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

Monday 31st October 2016
 10:40 GMT

  The most significant thing about yesterday's weather was the foggy start to the day. After that the day was sort of bland. I think the sun came out once or twice, but most of the time it was overcast. At least it was dry, and the temperature was hovering in that sort of no man's land where it isn't really cold, but neither is it warm. It was probably around 14 - 15° C at best.
05.20 GMT Sunday 30th
                  October 2016
 This was the view at 05:20 GMT on Sunday morning. I took this picture walking home from Angela's house, and it shows the view down to the Town Hall/Library from the bridge over the railway by the old Railway Tavern pub. The strange thing was that it did not feel damp, and nor did it feel particularly cold (although it was only 10° C).

 Today the weather has changed for the better. It's only a temporary change, but a very welcome one. Tomorrow the sky will probably be overcast again, and it might even rain, but today it is going to be almost fact I reckon I wouldn't have to be too charitable to call 17° C warm, although it will only peak there for an hour or two. The rest of the afternoon is forecast to be 16° C, and it is going to be a very bright sunny afternoon. It is actually very sunny as I write this, but there are still some remnants of a morning mist, and a few clouds still around.

 I wasn't feeling too good at the gig on Saturday night. The first hints were when I was going over to Angela's house. I felt slightly stodgy, or very slightly breathless when going up just a short bit of hill. I guess I didn't actually feel bad at the gig, but I did find it hard to get enthusiastic about it. Some of that was actually more to do with the difficulty of taking pictures at the venue - The British Oak pub in Blackheath. It is always very dark in there, and the tables are arranged in such a way that it is hard to move around. It annoys me every time I go there !
The Life Of Brian
 To get the picture above I was forced to use flash, but I couldn't go flashing all night, and most pictures, although not dark after some processing, were very grainy. The band were The Life Of Brian (that's Brian on the far right of the picture - shame he got clipped, but Miranda was the target of this shot). Miranda is Angela's daughter, and so I felt I ought to put in the effort to go to this gig - although they are very good, and definitely worth seeing on their own merit.

 After the gig I went back with Angela, and stayed the night at her place. I can't complain about how I felt at the start of the night ! Unfortunately I still haven't got the knack of sleeping properly while I am there. I must have got some sleep, but as 5am (GMT - the clocks went back at 2am) approached I thought it would be better to go home to my own bed. It was actually rather pleasant walking through the fog to get back home.

 I didn't get all that much sleep when I got in my own bed. At 5am my body just says it is time to get up, and refuses to relax. I guess I may have got a couple of hours sleep, and then maybe another couple made up of shorter snoozes during the day. The weather didn't inspire me to do anything, and combined with the tiredness I felt like doing no more than lazing around, and eating too much - although the eating too much was not actually intended !

 I should have gone to bed extra early last night, but in fact I went to bed at about my normal time - 9pm. Of course that was 9pm GMT, and that would be equivalent to 10pm BST. So in a way it was late. I think I managed to get a decent amount of sleep in last night, and apart from this cough, and my nose getting runny again, I feel mostly OK. Of course it is helped by the fact that I am on holiday from work today and tomorrow. It is going to be a bit of a shock to the system on Wednesday when I am back at work. If the cloud is thin enough to see it, sunrise will happen about when I am at Waterloo, and the rest of my journey to work will be done in daylight. Sadly, sunset is going to happen about the same time I arrive home again, and that will be deeply depressing !

 Today several things may be happening. Before the morning is out I intend to walk over to Angela's house via the park. Along the way I hope I'll be able to get a few snaps of the trees and stuff in their autumn colours. I also hope that I don't feel too breathless and coughing too much. Assuming I get there alive (!) Angela will accompany me back through the park. From then on things get a bit vague. What may happen is that we'll going into Lidl to do a bit of random shopping. After that I would like to buy Angela dinner in the Wetherspoons pub before we come back here for a few hours.

 Tonight's entertainment will be Chain playing a special All Hallows Eve gig in The Partridge pub in Bromley. This is the reason I booked tomorrow off work. I can stay out late and not have to worry about work in the morning (and of course I booked today off because it wasn't worth going in for just one day before taking a day off). I did have hoped that Angela might come to the gig tonight. At one point she said she would, but changed her mind. She is not a great Chain fan !
Saturday 29th October 2016
 12:26 BST

  Recent weather forecasts have been eerily close to reality recently. I think yesterday was pretty close to how it was forecast. There were sunny spells in the morning, and it was lightly overcast in the afternoon. I didn't get a chance to check the temperature (again !), but it did feel like it might have been the forecast 16° C - tepid with a hint of warmth. Today seems to have diverged from the forecast. I expected it to be very gloomy, but it is only medium gloomy, and it seems to be as much as a couple of degrees warmer. My upstairs, outdoor thermometer reckons it is only a tenth of a degree short of 18° C right now. It does feel almost warm out ! Tomorrow is forecast to be just 15° C, and more lightly overcast, while Monday is forecast to be 15° C again, but there could be blazing (winter) sunshine all day !

travelling home first class
 I had a typical lazy day at work yesterday. That's not to say I did nothing - I did a couple of very important things - so important that I thought that was quite enough for one day ! I still can't work out if I felt good, bad or indifferent while at work. I can't help but feeling I would feel a lot better if I was running up and down the fire escape 8 times a day to pop out for a fag break. All the sitting around I do now I am currently not smoking must be bad for my health.

 As always, it was nice to leave work to go home. Normally that doesn't imply I actually enjoy the 1 hour plus journey back to Catford, but on rare occasions bits of it are enjoyable, and last night was one such occasion.
 Ignore the fact that I look so miserable in the picture on the left. That is because I had bare seconds to get out of my seat, and off the train when I decided to snap the selfie, and it seems I didn't have enough time to compose a smile. The significance of the picture is what can be seen over my left shoulder. On some occasions the train home from Waterloo East uses train stock that is intended for longer distance journeys, and it features 1st class accommodation. (In reality one end of the carriage, without even a separating door, that is fitted with slightly wider, but not slightly more comfortable seats.). The official timetable shows no 1st class seating on suburban services from Charing Cross to Hayes (Kent), and so these seats do not officially exist, and can be used by anyone without a special 1st class ticket.

 There was more and better joy when I got back to Catford because I was meeting Angela in The Black Cat pub for a couple of quick drinks before we came back here for a bit of food, and other stuff. At one point it seemed like Angela would be here all night, but at about 9.30pm she went home again because she has a busy day today. I'll be seeing her later though.

 I don't know if it was significant that I didn't go to bed until almost 11pm, or if it was just the knowledge that I didn't have to get up early this morning, but I seemed to sleep exceptionally well last night. As usual I woke up around 4am for some mysterious reason, but I was able to get back to sleep again easily, and I didn't wake again until gone 6am. My last 20 minutes of sleep was in that peculiar state of being half awake and half asleep, half dreaming, and half day dreaming. At 7am (or was it 7.25am) I decided to get up.

 My chest felt quite sore when I got up, and what should have been a quite loose fitting t-shirt felt tight around the middle of my chest, and nowhere else. Nevertheless, I decided I would go to Aldi nice and early in the morning, and I think I got there about 15 minutes after they opened at 8am (well I think it's 8am, but it could be earlier). The good thing was that it was still fairly civilised in there. An hour or two later and it can sometimes get annoyingly busy in there.

 Once I got walking the discomfort from my chest muscles, ligaments, ribs, soft tissues faded away to........I think it was nothing ! Maybe I was distracted by the idea that the air felt wet. It wasn't raining, and it wasn't misty, but I'm sure I could feel something like some fine mist on my face now and then.

 I didn't do a very sensible shop in Aldi, and I seemed to come away from there with quite a lot to carry. Provided I don't try and eat it all at once I should be OK (some hope !!). I must have been feeling fairly OK when I got back home laden with shopping because it wasn't a lot later that I tackled a big household job - doing many days worth of washing up ! It did take a fair time because not only were there 4 dinner plates, but a fair amount of cutlery, and lots of little plastic containers. The latter were mostly the little pots that humous or olives come in. They seem useful, and I usually wash them for re-use.

 The next thing I did was to have a sort of brunch, and I washed up the tools for that straight after using them. I gave that food a good half hour, perhaps as much as a whole hour to settle down before I did my next task. That was to wash my work shirts and stuff. That washing is now hanging up to dry, and I can relax for a bit. In fact once I have written this I think I will be relaxing intensely - maybe even snoozing.

 There is always other stuff I could do, but I think the most important is now done. It is possible that I might find the energy to pop out to Poundland and/or Poundstretcher later, but more realistically the next thing on my agenda is to wash my hair, have a shower, and the get dressed ready to go out to a gig. I think tonight I will be going via Angela's house. I'll get the bus there (or possibly walk), and we'll get a cab to the gig together. After the gig I'll probably go back to Angela's place until sometime in the morning.
the Moon and a planet
                  (probably Venus)
 I almost forgot again that I took this picture early yesterday morning as I left home to walk to the station. If I had used my Canon SX40 camera it might have been a lot better, but all I had in my pocket was my Nikon S6300 pocket camera. It decided the best exposure would last for a full second, and I couldn't hold the camera steady for that long - hence the smearing. The picture shows a thin crescent moon and some smear where I moved the camera too quickly. What isn't shown, and I feel my Canon camera would have shown, is the rest of the moon faintly lit up by Earthshine. The other significant feature is what should just be a dot under the Moon, but has come out more like a short streak with a fainter tail. It's only a guess, but I think that is Venus.
Friday 28th October 2016
 08:00 BST

  It was nice to see some sunshine yesterday afternoon. It was just a shame that it was in the form of sunny intervals instead of non stop sunshine, and it was a shame that it was a bit weak and watery, but at least it lasted long enough to see me halfway between Victoria station and Bromley South on my way from work to the pub. I didn't notice that the temperature was a degree lower than the day before, and if anything I think I might have thought it felt microscopically warmer.

 There was a nice change to the weather this morning. As my train came out of the dark cutting before Earlsfield station, and the ground level fell away to reveal a view of the eastern horizon across Earlsfield cemetery, I could see a thin ribbon of slightly brownish pinky light heralding the soon to rise sun. It feels like, and may actually be the first morning this week when the sky has been mostly clear in the morning. The extra light made it feel like I was walking from the station to work in daylight. The forecast says there will be sunny intervals, or even sunny spells all morning, but sadly the afternoon will be overcast. Perhaps it is some compensation that it could be an almost warm 16° C this afternoon, but I think I would swap a few degrees for more sunshine. A lot of that warmth will eventually be trapped under thick clouds later, and tomorrow is still going to be 15° C extra, jumbo sized, gloomy !

 I felt mostly OK at work yesterday right up to home time. It was then that I suffered a great inconvenience. I mentioned yesterday how I had eaten some fancy ready made foods I had bought from Tesco, and how they had things like beans, lentils, and hedge clippings and stuff in them. Well, just before I was going to leave work they decided they had stayed in my body for long enough - as lentils will do ! Two explosive visits to the toilet later I was able to walk to the station in comfort, but 10 minutes later than usual.

 In the grand scheme of things 10 minutes is not a long time, but in the scheme of railway timetable it can make quite a lot of difference ! I did my usual route to get to places like Bromley (I was heading to Bromley South last night). I took the train from Earlsfield for one stop to Clapham Junction where I changed trains. I took the first available train the one stop to Victoria station. At Victoria I would usually be able to get the 16:10 Orpington service that stops at several useful places, but I missed that by a few minutes. The next service I could use was the 16:22 to Ashford (Kent). It doesn't do it particularly fast, but it's first stop is Bromley South station. I can't be bothered to research the exact figure, but I estimate that it arrived only a minute or two later than the Orpington service that has to stop at every station on the way there.

 Having got to Bromley South I had two options. I could walk up the long hill that is the high street to the pub, or I could get a bus. I got the bus, but I think that although I would have been hot, sweaty, and out of breath, it would have been quicker to walk up the hill ! The bus ride was a bit tedious. It got caught at several red traffic lights, and after a couple of stops there was a delay when a new driver took over. Eventually I got to the pub where I enjoyed three pints of ale with the Thursday night gang.

 After three pints I had had enough, and headed for home for some dinner. It must have been getting on for 8pm when I arrived home feeling rather hungry. I have to admit I ate far too much last night. I had several packs of sandwiches from Tesco that were reduced price because they were on the "best before" date when I bought them. It seemed prudent to eat them before they went two days after that date. If I had only eaten them I would have been almost OK, but I also had a couple of curry ready meals that were defrosted, and needed eating*. So I ate them too. I rather spoiled one of them by adding far too much scotch bonnet chilli sauce. I've had far hotter, but that stuff was still rather fierce !

* I could potentially have not had those curries until tonight, but I will be seeing Angela tonight, and did not want to inflict "curry breath" on her. The same would be true tomorrow night. Leaving those meals defrosted until Sunday may have been pushing my luck a bit. So they had to be eaten last night.

 Filled with food, and with my tongue still burning from the chilli sauce, I headed up to bed as soon as an ancient episode of The Avengers had finished (the real British Avengers, and not some silly American upstarts). Brushing my teeth probably stopped the last of the burning chilli sensation, and I was able to get into bed without feeling uncomfortable in any way. It wasn't long before I was fast asleep, and it seems I slept rather soundly until about 4.30am.

 It was possible that I might have slept even later than that were it not for a dream I was having. In this dream I dreamed that I had been eating sandwiches smothered in hot chilli sauce. They were very nice, but I had managed to get a lot of chilli sauce on my fingers. Unfortunately I wanted to go for a wee. Before I dared to touch any delicate part of my body with my chilli stained hands I had to wash them in plenty of hot soapy water. As I did this the pressure on my bladder got worse. Rather than pee the bed my brain decided it would be an excellent idea to wake me up. I did need to pee, but the sensation was very mild compared to the almost agony of the dream.

 This morning I feel good and bad. It definitely feels good that it is Friday, and some bit of my body feel good in a moderate sort of way. My legs seem to be working quite well, but I am not so sure about my chest. It's probably more heart disease of some exotic description, but I think I'll settle for twisted ribs and a bit of cool weather asthma - or my imagination. Some of it may well be imagination. As I rush around on my way to work, racing people across the link from Waterloo Eat to Waterloo (and it is a real race !) I get the odd mild twinge that feels like it is about to blossom into some sort of agony, but it never does, and I sometimes try and help it blossom by trying to speed up instead of slowing down. I think I would have felt better this morning if I had not eaten so much yesterday. I don't exactly feel bloated, but I do feel something - maybe it's just guilt !

