" camera in the window that was very cheap. So I bought that instead. I have been wanting to try out a Sony camera for some time now. I thought they were supposed  to be rather good, but I am not impressed with the one I have just bought. Maybe I should make allowances for it almost being like a toy camera (although it is not - it's just very compact). Maybe it's worst problem is that it struggles under low light. By my reckoning they should have put less effort (or no effort) into things like face detection, and smile recognition, and more into low light performance.

 The first thing I did when I got home was to test my blood glucose level. I was rather apprehensive about it after pigging out the previous night, but I guess even my pigging out was still done selectively to avoid overt amounts of sugars. The reading I got was comfortably in the normal range - and that did surprise me, although perhaps it shouldn't have done after fasting for almost 24 hours. I think seeing that low(ish) reading made me feel even more hungry, but I resisted the call of food while I played with the new camera.

 Finally, just before the TV news started at 6pm, I had my dinner. Part one was smoked mackerel and salad, and part two was steamed green vegetables with a generous amount of cheese. Unfortunately, most of the steamed vegetables were peas, and they contain quite a lot of natural sugars. So two hours after eating, as ordered by my doctor, I tested my blood glucose level again, and this time it was just over the upper limit of normal. That may sound bad, but as far as I am concerned that is still progress. That progress was reflected in a reading I took straight after waking up this morning. Like all previous occasions it was rather high, but it was almost a whole point lower than it used to be.

 I went to bed last night almost feeling hungry, but the feeling was in my head rather than my belly. Whether that had any bearing on my sleep is currently an unknown, but something meant that I got what seemed to be a rather good sleep last night. I can only remember waking up once in the night, and I can't actually be sure that it wasn't a dream. I guess I do feel better for it this morning. I had no need or desire to take any Ibuprofen because nothing really ached or hurt - well not the usual aches and pains.

 For some reason my feet seem a bit tender this morning - particularly my toes and the joints just behind them. It is hard to describe them as actually painful, but they did contribute to making walking less pleasant than it should be. It am sure it will be a lot nicer when it is warmer, brighter, and when I can start wearing the cheap and cheerful Chinese slip on plimsolls again (but not the versions made in Pakistan - they have the same brand name, and look almost identical, but they are an annoyingly narrower fitting).

 Tonight should be an interesting experiment. It's Thursday, and the Thursday night boozing is taking place in a most easily accessible pub - The Railway Tavern in Ladywell. I don't intend to drink much in there, and I'm not sure if I should be drinking anything after fasting for 24 hours. Oh well, at least it is within staggering distance from home !

 I've took some low light test shots on my new "toy" camera on my way into work this morning. After the best enhancement I can do in five minutes, they look like this -
Old school with
                              great architecture
This is one view of the local primary school set against what should be a pre-sunrise grey sky (which looks slightly blue here). I can't describe it as beautiful, but I am mindful that this is a very elegant bit of architecture that is probably over 100 years old, and still performing it's primary function well. I can't imagine modern concrete schools lasting so long. My old secondary school "Catford Boys" probably lasted less than 50 years before it was demolished.
Catford Bridge station at sunrise
                              on an overcast March morning
This picture, looking north (or towards London) from the overbridge at Catford Bridge station looks sort of muddy. The original image looks both sharp and smeary at the same time. I think most of the smeariness is just noise. Maybe the pictures will be better on a sunny morning.
Nothing happening at Waterloo
                              station today
I thought I had better test the camera at Waterloo station. This would be the normal shot for when something was happening on the concourse, but today there were no promotions going on. This picture turned out better than I expected.
Up the escalators for Waterloo
This sign makes much more sense when seen from ground level, but from the balcony, where I took this snap, it looks like some sad relic from before the balcony was built, and the escalators were at right angles to where they are now.
Wednesday 9th March 2016
08:10 GMT

  Apart from it being only lightly overcast when I went home from work, the weather was pretty much as forecast. It is possible that it was a tiny bit less cold than expected too, although having said that, I did notice my thermometer saying 7° C, and that was what was forecast. By an amazing coincidence it was 7° C this morning too. It was also very wet ! This was not unexpected ! It is now forecast to rain for most of daylight hours today, but there might still be a window when it will stop raining while I go home - or it will piss down ! I have a suspicion that Sod's law will prevail. The current thinking is that tomorrow will be a little drier, but still similar. The sad thing is that Friday is now forecast to be only 8° C, mostly overcast, and with a few showers. I have just booked Friday off work on the basis that it was going to be 11° C, and dry and bright (although probably not actually sunny).

 It was good that the sun was doing it's best to shine as I approached home after work yesterday. It was also good that my blood glucose level was just 6.3 - just about in the "normal" range of 4 to 7 mmols/litre. What was bad was that my doctor gave no praise for getting it in that range. Her excuse for being a miserable old whatnot was that other readings were above that range. So I have to increase my dosage of Metformin to a full 2gm per day, and to try and reduce the amount I eat even further. The latter goal is of my own devising, and not hers. I'll be seeing her again in three weeks time, and by then she will be demanding perfection. It seems she has a one track mind when it comes to my health. She is only interested in my blood glucose level, and had zero interest, or less, when I explained one unusually low reading as being the result of being up most of the night in pain. I once thought that doctors were interested in pain, but evidently not.

 There is good and bad in all this. What I have to do is what I want to do, but do it on my own terms. That is to eat less, and get a bit fitter, and get some wear out of trousers that I have paid good money for, but can't get into right now ! Of course that won't happen right away - and particularly not last night. I went into rebellious mode, and bought some ill advised stuff from Aldi on the way home from the doctors. I shouldn't have done it for one good reason - I have some terrible stuff already bought, and sitting in my cupboard that I could have pigged out on. It was originally my intention to eat the unopened walnut cake, and the couple of chocolate bar type things that sit there gloating at me every time I open the kitchen cupboard.

 I didn't actually eat anything containing added sugar last night, but I did eat quite a few savoury snack type things - including cheese and peanuts. The killer feature was some ready to roast vegetables (mostly carrots, parsnips, new potatoes and a few bits of onion) and some reduced fat pork sausages. I felt very full after eating that lot, and the feeling persisted when I went to bed. Once digested, those carrots, parsnips and potatoes would release quite a lot of sugar, and in theory my blood glucose level should be very high this morning. I haven't tested it, but it feels like it is not that high. I don't seem to have any of the classic symptoms of thirst, sweating and peeing a lot. Although having said that, I do seem to be feeling a bit thirsty now, but there could be a different reason for that.

