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My Diary/Blog For the Month of April 2017

Sunday 30th April  2017
 17:26 BST

  I definitely saw 17° C on one of my thermometers yesterday. Admittedly it was the upstairs one, and that often reads a bit higher than the one downstairs, but it seemed mild enough to go out without a coat last night - although it was getting a bit on the cool side when coming home at 11pm ! The temperature was undoubtedly helped by it being a mostly sunny day. I think yesterday could be described as quite a nice day ! The only trouble is that it is all going downhill again.
the remains of today's
 A lot of today has been overcast, although there have been a few sunny intervals. As can be seen in the screenshot above, the weather deteriorates a lot from now on. It hasn't started raining yet, but from the dirty colour of the clouds it is almost inevitable that it will rain. At least all the cloud will keep some heat in, and tomorrow morning will be merely chilly instead of cold....or freezing ! Tomorrow, being an English bank holiday, is set to be dull. gloomy and wet ! At least things might be better when I a back at work on Tuesday.

 Yesterday proceeded pretty much as I described it. I did the washing up, and at the same time I cleaned a bit of the work surfaces in the kitchen. Then I washed 5 shirts, and hung them up to dry along with the towel I had washed earlier, plus some underwear. Than I relaxed until it was time to prepare to go out to see The Life Of Brian playing in The GPO in Eltham.
The Life Of Brian at The
                    GPO pub in Eltham
 I had never been to The GPO pub before, and it wasn't where I thought it was. For some reason I thought it was in part of the old building where Eltham telephone exchange might be. It wasn't there, and it wasn't in the adjacent building that a faulty memory suggested might have been a post office (or possibly a sorting office). It was actually on the other side of the main road, and was indeed once a main post office.

 It seemed a nice enough place, but it didn't sell Guinness. It served Murphy's instead. It's similar, but not the same ! As usual with the life of Brian there was very little light for photography, but I managed to get a few clean snaps, like the one above, and I'll post it, and the rest to Flickr tomorrow, or soon after.  It was quite a long gig - almost 3 hours - and I was feeling fatigued towards the end. That was nothing compared to the trouble Miranda has. She is the lead singer, and she complained her throat was feeling a bit raw - and she has to sing again tonight !

 The feeling of fatigue was pushed into second place when I left the venue. The main feeling then was that it was almost cool enough to make not taking a coat a rather silly decision. Apart from feeling just a bit colder than I would prefer, I actually started to feel quite good in other ways. It was a bit like in earlier days when I sometimes used to feel fit and healthy. Had I needed to for some reason, it felt like I could have walked a lot faster, but I was feeling sort of mellow and relaxed. I was also feeling hungry. Part of the reason why I felt good was that I had done most of my eating in the morning. Of course it was almost inevitable that I would top up with chicken and "fries" on the way home.

 After eating my late supper it must have been getting on for 1am before I was in bed and asleep. As far as I can remember, I slept well up until the time I stupidly woke up as if I had to go to work - at 5am !!! I never felt like I got any decent sleep after that, but maybe I did because I haven't really slept much since despite trying to take a nap a couple of times this afternoon. I think I may have dropped off to sleep once, but it might have only been for a few tens of minutes - or less !

 A good deal of my time today has been taken up with photo selecting and editing. Once again, the new plug-in for The Gimp helped to improve the grain and look of some of the pictures, but it can take some time to process some pictures. Other than that I have done some reading, some eating (maybe too much is, as I hope, I get some more Thai food given to me today), and I have just had another shower, and washed my hair.

 Next on the agenda is to go to The Coach And Horses pub in Beckenham to see Back To The Fray. It's a mostly acoustic group fronted my Miranda. It should be quite a short gig because the music has to stop at 10pm because it is a Sunday.  I'm not sure if it is going to be "my thing" but I am curious to hear what they do, and as usual try and get a few decent snaps for them. Tomorrow I rest - maybe !
Saturday 29th April  2017
 10:51 BST

  Yesterday was brighter than expected - even to the extent that it was sometimes sunny. It was also starting to get not cold ! There was hardly any breeze when I walked from work to the station, and I could have been fooled into believing that the temperature was just touching the outer limits of warm. In reality it was no more than 12 or 13° C - mild, but not warm.
this might be what today's
                    weather will be like - it seems to have started
 This is what the forecast for today looks like. I have a feeling it contains more than a kernel of truth. It has often been sunny so far this morning, and if the next bank of cloud moves on it could be sunny again. It is also certainly a lot milder this morning, and it should take very little effort for the temperature to rise to 14, and maybe even 15° C. It seems like we are out of our brief revisit to winter ! Tomorrow could be a degree or so higher, but the current think among our great weather forecasters is that there will be little or no sunshine tomorrow - but it should stay dry. Maybe it will be completely different - It wouldn't be the first time the forecast has shown no resemblance to reality.

 I could never admit to being completely twinge free, but I was mostly comfortable at work yesterday. However I was bored, and that made me feel tired and sleepy from time to time. If I had a bed there I would definitely have taken a nap, or two, or three, or......... It was a great relief when home time came around. At that point all my tiredness went away, and I even found some spare energy down the back of the sofa.

 Maybe I have got a bit ahead of myself - When I first left work I thought that maybe getting a bus the two stops to the station might be a good idea. It was after walking halfway to the main road, or after a minute of walking, that I found that spare energy. I wasn't bubbling over with energy (will I ever again ?), but I decided that walking to the station would be the better idea., and while it has never, ever been effortless, it wasn't taxing in any way.

 I was hoping to get home as soon as possible so I would have the maximum time to get ready before going to the surgery to get my dressing changed at 6pm. At first it did seem that I could have an extended wait for the train at Waterloo East. When they have decided that the train is going to be late before the train that forms the service from Charing Cross has even got to Charing Cross, then you know they are clutching at straws. It wouldn't be the first time time that the announced delay just keeps getting longer and longer until it is actually time for the next service, and the late service is conveniently forgotten about. That wasn't the case this time, and the official estimate of my train running 5 minutes late actually turned out to be correct.

 When I got home I had time to eat a single small packet of crisps before I washed my hair. I have this theory that the more pleasant you make yourself when seeing a doctor or nurse than the more pleasantly they will treat you. It does seem to work most of the time - although it never works on dentists - they are just born sadists !

 My only concern then was that I was hoping to have another free Thai meal from my next door neighbour, and I was worried she might try and deliver it while I was at the surgery. In the end it was no worry at all. My initial fear was amplified when I signalled my arrival on the surgery's touch screen system. It said there was a 28 minute delay, and because I was there early I was expecting nearly a 40 minute wait - which would have been extremely tedious. I don't know if I jumped the queue because the nurse seems to like me, but I may have actually been called a minute or two before 6pm.

 When the nurse examined the wound she expressed her surprise at the way it is healing. She expected it to be almost healed by now, but there is still a hole in my back. On the plus side it is practically dry inside - a good sign - but what was once a sort of triangular hole is now almost round, and the nurse said it reminded her of a piercing for an earring (but obviously a lot bigger). While it is dry, and pus free, she was not concerned about it, and we made an appointment to see her again to get it inspected, and the dressing changed in a weeks time.

 I was home before 6.30pm, but I had to wait until almost 8pm (maybe 7.30pm) before my next door neighbour knocked on my door with some free Thai food for me. This time it was one container of rice, and a very big container of green Thai curry. As usual it was delicious, and I treated myself to a generous portion of it. While it was delicious, I don't think it was as delicious as the spicy beef, or the chicken and cashew nuts that she has brought me before.

 Despite having a quite large portion last night, with an unknown amount of calories and stuff in it, I think........No, sorry, I delude myself into thinking that my food intake yesterday was quite moderate. Apart from the small bag of crisps, it was all I ate all day yesterday. Some of these delusions may actually be a form of reality - either that or my thick leather belt is stretching. It does seem that I have already lost some of the excess weight I put on during my 5 weeks of being off work.

 By the time that Thai food arrived I had actually got over being hungry, and maybe I was even terribly hungry before that. I think if I had not been given that food I could have persuaded myself not to eat anything else for the rest of the day. I don't think that magic will work today. Before writing this I had the rest of the rice and green curry for breakfast - and it was very nice. Maybe it was even nicer with some extra Thai chilli sauce on it - and there was the lady next door worried that I might find Thai food too spicy. Maybe she has a low opinion of westerners because her husband doesn't like Thai food - he's more a meat and two veg type !

 Now I am back at work I found myself drawn towards bed at 9pm. Last night was strange because I was mostly comfortable in bed, but that still wasn't good enough to make me sleep well, although having said that, there was only one time when I had to get up to take a short breather. Maybe I was disturbed by some strange dreams. One was a bit disturbing. In this bit of dream I was with people I knew at an event that involved music, but I think it was something to do with work. Someone was trying to persuade me to get up and dance around to the music, and while I can't remember who it was, I do know it was not a beautiful woman. If it was I might have been only medium strongly opposed to doing so, and in this case I am pretty sure it was a man ! I don't think he actually want me to dance with him, but he was more trying to get me into the spirit of the event - whatever that was ! To my surprise I found myself telling him where to go using a string of expletives that would have made someone with tourettes syndrome feel like an amateur.

 In a way, I think that felt good. I had another dream that was about, but didn't feature, my dad. He was still definitely dead in the dream, but I was in his old shop, and the shop still carried out something like the old business. As far as I am aware I was my current age in the dream, and that meant the man who was currently running the shop would have been well past retirement age even if he had taken over the shop while he was no older than 18 when my dad died.  I can't remember why I went into the shop, but once in there I got talking to the owner, explained who I was, and asked if there were still any relics from the days when my dad ran the shop. He said yes, and started to take me to an upstairs room to show me. Than I woke up.

 I remember just a fragment of a third dream, but what I remember makes little sense now. It involved a few robot torsos and robot heads - at least I think they were robots. All I can remember is that I was telling someone I preferred that head, on that torso. I think the torsos had arms, but I can't seem to recall if there were any legs involved. I guess they must have been, but they don't seem to be in my memory.

 I managed to have a lay in this morning. It was 6.15am when I got up (instead of 5am), and I had a very slow start to the day. So far, not including sitting here writing this, I have done two useful things this morning. I have washed a medium sized bath towel, and I have done some cleaning in the bathroom. I have dusted all the cobwebs, and trails of web off the bathroom walls and ceiling, and I have slightly brushed the floor. I say slightly because I mainly wanted to brush up more flakes of paint from the ceiling. (For years now the paint on the ceiling has been bubbling up and flaking off - I don't think it was suitable for a steamy bathroom when it was originally put up). Trying to get all those flakes of paint up proved too much for my back, but I got a lot up, and I have also brushed other stuff off the floor. Some of the worst bit of carpet are, or were, clumps of my own matted hair. It won't brush up, and has to be pulled off before the residual can be brushed up. I admit it is a legacy of my own laziness by neglecting to clean the carpet in there more frequently, and moving stuff on the floor around to get to all areas of the carpets. Oh well, it's a bit better now.

 I sat down to write this so I could cool off. That housework made my brow a little damp, and after eating Thai curry with extra chilli sauce, I got a real sweat on ! I've now cooled off and once I've finished writing I can resume my housework. Next on the agenda is to do several days worth of washing up. After that I have a weeks worth of work shirts to wash. After that.....after that I can have a rest. Maybe a lot of rest. The next big thing will be to go out this evening. The Life Of Brian are playing in The GPO in Eltham. I'm unsure what sort of place it is. I think it is more bar and restaurant rather than a pub. I don't even know precisely where it is, but I do know approximately. It is either in part of the old Eltham telephone exchange, where I once worked for a while, or in what used to be a post office next door.
Friday 28th April  2017
 08:05 BST

It was a bit wet yesterday evening, but the rest of the day seemed to be dry. After the exceptionally cold start it was nice when it warmed up a bit. I was going to say "but only a bit", but I guess the difference between 0.6° C and 10° C is more than "a bit", and just maybe the highest temperature was a bit more than 10° C. I'd stick my neck out and say it was more in the region of 12° C.
bland weather
 Here what the weather may be like today. I think it could be best described as bland ! It's not going to be too cold, nor is it going to be warm. It is going to be sort of tepid. At the moment it is just bright enough not to be described as gloomy, but no more, and it looks like it may stay that way all day. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be a tiny bit warmer, and there could be some nice sunshine from mid afternoon, possibly until sunset.

 I didn't feel too bad at work yesterday, although I did find myself taking a couple of Ibuprofen tablets in the afternoon because it seemed like my chest was starting to play up. I do seem to be going through one of those phases where a small twist or turn in the wrong way can provoke quite a sharp pain. That pain usually only lasts a few tens of seconds, but does contribute to a mild general background ache that only beer can cure !

 I don't think the walk to the station was particularly arduous after work, and neither was the walk from Waterloo to Waterloo East station. I had sufficient time when changing trains at Waterloo that I could have walked at a snails pace, but I can't seem to do that, and whenever anyone appeared in my path I found myself speeding up to top speed to pass them. Once I found my favourite place on the platform at Waterloo East (which with hindsight was not far enough down the platform) I had plenty of time to get my breath back, and prepare myself to what turned out to be a terrible ordeal !

 Not only would have it been better to have got on a little closer to the front of the train so I was nearer the footbridge at Grove Park station (where I changed trains for a service to Bromley North), but I would also have not been in the same carriage as the most annoying little brat in the world ! I suppose the noisy little oik had some sort of mental problem. If he couldn't get his was he would scream at the top of his voice. It made for a terribly noisy and depressing train journey.

 It was a great relief to get off the train at Grove Park, and change to the shuttle train to Bromley North. From Bromley North it is a 5 or 6 minute walk to The Partridge pub - nice in bright warm weather, but not so nice when it was raining like it was yesterday. It was raining even harder when I came out of the pub after my self imposed limit of three pints. There is a bus shelter at the bus stop, but there were too many people waiting for a bus, and I had to stand in the rain for about 5 minutes until a 320 bus came to take me to Catford.

 The 320 is potentially dangerous because it stops near the fried chicken shop. Even just three pints of beer, two of them even being quite weak, is enough to get temptation going, and more so when I hadn't eaten since the night before. However, on this occasion I resisted that temptation, and possibly had something worse for me at home - sausages and crisps ! I should have had a salad, but I was feeling tired and the booze was affecting me. So I cooked some "pulled pork" flavour sausages - and they were rubbish ! They weren't actually nasty, but I didn't enjoy them - and to make things worse I was still tasting them when I belched first thing this morning.

 I think it was a little after 7pm when I got home and that didn't leave much time to do anything after cooking and eating. I watched most of an episode of QI on Dave, and when that finished at 9pm I went straight to bed. It seems I have fallen back into the old routine again. It didn't take long to fall asleep, and I seemingly slept well for a little over three hours before I woke up with cramp in my right foot. That was unusual. If I get cramp it is usually in my calf muscles, but it was just as painful and awkward in my foot too.

 A walk to the toilet and back sorted my foot out, and it wasn't that long before I was asleep again. At around 3am the same thing happened. I'm not sure what woke me up 10 - 15 minutes before my alarm was due to wake me, but I do know it was annoying. I would have enjoyed those last minutes, and in an ideal world another couple of hours of sleep would have been nice. This morning I feel like the weather - bland ! Everything feel very average. I ache a bit, but not much. I have an average amount of energy, but little to spare for those occasional peaks of demand. I think the main thing is just that I am very glad it is Friday !

 Tonight I have a couple of things to look forward to. At 6pm I have an appointment with the nurse to get the dressing on my back changed. I guess I will also be making a couple of appointments for next week because it is going to take a little while yet before my wound has completely healed, or at least healed enough to be left with no dressing over it. At the moment there is still a small hole in my back.

