|My Diary/Blog For the Month of September 2016|
|Thursday 29th September 2016|
It was nice yesterday - quite summer like. It was bright, sunny, and warm by the afternoon. I forgot to check, but the forecast said the temperature would peak at 21° C, and I reckon that was probably about right. During the night it clouded over, and there was evidence of rain during the night. There was a little more rain after I got up, but probably not as much as yesterday's weather forecast for today had suggested. After a dull start it started to brighten up, and this afternoon has been quite sunny. The forecast says it should be just 18° C right now, but I think it is closer to 20° C. Despite what the very latest forecast may say, a cloud has just blotted out the sunshine as I write this, but maybe it won't stay around for long. The forecast says it should be sunny until sunset, and that it should stay dry tonight. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be mostly sunny, but at just 18° C, not that warm.
I didn't feel all that comfortable at work yesterday, and yet I was not that uncomfortable either. I think I was constantly reminded that my chest could get a lot more sore by a persistent very low level, background ache. It didn't interfere with me going home. As usual, walking made my chest feel better apart from on one or two occasions when some sharp movement gave me a bit of a short duration twinge.
I certainly felt well enough to divert via Tesco on my way home. Now doing that was both good and bad - probably mostly bad. It was too tempting to pick up stuff like reduced price sandwiches, and other stuff that I shouldn't eat - or eat too frequently. It was particularly pertinent last night because I had to eat early, and then fast for something like 12 hours prior to blood and urine testing this morning.
Fasting for 12 hours is no big deal for me under normal circumstances. On every weekday, when I am at work, I only eat when I get home from work. So I fast for almost 24 hours on a regular basis - but I don't have to do it. When I have to do it, it takes on a new complexion. Last night I ate more than I should have because I was aware that I couldn't eat later in the evening, and through the night until I had given my blood and urine samples.
The temptation to nibble while I was doing some photo editing was really hard to ignore, but I managed it. One other thing I decided to do last night was to drink lots of water so I could give a good clean urine sample. That meant I woke up to pee a little more than usual during the night, but otherwise I seemed to sleep quite well, and didn't get up until gone 6am. That might seem early to you, but it was a lay in for me !
At about ten past 8am I walked to the surgery, and I found it incredibly quiet in there. There was no queue at reception, and so I didn't have to wait to hand over my little sample tube of urine to reception (they love taking the piss !). Then I went upstairs to where the vampires live underneath the eaves of the building. I took ticket 59, and the display was showing 55. I still had to wait nearly 15 minutes before my number was called, but then again I was there 5 or 10 minutes before their official opening time for walk in service.
The vampire, or phlebotomist as they like to be called professionally, first tried to pierce a vein in my left arm, but no blood came out - not even any seepage like you might get from any random puncture wound. Her second attempt on my right arm hit pay dirt, and she extracted two tubes of blood with ease - and the wound dribbled a little blood by itself as you might expect it to. It seems that I don't have much blood in my left arm !
After feeding the vampires I went down to reception to see if it was possible to make an advance appointment to see a doctor or the nurse. At one point it seemed that the receptionists couldn't make appointments for more than a week in advance. Someone must have realised that this was nonsense because it takes a week for test results to come through. Now they seem to have gone to the opposite extreme. My appointment with the nurse is in over three weeks time - the 19th of October !
I might have bought all sorts of crap from Tesco last night, but that didn't stop me popping round the corner from the surgery to Aldi to buy even more terrible stuff to eat. This morning I had a definite mission in mind. For weeks and week, if not the last few months, I have mostly, but not completely shied away from anything with overt amounts of sugar in it. Now I've given samples that should show a relatively low blood glucose level history, I decided to live dangerously for a day. Most of what I bought from Aldi was "mostly" innocent, but the sugary cakes weren't !
I also indulged in some other stuff for a right feast of a breakfast. Now I can't eat anything for a fortnight ! It was nice eating it all, but I ended up feeling ill, and it's only now, 4 hours later, that I am starting to feel OK again. I probably ought to go out for a walk to settle things down a bit more. I might just do that, but it will only be a short walk. I feel I ought to have a bottle of Ouzo in the house, and I think the Turkish Supermarket near the station may stock it.
I've spent several hours dozing on my bed today, but one thing I have done is to finish selecting and editing the best of the pictures I took of The English Rogues gig at The Black Cat on the 17th of the month. I still have to upload them to Flickr, and maybe I'll do that before today is over. Here is a reduced size copy of one of the pictures.
The normal Thursday night drink is partly suspended tonight. It was going to be in The Coach And Horses pub in Beckenham, but Chris could go because he has a gig tonight in.....The Coach And Horses pub in Beckenham ! I emailed the usual suspects that I would meet them a lot later than the usual 5pm because I want to stay late to see (and photograph) the gig. Actually, I may not be taking that many photos because photography is really hard there. It is small and cramped, and if more than 10 people go (as they will) it means being very rude and pushing to the front to be able to even see than band. On top of that, the light is usually very poor there. Nevertheless, it should be a nice night, and Angela should be there to make it extra nice !
|Wednesday 28th September 2016|
The weather wasn't that bad yesterday, but neither was it that good. It wasn't particularly warm - it may have only just reached the forecast 19° C for a short while in the afternoon. It seemed to cool down quite quickly after that peak. On my way home from work I felt a few tiny spots of rain hit my face while walking to Earlsfield station. It seemed to be brighter when I got back to Catford, but 90 minute later there was a moderately heavy fall of rain that lasted no more than 10 minutes. Today is forecast to stay dry, and it is going to be brighter and warmer. With luck we will see quite a lot of sunshine today, and that will drive the temperature up to 21° C. Maybe that is only two degrees higher than yesterday, but it should stay that way for longer, and it should definitely feel warm. Unfortunately, today is just a flash in the pan. Tomorrow is going to be quite dull, quite cool (mostly 17 and 18° C), and it will probably rain from mid morning to mid afternoon !
It wasn't perfect, but my chest gave me very little trouble at work yesterday, and for the rest of the day. I would still get an occasional twinge, but nothing more, and I foolishly thought that I was getting over my "twisted rib" problem again. Unfortunately it flared up in the night. However I was mostly comfortable going home from work, although I did jar something in my chest superstructure once or twice while rushing around. Fortunately any discomfort was mild and short lived.
I felt fairly good when I got home, and I was planning to be productive and to eat lightly. The productivity was going to be in the form of photo editing, and the eating lightly was going to involve lots of salad and as little else as I could manage. Then, just as I was about to change my clothes I got a text message from my friend Kevin asking if I fancied meeting him in the Wetherspoons for a pint or two. I had been hoping to catch up with Kevin for some time now, and I also wanted to go out. So I said yes, and prepared to go out again.
The reason I wanted to go out was to test a new "toy" I have bought. It is a GPS (sat nav) receiver for my Camera. It interfaces with the camera's menu system, and it adds location data to the metadata included in a picture. It's hardly essential, but it makes one task easier. That task is adding location data to pictures when I upload them to Flickr. You can add it manually, but with the new gadget it is done automatically. If you scroll down the page a little bit when looking at an individual picture on Flickr you can see a little mini map. Click on that and a full map opens up, and the location that the picture was taken from is shown. It is not 100% accurate, but can be pretty close. The one test picture I uploaded last night is out by about 30ft, but I guess that in the grand scheme of things that is not too bad. That one picture can be found right here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/135353558@N03/29343970453/
It was nice to exchange news and views with Kevin last night. While doing so I had three pints of ale, but that seemed enough, and not only that, but without a coat I was beginning to feel chilly. So I went home feeling both cold and hungry. I abandoned my idea of just eating salad. I wanted something hot. The best compromise was to have some hot soup. So I had a can of Heinz "Big Soup". I think it was supposed to be tomato and chorizo flavour. That warmed me up a bit, and filled a small hole, but I wanted more. So I had a can of Italian tomato soup with sliced green chillies in it. It was quite nice, but seemed a bit thin. Part three of my dinner was a bit like a curry, but not quite. I opened up a pack of vacuum sealed, ready cooked pilau rice, and poured some "butter chicken" flavour curry sauce on it, and zapped it all in the microwave until it was hot. It was not all that nice, and with hind sight I wish I had just opened another can of soup. Most soup is moderately low in calories and stuff, and even three cans of it for dinner would probably not have caused any weight gain, and probably the opposite. I'm undecided about my rice and sauce combination. I suspect it was unhealthy on several levels.
My original intention was to try and get another early night, last night, but spending a few hours in the pub put paid to that idea. It was probably around 9.30pm before I got into bed, but I fell asleep very quickly, and I seemed to sleep perfectly well for about the next three hours. I woke up feeling like a wee might be a good idea, and I went and had one. After that I got back in bed, turned over onto my side, and my chest started hurting. It was only a dull ache, but it was incredibly distracting. It almost feel like you have to make a concious effort to keep breathing. No mater how much you tell yourself that is nonsense, it is still impossible to relax.
All I could do was to get up for 10 or 15 minutes before going back to bed, and trying again. Eventually I got back to sleep, and I slept until the same thing was almost repeated after another three hours of sleep. That took my very close to 5am when I have to get up, but on this second occasion I was able to get back to sleep without getting up, although it did take a 10 - 20 minutes to do so. It seemed like I had just got back into the rhythm of sleep again when my alarm went off to wake me up again.
This morning I feel quite like yesterday, but a little more tired. My chest feels tender, but doesn't really hurt unless I provoke it. The rest of me seems to be OK apart from a bit of stiffness and the odd ache here and there. It does seem that insufficient good sleep it taking a bit of a toll on my energy this morning. Walking to the station was easy and comfortable, but I didn't fancy pushing myself to do it at speed. I did push myself to dash from Waterloo East to Waterloo mainline station, and it didn't actually feel that bad, but maybe it sapped a bit more energy, and my walk from Earlsfield station to work seemed slower this morning.
I have no specific plans for this evening. If I don't get any better offers I will probably sit down and finally do the photo editing I have been meaning to do since Sunday. One thing I really ought to try and do is to eat as little as is practical. I've booked tomorrow and Friday off work. Tomorrow morning I am going to visit the vampires to give a blood sample, and my GP's reception will be taking the piss (in the form of a little sample bottle). Once I have provided blood and urine for analysis I can go mad and eat ice cream, buns and all the things that are bad for me - but only for a one off brief treat - and I probably will treat myself to something terrible, but after that it will be back to trying my best to eat healthily. I am unsure how I will spend the rest of tomorrow, or Friday, but both evenings will probably involve gigs - and a lay in, in the morning !
|Tuesday 27th September 2016|
Yesterday seemed to be the first day that felt like autumn. The morning being cold was of no significance, but the afternoon had a definite cool feel to it even though it wasn't actually cold. That probably doesn't quite make sense, but I think you will know what I mean. There was quite a lot of greyness yesterday, but there was also some sunshine, and probably the best sunshine was in the last hours before sunset. It was probably quite a clear night because the temperature was down to 11 - 12° C this morning, and it really did feel quite chilly. This afternoon it will be 19° C, and that should feel mildly warm, but it may not do because of the soul and marrow chilling effect of thick dark clouds ! The last patches of clear sky were little more than streaks between the clouds, but the rising sun did manage to shine through one on my way to work, but those open patches of sky have now closed up, and the clouds are getting thicker and thicker. It is supposed to stay dry today, but I find my confidence in the weather forecast to be wavering - a lot - as usual ! Tomorrow was once forecast to be bright and sunny, but the latest update just shows "sunny intervals" during the afternoon. Oh well, even a bit of sunshine is going to make the forecast 21° C feel good.
It was nice not to feel tired at work yesterday, but in other respects I didn't feel too good. I seemed to have a lot of aches and pains in various parts of my body. Some were mostly like the result of sleeping awkwardly - the neck ache and back ache. The most annoying was the chest ache. Once again that seems to have it's roots in sleeping. I can recall several occasions in the past when I have turned over in bed and felt a large crunch in my chest. It seems it probably happens when I am asleep too. Just to add to my misery I also suffered from some hunger pains from time to time.
It's not all bad news though. I didn't feel up to dashing up the stairs at Earlsfield station, but I did walk to the station without any difficulty, and at Waterloo station I ran up the escalator just for fun. I also walked across the link far faster than I needed to - if I had walked at half the speed I would still have had at least a five minute wait for my train, and that would have been after walking to near the far end of the platform.
All that rushing around did jar my chest a bit, and made it feel worse for a bit, but then something good happened. When my train arrived there was plenty of room on it, and I slumped down on a double seat at a slight angle so my back was partly supported by the seat back, and partly by the carriage wall. At that point something went click, and every last bit of pain went away. I was aware of a slight tenderness on part of my chest, but essentially I was pain free until this morning. This was just as well because it enabled me to fully enjoy Angela's company for a few hours with no distractions - although I have to acknowledge that a couple of pints of Guinness, but only a couple, may have helped too.
It was wonderful to see Angela, and spend time with her last night. She completely distracted me from food, but after she went home I rapidly became hungry....or maybe I didn't. Maybe it was just all in the mind. All I know is that the more I ate, the hungrier I became. I originally was just going to have a small cheese salad, but I ended up eating far more. The salad started off well. I didn't even drown it in mayonnaise. I just dressed it is ome extra virgin olive oil, and some red wine vinegar. Perhaps I can blame the vinegar for somehow enticing me to add a steak to my dinner, and then blame the steak for tempting me to finish off with cheese and biscuits. The only thing I can say in my defence was that the biscuits were sugar free digestive biscuits. At least they shouldn't have increased my blood glucose level too much.