 One of the strange things about last night was that I watched some TV (mostly old editions of QI on Dave), and I thought I had stayed up quite late, but I was actually in bed by 9pm (by a few seconds), and despite feeling stuffed, I seemed to fall asleep very easily (maybe the couple of large whiskies I had helped). I slept really well, or so it seemed, until about 2am when I woke up, and didn't feel like I would be able to go to sleep again. I don't like to do it when I have to get up for work at 5am, but I got up at 2am for half an hour or so before going back to bed. After a while I fell asleep again, but it wasn't very good sleep.

 This morning I probably feel no worse, and no better than recent mornings. Maybe I could grudgingly admit that it did cross my mind that walking seemed slightly more fluid than yesterday, or the day before, but there wasn't much in it. This morning I had an excellent opportunity to try the new hooded coat I bought last Sunday. It was not quite as warm as I expected, but it was OK on this 7° C morning. It certainly kept me dry, and it was a comfortable fit. My only complaint about it would be that there is no inside pocket to slip a newspaper in, and the outside pockets are a bit small. Other than that, I am happy with it.

 I decided that after last night I probably didn't need to eat for a week. I will definitely eat tonight, but I will try to keep to the least I can manage. This morning I am definitely going without food. It was one of my ambitions to cut down my morning salad from two bowls to one bowl, and then to nothing. I didn't expect to do it so early in the year, but I am doing it today. That gave me the opportunity to pop into the new Tesco, who don't sell the nice ready prepared salads that Sainsbury's sell, but still sell Diet Coke - at rip off prices ! The staff are evidently well trained in there - I had to show the girl at the checkout that a Clubcard Plus card needs to be swiped using the slot at the side of the till that she had never noticed before. In theory I should have been able to pay on my Clubcard Plus, but for whatever reason it didn't work (but I did get the points).
                              Sainsbury and Tesco price of Diet Coke
 I have ringed the relevant bits of these two till receipts. Sainsbury's are currently selling a 500ml bottle of Diet Coke for an appalling £1.29, but if you buy two they knock off 58p, and you pay £2. Tesco sell Diet Coke for an eye watering £1.31 for a 500ml bottle, and offer no discount ! Guess who will be getting my business in Earlsfield for the foreseeable future. (Hint: they also sell nice ready made salads !).

 I've already said my prime directive for tonight is to eat as little as possible. About the only other thing I think I'll be doing tonight is taking the long route home. I think I'll walk to the high street instead of straight home when I get back to Catford Bridge station. I am curious about a camera I saw going rather cheaply in Cash Generators. It is rather curious. Two web sites, including Amazon, seem to give it glowing reviews, but a third website reckons it is totally useless. When I last saw the camera (on Saturday) it suggested the recommended retail price was something like £50, and they were selling it for £35. I can't seem to find anyone selling it for £50 now, or indeed anyone selling it at all, but historically it was on sale for between £90 and £120. It is a "bridge camera" (somewhere between a pocket snapper and a DSLR camera), and it's specs seem fairly good. It has quite a good zoom range and a fairly high resolution sensor. It is smaller than most bridge camera, and is apparently quite light. I think if it is still there I may be very tempted to add it to my collection of camera. I can think of times when it might be handy to have a very cheap, but semi decent camera that might get damaged - perhaps on a sandy beach or something.
Tuesday 8th March 2016
08:15 GMT

  Maybe I was a little too optimistic when I hoped that the merest hint in the forecast would mean that I would go home from work in sunshine. The reality turned out to be lightly overcast, but there were a few brighter moments after I got home from work. I think the temperature only reached 6° C yesterday. By this morning it had dropped enough for a frost. After a medium overcast morning, and probably a heavily overcast afternoon, the temperature will probably hit 7° C as the first hints of some warmer, but very soggy air approach us. It should stay dry today, but from about midnight it will pour, and pour, and pour with rain. I am trying to work out if it being a couple of degrees warmer is any sort of compensation for the entire day being a washout !

 It's hardly news that I had a few twinges of pain in my chest yesterday, but maybe they were milder and less frequent than, say, the day before. I was still slightly wary about carrying a moderately heavy bag or two of shopping from Iceland on my way home from work, but it didn't cause any problems at all - and on this occasion it was two bags. The majority of one bag was a three litre bottle of Diet Coke, but I did seem to buy more than usual yesterday.

 Before I could tuck into anything I bought I used what turned out to be my second to last blood glucose test strip (I thought I had three left). I was quite pleased to see that my blood glucose level was with the "normal" range, although it was on the upper limits of it. Then it was time to have some dinner. Most of my dinner was oven cooked, marinaded cod. The breakdown of it's food values suggest it was low in most things that matter. i.e. Calories and sugar. I did have a few other things beside the marinated cod, but none of them should have affected my blood glucose level to any great extent, and I am hoping my blood glucose level will be even lower when I get home after work today. With luck that will keep my doctor happy when I see her at 7.30pm.

 I spent a bit of yesterday evening playing with a new toy. It was a 16GB Toshiba Flashair. It is a 16GB SD memory card with a built in WiFi point, and web server. The idea is that you can put it in a camera, and then download the pictures on it over a WiFi link - which was a little less than I was expecting. During my research on how to set it up without having to use the Windows configuration application, I came across a few forums, and the like, that suggest that they are quite frequently used in medical devices, and other things where remote download of data is useful. Although I was going to use it in one of my camera, I am not so sure I will now. While it is could have it's uses, I am a bit concerned about it's power consumption. It does run slightly warm, and that suggests it will be eating up the camera battery.  The one saving grace may be that I am sure one of my cameras mentions WiFi in it's menu somewhere, and if that gives the option of turning off the WiFi until it is needed then it may make it a better proposition.

 I didn't feel at all sleepy when I got into bed, and it felt like quite a bit of time passed before I fell asleep. I guess in reality it wasn't that long. I slept well until 3am, and less well after that until my alarm woke me at 5am. I think on this occasion my sleep was helped by me accidently leaving the heater on full blast all night. With the temperature down at zero this morning it probably wasn't such a bad idea after all. It was certainly nice and cosy when I got up, but surprisingly enough I didn't seem to feel too hot when I was in bed - although I think at least my last hour of sleep was with the duvet half off me.