 Of course the thing I am most looking forward to is another free Thai meal courtesy of my next door neighbour. There is no guarantee that I will actually get one - it all depends on what may be left when the Thai Kitchen stall in Greenwich market closes for the day.  The other fly in the ointment is that my neighbour may try and deliver it while I am at the surgery, but if all goes well I can look forward to some gluttony this evening. It is about the only thing I can look forward to tonight.
Thursday 27th April  2017
 08:05 BST

                  degrees at 6am this morningYesterday weather was a bit like the forecast, but also a bit different ! I'm sure it was brighter, and even sunnier than the forecast seemed to suggest. The temperature profile was about right, but the mid to late afternoon was not quite as expected. There were a couple of fairly brief, fairly light showers before I left work to go home, but I walked to the station in the dry. There was a light shower while I waited for my train at Waterloo, but when I arrived at Catford Bridge station the heavens opened for a few minutes - then the rain completely stopped before I was a third of the way home. I don't think there was any rain after that.

 The reason there was no more rain was that the clouds all cleared away to leave a clear sky during the night. The result of that can be seen on the left. At 6:04am it was just 0.6° C - by contrast, the forecast reckoned it should be 2° C - both cold, but only the lower figure could be responsible for a frost on the car roofs this morning.
frost on a car this
 It was nice coming to work under a blue sky, and bright sunshine, although I had to be wrapped up nice and warm with my gloves on to appreciate it. The forecast says it won't stay like this. There are already hints appearing of cloud formation, and by this afternoon we are supposed to be cowering under thick black cloud. The amount of rain we can expect, and when it will fall, keeps changing. The current theory is a light splash at 5pm, and a longer spell of rain starting at 9pm. The best temperature we can hope for is a mere 10° C. Tomorrow should start bright and sunny, but at a more acceptable 6 to 8° C. The temperature should rise to 13° C in the afternoon, but the afternoon will probably be cloudy.
looks like
                    summer, feels like winter
 I took this snap as I walked from the station to work. It looks like a summer morning, but it felt like winter !

 I felt rotten at work yesterday. At different times I had all sorts of aches and pains all over my torso. Sometimes my chest would hurt, and sometimes my belly would hurt. At other times it was my back - sometimes upper back, sometimes lower back, and sometimes both. I had pains from either or both kidney's, and pains from my liver, and pains from bits I couldn't identify. By the afternoon it had settled down a bit, but the real cure was exercise. Once I started walking to the station I began to feel better. By the time I arrived back in Catford I was almost free of pain.

 Being almost free of pain was a bit of a surprise in some ways. It was because of the very heavy rain that plagued the first minute or two of walking from the station that I had my coat done up. That very gently puts pressure on my chest - mainly from the sides, and as I walked along I could feel, or almost hear bone grating against bone. It did leave one small slightly sore area on my chest by the time I got home, but that faded quickly once I got home.

 Any residual discomfort definitely went away once I started eating. I had a variant on chicken and chips for part one of my dinner last night. In this variation the chicken thighs were oven cooked instead of being fried, and the chips were actually Hula Hoops - which have less fat than normal crisps, and which might have been a second choice as a substitute for chips. After that I had "afters" - I can't call potato salad with marrowfat peas garnished with a bit of chilli sauce "dessert". I needed to use up the potato salad in a way that disguised it's taste. I've come to the conclusion that I don't seem to care for potato salad recently.

 I didn't really do anything significant last night - except for one thing. I saw the lady next door outside her house, and she told me I can probably look forward to another load of free Thai food on Friday night. Now that is definitely something good to look forward to. Tonight all I have to look forward to is my regular Thursday night drink. Tonight we meet in The Partridge pub in Bromley. This is both good and bad. It means getting a train from Waterloo East to Grove Park station, and then changing to a train to Bromley North. From there it is a 5 - 6 minute walk to the pub.

 It is possibly one of the more straightforward pubs to get to, and getting home is simple even if it can be ultra tedious - a 20 minute or more bus ride on a sometimes very full bus. I can't decide if it is good or bad that The Partridge sells some very good, but rather potent beer. I love Fullers ESB and HSB, but a couple of pints on an empty stomach, as mine will be, is quite sufficient for an evening. Maybe I will stick to a weaker beer, but maybe I won't !!
Wednesday 26th April  2017
 08:11 BST

  Yesterday I showed a screenshot of the weather forecast for the day. It was an early version taken at 5am, by 8am the forecast had changed to include some rain in the early evening. It turns out that the first forecast was the more accurate. The day started off freezing cold, and slowly warmed up to about 10° C. Most of the day was bright with sunny intervals. There was no rain that I was aware of. It would be nice if today could stay dry as well, but I doubt my luck will hold out.
forecast for today
 This screenshot was taken just before I started writing, and it doesn't make me think of spring. It had a definite winter look about it ! At 6am I was reading just 3.2° C. That's a whole degree higher than yesterday morning, but still bloody chilly ! If I understand this weather forecast it will be grey and cloudy until it starts to rain at 1pm. Once the rain has got going the sun will come out at 2pm. Once the sun has come out the rain will get even heavier at 4pm. At 5pm the rain will get lighter, and finally stop once the sky gets cloudy enough to block the sunshine. Finally, at 7pm the sun will peep out again and we'll have sunny periods until the sun sets at 8.14pm. Tomorrow looks like it may be less cold, but still pretty wet and nasty, and horrible, and depressing......or the forecast might be completely different by tomorrow.

 I felt less good at work yesterday, and at the end of the working day I was feeling quite tired. Luckily all my trains were running to time, and I didn't have to push myself to go faster to catch them. When I got home I didn't really want to go out again, but I had an appointment with the nurse, and didn't have much choice in the matter. I had a quick sandwich soon after getting home, and then washed my hair - something I wanted to do in the morning, but it was just too damn cold for that.

 I saw the nurse at 6pm, and had my dressing changed. She said the wound was healing nicely, but doubted it could be left to get on with it by itself after my next appointment on Friday. It seems I will probably be seeing the nurse a couple of times a week for at least the next week, and maybe the week after that. Oh well, I guess it is no bother. When I got back home I prepared a quite extensive salad for the main part of my dinner. It was quite big because I three in a bit of everything - that included both a small lump of Feta cheese that has been sitting in the fridge for over a week, and some strips of precooked peri peri chicken. That's an unusual combination, but it seemed to work - although I did keep them on opposite sides of the plate, and ate them separately.

 I finished eating with a second Aldi beef and horseradish sandwich followed by a large glass of neat whiskey. After that it was time for reading in bed. I read for about half and hour before turning out the light a few minutes after 9pm. I was soon asleep, but that was the end of the good news. I woke up just after midnight, and it took some time to get to sleep again. I'm sure I woke up again a couple of hours later, but my memory of that is very hazy. My memory of waking up at 4.26am is a lot sharper because that was a most annoying time to wake up.

 I woke up because I needed a pee - although not desperately, Maybe it was some other discomfort because I definitely had some discomforts when I got back in bed to try and sleep for the last 25 minutes before my alarm was due to go off. If I laid on my right my chest hurt. If I laid on my left my belly felt sore like I had trapped wind. If I laid on my back then my upper back ached ! It was not a great recipe for getting back to sleep, and of course I didn't. I ended up getting up 15 minutes before I needed to.

 On the whole, I feel pretty bad this morning. I feel very tired, my head aches a bit, and rushing around to get to work seemed like hard work. It felt like I was walking through treacle when I walked from the station to work. Now I've been sitting in the warm for a while I should feel better, but I still don't feel great. I have a suspicion that there is something rather wrong with me, but I'll see how the day works out.

 One thing I did on Monday night, but forgot to mention yesterday, was to upload two new photo albums to Flickr. One is of all the best photos I took last Friday - the last day of service of the last D78 stock District Line trains. The other is of the Life Of Brian gig last Saturday. Initially I was quite pleased with the pictures I uploaded. Many had been enhanced by using the new plug-in I had found for The Gimp image editor, but with hindsight that enhancement seems to work best on lower resolution pictures. On Flickr you can expand a single picture to it's native resolution by clicking on it. At full resolution some of my "enhanced" pictures look pretty weird. Judge for yourself by visiting my Flickr album page here -
Tuesday 25th April  2017
 08:18 BST

  It was brighter, and on occasions even sunny yesterday morning. I would never have guess that from looking at the weather forecast ! Unfortunately the afternoon was a lot duller....but not exclusively ! It was raining when I walked from work to the station. Fortunately I missed the heaviest rain, and it was fairly light for most of the walk. By the time I arrived at the station it had practically stopped. It was a fairly dull journey back to Catford, but once I got off the train at Catford Bridge, against all expectations, the sun came out to light my way home. Maybe it didn't last that long, but it was a  nice touch.
first attempt at a forecast
                    for today - it's changes since !
 This was how the forecasters thought that today's weather might turn out at 5am this morning. Of course it has changed, and changed quite a lot since then. The big difference is that from about 7pm there will be both rain and sunshine until the sun sets, and probably more rain after that as well ! Meanwhile, back in Catford at 06:02am........
it was bloody cold
                  this morning !
 It was bloody cold when I got up, and still bloody cold when I walked to the station to catch a train with no heating on it ! These are temperatures more suited to winter !

 It is going to be no better tomorrow, and indeed it looks like it might be worse. The latest forecast for tomorrow, which is hopefully far more pessimistic than reality, is saying the morning could start as low as 2° C, and only rise to 9° C at best ! Not only that, but the current idea is that it will rain too. If it does that too early in the morning it could fall as snow ! I do not approve !!!

 On a happier note, I felt remarkably good at work yesterday. I didn't feel tired, and any aches or pains were very mild....or even absent ! Maybe it was because I had a few interesting jobs to do. That may not be the case today ! The day passed quickly enough, and I felt quite pleased until I realised I had to walk to the station in the rain. That wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

 The rain was probably almost stopping as started walking, and by the time I was two thirds of the way to the station it seemed fairly insignificant, but maybe only because, against all expectations, I could still do my coat up, and wear it comfortably.

 There was no chance of seeing Angela last night, although with hindsight I am not sure her reason was that valid, but anyway... I rushed straight home for something that was almost as good as seeing Angela - Thai food. When I looked at what my neighbour had given me the night before I found there were two spicy beef with rice portions, and one portion of red pork. The latter was very similar to the pork penang I had eaten the week before, but was slightly more spicy. My neighbour was concerned that I might have thought that either of the dishes were too hot, but I found them quite mild.

 I have to confess I made a bit of a pig of myself by eating a lot more than maybe I should have done. There are two things I can say in my defence of this. The first is that apart from some sugar free vanilla wafers it was the only food I ate yesterday. The second is that it seemed to be fairly low in fat - almost fat free, although it is difficult to tell how much fat the rice may have soaked up. I probably threw away about half of the rice because I believe, contrary to what many others might say, that rice raises my blood glucose level because it is all carbohydrates.

 The curious thing about all this is that yesterday morning I felt quite sweaty as I came to work. That suggests my blood glucose was too high, and yet the energy I had, particularly on my way home, suggested that my blood glucose was actually in the optimum area. This morning I didn't sweat, and I felt quite sluggish. Last night's meal contained quite a lot of meat, and I guess I am still digesting that. What I probably needed was for a lot of the bulk to be fibre, but I couldn't ruin that wonderful Thai cooking by adding baked beans, could I !

 The reason why Angela said she couldn't meet me was that she was preparing to go away until Sunday with her "lover". It seemed a surprising idea after some of the things she has said recently, but I guess she knows what she is doing. I still worry about her though. It is almost as if she has been persuaded to go against her will, and that worries me. All I can do is to hope I hear some happy reports from her at the end of their road trip. Apparently they will be heading north today, and hope to get as far as Scotland. Maybe they will be back before Sunday. It all depends how hardy they are !
report in today's
The article on the left was in this morning's copy of The Metro newspaper. It sounds as if we are going to have a fairly unpleasant time down here in London, but Angela and her lover may be heading straight into snow. I guess it could end up one of two ways. It might be a romantic experience, or it might be a bloody miserable experience !

 Once I've got through the working day I can look forward to going home, but I have little to actually look forward tonight. I can't even relax and "slob out" when I get home. I probably ought to wash my hair once I get indoors because at 6pm I have an appointment with the nurse to get my dressing checked and changed.

 Once that is done I can at least look forward to dinner. I've got a couple of sandwiches that ought to be eaten, and I've got some chicken thighs that ought to be cooked. I probably will cook them tonight, but I think dinner is actually going to be those sandwiches plus a heap of salad. If I am feeling good and positive the salad may just be dressed leaves and tomatoes with no cheese or meat (of fish), but if I am feeling uninspired, bored, and low in any way I will most probably add a heap of cheese, or a can of spam.....or something like that. If I cook the chicken thighs tonight I can look forward to eating them tomorrow night.
Monday 24th April  2017
 08:56 BST

  There were supposed to be a few splashes of rain late yesterday evening, and then in the small hours of this morning. I think I felt the very lightest mist of rain for a minute or two at some point yesterday, but I never noticed any damp road or pavement in the evening, or this morning. As I mentioned yesterday, we are going through a period of very bland weather. It is not quite cold, although it was too cool not to wear a coat when coming to work this morning, and it is not warm either. I don't think I'll have any worries about feeling too warm going home in a coat after work today.
todays attempt at a weather forecast
 This is the latest attempt at a weather forecast for today. It is already wrong.....maybe only by a small degree. I doubt it is 11° C just yet - it was only just over 6° C when I left home at 6.20am. I think there should also be a sun symbol peeping out from behind the grey cloud symbol for 9am - it's been sunny since I first light, and the cloud looks broken enough for sunny intervals to continue for a while yet. Hopefully I'll dodge any rain, no matter how light, when I leave work, and start heading home. Tomorrow is looking like it might be a good idea to wear my winter coat. It may be a brighter day, but 3° C is damn chilly, and 10° C is nothing to get excited about !

 I made a tragic mistake yesterday. I can't remember if it was just before, or just after I wrote yesterday that I cooked up a hideous (but tasty) evening meal. It was baked beans with some chunks of cheese and some diced up sliced beef with a sprinkle of very hot chilli sauce. It wouldn't win and prizes for cordon bleu cookery, but it satisfied a need. If only I had been a bit more patient though.... It must have been soon after 6pm that I got a knock on the door. It was the lady from next door with more food for me.

 I had to apologise for not thanking her properly for the first free food she gave me the previous weekend, but I did explain that I had tried a few times to see her but she always seemed to be out. More than that was that I discovered that the market stall she works on is not in Catford, but is in Greenwich market. She works there on Fridays and Sundays. If you are ever passing through Greenwich on those days (and possibly others), and you fancy some really tasty Thai food, then the place to look for is called Thai Kitchen. Last night she gave me another three containers stuffed full of Thai food. I assume one is rice. One is more of the pork Penang that I already know to be wonderful, and the other is something that is more spicy.

 I was too full to have any more food last night (except for a few nibbles), and I look forward to eating some of that food tonight. Last night all I had to look forward to was getting to bed, and to sleep, nice and early. I did manage the first thing, but getting to sleep was not quite as successful. It was 9:03pm when I turned the light out, but it probably took 20 minutes before I managed to get to sleep. Three and half hours later I woke up feeling dreadful. I think the main reason was that I had fallen asleep only partly covered, and by the time I woke up I was mostly uncovered, and feeling really cold ! In the course of what I assume was a lot of thrashing around I managed to provoke my "twisted rib(s)", and after going to the toilet, putting the heater on, and covering myself with the duvet, I seemed to have a variety of aches and pains that distracted me from sleep. So I got up and tried to unkink/unknot a few muscles for 15 or 20 minutes. After that I managed to get back to bed, and to sleep.

 This morning it was a bit of a shock to the system to be woken by my alarm at 5am, and then to go through the usual routine to get ready for work. On the whole I haven't felt too bad so far. Even the mad dash from Waterloo East to Waterloo mainline station was not as bad as I was expecting after so many days of the sparsest amount of exercise. I must admit that I did find myself not willing to push myself faster than average walking pace between Earlsfield station and work.