I can also blame TV for eating too much. As I ate I channel surfed and found two things worth watching. The first was a repeat of Have I Got More News For You, and the second was the greatest gags of Blackadder (or some such similar name). Both were entertaining, and I flipped between the two programmes for far too long. As I did so I ate too much, and I missed my bedtime. I should have been in bed, and fast asleep, by, or before 9pm, but I think it was 9.30pm before I had brushed my teeth and got into bed. I think I was asleep soon after that.
As far as I can remember I slept quite well until about 4am. If I recall correctly it was the second time I had woken up needing a wee last night. I had my wee, got back into bed, turned onto my right side, and crunch......or maybe it wasn't exactly a crunch, but I felt my chest compress (sideways) and I was back in pain again. It made it very difficult to get back to sleep again, and I probably got no more than 5 or 10 minutes sleep before I gave up try and got up.
Once I had got up I didn't feel too bad, and even taking a shower, which entails lots of arm movement that frequently stresses my chest, didn't seem to cause any particular discomfort. Walking to the station eased a few more creaking bits, and I felt quite comfortable on the train to Waterloo East. Once I arrived there I had to endure the mad dash across to Waterloo mainline station. There is no actual need to rush as at all, but I do it anyway. It is a sort of game, and a sort of test of my capabilities. So I went full speed ahead. As I dodged in and out of people I could feel my rib cage swinging about, and it felt very slightly sore until suddenly it went pop. Almost instantly it felt better, and I think that something that was dislodged popped back into place. Since then my chest has felt much better. It's still a bit tender, but greatly improved. If it can stay this way, I can look forward to some more comfortable days. Now if my upper back ache, and a few other aches could go away, I would be feeling really rather good. It would be just like the first couple of months after I was prescribed a dose of antibiotics back in June for a chest infection. Quite how they made me feel so good is a mystery, and it may have been a coincidence, but it seemed like they cleared up so much more than a chest infection.
Tonight I am........doing what ? I have no idea. I ought to be getting an early night, and I ought to be editing a heap of photos. It's anyone's guess whether I will do either, but thre is one little thing I feel sure I will do. I've just bought a couple of toys. They are GPS (Sat-Nav) units for my cameras (on for the Nikon and one for the Canon). They add location data to my pictures that should show up automatically when I upload the pictures to Flickr, and it may have other uses too. I feel I will definitely take a couple of test pictures tonight if nothing else.
|Monday 26th September 2016|
Saturday was bright and dry, although not always sunny. There was a light breeze blowing a lot of the time, and it was excellent drying weather. Even in the breeze it felt mild going on warm. This was certainly the case in the evening when I went out without a coat. Even at midnight it felt comfortable in just a t-shirt (and trousers, undepants and shoes !). Yesterday started out rather gloomy, and with the threat of rain in the air. That gloom seemed to lift quite fast, and by 11am it was quite sunny. It is a shame it did not end up a bit warmer. Not that it was cold. The temperature was probably in the region of 20° C, but it seemed there could have been the possibility of it being higher. The very pink sunrise today probably gave a better indication of the coming weather than the weather forecast. All the pinkness was visible as long streaks between quite a lot of cloud. We will be very lucky to see any sunshine today. It is currently is very dull, and it will probably be like this all day. It is also supposed to be a rather cool day with the last forecast I saw predicting a high of no more than 17° C. If we are very lucky the next bright and warm day will be Wednesday !
After doing exciting things like laundry, it was nice to go out on Saturday night. I must admit I wasn't too keen going out so late in the evening - it was practically bed time when I went out. Being dark when I left home made it feel even more unnatural, but it was all worth it in the end. The object of the exercise was to see Life Of Brian playing in Elmers End.
This very smeary picture shows what it was like as I walked to the station. It is supposed to show more than that. The bright blue light just to the right of centre of the picture is the top of an electric car charging point. Beyond that there is supposed to be a bright green light, but the colour is almost bleached out. On this occasion there were two electric cars on charge at the two charging points near the station. The point showing green may, or may not show that charging is complete. The blue light, I'm guessing, shows that charging is taking place. I have also seen them glow red, and my guess is that this shows that a fault has been detected.
Life Of Brian were playing in The Elm Tree. That is the pub that used to be known as The William IV, but changed it's name when it changed hands. Initially the new management resisted the idea of any live music there, but people expected it, and the new management bowed to the pressure and re-instated live bands on a Saturday night. Life of Brian sounded excellent, and Miranda was giving it her all.
This picture appears to show Miranda about to karate chop a beer glass ! As well as great entertainment, there was also the plus point of Miranda's mum, Angela being there. That was 75% the reason I went along to the gig. I could have gone to a gig in The Black Cat, just 5 minutes walk from home, but I wanted to see Angela. There were other people to see there too, and of course that was nice. To top off an excellent evening there was the further rather rare delight of some company on the bus home. Not Angela unfortunately, but Rod and Dylan.
The gig went on quite late, well past midnight, and it is possible that we ended up getting the 01:05 bus (but it might have been a little earlier) ! I think it was a little past 2am when I finally got to bed, but when I did I probably fell asleep almost instantly. The stupid thing is that I woke up less than 4 hours later, and couldn't seem to get back to sleep. So I got up and slowly prepared to meet Aleemah for breakfast.
There was a nice beer on in the Wetherspoons pub. It was called California Soul (although brewed in London). It was a sort of hybrid beer made partly from barley, but also incorporating some wheat. That gave it a slight haze (wheat beers are normally cloudy), and a slight tartness. I think one pint was enough for breakfast, but I might have liked several pints of it for an evening session.
After breakfast we went back to my place to watch more episodes of "The Outer Limits". We watched three episodes on this occasion. One was good, one was bad, and the other was average !
After watching those three episodes my lack of sleep started catching up on me, and I sent Aleemah on her way so I could have a lie down and a snooze. That helped a bit, but I still felt rather tired, and couldn't find the enthusiasm to do much at all. I managed to select and edit a couple of the pictures I had taken on Saturday night, and I managed to top and tail a bit of video I had shot at the gig, but mostly I just lay around being lazy.
Even dinner was the result of being lazy. I am unsure just how bad my dinner was for me. It was mostly rice, and a lot of it. I fear that all that carbohydrate could have raised my blood glucose level higher than I would have liked, and yet some say that rice releases it's sugars quite slowly. So I am not sure what to think. I could have checked my blood glucose level this morning, and maybe it might have not been that high. One possible indicator that it wasn't so high is that I wasn't sweating heavily while rushing around on my way to work this morning.
It was obvious that I needed an early night last night, and that is precisely what I had. I was in bed, and fast asleep by, or very soon after, 7.30pm. I think I woke up about every three hours, but I still managed to get around nine hours of sleep last night. I think I feel better for it in several ways, and maybe worse for it in another way. I've had a few twinges, but it does seem that my "twisted rib" is behaving itself better this morning. The thing that seems worse is my back pain. Perhaps ache is a better description than pain - it's just a stiffness in various places that doesn't seem to impede me, but is still annoying. It's hard to describe how the rest of me feels, but I am sure I would feel better in a nice warm room (it feels chilly in work at the moment) with a nice glass of beer in my hand, and Angela at my side.
The beer and Angela will probably happen after work tonight. It may just be a brief meeting, but I hope it may be a longer one. In the meanwhile, here's Life Of Brian and their cover of Sweet's Ballroom Blitz !
|Saturday 24th September 2016|
The weather forecast for yesterday ended up being remarkably accurate. It was, as predicted, warm, dry and sunny. It could have been a bit nicer if it had been a lot warmer, and the humidity was lower, but it was extremely acceptable for this time of year. The forecast for today hasn't been far off the mark either. There has been some sunshine, and that wasn't really expected, but the temperature has felt about right - about 20° C - and a pleasant breeze has made it excellent for drying laundry. The cloud has thickened up a bit now, but I think this is to plan.
Tomorrow is not looking good, but by tomorrow morning the forecast could be completely different ! If it should turn out like tomorrow it is going to make for quite a miserable start to the day. The afternoon looks like it will be a bit better, but it's hardly going to be warm. Fingers crossed that Wednesday turns out to be as it is being forecast now !
I don't recall feeling all that bad at work yesterday. That is not to say that I felt that wonderful either ! I would have probably have felt better if I had been busy, but it was hard to raise a lot of enthusiasm when I wasn't feeling 100%. It's easy to see there is a cause and effect loop there, but it is not so easy to be determined to break that loop. The loop was broken when I left work to go home. It felt OK to walk to the station, but I didn't raise the enthusiasm to walk up the stairs. I got the lift, but possibly only because it was there waiting for me....or waiting and tempting me !
I did manage to raise the enthusiasm to run up the escalator at Waterloo, and to walk faster than needed to platform A at Waterloo East. It seems a bit of a paradox, but since trains from Charing Cross and Waterloo East started stopping at London Bridge again, which happened 2, or is it three weeks ago now, my train is considerably emptier than it was. There may have only been 15 or 20 people in the same carriage as me on my way back to Catford Bridge. I can't think of a logical reason for this.
When I got back home I had a few tasks to do, and none was more important than washing up a load of dirty, and getting smellier by the minute, dishes in the sink. This was important because I had a brief visit from Patricia. She dropped by to pick up the last batch of her mail before she flies back to Argentina for our winter, and their summer next Tuesday. Lucky woman ! I won't be seeing her again until something like late next spring (unless she gets offered a lucrative interpreting job in the meanwhile).
I was feeling a bit low last night. It was a combination of tiredness, and days of intermittent discomfort. There was probably boredom thrown in there as well. I was probably too tired to go to a gig if there had been one on that I knew about, but there were none. Maybe if there was I might have raised the energy to go out, or I might have felt grumpy because I didn't feel good to go out.
I decided my preferred option was to have a selfish night in by myself. Ideally it should have involved lots of booze, but for some reason it didn't occur to me to pour myself a large one, or indeed any at all ! It did occur to me that what I really wanted was a nice takeaway meal. There were so many possibilities for that, but I thought I should at least make a token effort to get something that wasn't too unhealthy. The answer, as it always is, was to go for grilled skinless chicken and salad - aka a chicken shish kebab !
The takeaway I chose to do the deed offered not only the standard grilled chicken, but jerk flavoured chicken too. I needed to bump the size of my order up to the minimum for free delivery, and so I ordered a large one of each (plus a few odds and sods - including extra salad). The ordinary chicken shish was very tasty when I had it last night, and the jerk chicken kebab was very nice when I ate it cold for lunch today. I thought the jerk chicken might have been on the bone, but like the shish it was boneless and skinless, and theoretically fairly healthy (as in low fat).
The takeaway seemed to take a long time to be delivered. I was expecting it at 8pm, but it arrived nearer to 8.30pm. That gave me plenty of time to do some channel surfing on the TV, and I ended up choosing Film 5 (I think that was what the channel was called). They were showing one of the relatively few genuinely funny American movies - Airplane 2 - The Sequel. I enjoyed watching that.
With my stomach full of food there was always a chance that it may have affected my sleep, but I seemed to sleep well last night. I did wake up a few times, but for a change it was not my chest that gave me any trouble. On two occasions I woke up with cramp in a leg. I would quickly leap out of bed, walk a couple of paces to reset the muscles, and then get back into bed. It seems that I must have fallen asleep again so quickly that these episodes almost seem dream like. Maybe they were dreams because I can't seem to remember which leg was affected by cramp. I have a vague idea that it wasn't the same one each time, and I am not so sure it was even only twice.
I woke up this morning later than I usually would, but not that late....but every little bit helps ! I was in that curious superposition of feeling both rather good, and rather bad at the same time. My chest didn't really hurt this morning, but lots of other bits did. In some ways it felt a bit like 'flu - sort of random joint and muscle aches, and a sort of headache that feels more like pressure than pain. I assumed these were all preludes to death, but it hasn't happened yet. Besides which, I was too busy to die this morning.
The main plan for this morning was to go along to my doctors surgery where they were doing a walk in 'flu jab clinic from 9am to 11am. So I got washed and dressed, and set out to the surgery. Unfortunately I left it a bit late - just 4 minutes late ! I got there at 4 minutes past 9am, and quickly realised I should have started queuing at least half an hour before that. When I got there the queue stretched from reception inside the building, through the waiting room area, through the entrance foyer, along the path from the main entrance to the gates, and a few people out on the pavement outside. I estimate that if I had joined that queue there could have easily have been 50 people in front of me. So I ignored the queue and went round the corner to Aldi.
I did my best to buy only healthy stuff in Aldi, and once again I mostly succeeded. Nothing I bought was too terrible, but a couple of treats were on the margins !! After getting my shopping home I set about washing my work shirts and some underwear. I hung that on the line, and when I brought it in maybe 5 hours later, the shirts were almost dry, but the underpants were still rather damp.
Just before 11am I went out again to see whether it was worth joining the queue for a 'flu jab. It certainly wasn't ! The queue was halfway to the main road. If there was 50 people in the queue at just gone 9am there must have easily have been double that amount by 11am.
The top picture, taken straight into the sun, shows the gates into the surgery on the right. The queue extends right back beyond the telephone pole on the left of the picture. The lower picture shows the rear of the queue !
I most certainly didn't want to join that huge great queue so I went and did other stuff. There are now two shops locally that are primarily pawn brokers, but sell second had stuff. I decided to have a look in both to see what they had. The first shop had a Nikon D3100 DSLR camera in the window for somewhere in the region of £250. They also had some other cameras, but nothing to tempt me. The second shop, the one where I bought my Nikon D3200 camera had nothing of interest.
