Pages composed using
site map
April 2018
June 2018

May 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun


My Diary/Blog For the Month of May 2018

Thursday 31st May 2018
09:35 BST

  Yesterday was horrible. It was dull, sunless, grey, damp, and depressing. If it had one saving grace it would be that the temperature reached 21° C, but even that was of dubious quality because the humidity seemed to make it feel sticky.
  In the bottom right of the screenshot of the weather forecast you can read that this was the version updated at 06:32 this morning. The version currently being shown on the BBC website was updated at 08:22. It is my belief, right or wrong, that somebody looked out the window and noticed there was no mist at 8am this morning, and rushed out an update. The only other change was to show the rain continuing until 1am tomorrow morning. I have my doubts about whether we will see the sun peeping round the clouds during the rain and thunderstorms this afternoon, but you never know, we might get lucky. One other change in the latest update that I failed to grasp is that the thunderstorms are now predicted to start at 3pm, and finish at 7pm. One interesting thing that is not revealed in these screenshots is that the latest theory says the humidity will be 72% in the middle of those thunderstorms, and that will make the 21° C feel like a sticky 24 to 25° C. The forecast for tomorrow has changed a lot. It is now described as "light cloud, and breezy". That sounds a lot fresher, but once again the humidity is going to add a few degrees to the forecast high of 23° C. There might be some sunny intervals late in the afternoon, and it might also rain, and by tomorrow it will probably be a completely different story !

  Yesterday was, or reflection, an odd sort of day....although maybe it was predictable. After being so lazy the previous couple of days, and generally getting over the wear and tear of the weekend, I did feel a bit like I had some pent up energy....but feeling like, and actually having can be two different things. It was grey and dull, and that alone was enough to put me off travelling further afield. Besides which I did have doubts about just how much energy I really had. However I did go out twice yesterday. Once was just to the corner shop, but the other was a longer walk that took me as far as the high street cash machines, Savers, Poundstretcher, and the SAM 99p shop.

 I bought a mixture of the necessaries and a selection of the unnecessaries. The latter included stuff like peanuts that I really shouldn't be buying because they are too tempting ! Lying somewhere between the two extremes were things like bottles of chilli sauce (2 for 99p) that needed to be tried, and when tried found to be far from the greatest chilli sauce. One thing that I didn't get from the corner shop, but which I found in my back pocket while counting out coins to pay for my purchases, was a rare 20p coin !
20p coin from Isle Of
 It is certainly rare in Catford, but common as muck on The Isle Of Man because that is where it comes from. A quick check on a search engine suggests that if I was stupid I could go to the great trouble of selling it on Ebay for as much as 99p ! I think I'll just set it aside, and add it to the other odd coins I have found in my change over the years.

 There was one other thing I did yesterday that required some physical labour, and that was to wash a few smaller towels, and some other bits and pieces. I think I must be getting weak or something because it did feel like really hard work, and yet it didn't seem to leave any legacy of aching muscles, or anything similar. Maybe the strain I felt was the legacy of hand washing the big towel the previous day. I didn't really do anything of great significance for the rest of yesterday - and that included not going out in the evening.

 Originally I was looking forward to going to the Whitestar open mic in The Partridge pub last night. As the time neared to think about going out I felt physically fine to go out, but mentally I was thinking "why should I bother". One reason to bother was to see Fran and Jenni. I did hear that Jenni did go, but I am unsure about Fran. There is one reason why I am glad I didn't go. I am sure I would have heard some good music, and some that was mediocre, but I would also have heard something I really don't like. I saw some video streamed from the pub and it was of Keval doing one of their reggae songs. What made it worse was the mobile phone it was streamed from was being overloaded by the sound, and making that horrible deep bassy sound seem even more in your face. Some like it, I hate it.

 So I stayed in, and was glad to do so. It must have been a measure of how I could have gone out if I had got my mind behind me in that I didn't seem to feel sleepy at all last night. I did some reading and research on the internet until well past midnight without really realising what the time was. When I got into bed I didn't feel sleepy at all, and it was gone 2am when I finally fell asleep (in fact I think it might have been getting on for 3am !). Even when I was asleep it didn't seem to be good sleep - and particularly so after about 5am. From then on I managed to get cramp in my left leg a couple of times. Oddly enough it was a very rare mild sort of cramp - the kind you almost feel you can deal with without getting out of bed - although I did.

 Apart from now feeling tired, I am not sure how else I feel. Perhaps it is convenient that the only thing I have to do today is to dive through the afternoon thunderstorms to get to The Greyhound pub in Bromley for my Thursday afternoon/evening drink. It is the Bromley (north) Wetherspoons pub, and we need to go there to use up our CAMRA vouchers which expire at the end of June. Until about 3pm I can put my feet up.....provided I have washed early enough to have cooled down before going out. Yesterday it took over 2 hours before I had cooled down after showering and washing my hair in water that was rather too hot for this time of year.
Wednesday 30th May 2018
09:14 BST

  The weather forecast for yesterday, in all it's iterations, was correct in one respect - it was a very dull wet day. The specifics and timings were rather loose though. The forecast I originally showed here suggested the morning would be damp, then there would be a period of a few hours when it would be dry, and that was followed by another period of rain that would include a brief thunderstorm. That second period of rain would also, bizarrely, include some sunny spells. There were no sunny spells that I remember, and the drizzly rain started later in the morning, and while intermittent, there was no real respite until it became a lot heavier, and the sounds of thunder came echoing through the air. That thunder and lightning possibly came to within a mile of here briefly, but no closer. The thunder, with no visible sight of lightning, could be heard for many hours peeling away in the distance. There was a time when it started coming closer again, but it still missed Catford. Others were not so lucky !
  Today could only be described as very grey followed by even more greyness. If the forecast has any credibility there could be a short respite from the greyness with a funny sunny intervals in the last hours before sunset. The chances are that it will remain dry today, but that provides little comfort when it looks like the sky itself is falling. By the metrics of winter/spring it should be warm even now, and the 21° C that is promised towards sunset, should feel hot, but yesterday, with similar temperature almost felt rather nippy ! The latest update to the forecast adds a little cheer - the hours when there could be sunny intervals has increased, and it now thought to be from 5pm to 9pm. During that time the temperature could hit 22° C. Tomorrow is now shown as being a very slightly warmer (maybe a single degree), and a slightly less grey version of today. The thunderstorm shown in the forecast above has now been postponed until Thursday !
grey and damp
 I took this picture just before midday yesterday, by poking the camera out of my bedroom window, keeping it under the glass to avoid it being drizzled on. It came out looking a bit brighter than my eyes saw the scene, but you can still see how wet it was looking. That was just from repeated showers that were not particularly heavy. Later on the sky would become even darker, and the rain would be very heavy for a few short periods.

  A thought crossed my mind yesterday, and it went like this: "If I was still working I would have to go out in this weather, but I am not working, and I don't have to go out, and I probably wont". I did have a light desire to stretch my legs, and decided that if one of the forecast sunny intervals happened early enough, and looked like it might last more than a few minutes, then I would go for a quick walk. I am sure I never saw a sunny interval, and so I didn't go out, and that was just as well as I neglected to wash yesterday (mostly because I had builders buckets of laundry in the bath tub that left no room for me !). Yesterday was another day that had the potential to be very boring, but somehow wasn't...or not much.

 I almost wonder if the horrible weather was a distraction form being bored. I suppose that in a small way it probably was. Whether I can give any credit to it for helping me control my eating is rather dubious, and I think my self control probably deserves some praise, but only a little because I know I could have, and ideally would have, eaten far less during the day. As it was I managed to reduce my meat consumption to very little, and increase my fibre consumption to quite a lot. My breakfast was a toasted cheese and ham sandwich. That was probably the very worst thing I ate all day. For lunch I had a couple of packets of peppery instant noodles. I still have not dared to check their food properties to see how good or bad they are, but it always feels like a light snack. The thin hot soup/gravy/liquor seemed like a great way to make me feel warmer than the grey day was making me feel.

 My main meal of the day was very high in fibre, and I am sort of waiting for the after effects of that with grim determination. It was beans on toast that had been very generously smeared with Marmite. I garnished to top with some very thin slices of smoked German cheese with ham in it - a garnishing that was probably not needed, and also a poor choice of cheese. The other thing I consumed in large quantities yesterday evening was chilled water. I find icy water the most delicious thing in the world - in a specialised sort of way. I must have drunk almost 2 litres of it in an hour or two, and felt quite bloated for it for a while. That is a good sort of feeling in as much as it makes you less inclined to eat anything solid. I don't think my more controlled eating over the last two days will have any positive benefits, and could still be negative considering I have done zero exercise in the last couple of days.

 With so little to distract me yesterday I should have had many, and sometimes long lasting snoozes, but I am not sure if I had any more than a few tens of minutes asleep - if that. It meant that I had little trouble getting to sleep last night. I think I was asleep before 11pm, and possibly closer to 10pm. Although I am sure that I did, I don't seem to recall waking up until about 5am this morning. One clue that I must have been awake earlier is that I have vague memories of snatches of dreams. One such dream, that I almost remember as one still image, is of going to meet a butcher in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. I'm sure I just walked in unchallenged. The steak I bought came sealed in a thick plastic bag that was embossed with the royal seal, and the bag also seemed to have a pocket or two with a very small coin or badge in it.

 When I woke up at 5 am I did my usual of toilet, morning pills, and taking a screenshot of the weather forecast for the day. With that done I went back to bed. I felt quite good then, but still sleepy. I felt asleep very quickly, and slept until a little after 8am. I then woke up feeling pretty lousy. It was quite like a hangover, but while I did have a large measure of almost frozen Limoncello, I doubt it was enough for a hangover unless that stuff has very special properties. Nearly two hour have passed since then and I feel far better. I definitely want to stretch my legs today, and at the very least I will go to the corner shop for a couple of bottles of sugar free cola. I'll probably go for a quick walk to the local shops too.

 Tonight there is the Whitestar open mic on, and I want to go to that. The only downside is that I will probably come away with a camera full of pictures, and than have to spend the whole of tomorrow sorting them out. Before all that I desperately need to wash my hair and have a shower - and before I do that I have to finish some laundry I started yesterday so I can get into the bath tub (which has to double as as shower stall). In the meantime here are some pictures I took a week ago from the end of Platforms 3 and 4 at Clapham Junction station.

class 378 London
                        Overground Train
class 458 South Western Railway train
new class 707 train for South West
Tuesday 29th May 2018
10:33 BST

  Unsurprisingly it was the weather forecast for yesterday that was updated halfway through the day that came the closest to predicting the weather. It has renewed my faith that the weather can be predicted at least a couple of hours in advance - just like any countryman could do before computers were even thought of. I don't recall any rain yesterday - just as the final forecast predicted (but not the forecasts made several hours earlier) - although I did hear what I think was some distant thunder sometime around sunset. It was a warm day, at least 25° C for a few hours, and it sometimes felt a bit humid, but not uncomfortably so.
maybe no
                      sunshine today
  The screenshot above shows an earlier guess at what the weather would be like. The current guess omits the morning rain - which means we have just had a light shower ! The original sunny intervals shown for mthe afternoon have now been reduced to just a couple of hours, but the temperature is now going to be 23° C. It seems the rain showers may commence again at 3pm, but now it may only be showers instead of a thunderstorm. On the whole it is not going to be a nice day. Tomorrow may be slightly worse in as much as it may be a degree cooler, and the showers lasting for more hours during the morning period. Like today, there could be sunny intervals later in the afternoon, but once the morning showers are over it should stay dry for the rest of the day. It is the day after, the last day of the month that could be celebrated with more big bangs !

  I felt rather drained yesterday after my busy weekend, and I didn't feel inclined to do much apart from continuing to go through the photos I took on Sunday night. I didn't seem to have enough stamina to do the job in one sitting. I did an odd half hour here, and another half hour there, and it was just about evening by the time I finished. On the whole I was quite pleased with the results. Some pictures almost came out like they were glowing, while others looked a bit more static.
Another picture of
 This picture needed some loving care to look as it does now. It needed de-noising, sharpening, and brightening ! I do seem to have a silly obsession with taking pictures of Jenni whenever our paths cross. Maybe its because I regret not taking many pictures of Angela over the years that we were seeing each other. At least these pictures of Jenni can be shown publicly unlike many of the pictures I did take of Angela. Jenni continues to charm me, and it is nice getting to know her better, but I don't think I would like a relationship with her. She has some tastes that I find repellant - like when she was going on about Bromley Footballists playing at Wembley stadium recently - I think she actually went there to watch them lose !

 The rest of my time was spent sort of relaxing yesterday. I think I mentioned that my right knew was very uncomfortable yesterday. The Comfrey cream, as recommended by Fran, really did seem to help a lot. Once I started rubbing that in, and I think I probably did it three or four times during the day, I was 90% pain free, and maybe the other 10% was ignorable a lot of the time. There are at least three different ways for a knee to became sore like mine was/is. I am unsure of the difference, and indeed what is actually going on for rheumatism and arthritis. I'm not even sure if they are two names for the same thing, but I am sure that only these two would be relieved by Comfrey cream. The third alternative would probably not be helped by the cream, and that is the cartilage, the lubricating layer between the ends of the two bones, wearing thin. I think I would feel the two bones grinding together if that was the case. I some ways that would be the worst and best diagnosis. I would have to wait until I was as good as immobile, enduring many agonies, and swalling ultra strong prescription analgesics, but ultimately I could have a knee replacement operation, and I would be good to go for another 10 or many more years.

 I don't know if it helped or not, or whether it will help or not, but I had an almost meat free day yesterday. All I had were a couple of thin slices of ham in a sandwich. The rest of my meals were heavy on the vegetables, or salad plants, with a slightly restrained amount of cheese. In theory, depending on how much cheese I consumed over the whole day, my meals could have been almost low calorie, and low fat. If I had left out the roasted "mediteranean vegetables", or maybe hadn't garnished them with a couple of slices of pre-sliced Edan cheese, I could have eaten as little as required to lose weight yesterday ! Maybe if I had some faith in my wild predictions concerning Angela, I could really be losing weight. It is only about a week to go before she goes on holiday for a week with lover boy. They are going to Greece together, and I expect Angela will want to be very Greek, and I feel lover boy won't like that. This holiday could be another of those times that will make or break them.

 Yesterday evening was not exciting, but fortunately also not boring. That didn't happen until I tried to go to bed. Once in bed I suddenly didn't feel tired, or more specifically, sleepy. I think it was around 1am that I was back on the internet again. I can't be sure, but I think I finally fell asleep before 2am, but whether that was 5 minutes before or 30 is anyone's guess. I slept OK until waking up at about my usual time of 6.30am. After so little sleep I still felt very tired. So I took my morning pills, and took a screenshot of the weather forecast before going back to bed. For a few minutes I lay there wondering if I would fall asleep. The next thing I knew was that my phone was ringing.

 The phone call was from my friend Lee to say that he thought his PC had been hacked. There was actually a far simpler explanation. He admitted that he had installed Thunderbird ( a great email application that is free) on his ex-girlfriends laptop, and had also been accessing stuff like Facebook, and other websites that need a log on from the web browser on her laptop. It was obviously not ethical to use the stuff, but the chances are that all his passwords were saved on that laptop, and their split up has been so acrimonious that she (or her son) has been unable to resist the temptation to do naughty things.  I can foresee things getting even worse before they calm down. It might even involve the law and courts and stuff.

 Today I don't feel too bad, but nor do I feel that great. Before sitting down to write this I resumed a job I had started yesterday - that of hand washing a large bath towel, and a pair of badly stained lounge pants. After three rinses and wringings out I decided I needed to take a break. I'll be back at it after finishing here. I hope another two rinses will be enough before I use some fabric conditioner. That should means just another three lots of wringing out to do - although the last one has to be very thorough or that big towel will start dripping on the floor when I hang it up to dry.

 Once that hard work is over I shall do something else. I have no idea what that something else might be. I think I would like to go for a quick walk around the block, or to the local shops before my legs forget how to walk. That will only happen if there seems like a long enough break in the wet weather. If I was really lucky there could be a unpredicted sunny interval I could take advantage of. Other than that I might try and fill another rubble bag or two with "debris" from my old workshop. I stopped doing that when I used the bottom of the wheelie bin to hide some "garden waste" instead. One day my brown wheelie bin might be delivered by the council, and I can fill that with garden waste to my hearts contents. So I may as well start hiding electronic crap, and other materials in the bottom of the wheelie bin, hidden under plenty of smelly food packaging (but not the food itself - that has it's own little bin). The only fault in that plan is that my wonky knee, and some assorted back ache, make the idea of bending over to scoop crap off the floor a bit unappealing.
Monday 28th May 2018
11:44 BST

  I don't think I have ever seen a weather forecast that got it more wrong than the one for yesterday. Instead of rain it was mostly sunshine, and even times when the sun wasn't shining seemed bright (except, obviously, after sunset !). Best of all was that it was a dry night with no thunder and lightning. I took a chance on going out without a coat, and didn't need to worry about it. The top temperature was probably the 23° C that was forecast.
                      like it will be a pleasant day
  The screenshot above, as posted by the BBC at 05:52 is much more friendly than the version posted at 03:50. So far it has been about right, but the latest update is even better. The latest forecast deletes the showers forecast from 5pm, and predicts the top temperature will now be 26° C. It still says that all the sunshine will be in the form of sunny intervals, but for the last few hours the periods when the sun hasn't been shining at full strength it has still been very bright. It seems to be more the case that sometimes the sunshine gets a bit hazy, and sometimes it doesn't. Tomorrow still has a "weather warning" attached it that warns of thunderstorms and local flooding. It seems that the BBC can't customise the weather warning to only show in places where it is likely, and still add it to places, like Catford, where a pleasant day, possibly something like yesterday, is forecast.

  It has been a busy few days - even days when I had said that I have been lazy I have still spent long hours editing photos. Yesterday was different in that I did get all my photo editing up to day, and I was looking forward to being a complete slob. That was interrupted by a call from Jodie asking of she could come and see me. To be fair she had forewarned me it might happen. The food market was on in Catford yesterday, and she had bought some weird veggie food, and some strange beers. Maybe I had hoped she had forgotten about it, but apparently not. So there I was unwashed, my hair unbrushed, and my lounge pants stained by food at the front, and a rather unpleasant stain at the back where a small boil on my right buttock had finally burst (much to my relief because it was rather sore).

 I declined all Jodie's food, and her beer. I intended to have beer when I went out in the evening, and so did she !  Jodie is a very old teenager (45 years old maybe ?), and so she spent most of her time ignoring me while she was glued to her phone. Eventually I just left her to her own devices as I went to wash my hair, and have a shower. By 7pm, maybe 3 hours after she arrived, I announced it was time to go out. Jodie was drinking in The Star And Garter in Bromley, and I was heading to The Swan And Mitre - which is a few hundred yards before The Star And Garter, and on the opposite side of the road. So we got the 320 bus together to Bromley.
 I was a little surprised to see Jenni arrive before the open mic session had actually started. I hadn't seen or heard anything from her for what must have been a fortnight, but she seemed very happy to see me, and gave me a hug and a peck on the cheek. That felt very nice. Of course from then on it was a battle to get a good snap or two of her. This one is probably the best, but I think there may well be another one that I took later in the evening. As usual I took a ridiculous amount of pictures, and I'll be spending too much of today going through them. I hope there are some really excellent pictures among them because also as usual, there was a battle between Jenni and me to take the best picture of the night. It's a tricky one because she has a great eye for spotting a good photo opportunity, and can just take a small amount of snaps through the night. Whereas I try and get a few pictures of absolutely everyone, and just get snap happy !
Jenni and Stretch
 I am forgetting what pictures I have "processed" already. It seems the next one I shrunk down to fit on this page was another picture of Jenni. In this picture she is next to Martin "Stretch" Sickel who runs the open mic session.
Rob Todd
 This is the type of picture that Jenni can excel at because she is far more lithe than me, and can get her phone camera into smaller spaces than my big DSLR camera. I had to squat as low on the floor as I could get, without falling over, to get this dynamic low angle shot of Rob Todd playing the acoustic guitar and singing. The odd thing is that Rob would really prefer to be making a huge racket on an electric guitar, but the acoustic sounds much better for the songs he sings - and I know that I was only one of several people who told him so.
Gian Goldie
 This is Gian Goldie who sang some great songs (and one not so good song !).  The good songs tend to be stuff like covers of Neil Young and Phil Collins songs - songs that some others might feel were below their dignity. It is a sad fact that it is sometimes too easy for some musicians to cover rock 'n' roll songs, and that is OK up to a point, but occasionally someone will cross the line, and cover an Elvis Bloody Presley song. And then I have to go to the toilet, or to some other escape point. On the other hand it is the diversity, and friendlyness that make these open mic sessions so nice to go to.

 I stayed to 11pm last night. That was the official finish time (being a Sunday), but I don't think I missed any more than one final song. It was one of those good nights when I had to run the last 3 ft to catch the bus, and I was soon on my way back to Catford. Once there I committed the sin of buying a couple of chicken burgers - and they were very nice !  So it's another day when I have to try and severely limit what I eat to make up for it. Fortunately it is a hot day, and that delays me appetite a bit.

 It didn't take long to get to sleep last night, but I didn't get a great sleep for two reasons. One reason was that it was a very mild night, and with my bedroom window open it was almost warm enough to sleep without a duvet, but only almost. With the duvet over me it felt just very slightly too warm. The other problem was pain from my right knee. It was sometimes a bit uncomfortable yesterday, but instead of it getting better while I slept, it seemed to get worse overnight. This morning it wasn't enough to slow me up, but going down the stairs was particularly painful (going up the strairs was far less painful, but not pain free).

 As the morning progressed my knee was really starting to annoy me, and all I was doing was just sitting at my PC editing photos. I tried taking some paracetamol, and maybe that helped, but what seemed to help a lot more was to rub in some comfrey cream. This was the stuff recommended by the lovely Fran for when my shoulder was aching. Getting it on my shoulder seemed too difficult to do (I am not a contortionist), but rubbing it into my knee was easy, and it worked. Admittedly it did not work perfectly, but I feel sure it gave more relief than paracetamol, and I am now mostly comfortable sitting here at my PC.

 It does seem that going out for three nights on the trot has not left me in good shape. My knee is maybe, or maybe not, the biggest, most obvious, symptom of the stress of it, but it is far more than that. I sometimes feel like I have a cold with various bit all very mildly complaining, but adding up to a grand annoyance. Some of this could be purely psychosomatic, and caused by deep depression over the Angela situation, and made worse by seeing her, but not speaking to her the night before last.