 Well here I am at work, and I can't wait to go home again. I think I am going to be feeling pretty hungry by this afternoon. I have gone straight back to where I left off - no breakfast, no lunch, no nothing until I get home again. It generally feels OK once you are used to it, but I fear I have lost the training after not doing it for a month. There is just one thing dominating my thoughts about tonight, and that is the Thai food. There is only one thing I might do in addition to eating that food, and while the chances of it are still very slim, it does feel like there is a realistic chance of seeing Angela after work....
Sunday 23rd April  2017
 17:12 BST

  Yesterday was one of those days where the weather was so bland that it is hard to remember many details about it. Well, it was neither warm or hot, although I do remember it was almost mild last night. I don't think it was quite as dull as I was expecting. Today it has definitely not been as dull as expected. Somehow some hazy sunshine managed to squeeze it's way through the clouds on quite a few occasions today. It is actually mildly sunny right now as I write this. The temperature has been in that annoying area where it isn't really cold, but it is definitely not warm. Mostly it has been in the 11 - 14° C area. Just for a change, here's what is predicted for tomorrow. I predict, based on past experience, that around 8am the chart will look nothing like this >
I don't like the timing of
                    that rain !
  I did everything I predicted I would do yesterday, and possibly nothing more. It wasn't too long after I finished writing yesterday that I got the message that my Polaroid film had been delivered to the corner shop, and I could go and pick it up. When I got home I decided I would test my "new" Polaroid camera with the black and white film. I took two snaps, and to be honest I wasn't terribly impressed with the results. I took one shot indoors, and that came out OK, but the field of view is very narrow. I'm not too sure the film was very panchromatic - rendering different colours in reasonable shades of grey.

 The second picture I took was of the garden. The problem with that was that it looked over exposed. I don't think that there is any way of metering the exposure, and the only control over it is a three position lever for bright, dark and average. I guess you are expected to waste film by taking a snap by guesswork, and then adjust the exposure lever before taking the snap again - and hoping that it will be OK the next time. Maybe if you use the camera a lot you get the feel of it, and can get a passable snap first time.

 After playing with the Polaroid camera for a bit I went out to buy not just one, but two rugs for the spare bedroom. I only needed one, but I couldn't decide on which of two different designs I like best. So I bought both, and one of them will probably just be a spare for future use. The pale blue fluffy rug is now down, and I think it looks OK, and improves the look of the room.

 After fitting the rug I did some intensive resting to get me in the right state for an evening out at The Black Cat. Last night it was The Life Of Brian playing, and it was very good. Unusually for The Black Cat , there was a very good turn out. I am sure there were at least 50 people in the pub, and that is at least 30 more than some very poorly attended gigs.
The Life Of Brian band
 I was able to take some quite good shots using my most recent lens purchase - the 28mm, f1.8 lens. It's wide angle view combined with a large aperture worked really well in The Black Cat. The lighting in there can be quite bright, even if it s a bit harsh, and I could stop the lens down a bit to give a better depth of focus. That meant I could get the entire band in, and all of them more-or-less in focus. I now have another photo album that I must upload to Flickr just as soon as I have got around to uploading the photos of my "train spotting" trip to Upminster on Friday.

 The life of Brian sounded particularly good last night.....well, maybe not perfect. Brian's microphone could have been a bit louder, and I found out I was not the only one who couldn't understand a lot of what Miranda was saying between songs. Her singing was good and clear, but her speech sounded all mangled and horrible. The other good thing was that Angela was there last night.

 Angela turned up on her own, but was joined by her "lover" John about 15 - 20 minutes later. That really dulled Angela's enthusiasm, and she was fairly quiet for half the gig, but I would guess the vodka had kicked in by the end of the first set. She came over to me and gave me a hug - something she is "allowed" to do with me because I am approved of in some weird and mysterious way. After that she started back towards her seat, and then turned around and said "what the hell", or words to that effect, and went and greeted all her old friends from years and years ago with hugs and kisses. At the end of the gig I was singled out for a extra strength hug goodbye - which was rather nice.

 Today I have done a few useful things. I've washed 4 work shirts. I've been to Aldi and bought a load of salad and stuff - and most of that stuff was low fat and low sugar (but of course there were exceptions !). The other thing I have done today, and as usual it took ages, was to go through all the photos I took last night. The new plug-in I have been using with my photo editor, The Gimp, is producing some good results, but it slows things down a lot. Anyway, the deed is done now, and all I have to do is to upload the pictures to Flickr and hope they look good there too.

 The rest of my day today will mostly be taken up with preparing to go back to work tomorrow after my 4 weeks off sick. Some of that preparation was washing those shirts - but they won't be needed until later in the week. Some of the preparation is psyching myself to get to bed, and sleep ideally by 9pm tonight. The other bit of the preparation is to try and ignore it all. It is the case that I have to go back to work tomorrow, but I don't have to like it. Earning my proper wages instead of statuary sick pay is no longer essential, but it's still useful (specially if I ever want to buy another packet of film for the Polaroid camera), but more important than that is the exercise I get commuting every day, and being far away from the larder and fridge ! 
Saturday 22nd April  2017
 09:55 BST

  It was grey, very grey yesterday ! It was also possibly 15° C, but that greyness made it feel cooler than that....or was the breeze a bit too strong, or from the wrong direction ?
this looks horrible !
 Of course the only trouble is that today is going to be worse ! The first worst thing is that today started one degree cooler than yesterday, and the next worst thing is that, at best, it is going to be two degrees cooler even at the very "warmest" hours of today.  Maybe how grey it is as I write this should actually be the next worst thing. It looks like today will generally be greyer, and duller, and horribler than yesterday, but that is not the ultimate worst thing in this forecast. For that we have to look to the basic prediction for next Tuesday. OK, maybe there will be a ray of sunshine, but black skies, rain and 10° C sounds more like a return to winter !

 I finally got off my arse (or bed) and went out to do something useful, and sort of enjoyable yesterday. It seemed like a late start, but there was a good reason for getting the 11:42 train from Catford station to take me to Blackfriars station. The idea was to be at Blackfriars tube station in time to catch the last ever D78 stock District Line train running in public service. Apart from a special, and hideously expensive railtour, the D78 stock will never run in passenger service again on the Underground network (although one or two trains will be modified for engineering/rail treatment work).
 D78 stock train
                  pulling into Bow Road station

It turned out I was a little early, or the D78 train was a little late. So I hopped on the first train at Blackfriars (a modern S7 class train), and went one stop. I then waited for the next train, and then, once again, went to the next stop. With trains every 2 - 5 minutes this didn't take long, and at Bow Road the next train to arrive was the D78 train - as pictures above.
Arrived at Bow Road
Here's the train just as it was almost fully in the platform and stopping.
leaving Barking station
At Barking station I got off the train, and jumped on a mainline train so I could race it to Upminster station, and photograph it entering the station. The picture above is of the train just departing Barking on it's comparatively slow journey to Upminster.
close up on "headboard" of the
Here's a close up of what on a steam locomotive would be called the headboard.

 Of course I took many more pictures than these four, and it wasn't until quite late yesterday evening when I finally finished selecting and editing the best and/or most relevant. I should have time to upload the entire photo album to Flickr some time today, and all being well, I'll post a link to it tomorrow.

 I think I went out without eating any breakfast yesterday, and I am glad I did. I felt quite sluggish when I walked to Catford station, and what with a few aches and pains, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. It was hard to believe it, but I knew that the answer was yes, and that as my body and joints warmed up I began to feel better. Then there was the fact that the longer I was out, the lower my blood glucose would sink, and as it (possibly) came back to normal so my energy levels would increase.

 Although I suddenly felt rather tired once I got home, I felt almost rather good for a while when I was out rushing around. The only negative thing was that I found that walking up stairs (often foot bridges between platforms at various stations) made my knees hurt. I think it was just a muscular pain caused by a lack of exercise, but it could potentially be an early warning of knee joint trouble.

 After going all the way into Essex, or specifically Upminster, I travelled some of the way back to Blackfriars on the D78 train, but I changed tube trains a couple of times for a bit of variety after Barking station. I arrived back at Blackfriars with rather a lot of time to spare (over 15 minutes) to catch the 14:42 Thameslink train back to Catford. Even though it was well in advance of rush hour, the train was quite busy - I even had to share a table in the first class half of the front carriage. (Note; there is no timetabled 1st class service to Sevenoaks so the first class part of the train is automatically downgraded to normal class - not that many people know that !).

 I arrived home soon after 3pm, and that seemed like an excellent time for some breakfast ! I think I started off with a sandwich that had been sitting in the fridge for a few days. That revived me while I changed into indoor (slobbing around) clothes, and checked my mail etc. I think my intention was to have some more food later, but the thought of the spare Chinese food from my takeaway the previous nights was too much to bear. So I had some pork and rice - which was nice, but not excellent, and I am sure it would have been improved if it had the green peppers in it that I thought it should have. I then had pork with noodles, and that was nicer, but once again I am sure it should have had some vegetables in it.

 Having stuffed my face with Chinese food I thought I deserved a lie down. That lie down turned out to be a snooze - but I have no idea how long it lasted. It may have just been 10 minutes, but I have a feeling it was possibly well over an hour.  Once I had shook off the effects of that snooze I got to work selecting and editing photos - and that is about all I did for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Well actually, I did take a few breaks, but photo editing was the only constructive thing I did.

 I have one firm plan for today, and an assortment of ideas for possible things to do. Maybe I should say I had three firm plans, but I've already been to the surgery to get my dressing changed, and I have almost finished writing this. The remaining firm plan is to go to a gig tonight. Life Of Brian are playing in The Black Cat tonight, and I definitely want to be there to see them. At some point today I hope I'll be going to the corner shop to pick up a packet from Amazon. It will be my ultra expensive film for my Polaroid camera. At some point I will probably go to Poundstretcher to buy a big rug for the spare bedroom - which is seeming unlikely at the moment.
Friday 21st April  2017
 07:39 BST

  If I were feeing generous I could say that the weather was not that bad yesterday. I don't recall any sunshine, but it didn't seem to be dull and gloomy either. Maybe it was that the wind was very light, or maybe it was just me, but apart from early morning, it did seem to feel comfortable to go out without a coat. The forecast for today suggests that it is going to be a lot duller - particularly in the afternoon - and it is far from bright at the moment. I guess it is some sort of compensation that it could be a couple of degrees warmer today. If we are lucky, tomorrow may be similar to yesterday.
today is may be duller than
                  yesterday, but it might feel less cool
  I managed to do a bit of laundry yesterday, but that is about all I achieved yesterday. It was a continuation of the night before in as much as I felt very uninspired to do anything. Maybe the thing that depresses me most is that I was hoping to get out and do some exercise during this period of sick leave, but while I don't feel very dynamic it needs something like hot sunshine to inspire me. It's the old thing of having to get over the hump. Until you are fit enough to enjoy walking you can't enjoy it, and if you can't enjoy it, it is very hard to motivate yourself.

 So yesterday I spent a lot of time reading, and while that was very enjoyable, I still couldn't help feeling a bit guilty that I was wasting opportunities, and getting fatter in the process ! Eventually the time came around to go out to meet the Thursday night boozers, and to partake in a few ales. Yesterday I commented on the fact that The Blythe Hill Tavern is an awkward distance from here - it's too near to really justify getting a bus, and yet far enough away to make walking seem like a slow way of getting there.

 I also commented that I would possibly walk there, and then get the bus home. In fact it was the other way round. Maybe I might have walked there but I still hadn't (and haven't) seen my neighbour to thank her for the delicious Thai food that she gave me earlier in the week. I realise it would be simpler to knock on her door, but I can never remember her name. It would be awkward if someone else answered the door. Maybe I will have to take the plunger and do it sooner or later, but last night I walked left instead of right to take me to where I believe her market stall should be. That spot seemed to be taken by a stall selling Polish food yesterday, and the day before.

 Having walked essentially in the wrong direction I decided that getting a bus was very worthwhile. Once I got to the bus stop I had just a 3 minute wait for the bus, and for some reason the traffic was lighter than I expected. So it didn't take long to get to the pub. While I am off work I allowed myself 4 pints of medium strength beer, and then I went home - on foot. It was starting to get a little cool by then (approx 7pm), and I didn't have a coat. I didn't really feel the coolness while I kept up a reasonable pace, and I arrived home about 20 minutes later slightly puffed out, but not too knackered.

 That sounds good but the reality is that it was uncomfortable doing that walk. Bits of me, or specifically bits of my torso ached or hurt as I walked. Principally it was my operation scar/twisted rib(s) that ached the most - not badly, but enough to be annoying, but I had a few twinges in my back, sides, front, rear, top and bottom ! I guess I have to blame a lot of it on the amount of weight I've put on, and the inactivity that has caused that weight to go on. Getting back to work will help solve that problem, but the loss of freedom is a big price to pay.

 To make all that worse I did something I shouldn't have. It was all Paul's fault. Paul is one of my Thursday night drinking pals, and he was going on about how he used to buy a large spring roll, or two, from a Chinese takeaway on his way home from a heavy boozing session. That planted a large seed in my brain, and while I didn't fancy hanging around in a takeaway while it was cooked, I did decide to order a couple to be delivered.  Of course there is a minimum order charge for delivery, and I had to order other stuff too. Much of it will be my dinner today, but last night I scoffed two spring rolls, and a small chicken with cashew nuts in yellow bean sauce. To be honest, it was pretty horrible compared to the Thai chicken and cashew nuts that my neighbour gave me !

 This morning I am off to the surgery again to get my dressing changed. After that I don't know what I am doing. Today would be the last chance to try and spot a D78 class tube train on the District line, but if it's like yesterday they (or it) will only be running during the early morning rush hour. Yesterday the single unit out on the line finished at 10:36. Maybe today one of the three, and maybe all three of the very last trains to run will be out later. In which case I feel I ought to make the effort to go out, but with the sky looking so grey and dull now, and the forecast saying it will get even gloomier this afternoon, I feel more inclined to stay in with the curtains closed !
Thursday 20th April  2017
 07:55 BST

  Yesterday was probably a little bit more cloudy than hoped for. It meant there was less sunshine, but it was still generally a bright day. For some reason it felt a little warmer than the 12° C forecast, although I didn't notice it being any higher on my thermometer. This morning we are off to another rather cool morning, and to make it worse, it is rather grey and cloudy.
today is not forecast to be
 This is the rather gloomy forecast for today. The only good thing is that it looks like it might be a whole degree warmer than yesterday. Apart from it might be two degrees warmer than today, tomorrow will be just as dull and gloomy as today.

 I'm sure I did something useful yesterday afternoon, but I can't remember what it was. It might be that I went to Tesco just after midday - and totally forgot to buy one of the mportant things I went there for. I basically wanted to stock up on some extra lettuce, or other assorted salad leaves, but for some reason I didn't buy any. I did buy some tasty organic tomatoes (because they were the only big tomatoes they seemed to have in stock), and I bought some fresh basil to go with those tomatoes. On the reduced price counter I picked up some nice smoked ham, and some sliced beef.

 Along with some mature cheddar, and a spare cucumber, that gave me a nice variety of stuff for some salads - albeit with a rather sparse amount of lettuce with them. It makes you wonder why I bought the sandwiches as well. There is a simple, but insane reason - they had reduced price stickers on them, and I find it hard to resist what seems to be, but isn't really a bargain. It was stuffing my face with sandwiches that was probably the reason why I was quite lazy in the afternoon - but not completely lazy.

 I did spend 20 minutes doing stuff in the spare bedroom, and I tried out my Polaroid instant photo camera. When I checked the use before date on the film that came with it, it turned out to be 1998. That didn't seem good, and it wasn't ! What it was good for was finding out how to operate the camera even if I didn't manage to capture any images at all ! Whoops, I tell a lie. One picture came out with some sort of splodge on it that did seem to resemble what I had been aiming at - it was just an area about the size of a medium sized coin that had this vague image on it. The rest of the print was just like a water stain caused by the chemical seeping out.

