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June 2017
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My Diary/Blog For the Month of June 2017

Friday 30th June  2017
 07:40 BST

  I guess yesterday's weather was pretty much what was forecast. It was overcast all day, although maybe not as deeply overcast as was forecast for between 3 and 5pm. Once again, 18° C was a bit disappointing, but maybe there was less wind than than the day before, and it didn't feel quite so cool.
might get a little sunshine today, but not much
  The weather starts to improve from today, but maybe not by that much. I reckon the temperature as I walked to the station this morning was little more than 14° C, less than the forecast predicted (even if the forecast in the above screenshot was made after the event !). Hopefully the temperature will hit 21° C, and I am fairly sure it will. The sky is looking light to mid grey as I write this, but as I came into work the clouds were very broken, and there were quite a lot of sunny intervals. It looks as if the sun might pop out at midday, and then we get that curious phenomena at 7pm when the sun comes out at the same time that it rains. Tomorrow may see more sunshine, and the temperature is supposed to hit 23° C, but on the downside there could be the odd rogue shower.

 The most significant thing about work yesterday was that I emailed in my resignation ! I did it just before leaving to go home (via the Thursday night drink), and this morning I had responses from my line Manager and department manager. They both wished me well. Sooner or later today I should hear from HR, and then we can thrash out a deal. I am hoping the company will buy my unused holiday off me, but I could be forced to take it. In theory, my last working day will be a Monday - Monday the 31st July.
not delayed, slightly delayed, very delayed, cancelled !
Having done the deed, resigning, I feel a curious lightness as I left work and walked to the station. I don't think I walked any faster though, and I was balancing both joy and fear as I made my first step into the unknown. My journey to The Shortlands Tavern where I met the Thursday night gang was the usual - Usual train, but getting off at Clapham Junction to change to a train to Victoria, and then a train from Victoria to Shortlands station. I think every train was more or less on time, and it was a smooth and uneventful journey.

 The same can not be said about getting home again ! I had my three pints of moderate strength ale, and then headed for home. If I had gulped down the last pint I might have been able to catch the 6.32pm train from Shortlands station to Catford, but I didn't fancy rushing around. So I made the last pint last a little longer, and went to catch the 7:02pm train. It didn't work out very well !

 I was following the progress of the train on the National Rail app on my phone (screenshot on the left). The train left Sevenoaks on time, but from Otford station it grew later and later. I subsequently found out that it was one of Thameslink's new class 700 trains, and my guess is that the driver was having trouble getting interlock on the doors - one (or more) doors were showing as still open despite actually being firmly shut. When the train finally reached Bromley South it was declared a failure, and taken out of service. It then raced non stop towards Blackfriars, and possibly beyond to be attended to by fitters.

 Meanwhile, the next train was well on it's way to Shortlands, but was stuck behind the failed train until it was sent onto the fast lines. That meant it would have to call at platform 3 instead of platform 1. The only problem was that nobody announced this at Shortlands - although they did for a Southeastern service to Victoria that was due to arrive 6 or 7 minutes before the Thameslink train. I am unsure if I could have rushed down into the subway, and up to platform 3 in time even if I had been standing at the top of the stairs on platform 1. I was actually at the other end of the platform, and while I did try walking as fast as I could when I realised what was happening, I heard the doors close, and saw the train move off before I had even made it down half the length of the long platform.

 I did contemplate getting buses home at that point, and even went as far as walking to the bus stop, but some quick mental estimates told me that it would still be quicker to wait for the 8:02pm train - a full hour after the one I wanted, and an hour and a half after the one I could have potentially caught if I had drunk a little faster. Well, finally the 8:02pm train arrived, and what did I see when I got on it ?
train out of service
 "This train is not in service" ! Fortunately it was in service, and all the audio announcements were correct, but the visuals said out of service all the way home. Also fortunately, was that the toilets were in service. After standing around for over an hour I had some excess beer to drain off !

 Back at home I had a couple of curries that I was going to have for dinner, but because I was running so late I decided to treat myself to a takeaway. Yesterday was one of those rare days when I can list every single thing I ate on that day. The list is quite simple - three pieces of fried chicken plus a portion of what they jokingly call "fries". It was all terribly unhealthy, but I do wonder if my total calorie intake for the entire day, excluding the beer, which doesn't count anyway, was not that terribly excessive.

 Having eaten my diner I had about 15 minutes to check email and stuff, brush my teeth, and get to bed. It was an unusual night. I have a vague dream-like memory of waking up once, but essentially it was almost as if I slept right through the night until I woke up about 20 minutes before my alarm was due to go off. I wouldn't have said it at the time because I felt pretty terrible for the first 5 minutes after waking up, but I think I feel better for that sleep. Most of me feels tolerably OK, although I still have the pain across the top of my left foot when walking. Another curiosity is that today I am wearing my red Vans, and they seem far less comfortable than the otherwise identical blue ones I was wearing yesterday, and the purple ones I was wearing the day before that !

 Now all I have to do is to get through this working day, and then head for home. I don't think I am going out tonight, and I am quite looking forward to a mostly lazy evening. It won't be completely lazy though. I have some shirts I ought to wash, and I still have to get back to selecting and processing the photos I took last Saturday night - and upload the best of the best (if there are any) to Flickr - along with one or two or more other photo albums. Then I can go to bed to rest the rest of the innocent - or try to !
Thursday 29th June  2017
 07:45 BST

  Yesterday's weather was pretty much as predicted - except for one very minor thing, and one less minor thing. The very minor thing was the couple of rain drops I saw on my office window sometime between mid morning and early afternoon - no rain at all was forecast. The less minor error concerns the temperature. 18° C was forecast for late afternoon, but I'm not convinced the temperature was much more than 16° C. I have a strange feeling that I may have seen a few seconds of sunshine when no sunshine was forecast, but I can't be sure about it, and maybe I was thinking of another day.
dull but dry
It was definitely on the cool side when I walked to the station earlier this morning, and it is not going to be exactly warm this afternoon ! Maybe today it will actually hit, or exceed the forecast 18° C, but even if it does, the deeply overcast sky is going to make it feel cooler than it really is. Tomorrow's forecast looks peculiar. It is forecast to be lightly overcast right up to 5pm. By that time the temperature may reach 21° C. By 6pm the sun could come out, and it could start to rain ! The sunshine and rain is supposed to continue until sunset, and then the rain will continue for a few more hours. Before sunset it is supposed to be just light rain, and after sunset it will turn heavy. Of course, by tomorrow everything could, and most probably will change.

 There was nothing specially horrible about work yesterday, but I still didn't like it. No change there ! On the plus side, at least I felt mostly comfortable. My wonky chest continued to behave itself (unless provoked), and the problem I mentioned with my left ankle seemed to be a lot milder at the times when I would have expected it to hurt more. Of course the worst thing was the boredom, and the sleepiness I felt while being bored. As usual it was wonderful when home time came around.

 Also as usual was the tedious journey home. That was an unexceptional journey unless you count an odd thought that popped into my head. I am not sure if it was a positive or negative thought, but it was the idea that my hour and a bit commute doesn't feel so terribly long recently. Intellectually I still feel it is a wasted hour of my life that I will never get back. After all these years I guess I have become numb to it - but maybe only during the longer days when none of the journey is in darkness - and when the extra light in the evening doesn't make it feel like the day is over even before I have got home.

 There were plenty of hours of daylight when I got home yesterday, but I didn't feel in the mood to make use of them in any way. I hardly did anything last night. I had my dinner - grilled steak with peas, plus a few relatively healthy snacks for a change - and I put my dirty purple Vans shoes in to soak prior to giving them a good scrubbing (maybe tonight). Other than that I did some reading, and went to bed.

 It's hard to know where all the time went because I wasn't in bed particularly early, and after reading for a while it was around 9.30pm before I turned the light out. I fell asleep easily enough, but I had a very rough night. The worst thing was that I woke up close to 1am, and while I was laying in bed I had a stretch. As my toes were almost pointing away from me my left foot was suddenly seized by agonising cramp ! I leapt out of bed, but I had to hold onto a chair to support myself while I tried to get my left foot flat against the floor. Once I was able to take my full weight on that foot the pain went away, but it was another hour before I got back to sleep again.

 I feel sure that after that I was often awake, but the lines between dreams and reality seemed very blurred. Some dreams were very obviously dreams. One such dream was a sort of imagined re-run of a school journey to Belgium and Holland that I did when I was about 10 years old, but in the dream I was obviously a lot older because there were people I recognised from senior school, and even people from earlier jobs (but strangely not this one). Other dreams seemed to be very much like being awake in bed, and maybe they were not dreams but reality.

 This morning I felt typically awful, like being on the verge of death, when I first got up, but as usual that feeling fades away as I get ready for work. On the whole, I didn't feel too bad once I approached being ready to go to work, but this morning I felt like a couple of paracetamol tablets before setting off. Of course that distorts my observations of how I feel, but those paracetamol were not effective enough to completely hide the fact that my left ankle was still a bit sore - although maybe significantly until I was walking from the station to work.

 There are two things to look forward to now. The most obvious is that because it is Thursday I will be going for a quick drink with the Thursday night lads, and tonight we are back in The Shortlands Tavern. The other thing to look forward to, although I am not sure of that is the right description, is handing in my resignation via email. I intend to do it just seconds before I leave the premises. It is going to be a bit of a leap in the dark, but I think I have the resources to survive it. In theory, my last day of work will be the last working day of July (the 30th I think).
Wednesday 28th June  2017
 07:46 BST

  There is no doubt about it, yesterday was wet, but then again it was nowhere near as wet as the forecast predicted. The forecast said it would start to rain at around 11am, and then, whether it was drizzle or torrents of rain, continue until 11am this morning. In reality there were a few light splashes of rain while I was at work. My journey home from work started in some very light rain - so light that I took my hood off, and opened my coat before I was halfway to the station. I wonder if the temperature had risen to more than the 18° C predicted because it was rather warm in my rain coat. It was probably mid evening when the rain started in earnest, but even then it wasn't heavy enough to be particularly noticeable indoors. While it might have not been that heavy, it was certainly persistent judging by the size of the puddles this morning. 
maybe not that wet
  This morning was probably a degree less cool than yesterday, and that one degree seemed to make a useful difference. I think it was still raining when I woke up at 5am, but it had stopped by the time I walked to the station, and while I saw plenty of puddles, there was no rain on my way to work - which is not what was forecast for this morning in the forecast yesterday ! The newest forecast suggests it may be dry today, but it will be overcast - sometimes just a covering of light grey cloud, and sometimes horrible thick dark clouds. The highest daytime temperature is the same as was forecast for yesterday - 18° C. That seems a bit poor for June, or maybe I am remembering previous Junes through rose coloured glasses (probable !). Tomorrow is forecast to be very similar to today, and so it may actually be right.

 As my blood glucose level fell towards acceptable levels I began to feel really hungry yesterday. It was one reason why I couldn't wait for the working day to be over, and to be making my way home. Other reasons were nothing new or special - boredom, tiredness, the usual, but maybe one was occasionally missing, or otherwise at a fairly low level. My chest was mostly comfortable, and I seemed to have passed through another phase of it playing up. I did have a couple of annoying pains - well it would be life if it didn't hurt !

 My left ankle was sometimes sore, and the second toe from the right on my right foot was extremely painful for a while. I was trying out some shoes I haven't really worn much, and while they were comfortable in most respects, something in the right shoe decided it would scrape away the top of that toe ! I didn't really notice it until I had been at work for as much as an hour. Fortunately I have some sticking plasters here, and one of those over the toe was a complete cure for the pain.

 My journey home from work was as tedious as it ever is, but with my chest in a benign mood, a with a sticking plaster on my damaged toe, I felt mostly comfortable. The only bad thing was the recently started pain across the top of my left ankle (although sometimes it can feel offset enough to be half down the inside of my ankle). I think it may be some kind of rhuematism. It will be nice when it goes away again.

 The dull weather did not have a beneficial effect on me yesterday. It was quite the opposite. I felt something that is like, but isn't quite depression - probably best summed as "blah" ! The one and only thing that excited me was the prospect of my dinner. Apart from a snack soon after I got home of some tortilla chips and humous dips, which with hindsight was not very nice........why do tortilla chips always look so enticing, but actually taste as if made from recycled paper with added grit ?

 My snack was hardly healthy despite the tortilla chips shouting that they were gluten free, sugar free, and low fat (precisely what you would expect from recycled paper with added grit). Humous looks innocent, but I am sure it is full of nasties. I was quite excited about my actual dinner. It was a posh looking shepherds pie from Aldi. To enhamce it's posh credentials it came in a container made of very thin wood that was lined with grease proof paper. Unfortunately that was the only posh bit. The taste of the pie was very disappointing. There was nothing negative about the taste, but nothing positive either. Maybe it was just the mood I was in, or maybe it was because I tried to eat it when it was still a bit too hot, but I was very underwhelmed. Had I paid Marks And Spencer prices for it I would also have been bitterly disappointed !

 I don't think I ate any more after that pie, and that is probably just as well because it was quite rich. Nothing much happened after eating. I was not in the mood to tackle those silly pink pictures I took on Saturday night, and I just drifted through the next hour or so before going to bed. Maybe I was very tired because I am pretty sure I was asleep within minutes of turning out the light, and the one time I got up for a pee was almost dreamlike.The surest indicator was that I didn't wake up until just a few minutes before my alarm would have woken me. A few minutes makes a change to the 30 to 60 minutes that I have been waking up early for quite some time now. Of course just writing about this has started me off yawning like it is going out of fashion.

 I did feel slightly refreshed when I woke up, and also strangely comfortable. I guess the latter is mostly the result of my chest not playing up. Actually that is not 100% true. I have felt an occasional mild twinge when making certain movements (reaching out to turn a tap on with my left hand sometimes causes a little twinge). Basically I felt good enough that I didn't consider the need to take any painkillers this morning, but maybe that was a mistake. A couple of painkillers would have helped with the (possibly) rheumatic pain above my left ankle. It wasn't really noticeable until I started walking, but when I did it was very irritating.
purple vans
  Although I was not in pain until I started walking, there were warning signs, and so I thought I would try a different style of shoes to see if that helped. My choice was slightly constrained by the need to select shoes that were a little more suitable in the wet than my favourite slip on shoes. I thought I would give my purple Vans a chance to be more useful than just being purple. On the whole they were mostly comfortable, but did nothing for the pain above my left ankle. I think I may take a couple of paracetamol an hour before going home from work today.

 This evening I have nothing to look forward to except dinner, but there is one thing I ought to do, and that is to wash my hair. I probably ought to take another look at Saturday night's pictures, and see if I can find the patience and enthusiasm to make some of them look more than a big pinky purple blur ! I keep looking at the picture of my purple Vans, and my eye keeps been drawn to the right shoe, and how it got splashed with horrible looking muddy water. Maybe I will find myself washing those shoes tonight.Life can be so exciting sometimes !
Tuesday 27th June  2017
 07:46 BST

  The forecast for yesterday was not completely correct, but it was close to it. The main difference was that there was a bit more cloud around, and that lead to a few mildly overcast spells. The forecast temperature of 22° C was about right.
cold and wet
  Today will almost certainly be nasty. It was no more than 16° C when I walked to the station to come to work, and could have even been slightly less. The forecast reckons we'll see no more than 18° C today, but worse than that is the rain ! It's not supposed to start until 11pm, but I felt a little moisture on my face as I walked from the station to work, and soon after I arrived at work a few drops of rain hit the window pane. There has been nothing more since then, but once the rain gets going the forecast reckons it won't stop until about 11am tomorrow ! Some of it could be heavy, and maybe it might lead to a bit of localised flooding in a few vulnerable areas.  Hopefully the forecast will change for the better, but at the moment it suggests the first time we'll see the sun again will be Saturday morning !

 There were times when I found myself falling asleep at work yesterday, but other than that I felt mostly OK. My chest aches and pains didn't seem to be bothersome, but I did seem to develop a brand new malady. This new one, which is still a bit bothersome this morning, is a variant on ankle pain - specifically my left ankle. What makes it different is that it does not appear to be joint pain, but muscular or ligament pain, and it is sort of across the top of my ankle. It only hurts when walking, although if I bend my ankle while sitting down it feels rather sore.