After I got home again I thought I would see how the Nikon D3100 compared with my D3200. They are similar, but mine being the newer model is better specc'ed. What was more interesting is that when I checked the current prices for these cameras I found that while I can't remember the exact price of the D3100, I am sure I remember it being between £200 and £300. Even at £300 it is a very good price - provided it works perfectly. Even more significant was that when I checked the going rate for my Nikon D3200 I realised that I had got an absolute bargain ! I paid exactly £200, and I couldn't find another for less than £300, and the typical price seemed closer to £400 !
One unfortunate side effect of investigating Nikon DSLR camera is that I now lust after a D700. The D700 moves up to the cheap end of semi-pro cameras. My D3200 is classified as medium to high end "enthusiast". A little more sensitivity, and a little less noise would make taking pictures in dimly lit gigs so much easier....well maybe not easier, but the final results would look better. I could use all my existing Nikon lenses with a D700, and that would make the transition cheaper, but I would still be looking at spending nearly £500 for a reasonable condition secondhand model, and I am not sure I can really justify that.
After lusting after camera I washed a duvet cover. I didn't get it on the line early enough to get anywhere near dry, but it was on the line long enough to stop dripping, and starting to dry. It is now draped on a clothes horse in front of the fan heater turned own low. Apart from a brand new duvet cover that might be OK to use after a week or so of being aired, every bit of my bed linen is now washed and clean (apart from what is on my bed). It is possible that may get washed by Angela. She has offered to do it for me, and maybe I'll take her up on her kind offer now that winter comes ever closer, and drying stuff outside gets harder and harder.
Tonight I shall be seeing Angela at a gig. Her daughter Miranda, and the rest of the band, The Life Of Brian, are playing at the Elm Tree pub in Elmers End. It's a nice easy pub to get to, and the last bus home is at 01:05 tomorrow morning. What's not to like ? Actually there is one thing not to like - the gig doesn't start until the ridiculous hour of 9.30pm tonight. On any sane night I would be in bed, fast asleep by then !
|Friday 23rd September 2016|
Initially I thought that the weather forecast for yesterday might have been very wrong, but on reflection it was only slightly wrong. The most annoying error (in my perception) was that there was rather less sunshine in the morning than I had expected. Another minor error was that the weather icons didn't show any hint of the brief shower we had in the afternoon, although in fairness it was hinted at in the small print. Overall it wasn't a bad day for the start of Autumn. It seemed to be mild enough to go out and about with no coat in a short sleeved shirt, and even if it wasn't sunny, it was a bright sort of greyness.
This is the forecast for today, and so far it is looking very accurate. It was indeed very chilly feeling this morning (I decided a long sleeve shirt was needed), and the sky is perfectly clear. It is a shame that all that sunshine couldn't warm it up a bit more, but 19° C will be pleasant enough when I am travelling home from work. The forecast for tomorrow shows not a single hint of sunshine, but paradoxically it is supposed to be three degrees warmer than today !
My chest seems to be in a great state of flux, and although it feels irresponsible to say it, I almost wonder if it is getting better again. It didn't give me much bother at work yesterday, and even less in the evening. It's not all good news though, but I'll explain that soon. Dropping my dosage of Bisoprolol back down to 2.5mg seemed to get my energy back, and my walk from work to the station, including the three flights of stairs up to the platform, was almost back to being fairly easy.
Travelling when feeling mostly OK is getting to be somewhere closer to the pleasant end of the spectrum for me lately. My average commute is still a bore, but last night, travelling to Bromley North to meet the guys for our Thursday night drink was slightly pleasant. I had three pints of a very pleasant beer called Harvest Moon in The Red Lion pub before going home again. Going home from there meant a 5 - 6 minute walk to Bromley North station, and then a 5 minute wait for a train back to Grove Park station. There was a bit of rushing around there to get to the bus stop, and because I managed to find the energy to rush the last 30ft I had a zero minute wait for a bus back to Catford. The bus was not very busy, and it was mostly fairly fast. That made for quite a pleasant ride.
While waiting for my train at Bromley North station I took advantage of the biggest "selfie-stick" in the world ! It's really just a big mirror that the driver uses to check the doors are clear before closing them so the train can depart safely, but with a bit of careful positioning you can include yourself in the picture. The picture on the right is an enlargement of part of the original picture to show me a little more clearly - or it would do if the original was a much higher resolution picture, and the mirror wasn't so grubby !
I'm not sure why I allowed my self to do it, especially after feeling so relaxed on the journey home from the pub, but I decided I wanted some instant satisfaction dinner-wise. I ended up buying some chicken and chips. So once again my diet takes a huge blow....and yet maybe it is not quite that terrible. That chicken and chips was all I ate yesterday. I had no breakfast, elevenses, lunch, or any snacks - although there have been times when I would have regarded that chicken and chips as no more than a snack. That would have been within the first year to 18 months of not smoking, and when I was investing in bigger pairs of trousers.......
Last night was a night of two halves. I was in bed before 9pm (I think) and I read for a short while, but it wasn't that long before I had put the magazine down, and was fast asleep. I woke up again about four hours later in some discomfort. Some of the discomfort was because I needed a wee, but more was from my chest. There could be several reasons why my chest would have gone from good to bad while I slept. One theory, and I couldn't deny it as a possibility, is that I might have been snoring so strongly that I throttled my own gizzard (or something like that). Another possibility was that I just turned over awkwardly in my sleep, and "popped a rib out".
The truth could be a combination of both, but whatever was the cause, the outcome was that I was left feeling quite uncomfortable. This was particularly so if I tried to lie on either side. Laying on my back was the closest to comfortable, but only if I held my breath. That was obviously impossible ! Every time I breathed in I could hear my bones click together - which while probably not accurate, is the easiest way to describe it - and the same in reverse when I breathed out. All I could do was to get up, take a couple of Ibuprofen tablets, and wait for them to calm my chest down a bit before trying to get back to sleep.
Evidently they worked because I managed to get into a deep enough sleep that I had to be woken by my alarm for a change. I guess I got about 2 hours sleep before having to get up. During that time I had several interesting dreams, but I can only remember the interesting part of one. It was a dream that must have been triggered by seeing one of the new plastic £5 notes at the pub last night. In the dream I dreamed there was a new £3 note. It actually started as a £3 coin that was probably twice the diameter of the £2 coin, but somehow it transformed into a hybrid between a note and a coin. The transformed £3 note was the size of the real £5 note, but had a metal disk attached to it, and that coin like disk was where the value of the note was marked. Such a note would be very novel, and completely impractical.....or would it ?
This morning I feel both good and bad. It was a little chilly coming to work, and I probably should have work a coat, but a long sleeve shirt was just about OK. My chest gave me very little bother, but now I am sitting down at work it is feeling mildly sore, and I am yawning a lot (although I might not have been if I had not been thinking about it !). I think I'll feel happier when the working day is over, although I have no grand plans for tonight. That is to say there are no gigs that I know of and want to go to tonight, and I am not seeing Angela tonight. What I must do is some washing up. I have several days worth of dirty dishes in the sink, and they are getting smelly ! I expect I'll be in bed early tonight, but if I have the energy and inclination I ought to make at least a start on selecting/editing the photos of The English Rogues I took at The Black Cat last Saturday.
|Thursday 22nd September 2016|
The weather forecast for yesterday was far too optimistic about how much sunshine we would get. It was a generally bright day, but sunny periods, or even sunny intervals (is there a difference ?) were in fairly short supply. On the plus side it did stay dry, and it did feel quite warm. I can't recall looking at a thermometer, but when I got home from work it did feel like it might have been very slightly warmer than the 21° C that was forecast. Less sunshine is forecast for today. There might be some sunny intervals later this morning, but the afternoon will probably be overcast by light grey clouds - just like it is as I write this. There is a small chance that those grey clouds may shed a light sprinkle of rain at any time. The forecast says the top temperature today will be two degrees cooler than yesterday - it will be a long drawn out peak, lasting for much of the afternoon, of 19° C. The forecast for tomorrow shows much more sunshine, but apparently it will only be 18° C at best - more sunshine and a degree cooler - weird !
I felt rather tired, and not very enthusiastic about doing much work yesterday. Other than that I was mostly comfortable apart from a few twinges from my chest superstructure. Some of those twinges were in the form of my left man boob feeling heavy. It is in this area that I still have some numb, or semi numb patches following my chest being opened up for my quad heart bypass surgery just over 3 years ago.
This is all further evidence that the aches and pains I am getting in my chest again are still coming from my ribs, ligaments, muscles and tendons rather from internal organs....or are they ? Back in June, when I had some sort of chest infection, I had a hard and tender lump develop between my left nipple and the centre line of my chest (where the sternum is). This, maybe with the help of the antibiotics I was prescribed, turned out to be a zit - at least it developed a head which eventually (with a bit of help) broke to release some pus and stuff. It seemed a very strange place to develop a big zit, and until the head developed I almost wondered if it was some debris from my operation, possibly a splinter of bone, or even the end of a broken rib trying to poke it's way through the skin - it was exceedingly tender for some time ! I mention this now because I have had a couple of hints that zit, if indeed it was a zit, is coming back. It makes me wonder if there is an underlying problem that was also cured by antibiotics. There is a 50% chance that it was pure coincidence that all my chest aches and pains seemed to disappear after taking antibiotics, but three months later they seem to be back. The next time I see my doctor, which could be in under three weeks time, I will mention this, but I expect it to be completely refuted and ignored.
It was nice to get home from work yesterday, but it felt like hard work going home. It does seem that resuming a daily dose of 5mg of Bisoprolol really does slow me down. So I think I am back on 2.5mg again. I felt ravenous when I got home, and I had quite a struggle not to get too carried away eating. I succeeded in being selective about what I ate, but the quantities were more than I would have liked. It could have been worse though - a lot worse !
I ate dinner quite early yesterday, and once I had done that I forced myself to do something I had been putting off for no good reason at all. I decided I just had to upload a couple of photo albums to Flickr. They were pictures of The Midnight Flyers playing at The Black Cat on Saturday 3rd September, and The Belles playing their gig at The Black Cat on Sat 10th September. You can find both albums (and many more) here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/135353558@N03/albums/
At 6.30pm I decided to lay on my bed and do some reading. I managed a couple of pages from a magazine before putting it down, closing my eyes and falling asleep. I'm not sure, but I think it is possible I could have slept for nearly 2 hours ! I only woke up when I got a phone call from Angela. After talking to her (and her daughter) I checked a few things on my computer before going to bed. I may not have been fast asleep, but I was asleep when I was woken at 9.30pm when a message came through on my phone. I quickly read it and then turned over and went back to sleep again.
I think I managed to get quite a bit of sleep last night (including my extended nap after dinner), and maybe I feel better for it, but it still feels like I could do with more. Not all my sleep was good last night, and there were a couple of occasions where I was awake for what in reality was probably no more than 10 - 15 minutes, but felt much longer. On one of those occasions I turned over to my right side, and as I did so it felt like my chest was folding up like the pleats on a concertina. It felt quite crunchy, but didn't actually hurt while I did it, but it did feel sore afterwards.
That is the situation now - my chest sort of aches. It very much depends on my posture, and what I have been doing earlier. For instance a lot of deep breathing makes it ache more, and this morning, after not taking any Bisoprolol last night (just a single dose of 2.5mg in the morning) I had the energy for a lot of frantic rushing around on my way to work, and that got me breathing quite deeply (but strangely enough, or strange to me, not actually gasping for breath).That definitely aggravated my chest pain, and of course it is at times like this that I hope my self diagnosis of it just being a musco-skeletal pain is correct !
Tonight I have the opportunity to rush around again. This Thursday night the Thursday night drinkers are meeting in The Red Lion in Bromley. That means I have to rush to Waterloo East to catch a train that stops at Grove Park station. At Grove Park I will have to nip over the footbridge to get on the train that shuttles back and forth between Grove park and Bromley North stations (with one intermediate stop at Sundridge park station). From Bromley North station it is little more than a five minute walk through the back streets. Getting home again is the biggest bind. It's a long(ish) walk back to a bus stop in Bromley if I just miss a train back to Grove Park (they only run every 30 minutes). From Grove Park there are 4 possible bus routes back to Catford, although two take silly routes, and one other doesn't go the most direct route, but one of those buses is likely to be my final bit of getting home again.
|Wednesday 21st September 2016|
Monday was a rather grey day, and it even rained in the early evening, but it still felt very mild. Even the rain was very mild. I was out in it for a bit, and I didn't feel any need to wear a coat (which I didn't have with me anyway !). Yesterday was mostly dull, but it was probably a brighter dull than Monday, and just after 4.30pm the sun managed to come out and shine for a while. I am unsure just how warm the day got, but it felt like it was over 20° C by late afternoon, and there is a fair chance it was 3 or 4 degrees higher than that - unless it was just high humidity that made it feel so warm.
The forecast for today is looking quite good. The forecast at 5am this morning included a light splash of rain at 4pm - just when I am going home from work - but seems to have disappeared now. The clouds seemed to be a bit thicker earlier on, but now, as this forecast seems to suggest, the cloud is breaking up, and the idea of sunny spells through the day does not seem that unlikely. It's looking like the rest of the week will be a bit dull, but the temperature seems to be holding better than I thought it might as we race headlong towards October.
I seem to be getting very lax at updating these pages lately. I'm not sure why I didn't write anything yesterday. It's not as if I had nothing to say. I could have moaned about not feeling too great at work on Monday, but it would only have been a continuation of the sorry saga of my "twisted rib" chest pains. I certainly wanted to say what I lovely time I had after work when I met Angela for a couple of drinks in The Black Cat. It seems odd that it could be summed up in one sentence, but apart from saying how lovely it was, there is nothing really to add.
