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My Diary/Blog For the Month of September 2017

Saturday 30th September  2017
 12:38 BST

  The day started with rain, which was not forecast, and then the sun came out, which was also not forecast, but the clouds closed over again, and the afternoon was overcast, which was forecast. From about 1pm the forecast for yesterday got everything about right - mildly grey and gloomy, and mildly mild - about 18° C at best, and only falling to a cooler, but still not cold, 15° C by midnight. It was still comfortable in a t-shirt at 10pm provided you didn't want to stand still.

this is rather
                    different to reality
  The forecast above is rather different to reality, and later forecasts have moved closer to reality. Instead of it being overcast, as the little pictograms suggest, there have been nice sunny intervals all morning, and while the sun has just gone in as I write these words, the clouds still look nice and fluffy with bits of blue between them. The very latest forecast starts from 1pm, and it doesn't show any rays of sunshine at all. It does seem that maybe the cloud is getting thicker, and maybe the rest of the afternoon will be a bit dull. The other hugely variable thing is the assorted forecasts for rain. It seems that every iteration of forecast for today includes one random hour of light rain. The latest proposal is that there will be light rain at 7pm. It is hard to accept any credibility for the forecast tomorrow, but maybe it could be right considering it is not so different to today. The main change is that 18° C is forecast instead of today.s 16° C.

  Yesterday was not a great day, or maybe it just didn't end all that good. The main thing on the agenda was to go to two gigs, and that is what I did. First of all it was Chain at The Coach And Horses in Beckenham. I stayed there about an hour, and drunk two pints of Guinness. The light was a bit variable, but I hope I managed to get a few good snaps of the band. At the end of the hour I had lost my place near the front, and I couldn't be bothered to barge my way back there again. Sometime that small pub can get a bit busy - particularly when a band like Chain are playing !

 My next gig was The Life Of Brian at The Elm Tree pub in Elmers End. To get there I had to walk a fair way down the high street to get a bus that stops nowhere near the Elm Tree. Once upon a time it used to stop almost opposite the place, but now it misses that stop, and there is quite a distance between the previous stop and the next stop now. I am not sure if I chose the best stop to get off the bus because while it may have been a small walk in the grand scheme of things, it was an annoyingly long walk compared to what it should have been. This didn't set me up well for what was to come.

 The big trouble with gigs at The Elm Tree is that they have some potentially good lights, but nobody there knows how to use them. For the past 6 months (or more) they have been stuck on bright pink, and my camera hates it ! My eyes are none to keen on it as well. I wasn't going to go there because I knew the lighting would be absolute shit, but the previous night Angela said I should go. So I went.

 My reception from Angela was sort of good. I got a nice warm smile and a wave, but she had a minder with her. In all the time I was there about the only question I managed to ask her was if he was a new boyfriend, and apparently he isn't, but he is a great minder, and is really agile at keeping the public away from the celebrity beauty (Angela looked terrific in a red dress), and it seemed I was just an ordinary plebian member of the public to be repelled. I didn't bither to buy a drink. I just tried to take a few snaps, and left to go home again about 15 minutes after getting there.
                          horrible pink lighting
My best effort of trying to force some detail out of a saturated pink picture. It was all a bit of a waste of time really.
washed out because it was taken with
I tried a couple of snaps with the camera's inbuilt flash, and they could have been usable if only I could have seen clearly enough through the viewfinder to see when at least Miranda was looking my way. This photo may be bright and mostly sharp, but it is crap !

 After my experiment with using the flash I waved goodbye to Angela, who waved back, and I think she may have blown me a kiss, but I feeling a little too annoyed to take in such details. The one piece of good luck I had was that the next train back to Catford Bridge was running 4 minutes late. If it hadn't been I think it would have have been a struggle to catch it - if indeed I could catch it !

 Very much sooner than I expected (I didn't actually stop to check the times of the trains before I headed to the station) I was on my back to Catford Bridge. It normally takes as little as 9 minutes on the train between Elmers End and Catford Bridge. On my way home from the station I bought two chicken burgers, and ate them once I got home. Soon after I was in bed, and I think it may have been slightly before 11pm. It is even possible I was asleep not long after.

 I woke up a few times in the night, but I was soon fast asleep again except after about 5am. From 5am I went into that sort of sleep where you only know you have been asleep because big chunks of time have passed without you realising it. My last bit of sleep involved a dream. I dreamed that at some slightly earlier time I had eaten some vividly orange ice cream. The "action" part of the dream was set in a pub toilet, and I was at the urinal peeing bright orange pee !!! I think this served as a wake up call, although I wasn't desperate for a pee when I woke up.

 When I first got out of bed it felt like the usual feeling of total organ failure, but gradually all my organs seemed to come back online again, or mostly online, and I could start to do stuff - if I wanted, but I didn't want. I just spend quite a lot of time reading technical (and comedy) stuff from It is rather I am retired, often with very little to do, frequently half bored, I can't seem to keep up with all the interesting articles on The Register. When I was at work I had little trouble reading all the news items I wanted - while at work !

 Eventually my body felt ready for some hard work, and I washed some shirts and underwear - by hand, of course. Once that lot washed and hung up to dry I could tackle the photos I took last night. I've done the few Life Of Brian photos I took, but the majority of them are rubbish. After that I stopped for some lunch - another salad like I pictured a day or two ago. Once I have finished writing this I will either have a snooze or I'll start on the photos I took of Chain. Tonight I think I am going to see M.T. Pockets in Sidcup, but at the moment it is only a half heated idea.
Friday 29th September  2017
 14:25 BST

  I guess yesterday was reasonably OK. It stayed dry, and there was some sunshine in the afternoon, but only as "sunny intervals". At 19° C it was quite pleasant, and it didn't get too cold in the evening - it still felt comfortable without a coat at 11pm last night !

dull and wrong
  The forecast for today was really rather wrong - at least this morning's version of the forecast as in the screenshot above. The forecast didn't admit it could happen, but it was rain until at least 9am, and probably 10am. An hour after it stopped (let's say 11pm) the sun had come out. It was only the famous "sunny intervals", but it was most welcome - and doubly so when the forecast said it would be raining at midday ! Soon after midday the clouds gathered again, and the rest of the day has been rather grey. I think it will continue to be dull and grey.

 The only worry now is will it be raining at 11pm like the most recent forecast predicts, or will it stay dry ? If it is dry it should be just about mild enough to go out without a coat again. I really don't want to be wearing a coat in a very warm pub ! Tomorrow could be a bit cool - just 16° C at best, but there could be a very small period of sunshine, and it should stay dry all day.

 Yesterday evening turned out to be quite busy. It all started with a 20 minute walk to The Blythe Hill Tavern to meet the lads for my Thursday night beer. After two pints of Guinness I walked home again to pick up my camera ready to go out again. I did have a little while to wait before going out, but eventually I left to get a 54 bus to take me to Beckenham. I had decided to go to Geoff's Open Mic at The Coach And Horses. One reason was that I was sure I would bump into Angela, and I wanted to judge her reaction after the messages we had exchanged the day before seemed to have melted the ice.

 Once upon a time it was easy getting to The Coach And Horses, and one day it will be again, but while the road works go on in the high street - road works which seem to be making hardly any change at all on the surface - the buses are diverted. The nearest bus stop to the pub is a walk up the high street, and by up I mean uphill ! I thought there may be a better alternative. There is road called The Avenue that connects the station to the high street, and the first bus stop on the diversion is right by the end of that road. It felt like it shouldn't be too long a walk to walk down that road. I was wrong ! On the plus side, parts of it are very, very gently down hill, but it seemed a very long walk down a very poorly lit road.
First up was the very photogenic Mark Dobson, of "Dobbo" as he is known. With just a single player I could find a position where Dobbo was lit well enough for a fairly clean picture. I think more of the pubs lights were on as well at the start. Later on it seemed extra dim !
Rob Todd
Rob Todd also seemed bright enough, but only after I used several tricks in my photo editors toolbox to make it look like it !
Room 306
Room 306 - I took this using my new wide angle lens. It is far less sensitive than the usual lens I used, and I had to experiment with longer exposures to get enough light. I tried going as slow as one 20th of a second, but that caused too much motion blur. I think this picture was taken at one 50th of a second. With some hard work I got it looking bright enough, and some sharpening helps disguise some of the motion blur. That lens is not suitable for this location, but I think it could be really useful in other places.
The impossibly thin Sabina
Sabina is incredibly thin, and wears the lowest slung leggings possible, but I guess that just makes her quite photogenic. She does sing well though, and that is most important.

 Angela turned up very late - not that long before I was going to go home. She had been down the road at The Bricklayers open mic. I'm not sure if she really meant to not acknowledge me or if she was too inundated with other people greeting her to allow her access to me. After a bit I said hello, and she replied, but there didn't seem to be much warmth there. However, after I had taken a few more snaps, and announced I was going home, she did become more friendly to the extent that she urged me to go to her daughters "Life Of Brian" gig in Elmers End tonight. I can't be sure it is not just my camera she wants there, but I think maybe not, and that she does want me there.

 I left soon after that. I had a short wait for a bus, and then I was on my way back to Catford. I had deliberately not eaten anything since about 11am yesterday, and so with quite a few pints of Guinness in me, I could not resist diverting via the chicken burger shop after I got off the bus. When I got home I enjoyed my chicken burgers, and then went to bed. It was one of those nights where you think you might never fall asleep, but 10 minutes later you are.

 I didn't sleep that well last night. I remember waking up quite a few times, and I am sure I had some unpleasant dreams. At about 7.30am, far earlier than I would have liked to, I got up. Maybe 20 minutes later, and still unwashed and only partly dressed, I started going through last nights photos. In one marathon effort I got through all 186 snaps and selected about 20 that were presentable after some work on them.

 One other thing I did this morning was to contact Angela. She was not happy on several counts. Most were to do with the weather. She wanted to go out shopping and it was pouring with rain ! There was also something else making her feel fed up. I don't know what that was, but if I read Angela well, and I usually do (or did), it could be the first cracks in her new relationship. While I wouldn't wish her any hurt, I can't help but feeling that maybe there is hope for me yet.

 Today, apart from photo editing, I am taking it easy. Initially I had a bit of a hangover to get over, but now it is more a matter of saving my energy for tonight. My plan is to go and watch about an hour of Chain first. They are playing in The Coach And Horses in Beckenham tonight. It is fairly convenient to go from there to The Elm Tree in Elmers End where The Life Of Brian are playing.
Thursday 28th September  2017
 13:18 BST

  Most of the daytime was fairly reasonable yesterday, but after dark it turned to the wet side. I don't think the rain was ever very heavy, but it was certainly persistent. I think it rained right through the night, and the very last drizzly bits just coming to a stop at around 5am this morning.

the afternoon seems
                    sort of reasonable
  This early morning forecast probably wasn't a bad guess at what today's weather might be like, but it has changed a bit since 6am. The morning was mostly grey, and 16° C sounds about right, but the clouds were splitting up by midday. At first there was an occasional sunny interval, and now the sun appears to be out for quite long periods of time. By 4pm, if the latest forecast is correct, we should have 3 hours of solid non stop sunshine. After that we will revert to sunny intervals until the sun sets. The top temperature is still forecast to be 19° C, and I think we are there already. A lot of tomorrow is going to be a very mild 18° C, but it is currently forecast to be exclusively grey with an occasional shower.
  I did make some effort towards going out last night. My destination would have been The Liberal Club in Orpington where there was an open mic night. I wasn't over enthralled about it, but after checking the times of the trains it seemed like it might be worth popping along for a taster. Had I got there I would have wanted to leave very early because the last train with a good connection appeared to be at 22:10. Later trains would involve silly things like going all the way up to London Bridge.

 So I brushed my teeth, wiped a flannel across my face, selected some clothes, and finally I checked the weather forecast. It said that rain could be expected almost at the time I would be travelling, and I know that the rain was definitely falling at the time I would have been heading home again. So I gave up on the idea, and stayed home last night. I amused myself watching a repeat of QI, and then I went to bed nice and early.

 I read for a while in bed before turning the light out. After so little sleep the night before I expected to fall asleep really easily, but strangely enough I didn't feel all that sleepy. It was one of those occasions where you think you will never get to sleep, and then suddenly you are ! As far as I can recall, I slept well last night, although I would judge that I woke up earlier than I would have chosen to do if I had any choice in the matter.

 A few bits of me ached when I got up, but nothing unusual. What was unusual was that I conversely felt sort of good. It is hard to describe exactly what felt good, but something did. It should have been the perfect feeling to inspire another long, maybe longer, early morning walk, but when it came down to it I found I didn't want to go for a walk this morning. Eventually I did go out (at about 9am if I recall correctly), but it was only to Tesco.

 The thing was, I fancied another nice salad like I had for breakfast yesterday, but I didn't fancy walking all the way to Sydenham to buy one. No one else sells a ready made salad like Sainsburys does (although maybe Waitrose or that other semi posh supermarket does, but we don't have them around here). The answer was to build one myself.

 Do it yourself salads are certainly cheaper than their ready made counterparts, but there are difficulties. The biggest difficulty is buying stuff in small enough quantities. Take radishes, for example: The bag of radishes I bought this morning would have been perfect to feed a family of 6, but I am going to struggle to use them all up before they start decaying. Anyway, the end result of my endeavours looked pretty good, and it tasted pretty good. I hope it was low in the bits that need to be low, and high in the bits that need to be high, and was thus generally a healthy thing.
home made salad
 This is what I ended up with. It is bigger than it may look ! The bottom layer is lambs lettuce. on top of that are two thinly sliced radishes, some sliced mini pepper, two medium sized sliced tomatoes, some green and black olives, basil leaves, and cubed feta cheese. It is dressed with a small drizzle of olive oil for extra shinyness, and a bit of balsamic vinegar. My usual salads are just slap all the bits on a plate, and cut as needed, but because I was trying to emulate, although not slavishly copy, Sainsbury salads I put the extra effort in to make it look more "artistic". I think it actually worked, and by some weird voodoo magic seemed to taste better for it !

 I've done a fair bit of resting since this morning, and the only interruption was to wash a double duvet cover. As interruptions go, it was quite a big one, but it is washed, and currently on it's first stage of drying - dripping over the bath. Later on I will artistically drape it over a clothes horse in the spare room, and leave a fan playing on it to speed up it's drying. Before I forget, there is one other thing I did this morning, and that was to sort out some of my bed linen. All the purple stuff is now in one box, as is all the blue stuff. Everything else is mixed together still, but I have selected, and kept out the brown and suede effect duvet set. I'll be using that the next time I change my bed linen - which will be soon I think.

 I don't really intend to do much more today until I go out for my early evening drink. Tonight we are drinking in The Blythe Hill Tavern. That makes a change from having to go to Bromley. It is but a 15 minute walk away (maybe 20 minutes ?).  I am contemplating whether to limit myself to just a few beers in there, and then go on to Geoff's open mic in Beckenham afterwards. I'm not sure if that would be a good idea or not. There are a couple of people who could be there who might irritate me, and there could be someone there who I would be interested to see - if it turned out that she was interested in seeing me there.
Wednesday 27th September  2017
 18:47 BST

  It would have been nicer if there had been a bit more sunshine yesterday, but it wasn't too bad. It was fairly bright even when it wasn't sunny (conveniently ignoring the few times when it did get briefly grey). The forecast was about right when predicting 19° C, but it is a very ignorable temperature. It doesn't feel noticeably warm, but then again it is far from cold too.

less sunshine than yesterday
  I thought the forecast for today showed that it would be sunnier than yesterday, but now I look at it again, and compare it with reality, it does describe today quite well. It was quite dull early this morning, and there was even a very light mist. One bit of the forecast that was too pessimistic was between 9 and 10am. During that time the clouds/mist thinned enough to see the disk of the disk dazzingly bright between the clouds. There may have been a bit of true sunshine for a few odd minutes here and there. The early afternoon bit of the forecast seems about right. It was usually bright with some sunny spells, but it may have not lasted as late as 5pm. The next event scheduled is rain, and apparently rather heavy rain. It should fizzle out in the early hours, but tomorrow is going to start with thick dark clouds. By lunchtime the sun should be out, and the temperature should be back up to 19° C. Apart from that deathly depressing cloudy start, it feels like tomorrow could end up quite nice.
  Yesterday afternoon was quite boring after I had finished doing my laundry. I do seem to be doing an excess of laundry recently. It is a direct result of the sore bottom I developed as a side effect of the antibiotics I was taking some weeks ago. To put it at it's most brutal, when your bottom is so sore that it is hard clean you end up with skid marks of the most unpleasant kind. More latterly those skid marks are more of the ointment I was using. The good news is that ointment seems to be doing it's stuff quite well, and I am almost past this embarrassing situation.

 One thing I did yesterday afternoon was to have a go at the two crosswords in The Metro. I possibly gave up a bit early because I did have a bit of a headache. The result yesterday was that I did manage a few more cryptic clues, but annoyingly could not solve one clue of the quick crossword. All the other clues seemed easy, but this particular one.....grrrrrr ! Maybe one thing that was distracting me was that I had been in brief contact with Angela. With just a few sentences I apologised to her that I seemed distant, and said it was because I had been advised not to try and re-kindle the wonderful relationship we had before John distracted her because that was not what she wanted.

 A bit later I regretted that what I said sounded sort of final, and possibly sounded as if I believed that advice was actually what I thought was best. As a result I was awake half (or maybe more like the thirds) of the night. This morning I added a comment to say that just because I was following advice, there was no need for Angela to, and that she was welcome to contact or speak to me anytime. I further added that I would consider my life to be more complete if she did need a friend to talk to when she was down, or wanted to hold hands for a walk in the park, or to share a drink with me. This actually generated a very positive response. I can't allow myself to think it is going to make any change in the near future, but maybe it has planted a seed for the future. If she is going out with whom I think she is going out with, there is a strong possibility that it will end in tears like it did last time, and maybe she will turn back to me - dependable, very loving, just a little bit less exciting than some.
walking route today
 After sending the message to Angela I had a masochistic idea that I wanted to go out exercising again - and I did ! I don't think I expected, or indeed intended, to walk 3.55 miles, but that is what I walked, and on the whole it was pretty easy, and it felt like a good accomplishment. I could almost believe I am getting back in shape again....well maybe not shape - that would be premature at this stage - but it did seem like I was recovering my stamina. My next step should be aiming at something like 5 miles, but I can't think of any 5 mile walk around here that wouldn't be boring.

 Maybe if it was bright and shiny out, and tomorrow afternoon probably will be, I could walk to Greenwich. It would have the advantage that I can get a bus back home at any stage of the walk - although maybe that would be too easy. Oh well, we'll just have to see. Ideally I would like to walk early in the morning, but tomorrows dark clouds will make that a really, really difficult thing to do. I guess I need to reprogram my mind to be able to try and ignore the depressing effects of autumn/winter weather.