 There is a change of plans tonight. The original plan was that I was going to rush home, have a light dinner, clean myself up, and then head over to Angela's place. She has now suggested that she comes to my place instead. It is going to be a re-run of Tuesday night - which I enjoyed immensely. The only problem with this new plan is that it changed after I left home this morning, and I left the place in a terrible state ! I'll have to see if I can a little bit of tidying up around Angela. I don't think I'll go as far as hoovering the living room carpet, but I'll have to change the food stained table cloth on the little table in front of the settee, and I'll have to do some washing up because I don't think I have a clean plate, and tools for Angela to eat her avocado. It's going to be a bit of a rush when we get home, but it will be worth it !
Thursday 27th October 2016
 07:29 BST

  Now, let me think...did the weather make any lasting impression on me yesterday ? The answer is probably no. It was dry, and fairly mild, and yes, there was some sunshine. I guess the temperature in the afternoon was close to the forecast 15° C, and that is in the region of being so bland that it neither excites nor annoys. Today it is supposed to stay dry, and a bit of afternoon sunshine could raise the temperature to 14° C. Of course it is not really the sunshine that will warm the place up but some warm air being driven in by the jet stream all the way across the Atlantic ocean. It is forming an area of high pressure above us that is forcing out all the nasty cold breezes from the north and east. Tomorrow could see the temperature rise to 16° C !

 This coming Sunday sees the clocks change from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time. It is fortunate that the weather forecast page publishes sunrise and sunset times, and takes away the guess work. Next Monday the sun will not rise until 06:53 GMT. I've booked Monday and Tuesday off work so I won't actually be travelling to and from work on Monday, but let's assume that I was (and of course I will be next Wednesday when things will be even worse). On Monday sunrise will not happen until I would have arrived at Waterloo East station. It should be light when I would arrive at work, but that won't last long - perhaps until a little past mid November. Sunset will be at 16:34 GMT, and if the trains were on time I could be at home before sunset, but only just. It could be as late as the start of December when I'll be starting my journey home from work in darkness. I really don't like this time of year, and the clocks changing just makes it worse for me by stealing an hour of daylight from me after work.

 One discomfort put some of the others in perspective yesterday. I made a poor choice of shoes to wear, and they made my feet feel a little sore. Not agonisingly sore, but sore enough to be annoying - but only while walking. When sitting at my desk those shoes were perfectly comfortable. The reason I wore them yesterday is that the day before I had worn a superficially identical pair except for their colour, and they seemed to be fairly comfortable. Oh well, lesson learned - possibly. The rest of my body was generally, although not exclusively comfortable for much of the time. It was still nice to leave work, and head for home - even in uncomfortable shoes.
Waterloo East with The Shard
                  in the background
 A picture I took yesterday afternoon (approx 4pm) while waiting for the 16:05 train from Waterloo East back to Catford Bridge. I think I took it to remind me that there was some sunshine yesterday afternoon. It was also a test of my new mobile phone camera. The full size original looked very good, but this very shrunken version looks a bit crap for some reason. I probably should have made the picture a link to a higher resolution version of it.

 As I wrote yesterday, I wanted to go into Tesco to by a birthday card when I got back to Catford yesterday. It seems that Tesco is about the only place I can think of that still sells greetings cards in Catford. Their selection is not great, but I found one that was acceptable even if it wasn't exciting. Of course while I was in Tesco I couldn't help but buy a few extra things...well more than just a few ! There were a load of reduced price sandwiches, and quite a few other reduced price things. Some of them were a bit odd, but interesting to investigate.
weird stuff !!
 I wouldn't touch this at full price, but at half price, and doused in plenty of hot chilli sauce, it was quite nice. I also bought, doused in chilli sauce, and enjoyed some weird stuff featuring "blackened chicken" with some green beans and assorted hedge clippings. I also enjoyed a couple of half price bagels filled with (hardly any) chicken and red pesto, and a chicken with green stuff (including coriander leaf) in flat bread. I think I ate something else too, but I can't remember what. Some of it was possibly a bit healthy (all the hedge clippings ?), and the bread based stuff probably wasn't. I doubt I lost any weight last night, but at least I don't feel any detrimental effects from it this morning.

 The only other significant thing I did yesterday was to wash my hair. Once it was dry enough to use the phone I gave Angela a call, and I ended up speaking with her for quite a long time. After that it was time for bed. I fell asleep quite quickly when I went to bed, and for a lot of the night I slept well, but in the last few hours I must have been really thrashing around judging by the intensity of me dreams. I had this extended dream where I was supposed to be attending some sort of training course somewhere in north west London. I don't think I ever got there because too much happened to distract me. One distraction involved exploring a tunnel system that the residents of a small town had built to link their town to a station the other side of a hill. It was done in 1930s London Underground style with white tiles and dark wood panelling.

 The station that the tunnel lead to was very extensive, and I think it had a tube section, and a national rail section. The former being underground, and the latter above ground. To connect the two there was an erratic pair of escalators that kept reversing direction. Fortunately I seemed to have come out of the tunnel near the top of those escalators, and didn't have to use them. The national rail platforms were quite extensive, and there were a mixture of electric trains, diesel trains, and even steam trains. All needed photographing because even the electric trains were of a type not seen in south London. It must have been almost 4.30am when I awoke from the dream, and I awoke because I needed a pee. It was about the worst time for that because once I got out of bed I knew I would never be able to get back to sleep again in the short time left to me before I had to get up.

 This morning I don't feel that good, and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it is my chest playing up again that is the biggest source of annoyance. I think that during the night I crunched my "twisted rib". Now my whole chest area feels sort of crunchy, and is vaguely sore. Maybe it is just that, that has slowed me down this morning. I was able to rush at full speed between Waterloo East and Waterloo mainline stations this morning, but it felt like very hard work, and it wasn't exhilarating as it can be. I also seem to be developing a mild headache now. I think I would much prefer to be relaxing at home right now.

 Hopefully I will feel better this afternoon. It's Thursday, and I definitely intend to attend the Thursday night gang drinking session. Tonight's venue is The Greyhound pub in Bromley. It's not the easiest pub to get to from work because it is not conveniently near any station. I will probably get the train to Bromley South station, and get a bus up the hill. The pub itself is a Wetherspoons pub, and the reason we are drinking in one is because nearly all of us have joined CAMRA (Campaign For Real Ale) and have a sheet of 50p off vouchers that became valid from the 1st of October (and will expire about a fortnight into November). So lots of cheap beer tonight....well maybe not lots. I reckon about three pints will be sufficient - unless they have a really exceptionally wonderful ale available !!
Wednesday 26th October 2016
 08:26 BST

The forecast for yesterday seemed a bit gloomy, and on the whole it was rather dull, but the suggestion in the small print that it might rain, even to the extent of thundery showers, turned out to be complete nonsense. The day remained dry and gloomy until the sun unexpectedly came out to accompany me home from work (and a little bit longer). The temperature was probably in the region of the forecast 13° C, and with little wind it felt comfortable enough in my stage 1 winter coat.
weather prediction for today
 I didn't need my stage 2 winter coat (the extra thick one) today, and nor did I need my stage 1 winter coat. I reckon it was 11° C when I left to come to work this morning, and my autumn coat was quite sufficient for that. The forecast says that this afternoon may not only be partly sunny, but 15° C, and that is heading into (almost) warm territory. Even tomorrow is looking like it may not be that terrible...or maybe it will be slightly bad. 14° C is just about reasonable if you squint your eyes a bit, but the current forecast is showing no hints of sunshine. I hope that changes in the next 24 hours.

 Apart from the odd twinge now and then, plus the ongoing saga of my nose feeling stuffy from time to time, I felt mostly comfortable at work yesterday. It would have been nicer if I had felt completely comfortable, and the sun was blazing away high in a deep blue sky, but I guess I was lucky to feel moderately comfortable at this time of year. I made sure I left work a few minutes earlier yesterday so I wouldn't have to rush to get my usual train back to Catforf Bridge. I didn't need to, but I mostly rushed anyway out of habit.

 When I arrived back in Catford I decided to pop into the Turkish supermarket to buy some things to amuse me, and to amuse Angela. Things like avocados, cheese, olives, and cherry tomatoes plus a "horse willy" (a rather long Hungarian "breakfast" sausage). Having spent rather a lot of money in there I rushed to The Black Cat. I was about one minute away when I got a text message from Angela to say she was already there, and there was a pint of Guinness waiting on the table for me. I do love that woman !!

 We had a couple of drinks in The Black Cat before going back to my home for a light meal. I fed Angela an avocado, some cherry tomatoes, including some "orange rapture" cherry tomatoes I had bought in Tesco the day before. I also gave her a chunk of "Greek White Cheese" and som Kalamata olives. The cheese was similar to Feta cheese, but made with cows milk, and possibly a tiny bit nicer for it. I think Angela thought of it as a complete meal. No wonder she is so slim and beautiful, although I believe she does have breakafast and lunch - unlike me.

 It was a few hours before Angela went home and I could get down to the serious business of feeding me. I started off with a Tesco ready made "simple" salad (the version without grated carrot in it) to which I added some extra tomatoes, and the remains of the greek cheese. Just for a change I decided not to drown it all in mayonnaisse, but to dress it with olive oil and cider vinegar. It was very nice, but I wanted more, and by more I mean I wanted my big Hungarian "horse willy" sausages. They were ready cooked, and all they needed was zapping in the microwave for a couple of minutes to warm them up. They had a very nice smoky flavour,and went well with some ketchup and mustard - and nothing else.

 While eating, and for maybe 20 minutes after, I watched a bit of TV, but decided 20 minutes (if indeed it was that long) was quite enough TV for the day, and I went up to my bedroom to very slowly prepare myself for bed. One delaying tactic was to check my email, and one email turned out to be quite pleasant. It was from work, and concerned my salary. It seems I have earned a very small pay rise this year, and presumably I'll see the increase in my January pay slip. I'm never going to be rich on my wages, but at least it is a step in the right direction.

 After a bit more time on my PC I finally got to bed in time to go to sleep by about 9.30pm. That is half an hour later than I'd like, but still acceptable - I hope. I'm guessing I didn't sleep that well last night. I base that idea on the amount of dreaming that I seemed to do. I remember having loads of dreams, but annoyingly the details of those dreams have now all evaporated away like dreams do. I am just left with a memory that I dreamed an awful lot - or did I ? Maybe I had one dream about dreaming a lot !

 This morning I felt sort of thin - which is a complete nonsense, and it would be more accurate to say I felt a complete absence of any bloat. Sometimes I could almost kid myself that I am still managing to eat ever so slightly carefully. Maybe last nights meal was not as bad as I feared, or maybe my trouser belt won't get tight until tomorrow morning ! On the whole, I don't feel too bad this morning. At least I didn't feel too bad until after I had bounded down the escalator at Waterloo station. I think I might have pulled something in my chest. I have an ache that is not quite like my "twisted rib" discomfort, and more like a feeling of heaviness - possibly like breast implants might feel (or maybe they don't - who knows ?).

 Possibly my worst affliction this morning, and it is one that is, if I am honest, a chronic condition. It is a severe lack of interest in doing any work. Given the choice of being here, or drinking Guinness in the pub, I would have to say I would very much like to be in the pub. I guess all but a few extreme puritans, or those with an unnatural love of money, would also think the way I do, but I think it in an extreme sort of way !

 Sadly there will be no Guinness for me tonight. I'll be going almost straight home on my own. Tonight I have two things I really want to do, and one that I should do. I really want to have some dinner, and I really want to wash my hair. I ought to upload some pictures to Flickr, and maybe I will do that while waiting for my hair to dry. It would probably be a good time to have a whisky or two as well ! Well, that seems like tonight is mapped out OK. The only other thing I should do is to try and find a nice birthday card for someone on my way home from work. That could mean going in Tesco, and that might introduce certain temptations.......Wednesday at 4.30pm always seems to be a good day for reduced price stuff like sandwiches and..............
Tuesday 25th October 2016
 07:49 BST

  Once again the weather forecast turned out to be about right. Yesterday was, generally speaking, a fairly unpleasant day. Of course it could have been far, far worse, but endless shades of grey, and the temperature hanging around the lower side of tepid, is not the sort of day I like. Today might be slightly better in one respect, and even worse in another. On the plus side it seems like it could be 13° C for many hours around the middle of the day. I can't confirm it was actually so, but the forecast for yesterday said it would only peak at 13° C for around an hour in the afternoon. The (possible) bad thing about today is the warning in the small print of the forecast which says there could be some showers this morning - potentially heavy showers, and maybe even thundery showers ! You would think they might include that in the little pictograms that show the progress across the day, but no, it's only in the small's almost as if they don't want to believe it themselves. Well the good news is that tomorrow could see the temperature rise to 15° C, but the bad news is that it is still forecast to be a dull and gloomy day !

 It would be nice to be totally free of pains and aches, to feel full of energy, and to feel the hot sun on my face, but it seems these things may not be possible again until later next spring. In the meantime, I didn't feel all that bad yesterday. The best thing was not feeling dreadfully tired and sleepy. I guess that I really must have had a reasonable night's sleep on Sunday night/Monday morning. Of course I still felt a little sleepy just like I felt a few aches and pains while I was at work. Evidently none of this was so bad or I might not have left work late.

 I only left work three minutes late, but that was enough to make my journey home a bit of a rush. I walked to the station fairly fast, but still missed my usual train. It is only a three minute wait for the next one, but that means three minutes less to cross between Waterloo and Waterloo East stations, and made running up the escalator, and rushing across the link mandatory. I arrived at my usual spot on platform A at Waterloo East with just 57 seconds to spare before my train arrived.

 When I arrived back in Catford I wandered down to The Black Cat where I met Angela for an after work drink. She had not had a good day at work, and needed a lot of cheering up. After a couple of drinks we went to Tesco where I bought her an avocado, some Greek olives, and some fancy little tomatoes. I also bought some stuff for myself. With the shopping done we went back to my place for one more drink, and a snack.

 After Angela had gone home I investigated what I had bought for myself in Tesco. They were a couple of alleged "Healthy Eating" ready meals - except they were not particularly healthy. At least the one I didn't buy wasn't. It was a Caribbean jerk flavoured meal, and I was curious to try it until I saw that one single meal contained 24% of the recommended sugar intake of a whole day. That was far too much sugar for me, and it made the entire meal rather high in calories. It made me wonder what it was about it that justified it being branded "Healthy Eating" ?

 What I did buy, and ate last night, was a Tandoori chicken meal, and a South Indian curry with chick pea rice. The tandoori chicken meal was low in just about all the main food categories, but the curry was rather less so - although still not terrible. I also ate the left over olives plus a chunk of cheese. I think, or at least I hope, that my total food intake for the entire day was still low enough that over the course of a hundred years I might still lose an ounce or two. I guess that will have to do until winter is over.