 I felt sort of good in a mental sense this morning, but less so in a physical sense. Leaning over the sink when brushing my teeth created some discomfort across my chest, but leaning over the bath to wash my hair didn't for some reason. By the time I had washed and conditioned my hair, and showered the rest of me, I thought it might not be a bad idea to take a couple of Ibuprofen tablets to damp down a few tense bits of my chest. I am sure that made for a more comfortable journey to work - and this morning it needed to be more comfortable than most mornings....
the 06:33 was
 I like the way they had a firm idea why the train was cancelled - NOT ! My guess is that the driver overslept. The solution to this calamity was to still get to the station before 06:30 so I travelled at off-peak rates, and then get the 06:42 Cannon Street train as far as Lewisham station. The last time I did this I hadn't done my research properly, and I had a 15 minute wait for a Charing Cross service (for Waterloo East) from the same platform. Having done my research properly this time I knew that if I made a mad dash down to the subway from platform 1, and then a mad dash up to platform 3 I would only have a three minute wait. That's three minutes from the time I stepped off the first train until the next train leaves the station. Today we were one minute late, and I (and lots of other people) had just two minutes to dash from platform 1 to platform 3. We arrived there just as the Charing Cross service was pulling into the station - that is rather tight timing !

 So this morning, not only did I have a bit of extra exercise rushing about changing trains at Lewisham, but I had to stand all the way from Catford to Lewisham, and from Lewisham to Waterloo East. I can't say I was enamoured with standing all the way, but it didn't seem too bad this morning. The surprising thing is that at the end I was only 10 minutes behind schedule when I arrived in Earlsfield, and that is well within experimental error, and thus totally ignorable !

 There are two possible good and bad outcomes when I see my doctor tonight. The first, which actually isn't a bad outcome, is that she will be satisfied, and not want to see me for 6 months or so. If that is the case then I can have a moment of madness. Whatever the outcome I will take advantage of being close to Aldi, and get some shopping. If I don't have to see the doctor again for months I can allow myself a little celebration, and eat something totally inappropriate - but just the once ! I am still hoping to be able to wear many of my old jeans and shorts in perfect comfort by summer. The bad outcome will be if she want me to give a blood sample. In which case I will have to be careful until I have given it, but there is also a positive aspect to it. I will need to take a day off work to give that blood sample, and it is looking like Friday will be much warmer than recently (at least 11° C, and maybe more). It is also supposed to be dry, although sadly it will probably not be sunny. Nevertheless it might make a good day to go out.
Monday 7th March 2016
08:07 GMT

  Yesterday I said that the forecast for today would probably turn out completely different - and I was right ! It is not going to be a wet soggy day after all. It will stay dry, and this morning will be mostly sunny. At the moment I can see nothing but blue sky from my office window. As midday approaches it is supposed to cloud over, and between 1 and 2pm the clouds could be very thick and dark, but then it should lighten up again. There is apparently a chance that the sun might put in an appearance when I leave work to go home. It's going to be a cold day. The temperature was just 1° C when I walked to the station, and the forecast reckons it will only climb to 6° C, and then only for a few hours in the afternoon. Tomorrow is now forecast to have a similar temperature profile, but it will probably be lightly overcast all day long. Wednesday may well be wet and horrible !

 There was one thing I forgot to mention about Saturday night. I did do more than the nothing that I reported. For a short while I went through a little ritual that I do now and again. The last time was possibly towards the end of last summer when I was beginning to feel a little bit thinner than I had been. after that I put some weight on as the weather became lousy, or uninspiring. On Saturday night I performed the ritual again. It was to try on pairs of trousers (and shorts) that I had grown out of due to my excessive eating caused by lack of smoking. Now there could be heaps of self delusion here, but my opinion was that not only could I get into all the trousers and shorts that I could last year, but they seemed less tight than then. Maybe I was hallucinating, but I thought that some of my pairs of shorts didn't seem to be significantly tighter than when I wore them for some of my long walks in 2011 - 2012. It's a bit of a shame that I don't feel like I have lost much weight at all even if the evidence from these old trousers and shorts suggests my gut has shrunk closer to what it once was when I was feeling fairly fit.

 Last night I took the precaution of having one large whisky a little while before going to bed. I was tempted to have two, but I hoped one was enough, and it seemed it was. I got to sleep fairly easily, and I slept fairly well. I think it was at 4am that I woke up from a dream that was turning unpleasant. I have had several dreams in the last 3 or 4 months where I have been searching for an old girlfriend. I can imagine all sorts of complex psychological reasons why whenever I seem to get close to where I think she may be, I start to feel very claustrophobic. Last night's dream was more about seeking out her sister to see if she had heard any news about the ex-girlfriend. I can't recall actually seeing her, but I found her living in a 3 or 4 story house that had been severely split up into tiny little one bedroom flats. To make more room the staircases, and corridors, were not much wider than the width of my shoulders. I don't think I saw inside the rooms, but I seem to think they were no more than about 4ft by 5ft, and somehow that included a cooking area and a toilet !

 I didn't find it easy to get back to sleep after that dream, but it was less to do with the dream, and more to do with it being so close to when I needed to get up. However, in probably less than it felt like, I did get back to sleep. I was roused by my alarm at 5am, and I woke up feeling a bit good and a bit more bad. I guess that the first impression was that I felt very stiff and creaky. It was only a bit later that I realised that my chest was going to play up a bit. The first rather strong hint was when I started to brush my hair. As I lift my left hand to almost behind my head there was a brief, but strong pain in a muscle (or something) on my left side. After that I felt a sort of thin line of pain right across my chest as I straightened up from brushing my teeth.

 I took some care not to aggravate my chest on the way to work, and on the whole it worked, but I did notice some mild pain every time I breathed a little deeply as I approached work after walking from the station. That was slightly worrying because it had some parallels with the Angina pains I had in 2013. I hope it was just a combination of freezing cold air and a lopsided load from carrying a heavy shoulder bag. Of course the other bothersome thing was that once again I found myself feeling that I could not walk as fast as I like to, and having to breath deeper than I felt I should have for a slightly moderate pace. It makes me wonder if I will ever feel fit again. Hopefully it will get better as the days get warmer, and then I can build on that to slowly get back in shape. I just hope I can manage it before the summer is over !
the land of the
                              midnight sun
 I guess I was in the land of the midnight sun this morning. The clock in the train said it was 00:00 while a blinding glare of sunshine was reflecting off the windows of a building just outside Waterloo station. It was a shame that it was so close to being frosty this morning. It rather took the edge of my personal celebration that this morning was the first morning this year when the sun had officially risen (by just 2 minutes) when my 06:33 train left Catford Bridge station this morning.