 There is one good reason for only wanting to walk in the bright and dry. Today it was very wet underfoot, and some paths I followed were muddy...and mud is slippery. At one point I slipped and ended up on my bottom. Fortunately it had no effect on my currently healing bottom, but I was in grave danger of sliding down the muddy bank into the river. The river is not deep. Even the deepest pools in it are probably no more than 4 ft, and the average is closer to a single foot (and some bit of the river are very shallow indeed. If I had slipped into the river it would definitely have come above my knees - and that assumes I landed on my feet. It would not have been a disaster, but it would have been very cold and wet !!
I thought this picture of some fresh fungi came out quite well (although maybe not so great when shrunk down to this size).
my ultimate, but inintended goal
 I didn't realise it when I set out, but this was to be my ultimate goal - breakfast bought from the Lower Sydenham Sainsburys. When I checked the calorie count for these two salads I found that my walk had (allegedly) consumed more calories than these provided. That must be a win !

 This afternoon I had my final visit from my friend Patricia before she goes back to Argentina for the southern hemispheres summer. We had a few G & Ts together, and a nice chat. I guess she went home at around 4pm, or maybe a little earlier. The next time I see her will be next spring - unless she is offered a lucrative interpreting job that pays enough for her to fly over for a week. If it is in London she may stay in my spare room for a few days.

 After Patricia left I cooked some sausages for dinner. I had them with some unknown flat breads that I had in the back of the freezer for ages. I was not even sure how they were supposed to be prepared. I suspect they should have been thawed and lightly fried, They may have come out something like a spicy poppadom. I zapped a couple of them in the microwave for 2 minutes. They were edible, but not very nice.

 After eating I intended to have a snooze, but a phone call from my friend Lee mucked that up. So I investigated how I might get to Orpington for an open mic night tonight. Getting there could have actually been fairly straight forward. Getting home again less so ! For one thing it is an uphill struggle to the station, and for another thing it seems the last train before having to do an awful lot of mucking around, would be at just 10:10pm ! I still thought I might go along for a bit until I saw the weather forecast - it would be pouring with rain before I even got there, and pouring with rain on my way home. I decided to stay home tonight.

 Very soon I will pour a large whiskey, and maybe by 9pm I will be in bed. In theory, after getting little sleep last night, and having cleared some of the difficulties with Angela, I should sleep really well tonight. Tomorrow I might go out for a walk fairly early, but it may only just be to the station and back to collect a copy of The Metro...or maybe I'll have a branwave, or brainstorm, and go much further. Who can tell ?
Tuesday 26th September  2017
 12:50 BST

  The forecast for yesterday was rather sadly true. It was grey and gloomy nearly all day. I think the sun almost came out at one point, but I can't even remember when it was. Maybe it didn't happen after all. The only positive thing, although it is clutching at straws, is the 17° C didn't feel too cool.....although in that grey light it did nothing to produce any warmth of the soul.

sunshine !!
  The latest forecast today is a bit more generous with the sunshine that the forecast at just gone 6am this morning (as in the screenshot above). It was a rather murky start to the day, but fairly mild. I think it was a little before 10am that the first rays of the sun broke through. Since then we have had a little bit of strong sunshine, and a lot more hazy sunshine. Even when the sun is only peeping out from behind a cloud it feels good ! Tomorrow is currently predicted to start like this morning - misty and murky - but the afternoon should see some sunshine, and it should be feeling warm. It all ends on a sad not though. By 9pm it may be raining, and it could rain all night.
  It may not have actually been so, but yesterday felt like a busy day...or some of it did. I described my early(ish) morning walk, and I may have said that is felt sort of good. The next feel good thing was several hours later when I went to Aldi. Admittedly it was in a slightly masochistic way, but the walk there, and the walk back, felt sort of good. It also felt good that I managed to restrict my buying to (almost) just essentials. The few non essentials were some very thin salami and chorizon sticks, and a small packet of spicy pakora balls.

 Apart from cooking and eating dinner (diced beef and brocolli and stuff "stew"), and starting, but not finishing some laundry, I did little of note yesterday afternoon and evening. As soon as darkness fell I didn't try to fight the feeling that bedtime was getting near. It was a feeling that I was supposed be fighting once I retired, and didn't have to get up early in the evening, but I suppose it was mainly based on the idea that I would be going to lots more gigs, or open mic nights, with Angela. That turned out not to be, and a consequence of it is that I am getting very complacent about going to any gigs now.

almost a 2 mile walk After a passable, but not great sleep I decided to expand on the walk I did yesterday. Today I walked all the way to Ladywell station to pick up a copy of The Metro, and I walked back by way of the high street. I timed so that there could have been a possibility of bumping into Angela on her way into work. It was only a slim chance because I am not sure what time she gets to work, and so of course it failed - probably not such a bad idea so I don't get labelled a stalker.

I wish I had gone once more round the block to take that 1.93 miles up to a tidy 2 miles, but it was never my intention to walk as far as I did. It was only a last minute decision to carry on down the high street to seek out the new branch of "Savers"  that replaces the one on the high street that I was going to visit yesterday.

 I found it OK, but at 8.55 it was five minutes before their grand opening. I didn't notice any queues around the place waiting for it to open. In fact it was actually very quiet in the Catford precinct, and Catford itself, with few people moving around. I think my timing was such that the commuters had all commuted off, and the shoppers were only just starting to leave their houses...or something like that.
strangely quiet around
                        Savers who are just about to open up their brand
                        new store
The newly re-located Savers store - with no one in sight !
Commuters waiting on Ladywell station
Commuters waiting for a train at Ladywell station.
Looking south from the north end of
                        Ladywell Fields
Looking back towards home across Ladywell Fields.
(Home is beyond the trees that are beyond the trees in the far distance)
blackberry flowers
It may seem like we are rushing headlong into cold dark autumn, but the blackberry bushes haven't given up flower yet, and there were many green and red berries to be seen, as well as a few fully ripe black ones. The ripe ones tended to be guarded by the thickest accumulations of thorns.
coffin carriage
It's not often you see one of these coffin chariots parked up just round the corner from home. There were a couple of fine looking white horses to pull it, and you can see one of their bums on the far left of the pictures (there was no way of getting a clear shot of those horses).

 Earlier today I was thinking I might go out for another walk, but in the meantime I have finished off the laundry that I started soaking yesterday, and that has left me feeling a bit knackered. I think the chances of meeting Angela after work for a drink are now beyond an infinite improbability, and closer to an ultimate impossibility. That leaves me with precisely nothing to do except reading, snoozing, and maybe, if I get really desperate, some housework to do.

 Actually there is one other thing I could do, and if I allow it, it could take up the rest of the day - trying to do the bloody cryptic crossword in The Metro. Yesterday I did the quick crossword with relative ease, but I only solved about half a dozen clues of the cryptic crossword. So far today I have filled in just four answers, and I got completely stuck. I'll have another go in a minute maybe, and see if anything come to mind.
Monday 25th September  2017
 09:31 BST

  The weather was excellent yesterday. The bright sunshine seemed to go on longer than the forecast suggested, and it was nice and warm. The only fly in the ointment was that it started raining after dark, and while it didn't seem to be any more than light rain, it went on all night, and only finished (if is has definitely finished) at around 8.30 this morning.

a none too inspiring
                    sort of day
  As I mentioned, it was raining up until just before this forecast started. An earlier forecast did show that rain, although it had it starting at about 3am this morning instead of 9pm last night (or possibly as early as 8pm). The rest of the day is hardly going to be inspiring. I don't know if it is the humidity, or whether my blood glucose is far too high, or even if I have some sort of fever, but it does feel very mild this morning, and a walk around Catford, in an unneeded raincoat, left me feeling very sticky. This forecast says 20° C for tomorrow - unless you click on the original on the BBC website to open up the forecast for Tuesday, and it doesn't show it being higher than 19° C. Even so, that is pleasantly warm, and there should be some sunshine - mostly in the morning.
  I had a very lazy day yesterday. It was my intention to go out in the sun, but I never got around to it because I was too busy doing nothing ! I guess it wasn't actually nothing because time seemed to pass by quite quickly, and maybe yesterday was one of the slightly less boring Sundays. I spent a little bit of time doing some more laundry. In the normal course of events it wouldn't be needed, but I'll let you into a little secret. The haemorrhoids I seem to have developed as legacy of the course of antibiotics I had a month ago (or whenever) make my bottom too sore to always clean it properly. The result is skid marks ! Hence the need for more frequent laundry.

 One of the things I am having some success with recently is better control of my eating. For a few days now I have only wandered off the golden path a few times (which is better than a lot of times). After the success of the lamb, cabbage and leek stew* on Saturday I made a very similar meal based on diced pork yesterday. Once again I pre-grilled the meat to drive off some of the fat, although the diced meat I bought from Tesco seem to have been very lean to start with. I couldn't think of any herb to go with pork (although with hindsight maybe bayleaf might have worked) so I added a spoonful of mustard to the stock the final mix was cooked in. Once again the vegetable were cabbage and leek, but with some red onion as well. It wasn't quite so delicious as the lamb the day before, but it was pretty good, and once again I thought of it as a fairly healthy meal - even if, for some reason, it wasn't).

* I describe these meals as stew, but I have my doubts about it being a good description. I have this suspicion that there may be a better technical term for my creations, but until I hear a better suggestion I will stick to the word "stew".

 I think I can sum up my activities yesterday as laundry, cooking, eating, reading, and sleeping, and watching some TV. It doesn't sound like a lot, and when written so blandly like this it is hard to see how I couldn't have been bored. Well there is one more factor that comes into play now. It doesn't matter that I actually go to bed quite late in the evening, with 10pm or later being typical now, I still can't program my brain to think that sunset is not the end of the day. Once it gets dark outside my body or mind or both just sort of shutdown. It makes for going out to an evening gig really, really hard. In some ways it is actually harder than when I was employed. Being a worker meant I had to be more mindful of the time, and regulate activity by working hours. Now my body is under control of nothing but the sun. When the sun comes up it is time to rise, and when the sun sets it is time to rest, and ultimately, sleep.

 My sleep last night was not great. I remember having quite a few, very long seeming, detailed dreams. One dream was definitely a nightmare, and it might have been triggered by some sort of problem with my breathing or dodgy chest. I can't remember too much about it now, but it seemed like I was one of several people rushing across a room to read what I think were song lyrics on a display. In the rush I fell over, and somebody fell on me. I remember who she was, and it might have been a sexy encounter under different circumstances, but I couldn't seem to move, and she wouldn't or couldn't free me. I am tempted to think that it was a part lucid dream and I woke myself up to free myself, but that is probably not correct, although I did wake up with quite a jerk. Once I managed to orientate myself back to the real world I didn't seem to feel any after effects from it.

 This morning I think I feel better than I did yesterday when it seems I was still recovering from my day out on Friday. I went for an experimental walk before sitting down to write this. I first walked to the station to pick up a free newspaper, and than I walk down to the high street, and along it before returning home. Along the way I called into the Pound Shop, but they didn't have any interesting shower gel of deodorant spray.  I used the cash machine next, and my receipt ticket confirmed that my bank balance is still healthy, and might possibly last until I get my state pension in 4 years time - if I continue to be careful !

 After the cash machine I walked along to the shop called "Savers" only to discover it has closed down there, and has, or is re-opening in the Catford precinct (near to The Black Cat pub). So I walked past there, and went into the other Pound Shop. They did have some shower gel that I shall try, although it wasn't really what I wanted. I also bought some bleach and a few other odds and sods. I resisted buying any foodstuffs except for a mystery packet. It is Pancrek, although that means nothing to me. It is like thin dough that has been baked until crisp like a biscuit. It is allegedly pizza flavoured, although I would describe it more as "bland" flavour.

 I have no grand plans for today, and indeed today could be actually boring. The only plan I do have is for a visit to Aldi to buy more diced meat, and more vegetables. I think there is a credible possibility of a drink with Angela after she finished work today, but I am finding it very hard to read her lately - probably because we have hardly been in contact for so long.
Sunday 24th September  2017
 11:37 BST

  Compared to Friday, yesterday was a rather dull day. It wasn't completely gloomy, and I think that contrary to what was forecast, there was more than zero sunshine (but it was still a very small amount). The temperature was about the forecast 18° C, and that was pleasant.

Sun's out again !!!
  The sun is out again today, and if the forecast is correct it will be a nice warm day. I have some windows open already, and there is a nice feeling breeze coming in. Tomorrow we lose a couple of degrees - back to 18° C again, but that is not bad. Unfortunately we also lose all the sunshine too. There is even worse ! I've just rechecked the forecast, and not only has it changed to say we lose today's sun at 3pm, but that tomorrow morning will start with rain !
  I felt very creaky yesterday. I guess it was a combination of the walking I did the day before, and the manhandling involved in doing some hand laundry yesterday morning. It meant I didn't feel inclined to do much at all apart from a lot of resting. It didn't help that I am going through another phase of aches from my "twisted ribs". I've had this sudden realisation that once I have "popped a rib" (for want of a way of describing something that I cannot define), I seem to sleep badly, and as I thrash around in bed I actually do more damage instead of healing it. So yesterday various bits of me ached including my chest.

  Unfortunately an aching chest combined with some muscular aches in my arms is a bit of a danger signal. During the afternoon I even thought it prudent to wash my hair in case I needed to walk to Lewisham Hospital A&E to get checked out for another potential heart attack. For some reason that I cannot fathom out, washing my hair seemed to improve how I felt ! I bit later I felt even better after eating a rather tasty dinner.

 It was a bit of an extravagance, but I bought some diced lamb from Tesco. I first lightly grilled on a bed of button mushrooms, and then added it to a sort of stew made up from some stock and Tesco ready prepared (sliced and diced) cabbage and leek. I also added a very good sprinkle of dried rosemary. After a double zapping in the microwave, once to almost cook it, and once to finish cooking it and heat it up ready to eat, I had a very, very tasty dinner. The pre-grilling of the lamb drove off some of the fat (which I poured away), and left me with what might have been a very healthy meal.

 When I look back I can see that yesterday wasn't completely wasted. I went to Tesco, I did some laundry, and I did some photo editing. The rest of the time was filled in by reading and snoozing - although I didn't snooze nearly as much as I thought I might. The best thing was getting to the end of the Wednesday night, M.T. Pockets jam night photos.
I don't
                          know who this is
I don't know who this guy was, but he is a pretty good guitarist and singer.
Another look at the mystery guitarist
 Unfortunately, after this part of the jam night someone turned off a row of halogen downlighters above the front of the stage. It may have been the landlady because she appeared from somewhere about this time. It is possible she thought those lights were only for the cleaners or something. It was a great shame because those lights made photography so easy by giving much cleaner snaps.

 There were a couple of gigs last night that I had considered going to a day or two ago, but last night I lost all enthusiasm to go out. I guess that if I had forced myself to go out I would probably have ended up feeling OK. At least that is what usually happens, but last night I just felt too fragile. Actually it was worse than fragile. I just didn't feel all that interested in any entertainment. I know I was also heavily influenced by the sun setting. Sunset is now before 7pm (It's at 18:52 tonight), and no matter how early it might be for others, my brain just associates darkness with bed time. I was almost ready for bed very soon after 7pm last night !

 It was probably as early as 8pm when I stopped doing anything else, and went an laid on my bed to do no more than reading. I think I put my book down just after 9pm, and by 10pm I had probably been fast asleep for quite some time. Apart from waking up feeling very cold because I had been sleeping on my bed instead of in it, and I didn't have any heating on at about 2am, I seemed to sleep quite well last night. I even had a reasonable lay in, although it was one of those lay ins where you don't think you have been asleep, but a lot of time seems to pass without you being aware of it.
receipt from a year and 12 days ago
 In fact the whole of this morning seems to have slipped by stupidly quickly. It has been a nice sunny morning, and it seems the sun should stay out until at least 3pm. Under such circumstances I should be out somewhere frollicking in the sunshine, but suddenly I find that it has gone midday (as I write these words) and I haven't got much to show for it.

 I have done a little bit of tidying up, and while doing that I came across the till receipt on the left. On the face of it is seems pretty meaningless, but it means a lot to me. It was stuff I bought for Angela when she was suffering from a cold. It was the first time I had visited her house, and I thought some extras might help cheer her up.

 So a bunch of flowers to brighten things up. Some Vodka and Coke to lubricate her tickly throat. Some "easy peeler" oranges for some vitamin C, and a couple of salad bowls in case she felt peckish, but didn't fancy a heavy meal.

 It was money well spent. What followed was about the happiest three months of my life, and I am pretty sure that she too had some very happy times with me. It made her choice of falling in love with the late John all a bit of a mystery to me (and left me feeling utterly devastated).

 I'm not sure what I'll end up doing for the rest of today. I feel I ought to get out into what's left of the sunshine, but it feels too late to go very far. Maybe I'll take a walk in the park, or maybe not. One problem with doing anything involving much walking is that my walk on Friday has left a bit of a legacy of damage to me feet. I don't know why it wasn't more obvious earlier, but the discomfort to my left foot I felt towards the end of my walk turned out to be a considerable amount of skin rubbed off my little toe. A few other toes on both feet show smaller signs of abrasion. I would have to wear some extra comfortable shoes to walk under these conditions. One possibility of things to do suddenly springs to mind. Later on, perhaps early evening, I could take a book to The Black Cat, and read with a pint or three of Guinness in my hand.
Saturday 23rd September  2017
 08:13 BST

  There was enough sunshine yesterday to get some very mild sunburn ! Of course being near water, and specifically the sea, made that job a bit easier. Towards the end of the afternoon it did get a bit hazy, but it was a rather excellent day for a change. It would have been even more excellenter (sic) if the temperature had been higher than about 17 - 18° C, but that still felt more than tepid, and rather less than hot - sort of medium warm !

back to being
                    overcast, but still mildly warm
  Sadly we venture back into the territory of it being overcast all day today. Maybe it being mildly warm may slightly make up for the lack of sunshine. The only trouble is the small print mentions that there could be drizzle as well. That rather kills the deal. Tomorrow is still forecast to be particularly warm, maybe even nudging the lower limits of "hot", and there should be a fair amount of sunshine too !
  Walking Southend Pier
 The more I thought about it, the more I realised I had to push myself to get out the house, and do something to enjoy the sunshine forecast for yesterday. I'm not sure I had fully made up my mind what I would do even as I was walking to the bus stop.