Next come yesterday morning. It wasn't a great morning, but maybe it was not as bad as it seemed to be. I was suffering from two afflictions. The first was that I was just feeling rather tired after quite a series of nights where I seem to sleep well, but not for enough hours. Unrelated to that, at least I can't see a connection, was that I had a mild stomach upset. By itself it probably wasn't bad enough to stop me travelling, but it, and feeling tired, seemed to combine together to form a good excuse to go back to bed, and take the day off sick.
There were three significant things I did yesterday - apart from spending a little more of the morning in bed. The extra bed time probably doesn't count because I don't think I got much sleep.....although maybe there is a larger chunk of missing time than I can account for. The first thing I did after I gave up trying to sleep was to do some laundry. I started off washing a sheet and a couple of pillowcases. They were brand new, and while the pillowcases might have been usable as they were, the sheet certainly wasn't. It had quite a nasty smell, but fortunately that washed out easily enough.
The only thing I couldn't was was the brand new duvet cover that came with the set. Once again that might be OK to use once it has been aired, but I'll probably try and wash it before use. I also washed a medium sized bath towel. They are bloody heavy when saturated with water, and I managed to pull a muscle in my back while washing it. It was quite painful during the day when I adopted certain postures, but a walk in the park seemed to cure it quite well. It was not good drying weather yesterday, and after 4 or 5 hours hanging on the line the towel was still very wet, but at least it had stopped dripping. So I brought it inside and hung it in front of a fan heater set on low.
The next significant thing that I did was to go through the 265 pictures I had taken back on the 10th of The Belles playing in The Black Cat. It was a great gig, and I am at a loss to explain why it took me so long to select and edit some of the photos I took. I finally did it yesterday, but as yet I haven't uploaded them to Flickr, but there is a fair chance I will do that tonight. In the meantime I did shrink another snap so I can show it here.
The Belles - Roy Dalley, guitar - Matt Donovan, drums - Simon Whitestar, vocals and guitar - Gus McKinlay, bass.
At about 4pm I went for a walk in the park. This was partly to help, and as it turned out, to cure the pain from my pulled muscle, but it was also to meet Angela after work. I wasn't sure if she wanted to meet for a second night running, but she was more than happy to meet me again. Soon after guiding her back into the park via a route she did not even know existed, the sun started to come out. While it was shining we sat on a bench and chatted. It felt delightfully warm until the sun went back in. After that it seemed to feel a bit chilly rather quickly. We then walked through the rest of the park, and then on to my place where we spent a happy couple of hours together.
After Angela went home I had a rather late dinner. It was a cheese salad with some extra olives. I probably shouldn't have eaten anything because I had far too many assorted snacks in the morning. I think, or at least I kid myself, that they helped calm my turbulent stomach, but maybe it was just lack of self control. It wasn't all that long after my dinner that I went to bed. I think I was in bed by 8.30pm, and I was possibly asleep by 9pm. I feel fairly sure that I slept rather better last night. I can vaguely remember getting up for a pee at around 1am, but I was soon back asleep, and I didn't wake again until around 4am. I did manage to get some more rather rough sleep after that, but I am sure I was awake more than I was asleep.
I certainly don't seem to feel tired this morning....well not yet, but in other respects I don't feel that great. One experiment I am currently trying is to increase the dose of one of my drugs, but splitting the dose into two. I wondered if some of the chest pains I've had recently were more than muscle/ligament/tendon/bone problems, and might be related to me reducing my dosage of Bisoprolol, the main drug that reduces my blood pressure, to only 2.5mg a day. At one point it seemed the optimum dosage was 7.5mg a day, but that left me feeling awful. 5mg seemed to leave me feeling OK, and kept my blood pressure down most of the time.
Since losing some weight it has seemed that just 2.5mg is sufficient to achieve a blood pressure low enough to satisfy even the most sadistic of doctors and nurses - but maybe only at a very cherry picked time of day. My latest experiment is to try splitting the 5mg to 2.5mg in the morning and 2.5mg in the evening. I suspect it is coincidence, but it does seem that I have slept better since doing this. On the other hand, I seem to be back to my original problem with that drug, and that is it seems to sap my energy. It definitely felt like I had to push myself hard to try and keep up a decent pace when I walked from the station to work this morning.
I'm going to have to think about how much of that drug to take in the future. Even now I don't feel wonderful. Maybe I am starting to feel sleepy tired now, but there is also a sort of mild underlying fatigue. I don't feel too wonderful in other ways too. My chest feels sort of heavy, and certain postures are mildly uncomfortable. On top of that I am either going down with a cold, or it's my Autumn hay fever starting. It's never been proved in any way, but I think I am mildly allergic to some fungal spores that appear in Autumn. My nose is damp rather than running, but it is still an annoyance. I've taken an anti allergy pill, and I'll see if that does anything for me.
Apart from uploading the pictures of The Belles to Flickr (and possibly one or two other ready prepared, but neglected photo albums) I have no real idea of what I might do tonight. I do have another collection of photos to edit that I took last Saturday that I mustn't neglect for too long, but I think the main things on my mind are food and bed. Nothing ever changes !!
|Monday 19th September 2016|
Summer is definitely over, and yet the weather is not quite awful yet. Having said that, I am forgetting that Friday was a pretty horrible day. It was very grey, and very wet, but it wasn't that cold, and at least it stayed dry while I was going home from work. I can't recall any rain on Saturday, but neither can I recall any sunshine ! It was probably the coolest day so far, but even then it wasn't exactly chilly. The temperature was higher yesterday. In fact it was quite decent, around 20° C if I am not mistaken, and there was at least 60 seconds of sunshine - maybe even 70 seconds ! Unfortunately most of the day was dull and dreary. Today is not going to be very thrilling !
At least 19° C is still shirtsleeve weather, as was 16° C when I came into work, but all that dull grey cloud, without a hint of blue, is going to make the day very depressing. Tomorrow is forecast to be the same apart from being one degree cooler. Maybe there is hope for Wednesday. At the moment the forecast is saying that it will be similar to today, but with the luxury addition of a few sunny spells in the morning.
I have been terribly lazy, and one reason for that is that I have been feeling a bit rough lately. On Friday my "twisted rib" was causing me some discomfort, and that same discomfort has continued to one degree or another since then. I was also feeling incredibly tired on Friday. I think this discomfort from my chest is causing more loss of sleep than I had thought. There weren't many options, but I did consider going out Friday evening. That idea turned out to be just a fantasy. When the evening arriving I just wanted to be completely lazy, and get to bed early.
After as much sleep as I could get, and it seemed like it should have been almost enough, I didn't feel so bad on Saturday morning. I did some hand laundry, and instead of making my chest feel worse, as I feared, it made it feel better. This is a recurring theme. I met up with Aleemah on Saturday morning. First of all it was breakfast in the Wetherspoons, and then back home to watch another couple of episodes of The Outer Limits. One of the episodes featured a very famous space captain - Captain Kirk ! Well maybe he wasn't actually Captain Kirk in this story, but William Shatner did play the captain of a one man rocket ship that visited Venus.
After Aleemah went home I washed a few more bits and pieces, and then I rested. I should have been editing and uploading photos but I just couldn't raise the enthusiasm. A lot of the time I just laid on my bed resting, and occasionally dozing off. Later on I didn't feel perfect, but I felt good enough to get ready to go out to see The English Rogues playing in The Black Cat. It was a really good gig, and Dan Murphy, the best guitarist in SE London (so many say, and I wouldn't disagree) showed what a true entertainer he was. He was in far worse shape than I was. He was suffering from some sort of viral infection, and had to play sitting on a stool, but his playing was still wonderful.
It took several pints of Guinness until I felt better, but even then I still didn't feel perfect. Oddly enough it left me feeling quite alert for a while after I got home from the gig, but it probably helped me to get a few good hours of sleep a bit later. Unfortunately it didn't help me get a full night of good sleep. I didn't have a hangover when I woke up, but I did feel bad. It was almost like having 'flu in some respects, but it wasn't 'flu (at least I don't think I am suffering from that).
After a shower - which was nice because I remembered to set the water temperature a bit higher now that summer is over - I felt good enough to go out to the shops. I suppose I principally wanted to stretch my legs, but I was on the lookout for a few things. Some of the best thing I bought from Pound Stretcher. They have some nice mouthwash in there for a reasonable price, but what I was really looking for was another set of bed linen. I have sheets and duvets in several colours, but I had it in mind that I wanted something in the light blue/turquoise sort of colour area. I didn't find the exact colour I had in mind, but I did find a very acceptable alternative - and it was in their latest sale with a couple of pounds knocked off !
I did find that shopping trip a bit tiring, and my chest started to feel sore carrying a single bag of stuff. The unbalanced load was causing my chest to click and pop as bad as it used to do. I sometimes suspect there is more to my chest pains than just a muscle/ligament/cartilage/bone problem, but I am not sure what. That is why I pushed myself quite hard this morning as I came to work. There were a few times when I ended up breathing quite hard for a few moments, and yet none of it made me feel bad. In fact it was quite the opposite. I felt good. That suggests that it is not my heart giving problems or I would probably have been in serious trouble. I suppose it could be another important organ like my lungs, but it stills seem to point back to the damage I probably did to my healing chest after my operation 3 years ago. The only thing that might suggest otherwise is that I am not getting the same relief when taking Ibuprofen that I did the last time I was suffering like this.
It is probable that I will feel rough all day today at work, but I expect that I will feel considerably better while travelling back to Catford. After that I will probably feel very wonderful. All being well, I'll be meeting Angela after work, and spending a bit of time with her.
|Friday 16th September 2016|
Yesterday was better than expected because of one important thing - it didn't rain (at least not where I was) ! It wasn't all that sunny, but I am sure there was some sunshine, and it was pleasantly warm. It is possible that the temperature did rise to the expected 27° C, but I didn't actually check it. Today there is a big change. At 04:50 this morning it was dry and warm (probably 20° C). 30 to 40 minutes the expected rain finally began to fall, and the temperature started to drop. It is a horrible soggy morning, and the forecast says it is going to be a horrible soggy day. Sometimes it might be light rain, and sometimes it will be heavy rain, but it will probably be relentless. The afternoon temperature was originally forecast to be 19° C, but the latest forecast says the temperature will continue to fall through the day, and by the time I go home from work, in the rain, it could be as low as 15 or 16° C. Tomorrow should be a better day, but only a slightly better day. It is supposed to be overcast and cool, but the rain might (or might not) be a lot more patchy and intermittent. No doubt that forecast will have changed a lot in 24 hours.
It's all very well having a waterproof camera, but it's no good if the lens mists over as soon as you take it out of your pocket, and the pictures come out in soft focus ! I took the top picture at approx 06:30 this morning as I waited for my train from Catford Bridge station. The picture below it is a very wet looking Earlsfield just over an hour later.
Maybe it was sleeping naked and sweaty with the fan on the other night, or maybe it was the forthcoming wet weather, but it seems my "twisted rib" has become twisted again. In certain sitting positions my chest was aching a lot yesterday. It's not a strong pain, and I guess you could call it a background pain that is fairly easy to get distracted from, but it is still annoying. Maybe the main annoyance is that it make me wonder if my heart is about to explode again. Fortunately there are clues that it is nothing to do with my heart, and everything to do with my abuse of my post operative state 3 years ago when I did things that I was warned against doing while my chest was healing.
One of the good things about that chest pain is that it goes away very quickly once I adopt a different posture, and the very best posture is the one I evidently adopt when walking down the road. A good brisk walk is the perfect cure, and the complete opposite to before my quad bypass operation when a brisk walk would generate all sorts of very strong pains in my chest, neck, shoulders and arms. So it was nice to leave work at the end of the working day, and race across London to get to the outskirts of Beckenham for a pint or three of ale.
To get to last night's venue I took the train from Earlsfield to Clapham Junction. Then another train to Victoria station. Next comes a mad dash from one side of the station to the other, and it's a very wide station, to catch the Orpington train as far as Shortlands station. Having got there it is just a 10 minute bus ride to the pub. Simple really ! I did in fact have three pints of some rather good ale before I set out to go home. The route is to get a bus back to Shortlands station, and then a Thameslink train back to Catford station - except it wasn't quite so straightforward last night !
When I got on the train at Shortlands station (at 19:02) there was a strong smell of burning electrical insulation, and as far as I could tell it was coming from under the carriage I was in, which was the rear carriage.
We made it as far as Ravensbourne station normally, but when we tried to move off again there was a bang, and half the lights went out for a few moments. I later learned that we had tripped the third rail supply, but it was quickly restored. The driver announced that he was going to have to reset some tripped motors, and after doing this we managed to pull away from the station as a slightly sedate pace towards Beckenham Hill station.
By this time the smell of burning insulation had dissipated, and there was hope that even if we could not go that fast, we were at least moving. At Beckenham Hill station we had to go through the same procedure with the driver trying to reset tripped motors. I don't know if it was possible, but I would have thought his best course of action would have been to leave the rear 4 car unit unpowered, and drag it with the front 4 car unit. Once again, after a lot of waiting we were off again - slowly.
When we arrived at Bellingham station the driver declared the train a failure. Many people opted to leave the train and seek different ways home. The platform announcements suggested crossing over and getting a train back to Shortlands for a train taking an alternative route into London. Some people left the station to get a bus, and that was an option I could have taken, but I decided to hang around to see what would happen.
What did happen was that with everyone off the train the driver set off at reduced speed, and presumably had to nurse the train through to Blackfriars station where it could be "parked" without blocking the line, and to await a fitter to do a more detailed analysis of what the problem was. Meanwhile we had been delayed so long that there was only a 4 minute wait for the next half hourly service to arrive.