UNICEF on the
                              concourse of Waterloo station
 Back inside Waterloo station, UNICEF were trying to raise money on the concourse. When I first arrived they were having a team briefing (top picture), but by the time I had come down from the balcony, and used a cash machine, it looked like they were ready to start hassling people.

 Tonight my most significant plan is to eat as little as I possibly can. I will be using my last three (I think) test strips to do three last blood glucose readings for my doctor when I see her tomorrow night. I'll do one as soon as I get home tonight. Hopefully that will not be too high. Then I'll take one just before I go to bed. That will be a little higher, but if I can avoid eating too much it should still be OK. I'll use the last test strip straight after I get home tomorrow. If I am careful that one could be quite a good reading. Hopefully this will keep the doctor off my back for a good few months, and I can then concentrate on trying to get fit and healthy, or at least feel something like healthy, without having to worry about trying to please my doctor, and her idea of healthy !
Sunday 6th March 2016
17:35 GMT

  It was not very nice yesterday, and it can be summed up by saying it was cold and wet. Of course it wasn't wet all the time - just much of the time - and although 6 or 7° C is not freezing, it sometimes felt as if it were good enough to be. Today saw some nice sunshine this morning, but by mid morning it was just mostly cloudy. Now, as I write this, it looks wet outside. I think it is just some fine drizzle. I haven't been keeping a very good eye on the temperature today, or yesterday for that matter, but I think today has probably been generally about a degree cooler than yesterday. My thermometer currently says it is just 5.6° C. Tomorrow might see the temperature a degree or two higher than today, but the penalty for that is that it is probably going to be very wet. Well, that's what the last forecast I saw said. No doubt tomorrow morning I will be writing something completely different !

 Nothing has happened today - nothing at all ! Hmmm, maybe that is a very slight exaggeration, but only slight. After quite a reasonable night's sleep, I woke up feeling not that wonderful, but I did have a small amount of enthusiasm to go out and give my Fuji HS35 camera a daylight test (several weeks since buying it I have only tested in artificial, and not too bright light at a gig). It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as time passed all the good ideas gradually eroded away.

 It was dazzingly bright when I started some research about the possibility of going to Brighton. I wasn't sure it would be sunny there, or even if it might be raining, but I knew it would be very cold. On this occasion I was prepared to put up with that. Previous research suggested I would only be paying £7 for a return ticket, and so I would not be too put out if I only stayed there for half an hour or so (although I hoped I would be able to stand it for a couple of hours).

 Unfortunately all my research on the National Rail web site suggested that getting to Brighton today could still be comparatively simple, but ever so tedious ! There were no train to and from Blackfriars station today, and so the simplest option was not an option at all. There were trains going to London Bridge today, but the trains from London Bridge to Brighton were departing every half an hour just one minute after the train from Catford Bridge arrived there. Changing train at London Bridge in just one minute would be impossible even for Superman, and I'm not Superman. I definitely didn't want to stand around for almost half an hour waiting for the next train. So I abandoned that route.

 The next alternative was to get a train to Elmers End, and then the tram to East Croydon. Now I don't know how accurately the trams stick to their timetables, but if the Tramlink website is to be believed, there would be a 10 minute wait at Elmers End, which would be just about acceptable, but at least a 20 minute wait at East Croydon - so not really much better than going via London Bridge. I also looked at getting trains to the seaside in Kent. That might have been possible, but much more expensive, and hideous journey times (90 - 120 minutes from Bromley South) for distances not too dissimilar to Brighton (approx 50 minutes from East Croydon). It just wasn't worth it in today's weather.

 My next idea was to walk to Mountsfield Park. It is about a 20 minute walk from here, and as the name hints (I think) it is fairly high up, and a good place to take some pictures looking down on bits of Catford, and if memory serves me well, longer shots into London. I think my disappointment about not going to the seaside started to depress me because the more I thought about it, the less I could be bothered to walk to Mountsfield Park.

 So I throttled down my aspirations and considered just walking through a bit of the park, and then cutting through Lewisham Hospital to come out close to where there is another old village pump on the strip of grass that runs alongside the main road. In the end I couldn't even be bothered to do that - a decision that was definitely helped along by the sun disappearing behind a big cloud, and the day getting dull and horrible.

 At that point I nearly gave up going out at all, but since I had showered, and dressed in outdoor clothes, I decided that if nothing else I would take a quick walk to the shops. I could have gone in the Sam 99p shop, but it was still closed (I think it was closed on Saturday too. Has it closed down ?). So I walked on, past Poundland, and turned left on the high street. I wanted to go in Supedrug to buy a new Original Source shower gel flavour that Aleemah bought yesterday. It was plum and nettle flavour, and it was only £1 ! Unfortunately Superdrug doesn't seem to open on Sundays.

 A little further along the high street is Peacocks, and curiosity diverted me inside. It was probably well rewarded curiosity. I found a reasonable looking hooded waterproof coat in my size for £18. It seems to fit well in most places, but like some other coats I've had in the past it doesn't seem to have much space in the sleeves to allow air to circulate. When I got home and tried it on in my living room, which was nice and warm, I found my right elbow seemed to start sweating almost instantly ! If, as I believe the case will be, it is raining tomorrow morning, I will try it for going to work in. I think it will be pleasantly warm when walking to the station, but if the heat is on full blast on the train, as it often is, I can imagine sweat pouring down my right arm from my elbow. What a weird elbow I have !

 Peacocks was not my last shopping destination. I thought I would go into the new Poundland, the one that was the 99p shop last week,and see what it was like. I was not expecting to find anything that was not in the other branch down the road, but I did find some garden thermometers that I had not seen before. It's hard to say how accurate they are, but I did notice the majority of them had identical readings. That gives some confidence that they may be OK. So I bought one to take to work and compare it with the other very cheap and nasty thermometer that I took there a year or two ago, and that seems to give very optimistic readings. One good thing about the new shop, although I doubt it will stay that way, is that all the £1 DVDs are nicely laid out, and it was easy to spot a possible good one. Many are not worth even £1, but I think the one I bought today may be almost watchable some day.