 Well today, apart from photo editing, I can be a total slob - but I won't be, or not completely. A little earlier I have put a bath towel, and the stained lounge pants to soak in "stain lift" detergent. Sooner or later I will have to do all the wringing out and rinsing, and conditioning before I can hang them up to dry. I could potentially wash a couple of t-shirts as well today, but maybe I might attempt to get a second short wear out of them before they get stinky. If I was really masochistic, and who says I might not be by 7pm, I could go to another open mic tonight in Sidcup. I doubt if I will, but you never know.... 
Sunday 27th May 2018
08:13 BST

  Much of yesterday was quite good. Sometimes it was sunny, and at other times it was just quite bright. Then, a few hours before midnight, and a bit later than forecast, the thunder and lightning started. It was really rather spectacular, although I don't think it got very close to me as the storm drifted across the country - although there was certainly a period of time when the rain came down like stair rods ! Until the rain cooled the air down the temperature had peaked at a nice 24° C.
  This morning everything looks normal. It is very mild, and the road that was almost flooding last night, looks generally dry right now. According to the forecast the sunny spells, that we are having now, will continue until sunset, but it won't be long before the first shower - maybe 10am if the forecast has any credability. By 6pm there could be enough energy stored in the atmosphere to trigger more thunderstorms. The peak temperature today is predicted to be 23° C. Tomorrow may be very similar to today, and the next two days after than could be  the same, but without any sunshine.

 It feels like the last couple of days have been very hectic, although this has been mostly concentrated in the evenings. There were only two things that took up a lot of my time prior to the evening yesterday. One of those things was to go shopping in Aldi. I didn't need to buy much food, but I was curious as to whether they were stocking printing paper refills for the Polaroid Snap camera that went on sale there recently (and inspired me to buy my own via amazon). They didn't, but they did have one sort of paper that I hadn't seen before, and while this specific toilet paper was not on my list, I had intended to buy some toilet paper.
coconut oil infused
                        toilet paper
 I can't wait to try this out - although I expect it will be a disappointment. The other thing that occupied much of my time yesterday was selecting and editing photos I had taken at Chain's gig in The Bricklayers Arms. In general I was very disappointed with my camera work for those pictures. One of the problems was that many of them were too bright and over exposed. I suppose that makes a change to the usual complaint of not enough light. The problem was that the Bricklayers Arms is just too bloody cramped. I couldn't get more than a couple of feet from the band without losing my view completely, and the band were mere feet from the lighting. That caused some very hot spots - for instance the face comletely bleached out while most of the rest of the body was in deep shadow. A few picture were not too bad, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I was getting more careful about exposure in the last 100 snaps I took, and have yet to look at. This one is in rather soft focus, but otherwise not too bad......or good !
Jo Woodstock
 By 7pm it was time to get my boots on and go to yet another gig. Last night it was The Life Of Brian playing in The Mitre pub/hotel. It was a tricky situation, and I hoped to be able to sneak in without being noticed, take a few snaps, and go home again. There was a slight problem when I got there. The pub was quite sparsely filled, but worse was that the band had not started. Fortunately I had a contingency plan for this eventuality, and I walked past the pub, and down past The Cutty Sark to the edge of The River Thames. It was getting near sunset while I was there, and the sun was looking like a big red ball low in the sky above the buildings of central London. It was very atmospheric !
the sun setting over
                        central London
 Admittedly I had to stop the camera down so the sun was not over exposed, and that gave a nice twilight feel to the picture. There is also the nice reflection of the sun on the surface of the water. To me this is the sort of picture that should be printed out at full size, and hung on the wall of a gallery.....or it that pushing things a bit too far ? After taking almost the same shot at intervals of a few minutes, I decided to walk back to the pub. With hindsight I should have stayed another 10 - 15 minutes until the sun was touching, or had even gone behind the building it is above in this picture, but I felt the need to get the pub photography over as soon as possible.
Miranda Bell
 The lighting in the pub was quite low, but it was more evenly distributed, and that made getting some good snaps easy. I was using a large aperture lens, and so the depth of field was small enough to make sure the drummer was well out of focus if there was no way of avoiding him.  It is of course the drummer that Angela is inexplicably in love with despite how nasty he can be to her. It was Angela more than anyone that I wanted to avoid being seen by when I went in there. Since she asked that we stop meeting at lunchtimes, and then later de-friended me on a well known social networking site, I have no idea if she now hates me or not. She certainly doesn't seem to want any contact....and yet I am sure she smiled at me when she first noticed me - and that was before I even went into the pub. I tried to sneak through the beer garden, but she was out there smoking a cigarette. As I walked past I shot of one frame from the hip, but I had a very narrow angle lens on the camera so I could take pictures of the stage without getting too close. All I snapped was a close up of her cleavage - which was very nice, but didn't make for a good picture.
Angela seen through a
                        dirty window
 The one and only proper picture I managed to get of Angela was taken through a dirty window, and this picture is close to useless. I think as Angela came in after her smoke she might have briefly turned to me and smiled, but I can't be sure. I know she definitely didn't try and say anything to me. I only stayed at the pub for about three songs, but in that time I managed to take a small selection of quite reasonable pictures. As the band played on I slipped away and caught the bus home.

 Once I got home I had some supper in the form of pork belly strips that had been marinated in soy sauce. I had cooked them before I went out, and ate them cold when I got in. I had not eaten that much all day, and I wanted even more. With the thunderstorm approaching it was a bit of a sticky evening, and that seemed a good enough excuse to treat myself to some strawberry flavour frozen yoghurt. It claims it is very low fat, but says nothing about how much sugar was in it. I expect it was a figure I wouldn't like to know about, and so I didn't check.

 I think I had taken about 35 snaps of The Life Of Brian, and because the best ones needed very little work on them I was able to make up a small photo album before the gig had even finished. I uploaded the photo album to a social networking site with a special dedication to Miranda Bell, lead singer of the band, whose birthday it is today. I posted it friends only, and I am not waiting to see if that provokes any comment considering Angela can not see it - apart from looking over Miranda's shoulder. If Angela really wants to see it she will have to break the ice, and send me a new friend request. I suspect I may be slightly evil.

 The thunder and lightning visited twice last night, but didn't seem to disturb my sleep. I don't really remember much about the night, and that seems to suggest I slept well. I may have done, but I felt, and to a lesser extent now, feel pretty horrible this morning. I suspect that my diet has been too heavy with meat lately because all sorts of joints ache this morning. In particular my right knee is stiff and sore. It feels like the return of a sort of rheumatism/arthritis that I have been fending off with fish oil tablets for the last couple of years. If it is now going to get worse I am going to be in trouble. That knee is the worst pain, but I even have some stiffness and discomfort in my right hand as well as my neck. The latter is more worrying. If I am lucky it is just cancer, or tertiary syphilis. If I am unlucky it could be advance warning of the need to visit a dentist !

 Today I intend to be mostly lazy until this evening when I want to go out again. It is going to be hard to drag myself to the bus stop in the middle of a thunderstorm with torrential rain falling down on me, but I might manage it. It's no use me considering going out any further because once again Catford is marooned with no train services this whole, long bank holiday weekend !
Saturday 26th May 2018
09:32 BST

  After the damp start, yesterday seemed to stay dry for the rest of the day. It was a grey day though, and although sunny intervals were forecast from late afternoon to sunset, they were not significant enough to make a mark on my memory...OK. maybe I will grudgingly admit that I do seem to have the vaguest of memories of noticing the sun coming out for a few minutes, but..... It must have been between 7 and 8pm that the sky took on a certain colour, and the air felt like a thunderstorm was brewing. That worried me because I was out without a coat, but apart from one solitary drop of rain I felt hit  my face, it stayed dry. The top temperature yesterday was about 22° C, but either humidity, or the chilli sauce I had eaten, made it feel a lot warmer. I was sweating freely at one point !
                      sunny, warm, and thunderstorms !
  I didn't notice it was misty this morning, but I guess the sky looked very hazy. I think there might have just been enough rain at 7am to make the ground look very mildly damp, but it must have been almost ignorable. The forecast above was published at 4.27am, but of course it has been updated about twice since then. Much of it still holds if you squint a bit. The latest guess is that the sun won't come out until 1pm, although in reality it does seem the sun could break through any moment now. The sky to the east is very bright, but there is no source defined enough to cast a shadow. The updated forecast says the sun could be fully out for a little longer from 5pm, and possibly to 7pm. The best bit is that the rain may not turn into a thunderstorm until gone midnight. Tomorrow is going to be bad whichever way you look at it....unless you look at it with the idea that the forecasters have no clue what will happen, and so have offered every possible option. There will be sunny intervals all day long, and there will be non stop thunderstorms from 6am to 8pm !

 I don't know if yesterday was a good day or a bad day, or just a day with some good bits in it. There were two jobs I intended to do yesterday, and I did them both before the morning was least I think I finished them by then. One job was to give a pair of my cheap white slip on shoes a good scrubbing to get some Thames silt off them. It was a little while ago when I was walking along the Victoria Embankment that I stood on rather slippery surface which had recently been slightly submerged by the River Thames. It had this thin slick of muddy sediment on it, and a lot of it got on my shoes. Yesterday's scrubbing had left them looking mostly clean, and certainly clean enough to paint on the white stuff you can get for trainers - "white polish" - not that I have any, but maybe if I remember I might pick some up if I notice it in a shop.

 The second task was to do a backlog of washing up, and do other cleaning in the kitchen. That included the inside of the microwave oven. All that leaning over to pick stuff up, and to scrub things, left a few aching bits of my body. Fortunately they were short lived aches this time. I fear that were I to tackle cleaning the inside of the fridge, which is well overdue to be done, those aches would be far less tolerable ! Anyway, I got what I wanted to do done, and from then on I could relax.

 Update: It's 10am as I write these words, and the sun has come out enough to cast clearly defined shadows. This is rather earlier than the most optimistic forecast.

  I had a mostly lazy afternoon yesterday. I spent a bit of the time catching up on some technology news, and more time reading a book and snoozing. At 6pm I decided it was time to have a shower, and start getting ready to go out for the evening. My plan was to spend an hour or two at Chain's gig in the Beckenham Bricklayers Arms pub before going home again. It ended up with me wandering up the road to The Coach And Horses to another gig when I felt I had spent enough time at Chains gig.

 Getting to Beckenham had it's moments. I missed a bus by mere seconds, and that annoyed me, but fortunately there was another bus, a 54, just 6 minutes behind the one I missed. So that was OK. When we got as far as Beckenham Junction station a very impatient driver in a "Chelsea Tractor" decided to pull out of a side road right in front of the moving bus. I couldn't see exactly what happened, but I reckon the bus driver only managed to stop a few inches away from the side of that stupid persons vehicle. The bus driver certainly expressed his disapproval by a very long blast of his horn !

 The Bricklayers Arms was predictably cluttered - I think cluttered is a better description than full. It was hard to move around, and hard to get to the bar, but I guess it was good training in how to stand directly in front of someone to take pictures without feeling too guilty. After about an hour I got fed up with being jostled around, and left to go and see what was happening in The Coach and Horses. All I knew was that some American geezer was playing in there with our very own Vince Pross providing some percussion on the Cajon. I was expecting to see a small band, but it was just the one man.
Dan Simmonds
 This is Dan Simmonds soloing with a bit of added percussion from Vince. It's hard to think of many angles for photos of one man !
high angle view
 One possibility was this high angle shot, and I am quite pleased with the way it came out.
Wide angle shot
 This wide angle shot includes Vince Pross sitting on the cajon, and looking up at his master....or looking for his cues from Dan Simmonds. I think I can say on here, because no one reads this, that I did not enjoy this second gig. It is difficult to pin a tag on the style of music, but it was of a type that I generally see little merit in - to the power of ten when one song is an Elvis bloody Presley song. That was my cue to leave and start going home.

 When I left the pub I had the opportunity to see the result of a bit more road madness. It was as I first arrived at the pub that some loony decided to drive over a barrier marking the road was closed. At that point I assumed it was a local resident wanting to get to his own house up a short side road before the main road. When I left the pub I am sure I saw evidence that the madman was a dangerous loony. Some of the barriers guarding the pavements where all the bloody road improvements have been taking place since forever were flattened too. That driver needs locking up !

 He (or she) wasn't the last loony driver. At the traffic lights for the crossroads by Beckenham Junction station, some idiot seemed to cut across the front of the bus. I think he (or she) had jumped a red light, and just managed to cut across the front of the bis without getting flattened - I would have had no sympathy for him if he had been flattened. Once the bus left Beckenham we seemed to leave all the loony drivers behind, but it was not the last incident.

 A few stops short of Catford Bus Garage something happened, and I don't know what it was. I'm sure we drove over something because the bus gave a sort of lurch. All I could see was that the doors by the driver were smashed - and smashed outwards. One thing that would explain it was if someone had thrown a brick, or bottle through the glass in the door from inside the bus. After sitting there for a while we had to change bus to one that was following close behind - not the same route, but good enough for anyone, including me, who didn't need to go far (the routes diverge at Lewisham).

 Once I got home I had a treat in store. It was the last of the grilled chicken that had been part of the takeaway the night before. The only problem is that there was rather more of it than I expected. I should have somehow split it into two and had a small supper last night, and small breakfast this morning. The problem was that there was no easy way of splitting it into two portions, and I ended up eating the whole lot - and it was rather filling. It also means I shouldn't eat anything until much later today. It didn't seem to affect my sleep....or did it ?

 I did have some pretty strange dreams last night. they included people I have never dreamed about. One dream was about two people I know from gigs - Rob Todd and Sue Radford. Sue is a very big girl. Very big indeed. It is hard to judge, but I sometimes think the is half as big again as me. What I am sure about is that she is not very mobile, and struggles to walk even a short distance from her car to the pub. So it was strange to dream that Sue and Rob were chasing each other through some woods, with Rob armed with a hand gun, and Sue apparently armed with a Star Trek phaser. It was hard to work out what was going on because neither of them seemed to want to shoot each other, but there was no one else there they could shoot.

 I had some other dreams that separately included Sue or Rob. One involved feeding Rob's cat in a dystopian future where most forms of energy had run out, or were in very short supply. It was like a Dickens tale of squalor set into the future - probably the aftermath of Brexit. I woke up from all that feeling pretty rough. My neck seemed very stiff, and my jaw ached. I don't recall being punched in the face last night so it can't be that. I have a horrible feeling that it could be some impending dental disaster approaching ! The rest of me felt most OK - even my over stuffed gut once I had paid a couple of visits to the toilet.

 So what am I going to do today ? I have no firm idea, and maybe I won't be doing anything at all. I might go and get some shopping from Aldi today, but there is little I really need - and anything I do buy could be too tempting at a time when I am trying to pay penance for my gluttony last night. I think I still want to try and sneak into the back of The Mitre pub in Greenwich tonight, and see if I can get some pictures of The Life Of Brain band without being noticed. It is probably only the potential bad weather that adds most of the doubt to this idea. Of course there is one thing I am forgetting that will take up a lot of time today - selecting and editing the best pictures from Chain's gig last night.
Friday 25th May 2018
Happy birthday Mike !

11:48 BST

  Yesterday morning was very damp. I'm not sure what time the last rain fell. The rain just got lighter and lighter until there wasn't any rain. Although sunny periods or intervals were forecast starting as early as 6am, it was closer to midday before there was any meaningful sunshine. Much of the afternoon was fairly bright, but by 6pm the sky was mostly grey. The forecast assigned a low chance of rain from 6pm, but as far as I am aware, no rain fell at all.
generally grey
  At 8am this morning the chances of rain were 24%, and the road and pavement did look damp, but no rain was actually forecast. The rest of today should be dry, but it is going to be mostly overcast. Since 6am, when I took the screenshot of the forecast as shown above, only a few small changes to the forecast have been made. The late afternoon sunny spells may now start an hour earlier, and "Weather Warnings" have been issued. These warning are about potentially heavy rain starting after 6am tomorrow, and continuing for the next few days with some thunder and lightning thrown in just to liven things up a bit. Although the weather warning is from 6am tomorrow, it currently looks like most of tomorrow will be warm and sunny until it all ends with a flash and a bang at around 9pm. No doubt the strength and timing will change many more times until finally the forecast matches reality !

  I managed to go all through the pictures I took on Wednesday before it was time to go out yesterday. That meant a lot of yesterday was a busy time, a slightly rewarding time, and yet still often a boring time. Maybe I have been taking far too many pictures lately, and yet I can't seem to help myself doing it. At least I was more restrained last night ! I had been quite pleased with the pictures I had taken on the tube system, and I was also very pleased with the pictures I took while waiting at Clapham Junction station....but with a couple of caveats.

 One such caveat was that all the pictures seemed too cool looking despite being sure I had switched the camera to daylight sensitivity. I must check that sometime. It is possible my finger slipped and I set it to something else. Fortunately it was very easy to correct the pictures to look a lot warmer. The other caveat was to do with temperature too, but not the temperature of the light. It was warm and sunny in the afternoon, but a light breeze seemed to make it feel a bit cooler. That didn't apply to the rails heading towards Waterloo out of Clapham Junction. They, and the dark coloured ballast were soaking up that sunshine, and returning it in the form of a heat haze rising above the railway. It either spoiled, or enhanced the pictures taken with my zoom lens. On some pictures it may have looked good, and on others it was a big spoiler, but I don't think there is any general rule to predict which will be which.

  You'll have to wait for me to show some examples of this until later. At just gone 4pm yesterday I went out and took even more pictures. The occasion was my regular Thursday evening drink, but this time made a little special because it was Andy's last regular drink with us. He is moving out of the area, and won't be able to join again except on a few rare and special occasions. So a few snaps were needed. I took along my new Polarois Snap camera, and its picture were very disappointing. The problem was that it was dim enough in the pub to make the pictures horribly noisy, but not dim enough to auto trigger the inbuilt flash (which has no manual override).
reserved table
 I'm not sure what insight Chris had, but he had a table reserved for us. I don't think in this case that it was actually needed, but it was probably better to be safe than sorry on this night when we were toasting Andy goodbye.
the drinkers minus the
                        cameraman (me) and Jodie
 This picture, like the one above, was actually taken on my Canon iXus 285HS camera, rather than the Polaroid, and even it didn't seem to like the lighting in the pub. From left to right we have Alan, Andy, Chris, Steven and Paul. There is no explanation as to why Steven and Paul are looking at the ceiling apart from me asking Paul to lean back a bit so the camera could see Steven.
Alan, Andy and Chris
 This horrible looking picture of Alan, Andy and Chris was the best the Polaroid Snap camera could manage in the available light. If only it had triggered it's flash the picture could have looked a lot better. I think some of the smearing was because it was a very long exposure - 1/17th of a second apparently, and the exif data also said the flash did fire. I can only conclude that I had my finger over the flash (it is just a bright white LED as used on many mobile phones now).
networker train
 After I left the pub, having drunk my usual 43 pints of bitter, I gave the Polaroid Snap camera one more chance. It was overcast, but still much, much brighter than in the pub, and the picture it took of this train leaving platform 2 of the station came out rather well. There is no motion blur, very little noise, and the white balance is about right. I think my new camera is going to be mainly an out door camera, although that still does not alter the fact that it is essentially a useless toy bought out of curiosity instead of need.

 I had eaten very little before going out, and the beer should have given me a ravenous hunger, but for some reason it didn't. Maybe it was because like the day before, my blood glucose level had dropped to a more beneficial level. It was both good and bad. The bad was mainly that it gave me the patience to order a takeaway when I got home. The good, but it is only very, very slightly good, was that I ordered stuff that wasn't too terrible for me to eat...or at least it shouldn't have been. The main problem is that I ordered a mixed grill, and grilled chicken is generally low in stuff (except flavour). The downside is that I didn't realise it came with a side order of chips - and they were real chips, and not "fries". They were rather delicious, and only stopped myself eating them when there were about 5 chips left !

 By padding the order enough for free delivery I had enough spare grilled chicken left for meals today. One of the curious things about yesterday, and also the day before, was how I felt walking to the station. Basically I didn't feel exhausted. It does seem I am slowly getting my stamina back, or at least a specialised form of it. One of the things I have complained about to my doctor, amongst others, is how my blood pressure pills can make me feel like walking is hard work almost from the moment I start, but oddly no worse when I finish, and so it was when walking to the stations yesterday and the day before. Except in these last two cases I seemed to feel slightly less knackered than I have experienced in the past - and that past includes some days when I was commuting everyday, and probably getting far more exercise than I get most days now. Maybe it is because I have got my eating almost under control every second day...or something like that.

 It was midnight before I turned out the light, and fell asleep last night. I probably slept fairly well, and I woke up feeling better than some mornings. Since waking up I have done more photo editing, got stuck on the phone with Lee for far too long, and I have almost written this. I have a few jobs to do today to amuse me for a short while. As I sit here writing on my PC a pair of my white, cheap, thin, and comfortable shoes are soaking in a bowl of soapy water. They have a lot of mud on them, and a good scrubbing should make them look a lot better - although I am not sure tey have got much wear left in them, and they will surely be destined for the rubbish bin soon.

 The other job which needs tackling is to get rid of a backlog of washing up, and other cleaning actions on the kitchen. It is work I really don't like - mostly so after I have neglected to do it for some time. Things obviously get a bit slimy and smelly, but that is not my chief objection. The biggest objection is the time it takes to do these things with particular regard to all the reaching out to pick stuff out of the sink (as an example), and having to bend over, and once again reach out to clean the inside of the microwave oven. I find bit of me soon become uncomfortable with all that bending and stretching.

 Once all that is done I have almost nothing to do (or want to do) until it is time to go out. I am slightly hesitant to go because I don't like the pub, but Chain are playing in the Beckenham Bricklayers Arms tonight. It is a small pub, and the band play tucked into a corner by the main door. The best place to stand to watch, and take some photos, is exactly where you keep getting bumped into as people come into the pub. Once there are more than half a dozen people watching the band there is very little room to move around to take shots form different, or more interesting angles. It is probable I won't be staying there that late. On the other hand it is possible I am being far too pessimistic.

 Whatever I do tonight will pale into insignificance compared to my plans for tomorrow night. Tomorrow The Life Of Brian are playing in The Mitre in Greenwich. It is one place where Angela is bound to be, and I don't want to bump into her because in theory we are no longer friends. We are definitely no longer friends on social media, and for a while she actually blocked me from even seeing her existence on it. That block has now been lifted, although it is probable that it was an accident. On the other hand it could be because she expects me to send a grovelling friend request. I feel she should send me a friend request considering she was the one who unfriended me. My plan is to try and take some pictures of The Life Of Brian (except for the drummer), and maybe even Angela herself if it seems possible to take it with being spotted, and post them as "friends only" on social media. Her daughter, who is still a friend will see them, but Angela won't be able to see them unless she wants to be friends again. After a week I'll probably make all the picture public, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the meantime - although it all hangs on being able to take the pictures in the first place, and I feel quite hesitant about going in the pub.
Thursday 24th May 2018
 08:55 BST

  It was nice yesterday. After a cool, and grey start to the day, it warmed up, and the sun came out. The top temperature was about 21° C, or so the forecast said, but it was sunnier than the forecast seemed to suggest. The only slight anomaly was a distant peal of thunder sometime after I went to bed - maybe around 11pm. I can't remember if it was then, or later on in the early hours of this morning, but it was raining.
a rainy
                      start to the day, and more rain later
  It was definitely raining at 6am this morning, and there seems to be some light rain falling even now. At 7.57am the forecast was updated to show it raining at 9am, and it also removed any hint of sunny spells this side of midday. I think it to be truly wonderful that the great meteorological computer, the finest that mankind can create, was able to predict the weather three minutes into the future ! The chances of it raining at any time this afternoon have been marked as quite low. Generally under 14%, but it might still rain at any time. The current think is that the chances of rain go up to 35% at 7pm, and rain is very likely then. It could continue to rain for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow could be very similar except for a little less sunshine (assuming we get any at all today !) 