 With luck this new pain will go away again just like many others have in the past. I don't know if it is the result of taking fish oil capsules for 3 or 4 weeks now, but my sore right hip joint, which on a few rare occasions was significantly more than merely sore, seems perfectly OK now. I haven't had any pains from my knees for ages either. It is tempting to speculate the unlikely regarding my recent chest pains. Could the fish oil have loosened up not only my leg and hip joints, but also lubricated my ribs to the point where they are moving around in unapproved ways, and causing me much discomfort ?

 Getting home from work was slightly painful yesterday, but that pain across the top of my left ankle didn't seem to slow me down much - or at least not when I was walking at a steady rhythm. It did discourage me from accelerating though. I got all my usual trains without any special effort, and with the usual times to spare. Maybe I was psyching myself up without realising it, but it did seem that I had more energy than usual when walking from the station to home (but only a little bit of extra energy).

 That bit of extra energy was just what I needed to go out again soon after getting home to go to Aldi to buy some shopping. My left ankle was a bit painful, but otherwise it was almost a pleasant walk there and back. It is a curious fact that when walking home, with a heavy rucksack on my back, and two slightly heavy shopping bags, one in each hand, my chest was perfectly behaved, and I didn't feel even a hint of pain. In fact I don't think I had a single twinge from it until I got into bed, and turned on my side !

 I bought all sorts of things from Aldi, and for some reason, many of them were inappropriate.....or were they ? Perhaps the lack of light stuff like salad was subconsciously dictated by a bit of my brain that was thinking that the weather was becoming more autumnal, and a big, hot, shepherds pie might be just the thing when I get home in torrential rain after work today. The cheesecake, on the other hand, was just pure disregard of common sense. The ironic thing is that having put my pancreas on overtime as it struggled to produce enough insulin to cope with all the sugar, the cheesecake turned out to be not all that nice. In fact it was very underwhelming !

 Last night I made a start on selecting and processing some of the pictures I had taken of Life Of Brian on Saturday night. I didn't get very far because I became very disheartened. The pub has a lighting rain screwed to the ceiling with 5 or 6 stage lights on it. I don't know if they can, and maybe do have some control over them, but they were all set to give out a strong pink light, and did so all evening. I could accept a few shots featuring pinky/purpley people, but not every single shot ! It is really hard to try and correct the colour to give something approaching natural skin tones, and doing so can leave other bits of the picture looking a bit weird. I'm not sure what I am going to do with all the pictures I took. I suspect many will end up as black and white shots, but even those can look a bit weird. I think the next time I go to that venue, The Elm Tree in Elmers End, I will take one of my smaller cameras, and just take a few snaps using flash.

 I went to bed early last night, but I spent far too long reading in bed. I think it was gone 10pm when I put my book down. I think I fell asleep very quickly after that. I seemed to sleep OK once I got to sleep. I woke once or twice in the night and fell asleep again quickly and easily until the time I woke up at 4am. From then on it didn't seem like I ever fell asleep again, but evidently I did because I was asleep when my alarm woke me at 5am !

 This morning I would definitely like to have gone back to bed once I had got up, taken my medication, checked my email, and gone to the toilet.......and maybe after the paracetamol had calmed down my chest. Instead of that I showered, got dressed, and came to work where I can't stop yawning ! It was a perfectly normal boring journey to work punctuated only by the brief exhilaration of pushing myself to the limit to rush from Waterloo East to Waterloo station to get the 06:57 train. That is always a challenge, but usually I make it. If I don't it means waiting for the 07:03 train, and being 6 minutes later than I want to be (but otherwise of no consequence at all).

 Tonight I have nothing to look forward to except wringing myself out after getting home in torrential rain (possibly), and having another go at the dastardly pink photographs. If I can extract just a few usable shots from then it will be most satisfactory, but I feel very pessimistic about it. Oh well, just a few more days to go before I hand in my resignation.
Monday 26th June  2017
 08:00 BST

  Yesterday evening remained dry and bright, but the temperature fell a fair bit once the sun went down. This morning it was just 14° C when I walked to the station this morning. Actually that wasn't far off what was forecast yesterday.
bright and sunny
  This morning the forecast is pretty much the same as the one I showed yesterday. Maybe that is a good sign that the forecast is going to reflect reality. I must say that I am rather unhappy that summer appears to be over again. Tomorrow may not even reach 20° C, and it's going to be wet. Wednesday is going to be cooler still, and also wet !

 I'm back at work after the weekend, and I feel really tired. I did have some trouble getting to sleep last night, and also after waking up a couple of time during the night. This was on account of my dodgy chest. It has been playing up a lot lately, but as it has been for the last three and a bit years, it is so random. Last nights pain was a very localised, almost stabbing pain from a relatively small area just to the right of my operation scar. It was rather unusual in that there was a definite tender spot. I'm not sure, but I think I could almost feel a lump. It does little to persuade me that the idea of the surgeon leaving his wrist watch inside me is no more than pure comedy !

 For much of the time I felt no pain. It was very posture dependant. One posture, laying on my right side, could be particularly uncomfortable, and was responsible for not making it easy to get to sleep. This morning I think it was triggered by reaching out to turn the taps on, and other similar movements. Since coming to work it seems to have almost cured itself, or the wristwatch has shifted position to a more traditional area, somewhere behind my left man boob. That seems to be where any discomfort is coming from now.

 I feel that it is going to be very boring, and ultimately annoying day at work today. I'm not expecting anything actually negative to happen, although even that could be preferable to 8 hours of blandness. In an effort to appear positive I have to keep reminding myself that it should be wonderfully bright and sunny when I go home again, and I am wearing shorts to help soak up as much of that sun as possible !

 I hope that when I get home I will still have some energy left. Ideally I will be wanting to go out again soon after getting home to get some shopping from either Aldi or Tesco. I didn't get a chance to go to either yesterday, and it was for the same reason why I shouldn't have much spare time tonight - photos ! I've got a load to upload to Flickr, and I still haven't even looked at the pictures I took at The Life Of Brian gig on Saturday night. I've got to do something with them sooner or later !
Friday 23rd June  2017
 07:53 BST

  The forecast rain never materialised yesterday. Not only that, but I'm sure it was a bit sunnier than forecast as well. The one part that was correct in the forecast was the temperature. It was a lot cooler than the previous 3 or 4 days, but still very pleasant. In fact it was probably even more pleasant than the very hot weather, but only as break from it. I will be quite happy to see the temperature back up to 30° C - although the chances of that are looking slim at the moment.
slightly dull, but still
                  mostly pleasant
 The forecast for today hardly inspires ! It has started off almost right. It was definitely a very fresh feeling 15° C as I walked to the station, but there was, and still is far more blue sky visible than the little cloud symbol for 8am (for instance) would suggest. The rays of sunshine peeping out from behind that cloud seem a little more direct in the real world. Perhaps today will slowly turn into the grey day forecast......or maybe it won't ! Tomorrow doesn't look very nice. It is going to be even cooler, and rain is expected. Most significantly, rain is expected in the evening when I will probably be wanting to go out to a gig !

selfie taken for no
                reason at allI can't decide whether it was a good or bad day at work yesterday. I think it was probably just an average sort of day - a bit of work, a bit of boredom, and Outlook, our email client with all storage done in the cloud, pissed me off as usual because it is so slow and cranky. On the plus side, the person who annoys me most was not here, and neither were most of the managers (they were all at a trade show in the Excell centre).

 For some reason that eludes me now, I took the selfie on the left at some point yesterday. It seemed harmless enough, and so I have posted it here.

 Eventually it was time to head towards Bromley for my Thursday night after work drink. I guess I left work a bit early because I got a train from Earlsfield early enough to get to Waterloo East in time to get the train I usually just miss at 15:50. The ironic thing about that was that I wasn't going to Catford. I was heading first to Grove Park where I caught the 2 car train that shuttles between Grove Park and Bromley North (with one intermediate station at Sundridge Park). I had to watch the 15:50 train depart towards Catford Bridge, and then the 16:05 before I could finally get on the 16:08 Sevenoaks service that call at Grove Park.

 Just like the last time we drank in The Greyhound pub in Bromley, I arrived there through the back door just as a couple of other came in through the front door, and we were able to order one big round instead of mucking about ordering individual pints. The only difficulty last night was that I think I interrupted them trying to secretly sign the birthday card that they gave me. I don't normally make a fuss about my birthday, but this year it seems it was thrust upon me. Fortunately it was only a minor fuss. My main celebratory thing was to have one extra drink beyond my usual three pints. The fourth drink was not a pint but 325ml - which is close to half a pint - and for good reason. It was an extra strong beer - 9% - and it was very drinkable !

 That was quite a lot of booze considering I had been fasting for about 24 hours by the time I left the pub. I wasn't exactly drunk, but I was feeling both rather hungry, and rather relaxed......and of course totally lacking in any will power ! Last nights dinner was small and compact in words even if not in actuality. I treated myself to fried chicken and fries. I seem to recall it was very nice. It evidently finished me off because it wasn't long after eating it that I was fast asleep.

 I don't know if it was the booze or my dinner, but last night I suffered from cramps in either my calf muscles or my foot. I think it was usually my left leg affected, but I am sure I had some cramp in my right leg too. The even more peculiar thing was that I woke up from several dreams that featured the cramp in my foot as a sort of analogy. In the dream it was like having a You Tube, or similar video, somehow superimposed over my foot. I kept wanting to reach down to touch the play button, but I couldn't manage it. Then I would wake up and find my foot was painfully frozen until I got out of bed and walked around a bit.

 On the whole, I didn't sleep well last night. Not only were there 3 or 4 episodes of waking up with cramp, but in the last couple of hours before I needed to get up, I felt cold enough to pull the duvet over me - and then I felt too warm ! Just thinking about it makes me feel dreadfully tired. That doesn't bode well for tonight. I am hoping to have enough energy and enthusiasm to go out for a few hours, perhaps longer, to a gig tonight. Miranda, and Back To The Fray, are playing another acoustic gig in The Coach And Horses in Beckenham tonight, and I would like to go along even if only for their first set.
Thursday 22nd June  2017
 08:46 BST

  I have to confess, yesterday was rather hot. The temperature probably hit 32° C in some places. One place was outside my back bedroom window. At ground level it was only 30° C. I had left the curtains drawn at the front of the house (which faces south, and gets the full force of the sunshine). That helped the indoor temperature to stay lower than outside, but it was still a terrible temptation to throw all the windows open when I got home from work. Had there been some wind it might have made sense to let some air blow through, but with the air fairly still it would have just allowed the temperature in my bedroom to rise from a little over 27° C to 30° C (or maybe a bit more). Later on, as the sun started to go down, a breeze did spring up, and I opened the windows. It was still rather sultry in my bedroom at 5am this morning !
will it really rain today ?
 At 6.20am, as I was walking to the station it was still 21° C, but maybe it was still cooling down a bit. It is allegedly only 20° C at the moment, and it is rather cloudy. Whether the cloud is thick enough to produce the rain that is forecast to start any moment now is debatable. It certainly looks like today is going to be a lot cooler than yesterday, and maybe tomorrow will be cooler still. No rain is forecast for tomorrow, although that could change at a moments notice !

 I suppose it was useful being at work yesterday. The expensive air conditioning units that were fitted here a couple of years back to replace the cheap (in relative terms) did manage to keep my office cool - unlike the single unit they replaced that could keep the office cold ! On the other hand, it was still have been even nicer to be out frolicking in the fresh air, and so it was when I made my way home. The train from Earlsfield was rather hot and sweaty, but the train from Waterloo East actually felt a lot fresher. There were a couple of reasons for this. One was that the train from Waterloo East had probably been sitting in the shade at Charing Cross station for possibly half an hour, and maybe even longer before it went back into service. It was also from one of the first batch of class 465 trains that had the airline style forced air nozzles fitted. Although not chilled in any way, that extra blast of air to the top of the head was very nice !

 When I got home it was instantly noticeable that it was cooler inside, although only by about three degrees. The slightly peculiar thing is that upstairs felt much warmer than downstairs. That would seem perfectly logical if it wasn't for my thermometers saying there was only about one degree difference ! It did make for a bit of a sweaty evening ! It also made me feel quite drousy. After I had eaten an assortment of stuff for my single meal of the day I felt like laying down. The last thing I expected was that I would fall asleep, but after reading a page or two of the book I am currently reading*, I put the book down, closed my eyes, and the next thing I knew was that it was 8pm !

* The Mote In God's Eye - not a religious book, but a sci fi book by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. In this book God's Eye is an astronomical feature, and the mote is an alien spaceship.

 Despite most of my evening being taken up with eating and sleeping, I did manage to get a few things done. I made a start selecting/editing the pictures I took at St Pancras station on Monday, and I uploaded the pictures I took at Deal to Flickr -
 One other thing I did was to lightly wash some brand new dish cloths and cleaning cloths I had bought from Poundland last Tuesday. I don't really intend to use them for anything more than small towels - mainly in hot sweaty weather, but they should be useful later in the year when venturing out into the rain.

 I was a bit surprised when, after sleeping for an hour a bit earlier, I still felt like going to bed at my usual time - 9pm. I was perhaps even more surprised in retrospect when I put my book down, and was fast asleep around 9.30pm. It is really weird that in weather where everyone is complaining that it is too hot to sleep, I seem to have slept easily. I don't know if I slept well though. I only remember waking up once in the night, and this morning I woke up closer to 5am than I have for a while.

 This morning I only have one particular ache to complain about. It was something that caused me some discomfort yesterday. Today it may be on the wane, but only time will tell. It is yet another variant on the pains I get in my chest. This one can be a sharp stabbing pain above my left man breast. At it's worst it can really feel like a broken rib is trying to push itself through the skin. More usually it is just a residual ache from what is really only occasional far worse pain. What I do know is that it can be brought on by an action as simple as reaching out to turn a tap on with my left hand. It is yet another legacy (or maybe the same legacy) of my open heart surgery. I really don't know if it was that the surgeons didn't put me back together again properly, or if I didn't heal properly, or if I damaged the healing process. The latter is quite probable !

 Usually I try and ignore it, or at least don't make a fuss about it, but it seems everyone in the world knows it is my birthday. On the whole, there is no reason for today to be like any other day, and apart from a few distractions it will be. One such distraction is the automatic birthday card from work. Maybe I am too cynical, but the idea of a birthday card from work, which everyone is obliged to sign, seems no more exciting than any other paperwork we get lumbered with.
birthday card
                      from work
 I suppose I should be grateful that the picture on the front of the card has some relevance to my life.....although the idea of a synth on a shoulder strap does seem a bit too Duran Duran for my liking......

 I have nothing planned for today beyond enduring another day at work, and my regular Thursday night drink. Tonight it will be in Bromley again. So I can look forward to a sweaty ride home on a packed bus.
Wednesday 21st June  2017
 08:15 BST

  The forecast for yesterday was about right. The temperature reached 28° C, and it was dry and bright once some cloud faded away in the morning. Some are predicting records will be broken today.
it's going to be hot today
  Some have predicted the temperature in London could rise to 34° C today. Spot temperatures might even hit 36° C in a few rare places. Of course it is possible it won't get much higher than yesterday. It has certainly started off cooler than this forecast predicts. By my reckoning it was an almost chilly feeling 17° C as I came into work. It may have been because the sky was misty enough to attenuate the sunshine. It wasn't until I actually arrived at work that the sun became clear enough to cast a shadow. I guess the temperature is now rising.

 While today is going to be hot and dry, tomorrow is going to be rather different. The most recent forecast says it will still get warm, but from about 9am to 2pm it will probably rain. Maybe it will only be light rain, or if the temperature is just a little higher it could escalate into a bright and noisy thunderstorm. After tomorrow it looks like the warm spell will be over, and temperatures could be back down into the low 20s.

 Yesterday was not as exciting as the day before. It was another day where I spent a lot of time in my "electronic darkroom" preparing the best of the pictures I took on Monday. I did prepare a full album to upload to Flickr, but I got a bit fed up with actively using my PC, and didn't get around to uploading them. Maybe I will do it tonight. What I can say is that I was very pleased with how many of them came out. I was using my Nikon camera with the GPS adapter attached to take the pictures. The GPS adapter embeds the latitude and longitude into the picture meta data, and Flickr can read it and mark on a map exactly where the picture was taken.