 I started out from the bus stop because I had a vague notion that I would take the bus to Lewisham, and then get on a Docklands Light Rail service. A convenient destination on the DLR was Limehouse station where I could change to National Rail for a train to Southend.
rail tickets to Southend East
 At Limehouse (National Rail) station I flashed my 60+ Oyster card, and my Senior Railcard to buy a discounted ticket from Upminster, the last valid place my 60+ Oyster Card will take me to for free, to Southend East. The final plan was to walk from Southend East station back to Southend Central station taking in a few sights, and snapping a few photos. I'm unsure what little Devil made me do it, but I also decided that I would take a walk on the pier. I didn't intend to walk to the end of the pier because it is a rather long walk. (As a later picture will show, it is 1.33 miles to the end). Maybe I didn't intend to, but I did anyway. I did seem to develop some mild chest pain in doing so, and so I thought it prudent to take the pier train back to land. I am sure the statistics in the map of my route (above) doesn't include the 1.33 miles on the train back to land. I think a walk of three and a third miles was pretty good for someone so out of practice at long distance walking.
bird with
                          pretty plumage
The sun was rather inconveniently in front of me when trying to take photos out to see, but it lit up this birds plumage magnificently. I'm not sure what type of bird it is. At first I thought it might be a starling, but I don't think they hang around on the seashore.
A bit of drama
There was a bit of drama on the seafront road. I think this is just steam coming out of an establishment called "Chinnery's" after the fire service put out a fire inside.
it was a long walk
This sign was good to see, but may not be perfectly accurate. You can walk a good hundred yards, and maybe more, past this point to the RNLI lifeboat station - which I did !
Brazillian training ship
Seen from the end of the pier - a Brazillian navy training ship steaming up The Thames towards London (some sort of invasion maybe). In the original photo I can zoom in far enough to just make out a very fuzzy, but recognisable view of the Brazillian flag flying on the mast.
I took the easy option !
I had originally paid £1 to walk on the pier (£2 for the under 60s !!), but I decided to take the easy way out, and get the pier train back to land. As can be seen with this notice, it costs £1.25 (for the over 60s) for a one way ticket on the train. Who would have thought I could use my Senior Railcard (as proof of age) on a pier railway !
Yes, I was alone
 As I approached Southend Central station I was confronted with this message on the railway bridge. Unfortunately it was completely innacurate - I was alone, totally alone both there and elsewhere. It is both a good and bad thing. The good is that it allowed me to be completely spontaneous, and do stupid things like walking the entire length of the pier. On the other hand, if I had company I could have spent longer there, and maybe even walked further by doing it in more shorter stages - perhaps sitting down for a beer, or an ice cream, possibly even a very light meal now and then, and making a day of it.

 One curious thing was that I was wearing some old walking boots for this walk. I hadn't worn them for several years, and yesterday I wore them without sock for the first time. Initially they were very, very, very slightly uncomfortable, but mostly I was hardly aware I was wearing them for the entire walk around Southend. It was a different story when I stood up to get off the train at Limehouse station on my way home. They were suddenly very uncomfortable - particularly the left boot - and I am unsure why. I guess that foot does swell more when taking closer to the doctors idea of a correct dose of one of my blood pressure tablets. I guess that was the reason.

 When I got home, probably a little before 4pm, I felt like I had definitely done some exercise. I wasn't quite so dead that I couldn't do stuff like photo editing, and cooking and eating some dinner, but I was definitely looking forward to a lie down. In fact I did have a short lie down, but stopped myself getting too comfortable before I had done some stuff.

 If I hadn't stupidly eaten crisps for breakfast I could have claimed to eaten very healthily yesterday. My dinner was a stew of button mushrooms, cauliflower and some slices of an unusually lean salami. It is possible that it didn't have any more than double the calories my walk was alleged to have burnt off, and maybe less than double. Being as the bulk of it was stock, and I drunk all the hot stock as well as eating the solids, it had a predictable effect - an effect almost certainly made worse by eating brown lentils for dinner the day before. It went through me like a supercharged dose of salts !

 When I finally decided I needed to go to bed my stomach was still feeling sore....although maybe sore is not quite the right word (I was definitely sore lower down !). Perhaps my stomach felt more empty than sore. My head, for totally unrelated reasons felt quite buzzy - an effect accentuated by three large whiskies that I treated myself to - and my whole body seemed to be what I can only describe as fizzing. So while I felt tired, I didn't seem to feel sleepy, and I didn't sleep at first. Even when I did sleep it was not good sleep, and I seemed to be having all sorts of dreams all night.

 This morning I almost feel like doing something similar all over again, and I was contemplating going to Brighton for a change. I don't think I will though. I have too much I should be doing here. I have some laundry to do, and I ought to go shopping. I also still have a load of untouched photos of the jam night last Wednesday that I really need to do something with. Maybe I'll take a turn around the park or something, but I think I'll spend most of the day indoors. I might go to a gig tonight, but there is nothing on that I would be that sorry to miss. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunny. Maybe I might do something more active then.
Friday 22nd September  2017
 07:30 BST

  The sunshine did not last very long yesterday morning, and I think the day has to be written off as a grey, wet, and gloomy day ! Although the actual temperature was not significantly different to the previous few days (16 - 17° C), the gloom and the rain made it feel cooler than it really was. Luckily, things are looking up for the next few days.

Gosh ! A sunny day ?
  If the weather forecast can be believed, today could be a rather nice day. The screenshot above is about 90 minutes old as I write this, and so I just checked to see if anything had changed - and it has. It's only a small change, but the transition from full on sunshine to sunny intervals is now thought to happen at midday instead of 1pm, and there should be 2 hours at 18° C instead of just 1. Tomorrow is forecast to have a similar temperature profile, but most of the day will probably be lightly overcast.

  Yesterday was another day when I felt really underwhelmed, and uninspired. It felt quite depressing that rain was due to start falling just as I wanted to go out in the early evening. All this made it very hard to motivate myself to do anything at all, and yet I managed to make a good start on going through the pictures I took at the M.T. Pockets jam night at The Iron Horse pub on Wednesday night. I guess I only got through about a third of them, but I was cheered up a bit when I confirmed my hope that the reasonable stage lighting made for some good snaps.
Dan, Dylan
                          and Steve
Not all the pictures were perfect. In this picture the best focus was, as intended, on Dylan at his drum kit. That mean Dan, on the left, was in slightly soft focus. The other problem was that I had to wait for steve, on the right, to step back a bit so Dylans dace wasn't obscured by Steve's bass guitar headstock, but this put Steve's face behind his microphone. Oh well, you can't win them all.
Dan with a big smile
Capturing Dan's laugh at it's best distracts from a slight focus issue that needed some artificial sharpening to improve the picture.
Georgie - 1st guest on the stage
This is Georgie. She, along with her partner Dan (a different Dan) were the first guests after Dan and the rest of the house band (Steve and Dylan)  had finished their introductory warm up.

 I think I got through about a third of the pictures I took. That leaves many more to go through, and in theory I should be doing just that today.....but maybe not. At about 4pm I "downed tools" and started to prepare to go out for my Thursday beer. I aimed to get the 16:47 train from Catford station. This is one of a few trains that go to Orpington instead of Sevenoaks. It is a shame there is not a regular service to Orpington. It would make going to Orpington convenient (and Petts Wood too), but more importantly it would give 4 trains an hour through Catford station instead of the rather poor 2 trains an hour we get now.

 I didn't actually make the 16:47 train because I was slightly delayed by the ongoing legacy of the antibiotics I was on some weeks ago now. Actually it is a legacy of the legacy. The original legacy was, as was warned on the leaflet with the antibiotic capsules, some mild constipation. The legacy of that seems to be a sore bottom, and I won't go into the complications of that. Anyhow, the next train was the 17:02, and I caught that with no problem.

 Maybe 12 minutes later, or thereabouts, I was in The Shortlands Tavern, and ordering my first beer. There were several to choose from, but unsually I stuck to the first I tried, and handily it was also what everyone else was drinking. Until they turned the music up a bit, which in turn made everyone in the place raise their voices, and generally made it difficult to hold a sensible conversation, it was nice to have a good gossip after barely talking to anybody for a week or so.

 I mistimed my drinking, or alternatively the timing of the rounds was such that there was no way I could toss the last of my third pint down my throat in time to get the 19:02 train back to Catford. That was unfortunate because the next train was cancelled for unknown reasons (the excuse kept changing !). I could have kept drinking for the next hour, but decided I would stick to just 3 pints, and go home by bus.

 Getting the bus home meant getting a bus to Bromley, and another bus from there. Fortunately it didn't involve any long waits, and the buses were fairly quick. Even so it took around 40 minutes door to door instead of about 25 minutes by train. When I got back to Catford I  bought some fried chicken and chips. I was feeling quite peckish after the beer, but I could have eaten the dinner I had already prepared instead of buying a takeaway. I think I did it as much as a protest against life being unfair as much as anything else. Anyway, it was very nice !

 One thing that chicken and chips did was to (somehow) soften the blow when I saw a certain picture posted on social media. It was off two pairs of feet on the pebble beach at Whitstable. One pair was obviously of the man who had posted the picture, and the other pair were very recognisable as Angela's. I've massaged those feet enough to recognise them anywhere. The conclusion I draw from this, rightly or wrongly, is that Angela has a new boyfriend. That is mostly bad news for me, but maybe not 100% bad news. By scraping the bottom of the barrel I can find some very, very thin good news. If Angela can pick up again on an affair which was a disaster last time, then maybe there could be some sort of hope that she could pick up our relationship again once this current one blows up in her face....maybe.

 Today is forecast to be bright, sunny, and slightly warm. They are the correct ingredients to lure me out. In an ideal world I would be going for a long walk along the coast somewhere. In the real world I feel so out of practice, so stodgy, and so frequently in discomfort that is only a step away from pain, that I am not sure if I want to try and push myself to walk even two miles. That leaves out most coastal walks. I could just go to somewhere like Southend and hang around taking some pictures without moving far from the station, but that would be sort of boring. It would also be boring just taking a walk around the local park, although that is the sort of thing I ought to be doing to get back into practice again.

 Maybe I'll think of some sort of intermediate fresh air activity, but I also have to consider that I have a pile of photos that are getting stale to process and post. Why is life so bloody difficult ? I am also conscious of the fact that the more I put ff trying to get active again the harder it becomes to start again. Oh for the days when a 6 or 7 miles walk was so easy to do. I feel there is something desperately ironic that since stopping smoking, and taking a shed load of drugs to control blood pressure and stuff, I am now so physically fucked compared to how it was when I smoked heavily, and  didn't take any of those prescribed drugs. Maybe it would have been a much shorter life like that, but at least life had some sort of meaning then.
Thursday 21st September  2017
 10:34 BST

  There may have been a few precious sunny spells in the morning, but overall, yesterday was a horrible day with only one redeeming feature. That feature only came into it's own after dark when the sky was supposed to be dark. It was the fact that it was quite mild last night. It's possible that the temperature hit 17° C by the afternoon, but it was mostly meaningless. Still being 16° C after dark, and not falling below 15° C made it still shirt sleeve weather in the evening. Which was very handy because I could go out without a coat on last night.

It's the rain in
                    the evening I am fearing
  It is supposed to be sunny right now, but while it was sunny a while ago (an hour ago ?), there is no sunshine as I write this, although the sky is bright. Maybe the sun will come out again soon, but from midday it looks like it is going to be pretty gloomy again. Worse than that is the threat of rain just as I will be wanting to go out for my Thursday drink with the Thursday night drinking club. Some of that rain is forecast to be heavy - and that could be exactly while I am travelling ! Tomorrow is currently forecast to be sunny, and while we will lose the sunshine on subsequent days, it does look like we will have a few quite warm days.

  On the whole I felt bloody miserable yesterday. The misery was inspired by the weather being so gloomy when a day earlier I had expected it to be quite a sunny day. Of course, having got miserable I started dwelling on other stuff that made me feel even more miserable. Stuff like questioning just what sort of relationship I had with Angela 12 months ago. I thought it was love, but was it ?

 I can only recall two achievements yesterday. The first was hand washing, and drying a double duvet. That was hard work, and raised quite a sweat for a while. Maybe there was also a minor achievement too. Although I ate some terrible stuff (like cake), I didn't eat a great deal yesterday. It was partially because I am running out of tempting stuff in the fridge or larder, and partly because I had a cunning plan. The reason is probably biased towards that cunning plan.

 The cunning plan revolved around the idea that I was determined to haul myself off my arse and get out to the M.T. Pockets jam/open mic night at The Iron Horse pub in Sidcup. After many pints of Guinness I would undoubtedly be feeling peckish, and I would feel less guilty about having some hot and greasy comfort food when I got home again.

 Now I know how to do it properly, getting to The Iron Horse is simplicity itself. I get the 202 bus from outside Catford Bridge station to the bus stop for Lee station, and then a train from Lee to Sidcup station. On a good day, like yesterday, it can be a remarkably quick journey. I arrived at the bus stop and had to wait no more than 2 minutes for a bus. At Lee it takes 3 or 4 minutes to walk from the bus stop up to the station platform. I had a 2 minute wait for the train, and 10 minutes later I was in the pub ! I couldn't have got to The Partridge pub, where Angela was watching the Whitestar opn mic session, in less time !

 One of the things I was hoping to do last night was to test out my new wide angle lens. Unfortunately I had been using it on my other Canon camera, and I left it at home. That was a big disappointment, but ultimately it didn't matter. The stage lighting was nice and bright, and I was able to use the basic zoom lens that was originally supplied with my camera. I haven't checked yet, but I think I may have a few excellent photos of Dan, and some good ones of everybody else who performed there up until I went home again last night.

 There was one more good thing about last night - I got my first new style £10 note. It's plastic like the new £5 note. Getting home with my new £10 was not so good as getting to the pub. I caught the 11:00pm train from Sidcup, and arrived at Lee station 10 minutes later. Unfortunately there was an 8 minute wait for the next 202 bus back to Catford. That wasn't too bad, but there was worse to come. While I was in the pub temporary traffic lights had been set up around the railway bridge that passes over the main south circular road at Hither Green. They were there because of some sort of works going on to the underside of the bridge, and only one carriageway was in use. We waited ages in a big queue as we waited our turn to go under the bridge.

 It was 11:50pm when I arrived back home, but that does include the time it took to go into the fried chicken shop to buy a couple of chicken burgers, and, because I was feeling in a couldn't care less sort of mood, a portion of fries. As usual they were very delicious - probably far more than they really were thanks to the magic of Guinness. It filled a nice hole, and although the effect quickly wears off, it served it's purpose as comfort food. I'm not sure where all the time went after getting in, but I didn't seem to get to bed, and get to sleep until about 1am this morning.

 I should have had a nice lay in this morning, and maybe I did. Initially I woke up far too early, and later I sort of got up far too early, but I did go back to bed again. It didn't seem like it, but I must have slept because a lot of time seemed to pass without me really being aware of it.  This morning seems to be passing stupidly quickly as well. I doubt I will start my only project for today until almost midday at this rate. That project is to select and edit the pictures I took last night. At about 4.30pm it will be case of "down tools" and I'll be off to The Shortlands Tavern for some more beer. I think I only intend to have three pints, but of there is specially good beer on then.....
Wednesday 20th September  2017
 07:50 BST

  As far as I can remember, yesterday's weather was just like the weather forecast said it would be.......well maybe not the weather forecast, but one of the variations of it that appeared at different times of the day. I can't recall which variation it was that reality matched best, but it was the one where it was dry with some sunny intervals, and a top temperature of 16° C.

                    thought we were expecting something better than
  The screenshot above shows the weather forecast for today as it was thought to be in the most recent update. It looks rather less than exciting. After a few sunny intervals it is going to be grey, grey and greyer. I guess being dry is a positive thing, and being 17° C is also a step in the right direction, but it seems much less attractive than how I thought it was described on TV last night.

  The big thing yesterday was the delivery of my parcel from Amazon. I became very confused when I went to collect it from the corner shop. I had ordered two separate orders from Amazon in quick succession, and I assumed I would have two parcels to collect. When I received the email to say my parcel was ready to be collected I evidently neglected to read exactly what it said. If I had scrolled down the page an extra line or two I would have seen that it was more than the two books I had ordered being delivered.

 At the corner shop I was handed a big box that seemed far too big for just a pair of paperbacks. All was revealed when I got home and opened up the box. It was the two paperback books plus the other two items I had ordered all in the same box. Much of the bulk was a pair of small bookshelf speakers with both wired and bluetooth connectivity. Using either a laptop or my tablet as a source of music means I now had a sort of piss poor "Hi Fi" in the living room. I doubt it will get much use, but I can foresee occasional times when a bit of music in there could be useful.

 Being very small bookshelf speakers means the sound is far from "Hi Fi". The biggest problem is the artificially boosted bass. It sounds rather boomy instead of natural, but at low volume, just to fill in the silences between talk, it will be OK. The final content of my big parcel of goodies was of rather higher quality than the speakers.....or perhaps not when considering how much I could have paid, and would like to have paid, for a new lens for my Canon camera.
new wide angle lens
 This new lens is a zoom lens, but only of a rather limited range. It's chief asset, and the reason I bought it, is that it is a very much more wide angle lens compared to anything I currently have. This is particularly so when at the 10mm end of the zoom range, although even at 18mm it has a wider angle view than any lens I own. The disadvantage is that it doesn't have a very large aperture, and that means it needs a well lit scene - something that I very rarely see when taking snaps of gigs in pubs. That is a shame because that is where it would be most useful ! Maybe I'll have to wait until next spring/summer for outdoor gigs to get the best use out of it. However it could also be good for taking shots of building where there is little opportunity to step back far enough to get a good view of the building. I thought The Black Cat might have been such a building, but no. I went there anyway to take a test shot yesterday afternoon.
The Black Cat
 The bigger difficulty in taking a good snap of The Black Cat is the lighting - particularly when it is bright outside. The left hand side of the pub is lit directly from the bright sky above, but the right hand side is shadowed by the roof over the walkway in front of the pub. So the right hand side of the pub looks a lot darker than the left side. Aside from that, the new lens allowed me to get the entire front of the pub in without having to stand too far from it, although for the shot above I took it from further back, and cropped the image to just show as much as I wanted.

 My walk to the pub served three purposes. Taking the picture was one, and another was to check to see if any gigs were on at the weekend. Sadly there won't be, and that is just as well because I am sure there is a gig on elsewhere that I want to see on Saturday. The third reason to go out was to pop into the 99p shop to buy a few things. Most notably was to get some body spray. They have a flavour, vanilla, that I have never seen before, and I think it is rather nice. I now have some spare cans of it in case it just disappears off the shelves never to be seen again - as can happen with stuff from both the 99p and Pound shops.

 I didn't really do anything else of note yesterday. I had hopes that I might see Angela again, but when I contacted her I found she had left work earlier than I expected, and was already at her home. So I spent the rest of the afternoon, and the evening by myself not really doing anything more taxing than reading.....but that was quite enjoyable. Later in the evening I watched an old episode of QI on TV. That finished at 9pm, and after that I prepared for bed.

 I read for a while on my bed, and at 10pm I decided I might as well go to sleep. I assume I fell asleep OK, and that on the whole I slept OK, because only one thing sticks in my mind about last night. It was waking up feeling too cool. It wasn't exactly cold, but if I hadn't taken action I could have been later on. The problem was that my heater failed in the night. Since the summer I have been sleeping on top of the duvet instead of under it. While the room is warm it seems more comfortable somehow, but with the heater now dead I had to get under the duvet in a more conventional fashion. It initially felt rather weird, but I was soon asleep again.

 One of the things I want to do today is investigate why my heater failed. My guess is that the fan siezed, and it overheated. That would have triggered the safety cut-out. A drop of oil on each fan motor bearing may be all that is required to bring that heater back to life assuming the safety cut-out it re-settable. If I don't do the job today, or if the heater is beyond repair, it doesn't really matter. I have a spare fan heater than is doing a wonderful job of taking the chill off my bedroom even now.