So I got back to Catford rather later than expected. It was still dry and warm, and it was nice walking home like that, but there was one problem. I felt a bit hungry, and I didn't care to spend time preparing anything for dinner (it was going to be cheese salad). So I felt I had a good excuse to treat myself to chicken and chips - my first chicken and chips for weeks, and possibly months now. It was, of course, very naughty, and I have had a few naughty sessions lately, but somehow I still needed to add another hole to my belt so I could do it up tighter yesterday. That new hole seems to be 4 inches away from the first hole with any wear. That suggests I have lost 4 inches around my waist. I'm not sure why it doesn't feel that I have done that well, but the waist size of my belt can't lie, and I do sometimes feel lighter - particularly when running up the escalator at Waterloo !
I keep thinking I have slept tolerably well, and yet I couldn't stop yawning at work yesterday, and I think I fell asleep almost instantly when I went to bed last night. I didn't open the window because I thought it was about to rain, and I didn't turn the fan on. I managed to fall asleep quite easily while feeling really hot and sticky. On the whole it seems like I slept well, although waking up 30 minutes before I needed to was not a great idea.
This morning I feel wet and soggy, but otherwise mostly OK. I had some chest ache while sitting down on the train, but a change of posture helped a lot. I've been at work, sitting in this chair for over an hour I guess, and I can feel the odd twinge from my chest, but I am still fairly comfortable. I'll have a short walk in a minute because I have a meeting to attend. In fact I had better leave this for the moment to attend it right now !
I'm back now. There are various things I could do tonight. There is at least one gig that I could go to, but I feel I'll be staying in tonight. I might wash a couple of shirts, but the most important thing is to try and do something with all the pictures I took last Saturday night. Saturday is approaching fast now, and I expect I'll have another stack of pictures to deal with after Saturday night, and so it would make sense to try and deal with last Saturday's as soon as possible....and yet for some reason I don't look forward to doing it. Oh well, let's see what happens when it happens.
|Thursday 15th September 2016|
Yesterday was supposed to be not quite as good as the day before, but I think it was actually better. The previous day, while quite hot, was often cloudy, but yesterday was bright, sunny and cheerful. I think the temperature probably hit the forecast 27° C, and I think it held that high for longer into the afternoon than originally forecast. Today could be very similar until later afternoon. After that there could be a wild departure into the territory of thunderstorms ! It is all supposed to change at about 6pm. If I am lucky there will just be some light showers with periods of sunshine between them. If I am unlucky then there could be torrential rain. That would be particularly unlucky considering I am going drinking straight from work, and I don't have a coat with me ! I will have a coat tomorrow. Unless there is some miraculous change to the weather forecast, tomorrow is going to be considerably cooler, perhaps just 19° C, and considerably wetter !
From some vantage points this morning's sunrise could have looked quite spectacular, and a proper DSLR camera, with manual control of exposure, could have taken some great pictures. I was on a moving train with dirty windows when I took the snap above through the window using my mobile phone camera. The picture has come out over exposed, and the sun looks closer to white than glowing red, but it sort of gives an idea of what the view was like as my train sped from New Cross to London Bridge stations.
I had a very pleasant evening yesterday, but before that I had to endure some terrible stuff at work. I had to grit my teeth and do a couple of online safety training courses. The first was DSE. I had to get half way through the course to discover just what DSE is. It is Display Screen Equipment - what we in the real world know as a computer monitor, although on this course it could also be a laptop screen, or even a tablet screen. I find these courses very stressful, and fortunately one of the graphics of this first course was very relevant. So I did a screen capture !
I do moan about these courses being stressful, but does anyone listen ? No of course they don't. The courses are mandatory, and that is the end of it. The second course was first aid at work. I can't help thinking that it would have been far more effective with a live teacher, and practical demonstrations. The pass mark was 80%, and I scored exactly 80% in the test at the end of the course. I guess that in practical terms anyone is going to die if they have an accident in front of me. Of course I can deal with some injuries, but then again I would expect a chef, who was one of the subjects of the course, to be able to deal with a simple burn to his arm himself. Yes, if he had poured boiling sugar over himself he would need an awful lot of help, but small contact burns must be almost part of the job of a chef in the same way that an electronics technician, like myself, occasionally comes into contact with a hot soldering iron - although that is training in itself. Once you have learned just how hot the business end of a soldering iron is, you tend to be very careful about it !
Later in the working day I had some proper work to do - the type that I could almost enjoy - but ultimate relief came at home time. All the trains and signalling systems were on their best behaviour last night, and my journey back to Catford was perfectly normal - including the new standard of running up the escalators at Waterloo station even though I didn't need to. I find running up those escalators quite exhilarating now. If the treads were lower, or if the escalator was longer it would probably be less fun, but the escalators up to the balcony (for the start of the link to Waterloo East) are just right.
Once back in Catford I headed to The Black Cat pub for a pint of Guinness, and to wait for Angela to meet me there. I had been expecting to have to wait as much as half an hour, but it seems Angela was as keen to meet me as I was to meet her, and she arrived much earlier than expected. We had a couple of drinks there, and then went to buy a couple of bits in Poundland before going back to my place where we had a lovely evening. She declined my offer of a taste, or a full meal of my attempt at cooking a Greek dish, but I gave it a full test after she had gone home, and I think she missed out on something that seemed very nice to me.
I think I slept well last night. It was rather hot and steamy in my bedroom after all the sunshine through the day, and I had to leave the fan on to be comfortable enough to get to sleep. I turned it off again at some time in the early hours of the morning, but by then I think I may have over chilled bits of my body. This morning bit of me ache - principally my right shoulder, but my chest has a few aches too. Some of those aches could be worrisome, but I think in this case they are merely annoying, and just a return to the milder aches I don't seem to have had for some time, and that were caused by my "twisted rib". All I really know is that they are not Angina pains. I felt good rushing around this morning. It is only when I am sitting slouched in my chair that I feel the ache.
Tonight I could potentially be dodging rain drops. It's Thursday, and that means boozing night. Tonight's venue is the hard to get to Woodman pub half way between Beckenham and Shortlands. It means taking three trains to Shortlands station, and then a bus from there. Last time, when it was dry and bright, it was a fairly comfortable journey. I hope it will be today. I reckon I will stay for no more than three pints before heading home for some dinner and then an early night.
|Wednesday 14th September 2016|
I don't think that yesterday's weather forecast was far off the mark. Various news reports said that records had been broken yesterday. Somewhere, and I think it might have been Gravesend, 20 or so miles to the east of Catford, saw the mercury hit 34° C. It was probably closer to the forecast 29° C as I travelled home from work, but I didn't seem to find the heat to be anything but enjoyable - except in the evening. It was rather sweaty in my bedroom, but even then I didn't seem to feel uncomfortable when I went to bed with the fan on. Today is not supposed to be quite as good as yesterday.......
It seems odd that the temperature should drop a degree after 2pm. I would have expected it keep on rising then. It certainly makes a change to three years ago. On this day three years ago I had been out of hospital after my quad heart bypass operation for just two days, and I was moaning about it being so autumnal ! Today it's like another day of high summer. Friday is now looking unfortunate, but knowing how accurate weather forecasting is, I think it could easily be twice as good or twice as bad once Friday arrives.
Going home from work yesterday was not straightforward, but my journey would probably be considered luxury by some far less fortunate then myself. It was all perfectly normal with lots of rushing around, and running up escalators until I got to the barriers at the start of the link from Waterloo to Waterloo East station. They were all closed and guarded by a stroppy ticket barrier attendant.
The reason is that there was a signal failure at London Bridge, and all trains had come to a complete halt - or so he said. He had been right, right up to 5 minutes before I arrived there. I had arrived there just as the trains started running again - although still not smoothly.
I could see that a Hayes (Kent) train, for Catford Bridge was approaching the station, and once we were allowed to pass the ticket barriers I thought it would be prudent to run some of the way towards platform A, and I did ! What I didn't know was that the first train that had come into the station was still stuck there, and it was possibly about 15 minutes before the signals allowed it to move.
After it left Waterloo East it must have had to wait at every signal, and I would guess it was being hand signalled all the way through to London Bridge station. When my train arrived it took 16 minutes to get to London Bridge, but from then on it was normal speed running. I arrived in Catford pretty much at the predicted time as seen on the screenshot I took on my phone of our progress. I arrived about half an hour late compared to my best time, but for some it would be nearly 2 hours late ! It is probable that some poor people going to other destinations that are served by train from Waterloo East could have been delayed even longer than that !
Apart from being not delayed excessively there was one other good thing about my my ride from Waterloo East to Catford Bridge. So many people had been turned away at the ticket barrier, and told to get buses, or other alternative transport, that my train was half, or even a quarter empty. I had a whole bench of seats to myself, and it was in one of the early builds of class 465 "Networker" trains that have the airline type air nozzles for a nice blast of fresh air on the face. So on what was possibly one of the hottest days of the year, I was perfectly comfortable with plenty of room, and a nice cooling blast of air to my head !
I felt quite relaxed when I got home, but not for long. As soon as I got home I walked straight past it to the corner shop to buy a couple of bottles of Diet Coke. After getting those home I had an idea that I might do some special cookery. I quickly checked to see if I had some of the ingredients needed, and then went back out to Tesco to buy more. My intention was to have a go at cooking Tava. I had never even heard of Tava until very recently, and I had never seen or tasted it. I still haven't tasted it, but some simple research suggested what it was I was supposed to achieve, and I got a few clues from Angela about how she likes to make it - which was subtly different to my original research. It is a Greek dish, and Angela says she makes a peasant version of it using bay leaves instead of cumin seeds for flavouring. So I got the bits needed, and made this......
It looks rather less appetising than it should while sitting in the container I cooked it in. It's not exactly a good photo either. Hiding under the potatoes and red onion are some chicken thighs, and those things are the main ingredients. I added a bit of seasoning, some bay leaves, and also a few cloves of garlic. Then I added a sprinkle of olive oil before roasting it in my mini oven. Originally the chicken was on top, but I brought the potatoes on to the top so they could get a bit of colour. I took this photo just after doing that, and before I put it back in the oven, so the potatoes still look very pale.
I am hoping to test this out on Angela tonight if she is able to visit me. The only problem is that I have now seen how she presents her own version of Tava, which is based on a recipe handed down to her from her Greek relatives, and it does seem rather different to mine. Hers is more like roast potato with roast chicken thighs with some roast onion and bay leaves all cooked separately. Mine is more like a roast version of a stew where all the ingredients are cooked in each others juices. Well hopefully I will find out if I have passed the test tonight.
|Tuesday 13th September 2016|
It got quite hot and sticky yesterday, but there was very little sunshine. It was bright, but there was enough thin cloud to hide the blue sky, and to hide the sun most of the time. I guess the temperature probably hit 25° C as the forecast predicted.
I thought it worth recording the weather forecast for today. As you can see, it is going to be a hot and sunny day. I took this screenshot just after I got into work, and it has changed since I checked at about 5am this morning. That earlier forecast said it would be 30 or 31° C, and in this mornings newspaper there was mention of 32° C for parts of London. Now that is hot. Today is looking like the peak of this run of nice weather. By Saturday it seems that it could be quite cool, but at least this current forecast has dropped the big raindrop that was part of the icon for Saturday earlier on.
I couldn't wait for work to finish yesterday. It was not that work was being particularly bad or anything, but it was because I was looking forward to visiting Angela after work. As I think I mentioned yesterday, she has been poorly, and I wanted to cheer her up. It turned out that she had improved a lot during the day, perhaps helped by the course of antibiotics she was prescribed, and didn't need that much cheering up, but I think she still appreciated the flowers I got for her.
I didn't measure how far Angela lives from the station, but it is partly an uphill walk. The upside of that is that it is a mostly downhill walk back to Catford. I reckon the complete trip was around 2 miles. That was a good bit of exercise for me, and of course it was a great pleasure to see Angela. All in all it was a great start to the evening. Maybe it put me in the mood to be a bit careful about what I ate last night.
I started off with a tuna salad, and despite being a bit generous with the chilli flavoured mayonnaise, it was a nice healthy start. What came next came with mixed blessings. It was cheese and biscuits, but it was no ordinary cheese, and not ordinary biscuits. The cheese was one of those little truckles where it sometimes seems there is more wax than cheese. That limited the amount of naughty peri-peri flavoured cheese I could eat (although it was still more than I should have eaten - well any amount more than none is probably too much). The biscuits were, allegedly, sugar free digestive biscuits. I didn't dare look at what the ingredients were, and what the nutritional values were, but while different from the tradition digestive biscuit, they were quite nice.
There was stuff I was supposed to do last night, but I never got around to any of it. The most important was to upload the missing picture I wanted to show yesterday. I completely forgot about that. I hope I remember it tonight. The other thing I meant to do was to select and edit the best pictures I took of The Belles at their gig on Saturday night. Once again, I must try and start that tonight. It seems all I did do last night was to exchange some more pleasantries with Angela before going to bed.
I do wonder just how much sleep I really need. I always hope to get a full 8 hours, but I am beginning to think I need a lot less in these summer months. Last night I was fast asleep by about 9.30pm, and I seemed to sleep perfectly well until a little after 3am. From then on it became difficult to stay asleep. I'm sure I got some sleep, but it seemed like I was awake until it was time to get up. I felt perfectly OK until I wrote that previous sentence, and now I can't stop yawning ! I'm sure it is all in the mind !
It was dark when I woke up, and it was dark when I washed my hair and had a shower, but dawn was just breaking when I went out to walk to the station. It was quite a pretty morning as my photograph tries to show. I may have started yawning now, but otherwise it is another morning when I feel quite good. Maybe I have a bit of trapped wind because I have a very mild ache, or maybe less an ache, and more just a feeling, in my gut area, but the rest of me feels surprisingly good. I seemed to rush around getting to work with no problems.