 Yesterday was one of those funny days that sounds like they should have been boring when you look back at what you have achieved, and yet the day seemed to pass by really quickly - which doesn't happen when bored ! Apart from doing stuff in my "electronic darkroom", I washed a few musty t-shirts, and I went out and did a little shopping. My first bit of shopping was in Poundland. I wanted a couple of dish cloths because they are useful accessories to misuse to wipe sweat from my face when out in the hot sun. I was also hoping to buy some men's pocket handkerchiefs. I couldn't find any in Poundland, and so I went on to Tesco.

 Tesco did have handkerchiefs, and I think a six pack cost £5 - or was it a five pack cost £6 ? I also bought a limited amount of other stuff in there. That included two bottles of "no added sugar" squash, and a couple of lemons. I also found a few reduced price sandwiches. Those sandwiches (egg and cress) formed the greater part of what I ate yesterday, although I did eat other stuff too. Most of it was mostly innocent, but the sesame and caramel coated peanuts were definitely not innocent. I don't know why I bought them. Maybe at the time I was blinded to the fact that the caramel would load up my blood glucose level too much.

 I have to confess that I was not terribly impressed with the Tesco orange squash that I bought. It seemed rather bland and uninspiring, and not nearly as nice as the lime squash. I drank quite a lot of each of the two flavours yesterday. I guess that was a good thing because I was sweating quite freely a lot of the time, and that would have dehydrated me. Yet I didn't feel thirsty in the normal sense - I have a very special thirst for ice cold drinks. I can drink them like beer. Drinking so many pints of ice cold squash does make you feel a bit full, and that was probably the reason why I may have eaten less than I might have.

 The surprising thing was that drinking so much squash didn't have me getting up to go to the toilet all through the night. I know I got up once for a pee, but it seemed like I slept very well last night. It only went wrong when I woke up feeling cold at about 4am. Up until then I had been sleeping naked on top of the bed with the fan on blowing over me. At 4am I had to turn the fan off before I felt comfortable enough to try for more sleep. I did get some, but not much. I feel that if I wasn't at work I would be feeling fine, but right now, here at work, I feel really tired, and whenever I stop typing I feel my eyes closing. It may be medically impossible, but as far as I am concerned I have an allergy to being at work !

 It is highly possible that I did get too chilled by the fan in the night. This morning my chest, neck and to a lesser extent, my upper back, all feel rather creaky this morning. I probably ought to try and avoid the same thing happening tonight. That may be the only plan I have for this evening, although I suppose uploading my pictures of Deal to Flickr ought to be important - maybe more important than a bunch of pictures I took at St Pancras station.
departures from St Pancras
 Here's one picture I took at St Pancras on my mobile phone. My train was to be the 11:37 to Sandwich. In reality the destination kept changing because it is actually a circular service. It goes all the way to the coast by the quick route via Folkestone, and then loops around to go back to St Pancras by the slower route via Margate. The departure before mine, the 11:25 does the loop the other way around. First the slow route via Margate, and then back to London on the fast route via Folkestone.
ticket for
                  high speed train
 Here's my outward ticket for Monday's little adventure. I can't recall ever having a "Super Off Peak Day" ticket before. Usually they are a cheap day return. The price, £21, wasn't too bad, but I'm sure there was a ticket costing just £17.50 that I should have been able to get. Maybe that was the penalty of buying the tickets at Catford Bridge station - it was a bit of a new experience for the ticket clerk there.
Tuesday 20th June  2017
 09:01 BST

  We have had some hot days recently. Yesterday, perhaps only in some unique environments such as inside a Thameslink class 319 train from St Pancras International station at 4pm, were pushing the boundaries towards very hot ! I think yesterday saw the temperature rise to 30° C, and possibly a tiny bit higher. Saturday was very warm, but not as high as yesterday.
another very warm day
 It's looking like today is going to be quite warm too. The forecast admits to light cloud this morning, but also suggests there could be some sunshine too - although it is fairly bright, the cloud looks too extensive to let any sun through at the moment. The forecast doesn't admit it, but more than one person has suggested these are the conditions for the heat to brew up a thunderstorm. I tend to agree with that. We'll have to see what happens in reality. Tomorrow is probably going to be another very hot day. In the screenshot above, taken at approx 7am, it suggests tomorrow will be 31° C. That has since been revised upwards to 32° C ! That is rather warm ! I'm glad I don't have to travel on any deep tube lines.

 I've had a few busy days. It all started on Saturday night, and the MT Pockets gig in The Black Cat. I had been hoping that Angela would be there, and be by herself, but she didn't turn up. A very few, very subtle clues suggested she wanted to be there, but circumstances made it impossible. Nevertheless, MT Pockets played two excellent sets to a very lightly attended pub, and I put my new (secondhand) Canon 600D camera through it's paces.

 The camera produced some very good images, but also a lot of useless images. I think the auto focus was more easily confused by the rapidly changing lighting than the auto focus on my Canon 1200D. Alternatively it was operator error. That is actually likely. The options on the new camera are almost, but not identical to the old camera, and maybe I need a bit more experience with it.
MT Pockets
MT Pockets at The Black Cat.
Dan leaps in the air
This is one photo where the camera lost focus at a most crucial time. It was also a time when it would have been ideal if the lights were on white and not on blue !  When shrunk down to this size you could almost write off the blur as "action blur" as Dan leaps in the air, but in the full size version it just looks horribly out of focus - most annoying !

 There are a multitude of reasons why I ended up taking a stupid amount of pictures on Saturday night. If you must know, I took 1,176 snaps ! The principle reasons were :-
  • Digital photography is very cheap, and a 32GB memory card can hold thousands of very high quality pictures.
  • I had a new camera to test.
  • I had the camera set to multi-shot. Holding down the shutter button causes the camera to take pictures in very rapid succession - useful when the lighting is changing to fast to follow.
  • Angela wasn't there to distract me.
  • Dan is a very active guitar player forever changing dynamic stances and pulling faces. He's also unpredictable, and there is a strong temptation to just keep on taking pictures in case he does something "amazing" !
 With some many pictures to go through to select just 20 or so of the best, I ended up spending much of Sunday behind my PC gently sweltering away as I tried to make some sort of sense of all those pictures. I did a few household tasks as well, and I probably did more eating that I should have, but essentially I spent a greater portion of my day in my "electronic darkroom".

 I think it was Sunday night, although it could have been Saturday night, when I spent most of the night sleeping on top of the bed, instead of being in it, and with the fan blowing across my body. On Sunday night I seemed to sleep quite well like that - possibly even better than usual ! On Monday morning I woke up feeling semi-refreshed, and determined to do something exciting - I had booked the day (and today) off work as holiday in anticipation of doing something.

I wanted to go to the seaside, and on this occasion I chose Deal because it has a pier that I have never seen before. I like piers, and I am not sure why. I do know I prefer them if they retain some remnant of their original purpose such as a place for ocean going pleasure boats to moor. I'm not too keen on piers just smothered in noisy amusement arcades bleeping away.

 To get to Deal I thought the least painless way would be to get the high speed train from St Pancras. It is a little more expensive (£21) than by slower routes, but the travelling time is a more bearable 70 - 75 minutes compared to 120 minutes plus by other routes. The catch is that it takes over half an hour to get to St Pancras in the first place. The good thing is that when everything goes perfectly the connection time at St Pancras is quite small.

 When things go less that perfectly, such as yesterday, and the train to St Pancras from Catford is delayed by 10 minutes, it means a wait of almost an hour before the next fast train to Deal departs. That was a bit annoying, but it did give me a chance to do some photography around, and in the station. Eventually the clock inched around, and it was time to depart.
speed comparison
 Curiosity made me wonder just how fast the high speed service really was. I used the GPS status app on my phone to measure the speed. Between Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International station I measured 134 MPH. That fast, but not that fast. It was on the way back to St Pancras that I took the two screenshots above (melded into a single picture). On the left I saw 138 MPH when running under the 25Kv over head wires somewhere beyond Ashford. The right hand side shows 100 MPH while running on the 750 v third rail supply between Folkstone and Ashford. I am pretty certain that some drivers manage to get at least 90 MPH out of South West Trains old class 455 trains between Clapham Junction and Earlsfield on a good morning ! Overall, I think I would have been much more impressed if high speed meant something close to 200 MPH !

 While I had been on a high speed train before yesterday, it was only on the slow lines between Rochester and Margate. Yesterday was my first taste of speed, and it was also my first taste of Stratford International station. Now admittedly I could only see what I could see of the station from inside the station, but it was a most depressing sight. The station is essentially in monochrome - the colour of concrete in all it's shades. I would have expected an "international" station to be a bit more glamorous.....but it gets worse ! The station is in a deep cutting, and the walls of the cutting appear to be covered in sprayed on concrete. It is rough and stained, and has about as much glamour as a 1960s, piss stained, concrete council estate built in the most brutalist style !

Walking in Deal It was nice to arrive at Deal and stretch my legs. What was most surprising is that one of the UK's most modern, most advanced train (almost) is still controlled by semaphore signals at Deal (pictures probably tomorrow).

 Deal itself is a fairly nice seeming seaside town. It is nice that it is not all brash like many seaside towns - all fish and chip shops and amusement arcades. In fact I saw very little in way of amusements and stuff beyond a few small pubs dotted here and there. I certainly saw none of one very important amenity for a place that expects lots of visitors - public toilets ! At least I assume they expect visitors otherwise it wouldn't have been worthwhile modernising the pier.

 The pier itself is nice, but apart from a cafe type place at the far end, and a few anglers, there was nothing on it. It was interesting that much of it was of modern concrete construction. The supporting pillars reminded me of the Docklands Light Railway.

 As can be seen by the picture on the left, I only did a short walk of 2.42 miles before going home again. My original idea was to walk in the opposite direction, and get the train from the next station, Walmer, but for some reason I walked away from that station. I did consider the possibility of still walking to Walmer, but at the far end of the walk I actually did I had a paddle.

 That paddle in the sea did two things. The first was that my shoes filled up with sand and gravel, and that hurt my feet (although less than walking barefoot on the shingle). I had taken the precaution of bringing a spare pair of dry shoes with me because I had intended to have that puddle, and my feet would have soon recovered from walking in a wet shoe full of gravel, but there was one more thing...... It is a steep descent across loose shingle to the waters edge. Going down was easy enough (mostly), but trying to get back up to the top was really, really hard work. At one point I had visions of being stuck down there forever. At times I would try and step up about 8 or 9 inches, and slip down nearly a foot ! By the time I made it to the top I was exhausted.

 I slowly recovered from that by the time I had walked back to the pier, and the turning that goes back to the station - well almost recovered. At that point I checked the time and noticed that the next train was due in less than 15 minutes. It is only an hourly service, and so I decided I would walk straight to the station. I got there with a good 5 minutes to spare, and it was nice to get out of the heat and onto a (slightly) air conditioned train.

 I believe it was possibly only 25° C in Deal, and while the train felt cooler, it did not feel cold at all. However it is all relative. Back in central London, where it was at least 30° C (and possibly 32° C) the air felt really hot as the train doors opened, but that was nothing ! The High Speed train connected well with a Thameslink service back to Catford. I only had to wait for a couple of minutes before it arrived, and when it arrived it was even hotter inside than on the hot platform (that in turn seemed hotter than the air at ground level). By the time I arrived back in Catford I felt well and truly cooked !

 I got home at about 5pm, or not too dissimilar to when I get home from work, and like on a work day it seemed there wasn't much time to do anything but eat and drink before going to bed. I didn't eat all that much, but one item made up for it and more - a tub of raspberry sorbet and chocolate ice cream. I was not unexpectedly a bit dehydrated and I drunk quite a lot, and much of it was just tapwater with a squeeze of lemon or lime in it. Like the night before, I slept on top of my bed with the fan playing over me.

 I think I slept quite well last night, and I even managed to have a small lay in before I got up. It was still hot in my bedroom, but other parts of the house didn't feel quite so bad, and the outside air, at around 20° C almost felt refreshing. It seemed like a good time to wash a few t-shirts. A few of them I washed because they have not been worn for well over a year, and were a bit dusty and musty. Doing that got me sweating again, and I am still sweating now. It is going to be another sweaty day.

 I am not sure what I am doing today yet. I was thinking of going out with my camera again, and maybe I will, but before that I need to do something with the photos I took yesterday. I also need to wash and make myself presentable to the outside world ! What I ultimately need to do is to do just enough to wear me out enough for a good night's sleep, but not too much to leave me feeling too knackered. I'm back at work tomorrow, and with the temperature predicted to reach 32° C that could be a good thing - if the air conditioning is up to the challenge !
Saturday 17th June  2017
 18:49 BST

it's hot !  Yesterday was far sunnier than expected, and it may have been a little warmer too. In fact considering it was only supposed to reach 21° C, I am sure it did, although I don't have a figure to suggest. The real surprise was today. Yesterday the forecast said today would be on the dull side, and particularly so in the afternoon. The reality is that today has been every bit as sunny as I was hoping tomorrow might be - and maybe it will be. There have been quite a few clouds in the sky, but it seems they have mainly lurked in the northern half of the sky. That has allowed the sun to shine most of the day, and in turn that has allowed the temperature to soar. The last temperature I saw on the thermometers outside the kitchen door was just approaching 28° C, but go up 10 - 15ft, and still permanently in the shade, the thermometer is saying 31.6° C. It is also 29.6° C in my bedroom ! The most recent weather forecast says we can expect the same weather tomorrow and Monday.

 I felt a bit strange when I came home from work yesterday. Fortunately it was strange in a good way. Maybe my body was already anticipating today's weather or something. I had a passably OK day at work, although a few things were annoying enough to reinforce my desire to hand in my resignation at the end of the month. I still don't know if I will allow myself to be talked out of it or not, and whether any changes to my circumstances, perhaps with regard to Angela, will finally alter my ideas.

  I can't say going home from work was any worse or any better than average. It seemed sort of normal. The only break in tradition was that once again I had to go to the corner shop to pick up my new camera bag that I had ordered via Amazon. Tonight I will be trying out that camera bag, and I am wondering how it is going to feel. It would appear to have one silly design feature - the loops for the shoulder strap seem to have been designed to be well away from the centre of balance. It seems like it will be constantly wanting to tip over, but maybe it will actually be fine once it is hanging at my side. Everything else about it seems to be as good as I hoped.

 The really strange thing about last night was that while I felt a bit hungry, I didn't feel in a rush to eat. Maybe it was because I had had a rush of sugar when I ate a coconut flavour Magnum ice cream bar that I had bought from the corner shop when I picked up my parcel. Instead of eating (apart from the ice cream) I started on some housework type stuff. I washed all my work shirts, and hung them up to dry, and then I did the washing up. The sink was full when I started on it, but there weren't actually many items in it, and it took less time than I estimated.

 With the two most important bits of housework done I thought about eating. It had gone 7pm, and no free Thai food had turned up, and I assumed I wouldn't be getting any. Maybe, now that the most intrusive building work has finished next door, I will never get any more. It didn't take me long to consider that what I really wanted was a kebab, and so I ordered one on line....and it was jolly nice !

 Last night's sleep was a bit of a disaster. I don't think I was in bed much later than usual, and I seem to recall that I fell asleep quite quickly. The silly bit was when I woke up around 1am for no particular reason, and couldn't get back to sleep again for what seemed like hours. Even when I did get back to sleep it didn't seem to last long. I'm sure I barely got 5 hours sleep last night, and yet because I am not at work I haven't really felt tired at all today.

 I guess today has been a busy today because I haven't been bored, and yet I don't seem to have achieved much....or have I ?  This morning I traumatised the neighbourhood by putting on my shorts for the first time since last summer (and maybe not even then), and going to Aldi to buy rather a lot of shopping. Once again I weighted down my shopping bags with some assorted canned stuff,  several bottles of flavour infused olive oils, a bottle of lemonade, and two bottles of sugar free cola. I think they were the heavier items. It was hard work lugging them bag with the temperature already nudging "quite warm".