 The other thing I learned was that the voice function was far simpler than I thought. Rather than being able to attach a brief voice note to an image, as can be done on some digital camera, the voice function on my Polaroid camera is just a short message like "watch the birdie" when the shutter is pressed. There are some pre-recorded announcements that sound stupid, and you can record your own. Maybe back in the day it was a wonder, but now it just seems stupid ! Anyway, I have ordered a couple of packs of film to give it a real test, and I fully expect to permanently retire the camera when that film is used up.....or will I ? Maybe I will discover a use for it, but I can't see what it will be yet.

 Yesterday evening passed by quickly, and that was just as well because I was feeling a bit bored, a bit isolated, and very unexcited. On the plus side it did mean that I was in bed closer to 9pm, the time I need to go to bed in order to get up at 5am for work - and I should be back at work next Monday morning ! Having go to bed I then ruined everything by spending a good hour or more reading.....although on reflection that probably means I still went to sleep earlier than recently.

 This morning I am at the surgery to have my dressing changed at 9am. I'm not sure what to do after that. One thing I would like to do if I could raise the enthusiasm is to go and spend some time riding on the District line. The reason for that would be to see if I can spot, and hopefully photograph, one of the last three D78 District line trains in operation. The last day of service for these train is tomorrow, and from Saturday all service on the District line will be provided by the new S7 class trains. I wonder if I'll raise the enthusiasm or not.

 Tonight is Thursday drinking night with the Thursday crowd. Tonight's venue is The Blythe Hill Tavern. It is both good and bad. It is local, but exists in that limbo where it is far enough away to make a walk unattractive, and yet too close to make getting a bus feel worthwhile. I will probably walk there, but maybe I'll get a bus home again. The bus stop is right outside the pub, and it would be a pity to waste the opportunity if a bus was in sight.
Wednesday 19th April  2017
 11:52 BST

  I guess the temperatures are "about right" for this time of year, it still feels wrong that a bright sunny day should only end up at around 12° C. That was the situation yesterday, and today will be exactly the same. Just like yesterday, there are some fluffy clouds drifting across the sky that occasionally cover the sun, but there is still a lot of blue sky to be seen. It would be nice if the temperature rose to something like 20° C, but apparently 12° C is the best we can hope for. Oh well, at least it has already warmed up a useful amount since earlier this morning. I did hear a report from a more rural spot where someone had to scrape frost of their car windscreen this morning. In Catford it was around 5° C. There will be no sunshine tomorrow, and the temperature will be no more than 11° C for most of the afternoon !

 In some ways I feel I am wasting my sick leave from work. Apart from the inconvenience of having to see the nurse once a day for my dressing to be changed, I am otherwise fit and healthy....or at least I should be. There is nothing I can't do apart from all the stuff I can't do because I am too lazy and have allowed myself to deteriorate while being lazy. On the other hand it is nice to have an almost carefree holiday. I don't really do holidays, but I do note that other people don't seem to have regrets about doing nothing for a fortnight when they go on holiday.

 I was not entirely lazy yesterday. I have already described what I did in the morning. One of the odd things about the afternoon was that I did end up doing lots of little insignificant things. If I was being generous with myself I could say that they ended up being the equivalent of being quite busy. Most of these little jobs involved the spare bedroom. I did a few minutes hoovering. Then a few minutes dusting this or that - usually with a damp and soapy cleaning cloth. Then I would move a couple of storage boxes, and hoover another square foot or two. I re-arranged the books on the book shelves, and dusted them again...and so on, and so on. I guess that in all I only spent a couple of hours cleaning/tidying in there, but it is slowly coming together. It has been usable as a spare bedroom for some time now, but now it is looking like a bedroom. Now I wonder if it will ever be used.

 Last night was one of those evenings where time seemed to fly by far too fast considering that I was doing nothing to use up the time. I really can't remember or work out where all the time went last night. I watched a bit of TV, and at other times I had the TV on while reading other stuff on my PC. Eventually I went to bed, but I spent a fair time reading. I was aware that I should be trying to get to sleep earlier in order to get back in sync with the needs of work, and last night I did manage to sleep a bit earlier - but not by much.

 This morning was initially rather busy. As well as showering I washed my hair, and just about got it dry enough to go to the surgery to see the nurse who changed the dressing on my back. After seeing the nurse I didn't go straight home. Like the day before, I walked down the high street to Catford Broadway to look in The Salvation Army charity shop. I had spotted another Polaroid camera in their window, and today I went in and asked how much they wanted for it. The answer was £20. Now that was rather more than the £5 that the Age Concern charity shop charged for the one I missed out on buying.

 However, the camera in the Salvation Army shop had two extra features. I don't know how it works, but it has some sort of voice recorder built in. It allows you to record a few seconds of speech to describe the photo. I have yet to find out where it stores the recording. The other feature of this camera is that it actually has an unopened packet of film with it. I can imagine it is well past it's use by date, but there is always hope that it will still work. Maybe one packet is all I need just to say that I have owned and used a Polaroid camera, on the other hand it might have some novelty value, and maybe I might order some new film for it.

 After coming home with my camera I did something I very rarely do - rare in the extreme !! I did some gardening in the front garden. Of course when I say gardening I generally, if not exclusively mean weed clearance. I cleared the weeds growing alongside the fence at the side of the garden path, and I cut down the sycamore tree that keeps trying to grow there. That tree is so vigorous !!! It can't be more than a month ago that it was just a sort of stump made of fairly small branches cut very close to the ground. Today a whole host of twig like branches were reaching almost 4 - 5ft high. It is now, once again, cut back to almost ground level, and I don't think I've left a single green leaf on it. It really ought to be dug out, but there is a problem - I think the CCTV cable that carries my Virgin Media broadband connection is entangled in it's roots, or certainly passes very close to them. I would prefer not to damage that cable while demolishing the tree roots.

 I don't know how long I spent in the front garden. It was possibly less than 30 minutes, but it left me feeling knackered with an aching back. I did have enough energy afterwards to do some washing up, but fortunately there wasn't much of it in the sink. After that I had a light salad based breakfast, and now I am writing this. I think one of the next things I might do is to cut my toenails. I have no idea what I will do after that, but I am tempted to think about going to an open mic night in Sidcup tonight.
gulls on the fish shop
I spotted these two gulls sitting on the awning of a fresh fish shop near to the Salvation Army charity shop this morning. It is no longer unusual to see gulls in Catford for some reason - probably global warming - but to see them sitting there, possibly waiting to steal some fish, was unusual. Welcome to Catford-On-Sea !
Tuesday 18th April  2017
 11:14 BST

  Yesterday was no better than how it was forecast. That doesn't mean the forecast was accurate, but it had the right flavour. Generally speaking it was cool and dull, and uninspiring !
the weather might be like
                  this today
  The forecast for today is much more inspiring, although maybe the first cracks in the forecast are starting to show- the sun has just disappeared behind a cloud that is not supposed to be there.
this might, or might not, be
                  the weather for today
 In fact now I look out the window I can see lots of cloud. Fortunately there are gaps in the cloud, and the sun has started to shine again. The small print of the forecast says that some more sheltered places some way out from London may have had a frost this morning. It certainly was very chilly here, but I reckon it was closer to 7° C than the 6° C forecast for when I went to the surgery at 9am. It seems that even if we do get uninterrupted sunshine it is still not going to get very warm. The forecast for tomorrow is looking very much like today's reality - cloudy with plenty of sunny intervals.

 There was so much I was going to do yesterday and I did very little in the end. I washed a few assorted things - including a medium sized towel - and I went shopping in Aldi. Washing this particular towel was less of a struggle than other similar sized towels. It was a fairly thin towel that it nice and easy to wrap around my head when I wash my hair.

 I made a point of only buying fairly sensible stuff when shopping in Aldi. In this instance "sensible" probably has two meanings. One meaning is that I bought some canned stuff that can sit on the shelf for years if needed. The other meaning relates to buying stuff like salad rather cream ! Actually I did buy some ice cream lollys too, but we'll conveniently forget about them now (and I have destroyed the evidence anyway).

 For early lunch I had some marinated pork, and little else. It was not exactly healthy, but at least it shouldn't have had any sugar in it. My intention was to have a fairly light evening meal of salad - a salad with a lot of tomatoes and fresh basil leaves as well as some greenery and cucumber. That didn't happen because something unexpected happened.

 I think it was while I was walking to Aldi that I bumped into my next door neighbour. She said that she was now working on a market stall (or was it in a shop ?) on Catford Broadway that sells freshly made Thai food (she is originally from Thailand). She then went on to say that they often have food left when the close for the day, and would I like some freebies now and then ? I said yes please, and we left it at that and went on our ways.

 Early yesterday evening, just as I was beginning to feel a bit peckish, there was a knock at the door, and it was my neighbour. She had three large takeaway style containers for me. One was plain rice, the second was chicken and cashew nuts, and the third was pork penang with rice. Instead of a light salad I had half the chicken and cashew nuts with about a third of the rice, and all of the pork penang with about half the rice that came with it in the same container. Both were really delicious ! I look forward to having the other half of the chicken and cashew nuts for lunch today, and I look forward to my next freeby !

 Yesterday was another of those days where, apart from a few semi-brief highlights, nothing much happened, and yet the day seemed to go very fast, and I can't say I was particularly bored at any time. There were times when I wished I was doing something else, and maybe more significantly with someone, but I seem to be in a very relaxed state of mind at the moment. Maybe rather too relaxed in one particular area. Last night it took me ages to settle down for sleep, and it feels like it is going to be a major challenge to get back into the routine of getting to sleep early enough to be able to get up at 5am for work - and I will be back at work next Monday !

 It seems I have already done most of the things I had planned for today. I've been to the surgery to get my dressing changed, and I've been to Poundstretcher to buy a few odd things to enhance my house. The most important thing was a mat to go outside the door that leads into the back room - the room that was once, and maybe might be again, the dining room. The door into that room is at a 45° angle to the rest of the house, and when I carpeted the hall many, many years ago I had to be a bit creative in how I cut the carpet. There is a join right outside the room, and it has now failed. It could be tricky to repair that join, and so a simple expedient measure is to place a mat over where the join is.

 If it were a bit warmer I might have gone out sightseeing today, but I reckon I'll be staying in. I have a hunch there is a 0.2% chance that I might see Angela this afternoon....and that is better than 0.0% ! I suspect that in reality I will spend a bit of time doing some housework today - and that is probably mostly going to be in the spare bedroom, but brushing the stairs and hoovering the living room wouldn't go amiss. The one thing I ought to do is some "gardening" in the front garden. There are weeds and stuff that ought to be cleared, but there is a catch. I have already filled the wheelie bin to the top, and I won't be able to put any more in it until it is emptied on Thursday......that seems a good enough excuse to me !
it's sweet and salty
"It's seductively smooth, and sweet with a salty edge." That could almost sound rude !
salty caramel vodka liqueur
 I found this smooth, and sweet with a salty edge vodka liqueur in Aldi yesterday. It's not the sort of thing I should drink because of the amount of sugar in it, and I suspect it won't be the sort of thing that Angela would like despite vodka being her favourite drink, but I bought it as Angela bait anyway !
Monday 17th April  2017
 11:12 BST

  I guess it could just be me, but yesterday never felt quite as cool as the forecast suggested it might feel. Of course it could be that it was probably a good couple of degrees warmer than the stingy 12° C that was forecast. I'm not sure how bright it was supposed to be, but I suspect it was brighter than forecast too. It would be nice if today's forecast was overly pessimistic too.
the weather might be like
                  this today
 Maybe it is going to be better than this. There are some quite dark clouds about at the moment, but they are broken up, and the sun has almost peeped through several times recently. At least tomorrow is looking like it might be brighter than today, but maybe we will have to wait until Friday until it gets a bit warmer - but the forecast could well be completely different by then - even for tomorrow !

 I did some radical cleaning up yesterday.....well not really, but I did do some stuff that re-arranged the junk to leave more room for other junk. In this case "junk" refers to that strange accumulation of Xmas stuff that once seemed to grow bigger every year. Apart from the fake Xmas tree, and some rolls of wrapping paper, all the rest is now in one big box instead of an assortment of dusty carrier bags. That has freed up enough space for second plastic storage box on top of the cupboard in the upstairs hallway. That plastic box is full of old shoes that are still used, but only occasionally.

 In the afternoon I went to meet Jodie for a quick drink in The Catford Bridge Tavern. In this instance "quick" turned out to be almost two hours, and involved two pints of ale and a pint of Guinness. On a Sunday afternoon, when it is not too crowded in there, it is an OK place to drink, but I still find I have no love of the place - and that is not helped by it being a fairly expensive place to drink.

 Having had three pints in the afternoon it was highly unusual for me to go out in the evening, but that was precisely what I did, and what's more, I am very glad I did. It was to see The Belles playing an acoustic set at The Coach And Horses in Beckenham. By acoustic I think they meant that Matt, the drummer, used brushes instead of sticks to make his drumming a bit quieter, but everyone else used electric guitars. It still seemed pretty loud to me - particularly when standing very close to the PA speakers to take pictures !
The Belles at The Coach And
 This was one of the first pictures I took. It is hard taking pictures in that little cubby hole the bands play in. There is very little light, and the field of view is very restricted.
using the flash gun on my
 A little later I set my camera to fully automatic, and allowed the flash gun to operate. With the bright light of the flash the camera aperture could be set a lot smaller. That gives a much better depth of field, and of course the flash makes everything nice and bright. It can also make the picture look very flat, although that doesn't seem to be the case here. The big problem is that it will piss off everyone if I keep blinding them with flashes every few seconds.

 The band played well, and the Guinness tasted good, but there was one extra attraction last night - Angela. It was another one of those rare occasions when she was in a really good mood, and for an hour or two it was like having my girlfriend back. She even suggested that I might like to share her cab to go home. Unfortunately we couldn't both go to the same destination, and the cab dropped Angela at her home first before dropping me off here. On the way back to Angela's place she was being very friendly, resting her head on my shoulder, and cuddling me. It is a shame it came to an end, and it could be weeks before anything remotely similar might happen again.

 I have no grand plans for today. I need to get a few things from Aldi soon, and I expect I'll stagger home with loads of things, but after that....... I think I would like to feel lazy and do some reading, but I expect I will do some more towards rehabilitating the spare bedroom. It is now in a perfectly usable condition, but it could be better. It could be a lot better, but that would mean redecorating and stuff. Maybe that could be my ultimate aim, but just being clean and (mostly) uncluttered is my primary aim, and I am now very close to achieving that.
Sunday 16th April  2017
 11:11 BST

  After the cool and breezy start, yesterday was not a bad day. I think it was a lot brighter than I expected - once the clouds broke up mid morning. It wasn't exactly a sunny day, although there were enough sunny spells to make it feel bright. I am unsure of the top temperature, but I think the 15° C was probably close enough. Today was supposed to be gloomy and wet, and maybe it will turn out that way, but we are still getting sunny spells long after the forecast said it should cloud over. It is around 12 - 13° C right now, and the forecast high for today is 12° C ! The most up to date forecast, for the remaining hours of today says there will be no sunshine, and that it will rain at 5pm, and then again at 8pm, but it will only be light rain. Tomorrow is forecast to start at 8° C, and the overcast sky will only allow the temperature to rise to 12° C by 3pm. By 8pm it could be raining !

 Yesterday was one of those days where I did quite a few small things - some of which were preparatory work for stuff I might, or might not do today. It included putting loose stuff into storage boxes. If I can "file away" those storage boxes in some sort of neat manner then the spare bedroom will be getting close to finished. It will never be completely finished because it will still be stuffed with my spare clothes and shoes - as well as all my clean bed sheets, pillows and duvet covers, as well as some of my towels.