 I made one more purchase today. I called into the corner shop for two bottles of Diet Coke and a magazine. That brings this story up to date because the only notable thing I have done since then is to read that magazine....oh, I may have eaten too much as well ! Tomorrow I will start the day with just a salad. All I have to do is half starve myself in the evening, then repeat the process on Tuesday, and my blood glucose level may have come down enough to stop a stern lecture from my doctor when I see her after work on Tuesday. Yes, it has been a shame about today, and probably yesterday too - maybe even Friday evening - but somehow I have almost stopped caring. Maybe I've been feeling a bit pissed off. Maybe I am looking forward too much for warm sunny days.
Saturday 5th March 2016
19:51 GMT

  It was nice and sunny until mid afternoon yesterday. After that it started getting a bit cloudy, but it stayed bright, and it stayed dry. Once again it might have been nice if it wasn't so cold. Although having said that, there was little wind, and while 7° C is rather cool, at least it was a lot less vicious than it was a few days ago when it was a lot windier. During the night the clouds thickened, but still the temperature dropped to nearly 1° C. I found it a little strange that the rain that started to fall in the morning fell as rain, and not as sleet, or even snow. On the whole it has been a disappointingly dull, and frequently wet day. None of the rain has been very heavy, but it was still very wet ! It might not have been so bad if the temperature had managed to rise higher than yesterday - quite a bit higher ! Maybe it was a few tenths of a degree higher, but that doesn't count ! Unfortunately it is looking like tomorrow is going to be no warmer than today. In fact the latest forecast says it will probably be at least a degree cooler. Maybe it is some sort of compensation that it will probably stay dry, and that there could be some sunny periods.

 Most, but not all the time, I felt fairly comfortable at work yesterday. I had the occasional twinge from my chest. The worst was probably when I managed to sit down awkwardly. I can't quite seem to work out just exactly how I sat awkwardly, but it happened as I sat down, and I presume I used some unadvised way of doing it. If only I knew how I could avoid doing it in the future ! Possibly worse than all that was that I felt extremely unmotivated...then again I seem to be able to ignore the shame of being the laziest worker ever (or I try to be), and so I guess it wasn't the worst after all !

 It was nice to leave work and head towards home for the weekend. The journey home can only be described as blah - it wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it just was blah ! On the way home I went into Tesco to buy a few bits and pieces. None of it was particularly healthy stuff, but I didn't seem to care. That wasn't really the right attitude when I am due to see my doctor this coming Tuesday, but sometimes, perhaps all the time, pain over rides self control/good intentions. I just hope that the rest I have given my pancreas over the last three weeks has got it running just sufficiently better to make my blood glucose level stay closer to acceptable.

 I only did one thing of significance last night, and that was to have a look at an old Toshiba laptop. It was a possible candidate for my project to transfer my web server to a redundant laptop so I can rescue the heap of dust and straggly wires that is the current server. Sadly, that old Toshiba will probably never be a web server. It is currently running Debian Linux, but only just. It's big problem is that it's motherboard can never support much RAM. It is currently limping along on just 196MB of RAM, and while some say it might be able to take 320MB, it is probably easier to use something else.

 I guess it is just sods law that on a night when it didn't matter how much sleep I got, I almost slept very well ! That is not 100% true. I slept soundly from 9pm, or earlier, until 2am. I felt pretty uncomfortable then. I was too hot and too cold, the bed felt lumpy, and so did the pillow, and while my chest wasn't exactly painful, it didn't feel comfortable. If I had work in the morning I might have laid in bed thrashing around trying to get back to sleep for the rest of the night, but I didn't try and fight it. I got up for about half an hour. When I went back to bed I fell asleep fairly easily, and slept well for a few more hours.

 When I next work up I found that my pillow was wet with sweat, and the duvet and bottom sheet had damp patches too. I could be deluding myself in believing this was because I had managed to wrap myself up in the duvet. It could equally be true that I was suffering from some serious illness....such as bubonic plague, or some sort of brain haemorrhage. By turning the pillows around, and partly kicking off the duvet, I managed to get back to sleep for one more time. I don't think I slept that well, but I may have got an extra hour of some sort of sleep.

 When I finally decided it was time to get up I felt fairly refreshed, but my chest still felt a bit delicate. Just brushing my teeth was enough to cause a very mild twinge, but I seemed to be able to wash my hair, and shower fairly comfortably - but I had to be a bit careful how I swung my arms around (like when I was washing under my arms). I saw Aleemah today, and that meant I had to walk to the station to meet her.  My walking is still not up to the standard that I feel I ought to achieve, but for such a cold grey morning, I felt that the walk to the station seemed a bit more lively than the morning before.
breakfast !
 While Aleemah ate her veggie breakfast in the pub I sampled a half pint of each of the beers in the picture above. They were both rather nice, but I find it difficult to say which was best. Maybe the Cardiff Resin may have had the slight edge...or maybe not..............

 Before we came back here to watch three more episodes from Aleemah's DVD box set of the BBC TV series Tripods (from the 1980s I think) we had a wander around Poundland - The original Poundland shop. The old 99p shop, not to be confused with the Sam 99p shop, is now a Poundland as well, but we didn't go in there, and nor did we go in the Sam 99p shop.

 I bought some of the usual rubbish from Poundland - some cleaning stuff, and a bag of peanuts - but I also bought a few oddities. One oddity was a USB hub. It could have it's uses one day. I also bought a book. It is a reference book explaining pub names - handy, but but hardly rivetting reading ! Maybe the biggest oddity was something in an anonymous clear bag. It had no label to say what it was. At first I thought it was some sort of bib for a runner, but then I noticed a little black object that had fallen out of a little bubble wrap bag. It said pedometer on it, and so I bought it.

 Upon getting it home I discovered the big black object that I had taken for some sort of bib was actually a sort of waterproof bag with some draw strings, and as Aleemah remarked, it looks the sort of thing you might take spare shoes in or something. The little black object is indeed a pedometer. I can't believe it can be very accurate, but you never know. The way it rattles suggests it has a ball bearing in some sort of cage with electrical contacts in it. As you walk, the shock of each foot hitting the ground causes the ball bearing to rattle, and a simple LCD counter counts how many times it happens. I suspect more expensive versions have better impact sensors, but they all work on similar principles. I suppose what I will have to do sometime is clip it to my belt, and then walk for 100 paces, and see if the display shows anything close to 100. Even if it does, I am not sure what I would use it for, but it could be a five minute novelty.
Catford Bridge
Catford Bridge station

 It occurred to me while I was waiting for Aleemah's train that I had taken many pictures of, or from the platforms of Catford Bridge station, but few of the main entrance. The main entrance, that goes through the ticket office, is just left of centre of the lower picture. Just visible on the right edge of that picture is the side gate. Once upon a time it was closed most of the time, but now it tends to stay open, and I use it in the morning, and in the evening on a work day.