 I've also done yet more laundry. It seemed like the time of year when some white t-shirts might be good. I dug out 4 nice big ones, but they were still infused with old cigarette smoke, and needed a good wash. Other than that I finally went through the last of the pictures I took on my walk on Wednesday. You can see the entire set, complete with some annotations, in high quiality, right here -

 Next on the agenda is to get dressed in suitable clothes, and go to The Black Cat. Tonight MT Pockets are playing, and it should be a good gig. It could even be an excellent gig because I think there is a credible chance that Angela might be there, and on her own !
Friday 16th June  2017
 07:49 BST

  The Gods must be happy with us - yesterday was another nice day. It was almost as forecast, but there might have been just a little more cloud in the afternoon. The most important thing was that it was warm, bright and dry.
warm but maybe
                  a bit dull
  It has started off nice and bright, although maybe a little cool, but the forecast doesn't seem to think it will last. In the next hour it is supposed to cloud over, and it appears that some of those clouds could be thick and dark, but no rain is expected. The small print says there will be a warm breeze from the west, and I guess we can blame that for the clouds - it will be bringing in moist air from the Atlantic ocean. Tomorrow may start bright, but the forecast says it will be rather dull in the afternoon. Both Sunday and Monday are still looking like they could be wonderful !

 I did a little bit of interesting work yesterday, but most of the working day was boring. As the day passed I seemed to feel more and more uncomfortable. My back felt stiff while sitting down, and my legs felt stiff on the few occasions I got up and walked anywhere. On a scale from 1 to 10 I would only rate my degree of feeling uncomfortable as a 2 or 3, and that is at a level were it is perfectly ignorable - provided there are sufficient interesting distractions, but there weren't ! Perhaps the worst thing was that every creak and groan of each muscle and joint seemed like the precursor to a traumatic walk to the station, but my walk to the station was just about normal - more boring than anything else.

 Of course it would be a lot nicer if I felt like I had the energy to run to the station, and every limb ran as smoothly as a well oiled machine, but I don't think I have ever felt like that in my whole life, and the prospects of ever feeling like that in the future seem to be infinitesimally slim ! On the whole it was a smooth journey - not to home, but to The Shortlands Tavern for my Thursday night drink. As usual I stuck to having just 3 pints in there, although the second two were a little strong at 5% alcohol.

 In many respects The Shortlands Tavern is one of the better places we drink in on some Thursdays. Getting there and getting home again is generally OK, and in particular, getting home by train is far more relaxing than having to get a bus. I finished my third pint at about the right time to wander over to Shortlands station to catch the 18:32 train. It just so happened that about 30 seconds before my train arrived the "Orient Express" train went roaring through the station. Of course it isn't really the Orient Express, and sadly it wasn't steam hauled on this occasion (that is a fairly rare treat), but it is rather more visually exciting than the rather bland railway carriages used by Thameslink and Southeastern trains.

 When my train arrived at Catford I rushed as fast as I could, which wasn't very fast at all, not to home but to the corner shop just past home. There was absolutely no reason to get excited, but I was excited anyway ! I was excited to pick up a parcel of stuff from Amazon. Quite why a couple of rubber lens hoods for my camera lenses which I won't need until Saturday at the very earliest, and probably not even then, should be reason to rush is unknown, but I did it anyway. I also wanted a couple of bottles of diet cola, but it was those lens hoods that really had me rushing around. It might happen again tonight. If it arrives today, as predicted, I will be looking forward to getting and hopefully using, a rather posh camera bag allegedly made by the makers of well regarded tripods, Manfrotto.

 I felt very hungry when I finally got home, and had I not taken a bit of care I could have slaughtered the non existant horse, and eaten it whole between two slice of bread (which I didn't have either). What I actually ate was some lentil salad, followed by some Silesian sausages (smoked sausages made in Silesia) with mushy peas. It was fairly nice, but I wanted more, and I had some rather naughty sweet biscuits. They seemed to do the trick, and maybe an hour after eating I was in bed - maybe even asleep.

 I slept well until about 1am when I woke up from some slightly unpleasant dreams, and feeling really quite chilly because I had kicked the duvet aside. The dreams strongly suggested I was suffering from sleep apnoea, although I didn't feel short of breath when I woke up. It's a bit tricky to remember what I was actually doing in my dreams, but it seemed like I was walking my pet tiger through the jungle - a jungle that seemed to be mainly hydrangea bushes - and I noticed that there were several lions moving in on us. I did my best to shoo them away, but I couldn't seem to make any noises come out of my mouth.

 It wasn't until I came back from the toilet, and got into bed again that I felt the need to breath slightly deep - more than just through my nose. The other anomaly is that while I almost felt shivery when I first woke up, I felt perfectly comfortable in the bathroom near an open window, and once again I felt far too hot when I tried to pull the duvet over me when I got back into bed. Once I got back to sleep, which may have only taken 5 to 10 minutes, but felt much longer, I slept OK, and I even had a lie in ! Unfortunately it was rather less exciting than that sounds. I didn't wake up until 4.40am - 20 minutes earlier than ideal, but better than the 30 minutes early of the days before !

 From time to time I have felt pretty much OK this morning, but in the intervals between those time I have felt typically rough. I guess my main complaint this morning is that my legs feel unusually stiff. It is just like I had gone on a long walk the day before. Surely it can be a delayed effect of the walk I took the day before yesterday, although that is the sort of feeling. Oh well, once the working day is over I can put my feet up and relax - if I want to.

 Tonight I probably will relax. If I am extremely lucky I might be able to relax with a free Thai meal from my next door neighbour, but I think I will work on the assumption that I will have to make my own dinner tonight. I don't think there are any gigs on tonight that I could go to in the extremely unlikely event that I have any energy left when I get home. Looking further towards the future. I am looking forward to a great gig in The Black Cat tomorrow night. I think there is a passable chance that Angela might be there on her own, and that could make the evening even better.
Thursday 15th June  2017
 07:37 BST

  Compared to the morning, yesterday afternoon was often rather cloudy, and that reduced the amount of sunshine, but it was still bright and warm. I have an idea that the forecast temperature of 25° C may have just been broken in places. On the whole it was a very nice day. I would give it a score of 9 out of 10 !
another nice day
  Today is not going to be as nice as yesterday, but if the weather can follow the forecast it should still be a very pleasant day. Tomorrow may, or may not be a bit dull, but it will still be warm. Saturday is looking very nice, and Sunday and Monday could be rather wonderful. I think I might have to book a day off work on Monday, and Tuesday as well - just for the hell of it.

 My new early morning hobby of going to the toilet rather more frequently than was ideal for travelling on public transport, didn't last for more than a few hours, and by 10am I was more than ready to go out - although as a matter of caution I did sit on the toilet for a short while before leaving the house. My first port of call was "Cash Busters", the local pawn brokers. I had noticed a Canon EOS D600 camera in their window some days previously, and I was curious about it. I was hoping that I had misread it, and it was actually a D650, but it wasn't.

 I'm not sure when it was that I realised the significance of the numbering of Canon cameras, but now I know it is rather simple. The smaller the number the more expensive, and thus "professional" the camera. Cameras for beginners are in the thousands range. Serious enthusiasts cameras are in the hundreds. Semi professional camera are in the tens, and the really expensive professional cameras are in the single digits. My current Canon camera is a D1200. The D600 is broadly the same camera, but (I suspect) has a sensor selected to have less defects, and a few other refinements.

 I didn't really need to buy that D600, but it was too tempting to ignore. Fortunately I had done some research, and found out the price of second hand cameras from Amazon (although other places could be cheaper). Cash Busters were offering the camera for £325, and that was not too disimilar to the price that Amazon had listed for the camera with basic lens. They also had the camera as "body only" - i.e with no lens or accessories for £269, and that was what I showed to the man in Cash Busters. I said I would offer £300 for it, and unfortunately he accepted. Not only that but he threw in a special back pack with compartments for camera, lenses, and accessories - plus a very serviceable over the shoulder camera bag. It was a very good deal in my opinion.

 Having bought the camera I went the long way home. I called in to the shop that names itself "Savers" and bought some more shower gel, and some mouthwash. Then I took it all home and put the cameras battery on charge - although it was about 80% charged to begin with. While it charged I sorted out a 16GB memory card, and half an hour or so later I was ready to go out. It seemed too late to go too far afield, and so I decided to have a look at Greenwich Park. It is a long time since I've been in there, and a very long time indeed since I have done any more than just walked straight through it. I actually started off just outside Blackheath village, and ended up in the centre of Greenwich.
3.5 miles in the hot sun
  This is the route I took. I started by the green blob, and ended at the red blob. The little excursion off to the left, beyond where it says A2, was to a place called The Point. There are some amazing views fom there over central London, as well as over Greenwich itself. It was a good test of my zoom lens on my new camera. I took quite a lot of pictures on this walk, and I am rather pleased with how many of them came out. As usual there were an assortment of duds, but the good ones proved both the camera, and how well I could drive it. It has quite a few differences to my Canon D1200 - buttons are in different places for one thing, but there is also the minor annoyance that it has a fold out view screen. Folding that out is a bit of bother, and I learned that it is easier to control the basic parameters - ISO rating, aperture size, and exposure time - using the tiny display in the viewfinder. Being forced to learn that might be useful because I can also do it on the D1200. I reckon it will Friday, at the earliest, before I get some pictures uploaded to Flickr, but once I do I will provide a link.

 The main casualty of my three and a half mile walk was my feet. I had put on a brand new pair of white slip on plimsoles, and I had assumed they would be very comfortable. On this occasion they weren't ! The sole of my left foot eneded up feeling very sore. Apart from that everything else held up quite well. My chest behaved itself, and I didn't feel any discomfort from the right hip at all. If it wasn't for my feet, specially the left foot, I could have walked a lot least I think I could, although I did feel totally whacked when I got home. I think I am a bit out of practice !

 All I had for breakfast yesterday was a small bowl of peanuts, and yet when I got home, not that far in advance of when I usually start dinner, I didn't feel like eating much - and in a way, I didn't. I had two little tubs of bean salad (one was three bean salad, and the other was chick peaa salad). I have had those in the past, and managed to keep my blood glucose down, and lose weight. After those little tubs of salad I had a small punnet of cherrys, and then ruined everything by eating a small tub of yoghurt ice cream - which of course has rather a lot of sugar in it even if it is allegedly low fat.

 In the hours before going to bed I received a text message out of the blue from Angela. It was one of those messages that show that there is still a strong bond between us - at least I think it does. It was little more than a one line message saying that the prescribed Steroids that "her John" is taking are having a very negative effect on his personality. In one of my responses to this I suggested she really ought to try and leave him at home if she comes to the gig in The Black Cat on Saturday night. I think she will if she can, and if she does she will be able to let here hair down, and enjoy herself. That will please me, and I hope we will be able to enjoy the gig with some degree of closeness to each other.

 It should have been a great relief to get to bed last night, but as soon as I got into bed I found I didn't feel sleepy. It was nice to lay down, and get the weight off my feet, but I ended up tossing and turning trying to find the mythical extra comfortable position that allows for instant sleep. In doing so I managed to upset my chest. I had a very localised hot stabbing pain just under (in the direction nof towards my waist rather than inwards) my left man boob when I laid on my right side. Turning back to lay on my left side allowed the pain to fade away again, but for a while it partly reappeared on my right side. It was a little lower down, and quite a bit milder, but in my fantasies it did suggest that the heart surgeons wrist watch was still floating about in my chest somewhere.

 Eventually I did fall asleep, and apart from waking up at 4.30am again, I think I slept OK. I guess I don't feel too bad this morning. My left foot still feels a little tender, but the rest of my is only mildly creaky. Even my chest seems to be mostly OK this morning. Quite how I will fare through the day is anyone's guess. The next hurdle will be getting to The Shortlands Tavern - the venue for this Thursday night's after work drink. Normally it is a fairly straightforward journey, but I can't decide whether to go via Victoria or Denmark Hill. Decisions, decisions !
Wednesday 14th June  2017
 09:24 BST

  It was nice again yesterday. The forecast predicted 22° C and cloudy skies for my journey home from work, and I think both bits were slightly wrong. I'm not sure it got over 21° C, and I am sure it was still bright for most of my journey home, although as I walked from the station to home I did become aware of some very dark clouds, and maybe half an hour later I was convinced it might rain. It didn't rain, and sometime after dark the clouds drifted away to give nice sunshine this morning. By all accounts it is going to be a real summers day today.
Flaming June at
                  last !
 Flaming June has happened at last, and if this forecast is to be believed, Sunday is going to be really flaming ! This is as it should be considering we are only a week away from mid summers day.

 Work was both good and bad yesterday. I passed many a happy hour wasting my time away playing with an obsolete video encoder unit for streaming video across the internet. It was a relatively cheap module we had adopted to include in some of our products about 5 years ago (possibly more). The one I was playing with was on a development board - one of our own multi purpose circuit boards. With some assistance from those with better memories I managed to get it set up and working correctly, although I didn't really see it working in the way I wanted.

 The problem with this encoder module is that it relies on obsolete Microsoft "Active X" protocols, and will only ever work with Internet Explorer, and ideally in Windows XP, although it could still work with Windows 7. I saw it working on a colleagues PC. He was fortunate enough to have installed the Active X component before we all had our administrative privileges taken away. I could see the video stream, once I found it, on VLC player, but that does not give access to all the control possibilities.

 The bad bit of work was not work itself, but a picture I saw while I was at work. It was a picture of Angela and John snogging, and it made me feel quite depressed. It is one thing to know a reality, but another thing to have it rubbed in your face. John has just finished another course of radiotherapy, and presumably he has had at least another year added to his warranty. It is feeling an awful lot like I am going to die long before he does, and sometimes it feels like that would be a very good idea.

 They say every cloud has a silver lining, but I can't quite picture where clouds came into it...Nevertheless something good did happen, and it happened on the way home. Some chance set of circumstances came together that allowed me to get to Waterloo East, platform A, before the 15:50 train to Hayes (Kent), calling at Catford Bridge, closed it's door, and it sped off without me as it usually does.

 When I got back to Catford I definitely wanted to buy a couple of bottles of diet cola, and I had a sort of yearning for some comfort food. Now comfort food does not have to be full of sugar and stuff  - it can just be something very tasty, and slightly unusual. Going in Tesco would be a disaster, and the corner shop doesn't really have anything exciting. So I went in the Turkish Supermarket who sell both diet cola and exciting stuff. The exciting thing I bought was a big hunk of smoked Polish bacon, and it was rather yummy, although it might have had a sting in it's tail.

 My dinner started off with a simple salad of green leaves and tomatoes dressed with olive oil, and with a generous sprinkle of flaked Parmesan cheese on it. Among the green leaves were a fair amount of coriander leaves. They gave a nice "zing" to the salad, although their flavour was not 100% appropriate. After eating the salad I ate the bacon. It was supposed to be precooked in it's shrink wrapped package, but I was not so sure, and I wanted it warm anyway. So I put it in the oven for 20 minutes.

 I felt quite hot after eating, and it was a warm evening, so I decided I would just lay on my bed after dinner. That was at approximately 6pm. I'm not completely sure what happened next. I read for little more than 5 minutes before I decided to rest my eyes. It didn't really feel like I had fallen asleep, but the next thing I knew was that it was almost 8pm ! An hour later I was in bed properly. I was not expecting to be able to get to sleep very easily after my post dinner nap, and so I read for a while, but I am fairly certain that I was asleep well before 10pm, and it may have even been 9.30pm. The funny thing is that I slept rather well last night.

 This morning I felt a bit creaky, but basically OK except for some mild discomfort in the guts area. I thought that I was probably constipated because nothing happened when I first went to the toilet. Ten minutes later something did happen, although it was nothing exceptional. The same happened about every 15 minutes ! I have no idea where it all came from. As far as I am aware I had been going to the toilet averagely normally in the previous days, but this morning I passed enough for three days ! It seemed like it might be a very good idea to not attempt to go to work in that condition, and so I didn't. My last visit to the toilet, which came at fairly short notice, would have been when I was just getting of the train at Waterloo East - not an ideal position to be in.