 I do have a long term plan to get some of those storage boxes into my own bedroom, but it means clearing out a sort of cupboard like thing in my bedroom. That place is stuff with all sorts of goodies that I once though would be very useful, and the trouble is that I will probably still think they are very useful even if in some tiny corner of my brain something knows they aren't really. Of course one big problem is disposing of the stuff. One item that needs to be disposed of in my bedroom is an old TV. I am going to have to break it up, and feed it to the wheelie bin in small quantities of the course of several weeks - a quite tedious process !

 I spent a fair bit of the latter part of yesterday afternoon, and then on into the evening, selecting and editing some of the photos I had taken at the Chain gig at The Mitre in Greenwich. Considering I wasn't there that long, and how bad the lighting could be, I managed to get a reasonable photo album out of it. One thing I ought to do today is to upload that album to Flickr - although I am thinking of redoing all the photos again using a new tool I have found. More on that in a minute.

 It probably does me almost as much harm, but while concentrating on tasks such as photo editing I often sip whisky as a substitute for smoking a cigarette. Sometimes you just need some sort of stimulus to distract you from spending too long concentrating on details whose significance can blow up out of all proportion - at least I need to. The thing about yesterday afternoon was that I was "being good" - I had only eaten a relatively light salad. During the early evening I stood up and felt distinctly wobbly. It could have been a blood pressure thing, but it felt more like I had accidentally drunk too much.

 I felt perfectly competent photo editing in that least I think I did....but it still seemed like a good idea to eat something a little more substantial. Of course that was a thought that came far too easy while drunk. My choice of "something more substantial" was slightly mad, but definitely substantial. A day or two ago I selected two cans that I thought I ought to use before they were completely neglected. One was a can of refried beans, and the other was a can of pulled pork. I drained off some of the gravy of the pulled pork because it had sugar in it, and then emptied both cans into a microwaveable saucepan. After five minutes of zapping it with microwaves it was piping hot, and ready to eat. It was sort of nice, but not exciting. I am expecting to suffer as those beans go through me, and maybe that has just started !

 I don't know if it was because I was full of beans (literally !) but when it came time to go to bed I could not make myself feel sleepy. I think it was nearly 2am when I finally fell into a deep sleep. I may have not slept that well, and I certainly felt like I should have got up a lot later, but I did have some interesting dreams. They were of an erotic nature, but weren't actually erotic.

 With the first half of today almost over I can only boast of one achievement so far today, but it is a very good one. I decided to investigate if there were any good plugins for The Gimp image editor to reduce grain and noise in a picture. I finally found one, and it is called Gmic. Not only does it have an excellent noise reduction function, but it also has a good sharpening function that does not introduce extra noise. It has other functions as well that I will have to investigate. I have prepared two pictures taken on Friday night. One of them is the best I could do with the original tools available to me, and one adds the extra effects of Gmic. The only problem is that when the pictures are shrunk down in size to fit on this page a lot of the noise and blurriness is masked. You will not see the great improvement here, but if you look carefully you will see the second picture has a bit more detail in it, and the background is less noisy. On the full resolution pictures that I would upload to Flickr the effect is very obvious !

Geoff Paice playing bass for
                  Chain - with no noise reduction
with noise reduction and

 I am unsure how I am going to spend the rest of the day today. I had a vague idea, but now a joker has been thrown into the pack. Jodie has just called me to try and entice me to go for an afternoon drink in The Catford Bridge Tavern. I guess I will probably go and keep her company for a bit. It rules out going to Orpington to see an afternoon gig from Chain, but I am never that keen to go to Orpington. I think I was hoping to do a bit of snoozing and a bit more tidying up - and possibly go to a gig tonight in Beckenham. After a few pints of strong beer in The Catford Bridge Tavern anything could happen - usually excess eating followed by snoozing !

Saturday 15th April  2017
 14:35 BST

  Yesterday was certainly dull. I can't recall seeing any sunshine at least I don't think I can. It was also fairly cool feeling. There wasn't any strong wind, but there was enough breeze to make 13 to 14° C feel chilly. The forecast said that it would rain around 11pm, but as far as I ama ware it was dry through the whole night. This morning it was dull and overcast. This was as expected, as was the temperature being barely 10° C - with the breeze, and even light wind, making it feel a bit chilly. What wasn't expected, and is still not acknowledged in the most recent forecast, is that the clouds broke up later in the morning, and it has been bright with sunny periods. The current temperature is around 15° C, and it does feel a lot milder, although the forecast is still insisting it is only 12° C. It makes you question the likelihood of the forecast for tomorrow being correct. If it is we can expect it to be no warmer than 12° C, and rather wet !

 I think I described most of the constructive things I did yesterday, and I can't really think of anything significant to add to what I wrote yesterday. I didn't spend the rest of the afternoon lolling about doing nothing......but it came close to it. Occasionally I would have an idea about moving something around, or dropping it in the wheelie bin from the spare bedroom, and I did clean and polish the bathroom wash basin, and the toilet bowl, but mostly I laid on my bed either reading or snoozing until it was time to go out.

 Chain were playing a gig in The Mitre Hotel pub in Greenwich, and I had mixed ideas about going. On the plus side I hadn't seen Chain play for a long time, and the pub is easy to get to. On the minus side is that I really don't like the pub. If I was content to sit in a corner to listen to the band it would not be a bad pub. I think I have to accept that having to worm my way to the bar through a dense crowd of people is just one of the hazards of drinking in a popular pub. However I don't actually have to like doing that. Worse than all that is that all the people milling around really get in the way of my camera lens, and I am always worried that it will create an "incident" when I have to deliberately stand in front of someone to get a good shot - and doubly so in The Mitre which seems to have more than it's fair share of drunken revellers !

 Despite not like the place I still went along for a while. One extra plus point is that at least Jo was reasonably lit in what is usually a very dim part of the pub. At this point in time I haven't actually checked the photos I took last night. I hope there are some good ones because I took far less than usual. That was partly because of the difficulties of finding good positions, and a lot to do with the fact that I didn't stay there that long. At the end of the first set I made my excuses, and went home again after drinking just one solitary pint of Guinness.

 I came to my decision partly because I wasn't enjoying myself. I'm not sure why, but these days it seems my photography is more important than the music - which seems silly, but happens to be how it is ! The other reason for leaving early was because I had to be up early this morning....Well maybe "had to" is not quite correct. It was more a case that I wanted to be up early, and the reason was that I had to go to New Cross to the walk in medical centre to get the dressing on my back changed.
New Cross
 My doctors surgery is closed over the bank holiday weekend, and the nurse there insisted I should get the dressing changed at least once this long weekend. She directed me to the New Cross walk in medical centre to get it done. Fortunately it is a lot closer to New Cross railway station than I thought - it is now in a fairly new building, and it may have been the old address that was a much longer walk from the station. My plan to get there as soon as possible after it opened at 8am paid off. It still felt like a bit of a long wait, but I was back at the station in time for a 15 minute wait for the 08:58 train.

 I felt quite sweaty when I left to go to New Cross (probably the legacy of a hot shower), and so I didn't wear a coat. After waiting for no more than a few minutes for the train to New Cross I realised that was a mistake. It was particularly chilly waiting on New Cross station for 15 minutes ! I arrived home feeling quite chilly. I was going to try to avoid eating this morning, but I decided that a hot bowl of tomato soup would warm me up fastest. I followed that by a can of Aldi own brand Spaghetti Hoops. I have no idea why I bought that can. I didn't like spaghetti loops as a kid, and it seems I don't like them now....although some extra hot chilli sauce, and grated mature cheddar cheese did improve things a lot !

 Since then I have washed a medium sized bath towel - a very muscle building exercise - and I have had a snooze, and done a bit of reading. Then I started planning stuff - spare bedroom cleaning/clearing type stuff. To facilitate this I have been to Poundland where I bought loads of stuff, but failed to get the little drawer handles that formed part of my plan (although I did buy a possible substitute). I also went into Poundstretcher where, with the stuff I bought in Poundland stuffed into my rucksack, I bought 5 plastic storage boxes, and managed to get them all home !

 Before the day is finished I might have made more space, and left the spare bedroom looking a bit tidier - without making my own bedroom look more untidy. I might also have done some more reading, and some more snoozing. Tonight brings a choice of three options. I could go to Greenwich and suffer in The Mitre again watching another Chain gig. Another possibility is to go and see The Kristian Baker Band playing in The Railway near West Wickham station. I have never seen the band before, and I have never been in the pub before. It could be a bit of a challenge ! The third option is to have a night in, and I have to admit that is sort of tempting. If I could resist eating any more food during the day, which is highly unlikely, I could treat myself to a nice takeaway. I'll just have to see how it goes.

  Of course the other thing I am forgetting is that I still have the photos I took last night to review, edit and publish. I guess I better get on with doing that soon as well !
Friday 14th April  2017
 09:58 BST

  The weather is going through a dull phase recently, and it could get worse ! Maybe I am being a little harsh on yesterday. It was actually fairly bright most of the time, and there was more sunshine than I expected - possibly a couple of hours worth in total when you add the dribs and drabs together. The temperature was either mediocre or bad - bad for standing around in just a short sleeve shirt, but mediocre when moving around - about 14° C tops ! Today has started off semi brightly overcast, and that is the way it will probably stay for much of the day - except for a couple of hours when it will be dark and heavily overcast, and at 11pm when it is forecast to pour with rain ! Today's temperature is forecast to peak at 14° C - but only for a very brief time. Most of the day will be just 12 or 13° . From sun up to sunset, tomorrow is going to be mildly dull, and it will be a bit cooler - just 12° C.

 It's been a busy couple of days. I've done a lot of boozing, and a lot of photography. I seemed to spend a great deal of Wednesday selecting and editing photos I took at Stretchy's open mic session on Tuesday night. Considering the lighting conditions in the pub, I was quite pleased with how well they came out. Like many of my pictures taken in dimly lit pubs there is an annoying amount of grain, but the best of Tuesday nights photos are not that bad - unlike the pictures I took on Wednesday night. I was really pushing my camera and editing skills to the limit in a very dimly lit pub to get those, and I am not happy about them. On the other hand, they have been shared on "social media" and gained a huge amount of "likes".
thumbnails of some of the pictures taken at
                    Stretchy's open mic session
 If you click on the picture above it will open the Flickr album page (in a new tab or browser window) with the photos I took on Tuesday night. There are 22 of them in all.

After editing those photos I went out to take more on Wednesday night. I went to The Partridge pub in Bromley for Simon Whitestar's open mic session. It was the first anniversary of him starting it, and it was a big session with many performers. The only trouble with The Partridge is, with the exception of an occasional full gig, it tried to outdo The Coach And Horses in Beckenham as the most dimly lit venue ! It was a real struggle to take photos in there without resorting to using a flash gun. I don't think a flash gun would be appreciated with the amount of pictures I took, and while the pictures would be brighter, and sharper, they would also lack the ambience of the place. I think I ended up with about 39 usable pictures, but only by shrinking them down to make the grain less bothersome. I am not sure if I want to upload the bigger versions to Flickr because they will look really crap compared to my better efforts. I'll have to think what I should do about it. Maybe I'll just select a few of the best and just show them here.

 Having spent another day stuck at my PC editing pictures it was nice to go out for another drink last night. I didn't take any pictures last night, and to be honest I wasn't stuck behind my PC all day either. At 11:45 I went to the surgery to have the nurse change my dressing, and I bit later I went to the Age Concern charity shop, and to Tesco on the way back from there.

 I dropped in a pair of horribly uncomfortable, but unused safety shoes to the charity shop. I know they were uncomfortable because of a cock up many, many years ago when I managed to get two pairs - one pair I paid for, and one pair were paid for by the company. I still have one pair stashed away in the cupboard, and apart from the blood stains, they are still in almost unused condition.

 There was one other reason why I wanted to go in the charity shop. A couple of days ago I spotted a Polaroid 600 instant picture camera in there, and they only wanted £5 for it. I did some research and found that you can still buy hideously expensive instant film for those cameras. It works out to about £2 per shot ! In the days of digital cameras I have no need for an instant film camera, but it just feels like something I should experience once in my lifetime.

 Last night's drink was with the usual Thursday night drinking crew. The venue for last night's drink was the recently opened Catford Bridge Tavern. I think our general view of it was gently negative. The beer seemed mostly well kept, but there was only three out of the four handpumps working, and two of the beers, although different strengths, had a very similar sort of taste. The third beer seemed a little flat the first time we tried it, but the pint I had at the end seemed good enough. It was Theakston's Old Peculiar. At 5.2% it is not really a session beer, and at £5 a pint it is bloody expensive. It is very nice though......

 Other observations about the pub were that it was quite chilly in there. There is no heating (at the moment) and some of the doors were left open for a long time. The toilets were superficially good, but closer inspection revealed they were unfinished. There are still plenty of builders working on the place, and hopefully they will finish filling the cracks and stuff like that, but that will still leave the problem that those toilets are far too small for a busy pub. I think there were three urinals and one cubicle crammed into a very narrow room. There is one wash basin, and if two people are washing their hands they have to do a little dance as they circulate between the washbasin and hand dryer.

 One final annoyance is that the piped music is too loud. It ends up with people having to shout over it. It would be fine to have it on quietly when the pub is quiet in the early afternoon, but it does seem to get remarkably busy later in the evening, and any piped music is completely superfluous.

 Today I feel I ought to do something constructive. I don't fancy going out while it is all grey and horrible, although I might pop out to Poundstretcher (if they are open on this bank holiday Friday) to buy yet more plastic storage boxes. I might also buy a rug or two (although how I will carry it all home is a bit of a mystery right now). I have actually made a start on doing something constructive already. I have put some shirts in to soak, and I will finish washing them later this morning. I have also hoovered my bedroom. It's been a long since I've done that. I also partly hoovered the spare bedroom. I couldn't do it properly because there is still a fair amount of clutter in there, but it is slowly improving.

 I may do more clearing and cleaning in the spare bedroom today, and I might hoover the living room. It is even possible I might brush the stairs again. It is a shame that there is no one to appreciate all my effort at the moment, but maybe one day Angela will come back to me, or maybe someone new might appear - although the average time to find a new girlfriend seems to be about 10 years for me. It's a bit of a wait, but I can only live in hope.
the price of Guinness
 I meant to show this picture a few days ago. It's a photo of two till receipts. On the left is the till receipt from Tesco just a few days ago. Highlighted on it is how much they charged for a 4 pack of Guinness - £5. On the right is the price I paid for an identical 4 pack of Guinness in Aldi just a few days earlier - £4. I think it is prudent that I buy any further Guinness from Aldi in future !
Wednesday 12th April  2017
 10:04 BST

  Maybe it was just me, but yesterday seemed to feel colder than expected. There was a fair amount of sunshine, and the temperature probably hit 14° C, but maybe the wind was just strong enough to take the edge off it.  It feel rather cool this morning. I think I must have been spoiled by warmer days because 10° C should feel better than this. Later this afternoon the temperature is forecast to rise to 14° C, but all the heat will be sucked away by all the clouds. So far this morning it has been lightly overcast, and there have been a few moments when it seemed the sun might break through. As I wrote that it became bright enough to cast shadows, but only for 10 - 15 seconds ! Later on we can expect some seriously thick cloud cover, and by 8pm it may well be raining ! A few bright periods are forecast for tomorrow morning. Let's hope it will be more than a few because while it should stay dry, it is forecast to be another very grey day. It will also be rather cool - just 12° C !

 Yesterday morning I put my best foot forward, and caught a bus to Mayow Park in Forest Hill. It is a park that I know Angela has been visiting on some of the recent sunny mornings. I could imagine her having some claim to it being "her park", but I reckon I have a prior claim - my mum used to take me there when I was very young - probably 55 years ago ! After all these years there was one solitary feature I recognised on my quick walk around the park. There is a very unusual type of wall alongside one side of the bowling green. As a kid I always thought it looked like the parapet of a bridge.
a very short walk
 As you can see, it was a very short walk to do one circuit of the periphery of the park, but I saw the sights I wanted to see (but not Angela - I was in and out before she would typically get there, and I don't think she went yesterday anyway).  I didn't think any of the pictures I took would shrink down nicely to show here. So if you want to see them in all their high resolution glory (maybe) click here > This opens up the album page. You can click on any picture for a better view, and then clicking on that better view expands the picture to almost full size.