 I think I git another fair nights sleep last night. I was fast asleep by about 9.30pm, and as far as I am aware I only woke up twice in the night. The first time might even have been a dream because I have no idea when it happened, and only a dream like memory of going to the the toilet. The second time was at about 4am, and on that occasion I definitely got up to go for a pee. However, on this occasion I managed to get back to sleep again fairly quickly, and I slept until my alarm woke me up.

 It was sometime in that last hour of sleep that I had an intriguing dream. I can't remember the setting or context of the dream, but I do remember one detail. That detail was about geometry. In some way that I can't remember it was to do with cutting up some silvery plastic to make some sort of bag or container. I can't recall if I was explaining it to somebody, or to myself, but I was explaining that if you started off with a square it doesn't look round. If you make it a five sided shape, a pentagon, it starts to look slightly rounder. A six sided shape gets even rounder, and with 32 faces it looks almost like a circle. If the amount of faces is increased then at some point each face become so small that to the naked eye it looks like a perfect circle. The last thing I remember from that dream was that I was trying to construct some sort of graph showing number of sides against some sort of measure of "roundness".

 This morning I feel more or less what I expect to feel on a cold dark morning - creaky, but maybe not that creaky. My legs are working well again this morning, and maybe even my chest is behaving itself better than I might expect. The only thing that is annoying me right now is a mild headache. It's probably low, high, or sideways blood pressure, meningitis, or rabies, and maybe it will go away later, or maybe I'll die of some sort of aneurysm. time will tell.

 Hopefully I can hold out until I can have some Guinness after work. That should cure it OK. If I do have some Guinness it should come with a serving of Angela on the side. Either would be good, and both together would be luxury. I don't know if I will be seeing Angela tonight for certain, but I think the probability is quite high.
Monday 24th October 2016
 08:01 BST

  Generally speaking, the weather is now officially crap ! On the other hand there are always exceptions. It was quite sunny yesterday. It's just a shame that it was still a rather cool day. I don't think the temperature got above 14° C, and may have been less, but that was the outside temperature. However, the sun pouring through my bedroom window did warm the room up rather nicely. I don't think that will happen today. The weather is looking very grim today !
weather prediction for
 The real dark greyness is not supposed to start yet, but surely it could not get any darker than it is right now without it being night time ? Maybe the sun has gone out ! Oh well, at least it's not raining....or snowing ! It looks like tomorrow could be very slightly less cold, and it is possible that there could be 5 minutes of sunshine tomorrow....or was it the day after ?

 While Saturday was unexciting during the main part of the day, the evening was very good. I got dressed in my finest - by which I mean I pulled on my new Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt over a pair of black jeans, and wore my beaten up leather jacket - and headed off to The Black Cat pub to drink Guinness and watch The Dirty Perks performing a very pleasant gig. It was a good turn out, and there were quite a few people there that I knew - including Angela !

 The original plan was to go home with Angela after the gig, but because I had been feeling rough during the day I suggested that she come back to my place for a night cap. It actually turned out that at the end of the gig I was feeling quite good. That's the power of good company, good music, and lots of Guinness ! It also turned out that Angela did not go home until 4am !

 I got very little sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and I felt very rough again yesterday. I never did get around to one of the things I was going to do. That was to get a bit of shopping in from Tesco. I probably would have gone, but I couldn't be bothered to get washed and dressed yesterday ! One thing I did do was to transfer some ancient video footage shot on my old Hi8 Sony camcorder to my digital recorder. It was originally only going to be a short clip of some snow falling in 1997, but I discovered there was a lot more stuff on the tape that I hadn't noted in my note book.

 It could have made for several (possibly) interesting video clips to show here, but there was a problem. I think I may have been rather impatient to remove the memory card in my digital recorder, and that corrupted all the files on it ! As far as I can guess, that recorder leaves all the video files "open" when you stop recording, and it goes back to close them all when you hit the power button. It appears it can be a very slow process, and the most annoying thing is that it process the last file first - and of course the last file, the only one readable, was just worthless odds and ends on the end of the video tape that I didn't want. One thing I did do with some success, although I really had to push myself to do it, was to process the pictures I took of The Dirty Perks on Saturday night. They will all end up on Flickr, but here's a taster.
The Dirty Perks
  This picture was one of the few that show all the members of the band, and annoyingly all of them look very gritty with an odd colour cast. On reflection, I think one of the others was better than this one, but this was the first one I processed, and so the first one I uploaded to my web server.

 I managed to get a good sleep last night - good, but not perfect. It would have been better if I had not woken up at 4am again. Why does that seem to happen every morning recently, and why can I not get back to sleep properly afterwards ? I can't quite recall if it was before waking at 4am, or if it was in the littloe oddments of sleep that I got after 4am, but I recall having a few strange dreams. One seems to have been easier to remember - or was it two dreams melting into each other ?

 It started with me blaming the current Prime Minister, Theresa May, for altering all the bus stops in the local area. I wanted to get a bus home from somewhere, but the next bus stop after the one I would have got the bus from was now so far after my house that it was easier to walk. In the next scene I am walking down the main road towards the turning that leads to my house. Along the way were lots of roadside stalls selling mostly AA batteries, but there was on one attending thos stalls. They seemed to work on some sort of honour system, and there were boxes or shutes for different denomination coins to pay for the batteries.

 This morning I feel in a strange state of superposition where I feel both good and bad. On the whole the good side wins, but it is a bit touch and go. As far as my legs are concerned, I seem to be over the aches that were probably a mild taste of 'flu after my 'flu jab, and they do seem to be working well this morning. My nose continues to feel stuffy, but maybe there are hints it is drying up. I don't seem to feel exceptionally tired so far today, and that's a bonus. It's the usual story about my chest that seems to be the most annoying thing. There have been many times when it has been a lot worse, but it has still given me several twinges this morning. Most of the time it is just a bit crackly, but, as a for instance, this morning I stretched over to turn the tap on the hand basin while sitting on the toilet. As I stretch out I felt quite a strong stabbing pain near my left breast. As soon as I withdrew my arm the pain faded away again. I had a similar, but less severe pain putting my shirt on. It's not terrible, but it is annoying. If I look on the positive side I guess it is good that it isn't doing that mild, but continuous background ache that it does sometimes.

 I look forward to finishing work today because I'll be meeting up with Angela again. Tonight won't be as joyous as usual though. After meeting for a quick drink we are going to visit one of her friends. He is suffering from cancer, and Angela wants me to meet him. I will admit I am not looking forward to it, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do ! I'll probably get my reward later !
Saturday 22nd October 2016
 16:02 BST

  Yesterday was not nice. The whole day was rather grey and dull, and at best it was only slightly tepid. The forecast reckoned it would be no more than 13° C, and I reckon that was probably about right. The only saving grace was that it was dry. Today has seen an improvement. There have been many uplifting sunny spells, and it has been several degrees warmer. I think I noticed 18° C earlier, but now as sunset approaches the temperature has dropped to 14° C. By morning the temperature will have dropped to a rather chilly 8° C. Much of tomorrow will be a bit grey, but sunny intervals are promised for the afternoon. Even with those sunny intervals it is going to be a cold day. The top temperature is forecast to be just 12° C. Winter approaches fast !

 I felt pretty rough during the first part of the morning at work, but gradually I felt better. It was helped by getting my office nice and warm. By mid to late morning most of my aches and pains seemed to have almost evaporated, and the remaining annoyance was just a matter of feeling really tired and sleepy. There were one or two occasions when I actually dozed off while reading stuff off my work PC.

 It was a grand relief to finish the day, and head for home. I didn't feel great as I rushed around, but I didn't feel too bad physically. I was actually feeling quite mentally because I had invented a compromise. Originally I had planned to go straight home, and once I had cleaned myself up I was going to visit Angela to have dinner with her, and stay the night. Unfortunately I was feeling tired, and she was feeling tired, plus only part of her cooker was working - making it difficult for her to cook for me.

 The new compromise plan was to meet her in The Black Cat and have a drink together. We had two drinks in there (2 pints of Guinness for me) before a final hug and off to our own homes. The Guinness definitely made me feel better. It's a wonderful medicine when taken in moderate quantities, and of course seeing Angela made me feel happy. It would have been too easy to neglect to go to bed early after all that, but I knew I just had to get some good sleep in.

 I can't be perfectly sure, but I think I was fast asleep well before 9pm. My sleep might have been aided by finally changing from my 3.5 TOG summer duvet to the 10.5 TOG winter duvet (have I got a 13.5 TOG duvet for when it gets icy cold - I think I might have, but I'll have to check). I don't think I was ever too hot or too cold under that duvet last night - which seems odd in some ways. I have vague memories of waking up once or twice in the night - possibly for a pee on one of those occasions - but at 4am I somehow managed to bite the side of my tongue. I don't think it was enough to draw blood, but it certainly woke me up !

 I had no reason to get up early this morning, and that gave me the freedom to actually get up at 4am, and then go back to bed a bit later. That's exactly what I did. I was possibly awake for 2 hours just reading stuff off the internet, and bumbling around. Once I got back to bed I fell asleep quite quickly, but after a couple of hours I couldn't tell if I was dreaming, or day dreaming. I seemed to be half awake, and half asleep. After an hour of that there seemed to no point trying to fight to stay asleep, and I got up.

 When I say got up I mean I got out of bed, pulled a pair of lounge pants on, and little else. As I write this I still have not showered, washed my hair, or got dressed properly. All that will come soon. I may not have washed myself, but I have done a fair amount of washing. The first to be tackled was the washing up. I had a sink full of stuff that was on the verge of getting smelly. I washed all that, plus I washed down the work surfaces and "polished" the sink.

 Next on the agenda was a weeks worth of work shirts, plus a few other bits and pieces. Once that lot was washed, and hanging on the clothes horse in front of the fan heater (set to half power) I could relax. I lay on my bed, and read some pages from a magazine. It wasn't long before my eyelids started to droop. So I put down the magazine, closed my eyes, and I may have slept for 5 minutes. I spent longer in the same condition as my last half hour in bed - sort of half awake and half asleep day dreaming.

 When I got up again I decided to do some cookery. I had a four small potatoes, some tomatoes on the edge of going off, and some small sweet peppers that had been in the fridge too long. I diced everything up, along with some red onion, added some bay leaves, sprinkled on some olive oil, and stuffed it in the oven for a long time. The final touch, in the last 5 minutes of cooking, was to put some chunks of cheese on it.

 Eve as I describe it it feels like it ought to have been very nice, but for some reason I found it to be slightly bland. That was a disappointment. I think it would have been better if I had omitted the cheese and substituted some diced up bacon, or even chicken. After eating it, and allowing some time for it to settle, I did a bit more laundry. It was just going to be a couple of mini tableclothes that I had put in soak earlier to help soften up some oil/grease stains. Just before I started I noticed a t-shirt that needed washing too. So I did that, and hung it all up to dry.

 Since then I have only done one thing of note, and that was a simple bit of top and tailing a bit of video. I shot the video on the way home from work last night, and shot it in glorious motion-o-blur-o-vision through a rather less than optically clear (!) train window. It shows the new Xmas decorations on the frontage of Pimlico Plumbers next to the railway between Vauxhall and Waterloo station. It won't be long before it will be dark when I go past it, and I may, or may not be able to get a picture or video of it when it is illuminated with twinkling lights and stuff.

In a short while I will have to get ready to go out. Tonight it is the turn of The Dirty Perks to play in The Black Cat. It could be a good night. I think the Dirty Perks were fairly good the last time I saw them, and I am expecting they will have a few followers with them. I know that there will be a few extra people there tonight because Dylan Tidman is depping for the their drummer. That means his dad, Rod, and his girlfriend Terri will add to the audience. And of course Angela will be there too. I might stay at Angela's house tonight, or she might stay here. We'll decide on that later.
Friday 21st October 2016
 09:12 BST

  Once again the forecast was substantially correct. yesterday was dull and gloomy while not actually being cold - although it seemed quite close to being cold. The forecast was for 14° C, and that is about all we got. Today is going to be about the same, but one degree cooler. I've worn my warmer coat today in celebration* of it actually feeling cold ! It was certainly sub 10° C cold this morning. In fact I think it was nearer 8° C. To make things even more unpleasant it was also most definitely still night time when I arrived at work. The cloud was thick enough on the eastern horizon to completely blank out any pre-dawn light. Tomorrow should be sunny, and the temperature will be back up to 14° C after a 9° C start to the day. So that's alright then....sort of.

* "Celebration" is obviously a stupid word to use, but I can think of no other at the moment.

 I think I felt very neutral yesterday....or maybe I felt just very slightly bad. I certainly didn't feel good. It felt better to finish work and start heading towards home. If it hadn't have been necessary I wouldn't have rushed around on my way back to Catford, but I missed the train at Earlsfield, and had to wait nearly three minutes for the next. It may have only been three minutes, but my connection at Waterloo to Waterloo East is quite tight, and I had to rush up the escalator, and make haste across the link. I definitely didn't feel like I wanted to do it, but it didn't feel that bad when I did.

 When I got back to Catford I was faced with the less than short, but not terribly long walk to the Catford Wetherspoons pub where I was meeting Kevin for what should have been a quick drink. I had hoped that Angela would have met us there too. She would have provided an excellent excuse to leave early.....perhaps around 6pm. Unfortunately she was feeling tired, and wanted to go straight home from work. So I sat drinking with Kevin until I had drunk four pints and insisted it was time for me to go home. I suspect Kevin may have stayed for more than the one pint he bought as I was leaving.

 I felt a bit drunk when I got home. Not exactly wobbly, but beyond being able to contain a raging hunger. I tried to be careful about what I ate, but I ate quite a lot of it before I went to bed. I last track of time, but I feel fairly sure I was in bed, and asleep before 9pm. I woke up once or twice in the night with my legs aching, and that was the first indication that I have probably contracted a mild dose of 'flu from the 'flu vaccination I got on Wednesday night. If it was like the last time it happened then it should be mostly over in 24 hours.

 This morning I felt pretty lousy. My nose continues to feel stuffy a lot of the time, and while it is not dripping, it still needs a good blow at least a few times an hour. Earlier on I was probably suffering from a mild hangover. I still feel a bit achey, and worst of all, I feel really tired and sleepy. I knew I woke up a few times in the night, and I was awake for something like 15 minutes at 4am, but I thought I got enough sleep. Maybe it would have been enough if my health was good, and it was a summers day, but on a grey, miserable day like today, I just want to go into hibernation. The good news is that I am beginning to feel better now.