 My last visit to the toilet was at about 8am, and now, several hours later,I feel like I must be completely empty ! I'm not sure whether to blame that little interruption to the smooth flow of life on the Polish bacon, or possibly the coriander. The latter did advise to wash the coriander before use, and I didn't really do a very good job of it. Considering it wasn't like food poisoning, and all the violent emissions that can cause, I think I will blame it on the bacon - it was very fatty. Anyway, apart from some intermittent lower back pain, and a few twinges from my right hip, I feel fairly OK now.

 I am not sure what I am going to do on this bright sunny day. One thing I have done is to wash a thick double duvet cover, and that is now on a clothes horse in the bath dripping away. Fairly soon now I think I'll go out and see what is in the pawn shop, and maybe the charity shops. I think I'll pop into Supersavers too. I think that is where I bought some nice pomegranate flavoured shower gel, but it could have been Tesco's who sold it. I think I'll stay clear of the tempations of Tesco's. After I've been to the shops I might be bored for the rest of the day, or something may pop up - either in reality, or in my imagination.

 To finish off, some music. This is from a band that only existed for a very short period of time, but I saw them perform live several time in the company of Jodie in about 1994. They were called Dollface, and this is the acoustic version of their song called Rockstars - a song full of irony !

Tuesday 13th June  2017
 07:49 BST

  It didn't feel too bad yesterday, but the lack of sunshine was a bit depressing. It wasn't a complete lack of sunshine. I think it must have been around 5pm, too late for my journey home from work, when the sun did come out for maybe 5 minutes.
a return to
 The sunshine returns today, and it could be 4° C warmer today compared to yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately this morning was very similar to yesterday morning - a rather chilly 12° C by my reckoning. On the plus side, it was a glorious blue skied, and wonderfully sunny start to the day. Tomorrow could be better in all ways. For a start it should be 16° C in the morning, and then loads of sunshine should push the temperature to 24° C.

 I did remarkably little at work yesterday, and I have to admit it did make the day go slowly. I will probably try and find something interesting to do today so I don't get bored. The other bad thing about not doing much at work is that I tend to slump in my seat, and that makes my chest ache - not a good idea when I am trying to use less Ibuprofen. It was a great relief when home time came around, and I could get out and stretch my legs. It wasn't all perfect though. for some reason the sole on my left foot felt sore. While I am not sure of the actual mechanics of it, I think I can blame it on the shoe I was wearing. Maybe it is time to retire that pair of shoes, or at least put them on light duties - walking to the corner shop and back maybe.

 I was very much looking forward to my Thai food for dinner last night, but I resisted the temptation to zap it in the microwave the moment I got home. Of course I was rather hungry having not eaten since the night before, but I tempered my appetite, just a little bit, by eating some fruit. I have to confess I was spurred on to do this when I realised that my last flat peach, and the last 4 apricots in the punnet were just about to start fermenting. I think I ate them just in time. They were deliciously sweet - although that does increase my blood glucose load a bit more than is ideal.

 My Thai food was yet another green chicken curry. It is very nice, but it lacks the wonderful "zing" of the spicy beef, or the more sophisticated taste of the pork Penang, or chicken with cashew nuts that I have been given in the past. Nevertheless, it was most enjoyable - particularly when zapped up with some hot chilli sauce. I do wonder about the various food values of these dinners. They never seem to have excess oil, and so in that respect they may be lower in calories than I may fear, but on the other hand they do come with a lot of white rice, and all that starch feels like it should be quite fattening despite what some might say. Once eaten that starch gets converted to sugars, and that is not good for me, and yet.... This morning I don't feel like I ate too much, and it doesn't feel like my blood glucose level is high - not that you can really tell without testing your blood.

 Last night seemed to go really quickly, and it didn't seem to be long before it felt like bedtime. I was probably asleep not too long after 9pm, and just for a change I seemed to sleep quite well. I even had some pleasant dreams. I had two notable dreams, and I can hardly remember either of them now. One of them, in the first part of the night seemed like it was an advert for an advert that featured itself as the subject matter. That is about the only lasting memory of it I have. It was probably far more complex than that. The second dream could have lasted for hours or seconds. All I can remember is like a snapshot of it. I was sitting next to a woman (can't remember who) and we were comparing entries in what would now be thought of as an old fashioned paper address book.

 I feel sort of good this morning, but it's all in the head. The early morning sunshine has cheered me up, and maybe it has been helped by a few less aches and pains than usual - unless that is just my imagination helped along by the sunshine. One thing that is definite is that apart from some initial stiffness when I first got out of bed, my right hip joint is not giving me any discomfort at all. Perhaps it is being overshadowed by my chest. That has definitely felt tight and sore, as well as creaky and groany, while walking in the cold air. I probably ought to be wearing a coat in the morning, but the sunshine makes it seem like summer, and 12° C should not feel as cold as it seems to.

 I was thinking of popping into Tesco on the way home from work today, but I will resist that. I have sufficient salad in the fridge, and it has got to be used up very, very soon before all those leaves go limp and nasty ! I do need some diet cola, but I can get that from the corner shop.Maybe tonight I will eat slightly, mostly, or even actually healthily (but don't bet on it !). That may be all I will do. I could wash a couple of shirts, and I still have a double duvet cover to wash, but from this end of the day I feel like I won't be bothered to do either. I think I fancy reading a bit before having an early night. It is possible, even if not likely, that I might go out to an open mic on Thursday, and so a bit of extra sleep in the sleep bank might be useful.

Last night, as I passed through Waterloo station I stopped to take a video clip of what was happening on the concourse.
Monday 12th June  2017
 07:56 BST

  I think "bright and breezy" sums up yesterday's weather quite nicely.
very uninspiring
  Yesterday's forecast for this morning's temperature was more accurate than this morning's forecast. I think the temperature as I came to work was closer to 12° C than 14° C, and while the breeze was fairly light, it was enough to make it feel quite chilly. At least 18° C will feel a bit better, and there might even be a flash of sunshine if I can wait until 9pm, but overall, today's weather looks crap. It makes me feel quite depressed. If the forecast for tomorrow has any credence it will be a much better day - a fair bit of sunshine, and feeling much warmer at 22° C. It is probably madness to believe that the forecast for Wednesday can possibly be true, but if it is we can look forward to strong sunshine, and a nice warm feeling 24° C. It will be nice to feel like it is summer again.

 I've already described what I did for most of yesterday, but I can add one update. It arrived too late for me to have it last night, but I did get some more Thai food from my lovely neighbours. I shall look forward to it tonight. I think it may only be another green curry, but if I am lucky it will be something more exotic. I really wish it could be more of the spicy beef that I was given some weeks ago.

 Last night was another night where I didn't sleep in the way I hoped for. One potential reason this time was that it seemed my bedroom cooled down quite quickly after dark. I was in bed a little later than intended, but I was still asleep before 10pm. It felt a bit warm when I first got in bed, and I fell asleep almost uncovered. When I woke up a little after half past midnight I wasn't shivering, but I definitely felt rather cool - but only when I laid in bed trying to get to sleep ! I didn't seem to feel particularly chilly when I went to the toilet where the bathroom window was open, and I didn't seem to feel chilly when I went online to check a few things.

 Going online didn't work too well - well not after 1am ! The internet was fine and then suddenly stopped working. I glanced at the clock in the corner of my PC screen, and it said 1am precisely. I can only guess that Vermin Media were doing some sort of maintenance because everything was working fine when I got up - about half an hour before I intended to get up ! I'm sure there was a period between 1 am and when I got up where I was awake, but it seems a bit of a dreamy memory. What is certain is that at 4.30am I woke up feeling very uncomfortable. Part of it was the need for the toilet, but I also had many bits of me complaining of being stiff, creaky, and aching. It was too late to anything except get up.

 I guess I am lucky that at this time of year, when the days are (usually) bright and long (today being a mega exception) I need less sleep, but here at work, where there is hardly anything to fire my imagination, or enthusiasm, or distract me, I expect I will feel terribly tired, and keep dropping off in front of my PC screen. I'll probably feel fine once I am on my way home. For the moment I feel relatively OK. My upper body might have felt a little less creaky if I had worn a coat this morning - I was beginning to feel quite chilly as I walked from the station to work in just a short sleeved shirt !

 Tonight I look forward to eating my Thai dinner, but that is about all I have to look forward to. I do have a duvet cover that needs washing, but I'm not sure I will be bothered to do that tonight, although I'll have to do it sooner or later. I can't think of any other distractions for tonight. Maybe I'll have to watch some TV, but that can be so depressing. Perhaps an early night is more desirable for more reasons than just catching up with my sleep !
Sunday 11th June  2017
 16:23 BST

  Just as the forecast said it would be, it was nice yesterday. A bit warmer may have been nicer, but 21° C was very acceptable. The only thing that spoiled yesterday was the wind, but only in as much as it was contributing to a lot of noise. It was making the tarpaulin on the skip that next door's builders are using flap about noisily, and they have a sign attached to the scaffolding that is only attached at the top. It is only some sort of lightweight fibre, but it can still make a racket !
good, but not
                  that good
  I was a bit late getting a screenshot of the weather forecast. I took this one a little after 2pm, and unsurprisingly it was about right. There has been a fair amount of sunshine today, and once the day warmed up it has been very pleasant. It's just a shame that the forecast gets worse and worse. The forecast has changed already, and now it predicts that tomorrow will be no more than 18° C. It is going to be quite cloudy, and the chances of sunshine seem slim. From time to time the clouds may turn thick and almost black, but apparently it won't rain.

 I wasn't sure if I was going to be 100% lazy yesterday afternoon, or only 75% lazy. It is possible that I was actually less than 75% lazy ! After I got washed and dressed properly I went out and took a big carrier bag full of assorted shirts to The British Heart Foundation shop. I find it quite amazing how many shirts I accumulated over the years. Most were probably one size too small - just half an inch around the collar seems to make quite a difference to the around the gut measurement !

 While I was out I also popped into the 99p shop to buy some more scented oils for my oil burners, and some more tea lights to power them. I also found a lemon squeezer in there. I've been looking for a lemon/lime/orange squeezer for some time (but obviously not very hard), and now I have one - and it's rubbish ! Maybe that is not quite true. I tried it on a lime, and I could squeeze out 4 or 5 times the juice just between my thumb and fingers. I suspect that the squeezer would be far more effective on a nice ripe lemon.

 Finally it was time to go out for the evening. I had done some research, and found the correct bus stop and bus route number to get from my first port of call, The Mitre Hotel pub in Greenwich to me second port of call, The British Oak pub in Blackheath. I arrived at The Mitre Hotel quite early, and had a chance to exchange a few words with Chris and Jo from Chain who were playing there. That gig started, or should have started at 8pm, and so I could watch almost all their first set before moving on to see maybe half of Life Of Brian's first set (and all their second set).
Chain at The Mitre Hotel in
 The lighting in The Mitre was very variable. There was a lot of daylight coming in from the side windows, and the week before that seemed to work to my advantage when I took photos of Life Of Brian. Last night it seemed to be working against me. For one thing it made colour balance tricky. The internal lights in the pub are very red, and gave everyone a bright red face. Sometimes that would be just one side of the face. The other side looked very blue by comparison. I wasted quite a few of what could have been really good dynamic shots because the exposure values, and colour balance were all over the place.

 After watching (and photographing) Chain for about 50 minutes I packed up my camera, went for a quick wee, waved goodbye to Chris and Jo, walked to the bus stop, waited for a bus, and finally travelled on that bus to The British Oak. According to the time stamps on the image files there was just a gap of 29 minutes between the last picture I took at The Mitre Hotel, and the first picture I took at The British Oak.
The Life Of Brian at The
                  British Oak
 Sadly, the first pictures I took at The British Oak were complete and utter rubbish ! It was because I tried to use the camera without checking the exposure and white balance again. The lighting in the two pubs were completely different. Photography in The British Oak is always a bit of a challenge for some reason, but at least The Life Of Brian do make some attempt to light themselves. I think the picture above looks passable, but it did need a bit of (electronic) darkroom trickery to get it like this.

 I was sort of lucky that Angela was there, and she was by herself. Her John was originally going to go, and he did driver her there, but while he is undergoing radiotherapy he is understandably a bit ratty, and Angela suggested he should go straight home again. I did manage to get a little bit of time with Angela, but not as much as I hoped, and we didn't share a cab home, although we were in the same car. I was offered a lift back to Catford with Angela and Maxine in Maxine's dad's car.
Maxine and Angela plus
                  Maxine's dad
 Maxine is in the centre of this picture. Her dad is on the left, and Angela is 2nd from the right. Unfortunately I was put in the front seat of the car, and Angela and Maxine were in the back seat. I don't think I got a chance to say a word on the way home, or at least not to Angela. Maxine was talking almost non-stop, and only Angela managed to get a few words in while Maxine breathed in ! Oh well, at least it was a nice easy ride home - even if it was a bit noisy !

 When I got home I had a few sandwiches, checked my email and stuff, and finally got to sleep at something like 1am this morning (possibly a little earlier). If I had slept through to something like 9am I would have been very happy, but I didn't. There were a few times in the evening when I had the mildest of stomach aches. Nothing seemed urgent, but I knew something was brewing. At 5am (or I think it may have been earlier) I woke up full of wind - wind that was often escaping ! After two visits to the toilet, with about 10 minutes between them, I found myself feeling considerably light, and rather more comfortable. I had also forgotten how to sleep again !

 Today I have done two things, and one of those is not complete yet. The complete one was a bit more laundry. Yesterday, while sorting out shirts I didn't want, I found an old pair of work issued trousers - issued by my previous employer something over 14 years ago. They were rather smelly, but in otherwise good condition, and they were the right size according to the label. I put them in to soak last night, and this morning I washed, and fabric conditioned them. I note now that they are actually a very dark blue colour and not very dark grey. If they are dry I might wear them to work in the morning to see how they feel. If they are still OK I may put them aside for special occasions when formal trousers might be useful - my own funeral maybe.

 The other time consuming thing today has been electronic darkroom stuff going through last night's photos. It seems the more skill you acquire doing this, the longer it takes. It makes daylight photography so wonderful - no colour balancing or exposure correction - just the occasional bit of straightening, and maybe a bit of clipping. Eventually I'll get around to uploading the best photos to Flickr, and post a link to them here.

 I have just one more thing to do before getting in the mood for extreme laziness, sleep and preparing for work tomorrow, and that is to keep my fingers crossed that I may be treated to some delicious free Thai food. I'm not optimistic about it, but I live in hope.
Saturday 10th June  2017
 12:37 BST

  I would mark the weather yesterday as "satisfactory" - in the same vein as schoolteachers mark an end of term report when they can't think of anything good or bad to say. The morning was a lot cloudier than expected, and there was one short splash of rain, but the afternoon was mostly bright. I reckon the temperature only hit 19° C instead of the 20° C forecast, but there wasn't much in it.
sunshine !
  There was some cloud earlier this morning, but now the sky is mostly blue, and the sun is shining. The only negative thing is that it doesn't feel quite as warm as I might have hoped for (which might be good for reasons I'll explain in a minute). The problem is that there is a rather cool feeling breeze. It's not too strong but seems quite intrusive. Tomorrow seems rather disappointing. The forecast predicts thick black clouds all morning. No rain is forecast, and the temperature will be a constant 17° C. Just before midday the temperature will start to rise, but only by 2° to peak at 19° C. By 4pm there could be some sunshine.

 As what seems to be normal now, I felt pretty rotten at work. Bits of me hurt - particularly my chest. I think it is the office chair I use - it is designed to support this that and the other, and maybe it is super healthy for the thin and ultra fit (and probably vegetarians), but the empirical evidence is that it damages me. Of course it would help a lot if I got more exercise at work - such as going up and down the fire escape 8 times a day for a cigarette break.

 When I left work my chest felt very crunchy. With every step I took I could feel all the bones and gristle grating away. The only cure, or maybe relief is a better word, is the walk through it. I did my best to walk as fast as I could to the station, and I think I managed to shave a few seconds of the normal time. If I had had enough energy to race up the long, long staircase to the platform I might have been able to catch the train I often miss at Earlsfield.