 The only other definite thing I want to do today is to go to the M.T. Pockets jam/open mic session tonight in Sidcup. I expect Angela will go to the Whitestar open mic at The Partridge pub in Bromley. I will mention the M.T. Pockets one to her, but I can see that she will be interested in it. All I have to do now is work out how to fill the time from now until it is time to go to Sidcup. Repairing the fan heater (if possible) is one thing to do, and I could wash a short or two, but I am contemplating jumping on a train and going to photograph some things (or things). The only trouble I have no idea where to go if I do. Maybe some place will spring to mind later on.
Tuesday 19th September  2017
 08:32 BST

  Reality was a bit different to how the weather forecast predicted the day would be. The biggest difference was that the rain, that the later forecast predicted, came much earlier in the day. It was quite intermittent, but it started closer to 11am than 3pm as the forecast showed. Between showers there were a few sunny intervals. At least the forecast got that right. The top temperature, 16° C, was about as forecast. Today may be similar or completely different !

a passable day
  One positive aspect of the various iterations of the weather forecasts for today is that each later one seems to include more sunny intervals. Ooops, I should have double checked that before writing what is now rubbish. The very latest forecast has reduced the amount of sunny spells compared to that shown in the screenshot above. It is difficult to know what is right. Until the last 5 minutes it has been horribly grey outside, but now it looks like there is a fair chance that the sun will pop out by 9am - just as the screenshot above shows, and the latest forecast denies !

 It seems like that today will follow the universal trend of being rather similar to yesterday, although hopefully with less, or no rain. Tomorrow may be a slightly warmer version of today (so let's hope today is a good one), but it is the end of the week that is looking most interesting. The chances of Friday still being a very sunny day when Friday arrives, and Saturday being particularly warm seem too much to hope for, but maybe we live in hope anyway !

 Yesterday was quite a good day, although not without a few disappointments. I think it was gone 11am when I finally got myself into gear, and went out for a walk to Lidl. I guess that Lidl is a 10 minute brisk walk away, and perhaps 12 - 15 minutes at a more leisurely pace - obviously tending to the latter when carrying shopping back. So it was a useful bit of exercise. The sad thing is that I could see no sign of their own brand "Red Sunset" shower gel. I fear that it may be an "ex-product", and that is a shame because it was the principal reason for going to Lidl.

 On the plus side I did buy a couple of 70cl bottles of a very acceptable whisky. It was Lidl's "Queen Margot" own label, and I bought one ordinary and one 5 year old bottle. The 5 year old definitely has a more mellow taste, and if I read the shelf labels correctly, it is almost the same price (I should have checked the till receipt to confirm that, but I think I threw it away).

 Another notable thing I bought in Lidl was a packet of fish fingers. I am not sure what inspired it, but I suddenly had this idea that I wanted a fish finger salad. So I bought the fish fingers, and also a ready made salad. Once the fish fingers were cooked I tossed them into the salad, and gave everything a good sprinkle of a dressing I had bought in Aldi some time ago, and had been waiting for something good to try it on. I think it was soy (sauce), ginger and lime dressing, and it seemed pretty good - so good that I wish I had been a bit more lavish with it !

 In the spirit of insane optimism, I also popped in to Tesco on the way home from Lidl to buy one thing I couldn't get in Lidl. It was a couple of packs of tuna and cucumber sandwiches. I had this most crazy idea that I might see Angela later on, and that she would appreciate a sandwich after being at work all day - her first day back at work after 10 months of being off sick.

 At about 3.30pm I decided I would send a text message to Angela. It was the forst time I had tried to contact her since the unfortunate evening in The Partridge pub the Friday before last, when she ignored me in favour of canoodling with someone else. That was particularly hurtful after is was Angela that persuaded me to go out that night ! Anyhow, I sent the text to Angela saying it wasn't long to go now (until the working day was over), and that I had Vodka and cigarettes if she was desperate.

 I wasn't sure if I was even expecting a reply, but it wasn't long before I got one, and we arranged to meet in The Black Cat on her way home from work. I got there some time before Angela arrived, and I think I had drunk almost all my first pint of Guinness before she arrived. I'm not sure how long we were there for, but I managed to drink three pints of Guinness before we left. It was a happy meeting, and Angela stressed a couple of times how nice it was to see me, and yet there was still some reserve there. We were like very good, long time mates, and it was difficult to see how that could grow back to the point where we could become lovers again, but I am optimistic that if I keep my nerve it might still be a future possibility.

 In the end I didn't need those sandwiches that I bought in case Angela came here, but they are safely in the fridge, and will still be fresh, and within their best before date this evening. Once again it might be unlikely that Angela will visit after work today, but compared to yesterday the chances have improved to as high as one on a thousand - a thousand times improvement ! Now I wonder if it would be harassing her to send out another invite, or if I should hope that she will contact me. Tricky !

 There was one little thing that very slightly spoiled my visit to the pub with Angela yesterday, and that was that I felt rather bloated. It felt like I had eaten too much, but that seemed a bit of a drastic idea after just eating fish fingers and salad. The answer would appear a few hours later. It happened after I had some more to eat. The previous day I had made a bacon stew, and I didn't dare try and keep it any later than last night. I had made in several stages, and on a couple of stages I was able to drain off the excess fat from the bacon. In the end it was a fairly lean meal with plenty of vegetables. It might even have been classified as a bit healthy - particularly when I left a lot of the stock that still had some fat floating on it.

 A hot stew often acts as a laxative for me, and last night was no exception. It turned out that the bloat I was feeling earlier on was a mixture of gas, a lot of it, and other unpleasantness - an awful lot of it ! I felt so much better after several trips to the toilet. Unfortunately it didn't help me sleep. I attempted to go to bed at 9pm because I was bored, but sleep would not come. So I turned the lights back on, picked up my book, and read it until the end. That was around midnight, and after that I did get to sleep. As far as I can remember I slept OK.

 Finishing the book I was reading was actually quite useful. I have just had notification that two new books I ordered have arrived, and ready to be picked up from the corner shop - a very handy arrangement when I can use it. It saves having to spend the day looking out the window fretting about when a parcel will arrive. With luck a second parcel will arrive there soon. That has my new wide angle camera lens on it. I may have an opportunity to try it tomorrow night. Apart from collecting parcels, and doing a bit of reading, I really have no idea what I am going to do today. I want to be available from about 4pm in case I can see Angela, but maybe I might pop out with my camera today - although where I might go is another mystery to be solved as it happens.
Monday 18th September  2017
 08:34 BST

  The weather forecast for yesterday kept changing. The last forecast I saw predicted it would be a dry, but overcast day. An earlier forecast included a bit of sunshine during the morning, and some rain later in the afternoon. It turned out that forecast was right, and the later forecasts were wrong ! I think they may have underestimated the temperature too. The last forecast said 15° C, and I reckon it was like the earlier forecast, 16° C

to rain or not to rain ?
  The forecast for today presents some difficulties as well. The screenshot above was how the weather was predicted to be at 6am this morning. 90 minutes later and it had changed again !
so will it rain, or
                        won't it rain ?
 The latest attempt at a forecast for today has now changed the sunny intervals this afternoon with sunny intervals with rainy intervals - maybe at the same time as each other ! The only consistent thing is the temperature. The forecasters do seem pretty convinced it will be 16° C this afternoon. My guess is that the later forecast is likely to be correct because it is basically the same as yesterday, and it has been proved mathematically that saying tomorrow will be like today is correct in about 75% of cases. Funnily enough, tomorrow is forecast to be similar to today. I guess the forecasters are waiting to find out how today turns out before updating their forecast for tomorrow.

 Yesterday was not a terribly exciting day, although for a Sunday it wasn't that bad. I washed a few shirts, and I went out. It was the former, all done by hand, that was the more taxing task. I had thought about going out to Lidl, and that would have stretched my legs, but in the end I took the easy way out, and just went to the corner shop. That turned out to be the correct decision because they had the latest Fortean Times, and that gave me something to read during the tedium that is, was, and always will be Sunday afternoon.

 Actually, Sunday afternoon was not all tedium. The task of selecting and editing the photos I took of Chain's gig on Saturday night carried on into the afternoon. I think I was fairly pleased with the results. Taking photos in the dimly lit Mitre pub is a challenge, and it can be made worse by the position of the little lighting bar that Chain have invested in. It can produce pictures with an extreme of contrasts - bleached out faces against a barely visible background. The result is that some pictures I took could be better described as artistic than photographic. Sometimes though that can work - if only I can recognise it.
Chris and
This was an interesting picture. I had to use the biggest aperture to let as much light into the camera as possible, and that severely limits the focal range - Jo is in focus, but Chris is in very soft focus. I'm not sure what Jo was looking at, but her expression and the her hair style remind me of Kate Bush.
Dave Etheridge
This picture of Dave Etheridge has already been used as a profile picture on social media. I think it is the light reflecting off the cymbals that makes this picture.
Chris and Geoff
I wouldn't have thought it before, but it doesn't seem to matter that Geoff Paice (playing bass guitar) is out of focus in this picture. Somehow his pose just seems to add some sort of dynamics to the picture.

 In theory I could have taken a completely different set of pictures if it wasn't for a couple sitting exactly where I wanted to stand. That position would have meant my camera could see in a similar direction to how the lights were pointing. For instance in the picture above I could have snapped the bright side of Chris and his guitar. Maybe I might have taken more brighter and sharper pictures, but maybe they might have been less interesting.

 Last night, being a Sunday night, I treated myself to watching a bit of TV.....or maybe the TV treated me to a bit of programming worth watching....sort of. The final glory of the evening was a 12 month old repeat of Have I Got News For You. It was possibly one of the better ones. It finished at 10pm, and I went to bed afterwards. I was going to read for a while, but I decided I felt tired enough to attempt sleep, and it wasn't long before I was asleep.

 There was one period when I was awake for about half an hour, but otherwise I seemed to sleep quite well. One odd thing was that my dreams seemed to involve buses. When it comes to transport I usually dream about trains. What makes it extremely weird is that one bus seemed to morph into a rocket ship somehow. The only annoyance was that I didn't seem to get on it. At a little after 6am I decided that I had had enough sleep, and that it was time to get up.

 Maybe I might regret that later...or maybe I won't. After all there is nothing to stop me laying on my bed for an extra snooze any time I like these days - and I probably will. Nevertheless, get up early showed solidarity with the workers - not that they know about it. There is one particular worker who will be affecting my day today.

 Today is the day that Angela goes back to work after 10 months off on sick leave. I really hope that she has a good day. I know all too well how that first day back at work feels ! The reason why my day will be affected is that there is a fantastically microscopic chance (or none at all!) that Angela could pop in on her way home from work. If that one in ten million chance should arise it would be good to be clean and dressed for the occasion.

 I have only the vaguest of ideas what I will be doing today. I have two pairs of lounge pants half washed that need finishing off, and that will be my next task. I think that today I will go and have a wander around Lidl. Other than that, I am not sure how I will pass the hours, or maybe I do when I think clearly about it. Tomorrow, all being well, I should be getting two orders from Amazon. One of those orders is a couple of new books. It might be a good idea to finish off the book I am currently reading.

 The other order is a new lens for my camera. It is a wide angle lens. Unfortunately I didn't want to spend a fortune on it, and it does not have a big aperture. That means it won't be terribly useful except when the light is good - which sadly rules out many gigs ! The lens I would have really liked to have got would have added an extra zero to the price tag - and that is on the pounds, not the pence !
Sunday 17th September  2017
 10:43 BST

  Most of the good things in yesterday's weather forecast, like the sunny intervals, happened, but there were very few of the bad things like the rain. It wasn't very warm, the forecast 15° C was about right, but it didn't cool down that much in the evening. I'll admit it was pushing things to the limit, but I went out without a coat again last night.

maybe today won't be very
  The forecast for today has changed many times since last night. This is the latest, and it is slightly more benign than previous forecasts. This one shows it to be a gloomy, but dry day. Earlier forecasts added quite a selection of rain at various times in the day. Even so, this current forecast can't be completely trusted because it has been, and is much brighter outside than those ominous black cloud pictograms would suggest. Sadly it looks like reality is catching up with the forecast. Dark clouds are gathering, and the light is starting to dim. Tomorrow might see an isolated shower during the day, and some non stop, moderately heavy rain all through late evening, and into the early hours of the day after, but there should also be an hour or two of nice sunshine !

  I'm not sure how it happened, but I had a fairly productive day yesterday. It still involved plenty of lazing about too. I did a fair bit of reading, and I think I managed to have a snooze or two, but I did stuff - useful stuff ! What kicked it off was a slightly extended shopping trip. There were two specific items I was looking for, and several nice-to-have things. I wanted some new shower gel, and that is about as accurate a description as I can come up with. I didn't want a specific make or flavour. I just wanted something exciting. I didn't find any, but I did find some cans of one of my favourite deodorants. I thought it had gone obsolete when Palmolive (I think it was Palmolive) changed their brand to "Soft And Gentle", but evidently not.

 In all I visited "Savers", The Pound Shop, Iceland and the 99p shop. Strangely enough it was in the last shop that I found the other item I wanted - tomato purée - two tubes for 99p ! I expected to find it in Iceland, and I had a back up plan to go in Tesco if all else failed. I passed two other places of interest  on my walk. The first was The Salvation Army shop. They had a few potentially interesting cameras in there, but I decided it was better to pass by because their prices are expensive, and the electrical/electronic items don't always come with essential accessories like batteries and chargers !

 Another reason for not going in the Salvation Army shop is that it is incredibly smelly in there ! My next port of call, although I was not intending, and didn't go in, was The Black Cat pub. I wanted to see if there was any music on in there last night. There wasn't, but they did have a poster up for a new, sort of musical thing for the last Saturday of every month. Sadly it does not seem to be to my taste. Apparently it features several "DJs" who obviously don't know how to spell their names in the Queen's English. I think I'll pass on that.

 Probably the best achievement yesterday was that I finally made a start on clearing our the cupboard under the stairs. I couldn't do too much, or go too deep because there is only a limited amount of stuff I can dispose of at one time in the wheelie bin, but at least I have made a start. The one thing that worries me is that I came across quite a few mouse droppings in there. I am 90% certain they are very old ones, but you never know. Since the invasion I had 5 or 6 years ago I sealed the cupboard up fairly tight, but it is possible that something could have come up from under the floorboards. Once there is more space in there I'll put some traps down.

 The big thing in the evening was going out to Greenwich. It took a bit of willpower to motivate myself to go out. It could have been so easy just to stay in, drink some whisky, eat something stupid, and go to bed early - the latter would be particularly easy after the crap night I had the previous night. Fortunately I forced myself out, and although I didn't stay to the very end, maybe leaving 30 - 40 minutes early, I had some nice Guinness and a nice time.
Jo Corteen
                          of Chain
 As usual, photography without resorting to using a flash gun, is challenging in The Mitre Hotel in Greenwich. It is always dimly lit, and unless the bands lighting happens to shine in the right place, pictures can be very dark. The picture above is of Jo Corteen, and she, like the rest of Chain, is lit from the side I can't get to. Nevertheless, it gives an opportunity to take pictures that are "artistic" rather than photographic. The only loose thing is no one knows what "artistic" actually is !

 I have to admit that coming home from the pub at 10:45pm wearing just a t-shirt (obviously plus jeans and shoes !) was pushing my luck a bit at this time of the year. It wasn't freezing, but it was certainly very cool ! On my way back I thought I deserved a couple of chicken burgers because I had taken quite a bit of care about what I had eaten earlier in the day. They were very nice, and helped me warm up a bit when I got home. The earlier Guinness and those burgers seemed to set me up for a quite good sleep last night. It seemed better than I might have expected just on nthe basis of getting little sleep the night before.

 This morning I feel like I might live another day or two. In other words I feel fairly OK again - if I ignore the usual occasional twinges. I reckon I can dodge the grim reaper for a while yet. I have two definite plans for today. The first is to spend hours and hours going through the pictures I took last night. Many will be crap, but some should be good, but even the best will almost certainly need some love and care to look their best. The other thing I will definitely be doing today comes in two flavours. I need to go out and buy some sugar free cola. The simple option is the corner shop, and there is a high chance that is where I will go, but I am contemplating the possibility of going for a rummage around Lidl. It is possible they may have Red Sun shower gel back in stock again. On second thoughts, going to Lidl might be pleasanter tomorrow when it may be less busy - if I am lucky !
Saturday 16th September  2017
 08:36 BST

  After some early morning brightness, even a bit of sunshine, yesterday turned gloomy. It was also damp in the evening, although I find it difficult to say when it was actually raining, and how hard the rain was when it was raining. I think, although without standing out in it I cannot be sure, that most, if not all the rain yesterday was not much heavier than drizzle. At the moment the fabric of my house retains enough summer heat to mask how cool it is getting now, although after sunset having a heater on low was definitely not much of a luxury.

                    early guess at what today's weather might be like
it's getting cooler
                    and cooler
 Here's two screenshots of what today's weather may be like. The top one was taken about 12 hours ago. The lower one at about 6am this morning. Both have now been superseded by an even newer forecast that was made just before I started writing. I reckon it is cheating to make a forecast that is made after the time it is supposed to be predicting....although, to be fair that isn't quite the truth. The original web page says it was updated at 08:39, and it's forecast was for a whole 21 minutes into the future.

 Now about today's weather. I can't keep taking and showing updating screenshots, and so I'll just have to mention a few of what may, or may not be changes to the lower screenshot above. The biggest change is that if this forecast is correct, the only rain today will be some light rain between 6 and 7pm. The prediction for a rather cool 14° C stays, but during the afternoon it will occasionally dip to just 13° C. The old guess shows very little sunshine, but the later forecast/prediction/wild guess shows even less sunshine. To sum up, it is going to be rather cool, and rather dull with a chance of a light shower probably anytime, but most likely around 6pm. Tomorrow should see the temperature closer to 16° C, and while some rain is going to fall, there could be a little bit of sunshine too.

 Yesterday was another day when I failed to achieve much. It's a very poor excuse, but I blame the weather. Another excuse is that I stumbled upon a website (that I failed to bookmark - duh !) that contained loads of fascinating reading about bugs and spy radios, and related stuff. As a former electronics technician, and completely inactive licenced radio amateur, I found it completely fascinating. They even included some limited circuit diagrams too. I'm not sure how many hours I wasted flicking through those web pages !

 Another web-based task that consumed considerably less of my time, but still a measurable proportion (that I didn't actually measure) was searching amazon for a couple of things. One of those things was Bluetooth connected speakers. I feel I have a limited use for a pair of them (pair as in stereo pair). Maybe in reality they may turn out to be more useful. The basic idea is to use my underutilised tablet, or one of my redundant mobile phones, to play music via the bluetooth connection. It appears that most Bluetooth speakers come with the left and right speakers in the same enclosure - which sounds a bit stupid - and many come in stupid, or at least non conventional looking speaker enclosures. I found a pair that look like small bookshelf speakers, and that is handy because that is how I will probably use them.