One part of me still suffers as a legacy of my operation three years ago. I don't think I've mentioned the little and ring fingers of my left hand for some time. For some time after my operation they were very numb, but ever so slowly more and more sensation has returned to them. I don't think they have improved for some time now, and there is still some strange numbness, but I am less and less aware of it now. I guess I have learned to live with it to the extent that it is only now and then I stop to think about it.
Something I ate recently must be the ideal weight loss food. This is because it has negative weight ! I know this because I weighed myself this morning, and when the scales had stopped mucking about (must try and get them on a perfectly flat surface sometime) I noted my weight. It was not as low as I hoped, but still OK. I then went to the toilet where I excreted quite a lot. So I weighed myself again, and as far as I could tell my weight had gone up. Obviously something that I had flushed down the toilet had negative weight !
The biggest threat to my safety at work is health and safety training. I have several online courses to do, and I'll probably do a couple today. They are compulsory, and they are deadly tedious. By the end of today I wouldn't be surprised if I wanted to slash my wrists.
|Monday 12th September 2016|
According to my thermometers, yesterday was not particularly warm, but it did feel very nice. It was bright and sunny for most of the day, and a gentle breeze made it ideal laundry drying weather. I think the highest temperature I saw was just 18° C. This morning the temperature had fallen to as low as a chilly 10° C, but it should soon warm up, and warm up quite a lot. The latest forecast seems to added some cloud to the day. So there won't be unbroken sunshine, but the temperature should peak at around 25° C. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer. In fact it could be hot ! The latest forecast is for 29 ° C in Catford, and with figures as high as 32° C being speculated about for parts of London ! Now that is hot !!
In one respect I had a lazy day yesterday. I had originally been hoping to see Angela in the afternoon, but she was feeling poorly (so poorly that she has a doctors appointment this morning). That left me on my own all day, and although I contemplated going out to visit the shops, I couldn't be bothered, and I just went into complete slob mode. i.e. I couldn't be bothered to shower properly, or put on clean clothes. It doesn't mean I was particularly lazy though....well not all the time.
Two of the things I did yesterday were two lots of laundry. In the morning I washed a complete set of bed linen - sheet, two pillowcases, and duvet cover. The latter was hard work by hand, but on such a nice day I didn't have to wring it out that much, and I just let it drip away on the clothes line (sometimes) in the sunshine. I dried the sheet and the pillowcases indoors on a clothes horse. That lot was all dry by mid afternoon so I washed another sheet and pillowcases. That just leaves one duvet cover, and the clothes I am wearing today, as the only laundry that needs doing for now. I may wash the duvet cover tonight, and hang it on the line to drip in the night, and be baked by the sun while I am at work tomorrow.
One of the things I didn't seem to get around to doing was to select and edit the best pictures I took of The Belles gig in The Black Cat on Saturday night. I don't really know I couldn't seem to get into the mood for doing it. Maybe I just felt too slobbish or something. I did do one, almost randomly selected picture just to show here though.
Of course if you are reading this too early you will just see a blank rectangle because I seem to have forgotten to upload the picture to my server. When I get home tonight I will correct it, and this paragraph will be redundant !!
Nothing much else went on yesterday, and yet the day passed by really quickly. I did spend some time keeping in touch with Angela, but as 9pm approached I decided that I ought to get to bed early. I'm glad I did because although I slept well, I was woken up quite early by Angela who called to say she was feeling worse and had been awake for a few hours. So some words of comfort were needed. I know she has managed to get an appointment with her doctor this morning, and I hope her doctor can fix her up OK. It sounds like she needs some antibiotics to clear up an infection, but I'll let the doctor be the best judge of that. I hope I can give her a quick visit, and (an arms length) hug after work today.
I noticed one photo I had forgotten about on my phone this morning. I took it on Saturday as I climbed the steep hill from Sevenoaks station to Vine Gardens where Jo was playing. It was a good excuse to stop for 2 seconds to get my breath back. I don't usually bother taking snaps of domestic houses. Most are aesthetically bland, but now and then one stands out - like this one. It looks like it has organically grown over the years.
|Sunday 11th September 2016|
Friday's weather was not as good as forecast, but maybe Saturday's was better instead. Friday was a lot duller than the forecast lead me to expect. There was very little sunshine, and at about 3pm there was even an unscheduled light shower ! Happily it was a fairly bright day even if there was little actual sunshine, and while it wasn't anywhere near hot, it was comfortable. As far as I was aware, the forecast for Saturday included quite a lot of rain, and maybe that was technically correct, but somehow tepid rain that is so light that you can stand in it without a coat without feeling wet, doesn't seem to count as rain. That particular shower, or mini series of showers only lasted about half an hour in the afternoon, and the rest of the day was dry....at least I think it was. I seem to recall there was even a short perod of sunshine. So although the day was not that good, it wasn't that bad. This morning the sun is out, and it is all looking rather glorious outside. The temperature is rising from a rather cool 10° C at daybreak, and it should hit 20° C this afternoon. That's not that warm, but the all day bright sunshine compensates for that. Today marks the start of a run of good weather. The latest theory about Tuesday says the temperature could hit 30° C !
The last couple of days have been eventful. Some events good, and others bad. Friday evening was a bad one. After quite an energetic journey home from work I called in to Tesco to buy some shopping. Unfortunately I found too many bargains, and when I got home I ended up eating far too much. It was my intention to try and find enough energy to go out to a gig in the evening. There were two possible gigs I might have gone to, and had I gone I think that with hindsight I would have chosen the wrong one. After eating too much I just wanted to put my feet up and relax with a large whisky - which is exactly what I did.
I have no idea how well, or how badly I slept on Friday night, but I was up bright and early yesterday morning, and I was determined to be less lazy than the night before. After doing a little bit of housework I met Aleemah at the station and we went for breakfast in the Wetherspoon's pub. Aleemah didn't stay long after that because I was on a mission - a mission to get to Sevenoaks, climb up a stupidly high hill, and watch Jo Corteen play a solo set at The Harvest Moon Festival. It was there that I stood around in the very light rain, and found it was just not significant enough to get my raincoat out of my rucksack.
Jo playing solo in a rather big bandstand.
The only problem with the gig was that the PA was set up by an amateur, and there was no windshield on the microphone. The bad set up meant the sound did not carry well enough. The chief reason was that the speakers were on the floor and could not project their sound outwards. A second problem is that Jo could hardly hear her own guitar ! At time there was quite a keen breeze blowing, and it made a bad noise through the microphone (you'll hear this on the video at the end).
I was rather surprised, and rather pleased with the price of my return ticket to Sevenoaks. Thanks to my 60+ Oyster Card, which paid my fare as far as the boundary of the travel card zone, and the discount for using my Senior Railcard, the fare was just £2.95 return ! I think without those discounts it would have been over £8. It turned out that I didn't actually need the return half of the ticket because Jo very kindly gave me a lift back to Bickley station, and that saved at least 20 minutes of sitting on the train by myself all the way from Sevenoaks (it's a 40 minute, not terribly exciting, ride between Catford and Sevenoaks).
Once I got home I had a bite to eat....quite a big bite ! Jo very kindly treated me to a couple of bready type things (foccacia ?) that were on sale for half price at the festival. I chose them because they looked very nice. They were fairly filling, but to be honest they were not really my thing. I then remembered that I had a couple of fish sandwiches in the fridge that I had bought from Tesco, and I don't like to try and keep fish sandwiches too long. So I ate them too.
It was lucky I had several hour to let that lot go down before I had to go out again to see The Belles playing in The Black Cat. It was a shame that Angela was not there to see them with me, but I still managed to have a good time. It was probably the best audience there has been in The Black Cat, and because they were all from the Bromley music contingent, I recognised many faces. I am beginning to put names to some of those faces, and very, very slowly learn more about them. They are a terrific bunch of people. Of course there are some I already know quite well.
The Belles used to be called Whitestar, and will be again. The name change is because Whitestar's bass player, Michelle Whitestar is seriously ill in hospital. When she recovers, and is fit enough to play they will resume as Whitestar. Previous to last night I had only seen a few bits of Whitestars gigs, and while they sounded good, I found it hard to get into all the original songs they perform. Last night they included quite a few covers, and that broke the ice for me. The most amazing cover was The Model - the Kraftwerk song that is usually played on synthesisers alone. I must confess that The Belles did a really excellent job as playing it as a guitar and drum based song.
I drunk many pints of Guinness last night. I blame Rob Todd - Guinness drinker and all round nice guy. One interesting thing about Guinness came up last night. The pub normally charge £3.50 a pint for it, which is quite cheap compared to some pubs. It was some time ago that I saw a notice that there was a 30p surcharge on drinks when bands were playing, but I had forgotten about it. Last night my first pint cost me £3.50, as usual, but a new barman tried to charge me £3.80 for my second pint. I queried this, and was reminded about the 30p surcharge, but the other barman, upon hearing my query, came over and told the new barman that the surcharge didn't apply to me because I am their official cameraman ! (or words to that effect).
In theory I left the pub quite drunk, but I didn't feel that bad, although for the first time in ages I was desperate for a pee as I unlocked my front door, and had to run upstairs to relieve myself. Once I was comfortable I treated myself to a couple of Ginsters "steak slices" (or whatever they call them). They are nice in a nasty way, but did leave my guts feeling a bit greasy ! They didn't seem to stop me sleeping though, and although I woke up a lot earlier than I would have hoped for, I did seem to sleep well last night.
This morning, because it is dry, bright, and sunny, I've washed a complete set of bed clothes - sheet, pillowcases, and duver cover. I still feel a bit sweaty after that effort, but they are all hung up drying. I hung the duvet cover on the washing line where it could drip to it's hearts content, but the sheet and pillow cases are drying on a clothes horse. I had been hopping to see Angela today, but I was aware that she was not feeling too well yesterday, and this morning she rang me sounding quite distressed that she was going to have to let me down and not see me today. So I now have a whole afternoon with nothing to do....No I don't ! I have a whole camera full of pictures taken last night, and I ought to do something with them !
|Friday 9th September 2016|
I'm trying to decide if I should call yesterday "sunny". There was quite a bit of sunshine, but I'm not sure if there was enough, and if it was strong enough to say it was a sunny day. The temperature was warm enough to say it was warm, maybe around 22° C, but fortunately it seemed less humid than the day or two before. It was nice, but nothing to shout about.
This is the forecast for today. I would say the cloud I see in the sky looks a little thicker than the little pictogram for 8am, and I am seeing a few flashes of sunlight between cracks in the clouds. It looks like it will be a reasonably pleasant sort of day, although the small print (not shown here) does suggest a small possibility of a light shower - although that small print seems to be the same for anywhere in the south east, and may not actually be relevant to Catford. Tomorrow looks like it could be horrible, but the start of next week looks very enticing. Let's hope that the forecast doesn't change drastically for the worse for Monday and Tuesday - as it probably will !
There were a few times at work when I felt exceptionally tired and sleepy yesterday, but otherwise I felt OK. I still seemed to feel energetic enough to do a brisk walk to the station, and to walk up the stairs instead of getting the lift. I still don't approve of those stairs, but I have to confess they are seeming to be a lot easier to climb recently. I didn't get to the station in time to get the best train - I had to wait a whole 3 minutes ! That meant that a mad dash, including running up the escalators, across to Waterloo East was a bit more important than usual when I arrived at Waterloo mainline station. I arrived at my favourite position along the platform with only about 60 seconds to spare before my train started pulling into the station.
I tend to go straight to the nearest station to the pub we will be drinking in on a Thursday night, but last night I was carrying a package I had received at work, and wanted to take that home first before going to the pub. I arrived home feeling unusually hungry, and feeling tired. I thought that maybe I would have a small bite to eat before going out, but that didn't satisfy. So I had a rather larger bite to eat. I had a remarkably small (in my humble opinion) Tesco ready meal of three lumps of braised, pulled beef with three teaspoonfuls of mash potato. I seemed to eat it in seconds. So I opened a can of German meatballs in a herb sauce, zapped them in the microwave, and ate them too.
I don't think that would have done my diet any good, but it was filling and satisfying, and maybe I could (stupidly) justify it as a reward for achieving a new low figure on the scales. The odd thing is that while I may now weigh less than I did when I went into hospital three years ago, it doesn't seem like my waist has shrunk so much. After intensive dieting in an attempt to cure, or lessen the angina pains I was getting, I felt very close to ordering new, smaller sized trousers. I am back in all the trousers I was wearing then, but I don't feel ready to order smaller trousers yet. Maybe it will happen in the not too distant future, but if it hasn't happened before autumn gets a real grip on the weather then maybe it won't happen this year.
After eating my dinner I decided what I wanted to do was to lay down. So I grabbed a magazine and laid down on my bed. Before I had read much more than a page my eyes started drooping. I put down the magazine and was soon asleep. I don't think I slept that well, but on the other hand the first significant thing I can remember is waking up at about 8.30pm. The only thing worth doing at that time was to brush my teeth and go to bed properly. I think I was asleep before 9pm. There was one period around 2am when it seemed I wasn't going to get back to sleep again after waking up, but evidently I did. I guess it was shortly before I finally woke up at about 4.40am that I had some dreams that seemed to have no ryhme or reason.
I can't think of a single reason why I should dream of being a Marine tank cadet (which with hindsight seems to be the closest description I can think of). I've never been in the military, and neither have I ever wanted to be, but in those last couple of linked dreams I seemed to be in training for something. I seemed to be in a team of three, and one peculiar thing was watching one of the team drive a tank off of it's own boat, across some taut wires, onto the deck of another boat. At least a later dream has some sense or normality about it. I was going to meet the other two members of my team in a pub, although why I seemed to be carrying a gallon container of scrumpy, and where I got it from will probably remain a mystery !
