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

Wednesday 30th November 2016
 16:42 GMT

  It was another nice sunny day yesterday, but the temperature only got up to 5 or 6° C at best, and once the sun set it soon dropped, and dropped, and dropped ! This morning, maybe around 6am, the outside thermometer that is least affected by any heat escaping from my house was saying the temperature was -4.7° C - that's minus 4.7° C ! To make matters more interesting there was a freezing fog or mist too. Eventually the mist lifted, and the sun broke through, but the afternoon temperature only went up to 2 or 3° C. At some time in the night cloud will move in, and stop the temperature falling to negative figures, but the forecast says to only expect it to be 1° C at daybreak tomorrow (at 07:44 - a good quarter of an hour after I get to work !).  It is forecast to be a very dull, and miserable overcast day tomorrow, but at least the temperature will rise to a whole 6° C - which is nothing to celebrate at all. Sunset will be at 15:54, and that is depressingly early.
sunset tonight
This is how the western sky looked 15 - 20 minutes ago. It is quite pretty.

  I can't really remember how I felt at work yesterday. I guess I didn't feel bad enough to be memorable, but on the other hand I was feeling quite distracted wondering if I would see Angela after work, and if I did, what the outcome would be. Well the good news is that I did see Angela. The bad news is that I can't see any way that our relationship can ever recover. It is a case of "love me, love my dog" - except in this case it is "love me, love my son!, and I can't. There are some people whose views are so alien to your own personal views that it is just impossible to not have an aversion to them.

 The most amazing thing is that we parted with a brief hug, and a quick kiss on the lips - and both feeling very, very sad. It almost certainly contributed to me having a very bad night. After a couple of hours sleep I woke up, and hardly slept again. Much of it was because my brain would not switch off. Oddly enough, I wasn't always thinking about Angela, and what I've probably just thrown away, but I guess when I wasn't, it was my brain trying to distract me with all sorts of unrelated thoughts.

 On top of my brain being a bastard, I was also feeling the bed was too hot, and too cold, and too lumpy, and all the other physical attributes that make or break a good sleep. If that wasn't bad enough I had my own physical symptoms. All the tossing and turning was making my chest feel quite sore. It is always a mystery why it is so easy to fall asleep laying on my bed during the day, usually after reading for a bit, and seemingly impossible to do during the night. Sometimes, if I am not careful, I can turn on my side while in bed, and it feels like my whole rib cage goes crunch - and I am going through another phase where it is very prone to doing it.

 Some of those chest pains can be worrisome. None of them have ever come to anything in the last three years, and I've even had an electro cardiogram to check my heart when going through a particular phase of it early last year (or was it in the middle of last year - I've forgotten). Nevertheless, some of those pains do make me think "is this it ?". At the moment I would be inclined to ask not to be resuscitated if one of those pains should ever turn out to be a heart attack. The problem with Angela is one more obvious reason for that, but there are others.

 The world, or maybe just England, depicted in George Orwell's 1984 terrifies me, and it seems that we are moving ever closer to that world of oppression for all but the ruling classes. Just today a new act of parliament was signed into being by the Queen. It basically gives the state the right to snoop on everything you ever do on the internet. They say it is to catch terrorists (which it won't), but everyone with an ounce of intelligence, and who is aware of a little bit of history will know that we are on a deeply slippery slope ending in dictatorship, neighbours spying on neighbours, and children informing on their parents. Imagine a boot stamping on a human face for ever and ever (quote from 1984). You can learn more of this step towards totalitarianism here - many of the comments are well worth a read too.

 There was one other problem I had in the early hours of the morning, and maybe it was psychosomatic. I had growling guts that necessitated several visits to the toilet before I was comfortable again. That was at about 4.30am, and by that time I had lost out on so much sleep that I decided I wouldn't go to work. So once again I turned over and having given in, I actually slept until about 6.20am. I didn't feel all that bad after that bit of sleep, but then again I didn't feel that wonderful either. I certainly didn't fancy exposing my already sore chest to the freezing fog. So I called work and told them I was going sick.

 I should have immediately gone back to bed to try and get more sleep, but for some reason I didn't feel like it at first. Even when I did lay on my bed I didn't think I would get to sleep again. I have had at least one snooze today, but I have also done an awful lot of nothing plus a few useful things. I went to Aldi at just after 9am, and it was relatively peaceful in there - which was nice. When I got back I treated myself to some bacon rolls. I had left the bacon cooking in the oven while I was shopping. They were rather nice, although maybe not the wisest food for an upset stomach.

 I also did a bit of physical activity today. I've washed a sheet and four pillowcases. I doubt it will be before Saturday, but sooner or later I will wash the matching duvet cover, and all my bed linen washing will be completely up to date. The very last bit of activity of note was to go onto Amazon's web site and order another three Robert Heinlein SciFi books. I was hoping that this Xmas holiday period would be much more exciting this year, but it now looks like I'll be spending most of the 10 days off work on my own as usual. So a few books will help pass the time.
Tuesday 29th November 2016
 08:03 GMT

  Yesterday was delightfully sunny - not that I saw much of it. At this time of year, with the sun so low in the sky, and the hours of daylight being so short, there is only a short period of time when the sun is not obscured by the building in front a very chilly
                start to the dayof my office window, but for that 40 - 50 minutes it was rather glorious to be half blinded by the sun. Of course it didn't do much for the temperature. It was probably between 5 and 7° C at it's very best.

 The picture on the left is of my downstairs thermometer. The remote, radio linked, sensor, is probably the least affected by heat leaking from my house, and is probably the most accurate of the three external sensors I have. It's the top left hand number that is significant. At 6:09am it was minus 1.7° C, and that is rather chilly ! There was a good frost on all the cars, although here in Earlsfield it didn't seem quite as frosty at Catford.

 The forecast says that today will be another dry sunny day, but the temperature will peak at no more than 5° C. That will probably be at 3pm. By 4pm the sun will have set, and the temperature will fall. When I get up at 5am tomorrow I could be looking forward to a freezing fog with a temperature of minus 2° C. I can't say I am looking forward to that ! By 9am it could have dropped to minus 3° C. Eventually the mist or fog will lift to reveal a bright sunny day, and the temperature creeping up to just 3° C. If all this does not turn out to be fantasy then the next bit definitely has a hard to believe air about it. The temperature will only dip by about a degree after sunset at 15:55, and then it will start to rise again as relatively warm (but still darn chilly) and wet air moves in. What happens after that is anyone's guess, and I am sure the weather forecasters will come up with lots of different guesses by then.
pigeons shivering in a tree
                  just before sunset
Some pigeons shivering in a tree by Earlsfield station just before sunset yesterday.

 Yesterday was another day when I felt mostly OK apart from mild twinges from my chest. It's not particularly nice, but it seems to feel almost normal now. Maybe I'll be feeling like this, living on an occasional diet of painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory tablets (Ibuprofen) to take the edge off it all, until winter, and probably half of next spring are over. What was even worse was that I didn't meet up with Angela after work yesterday. I have dark feelings about where our relationship is going.

 Instead of going to the pub I went to Poundland - principally to buy some wrapping paper, but I bought other stuff too. What I didn't buy was some new sellotape. I think I have some at home somewhere, but it must be 20 years old now, and not working to peak perfection ! I felt in a rebellious mood last night (because of circumstances) and so I bought a few naughty things. The very naughtiest was a packet of Twix bars. I did regain some degree of self control when I got home, and I only had one finger/bar of those rather nice high sugar chocolate and caramel bars. Fortunately the bars are individually wrapped rather than in pairs as would usually be bought (it's where the name Twix derives from). Maybe the least of the naughties was a packet of Coconut Macaroons (is there any other type ?). They are sweet, but not in the same league as a Twix bar, and I only had two from the packet.

 Besides eating I also watched the 6pm TV news for the first time in ages. It is still as depressing as ever. It seems the new leader of the political party is Eddie Hitler - - although maybe that could be good. On reflection, I think I was concentrating on my dinner rather than the TV. I remember reading more depressing stuff in the paper. There were the usual stories about the current government trying to sell off the NHS to a load of scum bags, and now they are thinking of selling of bits of Network Rail - already notionally a private company running as a not-for-profit organisation, with the government holding a majority stake in it. It seems like it won't be long before large chunks of it are owned by banks and other bum-chums of the Tory party. Meanwhile our wonderful prime minister, Theresa May is doing her best to bring in the most deeply privacy busting snoopers charter, and at the same time repeal any and all laws to do with human rights. Isn't this the prelude to 1984 ?

click here to open Flickr to see these
                        images full size
 I wasn't entirely lazy and depressed last night. I did get around to uploading all the pictures I have selected and edited of the gig at Petts Wood last Saturday. The bands played on Matt's stage-on-the-back-of-an-articulated-lorry-trailer in the car park of The Daylight Inn pub. It was cold, but good fun. Click on the matrix of thumbnail sized images to open up the Flickr photo album page in a new tab or window if you want a closer look. There are 40 pictures in all, and you'll have to scroll down past the pictures of Behind The lens to get down to the pictures of MT Pockets. (I will be adding to this album at some point, and the order may change).

 Last night was yet another night when I should have been able to get to bed nice and early, but I got carried away reading, and it was just gone 9.30pm when I turned out the light.  I fell asleep quite quickly, and as far as I can remember I slept well until 3am. From then on my sleep got very patchy. To my great annoyance it seemed that I was just getting the hang of sleeping again just as it was time to get up.

 I feel relatively OK this morning, although I did take the precaution of taking a couple of Paracetamol for pain relief, and a couple of Ibuprofen to reduce inflammation before I left to come to work. I don't think I've ever done that before, and either it worked, or I didn't need anything this morning. I expected the below zero air to really aggravate my chest, and maybe it would have if I hadn't taken those drugs. On the other hand my chest was not immune to pain. It still felt uncomfortable to be sitting on a cramped train seat.

 I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will see Angela after work tonight, although I do feel very pessimistic about it. I would not be surprised if she declines my offer of a drink, and I end up going straight home (or maybe via Tesco first).
Monday 28th November 2016
 08:36 GMT

  Describing the last few days worth of weather could tax my brain too much is I was to aim for any sort of accuracy. On the other hand it would not be terribly inaccurate to say that the last couple of days have been overcast to one degree or another, and the best daytime temperature has been in the region of 7 - 8° C. Today will be a little different.
the weather forecast for
                  Catford today
 So far today, and admittedly there hasn't been that much of it yet, the forecast is looking to be about right. The sky is mostly clear, and the sun is shining (although it will be some time before it clears the building in front of me, and I'll be able to see it). It is not going to be a warm day, but if the wind stays as light as it was when I came into work, it should not feel too terrible. Tomorrow looks worrying - minus 3° C is going to freeze our nuts off !! Oh well, at least it will be sunny again, or, considering how accurate the forecast can be for so far in the future as tomorrow, it may be sunny again all day.

 It has been an eventful couple of days. I met Angela in The Black Cat after work on Friday, and everything went wrong. I made a comment that was inappropriate at a time when Angela was feeling emotional for other reasons, and it went down like a lead balloon. So we quickly finished our drinks, and went home our own separate ways after agreeing that we would probably see each other at the gig on Saturday night.

 I decided, very wrongly as it turned out, that I would not attempt to contact Angela the next day because I thought she wanted time and space to herself. I got chewed out a lot for making that mistake, and things looked pretty grim. I probably felt almost as unhappy as Angela did. Meanwhile, there were other gigs to go to. There was the Petts Wood Xmas carnival with it's now traditional live music stage. One of the reasons I didn't contact Angela was because she hadn't displayed any enthusiasm for standing around in the cold watching a few good bands play on a temporary stage in the car park of The Daylight Inn. So I didn't invite her to come with me.

 I was feeling fairly rough on Saturday morning, and not just because I was very worried about Angela and my relationship with her. One problem was that I did not sleep well on Friday night. Then my chest was playing up with all sorts of aches here and there, and it seemed that quite a few bits of my body were coming out in sympathy with my chest. Standing around in the cold air didn't seem like the sensible thing to do, but there were two bands I wanted to see, and to photograph. My general inertia meant that I missed the first band completely.

 That first band was The Belles, and in theory they should have been excellent - or even better now I've been getting to know them a bit better. The second band was Behind The Lens. They feature Andy Rogers on vocals. He has done guest vocals with Chain in the past, and fronted The Carlottas for a time before they parted company. I can't say I really liked their stuff, but it was played competently. The third band was Iron Mountain. With a name like that I was expecting heavy metal, but they were actually quite twee ! To be honest I can't really say that I enjoyed their time on the stage - although having said that, they were a million times less agonising than the childrens choir who did a short set on the stage before the offical turn on of the Petts Wood Xmas lights, and the firework display. After the firework display we could get down to business. The headline act was MT Pockets, and as expected, they were really good !
MT Pockets on the big stage
 If anything spoiled MT Pocket's set it was too much smoke from the smoke machine. At times the stage was just one big mass of blue haze. It wasn't always too bad to the naked eye, but my camera complained badly. I still managed to get some great pictures, and I'll be uploading them to Flickr sooner or later. In the picture above, highly skilled guitar player Dan Murphy is on the left. Lost in the smoke at the back is John Sutcliff on drums, and on the right is Mathew Murphy (Dan's younger brother) on bass. Between the three of them they produce a full "in your face" sound that is more Jimi Hendrix than Otis Reading, and yet much of what they play would be officially described as soul and funk songs.

 By the time MT Pockets had finished I was feeling chilled to the bone, and more than ready to go home. I don't know if it was a mistake to get the first train from Petts Wood instead of waiting 9 minutes for the next one. The first train was going to Bromley South. From there I could change to a Thameslink train to Catford, or get a bus to Catford. Unfortunately the train to Catford leaves Bromley South about 5 minutes before the train from Petts Wood arrived there. That would leave a 25 minute wait for the train to Catford. So I got a bus. It certainly arrived in Catford 5 to 10 minutes before the train would, but whether that was quicker than waiting that extra 9 minutes at Petts Wood for a train to Grove Park, and then getting a bus from there is unknown. With hindsight it probably would have been quicker.

 I was cold and hungry when I arrived home, and couldn't wait for some food. I had a small cold snack while I waited 5 minutes for the microwave to zap some "braised beef with mashed potato" - a Tesco ready meal. Once it was cooked I wolfed it down rather faster than was probably good. Worse than that was that I had to go out again soon after to get to The Black Cat to see a gig from Short And Curlies - and hopefully to see Angela. I was not feeling good when I got there. I was suffering from indigestion that seemed to be made worse by pouring Guinness on it. I waited as long as I could for Angela to arrive, but it became obvious that she wasn't coming. So with a heavy stomach, and an even heavier heart, I went home again.

 Once again I didn't sleep that well, and I was up early in the morning feeling a bit restless. I was still feeling rather tired, but I decided to start editing photos. I ended up spending quite a lot of yesterday editing photos. I went through all the pictures I had taken of MT Pockets, and ended up with around 20 good ones to upload to Flickr. Then I went through the huge pile of photos I had taken the previous weekend of The Life Of Brian, and selected/edited enough of them for another photo album. Finally I went through the pictures of Behind The lens, and selected/edited an albums worth of them too. What I have yet to do is to upload these albums to Flickr. I hope I won't have time to do that tonight, and maybe even tomorrow night - it all depends on how I get on with Angela - if I see her tonight.