 The other things I was searching for was another lens for my camera. I specifically wanted a lens with a very wide angle view - possibly even a fish eye lens. I did find one that looked exactly what I wanted. It was actually a zoom lens with a very wide angle view at one end of it's range, and with quite a wide aperture (f2 if I recall correctly). The only problem is that it was close on £2000, and as desirable as it was, it was a bit a lot outside my budget. I eventually settled for a a much cheaper lens (£199). The only catch is that it's largest aperture is f4.5. It is going to need a lot of light (or a very slow exposure) to get a nice bright picture through that, and very few gigs have that level of lighting - which is a pity because most of my photography revolves around gigs in dimly lit pubs !

 I ordered the lens anyway. There are occasions when a really wide angle lens can be useful for outdoor photography - snapping the front of a big building/shop in a narrow street for instance. There is an argument that says the money I have spent on individual lenses now could have been spent on just one far more versatile lens. Maybe if I get a decent win on my Premium Bonds I will get such a lens. In the meantime, as predicted by several people at work, I have offset the cost of the new lens by using the £100 amazon voucher I was given as a retirement present.

 Aldi stores
                        going up market
 There are two stories about the picture above. The first is that I find it worrying that Aldi are trying to go upmarket. It is a supermarket that is supposed to be cheap and cheerful, and yet they are now introducing so many things to extract enhanced amounts of money from us. During my last visit earlier in the week I saw some fancy "Avocado oil" lurking on one shelf, and I think it was 5 different names varieties of grapes (as well as the traditional "white" and "red") on another shelf. They also had these "Watermelon Plums" - which I bought.

 The other thing I did yesterday was eating ! It included 3 Watermelon plums. They do look like very small dusty watermelons, and the flesh inside is a deep red colour......and they were very nice ! Another thing I ate was a beef and vegetable stew. Sadly it didn't turn out as good as the beef with noodles "stew" I made the other day. The difference was because the Aldi sourced diced beef was very lean, too lean. It would be good news for anyone on a low fat diet, but it also meant it was light on flavour too, although that was not the biggest problem.

 The biggest problem is that it really dried out when I roasted it prior to adding it to the stock and vegetables that were the bulk of the stew. I suspect that it would be better to just stew it without roasting it first, although that won't release all the best flavours. I have another pack of the same diced beef, and I'm sure it won't be long before I report success or failure with that.

 Cooking a spicy stew with a generous sprinkling of crushed dried chillies may have been taking a big chance yesterday. I don't know if it was the very spicy beef stew I made a couple of days ago, or if the beer I was drinking on Thursday night out of a glass that smelled as if it had been dried with a rancid dish cloth really had been dried with a rancid, bacteria laden dishcloth, but yesterday afternoon I had a very good reason to be glad that I didn't go out. It was a procedure that lasted less than an hour in total, but during that hour it seemed that my digestive system completely emptied itself, and then was power washed through ! I blame the beer glass !

 I suppose it was because I did nothing of any physical significance that I had real trouble sleeping last night. I doubt I got more than 2 or 3 hours sleep. It took a good few hours to get to sleep the first time, and that ended with a strange dream little more than an hour later. I only remember the end of the dream (assuming there was something before the end). In the dream I was laying on my back under some sort of lattice mast. In some ways the cross members seemed a bit like chain link fence. I seemed to have limited freedom under that mast, and what freedom or movement I did have I used to try and find the centre point of the mast so the view of all the lattice work lined up to give a perfect geometric shape.

 I had one more notable dream much later this morning. This one seemed to last a few minutes. I was trying to cross the road at the t-junction outside Catford station. As I waited for the cars to clear there were two white cars left. One wanted to turn right out of the side road, and the other wanted to turn right into the side road. As soon as the traffic allowed, both cars accelerated at an impossible rate, and crashed into each other. From a standing start they reached such a speed in just a few car lengths that one car was almost completely buried in the other, and because they were both turning they ended up spinning down the road until out of sight. I don't think I can even guess how a shrink might explain that dream !

 Today I want to try and do at least two things. One is to get washed and dressed and go out to the shops. There is nothing I am desperate to buy, but I reckon I would still come out of the Poundshop, or maybe the 99p shop with my wallet lighter. Maybe a better reason is that I want to check to see if anyone is playing in The Black Cat pub tonight. That could have some bearing on what I do this evening. My plan for the evening is to get to The Mitre in Greenwich to see at least some of Chain's gig there. It can get a bit too busy in there for my taste when it gets late, but the first hour or sometimes 2 is often OK. If there is a gig on at The Black Cat I may well leave Greenwich early, and pop in The Black Cat for another hour or so.
Friday 15th September  2017
 09:28 BST

  Yesterday did involve some rain, but not much of it, and none of any significance when it might have mattered. It also happened several hours later than forecast. The morning, contrary to what the forecast seemed to suggest, was actually quite bright, and I am sure I can remember a fair bit of sunshine. The temperature was as forecast, or as near as....about 16° C.
the forecast for
                    today seems to a copy of what yesterday actually was
  The strange thing about today's forecast is that it actually tells the story of the weather yesterday - except for the temperature. Yesterday morning was not as cold as 9° C, but then again I am not convinced it was as cool as 9° C this morning. Yesterday evening was a few degrees warmer too, but the sunshine, cloud cover, and rain are pretty close to yesterday. Apart from being a bit cool, it doesn't look a terrible day, but I could wish for something a lot better. Maybe tomorrow will be a little better. There is still rain forecast for the early evening (and then later at night), but before that it might be brighter, and possibly sunnier too.
sunset last night
This is what sunset looked like last night as I walked home from the bus I had taken from Bromley. Occasionally some light rain would hit the bus windows, but it was dry as I walked the last bit towards home.....and sausages !

Guinness sausages !!
  Yesterday was one of the better days. With stuff to do during the day I showered and washed my hair early in the morning. A little later in the morning I went to Aldi. It was my intention to not buy all that much. One reason for that was because I want to empty my freezer to defrost it, and at the same time give the larder section a well overdue clean. I certainly didn't buy any frozen foods, but I did buy more food than I intended. Any thing that needs to be kept in the fridge won't last long before it is eaten, and it will all survive unchilled for a while. One particular thing I bought yesterday was Guinness flavoured sausages - I had never seen them before, and I just couldn't resist them !

 I also bought a couple of sandwiches so I could get something inside me before I had a visitor, and later went on to Bromley for my Thursday night drink. That visitor was Patricia, and it was a most pleasant visit that included a bit of a surprise. She was principally visiting to have one last look through the suitcases of her old clothes and stuff, and to help me take them to a charity shop (Age Concern). Checking through the suitcases (two of them plus a big laundry bag) was worthwhile. Her partner, Andrew, had asked her to look for an old pair of expensive looking shoes of his, and they were duly extracted and put aside for him.

 The very unexpected surprise came about because Patricia had pulled a muscle in her leg when running for a train as she made her way to my place. Much to my disappointment in the early years when I first met Patricia, and until yesterday, there had been hardly any physical interaction between her and myself. Yesterday Patricia took off her trousers and asked me to massage her pulled muscle. It was far from sexy, but it was nice to be trusted for such an important task.

 I don't really know what I am doing when it comes to massaging, but like the previous massage I gave (to Angela's back), maybe two months ago now, it was reported to have been nice and also effective. Perhaps I should start a new profession, although with old school prejudices I would have to wear Marigolds and a blindfold if any men wanted a massage ! After resting her leg for another half an hour or so Patricia felt ready to help me lug the cases to the charity shop.

 Age Concern (although I am having doubts it is Age Concern, but it is a charity concerned with helping the elderly) were grateful for our donation. After that we got the bus towards Bromley. It did put a little strain on Patricia because we had to rush to catch the bus - although only for about 50ft. Patricia got off about three stops before I got off the bus for my appointment with the pub. Rushing to get the bus was actually pointless because we were both nearly 40 minutes early at our destinations !

 I think I had almost finished my first pint before Chris turned up at the pub, and my second was half gone before most people had arrived. It was slightly annoying that the only beer I think I liked was served in a smelly glass - either that of the beer actually smelled a lot like a smelly dish cloth ! If I held my nose when taking a gulp it tasted much better ! I usually only stay for 3 pints on Thursdays, but last night I had four pints before going home.

 It was only a short wait for a bus back to Catford, but initially it was a rather full bus.  As the bus travelled to Catford we would pass through a few light showers. Fortunately it was dry when I got off the bus, although it was starting to feel a bit cool. That was the one bit of sadness about yesterday. I think that last night was probably the last night of the year when I could go out with no coat in a short sleeved shirt. Maybe there might be other occasions - perhaps when it is just to The Black Cat - but it feels like the end of an era !

 When I got home I set about cooking the Guinness sausages. I don't have a frying pan so I grill them in a mini oven. Unfortunately it takes quite a long time to cook sausages in there, and so I ate a sandwich while I waited. Eventually the sausages (plus some button mushrooms) were cooked, and I gave them a taste. I couldn't say they reminded me of the taste of Guinness, but they did have a nice yeasty taste. For some reason, maybe because they were cooked with the sausages, the button mushrooms tasted really, really nice too !

 I went to bed feeling quite full, and wondering if the sausages would give me heartburn. Fortunately they didn't, and I slept quite well. This morning I feel about the same as the last few days - basically OK, but wishing for more strength, vitality, and dynamasiscm (a word not in the dictionary !!). Sooner or later I had better get washed and dressed properly. I have a few things to do today, or maybe that is a few things that I might do today.

 It is possible, although very unlikely that I could get another visit from Patricia today. She said she would be free this morning if we didn't manage to get all the stuff to the charity shop yesterday. I said she would be welcome if she wanted to pop again for a G & T, or if she wanted her leg muscle massaged again. My guess is that I will be lucky to see her even once more before she flies south for the winter again at the end of the month.

 Today could be the day that I make a start on clearing the cupboard under the stairs. Chris has volunteered to run any old computer chassis to the local dump if I need that. I am reluctant to put him through the trouble of that, although maybe it might be needed in the long run. I don't think I am liable to do anything else of any note today. Chain are playing a gig in Beckenham tonight, but it is in The Bricklayers Arms. Unlike the Bromley Bricklayers Arms, the Beckenham one is very cramped and very poorly lit. It doesn't give me any urge to go there - particularly when Chain are playing in a better (though not perfect) venue in Greenwich tomorrow.

 There is one other bit of good news about yesterday that I almost forgot about. The 4 t-shirts that I ordered via Amazon a month ago, and that were estimated to be delivered by the end of last month, finally turned up. I had written them off as lost, and it was one small contributory factor to me recent (and current ?) depression. (Most of it is about Angela). Maybe it is time to order something else from Amazon....and I am thinking along the lines of a very wide angle, or fish eye lens for my camera.
Thursday 14th September  2017
 09:33 BST

  Yesterday was one of those days where I paid little attention to what was going outside the 4 walls of my house. I think the day was similar to how it was forecast - many sunny spells or intervals, a brief splash of rain or two, and the temperature well into the tepid region. I can't dispute the forecast for 16° C.
a dull day today
  I took this screenshot of the forecast for today a bit later than usual. Maybe if I had taken it earlier this morning it might have showed that there was a bit of sunshine an hour or so ago, it might even have been less accurate than I presume this later version is. It seems to basically says it is going to be a rather dull, rather miserable day, and this afternoon we may see some light showers. For all that, the temperature will probably be the same as yesterday - not wonderful, but acceptable. Tomorrow it apparently going to be cold and wet. On a clear winters day, with blue skies and plenty of sunshine, 14° C would feel very pleasant. Accompanied by grey skies and rain, it is going to feel bloody horrible !

  I suppose that technically I was suffering from depression yesterday, but I didn't seem to feel depressed. I just couldn't be bothered to motivate myself to do anything. One success was resisting the temptation to go to Aldi to buy any shopping, but maybe that took away any motivation to wash and dress. I did neither yesterday, and went to be stinking ! The odd thing is that despite a constant nagging idea that I really ought to be doing something, I felt fairly comfortable doing some photo editing, reading, snoozing and eating.

 The photo editing I did was of the photos I had taken at the open mic on Tuesday night. As I had hoped, many photos needed far less processing to get them looking acceptable. This is because The Bricklayers Arms pub in Bromley don't turn off the lights around the stage area. It is not bright light by any means, but it makes so much difference.
                          "Stretch" Sickel, the man who hosts
                          the open mic
This is Martin "Stretch" Sickel who hosts the open mic night once a month.
Romeo Kas - normally a bass player
This could be a rare picture of Romeo Kas - his normal instrument is electric bass guitar.
Gerry Scales - 75 and still going strong
Gerry Scales showing off his new guitar.
Rob Todd
Rob Todd - great guy, but his live singing lets him down.
 These pictures and quite a few others have been shared on social media and have received much acclaim. That makes me feel good - but it is such a fleeting thing. I can really understand why many stage performers, particularly comedians, but in some cases musicians too, can glory in the applause, but are manic depressives behind the scenes.

 If the "applause" I get for my photos really meant anything in the long term I would probably have forced myself to go out last night to what last time was a very enjoyable open mic session at The Iron Horse pub in Sidcup. I did want to go, but I just couldn't be bothered to get ready to go. I would have had to leave around 7.30pm, and at that time I still hadn't washed or dressed for the day. I was also partly put off by a hint of indigestion from an earlier meal.

 That meal was my experimental double cooked beef in a spicy tomato sauce with instant noodles. Just as I hoped, roasting the diced beef with a sprinkle of crushed chillies and olive oil, did improve it's flavour a lot. 15 (or was it 20) minutes boiling in some stock with tomato purée released even more nice flavour. The crowning glory was the packet of semi crushed instant noodles - which also happened to be spicy tomato flavour. Those noodles turned it into a meal - well, in my imagination they did ! It was very, very nice, but it was also very spicy, and I could feel it, or thought I could, over 4 hours later !

 Last night might have been a good night to be out for another reason. It was probably the snoozing I did earlier in the day, but I didn't feel tired at all last night. Apart from my usual fear of things like the last train not running, I doubt I would have felt in any rush to get home last night. It was midnight before I even seriously tried to go bed, and it must have been 1am before I fell asleep.

 I didn't get as many hours sleep as I would have liked, but on the other hand I seemed to get all the sleep I needed, and I think a fair amount of it was probably good sleep. I can only remember dreaming twice, and one of the dreams was so brief it was almost like a snapshot. I'm not even sure if I was asleep or awake and letting my mind wander, but what appeared in my head was being in a toilet cubical, sitting down, and finding there was a handy cash machine in there. The one dream that was definitely a dream was about, but didn't not actually feature, pornography. I think I was trying to imagine what porno pictures might turn me on, but it seems my imagination was as nebulous as my memory of the dream. (Maybe there was a terribly exciting bit of the dream that I have no memory of !).

 This morning I feel my usual "tolerably OK". I could wish to feel far better, much more dynamic, but I guess this will have to do. One thing I am happy to announce is that this morning I have showered and washed my hair. Now that is a grand improvement over yesterday. The real reason is that there are definitely things to do today.

 This morning I intend to go to Aldi. A spare pack of toilet paper, while not essential for as long as week, would still be a good idea, and some bottle of sugar free cola would be most handy. One project looming in the near future is to defrost and clean my fridge. So I don't want to buy too much food in Aldi - although inevitable I will !

 Sometime around 3pm I should be getting another visit from Patricia, and we will be taking her old suitcases of clothes to a charity shop before both heading to different parts of Bromley on the same bus. She has an interpreting job to do, and I have some drinking to do. Tonight we are in the Wethespoons pub so we can used up some CAMRA vouchers in there. It's not one of my favourite destinations in Bromley, and I seem to have lost my love of real ale recently, but even so I'll stay for my regulation three pints.....and maybe more !
Wednesday 13th September  2017
 09:49 BST

  Funnily enough, yesterday's weather was very similar to how it was forecast. Makes a change ! There was some nice sunshine in the morning that slowly turned into "sunny intervals" by midday. Finally the sky completely clouded over, but it was very light grey cloud, and so the world didn't turn that gloomy. Finally, from about 6 or 7pm rain started to fall. Sometimes it was heavy, and sometimes it was just light drizzle, but I don't think it completely stopped until midnight or later. I didn't keep an eye on the temperature, but it was most probably about the forecast 17° C
a day like yesterday ecept the
                    evening should stay dry
  This morning has started off nice and bright and sunny again, and apart from the chance of an isolated shower, perhaps at 11am and 1pm, there should be some sunshine until sunset. Unlike yesterday, it is shown as being dry tonight. 16° C is a bit disappointing, but only to be expected with September half over. For shorter stays outside, like walking to and from the local shops, it should still be more than comfortable in shirt sleeves.

 After some recent days that haven't been very happy, yesterday was a fairly OK sort of day. Sharing a few G&Ts with Patricia as the sun poured through the living room windows was nice. I got Patricia to double check the contents of her old suitcases before they go to a charity shop. She rescued a couple of items, but the rest, and the suitcases themselves are probably going to Age Concern on Thursday. By coincidence, Patricia and I both have appointments in Bromley at about the same time on Thursday (mine is with a pub, hers is work related). Patricia will have to change buses in Catford to get to Bromley, and the plan is that she will come here first, and we'll lug those suitcases to Age Concern before getting a bus towards Bromley on Thursday afternoon.

 After Patricia left I did some cooking. I had more of the diced beef I used in a stew recently, and decided to use it slightly differently. For my new recipe I decided I would roast the diced beef before stewing it. In theory, or in my imagination, that might have helped to tenderise it a bit more, and give it a more beefy flavour. When it was roasted enough I boiled it in beef stock. That is as far as I got because I intend to use it today - either with mixed vegetables, or possibly with noodles.

 What I actually ate for dinner was a huge meal of nothing but mixed vegetables (mostly cauliflower and carrots, but there was other stuff) cooked in a lot of chicken stock. Not only was it my diner, but it was my lunch and breakfast too. I'm not sure how much effect the carrots had (I don't trust carrots), but in theory it should have been a very low everything meal - low calorie, low salt, low fat - but also high fibre and other alleged good stuff. If I could eat that, and nothing else, every day for a fortnight I could lose a considerable amount of weight (I know - I've tried it in the past). The only difficulty is that to do that every day you have to have a very stable emotional life, and mine is anything but these days.

 In reality I did have one more meal yesterday. Apart from cooking, I did very little yesterday afternoon. I read a fair bit, and I think I had a snooze. Somehow the hours drifted past painlessly. At around 6pm I began to think about going out. There was a nice open mic session going on in The Bricklayers Arms pub in Bromley (not the one on Beckenham), and I sort of fancied going even though a few days earlier I had decided that I ought to cut down, or even cut out going to music events.

 There was also the slight problem that I would have ideally like a few more hours for my gutfull of vegetables to settle down. Perhaps it was fortunate that the largest part of the bulk of that vegetable meal was stock - over a pint of it - maybe even two - and that had drained away quite early in the proceedings. By 7pm I had concluded that I was fit enough to travel, and that going to the open mic could be enjoyable. It was enjoyable even if there was one person there who I didn't expect, and who slightly annoys me sometimes.