Tonight I could do three different things, and each has it's own appeal. I could stay at home, and possibly order a take away, and possibly drink some sort of booze with it. I could go to a pub I don't like to see a band I will be seeing on Saturday night anyway. The attraction of that option is that Angela will probably be there. The third option is probably more likely, and that is to go to The Barrel And Horn pub in Bromley, and watch some or all of the gig that The Dirty Perks are playing.
One of the very few things I did last night was to remember to upload the video that I transferred from my old analogue Sony Hi8 camcorder. It wasn't a perfect transfer, but I think it shows some of the highlights OK.
|Thursday 8th September 2016|
It took a little time for the sun to break through the clouds yesterday, but late in the morning the sun came out, and it seemed to stay out all afternoon. That took the temperature up to 25° C, and possibly even 26° C. It felt lovely and warm, and while I was moving around it didn't feel too sticky, but I guess the humidity was still fairly high because it seemed to be a sticky night. The temperature had dropped to 15° C by this morning. That felt cool, but not chilly. It seems today will be quite sunny, but the temperature may only rise to 23° C. I think, but I can't be sure, that it will be less humid today. It's hard to put any credence on the forecast for tomorrow, and even harder for the day after that, but it seems tomorrow will be mostly fine, but it will mark the transition to even cooler and wetter weather on Saturday.
There were a few times yesterday when I felt desperately tired and sleepy, but they were times when I felt bored, or just could not be bothered to do any work. The rest of the time I felt OK, and after work I had a burst of energy again. I walked to the station at a brisk pace, and with no hesitation I walked up the stairs to the platform at Earlsfield station. I haven't done that for maybe a week now (?), but the rest of my exploits seem to be increasing my fitness level, and while it was still hard work towards the top, I was able to go up those stairs faster than ever before....maybe.
I either left work a minute or two later, or I walked slower than I imagined, but I missed the earlier train I have been catching there, and dropped back to the most common train I get - the 15:47. That meant I had less time to race across to Waterloo East to catch the early train back to Catford Bridge. So I ran up the escalators, and walked across the link at a very good pace. In reality I could have been more relaxed about it because I arrived at my favourite spot on the platform with a full 5 minutes to spare.
I was determined to try and be very careful about what I ate when I got home yesterday, and I sort of succeeded, but not as much as I could have if I could have got fanatical about it. I had a few nibbles before and after my main, and only meal of the day. That main meal was salad with marinated Greek (?) cheese cubes. I think they were probably supposed to be Feta cheese with herbs floating about in oil (and I am not sure if it was proper olive oil. I drained them as best I could, but they were still oily, and I may have been a bit generous with how many I had......
One thing I did last night was to finally test out the little digital recorder box I bought several weeks ago. I hooked it up to my old analogue Sony Hi8 camcorder, and selected a 20 year old tape to record as digital data on a micro-SD card. It turned out that it mostly worked rather well when the camcorder signal was clean, but it took a while to recover from bad drop outs on that old tape. On the original picture a drop out would just show as the briefest of glitches - just a single frame lasting a twenty fifth of a second - but that seemed to trigger the loss of as many as 25 frames on the digital recording. It needs more experimenting, and maybe the camcorder tape heads need a polish to reduce drop out, but I have done a reasonable transfer of some footage taken of steam trains on the London Underground Metropolitan Line in May 1996. I was going to show it today, but I forgot to upload it to my server last night.
There is the potential for me to feel very sleepy today. I didn't sleep all that well last night. I originally fell asleep at about 9.30pm, and that was despite it feeling rather sticky. I seemed to sleep well until about midnight. I woke up and made a stupid, but enjoyable mistake. I spent some time exchanging messages with Angela who had just got back from an open mic night in Bromley. After that I found it difficult to sleep properly, and it felt like I was awake for ages, but I am wondering if that was just perception or reality. I was certainly very much asleep when my morning alarm went off at 5am this morning !
It's Thursday, and in theory I am drinking with the Thursday club tonight, but it is possible that I will see Angela instead. A drink with the lads is nice, but time spent with Angela is nicer still !
|Wednesday 7th September 2016|
The most significant thing about yesterday's weather was just how humid and sticky it was. I was saturated when I got into work in the morning, and I was worried I would be like that when I got back to Catford after work (I was meeting a beautiful woman, and it would not be nice to appear like a dripping wreck). I'm not sure if I can remember seeing sunshine yesterday. It seemed like the day was just endless grey, light grey, but still grey. I guess the temperature was probably not much more than 20° C, but the humidity made it feel more. This morning has started off at 20° C, and it is horribly gloomy. Fortunately it seems less humid this morning. It would be nice if the humidity drops a lot more because it is forecast to reach 26° C by 4pm. The earlier forecast I saw agreed with the temperature, but suggested that it would take a lot of the day before the sky turned from deep grey to light grey, to a sort of milky white colour, and finally turn blue with bright sunshine for the last 3 or 4 hours of daylight. The latest forecast says some sunny spells could start as early as later morning, and we can expect a fair amount of sunshine from the afternoon onwards. Tomorrow could be very sunny, but paradoxically a few degrees cooler.
It was sort of stupid to rush around as I made my way back to Catford after work yesterday. I could so easily have just ended up looking like a soggy mess when I got there, but I seemed to be almost buzzing with energy. Fortunately I was only slightly damp when I arrived at The Black Cat to meet Angela. The occasion, as I think I wrote yesterday, was to toast my health, and Angela's health on the third anniversary of my quad heart bypass operation. A very successful operation it seems. It was only supposed to be a short meeting, but it went on a fair bit longer, and was very enjoyable. I love the company of that beautiful woman.
It seems odd, or maybe not so odd, that I didn't really feel hungry last night. I thought it might be asking for trouble to attempt to survive 48 hours on two pints of Guinness, and so I did heat up a Tesco Finest (with a reduced price label on it !!) bangers and mash ready meal, and eat that last night. It was probably seriously unhealthy, but that would have been OK if I had enjoyed it more. It was pleasant enough, but I didn't seem to get any thrill out of it.
I went to bed feeling very hot last night, and I had to leave the fan on low to keep myself comfortable. I can't seem to think of any reason not to say I slept well last night. I remember getting up for a wee once or twice, but those memories seem almost dream like. I can't be sure, but I think I got somewhere close to 7 hours sleep last night, and that's the closest I seem to have come to the golden 8 hours in ages.
To be free of all aches and pains would seem really strange these days, but none were particularly significant this morning. Like last night I seemed to be almost buzzing with energy - albeit in a slightly more restrained way. Having said that, I found the daily race from Waterloo East to get the usual train that I don't actually have to get from Waterloo mainline station, to be almost exhilarating this morning. It would make no difference if I arrived at work half an hour later. With trains every 3 to 5 minutes going to Earlsfield I could miss half a dozen train and still get to work on time, but I do like to push myself to race to get the 06:57 train. What I am finding to be amazing is that even though I push myself quite hard, and I am doing the distance in what must be record time now, I don't feel stressed at all when I get on the train and sit down. I usually get a little sweaty, but I don't feel out of breath. I have no idea what my heart was doing, but it wasn't doing anything to draw attention to itself. It's has been a very long time since I have felt so fit.
Today is going to be a typical tedious day at work, and I feel impatient for it to be over. There is no particular reason why I look forward to getting home tonight. If I were logical I could say there were reasons why the opposite would be true. I have no plans for tonight, and I suspect it could be a bit boring. On the other hand, if I could motivate myself to do it, it could be useful to finally test out the solid state video recorder I bought many weeks back to see how well it could copy old video tapes from my old Hi8 analogue camcorder. I know that most of what is on my old tapes is rubbish, but I also feel sure there are a small selection of short clips that could be worth showing.
|Tuesday 6th September 2016|
Despite the assurances of the weather forecast, it didn't seem like it would ever brighten up yesterday, but it did. The last of the morning rain fizzled out before 9am, and then a few cracks in the clouds appeared. I think we had a few glimpses of sunshine during the day, but on average it was mostly lightly overcast until sunset. I don't think I bothered to check the temperature at any time because it was always in the comfortable zone, but I have a suspicion it might have been a degree or two more that the 20° C forecast. It was a warm(ish) and humid night, made worse by accidently leaving a heater running overnight ! The forecast for today says the temperature is 20° C, and I wouldn't dispute that. It also says that it is going to be a fairly grey day. An earlier forecast suggested there could be some sunny periods this afternoon, but now the forecast says there will be some periods of very heavy cloud. The rest of the day will just be light grey. It is supposed to stay dry today, and by this afternoon the temperature should peak at around 25° C. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be very sunny, and a little warmer.
As far as I can recall I felt fairly good at work yesterday. Maybe that was because it was sometimes a bit busy, and I had no time to feel bad or tired. I seemed to have as fair amount of energy when I went home. Maybe a lot of it was for real, but I now have a new sense of urgency when going home. There has never been any problem getting them train from Earlsfield (barring the odd calamity). The trains to Waterloo run every 3 to 5 minutes. It was the trains from Waterloo East to Catford Bridge that had an annoying frequency.
I arrive at Waterloo East just as the timetable changes from off-peak to peak, and that meant there was a 30 minute gap in the timetable. No matter what I did I could not get the train that ran before the 16:20 service that was my regular train. If I missed that one there was a 19 minute wait for the next. That wasn't ideal, but was just about acceptable. The timetable recently changed to reflect the re-opening of London Bridge station for trains to and from Waterloo East. The 16:20 service has become the 16:17 (although it still arrives at Catford Bridge at 16:36). The train before that is now at 16:05, and although it is a bit of a rush, I seem to be able to get there in time to get it.
So it is quite useful having a bit of extra energy when I leave work. To get that early train I have to make sure I leave work a bit sharpish, and walk to the station as fast as I can sustain. At Waterloo I have to run up the escalators, and then walk as fast as the prevailing crowds of dawdling tourists allow over the link to Waterloo East. If I do all that, and do it fast enough, I have a good 5 minutes to cool off before the train arrives. Running up the escalators probably makes very little difference to my timing, but when I can do it, it is quite exhilarating - as it was last night !
When I got home I did my best to eat as little as possible, but failed miserably....well maybe not miserably, but I certainly could have done better. After all, I was feeling fairly good, and in a fairly good mood too. A little later I was saddened to hear that Angela had a bad day at work. Later on I was happy that she had perked up, and the last I heard from her, quite late at night, suggested she was feeling good.
I had a minor tragedy last night, and it was all because I decided to wash a few t-shirts, and the shirt I had worn to work. There were 5 shirts in total, and hand washing them used a bit of my extra energy. I then hung them on a clothes horse in the living room to dry. To get the drying off to a good start I turned the fan heater on set to low. The only tragedy was that I forgot about it, and it made an already warm night even hotter and more humid ! I wondered why I didn't seem to need the duvet last night.
It was a bit annoying that I woke up about 40 minutes before I needed to this morning, but otherwise I think I had a quite good nights sleep. For the first 10 minutes after I got up I felt strangely rotten, but without really being aware of the transition I started to feel quite good. Walking to the station seemed almost effortless, and I was overtaking people like mad as I crossed the link from Waterloo East to Waterloo mainline station. Even the walk from the station to work seemed easier than usual this morning. The only downside is that I have been sweating like a pig ! At first I feared my blood glucose level was much too high because that can make you very sweaty. It often is a bit high in the morning, but I think I can put a fair amount of blame on this unusually warm and humid morning. Leaving that heater on overnight didn't even give me a cooler start to the day.
I can't wait until work is over today. When I get back to Catford I will be meeting my darling Angela, and we are going to give a quick toast to each others health (and maybe a long one too !!). The excuse, if we needed any, is that today marks the third anniversary of my quad heart bypass operation. I seem to recall I was wheeled down to the operating theatre about mid morning. After a chat and a joke with the theatre staff I was injected with "hospital champaign" (some sort of powerful sedative). Within seconds I was out like a light. I was kept under anaesthetic all the next day because they had to sort out a leaking graft. I am sure that somehow I managed to transition from anaesthetic to natural sleep sometime in the early hours of the day after that. I woke up feeling like I had woken up from any other sleep. There were no after effects or any pain. Of course there was a line of staples holding my chest closed, and that could be uncomfortable if I moved in certain ways, but generally it was all so marvellously pain and discomfort free. I was offered plenty of painkillers, but I just didn't seem to need any. I was really astonished by it all. So tonight I will raise glass to toast Angela's health, and she will do the same for me.
Here's a sight that is rarely, if ever seen. I always wear rubber gloves when doing my laundry by hand. If I get too aggressive wringing stuff out it sometimes rip the rubber, and so I keep several spare pairs handy, and I tend to rotate them. On this occasion I had done several loads of washing, and had put on dry gloves each time. As I used each pair I hung them up to dry, and ended up with this very tasteful, or colourful display of rubber gloves. Thirty seconds later I took them down and threw them on the floor where they normally live !
|Monday 5th September 2016|
Now let me think, what's the weather been like lately..........Most of Friday was OK, but there was some fine drizzle for a while late in the evening. I haver no idea what the temperature was, but it was still shirtsleeve weather. Saturday saw some sunny periods, and the threat of rain in the evening did not materialise. Once again I have no idea what the highest temperature was, but it was shirtsleeve weather again. Yesterday saw some sunshine, but I think it was more often overcast. For some reason I totally forgot to see what the temperature was, but I would judge it to be a little bit less than Saturday, although still very comfortable. This morning sees a big, but apparently short lived change. It is dull, grey and raining, although at 16° C it is still quite mild. The rain is supposed to stop soon, but it is still going to be a very dull day with the temperature struggling to reach 20° C. Tomorrow may be similar, but a degree or two warmer, and after that the forecast says we will have a couple of bright sunny days with temperatures hitting 25° C.