 Since Aleemah went home I have cooked some sausages, and washed a duvet cover - and that is all I've done ! Well, the only things of note that I've done. I guess the sausages aren't worthy of note if the truth be told, but the duvet cover probably deserves a mention if only because it was probably madness to tackle such a heavy job with my dodgy chest muscles/ligaments/ribs. It was definitely hard work. It may only be a rather thin, lightweight duvet cover, but is sure could hold a lot of heavy water ! Wringing it out to any great deal was impossible, and what was possible was damn hard work ! However it is done, and by now it has probably stopped dripping on a clotheshorse in the bath, but best of all, it didn't seem to do any harm to my chest - although the real test will come when I try to go to sleep later !

 I don't intend to do anything else tonight. There are a couple of gigs I could potentially get to if I were really keen, but I am not. So I'll stay in and plot what I will do tomorrow. If the weather forecast is correct, or I am gullible enough to believe it, it could be bright enough for some outdoor photography - although it is going to be damn cold walking around with no gloves on. When I did that little walk around The Mall etc a few weeks ago, my fingers were in agony in the cold air. Unfortunately I don't think I can operate a camera with gloves on, but I guess I could try. Maybe the sun will lure me out with a camera tomorrow, or maybe I'll just go shopping in Aldi or maybe even Lidl. Time will tell.
Friday 4th March 2016
08:35 GMT

  The forecast said there would be showers last night, but as far as I am aware it stayed dry. The temperature fell to 3 or 4° C by this morning, and that was another indicator that the sky was fairly clear. It is still mostly clear now. I have observed the odd cloud float by, but by and large it is a lovely bright sunny morning, and it should stay that way all day. It still won't be particularly warm - just 7° C at best - but that is rather better than the 1° C that is forecast for tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is also forecast to be quite wet, and although it is not in the forecast (yet), I would not be surprised if we saw a little sleet  or snow in the morning.

 The clear sky meant that it was as good as daylight when I walked to the station. Sunrise was not until after my train had left Catford Bridge station, but the pre-dawn glow was good enough - although the moon was the brightest thing in the sky.
the crescent
                              moon at approx 6.30am March 4th 2016
Catford Bridge station this
It's a shame that my camera decided to overexpose this picture to make the best of the low light - it has bleached all the blue out of the sky. I took this picture just before the 06:33 Charing Cross train came into view in the distance.

 Having the day off work, and being quite productive, seemed to leave me feeling fairly good in all ways except the continuing pains from my twisted rib/ligament/muscle. It was not a bad pain, and most of the time it was just a feeling of tenderness. That feeling good feeling lasted into the evening, and my last use of it was to do one more little bit of housework. I brushed the carpet to get rid of some spilled rice, and other bits of food where I had been eating my dinner in the living room. As far as I am aware I am not currently feeding any little mousy intruders, and I want to keep it that way !

 I had a choice of either Ibuprofen or whisky to help me sleep last night. I couldn't decide which would be best, and so I used both. One or the other seemed to work, and I got quite a reasonable nights sleep last night. I still woke up feeling a bit fragile though. I think it help my chest aches to sleep on my back for some of the night, but it didn't do much for my back. This morning I seem to have some mild back ache to go with my chest ache.

 Both my back ache, and chest ache are mostly mild, and quite often totally ignorable, but I have had a couple of quite painful twinges from my chest this morning. I don't think any pain so far has justified taking more Ibuprofen, but it is on standby if I need it. The other negative thing is that once again I can't seem to get my legs moving as fast as I want to, and every bit of walking I did to get to work felt like a bit of a slog. Well all except when I was walking down platform 2 at Waterloo station to get to the front of the 07:09 train. I found myself walking quite fast then, and I seemed to be doing it with little effort. It should always be like that, and I am unsure why it isn't.

 I don't think I have any plans for tonight except to eat, drink, sleep, and play with old laptops. There is one laptop I have overlooked, and I can't remember why. It is a fairly old Toshiba laptop, and it is old enough to be from an era when Toshiba laptops were very reliable (at least I think they were), and it is also old enough to be quite slow and sluggish. The good thing is that it already has some sort of Linux on it, but I can't recall what it was that I put on it. Tonight I shall find out, and that will be a good guide to what I should try and put on a brand new hard disk that I shall install in it if I decide to use, or try, that laptop.
Thursday 3rd March 2016
17:09 GMT

  There were some showers yesterday, but none of them happened when they were forecast for. There was also rather more sunshine than expected. There might seem to have been potential for yesterday to be an almost nice day, but it was all rather ruined by a very chilling wind. The air temperature may well have hit 7 or 8° C, but it felt like it was barely above zero when standing on a draughty railway station platform !

 I am sure there was originally a weather warning for some sleety snow today. Apparently there was some sleet near the coast either yesterday or today, but it amounted to nothing. Meanwhile, here in Catford, we have had a rather glorious sunny day, and that sunshine seems to have raised the temperature to 9° C as I write this. There has been very little wind today, and in some sheltered places the temperature has been even higher. Just outside my front door is sheltered, and it faces south and catches the sunshine nicely. It felt very pleasantly warm when I opened the front door. Unfortunately the effect only lasts for one whole pace, and then you are at the mercy of the real world, but even in my back garden, which barely sees the sun at this time of years, it didn't feel too bad. Tomorrow is forecast to be very similar to today, but Saturday may start with some sleet, or even snow !

 I'm not sure why I didn't wear a warmer coat to work yesterday. It didn't seem to be that necessary in the morning, but I felt really chilled coming home from work, and I think that contributed to my chest getting quite sore. It didn't seem to make it any worse when I bought some shopping on the way. Neither of the two bags were very full, or seemed to be heavy, but perhaps they didn't help. By the time I had eaten, relaxed a bit, and then tried to get to sleep, my chest was annoyingly sore. It wasn't always painful. In fact I guess it was rarely painful, but it did feel very tender.