 Photo editing wasn't all I did yesterday. I took some of my anguish out on a bit of hand laundry too. Apart from a few odds and sods, I washed a small bath towel. That needed an awful lot of manhandling, and I lost count of the amount or rinses it needed to get it almost soap free. I also (and obviously) had something to eat yesterday. After the indigestion the night before I decided to be a bit selective of what and how much I ate....well that was the initial intention. What actually happened was a bit different, and I think guilt came into it somewhere. I didn't actually eat that much yesterday, but at least one thing I did eat was very naughty indeed. It was half a tub of real vanilla ice cream. Apart from that indulgence, my only other big meal was sausages and stuffed vine leaves. I admit it was a bit of a strange combination, and I don't think I'll be doing again, but while the stuffed vine leaves and sausages weren't a great combination, at least they weren't antagonistic of each other.

 On the whole I slept really well last night - but not for long enough. At 4am it was as if I couldn't sleep any more, and by 4.30am I slowly started to get up half an hour before I needed to. I should look at it as being good because it gave me more time to slowly become acclimatised to being awake and sentient. As much as I would have loved to have felt 10 times better, I didn't feel too bad in the great scheme of things this morning. At one point I did a worrying amount of sneezing, but that seemed to be a one off, and just a short while ago I had a tickly throat and I coughed for a bit. It seems that exposure to cold air, perhaps helped by mechanical shocks such as being thrown around on the train, or stumbling all over Earlsfield's cracked and broken paving stones, or maybe just racing down the stairs at Earlsfield station, has left my chest feeling sore again, but as my office warms up even that should get better by some unknown amount.

 Of course my main concern now is whether I get to see Angela tonight, and how we will get on together. The first 15 minutes could be awkward, but the tone of the last time I spoke to her last night suggests that the wounds will heal, and we will get on OK again.
Friday 25th November 2016
 08:21 GMT

  There were supposed to be several long sunny periods yesterday, and I can't recall if there were or weren't. There were certainly some sunny periods, but I have this pessimistic feeling that there was less sunshine than I was hoping for. Other than that, it was dry, and it was cold. it was cold even when it wasn't. 10° C is not in itself cold, but in a keen breeze it can chill the parts other beers can't (or something like that). This morning it was definitely time to put on my gloves. We probably only missed a frost by a couple of degrees. My thermometers suggested an average temperature of just 5° C.
todays weather - probably !
 I think this screenshot of today's weather forecast shows more than I can describe, although I would say that the sky doesn't look as perfectly clear right now as that big sun symbol for 9am seems to suggest - although it's not actually 9am yet. Tomorrow looks passable, but Sunday less so. Monday, although bright is looking like it is going to be really chilly, and I really don't care for next Tuesday when the early morning, or maybe the very late night temperature is going to be minus 1° C !!!!!!!

 I spent far too long at my desk doing very little yesterday. I didn't mind doing very little, but the lack of activity made me feel very creaky. Apart from that I was generally comfortable. I didn't go straight home, or even to Catford after work yesterday. I went to Bromley for the Thursday night drink instead. I must admit that while a few pints of beer, very good beer on this occasion, was very nice, I didn't find myself feeling very keen to travel to Bromley.

 Getting to Bromley is, on paper, quite easy. I get the bus or walk to Earlsfield station. From there I get any Waterloo bound train the one stop to Clapham Junction. I then change trains for a service direct to Victoria. At Victoria there are quite a few services in quick succession that call at Bromley South. The next service when I got there was to Rainham (Kent). It was interesting to me because it goes through Catford station non stop, and it's very rare that I wouldn't want to get off there.

 I got off the train at Bromley South, and it was there that I faced the difficult decision to either wait for a bus, or walk up the hilly high street. the last time I did that I felt quite winded before I got to the pub. Oddly enough I didn't seem to find it anywhere near as hard as last time, although my chest was creaking and popping with odd jarring pains here and there when I arrived at the pub. Maybe it was all worth it because I had three delicious beers while I was there. I had a pint of Fullers HSB, a pint of Fullers ESB, and a pint of Fullers Firecracker. The latter is a spiced winter ale.

 Although I only had three pints it seemed late when I left the pub, and the wind was making it feel quite chilly. While I waited for the bus I found I had an irresistible urge to ignore the 208 bus in favour of waiting an extra minute or two so I could get a 320 bus. The reason was that I wanted to get some food, and I didn't want to have to wait even 5 minutes for the microwave to zap it. The only solution was a fast food takeaway, and that fast food was "southern style" fried chicken and "fries".

 I walked as fast as I could, and I am pretty certain that was a minute bit faster than average, and yet it still felt like a lifetime to walk from the chicken shop to home (5 or 6 minutes in reality). Once I got I quickly changed clothes so I didn't get chicken fat on them, and then tucked into my food - instant gratification, and yet I seem to find fried chicken less and less wonderful lately. Maybe it's guilt, or maybe my tastes are changing. Anyway, I went up to my bedroom feeling full and warm, and that was the intention.

 For the second (or third ?) night running I had the opportunity to try and get to sleep before 9pm, but didn't. Admittedly it couldn't have been much earlier last night, but once again I elected to read a few pages from the book I am currently reading before turning out the light, and falling asleep almost instantly near to 9.30pm. As usual I woke up near 1am, and for a moment I thought I could not get back to sleep again, but while I was thinking and cursing about it I fell asleep anyway. The next time I was was at 4am. After a quick wee I managed to get some very poor sleep for something like half an hour. It was sleep punctuated with loads of dreams - and I still remember a few snatches of a couple of them.

 I have no idea what the first dream I remember was all about. The bit I remember was demonstrating to someone, or maybe just to myself, how a set of scales made of folded paper, and with an offset fulcrum, could measure the weight of a sprinkle of pepper by using a rice grain as the counterweight. The science behind it was solid, but what the greater picture was is a complete mystery now. The second dream was, or was heading to, an erotic dream. The "object of my desire" was a woman who worked in, but looked nothing like the woman who really works in a real shop I know, and the dream shop didn't look anything like the shop she was supposed to work in !  No, I don't understand it either !

 When I finally gave up trying to sleep, and got up, I felt pretty awful - that is the reason I couldn't get back to sleep in the first place. My neck felt stiff, and my head felt painful - like it was over pressurised or something. All that passed as I got used to being an upright ape again, and showered and dressed. By the time I set out to walk to the station I felt tolerably OK, and the walk to the station did nothing worse than make me breath a bit heavier for a minute or so.

 Everything was fine until I sat down on the train to Waterloo East station. With hindsight I realise that the seat I chose to sit on was a bad idea. It was next to where the aisle narrows as the seats change from 2+3 to 2+3. Everytime someone wanted to get past, and there were a lot of them at every stop before Waterloo East, I had to try and make myself narrower or sit on the lap of the man next to me. I obviously chose the former, but every time I tried to squeeze my arms and shoulders in it would hurt my chest. Sometimes I would suffer from some quite unpleasant sharp pains. Now various bits of my chest ache, and past experience suggests they will continue to ache for some time - maybe until late spring !

 I think I have something to look forward to after work, and so I am already impatient for the working day to finish. The plans are not yet finalised, or even definite, but I think I'll be meeting Angela in The Black Cat for a pint or two of Guinness before going back to my place for some food, and possibly to watch a film. An alternative scenario, although I don't think it likely, is that I'll be summoned to go directly to Angela's place to have one of her excellently cooked dinners there. There is a third possibility that I won't be seeing Angela until Saturday night, but that seems unlikely.
the crescent moon this
 This was the moon this morning. The sky was not perfectly clear so there is a little haze around the moon, and the surface looks featureless. Towards the top right of the picture is either a star or planet. My guess would be a planet - maybe Jupiter or Uranus. I think it was too high in the sky to be Venus. That is usually quite low down near the horizon. Maybe Mars could be a possibility.
Thursday 24th November 2016
 08:13 GMT

  I was hoping for a bit of sunshine yesterday, and my hope was rewarded - with about 38 seconds of sunshine. Other than that the weather was remarkably close to how the forecast described it. It was lightly overcast until 1 or 2pm, and then it became heavily overcast for the rest of the day. I can't quite remember when the sun came out, and maybe I am exaggerating a bit. It might have only glowed very brightly through some thin cloud. It was probably around 11am. Like yesterday, it should be in the region of 11° C today. A lot of the day is forecast to be lightly overcast, although I would call it medium to heavy at the moment, but we should be seeing a few long periods of sunshine today. There could be a lot more if the day wasn't so bloody short. From just after sunset the sky should clear completely. Normally that would lead to a huge temperature drop, but it is still supposed to 7° C tomorrow morning. Tomorrow may only be 10° C at it's highest, but all day sunshine is currently forecast.

 I was never 100% free of any discomfort yesterday, but there were times when I came close to it. Probably the worst feeling was shortly before I left work to go home. For some reason I felt intensely hungry. That feeling soon went away once I left work, and started making my way to the station. Walking to the station was more tedious than taxing - which is pretty much how it's always been, although maybe I was starting to breath a little harder than usual.

 I'm not sure if I left work a minute or two earlier than usual, or if I was walking faster, but I arrived up on the platform in time to catch an earlier train - the 15:44 instead of the 15:47 - but only just. I didn't have quite enough time to walk halfway down the platform so I could get on the front half of the train, but I did after breaking into a run. There was no real need to do that. What I would normally do if I couldn't get on the front section of the train would be to get to the front of the rear section, and then jump off at Clapham Junction, and get on the front section there. Yesterday I was feeling good enough to run almost two carriage lengths to make sure I could get on the front half of the train. (Each carriage is 65 feet long).

 I had plenty of time to change trains from Waterloo to Waterloo East. So I didn't have to run up the escalators, but I part walked and part ran just because I could. I was a bit concerned about my train back to Catford Bridge. There was a track fault in the New Cross area that was affecting some trains, but my train ran to time, and I was back in Catford, and home, at my usual time. That gave me time to do three important things.

 The most important was to have some dinner. I didn't realise I did it until I thought about it afterwards, but my dinner was particularly low in obvious carbohydrates - which is good for keeping my blood glucose level lower. I think that was another sign that I thought I was starting to finally feel better after whatever part cold, part 'flu like, malady that started weeks and weeks ago. Another micro triumph (which was not even a triumph really) was to wash and condition my hair. I used some macadamia oil enriched shampoo and conditioner, and it works quite well, but has the terrible disadvantage that is smells like I washed my hair in bubble gum ! Fortunately I have now almost used it all up, and won't have to endure for much longer.

 My third important thing was to make a start editing the best of the best photos I took at the Life Of Brian gig at The Black Cat last Saturday. As well as the usual photos of the band playing, I had been asked if I could do a few special photos that will end up on the bands web site. (They already use quite a few of my pictures). First of all were some shots of the entire band, and then someone had the great idea of getting everybody left in the pub (I think it was after closing time by then) to come up to the stage area for a big picture of band and fans. That was a lot of fun. Credit must go to Dan Murphy for using my camera for the second picture so I could be in the shot (I have no idea who "bullied me" to join the shot !). First of all (left to right) Dave G, Miranda Bell, Paul Gunn and Brian Bath.

Life Of Brian band
Life Of Brian plus fans

 There's too many people to name in the lower photo, but on the far left is Richard who works for the pub, and looks after the bands on Saturday nights. On the far right is Gerry Shirwin - bass player for MT Pockets. I'm in there too - 4th from the right !

 I theory I could have had an early night last night. I thought I probably ought to have one, but I decided I would like to relax a bit before going to sleep by reading a few more pages from my current book - Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. I think I still managed to get to sleep by, or at least very soon after, 9.30pm. An hour earlier might have been nice, but by 4.30am my body had decided I had had enough sleep even if my brain disagreed. As usual, my last 30 - 40 minutes of sleep was punctuated by loads of dreams. 99.9% of the details of those dreams have, as usual, evaporated now, but one fragment remains - although I cannot remember any of the backdrop, nor storyline of the dream. I do remember it involving some sort of boat, possibly a ferry, that was just about a perfect grey metal cube - which doesn't sound very practical in the cold light of day.

 Life wouldn't be life as I know it without something to moan about, and this morning my main moan is about waking up with a sore throat. It is very slightly sore even now, and I presume it is just the latest symptom of my new everlasting cold. I also had a mild headache 30 - 40 minutes ago, but when I stop to analyse it I find that it has faded to almost not there. I guess that means I now feel pretty good. I just wish I could convince myself that I did. I feel I would feel infinitely better if I was sitting in hot sunshine with a pint of Guinness in hand, and something nice and meaty on a plate in front of me.

 Apart from some satsuma style oranges, it is going to be quite a while before I can sit down to anything on a plate in front of me. It's Thursday, and drinking with the Thursday drinkers night. Tonight's venue is The Partridge in Bromley. It's a bugger of a pub to get to from work, but easy to get home from, and there is always the big plus that is ESB. Fuller's Extra Special Bitter is a glorious beer - very strong, very tasty - and it will be hard work to be sensible and not make all of my three pint ration ESBs !
Wednesday 23rd November 2016
 08:12 GMT

  I showed two screenshots of the weather forecast for yesterday, and both were wrong. The first showed a few rain showers with some sunny periods, and the forecast produced a couple of hours later showed no rain, and a lot of sunny periods. It turned out that the first forecast came closest to reality. It had the right ingredients, but the wrong timings. The one thing they had in common, the temperature, was about right. It was in the region of 10 or 11° C, and apparently it will be again today - although not until as late as 8pm ! I'm not sure how much to trust the current forecast for today. It was updated at 07:57 and currently says it will be lightly overcast until a few hours into the afternoon when it will be heavily overcast for 3 or 4 hours. The only trouble is that I can currently see that the clouds are very broken at the moment, and it looks like the sun could break through at any time - fingers crossed ! There might be a couple of hours of sunshine tomorrow if we are very lucky.

  If I recall correctly, I didn't feel too bad at work yesterday. It seems I've had a shift of symptoms. Some bit the previously ached didn't ache yesterday, and some bit that hadn't ached before were mildly aching instead. Maybe I would even go as far as to say there were times when I hardly ached at all anywhere. It was still mostly nice to get out and start walking to the station at home time.

 I did manage to jar my "twisted rib" once while walking - either that or I had a heart attack that lasted 2.74 seconds. My chest remained slightly tender after that, but it gave no trouble when I had to run up the escalator at Waterloo because I had arrived there a few minutes late. Just a few minutes when the time allowed for you connection is also just a few minutes can mean drastic action or face a 12 minute wait for the next train. You might think that 12 minutes is nothing to worry about, but I was meeting Angela and didn't want to be late.

 The final indignity in my effort to catch my usual train was having to run down the long slope to the platform. I made it in time to catch my train, but I had to travel in the rear of the train instead of the front. I found it really odd that the run, even though only a hundred yards or less, and downhill, didn't seem to affect me at all. I had no additional aches or pains, and my breathing rate only went up moderately. It was surprising when I did the same thing once or twice a couple of months back when I was feeling all fit and healthy, but it was astonishing last night after feeling so crap for the last 3 or 4 weeks.
sunset at Earlsfield
 Prior to all that, I took a couple of snaps while I waited for my train at Earlsfield station on the way home. The sun was already very low on the horizon, and darkness fell before my train arrived at Waterloo. I think it was probably just about dark before that when my train was at Vauxhall. It was barely better than twilight when I arrived at work this morning, and it will get worse until the winter solstice in a months time sees the days getting slowly longer. It is quite depressing to think that in precious few days time I'll be leaving work to go home entirely in the dark.
Earlsfield station at
 The top picture was taken on my mobile phone camera, and it's not bad, but the lower picture was taken with my Nikon S6300 pocket sized snapper, and I think it looks a little nicer.....or maybe not. Perhaps a little more contrast would have made it better, but it's hard to tell on my work PC. My work PC uses a Dell E198WFP monitor, and the range of brightness and contrast on it seems very limited. I think I prefer whatever it is I use at home for photo editing.