 Gaining three minutes at Earlsfield should have been enough to get me to Waterloo in time to catch the 15:50 train - the one I usually just miss - but, alas, not this time. I had to get the 16~:05 as I do on all but the very rarest of occasions. What makes that even harder to bear is that the train before the 15:50 was shown as running 3 minutes late. Why is it never the 15:50 that runs 3 minutes late ?
chicken, avocado and bacon  It almost seemed like the moment I stepped off the train at Catford Bridge I felt far, far better. I would go as far as to say almost normal ! It was no trouble at all to walk down to Tesco, and buy all sorts of old junk, and almost a pleasure walking from Tesco to home.

 There was really only one thing I really wanted to get from Tesco, and that was some fresh basil, but I bought some extra salad leaves and tomatoes "just in case". Unfortunately I spotted some reduced priced sandwiches and I had to buy them too. They are all past their use by date now, but the Chicken, Avocado and Bacon I ate just a minute ago was fine - except it is not a taste combination I like. I was hoping that maybe Angela might eat it. The other two sandwiches, both chicken and bacon if I recall correctly, will be very handy for when I get home from a gig or two tonight.

 It wasn't long after I got home that there was no chance of seeing Angela last night. It seems John had his radiotherapy, and was sent home again. I gather he has more sessions on Monday and Tuesday. I am sort of surprised he wasn't kept in. Maybe he refused, or maybe Angela talked him into it. I thought radiotherapy was quite a shock to the system, and they would want to monitor him for 24 hours, but it seems likely I am wrong.

 With no Angela to entertain I had to amuse myself by doing some laundry. I washed a couple of work shirts, and I think it was half a dozen pillow cases - and a pair of shoes ! (I did the shoes separately using the soapy water, and the conditioner after I had used them on the shirts and pillow cases). I'm not entirely sure what else I did that used up so much time. It seemed no time at all before it was bedtime.

 I felt rather tired, and I was in bed at my usual time - 9pm. With no work in the morning I could have stayed up later if there was anything that might amuse me, but there wasn't. I did something unusual last night - not particularly because I needed to, but more in the way of an experiment. While my chest was not hurting, I could still feel it was a bit crunchy. So I took a couple of Ibuprofen tablets before I got into bed.

 It may have just been coincidence, but I seemed to get a far better nights sleep than usual last night. I woke far few times than usual, and I felt more refreshed than usual. Unfortunately I still felt very stiff and creaky. It took a little while before I felt able to do something like more laundry. I've actually been quite productive this morning. I've washed a double fitted sheet, some flannels and dish clothes, plus a medium sized bath towel......and another pair of shoes.

 It was good that it felt quite cool this morning because all that hard work, up to my elbows (or to be truthful, wrists) in hot soapy water got me very hot and sweaty. It was not helped by two other factors. I had some ice cream last night and so my blood glucose level would have been too high this morning (although other symptoms of that seem absent), and even worse, I had a breakfast that involved a lot of hot chilli sauce ! I think I have only just about stopped sweating now !

 I think once I have finished writing this I might have a snooze. Then I ought to have a shower and get dressed properly. Having done that I could take some old shirts (all clean and in good condition, although a little musty) to one of the charity shops. Maybe I might try the heart one (British Heart Foundation or something) this time, or maybe I won't bother going out for anything - I can think of a few low priority odd jobs that I might tackle instead.

 Later on I will definitely be going out. I think I am going to go to two gigs tonight.  Chain are playing in The Mitre Hotel tonight. I don't like that place that much because it tends to get too crowded as the evening progresses, but when I saw The Life Of Brian there it was quite civilised for the first hour, and the natural daylight coming in the windows made photography fairly easy. That light only lasts for about half an hour. So I think my plan is to go to The Mitre Hotel for maybe an hour, and then as the light fades to go back to the bus stop where I got off the 199 bus earlier, and get the next 386 bus.

 The 386 stops right outside The British Oak where The Life Of Brian are playing. Apart from trying to take a few photos there, what happens next is difficult to predict, and it all depends on Angela. If John is comfortable she may come out without him. In which case I may stay until the end, and then if I am very lucky I will share a cab back to Catford with Angela. If I am luckier still she will pop in and have a night cap with me. If she does not come to the gig, or has John with her, I will probably only stay for about an hour before heading home again.
Friday 9th June  2017
 08:17 BST

  Overall, yesterday was almost chilly. The afternoon should have been warm enough, but it was quite windy, and that made it feel a lot cooler. There wasn't much in the way of sunshine, but there was a little bit, and that was more than was forecast. It was dry all bar a few seconds of some very light misty rain I felt once or twice in the early evening, but once I was safely indoors for the night there was probably quite a lot of rain.
The weather
                  improves !
  The latest weather forecast for today is not quite as good as the forecast I saw at 5am. The earlier forecast only had one light shower mid morning, but now two periods of rain are forecast, and the first looks like it could be quite heavy. The way the clouds are thickening suggests the forecast will be correct. It was barely over 12° C when I walked to the station, but a lot of my journey to work was under mostly blue skies with some lovely sunshine. This afternoon, once the light shower at 1pm has passed, it should be quite nice. At the moment the forecast for tomorrow is looking quite good - mostly sunshine and a top temperature of 22° C.

 I felt quite creaky yesterday - until I had some beer ! I am going through another phase of my chest being very creaky indeed. During the day I could feel all sorts of unpleasant grating and creaking sounds as I made various movements, and by the time I came to go home my chest was feeling a bit sore. The annoying thing is how it can sometimes feel similar to a heart attack - but not quite. It is still hard to ignore though. It rather made my journey from work to Bromley less than enjoyable.

 I felt much better when I finally arrived at The Partridge pub - the venue for our Thursday night drink. I stuck to my guns and only had three pints, but the second was a medium strong beer - Fullers HSB - and my third pints was a strong beer - Fullers ESB. I felt much better when I left the pub, and my journey home could have been quite pleasant. Unfortunately it wasn't pleasant ! For unknown reasons the bus driver decided to terminate the service at Catford bus garage. At the stop before the garage we were all turfed off the bus and had to wait for another bus. That only took 2 minutes, but it was enough to really annoy me. My  annoyance was upped a notch or two when I noticed that the front of the bus was still saying it was going to Catford Bridge !
320 bus not going to Catford Bridge
                  despite what it says on the front
 There was one positive outcome from this. The bus I got on two minutes later was a 54, and they stop near the pharmacy where I wanted to pick up my repeat prescription. I thought I was going to have to do that after work tonight, but I managed to get it on my way home last night. I think it was all the electioneering that was going on, and it being polling day, that seemed to drive me into a foul mood last night. That and the beer meant that my dinner was not quite what I might have intended. First of all I had to eat a couple of beef and horseradish sandwiches that I had originally bought for Angela, but were on their use by date. Instead of filling me up, they just made me feel even more hungry. So I zapped some curry in the microwave, and had that as well.

 I don't know if the beer, the sandwiches, the curry, or polling day caused it, but my sleep was spoiled several times or more last night by terrible cramps in my calf muscles. It might have been 3 or 4 times that I had to leap out of bed and walked up and down a bit to relieve the agony of those cramping muscles. Strangely enough, I don't seem to feel quite as tired as I did yesterday. Maybe the thought that it is Friday is having a restorative effect.

 I shall be more than happy when the working day is over, and I can go home again. Two possible things might happen tonight. The one with the 95% probability is that I'll do some laundry. The other 5% could well be divided between 4% something random, and just 1% that I might see Angela tonight. John (my rival for Angela's love) has gone back in hospital for a series of radiotherapy sessions, and there is a chance, albeit a very, very slim one I feel, that Angela may choose to come and relax with me for a couple of hours tonight.
advert at Waterloo East
 I've already had it pointed out to me what the real point of this advert is that is running at the moment (this one was alongside platform D at Waterloo East station). It is supposed to warn Barclays customers about possible email scams and phishing attacks, but I read a different message from the visual image. To me it says that if you get a mortgage from Barclays Bank they effectively own the property, and are at liberty to do what they like with it - including opening a bank branch in your front room - which is a bit ironic because like most banks they are closing small, and even not so small branches.

 In the midst of all the turmoil as the country goes through a change of government, here is some soothing video of really not much happening at Waterloo last night. A temporary stand tries to sell/promote chocolate, but few are interested.

Thursday 8th June  2017
 08:17 BST

  It wasn't such a bad day yesterday. It might have been nicer if it was a bit warmer, but 19° C was acceptable, and it did stay dry. Sadly, we seem to be back in spring again today.
This weather would be acceptable in
                  April, but not in June
  This forecast, screenshotted at about 7.45am, starts off wrong. Both my thermometer and my bare arms said that it was just 13° C when I walked to the station. I hope that it doesn't sell us short for the afternoon temperature. 17 or 18° C is pretty poor for June in my humble opinion. At least it should stay dry today, although the small print did mention the possibilities further to the west of London. Tomorrow is forecast to be warmer, and I think some sunshine is involved in the process....although rain might be a possibility towards the end of tomorrow.

 In some respects, yesterday might have been a bit of a waste of a days holiday from my holiday allowance from work. I didn't really do much that was particularly useful, and I didn't see Angela - and it was with the hope of seeing her being the main reason for booking the day off work. I'm guessing that it was on the basis of John not needing to use the Morphine pump he was hooked up to that the hospital gave their OK for him to be released. That man seems to have more lives than a cat. Angela's last communication to me was that she would keep me up to date, and of course I have heard nothing since. I suppose that means nothing has happened, but I thought it might have been courteous to send at least a brief text message to say that they were home, and that John was comfortable. She is not making it easy to have much sympathy for the man.

 It was still broad daylight when I got into bed last night. Of course at this time of year that means very little, and I think it was almost 9pm. It didn't seem to take long to get nice and comfortable, and to fall into what I think might have been a deep sleep. After about 4 hours of sleep I woke up, or to be more precise I was woken up. I have no recollection of actually hearing my phone bleeping, but upon waking I noticed it's tiny little light was flashing, and there were a couple of messages on it. I might have turned over and gone back to sleep straight away, but I also needed a pee.....only a small one, but even a small amount can nag a bit while trying it to get to sleep.

 After coming back from the toilet I read the messages on my phone - both were completely inconsequential - and then tried to find that same comfortable position that had originally allowed me to get to sleep so easily before. Unfortunately someone had stolen it, and I went through the usual thrashing around trying to find the exact bit of pillow that wasn't as hard as a rock, or had boulders in it. Then trying to find the bit of mattress that had less old spanners in it, and fitted my body, and all the time trying to find the perfect position of duvet that let my big toe cool down, and my little toe stay warm. I think I thrashed around for as much as 90 minutes before I felt asleep from pure exhaustion - possibly.

 This morning I feel sort of OK, but as always, far from perfect. One particular satisfaction is that my right hip joint didn't give any cause for complaint as I made my way into work....although I must confess that I did take a couple of ibuprofen tablets along with my usual compliment of prescribed drugs. If I had the choice I would definitely have gone back to bed again this morning. Maybe I could have got an extra hours sleep, or maybe not. I feel that work is not going to be terribly exciting today, and it might well be the exact opposite !

 The good thing about today is that it is polling day. I have had it to the top of my head with all the electioneering in the last week or two (or three, or four, or....). Today it all comes to a stop as the polling stations open, and people mark their choices for the next government. In all my life I feel that this is the most polarised I have felt about an election. For the first time it seems to be a choice between definitely evil, and possibly incompetent. If watching Blakes 7, and reading so many SciFi books has taught me any lessons at all, then it is that we are most likely on the cusp of England becoming a one party state if the wrong party are elected. If the wrong party, a party that doesn't like human rights laws, wants mass surveillance, is probably looking at internment without trial, likes ripping foxes apart for fun, and wants to sell the NHS to the Americans, gets into power then today may be the last time the signs go up on the local primary school like I snapped on my way to work this morning.
Polling station in Catford
Wednesday 7th June  2017
 12:31 BST

  Yesterday morning was as wet as the weather forecast predicted - very ! After non stop heavy rain all morning the afternoon was quite benign. There were a few sunny spells, but as evening approached there were more showers. Regardless of what the actual temperature was (probably the forecast 15 or 16° C), it felt rather cool. Things are a lot better today - so far !
cool, but a lot more user friendly
                  than yesterday !
  There is a lot of cloud around, but there seems to have been more sunshine that the forecast suggest to me.  At the moment it feels no warmer than yesterday, but unlike yesterday the temperature is still rising. It could seem quite pleasant in a few hours time. Tomorrow is going to be cloudy, but it is (or was) forecast to stay dry, and the temperatures should be similar to today.

  Yesterday morning I visited the pharmacy, but they didn't have a pre-printed script for my repeat prescription, but they did confirm one had actually been printed. They suggested enquiring in the surgery next door - which I did. The surgery also confirmed that it had been printed, but it might be waiting for a doctor to countersign it. As of this morning it is still in the system somewhere, and it now looks like I will be picking up the completed prescription after work on Friday.

 I didn't get to see Angela at lunchtime as I hoped I might, but I did see her in the evening.  So in the afternoon I did a few odd jobs, read for a bit and generally relaxed until Angela messaged me to say she was on her way to me. We had a most enjoyable few hours together, and apart from the ever present background knowledge that John was in hospital, it was so close to being like I was back with her again - even to the extent of the slightly intimate act of massaging her feet with aloe vera enriched baby oil because I said they felt like they were a bit dry and rough. Angela enjoyed that a lot !

 For the first time we talked about the future, although in a sort of oblique way. It will still hit Angela like a brick when it happens, but it does seem that she realises that episodes of John being seriously ill are getting more and more frequent, and he can't last that much longer. In the meantime we seem to be laying the foundations for the two of us to get back together again. It is impossible to say that it will definitely happen, but the indicators are looking good for it. It is probably ghoulish to feel happy about life at the moment because of a persons imminent death, but it is difficult not to.

 I may have gone to bed feeling emotionally good, but it transpired that I didn't feel physically good. I had a few good hours of sleep before waking up again feeling rough in all sorts of ways. It took a little while to realise one reason why I was uncomfortable. I think I can blame it on the baked beans (with sausages) I had a couple of days ago. A lot of my discomfort was trapped wind, although initially it just felt like a sort of generalised pain in the belly area. It sometimes feel like it was pain radiating out from my hip joint, but eventually I passed a lot of gas, and a lot of solid matter, and felt a lot, lot better. The only trouble after that was that having been awake for at least half an hour, and maybe even a full hour, I seemed to forget how to get back to sleep.

 I did get some poor quality sleep, and even managed to sleep beyond 5am, but it seems like everything was conspiring against me to stop me sleeping. My pillow had turned to solid rock, and my neck hurt. The temperature felt all wrong - too cold without the duvet, and too hot with it. Like my pillow turning to rock, my mattress felt like it was stuffed with old spanners. I can't really remember when I actually got up. I think it was sometime around 6am.

 I didn't feel too great when I first got up, but I seemed to shake that off quickly, and then I performed a slightly masochistic act to make me feel bad again. That act was to shower using Original Source "Black Mint" shower gel. It's quite nice stuff apart from the terrible truth about it. It probably contains menthol or something that makes your testicles, and other delicate bits feel like they are dangling in extra iced water, possibly even liquid nitrogen ! The label describes it as a refreshing, or invigorating effect, and I suspect that label was written by a sadist ! Oh well, I have now got through three quarters of the bottle, and at the current rate I will have used it all by the third quarter of next year !

 Having got clean and dressed I went out. Initially it was to the surgery and pharmacy to see about my repeat prescription. I am assured that my prescription is in the system, and probably still waiting still waiting on a doctor to countersign it. I'll probably pick it up after work on Friday, although it does occur to me that if I get the right bus home after tomorrow night's drink, and if I am early enough, I might be able to pick the prescription tomorrow.

 Once I had got walking I felt surprisingly good, and I could barely detect any stiffness or soreness from my right hip joint. I could have, and it might have been useful to walk further afield, but I ended up only walking as far as the Pound Shop where I spent rather a lot of money, and had rather a lot to lug home. I was happy that I still felt fine doing a fairly quick walk back home carrying that shopping - which was moderately heavy because I had several big bottles of bleach, a big bottle of fabric conditioner, and some shampoo and conditioner.