 The worst thing about feeling rough is that it thwarts my plans for tonight. I was going to go and see Angela tonight, and probably stay the night. Now I am think I will just stay in and have an early night, and a lie in, in the morning. That in itself could be enjoyable, but not as enjoyable as being with Angela. I'll have to wait until Saturday night now.....unless I mysteriously feel ultra healthy by tonight....if only.....
Thursday 20th October 2016
 08:04 BST

  It happened so slowly that it is hard to say when yesterday brightened up, but as the forecast promised, there was some nice sunshine yesterday afternoon. The only trouble is that the afternoons are starting to get rather short now. There is little more than an hour of daylight after I get home now - and that is terribly tedious ! At least yesterday afternoon was not cold, but then again it wasn't warm either ! Today's weather might, or might not, look like this.
weather forecast for Thurs
                  20th Oct 2016
 The first thing to note is the wind direction (the little circles at the bottom). The wind is not strong, but it's coming from the cold north. If those little arrows pointed upwards it would probably be a lot warmer. The other thing to note is the times for sunrise and sunset. The sun was due to rise at 07:34, although there is no sign of it yet. That's about 10 minutes after I typically get to work ! Most days I get home from work at about 16:45 - just 70 minutes before the sun sets. It's a miserable life at this time of the year ! .....and it gets worse. Tomorrow is going to be cooler and more overcast - probably!

 Despite some people saying my office was quite warm, I felt quite cool at work yesterday. It almost made me wonder if I had some sort of mild fever to go with my "remnants of an earlier cold" type symptoms. That idea doesn't seem to fit in with me feeling semi-energetic on the way home from work. I left work a little early yesterday, but not as early as I originally intended, with the idea that I could spend a little bit longer at home to relax before going to see the nurse at my GP's surgery. Had I left just 5 minutes earlier I wouldn't have had to walk up the stairs at Earlsfield station, instead of waiting for the lift (I missed the lift by a mere couple of seconds). I wouldn't have had to run up the escalator at Waterloo, and I wouldn't have had to run a couple of hundred feet to catch the train at Waterloo East. That was a lot of effort just to get home a mere 15 minutes earlier !

 I didn't feel too bad after doing all that, and I even had enough remaining energy to walk home from the station at a slightly more sprightly pace. It wasn't until I tried to test my blood pressure about half an hour later that I realised I was a bit "hyper". I had to wait until after I had showered and washed my hair before I managed to get a sensible blood pressure reading. One thing I was pleased about was my blood glucose level. I expected it to be a bit high, but it was a nice, perfectly normal 5.9mmol/l - right in the centre of the range expected of a normal healthy person. The only thing that concerned me was my weight. It seemed like I had put on as much as 2kg in the last two or three weeks.

 Armed with all that information I set off to the surgery to see the nurse. I was seen 10 minutes early - which was unusual, and just for a change it was quite a positive visit. The result of my urine test showed no protein particles, and that (apparently) shows my kidneys aren't falling apart. All the components of my blood tested good too. The most significant one was to do with my average blood glucose level over the course of 6 to 8 weeks prior to the sample being taken. Back in the spring it was 87 (87 somethings ??????). That was considered to be very high, and indicating that things were not right. Maybe even that my pancreas was on the point of failing. My bit of dieting had brought that figure down to 47, and that was lauded as a huge improvement, and was back in the "normal" range (although I am unsure what figure is considered to be the ultimate target amount).

 The nurse did attempt to check my blood pressure, but the machine kept pumping air into the cuff, as if it was never going to stop, before declaring "Low Battery" and shutting down. That was probably good because I could tell it was going to be a very high reading. The only thing the nurse could do was to accept my (perfectly genuine, although slightly cherry picked) home readings. They were moderately high, but still acceptable. I was also concerned about the next bit - being weighed. I knew that I had lost weight since I was last seen at the surgery back in the spring, but I also knew, or at least I thought I knew, that I had put some weight back on recently. I was most surprised to see how low my weight was on the surgeries, presuambly, high quality, accurately calibrated scales. If true, it was the lowest weight I have been in years ! It can't be that true though or some of my tightest trousers would fit more easily - as I seem to recall they did after my intensive dieting before my operation in 2013.

 I left the surgery feeling quite happy (for a change), but that didn't alter my plan to reward myself with all sorts of old crap bought from Aldi. The Aldi supermarket is just a couple of minutes walk from the surgery, and sort of on my way home home. I did buy some salad and other healthy stuff, but I also bought some very naughty stuff. In between was some sandwiches, several of them, that formed the main part of my dinner. The worst thing, and I think I bought in some sort of show of defiance rather than a strong yearning for it, was some ice cream. I had that great mass of sugary sweet, but very nice stuff for my dessert. I still have a few dubious things that I shall try and eat in moderation over the next few days.

 I managed to get to sleep a little early last night, and apart from waking up too early - again ! - it seemed like I slept fairly well last night. This morning I feel sort of good and sort of bad. The surprising thing is that I don't feel bloated this morning after what was supposed to be a rather extravagant dinner last night - maybe it wasn't ! I almost feel thinner, but that is impossible, and my trouser belt tension is exactly the same as before. What makes this doubly surprising is that my guts were very volatile for a while. I had to rush to the toilet a couple of time between getting up and going to work. Thankfully it all semed to have settled down before heading off to come to work.

 The other paradox is that it feels more like my cold is back when judged by how my nose feels, plus a bit of a thick head feeling, but the rest of my body feels to be working quite well. Although maybe that is not perectly correct. My legs are certainly working well, and my usual aches and pains seem mild, but perhaps I was feeling a bit wheezy when I was rushing around. It makes me think that I have been fighting this cold too hard, and didn't really let it finish properly. In an ideal world I would be able to just let it go, and spend a day or two (mostly) in bed letting it all come out.

 Unfortunately there is no time for that. Some nights I have seen Angela, and she is far more important than a silly cold. Tonight I am seeing Kevin after work - and there is a possibility that I will be seeing Angela too ! She should be going to Geoff's open mic night in Beckenham tonight, but I reckon there is a 50% chance that she will choose to see me instead. I hope she does, but if not there is always Friday night which we plan to spend together.
Wednesday 19th October 2016
 08:36 BST

  I am sure the forecast for yesterday made no mention of rain, but something wet and rain like hit my office window yesterday morning. It didn't look that heavy, and maybe only lasted for a minute or two. So maybe it didn't count. Some parts of yesterday were bright and cheery - particularly so in the afternoon. That was rather handy for reasons I'll explain soon. Once again the temperature was hanging around that neither warm nor cold area in the afternoon. I wouldn't dispute the forecast for 14° C. The forecast for today makes it seem like it could be very similar to yesterday - including getting the early morning wrong ! In 20 minutes time we are supposed to have clear skies, and bright sunshine, but it looks as if it is about to rain ! In fact the forecast for tomorrow looks a better match for what I see outside my office window - thick clouds ! If it doesn't manage it today, maybe we'll get a sunny afternoon tomorrow. Whatever the afternoon outcome may be, I think the idea that the day will start at 10° C, or a bit less, is probably correct.

 If you ignore the deep mental scarring as a result of doing another online safety training course, and my nose being all stuffy, and needing frequent blowing, I had a pretty good day at work. Unfortunately I couldn't ignore those things, and had a miserable day at work. Obviously it was great to leave work, and go out in the fresh air to head home at home time. On this occasion I got more fresh air than I bargained for !

 If the video plays, and if you look carefully, you may spot that the platform display shows the Hayes train (my usual train home) first stop after Ladywell station is Lower Sydenham instead of Catford Bridge. There was a power failure at Catford Bridge, and for some reason they closed the station. I can understand that if there was no lighting, and it was after dark, but there was several hours of daylight left. I don't think it was because the Oystercard readers wouldn't have been working - they weren't working this morning, and yet the station was open as usual.

 My easiest option was to get off the train at Ladywell, and take a nice walk through the park to get home. It was fortunate that it was a nice bright afternoon, and while it wasn't warm, it was not cold either. It provided an opportunity to take a few snaps with the camera on my new mobile phone. The results were so so ! One thing I'll have to get used to is that the camera seems to need a good few seconds to focus. On my Motorola G phone the focus was very quick...although I do have a vague recollection that it became that fast only after a software update. I do have a suspicion that it's colour balance goes off when confronted by a lot of green grass. It looks rather odd in one of my pictures, and I couldn't find a quick way to correct it.
autumn leaves caught on a weir
This picture doesn't look so good when shrunk down, but if you click on the picture it will open up a bigger version in a new tab or window. I took this picture by the weir that is next to the bridge that connects the park with Lewisham Hospital. I thought the yellow autumn leaves looked quite picturesque.
trees not quite showing their autumn
                      colours yet
I wasn't happy with this picture. The colour balance seems very odd. It was supposed to show the trees gradually turning from green to gold, but fails miserably ! Of course it could be that these trees are not the type that shows the bright reds and yellows of autumn. Having said all that, it is actually the colour of the grass that looks so wrong to my eyes.

 It took some time to walk through the park - not because I couldn't walk fast, but because I had to keep stopping to reply to text messages. Maybe all that stopping and starting did make it feel like it was harder work than usual, or maybe I am just more unfit than I should be lately. The latter could be the case, and it's cause will be the remnants of the cold that I still can't seem to shake off. The good news is that all the text messages were from and to Angela, and she expressed a desire to see me again last night. I didn't need much persuading for that, and we spent another couple of happy hours together again.

 Like the night before, as soon as Angela left I felt rather ready for my dinner. I did have time for a snack before she arrived, but it was only a small one. I had originally intended to eat as little as possible last night so that my blood glucose level would be really low when I see the nurse tonight, but I felt too hungry for that - but not so hungry that I did take a tiny bit of care over what I ate. I had a nice bowl of cheese salad as a starter, and a Tesco "healthy eating" chicken tikka masala ready meal. That ready meal was quite tasty, but I can believe that it was fairly low in all the things I try to avoid. It contained two bits of skinless chicken that had a few sear marks on them, but no sign of any marinading, and that was in a quite watery "gravy" with odd bits of vegetable floating in it. I found that ready meal in the frozen section, and I noted that there were several flavours available. I must try some more of them. My description may have sounded like it was a bit useless, but it was actually quite tasty.

 While I ate I watched a bit of TV. I found the film "Two Way Stretch" on one of the minor Freeview channels, and watched a bit of it. I have seen it before, but many years ago, and the small bit I saw last night reminded me that it is a very funny film. It was made in 1960, and stars Peter Sellars as well as several other famous names. I decided that I wanted to see the whole film again at some suitable time. I think I have, or had, a grotty VHS off air recording of it, but a better quality copy would be much better, and so instead of going straight to bed I searched, and ordered a copy on DVD from Amazon.

 I slept fairly good last night, but I don't feel too wonderful this morning. My nose is still very stuffy even now, but other bits of me don't feel too wonderful. My chest aches from time to time. I think I first noticed it while having a shower. As I moved my arms around to reach here and there my chest would complain. Probably the worst position was when washing under one armpit with the hand of the other arm. That was probably when the discomfort was at it's worst. It was still only a minor discomfort, but it was annoying, and set the pattern for further aches as I was travelling.

 I expect I'll have a good moan about this that and the other when I see the nurse tonight. She won't be able to do anything about it, and it's not what my appointment is for, but sometimes it just feels good to moan - and she is a trained professional who shouldn't be too put out by hearing about it all ! After I've seen the nurse it is my intention to pop next door to Aldi, and I am going to treat myself to something, and I think that treat may be ice cream. I have no idea why I should want ice cream at this time of year. Maybe it is because it seems rebellious !
the convenience
                          store open in the early morning
One more mobile phone camera test. I think I am beginning to get the feel of the camera now. This shot of the MB Convenience store, which was actually convenient and open for a change as I walked to work, seems to have come out quite well considering it was still rather dull when I got to work this morning.
Tuesday 18th October 2016
 08:33 BST

  There was quite a lot of unscheduled rain yesterday. The forecast at around 8am yesterday said it would only rain at midday, but there was at least one shower closer to 11am, and I think there could have been more than one during the morning. The really unexpected one, and it was more of a deluge than a shower, was at about 6pm. The rest of the day wasn't too bad, and probably close to whatever was forecast. It's not supposed to rain today, but it looks as if it might at any moment ! It is supposed to be overcast right now, but the clouds are supposed to start breaking up from about 11am, and we could be treated to some sunny spells this afternoon. I think today is going to be slightly cooler than yesterday. I think yesterday it was possibly 14° C, but today only 13° C is predicted. It's a slow process, but it is getting steadily chillier as we head towards winter - and sometimes it goes backwards ! Tomorrow may see a little bit more sunshine, and the temperature could peak at 14° C again - or it might snow !

 In most respects I feel I have got over my recent cold, but I still have a few after effects. One significant one is that I don't feel quite so energetic, and a run up the escalators, as I did on the way home from work yesterday, leaves me very slightly breathless. The other thing that has become annoying is that my nose still feels stuffy, and it feels like it needs blowing far too frequently. It was annoying at work, and it was doubly annoying when in the company of a beautiful woman !

 It is always nice to finish work for the day, and doubly nice to be heading for a pint of Guinness, and trebly nice to meet up with Angela in the pub ! I was only intending to stay for one pint but we got chatting to Richard who organises and oversees the Saturday night gigs in the pub. That brought some good news. It seems The Curfew, who played there a few weeks ago, and were initially disappointed by the small size of the audience, may be playing there again. It will be good to see them again.

 After we finished in the pub we went to Tesco to buy a few odds and ends before going back to my place. I had a very, very pleasant evening in Angela's company, and it was a shame when she had to go home home - even though it was quite late at gone 8.30pm. We both had a snack earlier, but I was feeling rather hungry after Angela left. Maybe if it hadn't been so late I might have had a rather bigger dinner than is good for me, but I ended up eating relatively moderately last night. The difference is almost undetectable, but I think I might feel better for it.

 In theory I should have gone straight to bed after my rather late dinner, but I was distracted by a new toy. It was a new mobile phone that arrived in the post yesterday. It was a Wileyfox Spark +, and I bought it from Amazon for £110. That was the pre-release price. It's now £120, and even at that price it is a great bargain. It is a very well specified camera, and it comes unlocked, ready to use on any network with any SIM card. Transferring stuff from my old phone was a bit tedious, but now it is done I feel rather pleased with it. One other plus point is that it doesn't come stuffed with apps you don't want, don't need, and don't even understand what they are there for. It does come with a 13MP sensor back camera, and an 8MP front camera for high resolution selfies. I took one experimental selfie yesterday, and the detail in it was scary !