 I think I managed to get some good pictures of everyone who took part, although I have to admit I haven't bothered to check my camera this morning to be sure. By about 10.30pm the session seemed to be winding down, and it seemed like a good time to go into the rain and go home. It felt like it might be nice to get something to soak up some of the Guinness I had drunk. To that end I deliberately missed the first bus back to Catford, and waited the extra minute (according to the Countdown display at the bus stop) for the next bus.

 That next bus was a 320, and they terminate by Catford Bridge station. Catford Bridge station is very near Favourite Fried Chicken, and they do some very nice chicken burgers. So my second, and final meal of the day was a couple of chicken burgers (without fries or anything else). They were a delight to eat - a delight probably enhanced by having to walk in the rain to get home. Soon after eating those burger I brushed my teeth, and went to bed. I'm not sure what the time was at that point, but I feel very sure I was fast asleep before midnight.

 I slept quite well last night, and this morning I feel probably as good as yesterday - which wasn't that bad. I am not sure how today will pan out. I have already gone astray by having some breakfast. One long term plan I have is to defrost my freezer. That will take some time because there is a fair amount of stuff in there to try and use up. At the back of the freezer I found a packet of ready prepared sole. It was probably some time after it's best before date, but it seemed fine, and I had that for breakfast.

 What I ought to try and do today is to start getting some of the junk out of the under the stairs cupboard. Most of it is old computer stuff, and I guess I ought to just throw it away. Some I can hide amongst other stuff in the wheelie bin, other stuff could be more difficult. I still have one whole month before the technician who will replace my electricity meter needs free access in the cupboard. So an early start will be less traumatic.

 Other than that there is some attraction of another open mic session. Tonight it is the M.T. Pockets open mic in The Iron Horse pub in Sidcup. The last time I went there it seemed fun, and I might go again....or not. Of course there is one thing I am forgetting, and it could easily take up loads, and loads of hours today. It is selecting and editing the photos I took last night. I should have a selection of the best of the best to show here tomorrow.
Tuesday 12th September  2017
 08:32 BST

  It was the weather that dominated me and my emotions yesterday. Even though the forecast for the day kept improving, I still felt it ought to be a terribly miserable day, and so acted accordingly. In reality it turned out that a lot of yesterday was rather good. There was a lot of sunshine right up to mid afternoon. The forecast 24 hours earlier predicted thunderstorms around 1pm. The forecast in the morning said that it would just be cloudy at 1pm. Both wrong !
bright sunshine and blue
                  skies !
 The picture above was taken at 1pm and as can be plainly seen it was bright and sunny with plenty of lovely blue sky ! Later on the sky did cloud over, and it was around 4.30pm that we had some very heavy rain. It was heavy enough that I expected some thunder and lightning, but there was none. Perhaps half an hour later and it was all over, and it brightened up a bit. There was more rain later on in the evening, but that was quite light compared to the torrents that fell earlier. There was a nice double rainbow after that storm.

rainbow after storm
double rainbow

 The double rainbow is easiest to see in the lower picture. Yesterday's temperature was probably typical for this time of year. It is slowly cooling down as winter approaches (although I don't think we actually start autumn for a couple of weeks*) It was supposed to be just 17° C yesterday, and in a few days it will have slipped to 16° C - probably !

* There are two starts to autumn - the astronomical start on the 22nd Sept, and the meteorological start on 1st Sept. You can read about it here -
a fine
                    day until it all goes sour in the evening
Today's forecast shows it to be a nice sunny day until it all goes wrong at sunset, and the days turns from happy and sunny to wet and miserable ! It also suggests that today could be a degree warmer than yesterday - 18° C - but it also shows the slow decline of the temperature in the coming days - maybe no more than 16° C by Friday.  Tomorrow might be even better than today. It may be a degree cooler, but there might be a little more sunshine, and a dry evening.

 It seemed that once I got it in my head that yesterday was going to be a miserable day, mostly on account of the weather, but also just the way life is lately, I could not shake that miserable feeling. Perhaps "miserable" is not quite the right word though. I wasn't so much miserable as just listless, uninterested, and sort of numb. So I didn't actually do anything useful until the weather caught up with how I thought it should be.

 It is most unfortunate that during the miserable/listless phase I spoiled all my eating plans. Early-ish in the morning I had a couple of sandwiches that I had bought from Tesco the day before. Even they were not really part of my plan, but they could have been one of the triggers for it's downfall. I ate them because they were there, and had to be eaten sometime yesterday regardless. There is little doubt that they would have raised my blood glucose level a bit, and that makes me hungry.

 By midday I felt peckish again. I didn't want to eat the vegetable stew that I had prepared for the evening, and so I looked around and spied some packets of instant noodles. I thought I might experiment with them - zapping them in the microwave in some chicken stock. It came out like noodle soup, and was quite pleasant. Unfortunately I also spied a packet of "risotto rice" at the back of the cupboard. I can't remember when I bought it. It must have been years ago - possibly before I had a microwave cooker.

 Cooking that rice was too easy. Just pour the rice, complete with it's powdered flavouring, into a bowl of water, and zap for the approved time. With the addition of a bit of chilli sauce it came out rather nice. Too nice in fact. I ate the lot, and felt bloated for hours afterwards, and to some extent up to the time I went to bed. I never did get to eat my rather more healthy vegetable stew last night.

 If I can stick to my plan, which would usually be highly unlikely, it would be the only thing I eat all day today. There is one thing that might help to achieve that plan, or at least something close to it. Just before midday I received a message from my friend Patricia. She is now back from gadding around Europe with her partner, and asked if it was OK for her to pop over today at around lunchtime. I readily agreed, and I look forward to seeing her on several levels today.

 It will be nice to see Patricia, who I only see a few times a year, anyway, but today could be the day when she finally inspects several suitcases of old/spare clothes that she left here a few years ago. I want to get rid of them as I try and declutter my house.

 Once the storm started, and the weather started doing what it was supposed to be doing yesterday, I sort of came alive. I might well have come alive even more if I didn't have a gut full of risotto rice. That did slow me down a lot, but I got off my arse and started clearing up/tidying and stuff in preparation for Patricia's visit today. Moving Patricia's old suitcases (plus a large laundry bag) into the front room where she can't miss them, enabled me to shuffle a few things around too. It was the start of some tricky work to clear enough crap from the under stairs cupboard to allow the electricity meter change technician do his work in a months time.

 After moving stuff around, tidying up a bit, and hoovering the living room carpet, I returned to "deep resting" - which mostly equates to reading a book. Later in the evening I watched some TV, and then at 9pm I went to bed. At 10pm (or was it 11pm ?) I finally fell asleep. I didn't sleep that well, and I think it was because I still had a gutful of rice. Well I guess it was diminished a lot by then, but I still felt bloated. Maybe it was because of that feeling that I slept awkwardly, and managed to roll over and twist my "twisted rib". It is not easy to sleep with chest pains even when you are 90% sure that the cause is nothing dangerous. There is always that element of doubt.

 This morning I may do some more housework. I might even hoover the stairs.....or maybe not. I think I will avoid going to the supermarket. I was originally going to go today, but it would just be too tempting. The highlight of the day will be when Patricia visits. Maybe we will end up in a pub for a quick drink if we lug some of her old clothes to a charity shop rather than dump them in the recycling bin.

 Tonight I am contemplating going to an open mic night. I am pretty certain that Angela won't be there, and even if she is I don't think the man I last saw her slobbering over would be there. I am not sure why I feel like I might go after recently deciding I almost give up going to music events. I guess my resolve is weakening as I get over the shock and stuff. I think the biggest arbitter of my decision tonight will be the weather. It seems almost certain to be raining. If the rain is too heavy then I'll have another early night.
Monday 11th September  2017
 09:01 BST

  Some of yesterday's weather wasn't bad. The rest was not so good, but not terrible. The last forecast I noted (and included in a screenshot yesterday) predicted some sunshine in the morning, and even though it was a newly revised forecast, it was still a little bit pessimistic about the amount of sunshine. The afternoon was also a bit brighter than forecast, although there was no actual sunshine. I'm not sure if it rained in the early evening or not. The one thing that was approximately right was the temperature range - or was it. Maybe my body is adjusting to winter already, and 17° C felt very pleasant, perhaps even slightly warm.
first attempt at
                    todays's forecast
I took the screenshot above at about 8pm yesterday. It predicted that today would be a really bad day - lots and lots of rain, several hours of thunderstorms - and sometimes some sunshine too !
a slightly calmer
                    forecast for today

 This morning there was a revised forecast for today, and it is still wrong-ish ! So far it is a brighter and drier morning than forecast. There has been some rain, but it seemed to be so light that I only noticed it had rained by the road looking damp. At the moment it is supposed to be quite grey with light rain. Looking out my window I see bright sunshine. It makes me wonder just how wet this afternoon will really be. I suspect the forecast temperatures will probably be about right, and one other factor that is not obvious from the forecast, seems to be right to - it is quite windy. Tomorrow is currently looking like it could be a bright shiny day. It will be nice if it is !

 Yesterday was the day to throw off the bonds of depression and do something useful or entertaining. I'm not sure which category what I did falls into, but it felt sort of positive. As I mentioned yesterday morning, I had it in mind to take a train from Catford Bridge station to Charing Cross so that I could experience a ride under the recently opened "flyunder" between New Cross and London Bridge. That was part one of my few hours out of the house.
train pulling into
                          Catford Bridge station
 So I went out and caught this train from Catford Bridge to Charing Cross. I think it was the 10:32. It was a 10 car train - which I thought fairly generous for a Sunday. There were a fair number of people on it, and if it had only been a 4 car it would have been approaching light rush hour loading. I travelled in the front coach - mostly because it would end up closest to the barriers at Charing Cross, and for some reason I thought it might give a better view. Of course it didn't. What I would have loved to do would have been to be in the cab to shoot a little video clip.

 This video, if you can see it, starts as my train passes the Combined Heat, Power and Lighting waste incinerator near Millwall football ground. That piece of track has been out of used for a year or two because half the viaduct it ran on was pulled down. The track then goes dips down to "fly under" the tracks that Thameslink trains use  on their way from Croydon. Then it goes back up to rejoin the old viaduct and that is approx where the video clip ends. It's not hugely exciting, but it was another entry ticked off in the appendix to the book of life.

 There wasn't much to do once I got to Charing Cross....well there were hundreds of things I could potentially do, but I only had about 17 minutes to kill before getting the train back to Catford Bridge. So I did the smallest amount of sightseeing you can do by going nowhere. During that time a gap opened up in the heavy traffic that passes the station, and an old Routemaster bus posed for me in a most provocative way - note the way it's front wheels were turned toward me !
Routemaster bus at Charing
  My train back to Catford Bridge departed at 11:15am.While on the train I checked the times of trains from Catford station. The "real time" information showed that I would have just 4 minutes to get to Catford station if I was to carry out part 2 of my plans. Being held at signals on the approach to Lewisham made me think that it would all go wrong, but it seemed that the delay was built into the timetable, and my train arrived at Catford Bridge on time.

 The reason I wanted to get to Catford station was that Thameslink trains were being diverted to Victoria station because of engineering works. That in itself was not a great novelty - before Thameslink took over services through Catford station the standard destination on a Sunday was Victoria. What might have been a novelty would have been if it was actually a Thameslink class 700 train being diverted to Victoria - it wasn't. Thameslink had contracted Southeastern to provide the driver and the train, and they used a rather grotty, despite being recently refurbished, "Networker" train. Oh well, at least I got a picture of the information display at Victoria saying "Thameslink" !
A Thameslink
                                  service from Victoria
 At Victoria I had just 8 minutes to wait until my train departed back to Catford on it's way to Sevenoaks, and so I didn't even bother going outside the station. Half an hour later, or maybe slightly sooner, I was back at home. I didn't stay there that long before I went back out again. This time it was just to get some shopping from Tesco. The plan was just to get a few essentials, and get the rest of my shopping from Aldi this morning. It was a good plan, but it didn't work. I bought quite a lot from Tesco.

 As well as a spare bottle of whisky I ended up buying some ingredients for a really rather nice stew. I also bought some sandwiches as a stop gap measure because all the fresh air made me feel a bit peckish. After eating those sandwiches it is just as well that the stew I made had hints towards the healthy side of living. It was basically some diced almost-but-not-really lean beef with a pile of vegetable. If the ready prepared mixed vegetable had had a lot more broccoli, and far less carrot, it could have been described as a healthy meal. One thing it was, when I ate it later in the evening, was very filling - mainly on account of the pint or more of stock that it was all cooked in - and that I drank as part of the meal.

 Apart from slurping down my big, fairly low carbohydrate, moderately low fat stew, I did very little last night. It could almost have been boring, but I found a couple of TV programmes on that seemed worth watching. Sadly two of them clashed, and I ended up switching between the two of them. As 9pm approached I gave thought to going to bed, but I didn't feel that tired. It was 10pm before I went to bed, and to my surprise I fell asleep quite quickly.

 I might have slept better if I didn't wake up for a pee more frequently than I did. I guess that was the legacy of drinking all that stock, and also of drinking squash. It's a funny thing about squash. If it is made with ice cold water I drink it like beer. A pint of squash can last as little as 15 minutes sometimes. I think it is the lack of bubbles and the cold water. I tend to drink fizzy drinks far more slowly, and a pint of ice cold sugar free cola is usually warm and going flat by the time I finish it.

 Despite some nocturnal visits to the toilet I guess I feel like I got enough sleep last night, and this morning I feel sort of OK. I am trying hard not to think about the days, weeks, months, and maybe even years of tedium ahead, and while I manage that I feel reasonably OK. One anomaly at the moment is that I am having a hot flush ! I suspect it is something to do with the amount of Habanero Hot Sauce I used rather liberally on my breakfast earlier !

 Today I am doing......actually I have no idea what I will be doing in any but the vaguest terms. I thought today would be terribly wet and dull, and that rather put me off doing anything outside. I think that sooner or later it will be dull and wet, but right now (10:20am) it is still bright and sunny ! One thing I probably ought to do is to make a start of clearing out some of the junk in the cupboard under the stairs. There is still a month to go, so theoretically no rush, but I have been coerced to have a smart electricity meter fitted, and it will live under the stairs like the old meter, and so the technician will need a bit of space to do his stuff. How I am going to dispose of several ancient PCs, plus many ancient PC accessories, is something I don't know.
Sunday 10th September  2017
 08:20 BST

  I think I was too depressed and/or tired to pay much attention to what was going on outside yesterday. I think that yesterday's forecast was probably about right. There were some sunny intervals in the morning, and at some time in the afternoon, maybe at the forecast time of 8pm, the road outside was wet from rain. For some reason I don't think the rain continued into the night as the forecast said it would. That seems likely considering the forecast for today.
first attempt at todays's forecast
This was the first attempt at a forecast for today, but then someone at the weather centre must have opened the curtains, looked out, and realised it was all wrong !
revised forecast for today

 This is the revised forecast for today, and so far it is almost matching reality ! It might be worth noting there was only about 15 minutes between these two screenshots ! I only double checked because I was expecting to see black clouds at 7am, and all I can see was bright sunshine. Looking out my bathroom window I couldn't even see the light cloud that the second forecast predicted, although when I drew the curtains in my bedroom, which faces in the opposite direction to the bathroom, I could see a few fluffy clouds, but only a few. Here's how the official forecast describes today :-
"I will be a cool, dry, and bright start with early fog patches clearing. Thickening cloud will bring outbreaks of showery rain through the afternoon, with the odd heavier burst possible. It will become increasingly windy."
 The forecast is still changing even now. A small change is that the light rain may last another hour or two tonight. A bigger change concerns tomorrow. Much more rain is forecast for tomorrow. Unless the forecast is revised again, which is highly probable, tomorrow's commute to work, and going home again will be done in horrible grey rain - except that I don't have to commute any more. It is about time I was reminded how great it is to be retired !

 Yesterday was a generally unpleasant day. I was still very depressed about the situation, or lack of it, with Angela. I foresee a very lonely future, and that is a pretty gloomy thought. I did manage to hold those terrible thoughts in the back of my head some of the time, and tried to bring better thoughts to the front, but for some reason I still couldn't sleep during the day. I passed some of the time reading a book, and it was a great diversion, but even after reading some uplifting/exciting stuff I couldn't seem to relax enough to fall asleep. I would ust be laying on my bed with my eyes closed, and nothing would happen.

 It seemed pointless trying to go to bed too early last night despite the fact that I felt dreadfully tired. There was bugger all on TV, but I eventually amused myself by watching some ancient episodes of the 1960's Batman series. I accompanied that with two large glasses of Scotch. I expected, or maybe intended to drink more, but somehow 2 glasses seemed to be about right. Maybe by 10pm, or was it 11pm, or even 9pm, who knows, I was in bed and asleep.

 I guess it was exhaustion as much as anything else, but it did seem that I slept quite well last night. I might have preferred to not wake up until at least 8am (or at all in my darkest thoughts) instead of 6am, but I seemed to wake up feeling almost good - in a physical sense (I still have many gloomy thoughts). I feel that today I ought to do something useful.

 I have actually done something useful already this morning. I have hand washed a couple of t-shirts, a short sleeved shirt, some underwear, a pair of lounge pants, a small hand towel and a flannel. They are all now hanging up to dry. On the subject of laundry, I did do one useful thing yesterday now I come to think of it. I hand washed my black duvet cover. That completed washing the black bed linen set after I recently changed to the all purple bed linen set a few days ago.

 There are a couple of things I may, or may not do today, and possibly a third. The first two are train related (but not actually trainspotting....or maybe the second might be). I have heard that the new underpass on the railway between New Cross and London Bridge (part of the Thameslink project) has come into use. I am curious to travel on the new rails, and it won't cost me a penny on my 60+ Oyster Card. Another novelty is that today the Thameslink trains from Catford station are running to Victoria instead of Blackfriars. That in itself is hardly a novelty, but it would be if they are real class 700 Thameslink trains. The semi-official word is that Thameslink will borrow train from Southeastern for the service, and that they will probably be boring old class 465 "Networkers".

 The third amusement for today might be a small shopping trip - possibly to Tesco to get more whisky. Maybe I will really hold back on buying too much from Tesco this time, and get some other stuff I want from Aldi tomorrow. That about concludes my possible amusements for today. One thing I can face doing is going to a gig. I 110% couldn't face the idea of seeing Life Of Brian last night, and I was too tired anyway. Today I can't face the idea of seeing Back To The Frey with Angela's daughter Miranda on lead vocals. It seems a drastic step to avoid all gigs from now on, but even gigs where there is no real chance of bumping into Angela seem to have little attraction at the moment. I think I'll stick to trainspotting.
Saturday 9th September  2017
 12:37 BST

  Yesterday was pretty horrible. The low temperature, ~17° C, wasn't too bad, but it was very dull, and for several hours, mostly in the early evening, it was very wet, although we didn't get the forecast thunderstorm.
A big
                    improvement over yesterday

 The weather for today starts as a great improvement over yesterday, and maybe a small improvement in the early evening. After dark it is probably going to be terrible again - but that is a time of day when it probably won't matter. The important thing is that most of this morning was bright with a fair amount of sunshine, and while the forecast, if taken stupidly literally, suggests it should end in exactly 12 minutes, it is bright and sunny right now ! I note that a recent update removed the forecast for rain after 8pm. The sky is now expected to be relatively clear, and than means tomorrow is going to start rather cool - 11° C, or about the same as early this morning. The rest of tomorrow is probably also going to be very similar to today  - not bad, but not good.