 I felt sort of strange after walking around the park. Part of me wanted to go on and walk elsewhere, and part of me wanted to lay down. In the end I made the very lamest of compromises. After getting the bus back to Catford I walked around the shops instead of going straight home.
board outside The Black Cat
 The first shop I paid attention to was the Age Concern charity shop. They occasionally have something interesting in the window, and on very rare occasions I actually buy something. Maybe I'll be going back there to buy something I saw yesterday. It was a Polaroid 600 instant camera, and if I recall correctly it was only £5. I didn't think film was available for these camera any more, but a bit of research shows that new film, colour, B/W, and even duotone is available. It is horribly expensive, but I think curiosity may get the better of me ! They also had a little 8mm cine camera for £7.50. I don't think I want it because that would be an even more expensive hobby, but.....

 I didn't actually call in to The Black Cat, but as I passed I noted that their main "sandwich board" outside the pub has a poster for the next gig there. There is another poster on the wall of the pub too. On Saturday 22nd April Life Of Brian will be playing in there, and I think it will be a good gig even if it is sparsely attended.

 When I got home I had a couple of sandwiches I had bought in Tesco the day before, and in theory they should have been all I needed to eat all day yesterday, but later on I made myself a salad. I was tempted to say a nice salad, but I spoiled it with some Tesco "Charlotte potato" potato salad. It was sort of nice, but that potato salad repeated on me for a lot of the evening - and last night that was inconvenient.

 Apart from eating, and a fair amount of reading, it feels like I spent quite a lot of yesterday afternoon laying on my bed. Sometimes that was when I was reading, but I snoozed several times for unknown amounts of time. Eventually it was time to go out. While I don't have to get up for work in the morning I wanted to see what Stretchy's Open Mic session was like.

 It is held in The Bricklayers Arms pub in Bromley (not to be confused with The Bricklayers in Beckenham), and is hosted by Martin "Stretch" Sickel. Being in Bromley, many of the usual suspects were there, and I probably knew 80% of them by name. It was quite least the middle bit was. When I first got there the potato salad was still repeating on me, and it was hard work to drink my first pint of Guinness. After the first pint I felt OK, and enjoyed myself. After three pints I was feeling a bit full, and the open mic was becoming more of a jam, and slightly less interesting. So slipped out and headed for home.

 One feature about last night was that I went out without a coat. It was cool, but not uncomfortable, although it was right on the edge when I was going home ! It could have been easy to be tempted to buy some takeaway food on the way home, but I avoided that temptation cooking some sausages before I went out, and eating them cold when I got home.

 Apart from going to get my dressing changed by the nurse very soon now, I don't know what I'm doing today. Maybe I'll tag on a few notes when I am back from the surgery.
Tuesday 11th April  2017
 08:23 BST

  While the day before was like a taste of summer, yesterday was back to feeling like spring. It wasn't that bad, but it did leave me feeling very uninspired. The morning was cool and sunny, but by midday, and maybe earlier, it had clouded over. We didn't seem to get the thick cloud that was forecast for late afternoon, and it was only medium dull, but it was still dull enough to sap my enthusiasm. A few months ago 13° C would have felt like luxury, but yesterday is felt a bit cool.
will today's weather really
                  be like this ?
 This is the prediction for today's weather. It might even turn out a bit better than this. Last night the prediction was that the sunshine would finish completely after 11am. Now it is showing until 2pm - albeit only as sunny intervals (but that is better than nothing). Maybe the reality is that we will see some sunshine beyond the cut off point between 2 and 3pm. 14° C is not bad, and is probably about normal for this time of year - I could still hope for more though ! Tomorrow's forecast shows a similar pattern of temperatures, but black skies instead of sunshine !

 I don't know if it was the prospect of a dull afternoon, or whether it was just me, but I found it hard to get enthusiastic about anything yesterday. I only went out twice - once to the surgery to see the nurse, and once to Tesco to buy a whole heap of salad stuff. During the morning I had put some shirts in to soak, and it must have been 4pm or later before I could be bothered to finish washing them, and hanging them up to dry.

 Maybe finishing that washing stirred the blood up or something after spending much of the afternoon just laying on my bed reading. It wasn't that long after doing that washing that I tackled another overdue task - a pile of smelly washing up. I also extracted a couple of pyrex dishes from one of the cupboards in the kitchen - a cupboard that is generally out of use, and still has evidence of when I had a mouse problem a few years ago.

 I thought that the two pyrex dishes in there might be useful for making salads in, but they were both smaller than I remembered. However I think they could be useful for other stuff, and I gave them both a very good scrubbing with neat bleach. They should be quite sanitary now, and as a bonus some hard baked on grease marks from 20+ years ago have gone now as well !

 That about sums up my day yesterday. It was not terribly exciting !  On the other hand I do find that sometimes I need to spend a day mostly relaxing. I probably shouldn't need to, but it does make me feel better the next day. I am unsure of the significance of it, but I did note that I forgot my dreams instantly when I woke up once or twice in the night, and again when I woke up this morning.

 I've had a few twinges from my "twisted ribs" this morning, but somehow I do feel almost OK. They must be hallucinations, but there have even been a few times when I have accidently felt like I might feel unusually good. Of course until I actually try out my body I won't be able to make a proper judgement, although I have had one hint - and it wasn't good - I did feel a bit knackered just after a bit of vigorous towelling after my shower.

 My plans for today were all thrown in disarray when I realised today was one day when I am not seeing the nurse. As I recall from when she making all my appointments, she didn't have a spare slot for today (or she was not in today). This is both good and bad. I had an idea that I might want to go and re-visit a park that my mum used to take me around when I was very young. The park is in Forest Hill, and was a 10 - 15 minute walk from my dad's shop. Of course there is an ulterior motive for this - I might bump into Angela who has taken going there for her morning cigarette !

 Not seeing the nurse at 11:45am, as I thought I was enables me to get to the park at about the right time, but on the other hand I still ought to go to the surgery to pick up my new sick note, and possibly the prescriptions for my repeat drug prescriptions. That and the ark sounds like enough for one morning. I think I could follow that up with some intense resting so I can go out tonight. There is an open mic session in Bromley tonight that I feel I would like to have a look at.
Monday 10th April  2017
 08:58 BST

  Yesterday was just like summer ! The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the temperature most probably did hit the 22° C that was forecast ! Today has started off quite well, but it won't last. The forecast tells me it should be about 9° C right now, and the sunshine pouring through my window is exactly as the forecast predicted. If the forecast continues to be correct the sun will gradually disappear behind cloud at about 11am. The rest of the day will be overcast, quite heavily towards the end of the afternoon, but it will stay dry, and the temperature will rise to about 13° C. Tomorrow should see a few hours of sunshine in the morning, but the rest of the day will be lightly overcast. It will probably be a degree or two warmer than today.

 I had high hopes of doing something in the hot sunshine yesterday, but they all came to nothing. I think my day out on Saturday, and then going out in the evening, even if it was only for a couple of hours, left me feeling a bit drained. I did experience a bit of that sunshine, and I could feel the growing heat when I went shopping to Aldi around midday.

 For some reason, and it must be a very strange one considering we are heading into summer now, Aldi seem to have stopped stocking their ready made salads. I hope it may be that they are attempting to find ways to get them on the shelves a bit fresher than they used to. Sometimes they would be starting to deteriorate while still waiting to be sold. There is nothing more horrible than to pick one up and find the lettuce looks all limp, and water/sap sloshing around in the container. Even apparently fresh looking salads would not last for long in the fridge - maybe no longer than 24 hours compared to at least 48 hours or more for Salads from Tesco or Sainsburys.

limes in my cola

 One of my impulse purchases from Aldi was a small bag of limes. They just seemed like a good idea at the time. Maybe my brain was worried about scurvy, and nudged me to buy some. They were certainly nice in a cold glass of diet cola......until the novelty wore off. Maybe I should have gone on to gin and tonics with a slice of lime.....

 Another impulse purchase was some Aldi own brand Sushi - both vegetable and fish based. I like both, but they have one unfortunate property - black sesame seeds. Now there is nothing intrinsically wrong with black sesame seeds (at least I think they are sesame seeds), but when they fall off the food onto your computer desk they do look like mouse droppings..........

 I'm not entirely sure what items I actually planned to buy while in shopping, but another impulse buy was a couple of their ready made curries that are sold without rice. I bought a prawn bhuna and a lamb rogan gosht, and as usual they were delicious just as they were - by which I mean without rice or any other accompaniment.  Despite being mostly water based (instead of running with oil) they may have been a little too rich for me last night.  There were no bad effects - just a sort of bloated feeling.

 If it sounds like I did little more than eat and drink drinks laced with fresh lime yesterday, then it probably was. I did spend quite a bit of time reading, and I even watched half an hour of TV. It should have probably been boring, but somehow the time passed fairly quickly - maybe too quickly because I didn't turn out the light to go to sleep until 11pm. I probably slept quite well, but I wish I had managed to stay asleep for another hour or two this morning.

 I'm not sure how I feel this morning. I keep feeling very tired, and occasionally one or other bit of me will ache. Since thinking about it to write these words I can't stop yawning ! I think I probably need to get out into the fresh air and stretch my legs. My appointment with the nurse is not until 12:15 today - which is sort of inconvenient. It feels like I can't do much before then, and it will be too late to do much after I've seen her.

 Sooner or later I must have a shower, and probably wash my hair. After that I can get dressed properly and go out - but to where ?  After failing to buy and ready prepared salads in Aldi yesterday I don't know whether to go to Sainsburys in Lewisham to buy a couple of their very nice ready made salads, or to see what they have in Lidl, or to go in Tesco for a couple of their rather simple salads. The alternative is to buy the ingredients to construct my own salads. It is definitely the most economical way to do it, but I frequently get carried away constructing my own salads. I end up with a plate piled  way too high with this that and the other - and then drowning it all in salad cream or mayonnaise.

 I don't know what I'll do this afternoon, or this evening. Maybe I'll do some housework, or maybe I will just be very lazy. Maybe if it is not too overcast, and feeling mild enough, I might go for a walk around the park, but I feel little enthusiasm for it right now.
Sunday 9th April  2017
 10:38 BST

  We have had some exceptionally fine weather recently. Friday was nice, yesterday was even better, and today could actually be a "scorcher" ! As far as I am aware, it was sunny all day yesterday, and the temperature must have been at least 15° C at the seaside, and probably over 17° C in London. Today is going to top that if we can believe the weather forecast - and I think we can today. Later this afternoon we can expect a very summer-like 22° C ! Sadly, after a brief bit of sunshine in the morning, tomorrow is forecast to be rather dull, and it will just be a cool 13° C.

 It seems I've been busy lately, and this has been perfectly true except for Friday night. I had ideas that I would go out to a gig, and possibly even do two gigs if the first one did not work out. It never happened. There were a variety of reasons for this, and while each one may not have been an insurmountable problem, they combined together leaving me to feel like a night in would be a better idea.

 The first problem was that my walk in London left me feeling a little tired. Another problem was that my "twisted rib" was playing up - possibly as a result of the walking, but maybe it (or they) had some private agenda that I was not aware of. The final nail in the coffin was some chilli enhamced beef burgers that I had bought from Tesco recently. They were very, very, very nice, but the chilli and grease (even after grilling them) gave me horrible heartburn. Well maybe it wasn't exactly "horrible" heartburn, but when you add that pain to the pain of my funny ribs, it does make you wonder if you are about to die of a heart attack (the pain is almost, but not quite similar). So I stayed in on Friday night eating Rennies (antacid tablets) and drinking whisky. It may not have been as exciting as a gig, but I still enjoyed myself.

 Yesterday I became very busy indeed ! In the morning I went to see the nurse to get my dressing changed. She said my wound was healing nicely, but agreed with the other nurse that it would still need to be dressed every day or two for as much as the next couple of weeks. In support of that she drafted another 2 week doctors sick note that I left with reception so it can be signed by an actual doctor (hopefully).

 I felt a bit creaky when I walked back from the surgery, but decided I just had to take advantage of another day's sunshine. The one thing I've been waiting to do since last Autumn is to go to the seaside. I didn't think I was ready for one of my longer walks - walking from one railway station to another via the beach - but I did think that a short visit to one of the easier bits of seaside to get to might be OK. So I bought tickets, and jumped on a train (three of them there, and two to come back) to that very unglamorous seaside (last) resort of Sheerness-On-Sea - £9.75 return using my 60+ Oystercard and Senior Railcard.
another 3 miles walked
This time I really did walk 3 miles, and the above is proof of it !

a boat
another boat
gull on the wing

 A couple of boats shot using full zoom, and a gull on the wing.
The full photo album is here

 It takes about an hour and 40 minutes to get to Sheerness from Catford station, and a bit longer to get home again. That extra to get home is because while the connections are good going to Sheerness, the train coming home arrives 5 minutes after the final train I want when changing at Bromley South - and the trains between Bromley South and Catford stations are only every 30 minutes. That means taking a gamble. Rather than wait a boring 25 minutes I can get a bus. I did that yesterday, and I still don't know if the extra tedium of a bus is worth saving, in yesterday's case, about 2 minutes ! Sometimes the bus can take longer !

 I was pretty hungry when I finally got home, and there was a great temptation to completely pig out as soon as I could get to the fridge. Somehow I was a little more restrained than that. I started off with a salad for my rather late breakfast (at approx 3pm). For lunch, 10 minutes later, I had a simple steak. So simple it just consisted of grilled steak with a splodge of mustard. A little while later I did slightly spoil everything by having some Cheese Thins (baked cheese flavoured biscuits).

 Eating so little (by comparison with what I would liked to have eaten) left me in a good position to go out later in the evening. A little while after 8pm I grabbed my camera, but not a coat because it seemed warm enough not to need one, and headed to the bus stop to catch a 199 bas to Greenwich to see The Life Of Brian at The Mitre Hotel pub. Had I seen The Life Of Brian on Friday night I would have gone to a different gig because I don't really like The Mitre. I think I would have gone to The Golden Lion in Sydenham to see The Belles. I later learned that Angela went to that gig, but while she seems to be doing her best to ignore me I don't feel too worried about not seeing her.

 The Mitre pub was just as bad, if not worse, than I thought it would be. It is very dimly lit, and while the band have now invested in some lighting, they don't really know how to use it. Even if they did they are heavily constrained about where they can use it in that pub. The reason for that is another reason why I don't like the pub - drunks who have a bad tendency to knock things over. I don't know why it is that drunks are always asking for their picture to be taken when they see someone with a camera, and that was very true of some obnoxious "lads" who were clogging up the best end of the bar. When I refused to use my camera they started offering their mobile phones to me to so I could take snaps of them. I was already feeling rather tired from my day out, and I couldn't seem to get any good snaps of the band. So at the end of the first set I said my goodbyes, and slinked off into the night.

 I couldn't resist some chicken and chips on the way home - well the bus does stop right outside when coming from the Greenwich direction, and the smell overpowered me ! Once I started eating I partly came to me senses, and threw away half the "fries" - they had cooled down as I carried them home, and were not very nice. So it was no great loss. I still ate most of the chicken, but I didn't spend a long time trying to get every last particle of chicken off the bones. Then I went to bed for some well deserved sleep.

 At about 2.30am I would have said I was not sleeping well. I woke up for a wee, and I seemed to have a lot of trouble getting comfortable again. It felt like ages, but I guess I was actually asleep again in little more than 10 minutes. The next time I woke up it was broad daylight. That seemed like a good time to get up, although I sort of wish I had tried to get back to sleep. Anyhow, since then I have read some technology news on the internet, and "surfed" a few other bits of it. I've had some breakfast....or I munched on a few more Cheese Thins before I got myself under control again. I've trimmed my beard, had a shower, and I am coming close to finish writing this. Next on the agenda ought to be some shopping. After that I ought to go and frolic in the hot sunshine, but I don't know where. Maybe I might go somewhere, or maybe I'll just have a wander in the local park.