 It was getting on for 11pm when I got to sleep last night, and I slept solidly until about 4.30am when I woke up, and just couldn't get back to sleep. I think I would have liked to get more than five and half hours sleep, and I do seem to have a yearning to get back to bed. Unfortunately I can't because I am at work ! Most of me feels in fair condition this morning. I still don't feel like rushing around, although I did force myself to rush over the Waterloo East to Waterloo link as fast as possible. It seemed to leave me less breathless than the more sedate walk from home to the station. In fact it hardly left me breathless at all ! Perhaps my one complaint is that my nose feels so stuffy that it seems to be on the point of dripping as I write these words. That is not supposed to happen ! Maybe it will dry up a bit when my office finally warms up.

 I don't think I have any plans for tonight...well no plans to do anything dynamic. I think I probably want to get to bed at a more sensible time tonight, and it would be good if I could manage to eat sparingly tonight. I'm not sure if that will be possible considering I feel quite hungry even now !
 I wasn't terribly impressed with how this picture came out. I took it using the camera in my new mobile phone. The biggest problem is camera shake. I took the picture as I approached work. This view, straight down the road, is almost perfectly to the east where the sun was still rising. I'm not sure whether to describe it as being daylight or not. Maybe twilight is closer, and in that dim light the exposure time was longer than I imagine - hence the camera shake. The camera never really captured the delicate pinkness of the eastern horizon, but it does give some idea of how it looked. It won't be long before I am arriving at work well before sunrise - now that is depressing !
Monday 17th October 2016
 08:11 BST

  All the puddles suggest there was a lot of rain during the night, and maybe that was a good idea. The clouds where that rain came from kept a little bit of warmth in. This morning started cool, but not cold - perhaps in the region of 11 - 12° C. The clouds were already thinning out as I made my way to work, but the thickest were in the east. That made my journey into work feel like it was still night time for most of the way. It was still rather dull as I approached work. The good news is that there will be a lot of sunshine today. All recent versions of the weather forecast say there will be one shower today, but the predicted time of it keeps changing. One earlier forecast said it would be at 4pm - just as I am going home from work. The latest theory puts  it at 1pm, and I reckon I can accept that. The temperature should get up to 16° C today - not great, but at least it's comfortable. I hope the forecast for tomorrow changes. it is currently forecast to be very dull, very wet, and none too warm !
bright moon above work this
 It would have been nice to have my Canon SX40 "bridge camera" with me this morning. It takes very good close up pictures of the moon, and the moon was looking big and bright this morning. I think I missed the full moon. That may have been yesterday morning, but as you can (almost) see in the picture above, the moon was looking very round as I walked towards work this morning.

 After my lack of sleep on Saturday night it was rather easy to get to sleep nice and early last night. I can't remember how early it was though. I was in bed not that long after 7pm, but I read for some time before turning out the light when I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I think I probably slept quite well. I recall waking up a couple of times in the night, but it was only at 4am that I was awake for more than a few minutes. At that time I woke up with my mouth and throat feeling bone dry, and I was coughing a lot. It took many sips of drink before my mouth and throat were wet enough to stop coughing.

 The recovery from the cold that plagued me at the beginning of last week seems to have plateaued out before I feel completely over it...or maybe the residual stuffy nose is just my Autumnal "hay fever" - one unproven theory suggests fungal spores as the root cause for, compared to may, quite mild hay fever like symptoms. It would be of little concern if it were not for one unfortunate thing. At some point during the course of my cold I managed to scratch the inside of my nose somehow. Not very far inside my right nostril there is a scab that is partly annoying because it is a little sore, and partly annoying just because it is there. I made the mistake once or twice of picking at it, and regretted it because it just made it worse, but the temptation to pick at it again is so strong !!!!

 The rest of me feels moderately OK. The surprising thing is that my trousers and belt still seem to be fitting normally after many episodes of careless eating in the last week (or more). I did find it almost astonishing that I didn't feel bloated at all this morning. Maybe I am being a bit more careful with my eating than I thought. Even so I would dread to have a blood test right now. I'm glad I gave my blood samples, and urine sample a few weeks ago when I had had a long run of moderate eating. I've already heard by text message from my doctor that the resullts were unexpectedly rather good, and on Wednesday night I will be seeing the nurse to find out exactly how good good was.

 Nothing is confirmed yet, but I think there is a fair chance that I will be meeting Angela after work today for a drink. I shall look forward to that a lot. Maybe we might go back to my place to spend a little more time together. At some point during this I hope to fit in a little bit of shopping in Tesco, although there is nothing I desperately need for tonight, and I could do it tomorrow night.

 Do you remember the "Millenium Bug" ? This was a panic about the possibility that computers could get terribly upset about the change from ther year 1999 to year 2000. There were good reasons for this, but only for some important computers that rely on keeping accurate time - such as in the financial and transport industries. Probably egged on by the tabloid newspapers, virtually anything with any form of timer in it was tested, and certified to be free of the dreaded Millenium Bug. On Saturday night I learned that it all went beyond the absurdities of VCR timers that didn't even have a year function, but to hand driers that just have a very simple timer to shut themselves off after a short period of time.
hand drier that is millenium
                  bug free
 The picture above shows a sticker attached to the hand drier in the disabled toilet of The Black Cat pub in Catford. I really can't imagine a hand drier knowing what year it is, or the month, day, hour or minute ! All it needs to know is that once you take your hands away from the nozzle it should shut down 10 seconds later. You don't even need a "chip" for that. Just a few analogue components can do that job quite effectively.
Sunday 16th October 2016
16:30 BST

  The forecast said there would be showers from about 6pm yesterday, and there was, but the evening was dry. The general trend is that it is getting cooler as we plunge deeper into Autumn, but apart from early morning, the temperature is still mostly moderate. That has been more than true today. This afternoon it was almost warm - 18° C if the forecast was correct - but maybe the forecast was not correct. There has certainly been a little less sunshine, and a few more showers that expected today. Maybe tomorrow will be nicer.  The current forecast for tomorrow says there will be a light shower around midday, but most of the day will be sunny with a high of 16 to 17° C.

 Until the evening when exciting things happened, yesterday was a bit of a blur. Fortunately I recorded the only significant thing I did, some laundry and other housework, when I wrote yesterday. One thing that only became apparent once it had happened was that I realised that I was just about over my cold. What ended up as the main symptoms, the runny nose and the cough, are still there in a very much reduced capacity today, but even yesterday they didn't bother me for long periods of time.

 That made going out in the evening much more pleasurable. I had a really good time at the Black Cat pub with Angela, and Michael watching the third gig from The Fifth Element this year. When I first saw them back in April I was a bit dubious about them, but I noted they were rather good when they appeared there in July. Last night they sounded excellent. It wasn't an ideal recorder, but I shot a bit of video on my mobile phone. It came out better than expected, but it doesn't sound as good as it did when I was actually there.

 The sad thing about this video is that the band are performing one of my least favourite songs. Superstition was originally written for Jeff Beck, but it was Stevie Wonder who made it popular, and tarnished it's reputation in my musically biassed opinion.

The original plan was to go back to Angela's place after the gig, but I was expecting to be blowing my nose, and coughing all night, and didn't want to subject he to all that. Instead she came back here for what was to be just an hour or so, but she didn't go home until 7am this morning ! She slept like an angel for a good 4 hour or more, and I barely got any sleep at all !

 I have to confess that I have felt tired from time to time today, but I still haven't managed to snooze for more than about half an hour at a time. I did manage to find the energy to do more laundry today, and I washed 5 t-shirts and a bed sheet. Other than that I have eaten more than I should and ......well, that's about all I have done. Tonight it is obvious that I have to have a very early night. I wonder if I can convince my brain and body to co-operate.
dancing to The Fifth
In the second half of The Fifth Elements gig there was a lot of dancing going on.
Saturday 15th October 2016
15:02 BST

  There was some nice sunshine on Thursday, but it did little to warm the day up. It probably got no warmer than the 12° C that was forecast. As far as I can recall, there was very little wind, and that 12° C didn't feel that bad - although it did seem to take a long time to warm my office up. There was some sunshine yesterday too, and it did get a few degrees warmer. Today has seen a mixture of things. There have been a few showers earlier, and it has occasionally got a bit overcast since then, but we seem to be enjoying an extended period of sunny periods for the moment. The temperature should creep up to 18° C, and it may already be there by now. Unfortunately some heavy rain is forecast for early this evening, and then lighter rain later in the evening. Correction - the forecast seems to have changed in the last few hours. After a couple of hours of showers, starting at around 6pm, it will become dry again until mid morning tomorrow.  Tomorrow afternoon might be sunny, and at 16° C it will be almost warm.

 Two things have dominated the last couple of days. I have been ill, and my broadband internet connection has been ill too. The big difference is that my broadband internet connection has got better again. My cold has improved quite a lot - although some of that can be attributed to being at home, and not at work.

 I was at work on Thursday, and only just managed to write this blog type thing, and upload it, before my internet connection failed. During the working day my nose was very stuffy, but it wasn't quite dripping - although it was very close. I still got through many tissues, and my nose felt quite sore after blowing it so frequently. It was a great relief to head for home at the end of the working day. Like the day before, I got the bus the two stops to the station because I couldn't be bothered to walk.

 I didn't feel quite so bad once I got home. In fact I felt very good in one respect. I was supposed to be drinking with the Thursday night gang, but I got waylaid by Angela in The Black Cat. The original plan was just to have one pint of Guinness before walking half a mile up the road to join the guys in The Blythe Tavern. The trouble was that I didn't fancy walking half a mile. The Guinness was tasting wonderful, and I just loved Angela's company so much. So we stayed in The Black Cat, and I had three pints of Guinness before going home.

 Once I got home I had some dinner, and then I went to bed (maybe after I had let my dinner go down a bit). I think I was asleep before 8.30pm, and maybe as early as 8pm. It could have been a good night's sleep, but if I recall correctly I was awake from about 4am onwards. The good thing was that my stuffy nose didn't seem to affect my sleep, and nor did the next symptom.

 At first there were just hints of it, but yesterday saw the start of a dry throated tickly cough.  I've had a few colds since suspending smoking three years ago (I resume smoking in 2035), but not enough to get used to the idea that a cough doesn't automatically become double pnuemonia, and a feeling worse than death. So I wasn't kept awake because of coughing on Thursday night, nor last night.

 The odd thing about yesterday was that my nose was still very stuffy, and I was coughing, but I was starting to feel better. In some way I almost felt good. At the end of the working day there seemed no reason not to walk to the station, and I seemed to have plenty of energy to go and plunder Tesco on the way home. As well as feeling physically better (but not best), I was also feeling happy because my internet connection had come alive a few hours before leaving work (and I could read these pages again at work).

 I was hoping to go to a gig last night, and I was hoping to see it with Angela, but neither of us seemed to be able to raise the enthusiasm to go out last night. It was probably sensible not to go out, and to get another early(ish) night to help get over my cold. Once again I allowed myself to cheer myself up by eating inappropriately like I did the previous night. It wasn't completely reckless eating, but neither was I going to lose any weight eating what I did !

 I was coughing quite a lot last night, and when I was awake during the night, but I am not sure if I was woken up by it. It was yet another night where I slept reasonably well until about 4am. I have no idea what it is about 4am, but I seem to like waking up around then. With no work today I didn't attempt to fight it, and I got up and spent some time reading from the internet before resting again (but sleeping very little).

 In the end I decided I ought to try and do some stuff. I thought I would very quickly tire, but I seemed to be able to do an awful lot of stuff before I got fed up with it. I did, in effect, three lots of laundry. The first lot I did completely separately to the other two parts. I washed the next two bit together, but I decided the rinsing would be more effective if I split it into two parts. Once a whole weeks worth of works shirts, plus underwear, and some t-shirts were hanging up to dry I went on to do more stuff. I emptied all the bins (4 of them !), and I did some cleaning in the bathroom (which included a bit of limescale removal - that took a bit of elbow grease !).

 One little cleaning job came with a little bonus. Before I emptied the main rubbish bin in the kitchen I swept around it because I spilt a few bits as I took the bag out of the bin. As I swept I found a hazlenut under the overhang of one of the kitchen units. The significance of this is that it had been under there for about a fortnight (I think), and it had no teeth marks in it. I have been fairly sure that I have been rodent free for ages now (all year ?), and an unnibbled hazlenut seems fair proof that I am still rodent free !

 The next thing of any significance that I will do is to go out and meet Angela in The Black Cat so we can watch Fifth Element play a gig there. (Pictures from the last gig there on 16th July 2016 here - The original plan was that I was going to stay at Angela's place after the gig, but it would be unfair to keep her awake with my coughing and nose blowing. Instead, Angela will probably come back here for a while before going home again in a cab. Hopefully my nose and throat will be able to behave for the time she is here, and it will only be when I try and relax for sleep that they will start to annoy me. Well that's how it usually works !
Thursday 13th October 2016
07:57 BST

  It is quite strange. The weather forecast turned out to be about right again yesterday. There was rain in the morning, and then it brightened up with a few sunny spells. Sometime around 3pm there was another shower, and then it was just medium overcast until the end of the day. Once again I didn't bother to check, but I reckon the forecast for 14° C was about right. Today started off rather cool, about 8° C, and it was very wet. Fortunately the rain stopped in Catford just before I walked to the station, and judging by the puddles, I arrived in Earlsfield just after it had finished raining there too. In accordance with the weather forecast, it is starting to brighten up now, and we should have some good sunshine for an hour or two this morning. The afternoon will be duller, and it is not going to be very warm - just 12° C if the forecast is correct. It is really feeling like autumn now, and the forecast for tomorrow brings no cheer. It might stay dry, and be a whole degree warmer, but it's going to be a very dull day.

 I didn't feel terribly good at work yesterday, and it was a relief to go home again. My main symptoms were the continuation of my itchy nose, a lack of energy, and some creakiness. I didn't feel like rushing around on the way home, and I didn't fancy walking to the station from work. If I hadn't noticed a bus coming up the hill I would have walked to the station, but with the bus in sight I could hardly refuse it. When I got to Waterloo I didn't have the energy to run up the escalator, but I did walk up part of it. I still managed to catch the 16:05 train as usual, and I even had enough time to walk three quarters the length of the platform to get on the train at my favourite position.

 When I got back to Catford I seemed to have enough energy to go to not just one, but both branches of Poundland. I was hoping the nearest one to the station would have the mouthwash I wanted, but it didn't. So I went to the other branch on the high street, and they didn't have any either. That's not to say I didn't buy enough stuff to fill a carrier bag ! Some of what I bought was very innocent - stuff like assorted hose clips - but some was very naughty - like toffee flavoured chocolate fingers.