  Yesterday was yet another day where it seems I did little else but select and edit photos. It was slow work, and was getting so tedious that it was worse than being at some respects. Being able to have a lie down, and also spend a bit of time doing stuff like hand laundry, did break it up a bit, but even so I was getting sick of it. There were a couple of gigs I could have gone to if I felt up to it last night, but I had it in mind that I would stay in, drink lots of whisky, and finish the photos. That didn't happen.

 I got a text message out of the blue from Angela. She asked if I was going to The Partridge to see G Force. That was odd because I thought she would be going to a gig in Beckenham. I said I had considered it, and that I might possibly go, but I was thinking more along the lines of staying in doing photos. Angela's reply was "Try and come". It sounded like she was keen that I go there, and so I got myself ready, and set off to the pub. I aimed to get there for 8pm because there was a rumour that the gig would start early because there was a new 11pm music curfew. That turned out not to be the case, and it didn't start until 9pm.

 Angela turned up for 9pm, and almost, but not quite ignored me. That mildly pissed me off. She was only there 15 minutes before she started texting someone, and that someone turned up at the pub about half an hour later. At that point I was more than merely ignored, I was completely sidelined as the couldn't seem to put each other down. It didn't seem like the action of someone who was in deep mourning for a dead partner. After another 15 minutes I had to leave. I felt completely and utterly betrayed and pissed off in the extreme. I came home, had a bite to eat, and then tried to go to sleep - and mostly completely failed.

 I would be surprised if I got more than 2 hours sleep last night, and I feel pretty dreadful for it today. During all those hours of tossing and turning I came to some (probably) variable decisions. Firstly I am going to try and ignore Angela. It is going to be bloody hard, and I am not sure if I am cutting off my nose to spite my face. Secondly I feel I am going to cut down on the amount of gigs I go to. Now that is going to be difficult because one of the main tenets of my retirements was to be able to go out to lots of ate night gigs, and now I am saying I won't be. I'll probably continue to go to anything at the Black Cat, but I feel it is unlikely I'll bump into Angela there.

 I am tempted to say that sometimes life is shit, but when I look back over the last 4o years (for instance) I see that it has been shit 90% of the time. I need new hobbies. Hobbies that I can do solo because that seems to be the theme of my life. In the meantime, there is still some band photography to do. I took two sets of photos last night - one medium big of G Force, and the other a small selection of The Dirty Perks who were in the pub 2 or 3 doors away last night. So far I have only gone through the G Force photos. Here's a couple of them.....
                            Paice from G Force
Geoff Paice on lead vocals and guitar.
Gavin on the drums
Gavin Shirley on the drums
bass guitarist and backing vocals
I don't think I know this guy's name, but he played bass and did some singing.
sunset from the 320 bus in Catford
One final picture...I took this shot on my mobile phone while on the bus going to Bromley. The windscreen is covered with rain. There are thick black clouds overhead, and to the left and to the right, but over in the west there was a very bight, and colourful sunset (that looked far more vivid than the camera could capture). Fortunately the rain had long stopped when I made my early departure from the pub - which was a shame because heavy rain would have suited my mood.

 Beyond going through the little selection of pictures I took of The Dirty Perks, I really have little idea what I am going to do for the rest of today......or tomorrow, or the day after, or ever again ! It would be nice to have a nice long snooze, but despite feeling completely drained, sleep still eludes me. Maybe I'll have to overdo the whisky tonight.
Friday 8th September  2017
 08:16 BST

  The last two days were similar to all intents and purposes. The temperature didn't quite reach  20° C, but it still felt pleasant enough. Both days were dry at the times that mattered, and there were occasional glimpses of the sun (although the sun was vanishingly rare yesterday).
This forecast started off
                    wrong - it didn't mention the rain !

 The forecast for today got off to a bad start. It failed to predict the rain that has been falling for the last few hours ! Maybe that means that there will be less rain around the middle of the day. Maybe there won't be a thunderstorm around 4pm.......or maybe we are going to get totally drowned all day ! One thing the forecast usually gets about right is the temperature. This morning it says 15° C, but I reckon it is only 14° C.....well maybe 14 and a bit ! The overall trend can't be mistaken though - 18° C max for the next few days, and it will slowly dip lower and lower until we are in the grip of winter !

  I'm not sure why I didn't write anything yesterday. It was like I didn't have the time or something. In a way that is true, but I have no idea what I did that took up so much time. Maybe I am getting slower and slower at processing my photos. I started working on the pictures I took on Wednesday night, but I only managed to get through about a fifth of the pictures I had taken. My excuse is that the lighting in The Partridge is very low and very tricky, and it does need a lot of work to try and get a reasonable looking finished picture.
                            Whitestar opening his open mic session
This is Simon Whitestar opening his open mic session.
Roy Dalley
Roy Dalley, co-host of the open mic session.
new singer at the session
A new singer. I think her name was Feye. She did a cracking cover of "I'd Rather Go Blind" - except I didn't like it. I think the reason why I didn't like it was because her voice was more operatic than the more laid back sound of Christine Perfect (aka Christine McVie) who sang the definitive version (in my humble opinion).

  Wednesday night was the third evening in a row that I had seen Angela. Once again I had the privilege of escorting/guiding her on the bus to and from the pub. On this occasion we hardly had a chance to speak to each other once in the pub. It was very nice being with her on the bus, but she has some powerful barriers to throttle back any chance of us getting back together again....and that leaves me quite depressed despite knowing intellectually that it is going to take a long time for the ghost of John to dissipate. Maybe it is worse because occasionally that barrier slips slightly, and occasionally the old Angela peeps out. Of course I am aware that I could so easily be deluding myself, and these occasional bits of warmth are just my imagination, but I guess I'll keep going after the bait like a fish and a worm on a line. Perhaps the long term prognosis is doom rather than happiness.

spooky moon
  I didn't see Angela last night, although I potentially could have. After what seemed a busy day with little to show for it, I went out to catch the 5.02pm train to Shortlands for my Thursday night drink with the Thursday night lads.

 We were drinking in The Shortlands Tavern (by Shortlands station) and they had a very nice beer on last night. It was Brentwood Brewery's "Spooky Moon". It had a nice rich ruby red colour, and just enough hoppiness to suit my palate. It was just 3.8% ABV, and in theory I could have drunk it all night without getting excessively drunk, but for some reason I decided I would just have my regulation three pints last night.

 I caught the 7.02pm train back to Catford. It only takes about 9 minutes to get back to Catford - or a time not too dissimilar to how long it takes to walk back home from the station !

 One topic that came into the conversation at the pub was fish fingers. Unlike when I used to go to the pub straight from work, I had eaten earlier in the day, but a few pints of beer got me feeling hungry, and the subject of fish finger gave me a yearning for some fish. It is sad that there is now no convenient fish and chip shop in Catford (although there is one if I was prepared to walk a long way from my direct route home).

 I was still convinced that I wanted fish, and specifically cod and chips, and the only way to get it was to order it online. The side effect of that was that I had to pad out the order to meet the minimum cost for delivery. I now have a nice greasy lunch for today ! The man who delivered this cornucopia of food would appear to work directly for the shop, and urged me to go back online to rate my purchase. I might even do so, but I feel I want to mark them down for making even their "regular" portion of chips too large. Even with my voracious appetite I ended up throwing nearly half of them away !

 I had eaten my fish and chips, and tried to watch an ancient black and white episode of The Avengers on TV, but some of those early episodes are hard to watch, and I gave up on it before it finished. I wondered what to do next, and the answer seemed to be to go to bed. I didn't think I felt that tired, and there seemed no good reason to be very tired, but nevertheless I was in bed, and fast asleep by 9pm (but only with about 30 seconds to spare !).

 I must have been very tired because I seemed to sleep unusually well until 7am this morning. That would be 10 hours sleep if I hadn't woken up a few times in the night, but even so, I estimate I must have got close to 9 hours of quality sleep - unless the horrible dream I had really lasted as long as it seemed to in dreamland. I think it was a dream about losing people. It seemed like one long dream, but it was most likely a collection of shorter "dreamlets". As far as I can reacll it all started with a bus ride with several people. For some reason we got off at the wrong stop in a Catford that was like Catford, but things were in the wrong place. One friend wandered off in the wrong direction, and in a later dreamlet phoned me up saying she was lost.

 She wanted to send me her GPS coordinates to my smart phone, but I only seemed to be carrying a simple old Nokia phone. She couldn't find any bus stops to tell me what the local buses were, and only had a vague idea that she might have been at Beaulah Hill - a good 5 or 6 mile walk from Catford !

 Meanwhile, a lot of the dream was centred in Tescos - huge, multi floored Tesco. So huge that it had a railway museum in it that featured a full sized steam loco as well as a couple of diesel engines. I was calling to a friend to come and have a look, but he either couldn't hear me, or ignored me. In the end I was on my own, and trying to find a good way out - some exits seemed to come out miles away from Catford, and some seemed to go nowhere.

  This morning I sort of feel OK. A few bits ache as usual, but the rest of my body seems to be in fair working order - although I somehow don't feel terribly energetic. One little annoyance seems to be behaving itself this morning. One of the warning when taking antibiotics is that they can affect the digestive system, and for the first time it is possible they have. For the last few days I have had some intermittent discomfort in the bottom area. That hasn't happened today - yet !

 Waking up to rain is not the sort of thing to to make you happy, and waking up to the idea that you are going to spend hours selecting and editing photos hardly makes you smile either, but that is what I have to do. It's almost like being at work - something I was hoping to avoid for the rest of my life ! I took 560 shots at The Partridge on Wednesday night. Many of them in quick bursts of 4or 5 in rapid succession so I can select the best lit or posed shot - if there is one. So far I have gone through about a fifth of the photos. I think today could be a busy day if I can stand it. Tonight I think I have a few gigs I could go to. Angela will be going to one of them, and I might go to the same one as her, or I might go elsewhere....or I might not go out at all tonight. At this end of the day I find myself not terribly keen on the idea of going out. It would help, even if it is never going to happen, if Angela asked for my company. I am pretty certain that she will have the company of her daughter, and so I won't even enter into her mind tonight.
Wednesday 6th September  2017
 11:59 BST

  It would probably be more true to describe yesterday's weather as bland rather than, say, unpleasant. There were a few sprinkles of rain, although none at any inconvenient time, and there was precious little sunshine, but it was mostly bright-ish, and comfortably tepid.
Not much better than yesterday, but
                    not that bad either

 Today has already brought a little sunshine, and if the forecast (above) is correct, there could be a little bit more later today. The forecast says the dullest part of the day is right now, and indeed, it is a bit gloomy right now. It's looking like the temperature has now permanently dropped a degree or two, and is going to slowly drop a degree or so every day or two as we head towards winter. Oh well, autumn can have it's charms too - maybe more so when you don't have to go to work in it !

  I felt quite gloomy yesterday. I think it was a lack of confidence in the future, and it made me feel quite depressed. It was almost certainly made worse by reading a very sad, emotional, chapter in the book I'm reading at the moment. My mood swung the other way later in the day ! Another factor that affected my mood was that I felt quite tired yesterday. I think it was just a continuation of fighting the dregs of the cold I had. Maybe the antibiotics have slowed me up in some way - although I can't recall such a thing happening in the past.

 I mostly amused myself with reading, snoozing and photo editing yesterday. I should be showing a few pictures of Red Post Hill's live rehearsal in the Black Cat, for they were the pictures I was editing yesterday, but I have some better pictures to show today. Another reason I felt depressed was because I didn't believe what happened next would happen. There was a gig on last night in West Wickham, and I knew Angela wanted to go to it. So I sent her a text message saying that if she hadn't already made arrangements to get there (I wrongly assumed someone would be giving her a lift), I would be happy to escort her on the bus all,the way there. To my great joy she accepted with no hesitation.
                            lovely Angela
Here's the lovely Angela sitting outside the pub - in daylight !
Jamie in
                            his Elton John outfit
Jamie Bull in his Elton John outfit doing, surprise, surprise, Elton John covers !
                            special guest Bianca
Special guest Bianca. I gather she has represented England in some sort of thing involving singing, but I have no more than those very vaguest of details

 I met Angela (on the bus) at the bus stop almost opposite her house, and we went the two stops down the hill to where we could get a bus all the way to West Wickham. It turned out that it would have been better to have gone three stops because we could get on the next bus at the same stop we got off the first - and we may not have missed a bus by about 30 seconds. Having missed the connecting bus it was fortunate that we only had a 10 minute wait for the next one.

 It was certainly nice having company on the bus, and until a load of very loud foreign students got on the bus about 5 minutes before we got off, it was quite a pleasant journey with Angela at my side. I think Angela enjoyed it too. The bus we got, the 194, is quite handy for Angela because as we discovered, it can take her to 4 or 5 different music venues that she frequents. It's not quite so handy for me, but on the plus side, it is beginning to look like I will be accompanying Angela on many more bus trips, and possibly even train journeys in the future.

 The gig itself was not really to my taste. One man and his piano does get a bit monotonous after nearly three hours ! Of course there were a few breaks, and a few guests to break things up a bit, but I was quite happy when it finished. I was also quite happy when Angela said that we would get a cab home. I am trying to wean Angela off cabs now that she has a 60+ Oyster card,, and bus travel is free, but we were both a bit tired, and Angela had drunk a fair bit. So we had a nice easy ride home. The can dropped off Angela first, and then dropped me at my home.

 I felt tired but good when I got home, but not so tired that I couldn't read a more uplifting chapter of the book I am currently reading. After a chapter of that I turned out the light and I don't think it was long before I was asleep. I'm guessing that it was no later than 11pm when I fell asleep. I did seem to sleep quite well, and only woke up a couple of times for a wee. I can't really recall waking, or being bothered by any coughing during the night, and I hardly coughed during the evening either.

 This morning I woke up feeling about as bad as average - the average for the last 3 or 4 years ! I probably had to clear my throat once or twice, but it does seem my cough has all but gone now. There is still a teeny weeny bit of mucus appearing now and then, but nothing significant for now - and it is about time too !

 What I should really be doing now is some exercise to get myself a bit fitter again, but I feel a snooze coming on.... Tonight I am out gigging again, although strictly speaking it is an open mic night I am going to. There is a loose plan that I will meet Angela in Catford where she needs to change buses, and we will get the bus to The Partridge pub in Bromley together. I think I will try harder to convince Angela to get the bus home again. It's not a long bus ride from Bromley late in the evening, and it will seem even quicker with company. The stop where Angela will have to change buses is very convenient for me to walk home from. So it seems like there are few excuses to get a cab tonight. I rather look forward to it.
Tuesday 5th September  2017
 10:05 BST

  It's unusual, but the weather forecast for yesterday was surprisingly accurate. I think they even got the brief bit of sunshine, and the brief shower, at 6pm almost right to the minute (sort of !). The biggest mistake was my mistake. Once night fell, and the horrible grey skies were no longer visible, it started to feel quite nice in a strange sort of way. The clue was staring in the face all the time - 20° C is not cold, and can be quite good for a night time temperature.
it's probably going to feel a lot
                    like yesterday

 As I write this it is looking brighter outside that the weather forecast allows for. The sun was not clear enough to cast a shadow, but it made the thin cloud in front of the sun painfully bright to look at. The forecast actually promises some sunshine, and rain, soon, but after midday it is going to be another grey day like yesterday. The evening is going to be a little cooler than yesterday, and it seems there is a chance of some light rain around 10pm. So not terrible, but definitely not exciting ! Tomorrow could be slightly less pleasant. As yet there seems no sign of the mini heatwave that some madman thinks is coming our way. Maybe that is in three weeks time.

 Yesterday was a day that could have been boring in the extreme, but it turned out to be one of those days that made my retirement worthwhile. I did have a wildly optimistic idea that I might meet Angela yesterday morning. I also had a more realistic idea that said it was highly unlikely, and indeed it didn't happen. So I amused myself with finishing the photos I took of The Carlottas in The Black Cat on Saturday night.

 I also used a spare half hour (one of very many) to go to the Poundshop to buy some coat hangers (I am going to need a few spare if my t-shirt order ever turns up - something I am having serious doubts about now). Unfortunately the Poundshop didn't have any coat hangers, or at least none that I wanted. However the 99p shop did ! As is usual when I visit those two shops, I came away with lots of stuff - things like a few assorted bottles of mouthwash, some stuff that is nice, but which I shouldn't really eat, and some toothpaste. There was other stuff too, but I can't remember what.

 During the afternoon I did some reading, and I think I had a snooze too. I had made a bit of an effort to not eat much during the day, and by about 6pm I decided it was time to finish cooking my dinner. I started the process the day before when I prepared, and part cooked a pork stew. It was little more than some semi-lean pork cutlets cooked in stock with a pile of cauliflower and broccoli. I think it was the latter which made the house stink when I finished the cooking with a long microwave "zapping".

 It was quite nice, but I know it would have been nicer with chicken rather than pork, but these things have to be tried once. I don't know if it was some sort of sixth sense, but instead of eating the whole thing I decided to leave most of the stock, and a few bits of vegetable swilling around in what could easily have been a pint of stock/gravy. It was just as well I did because I had only finished eating it by about 20 - 30 minutes when I got a call from Angela asking if I would like to meet her for a drink.

 I wasn't sure how I would feel going out boozing so soon after eating dinner, but it was too good a chance to miss. We arranged to meet in The Black cat at 7.30pm. It was so nice to see her, and so nice to feel that strange bond between us working again. We talked about a lot of stuff, but obviously much of it was about John and his death, and in that respect Angela did most of the talking. There were a few misty eyed moments, but that was good because Angela had so much she wanted to say and get off her chest. Obviously I don't get a chance to see how she talks to other people, but I think she just feels more relaxed talking to me.

 After three drinks it was time to go. I escorted Angela back to the bus stop, and waited the 3 or 4 minutes with her for the bus to arrive. She left with a smile on her face, and that made me very happy. I was also happy that I only coughed a few times during the evening, and I had a definite spring in my step as I walked home from the bus stop. Despite a moderately fast walk I arrived home without feeling short of breath, and still not coughing.

 It was almost enough to make me think I really had 99% recovered from my recent cold. Of course as soon as I got into bed, and turned the lights out, my windpipe seemed to fill with mucus, and I had to sit on the side of the bed a few times to try and clear my throat. Perhaps last night wasn't as bad as recent nights, but I still didn't have a very good sleep. For instance, I think I was up for at least half an hour around 3am as I tried to get comfortable again. Perhaps it worked because I had a couple of nice dreams before I finally gave up trying to stay asleep. One of them was quite sexy !