VSOE train
VSOE train departing

 I mentioned that the "Orient Express" train passed me while I was going up to London to walk along the riverbank on Thursday. What I almost forgot was that I saw it again on it's way back to London while I waited for a train at Catford station to take me to Shortlands station for the drink with the Thursday night drinkers. It was unfortunate that the sun was on the wrong side of the train or these photos might have been better, but at least you can still make out the distinctive shape of the Mk1 coaching stock they use.
Friday 7th April  2017
 14:23 BST

  Doesn't time fly when you're having fun !

 The weather forecasts continue to be weirdly wrong ! On Wednesday I wrote "The forecasters have still got their pessimistic hats on. They reckon the sky will be filled with thick black cloud for all but one hour in the morning. During that hour, at approx 9am, the sky will merely be nasty and grey. It is supposed to stay dry, and the temperature could be as high as 13° C, but I expect it will still feel cold under that steely grey sky." about yesterday.The reality was that yesterday was another splendid day. It was warm and sunny all day long. Even the evening was not exactly cold. I am unsure of the highest temperature, but it must have been at least 15° C, and possibly 17° C.
weather predictions for
 This was the forecast for today as issued at 08:15 this morning. It seems to be about right so far, and there is every indication it will stay right.....although maybe it is actually a little more sunny than shown, and maybe the temperature might rise an extra degree. The forecast for tomorrow, of which I have kept a screenshot in case reality decides to be very different, looks very similar to today, but the top temperature should be 17° C. Sunday might see the temperature hit 21° C !!

 After seeing the nurse yesterday morning I decided I just had to throw caution to the wind, and believe that the day would stay bright, sunny and warm (although it was actually still rather cool when I walked to and from the surgery). More importantly was that I decided I couldn't keep wasting these glorious days off work on an official sick note. I didn't feel that wonderful, and so I had to force myself to go out for some fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

 I then had to decide where to go. The seaside would have had been quite tempting, but it was a long way to go, and I wasn't sure of I would be up to it. The same would be true of a country ramble. So I went for a walk along the River Thames in central London. Specifically, I walked between Blackfriars station and Vauxhall station. It took about an hour of mostly semi-fast walking. I assumed that I had probably covered about 3 miles, a fairly reasonable walk to try and build my stamina up, but Google maps reckon it was only 2.1 miles. Of course that doesn't include going up and down stairs, and through corridors at railway stations. It doesn't include zig-zagging around dawdling tourists, or going off the beaten track for better positions to take photos. Maybe it was a three mile walk - particularly if you add the distance covered when I walked between Waterloo and Waterloo East stations on the way home (and I don't usually include the distance from home to the station and vice versa).
Port of London health
                  authority boat
fire brigade boat
river police boat
 Three pictures taken on my walk. From top to bottom, Port of London Health Authority boat "Londinium III". Fire Brigade boat "Fire Flash", and River Police boat "Sir Robert Peel II". There are more pictures, including some wide angle scenic pictures, on my Flickr account here -

 On my way back I noticed a new feature on Waterloo East station. At the sunny end of platform A, and also down the middle of the sunny end of platforms B and C, there are new planters with a mix of shrubs and colourful plants. Here's a couple of pictures from platform A.
new planters on platform
                      A of Waterloo East station
planter on Waterloo East platform A

 I felt rather tired after my long walk.....well maybe only "long" in comparison to anything I've done for ages....and it was sleep tired as much as just fatigued. So after a light lunch I laid down on my bed, and I fell asleep for at least an hour. It took a while to get the creases out again after that sleep, but I felt refreshed enough to go out again to the usual Thursday night drink. Last night it was in The Shortlands Tavern.

 After three pints in there I somehow still had the energy to jump on a bus to Beckenham, and spend some time at Geoff's open mic session at The Coach And Horses. I think I had another three pint of beer in there - and those three pints were Guinness instead of ale. I was expecting to see Miranda (from Life Of Brian) and maybe her mum Angela too, but for various reasons neither turned up. I took a selection of pictures, which I must deal with soon, and then left early.

 I felt rather hungry on the way home, and I gave into the urge to buy chicken and chips on the way home. It was very nice, but I sort of wish that I had not bought them, or maybe bought a little less. Anyhow, I stuffed myself with food, and then went to bed. I think I slept well for about 5 hours, and then could hardly get to sleep at all. Under different circumstances I would have got up for a few hours, and then gone back to bed, but I had an appointment with the nurse at 9am. That gave me plenty of hours to get ready before I went out in the bright morning sunshine.

 It may have been bright and sunny, and the birds were singing in the happiest way possible, but there was still a bit of a nip in the air. Anyhow, the good news is that it seems my wound has almost dried up, but to my surprise this doesn't mean that my treatment is coming to an end. No, they want to continue to dress it every day while the skin re-grows as part of the healing process. The wound is the result of having a sebaceous cyst dug out, and there is quite a big hole in my back where it was. My sick note has not been extended yet, but it should be when I see the head nurse tomorrow morning. In fact it will need to be because I now have appointments made to see a nurse right up to the 22nd April !

 I might have another snooze in a minute. I seem to have spent most of the morning selecting/editing the photos I uploaded to Flickr. Once I've finished writing this I figure I deserve a rest. Once I've rest I will make a start on the photos I took last night. The ultimate thing I expect to do today is to go to a gig - possibly two. The Life Of Brian are playing in The Elm Tree in Elmers End tonight. It's nice and easy to get to, and to get home from, but apart from that the venue does have some drawbacks. Unlike The Black Cat, it can get packed in there well before the band is on. I've walked out in the past because it just felt too claustrophobic. Once the band comes on it can drive a few people away, and there is a little more breathing room. The big negative thing is that bands typically don't start until 9.30pm - which in my life is stupidly late ! Assuming I do go out, and at the moment I am having doubts because I feel a bit off colour right now, and I find it too unpleasant there, I do have the option of spending 10 minutes on a bus to go back to The Coach And Horses in Beckenham where Big Red Bus are playing.
Wednesday 5th April  2017
 16:08 BST

  Yesterday was one of those days when the weather seemed very depressing. Sometimes it was semi bright, and towards the end of the afternoon the sun nearly came out, but generally speaking it was dull, and miserable, and dull and miserable, and not very nice. It was also rather cool. If it was much brighter then 12° C would have felt half reasonable, but that dull sky seemed to suck the warmth out of everything. The forecast for today made it look as if today might have even been slightly worse than today, but it was all a complete and utter lie ! Today has been splendid....well maybe not "splendid", but it has been pretty good. Instead of gloomy grey there has been lots of sunshine, and despite the very latest forecast available still being pessimistic, it doesn't look like the sky will cloud over just yet. The current temperature is at least 3° higher than the forecast. I reckon it is 15° C, and with the sunshine, that is quite high enough to leave a lot of the windows open to air the place.
view from the back bedroom
 This was the view from the back bedroom window about 15 minutes ago - lots of blue sky, and delicate, fluffy, little white clouds floating around. The forecast says it won't look like this tomorrow. The forecasters have still got their pessimistic hats on. They reckon the sky will be filled with thick black cloud for all but one hour in the morning. During that hour, at approx 9am, the sky will merely be nasty and grey. It is supposed to stay dry, and the temperature could be as high as 13° C, but I expect it will still feel cold under that steely grey sky.

 I had to force a response out of Angela yesterday. I don't know why she couldn't keep her word and keep me informed about what was going on. I eventually found out that her ancient and sick lover boy was not let out of hospital as he thought he would be, and maybe he will be kept in for several more days - which sounds more feasible for someone who collapsed with a high fever, and had to be rescued from the floor by a couple of strong ambulance men.

 With Angela deciding to keep herself to herself, I had a rather boring afternoon and evening. Had I know in advance that I was definitely not going to see or hear from Angela I may have been a bit more pro-active, but instead I was basically just lazy. Maybe that was actually a good thing because I do seem to feel a bit better for it. One thing I did yesterday definitely changed how I feel today...although I am not sure if it was for the better or worse....I think it was for the better.

 It happened when I got into bed, and turned over to go to sleep. It was a feeling like all my ribs had been dislocated, and they all jumped back into place at once. There was a very strong pain from one end of my operation scar to the other. I very quickly adjusted my position by less than an inch, and the pain went away as quickly as it came. After that I think my chest felt a lot better. With all the coughing I've been doing since getting my super strength man 'flu the previous weekend, my chest has frequently been quite sore.

 After that brief painful episode I seemed to sleep quite well, and I maybe I actually did sleep fairly well. I certainly felt less tired when I got up this morning. I had to get up a bit earlier than usual because my appointment with the nurse was at 8am this morning. I was hoping it might be a happy visit this morning but I mixed up Jane and Julia. I saw Jane (or was it Julia ?) and the silly old moo decided to attack me viciously about my blood pressure. Grrrrrrrr.

 Maybe having a good old moan about it while she was taking the reading actually was good. The third reading she took was actually quite good for when I am in the surgery - of course it was still in the instant death range, but still good for me, and doubly so when I felt I had been unfairly ambushed ! Anyhow, my wound, or scar, or whatever you should call it, is still producing pus after all this time, and there was some speculation that it might need an extra week of daily dressings, and hence an extra week off work. It feel slightly embarrassing to have so much time off work for such a minor ailment, but I reckon I can handle it.....

 One other possible thing may have helped lower my blood pressure while it was being taken. For some reason, perhaps a stray cosmic ray flipping a bit in my brain cells, I started thinking about sausages. I will admit I had been thinking about sausages yesterday too. I was going to cook some until I found the sausages in the bottom of my fridge had started fermenting, and the sealed package they were in was blown up like an over inflated balloon. I decided they may not be good, and more so since the best before date was the 20th of last month !

 As soon as I got home from seeing the nurse I grabbed a few bags, and went out to buy some sausages from Tesco. I also bought a bottle of my favourite Tesco Special Reserve whisky. I am sure it used to be £17 for a litre bottle, but it seemed to be £16:30 today. Maybe I ought to go back and buy a spare or two before they decide to change the price back to what it was. The sausages I bought were just ordinary Tesco "British pork sausages, and they were rather good.
Tesco sausages
 They had two good attributes. The first was that the sausage skin may even have been real animal gut. Some people I know were recently mentioning how some sausages they had eaten recently had very rubbery skins. The skins on my sausages seemed to go nice and crispy, and not rubbery at all. The second good attribute was that after cooking them, and cooking them quite well in my mini oven/grill, they gave off very little fat. They could almost have been low fat sausages, and maybe in a way, they were. There has been mention in the newspapers recently about some special low fat sausages for slimmers actually having more fat in them than some ordinary sausages. I think mine were the ordinary sausages that were lower in fat !

 Since that brief by horrible rib crunching pain last night my chest has been behaving itself quite well today. I had no significant pains when walking to and from the surgery, and no pains walking to and from Tesco. I did have some wheeziness that took the edge off things, but generally speaking I have almost been feeling good today...or maybe I did until I tackled some heavy work. I stated by washing a small bath towel.

 Towels are always very heavy when saturated with water, and hand washing one can take a fair bit of hard work. It then seem ludicrous that soon after washing that towel I tackled another heavy object - a double duvet cover. Initially I hung the towel on the line in the garden, but despite being whipped around in the breeze, it didn't seem to be drying very fast. So after a 3 or 4 hours I brought it inside to dry on a clothes horse. The duvet cover is currently dripping over the bath, but that should stop dripping soon, and I'll hang that on a clothes horse to dry indoor as well. I could hang it on the line, but the last time I did that a pigeon, or something, crapped on it from a great height !!! I've got to work out a way of trimming the overhead branches of the tree at the bottom of the garden.

 My other major bit of work today has been to do with rehabilitating the back bedroom. Today it was mainly concerned with tidying up, and improving on the internet feed to the room via ethernet cable. The cable I had once wedged under the windows seemed like it had succumbed to damage, and the ancient laptop I used as a music player would not get a connection. It turned out that that cable might actually have been OK after all, and it was a problem with the ancient router I was using to feed it.

 I ran a brand new cable through some newly drilled holes in the window frame to make the cable run a bit neater, and I terminated the cable on a wall mounted ethernet socket.  I wired it all up most carefully, and when I tried it, it didn't work ! After trying this that and the other, I tried plugging the lead into a modern laptop, and it worked first time ! I have a theory what the problem was......most modern routers can detect which is the transmit pair of wires, and which is the receive, and switch them around appropriately. Since last using the internet connection to that spare bedroom I have changed the router, and it seems it can detect the correct connection, but the modern laptop can do it itself.

 I could, and maybe I will swap the transmit and receive pairs in the connection box, and I think that should solve the problem when using the ancient laptop - although the ancient laptop is useless for doing anything productive, and so will never be used in practice. Any modern laptop (or desktop machine) should cope by itself, and I could just leave things alone. An interim solution, and one that will inevitably be the permanent solution, is to use a small router in the bedroom itself. The one I have used can do the auto transmit/receive pair switching, and the ancient laptop is now happy to connect to the internet, and can display very simple web pages (like this one) - more typical modern web pages, with their gallons of javascript and stuff just make the laptop choke and die !

 That brings my day up to date. I don't know what I'll do next. I fancy laying down and reading for a while. It is possible, although unlikely, that I could go to an open mic gig tonight. The biggest impediment to this is that the one I would probably go to is only on every second Wednesday, and this isn't one of them - I think (gotta do some research !!). Maybe I'll just have a relaxing/lazy evening - again !
Tuesday 4th April  2017
 13:48 BST

  After a very nice warm and sunny day (ignoring the cold foggy start) yesterday, the weather was forecast to be very, very different today. Instead it has actually turned out to be merely very different rather than very, very different. It could have been very, very different if it had started to rain at 2am, and then continued to rain through most of the morning. I don't know if there maybe was a splash of rain during the hours of darkness, but everything seemed dry when I walked to the surgery this morning, and it has been dry since. The recently updated forecast, just before I walked to the surgery said there should be heavy rain, and not only was there no rain, but the sky didn't even look dark enough for any type of rain. Unfortunately it didn't look bright enough for sunshine either ! Since then there have been a few times when the cloud has been thin enough for the sky to be almost bright, but mostly it has been a mid grey sky, the sort of sky that makes it feel colder than 14° C is supposed to feel. Tomorrow is going to start cool, maybe just 7° C, but there could be a little bit of sunshine for an hour or two. The rest of the day is supposed to range between overcast and very overcast. It will be a bit cool with the temperature only forecast to hit 12° C. With luck, and it seems there are good precedents for it, the forecast for tomorrow is wildly pessimistic, and it will be a far better day.

  I was in luck yesterday evening. She seemed to think that maybe it was a bit late for me, but Angela called in on her way from seeing "her John" in the hospital. I guess it was almost 8pm when she got here, but that was fine, and gave us enough time to watch the Bill Bailey DVD I think I mentioned several week ago, and to have a nice chat together (even while the DVD was playing sometimes). We had a couple of vodkas, and everything was fine and wonderful, but then came the news that "her John" was going to be released from hospital today. That seemed very quick for someone who had been admitted to hospital in a state of collapse with a dangerously high temperature.

 I have to admit I was feeling quite selfish in that I had hoped that there would be other opportunities to see Angela again today, but that idea fell by the wayside when we found out he would be released today. Perhaps Angela is being a bit selfish herself because it seems she has gone back on her promise to keep me up to date with events today - unless there have been no events yet today (in which case she is forgiven). Anyhow, it was a most pleasant evening, and it could only have been bettered if it had ended on a more intimate note.