Not writing anything here for two days suggests I have been very busy, but I'm sure I wasn't that busy. Maybe it was laziness, or maybe I just couldn't find the appropriate time. I guess it all started on Friday night. I guess it's all the work I have been doing recently to get a bit fitter, and a bit healthier. The end result of that was that I didn't feel as knackered as I would usually do on Friday night. So I decided to make the effort to go out to see Chain playing in The Swan pub in West Wickham.
This picture, that I took of Jo Corteen on Friday night, seems to have pleased quite a few people.
I don't like that pub, but I hadn't seen Chain for some time. There was also a small chance that I might see Angela there - and she was, although she did turn up a bit late. It had originally been my intention to get the second to last train from West Wickham station at around 11pm, but I was a bit distracted by Angela (and when I say a bit, I mean a lot). The next thing we knew was that I had little chance of getting to the station to get the last train of the day. That would have been inconvenient, but not a disaster. There are bus services that run far later than the trains, but Angela suggested another option, and that was to share her cab back to Catford. Sitting in the back of that cab with her was a very pleasant experience !
On Saturday morning, after too little sleep, I made a start on processing the photos I took at the gig, and I did other stuff too. I can't seem to remember what all the other stuff was, or at least I can't believe that doing some laundry, and some other bits of housework, could have taken up so much time. Maybe a bit of reading, and a snooze or two filled in an hour or two, but whatever I did seemed to fill up enough of the day to stop me feeling bored. I may not have been bored, but I was impatient for the evening.
The evening saw another gig in The Black Cat, and I knew that Angela was definitely going to it - and I knew that she was going to go there to see me as well as the band. After a few ups and downs we do seem to be getting on incredibly well lately. I didn't expect anything like this to ever happen again in this lifetime, but it seems I might have a future to look forward to. As for the band....They were actually quite good. They specialise in 50s and 60s rock and roll. As a general rule I don't care for that sort of stuff, but they made it quite painless.
Here's a couple of The Midnight Flyers, Saturday night's band - plus Angela. It looks like Angela is dancing, but she is just on her way to her seat next to mine after delivering a message to the drummer. He is Paul Gunn, and he also drums for The Life Of Brian - the band fronted by Miranda, Angela's daughter. All too soon the gig was over, and I had to say goodbye to Angela. It's only a five minute walk home for me, but Angela called a cab to take her home. I was hoping for a slightly longer goodbye, but the cab turned up quicker than I expected.
Once again I didn't sleep that well. I was late falling asleep because my brain couldn't stop thinking about what an enjoyable evening it was, and then, having got to sleep, my stupid brain woke me up in time to go to work - it forgot it was a Sunday ! The first thing I did was to make a start on the photos I took the night before. There were two photos in particular that I had to select, edit, and send directly to Paul Gunn (last night's drummer). He has a project where he trying to recreate a pose he struck as a drummer many, many years ago so he can show the two side by side. He seemed to be happy with I sent him.
My next little chore was to go out and get some shopping from Aldi. I seemed to buy quite a lot from there despite trying to concentrate on only buying stuff that was mostly healthy. A few things, including a couple of packs of salmon sandwiches, were not really healthy, or indeed healthy at all, but the majority was. So it's back on the diet today ! The ease with which my trouser belt did up this morning suggests that I didn't swerve too far from the path of righteousness over the weekend - although it must have been perilously close at times !
I did have a fantastical idea that I was going out for a country walk yesterday, but the weather was less than enticing for that. In fact I felt a felt some fine rain on my face when I went to Aldi. That only lasted a few tens of seconds, but it gave rise to doomy thoughts of heavier rain while miles from shelter. So I abandoned the idea of country walking, and concentrated on photo editing for part of the afternoon. I also spent a bit of time washing a t-shirt, and a couple of pairs of shorts. I think all three items had not been washed since before I stopped smoking, and all came up rather brighter after a wash. I have other stuff in the back of my wardrobe that should either been thrown out, or washed to get rid of more smoke smells. I am reluctant to throw out potentially good clothes though - I have a couple of really beautiful violet shirts that if I keep dieting hard I may eventually be able to wear !
I managed to have a couple of naps during the day yesterday, but I should still have gone to bed early, or if not early then at the proper time, but I didn't. It seems I spent some wonderful time in communication with Angela when I really should have been sleep. I don't think I will regret that, but I'll probably end up yawning all afternoon here at work. This morning I probably looked rather grumpy as I walked through the rain to the station, but I was actually feeling rather better than I might have expected.
Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of my quad heart bypass operation. The surgeons must have done a good job because it all still seems to be working. Now and then I get a little twinge, but always very short lived, and almost certainly a legacy of having my chest cut open for the operation, or my probably self inflicted "twisted rib" problem. I am hoping to meet Angela after work tomorrow so we can toast each others health. It would be wonderful to see her tonight as well, but I don't think that will happen, but then again there has been much that I didn't think would, or could happen (but I think I'm probably right on this occasion).
|Friday 2nd September 2016|
Yesterday was not quite like summer, but it wasn't bad. It was usually fairly bright with sunny intervals, and it was maybe ever so slightly warmer than mild. I'm not sure why, but last night the fact that the days are getting shorter again seemed more pronounced than ever. Today is going to be cloudier than yesterday, but it should still be pleasantly warm like yesterday, perhaps 21° C, and there should be some sunny intervals, but less than yesterday. Although having just written all that I checked the forecast again, and it has changed for the worse. It seems that it will only be about 19° C today, and there seems little chance of seeing any sunshine. Tomorrow may be better and worse. It may be one degree warmer, but some showers seem to be a certainty. Just to emphasise how short the days are getting, sunset is at 7.43pm tonight ! That is depressing.
I wasn't feeling all that good yesterday morning, but I seemed to recover quite well during the day, and I was feeling quite good, and quite energetic (in a restrained way) when I left work, and headed off towards The Shortlands Tavern for some beer. Despite liking railways I am not a good traveller, but yesterday I felt remarkably relaxed both on the three trains it took to get to the pub, and the single train from the pub back to home.
While I was feeling sort of good in most ways, I didn't seem to enjoy the three beers I had last night. Maybe I could have enjoyed the first one I had, but it was from the end of the barrel, and had hints of going off. I can't remember the brewery, but the beer was called Red India (not Indian), and I got the impression it might have been very nice if fresh. My pint had a slight haze to it, but when Chris came in and tried some, his pint came up looking very soupy, and he had to reject it.
I may not have fully enjoyed the beer, but I enjoyed the company. After three pints I decided it was time to go home, and wandered back to the station for a train back to Catford. As I sat on the train I had no idea what was to happen next. It didn't happen until I was safely home, and had taken my first bite of food. I suddenly felt insanely ravenous ! I couldn't seem to help myself eating far too much.
The good thing was that it didn't seem to interfere with my sleep. In fact I slept rather well last night - or at least I think I did. One reason may have been because I kept my bedroom window shut during the night. That might have kept the temperature a bit more even through the night, and it would have isolated me from the occasional night noises - although they were not that isolated last night. They are resurfacing a few nearby roads during the night, and a lot more traffic was coming down my road.
This is what one of those nearby roads looked like this morning. Once upon a time this was a quiet side street, but over the years the traffic on it has got heavier - from lorries delivering to Tesco to three bus routes that park up, and start their service from behind Tesco. Before I fell asleep I am sure I saw at least one full sized double decker bus going past my bedroom window !
One obvious consequence of eating so much last night is that I woke up this morning feeling horribly bloated (as well as an assortment of other aches and pains). Fortunately I felt much better by the time I had washed my hair, showered, and got dressed ready to walk to the station. Obviously there was a visit or two to the toilet in that list somewhere. Somehow my trousers and belt did up feeling completely normal despite what I imagined had happened to my gut. I wasn't completely cured of that bloated feeling. Maybe a rather explosive visit to the toilet soon after I got to work may have cured it, but I wouldn't want to declare the bloat gone prematurely.
It's Friday today, and that is both good and bad. It's bad because it can sometimes seem like a long day, but it's good because it is the end of the week. It's bad because it mark the transition between being isolated from food for a lot of the day, and having to try to be extra disciplined to avoid eating while at home, and frequently bored over the weekend. Tonight I could go to a gig, but it depends on how I feel when I get home. Maybe I'll find the energy, or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll find that Angela fancies going, and I'll suddenly find reserves of energy I didn't know I had.
|Thursday 1st September 2016|
Yesterday was not as nice as the day before. It was one of those days where it wasn't wet, it wasn't hot, and it wasn't cold. It was so average that nothing really sticks out that I can describe....oh, except one thing that has just occurred to me. It did feel rather humid when I went home after work. For some reason it was more noticeable as my train approached Catford, and then on for a few hours into the evening.
This screenshot from my mobile phone describes today's weather until 4pm, but the same pattern continues for the rest of the day. It seems sunshine is going to be a bit sparse today, but it should feel warm enough this afternoon. I reckon it was only about 14° C when I walked to the station, but maybe it has warmed up a little bit since then, and maybe it will be 16° C in half an hour or so. At the moment it is looking like tomorrow will be much greyer, and the weekend could be similar.
I felt rotten yesterday. All the walking I did on my way home from work the previous night had left a legacy of assorted aches and pains. I could understand if it was just my legs that ached, but other bits did too. Maybe it was all the deep breathing, although still far from gasping for breath, that seems to have triggered pains from my "twisted rib". I had a few glorious weeks where my chest felt fine, but now it seems I've strained something, and the pains are back again.
The assorted pains were one reason to feel bad, but there were others that are hard to explain. Having to get up while it was dark, and then it being dull and cloudy for the first hour of daylight was another trigger that made me feel down. There was probably other stuff too that I won't attempt to explain even if I could decide what it was. I didn't feel so bad when the sun finally came out, but later on I felt very tired for some reason. When I think about it, being tired was probably another reason to feel low.
When I left work I seemed to have a reasonable amount of energy, but I felt very lazy, and when I noticed a bus coming up the hill I decided to get that to the station. That was one lucky break, and it added a tiny little bit of joy to my life. There was more to come. Once I was on the train I checked the trains from Waterloo East using the National Rail app on my phone. I already knew that a signalling problem near London Bridge was causing lots of delays, and I wondered how it would affect my journey home.
It affected my journey in a big way - in a very positive way ! When I arrived at Waterloo I had to put the bit of energy I felt to good use and run up the escalator, and do a fairly rapid walk to platform A of Waterloo East station. I arrived there with a couple of minutes to spare to catch the very delayed 15:38 Hayes train. Usually I would have at least a 15 minute wait for my train. As a result I arrived back in Catford about 15 minutes earlier than usual.
There was a mild downside to that. I had decided I would get some shopping from Tesco on my way home, and past experience suggested I would normally arrive just as they were putting the reduced price stickers on the remaining sandwiches. Unfortunately I probably got there too early for that. That was a small disappointment, but not really the sort of thing that would make me feel bad, and even if it did the perfect antidote was just 10 minutes away.
My lovely dear friend Angela had heard through the grapevine that I was feeling very low in the morning, and she phoned me to find out if I was OK. It was such a lovely thing to do. We have obviously spoken to each other at gigs, and exchanged many messages via text services, but last night was the first time we had actually spoken on the phone. I really love that woman !
After eating lots of stuff that I shouldn't have (mostly Tesco pre-cooked hot chicken) I made a determined effort to get an early night, and a good sleep. I was successful in getting to sleep nice and early. It probably wasn't all that long after 8.30pm that I fell asleep, and I didn't wake up again until a little while after midnight. From then on my sleep became a lot less satisfactory, and the reason was my chest was playing up a lot. Every time I turned over it crunched, and in most positions it would click when I breathed in and out. All that made it ache a bit. I ended up sleeping intemittently until some unknown time. All I know is that I seemed to be deeply asleep, but dreaming, when I was woken by my alarm going off at 5am.
This morning my chest still feels sore, but as far as I can tell it is just my "twisted rib" rather than anything important. Of course today would be a good day for it to be something worse. It would be sort of neat being as today marks the 3rd anniversary of me calling 999 when, it later turned out, I was having my second heart attack. That was the start of a 12 day adventure in hospital getting my heart re-plumbed. I know I must be very weird because I rather enjoyed my stay in hospital - except for the initial nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
I have been re-reading some of the stuff I wrote back in September 2013, and later. One thing I frequently mentioned then, and for the next year or two was the problem I had with my left hand. I haven't written about it for ages now, but it is still not fully better. It has improved an awful lot since 2013, but to this day the little and ring fingers of my left hand have a sort of semi numbness that is occasionally a bit inconvenient, although I seem to have learned to live with it now.
Another area of numbness, with a more obvious cause, was around my left man boob. This was obviously the result of my chest being cut open for the surgery, and nerves being damaged in the process. Over the years much of the numbness has gone away, but my left nipple is, or was still numb. Maybe it isn't now, or not so much. It seems that since my chest has started aching again I seem to have more sensation in the nipple, but it is hard to be sure. It's not the sort of thing I check very frequently, but for some reason I noticed it while thrashing around in bed trying to get comfortable last night.
Tonight is booze night, and we are drinking in The Shortlands Tavern. It is easy enough to get to after work, but I can't decide whether to go there via Victoria station, or to go to Denmark Hill station using The London Overground from Clapham Junction. While I contemplate that, you can contemplate pictures of dinosaurs and stuff that I took on my walks on my way home from work the day before yesterday. Uploading them to Flickr was one useful thing I did last night before going to bed. You can see them here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/135353558@N03/albums/72157672222055741