  I had to do something to stop myself getting bored yesterday. I didn't feel like going for a long walk, but I ended up almost having one if you add all the little bits together. If you add on all the time I was simply standing up, the wear and tear on my feet was similar to a long walk.  What I did was to go out with no clear plan of where I was going. All I did have was a vague notion that I would go to London Bridge, and get on the Underground. I further refined this plan while on the train to London Bridge. I decided that instead of heading north I would get the Northern Line and head south for a change. Along the way I could take time to get a few snaps of some the last stations on the tube network to have narrow island platforms with exit/entrances at just one end of the platform.
Clapham Common tube
 To be honest I can't remember if this was Clapham Common, or Clapham North station this morning, but it illustrates the narrow island platform, with the exit staircase at the far end quite well. There are fears about the safety of these platforms during the rush hour when the platform is full of jostling commuters, and when money is available, if it ever is, a new tunnel will be bored so that each line can have it's own platform.
Tooting Bec roundel

  Another thing I thought I would do was to have a look at Tooting Bec station, and pay homage to The Tooting Popular Front. The only error I made was that the iconic picture of "Wolfie Smith", leader of The Tooting Popular Front, was actually taken outside Tooting Broadway station - oh well, I had better go back and visit Tooting Broadway station some day. Citizen Smith, the TV comedy that featured Wolfie Smith has it's own wikipedia page.
Power To The People !!!

Tooting Bec tube
 Tooting Bec station is very similar to Tooting Broadway station. The underground portions of both stations are built underneath a road junction, and both feature two surface buildings - one big one like the above, and the other a bit smaller on the opposite side of the road junction.
travelling north
                            from Tooting Bec station
 One thing that was most noticeable yesterday was how brightly lit the stations, and the train interiors were. Even so, I suspect many mobile phone cameras, and pocket sized cameras would still struggle with the light. I was using my Canon 1200D DSLR camera with the sort of lenses I use for gig photography, and there was plenty of light for them. Compared to gig photography is was easy except for one thing, and that was to do with the colour temperature of the light. There was no preset setting that coped with a mixture of lights. Some LED lights match the colour temperature of daylight, and some come closer to Tungsten lighting. Even auto white balance couldn't really make it's mind up - and neither could I ! All the pictures I took of the outside of Tooting Bec were set for Tungsten light, and they all came out looking very cold and blueish. I had to correct them all.
thought of the
 While I was at Tooting Bec station I noticed this "Thought of the day" in the ticket office area. I thought it was rather a cute saying, and I immediately thought of Angela, and wanted to show it to her. Alas I can't, and that is a shame, and also somewhat ironic because considering the reason I can't show it to her is because she prefers to be with someone who appears, as far as I can see, to not value her for her true colours. I think he sees her as more of a trophy, and while that is understandable to a certain extent - she is after all one the best looking woman for her age - it sometimes seems strange that Angela thinks that is a good idea. After two previous failed marriages it seems like Angela likes to be thought of as property, and that is sad.

 From Tooting Bec station I headed north again to Clapham North station which is a very vague interchange station with the London Overground station for Clapham High Street. The only problem is that I must have missed a sign post, and the one I did see seemed to point me in the wrong direction. I had a bit of a walk before I found the station. To my surprise the station didn't really shout out it's presence until you were right on it. Maybe that is because it was an old station that London Overground took over from British/Network Rail.

 At Clapham High Street station I had a wait of at least 10 minutes for the next train. The platform indicator originally said 15 minutes, but I am sure it was a lot less. Maybe the time passed more quickly because I took some snaps of passing trains. For some reason I thought the tracks were exclusively for London Overground, but it seems they are still shared with National Rail services. It is only the station itself that is exclusively London Overground.

 The next station I was to visit was Clapham Junction station. With normal and zoom lenses there were many photo opportunities there too. I expect I'll show a few of the best from there tomorrow. The final opportunity at Clapham Junction was to take a ride in one of South West Railways (previously Southwestern Trains) new class 707 trains. These are basically the same trains as now used on Thameslink services. There are a few differences though that go beyond different colour liveries. The trains through Clapham Junction are 5 car units instead of 8 and 12 car as used on Thameslink. Thameslink train have three toilets through the length of the train, but the class 707 has none. The ride quality, and the sound of the motors is the same, but the electronic announcements are very different ! The......Class 707.....announcements.......are very obviously............made of short statements.......or words.......badly stitched......together.

 The train from Clapham Junction took me to Waterloo where I took some more pictures, and also used the 30p a go, gents toilets. An on premises cleaning staff means the toilets there are generally in good condition, and are about as pleasant as public toilets can be to use. From there on I followed what used to be my usual route home after work before I retired. That included running up the escalators - well maybe not the whole way, but paradoxically the further up I got the faster I went. It was around 2pm, and I had gone out at about 11am with no breakfast inside me. I guess my blood sugar level had fallen to the optimum for maximum power. It is a shame it happened when my feet were starting to feel a bit sore. I got home a little after 2.30pm, and was soon tucking into a sandwich - and then another one !

 Apart from eating, I made a start on going through the photos I had taken. One thing that slowed me up a lot is that there were split over two memory cards after the first was filled to capacity, and I had to swap it for a new one. I had to spend ages renaming the files to keep them in the correct order when I added them all to the same directory on my PC. After a while I fancied a lie down. Initially I started to read, but I didn't get very far until my eyelids started to droop. I'm unsure what time it was that I fell asleep, but it might have been around 4pm. I do know that it was 5.36pm when I woke up again.

 I spent the rest of the evening with one eye on the TV, and the other eye on my photo editing application (don't ask me how that is possible !). I think it was 9 or 10pm when I switched off the TV and went to bed. I fell asleep easily enough, and had some strange dreams about Angela, but not of Angela. I woke for a short time at 1.30am, but then slept through to just after 5am. I then did my usual routine of taking my morning pills, checking the weather forecast, and sooner or later going back to bed again. Evidently I needed the sleep because I fell asleep really easily, and slept until 8am, or thereabouts.

 I feel curiously sort of OK this morning. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from how I spent yesterday or something. Unfortunately I have no plans to emulate yesterday, and even this early in the morning I have departed that route by having some breakfast. I have eaten yoghurt based potato salad topped with tinned fish in tomato sauce. It was one of those experiments you have to try, and overall it was a failure. It was not nice, but fortunately not horrible either !

 My plan for today is to go through the rest of the pictures I took yesterday, and at just after 4pm to go out for my regular Thursday afternoon/early evening drink with the lads. Today were are, as is now usual 90% of the time, in The Shortlands Tavern. For the first time there is the novelty of the new Thameslink railway timetable with 4 trains an hour to, and from Shortlands - assuming they are all running - which they probably won't. It is my belief that they have generated an impossible timetable where all the trains can't run without tripping over themselves. Hopefully some signalling improvements, which might be taking place even now, will improve matters soon.
Wednesday 23rd May 2018
 08:07 BST

  I seem to recall thinking that I was glad I didn't go out yesterday because the day was rather dull. There was supposed to be a lot of sunshine late in the afternoon, but that didn't seem to register itself on my conscious. Prior to that the amount of sunshine seemed very variable, and it seemed to be lightly overcast for more of the time than it was sunny. It did feel warm for most of the day, but I feel doubtful it reached the forecast 22° C. I am relying here on how I felt, rather than checking a thermometer. I should have actually checked rather than guess.
it's a
                      grey start today
  By now, according to the early morning forecast above, and it's latest revision, there should be some sign of sunshine, even if it was just some hazy sunshine peeping out from a crack in the clouds, but the reality is that it it looks very grey and overcast as I look through my bedroom window. The consensus of my thermometers is that it is currently 12° C, and that is a little short of what is forecast, but close enough. If the temperature forecast is correct, and it is one factor of the forecasts that is usually correct, or close to, then today should reach 21° C. Maybe we will get those promised sunny intervals, but at the moment it looks like it could rain soon. I think there might even have been a splash of rain sometime during the early morning - the road and pavements do look a bit damp.  Tomorrow is definitely forecast to be wet, but maybe not very wet, and it might be there is more sunshine than showers....or not !

  I guess yesterday was mostly boring, and it was probably my own fault that it was.  My biggest departure from doing nothing was to go shopping in Lidl. I came away with a loaf of multi-seeded bread, and some packets of pre-sliced cheese and a couple of different types of ham - the three main ingredients for some nice sandwiches. I also came away with something that has been the cause of me checking Lidl every few months to see if would appear on the shelves again.
red sun shower gel
 It has, and I bought 4 bottles of Red Sun shower gel ! I was a bit concerned that the formula might have changed like the label has changed, but it seems to smell about right. That smell has hints of patchouli, and other exotic spices and oils. It always seems very 1960s or 1970s to me. Once I have finished writing here I will actually test it by using it for my morning shower, and it's fingers crossed that it is as good as it used to be.

 The walk to Lidl is at least twice the distance of Aldi or Tesco. Walking there was no problem, but I did seem to have bought quite a lot of stuff to carry back over that distance. It was definitely one time when I thought the temperature was as high as forecast. I was definitely starting to perspire when I dumped my shopping in the kitchen. It was around that time that I made two mistakes.

 The first mistake was to take off my street clothes. The second mistake was to make a sandwich and eat it. That sandwich was effectively my breakfast despite it being past midday at that point. I guess I made one more mistake - I allowed myself to relax. If I had not made these three errors I might have gone for a walk in the park. Instead of walking I did reading...and snoozing. During the afternoon I did spend a short period of time getting sweaty again when I hand washed three t-shirts, and I think I only did that because I forced myself to do something physical.

 I didn't feel particularly tired last night, and so didn't rush to bed to get the day over a bit faster. Instead I spent my last few hours wake finishing the latest book I was reading. It was gone midnight when I finished, and I still didn't think I would be able to fall asleep. It did take until 1am, but by then I was fast asleep. I don't remember much at all from the hours I was asleep. I have a hazy memory of getting up once for a pee, and some faint and blurry memories of some dreams. I think I may have been sleeping well. My only regret is waking up at about 6am. That seemed rather early considering how late it was when I fell asleep. So I had a pee, took my morning pills, took a screenshot of the weather forecast, and went back to bed again for still not enough time.

 This morning my right shoulder aches. This is not a new ache, but it is a more rare ache, and is usually overshadowed by the assorted aches I get from parts of my rib cage. Yesterday I had a recurrence of a particularly acute pain. The sort that almost takes your breath away. This strong stabbing pain is on my right hand side, just below the level of the last rib (I think), and it is triggered by reaching out for something while my body is bending/twisting in a certain, but undefined way. It would seem to be another legacy of my wonky ribs. Fortunately it is rare, and the pain fades within minutes. It doesn't seem to leave any lasting ache. A typical way of triggering it is to reach around to present an Oystercard to the reader with the card in the wrong hand. I have learned that one and avoid it now. Yesterday I was simply picking up a glass from the low chest of drawers by my bed.

 Today I have a completely clear day. I have no plans to do anything. My laundry and shopping is done, and I have finished the book I was reading. Unless I force myself to do something it could be a very boring day. I wonder if I am up to a long walk somewhere. I feel a bit stiff at the moment, but that usually goes once I get walking. I think it is something I will think about while washing my hair, and trying out the Red Sun shower gel.
Tuesday 22nd May 2018
 09:25 BST

  There was one slight change to the forecast for yesterday's weather, and that revision only happened minutes ahead of reality, and even then they got it wrong !
revision to a fine day
 It is true that most of the rain was light rain, but some of it was heavier, and the general gloom of it being overcast lasted a bit longer than these pictograms suggested. On the other hand there were periods when it was sunny, and when it was most unexpected - like in the middle of a violent thunderstorm !

 It had seemed rather dull for some time, maybe an hour or two before I heard a distant, but still loud peal of thunder. At the time it seemed such an unlikely thing to happen that I even speculated that it might have been an explosion. If there had just been the one rumbling bang I might have concluded that it was an explosion, but further bangs that were getting closer ruled that out.

 I can't remember the exact time, but I think it was around 4pm that there was a gigantic clap of thunder from almost overhead. The thunder followed the flash so quickly that it was hard to register the flash. It was very weird seeing some blue sky, and some hazy sunshine while my ears rang with the loudness of the bang. Fortunately my roof seems to still be one (but I haven't been outside to check it), and there was no smoke or sirens in the neighbourhood. I guess that great flash and bang didn't touch the ground.

 The rest of yesterday was mostly good. I'm not so sure the temperature hit the forecast 21° C before the thunderstorm, but it did seem to feel a little warmer after it - which is rather unusual. I think we normally think of a thunderstorm as cooling the day down - at least when it is a thunderstorm brewed up on a hot summers day.
                      might be nice
  Today could be mostly nice if there are no surprise thunderstorms. An earlier version of this forecast (updated at 03:50) did show a light splash or rain at 7pm, and only sunny periods through the daylight hours. This later revision shows no rain, and 4 hours of non stop sunshine in the early evening. I guess we'll find out the truth when reality comes along and pushes itself into our faces. With luck the temperature will touch 22° C for an hour or so. Tomorrow looks like it could be similar to today, but further ahead there could be some rain on a few days, and two warnings of thunderstorms !

 Yesterday was a day when not much happened. I thought I was going to go out, but I didn't, and knowing how the weather turned out makes me glad that I didn't venture out on any long outing as I was thinking of doing. It's hard to think where all the time went, but it seemed to pass by quite quickly.  A few things helped the time to pass, and two phone calls from my friend Lee used up a bit of time - particularly the first which went on for far too long. I also used up a bit of time familiarising myself with my new Polaroid Snap camera. It can take some reasonable pictures to the memory card, and with a bit of touching up they can look quite good, but the instant prints from it tend to look a bit underexposed.
test picture 4
 One thing I should have resisted was to make the picture above look a little less underexposed. The idea for this picture was to show dull and gloomy it was, but it seemed to be too dull, and so I brightened up the lowlights a bit.The full size picture shows quite a lot of fine detail, but I am not sure it is a full 10 mega pixels worth. It does seem to be a very usable camera, but it has it's downsides. It only has a simple optical viewfinder, and no LCD panel  - even a simple one for setting things like the date and time so that the image files don't say they were created in 1979 when checked on the memory card ! I'm wondering if there is anything that can be changed when connected to my PC via the usb port - apparently not. It seems the USB socket on the camera is only for charging the battery, and doesn't appear to have any data on it.

 One interesting thing happened yesterday. I suspect it was an accident, but it would be nice if it wasn't. Angela has unblocked me on a well know social networking web site. I can now see that she exists, and see anything she publicly posts. Unfortunately at this point she seems to be posting everything "friends only". If it wasn't an accident I wonder if this means that I will be getting a new friend request from her in the future. Several people did say that they thought it unlikely she would ignore me for ever.  Becoming friends with Angela again, particularly if it were in real life, would be joyous - doubly so since I realised that my interest in Jenni had no future. Our interests are just too diverse to get on.

 My sleep last night was dominated by dreams that seemed to be inspired by seeing Angela's social media profile again. I have only hazy memories of this, but I think they were mainly just symbolic stuff that didn't feature Angela herself. I can't decide if I slept well or not. Like most mornings now it seemed like I would like a few more hours sleep, and I now think this is only so because there is nothing to stop me going back to bed for as long as I want. The actual reality is still the same as when I was at work - once I get moving I don't feel tired, and even if I go through the whole day without a snooze, I still don't always feel that sleepy even when going to bed. I guess I have had enough sleep - maybe more than enough.

 I am not sure if my body is in good working order or not this morning, and I'll probably find that out when I try and use it. I did manage to eat less in total, and eat healthier stuff yesterday, and so that might be good today...or not. I don't feel a strong yearning to go out on any long trips today, but I am sure I will at least get out as far as the shops if nothing else. I still have that itch to go to Lidl to see what they have recently. Maybe now there are a few things that it would be desirable to get, and that gives a better chance of going there. I think I want to take the Polaroid Snap into the park to get some landscape shots (it has no zoom for more detailed pictures). I had better get washed and dressed I think !
Monday 21st May 2018
 10:24 BST

  It wasn't as warm yesterday as it was the day before, but once the day warmed up it was very pleasant until after sunset. The temperature did dip quite quickly after that, and at 11pm there was a very light mist with lots of condensation appearing on car roofs. The highest temperature was around 19° C.
warm and
  Today should be a little warmer than yesterday, and even now it is starting to feel warm after a cool start to the day. The latest update to today's forecast changes the sunny intervals late this afternoon to solid sunshine. For some curious reason that I cannot begin to fathom the headline feature has changed. In the screenshot above it says "Sunny intervals and breezy". The updated headline now says "Mist", but there is no indication anywhere in the chart for today of any mist - not even at 11pm like there was last night. The highest temperature today is still forecast to be 21° C - which is very nice ! It seems that there was going to be rain tomorrow, but the latest update amends that to sunny periods and breezy. The ongoing saga of next Thursday and Friday continues to be confusing. On one of the days there might, or might be rain. There could be a thunderstorm, or it could be sunny. Every few hours the forecast keeps changing. I wonder what will really happen, and if it will be anything like any of the multiple forecasts for those days !

 Yesterday turned out a lot like I thought it might. I washed a few t-shirts by hand, and I went to Tesco (although I may have said I was going to Aldi). Tesco was good - I managed to spend a lot of money in there. Now normally that would not be a good thing, but I had a voucher for £9 off if I spent more than £60 in there, and Bushmills Irish whiskey was on special offer (£16 a bottle). The two things just seemed to go together, and now I have a litre bottle of my favourite whisky - Tesco special reserve, and a 75cl bottle of Bushmills - which is a very nice whiskey. I hope I have got the spelling the right way round for the Scottish and Irish drinks - Whisky from Scotland, and Whiskey from Ireland.

 I had plenty of time left to do some reading, and I think I even had a snooze or two before it was time to go out to Stretchy's Open Mic in The Swan and Mitre (Bromley) last night. There was only one thing bothering me when I went out. Maybe an hour before I was due to go and get the bus to Bromley I ate some bacon flavour sausage rolls that I had found with a reduced price sticker on in Tesco. There were two things wrong with them. The first was that the flavour was really disappointing. It was more an absence of flavour rather than a bad flavour. The second bad thing was that while they didn't seem greasy when eating them, they seemed to leave me feeling slightly bloated or suffering from indigestion. My belches had a sort of greasy consistency. This was not a good feeling to pour pints of Guinness on !
Rob Todd
  There were two things that affected the attendance of the open mic last night. There was that royal wedding thing the day before. Like many sensible people I completely ignored it, but the more party animal leaning people partied themselves out the previous day, and were at home resting/recovering. Then there was the strange affair of a football team I had never heard of until about a week ago playing some sort of special game at Wembley stadium. That football team are Bromley, and a surprising amount of people from Bromley seem to support them. So many people were at Wembley, or coming home from it with their tails between their legs (they lost 5-4) rather than being at the Swan And Mitre.

  When I arrived at the pub the place was almost deserted. There were a couple of people out the back playing pool (or billiards or snooker), and just Martin "Stretch" Sicklel, who runs the open mic, and Rob Todd. It wasn't until well after 8.30pm that a few people started to trickle in. Officially the session kicks off at 8pm, but last night it was 8.45pm, and that was with just 3 musicians there, and maybe 4 of us as a sort of audience. Even toward the end there was little more than 20 people on the whole pub - and that included the bar staff ! It was more like a private party than an open mic session. The picture on the left is Rob Todd having an unplugged practice while there was no one there to see him except me and Stretch.
Rob Todd plugged in
                        and singing
 Stretch did his usual opening f a few songs, and then with no one else ready to go Rob had to get up and sing a couple of songs. He would later get up again towards the end of the evening to help keep things going. Notice how the light outside has changed from bright sunny daylight, to almost twilight in the 90 minutes or so since I took the first snap of Rob.
Vince and Dawn
 Vince Pross and Dawn Pross singing Beatles songs. Vince normally brings his electronic piano along to these sessions, and sings rock and roll or rockabilly, but he couldn't get a lift to bring the piano, and it is too heavy to take on a bus, and so he had to play guitar. He did two sets. The earlier one included a couple of Beatles songs, and another song from the 1960s. He later did another set with songs from the 1950s.

 I started off drinking Guinness, but after just two pints my git was feeling uncomfortable, and I switched to Jamesons whiskey for my next two drinks. This particular Jamesons was a bit unusual in that the label said it was based, or flavoured with stout. I have yet to find out exactly what it was, but it did seem to have a very nice flavour when drunk with just one cube of ice. I must keep a look out for it because I could easily drink more of it ! My final drink was another pint of Guinness, and that went down nicely. I left the pub a few minutes before 11pm, and heard the last song finish as I waited at the bus stop.

 Fortunately it was not a long wait because it was beginning to feel rather cool, and I didn't have a coat with me. It was while waiting for the bus that I first noticed a misty halo of light around the streetlights. I don't think there was anywhere in particular where the mist got thick enough to actually affect visibility except over extreme distances. When I got home I feeling a bit chilly, but I had avoided the lure of the fried chicken shops - which considering how I was feeling earlier was probably a good thing in itself. I still felt a desire to have some sort of snack, and so I decided that some instant pepper chicken noodles would fit the bill well. They were not particularly filling, but the thin soup/gravy that they were floating in made for a nice warming drink once I had eaten the noodles.

 I seemed to sleep particularly well last night. For some reason my bed felt unusually comfortable, and the temperature under the duvet seemed just right. I woke a couple of times to drain off some of the Guinness I had drunk earlier, but essentially slept comfortably until just gone 6am. By that time it looked sunny outside. After going to the toilet, taking my morning pills, and screenshotting the weather forecast, I decided to go back to bed again. When I woke up again the sun was behind some thin clouds, and it was around 8am.