 After my little run at Waterloo East station I travelled in the smelly part of the train (the rear half !) to Catford Bridge. Then it was full speed ahead to walk down to The Black Cat. I arrived there little more than five minutes before Angela arrived there. Just for a change we drank some Winter Warmer. It is a sort of tragedy that I had two pints of it and never felt any effect at all. I am sure that 20 years ago a couple of pints would have got me feeling rather good ! After those two pints we said our goodbyes, and went home.

 Maybe that Winter Warmer did affect my appetite because I was ravenous - so ravenous that I needed two small hot meals as well as salad and a handful of nuts before I felt satisfied. There was stuff I was going to do last night if I wasn't seeing Angela. Stuff like photo editing, and possibly even washing my hair, but in the end the only thing I did do was to go to bed early. It wasn't very early, but I reckon I was probably fast asleep very soon after 8.30pm.

 On the whole I slept fairly well. I did have a dream that I thought was well worth describing because it was so interesting. Unfortunately all my memories of it seem to have evaporated now - which is a pity because it might, but probably didn't contain the solution to world peace, and universal happiness. This morning whatever ails me has taken on a new turn. I have been coughing a bit this morning, and that directly and indirectly has made my chest feel a little sore. The indirect way was that it has made me feel a little asthmatic when walking fast, and my chest has been working overtime to pull in sufficient air. Of course the major crappiness of this is that my legs seem to be in superb condition this morning, and I wanted to walk far faster than the rest of my body could cope with.

 The odd thing about this morning is that I feel mentally sort of good. Not actually happy, but some strange delusional idea that I may have got to the point where I might slowly, really slowly, start to feel better again. I have no idea why that should be the case,  but it would be rather nice if it were correct. Assuming I get through the working day with minimal discomfort, I shall try and revive my possible plans for last night for tonight. I am definitely not seeing Angela (although I would be happy if I were wrong), and so I ought to be 100% sober when I get home, and be able to rationally divide my time between washing my hair, eating and photo editing (and drinking a couple of glasses of whisky !).
Tuesday 22nd November 2016
 08:17 GMT

  It gets harder and harder to try and work out what the weather will throw at us these days. Yesterday was forecasted fairly accurately 24 hours beforehand, but on the morning of the actual day the forecast was changed, and it was all wrong ! There was far less rain than forecast, and rather sadly a little less sunshine too. The temperature was probably about right - 10 or 11° C in the afternoon. That brings us on to today, and I have taken steps to show the variables involved.
the first attempt at
                  forecasting the weather
 The screenshot above was taken at 5am, and shows the forecast as updated at 04:06. By my reckoning it was a couple of degrees cooler, and the heavy rain shown for 5am and 6am didn't exist (although I did feel a bit of fine misty rain on my first for some of my walk to the station. Soon after I arrived here at work I took another screenshot.
second attempt at predicting
                  the weather today
 This forecast, updated at 07:44, seems closer to reality - which shouldn't have been hard if the forecasters just looked out of the window ! The temperature forecast seems to be almost consistent between the two, and apart from my early morning measurement being a couple of degrees lower, it is probably going to be about right. The big difference is that the latest update shows a much brighter day, and indeed, when I look out my office window I can see patches of blue sky - although I can also see a very big dirty grey cloud too. Maybe that will dump rain on us, or maybe it will blow away. It's hardly worth mentioning the forecast for tomorrow because it is probably pure fantasy, but on the off chance it bears any relation to reality, it could be a dry and light(ish) sort of day, but with little or no real sunshine.

 I am almost getting a feeling for the weather by examining my aches and pains. It may have rained less than the forecast predicted yesterday, but there was still enough to make me ache a lot. With the prospect of today being brighter and drier, my aches and pains faded away in the afternoon - not completely, but I did feel an awful lot more comfortable........Well it was a good theory while it lasted. In the last 60 seconds that dirty grey cloud I just mentioned has indeed decided to dump a load of rain on us. Suddenly the earlier forecast for today is looking more accurate again !

 I felt mostly OK when I left work, and travelled back to Catford. Of course I was on a mission to see Angela, and that may have distracted me from some discomforts. We managed to time our arrival at The Black Cat rather well last night - Angela arrived within two minutes of my arrival there. We had two drinks in the pub before buying some sandwiches in Tesco, and taking them home to eat with a bit more booze.

 We enjoyed each others company for another couple of hours, and then Angela went home a little later than planned - but I can't complain about that even if it didn't leave me much time to have some dinner, and go to bed. I did have an idea that getting to bed early would be nice, but in fact I went to bed nearly an hour late. Maybe that didn't matter because it seems like I got a fairly comfortable nights sleep. My only complaint would be that I woke up far too early again.

 I felt really quite rough when I first got up, and even having a hot shower didn't make me feel any better as it sometimes can. Two things made me feel a lot better, but I am unsure which was the more effective. Those two things were a couple of Paracetamol tablets, and the walk to the station. I suspect it was the latter because I seemed to be feeling a lot better before the paracetamol would have had time to react - I think !

 Now I've been sitting at my desk for an hour or so I begin to feel lousy again. I feel very tired, and amongst other things, my head hurts. Maybe it is just as well as it serves as a reminder to fulfil a promise I made to Angela last night - to make a doctors appointment, and see if this long running malady can be sorted out. Of course the trouble with feeling rough at work is it makes me feel "edgy". So an email I read this morning made me feel either cross or depressed, and I am not sure which...maybe depressed and cross.

 The bulk of the email was to remind all the staff here of the days when the company will be shut down over xmas. For anyone who has worked here for more than a few years it came as no surprise. Including the weekends, and the actual bank holiday days, it means I'll be away from work for a full 10 days. The thing that pissed me off was the emphasised reminder that the last day of work, Friday 23rd December (sort of like Xmas eve) will be a full working day with the emphasis on FULL ! It never has been, and never will be, but I suppose the management feels the need to mention it every year so that there is no mission creep if they officially sanction going home early. I will be quite disappointed if I am not on my way home at least an hour earlier on the day.
cheap Winter Warmer
 Every year, around this time, it is necessary to have a good moan about Youngs Winter Warmer. Many, many years ago - 15, 20, or maybe 25 - time flies when your having fun - Winter Warmer, as brewed in Youngs Wandsworth brewery was a thick, sweet, spicy and high gravity winter ale. It was so strong that a couple of pints would get you merry, and if not merry then at least give you a nice warm feeling when going home on a cold winters night. The first blow came when the bloody government decided to increase the duty on beer. It would have made Winter Warmer so expensive that the brewery decided to water it down to make it cheaper to sell. Every year seemed to make it taste thinner.

 Final blow came when Youngs was taken over by Charles Wells (it was supposed to be a partnership, but.......). The Wandsworth brewery closed down, and production moved to Bedford (or Luton - or somewhere in that general direction). At first they used an old brewer from Wandsworth to attempt to replicate the taste. He did his best but it never worked out. Now it is brewed using a Charles Wells brewer it seems a totally different beer. If I could only put nostalgia aside I could enjoy it for what it is - a dark, slightly stronger than session beer, winter ale - but not Winter Warmer ! The only saving grace is that at £3.40 a pint it is quite reasonably cheap for a Winter Ale.

 Tonight I could have the chance to have a faux Winter Warmer, but if I meet Angela in the pub again I will have my usual Guinness. I hope I will be seeing Angela tonight, but there is an element of doubt. I think there is a good chance that we will meet though. There are things I could do, and should do tonight (like picture editing), but I'd rather see Angela !
Monday 21st November 2016
 08:06 GMT

  It definitely rained during the night, but I am unsure how much. The other thing that happened during the night was that the temperature fell to about 6° C. That made for a very unpleasant start to the day !
Catford Bridge station -
                  cold, wet, dark and horrible this morning
 This was Catford Bridge station at just before 06:31 this morning. The lights of the 06:31 service to Charing Cross (via Waterloo East) can be seen approaching in the distance. It was cold, wet, and bloody miserable !

 The rest of the day is going to be little better...although odd bit will indeed be a little better. The forecast for today has, as usual, changed since I quoted from it later yesterday afternoon. More rain has been added, and it's currently looking as if there will be few times when it is not actually raining today. The bit that is a little better is that it seems that there could be a few sunny spells today, and that may, or may not, be nicer than the only sunny interval shown on the earlier forecast.
how today is currently
 Here's the current forecast for today, and the summary for the next few days. Maybe it is possible that the sun might put in an appearance at 9am, as the forecast suggests, but it doesn't look likely when I look outside my office window. It's only in the last 20 minutes or so that it got light enough to suggest that the sun hasn't actually gone out.  The words accompanying this forecast give very little comfort - "Some dry spells at first, especially for Kent and Sussex, but rain will quickly become widespread, also heavy and locally prolonged. Later some bright intervals may develop, but also thundery showers." I guess we are having a dry spell right now...if that is defined as no rain falling. It certainly doesn't mean that everything outside is not wet, soggy, and deeply puddled - although the latter mainly applies to Earlsfield's terrible, terrible pavements !

 On the whole, I felt pretty horrible yesterday. I felt very tired, but too uncomfortable to sleep. With hindsight I should have wrappped up warm and done some walking rather than trying to lie down. It seemed that the more I tried to rest, the more my chest hurt. Eventually I had to go to bed, and try and get some sleep. I was partly successful - with the aid of some paracetamol, and a couple of large glasses of whisky.

 I did aspire to be in bed by as early as 7.30pm, and indeed I was - but initially it was just to read. At 8pm, or perhaps 10 minutes later, I turned out the light, turned over, and after an eternity (that was probably less than 10 minutes) I fell asleep. Like earlier in the day, I didn't seem to be able to regulate my temperature, and while I didn't get shivery enough to think I had a fever, there were times when I did feel quite cold. Conversely, there were times when I definitely felt hot. With hindsight I do wonder if maybe I did have a bit of mild fever yesterday. It would certainly fit in with how horrible I felt.

 Bits of my sleep were good, and bits were bad. The annoying thing is that I had a great deal of difficulty trying to stay asleep beyond 4am this morning. I can't believe I didn't need every last minute of sleep I could have got last night, but that's the way it turned out. After 30 - 35 minutes of tossing and turning I gave up and got up nearly half an hour earlier than I needed to. I guess it had it's plus points in as much as I didn't have to rush to attend to getting ready to come out to work.

 My chest didn't seem to hurt too much when I first got up this morning, but it was very crunchy. As I reached out to pick up my toothbrush there was a crack from somewhere on the left of my chest, and again when I reached out with the other hand to pick up the tube of toothpaste. There was quite a symphony of cracks and pops as I brushed my hair, and when I sat on the toilet, and applied pressure to my nether regions there were more pops and cracks and grunts from my chest than from my bottom !

 There is only some much of ribs popping in and out of place, or whatever the hell it is going on inside my chest, before it starts to ache, and the cold and the damp just make it worse. I thought it was going to be a quite painful commute into work this morning, but luckily I was wrong. I just had a mildly uncomfortable commute. Maybe the overall cold, wet and general weather misery distracted me from how my chest was feeling.

 Now I am at work my chest still feels moderately OK, but it does feel as if it might be on the edge. Once again I am being distracted from my chest by the discomfort of this room being bloody cold. The heating was left on low over the weekend. So it could have been a lot worse, but I have cooled down a lot faster after my walk from the station than the heater is heating up the room. It is lucky that I put on a long sleeve shirt this morning because my arms are feeling particularly cold as they rest on my cold desk surface. It is making my elbows hurt ! Overall I feel pretty crappy, and I am now missing being in my nice warm bed - even if it was feeling very uncomfortable this morning.

 Oh well, I guess I'll get through the day. It helps that I can look forward to seeing Angela after work. After a pint or two of Guinness, and a nice warm cuddle with Angela, I think I'll be feeling pretty good - at least for a few hours. Only the warm sunshine of late spring will provide a more lasting cure.
Sunday 20th November 2016
 16:40 GMT

  There was some quite heavy rain last night, but it didn't fall continuously, and it didn't continue through to 10am this morning. As the forecast suggested, the rain came in on some slightly warmer air, and it was almost mild last night, maybe around 10° C, and I don't think the temperature started to fall again until about 11am this morning. By this afternoon the temperature was back down to 7° C. I can't recall a single ray of sunshine today. At best it has been mildly gloomy from sunrise (if it did rise !) until sunset (which it has now). If the current forecast is correct it will soon be raining again, and this time it will continue to rain all day tomorrow. There will probably be some dry intervals, and at 11am there could even be a ray or two of sunshine poking through the clouds. The most significant thing is that it is expected that the temperature will rise to 12° C for the afternoon.

 I've been feeling rotten a lot lately, but last night I was feeling rather good, and that made the Life Of Brian gig in The Black Cat even more enjoyable. There were some sound problems at the start of the gig that threatened to spoil the evening, but they were sorted out, and everything ended up great. I was often a bit too pre-occupied with my cameras (still and video) to miss not having Angela to myself during the gig (She was acting as nursemaid to a chap called John who is probably getting near the end of his life with cancer).

 I took many pictures last night, and I haven't done anything with them yet, but I did prepare the video above. It was the final song of the gig, and Dan Murphy, south east London's best guitarist, got up to duet with both Miranda and Brian. It is not often you see a duet on one guitar, but those two virtuosos, Brian Bath and Dan Murphy, managed it !

 My original thought was that after the gig I would be going home. There were a few reasons for this, but in the end none of them seemed to apply. Being asked to go back to Angela's place was probably the best reason to ignore those reasons. One such reason was that I was feeling tired earlier on in the day, and I find it difficult to sleep at Angela's place. So I didn't fancy walking home in the rain at 2am ! Starting out tired, having a fair amount of booze, and perseverance meant that for the first time I managed to get a fair bit of sleep in Angela's bed. I have no idea what the time was, but I lay there wondering if I would ever get to sleep, and the next thing I knew was that it was light outside !

 Angela was sleeping like a baby, and I didn't want to disturb her. So I quietly pulled my clothes on, gave her a very light kiss on the cheek (that didn't wake her) and sneaked out like a thief in the night...but not night because to was almost 9am, and although overcast, it was fully light outside. I think I would have felt OK walking all the way home, but I opted to wait for a bus. It was only a short wait, and I was home no later than 9.30am.

 I hadn't had that much sleep, and I thought I would be going to bed after a bit of breakfast, but for one reason or another I didn't seem to feel sleepy. So half an hour later I pulled my clothes back on, and went to Tesco. There was nothing I needed from Tesco, but I thought it might be useful to stock up on whisky, vodka and Diet Coke. As xmas approached the supermarkets get more and more unpleasantly crowded (like Aldi was yesterday), and I feel the need to accumulate a stock of some of the essentials.

 I felt fine walking to Tesco, and fine walking back again carrying 4 large bottles of drink, plus some assorted stuff, but soon after getting back, maybe after eating a bit more, I started feeling rough again. It seemed to be far worse when laying down trying to sleep, but not that bad when laying down just reading. That has persisted all day, and I don't think I've managed to get any sleep at all since getting home from Angela's place.

 I now definitely feel very tired, and I feel I should be getting to bed ultra early tonight. Maybe by 7pm ! Whether I'll be able to get comfortable and actually sleep is another matter. One thing I've noticed is that I am beginning to feel warmer recently, and as I sit here typing I feel fairly comfortable. This could either be because of the whisky I have just drunk, or the Ibuprofen tablets I took half an hour or so ago. I suspect it is a combination of both. Maybe a little more whisky is called for to help me get to sleep.