 Today is another day when I only have half a plan. I have no idea how I will pass the rest of the morning, and some of the afternoon, but I do have a plan for tonight. There is a gig on at The Wheatsheaf pub in West Wickham, and it has a nice early start of 6.30pm - which is rather unusual. I've never visited the venue before, but tonight I will. I am not all that keen on the performer, but it all could come with a nice bonus. If I am lucky I will have the privilege of showing Angela how to get there by public transport (she has her own 60+ Oyster Card now, and has discovered what a great thing it is to have one). Even if that doesn't happen I will still be seeing her there.
Monday 4th September  2017
 08:26 BST

  Some say there is a mini heatwave coming in a week or two. That wasn't the case yesterday. It wasn't horrible yesterday, but it wasn't very nice. The temperature was the lowest it's been for a while now, and what little sunshine there was in the morning didn't last long. To rub salt into the wound, it rained ! It was not heavy rain (at least not while I observed it), but it did try and make me a little damp as I walked back from the pub at around 6pm (or was it 7pm).
                    are slowly descending into autumn

  The forecast for today brings little joy ! About the best you can say is that it is not going to be a cold day, and there may be a microscopic chance of a few seconds of sunshine at 6pm. Other than that, it is going to be dull, dull, dull and more dull ! Update ! The forecast has just been revised. It is still going to be very dull, but there is now a slightly bigger chance of a sunny interval between 4pm and 6pm, and at the same time it will rain. Tomorrow may be 33% less horribly dull, and maybe it won't rain, but it will still be dull, and like today, sort of in the upper reaches of tepid.

  Yesterday, being a Sunday, had the potential to be really boring ! Perhaps that wasn't such a bad idea because I needed to rest to recover from Saturday night. It probably took me until the afternoon before I felt reasonably well again after Saturday night knocked my recovery back a whole day ! Maybe it wasn't a great idea to go out to another "gig" yesterday afternoon, but that was what I did.

 It wasn't an official gig. It was actually a live rehearsal by Red Post Hill in The Black Cat. I was hoping to lure Angela to it, but she was otherwise busy. Perhaps that was just as well because with no one to talk to I didn't have to raise my voice. I think it was all the shouting over the music that made my cough so much worse on Saturday night.

 I think I ended up having four pints of Guinness at the pub. It was only going to be three, but Richard, who organises the music there bought me an extra pint. Having many pints of Guinness did help soften the pain of watching the band rehearse. One song they were rehearsing was "Radar Love", and their initial efforts were a complete disaster. After many takes they finally managed to play the song right through without too many mistakes. I fear it will take a few more rehearsals of that song before they use it at a gig.

 It was lightly raining, just spitting, when I walked home from the pub, but fortunately it didn't feel cold. When I got home I was keen to eat something, but not the big stew I had pre-cooked earlier. What I ended up eating was probably pretty lethal, but seemed to be what I wanted. It was a can of spicy chick pea dahl followed by a can of meatballs in tomato gravy. The first went down really well, although it could be spectacular when it reaches the other end, the latter was sort of nice, but also not nice at the same time. It was probably unneeded as well.

 Between doing anything else I made a very small start on looking at the pictures I had taken of The Carlottas on Saturday night. They were at The Black Cat - my second destination after seeing the first set from Life Of Brian in Greenwich. One problem was that I had been struggling for light to snap Life Of Brian, but it was much brighter in The Black Cat, and many of my snaps were over exposed.
half of
                            The Carlottas
Here's some of The Carlottas....
More of The Carlottas
...and this picture includes the drummer.

  It is weird....after a bit of a rough morning my cough and stuff settled down, and I could do most things, including laying on my bed reading and snoozing, with no problems, and yet as soon as I turned the light out at the end of the day, and tried to sleep, my cough started up again. It wasn't continuous, but seemed more planned to be just enough to make getting to sleep difficult. I ended up having a pretty rough night. I'm glad that I didn't have to go to work today !

 Now I've washed my hair, and showered, I don't feel too bad. I've no idea how good I ought to feel today because I really don't know what I am going to do today. At least no idea what major things I might, or probably might not do. I have a couple of shirts and stuff to wash, and I have photos to edit, but I feel I ought to get out and stretch my legs. There is a microscopic chance that I might go out and meet Angela today, but it is so unlikely that "microscopic" may be an exaggeration !
Sunday 3rd September  2017
 13:17 BST

  Just like the day before, yesterday was fairly nice. A bit more sunshine, and a few degrees warmer, would have made it feel like summer. It's all change today.
nothing to
                    get excited about

  I'm not I noticed any sunshine this morning, but this forecast (screenshot at 6am) seems to be about right now. The sky is totally light grey, and the world looks less than exciting. I think the forecast for 18° C is about right. It is certainly not warm, and more like the cooler edge of tepid right now. Tomorrow looks like it could be even gloomier, but it may also be a little bit warmer.

  I'm not sure whether to describe yesterday as a productive day or not. Actually, I'm not sure why I said that. Of course it was a productive day ! In the morning I did some laundry. A little later in the morning I went to Aldi and bought far too much. In this case "far too much" really refers to 12 litres of soft drinks. That was quite a lot to carry, and I guess it was some indication of the effectiveness of the antibiotics I am on that I managed to do it without straining myself too much. Although I must admit it was a bloody heavy load to have to carry home - even if it is only a 6 or 7 minute walk to Aldi.

 The rest of my day, until the evening, were spent either resting/snoozing or photo editing - probably a lot more of the former than the latter - I think I had done most of the photo editing in the morning. Later in the afternoon I broke my silence with Angela, and sent her a text message asking if she would be uncomfortable, annoyed or distressed if I went to The Mitre in the evening to see Life Of Brian. Her reply was a very brief "No" with no embellishments. So at just after 7pm I grabbed my camera, and headed to The Mitre.

 I have never seen the place look so dark ! By which I mean in the area the bands play. The far end of the bar was brightly lit, but it was like most of the lights were out at the other end, and those that were on seemed to be dimmed down. It made photography very challenging ! Nevertheless, I managed a few reasonable snaps, but none I could be proud of.
Here's Miranda at the microphone.
black and white photography
Converting to black and white made some picture look much better.
Brian Bath - former guitarist with Kate
Did I ever mention that Brian Bath used to be in Kate Bush's backing band ?

 While the lack of lighting was a distinct annoyance, I ended up having a nice time. Seeing Angela again for the first time after a month of silence was a tense moment for me, and I think it was for Angela too, but the ice melted very quickly, and even went as far as a quick hug when I gave her a packet of 10 cigarettes that I just happened to have with me in my camera case. After all this time I still know my Angela's needs !

 In a bold move I suggested we ought to start drinking together again, and it was Angela herself that suggested after work like we used to do. There was little time to do any other chatting, although I did go outside with here to steal some of her second hand cigarette smoke. By the end of the evening I concluded that the spark was still there. Whether it can be kindled into the full flame of passion again is another matter. It is going to take an awful lot more patience for her to get over the worst of her bereavement, and even then she may take the Queen Victoria route and be in mourning until her dying day.

 I left The Mitre after Life Of Brian's first set, and headed back to Catford to take some pictures of The Carlottas who were playing in The Black Cat. I am not exactly a fan of theirs. There is nothing wrong with what they do, or the songs they cover, but somehow they just fail to click the right switch. I mainly went along to support my local music venue - which is now down to a band every fortnight instead of once a week - mainly because attendance there is usually so bad, although The Carlottas did seem to pull in a fair few people.

 I don't know if it was the night air, the Guinness, or more likely, having to shout to be heard, but my cough got a lot worse last night. Fortunately it didn't seem to affect my sleep too much last night, but it can be very wearing. I seemed to sleep OK for about 5 hours, but after that it was hard to stay asleep. This morning I felt pretty yucky, and I am not so sure I feel all that great now. I feel I should be relaxing and letting the antibiotics do their stuff. They have certainly changed the character of my cough, and changed the way I feel. Sometimes I feel pretty good, and going to and from Aldi was a good example of the big improvement - no more breathlessness. The other side of the coin is that I can sometimes feel desperately tired.

 I really ought to give in to the tiredness, but on the other hand, a bit of walking can make me feel good. Instead of dozing for the rest of the afternoon I will be going for two walks soon. One will be a very, very quick one to the corner shop, and the other slightly longer to The Black Cat pub. At 5pm, or maybe a little earlier, there is a live rehearsal taking place there by the band Red Post Hill. At a normal gig they can be quite sloppy musician, but they have such an infective party attitude that many people probably don't notice the odd cock-ups. As a rehearsal it could sound terrible, but it is somewhere to go, and a good excuse to drink Guinness, and I've put some bait out that stands a credible chance of luring Angela out. I'd give it a 30% chance she will there. If she is, I hope it will lead to more thawing of the ice.
Saturday 2nd September  2017
 09:29 BST

  A few degrees warmer and yesterday might have been a very nice day. As it was, it was just "nice". There was lots of sunshine, and once the day warmed up a bit, a fairly pleasant temperature. I saw no sign of the light rain forecast for late evening, but I did hear that there was a thunderstorm 10 - 15 miles to the east of here.
another fair day

  The forecast for today suggests it will be rather like yesterday, but with no forecast for late evening rain - which could be handy. Tomorrow the temperature could be a little high for a real dip into Autumn, but the lack of sunshine may make it feel very autumnal. It warms up a degree or two on Monday, but the forecast still suggests it will be grey and miserable.

  I finished writing yesterday by saying I would probably take it easy for most of the day - and I wasn't wrong ! I don't know how much can be attributed to the antibiotics I was prescribed speeding up the healing process, but it felt like all my energy was used up fighting the infection. After I finished writing I lay on my bed. I managed to read a few pages, but most of the time I was just dozing. I didn't really do anything until mid afternoon when I decided I would force myself to go out and get a few things from Tesco.

 The reasons I wanted to go to Tesco was threefold. I wanted a bottle of their own brand whisky because I can't seem to enjoy the Aldi own brand whisky I bought recently. The flavour has definitely changed to something I don't like, and the seven eighths full bottle goes to the back of the cupboard for emergency use - maybe for someone who likes drowning their spirits in coke. The second reason for going to Tesco was for a bottle of their "no added sugar" lime cordial - which seems very refreshing when drunk sparingly (a pint a day). The final thing was to buy a sandwich because I wanted something different to eat.

 I felt a bit sluggish as I walked to Tesco, but I felt mostly OK when walking home again. It seemed that those antibiotic capsules were already working. It wasn't a huge change, but it seemed a useful one. I certainly felt good enough to do a few kitchen chores before I started scoffing my reduced price sandwiches (which taste much better than full priced ones, and always to be sought out when available).

 First of all I did some overdue washing up, and then I did some cooking....or maybe I should say I prepared some stuff for cooking. I made a potentially very nice spicy chicken stew from a large and quite meaty peri peri flavoured chicken leg and thigh, a pile of sliced (fresh) green beans, and some "herby potatoes" (that I had bought for a different purpose, but hadn't got around to using). It was all cooked in chicken stock, and in theory it should have been, and hopefully will still be very nice.

 The problem was that by mid evening I didn't fancy eating a big hot stew. So I left it, well covered, in the microwave oven. I had originally left it in there intending to heat it up in the evening. What I fancied for my dinner (or was it supper by then ?) was something simpler, but also a bit filling. The answer was, or should have been, sausages ! Unfortunately the "reduced fat" sausages I had in the fridge seemed to be "reduced taste" as well. They were nice, but lacked that certain something !

 When I wasn't dozing or eating I slowly did some photo editing. It may just have been me - either yesterday, or the night when I took the pictures - but it turned out that I was not happy with my photography. As is usual, my biggest excuse was the lighting at the gig. It was nice and colourful, but the couple of lights were very close to the band, and that produced some very deep shadows, or very bright high lights. So many pictures that had seemed good in the view finder were marred by part of the face in the deep shadow of a microphone, or ridiculously bright highlights causing glowing noses or similar. A few were quite good, and a few benefited from being made black and white photos. Some seemed to be oddly focussed (I think there may have been something on the lens - maybe condensation  or something).
                            necks in all directions
High level shot of Jo, Steve and Chris.
contrasty and colourful
Colourful, but very contrasty.
John, Steve and Chris doing a song
                            without Jo
Jo takes a break, and it's just John, Steve and Chris.
black and white for more impact
Jo looked to have a very peculiar, and rather unattractive colour until I converted this picture to black and white. I think I am rather pleased with the way it came out.

 By late evening I wasn't feeling as tired as I expected. I was also feeling better than expected. I think it was before 10pm when I went to bed, and I was not expecting to fall asleep very easily, but it turned out that I did fall into a quite deep sleep very easily. I woke up around 3am for a wee, and I guess I was awake for maybe 15 minutes then, but I got back to sleep, and slept for a couple more hours. It was just after 5am that I woke up and decided I may as well take all my medication. After that I turned over again and managed to fall asleep again. It was fairly light sleep, and a little after 7am I decided I may as well get up.

 Since then I have noted that I still have most of the same symptoms of my cold, but they have all changed, and generally for the better. The significant symptoms are the cough and congestion. I don't think I coughed at all during the night, or at least nothing out of the ordinary. This morning I started coughing once I started moving around, but it seems so easy to shift and muck from my airways that often one good cough is all I need most of the time. I reckon those antibiotics are doing their stuff and doing it well. I actually feel a lot better in ways I can't adequately describe.

 With luck I will be able to enjoy myself tonight, although there is one fly in the ointment. I would like to go to The Mitre in Greenwich to watch The Life Of Brian, but there are two problems with that. The first is that there is a gig on in The Black Cat tonight, and I feel I ought to be there to support the place (and the band). The second is that I am not sure if it will cause any discomfort to Angela who is bound to be there to watch her daughter, Miranda, front the band. I think I will have to break my silence and ask Angela if she will be OK if I go there tonight.

 In the meantime there is the rest of the day to get through. I have already done some hand laundry - including a medium sized bath towel - and they need a lot of manhandling. It is probably a testament to my recovery that I managed to do that without too much trouble. I think that while I wait for the evening I shall take it easy and try and let the antibiotics work their wonders on my chest infection. About the only thing I am liable to do is a quick trip to Aldi to but a few supplies - including their own brand cherry cola. I recently discovered it is a very nice cherry cola. Unlike Coca Cola's version it is not all sweet and sickly. In some ways it is a very subtle taste, but it is most enjoyable. I have never seen it before, and the one bottle I bought recently was not where the drinks are normally kept. It made me think it might have been a "special" and will soon disappear again. I think I'd like to get a few more bottles in before that happens.
Friday 1st September  2017
 10:44 BST

  Yesterday turned out to be a little bit better than the forecast. There seemed a bit more sunshine that the forecast seemed to suggest, and the rain that was forecast didn't fall. Overall it wasn't such a bad day, and seemed adequate to say goodbye to August.
a fair day

  If we ignore the possible rain at the end of the day, the forecast suggests that today could be quite nice. Maybe 20° C seems about right for September. Tomorrow is currently looking to be very similar to today, but Sunday is liable to be rather substandard.

 I wasted the whole day waiting for a parcel with a few t-shirts yesterday. Well maybe not wasted, as such, but I had to limit what I could do so I could stay on high alert. The mega annoying thing is that the parcel didn't arrive. Maybe it will turn up today, or maybe even later. It was Amazon who suggested it should be delivered by yesterday. The parcel was reported as being despatched on the 22nd last month. It makes me very suspicious that it was not despatched in the UK despite Amazon saying the company dispatching it has a London address. Oh well, I guess it will turn up eventually, but seeing as it is coming via Royal Mail, and the parcel office is only a short bus ride away, I may not worry too much about trying to be here when the postman tries to deliver it.

 One thing I did do yesterday afternoon was to use the wonders of modern technology to capture a short video clip of my breathing being particularly noisy. As I breathed in it was like I was crackling. It ended with my having a good cough. The purpose of this video was to show to a doctor - more of which later.

  My cough, which is triggered purely by mucus, or mostly is, comes and goes using rules I haven't quite worked out yet. Sometimes it seems that cool, but not cold air, make my breathing a bit easier, and triggers less coughing, and sometimes not.... I was having a fairly bad time of it yesterday afternoon (when I made the brief video), but fortunately it settled down a lot by early evening. That allowed me to go out to see Chain playing a gig in The Alexandra pub in Penge.

 I felt "mostly" OK while I was out, although the prices for booze in the pub did take my breath away several times ! Chain were playing an "acoustic" gig. Jo and Chris both played electro-acoustic guitars that went through their own amps, but not through the PA. Steve played his usual electric bass, and John did duties as percussionist with a couple of conga drums, and an assortment of things to rattle, shake or hit.
                            Corteen at The Alexandra pub
 Here's one picture of Jo at The Alexandra. Maybe tomorrow I'll have a few more of her and the rest of the band. The lighting seemed to be quite good for photography last night. So, with a bit of luck, I might have a few very good snaps.

 As the evening wore on I began to feel a bit tired, and eventually I decided I would leave early. It turned out that it was not that early. I waved goodbye to everyone and stepped outside the pub. As I did so I heard Chris that they would do one more song. So I stepped back inside and watched the last song being played. Unfortunately as I did this I saw not one, but two buses go past in quick succession.

 I had grave fears that I would have a really long wait for the next bus when I left the pub again, but it seems it was only a 9 minute wait. The journey home was nice and quick, and it was mainly because Penge is a lot nearer Catford than it used to be !!! Maybe it is just the route that the 75 bus takes to get there is more direct than I believed it to be. I guess it may have been slightly less than 20 minutes before I was getting off the bus again in Catford.

 On the walk back home I bought a couple of chicken burgers, and thoroughly enjoyed them when I got indoors. As I walked form the shop to home I felt a little bit wheezy, and my cough was kicking in again. That was a shame because otherwise I was feeling really quite good. I wondered if my cough was going to interfere with my sleep, but fortunately it didn't. I seemed to have quite a good sleep, and if I hadn't needed to get up a bit early this morning, I could have enjoyed a fair bit more sleep - I think.

 The reason for getting up earlier than I would like to have done was because I wanted to up, washed and dressed, ready to get on the phone to try and make an appointment to see a doctor. I started dialling at 8am, when the phones are first turned on in the surgery, and I got through on my 5th or 6th attempt. I managed to get an appointment for 9.30am.

 I was actually seen almost 10 minutes late, but that didn't mater because I had a young, keen and sympathetic doctor - although the bastard did check my blood pressure. It was as expected, and maybe because I expected it to be, rather high, but he didn't dwell on that. He listened to the recording of my crackly breathing I took yesterday, and then had a poke around and listen with his stethoscope. He said there was not much to hear, but that he could hear something. To my surprise he suggested antibiotics with little hesitation.
 Hopefully this course of Amoxicillin will do the business - and do it quickly. The doctor was obviously so convinced it was a chest infection, rather than anything exotic, that he said that if there is no big improvement by Monday morning I should make another appointment, and he would try a different antibiotic.

 I think that for the rest of today I will mainly just take it easy. There are a couple of gigs I could potentially go to tonight, but neither has a great attraction. Maybe I might try and eat as little as possible for the rest of the day, and then treat myself to a take away tonight instead. On the other hand there are a couple of things I could usefully get from Tesco, and I could end up buying something that will fill me up before tonight. In the meantime I hope the postman knocks loud enough to wake me up if I am snoozing when my parcel comes - assuming it comes today !