 I felt very rough when I woke up, but that seems usual now. I've settled down now, and even been slightly productive. I've gone through quite a few photos I took last night. I've been to the corner shop to pick up a parcel, and I have had a too long phone call from my friend Lee. It has now gone midday, and I feel the best part of the day has been wasted. I had considered the idea of going out today, and the idea of going to the seaside tickled my fancy. It is now far too late for that. Maybe I might take a walk around the park though. What I really want to do is to test a new "toy" that I collected from the corner shop this morning. It is a Polaroid instant printing camera.
Polaroid Snap still in
 It is a curious device. It is a 10 mega pixel digital camera with an instant ink printer built in. Unlike the purely chemical Polaroid cameras, this one does save every shot on a µSD memory card, and the printer does not have to be used. I can only report on one single print I have made, and they are...... Well the obvious thing is that they are credit card sized - which is a bit small. The print quality is fairly good, but there does seem to be some light streaking on the picture. The pictures saved to the memory card are not too bad, but with no means of controlling the exposure they need some touching up if not taken in good light. With a bit of a tweak they are not too bad though.
Polaroid Snap test
 I'm not sure there will be many occasions when I will be able to use this new camera. I am sure it will be useless at all but the most brightly lit gigs - perhaps it might be a novelty at the occasional outdoor gig. I think the first time I will be able to test it on people will be on Thursday at my regular early evening drink. In an ideal world I would still be seeing Angela during her lunchbreak. She would make an ideal test subject, and more importantly it would be wonderful to see her again if it was ever possible to recapture the closeness we once had.

 I have no idea what I am doing for the rest of today - apart from finishing off the photos I took last night. There are not that many of them - I avoided getting snap-happy last night ! Finishing them should not take that long. After that, or maybe in the middle of it, I have a slight itch to visit Lidl and see what they have in there. Other than that, I am now reading another book, and I have got to an exciting bit. Some of my time is going to be spent reading !
Sunday 20th May 2018
 09:23 BST

  There was lots and lots of sunshine, and the temperature reached 20° C for several hours from mid afternoon yesterday.
                      mostly sunny day
  The weather forecast for today missed out on two things. The first was that from sunrise to slightly beyond 7am it seemed bright and sunny outside. After that it did cloud over, but the clouds seemed to thin out again earlier than 10am. As I write it seems there is no more than a thin haze up in the sky that is making the sky look a bit milky, but the there sun is mostly managing to shine through it, strong enough to cast fairly sharp shadows despite a small amount of haziness. Later on this afternoon we should see some very strong sunshine. It might be a degree cooler than yesterday at just 19° C, and that's not bad. Tomorrow should be dry and mostly sunny, but the latest revision of the forecast show to the highest temperature to be only 21° C - good, but not as exciting as the 23° C forecast earlier on.
a semi circular walk
With yesterday being warm and sunny I knew I had to get out and stretch my legs, and yet I didn't really want to. I felt quite stiff, and I seemed to be lacking in energy, but I managed to get my brain to over rule my body, and I forced myself out the front door. There were several times when I planned to walk just a bit further, perhaps to some landmark, or as far as a particular road, and then start heading back to home, and I guess this is what I ultimately did, but only after walking considerably further than I intended.

 The map on the left shows the route I took, and it ended up as a very squashed circular walk that I walked in an anti-clockwise direction. I initially headed for the linear park that is bounded by the river and railway line, and then I carried on walking as far as the footbridge that crosses the railway. Only once, on a previous walk some time ago, have I ever been on that footbridge, but I have never crossed it.

 Yesterday I couldn't go that footbridge, but I could go on, and cross the railway on it's temporary replacement. The original footbridge was covered in plastic wrapping. I don't know if it is being refurbished or replaced. I suspect the latter, and it will be replaced with something that meets disability regulations. My immediate thought was that an old handsome bridge was going to be demolished, but later on when I checked some of my old pictures I realised that the old bridge had some many anti-vandalism features fixed to it that it looked like an eyesore. I the original bridge was stripped back to how it once was, and then sandblasted before being repainted in a nice glossy green paint (a railway colour) it could look quite handsome again, but I fear it's replacement will look plain and "utility" !

replacement footbridge

The flimsy looking (and feeling - very bouncy steps !) temporary footbridge with the white plastic wrapping around the old footbridge just visible behind it.
replacement footbridge seen from the
                        other side
 Here's the bridges seen from the other side of the railway from the end of the road simply called Broadmead. I left walking through the park at this point and started walking back home via roads that I had never been down before. So it wasn't a completely dull walk, but it wasn't very exciting walk either !
Much nearer the start of my walk I passed this delightful piece of graffiti/artwork on the abutment of the bridge that the Catford Loop Line uses to cross to main South Circular Road. There bis an identical Catford sign on the other abutment. I have pictured this before but either the paint has been freshened up, or it is wearing very well. Also there was a convenient gap in the traffic just at the right time !
the futility of life
This made me think of the futility of life.
Mrs Duck
A conveniently posed duck that I snapped from the bridge over the river that is 30ft from the footbridge over the railway line. The near overhead sun was lighting the duck, and the very shallow at the point, river bed nicely.
the wrong Nancy Wilson
 Towards the end of my walk, when I was back in the heart of Catford, I had a had another rummage through the CDs in The British Heart Foundation charity shop. I thought I had found a potentially very interesting CD. Nancy Wilson is one half of the two woman who front the band Heart (the other being Anne Wilson). I really hoped this CD would sound a bit like Heart, but my hopes were dashed when I listened to it, and did a bit of basic research. There are two Nancy Wilsons, and this one is a jazz singer - and that was not to my taste at all !

 Soon after I got home from my walk I decided it was time for breakfast. I had not one, but two sandwiches, and they conspired with the walk to make me feel very sleepy. So I had a snooze or two around doing a few other small things. Before I knew it, it was almost 6pm, and I fancied some dinner. My plan was to go out last night, and so I wanted a very light dinner, but I didn't end up having one. I started with a simple dish of fruit, but there was a lot of it. It was more like 6 of my "five a day".

 That fruit seemed to sit quite heavily on my stomach, and it too made me feeling sort of was a cross between sleepy and fatigued and something else. What ever it was, plus the slightly bloated feeling, put me off going out, and so I stopped preparing for it. Maybe that was a mistake because by the time I would have left if I had been going out, I felt more or less OK, and I am sure I would have felt much better once I was moving. Going out may also have have cured me of a certain amount of feeling quite melancholy.

 I don't think it was any one thing, and mostly it might have been for no reason at all, but I felt quite low last night, and I didn't really feel like company. Maybe the trigger was coming across a picture of the last time Angela visited me here at home. It back in early January this year, and must have been in the time period when she and lover boy were barely talking, apart from him throwing tantrums, and their relationship was on the point of falling apart. For such a situation Angela looked very comfortable, and very happy sitting on my settee.

 Rather than go out last night I went to bed early, and I had no trouble falling asleep. That was about 10pm. I woke up feeling like I had been sleeping well apart from some sort of nightmare about some taps that would not turn off. It really felt like that another few hours of sleep like that would be all I needed before it was time to get up. All those ideas turned to dust when I noticed that it was still yesterday. The time was still 5 minutes to midnight, and my wonderful sleep had lasted slightly less than two hours. It left me faced with the prospect of trying to sleep for another 5 or 6 hours until it was a decent time to get up.

 I didn't manage it in one go, but eventually the sun had risen and was shining through my curtains. I half got up and checked my email, and took a screenshot of the weather forecast. I then read a few technology news items, and prepared the photos to include today. At that point I was still feeling a bit turgid (is that a good word ?). There was no reason what I couldn't go back to bed, and that was exactly what I did. It wasn't great sleep, and I probably felt even worse for having it, but nearly two hours passed before I got up again.

 Now I face a load of mostly empty hours that I have to fill in with something. One thing could be a quick shopping trip to Tesco. I have run out of whisky, and that seems a good enough reason to go if nothing else (although there are a few other bits and pieces that would be handy). I have a few t-shirts that I might hand wash. Other than that the day is a blank slate until this evening when I want to make a more determined effort to get out to Stretchy's Open Mic. I think I enjoy these sessions much more than many gigs.
Saturday 19th May 2018
 10:05 BST

  It was quite nice yesterday. The temperature hit 17° C, and the sunny periods that started in the morning finally gave way to non stop sunshine late in the afternoon. The only problem was that I didn't go out to enjoy it.
  The main difference between the screenshot of the weather forecast above, and the latest update to it, is that the thunderstorms once predicted for Wednesday 23rd May have disappeared, and that Thursday 24th may now have heavy rain. I fully expect that to change again later today, or by tomorrow morning. The forecast for today seems like it will be about right. It is certainly nice and sunny now, and maybe we'll make it through to the end of the day with the sun still shining. It ought to take the temperature up to 20° C. The latest update shows tomorrow being a slightly cooler day than today, and some cloud means that most of the time we can only expect sunny intervals. Of course just like the complete uncertainty about next Wednesday and Thursday, the reality tomorrow could be completely different.

  I didn't enjoy myself yesterday ! The task of selecting, and then editing the best pictures I took on Wednesday night of the open mic session, seemed to be a never ending task. It was because I took so many pictures. While I'm starting to control the fevered snapping I do at ordinary gigs, it is more difficult to be more selective at an open mic session because there are so many different musicians to try and take good pictures of. Trying to get one good and/or interesting shot of one person (or a band) generally means taking lots of pictures - most of  which "end up on the cutting room floor". By the time I had finished going through all the pictures, and there were nearly 400 to go through, I felt completely drained with a side order of elated.
Helen Hill
 Sometimes I was naughty and left some less than flattering pictures through. This is Helen Hill looking like a rabbit caught in a car's headlights. I doubt I will get a quick peck on the lips like I did for the picture I took of her, and her new lover, a week previously.
one of my accidental
                        finest portraits
 This picture above, that I have previously shown here, is the picture that got me the brief, half second, kiss on the lips when I first bumped into Helen on Wednesday. I think the picture I took on Wednesday is more likely to get me a pumch in the mouth !
Chris Mayer playing to
                        my camera
 If it hadn't been slightly over exposed, as a result of Chris coming right up to my camera, this would have been a great picture. Instead I think of it as just a very good picture, and like many good or great pictures, it was completely unplanned, and just done on the spur of the moment.
Chris Mayer from a
                        high angle
 Everyday you learn something new about photography, and I think I have learned a new lesson. I have been doing high angle shots, paparazzi style, for some time now, but it was only when looking at the picture that I realised it is so much more dramatic when using a wide angle lens. The picture above is cropped down to fit this page, but the uncropped image looks even more dramatic. It looks like I must have been standing on the bar in the pub to take this picture. In reality I just held the camera as high above my head as possible, and hoped that I had the camera pointing in the right direction before clicking the shutter.

 I did one other significant thing yesterday that did help breakup the monotony of sitting behind my PC all day looking at photographs, and that was to hand wash not one, but two towels. Fortunately only one towel was a big bath towel. The other was just a hand towel, but even so it was still hard work. So hard that I actually did the job in two halves. It was sort of depressing to think along the lines that maybe I am getting weaker and frail. Lifting that soaking bath towel out of the big builders buckets that I use for hand washing, and then trying to wring it out, left some assorted arm muscles feeling quite overworked and sore.

 With the laundry and the photo editing all done I was free to do anything I liked - like going out to a gig - but I felt so drained, and sort of depressed instead of joyful that I had done all that work. Two factors were significant in not going out last night. One was the simple fact that I had not had a shower or even dressed properly by the time approached when I should have been leaving to get to the venue. The other factor was food. Earlier in the day I had a very healthy salad, but little more.

 By 6.30pm, when I had finished with the photos, I was ravenously hungry. My intention was that I would have something like a sandwich to keep me going until I got back from the gig. To keep me away from the fried chicken shop I cooked some beefburgers that I intended to quickly warm up in the microwave when I got home. I couldn't resist the temptation of eating those after the sandwich, and by then I felt too bloated to go out. That rather added to my depression, and so I ended up not wanting to go out at all. I spent the rest of the evening watching a couple of TV programmes, and reading.

 I felt tired but not sleepy, and so I didn't try for the early night that I felt I deserved. I ended up reading until I got to the end of the book. The book, "Survival" by Ben Bova was good right until the end. The ending felt contrived and rushed. I had an idea that would have made a better ending, but I expect many other people may have had their own ideas - none of which the author would have liked. It was midnight when I put the finished book down, and tried for sleep.

 My sleep was pretty crap for a lot of the night, but improved when I finally discovered that somehow the two pillows I sleep on had been swapped around with the lumpier on on top instead of on the bottom of the two. Swapping them around did improve my sleep, but I think it was almost 4am when I did that. It was only a couple of hours later that I got up for an hour or two before going back to bed. I managed to get almost a couple of hours more sleep, and as I write this I feel like I could benefit form another couple of hours sleep - which I may try and get at some point today.

 When I finally got up and started to write this I felt pretty dreadful, but I think my body is settling down now, and I don't think I feel that bad. I really ought to get out today and stretch my legs. It feels too late to go out very far, plus I want to try and retain some energy to go to a gig in the evening. It could be an interesting gig on several accounts. The band is The B Movie Creatures, and because it is a sort of side project they don't have a static line up. Tonight's line up includes Steve Blessing, and he is a very talented guitarist who I'd like to get a few snaps of.

 The gig is in The Partridge, and that could be good and bad. It is inevitably going to be poorly lit, and that place can get very crowded sometimes - far too crowded for me. It may be that I will only stay for a short while to take a handful of snaps. The great unknown is how a certain public wedding circus will affect the numbers going. There are also a few more gigs from popular bands in the area that may make it a bit more less claustrophobic for me. We'll see. Right now I guess I am well overdue for a shower, and maybe wash my hair too !!!
Friday 18th May 2018
 08:38 BST

  Yesterday was a good improvement over the previous day, although it seemed to take a long time before the day warmed up. Once it did, the long periods of sunshine felt good. The highest temperature was just 17° C late in the afternoon. After that the temperature slowly dropped away until it was damn chilly at 5am this morning !
  The forecast I was going to show above was updated at 03:50 this morning, but unfortunately someone made a boob - it said the day after tomorrow was Saturday instead of tomorrow being Saturday. However it was not much different to the forecast as updated at 07:54 this morning. One thing it showed was that at 6am this morning (or was it yesterday morning ?) it was just 7° C. Maybe that was what it was yesterday morning because this morning it seemed to fool colder than that. Eventually the temperature should climb to 17° C. It seems today will be very much like yesterday, but with one useful difference. In the early hours of tomorrow morning it might get a bit cloudy, and that might keep the temperature from falling so low in the small hours. The rest of tomorrow is looking like it might be very nice with lots of sunshine once the early morning cloud has dissipated, and it should end up nice and warm with the top temperature close to 20° C.

  Yesterday was one of those days that only seemed to last half a day.  I didn't feel in the mood for whatever reason to really concentrate on doing my post production photography on the pictures I took Wednesday night. In theory that should have made the day drag because I had little else to do, and yet time seemed to flash by. One potential problem with the photography was that I took so many photographs, and it seemed an unusually high percentage of them were very usable. I think I got close to getting through just a third of them yesterday.
whitestar shoes
 One of the photos I thought I would add to the photo album of the night was of the shoes I was wearing. It was the Whitestar Open Mic session, and so I thought it highly appropriate to wear my Converse trainers with white stars on them. With hindsight I am not sure if it was a good idea or not. I have only worn these trainers once or twice before, and they are not broken in yet, but that wasn't the main problem with them. They were mildly uncomfortable, and I think they may have been mildly rubbing one of my toes, but the biggest problem is one that won't go away with wear. The seem very heavy, and clumpy when walking along. I much prefer very lightweight shoes.
Martin Daley
  One of the unsung heroes of the Whitestar Open Mic is Martin Daley. He is a pretty regular attender, and he sits behind his keyboards almost all night, and seems to be able to add valuable keyboard sounds to almost any song thrown at him. He is always at the back, and never does any solos. His biggest reward is the 50p discount on drinks that musicians get at The Partridge.
Matt Donovan
 This is Matt Donovan who is a drummer, and he was responsible for me realising that there are left handed and right handed drummer, and that they arrange their kit differently. Last Wednesday was the first time I suddenly realised what was going on when the drum kit, that belongs to John Sutcliffe, was re-arranged  to suit Matt. To a mere layman, such as myself, it usually seemed that drums are just drums, but it seems there is far more to it than just that.

 All too soon it was 4pm yesterday, and time for last minute preparations to go out and get the 16:32 train to Shortlands for my regular Thursday, later afternoon drink with Chris and the lads (and Jodie). Although it had been nice and sunny I wondered if it was warm enough to go out without a coat - paying particular attention to the fact that it would be cooler when I left the pub several hours later. I took a chance on no coat, and it worked out well.

 I had just three pints last night, and for the first time since we started meeting earlier I managed to leave a little earlier. Instead of the 19:02 train I caught the 18:32 train. I resisted all temptation to buy and fried chicken on the way home, although if there was a decent fish and chips shop on the way home I might have been very tempted to buy cod and chips for dinner. What I actually ate for dinner was a couple of 400 calories, calorie controlled ready meals.

 Those meals provided an interesting test bed for chilli sauce. On one of them I poured on some small blobs of a non descript hot red chilli sauce after it had been "cooked" in the microwave. The other one was treated to what was supposed to super amazingly hot Carolina Reaper chilli sauce before it was zapped in the microwave. The first meal, with it's "uncooked" chilli sauce was hot enough to be lapping at the shoreline of uncomfortable.

 That made me very worried about the Carolina Reaper based chilli sauce. That stuff is supposed to be like eating molten lava that has been zapped in a microwave after pouring out of a volcano ! Whether it was something the microwaves did is a mystery, but while it imparted a nice chilli taste to the meal, it was hardly hot at all. It was almost disappointing, but at the same time rather good news. All the taste without excessive burn is probably the grail for anyone who like chilli, but is not and out and out masochist !

 The beer and the food left me feeling very tired. I managed to do a couple more photos before I decided to go to bed not long after 9pm. I was asleep minutes later ! Most of the time it seemed I slept perfectly well, but the beer was slow to process, and I have dreamy memories of waking up a few times for a wee. The other malady I had last night, with it starting in a very mild way before I even got to the pub (so I can't blame the beer) was flatulence. I don't think it affected my sleep, but this morning my bedroom did smell like an open sewer !

 While it seemed I slept OK it is obvious that I didn't because I feel really sleepy now, and can't stop yawning. There is no reason why I shouldn't go back to bed, or more likely just lay on top of it, and sleep for as long as I like. There are just three things I think I am doing today. I have a smelly towel to wash, along with a few other smaller items. They have been soaking overnight with a bit of disinfectant added to the detergent, and as soon as I feel I have the energy I must go and finish the job.

 It is most important that I try and finish post production on Wednesday night's photographs today because I think I am going to a gig tonight where I'll be taking even more photos. At the moment I can't remember who it is I might be seeing, and where they are playing. The more important thing is that I think Jenni will be there, and if I am lucky I might get a hug from her that lasts a few more seconds than last time.
Thursday 17th May 2018
 09:23 BST

  Yesterday tended towards the very mildly bad, and that was mainly on account of the low amount of sunshine, although the late evening getting surprisingly chilly was another black mark. I don't recall any more rain after the early morning splash or two. The sun did manage to break through later in the afternoon, but those sunny spells seemed all too brief. The maximum temperature during the day was probably 16° C, although that was a comparatively brief peak. More of the day was 15° C, but by 10pm, and maybe even slightly earlier, it had fallen to just 8° C. It was a cold night......
                      sunny than yesterday
...and it was a cold morning today. Today should be a completely dry day, and the temperature should rise to 17° C by late this afternoon, but after that the temperature will slowly sink down until it could be in the region of just 8° C again before sunrise tomorrow. With luck a big chunk of the middle of the day will be solid sunshine. For the rest of the day we will just have to make do with sunny spells. Tomorrow may be very similar to today except that the solid sunshine may be replaced with sunny intervals.

 My greatest achievement yesterday was to wash the fairly thick double duvet cover. Manhandling one of those when it is dripping wet is really good for some sets of muscles whose names I can't be bothered to discover. Maybe it is more accurate to say that it leaved you feeling exhausted, but satisfied in a masochistic sort of way. That was a third of the things on my agenda for yesterday completed.

 Another third was to go to Aldi, and I did that too. I bought more salad, and more sandwich ingredients, plus a couple of new things to try. I think one of these new things were Persian kebabs, and of not Persian, some other middle east country. They were ready cooked blobs of mystery meat, allegedly lamb, with herbs and spice, and stuck on a stick. They came with a little pot of quite slimy cucumber and mint yoghurt dip. I followed the instruction to try them hot by zapping them for 90 seconds in the microwave.

 I thought I would pause there to see if I could find any positive words to use in conjunction with those kebabs. The only positive thing I can think of was that they were not nasty, but they were not desirable either. I've given them a fair test, and I don't think I'll be buying any more. The same can't be said for the same reasons for the other new thing I tried. They were southern fried flavour cod burgers. The reality of them was that they were just a large square fish finger with a bit of black pepper in the coating. They were nice-ish, and if they were drained properly, perhaps on kitchen paper to dry them off a bit (or maybe grilled without any additional oil) they would probably work well in a salad. My negative views on them come completely from not being able to think of them as anything but a mutant fish finger !

 The third thing on my agenda was to go to the Whitestar Open Mic session in The Partridge pub yesterday evening. When it came time to go I felt a lot of reluctance to go out. I just felt sort of warm and comfortable as I was, and maybe I was also looking forward to getting to bed early or something. However there were two particular reasons I wanted to go, and they were Jenni and Fran ! I was saddened that Jenni didn't make it, but Fran was there, and I had my usual doses of hugs and kisses. I also took far too many pictures. I've looked at a random selection of pictures so far. Quite a few seem to have come out tolerably well, and I prepared a random sample to show here.
Russel and Jo
 This portrait photograph of Russel Penn and Jo Corteen wasn't as sharp as I hoped even if it does look OK when shrunk down to this size.  For some time now they have been in a relationship together, and as far as I know it is going very well.
Chris Mayer having his
                        ear whispered into
 I should know the name of the guitarist who is whispering (or more likely shouting) into Chris' ear. Chris was actually playing at full pelt while this was going on, and I can only imagine it was some sort of guitarist talk.
aerial shot of Chris
                        Mayer and Martin Daley
 One sort of shot I seemed to have a lot of luck with yesterday (but only judging by the in camera playback of the images on it's 2.5 inch screen) is paparazzi style aerial shots where you hold the camera over your head, and hope the lens is pointing where you hope it is pointing. There is usually some leeway to rotate and crop the image to get it looking better - if you are lucky ! This picture of Chris, with Martin Daley on the keyboards in the background seemed to come out OK.
aerial shot
 Another aerial shot that I am happy with. Once again Martin Daley can be seen in the background, but I don't know the name of the guitarist in the foreground.