 I wouldn't disagree with the idea that a lot of the problem was fear of jarring the tender areas, and potentially causing some really rather severe pain. What the result of the problem was that I got very little sleep last night. The best sleep I got was probably between 3am and 5am. I did get some snatches of sleep before then, but I kept waking up and trying new positions to sleep in. Sleeping on my back was the best position to avoid stressing my chest, but it made my back ache. Turning on my left side would make all my ribs go ping, and that felt uncomfortable. Turning on my right side brought it's own unpleasant feelings. All in all, it was a bit of a disaster.

 It is only with hindsight that I realise I probably could have survived at work on so little sleep, but I didn't want to chance it. So for the second time in a fortnight I phoned work to say I wouldn't be going in. In the interval between my alarm waking me at 5am, and being able to contact work, I did manage to doze off, but I didn't seem to sleep any better than earlier despite seeming to feel a little better.

 I guess you could say that today I have been playing with fire. I've done several things that could easily have made my chest feel a lot worse. Maybe they have, but I have a cunning plan for later. One thing that seemed to irritate my chest the most was simply doing some washing up. It was only a few plates, and a some cutlery, but maybe it was the angle of dangle or something. Doing two lots of hand laundry was taking a chance. Sometimes it seems to stretch the muscles in the right way to lessen the pain, and sometimes it can make it worse. Initially it seems to have done some good, but any bad may not show up until many hours later.

 Probably the most contentious thing I did was some ...I was going to call it gardening, but weeding is probably more apt. I started by sweeping the path again - mainly to stop the moss growing back - but then I decided to pull some weeds out. The ground is very soft at the moment, and they came out easily. I must have cleared an area of at least 4ft by 2ft ! It was enough to loosely fill a dustbin liner.

 I haven't neglected my attempts to get Linux running on the Dell Inspiron 2500 laptop (wrongly quoted as a 5200 yesterday). Last night I tried the DVD drive out of the old Dell laptop I have at work, and it fits and works well. Now I can boot off a Linux CD or DVD, but the several different types of Linux I have tried all crash because they can's seem to identify the parts that Dell have used in the laptop. I am thinking there may not be any easy way around this, and I will have to use a different laptop, but the experiments are keeping me amused for now.

 I now have a decision to make. Do I take yet more Ibuprofen to calm my chest down tonight, or do I have a few extra large whiskies before going to bed ? The latter sounds more fun, but it may not be as effective as the Ibuprofen may be. Of course I could take both, and maybe I will, but I'll go a bit lighter on the whisky if I do. First of all I will have some dinner, and tonight I think it is going to be curry. Even without eating the rice, it is probably going to raise my blood glucose level, but I don't think I care tonight !
Wednesday 2nd March 2016
07:46 GMT

  As the forecast promised, the temperature did indeed rise to 11° C, and for a moment it may even have hit 12° C, but sadly the wind made it feel much cooler. Once the morning rain was out of the way there were some sunny periods, and that was rather nice, but it seemed a bit dull as sunset approached. This morning the sky was clear, and the temperature dropped to 5° C. That wind was still blowing so it felt as if it should have been frosty. I'll let the professionals describe what their guess for the weather will be.
the weather
                              forecast for today - Wed 2nd March 2016
"Bright but chilly to start. The cold feel will be accentuated as winds strengthen through the morning, culminating in a squally band of rain and sleet pushing southeast into the afternoon, perhaps clearing to late sunny spells from the northwest."It seems strange to me that the temperature should suddenly plummet at 1pm, and then recover over the next couple of hours, but if that is what the experts say then it must be right - just like it is raining dry, invisible rain right now !

 Yesterday was yet another day when I felt mostly OK (I think using the word good, as I did yesterday, somewhat overstates how I feel). There were a few times when I started yawning, and it was terribly difficult to keep my eyes open during a meeting yesterday afternoon, but I had no significant aches or pains while I was at work, or on my way home from work. As I think I remarked about yesterday morning, while I was fairly comfortable, I couldn't seem to find the energy or enthusiasm to rush around. All I could do was sustain a steady pace of about 90% of my preferred speed.

 I think I managed to moderate my eating a little better last night, but I am still overdoing it. My sugar consumption is still very low, but my calorie intake is such that I am barely loosing any weight, if indeed I am currently losing any at all. There is the slight difficulty in that I am not actually weighing myself. I am using the fit of my trousers around my waist as my metric of weight gain or loss. It is possible that I have noticed a tiny bit of extra slack in my belt, but it is not much. Of course it is possible that I have reduced other dimensions, but it is trouser size that is most important to me !

 I'm not sure how much I had to force myself to do stuff last night. I think my natural instinct was to lie down and start reading, and maybe dozing off after I had eaten dinner, but I did manage to trim my beard, and to wash my hair before slightly relaxing. At least I think it was a bit relaxing - I was playing with the old Dell Inspiron 5200 laptop that I was hoping to justify it's existence by becoming a low(ish) power, battery backed, new server for these web pages. Unfortunately I don't think I am going to be able to get any up to date version of Linux working on it.

 I tried several methods to get it to boot from either a USB memory stick, or an external DVD drive, but neither would work. My "Smart Boot Manager" floppy disk wouldn't even see the USB ports, and I couldn't persuade the internal CD drive to boot off a PLOP disk. I think I am beginning to understand why I installed Windows 2000 on it the last time I was experimenting on it a few years ago. I still have other possibilities to explore. I have an old Sony Vaio laptop, and that definitely runs Linux, but I am unsure about it's reliability. Sony laptops of that vintage were plagues with poor soldering for some reason. One other possibility is to lug home another old Dell laptop that I have here at work. That is currently running Linux, but it has a dead battery. That wouldn't be a problem in itself, but it will become increasingly useful here as stricter controls of internet access and stuff  come into force. One slight possibility is to see if the new DVD drive I put in it will work on the Dell laptop I have at home. That might be the answer to my problems.