 Getting lots of sleep could be good. It will help with getting through the working day tomorrow, and it will make seeing Angela after work much more enjoyable if I am not yawning all the time. I expect that Angela will be staying until mid evening so we can do some intensive cuddling !
Saturday 19th November 2016
 17:53 GMT

  It is easy to forget that lots of sunshine doesn't equate to a warm day any more....well not until next spring at least ! Yesterday was a very chilly day, but in it's defense, it was a bright day (and I can't recall seeing any rain at all). It was sunny this morning, but it was only 3° C, and at ground level, just before sunrise, it was probably cold enough for a frost. I took some rubbish out to the wheelie bin this morning, and in the sunshine it didn't feel too bad. The same was true 5 minutes later when I took some stuff out to the recycling bin. 10 minutes after that I stepped outside to go to the shops, and on that occasion a blast of icy wind hit me and I came to the conclusion that maybe it didn't feel so good outside. I think the temperature struggled to hit 7° C today, despite the sunny morning. It is now starting to rain, and it could get heavy through the entire night. The good thing, if it can be called good against such an appalling backdrop, is the temperature is forecast to rise to as high as 11° C by 5am tomorrow. The forecast says the rain will finally stop around 10am tomorrow, and then the temperature will start to drop, and bottom out at in the region of 7° C. No sunshine is expected tomorrow !

 I started yesterday complaining that I felt very rough, and also very tired. As the day progressed those symptoms faded a lot, but maybe only the tiredness faded to the point of being mostly forgettable - which was actually just as well. It was probably a very good idea that I wore my warmest coat yesterday, and wore it done up most of the time I was out in the open. That cold air could easily have made my chest feel a lot worse, but by the time I arrived in The Black Cat to meet Angela my chest was hardly giving any problem at all, and I don't think I gave it a second thought for the rest of the night.

 After a couple of drinks we popped in Tesco for a few bits and pieces before coming back here for a bit of food, and a film. We watched Carry On Screaming - at least I think we did. I'm not sure that Angela was paying all that much attention to it some of the time. For some time now she claims that she feels really relaxed here with me, and some of the time she was curled up and would have been purring loudly if she were a cat. Later on I relaxed her even more with a massage using some lavender moisturising cream. It was way past midnight when she went home this morning.

 Today seems to have passed really rather quickly considering I've only done a few productive things. I didn't really get up until 9am, although I had been awake for quite some time before that. After a quick shower I went out to the 99p to stock up on some useful stuff. I was really only after some toothpaste, and I ended up getting 4 tubes of the stuff. I also stocked up on some sugar free digestive biscuits. I haven't actually read the small print to verify the large "Sugar Free" words on the label, and if I did I would probably find they have all sorts of things in them that I probably should stay clear of - like fats and salt !

 There were a few other bits and pieces I bought - including a 99p electric toothbrush. I suspect it would work better as a sex toy, but maybe it does do something when used on the teeth. I tried it was some toothpaste for sensitive teeth that I bought (though I didn't recognise the brand name), and the two combined did sort of do a fair job brushing my teeth, but I think my manual toothbrush probably does a better job.

 After getting all that shopping home, and there was more than I have described, I decided that I ought to be brave and go to Aldi. As I feared the Xmas madness has started already - at least it was stupidly busy in there. Maybe I just picked a bad time or something. I seemed to buy an awful lot in there two. Two heavy items were a spare bottle of whisky, and a spare bottle of vodka (Angela's poison of choice). The vodka was a French vodka, and although I am no expert on vodka, a quick swig did seem to taste nicer than the (alleged) Russian vodka I bought from Tesco recently.

 After having lugged all that shopping home (it included 6 litres of Aldi own brand sugar free cola) I thought that I deserved a bite to eat, and some rest. I cannot confess what I ate, but it was very naughty, and was not in the spirit of some of the sugar free I have previously mentioned ! I also had a rest - reading a few pages from a magazine - but it wasn't long before I had to force myself to do one of those essential tasks - washing my work shirts. I have some other laundry to do, but it is less important for now (but I may do it tomorrow).

 After washing those shirts I could really relax - but I didn't. I set in motion one more very important, and rather overdue task - a full back up of my computers /home directory. The place on my Linux PC where all my personal files, and all the configuration details of my entire desktop are stored. With a full back up I can restore my PC back to an identical clone of itself if, for instance, the hard drive fails - as it almost certainly will any time in the next few years starting from right now ! With that back up running I could finally relax, and I did ! I don't know how long I slept for, it was at least half an hour, and could have been closer to 90 minutes, but it was light when I went to sleep, and dark when I woke up.

 Very soon now I have to get ready to go out to meet up with Angela, and to see The Black Cat to see The Life Of Brian playing there. It should be an excellent night, and Miranda, Angela's daughter, and lead singer of the band, has asked for some extra band photography tonight (probably some band, and group portraits after the sound check, and before the main gig starts). She has also requested I take some video too. I shall look forward to doing all that, and giving Angela a hug and a kiss. Unfortunately it is unlikely we will spend some time together after the gig - mainly because I don't fancy walking home from her place in the pouring rain in the early hours of the morning from her place - but sillier things have been done in the past :-)
Friday 18th November 2016
 08:18 GMT

  Yesterday may have been a bit brighter than expected, but it was just as cold as expected according to the thermometer. Unfortunately there was quite a breeze blowing, and from time to time it felt much colder. There was certainly some rain after sunset, but it was either less than expected, or I just happened to be under shelter at the worst times. Yesterday morning I was expecting today to be rather dull, but the evidence of my own eyes, and the most recent forecast says that there will be plenty of sunny intervals today. It is still going to be a very cold day. When I walked to the station this morning it was barely more than 3° C. Sometime this afternoon it will peak at just 7° C. Tomorrow will be no warmer, and the current forecast shows no sign of any sunshine. Sunday will be better and worse - or might be. Heavy rain in the morning, but the chance of some sunshine later, and the temperature soaring (!) to a whole 11° C !

  It was nice when the working day was over yesterday. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, and I was moderately comfortable, but there was no enjoyment in it. I didn't feel so good when I left work. I think the cold and the damp worked it's magic on me, and I felt quite creaky. My initial destination was not home but The Bricklayers Arm pub in Beckenham for the Thursday night drinking session. I didn't feel too bad when I got there and started drinking some beer, but I still felt a bit edgy.
Thursday night drinkers
 The picture above shows everyone there apart from Paul who arrived a bit late, Jodie who is just out of view at the table on the bottom right of the photo, and of course me, because I am behind the camera ! It was busy in the pub last night so we took over the little back room that is used for darts some times, and as a kiddies area earlier in the day.

 I only had a light coat with me, and I wasn't looking forward to going home in the cold and wet. After I had drunk three pints I put my best foot forward, and marched out into the night. It was just as cold as I expected, but fortunately the earlier rain had stopped, and I got home in the dry. That may have been just as well because the cold on it's own was making me ache quite a lot. I arrived home feeling pretty bad, and very much looking forward to some hot food.

 I actually started off with a cold sandwich while I heated up a vegetable biryana. I didn't eat much more than half the biryani because I found I didn't really like it, and too much hot chilli sauce just made it worse. Next on the menu was a liver and bacon with mash ready meal. I don't know if it was just me, but that didn't taste all that good either, but I ate it all. At least I was warm inside and outside by then, and it wasn't long before I was in bed....and fast asleep.

 There was one reason why I might not have slept well last night, and I took it ! I think I would rate my sleep last night as poor. Going home in the cold and damp had left my chest aching a lot. That was fact, but the next bit is theory. I think my aching chest disturbed my sleep, and then thrashing around try to get to sleep (and maybe trying to stay asleep too) made my chest feel even worse. This morning it is particularly bad.

 I guess, if I'm honest, I did get a couple of fairly long periods of sleep, but by 4am I was just thrashing around, in and out of sleep, and having bad dreams while I was asleep. I have no idea what those dreams were now, but I know I didn't like them. It may have been 4.45am when I decided I may as well get up. I have no idea how to describe how I felt when I got out of bed, and walked to the toilet. I wasn't in pain, but I felt terrible. I was certainly very creaky - and most of the creaks, cracks, pops, and groans were from my chest. As I sat down on the toilet my chest went pop. As I reached behind myself to wipe my bottom my chest would pop and crack, and later, as I brushed my hair my chest gave out a whole symphony of noises. It is worth noting that these sounds were not from my lungs or windpipe, but from my ribs, muscles, ligaments, and other bits of superstructure.

 I now feel the legacy of all that commotion in my chest as a dull ache from my chest with an occasional overlay of sharper pains here, or there, of somewhere that last for a moment or two. I also feel incredibly tired. It doesn't feel like I am about to die, and that is a sort of pity because a long painless rest could be quite attractive at the moment. If I can get my office warm enough I might feel OK when I leave work, and that would be very good because I don't want to feel grumpy when I meet Angela tonight. I think we'll be meeting in the pub first, and then going home to have something to eat. Being a Friday night, with no worries about having to get up for work in the morning, there should be time to watch a film together. If we do it is probably going to be Carry On Screaming. Angela claims that is one Carry On film she has never seen, but I expect she has.
view from a train
 I took this picture just a little while before sunset yesterday.  It was the view to approximately the south east through the open train door as my train waited at Vauxhall station on my way home from work. Behind me it was all nasty and gloomy, but in this direction the sky looked blue and clear with just a hint of red on the few wisps of cloud visible. Without knowing otherwise you might think it was a nice day. It wasn't ! It was cold, the sun was setting at a ridiculous hour (about 16:07 - well before when the evening ought to start), and it would soon be raining !
Thursday 17th November 2016
 08:05 GMT

  The sunshine continued through yesterday morning, and maybe slightly into the afternoon, but it never managed to get the temperature up to much beyond 13° C. Unfortunately, a strong breeze made it feel even cooler than that. The afternoon became cloudy, but the odd wink of sunshine still managed to peep through an occasional crack in the clouds. By 5pm it is was forecast to rain, with a warning that the rain could be heavy for a while. I think there was some rain in the evening, but I have my doubts that it was ever heavy rain. This morning it is rather overcast, and yet the occasional small break in the clouds can be seen. The latest forecast shows rain from late morning until almost sunset (at the silly time of 16:07pm today). The same time period also shows that there will be sunshine ! It is going to be cool today. It was about 7° C when I set off to come to work, and by the afternoon, when the temperature peaks, it may only be 11° C. At least that is better than tomorrow is likely to be. The forecast suggests just 7° C under a rather gloomy sky is all we have to look forward to tomorrow.
autumn leaves in Earlsfield
 I've been wanting to take a nice colourful picture of autumn leaves for a while now. I was either too impatient to wait for the proper time in my local park, or they have the wrong sort of trees there, but last night I suddenly realised I had been walking past some bright yellow leaves on my way home from work. This view is just around the corner from work, on the way to the station. It's not a grand display of autumn colours, but it will have to do for the moment.

 Yesterday was another day when I felt moderately good punctuated by occasional discomfort. I guess I could, and maybe should go and bother my doctor about it, but it's only a continuation of discomfort I have suffered for the last three years, and my doctor is not particularly interested in it. Oh well, it was nice to go home after work, and turn the heating up, and get some hot food inside of me - rather too much food to be exact - and eating too much is one of the unfortunate side effects of being uncomfortable for long periods. I think all the gains I made, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and somewhere in the region of a stone weight lost, back in July and September are all gone now, and I am back to where I was in June or earlier.

 I did two positive things last night. I washed my hair, and I had an early night. I am unsure of the exact time, but I reckon I was fast asleep soon after 8.30pm. As frequently happens, I woke up again around midnight, and after a pee it took maybe 15 minutes to get back to sleep. I then slept to 4am when I woke up with back ache and chest ache (though mostly my back). I tried to get back to sleep again, and did nod off for a few minutes now and then, but by 4.30am it seemed like I was ready to get up. To all intents and purposes I had had enough sleep, and yet I feel sure there will be times today when I'll feel my eyes closing when I am reading stuff off my PC, or even while reading the paper at lunch time.

 I can recall having a variety of dreams last night, but I only retain a few memories of one of them. It was a variant of an occasional dream I used to get many years ago. It concerned me driving a car. In real life I have never driven a car before, although I think I know much of the theory behind doing so. In last night's dream I wasn't actually driving a car, but I was doing the steering. I can't remember why this was so, but I do remember some facts about it. The car was a vintage car, possibly a Bentley. The real driver may have been my dad, but there is also a good chance it may have been an old friend.

 I remember it was during the dream that I came to the conclusion that the action of steering a car is simpler than you might think - but maybe only if you over think these things. The over thinking method is that you have to estimate the angle of an approaching corner or bend, and then the angle to turn the steering wheel. The simple method, that should be very obvious, is that you turn the wheel the to point the car in the direction you want to go, and the rest of the car follows. why that shouldn't be obvious is anyone's guess, but back in the real world it probably mirrors the transition when learning to ride a push bike, and suddenly find that you are in complete control of it. Back in the dream, it may have been something to do with some dim memory of when I first learned to ride a bike, but I found that the steering wheel of the car was incredibly light, and hugely responsive - just as the handle bars of a bike are.

 Once the working day is done, and I can leave work, I'll be heading to Beckenham to meet up with the Thursday night drinkers. I haven't seen them for a couple of weeks now. So it will be nice to catch up. Apparently the pub, The Bricklayers Arms, has a mini beer festival on, and there should be a good choice of beers available. Maybe that could tempt me to stay for more than just three pints, and in case such a thing should happen, I have taken the precaution of having a little to eat before I start drinking. I had some salad this morning, and at lunchtime I will have some small oranges.
London Bridge station, and
                  it's bright but gloomy platforms
 Two things occurred to me on my way into work this morning. One thought was that the new platforms at London Bridge station have been open for at least 6 or 7 week now, and I still haven't go off a train there yet to explore them, and the passages in the bowels of the station that lead to them. The other thought was how the new platforms can look bright, and yet gloomy at the same time. The reason is that there are constructed of cold grey concrete, and cold grey metal. The only colour is on the signs. I took the snap above while standing in the doorway of my train to Waterloo East. I don't think it really captures the coldness of the station - cold and grey !
Wednesday 16th November 2016
 08:29 GMT

  There were one or two light showers yesterday, but none affected me. The worst thing about yesterday was the almost lack of sunshine. On the other hand, maybe it was good that when I wasn't expecting any sunshine at all, the sun did come out after all. It may have only been for a few minutes, but at least it proved the sun hadn't gone out. The other good thing is that it felt really mild. I'm not so sure that the temperature didn't slightly exceed the expected 15° C. By 10pm last night it was still around 14° C. The average of my upstairs and downstairs thermometers was 13° C this morning, and so it seems likely that the forecast that the top temperature today is going to be 13° C. It is currently sunny, and it should stay sunny until early afternoon. I know the sun is a bit weak and watery as we head towards winter, but it still ought to be able to warm things up a little bit. After sunset things get very disappointing. At 5pm, hopefully after I am safely home from work, there could be some rain, and it could be quite heavy !  Tomorrow is forecast to be several degrees cooler, and it will be mostly overcast, but dry - apart from between 2pm and 4pm when the sun will come out, and it will rain !
The waning "super
 One of the nice consequences of it being a clear morning is that I can finally see the so called "super moon". Since I took a picture a couple of days before the full moon it has been too cloudy to see the moon. I could only take the picture above with my little pocket sized Nikon snapper. So I couldn't zoom in any more. On the snap I took before the full moon you could see the left hand edge of the moon was not illuminated. Now we have passed the full moon it it the right hand edge that is not illuminated. As the days pass more and more of the right hand edge will not be visible, until finally the whole moon will be in darkness (except for the "dark side of the Moon" which will be fully lit, and dazzlingly bright, but never visible from Earth).