 I left the pub about half an hour early. By that time I think I had seen everyone who stepped up to the mic. In some respects the end of the session can be the best bit because it often ends as a free for all jam session, but  I thought I had taken more than sufficient pictures - and I had. I was surprised when I found I had taken almost 400 snaps last night. Many were the result of holding the shutter button down in burst mode. It is a good way of catching the exact movement or posture that you want. Others were wasted shots when I had the flash gun attached after sunset. The problem with that flash gun is that it goes to sleep after a certain time of sitting idle, and it doesn't always wake up very quickly. I know I missed at least one good shot because the flash didn't fire. Of course the other reason for so many pictures can be blamed on Guinness - probably !

 I didn't feel in any way drunk when I left the pub. Maybe the chilly night air shocked me. Fortunately I only had to wait a few minutes for a bus. It was while on the bis that the alcohol got to work on my mind and convinced me I needed fried chick and fries for dinner last night. The really sad thing is that I didn't enjoy the chicken as much as I should. The shop I bought it from does not seem to flavour their chick in "southern" style, and so it was a bit bland. I really ought to avoid that place for fried chicken in future.

 I remember noting that it was 10:41 when I got on the bus (according to the clock on the bus), but that was the last time I noted. I have no idea what time I got into bed last night, but I think it was just before midnight. I may have even been asleep by midnight. Some of my sleep was good, and some less so. This morning I am starting to feel sort of OK, but I did seem to have something remarkably similar to a hangover earlier on. I still feel like I need a couple of hours more sleep, and maybe I'll have some later.

 I only have two things on my agenda for this nice sunny day (it seems sunnier than the forecast suggested as I write this). Those two things are to select and edit the best of the photos I took yesterday, and to go out to The Shortlands Tavern for my regular Thursday early evening drink. There are two other possible things I might do. Maybe one is actually likely, and that is to go and buy a couple of things from the 99p - something I was considering doing yesterday, but didn't. Today is the third week since ordering my brown, garden waste, wheelie bin. The web page said it could take three weeks to be delivered, and so it ought to turn up today at the latest. If it does I may well feel inclined to start filling it up !
Wednesday 16th May 2018
 09:23 BST

  It was lovely yesterday. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and at 22° C it felt warm. It's a shame about today !
                      wrong !
  The first attempt at a forecast for today (above) was totally wrong ! The latest forecast corrects a few mistakes - chiefly by admitting that it had rained, and that there could be more rain to come. So far this morning I have not noticed a single ray of sunshine, but I have seen damp pavements, and even some spots of rain on the window panes facing north. What was originally just a 18% chance of rain at 8am turned into a 100% chance at 9am. One improvement on the earlier forecast is that the latest says there will be a few minutes around 2pm when the temperature will hit 16° C. The rest of the time it will be mostly 15° C as the original forecast said. There is still a chance for sunny intervals late this afternoon, and the chances of rain for the rest of the day remain very low. Maybe the biggest spoiler will be the breeze. The forecast suggests the breeze could be quite strong. The latest theory for tomorrow says 17° C with a good chance of sunshine.

a walk in the park

  I just had to go out and frolic in the sunshine yesterday, although it wasn't a natural choice. The fact was that I did not go to the toilet yesterday morning, but I thought I would sooner or later even though the reality was it would not be until last night.

 What I decided was to keep my walk nice and local, and yet not be boring by going over well worn ground. So rather than doing my normal walk in the park when I was meeting Angela at lunchtimes, I decided to wander through the western side of the park. That made things more interesting because I have neglected to go there all spring, and possibly all through last winter too.

 It was looking lovely and green, and in some cases a little too green. There were places when I was trying to take a photo of, for instance, a tree in the foreground, but it just seemed to melt into the general green background.

 While it was lovely walking in the fresh air, usually under a nice warm sun (the exception was when walking in the shade of trees), there were no dramatic pictures to take. That was a bit disappointing, although I did come away with a selection of reasonable pictures.

 After I exited the park, near Catford Bridge station, I had it in mind that I could carry on my walk by crossing under the main South Circular Road, pass by Wickes, and do a bit more walking in The Pool River Linear Park, but this was also the point when some internals feelings suggested that I might need the toilet soon. As I mentioned above, it was a false alarm, and I still didn't go until just before I went to bed.

double decker red bus
                        near the park
This bus wasn't in the park, but it was parked up near the park having dropped off a load of school kids for a P.E. lesson at the (so called) Ladywell Arena (previously less grandly known as the running track).
broken tree
It is hard to convey a sense of scale in this photograph. This tree has a trunk that it about 2 foot across in about the middle of the picture. It looks like it has just been snapped in half by a giant. Maybe it was hit by lightning. Maybe it was diseased, or maybe giants are stalking the land.
secret picnic table
If you know where to look there are a few of the slightly hidden picnic tables. My romantic side says they would be ideal for a lightly romantic picnic.
wolves re-introduced to cull feral
You won't read it in any official literature, but wolves have been re-introduced to the park to help cull some of the feral children that breed so liberally in the area. Apart from the soggy bits where he has been in the river, he looks magnificent - and hungry !

 When I got back home from the park I started working on the pictures I had taken. There were few of them compared to when I've been to a gig, and so it didn't seem it would take long. Before I finished the photos I took a break to make and eat some lunch. It was another nice and healthy goats cheese and beetroot salad similar to the one I picture yesterday - except I forgot the croutons, and I added a little mayonnaise to it. With the photos finished, and lunch eaten, I lay on my bed to read another short chapter from the book I am currently reading. At the end of that chapter, which was only a few pages, I put the book down, and allowed my eyes to close.

 The next thing I knew was that it was almost time for Star Trek on the Horror Channel. It was 5.50pm, and I had no idea how long I had been sleeping, but it seemed like it could have been as much as 2 hours ! I must have been far more tired than I thought - or maybe it was just fresh air and sunshine. It seemed like the active art of the day was over - and it was. All I did for the rest of the evening was watch TV, and read stuff on the internet during commercial breaks, and sometimes in the middle of the programmes.

 It may have been 10pm when I switched off the TV (or shut down the app on my PC that shows live TV from a DVB-T receiver in a USB dongle). I brushed my teeth, and got into bed intending to read another chapter of the book. Halfway through that chapter I decided that it felt like a good time to finally go to the toilet - and it was, but not in any dramatic way. Even when I went again, 5 minutes later, it was hardly dramatic. With that business over I went back to bed, read the last page or so of the chapter in the book I was reading, and went to sleep minutes after putting the book down.

 I really can't say what time it was that I fell asleep, but it may not have been much later that 11pm. I slept for a couple of hours before waking up to go for a pee - at least I think that is what woke me up, although the need didn't seem very strong. I had a fear that I might not be able to get back to sleep again, but I was soon fast asleep, and slept right through to 6am - which was most pleasing. I had been dreaming that I was back at work, and was taking a three part written test because it was better than working. The tests themselves seemed to be something to do with engineering, and I had no reason to take them at all, and the results would be meaningless to anything except my own ego. As far as I can recall I did no revision, or anything like that for these tests. It was all stuff I had grown to know over the long years, and while I can't recall any part of the dream where I answered the questions (it was like a movie where the boring bit were edited out/skipped over), and do remember having a smug feeling of "that was easy".

 I got up slowly this morning - partly because I have little on the agenda for today. One of the first things I did after having a wee was to check today's weather, and make a screenshot of the forecast. I think checked a few other web pages and stuff before deciding to go back to bed again. I don't think I ever expected to fall asleep again, and so it was quite a surprise to see it was gone 8am when I woke up again. This morning I feel OK - not great, but nothing particularly bad either. I have been to the toilet this morning, and so that is one weight off my mind bottom, although I feel that going again might be good a bit later.

 I have three things on my agenda today - 4 things if you include showering, and washing and conditioning my hair. I feel like it might be nice to finish off one particular piece of laundry - the double duvet cover - the last bit of linen taken off my bed a few days ago. Hand washing a double duvet cover is a very strenuous exercise, but exercise is good for you according to sadists. So maybe it will do me some sort of good. The dilemma is whether to do it before or after I go to Aldi today. I need things as diverse as paper kitchen towels and a cucumber. A visit to Aldi would satisfy most of my needs, but I might also go to the 99p shop if I have any energy left. Then I have to wait until this evening for The Whitestar open mic in The Partridge. It will be loud, dark, and noisy, but I think those negative things may be countered by Jenni's presence, and in the few seconds that might be quiet I can try getting to know her better.
Tuesday 15th May 2018
 09:33 BST

  Maybe it was just me, but yesterday didn't feel that warm despite it having supposed to be 17° C, and sunny. I can confirm it was sunny a fair amount of time, but maybe less so than forecast, and yet I can't recall any particular time when it seemed to get grey outside. I think it was probably just me being mostly very sedentary as I was glued to my PC editing photos.
                      should be warm
  Today should feel warm - even warmer than the screenshot of the forecast above implies. That screenshot was taken at about 6am this morning. The latest update to the forecast says it should reach 22° C for a few hours later this afternoon. There should be copious amounts of sunshine, and it will stay dry. Tomorrow could be quite disappointing  by comparison. It may be no warmer then 15° C, and much of the day may be overcast.

  Yesterday was a busy sort of day. I spent a considerable chunk of it sitting in front of my PC selecting and editing photos I had taken at Chain's gig at The Wheatsheaf (West Wickham) on Sunday night. For the first part of the gig there was lots of natural light coming through the windows, and that made photography much easier. Later on it became tricky when the background light got lower, and the stage lights cause some very bright hot spots.
Jo Woodstock mostly
                        lit by daylight
 This picture, mostly lit by natural light, except for some blue stage light on her hair, turned out well, and I managed to catch Jo with a delightful smile.
Chris in black and
 Some pictures are too good to waste just because the colour balance is all over the place, and too complex to correct. This is where converting to black and white saves the day !
nice smile from Jenni
 A delightful smile from Jenni at the other end of the bar.

   I guess it was getting on for 6pm before I finished my photo editing, and I was very glad to have finished it. It wasn't the only thing I did during the day. As a diversion I did some hand laundry, and washed a double fitted sheet, two pillowcases, and a small towel. I haven't checked it, but it is probably fully dry this morning after drying it indoors on a clothes horse. Another thing I did was to eat - several times ! I think I had a sandwich for breakfast. Later on I had some quick fry steaks - which I grilled in my mini oven. They had been sitting in the bottom of the fridge for quite some time, and were probably a fair bit after their use by date. For good quality steaks that doesn't matter, and up to a point actually makes the steaks even nicer, but maybe that wasn't so for these cheap steaks. When I opened the pack it did smell slightly dubious, but not so bad as to put me off. Maybe one end of one of these small and thin steaks did have a slight off taste, but I survived it !
goats cheese and
                            beetroot salad
 During my lunchtime meetings with Angela the subject of food would arise now and then, and she would pass tips on about how she prepared some stuff in a Greek style. One thing she would always do is to chop most bits of a salad quite small. Some of the pictures I saw of her salads made them look very appetising. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I invested in a chopping board, and now I tend to chop up salad ingredients into quite small pieces. It is surprising how much better it tastes like this (or maybe that is just my imagination). The picture above is of a hard goats cheese and beetroot salad. The only unusual thing here is that I find a plate with a high rim stops stuff escaping, and that the best way to eat this salad is with a spoon !

 A bit later I had another very healthy meal - in theory. I practice it was more inspired by wanting to use the ingredients up before they went off. The ingredients in this case were fruit - a couple of plums, two satsumas, and an apple. It contained lots of things that are good for you, but I fear that it probably contained too much natural sugar than is good for me, although I have never done any tests or research to confirm this point of view. Later in the evning I had a handful of salted peanuts, and of course they are about the worst thing you can eat if you want to reduce your calorie intake.

 Having "been at work" for much of the day (editing photos) I had missed any exciting stuff during the day, and I felt restless in the evening. I ended up watching a lot more TV than I would usually watch. Fortunately there seemed to be a reasonable spread of stuff to watch until midnight, although I think I finished watching TV at about 11pm. By that time I was definitely feeling sleepy, and I think I fell asleep very quickly when I turned out the light, and turned over in bed. I must have slept quite well because I only have the very vaguest of memories of getting up once or twice in the night. My only regret was waking up at 6am, or thereabouts. I would have preferred to have slept until about 8am.

 This morning my usual aches and pains, and other strange feelings didn't seem as bad as usual. Maybe it is because I have two new things to moan about. One great annoyance that is only easing now, quite a few hours later, was waking up with something in my eye. It felt like grit, but I suspect it was an eyelash or a bit of hair. It made my eye feel quite sore, and of course rubbing it just made it worse. I have resisted rubbing it for some time now, and although it is still slightly sore, it is getting better. The other malady was a sore throat. I haven't kissed anyone since Sunday night, and that was only a couple of quick pecks on the cheek, and so I don't know where this infection came from. It does feel a fair bit beter since I woke up, and at this rate it might be almost completely cured in a few more hours. Hopefully it is not just one early symptom of further troubles ahead. I do seem to be getting more than my fair share of colds recently. I thought I would be getting far less since I stopped commuting.

 Today I really ought to go out frolicking in the sunshine, and yet I don't feel terribly enthusiastic about it. Last night I had fantasies about going to the seaside today, but I feel reluctant to go far from home. Another idea was to go and explore the woods near where Jenni lives, but once again I don't fancy going into unknown territory that is some distance from home. If it were not that I don't want to waste the sunshine I would be happy to spend several hours (in small doses) laying on my bed catching up with my reading. In short I have no idea what I am doing today !
recent CD
 Some recent CD purchases. Two Cream CDs - "Wheels Of Fire" and "Disraeli Gears" - plus the self titled CD from the one off "supergroup" Blind Faith that features the controversial picture on the front of the CD.
Monday 14th May 2018
 10:30 BST

  After some horrible days, yesterday had greatly improved weather. There was some sunshine, although a lot more would have been better, and with an afternoon high of 17° C it was comfortable, even if only tickling the bottom rungs of warm.
                      to get warm again
  Today may seem to be no warmer than yesterday, but even if it was just going to be 17° C it would probably feel warmer because of the extra sunshine compared to yesterday. The even better news is that I just checked the latest forecast, and it says today will peak at 19° C. Today should be perfectly dry, but apparently there is a 7% chance of rain at 8pm, and so we'll probably have a thunderstorm or something ! Tomorrow we venture back into the warm with sunshine and the temperature just topping 20° C, and the day after looks bloody miserable by comparison !

  Yesterday I said I only had three things on my to do list, and I accomplished all three. Only staying for the first set of Chain's gig on Saturday night meant I didn't go too mad with my camera, and I was able to go through the entire snaps I took, and selecting the best(ish) for "post production". One job that was theoretically more important was stripping my bed, getting the mattress protector straight and (mostly) uncreased, and putting on nice fresh bed linen. With that all done, plus taking an early afternoon shower, and washing my hair, I was ready to go out to my third gig of the weekend !

 The gig was a nice later afternoon gig (6.30pm to 9.30pm) from Chain at The Wheatsheaf pub in West Wickham. The best was to get there is by train, with a very short bus ride at the end. Unfortunately it seemed there were hardly any trains running in the area because of signalling upgrade works. That left me with two routes that both involved getting two buses. To get there I chose a route I was familiar with, and one I have effectively done in the reverse direction when the last train from West Wickham station used to be inconveniently early.

 I left home a few minutes after 5pm, and after a bit of a wait I caught the 54 bus to Beckenham. Unfortunately a burst water main somewhere in the Beckenham area was causing havoc. There was a huge tailback near Beckenham Junction station that seemed to suddenly clear for no apparent reason. When I finally arrived at the far end of Beckenham High Street I found chaos with buses going in all strange directions. As I waited for a 194 bus to West Wickham the countdown display said it was 6 minutes away....then 5 minutes....then 3....then 2.....then it disappeared off the face of the Earth ! The next 194 was in nearly 20 minutes time, but one did appear earlier than that. It had got lost in all the diversions, and was actually going the wrong way ! Finally a 194, going in the right direction, did appear, and I arrived at The Wheatsheaf after about one hour and 20 minutes of traveling. If I could have got a train to West Wickham the journey could have taken little more than 35 minutes !
Jo Woodstock
 It was worth all the aggravation in the end. It was a good gig. Not crowded and rowdy like it was on Saturday, and a combination of natural light from the nearby windows, and the stage lighting gave some nice gentle tints to my pictures - or did at the start until the natural light started to fade - except for Chris who was standing more in the shadows !
Chain at The
 I've only gone through a handful of the pictures I took so far, but I am quite happy with them so far. With luck there should be some more good ones in all the pictures I took. My big disappointment was with my new phone camera. I tried taking more video on it last night, and this time I turned down the picture size and resolution, but it still came out at just 10 frames a second. That is slow enough to make the video look jerky. It seems like the phone is so intent on noise reduction on what was a slightly dim scene (most of the natural light had gone when I took the video) that it can only record at this annoying slow frame rate. On the plus side the video was bright and fairly sharp - which is more than I can say for some of the video I saw uploaded by others taken at the same time as mine. I shall process it properly and see if that improved things before showing a taster of it here.

 Apart from the mostly good light, and the good sound, and the good musicianship (one moment excepted), there was some good company at the gig. I was hoping to see Jenni, and although a bit late, she turned up and greeted me with a hug - which was very nice, and made up for the long journey getting there. I did boldly suggest that maybe I could join her as she walked her dog around a big local park today. It looks like it could easily be a couple of miles walk, and maybe more if I take into account walking from the nearest station to meet up with her. Unfortunately she is busy today, but did say that she would let me know when a better time arises. Maybe it was a bit premature to ask her before she knows me better.

 After the gig I went home via Bromley instead of Beckenham. I think that under ideal conditions it would have taken a little longer than going via Beckenham, but at least there were no delays via Bromley last night. I forgot to keep a watch on the time, but I estimate it was probably in the region of a 50 minute journey - about half an hour quicker than getting there, although it still felt long and tedious. I carefully avoided any fried chicken shops last night, but I did have a couple of calories controlled ready meals for dinner when I got in (I hadn't eaten any significant meal since early-ish morning).

 It felt nice, and almost comfortable to get into my bed with clean sheets, and a level mattress protector. I should have slept well, but I didn't. The problem, or at least the problem in the early hours of this morning was that the temperature fell low enough to be in the region where it is too cool to sleep comfortably with the duvet half off, and it felt too warm under the full duvet. I think it was in the region of 3am when I decided to put the heater after coming back from the toilet where it felt really chilly with the window open. After that I slept better apart from an annoying dream about hanging out with some old style gangsters. I think it was annoying because absolutely nothing happened, but that might have been better than the terrifying possibilities that such company could bring !

 This morning I have very mixed views about everything. I feel both good and bad, energetic, but lazy. Maybe going to gigs three nights on a trot had taken it's toll on me. There is also a bit of an annoyance factor. It looks better than it actually is, but it is still nice outside, and I should be frolicking in the sunshine, but I am not, and I am unlikely too. For one thing there is that feeling of laziness, perhaps enhanced by a lack of real energy rather than my imagined energy ! The other thing that is holding me back is having to go through almost 300 pictures, and somehow selecting the best to be tweaqked and enhanced to look their best (sometimes as simple as a bit of rotation and cropping). It is going to take me all day, and sometimes it feels like a job rather than a pleasure. The pleasure only comes with the finished "product" and all the "likes" those pictures might get on social media. So that is my day in a nutshell - photo editing !
Sunday 13th May 2018
 09:57 BST

  Yesterday was horrible ! There was some brightness first thing in the morning, but most of the day was either light grey, or very dark grey, and occasionally shades of mid grey. What was worse was that the rain didn't even wait to start falling at it's forecast time. I don't think there was any very heavy rain, but the place world was looking pretty damp as early as 1pm. By 10pm it seemed to be stopping, but that may have just been a lull, and it might have continued into the early hours of this morning. The highest temperature was 15° C - cool, but not terrible.
                      better than originally thought to be
  Today may be better than the forecast from yesterday said it would be. The very latest forecast says today will more likely have sunny spells, and it will now stay dry. I have my doubts. Looking out my window I can see a grey sky, and the only hint of sunshine is a sort of very vague bright-ish patch of sky where I presume the sun is. Maybe the sun will eventually break through later on. If it does the temperature should rise to 17° C - which is quite comfortable, and rather better than the temperature last night (I felt cold in bed and turned the heater on - and it is still on now, but not for long). What might be the very best news about today, if the weather forecasters fantasies are true, is that there could be sunny periods while I am out later this afternoon. Even tomorrow, is now forecast to have sunny intervals, and to be warm. A few days ago it was forecast to be an almost nasty sort of day.
grey skies
 I probably shouldn't have brightened this picture up a bit if I wanted to show just how gloomy it was yesterday, but it was actually a test picture taken on a new mobile phone. I have this philosophy that if many people can spend £700 to £1000 (often indirectly by very expensive tariffs) on a new phone every year, then it is reasonable to buy a new £100 to £150 phone every 6 months. I think in reality is is possibly more like 7 or 8 months ago when I bought what is now my previous phone. The reason for this upgrade was the new phone, which arrived yesterday morning, was reported to have a better camera in it. Under some circumstances it is better, but it still cannot equal my pocket sized Canon camera.

 The phone is another Chinese cheap phone - an Oukitel K5000 that cost £110 from amazon (including postage). The improved camera is the best thing about it. The fingerprint sensor is a nice gimmick, but I am not currently using it. Everything else about the phone is "normal" Android. At the moment my only real gripe is with the improved camera. I would have hoped that it would detect hot spots and reduce the exposure so they were not extremely over exposed. Unfortunately it doesn't, and some pictures I took last night were ruined because faces were completely bleached out*. The other gripe is that in video mode the camera only seems to record at about 10 frames per second. Maybe I will have to try some different video settings to get that up to a less jerky frame rate.

* Trying not to allow faces to be bleached out was something I had to take great care of using manual settings on my Canon DSLR camera last night - and I still failed to do it many times. One of the stage lights was shining directly on to the side of Chris Mayer's face at the Chain gig last night, and that side of his face was like 50 times brighter than the rest of the scene !

 Quite a chunk of my day was spent setting up the new phone after collecting it from the corner shop yesterday. Although it took some time, I was able to transfer all the SMS (txt) messages over from the previous phone, and all the whatsapp chats too - including all the messages and picture from Angela. It is nice to be reminded she once existed. One hair raising bit of the transfer process was the SIM card. The previous phone had a micro-SIM card. The new phone has a nano-SIM card. It is not recommended, but I trimmed the SIM card down to size using a pair of sharp scissors. To get it to the right size you have to trim across the gold contacts, and I feared that I would cut through some important connection. Fortunately it worked first time. The only negative thing is that it was a one way process, and that SIM card can't be used in a Micro-SIM card slot again...or not easily.