 I wasn't so strict with myself about getting to bed early last night, but I think I was still in bed, and asleep very soon after 9pm (maybe even a tad before 9pm, but I can't really remember). On the whole, I slept quite well, but for some reason I seemed to have a series of dreams that were linked by a common thread, and that thread was chewing gum. I have absolutely no idea why I should dream about chewing gum, but it seems I did. I can only remember one vague snatch of a dream now. In that dream I had some bright green chewing gum, and I wanted to get some red chewing gum. I have no idea why I wanted it, and what I intended to do about it. I might have a vague recollection of saying to someone that I would ask my friend Patricia to bring me some Argentinian chewing gum when she returns from Argentina next time. It's another mystery why I should have thought that Argentinian chewing gum should be any different, or even that there is an Argentinian brand of chewing gum.

 This morning I felt relatively OK again, but for another morning my legs wouldn't seem to work as fast, or as powerfully as I think they ought to be able to do. I am sure it took me 15 - 20 seconds longer to walk to the station, for instance. There were hints that I had managed to eat less last night because one minor discomfort that I noticed while on the train was a feeling of hunger. Now I never know if I am hungry or full a lot of the time. Sometimes I can even think a stomach upset is hunger. sometimes I can even mistake being a bit too full for hunger ! This morning I think it was hunger because my Sainsbury's salad seems to have been enough to stop that empty feeling for now.

 I think I need to do a bit of shopping on the way home tonight. All I really need is some diet coke, and it would probably be safe to buy that from the corner shop, but I reckon I'll end up in either Tesco or Iceland. I had better try and be on my best behaviour if I enter either, and steer clear of all the nice, yummy things ! Apart from shopping and eating dinner, I may either do some laundry and/or I might play with the Sony laptop....or if I remember to take the DVD drive out of the Dell laptop here, I may try and see if it works in the Dell laptop at home......or I may just lay down and try and finish reading my book. In other words I have no idea what I'll be doing tonight - except that it is unlikely to be wildly exciting !
Tuesday 1st March 2016
07:48 GMT

  It was nice to see so much sunshine yesterday, but by the time I left work it had started to cloud over. It was still just about light at 6pm the day before, but yesterday it was almost dark by 5pm. The one saving grace was that the thick clouds kept some heat in. So this morning started almost as warm, if  7° C could ever be called warm, and today will get warmer still, although it may not actually feel warm ! The problem this morning is the wind. It is strong enough to make 7° C feel a good few degrees cooler. The wind is supposed to swing around to come from the west later on. It won't be quite as strong, and it's coming from a warmer direction. The latest forecast says that could push the afternoon temperature up to 12° C (although the earlier forecast of 11° C seems more likely).

In the meantime we have a dull, wet, rainy morning to contend with. I was lucky this morning. It was obvious a fair bit of rain had fallen, but when I stepped out my front door it was so light that it was generally ignorable. The roads of Earlsfield were very wet when I got here, but the rain had completely stopped while I walked from the station to work. Some rain hit the window soon after I arrived here, but it seems to have stopped again. Hopefully the forecast is right when it says it will be a dry afternoon, and it does say that some sheltered spots may even see a glimpse of sunshine ! Tomorrow will see a mix of sun and showers, and it will be back to around 7° C again.

 I assumed that I would be feeling dreadful after my lack of sleep yesterday, but I actually felt OK. In fact it was better than that. There were times when I felt something approaching good for a few moments here and there. I can't really explain that. After I got home from work I did my best to have a slightly light, and sort of semi healthy dinner, and I think I could kid myself that I succeeded. I had two bowls of ready mix salad, and each accompanied some smoked mackerel. One mackerel was piri piri flavoured. I had bought that recently, and was keen to try it. The other mackerel was just plain smoked, and it had been sitting in the fridge for a fair time, and I thought it was about time I used it up. I did have a few other bits and pieces, including a big lump of Edam cheese. So it wasn't all healthy !

 With dinner out of the way, and out of the way fairly early, I decided I ought to make plans to go to bed early even though I didn't seem to feel that sleepy. Prior to going to bed I did two things. The first was to fire up the old laptop I am thinking of using as a low power server. It has it's plus points like the battery still retains some charge. That means it would survive short power cuts (but possibly not for much longer than an hour), but that is about the only plus point. The biggest negative point is that I now recall I couldn't manage to install Linux on it - at least I think that is the case, although it could be the case that I put Windows 2000 on it as a novelty. The biggest problem is that it already has the maximum amount of RAM in it, and that isn't much ! Nevertheless, I'll swap the hard disk in it (so I can keep the good working installation of Windows 2000 on it if that is best that will work on it), and have another go at installing Linux on it. Quite when I do that is an unknown at the moment.

 The other thing I did was to read a few chapters of the book I am currently reading (they are very short chapters - just a couple of pages on average). Then I turned out the light and went to sleep. Last night my pillows and bed felt comfortable, and it was neither too hot or too cold in it. I still didn't seem to feel that tired, but to fall asleep at about 8pm, and to fall asleep so quickly seems to prove otherwise. I have to say I slept rather well last night. I woke up once or twice to have a pee - at least I think I did. It was all a bit dreamlike. Then I woke up at around 4am, and it didn't seem like I would get back to sleep again. The next thing I knew was that my alarm was sounding, and it was time to get up. If it hadn't sounded I might have slept on for another 5 minutes, or another couple of hours - who knows ?

 I don't seem to feel that good this morning, but neither do I feel particularly bad. There was a sort of vague feeling that I seemed to be doing better than I imagined I would as I rushed from Waterloo East to Waterloo mainline station, but it was tainted by the thought that it would be nice to do it even faster, and with no feelings of strain. "Feeling of strain" are not the words I was looking for, but I can't think of better words to describe how it would have felt in one of the periods in the past when I was feeling particularly fit. Maybe it was a lack of feeling that I was hoping for - when it feels no different to the easiest of strolls on level ground on a warm sunny day, and when the only thing you are aware of is sunshine and bird calls...or something like that.

 What is rather peculiar is that now I am at work I don't feel so good as when I was coming to work. Maybe it was because in describing how I didn't feel too bad on the way here, I was searching for all the usual aches, pains, and tiredness, and actually found them ! So it's all in the mind, and what capricious minds we have ! Just writing about yawning had me yawning, and maybe just reading about it will cause a few yawns too !

 I am going to assume that I will feel fit and healthy when I get home (who am I kidding ?). I think I can afford to stay up until 9pm tonight, and that will give me time to trim my beard and wash my hair. If I am feeling very enthusiastic I might even wash a shirt or several. If there is any time or enthusiasm left I may see what I can do about testing Linux on the old Dell Inspiron 5200 laptop that I mentioned earlier.