 I can't be bothered to go out to the bathroom to check it, but I think the shampoo and conditioner was a flavour I hadn't tried before - something like mandarin and mango. If I am quick I might have time to wash my hair and test it before I see Angela again later this afternoon - at least I hope I see her again then. There is always the possibility that John might be discharged from hospital, and Angela will not be available again today. It would be nice if I do see Angela again today because I bought her a couple of oil burners in the Pound Shop. I think they are called oil burners. They are little ceramic doodahs that have a dished top for scented oil that is heated by a tea light inside the thing. I bought them because Angela remarked how nice the vanilla scented oil was that I was using on a couple of burners that originally came from the 99p shop. I hope that the vanilla scented oil that came with the new burners is as nice as the vanilla scented oil as I was using yesterday.

 With luck I will now have enough time to have a snooze, wash the dishes and glasses, change my bed linen, and maybe wash and condition my hair. With luck I will see Angela to make all these things worthwhile, and to fill up an otherwise empty evening. Tomorrow I am back at work, but at least I have my Thursday drinking session to look forward to !

 It was only this morning that I remembered I had some video footage on my mobile phone shot at The Life Of Brian's gig on Saturday night at The Mitre Hotel in Greenwich. It was basically a test of my new mobile phone. It isn't perfect, but the phone camera coped with the light, and the audio hasn't come out too bad considering how loud it can be at a gig. It is only a short clip from the middle of the band covering The Travelling Wilburys song "handle With Care".

Tuesday 6th June  2017
 09:10 BST

  When it counted, yesterday's weather was not too bad. There was probably more sunshine than I expected, but it had all gone by the time I left work to go home. In fact it was exceedingly dull, and rain seemed very likely. There was a brief splash of rain on the train windows either just before, or just after the train called at London Bridge. As I walked from the station to home I could feel a feel very light rain drops hitting my face, but they were probably drying even as they hit me. I was rather lucky because it wasn't too long after getting home that the first significant rainfall fell. Near to sunset the rain seemed to stop, and the sky lightened up enough to show a touch of pink. That should have indicated fine weather coming - it lied !!!!!!!!
wet, wet, and
                  wetter !
  Before the sun had really set the thick clouds moved back in again, and made it prematurely dark. Those clouds wasted no time in dumping copious amounts of rain on Catford, and while they may have taken a breather now and again, they are still dumping loads of rain even as I write this. The forecast, which rather strangely has not changed in the last 4 hours, says this heavy rain will continue until midday. After that we may get some sunny intervals, and a few isolated showers. Tomorrow is looking distinctly better. There could be sunshine or sunny intervals through the entire day, and it will be a useful bit warmer too. It was just 11° C this morning, and despite it being June, and approaching mid summers day, I decided I would be far more comfortable with the heating on.

 Once I settled down I felt mostly OK while at work yesterday, although I did go through a period of depression.....or was it anger or annoyance.  They engineer whose speciality is thermal imaging cameras, and who was getting irritating while he worked in my room, was back in my room doing some stuff - and making a complete hash of it ! On this occasion his presence didn't bother me too much, but his bumbling attempts at electronics and project building did ! He was building some sort of demonstration unit, and it looked a mess. I could have done a far better job for him if only he had asked - it is my speciality, and why I am so valued at work (or so they say).

 I was quite lucky, maybe even very lucky coming home. As I have already written, I managed to get home in the dry despite some really threatening clouds in the sky. Once indoor I did - nothing ! Oh, well maybe that is not exactly true. I did prepare a rather tasty salad, and of course I ate it too ! It seems that after all these years I have only just learned how to make a nice salad. The secret, like in so many other cases, is "less is more". My salad only had a few ingredients - tomatoes, basil, rocket, cucumber and olive oil - and was so much nicer than the salads I used to make where I would thrown in everything except the kitchen sink.

 If I could have eaten very little more than just that salad, and had a similar meal every night for a week, I would start to lose some very useful amounts of weight, but I felt the urge for more last night. I didn't know what I wanted to eat next, but then something caught my eye. All of a sudden I felt an urgent need to eat a tin of Aldi own brand baked beans with sausages - and I did. What's more is that was the first time I have tried Aldi's own brand, and my conclusion was that while the sausages were a bit bland, they had a much nicer texture and flavour than the last time I bothered to heat up a can of baked beans and sausages - possibly Tesco brand, but they could have been Heinz.

 The one other significant thing I did before going to bed last night was to talk to Angela on the phone. The latest news is that John, my rival, was admitted to hospital yesterday after attending a pain relief clinic there. Angela was obviously very upset about this - not least because at the rate he has been deteriorating recently there is a chance he is unlikely to come out again except to go to a hospice, maybe. I'm not entirely sure how I did it again, but somehow I managed to pull Angela up from the depths of despair, and when we finished talking she appeared to be as happy as possible in such circumstances.

 This morning I learned that John had been offered an operation that would be performed today. The offer was made last night, but apparently he was offered breakfast this morning. That doesn't sound right if he is to be operated on today. It did cross my mind that he may have imagined the offer while under the influence of strong pain killers. I suggested to Angela that it was good news in so much as the doctors weren't giving up on John, although privately I think it may offer false hope to Angela.

 I am on holiday from work today and tomorrow, and I think my brain and body have already taken advantage of this. I slept soundly until I woke up at a little past 2am. I felt pretty lousy when I woke up. Some of it, maybe most of it was because I felt cold in bed. It felt like my summer duvet was not very effective when the weather has turned the clock back to April and it's showers. Funnily enough, I didn't seem to feel cold when I went out to the bathroom for a wee. The bathroom window was open while the rain thundered down outside, and the wind blew, and yet I felt mostly comfortable being in there without a stitch of clothing on - more comfortable than under my duvet !

 I think I was wake for over half an hour feeling cold and creaky and uncomfortable. If I lay on my right side my hip joint complained, and if I lay on my left side my chest would complain. Once I got back to sleep I slept until my body woke me up at 5am.....well actually it was 5.02am, but that is close enough to when I have my alarm set when I have to get up for work. This morning I didn't have to get up to go to work, and I had the luxury of turning over and going back to sleep. It didn't actually feel that easy. It was another of those occasions when I didn't realise I had fallen asleep until I realised it was 6.45am, and I had had an extra 90 minutes of sleep.

 So far today I have done some laundry, and I have showered and washed my hair. Next on the agenda is to venture out into the pouring rain to go to the pharmacy to enquire about a repeat prescription, and then go around the corner to Aldi. I'm not sure what happens after that. I've offered to buy Angela lunch if she is not still at the hospital at Lunchtime. That could mean meeting and going to the Wetherspoons for a real meal, or she might come here where I will have a couple of freshly bought sandwiches for her. Apart from that I will probably pass the time doing a few odd jobs around the house, and some reading.
weeds on the track
 I took this picture on the way home from work yesterday. It shows the railway tracks at the Charing Cross end of Waterloo East station. The significant thing is the amount of fully flowering weeds visible. Prior to the privatisation of British Rail, the track workers would take great pride in their section of tracks. Embankments would be kept trimmed back, and in some cases would look like lawns where they had been mowed, and the track itself was kept free from weeds and other debris. The roots from those weeds will gradually ruin the quality of the ballast that holds the rails in place. Maybe not so much in this picture, but there are places where the track looks like a lush garden. Also not so much in this location, but the roots of those weeds can puncture the waterproof membrane below the ballast, and further damage can happen - even flooding !
Monday 5th June  2017
 07:41 BST

  The best I can say it that the weather was acceptable yesterday ! As the forecast prophesied, it was sunniest in the morning, and a bit less sunny in the early evening, with a duller period in the middle. It was dry, and sort of mild, although I'm not sure if the peak of 18° C was reached for long. There were a few times when I closed the window because the draft felt a bit chilly.
the weather
                  is getting worse
  We are definitely heading into Autumn now....or that is what it seems like. It was just 12° C, and feeling quite chilly when I walked to the station to come to work, but at least it was bright and sunny with a nice blue sky. It is now looking very cloudy, and I'm not sure if we will get our allocation of sunny periods as the forecast predicts. The maximum temperature of just 17° C is a big disappointment, and I am fearful that I am going to get very wet as I make my way home after work. It get's worse - maybe. The current forecast for tomorrow shows it to be 2 degree cooler than today - except for one brief period around 4pm when it will only be 1 degree cooler than today. It may also be wetter, but paradoxically, there could be more sunshine between showers.

 Apart from playing around with the photographs I took on Saturday night, I had a very unproductive day yesterday. There were times when I felt very tired, but it was probably just boredom because I couldn't sleep whenever I tried to have a snooze. The odd thing about yesterday is that despite the boredom, I ate very little. The trouble is that "very little" included a small tub of vanilla ice cream. I don't know if all the sugar and fat in that ice cream finally tripped my hunger off switch, or if it just tripped something in my subconcious (the guilt switch ?), but whatever it was it sort of worked.

 My spirits were both lifted and depressed at the same time when I got a call from Angela. We seem to be best mates again, but sadly it is on the back of tragedy. She phoned to ask if it would be OK to call me if she needed help lifting John up if he fell over. I find the idea a bit "icky", but I said yes, and I would have gone over there to help her. It really does sound like John is coming to an end, and yet he has a strong willpower, and has pulled through many brushes with death before, although each incident leaves it's scars on him.
polaroid of Angela
 It seems a bit odd showing a photograph of a photograph, but.... This is the first meaningful polaroid photo I've taken since buying the camera, and some film for it maybe two months ago. At around £2 per shot I feel the need to be quite selective about the pictures I take on it. The picture shows Angela sitting on my settee on Saturday night. With hindsight I wish I had gone for a lower angle shot. I think I have only 3 or 4 shots left on the black and white film I decided to use first. Once I've used them I can try some colour film. I have no idea why I am amused by using my Polaroid camera, and maybe the novelty will have worn off by the time I've used the last of the colour film. I suppose to complete the set I ought to lug it to a gig some day.

 I was determined to get to bed early last night, but I started reading in bed, and I finally got to sleep even later than usual (although not by much). Maybe I slept reasonably well last night, but the way I have suddenly started yawning suggests otherwise. What I do know for sure is that one of the times I woke up in the night was close to 4am, and that if my alarm had not woken me up at 5am I would not have believed that I must have fallen asleep again. I was having the most realistic dream about laying in bed not being able to sleep when I was woken from it by that alarm !

 It took some time to realise it, but I don't feel that great this morning. My right hip has given me trouble again. It felt a little stiff when I first got up, but it wasn't until I had almost reached the bottom of the escalators at Waterloo that it really gave me a jolt. I was doing a fast walk down the escalators when I must have altered the way I put my right foot down when I passed someone. As I put my foot down I felt a nasty jolt of pain from my hip joint. Fortunately it very quickly subsided, and I didn't have to slow down.

  I was a bit wary coming down the stairs at Earlsfield station, but I had no trouble there, and while there was enough sensation from the hip joint area to remind me to not over do it, the walk from the station to work was painless - in that respect. I did have some peculiar other discomfort as I walked from the station to work. It was 95% like hunger pains, but I am not sure what the other 5% was. It was that sort of pain that isn't painful, but is still an annoying sensation. It felt good to arrive at work where I can sit down and by lazy for the day....or maybe not so lazy.

 There isn't much for me to do here today, but there is enough to fully occupy me if I wanted to be fully occupied. The significant thing is that there is nothing urgent for me to do - yet ! The same could well be true tonight. If I was feeling really masochistic I could run the hoover over the living room carpet. If I was feeling manically masochistic I could get down on my hands and knees and brush the stair carpet. I doubt I will do either, but stranger things have happened. One thing I think I will do today is to book tomorrow, and maybe Wednesday, as days off from work. I think the chances of seeing Angela tomorrow are vanishingly slim, but she starts work again tomorrow after long period off work, and I want to be available if she needs support - particularly if she needs a hug after work.
Sunday 4th June  2017
 09:47 BST

  Yesterday was a huge improvement over the day before. Most of the day was warm and sunny, but not exclusively. Maybe it only happened in Greenwich, but at about 9pm it rained for a half an hour or so. That worried me because I was out without a coat, but it turned out to be no worry at all for reasons I shall explain soon.
not good, but not
  Today, as the forecast foretold, started off nice and sunny - and it is still sunny now. Maybe if we are very lucky the sunshine might hold out a bit longer than the forecast predicts, and maybe that will raise the temperature a bit closer to what I expect (even if no one else does) for summer. I really hope the forecast is wrong for tomorrow, and the day after. Both days feature a lack of sunshine, and an excellent chance of me getting soaked on my way home from work !

 I think I can describe yesterday as being mostly a day of rest. As I mentioned yesterday, I was busy for a bit in the morning doing some laundry - including laundering 3 pairs of cheap, but very comfortable, thin soled, slip on, plimsole-like, shoes/trainers. I also did a bit of light cleaning and tidying in small doses during the afternoon. I think I did those because I probably had a subconcious premonition......

 I spent quite a lot of time yesterday trying to snooze, but I don't think it really happened. I'm not sure why this should be when it is so easy to fall asleep, or perhaps start to fall asleep in front of my PC monitor at work ! Anyhow, I felt sufficiently rested to go out to see The Life Of Brian playing in The Mitre Hotel in Greenwich.

 It was a very different night to what I expected. For one thing the band started at 8pm. I hadn't expected that, and only just got there in time. Two other positive differences were that there was still a lot of natural light coming through the windows at that time, and the pub was not very crowded at first. Both made my photography much more enjoyable, although I still had to cope with the "vintage" lightbulbs they have there casting a lot of red dish light on peoples faces.
The Life Of Brian at The
                  Mitre Hotel
  It wasn't all that long before the pub began to fill up, and by the end it was too crowded for any photography. One of those who came in, maybe 20 - 30 minutes after the band started, was Angela. She was, as expected on her own. John is on very strong painkillers at the moment, and Angela left him sleeping peacefully. I was very, very happy to see the old Angela back. She was happy to let her hair down, and greet everyone she knew warmly, and she spent a lot of the time with me.

 After the first set had finished she went outside to have a cigarette, and I went out with her because it was difficult to talk inside because of the noise. One thing she commented on was that she only had 4 cigarettes left. I said it was a pity she would want to get back to John as soon as she could because I had a spare pack of her favourite brand at home. To my surprise she said that she was not in a great rush, and we could share a cab back to my place - and we did.

 I think Angela stayed for something like an hour, and it was all rather wonderful. For that hour I had the company of the old Angela. It wasn't all happiness because she obviously had stuff to get off her mind about John. Before she left she commented about how at home and relaxed she feels at my place, and that she definitely wanted to meet for a drink after work again like we used to. I went to bed feeling rather happy - tempered only by the idea that a great tragedy has to happen before I can try and make things a bit more permanent in the future.

 I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. I seem to recall seeing 1.30am on the clock before I went to bed, and I still woke up at 5am as usual. Since then I have had some breakfast, and started work on the photos I took last night - and it seems I took rather a lot of them ! Later today I could be going to The Ladywell Tavern, which means walking all the way through the park, and a bit more. They are having a musical beer festival - or something like there. I think they have bands on from 1pm to 6pm. I think there is a strong possibility that I won't like any of them, but I may pop along with my camera - and there is even a chance that Angela may join me !
Saturday 3rd June  2017
 11:21 BST

  I got so wet going home from work yesterday that I think I shall write the whole day off as a very wet day. Maybe that is a little unfair because there was some sunshine in the morning, and maybe just a little bit of the afternoon.....and while I was walking from work to the station, but after that all hell broke loose. Oh well, it was sort of warmish rain....
not so warm today
  It does seem we have lost the summer heat for a while. Today will only reach 20° C, and that is only just starting to feel warm - although it really rather depends on whether you are laying on your bed trying to snooze without a shirt, or if you are working in the garden. If the latter then I could accept that it is warm or slightly beyond.

 Tomorrow and Monday are not looking very inspiring - just 19° C and cloudy, and Tuesday could be horrible, but I rather expect the forecast for Tuesday will have changed beyond recognition once Tuesday actually arrives. Perhaps Wednesday will start the slow climb back to "flaming June".