 I bought the latter as comfort food, and for a few minutes I was comforted by stuffing my face with them, but I know, and I knew, that there would be a penalty to be paid later. One thing I didn't fancy last night was a salad, but I did fancy curry. My dinner consisted of a small container of ready made Chicken Jalfrezi followed by a more substantial green Thai chicken curry with noodles. It was all unhealthy, but I needed it according to my lying and cheating brain.

 After eating I had a nice relaxing, and rather brief evening. One thing I managed to do before going to bed was to upload all the pictures I took of The Curfew at their gig last Saturday night at The Black Cat. You can find all the pictures in the album here -

 I can't remember what the time was, but I think it might even have been a little before 8pm when I went to bed with the intention of watching an episode or two of The Simpsons that I had downloaded. I was going to watch them on my tablet - I need to make better use of that gadget ! - and indeed I did start to watch one episode, but I barely got past the start when I decided I felt so knackered I would try and get to sleep. I must have fallen almost instantly, and although I woke up a few times in the night, I seemed to have no problem getting back to sleep again. I reckon that if I didn't have to come to work I could still be asleep in bed now.

 This morning I do feel fairly rotten. My nose is very snotty this morning, and all sorts of bits of me ache. Maybe some of it is the weather. I noticed that everyone seemed to slow up this morning. I definitely didn't fancy rushing across the link between Waterloo East and Waterloo stations this morning, and it turned out that I didn't need to. Everyone seemed to be walking like they had lead shoes on. Such is the power of an almost black sky and a generous sprinkling of rain - pure misery !

 Now I am at work I feel.....well more or less still pretty horrible. I'm wondering if I have enough tissues here, or if I am going to have to start stealing toilet paper to blow my nose one. Tonight I should be going for a drink, and because it is in The Blythe Tavern, which is only a 10 - 15 minute walk away from Catford Bridge station, I think I will still try and make it. I might possibly go home via The London Overground from Clapham Junction as far as Denmark Hill, and then a Thameslink train to Catford station. Catford station is 100 yards nearer to The Blythe Tavern than Catford Bridge station is.
beware of scammers
 When I got home from work I found an official looking brown envelope sitting on my doormat. It gave the appearance that it had come from the Inland Revenue (or whatever the tax people are called these days). Closer examination showed it actually came from a private company. I am unsure of the exact nature of the scam, but this was definitely a scam. The basic idea was that if you wear a company uniform, or protective clothing, you are entitled to a small reduction in tax to cover the cost of keeping it clean. This is perfectly true, but it is usually arranged through your employers pay department. The self employed make their own arrangements, but in either case no third party company is needed to claim the tax relief. This dodgy company, whose address is probably more toilet cubicle 7 rather than suite 7 in some multi occupancy building, enclosed a form that asks for lots of details - probably enough to set up fake bank accounts and stuff. Even if the didn't intend to use the information for nefarious purposes, you can be sure they have a way of claiming a large fee for arranging for tax relief for laundry of company uniform.
dark and miserable morning
 This is what it was like as I approached work this morning - dull, dreary, wet, and depressing ! It was nicer out yesterday lunchtime. I was feeling moderately rotten, but I wondered if some fresh air might help. Maybe it did, but it seemed like hard work. It has been quite some time since I last took a wander around the park behind work, and the last time or two I didn't see any sign of the small colony of Asian Ladybirds that hang out on the far side of the bridge over the River Wandle entrance to the park. It seems they are still there after all. I shot a brief video of one crawling about.

Wednesday 12th October 2016
07:43 BST

  It is quite hard to remember much about the weather on days like yesterday. There was nothing about it to really hook a memory on. It was mostly bright, sometimes sunny, and it was neither hot nor cold. I guess that sums up yesterday.
the weather forecast for
                  Weds 12th Oct 2016
 This is the forecast for today, and it is a bit different to recent forecasts. There was something to remember about today - it was teeming with rain when I walked to the station. It was also fairly cool - just 10° C by my reckoning. The forecast for today has started off right in spirit even if the timings were/are a bit out. It is not shown in this screenshot taken just a few minutes ago, but earlier this morning it showed 6am, and 7am to be dry, and as this current forecast shows, the rain to start at 8am. Maybe it will rain at 8am, but the way the clouds are breaking up it doesn't seem likely. Another thing this screenshot doesn't show is what is forecast to happen at midnight. If the forecast is right we will have non stop rain from midnight until at least 6am tomorrow. After that it is supposed to be dry and bright with sunny intervals. The temperature will be similar to today.

 It was rather boring at work yesterday. There was stuff I could have done if I had been enthusiastic, but I wanted to stick to the project I have been working on for a while now. The only problem is that I came to the point where I needed some modified firmware and I have to wait at the mercy of our software engineers to write it. I should get it today - I hope ! Being bored at work made going home again specially delicious - or at least the concept of it was. The actual process of going home was the usual tedious journey that was only spiced up by a dash up the escalators at Waterloo.

 It is a dangerous thing, but at this time of year I get urges for more exciting food - and not always healthy (low fat and low sugar) food. Going shopping in Tesco was not a good idea. There are too many temptations in there, but Iceland is mostly harmless. So I went in Iceland and bought some of their "Slimming World" ready meals, but when I came across them I realised what I really wanted - fish fingers ! I have no idea why fish fingers should grab my imagination, but they did. I also bought some prawns in a sort of sauce.

 When I got home I had a semi healthy snack. It was a bowl of ready made salad with some grated cheese and, as usual, far more mayonnaise than is good for me. My main meal was the fish fingers with some sliced pickled gherkins - I always wondered what I was going to have those gherkins with when I bought them. Now I know. My third course was the prawns I mentioned earlier. They were a huge disappointment. The wrapper described them as king prawns in a stir through soy sauce, and the picture on the outside made them look as big as lobsters. Having taken the wrapper off, I noted that the prawns were smaller, but could still be called king prawns. Once they had been zapped in the microwave for the regulation 4 minutes they shrank further. They were nice, but I was hoping for something bigger than shrimps !

 Apart from eating, the only other thing of note that I did last night was to finally upload the backlog of photo albums to Flickr. It took some time to do, and even then I forgot one photo album. One time consuming thing is to try and add a caption to each photo. In most cases I left them blank, but I did add a few names or observations. The photo albums were:-

The Alleycats - Sat 1st Oct 2016 @ The Black Cat

Chain - Sat 2nd Sept 2016 @ The Swan

Chain - Thurs 29th Dept 2016 @ The Coach And Horses

The English Rogues - Sat 17th Sept 2016 @ The Black Cat

Life Of Brian - Fri 30th Sept 2016 @ The Coach And Horses

Life Of Brian - Sat 24th Sept 2016 @ The Elm Tree

The Midnight Flyers - Sat 3rd Sept 2016 @ The Black Cat

The Belles - 10th Sept 2016 @  The Black Cat

Big Red Bus and The Belles - Fri 7th Oct 2016 @ HG Wells Centre Bromley

You can view them all here -

 I think I am expecting another tedious day at work, and maybe I will be considering whether to quit this job. One of the reasons is just winter depression, but there are two other reasons - one person left, and another leaving at the end of the month. The first person to leave was my ex manager who originally joined the company at about the same time as me over 10 years ago. We didn't always see eye to eye, but once we learned each others ways, we had an amicable working relationship with each other. At the end of the month the Spanish lady, Ainohah, leaves for a new job. Once the ice was broken I found her quite a bubbly personality who was fun to work with. Working without those two here is going to be a more miserable existence.

 There is a small possibility that I might see Angela after work. That would make fir a great evening, but of course it would leave little time to do anything else. That wouldn't be a bad thing because the only thing I can think of doing tonight is to upload the photo album of The Curfew's gig to Flickr. That could potentially leave too much time that could be used for unwanted eating. On the other hand I could be overcome with a burst of domesticity and do something like hoover the carpets, but that doesn't seem likely somehow !
Tuesday 11th October 2016
07:50 BST

  It seems a strange concept, but yesterday's weather was about the same as the weather forecast said it would be. It was bright, sunny,  and dry, and the temperature was most probably around the 13° C that was forecast. There was one small departure to the forecast (unless it was hidden away in the small print). Just before 4.30pm there was a very brief, very light shower - accompanied by bright sunshine ! Today has started off slightly odd. It was a lot colder than expected when I got up. By my reckoning it was only 5 - 6° C. That was a couple of degrees less than forecasted. It was also odd that I would have expected the sky to have been very clear for the temperature to drop that low, and yet it seemed very cloudy as I came to work. The cloud made it a very dark morning, and it barely seemed like daylight when I arrived here in Earlsfield, but then again it was a few minutes earlier than official sunrise. I can't see much of the sky from my office window, but what I can see now looks clear and blue. Today is forecast to have less continuous sunshine than yesterday, but there should still be quite a lot of it. It is supposed to be a couple of degrees warmer today. It should peak this afternoon at around 15° C. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be about 13° C with some scattered showers and sunny intervals. The day after looks as if it might be grim - grey and just 12° C !

the lovely Angela After work I rushed like a mad thing to get back to Catford. this was, of course, pointless because I couldn't get there at any other time than the time my train was scheduled to arrive there, but I was feeling a bit excited !

 The reason for all that was because I was meeting Angela (pictured looking very beautiful on the left) in The Black Cat for a quick drink. After that quick drink (which was two pints for me) we went shopping in the SAM 99p shop. We would also have gone in Peacocks, but they were shutting as we got there.

 After shopping, or not shopping in the case of Peacocks, we went back to my place, and enjoyed each other's company for quite a few hours. I think it was getting on for 8.30pm before Angela went home. I'm not sure why we didn't have some sort of dinner together because we were both quite hungry by then. Maybe we were too distracted to think of food while we were together.

 I heard later that Angela was craving a Big Mac, but I don't think she had one. I started off with grand intentions to eat healthily. I had a salad with skinless/boneless Jamaican Jerk flavoured chicken slices. That was all I intended to eat, but I made the fatal mistake of watching a TV programme until it finished. I just couldn't seem to help myself snacking while watching TV. I had quite a few nuts, and more than one packet of cheese curls !

 I think the TV programme I was watching (an old repeat of Have I Got News For You) ended at about 9pm, and I headed for bed straight after. I guess that by the time I had brushed my teeth, and got into bed, it was almost 9.30pm - a little late, but not that bad. I fell asleep really quickly, and I guess I slept well. If I hadn't I probably would not have woken up half an hour before I needed to....and yet I really felt like going back to bed after I had showered.

confusing train informationThis morning is another morning when I feel that I have no solidly identifiable aches and pains, and yet I don't feel like I am in sparkling health. Everything seems to be working well enough, and yet everything feels a bit like hard work....well maybe "hard work" is not an adequate description. I think I am looking for a word, or words, that mean that walking to the station posed no difficulties, no pain or discomfort, but I didn't want to do it, and I had to force myself.

 It wasn't that I didn't want to come to work....or, I didn't want to come to come to work any more than usual - it just felt like I didn't want to wear my body out with all that unnecessary movement and stuff......or something like that.

 Anyway I am here at work now, but there was some doubt about getting here. Consider the screenshot on the left. At the top of the screen is says "This train has been delayed by the emergency services dealing with an incident". So it was delayed...but then why was it shown as having departed on time from Hayes (Kent). It was also perfectly on time at Catford Bridge, but I think it might have arrived at Waterloo East a minute early !

 I am looking forward to getting home again tonight. There is no special reason for it beyond not being here at work. I have some definite ideas about what I could or should be doing tonight. Most of those ideas revolve around uploading some well overdue photo albums to Flickr. The only other two things to do tonight are to eat, hopefully not too much, and to go to bed, hopefully fairly early.....oh,  and to sleep well when I do !
Monday 10th October 2016
07:48 BST

  After a bright and sunny morning it eventually became quite cloudy yesterday afternoon, but even then the sun managed to peep out a few more times before sunset. It's hard to comment on the temperature because I didn't go out at all yesterday. It looked like it might be OK until it got cloudy, but that was the view from indoors where I decided it was more comfortable with the heater turned on low. In reality it was probably in the region of 13° C. During the night the temperature fell to just over 6° C in my back garden, although the official forecast says it should have been 8° C.
weather forecast screenshot
 As can be seen from this screenshot from my mobile phone, today is going to start off nice and sunny, and there seems to be a fair chance that I will be able to catch a bit of sunshine when I leave work to head back home. It's a shame that all that sunshine will only raise the temperature to 13° C.It seems a paradox, but the forecast for tomorrow says there will be less sunshine, but it will one whole degree warmer. The reason is that we are at the mercy of the wind now that sumer is well and truly over, and the wind is blowing from the north. If the wind came from the south it could easily be 5 or 6 degrees warmer.

 About the only thing I did yesterday was to select and edit pictures that I took of The Curfew gig at The Black Cat on Saturday night. A few came out really well, and there was a fair selection of acceptable pictures. It seemed to take forever to go through the 235 pictures I took. That sounds an awful lot, but all the shots were taken in burst mode with maybe 4 or 5 shots being taken in very rapid succession. By the time I had finished I needed to rest my eyes, and take a long break away from those photos. So I didn't get around to uploading them to Flickr (making my backlog of photo albums to upload there even longer !). However, they have appeared on social media -

 I was determined to get an early night last night, and it almost happened. I was in bed well before 9pm, but I made the fatal mistake of reading a book. I read until I got to the end of a chapter, and checked the time. It was 9.15pm, and so I put the book down, turned out the lights, and I fell asleep remarkably quickly. Apart from waking up once in the night for a wee, and then waking up thirty minutes before I needed to, it felt like I had slept well last night.

 Maybe I did sleep well because I do feel sort of good this morning. It's only sort of good because my nose feels all stuffed up again, and a few bits ache, but I did seem to have a decent amount of energy when I rushed around coming to work this morning. One of the better things is that my chest is going through a calm period lately, and seems not to be doing much clicking and popping. So no chest aches this morning, and although I could initially feel the tightness, I was mostly comfortable when I zipped up the front of my coat this morning when I walked to the station - it was really rather chilly this morning - and it was also very dark. Sunrise was not until 07:17 this morning, and it is getting worse.

 Just for a change, I do have some definite plans for tonight. On my way home from work I will be popping into The Black Cat for a pint of Guinness (possibly two). I will be meeting Angela in there, and after we have had a quick drink in there we will be going back to my place for another drink, and to spend a few, or more, lovely hours together. 
Sunday 9th October 2016
11:55 BST

  One feature of the weather recently is that the odd sprinkle of rain that we have had has been at most convenient times - much of it has been while I've been safely tucked up in bed. This is, of course how the original software for life, the universe, and everything was written until the program got corrupted in some way. The other thing about the weather for the last few days is that it has remained mild, and going out without a coat has been possible....except in the early morning, but there has been one exception to even that. Yesterday was generally dry, and bright, although I can't seem to recall that much direct sunshine. Today has seen a lot of sunshine, but it seems we are due to lose the sunshine in a few hours time, and there could even be a splash of rain from 6pm. It should dry up again after an hour or two, but the temperature is goin to start dropping. By tomorrow morning it could be as low as 8° C, but tomorrow is forecast to be quite a sunny day, and the temperature should rise to 13° C again. Sadly that is two degrees cooler than today.