 After the frantic business of getting the phone basically working I could relax a bit, and take it slower with some breaks. Eventually everything was working and I could totally relax, but not for too long because I had to get ready to go out to see Chain playing in The Mitre pub in Greenwich. If I hadn't made a half hearted promise to go, and hadn't seen it as an opportunity to test the new phone camera in difficult circumstances, I may not have gone, and stayed in instead. One good reason not to go out was that it was raining, and another was that The Mitre is not my favourite pub (It seems I have very few of these). The trouble with The Mitre is that it gets very noisy, and frequently boisterous in there. It seems strange that I find the noise level from the drinkers to be far harder on my ears than the band even when playing at full blast !
Jo Woodstock
 With the settings about right, my Canon EOS 600D dslr camera give vastly better results than my phone camera. Here's Jo standing by the main lighting, and although the extreme right hand side of her face is bleached out, most of the rest of the picture is evenly exposed.
purple haze
 I think I prefer it when the lights are purple rather than light blue. Looking back at these two pictures I am thinking that maybe I have made them just a little too bright. I'm only about a quarter of the way through selecting and doing post production work on the pictures I took last night. I may make the later pictures a little less bright to more closely match the mood of the gig.

 At the end of Chain's first set I decided I had enough pictures, and had had enough of being jostled by the boisterous drinkers, and decided it was a good time to go home. The rain was much much lighter as I walked to the bis stop, and I didn't really need to put my hood up - but I did because it was there. I don't think I bothered as I walked to home (with two chicken burgers).

 I felt a bit tired after I had sat down and eaten my burgers, but I still decided to go through the pictures, and some video I had taken on my new phone. The pictures showed promise for a mostly dimly lit venue. If the lighting had been a bit more even they might even have been good. The video, looking slightly jerky at just 10 frames per second was the biggest disappointment because at full frame rate it would have looked quite good. I obviously have to experiment more. It wasn't all that long after 11pm, and when the gig was probably just finishing, that I went to bed.

 I fell asleep fairly quickly, but woke up a couple of hours later feeling cold. Not freezing or chilly, but not warm enough to relax. So I put the heater on, and after that I slept well, but not for long enough. Once again I got up, had a pee, took my medication, quickly checked my email, and then went back to bed again for another hour or two of sleep. Like most, if not all mornings these days, I felt sort of OK, but not very dynamic when I first got up. I am not sure of I feel very dynamic a few hours later, but I suppose I had better find some sort of energy sooner or later.

 I have three things on the agenda for today. Top priority is to try and finish going through last nights pictures before I go and take more at another Chain gig late this afternoon. Going to that Chain gig is the next priority. The final thing probably should have the highest priority, but my take third place. It is to change my bed sheet, duvet cover, and pillowcases, and do something about the mattress protector that is trying to slip off the mattress, and getting all rucked up in the process. I feel sure I would sleep much better in a bed without lumps in it !

 Getting to the Chain gig today could be "fun". It is a later afternoon, semi-acoustic gig, in The Wheatsheaf pub in West Wickham. There are no trains to West Wickham today, and there are no trains to Bromley South station where I could get one bus to almost outside The Wheatsheaf. I think I am going to have to endure a 54 bus to Beckenham, and then a 194 bus to West Wickham. It is a small comfort that I get the 194 at the same bus stop that I alight from the 54. It is going to be a long and tedious journey, and the only consolation is that I will probably get to see Jenni again.
Saturday 12th May 2018
 08:59 BST

  It was noticeable how the temperature was dropping yesterday, but it still wasn't too bad a day. After a fair amount of sunshine, and a peak temperature of 18° C, I felt confident to go out without a coat last night. With the temperature down to 15° C by the time I got home again, my arms were beginning to feel a little cool ! It could have been far worse. I think there were two occasions when I thought I felt a tiny drop of rain hit my face.
                      and wetter
  If I did feel a spot of rain last night it must have been a couple of single drops that fell through a crack in space-time from tonight. Today started off almost looking OK. There was a bit of sunshine earlier on, but now it is getting very cloudy. If the forecast is correct, rain could start to fall as early as 3pm, and from then on there could be showers all through the rest of the afternoon, on through the night, and still going tomorrow ! At just 15° C max it is going to be a rather cooler day than we have grown used to recently. In short : Not recommended ! Maybe Monday has the potential to be a nice day.

  I was busy yesterday, but I can't remember why. I did a double load of hand washed laundry, but that couldn't have taken up that much time. Another thing that didn't take that long - much to my great surprise - was posting a small padded envelope to Patricia in Italy. I expected to have to jump through all sorts of hoops, customs declarations and stuff, before the deed was done, but no, the padded envelope was checked for size and weight, a stamp printed off, and that was it. It was all a great relief. I celebrated by going to spend more money in Poundland (or was it Poundworld ?) on my way home again.

 The real action yesterday was in the evening when I went to see M.T. Pockets playing in The Railway Tavern by Bexley station. Bexley is a bit outside my usual range, but is well inside the boundaries of my 60+ Oystercard. Getting there is just an extended version of the route to get to The Iron Horse pub in Sidcup - a 202 bus to Lee station, and then the train from there . Bexley is two stops further down the line than Sidcup. It can sometimes be quite straightforward, and also fairly quick, but not last night ! The trouble started with trying to get a 202 bus from outside Catford Bridge station.
buses all stacked up
 When I got to the bus stop it said a 202 would be along in about 8 minutes. That seemed reasonable, but 8 minutes passed, and no bus appeared. So I waited and waited. Eventually the countdown display said that three buses were due in quick succession. The first bus actually appeared more like 10 minutes later, rather than the 6 minutes shown in the picture above. When it did appear it was shown as terminating in Catford - which was no use to me. The next one was out of service before it even passed me. The next 202 appeared about 5 minutes later, and it too was going to terminate early, but at Lee Green. That was good enough for me to get to Lee station. I wasn't keeping very good track of the time as I waited, but I reckon it was at least a 20 minute for that bus, and it could have been closer to 30 minutes !
delayed train
 The bus ride to Lee station took a little longer than usual, but not excessively so. Arriving at Lee station about 10 minutes earlier would have been beneficial in as much as I might have arrived just in time for the previous train to the one I eventually caught. I arrived with about a 10 minute wait if the train had been on time, but for unexplained reason my train was delayed. Fortunately it was only about a 5 minute delay, and then, finally, I was on my way to Bexley.

 The Railway Tavern pub was, as you would expect, very close to the station. It seemed to be a nice pub, and it seemed like it was a quite bug pub until you got inside. It was the inverse of Dr Who's TARDIS - bigger on the outside than the inside. The pub has a proper stage with some proper lighting, but the lighting wasn't turned on, and the scale of the stage was something more akin to to something for a large dolls house. The only way for Dylan, the drummer, to get behind his drum kit was to literally climb over his drums !
M.T Pockets at The
                        Railway Tavern
 M.T Pockets sounded brilliant as usual, but I found it hard to enjoy them for several reasons. One simple reason was that I was feeling edgy about transport after my difficulties getting there. I even went as far as announcing to people I knew that that I would be leaving very early. The bigger reason for not enjoying it as much as I should was that there was only enough room for three people to stand abreast at the prime viewing point - the point I wanted to be with my camera. There were two things wrong with that. The most annoying is that when I when to the bar for more Guinness I lost my place and had to stand at the back for a while, and the second was that there was just no room to move for alternative camera angles.
Dan and Matt
  Eventually I, and a couple of other people I know, sat down at a recently vacated table near the toilets, and side on to the stage. Those on the rear side of the table couldn't see the band at all, and I could only see the band side on by twisting my neck around. At that point I checked the times of the trains, and decided I would get the 9.54pm train. That meant I wouldn't even see the end of the first set, but at least I had actually made it out instead of staying in, and I was able to get a small selection of decent photos. Just before I left I went to the gents toilet and found that like the stage, it was a sort of miniaturised version of a real toilet. There was hardly enough room for two beer drinker sized men to pass each other without getting intimately close, and the cubicle barely had legroom between the edge of the pan and the door !

 I'm not sure I want to visit the Bexley Railway tavern again, but at least the journey home was smooth enough. I think the train was a minute or two late, but it still arrived back at Lee station in good time. At Lee station I had a 4 or 5 minute wait for a bus, and 15 minutes, or less, later I was back in Catford.....and in the fried chicken shop. I bought just two spicy chicken burgers from there, and enjoyed them immensely when I got home. By midnight, or before I was in bed, and asleep.

 My sleep might have been good if I hadn't woken up between 1 and 2am coughing. There have been a couple of time when I have started coughing when going out. It starts with a dry tickly throat, and gets worse the more I cough. That coughing has just been isolated incidents, but last night I wondered if the cool, and slightly damp feeling night air might have triggered something more. I eventually got back to sleep again last night, but this morning my throat has felt a bit tickly several times.

 Apart from that tickly throat I feel mostly sort of OK this morning. I might fancy another rejuvenative snooze at some point this morning, or this afternoon, but otherwise I feel fit enough to go - just about - but to where ? I can't think of much to do today. I have already processed the few photos I took last night. I have done the laundry, and that leaves few jobs to do. I could go out but there are two reasons not to. The most obvious is that the weather is not that outdoor friendly, and the second is I will be going out again tonight to see Chain play for an hour or two in The Mitre pub in Greenwich.
Friday 11th May 2018
 07:16 BST

  I seem to think that yesterday was sunnier than the weather forecast seemed to suggest. The headline feature of yesterday's forecast was "light rain". Apart from the rain which fell in the early hours, before sunrise, yesterday was a dry day. The forecast seemed to get the maximum temperature of 16° C about right, and that combined with the sunshine still made it a t-shirt day.
a bit
                      warmer than yesterday
  If the forecast for today is right, today will be a warmer version of yesterday. In one respect it is a little wrong. At the moment the clouds are so small, and so thin, that even if one does pass across the face of the sun it only slightly dims the sunshine rather than stopping it. To the north it looks like a perfectly clear day. It is only to the south I can see a few wraith like clouds. Things may change tomorrow. There seems to be a small chance, mostly under 25%, of there being a shower at any time in the day. Unfortunately it does seem that even if it is not raining, we will still be under dark heavy clouds from early afternoon onwards. Sunday may continue this trend, and be a couple of degree cooler.

  I am desperately trying to remember what accounted for most of my time yesterday, and I find myself lacking. I must have done more than going to Aldi because I don't recall being bored either. Maybe going to Aldi, and having a snooze accounts for most of the time needed because from about 3.45pm I can account for my time. It was about then that I went to get the bus to Bromley to join the other Thursday drinkers in The Partridge pub. It was a nice drink, and I made my way up through the ales from an amber coloured low gravity ale to Fullers Extra Special Bitter. The latter is truly delicious, and rather strong, although I can't remember the strength off the top of my head.

 I had 4 pints in all, and then I went to get the bus home. Halfway along the 200ft from The Partridge to the bus stop lies The Barrel And Horn, and outside The Barrel And Horn was a sandwich board saying they had an open mic session on in there from 8.30pm that evening. That was a bit more than an hours time, but I had already drunk my fill for the evening, and I didn't have a camera with me. I have mentioned it to some people, and maybe someone can shed some light on whether it is a good or bad night. Even if it is reported as good it would be tricky going and having my regular Thursday evening drink with the lads on the same night.

 When I got home I had cooked sausages waiting for me. They just needed warming up. I had it in mind to eat them as sandwich fillings, and that is what I did. They were very nice, but I had hoped they might have been orgasmic nice, but it seems I was wishing for too much. Maybe it was the bread I was using that spoiled how good they might have been. It was the bread I had bought from Tesco, and even from new it didn't seem too special compared to some wonderful seeded, wholemeal bread I had bought from Aldi. The sausage sandwiches had used all of the bread except for two slices and a dubious crust. Even though 6 slices of bread would blow any pretense of watching my eating sky high, I decided to make, and eat a more conventional sandwich with the last two slices. I may well through the crust away.

 I felt sleepy a bit earlier than usual last night, and I anticipated getting to sleep easily, and sleeping well. That was almost a valid anticipation, and indeed after a small interruption it did turn out to be about right. For the second time this year I went to bed feeling perfectly well only to develop a stomach discomfort very soon after laying down. Two visits to the toilet later, the first being quite a long visit, and the house was a bit smelly, but I was feeling good to relax and go to sleep.

  As far as I can remember, my sleep was only broken once at about 1.30am. I thought I had only woken up for a pee, but it seemed to have a hiccup in my sleepiness. Maybe it was because I was trying to unravel and remember a dream I had - which I mostly failed to do. I do remember it was a dream that should be filed under "erotic" but while it involved naked bodies, didn't seem to be erotic at all. If anything it seemed like a nightmare, but I can't remember why beyond a vague idea that there was someone in the dream I wanted to avoid kissing.

 I was probably asleep again by 2am, and I slept OK until sometime after 7am. I woke up from another disturbing dream about not being able to find any food to feed a starving cat. This morning, or at least at the moment, I feel mostly OK, although I don't feel terribly dynamic. At the moment I face a long day with little idea of how to fill it. I might go to a gig tonight, but that depends on what I do today. I feel that with a couple of days of bad weather approaching I ought to take advantage of today's benign or better day. I could potentially go to the seaside. I've check and it will be very sunny, although only 16° C in Herne Bay, and so that could be a possible destination. The only difficulty is that I don't feel excited about going to the seaside yet today. I think the one firm decision I have come to is that anything I do today will almost certainly be a spur of the moment decision.

Thursday 10th May 2018

 08:44 BST

  It felt, and was, much cooler yesterday. The day stayed dry, and it was bright with plenty of quite extended sunny intervals, but the temperature peaked at only 19° C. That was far from cold, but it gets worse.....
  It maybe luxury compared to, say, February, but today is going to feel very cool. The current temperature is, by consensus among my outside thermometers, just a little over 12° C at the moment. By the afternoon it should/could rise to 16° C. There is supposed to be a very tiny possibility of a shower today, and if there is it will be this morning. There was some light rain during the night, but all I saw of it was a few damp patches on the road and pavements - not even puddles. Tomorrow may be as bright, or brighter than today, and it might be a whole degree warmer. This coming Saturday is the wild card. Older forecasts alternated between it raining or not. The latest is that it might rain, although the chances of it raining seem confined to just one hour, and even then there is only a 29% chance it will rain. It sounds close to a dry day with sunny intervals to me....but the forecast for it is so volatile it could change drastically by tomorrow.

  Yesterday was one of those days where I have little to show for it except a new photo album. Selecting and post production* of the photos I took on Tuesday night took up much of my day yesterday...or at least that is how it felt. I guess the reality was that after making a start fairly early in the evening I worked on them intermittently until about 5pm. It was almost like doing a full day at work with lots of breaks. Sometimes I have to rest my eyes, and sometimes I stop to eat, and sometimes I even stop for a brief snooze. On the whole I was pleased with my results - with some exceptions.

* "Post Production" sounds posher than just "editing" !
Jenni, Romeo, and
Another "stalking Jenni" photo. She is on the left. Romeo, a very versatile bass player, well liked for his skill at being able to accompany other guitarists playing just by ear, is in the centre, and Pamela is on the right.
Rob's "Flying V" guitar
This is Rob Todd's "Flying V" guitar in close up - a view popular with guitar nerds !
The very exotic looking Sabinna.
jam session
Maybe it was because the Sunday session of Stretchy's Open Mic was so successful two days earlier, or maybe it is just holiday season, but Tuesday session was not that well attended by musicians (I know that at least two regulars were on holiday). The result was that it ended up more like a jam session with several impromptu groups playing together. At this time it was, left to right, Vince, Phil, Romeo, Martin and Dawn.
I have no idea !
Sometimes snaps just have to be snapped ! I have no idea what was going on here, but the picture just had to be taken.

 I finished my photo editing in time to watch Star Trek on The Horror Channel at 6pm (although why anyone would think Star Trek is horror is anyone's guess). I was feeling quite peckish by then. I had eaten a few things during the day, including a sandwich or two, but I fancied something different, but possibly slightly low calorie if extreme amounts of imagination are brought into play. In this instance not much imagination was required. I ordered two kebabs - a lamb shish, and a chicken shish. In theory the grilled meat loses a lot of it's fat - if it has much to start with. Which maybe only the lamb did.

 This particular takeaway didn't need much imagination to be low calorie - the meat portions seemed very small, and were hidden under a thick layer of salad. To make things even leaner I didn't eat the pitta bread that the meat and salad came in. They were nice, but not amazingly so. I don't think they represented good value for money, and I will not be using that restaurant again. I only chose it because it had a five star rating on the food standards agency website.

 Having eaten, I spent the rest of the evening flicking around the TV channels, and occasionally checking a social media website. My pictures have been getting a lot of likes and nice comments. I feel most pleased about it. It seems I have found a niche that is well appreciated, and while I strive for ever better pictures, I feel I have reached a fair standard now. Two (or is it three) of my pictures have been used as profile pictures recently.

 It should have been a good feeling to go to sleep on, but after reading the last pages of the book I have been reading, I found I just didn't seem to be sleepy. To make matters worse it was one of those night when the bed suddenly develops all sorts of bumps and lumps that didn't seem to be there the previous night. I think it was around 1am this morning that I gave up trying to sleep. I took a couple of Ibuprofen tablets to relieve some pains around my ribs where I had been thrashing around in bed, and I poured a couple of large whiskys - because I could ! A little after 2am I thought I had a chance of sleep, and by 2.30am I was asleep. From then onwards I seemed to sleep OK.

 This morning it was the usual thing of feeling like I was dying for 10 - 15 minutes, and now, a few hours later, I would feel fine if I didn't seem to have a mild headache. I have absolutely no plans for today until about 4pm when I hope to be on a bus heading towards The Partridge pub in Bromley for my regular Thursday late afternoon/early evening drink with the lads. How I fill in the intervening hours is something I guess I'll be finding out soon. It may include a snooze. It does feel like another hour on my bed could be really nice !
Wednesday 9th May 2018
 09:14 BST

  Yesterday was strange. Sometimes I felt that it was hot, and at other times it was more comfortable, but I guess that was just me. There was loads of sunshine, and I am sure I remember late afternoon, and onwards to sunset being much more sunny than the forecast suggested. The maximum temperature was 26° C.
a little
                      cooler today
  Today is going to be a little cooler than the last couple of days. The latest revision of the forecast says the maximum temperature today should be 20° C. Only sunny intervals are forecast for today, but I suspect it may be better than that. So far this morning I have seen the sunshine dimmed by a thin, hazy cloud passing in front of the sun, but it has still seemed bright outside. It seems there is a small chance of rain in the early hours of tomorrow morning, but that rain should clear before sunrise tomorrow. It is going to be cooler still for the next few days, and maybe more, with typical temperature around 17° C. That is still t-shirt weather during the day. The latest forecast for rain is now this coming Sunday never according to the most up to date forecast.
This wasn't accurate !
 I had a momentary shock just after midday yesterday. I glanced at one of my thermometers and it said it was 29.4° C outside. It took me a moment to twig that the outdoors sensor for this thermometer was in a position that the sun manages to hit for a short time at this part of the year. It is no surprise it was reading so high with direct sunlight on it. The sensors in the shade gave a more reasonable reading of around 21 or 22° C.

 It still felt very warm when I first ventured outside to get a bit of shopping, and visit a cash machine for some beer vouchers. My first port of call was the British Heart Foundation shop for a rummage through their secondhand CDs. They tend to be a bit expensive in there, with some CDs costing as much as £1.99. Most are £1.49. That is still high compared to the Age UK charity shop where many CDs are just 50p. I think I ended up buying 7 or 8 CDs. Some where good, others mediocre, and I am not really sure why I bought the rest ! The worst purchase was what I thought might have been a Video CD of a couple of episodes of the 1970s (?) sitcom - The Good Life. I was mistaken, it was just the sound from two television episodes with some linking commentary. I guess I'll give at least one of the episodes a listen to at some time.

 I resisted the temptation to do anything too dynamic yesterday in an attempt to keep myself fresh for the evening. However I did hand wash a couple of towels - and one of them was a medium sized bath towel ! That was quite heavy going work. I'm not sure how I filled in the rest of the time, but I know the time passed very smoothly and effortlessly. I am not sure, but maybe I had a snooze at one point. What I do know is that I didn't seem to put in any hours of reading. I did read the odd page or two here and there, but the latest book I am reading seems to be lasting for ages.

 At 6pm I thought I had better start preparing to go out, and one of the first things I did was to wash my hair. All that warm water got my head a little bit sweaty, and my hair was still quite damp when I later went out to Stretchy's Open Mic in The Bricklayers Arms in Bromley. When I started to walk to the bus stop I felt a bit fragile.....Actually it was just my top half that felt fragile. My legs seemed in good form. By the time I got to the pub I felt basically OK, and by the time I had drunk my first Guinness I was feeling fine.
 I achieved one ambition yesterday - almost ! I managed to get a picture of Jenni smiling. I have to confess that I didn't recognise her at first in a dress instead of Metallica t-shirt and jeans. I guess the dress is more comfortable in hot weather, but I think jeans and t-shirt suits her better. Jenni also managed to take fair picture of me (I have tidied it up a bit here) !
my picture
 There was some great music last night (there was also some tedious music), and the company was great. To my surprise Fran turned up, and so I had plenty of cuddles and kisses. I even got a small hug and a kiss on the cheek from Jenni. Most surprising of all was a brief peck on the cheek from Sabina - she is usually quite conservative in that respect. I also got a friend request from another young lady (who is actually not so young) Pamela Mabey. I feel like I am now a sort of accepted member of the "railway children" - named after the loyal group of hardcore music fans who used to go to Bromley's main music venue many years ago, The Railway Hotel at Bromley North.

 It must have been all the attention from the ladies, but last night I did something I haven't done for ages - I stayed until the music stopped, and the bar staff was calling time at the bar. I was fortunate that I only had to wait a few minutes before a 320 bus arrived to take me back to Catford and the fried chicken shop. I had eaten a couple of small snacks during the day, but my only proper meal was a salad with some teriyaki flavoured mackerel in it. That fish, together with all the Guinness I had poured on it was giving some unpleasant flavoured burps, and I could not resist getting a couple of chicken burgers, and nothing else, to act as a buffer. They worked too, and I had a pleasant and uninterrupted night.

 Well it was uninterrupted until around 7am when messages started coming in notifying me about social media notifications. Many people must have been up early this morning, but I shouldn't complain. Less than a year ago I would already be changing trains at Waterloo at 7am ! I did my best to sleep later, but it never happened, and so I made a start on editing last night's photos - until I reached the one of Jenni that I wanted to share here.