 It seems I am now back to feeling "mostly OK" at work, and, I guess, at other times too. It feels like I have fully got over the cold that started several weeks ago now, and yet I do have doubts about it. My chest still clicks and pops, and occasionally get sore. I also seem to have a lot of creakiness in my back - although it is not the traditional lower back pain that afflicts so many. I could feel it several times during the day yesterday, but it was not until this morning that I made the observation that my back and shoulders felt creaky, and a bit sore as I was brushing my hair - moving my hands around above shoulder height.

 The significance of all this is to convince me my angina is not returning. Prior to my quad heart bypass operation the angina pains would start in the centre of my chest and travel up to my neck, and then down to the shoulder blades. These pains would only start after walking for some distance. My recent chest pains do sometimes get worse, but also sometimes get better when I am walking. It all seems to depend on how "loose" my "twisted rib" is when I walk. Sometimes just a few heavy steps can cause my chest to feel heavy, and start to ache. Sometimes, and it probably depends on my gait, my shoulders start to ache too, but the two pains aren't connected via my neck, nor are the pains in synchronism with each other. My conclusion is that I am not developing angina again. Whether I have some other sort of heart or circulation problem is open to conjecture, but on the balance of probabilities it is all just a continuation of my "twisted rib" problem.

 On the whole I didn't feel too bad at work yesterday, and as the day wore on I felt better and better in one respect. I was looking forward to meeting Angela after work. So I rushed back to Catford just as fast as I could - which is no faster than any other day because I can't make the trains go faster ! I met Angela in The Black Cat where we had a drink before getting a little bit of shopping in the SAM 99p shop, and in Tesco before going back to my place for a bite to eat and a cuddle. I had a wonderful evening, but felt a little sad because reality intruded, and I had to say goodbye to Angela so I could get to bed in time for enough sleep before having to come to work this morning.

 For yet another night I seemed to sleep rather well, but had to be woken up by my alarm. It would have been nice to get another hour or two of sleep. It seemed like I had had enough, but from the way I almost fell asleep on the train, it makes me think that an extra couple of hours might have been nice. I guess I don't feel too bad this morning, but I would much prefer to feel like I did at the beginning of July when the antibiotics I had taken for a chest infection seemed to cure my body of every know ailment known to man. I almost felt like Superman for a couple of months. Now I am back to feeling like crap by comparison.

 I'm not seeing Angela, or anyone else tonight. That will give me the opportunity to wash my hair, and, hopefully, get an early night. Maybe if I can get to sleep by 8pm, instead of 10pm, and then sleep through the night, I will feel more livelier tomorrow. If nothing else, I can at least read some more of the scifi book I've been reading while I wait for my hair to dry. I haven't read a word of it for the last few days, and I am beginning to forget the plot.
Tuesday 15th November 2016
 07:50 GMT

  As expected, there was no sunshine yesterday. Sometimes it was only lightly overcast, and at other times it got quite dark. One of the times the cloud was thick and dark was as I was going home from work. It made it seem as if sunset had come half an early. To add to the misery there were a few showers as well, although I have to confess that none of them inconvenienced me personally. Perhaps the most striking thing was the temperature. 12° C doesn't sound much, but it did feel very mild. Today the temperature this afternoon is forecast to be as high as 15° C. That is almost going to feel warm. The reason for the warmth is warm air coming in from across west, across the Atlantic ocean. Unfortunately it is very moist air, and it could bring a shower with it. It will certainly ensure another very dull day - once again ranging from overcast to heavily overcast ! At the moment the forecast is saying that tomorrow could be 13 or 14° C, and after a dull, and damp start to the day, there should be sunny intervals for the second half of the morning, and most of the afternoon.

 I felt slightly rotten at work yesterday. The cause was my "twisted rib" playing up again - at least I think it was. Once or twice I did wonder if it might have been something more serious, but now and then there were more definite clues that it was just my ripped cartilage, scarred muscles, and wonky ribs that were the source of my chest pain. The most dramatic clue was as I started to walk to the station after work. As I briskly walked up the road, putting on foot in front of the other (as you do when walking) my chest really felt like it was loose, and swaying from side to side. Every time it did this there would be an almost audible crack from the centre of my chest. I am assured it is impossible, but once again it did feel like my sternum had split in two, and the two halves were rubbing against each other. As far as I am aware, my sternum was cut in two when my chest was opened for my quad heart bypass surgery just over three years ago. On one fateful day, no more than a fortnight after the operation if I recall correctly, I was walking back from the supermarket carrying about ten times the weight that the surgeon recommended I carried, and as I walked I definitely felt something go ping. I'm sure I pulled something apart that had been stapled together, like the front of my chest was at the time, but my doctors insist that would have been impossible....but what do they know. They are only pushers of pills and potions. I should have sought the opinion of a real surgeon !

 Briskly walking, with my chest clicking and popping,  did not make my discomfort any worse, and if anything made it slightly better. A mad dash across the link from Waterloo to Waterloo East station had me breathing quite deeply, and induced a film of sweat on my brow, but didn't generate any discomfort in my chest beyond that which might be expected when breathing heavily. So that was good news, as was the fact that I managed to catch my preferred train despite the first train arriving at Waterloo a couple of minutes late, and giving me hardly any time at all to dash for the other train. It is a very tight connection !!

 When I got back to Catford I just missed a bus to Angela's house by mere seconds, but amazingly enough I only had to wait about 5 minutes for the next bus. It also seemed amazing that the traffic seemed unusually light, and I arrived at Angela's house earlier than expected. Seeing Angela immediately made my chest feel better, and a glass of whisky seemed to be a permanent cure. I was able to sit down and enjoy a perfectly cooked roast beef dinner that Angela had prepared for me. It really was delicious.

 I thought I would be staying at her place for a few hours, but she asked if we could go back to my place because she said she could relax there easier. I was very happy with that idea, and so went to the nearby bus stop, and waited mere seconds before a bus whisked us to Catford. We spent a few very happy hours together before the practicalities of life intruded, and Angela had to go home so I could get to bed, and get my beauty sleep before facing this morning.

 I must have been very tired because it seems like I was asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. I woke up believing that it was 4am, and felt terrible. It was some relief to find that it was only about half past midnight, but the initial shock had woken me up so much that I couldn't get back to sleep for at least half an hour, and possibly more. Once I did get back to sleep I slept fairly solidly, and if my alarm had not woken me up I feel I might still be asleep even now !

 I don't feel that great this morning, but I think I feel better than yesterday. Having said that, I also feel like my chest is just about to ache. I've had the odd twinge here and there, but at the moment I feel mostly comfortable. It is also a bonus that I don't think I feel as sleepy as I did at this time yesterday morning. Perhaps I'll feel a lot worse later, but hopefully not. At least if I do start to feel grotty I can try and hang on to the thought that in little more than 8 hours time I will have Angela in my arms again. Tonight we meet in the pub for a quick drink, and then it is my turn to feed her. If I had the afternoon free to experiment and cook, I might have been able to cook up some sort of hot meal using my limited cooking facilities, but I know that Angela will enjoy avocado, tomatoes, black olives and some cheese tonight.
Monday 14th November 2016
 08:20 GMT

  The weather probably wasn't too bad for a mid November day yesterday, but I do would much have preferred warm sunshine to cold sunshine - and lots more of it ! That isn't going to happen today. There are supposed to be some sunny intervals around 1pm, but most of the day will be overcast - lightly overcast in the morning, and heavily overcast in the evening. There have been a few very light showers so far this morning, but most of the day should be dry except for the possibility of more showers much later on in the evening. The weather forecast has just been updated in the last few seconds, and now it looks like there will be showers starting around 5pm, and they will continue, perhaps intermittently, for a few hours. Today's temperature will be 11 - 12° C, but tomorrow we could reach 15° C. Unfortunately tomorrow is also forecast to be quite a murky sort of day.

 I was all set to have a very lazy evening last night when I suddenly decided I ought to do something with the pictures I took of Ruby Red in The Black Cat on Saturday night. I really must get around to uploading them to Flickr so they can all be seen. When I went through them there were the usual crap pictures, but some seemed rather better than I imagined. I am never totally happy with most of my snaps, not even the better ones, but having seen some other peoples pictures of Ruby Red, I feel quite happy that mine are better than most. It is interesting that the bands web site - - doesn't feature any gig photos at all ! Here is one reduced size picture I took.
Ruby Red on stage at The
                  Black cat 12th Nov 2016
 Prior to going to bed last night I was laying on my bed reading. I felt perfectly comfortable while reading, but as soon as I got into bed to try and go to sleep, I felt terribly uncomfortable. I had pains in my toenails, teeth, testicles, and tongue. My back, buttocks, and bollocks seemed to hurt, and so did my chest, cuticles, colon, and calves. No matter what position I adopted something seemed to hurt. On top of that, the matteress and pillow, both lump free when reading, grew the biggest lump, bumps, and creases ever known ! It is a miracle I ever got to sleep at all, but somehow I did, and while I feel that double the amount may have been better, I did seem to get a fair night's sleep last night.

 I can't seem to work out just how I feel this morning. Sometimes I feel moderately good, and sometimes not. On a few occasions I have felt rather bad ! Initially I felt quite average, and that was rather refreshing after so many days of waaking up wondering if I would ever get over the cold I was suffering from last week, and the week before. After my shower I thought I felt a bit creaky, but I had no difficulty walking to the station, or traversing the link between Waterloo East and Waterloo stations. I did the later at a good pace, although like the walk to the station, I found myself breathing harder than I should have.

 When I arrived at Earlsfield I felt very creaky, and my chest felt heavy as I walked around the corner to Sainsbury's. I did two things there. I used the cash machine, and I bought some stuff from the store. I bought a ready made Greek salad that I had for breakfast, and some "easy peelers" oranges that I'll be eating over the course of the next few days to keep my vitamin C levels up. When I caame out of the store I felt relatively normal, and my walk to work was no worse (or better) than usual. As I sit here typing this it feels like I am siezing up, and I need to get up and stretch my legs soon.

 The money I got out of the cash machine felt very clean and new. It was like it was straight out of the mint. So I checked the serial numbers, and all five notes have consecutive numbers. I am not aware that I have ever owned notes like that before. I thought I would take a snap for posterity (or something).
consecutive numbered notes
 I am really looking forward to tonight. I am going to Angela's straight after work, and will be trying her cooking out for the first time. I think it is going to be a roast beef dinner. I'll enjoy that !!
Sunday 13th November 2016
 15:04 GMT

  There was no doubt about it, yesterday was wet ! Quite a lot of rain fell, although it wasn't the continuous downpour that the forecast predicted. There were plenty of times when rain wasn't actually falling, and I don't think there was any rain at all in the evening. In a similar way to how the forecast for rain was exaggerated yesterday, the forecast for sunshine  seems to have been exaggerated today. This morning it was very sunny, but there have been some quite dull moments during the afternoon. That was/is disappointing, but on the plus side it is warmer than forecast. Unless the forecast was updated after I last saw it this morning, which is quite possible, the temperature today was only forecast to hit around 9° C, but I have seen almost 12° C on my thermometer (although admittedly it is only saying 9.7° C now). It seems tomorrow is likely to be rather dull with the odd splash of rain, but 11° C is forecast, and Tuesday might see the temperature hit the heady heights of 14° C !

 Yesterday evening was supposed to be a good time, but it wasn't. The first problem was that Angela didn't feel too good, and was obviously feeling worse than she thought. She got ready to go out and meet me in The Black Cat a bit earlier than needed, and so lay down on the settee to pass the time. Unfortunately she fell into a deep sleep, and say she didn't wake up until gone midnight. So I didn't have any company in The Black Cat, and the band, Ruby Red, while sounding mostly good, failed to grab my attention. The audience were a bit sparse, and I felt rather guilty to leave the pub 20 minutes, or so, before the gig was due to end.

 In the cold light of day I am partly left wondering why I didn't really like Ruby Red. They seem fairly good in this video that I shot last night, but on the other hand I do have more video that is not as good. I don't know why I even recorded it, but I also have some video of them performing the Billy Idol song "Rebel Yell". I can't quite work out if they performed it badly, or it's just that I am tainted by an irrational hatred of anything to do with Bill Idol !

 When I got home from the gig I had a nibble....oh OK, rather more than a nibble of food. The nicest bit of this gorilla sized nibble was a couple of reduced price stickered Tesco "Korean beef" wraps. They were very, very tasty, but I wouldn't buy them at full price. It might have been midnight, or maybe a bit later when I got to sleep.

 I seemed to sleep well until 4am when I woke up thinking I needed a wee. I did need a wee, but when I got back into bed I felt strangely hot, and I soon realised that maybe I needed more than a wee. So I went back to the toilet, and sure enough I did need more than a wee. A few minutes later I came back to my bedroom think that I was now comfortable - and indeed I was for all of 24 seconds before I prudently decided to run back to the toilet. It was after that second visit that, apart from some intermittent flatulence, I finally felt comfortable enough to get back to sleep.

 I though that when I finally decided to get up again I had had enough sleep, but since then I have snoozed a couple of times, and I have done an awful lot of yawning ! It wasn't that long after 8am, and after another visit to the toilet, that I went out into the cold morning sunshine to takes some pictures. Someone had pointed out that there was a logo on a crest that adorns the old South Suburban Co-operative Society shop in Catford. The shop closed itself closed down around 1985, but bits of the building have been used for other stuff, including a Jehovah Witness "Kingdom Hall", but mostly the building is slowly decaying. I took quite a few pictures to include in a photo album at some point, but this one shows the crest and logo.
Nothing Without

 After I came back from my photo expedition I did a bit of laundry - just a few shirts and underwear - and then I did nothing. I've had a fairly lazy Sunday since. There is a small chance that I might get a visit from Angela later on, but now I realise her plans a bit more accurately, it seems unlikely. Her good deed for the day was to cook a meal for a friend of hers who is possibly very near the end of his life as cancer spreads to more and more of his body. I thought she was going to cook a Sunday dinner (as in early afternoon) but it seems it will be an early evening meal instead, and it is unlikely there will be enough time for a visit afterwards. The good news is that I should be having dinner with her after work tomorrow.
Saturday 12th November 2016
 15:20 GMT

  As the weather forecast promised, it was sunny during all the hours of daylight yesterday. It almost seemed like the sky would stay clear into the night, but fortunately that didn't happen. With the temperature only in the region of 8 or 9° C at it's best, it could have got extremely cold during the night if the sky was clear. That would not be a good idea considering today was forecast to be very wet - it could have fallen as snow. On the other hand it couldn't rain if the sky was clear. So I guess it was just swings and roundabouts. Today has been very grey, but it has rained far less than expected. I've been out twice today, and neither time was it raining - although the road was wet, and there were plenty of puddles from earlier rain. The day is also less cool than expected. The afternoon temperature has been 10° C by my reckoning, and with very little wind, it almost feels not cold - although maybe only when briskly walking with a coat on. Tomorrow is currently forecast to hit about the same temperature, but with sunshine !