 It has been an interesting couple of days. When I finished work on Thursday I travelled my three train solution from Earlsfield to Shortlands for some booze with the Thursday night gang in The Shortlands Tavern. I stayed there a little later, and drank a little more than usual because I had a cunning, but probably foolish plan. It was to leave there and get the 227 bus to Beckenham so I could meet up with Angela who was accompanying Miranda to a couple of open mic sessions.

 The first port of call was The Bricklayers Arms where I had another pint of beer (or was it two ?). I met Angela in there, but I didn't hang around there. It was my intention to be on the bus home by 9pm at the latest, but that never happened  because I wandered up the road to The Coach And Horses to say hello to a couple of people drinking (and playing) there. Of course once I was there I ended up staying there until Angela and Miranda arrived so I could spent a bit more time with Angela.

 I think it was close to 10pm when I left to get the bus home. I arrived home feeling rather hungry, and rather drunk. This was unsurprising considering I hadn't eaten since the night before. So I had something to eat before finally rolling into bed. I guess it was getting on for midnight before I fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning I didn't feel too good.

 The core of my problems was obviously a hangover, but I felt off colour in other ways too. Nevertheless, I had my morning shower, got dressed, and was ready to leave for work by 6am. At 6:05am I took off my clothes again, and got back into bed. At 8am I woke up again feeling rather better, but it was a bit late to go into work. Si Called work and told them I was sick. Then I went back to bed again !

 I did several useful things on Friday. I did a couple of laundry session, and got all my work shirts, and some odds and sods clean, and I went out to Aldi to get some shopping. It was the shopping trip I did first, and if I hadn't done that I may not have done the laundry. The thing was that I did genuinely feel rough when I went out. Before going in Aldi I walked a bit further to have a look at a pawn brokers/second hand shop to see if they had anything exciting in.

 I did not enjoy that walk. It seemed like hard work for a walk that only took 7 or 8 minutes. It made me wonder if I would be OK carrying a load of stuff back from Aldi. It seems that most of the problem was just the direction of travel. Coming home from Aldi, with 6 litres of drink in my rucksack, and two semi-heavy shopping bags, seemed far less effort than dragging just my carcass in the other direction !

 It was really difficult to restrain my eating after coming back with lots of exciting stuff from Aldi, and on the whole I failed, but maybe it was only a moderate fail. I particularly wanted to feel sort of fit and healthy in the evening so I would enjoy a night out with Angela. We met up in the H.G. Wells Centre in Bromley to watch two great bands - Big Red Bus and The Belles.

 Both bands were on excellent form, and one day I'll get around to uploading some pictures of them to Flickr. In the meantime you'll have to make do with this one picture of Big Red Bus.
Big Red Bus
 I think the gig finished close to midnight. That was early enough to get a normal day bus back to Catford, but had it been later there is a night bus that runs fairly frequently all night long. Fortunately I didn't need a bus because I went back to Angela's home in the cab she called. It seems I didn't leave there until 7.30am the next morning.....

 When I got home I had some breakfast, probably quite a generous breakfast, before going to bed. Yesterday was a particularly lazy day, and I had several extended naps during the day. This was just as well because I had another late night, last night. I think I can claim to have only done three things, beside sleeping, yesterday. They were eating, reading, and some photo editing.

 At 8pm it was time to go out. My destination was The Black Cat pub to see The Curfew playing there. Sadly I didn't have the pleasure of Angela's company last night. She accompanied Miranda who was singing with The Life Of Brian in The Railway Tavern in Longfield. I could have gone there, but it is a bit of a long trek. Longfield is outside the London Travelcard zones, and maybe outside of the M25 area.

 The Curfew were a three piece band that had come down from the far reaches of North London to play in The Black Cat as an experiment, and to extend their reach. They managed to get lost on the way, and the gig started a bit late as a consequence. For a three piece band they were very loud, but they sounded pretty good, and deserved a bigger audience than they got. That is one of the sad things about The Black Cat. It is a big pub with relatively cheap beer, but maybe because it is tucked away off the main roads it is very poorly used. Maybe no one in Catford like decent live music. A few gigs are well attended, but last night the pub was very poorly attended. I took a bit of video of The Curfew playing "7 Nation Army". The lighting rig in The Black Cat makes it very strobe-like, but it give an idea of what they sounded like.

 Today I have done very little except to do a quick and dirty edit of the video - mostly just to top and tail it, and to save it in a form for use online. I'm not sure what I'll be doing for the rest of the day. I had considered going for a walk in the park, but while writing this it has become very cloudy outside, and it looks rather less inviting out there. I had been hoping that I might see Angela this afternoon, but I think I am going to have to be patient and see her for a few hours after work tomorrow. So I shall do some reading, maybe watch a bit of TV, and generally be a slob !
Thursday 6th October 2016
08:24 BST

  What a difference a day makes ! Yesterday was bright and sunny all day, and it ended up almost warm ~ maybe around 19° C, but possibly one or two degrees cooler. Today started at about 11° C, and that was an improvement over yesterday, but the reason for it was that the sky is filled with thick grey clouds. Apparently there is a small chance of a shower before the clouds thin out. There should be some sunny periods this afternoon, but the temperature is only forecast to rise to a mere, autumnal feeling, 14° C. The clouds thicken up again around sunset, and by midnight it could be raining. The rain is forecast to continue through the night, and I might have a soggy journey to work tomorrow morning !

Yesterday started nice and
a very dull morning

 I've tried to compare the difference between yesterday morning and this morning in these two pictures. The top one shows yesterday being bright and shiny, and the lower one, taken with a different camera, but approximately from the the same viewpoint, shows how dull it is this morning.

 Yesterday was a bit like the day before. I didn't feel completely comfortable at work, but at no time was I in any significant discomfort. Once again.....No, as usual it was a great relief to leave work, and head towards home. Now I can say...Once again, just like the day before, I didn't feel like going straight home when I got off the train at Catford Bridge station. I think I just wanted to spend a few tens of minutes more in the sunshine.

 Last night I did a bit of shopping in the SAM 99p shop. I bought a few useful items in there, and some useless ones too. I also couldn't resist buying some baklava - that middle eastern treat that is dripping with honey.....or is supposed to be. I am not convinced that some of the honey wasn't replaced by syrup ! Regardless of the source of the sweetness, it was obviously very bad for me, but I did show some restraint and I saved half for tonight.

 After the 99p shop I wandered round to Peacocks on the high street. I was hoping to buy a big white fluffy dressing gown for the next time Angela stays at my place. Such dressing gowns seem to be hard to find. Tesco only stock pink ones, and they are totally inappropriate. Peacocks had dressing gowns, but not big fluffy ones, and none of them were plain white. I would have thought that white dressing gowns (for ladies) were the most common variety, but it seems not. I guess that we are going to have to go to Lewisham, and perhaps M&S sometime to get one.

 It was nice to spend just that little extra time in the sunshine, but it was also nice to get home and take off my shoes. The shoes I was wearing were not the most comfortable to walk in, but they weren't agonisingly uncomfortable either. I had thought I might do several useful things last night, but eating dinner seemed to be the most significant thing I did. Dinner was supposed to be healthy. It started with a salad, and ended with an Iceland "Slimming World" ready meal. The only problem was that the salad came from Iceland and had grated carrot and beetroot, plus sweetcorn in it. Those vegetable all added to the calorie load, and the cheese and mayonnaise didn't help either.

 I am really being affected by how early it gets dark now. The biggest reason why I didn't really do anything useful last night was because it was dark by 7pm, and it just felt like bedtime. I was actually on my bed reading by 8pm. and although I lost track of time, I think I had probably brushed my teeth, turned out the light, and fallen asleep before 9pm. I had what seems to be a typical semi-good, semi-bad night now. I slept really well for about three hours. I was then awake for 20 minutes or so before falling asleep for another three hours. For the rest of the night I was half awake and half sleeping. Sometimes I would be dreaming, and sometimes it was more like day dreaming. Maybe it was lucid dreaming, but if that was the case then my internal dream clock was keeping very good time, and agreed with the real clock !

 This morning I think I would have liked to have got up for maybe an hour, and then gone back to bed again. I am not sure if that was because I feel I need more sleep (sleep is always good), or if I just had a subconscious desire to wake up when it was light outside - which seems a very reasonable idea ! I don't feel that bad this morning, and it is probably just because I have "faster" shoes on that I feel like I have a tiny bit more energy this morning. I am sure I did the mad dash from getting off the train at Waterloo East to getting on the train at Waterloo in record time this morning. On the other hand, it didn't feel like I did the walk from Earlsfield station to work in very good time. I'm sure I have done it in 9 minutes before, but this morning it took 10 minutes. Maybe the 9 minute version doesn't include walking along the platform, down the stairs, and across the ticket hall.
station to work
 This morning it took 10 minutes, and I walked at 3.19mph. I usually average around 3mph. So maybe I was actually a bit faster even if it felt slower. Tonight I will have further opportunities to rush around. It's Thursday, and that means it is boozing night ! Tonight's venue is The Shortlands Tavern. To get there means rushing from platform 10 to platform 12 at Clapham Junction so I can get to Victoria station instead of Waterloo station. At Victoria station I have to rush across almost the entire width of the station, and it is a very wide station, to get a train destined for Orpington that calls at Shortlands. Once I am on that train I can relax !

framed photo outside The
                      Black Cat Pub
 On my way home last night I walked past The Black Cat pub. It was nice to see what I think is one of my photos in a frame on the outside of the pub. I took the lousy looking snap of it above. Unfortunately I couldn't get away from the glare of the late afternoon sun ruining the shot, but at least it give an idea of what it looks like. The framed photo shows one of my favourite bands who appear at the pub every so often, The English Rogues. (Their next gig there is on Sat 17th December).

 Last night my train from Earlsfield to Waterloo had a race with an identical train in the Battersea Area. My train won !!
Wednesday 5th October 2016
08:09 BST

  Yesterday was another nice day - or nice for an early autumn day. A summer day could be a lot nicer ! It was bright and dry, and the afternoon was a tiny bit warmer than tepid - possibly a degree or two higher than the forecast 17° C. Today has started nice and bright, and the forecast says it should stay mostly this way. It is possibly going to be a degree or so cooler than yesterday - which seems to be a shame considering this morning started a degree or two warmer than yesterday. It could have been as high as 12° C when I left to come to work, and it would not have been that uncomfortable to have not worn a coat. I would have hoped that many hours of sunshine, even if the sun is a bit weak at the time of the year, would raise the temperature to more than 15° C, but that is all the very latest forecast can offer.

 It does seem that I seem to be over the worst of whatever has been, and still continues to ail me. My chest has ached a lot less recently, and yesterday it hardly bothered me at all. I still feel sort of weak, but it is a specialised sort of weak. I only notice it when I want to walk faster, or further, or both. It seems harder work than I feel it should. Of course these things are subjective, and my walking is heavily influenced by the shoes I am wearing. Some go faster than others !
purple Vans
 For instance, this morning I am wearing my purple Vans trainers. When other people wear Vans they look fast and very comfortable - but not for me it seems. They are not fast because they are not comfortable to walk in (but they are great to wear at work). It is very hard to define why they are uncomfortable. The don't pinch or rub like ill fitting shoes do, and I think it is just purely the stiffness and contours of the sole that don't match my (evidently) peculiar shaped feet.

 Back to yesterday, and while I was mostly comfortable at work, I was still very glad when it was time to go home. I was less glad when, once again, people tried to talk to me when I was trying to put my coat on and get out the door ! It did make for a bit of a rush getting to Waterloo East station in time for my (now) usual 16:05 train. Luckily I am practised at rushing now, and even though it seemed to be too much like hard work, I managed to get on the rear of the train before the doors closed.

 When I got back to Catford I had an urge to get some shopping. I had two things in mind. The first was to take a look at a camera I had seen in a charity shop. It was a Canon Ixus 821S, and it was fairly cheap. So I bought it out of curiosity. It has an 8 mega pixel sensor, and 3x optical zoom - definitely a "last years" model. Fortunately it was in perfect working order, and some test pictures I have taken on it seem quite good. (The picture of my Vans trainers, above, was taken on it)  I have no need for yet another camera, but.....well, you know......curiosity and stuff. I may well keep it in my desk at work.

 My second port of call before going home was to Iceland. Initially I thought I would get some more salad stuff, but once I crossed the threshold of the shop I decided I would also get a couple of their "Slimming World" ready meals. Once I was further into the shop I also started desire some sort of curry. I did buy a bowl of ready mix salad, and I did buy a couple of  "Slimming World" ready meals. Finally, I bought a couple of ready made curries that came without rice.

 It was the latter two curries that for the second part of my dinner after I had eaten salad as a starter. Both curries struck me as rather small, and both had a fairly thin gravy, or sauce that had chunks of skinless chicken in. I didn't dare look at the ingredient, or the nutritional information, but I got the impression they were very low in fat, and may have actually been fairly low in calories too. They certainly were not very filling, and this morning I feel slightly hungry. It also feels like my blood glucose level is lower than some morning (purely based on how little I sweated while rushing around, and no feeling of thirst or needing to pee).

 I don't know where all the evening went last night. It seemed that bedtime came around indecently fast - although I think I was in bed, and asleep relatively early last night. One of the few worthwhile things I did, apart from washing up a load of drinking glasses, and some other stuff, was to finally get around to uploading a few overdue photo albums to Flickr. The two I did last night (and I still have several more to do) were of two gigs from The Life Of Brian. You'll find them here -

 I think I would have to say I didn't sleep well last night. Normally I would say it was good, but this morning I have decided to say it was bad. I did get around 7 hours of sleep, and in the normal course of events that would be good, but two things make me say it was a bad sleep now. The first was that after three hours of good sleep I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep for something like 20 minutes. The second bad thing is that I was sleeping when my alarm went off at 5am, and I feel sure I could have slept for far longer if I hadn't needed to get up for work.