 I don't know if I felt good or bad at work yesterday. I get so many random, and often short lived pains these days that it is hard to come to a conclusion about what the average state of me is. I do know that there were times when I felt extremely sleepy. Of course these were times when I couldn't be bothered to find anything to do to distract me. I definitely recall feeling a bit rough just before going home, and thinking that getting home would be quite an ordeal.

 Perhaps it was just another facet of my imaginary allergy to work, because within 30 seconds of actually leaving work I felt fine. I was aided in this by the extraordinary situation of the weather. Just 5 minutes before leaving work there was torrential rain, but as I opened the door to step outside I was greeted by strong sunshine !
black clouds and bright
 I took the snap above just before I left the business estate. Note how bright the foreground is, and how black the clouds are in the background ! I arrived at Earlsfield station perfectly dry, and after a few minutes I was on the train that gets me to Waterloo just 30 seconds late to catch the earlier train home from Waterloo East station. I thought my luck had changed when the National Rail app on my phone said the 15:50 train was going to be 1 minute late. That should have given me a chance, but in reality that train was almost 1 minute early !

 I then faced a 15 minute wait on the platform for my usual train home. During that wait the sky got a little darker, and a few drops of rain fell, but it didn't seem to be significant enough to bother walking a few tens of feet along the platform to seek shelter. It might be worth noting that I did have a rain coat with me, but it was still in my rucksack at this point, and in fact it would stay there until I got home.

 When I alighted from the train at Catford Bridge the sky seemed suspiciously dark, but it wasn't raining, and I didn't stop to put my rain coat on - I was hoping I wouldn't need it. I didn't go straight home last night because I wanted to go in Tesco. I had barely walked for 15 seconds when the first rain drops fell, in another 15 seconds there was the most torrential downpour - and I was just in shirtsleeves.

 By the time I got to where I could have cut through to Tesco I was soaked through, and I concluded it wouldn't make any difference if I walked on to The Black Cat to see if there was a gig on there tonight. There wasn't, but I thought I might pop in for a quick whisky while I dried my glasses and mobile phone. Unfortunately the barman there knows me too well, and pulled a pint of Guinness for me with asking what I wanted. So I stayed in there a bit longer than intended. While I was in there I thought I would send a friendly message to Angela telling her of my plight. What I learned in return was that John, my rival for her love, was in a lot of pain, and that it seems he is now losing the battle against his cancer. It seems there may be a chance that I might get back together with Angela sooner than expected. It is a tragedy that it comes at such a price.

 After drinking my pint of Guinness I could have put my raincoat on to go back out into the heavy rain, but I was so wet it didn't seem worthwhile. So I braved the rain and went over to Tesco where I bought a lot of salad stuff, and surprisingly little else. After I took my shopping home - in the pouring rain - I went out again, still in just shirtsleeves, to the corner shop to pick up a parcel from Amazon.

 I didn't do that much last night, but I did make some effort to eat healthily. I may, or may not have failed. Dinner part 1 was perfectly OK. It was salad dressed with a sprinkle of olive oil, and with a very small amount of pork luncheon meat - rather fatty, but it was only 35p's worth of it from the reduced price counter. I'm not sure of the goodness or badness of the middle course. It was something I haven't had for ages, and I spotted it on the reduced price counter for just 45p. It was 3 small lamb hearts. They seemed quite lean, and after what could be called poaching them for 20 minutes in the microwave there was not a lot of fat floating around in the stock that I had "poached" them in - and any fat there was mostly stayed with the stock which I didn't eat. Those hearts were nice, but typically a bit tough, and I think I have satisfied my curiosity again for some time. The final part of my dinner was a punnet of strawberries. They obviously have a certain amount of sugar in them, but they weren't extra sweet. Very nice though.

 Eating dinner was the last thing I did of any note last night. I was on my bed (it felt too sticky to get in it last night) reading quite early, and I can't be sure, but I think I probably put the magazine down and turned out the light before 8.30pm. I don't think I slept very well at all. I woke up quite a few times in the night, and on one of those occasions I woke up with my left hand almost completely numb. It was very much how it felt when I woke up after my operation in 2013. It wasn't pin and needles, but just numb. That was a bit worrying, but the skills I learned back in 2013 came back to me, and I could still lift up, and open a bottle of diet coke without being able to feel it. I think it was the action of doing that that seemed to restore my hand back to normal very quickly.

 I woke up again at 4.30pm, and from then on I hardly got any sleep - at least it didn't seem to feel that way. Since then I have done two lots of washing, and very little else. One piece of washing was quite specialised - I washed the mud off the slip on plimsole like trainers I wore on the way home from work yesterday. While I was doing it I also spruced up two other pairs. Then I washed my work shirts, and that was about it. Oh, I've also had some elevenses - a rather strange elevenses. It was a "NEW" Tesco beef madras curry. It was quite small - you could have poured it into a half pint glass with ease, and came with no rice. I was quite annoyed to see it seemed to have quite an excess of oil in it. Without it I could say it made quite a good little snack - or would have done if it a lot nicer. I think the main problem was that the chunks of beef in it were of dog food quality !

 One reason for eating it for elevenses was that I want to bring all my eating forward tonight so I don't feel hot and bloated when I go out tonight. Tonight I am going to see The Life Of Brian at The Mitre Hotel pub in Greenwich. It is not one of my favourite pubs, although bands love it. I find it is hot and sweaty at this time of year, and is often very full of drunks who crowd around the end where the bands play, and generally get in my way. My intention is to try and get there as near the start as possible, and try and shoot off a few snaps before going home again. It is possible I will grit my teeth and stay longer if Angela is there by herself. I would guess that John is in no fit state to come out tonight. I don't know if Angela will be happy to leave him on his own, but if he is zonked out on super strong painkillers then the best thing would be to let him rest, and probably sleep. I guess it could be argued that it might be unsafe to leave someone like that unmonitored, but that just reinforces the idea that the best place for him now is a hospice.
Tesco being very optimistic
 It wasn't that long ago that I had a small rant about Tesco sending me some vouchers for £7 off my shopping bill if I spent more than £50. I did manage to use one of those vouchers, but only by buying two bottles of whisky. Tesco obviously that worked so well that they were really clutching at straws yesterday.  Along with my till receipt I got a voucher partly shown above. You might think that the offer would start from yesterday, but no, it seems to be a fixed period offer. So if I had waited until the 6th to do my shopping I might have had just a few hours to suddenly think of something I desperately need that cost more than £150. If I was spending £150 (or more) on "Electrical or Gaming" goods I would probably be buying them from Amazon. I don't think I'll be using this voucher !

 I finally remembered to upload two of the pictures that I used some electronic darkroom effects on to enhance. I think they came out quite well. You can view Geoff Paice here, and Jo Corteen here - both in medium high resolution. (They will open up in a new tab or window on a PC).
Friday 2nd June  2017
 07:49 BST

  It was quite pleasant yesterday. There were some very nice sunny intervals, and it was warm and dry. The only downside was that it sometimes felt a bit humid, but even that wasn't too bad. Today is looking sort of weird.
warm and sticky with the chance of
  Today actually started off bright and sunny, but since then it has become very cloudy - maybe more so than the pictogram for 8am suggests. The small print of the weather forecast looks like this - "A bright morning although occasional showers will develop with a risk of localised thunderstorms, hail and torrential downpours possible in the afternoon in some places. It will feel hot and humid in hazy sunny spells between showers.". I don't like the idea of torrential rain and thunderstorms ! To be safe I've brought in a more waterproof rain jacket than the one that I've been keeping at work since the mornings have been mild enough to come in without wearing a coat. The thing I fear most about thunderstorms this afternoon is just how temperamental the signalling system into Waterloo station. Previous experience suggests it hates heavy rain, and/or the odd nearby lightning strike ! I don't want to be delayed getting home on a wet Friday afternoon.

 Getting to the pub after work was a mostly smooth experience yesterday, but if I had had my wits about me I could have got there even faster than I did. At Victoria station I was standing right by an Ashford bound train, and as I checked to see if it was going to be the first to depart the doors closed and it raced off towards Bromley. The train I actually got departed just 4 or 5 minutes later, but it was a stopping train. I think I arrived at the pub at about 4.30pm, and that is earlier than I can normally get home. There is something wrong about that !

 I think I was rather looking forward to a beer last night. I ended up having 4 pints instead of my normal 3 pints. Maybe it was aided by it being a rather good night. The pub was quiet and so it was easy to follow all conversations, and that was aided by the layout of the two small tables we sat around. Getting home again was not as awful as I had expected. The extra pint meant that I left a little later, and because the pub is before Bromley town centre on it's way back to Catford, it was only lightly loaded when I got on it. It was still a bit of a slow boring journey, but with dazzling sunshine pouring through the window next to me, it was hard to feel too glum about it.

 I fear I made a tragic mistake when I got off the bus. Drinking 4 pints of beer after fasting for what was just about 24 hours by the time I had got off the bus, had left me feeling seriously starving hungry. Unfortunately I was also drunk, not roaring drunk, but drunk enough to order some sticky BBQ ribs along with 2 pieces of chicken and fries. The chicken and fries were naughty, but those sticky ribs must have had so much sugar on them that it must have sent my blood sugar level soaring.

 I'm not sure if I can blame high blood glucose or just a plain hangover for feeling pretty bad this morning. I guess the mild headache that has popped up a few times, and the general feeling of my brain being wrapped in a wet towel can be blamed on the hangover, but I don't think it accounts for my right hip being sore again this morning. My chest continues to protest as well. Neither are particularly bad, but both, combined with the hangover, make for an unpleasant experience. One good thing is that the lower back pain I had yesterday does not seem to be a feature this morning.

 I think I must have an allergy to work. I felt dreadfully tired at work yesterday, but within minutes of leaving work I felt fine. Even after drinking beer and eating too much I still felt mostly alert, although it didn't take long to fall asleep once I went to bed last night. I was very alert within seconds of waking up, and I am sure I never even thought about the merest possibility of yawning as I came to work, but now I've been here for just over an hour (as I type these words) I can't stop yawning !

 Now I can't wait to get home again. Nothing spectacular is going to happen tonight, and I might even have an early night, but a few things will probably happen before I go to bed. If there is torrential rain I might give it a miss, but otherwise I intend to go home via Tesco to buy some salad stuff (and inevitably other stuff too). After a small bite to eat I ought to wash my work shirts, and then I could have a bigger bite to eat, or I could try and refrain because there could be the possibility of some more free Thai food tonight. In theory I want to stick to salad tonight, and maybe if I do get offered some Thai food I might keep it for tomorrow.

cheeky advert on the national rail mobile
                phone app

 I can't help but think there is something cheeky about Uber advertising their taxi services on the National Rail live trains mobile phone app. I'm not even convinced that it is right and proper for National Rail to have any adverts at all on their app. Surely the app is there to promote rail travel, and as such it is an advert for their own services. So why allow a rival to advertise their services as well ? It annoys me !
Thursday 1st June  2017
 07:49 BST

  Yesterday had some similarities to the forecast - the temperature spread was about right, but there was probably more sunshine in the morning and early afternoon, but there was definitely no sunshine as I made my way home from work. In fact it really looked like it could pour with rain at any minute, but it didn't. It didn't even rain at 6pm when the forecast said it would. I think it did rain sometime after dark because the road looked wet when I peeped  out the window at 4am this morning. Maybe it was just a trick of the pre-dawn light because the road seemed perfectly dry when I set off to work.
a bit warmer
                  than yesterday
  It's looking like today may be a nice day. Sadly enough, it could be the last nice day for a few days. At the moment there is very little cloud in the sky, and that made this morning rather chilly, but it does mean it is sunnier than the little pictogram for 8am suggests in the screenshot of the forecast above. The forecast for tomorrow has stubbornly stuck to it being 25° C for several days now, but everyday has forecast less and less sunshine. It's now looking like tomorrow is going to be quite gloomy - rather a contrast to a full day of glorious sunshine that was predicted a few days ago. It is probably best not to think about next Monday. 17° C and grey skies - yuck !

 In the end, I felt pretty rotten at work yesterday. I wasn't fully occupied, and kept feeling really sleepy. I think maybe that was a factor in the return of my aching chest malady. There were many times when I found my eyes closing, and my head drooping onto my chest. Maybe it was the latter that has stirred up my chest, although it is not that obvious why it should do so. What I do know is that I had an assortment of pain from bits of my chest, and when I was walking to the station after work, I could feel all my ribs and bones and stuff, clicking and grating together. The silly thing is that I felt better after that. In fact by the time I got home I was feeling mostly OK. Maybe it is all psychosomatic - it's my dislike of work that is causing phantom maladies. I guess that it better than having real maladies.

 Just to add to the misery I started to feel starving hungry at work yesterday. My stomach was growling, and I reckon it was producing acid too because I started to feel quite acidy. I ended up taking a few Rennies ant-acid tablets to calm that down. The good news is that while all this was going on my right hip joint was behaving itself quite well, and most of the time I was not even aware of it.

 If I can carefully forget about the 5 Jaffa Cakes I ate, I ate most healthily when I got home. I had a two part dinner, and both parts were at least, and possibly more than 50% green leaves (except the green leaves that were purple !). Part one would have been acceptable even to militant vegans - I think. It was just leaves, cucumber and tomatoes with just a bit of olive oil as a dressing. Some of the leaves were basil leaves for a bit of extra flavour.

 Part 2 was similar but included some hard goats cheese that had been in the fridge for well over a week, and possibly three weeks. I had to cut off a couple of little green spots from it ! I attempted to flavour this salad with some fresh Thyme, but for some reason it wasn't very strong. Maybe it would have been better if my Thyme was a bit fresher. It had been in the fridge a few days, and was starting to wilt.

 Preparing and eating those salads was about all I did last night. I was going to wash a few shirts, but I don't think I could be bothered....I don't think I could be bothered to even remember I wanted to wash them. I did spent enough time reading and writing messages to mean that I never got to bed as early as I would have liked to have done. It was close on to 9pm before I got into bed, and I think I fell asleep almost instantly.

 I probably didn't sleep very well again last night, and particularly now I am at work I feel very sleepy again. The only dream I remember from last night was about going back to visit my old secondary school. It was very confusing as to how long it had been since I had left school when I went back there. It was like a lot had happened or changed, and yet everything was almost the same - even to the extent that I spotted an old coat on a hanger that I had forgotten when I left school. One part of the dream suggested that I had gone back after less than a year after leaving, and I was hoping to meet a few friends who had gone on to the 6th form to take "A" levels (I left at the end of the 5th form with a handful of "O" levels). I think the underlying theme was that everything felt so familiar, and yet I felt like a total stranger there.

 This morning, if I add up the small percentages, I probably feel slightly better than yesterday morning. My chest felt rather crunchy, but it only seemed to ache on one or two occasions. My right hip joint may have very gently reminded me of it's presence once or twice, but it was hardly noticeable. The same lower back pain as I walked from Earlsfield put in an appearance again, but even that seemed a bit more muted than yesterday. One thing that bothers me is how stuffy my nose is. It is almost running, and I don't know if it is mild hay fever, because I keep yawning, or maybe the first signs of a cold.

 Tonight I have some limited entertainment to look forward to. It's Thursday, and drinking night. This Thursday we are meeting at The Bricklayers Arms in Bromley. If I was feeling fit and healthy it is little more than 10 minutes (partly uphill) walk from Bromley South station. I think I will be getting a train from Earlsfield as far as Clapham Junction. Then I'll change to a train to Victoria. From there this a choice of trains to Bromley South station. Then, because I don't want to walk up the hill, or at least I assume I won't want to walk up the hill, I'll get a bus a couple of stops to the pub. Getting home is easy, but very tedious. I get a slow, crowded bus from very near the pub all the way to the end of my road in Catford.
definitely a poppy
 After consulting a few people the consensus of opinion was that the flower I showed the picture of yesterday was definitely a poppy. This was more or less confirmed on my way home. Some 10 hours after I took the photo yesterday morning I took the photo above. In that 10 hours half the petals had fallen away to reveal an almost typical poppy seed head. I have concluded that this is just one of several variants of poppies. On reflection it is pretty obvious that more than one variant exists - the opium poppies grown in places like Afghanistan are obviously much bigger, and have far higher yields of opiates.