  Apart from a tendency to feel tired, and yawn, I felt moderately OK at work yesterday. I even did a little work (with the emphasis on little !). I was still getting odd twinges from my chest - a little ache here, and a little ache there, plus a mild feeling of stiffness (I think stiffness describes it better than tightness) over quite a lot of it - but maybe centred on my left nipple !

 I managed to let myself get held up for a few minutes on my way out of work, and as a consequence I had to force myself to rush around a bit more energetically than usual. Most of that extra energy was expended at Waterloo where I ran up the escalator for the first time in a week or two (I've still been walking up it recently, but not actually running up it until yesterday), and walked at an enhanced rate across the link, and down platform A of Waterloo East. I arrived at my favourite spot about 30 seconds before the train got there, but that was only because the train was about 60 seconds late. Had it been on time I would have had to get on nearer the back of the train, and further from the exit at Catford Bridge. The good thing about all that rushing around was that it didn't kill me. Maybe that proves that my heart is still in good working order even if the rest of me is falling apart, or maybe it doesn't.

 A few days prior to yesterday I was hoping that I would be able to meet up with Angela when I got back to Catford, but she was accompanying a less than mobile, cancer suffering friend of hers to a firework party last night. So last night, for the first time in a few days, I walked directly from the train to home. By the time I got home it was practically dark, and actually dark 5 or 10 minutes after arriving home. That was pretty depressing, but it did have an upside.
the moon above Milford
 The upside was that the sky was clear, and the moon was just a few days away from being full, and also the moon was in a very handy position in the sky.  I took the picture above with my little pocket sized Nikon S6300 camera. It did a reasonable job, but the moon doesn't look sharp.
Close up of the moon using my Nikon S6300
This was the best picture I could get using full zoom using the Nikon S6300. It's not bad, and it is rendering the sky almost the correct shade of inky blue that I could see by eye.
the moon seen on my Canon SX40
To get a proper picture of the moon I had to wait until I was at home, and could get out my Canon Powershot SX40.  It has always been good at taking pictures of the moon without over-exposing them, and it can do it when simply set to Auto ! Click on the picture to open up a much higher resolution version in a new tab (or window).

 Having got home, and taken the good picture of the moon, I had nothing I really needed to do except eat, read and sleep. I decided to treat myself to a nice chicken shish kebab with salad. That wasn't enough for free delivery and I had to order more - until I realised that they didn't do free delivery - at which point I should have cancelled some of it, but there is no greater pleasure that eating cold grilled chicken wings for breakfast while still in your underwear !

 I had a nice feast, watched some TV, and then I went up to bed. Initially I read for a while, but around 10pm, if I recall correctly, I turned out the light, turned over, and quickly fell asleep. I remember having some dreams, and I have a feeling one, or more, were not particularly pleasant, but I can't recall enough to describe them in any meaningful way. At 5am I woke up, and got up for half an hour, but I took great delight in going back to bed again. It was almost 8am, if not slightly after, when I decided to get up.

 I seem to have been awfully busy doing nothing since then. I have made two shopping trips, and done a bit of tidying up, and evidently other stuff, but I am unsure what that other stuff was. All I know is that what I know I have done doesn't seem to account for all the hours. I am sure that installing the newly bought set of plastic draws, bought from Poundstretcher, and shoehorned into the corner of the bathroom, didn't take long. I'm also sure that filling those drawers with spare rolls of toilet paper, spare toiletries, and other bathroom type stuff, couldn't have taken that long. Nor did emptying a few rubbish bins, but it is now just gone 4pm and I still have loads of stuff I would like to do if only it wasn't now as good as dark outside.

 It's being dark outside, partly thanks to sunset getting so early at this end of the year, and the thick wet clouds making it seem worse, that just triggers my brain into thinking that it's time to eat dinner, put my feet up for half an hour, and then go to bed.....but I can't. There are at least two more tasks I want to complete before relaxing, and even then I can't fully relax. One task is to do a bit of hoovering, and the other is to try and make the bathroom look a little nicer. As I wrote that I just remembered that I have a lot of washing up in the sink to do as well !

 It's just as well that I can look forward to a good gig at The Black Cat tonight. There is a good sounding band on (Ruby Red). I've never actually heard them before, but their description sounds good. All being well, there will be a good selection of people I know there - including Angela, and I am sure I can look forward to taking her home after the gig !
Friday 11th November 2016
 07:54 GMT

  I guess I was very lucky yesterday. As the forecast warned us, there was some rain yesterday - even if the timing was a bit wrong. The lucky bit was that it looked like the rain had just stopped when I left work, when I got to Waterloo East station, when I arrived at Catford Bridge station, and when I left the pub after a quick drink with Angela. The rest of the day was fairly dull, although from time to time there were a few sunny intervals. I didn't check, but it didn't feel like the temperature ever hit the forecast 10° C.  I think my guess would have been something a bit closer to 8° C.
the weather forecast for
                  11th Nov 2016
 I thought it worth recording, and showing the weather forecast for today. Apart from the temperature it is looking like today is going to be one of the better days. As I look out my office window I can see nothing but blue sky (between the clutter of buildings and stuff). There was even a cheery glow, feint but still cheery, on the eastern horizon when I started out to come to work just over an hour before sunrise. It's probably best not to think about tomorrow. It's not going to be any cooler than today, but if the forecast is correct, and I pray to assorted Goddesses that it is not, it is going to rain for almost the whole 24 hours of tomorrow !

 Yesterday was yet another day when I felt almost, but not quite alright. Some of my discomfort felt like a cross between trapped wind and an acidy stomach. It was never severe, and there were periods where it faded to almost nothing at all, but it was still annoying. From time to time my chest ached a bit as well. It made me disinclined to do much work (not that I am ever terribly enthusiastic about doing work), but I did manage to do the last of my outstanding online training courses. Like most of these training courses it was just rehashing stuff I have learnt 24 times over during the course of my working life. That probably explains how I managed to score 100% on the test at the end despite not paying attention to half the stuff I was watching. The course was about manual handling - how to lift stuff safely, and without damaging your back. I had terrible back ache after the stress of sitting at the computer trying to digest utter bullshit for an hour or so.

 Most of my aches and pains subsided as I made my way back to Catford after work. Any remaining seemed to be mostly cured by that great universal medicine - Guinness !! Of course Angela's company made everything good too. We had a couple of drinks at the pub before I took her home to feed her, and to spend a couple of hours of ecstasy with her. There was nothing more simple, and enjoyable than just looking in each others eyes and giggling !

 Eventually Angela had to go home, and I could have part two of my dinner. Earlier on I had a simple pot of ready made pasta with her as she ate her avocado, tomatoes, Greek cheese, and black olives. What I was looking forward to was a nice smelly curry ready meal that was lurking in the bottom of the fridge, and sending out psychic waves to tempt me ! I had enough time to eat that, and to watch half an hour of TV before it was time for bed.

 Apart from the dream featuring Donald Trump, which was probably more piss taking than scary, I feel sure I had a good night's sleep - and yet I wanted/want more. This morning I slept until my alarm woke me. That is a fairly rare thing. The more I think about it, the more I yawn, and the more I imagine being back in bed again. Oh well, I don't think I am doing anything tonight, and so it only 12 - 13 hours before I can go back to bed again, and tomorrow morning I can stay in bed as long as I want !

 Other than an increasing tendency to yawn (and of course it gets worse the more I think about it) I do feel mostly OK this morning. I've had a few twinges from my chest - the one when pulling my shoelaces up was a bit sharp - but it's more just a gentle reminder that it still feels tender more than anything worse. It's hard to admit it, but the rest of me, perhaps ignoring a little bit of cold weather stiffness, seems in fairly good shape today. Maybe it is just the idea of sunshine that is so healing. If it was very warm sunshine, instead of the cold sunshine today, and the air was nice and warm too, I could imagine myself feeling rather good today. Oh well, just the rest of this month, December, January, February, March, April and May to go and things should start to look up !
Thursday 10th November 2016
 08:11 GMT

  I think yesterday was very much like the forecast said it would be - grey and rather cool - and yet somehow I don't recall it feeling as terrible as it actually was. It is hard to tell what today will be like. The forecast seems to change every time I look at it. One constant is that some sunny periods are expected, and another is that the temperature will peak at 10° C - that could be considered almost warm compared to recently. The great unknown is when, and if it will rain. The current idea is that there will be a splash of rain at 10am, and then again between 3 and 4pm.There seems to be a good possibility that I'll be going home from work in the rain. It will be nice if the current forecast for tomorrow holds true. The current theory is that the morning will start at 5° C (like this morning), and the temperature will, under the influence of a lot of bright sunshine, rise to a peak of 9 or 10° C. After sunset a covering of cloud will keep the temperature up to 7° C for most of the night.

 To my great surprise I felt almost good while at work yesterday. There were barely any legacy effects of my recent, rather long lasting, cold. My nose was mostly clear, and I think I only coughed once or twice. Even my chest seemed to be behaving itself. The one legacy I did have was a medium feeling of fatigue. It felt like I had fought a long battle, and needed to rest. Of course none of this good news lasted.

 As I walked to the station, after leaving work to go home, I felt a sharp(ish) pain in my side. It could have indicated many dreadful things, including being shot or stabbed, but it was just my "twisted rib" playing up. I straightened my back, and anything else I could straighten, and the pain faded away to nothing within seconds, but it did leave behind a sort of tenderness. By being careful how I held my body I was quite comfortable for almost all of the rest of the journey home. The thing that broke the spell was carrying a medium heavy carrier bag full of stuff I had bought from the Iceland supermarket. With just one bag I was a bit unbalanced, and I had to be careful how I carried it.

 Most aches and pain went away when I got some hot food inside of me. I had a most unwise, and extravagant dinner consisting of two slightly big, full fat, full sugar, full calories, ready meals. One was cheesy beans and sausage(s) - which may have only had one chipolata sausage cut into three parts in it ! The other was an impulse buy. I had never seen, or heard of "Empire Pie" before, and I am not sure it even existed before Iceland invented it ! It consisted of cubes of potato cooked in a minced lamb curry. I had to admit that it was rather tasty, and if I had two of them, and hadn't eaten the cheesy beans first, I could have been tempted to eat two.

 After dinner I got my room nice and warm, and settled down to do some reading. After a little while I had an irrestitable yearning for something sweet. Unfortunately I had something very sweet in the cupboard - another little tray of baklava. Before I could stop myself I had scoffed the lot. I am fairly certain I am suffering from the legacy of that now. The first effect was of the honey on my throat. Unlike most of the human race, I find honey causes, not cures sore throats and coughs. I didn't get a sore throat, but I was provoked to cough a bit.

 I made one tragic mistake last night that made me cough worse. I forgot to turn the heater down once my room was nice and warm. I left it on full blast, and only turned it down when I woke up three hours after going to sleep. I woke up feeling quite hot, but not excessively so, but the heater had dried out the air, and gave me a really tickly throat. I did some pretty powerful coughing before I managed to get back to sleep. It left my chest feeling rather sore, and although much less sore, it still feels fairly tender this morning, and I have had to try and be careful not to aggravate it.

 I think I am also going to blame that baklava for a mostly mild, but very annoying stomach ache this morning. I fear that later today I will not be going to the toilet as normally as I went this morning. Overall, I don't feel terribly wonderful this morning, and to add to my woes I came in and some irritating person had switched all the heating off overnight, and my office was pretty cold when I arrived at work. Fortunately it hadn't cooled down as low as it did over the weekend, and it does seem to have come up to an almost comfortable temperature already - although some of my tools still feel uncomfortable cold.

 I hope that I feel better by the end of the working day. Tonight I should be meeting the Thursday night drinking gang, but I've had a better offer. I'll be meeting Angela instead. We'll initially meet in the pub, but if all goes well we will go back to my place for a bit of extra cuddling and stuff !
Wednesday 9th November 2016
 08:17 GMT

  The sunshine didn't seem to last that long, or make much of an impact yesterday morning. By the time I left work, and was going home, it was really horribly, depressingly, overcast. It was like all the colour had gone out of the world. The only positive thing you could say was that 6 or 7° C was a lot better than 2° C - which was probably how cold it was when I came into work yesterday. This morning it was not as cold as yesterday, but it was definitely very dark and gloomy, and it was pissing down with rain ! I feel it is too painful to talk about the weather today. So here is a screenshot of the forecast.
terrible, terrible weather
                  Weds 9th Nov 2016
 The effect on my chest from walking through the frosty air yesterday morning seemed to last until yesterday afternoon, and there were still hints of discomfort when I got home after work. It made for a pretty miserable day. Having tried two real heart attacks, I know what they feel like. So I wasn't that worried about the sort of chest pain I suffered yesterday. I knew it was just my twisted ribs, mangled ligaments, and all the scar tissue from my operation in 2013 that was complaining about the cold, and yet there is always that small doubt that it could be something worse.

 After a fairly miserable, but occasionally productive day at work, it did feel good to be going home. Unlike when I was suffering from Angina - the precursor to my heart attacks - walking tends to cure, and not cause my chest pains now. My initial thought upon leaving work is that I would get a bus to the station, but the unwritten law was still working it's unholy magic - buses only appear around here when you don't want one, and never appear when you actually want one. So I walked to the station, and felt very slightly better for it.

 The thing that finally cured the last remnants of my aching chest was food. Very soon after I got home I had some cold food - at least I think I did but I can't remember what it was. The hot food I had later was even more effective, and from then until I went to bed it was hard to remember that I was suffering from anything at all. Perhaps that is not 100% true. After eating quite a substantial dinner, I did feel a bit uncomfortable bending over the bath while washing my hair, but that was another matter entirely.

 Eventually my hair was dry enough to go to bed. As soon as I got into bed, and turned onto my right side, there was a strong pain from just below the right side of my rib cage. It felt like, and for all I know it actually was, something popping back into place - like a dislocated rib. I have had similar in the past, and although it hasn't been so every time, it has heralded a calmer period for my chest. Last night I had to shift position a bit to relieve the pain, but it never returned no matter what posture I adopted at any time during the night. It is even possible that I slept better after that.

 Until I just thought about it, which was fatal, I hadn't thought that I might feel tired at all this morning - which makes a change. I think I almost feel safe to say the word yawn without yawning, and that makes a change, Maybe I really did sleep well for once, and not just tried to convince myself that I did........Oops, there goes the first yawn !!!! I'm not sure how to describe how I feel this morning. At first I thought I felt unusually good. Then while I was having a shower, which usually makes me feel better, I started to feel a bit creaky. Once I started to walk to the station I felt fairly good.

 It wasn't a 100% effortless walk to the station, and I am wondering if it ever has been, but it was easy enough - even in the pouring rain ! I had my hooded waterproof coat on, but that coat is not very thick, and while I kept dry, I can't say that I felt particularly warm - except on the trains. I was definitely feeling a bit cool when I arrived at work after the 9 - 10 minute walk from the station, but unlike yesterday, when I felt even colder, it didn't appear to have any detrimental effect on my chest.

 When I got in my office I found some stupid %^*& had turned all the heating off over night. Before I went home I turned the thermostat down so that the heaters would keep the chill out. With no heating this office cools down so quickly that by morning it seems to be little warmer than outside. It makes my tools too cold to use, and generally pisses me off. The worst thing is that it then takes so long to get the room back to a comfortable temperature. The heaters have been working flat out for 90 minutes now, and while the air feels a bit warmer, my tools, and even the desk top, feel uncomfortably cold to touch. It won't be until lunchtime that working in here will be comfortable again.