 During the evening Angela had been smoking, and I think on this occasion the smoke did get to my throat. I was coughing a bit more than recently when I went to bed, and I even woke up coughing at one point. On the other hand, I seemed to be coughing a lot less this morning. On the other, other hand, I think I was possibly a bit more wheezy this morning. I'm not sure how this affected my sleep. It seemed like I had slept mostly OK, and I don't think I went to bed particularly late, but I definitely felt very sleepy this morning, and maybe a little bit sleep even now.

 The sleepiness definitely manifested itself as I was reading some news while waiting for when I had to walk to the surgery. It was a bit like being at work when very bored. As my eyes scanned the page they would slowly close, and I would almost come to with a jerk. Eventually it was time to go and see the nurse. She was behaving herself again this morning. There was no mention of blood pressure, or anything like that. In fact I don't think she even mentioned the state of the wound she was dressing. I could tell that she was squeezing some pus out, and so I conclude there is still active bacteria growing in it. Tomorrow I see a far better nurse, and I think I trust her to escalate some action if she is not happy with the speed that the wound is healing.

 I find the overcast sky very uninspiring today, and I have felt no urges to do anything at all - and yet I have done some work. It does seem that the primary product of my doctors sick certificate has been a pile of clean laundry. Yesterday I finished all the bed clothes for the spare bed - that is three different matching sets of duvet, pillow cases and undersheet, plus a spare sheet or two and a spare pillowcase or two. Today I have washed 4 pillowcases, and the undersheet from my bed. I would not be surprised if I washed the duvet cover tomorrow.

 What I should probably do next is some more cleaning and tidying of the spare bedroom, but I can't find that much enthusiasm for it. I have to be careful here because I have now got to the point where the spare bedroom is usable again, but I really want to go further than that if I can. Ideally the whole room needs redecorating, but I wonder of that is going too far for a room that may never even be used as a bedroom again (although hopefully it might get a week or two use this summer).
Monday 3rd April  2017
 18:51 BST

  The original thought that it shouldn't get too cool overnight turned out to be completely wrong. After a nice, bright, and warm day, the temperature fell to just 7° C by 6am this morning. Another unexpected feature was that it was a very foggy start to the day. It took a couple of hours for the fog to clear, and from then on it was mostly bright and sunny. The temperature probably exceeded 16° C, and it was definitely shirt sleeve weather....although maybe not by much. Sadly it all goes wrong in the early hours of tomorrow morning. It will start to rain, and during the first part of the morning it could be very heavy rain (just as I am going to my morning appointment with the nurse). There may be a lull in the rain after midday, but the rain will be back some hours after that. When it is not raining it will be dull and miserable, and and it will be almost cool. Most of the day will be 11 - 12° C, but for a few minutes it might hit 13° C. Let's hope the forecast for tomorrow turns out to be very wrong !

  I had a pleasantly idle evening yesterday. All my work, or at least all the work I intended to do was done, and I could wallow in my own decreptidness (or something like that). In these unhurried time I had a pleasant sleep, but I was woken up at 5.45am by my phone ringing. To my great surprise it turned out to be Angela. She was in a state despite sounding calm, and was phoning me because she had to tell me that my nemesis, my rival for her love, had just been taken to hospital by ambulance. It seem he had become very ill during the night, and his temperature had soared to a very high fever.

 As much as I may feel that I wish he was out of the way, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. The situation meant a whole change to me day. Once I had seen the nurse I was going to consider going out to frolic in the days sunshine. Instead I decided to make myself available as a shoulder to cry on for Angela.

 First thing was to see the nurse, and I was expecting a battle that never came. She didn't mention my blood pressure once, and on reflection, I don't think she even asked how I felt. She did comment that there was still a fair amount of pus coming out of my wound when she squeezed it. I find that surprising after well over a week of being cleaned and dressed. I am sort of surprised that she didn't think anything should be done about it. I am seeing the good nurse on Thursday, and I respect her opinion more than the nurse I saw today. If the nurse on Thursday is happy there is still pus coming out then I will accept it, but after this amount of time I would not be surprised to be prescribed more antibiotics.

 More antibiotics could be a good thing for another reason. My cough hasn't improved for some time now. It is usually fairly dormant during the day, but as soon as I lay down at night it gets worse, and in the morning, this morning very much so, it can take a long time to clear my airways and stop wheezing. All the coughing, trying to loosen persistent sticky mucus in my airways, can leave my chest feeling quite sore - and that was the case this morning.

 After I saw the nurse I went straight to the bus stop to get a bus to Lewisham. I was expecting to see Angela later, and I wanted to get in some food in case she was hungry. I decided that Sainsbury's in Lewisham might be good. So I went there and bought a couple of their excellent ready made salads, and a few different sandwiches. Then I came home on the bus. That shopping trip didn't involve much walking, but I still felt a bit wheezy, and my chest complained a bit.

 Sometime between 10 and 11am Angela arrived here, and she seemed quite calm about the situation. Rather then being worried, I think she felt a great deal of relief to have "her John" being professionally cared for. What I was expecting to be a rather sombre time turned out to be very pleasant. It was a bit like last Saturday night, and perhaps even more so, like having the old Angela back, and feeling like she was my girlfriend. Of course it is only going to be transitory, but I think we can innocently enjoy each others company while we can.

 Angela went home around 1pm, and I attended to a few bits and pieces until I decided to lay down and relax - and relax turned into a snooze. It felt like I slept for quite a long time, but I guess it was only an hour. It was definitely gone 3pm when I decided I ought to put some outdoor clothes on, and go and take a wander to the shops. One thing Angela mentioned was that she was running out of tea lights. She uses some dotted around her living room for a more relaxed atmosphere. There is a chance that Angela will drop in on her way back from the hospital, possible very soon as I write this, although no promises were made, and no actual times discussed, but if she does pop in she will find I have been to the 99p shop, and bought a couple of tea lights for her.

 If I am lucky I will have a pleasant evening with company, but if not I can just relax and do what I did last night - basically bugger all in the most relaxed way possible !
Sunday 2nd April  2017
 20:11 BST

  Today was supposed to be a drier version of yesterday. I think it might have been a bit better than that. It has been quite sunny today, and while it was perhaps a little cooler than ideal, it was mild enough to have the windows open to air the house a bit. It is starting to get a bit cool now, but it shouldn't go lower than 9° C. Tomorrow could be a little better than today :-
weather prediction for
 It really feel like I ought to get out into the sunshine tomorrow. Maybe I might make it to the seaside, or maybe not. I'm afraid to click on the section for Tuesday, and Wednesday looks terrifying - 12° C and black clouds - Ughhhhh !

 The evening was yesterday's highlight. During the afternoon I finished washing the single duvet cover for the spare bed, and hung that up to dry. I also did a bit more tidying up in the spare bedroom. I achieved a fair bit by doing a little bit here, and a little bit there. It was a case of standing back and visualising where I could move on bit of junk to make room for another bit of junk. In some cases it was real junk, and it ended up in the bin. In other cases it was not junk at all, and I use that as a figure of speech. For instance moving books around to fit on the bookshelves is one case of "moving junk around" that isn't actually junk !

 Come the evening and it was time to go out to The Black Cat to see The Belles play a gig in there. A couple of things made it a memorable evening. The simple thing is that it felt mild enough to just wander around there in a t-shirt.....I may have been pushing my tolerance there, particularly on the way home - a degree or so lower and it would have been getting into the uncomfortable area. As it was, it was better to keep moving rather than stand still on the way home.

 The other, far more important thing that made last night memorable was that Angela came, and came on her own ! Her "boyfriend" was feeling ill again, and didn't want to go out. So Angela came on her own, and really enjoyed it. For a while it was almost like having my girlfriend back ! I think I may have mentioned how stressed she looked when I last saw her - which was the previous Sunday at the Sunday afternoon Life Of Brian Gig. Last night all the stress drained from her face, and she looked younger and more beautiful.

 Maybe I had set out my bait well to get her to The Black Cat - I sent her a message saying I didn't know if she was thinking of going, but I would put her jar of honey in my camera bag in case I saw here. Perhaps that did the trick. She was very pleased to get her special Catford honey, and she was very pleased that I made sure she was looked after. So pleased that I got a very unexpected phone call from her this morning to thank me !

 The gig itself was very good, or at least the band were. Unfortunately it was one of the most poorly attended gigs I've been to for ages. The most active and loyal part of the audience were myself, Angela, Michael and Gerry Sherwin (from The English Rogues). Both Gerry and Michael said their original plan was not to stay all night, but that they felt it would be too embarrassing, or impolite to leave. The good news is that the band got paid their full rate (whatever that was), and said they thought it was a good evening (although I think they also quietly said they regarded it a bit like a rehearsal with a few people looking on !).
The Belles at The Black Cat
The Belles - Roy Dalley, Matt Donovan, Simon Whitestar and Gus McKinlay

  If I was back at work I would probably spend a paragraph or two saying how well I slept last night, and I would probably be able to remember what time I went to bed ! It was because I am not at work for now that I didn't really bother to keep track of the time last night. I guess that by the time I had eaten some hot (canned) stew, brushed my teeth, and got into bed, it must have been at least half past midnight. After that I think I probably slept quite well, but once again, with no work in the morning for the coming week (or more ?) I didn't really care about how well I slept, and doubly so with it being a Sunday morning. If I needed more sleep I could just turn over and either sleep or not.

 Today, after what must have been sufficient sleep, I haven't done a great deal, but I have done some stuff. I've washed the last of the spare duvet covers for the spare bed, and I have done a little bit more tidying up in the spare room. It wasn't much today because I got sidetracked. I have now cleared most of the crap off the bottom shelf of the bookshelves - a shelf that is a work surface rather than another book shelf.

 The diversion occured when I got down to the final major item - an ancient Pentium 1 laptop that runs Windows 98. I used to use it as an mp3 player - which was about all it was good for. I wondered if it still worked. So I powered it up, and after making some very peculiar noises, it booted up on the second attempt. It seems to work OK, but my bodged ethernet lead may have been crushed under the window one too many times because I could not connect to the network.

 The thing that has occupied a lot of my time today has been going through, selecting, and editing some of the pictures I took last night. I don't know if I am getting slow, but doing this seems to take up a huge chunk of my day now. Maybe it is because I tend to take so many pictures at gigs. I have the camera set to multi burst shooting in the hope I can capture the few milliseconds when the lighting is showing a favourable set of colours. To be honest the lighting in The Black Cat is very poorly implemented.

 Anyway, all the photo editing is done now, and although there isn't much left of today, I can now relax. I am seeing the nurse again tomorrow morning, and if she goes on about blood pressure again there may be a mild murder. Once I have finished murdering I hope I feel in a good enough mood to get out into the sunshine. I feel so unfit recently that it is going to take a hell of a lot of willpower to embark on any form of walk, let alone a long one, but maybe I might manage a short one somewhere. I'd love to go to the seaside, but there is probably an equal chance that I will end up laying on my bed reading. We'll just have to see what happens on the spur of the moment.
Saturday 1st April  2017
 11:34 BST

  Once the sun had come out in the afternoon it wasn't such a bad day yesterday. Naturally enough the temperature dropped some during the night, but now that winter has definitely finished, it didn't fall below 10° C (at least I don't think it did), and that gave a fair start for today. Having said that, it did feel quite cool earlier this morning, and my bedroom seemed quite cool right up to a few minutes ago. The big difference now is that the sun is now able to shine right through the window. It makes so much difference. The only trouble is that the sunshine is a bit intermittent. However these sunny periods (or sunny spells) are forecast to continue almost through to sunset - and that is despite rain, some of it heavy, and maybe even thundery for a while, due to start at about 3pm. The temperature is supposed to peak at just 14° C later this afternoon, but I think it may have surpassed that already.  Tomorrow should be a dry version of today.

 I stayed up drinking all 4 cans of Guinness last night. Maybe some aspects of this morning may have been better if I had not drunk that Guinness, and maybe not staying up until almost midnight might have also been a better choice. I passed several hours just watching TV last night, but when I turned that off I went back to reading. One reason I got to sleep so late was because I decided I was close enough to the end of the book to just keep reading until I got there.

 Once I got to sleep I had a series of dreams that had the potential to be nightmares. These dreams took me back to the days of working in a telephone exchange. As part of some modernisation scheme a new rack of equipment appeared. What made it very unique was that it was mobile, and could be driven like the skeleton of an electric locomotive. It's movement was powered by an overhead pick up, like a train, but in this case the power was not the very scary 25 thousand volts, but the even more scary 50 thousand volts. Such a voltage has to be treated with extreme respect ! My series of dreamlets consisted of inventing strategies to put a suitable distance between me an that very high voltage - bearing in mind that such a high voltage can jump several inches between blunt objects, and much more between pointed objects.....and then there are things like leakage and induced currents - all traps for the unwary !

 I woke up this morning feeling typically crap, but not so crap in certain ways, and maybe more crap in others. One of the things I did last night was to take a late dose of Bisoprolol - the drug that helps to reduce my blood pressure. I don't think that contributed to any negative experiences this morning, although the more Bisoprolol I take the less energy I seem to have. Just to make sure I could barely find the energy to keep my eyelids open this morning I took the full dose of Bisoprolol that one of my doctors feels I ought to take (we do have an agreement that I can take less if it slows me down too much).

 The reason for this, in effect, overdose of Bisoprolol was to try and get some sort of blood pressure reading that would keep the nurse happy when I saw her to get my dressing changed this morning. It didn't, did and then didn't work ! While the nurse cleaned and did the new dressing, I grabbed the blood pressure meter, strapped it on, managed to get a tiny bit relaxed, and took a reading. It was higher than yesterday. So I concentrated on relaxing a bit more. This was sort of good because we had got to the point of the nurse stuff the AquaCel into the open would, and a bit of Zen like meditation (or some old bollocks like that) is good to make it less uncomfortable. This time my reading was high, but far better than the best the day before.

 So I told the nurse that it was the best I could do, and to leave it there. The silly bitch decided that maybe I had not put the cuff on properly, and insisted on taking all the readings all over again. Of course by then my blood was boiling, and every time she tried another reading it just got higher and higher as I git angrier and angrier ! I think when I see her on Monday morning I will tell her that I refuse to cooperate further. I have a set of drugs that reduce my blood pressure to better than perfect levels provided I am happy and relaxed. Happiness is a bit of a premium at the moment, but relaxation is usually fairly easy.  So I will stick to my currently prescribed drugs, and NO MORE !!!

 There are lots of things I could do today, and I don't fancy doing any of them - or even worse, I don't feel in the right frame of mind, or fit enough to do them. One potential thing I would like to do, and there is still a microscopic chance that I might do it, is to walk around to Angela's house and leave a present on her doorstep. The present would be a jar of Catford honey. Now would be a very good time to do it because she is suffering from a cold. I think I would have to just dump it on her doorstep because I am sure my nemesis would be there, and it could be awkward for all of us. The only trouble is that the later I leave it, the greater the chance of being caught in heavy rain.

 What I will actually do today is to finish washing a single duvet cover that is already soaking. I ought to do the other half of the washing up that I left yesterday. I reckon I'll also do more tidying/cleaning of the spare bedroom. I think I probably mentioned that the top shelve of the bookshelves is now sorted out and clean. The next thing to tackle will be the bottom shelf - which is more in the nature of a small work surface that a book shelf. I would like to get all that done, and maybe more, but apart from the single duvet cover, that I have already started, I don't feel any great urge to do the rest. If anything I feel the exact opposite - I just want to be lazy. The only trouble with that is that it is very addictive, and I am trying my best not to go down that road.

 Tonight will be more exciting - or at least it should be. The Belles are playing in The Black Cat. I don't feel the urge to go out that much....or I don't care to mess about on buses or trains to see some live music. Maybe I might have a different view on that tonight, but that's only idle speculation. The reality is that when the gig is just five minutes walk away from my front door (maybe 6 minutes if the wind is from the other direction) it would be a pity to waste the opportunity.