 This morning I have been testing my new camera. It really does seem that despite it's limitations, it is a rather good camera. It suffers like most Canon cameras with the darkest areas of the picture not always looking as dark as they could be, but that is easily fixed in post production. Here's some test pictures with notes.
night time pictures
Two pictures side by side - I took these just after leaving home to come to work. The sky was still black at that point, and all the illumination was from street lamps. The picture on the left features the two tower cranes that are being used to build all the little high rise living boxes on the old Greyhound Stadium site. All you can see of them is the red glow of their beacons. The picture on the right is looking towards the station. Some of the road surface is lit up by the street lamp, and the lamps along Catford Bridge station platforms are clearly seen. Both were rather long exposures, obviously useless for action shorts, but the low light performance was otherwise very good.
view from train window
This was a view through the train window between Vauxhall and Clapham Junction stations. The sun has still not risen, but the glow on the eastern horizon looks very orange, and the sky is starting to turn blue.
nitrous oxide sniffers debris
Inhaling nitrous oxide seems to be a very popular pastime among the kids from the estate near work. Piles of used containers, together with the balloons they fill with the gas, and breath the gas in from, litter the ground here.
Cream ? No, pull the other one !
The gas, otherwise known as laughing gas, and the gas that was, and maybe still is used as an anaesthetic, is intended to fluff up cream in some way I am not familiar with. There were two empty boxes, each originally containing 24 canisters like this one, by the kerb this morning. Sniffing nitrous oxide seems a strange hobby, but I guess someone has to do it !

  Tonight I have no definite plans, but I expect I'll eat more curry, and upload more photo albums to Flickr.
Tuesday 4th October 2016
07:41 BST

  It was quite a nice day yesterday. It wasn't particularly warm, but once the day warmed up after a chilly start, it seemed quite comfortable. It was dry, and there was a fair amount of sunshine. The transition of summer into Autumn is not going that bad - yet ! I'm sure we can expect far worse as Autumn gives way to winter, but for now it's reasonably OK.
weather forecast for Tuesday
                  4th October 2016
 This is the forecast for today. It doesn't look too bad, but note how early sunset is getting. Tonight the sun sets at 6.30pm, and after not rising until 7.07am, the days are getting so short now - and there is far worse to come. My journey to work starts in darkness now, and it won't be that long before I'll be getting home again in darkness. The worst time is probably around mid December when I arrive at work in the dark, and go home again in the dark. That really pisses me off.

 Apart from my legs feeling very stiff after standing up on the trains coming to work yesterday, I mostly felt OK while I was at work. There was one exception to that. I was sitting on the toilet when I experienced some very strong pain. It had nothing to do with sitting on the toilet except that while I was sitting there with no much to do I noticed a little white/grey spot on my shirt. I didn't have anything better to do with my hands at that time so I started to try and remove this spot. I'm still not entirely sure what it was. It may have been a bit of dried snot that had shot out of my hanky, but that unpleasant idea is also not really relevant either. What was relevant was that it was high up on my shirt, maybe collar bone sort of level. To see it better I was sort of craning my neck out and looking down. Suddenly I felt this agonising pain shoot straight up my neck and into my brain. It lasted no more than milliseconds, but it sort of stunned me. For the next few minutes my neck felt very sore, but as far as I can recall, all the pain had vanished by the time I had finished my other business and left the toilet.

 Although on average I have been feeling OK recently, I still seem to have to push myself really hard to do what seemed easy a week or two ago. Last night I was still able to rush around as I travelled from work back to Catford, and that included walking up the three flights of stairs at Earlsfield station. I did it all just as fast as I was doing it a week or two ago, but there was no joy in it (although I'm not sure if there has ever been anything approaching joy going up those stairs at Earlsfield station - beyond the joy of still being alive when you get to the top).

 Ideally I would have liked to push myself just a little bit harder yesterday, but this was only because my boss kept me chatting for a few minutes as I was about to leave work. That did make my timing a bit tight, but I managed to find the energy to rush enough to get to my favourite spot on the platform at Waterloo East station just as the doors of my train were opening. That was good because I got to Catford at the right time, and I was in The Black Cat with a freshly drawn pint of Guinness in my hand by 4.30pm.

 I was in The Black Cat to meet Angela for an after work wind down. We had a couple of drinks in there before I dragged her around Tesco. There were a few things I wanted to buy, and a few things I noticed in there that I bought anyway. The latter was, specifically, a couple of price reduced ready made Caesar salads. If the price reduction labels were correct, they had been reduced in stages from £2.53 to 70p, and two of them made for a very nice, and semi-healthy dinner for me last night. After Tesco we went back to my place, and Angela stayed there until 8.30pm. After she left I barely had time to eat my dinner before going to bed. Not that I am complaining. It was wonderful to have her company for so long.

 This morning it didn't feel quite as chilly as yesterday morning, but it was nearly a whole 3° C "warmer" than yesterday. Maybe that inspired me to trim my beard, and to wash my hair before showering and getting dressed. Once again I still feel sort of halfway between good and bad. I have no major aches and pains, but a selection of minor ones. None are of any great significance, but together they do put a bit of a damper on things. My other complaint is that after getting what seemed like a rather good sleep, I do seem to feel quite tired this morning. Maybe I'll feel better once my office warms up a bit more, and I decided to try and get interested in my work.

 So what are my plans for tonight ?  I feel I should do some washing up. I haven't got much in the sink, but I do seem to have a lot of glasses that need a good wash to make them sparkle (and to remove some lipstick !). Another thing I ought to do is to upload several more photo albums to Flickr. All my photo editing is up to date, but without showing the photos it is a bit pointless. Well, that should keep me going for an hour or two. Add on time for eating, and that should take me nicely up to an early bedtime. I can't wait !
Monday 3rd October 2016
08:56 BST

  Yesterday's weather was probably good for Autumn. There was a fair amount of sunshine, and as far as I can recall, it stayed dry. It was not unexpected, but the top temperature was probably only around 16° C - not chilly, but not warm.

a chilly start to the day
 This morning was very chilly - most definitely outdoors, and not that comfortable indoors either ! I don't think the forecast predicted it would be that low. I seem to recall a figure of 10° C being mentioned, but my outdoor electronic thermometer reckoned it was just 5° C. The good news is that the forecast for today is for lots of sunshine. Even so, it will still only be 16° C at best. That's good enough for shirtsleeves while walking, and in the sun, but I think I'll be quite happy wearing a coat when I go home from work. I definitely needed one to come to work !

 It seems tomorrow will start off slightly warmer, perhaps 13° C, and that will be because it is forecast to be cloudy. The sun should come out for the afternoon, and it could end up a whole degree warmer than this afternoon - 17° C !!

  Saturday night was both good and bad. As I hoped would happen, I met Angela in The Black Cat where we watched just the first set of The Alleycats gig. The Alleycats are a most professional bunch of musicians, and very competent at their craft. Unfortunately their craft is to play 1950s, American style, rock and roll - a genus of music that does nothing for me. I'll admit it is a lot better than Klingon opera, and maybe very slightly better than Human opera, but there is only so much of it you can take. So after the first set we went back to my place for some Ouzo and a cuddle and......

 I didn't really get up to much yesterday. It was a day of rest - mostly. I did wash a few shirts, and I did edit up the pictures of The Alleycats that I took on Saturday night. I'll upload them to Flickr at some point, and you'll be able to see what a happy bunch of musicians they were ! I think I spent the rest of the day sleeping and reading. I did try and spend as little time as possible eating - but mostly failed. However, I did manage to restrict most of what I ate to the sort of stuff that is not bad for me (if I conveniently forget about the mixed vegetable crisps !).

 Trying to eat properly has a new poignancy at the moment. When I was doing it properly it produced some good result - not only weight loss. I was surprised when I got a text message from my doctors surgery on Friday. It said that the results of my blood and urine tests showed a remarkable and impressive improvement. The message ended with "well done !". I've never had a message anything like that before. I feel I ought to try and get back on track with my healthy eating for a little while - at least until I have my official check up on the 19th of this month. The trouble is it is so difficult when the weather gets cold and miserable, but I'll try.

 This morning started pretty cold as the picture above shows. It wasn't the ideal morning for a major mess up on the trains.
trouble on the trains !
 Over running engineering work, plus a broken down train, caused a complete stoppage through London Bridge station this morning. My usual 06:34 train was cancelled (left half of picture above), as were most other trains. (A little later the 07:08 to Hayes was also shown as cancelled). One option was to go to work via Victoria. The 07:14 train that would normally go to Cannon St station (via, but not stopping at London Bridge) was diverted to go to Victoria. From Victoria there are numerous train to Clapham Junction, and from Clapham Junction there are trains every 3 to 5 minutes to Earlsfield.

 Another alternative, and the one I took, was to take a Thameslink train from Catford station as far as Denmark Hill station. I could then change to the London Overground service to Clapham Junction station. There were only two things against this latter idea, and that was I would probably (and did) have to stand all the way, and there was the major annoyance that the London Overground service leaves at about the same time as the Thameslink service arrives at Denmark Hill.  That meant a 15 minute wait, and this morning it stretched into a 17 minute wait because the next Overground service was delayed on it's way to Denmark Hill. If the previous service had been delayed by two minutes I could have caught it, and arrived at work 17 minutes earlier.
sunrise viewed from platform
                  1 of Catford station
 The train I got from Catford station was the 06:54 St Albans service. It was less packed than I imagined, but it was still standing room only. At least I was cheered by the pretty clouds over in the east where the sun was rising - or would be rising in just over 10 minutes as I took the picture above. The novelty value of going to work via this route made some of the hardships, like having to stand all the way, and the impossible connection at Denmark Hill, of no great consequence, although I would hate to have to do it on a regular basis. One day I must check what the connection is like if I were to get the 06:22 train from Catford. It might possibly be a more viable journey, and it is certainly about £1 cheaper.
London Overground train at
                  Denmark Hill station
 This was the sort of train, a class 378, that took me from Denmark Hill station to Clapham Junction station (although this slightly fuzzy picture shows a train that has come from Clapham Junction station, and is just leaving Denmark Hill towards Peckham Rye station).  The only trouble I had at Clapham Junction station is that I had been standing up for so long, and much of it stationary, that my legs felt like they had seized up as I got of the train. It is also unfortunate that the London Overground platform is so far away from the platform for trains to Earlsfield. It initially felt like hard work to walk between the two, but at least it got my legs moving ready for the walk from Earlsfield station to work.

 Tonight I will be indulging in a pint or two of Guinness as soon as I get back to Catford after work. I'll be meeting Angela for a quick drink, and then maybe spend a bit of time with her at home. I'm looking forward to that a lot !
Saturday 1st October 2016
15:05 BST

  I'm not sure if the weather can be described as Autmnal just yet, although it is definitely heading that way. Thursday was dry if I recall correctly, and during the afternoon, and early evening it was certainly mild, if not slightly warm. That all seemed to change later in the evening. It might have just been me, but it started to feel really chilly. Yesterday was mild, and there were some good spells of sunshine, but there was also some rain - and one shower in the early evening was absolutely torrential ! There were probably a few more showers in the early hours of this morning, and there certainly were some later in the morning, but there has also been some nice sunshine today. More showers are forecast for today, but it might stay dry for the next couple of days. The temperature as I write this is just 16° C, and that is exactly as forecast. Tomorrow, despite the forecast saying it should be sunny for most of the day, will also only peak at 16° C.

 It has been an eventful couple of days, and it hasn't finished yet ! On Thursday night I went to see Chain playing a special gig at The Coach And Horses pub in Beckenham. Thursday night at that venue is normally an open mic session, but Geoff Paice who hosts the session was away on his honeymoon, and Chain stepped in to fill the void. It was an excellent sounding gig, and I even managed to get a few good photos (that will appear on Flickr soon). That was despite photography being such a challenge in the little, poorly lit venue.

 There was a very big crown there to watch Chain - bigger than an average open mic session. Among the crown were quite a few people who I know, like and respect. That made for a good evening. The only fly in the ointment was that I began to feel really cold towards the end of the evening. It was partly because I was spending quite a lot of time outside the pub to avoid the crush inside, but I think it may have been because I had a mild fever for some reason.

 It was really good to get home again after the gig. I didn't have long to wait for a bus, and the bus got me back to Catford in good time. Once I got in I wanted some hot food, but there was nothing that was easy to heat up or cook if I recall correctly. So I turned on the heater in my bedroom, and it was on full blast for half the night. It got pretty hot in my bedroom, but I still mostly slept under the duvet. It seems obvious that I had some sort of bug, but I have no idea what it was.

 I felt much better on Friday morning, and I felt in the mood to do some photo editing. My chill, whatever it was, seemed to be over because it felt good to go out in the sunshine to wander around the park for a bit before heading towards the hospital where I thought I was going to meet Angela before going over the road to the other park where we were going to sit in the sun and chat for a while.

 The only trouble with that plan was that it started to rain. The instant back up plan was to go to the pub for some shelter, and a quick drink. We both just had one drink each before Angela had to go back to work. We both enjoyed our little meeting, and we were to meet again later. I didn't do anything productive in the afternoon, but later on I got myself ready for another trip to Beckenham to see Life Of Brian playing a gig at, once again, The Coach And Horses pub.

 The Life Of Brian, with Miranda, Angela's daughter fronting it sounded good, and once again I had the challenge of trying to take some pictures in even dimmer light ! I didn't take that many because once again it was quite crowded, and I spent some time outside the pub. Angela was there, and was really enjoying it, and she was in a very affectionate mood.
The Life Of Brian
 As the gig drew to a close I enquired how she was getting home. It was possible that she would be getting a lift with the band, but the other possibility was that she would be getting a cab home. I suggested that if it was the latter we could share the cab like we did a few weeks ago when we got the driver to drop off Angela first, and then go on to my place. Last night Angela neglected to tell the driver to go as far as my place, and invited me into her place. It was 5.28am this morning when, after little more than 15 minutes sleep, I let myself out her front door, and walked home.

 It would have been a nice walk in the summer months with the the sun just rising, but it wasn't such a bad walk this morning. It felt very mild, and 23 minutes of brisk walking while wearing my leather jacket, got me feeling very hot and sticky. I don't know why I should get so hot in that leather jacket, but for some reason I do.

 When I got home I wanted to go to bed, but I also wanted a bite to eat. Fortunately I had 99% cooked some pork strips before going out, and instead of having them as a late night snack, I had them for breakfast. The I went to bed. In theory I should have gone out like a light, but I am not very good at sleeping at that time of the morning. I actually slept better this afternoon. With luck I'll get some more sleep in before I go out again this evening.

 Tonight The Alleycats play a gig in The Black Cat. They are a rock and roll band, and their pictures suggest they dress up like 1950s teddy boys. It all sounds horrendous, but with luck I will have some very special company to take my mind off it. It is even possible that I will spend more time with Angela before or after the gig - if she goes. She does have other offers, but I think there is a better than 50% chance she will be with me this evening.