 I don't know what I am doing tonight. There could be a chance that Angela won't be going to any of the open mic sessions tonight. If that is the case then there is a chance that I'll meet her for an after work drink. Maybe she will even come back to my place for a bit. It there is a slightly better chance that I'll be going straight home after work. In which case I think my evening will be mapped out as - eat, read, sleep !
Tuesday 8th November 2016
 07:52 GMT

  The forecast for yesterday was fairly accurate. There was a reasonable amount of sunshine, and it was mostly chilly. I didn't bother to check the actual temperature, but I wouldn't dispute the forecast that it peaked at around 9° C just after midday, but was a degree or two cooler a few hours earlier and later. Yesterday morning's forecast for today was completely wrong - I hope ! It painted a very cold and dull grey day with rain starting as early as late afternoon, but the latest theory is that we should see plenty of sunny intervals during daylight hours, and that the rain will not start until as late as 8pm. The temperature profile was, rather sadly, probably right. Today is going to be one of the coldest yet. In Catford it was about 3° C when I walked to the station. Here in Earlsfield it was cold enough for frost. By late afternoon the temperature should hit it's peak, and it will only be a miserly 6° C ! Tomorrow is currently forecast to start at 8° C, but then it will get colder ! By late morning the temperature is forecast to fall to just 6° C, and by midnight it will be down to 5° C. That sounds grim enough without the added grimness of steely grey cold skies and rain for most of the day - maybe even sleet ! Yuck !!

 There were times when I felt almost normal at work yesterday. My nose was mostly dry, I was only coughing occasionally, and only the worst bits of me hurt. I still found it very hard to raise any enthusiasm for work though. It was obviously nice to finish work, and head for home, but the journey itself seemed to give no great pleasure - although it is a fairly rare occasion when it does. The pleasure lay at the other end of the journey when I met Angela in The Black Cat for a few pints of Guinness.

 Guinness and Angela's company do make me feel good, but all good things have to end, and after we had had our couple of drinks we went to our own homes. We both had stuff to do at home. In my case it was to have some hot food, deal with some laundry I had left soaking for over 24 hours, and to wash my hair. I failed to do the latter, and only a third of my food was hot. I had a three part dinner that seemed to fill me up more than I thought it would. Part one was salad with some "fire smoked" beef slices (found with a reduced price sticker on at Tesco). Part two was a beef and sliced potato casserole ready meal (chosen because it's salt and sugar content were only mildly lethal compared to some other nearby ready meal).

 The third part was actually a sweet "sweet". It was some bits of baklava - middle eastern pastry like stuff soaked in honey. Of course it's sugar content was outrageous (honey is just another form of sugar), but I had this warped idea that maybe I needed it. Perhaps I thought the positive aspects of the honey might be good for me even if the sugar would be bad. Honey does have antiseptic properties, and is often recommended for sore throat. The only problem with that is that it is supposed to cure sore throats, and not give you one. By the time I had munched through several slices, my throat went from the merest hint of soreness to so painful that it was hard to swallow. So much for honey !!

 Maybe some of the warm wet air as I hand washed my laundry helped, or maybe gargling with whisky helped more, but by the time I went to bed my throat was merely "quite sore". Fortunately it didn't seem to interfere with my sleep. On the whole I seemed to sleep well, although upon going back to bed after a brief visit to the toilet sometime in the early hours of this morning, it seemed like parts of my bed, duvet and pillow were cold and slightly damp. That suggests I had a period of sweating while I was asleep. That might have been a good sign - a bit of fever as I fight the filthy bugs that caused this still ongoing, but now fading cold. It might have also been a bad sign - raised blood glucose level after eating that baklava.

 The other thing about my sleep is my dreams. I can remember so little about them apart from they all seemed to share a core theme - and it was a very weird one. I was in a small jet plane that was apparently capable of supersonic speeds. In some of the dreams it seemed like I was the pilot, although I can't actually remember doing anything at all in these dreams. There was also very few images in these dreams - it was almost like I was reading them from a book. One curious fact that I do remember was that the dreams were set in Belgium, and that idea was reinforced by the idea that there were two buttons on the plane's console, and they were marked as C and M. This plane had a push button dispenser for chips and mayonnaise !

 When I finally got up I felt slightly rough, but probably better than recent mornings. It really did feel like I was finally getting over this cold, but of course it was not to last. I seemed to be passably OK until I was walking from Earlsfield station to work. It was a little colder here compared to Catford, and there was frost on the cars here. That extra cold air seemed to be enough to get me coughing, and to start feeling wheezy. By the time I arrived at work my chest was aching, and I felt generally bad. Now I am slowly warming up again I am starting to feel a bit better, but I also seem to feel very tired, and the more I think about it, the more I yawn.

 Hopefully I'll feel better during the day. I am unsure what is happening tonight. There was a possibility that I might have met up with Angela again, and she might have come back to my place for a few hours, but that seems unlikely now because she reports she is feeling poorly today. I would have loved to have seen her, but every cloud has a silver lining. I should take this opportunity to finally wash my hair, and do it early enough that I can get to bed with dry hair nice and early.

 My next problem is - can I upload this ? Vermin Media are having a few troubles again, and my internet access to my server at home is a bit flaky at the moment. Oh well, time to push the "Publish" button, and see what happens !
Monday 7th November 2016
 08:16 GMT

  The sunshine that made yesterday morning nice looking (even if it was very cool outside) almost disappeared in the early afternoon, but there were one or two very shorts spells of sunshine later in the afternoon. There was also some rain in the afternoon. This morning started off rather cool. Today's weather is best described with a screenshot of the BBC's webpage.
weather forecast for today -
                  Mon 7th Nov 2016
 Apart from the low temperature, it is going to be a mostly fine day, but note how low the temperature drops by midnight. It will be almost low enough for it to snow ! That threat seems almost close to reality tomorrow. It is not going to be a nice day tomorrow. Cold, grey, wet and miserable are some of the things that come to mind when I see the forecast.
the terrible forecast for
 If this forecast turns out to be close to reality it is going to be a bloody cold journey to work tomorrow ! I hope I'll be safely at home (or maybe in the pub) when the rain starts to fall in the early evening. If the temperature was another degree lower I could imagine that rain falling as sleet, or even snow ! Of course the other very negative thing is the time of sunset. The sun will be setting while I am still on the train home from work, and it will be getting dark by the time I get home. That is very depressing.

The sore throat, I mentioned yesterday, seemed to melt away almost as stealthily as went it started. It was really quite painful for an hour or two (or three ?), and then I suddenly realised it had gone away again....well maybe not completely. I could still feel a hint of soreness into the evening, and I can even feel it this morning - although maybe what I can feel at the moment is the start of another spell of it being sore. Apart from the sore throat, I felt "mostly" OK yesterday afternoon and evening - but only by doing lots of intense laziness in a very warm room. I might have had a whisky or two as well, but only to disinfect my throat.

 As the afternoon wore on, and dissolved into evening, I became both tired and alert at the same time. Sometimes I wanted to lay down and snooze, and at other times I wanted to do something constructive. The best compromise was to do a bit of both. I think it was probably around 4pm that I lay on my bed reading, and fell asleep for an unknown amount of time - though I feel it could have been almost for a whole hour. When I woke up I decided I just had to start work on editing the photos I took at the Lord Algae gig in The Black Cat on Saturdaay night. My initial idea was that I would do something like half of them, and then go to bed extra early. In the end I went through the whole lot of photos. As usual there were a couple of good shots, and a supporting cast of some "passaable" shots. I'll upload them to Flickr for all to see sometime.
Lord Algae at The Black Cat
 Here's one picture I edited last night. It looked reasonably good on my home PC, but on my work PC it is looking a little wishy washy. I suspect this picture will be used by The Black Cat in any future publicity if the band do a return visit.

 I read in bed for a little longer than I intended last night, but I guess I was still asleep by, or quite soon after 9.30pm (I meant to be asleep by 9pm). As far as I can remember, I had a good sleep last night, and I woke up feeling only terrible instead of horribly terrible. I was only coughing now and then, and while it was very stuffy, my nose wasn't exactly running. Even my chest felt almost comfortable. Maybe I am getting over this cold at last - or maybe not. I still felt very creaky as I came to work, and although I kept up with everyone on the mad dash from Waterloo East to Waterloo station, I felt no desire, or even the energy to try and race ahead of anybody.

 Now I am at work I feel semi-comfortable while I am sitting here doing no more than typing this. It helped that the heating had been left on low over the weekend, and it didn't feel freezing in here. I reckon that by mid morning it will actually feel nice and warm in here. Meanwhile, I have a very mild headache, and from time to time my throat feels a little tickly. In an ideal world I would have an endless supply of Guinness here so I could constantly sip it like I did on saturday night to keep my throat irrigated. Like my throat, my nose also feels a bit tickly, but it is almost dry most time I blow it.

 Upon reflection I think that it would have been much nicer if I had stayed off work sick, but I guess I'll get through the day OK. It's after work that is more important. I think there is a fair chance that I'll be meeting Angela in the pub after work. I'm not sure what the chances are of taking her home afterwards to spend a little more time with her. I guess it all depends on how we both feel. I hope I'll feel well enough, but the track record of this cold suggests otherwise. If I do go home alone I will have time to do a few things I wouldn't otherwise have time for. If that is the case I hope I have the inclination to wash my hair, and to finish off some washing that I left soaking since yesterday morning. I didn't feel like doing that washing yesterday, but it is probably imperative that I do it tonight before it goes smelly - if it hasn't done so already !
Sunday 6th November 2016
 12:57 GMT

  The weather has been highly variable in the last few days. Last Friday saw some rain - light at first, but quite heavy later. I guess it first started a little after midday, and didn't stop until well into the evening. As far as I can recall it was dry yesterday, but I don't think there was much, if indeed any sunshine. There has been some sunshine this morning, although a consequence of the clear(ish) sky was that it was perishing cold this morning - about 4° C. It's only 8° C now, but a lack of wind, and the earlier sunny spells took the sting out of it's tail. The forecast says it will start to rain any minute now. That seems unlikely, but I guess it could rain a bit later. Tomorrow could be sunny, but like today, the temperature will only peak at about 8° C.

 My cold lingers on occasionally getting worse, and occasionally getting better. For instance, right now I have a very sore throat. It started for no apparent reason about an hour ago. I think it was on Friday night that my throat was very sore too, and that lasted quite a few hours before going away while I slept. The two main symptoms of this filthy disease remain a cough, and a stuffy nose. Either can come and go on a whim, although I guess that "weaken" and "strengthen" are probably more accurate than come and go. Apart from those annoyances I often feel fairly OK for a lot of the time, but sometime they can be bad enough to make me feel bad, and occasionally I just feel bad. Perhaps the most annoying feeling of all is that there seems to be no obvious progression to getting well again.

 I didn't feel well enough to even consider going to work on Friday, and decided that some rest would be a good idea. So I spent some extra time in bed, and slobbed around when I finally got up. That seemed to make me feel good enough (as intended) to go out to meet Angela during her lunchbreak. It was soon after I left home that the first rain fell. At that time it was very light, and ignorable, but it did get a little bit heavier while I was out. It was too wet to go and sit in the park. The obvious alternative was to go for a quick drink. Unfortunately it seems that The Ravensbourne Arms has closed down (, and we had to go to The Jolly Farmers. It is not a very nice pub, but it served our purpose well enough for one drink.

 After one drink we left the pub. Angela went back to work, and I went back home. A few hours later I decided I would go out again to meet Angela when she came out of work. The only problem was that I didn't actually check what time she would be leaving. On days when we meet after work she can usually make it to the pub in Catford by 4.30pm, or not too long afterwards. So I guessed that if I was outside here work by 4.15pm I would be there in time to meet up, and we could decide if we were going to the pub, or going straight back to my place, as we walked along. It wasn't until I was outside her place of work, having walked there in the pouring rain, that I decided it might be prudent to check what time she would be leaving. The response was that she was busy, and might be at work for another half hour. It seemed prudent not to wait in the pouring rain, but to go back home, and wait for her to go there as we latterly arranged.

 I had a couple of very pleasant hours of Angela's company, and it was a pleasure to feed her, but it seemed wise for her not to stay too late. While she was here I felt more or less OK - at least in terms of not coughing much, and not having to blow my nose more than now and then, but I did seem to be getting a sore throat. It was barely noticeable at first, but an hour or so after Angela went home, and as my bed time approached, the soreness got very bad. I wondered how I would ever sleep, but I did, and when I woke up again, three or four hours later, the sore throat had gone.

 I wished I could have had more, and better sleep Friday night/Saturday morning, but what I did get seemed as if it was probably enough - particularly so for a Saturday when I was at liberty to snooze at almost any time I fancied - although I barely had, or wanted to. Apart from my nose, which was a stuffy as can possibly be without actually dripping, I felt moderately OK for a lot of yesterday. For some reason I can't seem to remember what I did to pass so much time yesterday. I think I must have spent an awful lot of my time doing stuff on my PC.

 I was doing stuff pertaining to videos. I converted one video file to a standard video DVD, and I also experimented with video files on a memory stick that I could plug into my DVD player. In the past I have found that facility on my DVD player to be very touchy about the files it will play, but I found it would play the one video I wanted it to play, plus a few others. After quite some time of evidently doing lots and achieving little, it was time to go out to see Lord Algae playing in The Black Cat. I was looking forward to it because they sounded like they could be quite good - and they were. The only sad thing is that Angela wanted to go to where her daughter was playing, and couldn't come with me to The Black Cat.

 The thing about live bands is that they often sound far better when watching them live with a pint of beer in the hand. Watching a recording in the cold light of day will often reveal things that were not apparent when watching it as it was recorded. I have two recording to share here. Ignoring my wonky camera work on both, one sounds better than the other, and yet on the night they were really enjoyable !

The first video is a cover of that great Faces song "Stay With Me"

The second video is a cover of Pink Floyd's "Time". It seemed great at the time, but now....

I think it must have been midnight when I got home from the pub after a most enjoyable evening. About the only thing that had bothered me all evening was my cough. Initially it wasn't too bad, but I had to keep drinking Guinness all the time to keep my throat wet. As the evening wore on my cough got worse, and then walking home though the cold and damp night air just made it worse.

 I didn't rush to bed when I got in. I decided that some hot food might be beneficial, and I think it was. I didn't seem to have any trouble getting to sleep at 1am this morning, nor did I seem to have trouble getting back to sleep after a short time awake at around 4am this morning - and that was despite my nose being stuff with all sorts of unpleasantness, and having to cough up quite a lot of crap form somewhere down my wind pipe.

 Ideally I would have slept a lot longer than I did this morning. Had it been possible I would have been most happy not to have woken up until midday, but I found it difficult to sleep after about 6am, and I probably started getting up around 7am. Once I had coughed/blown out all sorts of internal body tubes I felt moderately OK, and by 10am (or was it 11am) I was washed, dressed and ready to go to Tesco to buy food I can eat hot instead salad.

 It was a little while before I was about to go out that I realised there was some excitement going on outside my house. Earlier on I had noticed some unusual traffic cones had been put up. It turned out that the BBC were filming what may be no more than a 10 second sequence of some drama being broadcast next July (or thereabouts). From my point of the there were two stars there I wanted to see. One was the camera being used, and I had a nice chat with the director of photography about the camera (pictures later). The other star was a heritage bus - a London Transport RT type bus (the type that came before the icon RM "Routemaster" bus).
RT style bus
 Some of the filming took place while I was in Tesco, and there was more filming after wards - all for what is probably just going to last 10 - 15 seconds in the final edit. I thought it quite clever how they used a few vintage cars to park in front of more modern cars that could not be used, and would otherwise be in the shot. It is possible the little Austin A35 car, seen behind the bus in the photo above, was used to mask the modern road sign at the end of the road. After multiple takes of the bus going past my house (but filmed looking away from my house, and all the others with modern uPVC glazing), they packed up, and faded away as quietly as they first arrived.