 Today I am probably mostly going to be editing photos, but I feel I ought to get out for at least a short walk. I got all the shopping I needed yesterday, and so this time I guess it will have to be a walk in the park...although I only want to do it because I feel I ought to do it when my natural choice would be to be as lazy as possible. We'll see. One thing is almost certain is that I'll be staying in tonight. I think there is an open mic on in Orpington, but until the new timetable starts on 20th May, and direct trains to Orpington start, I think I'll give Orpington a miss.
Tuesday 8th May 2018
 08:19 BST

  Yesterday was another hot and dry day. The sun was out non stop until at least 6pm, and then there were sunny intervals from then until sunset. The highest temperature was 25° C.
                      hotter than yesterday
  It is possible that today will be hotter than yesterday with a maximum temperature of 26° C. The minimum temperature is happening now, and it is currently 13° C. At the moment the sun is only being held back a tiny bit by some early morning haze. It has almost burnt that off, and soon it should be full strength, non stop, sunshine until mid afternoon. From then the forecast says sunny intervals until sunset. From today the temperature drops down each day until it reaches a low of 16° C by Saturday. Fortunately the early forecast for rain has been put back to next Sunday - yesterday's forecast had it happening on Thursday. We'll have to see what the reality really is when we get there, but I think we can assume that at least tomorrow is going to be bright and dry.

  Yesterday started off pleasantly enough, but it wasn't long before it was slightly spoiled. I met Aleemah in the local Wetherspoons for breakfast at about 10am (although I am unsure of the real time). I had two pints of ale for breakfast, while Aleemah had a veggie breakfast and two cups of coffee. After breakfast we had a look in a couple of charity shops. Aleemah bought a few trinkets, and I ended up buying two CDs. One was a Red Hot Chilli Peppers CD which had at least one good song on it - Californication - but I suspect I won't like the other tracks. Still, for 50p I can't complain. The other CD I am listening to now to see if I like it. It is a sort of "best of" CD featuring Jefferson Airplane, but the catch is that all tracks are live recordings, and some of those from the mid to late 1960s can sometimes be rather poor quality. Having now heard the first track, a song I had not heard previously, I find the sound quality on it was good.

 I think it was while looking through the CDs in the shop where I bought the Red Hot Chilli Peppers CD that I managed to get myself in a bent sideways pose that triggered some nasty pain five minutes later while walking towards home. I believe the trouble ultimately started the night before when the lovely Fran gave me a bear hug that was so tight I could feel my wonky ribs doing painful things. The discomfort from that was initially buffered by the Guinness I was drinking, but I did have a few mild twinges during the night. While walking home from the charity shop the twinge was definitely not mild ! It felt like one of my ribs had pierced my kidney or something. I had to hold myself in a rather stiff position to continue to walk. After another hundred yards the pain had mostly gone, but for the rest of yesterday I had some mild twinges from various parts of my chest - even my sternum felt odd when I ran my fingers down it. It was like it was split into two, and they were of unequal heights. For almost the last 5 years, since the day when I was recently out of hospital, with my chest stapled together after my operation,  when I tried to carry far too much back from Aldi, and I felt something inside me "twang" or "snap", I have long believed that I seriously damaged the healing of my sternum.

 Aside from some occasional mild discomfort, I enjoyed watching the Dr Who DVD with Aleemah. It was a story from 1967 (if I recall correctly) called "Enemy Of The World". It was mostly shot on film, and so the savage wiping of videotapes that the BBC indulged in that wiped so many classic programmes did not effect it. Unfortunately the original film stock was lost for 40 years. There was a hasty release of a DVD in 2003 when the film had been found again, but the version we watched yesterday benefitted from the latest digital techniques to clean it up, and apart from being in black and white, it really did look pristine.

 After Aleemah went home again I had a sandwich and got down to going through the photos I took of Stretchy's Open Mic on Sunday night. My camera had some difficulty with auto white balance for the early pictures when there was still a lot of daylight coming into the pub, but all the lighting in the pub was quite orange looking tungsten lighting. Nevertheless I still managed to get some good snaps. One or two people took the odd video clip on their mobile phones, but I was the only one there to make a photographic record of the night.
looking out to the
                        front of the Swan And Mitre
One of the nice things about The Swan And Mitre is the folding doors at the front of the pub. One these warm dry nights they are left open, and they are right by the "stage" area. Some go out for a smoke, and some just like to sit in the fresh air while still being able to watch and listen to the musicians at the open mic.
Carrie Pross
There were a few surprise appearances on the night. This is Carrie Pross, lead vocalist from the band Estrangor. On a proper stage, doing a full gig, I don't think Carrie has a wine glass in her hand, but I don't think I have ever seen her singing without a glass - and she never spills a drop !
Steve Blessing
This is Steve Blessing - he normally plays electric guitar very loudly for Estrangor, but on this occasion he just played an electro-acoustic guitar.
Carrie singing out the front of the pub
Another view out of the front of the pub. On the left Vince sings along, as does Carrie (Vince's daughter) in the middle. Meanwhile Ruth King gives me a nice smile. I have to confess I didn't even recognise Ruth when the came in, and wondered why this strange woman was so friendly, and gave me a peck on the cheek. To be truthful I can't really think of a time in the past when I have ever spoken to her. Maybe it just my reputation preceding me or something.
The lovely Fran
 The lovely Fran who hugged me so tightly she may have damaged my ribs ! Perhaps it was a small price to pay to get so many hugs and kisses. It makes me feel almost human !
Helen Hill and new friend
This picture came out really well considering how little light there was. It features Helen Hill and her new boyfriend who she found on an internet dating site. She seems to like him a lot !

 Going through all the pictures I took used up most of the rest of the day, but the full photo album is getting a lot of "likes" and stuff on social media, and that makes it all worthwhile. While on social media I checked Angela's son and daughters photo pages. I find it interesting that neither of them have any pictures of their potential new step dad apart from when he is incidental to the picture - such as drumming in the background, or is at the back of a group photo. My warped mind could interpret that as they don't really like him.

 I slept well last night, and my dodgy ribs didn't bother me, although once or twice I felt the start of a twinge, and shifted to a more comfortable position. Perhaps my only regret is that I didn't get more than about 7 hours sleep. I don't know what I should do today. I feel I ought to get out and walk a couple of miles, but I don't want to wear myself out because I want to go to Stretchy's Open Mic in it's original home, the Bricklayers Arms in Bromley, tonight. That rather rules out my original idea of going to the seaside for a little frolic along the shore in the bright sunshine. Maybe I had better stick to the local parks today. I might also wash a couple of towels - that can be very good exercise as well - albeit a bit specialised !
Monday 7th May 2018
 07:39 BST

  Summer continues ! Yesterday may not have been quite as hot, but it was still a very lovely day. The temperature peaked at 22° C for a couple of hours, and there was non stop sunshine until late afternoon. The forecast said that after 4pm the non stop sunshine would give way to just sunny intervals, but I don't seem to recall the change. Late evening was cooler, but it felt more "fresh" than cool.
                      potentially very hot day !
  Today will feel very warm. The mid afternoon temperature is supposed to reach 25° C, but when I expanded the original web site it said it would feel like 27° C. As midnight approaches the temperature is supposed to drop down to 15 or 16° C, and that should feel nice and fresh. Tomorrow is supposed to be very similar in terms of the temperature, but some cloud might mean we just get sunny intervals rather than non stop sunshine. It looks like we may have some rain on Thursday.

  Yesterday was a busy day. My daytime achievements included a shopping trip to Tesco, doing two lots of laundry by hand, and, most amazing of all, hoovering the living room. I also gave the living room a bit of a tidy up. All the attention to the living room is because Aleemah should be coming here a bit later this morning to watch a newly restored Dr Who DVD with me.

 It was yesterday evening that was most interesting of all the day. It was a bit of an effort to drag myself away from being lazy, and get the bus to Bromley for Stretchy's Open Mic in The Swan And Mitre pub. I have to confess that most of the music being played was not terribly exciting, but there were lots of interesting people there. I was a bit surprised to see Fran there because I thought she usually worked on a Sunday evening. She was as friendly, and maybe even more so than usual. I had lots of hugs and kisses from her, and even a hug that was so tight that it hurt my dodgy rib cage.

 I needed that attention from Fran because earlier in the day I had discovered that Angela had de-friended and blocked me on a social media web site. Maybe one of the annoyances of that was that I had been thinking of doing the same to her, but she got in first. I am, or maybe I was unaware of any reason why she should block me. One possible reason was related to me by Robb, and it would be an extension of why we stopped meeting at lunchtimes.

 What precipitated these decisions of her's were all based around the belief that her relationship with lover boy was exactly what she wanted, and that me reminding her that she was far happier with me. Worst of all was the fact that all the stress of her relationship with lover boy was visibly aging her. What brought all this into relief was Robb telling me that at the Life Of Brian gig the previous weekend Angela was in a foul mood after yet another argument with lover boy. The saddest thing of all is that Angela believes that that is how a relationship works even though it was the reason for divorcing her previous 2 husbands. I don't know why Robb thinks it, but he reckons that in due time Angela will unblock me and re-friend me.

 One person who wasn't at the Open Mic last night was Jenni. I was looking forward to seeing her again, and getting to know her better. I am told she didn't go because she had a bit of a bad time in Bromley the previous night. Some pervert seemed to be stalking her or something.

 It seems to be my standard routine at these gigs to leave before the end, but this time I lingered a bit to say goodbye to more people - including Fran who said goodbye in her own slobbering way ! My timing was, purely by accident, rather good. I think I only had to wait at the bus stop for about 60 seconds before I was on a bus back to Catford. When I got home I wanted a sandwich. My earlier trip to Tesco was partly to get ingredients for sandwiches. I actually had two sandwiches. The first was made with the last two slices of bread I had bought from Aldi in the middle of last week. That bread still seemed quite fresh. The second sandwich was made with bread bought from Tesco, and that seemed to a day or two away from being stale, and less fresh than the bread from Aldi !

  I didn't stay up long after my sandwiches, and I soon settled into a nice sleep. I think I slept for about 4 hours before getting up for a wee. After that I went back to sleep, but I seemed to be dreaming a lot. The last dream was about a ride on a high speed train in Korea. I have no idea why I should dream about Korea, or indeed what I was even doing there in the dream. I was with someone who seemed to know where we were going, and why, but it was all rather strange.

 This morning, after feeling awful for 10 or 20 minutes, I am now feeling mostly OK except for some slight discomfort on the stomach reason. I had 5 pieces of fruit in one sitting yesterday, and I suspected it might have a certain effect on my guts. It has already, and I think it won't be too long before it does again. Hopefully it will all be over soon because a little later this morning I should be meeting Aleemah in the local Wetherspoons for breakfast. After that we will watch the Dr Who DVD. Depending on what time Aleemah goes home I could go out this afternoon. Today is the Petts Wood May Fayre, and they should have a live music stage.

 Unfortunately whoever is in charge of publicity this year is doing a spectacularly bad job of it, and I have no idea which bands might be on, and what time they would be on. There is a web page devoted to it, but unless it is a typo, and there is a possibility it is, it only lists details for last year ! If I do get there it will be a purely speculative thing, but the more I think about it, the less I feel inclined to go all that way for what might be nothing. I might spend my time more wisely partly being lazy, and partly going through the photos I took last night at the Open Mic.
Sunday 6th May 2018
 07:38 BST

  Yesterday was another wonderful summery day. It was bright and sunny all day long, and it felt nice and warm. The highest temperature was probably about the forecast 20° C, but it might have been a degree or two higher.
                      warmer than yesterday
  The forecast says today is going to be a couple of degrees hotter than yesterday. There should be non stop sunshine from now until about 5pm when a few few clouds will only allow sunny intervals. Tomorrow might be another couple of degrees warmer, and the day after that one more degree warmer, but then the temperature will start to drop until next Saturday it might rain. On the other hand the forecast is rarely correct for more than a few hours in advance (and sometimes it is completely wrong). In two days time it could be snowing !
a 4.25 mile walk from Eynsford
 There was stuff I could, and maybe even should have done yesterday, but I felt I needed to get out and frolic in the sunshine again. I decided to go for an old favourite walk - Eynsford to Shoreham via Lullingstone and The Hop Shop. It is a measure of how out of condition I am that I found it hard going - particularly the last mile, and that was even after taking it at a slightly moderate pace...or was I ?

 The tracking app  I used on my phone said I had an average speed of 2 mph, and that would be a lot slower than the 3 mph I usually sustained when commuting, and yet I stopped many times to take photos, and a few times to try and have a drink of iced water. Maybe my walking speed when actually walking was closer to my usual 3 mph.

 I mentioned trying to have a drink of chilled water. I took a bottle of water with me that I had kept in the freezer overnight. It was just a solid chunk of ice, but I expected it to start melting quite quickly once I was out in the sun. It didn't. At around the halfway point in my walk there was only about a teaspoon's amount of free water in the bottle, and as I approached the final half mile there was still only a small trickle of water in the bottle. I then kept it out of my rucksack, and even held it in my hand until I was finally on my train home, and still I couldn't get more than another tablespoon of water out of it. It must have been midnight, a full 12 hours after taking it out of the freezer, before the last bit of ice melted in the bottle !
proper walking boots
                        and short trousers
 Unlike the day before when I was just wearing white slip on shoes, I decided to wear proper walking shoes - and shorts so I wouldn't drag my trouser bottoms through the mud - and there was mud, and even mud with surface water on it ! Fortunately it was mild by comparison with Keston Common, and most of it could be easily skirted, but with suitable boots I could just walk through the more minor muddy areas without giving it a thought.
gate house of
                        Lullingstone Castle
 I think this picture of the gatehouse of Lullingstone Castle shows just how brilliantly blue the sky was. It was only very early afternoon while I was walking, and the sun was particularly fierce, and yet my recent expose to to the sun seems to have hardened me up, and I didn't burn as far as I am aware.
Lavendar fields - but
                        not in bloom yet
 It is still too early in the year for the lavender fields around Castle Farm to show any colour yet, but maybe my eyes imagined a few almost purple bits.
Hops just starting to
 Once again it is going to be a few more months before these hop plants cover the framework in the field. At least in this picture you can see the shoots starting to grow.
very difficult to
                        cross stile
 One of the final hurdles on my walk was this stile. Beyond it is a railway line foot crossing, and I wonder if it is so difficult to cross in an attempt to stop crossing the railway on foot. The top bar of the stile is so high that I found it really difficult to lift my leg over it. Fortunately there is a fence just to the left of it (hidden by the tree), and that fence allowed me to stabilise myself a bit as I made my ungainly way across the stile. There was another stile on the other side of the railway, but that had no convenient adjacent fence to give me extra stability. Getting across that second stile was a bit of a pantomine !

 Having crossed the railway line I had to walk down the busy road, with no footpaths, to the station. That felt considerably more dangerous than crossing an electrified twin track railway line ! The whole reason I had to cross the railway line is that there is only one entrance to Shoreham (Kent) station, and it is on the far side from where I was walking. The consequence of that is that having arrived at the station feeling completely knackered, I had to re-cross the railway using the very tall footbridge. Finally I was on the right platform, and fortunately, with no pre-planning, waiting just 5 minutes for a train back to Catford.

 I finally arrived home feeling both exhilarated that I had accomplished some more exercise, and yet completely tired out.  The first thing on the agenda was to make a sandwich with the last of the sliced Edam cheese. It went down a treat - which was not surprising considering it was essentially breakfast at about 5pm ! As I ate the sandwich I started going through the pictures I had taken. Another couple of hours passed, and I decided to do something about dinner. There were several possibilities, and one was to order a takeaway - which is what I did. I ordered chicken shish kebab with salad, chilli sauce, and all the trimmings. Unfortunately that somehow included chips which I didn't want, but enjoyed eating them all the same. I also ordered some hot peri peri chicken that I shall be eating today.

 By 9pm I had finished photo editing, and started thinking about bed. I can't be absolutely certain, but I think I was in bed, fast asleep by, or very soon after, 10pm. Like the previous night, I seemed to sleep very well last night. I am pretty certain I got up once in the night for a pee, but the memory is so dream like that I almost wonder if it actually happened. I definitely woke up at 4.40am, and I got up to go to the toilet. I also took my morning medication, and I checked a few things on my PC before going back to bed. At first it didn't seem like I would get back to sleep, but before I knew it another couple of hours had passed.

 This morning I can definitely feel the effects of that walk yesterday, but it is a better set of aches than the usual aches. I think I will be taking it a bit easy today. It won't be a wholly lazy day though because I have two lots of hand laundry to do (it could possibly be three if I had enough space to hang it all up to dry). I also want to go to a supermarket - if they are open on this Sunday before a bank holiday Monday. I think I'll try Tesco first. If they are closed then I'll probably just get a couple of bottle of pop from the corner shop.

 Tonight it is the second Stretchy's Open Mic in The Swan And Mitre, Bromley. The last one was quite enjoyable, and I want to go tonight. I believe Jenni wants to go as well. If we both make it I shall have another go at getting a good picture of her - one that doesn't involve rude gestures or screaming faces !
Saturday 5th May 2018
 09:27 BST

  It was a beautiful day yesterday - much nicer than the forecast for the day suggested. There were fluffy clouds in the sky, but the sun managed to keep on shining almost all day long. It raised the temperature inside my front, south facing, rooms to very warm, and I feel it must have raised the outside temperature to something higher than the 19° C. I don't know why I didn't bother to check the temperature to see if that was correct.
                      and sunnier than yesterday
  Today has got off to a bright start, and should turn out to be even better than yesterday. The forecast above would probably have fitted yesterday's reality quite well. Today looks to be the sort of day when I could get my shorts out again ! Tomorrow, and the start of next week are looking excellent too, but then things might go downhill.

  It was so wonderful yesterday that I had to get out and have a frolic in the sunshine. As I mentioned yesterday, I had a yearning to investigate Caesar's Well and Keston Ponds, but I did a lot more than that, and yet it was only a short walk.

where I walked
the consequences of my walk

 The picture on the left is the route I walked. It was just 1.77 miles, which isn't much, but over unfamiliar terrain, and with lots of photography, it seemed to be a fair distance, and left me enough energy to deal with a horrendous bus journey home. The picture of the right shows the very inappropriate footwear I had on. Those white slip on shes were, as ever very comfortable, but I hadn't anticipated just how muddy some of the paths would be. In places they were a complete quagmire, but it all added to to the fun, and amazingly I managed to keep my feet dry despite my shoes getting caked in mud. If I had worn my proper walking shoes, and jeans that didn't have legs that were slightly too long, and dragging in the mud, I could have walked through most of those quagmires without raising an eyebrow !Caesar's Well
  One place I particularly wanted to see was Caesar's Well. I had seen a couple of pictures of it recently, and I didn't look anything like I remembered it as a kid. Today's version looks like a garden water feature from B&Q. I believed that the water came up through a natural fissure from deep water filled caverns below the area. Back in 1968 it was more like a muddy hole with a board across it just below the water level to stop any one, or anything falling into the caverns below. It was by tradition a "bottomless pit". Now the middle of the well is gravel, and there is no sign of any movement of the water there. I think the water actually comes up below the brick "bridge" just beyond the centre. Plenty of water is flowing out from under that. In some philosophies wells are sacred places, but if my theory is correct the witches and druids are possibly doing their stuff a few yards away from the centre of the action.
swans on the far
                            side of the first pond
 I was glad I had taken a zoom lens with me to snap these swans on the far side of the first pond. I had taken my Nikon camera with me so all the pictures I took could be geo-tagged using that GPS attachment I had bought for it. That was a fine idea, but in truth I wish I had just taken one of my bridge cameras rather than the full DSLR. One of the bridge cameras, possibly the Nikon P500, set on auto would probably have taken as good as, or better photos, and would have needed far less fiddling around getting the exposure time, and the aperture right every time the nature of the light changed.
 Further along the walk, beyond the third pond, I was walking through what was once the grounds of a huge private garden until it was bought by the council when the manor house was demolished (possibly a way of bypassing some death duties). Over the years, maybe 50 of them, the land has become more naturalised, but some remnants remain. There is what was mostly likely an ornamental pond with an island in the middle of it, and there was a large rhododendron bush with these very pretty, and delicately coloured flowers on it.
muddy paths
 This picture gives some idea of how muddy some of the paths could be. This path even had standing water on it ! I should have shown this picture alongside the picture of my shoes after I got home, but the picture of them fitted the page better above. It was negotiating places like this that took my average speed down to just 1.2 MPH (although frequent stops to take many more photos than shown here was also a factor).

 Most of the walk was downhill because I was following the upper reaches of The River Ravensbourne, the same river that flows through Catford, and water flows downhill. Yet it wasn't all downhill, and I climbed higher in several places. The very final bit of the walk, along the main road to get back to the bus route was most definitely uphill ! For all that I found that the 1.77 miles hardly affected me at all, and it felt like I could have walked twice as far with no discomfort, but I am glad I had reserve energy for the bus ride home again,

 It felt like quite a long bus journey when I was heading towards Keston. The bus was having to make frequent stops at all the bus stops, and the traffic through Bromley slowed the bus down a bit. Coming home again ramped all that up several fold, and added in the top of the bus being boiling hot - and more so on the side I was sitting on with the sun screaming in through the window ! I thought I was too early for the schoolkids, but apparently the lazy bastards only work to 3pm now, and so the bus became chockablock with schoolkids. I have to say that they were generally well behaved, and not even particularly noisy, but even so.... Bromley town centre, and to a slightly lesser extent the outskirts of the town, were absolutely swarming with schoolkids. It was like a biblical locust invasion !

 I arrived back in Catford feeling lightly broiled, and it was a joy to get out of the bus into the fresh air. After a surprisingly brisk walk I was home again, and discovering that my front room, and bedroom, were really quite hot after being bathed in bright sunshine all afternoon. The first order of the day was to make, and eat a sandwich. I also put some chicken thighs, suitably prepared with some herbs and oil, into my mini oven to cook for about 40 minutes. Later on I ate those chicken thighs, and they were nice, but I had hoped my herbs and stuff would make them a lot nicer. Sometimes I am beginning to think I may be going off chicken.

 I spent the evening going through the pictures I had taken, and I tried to watch a bit of TV, but the only thing that really grabbed my attention was "Have I Got News For You" on BBC1. It was possibly while trying to find something to watch on TV that I gave in to a naughty urge - I extracted a small tub of salted caramel ice cream out of the back of the freezer. I can imagine that my blood must be pure syrup this morning, and I ought to avoid eating again until much later this afternoon, or even in the evening.

 Yesterday was a very rare day when I didn't have a single snooze from the time I got up to the time I went to bed, and in consequence I slept far better for it - but not perfectly. I was asleep by or before 11pm. I think it was around 3am when I woke up and didn't think I would get back to sleep again. Half an hour later I was sleeping again, and seemed to be sleeping quite well. At 6am I woke up, went to the toilet, and took my morning medication. I then went back to bed think it was unlikely I would get any more sleep after that. I was rather astonished to find that it was 9am when I woke up.