 Since then I have done some photo editing. Eaten some fruit that I bought in Tesco (for extra vitamin C and stuff), and done hardly anything else. I have a whole pile of pictures I took last night that I need to select and edit, but I think the videos show everything that needs to be shown for now. I guess I can go into extreme sloth/slob mood now, and do bugger all for the rest of the day....maybe. Unless I feel stunningly bad, which is possible, I will be gritting my teeth, and going into work tomorrow. I had better be in bed, and ideally fast asleep, really early tonight !
Thursday 3rd November 2016
 13:37 GMT

  I'm developing a theory that the accuracy of weather forecasts peaks in the autumn. The forecast for yesterday turned out to be perfectly correct. It was sunny during the hours of daylight, and it was a rather chilly 10° C (or close enough to make no difference). Where my theory falls down is that today has been a lot brighter, and indeed sunnier that forecast - unless the forecast was sneakily changed after I checked it this morning. This morning it was almost frosty. My thermometer said just 2.3° C. It has warmed up a bit now, but not by much. I reckon it is 10° C right now, and while it could go up one more degree before the afternoon is over, 10° C seems pretty representative of how cool it is.

  I reckon I could allow the forecasters some slack before completely slating their powers of prediction. While most of the day has been fairly bright, which seems to contradict the forecast, I don't think I've noticed the sky actually being blue. It is very lightly overcast, and the sunny periods are really of slightly hazy sunshine. Tomorrow is currently forecast to range from medium to slightly heavy overcast, with the added joy of a shower or two in the early afternoon. The day is supposed to start at a moderate 9° C, but will only rise by one measly degree to peak at 10° C before slowly falling to a damn chilly 4° C in the early hours of Saturday morning.

 I felt pretty horrible at work yesterday. At worst it felt like I had 'flu, and at best I just felt mildly off colour. The worst was while waiting for my room to heat up in the morning. My old 3Kw fan heater, just £7.99 from Poundstretcher, used to be far faster at getting my office nice and toasty warm than the two "silly money" (or very silly money when the price of installation is factored in) air con units ! (I doubt the company got any change out of £2000, and maybe even £3000 !!).

 Once my room was nice and warm, probably as midday approached, and with the jumper on I only ever wear when feeling particularly cold, I didn't feel so bad if I sat there quietly - i.e. not working very hard - not very hard at all !! Paradoxically, I felt even better when I went out into the cold to travel home. Walking to the station didn't seem taxing in any way (well no more than average), and it wasn't until I was walking the last few minutes before arriving home that I began to feel the strain.

 Once I got home I turned on the heating full blast, and quickly sorted out some hot food. After eating (rather more than is ideal) I turned the heating down to more moderate levels, and retired to my bedroom for a couple of hours. In that couple of hours I only did one thing that changed the world in the most sub-microscopic way - probably a sub-nanoscopic change ! I uploaded
the pictures I had taken in the park on Monday - when it was warm and sunny !
pictures taken in the Pool River Linear Park
If you click on this matrix of pictures it will open up Flickr for hi-res versions of these snaps.

 I felt tired, and it had been dark outside for a few hours at 7.30pm, and it didn't feel too early to go to bed - and that is exactly what I did. I slept remarkably well, although I did have to get up to straighten out my chest, and a few assorted muscles, at around midnight. That kept me awake for as much as three quarters of an hour, but eventually I fell asleep, and though I may have got up for a pee at some point, I essentially slept through to 4am before entering into intermittent sleep.

 I didn't think I felt more than mostly horrible this morning, and I went through the motions of getting ready for work. Sometimes I would feel almost normal, and sometimes not so good, but I thought I would be OK to go to work. I changed my mind when I got to the station. Walking in the cold air was making my chest ache, and although I didn't develop anything like the coughing I would have done while I was smoking, I still felt it would be better to turn around and walk back home.

 When I got home I spent some time on my PC before deciding I would have some hot breakfast. It was slightly unusual as breakfast's go....I heated up a large can of Cassolete - a French stew made with butter beans, sausage and duck. It was nice and warm and filling. I went back to bed after that, but I didn't really sleep that much. I got up again feeling either good enough, brave enough, or stupid enough to attempt some laundry.

 I only washed one shirt, two pillowcases, and some underwear, and so it wasn't particularly taxing. The legacy of it was an extra ache or two, but also a feeling of satisfaction, and I think I actually felt better for it. The odd ache soon faced, and I think I have mostly felt quite comfortable since. However all is still not right. While I was writing about breakfast I felt like a nibble, and I stupidly tried to eat a handful of peanuts. I think I have almost stopped coughing now !!

From time to time I have felt that I would probably be OK to go out to the pub tonight. It's Thursday, and I should be meeting the Thursday night gang in The Station Hotel by Hither Green station at 5pm. One day I really ought to check to make sure, but I think I can get there, all bar a 5 minute walk at each end, on one bus. My latest idea is that while I could force myself to go out, it would be more sensible to stay in and continue to get better. There is a very good reason to do that. If all goes well I will be meeting Angela after work tomorrow night, and if I am not coughing and spluttering all over here she will come back here, and maybe won't go home until the early hours !
a source of vitamin C -
                      I think
To help my recovery I have increased my vitamin C intake by eating these - baby kiwi fruit. I had never heard of them until I bought these on Monday. That are small, and most importantly, hairless versions of kiwi fruit. Now I've tried them I think I would say that I much prefer proper, normal sized, kiwi fruit, but these aren't bad.
Wednesday 2nd November 2016
 08:02 GMT

  The weather wasn't awful yesterday, but it gave no reason for cheer. When it wasn't grey it was very grey, and at one point it came perilously close to raining. In fact I thought I felt a couple of drops hit my face at one point. On top of all that it was rather cool - I'm not even sure it hit the forecast 12° C. Today sees one major improvement - it is going to be bright and sunny all day long. The downside of that is that this morning the temperature had fallen to just 3 - 4° C under the clear sky, and the highest afternoon temperature may be no higher than 10° C. Tomorrow may have a very similar temperature profile, but there will be no sunshine at all ! By Sunday the daytime temperature could be as low as just 8° C - winter is not far away !!

 I felt pretty rough yesterday. I had all the symptoms of a cold. I guess if I was still smoking heavily it would have been a really rough experience, but even so I still managed a fair amount of coughing. The only time I felt mostly OK was when I was out. A nice brisk walk around the shops felt quite good - good enough that I did it twice. The first time was to the SAM 99P shop and Poundstretcher. The second trip was to one of the second hand/pawnbroker shops to see what they had.

 I can't remember the name of the shop I went to, but they usually have a selection of photographic equipment on show in the window. Yesterday they had a Nikon D3200 camera with a Tamron zoom lens for a reasonable price, and if I didn't have my Nikon D3100 camera I could have been tempted. In reality I was more tempted by a lens on it's own. It was nothing particularly special, but could have bridged a small gap in my collection. It was an F mount lens, as used by Nikon, but it was subtly different, and wouldn't seat properly on the handy Nikon D3200 camera. I suspect it was meant for a Nikon SLR (film) camera, and not a Nikon DSLR (digital) camera.

 I still had a burning desire to spend some money.....or did I just have a desire to do a bit more walking ? Whatever my motivation was, and maybe it was clairvoyance or something, I ended up in the Pound shop - the one that used to be the 99p shop until it was taken over. I did have a vague idea that I might look through their DVDs to see if there was anything interesting - there wasn't. All their DVDs seemed to be cheap modern American/Hollywood crap. I wanted classic English films - posssibly in black and white ! What I did find were two new flavours of Original Source shower gels. One was "Blue Ginger" and the other was "Lemon And Chilli". I suspect that when I get around to trying the latter it will make my genitals feel very strange - sort of cold and tingly ! It's probably more a summer shower gel than a winter one !

 Apart from my two walks to the shops I did very little until I went out to the pub to meet Angela. It was great to see her, but she wasn't feeling great, and I wasn't feeling great either. So we just had two drinks, chatted for a while and went back to our own homes. Had we both been feeling better we would have gone back to my place for a few hours. When I got home I had some hot food, and that felt rather good. Eventually it was bed time, and by 9.30pm I was fast asleep.

 The only trouble was that I didn't stay asleep. I think I must have woken up every two hours. The first time I woke up I was feeling very wheezy, and on that occasion, plus the following occasions, I was coughing quite a lot. Once again, compared to when I was smoking it was quite a mild cough, but it was enough to make my delicate chest, with my "twisted rib" quite sore.

 This morning I do feel pretty rough. It would feel quite 'flu like if it weren't for one thing. The best I have felt this morning was when walking in the cold air. I almost felt something approaching nornality while walking quite fast. It was only when I stopped that all assorted bits of me would start to ache, my nose would drip, and I would start to cough. I seem to be coughing a lot more recently. It's probably caused by my office taking so long to warm up. If I was feeling well, and fairly busy,  I might say it is now warm enough for shirtsleeves, but at the moment it feels rather cool.

 I do have an excellent reason to try and feel a lot better by tonight. If all goes well I'll be meeting Angela for a drink after work, and if all goes exceptionally well we will both feel like going back to my place for a cuddle.
view to the east
I tried to take some pictures on my way to work to show what the morning was like. The picture above was supposed to show how bright the morning sky was when I was almost at work. The picture does hint at how the sky was starting to look nice and blue, but the two aircraft contrails, at right angles to each other in the centre of the picture, do not appear dazzingly white as they did to my naked eye.
Garrett Lane towards Wandsworth
The view down Garrett Lane towards Wandsworth. I take the first turning on the left to get to work. It was close to daylight at this point, and the sky was bright enough to bleach out any blue colour on my mobile phone camera.
leaves turning yellow, and lots of berries
I don't seem to be able to take good pictures of trees ! What this picture should show is the leaves turning yellow and dropping off this tree, and all the red berries on it. It should look very autumnal, but instead it just looks straggly.
Tuesday 1st November 2016
 09:52 GMT

  Yesterday was a beautiful day ! After a misty start the sun broke through, and by midday it was like a fairly cool summers day - cool by summer standards, but rather good for autumn. I think the temperature hit 18° C for a while. You can judge just how wonderful it was from this short clip of Angela being naughty, and having a swing in the children's playground.

 This morning started off quite cool and rather dull. It was around 8° C, and it didn't take long for a mist to form, but it also didn't seem to take that long for the mist to dissipate again. It is now just an ordinary grey autumn day. The best we can hope for today is 12° C, and clouds ranging from pale grey to dark grey, but it should stay dry. Tomorrow looks happier with some sunshine forecast, but the day will start at just a chilly 5° C, and peak in the afternoon at 12° C, Must wear a thick coat tomorrow.

 Yesterday's sunshine just had to be enjoyed, and so by about midday I went for a long walk with my camera. I walked about half to two thirds of the way through The River Pool Linear Park until I left the park and walked up the hill to Angela's home. I have only one complaint, and it is rather a petty one about the first half of my walk, and that was that I was walking facing the blazing sun. At this time of year it is low in the sky, and was in a rather dazzling position. Apart from that it was wonderful !
leaf caught on a
                      crumbling seed head
 I snapped quite a few pictures along the way, but most were rather boring stock pictures of autumn leaves. The trees in the park don't seem to be the ones that produce some of those really intense autumn colours. Instead of those I offer the picture above. It shows a fallen leaf sitting delicately on top of the crumbling seed head of (I think) Cow Parsley. It's sort of "arty".

 When I collected Angela I promised her a treat. That treat was that she could fulfil a fantasy of having a swing in the park. On my way to her house I had noted that the childrens play area was deserted, and that they had swings that looked suitable for a light weight adult. When we got there, there was one mum with her kid, but we ignored them, and Angela had her swing (see the video nearer the top of the page).

 Angela enjoyed walking through the park as much as I did. When we came back out at the Catford Bridge end we walked down the hill towards Lidl to have a look around in there. I didn't intend to buy much, but it is lucky I came well equipped with bags to hold all the stuff I did buy. It was while we were in Lidl that Angela complained of a growing stomach ache, and I hurried up so we could get to our next destination.

 That destination was The London And Rye Wetherspoons pub. I had promised her I would buy her some dinner in there. She had a gammon steak with egg and chips (basically a sophisticated version of egg, bacon and chips), and I had a barbecued chicken and bacon pannini. I don't think any blame can be rested on Angela's chip for what came a bit later, but the did taste quite unpleasant. Salt and lashings of vinegar would have sorted them out, but she had them plain.

 After dinner we came back here, and Angela complained that her stomach ache had got worse. A few minutes later she dashed up to the toilet, and after quite some time came down very pale faced. It seems she had quite a stomach upset ! Unfortunately, but understandingly, she announced that she would feel much better if she went home. She called a cab in the hope that it would whisk her home in no time - it didn't ! The poor girl got stuck in traffic, and she had a very uncomfortable ride home. When she got home she lay down, and I think she said the slept for something like 3 hours.

 I had hoped to spend the afternoon with Angela, but I had no choice but to amuse myself until it was time to go out again. Chain were playing a very unusual gig last night - unusual in that it was on a Monday night. It was a special Halloween gig, and of course Halloween was last night. Considering it was a week night, with most people having to get up for work in the morning, it was very well attended. In fact it was getting a little too well attended for my liking towards the end, and I decided to leave a little while before the end.

 Yesterday morning I had woken up with a bit of a cough, and feeling a bit wheezy. That vanished once I was out in the sunshine, but it returned last night as I walked through the cool damp air from the bus stop to home. It probably wasn't quite as bad as it had been in the morning, but it was not nice. I possibly made things worse in the longer term by eating rather well when I got back home.

 It must have been almost midnight when I went to bed last night, and I fell asleep very quickly - at least I think I did. I slept for just over two hours when I woke up feeling dreadful. It was a two pronged attack (maybe more). My chest felt very congested, and so did my gut. Two trips to the toilet sorted the latter out, but I still felt wheezy, and it was difficult to have a proper, successful, enjoyable cough. It took a bit of time before I could get back to sleep.

 I also woke up at 6am for a while, but while I didn't feel that wonderful, I didn't seem to have much trouble getting back to sleep, and dreaming about supermarkets until 8am. This morning it feels like I have another cold - a proper one this time. I guess it is of the mild variety, and I think I would probably have been OK to have gone to work with it if I was working today - which fortunately I am not.

 My nose didn't fully dry up since the last cold, but it did get to the point where, depending on the atmosphere, I could ignore it for hours. It now need attention fairly frequently, but at least it is not bad enough to actually drip. To complete the set, I now have, as I've mentioned, a cough. Occasionally it gets a bit annoying, but it does depend on what I am doing, and where I am doing it. I can imagine it getting worse, or getting better when I go out later.

 If Angela has gone to work today I will definitely feel well enough to go and meet her during her lunch break. We may just meet in the park, but it's not really park weather. So the alternative is to pop into the pub - if it is open. It would be really good if I was feeling very much better later this afternoon because there is also a plan to meet her after work. If I feel well enough we'll have a quick drink in The Black Cat, and then come back here. If I feel a bit rough I expect we'll just stay in the pub for a bit longer before Angela goes straight home. Between then and now I ought to take a look at the pictures I took at Chain's gig last night.
some sort of shrub
                      displaying brilliant autumn colours
One more picture taken in the park yesterday. I have no idea what this is, but it was very bright !