 I seem to feel unusually good this morning (although even better would still be desirable). So far I have finished washing my mud encrusted white shoes. They will probably never be gleaming white again, but they have come up reasonably well. I now have to think about what I am going to do today. Tonight could be an easy choice assuming I don't feel drained like I did last night. I thought they were on last night, but it is actually tonight that Ferdinands Northern Ferrets play in the Bromley Bricklayers Arms. I feel a strong urge for more frolicking in the sunshine. If it wasn't already so late in the day I might have considered going to the seaside, but not today (besides the seaside is more to my liking mid week when it is usually quieter). I don't fancy a long bus ride today, and there are no trains from Catford Bridge this bank holiday weekend (so no services to Charing Cross). Maybe I should attempt one of my favourite walks - that from Eynsford to Shoreham. The only problem, if indeed it is a problem, is that walk would probably leave me too drained to go out tonight.
Friday 4th May 2018
 09:25 BST

  Yesterday saw the return to something closer to the spring like weather I would expect at this time of the year. Most of the sunny intervals were forecast for the morning, and they were mostly disappointing, but late afternoon/early evening, when very little sunshine was forecast, turned out to be very nice and sunny. The afternoon temperature was 16° C, and it felt warm and sunny enough to go to my early evening Thursday drink with no coat on.
  As I write this we should be in transition between lightly overcast and sunny periods. The reality is that the cloud is so thin that it is just adding a little haze to the sunshine. The latest update to the forecast insists we will only get sunny intervals this morning, but it does generously extend them to 2pm. With luck they will extend beyond that. Some sunshine and 19° C could go well together. Tomorrow is definitely looking good so far. The current forecast says it will be pure sunshine for the middle of the day, and sunny intervals either side of that. The temperature should hit 20° C !

  One of the things I was going to do yesterday, but didn't, was to go for a short walk to stretch my legs. The reason I didn't was because I got bogged down going through the photos I took at Wednesday's Whitestar Open Mic session. I took many of the photos using flash, except for the first ones when there was still some daylight coming through the windows. In the middle of the session I tried using the poor natural light, and those photos needed a lot of work to make them look barely acceptable. The sad thing was that what could have been some really great shots were ruined by being just too grainy, blurry, and dull beyond my skills to restore them.
Simon Whitestar
 This picture, featuring Simon Whitestar in the centre, was taken with natural light. You can see there is a lot of daylight coming through the windows behind him. On the left is Roy Dalley, Simon's second in command, and on the right, playing the drums is John Sutcliffe.
Sabinna Donnelly
 I used flash on this picture to make sure I got some decent shots of Sabbina. Too many of my previous shots of her were dark and grainy.
Jenni Harrison
 In the middle is Jenni Harrison. She is not a musician (although I think a picture of her holding a guitar exists), but she is a good photographer. She doesn't take many photos, but manages to catch some good shots, and they are all taken on an iPhone. I am growing quite fond of Jenni. She is a nutter, but in the very best, and likeable way.
given the finger !
 A picture taken without flash. I'm not sure what I did to deserve the gesture, but at least it was done with a smile on her face. It may be because I dared to take a picture in the dark without using my flashgun, and Jenni didn't expect it to come out ! I had to force it out of the gloom. It looks a bit soft, and the colours are a bit odd, but it's a useable picture.

 I didn't manage to get all the photos done before it was time to go out for my Thursday drink. Getting to the station to catch the 16:33 Sevenoaks train to Shortlands proved interesting. I had been feeling sort of ill, sort of achey all day, and I expected the walk to be a bit of a chore - and it was, but in a completely different way. I did the entire walk while chatting on the phone to my friend Lee. He is currently in a bad way since rising to some bait on social media, and making a right pratt of himself. So there was a lot of talking going on as I walked.

 All that talking (and listening) was a good distraction from feeling rough. Two things surprised me. The first was that I was still able to talk almost normally as my breathing intake increased a lot, and I was still able to talk at least 90% fluently after the extra effort of walking up the long stairs to the platform at Catford Station. My second surprise is that I seemed to have done the walk at quite a fast pace. I left home a little later than I would have liked, and so I deliberately upped my pace a bit, but I didn't expect to keep it up for long. Instead of barely making it to the station on time I found I had a whole 10 minutes to wait for the train ! That made me feel sort of good.

 My experience at the pub was not good in one very tiny aspect. I started out drinking a beer called "Washington Gold", and I suspect it was named after the American Washington because it was brewed with challenger hops with their very distinctive hint of grapefruit taste (or is it cascade hops ?). It was a beer I enjoyed. I then tried a pint of "British Bulldog" beer (I can't remember the brewery for this beer either). Maybe it was because it was the last pint from the barrel that it had a taste not to my liking, but I think it was just it's normal taste. So I was in the very embarrassing position of liking an American  inspired beer, and disliking a British inspired beer.

 I just had my usual three pints last night, and caught the 19:02 train back to Catford. As far as I could remember I hadn't eaten anything since the morning when I had one, but possibly two, home made cheese and ham sandwiches for breakfast or elevenses. That made it very difficult to ignore the fried chicken shop. It was open, unlike on Wednesday night, and I went in and bought chicken and fries to eat at home. Maybe I allowed my guilt to filter through too much because while it was nice, it wasn't very, very nice - as my imagination said it should be.

 After eating, and watching half an hour of TV, I got stuck in and finished the last of the Whitestar Open Mic photos. A little while later I went to bed. For some reason it actually felt like I would sleep well last night - I didn't ! The very cruellest thing was waking up thinking I had had a great sleep, and then realising little more than an hour had passed since falling asleep. It then took almost an hour before I could get back to sleep. It seemed like I had loads of dreams last night about being back working in Rushey Green telephone exchange. I'm sure some were serial dreams where a new episode in the same setting would start after the numerous times I woke in the night. Many of those times I awoke was because I had, or was starting to develop cramp in one or the other legs. So it was a painful night as well.

 This morning, when I couldn't seem to sleep any more, I felt lousy enough to feel the need to take a couple of Ibuprofen tablets. I don't feel so bad now, although I would wish to feel much better, but maybe that is no longer possible. I couldn't resist having one of my cheese and ham sandwiches for breakfast this morning. That is probably going to sit heavy on my stomach and slow me down. That might be a shame because I think I'll be going out to do a bit of photography later this morning. I want to have a look around Keston Ponds and Caesars Well. A couple of people have showed pictures of it recently, and I barely recognised it because I don't think I have been there since I was a kid. Once upon a time it was a bit off the beaten track, but now the 320 bus stops alongside the woods with the ponds in them. Tonight I may go and see Slider Punk and Ferdinams Northern Ferrets playing in the Bricklayers Arms (Bromley). That is assuming I haven't got my days mixed up - it could be tomorrow !
Thursday 3rd May 2018
 10:02 BST

  Yesterday was not the awful day it was forecast to be. Any heavy rain happened before sunrise. It was certainly very dull with copious amounts of mostly drizzly rain during the morning, but by the afternoon the clouds were breaking up, and much of the afternoon was fairly bright. There was even an occasional glimpse of sunshine, but there were also a few isolated showers between the sunny intervals. An updated forecast predicted some moderately heavy rain for 8pm, but that never happened, and the evening seemed dry and almost pleasant. It would have been more pleasant of the temperature had been a little higher. The maximum was 13° C during the afternoon, but by 10pm it was starting to feel quite cool at just 10° C. Today brings hope for a much nicer day.
  It would seem that there will be rather less sunny intervals than the forecast headline promises, but any sunshine at all is good ! As I write this it is bright outside, and the sun keeps trying to shine, but the clouds are not broken enough to let any sunshine through. It feels like it will be like this all day. Today should be completely dry, and that is good, and the temperature should peak at 16° C, and that is even better. Tomorrow is confusing. The headline description says cloudy, but the hour by hour detail seems to show more sunny intervals than today. With the temperature probably reaching 18° C it could be a rather nice day. The whole weekend is also looking good, but remember the forecast can change at the drop of a hat, and quite frequently bares little relation to reality !
new signs going up around the local
  One thing that happened yesterday (in the rain) was new signs, as shown in my picture on the left, being put up on lampposts around the local primary school. I presume these signs are aimed at all the parents who drive their kids to school, and pick them up after school. They do seem to hang around the school with their engines running while waiting for the little darlings* to be released from their classrooms. Quite why most of the little darlings* can't walk to school like those of my generation did is a mystery to me.

* Other names are possible, and very likely !

 The new sign going up was probably the highlight of the start and middle of yesterday. I didn't really enjoy much of yesterday. The dull grey and wet start to the day sapped all my enthusiasm, and energy, and almost anything else I had. It didn't help that I felt oddly unwell with all sorts of mostly mild, but still annoying ailments. With hindsight I can definitely say that many of the aches and pains were the result of the aches and pains persuading me to spend far too long laying on my back on my bed. It was a case of the worst I felt the worst I made myself feel.

 Under such circumstances it was a wonder that I managed to convince myself to take a shower and get dressed to go out last night. Of course once I got moving I felt much better, and by the time the evening was over I felt quite good. My evening entertainment was the Whitestar open mic at the Partridge pub in Bromley. These open mic sessions are always a mixed bag, and I had to sit (or actually stand) through some quite dire stuff to get to some brilliant music !

 There are always plenty of nice people at these sessions, and yet in the majority of cases they are people I know so little that it often feels sort of lonely. Last night had a few exceptions, although there was still that sense of isolation because the noise levels make communication very difficult. I had two brief encounters with Fran, and a "brief encounter" with Fran always seems to to include a kiss and cuddle ! That made me feel good.

 Another thing that made me feel good was meeting Jenni. A month or 6 weeks ago I was not aware of her existence, but she took some good photos at another open mic some weeks ago, and I complimented her for them (on social media). On the strength of that I got invited to a party she is having sometime in June. So last night it was good to actually say hello to her for the first time. She is a bit of a nutter, but in a nice way, and in a way that I like. Maybe it is possible that our friendship may develop beyond just a few shouted hellos in a noisy venue.

 There was no special reason, but it seemed to feel right to go home from the pub half an hour before the open mic finished. It is possible I missed out on a grand finale jam session as often happens at the end, but it felt like I had seen and achieved enough when I went to find a bus. My timing was not bad in as much as it was only a 6 minute wait for a 320 bus back to Catford. The thing about the 320 is that it does deposit me very close to the fried chicken shop, and I could have been very tempted to buy something from there, but inexplicably it was closed.

  I still fancied a nibble when I got home, and fortunately I had all the right ingredients to make an awesome sandwich. The most important ingredient was bread. It is rare that I have bread at home, but when I last went to Aldi I decided I would buy another loaf - and a 4 pack of baked beans because I enjoyed the baked beans on toast I had sometime in the last week. Last night's sandwich consisted of two slices of "super grain" bread with some mayonnaise in lieu of butter, some sun dried tomatoes, a couple of slices of ready sliced Edam cheese, and finally a couple of slices of smoked German ham. It was delicious, and I couldn't wait until this morning to have another for breakfast ! (Sadly I had run out of sun dried tomatoes for this morning's breakfast).

 By comparison with some recent nights I slept really well last night. My only regrets are that I didn't sleep for another hour or two, and that I didn't feel good when I woke up. I didn't actually feel bad when I woke up, but it was close to it, although these days that is hardly news ! One thing I must do today is to go and take a walk around lunchtime. Maybe it will be a quick walk in the park, or maybe just a quick walk to the shops - just something to keep my legs moving, and the blood flowing.

 Ideally I should go for a longer walk, but while it should be warm, it probably won't be sunny this afternoon. Besides which I do have two other things that will mop up most of the hours of today. I took a lot of photos last night that I have to process, and late this afternoon I have my Thursday drink with the lads in The Shortlands Tavern (again). I'll finish with a few more pictures I took in the sunshine on Tuesday.
three quarters view of
                        Cleopatra's Needle
A closer look at two sides of Cleopatra's Needle on the Victoria Embankment.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
The statue on it's wonderful plinth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel on the north side of Victoria Embankment.
Dragon guarding the City Of London
A dragon guarding the western border of The City Of London. There is one on the other side of the road too. Behind this dragon is a monument to Queen Victoria that deserves a close up on another visit.
Wednesday 2nd May 2018
 09:37 BST

  Just for a change it was nice and bright and sunny yesterday. It was also just about warm - pleasantly so when standing in full sunshine, not so pleasantly when standing in shade. In fact, when standing in the shade it could feel a bit cool ! The highest temperature was forecast to be, and probably was, 14° C. During the course of the day the sunshine went from full on to sunny intervals, to brief sunny periods. By 4pm, and onwards it would probably be described more as cloudy.
back to
                      dullness and rain
  Today sees a return to clouds and rain - except for early evening when there might be a sunny period or two. It is only going to be a degree cooler than yesterday, but the dull grey sky makes it feel much worse. The latest update to the forecast downgrades the couple of hours of heavy rain to light rain. So maybe today is not going to be completely awful - just 90% awful ! Some sunshine should return tomorrow, and it will be a bit warmer. The day after will be warmer still, but nasty and overcast, but the day after that should see a return to weather that will make it feel a bit more like summer.
a short walk
 With yesterday morning being so sunny, and the afternoon getting warm(ish) I had to go out and take advantage of if. I have to admit that I almost had to force myself to go out, but it was worth it in the end.

 I started out with the intention of getting a train from Catford Bridge, and I had a vague idea that I might leave the train at London Bridge to go and take some snaps of Tower Bridge. Two things have happened, if my informants are correct, and I have no reason to doubt them, that make such a trip easier. First of all one of the exits from London Bridge is now physically nearer Tower Bridge, and secondly, since I last went there what was once boarded off wasteland is now parkland that can be walked across, and shortened the walk considerably.

 I arrived at Catford Bridge without consulting timetables, and just missed a train to Cannon Street. The next train was a Charing Cross service, but it meant a wait of 20 minutes. So I caught the first train going the wrong way, as far as Lower Sydenham station where I had a shorter wait for the Charing Cross service. A train to Charing Cross gave me an alternative idea about where to go.
beautiful blue sky
  This view towards London from the footbridge at Lower Sydenham station shows just how attractive the sky was looking for a few hours outdoors ! It was still a few hours before the temperature was due to hit 14° C, and it was probably closer to 12° C when I took this snap, but I felt perfectly comfortable in a t-short and no coat.

 Going to Charing Cross station gave me the opportunity to do something I've been thinking of for some time - a walk along the north bank, or more specifically the Victoria Embankment. I've seen it many times from the south bank, and wondered what it was like over the other side of the river. Yesterday I found out. One thing in particular I wanted to see close up was Cleopatra's needle.
Cleopatra's Needle
 It is an interesting monument with an interesting past. One interesting fact is that it was supposed to be guarded by two sphinxes, but someone erected them facing the wrong way, and now they worship the stone instead of guard it.
sphinx facing the
                        wrong direction
 My walk continued along the Victoria Embankment as far as Blackfriars station. Along the way there were always interesting things to see - most completely ignored by passers by. There were lots of plaques to literary figures, and even a nice statue of Isambard Kingdom Brunel on a very elegant plinth. I have yet to find the historical reason why it is situated where it is....unless Isambard Kingdom Brunel had anything to do with the District (and Circle) Railway Line that runs under the Victoria Embankment. It sounds quite likely that he did.......update: he did !! LINK

 My walk continued, and I took in lots of sights, and took many more photos (some more of which I may show tomorrow). All the time I walked the clouds were building up in the sky. Many were innocent white fluffy clouds, but some seemed thicker and rather darker in colour. On the occasion when one of these passed in front of the sun it felt quite chilly. My ultimate goal was to walk as far as Tower Bridge, and then maybe cross over the bridge and ultimately get a train home from London Bridge station, but terminating my walk early seemed like it might be prudent. Fortunately I didn't have to make any big decisions because the path alongside the river disappeared behind barriers where some sort of building work was taking place, and diversion signs sent me, other pedestrians, and a surprising amount of joggers, towards the main north side entrance of Blackfriars station.
Blackfriars station -
                        northern entrance
 I had never seen the northern entrance of Blackfriars station from such a vantage point before, and while the whole thing is a bit of a modern glass and concrete monstrosity, I rather liked the sign above the entrance. It's shape hints back at the traditional shape of British Rail station signs. While I was standing outside it I decided I might as well go in. If I had spotted that I had just missed a train back to Catford I may have carried on walking, but with a train due in 10 minutes it was an opportunity to be grabbed.

 It wasn't much more than 30 - 40 minutes before I was back home and looking forward to some breakfast. What I didn't mention earlier was that I had been to Aldi before going out to frolic in the sunshine. That meant I had plenty of choice for things to eat, but I opted for some thai marinated salmon from a previous shopping trip, and that I had cooked before I went out. I had it with an Aldi ready prepared salad bowl. I can't say it was revolting, but I did conclude that thai flavours didn't seem to go with this salad, and even less so when the salmon was cold again.

 After my late breakfast (2 pm - ish) I was mostly lazy for the est of the day. I played about with the photos I had taken. I read for some time, and I think I had a snooze or two. At 6pm I put on the TV to watch Star Trek, and I had some more food. I had another salad - this time with cubed feta cheese - and also a hot meal of a calorie controlled, and not very nice, cottage pie. On the whole the TV was boring, and I found it hard to concentrate on any one particular programme until it became time when I normally turn off the TV.

 After that I lay on my bed reading until it was time to go to bed. I seem to recall the bed feeling a bit uncomfortable, but I still seemed to fall asleep with little trouble. I woke up 3 or 4 hours later feeling horrible. I don't know what my body was up to, but it must have been something pretty drastic because I had a nose bleed. Fortunately not the sort of nose bleed that drips. I really only noticed it when I blew my nose, and out came some blood - much of which was already congealing. It seemed very difficult to get back to sleep after that, and I think I stayed awake for at least 90 minutes, and possibly 2 hours.

 Eventually I got a few more hours sleep before waking up again. This morning I felt a bit off kilter, but mostly OK. Later on and I feel.....actually I don't know how I feel. I think the return to overcast weather has taken the spunk out of me ! It is currently lightly raining, but it is not as dull as I expected, although this still does not inspire me to want to do anything today. I think my grand plan for today is to be mostly, but not completely lazy. I will probably spend much of the time resting and reading, but maybe I might go out to the Whitestar open mic in Bromley this evening. It is supposed to be dry this evening, and that may make it a more definite idea, but I'll still only do it on the spur of the moment of it feels good !
Tuesday 1st May 2018
 08:31 BST

  Yesterday was not the disaster that the weather forecast for the day portrayed. There was very little heavy rain, and most of the rain was over by the afternoon. Later in the afternoon it brightened up a lot, and it came very close to being sunny for a while. The main downside was that it was very cold. During the morning my most pessimistic outdoor thermometer said it was just 4.4° C, and the most optimistic said 5.6° C - which I guess was close to the forecast 6° C. Later on in the day the temperature almost doubled, and I think I saw a little over the forecast 8° C.
  Today the weather turns around again This morning there is lovely bright sunshine, and the temperature should already be climbing to it's forecast high of 14° C. This afternoon may only see sunny spells, but it is going to be warm by comparison with yesterday. Some overnight cloud will keep the temperature from dropping too low, and tomorrow should see 12° C Unfortunately the rain will be back tomorrow - and although it hasn't earned a "weather warning" there could be some heavy rain.

  I'm not sure how I can not describe yesterday as being very boring. Nothing of any great significance happened, and I only achieved two things, but somehow it never occurred to me to think of it as boring. One thing achieved was the hand washing of a fairly big bath towel. Towels usually need a bit more rinsing than, say, t-shirts, and I think if I had the energy I would have given yesterday's towel a few more rinses, but I gave it at least 4 rinses, and that ought to have been enough. With luck it should be dry this morning - although I'll be using another towel when I have a shower soon.
"Radio Caroline"
 The other achievement yesterday was to finish selecting and editing the photos I took last Saturday night. The photo above is of the DJ for the night, affectionately known as "Radio Caroline" (she is a Caroline). I was really struggling for light when I tried to take a sneaky photo of her, but she spotted me doing it. I really had to force the processing to get this picture looking at least as good as the average mobile phone photo !
Mathew James
 When I looked through every photo I took, it was only Matt (Dan's brother) who ever managed to get any white light on his face, and only the one snap above combined that white light with him facing in the right direction, and me being in the right place to catch him at that angle. Dan always seemed to be bathed in green or purple light.

 With my photography completed and up to date I could relax, and that seemed to include a lot of TV watching. I watched almost all of one episode of the original Star Trek, and then some of an episode of Star Trek The New Generation, but I kept switching channels to watch some M*A*S*H because the two of them were on at the same time. That took me to 8pm, and I often switch off then, but last night there was a great documentary on BBC4 about the development of jet engined planes after the second world war. We, as in the UK, produced some beautiful and world beating planes in those years, but then successive governments trashed almost out entire aircraft industry - sacrificed to an earlier version of that Conservative party love (but also Labour party as well in this instance) - austerity !

 Last night was not good. I was in, or on my bed slightly early quietly reading, and I read until I felt like I was getting sleepy. Eventually I put my book down, turned out the light, and prepared for sleep. I doubt it was even 5 minutes later when I suddenly, with no forewarning at all that I can remember,  developed stomach ache. There then followed several trips to the toilet before I felt comfortable. By that time I seemed to lose the desire to sleep, and it wasn't until I had thrashed around for almost 2 hours that I fell asleep around 2am.

 I probably had lots of dreams last night, but one half remains in memory because it mixed real life with the dream. I had left the audio player on my PC running over night, as I do every night, and last night I loaded it with Hawkwind songs. They were playing very quietly all night. They were playing in my dream too, and in this dream I was joined in bed to listen to them by a mystery female. I can't recall seeing her, or touching her, but we had a short conversation about Hawkwind, or maybe just the track that was playing. In a way it was slightly disorientating because I woke up with the same track playing. It was more like my mystery companion fading away rather than waking up - except I don't recall needing a pee until I had woken up !

 The rest of my night was much simpler, although I think I probably woke up twice more needing a pee. I finally woke up having some sort of fight with myself trying to stay asleep. I probably got 5 hours sleep last night, and although it wasn't all good sleep, it seems to have been enough for now, and I feel sort of OK this morning now I am moving around and doing stuff.

 I still have a desire to go to Tesco or Aldi, and I think it might be Aldi today. Once I am washed and dressed it will be close to mildly warm outside. That is all I can think of for today. I doubt I am going out tonight, and so if I get back from shopping early enough I may go out somewhere. It could just be a walk in the park, or maybe I'll hop on a train and do some photography in London. I don't feel like going to the coast just yet...although it might be educational to go see some of the storm damage from yesterday around such places as Herne Bay. I'll see how I feel about it later. In the meantime...I had this devilish idea last night. I thought it would be amusing to video myself brushing my teeth with black toothpaste !